Friday, January 21, 2011


Motivation.  What motivates you? I swim laps. For exercise. For quiet. For peace of mind.  Some days it's hard to get myself to the pool, but I'm always glad I did. Today at the pool there was an elderly man in the lane next to me. I've seen him before.  He is covered in age spots. He has little tufts of thin, white hair on his head with pale, almost-see-through skin. I would guess he is probably in his nineties. His cane sits by the side of the pool. One of his arms hangs limp, unable to move. I imagine he had had a stroke.  And yet he swims. He uses a snorkel to breathe and he strokes with his one arm and his legs. He swims back and forth. Slowly. Very slowly. Crawling, dragging himself through the water. Back and forth, he keeps going.

I can't help but admire his determination. And I wonder what motivates him. What keeps him going?  Was he a swimmer in his youth? Does the water give him a sense of freedom- he can move without the assistance of a cane?  Is he swimming away from the inevitable hand of death that has come so close?

Today, he is my motivation to embrace everything life offers to me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The "Shoulds"

I'll start with the shoulds.  A wise woman once presented this idea to me; I can't claim it as an original thought. But I am making it mine.  Imagine if we all eliminated the word "should" from our vocabulary.  Both in our words and in our thoughts  Imagine if every moment was a moment of choice. "Should" carries with it an obligation or duty.  Every "should" is in someone else's voice. If you listen you can hear your parents, your teachers, your church, your society behind all those shoulds. Imagine if you listened to your own voice. Just a little. A voice that declares "I want" and "I choose."

It's a small shift, but it changes everything. It's not easy- to be quite honest, it can be very difficult to release all those voices whispering "should." They have been with us our whole lives.
I am choosing to live a life of choice rather than duty. My authentic voice.

Try it for a day. Let me know how it goes.