Monday, Oct 7 - 07:55 PM

What amazes me is when someone asked me just one question - "How do you create more space for your mind?", thinking about an answer to that question, in itself, opened the door to my mind for clearer thinking. It reminded me of a poem my mother taught me when I was very young.

UNDER THE SPREADING CHESTNUT TREE

Under the spreading chestnut tree,
A stubborn auto stands,
And Smith, an angry man is he, with trouble on his hands.
He cusses softly to himself and crawls beneath the car,
And wonders why it didn't bust before he got so far.
The carburetor seems to be the cause of all his woe;
He tightens half a dozen bolts, but still it doesn't go.
And then he tries the steering gear, but finds no trouble there -
Till, wet with perspiration, then, he quits in sheer despair.
He squats beside the road to give his brain a chance to cool,
And ponders on his training at the correspondence school;
And then he starts the job once more, until by chance he seen
The cause of all his trouble-He's out of gasoline.

Written by
Edgar A. TCyan, in Judge.
- Mariposa Gazette, Volume LXVII, Number 4, 16 July 1921

This poem brought back so many fond memories when I was 10 years old reciting it for the Rebekah Lodge meetings in Northern Indiana. Mr. Smith could not figure out what his car problem was until he sat down and got quiet enough to figure it out. What a concept! Getting quiet; it works.

Interesting enough, I talked with my mother on the phone tonight, and when she asked me what I did today, I told her I was going over the poem she taught me so long ago. I asked her if she remembered it. It's interesting to me that after all these years, she recited the whole thing to me, once we got it started, and she only got stuck a couple times. Many years have gone by, but she still remembered. Good for her. :)

Tuesday, Oct 8 - 12:32 PM

I am finding that being happy gives me a better chance of having happy results. I have been able to do this by continuing to forget about anything in my past that was a mistake, staying present to the moment with a focus, and not being concerned about the future.

I think the thing that has helped me the most to be able to do this is that I understand better than ever before, that I see mistakes as learning experiences. That means that I keep asking the question, "What can I learn from this experience instead of why is this happening to me?"

The "why" is not the right question for me to be asking. The "what it all means" is the better question. That focus is what has helped me the most in staying happy, and I like "happy". :)

Wednesday, Oct 9 - 09:03 PM

I have learned from John Roger, author of Loving Each Day, that as you begin to reclaim your inner territory, you find your mind running in many directions. You're full of thoughts, memories, ideas -- good and bad, serious and trivial. You wonder what to do in the face of all this commotion. His answer is to simply observe it.

That sounds like a really good idea to me, so I plan to do more observing in place of juggling more trivia.

Thursday, Oct 10 - 05:01 PM

Life is good no matter what is going right or wrong. I just keep remembering that. . . .


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