Make Peace With Your Life

When I read self-help books, I feel all jazzed. They excite me, but I find them lacking in one aspect, application. I’m thinking of one type in particular, which refers the reader to visualize their perfect day, to help make it real. I picture myself waking up at 8:00 in the morning and eating a healthy breakfast. Work on my writing. Hmmm. Sure, I can do this.

I know a man who cleans floors for a living. He’s a janitor at a middle school in town and has been for many years. He’ll probably retire there. He sweeps, mops, waxes, and buffs those things until they shine perfectly. It brings him great satisfaction. He likes the solitude. And the immediate reward. His art is not the Mona Lisa, but it’s his. At one time he was a contract painter for a local business, painting walls. He enjoyed that also.

I’m missing the feels

Why do I mention this? Because I have to remind myself, there’s a reason for work. Am I working for big dollars? Or hoping for fame? (good luck for either of those) Truthfully, I long for the same feeling as that man, and the same as anyone who finishes with an end stroke, be it an ink pen or a sewing needle. Yes! I did it.

Being satisfied in life is vital. It brings joy and meaning into our life. Some jobs have no end in sight. The gratitude level is too low. You need outside support or the chaos becomes more than you can bear. How do we handle these things? If you’re a mother or caregiver, the work can overwhelm you. Where can you find purpose? A caregiver for an elderly parent is one of the most thankless responsibilities, and our society undervalues caregiving.

We can only live one life, and that’s our own. Each day is ours to choose and a new day to live.

I Am Home

Do you get stuck in one gear? Ever wonder about your strange whims? We all have them. Some are more noticeable than others. Many can be hidden or written off as normal behavior, but inside you know there’s a gear that’s broken. A rattling. This isn’t a fracture for a bone doctor to repair. It’s deeper.

I’ve been watching my repetitive behavior for a few years now. I also compared it with my mom’s. It’s similar. Some people drink too much alcohol or smoke cigarettes. Others overeat. I have a name for my continual urge. Nesting. It’s common when you move into a new home or if you have a new baby, but I don’t fit either category. Birds gather feathers and yarn for their nest in the spring. I shop on Amazon. I love my home. Finally, I had to ask myself why I continue decorating?

“I have arrived. I am home in the now. I am solid. I am free. In the ultimate I dwell. What a loving place to be.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

The chaos and uncertainty that most of us experience makes it impossible to feel safe. We struggle with our place in society, in the workforce, with our family. We are like a puppy circling to find a comfy spot to sleep. Only we never relax. Circle. Circle. Keep moving.

I don’t feel safe. When I was a child, my home was chaotic and full of anger, so I grew up frightened. As an adult, unconsciously, I’m making a home for myself. My quilts, books, and pictures are only tokens. They are security blankets. Maybe I need them, perhaps I don’t. I’m trying to be patient with myself.

Bless you on your journey to wholeness.

Painting by Leticia Banegas, taken from The Girl God

Show Them You

It’s easy to respond in kind. Someone cuts in front of me in traffic and I want to yell, raise my fist, maybe run them down to show no mercy to bullies. It’s a quick impulse requiring no thought. Any stupid person could do it, yet I consider myself smarter than average. Laugh with me, please.

I’ve had a few road rage issues in the past that could have gone wrong as I’ve mentioned in past posts here. I stepped back from those as if I’d been burned. Anger turns to rage so quick. And it can lead to some horrific results.

I read a post that said when someone gives you a taste of their medicine hit back with yours. Be you. Relax. Don’t stoop to their level. You’ll just make yourself miserable otherwise. Give patience in place of their anger. Show kindness to every insult.

Examine your motives and check yourself before you respond. The more often you do this, the better you will be at governing your rage.

In Your Face

FaceTime, Facebook, we are up close and personal. You would think we all loved each other like cult wives, but we don’t. We’re afraid of getting lost.

 

Lost

Our world is too busy, and we have lost touch with each other, so we place our close conversations and intimacy on Reddit and SnapChat. Our birthdays are celebrated on screen as well every relationship status and break up right down to the dramatic ending.

We long for exposure. It isn’t enough anymore to enjoy a cup of coffee and slice of apple pie. We talk about it. Share. Instagram a pic of it in nostalgic shades. Touch me, see me, like me. Am I real? Do I matter?

Mind Numb

Our chase of meaning only comes to one conclusion. The need for another try. The system is rigged against us. The game is a casino slot machine. Pull the lever and hear the bells. Watch the lights flashing again. How many times have we done this? Have I been sitting here long? My butt is numb. Oh well, I’ll do one more quarter then go home.

Please and thank you can be used by everyone. They are the salt and pepper of society. – JW

Spells and Magic

If this were a magic spell being cast in a children’s fairytale book we would be screaming at the characters. Run. Get out of the building. Turn off your phone. It’s a plot by a wicked queen. But we know these are not fairytales. There are no plots, right? Well, there is the one guy who says otherwise. I’ll link to his Ted talk HERE.

Acknowledge

How do we take care of ourselves since we are aware of our need to be noticed? Acknowledge it. Post the wedding pictures. Enjoy the Likes. But try to find a life outside of your profile. Give to others. Remember to show respect to those around you.

…and my mouth said, “It was his way of saying he loved me. He used to say, ‘I see you Yi-yi.’ ” – Jada from Feversong: A Fever Novel, by Karen Marie Moning

A complaint I heard recently is when a man opens a door for a woman many times she walks through without saying a word. Not even a Thank You.

Here in my part of the country, men are taught to open doors for women, to take out the trash, to say, ma’am. These are courteous actions yes, but so much more. Please and thank you can be used by everyone. These acknowledgments are the salt and pepper of society. Without these ingredients our lives become irritating. Life chafes from constant obligations. It’s not an enjoyable way to live a life. Kindness is needed to keep our society healthy. I want to support others, to see them, show them love, every day.

Namaste

What Are We Saying When We Are Saying When We Are Saying Namaste?

 

I Will Pray For You

Prayer. It’s awkward. There was a time when it was easy to pray. Today I pause. It’s not the words. I can craft a good Our Heavenly Father, as well as any preacher man does on a Sunday morning. Nope, I hesitate because I want to be honest with you. And I’m not sure of who I’m praying to. So I hesitate.

Maybe you understand my problem. I’m sincere, and I wish for people to be well. I want their families to be safe from harm and sickness to leave their bodies. Well, I’ve found a prayer that works for me, and it’s simple. First is a short version and easy to memorize. The longer one is second. I hope this helps you.

One more thing, to anyone who has been in my life, but I have offended or thinks I am angry with them, please know I do ‘pray’ for you. I hold no grudges. It’s important to keep the prayer channels clear. And by prayer, I mean something closer to a positive affirmation.

If you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or of any other religion, I am not saying you should switch to my ways. This is my way of handling an uncomfortable situation.

Here is my abbreviated version Metta Loving Kindness Prayer.

May all be happy

May all be at peace

May I be happy

May I be at peace

Loving Ourselves

We begin practicing this love meditation on ourselves
May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice on others (he/she)
May he/she be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May he/she be safe and free from injury.
May he/she be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice including our selves with others (we),
May we be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May we be safe and free from injury.
May we be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Respect Yourself

I am angry

I want to be seen and heard. Noticed. Jump up and down, throw a tantrum like a small child in the grocery store. I want others to act as if I matter. As if I am an appointment that can’t be missed. A craving. An addiction. But sometimes people aren’t capable.

It’s not always in their DNA to respond in the way I want. I’m not saying it’s alright for others to abuse me, I’m stating a fact. My expectations are misplaced, and I need to change. My truth, I’m asking someone else for validation. To respect me. Tell me I’m important. Tell me these things.

  • I matter
  • I’m important
  • I’m valuable
  • I’m impressive
  • I’m irreplaceable
  • I’m undeniable
  • My needs are pressing
  • I am a priority

I don’t want to be second or to not even be chosen at all. I’ve been there. It hurts. The stabbing pain of feeling abandoned is gut-wrenching, especially when it’s from your loved ones. But I can’t be a child throwing a temper tantrum. It’s selfish. Nor do I want the bitter anger building inside of me anymore.

I am the love child of the universe.

I am loved. I’m important. Esteemed. Undeniable. I am heard. Valuable. I rate here. This is my territory. The universe hears my voice and respects me. Blessed. I am home in this world. But, I cannot wait for someone, anyone else to tell me. It’s my life and my responsibility.

Woman’s Inhumanity to Women by Phyllis Chesler

karusellcarousel
Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes

6. Learn to Ask for what you want; Learn to Move On If You Don’t Get What You Want.
A woman must be encouraged to put what she wants into words, to ask for it directly rather than waiting for someone to guess what it is she wants. If a woman cannot get what she wants, she does not have to blame herself, give up, disconnect, or become enraged. She must learn that she can get what she wants another day or at another job or with another person. Women must be encouraged to move on as well as to stay the course. – The Girl God 

P.S.

Don’t forget to support each other. We all need to hear that we are loved and valuable. It’s life-changing. It will rock your loved one’s world. Better yet, show them. Make someone a priority.

Today, you are loved.

You might want to read Expectations vs Reality or Pajamas are For Wearing All Day Long or Am I Expecting Too Much?

The Good Life

“We’re on the go for love to open our lives to walk tasting the sunshine of Life.”

It’s getting cold up north and I don’t like the cold. I’m never ready for wintertime. The chill. The ice storms. I’m summer’s girl. Give me the beach, some sun, and a book. That’s my good life.

It’s the oddest things that make us smile. Our favorite songs. A good hot dog. Popcorn at the movies. Hugs from our grandparents.

Life is lived in the small moments. What do you enjoy?

Walk through life

Beautiful more than anything

Stand in the sunlight

Walk through life

Love all the things

That make you strong,

be lovers, be anything

For all the people of

Earth

You have brothers

You love each other, change up

And look at the world

Now, it’s

Our’s, take it slow

We’ve got a long time, a long way

To go,

We have

Each other, and the

World,

Don’t be sorry

Walk on out through sunlight life

and know

We’re on the go

For love

To open

Our lives

To walk

Tasting the sunshine

Of Life. – Amiri Baraka, Answers in Progress from Brain PickingsSelected Plays and Prose of Amiri Baraka

I Am Safe

I’ve admired the European lifestyle for many years. What I’ve watched in a carefree manner began to be the way I wanted to pattern my life. I’ve felt stressed from the uptight expectations of the American society, stretched thin from not enough down time to recharge. I complained that I wanted to move to France or Italy or even Sweden just so I can get away from our hectic ways. Give me siestas and long vacations.

Wine and bread

While I’m working through my lunch cramming down the last bite of food, I’m thinking there’s someone in France sipping a glass of wine with her friend and eating a crusty baguette. Vacation only made this worse.

Somehow, the other side of the pond has always seemed greener. Europe’s healthcare system, vacations, their unpretentious philosophy of life, more liberal politics, all of these were more to my liking. But something interesting happened while I was driving back to work from a doctor’s appointment. I glanced out the car window and noticed there was a flock of geese lounging on the golf course, safe. Only golfers were near enough to chase them.

What Happened?

golfing-geese_zps9716b6961

There’s a lot of talk about healthcare in the states, and you’d think we were all dying on the streets without any care at all. I don’t want Medicaid defunded because this affects everyone, hospitals and doctors included, and of course, the patients receiving care. But that’s a political conversation. What I did realize about my own situation is that I am doing alright. And I came by this truth by changing my inner picture. Instead of seeing bad, I caught a glimpse of what’s good in my life, but this has taken retraining. Rehab for my brain. Neurolinguistics. Read this post. Can you Neuro Lingo.

I’m alright

I was returning from an appointment with a doctor who was helpful and kind. I have good healthcare. My job allows me to leave in the middle of the day for an appointment. Yes, our system is complicated. It needs improvement, not abolished as some want to do. I’m also trying to remember that the grass is pretty damn green on my golf course.

Some helpful links:

Neurolinguistic training that helped

Similar blog posts:

 

Hard Times Come Again No More

1803421922-tumblr_mevga9vhge1rla79eo1_500Some weeks are exhausting. Getting out of bed is more than I can do. But then I meet people who are suffering, lost their job, a child has cancer, and it makes me realize I’m okay. Just whining here. This song is for those who have had some real hard times.

Maybe this is you. Did you take two steps forward and slip three steps back? If this hasn’t been one of your good weeks and it seems that only the vultures are your friend. I’m sorry. I wish I could be there with you and help. Could you consider singing part of this song with me? It’s one of my favorites. The band is Eastmountainsouth.

let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears
while we all sup sorrow with the poor
there’s a song that will linger forever in our ears
oh, hard times come again no more

’tis a songa a sigh of the weary
hard timesa hard times come again no more
many days you have lingered around my cabin door
oha hard times come again no more

while we seek mirth and beauty
and music light and gay
there are frail ones fainting at the door
though their voices are silent
their pleading looks will say
oh, hard times come again no more

’tis a songa a sigh of the weary
’tis a songa a sigh of the weary
hard times… hard times come again no more
many days you have lingered around my cabin door
oh, hard times come again no more

’tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave
’tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
’tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
oh, hard times come again no more

Read more: Eastmountainsouth – Hard Times Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I hope tomorrow is full of joy and delight.

Check out Crimson, Eleven, Delight, Smell of Dust After Rain

Insatiable 

Take five minutes. Only five minutes. Five minutes to calm. To listen. To be quiet. To pray. To meditate. To stop and smell the fragrance of the scarlet roses in your mother’s front lawn. Slow down five minutes.

Life’s been tugging on me with its incessant neediness and each pull feels as if it will take me down with it.

I want to change the world. Change society. When I see the desperate face of a refugee, there’s a pang of empathy and a desire to help. I see the needless waste of human lives thrown and tossed into the skirmish of wars fought over pettiness or another’s profit. It infuriates me.

My idealism is a black hole of never finished projects. I cannot save the world. I cannot change society. But I absolutely cannot afford to despair. Or to check out.

So, I’m taking five minutes. Five minutes to listen to music. To feel the perfection of this moment. To heal. To give. These five minutes I can do. In these five minutes I can reflect and remember who I am. Would you join me?

Five minutes.