Monday, April 25, 2016

Pay Attention To Reminders So You Don't Forget Who You Are

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

Today we live in a world where a few are wealthy, many are homeless, and most of us are somewhere in between busy tending to our own needs, material and otherwise. And in that kind of a system we sometimes forget who we really are...deep down at heart level. We're born with goodness in us, but we seem to have lost a way of life that included a natural awareness of purposeful living with love and compassion for one another. We're all connected, but we forget each other. And in forgetting each other, we forget to be who we are.

Unless we live in a vacuum, everyday we're bombarded with negative energy. We see it, hear it, feel it in the street, at work, while shopping, in the media, everywhere. It's easy to get swept up in the flow and lose ourselves without realizing it's happening. And we need reminders everyday to bring us back in touch with our own goodness and the depth to which we can and should express it in our life.

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." Leo Buscaglia

My reminder: Today I experienced one of those reminders that rattled my head and my heart. And I still feel the rattling. It was a hot day, and as I drove out of the pharmacy parking lot, I saw a man sitting on the curb under a tree with a sign asking for help. I stopped, gave him a dollar and quickly drove toward the grocery store. Then I recalled exactly how he looked, and tears poured. He was very skinny with a long, shaggy gray beard, old dirty torn clothes, holes in his shoes, and years of pain on his face. One dollar? My God. I have a house and food to eat. How much could he get with one dollar? I went back to find him. But now he was gone, and the whole episode kept nagging at me as I drove off again.

When I left the grocery store, I suddenly realized what I had forgotten in the first place. Material help is one thing, but even more important is our need to know someone really cares...we're not alone. More tears poured down my face. I had to try one more time to find let him know I cared. And I headed back again to the pharmacy.

He was still there. I parked and walked over to him. I hadn't noticed his thin dirty hair and hands or the old worn tote bag sitting next to him. I handed him five more dollars, and his yellowed broken teeth didn't diminish the grin that now replaced the sadness in his face. I told him to stay there, and I ran into the pharmacy and got him a bottle of cold water and a candy bar. We smiled together, and I felt our connection. I said, "Now you can eat your candy, drink your cold water, and keep that smile going for a while." He nodded. "Thank you, lady. God bless you, lady." And I thanked him. I was profoundly reminded and greatly blessed.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

In the past, people have told me not to give money to beggars, because they all just spend it on alcohol or drugs. Well, for ten years I worked in a jail counseling the homeless...mostly mentally ill, some not. I got to know most of them well, and very few used alcohol or drugs. But we didn't judge them. We simply cared for them.

So be there, open to opportunities for honest expression. Our world needs to heal. Be an instrument for that healing. That's why you're here. Accept reminders as they come, and remember who you are. And be that wonderful you.

I wish you many happy times being you.


Monday, April 18, 2016

A Blissful Escape With The Critters And Lessons Learned

It's a beautiful spring day. Bright sunshine, warm breezes, the kind of day that makes you want to throw away your to-do list and just 'be' for a while. I spent most of this day running errands and being very dedicated to accomplishing all those absolutely necessary chores that must never be ignored lest I drown in a sea of unmet responsibility. But that had to end.

Seek to follow your own inner guidance and in doing so, you will bless all of life. Mashubi Rochell

I was faithful and put in my time until I remembered 'me' and realized I needed a respite to save my sanity. As for my to-do list, what I didn't finish today could wait until tomorrow. I put my list away and went out onto my front porch to one of my very favorite pastimes...watching all kinds of critters on their daily run gathering food for their families. In the past, I've learned much from them.

I sat there quietly breathing in the warm air and feeling my body giving up its pent up stress while I checked out each critter pursuing its chosen route to fulfill its to-do list. I figured they must have their head, of course. Their method of functioning is fascinating. They're very clever and extremely motivated. And I suppose they find some rest time once they get home and the family meal ends.

When I'm engrossed watching them, my own problems disappear, and I feel like I'm on their journey with them. Today reminded me of a poem I wrote years ago imagining what their life might be like and what we can learn from them. I'd like to share this poem with you.

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

They have no fear of what's ahead
To follow plans they've made.
They just enjoy the moment now
In step with their parade.

They appear to hear a voice within
That guides them on their way.
No thought of hesitation.
Just greet another day.

It seems they have a knowing
We wish more clear to us,
That God has made a way for them, 
Without the need to fuss.

So maybe we can take a lesson
From those we seldom see,
Who seem to have a greater faith
 Than folks like you and me.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust

Whether we realize it or not, everything we experience, positive or negative, registers somewhere in our mind and affects our quality of life. Everyday we're presented with opportunities to learn and grow from our experiences, and nature holds many lessons for us if we open our eyes with new vision. Nature is everywhere...even large cities have parks and nature walks, access to plants, animals, birds, bees, crawly critters...even cockroaches. Have you ever watched how clever a cockroach is? You gotta be fast to get one. It you think about it, isn't there a lesson in that?

Your conscious awareness is a valuable tool for growth. And when you incorporate all living things in that awareness, you allow your own life to expand and be enriched. Look for the wonderful gifts nature offers. Smile at a yellow tulip blooming in the sun, whistle with a bird saying good morning, wink back to a little lizard when it winks at you. Life is beautiful...and so are you.

I wish you many happy hours learning from nature.


Monday, April 11, 2016

What Do You Do When You're Tired Of Treading Water?

Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. Unknown

Today we live in a fast moving world, and it's easy to get caught up in a sea of activity while life slips by going nowhere. You work hard everyday. If your car breaks down, you get it fixed. If you lose your job, you look for another. If you're sick, you see a doctor. If you fall into a hole, you scramble to get out of it. And everyday you race through your long to-do list. Sometimes you go to bed with covers over your head to block everything out. But each day the ocean gets bigger, and you spend years of your life treading water to avoid drowning.

Does any of this sound familiar? C'mon...even a little? You're not alone. Many people suffer this non-stop existence, yearning to go ashore and rest...somewhere to 'be' instead of just 'doing'. And it's hard to realize that what you look at everyday is not all there is. One of the greatest parts of your life is you. But how much attention do you give to your own personal needs?

Take time for yourself, just to be with yourself. Walk beside yourself, have deep conversations with yourself. Get to know you. Mary Frances Winters

Everything is energy, and including your own needs each day can create the kind of energy needed for the balance and harmony you want in your life. You've already created what you have, and you can't go back and change any of your yesterdays. But you always have now, and what you do with it is up to you. Do you want different tomorrows? If so, then it's wise to begin finding you.

Get in touch with your inner child...she/he understands what's missing. Go inside and ask what your soul wants for you...not all those issues you're dealing with now...but for you. Perhaps you have a dream in your mind and heart, but you've been too exhausted to do more than think about it. Or maybe you just long for some time to breathe. You already know everything there is to know about you. You just need to be quiet and listen.

The day you stop racing is the day you win the race. Bob Marley

It's not easy to change old patterns, but the best way to start is to stop...back up and stop racing through your life like there's no place to go except where you went yesterday. It's easier to move forward when you stop and look at your life with different eyes. Stop treading water in an ocean robbing you of who you are. Move to dry land and feel the earth beneath your feet, knowing your feet can take you anywhere you want to go.

"Solitude is where I place my chaos to rest and awaken my inner peace." Nikki Rowe

Do you think you're too busy to stop? Of course you do. But your peace is within you. So put everything on hold for now, breathe deeply, and stop. Know you have the power to create a new way of that includes you. And begin mapping out a plan to stop treading water, reduce chaos and live a happy, peaceful life. Universe will provide the time.

1. You can keep your to-do lists, but upgrade and prioritize, and include personal items for yourself on each list. Check things off as you accomplish them.
2. Organize errands, and change the way you do some things, like include music while you're busy...sing along. Be creative.
3. Schedule time for yourself everyday. You may not do it if you don't schedule it.
4. Start each morning affirming love, and end each day with gratitude.
5. Never criticize. Always praise. (Even when you goof up)

Do what is yours to do, but find your own personal light and let it shine. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. Discovering you is an ongoing adventure, and there's always more to discover. So stay on the journey, and don't quit. You're worth it. And someday when you look back on your life, be sure you include yourself.

I wish you happy times with you.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Many Sides Of Break Ups And Letting Go...When You Want To And When You Don't.

As we move through life, we go through a multitude of experiences...some filled with happiness, and some painful to the bone. And we each have our own unique bundle we call our life. No two are alike, and we interpret and respond in different ways. So we may have different notions about break ups and letting go.

To break up means to release, detach, undo, be over with, let go, come to an end, etc. We usually interpret a break up as with that special someone in our life. But it can apply to any person, a situation, or even a place--a friend, family, an organization, the place where you live. Some are initiated by you, while others are beyond your control. And while some have happy outcomes, others may mean letting go of someone or something you're attached to, and that can be painful, depending upon your response to letting go.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced." James Baldwin

Every break up means facing change and making adjustments, but sometimes letting go is too hard to face, especially one you never imagined could happen. I was 6 years old when my father died, and I was devastated. Now I'm old, and during all those years I refused to let him go. I felt an empty, lonely place inside, and could never face his leaving. Then last year, I went to an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Provider who helped me finally release him. I will always miss him, but now I'm at peace accepting his leaving me when he had to.

Then I remember when I received the final papers on my divorce. I thought I'd be happy, but I sank down on the floor in the hallway, leaned against the wall, and cried buckets. It was what I wanted. I had initiated it. But I felt a deep sense of loss and failure. It seemed so sad for a family to break up, and it was difficult facing a new life.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: "It might have been." John Greenleaf Whittier

Do you ever look back at some of your break ups and wonder what might have been if they had not happened? Did you lose a loved one? Did a love affair come to an end? A friend you had to leave behind when you moved away? That job you left for one that looked better, but wasn't? Your dream of traveling in Europe went out the window when you got married? Or you dissolved your relationship with a family member? All sad break ups, but part of living your life. Can't relate? Think of a painful break up in your past, and remember the feelings you had, maybe still have, about it.

                            Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. Victor Hugo 

Yes, the sun can rise again in spite of our pain. And one way to let the sunshine in is to also remember those happy break ups...the ones we allow to get lost amid the pain. Do you remember how you felt when school was out and you said goodbye forever to the 4th grade? When your loud neighbor finally left town? When you located your lost check and got rid of that obnoxious bill collector? Happy break ups, part of life. So how do you keep what you want and release what you don't want?

Never lose hope, my dear heart. Miracles dwell in the invisible. Rumi

First decide the kind of life you want and make a firm commitment to that life. Include inner love, peace, joy, contentment, health, etc, and what you want outside of yourself.
Next identify any inner turmoil...sadness, guilt, anger regret, unforgiveness, etc, and any outer discord.
Now make a firm commitment to break up with anything you don't want in your life...inside and outside of yourself. You're going to let it go.
Each day affirm with conviction who and what you are...a beautiful creation with the ability to have, be, and do whatever you want to accomplish in your life.

As you practice each day, use healing modalities such as affirmations, music, nature, yoga, meditation. And explore EFT. I really works. Since any kind of healing process can be lonely, seek understanding and support from others. And give them your love.

I wish you freedom to be who you are.