Laughing with What Is

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It’s been said that better questions lead us naturally to better answers and that it’s in not knowing that we open the doorway to knowing. I’m Scott Lennox, and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that truly matter in a complex world.

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This week’s podcast might just as well be called, “What My Laptop Taught Me.” In this time of unexpected and unpredictable changes, I was given another opportunity to lighten up and dance with what’s happening.

Join me this week as we consider ways of coping with some of the things that we can’t change. Come laugh with me.

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It was five o’clock on Thursday morning and I still had a podcast to finish writing, recording, and publishing. Five o’clock is not my usual time to be awake, but, what, if anything, is “usual” about this extraordinary moment we’re living? At every turn, I’m finding that I can resist change, or I can learn to move with “what is” as gracefully and as fluidly as possible.

The past two days have certainly been no exception.

While I was writing yesterday, my computer locked up so completely that I couldn’t follow my “normal” schedule. The day before, I had installed the latest operating system update on my laptop. In the process, I discovered that the changes that came with it required re-installing some of the drivers that enable certain applications and peripherals to function.

“Not a problem,” I thought. “I’ve been through this before.”

After properly re-installing the updated drivers, I restarted my laptop the same way I’ve done innumerable times. Since the

restart usually takes a couple of minutes, I went to the kitchen to pour a second cup of coffee.

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When I came back to my writing table, the computer’s reboot icon and progress bar were still illuminated, and nothing seemed to be happening. Because it was taking far longer than I’d ever seen before, I called a fellow Mac user who suggested a few steps to take. Restart again. Press this. Release that. Cross your fingers.

Long story short, the restart minutes stretched into hours and the hours stretched far into the night. A couple of times along the way, each time following the published protocols for a MacBook and the steps my friend had recommended, I re-initiated the restart process, hoping to speed things along.

Nothing seemed to help. The computer was still locked up, and if it was going to unlock, it would have to do so on its own.

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Since there was nothing I could do to hasten the process, I had to carry out all of my tele-counseling sessions using the screen on

my phone instead of the one my computer. As it turned out, no one seemed to mind, and the sessions went well enough.

In the past, I would have become agitated and upset, ruminating on all of the negative possibilities and chasing up and down endless mental rabbit trails of frustration. Instead, I decided to let myself laugh it off and dance with what was happening.

Part of the dance, by the way, was to step out onto my back porch several times to witness the gradual opening of the season’s first Gardenia blossom, bending down each time to breathe in its fragrance. The smell of Gardenias always brings with it a one of the best memories of my childhood. When I was in the first grade, my family moved to Houston. Soon after we moved in, my father ringed our house with Gardenias and their sweet fragrance would waft through the open windows. To this day, the sight and the smell of them always transports me back to that time.

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Getting back to the situation with my laptop, by late evening the screen was unchanged. I shook my head, laughed again, and went to bed, going through the “logic tree” as I drifted off.

“It’ll be working, or it won’t,” I thought. “If it is, I’ll go back to what I was doing and finish writing this week’s podcast. If it isn’t, I’ll decide what steps to take, including buying a new computer if I have to. I don’t have to like it, but I need to flow with whatever it is.”

That being true, it was time to let all of it go and give myself the gift of a good night’s sleep, which I’m happy to say I did.

When I awoke the next morning at about four-thirty, I went out to my studio to find the screen on my laptop unchanged and my dog Cowboy sleepily wagging his tail, ready for an early breakfast in the dark. I restarted the computer one more time and went to the kitchen to feed the dog and make coffee.

To my delight, after I let Cowboy out, my laptop was waiting for me, lit up and functioning perfectly as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened. I had to laugh again.

Part of my laughter is at myself. I remember all too well how deeply I’ve distressed myself in the past with my own habits of thinking. And if I’m to be completely honest, I still catch myself doing the same thing in the present from time to time. If I’m not mindful about them, my thoughts can still take me down some

pretty dark trails, each of which lead me to feelings of frustration—or worse.

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During this time of so many changes that are far beyond my ability to control them, I am slowly learning a few better ways of coping. Acceptance, and Laughter as I accept what is, are two of them. I’m reminded of the phrase by the writer, G.K Chesterton: “Angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly.” It’s a trait I aspire to.

As things swirl and change around us, and as more and more people experience anxiety and depression and uncharacteristic feelings of anger and frustration, and as I counsel with more and more people who are experiencing conflict within themselves and between one another, I’m brought to this week’s Beautiful Questions. There are four of them.

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One: Right now, in this time of tremendous global and personal change, what is gentlest way to face what is happening in us and around us? The gentlest way.

Two: What intentionally repeated phrase or idea will help us stop and remember the things that truly matter? What thought or idea will help us stop and remember?

Three: How much mental, emotional, and physical freedom do we gain each time we remember to pause and become intentional about practicing gratitude as we move through our days? How much freer are we in those moments when we’re practicing gratitude?

And finally, question four: What things can we actually do to relax and let go of the things we can’t change? This is one of the places where the Serenity Prayer puts its feet squarely on the ground.

In every moment, we have the freedom to choose something better, even if that choice is nothing more than laughter and lightening up a bit. Write and tell me what happens as you put your consideration of this week’s questions in to action.

I’d like to hear about it.

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As I say each week,

My Light with Your Light

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Thank you again for joining me in these podcasts, especially now as we awaken to living in better and more effective ways as a result of the pandemic. My goal is for each of us to live better lives and to create better possibilities for ourselves, for one another, for the world, and for our beautiful planet home.

I’m always open to your comments and feedback.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

You’ll see some recent changes on the Beautiful Question website at Along with changes in its appearance, you’ll find an archive of all of my podcasts, including several guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis. And soon, you’ll be able to read transcripts of each podcast as you listen. There will also be links to a number of other offerings to challenge and inspire you. I know you’re going to like how easy the site will be to navigate.

As always, if you find these podcasts useful, don’t hesitate to share them or tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me to get a voice of calm and collaboration and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question. The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written,

produced and engineered by Scott Lennox at Heart Rock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.


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