Category: Inner Peace (page 1 of 13)

How’s your tread?

So I’m sitting in a tire and car repair place, having come in for an oil change and being told I need new tires.  Not a big surprise; the ride has been very rough lately.  But disappointing nonetheless as these current tires were supposed to last many thousands of miles longer than they have.  Hmm.  Won’t even go there.

Anyway, they’re just tires.  So even though it’s a cost I did not anticipate, it’s not a disease.  Or death.  Or something else that can’t be “fixed”.  But tires are important.  Without them, I can’t get anywhere (at least not in the society I live in).   And I need to be able to depend upon them.

But think about it.  How many things do we depend on to be there….people, jobs, health, friends…and one day, they suddenly aren’t?   Has it really been that long since we paid attention to them and examined them for any problems?  Has the road been that rough, that we were wearing them down for years without even knowing it?

Or maybe we just get used to the bumps, potholes and other challenges of covering ground day after day, week after week, year after year.  So we don’t notice when it really does get too slippery.  When we need to slow down and take stock of things.

When you’re young, you just assume everything is going to last.  Then you get older and look back and it’s sobering how many people have drifted away.  How your tastes have changed.  How you no longer consider staying up past midnight a thrill (or even a possibility).   Then there’s your body.  Wow.  Who knew you were actually going to age.  I mean, there should be an owner’s manual that helps with the maintenance of a body after 50.

Pain relievers.  Orthotics.  Reading glasses.  Knee wraps.  The tread gets a little thin.   Can’t take those corners quite as fast.  Little harder to see at night.  Maybe walking will burn as many calories as running.

And like a set of tires, we need balancing ever so many miles.  It’s so easy to get so caught up in day planners, meetings, calls, obligations, commitments, you name it.  I think back to pioneers who had breakfast, worked in the fields all day, had dinner, went to bed.  Granted, they didn’t live past 35.  But they also weren’t worrying about the text, the email, the instant message, the social media post or whether their cable provider is going to raise their rates.  Balance wasn’t an issue for them.

I think it is for us, and I think that getting older gives us the right to achieve balance any way we can.   And maybe, ironically, that means more time and space for us to just be…and less time worrying about all the other jazz.

I’ll leave here with a new set of tires, and the ride home will be much smoother.  Maybe I need to look at a few other areas of my life…check under the hood…and get things on a smoother road.  Cause I want to keep going for a long, long time.

 

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”

             Thomas Merton

 

 

 

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Happy Birthdays to Us!

Rites of passage.  Whether it’s turning 50, 60, 70, 80, or beyond, we feel them.  They get our attention.  They get the attention of everyone in our family and circle of friends, because they can’t believe we are whatever age we are.

Big birthdays sober us. They remind us of our immortality.

But they also can be quite emancipating.  They tap us on the shoulder and urge us to look ahead down that trail, and wonder where it will take us.  Where do we want to go?  What do we want to achieve?   Are we done chasing goals of the past?  Are we ready to take a breath, or is it time to gear up for new challenges?

There’s a sadness to passing from one decade to another.   Who doesn’t pause a bit when they realize they can’t quite move as fast as they once did.  Can’t get on the floor to play with the dog and get up quickly (or at least, without some assistance).  Can’t eat all that spicy food without raiding the medicine cabinet at 2 a.m. for the antacid.  Can’t even stay up late…and late has gone from 11 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

Still, there’s a giddiness to growing older.  You just have to look for it.

You have permission to give up some things.  Stop worrying about so much.  Know that you have gained wisdom the younger set doesn’t yet have, (even though they’re convinced you don’t know what you’re talking about).

Smile a bit more.  Nap a bit more.  Take it all in.  Or not.

If you’re coming up on a big birthday, turn it on its head and think about what gifts it can bring.   More time to travel.  Walk on the beach.  Wear a floppy hat.  Stop dying your hair.

Or start dying it purple.

.When she turned 70 last year, actress Sally Field said, “I’ve gathered strength behind my years, I owned them, I’ve earned them, I’ve deserved them, I have a right to have them. Behind my years I have value that doesn’t come when you’re 50 or 40 or 30 or 20, it doesn’t come until you’ve been in that saddle for a number of years.”

Amen!  Here’s to rocking the wrinkle however you can.

Here’s some other thoughts on jumping into that next decade:

“The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.”~Doug Larson

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair”.~Douglas MacArthur

“In a man’s middle years there is scarcely a part of the body he would hesitate to turn over to the proper authorities”. ~E.B. White

“The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left.”.~Jerry M. Wright

“I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that”. ~Lauren Bacall

You have come a long way. You’ve endured a lot of struggles and pain.  You’ve touched more people’s lives than you will ever know.

And you are still here!

Celebrate!

 

 

 

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Peace. Just Peace.

 

Peace.

Simple peace.

No murders.

No neighborhood shootings.

No children crying in fear.

No mothers mourning their dead.

No persons finding their homes vandalized with words of hate.

No young people running from bullies.

No racist labels shouted from a passing car.

Peace.

Simple peace.

Patience, instead of revenge.

Empathy, instead of judgement.

Love, instead of hate.

Help a neighbor.

Smile at a stranger.

Remember someone in need.

Consider that everyone has the right to be who they are.

And let them be.

Peace.

Simple peace.

2017 can be a year of peace.

Let’s make it ours.

“All we are singing is give peace a chance.”

       John Lennon

 

 

 

 

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A little peace under the tree.

The holiday season is a bit of a paradox for most of us….while we sing of quiet and peace, we are often trapped in a vortex of bad traffic, long lines, too much sugar and not enough time for meditation and rest.  After all, everything has to be perfect, right?  Our children come home, our grandchildren eagerly await our cookies and pies, and we ourselves are convinced that this year, it will be just as it should be.

It’s that whole “letting go” thing again…acknowledging we really have no control on how things turn out.  How irritating is that?

I used to think if I heard Clarice sing “There’s Always Tomorrow” one more time in that dang Rudolph cartoon I was going to throw up.  When, I would think, will today just be enough?  What can’t what I want come to me now?   Are all those Hallmark movies lying to us?

It’s not unlike waking up one day and deciding that you are going to be in tune with the universe. You are going to meditate.  Do yoga.  Journal.  Smudge.  Read every inspirational book you can find.  After all, you’re not a kid anymore so all the wisdom you have gained should be paying off about now.

Doesn’t leave a lot of space for quiet, does it?  For peace…for sabbath?

In “How Then, Shall We Live,” author, therapist, minister and founder of Bread For the Journey Wayne Muller says this:

“Many of us are exhausted by this desperate search for answers, as if our life is a big problem to be solved and we haven’t yet found the trick to it, the perfect solution to the puzzle.  After all our investigations, we have still not discovered the answer to our life.  We figure we must not be working hard enough.  So we push harder, hold on more tightly to the problem, hoping to eventually wring some wisdom from our struggle and set our life on the right course.

“But what if “don’t know” is not a signal to push and work and struggle, but rather an indication that it is time to be quiet and listen and wait? What if the answers to our question bout life and path and practice are already speaking to us, and in our rush to find them elsewhere,  we miss the easy, gentle wisdom that would teach us all we need to know if we simply center ourselves and be still for just a moment?”

Be still for just a moment.  Doesn’t that sound grand?

So maybe this week, we occasionally just stop.

Breathe.

Take it in.

There are too many leaves to rake…but they are beautiful anyway.  There’s a house to clean and food to cook…but really all our guests want is to be with us again.  We miss our friends who live far away, and our loved ones who departed the earth long ago…but they are alive in our hearts.

As Rumi said, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”   Don’t give in to the frenzy.  Turn off the television if there’s too much anger there.  Play some gentle music if you’re stuck in yet another traffic jam.

You are naturally wise.  You have survived a lot.

And you deserve a holiday season that feeds your spirit.

It’s never easy.  It probably won’t feel right the first few times you try.  That’s okay.  Think of as leaving a door open.  Eventually, peace will poke its head in.

Before you know it, you’ll be old friends.

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

  Lao Tzu

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