Saturday morning 7:30 a.m. I find myself standing outside on my deck wearing a t-shirt, athletic shorts and barefoot. The rain is gently falling down around me splattering in the small puddles at my feet. Having been awaken by the heavy rains in the night I gather that the gentle drops falling now are the leftovers of the night’s storms leaving behind refreshed earth and all that lingers in the tree tops and bushes. Life at this point seems rather simple, mundane and possibly insignificant to some but for me as I allow the rain to embrace me in its wet blanket I find happiness. Or maybe, just maybe happiness found me; I wonder if sometimes I am lost to the happiness or that I allow what others portray to be happy cloud my vision? We are all guilty I think of losing focus and find ourselves not being able to see the forest for the trees. We also must realize that we can be happy even in the midst of struggle and difficulty. Several years ago had I been standing in the rain waiting for the dog to “do his business” I would have grumbled and been less than happy to be there, however, this time I chose to be happy because it’s a much better use of energy and in all honesty we need the rain; rain I believe is good for the soul.Continue reading
Life and Lemon Crackers…
My grandmother used to make lemon crackers when I was a young girl. Not really a cracker, more like a round lemon shortbread cookie with little holes from the tines of a fork pressed gently into the top of each one, she made these delicacies several times a year. At the time I had no idea just what an tedious process it was to make these tasty treats; I always thought it was just another cookie. While the ingredients were relatively simple the process of making and storing them were precise and essential to having just the right flavor in the end. The key was not to eat them right away but rather store them for a while so that they could become as she put it “more lemony”. And unlike most cookies, if stored properly, you could eat them several months after she baked them. I miss her and her lemon crackers.
This week as I sat quietly in my writing chair thoughts of those delightful “lemony” treats crept into my mind not so much because I wanted one, although that would be wonderful, but because of the metaphor it brings to mind. You see, the ingredients in the lemon crackers are relatively simple, rather plain and ordinary, however, when precisely combined the results are a light, flavorful somewhat crispy cookie like cracker that goes great with a cup of hot tea.Continue reading
Opens Minds…Open Hearts
Author Steve Aitchison once wrote “Open minded people do not impose their beliefs on others. They accept that we all have a different perspective on life and do their own thing in peace without judgement.” Having read this particular quote several times this week as it circulated on social media in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision that ruled that same-sex couples can marry nationwide I pondered what it is that makes people so divided on the subject and what is it that triggers such hate about this particular subject. With so many “hot button” issues saturating our news feeds lately I find myself a bit heavy hearted that there is so much hate and anger in our world revolving about this issue. Should it be an issue at all? Who are we to judge?Continue reading
A Letter to the Joneses….
We all know that one family who somehow manages to make life seem perfect. Social media is saturated with pictures of exotic vacations, kids perfect grades, new cars, houses, lavish shopping trips; the list is endless. And if we admit it we have all found ourselves feeling a bit envious and try to keep up with them from time to time; they are the “Joneses”. Having had several conversations about “The Joneses” recently and how what we perceive and what is real is all too often completely different we must realize that THAT life is not attainable; I don’t believe it truly exists. Perfection is not an element of life; however, happiness amongst the struggles of life is possible if we embrace the struggles with a positive attitude. We must learn to be grateful for what we have. This week as part of my own letting go I have decided to write a letter to the Joneses and “break up” with them.
Dear Joneses:Continue reading
Driving through rural back roads in what some would call “country” roads I caught a glimpse of a cow attempting to eat the grass on the other side of the fence. Pushing her nose through the hole in the fence as her long slippery tongue reached for the green grass on the other side she struggled avoiding what was right in front of her; green grass. How often are we like the cow on the other side of the fence longing for something just beyond our reach? How often do we spend so much extra energy trying to have what others have only to get it and find ourselves dissatisfied and wanting more?Continue reading
Out of the Shadows…..
Award winning author and life coach Vironika Tugaleva wrote “You’ll never know who you are unless you shed who you pretend to be.” The idea of pretending to be someone other than ourselves is nothing new, as a matter of fact make believe is a vital element of a child’s development. Pretending to be something or someone else is often encouraged as make believe games broaden the imagination and enhances creativity. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question that is asked quite often of young people. Classic answers such as doctor, nurse, fire fighter, teacher and police officer are just a few of the answers children will give; often those answers are encouraged by parents. How often did we as little children give one of those classic answers having absolutely no idea what we really wanted to be or what we would become as adults? And how often as adults do we struggle to “be” something? And how often do we become what we thought we wanted only to change directions and desire to be something else?
When a baby is born her parents have big dreams for her and whether intentional or not they begin to instill those dreams, their dreams, into her cultivating what they believe is best for her. As time passes it becomes evident that the parent’s dreams do not always match those of the child. Often parents dream that their children will follow in their footsteps. The idea is that “the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree” meaning that children will follow in their parent’s footsteps; taking over the family business so to speak. It’s at that point parents must allow that child to grow into her own hopes and dreams knowing that the life road that stretches out in front of her is hers and hers alone.
Having spent a considerable amount of time recently working college reunion functions at The University of Virginia as a volunteer hospitality worker (beer and ice schlepper) I wondered just how many of those roaming around grounds were utilizing the degree they earned or if they changed directions and headed down a different career path. Of course I will never know the answer to that but my guess is that not everyone there was doing what they wanted to be when they grew up. I wonder if their parents were disappointed or supportive. I wonder how many of those alums stayed true to their original plans out of obligation and duty. How many of them have a fulfilling career and how many of them have just a job? How many of those “acorns” fell off the family tree and landed nearby only to sprout up and be stunted by in the shadows of the oak tree? How many of them rolled away into the sunlight; out of the shadows and grew tall and strong.
We must learn to live our lives as authentically as possible, staying true to ourselves, following our dreams yet never forget where we came from; our roots. Like the tiny acorn that falls from the tree we must roll out into the clearing giving ourselves space to grow and mature on our own. Standing in the shadows of others will prohibit us from reaching our full potential leaving us feeling irrelevant and unfulfilled. We can, however, stay connected through the foundation that was laid for us; keeping our “root system” in tack will allow us to stand tall in times of adversity and difficulty.
Whether you are the tall oak or the little nut preparing to dig into the life’s dirt I encourage you to live your dreams, be who you want to be and know that you will grow taller standing in the sun that hiding in the shade of someone else’s dreams.
I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
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