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.

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!”.

Mediation Meditation

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Yes, you read that correctly. So let’s take a look at the meaning.

Mediation uses a third party to resolve a dispute. Meditation helps you access your subconscious for insight, relaxation and ideas. For this purpose, consider that your conscious mind and body are in dispute about something you would like to accomplish. Your subconscious is the neutral party, because it holds all the skills, brilliant ideas, memories, knowledge and most of all, the neurological wiring to make sh*t happen. This part of your brain can tell your conscious mind and body that they can do this thing, whatever it is.

Let’s say you want to want to improve your golf score. Now, I know nothing about golf so if I don’t explain this correctly, forgive me and make your own mental correction. Every time you tee off, the ball sails off to the right. You’ve changed your stance, your grip and even your – ahem – balls and the damn thing continues to make a perfect arc. (There IS perfection in something.) So why not try meditation to improve your skills?

Find some time and a space where you can sit quietly for a few minutes. No phone, no music, just you and your thoughts. Close your eyes and begin to breathe slowly in and out. Feel the tension of your day slowly draining down from your head all the way through your body and out your feet. You will know that you have begun to relax when random thoughts start scrolling through your head. Don’t worry about them; most people think your mind should be clear. Not necessarily true, just don’t fixate on any particular one of them. Keep breathing until you don’t notice any of your surroundings, and your focus is somewhere in your forehead. This is when you can begin to access your subconscious.

Now visualize yourself setting up to tee off. Ask your subconscious how to make the ball go straight. See yourself making the swing and the ball going straight down the fairway. Now say to yourself “my mind and body hit the ball where I want it to go”. Repeat this several times so you train your brain to instruct your body what to do. Make this a practice and watch how your golf game changes. Who knows, you might even make Tiger a little worried.

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

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.

Breaking It

keyboard-393838_1920I’ve taken a short break from blogging. It wasn’t intentional, just too many things going on that kept me out of creative thinking. I don’t lament the time lost, because sometimes circumstances work in our favor to give us a break.

Taking a break from anything can be healthy. If it is physical exercise, you give your body a chance to rest and recover. If it is mental activity, such as studying or work logic, you give your brain a chance to reset and balance. Taking a creative break does the same thing from the opposite side.

A break is a temporary, short-time-frame rest. A long-term break may be a sign of something bigger like burnout. Lacking desire or interest in something could be that it truly is no longer relevant in your life, however, if the lack of desire or interest is widespread it can be a sign of depression.

Depression is a treatable disease. There are many resources and methods that are readily available. Don’t allow this to overcome your life when there is help.

A break can be as simple as a short nap. Taking a walk is a nice break when you have been sitting awhile. Reading a book, listening to music, playing with a pet or child, fixing a cup of tea or coffee, having a healthy snack and especially meditation are various forms of relaxation. The important thing is to do the opposite of what you have been doing.

Just don’t break anything.

Eclipsed

eclipse-33019_1280This evening is a full moon lunar eclipse squaring off between Capricorn and Cancer. It is the astrological time of Cancer. Are you setting new goals or doing a mid-year review of those you set earlier in the year?

An eclipse is always a time of change. The Cancer/Capricorn square represents the opposition, or balance of the feminine nurturing sign of Cancer and the masculine, structured sign of Capricorn. Have you been ignoring your inner soul calling and instead have focused upon old beliefs and ways of doing things? Do you feel as though you haven’t made any progress towards your dreams?

This lunar eclipse is the time to dig deep into what you may have subconsciously been resisting. If you have been cutting corners or cutting yourself short, this is a good time to rest and review. The fact that this eclipse is occurring during a Mercury Retrograde is another reason to slow down and review.

Did you create a structured plan with step-by-step actions, but it is just boring the sh*t out of you? Ask yourself why. Don’t fall back upon the old flowchart to answer this. Get quiet, take a deep breath, and drop down into your heart center. What are you feeling? What is your heart telling you? Have you been closing off your desires to fit in someone else’s plan or maybe planning because you think that’s how something should be done? Now don’t run out and quit your job, get a nose job, or file for divorce unless you are absolutely certain that is what is best for you. Still, it is wise to wait a month until Mercury decides to fall back in line. Some regrets can’t be recycled.

Are your cravings or crabbiness a sign of something deeper, some dissatisfaction with life? What tiny step can you take to bring some fun into your world? Try a coloring book with crayons or markers. Now don’t say “that’s for kids”. It’s about releasing creativity and allowing yourself to play. When you open those channels in your brain, you free up some space for new insights and ideas. Maybe it is simply that you need to play a little. Or maybe you sketch out a revolutionary idea that could benefit others and bring you a new career opportunity. If you are single and looking for a mate, take the coloring book to a restaurant or other gathering place. You’ll put out such positive vibes and happiness that your special someone will be attracted to you.

Capricorn rules structure but sometimes those are outmoded. Eclipses usually shake up the status quo and sometimes bring it crashing down. I’ve often said that if something needs to change in your life, the Universe will send you hints. If you continue to ignore the hints, the Universe will bring about change. That’s much-needed change, silly wabbit.

The action of an eclipse is one planet covering or blotting out another – including the sun or moon. Sometimes it is necessary to cover up a distraction in order to pay attention to what is important. Take note of anything that may be similar in occurrence to this. Instead of constantly glancing in the rear-view mirror, you are looking around and see the For Sale sign on a beautiful new home.

Just be sure you check everything out before signing on the dotted line. Mercury in Retrograde can mess with contracts. And you want nothing to eclipse your dreams.

A Happy Space

I’m taking a week off from work. I have a lot of vacation time built up and I want to use some of it up before I retire in January. Plus, it’s great to get away from the stressful hustle. I chose to be home-bound for the rest and relaxation, and it is a sigh of relief. We’re hosting a neighborhood gathering tomorrow evening, and having a party Saturday afternoon with some friends. There is always a lot of prep for events, but I have plenty of time for it.

IMG_20190614_181516011 (2)I have several of these weeks throughout the summer. I am using them as practice for retirement. I knew that I needed some time away and I anticipated that it would be enjoyable, but certainly not at the level I am experiencing.

I am discovering an absolute true feeling of contentment.

IMG_20190614_181523173 (1)There are books, and articles, and videos, and podcasts, and so on, that speak of being happy. Do this, don’t do that, the list is goes on. Much of it is true, but it all comes back to how you feel inside. It is different for everyone. Sometimes the happiness is fleeting or short-lived. Such as that which comes from a thing, place or person. We all want the kind that stays with us for ever and ever. But what does it really mean?

It is how you feel at any moment, where you experience peace, contentment and relaxation. Your blood pressure drops, respiration becomes slower and deeper, worrisome thoughts seem to drift away, your gaze softens, and your senses relax. When I sit outside and look at my flower garden this happens. The colors, the shapes, the sheer beauty of the flowers overwhelm me. I become less aware of street noise and more aware of the tiny bees that roam from flower to flower. The chirp of birds. Perhaps one lands to take drink from the bird bath. Butterflies floating about. Time passes by without a thought.

I can begin to appreciate that the stress and striving brought me to this. That work and effort is important, because it brings safety and security, and purpose in serving. But yet, we must never lose sight of the need to fulfill our own passions and the necessity of self-care. Whether you are working or not, good health or bad, have many responsibilities or not, taking a few moments to find your happy space are as necessary as breathing.

Your soul will hug you if you do.

Rainy Days and Mondays

rain-84648_1920“Always get me down.” (The Carpenters, 1971) It’s been raining a lot, for the middle of May. Yes, I know some of you have been getting snow and I certainly don’t envy that. We plan on setting up our little pool next weekend and I’m wondering if we might get frostbite. Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be stormy, just a dandy way to start the work week. Sigh.

The weather is always volatile this time of year. The planet is making its bi-annual tilt from winter to summer (or the opposite for the southern hemisphere). I realize the tilt is an ongoing shift, but the wild and wacky weather makes it seem as though it is happening within a month. I guess I could liken it to riding down the road, doing 70, in a convertible and without a hat. Mother Nature’s convertible is a little larger and she likes to get a little “showy” with the lightning strikes. Reminding us just who is in charge. I am always grateful to get through Spring without too much of a spanking.

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The rain is certainly good for the garden. I’ve discovered that I really like growing flowers. Their beauty, of course, and just the riotous colors, shapes and sizes. With each bud, a surprise lies inside and you must wait patiently for it to reveal itself to you.

IMG_20190519_132612255 (1)We added to the perennial collection this weekend. A few things didn’t make it through the winter so they needed to be replaced. We also have a dead zone towards the front so instead of trying to suffer through another round, we put in some blocks and raised the bed. Naturally, it had to be filled immediately. I found this bright, candy red, small rosebush that called to me. I haven’t grown roses in, oh probably 15 years. I guessed that little bush was what I needed. The pots and the planters always get annuals and I change them up year-to-year. I could not resist the very fascinating fuschias even though the location might be a bit sunny for them.IMG_20190519_132640740 (1)

I am always excited when the buds appear. Flowers mean I made it through the winter and hot days are ahead. I love the laziness of a hot summer day. I love floating in our little pool. Dinner outside. Cocktails with friends. It’s sort of like recovery after a surgery. It just makes me feel good.

Thank you, Mother Nature, for giving us the rain so that I can appreciate the sun.

Easter-ly

easter-celebration-4006113_1920Brightly painted eggs. Floppy-eared bunnies. Elaborate hats. And the historical and religious significance of Jesus Christ rising from the dead.

The Northern Hemisphere has begun its rising from the dead of winter. The planet is slowly angling itself towards the sun and warming the Earth’s crust. Brilliant yellow daffodils, multiple colors of tulips and tiny purple hyacinths have poked their heads through the melting frost and announcing that warm weather is on its way.

The turning of the Earth shakes up the sky and brings with it spring storms. Rain, snow, sleet, hail, tornadoes can all appear within the space of a single day, oftentimes leaving behind some level of destruction in their wake. Spring is symbolic of renewing the dead, just as Christ rising from the dead is symbolic of our rebirth.

The cycle of life is a miraculous one, be it a single tiny flower or a human. All things must live and die, and as I truly believe, are reborn again. The Creator loves beauty and growth and experiencing everything so why not with our spirit also? We have only to look at a tiny purple hyacinth to appreciate, study and understand that this is the course of life. To move in an “Easter-ly” direction of rebirth.

What would you do-over if you had the choice? What new flower would you grow from your stem? Would it be a tiny purple hyacinth only showing its face in the spring? A long season of blooming? Or a stately oak tree lasting a lifetime? We have choices each day of our life so why not for many lives?

Whatever that may be, know that the Creator formed you out of love simply for you to experience that love. Be kind to each other and know that whatever choices someone makes is for their growth and learning even if you don’t agree.

For each of us moves in our own “Easter-ly” direction.