Present Tense

Navigating the heavy fog

We are all in a fog; the fog of fear, of war, of crisis, of insecurity…it’s VERY thick.

What is the best thing to do in the fog?

I used to drive down I-70 at o’dark-thirty every morning to work in Denver as a morning radio host. There were days when the fog (or a whiteout) was so thick that I couldn’t see 5 feet in front of my car. It was, to put it mildly, terrifying.

So, I often had to come to a complete stop, on I-70…not even sure what LANE I was in, praying that a semi didn’t scream right up my ass.

But, in those moments of complete fear and discombobulation, I HAD TO STOP. I had to gather myself, try to ease over to the right lane and maybe the shoulder. I had to take a moment or 10 to get my bearings as to where I was, spatially, emotionally, physically.  All of it.

Running or driving hysterically and blindly through the fog is not productive. And in fact, it’s dangerous.

That’s where we are right now. Nothing is certain; we have no idea when and if schools will open, when sports will be played, when the economy will creep back, how secure our jobs or benefits are, when the virus will wane, who will win the election, etc. The list of uncertainties is VERY long, right now.

So, stop flailing. Let go of expectations and narratives and outcomes. We are in a fog, my loves. It requires stopping, slowing and assessing how to move or NOT to move.

Don’t get bogged down in your concrete beliefs and narratives. Open up to different perspectives and information, as oftentimes I find that it can calm my fears to look at a problem or situation from another angle.

The feeling of not knowing who or what to trust, is not only understandable, it’s possibly a key to our survival. The honest truth is that EVERYONE is in this fog, as it’s part of the collective energies right now.

Those who proclaim themselves as experts or authorities are just as confused as we are:). Always keep that in mind. Believing anyone unequivocally is a recipe for at best, disappointment, at worst, tyranny.

It’s okay…no, IMPERATIVE that we ask ourselves, “Why exactly do I believe this and not that?? Maybe both things are true.”

Stop, squat and look at all sides. Question everything….


July 26, 2020 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Time to try a new nut……

Several months ago, I stated on my Facebook status that pistachios were the world’s finest nut.  This past week I changed my mind and proclaimed that the macadamia is indeed, a better nut.  It was meant as a whimsical observation that might spark a little harmless controversy.  Mission accomplished.

But, I had a deeper point and that is that we CAN change our minds; we can alter long standing beliefs and opinions and it’s okay.  In fact, let’s encourage it.

I still love pistachios…and cashews…and almonds…and pecans…but not Brazil nuts (too much nut) and yet, I have decided that the macadamia has the perfect size, crunch, texture and taste.  For now.

To everyone who argued with me about this, I asked them to open their mind.  Just because they were part of team cashew didn’t mean they couldn’t re-examine their beliefs.  If you pick up a macadamia nut with the firm belief that you much prefer the cashew, you’ll never REALLY taste that macadamia.  Let the old bias go and try something new on for size. Baby steps to growth and awakening.

The nut discussion is obviously a metaphor for all of our long held beliefs and preferences, whether it’s religion or politics or prejudice against other people. We see so many things through the filter of ‘like/don’t like’, ‘agree/don’t agree’, ‘right/wrong’.  Wouldn’t it be great if we just put aside the preferences and biases and listened and consumed with an open mind?  One Buddhist teacher calls it “don’t know mind”.

I’ve written a lot about my mission to let go of stuff that hasn’t been working for me; to begin to embrace new ideas or old ideas that I used to reject and in order to do that, I have to leave my mind open.  Meditation is helping me prop it open, at least part way.  I’m honestly beginning to see things with more calm, clarity and compassion.  That’s a big step for someone who used to fight mightily to be ‘right’.

Think of it this way:  when you were a kid and your mom plunked something new in front of you for dinner and you whined that you didn’t like it.  Moms universally say, “How do you know if you don’t try it”?  We are grown ups now and we still tend to default to not liking things that challenge what we think is true or are comfortable with.  My little journey has taught me that comfortable is overrated.  If all we seek is comfort and security, we are blind to reality and that leads to unhealthy behaviors.

So, think about how often you reject; how often you don’t like.  Stop it.  Open up.  Set aside the pistachio and just TRY the macadamia with a new outlook.  Really taste it and consider it.  I guess it’s time I gave the Brazil nut another chance.

April 27, 2013 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , | 6 Comments


%d bloggers like this: