Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Power Of A Word

The words we speak not only affect others, but they affect the speaker too. We assign meaning to the words we use, and these meanings register in our mind, affecting the way we feel. Sometimes one word is as powerful as several sentences. I call these single words that we use in certain circumstances "key words." When something pushes our buttons, just one word can get us over the bump.

Some of these words are "oh well", "really", "never", "whew" or any we use as habit. A few other choice words are used a lot today, but I won't mention them here. We use these words to reduce stress or just to express an attitude or feeling.

When my daughter was a small child, she was sitting on the floor trying to put a toy together while we visited with my mother-in-law. Suddenly, my daughter said, "Oh, dammit." As my mother-in-law glared in shock, I tried to cover up with, "I wonder where she got that." Then my daughter looked up and said, "What, Mommy, that word you use all the time?" Well, I gave a weak smile and tried to sink further down into my chair. Yes, I changed my key word.

My favorite word now is "whatever." Some people don't like the word, because it can be used in a negative way to turn people off. But others use it in a neutral way such as six of one and half dozen of another. I rarely use the word in conversation, but it's a great help when I push to frustration trying unsuccessfully to accomplish something. It has an amazing ability to release a load of stress when I shrug my shoulders and say, "whatever." To me, it means the situation is not the end of the world, so I can just let it go, at least for now. The word may not always bring the result I want, because I'm working on some deep-seated stuff that the word doesn't touch. But it eases my path as situations arise.

Life is a series of problem solving, and we need tools to help along the way. Think about it. Is there a word that sits well in your gut? Does the word express your feelings? It it does, but it doesn't hurt another person, then put it in your mental toolbox and use it when you need to release and lighten your attitude. We need all the help we can get. Use the power of the words you speak in a positive way.

Whatever with love,

Marilyn

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Need To Be Right

We live in a world with a lot of conflict--conflict between nations, cultures, organizations and individuals. Everyone has a set of beliefs, and when there are conflicting opinions, everyone wants to be right. It feels good when we're right about something, but needing to be right about everything all of the time has its price. Have you ever been debating an issue with someone trying to convince them that you know better? Did you feel that knot in your stomach getting tighter the longer you bantered back and forth? That knot pours acid into your stomach and makes your adrenal system work harder, not to mention what it does to your self-image if you lose. So why do we do it?

Our need to be right starts early in life. It's part of personality development, a way of dealing with everyday conflict. Have you ever watched a couple of kids arguing an issue? Then when one is proven correct or both are finally exhausted, one of them puts his shoulders back, grins and says, "See? I told you." Gosh, it felt good to be right. What is that need in us really about? It's like not winning the debate takes something away from us, diminishes us in some way. But when the other person backs down, we feel more important, more powerful. What is our motive in trying to convince someone we're right? Is the motive honorable, or is it to falsely validate our own worth, even if we really are wrong?

A long time ago someone said to me, "Would you rather be right or be happy, because sometimes you can't be both." So we have a choice. I think it's okay to offer someone your opinion or knowledge and provide reliable sources, but once that's done, allow the other person to accept what you've given them or keep their beliefs. And then drop it. It's also wise to listen to another's opinion. They might have something you can use to expand your own life. If not, that's okay too. You're already a wonderful creation, just fine as you are. You don't need to prove anything to anyone. You're more important than the issue anyway. So why not choose to be happy.

I wish you happy discussions with a calm stomach.
Marilyn

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Time To Be.

What if you had some time with nothing to do--no work, no errands, no problems to solve--nothing. Impossible? Maybe not. We're creators living in a world where everything is expected to get done yesterday, but perhaps we really can create some time to breath in such a world. We spend a lot of time doing, but it seems that "being" is not a part of life, or maybe something we'll get to someday. Everything needs to be replenished, and many of us don't include ourselves in that need. But nothing needs replenishing more than the human soul.

Slowing down is not an "in" thing in or present culture. Often times I read articles with instructions on how to cram two days of doing into one. This is desirable? No wonder we're loaded up with Prozac and Xanax. Chickens run fast, but they have sense enough to enjoy a snooze in the sun. Of course, we have a lot of little messages running in our head condemning us for envisioning a long warm bath with lots of bubbles, spending time with a good book, picking up shells on the beach, or even sitting quietly to daydream. That's a waste of time. Getting things done is honorable, while taking a few hours to regenerate is frowned upon. Or you might say, "There's so much I need to do. I just don't have time for me." Really?

Everything in nature needs balance. Too much rain can drown. Too much sun can burn. Too much "doing" can rob us of the spiritual food we need to thrive and grow. We need to stop, breathe and allow the nourishing energy within us to lighten our load with some sunshine. Yes, everyday is filled with what is ours to do, but it is possible to schedule some quiet time to re-fill the vessel that does all the work. It won't happen unless we create it.

We were given a wonderful mind and body, but we also have a heart and soul that need to be acknowledged and nurtured. Let's find some time for that part of us too and be who we are.

I wish you happy, guilt free quiet time. Smile.

Marilyn

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nostalgia

As we think of the year ahead, we also tend to wander back to years past. If we haven't released the hurtful times, we may still feel pain in remembering. But the happy memories can be painful too. We long to reach into the past and re-live those happy experiences. But we can't bring them back. They're gone.
Recently I saw a friend I haven't seen in a while. I feel we're still close, but our lives took different turns, and I miss the times we used to share on a routine basis. I found myself remembering some of our experiences, and I felt the sadness of loss. Then my mind took me back to other wonderful people and experiences that I still want to hang onto. I remember an Alaskan cruise with dear friends, a cross-country trip with my best buddy who is gone now, Christmas parties at work, dancing to exhaustion, jumping into a pool from the high diving board with all my clothes on, and holding my sides with laughter at a friend's silly joke. Sometimes, when I'm driving in the car listening to the radio, I'll hear an old song that was meaningful to me. Then I have to grab a tissue to dry my eyes enough to see where I'm going. Yes, those wonderful old times can be bitter-sweet, and we don't want to let them go.
Some people are in our lives forever, and we create new memories as we go along, while others come into our lives and stay only a little while. But some of those get tucked inside our heart, and they're always there. I think it's good to think about those good old times and enjoy the memories with a smile. But we need to let them stay where they are. The pain lies in wanting to go back, see the people again, be in what we may feel was a better place. If we fill our mind with longing for the past, we don't make room for the future--new experiences, and maybe new people, to help us grow and become more of what we want to be.
We don't know what beauty may be waiting for us just around the next corner--new experiences we can add to those other wonderful memories to enjoy now and then while we continue moving forward.
Life may contain some bumps, but it sure is an interesting journey.
I wish you peaceful memories and a joyful road ahead.
Marilyn

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Doing Gets Us There.

Whatever we do today will influence tomorrow's quality of life, and we can float through each day without direction or we can think carefully about what we must do today to manifest a better tomorrow. Since we are creative beings, it really is our choice as to what we will do with each day, and our choices make the difference.
When I think about what I want to do, to accomplish, in the coming year, I think about work that needs to be done within. That's where it all starts anyway. It seems wise to begin with an idea as soon as I wake up each morning before my thoughts can take off in all directions and get me side-tracked. My first idea will be to make the day as good as I possibly can. With intention, that will strengthen my motivation. I said I'm a procrastinator, so I need that extra push, especially when I first get out of bed. Each day I plan to spend some time looking inside for the parts of me that need attention. I'll observe my thoughts and feelings more, get to know myself better. Actions are clues to what's going on inside, so I'll watch those too. I don't plan to constantly stand guard--how frustrating--but I can be more alert and work on correcting my weaknesses and expanding on my strengths to grow into expressing more of my true Self.
As for what I'll do on the outside, I plan to get back on my treadmill. Oh, I couldn't handle thirty minutes yet, but I can sure start out with five and work up. I'll write more, submit more stories to publish, and learn to smile while I swallow any rejections. In fact, I intend to smile more anyway--even laugh. I'll laugh so hard my sides will hurt. It's good medicine, and I need some of that. I'll water my plants, sweep off my patio, watch less TV, and forgive myself when I goof up. I'll remember the people in my life, and those I don't know, and love them more. And love myself more. I'll do thousands of things this year, but I'll try to always keep the big picture in mind--a better tomorrow.
I know the bumps will come along my path, but I'll deal with them and not let them spoil my tomorrows. It will be a good year. How about you? The doing gets us where we want to go. Let's get to a better place.
Smile along the way. Blessings.
Marilyn

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What Do You Want To Be This Year?

When I think about what I want to be this year, I have to consider who I really am and who I've grown to think I am. The person who lives inside may be quite different from the one I created to portray to the world. Which one do I want to bring out and express more of this year?
When we're children, we pick up clues from our environment about our identity, and we decide that's who we are. But that information may be mistaken, so mistaken that the false image we created prevents us from seeing our true Self. We may feel lost, alone, inadequate, unimportant, stupid, unworthy or any other false label that may have been put there, even unintentionally. We live in that delusion, and wonder why we feel so unhappy with ourselves. When I was a child, it was sometimes too hard being what that image said I was, and I became invisible--a really strange feeling. I always felt there was someone else inside, but I couldn't find her. Then years ago, I began searching for my real Self. It's been quite a journey. I can't count the bumps along the way, each painful, and I still run into them. But as time passes, I know my Self better. It's been said that we're a work in progress. How true that is. But that's our work, to become aware and grow more into an expression of our true Self.
We are not what we do. We are not who something or someone said we are. We are the wonderful creation that has always been there, filled with love, light, peace, compassion, strength, wisdom, ability and any other true part of us that was put there when we were created. Wow. What magnificent creatures we are just waiting to be expressed in all our greatness. Sounds like too much to be true? Well, believe it, because believing can lead to discovery, clear vision and expression.
We created our false image a long time ago, and it brought us much of what we don't want in our life. Now look inside and get to know who you really are. There's power in awareness, in knowing the truth. Work on denying that false image, and nurture the Self you need to 'be'. You are wonderful. You are beautiful. And the world needs to see You.
What do I want to be this year? I want to be more aware of who I really am, have always been, and allow that Self to express as me. Let's take another look, find the part of us that's still inside and let it shine. Who knows what beauty we may discover.
I wish you good hunting and growing in truth.
Marilyn

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Stop Pushing and Just Let.

This morning while lying in bed sorting through ideas for what I want in my life this year, I felt stress creeping in, spoiling the fun of anticipation. Then I was suddenly interrupted by the words, "Stop pushing--just let." I sat straight up in bed and thanked that inner voice for putting me back on the right path. I'd been creating my own defeating attitude, overwhelmed by doubt and trying to see how and when I could get what I wanted. That's just not the way it works.
A few years ago I was trying hard to get something accomplished, and it felt like I was trudging up a steep mountain getting nowhere. The Minister in my church gave me some good advice. She said, "Remember it's a process, and you have to allow it to unfold in its time, while you do what is yours to do." I followed her wise advice, and it worked out beautifully. So now, years later, I forget to remember what I need to remember? Duh. Well, that's okay. I can begin again and get it right this time.
There's not much I want materially, but I would really like to have a pair of brown shoes. Yeah, brown shoes. Not heelless, high heels or thongs. Just a good pair of comfortable shoes with laces. Brown seems hard to find. Something else I want is a clean house. This place is a real mess. I'm dealing with some health challenges, and I don't have enough energy now to vacuum, mop floors etc. Which reminds me...I'd like to have my health back. I want energy to get on my treadmill again and keep time with the music while I walk. Oh, heaven! And I want to be with people more. And be able to work in the yard. I started a flower garden last year, but couldn't take care of it. But this year, I want another one, and I want to find ways to keep it healthy.
You know what? This is starting to be fun, letting my ideas just flow. It actually feels possible. And that's the first step. So what I want now is to slow up, take it easy, and let the process work. I still have to think about what I want to be and do this year. Gosh, this is a tall order, but I'm up to it.
I wish everyone love, peace, vision and patience.
Marilyn

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Beginning the process to have, be and do.

Oh, my. It's time to begin the process of creating what I want in my life this year. I've given it some thought, but yes, I'm a procrastinator, so now I need to quit spinning my wheels and get to it. I know my car won't run unless I give it some "intention", and that will take getting quiet with some serious thought.
A couple years ago, my niece and I made a treasure map--some people call it a vision board--and that was helpful in our creative process. We cut out pictures from magazines of things we wanted, pasted them on poster board, and used the intention, focus, faith, action and guidance we needed. Amazing. I look at mine every day, and feel grateful for all that has come to me. Not just tangible things, like a new doorknob, a cover on my patio, a new mattress that sleeps like I'm on a cloud, and a new showerhead. But more meaningful things like seeing my kids who live in other states, being able to attend a family wedding, picking fruit in an orange grove, and having two of my stories published.
I didn't create all I had on my list last year, but that's okay. I'll add stuff to this year's list or maybe realize some of it wasn't that important after all. Looking back on the past year helps me decide what I want to create now. Once the stuff I don't want has flown away in the big balloon, I'm better able to get in touch with ideas I can work with. I start out with the excitement of knowing I have choices without old baggage holding me back. Wow. It's great being free to create in a new year. I think I'll start with what I want to have. I'll spend some quiet time making my list of the things, conditions and situations I want to manifest in my life. I can't wait to see what I'll come up with.
This can be a fun time. Come on. Start those ideas flowing. And don't short-change yourself. We're creative beings, so let's create.
I wish you happy times to come.
Marilyn

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What Wil You Create This Year?

Isn't it wonderful that again we've been given the opportunity for a new beginning, a whole new year in which to create what we want in our lives. Will it be a repetition of last year, or have we learned enough to make it better? Sometimes I have to remind myself that I use creative power all the time, even if I'm not aware, and unless I consciously work with it, I can create things in my life I don't want. It's one of those God-given powers we use or misuse, and it's up to each of us to follow our path and get where we want to go in spite of, or because of, the bumps along the way.
Life really is an inside job. It all begins in the mind, with an idea, an image of something we want to have, be or do. But the process is necessary to manifest that image. An idea is like a car. Until we start the motor, it just sits there. Intention is the starter. We must intend to go somewhere or we won't move. Then we have to focus on where we want to go and keep faith that we'll get there. Our foot on the gas puts the car into action. But wait a minute--what's the best route to get there? we need an accurate map.
When I'm in this position, I need help. Some people believe in a higher Power--some don't. And that's okay. I'm a live and let live person. But when I need to act on an idea, I need the loving, all knowing voice inside to lead me in the right direction in the right way. That has to be the guiding Power behind the whole process. When I goof up, I know I haven't listened, and I try to do better. Yeah, I'm learning.
So when we think about what we want to create in our life this year, let's remember to use intention, focus, faith and action. And if you're one who believes in that higher Power, listen for right direction. If not, why not try listening anyway. You might hear something useful.
My intention: Create good in my life this year, and believe.
I wish everyone a happy, creative new year.
Marilyn