It’s that time of the year when we will soon be singing “Auld Lang Syne.” We take a quick look back on what we have done well and what can be improved upon during this year. As we leave the old behind, we should gently close the door.
We should bend down and pick up the gems that gleam from each situation and encounter and put them in our keeper’s basket. Then we must sweep that unwanted and unneeded and simply stamp them as discards. We can then let out a deep sigh of relief and privately think, “Glad that is over!”
We don’t have to be angry for the hard experiences because as we grow in grace and wisdom, we come to understand that every man or person is our teacher. We look for the lessons and though some are painful, we realize that it is not personal. Usually unkind people are unkind to many others as well. It is how they roll. We simply were put in their paths to garner something to help us grow in some way.
Through it all, hopefully our character has been positively altered in some form or fashion. Perhaps, we have become more mindful of how we impact others and vow to have more positive interactions with those new persons that we will be meeting in the future.
There are always lessons to be learned and as we advance as a more spiritually-attuned person, we become less rattled by the abrasive actions of others. We begin to give situations the proverbial light touch and try to keep our emotions more in check.
Wherever we find ourselves at this year’s end, we should tally our data and be honest about our gains. As we gently close the door on the past, we can give it a wave and “keep on stepping.” The world is waiting for our new and enhanced selves to dig in and share our gifts!
Lynn M. December 9, 2018
Oh, the bells are ringing everywhere,
For those donations that we must share.
The frosty mornings waking us up,
Having us reach for that chocolate cup.
Roasting thoughts warn us of frigid air,
As we shop for those for whom we care.
Christmas cheers and smiles spread all around,
Holiday music adds to the sound
The season is here upon us all,
We etch out the new and have a ball!
Lynn M. December 8, 2018
However inaccurate this account of the life of Dr. Don Shirley may be, I found the movie Green Book to be a treasure. I clapped at the end of the film along with a few others in the audience. I have seen countless movies that I immediately forgot shortly after I left the theater. This will not be the case here.
This well-developed story establishes the unlikely bond that was formed between a classical pianist and his chauffeur. They spend a couple of months on the road as Shirley plays concerts throughout the South. He had to rely on the use of The Negro Travelers’ Green Book which directed African-American travelers to safe lodgings during the 50’s and 60’s.
Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) is highly-polished and he lives between two worlds, not quite fitting into either one. Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen),who sorely needs a job, is hired as his chauffeur and they have enough time to bridge their differences. They survive an arrest, some acts of violence and the never-ending threats of the racial divide in the American South.
They embark on their sojourn from New York City and drive south making stops for concerts in places such as Pittsburgh, Louisville, Memphis, Tupelo, Jackson, New Orleans and finally in Birmingham. Each city brings both highs and lows as the culture shock continues to deepen as they go further south.
Octavia Spencer is the Executive Producer of Green Book and I think that she did a fine job. Shirley’s family claims that it is filled with lies. It may be flawed, but hopefully they will realize that this is a new exposure to many people about the life of Dr. Don Shirley. I had never heard of him.
After seeing this movie, I did plenty of research on him, looked at his images and even listened to some of his soothing piano pieces. So, I would say that the movie Green Book offers a green light for viewers to take note of Shirley’ life and his many accomplishments. There will definitely be Oscar buzzes surrounding these two superb actors who portrayed two men from totally different walks of life!
Lynn M. December 1, 2018
After long periods of high activity, if we are fortunate, we can slowly descend the mountain. We reverse our steps and back down to level ground. We are grateful that we were not thrust from the mountaintop as we were moving at such a dizzying pace.
Upon divine completion of some given task, we stop. We realize that the phase is over, so we slow down. We begin to reflect, celebrate our successes and jot down what we can do better the next time around.
We realize that it is time for refreshing our spirits and renewing our souls. We go into healthy repose and lay still in the valley situated between the two mountains. In tranquil stretches of time, we find refuge and quiet breathing spaces.
Clarity of mind and purpose return to us as we keep our distances from the fray and those unnecessary distractions. We know that in our service to humanity, we have helped others and we have in turn helped ourselves. Our purses are indeed fatter, and our knowledge has increased along the way because we understand that we learn something new every day.
So, we breathe. We take breaks and we clear our heads. We eat, sleep and prepare for our next venture. We silently begin to sharpen our tools and shine our shoes for we know that in just a short while, we will be commissioned again.
It will soon be time to scale another mountain so in the interim, we lie still in the valley between the mountains. We snore, smile and eventually look up and see how high the next mountain appears to be and we say to ourselves, “Oh boy!” Then, we inaudibly beseech on our angel helpers for strength, put on our armors of faith and await the call!
Lynn M. November 24, 2018
Sometimes in our lives, we are put to task to build something without a clear blueprint. Yet, our diligence still makes us roll up our sleeves and dig in. As we roll one stone in front of the other, we create the outline of the structure.
Though the end product is invisible, we lean on the All-knowing Substance to guide us as we work on. The hustle and bustle of the movement of busy hands and feet may look chaotic to some, but there is usually a method to the madness. Amelia Earhart said, “Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn’t be done.” It is better to be a curious yet silent observer when there is a work in progress.
Active participants on the construction project should be wise and dutiful soldiers that follow the commands of those running the show. Whether the roles are major or minor, all are essential to the whole.
Tempers may flare, angry words may be exchanged and bricks may fall in the heat of the battle but the intent to succeed is solid like a rock. The smoke from the chiseling hammers may cause a temporary fog and sweat may pour from the brow.
But the light at the end of the tunnel will come into visibility. And as Shaun Alexander says, “I think there will be more smiles when the smoke clears!”
Lynn M. November 17, 2018
Have you ever heard the phrase, “New mask? Same shoes.” I recently heard it referenced on an audio tape and I admit that it was new to me, but not the concept itself. It simply means that there are fogey bears that show up on our paths to stop us from passing and they operate under many guises.
They put on different masks to make us think that they are someone other than who they really are underneath. When people are up to no good, they often cover their faces like the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They work hard at escaping detection. They probably cannot even deal with their own inner darkness.
They house unholy thoughts as well as intentions. They hope that their fear tactics will make us halt. The goal is to terrorize us and make us stop in our tracks. They avoid head-on confrontations by shielding themselves. They often come on to us feigning affection, wearing a bright smile or acting friendly as they pretend to have our best interests at heart.
But as the old adage goes, “There are no secrets in the book of life.” The truth will out and by their fruits, they are known. After several promptings, we soon take note of their track records. We realize that it would be wise to distance ourselves from them. So, we take a huge sprint ahead.
Much later, we turn to take a look in our rear view mirrors. When we are clearly safe from the danger, we can sigh, “Aha.” We give thanks to our Higher Power and whisper, “New mask? Same shoes.”
Lynn M. November 11, 2018
It is that time of the year when we pause and slowly look over our shoulders. We take an inventory of what we have accomplished during the year. We jot down our successes and realize that we have run quite a race.
We recall the hurdles that we have jumped as we decide what we have learned and what we can do better in the future. We most certainly relish those moments of rest between the laps when we were allowed to slow down and become still.
At those times, we were able to restore and rejuvenate ourselves. We could see that the glass has definitely been more full than empty. We are grateful. We have caught glimpses of the Higher Power operating in our lives and seeing us through a host of activities.
After taking brief breaks, we catch our breaths and continue our jogs. At the prescribed time, we climb back onto our charted paths and continue to reap bountifully just like the rich colorful leaves of the November.
Our baskets are fuller. Our knowledge has increased. Our skill sets have grown tremendously. It has been a gain, gain all around. We let out a sigh. Then, we smile as we graciously move ahead!
Lynn M. November 4, 2018
Life moves in cycles. These cycles are both beginnings and endings all intertwined together. As one door closes, another magically swings open awaiting our attention and ultimately our entry into a new set of circumstances.
The dots have been connected as one set of events subtly prepares us for the next succession of things that are about to happen in our lives. We have successfully completed what we have been given to do so we can bravely forge ahead and take our next steps.
One of the theme songs from the movie, The Wiz is “Ease on Down the Road.” We travel more swiftly when we are unburdened with feelings of lightness. We can more easily obtain these feelings when we know that we have given the absolute best of ourselves in the latest venture.
We can assuredly move forth with a lively pep in our steps. Those are the rewards of hard work. We flow and glow as we let the chips fall where they may after we have finished a divine assignment. We know within ourselves that we have had a good run. We have left careful instructions for those that will be coming behind us.
Now, we can put heads out in front as we take a winner’s stance at the starting line of a new endeavor. We are ready to step onto a fresh path so we put on our new shoes of faith. At the sound of the signal, we spring ahead and enter our new cycle of even greater fulfillment!
Lynn M. October 28, 2018
We are always moving and evolving. Just as the clouds linger for a while, they too slowly move and sometimes are in an unnoticeable motion. They never stay for too long.
It is comparable to a guest who we welcome into our homes or into our lives. We laugh, converse, grow and heal some aspects of ourselves while together. But at the prescribed time, we move on. All of us leave the gathering place feeling more hopeful and optimistic about things to come in our futures.
There is a sense of lightness. There are more perceptions and understanding. Everyone is moving on and evolving into feelings of greater wholeness. We evolve with higher levels of insight and depth.
Our purposes are clearer and our points of view have been expanded. We have unburdened ourselves to a degree through our fellowship and times of togetherness. Yet, we know when it is time to keep it moving and we gradually began to move our feet.
We follow the clouds lead and we move on as we surely evolve. We adhere to the lessons from those all-knowing clouds that temporarily hang just above our heads.
Lynn M. October 20, 2018
The cool breezes of October help blow away our old stale thoughts. The winds serve us as they swirl around and stir things up like the rotating leaves in a cesspool.
Those negative things float to the top like fallen leaves that have left their life source. They are no longer important nor do they contribute to our well-being. They will soon be in big trash bags like the gathered leaves waiting to be crushed and thrown away.
Those worn-out notions, beliefs and error thoughts will disappear along with an array of false friends and acquaintances. They can no longer attach themselves to our lives and pretend to be genuinely concerned about our welfare. The seasons change and we must change with them.
The fluttering leaves have fallen from the living tree. They have served their purpose though they once offered us a sense of beauty. But time moves on and as nature continues on its course, we graciously sweep up the discarded.
We get ready for our personal harvests to arrive and we know that in just a matter of time we will gleefully exclaim, “Behold, I will do a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:19)
Lynn M. October 13, 2018