May 30

Waiting too long?

20160122_133438Someday I Am Going To…

We are here for a limited time offer. We may find there are many things we desire to accomplish in our lifetime. Unfortunately, there are somethings that we may have waited too long to do, or can no longer  physically accomplish.

It is a good day to begin, work on, or complete things we have a passion to do in our lives. Spending a lot of time in regret, and reflecting on areas of the past where we failed, only robs us of the opportunity to be successful today.

Never being too late to start, even taking small steps, brings us to toward our new goals. Someday is not on the calendar. If we are thinking someday we are going to …?.. we will never arrive.  May we practice being aware of the present moment and make decisions to live while we are alive. Let us balance work with times of rest, and enjoy our abundant lives, for they truly are a gift to us.

Apr 29

Way too serious…

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Scrabble Anyone?

What do you do for fun? How many times does someone ask that question? Have we lost sight of our need to relax and enjoy simple pleasures in life? In this day and age we are surrounded with the ability to gather whatever information we desire. We can be entertained or distracted by a variety of ways that never existed in the past.

With so many things available at our fingertips, are we missing opportunities to be with others face to face? Old fashion games were very valuable for entertainment and created many memories. Are they out-dated, never to return? How do we fill our basic needs for love and belonging as well as love in this generation of technology?

Many are busy texting or posting on Facebook, and appear to have many friends, yet suffer from extreme isolation and loneliness. It is a true gift to be able to spend time, face to face with others. It has been said, “If you can hang out with someone without talking, that is saying a whole lot!” It takes time to learn how to  be comfortable with others, whether having fun or being silent. It also takes effort.

Are we willing to risk sharing thoughts and emotions with the hope of building friendships and enjoying life? Do we always have to think about the challenges of the world we live in, or can we have time to relax and watch the sun go down? Is there an invisible sign that states we must be way too serious? Have we  forgot we are created to enjoy life? It is never to late to begin as we learn how to balance our responsibilities and take time to appreciate life’s beauty.

Sep 21

Did you lose your balance?

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Having fun drawing her portrait, taking time to relax in between work and school.

I always get amazed when I ask someone what they do for fun. Many times I see their face draw a blank as they pause for a moment and then say something like, “I will have to think about that for a moment”. As we continue to talk, they are surprised after a short time I ask, “Did you think about it long enough”? Their response is usually, “think about what?” I repeat the question, “What do you do for fun”? The majority of time they will say, “Oh yeah, uh…… I don’t know.”

Because we put off what can bring relaxation and pleasure for multiple reasons, especially as we get older, we may forget we need to have fun. In fact, we may forget how to have fun as well. We can actually procrastinate doing things that bring enjoyment, which may bring up feelings of anger and resentment toward ourselves as well as others. Self-recriminations arise, feeling like a failure even in the area of not having any fun. The key to freedom and healing is to give ourselves permission to start over again.

Balancing our length of to-do lists with realistic expectations, we can make appointments with our self to block out time for rest and relaxation. Written, or unwritten, we may need to shorten the list to feel good about ourselves; otherwise we may end up with a lot of half-finished projects and no time to play or have fun.

It is important to remind ourselves to be gentle with ourselves. Giving our self permission to have fun learning, and be patient while growing in talent takes time. It is awesome to see the fruit of the labor of our hands. I enjoy taking time off duty and paint or draw. I like to be creative. I understand if I do not like the way something I turned out I can toss it, or keep it to see progress in the next painting. It is O.K. to make mistakes; we all do, many times.

There is a lot of empty canvas in the world. Canvas can represent a variety of things in life. As we take time to express ourselves and explore the beauty that is all around us, we begin to feel the freedom we can only experience when we relax and give our self permission to have fun. This life is not a dress rehearsal. Therefore, enjoy the abundant life we have before us. If there is a struggle with procrastination contact me for a free consultation.

Sep 12

BUSY BADGE – ARE YOU WEARING YOURS?

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I met Turtle as he was getting exercise on the beach. He wasn’t too busy to stop and check me out!

Have you noticed the busy syndrome that is in epidemic proportions? It is spreading rapidly and taking lives of those in its path. I think about the times I ask people how they are; they smile and say fine, or make up some other polite comment. Now there are many who are infected with the Busyness Syndrome and respond accordingly with an automatic “BUSY!”

They also have a hurried look on their face, shoulders drooping from burdens too heavy to carry. How many of us feel the pressure of unrealistic expectations that put us into that busy category? There are some who feel guilty even taking time for themselves to relax; sitting still is almost unheard of.

Having a Masters in Psychology has provided insights in areas dealing with how we think and comprehend our surroundings. Here is one example: While driving to work in the city, I encountered multitudes of others driving to and fro with traffic extremely intense. I had to stop and realize all the drivers in other vehicles were busy too; they were headed somewhere to do something at a very high speed.  It is easy to forget people are driving all those vehicles we see on the road, soon the cars are only viewed as obstacles in our path, something in the way or that makes us slow down. For some this causes road rage, others patiently go with the flow.

In the world we live in there are so many demands on our lives. Many feel there just isn’t enough time to get it everything finished. The good news is, “there isn’t enough time to get it all done”! We are created with certain limitations built within, in addition, we all require time to rest and sleep. If we didn’t have limitations we wouldn’t be human.

Some say time is an illusion. If we are racing the clock, too busy, we can view time as our enemy. One day I was spending time in a mall in the city. While there I was drawn to a beautiful hour glass displayed on a shelf. After debating with myself I determined I must have it although I didn’t know why. The moment I touched it I instinctively turned the hour glass upside down. I watched the sand as it began to trickle down through the opening. Then I found myself shaking it! I was trying to make the sands go down faster than they were designed to go.

Just as time stops for no man, it will not speed up, it is continuous. The hour glass is a great visual aid for me to use for my clients and students.  It is a tool to see the passage of time, and a reminder of the reality that each moment is a gift called life. There are many of us who have a tremendous amount of responsibilities. We may believe we must multi-task and even triple-task! Some cry out and question God, “How are people suppose to take care of family, work, school, balance everything and then take care of their own needs”? Trying to make ends meet, it is easy to get caught in the trap of busyness. Leaving little or no time for relaxation, family and friends we can get trapped. Some can escape momentarily in a church service, others may desire a Saturday night evening out to relax.

Pressures build as the busy syndrome continues to spread rampantly. Is there a cure? How does anyone find the answers? Although there are twenty four hours in a day, many say that they are too busy to be able to have time to play. They can’t take time to sleep the required amount of time their bodies need to stay in good health because they are too busy.

Once the busyness issue is addressed, finding balance in life, it has been reported people recover beautifully. In this fast paced world we live in there are many fun and exciting things to do. We can get so busy we become completely exhausted and have no energy to enjoy things we used to enjoy. The merry-go-round continues and few know how to stop it. Therefore, they put on their Busy Badge and wear it proudly for all to see.

Here is a challenge: Take a moment each day to acknowledge the God who gave life to all to enjoy. Be gentle to yourself. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Schedule time to enjoy a new adventure. Finally, the next time you ask someone how they are, and they say “busy”, recognize they are about to rush off in another  blur to Busy-Land, USA.

Aug 24

Want to Finish What You Started?

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“Talk does not cook rice” -Chinese Proverb
Have you ever thought about starting a new project and felt really excited about doing it? You tell your friends, “I am going to make this… write that book, or build that new…. (Fill in the blank).” They may celebrate with you about your latest passion, while encouraging you by saying they look forward to seeing your finished project.
When we get an idea or desire to take on a new project, we can experience all kinds of emotions. We feel energetic and enthusiastic about getting started. Taking the first step we make a plan. What materials will we need and how much will it cost? How much time will it take to complete or accomplish the job? Do we need assistance to finish, or can we do it alone? If we will need help from others, will it be available? Can we count on them? In the area of time, how long will the project take? How much time investment will others have to make and will their calendar correspond with ours?
Given all those considerations, the plan moves forward. It is time to begin. The excitement increases, with money in hand, we go shopping to purchase all our supplies. We may sense a little adrenaline rush walking through isles and filling our cart with the needed items. Once back home, car unloaded and bags unpacked it is time to sit down and rest. Then we notice the clock and realize it is dinner time! We need to prepare something to put on the table, eat and then get the kitchen cleaned. We finally get all of our obligations taken care of.
Now comes the reality; it’s time to start our new project, we can begin the work! Being tired from shopping all day, it is easy to justify waiting until later. Desiring to have a fresh start in the morning, we agree it is wise to wait until tomorrow. The excitement is not quite as strong as it was when we first got the idea. Now it comes down to the “nitty-gritty”, we have another thing on our to-do list and now it may be called work. A friend calls to see how things are going. When asked about our new project we can easily explain we were tired and plan on starting on it first thing tomorrow.
As morning arrives we may receive an urgent call from a mate, friend or child requesting a helping hand. There goes our time to work on the project! We realize other people need us, so we put off what we were going to do until later. Soon the children need help, the dog gets sick, or perhaps our boss requires our attention at the office and we have to stay later! The list can go on and on. A week passes and we stumble over a small pile in the corner and notice the supplies we purchased. Our memory being jogged at that moment, we may think, “Oh, wow, totally planned on making that…, but was so busy forgot all about it. Think tomorrow will be a good day to start working on that, after all it is Saturday and I don’t have anything else I have to do.” We all know what happens tomorrow, right?
A new idea comes along, perhaps learning how to paint a picture! Always having a desire to learn how, plus having a need to do more fun things, makes a great excuse to start something new. We may believe painting would be a good stress reliever, which is true, to justify ourselves as we go to the art store. Later we call our friends and say, “Guess what, I am going to learn how to paint!” Our friends may laugh and say, “That’s good; let me see your picture when you are finished.” (Pictured above were three unfinished abstract paintings that were patiently waiting for the artist within to show up.)
It is easy to make pronouncements, we can say just about anything our hearts desire. “I am going to become a beautiful piano player!” What, no lessons required? Did I hear there is no time to practice? Do I understand that there is no piano to play? To say something and actually do it is another matter. It is easy to say we are going to do this or that to ourselves and others. We can even pronounce to the world we are going to follow our dream to be the first to climb the Alaskan glaciers; we may even have a few friends that would cheer us on.
I have been viewed as one with too many ideas and not enough time to complete them all. I realize it is important to slow down to the speed of life and focus on that which is truly important to accomplish. I believe if we focus on making fewer pronouncements, while making more commitments to accomplish what we desire to complete, we will be successful in filling our destiny.
Jun 02

Hurry Sickness?

The opposite of taking time to relax could to be viewed as being busy. Has anyone noticed how the term ‘busy’ is being used almost as an automatic sound bite? When asking someone how they have been, a common response is ‘busy’. What does that term really imply? Busy in what way? Has the word busy became a pat answer we commonly use so we don’t have to say what we have been doing? Why is it that we can proudly proclaim we have been so busy, yet not see that may not be a good thing all the time. When we become so busy we do not have time for family and friends perhaps we should slow down and re-evaluate our priorities. Waking up with anxiety, hoping to conquer the never ending to-do list, we may try to hurry to accomplish even more. Working harder and faster, all the while finding out the more we do, the more that is expected from us. We begin to grow weary over time yet do not know how to get off the merry go round. We can become so busy we lose sight of why we started working so hard in the first place. Sick of being in a hurry? Understanding we need balance in our life, being willing to slow down to achieve it, may be just one way to bring a simple gift of peace and joy into the midst of our hurried, busy, sick world. I look forward to your thoughts. How do you view the term being busy?