*

*

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

TIME ALONE

      We all need time for ourselves and space free from others- even from those we love. Our need for this freedom is sometimes misconstrued as our being upset or indicating the presence of a problem, but that is not the case. It is not a rejection of the people we love when we need our solitude. It is, in fact, a way that we honor the relationship by taking responsibility for our own restoration and rejuvenation. It's ok to want to be with people, but it's also ok to want the time and space to be without them.

I take the alone time that I need so that I don't spill irritable, suffocated energy all over the world.

Monday, April 29, 2013

THIS AND THAT

     I am both social and anti-social. I love people, but I need my time alone. Interacting with others energizes and drains me both. I am filled up and depleted at the same time. I am a mix of criticism and compassion, encouragement and despair, love and indifference. I am small and large, all-knowing and utterly naive. I am young and old, strong and fragile, visionary and full of fog. I am simple and complex, agitated and serene, sensitive, and tough like nails. I am yin and yang and divided and whole. And I am ok with all of this. I am ok being me.

I embrace my contradictions and enjoy the variety in me that comes from being alive.

Friday, April 26, 2013

BALANCE

     Let's be grounded energy for those who are frazzled. Let's be loving for those who are bitter. Let's be inspiration to the uninspired, courage to the fearful, hope to the hopeless, and freedom to the caged. Let's pay attention and read the signs. Instead of giving based on how we feel, let's give based on what we encounter and who we face.

I seek balance, and create it in the world wherever I can.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

DISSOLVING ASSUMPTIONS

     The only way to break through the blinding fog of our assumptions is to speak up. We assume that others feel a  certain way, that they will react in this manner, or that manner. We think we know what they can and cannot handle, but we don't know, not any of it, unless we ask.
     We assume their motivations. We build resentments based on suppositions and thoughts that pass through our heads. We do not express what we feel and what we fear and then we're angry with others because of it.
     Let's have the courage to speak up and dissolve our assumptions. Let's live in the light and clarity of open air.

I am willing to question my assumptions and to communicate to others the things that I think and feel.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

    We go to doctors seeking healing, but not all healing comes from them. And sometimes, rather than filling us with hope, doctors fill us with fear and dread. There is something lonely and impersonal about so much in the medical industry these days... So let's seek out doctors when we need them, but remember that they don't know everything and can't fix all that ails us. We are wounded on multiple levels and our healing has to come from all around, and from within. Wellness is a daily practice. Let's step up and take responsibility for our part in it.

I stop mistreating myself and practice good health as a way of life.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

FLAGS

     There is wisdom in the movement of flags. When there is no wind, they rest, and when things pick up, so do they. Flags frequently change direction depending on the way the breezes shift. They are always in alignment. They register each change fluidly, and with grace. They turn and swivel and rise and fall as dictated, yet stand for something meaningful the whole time. They are colorful, and intriguing to watch.
     Flags show us the direction of the wind, and perhaps, if we are observant enough, they also show us the best way to move when we have to face whatever may blow our way.

I watch the movement of flags and learn from them.

Monday, April 22, 2013

THE JOY OF SIMPLICITY

     In the house I grew up in, my sister and I could play badminton in the front hall, and we did. The ceilings were fifteen feet high, and the dimensions grand. A circle of English Boxwood stood proudly in front of the house and bordered the path to the kitchen. There was a flagstone terrace, and a fireplace in almost every room. The house was on the registry of National Historic Places and quite a grand affair.
     And yet, it didn't make us happy or healthy. Everyone in my family struggled with fear and demons, including me. It was a beautiful set-up filled with tons of tension and way short on love.
     The dimensions of my life have changed since then, and the house of my childhood is long gone and far away. The structure and the trappings are no longer at the center of things. Now, the heart is, and honesty, and simple pleasures. And it's better that way. There's less pretense and alot more joy.

I do not long for fancy living. I am happy with things the way they are.

Friday, April 19, 2013

CHANGING ENERGY

     Sometimes I feel tired even though I am not particularly busy, and sometimes I have more energy than I can burn, even though I am covering lots of ground. And though I may resist what I'm feeling, particularly if I'm tired, I know, if I'm honest, that all is as it should be, and that both energetic modes are ok. Both have their purpose and their place, and they come and go whether I invoke them or not. They come and go like the dawn and the dusk- like the seasons, and the wind.

I accept my energy whatever it is, and do not force it one way or another. I let it be and allow for the way it shifts and switches.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

STRESS FREE PRODUCTIVITY

     I am not a person of procrastination. I suffer at the other end of the spectrum from trying to live without any loose ends, which, of course, is impossible. I am rather a task-master. Give me a task and I am on it and through it gung-ho and rapid fire. I like checking things off a list. I like being "done." I like order and neatness and completion. I like having accomplished this, that, and everything. I am like a furnace of efficiency. I burn through things... and sometimes burn myself in the process.
     So what's my rush and what am I afraid of and what am I worth without all the things that I do? Maybe true health lies somewhere between procrastination and over-efficiency- in balance, and in steady progress without the angst of rushing. That's the place I want to aim for, and the path I want to travel.

I go easily about my business. I am productive, but stress-free.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

CODE OF CONDUCT

    Let's be reliable and dependable. Let's do what we say we're going to do, even if we don't necessarily feel like it. Let's honor our commitments, to ourselves and others, and show up on time. Let's live by honor and courtesy and grace. Let's establish a code of conduct and live by it. Let's work hard and put forth our best effort. Let's treat people respectfully, even if they don't return the favor. Let's say please and thank you and not grab for more than our fill. Let's make the decision, daily, to live by integrity. Let's make it a habit to do the right thing.

I don't cut corners on my life. I set my intention in the right place and resolve to do the best I can.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

GOT TO START SOMEWHERE

    If we wait for all circumstances to be perfect before we are willing to begin, we may never start. The only way to set out towards something- a dream, a goal, a new hobby, a new habit- is to set out. We have to begin where we are. It's the only place and the only way.
     Let's stop waiting for all of the stars to align and our house to be clean and our minds and hearts and bodies to be exactly where we want them to be.... Let's just start moving in the direction we want to go. Let's have the courage to take the first step, and then the second, and the third. Perhaps it is our movement that will align the circumstances of our lives and not the other way around.

I am willing to start my forward movement in life from wherever I am.

Monday, April 15, 2013

SUIT UP AND SHOW UP

     A little bit in the right direction every day makes for steady progress and huge strides over time. We quit too early. We throw in the towel because we don't feel like it anymore. We give up.
     Success in life comes from continuing to show up day after day after day. It's chin-up and do-your-best and go through the motions no matter what. If we only did things when we felt like doing them, what on earth would we ever accomplish?
     Keep on keeping on. Commit to the journey. That's the path to choose.

No matter how I may feel or not feel, I show up for life.

Friday, April 12, 2013

CENTERING

     I don't understand God's timing, but I trust it. It's not my job to understand things, even though I think it is, even though I try and try and try. It's my job to accept what is. It's my job to be honest and self-reflective and willing to change what I can to live a better life, and to leave the things I can't change alone and stop forcing my agenda on them. It's my job to take responsibility for me and for my effect in the world. But beyond that, my scope is limited.
     Let's stop wasting so much time trying to figure everything out. Let's center ourselves in each moment as it happens and be the best people we can be. Let's fill up with love and spread it broadly as we travel forth.

I stay in the moment, take care of what's mine to take care of, and keep my agenda to myself.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

LOOSE FITTING LIFE

     So many of us are pushy and edgy and grabby, quick to irritation, and brutally impatient. Ours is a culture where faster is better and more is more and it's up to us to make our whole lives happen just the way we want, and keep the world turning for the ones we love. So much pushiness is distasteful. It poisons us from the inside out, and poisons everything we touch. It's hostile, fearful, and full of mistrust.
     Let's relax a bit. Let's allow for things to happen instead of forcing our agenda. Let's watch and wait and patiently go about  taking care of ourselves and what's in front of us. Let's ease up and back off. Let's relax and enjoy the ride.

I wear life loosely. I allow for the natural flow of things.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

INTEGRATION

     I like the concept of integrated movement, of all body parts working together to create force and strength and dynamic energy. It's easy to think of ourselves as being made up of parts, and to separate our parts one from another in order to praise, criticize, etc. But it's the whole body taken together that is beautiful and expressive and graceful.
     Let's abandon the inclination to carve ourselves up in any way. We are body and soul. We are flesh and blood. We are muscle and bone and sinew and tendon. We are hard and soft, brilliant and ordinary, skilled beyond measure, and hopelessly awkward. We are absolutely and unequivocally perfectly imperfect as one united whole.

I resist the temptation to think of myself in pieces and parts. I am integrated and whole.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

WEATHER TRANSITION

     The first heat of the season makes me lazy. I feel unmotivated. My body rails against the lack of crispness. It's sluggish and heavy... an effort to move. Temperate weather at last is a transition, and like all transitions, there's a bit of discomfort, even with all of the happiness of welcome change and bursting spring. I have to be patient as it takes a little time for my blood and limbs to catch up.

I allow my body to adjust to the changing temperature, and accept the discomfort of the process of adjustment.

Monday, April 8, 2013

LACK OF TRUST

     When someone we love is in a funky place, it's hard to watch them struggle. We have ideas, suggestions, insight. We want to fix it for them. We concoct the perfect corrections in our minds. We work on managing the situation to our liking instead of accepting that whatever is happening is some kind of process and everyone will know what they need to know when they need to know it.... and not before. A lack of trust in all of the things that we cannot control is the cause of so much of our suffering.

I stop trying to manage everything and trust the process of my life.

Friday, April 5, 2013

CARE-TAKING OURSELVES

     Sometimes the solution to our life's problems is so obvious that we fail to  see it. We over-complicate everything and forget to take first things first. The prescription for so many of our maladies is to slow down and breathe, to eat better, sleep better, live healthier, and get things in order.
     Mistaken priorities create all kinds of angst, both physical and spiritual. We have to remember our purpose and what guides us and who we are. We are responsible for what we feed ourselves, in every way. What do we read? What do we watch on television? What do we eat and drink? Who do we talk to? Let's heighten our awareness to these things and be willing to be better care-takers of ourselves.
Let's commit to being the best care-takers of ourselves that we can be.

I honestly evaluate the choices I am making to take care of myself, and make better choices in order to feel my best.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

SPRING!

    The forsythia is blooming! And the daffodils and hyacinths and purple phlox and the first magnolia trees... and the grass is turning green! Spring has come at last! There are little red buds on trees and buds on bushes and the whole world is just about to burst forth in all kinds of color and sweetness and growing glory!!!

I welcome the spring!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

STRESS

     Stress is cumulative, so if we don't keep tabs on it, it is likely to take us over. Stress ages us and makes us sick. It upsets our stomachs and affects the clarity of our skin. It makes us irritable and edgy. It makes us burn ourselves up from the inside out.
     So what's at the root of all of this misery? Why are we so stressed out in the first place and why can't we relax? We let fear drive us instead of faith. We worry away our hours and our days, destroying our future before it even comes.
     If we can believe for a moment that everything will work out in the end no matter what, then we can believe the same thing for longer than a moment. But we have to practice at it. To make our belief a steady stream of absolute certainty, we have to engage our conscious awareness and call up our willingness to trust.
    
I feel myself stressing out and stop. I relax and remember that things have a way of working out in the end.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

COURAGE

     Courage in life is rewarded by feeling relief. If we have the courage to talk about our fears and our emotions, they no longer torment us. If we have the courage to stride forth in the direction of our dreams, the reality of what's possible and what we can and cannot realistically do becomes clear. If we have the courage to be vulnerable, we are loved. If we have the courage to trust in the process of our lives, we live a grand adventure instead of a grueling trek. If we have the courage to take responsibility for or choices, we are no longer victims. And if we have the courage to be a student, then everyone and everything is our teacher and our guide.
     We are not alone. Help is always available, and anything is possible. These are the gifts of courage.

I embrace courage as a virtue and a way of life. I feel my fear but don't let it stop me.

Monday, April 1, 2013

BEING OBSERVANT

    There is a power to being quietly observant. We see things, sense things, and make connections that the unobservant do not. To watch without judgment is to learn what makes people tick, and how they strain and suffer and tangle themselves up in knots, or else to witness with pleasure how someone moves with ease and abandon and carries no stress. We learn a lot by closing our mouths and opening our eyes- a lot about others, and a lot about ourselves as well. We learn from the things that we notice, and from the thoughts in our heads as we look.
    
I take time every day to quiet my mind and observe my surroundings.