Give More or Give Up?

A friend recently said to me, “You know, it seems to me that a lot of people give up on something when they are right on the verge of a huge leap forward.”

“It’s always darkest before the dawn.” ~ Proverb

And I will always remember the guidance counselor’s words after announcing that one of my high school classmates had committed suicide, “Remember that EVERYTHING always looks better in the morning. So if you can just hold on until morning….”

“Never give up.” ~ Winston Churchill

Does this mean that you keep flailing at something no matter what? Never give up, even though you’ve lost everything and you’re just digging a deeper hole? When is enough, enough?

This is probably one of the toughest questions we have to answer in our lives. How do you know when to keep on and when to let go?

The answer? I don’t know.

But I’m beginning to understand the process of figuring it out for myself.

The tool is Intent.

Not intention, Intent. Two different meanings for two different words.

Intention, for me, means a goal, a rational thought, a thought with an outcome. Something I intend to do may or may not get done, depending on my underlying Intent.

Intent, for me, means my Life Breath. My purpose for being. And it is not attached to any one thing, but all things that I do, whether it’s choosing a life career or doing the dishes.

Intent is what drives everything we think and everything we do, whether we realize it or not.

And if you are not consciously choosing your Intent, then your Intent will be chosen for you, by old habits, old beliefs, previous experience and others that you have agreed to follow in your life.

So today, why not practice choosing your Intent? Start small, and with something that you can witness.

Example – Today my Intent is Kindness.

Witness kindness everywhere you go. What is not kind will be very apparent to you – let it go and only record or imprint on yourself acts of kindness. And remember, kindness doesn’t mean laying down and being a doormat!

Actively choose to be kind to others – ALL others. Regardless of what you think of them, what they appear to do, or where you are.

Most importantly, actively be kind to yourself.

How do you do that? Could kindness to yourself be doing the dishes now so you can have that afternoon tea break without having to think about dirty dishes?

Could it be taking five minutes out of every hour today to watch the birds, or look at your child’s photo, or daydream? (It’s actually part of the industry standard in some states that three hours worked gets you a 15 minute break – do the math…..)

So now, how do you feel about the dishes?
How do you feel about yourself, and your reaction to other people to whom you have chosen to show kindness?
How do you feel about working 55 minutes when you know that you will be able to rest and be kind to yourself for 5?

What does this have to do with giving up or keeping on?

If you know, deep in your heart, that what you are doing today is what you are meant to do in your life, then Intend that. Stick to the Intent, not the pain or difficulty or lack that you are experiencing.

Focus on the REASON – kindness, fulfillment, joy, beauty, growth, love, purpose, life, safety, security, abundance – whatever the underlying Intent is for doing whatever it is you are doing in this moment.

One way or the other, the short outcome is that you will enjoy each moment a lot more. And you will consciously choose to do, or not do, daily things, what seem like details, based on your joy of them, or lack of joy thereof. In this small way, you will be successful every day.

The long term outcome is that, by focusing on Intent rather than the action, you will begin to consciously choose actions that are intuitively RIGHT for you, and you’ll know it.

And, with a little practice, I feel certain that you will know when to give more, or give up.

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A Simple Breath

A couple of years ago, I logged on to my tai chi lesson in a less than healthy state of mind. I was experiencing some real anxiety over an issue (sorry, no idea now what it was,) and told my coach as much when he asked what I wanted to work on that day.

He perched on his stool and started to talk. And ask questions. I stood and listened, and answered him. A moment later the hour was up and I realized I was perfectly relaxed and balanced. Here’s how that happened….

Del’s first question of a lesson is always, “Well, Jet, what do you want to work on today?” And that’s what he asked, which generated my response of stress, fear, anxiety, inability to settle, tight muscles, and so on.

He never asked me why, or what I thought was evoking those feelings. To him, that’s immaterial, which is very helpful to me. He asked me if any of those feelings could possibly be True, which of course we both know they couldn’t.

I’m sure we talked about lots of things, but the interesting part is what happened to me during that lesson.

As I listened to him, my feet came together. I straightened up. I relaxed my muscles. I unlocked my knees. I placed my hands over my dan tien (my center, or that place just below your belly button). And I breathed.

The anatomy of breathing is not how I always imagined it. As you inhale, your diaphragm actually goes down, not up, to make room for your lungs to expand, which pushes your rib cage out. Has nothing to do with your shoulders. And when you exhale, your diaphragm pushes your lungs up to empty the air out, and your rib cage compresses.

As I listened, I FELT the expansion of my rib cage and my lungs as I inhaled, and I FELT the compression of my rib cage and my lungs as I exhaled. But only as a feeling, I didn’t actively push it. Just felt it.

And as I stood, listening to his voice, occasionally answering a question or making a comment, my muscles unknotted and relaxed.

As my muscles unknotted, so did my thoughts, and I was able to recognize that I was the one getting myself in a stew. And breathing, and standing in Wu Chi, just BREATHING, started the unknotting process.

So, my simple act for relieving stress is to stand (or sit – you can do this anywhere) straight but relaxed, in Wu Chi, and breathe. I’ve actually taken to doing that daily for five minutes, as a way of catching the stress and throwing it out before it catches me.

Give it a try!

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Voting Day and Memories of Dad

Long, long ago and far, far away – well, maybe not so far away, as it was still in Connecticut – my dad shared a piece of an article with me. Here is why he shared it:

“The following quotation from Alexander Fraser Tytler, [later tagged as incorrectly credited to him, but what does that matter?] economist and professor at Edinburgh University, writing at the time of the American Revolution, is instructive:

‘A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse (generous benefits) from the public treasury.

‘From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

‘The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:

‘From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back into bandage.'”

How about we change the equation?

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My Everything Book

Do you have a kitchen “junk drawer?” You know, that drawer that collects all those doodads and extra thingummies that you might need someday, but have nowhere really to put them?

That’s as close as I can come to describing my Everything Book.

I guess it’s a little bit more than that, because my Everything Book gets, well, everything.

I learned to keep a time log when I started my first job as a staff accountant. I used a steno pad, and it worked great for tracking my time, which of course I had to report to my employer so he could charge for my services. And of course, I carried it with me at all times to log my time.

I just decided I would use my time tracking pad to keep everything – time, ideas, notes from classes, everything.

I tried a smaller notebook to slip in my purse, but smaller didn’t work for me. I tried letter sized, but it was just too much to carry, and I would forget to take it with me. Then I found the eco-friendly 6 X 9.5 spiral bound college ruled notebook (and got a bigger purse.)

It’s with me all the time. I put everything in it, which means I can find stuff. Yes, it’s a jumble of time, quotes, ideas, questions, dreams, expenses, anything and everything that I manage to put down on paper.

I can always transfer information to another, more orderly place if I need to, or want to.

It’s more than a journal because it has everything in it. It doesn’t have to make sense, sometimes not even to me. But it DOES save the planet, and my house, from numerous sticky notes I may or may not be able to find later. Oh yeah, it’s got a pocket page if I DO need to grab a note!

Everything in one place. When I scroll through, looking for some item, I revisit all those random thoughts and pieces of information, that help me remember to enjoy and value every day.

And it sometimes unlocks me from a static position, because it is not meant to be beautiful or orderly. Like the kitchen junk drawer, it’s that place that’s allowed to be messy, disorganized, and hold things that may or may not be useful later.

Cool, huh?

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Hello world!

You know, I was going to use another heading to this post (it’s a default heading to the sample from WordPress) but it seems appropriate, so I’m using it!

Hi.

My name is Jet.

I have done a lot of things in my lifetime.

Bucc scoring 8 on his right lead canter!

Workwise, it’s probably easier to tell you what I haven’t done than what I have.

Playwise, not so much. I tend to stick to a few tried and true pleasures in my free time – horses, art, reading, and dreaming. Do you suppose that’s telling, somehow?

I have a website for my work of the last ten years – Jean T Tucker, CPA.

I have a website to display my art and that of my family and friends – Kindred Views. There are photos to look at, photos to buy, paintings to buy.

And then there’s World Wealth UNLtd. You’ll find blog posts by fellow members of The Womens Council. You can learn more about The Shift and The Womens Council at Perception U and me.

This place….

This place is for us. This place is for me to share what I’ve learned of Simplicity, Grace, Spirit, Truth.

This place is for you to ask me questions about all or some of the above. And maybe I can answer them, and maybe I can’t, but somehow, during the discussion, I’ll bet you can answer them for yourself.

So now that the site is started, I’ll be putting stuff up here, changing and playing and designing and writing, and I hope you’ll visit often and let me know how I’m doing.

So I think the heading of this post is appropriate –

Hello world!

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