Reflections on Resilience

convenient half-truths

I can create such incredible fiction when things go sideways. I can’t do anything Presumed powerlessness is occasionally still my small and misguided reaction to the prevailing winds of life. When I perceive that I’m trapped in a moment or in a life choice, I’m not. That is just a story. I can choose to take a deep breath and respond instead of choosing to simply react. I can choose to take responsibility for my response. And I can accept the outcome of the situation, no matter what. I have to do something Jigsaw puzzles, lateral thinking tests and crime ...
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death date not cut

I discovered the death date not cut phrase on a web site that acts as an online roll call of the sleepy inhabitants of a small country cemetery near the town where I was born. And in fact, this bracketed set of words sits ominously next to the name of my 101 year-old grandmother who has not yet shuffled off this mortal coil and who still eats, yawns, argues and wonders what it is all about. And, on this master list, her name sits under the name of her husband, my grandfather, who took up permanent residence in that cemetery ...
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how to stop looking for easy steps in three easy steps

I noticed a recent compulsion of mine to read blogs offering post after post after post of self-development strategies in the form of lists.  My noticing led to wondering. What is the draw? Why the need to find answers that are neatly tied up in formulas and acrostics? And what place do strategies have in a life lived consciously? When my noticing and questioning didn’t lead to any answers, I decided to join in the fray and make my own list. How to Stop Looking for Easy Steps to Ease in 3 Easy Steps 1. Remind myself that life is ...
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the power of attention

Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.  (Albert Einstein) As a teacher, I am well-acquainted with the terms of attention. I am first a magician who must mesmerize students with something that will keep their attention long enough to relay some information that is on my agenda. Then a salesperson who must demonstrate the value of acquiring attention as a beneficial life-long skill.  And finally an educator whose aim is to share a strong, passionate belief in the amazing power of attention. But what can I ...
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the myth of ‘living in the moment’

There was time when I would easily fall into a stony-eyed stare around people who used the language of ‘living in the moment‘. Even as someone who had been meditating for many years, I would secretly rebel with thoughts like “if you only knew what I was going through right now” or “if you could just spend one day at my job and with all my responsibilities, you would see that I don’t have time to live in the moment". Eventually, the chronic irritability, stress-aches, frequent illnesses and general dis-ease of my life led to me to question whether or ...
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be where you are

  “I wish I was home already”. This was a vague, shadow of a thought I had while walking home from yoga class one day this summer. I was not having an off-day nor did I have anything pressing at home that needed my attention. In fact, I was the right in the middle of an absolutely splendid summer of rest and rejuvenation.   At that moment, I simply wanted to be further along the path than I was.   A few weeks later, the path led me down a busy city street of colourful sights and sounds in Santiago, ...
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no chance of rain

  You know that rare, unexpected moment when you look around you and notice that there are no major crises swallowing up your attention? You know the kind of event that seemingly hijacks your life and derails even your daily plans?  None. In that rare moment, even if you’re experiencing some confusion, minor loss, life dis-order or chronic busyness, the things you’re facing apparently do not qualify for the master list of significant life stressors so should be more or less manageable according to the creators of the master list. Quite recently, I realized that over a few weeks surrounded ...
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made you look

  What do you see when you’re not looking? I was recently driving by a large group of high-school students who were milling about and what cut through the uniformity of the bravado in baggy jeans was a young couple, in the midst of the crowd, motionlessly embracing each other.  There was absolutely nothing unique about them so why did they become the focal point?   It may be reasonable to assume that my attention might have also as easily rested on two people engaging in a fist-fight.  Or a solitary individual sitting alone just outside the hub of the ...
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the right tool for the job

  I have a quirky trait of stubbornly “making do” when faced with a task requiring a specific tool. My resistance rises with even the thought of purchasing a tool when I think that I may have an object that was made for a different purpose but will do in a pinch within arms reach. This approach has always seemed simpler, more practical and oh-so-much-more efficient than the alternative of the time-guzzling acts of browsing, shopping, listing pros and cons of which one is the best to buy, spending money on then cleaning, storing and organizing all the tools until ...
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how the race is won

  Time cast a spell on youBut you won’t forget me ~Stevie Nicks   Here we go again, working for Race Weekend! My original and extended family along with friends & honorary family members gather every spring to participate in a 5K run and this year marks our tenth event. It all began in 2004. It was early in the month of May 2004 that Ed Manion’s cancer was to have the final say in their on-going conversation. He was an unforgettable son, a brother, a husband, a father, an uncle, a grandfather, business owner, active community member and friend ...
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