Wednesday, September 20, 2006

You CAN Figure It Out

Physics has been on my mind lately. I've been helping Quinlan, my freshman ward with her homework and re-living the science that quantifies and predicts. In our session this morning, I boiled it down to simple steps, "write down what you know, then write down what you need to find out, then, figure out how to get there and remain willing to get there in an indirect way"- meaning using potentially more than one equation. She caught on and beautifully plowed through five or six problems with quiet resolution. I was excited. I said, "see how satisfying physics can be?" It really is easy at this level. Newton and Hawking, Feynman and Einstein and all the other physicists of our past, have derived all of the relationships which lead to the simple explanations that we call formulae. I know you are bored. You are tuning out right now. You think, "I don't get it" or some other bit of nonsense. The epiphany for me came in the simple instructions I gave to Quinlan. Write down what you know. Write down what you want to know. Figure out how to get there. This formula can work for almost any situation in life to get you from where you are to where you want to go. Anything. There are no limits. The power of intention works because you put that intention out there in your actions, in your beliefs and in your encounters with others towards a particular goal. Think about the guy in Canada who traded a red paperclip for a house (after many trades and some choice items for barter). His intentions were clear. He asked for what he wanted in every transaction. He modeled what intention and belief and hard work can do for you. He inspired hope. I also wish to inspire hope. The hardest part is knowing what you want or what you need. You have more than you think to work with in order to get it. Trust me. Go for it.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

There is no Right Way

The first time I took physics in college I struggled. My professor was a young indian man who solved physics problems on his dry erase board as if it was so obvious that the problem should be solved the way he solved it. He taught with haste, annoyance and seemingly, just because he had to. I tried to learn by following his steps, by doing it his way, by memorizing the procedure that he so casually presented to his class. I didn't learn. I achieved a less than passing grade. I felt mighty stupid and quite the failure. Fortunately, my university had a repeat/delete option for students who wished for that D or F to be taken out of their GPA equation. I repeated physics and learned much more than just physics in the process. I'm not sure if it was my next professor's passion for teaching or my own maturity, but I figured out that in physics, there was more than one way to solve a problem. I had to come up with my own methods of breaking down the problem, solving each component as I understood it and arriving at the conclusion my own way. I didn't have to use the same technique as anyone else, as long as I understood what needed to be done and came up with a plan for getting there. I ended up with the top grade in a class of eighty some students and a renewed love for physics.

This lesson has stuck with me. I am a problem solver and don't give up easily. I rarely back away from a difficult situation or a seemingly impossible task. I tend to say "yes" even when I don't know how something is going to come together or where the financial backing will come from. I find things that are lost because I will not give up looking . The missing Costco card eluded me for a few days. I took a break from looking for it and ran across it when I was looking for Kieran's school pictures in the pile on my desk. The Costco card was chamoflauged on the top of my giant, illustrated oxford dictionary. Kind of like when I'm star gazing and my peripheral vision picks up the smudge of the andromeda galaxy, I had to stop looking for it to find it.

When I posted this picture, the story I have just written came to mind. The centerstone in this belly chain is Tiger's Eye. Here is what Judy Hall has to say about this stone: Tiger's Eye assists in accomplishing goals, recognizing inner resources and promoting clarity of intention. Tiger's Eye is excellent for people who are spaced out or uncommitted. It grounds and facilitates manifestation of the will. Tiger's Eye heals issues of self-worth, self criticism and blocked creativity. It aids in recognizing one's talents and abilities and, conversely, faults that need to be overcome.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bursting out of the Box

This is love. Pure and sweet. When permitted, invited and encouraged to do what I love, love pours out of me and I create beauty. O.K., I didn't "create" this stone. The earth and time did, but I saw it, picked it up, bought it and strung it together with all these other exquisite stones. I do believe this is moss agate but I'm re-naming it "celestial agate" because it looks like a galaxy to me, or the earth from space. The secret, I'm beginning to understand, of my joy is this. I need to and should do at leat one thing a day to stir my soul and make me happy. Today it was creating this beautiful belly chain for Chizuko and another amazing piece for her mother. On Friday, it was painting a watercolor picture of the Santa Barbara Mission on the Mission lawn with my children. Side by side, we created together. I could do that every day.

I am beginning to realize that when life situations make us believe we are failures or that we have not achieved, maybe it is all just a misinterpretation. Maybe the "box" we are trying to fit into just isn't big enough to hold us. Our spirit needs to "fail" in order to be permitted to grow to its potential, to expand to its limitless dimension. When we are forced to alter our course, we are granted the gift of a new perspective. What if this lifetime is just like a ride at Disneyland, and when it's over you say, "that was scary", or "that made me sick", or " that was fun! Let's do it again!"- and you can look at what your life is at this very moment and appreciate it for the sheer experience of having it- what will it make you change? How will it lighten your heart to know that there is NO FAILURE? There are no mistakes. There is only you and the gift of this moment.