Top Ten Tips (or, The Tao of the Broc for her bewildered friends & family)

I started with four tips. Then it was six. Now I do believe it’s more than ten, but I love to alliterate, so what can I say? After the Tips, I’m afraid I’ve got even more to say. [Words of warning: don’t read this at work unless your boss is out of the office. You’ll be fired for time-wasting.]

I considered splitting this blog into byte-sized pieces for easier digestion, but I confess to a sense of urgency though it is not of a frantic, frenetic or panicky nature. If there is such a thing as serene urgency, then this drives my words. I assure you that I was utterly sane, sober, and compos mentis, at least for the two days it took me to pen this. Whether the life that resulted in the wisdom I share today was totally sane, well, I cannot be the judge of that. Many wise folks have been accused of insanity and worse. And yes, I am presuming to call what’s in here wisdom. It is the distillation of my years on earth.

I’m in the process of discovering whether I have the courage to accept the Truth of the Tips I share with you now. I am dealing with powerful health ‘facts’ right now that almost send me running to the nearest hole in the sand. The Sirens of Sensibleness, dressed in white coats and carrying lab results, shriek at high volume — and I can’t seem to find my earplugs. Answers are found in stillness, not noise; I know this. (Ah! Another tip…) This blog could only be written in the quiet hours when the Sirens were out of the office scaring other humans.

I hope you appreciate, after you’ve read this, the irony of my using the Internet — the goal of which is to provide ‘facts’ — to share my insights on the folly of relying on ‘facts.’ I love the ironies of Life. Perhaps that’s all Life really is…but I digress. And this blog will be long enough as it is. Let me begin! Bear in mind that these are in no particular order. You’ll get ’em as I wrote ’em.

TIP 1: Worry fixes nothing. It just gets in the way of either solving your own dilemma or being there for someone as they go through their rough patch. Worry is a waste of energy.

TIP 2: Respect the processes of others. I’ve noticed that when people can’t imagine themselves doing what you do, they tend to dismiss what you do altogether, or (worse) tell you you’re wrong to do it.

TIP 3: What looks to be bad/unfortunate timing never, EVER is. The secret is to live in the moment and not be swayed by [1] fear (read, ‘past occurrences or ‘future plans’), or [2] what others think of your in/actions. If you feel anxious, it means you either haven’t noticed how perfect the timing was, or you don’t have enough evidence to realise it yet.

TIP 4: Question everything you think. An updated version of Einstein’s ‘Don’t believe everything you think.’ Go ahead! Be brave enough to challenge your thoughts. If the Thought turns out not to be true FOR YOU, then thank It for being there when you thought you needed it, open the door, and gently send It on Its way. Notice how I wrote, ‘for you’? Here’s the real gem of this Tip: Each person has his/her own truth. Every raindrop has a different view of the sky, or the earth, or the cloud from which it descends. [Yes, I really did think of that one myself.]

TIP 5: If you stay in the moment, you’ll have the most current and reliable information upon which to base your decisions. I use ‘current’ deliberately. We are composed of energy and the vital information we require, whether spiritual or temporal, arrives when we need it, as surely as water automatically seeks its own level. The supply of information/energy is endless and ever-changing; thus the possibilities are endless. This is fundamentally different from predestination/fatalism, I might add.

TIP 6: ‘If-Only’s are an utter, complete waste of your life energy. Agonising over ‘If-Only’s not only diverts the stream of energy you need to make present decisions, but also destroys your ability to enjoy the gifts you have right now. Oh, for a while after my dad passed away and the mind-boggling events surrounding the doling out of his estate plagued my brain, I indulged in the ‘If-Only’ diversion. Want instant depression? Play the ‘If-Only’ game! I stopped playing, though, when I thought of the many gifts I have — and yes, I thought of you, for you are a great gift to me. I just had to tell ya.

TIP 7: Don’t confuse ‘facts’ with Truth. Epiphanies and ‘A-ha!’ moments are windows to Truth; ‘facts’ are bricks for the walls that hide them. The phrase ‘cold, hard facts’ makes more sense now, does it not?

TIP 8: Perception is Reality. Be vigilant that your perception is based on Truth and not ‘facts.’ Remember that each person’s perception differs from yours, just like those raindrops I talked about earlier.

TIP 9: Don’t deny another’s Reality. Focus instead on living your own Truth. Your life may be the window through which another discovers his/her Truth, but you have no control over this. Life becomes easier if you just assume that everyone is doing the best they can. If they could do better (as Maya Angelou said), they would.

TIP 10: If you feel angry or offended by someone, rejoice! Take this as an opportunity to add to your own Truth. An unquestioned ‘fact’ is blocking your view.

TIP 11: Facts are Truth’s shadows. That’s why they’re so mesmerising! They look like the Real Thing, but in fact, they have no substance.

TIP 12: Truth is in the mirror. And no, this is not the one in your bathroom. You will see yourself in every single person you encounter — the nice stuff, and the not-so-nice stuff. We can only see ourselves; we can only recognize what we have experienced. Once you get the hang of this piece of Truth, you’ll be addicted! You’ll look forward to every encounter… ‘what about this guy is me?’ or ‘Why do I like her so much?’ It really is all about You. Revel in it. (Perhaps this explains why, in the past, I’ve needed so much alone time. I could only take so much Me. Had to give it a rest!)

TIP 13: A life lived by ‘facts’ alone will not be a Joy-full one. Yes, it may have happy moments, but that’s because (as you will find on your journey) we’re already surrounded by happiness. It seeps through the cracking bricks we call Facts. We are meant to be happy, and (like that water I talked about earlier) happiness must find its own level, no matter the obstacles. When ‘facts’ fall away, though, through the window you’ll glimpse JOY. Why? Because Joy can only exist in Truth. ‘Facts’ obscure Truth; thus, they obstruct Joy. Happiness is cool, but Joy totally rocks. It’s my drug of choice.
[P.S. A society whose system relies on ‘facts’ — whether they be scriptural, scientific, or legal — at the expense of Truth cannot claim to be just, or to be dispensing justice. Justice without mercy must go by another name, for mercy, too, is a function of Truth. ‘Facts’ do not take one’s heart/intention into account. I’m sad to say that this has happened to Ireland since my last visit.]

Ah, I can almost see you! Nodding in agreement here; there shaking your head at my stubborn reliance on heart (Truth) over head (‘facts’). Welcome to my dilemma!

The health facts with which I am faced are, in a word, dire. If I listen to ‘facts,’ I could very well be down-hearted. (And my loved ones, you might be, too.) For example, if I listen to facts, then I must not fly because of the risk of stroke or heart attack. In ‘fact,’ I should never have flown in the first place. Please note that I did not get this wave of information until I came to Ireland and had blood tests here. Ooh, Life’s irony! You’ve got to love it! (And truly, I am not being sarcastic! I do love Life’s twists and turns and surprises.)

Oddly enough, my reaction to the numbers the doc showed me was a hand to my heart: an almost-universal sign for humans hearing Truth. (Pay close attention to what your hand does when someone gives you information. The hand-to-heart, involuntary movement is a human reaction to Truth. Watch for it.) This reaction also occurred when I rounded a sharp bend on the way to my current home, Fintown; I had to pull over to the side of the road to take it in. The view fit a vision I’d had after my heart attack in 2003 and a visit from a fortune-telling nurse. I rounded that curve in the road and realised, ‘This is the end of your journey, Jen.‘ Far from being depressed, I was filled with great joy. I knew I was in the right place.

So…do you really want me to live by the ‘facts’? I care for you so much that I’m tempted to succumb to the Sirens of Sensibility, but if I do, then I very well may not see you again. Truth is so much kinder than ‘facts.’ Or shall I continue to follow — and O! this is so poignant to me — my heart? My bruised, battered, stomped-on, oft-betrayed, full-of-love heart. When I leave, no matter what the cause of death may be, you can be assured that the real cause was my heart had had enough and gave up. I will have lived and died by the heart. I am very glad of that. Know that all I did, I did because I thought I was helping you. My heart was and has always been in the right place, I’ve finally realised. Duh!

Truth be told (and sure, this is the meaning of my writings today), the Truth shines so brightly that the ‘facts’ cannot be seen. ‘In the noonday sun, there are no shadows,’ as someone once wrote. Or, to put it in the words of one of Debs’ and my favourite songs, ‘I can see clearly now.’ It’s impossible to be afraid when Truth’s light shines so brightly. Plus, Truth does not have our timeline; it has no calendars. I could be here for ages yet. All I know is that I’ve been given a glimpse of Truth from a wide-open window. Since I’m still here, I’d like to get a few things in order so you won’t have too much of a mess to contend with when I go. I’ll be asking some of you for information or favours, but you must do what feels right for you. I’m trying to avoid a mess, but then again, maybe you need that mess. It’s all out of my hands, at any rate!

At some point I hope you realise how I’ve honoured you by sharing my Truth, but I realise that’s out of my hands, too. Let me leave you with things that maybe you can accept.

–Know that I’m not afraid. Truly. The light of Truth banishes all darkness, and thus removes all fears. Any fear, worry, or anxiety you’re feeling is your own. I don’t feel it.
–Know that you cannot make a mistake. We all stumble in the dark; that’s not the same as a mistake. If you could do differently, you would.
–Know that you help me most by respecting my Truth, especially if you don’t agree with it.
–Know that it has been an honour to meet you on my path. You have enriched my life in untold ways.
–Know that what you love about me is your own beautiful Self shining back at you.
–Know that you are loved, deeply and unconditionally, by me.

It would be lovely to see you again, that’s for sure. Inshallah, that will happen. But for now, sorry, I’m driving! Must concentrate. There’s a sharp bend in the road ahead. If the signs are to be believed, a bit down the road there’s a bridge under construction. I don’t see any workmen around, but that’s Ireland for you: either half a dozen fellas staring at a hole in the ground, or there’s not a workman in sight. The road I’m on is too narrow to make a U-turn, or I might be tempted to turn back. At least it’s a bright, sunny day. Nothing hidden. I like that.

Onward I go. Later, ’gator.

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