Is Respectful Conversation a Thing of the Past?

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I watched a little of the testimony by Jeff Sessions today. I’m not feeling so well and my body decided to force a day of rest on me. I could care less about politics but what I saw today left me feeling somewhat hopeful. As I watched Mr Sessions today I found a role model that has been missing from the world for quite a while. His eyes were warm and not filled with contempt. His voice was soft and respectful, a kindness in his tone I don’t hear very often, including in my own voice. He is a modern day super hero as far as I am concerned because I just don’t see that calm, respectful interaction between people anymore. It is something I long for but try as I may, I have been unsuccessful so far. I hope someday I can speak to others especially when I feel threatened the way I saw him do today. I just thought I’d point it out. I am reminded of the words I wrote in my daughters yearbook earlier this year. Just be you. The world will adjust. We need more people who change the world and less people so easily changed by it. 

And The Truth Lies Someplace In Between

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There are irrefutable facts lost somewhere between the reality of a situation and the story we tell ourselves. No matter how hard I try, my head cannot leave a situation well enough alone. It listens, analyzes, judges, twists and ultimately rewrites the narrative to fit the smallness that stows away inside my head. Overthinking is like a weed that covers the truth and leaves even the most innocent event looking ugly and unkept. It’s so important to reach down and pluck the ugly out from the roots. To be real and honest and admit when those dangerous weeds are hiding the beauty that lies beneath and the only thing allowing them to take over is a simple yet conscious choice. I found myself standing there this week in the middle of my mental garden stomping on the flowers and nourishing the weeds. It took a few days a long with the courage to take a step back and force myself to lift my head and take an honest look to realize what I was creating was far from truth. There are irrefutable facts and the stories we tell ourselves and the truth lies someplace inbetween.

You Write It Wednesday 

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What made you smile today?

I have enjoyed this week more than most. Spring is definitely in the air and this is day three being stress free. Sometimes you can only see something if you are actively looking for it. I have been looking for things to make me smile in the most unusual places and it’s been working better than I ever imagined. We get more of what we focus on so I am choosing to focus on the things that make me happy. Your turn! What made you smile today?

Your Words Build Walls

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I saw this picture on Twitter this morning with a tweet that read,

This is how the Republican Party should act if they want to call themselves Christians.

Am I the only one that cringes when I see words like these? Regardless of whether you are republican, democrat, independent, Christian, atheist…shouldn’t we all be quick to invite someone to our table and less excited and willing to judge? Shouldn’t we extend kindness and invitation despite the size of our table or whether or not we even have one at all? 

Don’t words and posts like the one we see here build the biggest walls of all?

 I personally am sick of hypocritical nonsense. When is the last time you have invited anyone to your own table? I am ashamed to admit I haven’t invited a single person over to mine in a very long time. 

Words are damaging human relationships. Words are building walls that are becoming impenetrable. We are the wall. We build the wall with every word, every action of disrespect and contempt for another soul. When we stand in solidarity to destroy one another, the least we can do is admit we are not only the material but also the ones who construct it. Be the wall or don’t. It’s your choice. 

I Found Hope in Two Little Girls

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We expect so much out of life and the people around us. Today, be the unexpected. Be the smile, the kind voice, the helping hand that reaches out when no-one else does. Be kindness, offer motivation and be the reason someone feels a tiny sparkle of hope. You can change the world one small act of kindness at a time.

Before I pick my son up from school, I walk at the local YMCA. The track is located above the basketball courts where the after school program takes place. There are kids yelling and running and bouncing. To be honest, after coming directly from yoga, the noise and the movement really gets on my nerves. A week ago I walked into the restroom where two little girls insisted I go first. They were chatty and smiled at me through missing teeth. I smiled back half heartedly. Yesterday, they met me there again. They told me they watch for me so they can come and say hello. This time, I knelt down and I looked them both in the eyes. I am very happy to see you both today I said through a warm, inviting smile. See you tomorrow then?

It takes one person to warm your heart. One person to show a kindness you didn’t notice before. Look for the blessings. They are there waiting for you to notice. Those little girls made an enormous difference. I am so grateful for them.

How Do You Communicate?

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I read a great article today that really made me think about the way I communicate. The greatest, most precious gift you can give someone is your time and attention and I know with all the distractions and incessant thinking I do, I may be looking at the person talking to me but my attention is undoubtedly somewhere else. During the few opportunities I am able to focus and my thoughts aren’t running wild, just like the article pointed out, I am focused on the words I will react with more than I am just active listening. The other thing I found interesting is the benefit to just allowing silence to be part of conversations and relationships. I know for myself, silence is sometimes pretty awkward and I am going to really try and find some peace in that quiet place. So I will focus my attention on my conversations and hopefully find a way to naturally be a better active, focused listener. What do you think? What kind of listener are you and how does silence in conversations make you feel?