The Sunny Spot

When I first started this Blog, I could sit and write for hours and post daily. That has mellowed over time. I enjoy my pieces of life that don’t require Internet.

The dogs know my favorite time to write is around 9:00 am, and they become very still and quiet. It’s like they are giving me space to do what I love, or maybe they just see it as quiet time, because typing is not very rambunctious. I’m sitting at the kitchen table gazing out the window at the front yard. There’s a gentle breeze moving the trees and bushes, and birds are hopping around in the sunny spots of the yard. I can completely relate to the birds, because I love the sunny spots of life.

February and March are good months to be outside. In February, the temps will be in the high 60’s, and in March they’ll reach the 70’s, but by April we’ll be in the 80’s and then it’s on. I’ve lived here long enough where the high temperatures don’t really bother me anymore. You just praise God everyday for air conditioning.

We can look at our lives, and see what’s important. Our lives reflect an accumulation of small choices made daily. It’s a continual effort to weed out the bad and bring in the good, but we get to choose the life we’re sitting in today. With every action throughout the day, pay attention to the details. And if you find yourself gazing out the window like me, step outside and embrace the sunny spot.

A Level Life

You can smell the coffee. Not that it’s being made, but that so much has been ground and brewed, it lingers. The coffee bar is in the middle of the house, so you could say, it’s at our core.

This morning as I was writing down my completed actions of the self trust cultivator, everything I did took place in the core of the house. Fed and watered the animals in the hallway. Brushed my teeth in the hall bath, and began a load of laundry in the hallway. Started the Chemex at the coffee bar.

What took place in the core, fed everyone’s core.

chemex

There’s a flow in life, and it starts at the core.

Our cat let me know his water bowl was empty by hopping in the kitchen sink trying to find water. He knows what a water spout looks like, and was hoping to find some in the sink. It took me a minute to figure out what he was doing, but when I put him on the floor, he went to the bathtub, another water source.

Then I saw his empty water bowl.

When the balance and flow of life coincide, it feels like everything is lined up and level. After I took this picture, it was reassuring to see how everything lined up. The level is sitting on the corner of my desk, and that wouldn’t be good to have a desk off center. It would effect the balance of every task at the desk.

alevellife

My first full-time job was working in a custom frame shoppe. I learned so many life skills with that job. Every cut of the frame, glass and mat was based on precision, and performed by hand. We relied on math for it to fit together perfectly.

When cutting the mat to go around the picture, we’d leave 1/2 an inch more mat at the bottom. Once in the frame, the mat looked equal on every side, but adding that 1/2 an inch at the bottom is what made it look even to the naked eye.

Thanks to that job, I have a keen sense of awareness in being centered. I lay that little level in the picture above on everything. After hanging a picture, it gets the level laid on it.

If you feel off centered, or unbalanced, start at the core and then take in your surroundings. The core craves balance, but our surroundings can have a negative effect on that. It could be something like a picture hanging crooked, or a piece of furniture that’s been knocked off center.

Our wood floor has a flow of the grain, so all the rectangular tables in our home are pointing in that direction. They are flowing with the grain in the wood floor, along with the center of the house which is like a long rectangular core.

Find a small level and lay it on all the areas of your life.

My hope for you is to live a level life.

Creating That Space

Last November, I went to the lake near my home and sat down to just stare at the water. I knew there was too much on my plate, but had forgotten, I’m the one holding the spoon.

My daily life was full of unfulfilling acts. Life is designed to be fulfilling, but my actions were fulfilling a need in others, and draining me. It’s been a gradual process beginning in January.

balance

I sat down at the lake craving calm. This stack of rocks was sitting to my right, and I wanted my life to be as Zen as this moment. I wondered where the rocks came from, but saw it as a divine appointment. They were sitting there, so I would see them. In the stillness, I heard three words, ‘Scrape your plate.’

I was raised in an era where I was responsible for everything I put on my plate. At dinner Mama would watch as we scooped out large portions of mashed potatoes, or took one too many slices of ham. She never forced us to eat everything she offered, but she expected us to eat what we took out.

Before leaving the table she’d say, “Clean your plate.”

She was never angry if I didn’t eat everything, but she wanted me to learn the value of her time. I learned to take out what I knew I could eat, and go back for seconds if still hungry, but I lost that lesson somewhere along the way. We control the spoon.

I’d help clear the table, and Mama would open the kitchen trashcan, point to it and say, ‘Scrape your plate’.

There’s a balance to life, but also a timing.

As soon as the new year began, I knew what needed to be scraped. Some people would be upset, and others disappointed, but I’d get through it. Anything I laid my hand to that wasn’t fulfilling got removed from the plate. By the end of June my plate was clean, except for my one job taking up adequate space.

And I haven’t picked up another spoon. Finding that space.

jamesclear

This is in continuation of Finding That Balance.

A Better Way to Live~Day 8

There was a time when I was so busy all the time that it seemed I had a full life. Then I learned the following lesson. There is a big difference between ‘full’, and ‘fulfilled’.

Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busy work. No more hiding from success. Leave time and space to grow.

 

On a  continual basis, I glance at my platter of life.

Does it look like it was overloaded at a recent buffet, or is everything evenly distributed? The goal is for everything to fit, but not run together. Some helpings may be a little larger than others, but it’s what my daily life consists of, and I want it to be balanced.

Sometimes things ease onto my plate and it starts getting overcrowded. With that, one of two things will happen. I look closely at my plate and make sure I like what I see. If something has been there a while and not appetizing anymore, it may be time to remove it and make room for something new.

It works best for me to remove something and pray about embracing the new, opposed to continually piling on. If I look at my plate and everything is balanced, working in sync and complimenting one another, then it’s time to say ‘No’ to adding anymore for now. One of the perks of adulthood, because it’s your life.

Savor every bite.

 

Quote is from, “A Better Way to Live”, by Og Mandino