vision

A New Perspective

I noticed I was getting a bit bored with my normal walking route lately. So I decided to try doing the route in the opposite direction.

This woke up my senses! It was a completely different set of scenery. The trees, the road, the creek, the traffic… everything seemed fresh and new!

When I took the usual route I came from the opposite direction and was on the opposite side of the road. I never noticed how much the small trees that lined the north edge of my neighbor’s property had grown over the past year.

I also noticed that this route seemed to be ALL up hill. No kidding. And, I found that my mind didn’t wander as it would when I walked my usual route.

I began to wonder about the many things I do a certain way just because that’s how I’ve always done them.

I think about the many times I would drive to and from work and not remember any part of the drive. I was so in my head that I was totally on auto pilot.

That sounds like it would be good, right? But what about life? Am I going through life on auto pilot? Am I so stuck in the past or worried about the future that I’m not paying attention to the life that’s happening right now?

I love routine. It brings me comfort.

I love that my husband gets out of work at 4:30 most days and will be home shortly thereafter. We have dinner by 7pm, talk about our days and discuss what’s happening tomorrow.

By 10pm, I’m on my way to bed as my husband attempts to stay awake to watch the Twilight Zone at 11pm, he doesn’t always make it. Although this may sound boring to some, this routine is comforting for me.

But there are routines that are downright boring for me. For example, a few years ago I was working with someone on my business. They advised me that I should set up my coaching business like any regular 8-5 business with an hour off for lunch.

I did that for a while, got totally bored and rebelled. One of the reasons that I decided to start my own business was so that I could set my own hours.

For years as a dental hygienist, I had to work the schedule the doctors set, usually 9-5, 8-4 or 7-3.

What I notice is that I am happiest when I set my own schedule. Sometimes I don’t sit down to work until the afternoon. Other times I have woken up in the middle of the night and answered emails or sat down to write at 7am or 8pm or on the weekend.

I am learning to trust my instinct and do what feels right to me.

By following a different route or a different way of doing those things we do often, we have a chance to look at things from a whole new perspective.

That’s another reason why I LOVE collaboration. There have been many times I have changed my opinion simply because I was open to hearing someone else’s take.

Listen to what others have to say and then, trust your gut. Choose what brings you comfort and joy but try changing your routine even just a little from time to time.

You might find that’s all you need to add a little spark and a new perspective to your life.

Our Father Who Art In Heaven

“God is always for us and never against us.”
Dr. Michael Beckwith."
As a little girl, I loved to go to church. I was raised in a small country church and the people became (and still are) like family to me. In Sunday school, I loved to read and act out the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, Jonah and the whale among others.Of course, we read stories about Jesus too. But my “kid” mind thought that what was even more amazing than Jesus rising from the dead was that He was born on Christmas and had grown into an adult by Easter three months later! I did figure it out as I got older.

My “kid” mind also believed that God was an old man with a white beard looking down on me from the sky. That’s where Heaven is, isn’t it? Up in the sky? Up there, where it’s all rainbows and unicorns. And Hell is down somewhere, maybe in the center of the earth?

I believed if I was good and followed the rules then I would go to Heaven with all of the good people. And if I was bad and broke the rules I would go to Hell where it’s really hot and I would burn and be miserable forever.

Of course my “kid” mind decided that I definitely wanted to go to Heaven. I love rainbows and unicorns, burning in fire, not so much.

As I got older, I wanted to learn more about the white-bearded man in the sky.

I’ve read numerous books by well known spiritual teachers such as Eckhart Tolle, Neal Donald Walsh, Rob Bell and Marianne Williamson. I’ve taken numerous Bible study classes and have had and listened to many hours of conversations with spiritual and Biblical scholars and teachers.

After all of the research and time I have spent pondering the tough questions, I have come to believe one thing for sure. God is NOT a white-bearded man that sits in the clouds and judges every little thing I do.

I don’t remember exactly when I first considered the idea of God not being a figure in the sky. I do know this concept through me for a loop. Everything I had believed as a child was suddenly being questioned. On the other hand, it felt right and I thirsted to learn more.

I can’t tell you who or what God is. I am still on my quest. But I will tell you that I believe my journey is about creating a relationship with God. And I don’t believe it will be complete in my lifetime.

Take a look at your “kid” mind beliefs. Do they still ring true for you today? Do your own research. Talk to people you trust and admire. Read books. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should believe. Use YOUR wisdom. TRUST that still small voice inside.

I know that if we continue to look for God, we will find Him… or Her. I invite you to join me on this journey. May we travel with love, open hearts and patience as we uncover our way to God.

Power Through Pain

I was diagnosed with shingles around Thanksgiving. While the blisters have long since gone, it is taking longer for the pain to completely dissipate. My doctor informed me that I could have residual pain for up to a year. (For more information about shingles go to http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/shingles/shingles-topic-overview)

While I would not wish this illness on anyone, it brought some lessons that have been life changing.

Because I had shingles over the holidays, I told myself that I would hunker down and take good care of myself. My plan was that when the first week in January came, I would get back to work and my normal routine. However, my body had something else in mind.

I found that even though the pain had lessened and I was able to take less pain medication, my stamina was low. I was fatigued by 3pm and even if I took a nap, I was exhausted by 7pm.

I was frustrated and wondered what was wrong with me. After all, I “should” be better by now because I had taken good care of myself. Right?

My mind was full of useless internal (and some external) whining. I was thinking about how this wasn’t fair… I was afraid because I needed to get back to work because money doesn’t grow on trees… I began thinking that my family probably thinks I’m a slacker and I just need to suck it up…yada, yada, yada…

Suddenly I could hear Eckhart Tolle’s words ringing in my ears. What if I totally accepted how I felt each moment, no stories, no pity party, no internal dialogue? What if there was no place I needed to be? What if I was exactly where I “should” be?

For that day, I decided to clear my head of all the “shoulds” and judgments. I simply did what I could and what felt right.

And here’s what happened, I connected with a colleague and a friend on the phone, created a good portion of a workshop, ate a delicious and nourishing breakfast and lunch, washed, folded and put away a load of laundry, dusted and vacuumed the living room, showered and wrote this.

As soon as the pressure to be somewhere else was gone, I was free to be exactly where I was. I realized that a lot of my fatigue was caused by me not accepting how I was feeling.

I also realized this is how I do life, I fight it. I worry about what others think. I’m always trying to figure out what will make those around me happy. I battle between what I want to do and what I feel I “should” do. It’s a constant fight, no wonder I’m tired.

By accepting what is, there is nothing to push against. And by listening to my own inner wisdom, I empower myself and rely less on the approval of others. As a consequence, it frees up a lot of mental and physical energy.

Needless to say, this feels great. And this way of being has to be more conducive to healing.
It’s clear this is something that’s simple and powerful but not always easy. And I will continue to practice.