Posted in Lore

Wisdom is Less of a Gift than a Purchase

Personification of wisdom (in Greek, "Σοφ...
Sophia, the Greek personification of wisdom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes I’m asked why I blog.

First and foremost, I blog for therapy.  Unlike a diary, it forces me to choose my words wisely.  Where a diary will take any abuse you want to give, my public blog requires I treat my thoughts with respect.  And in doing so, I find an appreciation for “life and all things peaceful, balanced, whole and precious.”

I blog for posterity.  It’s something to leave behind.  I don’t believe in a supernatural afterlife.  Even if I could, I wouldn’t want to hang around watching over my loved ones eternally.  In a recent mishap, I accidentally and unavoidably caught a glimpse of all the pictures on the Rebel’s phone.  Trust me when I say I don’t want to watch over them from above.

I blog to pass along a wisdom.  Ancient cultures sat around the fire listening to lore from their elders.  While I do have plenty of advice to share around the fire, most of it involves the perfect toasted marshmallow or the dangers of wielding hot pokers.  Besides, who has time to sit around a fire listening to their elders anymore?  Anything like that gets shared here as “Lore” for those who find it valuable enough to read.

Lady wisdom (2)
Lady wisdom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not sure at what age one becomes an elder, but I think I’m growing into it as gracefully as possible.  That is, kicking and screaming, my brittle nails shredding on the door frame of old age.  My daughter, the Romantic, reminded me that I once announced I was going to age naturally and embrace it — gray hair, wrinkles, and all.  Yeah . . . I was thirty-something and knew nothing of disappearing collagen or finding coarse, white eyebrows reaching out like odd antennae over the tops of my bifocals.  And so this thing of wisdom that comes with age is less of a gift than a purchase, dearly paid for with my declining condition.

Perhaps there is a responsibility to share what has been so expensive to attain.  Maybe I want to spare my children and readers the pain I’ve born.  After all, the suffering of my children is two-fold; once for their pain and another for the remembrance of my own mistakes.  Or maybe I just want to give you a shortcut, a life hack, so you can surpass where I have been and finish farther ahead.  Whatever the reason, sharing lore is clearly a primal need, present since men acquired the ability to speak.

English: The Seven Pillars of Wisdom rock form...
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom rock formation in Wadi Rum, Jordan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The elders of my youth have all passed away.  They, too, shared the experience of their years.  Some of it I remember, most of it has probably been forgotten.  The truth is, I gained less of my wisdom in listening than I found in living.  The toddler learns more from touching a hot oven than from being told it is hot.  Riding a bicycle can only be mastered after falling.  We learn to guard our heart once we know how deeply it can hurt.

I’m told there is occasionally wisdom in my words.  If you find it here, it is yours.  If you want to keep it, however, it’s going to cost you a couple of wrinkles and maybe a white antenna eyebrow.  But I guarantee it will be worth it.

Peace . . .

 

Posted in Lore

Who Am I?


Embed from Getty Images

Who Am I is a popular ice-breaker game for groups.  Each person goes about the room asking yes or no questions until they think they know whose name is pinned to their back.

This is a game we play all through life, testing different viewpoints and personalities, and continually asking the question, Who Am I?

Blogging is no different.  Writers publish posts and seek feedback through likes and comments.  We may start out thinking we are one type of blogger, but evolve to find out we are someone completely different.

I began blogging after writing an amusing story to a work friend.  With just a little encouragement, she convinced me I should start a blog.  The time was right for me to learn something new, try something gutsy.  I had become disenchanted with life.  Everything seemed rather pointless.  So I began putting my thoughts on the internet and asked the brazen question, Who Am I?

As it turns out, this writing thing is a great therapy.  Better than a journal, the public medium insists I keep my words in check with honesty, respect and kindness.  As the tagline reads, I write about life and all things peaceful, balanced, whole and precious.  For me, these are the segments of happiness which, when joined together, bring meaning and purpose.   If I can make you laugh while doing all the above, it is most certainly the buttercream on my cake!

While I write for the therapy, for posterity, for love of the words, it is my sincerest hope that I motivate you to turn inward asking the question, “Who Am I?”

Peace . . .

 

Posted in Lore

Sun Tzu on the Art of Blogging Controversial Subjects

Cymraeg: Sun Tzu. mwl: Sun Tzu. Português: Sun...
Sun Tzu  (Photo credit: Wikipedi

Yes.  I wrote one post about my religious belief (or non-belief) and suddenly I’m a self-proclaimed expert.  There were a couple of commenters who used words like “courage” and “guts.”  These commenters are, as am I, the non-confrontational sort.   However, in writing — as in battle — it is best to have a fair amount of strategic planning on hand to make up for wavering courage.  For this I bring you Sun Tzu, who must be the most quoted strategist  who ever lived.  He speaks to those of us who struggle with conflict when he says,

“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”

I am, and always have been, one who goes with the flow and rolls with the punches.  I don’t like to rock the boat or stir the pot.  It is a commonly held myth to say that those of us who relate to the aforementioned clichés have no opinions.  We do, we just prefer to stay out of the fight.  We seek out those who agree with us, and voice our opinions there.  If you are ready to pick up the mic, I have some suggestions for you, backed up by our old pal, Sun Tzu.

“Know yourself and you will win all battles.”

Spend time getting to know yourself.  What are you “all about?”  Come up with a mission statement.  At work, we strive to “end hunger through community partnerships.”  When there is a conflict or indecision, we defer to our mission.  The answer is always in there somewhere.  Is your mission to treat the planet with respect?  to spread random kindness?  to treat animals ethically?  Once you have your mission, you have your backbone.

“You have to believe in yourself. ”

Spend time letting others know who you are.  Publish posts on non-controversial subjects first.  Let them hear the tone of your voice.  Do you use humor?  Are you straight-faced?  Be yourself, and your spirit will come through.  When you decide to speak out, they will hear you, and know that it is not some rhetoric you picked up on the internet.

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”

Write on your own experiences.  There is nothing to contend if you are speaking about yourself.  In March I posted Two Peas in a Very Small Pod prior to publishing Living in Sin, which was finally succeeded by My Spiritual Path and Creed in April.  Using the word “I” instead of “people” or “everyone” makes it my story and the incontrovertible truth.

“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”

Don’t worry about commenters.  You have already established your voice.  Because you speak from a peaceful heart, those who are looking for a really ugly online argument mostly likely won’t comment anyway.

“There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. ”

On your blog, you rule.  It is quite possible that by writing something different, you will pick up a new reader.  If you do get someone who comments disrespectfully, he or she has not spent the time getting to know you by reading your other posts.  Remember you are the general in this war, and they are on your turf.  You may choose to delete this comment, claiming victory with one simple click.  Personally, I have never found the need to cut a comment from my blog.

“Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

Go ahead and look them in the eye.  I urge you to face them one on one.  Pull up your big-girl camo and prepare to take them down.  You own the same right of expression as they.  Use respect. This allows you to expect the same from them.  Keep your words peaceful, and it becomes a one-way argument that paints them as rude and narrow-minded.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Remember your audience.  Be mindful of the broad spectrum of people who might read your blog.  In my life, there are friends, family, old schoolmates, neighbors, co-workers, and even unborn grandchildren who may someday read my words.  While I have many supportive, encouraging commenters, there are hundreds of faceless followers who neither comment nor “like.”  I like to write today as if I were going to meet each of them tomorrow.

Peace . . .

It is important to note that  Sun Tzu may not have agreed with the way I interpreted his words for my use.  In fact, it is most likely accurate to say he would not.  As the most quoted source of strategic warfare, it’s one of those things he probably has to put up with a lot.

A Chinese bamboo book, closed to display the c...
A Chinese bamboo book, closed to display the cover. This copy of The Art of War (on the cover, “孫子兵法”) by Sun Tzu is part of a collection at the University of California, Riverside. The cover also reads “乾隆御書”, meaning it was either commissioned or transcribed by the Qianlong Emperor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sun Tzu (also rendered as Sun Zi) was a Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who lived in the Spring and Autumn Period of ancient China. The name he is best known by is actually an honorific which means “Master Sun”: His birth name was Sun Wu and he was known outside of his family by his courtesy name Changqing. He is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an extremely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. Sun Tzu has had a significant impact on Chinese and Asian history and culture, both as the author of The Art of War and as a legendary historical figure.

(Credit:  Wikipedia)

 

 

Posted in Awards

Who . . . Me?

I’m not exactly accustomed to receiving awards . . .
There were a couple bowling trophies from my adolescent years:
dscn0756
1977-1978
Before the internet we had to bowl for entertainment.
And the Pinewood Derby Adult Division 2000 from the Boy Scouts:
dscn0759
Laugh if you must, I’m very proud of this one.
The Girl Scout Leader awards:
dscn0755
I miss the cookies . . .
Now, and with no warning, I have been nominated for the Liebster Award:
liebster
I am overwhelmed!  However, as we all know, of those to whom much has been given, much is required.  There are questions to answer, questions to ask, a thank you to write, and nominations to . . . um . . . nominate!  And so with no further ado, I’d like to formally thank Lois from livingsimplyfree for presenting me with this nomination.
Lois asks that I answer eleven questions she has posed to her nominees:
  • Why do you blog?

I blog because I enjoy putting my random thoughts into words and editing them until I like the way they sound when read.

  • If you had more free time, how would you like to fill it?

First of all, I would take a nap, which would give me more energy to do all the things I say I’m too tired to do.  I would read, hike, hang with my kids, cook, fix stuff, play with the dogs, organize my photos, write . . .

  • With the holidays fast approaching, what is your favorite/least favorite holiday and why?

What is not to love about Thanksgiving?  Food, family, and no gift expectations to meet.

  • What is one place you would like to visit?

Hard to say . . . you won’t find it in a travel brochure.  I like off-seasons, nearby sites and the unexpected — maybe even around the next corner!  I won’t know where I want to visit until I’ve been there and seen it.

  • If you could meet anyone, in any time period who would it be?

I would like to meet Galileo and show him our science textbooks.

  • I love a good laugh, it makes even the worst days better.  So what caught you off-guard and made you laugh recently?

At work the other day I accidentally called my cell phone while trying call a co-worker.  I thought, “Who the heck is calling me, now?”  The number looked familiar.  Indeed, it looked like a number from my workplace.  In fact . . . it looked like MY number!  Then just as I looked at my desk phone, I heard in my headset my own cheerful voice, “Hello!  You’ve reached the cell phone of Jean . . . ”  Laughed so damned hard, I snorted!

  • If you had to choose, would you choose more money or more time?

As shallow as this sounds, I would take more money.  I barely have enough money for the time I’ve already been given, so more time would just be more expensive, and lead to more anxiety.  Wishing for more time is romantic, but I’m an incurable realist.  There is no such thing as more time, but more money?  Hand it over!

  • What is your biggest pet peeve?

I can’t stand know-it-alls — this includes the person who knows how I should eat, how everyone should vote, who knows what kind of person you are by the way you look, who knows how to raise your children . . . you know this person, and you can’t stand them either.  Admit it.

  • What is your favorite low cost/no cost activity or hobby?

Being a very visual person, I love photography.  It’s not a serious hobby.  I have a digital camera and don’t do anything terribly creative with it.  Photography slows me down and encourages me to look for things of beauty or interest that I would otherwise walk by.

  • Are you a morning person or a night owl?

My best day begins early after a good night’s sleep, quietly watching the sun illuminate the landscape.

  • Since those of us in the northern hemisphere are moving towards winter, what is your favorite spot inside your home to spend time in?

If actions speak louder than words, it would be my living room where I read, write, watch movies and steal the occasional nap.  BUT if I can get myself in bed early enough, I do take pleasure in the 15 to 30 minutes before I drift off, when the dogs are settled in, I am washed and brushed, the lights are low, with a good book in hand.

Pass it on:

This award also requires that I nominate bloggers who have 200 or less followers.  Of those blogs I follow, only a few actually show the number of followers they have.  I’m not sure who makes these rules, but I’ve seen some Liebsters say they have to list 5, others say 3 to 5, some 11.  I will list my favorites of those who I think have 200 or less followers.  Let’s see how long the list gets:

  1. Richly Bizarre (who has random thoughts like me)
  2. Boomdeeadda (writes about love and life and two black rescue animals — cats, but I won’t hold that against her)
  3. The Rabbit Rabble (did I mention I have opened my home to a rabbit? — that will be a future blog)
  4. Jiggly Bitch (it was the whipped cream/dirty dancing post that made me follow her)

Okay well only four.  And to be fair, I didn’t see how many followers The Rabbit Rabble had, but I took a stab that it is less than 200.  Hopefully being wrong will not cost me the award.

The bloggers above must now answer the eleven questions of my choosing, listed below:

  • How old would you think you are if you didn’t know your age?
  • When you have 30 minutes to kill, what do you do?
  • If you knew it would be personally read and replied to, which celebrity would you choose to write?
  • What is one of your favorite quotes?
  • How do you prepare your favorite vegetable?
  • What do you need that other people might not?
  • Would you rather hunt for paranormal activity with Jason and Grant on Ghost Hunters, fish for River Monsters with Jeremy Wade, or have dinner with Les Stroud on Survivorman?
  • What rule do you like breaking?
  • What was the last song that got stuck in your head?
  • If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
  • What do you spy with your little eye?

For those of you who were not nominated, but are still reading, I would love to read your answers to any of the above!

Posted in Awards

Renewed Narcissism

In my opinion, there are no truly altruistic actions.  People blog primarily for the warm fuzzies it brings to our psyche.  There are those who say technology is encouraging narcissism.  

Still, if along my narcissistic journey I can bring some good to others along the way — well then — why shouldn’t I?

I woke up this morning having been given my first award by a fellow blogger who has, herself, touched me with her writing.  Come November nominated me for my post Loving Your Inner Child, published September 3rd, 2012.  The award for which I was nominated was the Compassionate Communicator.  I am flattered, touched by the fact that she found meaning in my post.  I am honored that she thought of me after having received the nomination herself.  My narcissism is renewed!

I started this project (blogging) as a way to release my thoughts and see if they alight anywhere in particular.  These are a few stipulations I laid down for myself:

  1. I will treat my potential readers, and those they may know, with respect.
  2. I will speak respectfully of myself, my life, and those in it.
  3. I will come up with a tag-line that directs me in my writing.
  4. I will write with honesty, being as true to my own voice as I am able.

If respect is something that is needed for compassion, and I believe it is, then I accept this award with the spirit in which it is offered.

compasscommaward

The Compassionate Communicator Award

This award can be given, by any blogger who has received it, to any blogger they feel has benefitted them.

Passing it Forward . . .

The fellow narcissists I have chosen to recognize are for very different reasons.  Their particular posts touched me, though it was a monumental task to choose just one from each blog.

I would like to nominate the post Crap . . . eggs it is by Grapes, Gripes and Gratitude.  She uses humor and honesty to convey the love she carries for her children, their father, and herself.  I wish I had known her writings back when I was a mother of young children.  She would have reminded me that under the Super-Mom uniform is a real human being who needs nurturing and an occasional glass of wine.

There is someone at work who has become very special to me.  She brings treats to work.  ‘Nuff said?  Not quite.  She is a loving daughter of her mother who is suffering the onslaught of Alzheimer’s Disease.  They are the two most lucky people in the world to have each other.  I nominate Mary of Just want to ride for her post Mom and Daughter — Difference?

Lastly, there is a new blog I have started to follow, One Thousand Single Days.  I was mesmerized by the post Qualification: Pain.  She writes of compassion born of experience.  The quote she includes from a szisophrhenic patient illustrates the pain of the people she is compelled to help, ‘Even if I tell you my name I will die.

Guidelines…

1. That in awarding it to a blogger you simply link it to one of their blog posts which you feel has personally benefited you in some way.

2. You give a brief explanation of why you feel it benefited you

3. On accepting the award you link back to and thank the person who awarded it to you.