Empty The Dishwasher Slowly [on Merely A Thought Monday]

empty the dishwasher slowly box copy

In the dark ages, when I did my driver’s ed course, I remember reading an experiment in which two cars drove the same long distance route; the first car followed all of the speed limits. The second car drove as fast as possible. The second car, the speeder, arrived only a few minutes, 120 seconds, ahead of the rule follower. The illusion of speed is, well, an illusion.

We just drove a few thousand miles and along the way were passed by more than a few hurry-up-cowboys. In each case, their gain would be minimal. Often we’d catch them (and pass them) within a few minutes. It’s a game I can’t help playing: does the addiction to speed, the anxiety of I’m-late-I’m-late-I’m-late, or the anger of I-have-to-get-there-first actually produce significant gains?

An angel gave us a beach house to use for a week. My normal morning routine is predicated on the fantasy of efficiency. I can cook breakfast, clean and put away dishes while also sorting out and making lists of all the things I think I need to accomplish each day. At the beach I was always the first one awake. I’d start the coffee, wander around and open the blinds, and, after staring at the surf, I’d begin to empty the dishwasher. The waves lulled me into sanity. There was not an ounce of rush-and-get-it-done in my body. Efficiency was nothing more than a distant memory. I enjoyed my morning. Fully. I began wondering if I was just like those speedy drivers? Deluding myself with an idea that, in reality, gained nothing but a wee bit more stress.

What if the idea was more than to get the job done fast? What if the idea was to do the job well and well included the absence of manufactured, self-imposed stress? These are things I already know but have to remind myself to live. And, since all of life appears to me as an analogy, my latest reminder to live what I already know is now a simple dishwasher. Empty it slowly. It need not be at a beach house because, in fact, the beach house has very little to do with dropping delusions/illusions of achievement.

Will it matter if I empty the dishwasher 16 seconds sooner? So I can get through it to the next task that I will rush through so I can get to my next task? Is my efficiency real or in service to anything useful? Probably not. Actually, certainly, not.

Will it matter that I am present in my actions and mindful in my day? Will it matter that, instead of pushing myself to concocted efficiencies, that I arrive at an empty dishwasher 16 seconds later?  Will it matter if I carry that way of being throughout my day? So, that, instead of pressing myself to get it done faster, I allow myself to live my life well (and, yes, I use that word intentionally with a double meaning). To be in it rather than get through it.

Imagine what I might gain.

 

read kerri’s blog post about EMPTY THE DISHWASHER SLOWLY

 

beachfeet 1 website box copy

 

 

Give Over The Melody Line [on KS Friday]

as it is songbox copy

Spiritual teachers across traditions suggest that the reason we suffer is that we focus on what we think should be/supposed to be instead of on what is. The dedication to being someplace other than where you are will split you every time! The notion that you can be someone other than who you are (at this moment) will cleave you in two. And so, we have traditions of mindfulness (be where you are) and acceptance (be who you are) and forgiveness (be at peace with who and where you are). The cliff notes version: stop hewing yourself in two and you will stop suffering.

This is the seed-idea that inspired AS IT IS. This is what is supposed to be. All is as it is, as it should be.

I delight when Kerri tells me the story behind a composition. This morning, as we listened, she asked me to pay attention to the melody line. The flute mostly carries it. The keyboard – what she is playing – is in a support role. She said it this way: the keyboard gives over the melody line. The flute gives it back. The keyboard returns it to the flute.

No resistance. Relationship. AS IT IS. These, too, are spiritual suggestions for mending the hew. I’ll add to my canon as a practice for presence: give over the melody line.

 

AS IT IS on the album AS IT IS, available on iTunes & CDBaby

 

read Kerri’s blog post about AS IT IS

 

by the fire in breckenridge website box copy

 

as it is/as it is ©️ 2004 kerri sherwood

There Is Wisdom In Dancing

TODAY’S FEATURED THOUGHT FOR HUMANS

There is wisdom in dancing

To restate an old notion: knowledge is not wisdom. And, often times, our reliance on knowledge blinds us to wisdom (for instance, passing a test has little or nothing to do with learning). My mentors taught me that the toughest thing in life to master is relationship. The reason: relationship is at the heart of everything we do whether we acknowledge it or not. Life IS a relationship. Education, business, art, spirituality, leadership, management, self love, economics, agriculture, kindness, gratitude… are all relationship skills. Wisdom is found in the fields beyond your thinking. Get onto the floor of life and dance.

TO GET TODAY’S FEATURED THOUGHT FOR HUMANS, GO HERE.

Count Your (Minor) Miracles

This is a silly watercolor I did a few years ago. I call it 'Dreams and Dogs.' It's not show worthy but makes me laugh so I keep it around.

This is a silly watercolor I did a few years ago. I call it ‘Dreams and Dogs.’ It’s not show worthy but makes me laugh so I keep it around.

Today I heard the phrase, “minor miracle.” It struck me as odd because I’m not sure that miracles come in major, minor, or standard forms. But, that being said, I decided to make a list of the minor miracles I experienced today:

I awoke. I was alive! And, being alive, I was excited to live another day of life.

I had the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had. Although this happens every morning, the first cup of coffee never fails to be the best ever. It was the first. It was the best.

Mid-morning we took a walk. The day was gorgeous. The breezes from the lake were cool but the sun was warm. The collision of temperature was sensual, startling and enlivening. It was so gorgeous that we took an extra long walk so we might linger in the day.

During our walk, we were surrounded by a cloud of dragonflies. They ringed us and stayed with us for several hundred yards.

I had an epiphany.

We made a customer service call and talked with someone dedicated to serving customers. The challenge remains but the company is no longer an obstacle but is now an ally.

Later, taking Tripper Dog-Dog-Dog for a walk, instead of the usual sled dog technique, he actually walked like a real dog that was trained to heel. The change was so impressive that Kerri said, “This makes me believe anything is possible.”

I have a new painting tapping my shoulder. It wants to be painted. It won’t leave me alone until I pay attention. I admire its persistence.

At sunset, we sat in the hammock with cold beer and Skinny Pop popcorn watching the clouds seep brilliant orange and migrate slowly across the sky.

We sang a song on the voicemail of a friend in deep distress. It made her laugh. It changed her day.

The night air is cool. The windows are open and the breeze is almost but not quite cold. It is quiet and begs for a walk. It will be the third walk of the day and will most likely be filled with a few more minor miracles.

The day also held major miracles, too. But, being major, they are subject to a report on another day.

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