November 17, 2017


“If you watch young children play, you will notice that they create
games, characters, situations, whole worlds in which they immerse
themselves with intense concentration.” – Daniel Greenberg, politician

We are living in a really intense time on the planet. How many times have you heard or said that? Check out Mark Dodich’s new moon message below. “Galactic Center urges you to step back to an expanded view of what is going on in your life and the world.” Oh, for joy, I muttered when I first read his message. More tension that I need to re-frame. But then I did as Mark suggests. I put on my detective hat and looked more closely at the word intense. By definition intense means…

Existing or occurring in a high or extreme degree: intense heat.
Acute, strong, or vehement, as sensations, feelings, or emotions: intense anger.
Having a characteristic quality in a high degree: The intense sunlight was blinding.

Breaking the word into syllables, we find in and tense. In, as a prefix, is often synonymous with un, depending on the first letter it is attached to. For example, consider this information found in a spelling website:

Not noble – immobile (we wouldn’t say un-mobile or il-mobile)
Not legal – Illegal (we wouldn’t say un-legal or in-legal)
No relevant – irrelevant (we wouldn’t say un-relevant or in-relevant)

Use of n before any other letter goes like this:

Not adequate = inadequate
Not capable = incapable
Not decent = indecent
Not offensive = inoffensive

My intensely curious mind then deduces that intense means without tension or not tense. What if tension is really a good thing, and not something to un or in?

Consider that it is tension applied to piano, guitar and harp strings that create beautiful music. Tension is a common feature in structuring the plot of a novel or play. How interesting would Indiana Jones be if there were no tensions in his escapades? Or James Bond, or Wonder Woman, or my life, or your life?

When I next declare that life, right now, is intense, I plan to pause and reflect on what I really mean. Are we without tension? Likely so since it is me creating the tension with my judgmental thoughts of separation. I can do the same the next time I catch myself thinking I’m too intense. (Yes, I’ve been told that.) Can I transform the tension from separation to connection? Breathe into the tension and allow beautiful music to emerge, or at least a new tune? And what about these intense times we are living it? How can I re-frame my perception in a way that will empower rather than feed into fear? The answer is simple. By connecting with anam caras like you.

As another Thanksgiving holiday approaches, thank you for being a friend of my soul and a friend to Anam Cara Connections. Our gift of gratitude to you is a blessing you might share at your Thanksgiving dinner table. Enjoy!

Grace Before Meals
Benedictus: A Book of Blessings
John O’Donohue (1956-2008)

As we begin this meal with grace,
Let us become aware of the memory
Carried inside the food before us:
The quiver of the seed
Awakening in the earth,
Unfolding in a trust of roots
And slender stems of growth,
On its voyage toward harvest,
The kiss of rain and surge of sun;
The innocence of animal soul
That never spoke a word,
Nourished by the earth
To become today our food;
The work of all the strangers
Whose hands prepared it,
The privilege of wealth and health
That enables us to feast and celebrate.

Leave a Comment