by Lon on January 17, 2011

in art,Character,creativity,stories

It’s debatable whether the ‘resistance‘ is with us from birth.

When I look at my children, I’m reminded that kids make beauty without even knowing it. They’re not oppressed by the weight of what the world might think of them, they simply are.

My daughter Gem blows bubbles and giggles to herself. My older daughter Stellar makes up songs and dances like no dance you’ve ever seen. My wife and I have commented that it’s like she’s lost in her own world.

But I wonder if it’s her who’s lost, or us?

Who’s really more screwed up – Our kids who don’t seem to know any better, or we who seem to live fragmented lives at the knees of resistance?

And then I see it happen before my eyes as my daughter looks back at me.

If I do this daddy smiles… but if I don’t, he doesn’t… Or if I try this, and I can’t, he gets sad…

And little by little the voices invade. Resistance takes root.

Are there voices that plague you that don’t belong in your head? You can start by trying to complete the sentence “Sometimes I feel that I’m not ______ enough.”

Chances are deeply internalized statements like these are preventing you from doing much of what you were created for.

Sometimes resistance seeps its way in from the outside. But the trickiest thing is when we can no longer distinguish the voice of resistance from our own.

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The Resistance

by Lon on January 14, 2011

in Character,creativity,Quotes

Most of us live two lives. The life we live, and the unlived lives within us. Between the two stands resistance. ~ Steven Pressfield in “the war of art”

Resistance is that pervasive gap between all you hope for and the action required to seeing it through.

I have no doubt there’s a wide spectrum of what’s on your bucket list or the dreams you’ve resolved to accomplish. Some of it might be silly others might be profoundly wondrous and frightening.

The concern I have (especially within my own life) is the even wider chasm between thinking about doing something and actually following through on it.

Every day I battle resistance.

I find solace in the fact that the apostle paul, one of the heroes of the bible, also struggled with resistance. He openly shares about his inability to do the things that he desires, and often doing the complete opposite. He describes this resistance as ‘the sin living within me’ (Romans 7)

The resistance goes by other names – your personal demon, the evil within, the flesh, the enemy, the great darkness, the devil.

Every one of us face resistance.

And I don’t mean when we don’t feel like doing the dishes, that’s just laziness. Anyone can do the dishes. Resistance is all that stops you from doing what only you can do.

It could be a new life-changing venture, a new discipline, a selfless act, or simply an awkward conversation that must be had. Either way it’s whenever you begin responding to that unique calling or prompting that resistance rears its ugly head.

It’s easy to describe resistance as some external force. Whenever something doesn’t work out right it’s easy to say it’s out of our hands, or it’s some form of cosmic spiritual warfare that we have no control over. Some of it’s probably true, but my guess is that the bulk of all that’s wrong with the world is due to this ‘sin within’.

The resistance can shred you to pieces but the kicker is that it’s self-induced.

And because of that, all of us can do something about the resistance.

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Resolve

by Lon on January 12, 2011

in creativity,life,questions,video

This classic apple commercial is one of my favorite video clips ever. Inspiring eh?

My issue: just because you you think or dream it can happen, doesn’t mean it will.

How are those resolutions going for you? Or your bucket list? Odds are you’ve forgotten about them already because most resolutions don’t last a week.

As far as I can tell just about every great story or achievement was fraught with adversity.

What keeps you going? Why don’t you just give it up? After all, most people do.

But you’re not most people are you?

There’s little glory or admiration for ‘crazy ones’ who haven’t made ‘it’ happen yet.

When you’re feeling isolation, exhaustion, criticism, rejection, and obstacles in every direction how do you maintain the resolve to keep trucking forward when the dream still seems ever so far off?

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The Bucket List

by Lon on January 10, 2011

in Character,creativity,life

What’s on your bucket list?

ie. Things you need to do before you kick the bucket and leave this earth; Things you dream of achieving; The person you have visions of becoming; Hopes you have before this life is over.

Here’s the harder question. Are you any closer to realizing these dreams today than you were yesterday. Or will you honestly be any closer to making these goals and ambitions happen tomorrow?

I was speaking at a school yesterday and it occurred to me a beautiful thing school can be. Schools are places where we fuel the imaginations of young minds, where character is cultivated, and where children are equipped and then sent out.

Note they’re sent out. I’m not against life long learning in anyway, but we’re not suppose to stay in school forever. I think the same can apply for churches or any other learning environments we’re a part of. We’re to be sent out. Our ideas are suppose to matter.

I doubt anyone has ‘to sit around and think about things’ on their bucket list.

Our hopes and dreams inside are suppose to encounter the world outside.

Is your bucket list, just a wish list? Or do you actually plan on doing something about it?

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Growing is Forever

by Lon on January 7, 2011

in art,creativity,Environment,video

This is sheer beauty. My favorite line was “It was very quiet all the time, because the trees needed to focus on their lives”.

h/t biscotti_brain

Thoughts?

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by Lon on January 3, 2011

in Character,Quotes

Make yourself become who you are - Nietzsche

For 2011 besides a slew of new posts I’m going to experiment with minimalist Mondays. Simpler shorter posts without elaboration. Hopefully less serves to be more.

Your thoughts?

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The decade that past

by Lon on December 31, 2010

in life,stories

My dad always says that the decades seem to go by with every blink of an eye.

We don’t get many decades in life so it’s important to take stock of each one that goes by.

My last decade?

- Wrapped up a brutal engineering degree at McMaster University
- Ended one of the cushiest jobs ever at Nortel Networks (I feel like a personally helped bankrupt the company)
- Met and married the love of my life
- Landed an awesome job at IBM, traveled plenty, and then quit
- Wrapped up a Master degree at Tyndale part time (usefulness still in question)
- Became a Father to two beautiful children – Stellar & Gem
- Discovered I was mortal after numerous injuries & ailments
- Failed abundantly
- Found faith, lost faith, and found it again
- Led a church towards a journey whose destination remains unknown
- Started writing, creating events, speaking, and leading in unexpected ways
- Uncorked a number of passions I can’t wait to materialize this next season of life

It’s amazing there was a time when all I wanted to do was end my life.  Now I can’t get enough of life and and struggle with how I’ll ever top myself.

It’s strange to think that of the thousands and thousands of years of human history, we each only get to share in seven or eight decades.

Time waits for no one.

I know many of you are up to extraordinary things.  What did you learn, become, and do this past decade?

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Solar Crash 2010 highlights

by Lon on December 27, 2010

in creativity,life,Links,resources

Things have been very quiet here lately, but I plan on posting with a vengeance in 2011.

As for now, here are some noteworthy posts from 2010 (some of them are because of the great discussion in the comments)

On beauty & brokenness

Why beauty matters
Beauty is universal
Obviously broken
Everything is broken
When we long for death
Broke beyond repair
Where beauty & brokenness meet
The water broke and beauty flowed (the birth of my 2nd daughter, thinking back I’m not sure my wife would describe Gem as flowing out)

On Creativity

Fringe benefits of failure
The road to hell is paved
How do you repeat the extraordinary?
Why change is hard
The pack is separating

On Faith

Letter to the church of North America – 8th letter initiative
What if Christians were humans?
If you need to call it ‘christian’ it probably isn’t
Not like me (Interview with Eric Bryant and his book I’m a contributor in)
Can I get a witness? – Why people twitter
Sacred in the ordinary

On Haiti

Stop donating to Haiti
Before it was cool
Haiti – Broken | Beautiful

On the City and Urban living

God’s bias for the city
Why the city matters
Why the city can kill you
Why Toronto matters – my city – you should move here if you’re not here already

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