A man about Family – more than a Board on my Pinterest!

(Another rant and little editing,  bare with me.  Forget the writing for now if you can and look to the meaning, or at least to the questions questions.  I want to be a thought provocateur more than a thought leader anyway.  Beside, the human bairn and Egnislh lagnuage is an amznaig tinhg. Even when wrods are msisplleed your mnid fills in the gaps as long as the first and last letter are in the rghit pclae!!   Well that is the theory of some smart people, if you couldn’t understand the last few lines then I guess its not as true as I thought!!!)

Lets begin Again, I started the day planning to do a video blog.  It was interrupted along with other videos this week by family needs and technical issues.  So, I ended up writing this instead.  (if the video works out in the end I post that too;)

I have been thinking of myself as “A man About Family” of late. So, I love my family.  Not really earth shattering news you might probably say.   And you’d probably be right, except that simple yet often over looked part, I don’t just say it, I am living it.  Even so, I catch myself from stepping of the middle path in my daily practice from time to time when life gets too busy and too hectic.   Despite having a fairly developed level of self-awareness about it being one of my core values, and a deliberate intent to live with that as a foundational piece of my being.

I do not hold my true worth in regard to my ability to speak of values but in my ability to live by them.  Not only in my ability to be successful through my actions and behaviours but in my ability to learn from my failures and better myself each day as a result.  True growth and progress can’t occur by thoughts and words alone, but in our practice, our everyday actions and behaviours.  I see my true growth not in terms of perpetual growth, I think this in life as in business is a dangerous road, maybe a good intentioned road but a misguided one.  Misguided by the modern industrial world and the place the average person should be in it.

Here is a concept to think on, something I have heard from a few places but this past year by Tony Robbins, he says (may not be exact quote) “we have figured out the science of success but not the art of fulfillment”.  I have long been on a path looking for purpose in action, in fulfillment, and I could not find that in the modern western worlds definition of what makes one a success.  I had to create my own paradigm.

One where my success is defined in terms of: my ability to live and act as I have intended; my ability to reflect on my decisions and the resulting outcomes with gratitude and compassion.  To find a fulfilling life that is one of growth, but also one that is lived in a state of “being” as well.  Lots of talk these days about being present in the moment, about practicing mindfulness.   Lots of talk about growing as a person, taking on challenge after challenge, if you’re not growing you’re dying I have heard.  Well for me, this is often still only about that need for living by the bigger is better, increase productivity and efficiency without necessarily looking at what is effective and in our wellbeing’s best interests.  I think that the richness of our life will benefit both from growth but also in the embracing, reflecting on, and cherishing who you are now, of being for a time as you are.

I’m sure there are some that can slice and dice this on grammar, and semantics.  But I am only trying to raise a question, the question, “how well am I living my life” and suggesting we each do the same.  Despite how I have worded my beliefs above, I do also embrace the need of change, though there are times for that to be minute and time for it to be large.  Taking time to just be is not the same as doing nothing.  It is more than being mindful in the moment, its is knowing that by being mindful in the moment you can live with purpose and intent, for me an intent to be net positive in the good I do on to others than any harm I inflict.  It is knowing that if I take the time to learn form my actions day after day, as I currently am that I can make an honest effort of being my best self while knowing that I am building on the understanding of my knowledge and experience that with make me wiser in the future when the time has come to change and grow again. (I’m sure that is really more than one sentence, but there is a lot going on here right now so I have to warp this up!!)

As much as success can be seen as a science – a repeatable process, I think that fulfillment can be too.  Maybe its not that fulfillment is the art, maybe it is really a life lived well, one with success and fulfillment crafted to be defined on your own terms (at least my own terms) that is the art work of my life.

Of course, this is a little long way around to my point.  But this is my blog and while I figure it out I won’t worry about that.

By learning to live my life this way, I have been about to go from a broken relationship to single, to finally admitting and being treated for severe depression.  Most of this I have really worked in to my daily life since then, and the outcome is that while my life may not be text book perfect, and there is all manner of stresses, I love my life, I love my family and it is a sense of purpose that has left me not wanting for much.

When I was younger I was an outlier, trying to conform to the career path for success nearly broke me, learning from it has made be wiser and putting it into practice made be a better human, at least in the ways that I am counting as important.  The career thing I’ll save for another day, but the fixation on career wasn’t a search for an occupation it was a preoccupation to be defined by it.  I am currently immersed in my real ‘vocation’, that of father.  It has many roles and spills out in to almost everything I do, but it is really worth doing well.

Who am I?  Many things, on the grand scheme just one person, but to those I am connected to, to those that count on me, it is worth being the best me I can, to be A man about Family!!  To be a man about family is no small thing to take on, but no better way to learn the craft of life.  It will be how I see my success, my middle road of fulfillment, my life’s work, My life and my family my artwork.  Master piece?  Who knows, it may be amateur and rough at best, but I am the artist and I show up to work, to create, to study, to paint!

Oh, that reminds me, I have chores, Take care and live well & be well.  You’ll hear some more on these things if you keep checking in!

Getting Started!

My first blog post for a blog I just started minutes ago.  Not sure what I am fully intending to do with it but I have been going to do it for a long time now.  Sometimes, getting started is the hardest thing to do.  But as in all new activities it is the only way to do it.  This is the case no matter how you are feeling or how busy you are.  I am not the most technically proficient writer, which is to say I like to write how I speak and that is not in good English grammar and on top of it I make a lot of mistakes.  My purpose here was solely to start the blog and start sharing my own life lessons & experiences.  It was not to improve my writing skills or take up more time in a already busy life.  So please bare with me, and my likely mistakes and look to the messages.  I will try to improve the communication skills of both in time and with practice by doing the blog itself not in preparing things for the blog to post later.

I will simply: reflect for a moment on a topic or idea, gain my sense of mindfulness and presence for the moment (not always an easy task; for me, it’s a learned skill not a natural trait), sit, type, and post.  (Well I’ll correct what spell checker picks up for me!)

So for today

I recently talked to a friend of mind about this and about the context of getting started when you (by you I mean someone in general including myself) are in a low mood, a funk or a negative rut.  We both had the same opinion; that the most likely ‘best thing’ you can do to help yourself everyday is just getting up to live the day.  No matter how much you actually get done.  When it has happened to me and does happen to me, It’s the simple act of swinging my legs out of bed and putting my feet on the floor that I give myself credit for, just being brave enough to face the day.  Then it’s my reflection on many of the things that I am (and should be) grateful for in my life that opens up my mind.  Then it’s the love and commitments in my life that give me purpose that fuels the start of the rest of my day.  I just repeat and keep practicing to get better at doing it.

I recently heard a quote I like from a man and motivational speaker named Zig Ziglar who passed away in 2012 at age 86.  It goes like this, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

(This information and others about him can be found at these two websitesJ)

  1. http://storify.com/CNN/10-zig-ziglar-quotes
  2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2012/11/28/zig-ziglar-10-quotes-that-can-change-your-life/

A quote I just learned from this same man as I just looked up a source to confirm my message above is very much in line with what I was saying above and is probably better advice to quote then the way I was about to finish it.

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us forward, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” – Zig Ziglar 

I hope that you find this helpful, and I hope that you have had the time to read it. 

Take care, carry on and live well!