You Are Here

Yesterday began as any other Saturday for me. The alarm sounded before 6am. I avoided getting out of bed. Then rushed to leave the house and to arrive at and be set up for the Carolina Beach Farmers Market before eight o’clock. At the conclusion of market we broke down, had lunch with friends, unloaded the truck then headed to the couch and relaxation. On an ordinary Saturday my day would have ended there….on the couch!

I often think about, and occasionally will even voice, my lamentations over the life I used to have (full of fun as I recall) and the life I want to have (full of fun) and the life I am living (napping on the couch).

Yesterday, I broke with the norm and after a short nap I, although still tired, got up and got dressed and headed out to a Derby Party. We have been invited to the Derby Party for several years, we always want to attend, but it has conflicted with Mother’s Day. This year there was no such conflict.

Upon returning home last night, I was so glad I forced myself off the couch; Even though at the time I wanted to continue my nap. When I awoke this morning, I had a revelation booming in my head –

 

This is Your Life! You are here!

 

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/joelogon/

It might be nice to be able to look down at your feet and see a dot that said ‘You Are Here – Is this where you want/need to be?’ However, in real life we do not get these visual reminders. So we must remind ourselves that –

You can not live the life you want by dreaming, wishing, or imagining. Living the life you want requires action, engagement, and motion.

You see, I have been lamenting not having the life, experiences, et cetera I want while making excuses for why I can’t/won’t do the things necessary to have the life, experiences, et cetera I want. If I (or you) want to have a life full of more than napping on the couch, we must get off the couch and Do something!

The memories of all my fun times were made because I got off the couch and did something. My ideas of what will be fun are all of things to do and not napping on the couch.

What are you doing today?

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It’s a Clear Morning

Today we are painting at my house. There are three rooms that have not been painted in the time we have lived here and it is time for the ugly colors to go! Rest assured this is not a DIY blog, so stay with me.

We chose the one on the left

We went on Thursday night to acquire paint samples. We came home with three. Two we really liked and one that – well, another one. The two we liked were taped to the wall in the room to be painted. We stared and stared at the samples trying to determine which should adorn the room. We agreed on and answer. Then morning came and we again looked at the samples on the wall.

THEY LOOKED COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!

Sure it was the same colors from the night before but the sun shinning, the natural light; it changed the way they looked! We still decided to go with the same color (although the second made a strong comeback in the daylight).

This experience made me think of all the times and event or an argument, or one of life’s situations seemed to dire and dreadful at bedtime. Things that keep you awake all night with worry and fear. Only to be cleared away like storm clouds with the sunrise.  I’ve read articles about sleep which  indicate the brain does some sorting and filing while we’re sleeping, pulling together related information and storing it for future reference. Perhaps this is why things tend to look better in the morning. While we sleep our brain has had a chance to put all our scattered data together in one place to help us look more clearly at our situation.

It is hard for me to remember when I am in the grasp of the agony that like the paint samples, things will look different in the morning. Like painting a room we get to choose the color of our lives, we can choose to feed a dark color or a sad color or we can choose happy and bright. Just remember that the dark colors of the night often look brighter in the light of day!

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Dont You Dare Give Up

Some days it seems as if everything in the world is going against you. A salmon swimming up stream has an easier time reaching her goal than you’re having reaching yours.

I wish I had wonderful and expert advice to help you through those days. I wish there was a magic pill I could offer you that would make it all easier and better. I don’t.

What I can tell you is….

As hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once noted, you will always miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.

You must continue, even on the worst of days, if you want to succeed. So today, run in the rain, walk even thought it’s cold, read (or write) that book, practice that instrument – do whatever it takes to move you closer to your achievement. If you don’t give up, tomorrow will be better!

 

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Be Fearless

FEAR!  We all have it. We all are forced to face our fears from time to time. Whether it the spider who confronts you in your bedroom when no one else is around or the idea that something is wrong in your body and you fear life changing news. We all from time to time must face our fears.

How do you approach your fears?

I am embarrassed to report that recently I lived with, at times, excruciating pain for over two weeks because I was afraid of the diagnosis. My mind could imagine all sorts of truly life altering problems. Fortunately, once I faced my fear, the problem was relatively minor and easily fixed with medication. For many of us, this is how we face our fears. We avoid.

Last night I spent some time on the phone with a friend who was afraid. She was afraid of being alone outside on a night with little light. She imagined wild animals and bugs, she feared falling and being unable to have help. Was this an irrational fear? Probably, but it was nevertheless it was a fear that caused her to be unable to continue with what she needed to do.

How do you overcome fear?

1. Recognize the fear

2. Decide you are going to conquer the fear

3. Focus your attention

4. Step into the fear with abandon

5. Pat yourself on the back when it’s over

6. Notice how much easier it gets

Be fearless today!

 

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Action v Reaction

Yesterday morning it was early, I was tired. I didn’t want to be awake much less up and moving. Sitting at a red light I was engrossed in listening to my spouse relate a story about something, or another. Suddenly the car next to me started to go, and I, naturally, also started. Only after I had released my break and hit the gas did I realize that my light was still red and only the ‘leading green’ turn light had turned green.  I reacted to a perception (that my light was green) rather than taking informed action (confirming that my light was green BEFORE hitting the gas).

How often in our lives and careers, do we react without all the necessary information? We go with what we perceive to be what is happening around us rather than gathering all the facts for ourselves. We perceive a slight from a co-worker and just react. We think our boss has it in for us and we react. We interpret a friend’s comment as a slight and we react. We assume our spouses silence has ominous meaning and we react.

How many family relations, friendships, or careers have been destroyed by people who react without all the necessary information?

Sometimes the answer is as simple as taking the time to look around, to listen, or ask so that you can know the truth before you take action. Informed, rational, calm action can help you avoid a reaction that may ruin or damage a relationship.

 

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Time is limited – Don’t waste it

How often do you think, ‘I’ll do that when…..’ We have ever intention of practicing a musical instrument, or reading a book, or going for a run or even walking the dog but we end up waiting for some magical burst of motivation to make it happen. Perhaps, we are just so confident that there will be more time in our lives soon. Maybe we just live in perpetual procrastination. How do we snap out of it? How do we do the things we want to do?

I was pondering these questions yesterday when I received my breaking news text informing the world that Steve Jobs had died. I don’t think this news was particularly surprising to most people but it was somewhat disconcerting. You realize that if a man with as much innovation and forward thinking; a man with the money and resources, a man whose name is a household world can’t figure out how to survive, what hope could I possibly have?

The news gave me pause. I stopped what I was doing and took the time to stroll with my dog. I stated that book I’ve wanted to read. I took the time to live! What about you? Are you so busy that you are forgetting to live?

Take some time today and figure out what is important in your life. Than carve out the time to engage in that activity.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)

 

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