Thursday, May 26, 2011

Passion Party #365 - Twenty Years

We were young and in love
staring at the fog covering the ocean in Carmel
greeting our guests
and getting ready for our wedding
a gathering of close friends at Diana's friend's house on Upper Trail.

Little did I know
when she walked down the stairs
and the Rabbi started the ceremony
that our life together would travel such wonderful paths
that from this mutual love and trust of each other
would come such comfort, joy and abundance.

Twenty years later
we still wake up
make the coffee
and plan our morning walk
we continue to be with one another
filling our lives with beauty
and love

Monday, May 23, 2011

Passion Party #364 - Dumb Phone

We live in an age of consumer surveillance
unimaginable by George Orwell.
Who would have thought, 62 years ago, that we would
eagerly carry Big Brother in our pockets?

Smart phones have taken over.
It is true they give us a wealth of information at our fingertips, with GPS abilities, access to email, websites and customized programs. They give us more time to waste with FourSquare and Twitter. But they also give Apple and Google a wealth of information about where we are, what we are doing, saying and, at times, what we are thinking.

Often, in my office elevator, I seem to be the only person who did not get the memo that I should be staring at my phone.
At least once a week I see people get off at the wrong floor, struck dumb by their smart phone, not even aware of where they are going.

I now pride myself in having a cell phone that -- is just a phone.
Yes, it has a camera, but I have no idea how to get the photos out of the phone, and have no interest in learning.
I especially enjoy turning the phone off, at night and on weekends.
I enjoy leaving it in my car when I go on appointments and when I go for long walks.

The dumber my phone
the smarter I become.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Passion Party #363 - The Appeal of the Apocalypse

From the demise of capitalism
to the second coming of Jesus,
history is littered with people that predicted that
The End Of Days is upon us.

I have lived long enough to remember various doomsday scenarios
involving overpopulation, resource depletion
and various calendars that somehow predicted
The End Is Near.
The basic fallacy in all these predictions
is the idea that Someone - or something -
cares enough to destroy mankind,
as if we are so important.

I have first-hand experience in a situation like this.
Back in the '70s I was in a therapy group with a very charismatic leader. One day at our weekly gathering he announced that he was selling everything he owned (including the house we were meeting in) and was moving out of Los Angeles, because the End was Near. He recommended that we all do the same thing and join him.
Although I thought perhaps this was a joke, it soon became clear that it was not. Many of the people in the group took this to heart, and joined the leader in moving out of Los Angeles (which, by the way, was not destroyed in the '70s, except in the movies a few times.)

The lesson I learned from this experience is
when someone predicts the End of the World, run the other way!
What they really are predicting is
the end of Their World.
Whether it ends in a bang or a whimper, that person's world will no longer be the same.
Sometimes it ends in disaster for people, like with Jim Jones.
In my case, it ended with the leader moving out to the desert, where he started a new life with a new wife.
The previous world ended
and a new world begins.
And in this way, their prediction is right.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Passion Party #362 - Studying The Obvious

It seems like every day I read about a new study done by scientific researchers that tells me something I already know. People are spending hours of time and years of study to find out things that, if they had used common sense, would be obvious.

- The Santa Fe Institute discovers that when people move to a bigger city they earn 15% more money and walk faster!
- A Harvard and UC San Diego study finds that if a person is grossly overweight, the odds are that other family members and friends will also be obese!
- Harvard Medical School research shows that when a person is happy, their friends are more likely to be happy!
- A Stanford sociologist has found that the more people you know, the more likely it is you will be successful on a job search!

No, Duh!
Perhaps I should do a new study:
People find it reassuring to do a study and find it proves what we intuitively know!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Passion Party #361 - Change Is Life

One reason I don't plan to retire
is that too often
retirement seems like stasis
the slowing down
the unwinding
an inactivity leading to a shrinking world.

But another way to look at retirement
is you only retire
from the tings you no longer want to do.
If I embrace change
I embrace life.
Change has brought me to so scary moments,
but also to my most successful places.
There is no need to fear
because Change is Life.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Passion Party #360 - Launching Pad

The ground must be level
and cleared of distractions
The time must be right
and the weather agreeable
to reach the destination

Calculations are necessary
but must be flexible
due to constant change
in many variables

The weeds must be removed
the flowers watered
the fire ignited
the combustion controlled
the excitement contained
until that glorious moment
of lift-off

And then
the trajectory set
a happy landing
is almost guaranteed.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Passion Party #359 - Love The Process

Sometimes it feels so overwhelming
between job and life
practice, study, and daily chores

It can feel like a heavy weight
on my shoulders,
or like Sisyphus,
at the gym
on the StairMaster
climbing and climbing
but when you get off
you are in the same place that you started...

But life is not a curse,
it is a blessing
and this busy-ness
is self-imposed,
a desire to be all I am capable of being.
No one is telling me to live life at this pace
except me
and I do it
in the end
because I love life and want to live it with Passion.

This feeling of overwhelm turns around
when I love the process
and let go of the result.