Another Wednesday, another Wishcasting Circle. Today Jamie Ridler asks us what we wish to share.
I want to share with you that “it” will be o.k. Whatever it is you are worrying about, you will be able to get through it. About a year ago, I picked up a greeting card that said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill’s wise words stopped me in my tracks, causing me to reflect on the hellish times I experienced in young adulthood.
Definitely one of those aha moments.
I prolonged my visits to hell (mostly self-made) by focusing on my worrying instead of focusing on my getting out and staying out.
The way out of anything is to get up and keep moving. Forget everything you know to be true and look for an unconventional way out. Some of the advice you get will come from people who can’t get out of their own hells, who like it hot, who don’t want you to leave. Learn how to identify those folks and do the opposite of whatever they say. Approach the situation from every conceivable angle until you see the light. Start moving, even if you have to crawl …
As Belinda Carlisle sang so many times, “Heaven is a place on Earth.” You can find it if you keep moving … Anyone want to share good ways to do this?
Hey daring folks!
Here’s a provocative thought: Life’s all make believe. Seriously, do you know why you are here? Why any of us are here? Why we have to keeping doing the things everyone keeps telling us we have to do? I don’t. I have no idea what the writers of LOST have in mind, but for me the show seems like a metaphor for life. We spend our lives trying to figure out how to get off the island of life rather than just enjoying the island. The harder we try to get off, the crazier it becomes.
Say for a moment you agree that life is make believe, wouldn’t that give you permission to change your life, to do things differently, to create your own life blueprint? As a small child I often questioned my parents, my elementary school teachers, my Sunday school teachers etc., “Why do we do things like this?” I was exiled to my room. I stood in the corner. I got sent home with a note. The result? I got the message loud and clear: Go along with the program.
The problem becomes, who writes the program? With all the stress and depression out there, I wonder if it’s time to change the collective make believe to a program that makes us feel alive and vibrant.
Got any ideas about how to change your make believe into your own believe? Perhaps start by pinpointing the areas of your life that cause you the most enjoyment. Find ways to expand those areas. Love to hear from you!
Hey daring readers,
As some of you may know, I’m a karaoke junkie. Been doing it for years, so I’ve observed that most folks will go to a karaoke night and sing the same couple of songs. Now, my best song is “Only The Lonely” by The Motels and I could choose to sing it every time I go to a karaoke night. I’ve got it down near perfect. I know it sounds good.
But that feels way too safe for me. I much prefer to do at least one new song and then older ones that I rotate through. The result? I’ve got a huge repertoire of songs. Some new ones like “Love Hangover” rock the house; a few like “Sentimental Journey” semi-bomb. Because I’ve gone through “song rejection” and lived, I have no problem trying a new song, even one a bit out of my singing range like the Crystal Gayle version of “Wayfaring Stranger.” That song has a couple of high high sections, one after another. The first time I sang it, I majorly cracked on high section numero uno, but quickly recovered to hit the high notes on high section numero due!
I learned that I can do “it,” whatever that “it” is and the only way to do “it” is to just do “it.”
For me, it would be more embarrassing to get up every week and sing the same song perfectly knowing I’m not pushing myself, then to get up there and do something new, exciting and vocally scary.
How about you? Will you try doing your “it” this weekend?
I really look forward to Jamie Ridler’s wishcraft Wednesdays. Her prompts are great ways to take my writing in new directions, give me new essay, newspaper column or blog post ideas. Today’s, “What Luxury Do You Wish For?” feeds into the books I’ve been reading lately, “Shadow Cities,” “Planet of Slums,” and “A Nation of Farmer’s.”
I’ve been blessed with a most fortunate life, for which I am truly grateful. When I read about the suffering & starvation that takes place on this beautiful planet, the number of people who live in slums (1 out of 6, soon to be 1 out of 4), I would like the luxury of being able to alleviate their suffering by giving them their land “back” so they can grow their own food and rebuild their own homes. There’s no reason for anyone to starve.
Once the starvation stops we can weave our collective magic together and recreate a healthy, livable world abuzz with creativity. So, I wish for people to realize that we’re all in this dream, this fantasy, this Earth-body together, that the left Earth-hand has to know what the right Earth-hand is doing for the whole to work in unison.
Hey inspirational renegades,
I just love all the words associated with being a life rebel. We need more folks custom designing their own lives. It’s not even keeping up with the Joneses, it’s following the Joneses. Why do we do it? For the longest time I didn’t even question it. Talk about scary.
It feels good to step out of line, to stop following the pack that’s stampeding over some conformist cliff. Yes, it takes bravery at first, but soon enough it will become second nature or make that true nature, there’s nothing secondary about following your own heart.
Custom designing your own life can start small. Say “no” when you want to say “yes” or vice versa. This will free up time to do things that matter to you. It’s not selfish to enjoy your own life! The planet would be a much happier place if people filled their days doing things they loved. Lots of overt & covert anger out there. That tells me people feel powerless to custom design their own lives.
What one small thing can you do differently today?
Hey fiery folks!
I’ve always loved the Woody Allen quote, “90% of life is just showing up.” He makes it sound easy enough. So how come so few people actually show up for life? Yes, people come to work and family events and other “shoulds,” “musts” and “have to’s”, but how often do you show up for the things you really want to do, the physically, creatively or emotionally riskier ones that make you feel alive?
Want to see for yourself? Take a piece of paper and pick a recent week in your life. List the seven days of the week down the left side. Divide the top right into two sections: “shoulds/musts/have to’s” and “want to’s.” Then fill in the columns and see what you come up with. If you’re coming up short on the “want to’s” side, take some time right now to figure out why.
As you’ve probably noticed, life goes by really quickly. Waiting until your 65 to start showing up for your life doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Dear folks who care about the planet,
It’s wishcasting wednesday and Jamie Ridler asks us, “What do we wish to stretch?”
I wish to stretch my water usage. Until a few years ago, I took the fresh water streaming out of my tap for granted. I thought nothing of letting it run while I brushed my teeth or wandered away from the sink for a few minutes. I assumed potable water would always be there for me. Then I started reading about water and other nonrenewable resources. The findings shocked me into changing my behavior.
In the next 10 years, 35 U.S. states will experience water shortages. At present, somewhere around 2 billion people on the planet do not have access to safe, drinking water. The problem? Only 3% of the Earth’s water is fresh and of that 3% only 1% is easily reachable, but the world’s water demands continue to grow. Melting glaciers, which provide 69% of fresh water, have further eroded fresh water sources. Yes, other parts of the world convert ocean water into drinkable water. But it’s costly, uses lots of energy, and dumps the extracted salt & brine back into the ocean endangering marine life.
If you’ve watched Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, then you can picture a world where people fight over water. Not very pretty. Will you join me in stretching your water usage?
Yesterday I did my annual Davis’ Mega Maze in Sterling, Mass. It’s the world’s most complex 3-D cornfield maze. This year’s theme was “The Lost Tomb.” It also proved to be the hardest one yet. It took me and a friend over 4 hours to find the tomb. Around the 3 hour corn delusional mark, I had to hold myself back from answering “Yes” to the Maze staff who asked me on the bridges if I wanted hints to get out. “No,” I cried. I needed to stumble out on my own and whack the gong even if it took 7 hours.
You see, the best part about the maze isn’t even the maze. It’s what the maze teaches you about yourself. Although it might seem confusing to wander around in circles for 4 hours, I left feeling far less confused than when I entered. I actually emerged with greater focus and lots of new ideas. If I were going to hire some people, I’d forget asking them meaningless interview questions like “What’s your biggest weakness?” and just send them into the maze. Then I’d ask them what they learned about themselves when they got out.
If you live in New England, check out the Davis’ Mega Maze, it’s open on weekends through November 15th.
Ever read a sentence that stops you in your “what am I doing” tracks? That happened to me yesterday in a book I’m reading by M. Scott Peck. He wrote that the elderly drive drive slowly not because they can’t see, but because they are not in a hurry. So much of life seems to be consumed with speeding to the next place, rather than idling where we are right now. Almost feels like a collective drag race.
I’ve noticed that people on the Internet who make a lot of money have set their sights set on making even more money. I just wonder where it all ends, when we reach the place we finally want to be, the place where we look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “I’m satisfied. Time to enjoy my life as it is.”
If you’ve read my museletter then you know I’m all about helping people take back their lives. Once you find yourself in the nursing home bed, it’s going to be too late.
Here’s an idea. Next time you go out for a drive, go slow, even if the person behind you rides up on your bumper and starts beeping. If we’re all really driving to the end of our lives, why not take the meandering scenic route?
Hey out of the ordinary folks and wishcasters,
If you’ve got any kind of blogger’s block, Jamie Ridler’s Wednesday Wishcasting will take care of it. Sometimes it’s easier for writers to write when they’ve got a prompt. I’d like to learn how to see every situation from both sides, to have the superpower of empathy. The Free Dictionary defines empathy as, “the ability to sense and understand someone else’s feelings as if they were one’s own.”
Even as I write this it occurs to me that further developing this emotional superpower will aid me in my oil painting. At the moment, I’m painting a close in shot of several colorful carousel horses (like some other wishcasters, I grew up riding horses and have found them appearing in many of my paintings. Perhaps a longing to own a horse again?). What if I did a painting where I try to paint from the perspective of whatever I’m painting? What is the carousel horse thinking? Or is it me or some part of me? Am I the subject of everything I paint? Are you?
That ability to get inside of anything we do creatively, write, paint, sculpt, craft, collage might take us to a new level of artistic freedom. I’m going to give it a try … How about you?