Stay-home ordeal. What’s the deal?

Stay Home doesn't have to be an ordealThe stay-home ordeal is pretty common now to most of us. Becoming more familiar does not mean “house arrest” is more enjoyable. It doesn’t mean we like it any more. Maybe we’re not even more used to it although it is familiar.

Staying home is not unusual. Staying home 24/7 is unusual. Not going to work happens occasionally. Not going to work for the foreseeable future has become The Occasion. The grocery being out of shredded cheddar cheese is ok. The grocery being out of bread and dishwashing liquid and coffee filters is not ok.

Stir crazy, cabin fever, locked in, imprisoned are phrases used (and heard and read) more often than ever.

I invite you to use the Comment option and offer your own ways to shift from the thought of “stay-home ordeal”. How are you making it an acceptable deal, if not a really good deal? What are you doing that may be a Big Deal?

Every day this week, I will post suggestions that have worked for me or that others have found successful and have shared. Try them out if you want and please share your feedback. Now is the time to let others hear from you!

Start your day with mindfulness

Mindfulness means to pay attention on purpose in the present moment non-judgmentally. The applied definition is to keep yourself alive in (alert to) the present moment. My favorite definition of mindfulness is that it is the capability to know what we already know is actually happening as it is happening.

I’ve meditated almost everyday for years. I had never really taken up mindfulness meditation. Then I learned that mindfulness doesn’t have to occur as formal meditation. It doesn’t require sitting lotus-like or forcing all thoughts out of my head or counting my breath, my mala beads or my om chants. (Actually, meditation does not require those things either.)

It is easy to practice mindfulness exercises anytime, anywhere. I took up mindfulness practices early this year. My Like I Want It to Be post hints why. From the mindfulness practices, I’ve known a wonderful. tangible combination of calm, focus, and energy. I believe they are direct results of increasing my mindfulness.

So what good does it do to be alert to the present moment when the present moment is the stay-home ordeal? The moment is not the ordeal. Nor is the ordeal the moment. The moment is what is happening, not what you are feeling. That’s worth a lot of discussion. (Jon Kabat-Zinn gives offers more than 600 words in Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World through Mindfulness.)

For now, I suggest you pick one of the activities below. Try it for three days in a row. Try it as many times a day as you wish. Let us hear if/how it works. Or doesn’t.

I’ve tried these practices. I still practice all of them frequently. I don’t recommend one over another. The breathing practice is first merely because breathing will be part of any mindfulness.


Stand or sit comfortably. Promise yourself to let nothing external interrupt you for one minute, or two or three if it feels good. Breathe in slowly, deeply through your nose. Notice the action, the sensation. Hold the breath for a couple of seconds. Breathe out more slowly. Notice the action, the sensation. Be sure to breathe out completely. Again. Again for as long as you wish.

View an object

Choose an uncomplicated object: a coffee cup, for instance, rather than a cathedral. It will be easier if it is not moving. Relax your vision. Rather than searching for every specific detail, allow the object to flow into and fill your vision. Then let your eyes wander leisurely over the object. This is neither a test of your visual perception nor a measure of your visual memory. It is just a viewing. View it until you’ve finished viewing.

Hold an object

Mindfulness to release stay-home ordeal

Hold an object
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Pick an object that fits comfortably in your hand(s). It may be something which has emotional meaning for you; it does not have to. Close your eyes. Allow your hand, your mind, your heart to engage with whatever you are holding. Shape. Size. Temperature. Texture. Angles. This isn’t any sort of test, either. It is your opportunity to pay attention in the present moment non-judgmentally to what you already know is happening.

A Prayer for Peace and Goodness in our Stay-Home Ordeal

Power and Peace and Presence, this opportunity we have now
is only as much ordeal as we choose it to be.
Thank you for allowing us to breath the opportunity
of power in our present moment, to feel the presence
of peace in our hands and in our heart and in our head.
to see presence of all that is suggested by the beauty
of all we see, no matter how small or large, no matter
how simple or complex.
Thank you that we have the blessing of home,
a place to stay and to know your presence, peace and power.
And so it is. And so we thank you, Spirit.

Love and Blessings,


6 April 2020

Posted on April 5, 2020 at 10:14 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Happiness, Inner Peace, Mindfulness, Peace · Tagged with: , , , ,

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 rock 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,



January 17, 2010

Posted on January 16, 2020 at 4:32 pm by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
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.

Love & Blessings,

8 January 2020

Posted on January 8, 2020 at 11:27 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
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,



December 31, 2019

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