Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Letting Go

My father-in-law passed away this last weekend, and as I was with him the week before I drove to Texas to visit family I watched him and the thought of "letting go" came to my mind.  We start as babies learning to let go.  We let go of our bottles (or breastfeeding), of diapers, we have to learn to let go of being with our mommies all of the time and some of us have to learn to let go of a pacifier or sucking a thumb.  We also have to learn to let go of our crib (or of sleeping in the bed with our parents) and move into a big bed. (There's alot of letting go for one so young!)  We let go of tricycles for bicycles with training wheels and eventually, we let go of the training wheels and learn to ride without help.

We let go of houses when we have to move, cars when they have served their purpose (or until we get bored with them) as well as bad habits when we grow tired of them affecting our lives in negative ways.  Sometimes we have to let go of friends when they move away, when they have taught us lessons we needed to learn from them or helped us at a time we needed it, or even when we have outgrown our friendships.   We also have to let go of our children when they grow up and move away, and then also have to learn to let go of our roles as the "mom" to all those younger children at home. (something I've had to learn to do)

Some things are easier to let go than others but I believe there is still a lesson in it.

As I stated earlier, my father-in-law passed away last Saturday, but before he died I watched him letting go of his independence, his golf game (years ago) and his wonderful ability to sing and play various instruments which brought joy to all of our lives.  (I believe he was also letting go of his wife of over 60 years and maybe saw that she would be okay with so much family to help her and take care of her.)

At the end (the last week of his life) he answered my brother-in-law's question to him about what he was thinking, "I'm thinking about winning the game", he said softly (his breathing was difficult),"but I think it's a lost cause."  He was "letting go" or in his words, "I think I need to concede the game."

This life is one big "letting go" of small things, physical things, emotional issues, and even at times, people.  My father-in-law let go of his physical, tired, worn-out heart and body to live again with our Father-in-Heaven (who he let go of in physical presence- but not in spirit- when  my father-in-law came to earth into his body and learning life lessons) as well as seeing those long, lost relatives who had gone on before him.

It is now his family's turn to let go of him for a while in order for us to continue our learning of letting go until our final letting go of this life when we will see him again free of all of our physical limitations with lessons learned.  He lived 88 wonderful years, had eight sons, twenty-nine grandchildren and approximately  thirty-six great grandchildren that continue to multiply.  He was as kind and gracious in his dying as he was in his living and he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Someday it will be my turn to let go of this earthly life; may I live as gracious and kindly as he did and die in the same manner.

                                           "As you walk down the fairway of life,
                                          you must smell the roses for you only get
                                               to play one round."-----Ben Hogan


Thursday, April 7, 2011

May I Have Another "Me", Please?

There's a movie (maybe made in the early 90's) titled, "Multiplicity"; that stars Michael Keaton and Andie MacDowell. The premise of the movie revolves around Keaton's character as the husband, father and construction contractor who does not have enough time in his day to take care of his business, his family, or in participating in activities that he loves.

Keaton's character meets someone with an answer to all of his problems: cloning himself! Of course, the procedure is experimental at that point, but Keaton's character is desperate! It is a funny movie, and I won't spoil it for you; I'll just say it gets very complicated!

This movie, or the premise of the movie, popped into my head last night as I was packing, making phone calls, and thinking about leaving (actually today) for one son's graduation from college, then to visit family in Southern Utah(saying goodbye to a wonderful Father-in-law who does not have much time left on this earth),and then on to Texas to visit family there.(my Husband and I are together until the "Texas" part of the trip)

Part of me (last night) was at home and frustrated trying to get things taken care of (I'll be gone awhile), while another part of me is with family and Father-in-law ( as well as Mother-
in-law),in Southern Utah, part of me is in three different places in Texas and the last particle of me is in California with one of our sons and his young family! I want a clone!
In fact,I think I'd like 2 clones of myself! (since in the movie, something "odd" happened after two!)

I watch families whose children marry and live in close proximity and wonder, "How does that happen? what kind of magic, fairy dust or magical potion do I need to concoct for that to happen?". In reality(or at least my reality), I think it is just part of life. I moved away from my parents when I married; we put thousands of miles on our vehicles traveling from Utah and Washington State to Texas for cherished visits and looked for phone plans with unlimited long distance.

I know there's a lesson in this; something to learn and maybe something to "create"; I do have a deep appreciation for every visit  I get, and as I am writing this, my husband and I are attempting to plan summer visits (fly or drive and who get the car?) around a wedding, the birth of another grandchild, watching another grandchild, and helping a sister decorate a new apartment (and who knows what else?). I have to laugh out loud and realize that I love every bit of it!

I still think the idea of having myself cloned one or two times sounds intriguing; just not sure that it is worth the risk!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Live Simply, Give More, Expect Less

I have a "sign" that I purchased while in Seattle with my friend about a month ago at the U District Goodwill (love that store!) which reads, "Live Simply, Give More, Expect Less".  I have it hanging in my hallway where I pass it a jillion (fun word!) times a day and I always read it as I'm walking past.  
Years (I mean at least 15 or so years) ago I purchased a little sign at a craft show which reads, "simplify" and obviously at that time in my life I was looking to maybe simplify my life a little with 5 children still at home with all of their various activities and loads of their friends at our house eating all of our food! (that was a great time in my life and I loved it!)  So, obviously, the word "simple" in all of its forms resonates with me.  I also have a book sitting right next to my keyboard titled, "Living the Simple Life" (great yard sale purchase!) ; it's a paperback book but it is 349 pages long!  How much can someone write about simplifying one's life?  

What do you think of when you hear the word "simplify" or "simply" or even simple?  
I think "less complicated" or even "living with one purpose in mind" and in living with one purpose, all of my "doings" would be aimed at living with that purpose.  (I have not read the book yet and I am sure there are all kinds of ideas I had not thought of  but am looking forward to exploring.) 

And what do I need to say about "giving more"?  I know in my life that I could be more giving, thinking more about others.  I am choosing to not feel guilty about this, but now that I am more aware I will be looking for more ways to be giving.  

I love the phrase, "Expect Less".  I remember a friend telling me about a therapy session in which the therapist told her to expect less; that she was always surprised when something did not happen that she was expecting to happen(not a good thing for her).  And in thinking about "expecting less"; it rather frees me from feeling disappointed when someone doesn't do what I had expected them to; it frees me to do my part without any expectations in return.(kind of like the 100/0 Principle I blogged about a while back).  

    How would our world be if we all lived by this saying:   "Live Simply, Give More, Expect Less" (and I think I only paid $5.00 for it; what a find!

                                  "Be absolutely determined to enjoy what you do."    
                                                                           ----Gerry Sikorski

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

To Be or Not to Be?

Something happened a few days ago that has caused me to question whether I should continue with Thought"full"ness, caused me to look at my motives for blogging, caused me to question the material I am using, and has caused me to search deeply within myself.  I remember watching Glenn Beck's conversion story (his conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); he talked about "Questioning with Boldness" (he quoted this from someone but I cannot remember who it originally came from).  I have not had reason to do this so much in my past,  it is not a comfortable feeling; however, I am looking at it as an opportunity for growth.  So until I feel like I really should stop blogging, I am going to continue on.  One of the things; however, that I do not have any questions about is who I am or what I believe in.    

In the Young Women Program in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the girls (ages 12-18) recite a theme each week(they stand and say it aloud and some even do it with boldness; could these be considered positive affirmations, yes I think so!):

      "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him.
       We will stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all
      places as we strive to  live the Young Women's Values which are: faith,
    divine nature, individual worth,knowledge, choice and accountability, good works,
    integrity, and virtue.  We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we
   will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants,
      receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation."
This theme (and everything taught in the Young Women program) teach these teenage girls who they are which lead to outward expressions (the "doing") of who they are.  This is really who we all are; if we believe we are children of a Father in Heaven, we have some heavenly DNA within us just as we have the DNA of our earthly parents and ancestors within us.  If we believe we are and have the capability of becoming like Jesus Christ (who followed His Father's teachings), our lives will be outward expressions of those amazing qualities within us (the "being).  And I believe that these amazing qualities we have not only show in spiritual matters but also in our physical, daily lives and the activities we pursue. 

"Often it feels that life is a struggle.  That is because the way you have been taught to live goes directly against the way the universe works.  Have you ever said something like this to yourself:  'I could really be a really great musician if I only had a recording contract?'  You may believe that you can't be something until you have the trappings that show that you are that something.  When you feel that you must have something before you can do something before you can be something, life becomes a struggle.  So much time is spent trying to have, you never get to be."--Dr. Ranae Johnson

 In a talk on Sunday (General Conference) given by Lynn G. Robbins(from the Quorum of the Seventy), he spoke on this very subject.  He quoted the Savior, "what manner of men ought ye to be?"  The Savior recognized the importance of "doing" but he saw "being" as a weightier matter.  The "being" leads to the "doing".  For example:  In spiritual matters, baptism is the "doing" while faith and repentance are the "being" which lead to the "doing".  On Sunday we partake of the Sacrament (the doing), but being worthy to partake is a much weightier matter.  Elder Robbins said, "Many of us create "to do" lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish, but we rarely have "to be" lists....why?  ....To be is not an event, it is a part of our character or our nature....Christ-like "to be's" cannot be seen, but they are the motivating force behind what we do."

I don't know about you, but I am tired of the struggle of trying to become when I already am.  The trick is to let go of the struggle, see myself as I am (or the qualities and attributes that are inside just waiting to come out), and move into that (the doing), in following a path that feels right and using gratitude and allowing all good things (abundance) to come to me.  

"There has never been another you.  With no effort on your part you were born to be something very special and set apart.  What you are going to do in appreciation of that gift is a decision only you can make."---Dan Zadra

Monday, April 4, 2011

Abundance and Gratitude

Happy Monday everyone!  It feels good to be starting a new week and letting go of anything negative from the past one.  This morning on facebook I saw a post from one of my fb friends which was such a happy post; so happy I almost gagged!  After I had that thought, I had to change it to 'what a great way to be'

This week I am going to tackle the fifth Life Skill Principle from the Rapid Eye model (created by Dr. Ranae Johnson) which is Abundance and Gratitude.  We have covered 1) Thought  2) Perception  3)Choice and Accountability and  4)Cause and Effect.   I love the principle of Abundance and Gratitude, (from the Life Skills Manual), "The Universe operates on the principle that you always receive in abundance what you believe in or want.  The law is in constant operation despite our level of understanding....To recognize abundance in your life, be willing to recognize that it is always available....Abundance is always focused into supporting your emotional state."  

I am working on removing blocks I have about lack of money (for myself).  My husband has a wonderful job and has always been a great supporter of our family which has allowed me, for the most part, to stay home with our children.  I have this "block" in my head which tells me that I have a "lack" of money to do some things I want to do such as enroll in some personal growth seminars or even go back to school(it's because I don't have a job that pays money right now).  I know as I continue to stay focused on my "lack" then what I will see is "lack".  (I am seeing a new affirmation to be added to my list!)

"Abundance is always focused into supporting your emotional state.  If you think negative thoughts, beliefs, or fears, the universe supplies you with experience in abundance to support them.  Begin to notice the abundance you have.  By noticing what you lack, you attract an abundance of scarcity."--Dr. Johnson   I do not know that because I am focusing on "there is enough money for everyone" that it will happen, but I can experiment with it.   I have known of this principle for several years now and have seen it work in my life for non-material things so why wouldn't it work in supplying me more money if my purpose in using it is for the betterment of myself which in turn will better my family and those around me?  (And here's the deal, I don't think the money will magically appear,  If I am believing that there is enough money for everyone then chances are that I will find a flexible job or make a flexible job for myself in order to earn the money.)

All of these Life Skills work together; they are all connected.  Our thoughts are the origins of our feelings,  which lead to our perceptions,  which lead to our choices (and we are held accountable for those),  which bring results into our lives (the law of attraction or Cause and Effect).  Last week I created my vision board and started watching the "mind movies" (the one on spirituality) and believe that as I continue to focus on what I want;  I will receive more of that, and as I see more of what I am focusing on I will have gratitude, and then see even more (and I believe everything I put on my vision board is in alignment with what Heavenly Father would want me to have as well). 

Blogging about Abundance and Gratitude is kind of like blogging about which came first:  the chicken or the egg?   My simple understanding of this principle (the first part of it) is that the more we are grateful for, the more we will see what we are grateful for, and the more we see in our lives, the more we will be grateful for!    So which comes first? 

"The moment you commit and quit holding back, all sorts of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance will rise up to help you.  The simple act of commitment is a powerful magnet for  help."----Napoleon Hill

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Just a few thoughts....

 Today was the last day of General Conference in which I loved hearing the talks given by General Authorities of the Church and our Prophet, Thomas, S. Monson.  Indeed, my cup is overflowing with gratitude for my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ and in His Atoning Sacrifice for us all; that he lives and loves us.

After the morning session of Conference (we are blessed enough to have BYUTV and can watch at home in our "jammies" in front of the television set) a program came on titled, "Turning Point".  There were a few subjects, the first being the story of a couple who have adopted 21 children who would have, otherwise, probably died in their situations.  The second subject focused on several different children who were handicapped either through birth or something that occurred a little later, but these children were severely handicapped.  It broke my heart to watch the children, and their parents; although dealing with difficult situations, believed that their children were capable of thinking; that they just could not convey to the world because of their bodies, what they were thinking.

There has been a breakthrough in technology whereby electrical patches(which are wired to the computer) are attached(with adhesive) around the eyes and held on with surgical tape.  These children are now able to convey that they "know" things and are "smarter" than their physicians knew, by using their eyes and looking at the right answer (the mouse moves the cursor where they are looking) or "shooting" down an alien (a game).  In fact, one of these children were allowed to go to school starting in the 6th grade and then graduated (he had not been allowed to attend this school until the Superintendent saw him use the technology).  By the way, the new technology is called "Eagle Eye", and the inventor had no idea when he came up with this that it would be so life-changing for handicapped children and their families or himself, for that matter!

So I was thinking how these children's minds were trapped in their bodies with no way to express themselves until the Eagle Eye technology had been invented.  It must be so frustrating (and so sad).  We in some ways are like these children (to a much less degree); our spirits are housed in our physical bodies ; I wonder if it's difficult for our spirits sometimes, feeling like they are not recognized, heard or understood?  And then I was wondering what our "eagle eye" might be;  what could we use in order to recognize our spirits and to feed them.   I know that when I read from the scriptures and heed what they tell me (and even liken them or apply them to my life), my life is better for it.  (I've heard a saying that goes something like, we use prayer to communicate with God and He uses his scriptures to answer us.)

We have a loving Heavenly Father who is the Father of our spirits who wants us to feel joy (and how can our spirits be fed fully without joy?)  We find many places in the scriptures that speak of "joy"; In Psalms 35:9 "And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.", 118:24 "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.",  John 16: 20 "...but your sorrow shall be turned into joy."  2 Nephi 2:25 (Book of Mormon) "...men are that they might have joy."  (there are numerous listings for "joy" in the scriptures).  

For me, I know that my spirit is being heard and recognized when I feel peace and/or joy; it's a "full" feeling, one of gratitude.  We are on this wonderful earth to gain experiences and to show our Father in Heaven that we want to be obedient and to do the best we can (with His help), and through the Atonement of his Son we can return to live again with Him.  It is a life-long pursuit and one that we can all joyfully undertake.  

 " Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard."  2 Nephi 4:16

(I'm not sure all of this makes sense on paper, or written down; I really wanted to try to communicate the analogy and hope it made sense)  Feel free to add your ideas or thoughts; I'd really appreciate any input.

Friday, April 1, 2011

She Designed a Life She Loved

                           "The world is but canvas to our imaginations."--Henry David Thoreau

I have a greeting card hanging on the bulletin board right next to my computer that I read 'I don't know how many times a day'; It reads, "She designed a life she loved." and the brand is She...She must be something special.  She is...Celebrate her.  I love the message this card evokes; it "speaks" to me.


This week I've been blogging about Cause and Effect or what we think, speak, and do returns to us, and I love ending this subject with designing a life I love!  That thought actually invokes the feeling of excitement and anticipation, almost like when I was a child on Christmas Eve!  Because, in reality, who wouldn't want to choose their life?  

In a small paperback book titled, The Power of the Spoken Word, which compiles teachings of Florence Scovel Shinn (1945!) is written, "You can never do a thing you cannot see yourself doing, or fill a place you cannot see yourself filling-not visualizing, making a mental picture (this is a mental process and often brings wrong and limited results); it must be a spiritual realization, a feeling that you are already there...."  I think she is speaking of seeing it and having faith that what you are seeing can happen.    She also says, " Why not experiment with faith; trust this invisible God-Power and "In nothing be anxious." but 'In everything by prayer and thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.'  Could anything be more simple or direct?"

At the beginning of the week I committed to putting together another vision board; I have one that creates how to live the Gospel daily in my life, but I wanted one that encompassed the other parts of my physical world as well.  Well, I did it!  Thought"full"ness is keeping me accountable and I am loving it!  I grabbed some magazines I have laying around and proceeded to look through them for things that resonate with me; things that I want to bring into my life and/or make even better that are already in my life.  It took a little while( I am still keeping a look out for a photo of a nice camera and/or an editing program) and this time instead of gluing the pictures and phrases (I think I cut out more phrases than pictures), I found a nice black framed bulletin board laying around the house to thumbtack the cut-outs with(this way I can add and move them around). 

As I was looking through the magazines (I was more or less scanning since I am, once again, running behind in my day; one of my cut-outs is a clock with a saying over the top of it about being aware of the usage of my time) I noticed quite a few articles about creating better circumstances in our lives.  One of them even wrote about how to make our regular routines more desirable!  The more we focus on things, the more of what we are focusing on will appear!  (I am now wanting to sit and read through  my old magazines; I am sure there are some great ideas that I can hopefully absord.)  As much as I would love to sit and read and take notes all afternoon, I still have to remember that I have a responsibility to my physical home!  My affirmation for that is, "I am easily moving through my home, cleaning and creating a place that my husband and I love to be."  (I will set a timer in each room and move quickly and most likely with  my music blaring!)
I invite you to join me on this journey of "designing my life" (but designing your life unless you have some great suggestions on what I can add to mine!*S*).   How would you design yours and how does it make you feel to know you have that possibility?  

                   "Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling."
                                                                                        -----Margaret Lee Runbeck