Thursday, January 15, 2015

Time to Rise and Shine!!


I had an interesting experience this morning.  I was in my Thursday routine of getting the kids to school.  They always want to listen to the “John Tesh Radio Show” and I grudgingly oblige them each morning.  It’s not that I’m against music or radio or John Tesh, it’s just that I have a habit of it being quiet when I drive because it’s honestly the only quiet time I ever get.  However, I know the kids enjoy the music so I turned it on and turned it up.  I had dropped them off this morning and I was on my way home and there was a song that literally reached out and grabbed me.  After I went home and looked it up, I found it was Coblie Caillat’s song, “Try.”  The song’s verses sing out these lies that the world system tells girls all the time, and then the chorus sings out a message that you don’t have to try, try, try, try, try to fit into that mold.  Just look at yourself and love yourself.  Now before everyone goes, “oh yeah, more positive thinking blah blah blah” you have to know how the song ends.  It again says to look in the mirror and love yourself and then ends “Because I love (like) you.”  As I was listening to the song, I felt God stirring in me.  I knew I myself had listened to all sorts of lies, and I had tried very hard to fit into all sorts of molds to fit in:  the perfect and successful doctor, the awesome dad, the loving husband, etc., and I had blown it on all fronts.  However, here was God, using the song from a “secular” pop star speaking loudly and clearly to me with a very simple message:  “Be you.  I like you.  So like yourself, and be you.”  It rocked me in my very core.

I began to think after this how often I have heard God speak to me through the “secular” world.  I began to remember one time how one of my spiritual moms asked me what was in my heart while we were in the middle of a church class, and I began to play the song “One” by U2.  Someone in the class got very offended, but if you’ll look at the lyrics, they are amazing.  

I then began to think of how the Bible speaks of the glory of God filling the earth, and then there are verses that speak of how the knowledge of the glory of God will fill the earth.  I thought of how the Bible says it is the glory of God to hide a matter and the glory of kings (mankind) to discover it.  I began to see that in just being me, I was seeing God release His goodness and creativity through ALL music and art and film and work, not just what happens in a church or religious setting.

As I thought of this, it hit me.  This is my opportunity in life.  I have an opportunity to share with others that it is time to relax and be you.  It’s ok to let go of the wounds that have occurred at the hands of others when they judged you and criticized you and ostracized you.  It’s ok to let those go and be you.  It’s ok to enjoy what you enjoy.  God is in it.  I even predict that you’ll start hearing Him quite clearly in things that most religious groups would tell you to get away from.  God has put His glory in you.  Let it shine.  Don’t cover it up with masks that others have made for you.  I think one of the most effective ways to step into good emotional and mental health is to just be YOU.

Shine, bright one.

We all need your light.


Love ya!  Dr. C.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Some Observations on Feeling Better....


I've noticed something over the last several days.  Despite my voracious holiday appetites, I am starting to feel a lot better than I have in a long time.  I know, I know.  You're all out there hoping that Dr. Carter is going to advise spiked egg nog and heavy holiday feasts for everyday living.  Nope, that isn't what has done it for me.  I sat down and thought about it tonight, and I know of a few things that have most definitely helped.  I wanted to share them with everyone so maybe you can put these things to use also.

First is that I have made deliberate choices to avoid allowing garbage into my spirit.  Yes, I know this one isn't very "medical" but it's very accurate.  If there are things that make you feel "less than" then get rid of them.  Those things do nothing but drain you, so give them the boot.

Second is that I have finally accepted who I am and what I do.  A person I consider one of my spiritual fathers, Paul Manwaring, has helped me tremendously in this.  Many of us consider ourselves as just coming short of who we should be and we beat ourselves up about it.  Stop it.  Begin to be thankful for who you are and for what you do.  If you can't be thankful for what you do then stop doing that and do something else that you love.  I have also found how to be thankful in different situations.  For example, I used to feel like I was "wasting time" when I was relaxing.  No more.  Like tonight I just went outside for a while and let the sunlight hit my face.  I was thankful for the few minutes of serenity.  In the past, a moment like that would have gotten me irritated because I should have been "doing something."  I'm learning I AM doing something...I'm taking care of myself.

Third is that I have finally learned that life is messy and that's ok.  I've given up the ideal that life can be perfect and organized and worry free.  That's not life...that's a cemetery.  So I'm not walking around upset all the time that things are going well.  It's amazing how much energy that leaves for doing the important things of life.

Fourth is that I've learned to forgive.  Holding on to grudges and bitterness just sucks...literally.  It just sucks the life right out of you.  So let it go (SING IT, ELSA!!).  Sorry, got carried away there.  Seriously, though, let it go.  Your spouse snapping at you?  Let it go.  The boss being a jerk?  Let it go.  I tell you, I'm learning this first hand, the amount of energy that you waste on being angry and upset is amazing.  So forgive...and watch your energy levels go up.

Fifth is that I've learned to listen to my wife and I am taking some excellent supplements.  I am using Juice Plus and doTerra's Long Life Vitality Pack.  These things are good and they're good for me.  I have found that as I begin to take care of myself with good food, good sleep, good supplements, good exercise, and surrounding myself with good friends and family, that my life is much lighter and I have a lot more goodness flowing into it and out from it and this benefits everyone.

So, there is a simple list of things I've notice have helped to energize me.  I'm not saying this is the "cure all" for all fatigue and malaise.  I am saying that I have found these things have made big difference to me in my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, and I'm hoping that sharing them will give others some insights on how to make their life better also.

Here's to you and a healthier and happier 2015...love you all!!

Dr. C.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A New Year's Thought from the Game of Soccer

I had a dream about a soccer game last night, and when I woke up the dream reminded me of something.  I began to remember one of the league games I had coached when my son Graham was younger.  Our team was doing very well that year, and we had a big game to be played to place well in the upcoming tournament.  There was one big problem, though.  We had 6 players show up that weekend day and that was all.  So we had about half a team, no substitutions, and the other team had a full crew.  I debated whether we should forfeit the game or not, and I talked with our players and they decided they wanted to play though they knew they would have no rest for the entire game.  I remember standing there at the beginning thinking, “this isn’t good.  Our chances are not good at all" but I encouraged our team to go out there and have fun and play their best regardless of how it looked.   They did just that and our team hung in there and they actually dominated the game.  The key was that because of our limited number of players, we kept everyone pulled up to try and get as much pressure on the other goal as possible, and every time the other team got the ball, the other team went offsides thus giving the ball right back to us.  So we kept possession of the ball most of the game and in fact we kept possession on the offensive side of the field and we won handily.  The reason I’m writing about it in here is because I think there is a lesson here for my life (and hopefully for yours also).  When the game of life seems very stacked against you, don’t give up.  Just play.  And play to score goals.  Don’t sit back and be passive.  Play to meet your goals no matter how difficult that seems, especially if it seems there are twice as many things against you as there are for you.  Keep playing, and keep pressing after those goals, and you might just be very amazed that you not only win, but you win big.  Have a great 2015!!

Duane

Friday, November 28, 2014

Outside

Outside
I'm glad to hear children playing outside
Their laughter permeating all walls and barriers
Breaking through the barricades
Tearing down the bleak tirades
Of shortening days and greater distances
Greater distances that must be spanned
With great tenacity, greater veracity
All contained within the sounds of children laughing

I place my head on pillows soft
Gazing through windows, mineral-flaked, aloft
The power lines cutting through the gray skies
Golden, red, and fading-green leaves
Holding on for dear life
Even though death has clearly already come
But has it really?
Doesn’t the tree still stand?
Its roots gone deeply into the life-giving land
Though the visibilities show death even still
Death cannot overcome life’s greater love-will

All this I see outside the window sill
The window not covered with stained interventions
Just deposits from the lives spent and gone
I lie here in the comfort of this throne
To overcome and to span the greater distances.


K, Duane Carter 11/23/14




Saturday, July 12, 2014

All Encompassing

All Encompassing
Love is the greatest of delights,
the most unconscionable of pains
It rides mighty horses across the universe's plains 
An all encompassing sea of stars and planets and space
Quarks and mesons and trace
Love is the reason why I breathe
The reason why I die
If love was not in the midst of my being,
here In meaninglessness I would lie

But in meaninglessness I am not

Love is the greatest of delights

K, Duane Carter 5/24/14

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I'm Coming Out of the Closet

Coming out of the closet :) 
I have been struggling with whether I should come out of the closet about something.  It’s not what you think.  I still love Melissa :).  Seriously, though I have been wondering if I should publicly discuss something that I see happening in my life.  I have grown up in the “church culture” almost all of my life.  I took a brief sabbatical from it for a couple of years, and then took another sabbatical for about 6 months after Melissa and I were married.  In the last 7 years I have had an incredible ride in my spirituality.  I have learned things that I never thought I would ever allow into my brain, much less my heart.  I have also had something very fascinating happen.  I’ve started to become much more comfortable with ME.  I’m more comfortable in my own skin.  And I’m here to tell you that my own skin is NOT the typical “Christian” that most people in church would define “Christian” as.  I really tried hard to fit into that, but I just can’t do it.  And I’m not going to try to do so anymore.  I’m just not.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I love God.  I love Jesus.  I love Holy Spirit.  I love family.  I love my family in faith.  I do NOT love the practice of separating from people I don’t agree with.  I do NOT love the inability to be myself because I have to worry about who is going to be offended.  I have learned that offense is just way over rated.  Yes, it’s good to have convictions and beliefs.  It is not good to hammer someone else because theirs aren’t the same as yours.  Those that think they’ve got it all right are just wrong, because I don’t think anyone has it all right.  I’m not saying stand for nothing.  What I say is love everyone because love never fails.  And love isn’t some gushy, push over, emotional garbage.  Sometimes it’s very, very hard.  Sometimes it’s very, very determined.  It’s always very, very powerful.  I’m honestly sick of rules.  I’m sick of “nice.”  I’m sick of “powerless.”  I’m definitely sick of the rhetoric and the Christianese.  I’m most definitely sick of the “cookie cutter” people that congregate in a building and their one thing they have in common is what they stand against.  I am not going to partake in that any more.  I’m going to be myself.  I’m going to hang out at the bar and talk to my good friends there.  I’m going to be like a father to the waiter and the waitress and the bartender.  I’m going to be a father to my own children.  I’m going to speak to everyone whether it be the homeless vagrant, the governor, or the homosexual activist, with honor and respect, and I’m going to treat them the way I want to be treated whether that is returned or not.  I’m going to love myself.  I’m going to forgive myself.  I’m going to do those things because I and my fellow humans are all made in God’s image, and we’re all His kids, though many just don’t get that yet.  They simply need an introduction to the Person.  They don’t need ideas.  They don’t need sermons.  They need an introduction.  And introductions come through people who are real.  They come through those who have Dad’s heart, not through those that know concepts.  I believe that was the secret to Jesus’ appeal.  People saw the Father in Him.  He even said it Himself, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”  That was His appeal.  And since the Father is Love, then the Father is exactly Who people see when we love them.  I don’t get this right all the time.  I don’t get it right 50% of the time probably (and I think that is a generous estimate).  However, I know in my heart of hearts that love is the way.  Religion is not the way.  Concepts are not the way.  Incessant talking is not the way.  Knowing something about God or the Bible is not the way.  Knowing Jesus is the way.  He said that also, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”  Want truth?  Know Him.  Want life?  Know Him.  This is my core, and nothing other.  

Not Another
I can't write another poem
Another useless and meaningless meandering conversation of one with one
I can't read another verse
Nor can I hear one more sermon
Quote me another bumper sticker slogan
I might just let the dead bury their own dead
I might just stop asking all these questions and instead
Start releasing all my answers
None of which would ever make it from a pulpit
Many of which would plow your bedrock  bumper sticker slogans
Into fine grains of powdery dust
Leaving both of us coughing and gasping on the floor
You crying out for more
Me feeling the guilt from the lack of clarity, the abundance of confusion
Confusion is what typically comes upon entering worlds of complete unknown
A rattling is what typically comes when new things are shown
There is always quite the rabble
Followed by abundant amounts of ignorant babble
Followed by lynchings and shoutings and cries of “rebel”

Sigh…..

I have known each and all of these before and I know them even now
I often ask why these questions have to come across my brow
Yes, and even that is a question
The questions multiply exponentially like rabbits gone mad with fire
The answers they never come at the pace of my desires
Thus I am always writing like this, like a rambling fool
Like one that stares and barely contains his own drool 
I don’t grasp even my own being
Much less the breadth, much less the meanings
Of the universal One

Yet to grasp Him is precisely why I am here
That is precisely why no accusation, no lie, no fear
Can ever seem to stay with me long
There is this unfathomable ocean of Charity’s song
That continues singing out to me
She continues singing out through me
Charity has made all the difference
Judgment has a steady plot that counts the bread and casts the lot
But love is the only thing that never fails
So I look to the stars and I lift my sails
I smell the salt, I feel the breeze
I forget the pains of yesterday with ease
I simply keep moving toward that Northern Star
Where purpose, where meaning, where reconciliation are
I simply keep moving
Blown by these winds that surround me

I am blown by these winds that surround me

K, Duane Carter 4/24/14

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Skylight

Skylight
I’ve spent this sunny afternoon
Lying quietly on the floor
Right below the skylight
Relaxing in the More
I listen to gentle embers
Humming through the night
I sense the change and beauty
That flows through release of light
I hear the sound of His humming
As He caresses the curves of my face
I feel the vibrations of His throne room
Every atom quiescent with grace
The movement of His Spirit is constant
I feel the warmth of His wind and the chill
I am flattened by the beauty and wonder
Within these moments of just being still 
I see His stories pass by as the clouds move
I see His motions in love and in dance
I sense the immensity of His great loving Presence
I see Life is a growing romance


K, Duane Carter 4/19/13