In The Hunt

cat-3750778_1920We are deep into football season and many teams are in the hunt to make the playoffs.  Most teams have players out of action due to injuries and trading continues throughout the season.  Everyone wants a piece of the trophy.

Throughout our lives, we strive for some trophy.  I could be a real trophy to designate the winner of a physical contest.  It could be metaphorical: the killer job, forever home, beautiful car, great kids or fabulous spouse.  Striving is motivation and carries through the journey of life.

Too often, striving for material things alone leaves us feeling empty or desirous of more.  When we don’t put purpose and soul satisfaction at the top of the list, the result is fleeting.  It is then we must reach deep into the soul and seek the meaning that sustains us.

How do you know what that is?

If there is something you simply must do on a consistent basis, then that is your calling and meaning.  I must create.  Art and beauty soothe my soul.  It can be any medium for me.  I don’t have to pick up a paintbrush or crayon to fulfill that need.  My work life consists of managing money, but even in that lies creativity.  It can be figuring out how to use the money in the best way possible or it can be designing my spreadsheets in a way that pleases my eye.  Creativity comes out in my home or in how I dress each day.  When I am unable to create, my soul weeps.  Depression sets in and life loses its meaning.

As I have previously written, I am in a bit of a funk.  I have limited my article postings and am presently taking a few days away from work to rest and rejuvenate.  I will take some time to just look within and listen to my heart.  To ask myself what I am missing and what I need to bring a happy state back to my soul.  I will work on the manuscript for my book about spirituality.  Exercise.  Right now I am listening to music.  I have been less than my happy self for a good portion of this year and I need to gain that back.

We should always be in the hunt for happiness.  Life is messy and sometimes it is hard to sustain, but our natural state is happiness.  The level can be different for each of us, but it is always there.

Unlike the Super Bowl, it is a trophy that can be had by all.

Give Thanks

pray-2408038_1920-1Tomorrow, November 22nd, is the US holiday Thanksgiving.  A time to celebrate abundance and sharing, but shouldn’t be limited to an American celebration of eating.  Thanks-giving should occur every day of the year.

Give thanks for the big dinner you will eat tomorrow, even if you gain 10 pounds, because it represents the abundance of nourishment.  Nourishment fuels your body so you can perform physical activities.

Give thanks for the people you are having dinner with, even it is just those on the television, because it represents the abundance of social connectivity.  Social connections enrich your life by opening your heart to love.

Give thanks for the horrid family member who pushes your buttons at every opportunity, because without them you would not have the opportunity to develop personal boundaries and honor yourself.  When you respect yourself, others will too.

Give thanks for the money you have earned, because it helps to provide you with food, shelter and material comforts.  Self-sufficiency builds self-esteem.

Give thanks for your physical body, even if it is damaged or missing parts, because you are a miracle.  The body is an amazing machine.

Give thanks for your children, even those not of your making, because you are capable of love and caring for another.  Give them a hug.

Give thanks for your significant other, partner or spouse, because you are lovable.  Give yourself a hug.

Give thanks for the planet, because you have an opportunity to experience a variety of climate, cultures and terrain.  What a wondrous place it is!

Give thanks for your very existence, because being human allows you to not only experience abundance but create it.  Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

The more you give thanks for all the wonderful things in your life, and about your life, the more abundance you will experience.

He Said, She Said

silhouette-2480321_1280There is a lot of finger-pointing between the sexes these days.  No one is right, yet no one is wrong.  It appears to be battle of control, when what it really should be is a balance of power.

Energy must be balanced in order to flow.

In every effective relationship, there is a balance of feminine and masculine energy.  This is not limited to gender nor sexual preference.  Feminine energy is receptive and sensing-feeling.  Masculine energy is giving and thinking-doing. 

Women can be masculine energy, and that doesn’t mean that they look like men or lack femininity.  Likewise, men can be feminine energy and still look and act masculine.  It is only how the energy is processed.

I am a masculine energy, very feminine woman.  I have friends and acquaintances who are similar.  I am in a heterosexual relationship and am a total fashionista.  I am highly intelligent and get more sh*t done in a day than many people do in a week.  My sweetie is a feminine energy male, who is also very intelligent and a creative former ironworker.  He appreciates my forward thinking.  Neither of us is weak and neither of us is in charge of the relationship.  Because we have a balanced energy relationship, the energy can shift back and forth depending upon our needs, desires and skills.  Good relationships have this ebb and flow.

The problem comes from two same-energy people in a relationship.  Two masculine energy people will constantly fight for control.  Two feminine energy people will passively want their way.  In either situation, neither get their needs met nor get sh*t done.  Trying to pretend you are one type, when you are not, does not work either.  Just like coloring your hair, the dark roots will always grow out the blonde.  Why create more conflict to an already conflicted situation?

The first step is to acknowledge your energy type.  Forget the male-female, masculine-feminine typecast for a bit.  Ask this question instead: are you more offended if someone calls you stupid or if they call you ugly?  If being called stupid sets you off, then you are more likely masculine energy, whereas you don’t give a rat’s a$$ if they call you ugly.  You might also get irritated and impatient by people who cry all the time.  If being called ugly makes you cry, then you are likely feminine energy.  Your feelings are more important than whether or not you know how to calculate the return on investment.  Again, neither energy type is right or wrong.  Just learn to be happy with which one you are.  You will have a happier life if you do.

I almost wonder if what we are seeing in the world today is from real energy types finally emerging.  Perhaps the conflict is more from within and easier to project on someone else than to acknowledge what is.  Internal conflict can turn nice people into alien life forms from hell.  Figure out what type you are, but throw away the label.  The energy will settle down and fall into balance.

Because it is better to be happy than to be right.

Oz-tober

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Photo: Pixabay, Efraimstochter

Last night, Ozzy Osbourne played at the Denver Pepsi Center.  I didn’t go because it was a work night and I just can’t stay up that late anymore.

Ozzie and many other musicians have been out on epic tours, some for several years.  Why the significance as that is no different than any other year?  Because most of them are over the age of 60.  They are still out there rockin’ it and kickin’ a$$ long after the rest of us are snoring in our beds.

Some ask “why?”  “Do they need more money; don’t they have enough?”  “That’s old news.”  “Sick of that music.”  (Seriously?!)  Or “they are too old to be doing that”.  The reality is that they are out there doin’ it because they LOVE it.  Music is their passion, their reason for living.  They live to make music, play music and perform music.  And why not?

I recently saw a photo of Klaus Meine of the Scorpions that said “this is what 70 looks like”.  If that’s 70, then everyone should aspire to that.  70 is no longer seen as the bent-over, shuffling wrinkled person with overgrown nose hairs.  Check out Ari Seth Cohen’s “Advanced Style” and you will see photos of [yes, real] kick-a$$ older people living life to the fullest.  “Old is the New Black” is the motto.

Older people have had enough of being pushed aside, told what they can or cannot wear, think, do or anything else a bunch of under-experienced brats have decided.  Older people live, love, wear purple hair and have sex on a regular basis.

We are not dead yet.

It is a time to embrace your passions, to do the things that you barely had the time for when you were younger, to play, to have a loving relationship, to think, to feel, to honor yourself and speak out for what you believe in.

Or rock it at an Ozzy concert.  Just remember to wear your ear plugs.

My Mother, My Body, My Self

mother-1327186_1280My mother was mean and fat.  I suppose she had her reasons.  I was born to her when she was a teenager, unable to graduate with her high school class, and the subject of scorn from many.  Self-hatred can cause you to pack on pounds in an effort to deflect other’s criticism.

I swore I would never be like my mother.

I never grew fat, just slightly chubby during difficult periods in my life, but always managed to ditch those few extra pounds when happiness was more prevalent in my life.  But I absorbed my mother’s dissatisfaction in other ways.

I became her punishment.

She told me once, “never get pregnant or you’ll ruin your life”.  I suppose, then, that I had ruined her life.  Her self-hatred ran deep, and so I spent the better part of my life attempting to appease her.  Wasted effort.  Once I gave up, my life changed in dramatic ways.

Shame and blame are guilt trips that are all too easy to fall into.  It takes courage, it takes strength, and it takes total compassion for yourself and your struggles to dig out of the rut of shame and blame.  My mother never got there.  She might still be in that place, but I don’t know as we no longer speak.

I still hate her on occasion.  I would guess that’s normal.  When my thighs get fat, I hate her.  When I stand with my hands on my hips, I hate her.  Sometimes we mimic our mother’s body to heal the pain of rejection.

I am not my mother’s body.

When I see these aspects appear, they just remind me of the wounds left behind.  They remind me of my struggle to create my own identity and not the one my mother impressed upon me.  And as each day goes by, and I allow my wants, my needs, and the desires of my true self thrust outward like a seedling in fresh mulch every piece of my mother’s rejection drops into my arms like a newborn greeting the world.

Like Phoenix rising from the ashes.

And knowing this, I wrap my arms around those injured bits of my soul, and tell myself that I am Loved and I am Cared For.  And I smile as I watch shame and blame fade away.

Walk This Way

rundmc-aerosmith[1]Aerosmith or Run DMC with Aerosmith?

Either one, the message is still “move your a$$”.  Walking is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your well-being, especially if you can get out and connect with nature.

man-1225488_1920During my work week, I take a half hour walk at lunchtime.  Beyond the exercise, it gets me out of my chair and out of the building.  The first five minutes are a bit stiff-legged and my feet are tender.  Sometimes my thoughts match that movement. Then the blood flow kicks in, joints get lubricated and most all of the pain and stiffness goes away.  There are two ponds located near my building, with a variety of birds, a few turtles and an occasional muskrat.  Just moving past water drops my stress level.  If I tune into the sights, smells and sounds of nature my thoughts slow down and make room for the Universe to give me suggestions for problem-solving.  A bonus, for sure.

nature-243483_1920Yesterday, I battled with a database not giving me the information I needed.  I fussed with it for a half hour and it resisted.  So I went for a walk.  My thoughts calmed down as I enjoyed the beautiful day.  And then, lo and behold, I heard a voice in my head [that would be the Universe, not a psychotic episode] tell me to delete the problem data and re-enter it.  When I went back to working on it, I did that, and . . . you can guess the results.  Bingo!

As I have gotten older, I have discovered that walking doesn’t necessary cause weight loss like it did in my younger years.  This seems to be a common complaint, especially amongst women.  I read an article about menopause that said when your estrogen drops your body looks for another place to find it.  Apparently, belly fat is a source of estrogen.  WTF.  Fat gut or hot flashes from h*ll.  I don’t think there is a choice.  I think sometimes your body gives you both as payback for all the abuse you’ve put it through.  You men don’t get hot flashes, but that beer gut might be replacing your lost testosterone.

Enough about guts and sweating to the oldies.

Walking is still one of the best things you can do for yourself.  Movement keeps you moving and as you move forward through life you will want to enjoy it as much as possible.  If nothing else, being able to walk to the bar to support your beer gut and avoid a DUI.

Slainte!

So Shoe Me

IMG_0117I love shoes.  I’ve written about them many times, probably more than anything else.  I guess I can’t help it.  I just love them.

I probably have too many.  Big Deal.

No one is starving because of my obsession with shoes.  If anything, the person who makes them is likely feeding their family from the proceeds.  I would like to think I am helping the economy.

The economy is like energy, there has to be a give and take flow in order for it to work.  When you buy shoes, or food, or cars, or homes or even just a pack of gum you are contributing to the flow.  When you go to work and create or support or provide service you are contributing to the flow.money-2159310_1920

Not doing any of those things merely stops up the energy like a two-year-old tossing a plastic dinosaur into the toilet.  I suppose that, too, contributes since you have to call a plumber to come dig Dino from the sewer.  Plumbers eat well because of two-year-olds and toys.

If you take something without an exchange or create harm, you might have to pay a fine, go to jail, or get sued.  All of which also stop the flow of energy.

By keeping the energy flowing, you create room in your life for more abundance, prosperity, success and just plain joy.  Allow yourself to receive and it will be easier to give.

Or just go buy a pair of shoes so someone can have a nice dinner with their family.

I’m Better Than I Never Was

photo-256887_1920Remember when you could run a seven-minute mile?  Wore a size 2?  Could live on five hours of sleep a night?

What if these and many others things like them that you tell yourself on a regular basis are really just lies to avoid accepting yourself for who you are now?  If you quit saying them, could you embrace your reality, could you be kind and loving to you?

And if you did, might you be better than who you thought you were?

It is easy to get caught up in the past.  It is about who you were, but your memories might be tainted.  Maybe things in your life aren’t going very well.  Struggles with a lover, unsatisfying work, body image, bank account a little low.  Not surprising you might wish for what was.  Not surprising you might think the past held better times.  Maybe it did.

What if you could change now?  The good news: you can.  How?  Think differently.  You are better than you were or you wouldn’t be here now.  You are better than you were because you have experience.  You have more knowledge.  You know what you really want, but did you know that your thoughts create your reality?  What you focus on is what appears in your life.  The more you think your life is crap, the more crap appears in your life.

Start by thinking of all the good things in your life.  Write them down.  Put a sticky note on your mirror to look at when you brush your teeth.  Stay focused on the good things.  Like attracts like.

Before long, you will realize that life is better than you thought it was.

Gra-feed-me

IMG_0443                                All photos from the RiNo area of Denver.

Graffiti has long been considered an eyesore and often gang-tagging.  There is obviously some beauty in it since many graffiti artists are being commissioned to decorate the sides of large buildings.

Denver has two areas with extensive wall art.  River North, known as RiNo, on the north side of downtown has gorgeous work of graphics and bold colors.  I’ve taken several photos and plan another trip for more.  The colors just grab my creative soul.  The other area is on West Colfax, known as the 40 West Arts District.  They actually have painted a green line on the sidewalks and pavement for people to walk around and view the art.  I haven’t done this yet, but I’ve driven past much of it.

The history of graffiti is attributed to Cornbread, a high school student in Philadelphia, who in 1967 started tagging city walls to get the attention of a girl.  Sigh.  Everything starts with love.

Graffiti is about getting attention, and probably for the purpose of feeding the soul of the creator.  How many times have you sat in a meeting and doodled while you listened to some talking head?  Feeding the need to quell boredom.  Or maybe designing the next rocket ship.

Graffiti is the most raw form of creativity.  Spewing out colors, shapes, swirls, maybe people or things.  The contents of your heart spread out for everyone to see.  I guess you could say posting a blog is some sort of graffiti.  A bunch of nonsense on an electronic wall.  Well, not everyone’s blog is nonsense.  But really, don’t we write in the hopes that someone will “Like” it?  No head trips here, just random thoughts.

However, I just might start adding some swirls and bright colors to my posts.  Gotta feed my soul, you know.IMG_0453

Forever 21

Yes, I know it is a clothing store.  And No, I do not shop there.  Would I want to be 21 again?  Oh, Hell No!  Too much work, too much silliness, too much learning to do all over again.  Even if I knew then what I know now, I would not want a do-over.  I would not be the woman I am now if it were not for the stupidity of my younger self.  Stupidity might be too strong a word.

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 Twenty-one is a time for learning.  Twenty-one is a time to do crazy, but hopefully not detrimental, things with all the joy and exuberance of youth.  It is best at any age to try to act in a safe manner just so as not to leave this life too early.  But where would you be today if not for some drunken night with your besties?  I so do not miss those days.

 I think the only thing I miss about being 21 is just the physical aspect of it – not waking up stiff and sore, the strength and resilience of your body.  But would I do anything different physically if I had that body or would my wisdom tell me that I really do not need to be different?

 You cannot go back to your youth and you really should not dwell on those times.  Doing so causes you to miss out on all the beauty and wonder of the present moment.  Love the self you are now, love your body, love your wisdom and love your sh*t. 

 And do not try to replay those drunken nights.  It is bad for your skin.  And you will smell like the cat box.