Take-away’s from 2016

Take-away’s from 2016:

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  1. My body is my friend. Believing good things are happening in me in the midst of feeling ill is faith. It is part of the path to healing, which involves the spirit as much as the body (‘You are the Placebo’ is a good book)
  2. There are amazing people in this world, spreading cheer, love and light all around. I found in my most vulnerable places, full of need, I could see them (feel them) more clearly.
  3. Food is so awesome.(especially Krispy Kreme doughnuts).  Yes, eating is nourishment but also an avenue for connection and pleasure. We eat for more reasons than just staying alive. It’s a beautiful need/want see-saw that vacillates between our body and spirit.
  4. Sometimes we have dreams… and then we must grow to accommodate them.
  5. Menopause is cruel. BUT, menopause shows us where we are most vulnerable, then asks us to be ok with that. All that is left is the strength and beauty that was always there, just hidden.
  6. I am strong. And so are you. We are strong
  7. Friends can make difficult places easier and easy places meaningful.
  8. I think I believe in mental telepathy, or a cousin to that.
  9. We can be surrounded by people and feel alone. We can be alone and not feel lonely.
  10. A baby’s entrance into this world grounds us here into the tangible but simultaneously elevates us into intangible worlds of divine magical mystery. (Thank you, angel Lennon.)
  11. Watching a toddler allows us to see again that what we witness every day is a miracle. (I love my sweet Moses.)
  12. We all desire validation. We must accept it as a gift from God. It was never meant to come from others.
  13. Spouses can/do change. Spouses can reveal us to us.
  14. Nothing/no one can destroy love.It DOES win
  15. No one can steal us, unless we let them.
  16. Sometimes old horses help us believe more deeply.
  17. Las Vegas is emotionally loud.
  18. Pursuing that which fuels the soul makes time irrelevant.
  19. Everyone is relevant
  20. Spanish Moss in the trees make everything seem heavenly
  21. Eating bread (from Ingrained Bakery) on a park bench with my parents is special.
  22. Ask myself “how do I want to feel?” It will answer the “what should I be doing” questions.
  23. We are all so very much alike.
  24. This too shall pass (even elections)
  25. “What if” questions should be asked more frequently
  26. Ask more questions to those we don’t understand.
  27. RV living is an adventure. (plan winter in a warm place)
  28. Sometimes we need a nice neighbor late at night.
  29. Seeing a newborn calf can make us want to live on a farm.
  30. Zip-lining is really fun. do it.
  31. The “most” ______person we know, could be our child. (Teachers and inspire-ers are not always before us chronologically 😉 (ie. Brooke, Jake, Josh, Jordan, Natalie, Eli, Bethany)
  32. We are never too old to try.Never.
  33. If we listen, we hear.
  34. Unfortunately, tans fade and wrinkles last. 😉
  35. Life changes can happen anywhere because change starts within us. (the secret life of change)
  36. Never underestimate a full moon. It can take our breath away.
  37. Maybe growing old can be more about the “growing” and less about the “old”.
  38. The sand, water, shells and sky consistently deliver mystery and stability.
  39. A country song in all of it’s simplicity can reveal our human complexity.
  40. What we know doesn’t make us better.
  41. Sometimes a year ends before we feel “ready”
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LOVING 101

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David and I plan to take a ballroom dancing class soon. I think it will be a blast. (He thinks so too.) Something new is always fun to look forward to and, of course, always shows our childishness and our age, all at once. 😉

Have you ever noticed how many classes are offered in your community? Taekwondo, pottery, guitar…? The list goes on.

What if there was a class offered about LOVING well?…not sexual instruction, but a human one? Would you be interested? I would. I want to love well. I want to learn what languages to speak to be most effective.

Maybe the class would go something like this: Look into the eyes of another person- someone you don’t know. SMILE.  Ask their name, hobbies, where they’re from? What are their dreams and passions? Listen. Ask “why” questions. Listen again. Find out how they like to contribute to this world. What are they good at?

My sneaky suspicion is that we can do this every day. We don’t need a class, just the BRAVERY to start a conversation. Who doesn’t need your smile and kind heart?  That’s the syllabus for this class. (you don’t even need a pencil).

Hurry up. Run You’re late to class. LOVING 101 is about to begin.

Loving Adult Children

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When we love someone, truly LOVE, no strings are attached. It means we’ve decided what we ARE with someone. Not who THEY are, but who WE are. It means we will not withhold our self. We will not withdraw. We will not manipulate. We will not coerce. Instead, we are the steady. The giver. The rock. The constant. The invested. The sure-fire, I-will-love-you-no-matter-what, person. The biggest fan. The believer. The dreamer. The connector…

We are cemented by our dedication, not theirs.

As a parent, we fight for this kind of relationship, don’t we? We realize in the beginning we are “telling” a lot. It’s part of the natural exchange of guidance and teaching, age and protection. It’s natural for the growing up season, but we cannot STAY in tell-mode. Parent/child relationships survive telling in a season by design. But along the way, AT SOME POINT, children are grown. Along the way,

the parent begins asking and it should never end. (and vise versa).

In the best of relationships all parties are both asking and sharing.

We are the question ask-er, asking

“how do you feel most loved by me?”

“what makes you smile?”

“what do you love about that?”

“What is your passion?”

“How can I support you”?

Love propels us to become observers of the other. Love forces our hearts to silence as we ask ask, ask, ask, because we must know the heart of the other. Love listens.

Am I constantly asking? Or telling? Telling is a sure sign of the conditional/contractual relationship, where there’s no honest exchange, where it’s more about me.  It’s characterized by one sided conversations that eventually cease altogether because no one feels drawn in and invited to a relationship of telling. But asking? Yes, so much happens when we invest in asking.

 

If we want to love our adult children well…

we must learn to ask…and then listen. The answers aren’t the focus. I repeat: THE ANSWERS AREN’T THE FOCUS. THEY ARE THE FOCUS. We don’t ask and listen for the sake of redirecting, instructing, or setting them “straight”. We ask because love asks and listens. We acknowledge that children grow up. They become adults. They have minds. They are smart. They can teach us, just as we have taught them. They can enlarge us. There’s a mutual exchange and opportunity in the journey between us. It’s not one-sided! The shift is vital. IMO. Of course I also want my children to know me, to ask me, to engage with me, but how does this healthy shift happen? I think as parents, we go first. We make the shift when we start to ask. We love them first. It’s only natural. We model that love is always invested.  🙂

It’s true that the risk of loving is monumental and earth-shattering in it’s possibility. We could be crushed, destroyed, rejected, disappointed and lonely. The force of love is both beautiful and volatile. Yet somewhere along the way we realize that loving (our child) is not just a gift to give, but really a gift to receive. It is most fulfilling. We’re designed for this.

“I love you unconditionally” is not just a ‘category’ of love. Is there really any other kind? When it’s conditional, it’s not really love, is it?

 

 

The listening heart

There is more to listening than being quiet when someone speaks. Listening is a deeper discipline of connection, selflessness; a heart-bowing of sorts. It takes humility and patience. 

The way we learn to listen impacts what/how we hear from the most crucial places: God, Ourselve, Others, Nature, Our body -It is so important to hear from these. 

There’s a beautiful listening story told about Dan Rather interviewing Mother Teresa. 

Dan asked: “what do you say during your prayers?” Mother Teresa said, “I listen.”  Dan asked “what does God say”. She replied, “HE listens”. 

In the most synergistic of relationships and dialogues I believe both parties leave believing they were truly heard. 

Peaks and Waves

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Mountains and beaches seem related to me, like close-knit family members. Their features resemble each other; pristine beauty, tranquil sounds, fierce displays of power and yet soothing serenity.

They both whisper into the air some of the same perfect phrases in a similar dialect. I can only hear the words when I quiet my mind. I imagine it’s similar to the angel’s language and every now and then I think they swoop down and dip their wings into the waves and brush the peaks.

Even from a distance, the spot where the clouds intertwine with the mountain peaks, looks like waves caressing the shore. There’s something so magical about it. Even the light pays respect and yields to the scene, letting it decide the shades of color to display.

I love it because I can’t change it. I love it because it changes me

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit- Australian photographer – Ray Collins