Category Archives: Mindfulness

I Got a Bad Feeling About This

Image result for creepy house in the woods

Yesterday I had a scheduled meeting with a man at his residence. I hadn’t been to the area he lived at before and when I saw his mailbox I noticed his driveway was long and winding, deep into the woods. It was eery as I slowly made my way and then I saw his house, surrounded by dense brush and trees on all sides. The front door faced the woods and I had an uneasy feeling. I got out of the truck and slowly looked around. I wasn’t sure it was the right place until a door to the house opened and he came outside. The man had an odd way of speaking and walking. He invited me into his home but said he needed to tell his mother to put the dogs outside. He spoke to someone on the other side of the door and I told him I would wait until it was taken care of. He came back a few moments later and the dogs were no longer inside. I never saw his mom. The entire time I was in the house I never heard her moving around. Making my way inside the man began to tell me about his collection of chairs. “It’s a wonderful collection of office chairs and recliners!” It was then all the pieces fell into place. An odd man, an invisible mother, a strange collection, alone, in an isolated location? I was in a Law & Order episode!
 
After looking at the chairs in the living room he took me to the kitchen and showed me more of his collection. “This one is my favorite,’ he said, ‘it’s heavy and so comfortable.” Picking up the chair he let out a small grunt and then asked me to lift it up. Feeling this was all wrong I stepped to the chair, lifted it up and put it down quickly saying; “Yes, that is heavy.” Then he said, in a flat tone; “Sit in it. You’ll die.” My heart began to race and the anxiety which had been growing in me exploded. I sat down fast, stood up and said; “Yes, soft.” He looked at me and asked if I would go to another room to see more of his chairs and that was it. “Nope! I exclaimed, I have another appointment and need to go!” We said our goodbyes as I made my way outside and didn’t stop moving until I got back into the truck and locked the doors.
 
The strange this is I don’t think the guy was a serial killer. I think his mannerisms were not what I was used to and this set me on a suspicious, weary, possibly paranoid(?) path. I called a friend on the way back into town and told them the story. They said I was lucky to get out of there alive!
 
As I look back on it today I don’t know what happened yesterday but I do know that we act like those with whom grew up. As adults, we are mirrors of the house we spent our formative years in, reflections of the environment in which we were immersed. This gentleman was, most likely, not dangerous, and the incident was a good reminder not to judge others quickly but to also be aware of your surroundings, your judgments, and adapt accordingly.
 
blessings,
@BrianLoging
thewannabesaint.com
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Little Help

Yesterday I was getting dressed for a presentation on Adverse Childhood Experiences (Childhood Trauma). I had placed our Beagle on a zipline previously and went outside to let him in before I left. When I looked I couldn’t see him until something caught the corner of my eye. It was Scooby in the back of the truck which was next to the zip line. I asked him; “What are you doing in the back of the truck?!?!” He looked back at me as if to say; “I don’t speak english.” I don’t know how he got in there but I could tell he was stuck and needed help getting out. I let down the tailgate and guided him to the edge of the truck bed and assisted him down.

We’ve all found ourselves stuck, needing help and not sure how we got into or get out of a predicament. Hopefully we have others in our lives who can come and guide us from places we can’t get out of without assistance.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
thewannabesaint.com

The Sudden Stop at the End

There are days when we put our dog Scooby on a zip line so he can exercise and not be tied to a leash. He’s not on it for long but he likes the freedom and until we finish our fence it’s the best option. The zip line runs across the driveway so we take it down after we’re done so we can move our vehicles safely.

The other day I took him outside, clipped him to the cable tethered to the zip line and was going to cinch it in place on a pole when all of a sudden Scooby spied a cat sneaking through the front yard. “Pew!” he was gone dragging the zip line with him. I ran after him and rounded the corner of the front porch as Scooby ran out of zip line and cable. “Screech!” He seemed confused at first. There was something he wanted and had the freedom, ability, and determination to get it and then he was stopped in his tracks with no way forward. I shook my head, he barked at the cat that was nowhere to be seen and we both went up and put the zip line in its proper place.

Walking into the house I thought about life and the goals we want to achieve. At times we are able to claim the prize, other times we are stopped suddenly so close yet so far from accomplishing them. We have dreams which are unfulfilled, relationships that fall apart or never materialize, love unrequited.

Life can be glorious but it can also be relentless. We have this moment and we must live it fully. We are never guaranteed another second.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
thewannabesaint.com

A Contest Heart

blessings,
@BrianLoging
thewannabesaint.com

Pick Up

Normally I am a broom type of guy but today I used a Swifter for the first time. We had a cleaning service at our home last week and they used all types of Swifters for floors, furniture, appliances, and it seemed to work well. After using it today I see why it was a tool they depend on for quickness and doing a good job at collecting dust, dirt, dog hair, and more. The Swifter seemed to find dust a broom couldn’t. Oftentimes a broom pushes stuff around but the Swifter attracted the junk on the floor.

As I went over the floors in our home with my new toy I couldn’t help but think about the upcoming elections in next Tuesday’s midterms. This isn’t a politically leaning post but rather a; “I wish we could take a giant swifter over the lot of politicans and collect the junk and leave those who would take care of our country not themselves, ignore the lobbyists for firms and organizations, make decisions not based on attaining more power. All that were left, if any, would be able to govern and we’d have the tools to unite our nation and help the world at large.

What a dream…

blessings,
@BrianLoging
thewannabesaint.com

Cracked

I dropped and cracked the screen on my new Galaxy 9+ yesterday. Listening to music and bumped into the chair the phone was sitting on. Only fell about three feet but it landed on a small, hard object and the force was great enough to puncture the screen protector and send a spiderweb of cracks over the screen. Sigh!

I had prided myself on never cracking my phone screen. An almost fifteen year smartphone owner and not one crack, puncture or scratch. I’ve known several people who have cracked theirs and always wondered how they could be so careless. Now I know it only takes a second and it’s not carelessness but life.

I think many times we see a blessed, fortunate, lucky life, perhaps our own, and believe it’s all due to hard work, clean living, good choices. We might even wonder how others who aren’t so blessed, fortunate, lucky, can be so careless.

Perhaps we should keep in mind there’s a fine line, a pressure point, that if crossed or force applied, would result in our life looking very different.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
thewannabesaint.com

Believe

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter) thewannabesaint.com

Every Moment

blessings,

BrianLoging (Twitter)

thewannabesaint.com

No Amount

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Stemming the Tide

Stemming the Tide

Not a perfect solution by any means but at least this organization is trying to stem the tide of homelessness in California. This program could be adopted by other caring neighborhoods, cities, communities, and statewide agencies. (Watch video that inspired this post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wCHtOTxQak)

It’s heartbreaking to know that individuals, couples, and families are homeless while so many in our country live in homes that are too big, paying mortgages they can’t afford, to keep all the stuff they buy and don’t need.

Homelessness is one in a long list of societal ailments that could be solved if we all took less and gave more.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannbesaint.com

Stop!

Stop!

A few moments ago Beth was getting up off the couch and her necklace, which contains two silver rings and a heart pendant, came undone. We immediately noticed the heart pendant hanging on but the rings were no longer attached. These rings are heirlooms given to her by people she loves. Stopping in her tracks she declared; “This is not good! We have to find them!” Everything else we were doing and going to do was put on hold. Before I knew it I was on the floor with a flashlight looking under furniture, in nooks and corners. Nothing! Then I checked a blanket on the couch and “Whew!” there they lay. Life started again.

Great reminder that there are just “things” and the “things that matter.” Knowing the difference is knowing what life is and is not.

blessings,
BrianLoging (Twitter)
Thewannabesaint.com

No Other Direction

Image result for no left turn

No Other Direction

I broke my lawn mower yesterday! That might be an overstatement. I misjudged how close I could mow to a fence post and smashed the wheel up against it. When I did that I messed up the steering wheel and had to mow the last half of our yard only being able to turn the steering wheel right. When I turned left the steering wheel wouldn’t turn the wheels. It was frustrating figuring out how to only turn right and accomplish the job. It took longer but I finally mowed the whole yard.

I’ve reflected on the frustration of only being able to turn in one direction. There have been times in my life when I wanted to go one way and haven’t been able to. I struggled, fought, complained, and smashed myself against the way I wanted to go only to go nowhere. I still have that feeling about a particular section of my life. It’s an area I derived a lot of pleasure and purpose but it seems closed off to me and has been for a while. It’s been several years and several failed attempts to turn my life in that direction. As time goes by my doubts of ever being able to turn in that direction grows while hope fades.

Perhaps this is the way it is supposed to be. Maybe still longing for it shows I have growing to do. I can fix the lawnmower but there are seasons in life that are never to be repeated.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)

For more posts, reflections and other writings, please visit: http://www.thewannabesaint.com

Stalking

Image result for homicidal turtle

Stalking

Waiting on a hurricane is like being stalked by a homicidal turtle!” I read this statement the other day and thought it was humorous and true. My wife and I have friends up and down the east coast and they are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best with Hurricane Florence looming as she’s still deciding when and where to make landfall. The slow-moving storm has people on edge. There’s something to be said for a challenge or difficulty that comes out of nowhere to cause chaos in life and then goes as fast as it came. It’s hard but at least one doesn’t have the agony of waiting.

I was talking with a friend last night about depression and anxiety and the way they steal the joy out of life. It’s a dark storm that hovers filling you with dread as you prepare for the full brunt of the fury. You wait, you pray, you look for signs of the storm passing but it stays in one place and never gives you a true moment’s rest. Your strength is sapped by the anxiety of the approaching darkness and when the storm finally hits its wave and winds batter and beat you into submission. Rest is elusive when something is stalking you, wearing you out with threats and anticipation, and finally, when it strikes, you’re too weak to fight back.

Be kind to each other. You never know the storms that are brewing in each of us.

For more posts, reflections, and other writings, please visit: http://www.thewannabesaint.com

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)

What You Put In

Image result for brown water coffee

What You Put In

This morning I got up early to prepare for a presentation to a classroom that would be filled with teachers. It can be intimidating teaching those who teach as a profession. I prepared the coffee maker, got a shower, shaved, prepped my clothes and went back into the kitchen for a nice cup of joe. I poured the coffee slowly to avoid splashing and instead of dark brown delicious goodness, it was a hot cup of light brown water. Instantly I realized my mistake, I had forgotten to put coffee grounds in the filter. *Facepalm!* I put new water back in, made sure to also put in coffee grounds and waited. Finally, I actually had coffee in my coffee mug.

Later this morning I presented to the teachers and everything went well. They were engaged, asked questions and the eighty minutes of lecture time went by quickly which is usually a good sign. Afterward, I was packing up and a teacher asked if I could come back and present to another group of educators and parents. I told her absolutely.

The presentation I gave is powerful. I wrote it, then a media specialist added the slide format, and it was reviewed, refined and approved by our publicity department. A lot of teamwork and effort went into the presentation and it shows because it’s always engaging and informative. All the right things were put into it and all of the right things come out.

Now, if I could just remember to do this to my coffee and the rest of life…

For more posts, reflections and other writings, please visit: http://www.thewannabesaint.com

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)

Spiritual Things

Perhaps the most “spiritual” thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with the eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.

#JonKabatZinn

It’s a Nice Day

Out of Outrage

Image result for georgia aquarium

Out of Outrage

This week I read two articles about people being outraged. One was about the singer, Carrie Underwood, mentioning in a magazine that she was thirty-five years old and that she might be too old for her and her husband to have a lot of children. Fertility rights activists (who knew there was such a thing?) voiced their outrage on Twitter and in other online forums wondering how she could dare make such a statement. The other was about Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson going with his wife and daughter to an aquarium. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other animal/marine life defenders accused the “Rock” of supporting the harming and captivity of these underwater creatures. Let’s not forget the daily outrage of Trump supporters and never Trump supporters over almost everything the president does or doesn’t do.

Honestly, I need a break. I’m can’t handle all the outrage, negativity, vitriol being spewed out on, it seems, everyone and everything. A woman muses about the difficulty of having a lot of children at her age and a dad spending the day with his family at an aquarium is controversial? It’s as if we are looking for more reasons to be upset and ticked off at things. There are enough bad, evil, wrong, people and events in this world right now that should elicit legitimate outrage. We don’t have to search for more.

If we are outraged at everything then we are outraged at nothing. It is nothing but angry voices screaming at each other and no one hears, nor cares to, what the other is saying. Instead of getting upset and angry about everything, choose what really matters to you and do something about it. If you make a list and a thirty-five-year-old country singer and a movie star are on the top of your list? Maybe you should think harder.

For more posts, reflections, poems, and other writings, please visit:
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)

Double Back

Image result for freezer door top open

Double Back

Last night, after dinner, Beth wanted a popsicle. I was getting up anyway and told her I’d get her one. I opened the top freezer door on the refrigerator and grabbed two by mistake. One fell to the floor and using the three-second rule I quickly stooped down and picked it up. Unbeknownst to me, the freezer door was swinging back and when I was two-thirds up I whacked the top back of my head on the corner of the freezer door. “OUCH!” It hurt so much I crumpled to the floor rubbing the wounded area. Beth heard me, came and looked at it and thought there would be bruising and soreness. She was right. It never occurred to me until it “hit me” that the door was doubling back. My mind was elsewhere and the freezer door brought me back to reality.

I was listening to someone describe addiction this week and they said; “It gets inside of you. You think you have a handle on it and then you begin to crave it. It comes back again and again and again.” I thought about other things which come around over and over. Grieving the loss of a loved one who has passed on, anger at being taken advantage of, bitterness at being betrayed, the pain of past memories and experiences that hurt us emotionally and physically, drug, alcohol and other addictions, friends who have negative influences on us, wounds which seem to never heal. All of these can cause us to crumple to the floor when they double back into our lives.

There is a needed balance of awareness and acceptance. Awareness is needed because perhaps we can see it coming and side-step the toll it would take on our minds and spirits. Acceptance is important because we are human, are not all-powerful, and difficult and challenging experiences are part of what makes us unique.

It is in this balance we may find wisdom and peace.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Not Yet

Not Yet

A quick word before my phone runs out of juice. We’ve been without electricity for almost four hours. A mighty storm blew through our area a little after 1PM. We have several big limbs down and according to social media there are lots of trees down and other damage in several places.

I’ve made good use of the time. I took a nap, walked outside and snapped a few pictures, tried to calm the Husky down who’s afraid of storms. Almost an hour ago the lights flickered, ceiling fans began to turn and I was thankful. However, everything stopped and so we wait. What else can we do?

It’s amazing how distracted we are every second of the day and only when things come to a full stop do we notice it. So, patiently I’ll be silent in the stillness and attune myself to the breath, the rhythm of a quiet beating heart.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

What You Hear, What You See

Image result for yanny or laurel

What You Hear, What You See

The new debate that is dividing the nation is no longer pro-Trump or Never Trump, democrat or republican, progressive or conservative, not even black and blue dress or white and gold dress. The division now is whether you hear; “Laurel” or “Yanny” when you play the following audio clip; (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDiXQl7grPQ). The numbers are almost even, 53% to 47%.

As I listened to the audio file and the scientific reason behind what and why we hear a certain word I also began reflecting on our brains and how they interpret information. There’s a quote that reads; “You’re unique just like everyone else.” It’s funny but also true. Not one person on this planet has lived the same life. We are all on this path called life but in different, never walked on before places.

I read an article last week about the “version” of ourselves we want others to see and how its impossible to successfully project this image to another. The problem is each person has experienced a myriad of choices, events, experiences, that have shaped who they are and how they see people. In other words, people see us mostly because of who they are not who we try to be. As many people as we know there are this many “versions” of ourselves.

The question isn’t “Laurel or Yanny?” but why do we spend so much time trying to be someone other than ourselves?

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

For the Moms

For the Moms

Not that there’s any doubt but I am not a mom. I do wonder, however, what’s it like to be a mom, a human being capable of growing another human being inside them, and then feeding the offspring with their bodies. It truly is a miracle.

I also know, with a few exceptions, that a mother’s love is staggering when it comes to these little ones she has produced. There are no mountains too high, valleys too low, burdens too heavy, distances too great that she will not travail and overcome for the sake of her children.

Wisdom, in many cultures, including the Hebrew and Judaic, is painted in feminine colors. Too often wisdom gets the short end of the stick compared to justice and strength. Wisdom, however, is like a mother’s love; fierce, unrelenting, overwhelming, and never to be underestimated.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

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