Archives for posts with tag: wealth

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.

Advertisements

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 already 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.♥

They say if you have one true friend in life, consider yourself blessed.  Friend relationships are no different from relationships with your significant other, they take care and nurturing.  Friends often times can provide you with support and love in a different way from your spouse or family.  They are able to see the whole picture of you and your life, as an outsider.  Their feedback and guidance provides fresh perspective.  They are also likely to recognize when you just need someone to listen or to have fun with.

I have been truly blessed in my life to have many good friends.  I have met them in a variety of ways and at different stages of my life.  They almost always carry messages for me about life.   Some of them were with me for long periods of time and then our lives changed and we don’t see each other as often.  It doesn’t change the value I have for their friendship.  I know that at any time, no matter where each of us are in life, I can reach out to them.  When we talk it will be as if no time has passed.  The value of a good friend is measured in loyalty and love, and is not easily replaced.  Count your good friends as assets in the bank account of life.  

The wings of your ambition, those are the ones I’m referring to.  Those beautiful wings you’ve been strengthening for all these years, are they ready to fly?

I am an American Idol fan.  I love watching these kids sing and perform.  What I love the most about it, is they are pursuing their dream, even at such an early age.  Some of these kids are still teenagers.  They may have a great talent or a little one, but they are all putting it out on the line for a chance at living the dream.  It’s so wonderful to watch.

It takes courage to pursue a dream and it doesn’t always happen in the way you expect or at the level you imagined.  The wings of ambition are not reserved for the young.  Anyone, at any age, can pursue their dreams.   You can discover your talent at share it with the world.  What are you waiting for?

The earth,  it sounds so scientific, doesn’t it?  It reminds me of science class in grade school where we studied the planets and solar systems.  All these concepts seemed so foreign to me, fascinating, but really foreign and far away.  As I evolve,  I see more and more clearly, the beauty and abundant gift that is mother earth.  She gives us life.  

I am from Iowa, and although I was not a farmer, my parents were farmers as youngsters.  They have what I call “nature language”.  I remember being on a walk with my Mom one afternoon as a girl.  We were walking by a field of some kind and she saw some mint growing next to the fence.  She walked right over and picked a leaf and we both smelled and tasted it.  I was a little scared, I mean she was trying to feed me grass!  After I tasted it, I was amazed.  I remember that day as if it was yesterday.  My father too has the most amazing connection with nature.  He is especially gifted with animals.  They seem to be drawn to him.  Again, it’s like a special language.

Our relationship with mother earth is so scared and life affirming.   I am always amazed and delighted when my planted seeds turn into tomatoes or roses.  We often don’t spend time in nature, we are so involved in our phones, computers and televisions, our connection is dimmed.  The connection may be dimmed, but you can renew it just by taking a few minutes to walk in the park.   I am making a point to physically connect with nature in the midst of my urban life.  Today, I’m taking a minute to give thanks for our mother earth and all her abundance. ♥

%d bloggers like this: