Mindful Journeys

“Sometimes a journey takes us to a place we have never been before. That place may not be on a map. It may be in our hearts.” Faye Hager

Recently, I have discovered a new type of journey. It does not involve going to a physical destination. I may not even move from my spot where I am standing. Actually, I may be pacing, or I may be rocking-I seldom just stand. It is an emotional journey. I believe emotions are linked to our minds, so it is a mental/spiritual/emotional journey. And that adventure all takes place deep inside of me: me-myself-and I. We have to find our way through it.

I wish I could tell you THE magic formula. I can’t. But I can share some things that help me move from:

anger—-to forgiveness

sadness—to hope

grief—-to acceptance

A book can be written on the process-and may be…perhaps I will call it the “Misery Index”. But I will just list a few of the things that help me transform my thinking.

Talk-don’t keep things inside. If you don’t have someone to talk to-talk to yourself

Keep Busy–don’t sit idle and fret. Get out. There is fresh energy outside yourself.

laugher- great therapy. If you can’t laugh, see a show that can bring out laugher.

accept emotions-don’t bury them. They will get stuck in some deep dark grave in your heart.

At the end of the day, if I can change the way I am thinking about something, I can change the way I feel about it. It may not happen in one day. I may have to fake it till I make it, but I will get there.

sunrise

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” Samuel Smiles

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fake/

 

I’m Crazy

Patsy Cline–I’m crazy…worry, why do I let myself worry….

Music holds such power. It can set a mood, it can soothe a soul. It can excite and it can add courage as men march to war.

Funny thing about a song, the whole song may be irrelevant to a situation, but there can still be a connection.

Patsy Cline sings ‘I’m Crazy” as a sad realization that she has loved the wrong person. I don’t share that sense. I feel that I love my soul mate who comforts and creates more enjoyment of life. Yet…her words, “I’m Crazy” come out of my mouth frequently. It can be for any number of reasons. I’m crazy to go to the store in the rain. I’m crazy to start a new career late in life.

Today, I am reminded of the other lyrics in this song. “worry, why do I let myself worry?” There is no help in worry. Worry is a waste of energy. Worry drums up all the unquantified potential troubles that may never have to be addressed.

“Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.” George Washington

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/this-is-your-song/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/this-is-your-song/

Compromise

“Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval.” Thomas S. Monson

I was recently asked what 180 degree turn has occurred in my life. What was a change in my views, reversed decision or an action not otherwise expected from me.

I thought-are you serious? That list is long. Let’s see..

I was in church, am now out of church.

I was a faithful Bible teacher, am now unsure what is truth.

I once was positive that the Bible was the only inspired, infallible Word of God, now see it as a ‘sacred writing’ along with others.

I once was a part of a community who taught women couldn’t be ordained, teach men or preach. I now view that as ridiculous.

I once was a part of a community who taught it was wrong to drink or dance. I now enjoy wine with dinner and dancing to almost any melody.

So, how would I narrow that down? All the above are tiny, individual activities that were largely sponsored by a group of people who taught there is no compromise. There is ONLY BLACK and WHITE- GOOD and EVIL.

That is the greatest change. I now see gray. I see the need to compromise. Before, we were taught to ‘die on the sword of truth-be a martyr!’. Now, I;m not so willing to take that sacrificial tone.

I see beauty in discussion. I see wisdom in exploration. I see value in looking at two sides of a situation and coming to a consensus on the way to proceed. My mother always said, “there is good and bad in everything.” and I think she had it figured out. It is how we approach, use, and impose our actions that can make them good or bad. And oft times the same action can evoke both responses from others.

War may be an example. Think of the millions killed out of ‘courage’ to stand for what that group believed was right. Maybe they were. Maybe they weren’t. Would we have become a nation had we not rebelled over what we believed was right? I personally do not like war. I do not like hurting other people.

Have we lost the ability to communicate and see both sides of an issue or activity? I hope not. That is my change. I no longer take the ‘provided response.’ I search for myself, and in many cases find wonderful opportunities to compromise and bring peace to many people.

“I simply do not think that yelling, swearing, threatening or belittling will get you to the place you want to be faster than kindness, understanding, patience and a little willingness to compromise.” Rachel Nichols

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/180-degrees/

Would Cloning Erase Me?

If I could clone myself, I would have a challenge making a fair decision. I fear that one would have all the responsibilities and the other would have all the fun. How fair is that?

So then I would struggle over my decision as to which clone would I inhabit. I am pretty certain that I would choose the one that had all the fun. Yet how would I grow?

At 23 I delivered my second child.  My daughter was born with a crippling birth defect of spina bifida. She would require 11 surgeries by the time she was 2 years old. I was yanked from a happy go lucky young woman, to a busy responsible mother. Our days at the park, were interchanged with our days at the hospital. Certainly, we enjoyed our time at the park. We could smell the fresh air, feel the ocean mist on our cheeks, and picnic on a blanket.

In the hospital, we saw loneliness, suffering and heartbreak. But the hospital meant doctors and nurses who helped us. The surgeries mended and protected my daughter. Every room had a rocking chair. I would cradle my daughter, hug her against my breast, and sing comfort songs in her ears; all while we rocked in that old wooden rocking chair.

I learned life was precious. I learned how to be patient. I learned how to care. If I gave up those responsibilities would I still have learned those lessons?

Maybe. But they are all experiences that have made me who I am. I still love to rock. I have an old wooden rocking chair in my bedroom today. Perhaps, on some level, as I rock, my soul remembers those precious days and nights of rocking, and singing songs of comfort – for when I sit down and rock, I can feel my heart beat slow to a normal pace, the troubles of my mind soothe out and I discover a calm that I do not find anywhere else.

Perhaps, it is good that we are not yet able to clone ourselves. What we might choose to wipe out, might be the very essence of who we are.

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” John F Kennedy

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/clone-wars/

“Pet”scapes

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” Edgar Degas

A dear friend gave me the gift of painting. She and I attended a painting class together. The class was designed to paint your pet. They wisely served wine at the class. We were all novice painters, and they had perhaps learned along the way that it is easier to instruct those who have taken the nervous edge off with a taste of the vine.

All of the painting students were to turn in a photo of their pet. That photo was turned into a pencil sketch on our canvas. When we arrived, we located the faint outline of our own pet, sat down, drank our wine, and wondered ‘How the hell am I going to do this?!” A little more wine, then we thought, “What the hell, let’s do this!”

My pet is all white. My friends pet had a zillion colors. My challenge was to capture Scampi’s white curls. Her challenge was to capture Maestro’s debonair style. I thought, “Hell, we better drink some more!”

scampi and maestro art

We were led through the class, and finished with a painting of our beloved pets. It was a moment in time, cherished with a friend, and captured in a work of art that will bring us a smile every time we see it.

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/a-moment-in-time/

Pass the Norvasc

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary.” Edgar Allen Poe

My son calls it ‘work drama’. It doesn’t seem to matter where a person works, there will be work drama. It is pervasive. It is the cause of millions of people on medication to modify high blood pressure. I felt it myself last Friday.

The pervasive questions arise, “When will this resistance go away? How many times does it have to be discussed? How many times, or how many ways, can it be said?” Then I wonder, “Why can’t I just say, ‘because I said so.’ Why do I have to couch everything is such a way that people are not offended?” Couch is a good word-please sit down and let us all be comfortable and discuss this….

I battle the decision to throw in the proverbial towel nearly everyday. My job is complex and directed by tedious, legalized diatribe regulations. If I explain them, the supposed listener looks at me with glazed eyes and the hint of reviewing a grocery list in their head as they nod understanding.

Working in a field of compliance, daily decisions are made related to what must be fixed and what can be let go. The Serenity Prayer advises me to change what I can-and to know the difference between what I can or cannot change. Hence, the need for the prayer-that knowledge is nebulous.

Friday, I stood my ground, although I nearly threw in the towel. In the end, we did what was compliant to the regulatory directives.

Sometimes, I have to let it go. The organization is too strong. On those days, I manage my reaction by reminding myself that I did my duty in informing the players involved of what was required. I am not the decision maker. I am the advisor. Then I go home and have a Margarita Meeting with me, myself, and I. We ‘let go’ of the situation, laugh and remember the story of the dog- “if you can’t eat it, or play with it, piss on it and walk away”.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/enough-is-enough/

Embrace or End the Relationship, the Choice is Yours

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”  Victor Hugo

One thing most of us are not short of, is opinions. In general, I am in agreement with many of the opinions of my friends. That is one reason that we maintain a friendship. There are other people in my life that are probably not in harmony with everything that I believe. It is interesting to experience a dialogue with someone who comes from a different perspective.

One of two things generally happens.

1. We have an engaging experience. From a mutual respect we learn from each other. I have friends that are more conservative than I am. We would disagree on some religious practices. But, we love each other. We were there for each other when our daughters had surgery. We were there to hug through tears of sorrow. We shared history, and experiences. We see beyond the current difference and nurture the areas that we agree upon. We do that because, at the core, we love each other.

2. I am shunned or dismissed because of a difference. The singular difference is so great in the perspective of the former friend that the disagreement becomes insurmountable. The disagreement may have been over who should be president. It may be over watching certain movies. It may be over church attendance. Despite the volumes of areas that might be agreed upon, the critical focus is on the issue that we do not necessarily agree on. My marriage of 30 years to a minister basically fell into this category. Despite the fact that we shared a love of reading, travel, dancing, cooking, gardening, riding bikes and playing games-the fact that I did not want to attend the ultra conservative church services was enough to dissolve the marriage.

The danger to a relationship is when you hear the words, “if you loved me, you would do……”. “If you loved me, you would listen to me….” Those are hurtful words of control and manipulation. They represent conditional love. A refusal to agree to disagree. In many ways that attitude is egocentric and calloused.

“If my love is without sacrifice, it is selfish. Such a love is barter, for there is exchange of love and devotion in return for something. It is conditional love.”   Sadhu Vaswani

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/agree-to-disagree/