See What Is

See what is.

The tape playing

in the back of our minds

often distracts us from

what is right in front of us.

Taken together,

“see what is”

are three challenging words.

Pausing

several times a day

to check

whether

the tape in my mind

is

related

to

what is right

in front of me

can bring me

into

the present moment.

livinglinesreflections.com

Life and. . .

Loss

of a loved one,

a family member,

is a stark

reality

of life.

There is

no way out.

Anticipating

a loved one’s death

offers no

preparation.

Expectation,

no matter

how long,

does not

offer

a roadmap.

Once the rituals

whatever they are

have ended,

each of us

are

on our own.

Friends may console,

prayers said,

but in each moment

reminders

present

the harshness

of raw

physical,

emotional,

spiritual

change.

When

tears wet

my eyes

or sobs

move my

body,

it is a relief.

Pent-up

emotions

erupt

on grief’s

own schedule.

There is no

measurement

of the tears, the sadness.

The shadows

linger.

“Are you over it yet?”

a friend was asked

six weeks after her husband died.

There should be

no expectation

or impatience

with someone’s

time of

mourning.

There may be

stages,

but each person

marks their own.

There may be

light

with the shadows.

Sometimes.

A smell,

a glimpse

of someone who

reminds of

the loved one.

The depth and length

of grief

may

reflect the

intensity

of love

between

the

one

who has died

and those

left to mourn.

Life

Death.

Kindness.

Please.

Our Best Selves

Pictures remind

Easter finery.

New bonnet,

Spring coat, perhaps

passed down

through

sisters and cousin.

New dress,

polished shoes

or new

patent leather!

Small flower corsage

from Daddy.

Some may still

dress this way

for Easter services,

I may admit to

a little envy.

We looked our best

or so it seemed.

The best outside dress-up

cannot cover up

the violence of

terror or the

insulting language

in the political campaign.

Steady reams of

news

proclaim

more crucifixion

than resurrection.

There are many

moments

of love and caring,

even random

acts of kindness.

What will it take

to dress up

ourselves,

our families and friends,

our neighborhoods

and our world

with sincere conversion

from the inside out.

Real love and kindness

generate

warmth and smiles.

How can we

dress

ourselves

with the

realization

that

we are all

in this world together?

Respect

for

each and every other,

dressed in finery

or clothes unfamiliar.

Garments given away

clothe

those without anything.

Respect

is the best

place

to begin.

We all

can dress ourselves best

caring for

each other.

Amen.

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.

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.

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!

Innovation

Innovation!

The buzz word

showing up on the covers of many magazines

and college and universities news

informs us that

we are living in a time

where

innovation

will take us

and keep us

ahead

in new products,

ways of thinking,

empowering us

to live

life fully and keep us

ahead

of the rest of the world.

Winners

we must be.

Topics

include, energy, robotics, medicine, health care,

education,how to teach and what to teach.

New products

usually include

electronics

and electronic ways

of communicating

monitoring,

running machines,

managing our lives

from our smart phones.

Spending many hours

at the

Genius Bar

at my local Apple Store,

my helper’s back pocket revealed

another brand,

simpler

cell phone.

With plenty of

time to talk

while he troubleshooted

my computer for a

repeat problem,

he told me that

he had started as

a car mechanic.

When cars and their motors and functions

became increasingly electronic,

his experience was outdated.

Furthermore,

he said

all machines are made

too complicated

with more options

than we can ever need.

In his home

he only bought

appliances

small and large

from the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Easy for him to use,

didn’t often break,

and repaired

much more easily

than

the dishwashers,

washing machines,

ovens,

and food processors

with a myriad of options.

Most he found

on EBAY

and parts too!

Innovation

could be more effective,

our land fills less full

if innovation includes

simplification

for the main uses of

whatever function

the innovation is

intended to contribute.