My wife and I try to teach our kids what matters in life–God, family, friends, love, and compassion. The intangibles. Like all parents, we fight the incoming tide of materialism, and often lose. They fight over video games, beg for more toys, and refuse to share. Our 19-month-old even snatches things up, clutches them to her tiny chest, and emphatically declares in her sweet little voice, “Mine!” It’s cute, but also demoralizing. How can we compete with human nature?
We all like our stuff. Giant HD televisions, golf clubs, books, pianos, video games, cake decorating equipment, computers, handbags, shoes, Barbie dolls, movies, blankies, Legos…the list is endless. But it’s not important. We constantly have to remind them and ourselves that if we lost it all, we’d still be blessed with our family, our church, and friends.
We are a Christian family. Like all Christians, we have a standard litany for times of trouble.
I know, I know, 2 race recaps in one week? But stick with me here, folks… I promise this will be worth it. I announced on Sunday my commitment to showing a little more love to myself this month, and being mindful of that topic, I wanted to address the issue of being honest, especially to oneself. Quite frankly, sometimes it hurts to admit that maybe things aren’t going your way, or maybe you have to switch paths, but taking those issues head-on can really do wonders for your mental health.
Example 1: As Much as I love Powerlifting – it wasn’t in my cards.
I dedicated the past few years of my life to powerlifting. I was very anti-cardio, always followed a strict plan, and I really wasn’t terrible at it. Unfortunately, within my resources, I would never be able to thrive.
My career doesn’t afford for me to travel for days at a time as I quit high school too soon, but I, fortunately, got My GED! So I can’t go to meets, because my location is not necessarily a hotspot for powerlifting in general. There are no decent coaches near me. There are no training facilities for me to work in. Basically, it was just me, my barbell, and a dream. Continue Reading
As a child, I’ve spent most of my time outdoors as I was lucky enough to grow up on the countryside surrounded by nature. Because of this, I have developed a strong bond with nature that has lasted all the way through adulthood and will probably stay with me until I die.
Why am I telling you this? Whenever I need a break from work or life, I find peace and relaxation in nature. Although I currently don’t live in the countryside, there are certain places I go to when I want to take a break and feel like relaxing.
These places are so powerful that they always bring me peace, happiness, and relaxation. When the wind blows in my face, it feels like stress, worries, and negative emotions disappear.
Life may get going so well for us that we have to create some chaos to disrupt the beautiful flow that’s bubbling up.
And we have such a marvelous variety of options from which to choose! Partying to excess and getting sick is popular with the younger set. One friend fell into bed with someone who not only didn’t respect her in the morning, he stole her favorite coffee mug on the way out.
Many choose to create some kind of financial shipwreck by spending way beyond their means. Some martyrs may send themselves into a state of overwhelm and snippiness by taking on too many activities or charitable ventures, becoming a “human doing” instead of a “human being.” Insanity then springs from being out of balance. Continue Reading
Late one summer aspiring author Brian visited an arts and crafts festival in Asheville where he was attracted to a display of Personal Altars. These metal and glass wall ornaments comprise one or more Chinese characters above a metal tray that holds one’s own treasures: a feather, a special rock, a dried flower, whatever.
‘Can you design one with the Chinese characters for Crisis?’ he asked the artists of Selena Glass and Metal of Burnsville, NC. ‘That’s Danger and Opportunity-seems to be the altar where I worship right now,’ he laughed.
Now the piece hangs in his mountain home at Lake Glenville, NC, reminding him that opportunity exists even in times of seeming crisis, and there’s a New Beginning in store-at the right time.
A whirlwind with Tom Bird Seminars “Write Your Publishable Book in a Weekend” recently, after a climb up Cathedral Rock in Sedona, one of the MAJOR Energy Vortexes in the world. Spectacular!
While standing on top of the rock, amazed that I’d even made it, still huffing & puffing a bit–a yoga teacher who’s not accustomed to climbing rock faces at high altitudes can be blown out of her comfort zone ;- } — I stretched my arms out to the sky and asked God, my Guides and the Universe to pour through me and assist me in penning forth whatever I’m supposed to write! Continue Reading
Searching for something to give you a feeling of complete fulfillment?
Most people discover that the career or even the relationship won’t do it all–and that the happiest they’ve ever been is when they’ve found some way to ‘give back.’ I’m not talking solely about money–I’m talking about time and talent– giving of themselves.
‘Those who will be happiest among you will be those who have sought and found a way to serve,’ said scientist and humanitarian Albert Schweitzer. During the season of giving, I encourage you to find greater happiness by seeking your own path of service and sharing your true gifts.
For example, my coaching client John, whose natural gifts include leadership and the art of persuasion. A top sales rep in a national corporation, John’s life felt out of balance. Although he was in a happy, long-term relationship, enjoyed frequent travel and scored President’s Club every year, something was missing.
Have you ever tried to run away from the silence of a Sunday afternoon?
For years of my life, I certainly tried. It was that one slot in the week when I had no pressing deadlines, no charity work, nothing churchy going on; no classes, choral groups, dates or parties–nothing to distract me from the very challenging business of just being me–by myself.
The prospect of Sunday afternoons often depressed me, because that was the sole time during a frenzied week that I would slow down enough actually to FEEL what was going on inside–my endless impatience to ‘be there’ (wherever there was–most certainly it was somewhere I was not in either my career or personal life)–and my sadness over not having achieved that elusive state yet. Continue Reading
You are your own best career adviser. The role of an outsider is chiefly that of fog dispersal, a critical yet preliminary and adjunctive role.
Should you stop me in the hallway today and ask the meaning of desuetude I’d have a puzzled look on my face and answer “I know it but no I just can’t come up with it”, my voice trailing off as I felt I disappointed you.
Yet if you’d shown me a sentence in the newspaper like “… after years of desuetude and neglect the old school house was only fit for the wrecker’s ball”, I’d have said “oh, disuse”, though in truth it’s more likely that you’d not have needed to ask me at all.
At one point along my path I was involved with a lovely man who did computer graphic design, had been in recovery from alcohol & drugs for ten years and was actively involved with Alcoholics Anonymous.
After one year with me he’d fallen off the wagon into alcohol relapse, partially because we weren’t on the same page & he was never the right person for me. But I did learn some valuable lessons in his presence.
On his mantel perched one of those cheap statues of a goofy-looking ghost with the slogan he’d put on it: “Have you hugged your shadow today?” Continue Reading