Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Trust - How We Keep It

I was listening to an old rock and roller today. He talked about his manager walking away with millions of his dollars. I saw a young woman recently put her hand in the bulk food bin and take a handful of cookies. You've seen it too - the cyclist that screams around a corner without giving a warning bell or shout-out.

Trust - how we keep it or break it is always up to us. But first, we need to notice it.

Trust - How We Keep It

There are so many easy ways to break it.

From the relatively harmless showing up late for a meeting to the heart-wrenching showing up early to find your spouse...

A man who doesn’t trust himself 
can never really trust anyone else.  
Cardinal de Retz

We trust blindly sometimes and don't trust other times because of some long-ago event that scarred us. We hand our hearts and money to strangers but don't praise often enough the good deeds of our neighbour. He too has his problems but he continues to sweep off our front entrance whenever he does his.

In Limited Vision, you can read about what we see.
What's Real? shares thoughts on intuition and what we don't see.

We live each day treating others by what we learned to expect of them. And they do the same. (Tweet This)

What value do we put on those who stand up to their commitments in spite of their own difficulties?

If they've always been there doing their 'thing', that's exactly what we trust them to do. Even if they are the one who always shows up late!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

At Home Retreat

Life is the past, 
the present and the perhaps.
Bette Davis

If you read any of the same articles I do, you too might be drawn to the Retreat. But once again if you and I are at all similar, you haven't yet ventured on a bona fide Retreat.

You haven't packed a bag and road-tripped to a condo overlooking the bay. Or jetted to an ocean-side cottage to write your novel.

You don't have the means, the time, the energy or the courage to meet a bunch of strangers to share your passion. People that likely you will not see again.

Here's an alternative for you.

Today my husband left early for a long road-bike trip with some friends which wouldn't bring him home until late in the day.

Today would be mine, my At Home Retreat.

Saturday mornings are usually rushed, you might have read about our yoga class earlier. But today was different, I made my tea and returned to bed to read Annie Proulx's Barkskins: A Novel.

It is a heavy 700 pages and needs to be propped on an extra pillow. Ah, today I could concentrate on the tangled story that spans several decades. It allowed me to think of the various kinds of families in the world, how each has the potential to create or destroy the members. Retreat equals drink tea in bed and relax.

Distracted into thinking, my unfinished jewelry pieces caught my eye. What would they look like with mixed colour beads? Bending and twisting with ease. No rush. Retreat equals time to be creative.

Hunger. Baking. Blueberries.  
Yumm! A favourite recipe given by a colleague from a long time ago, Ann B. No fail, she told my 22-year-old self. 

And she was right. Not once over the decades in between has this muffin recipe failed. Blueberries, chocolate chips or almonds and poppy seeds. You can add whatever you like! No fail. Thank you Ann B. wherever you settled on Vancouver Island. Retreat equals reminiscing. 

Retreat does not mean not doing for me as you can tell. It doesn't mean sitting for endless hours in front of a television or swiping on Pinterest. Retreat means pausing, feeling the thoughts I put aside on Monday, Tuesday and during the rest of the week. Retreat means moving slower, picking up, cleaning up, wiping down. Slowly.

Retreat means turning on the fan, pointing it towards you because you notice all of a sudden that it is hot and stuffy and mid-afternoon. 

You are quiet, and you can hear your heartbeat, you remember You.

You re-charge, you re-call, you release. You make peace.

You know more about less. And less than you thought you knew.

You hear the fan and it sounds like an ocean, you smell the muffins and you could be at a Paris bistro, you heft the book you are reading and you are on the cliffs in Acadia.

Your At Home Retreat has taken you everywhere and brought you to the center of Alone. It has returned you to your heart.

If you give an At Home Retreat a try, let me know what you find out. (Tweet This)

This is what my At Home Retreat gave me. (Tweet This)

Friday, July 19, 2019

The Ordinary Role Model

The passage of time can be a scary thing for most of us. We all know people who don't want to admit their age as seniors even if it gives them a discount at the movie theatre or the fashionable "grandma" who wants to be known by a different name so that no-one thinks she's that old.

I met with a friend today who is a handful of years ahead of me. I won't give her age because sometimes she reads my words here! She is fit and enjoys her life, which she feels is no different than anyone else's. She's worked hard, saved her money, looks forward to her next adventure and maintains friendships in a wide circle of people. I look up to her. She's a role model for me.

The Ordinary Role Model

She hasn't allowed the loss of her life-partner, the distance of miles from her only child, the lines on her face and some long evenings spent alone to keep her from being happy.

As you might have read in my earlier post she is also someone who decided much earlier who she is. She created a habit.

The interesting thing is that we each can get our motivation from a different source.

It doesn't matter who we are, what we do for a living, or what our circumstances might be in this moment. For me it could be someone who stays active (I'm currently following the Tour de France each morning while I eat breakfast!), for you, it could be someone who just joined the local choir, someone else might be encouraged by an entrepreneur or a volunteer at a homeless shelter.

My friend was telling me that she had performed at a recent line-dancing event. One of her fellow dancers was 89 years old! "She's my role model", my friend told me.

We all need encouragement and someone to look up to, no one is immune to falling into a funk. My friend showed me that if we want to continue to grow, and live a life of contentment, keep an eye out for a role model. They are who they are. Often our role models don't even feel they are doing anything extraordinary. (Tweet This)

Perhaps today, we could pay special attention to the words we use, our actions and how we engage in the world.

We never know who's watching us and sees their role model.(Tweet This)

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

One More Time Can Make a Habit

One More Time Can Make a Habit

Consider these two gents who meet at least as often as I am on that path and talk in their native language. They move to a silent symphony, with arms up and down, sideways and in circles.

Then they sit on the same bench each time. They tap their laps and then their heads and continue their song.

How long have they been doing this, I think to myself. Do they also meet on the days when I don't walk? What is their habit?

I see a lady walking with a different dog quite frequently. One day my curiousity can't be contained and she tells me that she fosters dogs who are waiting for a permanent home due to some circumstance. The particular brown lab puppy that is dancing at her heels is the subject of a divorce. Neither party can accommodate this sweetie right now. So this walking lady will keep her as she has many "orphans" over the years. It is who she is, it is her habit. (Tweet This)

My husband and I went to the Calgary Stampede (The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth) yesterday. We saw first-timers, tourists, and those who knew which building to go to for the experience they wanted. We saw the young moms pushing strollers and the elderly with their walkers. 

Were the youngsters forming a habit? I hope so. Because as time goes on, they will have so many stories to tell! When I looked at the elders, I had to think, how many years have they been coming? What memories did they have of attending over the years? Perhaps they reminisced of going with their own young children or holding hands with their sweetheart one special year.

Each day I see those who struggle to be mobile or to keep their minds clear. They do it not because it is easy for them but because somewhere along the line they decided that this is who they are. This is the habit they are going to keep.

One More Time Can Make a Habit
If you have a goal of strength or survival, of friendship, of giving support, of not complaining, of not over-eating, of staying clean, of taking care of yourself, please do it today.

Monday, July 1, 2019

I'm Not Really an Expert on Anything

To survive in today's world it seems that you must be an expert on something. Only then, do you garner any attention. You must profess to be the "go-to" person in your niche.

Well, quite frankly I'm sick of it.

My email is inundated with tips on every imaginable subject, from being the best networker to gaining one zillion likes on your latest post. These messages basically say that you've got to be the best or no one will love you.

"You need to be an expert." No wonder that our children are suffering from anxiety in grade one, and others are panicky about having the perfect wedding. Oh, and don't forget about getting the "forever" home even if you can't quite afford it.

Terrible Photo!
I'm Not Really an Expert at Anything
Guess what folks, life is not perfect. And the sooner we all know that the happier we will be.

Here's a secret for you. I am not really an expert on anything but it doesn't prevent me from being  pretty darn happy on most days.

It's time for us to not always want to be the best. We need to smile at our failings and love each other because we're all trying every day.

In matters of calm - I've been known to be judgmental and speak under my breath. And it's not always kind although my face is still smiling.

On the walking path - yes, I can hold my own for speed. For a short while. Because there are times that I much rather stop to take a photo or I get distracted by a group passing by. And every half-marathon I do I start to get bored at kilometer 16 or so. Every single time.