Brownness

Struggle

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

I often struggle with being far too judgmental about situations and people and things I get to experience on a daily basis. Far too often, I am quick to notice people and events happening not to my liking. I still cannot bring myself to recognize that the only thing I can do control are my reactions, thoughts and emotions. I begin anew each time I steep myself in thinking how others should behave.

What it does come down is mostly hurt of being excluded or not considered. I realize that often times I give way more weight to things that in the long run don’t serve me. I also see a bit of cowardice in myself for not sharing with those around me what’s coming up for me. It’s as if I rather enjoy the stewing rather than just letting out what’s bothering me about the person or event.

I struggle because I don’t quite know how to handle things when they don’t go according to plan. I struggle when others are inconsiderate, overwhelming or selfist. I struggle when I feel forced to engage with people I don’t have much in common with. Yet I also know that I am blessed to have so many around me. That I can pick and choose who to be around. That I can always change my response to things.

Yet I also realize that when judgment flares up or I feel taken for granted, I have a choice to either let it go, clear with the person or just allow it to ruin the moment. Like I said, I don’t always succeed, but I do see that there are some I can clear with, tell them what’s coming up for me or if that is too confrontational, then I get to change how I feel about it. Like I said, a struggle.

I also do feeling a reckoning coming up for me. That if I continue to struggle in this manner, I am shunting my ground. That it will prevent me from the being the best version of my life. What also feels right is the nervousness I feel when I think about clearing with the people I am affected by. From experience, I know when I am nervous or anxious about something, it is most always the path to take if I want to be a better leader.

And so I struggle, but also I see in my traits I don’t care much for me. Being negative continually or coming up with my own story of why some people treat me the way they do doesn’t serve me. So I get to work on that.

Brownness

May (by the Numbers)

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

As I continue into June, I thought I’d look into how I did with my habits in May, and while I added some new ones, and continued old ones, I also took out some, and it hit me that I do have a need to fill in the entire page of the Habit Journal which may not serve me as I putting down either things I do anyway or struggle to come up with something just so the page can be full. Taking the time to absorb the numbers, I do some patterns of struggle like stretching daily or not drinking on weekdays. More often than not, the challenge for drinking is Fridays which is technically the start of the weekend, but then I also inevitably drink on Sundays which is the weekend. My goal is ideally get down to 1-2 days as I have begun intermittent fasting which is providing some much needed clarity and detoxification.

Ok enough explaining, how did I do on my habits in May? I only managed perfection in meditating (something I have been doing now for years) as well being sure to hug and kiss my wife daily (kind of a weird thing to track, but I wanted to be sure she knew she was cared off, and it was important because of the Pandemic). I did only half the month for drinking as well as stretching. I did a bit better with working out at 18 days, but only managed 22 days for writing daily (but either way a huge improvement). I also manages to journal almost every day as well as do 25 pushups daily, but I want to get to 100% for those habits as they truly serve me in my self-care.

Then I had a bunch of minor ones like practicing spanish or being in service or being vulnerable which were harder to track as what is being in service or vulnerable truly mean. As for the Spanish, it is something I have been doing for a while now so adding it just meant being able to tick something off. I still struggle with beginning with hefty goals and then becoming a bit too task oriented and not appreciating my progress or my why.

Its good to track as I tend to lose sight of my goals, but I also get to practice caution and not just become about marking it off rather than see the reason. So I get to rest, get back to Beginners Mind and I start the new month with new goals (although I still managed to fill up the page except for one area so that’s a positive). I get to own my progress, and I am proud of how 2021 is shaping out to be, but I also a ways to go, and that is more than okay.

Happy Monday. How is your 2021 going?

Brownness

Sukhpal

Yesterday, I got the chance to go the religious services for my old friend Sukhpal where I got a chance to see others I had not seen in decades. I couldn’t help but think of the times we had together. My first group of real friends who I saw pretty much on a weekly basis. He supported me in so many ways from when I threw my first house party at my Long Beach house to coming to the events I promoted when I graduated from college.

We’d met at Sikh camp, and they were first non high school friends I had. I felt seen, popular even because suddenly from being a loner I had two groups of friends. I never could believe it. Yet somewhere our group dissipated, life happened as some got married, others stayed in further places and I went on a different path. Yesterday, I wondered what would have happened if I had stayed in touch. At least, I could have reached out and supported my friend in some way, visited him, see if there was a way I could be of service instead of finding out about his funeral a few days ago, not even aware that he had been sick for years.

Yesterday as I saw the others, again and again, I wondered what happened? It was a slow drift. There was no disagreement, no animosity, in fact, there was pure joy when we saw each other, and I just felt I’d taken a longer detour that moved me away from those who gave me so much when I was younger. When I needed it, they gave me a sense of myself, of who I could be. I remember Sukhpal and I and others just glad to see each other, so much to talk about, to laugh, share what was going on. And now, he too is gone.

My mom said something that stung a bit. More and more, I go to religious gatherings because someone has passed. That’s a sobering thought. It’s painful to realize that as I reach 50, it is very likely that those around me will pass and so will I. It forces me to reevaluate what kind of life do I want to live. Do I want to pass the time, or have time pass me, or do truly just be present and be grateful.

Only time will tell. I love you, Sukhpal. I am sorry I wasn’t there through your pain. I know you are at peace now.

Brownness

Memories on Memorial

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

This past weekend, I got to experience amazing generosity for which I was truly grateful, but more than that, taking the time to really think about those who have sacrificed so we could have this freedom is deeply humbling. It’s interesting I used to believe that expressing gratitude for this day meant I was a spouting a certain type of politics when really I got to just check in with the reason for this holiday.

Do people use it to say their beliefs? absolutely as is their right. For me, it was different as the past few years I have worked out with many first responders, veterans, and essential workers, and it has clarified for me how many heroes I am lucky to have around. People who are willing to give up their lives for us, for this country, for people whose beliefs they don’t share, for ensuring that we continue to be a great democracy. And while so many at my gym Murph, I only managed a 3.5 mile with a vest in the heat so I could perhaps just perhaps feel a tiny bit of the pain these people around me choose so easily on a daily basis.

Then there are also the memories created this weekend with two different sets of friends who showed the same type of kindness, thoughtfulness and graciousness in hosting. Gratitude filled me as they heaped on not only food and drink, but meaningful conversation, deepening our bond. For that, I could only thank them endlessly but also be in gratitude for being so blessed. And so as the weekend came to a close, my amazement hasn’t.

Here’s to an amazing June.

Brownness

Being in Service

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

I used to think that being in service just meant volunteering or helping out strangers, yet more and more I see that it really means opening your heart and listening with empathy to others. When I do that, I see so many opportunities to be in service to others. It can be as simple as having meals with my mom regularly which allows us to catch up or take my lunch time to play with my niece who only knows true joy and lights up my day.

More and more I see that being in service is about me and what it does to me, how it makes me feel and that it is not being about nobel or good just available and open to spending times with others. That’s not to say it cannot be volunteering or doing community service, but its not just about that. Its about who I am as a person that I am willing to use the one limited resource I have for others which is time.

I used to spend so much of my time doing things that did not bring me joy, things that I thought would advance me, make a better person, more money, more skills, better with others, make me smarter when really I had all those resources in others the entire time. Spending time with mom taught me about business, family, loving over. Being with my wife taught me about the value of making a good deal, and empathy for loved ones.

Grabbing a bite with my sisters the value of loyalty and growth. The list goes on and on and it just comes from being in service. It took me almost 50 years to learn this lesson, I hope I can spend the next 50 implementing it.

Happy Monday!

Brownness

Spending Time

This weekend turned out to be a time with family, and it hit me yet again how blessed I am to have the family that I do. While Saturday was a supposed to be a quick afternoon birthday party, it turned into a all day affair. Same for Sunday. Whereas we were supposed to go to Temecula for wine tasting but instead stayed in and did our own. I am constantly reminded me that one of the reasons I managed well in the Pandemic was due to the largeness of my bubble.

While the weekend whirled away in a blur, I am left with so much gratitude to be able to spend so much time with loved ones. I am continually amazed at how many of us enjoy spending time together with not much drama but lots of sharing, laughters and of course lots and lots of food and drink.

More and more, it is these times I will remember as I also know that we deal with very real possibility that all of us are here for a time, and while we can’t take anything for us, I treasure that we will have things and events to discuss and remember. It’s easy to be sad and miss the ones that are not here, but its also easy to celebrate the ones who are here.

This is not to diminish that pain, but I do believe it’s important to acknowledge our blessings. I know I tend to lean to remember the ones not here and while I miss them dearly, I want to be sure to let the ones here now how much they mean to be me, too. I am truly grateful and blessed.

Happy Monday!