Change What You Can, Accept What You Can’t

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What you resist persists. About two years ago I started getting baby grays. Actually, my entire face was framed with wiry strands. I would get my hair colored and a few weeks later, the white would start poking through. When the going gets tough the tough get going so I had this ridiculous idea to pluck out all the white strands. It didn’t take long before I was almost bald along side of my ears. Tough lesson to learn. I still decided to resist. Before I knew it, the hair had grown back in completely white. I had strands of pure white about an inch and a half wide. Today, I am happy to report I bought my first box of root touch up. I am going to live happily side by side with the white in my hair and simply cover it up. There are some things we just have to learn to live with no matter how much we want to change it. It is in those moments we find misery or we find grace or if we are fortunate enough, we find a five dollar box of something that makes it all better. The important thing is that we recognize what we can change and we take the action to do it and we find the peace live with the things we can’t. There’s never been another choice.

Words of Wisdom

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As I read this excerpt from Marianne Williamsons, A Return To Love, the light slowly came back on. I thought it was worth sharing. Sometimes what we need to hear arrives in its own perfect time. I’d like to share it with all of you.

“any darkness we let blind us to another’s perfection also blinds us to our own”

Words to think about and beautiful words of healing to put into action in our own lives.

The Village is Crumbling

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I’m feeling it again. That heaviness that is slowly crushing me one day at a time. This responsibility I carry sometimes weighs me down until I am completely stuck, trapped underneath it. I am responsible for two lives. I’m not talking about the responsibility of cooking a meal or getting kids to school and practice on time, I am talking about the responsibility I have to help guide them to be self sufficient, kind human beings. Everywhere I turn, incompetence is staring me in the eye. It’s like a gigantic head butt every time I have to deal with people, sadly even coaches and teachers. Like it or not, there are people that spend more time with my kids than I do but what are they teaching them? I will give you a small example. I got an email from a teacher late last night explaining the grading system in her class. Accountability is worth 5% of the grade. Do I have a problem with expecting accountability? Of course not, but when there is a double standard, the thought of the hypocrisy makes my heart cringe. It is no secret my son has a 504. It is required under the 504 and law that teachers follow the criteria to do their part to help Chase be successful in class. This particular teacher has not followed one single requirement so can you understand the fact that people who are not accountable in their own actions would have the audacity to grade my child on something they are not able to role model themselves? It’s like a double edge sword. 15% of my child’s grade will be based on behavior. What? When did we stop grading kids on the work they do in class and on their understanding of it? Are you kidding me? Behavior and respect are of the utmost importance but as part of the overall grade? Remember when there was discipline and consequences for bad behavior? Now we will simply deduct points from their grade? Seriously, is that the best option we have today? I tell my kid he’s the most important person in the world and a school bus leaves his entire team behind with the athletic director driving the bus? Geez, I guess you weren’t as important as I thought you were. There are some things people do that parents just cannot explain away. The best way anyone learns is from the hands on action of another human being. We learn by modeling behavior and we learn to respect the people whose words are consistent with what they are teaching us. I see a great deal of teaching through words, but the actions of the teachers tell a different story. Look at our leadership across the board. It is disappointing to say the least. I don’t like to pick on teachers, it’s just that they spend so much time with my own kids and that time is important to me. Kids are confused. My kids are confused. My own kids are asking me why doesn’t my own coach care? I don’t know. I’m starting to think many people don’t care about much anymore. When my daughter asks me where is God in this world that is falling apart, I don’t have an answer. When she asks me why doesn’t my coach try and make us better, I don’t have an answer. And when you ask me why teachers expect more from kids then they do themselves, still, I have no answer. I feel like I am carrying the burden of the village. My village is permanently out to lunch. My village is aloof, distracted and my arms are feeling tired. I can’t carry any more load than my own. I need people to be responsible in the role that they play. I can’t be everything to everyone and although I am trying, it is killing me. The questions are excruciating and if I’m being honest with myself, the answers are more excruciating than the questions themselves.

I pray people get their act together. I pray each and every one of us sees how the actions of one affect so many. We have got to do better. We have got to be better no matter what that takes. We are falling apart and our village is crumbling. We have to build it back up because no one can take on the burden alone.

My Reaction to American Sniper

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It was with a very heavy heart that I watched American Sniper today. To take another’s life is incomprehensible to me. I was raised to value human life and to respect and honor the lives of others. The sad reality is we live in a world that is plagued by hate. We fight, we kill, we destroy what was never ours to take. Someone has to do it. Someone has to protect us from the evil that hides quietly around the next corner. Hatred infects those who experience it. It makes people do what does not feel good to the soul. When our actions and souls intentions are not aligned, we are bombarded with horrific internal struggle. We are all the same. We breath the same air and the same blood is running through our veins. We are love and when we act from a different place or see life as a different place, our souls are slowly weighed down with guilt and dread. The world becomes a very dark place and we are suffocated by the darkness that creeps into our own minds. When will we grasp the concept, what I wish for you, I wish for myself? What I do to others, I do to myself. We are all one, a connection that cannot be broken by a border, a country or a senseless war. We are brothers and must start treating each other as such. My heart screams out in pain over what we have become. We are like savages, shooting each other and hunting each other down like we are some type of animal. Sacrificing ourselves by wearing a bomb on our body to take the lives of many at the same time and in the name of….I can’t even write the word.

I am not in any way disrespecting our military or the men and woman who put their lives on the line to protect their country each and every day. We cannot just sit back like sitting ducks while we are under attack. I guess what I struggle with most is admitting to myself that it will never stop. What type of devastation would bring people to their knees and open up their hearts to see each other as human beings? I will not participate in the worldly hate.
I will do my part, the best I can to promote, share and be love. I will quietly remind myself we are all made of love and light. Underneath the behavior and the twisted minds, we are all the same. How does ones heart rot out the love? How does ones heart turn so cold that the only thing it feels leads to the destruction of what our lives were meant to be?

I am far from perfect but I believe in the cause and will vow to do my best. Will you join me in my crusade? Will you be a soldier of peace and love? Will you stand shoulder to shoulder and hold my hand regardless of your religion or color of your skin? Will you stop reinforcing all the things that make us different and start reinforcing what makes us the same? If you use color of skin, religion, the country you are from, the God you believe in to put yourself in a sub group than you have promoted the great divide. Take responsibility and be accountable for the hate in our beautiful world. Try something new like forgiveness and letting go and find something the same about the person standing next to you. I don’t care what has happened in the past. Use that as an excuse if you wish but I will not. Every day is a new day to start again and if you go through the motions recreating yesterday then you will continue to bring the past into today and there will never be a chance for a better future. You are the reason. Choose better, do better, be smarter than the person you were yesterday. Learn and grow and watch the world change slowly as each heart and mind slowly make a choice to live a different way. Can we stand together while respecting each other enough to have individual beliefs and our own unique idea of God? Can we start someplace small and take baby steps until we learn to walk together as one?

My Peace I Give

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I caught it tonight’s, right at the perfect moment. Tonight I missed yoga to have a movie day with my family. The topic today was feeling the peace of God. I do believe that truly experiencing those moments of peace are the ones that feel most fulfilling. As I looked out the back window a moment ago, the beautiful shades of orange and pink made my heart stand still. I haven’t seen a sunset this beautiful in a long time. It was like looking peace right in the eye and pulling it straight into my heart. I am grateful for the little moments. For moments like these, when I catch a glimpse of what peace really is on so many different amazing levels. My intention tonight is to have more moments of peace and for everyone reading this to experience that same kind of peace too. The kind of peace that makes you say thank you for where I am and can I please stay here just a little bit longer. Many blessings tonight and always. Peace be with each and every one of you.

Morning Gratitude

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Can you hear that? There’s nothing better than waking up to the sound of quiet. I am sitting here visiting with this much needed blessing of peace, residing in this place of gratitude I feel for the calm in this beautiful moment. A mantra popped into my head and it will serve as a compass to help find my way back if I accidentally stumble off course. Here it is, may the peace and joy I feel in this moment remain with me throughout the day.

A blogger friend reminded me of something important today. Behavior and thoughts take years to become habit. To break the cycle takes a great deal of focus and work but one thing is absolutely crucial, we must actively replace those old behaviors and thoughts with new ones to actually bring about any change. Without this action, intentions remain failed desire. The new action is the catalyst to change one undesired action/thought into a more desirable one. The answer was so simple and clear the entire time and I foolishly chose to believe it was unachievable. Thank you Mindmasterjedi for gently guiding me to the light. I am forever grateful for your enlightening feedback.

Are Parents Becoming Extinct?

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Times are changing. My daughter is a reminder of that every single day. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have the will to parent. Let me explain. I am trying so hard to teach my daughter about this thing we call life. The problem is that life is slowly eliminating the parents from the children’s lives. Tonight was her 2nd semi-formal dance. Back in prehistoric times, when there was a dance, we went to the dance. Today however, the kids meet at a hotel for pictures, hop on a party bus that takes them to dinner, stops at the dance for 20 minutes and drives around for the rest of the night. I am a dinosaur. I am trying so hard to up adapt to these changing generations but I admit I am finding it pretty hard. Remember the days the date would come to the girls house along with the parents to take pictures? I am sad to report that the parents don’t even bother to see their kids dressed. Two years in a row, kids have gotten dressed at my house but where are the parents? If I’m being honest, it seems the boys parents are more involved than the girls parents. Meeting your date at the pick up point? Weird if you ask me but I was lucky enough the boys parents were brave enough to barge through the crowd of teens to snap a picture so I figured, what the heck, and I followed. These kids need us to be involved. Where have all the parents gone? What in the world could be more important than watching the milestones as they arrive? Things just don’t look the same when we catch a fleeting glance in our rear view mirror. I realize more and more how important it is to be in my kids lives regardless of how much they fight me. The truth is, they probably want me there front and center for it all. It’s just awkward when they look around and there are only a handful of dinosaurs there. How conflicted they must being knowing how awkward it looks for their parents to be there for every single detail while most kids are standing there alone. The strong, the brave, the few….the small number of involved parents slowly becoming extinct.

Save Yourself

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If only it was easy to practice what I preach.. Intentions are great, really they are, but intentions alone are not enough to get results. When I am at my most miserable point, when I beat myself up the most, is when my intentions do not match up with my behavior. I guess to put it another way, my will or desire to be and live a certain way is sabotaged by repeating the same behavior or being defeated by the same damaging repetitive thoughts. It’s like my mind and actions are a total contradiction to each other. What could possibly be more frustrating than having a destination mapped out, having the exact route in the palm of my hand, and StILL I consciously choose to go a different direction? It seems so foolish as I write it down and search my mind for the exact logic behind the deviation. Is it pride, habit, self-sabotage, a bad attitude? Maybe my mind is the problem in itself. If someone could pin point exactly what it is, maybe if there was a name for it, then maybe I could wave it away.

Intentions+nothing=nothing
Same behavior+same thoughts=stuck

It’s as simple as that. It’s like someone throws me a magic rope to pull me out of the quicksand I am slowly disappearing in and I refuse to grab onto the rope. Who in the world would do that? Who would chose to drown by their own demise? Maybe I don’t listen to my own advice but hopefully you do. Follow the map, grab the rope! Save yourself because sometimes you have to be your own hero.

Think Less, Live More

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Expect the unexpected. Who knows what the day will bring? Don’t force it, just allow it to happen while staying open to all possibilities. They say the day is what you make of it so why make anything of it at all? Sounds like a day of work if you ask me and last time I checked, the weekend was here. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to screw it up, just let it unfold and be open to whatever comes. We try and control everything and realize sooner or later that we control nothing. Maybe that’s just the way it’s supposed to be because our plan and the bigger plan are usually two different things. Enjoy the day. Think less and live more. That is the real secret to life.