Friday, November 25, 2011

On the Lamb
Suzanne Davenport Tietjen is a shepherd who tells a story about one of her pregnant ewes, Lily. It was lambing season and since none of the lambs were showing signs of giving birth, she thought it was safe to go out. She had no idea she’d be coming home to a dire situation.

“Lambing instinct is pretty variable – some new moms act as if they know just what to do, while others fail to recognize any of the feelings of labor. Birth catches them by surprise.”

And that’s what happened to Lily.

The shepherd came home to a frenzied and frenetic Lily, who was running in circles around the barn, looking for something. They recognized the telltale signs that she had just given birth; She was searching helplessly for her baby, who had somehow gotten, well, lost in the confusion.

Her daughter quickly recovered the baby, shivering in the cold.

They presented the baby to Lily, according to Tietjen, but Lily showed no interest. She was much too busy searching for what she had lost.  She seemed to shake her head as if to say, Nope that’s not what I’m looking for, as she continued her manic search.

As I read Tietjen’s story, I saw myself. How often do I act just like Lily, frantically searching for something I know is important, but don’t recognize it when it’s right in front of me?

If I’m too busy recklessly thrashing about, how can I possibly have the clarity of thought to recognize anything when I see it?

When frenzy seems to take over me, I need to breathe through it; Go slower.

Well, after some quick thinking on Tietjen’s part, as only a shepherd can, she got Lily to bond with her baby. They are doing fine.

c. 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You are Rich
When I was younger I used to define wealth as how much money someone had, how much stuff they could buy. [Sometimes I still do].

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that while money is definitely nice, it is not everything. I’ve seen it cause more problems and stress than it’s worth.

I’ve known of girls who literally sell their bodies for money. I’ve seen men sacrifice their families and themselves for money. I’ve seen people waste hours of pure drudgery doing something they didn’t even like for a days, months, years. 

For what?

I know one girl who makes it her mission to have the latest techie gadget. Then she spends so much time playing with it and showing it off that she can’t relate to others. She’ll be in her techie ‘zone,” impossible to have a conversation with. Then the toy breaks. What now?

We need to simplify.

It’s not all that easy, you say. Have you seen the recent economic figures? Have you seen the price of…well, anything?

Yes, it’s nice to have stuff, I am the first to attest. But it is nicer to have peace of mind and a lack of stress. Nicer…and more profitable, I might add. Profitable because you are not wasting brain cells worrying, so there is plenty of space to create; to problem solve, to innovate.

Ideas flow when you are relaxed; so does production.

It’s not that I don’t feel bad for people who have lost their job, I know it’s traumatic, painful and often requires an uncomfortable lifestyle change. But as an outsider, I know that money comes and goes. As an outsider, this seems like an awesome opportunity to progress. Of course, I certainly wouldn’t recognize it, if the tables were turned. And I will probably have to be reminded of this posr.

But it is nice to realize that money isn’t everything. [Thank goodness.]. You can live just as rich a life [and often richer] with little as you can a lot.