Monthly Archives: April 2008

Sunshine

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air… – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday and Tuesday were quite cloudy and rainy. The storms moved through last night and this morning brilliant sunshine was the theme of the day.

I love all kinds of weather, but today the sun felt really good. More than usual, it particularly warmed my soul. I felt like “dark” areas of my life were bathed in light after days of hiding. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t been feeling bad. I’ve just been going through the acceptance of upcoming changes in my life. Sometimes, that can feel worse than it really is.

So, I enjoyed the sense of lightness and freedom that the sun brought today. I made sure to get out several times to feel the rays on my skin and face.

I also enjoy how life takes you through things, gives you some relief and then pushes you on your way. I love it.

Have a great day!

Michael

Moving Towards A New Life

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. – Alan Cohen

As I get close to my departure from a company I have worked at for over 15 years, I find that there are days that are difficult. I’m a person that has historically been more comfortable with the familiar than I have been with constant change. I’ve moved passed that belief system more in the past few years, but when it comes to a big change like the one I’m approaching, I find the old feelings surfacing.

A fear of mine is letting life flow the way it is going to flow. I’m a person that likes to have everything planned as I’m a project manager at heart. But, with that said, I’m learning to allow things to happen naturally. Surprise. Surprise. I’m finding that everything works out just fine.

Learning to relax into life and flow with it like a canoe in a fast moving stream is what I’m working on right now. I’ve tried paddling upstream before and I find that exhausting. As I go with the “flow”, it’s actually much easier.

I got a great message yesterday from a friend. “Everything will be okay. All you have to do is accept that fact.”

I liked that message. It will be my mantra for some time.

Have a great day!

Michael

Myriad of Thoughts

Tonight is difficult as I have so many thoughts going through my mind, I don’t know what to write about. I’m sure you experienced this before. Your mental activity is on overdrive causing a myriad of thoughts. It makes it hard to sleep, hard to concentrate, hard to relax and it causes me to be quiet and introspective.

So what do you do? I think several things can help here. The key is to not put to much thought on the solution. That will only exacerbate the issue. Finding ways to relax can help; a hot bath or shower, meditating, physical activity followed by rest, or massage.

Sitting and writing down what you are thinking can be very helpful. Just start at the first thought that pops into your head at the moment you want to write. Then follow the thread from there. You may be surprised at what you uncover, as the reason for this state of mind can lay buried sometimes. At the very least you will feel much better than trying to hold back your thoughts.

Sometimes watching a movie or television program that is pure entertainment (i.e. I mean that doesn’t require a lot of thinking) can help. Action or comedy type programs are really good.

Talking with a friend can help, but make sure that your friend is aware that you may be pouring out a lot of thoughts in rapid succession. The friend’s job is to listen and not necessarily give solutions.

A cup of hot herbal tea like chamomile is also a great way to relax. The chamomile has relaxing qualities but something about the hot liquid helps to calm the body and mind. Some like to try hot milk. That’s not my preference but everyone is different.

Finding ways to laugh can be stress reducing, fill your body with endorphins and an easy way to get out of your mind.

I’m going to go and try one of these ideas now.

Michael

My Daughter's 25th

To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter. – Euripides

Today is my daughter’s 25th birthday. It’s really amazing at how fast 25 has come. It only seems like yesterday when she was three and I was watching her play with our black cat, Connor. Time has flown by. Many things have changed and many are still the same.

As a parent, it’s been fun and difficult at the same time to watch her grow into the person she is today. Parenting is a fine balance between letting your child learn their own lessons and intervening when really needed.

I believe I’m like most parents when I question every decision I’ve ever made as a parent. You can drive yourself crazy or create a lot of guilt if you aren’t careful. I believe that I did the best I could at the time. If I’m questioning those decisions now, it’s because, hopefully, I’m wiser and more experienced. I should not be using that wisdom to make myself feel bad. That’s just plain silly.

One thing I know. My daughter knows that I’ve always been there for her and always will. Throughout all my issues and challenges I’ve had to face as a person, the one constant has been I’ve always tried to do my best for my daughter. That will continue.

So, Lindsay……I’m proud to be your dad. I’ve never felt anything different even though I may have not expressed it. Happy Birthday!!!!! It was great to spend the time with you in Yosemite.

Love you,

Dad

Home at Last

When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home. – Thornton Wilder

Erica and I arrived back in Rhode Island about 9:30 p.m. It was a long day of flying from California. Combined with the extra physical activity with our week in Yosemite, I was quite tired by the time we arrived. But it was a good tired. It’s the same feeling when you get a lot of work done around the house. In this case it was due to extracting all the available fun and adventure out of every minute we spent in Yosemite.

I still couldn’t go to sleep immediately. Even though my body wanted to, my mind had other plans. Thinking about the trip, looking at my photos and just relaxing in my apartment kept me up until midnight.

It doesn’t take long for me to start planning for my next adventure. I find that funny. I love to return home, but shortly after, I start to think about my next travel. The next big one is Alaska this summer, but I know that I’ll be doing some smaller trips between now and then. Well, there is Barcelona coming up. Not necessarily a small trip. :-)

But, I’m home for now and I love it.

Michael

Postsecret

Frank Warren, the creator of the PostSecret series of books and the postsecret.com website, is speaking tonight in Fort Collins.

I read the first book when it came out in 2005. Entitled “PostSecret“, Warren begins his introduction “In November 2004, I printed 3,000 postcards inviting people to share a secret with me: something that was true, something they had never told anyone.”  He left the postcards in art galleries and library books, and the preaddressed postcards started arriving in his mailbox.

The books are full of secrets.  The response has been and continues to be overwhelming.  Checkout the website and I’ll be back after the presentation to tell more.

Flo

Annual Trip to Yosemite

We got back to Sacramento late last night from Yosemite. It was quite an incredible trip. Yosemite was beautiful, spectacular and very refreshing. The weather was perfect even with a night and partial day of rain. I haven’t found a time in Yosemite that was not perfect. It’s just what the place is all about.

My daughter and I realized that it was almost exactly one year since our last trip together to Yosemite. We’ve decided to make this an annual trip. It’s a great idea.

I’ve been here over 10 times and I saw things I had never seen. I’m endlessly fascinating about that. Wildlife was abundant. We saw mule deer and coyote on multiple occasions. There were new ephemeral waterfalls to enjoy. Wildflowers were abundant.

On the way out of Yosemite, we were able to spend several tranquil hours walking through the giant sequoias in the southern part of the park. As an added bonus, we discovered an incredible waterfall off of Hwy. 41 that made is felt like we had been transported to a tropical jungle.

We are already planning our next trip. :-)

Michael

What You Do Today

Light tomorrow with today. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Tomorrow is completely dependent on what you do today. In fact, tomorrow is meaningless without today.

What are you thinking about? What inspired actions are you taking based on those thoughts? Have you laughed a lot? Have you spoken your truth? In other words are you saying what’s on your mind or repressing those thoughts for fear of being judged?

Have you taken time for yourself? Have you practiced a hobby that you enjoy? Have you pursued any interests that you are passionate about? Have you meditated? Have you exercised? Have you taken a few moments to enjoy the sunshine or fresh air?

Have you thought about your hopes and dreams? Have you told someone close to you how you feel about them?

What is the color of your day? Is it bright, dark or somewhere in between? Can you change it to what you want? Have you been conscious of what you are doing and thinking? Did you examine a long held fear? Did you take a drive for no other reason than it was a nice day?

What have you learned today? What are you reading? Did you call a friend?

What you are doing right now is the most important thing. What you are doing right now turns into what you did today. That in turn brings light for your tomorrow.

Have a great day!

Michael

Visiting Allie the Beagle

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment. – George Eliot

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive. – Gilda Radner

It is so good to see Allie again. She is a very sweet, but incredibly mischievous dog. Her entire life consists of playing and getting you to play with her. Allie is always upbeat and full of energy. You can’t help but smile when you are around her.

I haven’t seen her since January, but she remembered me (of course) and immediately wanted to play a game of chase after a good scratch around the ears. Allie loves people and she seems to think everyone is there to play with her.

A dog’s gift is their absolute unconditional love. They are the best examples we have of what true unconditional love is. They have no regard for our shortcomings, faults and personality quirks. Whatever you are is fine by them. Feed them, pet them and play with them. The friendship you form will last forever.

I get along with cats very well, but in my heart I’m a dog person. That’s fine by me.

Thanks Allie for all you do for me.

Michael

California Sunsets

Sunsets are so beautiful that they almost seem as if we were looking through the gates of Heaven. – John Lubbock

California sunsets! I don’t know what why it is, but sunsets here seem to be bigger and more spectacular than other places I visit. The colors are more saturated. The sun’s disk seems bigger.

Even on a cloudless day, the color intensity is almost overwhelming. Rich orange, pinks and reds fill the sky in a nice gradient from the horizon out and up. As the warm colors fade, the sky turns a rich, deep blue color that bleeds into indigo.

I really enjoy them. I usually find a place to sit and watch the “show” if I’m not actively taking photographs. The colors change so quickly making each minute of the sunset different than the prior one.

I find sunsets to be soothing to the soul. They seem to help me get out of myself for a little while and just be. And really for a sunset that’s all you need to do. Just be there.

I think that’s good advice for other times also.

Have a great day!

Michael