I have been continually amazed how I have been guided through the greatest challenges and difficulties of my life. Whenever I have faced a daunting seachange, the Creator of the sea has led someone to my side to help me through it. It’s never failed. Part of the reason I weather change so willingly is I am excited to see to whom I shall be introduced.
It was the summer camp counseling gig in Colorado, a spontaneous trip I took my second year in college that led me to meet the dearest friend of my lifetime. In pulling anchor and moving to another state and opportunity I found my husband. In transiting from city girl to country mouse I discovered an array of fascinating people I never would have/chould have met on the trajectory of my life plan.
Now, I’m on the border of two countries, with one business ending and another taking off, midway through another exciting ride. And again, I’ve found a wise, supportive buddy to hold my hand on the roller coaster of life as it makes it way through the inevitable ups and downs.
Life has not gone according to plan – at least not to the plans of my creation and devotion. But I have found the fates always provide other, better, decidedly more necessary routes than the ones I would have chosen for myself. Best of all? I’ve always been given a companion for the next phase of the journey.
In my willingness to step out I’ve found others waiting and willing to step in. In the letting go you find the reaching for. I am grateful that so many gifted, caring, loving, teaching folks would reach back.
I encourage you to step out today. I bet there are several folks willing and waiting for you to, and ready to step in to help you.
Ever notice that what bugs us most about other people we’re often guilty of ourselves?!? I know of what I speak! Well, come peek over my shoulder for just a sec and you'll see what I mean...
The phones were crazy at work yesterday. I was on the line with a, shall we say, “long-winded” fellow who had decided right then would be the perfect time to detail his entire medical history beginning with that nasty illness back in ’79.
Suns rose, moons set, still he talked. And talked. I listened patiently (for me) through all of his recap of the 1980’s and most of the nineties, while my other lines rung off the hook. Several times I would excuse myself from Mister “But-Wait-There’s-More” to take another call.
The last time I put the gentlemen on hold I ended up on another call for longer than I expected. When I finally returned to him I heard: “(deep sigh) …and that’s how I ended up in Arkansas!”
I stuttered, and sputtered, and started to explain how I had been on the other line and hadn’t heard a word, when he said: “Thank you SO much for listening to me. You don’t know how much that means. I guess I really needed to say all that. Thank you.”
Dirty worm that I am, I said, “you’re welcome. My pleasure.” But I promise, I am really going to make a better effort to both listen, and hear. See? Watch. My head’s going up and down. I’m listening.
What can you do today to make someone feel really "heard?"
I wonder how we would behave if we REALLY knew how many people were watching us? My dear friend and writing partner is getting ready to move across the country. (AAACK! Is she crazy??)
I am absolutely in awe of her focus, organizational skills and stamina since “Move”, at this particular juncture of my life, has taken on the mantle of swearword. I have found that moving, in terms of physical relocation of one's belongings, is a practice best left to those with the chronological age of about twelve, with the emotional and physical stamina to match. Yep. Moving is best left to a super, strong twelve-year old.
I’m still recovering from my last move two years ago. I find the whole, "where is my bra?" adventure tremendously unsettling. There’s a perfectly good reason most of my packing boxes now double as end tables. I didn’t think I could survive one more day as the answer-woman. How did I get appointed “The One Who Knows Where EVERYTHING IS.” Clairvoyant, clairaudient, I can see through moving boxes! They speak to me. By the time we were done I thought "couldja,didja,what-didja-do-with" was my new Indian name.
Back to topic, my friend is practically whistling through this seachange of life! She’s powering through all the tough stuff with nary a whine on her lips. (I said whine – with an H. It took me a pantry full of the red grape variety to get me moved.) I watch her attack each task with gusto and grace and frankly I want to slap her! C’mon, be a grouch. Bitch. Moan. Carry on about how hard this is.
Nope. She’s going to show me how to tackle the hardest tasks with a positive attitude and spirit. She’s going to demonstrate exactly how you do the tough stuff. You make it fun. You dive in. You laugh. You dance. Funny thing is? She doesn’t even know she’s setting a good example or how high she’s raising the bar – or even that she’s being watched --
she’s too busy dancing.
-- I'd love to hear how you are Tango-ing through the tough stuff...
I was barreling down the freeway last week when I saw a highway alert sign that read: Rough Road Ahead. Thanks for the heads up, I thought.
Wouldn’t it be great if life came with flashing roadside alerts? “Warning: tough patch coming”. “Fasten Your Seatbelt, It’s Going to Get Bumpy”. Or, for those of us in the midst of relationship angst: “Use Extreme Caution When Exiting.”
I know, I know. We should always be prepared for life’s big emergencies. Still, we’re humans, and we tend to get pretty comfortable driving down the road, minding our own business, or at least somebody else’s. Then WHAM… screech…. Out jumps the unexpected ___________________ (fill in the blank) illness, layoff, break-up.
A little warning before we have to slam on the brakes and take corrective action would be appreciated.
It’s funny, I used to be so fearful of what lay ahead I was overly cautious – like one of those driver’s you honk at going 35 mph in the fast lane. I was always braking as I got to the on-ramp. Now I’ve probably over-corrected, and anxious to cover a lot of ground I go careening down the expressway.
I guess we can’t prepare for every eventuality, but it does help to keep our emergency kits packed and at the ready. I suppose it’s the near miss of the hurricane that’s got me thinking. Bottled water, check. First aid kit, check. Phone number of best buddies on speed dial, check.
What’s in your kit?
I wish you a happy, productive, enlightened, bump-free week!
Okay, Law of Attraction fans. This one’s for you! Just yesterday I posted a piece about ‘emergency preparedness’, and how we never know what’s waiting for us a little further down this road of life we’re on.
Right after that I blew a gasket. No, I don’t mean I blew a casket, my Buick did.
Now I’m not going to do a blog on Auto Mechanics 101, but I would like to stress that there’s really only one thing that’s super hard on the engine. Heat. Repeat after me: Heat bad, Tarzan, Cool good. So when the pretty little red thermometer symbol thingie turned bright red? That was the clue that the car was pretty hot.
Hot enough that said car decided the struggle wasn’t worth the effort so it decided to die mid rush-hour when apparently the flow of traffic likes to run about a gazillion miles an hour. Okay, maybe just fifty, it’s hard to tell when you’re stalled, they’re not, and all you hear is the whooshhhhhhh as everyone flashes past you.
Ever notice how good your hearing gets when your eyes are closed?
I opened mine just in time to see the sweet thing behind the wheel of the car rapidly approaching mine, who was really, really involved in that text message she was crafting. You know, I’m all about writers, but there is such a thing as right time, right place.
I’m not sure how effective honking the horn is to those in back of your vehicle but I leaned on that sucker with everything I had. She looked up, in time. I’m blessed.
I don't really think that just because I wrote about roadside emergencies I had one. I like to believe my guardian angles were sending me a big metaphysical "heads up". Still...
Today I’d like to focus on prosperity. Abundance. Lots and lots of abundance. Abundant prosperity. Yes. The open source…I'm visualizing how winning the lottery would only enhance the warm, generous, loving, human that I already am… ah… --
May all of your wishes be happy ones, and may all of your wishes come true!
Good day, Bravehearts! Just so you know? There’s very little I haven’t messed up, few mistakes I haven’t made. Seems I’ve misstepped, lock-stepped, twelve-stepped and quick-stepped through this life of mine – which means I’ve been stepped on, I’ve stepped upon, and often just stepped in it. The good news is, since most of my rough edges have been knocked off, I’ve learned a couple of things along the way.
The biggest mistake I ever made was selling myself short. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to morph in to somebody else – somebody approvable. I did a poor job of living up to the person other folks wanted me to be, or the one I thought they wanted.
I’ve tried to be quieter, thinner, softer, sweeter. I’ve put up, shut up, let up. No matter how hard I tried I still ended up the loud, sensitive, frizzy-haired chick with a big heart and thighs to match.
I would have been way ahead of the game early on if I’d put down my makeover list, worked with what I had, and developed my strengths – my humor, compassion, and ability to communicate. When I finally focused on that? My life turned around dramatically. I get it. I wasn’t real good at being some one else, but it turns out I’ve done a dandy job of just being me.
I highly recommend you enjoy today, and I encourage you to just be you! As Carly Simon sings: “Nobody Does it Better!”
There is great serendipity in mistake-making! Sometimes, mistakes and accidents turn out much better than some of the things we do on purpose. Like a typo you hadn’t intended that actually makes more sense than what you’d planned.
I have a friend that misread one of my promotional pieces where I talk about being a motivational speaker, a natural born-encourager, and an exhorter. She read that as “extorter”. Kind of changes the whole meaning. Extort comes from the root word “torture”. Well, having reread some of my writing, perhaps she’s on to something…
My point is, sometimes what we say and what we see may not always be correct but it may still be just right!
My niece was raised to enunciate words very clearly – in doing so she often puts the emphasis on the wrong syllable. I remember when she said she found something in her refrigerator she hadn’t expected and she was startled, only she hit the first syllable really hard. It came out START-ulled not start-ULLed .
At first I was going to correct her, but then I thought, “huh, seeing her favorite food in the fridge surprised her, it gave her a start – she probably was START-led.” And if you were to take a peek in my Kenmore Side by Side? Trust me, you’d be startled too!
So hear this: Everything that happens today may not go the way you had planned.
The universe may have cooked up a whole mess of surprise casserole for you.
Whatever happens today?
o You are MORE than equipped to handle o You will undoubtedly learn from o You’ll never forget – IF You choose to make it memorable!!
Have a blessed and memorable day -- Get Started, or Start-led!
I'd love to hear what starltes you? What mistakes made turned out better than your plans?
One of the features of the community I inhabit is “minimal maintenance”. That means most green, growing things, like grass, have been replaced by gravel. It’s everywhere. Our backyard is gravel on concrete.
Fortunately, gray goes with everything so we’ve brought in huge planters and stuffed them full of fuchsia oleanders and hot pink Roses of the Desert and Purple something-or-others that will thrive in their pots. Okay, maybe not thrive, how about stay alive.
In two years we've learned which plants have the temperament to withstand the incessant upwards-of-ninety degrees this climate provides. They do better than their gardener!
In these stifling climes “gardening” becomes an aerobic activity – you’ll break a sweat watering. You can’t let a day go by without tending to the flowers or the sun will burn them up in a day.
So last night, as I was moving the hose around the steamy cement, I marveled again at the revelation that the prettiest, lushest, most abundant flowers we have we never even planted.
You should see the periwinkles. Beautiful, purple, lavender, lilac vinca and they are everywhere – they grow in the gravel.
I should say, they FLOURISH in the gravel. Carried on the winds, nurtured by the rains, tenacious in the droughts - they were planted not by intention but by fate. No matter where they’d hoped to be, they landed where they were blown – adjusting to their circumstances and flowering like mad! --
I pray wherever you’ve been blown today you adjust, flourish, and flower like crazy!!
As my sister tells it, when we were 4 and 6 years old, our parents would have us stand up on the fireplace together and entertain our grandfather by belting out show tunes from Camelot, Sound of Music, My Fair Lady. I don’t remember this at all but she swears that I would beg to perform, shrieking: “Lemme! Lemme! Le-meeeeeeeee!"
Hmmm. Perhaps I still do.
I do cautiously admit that I’m a bit of a stage hog, and limelight is my favorite color. While I’m afraid of needles and I don’t think I have the guts to get a tattoo, “Drama Queen” does appeal to me. It’s taken me a long time to get comfortable with that.
No doubt, if you are my polar opposite, shy, and uncomfortable in groups or in the spotlight, just reading this is bringing on a bad case of hives or some minor hyperventilation. I have the same reaction when I think of being alone, or worse, ignored.
I am only starting to accept me for who I am, and I still wish I were quieter. But that’s not in the cards, nor my DNA. So I may not have a fireplace to sing from, but I’m going to sing show tunes at the top of my lungs until I get it right – as Dolly Levi might say -- before the parade passes by.
-- Here's hoping today finds, well, if not a song from your lips, a song in your heart. I'd love to hear what you're singing about today?
Long before that weird, media grabbing, attention seeking, celebrity-wannabe couple stalked and crashed that White House dinner, I went to a party uninvited, too.
I really wanted to go to my Senior Prom. It was less than a month away, and I didn’t have a date, when my big, serious crush of all crushes, my one-kiss wonder pseudo boyfriend who had been dating the same girl for two years came over to my house. I remember we were in the den, and we were standing, facing each other. He was staring at me, getting real emotional, and struggling for words when he finally got out, “uh, I was wondering, if you would go to the Prom with me?” (long pause).
Can you imagine how thrilled I was?
So, I said to my BIG SERIOUS CRUSH, “I’d love to go to the prom with you”. And he said: (wait for it) “That’s good to know.”
See, as he explained it, he wasn’t inviting, he was just wondering. He was just curious. Just checking to see if I would go. You know, like taking a poll or a survey.
Ow. Ow, ow, ow, yes that hurt. But did I mention I really, really wanted to go to Prom?
So, I did, along with a handful of other folks, “the un-asked”, one of which had a sailboat. The prom was held at a beautiful pavilion right on the southern California coast. My friends and I sailed right up and walked right in like we knew what we were doing.
Okay, yes, we were asked to leave, we were making a scene – but we also made a memory.
I learned a lesson that night. It’s stuck with me all these years later. You know, we don’t need to stand around and wait for life to invite us to participate. We can always jump right in. Or sail right up, for that matter.
Hey it’s always great to be invited but there’s no need to stand on ceremony, if you want to go somewhere, go! Make a move – heck, make a scene! Make a point, but make a memory.
I’d love to hear where you’re taking yourself today!
Before the humbling fairies came along and knocked it almost completely out of me, I was a pretty cocky chick.
In my youth I was "all that", knew everything, reeked of confidence, and as they say in today's vernacular, 'tude. Truth be told, I was a self-absorbed twerp.
I made my way up the corporate ladder quickly. I did what it took, if it meant stepping on another rung or another person, it really didn’t matter – onward and upward. I’m not real proud of my climb.
For years I have struggled to balance my desire to be a Godly, compassionate, serving woman with my need to be a powerhouse and force to be reckoned with. A hire wire act might be easier to master.
In penance for a life not so well lived, I gave away a lot of my power to others. I'd blown my chance at starlight and success. Better to stay in the shadows and let others have their day. Somewhere I confused gentleness with servitude.
An extremist, I see now I threw a lot of confident babies out with the egotist's bathwater and went from having a servant's heart to abject subservience; from Diva to Doormat.
Perhaps the balance I'm seeking lies not in compromise but in degrees of gentleness. It's okay and essential to carry some of that old swagger when I’m righting wrongs, tilting at windmills, battling my own dark-talkers. Strength is fine when its force is measured.
There is a quantum difference between self-assuredness and self-absorption. Quite the high wire act indeed. Better bring in the safety net!
I'd love to hear what tight rope you are walking on today?
I wanted to title this post: "I'll Cross That Bridge When I Come to it, As Long As You Are Driving Over It!"
See, I am just a tad bit gephryphohic. I was relieved when I ran across an article in USA Today that said I'm not alone, a lot of folks share the phobia. It’s comforting to know you aren’t crazy all by yourself.
The article pointed out that crossing a bridge creates such anxiety for the phobic that they fear the ensuing panic more than the bridge itself.
In my life, I don’t have any near-miss memories that would engender such illogical fear or anxiety. I don’t know what it stems from. Perhaps it’s another latent “control” issue, or the combo platter of heights and often water.
Whatever the “trigger”, I don’t like crossing them at all. They don’t have to be the world’s highest, like the Millau bridge in the picture. Little bridges are scary too. And it doesn't seem to matter whether I'm riding over as the driver or the passenger, scared is scared, but being alone is always worse.
I manage the white-knuckling by focusing on my goal – what lies on the other end of the span. I psych myself with all the great things waiting for me just on the other side.
I do the same thing when I have to cross those metaphoric bridges in life. I may not always look forward to the process but I hold a clear and positive image of the outcome. And then I cross. I cross.
That's all that matters, isn't it? Despite the anxiety, just cross. -- I’d love to hear what you are courageous enough to do today! What bridge are you willing to cross to get to the reward on the other side?
It seems to me I’ve enjoyed the most success and made the most personal progress when I’ve seemingly lost my mind! No, no, no! This isn’t about bungee jumping. I’m talking about uncalculated risk-taking and the willingness to change.
There’s a real benefit to youth – you don’t have the wisdom to know better and you are willing to try new things and take chances without thinking them all the way through. If you are young enough, you just don’t have a life experience data bank chock-full of “be careful, remember-what-happened-last-time, and other admonitions.
I went off to college with no money to speak of and a dream. I just sort of figured it would all work out. It never occurred to me that sometimes life didn’t.
When I first started out in the big world of corporate America I worked in downtown Los Angeles. That commute carried me through some really rough neighborhoods and I would walk a couple of blocks in a part of town known as skid row – frequented by … well, it wasn’t pretty. But see? I didn’t know any better. I wouldn’t dream of walking around alone somewhere like that today. Experience is a good teacher, unfortunately it often teaches fear.
I had only been in Dallas two days before I decided to uproot and move twelve hundred miles from California and start my life over. I liked the sky and how it went all the way down to the ground. My point is, I didn’t give it a lot of careful, measured thought to the decision. I had an impulse – some would say instinct – and I followed it. I have always gained the most when I've had nothing to lose.
Now that I am ever so much older and wiser I think I would never do some of the things I did, and frankly, THAT scares me to death. I don’t want to play my life so safe I end up missing the best parts just to avoid some of the scary ones.
Ooooooh Wheeeee! I think I’m getting my brave on!
I’d love to hear what you are feeling outrageously courageous about today!
I looked at my closet this week and realized it was time to move.
You know what I’m talking about. I’ve reached that instant of critical mass when it would be easier to abandon my life and start afresh than it would be to stick with it and sort it all out.
We were talking about my closet, right?
I envy fellow Braveheart blogger CAREN4U (I highly recommend her posts!). She’s been very candid in sharing her joys, angst and issues in moving from one coast to the other. And I am so envious of her opportunity.
For all the ills there are so many thrills to moving: the chance to look at new and different surroundings; being able to step back and access what to take and what to leave behind. New bath towels!
See, my point is, when you are amidst a change like relocating your body, your spirit gets some refreshment as well. Maybe that’s why it feels so good. You get rid of what’s old and tired and won’t work or fit in with the new place your going.
New homes just offer great clarity. It’s easy to see that the 6-piece entertainment center won’t work in the smaller living room. You know you have to lose the gargantuan coffee sectional and are secretly grateful because no matter what you paid for it you’d rather have a loveseat and you hate brown anyway.
Choices, changes, and chances. Exciting stuff!
Yep. Big moves prompt big changes. Sometimes, somebody else’s big move prompts changes of our own.
I’d love to hear what big choices, changes, or chances are in your world today!
You know how I’m always recommending that you try something new? Well I did! I tried eating a bowl of ice cream every night for the past couple of months. Hey, was it my fault the nice folks in Brenham came out with Century Sundae and Triple Caramel the very same month!?!
I actually thought I was getting away with it. I was walking every morning, Blue Bell-ing every night. Turns out my scales waited until the very last minute to let me know that ten pounds had snuck onto my frame.
Isn’t it funny how we can delude ourselves? “I’m not putting on weight, it’s the lighting”. “Man, these pants are tight, must be the salt!” Note to self: Don’t put the jeans in the dryer. You know the drill.
So now, I’m back to the dieting thing. I know what it takes. I’ve gained and lost weight so often just getting on and off the scales is like taking a step class!
I know the drill -- the recommitment to the task, the selection of methodology, the laser focus, the execution and discipline, and all the tedious steps involved with wrestling the will into submission. Here we go again!
Once the hunger pangs start, I know I'm on the road again. The arghe- hgiho-eksha-snnnuffs (well how would YOU type out the sounds my empty stomach makes?) tell me I’m in the zone, moving forward and making progress. Their tune reminds me stay at it and keep my eyes on the thighs, I mean prize.
While arghe-hgiho-eksha-snnnuff isn’t my favorite song, it reminds me of the one I hear whenever I’ve strayed and get back on the right path again. An anthem, a theme, a chorus, a melodious pat on that back reminding me we've been here before, we can do it again. Just because you slay a dragon once doesn’t mean it stays slayed.
Sometimes you have to keep slugging or slogging it out. Slay on, slay on! -- I’d love to hear what dragons you are wrestling or slaying this week. I’m all ears. Tee hee. They are the only part of me that hasn’t put on weight! --