Live Into

Have you ever been challenged to describe yourself? What would be the word or phrase that “describes” who you are, or what you do? I’ve been thinking through this one, but honestly, it is very difficult to pick one word or phrase. THEN when you do, you realize that word, or collection of words can be interpreted 86 different ways. However, it doesn’t hurt to do a little self-reflection.

Back in my “leadership days”, I used a phrase quite often, “Live Into”. When I was working with a group of people, my job was generally to help them define who they were personally, or as a group. We would do many exercises to help define, for instance, the purpose of a particular group and the direction that group would take. When the essence of that project was named, I would say, “Now, Live into it!”  Meaning, if you have a goal, or hope for the future, you live NOW as if it has already begun to occur.

This is a both fun and frustrating exercise. Helpful, as it brings clarity. Frustrating, as it usually needs interpretation. The end result though is worth the frustration. One of my favorite tools for thinking is called bubbling. You begin with a word or phrase, then simply write words that come to mind. There may be  many layers, (thus secondary levels of bubbles). This is done as a brain-dump, in other words, don’t put too much thought into it, just write down what comes to mind. You can return later to refine.

This example is the result of the word GARDEN to give you an idea of how it works:

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As you can see, a lot comes up, for instance, Plant leads to tomato, which lead to types of tomatoes, then I would have to add another category called blight because we deal with it here on our land.

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Now imagine that you put your name in the center . . . what descriptive words would be in those first bubbles? What else would be added to those first words. Which ones do you really want to describe you? What ones do you want or need to cross off the list? Yes, it’s fun and frustrating! Now, which ones will you “live into”?

Living into is acting as if it already is, therefore becomes reality. Thus one of the reasons I always close with Enjoying the Adventure!

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

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Grateful for the Everyday

Wow, yesterday was very quiet. I mean QUIET. I’m just glad it happened after I had perked my coffee. Yes, the electric went out. For 7 hours. This is the longest we’ve dealt with here. No great tragedy, storm or earthquake, just a gentle rain, that hasn’t stopped yet weakened a tree and brought wires down into the creek.

All day I kept thinking about doing “something” but it seems every something that I thought of required electric, or “it was just to dark in that room”, or sitting on the back porch, which I did a lot of yesterday, in June, dressed like it’s freaking winter out!

This seven hour electric dilemma, which when you really think about it, with all the storms and natural events, like wild fires and volcanoes, really messing up people’s lives around the globe . . .was nothing. However, it made me realize how I take advantage of something as simple as flipping on a light-switch and how that action improves my life. So, this morning while I wait for my coffee to perk, I’m grateful. I’m glad the electric went out to remind me that I’m really a spoiled brat. Today I will be grateful for the everyday things.

img_20180525_184523059_hdrDo you ever find yourself in a position like this? You know, when you realize that you take advantage of the things that make your life easier? What are those things?

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink

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Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Grateful

Today is Memorial Day here in America. There will be remembrances in nearly every community. For the most part, those ceremonies have been the same each and every year since “anyone can remember”. I’ve been to many, participated in a few. They make me grateful.

The evolution of this weekend has become a celebration of picnics, the beach season officially opening, summer is here so gas prices rise and traffic jams along the coast & to mountainous resort areas increase for most. Yet, it is good to remember the real reason behind this holiday which has become a good excuse to buy a six pack, or another bottle or two of red.

Memorial day is about Death and Gratefulness. Death has been such a huge part of my life as I was a pastor for 22 years. Death was a reality I was always prepared to face, yet not quite ready to face.  There was an expectation whether that death had just occurred, or was imminent in the next few months that I would be intimately involved in the process. When you are intimately involved with death on a regular basis, it can make you or break you. Think about it, there really isn’t a middle ground, is there? Well, I guess, middle ground would be numb.

Dealing with death has made me grateful. I know it hits others in different ways, but for me, grateful. I live with the understanding that each and every day is a gift. A gift to be opened, enjoyed and used. A gift to show off to your friends, and decide not to share with those . . . . well, you don’t want to share your daily gift with!

Yesterday, I spend some time with a friend at the grave of her father, she talked of his untimely death, “too young”, she said, “he was two years younger than I am now”. He, like my father, served in the Korean War. It was a precious time we had, talking of our Dad’s, being thankful that they served, but didn’t die in the war. Private, personal ceremony. A time to remember, it was beautiful. I walked away grateful.

When I think of the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the military, and of their families who have had such great loss, of someone they loved gone, usually, “incredibly too young”, I am grateful. I’m grateful that because of them, I have the right to express my opinions on this blog, on social media, at the coffee house or on a public square. I’m grateful that I could choose to walk away from my career of 22 years because I couldn’t accept the ethics any longer. I’m grateful that I could start up and close a business or two. I’m grateful that I can talk on the phone, or text my family. I’m grateful that I can have a dog and a fish.

I started this blog because of the negativity pandemic that is going on in our society right now. I hate it, truly. But I’m grateful that we have the right to be miserable if we choose to be. Although I’m not a march-in-the-streets-protester, I can protest the life-sucking-negativity, in my own way because I have the freedom to do so.

So, my ceremony for today is my new discipline of early morning writing. I’m grateful I have that choice. I’m grateful for the many lives lost that give me the right to be who I am and for you to be who you are. I’m grateful for many years of being intimate with death so that I can celebrate life . . . daily.

What are you grateful for today?

Enjoying the Adventure, (And greatful to have the freedom to do so!)

Dr. Dink

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Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Ahhh, the joys of different time zones

Thinking ONLY about yourself: the world is small and limited.

Thinking about others: the world in infinite.

When life situations occur, whether it be a season of sadness, change and life devastation. Or a quick moment of, “Oh no! What will I do now?”. If our response is, me, me, me. It leads to a place of not seeing anything but overwhelming smallness. However, looking to “the other” leads to a path of hope.

While texting a new friend early this morning, she said, “I’m off to bed!” And here I was with my cup of coffee, waking up. In an instant global world, I have to constantly think of time zones. Family in England, Friends and family East & West. Former students in China and India . . . what time is it for someone else?

Aren’t we in a different time zone, even with the person next to us? We enter each day with different perspectives, different backgrounds, moods, health, etc. Generally, it is very natural to respond to that truth. However, if we are too busy looking at “me”, we miss so much opportunity, even in the closest of relationships!

collaboration-community-cooperation-461049Challenge for the day, do “something” for the other. Even if they don’t realize what you’ve done, you have the benefit of knowing the kindness. It makes your world much larger, brighter, and yes, positive place.  It may be a word, an action —small or large, have some fun! I’d love to hear what you decide to do!

Enjoying the Adventure! 

Dr. Dink

 

This post was inspired by the daily prompt: narcisist

Photo: Pexel.com

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Slight Glance to the Left

I visited our property in the Bradshaw Mountains foothills yesterday. I’ll be leaving Arizona soon and just had to visit once more before I head back East. Something happens to me when I’m in this strange desert land. My best description of it is that it is so beautiful you “feel like” your in a National Park but didn’t have to pay $20 for the privilege of driving through.img_20180513_1220339731450335011.jpg

I drove my son-in-law’s Hyundai Elantra up this dirt road . . . slowly! 12 miles of dirt road can have it’s little surprises. The better choice of vehicle is an ATV’s, Jeep, or at least a Pickup Truck. Until recently, I thought that “desert” meant it looked like the Sahara, or eastern Southern California –you know, drifts of endless sand. But this area has massive rocks, cliffs, creek beds & beautiful cacti, mesquite and palo verde trees. It is breathtakingly awesome!!!

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As I was driving back, I saw a slight movement of white to the left so I slowed down, slower than I was already going. In the shade of a group of palo verde trees was a huge bull. There are free range cattle in this area and I see cows and their calves frequently, but this bull! He was framed so beautifully, so I backed up to get the perfect photo from my cell phone and then he stands up. When this happens there is a part of you that thinks, “Will he charge?” But it was mid-afternoon and desert-hot so I wasn’t too worried because I was sure he would rather go back to his afternoon siesta. Actually, I think he was posing, he knew he was a gorgeous specimen.

There was a moment. Human looking at bull. Bull looking at human . . . A moment of peace for the human. What was this beauty thinking? Was he as curious about me as I was him? Was he nervous that I would charge him? Was he pissed that I interrupted his siesta? Was he saying, “Yeah, I know . . . I’m a stud . . . gorgeous, don’t you think?” -or- “Move on Chickie!”

This morning, here I am, kinda emotional over this encounter with dignity. Human to bull, bull to human. I find myself in awe of this creature and all that he represents,

Strength and power in an extraordinary place

Peace and tranquility found in an incredibly rough terrain

Life lessons (I can learn from the cattle, donkeys and wildlife about survival in the desert).

Rest. These creatures know “when to stop” it may be the difference between life and death in the hot sun. If only humanity could learn this lesson (means me too????)

FREEDOM! The cattle are free to roam other than a few fences, but if you want to practice freedom, fences are to be respected, or you’ll end up where they don’t want you & you don’t want to be anyway!

Beauty—I mean really, look at that bull, he is majestic.

Hard work– Let me tell you something, it is not easy to be wandering free in the desert. Think about it, finding water, food, shade, it’s work and that work has it’s benefits.

What I gain from this encounter of beauty is respect. Respect for all the things mentioned above, and for this and other creatures that can thrive in a dry, dry land. I wonder how I can learn from them for my own survival when I move to the desert, but not only that, to take those lessons along with me everywhere and live life to the fullest.

Enjoying the Adventure (a bit more because of a slight glance to the left)

Dr. Dink

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