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Techniques for a Wiser Life

Weekend Everlasting

Icy Redbud Valley Railway © 2014 Kristi Bridges

This weekend, I attended two birthday parties and a funeral. All were celebrations of life. The birthday parties had more dancing and fewer tears, but both had their share of laughter, hugs and unspoken questions about the future.

Death is Friday for the soul.

Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you,” and I believe He knew what He was talking about. We are eternal beings who extend beyond our current perspective and frail forms. Scot McKnight, author of The Heaven Promise, asserts that we’ll work in heaven, and although that’s an uncommon idea, it makes sense. Some people cringe at the word “work”—the thesaurus equates work with toil, slog, drudgery and daily grind. But we labor tirelessly at things we enjoy. How many musicians, writers, mechanics, home remodelers and quilters leave their day jobs on Friday and spend the weekend doing their own projects for free? God works and clearly revels in it. Even nature’s recyclers show His enthusiasm for detail. The fly who crashes your picnic has eyes that change from black to metallic green as the light scatters across her skillfully engineered compound lenses. Our Creator has a bazillion ideas and seems to enjoy collaborating with us. It would be silly to believe He limits that pleasure to the visible present.

Saturday afternoon, science and work weren’t really on our minds. Dressed in black with splashes of bright color here and there, we were just wishing our friend Charly was with us. We sang songs which helped us imagine the day we’ll stand with her, wide-eyed as Yuri Gagarin when he saw our blue planet the first time. The thought brought peace. After singing, we switched to memories. Memories are solid, easier to picture. They connect and comfort us, and we come away with ideas we can use. For example, I now want a fence. Her grandson told of the year Charly installed a new wooden fence, and instead of protecting it, she gave each child a can of spray paint. I can see her sitting on the patio, sipping tea and thinking, “What is that trapezoid with the long neck and pointy teeth?”

 

A generous life is a filled with joy.

Thursday and Friday, I celebrated the birthday of my friend Kim White. Rather than being shy about her age, Kim has looked forward to the big 5-0 since she was 47. As a coach for entrepreneurs, she meets and trains exceptional people. Her motto is “Add Value,” and we’re all hoping she lives to a healthy 150, because she enlarges the existence of each person she meets. At my first coaching session, rather than setting goals, she asked me to think about your pain points. What causes you heartache, frustration, regret, broken relationships? My own goals and creative ideas are useless if they don’t make your days better. As we planned the Rose in Bloom conference, the 1 Moment Wiser website and the Wisdom – Better than Wishing book launch, Kim helped me brainstorm ways to give you inspirational extras. Now, she’s celebrating her 50th birthday by doing the same. She’s having the time of her life using her resources to celebrate others. Generous people always have more fun. Over the next 100 days, she’s posting 50 hours of 30-minute interviews with people who add value to the world. There are some powerhouses in these videos, and a few little-known sages as well. I recommend watching them here. I’ll warn you, these people will make you laugh. A lot. You will certainly be inspired, but remember what your mama told you, “Your face might freeze in that position!” Limit yourself to one video per day, lest your cheeks permanently lift and your teeth forever reflect the sun.

 

Nobody born 1,000 years ago is reading this today. But when death takes a mom, grandparent or child, if we allow our hearts space to grieve and recover, we live more vibrantly. Kim has had some heartrending goodbyes, but she lives with greater impact now, aware her days are priceless.

If you are spending your days feeling lost, missing someone who isn’t here or uncertain why you remain, don’t give up. If you’re breathing, there’s a reason, but you may need help to get to the point where you care. If you’re in the fog of extended grief, please don’t try to navigate alone. That’s how shipwrecks happen. For a place to begin, click to access GriefNet.org.

If you’re celebrating life, but want to know how to develop a business with an idea God has given you, contact me and I’ll help you get started with Kim’s easy to follow, in-depth Sexy Business program. What makes a business sexy? It takes care of itself and its owner, and it helps others discover their worth.

 

Enjoy the ride.

When my dad fought an extended illness, I had some powerful talks with him and with God. They resulted in several songs, so I’ll share one with you today.

Curled like a dry twig under that thin white blanket,

I’ve never seen him look so small

So often I thought we were on different trains

But the same track takes us all

Hercules went down to 90 pounds

He’s gone today

I know I’m headed to the same old town

But on the way

I’m gonna ride with my hair blowing back

Seeing everything that’s coming down this track

Lord, for every mile I go on this train

Help me give someone a smile to get them through the pain

Everybody asks why, like they really want to know

Like reason changes everything

It doesn’t stop pain, no getting off this crazy train

Til you hear that whistle sing

Show me a man who understands

He’ll be gone soon

After it’s built, we see the plan

Like the light of noon

I’m gonna ride with my hair blowing back

Seeing everything that’s coming down this track

Lord, for every mile I go on this train

Help me give someone a smile to get them through the pain

© 2005 Kristi Bridges

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