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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.


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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.