Sunday, April 8, 2018

Explore the Gift

From "A Grateful Heart":
Saint Augustine once said, "Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering."
Tonight we acknowledge the wonder of our physical incarnation--that we are here, in these particular bodies, at this particular time, in these particular circumstances. May we never take for granted the gift of our individuality.
     The human is an amazing entity on every level. While science and Western medicine seem to think they have so much figured out on the physical level, they don't. They've barely scratched the surface of the intricacies of the human body. I am in a constant state of wonder at the human body's ability to heal itself and continually return to balance. Consider how a sperm and egg uniting in a woman's uterus creates a new human--it is mind-blowing. Then we move to the human consciousness and the mystery becomes even more mind-boggling.
     Those are all general thoughts about human beings. As we delve into the aspect of individuality, it is again mind-boggling to think that there is no one like you on the planet now, nor will there ever be another like you ever. With each of us having our own perception and ability to create, truly the possibilities are endless. Just think of all the things that individuals have invented or initiated in the last 50 years. And the pace of creativity is speeding up. Human creativity, the creativity of you and me, is fascinating!
     One of the things I love about teaching the MELT Method and Forrest Yoga is the opportunity to encourage folks to appreciate the magnificence of their bodies and to enjoy all the things they can do, setting aside, at least during class time, the things they can't do.
     Would you like some help and direction exploring the gift that is you? Check out my book, WHOA!--just click on the tab above to learn more. Another excellent way to have the time to enjoy yourself is to go on retreat. That opportunity is yours this October 19-21 at Timber Creek Retreat House in Drexel, Missouri. Yep, there's a tab above for that, too.
     You'll never go wrong appreciating the amazing being that you are!
                    Enjoying being me,
                                Leta

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Is It Better to Know or Not Know?

"Everything has a lifespan." Dr. Chris Michaels

     I recently missed, due to a combination of work and dog-sitting duties, an annual event that I enjoy in the St. Louis area. Alas, I learned the day after the event that it will likely be the last one, since the host is moving away. (The location of the event is a huge part of its draw and success.) Had I known it would be the last one, I would have been more ambitious about finding a way to make my presence there. Dang!
     I spoke recently with my friend who lives in Chicago to arrange my annual visit there, which of course includes a Cubs game. He informed me that he is leaving Chicago in August and fulfilling a long-held dream of moving to Bali. This means that this will be my last "annual" adventure in Chicago. Granted, I'm thinking Bali will be even more fun to visit, but nonetheless, I'm feeling some melancholy that we won't have our Chicago fun together any more after this June's trip. "The last one" will definitely be lurking around us when I am there.
     Another example... our older son played baseball as a youngster, he was quite good at it, and I LOVED going to his games (yes, I'm crazed about baseball!). Both he, his dad and I anticipated that he would continue to play baseball all through high school. However, he decided as a freshman to play golf rather than baseball. Mercifully, I did not know that his last baseball game was, in fact, his last game, and I am grateful for that not-knowing to this day, as that would have been a very rough one.
     So is it better to know or not know? It's not a comfortable vibe to go into something thinking "This may be the last time I get to do this." But in reality, that is always the case. There are no guarantees. That question has no definitive answer. It depends on the circumstance, the person and even the timing. I'm thinking it makes for one of the joys of this amazing earthly life.
     Enjoying right now,
          Leta


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Silence

     May we respect the need for silence in our lives.

     That is an anonymous line from my current daily read, A Grateful Heart. I am a person who loves silence. Noise is the equivalent of physical clutter to me. It drives me nuts and drags down my spirit. Being an introvert (yes, I am!), too much noise eventually equates to too many people, and I have to retreat. My favorite spot of retreat is my woman cave. There a fan is continually on to be my "white noise" of silence.
     I confess that I am not so much a "music lover." While I enjoy music, given the choice of silence or music, I'll take silence. I don't have any music or TV on when I am home alone, and if I have headphones in, it's because I'm listening to a podcast, not music.
     I'm going to hop on my soap box for a moment. Are you one of those folks who goes to work all day, leaving your dog outside to bark incessantly? I used to love to putter in my garden, but not anymore, for as soon as I step on the deck, neighbors' dogs start barking, and they don't stop till I retreat back inside. The peaceful joy of gardening is long gone for me. Soap box fussing complete.
     It feels to me these days that noise never stops. Choosing silence requires deliberate effort. I invite you to pay attention to what you hear around you, and investigate what it takes to get some quiet time. Try silence on and see how it feels.
     Peace and quiet to you and me,
            Leta





Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Putting life into perspective, a useful reminder for most of us...

This prayer-poem is by Ina J. Hughes, from the book, A Grateful Heart:

We pray for children
     who sneak popsicles before supper,
     who erase holes in math workbooks,
     who can never find their shoes.
And we pray for those
     who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
     who can't bound down the streets in a new pair of sneakers,
     who never "counted potatoes,"
     who are born in places we wouldn't be caught dead,
     who never go to the circus,
     who live in an X-rated world.
We pray for the children
     who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
     who hug us in and hurry and forget their lunch money.
And we pray for those
     who never get dessert,
     who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
     who watch their parents watch them die,
     who can't find any bread to steal,
     who don't have any rooms to clean up,
     whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
     whose monsters are real.
We pray for children
     who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
     who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
     who like ghost stories,
     who shove dirty clothes under the bed, and never rinse out the tub,
     who get visits from the tooth fairy,
     who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
     who squirm in church or temple and scream into the phone,
     whose tears we sometimes laugh at and
     whose smiles can make us cry.
And we pray for those
     whose nightmares come in the daytime,
     who will eat anything,
     who have never seen a dentist,
     who aren't spoiled by anybody,
     who go to be hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
     who live and move, but have no being.
We pray for the children who want to be carried
     and for those who must,
     for those we never give up on and for those
     who don't get a second chance.
For those we smother... and for those who will grab the hand of anybody
     kind enough to offer it.

Knowing my life is truly easy and care-free, and so thankful for it,
        Leta

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Our Stuff

     This past Tuesday on the way home from work, I learned that in our parched-and-dry-fire-hazard part of the country, the home of a friend of a friend was burned to the ground. Talking with my understandably-rattled friend about it, we agreed that an event such as this truly brings the importance of our "stuff" into dramatic perspective.
     Here is a quote I ran across several days ago:
"But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can't let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future."  Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
     I like to think that my life is fairly simple and uncluttered. Yet as I look around me in the woman cave, and mentally roam our house, the thought of ever having to move is totally overwhelming because of all the "stuff" we have. Right now, there's an entire room-full around me, and there's very little of it that I couldn't let go. Yet I'm comfortable here. The room is "me." I do put effort into keeping the clutter at bay. It's important to remember that this "stuff" that is often quite meaningful to me is just "stuff" to someone else. (If you are an estate sale shopper like me, you totally get that.)
     Post tax-season will bring on another cleaning/tidying/releasing exercise. I have the above quote to guide me. I shall use it to reinforce the love in me (grown from the past, the only thing I can truly keep) and my faith in expanding good (not fearing the future).
     Here's to a lighter life,
            Leta

Friday, March 2, 2018

LEGOS!

     I am a complete and total freak over Legos. I believe them to be the best toy on the planet, possibly even the Universe. My two sons' Lego collection grew to enormous during their childhood. I still have that huge box of Legos, and I have added significantly to our original collection with some outstanding estate sale purchases. I think I'm operating under the mantra, "She who dies with the most Legos wins."
     I often talked with my older brother about Legos when our sons were younger. All he talked about was how it hurt like hell when he stepped on one, especially unsuspecting in the darkness of nighttime. So when I saw this picture, I laughed out loud. So true!!!

Image result for what legos do when we aren't looking

     When I was in my mid-fifties, I was on retreat in California, and I learned that Legoland was nearby. Thus began one of the highlight adventures of my life, a solo trip to Legoland. I had a blast!! Unencumbered by impatient children or bored adults, I took my time exploring and riding rides and taking in the amazing wonder and creativity of it all. Do you know that there are real-live engineers whose JOB it is to build huge Lego creations?!?!? (Maybe my next lifetime...) They have a store there (of course) where bricks are separated by color and size and you can buy them by the pound. The park has everything from tiny villages to a giant dragon to a full-size Volvo SUV made out to Legos. It includes models of the Taj Mahal and the Sydney Opera House. Displayed near each creation is the number of Legos involved; sometimes that number is well into the six figures.



     What will you do today to have fun with something you love?
               Busy creating,
                   Leta



Friday, February 23, 2018

The Treasure of Today

A writing by Mary Jean Iron from the book, "A Grateful Heart"...
Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return. 
I catch myself, often, daydreaming and anticipating future fun. While there is nothing wrong with that, it tends to make me less aware of the blessings of the present moment. I'm especially vulnerable to this right now, in the midst of tax season. I am tax preparer, a job I do to fund my fun the rest of the year. So I tend to focus a lot on mid-April and the end of this intense 3-month job. I do, however, no matter how weird it may seem, love the tax job. It's a great match to my skills, I really like the folks I work with, and it pays well, funding the subsequent nine months of fun. I am grateful for the job. I am grateful for the learning opportunity. The knowledge I have gained has helped my husband and me enormously in managing our finances. So while this "normal day" at the tax job may not be as fun as the adventures to come later this year, I plan to enjoy it, appreciate my ability to do the work, and appreciate the opportunity I have been given.
     In the midst of a normal day and loving it,
               Leta