When Life Appears Tasteless

Tasteless food

Have you ever had a really bad cold?  The kind that leaves all food utterly bland, and in fact, tasteless?  It’s only after blowing your nose, that you’re able to glimpse a hint of pepper maybe, or the remnants of salt or a bit of lemon.

With a cold that bad, like the one I have now, you can’t hope for much more than that, can you?

Although I do.  And I did this morning.

My husband cooked sausage and biscuits today, welcoming us home after being out of town for several days.  I could barely smell the freshly baked bread as it came out of the oven.  But the fact is, I could smell it… just a little.  So maybe, just maybe I could taste the sausage.

With mouth salivating (because, really, who doesn’t like warm biscuits and sausage?), I bit into the sausage.

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

From a taste perspective, there was no reason to continue.

Yet I did.  Again… maybe, just maybe the second bite would be different.  Maybe my head had cleared up in the past six seconds and I could now taste.

Again nothing.

But with each bite, I was hopeful.  Not because I really, really love the taste of sausage.  Yeah, it’s okay, and definitely a treat — not something I eat every morning — but it wasn’t so much about the sausage as it was about being hopeful.  Maybe this next bite….

So What Is Hope?

I believe hope is how our Spirit reaches for what it seeks.

Let’s magnify the situation, blow it up much bigger.  How does experiencing tasteless food relate to living a tasteless life?

We can all imagine what a tasteless life looks like.  Same ol’ same, day in and day out.  No new excitement or experiences.  For some, this is what they prefer.  However, for most of us, once we become aware of this daily monotony, we strive to shake it up.

Shaking it up doesn’t have to look like a mid-life crisis, complete with a fast, hot car.  Pick up a new hobby, eat at different restaurants, go dancing when you never go dancing (and especially if you don’t like dancing — go anyway!).  These things, and many others, will add flavor to your life.

There’s no excuse for a tasteless life, unless you choose one.  Left to my own devices, I’d stay in my house all the time, only leaving to walk the dog.  I would tell myself that I prefer my little cocoon, all by myself.  I’d relish the alone time and sit with my cuppa, enjoying every sip, as I smugly think of how lovely and quiet my life is.

Tasteless food, cup of tea

Until it’s not.  Because I’d miss the flavor other people bring, even if the flavor happens to be drama.  And I’d miss the flavor new experiences bring, even when they’re here to teach me something difficult.

So for this week, I’ll sit with my cold, knowing it will soon go away.  And with its disappearance, will reemerge the tastes that typically delight me.

Life is full of flavor.

Seek the flavor Life has to offer.  And drink it in, as you feel the hope of your Spirit begin to rise.

The book hope for the flowers, by Trina Paulus is a wonderful story for all ages on the beauty of hope.  I highly recommend it!

If you enjoyed this post, please tweet or share it on Facebook.  You never know — it may end up being read by precisely the person who is seeking it….

Love, Leslie

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is… I Did

Last month many of you got involved in our TLT community discussion regarding our youth, the pressures placed on them by parents, coaches, society, and the choices they’re making in order to ACHIEVE, and at the same time, PLEASE everyone.

The “Holy Moly” series, as it came to be called, was sparked by a New York Times article I read that centered around high school students doing whatever it takes to achieve academic excellence, even if that means illegally obtaining and using prescription ADHD medicines to enhance mental focus, increase their stamina to pull all-nighters, and get better test scores.

I was so disturbed by this article, I continued to think about it for weeks, desperately wanting to do something about it.  I explained in one Holy Moly article entitled, “Enough,” that….

“… it’s not just one thing, it’s LOTS and LOTS of things.  It’s not just drugs we’re talking about; to many of these teens, they don’t even see the pills they’re snorting/taking as drugs, some actually thought they were some sort of vitamins, just used to help them hyper focus on school work.  But, like I said, it’s just not about drugs, there are many more layers than that.

But peel away the layers.

Drug layer, gone.

Please my parents layer, gone.

Achieve amazing results in academics, sports, etc. layer, gone.

Peel all of it away.

Keep peeling, and what are you left with?

Children who believe that they are not enough.

Who grow into adults who believe they are not enough.

I don’t mean to sound so doom and gloom, but think about it, when you strip it down, that’s what you’re left with.

But it’s a lie.  These children are enough.  Each and every one of us is enough.  But how do you make it Real, and not just sound like something nice to hear, say, in a blog that’s based on Trusting Life?  How do you have kids stop to listen long enough to believe and understand and feel and know their worth…so that it stays with them into adulthood?….”

~~~~

So today, July 23, 2012, how am I making it Real?  What am I doing about it that’s more than putting some pretty words on a blog?

Well friends, I’m very happy to report that this week I am in New Mexico sharing with youth (ages 7-13) various lessons on Trust.  My focus throughout the week is to guide and instill in them the core understanding that You Are Enough.  Trust Yourself.

As short as those two sentences are:  You Are Enough and Trust Yourself, they pack a pretty hefty punch.  There is some definite meat there.

I am using the absolute must-read book, hope for the flowers by Trina Paulus as a teaching tool.  If you are unfamiliar with the book, click here.  I believe this will give you enough of a taste that you’ll want to pick up a copy or two or twenty….

For more information on the camp itself, stay tuned for Wednesday’s post.

In the meantime, I encourage you to pinpoint something you’re all fired up about.  Something you can’t stop thinking about or talking about.  At the last dinner party you attended or get-together with friends, what did you find yourself talking about over and over?  THAT, very likely, is a great place to start.

Then do it — start.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is… I Did.

 ~~~~

Please tweet or share this post on Facebook — you never know, it might wind up being read by someone who’s all fired up about who knows what, and is ready to do something about it… maybe they just need a little nudge.

Nudge.  Nudge.

Love, Leslie

See Me as Whole. Leslie’s Healing

Sitting…sitting…sitting.  Writing, backspace/delete.  More writing, more backspace/delete.  20 minutes later…still sitting.  I know exactly what I want to write, but for once, I have no idea how to start.  Okay, dive in.

A little over two weeks ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I found no lump.  I was simply going in for my first mammogram.  That’s right: no lump, first mammogram.

There Was No Lump

I decided to start today’s article with the facts, urging those of you who have put off having a mammogram because you haven’t felt anything through your monthly self examination, to please reconsider.  As I stated, I felt no lump because there was no lump.  There are different types of breast cancer, and the type I have is located within the ducts, therefore cannot be felt.  It’s most commonly referred to as DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), of which there are different grades and subtypes.  Without getting into too much detail, my subtype is called Micropapillary DCIS, which is referred to as the “bad acting DCIS” and therefore treated aggressively.

One of the many pieces of good news is that it was caught early!  And how fortunate, in this day and age, that within these two+ weeks, I have been able to meet with a multitude of surgeons, complete more tests and evaluations than I’d care to recap, and still manage to take an abbreviated family vacation and another short girl’s weekend getaway.

Life goes on, as it should, and must.  This is merely a blip, as my friend so eloquently put it, “Your natural state is perfection and this is a small blip on your way back to perfection.”  Thank you, Anne.

This I can assure you: I am not worried.  Apprehensive yes, as this is a new experience for me.  But worried?  No.  I am precisely where I’m supposed to be and I’ve categorically chosen the exact surgeons to form my team of healing.  This team came together in a unique and organic way to support me and ensure my physical and emotional health.  But the blessings began well before the medical team was in place.

Meet Faith

A few years ago I became part of a group of women with a common desire to study FAITH (Finding Authenticity, Integrity, Truth, and Harmony), hence, the name of the group.  Through their collective love and spirit, as well as the love and support from my family and other dear friends, I felt I was already ahead of the curve when my radiologist delivered the news to me.  All of the studying I’ve done throughout the years on Trust, on Spirituality, on Understanding What Is — it has all prepared me for today, a place where I stand strong and confident in spirit, yet (finally) wise enough to know that it’s okay to be vulnerable and cry, too.

So it was only fitting when I ran into my radiologist’s office to pick up my mammogram films, that the doctor took me aside, and as we embraced, she placed ‘Faith the Lamb’ in my arms.

breast cancer

Faith the Lamb

Faith is also an acronym, although not spelled in all caps.  Her name stands for Friends Always In The Heart.  She came about by one of my radiologist’s patients years ago.  To this day, my doctor lovingly hands out Faith the Lamb to all of her newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, along with a little piece of her heart as she speaks candidly with you.

Attached to Faith’s ear was this tag (which I now keep in my wallet):

breast cancer

It’s as if the events of my life have sandwiched me between FAITH and Faith.  What an incredibly blessed and fortunate woman I am.

In an effort to honor that blessing, I have chosen to share as many lessons as are appropriate with you all here, through my writing.  I will not be accepting phone calls or responding to emails about this subject, as I commit to only breathe positivity into this healing experience.  And although answering questions may appear to be a neutral act, my experience thus far has been that it’s extremely draining for me.

I want each one of you to know how grateful I am, knowing many of you will be sending me prayers, love, light, and healing energy.  For that, I Thank You.

During these next months, as I live and breathe true Trust, I ask one thing of you, and one thing only:

See Me as Whole, as Healed.

See me as whole and healed, in the present tense.  I ask that you see me as whole and healed now.  As if it is already done.

Love, Leslie

~~~~

Mammograms are essential for early detection.  Please post this message on your Facebook wall or forward the email if you receive it in that format; women should be made aware that self exams are not enough.  This 41 year old felt no lump.  There was no lump.

If you’re in the Dallas area (Richardson, TX), here is a direct link to my radiologist.  Dr. Elizabeth Jekot is a bright, caring, and very thorough doctor.  She and her staff will take excellent care of you, no matter if this is your first mammogram or your 50th.

 

No Such Thing As Goodbye

Practicing Goodbyes

A friend recently sent me some of his favorite Richard Bach quotes.  Among them was this one:

“Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes.  A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. 

And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.”

Probably like you, I’m not crazy about goodbyes.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better at them, but I sometimes wonder if it’s only been through sheer practice.  Is that how the military kids I grew up with dealt with goodbyes?  Through practice?

Or, is there a different mind-set that helps us through goodbyes?  Like so many aspects in our lives, is it more a matter of how we choose to think about a given situation?  How we choose to perceive our reality?

Shift in Perception

Take a second to re-read the quote, absorb it:

“Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes.  A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.  And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.”

After a few go’s at the quote, I noticed a shift in perception.  What did it for me was the second sentence:

“A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.”

Oh.  Okay, I see.  In order to rejoice in meeting again, there must first be a farewell.  A stop and a start.  An end and a beginning.

Essentially, when we kiss our kids good-night, we’re giving them a farewell, a practice we start when they’re infants.  Of course, they are just in another room, but this act of ‘farewell’ leads to an opportunity to meet them again, the following morning.  The same occurs with our partners when we go our separate ways in the morning.

This quote reaches a crescendo with the last sentence, “And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.”  Think about that.  Moments or lifetimes.  For those who are friends.

Moments and Lifetime Feelings

I’ve experienced moments, mere seconds, away from a beloved friend that have felt like a lifetime — as if the second the door shut behind them, I already yearned for their return.  It’s a lot like my yellow Lab.  I can leave the house for a moment, say, to check the mail, and return to a dog who acts as if I’ve been gone years.  She’s genuinely over-the-moon to see me.  On the other hand, I’ve spent a lifetime away from certain friends, only to reconnect decades later and have it feel as if we had seen one other yesterday.

For all of us, we have experienced these ‘moments and lifetime’ feelings.

I’m still friends with several people I’ve known since kindergarten.  Imagine that!  Friends since we were five-years old, which is practically a lifetime.  I was reminded recently of what a lifetime of friendships has meant to one such friend.  Mollie posted on Facebook, “Whether any of you realize this or not…Audra, Missy, Jennifer, Helen, Joelia, Margaret and, yes, you, Leslie, made a big difference in my life.  Thank you all.  Sometimes life buries your memories.  And sometimes life brings them back.  It goes with your “Full Circle Journey” post, Leslie.  I’ve been trying to get back to my roots since my son was born.  Facebook has been the greatest part of my journey.  To connect with the old and new friends has been the key to me rediscovering myself.  ‘Full Circle’, my friends.  Thanks for keeping me grounded….”

So instead of being dismayed by goodbyes, perhaps our focus should lie in the rejoicing of meeting again.  I like that.  Thinking about goodbyes in this context brings me comfort.

But what if there’s still more….

No Such Thing as Goodbye

What if there are NO goodbyes among friends?  I’m not talking about acquaintances here, I’m talking about *friends*.  Those special souls with whom you’ve formed a heart connection.  Whether this connection is formed in person, over the phone, through emails, back and forth in texts, or even after a one time meeting.  Regardless of how they’re formed, true connections exist.  And when these friends truly dwell in your heart, are you ever really separated?  I believe the answer is NO.

My hope is that your heart holds such friends — and holds them in such a way that you don’t feel separated by distance, but instead, you feel the Oneness that connects us all.

goodbye

Doug, thank you for sending the Bach quotes.  You, my friend, dwell in my heart.

Thank you Friends, especially to those who See me.  Those who have been in my life for Moments AND a Lifetime.

goodbye

Receive your weekly dose of Trust delivered right to your inbox!  Subscribe by entering your email — and although it goes without saying, I’ll say it anyway — I’ll never spam you — just posts.  Love, Leslie