Get UP, Be In, Lean IN.

Recent events have caused me to revisit the very source of motivation that drives me forward every day.

Of late especially, I feel behind, out of sorts. Again and again, I feel I fall short of the mark;  at home, at work, in my community service activities, in my writing (CLEARLY here, this is only the second post for the month), I’m not shooting par.  I’ve had moments of clarity, but many more of clouds; I’ve experienced the laser focus of productivity, but a lot of wandering from task to task, too.

This morning on the drive into work, this passage came to mind, and it seems to have pushed me over to the other side, the GOOD side, once again.  I think I’m through the darkness of uncertainly and seeing more clearly the Light.

The main theme?  

Get up each day, and get in the game, get back in the arena. If it was a good day prior, all the better. Make it happen again. If it was a crappy yesterday, no matter. The way forward is clear. Get up, dust off, and get after it.  You’ll be glad you did.  I know I am. Because that is who I want to be.


THE MAN IN THE ARENA

Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”
delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

download PDF of complete speech

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

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Weekend: Hug You, Zazen, Done

zazen-600

Ah weekends.  Unless there are specific events going on, outside commitments to attend to, the weekends around my house go something like this:

Sleep-in a little, clean up from the week, do family and household chores, get caught up on mail and bills, and maybe have a little leisure time to relax.  Somehow before you know it, it’s Sunday eve and time to prime for Monday.

Often the thought crosses my mind, “Where does the weekend go?!”

So I’m sharing these thoughts for myself, and you, in case you have a similar experience.

The bottom line is as usual, a bit of a dichotomy:  there are at least two sides to this particular coin.

The weekend is a time to mix up the routine a little, and for certain, attend to things you might not have ready-time for during the work-week.  It’s also a time to be sure you’re soaking up those experiences that matter most:  time with family, with friends, maybe a little time with yourself, even.

On my side, the best parts of my weekend include a few more hugs from my kids and a lot more time with them after a busy week.  The simple joy of watching my son roll around on the couch, nibble carrots and apples, play with his cars…hearing my daughter’s laugh, seeing her pirouette through the living room…you get the idea.  If I get an unexpected peck on the cheek from my wife, all the better!

I find my own particular “zazen” doing the most basic of tasks at home with my family — not in the traditional definition of the word, meaning ‘cross-legged meditation” — but instead a more active kind of respite, my zazen roots in letting the magic of the mundane sink in deep, to calm my mind and sooth my soul.

Along the way, I find my way through my chores, checking things off the list, getting things done.

The result of all this?  A Happy Weekend.  Make it so.  It’s up to you.

Lessons & 2016

 There are always things to learn, some things to re-learn. The trick is to take the lessons to heart. 

Apply them regularly, daily, constantly, to make your life GOOD. 
Here are some of the highlights from 2016:

  • Discipline equals freedom.
  • Be patient.
  • Be ready to adjust.
  • CHOOSE to be happy. 
  • Be quick to forgive, but don’t forget the lesson.
  • Find something good to focus on everyday.
  • Do something for physical exercise everyday. 
  • Keep learning new things.
  • Embrace and be filled by simple joys.
  • Share the love.
  • We have one life, so savor things everyday.
  • And…make it GOOD.