Happy Memorial Day!


I’ve been busy! I want to get back in the habit of blogging. I miss it. My blog misses me. And I just miss the ritual of writing. This past week I went to a conference for work in Atlanta. 12 hours a day I was networking, learning and walking through a massive conference center right next door to CNN Center and the Centennial Olympic Park. I had some great meals, had some fun and learned a lot – but the truth be told I didn’t like Atlanta. It was dirty, didn’t feel safe and was just not my cup of tea. So, I’m glad to be back in the Midwest for Memorial Day.


We get two days off for the big holidays, so I have today and Monday to play in the sun and circulate with the tourists. This is the first big weekend that they are back in force, and we will now need to share our lovely little beachfront town with our Chicagoland visitors. It will be more crowded until Labor Day, but there will be lots more amenities and fun things to enjoy. I now live in a beachfront town!


My sister is flying in from New Orleans today. I’m on the train to meet her. We will stay in Chicago tonight, head back to St. Joe tomorrow and then head north to Traverse City to finish off our adventure. I’ve never been to Traverse City, but I’ve heard it’s fabulous. If we are lucky, we’ll get to see the Northern Lights! But, I’ll have to stay up past my usual bedtime as it doesn’t really get dark in Michigan until about 9:30 these days. We’ll see what we are up for.


So I hope to post this weekend. You can also follow me on Instagram at @MidlifeMoments. I post a lot of my pics to My Story, so you’ll need to connect with me to view that. But you can also search for #midlifemoments to pull up my regular Instagram shares. 

Have a great holiday weekend and please share your pics! We all need to have a little fun.

 

What Are You Hungry For? Do That.

busyfulllife

This morning’s meditation was on Busyness. So often people tell me when I’m  not on my game to “stay busy”. It is part of our culture to avoid our emotions by staying busy as if there is some end game to just get through life instead of really experiencing it. If we suffer a loss or are afraid or are feeling anything but joy, our culture says to have a drink, get a hobby, help someone else or get busy.

Busyness makes me miss the sweet spot of life. I miss the sunsets. I miss the wildflowers along the way. A walk becomes exercise, or it’s meaningless. A relaxing time in the morning when I can reflect on the day before to see where I’ve harmed a relationship or accomplished something gets passed by for a mundane task like writing a “to do” list. The larger needs of my soul get pushed aside for the shorter-term tasks of getting through life. My ability to grow and reflect and connect with God gets short-changed or worse yet, an item to check off my list.

Oprah does a video every week on the Weight Watchers site, and a couple of weeks ago, she posted a talk on “The Truth Will Set You Free“. When I eat healthier and limit myself to healthier foods and a lesser quantity, I am no longer able to distract myself from my emotions with food. I notice how often I want to dampen my emotions of boredom and loneliness by eating. With no salve to dampen my negative moods, the emotions pulse louder and much more uncomfortably. At times, it feels like they are screaming through my veins unabated.

44879-Whatever-s-Good-For-Your-Soul...do-That

Most of us with weight issues use food to numb emotions. As we work through our food issues, we understand that we are going to have to deal with our emotions in a different, more direct way. People start losing weight and all of a sudden they address their alcohol addiction. They get a healthier lifestyle, and they change jobs … get a divorce … start setting boundaries … the list is endless. Some people get busy, but if they don’t get busy with what they need, it just becomes another distraction.

Oprah urged us to think about what we are really hungry for. It has nothing to do with food. Am I hungry for more downtime and rest? Am I tired? Am I hungry for more meaningful connection? Am I lonely even in the circles of friends that I have? Am I hungry for a creative outlet? Am I hungry for more passion in my life? Am I hungry for a deeper spiritual connection? What is it that I’m really hungering after? I should do that.

I’m hungry for several things right now in my life. I’m hungry for learning. I want to take a class and learn something new. I’m thinking of taking a writing class on writing short stories. I’m hungry for new challenges at work, and, thankfully, my current job is providing that. I’m also hungry for more beauty in my life – scenery, the simple beauty of a sunset, the beauty of a budding friendship and the beauty of the seasons as they walk through my life. When I think of these things, M&Ms seem so dull and short-lived in comparison. When I think of these things, they are so much more life-giving than spending 5 minutes eating something that will only make me feel bad.

IMG_2978

It’s a beautiful time of year here in Michigan. We had our first two back-to-back 80 degree days. The sun is beaming in the window, Bella is curled up on my lap, and Ashok is quietly snoring next to me. Gregorian chants sing from my Bose player. A candle flickers on my altar. Overnight oatmeal with Greek yogurt and local Michigan fruit sits waiting on my counter to nourish me for the morning. It’s going to be a beautiful day, and I am thankful that I don’t feel guilty for enjoying this quiet time because I’m not “busy”. Life is good.

Navigating the Trail

IMG_3054

This morning’s Daily Calm meditation was about approaching the day with a sense of wonder. My guide reminded me that when we are children we are amazed at the world and all it’s wonders. We are learning. As I’ve become an adult, it’s much easier to approach the world with a “to do” list or a longing to be distracted. Yesterday, I had decided I would stay home. I had planned to go hiking, but the thought of driving for several hours didn’t appeal to me. I thought I would stay home, cook some biscotti and clean my house. Maybe I’d just rest.

I tried to read my Artist’s Way chapter, and I was distracted. I couldn’t get my head to focus on the words. I didn’t feel motivated to take time to meditate. I kept thinking of hiking. I finally realized that it is May! The wildflowers are out. How could I miss my first Michigan wildflower hike? In about 15 minutes, I was packed up and headed out the door with Ashok happily in tow.

I actually enjoyed the drive. I stopped at my favorite coffee shop in Saugatuck and got a honey lavender latte. The day was sunny, and I turned up Tim McGraw’s beautiful voice. It was sunny, and I was on an adventure. I even got lost which extended my drive but didn’t spoil my mood.

IMG_3055

When I arrived at the trail, it was even more beautiful than I thought it would be. Green was literally exploding all around me. Purple, yellow, pink and white flowers littered my path. The sunshine dappled itself through the trees, and my mind was able to rest. I saw several hawks throughout the day. I tried to focus on the trail and was rewarded with a peace that grounded me. I thanked God for urging me to get out. I would have been devastated to miss that beautiful day in the forest.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The nice thing about having four seasons is that things are always changing. They are always changing in nature anyway, but the change is so obvious as the trees drop their leaves, go dormant and then burst into life again. The bugs were out. It’s been awhile. I wasn’t particularly happy to see them, but I know they were happy to see me! And Ashok was so happy to be able to eat greenery and wade in the ponds and puddles. The changes in the seasons keep me in wonder.

Life always changes like the seasons. Rather than approach the day dreading the changes and the ups and downs, it would be great to approach it with wonder. Could I look at today’s challenges with wonder at how I might approach them? What if I saw an obstacle as an opportunity to learn? What if I saw growth in myself – or regression – with the same wonder that I have for the trees reaction to the seasons? Would seeing the world with wonder change my experience of the day?

IMG_3073

I think I’ll try to cultivate a sense of wonder for today. I’ll look for wildflowers – little bits of beauty that litter my path. I’ll navigate mud puddles knowing that my hiking boots are water resistant (and mud won’t kill me anyway). I’ll appreciate the newness of change and mourn the loss of the old. I’ll swat the bugs or just shoo them away. I’ll adapt to the temperature and try to focus on the trail with a knowing that a day like this will never present itself again. Today – like each day – is one-of-a-kind. With a sense of wonder, I’ll let the trail lead me where it wants to take me.

IMG_3080

 

 

 

Sunday Night Check-In: Addictions, Hiking and Dewey Lake

 

IMG_0077

My friend Kathy invited me over to her house once again on Dewey Lake for a great dinner with her family and friends. Dinner at Dewey Lake with the Browns and assorted characters has become a ritual that Ashok and I both anticipate. Last night we even took the boat out for the first time after the winter. The Browns took it out once before this spring, but Ashok and I had our first round about the lake yesterday evening. Even though it had been several months since we last had a Dewey Lake boat ride, when I asked Ashok if she wanted to go on a boat ride, she looked at me and then ran down the hill to the boat dock.

After dinner, we watched political comedy on YouTube as most liberals do these days. Amid the laughter at the chaos in Washington, Bill Maher had a disturbing segment that was based on a recent 60 Minutes. I was shocked to hear a Silicon Valley veteran say that tech companies actually engineer the software and code for social media in order to addict us. He likened it to the way the food industry hires scientists who formulate the exact formula of salt, sugar and fat to addict us to their food.

If you read my blog, you know that for the past year or so, I’ve been on and off Facebook and on and off sugar. I’m now moderately trying to use both, but I’m finding that neither of these things are easy to moderate. In fact, I get so frustrated at times with the way I feel after eating sugar and the anxiety I get from using social media that I continue my yo-yo exercise of quitting and restarting over and over again.

When I saw that segment last night, the pieces of the puzzle fell together, and I realized that these are addictions as well. And I know how difficult it is to release an addiction. And it’s even more difficult to moderate the use of an addictive substance. That’s why I always think that recovering alcoholics have it easier than a food addict who still has to eat everyday. It’s easier to just quit (although it’s not very easy to do that either).

When I got off Facebook entirely, I felt so much better. I started reading again. I started texting old friends and communicating with them personally rather than stalking them on Facebook. My life was more full, and I didn’t feel like I was wasting so much time. In fact, I even got to experience boredom again. I used Instagram, but I realized pretty immediately that I didn’t feel the urgency to post or scroll the feed with Instagram that I had with Facebook. I rather liked it. Social media became more of a choice and, frankly, less interesting. I’ve never fully gotten back engaged with Facebook but when I am bored, I do tend to scroll the newsfeed. I curse myself every time I catch myself doing it!

I’ve noticed that when I eat a homemade dessert or something made with quality ingredients, I enjoy it but I don’t feel compelled to eat more an hour later. When I eat cake or cookies or junk that is store-bought or made with cheap ingredients, I feel a sugar high that is super intense, AND I have to have more almost immediately. The cravings are intense, and they literally go on for days.

The brain is complex, but it’s also very simple. Our brain seeks pleasure. Our dopamine receptors and other feel-good hormones give us immense pleasure, and when they crash, our brain literally NEEDS more. It’s not a matter of wanting it. It NEEDS to have more because its crashed below the level of normal. As I’ve been eating a lot better for the past year or more, I realize that in order to eat healthy without having to fight cravings all the time, I have to stay away from processed food. Even in moderation, it makes it so hard to stay on track. Besides, lately I’ve noticed that all of that stuff tastes like chemicals instead of food. Yuk! I can’t even eat artificial sweeteners anymore.

So, I watched the full segment about the software engineers, and then I watched one from 2013 about how the food companies secretly engineer food to addict us. No wonder I think processed food tastes like chemicals. In this segment, they explain why. They use chemicals to mess with our brain instead of real food. I also know why I get panicked if I can’t find my phone or if I get a text, and I can’t check it right away. They program your phone to work like a slot machine with intermittent rewards. He said Instagram or Facebook will withhold your “likes” so that they can blow your mind later. It makes you more interested in continuing to scroll… and advertisers have your attention longer.

Today I ate healthfully. I stayed away from sugary foods, and I went on a hike. I did post a few pics on Instagram, but I’m trying to post to Facebook through Instagram. I’m liking a reduced social media footprint. I’ve fallen in love with avocado toast with a fried egg on top. I like getting out in the woods,  putting my phone on Airplane mode and enjoying the sunshine. I’m going to experiment with disentangling myself from my phone this week.

IMG_3087

Enter a caption

You can look at the segments below on why that’s important if you want to know more. I don’t like being a puppet. It seems invasive for some company to be studying my brain and developing things that make me react the way they want – especially if it’s not in my own best interest.

Food Engineering Interview

Brain Hacking (Phones)

Here are some tips on how to eat good food without getting manipulated!

 

 

Artist’s Way: Paying Attention

IMG_0073

I started The Artist’s Way course again. I had such great success with it the last time, and spring just feels like a good time to begin again. So, last week I started with Week 1. Week 1 helps me identify the reasons why I don’t embrace my creativity. I had great success with my Morning Pages and even went on an Artist’s Date to get some stickers and fun things to decorate my journal.

Today, I started with Week 2. Right away, I was caught by the below sentence:

It is important to remember that at first flush going sane feels just like going crazy.

~~ Julia Cameron

This week’s lesson helped describe the crazymakers in our lives. They are the people who want to sabotage you in having your own life because they are either jealous or scared of living their own lives. Misery loves company, so they have all kinds of ways of distracting you from being your very best self and trying new things. I’ve had a few crazymakers in my life, and I’ve probably been a crazymaker at some point in someone else’s too. Life – and relationships – are just messy like that. But often we enjoy the sabotage that the crazymaking brings because it keeps us from getting out of our comfort zone and trying something new.

Three Oaks, MI – Loved the Rain Garden!

Her antidote to the crazymaker is to “pay attention” to your life. It sort of reminded me of my Alanon journey. After all, an alcoholic is a King Crazymaker. Drama abounds to get your off course. She had an Aunt with an alcoholic crazymaker, but her aunt minimized his effects on her life because she paid attention to everything little thing in her life. She wrote letters that outlined everything that was going on in her life and included the minute details about the weather, what was blooming and what was going on in her mind. By paying attention, she lived a full life and focused on what was in front of her rather than what was trying to pull her away.

fullsizeoutput_19d1

So, I headed out tonight to “pay attention” down at the beach. I left my cell phone at home and used a camera so I wouldn’t be distracted by social media. I’ll just leave you with the photos. I took one photo tonight that was an accident, but I kind of like the way it looks. I was trying to make a video of the waves and the beach, but I didn’t bring my glasses. I kept pressing buttons and couldn’t see what was happening. I had about 20 pictures of my feet from different angles. So, if you decide to head out to “pay attention” in some way, you can leave your phone but don’t forget to bring your glasses.

What got my attention in St. Joseph….

Have a great week, y’all! It’ll be Friday before you know it.

Learning to Trust the Lighthouse

fullsizeoutput_1935

This morning’s meditation was a response to a Daily Calm user’s question about meditation. The new meditator was learning that her original assumption about meditation was wrong. She always thought the objective of meditation was to calm the mind. But she’s learning – like I am – that the goal of meditation is not to quiet the mind but to focus on the breath to provide an anchor for the mind.

IMG_1964

My “teacher” in this meditation journey says the mind is like the ocean. The mind’s nature is to think just like the nature of the ocean is to have waves. I think of Lake Michigan. Monday’s stormy harbor turns into a flat, calm wake on Tuesday. Every day is different when I walk down to the lighthouse. It amazes me that it’s the same body of water when it looks and feels so different from day-to-day. My focus on my breath is like the lighthouse. It is an anchor that stands steady in contrast to the ever-changing nature of this vast freshwater sea. Sometimes the waves are violently splashing over it. Other days ducks on the surface barely bob.

IMG_2802

A calm day on Lake Michigan

I’ve noticed during meditation that I begin to focus more on my inner life and my body instead of what is going on in my mind and my reaction to it. I suppose it’s sort of like being in a kayak on a stormy Lake Michigan. It could be really scary if I focused on the waves and my lack of control of what’s going on around me. But if I focus on what I’m doing and my paddling, I can react when I need to. I can rely on my confidence in my skills to make decisions and just notice the storm around me. I have to react at times, but I can choose which reactions make sense and which ones would make things worse. Meanwhile, I am my own anchor.

This morning I have a stormy mind. My focus on my breath dimmed the drama a little, but, honestly not by much. My brain is thinking. My body is a bit anxious. My mind wants to worry about work and jump around from thought to thought. I had a few peaceful minutes of anchoring myself to my breath that is always consistent and always there. My meditation did not calm the storm, but my breath was a lighthouse that sat resolutely with no reaction. I can focus on the stormy sea or the lighthouse to get my bearings. I imagine I’ll slither from one to the other a bit today. But I’m starting to learn which one makes me feel better. I always have the choice.

pause

Yesterday’s practice taught me about using “pause”. The “pause” is a practice where you take three deep breaths whenever you need to feel a little more comfortable. I used it yesterday whenever I thought about it, and it really helped. Each time I did it, I felt a little more grounded and in my body. Maybe you could give it a try today whenever you feel hungry, angry, lonely, tired, anxious or even happy. Just see what happens. There is no goal. The goal is just to breathe.

 

Morning’s Promise

IMG_2977

This morning’s Daily Calm meditation was called Morning. The voice that lulls me into a meditative state every morning urged me to take note of the wonderful part of the day that we call morning. It is the time of day when everything about to happen is simply a possibility.

I don’t always pay attention to the possibility of morning. Sometimes I rush through its long list of “to do” items with very little mindfulness. Feed the dog and the cats… drink my kefir and make another batch… write my morning pages … brush my teeth … don’t forget my dry brushing … take a quick shower and style my hair … apply makeup … pay the bill I forgot to pay over the weekend. I rush through it without any attention to what it might bring.

IMG_2978

Last year there was a single day where I got laid off at my job. When I awoke that day, I had no idea what that day would bring. There was a single day where I got the call from Whirlpool. There was a single day when the floods came in Louisiana and almost all of my friend’s lives were changed forever. Moving day changed my base of operation forever. There was a first day on my new job. There was a day that brought the first snow … and recently there was the day that the first flower bloomed. Today could have similar promise.

I always say that I never know when a day will be the day I fall in love again, and my life will be forever changed. Could today be that day? Or might it be the day that I get an idea for a book that inspires me to finally write it? Could it be the day that I inspire someone else in a way that changes their life forever? Or could today be the day of my death? Or could it be a simple day that brings a moment of connection with a stranger that is meaningful only in the moment? Even simple days contribute to the tapestry of my life.

FullSizeRender

I’m not sure how you approach the morning, but my meditation helped me look at this one a little differently. The pink dogwood tree in my front yard seems hopeful about the day today. Its days in bloom are numbered, so today has a special significance to it and those of us who are inspired by its beauty.

Let’s take an attitude of reverence for today …. even though it is a Monday. This may be the first morning of the week that changes your life forever. Make it count!

 

Sunday Night Check-In: A Mixed Bag

IMG_2943

I’m a little bit exhausted and a little bit full. I’m full emotionally from a weekend with good friends that I haven’t seen in awhile who were delightfully the same warm and loving friends that I’ve always known. One couple I hadn’t seen in 9 years. The other couple I’d seen briefly over the holidays but, before that, I hadn’t spent time with them in about 8 years or so. It was like old home week, and it felt really comforting.

Michael’s Custard in Madison…..

I love being in the presence (and in the homes) of my “no need to put on a show” friends. Joanne remembered my affinity for cards, and asked me if I was still doing them. I told her about my love of my Medicine Cards, and she and her family let me lead them in a meditation with their animal guides. Cheryl and Kenny brought me up to speed on their new hometown and how it compared to our mutual previous hometown of Memphis. It was good to see both of my friends’ imperfect homes and crash for a short amount of time in their space.

fullsizeoutput_19ab

Me and my friend Joanne

The drive home from Madison was brutal. What should have taken me about 4 hours took more like 6 with Chicago traffic and the rainy weather. I was beat when I got home not to mention craving a lot of bad food to comfort my traffic anxiety. Unfortunately, I gave in and ate a hamburger and fries that I regret eating, but I didn’t give in to having the shake that I also wanted to have. The weekend was a mixed bag of joy and stress for me.

In fact all of last week was a mixed bag:

Setbacks:

  • I haven’t been eating like I’d like to. I’ve been eating too much sugar again. It seems that I either have to eat none at all, or I eat way too much. I hate the way I feel when I’m eating too much of it.
  • I spent too much money. I forgot that there were about $20 worth of tolls each way to Madison. I had budgeted about $200 for the trip and probably spent more like $400. It wasn’t major, but I hate to spend money on stuff like tolls.
  • I tried to drink more water but I progressively got worse over the week. I have to do better at that. But it’s hard to do.

Successes:

  • I didn’t eat the shake tonight, and I really wanted to. I talked myself down by thinking about how much I’d regret it afterwards. I’ve promised myself I can have a smoothie later if I still want something creamy. Right now I’m having some yummy herbal tea.
  • I stuck with my meditation practice. I even meditated as soon as I got in tonight to try to soothe my traffic anxiety. It really has helped.
  • I did well on my exercise this week. I started doing some strength-training circuits this week and kept up with my walking. I didn’t do much over the weekend, but this week was pretty good for exercise.
  • Buster has been throwing up a lot, and I finally got his food straightened out so that he seems to be better. His vomiting was causing me a lot of stress and worry, but I think I may have figured out he just needed a new food.

This week I want to continue my meditation, get back on track with my eating, drink adequate water and start a virtual boot camp program with Jessica. Tonight I watched Oprah’s video on the Weight Watchers site about failure not being an option. She says we will always have setbacks, but we have to remember self-care is a marathon. It was just what I needed to hear.

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 8.20.58 PM.png

If I let myself be aware of my feelings, I’m sad. My former boss died last week, and he really meant a lot to me. He helped me last year at this time when I got laid off, and he was a good boss who encouraged me when I was having a hard time. He even offered me great suggestions when I was struggling personally and seemed to have a genuine concern about my well-being. I have a lot of sadness about that, so it’s probably no wonder I’m distracting myself with food and shopping. It also reminds me of the brevity of this life and creates this sense of urgency that I need to make something of my time here.

sad

Maybe I need to be a little gentle with myself right now. I have a lot going on at work, and I’m taking on a rather innovative risk that brings up my fear of failure (and oddly enough a fear of success). I’m experiencing loss and grief. I’m continuing to adapt to my new environment and make new friends – and face rejection. Just like my week of setbacks and successes, my life is a mixed bag of good and bad at the moment. I need to hug my little curly-haired girl and assure her we will get through this just fine.

Y’all have a good week. If anybody wants to join in on the boot camp, ping me for the info. Anybody anywhere can join in. And if you are a feeling a little out of sorts, then be gentle with yourself, too. Act like you are your own best friend. We all need one.

 

 

 

 

30 Days of Meditation: Negativity

IMG_2924

I didn’t meditate this weekend, and I could feel the difference. I felt a subtle lift in anxiousness that caused my mind to shuttle back and forth in ways that made me a little unstable. My thoughts and feelings were a tiny bit harder to manage which can mean a big difference when small things go wrong throughout the day. After 2 days of resuming my meditation practice, I’m more grounded and my mind has stopped jumping from subject to subject like an out of control slide projector.

So, in my usual manner, I think I’ll experiment with 30 days of meditation. My goal is to meditate at least 3 times per day and hopefully to do it 5 times. We’ll see what happens.

This would be the schedule I want to take:

First meditation: Focus on my breath in bed between the first alarm sound and the snooze alarm. (I think that’s about 10 minutes)

Second meditation: Do the Daily Calm (from the Calm App) – 10 minutes with a focus and mini-lesson

Third meditation: At lunch take 5-10 minutes to focus on my breath.

Fourth meditation: 10-15 minutes when I get home

Fifth meditation: 10-15 minutes (or longer) an hour or more before bed

FullSizeRender

Today’s focus for the Daily Calm was negativity. My guide says that we are naturally adept at obsessing on the worst that will happen because our ancestors needed to do that to stay safe. She reminded me that when I obsess over not being perfect, not being loved, growing old alone or losing my job and becoming destitute, I need to question that thought to see if it’s really valid.

She also said it’s best not to fight negative thoughts. When they cross my mind, I should acknowledge them and just register the feelings they cause. I can name each one “negative thought”. I’ve found through this practice already that naming them seems to take their power away. If I feel fear, and I say to myself without judging “fear”, the fear seems to disappear like a dream upon waking. It’s really weird.

Negative thinking – and fighting negative thoughts – causes stress. My emotions are usually a reaction to my thoughts. So, if I choose not to react – negatively or positively – to my own negativity, I can evaluate later – or not – whether I should waste my time stressing about it.

I remember a yoga teacher saying “The mind that told you to go ahead and eat that piece of apple pie is the same mind that beats you up after you eat it.” Thoughts are really pretty fickle, aren’t they? And they are very often not very kind.

Have a great day!

 

Wake Up and Roar

IMG_2919

I’ve started a meditation practice, and I’ve been pretty consistent over the last six weeks. It is really helping me to tame the sharp edge of my anxiety. It helps me sleep. It allows me to read my own inner compass instead of reacting to the expectations and judgments of others.

I’m using the Calm app (calm.com), and every day they have a focused 10-minute meditation. This morning it was about individuality. So much of my life has been spent walking the line of accepting my unique life choices or beating myself up for not being “normal”. Acceptance wins out about 70% of the time, but the 30% spent in fear with my inner critic’s judgment is so uncomfortable. “Hush” I scream, wondering if somehow I missed the memo on what is the “right” way to live and knowing that I cannot live someone else’s dreams on any level.

In meditation, I strengthen the muscle of acceptance of myself, and I quietly hear the inner calling of my soul. The more I listen and experience who I really am inside, the easier it is to accept that I am on the right path. The easier it is to tell that inner critic to go silent. I’m not sure who he thinks he is anyway. He doesn’t even have a body.

Life is so fleeting. Yesterday my former boss at LCTCS had a heart attack while he was driving and hit a tree. He’s a couple of years younger than me. He’s kind and wise and was so instrumental in helping me to find a good role and purpose in my last few months there. He has a beautiful family. He has had a great career and has played many roles of great significance in supporting Louisiana’s economy. Louisiana needs him. In my opinion, he’s not done yet.

I am praying for his healing. At the same time, when these things happen, my own mortality flashes before me like a neon sign reading “Do Not Wait. We Are Not Promised Tomorrow.” I wonder on what day my chances to make my mark on the world will be over. The urgency to ‘wake up and roar’ is bearing down on me this morning. I pray for the fierceness to heed that call.

“If you are acting like a sheep, do not blame the shepherd. Wake up and roar….”

~~Papaji