spirit flows thru -- Alison Rittger's spiritual reflections on finding the holy in the daily

Big Ideas


PictureBig Idea #3 / Alison R.
Lot’s of email reaches me wherin the senders hope to make a better person of me. And I appreciate their interest. They urge me to enroll in a course, purchase an audiobook, phone in to a national conference to be broadcast in two weeks or buy transcripts of their thoughts either in pamphlet form or to be delivered PDF to my inbox.

I appreciate their input, particularly for the accompanying compilations of Big Ideas. These ideas come in easy-to-read lists and generally provoke one of two responses in me. They either pump me up as I realize how many of the 10 items listed I have already mastered, such as “cultivating a relationship with nature,” or “celebrating time with a loved one.” Since adding Foxibeau to the household, this second item is really easy and the multiple walks around the neighborhood at all hours have increased the likelihood of the former. Every tree has become a thing of beauty, each weed clump, piles of sere brown leaves heaped against chain link fences – all beautiful.

On the other hand, such a list of Big Ideas can add to my intimations of inadequacy. Taking pride in mastering two out of ten leaves me open to a letdown. What about the other eight?  I have clearly failed to immerse myself in contentment and undoubtedly forgotten to do something fun each day. I am hesitant to catagorize cataract surgery and dental implant post-op visits as “fun.”

Luckily, I can use Top 10 Big Ideas as a model for my own doings of the past week or so. Mine as follows:

1 Foxibeau becomes a service dog and can go to the movies with me thus leading me to choose shorter movies for the two of us. Big Idea: Two attention spans are better than one.

2 Foxibeau factors into my decision not to usher at four Nutcrackers this December because of the hour and a half pre-performance time required. This, of course, means no ushering during the opera season itself. Life-altering! Big Idea: Time increases in value.

3 I buy Billy Collin’s recently published poetry book, Aimless Love, and try out his voice which influences me to write a poem of aimless love to my therapist, but I don’t give it to her. Big Idea: Creativity without approval provides pleasure.

4 I recognize how furniture placement can increase comfort. I used to empower high school journalism students with instructions to move furniture when interviewing administrators. I am seeing the wisdom of attending to my own felt sense of empowerment and comfort. In the poem to my therapist, I put a blue chair into its own stanza. This was a chair I carried out of an adjoining room to facilitate my sense of presence during my session. The couch already in the room was just too slouchy and low. Big Idea: Make it happen rather than wait for someone to read your mind.

5 Connection to another is the best feeling in the world. I feel safe, loved and loving. Big Idea: Connecting with another is basic. Babies have to do it or else…. And it is never too late to have the experience.

6 Gratitude is good. And generosity is its outgrowth. Big Idea: Think of what peripheral people have added to your life and plan to gift them for the holidays. For me, these are mostly men I have met at Starbuck’s on Fillmore and O’Farrell. Some live in hotels, others are homeless. We have become companions. A Starbuck’s gift card is a no-brainer.

7 Stop now so the blog that follows can finish the list. Big Idea: Starting can be the hardest part.  

Comments are closed.