Morning Grate-fuller

I find myself stuck, anxious and disconnected at times with all the uncertainty not only in my personal life currently but with what’s happening in the world around me. I’ve learned the best way for me personally to get unstuck is to take action and follow the discomfort. So here is my attempt to take action and hopefully “hack” my way to more days of peace and joy. Introducing the Morning Grate-fuller. 10 days where I write 1-3 things I’m grateful for. Today was day two for me as you can see in the next picture. Anyone is welcome to participate however you feel compelled to. I’d love to see what your grateful for by tagging me, messaging me or using the hashtag #morninggratefuller. Making this social holds me accountable and meets my need to connect and share. This is me taking action and following the massive discomfort of sitting here debating whether to hit share or delete 😂

Ask the expert

I’m uncovering that the only answers to life’s questions come from within ourselves.

There are plenty of experts who’s research leads us many different ways. It seems the best advice is to go inward and get in touch with your self. One must pick a path and follow it through because the best way I’ve found to learn and answer questions is through experience. We are all different in some aspect with different needs and abilities. Therefore I’ve come to the conclusion that we should be the only expert when it comes to our own lives or well being.

Further from the present moment

Charlotte: daddy can we fill that up with water?

Me: (in my head: that’s going to be a mess) okay lets do it!

Charlotte: Yaaay!

At times I am present to myself not wanting to deal with a mess or the potential injuries that come with being/having a toddler. I’d rather keep her in a bubble sparkling clean and unharmed. I guess just being present to it allows me to interrupt my helicopter parent ways at times just enough to cultivate that curiosity and allow my child to actually be a child. She is very smart and mature for a 3 year old in my opinion. I find myself holding her to a higher standard and almost forgetting how new and exciting everything can be as she experiences life’s lessons for the first time. She held up a sand toy with holes used to sift the sand and asked “lets put water in this and see what happens”. I immediately said “it has holes and won’t hold water… maybe grab your bucket”. It’s amazing how much inner dialogue one can have in such a flash of a seemingly small exchange. (I should of let her figure it out. Am I hindering her creativity and learning? I should just let the wheels turn and let her come to that conclusion. What other situations do I do this in?) Just to name a few thoughts. I find myself now questioning is it valuable to entertain these thoughts or is this just taking me further from the present moment. It never ceases to amaze me how much meaning I can put behind a simple interaction. Makes me wonder what other parts of my life I do that in… oh wait… here we go again.

The circle of life…

We all seem to be going around in an infinite circle placing blame on each other for various things that we disagree on. I am trying on the idea that there are no facts, only our perspective based on our unique experiences and views. Just as I don’t want my rights taken away or things forced upon me during this covid era. I believe people and companies should have the freedom to put out whatever products they want and it is up to the consumer to choose. As hard as it is to know ingredients may be unhealthy and animals are being slaughtered it is simply my perspective that those things are wrong. My perspective is not a fact. I repeat… my perspective is not a fact. There are unlimited examples of this I could explore as everything I see and do is filtered through my unique perspective. Time to flip the script and consider the alternative perspective of others as they are their truths and valid no matter how uncomfortable. I really really really find that challenging but I also find it creates more mental freedom and peace. I switch the judging/anger to curiosity/understanding which allows for empathy and acknowledgement. I believe that getting angry and making people wrong only pushes us all deeper, blindly into our own perspective/truth. In my mind life is not just black and white. It is far more complex than we wish to know. Right and wrong feel like a simple solution to the majority of “problems” we see in the world. I invite you to consider the complications that adds to everyday life. Try on others perspectives to see how that feels. Maybe see how it feels to get in touch with your truth and the truth of those around you.

What makes it beautiful

What are we doing as people? Are we really listening to those around us? Do we even truly see someone who is right in front of us? Are things really what they seem? Work, social media, possessions and looking good among other things have consumed many of our lives. Maybe not 24/7 for some but I have felt, lived and observed our lives consumed by so many things portrayed/perceived as so important. In my perfect world there would be nothing more important than the person or people around you. And I’m not just talking about family. I’m talking about your neighbor. The person in line in front of you. Anyone who crosses your path. But again that’s my perfect world which I don’t always live in personally. I’ve caught myself rushing to work and seeing someone on the side of the road obviously needing help. But I don’t stop. I continue on with my day as if my being on time for work or whatever I’m doing is more important than simply taking the time to help or maybe just check on another human being. This used to make me angry. Now I just feel sad. In some aspects the disconnect grows and grows. Other times I’m truly amazed by the consecutiveness surrounding me. It’s not my place to judge or dictate how ones life is lived. But I do feel it is all of our duties as human beings to question ourselves as well as others. To really take stock of what’s going on within and around us. A sense of awareness coupled with connection. Life is a beautiful thing and we all get to choose what makes it beautiful. I invite us all to choose willingly, considerately and knowingly.

In my heart

I’ve been really struggling lately with the realization that I won’t be home and able to spend as much time with my wife and daughter. For those who don’t know. We sold our home in CA and moved to AZ in July last year. This move was thought about for years but also there was a lot I never thought about. Since Charlotte was born 23 months ago I’ve been blessed with being able to be home the huge majority of the time. Something most fathers and some mothers do not have the luxury of experiencing. I’ve been present and able to create a unique bond with my family which has allowed us to grow and become closer. It makes me think about the impact this will have going forward. The impact on me is profound but I’m curious the impact on my daughter. Based on current situations I’m not sure the next child (when we decide to have one) will get the same time Charlotte received. It’s kinda like a real life experiment with real life results. I try not to project to far into the future but as I get older life seems to leave me with more questions than answers. I find myself questioning whether providing a certain lifestyle and certain luxuries are really going to matter. Or if my time/presence is more valuable than any object or lifestyle I could provide. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I’m not looking for sympathy as I know how fortunate I am just to be here. In my heart I believe my time/presence is more valuable than anything but I constantly struggle with the balance aspect. Where is that line… when and where should I cross it?

Something Beautiful

It’s interesting to me how we grow to love people but with our children it’s instant. There isn’t a honeymoon phase or first impression. Just pure and utter love. There is something beautiful about it. It makes me think about love in my life. Whether it’s giving or receiving. I’ve always had a hard time telling people I loved them. It did not mean I did not, it was just uncomfortable for me to get the words out. But like anything the more you do it the easier it gets. Now I make sure to tell people I love them. I feel this unconditional instant love I felt for Charlotte has unlocked something inside me that was always there. It allowed me to be clear on what love is to me and where love is in my life. Which brings me back to… there is something beautiful about it.

This isn’t a test

At times we may not see eye to eye. We all have had different experiences that have shaped our perspective. I believe everyone’s perspective is valuable. No matter how abrasive or pleasant it may seem. It’s in the listening, asking questions and understanding that we grow as humans. I myself struggle with this daily. My ego flares up and I get angry or just emotionally shut down. There is this need to be right and look as if we know exactly what we are doing at all times. I’m here to tell you it’s okay to not have a plan. It’s okay to not have it all together all the time. We are human beings living a life through the lens(perspective) of our hardships, our joys, our failures and our successes. That should never be discounted but it should be checked constantly by being open to others ideas and ways of seeing the world. Stop what you are doing and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and let it all out. Now imagine you are free to share your perspective without fear of rejection. Imagine you can be open and unafraid of judgement while going through your life. What does that look like? How does it feel? To me it felt like connection, a sense of relief and peace. This isn’t a test and your are encouraged to feel however you feel. I invite you to hold onto that feeling and examine it. Maybe try that in other aspects of your life. Being human isn’t just about being here. It’s about thriving and enjoying this journey we call life. I don’t know nor do I speculate what’s after this life. That’s for everyone to create and decide for themselves. I just want to invite you to make it the best journey you possibly can. Whatever that truly means to you. -Jeffrey

Catching Flies

Guilt and vulnerability. Two words and feelings that usually do not go together. In my own life guilt has consumed me. It has ended relationships. It has hurt those that I love. Most of all it has hurt myself and shaped the way I interact with people daily. Guilt does not always mean that you have actually done something wrong or hurtful. For me guilt comes from not feeling adequate. Not being able to meet someone’s needs or wants. Not being able to relate or understand someone’s feelings. Guilt has many forms. I find when I come from a place of guilt I become more defensive and close minded. The guilt does not allow me to be vulnerable. When I am vulnerable I can get my feelings/point across in a respectful and positive manner. I can actually connect with people. When it comes from a place of guilt… look out!

There is a saying, “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”. My wife always laughs at me and wonders where the heck I learned all these old sayings. I guess I was just lucky enough to encounter some wise old souls in my lifetime.

Treating people with respect and being vulnerable really does create a positive interaction the majority of the time. We can disagree or have a different point of view without feeling guilty. We can still relate and connect even though we do not see eye to eye. There was a quote I found from The Huffington Post website from a blog written by Charlie Maffei. (I will post the link below at the end) The quote goes: “Being nice to nice people is great, but being nice to those who are not nice to you is how the world becomes better. We should not want to defeat or humiliate those we don’t agree with but to win their friendship and understanding.”      I know from experience that it is not always easy. Some people have some outrageous point of views. But that is the beauty of being human. We all have a different experience of life and life’s little situations. We do not always have to agree with everything and everyone. But we should at least be open and vulnerable enough to listen and try to understand. We can simply take some thing positive or what works for us from a conversation or article. Then simply just let what you don’t agree with or understand go. I feel if we just tried to understand other people’s views rather than argue we would learn a lot more about them and ourselves. So I invite you to really listen and be vulnerable next time you have a conversation, read or watch something. You may not succeed every time and that is okay. It is about trying, being aware and recognizing what guilt and vulnerability mean to you.

Here is the link to the Huffington Post article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charlie-maffei/you-can-catch-more-flies-_b_1676353.html

I do not agree with or relate to everything in the article in the link above. But I did take away something positive and it was very enlightening to see a different point of view. Just as you may not agree with or relate to everything I write about. But my hope is that something you read or experience sparks you to find peace in your guilt and comfort in your vulnerability.

-Jeff

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Once in a blue moon

 

Pursuing Dreams

Do something fun this weekend or week. Whenever you get a chance to enjoy life take it. As kids we found joy in every little thing. Everything was new and exciting. If things seem boring and tiresome now… Maybe it is time for a change. Follow your goals, but chase your dreams.

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