On my list

My list of things I am grateful for, living in Minnesota. The Mall of America is on there. This place is such a blast. I enjoy looking for things I might like to buy or be given should I be fortunate enough. There is also the opportunity to buy presents for those I care about. There is also a place at the center of it all, created for children of all ages. That being Nicolodeon Universe, a full-sized amusement park.

Here are just a few places I like to shop for myself and others. I’ll leave it up to you to ponder, which are for who.

I was here over the weekend and wanted to express my gratitude for being close to the wonderful place. I know that the time to be here is when most are still getting up. Of course, there are many other places of interest and utility, too many to list in my brief post. It’s just fun for me.

Bless all of you who have made it this far

Jeff

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Fuck happiness! Forget feeling good and focus on being better by Consciousnesses

Profanity Alert I appreciate many and various perspectives, as I have only recently begun to observe beyond my own. Take what you can use and dump the rest

Care, Bliss and the Universe

The difference between a good life and a bad life is how well you walk through the fire.” ~Carl Jung

Fuck positivity. Fuck feelings. Fuck trying to make yourself feel good all the time. Focus instead on becoming a better version of yourself. Focus on action. Better yet, be proactive. It’s less about feeling positive and more about positive action. Even then, it’s less about being great and more about being better. Indeed. There’s more happiness in a spoonful of hard-earned self-improvement than in an ocean-full of self-affirmations.

Positivity is the opposite of motivation:

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” ~Edward Abbey

Here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with being happy. When you’re happy, be grateful. Soak it up. Absorb it. Balls to bones. Ovaries to marrow. But then let that shit go…

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Oh boy, this is going to hurt.

Happy New Year- This post is one of my favorites from the past year. It is likely, relevant, universal and timeless. Looking for and finding ways to relate to and engage those with whom we disagree is a most difficult and worthwhile endeavor.

WTFAI

How much more discomfort will we (society) have to endure, before we are authentically ready to put our differences behind us and find what values we share? A great deal I’m afraid. If my experience with change is any indication, it’s going to hurt quite a bit.

It’s is much more comfortable to be occupied with just barely surviving our hectic life, taking care of all of those commitments we have decided are priorities. I understand, my life is crazy and I have made some horrendous decisions that have put me in a less than preferable, situation at this time. I am confident it will all work out for the best, and hopefully this time I will integrate the lesson.

Things are really getting ominous in the greater world and it seems to me as though, our “leaders” are more concerned with dividing us and keeping their precious positions of power…

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Something out of the Ordinary

Or perhaps, for you, not so much. Today or I should say. Beginning late last night I went to Christmas midnight Mass. I felt led to participate in this blessed tradition and am not sure of why. I went embracing the mystery of it all.

I am not Catholic and am still mystified by all the gestures and rituals. I have found great value, though, in ritual. It has become the foundation for improving my life, from my however flawed, perspective. I did feel a bit out of place but welcome none the less.

Inside

I attended the celebration at The Cathedral of Saint Paul. What a magnificent place! I can only imagine what it must have been like in 1915 when the first liturgy was held on Palm Sunday, March 14th of that year. This is the biggest Church I have ever been in.

Nothing out of the expected occurred. There were carrols, prayers, readings from scripture, a homily by The Most Rev. Bernard A. Hebda, Arch Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. A profession of faith. The offering, and of course Communion. I did not take communion as I am not, or do not consider myself Catholic. I did, however, go up for a blessing Arms crossed over my chest.

Liturgy Guide

I am still processing the occasion and take away these

  1. All are invited
  2. I am flawed and in need of forgiveness
  3. I am forgiven in Christ’s Life, death, and Resurrection
  4. His Spirit as God Lives in me
  5. I am to give as I have been so graciously been given

Merry Christmas until then enjoy divinely inspired Rock Guitar

Demolition precedes Renovation

I am reflecting on this year. I started writing here about this time last year. My eyes and being have been subject to a wonderous eco-system of artists, entrepreneurs, visionaries and downright hilarious expressionists. All here to get out what can no longer be contained within.

Mine is a journey of ongoing and perpetual self-discovery and, hopefully, growth. None of which occur when things are going according to my particular sensitivities. I have found that before I have exhausted all of my self-determined solutions and am in complete despair I am unable to surrender.

inside
Demolition

Upon the occasion of surrender and acceptance of my inability to do anything of my self. That part of me must be demolished in order for a renovation to begin. Recovery does not take a linear path. There are pauses and serious faults found along the way where construction is halted, the architect is consulted and a diversion in the path is found suitable. The result, though is spectacular. An ever increasing gratitude and willingness to embrace the mystery of this mortal sentence is uncovered.

 

I am so blessed to be alive, willing and able to feel and express how lucky I am to be here. I wanted to be different than I was. I surrendered, asked for help performed the demolition, evaluated what was of any use, repaired the fractures in my relationships and am growing up.

Merry Christmas the wait is nearly over and All you have needed and will ever need is inside you right now. If only for the obstructions built by self-will. Ask for and accept help…Cry Out! Help is only too ready to assist.

The Objective Seems Obvious

I find the writings of Thomas Merton a profound foretaste to what is painfully obvious to me in today’s media and political and cultural discourse.

“A message to Poets” Thomas Merton  February 1964

“COLLECTIVE LIFE is often organized on the basis of cunning, doubt, and guilt. True solidarity is destroyed by the political art of pitting one man against another and the commercial art of estimating all men at a price. On these illusory measurements, men build a world of arbitrary values without life and meaning, full of sterile agitation. To set one man against another, one life against another, one work against another, and to express the measurement in terms of cost or of economic privilege and moral honor is to infect everybody with the deepest metaphysical doubt. Divided and set up against one another for the purpose of evaluation, men immediately acquire the mentality of objects for sale in a slave market. They despair of themselves because they know they have been unfaithful to life and to being, and they no longer find anyone to forgive the infidelity.”

Anthony DeMello
To be unaffected by praise or blame

Hope is not lost!

I have been blessed with the gift of being a drug addict. In being led as a byproduct of despair of epic proportions found a community where every walk of life come together in common search for a remedy for the Hell of active addiction. The differences that would divide us, in the workplace or social setting are forgotten for a common objective.

The recovery, recovering, recovered from whatever affliction is the same. In my opinion is a spiritual malady and the solution is an awakening to the Love that is inside all of us.

“Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will apparently be worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.”

That had been my exact experience with the people I encounter in “The recovery community.”