Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kindness Needed at Till #1

A simple task, go to the store, pick up a few things, go home. But as you know the Universe has a way of stepping in. Showing you, reminding you and giving you a chance to test out your skills.

When this post from Mindful Magazine hit my email this morning, 5 Ways to Develop Kindness and Generosity, I didn't realize how quickly I'd have a chance to use it.

What I am writing here is a little window into my day, you are able to take it any way you like (as we always do!) or you may see it as a quasi rant. It's up to you.

This went smoothly, I thought to myself as I headed to the check out. I looked around, my first time in this particular store, I gazed upwards at all the colorful hanging signs swaying with the breeze of the air conditioning. As I stepped forward to the available sales assistant, I heard a loud voice  "and then she just budges into line" said in an unfriendly tone, directed to me.

Kindness Needed at Till #1

Oh, I responded facing the mother with her two small boys. I didn't realize there was just one line. She shook her head at me. You knew exactly what you were doing, she retorted. I apologized again but she would have no part of it.

I am not one to react easily and knew that in that moment I had a choice.

Breathe. Give kindness.

She wouldn't let it go. She tisked at me as she stepped towards the baffled sales person. When she was finished, she did a dramatic hand gesture indicating that NOW it was my turn. She continued to mumble.

In the quietest voice I could muster, because I too have been a frazzled mother running errands on a hot day, I said to her your children are watching your behaviour. And they see your's too, she shot back.

I made a mistake, I said to her.She stopped.

Use this opportunity, I said to her, to teach your youngsters that everyone makes mistakes.

It is good to have weathered a few storms. It has been many years since I carted around two small, unhappy, sticky children. As time goes by it is easier to Breathe into the moment when needed. Trust me on this.

Now tell me, how did you understand this interaction? Have you had a similar experience? How did you handle it?

What are we teaching our children today? (Click to Tweet)

Use this opportunity to teach your youngsters that everyone makes mistakes.
(Click to Tweet)


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Life is a Travel

Traveler, there is no path, 
the path must be forged as you walk. 
Antonio Machado

Life is a travel, travel has no path.

It seems that at this time of year almost everyone you know is packing a bag to go somewhere. Each trip as unique as the traveler. Each planned to give the experience that we think we need at this point in our life.

Life is a Travel

For anyone who has strapped on a backpack and hit the road with their thumb extended to those who pack carefully for a distant adventure done in style, the draw of the unknown is the prize. What will the next curve in the road show you?

How often have you heard someone say that the trip they took changed their lives, and how does this happen when we all know that wherever we go, there we are? We can change our location, we can dress up to disguise, but under it all "There is only one You". 

It is unlikely that if you are an extrovert that you are planning a journey to a secluded island to be by yourself and write in your journal. Or if you are the quiet type that you will plan for a thirty-day bus tour with total strangers. 

And so it is each day of our life travel, we pick we choose where we pause, how fast we want to go, what we see along the way, who we stop for and for how long.

Unless.... you are trying on something new. Unless you have reached a point where you are searching for another side of you. Where the call of the path, any path is deafening and must be listened to.

You'll know when it happens.

We are always moving towards something new (perhaps a person, a job, an adventure, or the making of a name). If we are looking for it, we might find it. But to travel to the unknown is to travel towards yourself.

Please, stay in that moment of each New. See it, taste it, roll it in your mind. Swallow the experience so that it becomes a part of you. Capture it with a photograph, draw it in your notebook, smell it with the freshness of your first experience.

Walk slowly on your travels.

This day will not happen the same again. Keep it. It is only yours. (Click to Tweet)

Whatever path you choose, fellow traveler. Squeeze this New to fit in your heart.

We pick we choose where we pause, what we see along the way, who we stop for and for how long. (Click to Tweet)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Writing Lines to the Inside

You've seen them, they sit on the bus or in a coffee shop and they scribble in their notebooks. They pause, with pen in mid-air as if to grab that fleeting thought. What are they writing, we wonder. What secrets and clues cover their pages.
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
Henry David Thoreau

As Mark Matousek says in his Writing to Awaken: A Journey of Truth, Transformation, and Self-Discovery, they are writing to discover themselves and to unearth what they have forgotten.

I am a journal writer. I believe that as we are writing lines to the inside, we uncover our story. We are laying down track towards our buried and forgotten memories, or we carry only what others have told us to light the way. And that is where Writing to Awaken will be your patient and loving guide.
"How we remember things happened is more important than what really happened."
Each chapter in this book will help you to see your past again, through different eyes, and assist you to live each day with the Beginner's Mind. Tools to stay connected and not let your life go by unnoticed as I had written in 7 Discoveries on the Shady Side of the Street.

This book is not for the faint of heart, we need to be brave to decide what to give meaning to in our lives. What we keep, will shape who we become. That is why you and your sibling could be very different people!

Professional ReaderI had the privilege of reading this book as a NetGalley Influencer, however it is a book that would be valuable to anyone who likes to write, who chooses to discover and is not afraid to keep digging. Highly recommended to add to your collection.

Matousek reminds us "lovers of solitude...recognize that time alone is precious, a refuge where you can practice meeting yourself in the mirror of the blank page".

Writing to Awaken
Mark Matousek

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Encounter in the Dress Aisle

If I were a girl, he said to me, what size do you think I'd be?

That's how our conversation started, when I met a young man in the ladies dress section at our local Value Village. He said that he was doing a skit for his friends' wedding and was going to do a flirting dance. He needed the proper dress.

I don't often make it to Value Village, work and other interests keep me from this wonderland of books and creative supplies, bits of fabric, vintage clothing, bags of buttons and jewelry waiting to be re-purposed.

I gave the young man my best estimate of what size dress he should be wearing and continued looking in the racks in my size. Ooh, the yellow Sandwich dress looked delicious...but was it the colour for me, was I too old, would I look like a Popsicle? Hesitation.

I glanced down the aisle, he moved dresses cautiously and appeared to be analyzing how they would look on his masculine body. Move over, I though to myself, Personal Shopper to the rescue. I told him that I'd come back to help as he really must look divine for his friends' wedding!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

7 Discoveries on the Shady Side of the Street

7 Discoveries on the Shady Side of the Street
Living in this Northern Hemisphere, we truly appreciate the warm weather. In my hometown, we’re considered Zone 3. What that means folks is that we are joyfully living our lives where the growing season can vary between 82 and 107 days. 

Our garden plants are hardy and need to be resilient (just like we humans are) to winter temperatures that can drop to the -40 to -30F range. You can understand why we love summer when we get it!

Although we look forward to this time of year however, we are often ill prepared for the heat. That was yesterday.

After spending the day in non-air-conditioned working places many of us are worn out. But then, what do you do? Do you skip your usual after work walk? Yes, I definitely swayed in my decision but missed my intake of daily fresh air. Out I went at 7:30pm to get in my kilometres.

Walking on the shady side of the street gave me a different experience. I followed a route in my neighbourhood in the opposite direction than I usually take. Crossing at times to stay out of the still blazing sunshine.