What Is

The Wind In Our Sails“I am amused that you continue to ask for me to explain — what is not and never was.”

That was my response to an attorney, who wanted me to explain the unexplainable. He had taken a course of action, which transformed the simple into the complex. In fact, the potential exists that he has endangered a Family by encouraging them to, unintentionally, break the law.

How often do we fall into the trap of letting our thoughts and energies be consumed by the not of what is?

In other words, how much of our day is wasted by thinking about what is behind us — or, what is outside of our control? That’s the purest and craziest definition of — what is not and never was.

If we’re standing in the light of what is right, there is absolutely no reason to explain the darkness of another person’s wrong. To do so changes our thinking from, what is — to, what is not.

This is what is:

1.) Law provides order to what otherwise results in chaos. Every structure of dynamic goodness functions within the parameters of principle.

2.) Activities of growth and purpose occur in the Present — moment to moment — because of a thoughtful plan for the Future.

3.) We are Captains of our own Destiny, who sail the seas of the unknown and find our greatest happiness in the Journey of enriching the lives we touch.

That’s plenty to keep us busy.

Understanding the core principles of right and wrong is one thing. Living a life of principle is another. Sometimes, we do what we know not and, then, forget to do what we know. Eventually, we sync knowledge with action, to discover a higher dimension — of thought and being.

Focusing our attention on one thing at a time can best be remembered with this mantra — “Whatever our hands find to do, let’s do it with our might.” And — if those efforts are constant and consistent with a purposeful plan, the result will be a reality of our dreams.

Believing in a future beyond our imaginations unshackles us from the safe harbor of what is known. In fact, belief in a Higher Power becomes the wind in our sails. As with all destinations, Ports of Call come and go. What endures, forever, are the impressions made on the souls aboard — and, beyond.

Forget about the small minds chained to the chaos of — what is not and never was.

Remember the power of Understanding, Focusing, and Believing in — What Is.

www.kimfoardcpa.com

Take the Next Step

Take the Next Step

How many metaphors are there, for Life?

Life is a journey.
Life is a dance.
Life is like riding a bike.

Yes, and, many, many more. Yet, these three offer food for thought. Each of them involve choice and movement.

Pedal, or tip over.
Shift balance, or fall down.
Take the next step, or stay stuck.

In other words, the mantra for successful living is, “Up to, and through.”

Yep. The secret is to step right up to the edge of fear and push through to the other side. Oh, does that ever feel so, very, good! And, then, if we bask in the glory too long, regrets of the Past and anxieties of the Future sneak up on us.

This is the magic elixir to replace fear with courage.

Take ~

Life is what we make of it. Grab the bull by the horns and the tiger by the tail. Hop aboard the carousel and reach for the brass ring. The best way to receive all we want and need is to take the time to serve the wants and needs of others.

The ~

This is it folks. This moment will never happen, again. Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive. Those who hesitate are lost. The early bird gets the worm. The victory goes to the quick. There is no time like the Present.

Next ~

Forget the Past. It’s gone. Ignore the Future. It will be there patiently waiting. Ask any bull rider their secret and you’ll hear, “I just ride ‘em jump for jump.” Their mind is centered on that one jump, which follows the last and comes right before the next.

Step ~

Action is the catalyst to move from Here to There. Increase the action and results increase, too. For every cause, there is an effect. Want warmth? Throw wood on the fire. Want friends? Act friendly. Want to be happy? Smile.

At some point in the journey of life, many of us have been guilty of wanting to arrive. You know, “Set a goal, work hard, get there, and, then, desire to camp out, rest, coast, play, and otherwise goof off.” Then IT happens, regrets of the Past and anxieties of the Future sneak up on us.

Or, there are those who can’t make up their mind. They take forever to make a decision and, then, are quick to change direction. Whatever direction the wind is blowing, they drift with it. In contrast, are the achievers, who are quick to decide and slow to change course.

In setting a course, peaks trump plateaus. To reach any peak requires a climb from the valley below. The view from the top is an opportunity to see higher vistas. Then, down we go, coasting into another valley, to begin the ascent to higher levels of accomplishment.

Whatever the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve.

Let’s boldly take the next step.

www.kimfoard.com

Trinity of Choice

Verily, it is almost a religious experience to ask a simple question and to receive a simple answer.

Why is it that so few people know what they want?

Why do they complain about who and where they are?

Why are they reluctant to provide the answers to questions?

Listen carefully to one-hundred individuals and about five of them are happy, content, and at peace with the world. The other ninety-five will be complaining about something. Why?

Happy people take full responsibility for the: Who, What, Where, Why and How of their existence. In fact, they understand their life is the result of every single decision they have ever made.

We get what we allow. If there is something in our life, we put it there. If there is something missing from our life, we have purposefully kept it out. By the selective process of Yes and No, we have made our life, exactly, as it is, or isn’t.

The really whiny individuals of the world will counter with an argument that they didn’t decide. I thank you for the opportunity to state the obvious: A decision to not make a choice is still a decision.

When given the opportunity to choose, we can:

Do the right thing.
Do the wrong thing.
Do nothing.

That’s the trinity of choice. Imagine a fork in the road: Left, Right, or Paralysis. Imagine an elevator: Up, Down, or Stuck. Imagine a simple question: Yes, No, or Maybe. You get the idea.

Do the right thing.
Do the wrong thing.
Do nothing.

Doing the right thing garners inherent rewards.
Doing the wrong thing reveals inherent risks.
Doing nothing does nothing.

Do nothing, be nothing. Do nothing, get nothing. Do nothing, go nowhere. Do nothing, answer nothing. Do nothing, accomplish nothing.

Zero times anything results in a zero-sum game. Life is so much more fun when seasoned with the Rewards and Risks of action.

When facing a choice, make it.

Do something, even, if it’s the wrong thing.

Better, yet, do the right thing!

www.kimfoard.com

Pro Verbs

Pro VerbsWhen push comes to shove, what do you do?

The first natural reaction is to Freeze, while a response is chosen to Fight, or take Flight.

The decision to Fight is made with an affirmative answer to this question, “Big enough to matter and small enough to win?”

The decision to take Flight is, generally, made within the context of, “Run away to live another day.”

At the moment you’re scared silly, who cares the most about your life? Remember, the rest of us are busy slaying our own dragons and enjoying periods of calm between bouts. Does anyone else really care about your anxiety attacks?

People turn to the professionals. Surely, they have a magic wand to calm frayed nerves and to keep the monsters at bay. Nope. Sorry. Contract professionals are hired guns. They are paid to be very good in specific areas of expertise. They are not magicians.

So… we’re back to you and your choice. What do you do?

Within the question is the answer.

Let’s take a look at the simplicity:

You
Do
What
… ever, to create the life You want.

You become the Professional, the one who cares the most about your dreams, your goals, your vision, for YOU.

Once your arms are tightly wrapped around the reality that the world is what You make of it, the Pro is ready for Action.

Ready, Fire, Aim?

As a professional, you know better. Activity without purpose is dangerous. You are, definitely, Ready. Is your immediate Target crystal clear in your sights? If so, squeeze.

Will you miss the mark, at times? Yes. Will you FAIL (First Action In Learning)? Yes. Will you, eventually, waltz into a reality beyond your wildest imaginations? Yes!

There are few guarantees in life. This is one.

If you become a PRO in caring the most about the passion at the core of you and DO your best to share that with all in your sphere of influence, YOU will enjoy an abundant life.

You will be a person of action, a living example of a Verb: The part of speech that expresses existence, action, or occurrence in most languages.

In other words, YOU will be a Pro-Verb: A word or construction (creation) that takes the place of a verb or verb phrase, such as do in the sentence, “She likes ice cream and I do, too.”

YOU will become a PRO-fessional DO-er: someone skilled and confident in the daily practice of life. As you give your best in service to others, fear retreats and faith advances.

When push comes to shove, remember, you’re in good company. There’s a whole book dedicated to the brave men and women passionately committed to this discovery:

Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise.
Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
to help them do what is right, just, and fair.

You guessed it. The name of that book…

Proverbs

www.kimfoard.com

Less is More

Less is MoreMuch more dangerous than failure is success.

With success comes loss.

There is a loss of striving to reach the goal.

After the empire is built, then what?

Last week, in the course of a three-hour conversation with an empire builder, he was most proud of one story.

It was not about the treasures of the empire; it was about the joy of doing. The story epitomizes the essence of this Universal Principle: the fun is in the doing.

As his eyes danced back to the memory of a time long ago, he spoke of a harvest. Earlier in the conversation he had briefly mentioned the juggling act of doing the seeding in and around the other duties of caring for his cows. His first love is the livestock; he farms to care for them.

He smiled as he reminisced about an accomplishment only a few can appreciate. As a member of his club, I enjoyed the verbal portrait he presented. It was one of a cowboy, a combine (without a cab and with a 14’ header), a small straight truck, 320 acres of 20 bushel wheat, and 11 days.

Just imagine hot August days, with hardly a breath of air, sitting in the open on a bouncing seat above the spinning reel of the header, as it sweeps the standing stalks into the cutting bar. The aprons catch the fallen individual stems with heads of grain and rolls them gently to the center of the combine.

This continuous river of wheat flows under the driver into the threshing cylinder at his back. More dust and more roar, as metal fingers pluck wheat kernels from heads of grain. A cowboy, a combine, and a cloud of dust creep back and forth through the field.

The field is 320 acres. That’s one mile long and half a mile wide. A mile is the equivalent of 5,280 feet. With the combine traveling at two miles per hour, two trips across the field can be made in one hour. Each swath measures 14’ across. Since the cowboy, the combine and a cloud of dust have 2,640 feet (one-half of a mile) to traverse, that’s about 200 trips back and forth across the field.

Two trips per hour, nine hours per day, for eleven days was the time required on a bouncing seat, in the heat of August, through a fog of chaff, for our cowboy to earn the right to tell his story. In addition to the time in the driver’s seat, effort was also required to grease, fuel, and repair the iron beast. That was done throughout the stops to unload each hopper of grain into the truck for transport to the bin.

Short story; long lesson: the fun is in the doing. Really?! Eleven days of slogging through the discomfort of heat, dust and itch. Fun?! Yes, because the accomplishment of a harvest is the “Ribbons and Bows” around the planning and preparation that transforms thought into action.

Actions accumulate into a manifestation of success: the treasures of an empire. The stuff will come and go; the legacy will last forever.

The legacy is, simply, to say little and do much. A little bit of verbiage can be powerful, by speaking only the truth. Actions speak so much louder than words.

By giving our best, each and every day, we honor those pioneers of long ago and encourage the beneficiaries of tomorrow, to discover their own path to destiny.

www.kimfoard.com

Anatomy of a Victor

Anatomy of a VictorTwo words, six letters each, exactly opposite in meaning and world view: Victim and Victor.

All individuals on the face of the earth are in one camp, or the other. There is no DMZ, or middle ground.

Every person has made a choice to be, exactly, where they find themselves at this very moment.

Why?

We all have a story to tell.
And, we do tell it so well.

This last week was interesting. Personally, I was engaged in a battle for the future. Right in the middle of the whole dang show was lunch with someone, who is victim, wouldn’t you know; anchored to the past, miserable in the present, and morose about the future.

Why?

Since fire-breathing dragon stories are more interesting than melancholy tirades, this is my story about conquest and victory.

After a year of experimenting with secure Client File Portals for the mutual benefit of my stakeholders, there was an increasing uneasiness about the Hosting Service that I had chosen. The portals were fully functional, my Clients were successfully using them, and I was comfortable in the routine.

(Alert; possible misspelling of routine. Maybe, r-u-t? And, the definition of rut: a grave with the ends kicked out.)

Real danger? Or, just the ever vigilant, vivid, imagination of a Warrior?

All we do begins with a thought.

I was thinking, “There must be a better way.”

In fact, each day, each of us has a choice: Grow, or Die. There is no DMZ, or middle ground.

I was ready to move forward.

One of the many benefits of a Client File Portal, this personal vault in The Clouds, is 24/7 access to digital Documents and the ability to provide copies of files to those stakeholders with a vested interest in building mutually beneficial dynamic relationships.

The only constant in life is change. Over the last twelve months, ShareFile has become a robust service provider of file sharing and portals. By clicking on the hyperlink above, access to their website provides a better understanding of features and support.

Ready and Committed are two, very, different things. Although ready, I was not, yet, committed to move forward. This is the introduction to the next important step on our journey to victory. We need to properly plan and meticulously prepare.

Thought without action is as worthless as a dream without a plan; a blueprint, if you will. Researching viable options and studying the technological landscape was the primary focus in my quest for a better way, and a better Client File Portal.

This is the time in every dragon-slaying story where the weak may want to seek protection. The battle scenes are for mature audiences, only. The most fertile ground and coveted piece of real estate is between our ears. That’s where this war was being waged.

I had invested a year of my life establishing functional, yet primitive, Client File Portals for my stakeholders. I wanted to enjoy the dividends from that investment. What would everyone think, if I changed my mind? And, therein was the answer: Moving forward was the right thing to do.

Yet, the enemy persisted. The cost of the old way was less than the price of the new, uncertain, and unknown future way. What if I failed, again? And, therein was the answer: Failure in my earlier choice had resulted in a valuable education and experience.

That darn dragon refused to go down! He charged at me, again. This time, he plucked at the heart-strings, by camouflaging his attack with my favorite words, “Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.”

That monster of a dragon was about to die.

Deep within the heart of every victor is a burning desire, to serve. They have asked this question of themselves, “What is the passion at the core of everything I do?”

Picture a vibrant, radiant, pulsating, source of energy within the Warrior. The mechanical, physical, heart is warmly surrounded by a glowing and dynamic membrane of higher power. Love is one name given to the unexplainable; it is a powerful force for doing good.

My love of those I serve was the strength behind the final thrust of my sword into the beast.

I was committed to move forward.

Until one is committed,
There is hesitancy, the chance to draw back,
Always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
There is one elementary truth,
The ignorance of which kills countless ideas
And splendid plans:
That the moment one definitely commits oneself,
Then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
That would not otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
Raising in one’s favor all manner
Of unforeseen incidents and meetings
And material assistance,
Which no person could have dreamt
Would have come their way.

I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.
Begin it now.”

—W. H. Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

Although illuminated by the warm glow of first love, the beginning of anything is ugly. For builders, it’s the serious business of excavating a hole in the ground and the hard work of pouring a solid foundation. In the realm of technology, it’s the learning of a new foreign language and carefully navigating into uncharted domains.

Although encouraged by early results, the middle of anything is a slog. Begin, and begin again; one step in front of the other. The safe shore of our launch has long passed from view and the destination is many days away. One Client File Portal after another will be established and made available to those I serve, the best Clients and Friends, those who give so much to me.

Sometime, in the near future, a celebration beckons. All of the new vaults in The Clouds will be available as another mutually beneficial tool, with which to build dynamic relationships. The victory will be a time of jubilee, because it will provide the opportunity for other new beginnings; yet, unseen.

In stark contrast to the jubilation of the victor was the sullenness of my lunch-time partner, The Victim. The story I heard was one of the entire world using and abusing them. Granted, the hand of fate deals its nasty blows to all of us, from time to time. Curious, though, I asked, “Where were you; and, what were you thinking and doing through all of this?”

The victim’s response (paraphrased), “I was right there playing the role of saintly martyr.” Seemed fitting for me to say, “We get what we allow.” Lunch was over.

Waiting for me, on the other side of the battle with my fire-breathing dragon, were two, new, wonderful relationships.

On my left side is Christopher Doll, a ShareFile sales executive, who graciously accepted my offer to make a GoToAssist remote connection with him. We played, we laughed, and I purchased. On my right side is Kelley Figg, a ShareFile account manager, extraordinaire; she is patient beyond belief, generous at the core, and a caring professional.

Two words, six letters each, exactly opposite in meaning and world view: Victim and Victor. All individuals on the face of the earth are in one camp, or the other. There is no DMZ, or middle ground. Each person makes a choice to be, exactly, where they find themselves at this very moment.

As for me, I choose victory!

www.kimfoard.com

Fancy Footwork

West Coast Swing

Much more amusing than a CPA Blogger is a CPA Dancer.

Each week, fingers tickle this keyboard in hopes of reaching your funny-bone.

A recent sashay into the world of West Coast Swing has been enlightening, empowering and encouraging.

The most entertaining element of the experience is how Life follows Dance.

From the dance floor to the canvas of life, these are the Bold and artful lessons that were either reinforced, or learned for the very first time!

Be Open to Opportunities

This saga begins at a community fundraiser event with a live band and a plywood dance floor in a horse barn. Now, really, what are the odds of anything out of the ordinary occurring?!

As I’m standing there enjoying Billy Waldo and the Flying Grizzlies, an older lady taps me on the shoulder and says something to the effect, “I want you to save me a dance tonight. Sometimes, you are hogged by the other women and I don’t get a turn.”

All I could do was blush and say, “You’re sweet!” and “OK.”

Now, the truth of the matter is: Yes, I love music. As a result, I have decent rhythm. My dancing skills are limited to self-taught moves practiced a couple times any given evening when attending an event.

Yet, sure enough, we danced what I knew: a Jitterbug and my “modified” Box-step. She called it a Three-step. Once we had a better name for it, we danced it some more. Then, it got shortened to a Two-step, which usually isn’t my favorite. My favorite, though, is the Waltz; the music changed to three-four time and we danced it, too.

Right in the middle of the whole dang show was a little conversation, wouldn’t you know!

“There’s a workshop in Denver next weekend called Swingtime in the Rockies,” she said.

Always clever with my responses, I said, “Really!?”

The Want To

There is one rule of the Universe that refuses to acquiesce: Change will be met with Resistance. Ruts are graves with the ends kicked out; yet, we are comfortable in them. Decide to do something about the situation and all of creation will test our resolve. The little negative voices in our heads will catch a gear and do double-time in their efforts to talk us out of a new idea. They know, for a fact, “All We Do Begins With A Thought.”

Start At the Beginning

As part of the opening activities of Swingtime in the Rockies, a workshop was offered that first evening. I went; big mistake! Thinking that it might be for beginners, I took the dance floor. A few minutes into the lesson taught by a nationally acclaimed dancer and instructor, I left the dance floor. Sitting there, all alone, on the fringe while everyone else danced, it felt right to leave the ballroom. And, I must confess, the temptation was strong to leave the hotel and go back …

Wait! Go back?! Quit? Never!

Skin in the Game

Some refer to it as Commitment. That night, and the next three nights, of my hotel room were already paid; part of the deal for making reservations at the last moment during tourist season. Maybe it was the Scotch-Irish of my ancestry, or my accountant training, the realization was vivid that I needed to look for the dividends from my investment. And, I wanted to learn how to dance the West Coast Swing, too!

Ugly Mistakes

There are no words to describe the sensation of screwing up on the dance floor. Right there, in front of God and the whole wide world, with video cameras everywhere, a partner is left standing, wondering, “What was that?!”

Laughter

Humor covers a multitude of sins. Plain and simple, when the ego has been beaten to a bloody pulp, the only saving grace is to acknowledge the beauty in a second chance. With a quick apology, wink, and a smile, that opportunity was given every single time over the course of four days!

Communication

Evidently, the instructors of the workshops had previous life experiences of first-hand embarrassments, or being the object of them. They graciously and generously had us dance with different partners throughout the hour of each workshop. One of the social graces of dance is to make an introduction to the new partner. Feeling obliged to give fair warning to the unsuspecting, mine morphed into, “Hi. I’m Dangerous!”

Beauty on the Inside

Since the natural principle is Like attracts Like, seldom in nature do we see Beauty and the Beast. On the dance floor, I got lucky. Or, so I thought; lucky to dance with beautiful women. Quickly, I was reminded of another ageless principle, “Never judge a book by the cover.” The most memorable and insightful encounters of the weekend were with the women of radiant inner beauty.

Thank You

Two simple little words. Regardless of my performance, or lack thereof, all was well at the end of the dance movement by acknowledging the bravado of my partner. Body language is a wonderful medium for expressing feelings of the heart. The fear inherent in keeping sandaled bare toes out of the way of my cowboy boots displayed itself on many faces. An expressive, “Thank you,” always garnered a smile!

Right Here, Right Now

Mindfulness, or living in the present moment, is a given on the workshop dance floor. There is no time to have regrets about the last Ugly Mistake, or to be worried about the next requested Uncertain Movement. Daily growth occurred by focusing on, “Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive,” or if the pain of the current lesson made that thought borderline untruthful, to accept that “This too shall pass!”

My Steps to Leadership

In the moments of learning to lead, there were absolutely no thoughts about what my partner “should” be doing to follow. The point was well made by an experienced dancer, who was enduring my deer-in-the-headlights look and feet-in-the-quicksand hook, in her comment, “I don’t know what you’re supposed to do. I just follow!” (Note to Self: “Oh, darlin’, just wait until next year!”)

Understanding and Appreciation

One, Two, Three and Four, Five and Six. That’s the count. The question for me was: Is all of that done in a four-beat measure, or what?! Sure enough, I finally found the count and the beat. Then, the evenings of watching the Social Dances went from: “Sure is pretty; wonder what they’re doing.” To: “That’s a Sugar-Push. There’s an Inside-Turn. That’s a Right-Side-Pass. Wow; there’s a Whip!”

Step by Step

Day by day, the pieces to the dance puzzle fell into place until the whole picture made more sense. That first beat and step back for the guys was (and continues to be) the hardest thing to remember. Then, there is the issue of arm height and appropriate moments of elasticity with a partner. Add to that the basic moves, musicality, and interpretation, until many steps were taken over four days on the journey of learning West Coast Swing.

Show Up

Each day had scheduled times for the workshops. Good thing, too! Because, without those appointments to keep, the natural inclination was to find something easier and more comfortable to do than stepping onto that dance floor, one more time.

Courage

It is a three-letter word: YES. Our greatest fears are related to the preservation of who we are. Sticks and stones can break our bones; and, words can injure even more severely. It’s a fine line: to grow, we must change; yet, it must be our choice. To preserve the best of who we are as unique creations, while stretching to become better individuals, requires strength of will and fortitude of disposition.

Up to Me

If it is to be, it is up to me. Partners can be wonderful cheerleaders, of our efforts. If I want to dance, it is up to me, to learn. My thoughts, my feelings, and my feet must all engage together to accomplish what is important, to me. Doesn’t matter what others think, feel, or do, about my efforts to dance. All that matters is my love of music and movement!

Ask

In those moments, when I was out of my league in a workshop and totally confused as to the next step to take, a simple request of a partner, “Please, show me,” always took us beyond frustration to a successful result. Maybe, it wasn’t a perfect performance on my part; yet, it was a movement beyond inertia.

Profound Desire to Share

This is the inherent beauty of humans: we all want and need to offer the best of who we are to another. Some of us have earned the reputation as ministers, because we are full of it and freely offer to any and all. Others are more subdued in approach; yet, when asked, are equally able and willing to share their inherent gifts.

Higher Levels

From novice, to intermediate, to advanced, to all-stars, there is a progression of accomplishment and confidence. Each level provides opportunities to see even greater challenges. At the beginning, we don’t know what we don’t know. As we advance, we come to fully understand that we will never achieve a full understanding of what is possible!

Inconsistency creates Consistency

“Say, what?!” I thought, when the instructor first said it. Then, he reminded us of the imperfect human condition: we can never do the same thing, the same way, every time, perfectly. Variety is the spice of life. Our choice: Be frustrated; or, Wrap our minds and arms around the excitement of something new and different, every time. Our ability and willingness to be flexible in our response will provide a sense of stability.

Connection and Release

It takes both. In the realm of West Coast Swing, connection is strongest just before the release. It is the tension of the connection which produces the pleasure of the release. All tight, all the time, is no better than all loose, all the time. It is the ebb and flow, the up and down, the yin and yang, which creates the harmony of the universe and enhances our interactions with another person.

Partnerships

Every wonderful experience happens because of a connection with another person. In dance, the connection is real: Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Spiritual. Our being is flooded with the sensation of connection. Yet, even with the separation of time and distance, our relationships motivate us into uncharted waters of discovery, all because of the influence of another person.

Smile

Each partner brings something good and something less than. For four days, I was the beneficiary of a new experience. Smiles were offered when the answer was, “Yes!” Smiles were freely given when the answer was, “No.” Smiles were everywhere! The most moving experience was the emotion flowing from the expression of a cancer survivor, when she said, with a smile, “Always say yes when asked to dance. It might just be your last one.”

More Action

The most appropriate mantra for a student of dance just might be, “A little less talk and a lot more action!” Books are good, videos are insightful, explanations are fine, and the Fun is in the Doing. The only way to learn anything is to do it!

In much the same vein as “The Mind Remembers What The Hands Learn” is “The Soul Experiences What The Feet Teach”. In other words, actions speak louder than words.  In fact, Thoughts become our Words, Words become our Actions, Actions become our Habits, Habits become our Character, and Character becomes our Destiny.

Let’s dance!

www.kimfoard.com

White Lines & PAWS

Dog Cat and White“Just keep your eyes on the white line, until you drive back into blue sky and sunshine.”

In some parts of the country, people drive for days to get out of the city. In Montana, we drive for hours to find one. Unless we’re driving at least 300 miles to do something, it’s probably just not that important!

It was Thanksgiving Day and Family was gathered 350 miles away. My first clue to a little excitement for that morning was at 3:30 AM, as I read the online Severe Weather Alert for blowing and drifting snow in an area known for high winds. The image that came to mind was of the log chain—that the community uses for a wind sock—popping links into snow drifts.

The reality was much different from the imagination. Before I even made it to the area of predicted severe weather, there was no hope in seeing anything on the side of the road. The road had disappeared into a white nothingness.

Blowing and drifting snow?! Who knew, or cared. The world had gone, white!

Visibility was zero. Now, wait. There was visibility. All white! White snow; white air; white road; and a few splotches of white lines were visible. We take them for granted most days: those solid white lines down the edge of a highway. That morning, they were the difference between moving forward and hibernation. A simple stripe of paint offered hope of progress.

It only took another 100 miles and 4 hours, until I drove into blue sky and sunshine.

Eventually, I drove right into the ranch yard and open arms of Family. A special Thanksgiving Day it was. In addition to the traditional fare of food and drink, this day included an opportunity to Meet the Parents. My daughter and her sweetie bravely hosted an event of Thanksgiving for their parents, who had yet to meet.

The meeting, and visiting, was made easier by George and Indie. You see, George is a big, old, grey cat; Indie is a small, young, red-heeler dog. Hence the expression, “Getting along like cats and dogs.” Oh, they get along just fine. Deep down, I do believe there is affection between the two. It’s the expression of the emotion that is comical.

Much more than the yelps and growls, it’s the PAWS which offer the love pats!

While we can learn much from two-legged folk, the lessons tutored by George and Indie made sense of my earlier morning experience of White.

Planning
Action
Will
Stories

Planning ~ You can see it in their eyes, as they think of the next episode of feline and canine adventure.

Action ~ They, literally, spring into it. Any doubts or reservations are pushed aside and they launch full-bore into the episode at hand.

Will ~ Fun will be obtained, by any means necessary to that end. Any resistance to great sport is overcome by sheer willpower.

Stories ~ We will remember, forever, the Day because it is wrapped in the ribbons and bows of the narrative.

My morning of Montana adventure contained all of the elements of PAWS. From the bag of winter survival gear to the full tank of fuel, planning and preparedness were the order of the day. Sitting beside the road in hopes of a kinder and gentler Mother Nature was forgone in exchange for moving forward, one mile at a time. Will-Power was my co-pilot, although, He was white-knuckled and wide-eyed, at times. Then, there are the tall tales—stories to tell the grandkids!

When given the opportunity of the impossible, let’s focus on the solutions available within our PAWS. By putting our hands to the task of finding joy by doing, and our feet to the path leading us to the discovery of an adventure, we find a priceless treasure that is ours, forever.

www.kimfoard.com

Code of Action

Code of ActionAccording to John Wayne, “A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.”

Behind every computer process are miles and miles of code. It is purposefully written to achieve a specific result.

What is your code? Do you have a creed to live by?

Mother Nature hates a vacuum. Unless we have diligently trained our mind and protected our heart, we are operating on a program designed by another. Rather than being the Captain of our own ship, we might be on autopilot.

Consider this jingle, “If it feels good, …” By rote, we finish the sentence with, “do it.” Why, do we? Grab the controls of your life and let’s examine our codes.

On March 3rd, 2010, the state of Wyoming accepted into law a bill declaring The Code of the West the official state code of ethics. The ten principles come from author James P. Owen and his book Cowboy Ethics.

1. Live each day with courage.

2. Take pride in your work.

3. Always finish what you start.

4. Do what has to be done.

5. Be tough, but fair.

6. When you make a promise, keep it.

7. Ride for the brand.

8. Talk less and say more.

9. Remember that some things aren’t for sale.

10. Know where to draw the line.

There is nothing new under the sun. It, even, seems strange to reference the unwritten that was the guiding light for the early pioneers.

Yet, these principles were also chronicled by the famous western writer, Zane Grey, in his 1934 novel The Code of the West, and by Ramon Adams, a Western historian, in his 1969 book, The Cowman and His Code of Ethics. The Cowboy Code has been communicated in a variety of ways, by an army of fictional and real life heroes.

Knowing what to do — and, Doing it — are two, very, different concepts.

Since the hedonistic programming of our society subtly soothes our selfish nature with the mantra of If it feels good, do It, we might not even know what we are doing.

A better approach to our growth (and, the growth of others) is possible by understanding, If it is good, do it — with Passion.

Speaking of which, let’s consider a simpler way of remembering all of the Code necessary for a life of joy and purpose. One four-letter word contains the foundational elements of good Code — LOVE.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

Take all of the code, the perfect lists of ten, from the many tough men, and you will find the true abode, for peace of mind and purpose of will. It is discovered in a Code of Action.

www.kimfoard.com