Bag it!

Day 67

For the past few days I have made the distinct effort to focus on the wonder and adventure surrounding my days activities.  Yesterday was fabulous, I had many exciting events and experiences added to my schedule. Conversations with friends, unexpected solutions to problems and work issues and a sense of fun and accomplishment.  It concluded last night at Conesus lake as our creek breeched its banks and flooded our community.  I spent a few hours battling water flow, sandbagging and mopping while firefighters, town employees and neighbors all worked together to support each other.  While it caused a disturbance and had a negative affect on some our properties, we all accepted what was happening and made the best of it together.  I was amazed how nature in the blink of an eye can cause dramatic change.  To me the whole experience was very interesting, and challenging.  While I had a hard time getting to sleep last night, I must say a that there was a sense of excitement and adventure in the air.

Today I continue the adventure!!

”Blessings on your journey”

Route 66

Day 66

Remember the TV show Route 66? It was about two guys travel and adventures in his corvette across Route 66. As I remember it, every episode they would get into some adventure that would relate to a place or time on the road.

“Web site description” – Tod Stiles (George Maharis)  hits the title trans-America highway in his Corvette in search of adventure with friend Buz Murdock (MartinMilner), a survivor of New York’s mean streets. The two work odd jobs as they meet and interact with colorful characters and find themselves plunged into one situation after another, some of them romantic, some of them very dangerous.

Much like the show Route 66, we also travel along a highway daily, being pulled and pushed into different situations and interactions with others. In the show they were looking for adventure and welcomed new situations and interactions.  Often in our travels in life we dont feel we have the luxury of experiencing the excitement of new adventures along our path.  We’re so busy and caught up in our routine or expectations for ourselves we miss most of what is going on around us.

Saturday I wrote about the idea of needing a good map for finding our way to a place of joy and wonderment.  Perhaps the goal shouldn’t be getting down the road the fastest or on the most direct route?  Perhaps it’s knowing why we’re on the highway.  Today I’m going to travel the road ahead of me.  I’m going to accomplish the tasks needed, or not (that’s the easy part), but more importantly I’m going to look around and enjoy the detours and welcome new adventures along my path.  Life’s supposed to be fun.  Don’ miss it!

”Blessings on your journey”

New song to sing

From my book ‘Living and Dying”

Over the years, the funeral profession has brought me to places I never imagined I would be. I am routinely asked to enter into situations where the family unit is under great stress, at a time when the pain and strain on the family is at an extreme. I am asked to help people travel down a road that even I have not yet traveled. Day after day, there are new situations, new personalities, new pains, struggles and new stories. I’ve been directed to answer the big questions about life and death. At times, I have struggled with how to bring these ideas into my everyday life for those that I serve. It’s been like a master class in life, but after over thirty-five years I realize that it has taken its toll. My body is sacrificially scarred from the emotional and physical trauma of people’s lives. Yet at this point in my life, I somehow feel a strength and resolve, a new resurgence of energy and renewal. Although my body can’t take the pace as it once did, it has found a new rhythm and a new song to sing—and it is good. It is about passion, direction, movement, and love of our connection. In this new place there have been many new lessons, new awakenings and sense of peace. The old adage, “energy follows thought,” rings very true for me. Whatever I put my attention on is brought forth, whether it is lack or abundance, pain or joy.

”Blessings on your journey”

Get a map!

From my book “Living and Dying”

I had the experience of living in joy for two weeks around the time of my sixtieth birthday. I like to tell the story of a dream I had at that time, which is where the experience began. In the dream, I was having breakfast with my two-year-old grandson at my favorite diner. He looked to me when he saw a bird fly by and asked me, “Ba Ba,” (he calls me Ba Ba,) and he really couldn’t talk in real life, “how come birds can fly?” My response was, “Because it’s their nature.” After a reflective pause in the conversation, I then asked my grandson, “What is our nature?” His immediate response was, “Our nature’s to love, Ba Ba” and then went casually back to eating his breakfast. As I let that moment of childhood innocence and powerful truth flow over and through me, an overwhelming feeling of love and joy filled my being. I could only think of one thing so I asked him, “How come so many of us don’t follow our nature?” He said, “It’s because we can think. Animals can’t think and when you can think, you can forget.”

The dream brought me to tears for weeks after as I truly saw only love everywhere and for everyone I came into contact with. Whether it was the checkout girl at the register, the gas attendant, my family, or friends, I could only feel joy and love for everyone, I was love in its fullest. It was during that time when I realized that we all have the choice to shape our experience into what it is that we want, and only we can make that happen for ourselves.

Weeks later I returned to the other world, the back and forth world of love and fear. Often when I felt removed from love, I would notice a sense of being lost which made me angry, unloving and in some way less than I wanted to be and feel. It was in this struggle with loss that I became aware of my own loss of connection.
When I felt lost I would spend time in my head trying to figure it all out. Why was it happening? What was wrong with me? Why, why, why? It was this back and forth activity ‘life’ that brought me to this place today.

What I learned and continue to learn is all of our struggles are merely opportunities for re-direction, re-orienting us to find our path. They are really a blessing, a gift. I soon realized that when I felt lost, it was only because I had lost my way—taken a detour off the main highway. Because it was such a frequent event in my life, I just didn’t really notice it.

The experience of those two weeks of pure love and joy brought me to a place where I now recognize more frequently that feeling of disconnection—and I don’t like it. If we can find a way to re-orient our attention with our source, getting back to that main highway, when we feel these things, we can find our way back. We can return to the place that connects us with all things in our universe, a perpetual energy zone where all things are possible. Maybe all we need is a good map!

”Blessings on your journey”

Wish me luck

Day 63

Todays meditation confirmed what I learned yesterday.  All my thoughts are connected to the past.  I’m living in the past!

Yesterday was a tough day.  I felt a sense of anger and depression all day.  As I intended, I spent the day focused on staying in the now (or moment).  Apparently that was a struggle because my body felt heavy, slow and numb.   I had to literally focus on letting my old thoughts leave and open to what ever was happening around me in a neutral way.  I never found it fun or easy.  Today I will continue the journey, open to lettting go of old thoughts and opening to new, now moments.  I’ll make an effort to see the wonder and newness of the world around me.  Wish me luck!

Remember: Neither the past nor the future actually exist! Both are merely our THOUGHTS about them. It is always only NOW.

”Blessings on your journey”

Living In the now!

Day 62

This morning in my meditation I spent many minutes focused on the fact I haven’t been feeling all that well lately.  I also spent many minutes focused on writing these posts in the afternoons.

What I learned today is, that waiting until the afternoon makes all the cool thoughts and ideas a distant memory, and sometimes hard to reconnect with.  I also learned that every day I take an inventory of my body and how it feels, and why it feels this way etc.  I then compare it to the day before and the day before that.  This morning I remembered a post sometime ago about experiencing the sense of peace and calm and love In my body, and rest in the field I created in my meditation.   I haven’t been able to do that lately as I haven’t been feeling very well the last four or five days. It became clear to me this morning that it is impossible to live in the now when I’m focused on the past.  If I’m focused on how I’m not feeling good and comparing it to the past when I felt good, alot of bad things happen (depression for one). I had the thought, I dont like this and how can I change this.  This mornings lesson was, you cannot live in the now, thinking or comparing anything to the past.

Today every moment can be new, every idea can be new and every feeling can be new.  I will try hard today to stay present in the moment and not allow the past to sneak in.  Join me!  Have a great day!!

”Blessings on your journey”

You may need me!

From my book “Living and Dying”

Today as a funeral director, not only do I need to care, but I am often called upon to help coordinate scheduling and travel plans, and to help facilitate payment plans. I coordinate and staff gatherings at funeral homes, personal homes, and country clubs. I plan, and in some cases provide food service for receptions. I order flowers, prepare newspaper notices, and I also provide web-based connections to Facebook through our websites and other social media. We offer videotape services. At times I even preside over a service or graveside. If you can think of it, we do it. Then I make it all happen seamlessly and flawlessly in a matter of a couple of days.

We also provide resource materials and speaking programs for our community. We offer before death pre-arrangement opportunities, and after death support services. What other profession does this? While wedding or event planners may have the most similar job description, they have months, if not years, to accomplish these things. We have days. The fact we are dealing with someone’s death can be a very anxious and difficult time for most people and it puts additional stress on our work. If you are ever going to witness distress, fighting, dysfunction, and irrational behavior within a family, you are going to see it here. Being a moderator, coach, editor and guide is an everyday role that we perform as funeral directors.

Perhaps one of the most important elements the funeral professional brings to a grieving family’s world at the time of a death is “normalcy.” I live in a world where I am constantly reminded that we all die. In fact, I get that call every day. When it is your turn to call, you need that personal and emotional connection with normalcy. You need someone who has been there to listen and advise you as you navigate a journey you’ve possibly never experienced. You need someone who is comfortable with the death experience that brings a strong presence and calm to an otherwise anxious and often unfamiliar time. You need someone who has asked themselves the hard questions, and who sees death as a normal part of life.

The old way of funeral directing has changed. We are being called to perform superhuman functions in a time of distress and questioning. We are being required to develop new paradigms as the old ones no longer work. We are a profession reinventing itself, re-connecting to a new normal. Not an enviable task but one demanded of us. Those who are successful will remain in this time honored profession. Those who do not will be gone.

“Blessings on you journey”