A 2359 Word Post On Standing Before The Flag

GloryLarge2 LargeGlory1

I recognize that every human is free.  Free to their own choice.  Free to their own perception.  Free to their own expression of that perception and choice.

I recognize that perception is limited and any interpretation of perception can be described as a story of what happened.  Each who perceives will tell a different story in their attempt to share their perception.

I recognize that your perception will almost certainly be different than mine.

I perceived the symbol captured here occurring much larger, much more vivid, and much more active in the wind this evening than these small photo representations will ever portray (sort of like my words – limited in conveying experience).  I invite you to zoom into the photos to give yourself a sense of the bombast of it, blazing before you.  If that doesn’t work, go to any Perkins at night, with the wind blowing in off Lake Erie and experience it for yourself – man, they fly a glorious Old Glory.

Sorrow was what I experienced for those who don’t stand before this symbol and experience anything other than the awe that I felt, standing below and before it waving wildly in the wind.

Shall I give up my experience in favor of yours?  Shall I attempt to empathize with your plight?  The plight of your creation, your perception, and your choice of story to tell?  Shall I listen and experience you?  Kneel with you?  Risk losing my Old Glory to understand yours?  Stand next to you and look down, ashamed for myself of what it means to you?  Or shall I stand?  Clear about who I am and who you are?  Standing for who we were born to be – free and mighty and in love.

As I stood before it I was immediately taken in, quickly distracted (enacted) into being with it. This symbol; this story; I was compelled to capture it.  To tell you that in it I saw the future – yours and mine – unlimited by our limited perception of space and time.  In it I saw Truth, Beauty, Freedom and above all things Love.

Truth and Love and Aletheia will set you free,

Ed

 

Are We All Stuck (or is it just me (or is it just Truth/Love/Aletheia concealed (as usual)))

This post began, as most of them do.  After that “perfect” amount of coffee, a little time to reflect, and some observations based on things that have been occurring in my reflection of the world.

I was driving, as I often am, when it came to me.  And I was driving somewhere new.  Not that I hadn’t been where I was driving before, but I hadn’t been driving where I was driving while having that blog-able moment come into my existence.

So much has “changed” since I last wrote.  Sitting at the keyboard is like an explosion of all there is to say and making any sense of it, the process of refining it to one of my already lengthy essays on nothing (Truth/Love/Aletheia), is interesting to observe.

I’ve had moments in the past 3 years (has it really been 3 years? – I just checked, it’s only been 2.5 years) but the opportunity to just sit and type wasn’t made.  There was that brief entry more than a year ago, an experience that was never completed by telling the story of it.

And that is the thought which provoked this entry. Telling a story, one’s story, to another creates an experience of who you are with that person.  It creates an experience of who you are as an identity at least.  Who we are cannot really be told, can it?

Despite the tangible gains I’ve made in becoming independent and free, I’ve been “feeling” awfully stuck.  Stuck with my own creations, stuck with the stories I’ve told about who/what I am, stuck with who/what I’m creating myself to be.  Stuck is an occurring when Truth/Love/Aletheia is concealed.

What does that even mean?  It’s like wearing gold plated diapers, babies.

I’m stuck with blogging about a topic that rarely makes any sense to anybody other than me.  It occurs that way at least.

My sense is that we’re all stuck.  If you’re paying attention you can feel it.  We’ve been stuck for quite some time. We seem to have a new medium for our stuckness as well.  This online presence business, these feeds and articles that come and go.

They never go anymore though, do they?  You used to be able to throw away the newspaper and it would biodegrade and you’d have to go to the library to find the microfiche of the old stories and nobody ever did that.  They wouldn’t go get that microfiche and reissue the old paper to show you, prove to you who you used to be and stick you with it.  Well, maybe sometimes, for the really “important” stuff.  Now, you’re getting microfiched all the time.  The old stories, they rarely go away.  You’re stuck with them.  Say it once.  You said it.  It will always be who you are.

Listening.  It’s challenging, day to day, hour by hour, moment by moment.  To hear and receive and be in the presence of another without assigning an identity to them.  To hear and receive and be in the presence of one’s Self without getting stuck to the stories we tell.

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone is the current audio book I’m reading.  My wife laughed at me recently, paradoxically, because I’m such a crappy listener.  She laughed because she knows that I’ve spent more time, effort and money attempting to “get better” at listening than most people you’ll ever meet.  It’s just that, with all that listening I’ve “tried” to do I’ve heard some things.  Some things that I really want everybody to know.  If you’d all just shut up and listen.

This is where this blog entry, and the others, come into play. I’m going to tell you what I’ve heard.  And I’m clear that this blog about things that are nearly impossible to communicate will be read scarcely.  In blogging, I hear myself.  I look back on these entries and know myself, if I’m listening.  When I articulate clearly to myself and truth/love/aletheia is unconcealed it is a reference for me.  I’m stuck with it.

Ironically, when it is not clearly articulated and I’m not present that becomes a reference for me as well and truth/love/aletheia becomes concealed and less present.

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone is an interesting title.  I’m listening to it more to Discover the Secret to Having Anybody Get Through To Me.  It’s probably a sales title to sell more books.  Just Listen.  That’s all that really needs to be said.  That may not sell as many books though.  Because we just want to get through to absolutely anyone.  In the book, Mark discusses techniques to put aside what you think, feel, want to say, to give the other the experience of Being listened to.

When the other is heard Truth/Love/Aletheia is present.  Mark doesn’t say that.  Another way to say it is that when the other is heard what “needs” to be said “disappears”.  Somebody else said that.  I listened.  And got it. The experience of meaning having been made occurs.  The other is known, for that moment, in that instant, to another.  To you.  If you’re lucky enough to listen.  Mark doesn’t say those things either.  That’s what I want you to know.

Now our most recent invention or medium for communicating is very good at getting the story told, widely.  It is not very good at getting the story heard.  It doesn’t disappear.

We’re all stuck.  With it.

Or, is it just me?

With Listening for your Truth/Love/Aletheia,

Ed

Witnessing the Other

Transformation, when it occurs is immediate.  Sometimes the manifestation to what’s next takes some time.  Sometimes it’s immediate.  This post is a bit of a welcome back to me.  To not share my experience of the past four days at the OD Network conference would be selfish.

Starting in the hotel lobby also does not sound like my favorite option either.  This will be the completion of the post but I wanted to make an entry.

With Truth/Love/Aletheia,

Ed

Sometimes Truth/Love/Aletheia Looks Like A Punch In The Throat

“The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off as quietly as if it were nothing; every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. is bound to be noticed.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Fascinating weekend in the stream of life.  Beyond questioning “What exactly am I manifesting in the world?”, I’ve sorted some random items together to put some perspective on the current, streaming-by, over the always unseen undercurrent of Aletheia.

First, a story.  I was greeted at my front door Friday evening by a heavily tattooed unsavory looking fellow (the tattoos alone did not indicate he was unsavory – it was visible in who he was being) who showed up to do me physical harm for verbally accosting his son who’d participated in some bullying, intimidation tactics toward my son the previous week at the playground next door to our house.  He punched me in the throat.  I was being at the moment of truth as I ran down the street to avoid getting punched again.

It was fascinating and unexpected.

Now I was certainly over the top in my confrontation with his son, 14 or 15 in age, not slight and not the least intimidated by my requests to know who his friend was that ran off (a resident of the development) so I could speak to his parents about their bullying of my not slight 12 year old.  Nor was he intimidated by my loud, rude and obnoxious requests to speak to his parents since he wouldn’t give me his friend’s information.  Rather, he informed me that his father would be over that night to beat my pussy bitch ass.  He waited a week – it definitely threw me off guard.

This kid didn’t even live in my development, but was a guest in my common area.  He and his friends had been admonished two days prior by my wife for throwing around F bombs, racial slurs and derogatory language about the feminine form and I’d considered blogging about that occurrence, coming weeks after the Trayvon Martin ruling and my inability to make any kind of meaningful sense of that whole affair.  I thought about writing how we needed to deal with racism at the parks where young teen men (Black, White, Hispanic, etc. – or how is it they put it on those EEO forms? – so correct politically, but so incorrect all around) grow up and learn to share what they’ve already learned at home about race and women.  My wife dealt with these kids that day because I passed by with our baby in the stroller, willing to let it go since nobody was getting hurt and I’d been one of those boys at one point in my life.  My blogging suffered the same effect – the baby has thrown a wrench lately in any meaningful production.

Great story right? which stands at this point with my waiting to hear from the police and waiting to hear back from the results of any conversation that the president of our homeowners association will have with the board of trustees next week.  I don’t have much faith that any “real” change will come of it…as he said, the teen problem will just manifest itself in them vandalizing the signs as they’ve vandalized our community center. Who are they though?  And who are we?

Along with that I was voraciously finishing reading “The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler” published in 2002 by James Cross Giblin, a book laying around the house that my wife picked up from the library for my son’s assigned summer reading.  I’d always been interested in understanding how all of that happened since the days of my youth watching “In Search of…” with Leonard Nimoy where my memory tells me I saw my first glimpses of life (and death) in a concentration camp.  It may have been some other show as my Mother always had a bit of a Hitler “obsession” – perhaps to better understand how my Father came to be or maybe for other reasons.

I found the following passage to be most worth sharing:

In Germany itself, a group of students at a university in Munich dared in 1942 to criticize Hitler’s conduct of the war.  The group adopted the name the White Rose, symbolizing purity, and, with the aid of one of their professors, wrote, duplicated, and distributed leaflets attacking the Fuhrer.  A typical leaflet, headed “an Appeal to All Germans,” stated boldly that the war was lost and urged its readers to part company with Hitler and his fellow Nazis.

“Prove by your actions that you think differently,” the leaflet said.  “Tear off the cover of indifference which you have put around your hearts. Make your decision before it is too late. Do not believe that Germany’s future is associated for better or worse with the victory of National Socialism. Criminal actions can never obtain a German victory.”  The leaflet concluded with a vision of the future.  “Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, protection of the individual citizen from the arbitrary actions of criminal terror states – those are the foundations for a new Germany, a new Europe.  Support the resistance movement and pass on the leaflets.”

At first White Rose members distributed the leaflets only to their fellow students within the university.  Then they branched out, stuffing the pamphlets into mailboxes throughout Munich and even traveling to other cities, such as Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Vienna, with the leaflets concealed in their suitcases.  Back in Munich, they were distributing a fresh batch at the university when a janitor spotted them and notified the police.

Put on trial for treason in February 1943, the three leaders of the White Rose – Hans Scholl, his sister, Sophie, and their good friend Christoph Probst – were all sentenced to death by beheading.  The trio remained defiant to the end.  Sophie walked to the guillotine with a smile on her face, and her brother Hans shouted, “Long live liberty!” before he died.

Yesterday I came across the short story Dialetheia* – by Anil Menon which just happened to be set in pre-World War Two Germany and amazingly and eloquently shares a “view” or “taste” of this phenomenon which I attempt to explain while attempting to catch glimpses of it out of the corner of my eye.  Perhaps I’ll have to investigate this notion of “inconsistent mathematics” that he mentions.

In reading this book, and this short story I see that we are very much still living in a world vastly shaped by the charisma and actions of this one very determined person.  The state of the world today, shaped by the past yesterday – “Time is a partial order!” indeed.

Linking that, one of my facebook friends posted a link to this video.  It says a lot, it’s worth watching and it’s worth questioning everything through the video as a lens.  Life isn’t clear cut, especially when Love is concealed and your righteousness clouds the view.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsqwErd6sPg&feature=share

Finally, this excerpt from a link from the above interviewee Glenn Greenwald’s page puts a final lens on my thoughts for the weekend and really for the last few months.  “Civil rights hero John Lewis, in an interview with the Guardian today, praised Snowden for engaging in “civil disobedience” in the tradition of Thoreau, Gandhi and the Civil Rights movement.”  – Read the full article here.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts brewing, for a long time, a lot of unrest – apparently like the rest of us.  I thought I’d better start blogging again to begin unconcealing.  Perhaps if I can return to, or get closer to, Truth/Love/Aletheia I’ll open my front door next time with open arms and a smile or admonish a bully with a gentle, loving approach.  Either way, living life is clear cut.  I may get punched and I still love us all.

Wounded with love,

Ed

It’s All Fun and Games Until…(This post is not for the faint of heart)

somebody shits in your sink.  Ahahahahaha.

Seriously. Both literally and metaphorically this happens every day in your town, your country, your world.  What is your response when somebody does it?

First, let me give a little background about what I’m talking about here.  By now, you should be clear that “Love is.” from reading my blog.  It’s here, perhaps concealed from your view, but here none the less.  All there is to be the “sort of person” who allows love to be present and experienced in the moment. (This is not a grammatical error – all there is to be – It wouldn’t make much sense to say all there is to do is to be, that defeats the point of being and it’s a limitation of English language.) Simple, not easy.

Second, until now I haven’t really mentioned in the blog that I own a few laundromats, du laverie automatique.  They provide me a non-stop training environment for being love present and experienced.  This, what I’m referring to, is my latest example.  Even the cop who came to check out the vandalism was fairly shocked, disgusted, and appalled with what one of my fellow human beings left as their ‘contribution’, though I’m certain it’s far from the worst he’s seen.

IMG_0284

Now, it would be easy to distinguish the source of this turd as an operational issue.  You’re open 24 hours, of course somebody is going to shit in your sink.  Of course.

I’ve long held (since getting in touch with who I am is love, present and experienced) that each of us has a full opportunity set of being in which to dwell.  Any one of us could be Mother Teresa or Thich Nhat Hanh (choose your favorite “favorite person”) or the next Osama or Adolph or Dylan (choose your least favorite “nut job”).  Most of us dwell somewhere in the middle.  We don’t shit in anybody’s sink, but we also don’t clean up the shit that somebody else left.

Much easier to lean toward the villainous side however than to take a stand for causing a shift.  There are really many more examples to model oneself after and we’re often so self denigrating that we rarely think that I am amazing.  We’re curious about these “nutty ones” and we like trying to solve them, figure them out, label them, and fix them in various “correctional” facilities or solutions.  It’s very challenging to let them be somebody who shits in your sink and love them anyway, maintaining your “always open 24 hours, vulnerable and willing to accept whatever offers you make” demeanor.

When “those people” are not shitting in my sink, they’re stealing copper, or change machines, or vandalizing in any multitude of ways.  It’s fascinating.  It’s also easy to become a reaction, put in more secure whatever, cameras to watch, drones to blow people up, whatever.  Not being a violent reaction – that’s the real work.  Not adding more hatred on top of the concealed love…man, that’s some work.

Building the capacity to allow love to be present is like climbing a mountain that has no top.  It’s synonymous with honoring your word (aka, maintaining integrity) in that there will always be some area where you are not being love present.

People will always “wrong” you in your life – the people playing much bigger games than I am have much larger turds in their sinks.  Compassionate laughter is my best friend.  What’s yours?

I love you.  All of you.

Ed

Time

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.

– Pink Floyd

Coming up on 40 years since the release of “Dark Side of the Moon”.  It’s as relevant as ever.  What are you up to that’s driving you mad?

With Love (out of time),

Ed

Same old, same old

5:59

6:00

I got you babe.  I got you babe.  Wake up campers, it’s Groundhog Day!

Look, I know it’s just a movie, but I assure you that contained within that movie are the same learning opportunities that can be acquired by reading John Shotter’s Wittgenstein in Practice and then practicing it in living, or paying 65k for the number one (average over the past 10 years) organizational development master’s program (MPOD) in the world, or cleaning up vomit from a bathroom floor, or reading (attempting at least – can somebody translate the translation please) Heidegger’s Being and Time, or walking face first into a below zero snow storm ‘coming from’ the space of love and joy, or being deployed to a combat zone, or participating in The Forum (as it used to be called), or adopting and raising somebody else’s child. 

Each of these experiences presents learning opportunities for what can be described as “transformational moments”.  I would know, because I’ve had each of these experiences, a couple of them today even.  Now, participating in all of them gives a certain kind of “multi-faceted” view or perspective that participating in only one or two of them will not provide, but this doesn’t diminish the opportunity set for the learning opportunities available in each of those experiences individually.  The above experiences are also not the exclusive set of experiences for providing the learning opportunities.  I’ve had some others and I know there are others who’ve had others.

This entry will not be a “10 lessons I learned from Groundhog Day” presentation.  You’re, as always, going to have to work a little to hear the real value of cleaning vomit off of the bathroom floor or watching Groundhog Day.  The one thing that I will point out very clearly is that each of the stated experiences provides a disruption to the conversational and temporal space in which one is experiencing life.  The taken for granted, always already ways of being in which we normally dwell.  This entry is also not intended to diminish those normally occurring day to day life events. 

Having the opportunity to live the same day in the same confined space of Punxatawney gives Phil Connors the ability to peer into the moments, in intricate detail, that make up ones day to day life.  Even still it takes him a near eternity to learn anything useful about himself at the same time he’s learning minute details about the others in the story. 

Phil realizes, shortly after he finally orchestrates the perfect day with Rita the futility of his frantic quest for the solutions or answers, the getting it right so that it will turn out.  This futility is what ultimately and finally takes him to the edge of the “self” that he knows himself to be, drives him to the depth of complete despair where he wallows for some time.  Bill Murray of course, uses the timing both comedically and dramatically to give us a look, a glimpse, at the Cartesian paradigm that Shotter references.  As a moment in time, turning to Mrs. Lancaster and answering the Jeopardy question “What is the Rhone?” is the turning point, the moment of triumph that is possible for each of us in our lives and our relationships.  This despair, no matter how thorough it is, even has its end.  Freedom to be is the natural outcome.

Phil emerges with his true being, who he’s always been, that he’s been covering up with that desire to look a certain way or do certain things to manipulate the outcomes ripped away.  There is no longer an option to pretend any more, he sees himself newly and shifts to what Shotter describes as a “relational paradigm” where “This new dialogical or relational paradigm puts the primary emphasis on our knowing of other people”.  In the Forum it was that moment when the “big it” is revealed.  In the combat zone it was that peace with knowing that one’s time will come exactly when their time comes.  And in cleaning up vomit or any of the other experiences it is that this is this.  Coming to the thus-ness of the experience…without resistance and being an opening or space for the thus-ness.

This is Truth/Love/Aletheia. Unconcealed.  Within that space there’s a freedom to play the piano, save another’s life, fall in love.  Not as a manipulation but because these are the things we do when we are freed from the constraints we showed up in.  Powerfully relating with one another. 

With Love,

Ed

One Conversation Can Change………wait for it………Everything

Of all of the “things” that I have encountered in my life, and there are a few, there is one thought, one idea, one experience, one notion, one piece of knowledge that excites me more than any other.  It is the single bit of knowing, that when I recall it, when I allow it to really be present and be fully alive for me in the moment, it immediately expands my outlook, my view of the future, my capacity for possibilities, exponentially larger.

It’s such a simple thing too.  It crept up on me.  I wasn’t looking for it, in fact I was actively resisting it when it happened.  Then, all of a sudden, there it was.  My future was instantly different.  My outlook altered.  My box expanded, or blown right off of me really.

One conversation can change everything.

Your life is going in a certain direction, a fairly predictable trajectory, and then that one conversation happens.  It may be with yourself, or it may be a “conversation” that you read, but most often it’s with another human being.

My favorite, the one that really set me on fire and put me on a new and completely unknown, unexpected, unpredictable path for the rest of my life happened with one of my favorite people in the world.  This person has known me since the day I was born, has always cared for me, looked after me and because of that I had an immeasurable amount of trust for them.

Within that trust of my listening, I was told a story about a conversation they’d had with another in which the story teller made themself completely vulnerable, at risk, and authentic.  They were willing to put everything that they had in life up until that point on the line, including the relationship itself, in the interest of having a complete and authentic relationship.

Listening to this story, and hearing the vulnerability and the willingness to risk everything for the sake of what could be, moved me.  I’d never heard a more courageous story before, and very few since.  I wanted that kind of courage. I knew in that moment that living my life without that kind of courage would mean that I had barely lived at all.  Hearing this story altered what I knew about life, how it could go, how it should go, how it would go.  It changed me.  It made possible the kind of relationships that I could have, that I do have in my life.

It was a moment of truth.  Listening to that story, sitting on the edge of my seat, I could hear a pin drop.  I could hear my audible gasp, being in awe of the power of the spoken word and its ability to evoke a response deep within the recipients of those received words.  Its ability to move me to action, to melt the most hardened heart, to presence compassion, truth, love and being in a moment in time. 

Have you ever had a conversation that changed everything?  I’d love to hear about it if you did.  If you haven’t, I’d love to have one with you.

With Love,

Ed

I Live A Charmed Life – By Design

“… sound doctrines are all useless… you have to change your life. (Or the
direction of your life.)… wisdom is all cold… you can no more use it for
setting your life to rights than you can forge iron when it is cold… The
point is that a sound doctrine need not take hold of you; you can follow it
as you would a doctor’s prescription. – But here you need something to
move you and turn you in a new direction… Once you have
been turned around, you must stay turned around. Wisdom is passionless.
But faith is what Kierkegaard calls a passion” (Wittgenstein, L. (1980) Culture and Value, introduction by G. Von Wright, and translated by P. Winch. Oxford: Blackwell, p.53).

Yesterday was my first official day running the daddy day care, as the experience has been called. More formally I began a twelve week “family medical leave act” leave of absence from my traditional work to continue the care of my now 4 month old son.  Just to clarify, I was off throughout most of the month of December using vacation time performing the same task and assisting him in his journey from around three months to four months.  The difference now is the amount of “at cause-ness” that went into taking three months off from a day job that I’ve held for over ten years.  The difference is the value that I’m noticing in trading my not too shabby salary for an irreplaceable experience.  Isn’t this really what defines value – what you’re willing to give up for one thing in order to experience another thing?

From what I’ve been told, I am part of the 3% of American men who take the incredible oppoortunity that the FMLA provides. Would I say that I’m special for being part of such an elite number? Is that the point of this post, to indicate what a great American man I am, what a dedicated father, what a groundbreaking thinker and life live-er?  Well, I am still housing this ego so maybe partially.

Sharing this story is also partially a tribute to “my old man” (as Springsteen may have said).  It’s an acknowledgement of the context in which he, and many of us fathers, live our lives as the provider, the bread winner, income earner.  Trading these experiences of being there with our children who we love so much that we would trade the time that we would have with them to go out day after day and provide for their survival.  The money that buys the food, water, shelter that allows our species to continue on.  As a child I had a sense that was how it was for my father, sensed that he didn’t particularly care for the 6 am to 3 pm, five days per week for 35 years blue collar life.  But I was clear that he did it for his family and for that I knew I was loved even if it wasn’t verbalized.

It’s also an acknowledgement of the shifting context that enables women to work (for equal pay, maybe?), be the primary income producer in a family, and provide value and meaning into a working world equal to what it is that they’re giving up to fight that fight and endure that struggle, and equal to what they’re leaving behind.  I see my joining the 3% as the seldom noticed back of the hand of that struggle.  Yet, you can also hear the “speaking from” the current paradigm exhibited here and that’s the real point.

The intended value of this post – you trading your time to read it for what you may get out of it – is in noticing the privilege that this opportunity is for me, and then noticing that it’s part of a carefully laid out plan for producing results consistent with living a life equal to the opportunity that living life is.  A once in a lifetime shot to live fully in the one and only life that I have.  Living a life that is equal to the opportunity that living life is does not just happen.  I like to say that I live a charmed life, which I do.  It isn’t charmed in that it just “magically” happens however.  I live a charmed life because I take the stand that I live a charmed life.  I say that I live a charmed life and then I produce results consistent with living a charmed life (or I don’t).

There was a great deal of build up, tension, uncertainty and ambiguity in getting to this point, living a charmed life does not mean living an easy life by any stretch.  Which is why I write this post today, rather than a few weeks ago.  I will occasionally share the massive failures in not producing the results consistent with living a charmed life – the ratio of 3:1 – 5:1 positive to negative must be maintained in this blog as a matter of maintaining the authenticity of it.  The results have been tallied in this exercise and it looks like we’ve made it.  The build up began over a year ago while I was still in the MPOD program, in the early stages of executing the formal plan, which has all been part of the overall plan, the sound doctrine.

While one is in the midst of any major change initiative it is often difficult to measure whether any change is really happening.  Changing the course of one’s life toward a previously unimagined future is often the most challenging of all change initiatives to measure.  When it is your life that is changing you’re just too close to it to know if it is “turning out” as envisioned.  Following a path that is being created as each step is taken is like navigating a thick forest on a moonless night.  You have your compass and you use it, but until you emerge from the brush as the sun rises above the clearing you’ve “entered”, created really, you can not know if you’ve navigated rightly.  Attempting to measure in the midst of the trees and darkness is a futile endeavor, orienting your steps with presence and purpose and letting your physical intuition be your guide is useful yet mis-steps are likely to occur.  It is only in looking back at that forest in the daylight that you can fully appreciate the steps that had been taken, the risk that was navigated.

Building some competence through practical application of causing intentional change allows your muscles of intuition to strengthen, your resolve to walk your own path is refined, and your willingness to trust yourself, to have faith when the common, everybody knows the way it’s supposed to work, wisdom of the world is butting up against the stand that you are.

Look, I know that I’m just taking time off to stay home.  Millions, billions of people have done this.  For me, it’s not something that I’d ever considered, not because I didn’t consider it like I thought I couldn’t do it but because it never even showed up for me as a possible option that life could present to me.  In the spectrum of possibilities that life presents it was always there.  I didn’t see it.  I wasn’t open to looking to see what I wasn’t able to see.  It was concealed.  Then, along my path of continuing to question everything, to be a space where truth can show up, it revealed itself, unconcealed itself.  Aletheia.

My son caught a cold over the holidays.  He was a snotty, moaning, sickly mess on my first two days of daddy day care.  I’ve had sick babies in the past but I’ve never experienced them the way I did my son today.  In the past, these things were my wife’s concern, my mother-in-law’s, the baby sitter’s – I didn’t have a clue how to comfort a sick baby and I was going to be at work anyway.  That was the way it occurred within that context.  Yesterday and today, I experienced the complete privilege and satisfaction that goes along with being only of service to a sick little baby, even when all that service can be is to hold them and comfort them as they moan with that raspy sick little baby voice.  No room for my petty concerns, just room for being the space for comfort.  Charmed – by design.

From Love,

Ed