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Seems like these days, my daily/weekly/monthly self-themes are things like “don’t give up” and “keep on smiling” and “onward and upward.” So I guess it wasn’t a huge surprise when I gave myself a “whack” from the Creative Whack Pack iPhone app that the card presenting itself was entitled “Be Persistent.” How right in line with my other regular recurring themes these days. You’d think the Universe had planned it or something.Be Persistent

But wait, first a little background on the Creative Whack Pack, in case you aren’t familiar with it: It’s a deck of 62 cards that’s billed as a “creativity tool” and is designed by the author, Roger von Oech, to give you a little nudge or a big “hey there” or even a whack when you need a little extra something to get that creativity flowing again about whatever it is you’re up against, whether it’s a decision you’re having to make, a direction you might want to take your day in, or just a little shove to get you over a hump you’ve been trying to get over. Back in the days when I owned a coffee shop, I kept a deck of these cards on a side table where I encouraged everyone to pick a card and get their Whack of the day while they waited for me to make their lattes or cappuccinos. It made for some great conversations, I can tell you.

So back to today.

The Creative Whack Pack iPhone app is more comprehensive than the deck of Whack cards: for one thing, there are twenty more cards. Yes, that’s 82 whacks you can get every day. If you want to do them all in one day, that is.  The app also has what’s called the Creativity Workshops, where you can “select an issue” (either write your own in or have the app pick one for you) and the app will then choose a card from each of the four “suits” to help you creatively solve your issue. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, yes, it really is just that simple.

Be Persistent textI’ve had the deck of cards for about 8 years and the app (which is only available for iPhone) for about 3 years; when I remember to, I choose a card and see what it relates to, or even IF it relates to, anything going on in my life at the moment. Invariably, it does. Maybe it’s the power of suggestion; I don’t know. But I do know that today’s card, Be Persistent, is certainly right up my proverbial alley right now. I mean, check out that last sentence on the card, will you? “You’re likely to get knocked down a few times. When that happens, get up.” Hey. Do they know me or something?

Want me to pick a Whack from the deck for you? Let me know… and I’ll send you a Whack!

Persistence for me these days looks like my right hand and arm are in constant motion, no matter where I am, stretching, bending, wiggling, moving, tweaking. I’m determined to get some range of motion back into my wrist and for each day that goes by, the possibility of that happening goes down dramatically. If I don’t get it back in the next couple of weeks or so, my wrist will “freeze up” in the position it’s in and I won’t be able to get my fork into my mouth without some strange body contortions to make sure the food doesn’t fall off the utensil on its way to my mouth. I can tell the mobility progress has already slowed down significantly and actually, it freaks me out just a little to consider that this may be all I get. Well, okay, according to the orthopedic surgeon and the hand therapist, I’ll get just a tad more if I keep working at it, but they also tell me that the majority of the movement comes back in the first thirty days, which was six weeks ago. So yes, I’m a little freaked out.

Yes, I know, I know.

I’m hanging in there, I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do, I’m remaining positive. I know. I really do. But I also know that the prospect of this being all the mobility I get out of my wrist for the rest of my life is setting a little heavy on my mind right now. I’m persistently stretching my tendons and stuff. I’m persistently doing my hand exercises. I’m persistently keeping my head in today and doing my best not to let it rest in the freak-out that consistently tries to settle into the little voice in my head. Truly, I am. I’m being persistently persistent. Or something like that.

I haven’t done much writing in the past few months because so much of what’s in my head seems to be focused on making it through one day at a time, and sometimes one moment at a time. I finally have a few days’ break from all the doctors and tests that have seemingly consumed my life lately (thank you, holidays! the docs are taking time off to be with their families!) so I think it’s time to get caught up on a few stories. I’ve been promising some people that I’d post pics and stuff about the surgery so I’ll be doing that soon, and I also have made a Big Move (well, a big move for me…) and I’d like to write that story, too. I’m now motivated to see if I can play some catch-up on you all!

Thank you all for being my readers and for all your thoughts and prayers and healing energies sent my direction over the past few months. I know each and every one of you is in my corner with me and I love you for it. If I could, I would give a big hug to each of you. So instead, find someone to give you a hug from me, and then give them one back for helping me out with the hugs. We all could use more hugs, right?

I wish you a peaceful Season of Days – Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Yule, Ramadan, St. Lucia Day, Festivus, Oatmeal Muffin Day, Boxing Day, Whatever-You-Celebrate Day. It’s a wonderful time of the year and with all these holidays in December, I’m hoping we all can find something to celebrate. Or, hehehe, if you’re like me, try to celebrate as many as you can possibly fit into your schedule.

Click here if you need some ideas for days to celebrate; and even if it’s already passed, why not celebrate it anyway?

* * * * * * * * *

Alone or lonely during the holidays? I’ve spent some holiday seasons alone but I don’t think I’ve ever been lonely. I enjoy being with myself – I don’t “feel bad” when I see families out celebrating together or couples enjoying each other’s company – and I think that might be the reason why I don’t feel lonely. As long as I like being with me, I’ll always have someone with me that likes the same things I do, eats the same food I like, enjoys the same movies, etc. Does that mean I don’t sometimes wish I had someone to share things with? Of course I do. But if not, I’ll share with me. If you’re alone this season and feeling lonely or depressed, I hope you’ll take advantage of Google and see if there’s something out there on the internet that might give you some ideas to help you make it through the next couple of weeks. Or go ahead and CLICK HERE for some ideas – it’s a place to start.

Be Persistent, It Said
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8 thoughts on “Be Persistent, It Said

  • December 23, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Very sorry to hear your new news about your wrist. Do you know if the Creative Whack Pack is only available on iPhone? I will do a search, but I would be happy to have you send me a Whack. Merry Christmas! Hugs!

    • December 23, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      Hi Lorna! I’m disappointed in my wrist progress as well but the alternative was to have bone-on-bone in my wrist, which I chose not to do. So there you have it. It is what it is 😀

      The Whack Pack is available in deck form from Amazon http://amzn.to/1YyXDVG but for the app, only looks like it’s on the iPhone.

      Your Whack is from the “Explorer” suit and is called “Let Your Mind Wander.” The card reads:

      Some idea-getting advice from the poet H.W. Longfellow: “Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.”

      Much of our thinking is associative: one idea makes us think of another. Use this ability to generate new ideas.

      It’s as simple as 1-2-3!

      1) Just look at something, and make associations. These associations can be based on a similar function, location, size, shape, sound, class, or whatever personal connection you care to make.

      2) What do these associations make you think of?

      3) Keep repeating step #2.

      For example, what does “Work” make you think of?

      It reminds me of “Play.”

      And that makes me think of “Actor.”

      Which takes me to “Star” — and then to “Sun” — “Light” — “Bulb” — “Tulips” — “Kiss” — “Love” — “Tennis” — “Net” — “Profit” — “Prophet” — “Oracle” — “Auricle” — to “Heart” — and finally to “Rhythm.”

      Notice that if my association for “Light” had been “Traffic” instead of “Bulb,” then all of my subsequent associations undoubtedly would have been very different, perhaps: “Light” — “Traffic” — “Sales” — “Sails” — “Wind” — “Gasbag” — “Politician” — “Bribe” — “Sweetener” — and finally to “Honey.”

      Who knows? Perhaps “Honey” might have been just the concept I needed!
      Speaking of “sweet things,” here’s a sweet observation about daydreaming from writer Kurt Vonnegut: “People don’t come to church for the preaching, of course, but to daydream about God.”

      — What things does your problem make you think of?
      — What does each of these remind you of?
      — How can you use this cluster of associations to develop your idea?
      — When can you take some time out for reverie?

  • December 23, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Great post, Lois! I say, keep going with the wrist. .. the doctors are absolutely right… from the point of view of their paradigm. We can cultivate alternative paradigms! Hey, there are kids in “third world” countries who have regrown WHOLE LIMBS–because no one ever told them they couldn’t! Be persistent with the day to day practice of miracle creation and see what happens
    Love you… and I would love a whack pick when you get the chance. Layla sends her love!

    • December 23, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks, Silvianne! I know that it’s my head that slows down the progress and that’s why I constantly strive to tell it other things to say to me! Outrageous Openness! Yes!! I don’t tell my wrist I’m disappointed in it – I tell it I love it and want it to be the best it can be. It’s the progress it’s making that I’m being judgmental about… and I’m stopping that RIGHT NOW!

      Hugs to you and Layla!

      Here’s your Whack: it’s from the Heraclitus (Greek philosopher who lived ~500 BC) suit and is called “Stir Things Up” and includes this quote from Heraclitus: “The barley-wine drink falls apart unless it is stirred.”

      The text reads:
      In ancient Greece, the “barley-wine” drink (kukeon) was a sacred libation made by mixing together ground barley, grated cheese, and wine. If the drink were not kept in a state of constant agitation, the contents stratified and the barley-wine drink ceased to exist.

      Our minds are like this. If we settle into comfortable routines, our thinking becomes stagnant and rigid. We need a challenge — such as solving a problem, pursuing an opportunity, having something at risk, or dealing with something new — to bring vitality to our minds.

      Tip: Appreciate the creative power of turbulence.

      Turbulence can be destructive — turbulent water can capsize ships and rupture pipes.

      Turbulence can also be beneficial. It creates the dynamic mixing of materials that are typically separated when at rest.

      This is good for the creative process: ideas get stirred together that might not otherwise be joined. As historian Chester Starr put it:

      “Every so often civilization works itself into a corner from which further progress is virtually impossible along the lines then apparent.

      “If new ideas are to have a chance, the old systems must be so turbulently shaken that they lose their dominance.”

      Genghis Khan’s Mongol invasion of China in the thirteenth century shook up what had become a stagnant country. The ensuing mixture of Mongol military tactics and expert horsemanship with Chinese iron technology and administrative know-how led to political unity, a flourishing commercial sector, and expanded trade routes.

      — Think back to a particularly turbulent part of your own life. What new things came together for you as a result?
      — How can you stir things up in your issue?
      — What can you question, challenge, and eliminate?

      Me again… interesting that your card is from this suit, isn’t it? Perfect for you 😀 Mr. von Oech’s (Whack Pack creator) description of him includes:

      “Heraclitus was the most provocative of the ancient Greek philosophers and his ideas about life, nature and the cosmos, even 2500 years later, still retain their freshness, relevance, and – yes! – the power to stir our minds. His use of metaphor and paradox makes him sounds more like a poet or religious prophet than a philosopher. His style is similar to a Zen teacher’s paradoxical koan and is designed to ‘whack’ us out of our habitual thought patterns so that we can look at what we do in a fresh way. I consider Heraclitus to be the world’s first ‘creativity teacher.’ “

  • December 24, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Oh, Lois, I am so sorry to hear this. But I am also so proud of you and impressed with the way you are handling all of the crap that’s been thrown at you this year. With your attitude, there is no way you are not going to get better.

    Whack, please!

    Much, much love.

    • December 24, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Thanks, LaVonne! Life can throw all kinds of crap at us, can’t it? I used to have an old friend – yes, she was old *and* she was a long-time friend 😀 – who used to say that it wasn’t what happened to us, it was how we handled what happened to us. I’ve never forgotten that. Sometimes it’s a lot easier said than done but I’m willing to try each and every day and I think that’s what matters. At least, that’s what matters to me 😀

      Much love and big hugs to you and Scout!

      Ok, on to your Whack!

      Just like Silvianne’s Whack card, yours is also from the Heraclitus suit (see the notes in my comment to her about this ancient Greek philosopher). The name of the card is “See the Wonder” and includes this quote from Heraclitus: “Many fail to grasp what’s right in the palm of their hand.”

      The text reads:
      As children, we’re awestruck by most of life. Everyday events — from the chirp of a cricket to a telephone conversation with faraway relatives — seem nothing less than miraculous to the average three-year-old.

      Yet somehow, as we grow into adulthood, that sense of wonderment gets drummed out of us. Too many of us sleep-walk through our lives, focusing on trivial matters (“that car took my parking place”) and get locked into narrow ways of thinking (“my way is the right way”).

      Heraclitus advice is to wake up to the wonders of our existence.

      What amazing things do you grasp?

      • That the sun rose this morning and you’re alive to enjoy it?

      • That plants contain the pigment chlorophyll that allows them to store the sun’s energy?

      • That your car brakes work virtually every time you use them?

      • That compassion between human beings isn’t all that rare?

      • That wind chimes evoke child-hood memories of spring rain?

      As scientist Lewis Thomas put it, “Statistically, the probability of any one of us being here is so small that the mere fact of our existence should keep us all in a state of contented dazzlement.”

      — Do you see the magic in your current situation? In your resources?
      — What deadens your awareness of things? What heightens it??

    • December 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks so much for all the info! This was so right on in many ways. Not the least of which is a very literal interpretation of the message… I just started taking barley water as part of my healing journey and I was beginning to lose my motivation for taking it. But I started up again this morning and just found this post! Thanks for being the conduit for Spirit… where else would I have found an oracle deck that specifically mentioned barley for goodness sake. We doI’ve in a magical universe if only we have eyes to see. Merry Christmas / Christ Consciousness to you and yours!

      • December 25, 2015 at 9:31 pm

        I knew this was the perfect card for you, Silvianne! But I didn’t know why – now I know it is the barley water 😀 Merry Christmas, my friend <3

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