Blog Archives

Hangover

Image result for hangover

Hangover

Today I am feeling the impact of three intensive days of training. My body hurts and my mind hurts. My eyes are tired from staring at a screen for too long. I have both a migraine and fuzzy brain. It’s hard to process new information today because of receiving so much from earlier in the week.  The data and detail are still bouncing around in my noggin and hasn’t found a place to settle. New thoughts and ideas are like puffs of smoke that never quite become solid enough to grasp. A couple of days of quiet and rest should do the trick but until then giving it my all will be less than.

Growing in our learning, understanding, and wisdom takes a toll. Its tough work which may be why we are hesitant to do it at times. Immersing ourselves in new thoughts, ideas, studies, to become more capable in our personal, relational, connections and jobs takes commitment and courage. Commitment because growth is effort and energy. Courage because when we dare to learn, understand gain wisdom, we change and we’re never sure who will be on the other side.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Advertisements

Lost in the Moment

Image result for squishy ball

Lost in the Moment

This morning, before worship service began at church, a girl a few pews ahead of us was playing with a squishy ball. Even after the singing started she sat in her seat throwing the ball up in the air and then catching it. Wasn’t long before the inevitable was going to happen, it went flying to the pew and the people behind her. She retrieved her toy and began again. Eventually, her mother noticed and stopped her but for a moment it was just her and the ball. She was focused on that ball and what was next, what might happen, didn’t exist.

Later in the service, another girl was getting fidgety. The preacher was speaking too long and she was ready to go. So she began to mess with the window blinds, play with and drop things on the floor. Making her way around grandma’s legs she was in the aisle and had found a place on the floor that squeaked and clanked when she stomped on it. A boy sitting beside his mother took notice of the girl and slipped from his mom’s grasp to begin stomping on the floor as well. Two more, lost in the moment.

Consequences and outcomes are important. Not thinking ahead can cause great difficulty and trouble. However, there are other times when being lost in the moment, for a moment, can be a wonderful thing.

blessings
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Nothing is Lacking

Image result for taoist quote

Nothing is Lacking

I was a part of a conversation this week where a group of people was giving a person advice. The advice was based on what the person had shared; a story of love and betrayal. On the wrong side of a bad choice is a terrible place to be and the person was fixated on how to either get over on the person who hurt him or get over it period. Two choices were staring him the face and he was going to choose either one or the other.

Decisions based on pain are almost always bad ones. We make these in times of stress, confusion, doubt, and loneliness. We feel as though we have lost something, had it taken away from us, and we want it back or rather life back the way it was or the way it should be.

Wisdom teaches us that suffering is the gap between how life is, reality, and how we think life ought to be. The greater the gap the more suffering. It is why learning to let go and acceptance are two of the greatest life lessons we can learn and practice. Life is rarely if ever, the way we want. Even if for a while it seems to be sooner or later it changes and we have no control over this truth. To live with open hand, to not try to grasp, force life to stay the same and allow for the inevitable change is to know and live in peace.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

 

Broken

Image result for broken banana tree

Broken

We have a beautiful Banana tree in front of our house. It is ten feet tall with as many leaves and several smaller Banana trees growing around it. Unfortunately last night a sudden thunderstorm with strong winds knocked it over and snapped the trunk of the tallest tree. We are going to have to cut almost 5 feet of the tree off and hope it will survive. Beth and I both are disappointed at the mishap. We’ve spent years feeding, watering and taking care of the Banana tree.

It was a painful reminder of the transience of life. There is nothing permanent, nothing which can withstand the storms of life forever. Everything and everyone has a breaking point. One of the most difficult wisdom lessons we can learn is holding things and people loosely. This seems like an easy concept to grasp. We are surrounded by constant reminders of how quickly life changes. What once was is not anymore. Years pass by in the blink of an eye. Adjusting to a new “normal” is an almost everyday occurrence.

“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”
-W. Somerset Maugham

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Futility

Image result for bad day

Futility

The first Thursday of each month is a busy one. It is on this day that I go to an out-of-town rehabilitation center and lecture close to 100 men, in multiple classes, about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and the impact it has upon them and their families. My schedule necessitates that I have to leave early so this morning I decided to take my coffee with me. I prepared it with cream and sweetener, placed it in a cup with a top and sat it by the front door so I would remember to grab it when I picked up my bag.

I’ve done this countless times before and never had a problem. However, today, after I got ready, picked up my bag, I opened the door and spilled the coffee everywhere. I ran and grabbed a few paper towels, cleaned up the mess and had about a 1/3 of a cup left over. I had the cup in one hand, the bag over my shoulder, the keys in my other hand. Locking the door I turned around and somehow, someway, caught my foot on a rug on the porch, twisted my ankle, and came crashing down on my left knee scraping it in several places. To top it off the rest of the coffee was now on the porch and stoop. In that moment, I sat the cup upright, left it on the porch and drove off.

There are times in life where something we want, desire, crave just wasn’t meant to be ours. We may fight for it, jump through hoops, feel we’ve earned it but in the end, it wasn’t meant to be. How we react when we realize our quest is futile is key to acceptance and contentment. Do we let go and move on or do we continue to grab at what refuses to be grasped?

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

wp-image-1718483709jpg.jpeg

Release and Purifiy

Image result for leaves on the ground

Release & Purify

They weren’t there a few days ago but today, when I and the dog went outside, the storm door pushed them aside. Brown, dead, Oak tree leaves are everywhere. Each blast of wind or short breeze seems to shake more loose. Sitting, you can watch them fall, seemingly endlessly, piling up in corners, next to the fence, in flower pots and against the house. What to do? Find the rake, gather them in a pile, set them ablaze.

Last week I wrote about letting go of things and how the fall season is a great metaphor for living a life where we don’t hold on to things (https://thewannabesaint.com/2016/10/18/falling/). Not grasping the fragile things of life is certainly the way of wisdom but so is getting rid of those fallen things which now lay at our feet. Being truly free is ridding ourselves of those trinkets which, if allowed, will still grasp hold of our lives and souls. To be pure, clean, unburdened by the world’s worthless toys, takes an act of release and purification.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

img_0511-2

Looking Deeply

Image result

Looking Deeply

What a difference a week makes! Last week, mowing grass and weeding, I was sweating bullets with temps in the mid 90’s and no breeze. Today it is 64 degrees with a mild wind. An almost perfect fall day. The seasons and their changes do amaze. Sometimes the change is gradual and you barely notice. Other times it’s quick and you can’t help but marvel at the disparity.

Nature is truly one of wisdom’s greatest teachers. Changes in the seasons, especially summer to fall, remind us that periods of growth and blossoming, are often followed by times of pruning, decrease, dormancy, and perhaps death. There isn’t one without the other. Neither are good or bad, negative or positive, right or wrong, they’re the way of life. Our responsibility is not to grasp or push away, but to accept both with grace and gratitude.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

img_0511

What’s the Reason?

Image result

What’s the Reason –

This afternoon, on my way to the county jail for the incarcerated fathers’ class, I was approaching a stoplight when a dark SUV, who’d been behind me for a while decided he wanted to pass me. Quickly he jumped lanes, flew by me and barely had time to turn on his signal before he turned at the light. He then had to stop at the street he wanted to turn on and wait for oncoming traffic to abate before proceeding. I would like to be able to say I handled it perfectly but I must admit to giving him the hands up in the air, shrug, implying; “What was the reason, the point, for jumping in front of me to end up in the same spot?” I’m not sure he interpreted all of that from my shrug but I just couldn’t help myself.

Shaking my head and moving along I reflected on how often we hurriedly try to get an inch ahead only to be a foot short. A friend of mine, who was in the army, used to tell me the motto for the grunts should be; “Hurry up and wait.” Wisdom teaches us that a steady pace will get us where we need to go when we need to get there. Hopefully, the other driver and myself will fully grasp the lesson one day.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

img_0511

Attention Span

Attention Span

Beth and I spent some time in our second home today, also known as Lowe’s Home Improvement Store. We needed some wood, a screen door and some other odds and ends. We filled our cart up and then headed to the garden section. We made our way down the aisle leading to outside there was a young mother, her baby and what I assumed was the grandmother. The eldest woman was holding a cup of coffee while the mom spoon fed the little one. They had to move out of the center of the aisle as we passed and something on our cart caught the grandmother’s attention. As she stared, the mom handed her the baby food container and as she grabbed it, still staring at our cart, the coffee cup slipped out of her hand and splashed on the floor. I couldn’t quite make out the expletive that escaped from her lips but the momentary frustration was soon followed by laughter from both the women.

I smiled at the situation because it seemed like something which would happen to me. It also caused me to reflect on the wisdom lessons of embracing what’s important, being fully present in the moment, not distracted by shiny things, and allowing things which aren’t necessary to slip through our grasp.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

img_0511

Season Pass

Image result for trees leaves falling

Season Pass

“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” ~ Author Unknown

On my way back from a lecture today in Hohenwald, TN the sun was shining brightly through the limbs of the trees which are rapidly becoming barren. It still feels like summer with temps in the low to mid 90’s but fall is approaching. The leaves are already giving up their grips and descending to the ground. We probably won’t have too much color as they turn this year due to the lack of rain this hot and barren summer.

Fall is another reminder of the transience of life. Summer’s rapid end reflects our own aging and how life is fleeting. The youth of spring and summer is like the cool morning mist of fall; easy to see but impossible to grasp and hold on to.

Accepting that life’s seasons pass quickly is the first step to living fully in every moment, not taking for granted any breath, experience, ray of sunshine, or drop of rain. Wisdom teaches us to be mindful of every moment for these are what life is made up of.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

img_0511

Snag

Snag

Our Siberian Husky, Trooper, has long nails on all four of his paws. Huskies use their nails for gripping more than most dogs. When his nails get long this results in him pulling up snags on the carpets we have in the house if he happens to stretch, sit up or start to run while on them. Yesterday, I was vacuuming the house and these rug snags were being grabbed and getting caught on the roller and burning the belt up. I had to go around the house and cut the snags to try to prevent this from happening. After I finished I reflected on my proclivity to grab on to things. Like the dog’s nails and the vacuüm cleaner, I hold on to things which I should let go.

Wisdom teaches us to live life open-handed, not to grab, grasp anything or anyone, but to allow them to come into and leave our life freely, accepting the transience of all that is made, exists.

Beth trimmed the dog’s nails and now there will be fewer snags on our rugs. May it be with me as well, as I move through life, basking in the glory of now and resisting the urge to grab and grasp.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

img_0511

Pokémon…huh?

Pokémon…huh? –

Last week was the first time I had heard the words; “Pokemon” and “Go” together. A couple of folks in the office were talking about it and I was listening trying to figure out what they were saying, describing and deriving so much joy and interest. Like a newbie, I asked several questions but still didn’t understand the concept. Little did I know this conversation would be the beginning of an information  immersion into this app game for a cellphone I would receive over the last several days. I’ve heard about it on the news, podcasts, social media and more. I’ve seen pictures of people, phone up to their faces, meandering around, running to areas where “creatures?” can be found and trying to “catch” them.

Reflecting on this latest phenomenon I am reminded how each of us have goals we pursue. We seek the elusive, the valuable, the treasured, the thing that will bring contentment and meaning into our lives. However, unless we are pursuing the truth each goal we grasp only leaves us unfulfilled and a new goal appears with further promises of purpose and peace. If we’re not careful we can spend our lives chasing, finding and capturing that which will not satisfy.

“Truth is easy to understand once it is discovered; the point is to discover it.”
-Galileo Galilei

blessings,
BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

wp-image-1780999662jpg.jpeg

Stop Searching

image

We are missing a few cans of paint.  No idea where they are hiding.  We’ve looked every place we know to look but haven’t found them. The Mrs.  thinks I’ve put them somewhere and forgot, she’s probably right. Nonetheless, after searching high and low, wide and narrow, we have yet to locate the elusive cans.

As I searched for them and tried to think of other places they may be I’ve reflected on the wisdom quote; “Stop searching and you will find that which you seek.” The meaning is simple but the discipline is difficult.

Too often we want our problems solved now, our challenges conquered, our questions answered, our purposes revealed. However, our desire for resolution and the timetable for the eventual solving of them are rarely aligned.

Allowing for patience as the path unfolds. Accepting the limits of our power and knowledge. Living life with open hand instead of trying to grasp, manipulate, control is not easy but worth understanding and doing.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

image

The Space Between

One of the most important teachings of wisdom is the “space between.” It is the distance between what happens to us and our reaction to it. The greater the space; usually the wiser choice and better consequence. The shorter the response time; the more chance of the decision/action being poor.

Wisdom teaches us that a word unsaid is usually not regretted.  This also extends to actions. Once something is said or done there is no reverse and we must accept the consequence, good or bad. “When a person picks up one end of the stick, they always pick up the other.” Wisdom also teaches us the concept of eternity existing in every moment. It is a harder lesson to learn and grasp but powerful in its impact upon how we think about life and relationships.

Take the time, exist in the moment, breathe, be still, reflect and then decide. The difference in a quick reaction and a wise one can be the difference between life and death.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

screenshot_2015-07-30-21-13-57-1.jpg

Like an Anchor

image

Yesterday, near evening, my wife and I walked around the yard looking for signs of spring. It was sunny, blue skies, warm temperatures and we were desperate to find buds, green, visages of life at the beginning of March.

We were able to spot a few. A new leaf here, a baby limb there, but there was nothing that shouted; “Spring!” just whispers, rumors, of the dead of winter passing and the newness of another season on the cusp of birth.

It was good to spy even the slightest changes. Winter begins to cling to my spirit, like an anchor weighing me down until my soul feels like it will be stuck in it’s dead state forever. It was nourishing to be reminded of the life to come.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Watching Our Steps

image

“No question modern devices can be hazardous to one’s health and worse, the health of others who have loved ones at home waiting for them.

We’ve seen the amusing when a woman strolling through a mall fell into a fountain, but there’s a darker side to this problem.San Diego, California police are reporting today that a man walked off of the edge at Sunset Cliffs while staring at an electronic device.

While the device isn’t known, it can be guessed to be a cell phone, though a tablet is a possibility. According to what NBC News is reporting,  “Witnesses stated seeing someone distracted by an electronic device and he just fell over the edge”, says San Diego Lifeguard Bill Bender. “(He) wasn’t watching where he was walking, he was looking down at the device in his hands”.” (Betanews.com)

What a terrible story and my heart goes out to the family at the loss of a dear loved one. As I read this article I thought about how often my, and others’, attention are glued to a screen. Accidents and tragedies are bound to happen.

I also reflected on the truth of how what’s in our hands, what we possess, or want to, captures our focus and everything else can be lost. We become so transfixed on having, obtaining, grasping, controlling that our path is obscured and indeed we pay the price with our lives and spirits.

What we possess, possesses us. May we each be mindful, choose wisely, live open handed, watchful and not lose all things dear as we walk this path called life.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

%d bloggers like this: