Good Grieving

It’s good to grieve. We should.

Because, you know, the new normal is too new and it shouldn’t be normal, and in general things just suck right now.

I won’t visit my mom to avoid any chances of getting her sick. But I visited a friend while standing over six feet away from him and thought that it was “intimate.” Every day I’m wondering if I got this virus and dreading that I might give it to my wife and kids. This “normal” sucks.

But I haven’t lost anyone I know. So there’s that. It’s a blessing, really. Also I haven’t gotten sick.

But there’s a strange guilt or feeling of unworthiness or sadness because I’m healthy. And it’s odd, and twisted, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Now we live in a world where those who aren’t sick feel guilty for feeling well. That’s sickening.

Then there’s the other side where those who do get the virus are shamed. They are seen as other, lesser, leper. Not only are they physically ostracized, they are emotionally as well. Loneliness kills like a killer virus. And those who fall ill shouldn’t be ill-treated.

This pandemic is sick. And it’s making us sicker than we want to be. And we’re getting desperate, even our governing officials are, too.

Just because the government is trying to open the economy doesn’t mean customers will just stroll into restaurant and grab a burger. Too many people are still afraid. And it will take more time than we think before we all feel safe again. This is not the time for desperation. We need discernment during a fight: Winning doesn’t mean we’ve won. Reaching a peak in a crisis doesn’t mean it’s peaked. When we can smell victory is when we must be most vigilant against defeat. By letting our guard down now is when we are most vulnerable to stray punch that can knock us out. This war isn’t over. We are not yet safe from this enemy.

Speaking of safety, just the idea of not worrying every time I touch some random piece of plastic or a shopping cart or whatever outside of my house or domain that I haven’t wiped down with a sanitizing wipe multiple times will feel like heaven. I mean liberty from the stress of wondering if there are invisible little bugs, on some random surface someone accidentally sneezed on, trying to kill me and stop my lungs from working would be AMAZING!

But that world is gone and it’s a longtime before we get it back.

So I grieve. I grieve for the world, for those who’ve lost loved ones, those who are still fighting for their lives and those who are on the frontlines fighting to keep others alive, for the loss of hugs and handshakes and restaurants and meeting strangers and flying in planes and touching things without wondering, “What if…?”

There is much to grieve. Let’s do it together.

Want weekly notes straight from my brain into your inbox, crafted to make your day and life better?Subscribe to my newsletter.

This Is the Freedom You Can Hear

A choir of birds chirp outside my window each morning. And the melodies breathe a refreshing breeze into my soul that helps me face the day. It’s a simple sound, never ceasing to surprise and delight me, reminding me of something greater.

Taking pleasure in the every-day moments, common yet majestic, can bring mirth even in the darkest times. But first you need to hear them.

It’s easy not to notice them. Some mornings I don’t because I’m too distracted or worried or something.

Awareness is key. Take note of the world around you. When you do, it makes all the difference. Noticing those small details can have big effects on your life.

Hearing the chirps helps me reframe my mind. It reminds me that there’s a whole world out there that’s still chiming, dancing from branch to branch, living as it has for thousands of years.

And just because a pandemic has struck human life, some creatures go unperturbed, singing the song of life, as they eat worms and fly and soar, freely going about their lives.

And I’m reminded that someday we will be free too.


Want to keep this party going? Subscribe to my newsletter!

Be More Unrealistic

“Let’s be realistic,” is a dream killing phrase, and I hate it. Don’t be realistic. Be foolish.

Do that thing everyone says don’t do. Try that crazy idea that everyone says will fail. Go to that place everyone tells you not to go to.

Failure is better than regret. With the former you learn. With the latter you only wallow.

In a “realistic” world we wouldn’t have personal computers, iPhones, Google, the internet, beautiful art, music, all of the things created by innovators, artists, and those unrealistic dreamers that we all love so much.

In this world where everything seems like it’s going to fall apart at any moment, where it’s unsafe to go out—dream. Create a new world inside of your mind.

Dream big. Dream small. Whatever you do cast your thoughts into a pool of possibilities and wade in it, bathe, swim, play. Submerge yourself in it. Emerge baptized and new.

And when you arise, attempt that “unrealistic” thing you dreamt. Try it. Make it.

You’ll likely fail, but keep at it, learning with each failure.

And who knows you may fly, create the next big thing, realize your dreams.

But whatever happens, you can be sure of this.

You won’t be the same.

You’ll be better.

Get my newsletter.Want weekly notes straight from my brain into your inbox, crafted to make your day and life better?

One Great Thing From Social Distancing

Strangers are waving at me, and I find myself waving back. They smile, and so do I. And you know what? It feels really good.

In all of this we’re learning to appreciate strangers.

There’s a longing for connection that we all have, especially when we’re as starved of it as we are these days.

Yes, Zoom is good but not enough. We were meant to grab beers and clink mugs together, shake hands, hug—be with each other. Zooming is great but it’s a bastardization of what we really want, need.

Maybe your living with family, which makes it a lot easier. But there’s still that desire to connect with other people who don’t have your surname.

Strangers are now those people. And it’s nice, you know.

It’s strange yet natural. It’s awkward, but refreshing. It makes us all feel better, somehow.

Yes, the Midwest, where I live, is a place where social norms do cultivate a higher amount of niceness from its people. But these days they’re even nicer than normal. The waves are bigger and smiles wider. It’s like we all got the message of “We are all that we’ve got left now, so let’s make the best of it.”

And I like it. You probably do, too.

You might be noticing the change, friendly greetings from those who aren’t friends. It likely makes you feel connected, loved even.

This pandemic is tragic, horrid, awful. But there is good that blossoms from shit.

And learning to love the people around us no matter who they are, is a flower I hope continues to bloom in our daily lives and never gets uprooted no matter what season of life we’re in.Social distancing has brought us closer to strangers. And it’s great. 

Get my newsletter.Want weekly notes straight from my brain into your inbox, crafted to make your day and life better?

Mistakes Are One of the Best Things You Can Make

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is making no mistake at all.

Learning new skills, trying new things, growth, solving problems all involve some sort of failing.

So don’t be afraid to make mistakes; be afraid of never making anything.

See, to create, to get better at a craft, you start by making crap. At first what you make will sound wrong, look bad, feel off.

But that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. No.

You’re just in process. And making mistakes is a part of that.

But as you proceed, you’ll get better, you’ll learn, you’ll progress.

And if you continue, you’ll find with each miss, occasionally you’ll hit the mark. Until one day you never fail to hit it.

Mistakes don’t make you a failure. They make you succeed.

Want notes crafted to make your day and life better straight from my brain into your inbox?Subscribe to my newsletter.

How to Think When the Lockdowns Lift

The lockdowns will lift, likely soon. If they do, be patient. Don’t rush out to find normal. It’s not there.

The virus still roams free. That means you shouldn’t.

I won’t be seeing my mom, telling her it’s ok to go back to church. It’s not.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t be optimistic. We can. We should. Things will get better.

I might have a few meetings here or there. But I won’t be hugging, shaking hands, getting too close. No. But seeing my friends in person will be a welcomed change.

You probably will, too.

But be cautious, vigilant even.

Use your face masks, gloves, wash your hands like crazy, socially distance.

Even if everyone is screaming to tell you everything’s ok, know that it’s not.

There isn’t a vaccine in mass production. We can still spread this disease.

Practicing vigilance will protect our families, friends, neighbors, the world, ourselves.

But we needn’t live in fear just because the future is shrouded, unclear, like a foggy night.

One day we will look back and say, “Do you remember that pandemic…” while sipping on drinks with a loved one while we share a meal together at a favorite restaurant, sitting under the shining sun, laughing.


Get my newsletter.

Want weekly notes straight from my brain into your inbox, crafted to make your day and life better?

Feel Connected

Be the first to initiate, text, call, zoom.

Just because you’re in isolation doesn’t mean you need to be isolated.

You can be connected, connecting, loved, loving.

Reach out to your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors. Ask them how they’re doing. Wish them well.

And the loneliness you feel will somehow feel far less lonely.

You’ll feel rich, blessed. So will they.

That’s what initiating does.

You’ll connect.


Want your inbox to feel good? Subscribe to my newsletter!

Three Ways to Improve Your Life, Even Now

You can improve your life, even in this pandemic.

I’m not saying life’s ok. It’s not. We’ve lost much.

Even with all of that, you can continue to grow, learn, rise. Here are three ways. 

 

Work Better

We can all work, even if you’ve lost a job.

Unemployment isn’t the end of the world. I know. I’ve been fired before. I had to shift, adjust, hustle. That might be you today. 

If so, it’s a perfect time to experiment, try new things, publish a post on Medium. Learn how to make a living online.

Never has there been more opportunity to make money online than there is now. Google up “Make money online”. And you’ll find plenty of ideas. Then try one.

Even if you fail. You will have succeeded in learning something new.

And maybe, just maybe, it will put you on a direction that you never imagined going. It will transform your life. 

 

Connect Deeper

And, yes, everyone is talking about reconnecting with old friends. Just yesterday, I reconnected with one I haven’t talked to in over a decade. And it’s true: It is great. If you haven’t, you should.

But why not try healing deeper wounds, deepening existing relationships through having hard conversations. 

This is hard. Conflict is painful.

But when it’s done well, it often yields a depth of relationship and healing many don’t get to experience because we avoid these types of situations.

Start by asking that person a question about the topic you’re wanting to discuss. Ask them their side of the story. Get them to open up and don’t interrupt them: Just let them share. When they’re done wait to see if they’ll ask you a question.

If they don’t, ask them if they want to hear your side of the story. And see where it goes. You may be surprised.

You may experience a greater wave of intimacy that will revolutionize the way you relate to others for the rest of your life. 

 

Eat Richer

Lastly, Why not eat better?

All of us are buying more groceries than ever. So instead of getting chips or other processed foods, get a great, healthy and delicious recipe. Then create it.

Not only will the process of making it be fun but feasting on it will make you feel just as good as your tastebuds do. You’ll feel like royalty. You’ll feel rich.

If you’re looking for recipes, my family loves Cookbooks by Danielle Walker (affiliate). They’re magical—really. Every bite feels like a coronation. 

Just because there’s a pandemic doesn’t mean you can’t make each day an opportunity to get better, experience more, go deeper.

You can.

Try today.

Get my newsletter.Want weekly notes straight from my brain into your inbox, crafted to make your day and life better? Subscribe!

The Greatest New Normal

Going to the grocery store looking like you’re about to rob the place or give someone an enema is the new normal.

If you had told me two months ago that my family and I would be doing that and washing all of our food and packages before we put them away and sanitizing our dog’s feet after she goes for a walk and other queer things to stay safe, sanitized, I would have called you nuts.

Yet, here we are…doing those things.

You’re probably experiencing the same thing.

You’re doing things you’ve never done. You’re washing your hands like crazy, for longer than you ever imagined that you ever could or should. But there you are, cleaning every little crevice and pore on your cracking mitts about twenty times a day, trying to lather on the lotion so they don’t crack apart as you desperately try to stay sanitary.

And it’s all amazing, isn’t it? I marvel.

Not at all of the things that we must do. No. It’s still a little weird to me when I really pause to think about all of it.

What amazes me is the human capacity to adjust.

We can change a fair amount fairly quickly and get used to a new normal. We can take the strangest, even harshest environments, and adapt.

We can suffer and find a way to survive. Even thrive.

Throw us in a desert and we will find a way to plant a garden. Put us on an island and we will find a way to make a raft. Quarantine us and we will find a way to create deeper connections with those whom we love.

Is it the human spirit? Maybe.

But I believe it’s more than that. It’s Divine grace that fuels us, even in the midst of pain, especially so.

This holiday season is all about a New Normal.

It’s about a cosmic one where death dies and life lives eternally. Where our bodies don’t decay and spring is the only season. Life lives forever without pain, suffering, loneliness, hunger, uncertainty. And peace, joy, health, wellness, feasting is the norm.

It’s there. Take it.

Believe.

Grow today

Just because a pandemic is driving us all crazy doesn’t mean you can’t grow today.

Try something new: Learn a new language, an unfamiliar musical instrument, paint a painting, write poetry, code, cook a strange dish, blog. Anything. 

Yes, it will make you feel like you have a dunce hat on, unsure of yourself, a beginner.

Beginning is awful. You’re almost always terrible.

And sucking sucks.

But starting is valuable. You might feel like an idiot, but it’s one of the smartest things you can do. 

You’ll make connections you never made before, discover new ideas, see life afresh.

Focusing on that novelty will occupy your mind helping you de-stress (one thing we all need these days). 

If you keep at it, eventually you get joy out of what you’re learning. It adds to your life, your skills, your work, the world.

It will make you better than you were before.

That’s worth it.

You’re worth it.


Want coaching?

I’m only taking on a limited number of people, like 3. But if you’re interested, contact me and let’s set up a time for a video call.

Whether it’s in business, career, relationships, life, I’m here for you.

The first thirty minute session is free.

If you want to proceed after that, I will provide pricing.

I hope to connect with you and reach new heights together.


A newsletter? I’ve got one.

Get weekly notes straight from my brain into your inbox, crafted to make your day and life better.