gurustu's muse the daily thoughts of an every day guru
Daily Guru Thoughts
Friday, October 28, 2005 What's in it for me? You get out what you put in.
Halloween is right around the corner and my workplace takes it VERY seriously. It's not just about the umpteen contests that they're determined the win, it's last year that they need to avenge. We did TV Land last year and came in first, second and third in different contests. Not bad... but NOT ENOUGH!!!
This year is LOST VEGAS... Las Vegas but we dead people. Being the "artist," of course, means I have to make all the signs... and being the perfection/showoff, of course, I have to have the giant marquees, complete with flashing Christmas lights all over them.
And, of course, my cubicle has to be the flashiest of all. After all, I'm going as the Master Showman himself, Liberace! I've converted my cube into a giant piano (with lights and silver everywhere) and have rigged up the sound system to play his music. It promises to be quite an event.
It's interesting to see people's nature come out during the holidays. There are some people that are DEFINITELY NOT participating. Their costume is Business Casual; their participation, a spreadsheet. Others stop everything they're working on and go full steam ahead. Inwardly I feel like the former... but outwardly I have my reputation and marketing I have to do for my work. Yes, this is an opportunity to have fun... but it's also a chance to show 'em what I'm made of. If they like what I can do offline, they're gonna love me online... at least, that's what the Sally Fields in me figures.
There are a lot of Sally Fielders around the office, so this year should be very interesting, as well as entertaining.
For those who practice Wiccan rituals, this is their holiest time. It's a time for them to celebrate a new year and vow to take control of next year's destiny. They're not too thrilled with all this glitz and glamour and ghouls and goblins, much in the same way that Native Americans are not thrilled with Columbus Day.
To all my Wiccan readers out there, I wish you a prosperous All Hallow's Eve... and to everyone else, I wish you merriment and lots of munchies.
Monday, October 24, 2005 Long and Winding Road Life is a long and winding road... and sometimes you're fortunate to get the chance to look back at how far you've come.
There's been a couple of events lately that have allowed me to look back into my past and see the difference that distance has made.
Today was a quarterly meeting that recapped all the accomplishments of the past three months. For me, it wasn't about the past three months that I flashed back to, but rather six months ago... and a much different quarterly meeting. This time sounded so different that you'd swear someone changed the channel. This was so positive and praise worthy, the kind I has wished for; yet thought I'd never see again. I just had to let the scars lie quietly in the past, and let the present moment of light shine in.
Another long and winding road looks way way way far back. An old college friend tracked me down after losing touch many many many years ago. And the irony of it all was just how close we really were... literally. For at least five years we lived just blocks away from one another in the same town. Life's little ironies.
He's since moved away, but I'm sure glad he found me (I'm fairly easy to "Google"). It's giving us a chance to get close... even if that closeness isn't in miles.
And speaking of looking back, this past Friday was the 2 year anniversary of my toons. My first one was on October 21, 2003... and next week I will be reaching another milestone... my 100th cartoon! It's seen me through a lot of things... and it shadowed many of the events that brought me to where I am today.
It's been quite an adventure, all these paths. So now it's important to dust myself off, look forward and go boldly to see what lies just beyond the next bend.
Friday, October 21, 2005 Juggle No matter how much you juggle, it's still one ball at a time.
Trying to balance everything in my life right now is sketchy at best. Spending time at work (where every project's deadline is looming), then home (which still looks like box city), then hospital (where my friend's release date keeps moving back)and trying to get my car out of the shop (where it's been for four days because they can't figure out what's wrong with it) ... it's really cutting into the to do list as of late. Each thing by itself isn't bad... it's the transitions that are taking up the most time.
That's definitely something to keep in mind when putting together a list of things to do. It's not just about the thing itself, it's about getting to and from those things as well.
I also try to multitask... like working on projects while I'm at the hospital... but it's just not clean time. I got there just in time for them to move him into another room... which meant packing up, moving to another wing, then unpacking. Goodbye hour and a half!
So it's like adding another ball to the bunch. It's not getting any easier... and I can't drop the ball on any of it. It's time to concentrate, focus, concentrate, focus, foooocus... and relax into it... cause no matter how high you try and throw 'em up, they're gonna be coming back down.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 Stay True Being true to your word, is being true to your Self.
A friend is hurting. It's just a minor surgery he's facing, nothing at all life-threatening... but he's scared. It's out of his control, beyond his feelings of immortality... and it makes him feel like a child, a victim, alone.
He wants me there...
...And so I go.
I can't write an article that says "Do it because someone else wants you to" and then go off and do my own thing. To fail my own tests means to fail my self, my friend and Life itself.
Life is funny like that. It likes to test you every once in a while... just checking to see if you really mean what you say.
We're always going to be faced with choices... sometimes clear ones; sometimes not.
I have a lot to do today... but I'm going anyway.
Because sometimes a little love is a whole lot bigger than a lot of work.
Friday, October 14, 2005 Follow Through... It's good to plan something... it's better to complete it.
I ended up with a number of to do lists from my own exercise of the past few days. I've grouped them by Who-I-Am rather than by What-I-Have-To-Do. It's very reminiscent of Stephen Covey's original 7-Habits datebook (when Franklin bought him out, it lost that special something in favor of the A-B-C method).
It works better for me this way, because I segment my life. Sure, it'd be great to be one big whole, but it's not bad being a lot of little me's either. By segmenting the Video Producer by Day and Guru by Night, I find I get more focus.
I used to have a long drive to work, over this big hill... that was my trigger to let the other half go and get started thinking about what lied ahead. Now that I work much closer to where I live, I have to speed that up quite a bit.
So here I am with my lists... these pretty long lists... these glaring examples of what overachievers try to pile on themselves in order to seem really really important. So the first thing on that list is "pair down this list."
It's real tricky 'cause some of the things on the list need the other stuff on the list... and the tiniest items on the list actually unfold to a whole bunch of bigger items on the list... like those sponges that grow into a boyfriend or girlfriend.
So that's pretty much where I'm at today. Scaling back and chipping away. I still actually have to DO stuff, so I'm hitting the most critical, then the easiest to check off.
Next comes setting the dates. I owe that much to myself. It worked well last time I used it... and I have so much I want to see done.
I just put down "blog about it" on the bottom of those lists. I'll let you know when that date gets here.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005 What to do... Without a plan, we often resort to the same-old-same-old routine.
There's something else I unpacked along with the dishes and old clothes... my old habits. It's amazing how quickly we can get into a routine, without even realizing it.
In one way, that's good. It makes you feel at home. On the other hand, not all of those habits are successful ones.
I know there's only so many hours in the day... and I know how important it is to relax and not take life so seriously... but I also know how precious time is... and just how quickly it can slip away when you're not paying attention.
Now that I'm "settling down" I've started to rediscover the joy of the "To Do" list. Now that I've scratched off "call the electrician" and "turn off utilities" I can turn my focus back to the dreams that linger on.
I remember back in 2003 using an Excel spreadsheet to list everything I could think of. Then I went back and grouped them together, putting them in some sort of order, if one needed to happen before the others. Then I added the column that woul dmake all the difference in the world... DUE DATE. Up until that moment, those items were just wishes, things to throw into the hamper with the undone laundry. With a date... a realistic, achievable date... it suddenly became something... a real something. Something that would enrich my life the moment I checked the next column - DONE.
Now I didn't always make those deadlines. Several times I would create a list and those things would show up again with a new date... but you know what, without them being there, they wouldn't ever happen anyway.
Was it successful? Everything that this site has become came from that 2003 list.
That list brought you here... and to me, that's pretty darn successful.
Sunday, October 09, 2005 Ad Infinitum When they hurt, we all hurt.
We've had our share of disasters lately, to be sure. We're still recovering; their pain still lingers. Yet the world moves on, and even more disaster strikes. Now our brethren in Pakistan suffer after a single strike of Mother Nature.
Sure, a lot of damage was complicated by people - from the fishbowl of New Orleans to the ill suited homes across South Asia - but it's arrogant of us to think that we can live above nature. That somehow we're invincible to the powerful forces of Life.
The best we can do is live in harmony with this Earth... and accept its power. Top be ready after it shows its anger, to come to the rescue of each other. When it comes down to it, when all is stripped away from us - from our philosophies and inclinations to our politics and indignations - all we are are spirits just trying to stay alive. When we have nothing, all we want is food and water and shelter. We want the things that make us common with every other living thing on this planet.
Then beyond that, we want compassion, and help from one another. We realize that we need each other more than we knew. We realize that yesterday's mundane life was more precious and more fragile than our egos would allow.
So what of you now? Did you give too much already? Tapped out and tired of all the bad news? Will the change the channel or be moved this time to give, as you gave to the citizens of Katrina?
And what of your own life? Will you go about your vente-frap-no-whip day and grumble that the bus was late? Or will you hug the ones you love just a little while longer? Will you appreciate what you have, knowing that at any time, regardless of yesterday's news, nature can come back today and put you into the fray?
Are you humble enough to enjoy today? And brave enough to face tomorrow?
Friday, October 07, 2005 I'm sorry... Forgiveness sets you both free.
For Jews around the world, this time of year is very significant. Between the New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is the time for people to reflect back on past wrongs and search for forgiveness. It's a good idea, for everyone. Seeking and giving forgiveness is the path to peace... inner peace and World Peace.
So now it's time to say my peace...
I'm sorry I said what I did I was angry; looking for a cheap and quick way to hurt back. It wasn't what I wish I had said.
I'm sorry for not saying what I should have It was the right time, and the right place... and I said nothing. I can't fill the silent hole now, except with tears.
I'm sorry for not being there For not being able to be in two places at once. To be strong enough to make a different choice than being someplace else.
I'm sorry for my prejudgment Oh, it's not about your race, your sex or your age. I've worked all that out years ago. It's the ones I didn't see coming... in something you said, or the way you acted; made me prejudge your next moment... and took away your chance to be you.
I'm sorry for knowing better Then doing nothing about it.
I'm sorry for not knowing better And acting as if I did.
I'm sorry for staying too long Prolonging the unnecessary.
I'm sorry for leaving too early And missing out on Opportunity.
I'm sorry for forgetting how important it was to you I was too inside myself to notice it was hurting me too.
I'm sorry for forgetting who you are I know that face, I do. I'm bad at names. Is it wrong of me to ask?
I'm sorry for not being us It's all of these and more. And less.
It was real love, really... just not enough to make a difference.
Thursday, October 06, 2005 Lessons of the little things... "Right now" can still be "Right," now can't it?
OK, think back to the time you first moved into a new place... how many of you had sheets on the windows? Let me see a show of hands... (nevermind that, I can't see well from here anyway)... but you know what I'm talking about. You either couldn't afford to buy shades, or wanted to wait for the right drapes to "shout" at you... so you settled for Barney or Beauty and the Beast... or at least hopefully something that wasn't going to show the neighborhood TMI.
Well, I just put up these paper shades and I must tell you, they're quite nice. I call them my "better than nothing" solution, but from a distance (read: outside with the noisy neighbors) they look like real shades.
So often we think of our "Right Now" solution as something inferior to our "Right" solution (you remember the Mr/Ms Right Now's don't you?)... but that doesn't have to be the case. Who says that fulfilling an immediate need isn't actually the best thing to do? Sure, it's better to have the long term thing in place as early as possible, but you could end up with nothing, while you wait for that something to come along.
When you're hungry, eat. When you're tired, sleep. When you need love, find love... and when you find love, make sure you have something to cover the windows.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005 Nightlight Even the littlest of lights illuminates the darkness.
I bought a little night light for my bathroom. It has a sensor on it that keeps it off during the day. However, when it is surrounded by darkness, it begins to glow. It doesn't try to be like the big light. It's not there to be anything but a little light. And yet in that time of darkness, it clears away the shadows to let me find my way.
We need to keep our little sensors on too... so that when times are bright, we just stay and enjoy the light... and when it gets dark and bleary around us, that's when we should make our own light and just glow our brightest.
Little things matter.
I also started to go back to the gym after a very sporadic month off. I can feel the difference. But still, like my lesson in little things, it's the same thing at the gym. I'm trying not to be what I was, or try to push myself too hard. I'm repeating the success I had in the past, from the point I am now. With Time, Patience and Persistence, I'll be back to glow again.
Sunday, October 02, 2005 Nothing... It is better to know Nothing than not know anything.
I did Nothing this weekend. Oh sure, it lasted for only a little moment... then I went back to the long list of Somethings I usually do... but for a brief, shining moment, I did Nothing... and it was wonderful.
I've been on the go for several months now, and as my moving date approached, it just intensified... but after the keys were returned and with all the boxes securely cluttering up my new livingroom, I finally had the chance to exhale.
I lied on my bed, silenced the screaming of the boxes and my own little voices, and just reveled in my own accomplishment. It was an important reminder of how much, how often, we need to take breaks... even if it's only for a moment. Silence helps let the steam out, let's us gather up our thoughts... or let's us think of nothing for a change.
To Just Be.
I know all about that... that's why I catch myself not doing it so often. I look back on the end of my frantic day and wonder, "how did this happen?" Lately I've let my nights run into my daze, and haven't taken the time to do nothing.
So I want nothing, I ask for nothing in return... for a while I had nothing, and nothing is good enough for me... so with that, I have nothing else to say.