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Monday, March 26, 2012

Me and My Humanity

One of life’s most challenging lessons for me to learn and accept is that embracing my humanity does not diminish my divinity. Exposing a weakness of character does not render me ineffective in the world. In fact, it proves me more relatable. Oftentimes, OK always, I strive to be and present the most perfect image of myself. And that image usually falls short of my desire. That damn ego gets in the way!

I tremble at the thought of letting certain people know the facets of the diamond called me that are less than shining. I cower, at times, behind a less-than-genuine version of me. I attempt to trick myself into thinking that others do not see past my façade of grace, of humor, of knowledge. Sometimes, when I speak, I hear the words coming from my head knowing all the while that my heart is not involved in the feeling of my message. For to feel might move me to tears or to an admission of powerlessness, rendering me vulnerable. Oh no, my humanity exposed!

 I am a proponent of connectedness. I know and believe that in order to forge true connections with others, we must invite our authentic selves to step forward and interact. Allow me to admit here that I am not always able to practice such.

 But I am setting an intention to change that! I am making it a priority to become better friends with my humanity. I am going to be more open, less guarded, more humble, less aloof. My humanness, with all of its weakness and imperfection, does not taint the divine being I am. I refuse any longer to think otherwise.

 Be enlightened! ~ M

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Change

What would you do with your last few coins? Take ten minutes to watch this video and see how small kindnesses can lead to huge transformations. The choices we make in our everyday lives profoundly affect those around us in ways we often never see. 


Be enlightened!  ~ M



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Speeding

I took the reverse curve of Rockaway Avenue on the proverbial two wheels. I knew Garden City was a heavily patrolled area, but it was 6:10 p.m., and I was supposed to arrive by 6:00. I was late for a blind date, which is unlike me because I am known for my punctuality. But on this particular evening, I was not going to make it on time to my appointment.

The rubber tread of my sporty white Buick Skyhawk squealed. My rump, by force of the turn, was held firm in the black velour bucket seat. Both hands, with freshly manicured mauve fingernails, gripped the leather-wrapped steering wheel. I was speeding. Headlights, I noticed in my rearview mirror, flashed repeatedly from the car behind me. Annoyed, I switched from the left to the right lane to give the tailgater room to pass. He didn’t, but instead moved with me into the right-hand lane.

Now out of the curve and approaching a traffic light and intersection, I released my heavy right foot from the gas pedal and coasted the slight decline in the road. The light turned red, I stopped, and the impatient man in the car behind me continued to flash his headlights. I inched my car as far to the right as I possibly could, sidling up to the curb. At the light, still red, I lowered my driver-side window with the push of a button on my door console.

With sarcastic exaggeration, I waved my left arm out the window in a gesture to permit the persistent driver in rear to pass me as the light changed. It did. He didn’t. Instead, he too sidled his car up to the curb, behind mine, and exited the vehicle. It was then I noticed the navy blue uniform he wore and the carbon-copy note pad he held.

“Is something wrong, officer?” I inquired when he approached my open window.

After requesting to see my driver’s license and vehicle registration, he answered, “Sixty five in a thirty?” His inflection at the end couched his statement more as a question than a certainty.

Naïve me, never before pulled over by a traffic cop, hadn’t recognized the unmarked patrol car monitoring the curve and didn’t know better to keep my mouth shut. “Who, me?” I mirrored his questioning-like phrase with one of my own.

Officer Slug (that really was his name) never did appear at the court hearing, but I still had to pay a hefty fine for a moving violation and spend an entire Saturday at traffic school watching videos of simulated car crashes and filling in the blanks of multiple choice questions about driving hazards.

That incident taught me more than a lesson on traffic safety and the dangers of violating speed limits. As I think back on that story now, I wonder how often I am still going too fast. And I am not referring to my heavy-footed driving habits. How many days do I whiz through? When we travel through life with speed, what’s closest to us becomes a blur,” I replied to a reader in a prior post. Does my good have a chance to catch up with me, or am I proceeding too quickly? Do I wave it on by while my focus remains on what’s ahead? Am I paying attention daily to what’s all around me in a single moment?

I must remember to slow down, be present in the Now. I also must remember that what I do affects others, like the careless drivers depicted in the crash films. And grace, that too, as I safely arrived at my intended destination.

By the way, I didn’t miss much as far as being late to meet my blind date. I never saw him again after that and don’t even remember his name.

Be enlightened!  ~ M