She’s Evolving and So’s This Blog

It’s been three years, two countries and two states since I’ve posted on this blog. There have been many changes in  my life and much growth.

I feel the need to pick up this blog again, but not in the same format.

I am being pushed to change–by the One I worship–and part of that truth is sharing deeper lessons.

I’m not sure what’s coming here, but something is definitely in the works.Time to take this ride together.

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A Matter of Free Will

“Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness; on the confines of the two everlasting empires, necessity and free will.” ~ Thomas Carlyle in Essays, “Goethe’s Works”

Been thinking a lot about free will lately. I do believe in it, of course, but yet I also believe that Someone has a job for me and that needs to be foremost in my plans.

I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten the message on what the job is. I’m a teacher. I’m supposed to be teaching. I don’t actually want to teach, says the woman who voluntarily writes a blog to teach people. And my career is as a teacher, as well, something I’ve been trying to change for years. But here I am and I do it gladly (most of the time).

But within that job, I do have a large measure of free will, I know.  But lately I’ve been wondering even about that.

Then again, how free is my will if necessity keeps me doing things I don’t want to do? And there’s the rub, as Hamlet so bluntly put it. Carlyle puts it well, too.  I don’t think Someone is constraining me. Society does. Money does, the economy and all that.

More on this in the future, but these are the thoughts that have been swirling around in my mind lately. How much of our free will is actually free?

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There’s a Reason for Everything

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” ~ Attributed to CS Lewis

I saw this on a friend’s Facebook wall today and it made me think. But when I went to find the source, I couldn’t. So while it’s attributed to Lewis all over the place, I couldn’t find the original source. So if anyone knows, please share!

But whomever said it, it’s a hum dinger of a thought. There’s a reason while things happen. I do believe that. Even when the reason is I’m being stupid, it’s still a reason, right?

So by this reckoning, I figure something truly extraordinary is right around the corner! And I’m ready for it!

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Words of a Wise Young Woman

It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” ~ Anne Frank in her Diary

The world knows the story of the brave Jewish school girl in Holland who, with her family, hid from the Nazis, as millions of her co-religionists were slaughtered.

Anne chose to see the good in people. She never got to see the world once the Nazis were defeated, but her father brought her diary to the world and let us see a ray of light that pierced through the dark days.

If you haven’t read Anne’s diary, do. She would have been a formidable woman. She was an amazing person.

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Security is Overrated!

“Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.” ~ William Congreve in Love for Love

As folks know, I’m a college professor, and my actual specialty is Restoration drama, so William Congreve is one of my favorite writers. I read this line today and laughed out loud.

I’m not so sure I fully agree with Congreve. I’m not actually sure I agree at all, but in the spirit of making lemonade out of lemons, I will agree with him today.

Of course, he was talking about love and the chase. In the conventions of Restoration literature, once the chase was over, the relationship grew stale, but I’d like to expand this to life.  And I don’t mean basic security is overrated. People must have the security of a roof over their head, food in their bellies and a sense of personal safety. That I have, and I couldn’t do without it.

But there is something to be said about living life without a net–being open to new experiences and ready to up and move on at the end of a semester.  Who knows what’s out there?

I find, though, after a while, I do crave the security. But since at the moment, I don’t have it, I shall label it “insipid” and cut a fine dash in true Restoration manner.

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Holding Patterns

Stasis: a state or condition in which things do not change, move, or progress ~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Most of us go through periods of stasis in our lives. We get stuck in the groove of every day life, too caught up in surviving financially to deal with our personal growth and development.

Most times, I despair of these periods. Often, they are happening for a while before we clue into it, and then we stop and say, “Hey, wait a minute! this isn’t what meant to do!”

Then we become frustrated. Actually, I think that we start to become frustrated, and then try to figure out why. Usually the answer is we’re in a state of stasis.

Sometimes, these periods are not too bad. I try to think of them as a bit of a rest, though usually the last thing that’s happening is actual rest. I find myself stuck in stasis when I’m up to my ears in my job. I love teaching, but some semesters it’s a job, the endless grind of reading, grading, explaining the same thing over and over and over again.

But I do know that stasis is not a good state for humans. We need to be evolving, growing, changing, because if we’re not, we’ll soon start devolving, shrinking, dying.

Of course, the best first step to breaking stasis is to realize we’re stuck. Sometimes, that’s all we can do at the moment, but awareness usually brings the desire for change, and desire is the catalyst.Conscious stillness is a decision, but stasis is a trap.

 

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A Moment’s Bliss

True bliss comes in moments. Live them, then remember them as needed. ~ me

I couldn’t find a quote on bliss today that said what I needed, so I said it myself.

I found a lot about “follow your bliss,” which is all very well and good, but most of us have to be a little more pragmatic in life. So I see bliss as moments in life–perfect happiness–that we store up in our memories to draw out and savor later.

Practice finding these moments and they will come easier. This morning I was out running errands. As I walked past a fountain in a little square outside the library, I yielded to temptation and sat on the bench. No other people were around. The sun was shining, so I closed my eyes, put my face to the sun and listened to the gurgling water. A few breaths, and there it was: bliss.  I let my mind play around in it a while, and then boom, back to the real world.

But those few moments of quiet, peace, and summery smells did it for me. Biologically speaking, I am sure my brain was flooded with serotonin thanks to the sun, and probably some endorphins from the walking I’d been doing. Running water sound is my “go to” for stress relief, so all the ingredients were there.

I put it in the cupboard of my mind with all the other moments, ready to be brought out and savored some dark night of the mind.  It won’t be exactly the same, but those few moments of bliss today recharged something.

So instead of being frustrated that you can’t follow your bliss, find what makes you happy, if only for a few minutes. Maybe it’s something peaceful like my moment today. Other times it might be much more lively and frantic–a good exercise session, a rousing time with people you love. It’s all good. Don’t follow the bliss. Experience the bliss and store it up.

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