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Chronicles, Inspirations and Musings

Teach the wonders of books, but also ponder the mystery of nature…

I heard about this letter in the book I’m reading, “I Am Malala“.

Which, by the way, I could write an entire blog post about. Maybe I will, when time permits.

In the meanwhile, I am copying this here so that I have a copy saved. So many great truths.

Abraham Lincoln’s Letter to his Son’s Teacher:

“My son starts school today. It is all going to be strange and new to him for a while and I wish you would treat him gently. It is an adventure that might take him across continents. All adventures that probably include wars, tragedy and sorrow. To live this life will require faith, love and courage.

So dear Teacher, will you please take him by his hand and teach him things he will have to know, teaching him – but gently, if you can. Teach him that for every enemy, there is a friend. He will have to know that all men are not just, that all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero, that for every crooked politician, there is a dedicated leader.

Teach him if you can that 10 cents earned is of far more value than a dollar found. In school, teacher, it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to learn how to gracefully lose, and enjoy winning when he does win.

Teach him to be gentle with people, tough with tough people. Steer him away from envy if you can and teach him the secret of quiet laughter. Teach him if you can – how to laugh when he is sad, teach him there is no shame in tears. Teach him there can be glory in failure and despair in success. Teach him to scoff at cynics.

Teach him if you can the wonders of books, but also give time to ponder the extreme mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on a green hill. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if every one tell him they are wrong.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone else is doing it. Teach him to listen to every one, but teach him also to filters all that he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through.

Teach him to sell his talents and brains to the highest bidder but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul. Let him have the courage to be impatient, let him have the patient to be brave. Teach him to have sublime faith in himself, because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind, in God.

This is the order, teacher but see what best you can do. He is such a nice little boy and he is my son.

Regards,

Abraham Lincoln

Saying Goodbye

I’m doing my best to put 2013 in perspective.

I enjoyed my girls, getting older, developing their personalities, trying new things, watching them mature, exploring, traveling together. Sometimes I wish I could stop time in its tracks.

I’ve enjoyed the patient love of my man, while I’ve struggled with being overwhelmed in not one but two new jobs. Long distance relationships come with their own set of blessings and curses. If he could be with me every evening while I collapse into quiet amongst my fluffy pillows, maybe he’d feel like I was actually there for him instead of trying to convey that over the limits of technology.

I lost the last remaining father figure in my life in February when my dad’s dad, my Papa, finally drew his last breath. That loss affected both myself and my daughters who’d grown so close to him. I’ve had other personal struggles and challenges over the year.

And today, on this last day of 2013, my closest, lifelong friend reached out after months of her own struggles and silence to tell me that her battle with breast cancer is coming to an end. It has metastasized. She has only months to live.

Earlier this year, when I found a lump in my breast, the only thing I could think of was how I could ever say goodbye to my children. How could I leave them motherless? I drew in a heavy breath to find out that it was only a cyst. I hugged them tighter and have since that day.

But now my friend has to prepare herself for this. She has to say goodbye to her daughter and son. She is only just now reaching out to say goodbye to me. She is angry at the world. Angry at her body. Angry at the injustice. And angry at her own isolation when she feels so lonely but doesn’t know what to say anymore. No amount of positive thinking is helping.

I’m angry too. And speechless. And stunned. And hurting. I just want to hold her and feel those things with her.

So, I’m ready to say goodbye to 2013 and can only hope that 2014 looks a little brighter.

Energy flows where attention goes

I find that I live a fairly busy life. As much as I talk about presence and awareness, often I find I’m living unconsciously, even habitually. It’s not until I start to observe these habits that I begin to notice a pattern.

I’ve had food sensitivities my entire adult life. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant with my oldest daughter that I began tracking what I ate. Sure, I’d done plenty of diets – sadly, even when I didn’t need to lose weight at all – but I’d never really written down what foods I ingested and how they made me feel. That’s when I began to recognize patterns. It was no longer unconscious eating but awareness that brought these things to my attention. Once I knew what was giving me headaches or low feelings, that’s when I began to eat food for fuel, beyond joyfully eating whatever tasted good.

The same can be said for two other “evils” – time and money.

Have you noticed this? The things we obsess over that always seem to be lacking or frustrating to us are time, money and food. Choosing to look at food differently inspired me to look at time and money differently as well. This is what I learned:

Time and money are units of choice, where you choose to direct your energy.

Paying attention to this usually unconscious direction of energy allowed so many things to make sense in my life. I can’t complain that I don’t have enough time if my time is spent holding on to things from the past or worrying about the future. These patterns lead to a denial of time, actually. They lead to sleeping in because of the lack of sleep from overthinking. They lead to more unconscious decisions that drain time from the day rather than bringing awareness to the time you have right NOW.

The same can be said for money. When spending habits are tracked and monitored, when budgets are set and adhered to, patterns begin to emerge. It’s not always that there’s so little money so much as the money is being unconsciously spent.

What you focus on expands. Where you place your units of choice is what you will experience more of.

Want to be healthy? Eat healthily. Spend your time and money choosing healthy ways of living.

Want to have more money? Acknowledge where your money and time are being spent now. Are you working towards having more funds by growing your business, cutting your debt and spending less on things you don’t really need?

Want more time? Are you spending your time consciously? Do you take the time to slow down and bring awareness to what’s right in front of you? Track where you’re spending the most time. If it’s not pursuing, little by little, day by day, the goals that you have set – you have set goals, haven’t you? – then don’t be so surprised if those goals seem further and further away.

Preventative action is always less expensive than reaction. Preventative action is nothing more than monitoring where you are directing your energy and making sure it’s exactly where you want it to be.

Energy flows where attention goes. Make sure you’re aware of the direction you’re pointing.

Energy flows where attention goes