“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” –Sun Tzu

The following is a display of recent realizations and observations. Accept what you feel fits and reject what insults your core:

Is it just me, or does it seem like every leap year is a transition year. Sure, it’s a big election year, but isn’t it more than that? Doesn’t it feel like things that began four years ago are transitioning, sometimes in dramatic ways? As we pace through the pre-spring on the pollen brick roads of the Lowcountry, let’s simply promise ourselves that we’ll pay more attention to our own selves. Tune within and tune out, for lack of a better way to put it. Take this as an opportunity to leap forward in your growth.

As we stride and stumble down the spiritual path are you finding that your old tricks and habits don’t work as well as they used to? Perhaps they don’t work at all, but you’ve stubbornly kept at it. That’s okay, it happens to the best of us. For now, it’s enough to be skeptical of said tricks and habits.

Thank God for unanswered prayers, right? You may find this annoying and alarming, I do too, but not all endings are bad. For example, I believe most of us are thankful our high school years ended, that is, unless you peaked in high school. It’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice.

From here on out, we must innovate individually to enhance the whole. Did you not ask for a wake-up call? Be cautious what you request. Achtung baby!

It’s best to let the knife fall rather than trying to catch it. How can we use this to sharpen our life skills?

It’s trite to say, but boring people get bored. It’s true, in my experience. Besides, Mama wouldn’t let me use the word. She said it was whiney and I agree. I’m here to submit that never being bored is a virtue. Even if you don’t agree with that, you have to agree that there are worse things than being bored.

“If we want peace, we have to be peace. Peace is a practice, not a hope.” –Thich Nhat Hahn would tell ya to get to work on peacing yourself out. Well, maybe not in those words, but you feel me.

It’s a privilege to have the privilege to take things for granted. Bear with me on this; I’m not talking about being entitled. I think we can all agree entitled people suck to the nth degree. What I am getting at is there are sooo many religious and spiritual teachings that pound away at gratitude. I am submitting that when we feel like we should be doing more, being more, and coming up short in our own eyes, then guilt sets in. Guilt is useless and more of a hinderance than an enhancement in this scenario. Practicing gratitude is supposed to be helpful, right? Is it a sin to ask how helpful a practice is? Answer that question for yourself and there ya go.

There are clues all around for the observant ones. On Highway 21, on the way into Beaufort, the Marine Corps reminds us that “the noise you hear is the sound of freedom.” We know what the Marines mean, but we can choose to take it a different way. There’s always another perspective. For example, what if rather than praying for money, we prayed for freedom? For some, freedom could mean a strictly physical perspective, if they have injuries or ailments. For others, it could mean the opportunity to travel. You could even combine these two examples. Simple, but it doesn’t box you in to visualizing things being one way. You allow for all sorts of possibilities. In this example, you could substitute simplicity for freedom and see where that leads. What else could you use to fill in the blank?

That leads me to another question: Ever heard the saying, “Afraid of one’s own shadow”? If you don’t look your darkness in the eye, it can rule you. Ignorance is never bliss when addressing such things. Shadow box away!

“Well done is better than well said.” –Tom Brady.

The previous statement leads me to another one: True debate is an understanding of the nuances of each side as well as a respect for the person or group you are debating. I submit this rarely exists in this digital world when those drunk off media liquor spout and pout. We all know that alcohol provides an unrealistic bravery that usually leads down a road of disrespect. Educate yourselves and know there are potential limitations to your education. Question the history you’ve been fed. At least question its perspective. This assumes you’ve even bothered to familiarize yourself with history. As I get older, I’m finding that is assuming a bunch.

Allow for the possibility that if you don’t watch the news you’re uninformed. If you do watch the news you’re misinformed. Without going down the rabbit hole of conspiracy, keep in mind you likely don’t have a full picture of the subject at hand. Ponder this before you throw out that tempting zinger you can’t take back. Respect should be at the core of any discussion and sarcasm is an energy best left to professional comedians. Consider who’s the real dumba$$ in a situation where you’re not willing to entertain that your beliefs may be wrong? Listen rather than respond.

Finally, and most importantly, I believe we should give out cookies for being fully present, not perfect attendance. I mean, big ole, chocolate chip cookies. Seriously, why do we even believe perfect attendance is still a thing?

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget your Flonase with all that pollen out there, okay. Anything I left out? I’d like to hear something fair and balanced, for once.