Sunday, February 28, 2010
One of the nicest things anyone ever said to me was how gracious I was in handling a very delicate situation at work. When I think back on what was happening at the time I recall how torn I was over how I wanted to respond. Trust me, grace was not the first thing that came to mind!
In the end, choosing grace over rage felt like a gentler way to be honest without letting it become ugly. For me that was the best possible outcome because it allowed me to tell the truth but not hold onto any of the negativity. As much as I possibly can I will choose grace.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
That is something I have always struggled with, caring a little too much what others think of me. Naturally I am rather shy but I am also very friendly. I love people but I don't like being the center of attention or having the spotlight on me in any way. Someone told me once that I lacked confidence - they were very wrong!
My self-assurance comes from knowing who I am on the inside. There is a very fine line between confidence and arrogance and I would always rather err on the side of caution. Every day I learn a little more about myself and as I do it is easier to let some of that confidence shine.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Before I can do that I must remember that the answer always lies with me. Whatever happened was because of something that I did or allowed. If I have unreasonable expectations, unclear boundaries or fail to see the truth in the situation there will be a problem. It is easier to blame others but I have to take responsibility for my own thoughts and actions.
We all have different paths in life and I respect that. I am trying to be kinder to myself, learn my lesson and move on.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The great Anthropologist Margaret Mead said “We are continually faced with great opportunities which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems”. That is the philosophy I grew up with. From a very early age I understood that even if they were less desirable there were always other options.
Whenever I find myself feeling limited or restricted I think back on some of the defining moments in my life. During those times I needed so desperately to have some hope of escaping what was happening. I would create every possible scenario I could think of… Truly some were very unrealistic but it did not matter, everything got equal consideration.
Then I would sort out what seemed to be the most reasonable course of action. I always trusted my heart to guide me, I knew how I was feeling could not be wrong. That set me on the path of where I am today, trusting and believing that everything is possible.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Every day she would get up before dawn, start the coffee and turn on the radio. She would lay out the clothes we had to wear to school. Even though they had come from the charity shop she made sure they were as clean and presentable as something brand new. She was determined to give us a better life than she had and she knew that a good education was the way to do that. What she did not realize was that she was teaching us something much more valuable – how to live and survive in the world.
Everything I have done and accomplished has been because of the incredible education she gave me!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
My life has been so full of wonderful experiences because of all the variety I have had. I have done things that would never have occurred to me if I had to sit down and pick one. Every time I do something it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities that I want to explore. My life is rich and full in ways that I can’t measure because of my lack of focus!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sometimes it is a good friend that calls and we begin to talk as if no time has passed. Our conversation is so easy and effortless... Sometimes it is someone new and I am thrilled and surprised to find we have so much in common that we are nodding our heads in agreement and laughing.
To relate to another person on that level is very moving. It is almost as if everything else fades away except for the interaction you are having. It is one of the most intimate bonds you can share with another person. It affirms who I am and touches my soul.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Sometimes we make the choice to change but more often life thrusts the change upon us. It is those times that we can choose what is really right for us. If we get caught up in our current circumstance we may not be able to see the window of opportunity that is open. I have learned to welcome those changes and now I get very excited waiting to see what new adventure awaits me.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
life exacts for granting peace. I believe that is true.
We don't get handed a trouble free pass when we arrive in this world. It is a daunting mission to be sure. But if we are strong and brave enough we will overcome the obstacles and reap the rewards. It may not be easy but it is always worthwhile.
I have learned to ask myself what is the worst case scenario? Will I die, will someone I love be injured? Usually, that isn't even remotely possible. So why not try it?
Several years ago I traveled to New Zealand to hike some of the infamous treks there. It was the trip I had dreamed of for many years. A few weeks before leaving I developed a sudden back pain. So bad I thought I might not be able to go. After getting it checked to make sure it wasn't something serious I realized it was fear. Not your normal variety but something this side of sheer terror. I had never been so far away from home before and I had no idea of what to expect.
It occurred to me while I was hiking through the rain forest on the south island that I had done it! I came to this unbelievable place and had an unforgettable experience because I had the courage to overcome my fear!
Friday, February 19, 2010
Lying is very complex and can damage your self-esteem. You have to constantly be on guard to maintain the pretense, always keeping track of everything so no one will know the truth. When I was young I learned very quickly that you will get caught and then you are ashamed and humiliated.
You can justify that you are doing it to spare someone or to help yourself but none of that is really true. We do it because telling the truth can be scary and difficult. It always amazes me when people think they are able to deceive others with their elaborate stories and situations. Usually, the longer and more involved the explanation the further it is from the truth. I like the concept of Occam's Razor - the simplest explanation tends to be the right one.
I value honesty in my life and I know that has to begin with me. If I can be brutally honest with myself, then I can honor my truth with others.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Now, in writing my stories and this blog I have exposed myself. Taking this risk has been a long time coming but it is time for me to actually let this part of myself be seen. I have so much passion inside of me and I have been very afraid to let it out and seldom let it be seen by others.
The fear was if I showed anyone my true self they might not love or accept me. Wow – that is hard to even write down but it is the absolute truth! Now I am a bit braver and the more I discover about myself the more I am willing to reveal.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I see people who resist or deny aging, trying to recapture a lost youth hoping to escape the disappointment they feel. I am so grateful for every experience I have had and know that I would not be the person I am or have the life I have now if I hadn't had my disappointments early in life. I don't regret one single moment that brought me to this wonderful place.
I truly love my life and it just keeps getting better - maybe that explains why the older I get the younger I feel!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I am learning that making those changes does not have to be harsh or unkind, just honest. I know in my heart when something needs to be released. I have to care enough about myself to let that happen. I am a classic enabler – needing to be needed was more important than taking care of me. Now I have to take care of my own needs and save the healthiest.
It can be very frightening to take that leap, but for me letting go of the fear feels like pure freedom.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sometimes it is as simple as clearing off my desk or shutting off the phone that helps me regain some sense of order and harmony. The noise of the world can be deafening and I need the quiet serenity that allows me to hear that voice inside. That is the time when I can ask myself what I really want and need to do. The answer always comes easily and gently and I can see clearly again.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
This was a profound discovery to me while I was searching for my true self. I had always been raised that perfection without flaw was the only worthwhile goal. In my mind nothing could be further from the truth. Now I believe in pursuing excellence not perfection.
It is only in appreciating the imperfect in life that we find true and everlasting beauty.
A perfect oyster does not form a pearl!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I can always tell when I am losing more energy than I am getting - I feel a bit low and my spirit starts to sag. I need to keep my resources replenished so I have the strength to keep going.
It is so easy for me to give my energy away, I love people and I'm very receptive to them. The problem I have is setting limits and very often I give too much and I am left drained. Just like what I wrote the other day, I need to find the middle ground. I owe it not only to myself but to others as well so they can learn self reliance.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
It has taken my entire life but I am now feeling a calm strength that I can only call temperance. It is like the metal that is made stronger by the temperature of the heat it is forged with.
To be more moderate and finding that middle ground has helped me to know my true self. Even when I slip back into some form of excess I can center myself and regain my balance. That is the place that I find peace and joy.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Music has always been a big part of my life. My mother was a singer and avid dancer, my brothers were musicians, my daughters played and sang beautifully and I sang in my school choir. Also, I grew up in the 60s and enjoyed some of the most incredible music in the world.
One of my fondest memories was when my sister took me to a dance to see my brother’s band playing. I was only 10 or 11 and very shy but I was so enchanted with the music and the atmosphere. I felt like Cinderella going to the ball. My sister bought me a lovely summer dress and fixed my hair like hers, I felt like a princess that day.
The thought of it transports me back to a place in time that I will never forget. Just the way listening to some great song that I grew up with fills my heart with joy!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
This is when I begin my clearing to make room for what is to come. Mentally, physically and spiritually cleaning house, preparing for that wondrous new growth.
It is time to sort through everything that has been carefully stored away. I must bless and release those thoughts and things that hold me in the past so I can continue on my journey.
Monday, February 8, 2010
We are all so busy it is easy to just let time fly by. Before you know it your life is gone. The only thing I don't want is to get to the end of my life and have regrets for those things I did not do. I want to savor and appreciate every beautiful moment this life has to offer!
There is a lovely quote from Bobby Clancy of the Clancy Brothers (Irish music fame) that I love!
One life is all you have, slow down before you lose it.
For it seems a crime, to make good time
and then not live to use it!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
At a very early age we are taught what our parents and our community believes. What to think, how to act, how to feel... and we are expected to conform. Don Miguel Ruiz writes about this in The Four Agreements, it is one of the ways that we are domesticated.
I was very fortunate to have an unusual life growing up. The circumstances were difficult and painful but I learned so much from all of it. Through it all I had faith! Faith that I would discover what was true for me and that everything that happened was for my highest good.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Of all the connections we can make this may be the best of all. A friend is someone who reminds you how great it is to be alive and lifts you up with their wonderful spirit. They are the person you can trust to be both honest and kind. They listen and support even your wildest dreams and always accept you just the way you are.
Loving and reliable they honor what you believe even if they don't agree with it. Just spending an afternoon at a lovely French restaurant or browsing through some local shops is so peaceful and satisfying when the person you are with is your friend!
Friday, February 5, 2010
All too often children face grown up responsibilities or suffer adult traumas and their childhood vanishes. When we are young we need to discover all the magic and wonder in the land of make believe. We pretend to be queens and kings and imagine that we might be able to fly.... Our imaginations are limitless and everything feels possible.
As a young girl I would go to the neighborhood library, sit on the floor and read stories about amazing people and exotic places. I believed that one day it would be me in those stories. Now, it is. This is my life and I am learning to play!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Once upon a time there lived a beautiful man named Leo Buscaglia. As I sat in a darkened classroom watching a film of one of his lectures, his words brought tears to my eyes. I looked around the room to see if anyone else was having this reaction.... my life was forever changed.
I have to always remember to stay true to myself. I can't be something I'm not but I can aspire to be the best possible me. When it is quiet and I can let my inner most passion and energy surface I can feel the transformation taking place.
We can't undo anything that has happened. Honestly, I wouldn't even want to but we can redo and change our lives into anything we want them to be!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
My night dreams give me valuable information about what I am feeling and help me to know the right way to proceed. My day dreams are incredible, full of clarity and inspiration. I have to stay clear and focused on the unlimited possibilities in life and not let my critical mind dismiss or dampen them.
Dreams are a heart's desire to express itself. We owe it to ourselves to explore everything that speaks to our soul.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Recently I had a conversation with a total stranger and before long she was telling me about a woman she knows with breast cancer. In an effort to help, she goes to work for this woman one day a week so she can go to her chemotherapy treatments and not lose time at her job!
I know many people who are reaching out to help someone cope with debilitating illness or crisis in their lives. That type of energy lifts me up and inspires me in ways I cannot express. I believe we all have something very valuable to contribute and together can create something far greater than we could have on our own.
Monday, February 1, 2010
I look forward to my birthday every year with the anticipation of a child! I love the process of aging and all the changes it brings. Most people think I am out of my mind but I am very happy to be at this stage of my life. Everything I've ever been through has brought me to this place in time.
It's all a matter of perspective - just like the old saying "Age is mind over matter - if you don't mind, it doesn't matter"! I intend to be a healthy, happy, vibrant old woman! Birthdays are a fabulous acknowledgement of life and that is why I celebrate all month long!