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WSU Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Summa Cum Laude, 2014, Annie the Adventurer!

WSU Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Summa Cum Laude, 2014, Annie the Adventurer!

Often, we get what we deserve. How we live paints the canvas of our lives. Persistence pays off. Going for what we want usually gets us there. Persistence, dedication, patience, perseverance and faith foster success. It’s cool to see people live this way. It’s nice to see my offspring do so! Annie’s college journey has delivered her to the job she wants. Her graduation culminates a transition between childhood and adult life. Her dreams include adventure, motherhood and providing health care to others. She is one fun lady!

Looks like she made it!

Looks like she made it!

Perhaps coincidentally, the sweet kitten Annie picked out over twelve years ago took her last breaths recently. Tali gave us a lot of love. She will be missed. She stayed when others left. Perhaps her last mission was teaching me that when everyone else leaves, God remains.  What more could we need?

 

Wild things!

Wild things!

Tali is always home!

Tali is always home!

I see great things when I look through centered eyes. I see misery when I look through the fog of discontent. Details of conditions are mostly irrelevant. My mission is clarified: live a centered life. Be a ray of hope, a wave of optimism, a laugh in the night, a smile in the rain and a hand when it’s needed. Embrace spiritual connectedness. I hope you dance!

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Yes!

Yes!

When the above is at least somewhat true, I experience spiritual freedom. To whatever depth I get this deep in my soul, I am freed. No longer in a stranglehold of ego, fear, greed, lust, jealousy, anger or disappointment, I can be present to the presents of the present. That’s a very “good” thing! Ha!

Judging “good” or “bad” can really waste my time. I don’t get much time (there I go, judging again), so does it make sense to spend it in dismay, disrupting my spirit and having “bad” days?

What if some powerful people at work made decisions that cost the company many millions of dollars? Spouse/partner wants out? Loved ones die? Kids or friends or associates do “crazy” things I don’t approve of? Government can’t figure out how to run a country effectively? Team lost a big game? Or most of their games? Outraced, outscored, overshadowed or put down? This list could go on forever. The simple truth is that life has a lot of twists and turns, if we’re lucky enough to live on. The longer we live, the wilder it gets! Perhaps that’s because we think we know more. We learn a bit. We make judgement calls. “That’s good. That’s bad. They’re dumb. I’m smart.”

Perhaps everything just “is.” When I observe others, their judgements can be a bit entertaining and enlightening, because seeing them helps me see me. When I can admit that I’m like them, I can lessen my judging. I can move towards acceptance. I can savor the pleasures that are always available, even during the seemingly toughest times. It’s a matter of perspective, focus, attention, honesty and willingness. Logically, it’s a no-brainer. In application, it’s a constant challenge. My wish for you is enlightened freedom!

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Coeur d'Alene in May. How will Portland go?

Zach’s mountain biking/proof of cross-training photo wouldn’t upload. I have no idea if that’s a sign. Here’s Annie and Frank after Coeur d’Alene in May. How will Portland go?

It’s almost time for another big test. Portland’s marathon eerily feels like going home. But I’ve spent almost no time in Portland; I’ve passed through several times heading to the beach and once caught a plane there for the 1998 Rose Bowl game. I truly believe that “home is where the heart is.” So I feel at home when I’m with family and friends, especially when at places overflowing with fond memories. Martin Stadium and all of Pullman will always be my home, as will Othello Golf Course, Twin Lakes, the Erickson farmstead, Bennington Lake, Bloomsday, St. Mary Medical Center, Eagle Cap, the Selkirk Mountains and many other places. Any new place with family and friends quickly feels like home as well. It’s a matter of the heart.

I know some cool people headed to the Portland marathon this year. I’ll be traveling with two of them, Annie and Zach, and I may run into some of the others. But I may not. It may be beautiful weather, but it may not. I may feel strong and run well, but I may not. It’s a mystery, yet to unfold. But I think I’ll feel at home. Even if Annie and Zach weren’t going, I think I still might. There’s something about large gatherings of energetic athletes that fires up my soul. I’m learning to feel the kinship all people can share and it makes my journey more enjoyable. Maybe everywhere is home!

It’s never been more clear to me that attitude is everything.

I can always find many things to be grateful for. It is gratitude that carries me to happiness. Making a gratitude list has rescued me from despair, discouragement, loneliness and the like.  It’s medicine for self-pity.

I can always find many things to complain about. I can choose to be disgruntled.  That’s a silly way to live.  We only get so much time. I want to enjoy mine!

I can choose to live in happiness. It should be an easy choice! I haven’t always had this clarity. I’m so grateful to be grateful!

  1. Lighten up!  Going with the flow and finding humor.
  2. Brighten up!  Letting my light shine with optimism.
  3. Encourage!  Being the change I wish to see in the world.
  4. Explore.  Learning, enjoying, broadening.
  5. Experiment.  Opening my mind to better ways.
  6. Reach out.  Connecting, re-connecting, enlivening.
  7. Reach in.  Honesty, willingness, humility, acceptance, tolerance.
  8. Clean up.  Becoming more and more free!
  9. Share.  My blessings and my heart.
  10. Donate.  Stimulating, boosting, enriching.
  11. Carry on!  Persistence, dedication, faith.
  12. Smile!  My greatest gift?
  13. Dance!  Sharing the joy, living the love.
  14. Skip.  Freedom, playfulness.
  15. Run!  Staying young at heart.
  16. Read.  Learning, understanding, growing.
  17. Rest.  Recovering, rejuvenating, appreciating.
  18. Meditate…..  Centering, relaxing, gaining perspective.
  19. Love!  The meaning of life!
  20. Eat well.  Health, energy, focus.
  21. Connect.  Friendship, working together.
  22. Listen.  Supporting.
  23. Understand.  Considering & observing.
  24. Empathize.  Feeling their path.
  25. Contribute.  Getting involved.
  26. Participate.  Embracing life!

If I wake up to Mr. Grumpypants, I get to see a version of myself, interacting with me.  Now that’s a spiritual growth opportunity!  I get to see how I can be, reflected in him, and I am granted another chance to be patient, tolerant and kind.  I can also subtly challenge him to grow!

If I encounter Ms. Negative at work, I again see a reflection of myself.  I can then see clearly how my negativity has drained others, as I experience this draining effect.  But I don’t have to be drained.  I can smile and offer optimism!  Am I spiritually up to the task?  Have I prepared, via prayer and meditation, to let God help me handle anything?

Have you met Mr. Addict?  Mrs. Whiner?  Mr. Egobuild?  Ms. Blamer?  Mr. Putchadown?  When I’ve been like these people, I’ve been a less than desirable version of myself.  I’ve been a drag on the world.  Conversely, I really can continue to grow into a better version of myself, each day.  Belief that it can happen is the cornerstone.  Actions that lead in the proper direction are essential.  Now is the only time.  Feeling overwhelmed is useless.  Simply doing the next right thing is crucial.  When I’m able to really get to know myself, with complete honesty and thorough review, I can become ready to ask God for help.  Help in changing the things about me that keep me from being whom I want to be.  Then I can be a good example for others.  When I am able to see myself as loveable, I can better love other people.  This love is without the limitations of ego:  justifications, rationalizations, put-downs, attempts to control or any other blaming or using.  Freedom in me can spur freedom in others, via example and calm demeanor, which invites no blame.  Fully facing the truth about ourselves is hard work!  It is worth it!  ( :

 

What’s your will, God?

The days of my life, they keep on rolling by…

Sometimes I pray to God, staring at his sky.

Do I find satisfaction in helping others grow?

What will measure my life, when it comes time to go?

Have I loved all the people who have filled up my days?

Have I built for the future, giving God his due praise?

When push came to shove, did I stand for what is right?

Did I lavish them with love, instead of showing them my might?

Did I often think of others and what might be said?

When I saw someone floundering, did I leave them for dead?

Did I reach out in love, telling stories of joy?

Did I speak of recovery and avoid being coy?

When confused did I pray to my savior to find

His spiritual answers which grace peace to my mind?

Have I learned to really trust in a God I can’t touch?

Or did I  turn to him only when I needed a crutch?

Have I seen him in others all the times that I can?

Do I see how God works through each woman and man?

Can I smile wide and say: thank you God for this day!?

How grateful am I, for all the times I get to play?

Do I thank him quite often, for the people I love?

Do I wear him on my soul, like a protective glove?

Have I seen his spirit radiate from many glowing smiles?

Have I thanked God enough for the growth gifted from trials?

 

frankoshanko

I love health, humor, adventure, exercise, romance and competition. Well, I just love life! ( :

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