June 7 ♥ Loss: Saved by Heartstrings into Infinity

I lost a very good friend last week. We both knew it was coming, and yet… I was still surprised when it finally happened. I kept expecting some sort of miracle, just for her. Because we clicked instantly when we first met. Because she really understood me, and I got her. Because we truly were kindred spirits brought together by a shared experience. And, I needed her to ground me. But that’s not the way life works. Sometimes it just sucks. So, how do you say goodbye to someone so special? How do you let go of something so precious? Here are some things I am finding helpful. Allowing myself to recognize my feelings, cry when I need to, and laugh at our past antics. My emotions are running the gamut. And I am allowing them to do so. Being gentle with myself and allowing others to offer comfort to fill the void I feel. Letting go of any would-a, could-a, should-a’s. Regret will not change anything in the past. Our time together was what it was. Recalling the important things she taught me, especially spirituality and her favorite mantra: Spirit: teach me, show me, guide me. Seeking the lesson in all of this, and although it alludes me right now, I’m certain it will become evident, eventually. Most importantly I recognize that even though she no longer has a physical presence in my life, she will live on in my thoughts, words, and actions. These are the heartstrings that tie me … Continue reading

Apr 26 ♥ Frustration: the Difference between Reality and Expectation

I know. I’ve been AWOL. It’s been an interesting few weeks. My computer had decided to completely lock up and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it except take it to the Genius Bar. But the saga didn’t end happily there because I had to have the operating system completely reinstalled – which, of course, meant that everything that had existed on my hard drive unceremoniously went to virtual heaven. Happily I knew that all my files were safely tucked away in the Cloud and all I would need to do was download them and begin computing life anew. Alas, that was not to be so easy. I live in rural America, where Internet speed is only something to dream about wistfully. I won’t bore you with all of the gory details. Suffice it to say that after days, and days, and days, and weeks of trying to download by drips and drabs I have some but not all of my files. I know there is probably some Buddhist lesson in here but all I’ve experienced is frustration, anger, and more frustration, although my swearing vocabulary has increased exponentially. So, Anthony Robbins’ quote seems appropriate for this situation although I’m only now beginning to see the frustration as a positive sign! I spent so much time just banging my head against the technological wall. Until my husband mentioned that maybe I should ask for help from an expert. Well, duh. So, I’m headed back to my Apple Store, … Continue reading

Feb 8 ♥ Boundaries: You Need to Know What You’ll Put Up With

Personal boundaries are vital and an important part of our self-care because they clarify how we will let others treat us. Boundaries allow us to understand what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior from others. It’s a way for us to maintain self-respect and demand respect in return. So often we say, “Yes” when we mean “No”, we let people walk all over us and our needs or we don’t stand up for ourselves. Maybe we sacrifice our time, energy and resources to help others, while ignoring our own lives and priorities. We become too compliant, afraid that others won’t like us unless we give in. And all of this leaves us resentful, emotionally drained, exhausted and feeling crazy. Fact: setting boundaries is not about trying to control other people. It’s about drawing a line on what you will and will not allow into your life. It’s about standing your ground and recognizing that your needs are important. It’s about demanding respect from others. And, yes, some people may fall away as a result but you will have gained self-reliance, self-confidence and trust in yourself. Priceless gifts!   Now It’s Your Turn When have you said, “YES” when you really meant, “NO”? Why did you make that choice? What were you afraid would happen if you had spoken your mind? What personal boundary could you create to prevent this in the future? … Continue reading

Jan 25 ♥ 4 Ways to Kiss “Should” Goodbye

Should. Appears to be an innocent enough word. How many times a day do you use this word? On the surface it means recommendation, advisability, obligation, expectation. But it also has an implicit definition: the “should” comes from someone else’s point of view, not yours. How many times have you done something based on what other people expect? As in, “You should clean the house.” “You should dress in brighter colors.” “You should bake cookies, not buy them.” “You should lose weight.” Or the reverse. “You shouldn’t try for that more advanced job.” “You shouldn’t expect to be happy in your life.” “You shouldn’t take risks because of <fill in the blank>.” Should. It’s a powerful, judgmental voice. It implies that you don’t have your own answers. How have you been talking to yourself lately? How about making a shift? Making choices based on your values and needs, not those of others. When you feeling a should coming on, see if one of the following phrases resonates with you. Then use that section to help you discover the real motivation behind the should. Make a pledge to let go. With practice you can replace the other voices and contrary agendas around you with your own values-based choices. I feel a should or should not coming on… Whose voice is really telling me I this? Often we have unexamined values that we swallowed whole from our parents, schools, or other authority figures. Where is your should/should not really coming from? Is it … Continue reading

Jan. 18 ♥ 5 Lessons Learned from Living without the Internet

I had every intention of posting a blog last week, but I involuntarily had to quit the Internet. This is the story of the lessons that I learned. There had been a severe ice storm over the weekend and the tower that delivers my Internet connectivity was damaged. That tower lives on the top of an 11,000’ mountain, so the environmental conditions meant that it took 5 days until crews could safely ascend and make the necessary repairs. And during those long five days I had no Internet, social media, Netflix, electronic news, email…well, you get the picture. I had tried using my phone as a hotpot and depleted my data plan. I felt completely cut off. The first day wasn’t so bad, just a minor inconvenience. By day three I was actually feeling withdrawal. So much so that I drove the 25 minutes into town and camped out in a coffee shop multiple days. I was miserable. However, there were lessons to be learned once I began paying attention. A slower start to my day. I could wake up in a more relaxed manner since I couldn’t reach for my iPhone or iPad to catch up on what had happened in the last eight hours. I didn’t rush to check my email. Social media didn’t consume me. I actually started my day on my own terms rather than adopting the vibes out in the ether. More focused attention throughout the day I could maintain focus on what I was … Continue reading