Monthly Archives: April 2012

My Religion Is Loving Kindness

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um-042412-emailSeveral times a week I walk up a winding road from where I live in Santa Barbara to the ridge road that looks out over the city and ocean. Each time I pass a car sitting in a carport with the bumper sticker, My religion is loving kindness.

It hits me in the right spot—not preachy, or judgmental—just a simple statement of purpose that nearly everyone could agree is a good thing.

The other day I saw a lady getting into that car and I commented that I liked her religion, and she smiled and said, “Yes, it’s kind of universal isn’t it?”

That small interchange left me glowing and more alive.

Flash forward to today when I walked past the ridge to the valley down below. The air was crisp, the sun was shining, with green spaces that would never be developed by human hands on both sides of my path.

Can You Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

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um-041712-emailYou can’t teach an old dog new tricks!

We’ve probably said or thought that at some point in our lives. It’s a way of accepting as fact that someone stops being open to learn. Are you an old dog that can’t learn new tricks?

A new way of thinking?

A new way of solving problems?

A new way of looking at what life brings to your doorstep each day?

It is hard! It seems that often opinions get entrenched as we get older, and it’s difficult to change something we’ve been doing or saying for a long time whether it makes us happy, healthy, wealthy or not.

Then along comes an old dog that thinks differently, solves problems creatively, and approaches life with a sense of equanimity no matter what happens. I have a person like this in my life who others, young and old, describe as someone who is Smart:

Life’s Surprises

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um-041012-emailA friend was in pain. Trying to figure out the best course of action to take in response to a changing landscape in her life. She was burden by decisions. She was constantly getting advice from those around her both solicited and unsolicited.

Probably like most of us, when faced with change, she said, “I just have to get away, and then I can figure out what to do next.”

Instead she did something that surprised me. She told everyone she was going on a silent retreat, and to kindly not call her. If something was urgent they could email. She realized that going to a retreat center would be another thing to do, so she took her silent retreat at home. She stopped waiting to “get away,” and instead started right where she was.

  • She wanted to stop talking, and start being present to take a breath.

Are You Evolving?

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um-040312-emailLife is evolution.

If you’re still here you’re evolving. It’s called growth!

If you’re not growing you may be as settled as a still pool, but if the water doesn’t flow it can lead to stagnation. As if the water is trapped.

You just have to remember that you can get out of the trap.

How?

By recognizing that it’s usually a trap of your own thinking! And you have to exercise your evolutionary muscles to start thinking in a new way.

Last week provided an opportunity to notice my own evolutionary “muscles” at work. This came as a result of watching a friend in action. As so often happens, it’s easier to recognize a de-evolutionary approach in another than to see it in one’s own self!

This is what happened. I watched my friend as he was listening to questions.