September, 20 2007
Where are your thoughts?
Are you in the present? past? future? Are your thoughts productive? Where is your focus? Is it on how to accomplish something...or how to create a solution? Or do you want to change something that has happened OR maybe gripe about that?
I have become very aware that many people I meet want to tell me about a drama in their lives that happened before they met me. Maybe they think I won't appreciate who are they are if I don't know the defining moment that they want to relate. Or maybe they think I will think they are uninteresting if they don't fill me in on their angst OR the angst of someone close to them. What's the deal with talking about trouble so much of the time?
And here's the truth about me and quite a number of people that I know. I would like to know your hopes, your dreams, you joy, your enthusiasm for life, family, job, business...whatever.
I can fall into the trap like most I know of thinking that what's interesting to someone else might be the mess I was in on the highway during the storm...Well, guess what...I wasn't alone -- hundreds of us were caught on the same highway and few of us figured out how to escape -- but it's just a moment in my life and if I tell it to enough people, it's like I'm hitting the "replay" button on the DVD or watching the evening news where the same scenes are shown over and over. What this does is register MIS-information to the brain. It's a destructive trap and it can be avoided. I often ask my children when I say hello -- "What's new and wonderful?" They know I won't accept the answer "nothing," so they prepare for talking to me by coming up with the latest activity that is either new or wonderful. And you can perform this little task for yourself...What's new and wonderful? It will trick you to looking on the bright side and it could change your life. So what's my "new and wonderful?" I finished a book yesterday by a woman that wrote about her 85th year and I can tell you she practiced what I'm preaching here. She was excited about her life, her activities, her responsibilities, her loves. I don't care if what's new and wonderful is pretty mundane to you, if it's new and wonderful, it's worth thinking about and then moving to the present moment and enjoying it for all it's gifts. Happy you...Happy life!
September, 10 2007
What I Meant To Say...
It happened again. I communicated a thought to someone who interpreted it in a very different way than I meant it. I don't know about you, but I often believe that I'm expressing myself very clearly only to find out later that I haven't even come close. This has resulted in some very bad haircuts, delayed appointments, hurt feelings and much, much worse. I am seriously studying this because I know without a shadow of doubt that making sure I have been understood would improve my life in a dramatic way and save me a pile of aggravation. One method that I'm using at the moment, which may make me a bit annoying, is that I check in with the other person to hear how they have received my message. The other process I go through is to check how I might be feeling about delivering the words to another person -- if I'm irritated or frustrated, it is likely that what I say matters a whole lot less than how I say it. And finally, I have been practicing by [u]thinking[/u] of how the words and inflection I use might be translated by someone else -- declaring all possibilities so that I can work on being more accurate. It might sound like a lot of effort but I figure I save myself time, money and energy in the end. (And while you may be listening to how you sound to another, it doesn't hurt to pay attention to what you might be saying to yourself!) Listen up!!!
August, 27 2007
Literally -- Heading Downstream
Over the years I have heard from well known motivational speakers and advisors that we SHOULD spend our time heading downstream -- going with the flow. I believe in this philosophy and I have intended to follow it but I often find myself struggling while I go against the tide. (Work hard, put in the effort, add another couple of hours to the workday -- you know what I mean.) And then this week-end, I went "tubing" down a delightful river in North Florida. Here I was LITERALLY floating downstream! Every now and then I would have an obstacle in my path and I would paddle like crazy to get around it OR I could just stay there and watch as the current moved me around the thing and I was headed on my way. I was living the metaphor and I loved it. It was amazing how far we went in the two hours we were aimlessing being carried by the current -- we couldn't have gone a fraction of the distance if we were swimming against the tide. I will admit that I'm one of those energetic people that finds letting go a mystery. I even become annoyed when some well-meaning individual tells me to "let go." What does that mean? What am I holding on to? HOW can I surrender when I don't know what it is that has me turned into this little action-machine? Well, now I have a picture -- I have an image -- I see what the pundits have been talking about. Further, I have internalized it -- the vision is defined and the memory is imprinted -- and I will be forever grateful for the experience. To all who have told me, "Let Go and Let God," I want you to know that I finally understand and I say, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You!
August, 19 2007
You are alive!
Someone complimented me this week by saying, "You are alive!", and I am thrilled. In fact, I think of it as just about the highest praise one can receive. It is my intention to live each and every minute that I'm on this planet with consciousness, being present and connected. I know that I don't always achieve that and yet that doesn't diminish my goal. ALIVE means that you are often enthusiastic because the wonders of the world and the mysteries of the Universe tantalize. It includes finding the magic in the moment and enjoying simple pleasures. I have had a great week and I am grateful so I am expanding that joy so that it is even bigger. We can always do that -- live large! I am alive, I'm happy to say, as I appreciate art, music, food, natural beauty and so much more. I love to experience new sensations and I still find peace and happiness with the familiar.
Every now and again, I go on auto-pilot and I ignore the glory that's all around me. What a shame... So far as we know, we are only on earth one time and it is as if we have an obligation to give and receive at our fullest capacity while we are here. Hooray for being alive!