Saturday, October 26, 2013

gratitude

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I met Bryan (I call him B) in February 1997 and we were married in 2001. Marrying him was one of the best decision I’ve made. I always joked that I was chronically single when I met him, so it wasn’t an easy decision for me. He is the best husband, dad, son, brother, uncle and friend anyone could ever have. When I say things like that people tell me that I’m also a good person but I gotta tell ya, I am second rate in comparison to him.

We’ve kinda had an agreement since the beginning that we would love each other without one trying to change the other. I’m sure there are a lot of things that we could change about ourselves to better our life because we are not perfect people. The point is we don’t spend our lives focusing on lack. We have immense gratitude for what we have with each other. I never take it for granted and I don’t think that he does either. When I think of us together I could almost cry blood from my eyes just feeling how sacred the space is that we hold between us. It feels that deep.

People tell us all the time that we are suppose to argue and that it’s not normal that we don’t. We laugh at that when we are alone because we know how much easier our life is because we don’t argue. We have somehow discovered a way to keep our life less complicated by allowing each other to be exactly who we are and arguing does not fit into that.

We have changed a lot over the years. Most of the big changes came about because we are accepting of one another. Speaking for myself I can say my biggest change has been how accepting I’ve become and that came as a direct result of B loving me just like I am. I’ve never felt so safe to just be me. I think he would say the same thing if you ask him.

You cannot change anyone. Trying to change someone makes them hold tighter to the thing you are trying to change. People almost automatically go into defense mode when you try to strip away part of who they are, thereby strengthening their grasp to that element you want to change. Unless a person is doing harm to their self or another person, why would you want to change them? Loving a person unconditionally will have the most profound effect in regard to making someone a better person. I might suggest when you feel yourself wanting to change/correct someone, maybe resist the urge and do something nice for them instead. Rub their feet, buy them a gift or bake them a cake. When they ask why you are doing it (and they will if they are used to criticism) tell them, “Because I love you just the way you are.” If you do this a few times and it doesn’t change your life, I’ll bake YOU a cake.

Friday, October 25, 2013

It’s Easier Than You Think

Having a peaceful existence is easier than you think. Of course writing it down and making it accessible to everyone is not as easy. In order to do this I might have to give you a few personal examples that might make me seem full of myself but I assure you that there is nothing special in me that anyone cannot attain for their self. Peace mostly comes from knowing a secret that you won’t find in school.

I wrote the happiness exercise more than a year ago to try and help people to see what the secret to peace really is. It really takes committing your life to keeping that space for letting people be who they are everyday even though in the exercise I ask people for only a 3 day commitment. The reason for the 3 days is just to get people to glimpse at the possibility. The ultimate goal of following the exercise is that by opening up to accepting the people in your life at whatever level they are you will begin to accept yourself. You do not have to be anything but what you already are and the same goes for your people. That is the secret to peace.

Yesterday I went to an event with a couple of other people who also manage offices in other areas of the business that I work for. These two ladies actually said to me in regard to how calm my office is, “I want to absorb some of whatever you have.” I told one of the ladies I went to lunch with, “I can tell you the secret but you probably won’t follow it or believe it.” I told her that you cannot meet people in a battle between wills. Anytime you engage in that way no one will win. Just imagine how frustrating it is when someone tells you that you have to do something or else and then compare that to how it feels when they just ask you politely. I know in our office we have a lot of folks saying yes when they might have said no because we don’t use force and we give them a choice. We just choose to take the gentler approach.

Another example is this. In the last job I had before I started my current job, I was asked to teach a day class in an art camp for children. During the process of planning the camp we had numerous meetings. In every meeting we spent most of the time talking about how we would disciple the children and how we would keep them corralled in the individual classes throughout the park where the camp was taking place. The lady who was directing the project explained to us that she had always handled projects with children in this certain manner and that it had always worked. After about the 5th meeting like this it became so unbelievable to me that I finally had to speak up. I just said, “I am not going to do anything you have suggested and these children are going to be amazing.” And, folks, that is what I did and they were. I did not give them one rule, I did not direct their actions in anyway and I had zero issue with any of the children. Here is a little glimpse into what my campsite looked like.

The class I taught was the arrow ceremony and the art was making really creative arrows for the ceremony. The hope was that I might teach the children to be creative in their own way while also learning to set goals. I hung dream catchers in the trees, burned incense in the air and played tribal drum music out in to the world. I also threw a blanket on the ground for any of the children who wanted more solitude while they worked. I gave them paint, ribbons, silk flowers, feathers, fabric and thin wooden dowels and then I told them about the ceremony and set them free. Let me tell ya folks, it was the place to be. These children were so calm and relaxed. It was the favorite class of the day. The lady who directed the event came to me at the end of the day and she said, “You have amazed me.” The thing about it was that I did not do anything really. I just allowed.
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The lesson of the day, just stop, don’t try, just be, just allow. Allow, Allow, Allow.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

a day in the zone.

I was sitting and that title just popped in my head and I knew I had to write it.

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a day where all is well in the world? I knew you’d say yes so let’s roll up our sleeves and get down to business.

You can have that day almost everyday. You just have to make up your mind, say “I’m doing it today.” Then do it. Eventually you’ll get so good at it that it will become normal to have a good day everyday.

What would that day look like for you? Start with your ideal day and then also try it out on a day when you know you can’t really plan for it to be amazing. I know what a perfect day is for me. So here it is in list form.

  • My mind is at peace and overwhelmed with gratitude for the life I’ve been given.
  • All of my family is well and happy having their own day in the zone whether it’s with me or without me. So, let’s just say everyone is happy.
  • I take a kayak or road trip with family and friends or just me and B.
  • I photograph all the wonder of the world we live in the whole day. If you know me you know I use instagram as my photographic gratitude journal.
  • We eat something fabulous and completely disregard calories and nutrient content.
  • I get a wee bit of exercise paddling or stopping at whatever scenic spots we stop at.
  • I laugh a lot.
  • I sing with the radio or the iPod.
  • I say “why are you so cute?” to B about a dozen times throughout the day.
  • I pick up a small token of some sort to remember the day. It’s usually a rock, shell, bone or fossil of some sort. I never remember what day it goes to but it’s not really about being specific to me. It’s like collecting bits of life.
  • I go to bed feeling filled up and magical.

This was one of those days. What about you? You got one?

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