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  • Back in 1991 and early 1992, when I took the Abundance, More, and Next Step workshops, on the same street, just down the block in Center City Philadelphia from where Neighbordeb now works, I reinforced something really important for me then, and even more important for me now. My job is not my true source of income and sustenance, nor is the government my true source for anything. For me, the two happened to be one and the same. The thing I learned was, my true source and strength and sustenance don't come from "out there" at all. They come from within.

    I had become convinced, during an exercise we did in the Next Step workshop, that I had to leave my job. I don't fully remember what brought me to that conclusion, but I do know that I came to it because that's what I thought the facilitator wanted me to come to. At that time in my life I was still trying to live up to other people's expectations of me, of my potential. He helped me to see that it didn't matter what he, or anyone else, thought I should do or be - I should only follow what I think, go with my own inner belief and intuition. That told me to stay, to stay and make a difference there. So that's what I did.

    And, I have - made a difference. It was shortly after that that I found myself in a position to have a national impact on agency decisions and policies that affected thousands of people. Me - who I didn't think, at the time, had an original thought in his head, I was bringing a common sense and a compassion to a table of decision-makers that no one else was bringing, and I was making a convincing enough case that I got them to listen, and adopt my ideas. I became part of the change that I had earlier thought I had to leave my agency because it didn't have these things in place. Instead, I stuck around, and got them implemented. I learned the power of one.

    Today, I am reminded that the government is not my source of sustenance and sustainability. It may be shutdown, it may be my employer, so I may be out of work for awhile. But, I find myself inspired by our Kiki who, instead of being defeated by park closures on her trip all the way up to this country to see our beautiful National Parks, she's going out and finding other beauty, beauty she would not otherwise have found, and sharing that with us, instead.

    So, that's what I'm going to do. Find the beauty - the humor - the things that come for free, simply for those willing to look for them.

    I'm already completely tired of, and over, the whole chorus of outrage over this whole situation. What will my outrage do to stop or change it? Nothing. It will only make me madder and want to eat nails. Nails taste like shit. Well, not really, they're kind of metallic tasting and really difficult to chew, but you get my point. If you've ever tried to eat them, you know what I'm talkin' about.

    Today, I'm just going to chill - do my morning quiet time, go for a ride on my bike, enjoy the beauty, look for the humor, and appreciate the free time I have on my hands. That's what I'm going to do. Yes, and also clean out that scary back basement room. Or, at least, start in it.

    It looks like it's going to be another beautiful day. Another gift from the universe. Dig it!
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