Motivator More Powerful Than Fear

Came across this today from one of my favorite Photo Artists!
Beautifully written!

Nes Felicio Photography

Fear is a powerful motivator.

When one is afraid of something, no amount of logic can overcome it.

We’ve all had that experience, being gripped by fear. It takes over our mind, it directs our actions. Nothing else matters.

It’s just how we are wired — everything goes through the “emotional” brain before it gets to the “logical” brain.

Useful for survival when our great ancestors were in the forest or safari, facing a lion or a snake. The decision was simple – run or fight. No time to analyze relative probabilities of the outcome of several options. All our being is focused on the next split second of self-preservation.

We’re a long way from living in caves, but our brain is still wired the same. So when someone expresses a view that I sense is out of some fear, I know it’s pointless to use facts, statistics or any…

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Boredom is a Sin

At least, that’s what my Dad used to tell us.

He was quick to clarify, Not a religious sin, but one against Mother nature.

He wouldn’t punish us for this, of course, but he sure frightened Mary Lou, from down the block the first time she witnessed this exchange.

“Daddy, I’m bored! There’s nothing to do!” (sentence whined in dramatic, 7 year old voice…)

Calmly responding, Dad would simply say, “That’s it. Go get the Ruler.”

Mary Lou had a much different experience of her father sending her for the ruler, or a small tree branch, or the Ping Pong Paddle.

We knew this routine, and I suppose, could have proceeded on our own, but Dad worked so much, on a day off, we’d do anything for a verbal exchange with him. Besides the whole experience seemed better if Daddy had sent us on the challenge.

We’d get the Ruler, and our task then was to find a flat surface of some kind, so we could measure out one square foot of visual space to explore…at length…until we found something of interest, sometimes even something amazing. 

These measured “windows” kept us not-bored for many Sunday afternoons, or summertime hours.

There is way more to this story but I’m thinking of it today because of how much gratitude I feel for my father’s creative way of teaching us about important life lessons. This one for me, has expanded over the years to cover all manner of scenes and circumstances. It is like my Mindful Practice now…finding a “window” of music, or taste, or rest, or movement, etc.

It’s no longer a tool to counteract boredom. I have walked through my long life now, with this theme running at all times in the background.

I truly can’t remember the last time I felt bored. There is always something new to see, to discover, to learn, to experience, with all my senses. And there is always more than one way look at things…the same old everyday sights…and even the painful things.

I can’t tell you how much this has helped me through 693 days of mostly seclusion during the Pandemic.

We are having a HUGE wave of new Covid cases in my area, up 700% in the last month. Not boring, but frightening and quite depressing, so I sent myself to “get the Ruler” this morning before my daily walk.

Here’s what I spotted in about a 3 square foot area right outside my door that I never look at in the dead of winter it’s so scruffy. But today, I slowly zoomed in, and found beauty of the season.

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This strange “rock” has been in many places all around my property. I hadn’t thought about it in years!

On my way back home from today’s walk, way down my hill, I spotted a tiny window, a visual “square foot” framed by the trees.

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As I made my way, I watched that “square foot” transform right before my eyes.

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The closer I got to my driveway, the more the view opened up, showing me the miracle of the Olympic Mountains, looking close enough to visit. They are 158 miles away.

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And there was the Columbia Tower, 11 miles away.

From my perspective, it looked easily as tall as those gorgeous, finally snow-covered peaks.

Thanks Dad!

Procrastination

It won’t surprise any of the people closest to me to hear how much I STILL miss my best friend/sister from the 1970’s through the end of that century.

My confession today though, is just how much. I try not to think about her, or talk about her, but every now and then in our professional worlds, she and I still cross paths, and it all floods back. So many years ago now, but our friendship (our sisterhood) was so easy, so equal. I always felt as important to her as she was to me.

Though she and I had off and on problems, all friendships do, the wonderful thing we had for so long was daily contact…someone to check in with, or be checked on by. I have never found that again.

I know it was partly our age and that stage of life way back then. Our living proximity (including together for a while), and all our common problems acted like friendship-glue, especially ex-husbands, money, new loves, single mom-ing-an-only-child, etc.). These things simply insisted on, and required daily updates.

I couldn’t tell you now what happened, or why, or even my part in it, but the “sisterhood” ended…in my memory now, rather abruptly.

I’ve never come close to replacing that connection.

I have made a few gentle gestures towards her over the years, and her response has always been gracious and kind, but also brief and singular. And my biggest secret is just how often I imagine grand gestures, followed by a grand reunion, much more congruent for our early years as friends and sisters. I play out these scenes in my head a couple times a year….or any time I drive to my city’s downtown, because I pass within just a half block of her house.

This last couple of Pandemic Years, I am contemplating my life, my mortality.

And on top of that ongoing threat, I have had several non-Covid related deaths close to me. I know I am not alone in any of that. None of the “normal” life-losses simply screeched to a halt just because of this stupid virus. They just kept on happening.

But it’s created a whopper of an existential crisis for many, and a profound sense of panic. Better hurry up!!

There are so many things I just can’t put off, or wait around for, any longer. Things I must act on NOW, if I’m ever going to.

I have to decide about selling my house.

I have to get that Dream Camper.

I have to tell, really tell, my people how lucky I have been to have had you in my life.

And, I decided, finally, I absolutely have to reach out to my old best friend/sister.

So in the throes of that emotion, I drove down toward the street that passes her house. As I got close, I pulled over into a parking lot, and sat for 10 minutes, thinking, getting grounded, psyching myself up.

It was Grand Gesture time. Dramatic I know, but hey, contemplating your remaining days is dramatic. I rehearsed my speech, making sure I was loving and hopefully, unconditional.

And knowing it was an extreme long shot that she was even be home, I drove to her house…..

This is what I found.

Kate's

I have no idea what this means, where she is or if she’s even alive, but hard Lesson Learned….again.

Procrastination is a risky f-ing game!