Ordinary Perfection

I heard a saying a while ago – “You see the world as you are”. Simple words yet difficult to remember and practice. 

There are times  when I feel energized and inspired by the seemingly ordinary and at other times I don’t even recognize it because I am distracted by life’s many noises.  The other day as I was running, I came across this flower eking out an existence in one of the most obscure places. 

It helped me to appreciate that there is perfection and beauty in those ordinary moments and ordinary places.  Clarity happens often when I run – it helps me to ‘take out the trash’ ( Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior)

Finding something you love and placing all of your focus in it, opens you up to new experiences that were always there.  My post from earlier this year called Remember Silence alludes to those perfect moments – the quiet ones.  Perhaps it’s all about getting in the habit of leaving life’s distractions and noises behind and focus on those activities we love that gets us closer to ordinary perfection :).

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Living Dreams

My posts are infrequent but my thoughts are constant.  One of those thoughts that keep coming back to me hit me while I was running yesterday.  While running westward and watching the sun set below the Rocky mountains I realized how easy it truly is to live a happy and full life.  It all comes down to perspective, attitude and recognition of the perfect ordinary moments in our lives.

The simple words of Martin Luther King Jr. – “I have a dream” back in 1963 came to me and I thought of my dream.  The dream was grand, and the dream was perfect and the dream was simple and it went something like this:

“I have a dream that I can become the dad my children look up to. I have a dream that I can become the husband that loves and supports unconditionally. I have a dream that I can accept and learn from the experiences of my parents. I have a dream that I can become a best friend to my brother.  I have a dream that I can live with passion, honesty and integrity with everything I do.  I have a dream that I can love life, capture its wisdom, harness it, share it, learn from it and contribute to the lives of others.  I have a dream.”

I came across a tune other day that helped me to appreciate the fact that I am living my dreams.

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“Have a great day. Make some magic.”

I arrived at Disney World the other morning and I was told “Have a great day, make some magic.”. For the rest of that day I was left with a positive feeling wondering if I too could get away with saying that at work or in the morning to my wife and kids? How we greet each other and what we hear, feel and experience in the morning so often sets the tone for the rest of the day and I think Disney has it down to a science. Down to the janitor that cleans the washrooms there are people who feel part of that magic, part of the fulfilling purpose of serving others.

I am going to take inventory of those things that set my day in the right direction (and those that don’t) and try to ensure there is a little more magic in my days :).

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Merge or Yield?

Merge or Yield?

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Ever drive down the highway and experience the indecision of whether to merge or yield? A few weeks ago that analogy make perfect sense in my life. I had been yielding and letting others go first, allowing the will of friends and colleagues to take precedence over my own life goals. Call it kindness or fear but my inability to merge in, take control and set my direction kept me further from my life purpose I have often referred to in other blogs.

Next time you’re driving and you come up on a merge, take it, jump into the flow and set your direction. You may find you get there faster :).

How to Save a Life

I scan news headlines everyday. It beats listening or watching to the gloom and doom on radio or TV. I can choose when and how I want to be informed. I came across a story that struck a cord in me the other day.  A 7-year old boy was suffering from a rare disease and needed a bone marrow match. As a result, a bone marrow swab clinic was being held at a nearby university. There was no question, I had to make this in hopes of helping this child or someone else (apparently your screening is entered in a worldwide database).

In this ‘perceived’ busy world and busy life, we quickly and easily forget how precious life is and what truly is important. As I referred to in an earlier blog when I was in perfect silence – I realized that living without the moments of pure “silence” takes us away from the perfect, true and honest moments – the ones with perspective. Reading that article put me back into the perfect silence – where my perspective was clear and my purpose of going to the swab clinic was unwaivering.

I went to the swab clinic and I may save a life one day.  Not bad for wisdom in the moment and taking action when inspired by perspective!

For more information on bone marrow donations you can go here to One Match.

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Remember Silence?

I was away for the weekend in Lake Louise a week ago.   There were piles of snow.  It was a weekend without kids and a weekend to refuel.  I had a day of cross-country skiing, a massage at the spa and good food and drink – all wonderful.  The one added bonus that really refueled me more than anything else was the unexpected silence I experienced when skiing.  

Skiing!

Silent Skiing

As cliché as it sounds, the silence was deafening.  It was me, my thoughts and the rhythmic glide of my skis on snow in one of the most beautiful parks in the country.  Perfect. 
The weekend is over but the lesson still lingers.  It took a weekend away and a few $$ to experience the most simplest of pleasures – silence.    
How often do you experience silence?
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iPod Shuffle Wisdom

Ever throw your MP3 player or iPod on shuffle?  Ever wonder if there is any higher power involved when you hear just the right set of songs for the right time?  Driving home the other tonight with my iPhone on shuffle confirmed that for me.

I was tired after a long day of work and for my drive home I decided to put my music on shuffle rather than listen again to the latest album by The National (I have been infatuated with it lately – so good!).   The music I heard was just the right mix of upbeat music to get me centered and motivated again before getting home to see the family.

If you are tired or needing a little motivation or perhaps some some answers to those questions floating through your mind, try putting your music on shuffle and see what the ‘shuffle gods’ reveal to you.  🙂

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Second Chances

I mentioned before that I don’t believe in luck but I do believe in the power of choice.  I believe that at every moment of our lives we can choose to be genuinely honest with ourselves and those around us.  The more we choose to live genuinely, the greater fulfillment we get from our lives and the closer we get to living our life purpose (“There’s no higher purpose than service to others” – Dan Millman).

The passing of a close uncle of mine this week has left me with a sense of loneliness.  Loneliness that he has moved on but happiness for having witnessed him live a genuinely loving life.  A life  purpose fulfilled. 

At times of grief, families and friends get together and for a few moments all congregate for the purpose of remembering a life.  This can for some however, be a time of sorrow and regret. 

I read an article this week from an absolutely fantastic magazine called Ode Magazine called “Buy Now, Pay Later…Be grateful for all life’s second chances.”  I have attached it here:

Buy now, pay later – Be greatful for all life’s second chances

The message of the article told me to never feel like it’s too late to live genuinely, to listen to the voice inside you and to act upon it when heard.  There is much in the world we cannot explain and there is much more we probably cannot fix however we can choose to try, in whatever way we can – this is what I tell myself tonight.



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Blue Monday? Seriously?

I wore a blue shirt to work today….

Little did I know that it was also Blue Monday.  I guess the Blue Monday thing has been around since 2005.  

TODAY IS THE MOST DEPRESSING DAY OF THE YEAR. 

Little did know I was supposed to be depressed today!  Thankfully I have this important new holiday to remind me :).  I had to Google this to find out what it was all about.  Wikipedia states that Blue Monday is ” a name given to a date stated, as part of a publicity campaign by Sky Travel, to be the most depressing day of the year.”  Check it out here.  The date was supposedly determined by a mathematical equation.  The doomed Monday falls on the Monday of the last full week of January – (whoever told that it was today was wrong :))  In case some of you math gurus want to see here is the equation:

\frac{[W + D-d] T^Q}{M N_a}

where weather=W, debt=d, time since Christmas=T, time since failing our new year’s resolutions=Q, low motivational levels=M and the feeling of a need to take action=Na. ‘D’ is not defined in the release, nor are units.

I heard a great phrase yesterday – “you see the world as you are”.    Each of us can see, experience and act upon the world around us as we feel at this very moment.  This is why positive thinking is so powerful (there are tons of books on the stuff – just check out your local bookstore for proof!). 

So when you wake up, go to work and someone tells you “hey, its Blue Monday” (even if they got their Monday’s mixed up) just think they must be talking about the weather! 🙂  Let’s make the choice on how we view the world today instead of the calendar telling us.

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Life lessons in Music?

I get inspired from music.  I also believe I was largely taught many life lessons by music.  I remember when I got my first radio / cassette player.  I couldn’t have been any older than 6 or 7.  It was a silver, narrow upright model.  I can’t remember the brand name but I am pretty sure it was a no name model.  I tried to Google an image for a late 1970’s AM/FM cassette player but nothing familiar turned up (you get the idea I am sure).  

As a child, I listened to music incessantly; I remember Casey Kasem’s American top 40, local radio rock stations in Montreal and of course CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – public radio).  Many songs of course had themes of love lost, hard times, and others of personal triumphs.  I learned the words to many of those songs not knowing the meaning behind them.  As I got older, the words to some of those songs stuck with me and the meanings of them slowly revealed themselves as I matured and could relate to them. 

I made many road trips with my parents growing up.  Their car had an 8-track player.  It had a mixture of music ranging from Simon and Garfunkel to ABBA and was heavy on the country music side.  I remember singing along in the car to many country songs.

 

My son (age 5) now has his own MP3 player and he too listens to music a lot!  His night time routine is to play his music before he goes to bed.  I often hear it still playing long after he has fallen asleep.  I managed to find a picture of his player. 



 I find it remarkable how quickly kids pick up the words to song.  My son is in a French emersion school and many of his lessons are learning through music.  He learned the days of the week, his letters and numbers in French by singing them.  I can’t believe I remember this – but here is a an old clip from the TV show “Happy Days” that shows how some people learn better with music (10 minutes):

 I need to put more thought into his music list.  His playlist currently has a mixture of children’s song in English and French as well as a couple of Celtic and top 40 tunes.  I will post an update shortly with a list of his music – I also welcome any suggestions! 🙂

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