Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Do You See Your Rainbow? It's There.

Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail.  Anonymous

I'm 10 years old on a school trip, mesmerized by a sight so beautiful my breath escapes me. Thousands of tulips. Michigan tulips. As far as I can see they stretch across a field before me, and fill my eyes with brilliant color beneath a soft blue sky above. Their colors form a rainbow in my mind. Yellow, red, purple, pink, orange, white, all swaying in the warm breeze while the springtime sun sparkles on their petals. I hold my chest and sway with them, overcome with awe at a sight I only dreamed of in my storybooks. For a while, this incredible sight replaces the loneliness I feel at home. It's nobody's fault at home. That's just the way it is.

This beautiful panorama of color taught me something I've carried with me my whole life. No matter what pain we encounter on our journey, there is always a rainbow somewhere. There have been times when I looked around at my life and saw nothing but dregs of what might have been--boulders that looked too big to overcome--doors closed to me forever--hills too steep to climb. But my mind held the picture of the tulips, and I found my tulip rainbow's message of hope, guidance, and promise for my life. And I picked myself up and moved on.

Do you remember an experience in your life, perhaps in childhood, when you felt deep inside an awesome sense of being--that you mattered? It may have been an insignificant event to others, but for you it deeply touched your heart, and it's still with you. Mine was my tulips. What was yours?

When life throws you a curve, and you think you can't get up, you may not see a rainbow. But  the rainbow is always there. Maybe it's just behind the clouds you see in your life, or between rain drops when they fall, or in birds talking to each other early in the morning, or in a child's smile. You may have to get on a bus and take a field trip in your mind to find it. But it's there.

We may run, walk, stumble, drive or fly, but let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way. Gloria Gaither

We're all on our journey through life, and sometimes that journey gets rough. But the rainbow tells us there's hope. Re-experiencing your memory with feeling is what creates your rainbow of hope, or whatever a rainbow means to you. When you find some kind of pain in your life, bring up your memory and picture a rainbow in your mind. And claim that rainbow as yours for the hope and peace you want. If you don't have such a memory, imagination is a gift we receive when we're born, and you can create anything you want with this gift. Work the process, and know your rainbow is already there. You just have to claim it.

Be thou the rainbow to the storms of life, the evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray. Byron, The Bride of Abydos

Life has a way of putting the difficult stuff right in our face, while the good stuff remains illusive. Maybe that's what teaches us how to be more alert and careful where we apply our attention. Rainbows are all around you. You have to know that. You have to believe that. And open your eyes and your heart to look past the darkness and find them.

I wish you clear vision along your path.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Do You Hear Nature's Messages For A Happier You?

Listen to the voice of nature, for it holds treasures for you. Native American Proverb

In our minds we have messages from childhood about who we are, and these messages from outside of ourselves are strongly ingrained in our daily choices. The positive ones produce positive results, while others take us down wrong tracks. And we wonder why we end up with our feet in the mud of life. Perhaps we need to expand our vision. Perhaps some of our personal truth is found in nature.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. Chinese Proverb

I have an old climbing rose bush, and I've watched its life over the years. It outgrew the pole it grew on, but all of these roses are ingenious, and find new places to climb. So mine found a palm tree next to it, and kept climbing. Isn't that what roses are supposed to do? It didn't need to question who it was. It knew it was a climbing rose, so it climbed. And now every spring my palm tree is filled with beautiful white roses.

What does your self-image say about you? Are you filled with messages that sometimes hold you back--cause pain in your life--prevent you from being who you were created to be? Or do you know who you are, your unique self who can sing your own song and climb to whatever heights you want?

Man is the only critter who feels the need to label things as flowers or weeds. Will Rogers

One day I sat on my patio communicating with the birds as I often do. Neither of us knew what the other was saying, but I think we both enjoyed the conversation anyway. Then I noticed other critters enjoying the yard--a couple squirrels looking for food--several lizards scrambling up and down bushes--and spiders busy inspecting their webs. I enjoyed the show and smiled at how they all seemed to know what they were doing. Weren't they simply doing what they're supposed to do? They didn't need good or bad self-identity labels for direction.

              The Critters
 When rain has come and gone
 And earth smells clean again
 I watch the critters creeping out,
 New journeys to begin.

 A spider weaving in and out.
 A baby lizard sleek and green.
 A squirrel to check on friends.
 An earthworm joins the scene.

There's no concern for what's ahead.
Their plans are firm for what they'll do
They just enjoy the moment now,
To start their day anew.

Do you think they have a knowing
We wish more clear to us,
That God has made their way for them
Without the need to fuss?

 Perhaps we need a lesson               
 From those we sometimes see                   
 Who have a greater faith                
 Than folks like you and me.        

When we're children, we receive negative messages about ourselves in 3 ways: 1) from what someone says to us, 2) from our own painful experiences, and 3) from what we observe in other's actions. None of this is true about who and what we are. No one...No one...can change your true self. You were born beautiful. And you're still beautiful, with all you need to follow your dreams and let your song be heard.

Look inside and experience your true self. You haven't gone anywhere. So don't let anyone take that truth from you with false messages. Practice saying 'No' when those negative messages from the past, or present, come up, and replace them with the truth about who you are. Refuse to listen, and learn to say 'I am beautiful'...and mean it. All in nature knows the truth of who they are. And so can you.

I wish you much joy in total awareness of your true self.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Revisiting Your Inner Child

The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of genius. Rebecca Pepper Sinkler

Smiles contain powerful energy, the kind that transcends pain, dries tears, and heals wounds. Children know this instinctively. They haven't yet learned to dwell on regrets from the past and miss today's blessings. Some have pain and sadness in their lives, but they're ingenious, and they find ways to survive through laughter. And that little girl--that little boy--will always be a part of who you are. But how often do we get so busy, we forget that wonderful part of our self?

Lately I've become more aware of my sense of self when I laugh and when I frown. It's like laughter beings out a part of me that frowning can't touch. Laughter expresses from the heart, while frowning is from the human mind. And each provides a very different perspective of self. Laughter reminds us of our true self as we were created, and when we frown we lose sight of that beautiful truth.

I remember when my own children were growing up expressing their curiosity, creativity, humor and forgiveness. Our home wasn't always a happy one, and sometimes they cried. But they made airplanes from scraps of paper, or fought with playmates one day and laughed together the next. In winter they flew on the sled, in summer they swam the ocean in the kiddie pool, they read stories and said their prayers, and gave me hugs everyday. They created the happy times. And I miss those times.

Last year I was behind a family in the checkout line in the grocery store, and a little girl about 3 years old sat in the basket ahead of me. She found the child in me, and we had a great time. We waved, blinked our eyes, and giggled together. It reminded me of the little child in each of us--that part that needs to laugh and play--that part that has not forgotten what is truly important and enduring in this human condition.

The kid in you holds the key to living a full and rich life. Let him or her out to play. Cheryl Richardson

When times are hard, look to your inner child who remembers how to turn a painful challenge into a time of hope, and learn to smile again, even when you feel the situation doesn't deserve one. Try it, and watch a grin become a smile, a smile break into laughter, and your heart find peace and joy. You are not your illness--you are not those bills you can't pay--you are not the crises in your life. Those are challenges you're dealing with. You are beautiful. And your inner child can show that to you.

Release your inner child. Be a little wild. Laura E. Brusseau

I do silly things once in a while, but now I intend to let my child out more often. Of course, due to physical limitations, I can't stand on my head or walk five miles to the old swimming hole like I used to. But I can still play music and dance around the house, or play in my yard in the rain, or laugh at myself when I look in the mirror instead of moaning at what I see. And I don't have to eat brussels sprouts if I don't want to. Then when someone shakes their head and says, "You must be in your second childhood," I'll grin and say, "Absolutely."

I wish you joy in many second childhood shenanigans.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Me And My Nightmare

It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are. Clive James

Hello. Hello. I'm still here. I didn't go anywhere. I just came through a nightmare with a mean machine. Have you ever been so frustrated your ears were on fire, and you saw smoke pouring from your quivering nostrils? Well, that was me a couple weeks ago when my computer showed me who's boss in our relationship.

That computer suddenly gave me a blank page, and the hard drive roared like a storm raging through a tunnel. At first I was patient, but after the 3rd time of this, I had enough. So with a few choice words, I projected my frustration onto that machine. And in malicious retaliation it bellied up and died. Stone dead. I may be semi computer illiterate, but I did nothing to antagonize that monster.

Some people develop good person-machine relationships. But some find machines daunting mysteries that have an ability to drive you up a wall. The closest I ever came to any machine proficiency was when my old Chevy died at red lights. Someone taught me to lift the hood, reconnect 2 wires, close the hood, jump back in and go, and ignore my children yelling and other drivers honking at me.

I'm pretty good at a lot of things, but computer stuff isn't one of them. Years ago when I was a bar waitress on an Air Force Base, I knew how to deal with guys who had too much to drink. There's a method to that, and I learned quickly. When I lived in Las Vegas, I went to the desert and learned to shoot a gun. I was pretty good at it, but the gun scared me, so I got rid of it. Then when I worked in a jail as a Mental Health Counselor, a violent schizophrenic was no problem for me. The officers called me to handle those situations. And I'm only 5ft 1in tall. I also remember a time I was alone in a London, England airport, and I couldn't figure out how to get my huge suitcases from the first floor to the second floor to change planes. You'd think the airline would have done that for me. I felt pretty stupid, but I finally figured that one out. There are carts to do that. Duh.

In my later years, I actually wrote a book, Silent Echoes. It's a memoir, but it has lots of adventures in it. I reveal some of my stupid escapades, but I had sense enough to survive. Then I wrote Me And Granmama In The Hill Country, and now I'm writing about the years I worked in the jail.

So why is a computer such a mystery to me? I understand what makes people tick, and they fascinate me. But the computer is like a giant stranger hovering over me, chiding me, because I don't understand that piece of solid mass with a mind of its own.

I missed my old computer after it was gone, and I was kind enough to give it a proper burial. Then a very kind friend, who understands my ignorance, got me a new one. He called it an upgrade, and he spent 2 hours instructing me on how to work with it. Now I realize that if that computer and I are to have a future together, I'll have to make some concessions, because that computer ego will never give an inch. So I will practice patience, and only in extreme anger will I reveal that other models are available. I also have good contact with my friend who is willing to come to my rescue, and will treat my computer with utmost care.

I wish you many happy days with your computer. And don't forget to treat it kindly. It's hard

to live a full life today without it.