Saturday, February 20, 2010
A few years back I had the opportunity to go to a baseball game in San Diego. I am a huge baseball fan and it was my first time at that ball park. Suffice to say I was like a very young child at Christmas. Half way through the game a young man sat down next to me. He was dressed in a robe and sandals and was bald except for a top knot about six inches long coming directly out of the top of his head.
All through my life I have been one of those people who would talk to anyone about anything. I guess you could say I am blessed with being comfortable around people and I do enjoy learning about other folks. I don’t know a stranger.
After a bit I started talking to the young man and found out he was from a sect of Hari Krishna. As respectfully as I could I started to ask him questions about what his beliefs were. I stressed that I wasn’t making fun of him I really wanted to know “what he stood for” so to speak.
He and I had this conversation in 1993. What he told me, the one sentence he used to summarize his beliefs has stuck with me ever since and will until the day I die”
“Where you are, is where you should be, right now.”
In our lives there is no past, except that which we can learn from. If it’s good we repeat it, if it’s bad we learn from it and stay away from it in the future.
There is “no making things up to someone.” As much as I’d like it to be true I can’t even the scales by sending flowers, cards or candy. I thought something Tiger Woods said yesterday at his press conference hit the nail right on the head.
He said his wife told him she would judge his apology not by all the words but by his actions in the future.
There is no future, only what we are called and asked to do right now, today. In about fifteen minutes it means going to the gym with my wife and doing whatever we are going to do this morning. It means every day is a fresh page and whether people are comfortable with it or not I endeavor to treat each person who crosses my path with dignity, respect and genuine concern. It means that if I see you are doing something that’s going to hurt you I will tell you. I endeavor to do it in a way that is not judgmental.
Where I am is where I am supposed to be right now. All my mistakes of the past, my wrong turns, my bad relationships, the silly advice I listened to and gave served only one purpose: To put me here, right now.
It’s a blank page. Every day is a new day where you and I get another chance to be the most excellent us.
One of my newest Spark Friends refers to herself as a “super hero. ” Maybe we don’t run around in a cape and a mask, but how many of us can be heroes to those people right in front of us right now.
Yes there are days I wish I weighed one hundred fifty pounds, had a full head of hair and young ladies called me dude instead of sir. But I am called to be me, right now. Maybe a bit over weight a bit out of shape, but me.
So are you.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I missed my workout yesterday. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Huh? There was more to do yesterday then there was day to do it in and by the time I finished with my work commitments I looked at the clock and it was after eight pm. I needed to be up early this morning to take an international phone call so I knew I needed to get my rest. Forty five minutes of cardio around eight thirty would have kept me up all night.
I was disappointed, but I didn’t go off the deep end. In the old days, which for our purposes here would be considered a little over two months ago, I would have despaired and eaten an entire cake. Instead, I went to bed. I realized there would most likely be other days like yesterday. I believe it is called life. I didn’t feel guilty! I woke up this morning and when I am finished writing this I am headed for the gym. I will pick up where I left off Wednesday.
The real revelation in all of this came at 3:47 AM when I popped out of bed. “That voice,” inside of me spoke. “You can never get to where you are going until you are happy with yourself where you are right now.” That was the most profound thing I ever heard. In an instant all my past failures, my misperceptions or whatever you wanted to call them made sense. I was living in the future and when the image of the future didn’t match the behavior of the present, well I gave up.
Being happy with me as I am right now is difficult. Everything around me tells me to improve to be better to work harder. Nothing tells me to value who I am right now. So I agree, it’s difficult but not impossible. I shared this thought with my wife who gave me one of those “You’re just now realizing this?” looks, in a loving sort of way.
I have my wife my family, my healthy friends who I hang around with and you guys, the Sparky’s. yes, I know we are all on this journey towards whatever it is we are looking for. Appreciate yourselves right now for who you are, at this very moment in time.
I appreciate every one of you!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Every time I say it my children roll their eyes and get a resigned look on their faces. They have heard it all their lives. Some of them (lol) even made the conscious choice to believe it.
“You are who you hang around with”
If you want to excel then you find excellent people. You find people who help motivate you. I find these people at the gym usually around five fifteen every morning. They are the serious folks. You have to be to drag yourself out of bed that early to sit through a spinning class, run five miles or trudge through the elliptical. There are no pleasantries, no news exchanged, just a lot of hard work. You can almost hear them focus. No smiles, a lot of sweat, but no smiles. This aint the social hour.
I am nowhere close to them right now. But they cause me to walk a bit quicker, to pedal harder and to keep that bit of determination all through my day.
“You are who you hang around with.”
I have a wise friend who told me once that you should have friends ten, twenty and thirty years younger than you. If you are younger you simply do it the other way. It keeps you fresh and current and it means you are active in both mind and body. I don’t often share their point of view but I understand it and some of them actually find that and “old dude” has some decent insights.
“You are who you hang around with.”
I have not been inside a McDonalds nor have I tasted a beer since the middle of December. Truthfully, I don’t really miss either of them. The folks I “run with” “don’t play that tune.” Lottsa water and green tea and maybe if I am feeling really risqué a diet coke with lime. I have eaten beef once in two months. The people in my circle don’t talk a lot about food. They are too busy becoming happy.
“You are who you hang around with.”
Don’t ever kid yourself. It is why you are here. You, that Spark person over in the corner becoming the most excellent of all examples on health, happiness and serenity.
May I hang around with you?
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I have gone through so many changes in recent months. I eat wiser, I am more active and I am more judicious in my life choices.
Today is my day to be silent, to look at myself and to discover who I am in "all of this." It is my day to step back and discover.
It is my day to take out the garbage, mop the floor, pay the bills, run the errands and do so with an internal silence and reflection.
Call it prayer, call it meditation, call it what you will. Today is my day of silence and discovery and I look forward to it.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I was driving down the road yesterday, dodging the slush and the ice when my mind wandered to someone I knew almost fifteen years ago. I wasn’t sure if I was amazed that it had been almost fifteen years since I last saw or spoke to them or that they had even crossed my mind to begin with. We didn’t part on bad terms. They moved from San Diego to Los Angeles and left no forwarding addresses or telephone number. It wasn’t like we were BFF’s. We just went our separate ways.
But it got me to thinking. That was a chapter in my life. It began and it ended. I learned something from the other person and I hope they learned something from me. My life has had a lot of chapters in it, some with happy endings some with sad endings and quite a few who are waiting for the endings to be written. Each chapter means something. It was like when you were little and you built with blocks, one stacked on top of the other. You couldn’t make a tower without the bottom block, or any of them for that matter. Bright and shiny, dull or chipped we need those blocks or we have no tower. We give value to each of our blocks or chapters in our lives.
Sometimes things are what they are and no more or no less. We stand on a scale and we create value or lack of value based on some digital numbers that course across the dial. We try on clothes and grin or grimace based on how well or poorly they fit us. We are not our weight. We are not a size 2, 4, 6, or 8 or whatever we aspire to be. We Are. We are as warm and as radiant and as beautiful as a winter snow, a spring thunderstorm, a summer sunset or the rustling of fall leaves at our feet.
When I was in first grade in Catholic grade school we had to memorize our catechism. I still remember one of the questions and answers.
“Why did God make you?”
“God made me to show forth His goodness.”
I have often thought about that chapter of my life and if I believed that exercise I never, ever would have needed anymore religious training period! I am beloved and loved. I am, as you are the greatest miracle in the world. Only recently did I start acting like I was that miracle.
So are you.
It’s not a scale, a diet or a calorie counter that determines my worth. It is the feeling I create inside of me that acknowledges that I am very special and worth the effort to make myself healthy and happy. I will not be loved more when I lose and additional sixty four pounds. My value will not increase when I reach my goal and head to Nashville to by a suit I have dreamed of. Those things are nice, but I am nicer.
Come closer so no one else hears:
So are you.
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