Archive | January, 2012

Enjoy the Feast

30 Jan

Enjoy the Feast.

Enjoy the Feast

30 Jan

Rosalind Russell as Auntie Mame

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death – Auntie Mame
Do you ever feel like you’re living the same day over and over again? I know this post would be more appropriate on February 2nd, but sometimes you just have to go with the ideas as they come. I’ve never seen the movie “Groundhog Day”, but I understand it’s about a man who keeps living the same day over and over until he figures out how to change himself and his circumstances. I think everyone’s life can be like that, especially if it’s less than stellar. I also think it’s crazy to live in a life you’re unhappy with. I believe that everyone deserves and should pursue a life that brings them great joy. I believe that with consistent focus and action, each of us can have a beautiful life. It took me a long time to get to that belief, and I had a lot of help along the way.

There was a time in my life that I lived off of the crumbs that others gave me. I felt so bad about myself I ended up in counseling trying to figure out how things had gone so wrong. My first marriage was crumbling, I my business wasn’t making money and I felt like an utter failure. I left my home with my clothes and a desk, and had to borrow a bed for my apartment. At the time, it seemed like I was worthless and so was my life. Now I see that busted marriage as one of my greatest blessings and I am so grateful for every lesson I learned because of it. It made me stronger and wiser and much more focused about what I wanted out of the banquet of life.
Since then, I’ve married a man who is everything I ever wanted in a husband. Best proof of that? When my youngest was three years old, someone asked him what my name was and he, of course, said “Mommy.” Then she said, “No. What does Daddy call her?” His response, “Gorgeous.” He left her flabbergasted and me laughing when I heard the story. I have the best husband for me because I decided I wouldn’t settle for less the second time around. I always said I wanted to be the couple that would be married 50 years and still be walking hand in hand on the beach. We’ve been together for twenty years and things are looking good so far.

Some people think it’s hard to change, but I don’t agree. What’s hard is living a life that’s less than you deserve. What’s hard is thinking about changing but never taking action, and what’s really hard is trying to get someone else to change to make you happy. What’s much easier and more productive is deciding what you want out of life and creating the lifestyle to have it. If you want a nicer home, learn to take better care of the one you’ve got. If you want better health, learn about nutrition and find out look for exercise you like and will actually do on a regular basis. If you want a better financial situation, take very good care of the money you get now and be grateful for every financial blessing, including the ability to pay the bills. And the most important thing? Ask for better and be specific. Picture that home you want in great detail and picture the one you have at its best. Imagine your body healthy and strong. See yourself with a fat bank account and money to spare.  Things and people will start to appear to help you, so look for them.

There are so many people who live by the phrase, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” It’s easy to live expecting less and being critical when life doesn’t give you what you want. What if you decided to change your thinking and live by the phrase, “I’ll see it when I believe it?” It would require you to think differently. It would mean that you would imagine your house being clean, your children getting along, all kinds of money coming from all directions and your body being fit and trim and healthy. Some might say that’s living in a fantasy world, but for me, it’s been the starting point of living an incredibly joyful and constantly improving life. Give it a try and let me know what happens. Have a great day!

Mind Your Own Business

27 Jan

Mind Your Own Business.

Mind Your Own Business

27 Jan

 

The very purpose of spirituality is self-discipline. Rather than criticizing others, we should evaluate and criticize ourselves. Ask yourself, what am I doing about my anger, my attachment, my pride, my jealousy? These are the things we should check in our day to day lives – The Dalai Lama

 

 Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged, and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.  And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? – Jesus

The phrase “mind your own business” has become one of my favorite, not to use on other people, but to use on myself. It’s so easy to dabble in other people’s business and judge your own progress by them. As a matter of fact, it’s what our educational system is built upon. We’ve found that to be especially true in the college search process. My oldest child, a high school senior, has excelled in school. He thrives on competition and has the grades to prove it. He has applied to some of the top colleges in the nation and is currently being compared to other students he has never met by people none of them know. Will he be admitted to those exclusive schools? Will we be able to afford them if he is? As we told him, we can only do what we can do and we give the rest up to the Divine. You can’t control what others do; you can only control what you do.

I think it’s that way in life too. Whenever I get too involved in someone else’s life, especially those who like a lot of drama, I feel the stress of their situation and the drain of my own energy. I want to help them fix their situation so very much. As I gain in years and wisdom, though, I realize that people are generally in the situation they are in because of the choices they have made in their lives, and if they want their lives to be different, they have to make different choices. I know that is going to hit a nerve with a few people, but I’ve seen this so clearly in my own life.

I have two family members with life threatening medical conditions. I married one and gave birth to the other. Because of those medical conditions, we pay over $8,000 per year in medical costs. I’ve chosen to stay home to create the best home I can to keep my family healthy, even though it meant giving up a lot of extras like vacations, new cars and clothing that comes from a store instead of a goodwill or thrift shop. I could have chosen to work, but I didn’t. I don’t whine about our financial situation because I believe in my heart it was the right path. The result? Each of my children has missed less than 10 days of school since preschool. One of them has only missed 2 days. I call that a success. Ironically, I was so focused on my family’s health; I didn’t always take care of my own, so recently, I started minding that as well. It’s paying huge dividends and helping to make my family even healthier.

There are so many other benefits of minding your own business; I can only touch on them here. By focusing on your own issues, you will change yourself, you will change the way you deal with others’ drama and you will be freer and lighter than you’ve ever been before. You will also see your path in the world clearer and your Divine light will shine brighter than ever. It’s what everyone deserves and there are so many ways to get there. To get started, I would suggest writing down what you are grateful for in your life and what you want your life to be in the most positive terms possible. That means you will avoid the words “stop” “not” “don’t” and any other negative contractions. How’s that for a challenge? If you want help with it, contact me and we’ll get you started. Just remember, I have to mind my own business first. Have a great day!

Right versus Happy

26 Jan

Right versus Happy.

Right versus Happy

26 Jan

Right or Happy, which would you rather be?

Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy? This is a question I have struggled with in the past. I consider myself a rather intelligent person, and in my younger, brasher days, I would argue until the cows came home, especially if I knew I was right. I have a son the same way, go figure. The interesting thing is that older people generally don’t like to be told they are wrong by younger people, and at a certain age, younger people don’t like to be told they are wrong by older people, especially parents. I think this is where so much conflict comes from between teens and parents. Everyone thinks they are right and stops listening and communicating.
We have very high standards and what most people would call strict guidelines for our children, but they know the reasons for all of it. We expect a certain academic standard and we know as much as we can about who are children spend time with. Are there times that our children are unhappy with our decisions and/or expectations? Of course, but they always know why we do what we do. They know we question ourselves and our decisions occasionally because we want them to know that it’s ok to move forward even when you’re unsure of yourself. Life is a constant negotiation and our lives seem to be happier when the decision about what is right is on a day by day, sometimes moment by moment basis. The bottom line is that we often choose what is right over what will make our household happy. It also helps when we’re given more than five minutes to make a potentially life altering decision. Parents of teens understand this.
With others, it is a totally different story. I’ve recently encountered a couple of people with very strong opinions about things, including one who swears they remember something about me that isn’t true. In those cases, I’ve learned to be happy instead of right. I’ve learned to let go of the need to prove I’m right because I don’t need that drama in my life. I don’t need to prove I’m right to prove my point. I don’t need to prove I’m right to put the other person in their place, and I don’t need to prove I’m right to make myself feel better. Today, I decide to be right in my heart, right in my mind and right in my soul, not necessarily in the discussion. If I have to defend myself, I will, but until then, I bless the person who does need to be right and send them on their way, mentally and spiritually and occasionally physically. It frees me to focus on other things that are more important to me, like sharing with you. I think it is a much better investment of my time and energy and brings me so much more joy. So today I choose happy. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Have a great day!

Learning to Love Barometers

25 Jan

Learning to Love Barometers.

%d bloggers like this: