July, 05 2006
This is the day after independence day and I heard a lot yesterday about "freedom." I suspect that if we asked most people what that word means, we would receive a variety of answers other than what Webster had to say. Here's what I know about freedom. We experience freedom in every moment when we recognize that we DO NOT control another person or situation -- just our actions. We know freedom at a moment when we see a choice that we didn't know existed before. We love freedom when we feel that time is on our side and the boundaries that existed in our minds seem to dissolve. Freedom is ours to have in this country and ours to give away. Everything about freedom begins within us and ends with us. Even those who lose their freedom such as people put in jails have made a choice, which resulted in their loss of physical freedom but they can still choose to learn and grow and think in positive ways even if they can't go where they want to when they want to. I understand that it's more complicated for some of us to act into this concept. I also believe that it's a principle that we should study and learn because we do know how important freedom is. Our forefathers understood and we must continually remind ourselves on a very personal level of the importance of being FREE. So when you hear the songs and see the fireworks display let the phrase have new meaning...Let Freedom Ring!
June, 22 2006
Doing What We Need to Do
Why don't we do what we need to do? For me, that would be losing 25 more pounds and doing a half hour of exercise every day. I believe that doing that would contribute greatly to my well-being and I cannot think of a downside. I know that I have the time and energy but I will still snack or eat too large portions or sit on my duff rather than focus and accomplish.
Yesterday a friend came to visit. She had never been to my home and wanted to look around. I have 3 floors and I race up and down the steps without a thought. But as we got to the top of the stairs, she needed to stop and catch her breath -- she smokes. I know she knows that it isn't good for her. She is close to my age and has had a number of health problems in the last year or so...Why doesn't she do what she needs to do for her own comfort?
Another friend has told me how concerned she is about having enough retirement money and then a day later, she told me that she had bought a bracelet that she loved. Huh? How much does she have that she doesn't need?
Our physical needs often take a back seat to our emotional and psychological needs -- we all know this and we have all experienced the consequences of this in one way or another. I'm looking at this in an entirely new way. I have made a decision that I will no longer give my power over to some lame excuse that provides instant gratification. Who's in charge here? My smoking friend said that I shouldn't bring up her smoking because she didn't need a lecture and I honored that. She isn't ready to take control of that portion of her life. What I would like to tell her though is that she will never be ready. We must recognize where our power lies and then adjust in little ways to taking it back into our own hands -- ready or not.
So...the answer to "Why don't we do what we need to do?" may be complex but the solution is pretty straightforward. You do what you gotta do. And the power lies in every moment. We decide over and over and over.
For heaven's sakes...Who's in charge?
June, 13 2006
Reactive or Proactive?
Sometimes absolutes exist. And here's one: If you are not being proactive, you are being reactive. So? Well, it really is much better to live your life proactively. That means based on your own decision-making. That means determining the best course of action and taking it. I have been reactive lately. My schedule has been decided by the bed that needs making or the kitchen activity that needs attention or a dozen other notes on my "to-do" list but not some of the things at the top of the page. I am being the follower of my destiny -- not the "determiner" of my output. I don't want you to think that I am suggesting that we not do those things that are calling to us, but I do want you to know -- as I do -- that I have certain tasks, which I am letting slide for who knows all of the reasons and yet my days have been full of "work." I have even been productive (I LOVE being productive!) but I have not accomplished a few tasks on my list because I have not taken the initiative to be sure that they are done. Had I not been reporting some of my goals to a group of friends, I would not have seen the error of my ways. They were even willing to let me off the hook by reminding me of how busy I have been doing a number of other jobs but I really want my feet held to the fire because I KNOW with every ounce of my being that I have had the time, the energy, the intelligence, the wherewithall to get certain jobs done, which I have put off. And here's what else I know...that when I complete what I have deigned for myself to do, I will have energy, drive, and time to complete those other duties that are always calling. One of the biggest energy "sinks" of all time is avoidance. Why we slip from being proactive to reactive has a lot to do with our confidence in our ability to do what we aren't doing. It's not necessarily that we only tackle what is easy but we do take on the more familiar or what seems easier or what's nipping at our toes. A proactive stance is a mature stance. A proactive stance is take charge. A proactive stance is responsible and defines to the world our responsibility to it. Scary, sometimes. Necessary, more than we think. Effective, always! So here I go...I'm in the driver's seat...yippee!
June, 03 2006
I'm going to move to a new city/state and way of life. I don't know anyone in the metropolitan area that I have selected. I have spent a couple of years researching where I might go when certain commitments I made were completed and I picked a place with the climate, pace and amenities that I think will please me. I expect to love it and, if I don't, I will move again. Will it all be happiness and light? I don't know. I do know that I'm excited about the change and thrilled to be embarking on this new adventure. Why then are so many people looking at me as if I have lost my mind? The other day a friend said that I handle change better than she does. I'm not sure. But here's what I know for sure. At any age -- I'm 69 -- life is meant to be lived to the fullest -- and that may have nothing to do with where you hang your hat. For me, this time, it does. I am choosing a new lifestyle. Could I have it here? Probably, yes. I have an abundance of family, friends, and contacts in the Washington, D.C. region. But as much as I love this place and those people, I am really looking forward to going to a slightly warmer, slower paced community. Age, economics, and psychology are not deterrents to transitions. In fact, each can be a positive factor in determining what follows the place that you are currently in. As I contemplate my next steps, I love the thoughts I have of forging new relationships, acquiring new clients, building a new lifestyle. It's electric. I'm energized. And, finally, I don't think of it as a final action, but as a part of my continuum. So in this time of graduations, weddings, school endings, I think it's a great time to remind all of us that it doesn't have to be just the traditional transition that causes change -- we can make changes on our own. Break out the champagne. Bring on the confetti. Celebrate every minute of life in whatever way works best for you.