Radiators and Windows

Hi (its Lance),I’m not going to tell you how great I’m doing or how completely and utterly amazing Nancy is.
We’re just back from a weekend up in Vail with my awesome family. Zachary and I did a 4 mile hike straight up the mountain. He talked about Legos (NinjaGo?) the entire time. We biked everyday, swam and saved a baby chimpmunk.I’m in a pretty crazy place where, “what was previously an obstacle now is a great help.” (Eckhart) My outlook on life and the way I experience life is almost surreal, like it’s not me living my life. At least it’s not my old self…I do really boring things like fixing our 50-year-old fence and wrenching my 69 Ford pickup. Recently, I put a new radiator in my pickup. My old self would have run home from work, inhaled my dinner and spent the night in my garage, going too fast, busting my knuckles, swearing and Nan asking every few hours, “when are you going to come to bed?” Now, I have this weird relationship with my truck, taking my time, admiring the old engineering, even feeling sad for having to throw out the 40-year-old copper and brass radiator (that has caused me years of overheating grief). The new radiator went in perfectly…here’s a picture, I’m very proud. I didn’t try to have a good experience, it just kind of happened and I know its because of my recent “life lesson.”

Yogananda said, “Your trials did not come to punish you, but to awaken you – to make you realize that you are a part of Spirit.” I didn’t like that when I first read it and it would have made me mad or scared me back in January but now fear is becoming a spiritual obstacle to win over with…love, I guess. I read a book (reading a lot) called, Into the Silent Land by Laird about meditating and it said, “If you want to make fear grow, run from it, hide it under anger or blame. No one will look for it there.” Facing fear, something I’ve not felt very often in my life, has been my biggest lesson.Nancy always shows off the stuff I’ve built around the house when people come over, but she and I know two things: 1) I didn’t enjoy building most of it. Hurrying, hurting myself (hospital once), I even cut the cord of my power saw a few years ago so I wouldn’t try to work anymore. 2) That every thing I build or fix has one little flaw. Sometimes BIG flaws. I always screwed something up and had to try and cover it up later (usually at 2AM in the morning).In recent weeks I’ve built huge bookshelves in the living room and put trim on the windows of our house, and I enjoyed it! Not only that but the bookshelves and trim are PERFECT. And when I mean perfect, they’re Lance Gentry perfect, which is pretty good but not Keith Hartnett or Derek Guarascio perfect. The strange thing is, is that I’m not trying to slow down and enjoy things and do them well, I guess I’ve just slowed down and am enjoying things, maybe for the first time in my life. I am trying really hard to do some things like: meditating every day (hard), exercise every day (easier), get plenty of sleep (easy), not obsess about work, eat really well (so hard), praying for grace and be forgiving and compassionate (praying is easy and fun), live one day at a time in the moment (hardest) and maybe its paying off in radiators. I really don’t know.

Joel Goldsmith says in Living with Grace, that when you meditate, you should listen for the “still small voice,” I’m listening like crazy. Then he says, “What does it sound like? It sounds like your life becoming easier, getting along better with friends and loved ones, work becoming less stressful (ha!).” Maybe that’s what’s happening, I really don’t know, but I’m taking it when it comes. I wish it was every moment but it’s still the biggest gift I’ve been given and amongst the chemo and crabbiness and being fed up with my diet regimen, it’s these special moments that were not part of my old life that are so priceless.I hope some of you can relate. Maybe you’ve had life changes that have forced you to look at life different. I’m happy to know that I’ll never look at life the same again.
Oh yeah, and Nancy is completely and utterly amazing! Did I mention that?LG