Employment

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Photo by Dan Smedley

My 15-year-old daughter just got a job working at her sister’s place of employment: a Thai restaurant. She started to bus tables, learn the computer system, give patrons water and even take their orders and bring their food by the time she had 8 hours of work under her belt.

I was sure she would come home and say, “No thanks. I hated it.” It’s not easy to be on your feet for a few dollars. She’s a straight A student and focuses on her violin playing. She does not do menial chores at home proactively. But she’s seen her sister make money and be able to purchase whatever she wants at Target or eat out on occasion.

She came home after working 6 hours yesterday. She served tables alongside her older sister. Her feet hurt, but she had a huge smile on her face and showed me the $36 in tips she made.

Later, exhausted, she said:

“I like working, it feels good to make your own money.”

 

Political Detox

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I’m definitely happier, more present-minded and productive when I abstain from news watching.

In fact, I’ve substituted it with comedy watching:

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Brooklyn 99

Any John Mulaney stand-up program…

#WhatNationalBoard

 

This Indecision’s Bugging Me*

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As I pursue the National Board Certification for Teaching, I’m losing steam at the end. It’s feeling like maybe I’m not going to finish. A sprinkle of overwhelm and the bland mushiness of despair have rendered a toxic “Blah Stew.”

So I typed “quotes on finishing strong” to motivate me. The one above is pretty good. But then I found this one:

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I’m going to continue on: I will complete the work. At the same time, I surrender to whatever happens.

It’s all good.

 

*The Clash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clashes

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You don’t have to be disagreeable when you disagree. Getting hateful and angry when encountering someone who doesn’t share your beliefs is a sign that you have complete identification with your thoughts. But your thoughts are just that – your thoughts.

You are not your thoughts.

 

 

 

Tests

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“Being challenged is a good thing. It allows you to grow.”

Eckhart Tolle

A synonym of “exam”  (as in examining your own reactions and emotions) is “observation.” It requires moments and space to step back and observe what is going on inside of you. This is challenging but necessary in the steps to stretch, grow and evolve.

Balderdash!

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My husband is handsome, funny, caring and intelligent.

But he finds spelling a challenge.

He will spell aloud to me, seeking approval: “Wizard. W-i-z-z…”

“No, it has one z.”

ONE z?! Why? Why? Why one z? Why? Isn’t that ‘Wyzard’ then?”

I laugh. “The English language is…complicated…you might even say dumb.”

“My name – Willey – it has two ls because you say WILLey, not Wyley…”

 

 

 

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Variety.com

I’m on a hunger strike until racism is over.

I did not think I’d like this show.  But I’m hooked. Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle had a vision and made it come true – despite many obstacles.  The title might refer to boys/men, but the show is ALL girl.  Erskine and Konkle are Executive Producers, writers, actors and creators of the show. Check them out on Hulu.com.

Their story reminds me of Seth Godin’s quote:

“Don’t try to be the ‘next’. Instead, try to be the other, the changer, the new. “

Work

 

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*You could ask yourself, “Does my work help propel people or my community or me forward?”

Or are you just getting by?

 

*Inspired by Mary Oliver’s work

 

High Quality No

Byron Katie and Oprah were talking about the issue of saying “no” to others and feeling used. Oprah mentioned some family members who repeatedly have “used her” and asked for money. But Katie said, “Nobody can use you.”

Oprah was confused. Of course, people use each other all the time! And Katie said, “What happened? They asked for money and you gave it to them. And then you didn’t want to give them money anymore. You felt bad because you gave them money and went against yourself. You never wanted to give the money in the first place.” Oprah then expressed her concern about saying no. Katie suggested a “high-quality no.” They acted it out.

Oprah: “I want $100,000.”

Katie: “I know you do. But…no.”

Oprah: “But you have so much money! Just give me $100,000. I really want it.”

Katie: “Yes, I know.  But I’m going to say no.”

Oprah admitted that she hasn’t always just said no. She’d say things like “I gave you money before and I told you I wouldn’t do it again…etc.”

A high-quality no is just a firm no. No need for defensiveness or a lecture or explanation. Just…no.

 

 

 

Authentic Beauty

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Brigitte Tohm

“For old people, beauty doesn’t come free with the hormones, the way it does for the young… It has to do with who the person is.”

Ursula K. Le Guin

If you want to be a truly beautiful person, be kind:

  • be patient in traffic (Road Rage offends other drivers as well as your passenger(s));
  • call a friend and invite them to a bike ride, or a walk…or lunch;
  • take the time to counsel a young person who requests your advice;
  • volunteer to help your community in an area of need;
  • give thoughtful gifts because you thought of her…or him…just because;
  • tell each person you love how you feel and that you appreciate them;
  • write a love note and send it

Bereavement

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I thought I had Byron Katie’s philosophy on death mastered. Consider death differently. Let go of stressful thoughts. It’s egoic to want someone to still be alive if they died. No one dies “too soon.” Resisting reality only causes pain. Yes, I get that.

But then a very good friend passed away today and I can’t help but cry and feel the loss of his physical presence. Someone who gave so much of himself is now gone. How to reconcile this?

Tomorrow is a new day. His children and his wife will feel his absence. We all will. As Katie says, life is a recycling circuit. Nothing happens too soon. Everything happens “just right” and I must trust this is true, even though it doesn’t feel that way right now.

Fury

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“You’re angry because you have an anger consciousness that is touched like a little red button that causes it to blow up within yourself, but the anger is already within…”

Eric Butterworth

Amour

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My daughter’s boyfriend gave her a bouquet of flowers for Valentine’s Day. How sweet is that? I took a small portion and put it in a bud vase for painting. I liked how the dye colored the water.

 

 

Awe and Stillness

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“It seems to me that some of us value information over wonder, and noise over silence. And I feel that we need a lot more wonder and a lot more silence in our lives.”

Fred Rogers

 

How to Cultivate Presence

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Josiah Ingels

Bring more present moment awareness into your life. Start with small, every day activities. Instead of indulging in thinking (as you cook, take out the garbage, shower)…be present. Be sensory aware. Feel the energy in your body. Be aware of your surroundings. All it takes is 30 seconds and everyone has 30 seconds.

Eckhart Tolle

For Interest

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One of the foundational threads of advice throughout all the art courses I’ve taken is to add details “for interest.” I’ve noticed that small brush strokes here and there add a lot to the piece.

Everything I’ve done based on my “interests” has borne great fruits: teaching, relationships, art, spiritual growth, and writing. When I pursued activities or work based on anything other than an authentic engagement, it never worked out.

“Interest,” it turns out, is essential to true joy.

To Parents and Guardians of Kids Under 16

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By Sergey Pesterev

Teaching your teenager how to drive is a thankless job. Don’t expect appreciation. Laugh off the frustration, anger and stress. It’s our job to teach them to drive well and safely. They have no idea how many new gray hairs have sprouted because they almost hit that car/curb/bicyclist. They have no idea how it feels (for the adult passenger) to be completely powerless as they hit the accelerator and then the brakes. They don’t know that they are steering a 4,000 lb weapon.

Just try to stay present and calm. Try. To. Be. Calm.

It will pay off!

 

Hello, and what do you do?

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Rawpixel

“When you completely identify with your role (mother…doctor…), then something vital is missing. If you play a role at work, you always have a secondary motive because the ego is at work. You’re not totally focused on the task at hand because there is some self-interest there. You want to protect yourself. You want to get credit for yourself…or use the people around you.”

Eckhart Tolle

 

Page 22*

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Many years later, when Kevin was in his backyard with his children, his daughter Ava cried out, “Dad! Josie is cheating at Tag!”

Kevin said just one thing.

“Is that so?”

 

*Kevin the Complainer

 

 

 

Domestic Distraction

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Mroz

I sat down to work on my Teachers’ National Board Certification.

I got a lot done:

Three loads of laundry, the dishes, my car, and refrigerator are clean, and my dog got a bath.

And now this post.

Ok. Here I go. I’m really going to do it.

 

Making Amends – Page 21*

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The next day, Kevin approached Carlos and Minji.

“I’m sorry for my behavior. I want to hang out with you guys again. I promise I will never lose my temper and be a sore loser…or an annoying winner.”

“Or complain about the sun in your eyes?” Minji asked.

“Or grumble about being tired when you’re losing?” Carlos added.

Kevin promised.

Carlos and Minji accepted his apology and they all were friends once again.