Let Go of the Rice

Oh My, What’s This??

Last week I finished a manuscript I have been working on for what feels like all of my life.  I don’t say that in an ominous or overly dramatic way, but in a matter-of-fact sort of way — that’s just the way it feels.  I have lived, breathed, and dreamed within the words of this manuscript, for what feels like ages.

I sometimes wonder if I was born with this book already inside me.  I kinda think I was.  Like back in May of 1970, when Dr. Whitton delivered me, he turned to my parents and exclaimed, “It’s a girl!” then added, ”Oh my, what’s this?  What are these papers??”

The writing process is one that’s all consuming, at least for this particular girl.  It’s a slow-high, brain-churning exercise, filled with more delete-backspacing than forward keystrokes at times.  But it fills me up.  From tip to toe.

I’ve found that writing is a process of letting go.  With each word I type, delete, re-type, massage into sentence structures — ultimately, I must let go.  Let go of my attachment to the words, to their message, to whether or not they will be embraced, rejected, cherished, ignored, rebuffed….  After all, that’s what trust is all about — letting go.

To trust is to let go of your anger, worries, fears, demons — whatever is gripping you.  However, like some things in life, trust and letting go can easily fall into the category of “easier said than done” — until you learn how, that is. Continue Reading

Peace Can Be Fun!

Yes!  Peace can be fun — and is fun at Peace Village!

In our last post, “What’s the Name of Your Village?” I shared with you many of the classes and activities the campers engaged in throughout the week.  From meditation to walking the labyrinth, from learning about nature and nutrition, to experiencing the wonders of Mother Earth.  All the while, having fun in a relaxing, loving, and peaceful environment.

Here, see for yourself….

Peace Village is surrounded by these majestic mountains:

 

Classes were held both indoors and outdoors:

Peace Village Co-Directors:

Co-Directors Susan Finch (left) and Kaylah Glasgow (right)
Thank you BOTH for all of your heart and soul.

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I met Barbara last summer and we instantly became fast friends.
Thanks to her generosity, Peace Village has been held at her High Mesa Healing Center for the past nine years.

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As I’ve said on numerous occasions, I believe we, as humans, seek Peace more than anything else.  That’s right.  More than love.  More than happiness.  I believe we seek Peace.

Thank you, TLT readers, for accompanying me on this journey.  As a lasting reminder, as we depart Peace Village this week, please join me in reading the words on the “exit sign” of the High Mesa Healing Center:

 

Yes.

Go

In

Peace

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Love,

Leslie

 

Goofy-Juice or Confidence?

No parent looks forward to their child going into surgery.  True, the surgery may be necessary and you may feel in your heart that it’s the right thing to do for your child, but the pure act of going into surgery is a bit unnerving.

Each time my son has been wheeled away on the hospital bed, I’ve stood and watched his head grow smaller and smaller as he leaves my side, being carted down the hallway, until finally they turn a corner, out of sight.  Last week was no different.

It begins the same every time.  Doctor’s appointments, followed by more appointments, more assessing, until finally I hear these words, “Mr. and Mrs. Green, at this point, surgery is the best option for your son.”  Then comes the pre-op appointment, followed by the call from the anesthesiologist the night before surgery to review his medical history and details regarding any adverse reaction he’s had to general anesthesia.

This time we had a slight variation.

The anesthesiologist said that based on my son’s age, he could now make some decisions.

Really?  What sorts of decisions?

She asked me to discuss two things with him ahead of time:

1)  Would he prefer the IV started while he’s awake or after he is put to sleep with the mask?  (Mask — no brainer.  I know my kid.  I asked anyway.)

2)  Would he like some ‘goofy-juice’ before he goes into surgery to ease any anxiety he may be feeling?

(Goofy-juice is this nasty looking liquid they offer him after he has his gown on, but before they wheel him away.  It’s supposed to calm his nerves.)

Hmm….  This one was not a no brainer.  See, I’ve observed my son over the years and I’ve noticed that with each surgery his level of anxiety beforehand has increased.  To my surprise, before his last surgery, he had opted for the goofy-juice for the first time.  Maybe he’d want it again.

So I asked.

And he silently thought.

After about a minute, he looked up at me and said:

“I don’t know, Mom.  Have them ask me tomorrow morning when we get there.  I’ll decide then if I’ll go with goofy-juice or confidence.”

Well, okay then.

As he ran off to take one final dip in the pool, (before it became off limits), I thought, Wow.  Goofy-Juice or Confidence.  I had asked him a question:  Do you want the stuff or not, never mentioning the word confidence, never alluding to there being additional options to consider; it was a simple Yes/No question in my mind.  Yet he automatically created two buckets.  He had, in essence, acknowledged the option of ‘No Goofy-Juice’ by assigning it the label: Confidence.  (Pretty cool.)

So, I have to ask you, TLT readers, when it comes to goofy-juice:

What Is Your Goofy-Juice?

When you’re faced with a stressful situation, or you feel your anxiety begin to rise, what method/thing do you use to take the edge off?  It can be anything that helps to relax your mind, your body, your-Self.

After some self reflection on this question, I asked a few people what their goofy-juice is.  Here are some of the responses I received:

  • wine
  • watching TV
  • shopping
  • eating
  • sex
  • yoga
  • reading a book
  • meditating
  • calling a friend on the phone
  • watching a comedy
  • taking a shower
  • going for a run/working out
  • walking the dog

That’s quite a list.  And I only asked a few people.

Look over the list again.  Try not to slot anything into a ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ column.

(Because as a TLT reader, you already know it’s not about good or bad; Life has everything to do with Balance.)

As long as that balance exists, couldn’t each and every one of the items on the list serve you well (provided you’re not running with a broken ankle or something like that)?

It’s when we drink the entire bottle of wine, then the second….  It’s when we turn the TV on and stare at it for hours, while mindlessly grazing on a bag of Ruffles (oh yes, we definitely mix and match from our list)….

It’s when we do anything to the extent that we numb ourselves.

And it’s also when we don’t see things like Confidence as an option.  We ignore such things as Confidence and Courage all together.

Maybe because Confidence and Courage aren’t things we do, they’re characteristics we possess.

Does that mean we can’t add them to our list?  Of course not!

Here’s an assignment:

Create your own list.  Use the one above as a springboard.  Add, subtract, making sure to include traits you possess, as well as things you do.

Now, with list in hand, become aware of what your goofy-juice of choice is.

Then ask yourself:  Does it serve me well?

If you respond: Yes.

  • Then: Great!  Keep it up, Brother!  Keep it up, Sister!!

If you respond: Well, it kinda serves me well.

  • Then: Ask yourself, “What can I switch around?”
  • Maybe add more opportunities to laugh in your life.
  • Maybe take away talking to friend after friend about what’s bothering you.  Focus on one friend.  Someone who’s a straight shooter and speaks your language.
  • Tweak away!

If you respond: No.

  • Then: Know that your goofy-juice of choice is probably lacking any juice at all, it may be all poison.
  • But don’t worry —  Now you’re aware of it. 
  • And once you’re aware, you can do something about it!  That’s gotta feel good, knowing you can do something about it.

At this point, your list becomes a very inviting menu you can choose from.  And because you’ve done this exercise, you’ll know what to order as soon as you feel any anxiety begin to present itself.

And because I know you’ll wonder if I don’t mention it, I’ll go ahead and tell you that my son chose confidence over the goofy-juice.  But I hope he only chose it if that’s what he personally needed that day, at that time in his life.

 

Know yourself.  Know your needs.  And love yourself enough to make the right choices for you.

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Love, Leslie

 

The Art of Managing Your Life (Or Not)

“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives.  Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.”  ~Jim Rohn

 

Do you plan out your day?  Your week?  Your month?  If so, how much do you plan?  How far do you take it?  I’ve known people who could easily have PhD’s in planning… from Harvard!, and others who wouldn’t know what a simple calendar looked like, much less how to use it, if it hit them up-side the head.

So, where do I fit in?  Post PhD — I’m the dean of the School of Planning!

Sadly, it’s true.  And another thing that’s true:  I AM NOT BRAGGING.

I had to ask myself recently, with all of my views on Trust, on Letting Go, my beliefs on how Life ‘works,‘ my vow to experience What Is, and all of the other very zen qualities I surround myself with on a daily basis, how zen is it to schedule my meditation time on my iPhone?

Seriously.

At what point does our use of calendars, day planners, iPhones, and any other tool slide over from the helpful category to the hinder our growth category?  I mean, who is managing who, here?

 

The Key Is: Balance

 

(Free tip of the day — Balance is the key to LOTS of things.  Life, for one.)

Find that balance within your life.  At this stage in the game, my guess is you know yourself well enough to know what works for you and what doesn’t.

No?  If not, then here’s what I recommend:

If you fall into Option 1 above, the PhD planning person, once you’ve finished your planning ritual, whatever it may be, sit quietly.  How does it feel?  How do you feel?  Deep inside?  Do you feel calm, knowing that all i’s have been dotted and all t’s have been crossed?  Do you feel you have the freedom to change and be flexible as things arise unexpectedly?  If so, THAT is what balance feels like.  Your planning method works for you.

However, if you feel a tight, rigidness inside, that’s a clue that you’re holding on to something (??) tightly.  So tightly that any change of schedule would shatter your world.

Which begs the question:  If you’re holding your breath, hoping upon hope that everything goes according to your plan, constantly fixated on getting through each task, where’s the enjoyment?

This reminds me of a puzzle my mother and I put together the summer my husband, boys, and I were waiting for our current house to be built.  It now hangs in our laundry room:

If this is you, one who counts the days or the tasks, and you want to change, I have two examples I’d like to share with you that can be used as your guide.

1)  Check out “Cultivating A Spirit of Wander,” written by Bill Apablasa, blogger/writer for TheOther999Rooms.com.*

This is a profound post and will likely get you out of your comfort zone in a hurry (which is a good thing here; shock your system!), encouraging you to jump in feet first.

If you like what Bill’s suggesting, but don’t really know what that looks like, then….

2)  Check out “A Day of Pleasure. WITH NO GUILT.” for a true life example of a day when I went “off the grid” earlier this year.

I believe there is an art to managing our lives.  But as we manage them to be more productive, more efficient, more MORE, let’s also make sure we’re living our lives, enjoying them to the fullest.  Balance.

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.”    ~E. B. White

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TheOther999Rooms is my new WOW go-to spot.  I highly encourage you to check out Bill’s blog.  There is a Start Here tab on top where he begins:

There is an old saying that goes, “We’re born into a house with a thousand rooms, but only live in one.”  This website is about the other 999 rooms.

Bill’s writing stimulates my mind and encourages me to see the world differently, something this very in-the-box girl welcomes as a personal challenge.  He makes me laugh out loud with his quick wit.  I am never disappointed when I visit his site.

And the good, no, wonderful news is, he has just gotten started!  If you’re like me, I like starting from square one (room one), and proceeding in an orderly fashion, building as I go.  Therein lies the beauty — because this site is so new and fresh, your eyes will be some of the first to see it!  You can be a part of this amazing journey from the ground level.

I’m very rarely in-the-know about stuff out there, usually arriving late to the party.  However, this time, I feel as if I’m sharing a secret with you.

If you enjoy Bill’s blog, please consider sharing it on Facebook or emailing it to your friends.  Let’s not keep this secret to ourselves!!