Side Tracked on the way to Eternity

frog on lily padI’ve had quite a year so far. It started the week before Christmas when I suddenly found myself unable to walk. My computer was out of commission for quite some time. Then there were 2 fast trips to Salt Lake City and the making and selling of hundreds of pieces of aroma therapy jewelry. It ended a few minutes ago as I finished a marathon viewing of the entire 4 seasons of “Hart of Dixie” on Netflix.

Actually it seemed like nothing but stress for the last many months. I needed to chill out so I decided to break my cardinal rule of never watching a series on Netflix.

It was 3 years ago that I realized me and series TV were a terrible combination. That was when I spent many weeks watching the entire 140 episodes of West Wing almost non-stop.

One may suggest that I am obsessive but, in fact, I am a finisher. When I start something, I finish it. There! See! There is a positive spin that can be put on everything.

It is important to know yourself. I knew what I was getting into with starting another series. I truly needed the diversion. So there you go.

The diversion did last a little longer than it needed to, but that’s the way it goes. And….. now I’m on to more productive things. Like writing my first blog in months. Posting my first real post in months.

Oh….. excuses abound.

But It does no good to dwell on what might have been, or how one might have done better.

Every day is a new day filled with new opportunities. I feel renewed and refreshed by my short trip into slugsville. It was fun. A little vacation from the world out there.

There are…
Lawns to be mowed,
walks to be taken,
summer to enjoy,
people to reconnect with.

And now I am ready. Watch out world. I’m back.

A Deliverance of Biblical Proportion

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Have you ever felt like things were so bad that the only solution was running away?

I did. One year I determined to fit all my most important possessions into 12 boxes.

“Why 12?” you may ask.

Because I2 was how many would fit in my trunk.

When whittling your life down to the bare necessities, you will realize just what really is and is not important.

When Jesus asked the disciples to throw down their nets and follow him, they traveled even more lightly than that.

My material life with all its material things had left me so spiritually empty that if Jesus had come along and offered me the same deal, I’m sure I would have taken him up on it.

I fantasized about how it would feel to just ride off into the sunset and never be seen again.

At some point, my husband shook some sense into me by telling me how I would never be able to live with leaving my new boss in the lurch.

He was right, of course, but I couldn’t help the feeling that my situation had much in common with Abraham being instructed to kill his only son… In this case, the sacrifice was to be me.

The very next day I went into work with a new attitude. Rather than trying to figure out how to escape the job I hated, I determined to see it through.

The second day of my commitment, my new boss was coming into town to meet with me. I even stopped by a shop and got him his favorite coffee drink.

The meeting started at 8. Within 10 minutes he fired me. He FIRED me!!!!!

Most people would be upset by such news, but I felt that God had decided to spare me.

I was elated.

Those 12 boxes really helped me see that all the big things are nothing in comparison with being happy and feeling free.

Give me 12 boxes and a spirit filled with joy. I’ll be just fine.

What would you put in your 12 boxes?

 

Pecked to Death by Geese

pecked by geese

There are profound moments in everyone’s life when they hear something that really ‘hits the nail on the head’ so to speak.

Maya Angelou gave me one of those moments several years ago. She put words to a feeling she called, “Being pecked to death by geese.”

She was explaining that she did not allow any person to speak unkindly to, or about, another in her home. Even tiny jabs, sarcasm towards, eye rolls, etc., aimed at another were not allowed.

At the first sight of such behavior she would look seriously at them and state, “Not in my house!”

Those small, almost invisible little bites at another take a little bit from a person’s value, one piece at the time; a peck here, a peck there.

Over time, those little things add up and eat at a person and destroy their feelings of self worth. Maya’s word for those little insidious jabs taken at others…..

“Being pecked to death by geese.”

It’s a message to all of us to check ourselves.

maya quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

It bares repeating.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Do your words and actions lift others up or take them down?

We each have great power to change the world, one kind word at a time.

Changing up the Order for Success

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There are all kinds of success trainings and wealth seminars happening every day throughout the world.

I’ve taken many and given a few of them as well.

But why don’t they stick? We go and get all excited, take lots of notes, buy the program CDs and videos. And then we go home and back to the lives we had before. Not too many days go by before the things we learned take a back burner to the daily grind.

What will really make the difference, the lasting difference, the true transformation in your life?

The real answer is in changing YOU. But that is the last place most of us will look. The teaching of the world is out of order.

We are taught to DO.

DO go to college

DO get a great job or start a business

DO get married, have a family, buy a house, buy a bigger house…..

DO, DO, Do

Then we think we will HAVE

HAVE success

HAVE the American dream

HAVE all the things money can buy…..

HAVE, HAVE, and HAVE more

Then we will BE

BE happy

BE fulfilled

BE truly successful.

However, after following this path of DO-HAVE-BE, most of us find that we worked hard and sacrificed our time and attention on things that, in the end, did not give us the happiness we thought would be the reward.

The good news – Finding true success only takes an instant. One dramatic instant where you flip the order of the 3 little words.

BE DO HAVE

First BE who you really are. When you are in your highest state of BEingness, you will only DO what is in alignment with who you really are. The rabbit trails will be a thing of the past.

By Being authentic and Doing accordingly, you will immediately HAVE the most important things there are; a love and life that is filled with true passion because it comes from your authentic self. Your beingness.

 

Difficult Simplicity

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Difficult Simplicity Those are two words that don’t seem to go together, but there is a profound truth within them.

Because…. There appears to be nothing more difficult than to convince us humans that the real answers to our burning questions are easy.

They are so easy, in fact, that even when we hear them, we cannot imagine that they actually ARE the answers.

And so, we run thru life chasing our tails, beating our heads against immovable walls, and insisting upon swimming against the tide for decades.

All the time we’re doing this, we are absolutely sure that we are going in the right direction, making it impossible for anyone to convince us to step off the hamster wheel.

I was right there, dizzy with everyone else, until I got thrown off by outside forces.

Thank God!

I never would have known to stop. Difficulty and complexity were, after all, the way to become successful. Or so I thought.

That must be the reason so many people look at me blankly when I tell them my favorite all time quote.

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”   Teilhard de Chardin

Chardin was a Jesuit Priest, born in the 1800s. He obviously stepped off the hamster wheel at some point, himself.

He looked back and saw how we chase after, analyze and try to control everything in the outside world, when the real authentic power is that of love.

If we could give up our silly struggles and first embody love, the fire of passion would light the simple path to fulfillment.

Don’t be a Heel! Feel

unhappy

Let’s face it. Nobody can really hide their emotions.

Oh they can pretend to do it. Instead of clearing the air and dealing with negative feelings in a straight forward manner, they can pretend nothing is bothering them.

We all can notice the way resentments rear their ugly heads through sarcasm or giving other people attitude. Think, rolling the eyes, shooting the ‘look’.

Several years ago I taught an attitude course for a group of juveniles in a lock up facility. You could just tell by their body language that several did not value what I was teaching them.

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So that day I decided to use myself as an example.

I first struck a pose to indicate that I was disgusted with them. They named it. Next I walked in the room as if I thought I was better than everyone else. They called that one too. There were several other personas I took on. They read me like a book.

After we had had a little fun at my expense, I turned the tables on some of them. “What is Jeff saying to us right now?” They could easily name boredom, uninterested, and all the basic ‘I could care less’ attitudes. They could also name attentive and willingness.

Now turn your eyes upon yourself. When you don’t work out your unforgiveness, you aren’t fooling anyone.

Some people think that it is better just to hide their heads in the sand rather than face their true feelings. I’m all for letting past hurts go, but that does not happen by pretending that they never happened. When you push your negative feelings down, they do nothing but fester under the surface. And, that’s no way to get rid of them.

If you can work out your differences with someone in a kind way, communication and cooperation are always my preference. However, that is not always possible.

There is a healthy way clear the energy of past hurts. Transform them.

  1. Take a good look at the hurts you are carrying. List them if that will help.
  2. Look more deeply. There was a blessing in each one of them.
  3. Discover how you can honestly see the positive aspect of that experience.
  4. Find the gift it held for you.

Every circumstance is different, but you will be able to find the blessing if you look for it. It will change your entire perspective.

 

I’ll be Satisfied When….

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We are always looking to the future when we get the new car, the kids are all in school, when we get a bigger house….   Then we will be happy.

The problem is not your present situation that keeps you looking forward to a more perfect time. It is your perspective.

When your mind is anywhere besides this present moment, you are off the track to happiness.

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘The joy is in the journey.’

But let’s face it. We think of that saying as just happy little words instead of the profound truth that it actually is.

When I’m on a relaxed Sunday ride through the countryside it is an entirely different experience than driving down that same road on the way to work. Everything is exactly the same except my attitude.

In one I am enjoying the journey and in the other am not even noticing it.

In order to experience all that each precious moment has to offer, we have to actually take the time to notice that moment.

When you see the blessings of today, you stop thinking ‘when’.

“The trick to getting the life you want is to love the life you actually already have.” The Baglady

Skeptical?

Even if you don’t think your life is perfect, there are parts of it that are. So, rather than dwelling on the shortcomings, focus on the good things. You’ll see very quickly that more and more good will emerge.

Faith like an Onion

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I’ve had God in my life as long as I can remember but having faith is something each of us grapples with over a lifetime.

It’s easy to say you have faith. And… much more challenging to actually ‘Have Faith.”

So how would real faith look?

What is the truth of its gift to us?

If we had complete faith almost everything in our personal worlds would look different.

I would know that no matter what it may look like at any given moment, everything is going to be ok.

Ponder that for a minute. Isn’t that the ultimate faith?

Some of the best advice I ever got came from a mountain man. At the time, I was trying to terribly hard to control the things that were happening in my life and the lives of those close to me. Talk about stressing out, I WAS!

mountain man

After listening to me patiently for quite some time, he stopped me in my tracks with his gently spoken statement. “ Dina….. do you realize that the sun rises and sets every day without your help? Grass grows, seasons turn… Why do you feel so responsible for everything?”

The mountain man really drove home the idea that it is not our job to try to control things. The Universe really is doing very well without our help.

God has shown us thru the way he handles all the basics that we are in very good hands but still we question.

Billions of cells in our bodies work in concert to have us walk, talk and breathe. Our hearts beat in rhythm. Babies are born.

When you look at the big picture there is no logic to indicate that we and not God should be in charge. And yet, our trust has limits.

So, our growth in faith is like the peeling of an onion.

As we notice a fear and give it up to spirit. We peel a layer.

We release a little control and there goes another layer.

There are tears when dealing with onions, but in the end they are happy tears.

As time goes on, we remember who we are and how well we have been taken care of.

The closer we get to the center, the lighter we feel.

 

Grandma Looking at Me

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My Aunt Rose Audrey is in her 90s. She is at the time in her life when she wants to see to it that each of us get whatever keepsakes we may want from her home.

The one thing I have always wanted is the single photo of my grandma, just the way I remember her.

It was taken in the 1960s by my mom, in front of the fiberglass curtains at our house. Never wanting to deprive anyone of their photo, I’ve not even asked about getting one.

 

Aunt Rose Audrey has this picture of grandma in her living room.

On a recent trip, as I was walking down the long hallway from the back porch to the kitchen, I noticed the same photo sitting on the dresser in the back bedroom and asked if I could have it. To my delight, I was able to take it home that same day.

Now grandma’s photo sits in my living room next to the television. She smiles the same loving smile that welcomed me all my life.

And she smiles my Baglady’s gentle and loving smile. Because, you see, she was the inspiration for the character.

If I could have one wish for each person in the world, it would be for you to have someone like my grandma in your own life; a person who always loves you unconditionally, just as much thru all your trials as thru your accomplishments.

Recognizing Your Angels

IMAG0088We’ve all experienced it. Trying our best to make something happen and there are barriers at every turn.

First we try Plan A. Then go at it from a different angle.

Plan B. We back up and try it again, but someone, or some thing is messing up the plan.

Two things can happen next.

  1. We rage against the person or thing standing in the way.

2. We sink into the ‘why me’ syndrome

“Why me? Why can’t I make this work? Why is this person being mean? Why won’t my car start? Why, why, why?”

angelsIf you are encountering a lot of resistance in moving toward something you are wanting, you may be in the company of angels you just don’t recognize as such. The Angels of Closed Doors.

I’ve come to realize that there are no enemies on the way to fulfillment; only signs, angels if you will.

They’re helping steer us away from the wrong path as well as toward the right one. To get on board with this idea, we must accept that we don’t always know the whole story behind a dead end. The very thing that is an aggravation could be steering you safely away from a problem yet unseen.

Life is not meant to be a struggle, but an adventure! Thank heaven I’m getting wiser to this truth as life goes on.

When I find myself hitting road blocks at every turn in a project, it’s important to step back, take some time for reflection and offer up a thought or prayer of willingness to see the situation differently.

After all, when I’m not supposed to go in a particular direction, I do want to know!

If the universe is all loving and God knows the deepest yearnings of our hearts, how can he help us, even protect us, if the noise in our heads is so loud that it drowns out his quiet voice?

The answer: The Angels of Closed Doors.