Action

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10 years ago, I was an Intern leading the project team for a 350 person sales meeting in downtown Toronto.

During the same week that we were there, Toronto was abuzz with TIFF – the Toronto International Film Festival.

During the pitch a few months before, the advertising company came in and pitched ACTION! as the meeting theme.

That was it!

And yet the marketing folks did not like that they did just one – and so back to the drawing board. A pointless exercise really – – they had it right all along -The ACTION Sales Meeting was born.

In Dec 2015, as I was suffering under the weight of my life awry and sitting in my seat during the Landmark’s Advanced Course, the leader said that most of her colleagues around the world – work for 3 weeks a month and then get a week off. Me she said, I work a week and spend 3 weeks in bed recovering, explaining that she had lupus.

I don’t suffer she said, just take ACTION.

This week I took ACTION placing my Cabin on Airbnb. I had been thinking about it for 2 years wanting to but doubting whether anyone would want to come and not wanting to deal with the rejection and did nothing.

Werner Erhard, the founder of the work that Landmark Education bases its work on says “we need to get clear for ourselves, that the only access to impacting life is through ACTION.

“the world does not care what you intend, how committed you are, how you feel or what you think, and certainly has no interest in what you want and don’t want. Take a look at life as it is lived and see for yourself that the world only moves for you when you act”

And I am seeing that for myself these last two days.

All my thoughts, ponderings, wondering about what to do with my cabin – how could I have it be that I could keep it – afford to maintain it, while working through my current financial space had no impact whatsoever.

I needed to take ACTION.

Yet only hours after the listing got posted, I had my first potential customer, then two. Then I shared it on Facebook and I witnessed other people sharing it also and people asking questions clarifying my rules of the place – Pets – Sure”

When my Rotary Club posts on Facebook, we sometime beg people to share our posts. Liking it does not do it anymore – sharing it is where it is at. So far my initial post has been shared 9 times and liked 37 times And I have had two serious inquiries and one booking. (That’s the world moving for me)

Today, one day later, I welcomed my first 3 guests to my Airbnb. (After 6 hours of ACTION called cleaning) …my house could use that as well.

And my brain is on fire – thinking of how I can market it as the fall & winter approaches.

Along with my 6 hours of cleaning, I made sure to pick up a bottle of Red (the colour of choice) and a new Guest Book, at Hallmark in Mount Pearl. I set up a new category on my expense app that I track all my expenses for Airbnb and Cabin Rental for bookings outside of that model.

I can see that my first guest will bring me $168.78 and so far I have had an outlay of $95.65.

And I want to give a shout out to The Airbnb app – it has been seamless and simple. I have used it twice as a traveller for that Dec 2015 trip to Toronto and an amazing find of a listing in Los Cabos Mexico in Dec 2016. And yet this is my first time as a host. (I wonder if I can augment my house income by doing it also for the house I rent – my mom’s room likely won’t be getting used any time soon)

And I can kick myself all I want about why I never listed it last week or the month or year before that. None of that matters. All that matters is that I did it.

Recovery is like that too – an ACTION program. Suffering is optional.

My mom has been sick for 9 weeks following her fall and broken hip and since that time, both of my dogs have died. It landed heavy on me and I could not seem to get out of my own way in terms of putting pen to paper to write this blog or to write a poem, or take ACTION in the way that I must in terms of my business.

And yet while I have been silent, I have been in ACTION in my recovery. In doing the work, making the calls, reading, going to meetings, and talking to my sponsor. My sobriety is growing for which I am so grateful.

Today I wrote a poem for the first time in a while, called “Taste the Sky” after using those words to tell a songwriter why my cabin was such a great place to create.

For today, I have come to the end – as it is way past my bedtime.

So I have to ask – what are you waiting to take ACTION on?

Taste the Sky

Shall we taste the sky
You and I

Shall we get on our knees
breathe in the dirt

Not in a dress not in a skirt

With our hands the shade
gun metal gray

Watch worms ply their journey
Ants on ant time

Or lie on our backs
Watch heaven go by

Shall we marvel the joy
The beauty felt

As God in his wisdom
Reveals the cards that he dealt

Shall we ponder a rose,
a leaf or a twig

And wonder just wonder
if we could take one little swig

To drink in the lemons
drink in the lime

In this pursuit
we don’t bother the time

Not even a worry
With strife but a scar

The sun will keep calling
Why you travelling so far?

Shall we taste the sky
You and I

Surrender begins

Surrender begins like a fairy tale 

In a distant land 

Begins as a Dream unknown 

scares us shitless

Surrender begins

a blanket with nails

We hang on … letting go no option 

Hang on to the known 

Even if that known is the darkest night 

Even if that known has dragged us through the mud, left us naked in the street

Surrender begins with a whisper

A candle flickering

Dancing,  embracing the darkness that peers in so close 

Surrender begins

With the mystery of an empty page

The words elusive the ink dry
Surrender begins 

a map without borders 

A voyage with no defined destination
Surrender begins

loneliness in a crowded room

fear, emptiness.
Surrender begins

With struggle 

And pleads
I stand now on the other side of surrender

Knowing it’s grace and power

Looking out at those who cannot yet see

Surrender begins with love

With letting go

With saying yes to life 

Surrender begins

With tears running down my cheek

With falling to my knees 

Surrender begins 

With holding hands

And hugs of understanding 

Surrender begins 

In this moment

In this place

Here 

Now

Camouflage Not Needed

I vanish from sight

Disappearing into the landscape

Trapped in a world of my own design

Caged without chains
Your words are not enough 

Flood my brain

Stay silent
Awakened by the radio

Emerge from the wood

Your camauflage not needed

Contribute 
I pondered for days

For what 

For whom

Stay silent 

Let it die
Something changed yesterday

Listening to voices

Heard cause shared

Through willing ears
A hashtag births a movement

An evil geniuses design

Floods the streets, a $5 high 

A great grandmothers praise

Raising esteem and belief
Emerging from darkness

Simple

Pulling open a curtain

Allowing light to fill the room
I spent the day engaged in play

600 words not more

One, a collection

Something to explore 
Tupac’s words flood my ears

The words of a mother too

Contribute share 
I don’t play the lottery

Because I will not win

But life is no lottery

Or perhaps it is 

One won a long time ago
Staying silent 

I choose to abandon

To celebrate my voice 

In His glory 

That’s just the way it is

Things’ll never be the same

On Course…Off Course

Off course…on course
I am back.
I would love to say I was off on some grand adventure of which I will now impart some wisdom

Yet the truth is that I went silent and did not want to share
So what changes now?
Tupac Shakur. As I watched him being honored posthumously in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, he said that the only thing that could stop him was death and even then his music would go on.
Aren’t we all so grateful for those who are willing to share: Prince, Leonard Cohen and Tupac amongst the many -for while gone now we can simply turn them on and be risen 
Many many years ago, long before Chicken Soup for the Soul, I was introduced to the work of Jack Canfield in a series called Self Esteem and Peak Perfomance
Off course… on course was a story he told about our lives.
When moving toward our goals, going off course is going to happen, it is natural, for the path we are walking does not come with a map.
And yet it is not the going off course that matters, what matters is our response to it. 
Are we stopped? I know at times that is my response
Do we cry and act like a victim? I have been there too

Do we get angry and rail against those who remind us that we are off course?

Or are we thoughtful. 

Willing to stand back and realize. And make adjustments to our path.

Notice when you walk across the room that you still get to the other side even when you walk straight.
Have an awesome week exploring your reactions to On Course, Off Course 

I have a dreamĀ 

Words written and shared in speech 

in prose, on page or out loud

for me tonight they ring in song 

Layered over lyrics 

of rising beyond circumstance

of a teacher and her dream

Helping Young people to write their own stories

Reaching those who were forgotten 
Left behind

And I know that everyday

There are those who do the same 

Teaching and inspiring 

Reaching, pulling up 

Standing behind

 https://youtu.be/QcVjKAKRpDw

A Poetic Response

Oh  how I love

When that stranger walks in

He calls out to me

Asks me to begin
Wants me to sing a song

About my disease

Wants me to beg, lie down

To get on my knees
Wants to laugh at my shame

embellish my guilt

Wants to drag me down

Wants to to tear down what i built

Yet I don’t mind to sing
In fact like to dance

That stranger inside

He stands little chance
In shadows he lurks

In shadows he resides

When brought into light

He loses his disguise
Sure I have done this

And i have done that

I went way further down

Than an alley cat
That stranger and me

Have been round the block

Many days and nights

Without noticing the clock

Today I see him there

He is always nearby

He is quite sad you know

In fact makes me cry

Trying to bury his pain

To not bring it to light

Does not live in the day

Inhabits the night

Today i don’t join him

Left that life behind

I keep him nearby

To only remind

Now i play with the poets

Creates rhymes from the dust

God’s voice comes right through me

As always he must

God’s voice comes right through us

Yes you and yes me

God’s voice comes right through us

For all the world to see

I am grateful today

For an ink slinger’s tune

Now I shall retire

And go stare at the moon

God bless Bill Walston
(written as a poetic response to a recovery poem)

(Originally posted on my other blog – about addiction and recovery and yet I am wanting to collapse the two)

Write from the Night

Write from the dark 

write from the night 

Write till the darkness

washes away into light 
Write till the tears

stream down your face

Write till your awareness 

falls into place
Write till your empty

From darkness to dawn

Write barefoot lying flat 

on the lawn
Write in the forest among the 

birds and the bees

Write with your back 

 up against a tree
Write with pencil or pen 

or your thumbs

Write till everything

in you is just numb
Write till you see 

the truth that God sees

That he is in you 

and you are in me

(I am so grateful when a poem shows up and trucks on through)

Which tree do you see?

It is an illusion you see, on the outside it merely looks like a tree. 

All covered in knots, bark and leaves
The beauty reveals only to those 

who understand love from deep in their toes

Who see that love reaches, stretches and grows

To heights not yet seen from the ground down below
That love spreads out over rocks and the dirt

Entangling itself for all that it’s worth
Yes to the daft, they see only a tree
To the lover in you, you see you, you see me.
(Gordon Martin)