Category Archives: Beyond Labels

When there’s no box to put it in

Ripple of Blessings

A mere two weeks ago, my daughter applied to and was accepted to go to Ghana as part of the medical team on a mission trip. Already we have seen blessings in our own lives. The latest one I’ve noticed is that our friends and family, upon hearing that donations are needed to fund the trip, are coming together over something wonderful. It seems that usually people are inspired to step up when there is disaster or tragedy, and it is great to see people help in such circumstances, but how wonderful that there is no grief, no sorrow, no regret involved in this coming together! It is pure joy and celebration, hope and love.

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This is gonna get messy

Because that’s how life, mine anyway, is most authentically lived.

I think about this blog almost daily, but don’t ever write anymore.

Some of my myriad excuses:

  • What I want to say might offend someone I know IRL who might stumble upon my blog
  • I don’t have my thoughts 100% clarified
  • Feeling guilty about taking time away from my family, household duties, work, etc. to polish a post
  • Respectable blogs have photos, strive to make money, participate in “carnivals,” are promoted, sponsored, gold-stamped, etc.
  • What the hell do I have to say that isn’t already being said/that anyone would give two craps about?

Also, I am overly attached to the “Tribe” part of “Wise Way,” and obsess over what this hypothetical group of people would think/expect.

If you belong to the Tribe (you know who you are!), then jump right in. If you’d like to contribute blog posts, just let me know, it is practically effortless to get them posted.

Meanwhile, I’ve got to dance with them what’s here, and currently, it’s just lil ole me.

And I’m not askeered of mud, mystery, or mess.

So here we go.

Moving Away From The Collective

I’ve been re-watching Star Trek Voyager lately, so this has a deeper meaning for me right now.

When I started this blog I felt like I was moving into a place where I was going to be a more integral part of several groups: a neighborhood, a workplace, a church.

I felt like I wanted an online place to gather my thoughts, gather my friends, gather individual energies into a common space. A “tribe.”

But lately I’ve been wanting to journal privately again. Even though I feel really over it.

What would it mean to let go of this dream I’ve had to belong to a tight-knit group? What would it mean to just take things as they come, be alone if necessary, engage as appropriate, work the crowd or connect with a single soul as the opportunity presents itself?

Sometimes I feel young and old, wise and clueless, in the same instant.

Journal & Blog

Lots of my studying lately has been bringing up evolution of consciousness.

I spent over 20 years writing my thoughts in journals read only by me.

Somehow I imagined blogging would be even better, inviting new perspectives to shine their unique light on my own point of view.

Despite the rare meaningful encounter, I have arrived at total disillusionment.

This medium appears to be all flash, self-promotion and tediously predictable argument.

I no longer know how to approach it.

That’s all for now.

My To-Do List

This morning, following my husband’s example, I decided to make a list of all the tasks, duties and priorities I am aware of in my life. Surely there is something I’ve forgotten… but, to modify a quote by Tommy Lee Jones in No Country for Old Men, “If this ain’t a list, it’ll do ’til the list gets here.”

e’s To-Do List

Be a Good Mother

  1. Be loving and supportive unconditionally at all times forever
  2. Ensure all physical needs are met at all times
  3. Teach life skills, social strategies
  4. Listen and have meaningful conversations, develop critical thinking
  5. Play
  6. Set boundaries, impose consequences, teach values
  7. Inspire, encourage, feed on all levels
  8. Monitor scheduling
  9. Chauffer

Be a Good Wife

  1. Be the loving, supportive & compelling best friend he wants/needs at all times
  2. Cultivate intimacy on all levels (physical, emotional, intellectual)
  3. Listen
  4. Trust
  5. Maintain healthy, happy household with income provided
  6. Put my skills/abilities at his disposal at all times
  7. Find stuff

Run a Healthy, Happy Household

  1. Clean – as much as possible
  2. Feed – as healthy and delicious as possible
  3. Budget, pay bills, economize
  4. Restock supplies and organize
  5. Cultivate a loving, comfortable, inspiring atmosphere
  6. Garden & landscaping

Be a good person

  1. Be a loving, supportive friend, neighbor, extended family member
  2. Improve my character through study, contemplation & self-reflection
  3. Respond to requests for help when possible
  4. Share insight through writing and conversation

Build a freelance language empire

  1. Network – make connections by any means necessary
  2. Continue to improve my language, teaching and translating skills
  3. Generate opportunity/ideas/course development
  4. Rock the gigs I get
  5. Be available for unexpected opportunities

Be a good Christ Church member

  1. Attend services & events
  2. Participate in a Life Group
  3. Participate in a volunteer position
  4. Tithe when possible

Things I might like doing someday (when money/time allow):  Cycling, Kayaking, More reading & writing, More volunteering, More cooking & baking, Learn another language or two, Travel, Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation, Crafts, Play piano, Hiking, Snorkeling, and ?!?

Religion as Language

If you’ve read any of my posts up to this point, you will likely remember that I’ve been struggling for quite a while with finding a church home and a religious label.

Well, my husband and I joined Christ Church, which has Methodist foundations.

So I’ve been getting used to calling myself a Christian.

Not that the label in itself felt wrong, just that I didn’t want to be associated with the hateful things done in Jesus’ name. The things I believe about Jesus are not very well reflected in many of the actions and words of people who claim to be Christian, so I thought that distancing myself from the whole thing was the best way.

The church we found seems to be based on just the things I do believe, such as love, enthusiastic faith, supportive community, a thriving children’s ministry, and other positive moves forward into a life of meaning and service. So I feel pretty comfortable aligning myself with this group.

I had a great insight into the label issue the other night when I’d decided to kill two birds with one stone by practicing my Spanish and praying at the same time. For a split second I thought to myself – does Jesus even speak Spanish?

I had a good laugh over that one.

But then it occurred to me — a religion is like a language. If I feel inspired to do something, I can phrase it as, “I feel called to do this.” As though God herself had spoken to me and pointed the way. I might also say, “My gut tells me…” which is acceptable secular speech. I could say, “The energy feels right,” which is the same thing translated into a New Age kind of understanding. Similarly, I could insert any sort of divine name and express my belief that this Spirit was indicating the correct path.

Each statement represents the same feeling in my heart/mind/center that a certain way forward is best. Is one a lie and the other the truth? Is English more true than Spanish?

After this realization, I came to the logical conclusion that, just because I’m a Christian, doesn’t mean I can’t study Buddhism or Taoism or Sufism anymore. Just like I don’t have to stop learning languages just because I’m fluent in English, but I can go on to become bilingual and trilingual, as many as I have the time and inspiration to learn.

The Great Spirit is not limited to one language, nor to one religion. God is bigger than all of our constructs.

Breathing as Practice

Buddhist teachers recommend using one’s breath as a way be aware and mindful. I’ve been using this as a meditation for some time.

Yesterday I was reading about how freedom and happiness require that we neither cling to nor reject any aspect of reality, but only notice, embrace and let go.

It occurred to me that my breathing practice encompasses this idea. When I breathe in, I am not clinging to or clutching the air, simply pulling it in for a momentary embrace.

When I breathe out the air, I am not rejecting it or recoiling in distaste, I am simply letting it go away naturally.

My breath can now remind me of this lesson so that I will continue to learn from it.