Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Life Worth Living August 3, 2013

I learned some unexpected lessons yesterday. I asked for help, and it wasn’t so bad. But the responses to my request, as well as my reaction to them, brought me to some interesting conclusions.

It wasn’t news to me that I have an incredible support system made up of larger than life hearts and creative minds. I’ve known that for a while. But my defensive emotional response when it was suggested that I take a break? I wasn’t expecting that. Let my mind rest until new stories come to me? Stories happen around me every day – I just need to pay attention. Alone With My Thoughts

Indeed it has crossed my mind to take a day or two off from my 365-day journey, but I realize (or perhaps just reaffirm) now that I am stubborn about finishing what I’ve started. Being stubborn is not a very attractive quality to be sure, but I’ve never been a quitter and I have no intention of becoming one now. How can I be when I have words like commitment, perseverance and passion on my mind?

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor,” suggested American football coaching legend Vince Lombardi. My chosen field of endeavor is bringing joy to the world, and I can’t exactly do that if I don’t challenge that little blinking cursor of doom I know as the occasional case of writer’s block. You will not defeat me writer’s block.

It’s no Armani neck tie. It doesn’t hold a cake to a Gucci handbag. It’s definitely not an Hermes scarf. Stubborn is one of those people accessories that just doesn’t look good on anyone. And yet I can’t give up. Instead I’ve decided to be stubborn about that in spite of how it looks on me.

So when I struggle I shall instead embrace excellence in simplicity by taking a page from American naturalist and essayist John Burroughs. “I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see,” said Burroughs. I know I have a lot more thoughts to think, places to go, things to learn and friends to make in this life. These are the things that make life worth living.

This post is dedicated to my pal Trev, who shared with me the John Burroughs quote in addition to his friendship. Thanks for being you, dear Trev.


Glamorous Gratitude January 13, 2013

I think its ironic that today’s Simple Abundance reading challenges me to see the value of all things normal.

Meanwhile, I’ve been watching television and movie sensations strut their stuff on the red carpet of the Golden Globe awards.

There have been a lot of classy (and some not so classy) black, white and red dresses, lace, diamonds and names like Versace, Armani and Vera Wang. Sophia Vergara looks fabulous as always, Julianne Hough looks ravishingly rockstar, and Zoeey Deschanel is a vision in red. I just had a moment when I wish I had a bow tie even though the closest thing I have to the red carpet is the area rug in the living room.

So you can imagine my surprise when I opened Simple Abundance to see one of my favorite quotes by e. e. Cummings: “The eyes of my eyes are opened.” Today Breathnach dares us to dream in normality, to take a refreshed glance at life’s blessings. And so I am reminded that I do not need a bow tie. Watching these awards shows is fun and all, but even the stars have the dresses and jewels out on loan. They return them to Cartier, or Tiffany’s or wherever they borrowed them from.

It brings to mind something wise that singer-songwriter and pianist Tori Amos had to say on the matter of glamour: “to me glamour isn’t about being sparkly.” Its about opening our eyes to see the sparkle in everyday things and pausing to be grateful.