Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

rogowski-225x300I recently joined a close friend for lunch who, for the moment, enjoys a good life on multiple fronts. Her children are thriving, her marriage is solid and she is prospering financially; the trifecta of happiness. Needless-to-say, things have not always been so calm and she is very appreciative, knowing that even the best of times can come to a screeching halt without advance notice.

Yes, bad things can and do happen to good people. Playing by the rules is no guarantee that you will be treated fairly or that your relationships will be rock-steady or that you are successfully keeping potential turmoil at bay.

What’s the upside to having a good long run of happiness or health only to be peeking over one’s shoulder waiting for Dorothy’s tornado to touch down in Kansas and turn our lives upside down? Is it uniquely female thinking that takes us away from the pleasure of the present and into the unknown of the future or is it generalized habitual thinking that can be reconfigured to better serve us?

Where is your body right now? Silly question- of course our bodies are only in one state…the present. Our thoughts may focus on the past, filled with regret or race ahead to the future consumed by worry, however, when we are fully present, mind and body in sync, we are most powerful, most aware and most centered. By the way, at some point, the other shoe will drop. It may be a combat boot, a Jimmy Choo pump or perhaps a delicate pink ballet slipper. I know what my choice is, what about you?

©MWeisner2016

Tourist or Pilgrim?

imagesCA39K9COFrom early on, travel has always been a priority; as a student backpacking through Europe and now, where sleeping in a youth hostel is happily a distant memory. There is no single formula for a uniquely memorable experience, as each trip has been terrific in the moment, save for a few questionable decisions or a bad piece of fish. Looking at photos and some special pieces we’ve brought home, or wearing a piece of jewelry, all contribute to a brief return to far flung locales in my mind’s eye. So, I was a stopped in my tracks when I read the following quote from, “Meeting the Buddha” by Andrew Schnelling.

“Only the walker who sets out toward ultimate things is a pilgrim. In this lies the terrible difference between tourist and pilgrim. The tourist travels just as far, sometimes with great zeal and courage, gathering up acquisitions, (a string of adventures, a wondrous tale or two), and returns the same person as the one who departed. There is something inexpressibly sad in the clutter of belongings the tourist unpacks back at home.
 
The pilgrim is different. The pilgrim resolves that the one who returns will not be the same person as the one who set out. Pilgrimage is a passage for the reckless
and subtle. The pilgrim—and the metaphor comes to us from distant times—must be prepared to shed the husk of personality or even the body like a worn out coat.”

Which one is your travel persona? I’ve been both a tourist and a pilgrim of sorts. I hadn’t considered the description of a traveler to be one or the other and especially not with one sounding so profoundly superficial and judgmental. While shopping or hunting for souvenirs are not primary when traveling, neither has the search for transformation been a singular goal. “Wondrous tales” are exactly that and can be called up at a moment’s notice to relive a time long past with others and yes, a string of adventures too. Let’s not demean the fun and pleasure we glean from travel. Perhaps an unplanned metamorphosis or transformative event will happen much closer to home.

• What is your travel “type”?
• Are you more apt to acquire or experience?
• What’s the balance for you?

©2014 MWeisner

“Rule” Book Revisions

untitledI want an ice cream cone. Not a two scooper or what seems like a pint balanced precariously atop a fragile looking sugar cone. I want a kid-sized serving which is still entirely too much but at least it could resemble a portion in proportion. My request for less was denied. At this stand there were no small sizes on the menu and apparently no flexibility in responding to customer requests.

•    When are rules really meant to be bent or broken?
•    What is their purpose after all?
•    Control?  Uniformity? Simplicity?

It wasn’t a question of cost, as I was willing to pay. It did not seem like a radical request and as a family owned business, isn’t responding to customer feedback important for continued success? Basic business principles would support listening to your patrons and perhaps modifying your method of delivery. So, where is the disconnect?

IS YOUR RULE BOOK WRITTEN IN CONCRETE OR SAND?

If you are a business owner or entrepreneur yourself, how willing are you to look at your operations with fresh eyes? Often times we put systems in place, get them up and running and promptly forget to revisit the process again. We become comfortable and may only pay attention when something breaks down. Is too much “ice cream” making you complacent or do you need to change places and be the client/customer for the day!
•    How curious are you?
•    Compose one inquiry that would open up new conversation
•    Remember, if you ask the question of your client/customer, staff and more, be prepared for the answer and accompanying follow-up

© 2013 Maureen Weisner