Monthly Archives: February 2016

She died peacefully with her family surrounding her.

This is what happened to someone I know.  Her family was there and it was peaceful.  I guess since we’ll all have to “go,” this is the way to do it.  But life’s unpredictable and sometimes life (and death) happens suddenly.  Sometimes there’s no chance at good-bye.  Sometimes there’s no planning ahead.  So, I’ve asked myself recently: “Am I ready?”

That’s a huge question.

First, I have kids and how can one say good-bye to their kids?  Don’t you feel your heart breaking just thinking about it?  This week I was running (finally) with a friend and I said: If I died today, and I don’t want to, but if I did, would my kids be ready?  I found my focus was not on me but on them.  Mine seem too young for me to go. But they’re really great people.  They have their issues (we all do).  But, their core being is there.  Plus, I have amazing people in my life who would step in and help them as they moved along their paths.  So, are they ready?  No, but yes.

Have I experienced all that I want to experience?  That’s a big one too.  I’m so incredibly thankful for what I’ve done thus far.  Is anything else just icing on the cake?  Do I want to travel?  Sure.  Do I want to finish a marathon without an injury?  No question. Do I want to meet all my grandchildren? YES!  But have I been lucky so far?  Can I appreciate what I’ve got? Certainly. And as a result, I can say that I’ve experienced all I need to.

Have I made my mark here?  Some lasting effect to make this a better place?  I’m not sure.  But I try to do something every day so I’m at least headed in that direction.  My new idea: a business model that includes a focus on helping people who have the passion and drive to help others.  One small step for mankind …

Here are the things I try to do every day to be “ready:”

  • Be the first to say, “Hello.”
  • Be kinder than necessary.
  • Don’t screw someone for your benefit.
  • Give someone a second chance – but not a third.
  • Share your knowledge – you’ll become immortal.
  • Fill your life with smart people.
  • Listen  – with your ears.
  • Love until it hurts.
  • Appreciate the hurt.

So – are you ready? If the answer is no, look at how you’re spending your time.  Are you giving all the love you can?  It’s a must.  Are you satisfied with your life experiences?  If not, do something about that – now. Do you feel stuck? Make a move. If’ you’re ok with your life – be thankful.  Are you doing a small act every day?  Tiny or big … a mark is a mark.

When our time comes, I do think we’ll be ready. How? By not taking life for granted (however imperfect) and being thankful for what we’ve got. It’s actually really pretty simple. 🙂

Have an amazing week my friends!

 

I thought I’d failed at my own advice about letting go.

I write a lot of things about life.  They’re all things I think about or experience.  They’re often things I wish I did better. I write about being transparent, finding peace, accepting change, letting go and love – always love.  I believe with all my heart in these things.  But recently, I thought I’d failed at my own advice.  Which forced me to dig deeper than I wanted to (my life story)!

I had coffee with someone last week and while I was sitting there, I realized that I’d not released all my feelings about an intentional decision he made, which hurt my feelings.  I walked away from that 45 minute coffee feeling frustrated with myself.  How was it that I’d not let go of my hurt and anger ?  What purpose were the feelings serving?  Why the freak didn’t I take my own advice and let go? I thought I’d missed my own point(s).

So, I paused and forgave myself.

Don’t we all have hard feelings about people and situations? Although we’re told to ignore and release those feelings doesn’t that just provide the inevitable momentary relief from those feelings? Am I sure I want to tell myself that a certain emotion is wrong and allow myself to be trapped in the very negative thing I’m trying to avoid?

I decided to write down my list of what we (read: me) should do with the feelings we deem “negative”  —

  1. Don’t fight it: Accept all your feelings.  The numbers of emotions we have are like the kinds of weather patterns – they all differ based on what else is going on in your life.  When you accept your emotional life, you’re affirming yourself.
  2. Don’t waste energy: Don’t spend your energy pushing the emotion away. Instead, once you acknowledge the emotion, you can pursue the behaviors that are actually aligned with your goals and values. Avoidance teaches nothing.
  3. It won’t kill you: Acceptance is like saying that the emotion isn’t that bad.  It’s not going to kill us.  Let’s learn from it.
  4. Diffuse it: Acceptance of “the” emotion actually takes its destructive force out of it.  You know that example of the swimmer caught in an undercurrent – rather than swim against it and get fatigued, the swimmer allows it to pull them until the current weakens and then is able to swim away.  So, swim with your emotions and they will take you to a new place.

Emotional acceptance assumes a willingness to experience negative emotion, to acknowledge and absorb it.  To marinate in it. It’s tough, right?

Maybe I didn’t actually fail.  Maybe acknowledging those feelings allows us to use them to grow and learn.  Maybe pushing away powerful emotions short sighted.  

Once we realize that all we’ve got to do is let the emotions run their course, retaining them is ok because they’ll have no real power over our lives.  And then my friends, we’ll be able to go off and run our own beautiful new life course!

Have an amazing week!

 

I want to quit but I’m feeling too guilty.

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”   Ann Landers

Have you ever noticed that all the talk on forgiveness is about forgiving other people?  That accepting who they are and what they do to us is the pinnacle of personal growth?  But what about forgiving ourselves?  What about letting go when we’re in a situation that doesn’t work and then forgiving ourselves for moving on?  We don’t do that. We stay. We try to make “it work” and you know how that goes — All you’re left with are regrets.

Here’s my problem: I’m in a meditation class.  I’m not ready.  I don’t practice.  I don’t want to go.  It just doesn’t feel like the right time. I want to quit but I’m feeling too guilty. I feel like a failure.

My boys tell me I shouldn’t quit (something I’ve told them for years).  My friends tell me I’ve bit off more than I can chew given my current life circumstances.  My feelings of failure and guilt are overwhelming.  I’m stressed out about a meditation class!!  And, where is that f***ing guilt coming from?

I’ve already spent the money – so how can it be that?  There are a number of people in the class so one gone won’t affect anyone.  Do I think I’ll let my kids down?  (Ha! On what day this week didn’t I let them down?) 🙂  Where’s my “obligation” – I chose to take the class?

I need to ask myself – “What do you want?  What’s your intuition say about this?”  Then, when I get the answer, I need to respect it – respect me.  This is what we (read “me”) don’t do in life.  We don’t ask ourselves the critical questions.  And, even if we do, we don’t listen to our own answers.

In a 2013 interview, Brené Brown explained that we can not only overcome feelings of guilt and shame, we can use them as a catalyst for compassion — for yourself and others. “Shame depends on me buying into the belief that I’m alone,” she said.

When you’re questioning an action (or inaction), remind yourself that you’re enough, you’re not damaged or broken, no matter where you are or what decision you make about your life.  We need to trust our inner voice.

I have no answers here nor do I know what direction I’m going to go on this class.  But, I know this:  It’s time to stop wasting our time on self-created guilt.  It’s time to listen and respect our gut.  You know what you should do, can do, and need to do.  So, listen to that voice (it’s yours!), take action.  Then forgive yourself and don’t look back.

Have a great rest of your weekend!

XOXO