Sometimes all you can do is what you can do — and then you are free (from that person who yelled at you in the hallway)

Last week going into basketball practice with my son I was accosted by an acquaintance in the hallway of the community center. 

Here’s how it went down:

My son and I converged with Zhu-Zhu — that’s what we’re gonna call her — and her son and daughter near the entrance of the civic center. I called out a hello as Zane bounced up to her son. Zhu-Zhu looked at me, startled, then looked down and backed up so that we would not quite converge, her daughter almost piling into her.

I walked with the two boys down the hallway and round a bend, talking about the previous week’s game, while Zhu-Zhu and daughter trailed behind. Her son played on a different team — and I was asking about how he did in the last game.

Rounding the final bend before the gym, taking us once more into a hallway. Zhu-Zhu strode up beside us and called out loudly.

People were streaming in both directions — so when she stopped us full stop it created a logjam in both directions.

“Evan,” she said loudly. “I demand an apology! Right here in the presence of my kids!”

“Zhu-Zhu,” I asked. “For what? What are you talking about?”

Though I knew something was askew from the way she non-greeted my greeting — still — nothing prepares you for this kind of surprise attack. To be accused publicly and to not have a clue why . . . .

Then something comical happened, if seen from a distance— probably a distance of no more than three feet on either side of us, where people were piling up. We repeated our witty banter almost verbatim, with only slight word variation. 

“You owe me an apology right now in front of my kids!” Her two kids looked hapless, trying to shrink away. My son appeared as perplexed as I was.

“Zhu-Zhu, seriously, for what? What are you talking about?”

As we stood there in this back and forth she gathered force. She crescendoed.

“I deserve an apology right now in the presence of my kids!”

“Zhu-Zhu . . . you’ve got to tell me what you’re talking about. What is this about?”

“I deserve an apology in the presence . . I don’t even want you in the presence of my kids!”

With that she marched forward into the gym, her ducklings in tow. She’s a healthy-sized duck, there was a bit of waddle.

I looked down at my son: “Do you have any idea what this is about?”

He shook his wide-eyed head no.

In the gym I went over to her and asked again: “Hey Zhu-Zhu, I have no idea what’s going on. What’s this all about?”

She was seething: “Ask Marlon.”

“About what?”

Marlon is her husband, almost ex-husband — we’d become good parent friends again in the wake of their split up. Zhu-Zhu and Marlon, of course, were battling it out in the divorce system. Why she would send me to him, I had no idea.

A similar comedy ensued. Back and forth sameness.

“Ask Marlon.”

“Why don’t you tell me. You brought all this up. What’s going on?”

“Ask Marlon.”

“Zhu-Zhu, what’s this all about?”

“Ask Marlon.”

“What am I asking Marlon about?”

She paused . . . “Opposite weeks.”

I nodded and walked away.

I’d spoken with Zhu-Zhu less than a handful of times in the past couple of years, all in the prior month or two, in passing while our sons played basketball in the same league. Different teams, mostly same training and game times.

My hand instinctively went to my side pocket where my phone was.

I thought, wait


When you are confronted publicly and vehemently your heart rate goes stratospheric — especially when you have no inkling as to its origin.

That’s not entirely true. Zhu-Zhu had a history of flamboyant distress in her life. Accidents, addictions, police at her door, breakdowns, staying in bed for weeks while her husband fended for the kids as best he could off work hours, periodic crises where others — including us — came to the aid of her family. 

It was only a few weeks earlier we’d taken her kids home with us for the evening, fed them and soothed them, because she was having a crisis.

Those were the origin stories.

Yet it was my first confrontation with her. I’d only heard about them before through others. 

I breathed slowly and deeply, only 15 feet from Zhu-Zhu. 

Here’s where meditation comes to your aid as a focusing agent. When you meditate you are accustoming your body-mind to enter into a calm clear space. 

After an incident like this confrontation, with heart racing and breath shallow, within a minute of turning my attention to my breath I felt myself clearer, calmer. 

I thought, I’m not calling Marlon. If I’d done something inconsiderate he would have called me and said, “Dude, this wasn’t cool, this thing you said/did. Is there some way you could make it right?”

Marlon hadn’t called. This episode was pure Zhu-Zhu. She was sending me to someone else to find out the source of her ire, someone she wasn’t even on good terms with. How fucking pre-school. (I wasn’t entirely calmed.)

The action I chose was non-action. I would not call Marlon. It was up to Zhu-Zhu to communicate what was bothering her.

. . . . .

Though I never called Marlon, Marlon ended up calling me. After a blistering series of communications from Zhu-Zhu.

A couple weeks prior at a practice, Zhu-Zhu suggested that we get the kids together on the weekends that Marlon didn’t have the kids — which was when our children always got together. 

“Oh, that won’t work Zhu-Zhu, we’re already scheduled on alternate weekends. [Which is true, it’s a long-standing commitment.] But believe me, we get the kids together as much as possible.”

It was that that had apparently pissed her off. Though because she won’t tell me, I don’t know why.

. . . . .

Still . . . I didn’t want to leave the situation in the air like that. 

I went to meditation and prayer. I sent compassion to her. I visualized giving her a peace flower, every time I thought of her. Because I know this: The knotted-up energy behind this exchange could be softened, even if only one party was interested.

I visualized giving a flower to Zhu-Zhu so often that on our way to the next game I thought, Why not give her one in reality?

I plucked a wildflower that seemed perfect, a sprig of yellow little bursts fanned out on several tendrils. It was simple and natural.

When I saw her conversing with a friend of ours I walked up and held out the wildflower.

“Zhu-Zhu, I brought a peace flower for you.”

She grimaced and huffed away. Oh she exuded bottled up turmoil.

Here’s the beauty in this: Her grade school behavior freed me. 

I had done what I could do. 

I’d asked five or six times what the issue was, on two separate instances — the first when she first confronted me in the hallway — the second minutes later when I approached her inside the gym. 

I’d sent her love and compassion for days, whenever I thought of her. 

I’d brought her a peace offering . . . .

This is what overcame me the moment she spurned my peace gesture: Peacefulness! 

I was overcome with glorious, easy peace. 

I had done what I could do — and in fact will continue to impart compassion in her direction whenever she comes to mind — and now I was released into exuberance again.

By offering peace, I’d attained peace. 

For you 

Evan Griffith
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John Marshall won’t accept this!

The forever effervescent John Marshall lives much of the time in his camper. It’s also his work vehicle. And only mode of transport.

Me: What do you do when your vehicle breaks down?

John: I don’t accept that word!

He was vehement and immediate in his response. 

He spoke about how attentive he was to the camper’s needs, and how over the years it had gotten so that he could anticipate where things might go awry. 

He does the majority of the vehicle maintenance himself, so you could say that he and the camper have blended into a unified field. 

What I loved  why I’m sharing this with you today  was his utter dismissal of the idea that it could break down. He simply didn’t allow that concept into his thinking.

It wasn’t that he pretended it wouldn’t break down. 

No  he intended it so fiercely that he learned every little thing about the machine  so he could be ahead of its needs. 

And live problem free. (At least in this area . . . )

Intention. Determination. Action. 


For you —

Evan Griffith
What creators do

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Vironika Tugaleva: The object of her envy

Confiscated from
The Love Mindset
by Vironika Tugaleva

My relationship with myself was the most verbally abusive relationship I’ve ever had.

. . . . .

One mid-June afternoon in my late teen years, I had my first eye-opening experience . . . . 
There I was gliding awkwardly through the perfume department when I looked up and I saw a girl that immediately triggered that hot, sick envy. Like a shot of straight whiskey, it came down hard and washed its hot sickness into every part of my core. 
As she walked towards me, I eyed her skinny thighs and perfect breasts, wishing I had what she had. If only, I thought, if only I could have a body like that. Why couldn’t I be born with a body like that? 

She came closer and closer. I felt my heart beating faster as I imagined her eyes drilling through my enormous, unshapely frame silently thanking her creator that, at least, she didn’t look like me. 
My face reddened. I felt my tense limbs surrender in helplessness. I just wanted it to stop. I just wanted to be her, and to stop being myself. I wanted to jump right out of my ugly, disgusting skin and settle into her comfortable, beautiful body.
Only when I was about to walk headfirst into the mirror did I realize it was me. I envied myself. Confused and shocked, I walked out of the store in a strange daze.

you, light being

you, light being

you, lightsong incarnate

you, fluidity in motion

you, suspended here

a drop in eternity


in your crystalline experience

no more




Celebrating word making: Buckminster Fuller’s take on sunrise and sunset

Buckminster Fuller  that American polymath  (an individual of comprehensive learning in several fields)  (which makes me unimathless . . .)  Buckminster Fuller enjoyed coining words to better suit our modern understanding.

For example, he felt that the words sunrise and sunset were impossibly dated. They harked back to when we thought the sun moved around the Earth, rising in the morning and setting in the evening.

Fuller felt these archaic meanings impaired our grasp of how things really worked . . . and so set out to replace them.

What we’re celebrating today is how Buckminster Fuller coined two replacement terms that were not only scientifically accurate but also improbably imbued with poetry.



What E.E. Cummings could do with those words! He could trip the day away between them.

What we could all do with new terminology like this.

There must have been a moonsight and a starclipse too!

Let’s take it upon ourselves to enlighten our minds while speaking new words that speak to new truths.

These two Fullerisms didn’t take of course, or else you’d be uttering them near-daily and there’d be no call for this piece. You’d be ho-humming politely while checking your social media mentions.

But other words have. From other sources:


Conscious living


Personal space


Forever friend




New words arise, giving us new insights into the world.

Possibilities abound . . .

Eyebright (those alive in the moment)

Hunkerdown (when you need some time alone)

Lipsong (when you speak about what you love)

Your turn. Get jiggy with it.


Wrestling with what living in the moment means for one who has a dream

You’ve heard it said:

Be present. 

Be here now. 

Rid yourself of thoughts of past and future so you can experience the power of now.

You’ve also heard it said:

Visualize your dream.

Live your goal until it materializes.

Summon your future by living it emotionally and mentally now.

I’m wrestling with what living in the creative moment means to me. 

(See: The Eckhart-Abraham paradox: Live for the moment or live for a dream?)

There is some kind of twining I’m seeking, of being alive in the moment and alive to what I’m creating simultaneously.

I want to live so congruently that my vision for my life is lived each moment of my life.

One way I’m doing that is by defining my ideal life in terms of what I practice daily. 

Am I practicing connection with others?  

Did I practice connection with Self/Spirit today?  

Is my creative practice in full flower?

By breaking life goals — rich deep relationships; making a creative contribution; optimally fit through the decades — into daily practices I expect to find my way into living this day what I create for this life.

I seek to live locally — for today — by thinking globally — for life.

For you 

Evan Griffith

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Celebrating: You get what you ask for sooo right away sometimes . . .

Yesterday I sat in a diner writing my Vision Page for that day. 

Here’s what was coming through on the page:


Expand LoveJoy in me —  

Expand that LoveJoy in me 

Expand that LoveJoy so that I am an overflowing cup that others drink from 

Let me spill overflow wantonly 

Let me be a fountainhead for LoveJoy wherever I traverse 

LoveJoy  let it slosh mightily, happily

Within minutes a waitress I hadn’t seen in months came over to me. She’d had an operation on one eye that left it a diminished slit, only half the opening it was before. Though undergoing cancer treatment she was her engaging self.

She said: “You’re always so happy.”

And I said, it was her: “I’m like a mirror — I’m just reflecting you back.”

This touched her — she repeated it several times — she lit up, becoming almost sparkly. 

. . . . . . . . . .

LoveJoy abounds

And look at that — you ask to be able to express it, and opportunities appear. Immediately. It’s because there are always opportunities to emanate LoveJoy.

For you 

Evan Griffith
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Mike Dooley: I remember my first big lesson with words

I remember my first big lesson with words when I was in high school. I had my first girlfriend and I hated those quiet times. We’d be walking somewhere, or I’d be visiting her and all of a sudden silence.

And your mind starts racing, you know, Did I say something stupid? Doesn’t she like me anymore? I wonder if she still feels the same way?

So being young and green and in love I didn’t know what to do about that, so I would just banter. Well, at the same time that I had this new girlfriend, my uncle  my British uncle  was visiting us from the U.K.

We were living in Florida at the time and his mantra  Jeez it was his mantra whether or not he was visiting us  was [adopts a bad British accent here], “I’m so tired. I’m soooo bloody exhausted! I am sooo exhausted! I don’t know why but I am so tired.”

Well, having a need to fill up silence, and being willing to banter about anything, I used my uncle’s words without even knowing it. And to fill up the silences with my new girlfriend I would say, “Wow, I’m really tired today. I’m so tired today. I have no idea why but I am exhausted. I am so tired.”

As you can imagine, this is not a good way to foster young love. I became so tired, and she’d be like, “Mike, why are you always so tired?”

And I’d be like, “I don’t know but I am, I’m so tired!”

Well, back then I wasn’t saying “thoughts become things,” but I had begun my journey into understanding the powers of thought, the powers of our mind  and it dawned on me one day  it must have been an angel whispering in my ear  “If I stop saying, ‘I’m so tired, I’m so tired, I’m so exhausted, I don’t know why.’ I wonder if I’d feel a little better, if I wouldn’t be so tired?”

. . . And it was virtually instantaneous. Immediately the fatigue I’d been feeling went away. It was shocking. Even then as a high school student I was blown away by the immediate results that I was experiencing by not saying, “I’m so tired.”

And I bet you know the truth about what I’m saying. In fact I bet you know that you could make yourself as tired as I did by saying that again and again, day in and day out. “I’m so tired. I’m so tired. I’m so tired.”

Right? Am I right? . . . I’m right.

Excerpted from this audio CD set by Mike Dooley:
Leveraging The Universe And Engaging Life’s Magic
For you Evan Griffith
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Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

I’m on a Maya Angelou kick (again). . . . I can’t help it, Maya Angelou has overtaken me . . . here you go.

Phenomenal Woman


Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, Inc.

Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)

For you 

Evan Griffith
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Ruth Ava Lyons: An artist who embeds spiritual messages in her artwork

“As she paints, Lyons embeds prayers in the layers of her paint. She has developed a script she calls “Ruthtavian,” which is inspired by the beauty and timely relevance of Chinese and Arabic script, mixed with a dash of shorthand (her mother was a medical transcriptionist), and finished off with her own lines and curves. Lyons imbues the characters with spiritual meaning, praying for whatever is important to her that day

From an article in Today’s Charlotte Woman

We can all do this! Embed meaning in what we do . . . 

There’s a point in every process where we can insert our divine intentions. Think about it, you’ll find them. And then you’ll relish imbuing your work with greater potency.

It will show through, too, just as it does for Ruth Ava Lyons. She closed down her gallery at the height of the 2008 crash . . . only to find her work more in demand than ever before.

For you —

Evan Griffith
What creators do

Click here for the occasional thing from The World Is Freaky Beautiful.