Hello Stranger…

It’s been a few days since posting up my blog. A hectic work schedule takes the blame. Not to say I haven’t been listening to the conversations around me. Seems many people are in the same boat. Overburdened. Within my circle of friends and colleagues its been a tough year. Many are struggling to make ends meet, dealing with illness, difficult family dynamics and loss. There comes a point of despair when it’s said, “Why me?” How do we find the joy of living when we are overburdened with dealing to live?  For sure, I don’t have answers to that level of mortality. But we can think about how to get through difficult times. Situations where all we have control over is our reaction. Many times we try to fight against our emotional responses. “I can’t deal with this right now” statements will bite you in the po po cause eventually… you WILL  have to deal with it all. In spades. Being uncomfortable with circumstances out of our control is the first step to unburdening yourself. There are many ways to start this process – prayer, meditation, talking, physical exercise and outward expression through the arts to list off a few.  The idea is not pushing aside your life but temporarily going with the flow of it. Giving yourself time to redirect and move forward with a clear mind. Accepting the current status quo not with defeat but impermanence. Knowing that within time everything can and will change. Maybe things will swing in our favor; maybe not. But we like everything else in this natural world belong to a ever changing chord of harmony. A chord sometimes filled with melodic visions of inspiration and joy. Other times dissent and jarring vibes of nothingness prevail. What we hope is that there is alittle of both to maintain the balance…the harmony… the peace within…the interest in living.  Keep your chin up, my friends.

When things are tough take 5-20 mins and unplug. Rest your mind. Breathe. Accept where are you today and embrace where you can be tomorrow.

I find great advice on dealing with everyday life through inspirational reading. One I really enjoy with a Buddhist slant: When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron

Hugs & wishes,

Brenda

~~Even in the darkest phase be it thick or thin, always someone marches brave here beneath my skin.~~

K.D. Lang

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New Habits Grow Slow…

Making a new habit stick is tough work. You would think in an age where multitasking is the norm changing a single behavior would be a snap. But this earthly goddess can’t tell how many times I’ve given up on something new. It gets too hard or  time consuming. I lost interest and decided life as I knew it worked better; regardless of the actual outcome. My life drifted this way for several decades.

My 40th birthday seemed a fitting time to reassess my goals both small to big, internal to external, emotional to physical. The map of my personal state was strewn around with little care like clothes in a teenager’s bedroom.  The time had come to clean things up and get some order. But where to start? I didn’t want to quick fix clean up and hide away the stuff that I believed couldn’t part without. For me that meant getting a plan. I needed time to really think about what I wanted  to accomplish. Put myself to the test of  was it 1) plausible 2) serving a  real purpose and 3) something I’d stick to for a long time.  Great! I had atleast created little piles of goals around me. But still where to start? I feel this step always tripped me up in the past. I jumped to the smallest pile. It was quick and easy. No problem! Problem was… I wasn’t in the right mindset yet. See there is something to knowing and liking who you are as a person. Really you know your true self best. Everyone else sees fractions of you. But you… know your story in and out. The foundation of your life starts with you. That structure has to be strong to support anything more you do in this life. Without it in tact things run the risk of failing.

So back to me…this time I started with the biggest pile “Me”. I was existing with parts of  myself , fractions. My first habit changing goal-  to add those fractions together I was living by and create a whole me. Cause I was not sure of myself anymore. It was a mountain of a task to face some shortcomings but it provided me my first set of habits to change. It put me to the test of being accountability to my first goal; Compile a whole me. That’s where I started my slow path to fixing my foundation. Taking time and action to understand, accept, get rid, forgive, applaud or modify parts of me that make Brenda.  Almost a year later and I’m feeling ready to tackle those smaller piles of goals. The next steps have new hurdles and changes afoot but they seem almost easier now to face. I got the tools to change the structure but my foundation is rock solid. Bring it!

18 Tricks to Make a New Habit Stick (c/0 quantumjumping.com)

1) Commit to 30 days – Oh yes!

2) Make it daily – Get that pattern down

3) Start simple – Build on baby steps

4) Remind yourself – Don’t forget your goal

5) Stay consistent – Make it a priority

6) Get a buddy – Talk to someone who will support you

7) Form a trigger – Something you do before the new habit to get your mind ready

8) Replace lost needs – Get a better bang for your new habit

9) Be Imperfect – Fall off the wagon; get yourself back on

10) Use “But” -Starting down negative thoughts? Use a “but” to change your mind to the reason for changing the habit

11) Remove temptation – Stay focused

12) Associate with Role Models – Good role models give you reason for good habits

13) Run it as an experiment – For 30 days test it out and make modifications. Don’t pass judgement if you fail.

14) Swish – Cool trick – See yourself doing the old habit. Visualize a swish pushing it away and replace with the new habit.

15) Write it down – Huge! Commit to your new habit

16) Know the benefits – Gives you more knowledge

17) Know the pain – Consequences of sticking to an old habit

18) Do it for Yourself – Most important!

Hugs & wishes,

Brenda

~~Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself~~
Leo Tolstoy

Giggle Yourself Silly…

Did you know that within  a few weeks newborns start smiling? Laughing within a few months? Expressing happiness and joy is innate to us. Even if you didn’t laugh much as a child you can still break out into a full on belly laugh like a pro.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RP4abiHdQpc

Laughter is free, requires little setup and completely portable. A simple laugh can boost your immune system. Relieve stress and tension. Strengthens emotional bonds between people.  It’s really the best medicine for what ails ya. Go ahead get playful! Take yourself less seriously. Smile. Count your blessings.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUZuV0xce3A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCIak-w0DOc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLwMrqFeaZg&NR=1

Change your perspective. Dinner talk tends to rotate around the happenings of the day. Focus tonight’s dinner conversation on, “What was the funniest thing that happened today”. Share a laugh over it.

Hugs & wishes,

Brenda

~~An optimist laughs to forget, a pessimist forgets to laugh~~

Ice Ice Baby…

Hump Day Wednesday! It’s time to read this after the kiddies are sweetly tucked away in bed.

Girl Talk turns to a few ways to stay cool when it’s hot in the sanctuary of love. Just cause the temperatures outside match the heat between you and your lover doesn’t mean it’s time to call off the play. Get creative! Here are some ideas.

Tried and True: Become a romantic starving artist and trace the contours, hills and valleys of your mate’s body.  Warm up the path of cool water left behind with your tongue.  Remember not to leave an ice cube in one spot for too long. This isn’t a polar plunge.

Nostalgic: Menthol has a cooling effect. Sucking on a mint gives a little arctic blast in your mouth. Or suck on a Popsicle before kissing your loved one.  Explore some good old-fashioned making out sessions. Kissing is really a lost art. Tap into your arsenal of puckered lip affections to bestow on one lucky lover.  Spark up those stomach butterflies with some passionate kissing on a porch swing one evening.

Something Inventive: Chill marbles and use them as a massage tool. Rubbing them over your partner’s body more sensitive and fleshy areas. Follow up with kisses.

Skillful: Pull your object of desire into the shower or tub with you. Set the temperature to cool and let you body heat warm things up.

Zen like: Place a quiet fan to cool you as you get it on. Let it oscillate back and forth to create mutual chills.

Love Child: In private. Strip down and don just a daisy in your hair. Continue with whatever you want, read a book, fold the laundry, lay on the bed, tease your lover. Atleast you will be cool. 🙂

Don’t complain when the mercury rises. Think of it as an opportunity to break out of the norm and have some sassy fun!

Hugs & wishes,

Brenda

~~“It’s not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on.”~~

–Marilyn Monroe

Check Please…

The Ancient Egyptians believed at the time of death a person’s heart was the key to the Afterlife. It was one of the only organs never removed from the body during mummification. At the gates of the Afterlife  the jackal headed god, Anubis, oversaw the judgement of the person’s soul. Thoth, the scribe to the gods at the ready to record the outcome for eternity. The heart counterbalanced against a simple feather, symbolizing truth, order and justice, on a lager than life scale. Perfectly balanced the deceased was reborn into the Afterlife. Thoth recording the person had lived a life of  honesty, accountability and action for good.  Scales tipped below the feather meant not eternal damnation but cease of existence; an endless void. The heart of the ill willed devoured instantly by the tri-mutated beast, Ammit. The heart and the body never reunited to rest in peace; a terrifying fate for an Ancient Egyptian.

Even though this symbolic ritual is thousands of years old, how well we, as Modern-era examples, can relate.

Really it’s a simple thing to live a life balanced against the “feather”. However no longer as a people is that allegorical balance held so close to our thoughts. What would you have as the counterweight on the judgement scales? Are there items such as accountability, honesty, compassion, empathy humility, and knowledge? When you have wronged do you learn or forget?  Do you fear the consequences?

Do you lead a life with a good heart?

The heart. What is it?

A needed organ to keep us alive and whole.

A symbol of love.

An action of good will.

Lead a life through a good heart.

Take care of your body. This complex yet fragile vessel needs nourishment and exercise.

Take care of those you love. Be patient, understanding, protective and nurturing in your thoughts, words and actions.

Take care of the people you meet during your day. Make your actions more about them and less about you.

A good heart makes you live…

Hugs & wishes,

Brenda
~~The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it. ~~

Anonymous

Poetry to Express such a Beautiful Day….from my great grandmother

IN PRAISE OF WALKING 

Aeroplanes see country
Like a checkered spread,
Rainbow-patterned, distant,
Covering earth's bed. 

Motor cars look closer,
Road and town are heard,
Wooded hill and meadow
Scarcely say a word. 

But to know the country,
Walk a blossoming lane,
Listen to earth singing,
Touch spring's counterpane.

By Edith Lombard Squires

Picture perfect days are few up here in Upstate NY. Get outside and saturate your senses with the day's beauty!

Hug & wishes,
Brenda

~~Beauty is power; a smile is its sword. ~~
Charles Reade


Goddess Pick of the Week…HerRochester.Com

Recently I was interviewed for an article running in HerRochester.com. Quite frankly I had never heard of the online publication. Curious, I put to the inquiring  journalist some background dynamics on the site. After our business was completed, I went to check it out. Instantly impressed! Published by the local newspaper, Democrat & Chronicle, it is targeted to women ages 30-50 yrs old. Clean and easy to read at a glance. The site hits upon meaningful topics across the age bracket. Articles on gardening, art, music, role models, job advice, mom tools, beauty, budgeting, financial planning, conservation, etc.  I felt like I was reading a new recipe I wanted to try out tonight.

Woman’s Dish

Start with a base of Good Sense.

Mix in some Job Secrets to Success.

In a separate bowl combine Mothering Skills and next 100 ingredients til  Beauty Regimes.

Beat til it doubles in size creating Superwoman.

Gently fold into first bowl.

Place in a Happy Home dish.

Bake at HerRochester.com til it feels right.

Garnish with some Expert Advice.

Serves Everyone.

To see for yourself – http://www.democratandchronicle.com/section/HERROCHESTER/Her-Rochester

Hug & wishes,

Brenda

~~Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening’, and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.~~

One-liner

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