Think Through the Drill

That’s what “The Fat Man,” a.k.a. LTC (Ret.) E.V. Adams, director of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band use to tell us before we began our practice sessions and then on Saturdays when we did “The Drill” before thousands of football fans.  I remember to this day, how I would meticulously remember each step, six to five, I would take, where I would turn left or right or where I would countermarch.  Precision military marching.

Stephen Covey said, “Start with the end in mind.”  Fr. Richard Rohr, like so many mystics of all faith traditions, calls it “mindfulness” and/or “contemplation.”  Some behavioral scientists call it, “Being in the present.”  The opposite of all of the above is just cruising through life with no intention, no direction, lots of chaos and on a good day, some successful crisis management.

As I look back over my life, I realize there are many times that are just a blur.  That’s not because of a poor memory.  It’s because I was so busy doing life, I forgot to live.  I was focusing on what had happened, especially the hurts and affronts I “received” from others or I was planning my revenge.  Yes, gentle readers, I have stooped to such base levels on rare occasions!

My Psychodrama mentor, Dorothy Baldwin Satten, Ph.D., use to say, “If you don’t change direction, you’ll wind up where you’re going.”  Wisdom indeed!  My casual observation of our contemporary society, especially those who have not yet arrived to their mid fifties, is quite similar to what I experienced in that part of my life, only they have so many electronic detractors to enhance the process of avoidance.

Want to have a better spiritual life?  WAKE UP!  Quit self medicating with busyness, substances, electronic brain suckers, replaying of old hurts and failures.  Be in the now.  Give yourself, and others, the gift of silence, reflection, planning, preparation and contemplation.  And if your response is, “I’m too busy,” you are.

Spirituality Killers

I was talking to a very good friend today and he was sharing some existential angst about what one of our Aggie class mates had posted on our Google group.

A bit of background, fair readers.  As graduates of the Bastion of Academia and Conservatism in Texas, we have progressed through life in a myriad of ways.  Most of us were staunch conservatives in 1969.  Vietnam, Richard Nixon, and LBJ all had their impact.  Many classmates are still conservatives.  A few of us are card carrying liberals.  Hence the problem.

As we were speaking he was at the penitent stage of having been snarky in his e-reply and I heard myself say, “We all have the propensity to be visceral.”  Sometimes I scare myself with my profundity.  At least until I realize that the source of the comment was not my own.  The Universe (apply your own descriptor) said it through me.  I just love it when that happens.

I simultaneously grasped the reality that when we are visceral, i.e., in a fight/flight reaction we block our relationship with the universe and are rarely at our best—unless we are a SEAL Team fighting against overwhelming odds.  It seems to me, that to grow our soul, we must avoid that state and be in our frontal cortex to be aware of the beauty, peace, joy and wholeness around us—if in fact it is occurring at that moment.

What works for you?  How do you grow your soul?  I’d be happy to hear your comments.  Peace, mtc


Welcome, Bienvenidos, Willkommen, Accueil, Benvenuto, An yo hoshimika.   I am so pleased you have chosen to join me on my new website and my first blog.  I look forward to hearing from you and your feedback.  “Don’t bother to do another one,” is an acceptable response!

A couple of disclaimers:

  • As many know, I’m a native Texan and frequently resort to Texas humor, syntax and/or dialect.  Living in many parts of the world, like Korea, Germany, New Jersey, Kansas and Nebraska I have learned that not everyone appreciates, or even understands my comments.  If it doesn’t make sense, it’s probably me being Texan.
  • As a clergy person, I actively work to not be religious. I won’t be using Christocentric language, for which I have taken a number of criticisms from well intentioned Christians when I was blogging, before it was called blogging during my tenure at Methodist Healthcare System, 1995-2004.

My goal is to publish something at least every other week.  My year of way too much travel, marketing my book, is almost over and I look forward to being home with “The Girls,” my two toy poodles, Bijou and Zoe’. Stand by for pics.

Spirituality is how one relates to their universe.  Religion is the codification of spirituality.  Those definitions have worked many years for me. I hope they will for you as I share my thoughts, experiences and hopes.


Peace, mtc