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We all have a life to live and a path that will take us into that life. It is often said that you will see dates on a tombstone that will indicate the year of your birth and the year of your death. Between those two numbers is a dash. The dash represents all that we are between birth and death. What will your dash say about you? Last month I began talking about walking the walk. This month, I am going to take things up a bit more and discuss how I have found that I can fire up my walk, yet still remaining true to myself.
F is for FUN. When we are young, it is easy for us to have fun. We find mud puddles exciting. As we get older and have more responsibilities, we allow those responsibilities to weigh us down. We take on jobs and careers to pay for cars and shelter. We become concerned about the future and what it holds, are we prepared for emergencies, will we be able to afford the braces for our children’s teeth? Now, I think that having responsibility is a reward in itself that we feel called upon to be someone that others can depend upon, so I am not knocking responsibility. What we fail to take into account during this time of responsibility is our ability to have fun while being responsible.
We need to maintain an ability to have fun in life. We need to learn that within our role as spouse, parent, or caregiver, we owe it to ourselves and others around us to be able to take a look at the lighter side of life. When we do that, we bring a light-heartedness to not only ourselves, but also to those around us. That light will get us through the dark times in life. The more we practice fun, the more enjoyable our lives will be and the easier that the walk along our path becomes.
I is for IMAGINATION Albert Einstein once remarked that “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” That phrase is oh, so true. When we can imagine the possibilities in our life, we become in tune to the achieving of those things imagined, if we continue to focus on what we imagine. You may be sitting back in your chair thinking that you have always imagined winning the lottery and it hasn’t happened. What you have really been imagining is a path to abundance and wealth in your life. Money (as in a lottery win) is how you perceive it happening. When you focus on the underlying wish rather than a particular vehicle, you can let imagination work for you. Imagine your life as a wealthy person, one who has the money the lottery provided. How would you live? How would you feel? When you can place yourself in the position of already having your imagination become a reality, you are on you way to manifesting that reality. Imagination is a wonderful tool when used correctly. Until you learn to use it, it is simply a diversion that serves well in the moment.
Practice letting your imagination take you wherever it is you want to go. Imagine that you are already there. when those visions are held in your mind and built upon, there will be instance after instance that will get you closer and closer to your imagined outcome.
R is for RESPECT Respect is something we all hope to gain; the grace of others. Respect is not something that is given to us with no expectation. As I meet people, I have a degree of respect for them simply because they are fellow travelers on a path through life, as am I. As my association grows with those individuals, I will either find reasons to increase or decrease the degree of respect I have for them. As I watch how they treat others in their life, I calculate those interactions on my own “respect-a-meter” What gains you respect in my life may not gain you respect in someone else’s.
For me, respect is gained. When I see someone who is kind and considerate of others. I respect those who have a “live and let live” attitude that precludes judging others critically and unfairly. I look for those who smile and laugh, those who truly enjoy the life they are given. We all have times of pain, but to take those times and create a life around pain, will only cause heartache and does nothing to garner respect. I look for those people of integrity when I am ready to give out my respect. I don’t care what kind of job or degree of material goods a person has. I look at the inner qualities when I am choosing who I respect.
Walk your walk in a way that you gain the respect of those around you. The cobblestones on that path will become more cushioned as you gain the respect of others.
E is for EMOTION As you walk your walk, you will experience a wide variety of emotions. I think that the more a person allows their emotions to come to the surface, the better their walk will become. I have a dear friend who keeps telling me that I am led too much by emotions. He feels that if I were more logical in my approach to life, it would serve me better. Maybe he is right, I don’t know. I cannot be that logical person who does not feel things intensely Just as there is a wide variety of emotions, there is also a deep depth to the emotions that we do experience. Different scenarios call for the not only a different quality, but also a different depth of feeling.
Whether you are considered an emotional person or not, emotions will serve you well because they tend to reflect the degree to which you are connected to others around you. When you let yourself feel any emotion, you connect with the energy that creates all emotions. Emotions allow you to feel not only love, but also beauty, two things that make our walk more enjoyable.
These are four more things that can help us in the walk that we call life. I hope these have helped you and I will try to continue sharing some of the ways you can make that “dash” between birth and death more than just a little line on a marble tombstone.
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