Monday, October 19, 2009

Oh Look, a Dandelion!

Life can be overwhelming, arduous, and at times coerce you to loose focus on what matters most. What matters most – a query worthy of a Golden Globe in the category “questions on life”. As such, it would be no accident that I ask you: What truly matters most to you in your life?

Is it your Career? Success? Financial strength? Is it your Family? Friends? Significant other? The car you drive … the house you live in … the garden in the back yard? Church on Sundays? Praying? Or being in touch spiritually in any realm? How about education? Keeping in touch? Having the power / control? What about the three human basics: food, clothing and shelter? Or the three humanity given rights: life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness? Is it singing in the shower and dancing in the rain? Is it enjoying the seasons and the joy each can bring? Is it giving yourself permission to take time off? Is it living the life you can be proud of, or just living a life ….

Whoop, there it is: are you just living a life, or living a life you can be proud of? Success is measured and weighed on numerous scales; but the ending balance is what you determine to be correct. What is important to me may not very well be important to you. Constantly though, each of us struggle at times to remember that life does not have a pause button - it continues with or without us. In turn, we are either living our lives or we are living our lives....

…. And we do our damndest to complicate things, overanalyze, and ignore the warning signs don't we? We keep putting things off, say phrases such as “when x y z is complete then I can incorporate / have / make time for a b c in life …” Interesting concept, and this is just my two cents, but without a b and c, how would we even know about x y and z? We cannot appreciate or grasp the full meaning of what an alphabet holds without knowing from the start what it contains; same factor holds true in our lives. Without knowing frontwards and backwards what matters most in life, the fundamentals, we can never truly grasp the blessings that we encounter each and every day.

We live our lives as though we have endless amounts of time, as though we can have as many re-dos as necessary at our dispense – but somewhere, locked deep inside, we distinguish the truth. We hide behind excuses and apprehension, waiting for life to happen instead of taking in the truth: life is happening now ….. Life truly is as simple as blowing a dandelion and making a wish.... if only we stop long enough to pick the dandelion along our way.

As some of you have already noticed, I have been taking some time off from writing as I struggle with my own journey of stopping long enough to pick the dandelion.... Plan B gives me an outlet to breathe my deepest thoughts, but lately I have been in stir over my own happiness, neglecting to view the blessings, and in turn feeling the old phrase, “If you have nothing nice to say …..” … fueled by the winds of change, the season of cold breathing down, I have been wishing to hibernate and lock myself away from the world. It’s a part of me that I struggle with, and it’s a constant battle; but I open up to this very private side of me to hopefully reach others who are struggling too …. Struggling to find their place in the world. Struggling to appreciate the “matters most”. Struggling to live life instead of just being apart of the equation.

This week though I thought I would share with you a short little film that brightened my day, and my thoughts. This film was an inspiration to gaze at. As I listened to the rhythm of the music connect with my soul, I read the words as they appeared: “Sometimes in the winds of change, we find our true direction” - Author unknown …. “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quite voice at the end of the day saying: I will try again tomorrow.” - Mary Anne Radmacher … “The only things that stands between a person and what they want in life are the will to try it, and the faith to believe it’s possible.” – Rich Devos

I once had a friend ask me – what do you do when the pursuit is over? When your quest to happiness is complete and the void inside of you is filled? I did not have an answer then, but now as I think back to that question, as I ponder on what matters most – I believe that my void is already filled by the numerous blessings in my life. I become unhappy when I stop remembering the simple things in life that we take for granted, as I forget there is no pause button, as I neglect to live life as a teaching, learning, taking in, giving back, making way, moving forward, appreciating yesterday and not living for it kind of a life ….

As the sun shines, so may the positive light ... into your thoughts, into your feelings, and into your actions. As the clouds form, so may the inner voice … that calms your fears and encourages your pursuit. In both, may you take notice of what matters most in your life, and stop to pick a dandelion along the way … knowing you are not alone in your pursuit, for your blessings are all around you.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Random thoughts of Comfort

On this rainy dreary day, when the world seems so cold and gloomy, its nice to cuddle up with some warmth. I hope the following odds and ends provide some of that to you this weekend ... and hopefully stay with you even after Monday begins ...

“Accidents, coincidences, and serendipities don’t create dreams. Your dreams create them. Dream away.” - The Universe

Grab a pad of paper: List five NON MATERIALISTIC items you really wish you had …. Then sit back for a few moments and think why you answered the way you did.
My list: Inner Peace, Calm, Balance, Closure, and the Giggles... The giggles on days when I neglect to remember the simple pleasures in life …

“I’m a push-through kind of person. Something happens and it’s not going to stop me from doing what I’m going to do.” – Actress and breast cancer survivor Christina Applegate

A Simple Truth Piece

The present
+ An attitude of gratitude
+ Positive action
= My perfect life.

- An article to make you reflect on the present and not so much on the future. How about creating your own list of a few things that you are grateful for …
Here is a handful of mine: Meaningful, close relationships, friendships that surpass expectations, and with no conditions. A warm inviting home. A son who teaches me every day something incredible. God who tries to speak to me even when I am not listening, especially when I am not listening …

Winning Back Control
- Once again one of my favorite magazines has brought a dynamite piece centered on taking the control back in your life. We all feel it from time to time – out of control – lost – looking for direction / guidance / a personal assistant … At times we feel “out of control” over our personal and professional time, perhaps our finances, and even, yes, most particularly, our emotions …

“ Have you noticed that the more you hurry, the slower you go – the more you wait, the longer it takes – the more you worry, the less you dream – but the more you live, love and laugh, the more you live love, and laugh” – The Universe

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Permission to be Silly Granted: Happy Mad Hatter's Day

What day is it you say? Mad Hatter's Day? Never heard of it, yet intrigued aren't you? Well you should be! It’s a day were you are given "authorization" to grip the fanatical, untamed, inner child like spirit and be impractical for a day.

April fool’s takes place on a solitary spring day and has done so for many of moons. However, with all the silliness in the world these days, society could not afford to be restricted any longer to having the “fool” confined to one zany holiday now could they? To suggest so would be the “silliest thing” of all!! Fortunately, for our sake, Mad Hatter Day was created to fix this tragic slip up in illogicality. Today is a day to celebrate the sanity that is inherent in all that is supposedly crazy, and the craziness lurking in all that is sane … and somehow that all makes sense ...

So grab your attention getting hat, walk out the door, and get to living your Mad Hatter’s Day! Sure people may look at you seemingly for taking the time to recognize and appreciate life’s little absurdities– but its out of jealousy that they are not taking the time themselves – after all, haven’t we earned a day to just be silly? I would think you crazy not to explore all of the possibilities of what today could bring to your life ….

Today at lunch I am going to order diet water, then return to work only to get on the intercom and page myself, not disguising my voice. I will refer to everyone by their nicknames I have given them, say “ding” at each floor the elevator stops at, and babble incoherently at a friend and then say “did you get all of that? Because I don’t want to have to repeat myself.” … besides, if we cannot laugh, what’s the point?

Happy Mad Hatter’s Day!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pop Quiz: Who are you Meant to Be?

Our personalities are built partially on the theory of science; we are wired and programmed with many options, out comings, and approaches - yet through our unique, distinctive personalities we are able to reveal our true colors of behavior. Yet sometimes, often than not, we feel "stuck" on what the next approach to our life is .... recently posted an assessment you can take that delivers to you results on your striving styles, mode of thought, and keys to your behavior that direct and dictate your lives. I took the quiz this afternoon and the results were shockingly accurate: I strive to be in control - a leader. Confident and decisive, I know what I want (although I don't always think so) and I tend to be a lioness in life, especially when it comes to my family and friends. I also scored very high on striving to help: if there is one thing that brings me satisfaction, it's tending to others. As well as striving to be secure - trying to be a rock in other's storms, the one other's can depend and lean on, loyal and committed.
The quiz also revealed traits I need to watch out for: what types of environments are hard for me, practicing letting others take control for a change, and pegged me as a workaholic, slaving away towards success while at times neglecting my personal life - especially my own inner self strength. Interesting to say the least.
Following the assessment there is the "looking ahead" guidance, providing tips and advice on how to break through weak areas and transform our energy. After all, isn't that the first law of thermodynamics? "Energy can be transformed, but cannot be created or destroyed" Something to think about at least ...

Who are you Meant to Be?

Extra credit if you implement the "transformation of energy" part!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Feel like taking a "Skip"?

A trying day. A trying week. A trying month. Recently each day feels like a “full moon” experience, and in turn I am at a loss on how to write this week’s column. The feeling of a billion ideas, thoughts, notions are running through my head (which I write down in places such as the fog of the mirror and it questions my self sabotage – do I really try to make things more difficult??)

As these ideas are so scattered, I ask for clarity, insight, and conformity to piece them together, conform a piece of literature that can speak to you, captivate, compel you to see the light in the depths of darkness, the beauty in the surroundings, the meaning to the pain. Nonetheless, my recycle bin is filled with rough drafts that could not possibly deliver any of the mentioned.

Yet I can say this: one prominent thought that I cannot shudder is this uneasy feeling. Not from the writer’s block, not from the insomnia or headaches, not from all these questions I seem to have that lack answers – but this uneasy feeling of week after week I pour out column after column in search of providing stepping stones in your lives to make a difference, to make a change – and at the same time fuel my inner self growth, discovery, and enlightenment. Showing us that life can be accomplished; not by money in the bank or materialistic processions, not by social events or corporate ladders, not by the number of people in your life or even the number of Christmas cards you receive each year – but by undemanding, effortless, basic parts of life.

Like skipping. When’s the last time you skipped? Gender does not matter, at one point in our lives, each of us used to skip. So I ask you to stop laughing at the question and answer it. Then answer these: Why did you stop skipping? When did you feel too “adult” to “break it out” down the sidewalk, or road, or grassy field? When did we all turn our backs to the simplistic forms of bliss and happiness, that didn’t cost a dime, that didn’t come with rules, that didn’t expect anything in return besides to provide a smile on your face and a content spirit in your heart?

Writing this piece cannot help but be accompanied by tears. These tears are out of remembrance and shame for turning my back to a part of me that provided harmony to my life; that added to it, instead of taking from it. Although I have grown leaps and bounds, mountains it seems, over the past few years – as I come into my own “element” I feel this sadness that the dark parts of my life held such a place that I was unaware of. Now, as the light seems to shine in, and provides a pathway to a transition, to healing, to growing …. What prevents me from skipping down this journey and taking in the true moments, the true meaning, the true grace life brings?

The answer: me, myself, and I. Self sabotage, self doubt, guilt, fear of failure, trepidation of the unknown, and what others may think if I took on the approach to skipping vs. running through life. I am tired of always chasing the moments in life that have the potential to show exquisiteness, but more tired that I prevent myself from seeing it. From feeling it. From living it.

What prevents you? My assumption is that your answer will be the same as mine, and my thought is that we do so because at least in the darkest of our moments we feel comfortable pulling the covers over our head and pretending that what scares us does not exist. And I am not na├»ve enough to think that by one afternoon of writing I can eliminate the darkness, the fear, the self sabotage to either of our lives. But now that we have the opportunity to face it, maybe now we can admit out loud that we are tired of living even some of our days in the dark. At least now we can stop pretending, stop hiding, and start the baby steps to begin skipping again. These steps are necessary to learn what life can truly bring if we stop pretending and start living. If we stop analyzing and start being. If we stop running … and start skipping.