Too Centered

Our lives are very busy—especially if we are working, raising children, and caring for our own parents. We get centered on things that we feel are important like education, making money, getting ahead in our jobs, simply surviving. And sometimes we forget to tell the ones we love that we “Love Them.” Maybe it’s that we don’t think we need to remind them. After all, we told them that a long time ago, didn’t we? They should just know.

But do they know? Maybe not. We can’t just assume. If we are so caught up in making it through each and everyday we just might miss the human component of our lives. It’s that part of our lives where even if the person we love is at times driving us crazy, or we are just feeling tired, worried, fed-up and even mad, we are still able to show how much we love them.

With our aging parents we can become exhausted from all the running around of errands we do for them, and tired of hearing the same old stories over and over again, but they still need to hear that we love them. And all the wild things our kids do that upset us, they too need to hear those tender important words of love. It’s not only when our kids are young that they need to hear it, but also when they are adults and struggling with their own grownup lives.

Sometimes we can just get too centered on what we feel is important and probably is, but we must not forget about the human side that speaks of only love. That human side is what your kids will remember about you and treasure, and it’s what will make your parents feel warm and safe in your care. Without that reminder of love, life can be bitter cold.

Be mindful and free with saying “I Love You.”

Danger in a Tone

That old adage, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it,” is so very true. It’s that tone we use that can make all the difference in the world. I don’t think most of us give much thought about how we sound or come off to others. And it’s not just the verbal tone we use, but also the tone we use in print, especially in our e-mails and texts.

Tone represents the mood we are currently in, but not necessarily how we actually feel toward the people or subject we are dealing with at the time. So if we are in a bad mood then how we deal with the people around us verbally or in print will have a hard and sometimes nasty edge to it. This can cause a lot of problems at work and in our private lives. And this can especially be devastating when dealing with children or very sensitive people.

Sometimes it’s hard to know when our tone is off because we are busy people, and always in a hurry. We speak or text very fast before we have really processed all information. Yours truly has made that mistake many times. Usually this happens to me when I get caught up in a situation that I feel is critical and the other person has a different view.

So what do we do about keeping our tone smooth and cordial? “SMILE.” That’s right. Before you open your mouth, or write that offensive line, smile first. It’s pretty hard to say or write anything in a mean tone while smiling.

It doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves to be kind and gentle toward others. We all have stressful days, but a bad or really cruel tone can throw another human off into misery, and I don’t think any of us ever mean to do that.

Life can be hard, so put that smile on your face and let’s watch out for one another.

“Tone has the living soul.” ~ Shinichi Suzuki

What Are You Willing to Sacrifice?

What are you really willing to sacrifice for your career? Are you willing to cheat and lie and crush those below as you climb up the ladder? Well, that may be going a bit far, but some have done just that. But would you sacrifice your marriage, or miss your children’s childhood? What about your health? Are you willing to give that away? And those dreams for something even better, remember those? Are you willing to put your whole life on hold for this thing called a career?

When it’s put this way most people would have no trouble saying, NO. But in reality most of us do sacrifice much too much for the career and even for the thing we call the job. Some of us seem to have no problem sacrificing ourselves for the cause. We live by the motto of “work hard and one day you will make it.” The truth is that there is no guarantee you will make it to the top of your career, or even have a career. Life just has a way of sidelining us. And even if we do make it, was it all worth it?

Time is very valuable, and when you think about it, goes by very fast. Time waits for no one. And once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. So think about what you’re willing to sacrifice for your career, or the job that works you to death. Is it worth it? Can you still make a living without losing time with those you love and losing yourself in the process?

What it all comes down to is “Balance.” When you find the balance in your life everything comes together and works for you instead of against you. You can have the career without sacrificing yourself if you find and keep that balance. When you stop sacrificing to achieve that’s when you live your authentic self. And when you think about it, isn’t that what you’re really looking and working for?

Go out and live your best life!

Your Recipe for Loving

You can find recipes for making great dishes in magazines, books, online etc., but have you ever thought of a recipe for loving? How do you love yourself and the important people in your life? Sometimes I think there really needs to be some kind of guideline for how to love.

Maybe the recipe would go like this:

It’s never easy to love yourself because all kinds of faults are always popping up. But if you can’t love yourself then how in the world will you ever truly be able to love anyone else? You’d probably just keep finding faults with others too. So I guess the directions here would be to stop criticizing and accept yourself for the special being that you are. No one is perfect.

It’s easy to have that mad passionate love for someone, but what happens after you have been together for a long time and passion takes a back seat–does love go away? No, the formula just changes and love becomes deeper and means so much more. You start to know each other in new and wonderful ways. And in changing and growing, passion can make a return, and become better than ever.

Babies and young children are so easy to love, and they love and need you too. You love them to the extent that you would walk over burning coals to save them. But when children grow up and don’t want you around all that much, or even decide they don’t like you, how do you handle the love you still have for them? This is a hard one for all parents of grown children. You just have to realize that your job is done and it’s time to move on. Allow your child to change their love recipe so they can go off and build their new life. Give them lots of space and maybe they won’t forget where they came from, but at the same time, rebuild your own life, and learn to love them in a different way too.

The capacity to love stretches from humans to animals and the love for nature. The thing about a recipe for loving is to never stop. When you realize that it’s what you put in the recipe that deepens the flavor you will always find it easy to love.

Normal?

Oh, who cares if you’re normal or not! The main thing is, don’t try and be someone you’re not; just be you. You’re great just by being you. Maybe you deal with criticism that says you are not normal, but what is normal anyway? As long as you’re not hurting anyone and not breaking any laws then just be who you are.

Learn to accept this crazy imperfect person that is you, and do something really wonderful with your life. You are only here for such a short time and your time is running out. Make everyday count in your life, and don’t waste your time worrying that you’re just not like most of the people you know.

Encourage the children in your life to believe in themselves and accept the who they are. Give them confidence by really listening to what they have to say. Children just want to be accepted by their peers, but if they are a little different, then oftentimes they’re not. Children that don’t fit into the social mold need guidance to believe that they too are important and count in this world. Help them to find that one thing in their life that they can be really good at and shine ever so bright.

We all count, and have special talents, and we are all here for a reason. Be the quirky you and don’t forget to live your life fully, because if you don’t, then it was all for nothing.

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ~ Maya Angelou

 

Spoil Yourself

Spoiling yourself is really about self-care. You lead a busy life where you constantly do for others. Some of you are working more than one job, raising kids, and some even caring for special needs children, aging parents, or ill mates. Life can get hard and very demanding as responsibilities build. You can lose yourself in these situations and your stress level can explode. What can you do to keep sane? Spoil yourself.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with putting yourself first once in a while. Make a habit of once a month or even once a week doing something fun just for you. Go out to eat with friends and laugh over wine. Watch a game and yell your lungs out. Go out into nature and have some quiet time where no one is asking you to do anything for them. Even buy yourself a gift that’s just for you. Whatever brings joy back into your life go and do it before you turn into a zombie.

You are not here to be a slave. You are here to learn, do some good, and have a great time. But when doing that good gets out of balance and you start to lose yourself, then my friends, you have hit the danger zone. This is the region where all hell breaks loose. You are not only in danger of becoming a horrible caregiver, but also of destroying the very life you should be enjoying.

Don’t give it all away; keep some of the good stuff just for you. Your time on earth is limited so learn to take some of that time for YOURSELF! In doing this you will find that you are a better caregiver, and also a more loving and giving person who feels good about life in general.

So come on, kick off your shoes, be crazy and run wild in the nude! Really feel free, and feel your life.

Hey, when was the last time you actually spoiled yourself?

 

Laughter

Have you ever really listened to the laughter of others? I was working at my computer the other night and my neighbors were sitting on their deck visiting with friends. I could hear them laughing really enjoying being together. I stopped working and thought, “what an inviting sound that laughter was.” There’s just something so warm and sweet in the sound of laughter, and then I wondered why we don’t do it more often.

It seems like we get caught up in the battle of life–always wanting to win. But battles are such mindless and stupid little things and they don’t contain laughter and certainly no one really wins. Maybe laughter is what life is all about because it’s so light and infectious and certainly brings joy, and knocks the socks out of pain.

The best laughter of course, is that of children. When their giggles get out of control and turn into full-blown crazy laughter–now that’s pure music, isn’t it? You hear that kind of laughter and think how wonderful to be so free.

Once in a while all of us should give ourselves a break and not be so uptight and hard on our souls. We should throw caution to the wind and learn to laugh at ourselves and all the ups and downs our life holds. The benefits of such naughty behavior would be endless indeed. Maybe the way to have more laughter is to choose our battles more wisely, or not have them at all.

When was the last time you really had a good belly laugh? Go ahead, don’t wait, for it might end up being too late.

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”
~ Victor Hugo