Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Be the Party

One time, about 11 years ago, I was working in New Jersey when a friend of mine walked in to shoot the breeze with me. He did this often and this friend was a very unique person with many stories. To put it best, I would say about him what he said about other people, “He’s probably has forgotten more things than I’ll ever know.”

This one time in particular he sat down, folded his hand across his chest as he leaned back in my chair, he said, “Paco (he called me “Paco” since some pretty little Puerto Rican lady did and that meant he now should), Paco, you know I’ve been to more bike shows than years you’ve been alive. And at some of these bike shows, I’ve seen guys with the nice bikes be the biggest pricks you’ve ever met. Then I’ve seen other guys with motorcycles they put together for the show, little 50 cc bikes that wouldn’t be able to get them back, show up and make the party happen for three or four days. They were the life of the party. They made the party happen!

“So remember, no matter where you are at, be the party. Never wait for the party to happen, be the party.”

These are words I’ve always remembered. It seems I want others to safely create a way for me, to pull me into a conversation or to figure out what is fun to do. I’m never fully satisfied when other people do that for me. I’m the most satisfied when I create the fun and others join in with me and I lead them--with my creativity-- into new realms of fun.

So, are you the party? 

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I See

"Hard Rain" (flickr)
The Walk in the Rain
Baltimore had quite the rain storm on October1, 2010. It rained around 10 inches that day. There were times the visibility was less than 30 feet. At one point at work, the rain was coming down so hard, three out of four roads around where I worked were shut down do to flooding. And because of the havoc it was causing, I felt the need to walk in it.
As I stepped out on my walk I realized my glasses were not going to do any good, So, I folded them up and stuck them on my shirt collar and headed off. As I did, the rain came down harder and I could feel the drops landing on my plastic poncho. It felt amazing! Each drop was like acupuncture and I was enjoying myself more than anyone around me. Even when the rain let up, I felt life was good.

About 2 miles in I realized my glasses were no longer on my shirt collar. I thought I could just back track a little and there they would be. They were no place. So I kept back tracking. Soon I was back at my starting point and still 4 miles from home and no glasses. I walked back home with my head down and my eyes darting back and forth. No glasses. I ended up spending 3 hours out in that rain.

It was all good. My last eye exam was 2003 and my glasses did little good. Everything was blurry with or with out the glasses, but when I took them off, my one eye would squint, so I essentially kept them on because I didn’t want to squint to have bad vision.

The Glasses
I was already planning on replacing them. The next day I set up an eye exam for the following day. Less than 48 hrs after losing my glasses, I strolled in and was given an exam and picked out some frames I liked. (All for $40!)

Last Friday I picked up my glasses. I walked outside and it was then that I realized my vision was so off. I became accustomed to anything more than 20 feet away being blurry. With my new pair of thick black specs, so much more detail was available to me. Instead of colors fading into each other, I could see words. Squinted images were now detailed leaves on a tree.

The Insight
As I site here with my new glasses and my new eye site it gives, it makes me think about the new insights I have gained from some of the wise people who have gone before me and those that are around me now. I can’t help but think about the new and rich details I’ve gained.

Sometimes these people have used words, but most times they have given me insight with their patience or virtue (read last post!) Like with my old glasses, it didn’t dawn on me that I wasn’t seeing things until I could see them. I’m grateful for the vision I’ve been given.
Do you have sources of influence that gives you new details in your vision?

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010



Sitting down to write this post is kind of fascinating. Its been a difficult week to begin with, but last night when I went to type it up I found we had no working internet connection. We were planning to make the switch from one carrier to another, and I wasn't as aware of the shut off date as I thought. So, I'm at the library punching away at the key board. (But, its all good. Here is what I've been planning to write and you'll understand how it applies to me at the end!)

The Mistake
Sunday I was attending another service at Community Christian Church in White Marsh, MD. It was a different service than usual. The children's minister was on stage saying a few things after an all church kids service and the idea was the lead minister would join him and close everything out However, the lead minister wasn't showing up, so the children's minister started talking about other things. Finally the lead minister showed up.  At first it was a bit awkward, but than everything worked out. I was impressed!

The Resolution
Mistakes happen, its part of life. But what made this even so interesting is how the lead minister handled it. First thing he did was stay relaxed. He then said he was out talking and he thanked the children's minister for filling in. He continued to stay relaxed. Asked a few questions and then closed out the service.

The Insight
What made this so profound for me was that by him staying relaxed, myself and those around us could relax. It was if we said to each other, "Oh, everything's OK. Let's continue."

Mistakes happen for me. I tend to get worked up and express frustration thinking it will correct the problems. I've always assumed that it I express my frustration, people will help me out. What I've been finding out in life is that people tend to get frustrated themselves and things start to grind to a hold. I'm learning when I stay relaxed, everything becomes more conducive towards resolution.

More Insight
Another important thing to remember is the lead minister gave us permission to relax by continuing to stay relaxed himself. Over the years, he has built that trust so it was easier for us all to relax. Some situations don't afford us that luxury, but by getting worked up, we won't have any chance of ever building that trust. When we have the opportunity to build trust, we need to. It can pay off when we really need it too.

With this said, I've stayed relaxed about the situations that have been rising up. I'm trying to give permission to those around me to stay relaxed when dealing with me. What about you, do you give the rest of us permission to stay relaxed?

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