How many times will you try?


What do you think?  “How many times should you try?”  These inspiring examples of people believing in their ideas, skills, and talents are incredibly inspirational. 1500 times to launch Rocky?  Amazing.  1500 times.  Which of my projects do I believe to be so perfect or so inspirational that I am willing to subject my idea to 1499 rejections?  That is a lot of Belief.

So, the question is: How many times should you try?  What project or dream or invention or book or screenplay or song or practice or blog or . . . are you committed to launching?  How many times should you try?  Will you try?

Should is a loaded word in these days of intentional and mindful living.  Google’s “define:should” gives this definition: “used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.”  Obligation.  Duty.  Correctness.  Criticism.  No wonder many of us bristle when we encounter the word should.   I should do this.  I should have done that.  I should take care of this.  I should be nicer to him.  To her.  To me.   I should have worked harder.  Run harder.  Played harder.  I should be better at that.  This list is endless.  All of the many shoulds.

Coincidence-FateI ask myself: What are some of my common shoulds?  I sometimes think that I am too hard on myself.  And there are those times when I am too quick to step aside and let fate and coincidence charge into each other.

When this happens, I wonder why I seem to take myself out of my own life’s equation — only to later banish myself to the Realm of Should.  I shouldn’t have said that.  I should have stayed home.  I should have been more aware.  I shouldn’t have danced like such a dork.  I should have been more supportive.  I should have been a better self-advocate.  I should have given a hug to that stranger who was crying in the frozen-food section of the grocery story.  I should have been more gracious, kind, loving.   I should have been tougher and just said what needed to be said.

I should have just said it . . . all of these shoulds.  No wonder I find that I am too hard on myself.

Surely, life is not entirely left to coincidence and fate.  I have a part in this passion play, and it is my role to navigate past the shoulds that present themselves to me as I shift should into will.  I remember when I was going through a tough time of either-or in my life — one of those definitive crossroad moments — and my brother was encouraging me to shift into a new change.  I was balking and reciting the many excuses as to why I could not do anything to create something more positive in my life.  I remember my brother’s question to me: “Can’t?  Or won’t?”

Can’t?  Or won’t?  Should?  Or will?  The lyrics from an Indigo Girls song have been running through my mind as I have been writing this morning:

“There’s more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.”

The closer I am to fine, the more likely I am to be more flexible.  More fluid.  More willing to be in flow-mode.  There truly is more than one answer to the many questions that present.  And a crooked line is sometimes to be expected.

gratitude-rainbowspiral1Life has its many many blessings that are all around me.  When I experience an active awareness of this, I feel my spirit bumping some of the ever-present shoulds into a different position, allowing me to enter that magical bubble of grace, easing me into an easier space.

This is one of life’s anointed experiences that is rarely stored in the memory for later recall during some of the more challenging times.  And like the Biblical manna, this sort of moment is supplied miraculously on a daily basis.  It is up to me to harvest it, to enjoy it, and to not try to store it or hoard it.  It is a single moment to be released into and from my life.  One at a time, preferably without an army of shoulds marching at the head of the procession.

In life, we are blessed when we can experience true sweetness.  At the risk of sounding pessimistic, this can be quite rare.  How many times will I try to not only acknowledge but to return this sweetness?  Over and over.  Like Thomas Edison and his 10,000 tries to invent the light bulb, I will.  toaster oven






Are you waiting for the right moment?


Writing prompt: Are you waiting for the right moment to do that exact thing that you want to be doing?  Learning?  Exploring?

If you are waiting, stop.  And then start.  Start.  Do something.  Do anything.  Do one little thing that will point your compass in what you think might be the right direction.  Point it in any direction.  After all, the Universe has no map.  There is no GPS for navigating Infinity.  And it is all out there — all right here — just waiting for you to start.  At the very least, put on a blindfold, spin yourself around a few times, and start moving.  You never know which donkey is going to to get a start from you pinning a tail onto its hindquarters.


Simple for me to say.  I was talking to someone today who is wanting to lose weight.  She said, “Something can be simple but still so hard to do.”  I thought that this was a really profound statement.  It can be both.  But it need not be.  Or does it?

A small-scale example: I would love to have one of those garages in which I can park my truck.  The outlines of wrenches and saws and C-clamps all Sharpied on a piece of pegboard.  Bicycles hanging from racks.  Holiday paraphernalia stacked in clear, plastic tubs out of the way in the corner.  It all sounds so lovely.  And so simple.  And so hard, too.

Instead, it is all quite the jumble.  Not entirely unmanageable.  I can get to the fuse box and can find a hammer when I want to hang a picture on the wall.  I don’t know.  I am most likely being too hard on myself.  I tell the people who come to visit, “Don’t look in the garage!” but it does indeed seem like a paradox to be embarrassed by my own stuff.  There is something about this that doesn’t quite resonate with a sense of balance.  It is like wanting to distance myself from the choices I have made.

I clearly do not feel that having an amazingly organized garage is going to make me a better human being.  And it is not important enough to forfeit a sunny afternoon down by the bay.  And the time it would take to sift through the dust, memories, cobwebs, and paperwork isn’t worth not meeting friends for dinner or spending some time playing piano or taking my easel out to the back deck for some color therapy.

Is starting (and stopping) all about listening to our priorities?  Is what we truly want so evident and transparent to our Sense of Priority, that we don’t really have to think in any conscious way when we point the compass in a new direction.  Some call it procrastination, but I am wondering if procrastination is nothing more than your soul allowing your priorities to have control of the throttle.  My overall conclusion: procrastination is possibly being unfairly reviled by those who have all of the plans mapped out.  I am thinking that it is okay sometimes to turn off the Garmin and just do some meandering.

It is tricky to avoid mixing my metaphors when it comes to the universal sense of time and life lessons.  A compass, a map, GPS, a blindfold, a game about a donkey, an airplane’s cockpit.   No wonder I lose my path — my trajectory.   I’m all over the place!  Yet . . .all of these signs along the road.  All of these maps that point us in this direction and that direction. . . when all of what we truly and most dearly want stems from our inner world — our soul, our conscience, our spirit.

So, what is it that you are aiming for?  What is it that would be just so much fun to be experiencing right now?  Be fearless, put your compass in your pocket, don your blindfold, pick up your thumb tack and paper donkey tail, spin around, and start pinning that tail on whatever suits your fancy.  Pull back on the throttle and fly.  You never know.  Truly.  The Universe has a distinct way of rewarding our sometimes-fallible attempts to better enrich and experience life.

Thomas Edison said it so beautifully: “To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”  Love this!  This man would not be judging my garage or my sense of priority!  His words put my garage into perspective and get me outdoors on a sunny day.  Time to quit beating myself up, allow my imagination to soar, and enjoy inventing with the “pile of junk” in the garage.

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