Monthly Archives: September 2009

Pushing the shopping cart

I love to do chores. The laundry. The grocery shopping. Cooking. I find joy in all of it. Just last week, as I was grocery shopping and during other various errands before I got home from work, I was pushing my grocery cart down the aisle, and felt this smile of joy come across my face.

For me, grocery shopping rocks.

That is because, it is one of the many tasks in life that are part of who I am and what I do. I try to make it my business to find joy in every task that I undertake. Even those that are basic, run of the mill tasks that we may find mundane or an annoyance, they are where the joy can be found. For, finding the joy in every task of our day is how we squeeze every bit of joy and life, out of this life that we live.

Sure, I admire those that travel the globe, that write novels, that are able to speak to people the world over. But, I am able to cook for my family, sit around the dinner table, feed my pets, walk my dog, and shop and run errands. And, that is joyful to me.

Some days I am tired. Some days, the thought of doing what needs to be done is daunting. But, I just put one foot in front of the other, step by step, when the energy escapes me. And sure enough, joy comes from it and to it.

At the end of the work day, when I anticipate going to the college 25 miles from my office to teach for a couple of hours, after staring at the computer all day, that can be exhausting just thinking about it. Yet, once I get in that classroom, and students start to get engaged and talking, I know where it is that I belong, and where the joy can be found.

We don’t need to be world travellers or explorers outside of our everyday environment to find the joy that is in our lives. That joy is there, all along.

Even while pushing the grocery cart.

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YOU are are Unique and Universal……

Depending on the day of the week, I find that I feel more firmly connected to my unique nature, or to how much I am connected with others. More often than not recently, I find myself with a foot in both worlds at the same time.

I am acutely aware on most days of how unique I truly am. Most of the time, I feel sort of freakish in how unique that I am. I feel reminded by the world around on almost a daily basis of how different my thinking is from most of those around me. I am loving. I am trusting. I believe inherently in the good of all people. I believe in living my life openly and truthfully. I try to be a good person in all situations. I strive for justice. I care about animals, friends, family, and those around me. I think often about my dreams, goals and aspirations. I believe that I am awesome and want to rock my purpose and hug the whole world.

I am unique. And, so are you.

Yet, I am also universal. I am connected to all around me. When I hear the story of a person’s hardship, or triumph, or struggle against adversity, I am inspired, or overwhelmed, by it. I feel a strong bond and connection to the world around me, or to others around the world. Through this miracle of blogging, and for me, it is sort of a miracle, I have connected with other like minded persons who have been waiting to meet others that think in much the same way. I believe that if someone in another land is subject to war, or is hungry, or has no shelter, than that affects me also. I am connected deeply to the earth, to animals, to life of all kinds. I don’t like snakes much, but grieve for the ones that are killed on the road by my home. It is a life lost. I deeply appreciate the night sky, the stars that seem to float above me, that shine and sometimes, hide behind the clouds. I watch the moon in awe, and when it sits low in the sky I am enamoured. When the sun rises and sets, and the sky announces its arrival, it is magical and powerful all at once. I am a child of the earth and I rarely forget that fact.

There are so many moments of our lives, when we have to focus on what it is we need or want at the time, when our individual needs are the focus for us. Our unique nature is what captures our attention. However, that isn’t all there is to us, ever.

We are part of the fabric of life. We are forever connected to other people, places and things that may be far from where we are right now on the planet. For, even though we may be far from those persons, or those things or places, they are a part of us. Ubuntu: I am because you are.

I am. That is true. But, I also am because of you, in spite of you, with you in good and in bad.

We are all connected, our energies, our spirits, our souls. We carry an energy force within us that is ignited and kept alive by the universal energy that exists. We really are never alone.

I often think on the fact that I know definitively that I will meet my friends that I have met through blogging someday, live and in person. We will embrace; we will share that energy with one another that right now is only shared through the written word. We will have moments of joy and relief, knowing that we are not alone in this world.

Remember, always and in every moment that you are able, that you are unique, and universal, all in one.

Ubuntu.

“No dream is bigger than the dreamer…….”

I recently read this quote, and I cannot remember for the life of me where I read it. But, by goodness, is it ever true. I am fairly certain I have not always realized this to be true, but I know now how true it actually is.

For much of my adult life, heck, teen life as well, I took my dreams away from myself. At least, the really BIG ones. Sure, I finished high school, with fairly good grades. I was accepted to two good colleges, and attended one that gave me a fabulous education. I went on to earn a Master’s degree, get some great jobs, including a dream job at my alma mater, met the love of my life, and had our child.

So, I can’t say that my dreams in my life have not come true.

However, somewhere along the line, I decided that to dream too big wasn’t very realistic. That to focus on those larger than life dreams didn’t pay the rent, or take care of my baby in the middle of the night, or get me to work on time. After all, I had so much awesomeness going on in my life, what did I need bigger dreams for, anyway?

Fast forward, 2007. That seemed to be the onset of a new way of thinking for me and my life, and my bigger than life dreams. So much went on in my life in that year, so much heartbreak, and so much joy. In that year, among other lessons that I was forced to learn, I was able to start realizing that no matter what else was going on in my life, my dreams and desires were important.

Simply, because they were important to me.

My dreams, my larger than life dreams, you see, are not larger than my life. They are meant for me to go forward and to fulfill them. And, I am not the exception here. I may be unique, but I am not special when it comes to the realization of my dreams. We all have that capacity, even I would say, that RESPONSIBILITY to realize our big dreams.

And, to do that, to go after those dreams that we feel most drawn to, that speak to our souls so deeply, is not selfish. It does not mean we care only for ourselves and no one else. It shows that we indeed, love ourselves deeply enough to be happy, and to go toward those things that will bring that happiness and joy, to call to us so deeply within that we cannot quench the passion and energy which that dream stirs.

I have no idea what my biggest dreams are going to look like in detail; the parts that I do see, the glimpses that come to me at various times of the day, involve groups of people, ones that I have deep conversations with, that I am hugging, that I am shedding tears with. Ones that I tell that all will be okay; that show me pictures of their children and grandchildren. They are talking to me about my book, and about my call to others to pay it forward and take care of their fellow living beings.

That dream, and all that comes with it, is no bigger than I am, and that means, it is within my reach.

So is yours.

NEM idol!

Okay, now I don’t know if this is REALLY going to happen, but I think I am auditioning to be a speaker at the rally during the National Equality March on October 11, 2009. For those of you that don’t know, the National Equality March, and rally, is being held for the first time this year, in order to bring as many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender persons and their families, friends and allies together, to advocate for full, equal, civil, marriage rights. There is no more time to be patient; now is the time to act.

As part of this historic event, which by the way is being held at the same time as the annual Coming Out Day, there will be speakers to address the thousands of persons that are anticipated as attending. And, as part of that energy, people have been invited to audition to be a speaker there, persons that have energy, passion, have a devotion to the LGBT community and its needs, and who want to speak out about it.

Well, let’s see: I have energy, no doubt. Passion, without questions. Devotion? Well, I have been working toward inclusion and understanding for years now, through training, and educating others, including most recently, the church that my family and I attend. I think I am qualified.

But, the question is: do I have the courage to do this? Sure, there could be thousands that try for this, so my chances of being chosen are slim. However, I am willing to try anyway, but what if I were chosen, what then???? Thinking about it makes my stomach feel funny, though I am not sure if that is butterflies of excitement or waves of nausea in anticipation.

What I need to do to try out for this is two things: First, draft a speech of that which I would like to say to get people energized and full of hope to go forward. Then, I have to film myself giving that speech, and send it off to the organizers. They will pick a group of finalists, whose videos will be uploaded onto Youtube and then voted on; whoever gets the most hits, wins!!

I will keep you all posted, and I will probably post my speech at some point, but the thing is, that feels more challenging to me than actually speaking in front of people……

How do I say in three minutes or less how this journey of identity and coming out has brought me to my self, like nothing else in my life? How speaking up and speaking out is now the only way that I can be? How marrying the love of my life would be one of the most anticipated moments for me? How valued and beloved I feel by the Universe, God, and so many persons I have met, who have felt rejected much of their lives?

There is so much in my heart and soul that needs to be said, that should be said, when it comes to equality, love, and justice. Because, that is what this is about, more than love, more than civil rights or pride, is justice, doing the right thing.

Fairness for all.

Wish me luck!!!!

Storytellers

Several weeks ago, we rescued a beagle.  Our new addition, Alice, literally walked into our yard, and our lives, uninvited.  However, she made it very clear that she planned on staying.  We knew nothing about her, she had no tags, and the only person that we knew that had had any contact with her, was our friend, the dog rescuer, around the corner.  Alice had ended up at her kennel, just two days before, with no story of where she came from or who she had lived with.


It was all a mystery, at least for the time being.

 

What we told our rescuer friend that day, is that even though she did not know Alice’s story, we knew that Alice would tell us her story over time.  She would show us and bark to us and let us know where she had come from and what she had been through.  And, so she has.  Through various behaviors, reactions, temperaments, and her speed of learning, we have discovered a lot of her history, through her eyes, her language, and her perspective.

 

We all have stories, the stories of our lives.  We don’t have to sit down and be autobiographical about it, although that is for some, and with all good wishes to do so.  The stories of lives aren’t reserved just for those that take the time to write about those lives for others to read.  We all tell our stories, every day, in everything that we say, do, think, and believe. 

 

For me, I tell my story of my life in a variety of ways.  I tell my story through time with my family of origin, by their sharing of stories with me, and remembering my roots.  I tell my story by the way in which I raise our daughter, and the values that I instill in her.  I tell my story through my love, respect, and hope in man and womankind, in knowing that others deserve to be everything that they deserve to be.  I tell my story by being open, truthful and sincere about all my aspects of self.

 

And, I tell my story by finding more out about my own story every day, by looking within, seeking answers, and wanting to live in the light of truth, love, hope, and mutual understanding.

 

My story is no more important than yours, my co workers, or my child’s story.  It is one of the billions in this world.  But, it is my story alone, that is made up of me with so many others that I have met along the way, and even if I am not sure of the ending, I am sure enjoying creating every, juicy chapter that comes along. 

 

How do you tell the story of your life?  Is it fiction or nonfiction?  And, who you want to be the full author of that story? 

 

Think about it.

 

I dedicate this post to my blogging friend Tiny Dancer.  She has inspired the last couple of posts and I appreciate her perspective so much!!!!