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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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.

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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.

Discernment

The act of perceiving. Well, that’s just great. Admitting that my perception is egregiously flawed, I have arrived at a crossroads where I must summon that which cannot be fathomed by the human mind but know is there.

I have a choice to allow myself to be devoured by all the injustice and chaos swirling in the news. Or I can choose to be consumed by what is now and what is true. Because what is on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook is most likely merely a distraction. Come on Twitter…Really with tens of thousands of fake profiles, this is where we place our trust in gathering accurate information? God help us.

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What after all is really important? That I am looking down at the dirt, rather than looking up at it. I am able to devote my life to helping. I can express and acknowledge immense gratitude for the opportunity placed before me to Be Here now!

Stop and discern the vastness of this moment and perhaps the love and light will become apparent.

I gotta say!

Or more appropriately, I have to say! I am in complete awe of the community that is WordPress. I am also immensely grateful for the expression put forth by all whom I enjoy following.

I have mentioned this before, but I had no idea how important it is to follow, read, like, and comment on other’s creations here, when I started. I am also a bit surprised at how much I have begun to and enjoy doing such. I found that when I took my little eclipse road trip, the while away, I missed being able to read what everybody’s been doing. Safely anyway, while driving.

I definitely have been bitten by the WordPress bug.

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Hello bug

The variety and depth of the content produced here are astounding. I find myself experiencing a full range of emotion. Joy, peace, admonishment, sadness, caring, uplifted, informed. In the words of Thomas Merton “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”  All of you who I read, and some are hardly aware while others are quite close, almost intimate, do this for me. You touch me. From the depth of my soul, I thank God for you. And I thank you too!

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I’ll be reading you. Thanks for stopping by.

 

Uh oh!

Today I am in a state of immense gratitude for the Grace of a loving God.

It started as a peculiar smell that was reminiscent of burnt sugar turned to carbon, that I remember from elementary school science. From where the aroma emanated was a mystery. My roomy and I searched high and low, checking the stereo equipment, the fridge, among other things. The smell did not seem to be getting worse so we concluded that we would monitor and hope for the best.

We both went about our usual Saturday activities, for me, that is, on this weekend. One when I get to spend time with my daughters. I attended to a couple assignments (work) and had a plan to drive up to an event known as Game Fair. It was something I had not heard of and that it was mostly hunting related and featured events with dogs.

My older child was reluctant but was interested in spending time with me so off we went. It was moderately fun and the girls and I loved seeing all the dogs and especially puppies. Watching trained hunting dogs was fascinating and great fun for me.

We returned to my place as we had a few hours before time to return the lovelies to their mom. The smell was seemingly about the same but was stronger in a different part of the unit. Closer to the living room and I thought that maybe it was coming from the ceiling fan. So we turned that off and plugged the stereo system back in and proceeded to find a suitable movie to watch, one that the three of us might be able to agree on.

ceiling fan
ceiling fan

I took the young ladies home and returned to catch up on my reading of followed blogs. My roommate was engaged in a rather animated phone conversation, that I was doing my best to filter out details of but concluded it to be work related.

It was then that the smell took on an ominous new characteristic. It was smoke and it was in the hall and kitchen I called out to said roomy and saw flames coming out of the microwave oven.

Fire
The aftermath

Rapid action ensued fire extinguisher was located flames were doused and unit evacuated as the smoke had within less than 90 seconds filled the unit to about chest high. We went out onto the deck/balcony and went in periodically to open windows and attempt to air the place out. I was fairly sure the threat of reignition was past but my pal was not so we emptied the remaining product from the extinguisher onto the source of the still evident smoke.

Eventually, the smoke cleared enough for the alarms to stop and assessment was warranted.

If we had been asleep, out of the unit or had it been able to burn another 2 minutes the entire house would have been involved. Thank you, God!

The light within

We were saved a great deal of loss and certainly, even more, inconvenience had the whole dwelling been affected. Now only clean up and tolerance of the aroma of a camp fire inside my place.

Was going to use On Fire by Van Halen from their first CD/Album but I like this better

Catalyst

Defined

Noun

A. (chemistry) a substance that initiates or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected

B. something that causes an important event to happen

For purposes of this ramble, I am referring to definition B. I am reflecting on a particular event or series of circumstances that left me without any certainty. I found myself confused, almost distraught. I had believed that what someone had expressed to me was sincere and authentic. I remember specifically experiencing an intuitive thought, that this person is not what they insist they are. I’ll never know for sure as they are so deep into the charade that they believe the tales they’re telling. I knew though I was a goner.

Nothing is what it seems, solid stone turned to quicksand. Everything I reached out to hold, evaporated the moment I touched it. I was experiencing absolute anguish and despair. I had exhausted every natural remedy. I wanted something, anything to make it stop.

I miraculously was compelled by a source not of this earth to turn within. A degree of which had never been explored. By me anyway. Turned the devices off. I sat, lit candles and incense, and experienced absolute silence. Every spare moment of my, “me time”, after the kids went to bed. Was dedicated to delving deeper. I was determined to experience this completely.

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I found unconditional forgiveness, understanding and a love of myself and seemingly everyone I now encounter. I don’t do anything that is not motivated by self-interest. And neither does anybody else. If I can forgive myself for the worst I can be, because I’m human and develop another way to be. So can anybody, given the time and motivating set of circumstances. My catalyst was an encounter with another creature motivated by self-interest. And a lovely creature they are no better or worse than I.

Just Stop!

What have we here? Is it the most beautiful, appealing, attractive thing I have seen and must do what I can to possess it. Or, perhaps it is repulsive, ugly, frightening and I must give this a wide berth, look away maybe pretend I never encountered it.

I have to stop and consider, that I am most likely wrong. I must be willing to invest in an open-minded attempt to see it clearly and acknowledge my propensity for distorted perception.

Saying to myself Yes and Thank you, for everything. What may seem to me at this moment to be counter to my benefit, just might be the best thing to ever happen.

Has Sammy Hagar been around “like” forever?