Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Do You Gotta Have a Dream?

" gotta have a dream, if you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?"
                                                               From the song, "Happy Talk" by Rogers & Hammerstein

 The people who run around in my dreams every night are not very nice.  My dreams are always confused, hectic, disturbing and exhausting, and the people in my dreams all have questionable motives or are generally frustrating the hell out of me.

That is why I can sometimes be heard yelling in my sleep, and occasionally throwing a punch, and why the shooting pain that wakes me up is usually caused by a stray bullet that I take as I’m diving and rolling with my AK-47 across concrete and rubble strewn between two bombed-out buildings.  

I researched this a little. It seems I may have issues. What? One thing I read was that the emotions you feel in your dreams are real – probably leftovers from something you felt during your waking hours, but maybe you were just holding it in, or couldn’t fully express it, due to a myriad of circumstances.

I don’t know if this is correct, but I know that I often feel frustration and impatience when it comes to my “dreams” (and my life, for that matter). Everybody is supposed to have a Dream. You must have small dreams that are within arms' reach, and you must have BIG Dreams that are swirling around up there in the sky somewhere. You must use physics to determine the correct trajectory that will, upon launch, propel you upwards and right into your heart's desire. If you do not do this, you are wasting, wasting, wasting precious time.
“DREAM BIG.” We hear that all the time. And it’s right, it’s true. You cannot conceive of every possibility and how it will happen. So you do need to set your sights beyond what you could imagine. Some days, however, I grow weary of being bombarded by motivational mumbo jumbo, which eventually just becomes so much noise in my brain.

I am completely and utterly impressed by some seven year old who has the vision and the drive to become something great, and is already working on it at seven. But I’m also often discouraged and left feeling inadequate because I’m not doing enough, not doing enough, not doing enough. Why didn't I have this self-awareness when I was seven - when I had the time?? No, it’s never enough, and the hour is late. The longer I'm on this planet, the more urgent it seems to be that I should map out my piece of Pie in the Sky.
So back to the frustrations in my sleep: Could it be that I’ve allowed needing to have a Big Dream to dilute or eclipse  Joy in my life? I'm a huge proponent of Joy. I must examine this. I am no longer willing to sacrifice Joy for any outcome.  I have only recently discovered Joy and what it can truly mean. Being inexperienced at having It around, I might accidentally send It away.
On the other hand, am I just using this as an excuse so that I can say I don't really want a Big Dream and therefore, I do not need to worry about attaining one? Possibly. But if so, then I am missing the point of Being Alive, which is not - I believe - to make ourselves miserable or have fitful sleep. The point for me is to live, love, experience joy, create, grow, and let things unfold as they will. That would require - that's another blog....

Friday, January 10, 2014

Naked Faith May Be Required

I would really like to think that there comes a day when Life doesn’t throw me any more surprise parties.  I suppose that will be when I am dead.

Sometimes, the result of this is that I become temporarily Afraid of Life. I want It to leave me alone. I stay home, and hunker down. I close the blinds, put on a heavy sweatshirt, eat popcorn, and waste incredibly large chunks of Time. I sleep. I travel out to get the things I need, moving carefully and purposefully from my car to the store, or work, and back again. I speak to no one unless spoken to. In this way, I fool myself into thinking that I have escaped Life’s notice for a little while – that I have stopped the world ‘cause I wanna get off.

Of course, we know it does not work this way. Life is the Ultimate Party Girl and you are going to get dragged along – kicking and screaming if necessary. So wouldn’t it be better to just roll with it rather than dig in one’s heels or get the spaghetti arms and drop to the floor and say, “I’m not doing it!!” Yes, yes it would, probably.

And sometimes…I do. But sometimes……… requires incredible bravery or just hutzpah or determination or naked faith to go along.

Today, I shall crack open a can of Naked Faith and rejoin the party.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Contents Under Pressure: Look Out, She's Gonna Blow!

Everyone suffers from potential head explosion. We are all just walking around with the pressure building up inside our skulls. This is because we absorb so much that is baloney, clogging our mental processes with a thick, garlic-laden lunch meat. Add to that mix our inner fears, woes, and worries and probably a lack of sleep, and you have a recipe for an explosion sandwich.

Enter your creative outlet – a way for you to avoid the messy head explosion.
Your creative outlet is not going to be about responsibilities, obligations, finances, or chores. It is not going to give you worry, or angst, or depression. It is going to be something that brings you JOY. Joy is something we have little enough of in our lives, and JOY is not really sought after, except at Christmas time, when it is wished to the entire world --  which is a shame. We can experience JOY any time, with no carols involved.
This joy is a standalone by-product of whatever your creative outlet might be. It’s not contingent upon rightness, or whether you deserve it, or any such nonsense. For you, my friends, I have gone to the Thesaurus for words that also define joy: happiness, delight, pleasure, enjoyment, bliss, ecstasy, elation, thrill, gladness. Of course, depending on what you are doing, you could possibly experience any or all of these feelings in varying degrees.

All you need to do is find that creative outlet that does it for you. You might like to draw, paint, write, sing, take photographs, sew, play golf, cook, ride horses, visit museums, go to concerts, window shop, read, ride your bike, sit outside and listen to nature, play a musical instrument, chat with a friend over a cup of coffee, take a walk, plant a garden… get the idea? Things that just bring you joy for the sake of doing them are worth doing. Not only are they worth doing, you MUST do them, if you plan on keeping your head intact.  

**Blogger's Note: After publishing this blog, I discovered that my last 3 posts have made references to exploding heads or heads exploding. I see a theme here, a disturbing theme.**


Monday, April 8, 2013

Tales of an F-Bomber

I'm a veteran pilot of sorts. I know my way around the skies when it comes to certain things. I’m not bragging, you understand. I am just saying that I have some skills, and not a small amount of experience. No, not small at all.

But the day comes – or it doesn’t – when you decide to take off your goggles and your leather aviator gear, and you just choose to live life from a different place. To be honest, I don’t even know if I can do it. Okay, let me clarify this. I plan to do it, except for extreme circumstances when the situation requires that I return to the skies and once again do my bit for all humanity. For now, the F-Bomber will lay down her wings and live a more benevolent life on the ground.

Can it really be done? Who can say? I heard a story once about a guy in southern Oklahoma – an Okie from the red dirt region. Supposedly, he tried to give up F-bombing. Soon after, when presented with an especially exasperating situation and unable to drop any F-bombs, he was at such a loss at how better to express himself, he burst an artery in his right temple and his head exploded. 
"Frack you!" 

I’m hoping that my advantage will be a healthy vocabulary that will serve me in my hour of need as I walk through the valley of the shadow of no swearing.  Why even try to give it up at this late hour? Oh, because I do it a lot. It is a word that I especially love and embrace and find so fitting to so many life situations. But I’m better than this. I know I am.   F-Bombing has a particularly nasty connotation, and conjures up images of a woman who chews tobacco, spits in the dirt, doesn't shower much, and probably plays a harmonica. I'm  in search of a calm exterior and as such, I probably need to let that word go. Besides, we all know I don't play the harmonica.

Still, it makes my head hurt to think about giving up F-bombing.  Until I get the hang of it, you may hear me substituting all kinds of crazy words in place of that all-encompassing, adjective/expletive/verb/noun. (See what I mean? Versatile!) I may be heard to holler things like, “What the fork?” and “I don’t give a fadoodle!” and “he’s a mothermother!” until I can really get this thing figured out. In the meantime, I still plan to use “bugger” once in an a while.
Noble F-Bombers from a bygone era.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Long before my life exploded, and rained me down in fire and ash
Before my faith in Love eroded, before I walked on broken glass…
  -From “The One That Got Away” by Laura Lisbeth ©2012

When your life blows up it never feels like a good thing at the time. I would go so far as to suggest that everyone probably experiences these explosions in varying degrees at different times. And it’s hard to see your life rain down in pieces around you and feel good about it.
But take heart, oh Disenchanted Ones, because what is also happening is that Life is granting you a giant Mulligan. A Big Ol’ Do Over. That is the way I have decided to look at it. Suddenly I find myself back at the start of things instead of well underway. So what do I want to do? Do I want to just pick up where I left off? How? Why? Nope, I’ll take the Mulligan and get on with it, thank you.
Just so we’re all on the same page here – Mulligan  is a golf term. In golf, it’s a shot taken after a failed shot, which does not count against your strokes. In everything else, Mulligan means a “Do-over.”
All this opportunity awaits: a chance to reinvent yourself, a chance to do something differently, a chance to see your future with a fresh set of eyes.  The time is now.
Oh yeah, baby! I call Mulligan!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Fire In Your Belly!

A couple of months ago I ran out of gas at a stoplight during the noon rush hour.   I was busy, you know, and while I noticed that the tank was getting low, I kind of ignored it -- I had a lot on my mind! 

So, at this stoplight, my car shuddered and died, and I was completely shocked and surprised and thinking the worst – then I looked at the gas gauge.  Ohhh no.
Every time the light turned green, people behind me were honking, and I kept waving them around. A police officer came up to my window and when I told him, “um, I think I’m out of gas,” he said, “you’ve GOT to be kidding me.”
Cars need gas to run.   A fire needs fuel – something to burn – to keep on burning. For me, inspiration works this way too. If your Car of Inspiration is sitting dead at a stoplight,  what are you gonna do? I don’t know what fills your tank, but here are some suggestions:
  • Spend time in nature.  It reaches you at the soul level and reopens that dialogue you have with your innermost self. That’s where the good stuff comes from.
  • Read a book.  Reading really gets my brain pistons firing. Sometimes I do this in place of working on writing. I don’t like to force it that much. If I don’t have anything happening in the writing department, I give my brain a little vacation.
  • Go out and experience the creativity of others: go to a gallery, museum, or go out and hear live music. Relax. Soak it in. it will put the fire back in your belly.
  • Grab inspiration as it flies by – it might not stop or come around again. Write down or record those little lines, words, etc that come into your head at any given moment. Store them up like a little treasure trove that is all yours. Then go back to it when you need some inspiration. You’ll be surprised at some of the things you came up with.  You will inspire yourself!
  • Take on a side project that is creative, but not directly related to your main goal: co-write, collaborate, assist, support someone else’s dream. It keeps your creativity flowing until you’re ready to jump back into it again.
  • Honor your creative side. Think of yourself as a creative soul, and give this part of yourself its due. This is who you are! This is the real you – the most important you. So give yourself permission to be that person.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Putting My Bears Out on the Table

Teddy bears seem to personify whimsy.  They are benevolent creatures who just exude vulnerability and fuzzy love. They stare out at the world through those glossy, black button eyes,  revealing nothing and everything all at once……… I’m pretty sure they have souls............
I kind of have a thing for teddy bears. I’ve been known to go through periods of teddy bear acquisition, in which I add unnecessary ones to my stable the way others acquire guitars or power tools.  Some of my bears  live freely, uncaged, in my house,  and they’re pretty quiet. They don’t really run amok or anything. But  I’m sad to say that not all of them are this lucky. I have some other teddy bears who have been packed away in a plastic bin marked “TEDDY BEARS” for years. Oh, the guilt I carry around with me.  I can only imagine the conversations that are going on inside that bin.
Perhaps this borders on teddy bear abuse, but what am I supposed to do – put them all out on display? I don’t have room in my life for all those bears – all at one time. I don’t want to deal with them all, so I keep some of them in that plastic bin. What does it mean when we pack our teddy bears away in a box -- when we put away our whimsy, our vulnerability, our fuzzy love?  If I don’t put all my bears out there, am I holding back something important?
 I don’t know but I think I’ve hit upon a new favorite idiom:
“Lay all your teddy bears on the table.”
“She decided it was best to come clean and lay all of her teddy bears out on the table.”
“All right, let’s lay all our teddy bears on the table and discuss this matter.” 
“He brought no teddy bears to the table.”
“But Mary treasured up all of these teddy bears in her bin, and pondered them in her heart…..”
Oops! Sorry, I got carried away for a second there.
Be brave.
Bring it.
Bring all your teddy bears to the table.
What’s the worst that can happen?

Some bears I know...........


Navy Bear
KU Bear - someone has taken his pants


Overloved bear