Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Right Here, Right Now

The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., "Over the Teacups," 1891

Oliver had it right.  Nothing better than a hot, strong, aromatic cup of coffee in the morning.  Unless of course you add to that the blessing of my perspective.  That of an early morning Alaskan landscape resplendent with mother loon and baby, a calm lake, and the chance to share some thoughts with friends and family.  At this moment in time and space, it truly is incredible.  Which brings me to my next subject.  "Right Here, Right now!"

The actual quote is, "Where else would you rather be than right here, right now?"  Part of a motivational speech from Buffalo Bills Head Coach, Marv Levy, during one of their four Super Bowl runs.  

Those of you who know football, know the Bills never won a Super Bowl.   And for those of you who don't know football, getting to the Super Bowl just one time is an amazing feat, let alone four times.

So regarding Marv's quote, a couple of things come to mind.  First, each of us from time to time needs to take stock of "where are we right now?"  When you were a child full of dreams, is this the place you thought you'd be?  Most of us can cross that off our list "right here and right now!"  Or perhaps this is where you planned to be in your "life plan?"  How about your "retirement plan?"  Man I didn't even know I was supposed to have a plan until it was too late! 

The next thing that comes to mind is opportunity.  The Buffalo Bills not only had a great opportunity to participate in the pinnacle game of their sport, but many of them had four chances.  Four chances to be champions.  Four chances to be the best.  And after all the hard work, all the time away from family and friends, all the injuries and pain, win or lose, before these men of the Buffalo Bills was one of sports greatest opportunities, to win the Super Bowl.  "Where else would you rather be than right here, right now?"

Sounds great for great sport figures, but what about me?  What about "Joe-bag-o-donuts" regular guy Me?  How does that apply?  

Great opportunities may come once in a lifetime, but small opportunities surround us every day!    Who knows but for this time, this place, this purpose you were created.  Right here, right now.  Right where you are in this point in your life.  No matter what you may think of your life - great, mundane, or down right terrible, there are small opportunities that surround you every day which may actually be life or world changers.

Perhaps if you look just a little closer there is a difference maker.  It might be a smile here or there.  A word of thanks.  Forgiveness.  Reconciliation. An unexpected act of kindness.  And when all is said and done, and it feels like no one noticed that act of kindness.  It may actually become one of your greatest successes!  An unnoticed act of kindness.  No kudos or slap on the back.  No trophy to remind you of what you did at a particular point in life.  A simple act of kindness, acting like the ripple on a pond moving outward and affecting all it comes in contact. 

Years ago when I was a disc jockey, I used to end every shift with the phrase, "Put a smile on your face, a "Yes-sir" on your lips, and wherever you go don't walk, Dance!"  You see with a change of attitude here, a simple act of kindness there, before you know it the atmosphere is transformed for a life to be changed, for the world to change, or at least you might catch yourself dancing down the street instead of walking. 

So look closely and you will find some small opportunity to make a difference.  And then, "Where else would you rather be, than right here, right now?"


Monday, June 8, 2009

The Spade Goes

I bid you greetings on this most beautiful of days!

See if you can remember this one...

"The spade goes
Down down baby
Down down the roller coaster
Sweet sweet baby
Sweet sweet don't let me go
Shimmy shimmy coco-bop
Shimmy shimmy rock
Shimmy shimmy coco-bop
Shimmy shimmy rock
I met a girlfriend - a triscuit
She said a triscuit - a biscuit
Ice cream -  soda pop - vanilla on the top
Ooooh she-leeta, walkin' down the street
Ten times a week
I meant it, I said it
I stole my mama's credit
I'm cool, I'm hot
Sock me in the stomach three more times!"

Okay, it's from the movie "Big" with Tom Hanks.  I was actually privileged to attend the "Pre-Premiere" of the movie.  That's the Premiere before the Premiere with all the stars.  While working for FOX TV, we we're all shipped to Catalina Island off the coast of LA for some food, fun, golf, and the premiere.  But I digress.

The point to this song in the movie is it's between "best friends."  It's their secret song.  Only these two best buddies know the words and can perform the song.

I believe each of us should have at least three of these type acquaintances.

Definitely there has to be that "Best-Bud!"  You know, as the "text-ters" say, BFF (Best Friends Forever).   Anyway, you know the type friends.  People you feel totally comfortable around.

Next should be your Spouse!  I can't imagine living in a relationship where your spouse isn't your most very best, "Best-Bud!"  I understand it happens a lot based on the amount of marriage counseling I do, but I think that's more a result of the dating process of today's morality.  You know, sleep and live together first as a way of getting to know one another.  Ahh, I don't think so.  Here's a quote from that great prophet Louis L'amour; "Many a time when a person gets themselves involved with romance, they are so busy being in love they don't realize what it can lead to.  They are all in a rosy sort of glow until suddenly they find out the one they love was great to be in love with, but hell to be married to."  The point is, and I know it sounds silly in today's way of thinking.  But get to know that person first before the physical contact.  Be and become best friends first and chances are you'll at least have a better chance in the long run.  

And finally, God!  After all is said and done the creator of the universe should be your "BEST FRIEND!"  Here's another quote, "If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.  If God had a wallet, your picture would be in it.  He gives you sunrises everyday and flowers in the spring.  I'd say God the Father is pretty crazy over you!"  Above all things you must believe that God of all the universe really loves you!  And the relationship He desires over all, is the relationship with YOU!  

Now the question is, like the characters in the movie "Big," can you see these three best friends of yours and you singing "The spade goes, down down baby, down down the roller coaster.......?"  I can and it's a blast!  

Now If you're working on one or all three of these relationships - good, great, fantastic!  It's kinda like working on learning the words of the song.  Have some patience, the words of the song will come, and that relationship will too!  

So here's to... "you're cool, you're hot," and you and your best friends are there together "socking each other in the stomach 3 more times!"  HA!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

In Wonderment

I bid you greetings on this most beautiful of days.  

Here I am in my man-chair overlooking the lake, forested shore, mountains, and enjoying a cup of the latest bean from Starbucks.  Gold Coast Blend, extra bold.  It's "a complex, full bodied and intense blend - our biggest and boldest offering."  All I know is it goes great with a side of Hershey's chocolate.  Oh Yeah!  Ah the simple pleasures of life.  

Which brings me to todays offering.  "In Wonderment."  I believe this came from one of those 60's looking boxes from Celestial Teas.  Enjoy.

"In Wonderment.  Children are our greatest teachers.  To practice gratefulness we need to let life surprise us with a glorious sunset, a luxurious back-rub, a mysterious phone call, or the kindness of a stranger." 

"The problem with adulthood is that we become jaded.  "Oh yes, another great sunset, another fabulous dinner, another birthday present."  We can recapture our sense of wonderment at any moment.  All it takes is to open our senses and let the world -  God's creation come into us anew.  And when we come into contact with wonderment we will know thankfulness for the most ordinary extraordinary things in life."

So when's the last time you let the simple things of life surprise you?  A sunrise, sunset, the fresh air after the rain, or just looking out across the lake with a hot cup of coffee?  I know it seems way too simple, but I really believe if more people took on the wonderment of children, and opened their senses to all that surrounds us, there'd be a lot less difficulty in relationships.

And it really doesn't matter where you live.  There's wonderment in every part of the country and world.  You don't have to be living on a lake in Alaska.  There is great wonderment in every corner of the largest city, rolling farmland, or desert.  We just have to open our senses and experience our surroundings.  Maybe it's the smile on a face or twinkle in the eye.  Perhaps it's the enjoyment of sitting in your man-chair enjoying a cup of coffee, or maybe it's the "In Wonderment" of tasting olives from your fingers!

So until next time, here's to living a life "In Wonderment!"