Ode to Mom

Today is my mom’s birthday.  It is the perfect day for me to reflect on all of the blessings she has shared with me.  We have shared joys, laughs and sorrow.  She has been there to hold my hand or give me words of encouragement in the face of some very challenging times.  I never envisioned the pain we would share or how we would grow closer because of it. 

My mom has a distinctive laugh one I think I may have inherited.  I love to hear my mom laugh.  Those times when she laughed so hard tears were streaming down her face.  I have this picture etched in my mind.  It always produces a smile.  

I talk to my mom almost daily.  The talks can range from topics of kids to religion and everything in between.  I haven’t lived close to home since I graduated high school.   The separation of miles has not deterred our ability to remain close.  I am so grateful for this.   

I remember when I was younger hearing “just wait until you have kids of your own.”  Am I the only one who heard that from their mother?  I am indeed a mother and have grown in understanding what was meant by this phrase.  However my mom omitted one little detail….things get magnified through the generations. 

As I celebrate My Mom’s Birthday, I celebrate love and caring.  I have been blessed to have a rich and rewarding relationship with my mom.  Mom’s are special.  

Mom I am sending you sunshine and visions of banana cream pie on your special day. 

Happy Birthday.

Dreams

Recently I had the opportunity to support a family member in pursuit of a dream. It is an honor to support others.
I wish we spent more time focused on how to support other people – family included. There is much celebration about being the leader however there is very little celebration for the supporting roles. They are also important an vital to success.

I compare it to being on an athletic team. You won’t find a successful quarterback on a football team without an outstanding offensive line.
The same rule applies to a person with a dream. It is critical to have a support group around you. Other people can bring different viewpoints, energy as well as support. These synergies create something wonderful.
You also learn by being in a support role. Watching another person pursue a dream, a passion in their life provides many lessons. You start thinking about, how can I add value? How can I compliment efforts here?
When the focus is on someone else – amazing things happen.
I am grateful for my recent journey and my renewed faith in the power of having a dream. Is there someone you can support? Is there a dream calling your name?

The possibilities are endless……

Who do you need to Pray for?

How do we deal with challenges and hurts?  Have you ever prayed for someone who has “wronged” you?  I tried this recently and the immediate sensation was that of relief…..what a welcome change to the contempt I was feeling…warning, this didn’t last long.  Unfortunately, another negative encounter took place and my old friend anger was back….so I was back at it – praying for this person.  I have learned that this sense of relief and serenity is going to take patience and time.  I have decided to continue praying and am looking forward to the growth and final outcome. 

We are all human and bound to find conflict from time to time.  I will continue to pray and give it up.  I am grateful for the God’s grace and have complete faith that God will take care of all things…..myself included.

Wishing you Grace and Gratitude…..Have a great day!

‘Tis the Season…….

It is Holy Week. This week is filled with emotion and gratitude.
I have spent much of the week thinking about sacrifice and dedication. What have these words evolved to mean in society today? Are we willing to make sacrifices to attain our goals? Are we willing to make sacrifices to help others? Are there things you have gone without? What have the people around you sacrificed to help you? Time, resources or perhaps their own needs and dreams?
Can you take my idea a step further? Are there things that you can do to help others? Can you help others attain their dream? How would this feel? Can you provide a meal for a hungry soul? There are opportunities all around us if we simply take a moment to look.
It is humbling to think about what others have done for us. I would encourage you to take some time and think about this topic. I hope it will stir a new level of gratitude within you and perhaps action to help others.

Happy Easter

Grateful for Faith

Thankful for safe travels and the color green?
Current headlines tell us about much human suffering around the globe. From the natural disasters in Japan followed by the subsequent nuclear crisis to the violence in Libya…suffering seems to 9/10 of our news today. This is a very sad reality. Where does this leave basic humanity? More specifically – me?
Have you had those thoughts?
If you have, I also hope that somewhere in your thought process the idea of “gratitude for faith” came to mind. In times and trials there is nothing stronger than faith.
I was travelling this week on the west coast and a man asked me if I were going to buy Iodine due to the radiation? When I shared this story with a wise man he said my response should have been “no, but I think I will go buy a new Bible.”

Brilliant.

This is exactly the right direction. If we are at peace with our faith it will sustain us through the turmoil headlines. There is still much, MUCH goodness in this life and I intend to remain a beacon of light and love.

I am grateful for my faith.

Checking in on 30 Days

I am still going through my 30 day exercise and so far so good.  I must admit I will probably have to stretch 30 days out to a minimum of 60 but the results will be worth it.  The one thing that I am finding a constant is a “shift of mind.” 

When I am thinking of others first my days and moments go much better.  I have an exercise for you to try…the next time you are in a REALLY rotten mood I want you to think about who is at the center of your thought processes.  I have a feeling you may be surprised.  For me – the negative mood is radiating from a selfish streak where I seem consumed in a thought pattern solely focused on me.  You know the ones….

oh I hate how this feels

I hate my hair today

I can’t believe they did that to me,

The list goes on and on…..these are by far the worst of times for many of us.

Try changing direction with your thoughts….what is there happening around you that is good?  Isn’t it great to see another day.  Are you glad to have hair albeit – wild?  When someone strikes out at you, do you turn the other cheek and refuse to let the situation bring you down?  In retrospect when someone approaches you negatively have you ever noticed it usually isn’t about you at all? 

Back to my 30 days….let’s try a little retrospection – think of others and your surroundings…how would they appear if this were your final 30 days?

Here I come sunshine :)!

30 Days and Counting?

Hello New Year….
Wow we are 15 days in to 2011 and I can tell this year will pass even faster than the last.
Did you make resolutions this year? I picked up a book called “30 Days to Live.”   This book captures Christian principles and encourages the reader to apply them for 30 days as if they were their last.
I realize this may sound a bit morbid however I have chosen to focus on the premise of optimization versus any negative context that could be driven from this topic.
This book has motivated me to take on new behaviors and viewpoints. Currently I am attempting to approach all situations from an aspect of love. Loving kindness is a quality lacking in the world.

My goal is to be a small instrument of these 2 areas. One first step for me has been to spend more time in quiet surrender to the day. When was the last time you just listened in silence? It was awkward for me at first but over time it is getting easier.

The first time I sat in silence, my mind raced. I thought about all the things I could be doing. It felt like a waste of time and a small voice of guilt tried to creep in to my thoughts but I kept pushing it out. I finally stopped fighting the hollow sounds of nothing and gave in. whoosh – there I was. I don’t mind sharing – it was odd. Believe it or not – it’s hard to think about nothing. In this world of hyperactivity and multitasking X2….nothing is nearly a curse word.
I am here to tell you it’s not a curse but a blessing. It also helps frame my day, my week and my overall vantage point.

I will continue to work through my 30 days and embrace the changes that present themselves.

I wish you all a very Happy 2011 and wish for you the peace and serenity of “nothing.”

More to follow…..