Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Tree Wisdom

I sit alone in the quiet of the night only a few feet from an enormous Christmas tree
Its flickering lights remind me of how our light within can flicker at times.
There are times in life when we are challenged to keep the light bright.  

The tree is filled with various ornaments, each one distinct and meaningful, many quite special.
We can lose sight of our uniqueness when we compare ourselves to others.  

Its gold ribbons and garland embrace the tree
A gentle reminder to go with the flow and trust the outcome. 

The angel sits on the very top looking down
Offering a reminder that we are divinely cared for.
All is well.

I wish you and those you love the most magical Christmas!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Healing Procrastination

I must admit that I too have been a procrastinator in my life. You know, waiting to the last minute to get something done and then rushing to get it done just as the hand of the clock chimes, "Your time is up! Put down your pencils" Procrastination lends itself to feeling stressed, worried and rushed, also known as crazymaking.

                               How does it serve you to wait to the very last minute?

 Are you trying to prove something to yourself or others? Perhaps when you were a kid in school you thought, I am so smart (or clever) that I can wait to the last minute and still get a good grade? In other words, "Look how good I am." 

Or perhaps instead you feel unworthy of your time. Therefore, you waste it or give it up to others, only to then wonder why you do not have any time for yourself?

Regardless of the reason, why put yourself through this unnecesssary torture time and time again, when you can do things differently.

Learn to ADD rather than to subtract time.  In other words, set your watch five minutes earlier and forget that you have done so.  Add time to whatever time you allow to accomplishing a task. For example if you think it will take you 15 minutes to run to the post office, give yourself 20. Even better is to add in an extra 10 minutes. That can feel luxurious to the procrastinator. Imagine having an extra 10 minutes!  

Learn how nice it is to arrive early. People who avoid arriving early often feel uncomfortable waiting. In order to avoid waiting, they push the limits on the time and sadly, arrive late and keep others waiting. 

Learn to do things EARLY. If a paper is due on Wednesday, you hand it in on Tuesday. You complete it by Sunday and review it for the last time on Monday. Give yourself extra time, rather than just barely enough time.

To heal procrastination, one must become comfortable with being early. Try it on for size. You will worry less and relax more. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Separate yourself
from the judgements
and criticisms of others
to recognize and honor
your genuine beauty within.

See yourself not as others perceive you,
but perfect in your own light. 


Monday, December 19, 2011

Thank you for your help!

To all those whom I have expected help and yet never asked, I wish to say thank you. Thank you for helping me to see that the problem was not that you did not want to help, but simply that I did not feel worthy of help. I apologize for getting upset with you when you could not read my mind. I thought that you should know that I needed help. Afterall, I thought that you could see me overwhelmed and struggling? But then again, I never wanted you to know that I was struggling. I thought that it would punish you to do everything myself. Wrong. It punished me. Is it any wonder that everything became more complicated and therefore took longer than desired? I know now that there was never any ease because I could not allow it to be easy.  Ease comes from allowing others to help. And so, I wish to say thank you for all the times, past and present, when you were there to help me. I not only accept your help, but I greatly appreciate it. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

How do you prepare?

With only a week until Christmas, I cannot help but to reflect on the concept of preparation. How do you prepare, not only for Christmas or special events, but for most things in your life? Do you allow yourself plenty of time in order to get things done? Or do you procrastinate and rush it all in the end? Stress can be easily avoided by allowing yourself enough, if not plenty of, time to get something done. It is not necessary to push to the finish line only to arrive exhausted.Slow and steady will win the race, provided they have allowed themselves sufficient time to get there.

                               Why not be ready EARLY and sit back and relax for awhile?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Christmas Card or Letter

Why do people send Christmas cards and letters? With so many other things to do, wouldn’t it be nice to take one task off of the list? After all, there are many people who do not even bother. If they can get away with it, then you probably can too. Maybe they won’t even notice.  The truth is that sending a Christmas card is really more than buying and signing a card and getting it to the post office. Christmas cards and letters are about connection. It is a way in which you stay connected to those that you do not see on a regular basis. It is a way of saying that you have not forgotten them and that you value their presence in your life. I know that for me, I enjoy receiving such cards and letters. I especially enjoy when people send pictures of their families or letters that tell me what they have been doing in their lives. I value this connection. Some cards and letters make me chuckle, while others are heartfelt. All I know is I love to stop at my mailbox and see those envelopes there. I enjoy staying connected to people in my life, even if it is only through an annual card and well wishes. How do you stay connected with those you value?  


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pop Quiz

Do you have a smile?
                                    Do others know you have a smile?

Do you laugh out loud?
                                    Do others know the sound of your laugh?

Do you work hard?
                                   Do others see you working hard?

Do you respect yourself?
                                  Do others see you respecting yourself?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Be Happy!

No one will ever make you happy. It is up to you to make yourself happy.

You have a right to be happy. Yet you often hold out for someone or something to make you happy. And then still, you are not happy.

It is time to assume responsibility for your happiness. No one but you has the key to your happiness. And so, periodically ask yourself the question, "What will make me happy right now?" You may be surprised to realize how simple it is to make yourself happy. Why continue to wait, when you can make yourself happy now.

Wherever you are, be happy.

Wherever you go, be happy.

Whoever you are with, be happy.

In other words, Be Happy! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tips for a Merrier Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching. Although this time of year is most noted for being happy and joyful, there are some people who lose sight of the beauty and magic of this special time of year. Sadly Christmas can feel like a burden if your focus is on the buying, the baking, the wrapping and the decorating.Christmas can feel overwhelming when you think about all that needs to get done in only a few short weeks. Here are a few tips for making Christmas merrier:

1. Take time for yourself
2. Remember to choose fun things to do.
3. Make a list of what you need to do and cross items off as you accomplish them.
4. Minimize what you have to do (obligations), so that you have more time to do what you want to do.
5. Play Christmas music in your car and in your home.
6. Wrap a few presents each day.
7. Take a day off of work to go Christmas shopping or to wrap presents.
8. Watch at least one Christmas classic.
9. Keep in mind that gifts are meant to be thoughtful, not expensive. Do not fuss over what to get people. Make it easy.
10. Sit in the dark room with the Christmas tree lights on and remind yourself how very blessed you are.    

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Make Life Fun!

In order to live your life joyfully,

You must stop making life so serious

and indulge in some fun!

What do you do for fun?
What could you do to make life fun?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Let go of the Outcome

When you are overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next…
Stay true to yourself
Let go of the outcome.   
Everything happens in the way that it is supposed to happen.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Reasons for Conflict

What is the point of conflict?

·         To be heard

·         To be understood

·         To gain power

·         To prove our worth

·         To sabotage ourselves

·         To sabotage our relationships

·         To get attention

·         To gain sympathy

·         To push others away

·         To prove to ourselves that we are no good

·         To prove to others that we are not good

·         To “makeup” (improve connection/intimacy)

·         To stand up for ourselves

·         To stand up for others

·         To be heard again   

·         To be understood again


Monday, December 5, 2011

Go into each day...

Go into each day with love in your heart and peace in your mind.

All is well and will continue to be well.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

When Strangers become Friends

The day began like most any other weekend day. Yet so much came to unfold as the day came to a close.   There was magic in the air.  Jamie and I decided to spontaneously go and listen to a friend who was playing guitar at an unfamiliar restaurant in the smallest of towns. We had invited another friend to join us, but she was going to be delayed, if she was going to be able to make it at all. From the moment we walked in, we absorbed the beauty of this amazing place. We were graciously greeted by the owner who proceeded to seat us at a small table for two. I had told the owner that we were brought to his elegant restaurant to see a friend play guitar for them. The owner shared that he was also aware that today was the musician’s birthday. Although it was dark outside, from our table you could see a waterwheel through the window of the restaurant.  Jamie and I ordered our dinner and continued to take in the beauty of our surroundings, which one would not have believed existed from outside the front door. After a few minutes, the owner came over to our table and asked if we wanted to move so as to sit with our friends, the musician and his wife. We agreed and were seated in an even more beautiful area of the restaurant. And the magic continued to unfold.

The musician and his wife arrived, surprised to see us and greeting us ever so kindly as if we were old friends who had not seen each other in ten years.  Together we talked, we shared and we experienced.  As time passed we had various people visit our table. Some were old friends of the musical couple; two others were previous students of the musician. The owner and his wife would come and share various stories. The wife of the owner had known the wife of the musician for a long time. Each visitor arrived with a story and a connection to one or more of the four of us. At one time there were four women, including Jamie and I, who shared a connection through attending SUNY Cortland.  Another person eventually shared that she had attended Marywood College for her social work degree where I had also attended.   There were connections through colleges, churches, towns and organizations. The synchronicity of it all left us in awe of the entire experience. Not only had we all helped each other in some way of advice or sharing, each person who came to that table was touched in a profound way by one another’s presence. It was truly amazing! I went to dinner with Jamie, and left with a connection to Ithaca College for Kelci, a guitar teacher for Marissa, information regarding Hope Lake Lodge, new friends who own an antique shop, and an understanding of true hospitality by people who were strangers and are now friends.

 I believe tonight Jamie and I had our own version of It’s a Wonderful Life!
Thank you Clarence!  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Beginning a Creative Project

It all begins with a blank page, or a blank canvas. With a spark of inspiration, once you put pen to paper or paintbrush to canvas, the hardest part is done. Finding a place to begin is often the greatest challenge of a creative project.  It can delay a person for weeks, months, or even years just trying to figure out where to start. What is it that you are yearning to create? You can begin today by simply honoring the process of beginning.  It is not a place of already knowing what you will create, or what it will look like in the end. It is simply permitting paper and pen, or paint and canvas to join forces in the channeling of creative expression.  And so it begins. ..