ReBoot

New Year Resolutions.

Do you make them?

Does the thought

even run

vaguely

through

your mind?

For weeks

the word

“REBOOT”

has been

getting my attention.

Living in an

electronic world,

how often

do we need

to reboot a device.

That may mean

going back to the program

which

for some reason

needs to be

refreshed!

So,

I am adopting

that idea

for my new year.

I am going

to begin

by

becoming

more aware

of

being judgmental

of myself and others.

If I begin

to be aware

of being

less critical

of myself,

I hope

that

I can

catch

myself

being judgmental

of others.

Kindness

for myself.

Kindness

for others.

Inside Out, Outside In

We may judge

others’

outsides

from our own

insides.

Do we look

at others

as calm,

in control,

on top of things?

For many people,

it takes

a lot of

effort

to put

themselves

together.

What you see

is the result

of that effort,

not

the challenge

of

getting there.

When I have been

more willing

to reveal

some of my

inner feelings,

the

result can be

closer

relationships.

Good Enough

After decades

of trying

to be perfect,

to make things

perfect,

GOOD ENOUGH

is more comfortable

and

more realistic.

It makes me

more patient

with myself

and

with

others, too.

Perfection is

an impossible goal.

GOOD ENOUGH

isn’t

settling.

I am still

learning

that.

LivingLinesReflections

Milestones

Tomorrow

is

my birthday.

Decades declare milestones.

At certain ages

there can be

the realization

that there are fewer

years ahead

than

already lived.

Mid-life

it is called.

Demographers

and cultural observers

 now offer

more gradations than

young,

middle aged

and old.

Early middle age,

middle age

late middle age.

At what point

does your category

become early old age?

Are you in

middle old age

and when

really old age?

For some,

lifespans

extend into the ninth and

even tenth decade.

When Social Security

was made available

at 65,

people weren’t

expected to live

much beyond that.

For some,

there can be

many decades

beyond

that mark.

How to live

these years,

whatever they are called?

Wisdom

offers

the suggestion

to shed

as we age.

Things,

images of ourself,

expectations,

hopes,

dreams,

disappointments.

Shedding

seems to say

that

growth stops

at some point.

Adults

we are.

Approaching

this birthday,

I am beginning

to understand

that letting go

is a better perspective

of what no longer

serves me.

Traveling

lighter,

I

hope

I

am

Growing

Into

Older

Age.

Learning,

growing.

Shifting gears,

slows me

to follow

the Inner Light

to savor

each moment,

each friend,

loved one

and stranger.

Sometimes the

Light

offers

a clear path.

Sometimes

intuition

brings

me on the path

I cannot

see

in this moment.

Treasure in the Mail

Two inches

of mail

awaited

after time away.

Standing by the trash bin,

catalog after catalog,

three of the same,

campaign

requests,

no idea how

my address and name

on their lists.

Snail mail

names and addresses

are sold.

Annoying

and wasteful,

all of it!

A few bills,

still paid by check,

marketing circulars,

trash, trash,

Trees

wasted

in making the paper.

Nestled

in the pile

was a small envelope

hand-printed.

Smiling,

excited,

I opened it

gently.

Inside

a thank you

note,

from

our newly

nine year old

grandchild.

Treasure.

Thank you words

by e-mail

or snail mail,

so rare

these days.

I keep

these special

thoughts,

sometimes displayed

perhaps tucked in

my top drawer

for discovery,

in a week,

months later,

or

when the year

has passed and

the next

arrives.

Always

grateful.

Treasures of gratitude.

Thank you.

Look at Gratefulness.org

THOUGHT LEADER

Thought Leaders

are especially

important

during times of

Disruptive Innovation,

a concept

used in

this time

when things

aren’t working

and ways of thinking and doing

must be changed.

Since Pope Francis was chosen,

he has become a

powerful

THOUGHT LEADER.

From his first moments

Pope Francis

showed his

humility

asking for us

to pray for him.

He chose

simple garments,

comfortable black shoes,

paid his own hotel bill,

moved into a

simple apartment.

During Holy Week,

he washed the feet of the poor,

not all Catholics.

He told priests

to be merciful and compassionate

 towards those who are divorced

women who have had

abortions.

When asked about homosexuals,

he replied,

“Who am I to judge?”

Smiling,

he loves everyone

and in return,

he is loved.

The rules have not necessarily changed,

but the

TONE

has completely.

This change in tone is

Francis’

greatest achievement,

and it is HUGE!

In this

political season,

candidates

could learn

because Pope Francis

is an astute politician

in the best sense of the word.

As a South American

he sees the entrenched Vatican

as needing to be cleaned up,

finances and favoritism,

swept out.

Reflecting

compassion.

the tone,

the message

is that God is a God

of LOVE,

not JUDGMENT.

The Church’s role

is to make God

accessible.

Coming to the United States,

his first trip to North America,

he will speak

at the United Nations,

address Congress,

say Mass in Madison Square Garden.

Popular entertainers will

engage people,

using their words and music

to

open up people’s senses

to the music of their hearts.

Disruptive Innovation.

Bring it on!

Synchroncity and Opportunity

I see

synchronicity

In

the shocking murder of

nine people

in a Bible class

at the AME Emmanuel Church

in Atlanta

by a young white supremacist ,

many retailers no longer

selling Confederate flags,

the decision in Georgia

and other states

to remove the

Confederate flag

from public display.

President Obama’s

moving eulogy,

words moving into

singing

Amazing Grace with

all joining in.

Conjecture, publicity

To Kill a Mockingbird

 Harper Lee’s beloved book and movie

told by young Scout

seeing her father Atticus

through a child’s eyes.

The much anticipated

release of the

old, discovered

first book

taking place twenty years later.

Go Set A Watchman,

portraying Atticus

in a segregated  town,

challenged by a

climate, calling, demanding

equal rights for blacks and white.

An Off Broadway show

Hamilton

moves to Broadway

full of hip hop

historical characters played by

multi-racial cast.

Another play

Amazing Grace 

opens on

Broadway,

its writer, leaving his job

compelled to write this story

and produce it.

Publisher of Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

moves up release date

so we can read

his words written to

his fifteen year old son.

Growing up in Baltimore,

he feels the same

fear for his son

as week by week

there are

unnecessary murders

by police of young black men

barely adults.

Whatever events, words, books, musicals

might stir you,

move me,

the convergence

is an opportunity.

In the words of Amazing Grace

that forgiveness and redemption

are possible

regardless of sins committed,

“Amazing grace!

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost,

but now am found,

Was blind,

but now I see.”

What can I see now

that I did not see before?

What do you see

that you did not see before?

“‘Twas grace that taught

my heart to fear,

And grace my fears

reliev’d;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed!”

Close Encounters of the Amazing

Gazing out my breakfast window

a hummingbird flew

to face me and stayed there

wings fast fluttering

for

time standing still seconds.

Looking out the same window

at lunchtime

the evanescent bird

savored the nectar of the row of

hosta flowers.

Over summers past

we have put feeders

in the garden.

Rarely did this offering

compete with the real

usually pink, red, purple

real sips of

the 1,500 flowers

needed in a day.

Once,

holding a young grandchild,

a hummingbird came almost

eye to eye

with me.

My red flowered hat

attracted a very close visit

and then

flew to the garden

for the real thing!

Hummingbirds

breathe

250 times a minute

with a resting heartbeat of

500 beats per minute.

In flight their hearts rev to

1,500 beats a minute.

600-800 insects daily

provide more energy.

East Coast ruby-throated hummingbirds

migrate to the

Gulf of Mexico in the winter,

a 21 hour non-stop flight!

When first seen

there,

they were called

“resurrection birds.”

Close encounters

are ordinary miracles.

Where To Begin

You

do not

convince

people

with arguments,

strategies,

or tactics.

You

convince them

by learning

how to

welcome

them.

For that,

it is

necessary

to keep

doors

open,

above all

the doors

to the heart.

Pope Francis, South America, July, 2015

Let there be peace

on Earth.

And let it

begin

with me!

Do You REALLY LISTEN?

As the title of John Gray’s book says,

“Men are from Mars,

Women are from Venus.”

Men want to solve problems.

Women want to be heard, share emotions.

Listening might be the answer for both.

Steinfeld, another sage,

told a joke

about listening.

When asked whether

his wife

ever

said

“You don’t listen”

he replied,

“I’ve never heard her say that!”

As I laughed,

a lightbulb went off

in my head.

After decades of marriage,

my husband will often say

what I just said.

This is not from many years

of marriage and the comment

that people finish each other’s sentences.

My insight

is that

sometimes

he is listening inside his head to his own thoughts

and doesn’t actually HEAR

what I am saying.

It is his inner dialogue,

not a conversation.

I am not

pointing the finger at him

but the reality

about listening in general.

Studies have shown

that

only 7% of what we say

is understood

in the way

we intend it.

It is a wonder

that

we understand each other

at all.

Men and women,

children and parents,

people who work together,

any human interaction.

What I am learning

is

to test the meaning,

what is being understood.

We may think

we know what we mean

and are conveying that.

We may not be heard

or we may not listen

or

the way in which

it is said or written,

is not the intention and meaning.

CLARIFY!