Monday, November 28, 2016

Just For Fun



Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity. Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Some people work at jobs they don't like; others find work they enjoy; and some express a hobby in their work making every day a special pleasure. Either way, it helps to have something to get excited about. And what a blessing for those who can maintain happy work and play.

Years ago when my son and daughter-in-law's bicycle shop became too demanding, they sold it and went into other careers they enjoyed. But they clung to their love of bikes, and over the years they've biked all over their state, up into Canada, and on camping trips. Now they're retired and back into the bike business. My daughter-in-law finds used bikes, and my son repairs them. Then they sell the bikes from their garage or rented booths downtown in flea markets.

I've had some happy work and some not so happy. But since childhood I've clung to my love of writing. And today I'd like to share a shortened whimsical story I created. Enjoy...just for fun.

Tandemonium

     "Take your hands off me, you brute," Rosie demanded. "Bert, help me."
     "What can I do?" Bert yelled. "He's got me too."
     A tall man with muscles like footballs hoisted Rosie and Bert up the side of a truck and threw them flying over onto the middle of a trash heap. When the truck took off, their chains rattled with every bump in the road.
     "We've been kidnapped," Rosie screamed. "How can we get out of this, Bert?"
     "Hang on, Babe. Let's see where we're going, and look for a way out."
     Rosie trembled with fear, and couldn't keep her chassis still. She'd never been so shook up. "What's he gonna do with us, Bert?:
     "Probably what everybody else did with us our whole life--get rid of us."
     "That's not true. Remember that nice couple we met a couple years ago? We had a good time with them before they moved to Wyoming and had to leave us."
     "I'm glad they left. I didn't like the way that dude looked you over, checked out your rear end and everything. Yeah."
     "He was just curious. Don't let things like that get to you. I don't think..."
     "Whoa, Babe. We're slowing down." Bert strained to see ahead. "Oh, no. It's that salvage dump around the bend. Now we're doomed."
     Rosie and Bert braced their bodies as the truck turned into a long driveway and parked. When the driver pushed a button, one end of the truck bed rose up, and the whole load clanged and banged to the ground, rattling in all directions. Rosie looked around and cried, "Now my seat is full of dirt. It's bad enough being kidnapped and stripped of all decency, but to see my rump like this is too much."
     Bert ignored her complaints when he saw the truck pull away. "Never mind that now. It looks like we've been spared, for a while anyway."
     They huddled together, unsure of their next move, when they heard thunder overhead. Rosie panicked again. "Oh, Bert. What if it rains? I'll get soaked like last year. Remember what a mess that was?"
     Bert grinned. "I sure do, Babe. I kinda liked you that way."
     Before Rosie could answer, they heard a car pull into the area, and a young couple got out. They wandered from one pile of trash to the other, and ended up in front of Rosie and Bert. "Honey," the woman said. "This is perfect. Not much fixing up to do."
     The man walked around and took a better look. "Well, I thought we'd look for two, but yeah, this will do fine. Won't take much to make it look like new, and it might be fun riding together on a tandem bike."
     Rosie squealed. "Bert, we're saved. We're saved. They want us. Oh, I know they'll take good care of us."
     Bert smiled and whispered. "Take is easy, Babe. Don't look too anxious."

                                                                 
                                                                       END                                                                           


You don't need a reason for doing everything in your life. Do it because you want to. Because it's fun. Because it makes you happy. Unknown

Maybe you can't incorporate a hobby in your work, but you can find expression in your life for something you love, and create a necessary balance. We all have a talent, a yearning, a fire inside. But we get lost in daily activities and push it aside. Don't let your fire die. It's an important part of who you are. Let all of you shine through, and make it fun.

I wish you many happy days being you.  

Marilyn

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Dealing With Your Insecurities To Be More Of Who You Really Are



Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are. Marilyn Monroe

Everyone is insecure to some degree, although most insecurities don't cause extreme discomfort. Our insecurities can involve fears that we won't measure up in certain areas of our life, fears that we don't belong, we lack certain abilities, status, or education, and it seems like everything we do is a mess. So we cover up our personal insecurity the best we can and end up living a fairly normal life...at least what's termed 'normal' by all those folks who don't appear insecure.

But there are those who suffer through life with a damaged sense of self, feeling incapable, unimportant, and unacceptable. Their fears branch out to all areas of their life and impair their ability to function in rewarding ways. They can become isolated, avoiding social contacts, taking jobs that don't require interaction with others, and missing out on their full life potential. Insecurity can also manifest as arrogance, jealousy, bigotry, etc. And as a means of escape, some may even turn to alcohol or drugs.

So what causes someone to feel insecure and fearful in particular situations? We're all born with certain traits, and some children are more vulnerable than others. Insecurity is unique to each person, so we manifest our insecurity in different ways and degrees. And we develop an inner voice at an early age that conveys positive and negative messages to us throughout life.

If our inner child hears things like, "You're a loser, ugly, can't do anything right, why are you so stupid, etc, we believe what we hear and form critical messages that produce insecurity. Other contributing factors are rejection, a need to be perfect, forms of abandonment, bullying, etc. Then when we goof up as adults, that critical inner voice says, "See? I told you so."

Tell that negative committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up. Ann Bradford

We try to deal with our fears and get on with life. But situations we run into trigger our insecurity. We can feel fine until we encounter such things as loss of a job, lack of money, personal mistakes, speaking in front of others, social situations, even being late for appointments...anything that arouses our critical voice. "It's your fault; you should have known better; they'll think you're stupid; you're just not competent, etc." Then those scared feelings take over, and we believe those things about ourself.


You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

Whenever my church Minister went out of town, I used to present the lesson (sermon), and I pushed through with heart pounding and knees shaking. Then I devised a new approach. I began by telling the whole congregation I was very nervous but would do the best I could. Wow. I cleared the air, and they were understanding. Now I didn't have to stumble over words, lose my thoughts, pause and regroup, and appear incompetent. Now I relaxed and enjoyed the experience.

I may feel insecure about one thing, while you might feel insecure about something else. We're all different. And once you understand your own feelings and reasons behind them, you can work on confronting the issues. If you feel a sense of insecurity that holds you back, the first step toward healing is to figure out the root of those feelings. You can do that with questions and searching for insight. Why do I feel insecure when___? What do I feel insecure about? I feel insecure because___. Ask questions you feel would help you, and ponder over any answers you get.

Don't let your insecurities ruin the beauty you were born with. Unknown   

Whether or not you get the answers you need, practice doing what you're afraid to do, and use denials and affirmations. I deny that childhood experience has any power over me. Because in truth, I affirm I was born whole and wonderful (any words you want), and that's who and what I am. Take a deep breath and say, "That was a long time ago. Things are different now." And make them different. You may or may not totally heal your insecure feelings, but you can reduce their hold over you. And you can be more of who you really are.

I wish you freedom to be your wonderful self.

Marilyn

Monday, November 14, 2016

How To Deal With Shock In Your Life



It's just a shock. You go from one day to everything being OK to your life being upside down. Amber Margarejo

We've just come through a stressful presidential election like nothing I've seen in my lifetime. And whether you're happy or sad about the outcome, the final result was a shock not only in our country, but in much of the world. As I observe people's reactions to this situation, I'm reminded of other shocking situations we sometimes encounter in our own personal lives and/or collectively. 

Shock over happy outcomes passes quickly. But sudden traumatic situations can affect us physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually. The degree of shock depends upon each individual's perception of the event and personal situation at the time. What's mild to one person can be serious to another. When we know what's coming, our body begins preparing for it. If not, the sudden element itself can render the mind helpless to think clearly. It shakes our sense of reality of who we are, how we live our life, our expectations, our perception of truth, etc. and we must go through a series of adjustments to healing.

Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. John Wayne

I remember a personal shock I experienced a few years ago. During the many years I worked, I faithfully invested into my retirement fund. But 3 years into retirement, I suddenly learned that due to neglect by the person handling my account, I'd lost my retirement fund. It was gone. Nothing to show for all those years. At first it was difficult to believe the reality of the situation. I was in shock, and felt devastated, scared and helpless. But somehow prayer sustained me and I survived...wiser than before.

Another time I experienced a shock felt by the whole world. I still remember it vividly. I was a child listening to the radio with my mother and brothers when suddenly the program was interrupted with news that Japanese planes had bombed our ships in Pearl Harbor. My mother's first instinct was to run, and she quickly hurried us up the street to my aunt's house. I remember hysterical neighbors pouring out of their houses, grouping together in the street, fearful about what might happen next. I didn't fully understand what was happening, but I felt that emotional shock.

Accept, then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Eckhart Tolle

A personal shock can put your body in an almost nonfunctional mode with questions like, "Why did this happen? What am I going to do now? What will happen to me?" You may feel that life has thrown you more than you can handle, and there's no place to run. So your first survival mode is to stop, breathe deep, quiet your mind, and accept where you are without resistance. And if prayer is part of your life, pray for peace and guidance.

Allow yourself to calm down as much as possible, and for a while concentrate only on yourself. Cling to what's real and valuable in your life, and list what you have that's safe and dependable. What does your well-being depend on, and do you have that? If not, how can you create it? Be kind to you, and seek support from people in your life who will listen to you and offer understanding and compassion.


You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice. Bob Marley

As your mind clears, take time to digest what's happened. Ask yourself how might the new situation change your life, or does it? Can you mend what's broken, or do you have to let go? Does the situation need your immediate attention, or is it out of your control? And establish what's yours to do, or not do. Then move forward from there.

If the shocking situation is more on a collective level, seek out others and share your thoughts and feelings. Whatever the cause, shock needs to be dealt with in order to heal and move on. Know that you have what it takes to accomplish this. And you will.

I wish you peaceful times ahead.


Marilyn

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Free To Love


Hello again. I apologize for missing last week. My computer was down, and I'm behind in everything. I'm glad to finally be back.


When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. Donald Miller

As we go through life we sometimes take our relationships with those close to us for granted. Nature designed us to connect, to belong, and one of the greatest blessings in life is those people we share our life with. But sometimes we label each one who and what we design them to be, and we encounter conflict or disappointment. How much are we willing to let them be who they really are and still love them? Love flourishes when it's free to blossom according to its own nature and not be constrained by our own human perceptions and requirements.

Until a few years ago I thought I knew the people in my life, and I took my perceptions of them for granted. Then one day I was struggling with a stressful situation, and I went to a friend looking for understanding, compassion and support to help me cope. I was very surprised when my friend half listened to my feelings and began telling me how to fix my problem. I already knew what to do. I needed the strength to do it. But she didn't hear me. I was devastated, and felt even more alone.

I went to my minister, where I should have gone in the first place, and she explained something about people and relationships that I have always remembered and learned to use in my life. She said every person is given certain gifts, talents, and we're all different. Some people are good at repairing broken items, some are good listeners, some help clarify, some make us smile, and some tell is how to fix a problem. I hadn't noticed that my friend was a fixer. I thought I knew her. My minister advised me to take a second look at the people in my life, figure out what each one is able to give, and love them anyway. And figure out my own gift, and give that to others. Then I understood my friend's response to me. She gave what she knew to give, and she loved me in her own way. After that I began understanding the people in my life better, and my love for them became more unconditional.

I think the following poem says it well.

Let us know how not to ask too much of each other,
share who we are without giving up our freedom,
love without trying to absorb,
be kind yet not smother with kindness,
walk together but neither retard the other's pace.
I would not lead one who did not choose to follow
or follow one who demanded that I be led.
The spark of selfhood, that high and precious thing;
each his own master and the two of us
richer, dearer because of it,
but neither sunk passively in the other.
 That alone is true loving.



We are here for a reason. We all have a gift or gifts to share. You want to look inside your heart and your soul, and you want to tap into the one thing you love to do. Develop it. Share it. Nurture it. You were meant to have that gift. Debbie Fields

Take a closer look at the people in your life, and identify what gift each one is able to offer. Then when you need something, go only to the person who has the gift to help with your particular need. And look within yourself, and identify your own gift. Are you a good listener, or a fixer? Can you make people laugh? Do you have the ability to focus well and clarify a problem? Discover a strong quality within yourself of which you may not be aware, and offer that to others.

Allow each person in your life to be who they are in their own special way, and allow yourself to love freely, unconditionally, from your heart. We are blessings to each other, and that in itself is a gift.

I wish you freedom to love.

Marilyn