Tuesday, April 28, 2009

All it Takes is One Choice

Recently I read an excerpt from the book, “Charging the Human Battery”, by Mac Anderson. In this excerpt he provides insight to the quote by Mary Blochowiak, in which she said, “You are always only one choice away from changing your life.” Now if you happen to be similar to my thinking, then at this very moment you are shaking your head yes, thinking about your dreams, and which one choice you could make today to pursue such thoughts. Then, if you are still like me, in the same round of thoughts, this snake of doubt slithers into your mind and puts a halt on your “choice” production and lands you in the leading role in the “field of unspoken pursuits.”

What makes us doubt our dreams? Fear is a major one. Change another. But these are all things in which we know. We know that we hold back from some of our true ambitions in life, and the sad part is that we have grown comfortable maintaining this existence. We talk constantly about the hardships we face in life, but how many of us actually step outside our chatter boxes to plant seeds of hope and encouragement? Reading Plan B, or other self promoting material, is a good step – but when is the last time you implemented what you are reading into your daily lives? If it sounds like I am being hard on you, I am. But, you are not alone. I am being hard on myself, and each who make a choice to read this column. I want us to really get that we make the choices - I want us to remember what it feels like to want more AND chase after it. I am tired of sitting on the sidelines as the clouds pass by. Wondering if my opportunities already came and went and I never attempt to be at bat. I would rather swing and miss, than to not play at all. I would rather have mixed emotions than not feel at all. I would rather try and fail that always wonder what if ….

Tonight or tomorrow, when my words are still fresh in your memory and the chain reaction of your thoughts are spinning in your mind, I challenge you to dig deep into your psyche and remember what your ambitions were, are, and are yet to be. I challenge you to write a letter to a very critical player – yourself. In this letter, write to the different selves of your eras – past, present, and future. Think deep about what you want each to know. Do you want to forgive your past self for what could be holding your present self back? Does your present self need some words of encouragement? Maybe your future self needs hope for the tomorrows ahead. Whatever you are feeling, thinking, composing, constructing, creating --- let yourself know there is a world of possibilities … Give yourself forgiveness, advice, and most of all the option of choice.
Mac Anderson finished that particular piece with these words, “So never forget that you are only one choice away from changing your life. Do you have the courage to make it?”

Well, do you? Ask your future self. You will know the answer.

Topic of today ...

Beauty is a point of view.

For me it is a sunset, surrounded by sand and water, streaming colors radiating from the end of the day.
The sound of the guitar creating the piece, In Your Atmosphere, and hearing the lyrics sung by Mr. John Mayer ... okay, who am I kidding ... any song done by that man is beauty in true form.
The taste of my grandmother's cooking on a Sunday afternoon where if I am lucky, I get to silently witness the love that exists between my grandparents as they do the dishes and think no one is watching.
The taste of a margarita and BBQ during a summer evening surrounded by friends and loved ones ... sharing humor such as how I can write "a" margarita, yet not end the evening with anything under cinco ...
The sound of contagious laughter coming from my son as he starts and ends my days with the full exhibit of beauty that encompasses each ....

Your turn: Describe one or more moments of beauty in your life.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Out with the Old ...

At home I am surrounded by boxes: Storage, Move with, Yard Sale, Give Away, Trash ... its overwhelming the amount of stuff I have been accumulating. As I like to do at midnight, with the sound of silence and when no one picks up there phone for late night therapy sessions ... I let my rambling thoughts do just that - ramble. Last night I thought about an email I just received a couple of days ago from Ann-Marie, and her wisdom sparked me as a "Buddha" like moderation. She wrote, "Maybe you have to go through your past in order to move on and prepare yourself."

Gave me some insight and proposed this question:

Must we be faced with our past to remember the yesterday, cleanse today, and make way for that of tomorrow?

Concentrate ...

'To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.' When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence... 'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'

I received the above in an email about three times now as a forward, and felt the need to share it all with you. Just reading it alone gave a sense of peace ... concentrating on it gives clarity.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I am going to give you a topic ...

Talk amongst yourselves ...

I am going to try a new thing with Plan B to shake things up a bit and get the creativity flowing. I am going to begin posting random questions - you won't know when, so check back often. I want to see some discussions taking place. Feel free to express yourselves, there is no right or wrong answers here - however, I may throw in a pop quiz if the urge strikes me. The point of this is to give you some insight to what you may have hidden back and beyond. To open a path to the creativity that lies inside. The more you discover, the more you grow ... and we all know what happens when a little rain falls ... everything blooms, and life is renewed. Have fun with it, unlock some thoughts and dig deep ...

What would you attempt, if failure would not be an option? Would you attempt if failure could be?

Saying Goodbye

They say its takes a moment to say hello and a lifetime to say goodbye.

Tonight I sat in my son's room and rocked him to sleep for the last time in the only house he has ever known. The house that I brought him home on that terrifying, joyous Saturday afternoon when he weighed nine pounds. He looked at me for comfort as his eyes adjusted to the newness of his world around him. The house that provided him warmth on the cold winter nights, with Christmas lights and carols being sung by his mother who likes to transform the cozy home into a winter wonderland. The house that felt his first steps take place, as he wobbled across the living room floor to meet me in an embracing hug in the door frame of entrance. The house that hosted his baptism gathering, Easter egg hunts, birthday extravaganzas, play dates, family time, movie nights, laughter, and a whole lot of love. The house that was his home ... our home.

As I rocked him tonight I told him of how a home is where the heart is, and my dearest son, my heart is always with you. Whether he knew it or not, it was I tonight who looked at him to provide comfort. I always look to him. As I say goodbye to our home, I am reminded that no matter where we go, or where we live - no matter if the day is bad or good - no matter what the circumstance, or occasion ... he houses my heart. For that, saying goodbye to the home where I rocked him so many of a night, is a little easier knowing that the best part of this home travels with me ... always.

Saying goodbye is never easy; the hardest part is letting go and remembering you take the good with you. In this column I want to ask you - what do you take with you? At the end of the day who lights your world? Where do you find refuge, solace, and comfort? We could all use a little reminder that the faucets in our lives that "house" us, no home makes. It is with the ones we love the most - whether they are living right down the hall, or half way across the world. Be they family, friends, or memories we hold dear. Whether you are saying goodbye to a home, a job, loved ones, a relationship ... Reach out and say goodbye to the frustrations of the day, say goodbye to the harshness of the world, say goodbye to the obstacles in life and gain so much more by letting the love around you shelter you from the storms, and house the beautiful memories of today. Those memories stay with you always. They give you strength, and hope. They allow you to see the beauty of the adventure that awaits. No one can take them from you, and forever you can relive and let a smile light your way.

Saying goodbye is not easy, and forever it may take ... but each day is journey to a better a world around you. And today I ask you to take a walk down memory lane and get ready for your adventure that awaits you tomorrow. Take the best part with you ... and create your "home". Say hello each day to the adventure knocking at your front door ... and goodbye to no longer ignoring the knock.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Listening to Your Inner Voice

For about a week now I have awaken at 4am to find myself thinking of my “to do list”. I then lie there tossing and turning not wanting to face the daunting list:

The house needs to be packed, don’t forget to cancel the cable bill and bring home that bubblewrap. Thomas needs new shoes, order them from the website he loves so much – oh, and call the specialist for his possible surgery. He is graduating from preschool in seven weeks – don’t forget to email his teacher the photos for the slideshow. Do I plan a graduation party? Go grocery shopping, we are totally out of everything. Plan a yard sale, return 15 phone calls, find a house, study AGAIN for the license, only this time the Series 7, make amends with your sister, submit your application for Graduate school, and somewhere between now and the end of the day … develop a five year plan and gain some direction in life.

And that is just the before 10am to-do list …

Life happens, and most of the time in a very overwhelming capacity. We seek refuge in denial, resistance, and disregard. At some point though, we become face to face with life. We may not want to deal with the facts, but none-the-less they are at our doors waiting for our response. The response we give is indeed a choice we must make. Nevertheless, we need to remember that for every action there is a reaction, for every cause an effect, and for every decision an outcome.

So now what? Do you run out and exhaust yourself trying to wrap up lose ends, tackle projects, and cross off line items in your attempt to accomplish your never ending to do lists? You take off your rose colored glasses long enough to let in life; for some, we are quick to put them back on for reality is too much to handle. For others, we leave them off with a carefree persona to our walk. If only there was a middle ground you say? In fact, there is. The middle is a place where we alter between the two balances. We are aware that not everything needs to be accomplished at an alarming rate, and not everything needs to be taken so casually. As we find balance in our to-do lists, we create an ambience of peace within ourselves that shows in other facets of our lives.

Did you know that our conscious minds are only doing about 10% of our thinking, while our sub and unconscious composes the other 90%? This little factoid brings me back around to why I am waking up at 4am. Those EARLY morning wake-up alarms are not replacing the rooster’s cock-a-doodle-doo coming on to assist me in being more productive throughout the day. They serve a purpose of reminding me that I have taken on too much, or not dealt well enough, or perhaps – just maybe – that I need to delegate, or lighten my plate, or re-organize my schedule. Humorous to think that our subconscious knows more than our conscious; knows what we need, knows our wants, and knows our weakness and our strengths.

My question to you today is this: When is the last time you truly listened to your Subconscious? I mean, truly listened? When did you stop and take notice. How often do you not only cut the grass, but stop and smell the roses blooming in the back yard? You read my column for a reason – you are in search of more in your lives. I can think of no better way than to ask and DEMAND answers to some tough questions … questions whose answers have the power of changing your life. Answers that can force you to see your to-do list of life as just a piece of paperwork (or perhaps a color-coordinated, excel spreadsheet, auto set to deliver …. What? Surely I am not the only one ..._) and not the ruling dictator of your daily play.

I have a challenge for each of you, myself included. Mediate each day on what your conscious is trying to covey to you. Then, for the remainder of the week write down one thing each day that you feel your conscious was trying to get across to you. For each item, write down how you listened to your inner self, and how you responded. Each of us are about to be surprised when faced with how well we do not listen to ourselves … but we are being given a great opportunity to finally listen to our inner voices, and respond with what we truly need. Today my conscious is telling me relax … I think I may go home and grab a nap …. The to-do list can wait.