Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Behind-the-Steering-Wheel Lesson

In September I wanted to help my daughter-in-law out by accompanying her to Spokane where she had an appointment with an pediatric optician for one of the twins.  She needed help to watch the other twin while she was in with the doctor; I drove separately from them since she was going to go visit her parents after the appointment.  She wanted me to take the lead so I was driving ahead of her.

I usually push the speed limit a bit but as I looked in the rear view mirror, she was quite a ways behind so I slowed down a bit since I didn't want to leave her behind.  It was a 2 1/2 hour drive to Spokane and I felt like I was dragging us along and it was a little frustrating but I was just going with it and trying to just enjoy my driving music. 

When we were getting closer to our destination  I had slowed down quite a bit to accommodate her and she passed me going more the speed I would have been normally driving.  We pulled in to a McDonald's to eat a quick bite before her appointment and she commented that she thought I was a faster driver!  I was driving too slow for her, even, but she apparently liked to follow a ways back without driving too close!  Well, I guess some communication would have been a good thing before we left the house!

This was one of my aha moments.  When I'm behind the steering wheel I do a lot of thinking so on the way home I was able to see  the lesson in our almost- late- to- the- appointment experience. 

I think I am a people-pleaser; not something I really ever thought I was, but in looking back on so many of my experiences with others( including this experience) has taught me that I really am!  I don't like to admit to this; I'd rather think of myself as an independent thinker and doer, but maybe being raised in the South with manners being a huge part of my upbringing has added to this trait that I'm not proud of.  Now, mind you, I am happy to have good manners (it's important to me) and I want my family as well as others around me to be happy, but I want to find a way that I can be myself.

When I'm in the people-pleasing mode I feel lost and unsure of myself; I feel wishy-washy and cannot make a choice to save my life!  That's not someone I want to be at all.  I need to see good manners differently and separately from being myself; I think I am good manners, but that's different than trying to please everyone because I know I cannot please everyone!  I've tried it and it's not possible, and if I please everyone else there's a good chance that I'm not very happy either. 

The other evening at a football game where I attended with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law to watch their son play, my son (who was there with his wife) commented to my sister-in-law (after I had left to help my mother-in-law get to bed) that I complicated things.  My sister-in-law, who was very wise, told him that I complicated things because I try to please everyone.  I don't think I had ever thought of it that way, but she said it perfectly! 

Sometimes I think I'm a mess, but I'm grateful that I have the tools to clear some of these issues and move forward.  For some reason, being away from home and the day-to-day details has left me open to learn some things about myself that I in my ostrich moments would rather not, but I know it's all for the best. 

Have any of you experienced some of these same issues and how do you overcome them in a practical way? 

                                                                                

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I Want to Have Lived All of It

As I make this entry on Thought"full"ness, I am sitting at my Mother-in-Law's kitchen bar with her sitting in her recliner eating some Kraft macaroni and cheese; something she would not have done in her younger days; she would have made it from scratch and she was a great cook!  She is now almost 91 years old and I use the word "almost" 91 instead of 90 because I think when you reach that age you deserve every second  that you have earned! 

I am staying with her until Thanksgiving; at least that is the plan for now since plans can change at any moment.  I stayed with her last year for 3 weeks when she was recovering from bronchitis, but it was a different experience.  She needed someone here to help her while she got some of her strength back, but now I do not think her energy or her stamina will return.  Her body is tired and she says she is "done".

My Father-in-Law passed away April 16th, 2012 and my Mother-in-Law has wanted to remain in her home and so far that's been possible.  She has someone coming in 5 days a week for a few hours each day to help her get her day started with dressing and eating that also gives her some company for a few hours. After that care-giver leaves my Mother -in-law is left to lay or sit on the couch until someone comes and helps her up; she can no longer get up by herself. 

My brother and sister-in-law live only a street away and have done a wonderful job at being her main care-givers (as well as caring for my Father-in-law before he passed away) and my husband and I do what we can to help them out (we live 14 hours away by car); it's a heavy load to carry even when you love someone and are happy to help them out.(I have to add the other 5 brothers do what they can as well since they don't live close either)  I am the one nominated to come down since my husband is not retirement age yet.  I love being here; it's a larger city than I live in and I am able to see my brother and sister-in-law and their kids plus my youngest son and his wife live only 20 minutes away.

 I find myself feeling differently about my time here than I had thought I would.  Instead of feeling free to run to the store or have lunch out or do a little shopping I feel a little more constrained to be here more often; especially since my MIL cannot get up off the couch by herself to go to the bathroom, and that thought frightens her.  I feel a little more sad this time because in reality, this could be my last visit to her home.

I started this entry last evening and today I am sitting at the bar with the Bose system on the PBS station playing classical music very loudly!  (Her hearing is not good even with hearing aids)

Being here is forcing me to contemplate my own mortality and aging.  I am only 54, but I know that we will all go through this unless we die earlier from disease or accident.  I have told my husband or kids to just shoot me if I ever get to the point where I can no longer take care of myself!  (of course, I don't really mean to literally shoot me, but you get the jest!)

What a helpless feeling it must be to lose your independence. I feel helpless if I do not have my own car for transportation!  I like my independence!  Maybe losing one's independence is a lesson that some of us will have to learn, and a lesson that some of us on the giving end learn as well. It is a humbling feeling to have someone depending on your for their very existence.

As parents, we do that for our children; we are their lifeline to the world, to learning and surviving their first few years as they learn to function and take care of themselves.  That; however, feels different than being depended on by an aging parent.  Taking care of and helping our children to grow from babies to independent people feels rather exciting and worthwhile.  Looking into the eyes of an aging parent (or I imagine the eyes of any helpless individual) while you help them up when they can't do it themselves, help push them into bed when they no longer can just hop up (i'm so grateful for humor in those situations) or know they're depending on you to help them out of the bathroom when they can no longer do that for themselves is extremely humbling and a little sad at the same time.

I know there are a multitude of articles written on this subject and many, many individuals go through this so I am not attempting to be precise in my thoughts on this subject (nor am I an expert).  Maybe I am just trying to figure out my feelings and thoughts as I put them out into the universe for anyone who may read this and interpret these words from their own perspective.

But may I just say?  Aging is not for the weak or coward?

 And before I close, I have one more thought to add.  When I come to the point in my life where my Mother-in-law is, I want to feel that my life was not wasted but that it was filled with love and joy.  I hope to know that I made a difference and added hope and happiness and possibilities to those I knew and loved.    Maybe we should all start acting like we are at the end of our lives?  Maybe then we would put the really important things first and let the less important things fade away? 


Monday, July 22, 2013

What are Your Perceptions and are They Getting in Your Way?




 Yesterday, while driving to Church I learned a few lessons from one incident. ( I posted quite a while ago about my pet peeve of people pulling out in front of me (while driving) and the insight I had from that experience at Rapid Eye Certification.)
    Well, yesterday on the way to Church I had a little red toyota pickup truck pull out RIGHT in front of me, with no other traffic behind me.  I had my ipod tuned to a song about Being the Light when this happened and I was in a good mood!  My first thought was, "unbelievable" and then I smiled and laughed because I was not going to let the other driver bother me or change my mood; however, I didn't slow down very  much and was relatively close to the truck in front of me for a second until he sped up to the speed limit. 
    Then something interesting happened: he slowed down to almost a stop.  I was confused for a second until he flipped me off; then I realized that he probably saw me laughing and thought I was laughing at him!  He was probably also not happy that I didn't brake more than I did. 
   The funny thing is that I wasn't laughing at him; I was laughing and singing along to the happy song; I guess I wasn't perceived as sharing the light? 
   As in most every experience I have, I like to find a lesson in it.  The first insight I had was a reminder that our perceptions are frequently not accurate, but my next insight and lesson was very personal. 
   I was listening to the song about sharing the light and feeling happy but didn't think to extend kindness to someone who obviously needed it.  I am a little ashamed that I didn't brake more and give that driver a break because who knows why he pulled right out in front of me?  He could have been having a bad day, was in a hurry to get somewhere, a family emergency, or whatever. 
   It's funny how such a simple thing as being bothered by something so trivial can bring about such great insights;  maybe that's because I can always learn ways to be a better person and improve myself.  Whatever the reasons, I am grateful. 



                                                   The Light, by April Merservy


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happiness Fridays - Images

                                  New Happiness Friday post at Thoughtfullness by Sharon

                                                    www.thoughtfullnessbysharon.com  


                                                                  Happy Friday!

A Result of Comparing Myself and my Happiness

 New blog post at Thoughtfullness by Sharon
  www.thoughtfullnessbysharon.com

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happiness Fridays - Comparing Ourselves With Others


                                   New Happiness Fridays post at ThoughtfullnessbySharon
                                                        www.thoughtfullnessbysharon.com

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ramblings



So, I have not blogged for over a week and I missed my weekly Happiness Friday posting, but in all fairness to me, I was traveling on Friday from Texas back to Washington State and it was a full day of airport layovers and long flights.  I did; however, miss it.  I have been thinking about posting my Happiness Friday a few days late but have not felt very inspired.  Maybe it's the time change?  Or  maybe it's missing my family?  Or maybe it's a lack of organized thoughts?  Who knows, but I just feel like writing something right now so please bear with me.  I really have no idea what will be coming out of my head in the next few minutes!
                                                      Today while out with a friend and running errands I opened up my e-mail on my phone and saw another Truthbomb from Danielle Laporte.  The question was, "What do you really want to happen, really?"  That's a loaded question since there is more than one thing I would love to see happen.

I have blogged in the past about what I want and I still want those things.  Lately I have been trying to figure out how to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life; I am not getting any younger!  This morning the thought occurred to me that maybe I am thinking too much of what I want rather what I could be doing for others?   I know there are opportunities I could be taking daily to do something for someone else other than myself.

I have one more thing I would like to ramble a little about.  I was in the kitchen a few minutes ago wiping my cabinet door (I saw a little dirty streak) when I caught sight of the bottom of the cabinet door that I stupidly sat a candle under a few years ago around Christmas time.  It's bubbled a little and I remember how panicked I was when one of my "adopted" sons yelled out from the kitchen, "Mama B" your candle is burning your cabinet door!  I have not seen that man in a while now and do not know when I will see him again; I let myself feel sad for a minute.

I now have to get up and change sheets on a bed for my son and his family who will be here in about an hour and a half!  I miss those twin baby girls as well as seeing my son and daughter-in-law.

What can I say?  It has been a kind of rambling day for me, but as I was out and about in my small town I enjoyed the beauty of Springtime which is obvious with all of the blossoming trees and flowers.

How has your day been?  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Happiness Fridays - How Do You Remain Happy?

New Happiness Friday post at www.thoughtfullnessbysharon.com  Please join me and have a Happy week!

Fear of Failure is Not an Option, is it?

I have talked about fear in the past and about not giving in to it but going through it and coming out on the other side a better person.  I am feeling that fear now and am fearful of failing. 

I have chosen to make a change to my blog location.  My son, who I visited for a week and a half, is a whiz at web design.  He has talked to me a few times about switching my blog over to word press because it has a more professional look and he thinks it's better. 

On Easter Sunday Google, who owns blogspot and a million lots of other sites as well, chose to honor Cesar Chavez's birthday.  I'm not opposed to someone not celebrating a religious holiday, but in our country that was founded on "God we trust" when a company blatantly chooses to honor someone who represents something opposite of what our Country was founded on, that bothers me. 

I may be a little rebellious, but that's what it took for my son to convince me to make the change.

Now I am feeling fearful; hoping that I will not lose readers or followers.  I know that things usually work out well, but the fear is still there. 

So, this will be my last post on blogspot.  I am not closing my blog down at the moment; I am not sure I can do that without my son's help.  I have worked on my blog for longer than anything else and have not totally given up on the idea of writing; I would hate for the change to be the end of me. 

As I write this post, I can feel the emotion well up inside with a few tears just short of falling.  That is what fear feels like to me!  How about you?  How does fear feel to you? 

I am taking a deep breath and pushing through.  Hopefully coming out on the other side will feel amazing and continue to feel happy as I continue to explore topics and look for ways to continue to be happy and fulfilled.. 

I am asking if you would still follow me?  If you'll change my link in your blog?  I still have much to explore and learn and would love it if you'd come along with me!  I will still continue to follow blogs on my list and I have had my son add them to my new blog at www.thoughtfullnessbysharon.com .

Thank you for your support so far and I hope to see you again! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Quick Note and a Reflection

I have a quick thought to post today; I don't have a schedule with being out of town, but I have a minute so I"d like to make a note:

I was riding in the car with  my son and his family today, running errands and having lunch.  As I looked down at my hand laying on the arm rest I noticed that it looked just like my Mom's hand!  I know there are quotes and comical observations about becoming our Mothers and seeing our Mothers in the mirror as well as our Mom's voices coming out of our mouths (I have had that happen while raising my children), but for some reason seeing my Mother's hand today made me think.

When we are younger we do not value our Moms as much (well, maybe that's a teenage thing); however, as I get older I have observed my Mom and the things she's gone through in her life as she was a child and the sacrifices she has made for me and my family all of these years. 

I will get to visit my Mom and Dad next this week and am looking forward to it!  When I was younger and had seen my Mom's hand while looking at mine I may not have loved the idea, but now as I see her hand in mine I am honored.  I can only hope that my daughter feels the same about me as she gets older. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happiness Fridays- What are Your Happy Thoughts?

This week I am in Dallas at my oldest son's family's home.  They had their fourth baby on Monday and my husband and I flew here from meeting our 10th grandchild in California.  It's a little more difficult for me to blog being away from home and finding the time; I don't like taking my attention away from family since I'm not around them more than a few times a year.  Being a long distance grandparent has its challenges.

Still, even while I'm not in the most perfect writing condiditons, I continually think about the subject of happiness and my Friday blog post that I have committed to.  I know that not everyone of you who read this are waiting for it on pins and needles, but it is good for me to practice being consistent.

This week, still being without Dennis Prager's book, I have been wondering what aspect of happiness to cover in today's post.  I have thought about the definition of happiness; since in the book Happiness is a Serious Problem, it is not covered.  Dennis Prager chooses to not define happiness.  I actually looked it up in the dictionary this morning and the definition is intermingled with the definition of joy.

Today, maybe we could explore things that add to our happiness?  I know that being happy does not always come easily; sometimes we have days that we need to control our thoughts to maintain our happy feelings, but there are some days and some moments that add to our happy thoughts.

So, what are experiences or people that contribute to your happy thoughts?  I'll list a few of mine and maybe this is a subject you might want to explore, especially on days that we need to search for happy thoughts.

Yesterday my husband and I took 2 of our grandsons (6 and 8 years old) bowling.  I love our grandbabies but it's a whole new experience as they grow older and are able to participate in more adult activities.  That's a happy experience for me.  Holding a new grandchild is a happy experience, being in the city is a happy experience for me (there is something about the hustle and bustle and then  at nighttime, there are so many lights!), being at the beach, having meaningful conversations, being outside just before the sun is going down, thinking about doing fun things with my children as they were growing up, and traveling are some things that make up my happy thoughts.  Aren't happy thoughts what helped Peter Pan to fly?

So, what are some of your happy thoughts that help you to fly on days that your wings just cannot seem to catch the wind?  It is good to remember them, write them down and store them up for a rainy day, but today the sun is shining and the moments that are contributing to my happy thoughts are flooding in.

Happy Friday everyone!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happiness Fridays: Living in the Middle?

This Friday, I am out of town visiting my son,his wife, their 3 year old and their 3 week old baby girl!  I love Southern California; everything you'd ever want is here!  But while I am out of town, I am still wanting to blog, even if I am only able to post on Fridays.

A few weeks ago I heard Dennis Prager talking during his "Happiness Hour"; he mentioned that if you think in the middle, you live in the middle; I've been pondering about that since I heard it. 
What does living in the middle mean to you?  For me, I think I've been living in the middle and at times, have lived in the bottom, but I also believe that I've been thinking middle and sometimes bottom thoughts. At the time I was at the bottom, I wasn't aware how thoughts determined my feelings.

I've been listening to a podcast by David Wood called, "The Kick-A** Life".  I am not a fan of the "A" word, but the title describes the kind of life that David Wood is talking about.  We all have to determine what living a life like that entails.  His life is full of adventure, travel, speaking engagements and meeting all kinds of amazing people on a grand scale. (He interviews people with different interests and occupations as well as just speaks on different subjects that are near and dear to him and his life). 

The other evening as he was closing one of his podcasts he was talking about saying "yes".  I love that idea because at times in my life I believe I've said "no" out of habit.  As I have been open to saying yes I've done a few things that I normally wouldn't do.  The other day we went to the Orange County Zoo;a cute little zoo with a cute little price of admission, petting zoo included.  The peacocks were out in mass that day and we saw a few with their tail feathers open; not something I commonly see.  As we were leaving my 3 year old grandson wanted to touch a peacock; there was one out next to the parking lot.  I would have normally said, "let's just go" but instead this time I said, "let's go!" and we ran toward the peacock trying to let Hunter touch it.  They look alot slower from a distance than when you're up close and personal!  We didn't have success in touching it but it was fun!  Then yesterday, I was fortunate enough to say yes to going to the Reagan Library; what an experience that was for me! 

Maybe my life looks "kick-a**" as I say yes to more things and enjoy living more?

As for Dennis Prager's observation of middle thinking producing middle living, I say live where you're comfortable and if you're not loving your life then maybe it's time to change your thoughts and maybe say yes to more opportunities! 

Happy Friday everyone! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Visit to the Reagan Library

I was very fortunate to be able to visit the Reagan Library yesterday along with my daughter-in-law, Cyndi (along with Alice, her new baby) and Cyndi's Mom, Claudia.  Claudia has a friend at the library who was able to give us free passes.  We went because the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives is on display.  (Cyndi is a huge Disney fan).  The Disney display was amazing and so much fun to see, but I absolutely loved the Ronald Reagan museum!

I've heard what a great President, Ronald Reagan was, but I didn't really pay that much attention to his Presidency while he was in office.  I was a young mother of 4 children at the time and my time was spent taking care of my family.  I have in the past several years started to pay more attention to our Government and am not so happy about what's happening.  (That's a subject for another blog post)

Looking at Ronald Reagan's life, his character and the kind of President he was, amazed me!  He definitely lived a life of integrity, valuing the human life and our great Country.  He took his job seriously, but didn't take himself so seriously; he certainly had a sense of humor (even when he was shot he had a sense of humor). 

 I took lots of pictures but wish I had gotten one of a book that he kept quotes in.  It had a display of its own filled with handwritten index cards and notes of paper with quotes that influenced his life. 

If you ever get a chance to tour the Reagan Library I highly recommend it!  It takes more time than you think it will; we thought we'd be there for a few hours; we arrived around 12:30 and left around 5:30, and we didn't stop and look closely at some of the displays!  Oh, and Air Force One is there as well!  I wasn't allowed to take photos inside and I wasn't brave enough to snap a photo illegally; there were so many docents around that I just knew as soon as I put my camera to my eye that one would pop around the corner! 

I wish I had more photos, I do not know what I was thinking by not taking more!  I did also take some on my iphone which I wasn't able to download to my husband's laptop this morning so I'll have to do without those for this blog post. 

Cyndi at her inauguration!


Reagan had a sense of humor even as someone tried to take his life.

A reproduction of the Oval Office

There were jelly beans everywhere!

A Beautiful painting of Nancy Reagan

Air Force One


I can fly!

Reagan's Limo

The photo of George W. Bush speaking at Ronald Reagan's Funeral.


a piece of the Berlin wall

 A Beautiful view from the Library.
"I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph and there is purpose and worth to each and every life".  Ronald Reagan
Cyndi and her mom, Claudia

Friday, March 15, 2013

Unhappiness is Easy---Happiness Takes Work

In week two of Happiness Fridays, out of the book, Happiness is a Serious Problem,
Dennis Prager writes, "I was raised never to take the easy way out.  The easy way is very often the wrong way.......One day the thought occurred to me that being unhappy was easy---in fact, the easy way out--and that it took no courage, effort, or greatness to be unhappy.  Anyone could be unhappy.  True achievement, I realized at an early age, lay in struggling to be happy."

I've experienced the easiness of being unhappy as opposed to the work it takes to be happy.   I've had days that I've let my emotions be ruled by circumstances, people or events, and the fact is that living that way did not make me happy and even now when I let myself be ruled by outer circumstances I feel more uncertain than happy.  

From the book, "The notion that happiness must be constantly worked at comes as news--disconcerting news--to many people.  They assume happiness is a feeling and that this feeling comes as a result of good things that happen to them.  We therefore have little control over how happy we are, the thinking goes, because we can control neither how we feel nor what happens to us."  "  For some reason, that's what I picked up in my growing up years, although I don't think my parents lived their lives that way; I just think I didn't pay that much attention.  I don't think I'd really given it much thought until I went through Rapid Eye Certification classes and began to read and expand my mind.

And lastly, "This book is predicated on the opposite premise:  Happiness is largely, though certainly not entirely, determined by us--through hard work (most particularly by controlling our nature (and through attaining wisdom (i.e., developing attitudes that enable us not to despair)."

 In the coming week let's remember as we have challenges that being happy takes work.  It's almost more enticing to me to take it on as a challenge rather than as something hard.  Whatever works in your mind is what works for you.

"Everything worthwhile in life is attained through hard work.  Happiness is not an exception."      --- Dennis Prager


Thursday, March 14, 2013

And This is Why We Practice

Today I am packing supposed to be packing for our trip to California to meet our newest baby granddaughter, Alice!  We leave early in the morning, but what I'd really love to do is to relax and write and read; you get the picture.  (are there professional packers who could just whip it all in a suitcase for me including carry-on?)

Yesterday I went back to my hair stylist for a fix to put more light golden blondes in my hair since the original appointment wasn't a big success on Monday.  Needless to say, my hair has more golds in it but it's not very light (did I say insane?).  I allowed that disappointment along with the disappointment in myself for the horrible eating I've done lately and then my husband did something that irritated me and then someone dropped by for an appointment that I wasn't expecting until tonight which I was going to cancel and by that time  I was so irritated!  I saw it all coming when I started feeling irritated after my appointment and I could have changed my thoughts to stop it, but I didn't.  (Sometimes I think I like to have that feeling; the payoff is me not having to do anything but relax all by myself)

I noticed, as I was having these feelings, that I haven't felt this way in a while or at least not nearly as often as I have had in the past.  That's a good thing.

This morning in my junk folder was another one of Danielle LaPorte's articles:  
You will be called on to expand.  And this is why we practice.
It's a great article, and I'd like to share just a small part of it.

"You don't need to forgive until you need to forgive.   You don't need nerves of steel until you need nerves of steel.   You don't need to call on your reserves of compassion , or fortitude, or faith until you've used up everything else."  This is why we practice.  This why, that even when life is ambling along nicely and there's food in our spiritual cupboard, we still make sure that we get to yoga, or the reading group, or Sunday services.  When we're healthy and happy we make sure to dance, we hit the court, we pick up the phone to check in, we drop by with something in hand......Because the day will most certainly come, as it does whether you are a whole-hearted lover or in denial of grace, that you will be struck down or ground down by life.  It can come in tiny tearing heartbreaks five times a day, just walking through your neighbourhood.  It could come in the name of tragedy that could only happen once in a lifetime.  And you will need to withdraw the insights that you put into your heart's escrow."

As I have thought about how I have improved lately (not perfect but better) I think I've been practicing.  Practicing my thoughts, focusing on tasks at hand and focusing on being happy.  I have not had anything horrible happen in order for me to really show what I've been practicing, and I am grateful for that.  My small irritants are hopefully helping me practice for larger events that hopefully will never come, but this is life and none of us escape unscathed. I will keep in mind my failed practice yesterday and hopefully be better at staying in charge of my thoughts and feelings as I have experiences that could throw me off course.

So today, let's all practice thinking good thoughts and being present in our day along with feeling some gratitude for whatever our circumstances are.

You will be interrupted.
You will be called on to expand.
You will be asked who you are and why you are here.

This is why we practice.

Will we be ready?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's Okay to "Go for It"

I need to post this quick thought before I need to go to sleep or my mind will certainly not turn off!

Tonight while watching The Carrie Diaries (I know, it's more of a teenage show, but it's entertaining and something light that I enjoy watching) I resonated with something I heard.  At the end of the show, Carrie's Dad told her to "go for your dreams". 

That phrase really hit me.  What if someone close to me said that to me?  What if my husband said to me, "Sharon, go for your dreams"?  Words are powerful. 

Why would those words not have the same effect if I said them to myself while looking in the mirror?  Maybe hearing those words coming from someone else gives me validation and permission? 

As I'm writing this, I'm thinking that I shouldn't need validation and approval from anyone; giving myself permission should be enough, right? 

I saw a quote last week that went something like, "When you speak your dreams to those around you, you'll get support from them".  That's probably true.  When we say our intentions out loud and our friends and those close to us know what we're thinking they'll most likely be supportive. 

I think I need to tell you and me that it's okay to go for our dreams. My dream life (outside of my family) would be to help people using some kind of energy healing modality like EFT (tapping) or biofeedback as well as to pursue a photography business.  (There, I've put it out into the universe for support)

 If there are obstacles stopping us, can't we find a way to remove those?  So, if you're kind of floundering in knowing that you should go for something whether it's a great job or a different career or even to start a business or learn a new skill, I say to you (and me), "Go for it"! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Definition of Insanity

Today I was so happy to have a hair appointment; my hair was in extreme need of new color to cover the gray coming out of the roots as well to add some more blonde highlights.  I really like my hair stylist; she does a great cut and her prices are really good, but I haven't had great luck with her as far as color goes. 

Almost a year ago I had to find a new hairstylist (the one I'm using now).  My dear friend who was also my hair stylist moved away.  Do you know how difficult it is to find a hair stylist?  It's about as difficult, if not more, than finding a new doctor!  Hair is important!

I have tried about four times with this new girl to get a great color with not alot of success....yet.
After the last time ending up with darker, ashy tones  in my hair that  I washed out using bleach powder and shampoo, I swore I'd never go back, but once again I went.

I really do like her; she's really nice and I love the way she cuts my hair and who am I going to switch to?  I've already tried another hair stylist before switching to the one I'm using now! 

What's the definition of insanity?  It's doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  I see this definition in other areas of my life as well, but today I'm not thrilled that my hair doesn't look like I want it to; good news is that my hair stylist noticed it this time and told me to come back if I'd like more highlights added in! 

Thank you!  I called this afternoon and am waiting a call back to tell me when to show up.  Maybe the sixth time is a charm?

I think I'll be taking a good look at the other insane things I do expecting to get better results.

Do you have insanity happening in your life? 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happiness Fridays - Happiness is a Moral Obligation

So, this is week two of my new Happiness Fridays.  It's nice to have a constant in my life; something to look forward to and think about all week.  I know last Friday I named this day, Happy Fridays, but after looking at my past blog posts I noticed that I had a post titled Happy Friday so I'm changing it to Happiness Fridays.

I actually checked the book, Happiness is a Serious Problem written by Dennis Prager, out of my local public library.  I have decided that I'm going to purchase it; it's that good and I want to keep it around and mark it up and make notes in the margins.  If you like reading books with short chapters (and I do) you'll love this book!  The chapters are short and to the point. 

The first chapter is titled, Happiness is a Moral Obligation which I mentioned last week in my first post on this subject; I was going to skip this subject since I already mentioned it, but something at the end of the short chapter caught my eye and has been on my mind since I read it almost a week ago. 

Beside the point that it's our responsibility to be happy to add happiness to the world instead of sorrow and pessimism (and who wants to have an unhappy spouse, parent, sibling, or friend), Dennis Prager points out that our happiness or unhappiness also reflects on our religious affiliation and beliefs.

"I once asked a deeply religious man if he considered himself a truly pious (good, devout, faithful) person.  He responded that while he aspired to be one, he felt that he fell short in two areas.  One of those areas, he said, was his not being a happy enough person to be considered truly pious."
 " His point was that unhappy religious people reflect poorly on their religion and on their Creator.  He was right; in fact, unhappy religious people pose a real challenge ot faith.  If their faith is so impressive, why aren't these devoted adherents happy?  There are only two possible reasons: either they are not practicing their faith correctly, or they are practicing their faith correctly and the religion itself is not conducive to happiness......Unhappy religious people should therefore think about how important being happy is--if not for themselves, then for the sake of their religion."

I have been reflecting this week on my own happiness and how it matches up with my beliefs.   I have thought about my past struggles with depression and unhappiness mixed with lots of happiness and about my present, in thinking grateful thoughts and focusing on positive and happy things.   I don't dwell on the past so much anymore; I look at it as a huge lesson and have learned from that.  I focus more on the present and hope for a bright future.  I want my actions and happiness to match up with my thoughts and beliefs.

This week a friend of mine showed that her beliefs and actions align.  We have a young friend who's just gone through a divorce; it became final on Wednesday and we all knew that because our small, local newspaper posted it (weird, right?).  My friend saw the post in the paper and instead of thinking about it or just praying for our young friend, she took her some flowers and ice cream!   It made such an impact on this young woman that she posted it on facebook to publicly thank her.

I have a favorite quote from one of the past Prophets of my Church, Ezra Taft Benson which says,
"If our thoughts (and might I add beliefs as well) make us what we are, and we are to be like Christ, then we must think (and may I add, act on?) Christlike thoughts."  My purpose in my life is to live a life so as to reflect my love and belief of my Savior.  Do I show that daily?  I know I'm not perfect, but am I striving even in times when I don't feel like it? 

No matter your beliefs or religion, do your thoughts and actions match your beliefs? 

I believe that when my thoughts and beliefs match up with my actions, I am a happier person.

Until next Friday,
 "Be cheerful in all that you do.  Live joyfully.  Live happily.  Live enthusiastically knowing that God does not dwell in gloom and melancholy, but in light and love."-----Ezra Taft Benson

 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I can't help you. Not really.

The other day I had this e-mail in my junk folder (for some reason I haven't figured out how to make some e-mails "safe") and the title really caught my attention:

"I can't help you. Not really."  This e-mail came from Danielle LaPorte; I get one daily and they all go to my junk folder so I've just gotten used to checking my junk mail!

That title isn't very inspiring or encouraging, but it is an attention-grabber!  I'll share a little of it with you so you get the gest:

"I'm committed to doing what I can this lifetime to alleviate suffering.  I'm here to be helpful.  I pray to be useful.  And...I don't believe that I can really help anyone.  Not really.  ....this is an anthem of clarity and empowerment.  No matter how much insight or sweat I give, the effects of my giving are not my call to make.  I have nothing to do with someone receiving my love--it's the choice of the loved.  If someone runs with my idea, or is moved, or takes my suggestion and turns it all around--that's because of their readiness and wisdom, not mine.

There are two ways to look at her statement.  The first is that her knowledge that she can't make anyone learn the lessons she's putting forward or learn new ideas she has to offer, gives her freedom to give freely without expectations.

Last week I was happily able to help a friend.  She's been having neck pain and has not wanted to undergo lots of medical treatment except maybe accupuncture.  I had been listening to podcasts about emotional freedom technique (www.emofree.com)  and applying it to different situations, physically and emotionally.  I offered my friend this information and she accepted it and then asked if I could help her.  I remember being so nervous; it reminded me of how I felt each time I had a rapid eye client.  I remember preparing so carefully with the information and spiritually, for guidance.  So with this friend, I felt myself taking on the whole responsibility of eft working with her; what a burden!  It then occurred to me that it wasn't my responsibility to make her pain go away; I could not do that.  I could offer her an avenue for alleviating her pain and it was up to her; I understand how Danielle LaPorte feels freer and more empowered having this knowledge. 

The second way and the way I apply the "I can't help you" statement to my life is that I am the master of my ship, my destiny.  (isn't there a poem about that?)  I can listen to all the self-help pod casts, read all the self-help books I can get my hands on, and be trained in different healing modalities but if I'm not open to changing, to accepting what is offered then it's my responsibility.  I'm not saying that learning as much as I can is a waste, it will still be in the back of my mind and when I'm ready to make the move then at least I'll have the knowledge, and sometimes I think it takes a while for it to click.  I also have to be ready, spiritually, for the changes to happen; at least that's my belief.

I know that I am grateful for new knowledge ( I was just listening to David Woods last night, an inspirational speaker, and having a few aha moments and loving it). 

Danielle LaPorte goes on to say, "It's not for me to say if the people I advise are winning or losing.  I don't know the inner machinations of their Soul.  I cannot say if their choices are dharmic or karmic, wisdom or sabotoge.  What looks like a mistake to me could be the rightest action of their Soul's unfolding.  What looks like suffering could be a lifetime of enlightenment.  What looks like quitting today could lead to their greatest victory tomorrow." 

"I can't help you.  Not really.  I can only show up with a bright heart and hope that I get you at the right micro-moment with the perfect dose of lightthat helps you see what you already know."

Which then leads to the suggestion I received in my junk folder this morning: "Be teachable".

And how do I become teachable?  I strive, first for wisdom through prayer and reading and then try to stay open to new ideas and new possibilities and remember that I don't know it all.

How do you stay open and teachable?  What are some of your favorite lessons?






Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Truthful Tuesday

I recently read a blog post by Betty at "A Bench With a View" (www.viewsfrombenches.blogspot.com)  that was about being truthful, but I think hers was titled something like "Truthful Thursdays".  I haven't been able to stop thinking about it so I thought maybe I'd write a few things. Thank you, Betty for inspiring me to delve a little deeper for my truths.

Truth is an interesting thing and it's not always a black and white issue.  Of course, I like to always tell the truth unless it's going to hurt someone's feelings, that is.  I will not tell a friend if I don't like what she's wearing (that doesn't happen very often; I have fairly well-dressed friends), and maybe I'm talking more about not wanting to tell critical truths here.  When I was in high school I had a friend who never hesitated to tell me if I didn't look good or if my clothes weren't very flattering.  I remember making a dress (not something I did very often) and she pointed out to me that it didn't look good.  Looking back at photos of me in that dress, it was clear that I didn't look great in it.  I used to say that my friend just had no tact;  I think there's a fine line when it comes to truth.

Also, in listing truths, how far does one go?  How much do I want everyone to know about me?  This is something I've struggled with just a little in writing a blog; how much of myself do I want to expose to people I don't know?  I'm really not a private or shy person, but honestly, how much of myself do people want to know about?

So here goes:

Truth is...I wish I was a more productive person; I have a procrastination problem and a lack of  
                                                                                       motivation problem that I'm working on.

Truth is...I have some amazing friends, most have moved away which makes me sad, but I'm happy  
                                               that I have a few left hanging around.  They are my sanity at times.

Truth is...I'm really concerned about the direction of our country.

Truth is...I love reality shows (well, most of them.  I do draw the line at the crazy-over-the-top shows)

Truth is...I still worry about my grown children.

Truth is...I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

Truth is...I love helping people.

Truth is...I love to look at the positive side of things but every once in a while can't help but see the
                                                                                                                              glass as half empty.
Truth is...I love to drive fast!

Truth is...I love to be busy; it gives me a sense of purpose.

Truth is...I, unfortunately, compare myself to others at times.

Truth is...I know that I'm a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father, who loves me.

Truth is...I love to dance....and sing which I do very well in my car and house!

Truth is...I love to read and learn new things but I don't do it very often.

Truth is...I'm happy to know that I can change my feelings by changing my thoughts; it's a work in
                                                                                                                                           progress.

Truth is...I love to blog and hope that someone out there learns something or can just relate.

Truth is...I love road trips and seeing new places and things as well as re-visiting my favorite places.

Okay, so those are a few of my truths for today; I wasn't sure how many to list since there are so many!    I think some of my truths may change as I work on areas of my life while others will always stay the same.   What are some of your truths?


Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Fridays

I think I"d like to start blogging each Friday on Happiness; what better day of the week to talk about ways to be happy?  The week is over, the weekend is coming and we all could use a little rejuvenation!  And, Dennis Prager hosts the Happiness Hour each Friday morning with lots of good subjects and ideas.

This morning he began his talk radio program with the thought, When you act happy, you feel happy.   At first thought, it's sometimes difficult to think you can act happy when you're not feeling it, but it really is the other way around.  Our thoughts and words are powerful.

In my part-time job of merchandising Hallmark cards at the Safeways in town (soon to be over with, with the "real" merchandiser taking her stores back after recovering from hand surgery) there's a guy, probably in his 30's, who is the ICC Clerk.  I've never seen him not smiling, and when I ask him, 'how are you?", his answer is, "perfect".  I'll bet he feels perfect!

On the other hand, I have a dear friend who swims everyday and encounters people who are overweight and talks to her about it.  Their words, which obviously begin with their thoughts, are, "we'll never be able to lose weight", "it's too hard".  If they're thinking that and saying that, they're right.  What's the quote by Henry Ford?  It goes something like, "If you think you can or think you can't, you're right."

I have to admit that even knowing this information and knowing it for quite a few years now, some days feel more difficult than others to act happy.  On those days, I can check my thoughts (because I know my thoughts and words determine how I act).

I am sure that I've blogged about this subject before, but it's an important one to know how our thoughts and words affect us as well as those around us.  "It is our moral obligation to be happy (and act happy)"---Dennis Prager.


So on this happy Friday, I am  at my son's home babysitting our twin granddaughters.  What better way to spend my time, right?

Oh, and to report on my "Waiting" blog post: we now have a beautiful new, baby granddaughter, Alice Claren who was born yesterday morning at 6:00am weighing 8 lbs. 9oz. and 20 1/2 inches long.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting

It's been a really nice day and a busy one which I needed since I'm waiting to hear news of grandchild #10 being born; it's a girl and her name is Alice. 

Waiting is interesting; it's taxing on one's mind, but filled with a little excitement and anticipation all at the same time, except maybe waiting for surgery or something unpleasant in which case it's just dread.

  The only time I enjoy waiting is when I'd rather be sitting in a chair in a waiting room able to sit in peace with nowhere to go, since I'm waiting.  That kind of waiting isn't too terribly awful, but this kind of waiting (waiting for a birth) doesn't feel as relaxing as reading a book or magazine while waiting. 

I remember as a child waiting for Christmas or my birthday or a family vacation.  That kind of waiting is filled with anticipation so it's a mixture of excitement and anxiousness.  

It was a great distraction to have a girls' camp planning meeting at my house today, and it was fun to actually make lunch and play Martha Stewart for a few hours. 

Now the meeting's over, the house is straightened and my daughter-in-law will most certainly be having baby Alice by tonight sometime.  If I lived in the same town I'd be participating more as in helping with their 3 year old.   As it is, I am a long way from California and will have to find things around here to keep me occupied.  I think I can do that; I have a bridal shower to get planned with invitations to fill out and address which will have to be mailed tomorrow.

I have to admit that it does feel a little like Christmas eve; a little excitement, nervousness and anticipation all wrapped up in the waiting.  And in three weeks we'll make the trek out to California to meet little Alice in person.  More waiting....




Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The More You Use, The More You Have

"You can't use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have." ---Maya Angelou

#Inspiring #Quotes for Creative Minds...
This quote resonates with me; I love being creative and having new ideas and expanding on old ideas.  For me, it's like taking a drive with lots of exits and winding roads, eventually ending up in a beautiful location.  I'm grateful for this kind of mind; although, it can also be inconvenient if I'd like to stop thinking- it can just keep on coming and coming if I don't do something to distract my mind.  Lots of times I turn on the tv; that seems to help.

It seems to me that when we use intangible objects such as love, creativity and gratitude (for some examples) they multiply.  Think about it; if you have a grateful attitude don't you notice more things in your day that you're grateful for?  As we have children, doesn't our love multiply instead of decrease?  And how about a creative mind?  That seems to keep on giving as well.

I guess my short thought for the evening is to notice what we give to others, how we view our lives, and what our thoughts are because for some unknown reason (to me) they seem to multiply.  I know there's some kind of quantum explanation that even if I heard wouldn't stick in my quickly moving mind because it would probably morph into a different idea which would then take a turn into something else totally different!  



I saw another quote tonight which said, "Don't worry about walking a mile in my shoes, just try a day thinking in my head. " 





























Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Heartbreaking Experience

On Friday while I was working at one of the two Safeway grocery stores in my town I had an experience, a heartbreaking experience; one that I hope to never forget and one that I'm not sure what I learned from it..

It was after 4:00pm while I was putting out a Hallmark card order in the aisle and the store was fairly  busy with people stopping at the grocery store after work to buy food for the weekend.  I frequently have store customers mistake me for a store worker and ask me where they can find different things; I enjoy interacting with them; however, I wasn't really prepared for the middle-aged man who approached me on this afternoon.   I could not understand him even after asking him several times to repeat himself; I was frustrated, but I am sure he was more frustrated.  He also motioned while he spoke, I'm sure, to try and help explain what he was wanting to buy.  I determined that he wasn't looking for a greeting card so I told him that I didn't work for Safeway and that I was sorry.  He walked down the aisle to a young woman who was stocking shelves where I saw him talking and using hand gestures to help explain himself and then left the aisle.

It broke my heart to see this man not able to communicate his needs to others.  I walked down and asked the young woman if she was able to help him, but she was unable to understand him as well.  I just kept hoping that someone could understand him and that he could find what he was searching for.  I felt like I wanted to follow him around the store making sure that everyone he spoke with was kind and patient with him.

I had continued working when he approached me again speaking and using hand gestures wanting me to understand him.  This time I asked him if he could write it down for me; he could not and just continued motioning.  I felt ecstatic when somehow I was able to understand that he was looking for envelopes!  I excitedly conveyed to the young woman still working down the aisle from me, "he's looking for envelopes!".  She was able to direct this man to the area where he could buy envelopes; no wonder he asked me since there are lots of envelopes with the greeting cards!

As he walked away I couldn't help but shed some tears; tears of sadness for this man who has to live like this and tears of gladness that I was able to figure out what he wanted.

I like to try and learn lessons from experiences but I'm not sure what my lesson was on that Friday late afternoon.  Maybe I was taught to be more compassionate towards others who struggle with problems or disabilities or maybe it was just a reminder to me to be grateful for my circumstances in life.  I'm not sure, but I still think about that middle-aged man who lives his life like this daily-not being heard or understood.  I wonder how he copes and what he's learned from this? 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Are Your Choices Worth the Price?

Again, this morning I heard some food for thought from Dennis Prager (I hope you don't get tired of ideas I get from Dennis Prager; I love listening to him).  He hosts an hourly program about happiness, and I only heard about 30 minutes this morning while getting dressed. 

What price are you paying?  Nothing in life is free ; all our choices, beliefs, lifestyles, daily habits; none of them are free.  We may pay more for some of our choices and beliefs and habits than we do for others but still, none of them are free.

Yesterday was a leisurely day for me.  I was so tired and had been busy the earlier part of the week so I took it off.  I did nothing but lay around and watch television which felt good at the time.  Today I am paying a price for not allotting time yesterday to do things that I will now have to do today. 

I paid a price and am still paying a price for my choice to not finish my college education when I got married, and today while all of my children are out of the house and I'd like to have a career my choices are pretty much nil.  Was the price worth it to me to stay at home with my kids?  Yes, I think so.  I could go back to school now if I wanted; so far I haven't been willing to pay the price to do that. 

I've known of people who have lost their families when they've changed religions or made different lifestyle choices.  That's a high price to pay; they are brave individuals and most certainly devoted to their beliefs to do that. 

I am sure you have paid a price for the choices you've made and continue to make today.  Are those choices worth the price you've had to pay?  We really cannot have it all; I know some people say that we can, but show me someone who has it ALL.

So as it has become afternoon and I'm not out of the house yet because I do have to do my part-time retail merchandising job for Hallmark at our 2 local Safeway stores, I am regretting my choice a little for taking yesterday off and also regretting my lack of time management this morning because it has started raining and is not likely to let up.  I'll be paying the price for my late start by getting a little wet; not a horrible price to pay but I'd rather be staying indoors and doing some fun things in my house.

We all have paid prices for our choices; sometimes I think it's a good thing to look at our choices and evaluate if they were worth it.  On the other hand, I don't think it's a good thing to have regrets even if we don't like our prices paid.  Life is too short.  



 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What Are You Teaching the World?

This morning as I was in a hurry to get out the door I checked my e-mail and ran across an interesting question in my junk folder.  I subscribed to Danielle LaPorte's Daily Truthbombs and today I received  #222 which asked, "What are you teaching the world?".

I have had that question in my mind all day, even while having a fun day with 2 friends celebrating one's birthday and acting like crazy tourists in a very small cowboy town!

What am I teaching the world?  I know what I'd like to teach the world, or at least a major thing I'd like to teach the world which is, we are amazing human beings created with more knowledge and power within us than we realize.  My question to me is, "are you teaching the world what you'd like to?"  I don't know; I'm sure there are days when I don't teach the world anything of value or days that I teach the world what not to do, but then there are those days that I hopefully spread a little cheer and kindness and love to those around me which I hope will then be passed along  to others and so on and so on.    Maybe the best answer to that question for me is that I'd like to teach the world to love.   

I'd like to ask  you the same question: "What are you teaching the world?".  I'd love to hear your answers. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Everyday, Do Something

This morning as I was listening to a few minutes of Dennis Prager's radio talk show I heard him, in just the few minutes I was listening, make a great point.  He said that our goodness is shown in our actions and not in our intentions or even thoughts. 

What do I do daily to show my goodness?  He mentioned that if we are to be good or do good acts that it is a daily thought process, an obsession almost.  I got his point.

Here's an interesting idea that he gave, "have a video crew follow you for a week".  That would most likely be an eye-opener.  And then sit down after that week and watch it with people you trust as well as by yourself to see what you think. 

Of course, this would be difficult and almost impossible, unless you're on a reality television show.  (I wonder how many people aren't happy about their words and actions after they see themselves on television?)  I'm wondering if we could do this in our mind, daily?  Get up and imagine a video camera following us around; would we be more aware of our daily activities or non-activities? 

Definitely food for thought. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Yearly Valentine Dilemma

 Each year I send a Valentine package to my grandchildren; I used to send something to my adult children, but when they started having children it was too expensive to include everyone.  My youngest son and his wife will get something small; they don't have kids yet!  And each year I think it would be so much smarter to just put a $5 bill in a Valentine card for each of them, but then, it's so much more fun for the kids to open a package full of things.....right?  There are just too many choices: candy, toys, movies, books, stickers, clothes....and the list could go on forever!   In putting these packages together I also have to think of the cost, if not, then I'd spend a small fortune!

When I was in the Tri-Cities on Tuesday I purchased a few Valentine things: a little candy, slap bracelets, and Valentine Cards; i had some window gel clings I bought last year to add and now I am thinking that I don't have enough!  This morning I was looking at Pinterest and ran across the cutest Valentine garland made out of brown paper hearts and book pages which; then in my mind, has turned into brown paper hearts with sepia tone photos of my grandkids and of us!  (Now if only my printer was working properly!)

 I love being creative, thinking creatively, and then actually following through on my ideas.  My problem is that I have so many ideas at one time!  It's a difficult process for me to choose the one that I love the most and then follow through. 

I am thinking that I'd better get a move on if I'm going to gather everything I need in order to make these garlands; I only have a few days before I have to get them in priority mail since I am not usually ahead of the ball to use regular mail.

I'd love to hear any other ideas of things to send and make for my grandkids and family.  I'd also appreciate any good "electronic energy vibes" to come my way so that my printer will work!

(as a side note: my husband came home from work and hopefully fixed my printer)  Thanks!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Feelings Come and Feelings Go

I've had a few interesting experiences with feelings in the past few days and have found it fascinating to see feelings bubble to the surface in each case.  I'd like to explore them briefly here, if only for my amusement.

Yesterday I had my day planned: Lunch and Girls' Camp planning meeting with 2 friends, work the Hallmark departments at both Safeways in town and then dinner and relaxation in the evening.  The first part of my day went as scheduled except I was running late to lunch because I was wanting desperately to finish my blog post; I had a mission!  

Lunch was great and we discussed Girls' Camp; it only took us almost three hours!  The time got away from us, but we did enjoy ourselves!  I managed to avoid a parking ticket by running out to my car as the meter maid was writing me up; happy that she gave me a break.  I said, "are you giving me a ticket?"  Meter Maid, "yes, it's been over 2 hours and then I said, "well,  I'm here now and leaving.  Phew!  My friends weren't able to avoid their tickets. 

I postponed my plans to work the Hallmark departments when it was so late in the afternoon (I'm really good at postponing things!) and then when I was helping my son with something through my e-mail account I discovered our internet was out.  I called the Internet Provider which is something I rarely do; it's just not a comfortable spot for me to be in.  I'm not always sure what equipment they're asking me about; "what chord is what color"?  "Are you referring to the modem which is which machine?"  It's never a pleasant experience for me, but I did it, and managed to get through the hour long experience without shedding a tear; although, I could feel them wanting to push through my tear ducts when I realized that I had to take care of the problem.  The Tech support woman who, by the way, lived in St. Louis, was very nice and patient.  Through a few minutes of "down time" while the computer had to reboot or the modem had to reboot, we had short conversations.  I found out that besides her living in St. Louis, that she also has lots of patience with customers like me as well as doing lots of waiting while customers are rebooting their computers and modems. 

As I was having that very anxious experience with electronics which is not my "thing" I was wondering about the emotions I was having and what I was learning from this not-so-pleasant experience.  I'm still not sure!  The ironic and funny (if you can call it funny) thing is that when my husband got home and found out that our wireless internet was no longer connected because the tech support woman had me disconnect it because the computer was trying to find it and could not......he re-did the whole thing and it worked!  He said to me, "and now you see that the cable company isn't too smart."  And WHY did I take an hour to do all of that?

This morning I had planned to attend the LDS Temple with two friends and after driving an hour  to get there (also had lunch and shopping planned afterwards), found out that we hadn't been scheduled.  Oops!  I love being in the Temple and the peace I usually feel there.  Today I felt a little frustrated, maybe a titch irritated with a little inward eye-rolling and had to find a way to change my feelings; I didn't want to continue feeling irritated; I was in a place to feel the opposite of frustration.   It was okay; I was able to let those feelings go and do something different in the Temple than I had planned and it was good. 

And then just a few minutes ago while reading a blog about the A to Z Blog Challenge  I participated in last year I discovered that it was happening while I was out of town; how could I blog while I was visiting kids and grandkids?  I'm still feeling a little sad and left out (although no one would miss my blogging); mostly just a little disappointed to join in.  (maybe I'll figure out a way to participate)  

It's interesting, if we pay attention, to see emotions and feelings surface at times in our day and when we're not ready for them or expecting them.  How do you handle unexpected things?  I'm thinking I need to change my middle name to "rubber band" as in flexible!  It's all good.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Distractions

Yesterday morning before I left for Church I was practicing some Children's Primary songs on the piano (I play the piano for the children's meeting) and found that the pedal on my piano was squeaky.  I remembered that it had been squeaking last week when I was practicing, but somehow it bothered and distracted me more yesterday than it had last week.  For the life of me, I could not ignore the squeaking and noticed that I was making more mistakes than normal on the easy music I was playing.

The squeaky pedal was a distraction to me that I could not seem to shake, and then the thought came to me, "what other distractions are keeping me from progressing in other areas of my life"?

We all have distractions in our lives that can keep us from moving in a forward direction.  Obvious distractions in my life are the television, facebook, and playing games on my phone.  I'm not saying that we can't enjoy these things, but when I'm doing these things in place of activities such as reading and pondering or listening to good music which would improve my life mentally, physically and spiritually, then I am choosing to stay stagnant.

Yesterday in Church a woman talked about her awful basement ( hidden from any visitors since the door to the basement enters from the garage instead of inside the house) how she hates it, that it is dark and musty and unfinished and dirty.  It is now her family's project to clean it up starting with the floors.  They are choosing to do it by getting on their hands and knees and scraping, scrubbing and washing the dirt away (as opposed to renting a machine).  She compared that to our souls and the process of exploring areas not exposed to anyone else but ourselves and then with the help of the Savior and his atonement, in cleaning those undesirable areas that are more difficult to clean up and to even view.

 Last night I had a not so comfortable "aha moment" where I was able to see something I had not clearly seen that needed scrubbing away with the help of the Savior.  I really wish there was a machine I could rent to make it easier, to feel a little less pain.  The ironic part of seeing this flaw in myself was that I was watching a movie, albeit a more spiritual movie, when I saw and felt the desire to have this flaw taken away.   Maybe Heavenly Father shows us, sometimes, through methods we are familiar with? ( In fairness to myself, I was at the point last night, ready to view and ask for help to "scrub my basement floor". )

How many years have I stayed distracted from really seeing in me something I needed help with?   

 Many years ago when I was watching my youngest son, Rob, play in a golf tournament I listened to one of the Dads of a golfer tell the story of Tiger Woods' Dad throwing leaves and things at Tiger when he practiced so he could learn to concentrate and focus solely on the task at hand: hitting the golf ball.  Obviously, Tiger Woods learned to ignore those distractions for his golf game; with practice I'll be able to ignore that squeaky pedal (or oil it!) and master the songs I'd like to.

We all have distractions in our lives; some are thrown at us and some are chosen by us.  
It is our choice what to do with them; we can push through them to develop focus or we can remove some of them.  Whichever we choose, let's choose to move forward in creating more joy and more growth.  We only have this life; let's choose wisely.