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LifeCraft – The Art of Meaning in the Everyday

Life is not a puzzle to be solved but a series of projects to accomplish the best we can

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LifeCraft–The Art of Meaning in the Everyday by Forest Church is an insightful book and offers an array of ideas worth contemplating. Forest is the son of the late Senator Frank Church of Idaho.

To a greater or lesser degree everyone shares most or all of the following characteristics. These include:

* Self conscious about their appearance
* Feeling guilty about things that they have done or have failed to do
* Sometimes have a hard time accepting themselves or forgiving others
* Have secrets which they feel may betray them at any moment
* Fail in ways that matter to themselves and to their loved ones …despite others successes.
* Feel stressful, as if happiness is fleeting.
* Worry about aging or concerned with dying
* Have been betrayed
* Wonder what is the meaning of life.

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Religion is our human response to the dual reality of being alive and having to die. Knowing that we are going to die, we question what life means.

“When I get anxious or depressed, as I do from time to time,” he says, “it is usually because I am focusing on a single part of my life that has gone awry. I loss my peripheral vision.”

Not a Puzzle to Be Solved

Life is not a puzzle to be solved but a series of projects to accomplish the best we can. It is not a work in progress but a series of works in progress. Lifecraft embraces living and dying, loving and losing, failing well, recovering, and coping.

“Because my father was not afraid to die, he was not afraid to live. He did not spend his life, as so many of us do, little by little until it was gone. He gave it away to others. He invested in things that would ennoble and outlast him.”

What would you put in your own time capsule? Would you put in a hundred dollar bill? A book or letters? A diamond broach? A pressed flower? A set of instructions? A picture, a drawing? Whatever it is, it all reflects you.

Tuning Our Voices

What are five things for which you hope to be remembered? To answer this, fully tap the present and the past, and consider moments when you were or are most fully present. Don’t try to impress or be clever. Strip off the layers of pretense, so often born of insecurity.

Think about your project. Which ones matter? Go to the finest places in your heart.

Even before it is an act of self-expression, prayer is an act of empathy. Prayer involves listening — it is the discipline of listening. Discipline and prayer mean much the same thing. The Latin root for discipline means to listen.

A disciple is one who listens; we listen when we pray. And simply by listening, how much we gain. From broken melody we move to harmony; we resolve our dissonance into consonance; we tune our voices to the key of the cosmos.

The Wonder of It All

If the length of time that the galaxy has been existence were a distance of 200 miles, only the last 8 inches would represent humankind’s time on this planet. Fixating on the last 8 inches of history, as opposed to the first 200 miles yields skewed results. Those of us with 200-mile parallax vision are more aware of our ignorance than those–equally ignorant–with an 8-inch view.

  • Enthusiasm: being filled with God.
  • Ecstasy: standing outside of one’s self.
  • Empathy: being within another.

Ecstasy seems a selfish word but it is not. When we stand outside of ourselves, we connect with something larger and more all embracing. To lose ourselves in something other than ourselves is ecstasy. It’s impossible to experience ecstasy while lost in self-absorption; ecstasy liberates us from the one thing least conducive to the art of meaning. To practice Lifecraft well, you must stand outside yourself.

Minutes and Meaning

A drowning man sees his entire life pass before his eyes in about one minute. Take the next minute of your life to pretend that you’re drowning and are about to die. No more options, no more projects. One minute is all that you have left. Your entire life is about to pass before your eyes. Close them. What do you see?

A minute is a long time. Had you been ready, you might have been able to fill it more thoughtfully, but that’s the way death works. Nothing will change all the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years that slip by unconsciously before we fall through the trap door on the way to death.

What gives our lives meaning? Kindness, forgiveness, generosity, enthusiasm, ecstasy, empathy. Above all love, given and received. For any of these things, one minute is not a bad start. Invest a few of your remaining minutes in saving your life before you actually lose it.

Turn the Page

If you are stuck at some point in your life, my suggestion is this: turn the page. Sure, you will miss something. I understand that. Sometimes however, trying to find something that you know you have missed delays you from discovering things that await you. Action, new characters, a turn in the plot. So, turn the page.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Elections

Election Fraud is Massive and On-Going in America

Across the U.S., the magnitude of voter fraud that occurs year after year, election after election, is staggering.

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Jay DeLancey is founder and president of the North Carolina Voter Integrity Project, and has much to say about voting in America:

Our system begs for transparency at all points along the election process. Who can vote, who did vote, how did they vote, and what was the tally? Today, unfortunately voter fraud is real and of enormous magnitude, as we saw in 2020 and 2022. Nowhere is this more evident than with absentee ballots.

Who, in any voting precinct, literally visits the homes of voters who filed absentee ballots to ensure that they are out of town? Even among those who have a legitimate quest to vote by absentee ballot, who can assure that their vote is counted properly and tallied accurately?

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The absentee ballot initiative started as a viable effort to increase the ability of qualified citizens to vote, but has now become into a primary tool of manipulation. The more we can see, the fairer the elections are likely to be. The less we can see, the greater the likelihood that fraud will occur. Centralized absentee ballot collection is exactly the opposite of local voting in a precinct where there’s a chance that those with whom you register or vote alongside are your neighbors.

Ensuring the Rights of Qualified Voters

The local voting precinct is better positioned to spot perpetrators of voter fraud. Local poll workers on the scene are better able to assess if you are not the person you claim to be. They will tell you to leave, but by law that’s all they can do.

They can’t retain someone and hold them until authorities arrive, even in the case of blatant voter impersonation. Why? Because in the 1960s, to safeguard the voting capability of those who had been disenfranchised, laws were passed to reduce the incidence of intimidation, accusation, and retention.

Those times have long passed, and now we need ways of ensuring that qualified voters’ civil rights are upheld. Every time an unqualified voter is allowed to cast a vote, it demeans and diminishes the rights of all citizens. As such, voter fraud is the civil rights crisis of our time.

Fraud Occurs Year After Year

If you hear from anyone or from any group that voter fraud does not exist, or that it’s minimal and inconsequential, rest assured most of these proponents believe they are in the right. As long as you vote for their candidate, they’re content to ignore the magnitude, of voter fraud that actually occurs, year after year, election after election, across the U.S. They know they are ‘right,’ so why forsake their ironclad view that voter integrity groups are secretly voter suppression groups?

We’re always asked, how do you know that voter fraud exists? We have case histories, anecdotes, cross tabulated data, eyewitness testimony, and more. Voter fraud is real and rampant. Yet, we will routinely encounter some academic, usually from some law school, saying, “The science is settled on this. Voter fraud is a myth.”

Professors will proclaim from on high declaring that few people ever engage in voter fraud. Such professors are people of influence, they teach students, write papers, give lectures, attend symposiums, and spew authoritative misinformation. Cognizant or not, the damage that they do to society is ongoing and significant.

A Mortal Threat to Democracy

“The science was settled” in the early 1500s, that the sun rotated around the earth. Copernicus and other brave souls risked death to proclaim that earth was not the center of the universe as we knew it, or even our solar system.

We swim against the tide of what was launched in the 1960s but today has morphed into a mortal threat to democracy. The challenge we all face is to guarantee transparency in elections so that everyone can see the results and, more importantly, accept the results when their candidate does not win.

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Life

Creating a Little Heaven on Earth for Yourself

When you carve out few moments for yourself, the world is a different place

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What would your life be like if you had the ability to drop back when you wanted or needed to do so? To have time for true rest and relaxation? To have time for quiet reflection?

Despite the pace of change in society, the constant development of new technology, all the paper and information that confronts you on a daily basis, and everything that competes for your time and attention, you have the ever-present opportunity to remain resilient.

Carve It Out

When you carve out even a few moments of breathing space for yourself, the world is a different place; it does not seem so hectic. Often, things work out for the best. You have a sense of control almost independent of your environment.

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The feeling of being in control of your life, while acknowledging that you are only a small part in the overall scheme of things, enhances your experience of the world around and within you, every day.

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