Don’t Get Your Knickers In A Knot

“Just because you’re offended, doesn’t mean you are right.”

As I wander along the road of self-discovery and Life in general, it has finally dawned on me that being offended by everything takes an extreme amount of energy. I have realized that being offended by what others may choose for themselves is a seriously futile practice. Frankly, unless it affects my life path or that person is putting themselves in danger and I am able to assist in their well-being it’s none of my goddamn business. Life gives us many opportunities to learn certain lessons and this one has seemed to repeat itself frequently in my story. I needed to learn the lesson that being offended by anything and everything was, and is, an utter waste of time.

To be offended oftentimes points a finger at the offended individual being judgemental. I too have been guilty of such a practice. Judgemental of choices and beliefs that are sometimes passed along from generation to generation or as simple as self-assertiveness against indoctrinated beliefs that are not in sync with an individual.  I truly believe that each and every one of us needs to make mistakes here and there. It’s whether we learn anything from these errors or decisions that aren’t necessarily constructive on our journey that can shape us into incredible human beings. To be offended or uppity about someone else’s journey is at its core ignorant. When I use the term ignorant I use it in the sense of without understanding.  Ignorant of all that brought that person to that point. Whether it be an action, a reaction, or a belief. How dare we presume to know what is true to someone else’s Spirit simply because it isn’t what we would choose for ourselves? Perhaps a lapse in truly understanding oneself was at play and that is not for us to judge for we too have probably made errors in judgement at some point or another ourselves. To think we are above scrutiny or slipups would be beyond ridiculous.

It all comes down to one little tidbit; we need to get over ourselves. Myself included.

This may sound harsh in itself but if we really dig deep it becomes quite evident that it is all the pretenses and fabrication of what is right/wrong that we have led ourselves to believe that becomes the issue. Who says I need to eat a certain way to be the healthiest me that I can be? Why should I not laugh uproariously if I find something comical? Why should a female have a “ladylike” career? Why is blame or shaming thought an appropriate response when a female is raped and it becomes part of her life story? How could a family member turn their back on another due to a difference in opinion? These are the simple questions but it goes much deeper.

I question myself often when I feel offended by something. I ponder why I react with offense and negative emotion. I often come to the conclusion that something that offends me is generally outside my personal understanding or comfort zone. Occasionally it all boils down to my ego being bruised. This is ludicrous in itself, really. Upon asking myself why I feel the need to get agitated or judgy I often realize it is from not opening my mind enough and getting all tight within my thoughts of what should be. We need to drop the pretenses that we know what’s best for others strictly on how we choose to live and think. We need to more often than not keep our opinions to ourselves unless asked. Let others be who they need to be as they will evolve into the Spirit they are meant to be.

I am not suggesting we accept anything and everything under the guise of freedom of expression. Especially if it infringes on others well-being and life path. What I do suggest is that compassion and the effort of opening ones mind be centre stage before we criticize.

” Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. it requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding. “

  • Bill Bullard
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Lessons of Life

Life has a funny way of teaching us the lessons we are here to learn. I think the past five years there were many stepping stones to the platter of lessons I have recently been blessed with. I say blessed like it’s a gift because quite honestly I look upon all things as gifts. Sometimes they are not gifts we would choose for ourselves, like opening a parcel with a nasty sweater at Christmas. Still gifts just the same. I have unwrapped a few unwanted gifts as of late. I won’t go into great detail due to the private nature and those close to me but to generalize the situations for the sake of soul-searching and allowing a connection with others that may possibly have recently opened a similar gift.

 

 

As a parent, I have been given the lesson of stepping outside my comfort zone. Not just the daily run of the mill parent craziness. Children are a supreme blessing in my mind. Swirling around them in constant motion are many things; love, chaos, frustration, joy, laughter, among so many other beautiful things. Sometimes though, a ripple in the smooth surface depicts an undercurrent that threatens menacingly. The demon reared its ugly head in my child’s life as Anorexia Nervosa. It was a slow and steady build up that went undetected by my cautious eye only to attack with a vengeance like an unexpected sucker punch. I struggled within myself originally, laying blame in my mind where I could. That route was fleeting as I stepped outside myself. This wasn’t about me and how I felt. This was about my child and how they processed things. The alteration to my thought process has allowed me to become the support structure this fragile Being needs. Simply, compassionately, I remain strong in the notion that I need to be the rock when my darling is feeling at a loss. There are those around us that still want to lay blame, find the root cause, or dissect everything to bits. I feel the process is about gaining back self love and control in a positive format. To know that love from those around the sufferer is unconditional. To be strong for them when they don’t have it within themselves to be.  There is a long road ahead to health and wellness for my child. It’s an all-encompassing disorder. Treatment is multi-faceted. To say I wish my child never had to deal with this is an understatement. However, taking this one day at a time makes this lesson a little easier to deal with.

 

 

Too often I hear people complain about their weight needlessly. Who truly thinks a thigh gap is remotely sexy anyway?  Don’t get your knickers in a knot if you are naturally thin and have a thigh gap. That’s a totally different thing. I’m referring to young girls (or boys) that starve themselves for this look that is not natural to their physique. It breaks my heart to see people think so poorly of themselves as to deprive themselves senselessly of proper nutrition. Learning to love and accept our bodies at their natural weight and shape is a practice in self love. We are all constantly bombarded by utter ridiculousness for the sake of industries to prosper at the peril of making us feel bad about our outer shell. Looking good is important for self confidence but being healthy makes one look fantastic! I don’t know about you but looking fantastic due to great health pummels the heck out of a mediocre “looking like everyone else” or not enough energy to do the things you want. I struggle when people ridicule others with differing figures. It matters not whether its an obese person calling a slim woman a bitch or an average built person being condescending to someone of heavier stance. Having hit many different weight points in my lifetime, I realize that every body shape and weight deals with some sort of stigma. When we stop ridiculing and scrutinizing others, perhaps we can all go a little easier on ourselves. Lets all just aim for healthy!

 

 

 

Life Lesson In Kindness

Life lessons abound these days. I suppose it’s because I’m listening. I feel the winds of change blowing and it has made me slow down and take stock of not just what’s going on inside of me but those around me as well. It’s fascinating when we open ourselves up, even a smidgen, to hear what the Universe wants us to hear. The tools we need right now to grow and learn the lessons we are supposed to learn. Some days those lessons are like a slap and are uncomfortable, but necessary. Other days, it is as though the sun breaks through the clouds and I feel the warmth of  love radiate.

 

Today brought an interesting encounter which has made me ponder the presence of life lessons. Let me take you back to a few days before Christmas to set the scene. I had been out with some friends and we were all headed back to our cars when one of my friends and I noticed that we each had a parking ticket. I felt rather perturbed at this fact since I was less than ten minutes from my allotted time running out. At almost the exact moment I noticed the ticket on my windshield, a homeless man approached me and asked me for a twoonie (that’s a two dollar Canadian coin, just in case you weren’t sure). I was so caught up in my own thoughts I instantly apologized that I didn’t have any change (which I honestly didn’t) and moaned about having just gotten a ticket. The man apologized to me…for my having a ticket. I felt like a self-absorbed, entitled brat for having said what I did. This man’s kindness made me stop and think about my flippant thought process. Lesson learned, or so I thought.

 

I don’t go downtown often, but when I do parking is scarce and I always remember that less than stellar parking ticket incident. Today I was running downtown to pick up lunch for a friend that is temporarily housebound and myself. I scored a great parking spot right by the location I was headed to and there was even time still left on the meter! My footsteps were light…I counted myself lucky. As I was walking away from my car, a man approached me and asked me for a twoonie. Normally, I am ashamed to admit, I feel a bit apprehensive about handing people money. I’d much prefer to supply them with a cup of coffee or something to eat if I have the opportunity and means to do so. However, my hand instinctively slid into my pocket and pulled out a two dollar coin and handed it to the man. As I set it in his palm I looked him directly in the eye as he thanked me and said “Bless you.” To my surprise, this was the same man who I had moaned about my parking ticket to before Christmas. It was an instant realization that I was given another opportunity to learn my lesson. To think first and foremost with kindness, to send out the consideration of another person’s needs in the moment, to not judge based on a preconceived idea. Sure, this man could be a millionaire that poses as someone in need. He may have a substance abuse problem. He could be whatever nonsense we tell ourselves to validate our fears of avoiding  lending a kindness to a stranger. I’d like to think that he is first and foremost a man who needs a bit of human kindness and a couple of dollars.

 

 

be kind

Kick It!

What am I kicking you may be asking. Well, it just so happens to be list making time. While I’ve never really jumped on the Party Your Face Off on New Year’s Eve bandwagon, I do like to use January 1st as a sort of stock-taking day. To scan both the vibrantly glowing and the dusty, cob-webbed corners of my mind in search of what I learned from the previous 365 days and how I choose to move forward through the next 365. An intriguing individual that I have come to know in the past year made a statement that hit the nail on the head, so to speak. I summarize when I say that he stated that each day is a new chapter not each year. Very wise, and the truth as I’ve always believed it to be. We don’t live year by year as those that seem to pivot their lives around New Year’s Eve would lead us to believe. We live day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second. Each fragment of time is unique and within it holds incredulous moments. When my eyes open each morning, I give thanks that I have another day to experience joy. This is always my first thought. Seriously. This may sound hokey to some of you but it gets every day started on a positive note and in a forward direction.

 

 

Kicking it means two things to me – getting rid of something that is no longer of use to me and my journey and to initiate action to the extreme. Those of you that know me well know that I can be a bit hardcore with certain things so kicking it up to the extreme means a whole heap of willpower has to be employed. Let’s  just get right to the list, shall we?

 

 

 

Kick It Style #1 – Don’t bring me down.

 

 

1. Usually external things get to us all and create unwanted stress. Little things like someone cutting us off on our way to work or plain old rude behaviour. I’ve worked on taming the tigress inside of me over the past few years as far as not allowing others to get to me and stress me out as much. I’ve noticed my tigress stretching occasionally  as of late with the desire to lash out (both internally and externally) over menial things to which I would rather use control and poise. I accept my inner tigress and value her greatly but there is a time and a place for her abilities and power. That said, I am all about allowing irritation from others roll off of me. Meditation comes in handy here.   Letting it go.  To realize that some individuals are just moody bastards or buzz killers and frankly, ain’t nobody got time for that! 

 

 

2. Don’t push your agenda or religion on me or others…we all have our own. Just yesterday a patronizing individual tried to verbally overpower me by trying to force their agenda on me. This is more than a simple ruffling of the feathers here folks. When “No, thank you” was not working I had to pull out the big guns…yup, inner tigress. See, there is a time and a place. No stress, no raised voice just simple eye contact and force of character.  Say goodbye to Mr. Irritating!   I would love to hear what others have to say and I highly respect your opinions. However, respect mine as well. Thank you.

 

 

3. Bad vibes. I will merely smile at you until you feel like a tool or scram. Complaining and whining is ugly. I need to mentally tell myself to stop if I head down this path too. There is no use for such things. Let’s just stick to good vibes or if that’s too difficult, neutral vibes.

 

 

good vibes only

 

 

 

4. I am nobody’s doormat. I love the quote by Pablo Picasso, “Women are one of two things, a goddess or a doormat.” I choose to be a goddess.

 

 

Photo from Pinterest

Photo from Pinterest

 

 

5. Goodbye laziness – hello action!

 

 

6. Coffee as the first thing that hits my stomach in the morning. I know, I know. I am a severe addict where coffee is concerned and this is going to command a LOT of willpower on my part. This practice is doing me no favours so it is being kicked. Simple as that.

 

 

 

Kick It Style #2 – Here We Go!

 

 

1. Since the end of the work season (landscaping ended at the beginning of December here), the ladies I call co-workers/friends and I have been discussing ways to stay strong and fit during the winter months. Interestingly we have all taken a different route. I have embarked upon a mixed martial arts style full body workout daily for three months. After this time, I will be back at work and I’m sure I will still be kicking my own butt at home. Just for the record, I am not sparring or fighting. I’m a lover, not a fighter. I just like the defined muscle and definition of a fighter’s physique which will be mine with much hard work and dedication.

 

 

2. The volume of Life is being cranked! I am ready to ROCK!

 

 

3. I am realizing a few dreams this year that I have carried in my heart for many years. I will share them with you as they come to fruition.

 

 

4. I love, seriously and completely, love to be silly and live and laugh with abandon. Not in an embarrassing immature fashion but in a “let’s not be so serious all the time” sort of thought pattern.  This is not new to me but is a must as this is one of my defining characteristics. It is refreshing to be surrounded by friends of a similar mindset. If they are going to stare, give them something to look at. Or as Bonnie Raitt so superbly stated, “Let’s give them something to talk about.”

 

 

Ooo...so tempting.

Ooo…so tempting. Photo taken by unknown.

 

 

 

5. Staying in touch with nature and spending time outdoors is vital to my wellness. I feel drained when the connection with nature has been severed too long…like more than a day.

 

 

 

Each and every day I plan to make a difference in some way. Whether it be putting a smile on someone else’s face, sharing limitless love, helping others when needed with no expectations, or simply being a shoulder or an ear when such is needed. By bettering ourselves, it becomes easier to be there for others. We have more strength, love and compassion to share when we feel good about ourselves. I challenge you to do something each day that makes a positive difference in your life or someone else’s.

 

 

 

Let’s KICK IT! 

Confrontation & Grudges

People never cease to amaze me. It is all too easy to expect everyone to think in a similar manner to oneself, yet be perplexed when the outcome is different. The push and pull of human communication and relationships are fascinating to me. Two main issues on my mind as far as character goes are confrontation and grudges. Let’s roll this around a bit, shall we.

 

I am naturally a positive and generally upbeat person as you have probably concluded and I want to see the best in people. Yes, I become disappointed when negativity arises but I tend to process it so I can let it go. I don’t need to carry baggage everywhere I go. However, if something is affecting me in a negative or displeasing manner I address it. This brings me to confrontation. If you are delivered an unsavory situation or something is on your mind, would you confront the issue head on?

 

I have been flabbergasted by people’s mannerisms where confrontation is concerned. On numerous occasions I have witnessed an individual that lets things pass unnoticed simply to avoid confrontation.  Although I understand the “not wanting to make waves” mentality, at what point should one slap the water to create ripples?  On the other side of the confrontation coin, there are those that go out of their way to seek out confrontation. They just can’t wait to get in someone’s face to force their agenda. Usually not laced with positive or helpfulness.  This is always a bit unnerving to me. There is however, a third confrontation style to throw into the mix. The Choose Your Battles style of dealing with things. I fall about here on the confrontation scale. I have absolutely no problem speaking up for myself or others. If something is troubling me I address it as soon as possible – so I can keep going forward. I don’t like hanging about kicking at the proverbial sand trying to read someones mind or intentions because that’s when over-thinking kicks in. With a brain that wants to roll things around, it is in my best interest to address things immediately to avoid building up crazy scenarios. This proves difficult at times and for this I am not always thrilled with myself. However, I am only human and life is filled with lessons. I have become quite adept at quickly shifting gears to trusting that things work out the way they are supposed to, with or without my thoughts contorting my emotions so it is best to just breathe through it.

 

Through watching how others choose their confrontation style,I realize that I am very comfortable with where I’m at. I used to be a bit of a “hot head” as my sisters will probably tell you, I’m sure. Being the youngest I had to hold my own. More because I was passionate about so-called right and wrong. Injustice wasn’t fair and I was going to shout it from the rooftop! I think I may have fallen off the roof at some point and landed in a vat of glitter. Over the past 15 years or so my temperament has changed significantly to one of happy-go-lucky and balanced. I see absolutely nothing wrong with wearing rose-coloured glasses. I think the big bang moment for me was watching another female get really aggressive in confrontation and I saw how ugly it is…with a capital U. I didn’t want to ever risk becoming that. On that note, avoiding confrontation is no healthier for the Soul than the all-out knock down-drag out technique either;  in my thinking anyway. I have recently become more open to confrontational response. I appreciate the honest approach. Preferably with a bit of compassion within. There is nothing worse than working up the nerve to pour out your thoughts and feelings and have the other person either invalidate what you feel or ignore the issue completely. Confrontation doesn’t need to be earth-shattering and decision oriented. It just needs to be real and honest. What happens with those thoughts and feelings is up to the recipient to interpret.  When we converse with an open mind we learn more about the other individual as well as ourselves as long as we go in with the intent of openness and honesty. I love a good debate as much as an emotional heart-to-heart where personal confrontation is concerned – as long as respect of personal opinion is undertaken. Above all else, respect of those involved makes confrontation enlightening.

 

 

 

“I think confrontation is healthy, because it clears the air very quickly.”  – Bill Parcells

Grudges. Do you hold a grudge? Do you stew over stuff and vow to never forgive or forget? Have you ever cut someone out of your life because of your anger or bitterness? I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people say, ” I will never forgive so-and-so because…”  Really? That other person has probably moved on ages ago wondering what the bee in your bonnet was all about! What I find most upsetting is hearing of a person refusing to ever see or talk to a family member over something petty or trivial. How very sad. Grudges have absolutely no value. A grudge is a parasite sucking happiness from the person carrying it. I believe that ego is at play in most grudge situations and if we can just put pride out of equation while inserting love, all will flow as it should. Why can’t we all just get along? Open your heart and your mind to let kindness rule. Kindness is not weakness – it is strength of character.

 

 

 

 

“I’ve had a few arguments with people, but I never carry a grudge. You know why? While you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing.”  – Buddy Hackett 

I don’t know about you but I’d rather be dancing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer of Revelations

I have learned a lot this summer. About myself and life in general. I’d say that I am sad that summer is coming to a close but that would be a lie. I am elated at the prospect of change. Change of the season to Autumn, change of daily routine, and change in temperature. I respond well to change, I think. It keeps me on my toes and makes everything  fresh!

 

 

I never thought of myself as a Being of Summer. Boy, how things have changed. The heat and humidity are not high on the fun-factor scale for me but I can deal with it which I never used to be able to. This summer I have developed the look I always sought when younger but could never accomplish; hair bleached by the sun, tanned limbs and absorbing vitamin D in the form of sunshine like nobody’s business! This really hit home when my Grannie said to me a week or so ago, “You are definitely an outdoor girl.”  I used to be the girl who hid from the sun to keep my  pale skin from freckling and turning the shade of a cooked lobster. Now I work in the sunshine daily and am trying to be smart about precautions while maintaining reality. I certainly don’t spend my days off laying in the sun!

 

 

“I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things…

I play with leaves.

I skip down the street

and run against the wind.”

– Leo Buscaglia

Yesterday, I realized something quite extraordinary – I am only twelve pounds away from the weight I was throughout high school! Mind you, after having two children, the joy of passing time, and working a very physically-demanding job my body shape has changed significantly (for the better, I think). So, I plan on saying goodbye to those clinging twelve pounds before the end of this work season and accomplishing a task I had never thought was all that important until now since I am so very close to accomplishing it. Weight in terms of the scale is not all that important to me but how my body responds to exertion through work and play is paramount. I have become strong and more defined muscle-wise over the past two work seasons and am liking how I feel! I intend to keep getting better in terms of health and strength. My lazy and uninspired days are behind me.

The other day something occurred to me when I was listening to an acquaintance talking. This individual had mentioned how difficult and time-consuming it was to be environmentally friendly. WHAT? This came as a shock to me as it was in that moment I suddenly realized that I basically run on autopilot when it comes to issues of environmental responsibility. Sure, I’m not perfect and I sometimes make poor decisions but overall I feel responsible for my actions and have integrated this thinking into the every day so it is the norm in my world. It seems so archaic and offensive not to care about the planet we all share and its inhabitants. I seriously don’t understand the unconcerned mindset.

 

 

One of the biggest revelations this summer has been that sometimes, there is no going back home. Recently I went back to my hometown to visit family and friends. I quickly realized that this may be their home but it is no longer mine; I am merely a visitor. At first this thought made me uncomfortable so I dug a bit deeper to understand the reason for my discomfort. I think part of the parcel is that my parents are aging (as we all are) and I have moved in a different direction as offspring are supposed to do. When I first moved away from home at the age of 19 to St. Catharines, I knew no one here. It was not only an adventure but it was sometimes lonely and scary until I made friends and connected with others. Luckily, this was only a matter of days that I wound up in the company of good people. This city has become my home over the years and has replaced my hometown as the place I identify with. I no longer consider myself a Peterborough girl  and this puts a bit of a lump in my throat. Honestly though, the Niagara Region has opened its arms wide with welcome and I am now enfolded in its embrace. I love living here!

 

 

This summer has also shown me more of the incredible natural beauty that surrounds us here in the Niagara Region. We have such a diverse landscape that is teaming with incredible natural wonders. The Niagara Region is tucked between two of the Great Lakes – Lake Ontario (I live on the south shore) and Lake Erie. There are over 200 walking, hiking and cycling trails to be enjoyed and shared with incredible flora and fauna at every step. The Region has created many naturalized sites to encourage wildlife to do its thing and give a safe haven for many species. One of my favorite hikes/walks is up the escarpment by Niagara College. It has a feeling of such intense history to be with these particular trees and rocks and gives an all-encompassing feeling of being a part of Nature not just an outsider looking in. These photos were taken in the late Fall a couple years ago but the escarpment is beautiful in every season.

 

 

 

One of my favorite walking trails on the Niagara Escarpment

One of my favorite walking trails on the Niagara Escarpment

Ericsson 2012 343

 

 

 

Within a short walking distance from my home is the Welland Canal. Even though I’ve lived in St. Catharines half of my life I still find the Canal interesting. It is fascinating that these huge freighters and  sea-going ships make their way through a system of locks up the Niagara Escarpment. For a brief description of the Welland Canal see this link. When my kids were itty-bitty, they used to love to go sit at the locks with me and watch as the ships went through. They were thrilled to bits when the workers on the massive ships would wave to them. Recently I have visited the Canal again a few times and realized that it doesn’t matter how old or young you are or where you come from the Welland Canal is an incredible feat of engineering.

 

 

I’m sure I need not dwell on the prominence of wineries in this region but seriously, they are worth a visit and the trip along the wine route. Wineries play a huge supporting role in the area’s mindset and activities. Good food and great wine are the specialties of an area filled with orchards, farms and vineyards. It’s easy to eat well here.

 

 

Another huge revelation for me and I think the most important of all – I need to live the life I envision for myself. We all have dreams, desires and are called deep from within our Soul to certain places, people and actions. Respecting someone else’s dream is essential to living our own.

 

 

Learning to love the Life we have and moving forward instead of stagnating or going backward is on my mind. I see movement in my future…I strive for joy each and every day through learning new Truths…to treat myself and others with kindness…to appreciate all that is on offer.

 

 

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open

where there were only walls.”

– Joseph Campbell

 

 

 

Road Trip – Part Two

I’d like to introduce you to my great friend Steph.  Steph and I became instant friends about 12 years ago when we met at a playgroup with our babies. Our daughters became friends and we naturally did too. Our friendship has been positive and uplifting since that first introduction. You know that feeling when you first meet someone and you just “click”? That’s us. Clickity-click ever since. This is my favorite pic of Steph. She is a chameleon of awesome hair styles and rocks each and every one.

 

 

steph

 

 

 

Now that you know a bit about Steph, I will get to telling you about her half of our road trip together to Ottawa. While I was lounging around in a state of bliss, she was racking up some serious kilometers and using super-human amounts of willpower.

 

 

Steph decided to participate in a grueling bike ride to support and raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. She feels compassionate towards those she personally knows (and those she doesn’t) that are dealing with this debilitating disease. She chose to participate in this ride with her two sister-in-laws in support of her father-in-law that is living with MS. Let me explain to you how incredible I think Steph is for participating. Not only is she doing something to make a difference, she has embarked upon this trek with very little past road training. She purchased a bike strictly for this event a couple of months prior to this ride and quickly racked up the kilometers on local bike paths and roads. I am still amazed at how she jumped in with both feet and never looked back! Mind you, this shouldn’t really surprise me since Steph is the type of individual that once she commits to something she is all in. I have deep respect for her ability to do so.

 

 

The  MS Bike Tour  that she completed was from Ottawa to Cornwall. Here is the map of the ride route. She rode 100 km on the first day of the ride and another 100 km on the second day for a whopping 200 km altogether! Incredible!

 

 

Steph and her bike

Steph and her bike

 

 

If you would like to donate to the MS Society and congratulate Steph and Team Two Tired on their successful ride, you can do so until September 10th at the following link.  

http://mssoc.convio.net/site/TR/BikeTour/OntarioDivision?px=1215268&pg=personal&fr_id=2140&s_locale=en_CA 

 

 

Steph and I had arranged to meet up at the finish line, figuring that I would be there to see her finish her quest. She was too quick, riding like the wind, and already had her flowery flip-flops on and her bike packed in the car ready to hit the road for home by the time I arrived. She was cool and confident as usual when I spotted her standing to the side of the finish line. What a woman!

 

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” – Wade Boggs

 

Steph, let me tell you yet again how fantastic I think you are. Your tenacity and overwhelming desire to do the right thing are truly inspiring. The world is a better place because you are in it.   xo

Harsh Judgment

Recently I have allowed my alter ego to rear her ugly head. For this I am ashamed. This sounds dramatic, I know, but let me explain. I hope you won’t judge me as harshly as I have been guilty of doing as of late.

 

Have you ever met someone and instantly felt not just the lack of a connection but serious irritation when around said individual?  I don’t often dislike people I meet and think of myself as accepting, friendly and patient with others. However, I met someone recently that seemed to crawl right under my skin at our initial introduction and stayed there, prickling me like  stinging nettles as though I had rolled naked in a patch of them! Usually I would think that this was just a delayed rapport and overlook my bitchiness but for some reason I just couldn’t seem to bring my head around to where my heart wanted it to be. I confess to being ashamed by my lack of character because I proceeded to be judgmental and harsh in my outlook toward this person. I had thought that I had left these mean girl feelings in the dust long ago but I was obviously mistaken. I have some work to do inside myself to understand my reaction.

 

 

I don’t feel threatened or jealous in any way of this individual, nor do I feel that I am superior to them in any way, shape or form. I was simply irked by them. They grated on my nerves. I actually felt the desire to punch them. Yikes! This is so not me. I feel as though I have betrayed myself by feeling so negatively about someone else. Why did this person bring out these feelings? Not only am I confused by my thoughts and feelings but disgusted with myself as well. Perhaps the nasty Twin of my Gemini being felt deprived of action and needed to break free of the chains I have shackled her with. Perhaps I need to drop kick this Twin to the curb when she gets out of sorts. I like Bubbly Twin far better than Bitchy Twin.

 

 

Despite my loathing of my being judgmental I have come to learn a bit more about myself through this experience. I have encountered a reemergence of a thought pattern I had hoped I had done away with. I guess the big lesson here, other than not judging others, is that we all have thoughts that are not always bright and sparkly. There are moments when kindness is not our strong suit. That we need to work through these moments and thoughts with the intent of compassion and acceptance because that person is dealing with their own “stuff” as much as each of us is. I do not have the right to judge another but need to accept them in each moment for who they are…right then.

 

 

 

 

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”  – Winston Churchill

Compassion in the Face of Tragedy

I don’t normally blog about current events but yesterday’s Boston Marathon bomb fiasco has touched my psyche to the point where I feel the need to write down my thoughts. I was at work, nearing the end of my day when a co-worker mentioned what she had heard on the news in her truck. When she first said that there were two bombs that had exploded my first reaction was disbelief. I thought perhaps I had misunderstood. Then the bits and pieces that were known thus far were reported and my body went cold. You know that wash of cold that starts at the top of your head and rushes down every inch of your body? I felt numb. I needed more information so I could process what I was hearing while at the same time I didn’t want to hear more.

 

 

As I drove home after work yesterday, radio stations were awash with reports on what had taken place, the increasing tally of injured persons, and speculation as to who could be responsible. At this point, I am overcome with compassion for those that were affected by this horrid act. Those whose lives have been changed forever. My heart has been saddened by such a senseless attack on humanity. I would like to extend my condolences to loved ones of the victims as well as my wishes for a timely recovery for those that were wounded. My thoughts are with all of you that were in attendance as well. How could anyone want to injure others and families out for a day of cheering each other on while accomplishing great personal goals? My thoughts keep coming back to the question “what is wrong with people?” Seriously. Why are acts upon unthreatening and peaceful people committed? Although simplistic in essence, why can’t everyone just get along?

 

 

 

 

This got me thinking. Perhaps a simple state of mind is where we need to return to process this information. Back to the basics of human compassion. Let’s just all get along.

 

 

 Society seems to have this crazed need for retaliation at whatever cost. I’m sure that the media will be pointing their contorted fingers soon enough and getting everyone all riled up. Look at the greatest atrocities throughout history and it usually stems back to a dislike toward differing opinions such as religion, race, or gender. These acts in turn create a wave of persecution and hatred thrown in sweeping generalizations about certain communities. . If we just got down to the nitty-gritty we would understand that we are all human. We all feel emotions. We all need food and  water. We all want to be treated with kindness and compassion. What does it really matter where we live, what we look like, or how much money we have? It really doesn’t. There will always be a few bad apples on the tree of life but that doesn’t mean the tree should be chopped down. The goodness that is on the tree still exists whether the bad apples are there or not. Don’t ignore the amazing apples in light of the few spoiled ones. When we work together great things can evolve. Hopefully in light of the events that took place yesterday at the Boston Marathon we can try to keep from playing the blame game until the bad apple(s) fall from the tree. The person(s) that chose to plant these bombs acted out individually. They made that decision. At any point in time they could have had second thoughts and stopped themselves, but they didn’t. May I present to you the bad apple(s).  There are far too many horrific events taking place that we are needing to process. We are all in some way trying to take it all in. Blaming others doesn’t make the atrocity go away, it only makes us bitter. Use your energy to show compassion to others whether it be to those in attendance during  the events of yesterday or someone you know that just needs their spirits lifted. We can allow tragic events to dominate our thoughts or we can choose to spread kindness and confidence  in  humanity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” – Dalai Lama