Bummer Summer? From REFLECTIONS, Spring/Summer 2011

June 29, 2011

From Spring/Summer Reflections

Bummer Summer?

Summer has been viewed in our culture as a time of high expectations. It has been associated with time off from work, outdoor fun and getting together with family and friends for reunions and casual picnics.

What happens when the weather does not cooperate with this summer ideal? What if life continues to happen and the party is cancelled? Disappointments can contribute to a “bummer summer”.

Sometimes human expectations for fun fizzle due to unforeseen circumstances and life challenges. What then? What is plan B or C?

Yes, we cannot control outcomes. Summer weather and reveries from the past may have no bearing on current circumstances. Perspective and acceptance must come to the rescue.

Time to submit our thought patterns to reality. Time to readjust expectations. Time to look for beauty, joy, rest and surprises in new and unexpected ways.

What we find, who we see, what we do, how we react is all filtered through our own choice of attitude. Choose to experience special summer moments!


Blog # 16 – Cell Phone – Connection Builder or Blocker?

June 10, 2011

Believe it or not, there was once a time when we did not have cell phones. And during that time, the stereotype for someone who wanted to block out another person was the individual who would barricade behind a newspaper. Today, something similar happens. Two individuals can be talking. A cell phone plays a tune and one of them cuts from one conversation and immediately begins another with the person calling.

In pre-cell phone times, when two people were unable to relate, they sat uncomfortably in a restaurant unable to converse. Today, they both simply call or text another person and check out of the relationship at hand.

A device designed for communication can enhance 1-1 precious connections. Being present in person or on the phone gifts us with communications that support connections.

Blog # 15 – – Adjust, Adapt and Move On

May 11, 2011

As I look out the upstairs window this evening, the only visible remnant of this morning’s storm is a puddle on the neighbor’s flat roof. Earlier in the day I was walking through strong winds and rain with a precious antique clock covered with plastic bags. My Mother had had it repaired and it was ready for pick up. Despite challenging weather, we went to the shop to get it. She remained in the car while I braved the elements.

When I opened the car door, the wind took hold of some important papers I had on the dashboard. I retrieved them from beside and beneath the car. They were soaked! Being resourceful, we drove under a tree in the bank parking lot between two large vehicles.  I turned up the car heater and fan to dry the papers, my hair and my clothing. Also, I turned on the heat in the car seats to dry the clothing as well.

During the “drying process”, we watched a young woman with no umbrella slogging through the elements. When our conditions improved we drove to my Mother’s doctor appointment.

The moral of the story – adjust,  adapt and move on. The setbacks from the storm were in effect, quite minor. When the big storms in life hit, I think all of us approach them in the same way we handled this situation. What choice do we have but to be resourceful, try to adjust the situation, adapt to the changes and move on to the “next stop”?

Blog # 14 – What’s Hot on the Back Burner?

April 2, 2011

What ideas or projects are on the periphery of your mind right now? Do you have fleeting ideas for an article or a book? Do they come when you are daydreaming or at other times when you let down your guard?

Do you have a part of you that dismisses them as unimportant and dull? Does part of you want to go further with these plans? Do you have folders stashed away containing notes with passing ideas that you have saved?

Is all of this on the back burner right now because something else is taking priority? Perhaps you are focused on a project initiated by an employer or someone else. However, some of your ideas are of value and maybe you have  not had time to pursue them.

Take them off the back burner where they are simmering unseen “under the lid”. You may just have a project that is really hot!



Blog #13 – The Gift of a Story

March 22, 2011

Any time is a good time for a good read. What do you gravitate toward to move you from life’s ups and downs? Historical Fiction? Science Fiction? Biographies? Political Thrillers? Mysteries? Children’s Literature?

Take your pick. Each offers the gateway to the gift of an author’s imagination. The compelling plot of a story offers sound competition against worry, sadness boredom and brooding.

Go off to the library or bookstore. Check out the bookshelves at home. Open the first page of a story and enter a new mindset.

Blog #12 Lesson from a Raccoon

February 18, 2011

A few nights ago I got up about 1:00 A.M. and noticed the back room with  sky lights was particularly bright. The moon was so compelling I grabbed my binoculars and spent time viewing the craters. Hoping to get another view,  I went to the window seat in the living room.

Laying down on my stomach I looked outside and saw a dark “something” on the ledge. Looking closer it seemed like a cat but was too big. Then, getting a better look, I noticed it was  raccoon, eating a corn cob set out to attract birds.  I tried to photograph it but got poor results.  One older camera I tried, though set for night produced nothing. It needed film! Then I took a flashlight and shined it upon the creature to get a better look. No matter what I did, the raccoon turned calmly and looked for awhile in my direction and then returned to eating the corn.

So – what did I learn from this animal – other than I enjoyed having this nocturnal adventure?  This raccoon had focus and determination. Nothing would take time away much time from “the project”. The animal was calm and casual and going about the task in a relaxed manner. There was no rush. For the raccoon,  living in the present moment was what mattered most.

Some lessons to ponder!

Blog #11 – The “Gift” of a Fall

November 25, 2010

“If I can get this bill into the mailbox then I will hurry off to hike. Today is the last nice October day we will have for awhile, at least that is what I heard. I better go today or I may not get in my last hike. My foot hit the ridge between the curb and asphalt. Oh no!”

Turn! Crunch! Crack! “I know something is really wrong. I am down on the ground and the pain is getting worse.”

Thus was my inner dialogue earlier today. Neighbors came to help me and I got  into the car and sped off to the ER. A torn ligament means changing plans, changing the calendar and asking for help.

When life deters our plans, how do we go graciously to Plan B? Or do we go kicking and screaming? I must admit I am not thrilled to be hobbling around the house on crutches, stuck here for the next few days for the most part. Acceptance is a struggle.

What have I learned for this situation? People are caring and helpful. Medical staff are effective and efficient as well as kind and fun. I can R and R and also get things done in my immediate world. I can even save on gas!

Since this is only Day One of my new challenge, I suspect that more good things will come my way during this healing process.

How have you survived any twists in plans? Do you see any opportunity in such circumstances?

Blog #10 – The Treat of a Retreat

October 13, 2010

When was the last time you took a couple of days off to regroup, relax and restore the soul? My experience with a recent retreat was just that. No computer – no TV – no radio – no newspaper – no driving.

By letting go of the broader world, it is easier to get into the inner world. Reflective time offers richness, peace and perspective. The encroachment on the soul offered by the brash bearers of bad news and the pace of daily life that accompanies home and car ownership takes a back seat.

Our lives confront us with continuous stimuli. On retreat one unveils a richness and fullness in the Spirit often overlooked when we are caught in the vortex of our busy days. Returning to a retreat atmosphere restores balance and belief in a greater and gentler reality.

Blog #9- Deleting Unwanted Comments from Your Mind

July 14, 2010

When a loose cannon offers an unsolicited comment about an aspect of life, though well intentioned, one is tempted to trump one’s own good sense and believe it. However, why surrender expertise on your own life to an outsider?

Only one person is living your life. Consequently, you know who to seek out for advice and what is in your own heart and mind. Your insight and strength is there because it has been fashioned from the unique experience only you have had.

So, when another seeks to override this life data and heart understanding, there is only one thing to do. Delete it!

Creating Temporary Communities – Blog #8

July 1, 2010

A crisis in the life of a good friend or coworker signals that it is time to form a temporary community of support. Perhaps someone you know is experiencing a medical or emotional difficulty. They send out the signal for help. You want to be there for them but wonder how to do that effectively.
By connecting with a mutual friend or another concerned coworker, you have the opportunity to brainstorm together as to how best to support this person in need. Together you can identify ways to help and determine who can do these things best.
Having someone in your immediate circle in crisis is stressful for you as well. When you reach out for someone to care with you, you not only help another person, but reduce your stress in the process.