A Rock in My Shoe

A rock in my shoe during my frequent walks is not unusual, not infrequent, and not that welcome. The nuisance between my sock and ankle may not deserve the name “rock”. It is barely a pebble.

Rock from My Shoe

A Rock in My Shoe

Nor is it always the same foot or the same side of either foot. The irritation is not more common during a walk in the morning, at midday, or in the afternoon. And it’s certainly never the same rock.

The one pictured just happens to be the most recent.

So, what’s the big deal about a rock in my shoe? Typically, that I have spent time working my mind extra hard about whether to remove the walk or to ignore its bother. The decision-making has taken on several layers. I had reasons to remove it; I had reasons to ignore it. The reasons for one are also the reasons against the other. And vice versa.

My mind sometimes still goes through all that. More than once. It’s usually a 5-minute or 75-stride problem-solving exercise. Either way. I spend a good 5 minutes thinking more about the rock, the foot, the irritation than about the joy that every walk always brings me.

Am I willing to endure the minor discomfort of a little stone scratching inside my ankle? Do I want to interrupt my walk long enough to slip my finger between my sock and my foot and slide the rock out? How much worse am I willing to let the rubbing get? What if I can’t ease the rock out without completely removing my shoe and shaking the rock from my sock?

Getting rid of irritation

Admittedly, more often than not I remove the rock. I’m not one for putting up with discomfort, and no matter how minor, the rock is discomforting. The walk is immediately better. My mind has one less distraction. I  can focus on juniper berries in the sidewalk seams or counting breaths in time with my steps or feeling the complementary warm sunshine and cool breeze. Instead of that rock, its rub, and my foot’s awareness.

Makes me think of start of day, before work, when I have tasks that are challenging…in a not necessarily pleasant way. I can take the minutes to reach between my emotions and my schedule and find the rock, the irritation. In my mind’s eye, I watch my finger flick the pebble away, no longer bothering me. If, during my day, the irritation reappears I just see the stone flipped away or I quietly say, “No rock in my shoe!”

Being able to resist

There are times when I “ignore” the rock. Of course, I’m not really ignoring it because I let myself feel good that I’m tolerating it. There’s a sense of reward that I can put up with the distraction and so not be (totally) distracted. It is even fun to make outlandish comparisons. Walking across sharp seashells at the seashore.

This brings to mind those times when I know early the rock can’t be easily–or single-handedly–tossed away. That can be because the issue’s really disturbing or it’s a conflict requiring major attention or I’ve worked on it before but not successfully. It’s big enough that I don’t want to push the stone deeper into my sock. And there’s a part of me that encourages, “Just ride it out. Some problems take time.”

Prayer for a rock in my shoe

Good Friend God,
I am glad I know to thank you
for those tiny rocks
that find their way into my shoes
when I walk the gravel paths.
And you have my gratitude for the lessons
I’ve learned from paying attention
to the ways I can handle
a rock in my shoe.
Thank you for giving me patience and strength
to ride it out, to know the bother
is minimal, and I can wait
until the rock’s removed.
Thank you for helping me know the technique
for easing the irritation, carefully moving
it past my tension, my distraction,
then just throwing it away.
And thank you. God, for my walking
to this awareness.
And so it is! Amen!

Love & Blessings,

Tim

 

January 17, 2010

Posted on January 16, 2020 at 4:32 pm by Tim · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Authenticity, God, Gratitude, Peace, Prayer · Tagged with: , , ,

Like I Want It To Be

When it’s not like I want it to be, how can I fix it?

That question is not about the burned pancake or sitting behind some really tall person at the movies. It’s about that big thing that takes a lot of your time, that lasts a long time, and that you would like to feel good about for a long time. Maybe even after you’re finished working on it.

I’ll bet you have asked yourself the same thing: How can I make it like I want it to be?

Like I want it to be
by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

The immediate instance for me refers to a group of wonderful people, volunteers with whom I have the pleasure of working. Because I volunteered to lead the volunteers, I want our effort to be a success, a long-time success, and a success that we’ll feel good about for a long time after.

Lately I’ve been concerned that what we’re supposed to be doing is not getting done as smoothly or as thoroughly as we expected ourselves. My intuition whispers loudly that I am not alone feeling disappointment.

It is not the way I want it to be. What can I do? How can I fix it?

I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know for sure.

I asked the question so many times it had begun to seem like I was banging my head against a wall. Maybe that tactic works because I believe I have received some hints of awareness. Not answers directly to the questions but awareness that may reward me with answers.

Forgive my mixed metaphors, but if my question-asking was head-banging, then my awareness-whispers were buckets of ice-water over my head. That ice-water came as 4 sequential shocks, one right after another.

In fact, the only gap between each of them was the length of time it took me to understand the why behind each “aha!”

On the chance of success, I’d like to share my awareness-whispers with you. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll keep you posted on how they work out.

Like I Want It To Be

Here is what I sensed…what I heard spiritually:

  1. Affirm Spirit will let me know how… instead of asking myself how I can. The linkage is Spirit > Heart > Mind > Body/action. So, instead of asking myself how to make things better, I should affirm Spirit’s letting me know how I might.
  2. Remember the best first behavior is to be still. Being in a hurry to do puts my focus on my body. I just read in A Course in Miracles that “The body is merely part of your experience in the physical world. Its abilities can be and frequently are overvalued.” Being still allows me time to listen and to hear the guidance.
  3. Listen with my heart so that my mind may know what my heart hears. That’s the continuation of #2. It’s also an expanded version of the much better advice: Be still and know….
  4. Pray that the good will manifest, not necessarily for what I define as the good. If I am to take any action up front, the best action is to pray. Simply to affirm that I will be guided to do whatever is the right and best thing to do.

I am putting these whispers into action. I feel a definite comfort that what is to be for the best will be for the best. And what the best is may be something I do not yet know. That’s OK. I am confident that Affirm – Remember – Listen – Pray will lead us to what is best.

Praying like I want it to be

Good Friend God, I am confident now
that having a project or an assignment or a task
or any situation
be like I want it to be
requires only that I allow myself to know your presence
which is peace, power, and awareness.
Thanks for letting me know
that rather than tie myself in knots to know
how I might have the situation be like I want it to be
I’m better off affirming your presence
and enjoying your engagement.
I receive your guidance when I listen with my heart.
I clarify reception by praying thanks to you.
So, thank you, Good Friend.
Amen.

Love & Blessings,
Tim

8 January 2020

Posted on January 8, 2020 at 11:27 am by Tim · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Affirmation, God, Gratitude, Prayer, Prosperity, Spirituality · Tagged with: , , ,

Your 2020 Vision?

Have you sharpened your 2020 Vision? This year is meant for more than resolutions. This is the year to set your vision. You want to see it clearly and then improve the focus by seeing it more distinctly, in greater detail, and with ever-increasing joy and motivation.

2020 is the year for vision!

2020 is the start of a new decade, not just any decade: the 20s decade. It’s either the 20th or the 21st year of the second millennium. [I counted 2000 as the 1st year, which makes 2020 the 21st, but not everyone agrees with that.]

2020 is a leap year, giving us an extra day to spotlight our vision.

I haven’t ever believed too much in New Year’s Resolutions. For the last 20 or so years I’ve felt strongly instead about having at least one goal for the year.  In the last couple of years I’ve become passionate about finding, seeing, and reaching a yearly vision. I know that’s why 2019 was such a wonderful year for me, personally.

And heading into 2020, I’ve even sharpened my efforts. Not for more or better visions, but for a more exciting and energizing way to go after my vision.

So, thanks for allowing me to share my process for creating a full-scale, fulfilling 2020 Vision. Feel free to hit Comment below with any questions, suggestions, reactions. Please.

Allow your Vision.

Make time to look into your heart. What do you see? Look deeper, beyond what you see that is current, present, in your here-and-now. See ahead. What will be perfection in 2020? Allow yourself to examine whatever visions come to you. Rotate them as if they were jewels your were considering. Feel their weight. See the light shining through them. Allow yourself to ask, “Is this what I truly want? Truly?” Allow yourself to answer. Truly.

Write your vision down as more than just a word or phrase. Spend some time putting paragraphs around the vision. This is letting you draw it from your heart to your mind. Important because your mind will be a major player in your fulfilling the vision.

After you know and see your vision, it’s time to determine intentions and goals. There is often confusion and discussion as to the difference between intentions and goals.

I like Donna Zajong‘s clarification that:

Goals are external achievements.
Intentions are about your relationship with yourself and others.

Almost all external achievements depend to some degree upon one’s relationship with the self and with others involved in or impacted by the achievement. Therefore, it seems to me the place to start is with the intentions.

Align your Intentions.

Your intentions state simply how you want to be, act, and show up in the world. Those intentions underscore the attitude and mindset with which you approach (and handle) the world. At the same time, your intentions fuel and power how you appreciate and inspire your Self.

Spend some time with your vision. Enjoy projecting ventures–maybe adventures–that will show you more details and that will move you closer to your vision. Let your heart and mind work together identifying milestones of the successful journey to your vision. As well, allow your heart and mind to encounter potential obstacles and know they can and will be bypassed. Even if you don’t know how. Yet.

As you spend that time with your vision, your consciousness will signal specific intentions that complement your vision. Those intentions will insure that you and your vision are very much in sync.

I distinguish intentions from affirmations and from action statements and, obviously, from goals. For me an intention is a statement of being rather than doing or believing. Consequently, I work with long-term intentions rather than daily ones. That doesn’t mean I can’t or don’t change them, if I am called to change them.

Examples of mine for 2020:

It is my intention to BE

Write them down. Keep them brief. Deepak Chopra said:

Intentions compressed into words enfold magical powers.

Affix your Goals.

Now comes the goal setting. Once you have intentions in heart and mind, you can create goals. I start with yearly goals. As the year progresses, I use my intentions to inspire monthly–perhaps even weekly–goals.

While it is easier to set a goal than to achieve it, it is not always a piece of cake to set a goal. Some suggestions, if I may:

When you have clearly identified your goals. Write them down. Edit and rewrite them as many times as you need to get them exactly the way you want them to be, stating exactly what you want to achieve.

Embrace your Spirituality.

This is not really just a step in the process of creating your 2020 Vision. Embracing your spirituality encompasses recognizing, understanding, expanding, appreciating, attending, and enjoying your spiritual being. Those are actions–indeed, consciousness–that is present before and during each of the previous steps.

Your 2020 Vision is something beautiful, probably awe-inspiring both as an intentional goal and as an ultimate achievement. And it is pragmatic. You’ll set vision and intentions and goals that are realistic. Good for you. Spirit and vision come together in the human world, too.

Of course, there is nothing as good or as powerful as praying to help you allow your vision, align your intentions, affix your goal, and embrace your spirituality. Not to mention how good it feels to pray all around your 2020 vision, along the way!

Praying to my 2020 Vision

Good Friend, God, Happy New Year.
More than that, happy vision for the new year.
Happy that our vision, whatever vision we choose for ourselves,
is 20-20 clear and focused.
Your guidance of our intentions and our goals,
your love and energy flowing through our assimilating
all that will be our very best in 2020,
your presence in our every second, minute of every day,
for all of this we thank you, Good Friend.
You bless our vision as you bless our power,
our ability to have and enjoy and realize our vision.
And so it is. And so we let it be!

Love & blessings,
Tim

 

 

December 31, 2019

Posted on December 31, 2019 at 6:00 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Affirmation, Intention, Prayer, Vision · Tagged with: , , ,

Santa Claus and Ho! Ho! Ho!

Santa Claus & Ho! Ho! Ho! at Wee Wisdom School

Last week I offered Santa Claus and Ho! Ho! Ho! to three pre-school classes at Wee Wisdom School at Unity Church of the Hills  If the children enjoyed it 1/10 as much as I did, they were really, really happy.

I am sure that sometime in my 4th or 5th year, my mother told me some history of Santa Claus. Back then, thanks to significantly less media and significantly more peacefulness, the belief in Santa Claus lasted several years longer! Ironically, I remember none of it and rely on Wikipedia for a synopsis.

Santa Claus, as we know him in America, originated as a combination of several historically real and fictionally created characters. Here’s a very brief synopsis.

A bit of Santa’s history

Saint Nicholas

Foremost was Saint Nicholas, the 4th Century Greek bishop in Myra. He was the patron saint of a mixed and motley crowd: sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, prostitutes, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, and students. He was best known for his generosity and care for impoverished children. His death on December 6 lead to that being blessed as St. Nicholas Day and becoming a time in Europe for celebration by sharing of gifts, especially for children.

Sinterklaas

The Dutch people adopted the giving nature of St. Nicholas and created Sinterklaas, a legendary figure who delivered presents to children on the eve of St. Nicholas Day. Sinterklaas is clearly a connection between St. Nicholas and Santa Claus. Sinterklaas was outfitted in red bishop’s attire, complete with mitre (headgear) and ornamental staff. Even more familiar to Santa Claus are his full white beard and flowing white hair.

 

 

Nast’s Santa Claus

So, here comes Santa Claus. Thanks to Clarke Clemente Moore’s poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and Thomas Nast’s illustrations during the Civil War, the western variation came into being. And in the time since then, he’s relocated to the North Pole, adopted more than a handful of supportive elves, a herd of reindeer, and an emissions-free sleigh.

 

Santa Claus brings a bagful of mystery and joy and excitement year after year after year. If I allow myself to overlook the incessant and increasing commercialism of the jolly ol’ man, he brings this grown-up plenty of joy too! My morning as the Wee Wisdom School Santa gave to me

Thanks, Santa! and thanks for Santa

Good Friend, God, I am delighted that the gift of Santa Claus
is such a blessing this time of year.
The mystery and energy of someone so out of the ordinary,
coming in a special way, to deliver special presents
that bring us special joy. The blessings
that we see in the excitement of every child’s face
are the gifts that we receive.
And all of this makes us so mindful,
so reminiscent of the gifts shared with us
by the especially exemplary and extraordinary
Jesus. The special gift of knowing
our unity, our Oneness with you, rewards us
not only in this single season, rewards us
all the time, many times over.
We thank you, God!
And so it is. Amen

Love & Blessings,
Tim

 

 

December 24, 2019

Posted on December 24, 2019 at 12:05 pm by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Happiness, Joy, Prayer · Tagged with: , , , ,