DRIVING THE 18-WHEELER

Seeking to change

your body,

your mind,

your relationships

by appealing only to logic

is like trying to steer an 18-wheeler

with your pinkie.

 

You will be frustrated,

your hand will hurt

and

you will continue in the same direction.

 

Knowing the facts only get you so far.

 

But when you get your

emotions

and

values

behind changing directions,

the truck nearly drives itself.

ABSOLUTE CHANGE

“No one ever pays attention when I speak.”

 

When someone speaks with absolute words -

always,

never,

ever,

none,

nothing,

no one -

listen carefully.

 

When your mind uses absolute words,

“My plans never work out.”

pay attention.

 

When spoken negatively,

there is hurt and pain.

 

When spoken positively,

“I always get my man.”

an aspiration is underlying.
 

Listen carefully

and remember,

just as green leaves discover

in the fall,

the only absolute is change.

JACK-IN-THE-BOX

When you stuff it down -

the hurt,

the anger,

the sadness -

it’s like a jack-in-the-box.

 

You think you’ve hidden Jack away,

by pushing him down,

closing and locking the lid,

but you’ve just loaded the spring.

 

You think you’re keeping these feelings at bay

but you’re just turning the crank.

 

Angry,

hurt,

sad Jack

is going to pop up

at an unexpected time

and everyone is going to

jump.

 

A jack-in-the-box

is a fun toy for children,

but no way to handle

your emotions.

VANDALS

They sneak in

right after you have

cleaned up

your thinking,

your confidence,

your self-assuredness.

 

They come spraying their

loud colors of

self-doubt,

self-questioning,

self-depreciation.

 

When finished,

their work is all you can

see,

feel,

think about.

 

But it’s not the truth.

 

It’s just spray paint.

MARGINS

Once,

I bought a book in which

the previous reader

had filled the margins

with notes.

 

It was difficult to read

with the margins stuffed

full of inky words and thoughts.

 

I put the book down.

 

For weeks, I tried

to read this

stuffed margin book,

to no avail.

 

Even though the notes were thoughtful,

insightful even,

the clutter was too much.

 

I ended up buying a different copy.

 

In print and design,

margins give space to words and images

allowing them to breathe,

allowing the reader’s eyes

to float easily

from line to line,

from shape to shape,

allowing the mind

to connect more easily

idea to idea.

 

Without enough space,

even the most beautiful

words and images

cannot fully show themselves.

 

I began to think about my personal margins.

 

I looked at my calendar.

 

The margins had all been stuffed full.

 

I had left no space for real

thought,

connection,

freedom.

 

No wonder I wanted to walk away,

put my life down

like a

margin-stuffed book.

 

The difference:

I couldn’t buy a new life.

 

But I could create my own margins.

THE FIVE YEAR OLD IN YOUR MIND

When he saw the other kid getting

more toys,

better stuff,

more attention

the 5 - year old stood,

arms at the side,

fists clenched,

and screamed,

“When is it my turn?!”


 

Life would be better,

he thought,

if I had what she has.

 

She’s got it all.

 

His parents told him it wasn’t polite to yell.

 

He began to understand politeness,

but still wanted

what he thought others had.

 

So the voice went inside.

 

He

longed for,

lusted over,

coveted

what he thought others enjoyed,

but he didn’t.

 

“When will it be my turn?”

his mind was asking more insistently.  

 

The more the question

came to mind,

the more evidence

he gathered against himself.

 

“I just haven’t earned it yet.”

he thought and worked longer hours.

 

“I haven’t found the right formula.”

he said to himself, purchasing one more

online course.

 

Even as he grew,

accumulated friends and lovers,

jobs and income,

the 5 - year old in his mind kept screaming,

“When is it my turn?!”

And he was always unsettled.

 

Then,

one day while scrolling through Facebook,

seeing the smiling, successful faces,

he heard his inner 5 - year old scream,

but this time

he realized,

 

“I’m not 5 anymore.

 

I don’t have to wait for my ‘turn’

to have fun,

to enjoy who I’m with,

to care,

to know my work is meaningful, valuable,

to work hard and do good work.

 

My turn is,

and has always been,

now.”

 

This was the day he began to grow up.