It has been some time since I posted over at MorningCoach.com. I invite you all to come check it out. One note ~ the image in the post is NOT my office…. my office WAS much, much worse… Before: I … Continue reading
I feel like the world is rushing by at a million miles per hour. I can’t focus on any one thing, no matter how important, I am not accomplishing anything. I am distracted by the next brightest, most shiny task. I am not eating the right foods or getting any exercise both of which amplify the other feelings.
This busyness feels like an illness though it isn’t treatable by medicine. Sometimes, my head swims, my heart races and my skin gets flushed.
Do you ever feel like this? I am sure you do. Everyone I know has these feelings periodically.
For me, when this happens, I am usually spending too much time focused on one area of my life. This could be a fun area like family and friends, or it can be a duty area like my job or volunteer obligations. Regardless of area, the solution for me is the same – I need to step back, reorganize assess priorities and often reinstate my boundaries. Even with myself.
In the past, I have called this ‘being out of balance’ because life is often compared to a big wheel. And when we get out of balance, the wheel starts to thump and bump and possibly even through us out of our seat. But, if we are always striving for balance, we are depriving ourselves of experiences. Balance, I am finding, isn’t possible.
Balance is defined by Webster’s dictionary as: “A state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance.” This, this version of balance can absolutely happen. Proper amounts.
However, the Wordnik.com definition of balance is more along the lines of how we have been taught to think of balance: “A state of equilibrium or parity characterized by cancellation of all forces by equal opposing forces.”
Equal opposing forces.
This is the kind of balance that is not possible. There will always be an area or two that require more attention than another. One are pulling us more tautly than the others. Maybe that is building a business or finding a new job. Possibly we are working on improving our finances or learning to change our eating and exercise habits. For many parents of school age children, getting the children out of summer mode and ready for school will be a focus during August and September.
The Webster’s version, focusing on the word proper rather than equal, is much closer to what we should be striving for. Keeping our activities in proper amounts with the proper amount of importance. Keep the rider in the cart even though the ride may be bumpy. Allowing ourselves the grace to shift priorities and schedules and life shifts. The world is fluid. We need to learn to go with the flow.
My latest post for MorningCoach.com is out. Click here for more. When you’re done, stick around and read some of the other contributor’s work.
Open Scene …. woman runs across stage to the sound of background music playing “Purgin’ Purgin’ Purgin” set to the tune of “Rollin’” by Limp Bizkit, fist pumping and yelling “Woot, Woot, Woot” ala Arseno Hall…. Too goofy? That’s okay. … Continue reading
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I guest blog at MorningCoach.com. Come on over and see what I have to say in that space as well as read some awesome stuff from my friends and colleagues. Visit, stay for awhile.
My latest post from earlier this week: http://goo.gl/lt8msf
I’ll be honest, I didn’t get 42 bags. Not because I didn’t have 42 bags worth of junk to purge, but because life gets in the way of good intentions. But those 28 bags that did go out freed me and helped me feel lighter.
Oddly, one of the bags was to throw away glasses I’ve had since high school and college. Of all the junk that’s left the house, that is the only one I actually need now. For a school project, the kid has to dress like Ben Franklin…. and yep, one of the pairs of glasses that went in the trash would have worked perfectly. Sigh. Oh well.
Did you join me in this challenge? How did you do?
If you missed it or didn’t do as well as you’d have hoped you’d do, I have another challenge for you. One I am going to partake in myself – smaller in some ways, larger in others:
Remove one item from my home every day for one full year. 365 items moved out of my way to allow abundance to continue to come into my life.
We start May 1st.
I’ll do my best to remember to photograph each one, but I know myself – I’ll miss a few. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @Driftseed, hashtag #MS365Purge.
For those of you who asked me “why” during the 42 days, well … because:
Because I live in a house that is too large for the number of people that live there and it’s packed to the gills with stuff we neither want nor use.
Because other people can benefit from some of that stuff that has become junk to us.
Because it’s visually overwhelming.
Because the clutter makes the place seem dirty, messy.
Because it is clogging. It’s clogging the walkways, the closets, the storage areas, but most importantly – it’s clogging me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Because clearing this stuff from my house and my life makes room for new stuff, better stuff, and more relevant stuff.
If you are one of those that poo-poos that idea, come with me. Give me a month. Remove 31 items from your home and see if you too don’t feel lighter, freer, more blessed, and open to receive.
To quote Chuck Palahniuk: The things you used to own, now they own you. (Tyler Durden, Fight Club).
Will you do it? Will you join me? Even for a few days? Try it. Give me one day a week, then move up to two, and so on. Then come back to this post and tell me how you feel. I’ll recycle this post a few times throughout the year to keep it fresh or link to it from update posts.
Come With Me ~ May 1st, 365 days…. you can do it. I’ll help. Well help each other. Let’s do this.
~ In Light & Love ~
Last night, I waked into my bathroom to begin getting ready for bed. I did what I always do, grabbed my toothbrush and toothpaste and then looked in the mirror. What I saw caught my eye and made me comment to myself, “Wow, I look really pretty today.”
Before you start thinking anything about me and my ego, let me explain something – while I do not often partake in those negative self-deprecating comments many people seem to have, I also rarely tell myself something nice as the first comment. Usually, there’s an observation of some out-of-place thing such as “oh, time to call the aesthetician for a brow wax” or “hey, what did I spill on my shirt? I love this shirt!” Rarely, actually never that I can recollect, has the first thought been a wholly positive thought.
And you know what? I did look pretty. My hair had a fantastic sheen, my grays were all perfectly aligned and almost glittered in the mirror, I was smiling about something, smiling makes my eyes sparkle, and I just generally look very healthy after a month of significant dietary changes.
As I wallowed in the self-compliment, the thought came to me how much I’ve changed in the past two years. Two years ago I would have had to dig for positive commentary. Not that I was all that negative, but positive commentary, especially self-commentary, didn’t come easy. After all, we are cultured from a young age to notice the things that need changed, that need ‘fixed.’ A spill on a shirt or bushy eyebrows, for example.
Let’s change that. Collectively. The feeling of the immediate compliment, even from myself, felt amazing. So powerful. I want all of you to feel that, too.
I don’t normally do this, but I’d like all of us, me too, to practice a visual exercise for a week or so. I’d love it if we each find a jar and two different colors of beads. One color that makes you smile and is happy, maybe this is yellow or some other bright color. The second color should be darker, one that isn’t very pleasing to you. For every positive thing you say to yourself, put one bright colored bead in the jar. For every negative, one dark bead.
You can do this on a piece of paper with different colored pens, too – customize to suit your lifestyle, I prefer the visual but recognize that it isn’t feasible to carry around beads and a jar. Utilize anything you have around the house that will be visual and can symbolize positive comments and negative comments.
Then, pay attention to how you speak to yourself. As I mentioned above, I don’t say things to myself that are openly negative. But comments such as “that’s not my best color” or “that shirt doesn’t fit quite right” can come from a place of negativity, too. They can come from ego.
You have a language that you use only with yourself. You may use words or phrases that could be seen as positive, but you know in your heart that isn’t how you mean them. Only you know your true intention. Count those, too. No one is watching but you. Be open, be honest. Be true to you.
Do this for a few days or a week, whatever you need to do to bring awareness. Awareness will allow you to bring change.
Keep in mind, change doesn’t often happen overnight, you’ve built up habits and behaviors over years. There will be times when you falter, when that rock slides back down the hill. Keep pushing, keep charging, keep growing. It’s amazing how far you can come even by making small changes, by being aware of your thoughts, actions, and behaviors.
Take the time, achieve the peace.
In Light & Love ~
Recently two friends and I were discussing religion. Well … more spirituality than religion. But you really can’t have a discussion about one without the other or so it would seem. The following day in my social feeds was a link to an excellent, and I do mean excellent, blog. The post/blog is from a religious perspective, Christianity in this case. Between the two, I was fueled to write this post.
I’ve never been much of one to attend church. My Catholic family moved to a CRC town when I was two. The town is still small now, but was also small minded then. The Catholic church was way on the other side of another town. We attended until my parents got divorced. We stopped going altogether except holidays. And then even that stopped.
My spiritual education didn’t stop, however. In fact, if anything it expanded. Having no box into which I was trying to put myself, or be put by others, I was free to explore as I chose. As such, I’ve studied many of the major, formal, recognized religions at one point or another. Some studies have been brief, others more expanded. Some learnings are remembered, some long forgotten.
I’ve read of religions long dead or buried in myth, and religions still being practiced today. My house holds a combination of idols and relics that look out of place depending on whose eyes are viewing them. There’s a St Joseph figure from when we tried to sell the house during my divorce, he’s a little dirty from being buried upside down and backwards while facing the street but the bag containing runes that were a gift 20 or so years ago sitting next to him don’t seem to mind and the smiling buddha still smiles from across the room.
I’ve read the bible from front to back. Old testament, then new. In order. As if it were a chapter book. If you’ve never done this, I highly recommend it. Regardless of your religion or beliefs.
I’ve read spiritual leaders, I’ve listened to podcasts. I’ve attending services at Catholic churches, CRC, Baptist, no denominational, pagan. Inputs, all of them.
And in doing so, I’ve turned my faith, my spirituality into something that works for me. In my view, this is how spirituality is supposed to be. Something that is between me and my higher power, whatever it is that speaks to me as such.
Sometimes, my higher power is the homeless man I pass on the street who reminds me to have empathy. Sometimes, my higher power is the sound of the waves crashing over a paddleboard as I sit quietly in the water. A yoga pose might do it the next day. Digging in the dirt in my garden. Or acts of service to another. Music. Children’s smiles and laughter. Even my writing can be a spiritual act for me no matter what the topic is.
Regardless of how I get it, hear it, see it, do it, practice it. It’s mine.
Yet what I see and hear often is someone else trying to tell me how something so personal should be more like theirs.
I’ve been chided for not going to church, for not taking my son. If you’re scorning or trying to shame me, make me feel bad, why oh why would I want to spend more time with you and yours? I don’t have time for that.
I have also been welcomed. Open armed. By friends who saw something or heard something in their service that they thought would resonate with me. I’m grateful that two of the largest Christian congregations near me offer many of their services recorded as MP3. I can ‘attend’ service, have the lesson, and not go near the church. That’s pretty perfect for me. I’m grateful that my friends think of me when they hear the service and remember to share it with me. I can truly say I’m blessed.
Some people will tell me that without the act of attending the church, I can’t know god (lowercase chosen intentionally). That makes me sad. For them. That they think the only way to know a higher power is to go to a particular building one day a week. For me, my spirituality is much deeper than that. It’s an all day, every day thing.
I’m a spiritual being. Placed here for a higher purpose by a higher power. My beliefs and practice they are mine. They are for me. To serve me. So that I can in turn better serve others.
I know who walks with me.
In Light & Love
It’s March and I am ‘marching’ into the future with bells on. Ha. Okay, so I’m not as funny as I wish I were, but that’s okay. It’s March and we’ve got a lot going on…
I am hosting my first ever challenge, maybe you read about it? If not, click to read more about the 42 bags in 42 days challenge. I’m giving new meaning to spring cleaning in my house. Don’t worry, I won’t post here everyday, pictures will be on my instagram and in my Twitter feed (@Driftseed) and I’ll do brief summary posts as the weeks pass. You’re welcome to join. We’re chatting about it on Facebook on the Mosaic Starfish page, as well.
While I host that challenge, I’m participating in a few others, as well. Three for fitness and one for nutriton. I’ll be talking about my progress and experiences on my health focused blog: http://starfishwarriors.wordpress.com/
One of those is called the Whole30. This is going to be some thing for me. I’ve been a minimlaist when it comes to meat for many, many years. As long as I can remember actually. Whole30 is a Paleo type system. It comes to me highly recommended. Could be a life changer and it’s only 30 days. I’m going to miss pizza, cheese, and quinoa the most, but it could be worth it, life’s short, why not try?
The fitness ones include an ab challenge and back challenge I actually started a week ago – my core has no core, need to fix.that. And the third is a 20 minute body program. I’d love to tell you about it. I’ve sent a note to the host asking permission (because I respect the work, the person, and it’s just good form).
Anyway, getting in shape and purging the excess… in more ways than one.
And that, that is how I’m battling the cabin fever from snowmageddon and the polar vortex. You’re welcome to come with me.
In Light & Love