Monday, September 26, 2016

We're Living In The Fast Lane. Are You Going Where You Want To Go?

The trouble with life in the fast lane is that you get to the other end in an awful hurry. John Jensen

Everything is energy, so everything affects everything else--including people. Dynamic changes are taking place in the universe and in the earth, and these changes are disrupting our human energy fields. According to scientific studies, our universe is rapidly expanding, the earth's magnetic poles are shifting, and the earth's pulse is speeding up. And that's enough to sweep us along in a sea of fast moving energy. But it seems most people aren't even noticing. They're just running the race to nowhere.

In an age of movement, nothing is more critical than stillness. Pico Iyer

Sometimes I wonder how much we're missing in our fast paced lives. We get anxious, depressed, fed up. Then we pop a few pills and keep running. When was the last time you listened to the birds singing outside? Or read a book to a child? Or told someone you love them or looked into a mirror and said, "I love you?" When was the last time you simply heard the sound of quiet...just quiet?

Have you ever noticed how your own energy affects your world? Do your thoughts and words have a positive influence on your own well being and on the lives of those around you? Human energy is powerful, and we have the ability to produce harmony or chaos. Every thought we think and every word we utter produces an action or response within ourselves, in our environment, and beyond.

I worked on a psychiatric unit in a large hospital in Las Vegas. And each day at 3 pm during shift change, the staff walked quietly through the halls and projected thoughts and words of love and peace into each room. Then whenever staff from another unit came on our unit, they always remarked about how peaceful it felt there, especially for a mental health area. And we smiled.

Energy never lies. If you work at your right rhythm, you will be more productive. Judith Orloff

Energy levels differ in different individuals, and I like to think of levels in terms of quarts, pints, and half pints. Quart people feel driven and have to force themselves to slow down. Pint people have all they need for however they want to use it. And half pint people are too tired to keep up with where their mind wants to go. Energy levels depend upon a number of factors--heredity, physical and mental health, life situations, etc, and can change over time. But most people seem to have a mindset that says, "Keep running. Don't stop."

Moving fast is not the same as going somewhere. Robert Anthony

What is your energy level, and how are you using it? Are you a dynamo who keeps going until you drop? Or a pint person who gets everything done, but feels guilty when not busy? Or a half pint person who feels like a puny wimp who can't keep up the pace? After all, isn't everybody supposed to run through life? I don't know what would happen if you walked instead of running, but it might be fun to put some balance in your life and find out.

You have the power to rethink your life and choose the way you will live it. And balance is key. But if you don't do it, it won't happen. To work on balance, put everything aside for one day and become familiar with (1) your own unique energy level and (2) how you spend it on a day-to-day basis. This knowledge will help you move forward.

Given your energy level, create a plan for balance with work, rest, play, relationships, activities, whatever is important to you, eliminating some things and adding others. Some can be combined like play and work--music while you do laundry.

Who and what you are is not measured by your energy level, so find no fault with yourself. Just stop living in hurry energy, and keep working on this until you're being who you are in your own way, living a balanced life with inner joy and peace.

I wish you time to enjoy being you.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Picking Up The Pieces After A Loss In Your Life

"Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging." Joseph Campbell

Life is never a one way street with all the pieces fitting together. Each of us in our lifetime experiences a mixture of many situations. But one of the most disturbing situations we face is losing something important to us. Today, using my own experiences perhaps more clear than my explanations,  I'd like to address some of our most common losses. Maybe you'll recognize yourself in some of it as I go along.

Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim. Vicki Harrison

Loss of a Loved One: This is one of the most difficult, and I don't believe we ever fully recover. With some, it may take years to find peace with it. I lost my parents and both of my brothers, and I still live with the feeling they took a part of me with them. I don't dwell on the loss, and I'm finally at peace. But I miss them, and when I look at their pictures, memories come back and I allow whatever comes up. Then I have to move on with the ebb and flow.

After a break up, make sure to put your heart into intensive care. Give yourself time to heal. Focus on you, focus on good, focus on now. Doe Zantanata

Divorce: I filed for divorce. I wanted it. But when the final papers arrived, I sank to the floor devastated. Why wasn't I celebrating? After my initial tears, I realized I cried not for the relationship I just lost, but for never having the relationship I'd dreamed of growing up. When I was young I made the wrong mistake...12 miserable wasted years...stupid. I had to pick up the pieces, forgive myself and heal, and create a different life for my children and myself.

Your child's life will be filled with fresh experiences. It's good if yours is as well. Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Empty Nest: When our children leave the nest and venture out, we worry they can't make it on their own. There's less cooking and less laundry, the house feels empty, and we lose part of our parent role. So who are we? I kept in touch with my children, but I had to overcome my identity crisis and discover there was more to me than parent. And I began some inner growth.

One day. Anything can happen in just one day. Gayle Forman

Loss of Job: Loss of a job can be traumatic in any circumstance. It means tightening your belt and learning a new way to manage. It may even involve a major move, and a whole family can suffer. I lost jobs raising children without child support, and moving when my mother had a stroke. Each time I had to regroup and get help where I could. Then a job loss at age 47 forced me back to school into a new field of work where I spent many years as a Psych Therapist. Yes, a loss can bring a blessing.

Are any of these examples familiar to you? Loss is loss, and it can come from any life situation in our environment or within ourselves. It can create stress, anxiety, depression, fear, family tension, etc. And we wonder how we can survive. But we do. Every healing journey takes time and effort. But we all heal at our own pace.

The first step in finding your way through a loss is to accept that your life is and will be different. And then begin your healing. Christina Hibbert, Psy. D. gives clear direction for approaching and facilitating healing from loss. She says, "Instead of ignoring loss and trauma, or moving past them, we can choose to slow down, sit with each loss, examine it, and grieve it. It's better to sink in and experience it now, than to find yourself drowning years later in losses that had no voice."

Take care of your personal needs as you explore resources and alternatives. And reach out for support. Your life will will change. But you're not alone. And as time passes, look for a blessing. You may find something wonderful you would have missed without your challenge. You become stronger, wiser, more of who you're meant to be. And that in itself is a blessing.

I wish you peace in your heart.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What Is Your Life Telling You? And Do You Like What You're Creating?

You can live your whole life not realizing that what you're looking for is right in front of you. David Nicholls

Recently I had a birthday, and that's always a time for a one year check up to look at where I've been, where I am now, where I want to go, and if I stayed on track with last years directions. But that procedure is not enough to look closely at a life and how it's being lived. Life is a daily experience and needs daily attention to be the life you want it to be. You wouldn't drive your car on a journey without checking a map now and then to avoid getting lost and having to find your way back to the highway. So when was the last time you took a close look at your life?

"Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?" Bob Marley

Nobody's life is sunshine all the time. We don't expect that. We all have challenges, painful experiences, times when we want to run away for a while. But the overall quality of life can and should be generally happy and peaceful. Are you satisfied with your life? Could it be better? Think about it. Do you ever wake up in the morning dreading another day, wanting to get off the road for a while and find a peaceful rest stop along your journey? Are there times when all you see are clouds?

Today I was driving with dark ominous clouds overhead, and I hoped I'd reach my destination before the downpour. Then I noticed a break in the clouds with a beautiful clear blue sky where sunshine sparkled. How could both exist at the same time? But they did, and I got a message about life. Pay attention, and you see the whole picture. Would you like more sunshine in your future? You really can create it. And one of your best tools for growth is understanding your past.

The best thing is looking back and realizing how good life is. If you don't take the time to think about it and analyze it, you'll never realize all the dots that are connected. Beyonce Knowles

The Past: All of your experiences in the past are connected to the rest of your life, for the past has been your teacher. Look back and remember good times and bad. Remember specific events and people, times you wish you could do over. Remember your feelings, your disappointments and happy surprises. Admit your weaknesses, and praise your strengths. Who were you back then? And how did all of that bring you to where you are now?

Remember the moments of the past. Look forward to the promise of the future. But most of all, celebrate the present, for it is precious. Unknown

Present: The present is where you live your life...where decisions you make decide your past and your future, and where you can create miracles. So look closely at where you are now. What would you like to change, or keep, or expand upon, or create brand new? If you can't change a situation, you can work on your response to it. Examine what you've learned from your past and how you can use it today. Look within and find that eternal, special essence that is you, and know you have all you need within to move forward.

It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell. Walt Disney

Future: And what kind of story will you be telling in the future? According to Peter Drucker, "The best way to predict the future is to create it." And that's all we can do, the best we can at any given time. We check the past, live in today, and try to create a future we want. And as time passes, if we stay aware and vigilant, our tomorrows can be better than our todays.

So don't wait for your birthday. Use time every day to monitor your progress, and make necessary changes as you go. You really are a miracle, capable of creating miracles. Make your journey whatever you want it to be. And be happy.

I wish you a miraculous journey.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

How To Survive Your Storms And Grow Stronger

Don't confuse your path with your destination. Just because it's storming now doesn't mean that you aren't headed for sunshine. Unknown

The storm has passed. It's quiet now. An eerie quiet. As if waiting for the next devastating gust of wind to come and carry away whatever is in its path. Waiting for more tree branches and debris thrown to the ground, for more flooding with homes and lives destroyed. I wait. But the storm is gone. And now everything bravely comes alive again. I know as I watch critters work with nature to recover and rebuild their lives.

I know from the sound of birds calling to each other from their secret places where they found refuge. I hear their happy whistles and chirping, now free to do what birds do--gloriously spread their wings to join others in search of new horizons and rebuild their nests for new families to replace those lost in the storm.

I know from squirrels running up and down and hopping over wet branches planning their next adventure. Calling to each other, chattering and flipping their tails in happy pursuit of food perhaps thrown to the rain soaked earth by heavy winds. Happy sounds of creatures.

I know from lizards scurrying about, or peeking out from under drain pipes to find a dry spot to survey the territory. Their mouths snapping open and shut, and their heads bobbing back and forth frantically pursuing their next move. Lost in this new dry world, with maybe no memory of where they were or what they were doing when the storm ran them for shelter.

And I know from the way my own heart jumps as I feel the sun's warmth on my bare arms; and breathe in the smell of crisp air washed clean by heavy rains; and watch bright sparkling sunbeams dancing on grateful plants reaching up with outstretched arms. The clouds are gone, and the sky is as clear as DeLeon Springs where I swam growing up. I smile at nature coming alive, venturing out. Each to its own identity, being what they are when the storm has passed, and a new day arrives to begin again. What a world to behold.

When I experience one of those storms, I think of the human storms that arise within each of us when our calm lives are turned upside down. Our feelings are much like the qualities found in the storms of nature. In one of your own life storms you may experience a rain of tears over a painful loss; or feel you've been caught up in a cruel tornado tossing your life in a hundred directions; or you're out of breath treading water, and going deeper all the time; or a belief you've held your whole life suddenly toppling to the ground.

Be encouraged...Not every storm is a disaster. Some are simply cleansing moments. Gregory Prince

When you're hit by a life storm, you can do whatever you can to change its course, or you can ride it out. And one way or another, your storm will pass. But until it does, a positive attitude is necessary. Storms may stall, as nature's storms do, so watch for signs that it's still moving out. There's less turmoil, your stress level is dropping, each day becomes a little easier. And it has given you a lesson and made you stronger.

Remember to play after every storm. Mattie Stepanek

After the storm passes, don't be satisfied with just knowing the storm is gone. Walk in the sunshine and smile at the critters. And take time to nurture and care for yourself. Then focus on rebuilding, and use what you've learned to make your life better than before. Is there debris from the past you can release now? Did your storm reveal strengths you didn't know you had? Explore and set your sights on a new tomorrow.

As each day passes, look for positive changes, and make new discoveries about yourself. You may be surprised at what you'll find as a result of experiencing the storm.

I wish you a peaceful heart and new tomorrows.