*

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

AULD LANG SYNE

"Most solemn and touching is the peal which rings out the old year."
~Charles Lamb ~
 
For me, New Year's Eve is a time of reflection more than celebration. It's a review of the passing year before it has passed- the achievements, the plans that didn't pan out, the love, the hardships... It's an ending, and a letting go.
     New Year's Day is all about the months that lie ahead and all that I hope for, but New Year's Eve is the closing of a circle- another year gone by with all of its grace and challenge. It's soft and sweet and sad all at once. It's all that has happened and all that remains to be done; the perfect combination of banging fireworks and auld lang syne.

I release 2013 to the vapor and the mist and prepare to start fresh in the New Year.

Monday, December 30, 2013

BEING REALISTIC

"Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie
Which we ascribe to Heaven."
~William Shakespeare~

I allow myself to feel let-down by other people sometimes. I think I can count on them more than I can, or that we are all on the same page when we are not. And I get my feelings hurt that way- by taking personally what is not personal. Everything is not always reciprocal in life and that's ok. I can be kind and loving and true to my calling whether nobody or everybody or a chosen few understand.

I do not look to others for a sense of self-worth. That comes from inside of me.

Friday, December 27, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

"A parent's love is whole no matter how many times divided."
~Robert Brault ~
 
"All who would win joy, must share it; happiness was born a twin."
~Lord Byron ~
 
My children are turning 19 tomorrow! We have traveled quite a distance together over all of these years. We've had fights and negotiations and belly laughs and adventures of all kinds. And now, they are beautiful and intelligent young adults.
     Sienna is soulful and earthy and artistic and thoughtful. Nick is commandeering and cool- a great mind and unlimited potential. And they both have big hearts, whether they know it or not. I know it.
     I am proud and honored to share their lives with them and to celebrate another year of lessons and laughter and life circumstances and love! Happy Birthday Sienna and Nick!

I celebrate all the gifts of my incredible children on their Birthday!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

AFTERGLOW

"As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time."
~David Grayson~

Let us linger today in the sweet after-glow of Christmas. Let us hold dear our best times and best feelings and best thoughts from yesterday and savor the pleasure of them. And let us forgive and forget and let go of everything else, and not go rushing out into the world again and on with our lives. Let us pause and reflect and be love-filled, for just this day. Let's relax and unwind and enjoy being right where we are.
 
 I linger in the energy of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

"What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace."
~Agnes M Pahro ~

As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is."
~ Eric Sevareid~

May our Christmas be soft and simple and subtle and sweet. May it be bright and red and happy. May it be crisp. May it be thoughtful. May it be grateful and heartfelt and patient and sincere.
     I celebrate all of the things that I love about Christmas and focus on all that I have and all that I hope for and the magnificent blessing of love in my life.
 
I let my love shine today and celebrate the beauty and wonder of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

CHRISTMAS EVE

"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air."
~WT Ellis~

And so, we have come around to Christmas Eve once again. We hope for a day of good feelings and loving comfort and all the warmth that thoughts of "home" conjure up. But rather than looking to others or to circumstances or presents or food to bring us that Christmas feeling, let's become it. Let's open our hearts and our spirits and let's be love and be joy and be the calm silent night. We are what we experience so let's become the magic of Christmas Eve.
 
The love and happiness I long for are within me. I bring them forth to share with the world.

Monday, December 23, 2013

COMING CHRISTMAS

"Yuletide excitement is a potent caffeine, no matter your age."
~ Terri Guillements ~

I am grateful for the pageantry of Christmas, for the decorated trees and lights and music; for the cookies and the gifts and the feeling of excitement that builds and rises. I am grateful for the exchange of Christmas hugs and smiles, for Christmas candles, and for the Grinch who comes around in the end; for wishes fulfilled and nativity scenes and ribbons and bows.
     Christmas is coming whether we like it or not, whether we're ready for it or not, so let's embrace all the things we love about it and prepare our hearts. Let's be glad and rejoice! Let's give and receive all the love we can muster, and then let's give and receive some more.

I focus on all of the things I love about Christmas.

Friday, December 20, 2013

SLOWING DOWN JUDGMENT


"The average man's judgment is so poor, he runs a risk every time he uses it."
~ EW Howe ~
 
We make decisions about people and situations in an instant, and once we make them we are hard-pressed to see them any other way. Our initial judgments lock our thinking up tight. Often based on feelings more than facts, our instantaneously conceived point-of-view limits us to any kind of a broader perspective.
     Let's bring awareness to this tendency in ourselves and refrain from snap judgments. Let's be thoughtful and consider all sides of the situations we encounter. Taking our time in this way will make us more accurate in our assessments and more appropriately humble in our passage through life.

I take my time in forming opinions and do not leap to conclusions before I have all of the information.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

THE SHADOW OF FEAR

"Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is small."
~Ruth Gendler~

If I am honest with myself and take the time to think things through, I believe I would realize that I am not as afraid as I think I am- not of financial insecurity, or physical hardship, or emotional challenge, or even death.
     Fear is a trap that makes me think I have more control over things than I do. But if I can find a way to let go of the fear, then I am free and safe and ever-ok. And that's the scariest thing of all. We hook ourselves into our insecurities as if they have the power to support us and sustain us, but they do not. Only our letting go does that, and our trusting the process, and our faith.

Thinking I can control all aspects of my life doesn't make me safe. It's a grand illusion. I call my fear for what it is and become willing to let go.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

BEING HUMAN

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."
~Kahlil Gibran~
 
I have a well of sadness within me as well as a pool of joy, and sometimes the sadness is bigger than the joy and all-consuming. It fills me and surrounds me and feels almost primordial. It has to do with the hardness of life and the suffering we all must endure as human beings- the suffering of our bodies and our fragile spirits. It's all mixed up with compassion and love. And it's not dark or depressing so much as it is heavy. I feel the weight of how hard we all try on a daily basis to live good lives and be successful and hope for a little bit of affection and attention. I feel our misunderstandings and childhood heartaches. I feel our dashed expectations and courage against all odds.
     We are strong in so many ways and so beautiful, and yet, we can be dashed and discounted in a flash, cut to the core with a word or a look, and hurt irreparably by the ones who should love us the most.

I have compassion for the sadness and the suffering of the world.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

THE GO-THROUGH

"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states that we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it."
~ Anais Nin~

Sometimes the most important thing is just to go through the go-through, and the process of moving forward leads us somewhere, even if it's not exactly where we expected to be. Mis-steps and false starts and less-than-great decisions all journey us forth in their own way, and we always seem to end up getting what we need and learning just what we are supposed to know.

I am grateful for the forward motion of my life.

Monday, December 16, 2013

FREE TIME

"Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."
~AA Milne~

Most of the time in my life I am busy with multiple projects and I have a never-ending to-do list like a running tab at the bar. So when I am faced unexpectedly with free time and find myself unusually "caught-up" with things, I feel almost lost.
     Idleness and relaxation are not natural states for me. I am busy and productive and on-the-go so much- too much- such that I must now learn anew, especially at this Christmas-time, how to be unstructured and at ease.

I do not have to pack every moment of my life with activity, even if I think I do. I am willing to allow for free time.

Friday, December 13, 2013

STEPS OF LIFE

"What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step..."
~Antoine de Saint Exupery ~
 
We can make things out to be more dramatic than they are. If we allow ourselves to do it, we can live in perpetual crises. And there is a certain excitement in that. But truthfully, all of life can only be taken by putting one foot in front of the other again and again and again. We try things. We make mistakes and suffer tragedies. We learn. We succeed. We rally. We fall. And all those around us do the same.
     Life is not complicated unless we make it that way. Life is the simple process of steps and more steps- one first, and then another.

I take all the happenings of my life in stride.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

RIP-TIDE

"You don't have to fight... Just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~Aleksandr Popov~

It seems natural to think that more effort and more force should result in more success, but it doesn't always. Sometimes the currents are just going in the other direction and pushing against them creates nothing but friction. If we want something badly enough it seems as if there should be a way to get it, but there isn't always. Some things are just not meant to be.
     The lesson is to surrender to the tide, to recognize the way it's flowing and stop trying to muscle against it to make headway. We have to let the current move us in whatever way it's going and not fight against it. We have to find a way to trust that eventually it will release us in the best possible place. We are at the mercy of the rip-tide and not the other way around.

I stop trying to force my agenda on life and surrender to the way things seem to naturally flow.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WINTER DAYS

"Drink deep this December vintage. The first sip may chill, but a full draught warms and invigorates."
~John Burroughs~

I love the feeling of cold, fresh air on my face and in my lungs. It feels clean. I like to walk in it and see my breath in clouds and ice on puddles. I like the way it makes my cheeks red when I come back inside, and I love the winter sunshine coming through windows.
     Heat and warm covers and fireplaces and hot drinks compliment a cold day perfectly, and add to the unsurpassed pleasure of a frosty morning or a brisk afternoon.

I celebrate the cold and enjoy the gifts of winter.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

WHAT'S LEFT AT THE END OF A DAY

"Fall seven times, stand up eight." ~Japanese Proverb~

It's too easy to take out our exhaustion on the people we love the most. We give our best and our brightest to work and society and have nothing left but emotional dregs for our families. Let's bring awareness to this tendency and save a bit of our best selves for our wives and husbands and children. Let's not make them settle for whatever remains of our energy and spirit at the end of a long day. Let's treat them to the same kindness and care that we give to strangers and clients and bosses and friends.

I save some of my best self for the people I love.

Monday, December 9, 2013

BEING THE LIGHT

"There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
 ~Edith Wharton ~

What we celebrate this time of year is not only Christmas, but Winter Solstice. These are the shortest days of the year. The cycle of light is limited. I leave home and return in the dark. But soon, on December 21st, the light begins to return and to stretch a bit longer each day.
     Perhaps, in this dark time of year, we are meant to be and create the light we lack. We can bring it forth in the form of smiles and good nature and Christmas lights and music and decorations and kindness. Let's agree to spread the light that's missing from the earth. Let's be bright and cheery and twinkly and alive. Let's be sunshine to others. Let's be sunshine to ourselves.

In these short, dark days, I commit to being bright.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

SELF-HONESTY

"A half-truth is a whole lie."
~Yiddish Proverb~

It's easy to believe whatever we choose to tell ourselves. We do it with alacrity. We lie to ourselves about how much we are actually eating, how hard we are working, how much sleep we need, our motivations and manipulations- all kinds of things. No one is more surprised than we are that we are over-weight, tired, suspected of wrongdoing, or whatever it may be. We are endlessly innocent in our own eyes.
     Let's get honest and become willing to change. The causes of our less-than-perfect life circumstances are right in front of us if we will only look at them. Let's stop pretending and fabricating and turning a blind eye.

I am willing to be honest about the facts, whatever they may be.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

MAKING LIFE COUNT

"A life without cause is a life without effect."
~Barbarella~

We settle for so much less than we could be, or than we could have, or than we could experience. We live small and contained lives. We whine away our days and years in mediocrity and the status quo.
     Let's not! Let's go for it. Let's take risks and live from our hearts and our guts. Let's be and experience all that we are capable of being and experiencing. Let's leave fear and self-defeating thoughts and behaviors behind and move into the territory of extraordinary living and all that is possible.

I grow my life in depth and span and do not shrink in fear.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

ADVENT

"Remember
This December
That love weighs more than gold!"
~Josephine Bacon~

The advent comes and goes in a blur because we fill it with busyness and stress and obligation and anxiety. Let's slow down and ease up. Let's enjoy each day and each moment and each experience. The season is sweet, but we have to become aware enough to savor it. If we choose not to savor it, it will over-fill us like a meal gulped in large bites, and we will be left sickly-full, but unsatisfied.
     Christmas is a rare delicacy to be enjoyed with care, not consumed in haste like a Big Mac and Fries.

I welcome and respect the delicacy of the holiday season, and do not consume any part of it with greed.

Monday, December 2, 2013

SOAKING UP GOOD THINGS

"Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day."
~Unknown~

We are genetically programmed to be on the lookout for danger and conflict. The age-old fight or flight response is a fundamental operational principle within us. We have a tendency to experience good things fleetingly while we hook into negative experiences and lodge ourselves there at the ready- to defend ourselves, to strike out, to retreat.That's our natural instinct and inclination, so it takes effort and practice and mindfulness to program ourselves to absorb the good in life.
     It's a learned behavior to take in life's blessings and simple pleasures fully so let's learn it. Let's get in the habit of savoring positive happenings like sustenance and water, for that, in truth, is what they are.

I make it a daily practice to let good experiences linger within me and absorb into my soul.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

LINGERING FIRE

"Each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor."
~Edgar Allen Poe~

Sometimes we know things are over but it takes us a while before we are willing to move on. We linger and loiter and look around- making sure it's really a done deal.
     By the time we are completely ready, no embers remain. We have usually worn the fire completely out before we will step away and stop trying to make it keep us warm.

I open to the possibility of change.

Friday, November 29, 2013

BLACK FRIDAY

"Enough is as good as a feast."
~English Proverb~

In the aftermath of Thanksgiving excess, let's take a moment to get ourselves back on track. Let's not continue mindlessly to overdo everything all the way to New Year's Day. Let's remember and deeply believe that less is more and that quantity does not equal quality.
     Let's honor our desire for special-ness this time of year, for the soft magic of quiet lights and songs and being cozy at home and cheery in crowds. Let's not make ourselves sick from doing too much or eating too much or spending too much.
     Let's be appropriate and respectful and enjoy all of the simple pleasures of the season that do not come in boxes or on plates. Let's make the decision on this Black Friday, to proceed forward with great care.

As we approach Christmas, I spare myself the recklessness of overdoing everything.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

THANKSGIVING

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
~JFK~
 
May we all have a healthy, relaxed, and enjoyable Thanksgiving full of love and gratitude. May we be free from anger and resentment and unkind thoughts. Let the day be the perfect balance of effort and joy, tradition and spontaneity, good food and full hearts.

Let us celebrate Thanksgiving with pleasure exactly the way it is and however it turns out.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

POW WOW AROUND THE TABLE

"Give thanks for the unknown blessings already on their way."
~Native American Saying~

I have always felt as if I have a little American Indian in me, and maybe we all do in a way. And whether the age-old story of the Indians and Pilgrims coming together to share in the fruits of the harvest is true or not, it's still a good story.
     Let's enjoy the bounty of life with all those we encounter this Thanksgiving-Time. Let's pow-wow around the table and send up prayers of celebration and appreciation. Let's be tolerant and grateful and easy-going. Let's leave our arrows and hatchets at the door and savor delicious tastes and aromas in the company of those with whom we don't regularly break bread.

I open my heart to the blessings of life and good food.

Monday, November 25, 2013

THANKSGIVING TRAVELING WEATHER

"Ultimately, there can be no complete healing until we have restored our primal trust in life." ~Georg Feuerstein~
 
Nasty weather threatens to interfere with Thanksgiving Holiday travel plans. It is obvious to me that I can't control icy rain and strong winds, but I feel frustrated by the promise of these things nonetheless. And I understand the need for flexibility and acceptance, because nothing can be known or certain until it actually happens, and yet I want my assurances. I feel done-to without them.
     I invoke good nature in myself, and the trust that all will be as it is meant to be. If expected people are not able to come for the sake of their own well-being and safety, their presence will be missed, but the higher good will be served.
     Just because I want things to go a certain way according to my plans and preparations does not mean that is the best way for them to go. Sometimes the most disappointing situations end up being the most instructive. Not getting my way allows me to learn surrender and letting go and trust in the big picture, even if I can't see it from where I stand.

I am willing to be flexible with things that don't turn out exactly the way I planned.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

OK TO BE ME

"It is not our darkness we are afraid of, but our light."
~Marianne Williamson ~

I feel like I owe someone an apology for my natural abilities and my blessings as if I come by them dishonorably somehow. And yet, everything I have become and everything I have is the result of years of effort and hard work and making the most of who I am by nature and God's grace.
     Let's be who we are and enjoy our successes free from guilt. We all have our share of suffering to equalize the playing field. If we make more of our opportunities than others do, that is not our fault, or something to feel ashamed about in any way. That is our gift. Let's own it without apology.

I am proud of who I am, and of who I am becoming. I do not apologize for being me.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

THE PERFECT MIX

"Seriousness is a disease."
~Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh ~
 
"It is a happy talent to know how to play."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

The idea of being frivolous has old associations for me. When I was young, for whatever reason, it came to be identified with all things feminine and social, and it didn't seem to be a particularly desirable characteristic. To be serious was the thing to be if I wanted respect and admiration, to be tough.
     But I understand today that it's not an either-or proposition. I highly value a bit of frivolity and a state of play to balance the seriousness of life with all of its attendant and unavoidable pain and suffering. And I embrace my femininity with its extra sensitivity, and also with its female style of fortitide.
     Everything is balance in the end and not at all the perfect moment or the perfect attribute, but ultimately, the perfect mix.

I embrace frivolous silliness as the perfect balance to the hard edge of a purpose driven life.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

HINDSIGHT

"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is."
~Francis Bacon~

The desire to change has to come from within. People can tell us what we should do as vehemently as they like- and their insistence may startle us and make us question our behavior. But if we are not ready, we will justify whatever we choose to do and feel satisfied with our justifications.
     To the outside world, we may appear to be on a path of imminent and obvious disaster, but we can't see it ourselves until we see it, or until we crash and burn, whichever comes first. Our ability to be blind borders on the insane and ridiculous.
     Thankfully, we do have the ability to laugh at ourselves when we are further down the road and looking backwards. In the thick of our drama and delusion, we are unable to see the truth, but in the rearview, it usually makes for a good story.

Sometimes it is in looking back that I can see most clearly.

SHARING THE JOURNEY

"I felt it shelter to speak to you." ~ Emily Dickenson ~

Sharing our experiences and hopes and fears is what makes for good companionship. Let's not be afraid to open up to others and to listen in turn to what they have to say. We will both feel better if we do, and perhaps we'll open our hearts in the process.

I offer the stories of my life to those who want to hear them and I listen with pleasure to the stories of those who are willing to share.

Monday, November 18, 2013

THE QUIET INVITATION

"Courage is what it takes to sit down and listen."
~Winston Churchill~

If we are too demanding we will drive people off. We cannot attract them to us by insisting that they come- not by urging or imploring or begging. It's like sitting in the middle of a field and yelling out loudly for all the little animals to come. They scatter at our loudness.
     But if we can be quiet and calm, non-insistent, and open, they might become curious. Some will never venture towards us, but others may scamper closer and closer, cautiously, every time we turn the other way.

I follow my path and stop insisting that others come along. Those who are meant to travel with me will appear on the way.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

ALL IS FORGIVABLE

"We are only as sick as our secrets."
~ Unknown ~

We are none of us unforgivable, not for anything, not if we are willing to admit our error and make a sincere effort to do better going forward. Making mistakes is how we learn. We may be able to fool ourselves for a time and believe that we can keep quiet and "get away" with questionable conduct, or wrong action, but for most of us, our conscience catches up in the end. And when it does, we must confess to someone and open ourselves to forgiveness, or else we go mad with guilt.
     Our secrets imprison us, but as soon as we have the courage to reveal them, we are set free.

I am willing to admit my errors.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

CHOOSING HOW WE CELEBRATE

"Using the power of decision give you the capacity to change any and every part of your life in an instant."
~Tony Robbins~

As we approach the Holiday Season, let's prepare for the cultural invitation to overspend, overeat and overdo. Let's make conscious choices about ways we can simplify the season and be willing to eliminate the most obvious stressors. Let's be honest about all the ways we may go over the top. Maybe we decorate too much or bake too much or buy too much. If we enjoy that, it's one thing, but if we do our Holiday "stuff" out of a sense of obligation and guilt, then let's seriously consider changing our ways.
     I challenge all of us to re-evaluate what matters to us the most regarding our Holidays and what causes us the most discomfort. Let's be brave and bold and willing to change so that we can show up in our mirrors on January 1st feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and ready for the new year.

I am willing to change my Holiday habits so that I can experience more real joy in the season, and less stress.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

EXCUSES GALORE

"If you don't want to do something, one excuse is as good as another."
~Yiddish Proverb~
 
Some people spend the energy they could use to change their life making excuses instead. We suggest one possibility after another and they shut each one down systematically. They are expert at expounding all the reasons why things are miserable but cannot change.
     The only thing to do with such people is to listen and smile and wish them well. Their life, as it stands, is serving them in some way that we cannot understand, and perhaps they can't either, but the bottom line truth is that they are not ready to take the first step out of the bog they're in.
     Change is always possible if we want it badly enough. The only real place we are stuck is in our minds.

I stop trying to help people that have no interest in self-improvement. I let them be and send them love. I have had times in my life when I wasn't willing to change either.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

MORE THAN ENOUGH

"Do not take anything for granted- not one smile or one breath or one night in your cozy bed."
~Terri Guillemets~
 
Paying the bills some months is more stressful than it is other months because I have to juggle and consider and play it just so to make it all work. And it's easy to get caught up, at such times, in financially insecure feelings. It seems like no matter how many hours I put in at work, there's just never quite enough. I fall short yet again.
     But the truth is that I have a blessed life with everything I need and plenty of extras as well. I have a beautiful home with land and views of mountains, and a nice meal or two out at restaurants every week with my husband, who I love, and an amazing dog and a backup vehicle and clothes for every occasion, and computers and a cell phone and a TV with hundreds of channels and movies on demand.
     I work hard to support a life filled with material as well as emotional and spiritual blessings. So the bottom line truth of my situation is that no matter how much I have to finagle the bills some months, I live in abundance and have far and away more than "enough."

I appreciate the wealth of material things that I have in my life.

Monday, November 11, 2013

SMILES

"Let my soul smile through my heart and let my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter Thy rich smiles in sad hearts."
~Paramahansa Yogananda~

Our genuine smile is our gift to the world. With it, we can change the quality of someone's day. Simple and authentic friendliness is a rare commodity. We more often think how we can get our way or get our fair share than how we can fill someone else with light and happiness.
     But the rewards for doing so are vast and delightful. They cost nothing and have worth beyond measure. So let's do it. Let's flash our smiles at people and open our hearts and think about what we can give instead of strategizing tirelessly about what we might be able to get.

Smiles exchange happiness. I give them away and receive them in turn.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

THE BONDAGE OF ASSUMPTIONS

"Many of the assumptions we make are not necessarily scientific or rational but holdovers of past belief systems that are no longer held."
~Vern Bullough~
 
We are held in bondage by our assumptions, and live a pinched and limited existence by believing that we know what others think and what they want and what they have to contribute or not. If we take the time to talk to others and really listen to what they have to share, we will often be surprised by the error of our assumptions.
     Sometimes we think people smarter than they are and sometimes we think them less smart. We may assume a life of ease and plenty and be shocked to discover tragedy and hardship. We need to keep an open mind and allow everyone and anyone to share their vision and perspective. Then we are living a life beyond assumptions and a life beyond our own limited way of understanding the world.

I make room and time in my life for other people's experience and for everyone's unique point of view.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

TRUSTWORTHY

"Every day is a day of reckoning."
~John Gardner~
 
Let's be good to our word. If we say we will do something, let's do it. Let's be diligent and rigorous in our in our integrity to ourselves and others. If we say we will call, let's call. If we say we will follow up, let's follow up. Let's be sincere rather than expedient. Let's be reliable and trustworthy and believable and on time.
     In a world of disappointments and blowhards, let's be impeccable. Let's be for real. Let's make every effort every day to be absolutely true.

I can be counted on. I stand by my word.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NO UNGODLY HOURS

"O Radiant Dark!
Thou hast a joy too deep for shallow Day."
~George Eliot~
 
People sometimes refer to extremely late night or early morning hours as being "ungodly," but the truth is that they are not. I take a walk with our dog, Boss, every morning at 4am and it is exquisitely beautiful. I see the moon and stars and sometimes falling stars. The air is always fresh that time of day, even in the summer, and the earth is quiet. Roosters and people are still asleep and the road we walk is free from cars.
     Being awake and walking about at this hour is ungodly in no way. It is full of silence and starlight and spirit beyond measure.

I appreciate the gifts of every hour of the 24.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

SOCIAL BALANCE

"I am vast. I contain multitudes."
~Walt Whitman~
 
I am playful when I am with people and thoughtful and intellectual when I am alone, and both sides serve me perfectly. I need time to be quiet and contemplative and studious and literary because I love that side of life. It's a big part of who I am. It feeds my soul and my passion for learning.
     But people fill my need for love and laughter and that side is no more or less important. It is invigorating and fun to share stories and experiences and to be silly and part of the crowd... even if it's a crowd of only two. We need our solitude and we need to be in the company of others. Lacking either, we miss the balance and pleasure of our lives.
 
 I equally need people and time alone. I enjoy them both and cannot be healthy without one or the other.

Monday, November 4, 2013

WHAT DO WE FOCUS ON?

"The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear."
~Brian Tracy~

I believe that age and time and money and love are states of mind as much as they are actual conditions of our lives. These things are relative, fluid, and all rising and sinking by degrees. Within our hearts and minds we are sometimes young, sometimes old, sometimes rich and sometimes poor. We can be destitute with money in the bank. We can feel unloved with arms embracing us on all sides. We can rush through our days for no reason at all or savor them like gifts.
     It's all about what we focus on and what we allow ourselves to believe.

I catch myself in a negative mindset and change my focus. On any given day, I am a reflection of the things I believe.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

THE POWER OF BELIEF

"In the end you regret less the things you believed that weren't true than the things that never came true because you didn't believe."
~Robert Brault~

In order for our lives to be rich and fulfilled, we have to believe in something- in love or beauty or nature or God; in hope or progress or fate- in something. Without belief we are without purpose, and without meaning or relativity or importance. We are lost in space.
     In the universe of my beliefs I am both insignificant and powerful beyond measure; a pinprick of light and a torrential downpour of rain; tiny and enormous, naïve and wise. I am the perfect mix of human and divine.

I believe in something bigger than my limited human experience and that belief gives me power and endless hope.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

OCTOBER'S END

"Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him."
~Hal Borland~

Autumn leaves
Cover the ground
Like blessings.

I am touched by the beauty of the fall.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

HALLOWEEN SWEETNESS

"There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch."
~ Robert Brault~

There is s certain generosity to Halloween. On what other day do we welcome strangers to our front door and give them sweets for showing up? We are glad to see them. We make a party of it. We invite our friends and sit around and wait for the doorbell to ring. And then we smile and fuss and fawn over whoever is there. And we miss all of that if we live out in the country or off of the beaten track, but we can participate by going into any local neighborhood at dusk.
     I can do without the spooky and dark side of Halloween, but I most definitely enjoy the festivity of the trick-or treaters. It's a community wonder really, the way warmth for our fellow man abounds. Let's carry that over to the day, and spread a little kindness to everyone we encounter, as if they were a small batman or an angel at our front door on Halloween.

I spread the giving spirit of Halloween around my neighborhood today, and beyond.





RED LIGHT GREEN LIGHT

"But the pauses between the notes- ah, that is where the art resides."
 ~Artur Schnabel~

Sometimes every light on the road is green and we cruise along without braking, and sometimes we encounter one red light after another. It's interesting to me that our progress often seems the most forcibly halted when we are in a hurry or anxious to get home.
     But maybe progress actually happens as much in the pauses as it does in the forward momentum, even if we can't exactly see it that way. We pause to think, to consider our next move, to question, to doubt. And then when we move forward again we are stronger and more reassured. If I am honest, then I know and understand that as much of life happens in the dips and valleys as it does on the mountaintops.

I understand that life happens in stops and starts and don't expect it to be continuous momentum. I appreciate the flow when it's flowing, but don't despair if I have to hit the brakes. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

APPRECIATING LIFE

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart."
~Jean Baptiste~

I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful for goose down and sunshine and hot showers and the way it feels to stretch. I am grateful for hugs and smiles and laughter. I am grateful for luminescent fall leaves and crisp October air; for the feeling of compassion and the process of healing and Sunday morning pancakes. I am grateful for the people who love me and the endless reservoir of love that I have inside of me to give away. I am grateful for the color yellow and the texture of cotton and the willingness to change. Life is a wild ride and a grand adventure and I am grateful for the unfolding and the excitement of each and every new day.

I am grateful for gratitude and full-up with blessings. Thank you is the best prayer I know.


MOTIVATIONAL WORKSHOP TONIGHT!
BROWNS CHAPEL, RESTON, VA @ 7PM
http://www.nathaliewherrman.com/ for more info

STUCK IN THE DARK

"Never fear the shadows. they simply mean there's a light shining somewhere nearby."
~ Ruth E Renkel
 
"Light comes to us unexpectedly and obliquely."
~HM Tomlinson
 
It's easy- too easy- to forget what matters the most. We get caught up in the drama and difficulty of daily living and lose track of our values and our faith. And losing track of these things we become lost ourselves, and carry around a certain burden of desperation. The goodness and quality of our lives become suddenly suspect and we are dis-satisfied and unhappy. Fear controls us and dictates our path.
     And then, something reveals itself to us- some beauty or truth or remembrance, and we are restored. We see again, and trust again, and are full of love and vision again, and intuitive knowledge about the grace of our lives.

When I am plagued by darkness I hold on and look forward to the return of light that always comes.

Friday, October 25, 2013

PROPER PERSPECTIVE

"In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary." Aaron Rose

Sometimes I become burdened by self-absorption. I am all about my fears and worries and problems and what I'm not getting and all the things I want but think I can't have. It's a heavy load to carry.
     Life is so much breezier when I am at peace with things the way they are, and when my situation is put into perspective. When I am seeing things rightly, I wouldn't want my life to be anything other than exactly what it is, with all of its love and hope and hard-won lessons.

I am grateful for my life and trust it to deliver just what I need for my continued evolution and growth.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

FEELING SADNESS

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
~Kahlil Gibran~

Sometimes I just feel sad. I used to resist it and try to force happiness on myself, but now I have learned to let the sadness be. It lingers for a bit and then passes on. I feel sad for the misfortune of others, for the lack of integrity and common sense in our world, for the heartaches of my children, the cycles of work and bills and work and bills, for injured relationships and mental illness and stubborn pride. I feel sad for recklessness and sad for anxiety and sad for the burden of shame.
     And then the sadness lifts and I see clearly again. I see beauty and hope and goodness and love. Our world is full of both sides, and I am full of both sides, and all is as it should be, cycling round and round and round again.

When sadness covers me I allow it to be, knowing that it will pass like the night and leave me in the light of hope once again.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

LISTENING

"What people really need is a good listening to."
~Mary Lou Casey~

More often than not, the best we can do for people is to listen to them and to share our own life experience as it relates to whatever is on their mind. We are not here to push an agenda or make a point; not to take a hostage or create a loyalty. We are simply meant to share our lives and our life experience with each other as we travel the road. This is the way we validate each other and inspire each other, and this is the way we help.

I listen from the heart and share my experience as it relates to what I hear.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

WHAT OTHERS THINK

"I used to worry about what other people think of me until I realized that they don't."
~Unknown~

We have to protect ourselves from being consumed with worry over what other people think of us. Ultimately, it doesn't matter. Some will love us and support us and some will not. Some will poke fun, some will bully, some will torment, and some will do everything they can to drag us down. But some will always come to lift us up.
     It takes all kinds of people to make a world, and not all of them will like us or understand us, and that's exactly as it should be. Our success in life is not predetermined by what others think of our passage through life. It is the result of our willingness and our discipline and our faith.

I believe in my dreams and the things that call me, even if no one else can see or hear or understand.

Monday, October 21, 2013

EMBRACING THE NEW

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."
 ~Milton Berle~
 
Life can become stale if we do the same thing day after day. A certain amount of  routine is comforting, but too much of it suffocates the spirit. It's up to us to keep our lives exciting. We have to harness our creativity and keep things fresh.
     Let's not be afraid to try new things in life- new approaches and new ways of seeing and thinking and behaving. Let's be brave and courageous and bold.  Let's adventure into possibility and adventure into hope, and take a real chance every now and then to live a bigger, broader, better life.

I am willing to try new things on a regular basis to keep my life fresh.

Friday, October 18, 2013

THE ADVENTURE OF LIFE

"Nothing is so irretrievably missed as daily opportunity."
~Marie von Ebner Eschenbach~
    
Learning to create our own momentum in life is a valuable skill. We have the ability to light a fire of excitement within, but we have to spend a bit of time living in the energy of what's possible. There are so many things that we could do at any time, and all it takes is a decision to set ourselves on a new course.
     With the internet at our fingertips we can research possibilities in an instant and turn them into legitimate options. We can establish a plan, a goal, or an adventure. What about this? What about that? The journey of exploration, even if it's only research, creates excitement. And before we know it, we are lit up. Passion has returned and we twinkle again with the delight of being alive.

I generate excitement in my life by exploring all possibilities.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

TRUTH BE TOLD

"The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him."
~Henry L. Stimson~

     I think it's possible to overload the people in our lives with too much attention, with too much texting and calling and checking up- even with too much adoration. Such over-attentiveness suffocates people and makes them feel less inclined to interact with us than they might be otherwise. They begin to see us as annoying and demanding, and indeed, we can become that way. We pursue them and they run away, so we pursue with more intensity and then they run faster.
     If we want them to come to us, the thing to do is to let them be. Our trust and our silence is much more interesting than our heady pursuit, and much more loving as well if the truth be told.

I stop pestering the people I love and let them be. My trusting them is far better for all of us than my constant demanding attention.
    

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

COMPASSION

"If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
~Dalai Lama~
    
It's a terrible thing to be without compassion, to be ruled by judgment, suspicion, and blame. I know people like that. Compassion softens us and makes room in us for forgiveness and kindness to move about and flow outward.
     Compassion is not pity. Pity comes from a lofty looking-down position. We "feel sorry" for those who are beneath us. Compassion, on the other hand, is fraternal. We are no better and no less than our suffering brethren. We have been where they are and we know what it's like. And if we're honest, we can usually dig into our past and pull up some kind of experience that allows us to relate to whatever suffering is before us. We may want to pretend to be above the pain of the masses, but as human beings, we most definitely are not.

I open my heart  to the energy of compassion and express my love in care and kindness.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

SUNSHINE

"Wherever you go, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine."
~AnthonyJ D'Angelo~
  
 Nothing feels better than the sun when it returns to us after days of rain and cloudiness. We adapt to the grey mist and wetness and forget the glory of bright sunshine that we so carelessly enjoy most of the time. The sun brings so much with it when it shines. It brings energy and color and warmth and illumination. It brings healing and soothing and promise. It brings balance, especially this time of year. It takes away the raw cold.
     And we can be the same way- cloudy and raw for days on end or bright and sunny warm. Let's choose sunshine over clouds today, and celebrate it in ourselves and in our world.

I am bright and warm and happy like the sun.

Monday, October 14, 2013

NOT AS FUNNY AS WE THINK

Smart Aleck: An obnoxiously self-assertive person with pretensions to smartness.
~Myriam Webster~
 
     I am not a fan of smart-alecks. They are less funny than they are disruptive and disrespectful, insisting upon the spotlight with their mockery and sarcasm. They are attention hogs posing as comedians.
     Let's save our sarcasm and judgment and desire for attention and learn to be team players and good sports. Let's not insist upon ourselves and our particular point of view and our angle of humor. There is a time and place for it. Let's not spew it all over everyone all of the time.

I keep my smart-aleck comments to myself.

Friday, October 11, 2013

THE SPECTRE ALCOHOLISM

No other kind of bankruptcy is like this one. Alcohol, now become the rapacious creditor, bleeds us of all self-sufficiency and all will to resist its demands.
~Bill Wilson~


There are practicing alcoholics in my life and I love them, but the possibilities for their future scare me. There is the narrow window they can pass through where their bottom is just bad enough to get them sober but not so bad that it kills them or cripples them or causes irreparable damage. 
      And they may never get sober and never reach a bottom. They may be tornados of drama for years and years to come. Or they may die tragically before their time. I trust God and I trust the process of life, but alcoholism is a hard thing to wrap my head around. It haunts me like a ghost.

I pray for all the alcoholics in my life.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

KNOWING WHAT'S RIGHT

Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.
~Benjamin Spock~
    

We often say that we don't know what to do when we actually do know. We almost always know what's best and what's right but we are afraid to claim it. So it's not that we don't know, but that we doubt our knowing.
     Let's not. Let's trust our inner guide and step up to the truth of our situation, whatever our situation may be.

I am willing to listen to the still small voice within me and to let it guide me. It's easy to pretend that I don't hear it, but the truth is that I do.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

NO DECISIONS UNDER PRESSURE

It's a rash man who reaches a conclusion before he gets to it.
~Jacob Levin~
 
You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note.
~Doug Floyd~

    
     No decisions in life need to be made under pressure. The consequences of the choices we make are ours alone to deal with so we should always pause before leaping and be sure that leaping is what we really want to do. Deciding things out of fear or restless impulse or to please other people is a recipe for resentment down the road.    
     Let's make our choices thoughtfully and with care and consideration. Even if the world is demanding our decision and threatening to shut off our options if we don't make up our minds, we still have time to look within and invite our honesty and intuition and intelligence to the process. It is our responsibility and no one else's to take the time it takes us to make the next move.

I make my decisions thoughtfully and do not let others push me around like a flag in the wind.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

RESTORATION

Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.
 ~ George MacDonald ~    


     It's so easy in our fast paced world to run ourselves until we are run out. We push and push, keeping going, jacked up on caffeine, burning the candle at both ends. And we continue on this way for days, weeks, and sometimes months at a time. 
     And yet, no one is more surprised than we are when we burn out and have nothing left to offer or to give. We are empty and overdone in every way and need refreshing and rejuvenating. We need sleep and laughter and to stop our endless pursuit of getting things done. There comes a point where we have to impose a break on ourselves or we will end up worn out, torn up, and good for nothing.

I take a break when I need one. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

IN HONOR OF PAT

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil. ~Jong Taylor~
 
Grief is itself a medicine.
~William Cowper~    

     Today, my heart and blog go out to my Aunt-in Law, Pat, a woman of grace and good humor who has lost her two best friends in five months, both unexpectedly: her sister, Millie, in May, and her life partner, John, on Saturday. It seems like too much for a person to bear, and yet, she is bearing it, and perhaps with even a certain amount of gratitude that the ones she loves no longer have to suffer, for they did, both of them, suffer at the end. It is she who suffers now, in their absence.
     And time will ease the waves of grief and heal her loss as much as time can, but right now, in the raw hurt of it all, there is nothing for it but to feel the sadness. We will all miss John in our own way, as we have been missing Millie. He was calm and even and twinkley- had a great sense of humor and a big heart. I didn't know him well but I always liked him. He was a spreader of happiness and a bright light.
     So love and prayers to Pat today from all sides. Let's wrap her up in love and let her know she's not alone and that we care. Life comes to us all with its grief and losses and this is her time.

Let us celebrate the blessing of our memories today, even as we grieve the loss of our friends and family who are with us no more.

Friday, October 4, 2013

GOOD AND BAD

Sometimes you get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow. ~Terri Guillemets    

     Why do bad things happen to good people? Why pain and suffering and untimely death and disease? Why upset and betrayal and cruelty and incapacitating fear? And why good things as well? Why do some people win the lottery and have instantaneous success and a golden touch and all the love they could ever want?
     It's easy to think that other people have it better than we do, but the truth is that we all have our share of ups and downs. Nothing is all one thing or the other. There is good in the bad and bad in the good and the mix of it is the perfect life.

I have compassion for myself and those I encounter because we all have our share of life. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

WAKE UP CALL

I regret less the road not taken than my all-fired hurry along the road I took.
~Robert Brault~   

  I seem to get a thrill out of seeing how far I can go. I expect more of myself than I would ever think to ask of anyone else. I understand what it is to rally, and then to rally again- as many times as it takes. I survive things at least as often as I enjoy them, as if I could earn a badge. I seem to be on a constant mission to prove myself to myself.
     But I don't have to, and I don't really want to, and I'm not sure why I feel compelled to nonetheless. Let this be my wake-up call. It's time to stop going after the day as if I can somehow win it. It's time to slow down and accept reasonable limitations. It's time to enjoy the journey and relax into the ride. 

I take the pressure off of myself and stop pushing beyond reason as if I have something to prove.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

ESCAPE

You can't run away from trouble. There ain't no place that far. ~ Uncle Remus    

     Sometimes I am exhausted and restless all at once. I want to sleep and I want to run as fast as I can. I want to escape but I'm not sure what from. The feeling passes, but usually not until I have identified the source of  my discontent. Perhaps I am resisting something, or need to take some kind of stand, or maybe I'm afraid. Whatever it is, it will not come to me if I run from it. I need to slow down enough for it to catch me.

I allow myself the reflective time I need for my repressed emotions to surface so that I can shine the light of day upon them and be free.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

FEAR AND TRUST

"To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." ~Bertrand Russell    

      I am afraid of being stuck, of being oppressed, of being without choice. I am afraid of too much life being thrust upon me at one time and not being able to handle it. I am afraid of being depleted by stress, and I am afraid of being anything less than impeccable.
     I trust the cycles of the seasons. I trust the power of love. I trust the next right thing and being authentic and all that is possible. I trust in the highest good for myself and for those I love. I trust in plan and purpose and perfection even if I don't exactly understand the way that it all unfolds.

I choose trust over fear today and free myself from fret and worry.

Monday, September 30, 2013

WORDS

     Words carry energy, and as such, they are powerful. How do we use them? Do we create misery with them? Inspire fear? Promote hope? Are our words choppy and frantic, or expansive? Do we feel "ok" or "exceptionally well" ? There's a difference. We can rise or sink by our words, and raise others up or tear them down in the same way.

I bring awareness to the way the words I use affect the way I feel, and use better words in order to feel better.

Friday, September 27, 2013

THE POWER OF ACTING AS IF

     "Acting as if" is a useful and transformative way of acting. Even if we feel lousy and tired, even if our hearts are heavy with family drama or financial fears, we can still act "as if" we feel good. We can be chipper and upbeat without being fake. Acting as if is not a way to wear a mask. It's a way to feel better.
     When hard things are happening in our lives, which hard things do, we can stay hopeful and willing to find solutions. We can act as if we have the faith that things will work out, even if we feel scared. By doing this, our energy shifts within, and suddenly, somehow, we discover that we actually do have the faith, or feel cheerful. or whatever it is. Without a doubt, there is something to be said for the benefits of keeping our chin up.

Even if I'm not feeling positive, I act as if I am, and the result is a mysterious transformation within me from darkness to light.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

THINKING WE KNOW

     We all seem to think that we know what someone is going to say before they say it, that we understand directions before they are completely given, and that warnings apply to everyone else but not to us. There is a certain restlessness in this, and arrogance.
    Let's stop jumping the gun. Let's be better listeners and better learners and stop thinking we're experts when we're beginners. Let's stop pretending we know all about it when we don't really know anything at all.

I stop second guessing people and wait to hear what they actually have to say.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

MOTHERING

     I always used to think that once my children were grown-up, that they would stop needing so much from me, so much love and patience and guidance, so much mothering. But as the stakes in life rise, so do the dramas and pitfalls and traps. I find my parental role more demanding now than it has ever been.
     For all of the adulthood and maturity and physical size, in some ways, my children are as baffled by life and people and the way things work as they were at age three. The challenges are bigger, and the cost of error and misunderstanding, but the perplexity is the same. Why? How? These are their questions still.
     And I am here, perplexed myself by certain things, but mother earth and grounding rod to them nonetheless, and carrier of lost dreams, and restorer of hope. I welcome them home with open arms and a heart full of love. I listen and comfort and send them back out into the world again with a backpack of courage and a gentle push.

When they are lost, I do not punish my children with threats and guilt. I love them and restore them and help them find their way home.    

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ALL IN GOOD TIME

     Everything is accomplished in its own way and its own time. Even an abandoned project is its own kind of completed event. We wonder how we will ever get everything done that we have to do and we act with a kind of frenzied intensity doing it. We lose our sense of humor and our ability to go with the flow. We become a force field of focus and tunnel vision, and to anyone who comes near, the message is, "I'm on a mission. Don't mess with me." And maybe sometimes in life, this kind of effort is useful, and even necessary, but more often than not, it seems like an over-dramatization. If we're keeping it real, then life doesn't really require that we be so extreme.

I perform the duties of the day with joy and a minimum amount of drama.

Monday, September 23, 2013

POINT OF SURRENDER

     We can carry ourselves only so far on any path. There always comes a point of surrender and letting go. We can only do so much, and beyond that, we must invite grace to our aid. We must dedicate our lives and our work to something bigger than our own petty ends or we will perish by the limitations of our own grasp.

I give what I have to give. That is my responsibility. How it is received is a matter beyond my control.

Friday, September 20, 2013

GUILT AND PERFECTION

     If I'm honest about guilt, it's actually a form of resentment towards myself. It's a re-living over and over of a perceived error or wrong-doing. It's a repetition of voices from my past that told me I don't measure up. Guilt is a kind of negative self-indulgence, a false humility... that I are so bad, so wrong, and so imperfect.
     Let's stop chewing on the stale bread of yesterday and let it go. Let's live in this moment and this day, where we have endless opportunities to make a fresh start.

I needn't carry guilt for being less than perfect. I am a work in progress. Less than perfect is exactly what I am supposed to be.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

THE ENERGY WE ATTRACT


     The energy that we put into the process of a developing project shows up in the result. If we are frantic and stressed-out preparing for a party we are hosting, then we will feel stressed out while it's going on. If we are full of fear on our way to achievement- afraid that we won't make it to where we want to go- then when we do finally make it, we will be afraid that our achievement will be ripped away. Stress begets stress. Fear begets fear, and insecurity begets insecurity. Just so, if we go about our work with cheerful faith and a sense of enjoyment, the result of our effort will be pleasure-filled.
    Let's bring awareness to the way we go about things and remember that we cannot attract good things to us with poison and dark thoughts.

I live in the energy of what I want to experience.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

MISSING THE MOMENT

     Caught up in nostalgia and regret over the past, and angst and worry over the future, we miss the blessings of the day. We miss the changing light and breezes, and the scuttling of small animals in the undergrowth. We become literally lost in thought, reliving some event from the past, or fantasizing about the fulfillment of our hopes and dreams in the future.
     We chase our illusions around the track of our days like greyhounds chasing a mechanical rabbit. We race each other to get at it, and all the while, goodness and beauty are growing right beneath our feet. The truth is that everything we think we want, we already have. But we miss seeing it, busy as we are with our figuring and ruminations.

I stop looking forward and back for happiness and discover it right where I am.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

THE BIG TRUTH

     Do all of the small lessons we learn as we go through life- about ourselves, about other people, about fame and fortune and family and friendship- lead us to one ultimate kind of lesson? And if there is one ultimate truth that all of our smaller truths lead us to, what is it? And is it the same for all of us? Or is it as different as our fingerprints?
     I happen to believe in the one truth idea and that it all comes down to love in the end: love in expression, love in action, love denied, and love forsaken... Everything is either love or a crying out for love. I believe it's the big truth underneath everything.

I am a force for love in the world.

Monday, September 16, 2013

THE MOVEMENT CURE


     In my experience, we just have to keep on moving through our aches and pains, and then somehow, magically, the movement ends up actually relieving us of the very reasons we are afraid to move in the first place. We have to be intelligent and not injure ourselves, but undoubtedly there are ways we can move that will help us. We have to be creative. But to stop everything every time we hurt sets us up for bigger problems down the road.
     It is our job to care for bodies, but not to be so precious about them that we don't trust them to do what they can do. The body is made for movement. It's up to us to discover what movement is best suited to the day's aches and pains.

I keep on moving no matter what!

Friday, September 13, 2013

ANOTHER PARADOX

     Sometimes, what seems to be the easier way turns out not to be in the end. Easy is relative. If no effort is required, often the result is less than satisfactory. Our effort begets its own rewards. And though instant gratification and quick fixes may soothe us for a moment, ultimately they leave us empty.
     Right action in life requires integrity and a good work ethic. These things may not be easy, or come easily, but they leave us full and satisfied, and always turn out to be worthwhile in the end.

Ease in life comes from lots of positive effort and hard work.
    

Thursday, September 12, 2013

WHAT IF?


     We spend so much time trying to fix and perfect ourselves, but what if we're already whole and exactly as we're supposed to be? We are such good seekers and questers- in search of cures and partners and happiness and ideal jobs- but what if the thing we're really after isn't out there at all, but within us, smiling and waiting- patient for as long as it takes us to be able to see?

I am whole and perfect as I am.



Motivational Workshop tonight @ 7pm
Browns' Chapel, 11300 Baron Cameron Ave, Reston, VA 20190
For more info: http://www.nathaliewherrman.com/
Why not come if you can? :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

FEELING HAPPY

     It's ok for me to be happy, even if everything isn't perfect with everyone I know; even if I am aware of suffering and sadness and struggle all around me. I have my share of these as well, and my turn will come around. But if I'm feeling happy for whatever reason- just because I am- I don't have to pretend to be miserable. I can make a decision to claim my happiness and spread a bit of it around.

I am not bound to seriousness. It's ok to be happy whenever I feel happy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

THE BASICS

     There is something to be said for basic things- basic exercises and basic designs and basic truths. In our modern, technologically advanced culture, we are prejudiced against the old and out-of-fashion. We scorn the low-tech and critique the tried and true as uninteresting and second-rate.
     But maybe more now than ever we need to be able to return to the basics. They ground us. Their familiarity and simplicity soothe our overwhelmed spirits and they are often more effective than the newfangled gadgets and ideas that we cannot quite understand.
     In all of our forward progress, let's not forget the basics. They are irreplaceable and always in fashion. Truthfully, there are some things, maybe lots of things, that are just right as they are, and don't necessarily need to be improved.

I celebrate the basics. They are the building blocks of good living.

Monday, September 9, 2013

MOODS AND TOLERANCE


     I have times when I am less tolerant than others. I used to blame everyone else for these distempers, but now I am realizing that the issue is not really in them, it's in me. Perhaps I am hungry, or tired, or particularly hormonal. Maybe I need quiet time, or silliness, or to take a walk with the dog.   
     My moods are my business and my responsibility, and it's not up to others to keep me happy, or make sure all of my needs are met. It is not my place to spew judgment and negativity all over anyone. It is my place, when I have nothing nice to say, to say nothing at all.

I take ownership of my moodiness and don't make it anyone else's problem.


Friday, September 6, 2013

NATURE


     It's important that we all take time to be outside every day- in the weather and sunshine. We are creatures of nature, and as such, we are fed spiritually by being in the presence of trees and grass and the sky and wind. We protect ourselves behind glass in our houses and cars and look out at the world instead of actively participating in it. Our "protection" keeps us from what we may need the most.
     We need to feel the air on our face and in our lungs, whether it's hot or cold, humid or dry. And we need to feel the sunshine and absorb it and be out and about in it. It is the source, after all, of our energy and all living growth.

I accept myself as a child of nature and celebrate the sunshine and the fresh air.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

THE RULES OF THE GAME


     When I coached, I used to tell my players that if they did three things on the field they would come away from every game as winners no matter the score. If they gave 100% of their best effort, had fun, and were good sports, then they would feel and be successful.
     I know these rules to apply in every life venture, but sometimes I forget about them. I get caught up in numbers, and become so busy keeping score that I forget to have fun. I lose sight of what matters the most.

However things turn out, I'm a good sport in life. I give my best effort and remember to have fun.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

REALITY VS OUR EXPECTATIONS

     Sometimes it's the people we least expect who turn out to be the most loyal. We count on best friends and family and certain personality types based on our beliefs about the way things should be- but that's not always the way they are. 
     Let's allow for people to surprise us and not feel let down when those we thought would behave in a certain way do not. Let's be curious instead, and observe the way we rely on our expectations without them having any basis in fact.

I allow people to be who they are, and don't condemn them for not living up to my expectations. I quickly see that the mistake was mine, and change my point-of-view.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

LOVE TO GIVE


     I have so much love inside me that it is a daily need to give some away. I see the beauty in people and animals and nature and the world and feel the sweet sadness of it all, as well as the joy. My heart aches for the lonely cow in the field, and the dog who cannot get enough attention, for the withering daisies and the vine covered trees, the man who cannot stand up straight, the child with a dirty face, and the struggling mother. These are the beauties and the sorrows of our world and they speak to me loudly. They make me ache with love.

I feel the sorrow of the earth as well as her glory.

Monday, September 2, 2013

END OF SUMMER


     By the end of summer, I am worn out by it, by the heat and the lack of structure and the widespread quest for fun. I am ready for cool, fresh air and changing leaves; for Canadian Geese honking overhead as they fly south, the first smells of wood smoke, and Sunday afternoon football.
     Everything has its season and I am grateful for that. As soon as one thing wears thin, here comes the new. Nothing stays and nothing lingers. Life and weather and people and moods come and go like birds to a feeder, or waves as they crawl up the beach and recede with the tide.

I am ready for the change of seasons.

Friday, August 30, 2013

NOT AS CLEVER AS WE THINK


    I believe there is something in many of us that thinks we can defy the odds, that the rules don't apply to us, and that we can somehow bypass logic, or fate. We live on the edge and on the verge and push the envelope- some of us more than others- but all of us just a bit. Perhaps what we do, or say, or think of, won't count somehow when it isn't our best effort, or not in our best interest... and maybe it doesn't.
     It's not possible for us to be scrupulous in every way all of the time, and it is our imperfection that largely defines us and makes us beautiful. We are beautifully imperfect, and even ridiculous at times, but lovably so. We are lovable even in all of the ways that we deceive ourselves.

I learn to laugh at myself because being human is a journey in imperfection.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

SELF IMPOSED DIFFICULTY


     Much of my difficulty in life is self-imposed. I have my share of challenge, but I add to it and add to it- always one to see how far I can go. I take on more than I have to. I drive myself with urgency and guilt. I am afraid of running out of time so I jam pack it with goals and chores and obligations, and then squeeze in my wants as afterthoughts.    
     I push and push and push, and I don't have to, not at the level I do. I choose to take on massive projects and lifetime dreams, and I choose these things without resting between one and the other. And a part of me feels self-congratulatory and proud- to be so productive and to be so motivated... and part of me feels like a fool.

I can live my dreams in moderation. I needn't take them on all at once.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

BREEZY

     One of the most soothing things I know of is a rustling breeze. Stirring the air and the leaves of trees, it comes, and goes again. And it is precisely because of the fact that it is intermittent and not steady that it is as delightful as it is. A steady wind is a whole other thing.
     I love the softness of a breeze. It is gentle and light and caressing, especially on a late summer day. The sound and the feel of it are pure blissfulness. Thank God for breezes to soften the day.

I love the rustle and stir of late summer breezes.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

THE SHADOW OF LOSS

     My beautiful friend lost her twin sister to cancer last week, and another friend lost a brother, and though the circumstances were different, I lost a sister... many years ago. I believe in a higher purpose for our spiritual selves, and that our energy and light live on no matter what, free from the constrictions of being human and being earthed...
     But the loss of those we love to the place we know not is an ache and a primal sadness. We miss them. We will always miss them. Their lives have left a shadow on our souls.

I believe that there is life beyond life, but I miss the daily interactions with those who have passed to the world beyond.

Monday, August 26, 2013

BUILDING OUR LIVES


     Yesterday morning was full of fog and dewy spider webs. They were visible everywhere. One in particular impressed me, and I stood marveling at it. The web seemed to be floating in mid-air. It's attaching string stretched twenty feet or more on each side, and it was rigged up between a tree on one angle and a fence line on the other. It was a spectacular work of art.   
     All those webs got me thinking about how we construct our lives, and what we attract. Some of us are thick in the grass with dense webs, and others are centered symmetrically in perfect perches. No matter the artistry or position of our webs, they suit us, for wherever we may be in life. And the beauty of them is that they are fleeting by design. They can be crushed by a stiff wind, or a heavy footfall, or a reckless bird, and rebuilt, and repositioned. So though we may begin in the grass, we may rise to the air, and attract higher flying people and ideas.

I am tireless like a spider, and rebuild my life as often as I need to, with diligence, and a sense of artful design.

Friday, August 23, 2013

MILESTONE NUMBER TWO

     What a wonderful week of big events! Today, my children, Sienna and Nick, begin their college career at the University of Virginia. We will drive them down and drop them off, but I refuse to leave until I have helped them make their beds. It seems symbolic to me, to do this small act, to lovingly tuck sheets and spread covers and fluff pillows. I want to make sure before I say goodbye that they have a place to crawl into, or flop onto, where they can retreat and restore and rejuvenate; where they can snooze... or sit and read... or pull the covers up over their heads; where they can snuggle.
     I commend them both on their maturity and their evolution to this point, and I launch them into the free world as capable and responsible young adults with lots of wisdom and lots of naiveté. May their journey be blessed, and their initial college weeks be full of adventure and positive experience!

I release my children with love!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

MILESTONE

     We anticipate something for months, for weeks, sometimes longer, and it seems miles and miles away, but eventually the day arrives... and then it passes, and we are beyond it before we have even had a chance to catch our breath. I want to pause, on this morning, and recognize a milestone in my life.... before it is gone like the wind.
     I am launching myself as a motivational speaker tonight. I have been up in front of people for years, and tried to be motivating in all kinds of ways, but this is the first time that it's official. By grace, I have created a venue, and a program, and a small audience. It's something I've long felt called to do, and I am appropriately nervous in an excited kind of way to be here on this day at long last. I am prepared, such as I can be, and relaxed, as much as that's possible.
     No doubt, there will be surprises. There always are in life. But no matter what happens and how things may turn out, I am grateful for the opportunity, and grateful for the follow-through, and grateful for the willingness to be right here on the cusp of this newness.

I am living my dream.
 
 
Join me if you are local and want to come!
Stress-Free Living: Part One is from 7pm-8:30pm
@ Brown's Chapel, 11300 Baron Cameron Ave, 
Reston, VA 20190 
$30 Admission
 
Check out http://www.nathaliewherrman.com/ for more information.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

GATHERING


      Everyday is a good day for gathering my wits and my calm about me, for focusing inward and grounding myself with good food and positive thoughts, but today may be especially so, in anticipation of some big happenings coming my way before the week is through. I find it necessary to retreat a bit and be a little extra thoughtful knowing that emotional events are on the horizon and barreling towards me.
     I want to meet them with poise and quiet courage, and in order to do so, I must stop the busyness of living for a while and gather my inner strength.

I make time for solitude and silence today.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

ADVENTURE

     Sometimes I wish I were less driven, that I could be content to enjoy my days without the desire to strive for more. But I am an adventurer and I like to see how far I can go. It's amazing what a bit of self discipline and one-foot-in-front-of-the-other towards a goal can accomplish. 
     Life's possibilities are unchartered territory and I am compelled to explore them. The views and discoveries are exciting and wonderful. So although there are times when I weary of traveling, the truth is that exploration and adventure are what I do.

I am an explorer of possibilities.

Monday, August 19, 2013

TANGLED UP IN FEAR

     I can get tangled up in fear like a fly in a spider web. I feel afraid every which way that I look- afraid of success and afraid of failure, afraid to be noticed and afraid I won't be noticed, afraid of being too good, and afraid of not being good enough. And the accumulation of such oppositional fears is a mess of sticky tangles.
   But the game of "what if" is a desperate way of trying for control that I don't, ultimately, have. So if I want peace and freedom, then I have to remind myself as many times as it takes that I am what I am, and what will be will be, and I can trust myself to always do the best I can. Anything beyond that is a trapping web and I will end up getting stuck.

When I overcomplicate the most basic realities of my life, I suffer with fear, but I have a choice in this. If I keep things simple, I am serene.

Friday, August 16, 2013

THE SPIRAL OF LIFE


     Some environments, people, foods, etc suit us better than others, and that's as it should be. Our inclinations teach us about ourselves, and they have a way of changing over time, as we change. Feeling uncomfortable with something that once pleased us, or someone, demonstrates our growth. And hopefully we grow towards better health and not away from it.
     Life is not stagnant. It is always evolving like a spiral. The thing to consider is whether we are spiraling up or down or out of control, and be willing to make different choices if it's not heading in the direction we want to go.

As I become healthier, I am attracted to healthier things.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

THE POWER OF INTENTION

     When my decisions are dictated by a sense of righteous entitlement, I am asking for a negative experience.The universe does not reward petulance, but grace. So if I want positive outcomes and satisfaction, I must make sure my intention is not overblown and grandiose; that it is rooted in love and curiosity instead of demand.

My attitude and intention determine the result.