Monday, June 30, 2014

The Warm Spot

There’s a warm spot in my heart.
It is there for my family.
It is there for my friends.
It is there for the people who have rescued me.
It is there for the influences in my life.
It is there for the people I am called to love and serve.
It is there for my students.
It is there for the people I’ve written resumes for.
It is there for the unemployed.
It is there for all my readers.
It is there for those who listen to my radio show.
It is there for the people who make me laugh.
Most of all, it is there for my Muse.
There’s a child’s game in which an object is hidden and one child tries to find that object.  If the child gets near the object, the other children say, “You’re getting warm! Warmer!  Hot!!”
The closer I get to my Muse, the closer I get to finding what I have been looking for all my life.  I am getting warmer.  The cold I experienced for so long is receding and I am getting warmer.  The warmth is spreading through my body and into my heart. 
I am getting warmer, more comfortable, and safer.  I have what I need because I began doing my work.  I am getting warm.  It is a good feeling.    I can Get Started and Keep Going, because I am warm, safe and comfortable.    By comfortable I don’t mean apathetic.  I mean, I have what I need and I know what I need to do next.  I am in the warm spot and it’s pretty cool.  

When I Just Don't Know

“The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts.”

Howard Baker

“There is no time left for anything but to make peace work a dimension of our every waking activity.”

Elise Boulding

“People talk about the middle of the road as though it were unacceptable. Actually, all human problems, excepting morals, come into the gray areas. Things are not all black and white. There have to be compromises. The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Today is a new day.  Despite not giving enough priority to my blogs in the last few days, I’m ready to start focusing now and getting this done.  I’m still doing well with this, but I feel like I could do better.  Again, there’s no use in belaboring what wasn’t done; I just need to move forward now.  It helps when one is in Purpose, to look at the big picture. 
Yes, I want to write two, or even three blogs a day.  But on the days that I don’t, I can remind myself that I’m still writing a lot and that if I keep working, somewhere, somehow,  time will open an opportunity for me.  However, this will only happen if I use my time wisely now.  If I don’t, all the time in eternity won’t help me.
It also helps to remember that I have more than one goal I am trying to reach in the next four weeks.  Some of those goals are on track.  Others aren’t.  But in the big picture, I am doing well with all my goals, including my blogs. 
I sometimes use this blog to resolve personal issues.  It’s a type of therapy.  Recently, I dealt with an issue that felt so personal, so scary, and so overwhelming, that I just couldn’t bring myself to write about it, not even in my Morning Write.  It involves conflict or potential conflict with others.  I’m still processing it.  This made me wonder if there is a set of guiding questions that might help me deal with all personal issues.  I think the following questions might be helpful:
1.  What do I need to do to be peaceful? 
If I’m completely peaceful, I can usually resolve any situation.  I can accept or let go or take steps to resolve it.  When I’m peaceful, I’m more loving.  So, it’s important to be peaceful and calm.  I may need to pray, tap, breathe, or go for a walk.  Perhaps one of those things will help me find peace.  I may need to speak up for myself or stay quiet.  I may need advice or I may need solitude.  There are many ways to get peaceful.  The important thing is to find the way that works for me at that moment.
2.  What is the most loving thing I can do?
Being loving may mean putting myself ahead of others.  Or it may mean putting others ahead of me.  Either way, the goal and the result should be love.  If I do the most loving thing, I will do the least damage and I may even see a relationship grow.  I will certainly see my spirit grow. 
3.     What would make me feel better at the end of the day?
4.     What would be a good example for others?
5.     Can I make a decision based in love rather than a desire to please, which is based in fear, the antithesis of love?
It’s important to remember that being loving doesn’t mean doing the same thing every time.  Life rarely provides pat answers and what works one time may not work the next time if the situation repeats itself. 
It also helps to remember that I don’t have to be perfect.  I might make a decision that I think is the most loving and it turns out to be wrong.  This happens because I am human.  Or it happens because I didn’t have all the necessary information.  Mistakes will probably not cost me the relationship or the job.  In fact, making mistakes may strengthen things and teach me valuable lessons.
Communication is extremely important.  When possible, I need to speak with the concerned parties in a calm and loving way.  This may give me some invaluable perspective that I hadn’t considered.  It helps to know what I want and what others want.  If I’m not clear on both of these things, there will be frustration on both sides.
Sometimes life feels like a continuous classroom.  There are always new levels of growth to reach.  That’s okay.  Accepting that is peaceful and loving.  Interestingly, a situation just occurred that is similar to my recent issue.  I was able to stay calm and ask for time to think, which was what I needed.  I was able to be loving without giving away my deepest needs unwillingly.  I know this will come up again and it will keep coming up until I resolve it more consistently.  The same lesson keeps coming until I solve it.  When I do, I’m ready for the next lesson.  But I’m always ready to Get Started and Keep Going.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


“'Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections”

John Legend – All of Me

Imperfection is relatable.

Lauren Conrad

There’s not a lot of passion or enthusiasm in my writing this morning; I’m just trying to get it done.  Sometimes that’s okay.  Steven Pressfield says the warrior usually plays hurt, but I also play when I’m tired, sad, scared, or apathetic.  As far as I’m concerned, fighting apathy is just one more battle.  Apathy comes at me, as do all my other foes, but I keep working.  I keep doing what I said I would do.  Another enemy is distraction.  I fight that one constantly.  Yet, here I am, still working, still doing my best. 
Yes, I hear the voice in my head saying, “If you were really doing your best, you wouldn’t let yourself get so easily distracted.”
All I can say is…nothing.
There’s no point in replying to my accuser.  First, the accuser will always, always, find a weakness, a chink in the armor.  If there is not an accusation about my writing, then the Enemy can attack my messy place, my lack of organization, something I did, said, failed to do, or failed to say in the past.  There is no end to the accusations the Enemy can throw at me.  What makes it worse is that most of the accusations are true.  I have been, am, and will continue to be, imperfect in many ways.  I am rude, lazy, afraid, and inconsistent in most of my good habits, but few of my bad.
Fortunately, perfection is not my goal.  I’m glad it isn’t.  That would be an awful goal.  It would be impossible for the following reasons:
·      Whose standard would I use?
·      What if time proves my work to be less than perfect?
·      How long would it take to do something perfectly?
·      How would I grow if I did everything perfectly?

I don’t like my imperfections, but I accept them.  There are people in my life, despite their imperfections, whom I love with all my heart.  I recognize each loved one’s faults and limitations (and I don’t find these traits cute or charming), but I recognize these things make each of us part of who we are.  It also gives us something to work on, a point of growth. 
Part of the celebrity cult in our culture is how we practically worship the wealthy or the famous, believing only in the side we see in public.  Then they do something that shows us a different side and our love turns into hate, or at least disdain.  I think some people get a perverse pleasure seeing someone fall so hard from the pedestal where we placed him or her.  Perhaps we think, “If I can’t be perfect, why should they be?”
So I don’t want to be perfect.  I don’t need the grief.   I’d rather be successful.  I’d rather know that I did my best and that my best can (and usually does) get better.  I’d prefer the struggle.  It makes the victory far more meaningful and the defeats far more valuable. 
In an episode of The Twilight Zone called A Nice Place to Visit, a criminal is shot and killed trying to escape the scene of a crime.  Upon his death, he meets his spirit guide, Pip, who provides the man with all he desires, the perfect life.  Eventually he finds that the perfect life is not perfect because there is no risk, no strife, nothing to accomplish.  He finds out he is not it Heaven, but in Hell.
I don’t know what Heaven will actually be like.  If there’s struggle and uncertainty, how can it be Heaven?  On the other hand, if there’s no growth or development, how couldn’t it be Hell?  Perhaps my orientation will be different in eternity, so I’m not going to tackle those questions now.  I’d rather focus on overcoming the struggles of my own imperfections and working to be the man I am supposed to be.  I’d rather focus on continuing to Get Started and to Keep Going…even if I do it imperfectly.
As I was writing this, I got up several times.  I also started falling asleep, and I got distracted, which made the writing of this blog take longer than necessary.  Still, despite my resistance and fear (I was nervous about writing this final paragraph), I overcame.  That is the reason for imperfections – so that I have the room for and joy of improvement.  And it’s the improvement that makes the imperfections necessary and fun.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

How Serious Are You?

True happiness... is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

Helen Keller

Happiness comes when we test our skills towards some meaningful purpose.

John Stossel

A noble purpose inspires sacrifice, stimulates innovation and encourages perseverance.

Gary Hamel

Tonight I started a blog and while saving the document, the computer froze.  When this happens I have to restart the computer, and when it restarts, I can recover the document.  For the first time ever, that didn’t work.  I rebooted the computer, but when it came back on, the document was gone.  Today I resolved to work more diligently during the summer break so that I can reach my goals.  So it shouldn’t surprise me that something goes wrong.  Problems are the lifeblood of Purpose.  Without problems our Purpose has no substance.  Problems are life’s way of asking, “How serious are you about your goal(s)?”
Though I’ve posted these several times, I’m going to do so again to remind myself what I’m doing. 
·      Walk at least 30 hours
·      Write 100 more blogs.
·      Do 40 more radio shows.
·      Put 40 more things on eBay.
·      Read for 40 hours.
·      Reduce my debts by 20% or more.

In reviewing these goals, I see areas where I have been less than diligent and other areas where I’ve done very well.  I’ve done very well on my radio shows and am more than halfway there.  Today, however, I made a decision.
We need to treat the attainment of goals as if it were a paying job.  You might have more discretionary time, but that means that other responsibilities also arise.  Still, it doesn’t matter.  How serious are you?  I’m very serious.  I plan to reach all of my goals in the next five weeks.  However, it means I have to treat this as a job.   Here are things we can all do:
·      Wake up early.
·      Schedule certain blocks and amounts of time.
·      Prioritize tasks. 
·      Work at least five days a week, maybe more.
·      Take care of yourself so so you can do your work.
·      Remember that everything you're doing has an underlying purpose, (mine is to spend my life with my Muse in my house on the beach).
·      Postpone or eliminate some activities that get in the way of your work.
·      Work diligently so you can enjoy other things in life.

Setting goals can be exciting.  When we see it as more than a set of goals, but as a job, it's even more excited.  Having a purpose is invigorating.  It’s also stressful.  It would be easier to have no goals and just drift through the summer.  In, fact, I might even do that for a day or two.  It would be easier, but it would be far less satisfying.  And we would miss two, possibly three, rewards if we don’t set and pursue my goals.  The two rewards are these:
1.     The satisfaction of doing the work.
2.     The satisfaction of finishing it

There may be a third reward.  It could be recognition, appreciation, or even money.  But don't count on those.  Count on the first two.  This is the chance to do something powerful.  It will take self-discipline, patience, and a little work.  But it won’t be that hard.  All you have to do is Get Started and Keep Going.  I’m serious.

Holding Pattern

“Patience is power.
Patience is not an absence of action;
rather it is "timing"
it waits on the right time to act,
for the right principles
and in the right way.”

Fulton J. Sheen

I seem to be in a holding pattern, waiting for the things I want.  Here, from a previous blog , are some things one can do while waiting:
·            Practice gratitude for all the good things in  life while waiting for better.
·            Sing.
·            Read.
·            Study
·            Pray.
·            Exercise or do something physical.
·            Help someone.
·            Work on your Purpose.
·            Clean up your place, your car, or your workspace.
·            Be present in the moment.
·            Do something fun.
·            Count your blessings.
·            See a movie.
·            Bring comfort to someone who needs it.
·            Donate or sell things you no longer need.
·            Determine the next goal after the thing you were waiting for has arrived.
·            Act as if you already have the thing you were waiting for.
·            Get Started.
·            Keep Going.

The best thing to do while waiting is to enjoy the life I have now and make the most of it.  What I want to do is be able to look back and say, “I used my time well and that I had a good attitude.  I wasn’t resentful, but I understood that waiting is part of the process.”
This is easier said than done, but it’s not impossible.   Hopefully, the wait won’t be long, but if it is, doing these things will shorten it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I Have an Advantage

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”

Stephen R. Covey

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”

Henry David Thoreau

“The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.”

Carl Sandburg

I have an advantage.  My time opened up in a way I didn’t expect and so I can write now instead of tonight when I’m tired and falling asleep while trying to write.  This feels good.  This advantage came to me partly through luck and partly because I used my time well today.  I got my radio show and other tasks done early in the day so I wouldn’t have to think about them tonight.  I could have saved them for tonight, but now, once I get this blog done, I can concentrate on other goals.  Or maybe I can watch a movie, or have a bowl of popcorn and read some comic books.
If all of this sounds mundane, perhaps it is, but this is one of the secrets of time management that allows me to move toward my purpose:

The sooner I get things done, the more I can get done.

Today I was able to read a book (a small book – Epic by John Eldredge), clean more things out of my garage, write a blog, do a radio show, talk to some friends, put some things on eBay, take a walk, and spend time with one of my daughters.  I don’t want to leave the impression that all I do is work; I also read some comic books and played some online games.  It was a pretty relaxing day.  What made it so relaxing was that I worked towards my goals.  If all I had done was read comics and play games, I’d be pretty tense right now.
One never knows what might happen, so I find it best to get my work done as quickly as possible.  Right now I have time to write.  Perhaps in a few minutes I will want to do something else.  So I should use this time wisely.  Soon I will be done with another blog.  Tomorrow when I wake up, I will write another one.  I‘ll keep writing until I reach my goal.  Then I‘ll set a new goal. 
That’s all there is. I’ll keep working and keep setting goals until I’m living the life I’m supposed to be living.   How do I know what life I’m supposed to be living?  Isn’t that presumptuous?    Perhaps it is.  And maybe I don’t know, but I’ll assume it’s the life I want to live in my deepest heart.  I’ll assume it’s the life that involves my Muse and me living in my house on the beach.  I’ll assume that it’s the life where I can love and serve others through my writing and other gifts.  I think the life we’re all supposed to be living is the one that allows us to love, to serve, and to use the gifts we’ve been given.  I think the life we’re supposed to be living is also one that allows us to be loved and served and enjoy the benefits of other people’s gifts and abilities.  Finally, I think the life we’re supposed to be living is one that allows us to love and be loved by God and enjoy the blessings He has given us.
So that’s what I’m doing.  I’m taking advantage of my time, my gifts and my blessing.  I’m using the time to Get Started and Keep Going.

Getting Organized

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

Immanuel Kant

Successful organizing is based on the recognition that people get organized because they, too, have a vision.

Paul Wellstone

“There was a man
And some did think him mad.
The more he cast away
The more he had.”

John Bunyan – Pilgrim’s Progress

I’ve been organizing my physical spaces, and therefore I’ve been organizing my life.  In the last few days I have thoroughly cleaned my car including the trunk and the glove compartment.  While I am not quite at the level of having a TV show done about my lack of organization, like Hoarders, I have had some pretty huge messes for many years.  Once, my car was so messy that a friend thought I was homeless.  Twice I was in a car accident, both times totaling my car.  When I had to clean out the trunk, it was almost impossible.  I’ve cleaned out my trunk before, more than once.  I’ve cleaned out other areas before, more than once, but they always go back to the way it was, if not worse.  It’s like those verses in the Bible:
"Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it.  Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came'; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation."

Matthew 12:43-45
Perhaps things weren’t worse, but they never really got better.  Every physical area of my life was a cluttered and disorganized mess.  Some of it still is, but something has been changing.  It is the process of change that fascinates me. 
I’ve had changes in my life that have seemed sudden and dramatic.  Sometimes they were permanent and sometimes they faded.  I think change is both sudden and gradual.  Over the last year-and-a-half, since I began writing my blogs, I have seen my life change dramatically, but it didn’t happen in one day or with one blog.  It happened over days, weeks, and months and over the process of writing many blogs.  These changes have been personal, spiritual, professional, and financial.  I am still in the midst of all of them.  I have not “arrived,” but I am arriving.  I am becoming.  As Irwin Kula might say in Yearnings – Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life, I am “Roberting.”  This process began when I wrote my first blog, but it didn’t stop there.
With regard to organizing, there were a few things that happened.  First, my Muse was telling me that I needed to simplify and organize.  She would tell me this through others and though my increasing dissatisfaction with my physical environment.  Then one day, I read someone mention simplifying, and suddenly I wanted fewer things in my life. I started selling things on eBay and each sale represented not only a small financial victory, but also an emotional one.  I was clearing out my life.  I was getting rid of things I really didn’t need, or even want.  Sometimes I would lose money on the sale, but it was worth it to have just a little more space. 
I had heard these principles before, but this time I was ready.
Then I heard T Harv Eker say, “I won’t do business with anyone who has a messy car.” 
That was it.  That was the last piece I needed.  Soon I started working on my car, then my garage.  I would devote 30 – 60 minutes a day cleaning.  I found that if I tried to do it all at once I would get overwhelmed.  But I could certainly do a little each day.   I also used The Rule of Five, that is, every time I went to my garage or car, I would get rid of at least five things.  Often it was ten or twenty or more.  It felt liberating.
There were also a couple of other emotional changes that were different from other times when I tried to get organized.  The first was that at the beginning of this process I actually visualized what my garage would look like when it was cleaned and orderly.  This visualization came unbidden and unconsciously.  It just appeared.  I could see it.  I decided to apply this consciously then.   I could see my trunk or my glove compartment looking empty and clean – and I could create it.  I’d never been able to do this before.
One other major change was that I no longer believed the following:
“I should keep this because I may need it one day.”
I think that belief (Lie?  Excuse?  Fear?) has kept me trapped in clutter more than anything else.  There may have been something even deeper.  When I was about five years old, in Scotland, I heard that some people were coming to take away all our toys.  I remember being scared and wanting to hide in a room somewhere far away, where I could never be found, with all my toys and never have them taken away.  Though I grew older, I don’t think I ever lost that fear.  I found myself hiding away for years with all kinds of toys.  Only they were no longer toys.  They were comic books, clothes, books, scrap pieces of paper, old check registers, boxes full of stuff I hadn’t touched in years.  I couldn’t throw them away because they were part of my past; they were part of me.  If I gave up any part of my past, I was giving up part of me.  Perhaps I was giving up the possibility of finding my birth mother. 
But everything I had saved wouldn’t save me.  In fact, it was preventing me from growing; it was preventing me from being free and clear.  Now I understand I can keep some things, even a lot of things.  But not everything.  In fact, not most of it.  Some of it I can keep in boxes, or photo albums, or file folders.  Most of it I can recycle, donate, or eliminate.
So now my trunk has been clean and organized for almost a week.  There are very few things in it and what is in it, I either need, or will take somewhere else.  If I had to completely empty my trunk now, it would take less than a minute.
I am not a “born-again organizer.”  I won’t be preaching to everyone how to get more organized.  Although I think this work is different from past efforts, I am aware that I could backslide.  More demons could return.  So I will remain vigilant and prayerful.  I will take it one day at a time.  I will keep working on simplifying my spaces and my soul.  I will Get Started and Keep Going.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

When You Don't Know What to Do...

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”


“When you don’t know what to do, do what you know to do.”  I wrote that on Facebook a couple of years ago.  It was a guiding principle that enabled me to write my first blog.  It is a guiding principle that helps me now.  At the moment I don’t know what to do about certain situations in my life.  The details don’t matter, because there will always be times of uncertainty.  What matters is how I handle things now.  When this particular situation is over, and eventually it will be, I want to be able to look back and know that I did my best, that I used my time well, and that I stayed calm and grateful.  So what do I do?
First, it’s good to go back to what I know.  I know the following:
·      I want to live with my Muse in my house on the beach.
·      I want to write.
·      I want to fulfill all of my goals.
·      I want money in the bank.

Okay, so my desires are still the same.  Now I want to review my goals.
·      Walk at least 30 hours
·      Write 100 more blogs.
·      Do 40 more radio shows.
·      Put 20 more things on eBay.
·      Read for 40 hours.
·      Reduce my debts by 20% or more.

Those, too, are the same.  I am progressing on some of them, and need to focus on others.  But everything is good there.  It’s just that my goals seem so far away right now.  I feel like I’m fighting a battle (I am) and I don’t know what the outcome will be (I don’t).  So all I can do is throw myself deeper into my work.  I can write.  I can clean.  I can get more things out of my life.  I can sell more things on eBay.  I can read. 
I can’t, or shouldn’t, do the following:
·      Stop working because I feel discouraged or uncertain
·      Waste time
·      Feel sorry for myself
·      Give up on my goals

What am I trying to say?  What is this blog about?  It’s about two things.  First, it’s about the blog itself.  I’m writing because I said I would, because I have a goal and the only way to reach that goal is to sit here and do my work.  
Second, this blog is about the process.  In order to get from A to B, I have a long journey to take.  Like the Lord of the Rings, I am on a quest and, at the moment, I’m in the middle of it.  I can’t turn back because I’ve come too far.  Even if I could turn back, I wouldn’t.  There’s nothing left for me where I was.  It’s not the same and neither am I.  Turning back would kill me.  If I’m going to die, I’d rather do it moving forward. 
I also can’t stay here.  This middle ground is farther than where I once was, but if I stop now, I will live a life of defeat and sadness, because I didn’t finish my journey.  In Wolverine, Chris Claremont wrote,
“Sure, it’s scary.  But what’s the alternative?  Stagnation – a safer, more terrible form of death.  Not of the body, but of the spirit.  An animal knows what he is and accepts it.  A man may know what he is – but he questions.  He dreams. He strives.  Changes. Grows.”

The way ahead seems long and uncertain.  I have absolutely no guarantee that I will succeed.  That’s why this forest is dark and scary.  And this is part of the process.  This is exactly what happens when one sets a goal and pursues it.  I am risking everything to be in the place where I am supposed to be.  This is the part that isn’t fun, isn’t romantic, and isn’t certain.  But there is no turning back.  There is no Plan B.  There is no other option. 
So all I can do is put one foot in front of the other.  I have my goals.  I keep moving towards them.  As long as I move forward, I will find my path.  Even if I have to take a step back to assess, I need to keep moving forward.  It helps to remember Dorothea Brande’s words:

All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right about face which turns us from failure to success.

It is impossible to fail.  I don’t know how I will reach my goals.  I just know that I will.  This is not an empty platitude or wishful thinking.  It’s a promise that I’m not going to give up.  I’m not going to stop until my Muse and I are sitting happily in our house on the beach.  When I get there, I will do what got me there:  Get Started and Keep Going.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I’ve been on a cleaning spree for the last few days.  I’ve cleaned the trunk and glove compartment in my car.  I catch myself going to my car now, just to admire my trunk.  I feel lighter and freer when I open it.  I can’t imagine living any other way now.  Perhaps I will backslide.  I have before.  Or perhaps I won’t this time.  Maybe I’m finally ready to move forward in this part of my life.
My garage has also been undergoing an overhaul.  I just went in there now for some reason I can’t remember and threw out a few more things.  I feel like I’m unburdening my soul with each piece of paper, book, item of clothing, or odd item that I give or throw away.  I’m also selling things on eBay, divesting myself of more and more.  I want to live a simpler and cleaner life.  The rule is that if it hasn’t been touched in a year, it can be thrown out.  That’s a good rule.  I’ve found things I haven’t touched in ten or twenty years, and still I carry them with me everywhere I go.  This does not make for a calm or orderly life.  Calm and order are what I need.  I’ve known this for a long time.  In fact, God once told me this.
Ten years ago I was at a crossroads.  I was miserable, mostly because of my job.  So I checked into a motel near the beach.  It wasn’t in a great part of town, but it was cheap, it was quiet, and I was alone for two and a half days.  I looked at my life and I began journaling.  I knew I was in the wrong job and that I was negatively impacting other people.  It wasn’t intentional, but it was happening, nonetheless.  I spent a mostly sleepless night trying to figure out how to fix my life.
The next morning I went to a coffee shop feeling lost.  I only had a day and a half left of my pilgrimage and I needed some answers.  I couldn’t continue the way I was going.  I had a journal and a book with me, as I usually do.  The book was Waking the Dead by John Eldredge.   I opened it and read this:
I suggested that the issue of the day was simply this: God, who am I?  What do you think of me?  What’s my real name?

“What’s my real name?”
“What’s my real name?”
“What’s my real name?”
I was struck by that question.
I got out my journal and for some reason I wrote the word “Order.”  It means calm, organization, direction, purpose.  I realized that my life had none of those things.  I also realized that I aspired to all of them.   Interestingly, my closest friends were people were very organized, very calm, or very clear on their life direction.  I was none of those things, but I was looking for them and I had been for my whole life. 
My name was Order.
Now if this were a book or a movie, it would almost be the end of the story.  The next chapter or scene would show me quitting my job for a better one (with music in the background if it were a movie), becoming immediately and completely organized, and getting every part of my life in order.   Life seems to work at a different pace.  I did quit my job for a better one, and in that way I started bringing order to my professional life.  But there were other battles ahead.  It would be several more years before I met my Muse and get order over other areas.  But the process started and I would never look back.
My trunk has been clean for three days in a row now.  In the last few days I’ve gotten rid of hundreds of things.  I feel calmer.  Order is coming into my life…slowly.  In the Wolverine mini-series, Chris Claremont writes,
And yet the patterns of life are as fluid as those of this gravel.  I smooth the stones…new patterns emerge…chaos becomes order.  The wheel turns.  And from that order…peace?

So I seek order because that’s the name God gave me.  I’m seeking myself.  And I’m seeking the direction He has given me.  My Muse lights the way and my trunk is cleaner.