Struggle. Mother finding peace with chaos all around her.

Struggle

Do you ever have weeks where life seems to be a constant struggle? There are headaches followed by more headaches, with a healthy dose of nothing’s right? Even when you work through all the hassle, there’s a whopping big pile of hassle waiting for you the next week. No one said life was going to be easy, but when it seems like nothing is easy, a shot of perspective can be the medicine you need.

People are, for the most part, rational beings. We wouldn’t willingly make a trade without getting something desirable in return. We undergo stress for different reasons, but in the back of our minds, what we are going through is worth the struggle. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t.

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Extremes. Man pulling curtain of darkness to reveal a new better world.

Extremes

Our world is made up of extremes.

Some extremes we experience may be very positive. Others may be the result of injustice or inequality. In the course of our lives, we have to navigate those extremes and understand their nature.

Some of our extremes are very pleasurable. For example, being out all day in the cold, and then sitting in front of a roaring fire pit. Feeling really hungry and eating a delicious meal. Exercising to complete physical exhaustion, followed by flopping onto a coach for a period of rest and stillness. Sleeping under a comforter in a pocket of warmth on a cold winter’s night.

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Yourself. Standing out in a crowd.

Yourself

Who are you? Do you know?

How do you express who you are to the world?

Of course, that first question is a biggie. Some people go their whole lives without figuring that out. There are many aspects to what makes up a person, and we all need to explore them for ourselves.

We also have to decide how to express who we are.

When I play music, I have a set of what I call my “gig shirts,” which are colorful or otherwise interesting. Lately, I’ve been thinking, “Why can’t I wear these shirts when I go out or get together with friends?” I wore one of them at my family’s Thanksgiving get-together and my brother Jimmy asked, “Does the store where you got that shirt sell any men’s clothes?” (HAHAHA!!). But the point is, these shirts aren’t what I normally wear.

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Rhythm. Bongo Player.

Rhythm

We got the beat!

Rhythm is part of each of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. Rhythm is defined as a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound. These regular patterns exist with us at all times—in nature, in our own bodies, in our creations, and in our constructed world. If we are musically inclined, we may notice them and—consciously or unconsciously—live our lives in time with them. Even when we don’t sense them or feel them, we tend to sync with them naturally.

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Show Off. Young Man Pointing to himself.

Show Off

Do you feel the need to make sure people are aware of your successes and triumphs?

I mean, what good is success if no one knows about it, right? Seems simple enough, but being a braggart or a show-off is never very attractive in a person. It really depends on the way we reveal what we’ve accomplished.

From a very young age, people have an innate urge to show off. From doing something to impress our parents (“Dad, look at me!”), to trying to impress a coach or a teacher, to trying to win over that first crush, exhibiting ourselves to impress others is very much part of the human condition.

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