Sunday, May 31, 2020

May 31--It Starts Here.

You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. 
--Thich Nhat Hanh

     If I don't accept myself, I can't be accepted by others, because I am continually telling myself I am unacceptable. Acceptance begins within. When I do accept myself, "warts and all," I am naturally more accepting of others, and that sets up a circulation of acceptance.
     It would take a lot of effort if we had to jump through different hoops for each person whose acceptance we felt we had to have. It's way easier to accept ourselves and let the acceptance by others flow naturally from that.
     Bottom-line, however, we don't need anyone else's acceptance. We don't need to prove ourselves to anyone, nor justify our existence. Alas, that's not so much how current human consciousness sees things. It takes personal strength to ignore both the praises and criticisms of others. Self-acceptance is the key.
     Focusing now on beauty,


From the Colorado State University Gardens in Fort Collins

Saturday, May 30, 2020

May 30--JOY!

Where the myth fails, human love begins. Then we love a human being; not our dream, but a human being with flaws. --Anais Nin

     Husband, dog and I are in Fort Collins visiting our sons and family. Due to the pandemic lock-down, this is one of the longer stretches we've had between visits, and it has been torture, mostly because we just couldn't predict when this visit might happen. We reunited last evening, and I managed not to hug them, though I can't say I'll make it through the whole visit 6' away. The whole situation is flawed (not what I would have chosen for 2020), but as a family we are adjusting and coping as best we can. All three kids (sons, Derek and Eliot, and Derek's partner, Caila) work with the public (FedEx, Starbucks, Whole Foods), so the big fear here is that they could be carriers and infect us, their "higher risk" parents.
     I have been blessed with a long marriage of 34 years so far. It certainly started out as the dream, young, in-love, happy, excited to build a life together. That construction is a messy, complicated process which does ultimately reveal our flawed humanity. We're good at some things and not good at others. We have baggage from growing up. Life triggers us into growth situations. Loving can get very challenging, especially when raising other humans gets thrown into the mix. Ultimately all flaws are exposed. And yet love has continued to grow. At some point, in all lasting relationships, we love each other because of our flaws, not in spite of them. It's a magnificent place to land.
     Flawed, and OK with that,

Friday, May 29, 2020

May 29--You is Best

You are your best thing.  --Toni Morrison

     What else do you have to operate with besides yourself? Anyone who has spent any time trying to change or control another person knows that to be a beat-your-head-against-a-wall proposition. It's best to just stick to yourself in terms of shaping, growing, molding, and expanding. It's a glorious lifetime practice creating a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual body that you love. Appreciating the twists and turns of life as you alone experience them makes them all much easier to bear. 
     All to often I hear someone later in life say, "I wish I'd taken better care of myself." I've had that thought occasionally. Living by the above quote, and thus, training our children by example, would be a good way to avoid self-disappointment down the road. 
     Another area where I see a lot of self-defeating behavior is in comparing oneself with others. That's trying to match their outsides with your insides, never a successful practice. You rarely come out of a round of comparison thinking, "I am my best thing." There's too much opportunity there for not measuring up to some imagined standard. Serenity requires leaving the self-judgment behind. 
     Comfy as me,

Thursday, May 28, 2020

May 28--What If?

There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one. 
--Kazuo Ishiguro

     I LOVE this quote! The many places it takes me...
     While I don't understand it in my human mind, I do believe that we choose to come here, choose the general "family" we are born into, even have some general "plans" of what we'd like to accomplish here. Given the infinite nature of the Universe, and the options on planet Earth alone, I could have picked myriad other lives, but I took this one. Sometimes that has made me wonder "wtf?" but mostly, at least in hindsight, I'd say, "Good job, Leta Renee."
     Then there are all the places in life where I made pivotal choices, mostly not recognizing them as such at the time, but pivotal nonetheless. Leaving home in Pennsylvania and going to graduate school in Minnesota instead of getting a job after completing college. Taking a job at cheese company in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which led me to meet my future husband, Dennis. (Note: I grew up in Pennsylvania, he grew up in Missouri. The Universe did some work to get us together.) Moving to Wichita, Kansas to be closer to Dennis. All I knew of Kansas was from my many viewings of "The Wizard of Oz." Buying a home in a neighborhood where we've stayed for 35 years. Agreeing to have two children, and praise the Lord, they are both males. I'm not the girly-girl daughter-raising type. It would have been a whole different ball game had I had to figure out how to raise a girl. 😉😉 Then there are the assorted jobs I've had. The huge pivotal step of joining and sticking with a 12-step program. Yoga teacher training. All these different things have brought a wealth of awesome people into my life. And joy inexpressible.
     As one of my spiritual practices, I ask myself periodically "If I died today, would I have any regrets?" While this may sound morbid, it's not. It's a very clean feeling to have a good life and good relationships. Currently my only regret would be that I didn't get to do all that I wanted to do, for instance, traveling. (And grandchildren, but that one is outta my hands!!!!)
     So glad to be "having this one,"

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

May 27--Chew Thoroughly

Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours. Feed it to yourself, even if it feels impossible to swallow. Let it nurture you, because it will. --Cheryl Strayed

     Whatever has transpired in my life up to now has brought me to this point. If I am content with myself, it is fairly easy to say that even though there may have been tough (rotten) times, it took all of life's experiences to make me this person of today. If I am not content with myself, that indicates that there is some part of me or my experiences that I am rejecting. That in itself is some nurturing guidance. Being human, I would say that I am content with myself about 95% of the time. There's still nurturing work to be done. That means I'm still alive, for which I'm thankful!
     We humans have such a strong inclination to avoid negative or painful situations. I'll bet, however, that as you reflect on your life, the roughest spots had some of the biggest impacts in terms of growth and nurturing your spirit. Grieving the deaths of close family members has made me stronger. Yoga teacher training nearly did me in, it felt "impossible to swallow," but I did, and it was one of the most rewarding things I ever did. It's continues to reward me many years later.
     I am joyfully hopeful that the current pandemic situation will make us all stronger, wiser, more considerate and more compassionate humans, if we let it nurture us, rather than resisting.
     Chewing thoroughly makes swallowing easier,

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

May 26--I'll Take All of It

When we love a person, we accept him or her exactly as is: the lovely with the unlovely, the strong with the fearful, the true mixed in with the facade. And of course, the only way we can do it is by accepting ourselves that way.  --Mr. Rogers

     I pretty much love anything that comes out of Mr. Rogers' mouth, because he is such a loving presence.
     Think of someone you dearly love. Aren't there things about that person that are annoying, or that you wish weren't there? Yet you still love them. My brother and I are at opposite ends of the political spectrum, generally, yet I can easily overlook that because I love him so much. If you have a spouse or significant other, I bet you can name something pretty quickly that annoys you about them, but it's easy to accept because you love them.
     Inability to accept ourselves fully makes for a judgmental and critical attitude toward others. It also makes it very easy for others to "push our buttons." If we see these happening in ourselves (who doesn't, at least occasionally), then looking at self-acceptance is the key. If we can own our humanity, warts and all, it makes those warts in others much easier to bear. Another way to state the above quote: only if I am at peace with me, can I at peace with you.
     Peaceful for now,

Monday, May 25, 2020

May 25--Is Change Acceptable?

Change is one thing. Acceptance is another. --Arundhati Roy

     Oh, boy! That's a biggie. We are certainly living in unprecedented change due to the response to the pandemic. There's plenty of resistance (non-acceptance) to it, too. That's a perfect example of this quote right in our faces.
     Sometimes we like change. Sometimes we don't. Sometimes it is easy to accept, most likely when we initiate the change as opposed to having it forced upon us. Unexpected change, especially from outside us, can be tough to accept. We humans tend to like our comfy little ruts, and change can cause stress.
     In a very timely synchronicity, this is the Note from the Universe (Mike Dooley) for today:
Detours, challenges, and crisis are simply covers for miracles that had no other way of reaching you.

It's all good,
The Universe
     I'll close with a key point about acceptance: just because we accept something does not mean we have to like it. 
     Change equals growth, 

P.S. The second barn quilt completed.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

May 24--Affection

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.  --Buddha

     If you haven't already, now is the time to get over the idea that self-care is selfish. That idea is complete bullshit, and I'm tired of hearing that sentiment.
     Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. I don't think he meant that we should treat ourselves badly, and then it's OK to do that to the neighbors, too. Self-care is a fundamental thing to learn for a successful life, because no one else is going to take care of you, because everyone is busy taking care of his or her own self. 
     I really like the idea of affection for oneself. For me, that's a peaceful "I'm OK" feeling. I'm just a regular human doing the best I can. I make mistakes, I learn. I love, and I practice kindness. I avoid doing things that would require amends. I care for my body, emotions, mind and spirit as best I can.
     On the daily "practical" side, I have five things that are my baseline for good self-care each day. (TMI warning!) They are 1) nasal rinse with Netipot (breathing is essential); 2) floss teeth; 3) MELT hand and foot treatments; 4) vitamins C & D; and 5) whatever spiritual practice that I am enjoying at the time. These are things that I can easily continue even when traveling. It gives me that peaceful feeling of self-affection when I accomplish them each day.
     There are plenty of other things I do in the name of self-care, such as a monthly massage, but I feel it's important to recognize that it's the practice of the daily, "little" things that make for an affectionate relationship with oneself.
     To ponder: what might you incorporate into your day to show yourself more love and affection?

Saturday, May 23, 2020

May 23--"the" or "a"

Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."  --Kahlil Gibran

     Let's face a humbling thought--every single thing we believe as individuals could be complete bullshit. I remind myself of this often. For sure, we'd like to believe that we have the truth. That puts us in the ego-loving "right" or "winning" position. Why do we have so many religions if not because they claim to have the truth?
     I've been watching a series on Netflix featuring Morgan Freeman (dearly love him!) titled "The Story of God." It's a big subject. 😉😉😉 He's looked at such things as creation, evil, heaven and hell, and miracles. He's traveling all over the world to meet with people from various faith traditions to learn and share their beliefs relative to these subjects. The "bottom line" is that there are many different truths.
     Getting off my soapbox before I get too wound up,

Friday, May 22, 2020

May 22--Loneliness

The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.  --Mark Twain

     I don't experience a lot of loneliness, and I attribute that to the fact that I am comfortable with myself. I love being alone, I even crave it. I also have a husband and a dog, both of whom I dearly love, and having them around keeps loneliness at bay.
     I do, however, feel for those who are lonely, especially during the stay-at-home time mandated by the pandemic. The forced separation of family and friends from folks in care homes creates tragic loneliness on both sides. No matter how comfortable one is with oneself, too much alone time wears on a person. We are wired to be social beings.
     Discomfort with oneself comes from self-judgment and criticism, not measuring up to some perceived standard. When we can see ourselves as human, flaws and all, with truly nothing to prove to anyone, life becomes a whole lot easier and more comfortable.
     Alone in the woman cave, creating,

Thursday, May 21, 2020

May 21--A Biggie

We accept the love we think we deserve.  --Stephen Chbosky 

I had several initial responses to this quote:
==> ooooooooooooooooooooo.
==> ouch.
==> yes, we do.
==> yes, I have.
==> yes, I do.

Much progress has been made.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

May 20--Travel

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.
  --Anais Nin

     This quote offers several paths, pun intended.
     There is actual travel, which I personally find to be one of the most rewarding experiences in my lifetime. My mom planted the "travel bug" in me in my teens, with trips to Rome, Paris, Scandinavia, and Japan. In the past decade, I've been to Italy, Switzerland, Scotland, Ireland, eastern Canada, the Pacific Northwest, Victoria, and many places around the U.S. My mission to see a game in every MLB stadium continues, with seven still to see. I've encountered many wonderful souls along the way, both fellow travelers and locals. There are many more places I hope to visit before my time here ends.
     Another path some travelers take is the "geographic cure." Been there, done that. This is the move to another location in anticipation of that change solving all one's problems. With any luck at all, we soon discover that those problems (and solutions) are within us, and no matter where we move, there we are. Unfortunately, for some, it takes multiple moves before they recognize that there is no such thing as a "geographic cure."
     The last path of travel that I hope to continue forever is the inward journey, learning more about who I am and the resources I have within. The more I learn, the more I appreciate myself and other humans. The more I connect with my true Self, the more I can connect with "other lives, other souls," knowing that we are all one in consciousness.
     Life is an adventure!

P.S. The first barn quilt completed:

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

May 19--Shine

The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be.
--Shakti Gawain

     Let's turn up the brightness, remembering that we don't do something to suck the darkness out of a room, we simply turn on the light and the darkness goes away.
     Here's some encouragement to let your light shine, no matter what your age. This link takes you to President Obama's speech celebrating the high school graduating class of 2020:  It's full of joy, hope, inspiration, and light. (And complete sentences.)
     Let's think about adding light to all we do: interactions with others, chores around the house, caring for the planet, giving our time and talents, even sending more love from our hearts into the world. Each one of us does make a difference--let's make it bright!

Monday, May 18, 2020

May 18--Goodness Within

There is within each one of us a potential for goodness beyond our imagining; for giving which seeks no reward; for listening without judgment; for loving unconditionally.  --David Kessler

     Let's use this (relatively) sudden and unprecedented pandemic time to pull forth all that is within us, as Kessler describes, and make a sudden and unprecedented change in the course of human relationships and care for our beautiful Earth.
     Let's call forth this goodness to counter the fear and divisiveness with which we are continually bombarded. 
     Let's consider how to use our resources to help others rather than acquiring more stuff.
     Let's live according to our innate integrity, and be at peace with ourselves, so that peace may infiltrate our communities and enfold our planet.
     We are hard-wired for all of this.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

May 17--Perfectly Imperfect

Perfection is the willingness to be imperfect.  --Lao-Tzu

     What a relief! If I can just accept myself and all my imperfections and just go with it all, that's perfect!?!?! Great! That's way easier than trying to hit the constantly-moving target of perfection. It's quite simple, that acceptance, but not necessarily easy. It's a daily practice, to be sure, letting go of self-criticism and allowing oneself to just be.
     Going with my willingness to be imperfect, I'm changing the subject. Pandemic stay-at-home isolation is wearing on us, as well as daily reports of much-anticipated future plans being cancelled. It's easy to get bummed out. So I offer this quote from David Ault: "We are as blessed as we are willing to recognize we are."
     We are enjoying a beautiful spring here in Wichita, Kansas. We have a comfy home and garden and neighborhood to live in. We are healthy and active. We have had no trouble getting food or toilet paper. Our families are staying safe and healthy. I hear birdsong each morning as the sun comes up. I have an adorable pup to snuggle and take on walks. We're saving loads of money with considerably less driving and eating out. I have several projects and plenty of reading to occupy me.
     I'm hopeful that this pandemic will evolve us into more loving, caring, appreciative and wise human beings. An easy place to start is each of us counting our blessings daily.
     Blessings abound,

Saturday, May 16, 2020

May 16--Self-Worth

To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth... is potentially to have everything.
  --Joan Didion

     I've been at the extreme low end of the self-worth scale, the completely useless feeling of hitting bottom as an addict. Mercifully, I still had the tiniest bit of hope, which ultimately led me to the 12-Step program and a lifetime of recovery. That recovery has been an ongoing practice of recognizing my intrinsic worth.
     Without a sense of our own worth, nothing of much good happens. We fall into the rut of "Why bother?" "I can't..." "I'm too ______ (old, stupid, fat, thin, short, tall...)" On and on it goes. Feeling that we don't deserve, we don't get. We don't try.
     Having a sense of one's worth, however, opens up all sorts of vistas, and yes, the opportunity "to have everything." The willingness to go for it is the starting point of all achievement. When we recognize that we are simply one of the whole of humanity, no better and no worse than any other, we can expand and grow and further appreciate the unique individuals we have become.
     Being me and enjoying it,

Friday, May 15, 2020

May 15--Where Would I Be Without Coffee? In Bed.

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?  --George Eliot

     Actually, I live for coffee. 
     Joking aside, we are hard-wired to love, and love makes life less difficult. Research has shown that volunteering improves overall health, self-confidence and happiness. Helping others is a win-win for both the giver and receiver. 
     In addition to directly assisting someone, there are myriad ways in which others have made life less difficult. Howard Thurman offered this: “Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” The inventors of the personal computer were not setting out to make my particular life less difficult, but by following their passionate interests, they made millions of lives less difficult, and lots more fun. Many authors have made my life less difficult with their inspired writing, giving me comfort, entertainment or inspiration when I needed it. The staff and volunteers of Beauties & Beasts, a local animal rescue group, in living out their love for animals made our lives way more joyful with the rescue and placing of wonder-dog Barney in our home. Following the love in one's heart is a win-win for all. 
     Lastly, there's simple kindness. A smile, a supportive word, a love note, a phone call, a hug--all these can make life less difficult, and require very little effort. Kindness is an easy and wonderful practice. I recommend it daily. 😊
     Time for coffee!


Thursday, May 14, 2020

May 14--How Would You Define You?

Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself.  --Harvey Fierstein

     I was lucky. Despite the dysfunctional nature of my family of origin, I don't ever remember my parents delivering expectations of what I might do with my life. Being a straight-A student, I was expected to go to college, which I did. Computers were just becoming the career thing, so that's what I went into. I loved the logic and numbers.
     My generation is probably the last to spend the bulk of one's working life with a single company or vocation. My husband did that. I, however, have enjoyed great variety in my working life. After working in technology for eight years, I quit when our first son was born. Eventually I started working as a legal secretary. That was a part-time gig for many years, then I became a finance and office manager at a church. That was my favorite job ever--I could hardly wait to get to work in the morning. We had a staff that worked very well together, and the job used all of my skills very well. Alas, a change in senior pastor jettisoned me into my current assortment of roles... bookkeeper, writer, coach, yoga instructor, and tax preparer. I love the variety, and I especially love the flexibility in my schedule. All in all, I'd say I've been kind of tough to define. I generally refer to myself as a "numbers nerd."
     And that's all just working life. Otherwise I'm a wife of 34 years and mother of two early-30s sons. Those are far and away my favorite roles.
     I am lucky. Life has been a great adventure. I've been able to follow my curiosity and use my skills in a satisfying manner. I'm comfortable in my own skin, even comfortable without any particular definition of "Leta." No doubt there's still more of great interest to come, and I welcome learning new aspects of myself.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

May 13--Blossom

You are built not to shrink down to less, but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary. To use every moment to fill yourself up. 
--Oprah Winfrey

     "Curiosity" is the word that bubbles up for me as I ponder this quote. Curiosity begins at birth and expands us throughout childhood. We need look no further than a young child to see natural drive to learn and fill up with newness. To a child, everything is interesting.
     Maybe those who raised us drained the sense of curiosity out of us. Maybe life's events have jaded us into the "I've-seen-it-all" rut. We do shrink down to less without a sense of wonder.
     I've watched a lot of documentaries on Netflix during this stay-at-home time. I'm fascinated by our magnificent planet, its wildlife, and the prospect of aliens and the theories of how we humans arrived on Earth. I'm truly grateful to have this extra learning time. I've also started a brand new painting project--I'm making a barn quilt. I have travel plans for later in the year that I'm keeping fingers-crossed can proceed. Regarding travel--I rarely go to a vacation destination more than once, because there are too many places on Earth I want to see. I haven't filled myself up yet, and I'm grateful for that. I think it will take many lifetimes!
     Still curious after all these years,

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

May 12--Safe at Heart

Let us not fear the hidden. Or each other.  --Muriel Rukeyser

     There's way too much fear in the world today, exacerbated by those who would stir up fear to gain political popularity. Oh, yes, and then there's a rampant, killing virus going around the planet.
     I feel that I was pretty well programmed from day one to fear other people. Between the abuse by my older brother Ken and being raised by practicing addicts, I learned that even those folks closest to me, whom I was dependent upon, were not necessarily reliable and couldn't be trusted for sure. It took years of practicing the 12-Step program and dipping my toe in the waters of trust to be able to reach a point where I'm not afraid of other people. I actually like other people. It is so fun to ask questions and learn a person's unique story. I'm finding that everyone has something interesting to share if we can get past the barriers that fear builds around us. Yep, once again, it's a practice.
     I remind us that fear stands for false evidence appearing real. Even though there may be scary things out there (or within us), we don't have to live in fear. Just as we wear masks today to protect ourselves and others, we can always take steps to minimize danger, not the least of which is faith in a higher power. Trusting that life is for me, not against me, is a powerful self-fulfilling belief.
     Getting braver,

Monday, May 11, 2020

May 11--More Kindness

Be kind--for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.  --Plato

     I'm soon heading out for a grocery-buying adventure. This is one of my very few outings these days. It's a chance for kindness, so I tend to go overboard being nice, especially to workers. I note that with face masks on, it's hard to see smiles, but they can be seen in the eyes. I'm paying more attention to others.
     I remember grieving after my parents' deaths, and realizing that those folks who didn't know me had no idea how much sorrow and pain I was feeling. It was a great lesson in kindness, for we don't know what another is experiencing, making extra kindness always a worthy plan. We rarely know how our acts can make someone's day or even be life-changing. It takes just as much energy to be rude as it does to be kind, so why not choose kindness?

Sunday, May 10, 2020

May 10--Moms Rock!

You is kind. You is smart. You is important.  --Kathryn Stockett

     Today I honor mothers, living and passed over. Kind, smart, and important pretty well covers it. By "mother" I mean all women, whether or not they have human children, celebrating the love and nurturing and hope each one brings to our world. 
     There is a lot of anti-female rhetoric being spewed by (mostly old white) men these days. It seems to me that these men are failing to remember this: if a woman had not gone to considerable effort to nurture them in the womb and birth them, they wouldn't be here. Rudeness toward women by these men is a fine example of "biting the hand that feeds you." It is nicely summed up in this writing by rupi kaur: "you want to keep the blood and the milk hidden as if the womb and breast never fed you."
     Being a mother is both the greatest challenge and the greatest blessing of this lifetime for me.
     I see a shift happening on our planet to a greater emphasis on cooperative female nurturing energy. I'm thinking this is being accelerated by the pandemic. This can only be a good thing, for look where the patriarchy and emphasis on dominance, control, competition and aggression has brought us. Bring on the love and nurturing, please!

Saturday, May 9, 2020

May 9--Peace

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.  --Buddha

     If we are not in a state of inner peace, there can be no peace on the outside. As long as we are carrying around emotional charges of any sort, there can be no long-lasting peace on our planet. That may seem discouraging, but that puts peace, and its potential, squarely in our hands, actually, in our hearts.
     As long as there are human beings living together on this planet, there will be disagreements and conflict. With peace at the center of our beings, however, those can be resolved by means other than being hateful and killing each other. I am encouraged to witness a human consciousness wherein war is becoming unacceptable. Progress seems painfully slow at times, but it is unstoppable. Humanity cannot go backwards.
     There's a lot of drama afoot these days. I would even suggest the very real possibility of addiction to drama. Do we really need all the drama? I admit that I used to love it, but once I recognized the extreme energy-draining cost, it lost all its appeal. Let's do each other a favor and lessen our personal need for drama and add a bit more peace to our world. Thank you!

Friday, May 8, 2020

May 8--Yes!

For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes.  --Dag Hammarskjold

     I am enjoying an online course called "Technology, Consciousness and Evolution." The presenters are Gregg Braden, Bruce Lipton and Lynne McTaggart.
     For years, I have been encouraging my clients and students to recognize the magnificent intelligence of their bodies, to see that our bodies innately know how to maintain a state of wholeness. We need look no further than the healing of cut on the finger--we don't have to consciously tell our bodies what to do with that. We simply assume that it will be healed.
     I am just finishing up the set of modules by Dr. Lipton, who wrote the excellent book, "The Biology of Belief." To make a long story short, our biology is not controlled by our genes--we are not victims of heredity. (I am living proof of this, by the way. Given all the health issues my parents had, I should be a mess right now, but I am extremely healthy.) Our biology, every single cell, is controlled by our consciousness. Note that this is not the information most of us have been taught. A concrete example of this is when we are thinking of love, one set of chemicals, "feel good stuff" to be simple, is released throughout the body. In contrast, when we are in a state of fear, a completely different set of chemicals is sent throughout the body, preparing us for "fight or flight" among other things. If we can accept this "new" science and apply it, it is an absolutely revolutionary change in how we see ourselves and our bodies. I place the word "new" in quotes, because even Jesus his own self said, "It is done unto you as you believe." Who knew he was even talking about our bodies!?!?!
     Back to the day's quote above. If we live in that mindset, our consciousness is providing good mojo to our cells and promoting well-being. Heckuva deal!
     Thanks and yes,

Thursday, May 7, 2020

May 7--The People in Our Lives

Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together--but do so with all your heart.  --Marcus Aurelius

     I'm not much of a believer in fate. I believe we attract people to us with similar vibrations, or those who have the resources we need, or those who help us to fulfill a need or learn a lesson. We are  continually expanding and growing, and the Universe is designed to bring us what we need to support that expansion.
     The trick here is that we may not care for some of the people with whom we connect in life. My older brother, Ken, hated me from the day I was born. It's a long family story I won't get into here. I was the target of his abuse his whole life. However, after much counseling, forgiveness and understanding, I see that he was probably my greatest teacher in this lifetime. I've learned a lot about myself and how I want to be from being subjected to his nastiness.
     It can certainly be a challenge to love some of the people you encounter "with all your heart." It is helpful to remember that each of us is child of Spirit doing the best he or she can. Using simple kindness in each interaction is a useful practice... to treat others as you want to be treated. I seek to keep all my relationships clean and healthy, making amends right away if needed, so that if I made my transition today, there would be no outstanding "issues." To me, that's loving with all my heart. And yes, it's a practice.
     In whole heart connection,

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

May 6--Without Judgment

Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.  --Brene Brown

     It seems to me that we are having so much difficulty connecting these days because there is way too much judgment going on. Us vs. them. Whether it be about politics, religion, or ethnicity, preconceived notions get in the way of truly seeing, hearing and valuing others. Think of your most comfortable and satisfying relationships. Most likely those involve simply accepting the person(s) as they are with minimal judgment.
     If one is critical and judgmental regarding oneself, that carries over powerfully into all relationships. It's a mindset of "I'm judging myself, so you must be judging me, too." This makes for paranoid perfectionism, a maddening obsession. I've seen it many times in my coaching career.
     Another impediment to connection is the need to be right. It's hard to see, hear and value another when you know from the get-go that you are right and they are wrong. I expect most of us can recall a circumstance where we chose to be right rather than peaceful. It probably didn't make for a good connection.
     I'll freely admit that living without judgment is a challenging practice. Judging is easy. Accepting unconditionally can be very difficult. I like this option given by spiritual mentor, Edwene Gaines. When we see something or someone we are inclined to judge, just say "Isn't that interesting?" and let it go and move on.
     It helps to remember that we are all doing the best we can with what we have to work with.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

May 5--Your Best

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give.  --Eleanor Roosevelt

     We can kick and scream and rail against circumstances, but we will have no peace (and no ability to change them) until we choose acceptance. Then we move on to "the only important thing."
     "Always do your best." This is one of "The Four Agreements" as written by Don Miguel Ruiz. Our best is the highest functioning we are capable of at the time, and that changes from moment to moment. If you are ill, your best will be different from when you are healthy and vibrant. Your best will vary depending on whether you are well-rested or exhausted. Doing your best is not perfectionism, I repeat, NOT perfectionism. "Perfect" does not exist, not individually nor collectively. I'd offer that the 12-step programs refer to perfectionism as "the purest form of self-abuse." Contemplate that for a few moments.
     So we meet whatever comes with our best and move on with serenity. It's a practice, and a very satisfying and "clean" way to live.

Monday, May 4, 2020

May 4--"I Gotta Be Me" 🎵🎵🎵

Accept who you are; and revel in it. --Mitch Albom

     I'm pretty much an introvert. I have lots of friends and family whom I enjoy being with, but I really love my alone time. I crave it. I like being with me. I like me. 
     Who knows where my introvert nature comes from? Growing up with addict parents who fought a lot? Wanting only to be left alone with my own substance of choice and best friend, food? Being teased mercilessly about being fat? Needing to hide out so as not to cause any more trouble around the house? Who knows! In any case, I learned early on that I was just fine with and by myself, thank you very much. 
     Everything that has happened in my life has brought me to this point, where I can say that I am generally comfortable in my own skin. The shittier experiences have taught me understanding, compassion and how to forgive and make amends. My addiction led me to 12-step recovery where I learned how to live successfully without obsessive substance abuse. Without the obsession, a whole new world opened up to me, and I have been blessed to take advantage of many awesome opportunities in my life. 
     Maybe it's age. At 64, it's just not worth the effort to try to be someone I'm not. I don't believe I need to prove anything to anyone any more. My relationships are satisfying, as is the work that I do. I use my skills well. All this means that I have the freedom to revel in who I am, "warts and all." 
     I'm OK, you're OK, yippee!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

May 3--Remove the Mask(s)

Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.  --Oscar Wilde

     I love this quote, always have. Though it's a simple concept, it's not always easy in a world that is continually directing us to be something other than who we are. There's always some -er that we "should" be--thinner, smarter, prettier, healthier, on and on.
     Yesterday, in finally reaching my breaking point relative to pandemic irritations, I admitted to my husband that "I feel like shit." A 4-times-a-week lap swimmer, I'm at the point that my desperation to swim is enormously stronger than my fear of any virus. I feel useless, with my three main activities being eating, sleeping and taking epsom-salt baths. I had to cancel my Saturday online MELT/yoga class due to a heart-racing episode that left me too light-headed to teach. Those happen on rare occasions, and the timing of this one was "the straw that broke the camel's back." While most folks have added a lot of walking to their days, my walking is limited due to a hip that needs to be replaced. All this background leads to the fact that I finally let myself have a long, hard, soul-rinsing. I cried for a good two hours.
     This morning I'm working on re-gaining my positive attitude. I know I am not useless, it just feels that way sometimes. Nothing above is life-threatening. It all shall pass. I know that things could be much worse. I just know that for me, I have to let this stuff out periodically, and crying is a good way to do it.
     With puffy eyes,

Saturday, May 2, 2020

May 2--Free Will

Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. 
--Eckhart Tolle

     Because you did choose it, somewhere along the way, consciously or not. The very foundation of our existence is free will, our freedom to choose. No one likes anyone else messing with his or her choices.
     Non-acceptance puts us in a weakened position. We can't move ahead from a place we don't care for by focusing on our misery. I close with this quote from R. Buckminster Fuller: "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." Accept, create and move forward.
     Change is constant,

Friday, May 1, 2020

May 1--And Now It Is May

If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich. --Lao-Tzu

     The theme for May in the "Daily Peace" book from which the quotes come is acceptance. We've had good practice at that for the past few weeks. As I have zoomed with family and friends over the past few weeks, I have garnered a sense that the above quote applies to most folks. They have survived, thrived even, seeing that they could adapt to big change and recognize the gifts that have come from it. To me, that is beautiful richness.
     To continue daily blogging or not? Some days I'm not so into it. I like the morning time in the woman cave with my doggie and coffee more so than the actual writing. But the creativity that has expanded so powerfully during the stay-at-home time is not something I want to slow down or lose. So I'll keep at it for now.
     I close with one of my favorite writings on acceptance, from the AA Big Book:
Acceptance is the answer to ALL of my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation--some fact of my life--unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept my life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.
Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and woman merely players." He forgot to mention that I was the chief critic. I was always able to see the flaw in every person, every situation. And I was always glad to point it out, because I knew you wanted perfection, just as I did. A.A. and acceptance have taught me that there is a bit of good in the worst of us and a bit of bad in the best of us; that we are all children of God and we each have a right to be here. When I complain about me or about you, I am complaining about God's handiwork. I am saying that I know better than God. 
Acceptance is freedom.