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Saturday, December 26, 2009

The end of the Decade

   This is the last post of 2009 and while there are many "Best of" and "Worst of" lists, allow me to help put the decade into a framework that is easier for us and doesnt have all the best and worst attached to it. For really, that makes us feel both good and crappy and the fact that there are tens of thousands of thoughts going through our mind per day and that over 3/4 of them are negative... guess which lists we focus on and the media play?

  So, here we go my fearless friends. Look at where you are in the here and now. Value and look at family, friends, health, where you live, what you have, what you get and what you give. That fearless Fourth Step Moral Inventory.. without all the naughty and nice attached to it. Even if there are downs, thats a sign you are alive and then you have the ability to make choices and decisions and look and work with the Fates to write the next set of chapters in your book. If there are up then I can guarantee that complacency, greed, selfishness are choices that can and will push you down.

  This is the "Story of a Life" which is also the name of a song sung by the late Harry Chapin and released on his last studio album.

  "...And for every dream that took me high, There's been a dream that's passed me by.  I know it's so true...."   Harry Chapin   Reference: http://www.harrychapin.com/music/story.shtml 

  It IS the story of your life and the next decade is but another chapter and with the love, insight and use of your gifts and advancing yourself and others, use of courage, avoiding judging and being gentle to yourself then it will be the best of when we look back.

  Be good to yourself often.

 

--- Joel Lamoure December 2009 

 

8:28 am est 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays and pass it forward...
Happy holidays to all of my friends and the best of the season, plus a very happy 2010. This is a time and period to give, love and laugh. Remember to be kind to yourself and loved ones and take an extra moment to remember those less fortunate, and be an angel of giving. Whether it be time or a small monetary donation... remember that kindness pays forward and give the gift of a smile.

Step back, reflect on the apple and all that it means. In a time of excess, it is easy to get overwhelmed and challenged by so much. Go back to basics, love the small things and eminate the light in your actions, demeanor and grace!!!

Be good to yourself and others......

                                                ---Joel Lamoure    December 2009 
11:51 am est 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gifts and magic and Holiday Seasons Greetings

  Here is likely my last thought before Christmas and 1 more for 2009. What is a gift and why is Christmas so stressful for so many people? Is it the family, gift buying, uncertainty of what to give, financial challenges pre and post, travel and all the music that says we should be happy?

  Simple answer is yes. 

  We tend to lose ourselves in expectations in this time period. Expectations we put on ourselves, expectations society puts on us and expectations commercialism and family put on us. No wonder so many people get overwhelmed, depressed and even suicidal this time of year. Want to give yourself a gift this year? Step back and reflect on where you are, what you have and what spiritual and emotional and physical gifts that you have, for I guarantee that those will last across the decades if you pay them forward. Your health is a valuable gift to treasure that can be used for yourself and to pay forward to others. That mp3 player? Already declared obsolete, I hate to tell you. There was a study done that took a look at actions versus items and the meanings they had decades later. No suprise people remember the memories and trips and family. That is true for I remember my trip to Italy in 1987, but couldn't tell you what my stereo system or family TV looked like. Those are big ticket, agreed but we do remember the laughs and "war stories" that go along with an event...even a long drive. Its how I made it to Camp David in Maryland in fact... but thats another story, as is the challenge I have at airports (EVERY time).  Family, good friends and close loved ones make the season bright, not just at the holiday period, but all year around.

   Want to give the perfect gift... thats the right colour, size and impact? It may have a cost (or not) associated with it to set up, but the commercial gifts definitely do. To buy board games and then invest the time to play them is priceless.  Give a happy memory to yourself and someone else and be good to yourself always. Its all about perspective and expectations my friends.

 

--- Joel Lamoure December 2009 

   

     

9:48 am est 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Life, Living and Spirituality

   Given some concepts and discussions that have occurred over the past few weeks, I will add a few thoughts on the concepts of spirituality. Ghandi likely worded it most eloquently by stating " Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviours. Keep your behaviours positive because your behaviours become your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny."

   Once we start thinking and believing and practicing this quote can become one gateway to Spirituality. There is the concept of religion which is a man-made construct and has compents of spirituality strongly interwoven in the tapestry of its design. This could be its own discussion, but for the purposes of  this discussion, religions will be factored out.

  The Apache wedding vows offer an interesting perspective and when you read into it, you see the spirituality.

" Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years,
May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth."

( Reference:
http://www.myweddingvows.com/traditional-wedding-vows/blessing-of-the-apaches)

    The premises of spirituality then relate to the amorphic lines and shadows that exist. That we are and exist beyond the physical form that we have. Spirituality is centered in our thoughts and resultant actions and what we believe of what we are comprised. It is not material and outside of the concepts we have of structure and is an extremely personal belief structure and based one experience. It is not boastful, arrogant, full of self or full of hatred. I do believe there is room for spirituality which equates to personal growth when we are not full of ourselves. This is the period where we want not for ourselves, but the selfless act of helping others that is an evoultion across time. But we can only be at comfort with ourselves via a fearless moral inventory (as defined by the 4th step of Alcoholics Anonymous) and step outside of and into the Zen statement that reads "Ordinary mind is the way". Spirtuality is in part the giving to others which is mirrors our actions, values and destiny. Spirituality embraces and fits into all we do and adds colour to the canvas of our lives. It is part of the 
Apple and we remember there are many ways to look at the Apple....

   Be good to yourself, often.

                                                                         ---Joel Lamoure December 2009

10:03 am est 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Riding the waves and avoiding deeper troughs

   Here we go, the last of the couplets in Swinburne's poem. This exercise has come to an end and new thoughts hopefully will evolve from this, in both my world and the worlds of the gentle reader. I will endeavor to continue to focus on topics and situations that have happened over the course of the week (maintaining anonymity) and use this forum to help and heal. 

"And in green underwood and cover

Blossom by blossom the spring begin"

 

  This is the period where the long winter has subsided. These discussions lend well to analogies and symbolism. The waves of the challenges of the day have passed and we are further along the spectrum of life, on the side of healing and riding the waves back to their crests. The analogy of waves is particularly poignant as we can remember troughs are just that, a transient period. However, I do believe that negative breeds more negative and we can sink even deeper in the trough. When that happens the certainty that the trough will reverse is no longer on the table. A wise patient on a psychiatric unit recently told me "its like taking a pebble each time there is a pain or problem and adding it to bags we carry all the time and eventually they weight us down". I asked them if I could impart that knowledge to others and they agreed.... such courage! I also believe that there may be periods that are lows and the pebbles that we all inherently carry weigh us down by accident or design. Also, that we cannot control everything out there and what we may look at as a "crappy" period where we barely kept our head above water may be looked at at actually the crest. For there are so many confounders here.. that the tincture of time does afford a different viewpoint, but one looking ahead we cannot do. So it is easier to live in the moments of awareness, and ask ourselves if we ARE putting pebbles in the pouches and make the decision not to. I learned much from that patient.

   This is the period where we realize that laughter is the best medicine, a period where bio-psycho-social-spiritual interfaces come to roost. Thank you to my first year medical students for that reflection, that what we want is there and being ourselves and light hearted where possible is the way. That we look at ourselves and the world around us biological, social, societal and spiritual. Really...we are in amazement as if with the eyes of a child. That child is sadly covered up too often in us and longs to be uncovered and to look at the sun that shines above the clouds. But through the filter of your adulthood, be aware of your acts and the benefits and challenges they pose on others.

   I didnt dissect the last couplet, but I think in the last two paragraphs I actually did, so I guess I am done.

Be yourself, often. 

---Joel Lamoure December 2009   

   

8:07 am est 


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