In a recent staff meeting with the Zen Habits Team, it was suggested for each of us to go through one of Leo’s courses like a student would. I chose his ‘Beautiful Mornings’ course. I love waking up early and seeing the first light of day, but to do that and feel rested, I needed to reel in my bedtime.
In the course Leo’s asks that we implement something into our morning to make it more beautiful. There’s a book that’s been laying on my bedside table for years. You can tell by the cover it’s been well used, and the pages aren’t as bright, white as they once were, but it’s been laying there waiting to be used some more frequently. I’ve re-inserted it into my morning and praying over my adult children.
Most mornings I wake up and my mind begins rolling through the day, but last year I promised myself I’d ‘watch the day unfold‘. Being in need of more practice, I’m sticking with it this year. There’s one thing I feel the need to do before anything else, (even coffee), and that is to spend time with God.
No matter how the day unfolds, or what I see on my plate, by putting Him first I’m trusting His plan instead of mine. When it comes down to it lovely, the only reminder I need today is, I am second.
I’ve not found the right time exists to do anything worthwhile. Sometimes we get caught up waiting for the right time, but that’s a long, unproductive wait. My quality of writing can reflect my mood, so I like to ensure I’m in a good headspace before clicking the publish button.
God, I will take care of the quantity. You take care of the quality.
My friend and I continue to Marco Polo every week. She’s a writer as well, but we have different styles. We share this one secret to sitting down and enjoying what we write, and I’m here to share it with you. Write before work.
It sounds easy, but I’m dedicated to my work, so it doesn’t take long for the inner critic to start in on me not to write. I’ll have nonsense thoughts similar to, “You’ve got so much work on your plate today, and need to do that first”, or “You have people looking for you that need your help.” The inner critic will make any daily activity seem more pertinent than writing.
My friend and I’ve found if we dive into our work/job before writing, we won’t write that day. I can force myself to write after work, but it’s not fun, and it usually gets trashed. Writing should be fun, so I write before work.
If you go to work early, try getting up a bit earlier to write. There’s no need to agree with our thoughts that we don’t have the time when we can make the time. Plan on it and create some space to write. By taking time, you’re inviting it to be the right time.
I was texting with a friend while she was getting ready for work, and wanted to wish her a good day. The words clicked along the tiny keyboard as, “I hope your day is filled with grace and space.” Those words reminded me of my friend Dawn, who uses them as her tagline when signing off.
Today hasn’t gone as planned. My landlord scheduled his handyman for today to make some much needed repairs. I don’t know if you remember our dog Winnie, but I’ve mentioned how people make her anxious, especially if they enter her house. I placed her on a lead, walking her with me around the house, but she knows that means someone’s coming in.
I wasn’t able to get much work done sitting at the kitchen table. The handyman was walking from room to room, in and out of the front door, and his power tools made unfamiliar noises. I decided to step into my bedroom just to have some space to breathe, with Winnie in tow. She relaxed and immediately hopped up on my bed which is a treat for her.
I grabbed my laptop and sat down with her. As I’m typing there’s a lot of loud noises coming from the other room, but from where I sit, you can hear the rain coming to a halt. There’s a Cardinal eating birdseed outside the window and heat is coming through the vent to ensure we stay warm. I’m suddenly not worried about what’s not getting done and instead realizing what this day has to offer.
It seems all we really needed was to step into some grace and space.
Since publishing All or Nothing, I’ve been practicing holding the pose in that ‘in between’ area of life. Walking the ‘fine line’, between all or nothing.
Monday, I was driving to get a haircut and the CD player switched CD’s to a teaching I hadn’t heard in years. I didn’t remember having preacher/teacher CD’s loaded in the player, so I listened while I drove. He was talking about the ‘eventually’s’, and how the dreams in our heart come to pass eventually. It’s always God’s timing and not ours, so therein lies the in between.
I was asked to partake in a new position with one of my jobs, and went through some of the training videos to prepare for it. Then, December rolled around which is the busiest time of year for most, and the training stopped. The new position is just hanging in mid air waiting for the man I work with to pop it back into my court. If the position is meant for me, it’ll come back around, but sometimes God will test our willingness to walk in a different direction.
Show me a direction and I’ll show you a decision has been made.
It’s still warm here in Texas, but I’m keeping an eye on the Hibiscus. It’s sitting outside blooming in December, but will come indoors if the temps drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and remain there. This plant has taught me a lot this year and I want to protect it to learn more from it next year. You’d think full bloom would be my favorite part of this plant, but recently it’s been the in between. The bud begins to open then decides to enjoy the space of halfway there.
As you can see my darling, there is beauty in the in between.
Walking to a neighbors house, I saw another neighbor who asked, “Walking down to the lake?” I replied, “No sir, I’m going to get fresh eggs.” He looked rather puzzled and replied, “You need a golf cart to scoot around in. It’s easier.” I just ginned and said, “But Dan, I don’t do easy.” He chuckled.
My daughter brought home flowers and it was the most magical bouquet I’d seen in years. They were freshly cut, wrapped in brown paper and when she handed them to me I could feel the weight of them. There was a florist card laying inside I didn’t recognize, so she went on to reveal the whole story.
She had stopped at the market I frequent for flowers, but didn’t see anything that spoke to her, so on she went to a flower shop she knew I loved. The lady inside told her to walk into the cooler and pick out what she wanted. I can imagine the look on my daughters face walking into a cooler filled with flowers. I’m sure it was overwhelming in the most delightful way.
She chose a few of my utmost favorites. A couple of long-stemmed roses, daylilies, a few gladiolas, and the most ginormous hydrangea blossom known to man. She remembered I like greenery to be used as filler.
She was holding a paper bag from the market as well with chocolate cold brew and Brie en Croute. You see, she just wanted to stop time that day amidst our schedules and celebrate her sober Mom. It was my AA birthday, and I don’t very cry often, but with all of this the tears were near.
I’m sure there’s a much easier way to buy flowers, but my darling, fill it with meaning and go the extra mile.
He wrote I drive your truck, sang by Lee Brice. My daughter wants to cry when she hears that song. Maybe because I drive a truck and don’t ever see selling it. Me-Trying to outlive my Ford F150. 😂
This song is about finding God in the everyday. There’s a man in recovery named Mark Goodson, who publishes an extraordinary Blogpost once a month called The Miracle of the Mundane, and like Mark I find God more often in the mundane than anywhere else. Mark sees the miracle in eating a bowl of cereal in peace because he has small children. Recently he wrote about Faith that you can read here, but I love how simply Mark sums it up.
Faith makes anything possible. But more importantly, faith makes what’s most important certain.
When this post publishes, my week off will have officially began. God has been tapping me on the forehead for this time off and like Mark said, my Faith made it certain. God also knows reminders get my attention, so just in case I needed one, it showed up Friday afternoon. My daughters dog Winnie was sitting near the kitchen just watching me stare out the window trying to process a work related issue. I returned her gaze and called her @winnie.
That’s the type person I’ve always been. Sitting here covering a blank page with thoughts, this page began as a title sitting in drafts waiting for some love.
When I was taking care of the yard this summer, I’d water all of the flowers whether they needed it or not. My daughter would look at a new plant and exclaim, “Thrive or die!” 😂 While some needed water directly, others would catch the overflow from the rain head and receive a little anyway, but with me holding the hose, there wasn’t a time where a flower received absolutely nothing.
I’ve been thinking about taking some time off from work and received the greenlight from my Team to do so next week. Friends are already asking, “What are you going to do with your week off, or what do you have planned?” My response has been, “Absolutely nothing”. I have some things in mind, but it’s mainly little things I’ve pushed aside while working.
I want to sit on my bench in front of the fire pit with a steaming cup of coffee and tend a fire. I want to drop notes in the mail to friends and have ordered some cards with each person in mind. I might give the bathroom a thorough cleaning because it’s been wiped down each week, but it needs some love. The only thing on my calendar for next week is a date with a man who I’ve put off meeting over work.
I want to find that fine line between all or nothing and sit there for a while. To quiet the mind and let my heart lead the way because the past few month’s personal lovefest has resembled nothing. That’s the thing about love my darlings. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
It’s a word often used and I’ve been thinking about it all year. I’m practicing ways to be more intentional with connectedness. Case in point, my friend Dawn over at Aging with Grace.
Around a month ago, she published a post about a book she came across on her bookshelf and was going to read again. The name of the book is Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. While reading Dawn’s blogpost, I spotted that same book on my shelf collecting dust, so I wiped it off and vowed to begin reading it as well.
It’s a daily read, so I leave it laying out in pain sight. When my world gets still, I sit down and read it, knowing she’s read the same page. I’m sure the time of day we read varies as I picture Dawn reading it first thing in the morning with a cup of tea. That would be the proper way and I learn from Dawn the proper way to do things.
But that’s in my mind’s eye, maybe she’s more like me in having to make an appointment with myself to sit down and read it.
This morning as I strolled through the house, I realized it’s a workday and the schedule for today began rolling through my mind. I pressed the pause button on it and made a cup of coffee. Once the cup was complete, I went to my corner, sat in the chair, and picked up the book. Turning to today’s page and reading it over while sipping my magical brew gave me a full sense of connectedness.
What we have on our plate can wait while we share a moment of connectedness.
Click here to enjoy Dawn’s original post entitled, “Abundance Isn’t Always Simple.” She’s a soul filled Writer. 💖
The stereo is dusty in more ways than one. I turned on some music this week for the first time since posting a Feel the Music two months ago. It was surprising to see that it’s been that long, but time seems to going by at warp speed. On Friday’s I look forward to the weekend and reclaiming some time.
Turning on the stereo, I changed the channel from country to random music to hear something lively. I was in the kitchen making brunch when I realized I could barely hear it and it needed to be a little bit louder. I did something monumental yesterday by changing the batteries in the stereo’s remote! 😂It wasn’t surprising they were dead because I couldn’t recall using the remote this year.
Stepping into the den, I picked up the remote and pressed volume up, just in time to hear this song begin to play.
I haven’t heard it in years, but my body remembered it and started dancing. In that moment the tiredness from the week was gone and I felt energized as I danced my way back into the kitchen to continue preparing my meal. Pretty soon I was singing and dancing which made me thankful to be home alone. The dogs didn’t seem to mind and continued on with their napping.
Sitting here this morning I see a need to use the remote control more often and dance. Turn the volume up and let your body feel the music.
I was perplexed by these three words displayed on my momentum plugin. It was early Sunday morning, and not enough coffee had been consumed, but I felt like I should know what this means.
Google and I had a conversation. Me: “Hey Google! What does eat the frog mean?” Google replies, “Eat that Frog technique delivers an important message that says if people wish to be successful in their lives, then they have to take immediate, and necessary actions without overthinking too much. According to Brian Tracy, Eat That Frog tactic should be implemented first thing in the morning.”
My momentum plugin needs to tell me that on Monday, not a Sunday. Up until this week, I was taking Monday’s off, but our Team has expanded. There’s a lot of activity in Basecamp on Monday’s and I tried to ignore it, but I can either be a part of it, or play catchup on Tuesday’s. I chose to be a Team player and be present on Monday’s. That way I can give immediate response to who needs what.
I’ll have a normal work week of Monday through Friday with Zen Habits! My other job will take a little bit of weekend time, but we’re going back to Self Care Sunday. Monday will be our designated day to eat the frog.