Today! The Past – is – Past

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My son works at a chic coffee bar where all employees must wear a head-covering of some sort.  Since this is a hip coffee bar, his choice of head gear is of interest.  Of interest for how he will be perceived by fellow hip employees. Of interest for how he will be perceived by the hip patrons…..  Of interest for the message he bears.  He frequently sports a baseball cap brim backwards. It is a red cap with a rainbow,  the logo from the TODAY show.

It simply says: TODAY.

What an appropriate reminder for morning java patrons!  TODAY.

Not yesterday.

Not last academic year.

Not that season when you were down with mono.

Not that phase of life when you were anxious and knew not what you wanted or who you were.

Not those years when you were in a relationship that depleted you and just felt wrong.

Not any day from the past when you felt sad, or lonely, angry or resentful, apathetic or unsure.

TODAY.

What a distracting trap to daydream or obsess on what went before:

what she did!    what he said!    how unfair was that!   wow! that did not go – as planned!

What of it?

TODAY is here – now.  Focus on the rainbow of possibility of this very 24 hours.

The past – is – the past.

TODAY is here but once. Wrestle with it.  Own it.  Be hip to even its tiniest of messages.

And move on to a fresh TODAY.

Dare to Folly!

 

DaretoFolly!

Innovators, inventors, explorers and farmers dare to folly.  They cannot predict the outcome of their experiments and explorations but know that in the process of moving forward and trying fresh ideas something bright and exciting may be learned.  Innovation, creation, growth does not come from “playing it safe.”

Astro Teller, the director of a moonshot factory, a place where dreams and the unfathomable are tested, recently delivered a TED Talk explaining The Unexpected Benefit of Failure.  Since the age of cave-dwellers man has witnessed the benefits of simply – trying – an idea.  Where would we be today, if some optimist way back when had not “dared” to act the “fool” and rub two sticks together!

When we barge ahead, ignore the negative naysayers and catastrophe theorists – and light the fire of our imagining we both shoot for the moon and pioneer from a place of intuition and passion.  That shooting and pioneering is leading life!  Our work is to not give up until the invention has been realized – or the lessons have been learned.

Okay, in every endeavor we may not invent the next great thing, establish the business that brings in a hefty profit or create the work of art that garners mass appeal. But, if we can maintain an intensity of focus and a burning curiosity to problem-solve and acknowledge the lessons along the way, our actions are simply steps toward a next best thing – one that we are incapable of knowing today, but will become evident as we brush off our baffled ego and – move on.

This summer I had a dream.

I passionately wanted to memorialize a dear connection with a man I loved.

I wanted to grow a field of sunflowers – a field as big as a football field – a field of floral smiles turning toward the light.

I researched seed types, I discussed with local farmers how to prepare the field, how to fight weeds.  I ordered seeds – and then I ordered some more seeds.  The earth was churned. The seeds were planted.  At first, the rain never seemed to come.  Second observation: wicked weeds settled in where the sunflowers should have been.

And then the lesson of my summer experiment:

For the local deer population my dream was their dream.  My first study in sunflower planting was their field of yummy fodder.

Fortunately, I also planted a single row of sunflowers closer to our house.  Those four thriving sunflowers are an exquisite reminder to – not – give up on a dream.

This summer’s sunflower field is neither a folly nor a failure.

My “sunflower” field is a cause for celebration. It has sparked a fire within me to learn more lessons in sustainable farming.

What is your dream?  Your vision?  Your truth?

Churn. Seed. Water. Celebrate.

Your concept?  Your endeavor? Give it some time, observe, re-evaluate, make change as needed.

Patience and persistence may be required.

From the roots of possibility unexpected blossoms will appear!

Guilt is an Emotion – NOT an Action Plan

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Guilty motivation is NOT a guilty pleasure. If you find yourself repeatedly in torment over what to do and how to act, you may be clouding your decision-making under a cloak of guilt. Guilt is heavy. Guilt is lethargic. Guilt equals regret – and regret is tied to the past. The past is NOT today. It is the past.

Snap free of the CLOAK of GUILT. And be AWARE of EMOTIONAL choice-making rather than CONSCIOUS actions that move forward with YOUR life agenda.

Are you communicating CLEARLY and from the depths of YOUR values and beliefs? Or, are you morphing to ACCOMMODATE someone else’s agenda?

Acting with heart and passion – YOUR heart and passion – that is honestly calling the shots. Anxiety creeps in when we feel trapped into agreeing to plans or taking on responsibilities that do not represent OUR best interests and values.

Sometimes guilt spurs us on to show compassion for someone less fortunate than we are.

Sometimes guilt can push us to perform on a higher plane than we may imagine. Parents paid for the education. You are debt-free – ah, guilt calls you to hand the assignment in on time, pass the course, graduate in four years, get a job. Ugh. But it does feel better than that alternative of malaise.

If guilt is working FOR you, fine. But what if GUILT is holding you back, feeling like a straitjacket, making you want to scream.

Recognize your own GUILT triggers. A parent? A child? A sibling? A boss? What is the root of this negative emotion? How TRUE or JUSTIFIED is your GUILT?

Be clear with yourself.

WHAT did you do wrong? When? How long are you expected to pay the price for whatever IT is that you did?

You failed to follow the professional path your parents mapped out for you?

Are you happy and self-sustaining? WHAT is the guilt really about?

You clearly and consciously moved on from the mother or father of your children? Your children feel lost in a brave new world that no longer includes a dysfunctional family?

What will it take to skip the GUILT TRIP and take the path to freer and happier decision making and planning?

EXPRESS your LOVE. SHOW your gratitude.

Then get back to acting – not from a negative emotion.

Shed the cloak.

Move forward. Take action. From your truth.