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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.