Are you breathing life into your dreams?

Originally Posted:   Friday, June 26, 2009

A newly realized truth struck me today, just as I was celebrating my 48th birthday. I acknowledged that I have indiscriminately and compulsively spent energy solving problems and improving on ideas that were not mine. I realized that this is an enormous energy drain. It also serves nicely as a way to avoid facing my own dreams and desires.

The good news is that once I admitted to it, I was able to release it. Thus, according to 90 year old Joshua O. Haberman, I am already reaping one of the “benefits of growing old.”

According to this New York Times article by Paula Span, Haberman is a rabbi emeritus of Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington, D.C. Quoting from Haberman’s 6 Reasons to Grow Old; “The fourth gift harvested in old age is liberation from the compulsion or urge of setting everyone else straight.”

Admittedly, while not quite “old” (although it depends on who you talk to), I continue to grow in that general direction. I consider this sort of growth a good thing.

So, with the wisdom of Rabbi Haberman behind me, my 2009 Birthday Intention is this:

“With the exception of friends, family, and the wonderful people who engage my services specifically to do so, I release the desire to apply MY vision to dreams that do not belong to me. I use this recovered energy to breathe life into my dreams.”

Here’s my simple 4-step plan for following this intention:

1. Clarify the dream

2. Set the intention

3. Align actions to steps 1 and 2

4. Repeat steps 1-3 as often as necessary

What a wonderful age — fortunate enough to be experiencing some of the benefits of growing older, while not yet suffering much of the deterioration that we associate with aging.

My birthday wish for all of us is that we continue to find the benefits of growing old(er) in greater measure than we do the signs of old age’s decline.




Wild Calling

Sanctuary found her

as she called back her spirit

by bathing in molasses

and having it licked

off her body, slowly,

by tigers, until falling

asleep in quiet,

glistening, sticky bliss.

The morning’s rays piercing

the low clouds,

her skin as soft as

a lamb’s ear,

she disappears

into the jungle

slathered in molasses,

in search of more tigers.


Do you have the time?

Something happened today that perfectly illustrates why I believe we need more breathing room in our densely-packed, over-scheduled lives.

An old friend’s father died. Suddenly.  This was not a scheduled event.  It wasn’t penciled-in  on anyone’s calendar in advance.

It is, however, an event of importance.  Certainly it was to my old friend and his family.  And to me, as well.  My friend is important to me.  My value of caring and comfort are important to me.  My value of service to others is important to me.  My value that “matters of the soul matter” is important to me.

I did the only thing I knew to do.  I borrowed time.  Correction –  I flat out stole it.  I have no intention of returning it to the place from where it was taken.  No interest will accumulate.

And let’s be clear. There is no one to blame here. There is no regret. We do what we must do about the things that matter most because to NOT do so leaves us feeling less than whole.

A little less sleep.  One less poem is written.  A little less time with family may be spent. A meal may be skipped. A decision may be made to go without Almond Milk until the weekend.  Somehow, you just fit it in.

I don’t know how to be more spiritually “efficient.”   Caring about and for others takes time.  Being of service to others takes time.  It’s often messy and inefficient because human souls are just like that sometimes.

What are we to do when something  important comes along  and we have no idle resources available to apply to it?

How do you make time to show you care?