life

To Do, Doing, Done

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What a difference a year can make.  Last year at this time I was highly stressed over everything.  I was dreading the holidays, and looking for answers to my dysfunctional family of origin.  I was burdened without knowing where my next home might be and uncertain as to our future regarding EVERYTHING.

I carried my disappointments front and center all the while trying to make sense out of things that had no answers.  This practice lead me to intense sadness, and counter-productive thoughts. Even though I logically was writing about solutions which contained numerous rationalizations, I wasn’t really seeing positive results.

I used to describe my living condition as a sort of limbo hell both physically and emotionally.  In essence that was what it was; limbo hell.

I wrote.  I read.  I planned. I learned. I tried everything, nothing worked.

You know why nothing worked?

Nothing worked because I thought writing the ideas, reading them, and believing  I knew something would be enough to make things better.  I am going to tell you right here and now….”knowing” anything  is worthless without “doing.”

And that is where I am now.   I am in the “doing phase.”  I am, once and for all, dropping all the slights and the hurts that I perceived over the past several years of my life.  Seriously, in order to get anywhere you have to stop “feeling” the past.  I use the word ” feeling”  the past instead of living, or thinking about the past because it’s how you feel that squashes out your light.

Very soon after I started this “journey to living better with less” I broke down and cried when told I had too many framed photos.  That scene made me well aware that my journey was about much more than just “stuff.”  I know why I cried.  Inside all those frames I saw photos of better times.  I cried because I was forced to acknowledge time had vanished into thin air faster than a blink.  It all hit me at once like a ton of bricks.  I was without.  I was in limbo.

Fast forward to now:

This year I am hosting Thanksgiving  for my entire family, including my family of origin and I am doing it with an open heart.   That’s right, for those people who I have said terrible things about and who I saw as a problem.   Those who I shut out and avoided.   I am kind of shocked about this myself, but I have thought about this for a awhile and it feels right.

They say time heals, but I don’t think it is time.  I think we heal by our own choice.  I am not saying it’s easy, but at some point in time you have to move on and you have to let go.  You need to live in the present, and see the here and now and you have to eliminate feeling the past.  The past is gone.

So now, maybe now, I can say I have grown.  Maybe I am capable of putting everything I have learned to work.  I’ll tell you this much, it feels like a huge heavy boulder has been remove from my soul, and that is a good thing.  I don’t plan on ever holding on to emotional garbage again.  From my experience emotional clutter is far more destructive than any of the items collecting dust in my storage unit.

Time to carry on. Cheers!

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Assholes clutter a good life

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Do you know how many assholes clutter this world?

Here’s the thing, we are supposed to take the high ground and let it go.  Let it be, etc, but you know what?  The assholes aren’t getting the message this way.

I am sure you have read about the “everyone gets a ribbon” syndrome that is plaguing American youth. Well this same idea, of not telling someone they suck, applies to assholes, jerks and rude people.

We ignore them. We take the high ground.  As a result they see no negative repercussions for their rude inconsiderate behavior. They think what they are doing is acceptable, a-okay, so they continue.  Most of these people have no person close enough to them who will say , “Hey knock it off, you’re being an asshole.”…..They live in this bubble of self- absorption, only thinking about their own needs as a primary focus of each and every waking moment.

So here is the question:  Do you call them out, or let them continue?  You know if they continue they will pass it on to their off-spring, thus we are promoting the trait.  Or do you protect your own well-being and peace of mind? In other words, let them live in their pathetic asshole lives and cut them out of your circles, and move on. ( thus living in a bubble of your own creation)

Yep, everyone knows an asshole, has seen an asshole, and encounters them frequently.  From what I see there appears to be a growing number of these characters around.  Are we somewhat to blame for allowing  them to exist?  Has our choice not to get “involved”with their low-life behavior embolden them?  Are we now “Asshole-Enablers?”  (AE groups starting at a church near you)

I see both sides of this coin.  I know I want a peaceful and kind life, but can I have that when I am not doing my part to squelch the jerk?  When I look the other way, am I being selfish by helping only myself and not society as a whole?

It’s like that show on T.V. calledWhat would you do?  Notoriously they have actors acting very badly, and they wait to see if anyone (any civilian in the area), will speak up.  Audiences are joyful, even tearful,  when someone stands up to the asshole and conversely the audience is totally disgusted when the people look the other way.

I believe it takes a village to raise a community, but those days appear to be gone for the most part.

I am positive I don’t have the answer here.  I am working on this one because I think we as a people have to start playing an active role in what we see and what we deem as acceptable in our communities and in our lives.  Sadly I am not yet ready to play in the mud, but some days I get real close.

Please let me know your thoughts on this one, I am very interested in all points of view.

learn from the sunflower

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This beautiful sunflower shows all the hope and promise of life.  I am here, I am happy, I am spectacular.  Bring it on. I am ready.

What a glorious sight.  Nature at its finest, from a simple little seed this masterpiece sprouted .

That was yesterday. Yesterday is gone.

Today life has already sent a blow to the sunflower.  I am guessing a squirrel had a hand in this.  It wasn’t anything personal, it just happened.

As time goes on, more and more will happen to this sunflower,  most of which will be none of its own doing.  That  is just the way it goes.

So the sunflower’s couple days brought me to my message or point.  Enjoy life even though it’s ever changing, even if at times it seems unfair.

How many time have you heard the phrase,” enjoy the moment” ?  Sounds so cliche but it’s not.  Have you managed to put this phrase to practice?

It’s not easy, but it is doable.  I try everyday.  Everyday every moment is a challenge, or should I say an “opportunity” to remember to live, to enjoy, to breath, to love and to be grateful and kind.  You can just pick one of those thoughts and you’re well on your way.

It takes a conscientious effort and a consistent effort to live in the moment.  Practice make perfect.  Take right now for instance, be happy you are reading.  Just enjoy the photos if nothing more.  Acknowledge your moment and smile.  Then repeat every moment the rest of your life.

One person I know uses the phrase “don’t time travel”  meaning don’t worry, fret or ponder the future or the past, only right now truly exists….live now – find joy now, be kind now, be grateful now, choose a positive thought over a negative thought.

I may be writing this for myself as a concrete lesson I can visualize…..but it doesn’t matter.

I hope you enjoy many moments.

Cheers.

Update:

mindtrash fall-out

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I know I have been missing from this blog, I have been working super hard on our renovation Project 1923.  I have been without a kitchen and a real bed for quite some time now, and I think it has help to change my perspective.  Simpler is better and easier for me.  Oh, and we no longer watch TV……that’s huge.

If you want to get the trash out of your head, turning the TV off is essential.  Try it for a week…. I dare you.  For serious down time, too tired to move or think down time, I have Netflix. Not the greatest selection, but the documentaries seem to suit me well at the moment.

Bit by bit, I am applying what I preach to my own life.  I have tamed the old wild-ass-consumer I used to be.  Curbed the hoarder I became as a result my shopping and now I think more clearly.   Literally I pause before each buying decision.  This solidifies my desire to use less, have less, and want less.  Not buying is incredibly empowering.  It truly is.

Just recently I’ve caught myself walking away from negative conversations.  That’s right,  just walking away…..I don’t care if someone thinks I am a weirdo.  Who cares what anyone thinks anyway?  ( you never know what is in their mind, so quit thinking about it.  It’s trash thinking, a waste of your own time and mind power.)  Be yourself, be kind, and do your best.  It is that simple.

As far as politics go, I have to turn it WAY off.  I am very opiniated about my political beliefs, however, I am never going to change a right-winged mentality.  I have learned that lesson and want no part of it.  It’s all trash- doesn’t accomplish a thing.  I am liberal at heart, and I have no problems with that. ( good thing I have a handful of political friends on line – or on-demand if you will – it’s nice to touch base without all the drama. )

Life is still hectic.

Our move has proven to be a great decision. We love our new town and our neighborhood.  It’s diverse, interesting and people are super friendly.  The house was a bargain, and the work we are doing to it is rewarding.  I have learned many skills and am stretching my imagination.  The satisfaction from a completed project is HUGE.

We are appreciating the good and actually ” living with less” is much more awesome than I ever thought possible.

I heard a friend say one day, ” My goal is to live well below my means.”  That stuck with me and I have chosen it as one of my many goals.  It’s fun.

Mini Update: I have weeded out my pottery, and actually am parting with some of my children’s art work.  The storage unit is less crowded, we hope to move to a smaller unit by September first. Currently my focus is on our renovation, 29 days of giving, real work and family.  Soon I will be paining ( art) again, it’s nice to even feel like painting again.

Whatever you want to change, you can – even if it takes forever – you have the power.  Until next time. Cheers!

Better today

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Today I learned from the other day and simply removed myself from a conversation of which I didn’t want to participate in, and I am proud of myself.

It was so easy to just change the subject, get ignored, and slowly move away.  The conversation wasn’t a feel good conversation, and even though I have my own opinions on just about everything I just wanted a more positive day for myself.  So I got it.

smiley-happy-face-yellow

There you have it, an example of taking control of my environment.   I am still learning, so I know there is hope for you too.

Happy Father’s Day all you dads, keep being awesome!

Oh it’s Sunday so I shouldn’t be posting – got to go!  Cheers!

I have never

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It’s difficult to believe this but I have never sat in a coffee shop alone with my laptop. I have never gone to a library to read. I’ve only once gone to a sit-down restaurant by myself.

I’m no spring chicken. I have done many many other things that maybe someone else hasn’t done. But seriously the simple things are foreign to me.  I never felt I had the luxury of time to do these things, or I would tell myself ,  “I can do that at home.”  Doing simple things at home is never the same as doing them else where, and they rarely happen.

I remember on one vacation I was happy to cook everyone breakfast, no matter what time they woke up.  Looking out the kitchen window there nothing but beach between me and Pacific Ocean.  I determined I could cook there non-stop. At home I might say to the late risers, “I’ve been up for five hours I just had lunch.”

Here is the key, when you get home, there’s always something tugging at you. If not physically then mentally. At least in my case there is. Considering what lives at home off and on; two dogs, two cats, three children, a husband and my mother, tugging at me comes as no surprise.  That’s another reason I am heading to minimalism less stuff to even consider or clutter your thoughts.  You don’t have to bother yourself with items that have to be stored, or saved for another time, or cleaned and repaired.  No.  No Mas. The time is now.

Time to change it up a bit.

I figure I can spare one hour a day, with a minimum of travel time on either side.  So lets make it two hours.  Two hours instantly scares me into thinking I cant do this.  But I know I can if I really want it.  If I want it more than doing laundry today, or lingering on the internet,  I can spare some time to hang with nature.  That’s what I like to do.  You might like something totally different.  Maybe you won’t get to it exactly at the time you wanted, but if you want it, you can get there.

Time to let yourself know, you make the your decisions.  Face it, when we make excuses many times we still don’t even do “the excuse” of why we couldn’t do what we wanted.  Time sucks are everywhere.  You need to identified and destroy those time-leaks.

For a while I was taking the dogs to the park , throwing down a blanket and sketching with my colors pencils and reading.  With this small outing, took my hectic-life and I made it stop.  I was there.  Nothing else was allowed to tugged at me.  It was pretty awesome.

Start simply: here’s an idea you can do at home tonight.

How about a  luxury bath?  Even if you don’t usually take baths, try this on for size; 2 cups of Epsom salts, 1 cup of baking soda, and 10 drops of lavender oil to bathwater as hot as you can tolerate.

I am doing this tonight.  I think I will light a few candles as well.  Love to hear how you like it , if you do it.

Cheers!

Tip: Start small, little changes every day is the best way to change your life, but don’t allow yourself to miss even one day no matter what.

Inspiration: “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”- Buddha

One day – one thing: Take ten minutes, close your eyes and visualize your life as you want to live it.