Closing Time. Silver Mountain. Kellogg, Idaho.
My Twelve Words….and 750 words.

Today someone quizzed me about a phrase I’ve often used online.

Later today, someone else introduced me to the #750Words website. Herein follows my relatively unedited and unfiltered combination of the two.  An exercise and an experiment.

“Talk less. Listen more.
Expect less. Appreciate more.
Hurt less. Accept more”

I say these twelve simple words almost every day. Sometimes out loud. Sometimes…

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750 Words…and then some

Today someone quizzed me about a phrase I’ve often used. Later today, someone else introduced me to the #750Words website. Herein follows my relatively unedited and unfiltered combination of the two.  An exercise and an experiment.

"Talk less. Listen more.
Expect less. Appreciate more.
Hurt less. Accept more”

I say these twelve simple words almost every day. Sometimes out loud. Sometimes in a tweet or a caption. Often silently, over and over in my head. They are, for lack of a better term, my daily mantra. I’m not sure that “mantra” is the best term. But they are daily reminders as to how I, if no one else, needs to try to live my life.
I know they mean different things to different people at different times. In general, they are good relationship advice.
They are good advice for coping with the daily grind of our world.

"Talk less, Listen more."
Talking is largely a selfish act, listening is about giving.
Our current culture is consumed with content. We spew forth on every available platform all the blatherings and trivialities of our existence. “OMG, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are Baaack!!! #FaveThing! ” “Check out this amazing soup at Chez Hauz!…*click.” There is so much ‘communicating’ going on that little or no actual ‘communication’ takes place.
One of the things I really like about Starbucks latest (albeit self-serving) campaign is that it encourages people to meet up… over coffee. Like real face-to-face style. Old school. We spend so much time texting, tweeting, typing away with our heads down…that we don’t often lift our head, focus our eyes and just …listen.
We need to talk less (be less selfish) and listen more (give more of ourselves to those with whom we interact). We need to talk less (create less content and noise) and listen more (absorb the world around us and be more aware).

"Expect less, Appreciate more."
We are, in general, a culture of entitlement and immediacy. We expect things OUR way. We want it, and NOW. We are outraged when it takes a full 10 seconds for some banal website to load on our $300 smartphone. We feel that free high-speed wi-fi is some fine print in the Bill of Rights. In relationships and at work, we expect (demand?) respect, fairness, logic and order. We live in an imperfect world. If we were to be a bit more realistic in our expectations, we might find that we would be a bit less disappointed.
If we expect less (less perfection, less exceptionality) in ourselves and those around us (spouses, lovers, friends, celebrities) we might walk through the world with a bit more realistic attitude.
Appreciate more. Yes. We need to take more time to examine, absorb and appreciate ‘that which enters our sphere’…what we get. It’s okay if that website takes a moment to load…appreciate the amazing amount of technology that got it into your gaze in the first place. It’s okay that your coworker has (allegedly) stolen your lunch a few times…appreciate the way that they cover for you when you are late or that they remember just how you like your coffee. So your spouse is kind of messy…appreciate how wonderful they are with the kids.
Appreciate the fact that we live in an imperfect (and sometimes beautiful) world. Let go.
I’m not saying ‘settle’ but I am saying that having unrealistic expectations leads to disappointment. Be realistic. And appreciate the good things that happen around you, to you…and because of you.

"Hurt less, Accept more."
We can be such fragile creatures at times. We are all breakable. Or broken. We are, all of us, flawed and scarred and imperfect. Sometimes: Hurt happens. Sometimes Death or tragedy strike out and wound us. Sometimes people actively, intentionally hurt us. And sometimes we simply allow ourselves to feel hurt by the words or actions of others. The world is an unfair place. It can be random and dangerous and capable of great hurt. We must try to minimize the amount of hurt that we have control over. Perceived hurt. Unintentional hurt. If we allow ourselves to be hurt too much, we risk making ourselves into victims.
Accept more. Accept more good things (without questioning), allow more things. Accept what others offer you. Accept someone’s love or friendship or gratitude. Gracefully and with respect. These are gifts.
Acceptance doesn’t mean settling. It doesn’t mean lowering our standards. It just means understanding. Understand and accept things, people, situations which are beyond our control. Accept the good which comes our way. That which we create or attract and that which just washes up onto our shores and our souls. Accept that things take time. Accept that situations evolve and unfold at rates that are not always of our choosing. Remember that despite our selfish culture, we are part of a much bigger, interdependent world. We’re all in the same boat, on the same journey, together.
And as Ram Dass said: “We are all just walking each other home.”

Again, this was an exercise and an experiment. Please bear with me. I have miles to go.

Over and under.
Sunset in Coeur ‘d Alene. (at Silver Lake Mall)

Over and under.
Sunset in Coeur ‘d Alene. (at Silver Lake Mall)

Edge of the Autumnal Equinox.

True, the autumnal equinox doesn’t really occur until 7:29pm PST tonight. But at 6:30 this morning the sky seemed to fit the upcoming event a bit better.

Enjoy it if you can.
 (at Courcelles)

Edge of the Autumnal Equinox.

True, the autumnal equinox doesn’t really occur until 7:29pm PST tonight. But at 6:30 this morning the sky seemed to fit the upcoming event a bit better.

Enjoy it if you can.
(at Courcelles)

Mile 12.
Happy Birthday, Dad!
Biking some @CharityMiles for @MichaelJFoxOrg early this morning.

Mile 12.
Happy Birthday, Dad!
Biking some @CharityMiles for @MichaelJFoxOrg early this morning.

Silent night.

"Does not everything depend on our interpretation of the silence around us?" -Lawrence Durrell.

Silent night.

"Does not everything depend on our interpretation of the silence around us?" -Lawrence Durrell.

Mile 17.
Biking @CharityMiles for @michaeljfoxorg .
#GetUpGetOutGetMoving  (at End of the Prairie Trail)

Mile 17.
Biking @CharityMiles for @michaeljfoxorg .
#GetUpGetOutGetMoving (at End of the Prairie Trail)

charitymiles:

Incredie #sunset @charitymiles from @groveayers. Beautiful as always, Grove! http://ift.tt/WB43Fr

Thanks for all the love and support and high-fives!

charitymiles:

Incredie #sunset @charitymiles from @groveayers. Beautiful as always, Grove! http://ift.tt/WB43Fr

Thanks for all the love and support and high-fives!

Night light.
No Aurora Borealis, just this.
 (at Kingdom of the Blue Shed Forest)

Night light.
No Aurora Borealis, just this.
(at Kingdom of the Blue Shed Forest)