The Pace and Space of our Lives (Part 1)

I’ve been away, AWOL for several weeks after our extended family enjoyed a week at Carolina Beach just beyond Wilmington, NC and just before school started for our three grandchildren. 

Here’s the first of a three part series focused on a parallel path on the pursuit of life.

Vacations, if done properly, interrupt life in the way it was meant to be interrupted. Getting away extends to us a real chance to “get away”! Getting away allows some much needed space that gives us permission to just be present and once we do so, we can reconnect with ourselves in ways that begin to remind us that there is a pace to life we had lost touch with.   We engage this opportunity when we stop, slow down, rethink and allow our lives to be renewed. On this vacation I finally took the time to do just that.

I know the worst thing about vacation is that it has to end. But if we look closely at how we experience a vacation, perhaps we can locate the clues to living a more meaning filled life back home. If we can relax and be present to ourselves, our family and friends, and to our God, the source and resource for living life away from home then we could surely also do so once we’re back home.

Okay, so it’s September and we’re months away from another vacay! But, today or tomorrow, this week and throughout this month nothing is keeping us from installing a new pace to our lives.

In order to change our pace we’ll need to change pieces of our space. Each week allots us 7 days and each day allots us 24 hours. Try this at least once this week; set aside one hour to rethink your space  which may look like this: 

  • STOP – meaning, be present to being, not so much to doing. To stop is to begin. You are undoubtedly a great person to be with so this should be easy, right?
  • SLOW DOWN – meaning that if you stop, you’re not in forward motion. Slowing down is the first thing that stopping does for all of us. Feels weird, but you’ll get used to it, then it feels good, then it feels awesome!
  • RETHINK – meaning that to rethink is to rethink the way you have been thinking. Now I know I just lost some of you because your thought process is impeachable. Sorry. For the rest of you try this; locate inside of you something that you have already been thinking about which you currently entertain as a possible change you need or want to try. Try it and see if it begins to bring into your life……….
  • RENEW – meaning that in less than an hour you have begun a process which may be leading you forward into renewal. All of this from a Micro Mini Vacay in your own town. 

MMV’s throughout the year set up on purpose with a purpose, to give us an opportunity to be Real with ourselves. Real about rest, Real about the source of life, and Real about discovering newness of  life.  

Love to hear your thoughts, and feedback and as always please share this with others in your life.

MC

A TRUER STORY

In the body of an article I read this week in Relevantmagazine.com, I came across this;
“We don’t just need better stories we need truer stories.”

A better story could be one which places you or me in a position of superiority. Most of us at times feel the need to play the One-Upmanship game especially if it’s been a bad week.

A truer story seems to me to challenge us to be more real. A truer story opens up the possibility of building depth into a friendship. A truer story brings vulnerability into the relationship which gives that relationship a chance to grow.

I was listening to a TED Talk from Brene’ Brown who noted that shame has become an epidemic for many Americans describing it as; “The most primitive human effector emotion we experience.” If I tell a friend a better story to elevate my status within the relationship, perhaps I am doing so in order to mask something I am ashamed of. If on the other hand, I see our friendship as a resource of life for both of us then perhaps I will have the courage to tell a truer story, one in which I am honest to share how I am struggling with a matter that has robbed me of being the real me. In his book How to Be Here, author Rob Bell says that; ‘Who you are not isn’t interesting.”

I hope you have in your life right now a friend whom you consider to be a resource of life. Experiment with vulnerability, see where it may lead, and how it might deepen not only the friendship but your own understanding of who you have been created to be.

There’s only one YOU! If you don’t play that role, the world loses your unique impact.

MC

The Power of Real Life

Years ago I began a blog which failed from the beginning, I assumed due to both my ignorance and lack of commitment. I discovered when I was honest with myself that there was a third reason which I now name as “hubris” revealing itself as it always does in self promotion. 

I have something I believe reveals my humanishness, a need to be known. I’m assuming all of us to some degree want to be known yet find that “being known” can at times feel like that metaphor – a bridge too far. I’m often reminded of Jo Beth Williams line in that movie The Big Chill when in dialogue with old friends she says; Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know we were telling the truth here.

Pretension is quite likely both a social and emotional epidemic in America. I think most people want to be real but learn to settle for pretension because of a fear driven by losing their position of acceptance. At least that’s the Life Boat Theory Donald Miller wrote about in his book – Searching for God Knows What.

I am beginning this second attempt at blogging with renewed confidence focused on the people I do life with who I’ve joined with on the journey of significant and meaning filled friendships. And I want to invite you to be a critical part of reading and responding to the posts I put up here @ mikecooke.life.

Presently I am writing a book entitled simply – Participation. Much of that book deals with the human longing for a place to be the person you were created to be. Over the course of this year I hope to post several times each week as my schedule allows. More importantly I hope to hear from you and your friends, and possibly their friends as together we share stories, anecdotes, victories, losses, encouragement, and challenges of real life.

I close this opening with a quote from Father Richard Rohr.

The energy in the universe is in relationship

Have an awesome day!

Mike

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog site! I am thankful you are here and hopeful you will find the content engaging. 

That word life says it all. I realize it is broad but if we place the adjective real ahead of the noun life it really can change the conversation. 

So, let’s try to do just that and let’s invite others to join in the discussion with us. 

You and me, we can make a difference, real life awaits!

MC