My Spiritual Practice of Asking for Help

I can tell anyone the universe has their back. I will try to convince anyone and everyone it will work out, the world is a benevolent place and whatever Gods they care to believe in are on their side. I have been called a “terminal optimist” and I’ll take it. I really DO believe it will all turn out all right.

For everyone except for me.

Welcome to the inner world of an enneatype six. Continue reading

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Keys

Keys and I have always had a complicated relationship. I grew up in a small town and my folks grew up in an even smaller town. I don’t know about no one ever locking their doors, but we rarely did. Keys were a thing grown-ups did. I rarely locked the house I raised my daughter in. I rarely lock my car. But I love the look and sound of keys, especially old ones. I have trouble throwing them away, even if the building or car they open doesn’t exist anymore.

They still signal doing grown up right
.
The problem with keys is they don’t follow me everywhere like a besotted puppy. They stay behind – usually right where I left them, dammit—instead of being where I need them. I have become adept at breaking (or weaseling) my way into places – apartments, theaters, churches, schools – without my keys. I have climbed piles of old tires, boosted myself off car hoods, dropped to basement floors, jimmied locks and woken caretakers.

But keys and I had a particularly rough morning today.

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Toxic Jokes or Collaborative Humor?

My friend Mike, over at Ten Thousand Pots of Soup had a great post last week about humor.

As someone who has never been the fastest, or the strongest, the most talented or the best looking, I’ve always gotten by with a quick wit and the ability to stay ahead of people. I have always felt underestimated, and therefore I was trying to prove (at least to myself) that I was the smartest and the funniest.  And if I was able to make a joke that went over people’s heads, that just made me feel all the better.

This is familiar to me. I have always (and too often still do) used humor as a defense. Continue reading

Book Review: Switch

“I’ve got a book you should read.”

It was my first conversation with the lead pastor at my new job. The Head Honcho. The Big Guy. He’d been on sabbatical when I was hired. Had been understandably busy when he returned and I tend to keep my head down in new situations – at least until I get the lay of the land and have sussed out all the players.

But my team had just given a presentation at an all staff meeting. We were laying out changes to the way communications would be handled starting in the new year and what we needed everyone to do to make it successful. Very logical, very detailed and yet somehow there was the sense it was all for naught.

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Being More Grateful

Three weeks ago, I was looping the pickup/baggage claim area at the MSP airport, looking for my daughter’s face in the crowd. We hadn’t seen each other since last Christmas and the daily mini-chats online and random three-hour phone calls were just not cutting it anymore. We needed time together and her extended vacation stretched out before us like a long expanse of warm water.

It only took moments for that sense of calm to be shattered once she was loaded into the car. The barrage of words began before we were even on back on the freeway. Mom! I missed you! Veronica! Did you have a good flight? Are you hungry? I missed you too! There’s pizza at home! Tomorrow I need to call the office! It’s so cold and dark here! Aaron wants to know what movie we want to see! I got beer, too. The words themselves really meant nothing. Just our way of reassuring ourselves we were together again.

Then she said the words I love to hear from my daughter: “I’ve got an idea I want to talk to you about.” Continue reading

Dancing with Resistance and Getting my House in Order

It’s Halloween. I woke to a Facebook picture of a friend in green translucent makeup. I got my morning coffee from a guy dressed like Waldo. If this year is like the past several I will again and again wonder why a big bearded guy dressed as a ballerina is buying cold medicine, or the teller at the bank is doing Elvis impressions. It’s not that I don’t like Halloween, I do. I guess I just have a short attention span.

It’s good weather for Halloween today. It’s foggy and dark and even now, at ten in the morning, I can imagine spirits emerging from behind the parked cars and making their way through the strip mall parking lot toward me. The space between this world and whatever world lies just out of sight seems very narrow today.

It is a good day to get ready for an adventure.

November is National Novel Writing Month. If you know about it, you know the drill. 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s 1667 words a day. Every day. For 30 days. There is only one way to do it, realistically: no edits, not questions, no doubts. Chris Baty, the founder compares it to snapping the rearview mirrors off your car and driving as fast as you can. Continue reading

It’s OK. It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK

Sunday night I finished the the second long weekend of my enneagram training. There is so much to process I can barely get my mind around it, even with the 12-hour trip home from Detroit. I will be writing about it soon; it’s one of the next steps I have promised myself I will take. Besides, I have promised too many people to back down now. But I want to get this one post written before it leaves me. The title comes from a fellow participant this weekend. She was so emphatic when she said it — it struck such chord with me — that I began writing this on the spot. Maybe we all need to hear this.

It’s OK.

It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK. Continue reading