Archive for the ‘personal growth’ Category

All she can see…

Friday, May 27th, 2011

 

Image by Rupert Merlin

Photo taken by Rupert Merlin

 

It was this tree that saved her with its gnarled branches knotting distant the pain and stretching towards freedom for her. She held fast to the hope one day she’d find a way out. A way to escape the war raging within, cancer eating every part of her, leaving her stranded useless. Her mind wished to climb to the very tip of the tree and fall into life again, to feel the air like dreams bursting past with all the fervor she once felt. If she could just find a way to the other side where life remained and death was not welcome. She knew the secret was the in that tree, the one that reached tall into hope and siphoned it to her when little else could. It stood steady her constant companion reminding her it wasn’t over yet, that cancer had not won, would not win. It was just a bit of a climb to this side of happy, “see…over here, watch me, I’ll show you. To this side of life.” And it would wait patient the days, reliable the nights. It would never give up on her. Even when she felt she could not remember what it felt like to laugh without the lingering veil of diseased truth choking her silent. Even when she felt herself a stranger in happy boots waiting eager to play in the rain once more. The tree sloughed free its leaves to remind her everything will return again, some day. It always does. And so will she.

And so will she.

Clandestine pockets of people

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

a sus pies, originally uploaded by LuisBeltrán.

There are some moments I feel so profoundly alone, even in the midst of many. I know I am not unique in this way, we all feel alone from time to time. It is frightening how isolated a moment can feel. How permanent. Even if we know time never stands still, moments can feel solid in a way words cannot capture. I have been feeling very lonely lately. And afraid of something, though it is not quite ready to be articulated, perhaps even to me, but it lingers right in my core. And knots me up in a disconcerting way.

In these cold moments I try to remember there must be clandestine pockets of people just like me all over the world. And it is my great fortune to have the adventure in life to find them.

No More Regrets, Just Dreams

Friday, January 7th, 2011

I have spent far too much time in the past few years going over and over and over all the things I’ve done wrong. Combing through the skeletons in my closet and beating myself with them. I have scoured my innermost thoughts so harshly I am raw within. It is time to move forward. I see I am not perfect. I know I have hurt people unintentionally. I know I have made poor choices I am not proud of but now it is time to take a mental photograph and leave this guilt behind. I will add these memories, these experiences to a much larger, much greater sum total of memories and experiences and see myself just a little bit more colorful because of them. We are a collection of thoughts, moments, people, experiences. And I am learning to be ok with who I am.

So the theme for 2011… no more regrets, just dreams. This goes right along with my pledge to be a little bit nicer this year, to myself and others. My motto will be a quote from Sara Teasdale,

I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes.

Dear Santa, I’d love…

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Dear Santa, I’d love…, originally uploaded by dr_loplop.

As part of my operation nice assignments…I am writing a letter to Santa to tell him what I want for Christmas. So, Ole St. Nick, here is my list…

This year, I’d love…

1. Confidence. I seem to have misplaced mine in the past few years and I can’t seem to find it.

2. Good health. For my family, friends and myself. I have been sick for a few years and it really drains my motivation and my good spirits.

3. Productivity. I’d love to be more productive, to work on my sites a bit more, to finish up some projects I’ve started but haven’t finished. To start writing more, maybe even for money.

4. Discipline. I’d love to have the discipline to exercise on a regular basis, this may help me feel better physically as well. I’d also love to journal on a regular basis again. I used to be so good at it! And daily meditation. Seems, Santa, that discipline is something I really, really need.

5. Clarity. In what I want to do, in which direction I want to go, in my overall purpose, in my life’s goals. I have been struggling and I believe everything happens for a reason, even if it is not a good one. While I have been slowed down by my health, I feel like it gave me some time to re-evaluate my purpose, my goals. I’d love the clarity to do this.

6. A good experience for my girlie in her first year of college. I want her to enjoy every aspect of it through the difficult and jubilant times. I hope she discovers that she is capable of anything she puts her mind to and that she is worth love, great big gigantic deep love. She is so worth it. And I really want her to feel that for herself as well.

7. A pay raise for my friends. I want all my friends to get raises, bonuses, level increases, grants. Anything they need and deserve. =) And a sense of appreciation at work. I know many a person who works very hard and feels unappreciated…Santa, please bring them a better working experience.

8. A way back to Grad School. I would love to find a way to go back to Graduate school, to pinpoint what I want to study and to go for it.

9. Intimacy, Relationship deposits. Santa, help me pick up the phone more often to say hello, to invite a long-distance friend to a chat or a local friend to lunch. Let me invite others to dinner or a movie. Remind me how to show those I care about how important they are in my life by making time for them.

10. Gratitude. I want to stay focused on all that I have in my life. To be actively, proactively grateful for the people and comforts I enjoy every single day of my life.

Thank you, Santa. I’ll try to help you out… and do what I can on this end. =) I would love, love, love to help you out in helping fulfill someone else’s list too. =) Let me know if I can.

P.S. Since I am receiving Photoshop for my birthday, you can definitely take that off the long-long-long-wanted list as well. =) WOO HOOO!!!

a little girl made a great big wish

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

I remember as a child reading some piece of advice that stuck with me.

“Decide what you like in others, what kind of characteristics or qualities you find admirable or worthy, and then become the person you want to be accordingly.”

I made a list, a simple list back then, and decided I would do just that. Many of the things on the list I already was inherently. But some I had to work at. I did. I do. And I continue to revisit this list throughout my life and compare it to who I am at the time. It has become my own measuring stick of success.

I equate success with intangible things like being most of the things on my list, or positively affecting another person’s life. I measure success in quality of love and of laughter and listening. And I think this helps put things in perspective for me. It is only when I start to look to other measuring sticks to gauge my own success that I struggle with distorted self-images.

And I have to admit, that has been my problem for awhile. I have been trying to measure myself against a different standard, a standard I can never reach. So, I am revisiting the list and the girl I once was…who was so very intelligent and wonderful so many years ago, the girl who started the list. And I am going to ask…

What does she think about it all today?

And it is my guess she would still choose love and laughter and listening over dollars and promotions and constant new professional goals. She would choose people over things. She would choose living over accumulating. She would choose a good book over a movie or a TV program any day, any time. She would spend less time focused on all that she had done wrong and more time on what she can do right.

And so should I. So should I!

Let’s be the people we want to like…

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Everlasting Love

There is a common thread of dislike of other people pervasive in our world today. People hating people. People losing patience with people. People being rude and disrespectful. People lacking people skills. So much aggression, so much to dislike. And it feels almost hopeless… as if we are inextricably bound to this thread, even if we want to like people… even if we want to ‘be nice’ and shine light and not spew hatred or anger. But, it is not hopeless… or at least not for me. Or for you. =)

Let’s bet the people we want to like. Let’s hold doors open for people and share our umbrellas in the rain. Let’s return lost items and let’s say thanks whenever we get the opportunity. Let’s fill out comment cards and praise the good in people. Let’s look for things to like and let’s emulate them. Let’s go the extra mile to help someone, particularly if they ask. Let’s encourage others whenever we can. Let’s smile more. Look into the eye of the person in front of us. Let’s call our family and friends—ask how they are doing… and really listen to their response. Let’s write note cards. Let’s pay for the person behind us. Let’s reserve judgment. Let’s make positive assumptions rather than negative. Let’s approach someone first. Say hello. Say hello again next time. Bring an extra sandwich for lunch. Let’s be polite and patient.

Let’s be the people we want to like…

Postcard #2 (Nice Journey)

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

I owe an apology to someone I care a lot about. I am often so inside my own head I do not realize how my retreat within, my withdrawal from the everyday affects others. I recently avoided someone when they needed me, not because they needed me and not really on purpose but more because I was in my own head and trying to avoid the world. No matter my reason, I hurt someone. So, what better time than NOW to send a postcard with a simple apology and words expressing how important this person is to me? That is what I did this morning. Good Morning.

For the record, I am sorry. And love is fade resistant, no matter how far I go, no matter how long I am silent.

All Smiles (nice assignment)

Friday, August 6th, 2010

All Smiles, originally uploaded by optikal..

The newest nice assigment is to smile more. I am a fairly smiley person already so this will be easy and fun. I generally try to smile at everyone all the time. But I will pay attention and try to smile more. I will also encourage others to smile as well.

And for another nice update,

I finished the living eulogy. I wrote it for my dear friend E. and gave it to her when I was finished. She loved it.

I think I will write more for others but I will take a different, slightly more positive direction. I think I will write like I am nominating [said person] as Man or Woman of the Decade. And then talk about why… that might be a more positive version of this ‘nice’ assignment. Eulogies seem creepy. And in some cultures it is bad luck to write a eulogy or obituary for someone who is not dead. It is like putting a curse on them. Wouldn’t want to do that! Particularly not with people I care about… well, no one really but you know what I mean!

Better be safe than sorry!

This leaves only new and ongoing nice challenges. I continue to make nice drops. The other day when we were getting coffee, we paid for the person behind us and left a nice note. It is fun!! This Tuesday I’ll be making a handmade valentine! How much fun will that be?

Want to join me in my quest to be nicer?
(more…)

Nice (part 1)

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

So! I took this nice project by the reins and went to full speed ahead on my journey! I sent out my first postcard to a stranger and then we did a nice-note-a-palooza. Three of us wrote out some random notes and then deposited them throughout the town. Seven random notes and the best part… a little girl joined in with us and she was so excited to be part of being nice! =)

Journey to the depths of niceness

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

I happened upon a most wonderful site the other day, Operation NICE. Allow the lovely lady who started it tell you in her own words (from the website) what it is about,

Don’t you love it when people go out of their way to be nice? Like when someone waits to hold the door for you. Or when a stranger waves you into a line a traffic. Or even when a coworker shoots you a friendly smile along with a “have a nice day.” If everyone was a little bit nicer to the folks they encountered each day, perhaps the world would be a more pleasant place. Operation NICE was initiated to remind you that a little NICE goes a long way.

And so a movement was born…a journey to be nice and proactively spread the niceness. I am jumping in head first! I am already a fairly nice person. I compliment good service. I write thank you notes. I try to be thoughtful mostly. However, I am ready to begin a journey into new depths of niceness.

Most every week for the past few years the nice lady who runs Operation Nice has given out nice assignments for others to complete. Having just found the site I feel a little jealous I have missed out on all these nice opportunities to be super-duper nice and make another person’s day a little bit better. And so! I have decided I will do some of the past assignments as well as trying to do the new ones that she conjures up! It will be fun, fun indeed. These are the past nice assignments I have decided upon:

  • Mail a card to a random stranger (picked from the telephone book). I will do this once a month, every 3rd Thursday a month, I already sent the first one yesterday to a lady in Illinois! The whitepages.com insists you put in a last name so I chose a random word close to my heart, ‘book’. =) Fun!  (Ongoing)
  • Hand make valentines and give them to those you care about. I had a head start on this one as I did this for Valentine’s Day. But why stop on that day? I will handmake one valentine every month to send to someone I care about–on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. (Ongoing)
  • I love list for each month, write a list or do a doodle composition of what you love about the current month… or as I will do it the upcoming month. I will post my What I love about this month picture or list on the 1st of every month. (Ongoing)
  • Write a living eulogy — I will give this some thought and get back to you soon… I might even post it. If not, I will post about it. (Finished on August 6th)
  • Send a postcard to family and/or friends on a regular basis. I will choose some nifty postcards and send one a week to a different person until I recycle through everyone and then begin again. (Ongoing)
  • Make a I Love list, a positive way of articulating goals or just being grateful. I will make one soon… and periodically make new ones… this one will be fun! (Finished on July 30th)
  • Nice bombs, on the Operation Nice website she provides cards you can print out that say Nice Note and a space for you to write in your own message. She even attaches little gifts with them! How nice!!! I will write some out and sometimes add little gifts… and leave them places, taking photos of the places I leave them to share with everyone. (Ongoing)

Oh! I am excited to get all crazy random nice! How fun! I will keep you up to date on my journey to the inner depths of niceness. In the meantime why not start your own little nice things to do and tell me about it and tell Melissa from Operation Nice about it too! And a big fat thank you to you Melissa for inspiring me to be even nicer.

Updated last (August 25th).