The Inheritance of Limitation

The Inheritance of Limitation

“So much for going for a small role, huh Dad?”

Her face was fully aglow from the brightness of the iPhone as she read the email. And in an instant the size of her eyes doubled.

She got the part.

My daughter auditioned for a rather important part in her school’s drama club performance of “Willy Wonka”. This being her first year in this new school, she would be competing with seasoned students, more well-known to those who make the ultimate decision as to who gets selected for the roles. And since she has never been in a school play before, I had actually tried to convince her to try out for a smaller, less visible role.

Something safer.

She didn’t quite see it that way.

One of the countless joys of being around my daughter is her blissful enthusiasm. Continue reading “The Inheritance of Limitation”

Buddha, Red Meat, And A Salad Fork

Buddha, Red Meat, And A Salad Fork

So, how do I not eat meat?

For a full year?

New Year’s Day for me falls in October. Because that’s my birth month. I’ve started getting far more intentional about what I want to accomplish in the 12 months between birthdays. Far too many years have come and gone and the only thing I got was older.

I don’t want to just be older.

This past year the goal was to do 20,000 push-ups, which worked out to be 55 push-ups per day, every day, for 365 days. I still don’t really know why I wanted to do it. I guess the Continue reading “Buddha, Red Meat, And A Salad Fork”

The Energy of Possibility

The Energy of Possibility

I bet people would look at you rather strangely if you walked around with a solar panel strapped to your head. Or maybe a small wind turbine?

We see them just about everywhere these days. Solar panels and wind turbines. Many people are in search of alternative sources of energy. Perhaps driven by environmental concerns or cost savings, one goal is to become more energy independent and not needing to rely on foreign sources of energy.

How reliant are you on foreign sources of energy? No, not the oil and gas portion of your life but the emotional energy which fuels your life? Is the primary source of your energy coming from foreign sources, sources beyond your control, sources outside of yourself?

Who has to act a certain way for you to feel energized? What conditions need to already Continue reading “The Energy of Possibility”

Maybe Your Truth Is What’s Holding You Back?

Maybe Your Truth Is What’s Holding You Back?

“Someday I’m gonna climb that mountain.”

It’s 1992 and I’m on my way to Keene, New Hampshire for the first time. As I approached from south of the city I caught my first glimpse of Mount Monadnock. It’s not a huge mountain, but it was the tallest one in southwestern New Hampshire. That’s when I announced I’d be climbing that mountain some day.

And I finally did.

26 years later.

Self-promises and bold declarations are easy to make. But for me, at times, life has been far more talk than actually doing. Years went by as I continued to travel Rte 12, always glancing at the big mass of granite and trees, reminding myself that I’d climb that mountain some day.

Someday.

After my last birthday I began questioning many things in my life. When you realize you’ve had more birthdays than you’re gonna have your relationship with time changes. With that fresh perspective I decided to gently challenge myself and the collection of things I’d thrown into the rather thick “Someday” file. I wanted to look at each one and decide if it stays or if it goes. And if it stays, when was I actually going to do what I told myself I was going to do? Continue reading “Maybe Your Truth Is What’s Holding You Back?”

Life Is A Journey, But Are You The One Who’s Driving?

Life Is A Journey, But Are You The One Who’s Driving?

Maybe we shouldn’t have bought her the car?

Recently we needed to get my daughter a car to get her to and from school. She did all the research, scouring the local dealerships’ websites for her first car. My job was easy; I just needed to pay for it.

She settled on a used, rather sporty Honda Civic, two door coupe. Her only concern?

She didn’t know what the clutch was for.

The car was perfect, except for the fact it had a stick shift. My job was to teach her the art of driving with a manual transmission. At some point it just became easier for me to simply drive the car myself.

I had forgotten how much I had always enjoyed driving with a stick shift. I had gotten used to the less-involved, far more simplistic version of driving with an automatic transmission. But just like riding a bicycle I quickly regained the mechanics of smoothly negotiating gas-clutch-shift. For the first time in years I felt like I was actually driving, an active participant interacting with the road ahead. No more free ride for my left foot.

The biggest difference in driving a stick? Awareness. You focus far more intensely on things you wouldn’t ordinarily need to when driving an automatic transmission. You need to more fully understand your environment, observing and accounting for the contours and elevations of the road, shifting and adjusting accordingly, listening to and feeling the vibration of the engine in order to purposefully and intentionally respond with the fluidity and grace of a tai-chi master. A rather tactile experience. Continue reading “Life Is A Journey, But Are You The One Who’s Driving?”

Go Unstuck Yourself

Go Unstuck Yourself

Steve grimaced after completing the four-mile hike. He had been favoring his left foot for most of the walk. He sat on the bench, took off his boot, and removed the annoying pebble from his boot. He mentioned the stone found its way into the boot early on in the hike. “So, why didn’t you stop and remove it once you first noticed it?” I asked. “Well”, said Steve, “I guess I just kind of got used to it after a while.”

Ouch!

Life can often feel the same way, can’t it? Disappointments and discomforts become something we just decide to live with, even if on some level we know it doesn’t have to be that way. But sometimes we get stuck in an emotional place for so long we simply accept our temporary situation as our permanent reality.

Perhaps in some areas of your life you’ve gotten used to struggling because you’ve just struggled for so long? Have you settled for being disappointed in a less-than-ideal relationship because that’s just how it’s always been? Or perhaps there’s a career move you’d love to make but you’ve decided your lot in life is for you to stay who you already are instead of becoming all you’ve been created to be? Simply because that’s what you’re used to?
Continue reading “Go Unstuck Yourself”

Please Don’t Wait Until I’m Broken To Fix Me

Please Don’t Wait Until I’m Broken To Fix Me

The real question is why didn’t anyone bother to ask why he was sitting on a wall in the first place…

When you think about the elliptical shape of an egg it’s not really surprising Humpty Dumpty had his great fall, is it? When you factor in gravity, an egg on top of a wall is an accident waiting to happen. And in Humpty’s case that’s exactly what happened.

Sure, all the king’s horses and men tried their best, but, as the story goes, they couldn’t put Humpty back together again.

Too little too late.

Sometimes we find our own emotionally elliptical-shaped self teetering atop of our own walls, and with one small change in circumstance we, too, can find ourselves in pieces on the floor, hoping the horses and men (and women) in our own life will be there trying to help us piece our emotional self back together again. And while it’s good to have friends to help you pick up your pieces, wouldn’t it be better if they never let you fall in the first place? Continue reading “Please Don’t Wait Until I’m Broken To Fix Me”