Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Blog

     2011 was a challenging year of change and personal growth.  I do believe, in the circle of life, everyone at one time or another, travels through these eddies.  How one responds to these challenges is the fiber that is woven together to create your character.  In ones own personal commitment to drink deeply from the well spring of life, we invite both good and bad to pass by our paw prints on our own personal path with less wear.

     I can reflect on 2011 and bid it a fond farewell with my belt a little tighter, my heart a little softer, my appreciation of the moment a little more aware, and my fiber a little taughter.

Counting Blessings

     Most importantly, I found an appreciation of the NOW.  Most great philosophies evolve around a premise of living in the moment.  Finding a peace and contentment that permeates through your being. Not sacrificing your vision.  Just not living in the someday.  Not being one much for religious gatherings, I have found peace in training my dogs in remote fields and mountain foothills.  And also in riding my horses solo away from cell phone coverage.  My favorite Uncle Howard always said he found his religion on high narrow trails.

     Chided by life's demands and human energy suckers, I took a step back.  Partly for self preservation, and partly out of necessity, I retreated. I found the large number of energy bandits, were REALLY annoyed. The individuals made from their own clay were NOT.  Now I know.  And yes, it counts big. Thank you to those who stayed.

     2011's challenges were good.  I released a lot of my life, some was chosen and some not so much.  I found friends from all walks of life and diversities that know without saying.  I gained a source of renewable peace and clean/pure energy revitalization.  I found happiness from internal resources, with a few extra tail wags, externally.  In extracting my parasitic relationships, I can have better focus on my healing energy and arts, and continue stumbling down the pathway of my journey.

"The objection to conforming to usages
that have become dead to you,
is that it scatters your force.
It loses your time
and blurs the impression
of your character."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


     In the early 80's I made a resolution that every year I would do something new.  Of course the way life unfolds, that has happened without much effort.  I look forward to whatever is new on the horizon. The cultured and refined.  The raw and gritty.  The unexpected.  "This should be interesting" - (My Dad's last words to me before passing).

     I wish for all my clay brick worthy friends, a WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!!!  And I wish for all my yellow jello shot friends, a new chance to get it right....what ever that means for you on your journey.  (I am still pulling for you!)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Just Do It

"The Gods favor the bold"

"Competition has been shown to be useful up to a 
certain point and no further, 
but cooperation, which is the thing we must
strive for today,
begins where competition
leaves off."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The healthiest competition occurs when
average people win
by putting above average effort."
-Colin Powell

     We have all heard the phrase it is better to be lucky, than good.  It is nice.  It shows humility and makes us feel as if we are being magnanimous to those around us.  And lady luck is always great to have on ones side.  However, I think that practice and hard work makes one lucky.  Our great state of Nevada is somewhat built on the premise of luck.... and gambling.  I think we don't pay state taxes essentially on a human fault.  The ego that thinks that deep down, we are all lucky.  It is human nature that needs to feel like a winner at one level or another.  It is a human validation that needs to be fulfilled, and unfortunately the laws of statistical analysis are ignored.  Math and science are so cold.  While finding the best parking spot, and winning the 'Money Train' make us feel so warm.

     Ultimately like anything else it must be a balance.  Luck is luck.  But perception of lucky is envisioned on usually unknown or unseen sacrifices and deep dedication.  I believe having VISION is more relevant.  I am amazed at how many stumble through life with no vision.  Envision the pathway that you might be able to journey down.  It is your dream, your painting, your story - so to say.  Without vision, we would have never walked on the moon, built huge skyscrapers, or evolved culturally. 

     'God helps those, who help themselves.' I think that in the face of our current economy and state of our country and world, this phrase is very relevant. I know it's hard out there.  But I have a difficult time feeling sorry for those who do not even try.  Do work people!!!  I know at the risk of sounding aged, I can not stand the current level of entitlement.  And entitlement without effort, and no regard for consequence of action.  There is also consequence of inaction.

"Self-entitlement is the honoring of oneself
with no basis and without
acknowledging consequences."

     Vision and luck are nothing without action.  It is better to do something than nothing.  It is better to move forward than to stay stagnant.  Life is dynamic.  "Life is a journey (the hated J-word) and not a destination." So many cliches, so little time.


     This is a prologue to my new years blog.  

"I never worry about action, but 
only inaction."
-W. Churchill

"Action expresses priorities."

"Do you want to know who you are?
Don't ask.
Action will delineate 
and define you."
-Thomas Jefferson

"I'm a woman of very few words, but lots of action"
-Mae West

"We become just by performing just action,
temperate by performing temperate actions,
brave by performing brave action."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

March Madness

It was high counsel that I once heard
given to a young person- "Always do
what you are afraid to do"

Take calculated risks.
That is quite different from
being rash.
George S. Patton

After the game
the king and the pawn
go into the same box
-Italian proverb

A good athlete always mentally replays
a competition over and over,
even in victory, to see
what might be done to
improve the performance
the next time.
-Frank Shorter

It is about the game after all now isn't it?? The game of life. The game of work. The game of love. And whatever other realm you chose to enter to compete. The irony is amazing.

So here it is I am starting the parallel journey of competing as a team alongside my dogs, that reflects my evolution as a human. Now that is IRONIC. This is not the first or the last competition that I have encountered. It may be the toughest, that is yet to be foretold. It may be the purest of all competitions. I can train for it in the rain with a flock of soggy ewes, guiding them for hours while they graze... and my mind wanders, but my dog never does.

I have always been competitive. From the time I was very young I have had to strive for survival. Twice before I was 3 I ate toxic substances on our family ranch landing me in ICU in critical situations. I was tough and mean, the nurses didn't like seeing me back a second time. I didn't like seeing them either!!!

March Madness leads us to the big national basketball tournament that happens this time every year. So I will skip to the college basketball playing days. Two of my four years we won our conference tournament and proceeded on the road to the "Big Dance". That level of competition for me was bitter-sweet. Sweet, because it was my 'DREAM', and I was living it. Bitter, because no one can prepare you for that level of intense scrutiny and competition. I love pure competition. But life is not always that pure.

Things I learned to take into life from my college days of competing. I love my team. A true team sticks together through thick and thin. All parts of the team rely on each other, and you truly are only as strong as your weakest link. I learned how to be a "role" player. Even if I thought (and I could) be the ONE.... I was ok with not being the ONE, as long as we were able to succeed. And when the chosen ones failed, I would always fill the role and ensure victory without honor. The closer!!! And that is truly a tough role to play. I learned to be a "decoy". I would do the hard work and run the gambit knowing that I would allow another honor, but ultimately the victory for the team. I was a student of the game. I learned everything forward and backward. I saw nuances that the coach would never see. I set us up for success. And in the end I did not quit!!! The contradiction in that was that I probably should have. At the super high insane stress level that we operated at....being the team captain and point guard I was the easy target for the infuriated coach. He knew I could take anything he would dish out... and I did. To a point, that I actually lost respect for myself. I would not stand up for myself. I would not quit. At what price??? I am still not sure.

However, I take into life, and into my training that there is a higher good. Winning is not the ultimate goal. Purity of competition is. Excellence. The zone. Never compromise yourself or your dog for the game. Always seek the zone.... Not easy to find, but once you've been there, you know!

If you don't invest very much, then defeat doesn't hurt very much
and winning in not very exciting.
-Dick Vemeil

The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel
are the things that endure. These qualities
are so much more important than the
events that occur.
-Vince Lombardi

Do not let what you cannot do
interfere with what you can do
-John Wooden

Be more concerned with your character
than with your reputation. Your
character is what you really are
while your reputation is merely what
others think you are.
-John Wooden

I've always made a total effort, even when
the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying;
I never felt that I didn't have a chance to win.
-Arnold Palmer