Archives for posts with tag: friends

Oh dear, I broke my toe this week…  I didn’t even know it happened!  You know how sometimes, you just bang your foot against a door or piece of furniture?  You make the necessary motions to acknowledge the pain.  I’m  laughing thinking about this.  It happened on Monday morning.  I was so focused on all that I needed to accomplish that week, I didn’t even flinch really.  I just kept right on going.  Of course wearing the wrong shoes and then going in and out of the subway about 50 times.  You see where I’m going with this right… Denial.

So, when I finally made it home, and took off my shoe, I saw the most pitiful sight.  My poor toe was purple, swollen, and looking slightly out of joint.  The only thought that came into my head was… how am I going to make it through all of my appointments with this swollen, non functioning toe?  I gave her NO down time…

I Googled “broken toe”.  I know you are laughing right now.  Seriously, I think Google is the high priestess of the everyday situation.  Since I was clearly not going to the doctor, Google would have to suffice.  This is when the interesting thing happened.  I discovered the “buddy toe”.  It makes me laugh just thinking about it.  When your toe is broken, you tape it to the toe next to it, “the buddy”, to provide stability until the healing process can finish.   So, I taped the broken toe to its buddy and continued on with my week.  The ship kept sailing, so to speak.

The buddy toe got me thinking about how some of us are wounded in life and keep going.  There is no time to stop.  We have to be the functioning wounded.   We don’t even acknowledge our wounds, for fear they will keep us from participating in life.  It can be draining to carry these wounds in and out of our days.  What if we were to “tape” ourselves to a “buddy” while this wound is healing?  I am thinking of someone in your life who is functioning and capable of being strong for both of you.  You infuse yourself with the strength and energy of the other until you are able to go on your own,  just like the buddy toe.

Think about it… give yourself the gift of the “buddy toe” when you need it and share your “strong toe” with another when you are able.  The healing process will strengthen you both… ♥

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I was out with friends the other night to see an off-Broadway play.  Broadway plays are performed in the big theaters that hold 500 seats or more.  Off-Broadway plays are performed in smaller more intimate theaters all over the city.  Visiting these theaters is sometimes as good as seeing the play, as many of them are full of great architecture and character.  

This night was all impromptu.  My friends called last-minute to ask if I would join them to see this play written by their friend.  I immediately said yes and our adventure was under way.  When we arrived at the theater, we took the “sketchy” elevator to the 4rth floor.  The doors opened to this cozy living room with deep couches and an antique bar.  After a glass of wine, we all entered the room that held the stage.

The play itself was dark and heavy, but even though there were no big sets or props, we were all instantly transported into the world dreamed up by the author.  It was amazing to see this snippet of another world created in the simplicity of an old theater.  As the play finished, we all acknowledged the great acting and writing.

Stepping out to catch the elevator down, the unexpected happened.  The elevator was out of service, so we needed to take the stairs down to the street.  As my friend opened the door to the stairs, I saw the most intricate and beautiful staircase!  It was an iron cylinder with spiral, marble stairs wrapping their way down around it.  WOW! I mean it was amazing.  I spent the good part of the next 20 minutes trying to capture it with my iPhone camera.  The detail and design were so unique.  Even the aging process of the marble, iron and brass came together to make so much beauty.

This lovely, old staircase made me think that life is unexpected.  Around the corner of your everyday routine, there can be so much magic and beauty, we just have to appreciate and share it.  Remembering to stop and appreciate the unexpected things that appear on your path in life is another way to live in the moment and really cherish life.  The next time you encounter the beauty of something unexpected, stop and absorb its magic… ♥

So…    as I grew up in a very small town, in a rural community, I am by geography a farmer.  Now, living in the big city, I still try to dig in the dirt as much as possible.  I have a small garden on my patio, that I prune, plant and water.  I have the most gorgeous rose growing in a pot.  Its the kind of rose that gives these rouge colored flowers.  I live to see this thing blooming.  It starts to give blooms around May of every year and keeps producing well  into October.  She is a fellow spirit of mine and she gives me so much joy.

This summer was a hot one and during the middle of July, my gorgeous rose started to die!  I had to prune away more than half of her arms.  I cut them way back, almost too far…  I was thinking to myself that I might lose my gorgeous friend.  I continued to water and care for her, just as I would if she were healthy.  This morning as I went outside to check the plants, to my surprise, she was back in full swing.  The arms that I had so aggressively cut back were almost completely regrown!  They were also full of new blooms.  You can imagine my delight…

The rose made me think of how we all go through periods of rebirth in life.  I have had quite a few.  I’ve seen people I love go through some tough ones as well.  It seems very dark during that “pruning” process.  Letting go of the parts of ourselves that die off is a natural process.  You know what?  It frees up our energy to birth something totally new.  That is the beautiful miracle of rebirth.

What kind of rebirth do you experience in your own life?

I read this great quote the other day about influence, “the key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority”, by Kenneth Blanchard.  It is a thought provoking quote.  I’m assuming the author is speaking of business relationships, but what about your personal circle of influence?

My wheels are turning at this thought…  Webster’s defines the verb form of influence as:  the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways.  What I like about this definition is the use of the word intangible.  It’s not something we can touch, but it effects us just the same.  So many things influence us in our daily lives.  Imagine writing down every possible way we are influenced throughout our day.  I think you would need a lot of paper!

There are both good and bad influences.  Most importantly, people are influencers.  The people you surround yourself with can change you and it’s not always positive or apparent immediately.  It can be cumulatively destructive.

I like to surround myself with people who are better than me, not in the material sense, but the spiritual sense.  They carry good energy.  I can learn from them and they influence me, just by being themselves in the world.  I have grown so much in my life by having them around and I am grateful for their gift of friendship and love.

Think about your circle of influence.  How do you influence others?  How are you influenced?  Make your circle a beautiful ball of light that is both lifting and lifted in your world. ♥

This is a difficult one to write, so it must mean I should keep going.  They always say, if you are afraid to do something, that means you MUST do it.  Here goes…    Can anyone really be OK with alone?  

There are times in life when you are just alone in it.  It’s quiet, not the quiet I wrote about yesterday, but seriously quiet.  It can be when you first move away from home, when your kids move out of the house, when you divorce, when your spouse or pet dies.  There are any number of reasons for this to occur, but you feel it.  There is no one at the door or in the kitchen when you arrive at the end of the day.  You see it, right?

Alone usually comes with a big transition in life, as the examples I mentioned above.  When you find yourself in the middle of this alone, how do you fill up your time?  The obvious things come to mind, like friends, neighbors, classes, projects, travel, etc.  The more you schedule, the less time you have to realize that you are alone!  Mostly, I think it’s about reaching out so that people know you are alone.  You may need additional phone time or drop by visits from your friends until you are through the transition.  What keeps you from feeling alone when you are not engaged in your schedule?  I started to write for this very reason and I have been both surprised and delighted by the community of bloggers who are there to share the journey with me.

Even more than that, I’ve had to learn that alone is OK.  This is a huge statement.  We spend so much of our lives trying to find that perfect partner or situation, so we will be guaranteed there is no alone.  One way or another, life will hand you alone time.  The relationship you have with yourself is what’s most important.  Learning to be your own friend and feeling loved and cared for by YOU, is one of the best skills you can have in life.  What does alone feel like for you?  How can you develop that relationship with yourself?  ♥

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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