Some of us follow someone else’s advice. We follow what we are told will provide the way. Then there are those of us who make it all up as we go along. We get to decide what type of human being we want to be, what type of parent and what type of boss or employee we wish to become. Sometimes we don’t realize it but actually we are the ones who get to choose throughout our entire lives, the quality of it, and the joy that we experience. Yes we are that powerful.
I find myself during challenging times thinking, ‘how did I get myself in this circumstance?” and then I realize that nothing happens without my participation. So I choose again. I make up a new path, a new routine, and yes even a new way of being so that my life continues to unfold into my ideal.
One time I decided I was worth more than I was making. I made up a new acceptable income for myself. Within a year I had reached it. I have also made up my own attitude about every day occurrences. I made up that it all turns into gold anyway so why not be in the best spirit I can be while I am faced with hurdles.
Life is a game as they say. This alone makes it fun, but when it becomes YOUR game and you know you get to make it all up as you go along, imagine how alive it feels.
Affirmation for today: I am the designer of my life. I create it from this day forward.
A thick fog draped across the edge of the forest amongst a giant mass of trees. Emerging from the mist, my brothers and sisters were stunned to see the faint outline of a skeleton. The white bones were rattling and shaking. Death was headed towards them.
For a moment they were confused, dare I say, horrified! Then they laughed, ran towards me, and tackled me to the ground. I, and my Halloween costume, survived the attack…barely.
I like Halloween because I get to be a little evil. Yes, I said it….EVIL. Not nice, not grateful, not peace, love and happiness but impish. Hee-hee-hee.
This is the one time of year when being bad is good. Where mystery prevails and we all ask – is magic possible? I hope so, I think so, I do believe in magic!
I also love the feeling of being scared by a ghoul or goblin and living through it to see another day.
As an adult, the opportunity to be scared by evil beings is rare. (I’ve learned how to deal with those types.) However, I think it’s my duty to, ever so slightly, scare little trick-or-treaters brave enough to venture on to my porch to ask for a piece of candy.
I don’t have kids but I do have 14 nieces and nephews. Most of them love the thrill Halloween brings especially, if they were a little surprised or scared that year. At the candy chow down, there’s sure to be non-stop chatter about how they escaped or outwitted the monsters.
I’m going to decorate my porch today. It’s time to pull out the spider web, my witch’s pot and the medieval chandelier. I have visions of grandeur but I’m not sure I’ll have the time for the full effect this year. Next year is going to be a doozy.
Here’s my confession: I love to scare people!
Does that make me evil?
It sure is fun.
This was the guy that volunteered to help families in Africa, taught autistic children, cheerfully did dishes and stirred the soup when he was over for dinner. He was naturally polite, kind and funny. I used to joke that he was so wonderful that when he smiled we had to protect our eyes from the sparkling reflection. We knew something fun was going to happen when he bounded through the door. He organized the night that a bunch of kids, including my daughter, slept in a car piled on top of each other like puppies waiting for the annual REI sale to begin. They stocked up on the gear they needed to go out there and experience nature at its finest.
Once, when she was describing him to me my daughter said, “Mom, he was “that” guy for me.” He was the guy who showed her what it was like to be in a truly safe relationship. He held her hand gently, opened her car door, brushed the hair from her eyes and looked at her with such kindness and respect that I will always be grateful to him as a mother. He set the bar high.
In April, he passed away in a rock climbing accident. It is months later and we are still trying to make sense of it. He had a beautiful relationship with God and this comforts us all.
He embraced life with a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm and joy. The life he lived reminds me to be present and enjoy the simple stuff. I appreciate the opportunity to laugh loud, sing badly and contemplate the clouds in the sky. My daughter, who is slowly healing, feels the same way. She has made changes in her life so that she is really doing what she loves most and not wasting a single second. She has said that she wants to live her life in a way that will make him proud. Once again, I am grateful.
Thank you, Josh. We miss you very much.
Last Sunday, my husband Dan and I had a joyful, rare experience just steps away from our chairs and umbrella…
It was the perfect sunny day, white puffy clouds; blue, blue sky…the water was cool and flat, almost like a lake, and crystal clear, just like the Caribbean where you can see everything. It’s wonderful to walk in the water knowing there’s nothing I can’t see lurking under there.
As we stroll out we notice it’s really shallow, and I mean knee-high shallow, for a long way out. There’s this weird, dark cloud in the water and suddenly out of nowhere, we’re surrounded by little, itty, bitty guppy fish. Hundreds, maybe thousands of them, making the water bounce above them.
I thought, “This is so cool! These little fish just swimming around us as if we’re some kind of plankton…maybe they’ll give me one of those new fish-biting pedicures?!”
As soon as we walk through one school, there’s another up ahead. Only following this flurry of fish is a smaller school of bigger fish. “What are those?” I ask Dan, knowing he’ll love having a forum to feature his Discovery Channel knowledge. “Those are ‘Blue Runners.’ They’re chasing the little bait fish who are camouflaging by gathering ‘round bigger things – like you and me.” “Cool. Hey, this is the ‘Lion King’ and we’re a part of it!” The sun, the ocean, nature…talk about feeling Joy!
This fish symphony plays all around us for about an hour when we head back to shore. We continue to see fishes all the way back — walk through one school, see another up ahead, walk through one, see another up ahead — only this time, following behind the bait fish and the blue runners there’s a much bigger fish. “Uh, Dan, was that a…?” “Yes ma’am,” he says, “Circle of Life, where you have little fish, you have big fish.”
Alrightee then, aren’t we joyful that it’s following them and not us! And aren’t we happy we’re back on the beach with a joyful, one of a kind, tale to tell…
Do you have anyone in your life who talks about their past a lot? You know, the person who reminisces about all the good times they had and how wonderful life was ‘back then’? It’s wonderful to recapture good times and laugh at how things were. It makes for great conversation and warm moments.
But what about letting the good times roll into the present and the future? Are you keeping your best years behind you or are you creating new memories for years to come? It’s so important to keep your fun thoughts on present and future to continue the moment of a good life.
What do you have to look forward to? A vacation? A new venture? Maybe a new love? When we begin to envision our lives expanding into wonderfulness it keeps us young at heart and having a reason to be alive!
Start by taking a few moments and jotting down what it is you would like to create for yourself. Don’t judge, just write it all down. Then make a check list and begin exploring some of those things. Some call this a bucket list. It doesn’t have to be something huge. You can write down that you want to have a sleep over party with your friends (yes even adults have sleepovers!) Or join a hiking group. Think big and think small. If it inspires you and it feels like fun, then write it down. Maybe you will do them all or not but how fun will it be to try to complete your list.
Maybe you can even give it a name. For instance, many of us have heard of a vision board. What about calling this your ‘Joy Board’ filled with all the things you want to do for fun and to create memories.
Hopefully, even the thought of a joy board will have your good times roll into your NOW. Fun was not just meant for our youth or our past. Create anew everyday!
Have you ever seen someone who looks really happy? You know the type of person you want to be around because they are fun and exciting and you want their energy ALL over you. Maybe you even hope that one day you can have as much joy as that person. Wow, what would it take to be that happy?
First of all, most likely that person is that happy because they choose to be. It’s not because life is better for them then it is for you. It’s just a decision they made to bring out the joy in their experiences.
Second of all, not all people who have joy, wear it on their sleeves. Some have a very subdued joy. The type where life is good, and yet, they don’t need to be so overt about it. Somehow though you can sense that they have it anyway. Sort of like the difference between those who flash their money when they are rich and those who have money but are very discreet about it. You can tell they have a certain dignity and maturity about their wealth. Well the same goes for joy. Neither are right or wrong. Just different ways to display the same thing.
Having a subdued level of joy can be more rewarding for some, especially as they get older. Not having to bounce off the walls to tell the world you are happy is a nice feeling. You can harness that joy and bring it inward. Not to be stingy, but to emanate it – to be a walking demonstration of inner, pure and collective joy.
So for today, know that joy comes in different packages. We get to share ours any way that seems to fit – just make sure you share it. Because the world needs your joy.
Four summers ago I was going through a rather difficult period. A long-term business partnership, with a dear friend of mine, was headed to lawyers’ offices and eventually court. It was expensive, it was frustrating, and it wasn’t going away any time soon.
My office is 1.5 miles from my home, and I often come home for lunch just to break up the day. After the second week of summer vacation I saw a familiar trend, my boys were lying on the couch watching Sponge Bob. The only variation seemed to be the angles to which the boys were lying. I admit, although Sponge Bob is clever, I’m not a fan.
“These boys need to go to camp,” I told my wife while I was gobbling down lunch. She said, “What camp?” “Camp Dad,” I replied. And right then and there, over a turkey sandwich, the idea of Camp Dad was born. With some serious coaching from Coach Wendy (the proprietor of this website), Camp Dad was launched.
Camp Dad is an 8-week odyssey that includes mental, spiritual and physical activities. Monday through Saturday each one of us (just boys) has to exercise at least 15 minutes, eat fruits and vegetables, get adequate rest and do some type of strength conditioning. In addition, we have to read, journal our creativity and practice good thoughts (Mom is the judge). And then of course we have Mom’s favorite, practice good hygiene.
This year marks the 5th Anniversary of Camp Dad, and I have to admit it is one of our highlights of summer. What I’ve discovered about myself (through Wendy’s help), is that I have a tendency of putting others needs before mine. But to have our goals intertwined, I have to give so that the boys receive their just rewards. See, if we all do our 8 activities for 6 days, then Sunday becomes Fun day. Fun day may include mini golf, water parks, amusement parks, etc. And it surely makes the root beer taste sweeter!
Last week I was lucky enough to have a “sister day”. Since my sister Lisa has kids, the opportunities to have sister time are few and far between. It was a wonderful f day filled with lunch, gabbing and the main event-a manicure and a pedicure. As delightful as all of the things we did were, the best part of our time together, was just being together. I savor the relationships that I have where I can truly by myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I do express myself authentically all day, every day. It is the “sister” relationships where I can have the most fun, letting my hair down to blow in the wind. I am lucky enough to have other “sisters” in my life, women that love me as I am no matter what.
Spending time with Lisa last week reminded me how important it is to carve out time in my schedule to be with my soul sisters. The time I get to spend with these women, whether it is on the phone or in person feeds my spirit. This is a special type of self-care, the kind that keeps on giving for days on end.
Here is what each of my lovely sisters reminds me of:
1. Go with the flow. The best way to survive a busy life is to stay in the moment-thank you, Lisa!
2. Live your dreams. As the Universe presents opportunities, grab them and go-you can always readjust later—thank you, Bernadette!
3. You can do it. When you put your mind to something and move forward a little bit each day, you achieve what may have seemed unachievable – thank you, Sandra.
4. It is never too late. Even if your dream takes 5, 10, 20 years to manifest, if it is important enough to you, it will happen in divine order – thank you, Aunt Nancy.
5. Have fun with everything you do. There are a couple of sisters that remind me that I can choose to have fun with everything in my life—out with serious, in with fun! Thank you, Trish and Runa!
This list could go on for pages. I would love to hear what you learn from your “sisters”! Share with us, so we can enjoy the gifts of friendship with you!
I have a friend who sends me a card every year for 12 years to celebrate the day we met. I know of a parent who celebrates their child’s report card for the good grades instead of reprimanding for the less than perfect ones.
I have friends who make every Friday night ‘date night’ with their significant other to celebrate their love.
My father used to call me Elsa Maxwell (a famous party giver) because I would have a party at the drop of a hat. I remember having a ‘Play hooky from work day’ and about 40 of us went for a day cruise on a Thursday!
These celebrations create lasting memories and warm feelings. Years to come we will not remember the times we worked long hours or the times we sat and watched TV every night. We will however remember the fun times and the bonding we had with our friends and family and the special moments we created.
Holidays and Birthdays are not the only days to celebrate life. Find a reason to celebrate more and feel the fun and love that it provides. Share your celebration ideas with others so they can be inspired!
Begin by finding a reason to celebrate TODAY!
On this first day of October, I am amazed how time is moving by with grace and ease these days. Each day is full of so many delicious things. Some days I am able to get everything done and others there are “leftovers” for me to enjoy from earlier in the week. A few targets that I have set for myself have slipped by, including writing a weekly blog entry this past month. Yet, just as the air is different this morning, cooler and crisper, I am treating myself different. I am cooler. I feel more peace and trust, truly knowing that everything is happening the way it is supposed to. As I continue to do my best everyday, which to me means to consistently check in with myself and make sure what I am doing feels good. If I am not in a place of expansion, of feeling good, feeling alive, then that is not the time to move forward on a particular activity.
Over the last couple of weeks, my plate has been very full with so many delicious items. There have been lots of leftovers. As I was ”cleaning out the fridge” and some of the items were on the edge of stinky,they needed to be completed. I was at the breaking point so to say, that edge where I knew that if I did not shift my energy, this was not going to be fun anymore. There was one part of my that just wanted to plow through and get it done. I knew that if I did that, when Matt came home from work , he would not love the woman he was coming home to and I would not love the woman I was. I took a breath, changed my clothes and went for a bike ride. All it took was an hour of doing something that fed my spirit, to shift my mood and allow me to finish what needed to be done later that evening.
I love when I remember to honor myself; my soul’s calling to be me and conciously choose the life I love.
Anyone want to come over for leftovers?