Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Your Peaceful Journey

Are you a hiker? Our immediate family doesn’t hike, although we did walk around the block a few times last year. Earlier this week I heard comments that prove we’re not hiker-types. One child stated how hiking generally lacked a competitive element and our other child didn’t see the point because there’s no score. Sure, you could add a point system and race to the top of a mountain, but that kind of defeats the purpose.

Does the fresh air, the challenging terrain, and wildlife motivate you to tackle the trails? If I were to hike, I’d do it for the incredible views. Have a look:

Wake up! I'm sure the sights and sounds sent you into doze mode. Wouldn’t you want to explore this area? Lace up a pair of hiking boots and trek through the wilderness to experience  this gorgeous scenery in New Zealand. We’re so busy multi-teching (my word for multi-tasking with technology), and rushing in a dozen different directions that we forget how to appreciate the “minor” moments. If hiking doesn't bring you peace, what activity does?

Modified and reposted from March 2014   

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Grabbing Your Peace

Young people enjoy constant movement and entertainment—in short—non-stop fun. As a child, Sundays shut down my neighborhood. Occasionally, an adult crept from their front door into their car, but the kids stayed hidden, and the streets empty. During the winter, you might have heard melting snow. Silence ruled the day. Bored and restless, it was my most least favorite day of the week. 

Flash forward several decades and I’m loving my Sundays. I enjoy the pausing, the exhaling, and the napping, and group naps add to the fun. Picture several family members watching TV as the cat nestles nearby. Before long, everyone’s snoozing while the world’s cares drift away. And that’s the thing. Sunday’s a time for relaxing and casting aside worries. We’d be wise to do it before this happens: 

 We often go-go-go when we’re made to go-sleep-repeat. We’re not designed to constantly push through fatigue, and ignoring our natural make-up results in illness, not peace. Along with napping, how else would you spend a restful Sunday?      

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Waiting on Something

We love fast food drive-thru windows except when they're inconvenient. This week, I debated about where I’d get the fastest service—in the drive-thru line or inside the restaurant. I instantly regretted choosing the left lane drive-thru because I could see the driver in the side view mirror chattering away at the order board. I choose the wrong lane, again. Lip-reading wasn’t helpful in deciding whether the driver was ordering a boatload of food, asking too many menu questions, discussing some inappropriate drive-thru topic or doing this:

Despite the lengthy request for a short order, the service people remained professional—and they remembered everything. Maybe this special order felt like a bright spot in the middle of a long, boring shift. Some things are worth the wait. What behavior used to feel like a time-waster, but now you recognize the benefit?   

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Even If It’s Backwards

Many of us welcome the technological advancements that make our lives easier. We enjoy hitting buttons to adjust our home’s temperature, lock the doors, and warm up the car. Every so often, we hear news reminding us how technology can take three steps forward and one step backward as more and more tech companies access our personal information and pass it along to other companies.

In the corner of our minds, we suspect companies use our personal information to pad their profits. Sometimes, we get a tap on the shoulder that encourages us to change our ways: 


We can’t change the culture overnight, but if we want to pause and take a technological step backward, here are several ways to do it. To protect our privacy, we could manually lock our doors, physically turn off the lights, and enter our vehicles to start the engine. Then—and here’s where it gets radical—instead of managing your schedule on your phone, mark appointments on a wall calendar. Take a picture of it and refer to it to see when you’re available. Once you arrive at home, pencil in your new appointments on a real calendar. That’ll teach tech companies to profit from tracking your whereabouts. Stop the info flow! 

Obviously, few of us will go to these extremes, but we ought to draw a line somewhere to prevent the situation from going too far. It makes sense to take a step back for a course correction. Which former habits and traditions do you need to resurrect to  benefit you and/or your family?   

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Close to the Edge

When winter comes, its powerful winds whip through the streets while snow and sleet batter the landscape. Potholes ruin the highways, and this week, I noticed a gully forming alongside a road. It reminded me of driving in the California hills where swerving too close to the edge might mean tumbling down a ravine. Being close to the edge is spine-tingling, sort of like this:   


The townspeople don’t seem too worried, but as out-of-towners, we’d ride the Horse Killer while gripping our seats. You know the name wasn’t based on children enjoying pony rides. Standing on the edge might imply a downside and an upside. If feel like you’re standing on the edge, who’s available to catch you before you fall or swoop in to help you soar?    

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Stranger Things

Last week someone mentioned Y2K, the hysterical entry into the 2000s when experts wondered if the new year would cause our technology to go haywire because computers might confuse the 00 in 2000 with 1900. Not sure about you, but it feels like we’ve entered another hysterical period where everything we expect, things that used to feel normal, feel off-kilter. For instance, the weather is wacky and temperatures feel like a car’s speedometer zipping from zero to sixty. At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, the world feels stranger than it has in the past. We find the strangest conspiracy theories on the web. Is this one of them?

Who knows the source of the sound? Some scientists attribute the noise to sound waves, others say it’s from underground construction. Imagine it’s a warning to hurry up and complete your most important tasks. Given that warning, what kinds of things should you do now?    

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?

An older Inside Revolution post described a special light show that occurs over the Catatumbo River and Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, South America.  For centuries, people living near these two bodies of water have experienced over 150 lightning storms per year with each event lasting about 10 hours per night. If you researched this unusual weather, then you know the prior post skipped over an interesting tidbit.
Listen to this: Between January and April of 2010, the lightning ceased. We’re talking nothing, nada. Incredible! I can imagine puzzled people peeking outdoors and searching the night sky for a tiny sign of “normalcy.” Scientists offered differing theories for the lightning’s presence and its temporary absence. Experts believe geography and gases from the surrounding waters cause the lightning. When the lake and river dried up due to drought, the gases also disappeared—no gas, no lightning. Let’s visit Venezuela to hear more:    
If the locals have a saying, it might be, “As sure as the lightning comes, I’ll do such and such.” Apparently, returning wasn't a guarantee with the lightning or the boat trip. Some things you only hope you can count on. In our culture, people, places, and things change at lightning speed. Who or what can you count on?

Modified from 9/2011

Saturday, January 26, 2019

A Silent Brush-Off

My cat gives me attitude. Not surprising, for a feline. She loves a good pet, but if I’m in the middle of typing or watching a TV show, I may take a few minutes to respond. If she feels like I’m not responding quick enough, I’ll look up and see cattitude, meaning she’s  settled down—with her back positioned toward me. It’s intentional, letting me know she’s not pleased. Some family members insist on getting our attention.  


That small family member is gentle and persistent. We usually get one of two responses when we fail to respond to attention requests, it’s either cattitude or the more assertive behaviors that demand our attention. When you survey your important relationships, which one(s) have you been ignoring?  

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

High Hopes

I’m going. No, wait. Turn back! Go now. Freeze! That’s squirrel-thought. You’ve seen them, those cute,  bushy-tailed creatures that waiver between coming and going in the center of the street, paralyzed in the face of danger. What are they thinking? Why don’t they just keep going?
They’re like us sometimes. Fear can paralyze us when we need to make big decisions, tackle the unknown, or try a potentially dangerous endeavor. What motivates a squirrel to risk life and limb to want to cross the road?  
Speaking of mammals, what about those Navy SEALs? Every so often, we hear tales of how our military elite accomplish a dangerous assignment. Their training involves grueling calisthenics, strength exercises, and underwater feats designed to push a solider past the fear factor and the limits of ordinary people. What drives a person to want Navy SEAL status and what can we learn from their incredible efforts? Have a listen:
Are you motivated? There are goals you’ve placed on the back burner. Maybe now’s the time to reach for them. Be brave, go for it! Your effort will take commitment, confidence, mental toughness, and support. Who will you lean on to help see you through?    

Modified from 1/2012

Monday, January 14, 2019

A Time and a Place

 People do the most unusual things in the oddest places. We have expectations when we visit a fast food restaurant. We expect fast service, a convenient drive-through window, and an adequate parking lot. This past week, I saw all of that and more. During the dinner hour, in thirty-degree weather, someone decided to wash their vehicle—wiping down the sides and shaking out the floor mats—it was a full-blown effort. Why would someone choose a frigid day in a restaurant parking lot to wash a car? Maybe an emergency event popped up, maybe the driver got bored waiting for his not-so-fast-food. Maybe the driver was related to these guys:   

There’s a time and place for everything and when we’re caught off guard by extinct creatures hounding us, the results speak for themselves. Life’s full of surprises and humor. I love the combination of little people legs and the great growl. It’s nothing we’d expect to see on a normal work day. Let’s say today’s the day and you’re in the right place. Before the moment passes, what important action do you need to take?

Monday, January 7, 2019

Blindfolds Off

The views from our windows impact our perspective. My new sunglasses offer an ultra-clear view of the world, all while blocking out harmful rays. From inside my car, the bright afternoon sun and a catchy tune on the radio made me appreciate the few peaceful moments of clarity, but there’s an unusual trend taking place. For some reason, blindfolds have escaped the confines of kids’ parties. Watch this:  
Nothing good comes from wearing a blindfold except when it’s worn prior to revealing a present. Checking in on the social scene, you’ll see some people believe otherwise. Blindfold challenges are the new no-no. People are injuring themselves and their loved ones by walking around blindfolded. Maybe the trend is a metaphor for how we’re feeling about our lives or the world. What’s a better way to block glaring, distracting issues and manage our lives with our eyes wide open?