The Winners of the World

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Image by AxxLC from Pixabay

It is Sunday, which means football, which means that – once again – I am writing a football inspired article. Why? Well, I like watching the sport, but there is just so much inspiration to be found in such a hard-driven game.

There are, of course, winners and losers in each game and each season. There has to be; that’s why it is a competitive game. No one would watch otherwise.

What makes a Loser? And why would I start with that? Because it is too easy to talk about a Winner. A Loser can happen for various reasons. Not feeling good enough comes to mind first. A Winner can feel that way too, and so pushes themselves that much harder. That isn’t so bad, unless the endless quest pushes you into a nervous breakdown or serious injury. You can have an off day or feel ill, which could make you a Loser for that day. That could make you a Winner if you realize that sometimes you need to rest and recover instead of pushing yourself harder.

You could have a bad rapport with your mentor or coach, so you make a bad decision based upon bad direction. If you can adapt or resolve the situation, you become a Winner. Sometimes choosing to leave the situation altogether can be winning.

A true Winner knows how to change their circumstances through the power of choice. A Loser believes they have no choice. Not choosing at all is still a choice. Even if you are part of a team, and your team is experiencing a loss, you still have a choice to be a Winner. You played your best; you did your best work; you did something that made you feel good about yourself – makes you a Winner.

So get out there and kick some a$s, even if it is just your own.

Sandals to Snow Shoes in 24 Hours

It is 80 degrees in Colorado on October 8th. We are expecting 72 degrees tomorrow, and then, SNOW on Thursday. That four-letter word that turns the average nice person into a maniac when it first arrives in the fall.

Leaves have barely turned. Flowers are still pushing blooms out for our visual pleasure. Ghosts and goblins are appearing on front porches everywhere and Christmas trees are arriving in stores.

Fall seems to turn everyone inside out. Traditionally, it is the time of harvest when we reap the rewards of all that we have planted. Did you sow a fertile field this year? Whether it is farmland wheat or just the seeds of your dreams, now it the time to see if it all has grown to meet your desires.

I hope you planted something. Action steps towards your dreams or just a pretty daisy in a pot, there is life and hope and beauty in your life. When we cannot plant even a thought, we lose sight of where we are going. The journey is yours to design, not just be swept along by someone else’s tide. Or snowstorm.

I don’t look forward to the first snow, yet I can still see its beauty. It dampens down the harvest, cleans the air, and heralds in a time of rest. Away goes our fun sandals of summer, and out comes fuzzy boots and the warmth of a fire. Time to settle in and nurture ourselves, give thanks for another season of growth, and relax until it is time to plant new ideas or something of beauty.

Goodbye happy flip-flops, see you in the summer.

Festi-fall

IMG_0687Every now and then, my fashionista side says “let’s go play fashion shoot” and off we go to some interesting locale to get my vogue on.

September is nearly at its end, and the leaves are changing colors and floating to the earth. These last few days of warm weather herald a flurry of festivals; whether it is an outdoor concert or a romp through a pumpkin patch. Or for many, a chance to suck down a few gallons of beer at an Oktoberfest.

The beautiful colors of fall had me pulling on some festival worthy garments, such as this gorgeously embroidery tunic from Johnny Was, aptly named “Festival Tunic”. The pants are from Sundance and the 4-inch platform sandals are by Schutz. Although I wouldn’t recommend sauntering through a pumpkin patch in them. The happy hippy hat is from some shop in Estes Park.

IMG_0674Fall is such a lovely season. I think Mother Nature gives us all Her glory as a present before the frigid days of winter. Something to stick in our mind as we hunker down and nurture ourselves while She rebuilds herself for another season. And so should we. Getting out there in all my glory helps to remind me that whatever is hiding beneath those layers of clothes, like it or not, it is me and I can rebuild myself with all the intent and care as Mother Nature. Sometimes She, too, doesn’t look Her best, but with faith and knowingness comes another season to get Her festi-fall on.

And so will I.

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Guardians of the Desert

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Leigh-Ann Edrich from Pixabay

We recently spent a week in Arizona, visiting friends in Tucson and Phoenix. Coming from Colorado, the desert landscape is quite different and requires some adapting. Colorado is dry, but not quite like Arizona.

The landscape is brown and rocky, and dotted with cactus and other vegetation. There is much beauty in its simplicity and the mighty saguaro cactus reigns supreme. From short to tall, slender with varying number of arms, these beauties symbolize the desert region. Some areas are heavily populated, and some without a single statue in sight.

I found myself studying them as they seemed to pulsate with life. I sensed the spirit beings within and slipped into their energy. Mystical, folksy, somewhat primitive yet highly spiritual, they reminded me of the famed Hopi Kachina Dolls. Their presence seemed to me that of a guardian and guide. A protector of both land and its inhabitants, who offers guidance to those who seek it. They also seem as lightposts showing them the way to the afterlife.

Arizona is a much-sought-after destination for retirees. Whether it is year-round residency or the wanderlust of the snowbirds (those who winter in AZ and summer in another state), the over sixty crowd can be found on the golf course, in swimming pools, grocery stores and the mega clubhouses of the various popular communities like Sun City. Draw by the warm winters, older folks find contentment and companions in the desert.

But what if there is something more to draw the older crowd? What if these stately cacti, filled with spiritual energy, are what beckons them to give up their family homes and move south? Perhaps these beings are there to assist people in their life transition. It’s not like I think people go there specifically to die, but maybe age gracefully and beautifully with peace and purpose until it is time to pass on. I believe these guardians stand tall to show them the way.

They are here to show us all that we are never alone.

It’s 90 Degrees Out, Who Turned Up The Heat?

St Lucia (2)Reposted from October 25, 2017

Hot flashes. The burning hellfire of menopause, rising up from who knows where to singe the hair right off your head. It can only be experienced and not explained. I swear I could cook an egg on my forehead.

Hot flashes, in all their sear-isness, serve a symbolic purpose during this transition. It is truly a TRANSITION. You are rising up out of your nurturing, selfless years and becoming the woman you were meant to be all along. This is not to downgrade nor demean those nurturing years. God knows too many of us did not get the nurturing we needed as children. However, we all too often buried our own needs to care for others. Sometimes with too much resentment and even anger. Hot flashes represent all that buried angst.

They burn upwards from our core and into our brain, activating those turbulent memories. It is time to deal and heal. Pull that dirt out of your head and heart and look at it for what it was. The hellfire will burn even hotter if you don’t forgive yourself and release it. A burning fire always stops so your pain-filled reminders will too. The more you examine the past and allow yourself to really feel all the emotions, the quicker you will be able to let go and the hot flashes will simmer down.Curacao

And then you will be able to move forward and create a joyful and meaningful life filled with interesting activities that you design. Oh, the best is yet to come!

Plus, you’ll be able to empty the linen closet of all those flannel sheets you no longer need.

Do Forward

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Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

You’ve heard the term “do over”. Typically it is combined with a lasting feeling of regret. Why would you beat yourself up if you did the best you could, with what you had, at the time you did it?

Whenever we have some goal we want to accomplish, or a continual way of doing something, we study, learn and practice with the intent to become better. Sometimes our goals include a competitive event or testing of some sort to determine our proficiency. And then the self-judgement sets in and we wish for a “do over”.

Why not look at it from a different perspective and consider it a “do forward”? Ditch the regrets, the shame, the sadness, even the anger and focus forward instead of backwards. Looking back keeps you stuck backwards. How can you envision your future if your gaze is on what you should have done? See each new moment as a brand new opportunity to stretch, to grow, to reach beyond what you though you could do. Why would you want to do over if you could do different?

Think about the movie “Ground Hog Day”, in which the character woke up over and over to the same day. Sure, it may have been an opportunity to do something different, but it was THE SAME DAY. The environment was never different and neither were the people. So by doing over, you never get the chance to experience something new.

Maybe the day you had your competitive event was crappy weather. Would you want a do over in that? No, you’d rather have better weather. Maybe you had a mild cold the day you took your test. Would you want a do over with a runny nose, or would you rather have good health?

By doing forward, you open yourself to new possibilities, a new environment, and the ability to bring a new you to your event. Imagine what you could do.

Innocent-ive

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Image by KDArtStudio from Pixabay

Innocent is the baby sister of the twins Blame and Shame. She sees that at the core of humanness is the pure divine light of creation. This light is the soul connection to Spirit, with the innocence of a baby. Within this pure light, there is no blame, no shame, just the love that we are created with.

Innocent knows that even though we are human with flaws and imperfections, her sisters want to make a big deal out of those bumps and blemishes. She continually reminds them that the only thing wrong is the tendency to hate themselves.

The anger and fear that we project on others is simply the avoidance of acknowledging and accepting our own imperfections. We turn these emotions inward as self-hatred instead of nurturing and loving the blemishes we carry. Perhaps you were unloved and unwanted as a child. This may have instilled a belief within you that something was wrong. Shame became your new best friend, because you couldn’t trust human friendship. Your misguided view of yourself manifested into outward traits of being unlovable. Maybe you were excessively shy and avoided people. Maybe you didn’t care for your physical appearance. Maybe you were defensive and belligerent. You unconsciously put yourself around people who treated you badly. Blame joined her sister and you had a way to fight back.

If this has been your pattern, it is time to look deep within yourself and recognize the beautiful innocent core of your being. Spirit would not have created you and made you human if you were not lovable. Sure, you may have flaws, but Spirit was not looking for perfection. Those flaws are there to grow your spirit in order to grow Spirit. Think about that for a moment. Spirit is all loving and all abundant so why would Spirit need a human? Obviously Spirit wants and needs your imperfections to become even more loving and abundant. How awesomely cool is that? Do you now understand how important you are to Spirit? Even Blame and Shame are important to Spirit, because without them there would be no reminder of their baby sister, Innocent.

That just gives you more Innocent-ive to love yourself.

Put Me In, Coach

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Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay

“Centerfield” is a classic rock song by John Fogerty, released in 1985 about someone telling the coach that they were ready to play, and in center field. It’s that fighting spirit that all coaches want to see.

I know it is about baseball, which I’m not that interested in, but I often use sports analogies when I’m writing to demonstrate my meaning.

We know that a good coach can bring out the best in their athletes and lead them to a winning season. A good coach has passion, can read their players, can encourage them and most of all, know the game. They need to be able to teach the players the mechanics and techniques that work the best, but at the same time encourage them to go beyond. At times, they also must be tough, and not afraid to crawl all up in someone’s sh*t if they aren’t pulling their weight.

Coaches aren’t limited to sports. They can be those rah-rah people around you, cheering you on during life victories. There are also professional life coaches, with formulas for success, who lead seminars and write books for self-help people.

I am beginning to think of myself as a life coach. It wasn’t something I aspired to, as my passion was always about design. Coaching was more of a calling born out of dealing with my own life issues and learning. I can say I am passionate about spirituality and metaphysics, having studied them for over 40 years. I have taken classes for developing psychic abilities and healing. As I got older and realized that my early years were having an impact on my choices and behavior patterns, I knew I needed to do something about them. I went to talk therapists, psychics and energy healers. They made a difference, but ultimately, I knew that the changes had to come from within me. Since I learn best through reading and research, I delved into the world of self-help. I practiced the behavior modification techniques often recommended, and the best one for me was to call out my inner child and mother her in the way that she didn’t get. That shifted a whole lot of the baggage I carried.

I was so impacted by my changes that I wanted to share with others. Whenever I have (and still do) encounter someone having difficulties, I reach out with personal experiences and suggestions for making changes. (Not being a medical professional, I don’t diagnose or attempt to treat those with severe issues.) I often feel guilty afterwards; who am I to tell someone how to run their life? But I have learned, and done this myself, people will hear what they want to hear and ignore the rest. Thus, no offense given, and none taken.

I’m not ready to take the step into professional coach. I still carry doubts about “lecturing” people on how to manage their life. I’m also concerned about being overwhelmed by the demands, so I keep reminding myself to take baby steps. Writing this blog is a baby step. I can tackle an issue, make suggestions and put them out there for people to accept or not. If I’m using this as a training ground, then I realize that I’m not really telling anyone what to do, just making recommendations and how-tos for making life better. Sort of like showing someone with basic cable what they could get if they sign up for the 250+ package. Woo-hoo!, because the biggest win in life is living a good life.

If there is a topic you would like me to address, for the good of one and all, then please comment back.

Or just say “put me in, Coach, I’m ready to change!”.

You Want to be a Football Hero

quarterback-4363871_1920Football season is upon us and players are vying for first round position. All guts, no glory, as they say and you see many a young quarterback launching the ball for all it’s worth and hoping for the game-winning touchdown. Careers are set or lost on a weekly basis.

What if you had to live your life like the NFL? Sixteen chances to win and move on to the Super Bowl. A moment of glory to be immortalized in a statue and documented permanently. At least it gives former players something to do each week.

It may sound as though I am demeaning football. Not at all, I’m glued to the television each week to see what the Broncos are going to do. I cheer, cuss and throw popcorn at the screen trying to make my own touchdown. And usually not all that successful either. I confess to not knowing a whole lot about the game, but I just love the passion and athleticism. I can tell who is having a bad day and who is focused upon winning.

Winning isn’t everything. I’ve heard that saying too. Oh, but it is! It’s all in the personal view of what it means and the level to which it is taken. The Super Bowl is a huge deal, but so is threading a sewing needle when you can’t see for sh*t. Like me. Writing a page a day for a book is just as important as busting the ribbon when you cross the finish line. Winning at life is another saying, but who really knows what that means?

Our journey here is to grow our spirit, in order to grow Spirit, and experience giving and receiving love. Sounds rather simple, but everyone’s journey is complicated. If you compare it to a single football season, you aren’t totally sure of what you are going to get. You might know ahead of time which teams you are going to play and who is on the roster, but then it is a guessing game. Any single one of the players could be having a bad day due to illness or minor injury, and you know they usually play through most of that. That little bit could throw off the rhythm of the team. Just like at your workplace when the go-to person is out sick. It could also be later in the season and some of the players are sidelined with a more serious injury. Think about that if you are older and had made life plans of traveling or some such and your partner has become permanently disabled. You now have to re-strategize your game plan. Maybe your partner is okay with you traveling with a family member or best friend, while they stay home and enjoy their poker league. Just like in football it is all a matter of attitude and adjustment.

So you can still be a football hero.

Like Thunder and Lightning

thunderstorm-1768742_1920Last night a big thunderstorm rolled through the skies. A slightly lessened version of the “hurricane” of a month ago. Plenty of rain, lots of grumbling and a brilliant display of lightning. Mother Nature was kicking a$$.

Thunder and lightning are made up of electrical energy with enough power to knock out an electrical plant. Similarly, our bodies are made up of electromagnetic energy with enough [brain] power to run an electrical plant. I know, that is a rather vague comparison, but you get the idea – both have some sort of powerful energy.

If you consider that comparison, think about what you can do. You have brain, emotional and physical power and oftentimes you don’t even use all that you are capable of. If you focused and developed yourself to the equivalent power of lightning and thunder, you could set goals and accomplish them easily and quickly. Perhaps you are of a medical mind; you could find a non-invasive, non-symptomatic cure for cancer or any other debilitating disease. You could climb Mount Everest with the knowledge and skills to avoid risk. You could plant a garden that would feed a neighborhood each year. You could help someone avoid suicide and change their life. You could do work that you love and supported what you need. Your relationships would thrive. If you could change your life, you could change the world.

Like thunder and lightning, it’s not even a little frightening.