race

Life’s Daily Race – Any Idea Where You Are Racing To?

Yesterday, I was in a Persian grocery market in town where one can enjoy amazing prices on semi-local produce. My mother was with
 me after spending the day reading books and enjoying the sea breeze, while I worked to meet a writing deadline. Mom is now 73-years-old (she looks like she’s going on 63 rather than 73, but that’s besides the point…or maybe it’s not “besides the point.” I NEED her to be 63 because I want her to be around for many, many more years. The thought of losing her one day scares the living daylights out of me).

Mom and I walked down the aisle that I knew would lead us to the cilantro. I glanced at my mom for a moment and was filled with the overwhelming conviction to be there fully with her – to not worry about where we need to rush to next, how we will get there on time, or if we were doing the “right” thing at the “right” time.

Mom was looking at a pile of apples to her right. There was a glimmer of happiness in her eyes – a twinkle. She held her purse in her left hand and as usual was dressed elegantly – with purpose. I made a point to look around at the various shoppers, racing around to get done with their shopping tasks and on to the next event.

“Where the heck are we all racing to?” I asked myself. It became apparent to me in that instant that the race is imaginary. We work and work and go and go and do and do. In the process we end up panting like dogs – tears streaming down our faces, as we think we could be doing better. We fret because we may not get to that place, that destination. What destination? Where? How?

I am realizing more and more that “the destination” is an illusion. Instead, if I dare to focus on the “here,” I will get “there” without the struggle – without the panting – without the stomach ulcers – without failed relationships…

Mom and I roamed around the market smiling, savoring the moment. She didn’t know that I’d made the decision to embrace each second of our experience together. She had no idea that I had recently found myself worrying about losing her and fear of change. By choosing to open my arms wide and thank the cosmos for the perfect moment, I was free. Free to enjoy the smallest details in life.

When we got back to my home, I decided not to touch my computer, my cell phone and other annoying electronic devices. I then put on the movie Chocolat and sat next to mom. Throughout our movie experience, we laughed, teared up and were amazed at the rich story line. While the credits rolled at the movie’s end, I put my head on Mom’s shoulder and asked her to give me head tickles as she did when I was a kid. My mom is still here. She still is my longest-standing best friend, and she always will be.

Where are we racing to? Where are we going? What are we doing to ourselves?

Before leaving the grocery store, my mom had accidentally stepped in front of a woman  in a hurry. Mom apologized in the most sincere of ways, but the woman didn’t say a word. She frowned and  pushed her way toward the checkout stand.

I’m not sure why the woman was so unhappy. It probably didn’t have anything to do with my mom or that moment – but I pray that today she realizes  her race in life is an illusion. She can make her  moments more enjoyable by telling “the race” to take a hike and insert herself into “now.” It’s about her son who trailed behind her, picking up various pieces of fruit and looking at them in amazement – with obvious imagination. She didn’t seem to even acknowledge his existence — just kept frowning and racing forward.

Where are you racing to? What are your intentions? What can you do to better harness the moment?

Did  you know that we can paint our days in any way we wish?

You can use any colors you choose…and you can modify those colors at any moment in time. Don’t buy into the illusion that you have to race – that there is a destination to get to – that you have to be this way or that – that your kids have to be this way or that. Untangle your being from the complex “shoulds” and “what ifs”… and then open it to the simple, yet oh so amazing “here and now.”

- Jen Engevik

Project BE Bold

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If I Could Share a Thing or Two with the World

If I could share a thing or two to the world I’d share 
That a smile is worth more than gold
A soul should be treated with utmost care
We should love one another as though we are each precious treasures
Life can be lived in the present
(That’s where true happiness is found)
The heart is fragile
Magnificent
And
Our barometer for what is
Good, right and true.

If I could stand on the top of a mountain and shout a message out to the world,
I would invite everyone to live
Out their dreams
To treat each moment with respect
To stop pretending to be who they aren’t
To invest in positive thought
And courage
And hope.

I’d suggest that we stop focusing on drama
And start focusing on possibility
To pour ourselves into projects
Goals
A better world
I’d encourage others to leave the places
They visit in better condition than
When they first arrived.
(picking up a bit of litter may be a start,
Rather than walking over it and pretending it
isn’t there.)
To invest in better behavior
Rather than investing in the idea
that we are a doomed, sinful race.
Taking responsibility should be our
goal – rather than blaming it on
the devil or some other “sinner.”
Don’t you think if there is a God,
He’d would want for his children
to transform the world rather than
wait by aimlessly for a magical solution?

If there were religious groups standing by,
I’d want to remind them that
above all things LOVE is the most
important virtue
And gift that they can give the world
(Judgment isn’t going help their cause…
it will alienate those who need their message most)

If there are doubters out there –
Those who think there is nothing to live for
That there is no hope…
I’d like to invite them to
look around and see the simple beauties
that the world has to offer –
Blue skies
Music
Apples
Oranges
Flowers
Laughter
Talents
Butterflies
Goodness
And so much more…
The way to move away from a funk
Is to dive in
and dare to look beyond one’s self
know that you aren’t alone.
There may even be someone out there
Hurting more than you.
You can make a difference in his or her life
and then you will have sublime purpose.

Happiness comes from our ability
To move beyond ourselves
And into a pursuit for some sort of
excellence.

If I could teach the world a thing or two,
I’d  share that
living from the soul is most important -
from the soul there springs,
Everything that we
will ever need.
No matter how much we think
Things and attainment will bring us joy
without tapping into the soul
everything is meaningless,
And false.
Within the soul resides
Peace,
Love
And hope.

To tap in into its deep well
Find moments of silence
and contemplate
on the truth it reveals.
Then live from it…
Energy will fill your bones
as you begin to live with
Authenticity.

By Jen Engevik

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The Moment by Epictetus

Caretake this moment.
Immerse yourself in its particulars.
Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed.

Quit the evasions.
Stop giving yourself needless trouble.
It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now.
You are not some disinterested bystander.
Exert yourself.

Respect your partnership with providence.
Ask yourself often, How may I perform this particular deed
such that it would be consistent with and acceptable to the divine will?
Heed the answer and get to work.

When your doors are shut and your room is dark you are not alone.
The will of nature is within you as your natural genius is within.
Listen to its importunings.
Follow its directives.

As concerns the art of living, the material is your own life.
No great thing is created suddenly.
There must be time.

Give your best and always be kind.

~ Epictetus ~

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Focus & Determination – March 12, 2010

The beauty of this moment is that we can discard everything from the past and let the future worry about itself while we dive into our capabilities — here and now.

The secret to success is a single minded focus. Dare not to waste time and energy by:

1. Focusing on what you need to do in 5 min., 10 min., 1 hour, 1 day, 1 month. This takes away from the quality of your work at hand.

2. Jumping from project to project. This increases your chance of error and also takes away from the quality of your work at hand. Set a time frame for each project – even if it is five or ten minutes of 100%  focus before jumping to another task.

3. Listening to negative thought that tells you that you are doing a sub-par job. Pour your passion & soul into your work…not your unfounded fears!

Remember that you are it! You are the hero you have been looking for all of your life. This doesn’t mean that you need to be egotistical about who you are and your capabilities, but rather, be thankful!! Thank the universe for your ability to think, to envision, to create and be bold.

The difference between those who succeed and those who “dream” of succeeding is this: those who succeed have a single focus and work away without the thought of what they will gain out of it. And before they know it, they have created their very own masterpiece that they can share with the world for years to come.

- Jen of Project Be Bold

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If I Had My Life to Live Over Again by Nadine Stair – February 28, 2010

If I had my life to live over again,
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax.
I’d limber up.
I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances,
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.
you see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane,
hour after hour,
day after day.

Oh, I’ve had my moments.
If I had to do it over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else- just moments,
one after another, instead of living so many yeas ahead of each day.
I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.
If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had to live my life over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances,
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would pick more daisies.

- Nadine Stair
(An amazing 85-year-old woman, from Louisville, Kentucky,  who provided the words above after someone asked her how she would have lived her life differently if she had a chance.)

Wishing you a bold day!!

- Team Project BeBold

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In the Zone – February 12, 2010

“And again I paddled out and caught a wave. For a third time I hopped to my feet, swiveled my hips, and guided the

Frances Lefkowitz Surfing

board, so I was not walking on water, but gliding on it, dancing on it, as the wave crashed into the white foam behind me, propelling me into the glassy water ahead. This was infinity of the brightest kind, and I slipped into that ecstasy that comes with losing yourself completely, with touching the wet fire churning at the center of the world, with getting all the way inside life, no longer a witness but right at the crux, at the point of maximum propulsion. Finally the wave dropped me off at the beach, where I rammed my lovely Indian into the sand like an amateur and stumbled back onto land, my whole body grinning in elation and exhaustion.” – Frances Lefkowitz – from How to Have Not (MacAdam/Cage) -Book excerpt published in body + soul Magazine.

I read Lefkowitz’s words last night before heading to bed and was reminded of how wonderful it feels to be “in the zone.” Where none of the cares of the world are filling my mind…just the elation of being connected to a moment, an action…

We all crave at one point in time or another the days of youth where we were nearly always in the zone — whether we were climbing trees, playing cops & robbers or watching a favorite cartoon. Our focus was single and because of this we were ALIVE.

Today, I’d like to encourage you to find a fun activity to engage in that will enliven your spirit and take you into “the zone”…there you will find freedom and revitalization abound!

- Jen of Project BeBold!

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