Don’t Try And Change My World. Change Your Own

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It has taken me 46 years to realize that inner peace and true happiness are not conditional. I hear so many people speak about the things they want abolished or changed. If only we could take away this or change that… then we would be in a better place. Guns, the president and social media seem to be the most common. I hate to be the person to break this news but we could remove one thing at a time until there was nothing left except people and still there would be a problem and people would be stressed and unhappy. Unfortunately, people are the root of most problems and certainly the main cause of their own insanity and unhappiness. We can pretend to create a perfect world but perfect to you and perfect to me look like very different pictures. We waste so much life and energy wishing to change things instead of learning to be happy and find peace in the place we are in. You will only find true peace and happiness while being whoever you are, wherever you are , in the moment that is present right now. If you catch yourself saying, “I would be happy if I could remove this from my life”, remind yourself that you can be happy in-spite of it. That’s just a story you tell yourself that isn’t true. You have to find your place of peace and happiness in the reality you find yourself in today. There is no way around reality so find a balance and adjust your thinking. The world will not magically change because you think it should. The only thing you can control is your attitude and your perspective. Change your thoughts, change your world.

When Expectations Fail Us

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There is one way to guarantee disappointment. Expectations. We all have them. We have these grandiose ideas of how something will be and when the reality is much different than the ridiculous details we dream up in our head, the result is devastation. The aftershock of reality leaves us disappointed and drained and we are reminded again how dangerous expectations really can be. So how do we let go and let live? How do we just sit back and allow life to unfold without our preconceived notion of how it should be? 

I have no idea how to answer those questions. The reality of my own selfish, unrealistic expectations smacked me real hard this weekend. I still feel the sting of the blow and the exhaustion from fighting against what would inevitably be. We can choose to swim against the current but sooner or later we will be too tired to swim at all. Sometimes we need to ride the wave regardless of where it is taking us. I wasted precious hours feeling disappointment over a situation I had no control over. The problem wasn’t the situation. The problem was my expectation of how I thought the situation should be. Lesson learned? I guess we will see.

Take a Bow

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Today I had lunch with a friend. I was going about my usual business of complaining about school work and the busy schedule this time of year. I guess it’s honest to say, I’ve been caught up in the nonsense. It’s so easy to take life for granted, wasting time putting our effort into focusing on the nonsense. That is what it is nonsense. Coaches, school, sports, news, arguments… They come together in a way that sucks the life, the living right out from underneath you.

Yesterday I got some news that slapped me hard across the face. Every now and then, it takes something that reminds me how fragile life really is to remind me to remember the things that really matter. Those little details, those small aggravations can bring you to a place so low, that the quality of your own life can decay. There are so many people and situations that are like a weight around your ankle, pulling you down. You can choose to hang from the branch until your fingers start to bleed or you can simply let go and free fall. We cannot hold on to the things, the people or events that prevent us from being happy and content. We must put our time into who and whatdoes matter and do our best to keep our hearts light instead of dragging around the heavy. We must come from a place of love and be a pillar of love because tomorrow is never promised. The eyes we look into today may not be here to look into tomorrow. We must cherish our relationships, nurture them and take full advantage of the time we have with the people we love. This is not our dress rehearsal, it’s the real deal and we just never know which performance will be our final act. Play your part so beautifully that everyone will smile at the thought of you. Be who you want to be and love how you were meant to love. At the end of every night, take a bow to honor your own life and to honor those cast members who you were so blessed to be on the stage with you. Namaste.

At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

Reality

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i believe how you live becomes your reality. We have a choice, a say in the kind of person we will be. The problem is some people just don’t choose well. There is quote I love by Wayne Dyer. It goes something like this:

Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world. 
Last night when we were sitting at the table having a fork war competing to get the most cake, my kids starting mouthing off to one another. They went back in forth calling each other names and spilling out insults. It seemed like the perfect time for me to look them in the eye and have a very important talk. I explained to them that the world will tear them down, but when we are in our home, it will be a safe place, a place of respect. We will build each other up and be kind and that is just the way it will be from now on. We all need a tribe, a group of people that will not incessantly speak of our flaws but will point out everything about us that is good. We need a tribe that will tell us we are enough and perfect the way we are. As I sat there staring at them, they didn’t say a word. They just went on quietly eating their cake and the nonsense was over. It’s so easy to see someone else’s flaws. Do we really have an obligation to point our finger at someone and make them aware of all that is wrong? Are we even worthy? If we spend time continuously working on improving our own self then we won’t have all this time to see the flaws in everyone else. 

Be that person. Just for today try to purposely compliment others and build them up. Speak of THOSE things and keep the judgements and negativity to yourself. Make it a daily practice and the world will fall instantly in love with you. Aren’t we drawn to positive people? Don’t we love to be around a person who simply makes us feel good? What do you think? If there are two friends and one constantly criticizes and one constantly compliments, which one will you want to be around? Which one will you choose to be? Be a source of love and support. We all need more of that.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

A Trip To A Simpler Time

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I’m a fixer. It’s what I do. Yes, I am passionate and full of opinions. I don’t hold back. I am an expressive explosion of the passion and fire I carry inside my heart and soul. But, I look for solutions. What good does it do to just gripe? We all need to unroll the heavy load that sits on our chest but it is what happens next that is most important.

It’s no surprise how frustrated I am over the way kids are spending time these days. As a teen, my house was filled with friends. Even when I wasn’t there, my friends were, hanging out with my parents just waiting for me to pull in the driveway. My teen is talking about her virtual friends and answering calls from Kim Kardashian and agents who don’t exist. And my son? He doesn’t need to have a friend come over to hang out because he can chat with them all while he sits for hours playing his video games. We, as in we the parents, cannot even bribe our kids to leave the house. And when we actually do? They make sure the time is miserable so you rush right home and they can get back to their games.

I pulled a fast one on them. My husband and I just booked a trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Their response, “we are going to hike?” Yep, you sure are, oh, and by the way, we will be spending countless hours outside so the brightness of the sun is really a pretty tough match for the glow of the tv so you might want to consider bringing some sunglasses.

We are getting back to some good old fashioned nature and family bonding time. It will not be full service and virgin daiquiris but rather every man for himself. And if you think you will need some water, you will be carrying it in that thing that hangs from your arm…um…yes, your hand.

I say this, if you can’t join them, beat them. Not literally of course but at least at their own game. Wish me luck!

My Magical Mothers Day

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So, this is how my Mothers Day would have gone if I were writing the story….

I woke up to two kids sitting in my bed smiling and waiting to read me their lists of why I am the greatest mom in the world. My heart swelled and my eyes filled with tears as I held onto every word. They really captured the essence of all I do and their gratitude toward me was felt beyond the words they spoke.

They couldn’t wait for me to hear all the ideas they had for the day. My son knows how much I’ve been wanting to go for a bike ride around the lake, so after a delicious breakfast at Syrup, we would be heading to the lake. We packed some drinks and stopped to take in the beauty of the water as we sat there taking in the gentle breeze and feeling the sun on our face.

After the ride, we sat on the big deck at Mama Rojas to eat some chips and salsa and enjoy the view. It was so calm and peaceful and no one was in a hurry to leave this wonderful spot. Next, we headed to the movies to see Neighbors. The kids went in to see Spider-Man while me and Scott went into the theatre to have a few laughs.

Next, we drove home and made it to the hot tub just in time to watch the sun set. It was an amazing day and one I will remember always.

Now for the real story!

I was getting dressed in my closet when my daughter came downstairs. She knocked and asked if she could come in…and she did to borrow a shirt. Are you kidding me I thought quietly to myself as I continued to get ready for church. We got in the car and Chase called Kayleigh a jerk because she wouldn’t slide over and the arguing and name calling continued until we dropped them off for religious ed. We grabbed a cup of coffee at Starbucks but the air conditioning was blasting so we sat outside. After fighting with the wind concerned we would blow away, we sat and finished our coffee in the car. Off we drove to church where my son finally stepped outside himself for a moment to say ” oh yeah, Happy Mothers Day” in the middle of the priests sermon. We then sat in the car and my husband remained parked trying to figure out what to do next. Clearly, the day before, I had stressed how much I wanted to go to Syrup for a nice breakfast but as we sat there I finally said, “Can we go, I really have to go to the bathroom.” Next thing I knew, we were pulling in our driveway. It was now 12:20 and no one had eaten and I certainly didn’t have anything planned to eat for the day so there we were.

I told everyone I wanted my van cleaned for my birthday and when I didn’t get that I asked again for Mothers Day. So, I decided to go out and gift myself a clean van. Next thing I know, my daughter comes out and starts to clean along side of me. I really did not want the help because it needed to be cleaned deeply. Then out comes Chase cleaning the windows I had just cleaned with windex a few minutes before, only he was using a dirty rag with water.

I am going to end the story by telling you my van did get amazingly clean and we did go out for dinner at a place with tv’s so we could watch OKC Thunder lose in the last minute of the game. Then, we stop for air because my tire indicator came on only to discover I had a nail in not one, but two tires. So, until we get new tires I will not be driving my nice clean van. And the timing really stinks because a day earlier our pool pump stopped working.

Why am I telling you this? There is a lesson here and it is that our expectations can sometimes ruin our day. If we have a day spelled out in our minds that goes entirely a different way, we end up hurt and disappointed. In hindsight, I should have just said, please drive to Syrup. And, I should have just accepted the fact it was way too windy to go for a bike ride that day anyway. Geez, it was too windy to even sit outside and drink coffee. And the movie? I felt guilty splitting the family because the movie I wanted to see was rated R but really would they have cared? Could mom be selfish on her day and see the movie she’s been waiting to see? And, I should never had planned to watch the game while we ate. There was a chance they would lose and I would have another reason to be disappointed and have indigestion.

Sometimes it’s better to let a day unfold on its own. Even if the stars perfectly align and we do everything we set out to do, there is always a chance we will end up disappointed. Perception and reality are two different things. And sometimes, we just have to accept that.

All in all, the day ended okay. It just didn’t go the way I expected it too and that’s alright. I can focus on everything that went wrong or I can focus on what went right. Sounds like an obvious choice to me. Sometimes we wish we could get a do over but we never do, so make the most of each and everyday and make sure you don’t personally add to the doom and gloom already looming around you. Maybe it’s the pressure of a designated day just for moms that makes us believe that day should be perfect. It’s just a day like any other that we hope the people around us, mainly our kids at least stop and say thanks. If that doesn’t happen, that’s okay too. It’s just one silly day a year.

Reality Vs Perception

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Do you ever notice how much angst and worry and dread you can cause yourself because your perception of what something is going to be like is completely off balance with what the actual experience is going to be? The torture and dread that we purposely drag ourselves through can be debilitating and mind consuming at the very least.

I got a crown today. I mentioned before that I already have an unrealistic fear of the dentist chair. I am not too proud to admit that. I can’t even count to a number high enough to tell you how many times I have pushed this day off and completely canceled my appointment. But, recently my tooth secretly started hurting. I figured if I didn’t acknowledge it, then it wasn’t real. Well, it didn’t take too many months to pass to lead me to the very sad conclusion that the pain was, after all, very real. So today I grumbled to myself as I sunk in the chair, but you know what? It was not a big deal at all.

I am proudly sitting in Starbucks wearing my new, temporary crown and I told my family, once the new one arrives and is placed in my head, I expect to be treated like royalty from then on. Will I ever learn? Will I ever recognize that I already have enough monsters to deal with every day so I do not have to use my creativity to design more in my very own head?

Now please practice, you have two weeks to properly bow to the queen.

Can You See The Stars?

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I was sitting outside looking at the sky. I didn’t realize how cloudy it was until I couldn’t see the stars. I stared at the sky for a long while, and when I looked hard enough I could see a few dim lights. They were there the whole time but it wasn’t until I really looked for them, that I was able to see them at all. I can’t help but wonder about what I believe to be my reality. Am I seeing things the way they really are or is it all some distorted illusion. How do we see beyond the clouds in our lives? How do we see beyond our perception to see truth, the way things really are? Do we believe what we intend to see or can we trust those stars are there, even when the sky is dark and know the situation is more than we can see or feel or experience in any given moment? How can we trust our perception, or even our eyes for that matter? Things are not often what they appear to be. It’s just something I can’t help but ponder. Let me know what you think.