Category: deep thoughts

4 WORDS // [2] CENTER

Center-Monibee-4-Words

center1
noun

  1. the middle point or part of something.

It’s from our center that truth flows – the truth about who we are.

But it isn’t so easy as simply knowing.  We know that we want to live from our hearts – instead we find ourselves living on the outside.  We fashion a character…pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Yet, we cannot escape the nagging sense that there is something more of us to offer – more than what we’ve constructed.

You see, we are longing to be known.  And we cannot be known unless we are living from the inside out.  For it is from here that our heart, our true identity is found.

None of this is easy.  None of us who’ve held back the best parts of ourselves have done it on purpose.  Instead, we’ve learned to protect those parts as a result of some tragedy, some betrayal that’s left us battered.

The risk is too great to put it out there again.

But in our efforts to protect, we’ve wounded ourselves only further by remaining isolated and denying ourselves true intimacy.

And courage is needed – when we finally realize what we have done…become.  Because we know it’s going to hurt – the dismantling.  We also know that we must.  For in denying our self, we deny others.

They need us.  They need what is buried, deep down in the center.

Dare to live from your heart.

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4 WORDS // [1] PRESENT

4-words-present

pres·ent1

noun

  1. the period of time now occurring.

By nature, I am a thinker.  I am always 3 steps – 3 days – 3 years away in my head.  It would be unfair to say that this modus operandi has not served a useful purpose in my life.  Yes, I wear the Type A badge with honor.  Trust that if you ever go camping, you should probably have me along – because I will have thought of everything – I’ve got you covered.

Buried beneath this guise of preparedness, what you may or may not be shocked to discover, is a lot of fear.  What the preparation actually translates to is: This or that might happen and if it does I need to be sure I am in control.  Yeah – it’s all about control.

The trouble with this is that it doesn’t leave much room for enjoying or experiencing what is right in front of you.  And for every terrible thing that might happen – there are hundreds of amazing things that are actually happening all around us. However…

What we focus on is what becomes our reality.

I can’t tell you how many years I’ve wasted on fiction.

Control is nothing more than an illusion, anyway.  We can do our best to prevent catastrophe, but, ultimately, what’s to stop a human from spontaneously combusting?  Nothing.  It’s spontaneous.  Ever tried to outrun a SHC?  It’s kind of impossible.

I say all this to illustrate a simple point.

When we spend our time fixating on what we cannot control and obsessively prepare for what may or may not happen, we cannot live in the present.  We miss out.  And the people around us miss out on an authentic and fully engaged version of ourselves.

Rilke said:

Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final

And do not the most beautiful things usually emerge from rubble anyway?

Let it happen – all of it.  This isn’t a hall pass to be foolish or flippant – we know the difference here.

I invite you to be present – with yourself – with the people you love.  It’s happening, all around us – beauty – love – creativity.  Create the space for it.  One day at a time.  One day.  One.

All we have is now.

4 WORDS // DISRUPTED TO FOCUS

4-a-singularity-monibee

Always when you least expect it – BOOM! – SMASH! – a revelatory idea – some thing that helps you regain focus, or perhaps find it for the first time.

I’ve lost focus, many times in my life.  This has usually come by way of taking on too much – busying myself up.  It’s good to stay busy – stay productive some people will say.  But the question is:

Are the things that are keeping us so busy bringing us closer to who we truly want to be?

How much of the space in our lives is filled with activity – obligations – which only leave us feeling drained and, ultimately, dissatisfied?

For some of us, the answers to these questions can be defeating. 

You realize you are living a counterfeit.  And you are tired.

A recent trip to the other side of a black hole birthed one of those revelatory moments for me – a sort of disruption to my slumber.  Just above the event horizon 4 words rose – words that have helped me begin to redefine my focus –  and pair back – prune – jettison – anything that is not serving me in BECOMING.

Over the next weeks I will share with you those 4 words – what they mean to me – and how they are helping me clarify my dreams and ambitions…

Present

Center

Actual

Alive

can you hope in man?

It’s clear that life is full of disappointments.  Perhaps the most painful being those that rely on  relationships to produce a desired result.  We cant very well stay angry or hurt with our laptop or coffee maker if they fail to deliver what we expect. Although – I have screamed explanetives at my laptop a time or two.  However, the emotions are fleeting once realizing my exertions are being wasted on an inanimate object.  But people – oh yes – people.  Who can illustrate the depths of their failings – the offenses they carelessly impose on us. . .or seemingly so.  Is it possible to separate the individual from their actions and see something bigger –  or maybe not so big?  And more, can we remove all the layers of garbage we bring to the equation – the shit colored lenses we sometimes view the world through, in an effort to gain objectivity?  What is objectivity anyway?  What is real? I think  – therefore it is.  Is it?

How do I get outside of my own warped perceptions, above the clouds where the sun shines bright, to see the beautiful and complex truth of my circumstances?  Nothing is ever straight forward, as much as I’d like it to be.  There is a lesson in everything – some simple wisdom to be gained, perhaps.  At the very least, a fail leading to disappointment or consequence should hardwire a caution that hopefully equips us in avoiding the next plunder.  Right?  But our steps are ordered – can we be okay with the sovereignty of our existence – accepting struggles as lessons that refine?  I’d be lying if I said I have this figured out and I’m okay with all this.  

I don’t want to hope in people – for it is clear that every individual I’ve come close to disappoints me…in one way or another.  Do I crucify them for it?  No – of course not.  I most assuredly piss them of from time to time as well.  Maybe more than I am willing to admit.  What can I reasonably expect from my personal relationships then?  Respect at a most basic level.  But even the gas station attendant respects me to some degree – and frankly, that’s not enough.  It’s clear we are all looking for intimacy, loyalty, love.  These are precious commodities – especially in a world that thrives on instancy.  Because there is no immediate intimacy, loyalty is earned, love is developed.  

If it’s true that God can satisfy these needs in us alone, then please, somebody show me the way.  I’m tired of the religious cliches.  I want something real, permanent.  Please.  But just don’t let me be governed by expectations that cannot be fulfilled by man anymore.  It’s time to come up higher.  What am I learning here?  It’s fire…and it burns.

what’s left.

I’ve scraped the bottom for every last remnant–with the same measure of effort it takes to squeeze blood from turnips.  Diluted, diluted, then double diluted again.  Stretching it–making it last.  But I can feel the dullness setting in.  What’s harder: the initial shock of loss or the realization that you might finally be letting go?  Its slipping away now and on the outskirts of what was once vivid.  Felt moments of ‘reliving it’ are fewer in the far betweens.  I know where this goes–it has to go for the story to work.

making room.

I’ve sat in this chair, in this exact spot, for almost three years now.  I’m finding it a little hard to believe – that its been that long – my trip to Nashville.  And this stupid table that I found on Craigslist.  $75 was a great deal.  It’s not easy finding a retro-classic kitchen table for that price – especially considering the mint condition its pictures boasted.  Yes – too good to be true.  Because for nearly the entirety of it’s place in my home, I’ve experienced multiple clean ups after the one leg to the far right buckles beneath it.  Batman always offers his condolences.  I think he knows I really like the table – despite it’s deficiencies.

I wonder how many thoughts were birthed from this vantage point – grounded by my worse for ware table?  With what objects are these thoughts imprinted?  Was I thinking of love while gazing at my microwave?  Did I process a disagreement while staring at my vintage sugar and flour containers?  Kitchen Sink Revelations – a book I’ll write someday – or maybe just talk about.  To what do I associate the memories I’ve been compiling at this ridiculous table?  How many light bulbs have sprouted from my skull at this God forsaken table?

I consider the objects that mark seasons of our life.  For me – its been an old couch, a rejected glass blown project, a window seal, and now this table.  Has the energy of my thoughts passed through them and left a piece of me behind or just my imprint?  Either way, I feel a change coming.  I think it’s time to let go of this table.  I might cry, as with any death.  But it begs the birth of something new.  And while I do feel a sense of obligation to further nurse her leg – I know there is nothing more I can do – nothing more I can glean from her.

It’s time I make room.

Insomniac.

This past week has been one of very little sleep.  In all seriousness – I am not talking about an average of 3 to 4 hours a night.  No – I shouldn’t be so lucky.  The reality is I’ve had 2 nights of ZERO hours of sleep with the other five days totaling maybe 13 hours.  I’ve been riding a wave of euphoria – at times mistaking it for a fever mixed with vertigo that is not actually vertigo – but rather an altered perception of depth due to sleep deprivation.  Nevertheless – we must press on.

The beauty in all this is that it was polite enough to occur during the same week my executive business team flew in from PA to spend three days with my partner and I to discuss strategic business matters.  No worry – this requires very little attention span and ability to think critically.  I sense my sarcasm setting a tone here.

The truth is – I’ve somehow managed to have a very productive week while maintaining a sincere smile on my face.  I’m not exactly sure how this is even possible.  Similar factors at any other time would be a guarantee for arm flailing, violence of all sorts, mouth foaming, involuntary eye twitching, and a general loss of fine motor skills.  So why not now?

Despite these trying times, I’ve used this as an opportunity to press in to God more aggressively than ever before.  And what I can tell you is that the real battle has not stemmed from my fatigue, but it’s been in the execution of extreme control over my mind.  I’ve really taken this as an exercise in managing my thought life.

I do understand how powerful our thoughts are over shaping our ultimate reality.  I am not now just coming to this realization. Duhs – perception is reality…and any other cliche that fits.  Yes I’ve read the books: The Power of Positive Thinking, The Secret, etc.  Indeed, I, and I dare say more than any of my friends, have spouted off positive thinking rhetoric for years.  But you see, I think the crux of the matter is that we can actually be self deceived – and therein lies the battle to gain control over it.  Why should you desire to gain control over something that you do not realize is negatively affecting you.  My brain hurts.

I’ve heard it said that sometimes when people fast, they not only restrict food, but also sleep.  It used to make me chuckle a bit – the practice of refraining from sleep to get closer to God.  Obviously if you deprive yourself of sleep you are going to have some kind of altered experience – with or without God.  However, sleep deprived or not, if you draw near to God, He will draw near to you.  In the utter desperation I’ve felt over this past week – running to Him has been the only thing that’s yielded a modicum of peace.  I was all over it.

You know what – I’ve had some of the most amazing time with Him because of it.  And energy that I cannot explain has carried me through a most challenging week: mentally, physically, spiritually, maternally, and any other “lly” I’ve left out.

I think that by pursuing His presence alone and resting in it we are energized.  I have literally been unable to muster words or prayers but heard Him speak very clearly to me:  Just stay here for a bit – rest in Me.  So I have.  I’m catching glimpses of what it means to hide yourself in Him.  I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface – but I’m so inspired to get more, go deeper, how deep can I go?  Since He has no end or beginning – the possibility of where this could take me, I am barely able to wrap my mind around.

More levels, more layers, things understood not in the mind but in the spirit.  The more I know Him, the less I understand Him.  This is as it should be, yes?  I don’t think He wants us to understanding Him.  If we could – would we pursue the mystery?  I am dumbstruck – and not for lack of sleep.  God is way outside of the silly little box I’ve constructed and I feel much more safety in that.  Who are you Father?  I realize my mind and spirit are arch enemies.  The more my spirit understands, I am coming to realize, the less my mind is going to connect with it.  This is a good thing.

Free falling now.