Made it through week one of blog adventure! I never fear public speaking, or sharing of ideas. My dread is usually technology. And although I am not completely tech “illiterate” (I can actually do alright.) I find myself needing to think it all through to completion. Actually not a bad practice!
I feel I am more tech “neurotic”... I have to check everything three times, and just can’t figure out where things seem to go once they disappear, until they are “magically back”... Then I am not satisfied until I have solved the case... This must be much like the discovery of the mystique of fire! And I’m sure, at times, I am just as eloquent in voicing my frustration over my devices, as my earlier predecessors were over their flints and kindling.
I love that we can create with a tap of an icon... I do not love that we can completely destroy with the same ease! (Thank God for tweens and twenties! And I’m even more grateful for Tech Management!)
This brings me right into this weeks theme: Mission.
My husband and I are part of a neighborhood group that discusses needs, concerns, potential improvements, and celebrates successes of our beautiful, immediate community.
Staff meetings, and brainstorming committees are not at all unfamiliar territory to me, but I never had the idea of mission become so clear to me, as at our most recent neighborhood meeting; instead of brainstorming ideas around an established idea... we had to establish our mission.
Sounds fairly easy! Except, as we threw out concepts, we realized our mission goal would navigate the course of the entire committee’s actions.
Would we be problem, or asset based? Peaceful/friendly, or antagonist/radical activists? Social, or political? On and on... and, as ideas began to be thrown up on our whiteboard, words had to accompany, to encapsulate our thoughts.
A mission need be concise... not too wordy, not too vague; either way, audience is lost to the ethers.
My other finding: I both wanted and needed the ideas of others; and, at the same time, I wished I could create the concept by myself. Individuals are so funny that way! It’s easier to just focus, and single-mindedly get the job done; yet, my best inspiration comes from idea sharing, and tension within a group.
The Mission for this group was simple, straightforward, and well thought out. A little too simple, I felt... but, I’m sure that was it’s very beauty. What do we want, and how will we get it? What do we have to offer, and who will we give it to? Perfect!
This year, my family has started a journaling experience. It focuses not only on recording thoughts, emotions successes, fails... it focuses on energy! And which way will we direct, and expend that energy? One common theme this year is already, the arrow. An arrow is straight, narrow, precise, and sharp. It whizzes by at lightening speed as it flies toward its intended target. My favorite characteristic of an arrow, is not even in the object itself; it’s more in its mechanism of projectile, and the intention of the individual who releases it with focused purpose... intention.
An arrow must be shot, it is not thrown, or tossed; and it doesn’t just accidentally discharge. The shooter must decide if a shot should be taken (neutral energy). If so, the arrow is placed on the bow, and the bow is drawn back... hard. There are moments of thought (potential energy) during which the shooter has to restrain the shot, and has time to decide if they still wish to shoot. If so, are they shooting in the right direction; is the target worthy; is the path clear? One must ensure all in the immediate vicinity are aware of its release (kinetic energy), and clear the path to keep all from harm.
When I think of misuse of arrows, a funny story comes to mind. My family was visiting friends.
Our friends have a daughter who was then, the magical age of 13... and obsessed with a young adult literature piece that heavily focused on its main character: a beautiful, tragic young woman who happened an archer.
Our friend’s daughter had created her entire room to loosely resemble this particular movie set. She has an incredible imagination, which is one of her greatest assets!
We had been there about two hours, and were readying ourselves to go home, getting into coats and winter stuff. Our friends had a piano that separated their double living room, so that one could not see between rooms. As we were wrapping up our conversations, we realized we had not seen their daughter for about 30 minutes. Suddenly, mid sentence... a loud thwwiipp... followed by loud dad words... (actually two loud dads); a large, rubber suction tipped arrow, shot right by my husband’s head, and stuck to the wall next to him.
No one knew what happened at first, and then no one knew why, or even what to say... until their child emerged from behind the piano... in her black pleather, woodland ninja ensemble... feeling horrible for her deed... apologizing because she knew she got “carried away, but was imaging my husband as a particular character in her movie”; at which point, an uncomfortable situation almost became funny, until we all realized we needed to handle the entire humorous mess with sensitivity, or damage a young psyche to the point she could never face us again.
Funny, until I think of how many times I have “shot” (my big mouth) without thinking, or “overshot” the situation because I got carried away, or lost in a moment... and then stood there, facing my unwitting “targets” with egg on my own face.
Point one of my mission: cause no harm!
And then there’s so much more thought that goes into aim: wind sheer, arc, etc...
Weighty business... just like life. Just like all those weighty decisions we make everyday...
“Do I hold my tongue, or tell this guy off.” “Do I cancel that coffee date with a difficult person with whom I am trying to make amends, or do I go?” Do I open this door, or leave it closed?”
Arrows... should I shoot them? Arrows are kept in quivers; even if my quiver is full, arrows are not a sustainable resource... they are somewhat limited. I must take care in the direction I wish to shoot them.
This is where I am in 2018. I have, at times been responsible for shooting all my arrows at once, in a million different directions (I almost said I am guilty of this... but I am working on new language for myself this year... the word guilt is OUT!); this year, I am giving myself the gift of holding back.
As I think of this, I see the most delicious moments of life are those instants just before the well placed shot... those heavy potential moments, just before everything goes kinetic. One purpose I am willing for myself this year is to take aim, pull back, assess, and then decide... maybe not to shoot at all. I give myself permission, this year, 2018... to reserve my strength to shoot in THE moment... that one sweet spot in whatever scenario I create; or to not shoot at all!
Points two and three of mission for this week, month, year: precision, and intention.
During a conversation with several friends of mine this year, we discussed the revelation that if something is not written, it becomes lost to us. I believe the fourth point in my mission is statement.
One of the components in our family journaling this year is the use of “intention papers”. This particular paper we use is so magnificent! Recycled , heavy fiber paper, with sage leaves embedded in the paper itself. Once you write your intent on the paper, you then light the paper on fire. The energy of your ideas is then dedicated, and released into the atmosphere as your written words are consumed by fire energy. The whole process is surreal; incredibly full of ritual and life.
Fifth and sixth points of mission: ritual and release.
Success or fail- commitment to purposeful, chronicled, lived intent to cause no harm in body, mind or soul, to any... rather, inspire, forgive, and encourage all to ritualize celebration of the momentous (both good and bad); release, and move forward into what God has created each of us to be... beautiful, unique, guilt free. If fail happens, pick up... begin again.
Mission Statement/2018: Success or fail... cause no harm. Inspire, forgive, encourage, ritualize, release, move forward. If not immediately successful... begin again. Never quit.
Here’s to Mission!