Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Myth Of The Cosmic Scale ~ Say Goodbye To Being A Judgy Judger

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I think I looked like this.

This morning, before I was even fully awake, I began comparing myself to others. Both favorably and unfavorably. I actually did both within a minute. This is very unattractive behavior. 

Why do we do this? On what cosmic scale are we trying to measure ourselves and to what end? The outcome will never, ever be happiness even if we carefully choose our comparisons so we believe we are justified and place ourselves fully in the column marked “Superior.”

I gave myself a firm talking to and hopefully we’re done with that for the day. I’m aiming high to say I won’t do it for the rest of the day. These sorts of behaviors tend to creep up on us. We must remain ever vigilant against ourselves, against our egos.

What I’d really like to do, the thing that will truly make me happy, is to revel in what I have, what I am and in what I am becoming. When I’m not busy lamenting my failures and/or feeding my ego with delusions of superiority, I can stay soundly on safe ground in living in gratitude and dreaming of possibility.

ImageI recently heard the question, “What would you do today if you had no past?” and I was instantly captivated. The idea that we would make different, grander choices if we didn’t already have limiting ideas of who we are, thrills me. 

The idea that we can be something so much more if we saw dreams as possible, if we saw ourselves as capable, if we truly lived in possibility, is pleasing. To say the least. So much more pleasing than bothering ourselves with  some imaginary scale of comparisons that will inevitably make us unattractively pious and defeated.

So I ask you the question; What would you do today if you weren’t limited in your thinking by the past? Your history is not what defines you, your successes and failures, as you label them, aren’t who you are going to be. So what do you choose… TODAY? 

As for me, I am sending out positive vibes to those people I was comparing myself to. I hope what appear to be their successes truly are and that their lives are blessed by them. I hope the feebly judged “failures” are just stepping stones to greater understanding and a deeper view of life. I have no business judging their business.

As for myself, I hope to not only shut down the judgment machinations of my mind, but to live in possibility, unencumbered by my former beliefs. Put simply, I hope we all live a day that surpasses our former expectations and that we allow ourselves to live in unfettered gratitude.

~Namaste~

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Albert Einstein Said It Best ~ No Post Friday

I spent the evening last night listening to inspiring women. Well, except for the 50 minutes or so when I watched an episode of Dexter on iTunes. What’s up with rooting for serial killers? Anyway, I signed up for a tele-seminar and it’s always good to listen to thoughtful people espouse wisdom.

The topics were varied, but basically about living up to your full potential. And so today, I paint instead of blog and leave you with a thought from someone far more intelligent than I:

einstein quote

Free At Last

I feel like the weight of an awkward and demanding monkey has been lifted off my shoulders. Because I have been emancipated from this burden since yesterday morning, my fingers have been itching to get to the computer and do the same thing for you, by giving you my new favorite quote. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

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The Brides

On Wednesday mornings I have a regular meeting with Andrea. She has been named in my posts previous to this as “my own personal Canadian.” I asked if she minded the name and she said she did not. She’s an amiable Canadian to-boot. Anyway, Andrea is a business… well, she’s kind of an architect of sorts and we’re working together on my project.

As I am trying to get this venture off the ground, I am also caring for my family, doing the cleaning Lucy the Wonder Cleaner would usually do (still out sick) and we are preparing for our daughter Carrie’s wedding and the dinner that will be held at our home just a week and a half from now.

I feel like I’m swimming against the current. I feel like I’m falling behind. I feel like there’s a smelly, demanding monkey on my back. No bueno.

As Andrea gave me an assignment, I gave her two options from which to choose. “I can do a fabulous job, but I can’t do it now, or I can do a good job and do it immediately.”

This is the part where she removed the monkey. She said,

“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.”

ImageHow often do we wait until just exactly the right moment, when all the stars align and the omens have blessed us, to do that one, totally cool thing? But how often do those stars align? Those omens tend to be stingy and we are left with a grand idea, stellar plans and nothing to show for it.

A good idea is worth doing. Period. Its better to do it poorly than to put it off until the end of time.

Anything worth doing is worth doing, poorly.

What have you been putting off?

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Free at last. Free at last.

 

My Granny ~ Sweet Like Sugar

Yesterday was Granny Day. It’s been over a month since I went to visit her. I have had real conflicts thattuesday were difficult to overcome, but even so it makes me feel like a bad adopted granddaughter when I don’t get over to see her.

I think when you’ve been on the planet for over 91 years you shouldn’t have to wait for anything anymore. It should all just be handed to you on a silver platter. And it should be smothered with butter. And people should tell you you’re pretty and you get to do whatever you want and praised for it. But that’s just the way I see it.

My Granny has a different way of looking at things. The fact that I come to see her at all is enough for her. She never makes me feel guilty. She always thanks me for coming. She encourages me to take care of the things on my plate and I always feel loved. Always.

I think the reason granny is so accommodating, likely the reason I adopted her to begin with, is that she is happy with herself. She lives a life of integrity. She doesn’t smoke, drink or swear. She reads her scriptures every day. And whatever you choose to do, whether it’s what she chooses or not, well, she figures that’s none of her business. She is the ultimate example of live and let live. And I love her for it.

The thing about granny is that she likes herself, she enjoys her own company and if you’d like to join her, you’re welcome too.

oh sugarBecause my Granny doesn’t judge me, she doesn’t pressure me or make me feel obligated, because she simply loves me, I want to be more like her. I’ve even tried her preferred oath of “Oh sugar!” instead of my own, less palatable version. It hasn’t taken yet, but I’ll keep trying.

Granny never had children, her husband left her for another woman and she has spent much of her life alone. And yet she is not lonely. Granny is surrounded by a strong support system, people who have adopted her and friends who will support and help her.

While we are not biologically related, I pray that I will inherit the admirable characteristics of this lovely woman. I hope we all will.
me & granny

Cover Your Head Before God ~ A Poem

Cover your head before God.
Cover your head before God.
Cover your head before God.

Or he might notice you.
And offer you up
Like a Jonah to the whale.
And offer you up
Like a Job to the Devil.

Cover your head before God.
Cover your head before God.
Cover your head before God.

Or you might believe you’re too
Strong to fear such things.
Cover your head.
Before God.

An Ode To Idaho ~ Ten Things I Love

I have mentioned on many occasions that I am from a small town in Idaho. The State of Idaho is host in winter to the dry snows sportsmen adore and the terrain of summer  outdoor enthusiasts.

Idaho is a land of small communities, farmers, ranchers and an affection for simple living. At least that has been my experience.

As summer begins closing up shop and the angle of the earth shifts the shadows toward fall, I am in an Idaho State of mind. Here are ten things about her:

  1. Idaho is land of the free and home of the spud. No kidding. It’s called Spud Harvest, my home town had Spud Days and I
    http://www.crystelleboutique.com
    http://www.crystelleboutique.com

    know the 1985 Miss Russet personally. She’s awesome.

  2. When you’re from Idaho, you learn how to handle a crisis. I don’t know why this is, but I know for sure the best course of action in a crisis is to keep calm, put pressure on a wound and know how to make a crisis casserole for when company comes. If you’re in a crisis, call an Idahoan.
  3. Surely there are exceptions to the rule, but my experience is that Idahoans are down to earth. It’s about family, clean living and perhaps a sport or two.
  4. I can do a great British accent, I can even do a variety of them, but the down-home accent of Southeastern Idaho is elusive to me. I find it charming and homey.
  5. My children were angry at me for not raising them in Idaho. We would go and visit their grandparents where they would swim in the canal, feed the emus and walk into town. It was a happy place for them.
  6. I know it’s not true of every family, but there are some seriously large families in Idaho. Maybe it was more so when I was growing up, but it wasn’t uncommon for my friends to come from families of 8 or 9.
  7. Growing up in Idaho meant your Halloween costume should probably be something warm and furry because it was likelyidaho state fair you’d be trick-or-treating in the snow.
  8. I’m biased and I’ve only been to a few, but I contend that the Eastern Idaho State Fair is the best State fair in the U.S. I cannot speak for other countries.
  9. Many of the kindest women I know hail from small town, rural Idaho. They taught me how to love and serve and they taught me selflessness. These are things I cherish. And I owe it to Idaho.
  10. Every time we cross the border into Idaho we sing the State song. Loudly. And though we’ve always giggled about the words, “romance lies in her name,” for me, it’s not just an old fashioned song, it’s true.

 

 

 

To Adventure!

In the glorious days of summer, when my children were much younger, I used to take them camping and hiking regularly. This we would do without the company of Mr Dreamboat as he was always working. While it’s probably admirable that I did this with my kids, I’m a bit of a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of girl and things didn’t always go smoothly. The adage that we “learn by doing” is indeed true, but things get a little dicy that way.

tent trailerI recall one uncomfortable trip with the tent trailer. I was all about putting the thing up and down and hooking it to the Suburban and pulling it down the highway, it was in the backing up that I was rubbish. We’d had a lovely camping trip on the coast, Chase had eaten his fair share of sand (his diapers were tricky for days after) and we’d gone crabbing and eaten the bounties of the sea.

It was on the drive into town to return the crab pots that things went awry. There was no good place to turn the contraption around. I pulled into a larger parking lot, but I still had to back us up to get us out. And so I tried to do that. And I kept trying. And the more I tried the worse it got. Five kids in the car and a very high strung friend along for the ride… and it kept getting worse and I think if there’s actually a hell, we were temporarily in it.

embarrassedA generous older gentleman, seeing the comedy of errors as I kept pulling in, backing up, over correcting and starting again, asked if he could direct me. Of course! Thank you! I was so grateful. Until he started yelling at me. Which made my corrections worse. I’m not sure what he thought when I told him I thought we could do it just fine on our own. Of course we couldn’t, but he was upsetting me.

Fortunately his friend, who’d watched the entire scene, came out a few minutes later and finally delivered me from this pickle. He offered to actually do the backing. I jumped out of the rig like a mad woman fleeing a fire. He backed us up, clean as you please and we were on the road for home in a matter of minutes.

The thing is, as high as my blood pressure flew that day, as completely embarrassed as I was, I likely wouldn’t even remember the adventure if things hadn’t gotten… let us call them interesting.

Life isn’t supposed to be clean and easy. We don’t learn by doing things right the first time, every time. Our best stories aren’t about things that go smoothly. Our best material comes from the adventures. It is in failing that we learn to fly.

It’s Monday. It’s time to go out and make some magic. What adventure will you take yourself on this week?

start

Ten Things To Do On A Lazy Sunday

It is a lazy Sunday morning. I am writing this in my bed. I have many things to do today. So many things that get put on a back burner for another day. So many things at the top of the To Do List. They are time sensitive. They are overly sensitive. They should get over themselves.

Here are ten things I’d rather do than my overly, time sensitive obligations:

  1. The NY Times crossword on Sunday can easily chew up hours of my time. You Imageshould let it gnaw on yours.
  2. Brunch. It sounds fancy. It feels indulgent. Water cooler conversation on Monday morning; “So, Botilda, how was your weekend?” “Well, Donovan, we had a lovely Sunday brunch at the club. Thanks for asking.” Now that’s fancy.
  3. There is nothing more indulgent than a relaxed Sunday drive through the country. I will say though, that I LIVE in the country, and the Sunday drivers who believe that 40 mph is the new 55 mph really vex Mr Dreamboat when we’re trying to go somewhere.
  4. Moviefest with the fam! Pop the popcorn, put on your sweats and watch something funny. That’s how a lazy Sunday should roll.
  5. Perhaps if you’re that Sunday driver keeping me from my timely arrival, you should instead choose the Sunday stroll. That warm summer sun on your skin and preferably holding the hand of someone you love is the perfect lazy day choice.
  6. Technically I don’t usually shop on Sundays, but if you’re not restrictive in this form, Sunday thrifting and antiquing sounds divine.
  7. The Sunday afternoon nap. The mother of all great napping. It’s possibly the best choice of all lazy Sunday activities. Restorative, indulgent AND healthy. It’s a no-brainer.
  8. In keeping with the low key choices, Sunday Yoga is the perfect combo. Image
  9. Me, bare footed, on the grass, in the sun. Meditation. Yes, please.
  10. Anywhere, anything. As long as it’s with people you love. And maybe that’s just by yourself.

Like I said, I have things to do, but I’m hoping I can fit one of two of these in for myself.

What indulgence will you allow yourself?

Trouble In Dreamland

My life is weird. I wonder if everyone feels like their life is weird. Are there a few people out there who feel like their life is kind of going along on a prescribed path? Can it really be done?

I don’t know that I would change anything given the opportunity to do so, it’s just that I usually feel like I have to make it all up as I go along. It’s like I’m constantly on the road less traveled but I keep looking for signs to tell me where I am. If I’m working from the map of my youthful expectations, I am definitely lost.

This morning’s early morning nightmare is definitely an indication that I’m not in stable, psychological territory. A veritable hello-my-name-is-anxietyminiseries of a dream, I went from nudity in a crowded, hotel pool, to being kicked off my running team (perhaps the ugliest blow of all) to not being able to find the right elevator to get to my room (not to mention riding the elevator with the most judgmental people my little subconscious brain could muster). I think my brain is begging me to find some sure footing.

In an open letter to my suffering subconscious I would say these things:

The sure footing you’re looking for doesn’t necessarily lead you to the destination you desire.

Did you have to bring in needless public nudity? That’s so sophomoric.

 

And finally, quit being such a whiner, it’s not as difficult as you’re making it out to be.

As the anxiety of this dream is wearing off I’m choosing to take it as a good sign. What I believe my psyche is trying to tell me, though I can’t be sure, she’s always beating around the bush, is that we’re making progress. If I don’t know what I’m doing, if I’m uncomfortable, that’s all a very good sign. It’s a sign of growth. It’s a sign that I am taking risks.

My life really is weird. I never could have dreamed this stuff up as a youth, but it’s the good kind of weird. You know, like a maple/bacon bar. It’s the kind of life that keeps you laughing, risking, sometimes failing, but always so glad you’re living.

weird family

 

Demons In My Head

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paulorocker.deviantart.com

I’m having a bit of a crisis of faith. Faith in myself, that is. Over the summer, as my forward movement with my business has slowed down, the demons inside my head have turned up the volume on their undermining diatribe.

I’d give you a blow by blow, but it’s not that interesting. Truthfully they should get some new material. The same old, “Who do you think you are?” and “What do you have to offer that’s any different than what’s already being done?”, is just not as interesting as it used to be.

Now that I’m back home from the perpetual holidays of the summer, now that I’ve gotten back to the business of “doing” instead of the bothersome over-thinking we can get mired down in, I think I might have an answer for the demons.

What I’ve come to realize is that I’m not any more special than anyone else, nor do I have something different to say. To that end, who does?

What makes each one of us unique is not that we are bringing something new to this party, but that for the lifetime we inhabit, for this tiny moment on the spectrum of time, we are bringing a perspective and view and talents together in a way that is unique to us alone.

The way you look at the world, the way you express your love and your life is distinctly yours. It will never happen again just like this. Your desires, your passions, perhaps others have them too, but not like this. Not like you.

So,

Dear Demons:

You can shut up now. I’ve got things to do.

Love, Michelle