Sometimes It’s Obvious Sometimes It Ain’t

Effortless Joy - Share!Share on Google+0Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Email this to someone



If you’ve ever hung out with contractors, you find out that what looks complex really isn’t, most of the time.

How do you build a house?  One nail at a time.

They’ve laid the groundwork so it’s easy for the next guy to follow.  It’s literal.

What’s a screwdriver? A thing that drives screws.

A pile driver? A thing that drives piles (poles) into the ground.

If you were on the construction site for the first time and someone asked you to get the drywall, you could be very safe in passing over the lumber for that thing over there that looks like it could make a nice, dry wall.

The language is direct and no-nonsense.

When my husband used to have me look in the shop for something that he lost, I used to automatically say,”What does it look like?” because I assumed I did not know.  But over time, I would learn to think about what he just said, literalize it, and know it when I saw it.  A rubber mallet?  A thing that bangs stuff and instead of something hard like metal on the end, it’ll probably be made of rubber.

I think they called it a “shop” because a carpenter has so many tools that you’d think would do the job but don’t, so he has to go “shopping” among the 125 different kinds of hammers and 20,145 clamps to find just the right one for the job.

It’s like Mitch Hedberg said: I want to get a job naming kitchen appliances. That seems easy, you know? Refrigerator, toaster, blender. You just say what the thing does, then you add “er.”

It would be fantastic if everything in life was as straightforward.

Feeling Around For The Light Switch

I once wrote about the Spirit To English Dictionary.  We keep getting these hints, signs, and sychronicities but most of the time we don’t get it right away.  We have to figure it out like it’s a puzzle.  At least those of us who are here are aware that there is such a thing as Spirit and it is in communication with us all of the time.  That’s a head start, I guess.

The longer I am at this living thing, the more I wonder if I am going backward to basics?

When we have those Big Picture questions about our lives, how do we solve them?

After following the Home Study course all of these years, it seems like the farther I travel, the more basic it gets.  There is no need to complicate matters, but at the same time, we often act like we are feeling around in the dark looking for the light switch but we’ve all come to my house where the apprentice electrician didn’t follow the plan and the switch does not appear where you would expect it to be – within arms reach of the doorway.

So we stumble around in there touching all of the walls at arm height.  Finding nothing, we start to wonder how far off this plan is, anyway?  Might they have put it on the floor instead?  No.  They wouldn’t have put it on the ceiling, would they?  Do we need to find a ladder?  If we don’t have anything to climb on, how are we going to find it?

Sometimes it takes someone with the basic contractor skill set to point out that there is no light switch, but there’s a book of matches over there or a lantern on the table.

When we cannot find a job, at length, and we have run out of money.

When nothing turns out like we expected it to.

When someone dies.

When we get sick.

When we try and fail.

When the romance doesn’t happen.

When we see the inconsistency between what goes on in our intuitive minds as “purpose” or “destiny” versus the obligations we have created.

Your Life Is Like A Three-Legged Dog?

I was observing the recovery of my dog that got hit by a car.  It seems like even if I walk him every day, nice and slow so he uses the leg, he is atrophying before my eyes.

Now I know that there was the week that it rained every day when I did not get to walk him at all.  Then there were those days when I was just too tired and the days when there was too much homework and the days when it was freezing.  Maybe “every day” is an overstatement.

Or, maybe if I had him walking every single day for five times as long, he’d still end up a three-legged dog.  We don’t know the underlying cause and we don’t know what is actually possible.  We just know that we have been told by the vet that effort is directly correlated to recovery, and we wonder if we had tried harder, been more consistent, found a better place to train with more physical challenges, would he be doing better?  If we re-double our efforts, will it turn things around?  Or is it too late?

There have been times when people have given me the answer to my life puzzles, just from logic.  Other times they have been insightful from their life experience or intellect or intuition or all three, and come up with the answer easily.

The puzzles I am good at are the ones where I just listen to people talk and I hear them answering their own questions.  Or at least, that’s how I hear it.  The answer comes in the listening.  I just repeat back to them what I have heard so they can hear what they said.

It can take a third party to show you what you already know but just can’t see.  As Don says in The Rosie Project,”Humans often fail to see what is close to them and obvious to others.”

Lately there have been so many questions that seem unanswerable.  The basic life situations where we find ourselves stuck but none of the alternatives seem on the gut level to provide a solution.

It feels to us like if we asked Spirit they would reply,”It is there right in front of your face.  The answer is obvious.” We can’t see it though, nor can our friends, spouse, counselor, or intuitive.

So it’s not that obvious, at least not to us.  The answer could be that “this is not in your life plan” or “this is not possible.”

But when it comes to things like eating, employment, or living in the same country as your husband (in my case) it is a head scratcher that the answer does not present itself.

You Don’t Get Hindsight For The Problems In Front Of Your Face

There’s a saying,”Rejection in God’s protection.”  In hindsight, we can see how that plays out.

But we don’t live in hindsight.  We live with the unknown that is right here, right now.

Best we can do may be to remember how it has worked for us before.  If I look back on the last seven year cycle, I can see why it took me three years to be given a job.  I can see the benefit to the times I was banging my head on the table because the bank wouldn’t talk to me about my house.  I can remember despair and I can remember breakthrough.  I can remember wonder and I can remember connection, and exactly what brought on those things.  I can remember mantras I picked up in some place I thought was superfluous, but those things I kept reminding myself of are what got me through that week.

When we look back, we can see the problems we created ourselves and how we led ourselves or were otherwise led to their solutions.  Usually they worked out far, far better than they would have if we just proceeded like a bull in a china shop, intent on “our way is the only way.”

No.  The Divine works miracles in our lives.  Amazing things occur behind the scenes.  Sometimes you can just feel how much work must have been going on, to get you to the end solution.  It can be so much greater than you can imagine.  At times you can see how you didn’t have all of the necessary information to make an informed decision, but you got guided to the right outcome anyway.  That is not an accident.  It’s by the old “hand greater than mine” – it has to be, because coincidences in that number just aren’t likely.

So when I am discouraged, when nothing makes sense, when I wish I had the answer already, I remind myself that it really IS all in good time.  I remember that I don’t know all of the puzzle pieces, but we each have the most amazing teams working on our behalf.  If we ask the questions, eventually we get the answers.  It has to be so – because we have asked and there are no vacuums in the human experience when it comes to asking these kind of questions.  They get answered.

Just reminding you, in case you forgot.

There Is Magic In Your Artistry

Patti Smith said, “You keep doing your work because, you know, you have to, because it’s your calling.  Some people say, ‘but don’t you think success spoils you as an Artist’, because you’re a punk rocker, you don’t want to have a hit record?  And I say, fuck you.  You know, one just does their work for the people.  And the more people you touch, the more wonderful it is.  You don’t do your work and say,’I only want the cool people to read it.’  You want everyone to be transported or hopefully inspired.”

Whatever your work is, keep going.  You do inspire others.  Usually they don’t tell you!  You are probably unaware of the 99.999% of people who you have impacted with your version of genius, that little seed that only you came into life with so it could germinate and grow.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, when we’re having a bad day and wondering how we’ll make it through, or what it’s all for, we could have people start knocking on our door.  Each one would tell us what we did for them.  How we helped.  How we inspired.  What they did with that inspiration.  The line would be so long that we couldn’t see the end of it.  Finally we’d raise a hand, say thank you for coming and letting me know, and go to bed to recover.

Yes, you too.

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  1. Hi Julie,
    I think what you suggested at the end of this post is wonderful. Yes, I’ll get in line at your door and tell you that I love your refreshing, cool, logical groundedness and sense of humour. I always feel grounded around you.
    Lately I have been observing that when I have a question it seems the clues are already in place. I just need to be aware of that and look around at the recent experiences to gather them and fit them together to form the picture/answer. As you said, this has to be my team/support helping me, as if leaving a sort of bread-crumb trail, because “coincidences in that number just aren’t likely.” This is something new for me and it’s fun. It often appears as advice I’ve given someone else or an insight I’ve had about someone else. Say it with me….because there IS no someone else! LOL Ah! What a ride!
    One thing we do know (and I forget, frequently, daily) is that we do make it through. We just have to remember that.
    Lori Gosselin recently posted..Do You Have All the Answers?My Profile

    • Lori, Oh! If it’s new to you to try to follow the clues then you are in for a veeerrrry interesting time 🙂 That’s the first thing I generally do when something “new and exciting” pops along…

      Thanks for forming the line, though I swear I wasn’t fishing for compliments, you know I’d be at your door, too.

  2. Lovely post Julie. When things aren’t quite working out the way I want…or they’ve actually gone to hell in a hand basket, my favourite trick is to remind myself something wonderful is heading my way. And you know what…it usually does.

    The wonderful can sometimes show up in what I write. Thinking I’m writing to encourage and support others, there are times when it’s clear that I’ve written something for myself. To remind me of who I am and what I’m capable of.

    Maybe we all need that every now and then.

    So here’s me, showing up at your door to say, you make a difference for me. Hopefully I catch you before you go to bed to recover from the strangers and friends who’ve shown up to say thanks. 🙂
    Elle recently posted..How to Stop Crippling Your Chances of SuccessMy Profile

    • Hi Elle! I think I’ve pretty much given up on trying to write for others but others who show up here do seem to cycle through similarly to what might be happening in my life that week. It’s kind of uncanny how that happens. Thank you for the advice and as I know you know, I’m right there at your door as well 🙂

  3. You have definitely been the one to answer A LOT of my questions so I would be right there at your door as well. I learn something from every post you write (and love your honesty as well). Yeah, in hindsight I’ve seen some things that I was blind to in the past that let me see what a huge lesson I HAD to learn (and in my opinion… some other people in my life HAD to learn too). What I don’t get sometimes is why some lessons had to be so terribly painful (sometimes I really really really dislike being empathetic), and I don’t understand yet WHY when I think to myself “ahhhhhhhhhh, it’s finally complete, lesson learned” and I actually feel really good and focused on other areas of my life (my kids being a huge part of that focus)…. here comes some big ol’ HUGE signs again, like six things within just a couple of days…bam bam bam!!! I do not get that part, so I have to do what you were saying in your post about it being from “a hand greater than mine”. ♥♥♥

    Peace and blessings ♥
    I tried to do some drawings a couple of times (referring
    to my email about a picture), just couldn’t get it right…
    I’ve got to get some thin tracing paper and find
    more time! 🙁

  4. Awesome writing

    I’m there, but it might take til tonight to get there. So don’t shoot me.
    Michael recently posted..Your Subconscious: Friend or Foe?My Profile

  5. I’ll be in the line at your door, to thank you for being an ear, for being the wise big sister I never had, and for guiding me to finding answers to my own questions just by being there for me.

    • Man, all you guys are lining up. I’m going to have to break out my passport and add a few more countries to visit you back. That’s two for Canada!

      No one, and I do mean no one, has ever referred to me as a “sister” (I do recall once when I was a foreign exchange student, the girl who put me up made a big point of how she was EXPECTING a sister and I was NOT it lol). Hmm, maybe we were once sisters 🙂

  6. I love the weather stone. Keep looking and laughing, that is awesome.

  7. Laughing b.c I looked at the clock jerky sudden desire to do so and saw 222- looked it up online and it means in essence what the blog post here says. YEP. I GET IT NOW! ha

    Also. I agree. I like to refer to it as ‘eulogizing the living’ i.e when it counts, not when the poor bastard in in their coffin. Tell people when they are ALIVE how great they are or better yet share a favorite story /memory of them. I wanted to email people (via FB, where you can see mutual friends of friends) a week in advance of a friend’s bday and ask them all to quietly email that person (on the big bday) a favorite memory or what that friend means to them. NOT to post on a wall, email in private. of course to mail it snail mail would be best (so people can stuff them all in a box and bring out and read on a shitty day) but emailing it would be most viable considering how lazy we all are nowadays. Short of that., feel free to jot down any genuine compliment about yourself you remember and stuff into a jar and do the same:)

  8. Dear Julie

    I know you weren’t fishing for compliments and this would be a delayed one if you were! But I have been wanting to write for sometime to say thank you …… thank you for sharing your stories, your experiences and your thoughts there is always something that resonates with me in just about every post. Thank you too (I think it was through you – apologies if it wasn’t !) for helping me find Colette Baron Reid, like you she has a lightness of touch, joy and humour which I find really appealing. Finally I have been given the “hint” that I am supposed to be doing some writing ……. now coming from someone whose attempts at essay writing as a mature student comprised mainly of writing a sentence then doing a word count to see if i was anywhere near the required amount, seemed like it was not the best idea in the world 🙁 but then you added to the “hint” by saying in one of your posts that you seemed to attract writers ! So I HAVE to give it a go I suppose ……(note the reluctance!) ……… I even find writing thank you notes a challenge so a longer project such as a book was out of the question when suddenly “out of the blue” (!!!!) I thought of a blog. So a few hours later and I have my own blog as a way to keep friends and family in the picture of where I am and what I am doing and will see where it takes me! If its anything like my essay writing I will be high on caffeine, pile on the pounds due to the obligatory chocolate biscuits that go with the coffee and have dark circles and bags under my eyes from all nighters ……… not a pretty sight 😉

    Good luck with your many, many challenges and I for one will be fascinated to see how they resolve themselves!
    Karen recently posted..thank goodness I’m not a shrinking violet …My Profile

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