Monthly Archives: March 2012

Instead of a Million Dollars

I’d rather have a million of smiles,
a million of nights of peaceful sleep,
a million of friendships across the miles,
a million of fond memories in my heart to keep.

View a million stars up above,
comfort a million tears,
give a million hugs of love,
face a million of lessons and fears.

Hear a million birds up high,
let go of a million of resentments and regrets,
taste a million raindrops from the sky,
learn from a million and one mistakes.

Contribute to a million successes,
kiss the Earth with my feet a million of times,
be myself in a million of circumstances,
feel a million touches of your Soul and sigh.

Instead of a Million Dollars,
I’d rather have this.
Oh, wait! But I do!
I live amid the simplicity of bliss!

Are You the Carrot, the Egg, or the Coffee Bean?

Original Author Unknown

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the third she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee.

The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked. “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water—but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this:

Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another lever?

How do you handle adversity? Are you like the carrot, the egg, or the coffee bean?

I Love Because I Do

To my friends, family and those I have yet to meet: I don’t love because I have to, am expected to, based upon what you do, or indoctrinated to … I love because I do.

Sonnet XVII: I Do Not Love You As If You Were Brine-Rose, Topaz
(by Pablo Neruda)

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose,
or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the
fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to
be loved, in secret, between the shadow
and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

WORD OF THE DAY: “SOLUTIONATOR”

so·lu·tion·a·tor/səˈlo͞oSHən/ātər

Noun:
  1. A person apt to solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation.
  2. A solution baker as opposed to a problem maker.
Synonyms: clarifier – illuminator – optimist – unraveler

Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.
― Lao Tzu


At 46 years of age, I look into the mirror and what do I see? I see with amazement, and immense gratitude, the evolution from a PROBLEMator into a SOLUTIONator.  With the realignment of focus, discovery of balance, and awareness of the saturation of universal love inside and out, I see I am accompanied by …

less fear and more courage
less deception and more honesty
less chaos and more peace
less “must-haves” and more “letting go”
less later and more now
less judgment and more acceptance
less existing and more living
less arrogance and more humility
less “my way is the only way” and more “your way may be a possibilitay!”

I KARMA

 ME, MYSELF and I

 

 NOWINGLY

 

CCEPT

 

ESPONSIBILITY  for


 Y

 

CTIONS

WORD OF THE DAY: “ZEST”

zest/zest/

Noun:
  1. Great enthusiasm and energy.
  2. A quality of excitement and piquancy.
Synonyms:
gusto – relish – vitality

I recently came across the words of Henry Rollins, an actor, author, musician, and poet, that got me thinking about the components of zest in my life. Rollins shared, ‘[t]here are so many hammocks to catch you if you fall, so many laws to keep you from experience. All these cities I have been in the last few weeks make me fully understand the cozy, stifling state in which most people pass through life. I don’t want to pass through life like a smooth plane ride. All you do is get to breathe and copulate and finally die. … People will walk by and say, “Look at that drooling idiot. What a basket case.” I will turn and say to them “It is you who are the basket case. For every moment you hated your job, cursed your wife and sold yourself to a dream that you didn’t even conceive. For the times your soul screamed yes and you said no. For all of that. For your self-torture, I see the glowing eyes of the sun! The air talks to me! I am at all times!” And maybe, the passers by will drop a coin into my cup.’

Rollins’ words, to say the least, are intriguing. I found quite a bit of similarity between his perception and mine. Zest, as I apply it to my life, is what shakes me and awakens me: diversity, love, nature, and the incredibly entertaining human spirit.

The great Robert Frost explained zest in life as “the pleasure of taking pains.” To engage with life as it unfolds with its myriad of challenges and delights, instead of running from, hiding, masking, denying the truth of the sum of experiences (both smooth and chaotic) that accompany “me,” “myself,” and “I.” Could it be that the meaning of life is to give life meaning?

Another of my favorite poets, Ralph Waldo Emerson, dared me through his words to “live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air” and that is exactly the kind of zest I choose to savor from the rind of life … even if, on occasion, it is sour as lemons!

WORD OF THE DAY: “BEING”

be·ing/ˈbēiNG/

Noun:
  1. Existence.
  2. Living; being alive.
Synonyms:
core – essentiality – life – quintessence

“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement.  It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.” ~Rachel Carson

We arrive in this world as infants with an awe of wonderment of all that is around.  Momentarily, life is simple and being simply “is.” Could it be that beingness is just the clear awareness of everything and nothing? Could it be that beingness is neither fragmented, nor partial, but completely whole as it is meant to be?

Some of us embrace our beingness more,
and some of us struggle with it as a chore.
Some of us intentionally seek it, explore it.
Some of us do the opposite and run from or avoid it.

For instance …

What I have witnessed when children are pushed to be over-BE-ers.  They often become adults with anxiety disorders, depression, etc., who become dependent upon medications and chemicals to mask the internal havoc that exists within.  The innate happiness they arrived in the world with is zapped from their storehouse of beingness.  If they don’t exceed their parents’, friends’ expectations, they lose their sense of identity of purpose and Self; their self-worth becomes dependent on the opinions of others instead of the true belief within.

What I have witnessed when children are pushed to be under-BE-ers.  They often become adults with anxiety disorders, depression, etc., who become dependent upon medications and chemicals to mask the internal havoc that exists within.  The innate happiness they arrived in the world with is zapped from their storehouse of beingness.  If they are not recognized, regarded, nurtured, and shown the magnificence of their existence, they lose their sense of esteem and identity, the purpose of Self; their self-worth becomes dependent on the opinions of others instead of the true belief within.

What I have witnessed when children are simply shown love, unconditionally, and are provided a clear, unprejudiced reflection of the harmony of beingness that exists in each of us when we enter this world as babes. They often become adults who:

  • love self and others, unconditionally
  • give, without expectations
  • receive, with gratitude
  • marvel at the beauty in the simple things
  • share in the glory of success
  • live in harmony, not perfection

May you find the child-like wonderment of all that you are, all that is around you, and the joy of life. Consider: “A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” (Quote from Do The Work by Steven Pressfield)

WORD OF THE DAY: “HARMONY”

har·mo·ny/ˈhärmənē/

Noun:
  1. A consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts;congruity.
  2. The science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords.
  3. An arrangement of the contents of the Gospels, either of all four or of the first three, designed to show their parallelism, mutual relations, and differences.
Synonyms:
accord – agreement – peace – symmetry – unity

Music creates order out of chaos: for rhythm imposes unanimity upon the divergent, melody imposes continuity upon the disjointed, and harmony imposes compatibility upon the incongruous.~Yehudi Menuhin

I recently read an article by Rev. Marty Troyer regarding facing conflict in your day to day life in a harmonious way. I cringe at facing conflict. I truly do feel I am allergic to it. The more I evolve the easier it gets, but I still would rather bungee off a cliff than face conflict!

What do I classify as conflict? Conflict for me is going against the natural grain of my existence and all that entails. I strive to live a life of integrity (not perfection) and to speak my truth. Sometimes doing so creates conflict or tension. If I stay centered in harmony, and not allow fear of conflict throw me off balance, I am able to behave in ways that are congruent with my thoughts, words and actions. I am able to own and take responsibility for my choices. To make choices based on my own beliefs and reasoning, and not on what others believe I should think, say, or do.

Yes, conflict certainly is challenging, and often it is tempting to deny it, run away from it, elude it, bury it, stuff it., etc. As Rev. Troyer further states in his article, “Nothing about dealing with conflict comes natural … but conflict itself is remarkably normal, ordinary, and natural. It’s everywhere, because I suppose, we’re everywhere.”

What I have found, however, is that the most substantial lessons I have learned in life come of, about, or through conflict. I also realize that conflict can be faced with harmony as long as my thoughts, words and actions are aligned.

WORD OF THE DAY: “POSITIVITUDE”

pos·i·tiv-i-tude/ˈpäzətiv-tood/

Noun:
  1. A constructive outlook or attribute.
  2. Exuding a positive attitude.
Synonyms:  affirmative – happy – optimist – resilient – trailblazer

“The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.” ~Norman Vincent Peale

 

I recently came across a WONDERFUL article written by Heather Shuttleworth regarding the how-to in transforming a negative attitude into a positive one.  I pass it forward to you.  May you find some (if not all) of  the constructive energy in her words beneficial to you and your life!

Improving Your “Positivitude”

Positivitude is a catchy term for positive attitude. At the heart of positivitude and optimism are the beliefs that problems are temporary, and that outright self-blame is wholly unproductive. Our initial reactions to negative situations are often irrational and unrealistic, and luckily there are strategies we can employ to decrease pessimistic self-criticism.

Psychologist Martin Seligman has developed a method for improving positivitude called the ABCDEs. His research indicates that the strategy can be successfully applied in almost any situation, for just about any individual. Give the ABCDEs a try the next time you run into a problem; you may just find it a healthier, more effective way to respond.

A

is for Adversity. In this first step, you’ll identify what’s frustrating you. For instance, let’s say you are denied a salary promotion.

B

is for Beliefs. In this step, think about your pessimistic responses to the issue. For instance, you might tell yourself that you didn’t approach the situation with enough self-confidence, or that the work you’re doing is not enough to earn higher pay, or you may even convince yourself that you must not be as deserving of a raise as others.

C

is for Consequences. At this point, you’ll name the consequences of your beliefs. Maybe you decide you’ll never ask for another raise again to avoid the nasty feeling of self-doubt and failure it caused within you.

D

is for Dispute. Next, you’ll develop an argument against those negative thoughts and examine the evidence contradicting them. Seligman has even instructed folks to treat this step as if you’re coming up with a case against some outside individual who has said these nasty things about you. For example, you might conclude that your lack of confidence was due to the fact that maybe it isn’t the right time to be asking for a raise, but that it was a learning experience you can grow from in the future. You may also conclude that you are absolutely deserving and doing quality work that could be compensated at a higher rate of pay, but that your employer is just not in a position financially to be offering increased salaries.

E

is for Empowerment. Finally, after realizing your positivitude there comes a sense of empowerment. With this last step, you might decide that you’ll take more pride in yourself and vow to reassess the situation in the future and do some self-advocacy by asking for that promotion again once the time is right.

Over time, and with enough practice, you will train yourself to automatically follow this process. Research shows that this problem solving technique is sustainable long-term, and many participants in the study were still using it years later. Hopefully you find the same kind of success improving your own positivitude and share these methods with others.