Archives for category: nature

I had the pleasure of attending a women’s healing circle on Friday night.  We met to share fellowship and gather strength from each other as we enter the holiday season.  The guest speaker for the night was a student of Buddhism and teaches meditation to the community.  She gave us many insights and tools for coping with our holiday schedules and relationships.  It was a wonderful night where complete strangers came to know each other as friends by gathering in a circle and sharing our thoughts about life.  

One of the most powerful meditations we practiced that night was to see each other not just as women, but to see each other as the light of the universe, in the form of a woman.  So, through the meditation, we gazed around the circle, acknowledging this light in each other.  It was so beautiful and moving.

I started to think about what it would be like to look for this light in each person you encounter through your day.  What kind of vision do you need to be able to see this light?  I don’t think its anything special.  It’s just a practice of looking for the beauty and light in someone before you see the other stuff.  You are recognizing something in them that comes from a much deeper place.  When you acknowledge this light in them, you see that the two of you are really connected by the same source.  It’s a great experiment.  In this way, we see that we are all brothers and sisters of a larger universal family.  ♥

Try this experiment for yourself.  How does it make you feel to see this beautiful light in a total stranger?  What kind of light do you see in yourself?

Yesterday as I was rushing down the sidewalk to meet a friend for lunch, I noticed my shadow!  I had my iphone in hand and was taking photos of the leaves.  They are finally changing colors and I was happy to see them in all their glory.  Seeing my shadow on the sidewalk made me think about what our shadows say about us.  Obviously, they change in different clothing, light, and actions, but what can you determine about yourself from investigating your shadow…

So, looking at the shadow you see here, what do you think about this woman?  I was immediately struck by her foundation.  It is broad and strong.  She is sturdy.  She looks as if she could easily withstand a hurricane or earthquake.  Her handbag is also big!  She must be carrying the world in that thing.  It also looks like she is prepared.  You just know that inside this bag there is bound to be anything required to remedy a crisis.  Her arms are strong.  They are not only carrying this giant bag, but they are propelling her forward in life.  They are “can do” arms, capable and trustworthy.  Last, I see her head and hair.  It has movement.  One side seems to be flying backward in the breeze, while the other side is seductively curling under.  She is relaxed in the breeze and feminine at the same time.

Going a step further, I realize that I have just described myself and it makes me laugh!  It am absolutely sturdy.  My frame is built to withstand storms.  I always carry the biggest handbag.  It does contain everything under the sun.  It supplies me and anyone around with life’s little necessities.  My arms are also strong and capable.  Believe me, many times I’ve asked why do I have such big arms…now I know that they are what’s pushing me forward in life.  Finally, the head is absolutely me.  I am feminine and I do appreciate the carefree moments in life.  Who knew we could gain so much insight just by examining our shadows!

What kind of shadow do you cast?  Try this experiment with your own shadow, you can give me the details later.  What do you see? ♥

You know when you get a cut or bruise, you stop to clean the wound and put a band-aid on it, because you want it to heal in a speedy way and without infection.  You check in on your wound throughout the healing process.  You change the band-aid, apply additional medicine, soak it…whatever it takes to advance the healing process.  By the end of a week or a month, depending on the wound, you are up and running!  The body is so great that way, it has the ability to heal itself.  It just takes some care and nurturing to assist the process.

What about an emotional wound?  How do you assist the healing process of an emotional wound?  This is a big subject.  I mean, many of us do not even realize that we are emotionally wounded.  So we walk around with this hidden wound.  It causes us pain, but because we are not acknowledging this wound, it festers and gets deeper.  Just as if it were a cut or scrape that got infected.  It becomes more and more tender and the pain increases, until there is an explosion.  Emotional wounds are no different from physical wounds.  They impede us in our development if we don’t assist them in the healing process.  I know this, because I carry some big emotional wounds.  I see that by not acknowledging them, I am actually making them worse.  So, how do I nurture them?

The first step toward healing is to acknowledge that you have this wound.  Take a minute and talk to yourself as if you are talking to a friend and really listen to the pain you have been carrying.  This is probably the hardest step, but the most important.  Next, you will have to clean this wound.  I’m thinking of bodywork, massages, yoga, or physical comforting of yourself.  Treat yourself as you would a close friend.  Be patient and gentle with your body and feelings.  Take time to release these feelings.  Write them down, cry about them, just slowly let go of them.  It is going to take some time, especially if you have been carrying this wound for a long while.  Finally, check in with this wound.  Over time, after repeated care and nurturing, you will see the wound is healing.  You will know it has healed, when you or someone else acknowledges the wound and you no longer feel the pain.  You will be able to talk about it as an event in the past and you will finally be free.  ♥

Do you have an emotional wound that needs to heal?  Is it keeping you from living your life fully?  What ideas do you have about your healing process?  

I was out for dinner with a friend last week and we started discussing our life’s events.  We met someone new at the place and through our conversation he posed a wonderful question.  How do we know when we are living the good times? This question was so good, that we all just sat there, silent for a moment, trying to come up with some ideas for an answer.  You know what?  Not one of us came up with a good suggestion.

I started to think about what defines “a good time” in life.  It’s starts by reviewing the events of your life.  It can be by ages, relationships, jobs, living situations, whatever comes to mind.  You will get an overall feeling for that period of time.  It can be good, bad or just indifference.  Once you have the overall feeling, look deeper at the reasons for the feeling.  For example, if you were really happy in your 20’s, you might see that you had an active social life or you were traveling a lot.  There will be details that make this period of time great.  This theory works for the reverse also.  If you were miserable, was it because you were unemployed or fighting with your spouse?  You see my point.

Now, go a step further, take the details of the feeling of happiness and apply it to your current life.  Do you see any similarities?  In this way, we are able to identify good times as they are currently happening.  What I found interesting about this experiment is that the details of my life that lead to happiness were very small moments, strung together.  I wasn’t always in the perfect circumstances, but daily or weekly there were little moments of joy that became a chain of happiness.  ♥

Perform your own experiment for identifying the good times.  Once you learn to recognize happiness, you might be living the good times right now!

I heard someone say the other day that love is all around you.  I’m thinking to myself, what does he mean?  Where is the love?  What does it look like?  Why do I have such a hard time seeing it?  I was looking for my idea of love.  You know, the image I have in my mind of what love looks like.  But, what does love ACTUALLY look like?

Love is about connection. It’s not just the connection between two people in love.  It is an energy that is passed from one person to another, it’s a feeling.  For me, love feels warm and peaceful.  It’s like looking at a great painting, it always makes me stop and take a breath.  Love can be small.  Its movement is delicate and unspoken.  Look for the action that love generates.  When a mother holds her child’s hand… When a friend greets you with a hug…  When your spouse gives you his coat because you are cold…  You see that love really is all around us.

Love isn’t just for the people you know, it’s there for your fellow-man.  Love can pass between strangers on the street.  I once saw an older man fall while walking along the river in downtown Manhattan.  It was dark and his knees were bad and he literally could not get up.  A younger man, turned and saw what had happened, then quickly picked up the fallen man and set him on his way.  That was love in action.  It was very beautiful to see.  I couldn’t help thinking, that we are all here for each other in life, just at different stages.

Practice looking for the love around you in the world.  Let me know what you see.  You will be surprised at how rich your world is with love. ♥

The world is full of people facing tough times, especially these days.  I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to love and support someone through tough times.  It’s easy to share the laughs and celebrations, but what happens when someone you love suffers illness or hardship, you know, Tough Times…

Tough times bring with them big life lessons accompanied by strong emotions.  I’m thinking of anger, sadness, jealousy, guilt, shame, and there are a bunch of others.   How do we love someone who is facing all of that?  I’ve lived through some difficult situations myself, and I was humbled by the people who stepped up to see me through the storm.  These are the ways they were there to lift me up.

They sacrificed for me.  A good friend knows how to sacrifice for the sake of others.  There are times where you will need to give MORE of yourself and your resources than others.  You must give to your friend freely, without thought of repayment.

They didn’t judge me.  Of course, in hindsight, it’s always easier to see where we went wrong.  The decision or decisions that lead to the tough situation some how becomes clear after the fact.  A good friend is just present for you, without judgement.  You will do enough judging of yourself, you don’t need someone else to do it for you.

They were honest with me.  Remember, we talked before about friends being able to see your situation more objectively.  They are going to tell you the truth.  Believe me, it’s not always easy to hear.  A good friend is willing to risk your anger, in order to tell you the truth.  Later, after your situation has calmed down, you will be grateful they had the courage to tell you the truth.

They made my friendship a priority.  Once you see a friend is in need, you will have to make a point to check on them regularly.  It doesn’t have to be 24/7 support, but calling or stopping by more than usual is necessary.  People in tough times isolate themselves.  They don’t want to face the problem or the people they hurt, so they shut out the world.  A good friend is able to see through the isolation and bring them back into the world, by making their friendship a priority.

How do you define friendship in tough times?   How do you reach out to others when the tough times belong to you?♥

 

P.S.  My Mom and I worked on this entry together.  She had some excellent points and I thank her for sharing all her words of wisdom.

The dictionary defines collaboration as “to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor”.  Collaboration in my world of fashion means that all parties involved in making the garment from design through production are putting their best collective effort into making a fantastic garment.  I absolutely love when this happens!  I regularly walk through the department stores looking at the garments that I have worked on in the development process.  Occasionally, more often than not, I end up purchasing something because I know that every person who touched this garment in the development process did a superior job.  These garments are like little works of art to me.  They are an example of collaboration at it’s best.

Collaboration, for me, is surrounding myself with people who are better than I am, in any situation.  Do you know why?  Because they elevate me.  It’s so simple.  I want to be around people and environments that push me to the next level.  This can be in a work situation or in a personal situation.  The power we have when sharing ideas and working together as a group is limitless…

How does collaboration fit into your life?  Do you see it as a benefit?  Have you grown from these experiences?  I would love to hear some stories…

Ok people,  I feel the need to elaborate on yesterday’s post about THE LIST!  I’d like to tell you about my list.  Here goes…

I have been carrying around a small piece of paper in my wallet for the past 10 years with all the characteristics that I am looking for in a potential partner.  My written list has about 25 items and it is in detail.  I have an additional list in my mind that is laminated.  By laminated, I mean it is built to last and not too flexible!   I prop it up next to me (hypothetically, of course!) every time I am in a social situation where I am meeting someone new.  With in the first few minutes of talking with someone, I simultaneously check my mental list.  I’m telling you that there are very few men who can meet this list.  Yet, I continue to carry it with me, like a shield of armor to keep people away.  This is so hard to admit, as I would like nothing more than to welcome love into my life.  In addition, now you know just how crazy I am!

Here’s the funny part, my last boyfriend had 90% of all the qualities I was looking for on my written list!  The laminated mental list was another story.  You know what, it still wasn’t enough!  Sadly, we had to part ways.  I’m telling you this because THE LIST is flawed.  There is a certain amount of magic about love.  It isn’t always going to appear in the form you’ve described in your list.  If you never look up from your list, you might miss some pretty magical people…  

Let go of THE LIST.♥

P.S.  I am going to tear up my written list and melt my laminated mental list… I will keep you posted!

I was watching Dr. Drew yesterday.  He has a show on TV called Life Changers.  He talks mostly about relationships, from the male perspective.  It’s kind of interesting, as we are all so used to watching women talk about their issues all the time.   Anyway, the theme of the show yesterday was dating makeovers.  He took a man and a woman and he showed them how to meet and date in a positive way.  It was interesting, because both of them were working from THE LIST.  You know a list of requirements that we all have when searching for a potential mate.  

SO, he did an experiment, where he used the man’s list, (ex: single, over 5’11”, willing to cook for me, etc) to eliminate the female audience members until he had found a “perfect” match for the man.  It was so funny, even in the small audience sample, he narrowed his choices to 2 women within the first three items on the list.  Everyone in the audience started to laugh!  He hadn’t even gotten to the heart of his list and he had already eliminated a large majority of his potential dates.

THE LIST has to go!  It keeps your mind closed to the hundreds of potential partners that would share their love.  We’ve got to be open to other people as a whole, to investigate and really see what they are like inside, before we can decide if they are good for us.  Let go of the list the next time you meet someone new.  Just get to know them as they are and see what develops.  You might be surprised!

Well, let me just jump right in… I am human, I make mistakes and much to my dismay, I hurt people.  The last part, about hurting people is the worst of all.  You know why I do all of these things?  Because I am human and imperfect.

When I realized that I was on the executive board of the Perfectionist Corporation, I was horrified.  I mean, the first commandment of Perfectionism, is that you don’t make mistakes, therefore you can’t hurt anyone.  Perfectionism also keeps you from living life fully.  I mean, you can’t just go and be in the world, what if you make a mistake or the wrong choice?  So perfectionism is isolating.

When you recognize that YOU are only human, you also have to recognize that your friends and loved ones are human also.  So, they are going to hurt you.  They are going to make mistakes and display unflattering characteristics.  You will have to accept them for who they are, just as you will have to accept yourself as you really are…warts and all!  You will have to just open your heart and love, without the perfection.  This statement is so huge for me.  I mean, I just recently acknowledged my deep roots in the Perfectionist Corporation.  I see that my allegiance to this group keeps me stuck and isolated from people and places that are very enriching.

The beauty in all of us as human beings, is that we are perfect in our imperfection.  We are unique.  Loving the whole, instead of the just the perfect parts, leads to greater understanding and peace.  I wish this for all of you, but mostly I wish this for myself…as it has taken me a long time to get here.♥

P.S.  for all of you who I have hurt, knowingly or otherwise, I am sorry.

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