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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SPEAKING UP

"Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you."
~Matthew 7:7~
 
I'm not sure why it's so hard to ask for what we need, but it is. We are somehow programmed to be utterly self-sufficient and low-maintenance, to take care of ourselves "on the sly." Let's change this. Let's step into the light and speak up without apology. Let's respect ourselves and those who love us enough to ask directly for what we need.
 
I am confident and courageous. I don't have to shrink myself. It's ok to ask for what I need.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

GIVE AND TAKE

"Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons."
~Ruth Ann Schabacker~
 
I am a giver from way back. I like to give. It comes naturally to me and makes me feel good. Being at the receiving end of things does not come so naturally to me, but I'm better at it than I used to be.
     The longer I live, the more I realize that life happens "in exchange"- the exchange of energy, love, kindness, support, money, time, conversation... Everything is an exchange. And I can't stop the flow of energy one direction or the other. It's not natural to do so. I have to make allowances for the currents running both ways.
 
I love to give, but sometimes I have to allow others to give to me. Life in balance happens both ways.

Monday, April 21, 2014

TIME FOR GRATITIDE

"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."
~Henry Ward Beecher~
 
I'm grateful for warm air and the rising and falling moon. I'm grateful for movies and the lessons of my life experience; for calypso music and lemons and walnuts and figs. I'm grateful for the feeling of love and kindness.
     I'm grateful when I get into bed at the end of the day and for morning sunshine. I'm grateful for my blessings and grateful for my challenges and grateful for my good health.

I am grateful to be exactly who I am where I am.

Friday, April 18, 2014

RETREAT

"Silence is the universal refuge."
~Henry David Thoreau~
 
Modern life requires an awful lot of running around, driving up and down the road, and back and forth across town. Modern life also requires a lot of instant contact and communication; so much so, in fact, that though a day of no contact and no running around might sound appealing, my guess is that if we did it, we would feel antsy and restless rather than relieved.
     But maybe we ought to do it anyway, every once in a while- a kind of still and silent retreat- for a few hours, or a day, or longer. I feel myself leap to concern even in the contemplation of such a thing: what about my laptop, I'm wondering... couldn't that slip by because it's where I write? Maybe it could, but that's not the point. The point is that I think we need the retreat but can't fathom the real reality of taking it.
     Let's start by fathoming it, and then, maybe, one day, we will find the willingness to leave our excuses by the wayside and make it happen.

I consider stillness and silence and how I might incorporate these things more readily into my life.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

HABITS

"Ill habits gather by unseen degrees
As brooks make rivers, and rivers run to seas."
~John Dryden~
 
Being severely overweight or severely underweight is equally problematic. Pleasingly plump is one thing, and thin another, but excessively too far in either direction belies an imbalance, not only on the surface, but within.... which begs a qustion for all of us: how do we feed ourselves? Can we get honest enough to admit that we have a problem if, in fact, we do? Do we believe in the possibility of better health, and that it's possible for us?
     And maybe it's not our weight, but some other habit that is negatively impacting our spirit and vitality. Are we smokers? Gamblers? Chronic shoppers? Addicts of exercise?
     Let's face our "stuff" whatever it is. Let's face it, and raise the bar on our lives.

I'm honest about my unhealthy habits and open to the willingness to change.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

CHILDISH PLEASURE

"Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man."
~R. Tagore~
 
Some children are simply wonderful to behold- so free from self-consciousness and full of joy for simple things. I saw a little girl wearing a purple tutu and skipping into Costco, and a little boy with a huge smile saying, "You know what? I LOVE this place!"
     When did we get so grouchy as adults? Let's restore our sense of playfulness and delight.

I let the child within me feel a sense of wonder and excitement for all of the little happenings of life.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CONDITION OF LIFE

"I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."
~Agatha Christie~
 
It's an error on our parts to think that we should reach a place where we are completely pain free and be able to sustain it. Everything is variable. If we don't hurt in one way or one place, we will likely experience some aches and discomforts elsewhere. Aches and pains are part of the human condition. Sometimes they are barely noticeable and sometimes they pummel us insistently.
     Let's learn to take whatever we feel in stride, whether it's physical or emotional. Let's accept and befriend the conversation of our bodies and our minds.

I don't expect to live pain-free. I am ok with my suffering and take it in stride.