“Next time someone asks what you “do” just shrug, grin & say: “Multidimensional Multitasker”. They’ll either slink away all weirded out or you’ll have one of the best conversations of your life. Guaranteed.”~CAW
I love having quirkily creative friends with brilliant minds who aren’t afraid to use them. Courtney A. Walsh is one of them and I giggle and nod and smile and hear myself adding on her favorite reinforcing mono-syllabic word…”YUP!” whenever I read her facebook postings. The one above really jumped off the screen at me, since I see myself that way. I told her that it will now be part of my bio and maybe even my ever growing resume.
It amazes me how much I can accomplish in a day if I cast myself into it. It starts even before I open my eyes, although, like this morning, the sun was beckoning me to do so when the numbers on the clock had a 5 at the beginning. It isn’t a manic, racing thoughts kind of process, like being on a hamster wheel. Rather, it is a wish list of the things I want to do….this morning began with writing this entry, then completing paperwork so I can marry a couple in New York City in September, then typing an interview for Wisdom Magazine, a phone conference with a friend with whom I am co-facilitating a workshop on Saturday, putting my house back together after the two talented painters are finished their handiwork in my living room, dining room and hallway, then going to the gym for my playout and then seeing a counseling client tonight. In between, doing laundry, dishes, eating and showering and taking care of other bodily functions(: Some of you may feel exhausted (as friends have told me) just reading the list and would want to head back to bed. This is the pace at which I have run for years and although there are times when I need to be single focused and mindful of what I am doing, like when I am with a client or checking to make sure I have my keys, wallet, cell phone or when I am behind the wheel of the Jeep, I have gotten quite adept at accomplishing most of the things on my list each day. I learned from masters, since my parents modeled doing it all.
The dimensions in which I operate are many and varied as well, since I am a householder, parent, friend, sister, cousin, speaker, writer, minister, social worker, therapist, coach, promoter, volunteer….and the list is growing. I shift gears readily, sometimes starting one task and then needing to put a bookmark in it, to take care of what presents itself in the moment. When I worked in a psychiatric hospital, I could be sitting with a patient and the phone would ring and I would need to answer it, since the caller ID indicated that it was someone I may have left a message for hours earlier and if I let it go, I may not have reached them again anytime soon. I may then have had to tell them I will call them back if the call requires more personal info about another patient than I would have been at liberty to share. I then returned my attention to the person before me and there could be a knock on my office door with a co-worker needing to tell me something…..and so it would go. Amazing that at the end of the day, I had any sanity left!
One of the experiences I have had as I am fully immersed in the fifth decade of my life, is what I have called “my middle aged moments” or more complimentarily “my wise woman moments”, since the older we get, the wiser we can become. There are studies that say that when we multi-task, we are less effective at any/all of those things we set out to do. I read about one that tested peoples’ abilities to forgo chocolate cake in favor of fruit salad if they had too many items to memorize. Silly me, even if I had fewer items to recall, I would still select my drug of choice.
At the risk of weirding people out, the next time someone asks what I do, I will proudly, gladly, delightedly, mischievously, mindfully, blissfully tell them “I am a multidimensional multitasker. How about you?”
http://youtu.be/Zhoos1oY404 For those of a certain age…you will remember this….Erich Breen spinning plates on the Ed Sullivan Show This is how my life looks sometimes.
As I am contemplating my message, inspired by the quote above, a random thought crossed my mind that it reminds of the Capital One commercial which asks: “What’s in your wallet?” A corollary is “What’s in your heart?” Imagine that at birth, you are given a suitcase of any size, shape, color and configuration of your choosing. You are told that you can fill it with love, healing, kindness, generosity, creativity, fun, play, renewal, abundance, and curiosity in whatever quantities you select. It is ever expanding, so you will never run out of room for these states of being. All throughout your life, as you experience your daily encounters with people and events, you see more that you would like to take home with you and so you scoop them up and toss them into your luggage. Are you willing to let life be that simple, without second guessing whether these things belong to you? What if you knew they were your birthright? Would you/could you ever turn them down?
My heart-suitcase is a repository for my relationships with folks who are actively in my life, as well as those I don’t see as often and those who are now in Spirit, having taken their own journey to ‘other lands’. Outstretched further are those on social media sites who trust me enough for them to share their most heart felt wishes and blisses, as well as troubling fears. Over the weekend, at a music festival, I witnessed interactions between people discovering each other for the first time in awhile as they hugged their delighted hello’s. Even though I didn’t know them, still I experienced a vicarious rush. It was wonderful to see people lovin’ on each other, rather than fighting each other, as they celebrated their relationships. I was also blessed to be in the presence of people with whom I share a great deal of connection who introduced me to folks that they knew, that I had not yet met. I call them ‘overlapping soul circles’, the name of which came to me a few years ago during a meditation in which I saw us all as stars, dancing in the heavens and began stringing ourselves together in unique and interwoven designs. It illustrates that the six degrees of separation concept can occur serendipitously. In my life, I like to say that there are no degrees of separation, since I always know someone who knows someone that I know. This small world is getting even smaller as we expand our heart parameters. I have know many whom I consider ‘heart friends’ who know me by heart and vice versa. I few years ago, the words “I hold your heart sacred.” came through and it resonated with the feeling that I have when I consider those dear ones who so delight me by their presence in my life.
So, on this brand new day, as you set out to face the world, what size carrying case will you tote with you in which to collect souvenirs from your day trippin’ ?
To honor our heart connections..
http://youtu.be/ZN3E9Yyd1HA Thank You For Being A Friend-Andrew Gold
http://youtu.be/Zuzi-yH9VLo Friends-Elton John
http://youtu.be/Acq9w-9URgg You’ve Got To Have Friends- Bette Midler
http://youtu.be/RyYm3lilYOg Welcome Back-John Sebastian
Thousands of sun-baked people filled the lawns of Wiggins Park, which was the Camden, New Jersey site of the 2012 XPoNential Music Festival. It is hosted each year by my favorite commercial free/member supported radio station WXPN which is based at the University of Pennsylvania and features an eclectic blend of music that fills my ears with exquisite sound and nourishes my heart. I knew I would be joining friends and loved ones whom I see regularly, including my cousin Jody Rosenblum and her son Aaron, home from the North Star State of Minnesota and some I haven’t run into for years, as well as new members of my ever growing tribe. I was right on all counts. I made the wise decision to stay at the nearby home of my friends Phil Garber and Janet Berkowitz, rather than trek the hour plus to and fro which meant less travel time, more play time! Armed with blanket, mini cooler filled with healthy munchies, sunscreen, and water (one of the perks of being an XPN member, which I’ve been, I’m thinking for 15-20 years, is that we get refills of liquid refreshment as needed throughout the day. Nothing like hydration to make for a happy festival go-er:), I was ready to roll~
Each year, in addition to favorites, I find cool new musical discoveries. This year, it was the female fronted rockin’ band called Delta Rae. The line up included: The Lumineers, Hold Steady, Dawes, Rhett Miller, J.D. Souther, Diego Garcia, Kathleen Edwards, Wilco, The Avett Brothers and the Counting Crows. I was familiar with all of these folks having been introduced to them on this station and sang, danced, clapped, cheered, swayed, drummed and hugged along to the tunes. Speaking of hugs, I noticed that a man behind me named Chris had a FREE HUGS button on his backpack and he was more than willing to assure me that it wasn’t false advertising. A few times over the weekend we greeted heart to heart. A lovely young couple, named Glenda and Steve who had just moved to the area from New Mexico, sat next to our group of friends and as we ran into each other at the end of last night, we discovered that we had a great deal in common. She is a social worker as well and is enrolled at Rutgers University which is where I earned my Masters in Social Work (MSW) in 1985. We agreed to stay in touch. I saw friends from various incarnations of my life; one nursing supervisor from a nursing home where I had worked, another, a hospice social worker, who visited residents in another facility where I had been employed. Two photographer friends Frank Jacobs and Alex Lowy were round and about throughout the days, working their magic. I think that they have the coolest jobs, that allow them to get right in there, down in front, snapping candids of performers and the appreciative audience. Nancy Hesch and Sherry Reisner were welcome additions to the frolic. Another friend, Rocky Wilson, a colorfully creative performer himself, was easy to spot, sporting his rainbow hued hat and carrying his critter puppets…a monkey named Bongo and a rabbit named Pepperoni.
On to the music! What impressed me the most, across the board, regardless of genre was the way in which each performer engaged with the audience. Whether it was in the more intimate setting of the park itself or a short walk away at the Susquehanna Bank Center (a considerably larger stadium), it felt personal. These are consummate musicians who have earned their place on stage and the hearts of those who applauded their talent. Not a huge concert-goer in my teens, I felt particularly youthful last night, getting my second wind, easing away a sun-induced headache, I danced with kids young enough to be my own, along with my friends Janet Berkowitz and Gary Schoenberg, to the music of the Counting Crows. Janet is a mime and performance artist who, last night reminded me of the Pied Piper as her enthusiasm drew people of all ages to cavort with her. Still shots and videos were being taken. It wouldn’t surpise me if they were up on Youtube by now. Gotta check!
Came home, eagerly rinsing off the sweat and grit, easing into sweet sleep, dreaming of the music of my soul.
www.xpn.org WXPN 88.5 fm
www.bradsrawchips.com Kale Is Kool shirt from Brad’s Raw Foods
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D5PtyrewSs Counting Crows A Long December
www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqZZlL0l5Uk The Avett Brothers I and Love and You
www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhgShqI45ik J.D. Souther You’re Only Lonely
www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQEj_9IhJSo Dawes When My Time Comes
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws4SSGAzz3M Kathleen Edwards Asking For Flowers
http://youtu.be/TnCWk7ElXIs Delta Rae Is There Anyone Out There?
www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YfpTi-d_nM Diego Garcia All Eyes On You
Was awakened at early o’clock this morning by the welcomed sound of rain. I could hear the parched grass and plants sighing in relief. Like many places in the country, the Philadelphia area has been a bit bereft of the wet stuff. The upside to it is that I haven’t needed to mow the lawn as often. There have been times in my life during which I have felt dried out, frazzled, crunchy, lacking in the vibrant color that comes from sufficient nourishment. Some may seem circumstantial, but in retrospect, I can see that it came from witholding the cloudbursts of rain in my own life. I have done so by harsh self criticism and doubt, second guessing nearly every action, wondering if I was ‘doing the right thing’, feeling stuck in the muck and mire of previous decisions when my wise mind was on vacation, being led by my impulsive petulant child who wanted what she wanted that felt expedient at the time.
These days, I am taking ongoing inventory throughout the day, of all of the things for which I am grateful that include listening at the moment to the lovely voice of Donna De Lory, wafting through my somewhat doze-y consciousness…remember I got up before 5 a.m. I am in pj’s, wearing a pink t-shirt that reads “Cherish the Journey” and I certainly do, remembering the steps and turns it took to get me where I am right now. In a little while, I will be meeting with friends to look at PR and marketing for our respective work. Yesterday I got together with two other creative souls to plan an empowering retreat for next year. A few months ago, this kind of schedule would not have been possible, since I was at a full time job that, while it was rewarding in many ways, also prevented me from truly living my passion and purpose which is THIS.
Tonight I will be officiating at a wedding for a couple with whom I connected as a result of volunteering for an organization in Philadelphia called Rubye’s Kids that organizes a holiday party for 500 or so inner city children.
Tomorrow and Sunday, I will be immersed in musical magic at the XPoNential Music Fest as I am dancing, singing (probably sweating:) playing and hugging with friends.
Grateful for the showers of blessings in my life as I realize my cup runneth over.
http://youtu.be/dY8iQP-v2Fw Donna De Lory Om Namah Shivaya/Thy Will Be Done