Category Archives: Thoughts

Thoughts that pop into my head. Things that I ponder from time to time.

Consciousness and the soul

What is consciousness? Is it the same as someone’s soul? Are we simply a biological creature with a brain. When our brain stops working, does our consciousness stop? Until recently, physicists didn’t really get into that sort of discussion, yet with new ideas coming to the forefront in quantum physics, the line dividing consciousness and physics are getting blurry.

The Law of Conservation of Mass states that matter cannot be created nor destroyed, it simply changes into another form of matter. If you take a piece of wood and burn it, does the matter, the piece of wood vanish? Well, the matter that you once viewed, a piece of wood is no longer in that form. It is now composed of heat, ashes, and smoke. The total matter did not disappear, it simply changed into other forms of matter. If this is a known law of matter, then why should our soul, spirit, or consciousness be any different?

balancing an equation as to preserve matter as it cannot be created nor destroyed
All chemical equations must be balanced to preserve matter

Coincidence or a deeper meaning?

Today I was at a coffee shop chatting with a friend of mine. Somehow we got on the subject of Alaska. His father had been stationed there. I told him that my father had been stationed at the same Army base. We determined that both his father and mine were probably at that base at the same time. Small world, huh? Well, that’s just a nice coincidence. I then told him that we had been to Juno and Ketchikan in Alaska a number of years ago. A few seconds later his phone beeped. It was one of his former students on Facebook sending him a picture of herself and her boyfriend. Guess where they were? They were sending him a picture of them in Ketchikan Alaska. Was this also just a coincidence? Of all the places in the world, why Ketchikan? Is there a universal consciousness that entered my consciousness from his former student letting me know that she was about to ping him and somehow my subconscious knew it, thus we started the whole conversation about Alaska? Ok, I know that is maybe trying to connect the dots too much, but this has occurred many times in the course of a month.

Has this happened to you?

guy on the phone

Have you ever had someone just pop into your mind and then within a few minutes they call you? Typically it is someone that you don’t talk to on a regular basis. I know that I have. Usually, the conversation goes like this in my head, “I wonder how David is doing. I haven’t talked to him in a while.” In the next few moments, my phone rings, and on the other end, it is David. I have spoken to multiple people that have said that this happens to them as well. To me, this is not a coincidence. It is them thinking of us first, then their thoughts somehow connect to our own.

In the beginning…

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. If God created all of the heavens and all of the earths or planets, and it originated with Him, then there was one source of creation for the entire universe. His consciousness created the universe. It was one consciousness, yet shared with us. Everything that has been made was from this one consciousness, His spirit. In Jeremiah 1:5, God says to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” God is saying, before you were born I knew you. How could God know Jeremiah before he was born? The only way that could be is if Jeremiah’s soul, spirit or consciousness was in existence before his actual body was manifested or created. As matter cannot be created nor destroyed, maybe souls or consciousness cannot be created nor destroyed either. Maybe they were all created at one time, only waiting until there was a body to be inhabited by them. Deep thought, huh? I don’t care if you believe in God or the Big Bang theory. It all started with one source, one action, one moment therefore everything that emanated was at one time in the same place.

We are all tied together

Somehow, whether we like it or not, we are all tied together and not just with one another. Everything that is in existence or has been in existence has some sort of relationship with each other. We live in a very temporal world. We go through our day not thinking of these types of things, yet what we can’t see is more real than what we can see. Our bodies are temporary, but our soul or consciousness is not. That is something that death can’t destroy. Our body is hardware. Our consciousness is the software. Without the software, the hardware is just a bunch of parts. The good thing about this software is that it isn’t bound by hardware. It can exist on its own. When someone says “You haven’t seen the last of me!” they don’t realize how true they are. You are here forever, just not in the skin that you are currently wearing. Deep thoughts, huh?

Is the grass greener on the other side?

I have come to wonder if I am like the proverbial cow that wants to break through the fence and try the grass on the other side of the fence. Is the grass actually greener and tastier or is it all in my mind? Maybe I have the mind like a member of the bovine family. For the past 12 or 13 years, it seems that after about 4 years, I’m ready to move to a new location and I’m not just talking about the next town. It seems that I become disenchanted with the town, the people, the climate, or any number of things. I love to discover new people and places. It takes a while to get the feel of a place. You can’t really do that on a 2-week vacation. Fortunately, I own a business where I can pretty much work anywhere so this makes it pretty easy to do.

Cow trying to eat grass on other side of fence
Photo credit James Rickwood

This time, it’s a vocational edit

I am trying to break out of my vocation or at least add to what I am already doing. You see, when I was young, I had two dreams; to develop a new form of propulsion for space travel and own my own theme park. These may seem like two entirely different pursuits, but each has similar characteristics.
-Research
-Creativity
-Risk-taking
-Innovation
Both of these pursuits require a good amount of imagination, yet neither is for the faint of heart. One requires a significant amount of brainpower including physics, engineering, and math. The other requires lots of money. Actually both require money but opening a theme park, that requires a LOT of money.

Routine is good, just not for me

Are you the type of person that loves to create, yet wants to leave the daily running of things to someone else? That’s me. I love brainstorming, troubleshooting, and coming up with “What if” type of thoughts.
I’ve done a lot of different things in my life. I have been blessed to have many different talents and have put pretty much all of them to use at one time or another. For many, having to come up with new ideas each day gives them a headache. They are very happy to know what is expected of them each day and they do it well. At the end of the day, they feel fulfilled.

Don’t get me wrong, I have routines. For example, I go to the gym regularly, have my morning coffee, pray, meditate, and enjoy a nice beverage in the evening. I also routinely sit down and write down ideas each morning.

I love big projects and I cannot lie

I’ve always been one for big projects. When I was a kid, I built model rockets. You know the ones where you put an engine in them and launch them into the sky. I quickly built many of the store-bought ones but they just weren’t big enough and didn’t go high enough. One day, I had that “what if” moment and said to myself, “If one engine is good, 3 is better.” I then constructed a rocket that was 3 times as high as the store-bought ones, installed 3 rocket engines that would fire simultaneously, and launched it successfully. Getting that out of the way, I went and got two 12′ carpet tubes to build a 24′ rocket. This time, model rocket engines were not powerful enough so I decided to make my own rocket fuel. Let’s just put it this way, it didn’t end well.

The grass isn’t greener, it’s just different

If there is a zany idea out there, I will come up with it. I just need to find other zany minded individuals like me. I’m not sure where one would find these types of individuals. We should start some sort of club. There must be other “cows” out there like me that are stretching their necks trying to find that perfect clump of green grass. In the meantime, I will come up with more ideas and try and figure out how to implement them. So, if you see me leaning out the car window like a dog licking the air, it’s just me looking for that greener clump of grass.

Dog with head out window
Photo credit Shutterstock

How is Covid 19 affecting your emotional health?

Is this like day 1,000 for Covid 19 here in the U.S.? It sure seems like it. For months we have been Zooming and doing all other type of virtual meetings. I handled this for the first few months ok, but this is going beyond my ability to be isolated. I don’t think that I am alone. Even the most introverted people are slowly going crazy.
What I have not seen much of in the news, is the emotional damage this virus is placing on the world. There is no official end date. Nobody knows when it will end. This is not emotionally healthy.

Connect the dots

connect the dots

Based on my own emotions, there is a lot of angst with not knowing when something like this is going to end. The future is very uncertain. We are told that when a vaccine is created, this will end, but there is no real date on that either because they don’t know when and if a successful vaccine will be found. There is no guarantee.
For us personally, we have been keeping busy with little projects to keep our minds off of the virus, but we don’t have any clue when all of our big projects which have been put on hold will ever be resumed. This type of uncertainty causes anger as well as depression. Over the past 30 days our country has experienced a level of anger and hostility that I have not seen in over 50 years. I’m not saying that the public outcry over what happened to George Floyd is not called for, but the resulting looting and anger that has poured out is also due to people being uncertain about their future as well as pent up frustrations over the virus.

Why all of the unkindness?

There is such a lack of grace, love and otherwise kindness going on. Instead of realizing that Covid 19 and the restrictions placed upon us are causing all of us to be very short fused, we feel that our feelings are 100% justified, no matter what the subject is.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Without a vision, the people perish.” That’s what is going on. We don’t have a vision, we don’t have an end date, we don’t see the finish line. Maybe it should be, “Without an end date, the people go crazy.”

What’s the point?

After an extended time of putting off trips, weddings, vacations and every other type of activity that requires people to congregate, it’s rather pointless to plan any event. All of us need something to look forward to. During the work week, we look forward to the weekend. When there are so few things that you can do during the weekend, this has made the weekend a non-event. Vacation, summer camp, family reunions or going to a theme park are all out the window. Even going to your local zoo has become virtual or so restricted that it’s not even fun. The emotional toil that this virus has put upon the world is worse than the virus in my opinion. How long can we go on without a finish line?

Mask vs no mask

surgical mask

Do you actually think this crazy Karen mentality is all about wearing a mask? No, it’s the result of the emotional toil this virus is taking on people. When we have no control over our lives, we project our frustrations onto others. We don’t even feel as if we have control over what we wear which is a very personal choice. We resent that this virus is making us wear masks in the first place. It’s not the mask, it’s the control that this virus has over us. We are angry at something that we cannot see nor we can control.

We need emotional support

What we need is emotional support for the feelings that all of us are going through. The media doesn’t help with their sensationalist type of reporting. Everything has become click bait, feeding on the angst that we all feel. We need for all leaders to talk about hope, loving one another and giving one another the benefit of the doubt. Most importantly, to be able to find some way to give all of us a vision. We need to find a means to connect safely in person, not by Zoom, so that we can share each other’s pain while we figure out how to put an end to this nightmare that we are all living in.

outdoor picnic during coronavirus
Getty Images

Don’t put it in drive yet

gearshift console

Would you even consider getting into your vehicle and starting to drive without having a destination? Even if you just wanted to get out, you have some sort of idea about which direction you are headed. What I am talking about is to not even have a clue. You just get in the car and start driving. If you saw someone you knew at a stop light and they asked you “Hey, where are you headed?” Would you admit, “I have no clue, I just put it in drive to see where the car takes me!” If that sounds crazy, then why would you do the same thing when you wake up in the morning and don’t bother to plan your day? If you already have a plan, that’s one thing, but to just let the day sort of run on auto pilot is really throwing away a day of your life.

I’m not throwing stones here

I have done the exact same thing. Today is one of those days. I didn’t have a plan and now the day is almost over. I threw away today. I’m trying to redeem the day by writing this and admitting that I failed to do what I try and do every morning. This has really worked for me. (except for today)

Rocks, gravel, sand and water

rocks, gravel, sand and water
Image by childrensministry.com

Someone told me this analogy a while back. If someone gave you rocks, gravel, sand and water and tells you to put them all in a large 5 gallon bucket, but you get to choose the order, could you do it?
Ok, let’s give it a try. You add gravel, sand, then fill it with water, now for the rocks. Whoops, the rocks won’t fit. Ok, let’s try it again. This time you add the sand, water, gravel and now for the large rocks. Dang, only 2 will fit. You now find out that the rocks were what needed to be included in the bucket the most. Those were the most important material.

Life is like that. We have rocks, which are the big things that need to be done during a day; the hard talk, the project that must be done, the time to think of a new creative concept. Many times we fill up our day with gravel, sand and water not allowing any room for the rocks, those important things that we needed to get done that day.

Give this a try

Tomorrow morning, before you put your day in drive, sit down for a minimum of 5 minutes and try to list the two or three big rocks that need to get put in your bucket. Sometimes I only come up with one, but if I do this, I find that the gravel, sand and water doesn’t seem to get in the way. I feel as if my day is more complete and I end up with a greater sense of satisfaction when my head hits the pillow.

I told this analogy to someone at the coffee shop a few weeks ago. As I sat there with my notebook a few days later they came up to me and asked what I was doing. “Gathering my rocks for the day.” I said. They smiled knowing what I meant and walked away. Today would not be a wasted day.

Welcome to the Covid 19 Zone

Have you ever been under pressure to get a project started? And then, once almost delivered, have to put it on hold at the very last moment? Better yet, have you ever had a spark of creative genius that kept you up at night? You can’t rest until you act on it, only to have outside forces tell you to wait. Welcome to the Covid 19 Zone.

The Twilight Zone
Image by Merlin Collaboration

This is not a dream

Nope, this is not a dream. It’s more like a nightmare. For the first 30 days of this pandemic, I awoke each morning thinking that the previous days events were simply a dream. It took me 5 minutes to shake the sleep from my mind, only to realize that this is reality. Covid 19 was going to disrupt my plans for the foreseeable future. I can’t fast forward life and relocate to a new city, state or even country. That isn’t going to make this go away. All of us are in The Covid 19 Zone. As the phrase goes “We are all in this together”. By the way, that phrase at first sounds warm and fuzzy as if we are all pulling together for a common goal. The reality of it is that we are all mired in a deep pool of poo. It stinks and nobody gets a free pass.

An idea for an industry that is on hold

My genius idea that I have is now officially on hold. The industry that my idea is for is Theme Parks. The Covid 19 Zone has thrown spike strips into the path of my idea to stop me dead in my tracks.

Spike strips

Spike strips are great to stop a moving vehicle. Covid 19 is a great way to prevent people on the entire planet from assembling together. That is most of the time. Scores of industries are being hamstrung by something that most of us didn’t see coming. We have been told that we were overdue for a pandemic as the last one occurred over 100 years ago, the Spanish flu of 1918. This type of thing NEVER comes at a convenient time. It just shows up like a dreaded house guest that doesn’t know when they are wearing out their welcome!

5 things to do if you are chomping at the bit

If you find yourself in a similar position like me, waiting to give birth to that new idea and feel as though you are a horse chomping at the bit, here are some ideas to help while you wait.

  • Make a game plan or outline from start to finish of what your project looks like once it is completed.
  • Spend the time now to research the talent and assets that will be needed to pull it off.
  • Is this a solo project or will you need to collaborate with others? If you will need to collaborate with others, choose these people and then come up with why this project will benefit both them and you.
  • Spend time looking at similar ideas. What worked for them? What didn’t work for them? How is yours different?
  • Realize that you may not be the only one with this idea and that The Covid 19 Zone may be giving you an opportunity to put your project through a well needed training to work out all the kinks so that it is ready when we get to the other side.
Horse mouth and bridle

This too shall pass

One way or the other, this too shall pass, hopefully sooner than later. The big question is when. If this virus slowly fizzles due to the world shutting down until the virus can’t find any new hosts that is one way. I’m hoping and praying for a vaccine that will eradicate this unwelcome guest as was done for polio and small pox.

Until then, don’t give up on your idea, just use the time wisely and work on it so that when it’s your time to shine, you have done your homework and are first in line.

Shelter in place, redeem the time

As I look out my window on this beautiful spring day, I see people walking and jogging. They are trying to sluff off the tension that is building up from needing to “shelter in place” during this Covid19 pandemic.  shelter in place and walk that pet The fresh air and the sunshine beckon us outside. Being cooped up inside the house with stale air can’t be that good for any of us, both physically and mentally. People seem to be keeping their distance from one another to keep from catching any bad germs. That is, except those that live in the same household as far as I can tell.

Dennis had to ‘Shelter in Place’

Even though I hate this isolation, I think in many ways it will end up being good in the long run. It does give us time to be introspective, that is if we allow ourselves to take the time to look within ourselves.  This may be akin to having to sit in the corner.
 Dennis the Menace sheltering in place and sitting in the cornerDo you remember WHY you had to sit in the corner? I think I was spanked more than put in the corner. It was usually a parent telling us, “Go sit in the corner and think about what you did.” I don’t know that it is anything we “did”, but it does give us time to think while being in this proverbial “corner”.

What is nice to see, is people walking and talking to one another. I don’t see as many people looking at their cell phones. Everyone has all day and night to view a screen of some sort. When we are made to shelter in place, why continue to look at a video screen when we can be outdoors?

A few ideas to keep us busy

If you live in an area where the city lights don’t overpower the stars, now would be a great time to buy a telescope. Sit under the spring equinox and look at the stars. There is only so much one can take watching movies on TV. shelter in place and watch the stars
This week marks the Lyrid meteor shower. Here is a link to astronomical events for the next month or two.

if you are a student, you can get Rosetta Stone free for 3 months and learn a new language. If you aren’t a student, you can try 3 days free to see if this is something that you might want to do.

Make a daily shelter in place checklist

What I have found helpful when I get up in the morning is to NOT pick up my phone, tablet, or turn on the TV. I write down with paper and pen what I want to do for the day. I don’t overload my list, I just put 2 or 3 things that I want to get done by the end of the day. When I do this I find that shelter in place checklist on a clipboardI actually do these things. If not, I just sort of let the day evaporate into thin air. I hate throwing away a perfectly good day. To me, every day is a gift. When I just waste it, to me it’s like taking this gift that I have been given and throwing it in the garbage. It’s as if I am telling the giver of life, “Here, take this day back. I don’t want it.” I will admit that I haven’t always succeeded at this as evidenced in my previous post!

Hopefully, we will all come out of this sheltering in place with some very valuable lessons. Hopefully, insights that will continue past the end date of this pandemic. I just hope that we become kinder to one another and embrace every day, no matter where we find shelter.

Not a spoonful of sugar!

Do we need a spoonful of sugar?

My last blog post said that I was going to get all kinds of projects done. I was so positive and had all sorts of ideas on what to do during this pandemic. I have to admit that I have pretty much failed to do anything. I’ve done a couple of small projects, but nothing monumental. I see all of the things that a lot of you are doing and I am impressed. For me, it is as if I have put my life on hold. I wake up in the morning like a child child looking out windowwho is wishing for snow. I run to the window to see if there is snow on the ground; well I don’t actually run to the window to look for snow. I simply look at the subject lines of emails in my inbox without opening them up to see if  a vaccine is ready to be administered to the general public so that we can all go back to our pre-pandemic lives.

Shelter in Place

I have been doing this every day since the ‘Shelter in Place’ order came out in our state. Our governor has extended non-essential businesses to remain closed until May 8th and for the ‘Shelter in Place’ order to remain until June 10th. That is over 2 months away! No amount of running to the window is going to change this unless they come up with a vaccine before that time. You see, it’s as if I do not want to swallow this ‘Shelter in Place’ medicine. I feel like a child who is refusing to take that spoonful of medicine. Right now, there is no amount of sugar that is going to make the medicine go down.
Mary Poppins giving spoon of medicine to children

I’m not one who is good at accepting things nor adapting to something that I just don’t want to do. I will admit that it is not an emotionally healthy attitude and it is past time to take my medicine. I know that it is good for me, but I don’t have to like it as I know that you do not as well.

Time for Projects

Now onto ‘Projects’. As I work remotely anyway, I don’t have all of this extra time that many people speak of. I still work 8 hours per day. It’s just the nights and weekends where I have fewer choices on what I can do and this is where projects are supposed to fit in right? Why am I putting off starting any of these projects? It’s as if because I know that I have extra time after hours, I choose not to start them. If I had more choices, then I would probably start them. Does that make any sense? It’s sort of the human condition; we want what we can’t have and don’t want what we do have. I do have this extra time on the weekends, but I DON”T want to start a project because that would be saying yes to the medicine.

For those of you that are totally enjoying this time of isolation and the ability to get to all of those things that you have been putting off done, I applaud you. I tip my hat and Little girl making a face when being given spoonful of medicine hope to attain some of your traits, but for now, I see my mother coming down the hall with that big silver spoon, twice the size of my little mouth and there is some sort of chalky medicine that isn’t suitable for an adult much less a child.
Here I go, I’m holding my nose and closing my eyes. It smells yucky!!

Find the bad apple, don’t throw out the whole bunch

There is no reason to legislate against a few bad apples

As Americans, we are known to be people of action.  We are creators, inventors, writers and adventurers. It was that sense of adventure that caused us to travel to the moon. When we formed that first settlement in Virginia, we weren’t happy to just stay in Virginia. We wanted to see what was beyond. Thus, we headed west to see what was beyond the Appalachian mountains.

When it came to mobilizing America  during the WW2 war effort, we turned factories into military arsenal production assembly lines in order to defend our country. Even with the pandemic that we are facing, private industries are churning out face masks, ventilators and other devices to combat this new enemy.  America has always been willing to get behind a cause worth fighting.

a bad apple in a bunch of good apples
One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch

Americans are people of action

What America is NOT good at is doing nothing. We are not good at staying at home hiding from this evil virus. We are doing everything in our power to come up with a vaccine as well as a treatment for those that are unfortunate enough to catch this virus. Isolation is just not in our DNA. Unfortunately, there are those that ruin it for all of us. It’s sort of like the one kid in school that misbehaves during class and then the entire class doesn’t get to go out for recess. As we all know, you can’t legislate against stupidity.

We have been told that we need to sanitize, wash our hands for 20 seconds, practice social distancing and that those that have any type of cough need to wear a mask to keep their germs to themselves. That is a call to action. We can do that as Americans, but if 99% of us are doing that and only a percentage or two are refusing to do so, should we then legislate that the majority of America can no longer be open for business while practicing these necessary habits?

Let’s hold those that ruin it for the rest of us accountable

Why not hold those that ignore these necessary practices accountable, but allow the rest of America to try and have some sense of normalcy? Don’t shut down the entire country due to a few idiots. Go find the idiots who are not abiding by these standards, name them, shame them and fine them, but for the rest of us, let our people go! We can be responsible. We can meet the challenge. Don’t treat us as if we are all back in grade school.

This is just my opinion, but if we can’t come up with some sort of compromise at the end of April, I don’t think things will go well for any of us. Let’s not cause a few bad apples to ruin it for us all.

I’M BOYCOTTING ALL FORMS OF NEWS UNTIL THIS IS OVER

No news
courtesy of seekingalpha

You heard me right. I can’t handle any more negative news.
Even only checking news in the morning is way too much. This pandemic isn’t going to change overnight. The “authorities” say it’s going to take weeks, maybe even months for this to ease it’s grip on our nation. If that is the case, I’m going to live my life as I have recently learned to do along with the rest of you I’m sure. No going out except for essentials and exercise. Social distancing when we do go out. Ok, I get it.

I have taken up new hobbies. I will practice my cello, maybe learn a new language and work on my new Imagineers project. I refuse to expose myself to all of the bad news. Knowing about every single statistic isn’t going to really change anything for me. If they do find a vaccine or there is a news flash, don’t you think someone will tell me? Hey, I don’t live under a rock. I have friends and family. Those of you that are glued to your phone, computer, Ipad or newspaper, you can tell me to go get the new vaccine. At least I will be in a good mood when I get my vaccine instead of near the point of slitting my wrists due to depression from all of these apocalyptic reports.

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24

The creative mind as a flywheel

What is a flywheel anyway? Per Wikipedia, A flywheel is a mechanical device specifically designed to efficiently store rotational energy (kinetic energy). Flywheels resist changes in rotational speed by their moment of inertia.

image of a large flywheel
Flywheel on Trevithick Locomotive

The large round thing in the image above is an example of a very large flywheel. Basically, they keep the piece of machinery in motion. It’s not very easy to stop all of that momentum once it gets started. That being said, it’s not easy to stop our minds once they get going either. Shifting mental gears is quite a feat. To be creative, I find that it doesn’t come naturally.  My mind is quite content to keep on spinning, keeping my thoughts going on what my routine expects.

Find a different place to think, a new location

Mark Batterson says that a change of pace + a change of place = a change of perspective. To slow down the flywheel of our mind, sometimes a change of place is required. I do my best creative thinking when I am not in familiar surroundings. This change of place, automatically changes the pace of our life, allowing our minds to slow down enough to start the creative process. New sights and sounds stimulate that part of our brain that help get our creative juices flowing. I do my best thinking away from my office.

Take a walk, get your blood flowing

It’s not enough to just go find a new place to think, I find it best to also be doing something while in new surroundings. I have a favorite spot where I go to think. I go to my local zoo in the morning when nobody else is around. I’ve tried to pick a spot to sit and think, but I find that I do my best thinking when I walk around the zoo taking in the sites and sounds.

3 elephants
A zoo is one place out of your routine

The key is to change up the routines of your day. Routine is comfortable, it is safe, it is …..well…..routine.  Get out of your comfort zone. Routine produces routine results. If you are happy with the results, don’t change, but if not, why not shake things up a bit and see what your flywheel, headed in the other direction can produce?

Stop the flywheel and let the creativity begin!