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Thursday, June 22, 2017

CHOICE AND FREEDOM

"Confront your dream and... decide, once and for all, if you want it." 
~ Joe Kita ~

We are more tangled up in our pasts than we realize. Thoughts, beliefs, images, and hurts haunt our every step, dictate our actions, and impede our progress, such that we become an accumulation of everything that's ever happened to us. We become a "happend to" instead of a happening.
     In order to re-claim our power, we have to recognize that we have added all kinds of personal significance to the historical facts, such as they are, and we can stay stuck in the way it all currently exists for us, or choose to create a new significance any time we like.
     Choice is our birthright. Choice and freedom.

I live free from the tangles of the past.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

BEING CURIOUS

"A sense of curiosity is nature's original school of education."
~ Smiley Blanton ~

We make assumptions about other people based on who we are and how we are feeling. Consequently, the vast majority of our judgments are in error, based on our mood and our mindset rather than truth itself.
     Let's recognize that what we are certain we know about others may not be completely accurate, listen free from internal dialog, and be willing to clearly see and hear who is actually there.

I open to curiosity and make room in life for what I don't know I don't know.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

LIVING WITH PURPOSE

"Men, like nails, lose their usefulness when they lose direction and begin to bend." 
~ Walter Savage Landor ~

Having something to work towards satisfies the soul. To be floundering about aimlessly is uncomfortable, untenable, and unwise. Let's strive to some purpose, whether personal or worldly, and enjoy the pleasure of a life on track and with aim.

Having a purpose inspires my life.


Monday, June 19, 2017

CREATING A CLEARING FOR NEW POSSIBILITY

"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." 
~ Rumi ~

Letting go of physical stuff we have been holding onto for years is an interesting process. It is both freeing and revealing- freeing in that we let go and revealing in that we have all kinds of fret about what we might need in the future, or what we might miss once it's gone.
     Healthy living is a continuous process of release and renewal, and we can't experience either if we won't disperse the energy that is stuck in our things.

I let go of all my inessential physical stuff.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

DIGNITY AND PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT

"The way to make people trustworthy is to trust them." 
~ Ernest Hemingway ~

One of the greatest gifts we can give to another is to trust them with their own autonomy, and not to be controlling or manipulative or think we know better than they do what's best. When we allow others their dignity, and allow them to be responsible for their work and their time, we allow them to shine. We empower them.
     The opposite of this is diminishment and discouragement. When we are always being told what to do, and when and how to do it, we lose enthusiasm and go flat.

I empower others by trusting them.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

STEPPING UP

"Be what you are." 
~ Julius Charles Hare ~

Mighty spirit,
Born to fly free,
Locked in tangles
of projected misery.

Mighty spirit
Born to honor truth
Locked in silence
And being aloof.

Mighty spirit
Full of heart, full of life
Courageously step
into the light.

I stand for freedom.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

TAKING A STAND

"I will not ask that you nor you approve. The wild thyme is itself nor asks consent of rose nor reed." 
~ Muriel Strode ~

It feels safe to hide, and yet, by hiding, we are inauthentic. We shrink from our lives and our choices and from being who we really are. We make ourselves wrong and guilty by avoiding what's uncomfortable. Let's have the courage to stand up, to stand out, and to stand for what we believe in. Let's have the courage to stand for exactly who we are.

I stand for authentic self-expression.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

TRUTH AND FREEDOM

"The truth will out." 
~ William Shakespeare ~

To experience peace we have to face facts. We have to be willing to look at what's in front of us. Avoiding reality does not make it go away. Neither does pretending it's something it's not. Only an honest and un-biased view of what is can free us from what is. It seems unlikely, it seems un-necessary- we often don't want to face what's there, and yet, it is only in looking clearly, and in honestly seeing, that we are set free.

I take off my blinders and see.

Monday, June 12, 2017

READY, SET, CHOOSE

"Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out." 
~ Micheal Burke ~

How can we act on knowing that a part of us doesn't want to know, because it means we will have to face something that we don't want to face? It seems easier to squash down our instincts, and play at everything being all right, but there is in-authenticity in this, and a price to pay down the road.
     We must choose a path. That is our responsibility. We can choose to go along and get along, or we can choose to honor our truth. And the action we take in making our choice is the very thing that will free us.

I choose which path to take forward every day that I live. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

IN THE NAME OF PROGRESS

"You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run..." 
~ Kenny Rodgers ~

I'm an expert at normalizing the abnormal and making the best of things. It's something I learned to do young, and have been doing all my life. When others are ready to cut bait, I am still looking and pretending that all is well, that it's really ok, that maybe it's not as bad as it seems. And at times, this has its advantages, and at times, it serves me somewhat well.
     But other times, it's a recipe for a kind of self-punishment, a make-it-work-or-else kind of approach to life that actually hampers growth and constrains progress instead of promoting it.

I commit to clear sight, honest appraisal, and right guidance.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

GUILT FREE LIVING

"Guilt is always hungry- don't let it consume you." 
~ Terri Guillemets ~

Guilt destroys the quality of life. It robs us of freedom and ease. It harps at us, scolding. It's full of shoulds and self-doubt and restriction and fear.
     Guilt is toxic and constrains us in ways so deep they are beyond our understanding. It makes us be in the world in ways that are not authentic or sincere.

I release the burden of guilt and live free.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

USING LANGUAGE TO CREATE A WORLD

"I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions." 
~ James Michener ~

Language has power and words create our reality more than we realize. The immense weight we generate with all the things we "have" to do can be energetically shifted quite easily. Observe the difference:
1. I have to (or should) work out. (Burden)
2. I want to work out. (Pleasure)
3. I am going to work out. (Power)
4. I could work out. (Possibility)
     And there are other options as well, the option of choice itself, and gratitude- that we can do anything at all that we can do.
     So let's bring awareness to our language, and realize how our use or abuse of it is impacting our day.

I choose my words with consciousness and care.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

EVOLUTION BY DEGREES

"Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are." 
~ Rumi ~

The rhythm of life we are living is not the only rhythm of life there is. Time and experience can be cyclical, and circular, and topsy turvy all over the map rather than linear, although that's not necessarily how it feels in the business world where all is deadline driven and seemingly so urgent.
     And yet, all things, even business projects, grow as in nature, by degrees, by the sun, and by the season. Let's align ourselves to these natural rhythms and allow our lives and projects to evolve naturally rather than be born by insistence.

I embrace the natural unfolding of life and myself.

Monday, June 5, 2017

CLAIMING INDEPENDENCE

"Work in the invisible world at least as much as you do in the visible." 
~ Rumi ~

I've spent most of my life being co-dependent- worrying what others are thinking, feeling punished by their silence, creating criticism out of thin air, but I'm done with it. Right now, in this moment, I claim my independence from the opinions of others, whether real or imagined. I act with love, choose with care, and live my best life being my best self. If others rally behind me I welcome it, and if some are flatly opposed, that's ok too. I'll take each relationship as it comes, deal with the facts as they arise, and turn off all creative speculation about what things may mean or not mean.

I live free from co-dependence. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

THE LITTLE GIRL WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE

"You are only as beautiful as your last action." 
~ Stephen Richards ~

In line at Costco there is so much resignation. Exhausted bodies labor away from the cashiers with full carts, at the registers, serious, worried faces process their debit cards; those arriving and ready to check out nervously scan the aisles to ascertain which is fastest.
     And in the middle of it all, a little girl in white short leggings and a yellow tent-top is smiling and dancing. She's leaning over a stack of water bottle cases and then opening her arms to the sky. And she's making the adults who are with her smile as well.
     Most of the people around her are oblivious. I enjoy her antics. She makes me smile too.

Whatever I do has an effect on those around me.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

PROMISE KEPT

"Let God's promises shine." 
~ Corrie Ten Boom ~

It's called a brave new world because it takes bravery to create a new world. It takes departure from all that is familiar and all that is known. It takes breaking away and setting forth. It takes an open mind and steady heart. It takes faith and action and endurance and strength.
     And the place we arrive is the place we trust in, and the dream is delivered, and the promise is kept.

I smile as the brave new world appears.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

CONGESTION AND FREEDOM

"Let freedom ring!" 
~ Samuel Francis Smith ~

Congestion suffocates growth- congestion of any sort- of the mind, the body, the road that lies ahead... Congestion is blocking. It shuts things down. And we live in it. We create it. But it's not the only way.
     The other option is open space and freedom with no constraints, and when we get that, let's appreciate it. Congestion is bound to come, but not bound to stay, and freedom, wherever we feel it, is a blessing of the highest degree.

I celebrate freedom! 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

HONORING HEROES

"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger thank oneself." 
~ Joseph Campbell ~

Remembering heroes.
Honoring what has been.
Expressing gratitude.
Acknowledging sacrifice.
Feeling loss, gain, compassion, love, and the glories of freedom.

I appreciate all those who serve. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

BOUND FOR ADVENTURE

"I come to the forbidden edge.
I strap on the sheath of unfear and gird the strands of daring about me." 
~ Muriel Strode ~

We strike out for Montana with gusto and high hopes; with a bit of caution and a ton of risk. We are living large and playing with everything we've got. The stakes are appropriate for the experience we seek.
     Fresh and fearless, into the new day, we strike!

I am up for whatever comes!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

THE POWER OF CHOOSING

"The gateways of wisdom and learning are always open, and more and more I am choosing to walk through them." 
~ Louise Hay ~

All the effort I've expended I have chosen to expend, and all the inner angst and sense of struggle as well. I have chosen my resentments, my fears, and my limiting beliefs. And they have held me back, by some kind of self-sabotaging design.
     But now, I'm choosing something different. I'm choosing choice itself, and freedom. I'm choosing adventure and the proposition of risk and reward. I'm choosing happiness, well-being, appreciation, and joy.
     Choice is my birthright and companion, my mother and closest friend. It represents an unlimited life where anything is possible, and that's the one I choose.

I live my life at the level of choice.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

RESISTANCE

"I am free, no matter what rules surround me." 
~ Robert A Heinlein ~

There is power in resistance- the power of struggle and stubbornness- of being right and being justified. It's an oppositional kind of stance with arms crossed and a refusal to engage. It shuts us off from the world and from the expression of love and the experience of connection. It binds us in lock down, makes us miserable, and keeps us stuck.
     But we don't have to stay stuck. We can accept what is, agree to work with conditions as they are, and be honest about what we really want, which is likely peace of mind and to feel good. And that's what we can have as soon as we are willing to un-cross our arms.

I free myself from resistance and experience peace.

Monday, May 22, 2017

COMPLETION

"Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart." 
~ Kongzi ~

Sometimes completion comes with a ceremony, sometimes with a party, and sometimes with a vast and echoing emptiness. Whatever has happened is over, and there are feelings in every direction about that fact.
     What remains is what opens up- the clean space before us- where opportunity and the promise of a new adventure exist.

Each closure is an opening, and each ending a fresh start.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

ACKNOWLEDGING SELF

"Learn to be what you are... and to resign with good grace all that you are not." 
~ Henri Frederic Amiel ~

I acknowledge myself for being human- for having a big heart and big dreams, for having been hurt and having been blessed, for being loving and caring and working hard.
     I have come through difficulty and not been discouraged by it, failed in business and started anew. I have been steady and strong and willing and eager. I have done my best and admitted many wrongs.

I am what I am, and I'm not what I'm not- complete in being human.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

ACKNOWLEDGING MY DAUGHTER

"To send light into the darkness of mans' hearts- such is the duty of the artist." 
~ Schumann ~

I acknowledge my daughter, Sienna, for completing four years of college; for remaining true to her art even when she was misunderstood; for being a visionary, a creator on every level of her life, and an embodiment of the wild feminine.
     I acknowledge her for courage, heart, and willingness, and for being an individual on this earth who makes a difference in the lives of others.

I am inspired by the power of creative vision against all odds.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

ACKNOWLEDGING MY SON

"Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself." ~ Kahlil Gibran ~

I acknowledge my son, Nick, today for a personal milestone of significance, for facing what was scary and unpleasant to face, for soldiering on with determination, resilience, and an open mind no matter what, for owning his part in his life experience, and for achieving a goal that matters.
   
I honor achievement and acknowledge the work that it took.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

ACKNOWLEDGING PARTNERS

"A partner is someone who makes you more than you are, simply by being by your side." 
~ Albert Kim ~

I acknowledge my husband for being the perfect mix of sensitivity and toughness, for being an excellent communicator, a creative problem solver, a loyal protector, and a man of his word. I acknowledge him for kindness, for compassion, for equal partnership, and for grand adventure! He is just right exactly the way he is, and I am blessed to share my life with him. :)

I celebrate loving partnership!

Monday, May 15, 2017

ACKNOWLEDGING FATHERS

"He didn't tell me how to live. He lived, and let me watch him do it." 
~ Clarence Budington Kelland ~

I acknowledge my father for providing structure in my life, for raising me with a sense of right and wrong, and for teaching me to read powerfully out loud. I acknowledge him for being brave, unique, creative, and principled; for valuing education, being willing to pay for things of quality, and standing for what matters. I acknowledge him for all the things he's taught me by being who he is, and for his having been willing to take risks over and over in his life.
     Today is his Birthday, and I thank him for all of the years past, and wish him well-being in all of the years to come.

I am thankful for my father.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

ACKNOWLEDGING MOTHERS

"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness." 
~ Horace de Balzac ~

I acknowledge my mother for her contribution to my life; for her enthusiasm, integrity, courage, and resilience; for her driving me all over as a kid, teaching me what mattered, being encouraging, and appreciating me for who I am and loving me in spite of all my mis-adventures.
     I am grateful that she never lost faith in me, and for all the ways that she has positively impacted my life.

I recognize the contribution of my own mother, and of mothers all over the world.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

CONFRONTATION

"Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing." 
~ August Wilson ~

I have always considered myself a "non-confrontational" individual, and I am realizing lately that may not be true, and also that it is through confrontation that we evolve.
     When we confront death and our own mortality, we transform the way we live. When we confront the impact of our negative behavior on the condition of our lives, we can alter our behavior. We we confront what limits us, we can become unlimited. But it has to be a hard confrontation. A mini-acknowledgement that throws blame at others gets us nowhere. Confrontation, by its definition, creates discomfort in us. That discomfort is what we avoid, and ironically, that discomfort is the very thing that can ultimately set us free.

I confront the reality of how I am in the world and what it gets me.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

INTO ACTION

"We... think too much and too morbidly- brood (and) become sickly with our own pallid fancies, allowing them to swarm upon us by night and by day." 
~ Mose Velsor ~

Some thoughts are more credible than others; and many are positively dis-regardable, nonsensical, wrong, destructive, unhelpful, and mis-guided. And if we hook in, our thoughts can make us believe what's not true, tie us in emotional knots, and torment us the same as any full-fledged interrogation.
     So we need to take our thoughts with a grain of salt, get out of our heads, act based on our values and commitments, and get into conversation and movement in the world, because that's where the results that we want actually show up.

When my mind is noisy and steering me astray, I get into action and remember that thoughts are just thoughts.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

THE SLOW PROCESS OF LETTING GO

"Grieving is a necessary passage and a difficult transition to finally letting go of sorrow- it is not a permanent rest stop." 
~ Dodinski ~

I wish letting go were as quick and easy as it sounds, but more often, I find it's a process- a slow release over time. Hurts fade, what was sharp and poking softens; we accept acceptance and our muscles relax.
     Sometimes it does happens in an instant, it's true; and sometimes, we have to wait patiently for it to dissolve slowly... like a melting mountain of bulldozed snow in a parking lot.

I am willing to be patient and trusting, knowing that some things take longer to release than others.

Monday, May 8, 2017

ACTION!

"The shortest answer is doing." 
~ Lord Herbert ~

Thinking doesn't move us forward.
Action does.
Action is what creates new experience.
We can think all we want to about our plans and dreams, but until we do something to move us forward, we are nothing but spinning wheels.

If I want to get traction, I have to take action.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

LIVING LARGE

"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself."
~ Soren Kierkegaard ~

Practicality has its place, but sometimes, we need to be impractical in order to feel vital and alive. We need to take a risk, step out of our comfort zone, and live large.
     Playing small makes us small, and restricts our options and our sense of well-being. Let's step out and be bold instead. Let's audaciously experience all the variability of life!

I am willing to be unreasonable once in a while in order to feel alive!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

UNLIMITED ADAPTABILITY

"Your legs will get heavy and tired. Then comes a moment of feeling the wings you've grown lifting." 
~ Rumi ~

We are adaptable beyond our wildest imaginations, and yet, we so fearfully approach change. In the first moment we face something new and uncertain, we often balk and resist, backpedaling with all our might; but very quickly, especially if we know what's best for us and what we can control and what we can't control, we stop resisting and accept whatever has come. We settle in and feel good. And then we're resisting again, like a crazy, vicious cycle, with each new wrinkle in our plan.
     Let's surrender to all of it instead, and learn finally and absolutely to simply enjoy the ride!

I adapt fluidly and gracefully to whatever comes up.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

LIFE IS A DYNAMIC DANCE

"Whosoever knoweth the power of the dance, dwelleth in God." 
~ Rumi ~

There are times when the best thing we can do is to stay put, and when being quiet and still serves us best. And then they pass, and movement returns. 
Life is a dynamic dance that never rests for long.

I move and bend with the rhythm of life.

Monday, May 1, 2017

WHEREVER WE ARE

"It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it."
~ Jacob Bronowski ~

It's ok to not know what we're doing and be at the bottom of the learning curve. So often, we want to pretend that we are further down the path than we are, but it's inauthentic to do so. Being a beginner has its advantages. For one thing, those who have gone before like to be able to teach us what they know and show us the way. We are all in it together, and helping each other out wherever we can is the natural and fulfilling cycle of human exchange.
     Plus, we have the advantage of a fresh perspective, and it's always possible that we might see things with our fresh eyes that have never been seen before.

I look to those ahead for a hand, and lend one to those coming up behind.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

OPENING TO TRANSFORMATION

"Transform what has been a hindrance in your life into a teacher of the heart." 
~ Phillip Moffett ~

How does transformation happen?
When we own it. When we claim it. When we speak it, and when we believe it.
Something begins in us as a spark- a glimmering of what could be...  and then we have to act, and decide, and commit.
We have to share about it so others can help us grow it with their enthusiasm and connections,
and we have to keep showing up.
That's the introductory process anyway. 
Once we set our intention and get into action, it's inevitable that transformation will happen, and when it does, it's generally in an instant when we are ready for it and the time is right. 
In a flash of clarity and pure sight, 
we are made new.

I open to inspiration and create newness in my life through action, intention, and the willingness to share.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

SURRENDER TO WIN

"If you surrender to the wind you can ride it." 
~ Toni Morrison ~

Real surrender exposes us to unlimited options. Not trying to control things let's be what is, and what is is something we can always deal with- not our thoughts about what is, or our manufactured meaning, just the simple space around life's happenings, and the trust that all is as it should be- good, bad, or indifferent, and that whatever happens will support us, or teach us, or break us down to seed so that we can come back and sprout yet again...

I allow for the breaking down process so that I can build up fresh.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

THE NATURE OF TANGLES

"You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind..." 
~ Jim  Rohn ~

Some days, everything just gets jammed up and congestion, rather than flow, is the name of the game. We aim for clarity and end up in tangles. And when this is the way it's going, the only possibility for any kind of satisfying clearance is to acknowledge the tangles and accept that at times like this, all we can do is all we can do.

When life gets messy I let it be messy until the energy opens and shifts into clarity yet again. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

LETTING THE FUTURE UNFOLD

"He who seeks to know the future is out of harmony with the present." 
~ James Lendall Basford ~

Looking forward generates all kinds of possibilities for the way things could be, and we create images in the mind that please our sensibilities. And then, when reality takes over, or plans change, we have to adjust our inner pictures to accommodate the loss of our pleasing ideas. And sometimes this transition is easy, and sometimes it takes everything we've got.

I let go of all attachment regarding the unformed future, and grieve the loss of my celebrated and hoped-for ideas.

Monday, April 24, 2017

THE TALKING CURE

"Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud." 
~ Herman Hesse ~

Truncated communication strangles possibility and traps us inside our heads with questions and misconceptions, when, with a bit of honest sharing, we could so easily be... free.

No matter the conflict, I trust in the healing power of communication.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

OWNING OUR PART

"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men."
~ Herman Melville ~

When things seem to go awry, it's instinctual for some of us to double back and re-trace our steps. What did we do, or fail to do, that contributed to the outcome that we got? The other option is to blame others and take no responsibility, but that's not the evolved way. We always have some kind of part in what happens, and acknowledging that is important, though it doesn't necessarily change the dynamic. Some things, for reasons beyond our understanding or control, are simply not meant to be.

I am sorry for my part in messy situations, and do my best to live right and in the light. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

BEING WHOLE

"Namaste." 
~ Sanskrit Greeting ~

We are whole- not broken and not incomplete.
And we are unlimited- not doomed, oppressed, or irretrievably stuck.
In each and every moment we are the possibility of freedom, 
the channel of divinity, 
and the opportunity for pure love.

I am deeper than the surface and wise beyond my years.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

100% POTENTIAL

"I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom." 
~ Simone de Beauvoir ~

Once upon a time, many moons ago, I was excluded from a party of my peers for being too much of a "goody-goody," and at the time, the judgment cut like a knife. I went on to prove them all wrong, and became rather a bad-ass, but that didn't capture me either- not fully. The real truth is so much simpler than any of that. The real truth is that I am bigger than any label, and freer than any kind of trapping judgment, and the real truth is that we all are.

I am pure energy, responsive to the experience of life. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

MAYBE NOTHING IS WRONG

"I am iron resisting the most enormous magnet there is." 
~ Rumi ~

All our antennae go up when we sense that something is wrong. We go to our default positions and coping mechanisms. We get defensive. We blame others, We retreat.
     But if nothing's really wrong, then there's nothing to defend, and we don't have to trail around old unfinished business from the past. We can be fresh and clear and responsive in the moment instead of telling ourselves stale stories from what happened long ago.

I open to the possibility that nothing needs fixing and all is well.

Monday, April 17, 2017

THINGS BEING WHAT THEY ARE

"Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are." 
~ Rumi ~

Is it better to end slowly, by degrees, or just to end? There is something about dragging out a departure and good-byes that makes it almost excruciating, and yet, it does create a certain readiness and total completeness that isn't there with a quick cutting-off.
     Maybe neither is better. Maybe one is just one thing and the other just the other. We're always trying to make things mean something, but maybe they don't necessarily. Maybe stuff just happens, and our interpretations and speculations and determinations and worries are just that- and block us from the ability to simply experience what is.

I stop trying to figure everything out and get present to what's actually happening.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

KEEPING POWER

"Who am I to blow against the wind?" 
~ Paul Simon ~

It's fruitless to set ourselves up in opposition to the people we love. Blocking them in any way blocks us. We can allow for the way they show up in the world without taking it personally. We can give them their dignity and keep ours at the same time by setting boundaries where necessary and maintaining our inner calm.

I experience peace by keeping charge of my personal power.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

LOOSE AND EASY IN OUR OWN SKIN

"Become the sky. Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape." 
~ Rumi ~

We are so constrained by our desire to look good. There is tension in it- a lack of pure authenticity. It's as if we are filtered through our own self-consciousness, lacking relaxation, awkward in our own skin. And, generally speaking, it comes out most when we are meeting others for the first time. And it's exhausting. And it's uncomfortable. And it has a kind of shelf life beyond which we have to either get authentic, or escape. It's not sustainable to be fixed in looking good for too long a stretch. That's why we all need to get home at the end of the day and put on our jammies and let down our hair.

I learn to relax in the world so it's not so exhausting to be out and about. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

STRETCHING TO NEW HEIGHTS

"Connect movement with breath and spiritual meaning." 
~ Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa ~

Babies know the value of stretching, but as adults, we often forget the benefits- and stretching not only our bodies, but our minds and spirits as well. There is something about it- about moving and reaching and lengthening and twisting and bending, that both relaxes and enlarges us, that feels good, and allows for release, increased energy, stamina, circulation, and fresh perspective.

I stretch my muscles, my effort, and my imagination.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

THE CYCLE OF CARING

"We must be our own before we can be another's." 
 ~ RW Emerson ~

I'm not sure where we learn to put ourselves last, but some of us do learn that somewhere along the way. We take care of everyone else first, and if there's anything left over- the dregs- that's what we get. And sometimes, what's left amounts to nothing, and we spend our days and weeks attending to the urgencies and emergencies of our work and family, and don't even bother or think about whatever we may need.
     And we dry up... eventually.
     But we needn't.
     It's the great irony of life that when we do right by ourselves, we do right by others. Effort and care is circular and must revolve.

I am good to myself, and that makes me good for others.


Monday, April 10, 2017

LETTING GO OF BEING RIGID

"Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play."
~ Henri Matisse ~

What if we stopped letting every little thing that people do and don't do get under our skin?
What if we could genuinely see all sides of every situation?
What if we didn't have to be rigid?
What if we didn't have to be right?

Where would that leave us?
Could we be... free?

I let people be who they are and where they are, and who and where they are not.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

GETTING STRAIGHT WITH OURSELVES AND OTHERS

"We excuse our sloth under the pretense of difficulty." 
~ Marcus Fabius Quintilian ~

It's easier to process "No," or "Not this time," or "I have a conflict," than a whole stream of excuses. What are we supposed to do with them?
     My neighbor's father died. I was on vacation and then my kids were sick. I mis-placed your phone number. I was so busy I couldn't take even five minutes to respond- seriously- I didn't even have five minutes!
     OK. But again, what are we supposed to do with that information? Apologize? Tell you not to worry, that we understand, that it doesn't matter... All of these feel a bit unsatisfactory. Just tell me what you can commit to, and let us both get on with our lives.

I live free from excuses.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

GOING FOR IT

"Let the beauty we love be what we do." 
~ Rumi ~

I'm not afraid of adventure or new things- not really. What scares me the most is how easily I can fool myself, and how automatically I squash myself down with who am I kidding thoughts, and wondering if I can really be so lucky as to follow my dreams...
     And yet, if I don't follow them, they will haunt me forever, so why not go for it? I have nothing to lose but my excuses and my fear.

I follow my passion and live from the heart.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

INVITATION

"Long have you timidly waded, holding  a plank by the shore.
Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,
to jump off in the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me, shout, 
and laughingly dash with your hair." 
~ Walt Whitman ~

We are more repressed than we realize, or can comprehend. We back ourselves into corners and trap ourselves in little boxes. We make up endless reasons why we can't and why we don't and why we won't. We live stultifying lives and think ourselves free. Let's think again, and reconsider the possibilities. Maybe we can, actually, and maybe we will. Maybe we needn't be small and quiet. Maybe life and God invite us daily to rise.

I honor the call to be my best self.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

BEING NEW

"You dance inside my chest... and that light becomes this art." 
~ Rumi ~

We have to practice being new. It doesn't just happen once and then it's over. Life cycles round and round again, and every time it turns, we must choose.
     Our old patterns reach out to grab us and pull us back, but if we commit to a fresh direction we can be refreshed. We have only to declare the path we're on day after day after day.

I decide my life one choice at a time.

Monday, April 3, 2017

ALIVE AND WELL

"Never explain. Your friends do not need it, and your enemies will not believe it." 
~ Elbert Hubbard ~

Direct, true, and real from the gut.
Unstuck.
Free in the moment and owning it.
Being me the best I can be.
Seeing clarity.
Feeling sanity.
Not bothering with what doesn't matter to me.
Alive and well.
No need for a shell.
Simply
As
I
Am.

The truth of me happens one minute at a time.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

CHOOSING WHAT WE CHOOSE

"I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum." 
~ Frances Willard ~

I am tired of second guessing myself, of worrying what others might think about the decisions I'm making, and of wanting my father's approval. I don't need it.
     I choose what I choose because I choose what I choose. I don't have to explain it to anyone, nor should I question others about their choices, or doubt them, unless they specifically ask.
     It's exhausting to manage the world. I hereby declare that I have been in error, and going forth, I am willing to be ok with things and people being what they are and being what they are not. I needn't fix or advise or suggest or judge. I need only freely express myself in each moment, and be open to the possibility of love.

I get out of other people's business, and keep other people out of mine. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

BEING FULLY ALIVE!

"Express yourself!"
~ Charles Wright and the Watts ~

When we are excited about something, I'm not sure where and how we learn that we should temper it and keep it constrained somewhat so as not to appear too bubbly. Why not? Our excitement excites others and spreads good feelings of possibility and hope.
     We are taught to dampen ourselves- that being exuberant is for children, and proper adult behavior is more serious than that. How dull! How droll! Let's consider the impact of years and years of squashing ourselves down- of being contained and constrained- and take back our right to authentic self-expression. Let's claim our right to be fully alive!

I increase my excitement and joy of being by sharing authentically with others. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

THE LIMITS OF NOT KNOWING

"Love what is." 
~ Byron Katie ~

We pretend without knowing that we are pretending, and act on our fears without knowing that we are afraid. Our not knowing keeps us shackled. But the moment we wake up and see - then the world becomes a playground, and each day becomes a blessing for being alive. The moment we start to pay attention, we can live honestly in each moment. We can stop making up stories and treating them as truth.

I stop creating endless meaning and let each moment be as it is.




Tuesday, March 28, 2017

LASER BEAM REALITY

"The struggle ends when the gratitude begins." 
~ Neale Donald Walsch ~

We complain more than we realize- about the way things are, about the circumstances in which we find ourselves, about our health, the weather, politics, and the state of the world. And by pointing out everything that's wrong, we see and experience more of what is wrong. But there's another choice, and it's simple: appreciation for the way things are, for the circumstances of our lives, for our health, the weather, politics, and the state of our world.
      We can focus on either. The good and the bad exist side by side.

I focus on what I want to experience.


Monday, March 27, 2017

WHO WE ARE

"A secret freedom opens through a crevice you can barely see." 
~ Rumi ~

Honest communication with everyone we encounter is the elixir of good living. In this way, we can connect with others at a level of authenticity that refreshes us both. It takes some courage, the willingness to be fully human, and the sincere acceptance of our own vulnerability. But the result of allowing ourselves to completely be who we are is more than worth it- it's genuine well-being, truth at the core level, and the experience of unconditional love.

I am totally real with people so they can be totally real with me.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

RECIPROCITY

"My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand." 
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Life is so reciprocal! When we help others become clear, we become clear ourselves, and when we create new possibilities for ourselves, we create new possibilities for everyone around us as well. And it works with negativity the same way. When we are angry, irritable, judgmental, or fearful, that's the energy we spread, and that's what it feels like to be in our company.
     So it really is true that what we send out comes back to us and what we contribute is returned. understanding this, let's be mindful of our inner space, our willingness to be open, and our intention to be free.

I am careful and conscious as I travel the road.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

DELICIOUSNESS

"Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day." 
~ W. Earl Hall ~

There are few things in this life as delicious to me as warm sun and a cool gentle breeze- cool enough to wear a jacket, warm enough to not need gloves. The sun, at such times, is a source of love no less than a smile, or a long enveloping hug.

I am grateful for the sunshine on still-crisp early spring days.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SECOND-GUESSING

"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." 
~ Sylvia Plath ~

I realized today how often I second guess myself. I do something and then I think I shouldn't have done it, or I should have done it differently. I fret over how it might be received- not always, thankfully, but often enough to impact my journey through the day.
     So next time I catch myself in the act, I'm going to stop myself and remember that what's done is done, what will be will be, and regret is a sorry waste of my time. The fresh and possibility rich future awaits.

I let the past be past and come into the purity and clarity of NOW. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

HEALING BEASTS

"I think I could turn and live with animals,
They are so placid and self contained." 
~ Walt Whitman ~

There is something centering and healing about interacting with animals. They bring us smack dab into the present moment with the sheen of their coats or feathers, the cock of their heads, the sound of their breathing, and the penetrating all-knowing gaze of their eyes.
     To be able to share this life on earth with the beauty and fascination and comfort of animals is an extraordinary blessing and an incontrovertible gift.

I appreciate the grace and authenticity of animals.

Monday, March 20, 2017

OUT AND IN

"Each of us is a being in himself and a being in society." 
~ Haniel Clark Long ~

Sharing our experience with others expands our experience, and taking time alone to process and absorb it anchors it within. There is a need in us for both- for communication as well as contemplation. We are all extroverts and all introverts in turn. We are individual and community. We are a part of, and complete as one.

I show up and share myself with others, and retreat to refresh and rejuvenate.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

GETTING STRAIGHT

"When the time comes to let it go, let it go." 
~ Mary Oliver ~

Patterns of dysfunctional thinking and behaviors run our lives, the things we tell ourselves are often untrue, and the things we do often hurt us more than they help. Let's bring attention to our actions and words and be willing to leave some here and there along the wayside.

I let go of the thoughts and behaviors that are dragging me down.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

JAM-PACKED LIVING

"Don't let the city steal your soul." 
~ Terri Guillemets ~

I sometimes try to fit just one more thing into a limited amount of time, and often, I successfully do just that, and feel a sense of victory for it. But then I find that it squeezes me elsewhere as well. It makes me rushed as I move into the next thing, and leaves a trail of high-intensity energy.
     And if I do that enough, it seriously affects my quality of life. Jam-packing my minutes  doesn't allow for space, and space is what's needed for appreciation. Everything I have to do will get done, whether I relax about it or create pressurized stress, so I'd do far better to choose relaxation as the option, and experience the benefits of life without constraints as the result.

I stop over-doing and allow for empty moments in my schedule and my life.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

STANDING UP

"The time and place are mine when I am equal to the time and place." 
~ Muriel Strode ~

Confidence. It's important and impactful. Do we have it? Do we not? Is it possible for others to topple us over with a look or a word?
     It's not always easy to own our gifts and to stand for them. Critical voices in our heads from our past discount us and shrink us.
     Let's become aware of these voices and quiet them down. Let's rise up and stand up and be who we are. Let's wear ourselves with confidence and share ourselves boldly with the world. Let's believe deeply that we matter, and that what we have to offer counts.

I am confident in who I am.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

LIVING BY CHOICE

"Life's real name is Choices." 
~ Terri Guillemets ~

Choosing has nothing to do with logic or reasoning or justification, though we may tell ourselves that it does. It has only to do with choice. We choose something as it is because we choose something as it is. There's no other way to choose it- not because we should, or because someone else wants us to, or because we think it will bring some particular result. All these conditions imply the past and the future, hopes, expectations, fears, and assumptions, and the choice happens NOW, in the moment.
     We don't have to explain our choice, not to ourselves or anyone else. We have only to make it.

I consciously choose my possibility moment by moment by moment.


Monday, March 13, 2017

THE FALLACY OF OUR THINKING

"The forceps of our minds are clumsy things and crush the truth... in the course of taking hold of it." 
~ HG Wells ~

Misunderstanding runs rampant in the world. We walk around telling ourselves made-up stories about why everyone around us is doing what they're doing, what it means, and how we should react. We experience the world through the filters of our foggy vision and our glasses du jour- not as things are, but as we interpret them.
     Let's catch ourselves creating meaning in our heads and allow for the possibility that we don't know what we don't know.

I stop thinking about what everything means and let people and situations simply be what they are.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

AMPLE PREPARATION

"I could never make an impromptu speech without several hours to prepare it." 
~ Mark Twain ~

Preparation alleviates anticipatory anxiety. So does having a plan. If we control what we can and remain open to all possibility elsewhere, it doesn't take away the exuberance and little nerves in the gut, but it does allow for a steady background sense of calm.

I prepare well for each day.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

THE NEED TO STOP

"Balance is the aim of all living creatures: it is our home." 
~ Rolf Gates ~

Sometimes we can have so much going on at once that it is dizzying and makes us feel flustered and overwhelmed. This is the time to stop and breathe, maybe take a walk. Multi-tasking in an ongoing way depletes us spiritually and wears us out for better things. We need a steady, prioritized, one-thing-at-a-time approach. We need common sense, and we won't find it in a ball of confusion. To find it, we have to step back.

When I am feeling overwhelmed by everything, I stop and take a break.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

EASING UP

"We all go wrong by too strenuous a resolution to go right." 
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne ~

We can twist ourselves into knots trying to fix what disturbs us emotionally and figure out all the details, but if we can set a limit on it, then as soon as we let go, the situation often resolves itself. Time, distance, action, conversation- all of these things release and relax the pressure of life.

I trust in solutions beyond my own limited vision.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

OLD HOUSES

"Time gives good advice." 
~ Spanish Proverb ~

New construction doesn't always feel like progress. Sometimes it just feels like more clutter on the beautiful earth- a kind of overwhelm and squelching.
     There's something refreshing and clean about newness, but it lacks the deep rootedness of what has been restored and loved over time.

I appreciate the longevity of old things, and take care of them so that the might continue to endure.

Monday, March 6, 2017

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT?

"I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the years'." 
~ Henry Moore ~

Life can be flip-flopped at times. We make a big deal out of nothing and nothing out of a big deal. We shrug off what matters and lose our cool for days over insignificant inconveniences.
     Let's get better at getting it right.

I keep things in perspective and remain calm.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

JUST ENOUGH

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." 
~ Mark Twain ~

It's fun to be creatively engaged in our lives, to be excited about future possibilities and full of innocence and hope, to be curious and willing to try things.
     Life is a dull roundabout unless we fill it with just enough challenge to keep us learning, just enough hope to keep us believing in our dreams and willing to work towards them, and just enough fear to keep us sharp.

I keep my life exciting by believing in what's possible and moving towards it.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

THE EMPTY WELL

"Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems." 
~ Bill Wilson ~

There is no use talking sense to those whose reasoning is irrational, or trying to make someone see something that they can't possibly see, or hoping to get good customer service out of a poorly managed establishment with employees who don't care. It's better to cut bait, to let things and people be how they are, and go elsewhere.
     With reason, clarity, and good customer service, the interaction is simple, fresh, and rewarding, and without them, to do anything other than walk away is like waiting at an empty well for our cup to be filled.

Without anger or negative judgment, I accept the circumstances and people I encounter exactly as they are.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

BEING PLEASANT

"Some kind of help is the kind of help that helping's all about.
And some kind of help is the kind of help we all could do without."
~ Marlo Thomas ~

Helpful, cheerful people are such a breath of fresh air! It just feels good to be around them, and the can-do attitude is uplifting and inspiring.
     The can't-do people, on the other hand, with the long faces and the downer attitude, feel almost like a spiritual violation. Their negativity oozes and festers and leaves a nasty residue.
     So in this world of continual human interaction, which one are you?

I choose to be helpful and cheerful whenever I can.

Monday, February 27, 2017

CAPTAINING THE SHIP

"No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head." 
~ Terry Josephson ~

We can be internally petulant and have a bad day even if we're pleasant on the outside. Our thoughts are what determine our experience almost more than the experience itself. Our thoughts can be a herd of stampeding buffalo crushing everything underfoot, or flit about gently like a butterfly. And we have more control over our thoughts than we are often willing to acknowledge. We can change them at any time with a conscious decision.

I manage my thoughts so that they don't manage me.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

BEING HUMAN

"Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is." 
~ Albert Camus ~

The common denominator is our humanity. No matter who we face, we both know what it's like to experience love, loss, fear, fret, sweetness, sadness, the change of seasons, and the need to sleep. We create stories in our minds that make us different, better than, and less than, but the truth is that we are all equal to whatever life experience we find ourselves in at any given moment. That's our birthright and our reality whether we claim it or not.

I stand square on the earth exactly as I am. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

OPPORTUNITY

"What I do know is that if one wants to get a boat ride, one must be near the river." 
~ Anchee Min ~

What is opportunity? A chance, an invitation, a risk... all of the above? Opportunity abounds- that seems certain, but we have a part to play in it. We have to get out of our comfort zone, and be willing to be vulnerable and experience new things. We have to be willing to give and take, share and listen, and bring our special life-view to the mix. And when we do this, and the more we can do this, the more exciting and unexpectedly rewarding our lives can be.

I willingly and courageously experience new people and new situations.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

SORRY FOR WHAT WE DEVOURED

"Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork." 
~ English Proverb ~

Food hangovers are a real thing. When we eat what doesn't sit with us cleanly, the effects have a tendency to linger and impact the quality of our life. Let's pay attention to how we feel after we eat and learn what suits us best- what makes us feel lean, energized, and well-fed, and avoid the litany of goodies and indulgences that create a sense of malaise. Life is too short to be sick from what is meant to nourish us.

I enjoy the benefits of clean eating. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

THINKING WE KNOW MORE THAN WE DO

"Most of us retain enough of the theological attitude to think that we are little gods." 
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr ~

What is it in us that thinks the rules don't apply to us, that we are above instruction, above guidance, and above the need to be a beginner and learn new things from scratch? It's some voice in us that says, "Oh, yeah. That's for everyone else, but not for me."
     We can so easily be know-it-alls. We readily make assumptions that have nothing to do with fact, and then pay a steep price for our misconception. Instructions are there for a reason, even if we don't know what it is, so we should pay attention. We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves or the process.

I honor the need for instruction and allow it to ease and guide my progress.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

THE LIMITS OF JUSTIFICATION

"Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure." 
~ Don Wilder ~

Justification and excuses are no substitution for an apology. To be told, "This is why" doesn't sit nearly as well as, "We were wrong and we're sorry."
     Taking ownership of our errors is just as important as taking ownership of our talents and success. Mistakes happen, and that's what forgiveness is for. There is grace and blessing in admitting that we could have done better, and in understanding how it must feel to be on the receiving end of our faulty action.
     Blaming circumstances, on the other hand, does not amend the situation at all, and actually makes the other person continue to feel wronged. And instead of forgiveness, a resentment is born.
     Let's not go there. It's a lousy spiritual space to occupy. Let's step up and apologize instead.

I admit my mistakes and apologize where necessary.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

FOR THE LOVE OF RHYTHM

"Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass?" 
~ Michael Torke ~

I am grateful for good music- for lyrics that I love and rhythms that pump me up; the ones that soothe me, and the ones that make me feel good from the inside out. Music is as intrinsic to us as the sound of the wind and rain on the roof, laughter, conversation, hands clapping, and the beating of our heart.

Music is a perfect reflection of the sounds in my spirit.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

ATTENDING TO OUR NEEDS

"My greatest wealth is the deep stillness in which I strive and grow and win what the world cannot take from me with fire or sword." 
~ Goethe ~

When we attend to our inner needs, everything feels better. The world feels better- more friendly. Hope reigns, and loving energy bubbles up.
     And when we are over-tired, not well-fed, over-taxed, and over-scheduled, darkness descends. So often we are insensitive to the natural flow of things and push on, forcing our will against unbending conditions.
     At such times, we would do better to stop, regroup, refresh, and come back later when the light of well-being is shining upon us yet again.

I understand the practical application of restorative self-care strategies.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

PARTNERING WITH THE DIVINE

"When I have a terrible need of- shall I say the word- religion. Then I go out and paint the stars."
 ~ Vincent Van Gogh ~

Creative engagement is a glorious thing! To be able to use our mind, our experience, our vision, our intuition, and partner with divine energy is energizing and empowering! It's almost a state of play. We experiment and stand back to appraise our efforts, step forward again and make changes; repeat the process- step back, forward, side to side, come to resolution and feel proud of our part in the work.

I love participating in the creative process!

Monday, February 13, 2017

THE BASICS

"I will bring the health of simplicity to my burdened soul and days." 
~ Muriel Strode Lieberman ~

We over complicate our living and our thinking. We take more responsibility for others and for life circumstances than we need to, and not enough for ourselves.
     The recipe for good living is pretty simple if we break it down to the basics: acknowledge our fear, extend our love, and do the next right thing. Life really can be that straight forward if we let it..

I keep life simple by being honest with myself and others and doing the next right thing.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
 ~ Anne Frank ~

Open hearted, friendly, and outgoing people make a meaningful, positive difference in the world. They lift the energy in a room just by being there. We can feel their light, and miss it when they're gone.
     So many of us settle for mediocrity and flatness. We are good people, but withdrawn and quiet, and unless we make some kind of extraordinary effort, others hardly know we're there, or not there.
     Let's appreciate the brightness in others who are bright, and become willing to open ourselves just a little more and believe that we too have light within us that is worth sharing with the world.

I celebrate the brightness in myself and others.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

BEING WHO WE ARE

"When you dance to your own rhythm, life taps its toes to your beat."
~ Terri Guillemets ~

It's ok to be afraid, and
It's ok to be sure, even though we can't explain why.
It's ok to like what we like,
to mistrust what we mistrust,
and to want what we want.
The error is in second-guessing
And condemning
ourselves
For simply being 
Who we are.

The most beautiful and perfect thing I can be is my authentic self.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

COMING FULL CIRCLE

"If it had been a snake, it would have bit me." 
~ Appalachian Saying ~

What we simply cannot see is often right in front of us- too obvious to consider, too simple to be believed. How often does our search take us round and about and over and under only to lead us right back to where we began, and there it is! Maybe the trip is necessary so that we might see it with fresh eyes.

I delight in re-discovering what I knew all along.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

THE HONEST TRUTH

"A lie has speed, but truth has endurance." 
~ Edgar J Mohn ~

Honesty is reality without our justifications. It's what exists separate from judgment, fear, past conditioning, and excuses. It's free from blame as well- the facts without the fluff.
     And yet, honesty, by its very nature, has to be relative, because it filters through us, and so we can't fully separate ourselves from it. What's honest from one person's perspective is denial from another.
     So all we can do- perhaps the truest truth there is- is to be as honest with the reality of our situation as we can be at any given time, and leave, trust, and recommend others to do the same.

From day to day and minute to minute, I appraise myself as honestly and accurately as I possibly can. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

THE ART OF SELF-REFLECTION

"Grace is within you." 
 ~ Ramana Maharshi ~

It's not enough to give lip service to self-reflection. We have to experience it. In our modern era of technological distraction, it's hard to sit still, get quiet, listen, and look within. We are all action and forward momentum; or we're spinning in emotional circles; or working, or vegetating, or falling asleep.
     Turning to our inner selves is a too often forgotten art. And yet, that's where all our answers and contentment lie, so it's an art worth pursuing. Let's get to know ourselves again. Let's get quiet and remember who we are.

I enjoy spending time free from technological distraction in the company of myself. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

BALLED UP IN KNOTS

"Earth's tribulations diminish in proportion to the elevation of our souls." 
~ James Lendall Basford ~

We can get balled up in knots without even knowing it, until something comes along to rattle us into awareness. And then, suddenly, we realize we have become accustomed to our own dysfunction. We realize it has taken us over and taken us along for a ride.
     Thank God for the things that rattle us! Though they may arrive with a fair amount of discomfort, they break up the tangle and freshen the air. They invigorate us, and they shine the light brightly on our forward path.

As I go through life challenges, I remember that sometimes the most difficult experiences bring the greatest relief.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

WIN-WIN LIVING

"Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding." 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Standing in opposition to others with strong opinions and inflexibility is not nearly so evolved as being able to see all sides of a thing- to really put ourselves on the side we don't understand and try to understand it. That way, with compassion, and a real interest in finding a middle ground, we can work together to find a winning solution, rather than polarizing ourselves to one side or the other and making one of us right and the other wrong.

I seek to understand what baffles me, and spread compassion rather than judgment.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER

"Hope, perhaps, is the chief happiness which this world affords." 
~ Samuel Johnson ~

Hope within,
Footwork without,
Free from pain and loss and doubt.
Keeping moving,
Staying still,
Trusting in the journey that leads up the hill. 

I keep on keeping on with hope in my heart. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

WINTER VIBRANCY

"How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter in our year." 
~ Thomas Wentworth Higginson ~

With a quick glance, it might seem that trees and bushes are dead in the winter, but closer study demonstrates that they clearly are not. Winter is the time of berries and bud preparation- the retreat and silent solace before the big burst of spring. Winter is vibrant with colors of its own, and subtleties that are easily missed by the careless gaze.

I see and experience the life that lives in winter.

Monday, January 30, 2017

BEING CURIOUS

"Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will."
~ James Stephens ~

Curiosity is a good thing. It keeps us mentally lively and engaged in the process of learning. Wondering why, how, where, which, and what is an adventure in exploration. Searching for answers and finding them expands our mind.
     Nothing is off limits. If a question arises within us, we have to answer it somehow, and the answer itself is what grows us and evolves us and enlarges our world.

Every day is a great learning adventure! I am curious about people and things and the whys and hows of life. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

FRESH AIR FOR THE SOUL

"After a day's walk everything has twice its usual value." 
~ George McCauley Trevelyan ~

The air some days is so fresh it's like food for the soul- alive with nutrients and vitality- thin. crisp, and delicious!
     I love the fresh air. I love walks outside no matter the weather. I love the way it feels to be outdoors, in the elements, part of nature, and breathing in life.

I walk outside daily and appreciate the fresh air.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

LOW DRAMA LIVING

"Simplicity and harmony are the ultimate conditions to be attained in all things." 
~ Horace Fletcher ~

Chaos used to hold some kind of appeal. It felt artsy and communal somehow- bohemian- emotionally cluttered in an almost cozy kind of way, and interesting above all else. But chaos is no match for what is clear and simple and pure. Low drama living is good living, and clear spaces, both physically and emotionally, are good for the soul.

I keep my life simple and drama-free. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

THE UPSIDE OF FEAR

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." 
~ Pablo Picasso ~

For a long time, I have wanted to be rid of fear, but lately it's occurred to me that even fear has its purpose and its own kind of goodness. Fear is a motivator in its own way, and a protector. It's our warning system, our adrenaline, and our challenge to rise.
     And so, by looking at it in the right way, I can be grateful for my fear. It has its place and its purpose. The challenge, and the goal, is not to be rid of it, but to feel it and keep on.

I appreciate the valuable role that fear plays in my life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

LAUNCHING PAD

"Go out there and do something remarkable." 
~ Wendy Wasserstein ~

A bit of inspiration is like rocket fuel. It wakes something up inside of us; lights a fire and starts a buzz. I'm not sure that we can achieve greatness without inspiration in our lives, but with it, we are unstoppable.
     The trick is to maintain inspirational momentum- to seek it in others when we cannot find it in ourselves, and to feed it with energy and action and courage and faith.

Inspiration fuels my passion and passion fuels my life.

Monday, January 23, 2017

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

"The hardest arithmetic for us to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." 
~ Eric Hoffer ~

Every so often we need to pause and acknowledge our gratitude for the blessings in our lives, and for God's unending Grace- that we live, that we love, that we learn and grow and get one fresh start after another every day that we wake up. Life is good, but getting tangled up in the tyranny of the urgent it's easy to forget that. But when we pause, when we step back, and when we consciously look, we will see the goodness and the beauty, the possibility and the light.

I pause and consider how blessed I really am. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

THE WAY WE IMPACT OTHERS

"Never let your emotions rule, but always let them testify." 
~ Robert Brault ~

What we remember about people is how they make us feel- not their words, their advice, their clothes, or their level of fitness, but the emotion they convey. We remember feeling judged, hurt, suspicious and fearful as well as inspired, uplifted, encouraged, and loved.
     And so, considering the reality of this great truth, we must ask ourselves, and honestly, what feelings are we spreading? When we're with other people, how do we make them feel?

I am willing to share my loving heart and positive energy with all those I encounter. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

TO HONOR MY SISTER

"A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost." 
~ Marion C. Garretty ~

Eighteen years ago, this is the month that my only sister killed herself. We all tried to understand her and fix her for years, but her path led her where it led, and perhaps she wasn't broken after all- just born to die young, and teach us all about ourselves as we traveled the layers of her emotional pain, and our own.
     I like things neat and tidy and I keep them that way as much as I can, but life is often messy in spite of my efforts, and the more I stomp around in other people's business thinking I know what's best, the messier it gets.

I am willing to surrender my understanding to the mysterious process of life. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

THE POWER OF BREATH

"When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace." 
~ Author Unknown ~

When we release tension, we increase energy. All that has been held taut and "in check" suddenly moves freely and a sense of ease pervades. And we can accomplish this release of tension with something as simple as a deep breath. We can let go of stress and strain and worry and angst all by breathing in and breathing out, consciously, and with an "ahhhh" sound as we exhale.

When I am feeling tense and pinched, I breathe deeply and feel the tension release. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

HEAD DOWN

"When you're going around in circles, it is not progress to report an increase in circles completed."
~ Robert Brault ~

Interruptions are a plague of modern life. With our smart phones and ready accessibility, it's nearly impossible to complete a task without someone or something tugging at our metaphysical pant leg, unless we set ourselves apart to get the job done. Let's practice setting boundaries around our work so that we can complete it and move on with the business of living our lives, instead of trying at it piecemeal and feeling frustrated every time our attention is pulled away.
     Let's do the work and then let the distractions in. That way, they are a pleasure instead of an annoyance, and we are productive instead of constantly stuck in the mud.

I dis-allow distractions until I have the job done.


Monday, January 16, 2017

WHAT DOESN'T KILL US...

"If the wind will not serve, take to the oars." 
~ Latin Proverb ~

We gripe about our problems, but the fact is that life without a challenge is a lusterless affair. Ideally perhaps, we'd like to pick the things we have to face and make them all exciting and rewarding and fun! But a challenge, by its nature, is a summons to our inner selves and a call to action that says, "Face this!" whatever "this" is, and so we must.
     Life throws down the gauntlet, and we can leave it lie, collapse in a heap and start to cry, or pick it up and see what we are made of.

I accept the challenge of life! 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

THE WEATHER

"The snow doesn't give a soft white damn whom it touches." 
~ ee cummings ~

No matter what's happening with the weather, it gives us something to talk about. It's too hot or too cold, or can you believe the rain, wind or ice? The weather is a universal experience. We can all relate. It's the great common ground. And though we may not all feel the same way about what's happening outside- some like it one way and some another- it gives us a language we can all understand.

I appreciate the weather as the great equalizer of mankind.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

OWNING WHAT WE KNOW

"Trust your hunches." 
~ Joyce Brothers ~

There are things we must do. Our spirits insist upon it. Our dreams, in some way, are less dreams and more possibility visions. They point the way and show us who we are, even if we can't fully own it yet- even if we're unsure or feeling stuck. Little hints and inner whispers taunt us and plague us until we wake up to our purpose.
     And if we don't, that is our loss, and also our choice, but it's not for lack of knowing. No one can follow our dreams but us.

I pay attention to my inner calling and follow the call. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

THE POWER OF BOOKS

"A good book has no ending." 
~ RD Cumming ~

I love the power of books! We can learn anything, explore anything, adventure anywhere, follow our passion, investigate our past... All of the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of humankind is available to us in books, and they are free to use and peruse at the library and near-free on Amazon.
     What a thing if we made the decision to entertain ourselves less and educate ourselves more- on any subject or any multitude of subjects. We can learn forever using the power of books.

I spend time reading every day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

FAILURE AS SUCCESS

"One must be a god to be able to tell successes from failures without making a mistake."
~ Anton Chekhov ~

Let's not be afraid to fail. As a general rule, we let fear stop us in our tracks, block us from getting started, cripple us, shrink us, and keep us down low. But what if we didn't? What if we tried everything that spoke to us just for the adventure of it? What if we were willing to risk even a little? What if we were willing to risk a lot?
     In failure is blessing so that's never quite the end of the game; and looking at it that way, maybe there is really no such thing as failure at all, and what we think of as failure is just a lesson we learn along the path.

I have the courage to risk failure knowing that even in loss there is gain.

Monday, January 9, 2017

CO-DEPENDENCE

"I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself." 
~ Michel de Montaigne ~

I like everyone to be happy with me at all times which is its own kind of dysfunction. Wanting to please others, being afraid of disappointing them, going out of my way and beyond my own limitations to make sure that everyone around me is taken care of and feels good is a personally costly way to live.
     Being kind, generous, and compassionate is one thing, but sacrificing our own well-being for the well-being of others as a habit and a rule is something else entirely. We can be loving and do good without giving ourselves entirely away.

I care for myself so that I can care for others.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

THE NEED FOR REVIVAL

"Man is never alone... That which dreams through him is always there to support him from within." 
~ Laurence van der Post ~

Sometimes, for our own mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being we have to drop everything and put ourselves first. We can become so much about doing for others that we forget who we are and what revives us. We become bedraggled and worn out.
     And if we have become utterly habituated to doing for others, putting ourselves first for a change might induce guilt in us, but it needn't. Self-care is the main ingredient, and arguably the most important ingredient, for good living and good health.

I let go of misplaced guilt and take time for myself when I need restoration and solitude.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

YOU NEVER KNOW

"Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes." 
~ Sara Teasdale ~

It is often the things I feel most internally petulant about having to experience that end up giving me the greatest satisfaction. They turn out differently than I had expected, and decidedly better. So the lesson, and the consideration to carry forward, is that the more I can free myself from preconceived ideas about the way things should be, the more I am pleased and delighted by the way they actually are.

I release the need for a fixed agenda and let life unfold as it will.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

NO NEED FOR PRESSURE

"Stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle." 
~ Bill Phillips ~

Sometimes the pressure we impose upon ourselves is disabling and there's no reason for it- pressure to succeed, to excel, to be perfect somehow, or perhaps, pressure to cut corners, or be less good than we actually are. It pulls us in all directions and every which way and we get caught in the middle feeling the strain.
     Let's set a course to give us focus, stay on it, and be ok simply doing the best we can. That way, we can let the pressure that wants to sink us flow around us instead, and be rooted in our purpose and steady on our path.

I know what I'm about and do the best I can.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

STEADY ON

"You can't wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time." 
~ Pat Schroeder ~

Regarding some changes I have no fear and only excitement, and other changes leave me so fearful I am almost unable to make a move except by a sheer force of my will. And I'm not even sure what I'm afraid of- that it will not play out as I hope, or that it will...
     I find myself stalemated and procrastinating unnecessarily, maybe because I know that once I begin there is no turning back. As long as I am in preparation mode, anything is still possible, and there is a certain kind of a backward, stagnant safety in that. But forward is the way and forward is the hope and the light so that's the way I need to orient my being and my faith.

I have the courage to move forward, trust in the future, and face dynamic change.