Archives for posts with tag: values

How many times in life do you find yourself praying and hoping for a dream to be fulfilled?  You find yourself lost in the thought of how you are going to achieve this dream.  You know, the strategy… you try to work it!

“If I did this or I acted this way, if I was available or not available, if I followed up or didn’t follow up…”  the list goes on and on depending on the outcome your are trying to achieve. What I notice about all this strategy is an element of control.  We try to control the situation and affect it to achieve the outcome that is the most desirable for us.  There it is, the problem… control.

Notice how you feel in your body when you are trying to control a situation.  For me, my neck and jaw are the truth.  If my neck is killing me and my jaw hurts, you better believe that I’m trying to control a situation.  I’m laughing just thinking about this!  It’s so obvious…

Believing in a power greater than yourself requires a willingness to release control and have faith that the events in your life are unfolding for your greater good…

Practice adding those three words to your daily meditations.  Notice how you feel when you hope for something that is for your greater good.  For me, it’s  a well of peace.  Experience it for yourself. ♥

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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?

In today’s society we have a lot of distractions.  We are bombarded with sounds, images, people, traffic, media, you name it!  Sometimes all this stimulation is invigorating.  It both inspires and entertains us with its variety.  Other times all these distractions can be destructive, because it keeps you from hearing your own voice.  We need some time to sit in the quiet in order to reconnect with ourselves.

Being in the quiet is not as easy as it sounds.  Try an experiment.  Turn off all phones, televisions, computers, lights, etc.  Whatever you would normally have going as you move through your day.  Now try just spending a few moments with this quiet.  At first, you might think you’re going to have a mini-breakdown.  It’s like coming off of caffeine,  you’ll be a little edgy.  Once this initial withdrawal has subsided, something amazing happens.  First, you start to feel more at peace.  Second, you begin to hear your own thoughts and feelings.  Third, you’ll begin to hear the sounds of nature, you might even hear birds chirping!

It’s a mystery to me, why we spend so much time not listening to our own inner wisdom, because it has so much value.  Being in the quiet helps us to be grounded in a world that keeps us in the air most of the time.  Listening to your own wisdom is essential to being present in your life and making sure you are moving in the right direction.  Why don’t you schedule some quiet and see for yourself?  Let me know how it goes.  ♥ 

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.

Ok, now I’m really thinking…for the past two days I’ve written about counting friends, love, health, etc. as assets in the bank account of life.  The spiritual bank account has as much or more value in your life than the financial one.  You know how we are all always wishing we had a bigger paycheck, car, house, computer, wardrobe….  What about the other bank account?  What about wishing for more love or better health?  Even more radical, what about being peaceful and happy with exactly where you are and what you have in your life AND recognizing that these things have tremendous value?

I am challenging you to make an inventory of your spiritual bank account.  You know, like a list of assets and liabilities that you would provide your accountant for a financial analysis.  I want you to get into the details of this list.  Of course you will list your loves, your friends, your home, etc., but I also want you to list the minute details that make your life rich.  For me, I’m thinking immediately of the flowers on my patio, my favorite sweatshirt, a hot shower at the end of the day.  These things will all be in the assets column.  Now, make another column for liabilities.  This will probably be a little harder.  What things, people or situations in your life deplete your spirit?

Once you have made your columns, do a mental tally.  The obvious conclusion is that the asset column should out weigh the liability column.  The difference between the two columns is up to you.  Maybe you are ok with a 50/50 ratio.  Maybe you have an 80/20 ratio.  Maybe your ratio is 30/70.  The point is, you are defining your spiritual wealth.  You will probably be surprised at just how wealthy you are!  Even better, you can make adjustments in your life to change the percentage.  Wow, this is very liberating.  All this time, I have been overlooking the real wealth in my life searching for a bigger house and more income.  I am actually humbled by this experiment.

How does your spiritual bank account look?  Are you a millionaire?  I bet you aren’t far from it…

Yesterday’s blog post about the value of a good friend got me thinking…what does it really mean to be wealthy?  In case you didn’t read the post from yesterday, I spoke about considering good friends as assets in the bank account of life.  Today I was thinking about the definition of wealth.  The dictionary defines it as “abundance of valuable material possessions or resources”.  We are all trying to make sure there is a big pot of gold at the end of our lives, but is that really what you want to be defined by, material possessions?  What if we defined wealth in a different way? 

The first thing that comes to mind is love.  A wealthy man or woman is surely surrounded by love.  This love comes from a variety of sources, family, friends, pets, community, etc.

Second, I think of health.  Anyone who has ever suffered a serious illness knows the value of health.  It can’t be replaced, you can’t buy health, you can only repair it.

The third thing that comes to mind is a home.  Some where you can recharge your batteries.  A warm bed for rest, a kitchen window for daydreaming, a little garden for growing things, etc.

Fourth I’m thinking of our deeds and actions in life.  The times when you comforted someone, or you inspired someone.  Maybe you fostered a child, or a dog.  You might have been a volunteer at your charity or church.  These actions are not only for people you know, but for those who are strangers as well.  Did you help someone who was down, either physically or spiritually?  You see my point.

I’m sure this list could continue.  You probably have your own list.  What I want you to see is that a man or woman who has material wealth, may not be considered “wealthy”, because they have no love, or health, or they have negative deeds.  Start thinking about your spiritual bank account.  How would you fill it?  Share your ideas with me.♥

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