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Musings

The Five Rules of Traveling and Life

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James Michner in his well known best seller The Drifters tells
the story of a group of 20 somethings who  meet and travel together
in Europe and beyond. Each chapter begins with a series of quotes
that make it worth the read all on their own.
I first read the book 30 years ago. Amongst all the quotes the 
Five Rules of Traveling are one of those profound thoughts that
have remained with me over the years, a template to live life by.
If you are a citizen of this world then you are a traveler who might
gain some insight here as well.   So I give you the 
Five Rules of Traveling along with my personal interpretations.  

Eat anything containing wild rice  A simple but wise reminder that
eating wholesome and natural foods should be a central part of a long,
happy and healthy life - Stick to the basics when it comes to food.
Fancy sauces, elegant feasts, all you can buffets and over processed
items all lead to ill health and rob us of enjoying all life has to offer.    

Never play cards with a guy named Doc The world is an exciting
place but being naive, gullible or ingenuous is not an excuse. Knowing
the rules and knowing the players is the first rule to being in the game.
Then realizing that there may be no rules and there is more to the
players than you first thought is a sign of maturity. Trust is important
in life but as a wise prophet once instructed "Tie your camel first, then
put your trust in Allah"  

Never eat at a place called Mom's While this might seem similar to
the wild rice rule it takes us a little further in considering all the things
that come into our lives. While food nourishes our bodies, Thoughts feed
our minds and relationships enrich our souls, We need to be fully aware
and fully responsible to make sure  that the thoughts we entertain are
not damaging to our energy and our actions and that the company we
keep is not toxic to our life.  Just because Mom said so is no reason not
to make wise choices on what we let in and around us and those we
love.   

Clean your clothes at every opportunity  Cleanliness is next to Godliness
and in this time of rampant bacterias and super viruses we would be  wise to
consider the importance of not only looking good but actually being good with
our hygiene and  other matters dealing with health and safety. Wearing seat belts,
not drinking and driving, watching our speed, keeping our important papers and
information secure, staying organized and keeping personal what is personal are
all part of  not letting stupid preventable things mess up enjoying life  

Never refuse an offer of sex So after all the previous advise of caution and safety
this rule might seem truly out of place. But get your  mind back under control and
see the meaning of sex as analogous to opportunity, calculated risk and a chance
to experience new things. We are reminded that life is meant to be lived and while
we all have to die someday not everyone makes an effort to really live. We should
make certain we live life and live it to the fullest!    

There you have it – now go out there and Live Real!
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Musings

Things We Control #2

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2) Your Relationships. Humans are relational beings. The human heart craves connection. Why else would solitary confinement be such a cruel punishment or the unheld orphan lack basic mental and physical development. The strong independent person still needs a hug, a pat on the back, a warm handshake and an encouraging smile.

Without human contact we lack a sounding board for our thoughts and feelings, feedback to hone our appearance and personality, and comparisons to regulate our self esteem and confidence. But with human contact we encounter the toxicity of others, the lack of boundaries into our personal space and the cruelness of the human heart.

Our ability to control our relationships is one of the three primary controls we have in life. While we can’t pick our relatives we can control their effect on our lives. It is under our control to set up boundaries, choose friends and regulate the purpose and depth of any relationship.

Determining whether a co-worker becomes a personal friend or if ending a business relationship in order to save a friendship is something each of us must decide. Remaining in a relationship that pulls you down and stifles your growth is a choice, a choice that can be changed. Deciding who will enter into your circle of relationships and how far that relationship will go is under your control. Knowing this and exercising your control gives you the freedom venture into unknown territory, to ‘take a chance’ through opportunities to meet new friends and experience new interactions. When you fully accept that it is up to you and under your control you no longer have to hesitate or avoid uncomfortable situations because the discomfort is under your influence. You have decided to be where your presence is needed, and then you decide when it is time to exit. You decide when to say yes and when to say no. But with this understanding of your power to decide and to control comes the responsibility to consider the feelings of others. With compassion and concern, firmness and decisiveness, you can be a strong blessing to those you love and care about. Your confidence is growing and your self esteem is rising.

Click here to go to the first piece in this three part article
Click here to go to the third piece in this three part article

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Musings

There are Only 3 Things I can Control

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Three things. When you boil it all down there are really only 3 things that each of us controls in life. And that’s only true if you live in the privileged and affluent parts of our world. For some it is only two or one.

Like the primary colors of red, blue and yellow combine to make the whole rainbow it is these primary factors alone that we have the ability to control. All else is a combination of the three.

Your Emotions. To feel is to be human. When a person is unable to feel sorrow, joy or fear there is often a psychological blockage that needs to be worked through. Avoiding situations that touch us in a deep way – like the death of a loved one, the thrill of an adventure or the risk of reaching out in friendship – can limit the depth that we as humans are able to experience life in its fullest.

Controlling our emotions is not about controlling our feelings. It is a matter of controlling how we respond and react to any given situation.

Between action and reaction, cause and effect, there is a moment of time for the human species in which only thought exists. Animals don’t share this opportunity. Their reactions are instinctive, they respond. But for a human, how we respond to a stimuli is always preceded by an opportunity to consider what our response will be.

Do I lash out with angry words when I am cut off in traffic, or consider the possibilities of what the other person may be facing. When the fire alarm goes off do I run for the door or look around and offer assistance. When an offer for intimacy comes do I consider all the repercussions before replying.

It is in that millisecond of time when I insert thought and logic that I become fully aware and fully in control.

Click here to go to the second of the only 3 things you control
Click here to go to the third of the only 3 things you control

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Fitness

If I knew I was going to live this long

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If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.
Mickey Mantle,(attributed) US baseball player (1931 – 1995)
I’m not sure what other regrets a man like Mickey Mantle may have had at the end of his life, but this quote has deeper meaning than giving us a short chuckle. Wouldn’t it be great to go peacefully to your grave with no regrets and no remorse for what you meant to do or say and never got around to accomplishing. And since we have no idea when that time will come, the question needs to be restated: Wouldn’t it be great to never have a regret or be remorseful over something left unsaid or undone?
Another, lighter way of saying it is – “If I had only (fill in the blank) sooner.”
Not wanting to have any regrets, – this is not meant to be presented in a remorseful way, I am a firm believer that timing is everything and “when the student is ready the teacher will come”. Yet as a parent and coach I often find myself wanting to say “one day you are going to wish you had……..”
So what is yours? For me it would be; If I had only appreciated my wife more in our early years together. If I had only not ridden the horse that day. If I had only spent a little more time listening and less time talking. (still can do that). If I had only written more notes to my family (still can do that too). If I had only learned sooner about healthy foods. If I had only spent more time reading and less time watching television. In fact there is very little that I can’t start doing right now. Not too old, not too weak, not too stubborn. Truth is – the only thing standing in the way is me. No Regrets, No Remorse. Just doing it. Borrowing some cliche’s and looking back with a smile.
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