Monday, December 31, 2012

On This Journey Together

It's been awhile since I have posted an entry. The last couple of months have been hectic and busy. I have lots of news to share and will be doing so in the new year.

For now, I am writing to say that as we get ready to begin 2013, don't get bogged down with resolutions aka "rules" that will be impossible or difficult to follow. You would be setting yourself up for failure and that's never a good thing!

Embark on this new year as a clean slate, a new beginning, a chance to start fresh, like pushing a reset button. Make one simple change that will make you happy and/or healthier going forward. Take it easy on yourself; there's only one you and it's important to make sure that you take good of YOU.

I wish you and your loved ones peace and happiness in 2013. Whether you are celebrating with a big bang or have a quiet evening planned, be safe and sound. We have a long journey ahead, let's enjoy the ride...With love...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I Will Wait…

I have been on a journey. It’s a journey that has been 50+ years in the making. I’ve had some real ups and downs. It feels like I have been on a wild roller coaster and a heck of ride.
My childhood, as I expressed in previous postings, was not the world of The Cleavers; I don’t think that anyone’s was. My family did the best they could and for that I’m grateful. Different members of my family have taught me a plethora of lessons; how to make friends, how to be strong, how to protect myself and how to love.
My teenage years were spent with a group of friends, some of whom I am still friends with to this day. We watched out for each other and spent a lot of time together. We learned how to depend on each other and to be depended on. Some have been lost; some just drifted away, others I couldn’t imagine my life without.
My young adult years were spent as a wife and mom. I got married and had my daughter while I was very young. I had a picture in my head of what I wanted my own family to be like. I worked hard and managed our family pretty well. We didn’t have everything we wanted, but we had what we needed. I wanted my daughter to feel loved unconditionally and to provide her with the best that I could.
As I got older, things changed. We moved into our house, I tried to have another child for a number of years. I was working, still managing the family and going about my daily life. When I stopped concentrating so hard on having another child, I was blessed with my son. He was a miracle I didn’t know how much I missed until he arrived. He brought a distraction from the dissatisfaction that was in my personal life. My daughter was getting older. My relationship was becoming stagnant; my role in the family unit was changing. I had my son to concentrate on and that’s what I did. I continued on my journey.
I had a major health scare; a wakeup call that made me realize how short life really is. My daughter is in a place where she is happy and loved and I am grateful for her every day. My son is getting to an age where the day to day Mom role is becoming less necessary. My personal life has unraveled because of change, some of which I have embraced and accepted, some I cannot.
I needed to save myself, find what was waiting for me on the next leg of this journey. To achieve what I want, in a place I’d like to be. To determine who I am besides a caretaker, an organizer, a manager of those around me. I will figure it out; it’s not selfish, it’s self-preserving. There will be necessary endings and beginnings on this continuation and that’s going to be OK.
This is my journey; Jude’s Journey, I will find my way. I’m on the home stretch. I’ll continue to be bold and strong. I will use my head alongside my heart. Is your journey turning out the way you wanted? Are you on a path that is fulfilling and helping you grow? Patience is truly a learned virtue. I will wait to get to the destination that I was meant to find. Perhaps I’ll discover that I’ve been there all along and just didn’t recognize it. Who knows? I will wait…With love…

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

For What It's Worth...

Something's happening here, what it is, ain't exactly clear. Super storms, NYSE shut down, transit system crippled, millions and millions stranded and without power. Have you seen the picture of New York City in darkness? What the heck is going on?

I have never in my lifetime witnessed such devastation due to weather. Perhaps these are all wakeup calls that we are not heeding? Katrina, Irene and Sandy, powerful forces of nature for which we have no defense. Is this what we have been warned about? The effects of global warming? Not taking care of the earth we live in?

This has scared the bejeezus out of me! I am fascinated and horrified by the pictures and the news information. I am sorry for the people who live in these areas and what obstacles they have coming in the next few months.

Be grateful for your world. Say a prayer for those directly affected by this devastation. Hug your friends and family. Take a good look at what's going down. With love...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Games People Play…

Some are better at the game of life than others. We learn the rules of fair play and choose whether or not to use them.
There are those who are well adjusted for the most part, they appreciate the life they have, take responsibility for their actions, (the majority of the time,) and are honest in word and deed. They are loyal to their friends and loved ones. They don’t sacrifice too much of themselves but are ready to help out those who need them. They have determined what they want out of this life and are working to get it. They are self-reliant, but can use a friend to help them along once in a while. I believe that in most cases, this is how real people live.
There are some who are really good at the guilt game. They attempt to make those around them seem inferior to make themselves feel better. They have selective memory and relish sharing those “memories” to look and feel good to whoever cares to listen. What’s sad is that those who are in a more balanced life or at least working towards that goal can see right through this. What’s also sad is that many relationships can become lost in the clarity. We have dealt with bad behavior for so long, it seems acceptable. When you open your eyes and your mind, you realize how toxic this can be. It might be difficult to let these connections be dissolved, but probably better in the long run.
There are some who are really good at the pity game. They wallow and look for attention in any manner they can get. They can’t see the real people in their lives because they are on a constant search for the “illusive” ones. They expect friends and family to help or assist them, rather than working harder to be self-reliant. These folks tend to be a little selfish and a lot self-centered, all the while protesting that they are the opposite of that. They also tend to think that they are authorities on life lessons; love, friendship, family, etc., are their areas of “expertise.” They profess love and friendship when directly in front of you, but don’t back any of that up with their actions.
I have had recent experiences with the guilt and pity players. I’m not pretending to be something that I’m not. I’m not an authority on life or the lessons that it teaches us. I am just a woman who is trying to improve my life and relationships that I have been given. No judgments, just observations. No messages or finger pointing, just sharing those observations. It gets me thinking and I’m hoping that it gets you thinking too. I’m not willing to spend the rest of my life fading away. With love…

Friday, October 5, 2012

Love Me Do…

Most of you are aware that I love music and that I believe that music is free therapy. I admire those who write the lyrics and notes to put together something to make us think. I indulge in music therapy in many different venues and for many different reasons. It makes my world go around.
Today is 50 years since the song “Love Me Do” by The Beatles was released. We all know the words and I’m pretty certain they are going through your head right this very minute. They are simple in message: love me and I’ll love you back. Be true to me and you can depend that I’ll be true to you. I like who you are and I hope you like me too. Simple words, yet perfectly stated.
Indulge in some music therapy today. Make a point to put on the radio or play some tunes by a band that you love. Reaffirm whatever it is you are working towards or looking for. Figure out what is hurting you or bringing you down; get through it. Listen just for the enjoyment of it, to get your heart beating, your toes tapping, and maybe do a little singing while you’re at it. Have some fun, you probably need it. With love…
PS…In other music news, Rush, my favorite band in the entire world will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – It’s about time. Mumford and Sons, another of my favorites, had their new album “Babel” take 1st place on the Billboard Chart for most albums sold in the first week in 2012, over Green Day and No Doubt. Good news in my music world!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Communication Breakdown…

I have written often about the many different ways that are available to us for communication. It makes me sad when there are breaks or gaps in communication that seem extremely important, especially with all the venues we have. Texting, calling, getting together, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter are great methods of keeping in touch.
As people, we are in always in motion, physically, emotionally and mentally. We each have a personal “plate” that we manage and hope that we can continue to do so in a manner that is both appealing and advantageous. We are also in a constant state of change, whether we want to be or not. The world around us is changing; we are just along for the ride. It can be something as simple as the seasons turning or as complicated as a break in a relationship, that are happening all the time, in different stages. Learning how to cope or communicate through the change can be a challenge.
Sometimes there isn’t anything else to say; it’s all been said. Sometimes there are things to hash out, settle, and then you’re able to move on. Sometimes there are things swept under the carpet, not addressed; this seems to be the most problematic. You can only put so much aside before it becomes a real problem and might be too big to talk about. You can make a decision to just sweep it all out of your life; it’s up to you.
Conversation is a great tool. It can help you with pain and sadness, with happiness and joy, with money or the lack thereof, with your job, your kids, your parents, your partner, your search for a better way, your dreams, your desires; it doesn’t matter what the topic is. Find someone who will listen, who cares about you and converse, communicate. Don’t let communication breakdown if you have the choice; you might not get it back. With love…

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Learn To Fly…

I have lived in fear for most of my life. The fear started early, as far back as I can remember. I believe the majority of us have lived through a number of things that might surprise most; maybe not. Depending on our age, we probably have more in common with regard to our upbringing.
The circumstance of my parents’ divorce was most definitely an interesting twist, at best. We’ll just say that the grounds were mental cruelty and leave it at that. The collateral damage in the aftermath directly affected me. There were a lot of adults that fought over us, but no one was really minding the kids. I believe that a seed of self-preservation was planted inside me early on, (which has helped me tremendously more recently,) but I was afraid. Looking back, I realize that I wanted to depend on those who could be depended on. Unfortunately, at the time, as a little kid, I wasn’t sure who that was. It was very scary; the fear was growing, expanding.
As I grew up, I formed friendships that helped me learn the real aspects of relationship. We had each other’s back and watched out for one another. This helped with the fear, having people to trust, to talk with, and to count on. I still had to be careful, though, always alert. There was sure to be something terrible waiting right around the corner.
When I got married, I chose a partner who had a similar background. We had determination to make sure that our children had two parents who would take good care of them. Give them unconditional love and support. To provide what they needed and to reward them with some of what they wanted. I was certain that something terrible would have to happen to my kids because I was undeserving. That is irrational thinking, of course, but still inside my whirring, fearful brain.
How do you conquer what scares you? How do you turn things around? How do you become “safe” in your head? What makes you realize that you can’t walk around in fear all the time? Does it have to take some catastrophic event to accept what you can’t change? Answering these questions took some work; but I have the answers for me. What are the answers for you?
I didn’t even realize that I lived such a fearful life. As I began to get older, my outlook changed, it had to if I want to LIVE. We can’t see or predict what is coming our way. We can’t prevent pain anymore then we can be certain of joy or accomplishment. I had to learn a very important lesson. To embrace what I can and to release what I can’t change, which included the majority of fear that I carried around. I’m not saying that there aren’t still times when I am afraid, but I’m not constantly looking for things to be afraid of either.
I used to think that I was all grown up, then I realized to stop growing is to stagnate, to wither and die. I want to continue to show signs of life – learn new things, embark on unplanned adventures, embrace those who cross my path and make sure that the ones I depend on know they are appreciated. I’m learning to fly, fearless, well, a least a little fear less. With love…

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hit Me With Your Best Shot…

You know, I often try very hard to see things from both sides. I want to make sure that I treat people like I want to be treated. I don’t like to fight dirty and I hate confrontation. I have been this way since I was a kid. I am also a “deflector.” I tend to lead with niceness and good things to say, because as a plus size person in this world, it helps avoid any sort of negative connotation or confrontation for the most part.
Now, that’s not to say that I’m not a “defender.” I don’t like when people or other living things are picked on. I don’t like to be picked on. I can be just as catty with my friends as the next person, but I try not to be. I don’t like to have my fun at the expense of those around me and don’t appreciate it when it happens to me.
A healthy argument or disagreement can strengthen some relationships. We all have opinions and can agree to disagree. We can learn from each other and expand our horizons. Knowledge is power.
It’s hard to believe that there are people my age out there that still behave like they haven’t aged or time hasn’t touched them. Like they aren’t carrying an extra 20 pounds or they haven’t lost a whole lot of hair from their heads.  I'd like to ask, “Have YOU looked in a real mirror, lately? Maybe you should tell me where you bought your magic mirror so that I can get one too?”
You can have a conversation about a personal situation or relationship, but when you say something the other person doesn’t want to hear, it tends to get ignored or unabsorbed. They hear you, but they aren’t listening. It forces you to repeat yourself or reaffirm your feelings or decisions. When that happens, you can come across as a bitch. I used to think that was a bad thing; not so much anymore.
I have recently had an experience where someone close to me attempted to hit me below the belt. They used things that would most certainly bother me and did it with apparent pleasure. I say “attempted” because the plan backfired.
Instead of hurting me, it gave me even more resolve to follow the path I am taking. It could have knocked me off my feet, but instead it made me stronger. I wanted to rip them apart at the seams, shred their feelings to ribbons. I have the power and knowledge to do exactly that; I know their strengths and weaknesses. But what would that accomplish? I was not going to sink to that level of meanness; that’s not who I am.
I don’t like to fight, but I will stick up for myself. I am a smart woman; I can take a whole lot before I will let anyone or anything get the best of me. An important reminder to this little entry is to make sure that you can take it, before you dish it out. You might not be so lucky to have someone hold back. Your personal feelings come first; remember to protect them, always. Mean people just suck, they are probably very lonely, but they deserve whatever they get. With love…

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


We all have it; the choice or chance to make decisions for ourselves. They can be as simple as what to have for breakfast or as complicated as you make it. It’s up to you. That’s the beauty of freewill.
There are those of us who walk around feeling pretty lucky. We have people to see and places to go. We work through our troubles and relish in our accomplishments. We realize that our life is full of choices and while we don’t always make the best ones, the fact that we get to choose at all is appreciated. We get down in the dumps, have crappy days at work, fight with our families, have money troubles, but in the end, we accept and figure out how to work it out. We enjoy the company of people we love; we can depend on ourselves and those around us as we need to. It’s not always easy, but we are grateful to simply wake up each morning and have a new present.
There are also those of us who walk around feeling pretty low. They are feeling like they have been dealt a bad hand in the game of life. They place the blame on those around them and don’t take responsibility for their actions. Blame is always better to give than receive. They can’t see the forest for the trees. They ruminate about little problems or people who have “wronged” them. They don’t see the bigger picture; they are too busy bitching about the little things or worrying about things they can’t control. After a while, they get avoided, the people that love them give up, let them wallow. Perhaps that’s really how they want their life to be. I find that hard to believe, but suppose it’s possible.
It’s not the easiest thing to try to turn your outlook of life around. There again, that would be a choice. You take the opportunities that are put in front of you, bad and good, and then decide how to handle them. I think that you will find that after a while ruminating and aggravation will become gratitude and peace of mind. It will become a habit to decide to make a choice and move on. Your life just might get a little easier, a bit more pleasant; a lot more potential and better things will come to you.
Freewill is a part of your growth process. If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice, that’s a fact. Sitting by and letting life happen to you instead of being an active participant is not healthy. You can like the life you’re living or you can live the life you like. The choice is yours, are you making the right one? With love…

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rock And Roll…And The Radio…

I find music very therapeutic. It can lift your spirits, stir memories – both good and bad – mend fences, broken hearts or whatever else ails you. It can keep a good mood going, add life to a party or event, help you relax or wake your butt up. It can make you laugh, cry, dance, and sing at the top of your lungs or quietly, in your head, with a tiny grin or huge smile on your face. Come on, you know you do, sing that is, even if it’s in the shower. Everybody knows that’s where the best acoustics are, and of course you have your shampoo bottle that makes an excellent microphone!
I take the opportunity to listen to music as often as I possibly can. I make an effort to support local talent and go to live venues. There is nothing like listening to something new or familiar in a live setting. I really love driving in my car, windows down, radio on. I flip around between several different venues. I open my mind to new ideas in music. I have a few particular favorites, but have recently explored some types of music that I wouldn’t have thought I would enjoy. Have you listened to something new lately?
If I had to choose an order, I would say that the lyrics come first and foremost. In most cases, they tell a story or talk about a situation that is very personal or has personally affected the author. They can come from the heart, gut or a thought that passes through the brain. For some reason, it grabs at something to stir the pen to paper. Maybe the words are a concept or idea that hadn’t been thought of before. Whatever the reason, the words in songs are meant to be heard. There would be a lot of instances where the words can be made relatable to something in your own life. I am listening, are you?
The musicians, whoever they are, fascinate me. They have music in their heart and soul. They like to share. They get such pleasure from playing, writing and listening. It seems to come effortlessly and easy; comfortable. I’m certain that some have spent hours practicing to get it just right and others hear something and pick up their instrument and play. I’m happy when they share their talent in any instance. They have a gift and most don’t mind sharing. Have you spent some time with a musician lately – professional or personally? Try it, you’ll like it.
With all the ways that music is made available to us, there is no excuse to miss an opportunity to get some free therapy. Make an effort to consciously take a few minutes, put on some headphones; turn on the radio, CD, iPod, whatever, and take a deep breath. Get reacquainted with an old favorite or introduce yourself to something new. You’ll be amazed at the results. I’ve got the music in me, do you?…With love…

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I Should Have Known…

Actions speak louder than words. This is a simple statement that is very true. You can talk, talk, explain, scream, whine, whisper, talk, yell, talk, shriek, and talk all you want, and about anything you want. If you don’t back up all that with what you actually do, you are wasting breath that you will need at the end of this life.
I am a talker, working on being a doer. I am a planner, self-prophesier that needs to be more grounded and in the moment. While it’s good that I have a vision, a path, a purpose, it’s becoming more apparent that it’s time to put up or shut up. Make the move while I have the chance. It’s time to do what I say I’m going to; time to release the fear and frustration.
I am aware that I need to pay more attention to the actions of myself and those in my life. I often depend that what is said in a conversation, discussion, argument, or fight, is what will happen or be resolved and is true. I wonder if my reaction or response is what causes the confusion or inaction? Is it something I said? Is it something I did? I have control of my word and deed; I have control of my reaction. Can I prompt or suggest an action with what I say? Of course I can, we all can and do.
Maybe I don’t listen closely enough? Perhaps I hear what I want to? Sometimes, to be certain, but most of the time I am listening and hearing. It might be that my brain hears what’s actually said, but my heart has a different interpretation or doesn’t listen at all. I think there are times that it hurts to hear the truth, however, honesty should be the best policy.
Mixed signals are something that I need to be aware of, both on the giving and receiving end. My interest or lack thereof, needs to be clear. I need to put my toe into the water to test before jumping in and getting soaked or nearly drowning. I’m writing in a metaphor, of course, but one that fits this subject appropriately. Have you ever felt that you are not listening or not being heard?
I should have known that I’ve been here before. I should have known that I don’t want it anymore. There are lessons in life that are worth repeating and there are those that shouldn’t be repeated. One thing is for certain, I will protect my heart, pride and strength with everything I’ve got. I will persevere and grow in this life, my life…Is it time for you to do the same?...With love…

Monday, August 27, 2012

You Are The Best Thing…

Ever feel like you sell yourself short? That you don’t see the potential or promise that you have on the path before you? Do you believe that you don’t have “what it takes” to offer another? If you answered “no” to these questions, that’s awesome. You already have a level of self-assurance that is very admirable and I’m hoping you are grateful. If you answered “yes,” it’s time to overcome the doubt; it’s time to embrace what some of those around you probably already know.
In someone’s life, you are the best thing that has ever come along. You are the “go-to” person, the one that can be counted on. Maybe they don’t get it yet or maybe you don’t get it yet. I’m fairly certain that there are hints or glimpses of a bond that is forming. Perhaps it’s fear that prevents the progress or the possibilities. It’s time to open your eyes, embrace the chance you have been given. It’s time to recognize that you didn’t even realize what you were looking for until it was right in front of you.
Take a good look at those closest to you. Have you told them lately that you love and appreciate them? Do they know that they can count on you, in good times and bad? Maybe you didn’t realize that you wanted to be “that” person to someone else? It’s not about material things or physical attributes; it’s about honesty and your true self. It’s about being able to enjoy your comforts and offer comfort to whoever you feel needs it. It’s about passion; feeling the burn, stoking the flames, grabbing the love where you find it. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, take your chance, and say what’s in your heart. Whether it’s reciprocal or not, isn’t it better to let someone know how you feel, right out there on the table before it’s too late? Regret is a bitter pill to swallow, try to move forward without them.
Our hearts are kind and our hearts are strong. They expand to let people and love, in and out. Don’t let fear or uncertainty rule your path. Have faith in yourself; you are the best thing, believe THAT…With love…

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I’ll Back You Up…

I joke with some of my friends, once in a while, about who I would call in the middle of the night if I needed bail money. If I was stranded somewhere and needed help, who would I reach out to? Are there people in my life that I can call on in a crunch? Are there people that would have a conversation or just listen without judgment or recrimination? Would they be there with a helping hand (or that bail money) just because I asked?
I am working on reclaiming my independence. My life was affected directly and harshly, early on in the economy tanking. Add to that my health issues and I was a sobbing, shaky mess every single day. I lamented and cried on the phone to my friends with the hope of find some solution. I was afraid, I was sick in body, mind and spirit. I was suspicious of everyone and everything. I didn’t feel like I could trust or count on anyone. I got the impression from those closest to me that they just couldn’t listen anymore.
I remember making the decision to pull in, not away. It was time to unburden my friends. It was time to distance myself from this self-pity wallowing that I had bought into. It was time to pull my big girl pants on and try to figure myself and my life out. No one was going to fix anything for me. I needed to weed out the garden of my life and get my act together. I want to live a full, productive life. I want to get past the crappy economy, get out of relationships that have gone stale and stagnant. I want to embrace new experiences, new things and rediscover the people in my life with whom I have a mutually satisfying relationship.
I also want those who love and who have stuck with me to know: I am grateful that you have my back. Through thick and thin, laughter and sobbing, you have listened and loved me. You have offered your opinions when I’ve asked and held back to let me figure things out on my own when I haven’t. You have gone on some of my new adventures and had fun with me. You would answer the phone call in the middle of the night for whatever reason. Of this I am certain and that makes me smile.
I also want them to know that I am there for them too, any time, any place if they need me. We may not see each other all the time, but when we do it’s like it was yesterday, comfortable, special and needed. No matter how busy our lives get, we somehow keep up, keep in touch. We don’t judge or criticize, we offer help and love. We listen and learn, we talk about anything and everything. I would figure out a way to get you that bail money! It doesn’t matter, whatever you do, do as you please, and I’ll back you up…With love…

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Don’t Worry, Be Happy…

Wouldn’t it be great if it were that easy? An imaginary mental switch that we could flip and say, “Be gone, worry, out of my brain! It’s time to let happiness in!” Would it be great to have that switch? I’m not so sure. How would we learn? How would we grow?
I think we need to analyze, briefly, what it is we worry about. I think we can separate our concerns into two categories: things we can fix and things we can’t. Whether it’s related to us or our loved ones, physically, mentally or emotionally, would be subcategories. Can we change the world? Can we forget about our worries? Maybe it’s possible, a little at a time.
If you or someone you love is worried about something in particular, talk about it, briefly or at length, it doesn’t matter. Put it on the table; try to figure it out if you can. If you can’t maybe just saying it out loud will help you ease the mind.
You would be surprised what a calming voice, a concerned ear, a gentle hug, the reaching out of a strong hand can do to relieve something that’s bothering another. Or, maybe you wouldn’t be surprised. Maybe it’s because you have had that voice, or ear or hug or a hand that makes you feel better, stronger, and happier? Maybe it’s time to return the favor? Share information that you have, open the door to a conversation that will enlighten you. It might just relieve the worry from the person you are talking with; help them see a little light at the end of the tunnel. Make them a little, dare I say it, happier?
I don’t think that we can ever let go of worry. It’s going to affect us and just about every aspect of our lives. How we handle it is the key. In every life we have some trouble, worrying about it is probably making it bigger than it seems or needs to be. There are many of us that walk around with a smile on our face, working hard to hide the fear and worry that feels very strong at times. Sometimes we are successful, other times, not so much.
I’m not saying that you have to share everything with everybody. Or that you should never be worried. There are some things that are taken care of by good old fashioned solitude and figuring it out in your own head. Pulling back, not away is just fine. But if you get a sense that someone needs you, just for a little while, because they are worried or scared, be not afraid, reach out…With love…

Monday, August 13, 2012

Better Make It Through Today…

In my previous post I mentioned my tarot card reading. I realize that generalities can be applied to specifics in everything we do or say, coincidence or not. If we hear or see something we can make it “fit” to a situation or occurrence in our own lives.
One of the things we talked about was living for the moment. I should try to live for today instead of always planning or waiting for the future. That as long as I woke up in the morning, I had today, tomorrow is not guaranteed.  I’m working towards the understanding of this fact.
I have always been a planner, motivator, caretaker who works very hard to stay out of the way of pain or harm. I tried to protect myself and my children from meanness and hurtfulness. I sometimes think that I have done us all a bit of disservice; it’s not possible to have someone take care of you or protect you all the time. This is something that you need to learn on your own. If you don’t learn to deal with mean or unfriendly people, you can be easily taken advantage of. By the same principle, if you depend on others for your happiness, you are more likely to be really disappointed.
I have discovered that I don’t need to take care of anyone but myself and my kids. I don’t want or need someone to take care of me; I am stronger and more resilient than I believed. I am in a period of regrowth and it’s about time. I will continue to learn to count the blessings that I have and let tomorrow come, without worry or self-doubt. There are those who will be on this ride of life with me, I welcome them with open arms. There are those who won’t and it’s ok; we are on different paths.
Life is what you make it, good or bad. Whether you have many or few, people who love and care about you, who are real and honest, are the most valuable assets you have. The number doesn’t matter as long as you are aware of who you can count on and trust.
We have all had our share of troubles, everyone does. It’s better to make it through today, hope for tomorrow and live a life you like…With love…

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sail Away…

Wouldn’t it be nice, once in a while, if we could actually go where our imagination takes us? Maybe it would be somewhere that you have never been before. It could be someplace that you have been and would love to revisit. I truly believe that it’s possible to have our dreams and visions become a reality.
I recently had a tarot card reading. Now, I’m not normally a person who believes in this sort of stuff. I was introduced to the reader by a friend who described him as a visionary. He was a wonderful, smart, funny man and he was actually coming to give our mutual friend a card reading. Before he got started with her, he said, “When I’m done, I’d like to do a short reading for you. I have some things to tell you.”
One of the things that stood out is when he asked me if I meditated. I told him that it was a recent practice I had adopted to help me start and end my day. He asked me, “Where do you go when you meditate?” Where do I go? What? I told him that I generally have to really concentrate on my breathing, just to let go of my whirring brain. It takes a lot of work to get to that place where my mind is clear; focusing on the breathing seemed to help me get there. He said that he felt that when I was meditating, my mind and spirit was actually going to play, to relax and have fun. He said that I should concentrate on that and perhaps I would understand my thought process and life journey a little more.
So that evening I thought I would try to use my imagination. Maybe if I tried to open my brain and think about somewhere or something pleasurable, it would make my meditation easier, to help me relax. Meditation shouldn’t be such hard work! It’s supposed to ease your mind, not scare or frustrate you because it’s time to try to clear your head.
So now, I look forward to those 10 minutes before and after my busy day even more. I close my eyes, begin my breathing and let my imagination be free. My favorite place to go is a beach, where the sky and the water are almost the same bright blue. The sun is shining; the sand is white and warm. I am alone and I am at peace. I feel strong and safe, happy. I have my own heart in my own hands, protected and ready for whatever comes my way. When I’m finished, it’s amazing to me how hopeful I feel about the day ahead or how restful I sleep.
There isn’t always an explanation for the way some people are or the things that they do. All I can do is explain the way that I feel inside and how I get there. Take some time for you at the beginning or the end of your day, or both. Sail away on your ship of dreams, your imagination, find the place that makes you happy and at peace. I will be on that beach of my dreams for real again someday, basking in the warmth and happiness that I deserve. You can too. Dreams to reality, what a concept…With love…

Friday, August 3, 2012

What’s Been Going On…

I’m expanding my horizons. I’m trying out some new things.  Guitar playing, (using the term playing rather loosely here,) cooking a little more adventurously, reading new things, (other than guilty-pleasure fiction,) exercising more, eating less, expanding and embracing relationships that I am enjoying, releasing and getting over the ones that I’m not. I’m not trying to set hard and fast rules to live by here, just trying to work on what’s best for me. I am feeling a little more peace every single day. We are all works in progress.
My relationships are changing, some are growing and some are not. The ones that are growing feel comfortable and easy, like the progressive pattern it should be. The ones that aren’t are getting easier to let go of; I can’t save anyone but myself.  I’m sad, especially when I have tried what feels like every single thing and still it doesn’t work out. It takes more than one person to have a relationship. Sometimes, you don’t even realize when you are out, or if you do, you ignore it in the hopes that this too shall pass. There are those in my life that depend that someone else will take care of the problem or issue. It’s time to stand on your own two feet.
The bottom line is that I’m living a life for me. It doesn’t mean that I’m not content with the many gifts I have been given. I used to see things very rigidly, black and white, cut and dry. Inflexibility wasn’t working; I had to find a happy medium. Expanding your heart and mind to let things in and out is what we should be doing. This will help us feel a measure of success, a bit of happiness, and some peace.
What’s been going on with you? Are you taking good care of yourself? Are you expanding your interests, trying new things? Fear is something that can hold you back from doing what you want to. It’s time to let go of the fear and embrace the goodness that you can feel with your eyes wide open. I am who I am, inside and out, growing and learning every day. You’ll find self-acceptance is what is most important to live a full, productive life.
Someday you might find me, sitting in my favorite bar, playing my guitar (HA!) or at the very least, listening to someone sing my words. I’ll have stars in my eyes and freedom in my heart. I’m a dreamer working on living in the present. Dream a little dream for yourself once in a while, if you’re lucky, it just might come true…With love…

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Birds Of A Feather…

There are many things that draw people together. We are given opportunities in our lives to encounter other individuals in a lot of different circumstances. Thanks to our family connections, school, our jobs, social situations, we get a chance at a diverse number of potential relationships. Yes, relationships – romantic or friendly, business or pleasure, healthy or unhealthy, we get the chance to interact, to bond, to share a brief or lengthy time together.
What draws the closest ones together in friendship? I would venture to say that it’s the things we have in common that start and form the relationship. It’s our growth and differences that keep it interesting. Whether we are talking about long-term friendships or brand new ones, there are reasons that you continue to build on the foundation, to nurture the relationship. Talking, laughing, spending time together, doing things that you enjoy is what it’s all about. You probably have friends that have been a part of your life for years. Tomorrow you could meet someone that you never knew you missed. Friends are so important to our health and wellbeing. It’s giving and receiving on a basic human level.
What draws the closest ones together in romance? I believe in it, that romance. I love the heart pounding, breath quickening, tingling feeling when someone gets under your skin. You know what I’m talking about; the anticipation, frustration, hesitation, and culmination of emotions and passion that hits you like a punch to the gut. I also appreciate the tentative, uncertain, simple dance that’s done when you are friends and sometimes you think it might be nice to be more than that. I believe in the passion that should still burn brightly in long-term, sustainable relationships; it’s very sad when it doesn’t. Never give up on romance. Whether you are lucky enough to have it or you are looking forward to relishing in it, appreciate your passion when you are in the moment.
There are reasons that certain people cross your path. The common denominators soothe and comfort a worried mind and an unsettled heart. The differences give you an opportunity to learn and teach. Those people in your life who are friends, lovers or both are important to develop and sustain a passion inside you that will affect every aspect of your life.
When you feel good, physically and mentally and know that there is love and support all around you, anything is possible. Loneliness doesn’t have to be part of your equation all the time. Find the people you can depend on and that you can be there for too. There is a purpose in the individuals that you flock to, we might not look the same, do the same things, but we have a goal – to experience endless possibilities. We can see with clearer eyes that it’s what’s on the inside that really counts. Enjoy yourself…With love…

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Even Flow…

I had an experience recently that I would like to share. It was interesting in that it couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time for me and my life journey. As I have mentioned, validation means quite a bit to me. I’m learning to appreciate that from within, but hearing it from someone on the outside helps me believe that I am on the right path.
At my monthly WomenHeart meeting we had a guest speaker, Dr. Bruno Cortis. He has written a book called “Heart and Soul.” His presentation was very informative in that he firmly believes that it is necessary to heal the spiritual heart and mind before any physical healing can begin. When he started speaking, I got very emotional. I felt like he was reaching right into my brain. He seemed to take everything that I have attempted to shift in my life and lifestyle, put it out on the table with a huge stamp of approval.
He spoke about how it is necessary to try to let your heart be free, so that it can communicate most effectively with your brain/mind. In order to free your heart and find peace, there is some work required. A few minutes each day of meditation - closing your eyes, take some deep breaths, concentrating on your breathing. Release any thoughts that might try to invade on this time, continue to bring your thinking back to your breathing. If you spend about 10 minutes each day, first thing, before you get too busy and daily life begins, to take this time to regroup and refocus, the whole outlook of your day could be changed.
At the beginning of his talk, he had the lights turned down and he asked us all to take a few minutes to meditate with him. You could feel instant tenseness in the room from some of the attendees; they were obviously uncomfortable with the thought of this exercise, but what choice did they have? I suppose they could have gotten up and left, but they didn’t. They were good sports about it. We all closed our eyes and listened to Dr. Cortis and his voice. He gave instructions calmly and quietly; everyone was participating.
It only took a few moments, but I could feel the whole atmosphere in the room shift to a much more calm level. The whole group seemed to take a big sigh of relief and comfort that was needed by everyone. We did this for the first 10 minutes of the meeting. When we turned the lights on, a bit dimmer this time, and Dr. Cortis started to speak about really living, you got the sense that everyone was paying closer attention.
He shared the importance of a more even flow of communication and self-appreciation was needed to help all of us heal – physically and mentally. He encouraged us to do what we love, every day – read, write, play music, whatever made us feel happy, even if it’s just for a few minutes. We should relish in our strengths and accept our weaknesses. If we let go of fear or uneasiness and let some love in, our strength and health will grow and our weaknesses might have less of an effect on our life.
It was a form of validation for me on personal levels that raised my awareness and appreciation for the work I am doing to live a life I like. I’m working towards and achieving, life that has less anger and frustration that has more happiness and peace, a life that is fun and appreciated every single day.
Try to make the flow of communication between your heart and your head a little more even. It’s vitally important for you to make the connection and prosper. I have mentioned before, simple changes can mean so much to you and your wellbeing. Try it sometime…With love…

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Good Day Sunshine…

There have been studies over the last several years about how sunshine and the weather affect our mood. We are experiencing a true summer in Chicago. We have had many days that are hot, sticky, lots of bright sunshine, with temperatures over the 90s and 100s.
Personally, I find myself much happier about my day, warm or cold, when the sun is shining. I feel a bit of pep in my step with the warmth on my skin. I welcome the rain and the snow because our plants and flowers need it to grow. But when the sun is shining and the day is bright, it really has a positive effect on how I feel. I want to be out in the sunshine, enjoying the day.
Try to look at the bright side, your internal sunshine. It’s difficult at times to remember to do that, but the outlook of things to come can be elevated to another level. Positive, productive levels that will make you feel better and help your decision making. You will look at the world around you with eyes wide open, a brighter, better place where you can make a life worth living. It takes some work, but it’s worth it in the end.
In the meantime, when you have a chance, if the sun is shining, get out there and enjoy it. Bask in the warmth of the sun…it will lift your spirits…With love…

Friday, July 20, 2012

Give Peace A Chance…

I am horrified. I am scared. I am very sad. What’s going on? What’s our world coming to? Our children are not safe on the streets. They can’t play outside without the danger of abduction or a stray, whizzing bullet in a drive-by. We have to be mindful and on high alert, it seems, all the time now. You can’t let your guard down? You might have someone who has lost their mind, come to your job, school, and now the movie theater armed and ready to take you down.
I can’t think of anything positive to say to turn this type of reality around. Maybe I’m not supposed to turn it around? Maybe I’m supposed to be reminded that no matter what there are always going to be those with a hateful, disturbed mind and heart? Man, I hate that.
Be mindful and cautious when you are traveling unfamiliar territory, physically or mentally. If you need a friend to help you get through a rough patch, find one, use their shoulder to cry or laugh on. Take care of your mental wellbeing. Continue focusing on your strengths and strengthening your weaknesses.
Say a prayer, to whatever higher power you believe in, that we all remember to always give peace a chance…With love…

Thursday, July 19, 2012

PS. I Love You…

I love you. Those three words that we long to, like to, love to, want to, hear directed to us.
I had a conversation with a friend recently about the phrase – I love you. On both sides of the discussion there was a bit of a quest for definition or meaning when the words are spoken. Why was it said, in what context, who said it, what did they mean by it? Why the suspicion? Why the question? Why not just feel it? Shouldn’t it be nice to have someone say “I love you,” no matter what the context? Well, of course it should! I had forgotten that.
Is it a phrase that is overused? I don’t really think so. If it’s sincere and comes unsolicited, it should make your heart beat a little faster, endorphins release, your spirit soar. I don’t know when or why I became so cynical or almost suspicious when those words were spoken to me. Perhaps it’s because at times in my life it was said to pacify me rather than to share the feeling. I’m not sure; all I know is that I want to find the joy in that phrase. I am rediscovering what it is supposed to feel like when someone tells you that they love you, no matter what the circumstance.
I want to have the majority of what I say or do be with a caring or loving purpose. I had the tendency to be a little harsh until I discovered how short life really is. I am working to be taken both seriously and sincerely. It’s important to me to open my heart and mind to love and to give it back. It’s not only romantic; it’s cathartic, friendly, and positive, like a special tool to help heal whatever ails us.
Say the words with meaning and truth. Listen when someone says it to you. Let it in your heart and in your head. It will promote the release of negative energy and have good things come back to you. Enjoy it, you deserve it, remember that. Don’t overthink or question, just feel…you will be amazed at what it can do for you…With love…

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Times Like These…

I hope that you are enjoying the summer weather. I know that it's been really hot, but that's what summer is all about.

I recently hosted my annual “ladies only” pool party. 20 of my girlfriends came over for an afternoon of sunshine, swimming, music and laughter. New friends meet old friends; we connect and converse. It’s a time like this that reminds me of girl power. You know, that power of intelligent friendship that can get you through anything. We need that share time, to talk, to laugh, and even to cry a little. A bit of respite in a world that can be tough sometimes. This was a very good time.

I had the opportunity to listen to a really great band a couple of weeks back. They did 80s and 90s covers and they ROCKED the house. Now I’m certain that there would be those who might say that to stand up on a stage, playing the music and singing the lyrics of others, would be a sellout. I’m not one of those folks. The band members played their instruments flawlessly and sang just about perfectly and seemed to have a blast doing it. I had a blast singing out loud, recalling the times I’ve heard that song before and I was grinning from ear to ear. It’s a time like this that reminds me that it doesn’t matter how you use your personal talents, as long as they are feeding a need in you, they will feed one in those around you. It doesn’t matter if the material is original or someone else’s, if you are doing something you love and entertaining me while you’re at it? That’s the best part!

Spending moments with people you love and who love you back. Getting past the negative influences and embracing the positive. Breaking down the walls you built around your heart and mind for protection. Taking steps to remind yourself of the good times in your life. These are all things that will help you get through times like these, where the world seems to be worn out, tired, crabby, and a little bleak. Changing your thinking will change your life. It’s true, it works, just try it sometime.

I know that it’s a little hard to believe, but things will get better for everyone. Personally, professionally, anywhere you need it. It’s time to reach out and work a little harder for what you want, what you desire. Say what’s on your mind, feel the real emotion, don’t overthink. If you let things flow, back and forth, try not to worry or question motives, new relationships can be built, current ones can improve and toxic ones can be removed. It’s a life worth living that belongs to you. Enjoy it for as long as you can…with love…

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I’ve Seen Better Days…

These past few months have been days of experience and growth. If you are working hard, taking care of yourself – body, mind and spirit, making plans or just going with the flow, I am hoping there have been better days for you. Here’s what I’ve seen…
My daughter got married. It was both an honor and a privilege to be part of some of the best days of her life, which in turn were some of the best days of mine. It was an intimate occasion and the love of my daughter, her new husband and our melded families was true and real. The days and evenings that were spent relishing in family and fun were full of that love; it was in the air and in our hearts. I am grateful she has found the love she has desired and deserves. My new son-in-law got a pretty good deal too!
I travelled out of the country for the first time. The afore-mentioned wedding was in Playa Del Carmen. I have never seen sky or water so blue; sand so white and fine. I can’t wait to go back again. It was a magical experience those days on a vacation. It helped clear my mind and open my heart. I really can see a bit clearly now, the direction I want to head in. I will get there, patience and perseverance as my guides.
I turned 50. We had an evening of local celebration that happened to fall on my 50th birthday. The friends and family that attended made this event special for me and my daughter. I realized again that evening that I am extremely lucky and grateful for every single person that is in my life. This particular day was a milestone, one that will be remembered for the rest of my days.
There have been some bad days too, we all have them. But when they are interspersed with days that make me smile when I think about them, that’s what gets me through. It's what I try to focus on.
I can't do anything about the days that don't end well or that are stressful. It's very hard for me and my personality type to accept that. It seems a bit easier to remember that I should concentrate on the good ones, get past the bad and move on. I used to ruminate about a bad day or things that are crappy at times. I really don't want to let that take me over any more. It's hard work NOT to, but very worth it.
Have YOU seen better days? Share your days with me…if you want to. Are there ways to get to them that feels right and easy? Life is way too short, we run out of time and we don’t even know it. Isn’t it a great idea to take good care of YOU and enjoy your days? Try it sometime. With love...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mixed Signals

As I am getting older (and better,) changes are happening to me and my general well-being, both physically and mentally.  Some of these changes are purposeful in their direction and intent. Some are necessary to improve my health and my chances of living this life I cherish for as long as possible. Some are just those "circle of life" changes, age, growth of my children, the ones you can't control, like the seasons in a year. Time is marching on.

One of the most important changes has been in my communication thought process. I want to be clear and sincere; I want to "walk the walk." I want to make sure when I am communicating or expressing something, written or verbally, that there isn't a misunderstanding or a glitch in the message I am sending. It will still happen occasionally, but I am trying to be a bit more conscious of it.

This seems like a difficult process for some. There are those that are stuck in the past. Dwelling in a place where they were once a legend in their own mind. Back in the day, when they were young, invincible, daring, with that devil-may-care swagger. There is a perception among these folks that everyone else is stuck back there with them. Whether these are long-time relationships or people you have just met, they think they KNOW you. They haven't expanded their horizons, therefore, neither have you. They judge the actions and words of those around them based on that bygone era. What they remember about you or others is applied in the present, but based in the past.

There are also those that are always busy. Too busy to call, too busy to spend time, too busy to even communicate with you. Do they think they are the only ones who are busy? Do they think that we aren't ALL busy? You make time to spend time with those you want to; it goes both ways. If I have made plans with someone, once, twice, three times, or at least attempted to, and I'm not successful, I move on. There are those that enjoy spending time with me. Why would I continue to chase after someone who repeatedly sends me a message that they are too busy? I get it. It may take me a little longer, but I get it.

I wonder, sometimes, is it me? Is my quest for better communication between grown adults a dream? Are good, solid relationships, whether they are familial, friendly or romantic, unattainable? Or are they unattainable because those around me haven't embraced the growth process? They haven't been able to see the forest because they are stuck in the same old tree? Perhaps I am scaring those who love me with my current zealousness of the process? Then I remember, I am who I am, you are who you are. We most definitely, whether we choose it or not, are NOT who we were. We have grown up or are growing up, right?

Relationships should grow and become redefined. As they progress, the information exchanging should be clear and focused. If you have a question, ask it, if you have an answer, give it. If you want to be clear in a thought or purpose, say it. If you are having a conversation with someone you care about and who cares about you, there should be a comfort level. You should be able to say what's on your mind, freely and fearlessly. Even if it's a topic that might be uncomfortable or painful, isn't it better to get the message or lesson the first time? It's ok to debate; we aren't always going to agree. Healthy disagreements assist us in future discussions or decisions. Life is a learning process.

I guess the message that I am trying to convey here is, say what you mean and mean what you say. Mixed signals are confusing. I don't think it's fair to any of us to try to read into the words that are said. If we are clear in the interaction we have, there would be less confusion, less hurt, more understanding and better communication. It's time for us all to get the message...with love...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mending Fences

I had dinner last night with a friend I hadn't spent time with in awhile. We had been really close when our boys were young, but as their relationship transformed, ours did too. During the time we have known each, some events occurred, things were said, feelings were hurt. I don't believe anything was done maliciously or intentionally, but it happened.

When I sat down to dinner, I felt like I had just put on a comfortable sweater or picked up a favorite book. I missed our conversations and time together very much. I felt like a fountain overflowing, I couldn't talk fast enough. I am certain that going forward, I will make more of an effort to spend time with her. It makes me feel good and we really understand each other. I am sorry for the time we lost.

Mending fences is a process that validates you and your personal feelings regarding relationships in your life. It helps you understand who and what is important. There are people and things that, in order to move forward, have to be let go, released. They may be toxic or detrimental to you and your future.

There are also people and things in your life that need to be embraced, appreciated, that have been lost or could be lost. It's time to examine what these are and act on it. During a conversation with my daughter, she said, "I hate the scorched earth." A perfect metaphor to heal and grow.

If it makes you feel good, do it. Call a friend, have dinner, a cocktail, a conversation. You might be surprised how happy you feel when you do. You might be missing something that you didn't realize was gone. You also will reaffirm or appreciate those in your life more...with love...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dream A Little Dream

I have learned recently the true importance of sleep, rest and relaxation. Your heart and health can really suffer if you don't get these physical requirements. On average, we need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep at night. It depends on you and your personal schedule, of course, but a real effort to get some good rest 5-6 nights a week is vitally important.

Rest and relaxation don't necessarily come from sleeping. Reading, watching a movie, listening to music, speaking with friends, even exercise can assist you in restfulness and relaxing. Make a real effort to try one or several of these things to relax.

Mental rest and relaxation are important for your peace of mind and heart. Making plans for your future, setting goals, thinking about what is good in your life will put your worried or frazzled mind at ease. Thinking about what you want and how you can achieve it, making a mental list to follow through can give you hope. You may be lucky enough to feel peaceful and relaxed all the time; I believe that most of us aren't that lucky, especially with the circumstances in the world today.

Try it tonight. Take a warm shower, some deep breaths, relax, dream a little dream about you, about your future, about what you can release and what you can embrace. Your mind and body will rest, your heart and soul will be peaceful. Your dreams are possible, realize them...with love...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fooling Yourself

Relationships are funny things. We depend on them for a number of reasons - friendship, love, business, family. They are all important reasons and relationships, but your contribution to them is also a big part of who you are.

I've adopted a "you get what you give," approach to the relationships in my life. There was a time where I tried to be all things to all people and the only thing that did was make me feel like a martyr. I had a self-perceived sense of devotion that wasn't really honest. I was fooling myself that I was being helpful; a dependable friend and loved one who went above and beyond. My new approach may seem a bit selfish; I call it self-preserving.
You can't manipulate or force relationships; they have to come naturally. They either progress and grow or become contrite and stagnant. In the love and friendship arena, when you work so hard to spend time with someone or get them to spend time with you, it feels a bit cloying and manipulative. It's like you assume the other person doesn't get what you are trying to do. When you have this type of relationship to best let things "come what may," even if it's nothing at all. You won't sacrifice too much of yourself or your heart. The relationships will be more honest and better for it in the end.

A friend and I were talking lately about the foundation building of a relationship. If it's not a strong foundation, the relationship won't have much of a leg to stand on. Take stock of the relationships that are important to you. Open your eyes and examine what kind of feelings they stir in you and what you bring to the table. You'll find the ones that "feed the need," in you. You will feel accomplished and satisfied...with love...


Friday, April 13, 2012

Forces Of Nature

Everything happens for a reason. The direction of our lives, the path we choose, the people we let in or out, the decisions we make, are all done with a sense of purpose.
There will be times where we will find success or accomplishment. There will also be times where we will fail. What's important is that you come away from incidents that make you particularly happy or sad, with an understanding.

The understanding is that every experience we have, especially the ones that stand out in our minds, are to teach us something. Try to figure out what the lesson is, absorb it and move on.

Make the effort to stay healthy, in mind and body. Focus on what you have, strengths and weaknesses, that contribute to your life and the lives of those around you. Be conscious of your actions and deeds; treat those around you as you would like to be treated.

The forces of nature, the higher power, whatever they may be, are at work. Pay attention, but follow along...with love...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Swinging Both Ways

That’s a pretty provocative title, right? If you’re thinking that I have decided to share my walks on the wild side, you should probably stop reading now.  Today I will be talking about MOODS.

I have mentioned before that my life right now is very challenging. I’m sure if I gauged it against those around me, I would see differences and similarities in the challenges, but stressful situations just the same. I have the gift of life and loved ones every day that I wake up; for this I am grateful. Some days, it just isn’t enough.

There are days when I can’t slog through the quicksand that seems to hold me down or back from my desires and accomplishments. I wake up thinking that I have a choice – good mood or bad mood today? Of course, I always try to be positive and think, “Good mood!” I can tell you, the days that thought process works are great. There are days when that doesn’t work at all; days where I feel desperate, dismal and depressed.

How can I turn things around? How can I make things better? How can I help those around me make things better? Is there anything I can do? Why can’t I let things go, roll off my back? Just reading over the litany of questions is exhausting; it’s no wonder that I am physically exhausted too! It’s the spinning brain that is driving the train on these days. I feel like I just can’t do it anymore. “It” represents worry, sadness, dissatisfaction and fear to me.

There are days when I realize that there are things that I can change and things I can’t. I CAN’T? What do you mean, I can’t? That’s not in my vocabulary! Then I stop and think, “Who do you think you are, the Queen of the Universe?” Just thinking about that process going through my brain makes me laugh out loud. I’m NOT the Queen; the world doesn’t revolve around me. I feel the need to believe that things happen for a reason. It’s trying to figure out the reason, instead of letting it come to me, peacefully, that makes for hard work.

Challenges are here to make my life worth living, to teach me to be a better person, to appreciate the things I have. I remember that I am grateful every day that I’m alive. I take a deep breath and move along, one foot in front of the other, in a forward motion. Staying in the same place for too long can also seem like moving backwards. The familiar may be comforting, but it can also feel stifling.

I seem to swing from one mood to the next; day by day. There are days that I feel really good, like life is going the way that is best for me, physically and mentally. There are also days that I feel really bad, like the string is stretched to breaking and that something has to give. There are many circumstances that come into play; some are complicated at times. Some are as simple as whether the sun is shining or not.

I am working on a couple of lengthy projects; writing what I hope will be challenging and inspiring. Good mood or bad mood, I am grateful for those who love me and that I love back. My friends and family who share their time with me to listen and be heard are extremely important to me.

I appreciate my life and my loved ones every single day, I’m not sure what I would do or where I would be without them. Today is Valentine’s Day. Share a hug or a kiss with someone who makes you happy. Enjoy the day; I hope it’s a good one and that it’s filled…with love…

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Social Media

There are some wonderful tools that have been developed to encourage social media. Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, Twitter, and Pintrest just to name a few. They allow you to see what friends near or far are doing, listening to, talking about or are interested in.

There are games to play, videos to watch and listen to, blogs to read, postings to like or comment on,  "tweets" to let us know what's on your mind - in the condensed moment, and pinned items to let us know what you are in to. I use most of these social media tools for different reasons. They are progressive and available to anyone who has a computer or internet access.

I think that these outlets are used in a healthy way. Most people have busy, active lives and use them for fun, to share stories or moments in their lives with friends or family, near and far. What concerns me is the number of people who seem to live their lives by these venues. They are meant to enhance your "live" social life, not replace it.

Take some time to step away from the keyboard/monitor, put down the smart phone after you have called a friend to spend some time. Use social media outlets to make plans in the real world. There are people and places to see. Things to do and interests to pursue. Voices to hear, facial expressions to observe, eyes to look into; all of these things that feed the need in our hearts and peace of mind...with love...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Working On It

I spend about 15-20 minutes a day writing. It's like a form of therapy. I write in my journal, most often. It's where I emote, express, spew, ramble, rant, let go of some of the demons that bug me, and relish in the good things that surround me. It's cathartic, relaxing, freeing, and leaves me with a sense of peace, tempered with release.

I want to share some of the personal stories of my life when I blog. This is where it's getting tricky for me. We remember what we remember the way we remember it. Our memories and their interpretation or recall is as individual as we are. Sure, there are other people in our episodes or chapters of life but their recall of a moment can be as different as we are as people.

I have been working on a couple of posting since my last. They are specific to events or a series of events in my history. I worry as I'm writing them, how they will be interpreted; will they be disputed? I've been keeping in mind as I write that it's important that my recall or storytelling be about my thoughts, experiences, and how they relate to my life today.

So, I'm working on it. I'm hoping that it will be an interesting and delightful adventure. I appreciate those who read my blog, who listen to my rambling, who support me in my endeavors...with love...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Validation – It’s A Personal Thing

Our lives are our own. We work at educating ourselves, building and nurturing relationships, fitness of body, and peace of heart and mind. We have jobs both inside and outside the home. The level of fullness of life or hard work is entirely up to us as individuals. What drives us? What determines the amount of time and brain space we give one option over the other?

I believe that validation means a lot. I don’t necessarily mean a, “Hey, way to go!” from other people. I’m talking about that sense of satisfaction and well-being that comes from within. We do things for ourselves or other people to get that feeling of a job well done, no matter how big or small. The little twinkle that might appear in our eye, that small smile on our face, that feeling of overcoming a particular episode or bad incident relatively unscathed, are examples of a little “feel good” moment we are entitled to. We give these moments as a gift to ourselves, most of the time we don’t even know it.
It is a special thing when others recognize our talents or accomplishments. When your happiness or sadness is acknowledged and supported. Most of us don’t look for this from the people around us, but when it happens it’s generally unanticipated and greatly appreciated. We enjoy, whether secretly or not, that feeling of validation. We like to know that our efforts or actions mean something to somebody, sometimes.
On the opposite end, if our feelings are hurt for one reason or another, a simple gesture of kindness is extremely healing. An offer of real sympathy or sincerity is huge. I try not to consciously hurt the feelings of those in my life, but sometimes it happens. I am working harder to recognize when it does and what I can do about it. A genuine apology or acceptance of a mistake can work wonders for you and for the person who has been hurt. Time does heal wounds, not all of them, but some of them. Reconnecting after a passage of time can help to forgive. I’m not really sure that it’s possible to ever forget.
We are self-soothers; we get hurt by some who have no idea or don’t care. We need to get over those instances ourselves and it’s a learning process. In reality, no one has control over your thoughts and feelings except you. No one can “make” you feel or do anything you don’t want to; choices are up to each of us.
The level of validation that we require is as unique and individual as each of us. We appreciate knowing that we aren’t a second thought that runs across the minds of those we care about. Remember to acknowledge or recognize the actions and accomplishments of those that we welcome into our lives. It will offer a sense of peace of mind and heart to you both…with love…

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Willing Spirit

We are probably all familiar with the old saying that begins with, “The spirit is willing…” I wasn’t really interested in the second part of the saying because, let’s face it, we all have some weakness of the body. I was more interested in our willing spirit.

Some days we have more strength and determination then others. We wake up; hit the ground running, positive, busy, and relatively happy. On other days, we wake up tired, cranky, irritated, and slow moving. It doesn’t mean that our spirit isn’t willing. It’s always there and willing to do what we want to.
We make sacrifices for ourselves and our loved ones. We work toward goals and enjoy our accomplishments. It’s relatively simple; we have the right to choose what we do, when we want to. It’s important that you do whatever strikes your fancy, as long as you aren’t hurting anyone in the process.

I was watching an old episode of “Friends” the other day. I can watch an episode over and over again; those crazy kids at the coffee house are amusing to me. This one in particular was about a book the girls were reading about other people, “stealing their wind.” I interpreted this as wind = power of spirit.  In the end, they discovered that they were the mistresses of their own destiny; no one can take your wind.

Who has the power of you and your spirit? You do. You have the gift of a willing spirit and the direction you take is completely up to you. You might have to shift direction depending on life and living, but which way you go is your choice. It’s OK to put the focus on you and your life.

If you aren’t happy with your choices, if you aren’t willing to make the ones that are right for you, you are sacrificing a part of yourself that you cannot afford to lose. Use your spirit wisely, it’s part of your core and should be cherished and protected…with love…