“When your past calls, don’t answer. It has nothing to say.”
Image from Unsplash by Hadija Saidi
Or maybe it does.
Most of us have had the experience of meeting with an old friend or former schoolmate, in which the stories and discussions reoccur like Groundhog Day. It’s like a record that keeps skipping back to play the same old tunes.
In such situations, we often tune things out and feel our lives wasting away because we’ve already been there and done that.
Alternatively, what if the lessons of the past were never fully learned and they present themselves again, hoping you have new lenses to see what you may have missed on the first, second, or third go-around?
Discovering what’s new might actually be more up to you than what appears frozen in time.
What would be the value of not always using your caller ID when you see a call from your past? How might you listen differently to discover new value in their messages?
“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
—Nelson Mandela, late S. African political leader and philanthropist
Image from Unsplash by Meg Boulden
Last month Wendy and I had dinner with a long-lost friend — Mitchell, and his wife Terry. Mitchell and I were schoolmates from first grade through high school.
Although many of the stories we held from so long ago have not changed, we found great pleasure exploring how we have both grown and altered in pursuing our individual paths.
Our discussion reminded me of visiting my grade school and former teachers when I was a college freshman. I was amazed at how small the desks, hallways, and students were.
Select and read one of your favorite books from your youth. Note your thoughts, feelings, and emotions regarding how you have growth and altered into the person you are today.
“Always have old memories and young hopes.”
—Arsene Houssaye, 17th century French novelist
Image from Unsplash by Jon Tyson
We are moving. After 34 years in beautiful Michigan, we are moving back to our hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be closer to family.
Recently, our two adult children — Daniel, 35, and Rachel, 33 — came to Wendy and my rescue for a week, helping us stage our home for sale. In the basement, we discovered tons of memories in the form of old toys, keepsakes, and virtually every homework assignment, report card, dance costume, and trophy they left behind.
Although a tear or two was shed reminiscing about the good times together, that week was filled with much youthful hope for the next phases of our lives.
Take some time this week to engage your family and friends in a trip down memory lane to rekindle some of your best times.
Open a dialogue about your individual and collective hopes for the future, which will provide you more happy times to reminisce over in the years ahead.
“Love, like the ocean, continues beyond the horizon. And life, like the sun, shines where we cannot see.”
Image from Unsplash by Aaron Doucett
A friend and client named Doug sent me today’s quote in a condolence card upon the passing of my father, Marvin, in early March.
Since my dad’s passing after a remarkable 94 years, I have noticed many significant signs that it was only his body that died. His spirit and soul are still very present beyond the horizon we can see with our mortal capacities.
As I was preparing my breakfast the day after Dad died, I looked out the window and saw a cardinal.
I’ve been told that when God sends a cardinal, it’s a visitor from heaven. Cardinals appear when loved ones are near. When you keep seeing a certain type of bird, it is usually a heaven-sent messenger of love for you. `
Take some time today to reflect on some of the important people in your life who have passed away. Note examples of how they continue to shine and show their love in your life.
Please reply to this post if you wish to share your own perspective and experiences.
“A defining moment is a short experience that is both memorable and meaningful.”
Image from Unsplash by Charisse Kenion
I’d like to take you on a trip back in time.
After you read this post, close your eyes and reflect back on your life. Go back as far as you can to those memorable and meaningful moments, starting with your days as a child and all the way up to today. Take your time and visualize yourself and those who shared the moments with you.
Exploring old photo albums, yearbooks, and social media images and posts can expand your recollections.
Which events do you consider to be of greatest significance? What are the defining moments that shaped your values, beliefs, and character to have you become the person you are today?
How can and will you more consciously capture and appreciate more memorable and meaningful moments as you head into the days, weeks, and years that lie ahead?
“Take only memories, leave only footprints.”
—Chief Seattle, Duwamish Tribe Leader & namesake of the City of Seattle
Image form Unsplash by NASA
Many of us are living simpler and more essentially these days. Taking less seems to be giving many of us more of the intrinsic things we value most.
I can recall visiting the Disney World exhibit sponsored by Kodak—the powerhouse of photography—when my kids were little. The catchy tune “Making Memories” inspired us to take a photo safari around the park, taking snapshots of us wearing the wild hats in each gift shop, without making a single purchase.
I also easily recall being glued to the TV in 1969 when man landed on the moon. Although some rocks were taken for study, the most impressive visual I recall was the astronauts jumping for joy, and of course, the many footprints they left, establishing the fact that they were there.
How would your life become even more fulfilling and meaningful if you embraced Chief Seattle’s coaching?
“God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December.”
—James M. Barrie, 19th Century Scottish author of Peter Pan
Image from Unsplash by Debby Hudson
It is February, and Michigan is in the grip of winter. The blooming flowers of spring and summer are months away. For many, the weather can be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually draining, making it feel that a good bit of our “get up and go” has gotten up and gone.
Our minds can, in such situations, operate as time machines, in which we experience some of those sunny days in which our lives were far rosier.
Consider a three-to-five minute daily meditative journey today, and for the rest of the weeks of winter. Reminisce and bask in some of the sunnier days of your past. How can and will you take this energy boosting experience into your day and spread its beauty to those in your personal and professional communities?
“What comes easy won’t last long, and what lasts long won’t come easy.”
Image from Unsplash by Dallas Reedy
Are you a builder?
All of us are, to some degree.
Take a trip into your memory banks to revisit the sand castles, school projects, tree houses, do-it-yourself projects, and perhaps even a business, you have begun or completed.
How much time and effort went into each example? Which of these have stood the test of time?
If you enjoy the idea of building extraordinary things, consider checking out the series Impossible Engineering on the Science Channel. Each episode details how giant structures and record-breaking buildings are built, how they work, and how they have shaped our modern world.
What are some of your most important personal and professional projects?
How will you maximize your efforts and levels of commitment to make sure they are built to last?