Today seems to be an auspicious day around here. Retirement day has arrived for so many of my colleagues. Due to some company restructuring this is the final work day for a varied collection of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Some have celebrated their accomplishments and milestone quietly with family and close friends and others are having wide sweeping parties. We had a dress-up Groovy 70’s party to celebrate one person today. It was so fun to see the happy atmosphere and what a great way to take advantage of the timing. The journey for them has led to an introspective review of my own journey.
For the most part I have spent my career in this one company. I have worked part-time, full-time, and for a brief stretch as a stay-at-home mom. All have their advantages. But it’s the trip down memory lane that we took with my friend Carol that has touched me. I left this company once before when we relocated to another state. I left “kicking and screaming” as they say as it was not part of my personal plan. And yet the experience was great and ripe with personal growth and irreplaceable memories with my children. Then when we returned to Cincinnati, I reluctantly returned to work here knowing it was what my family needed financially. Since then I have approached work so much differently. I no longer cling to or run to a role based on the work or advancement opportunity alone. I approach the changes knowing that there is someone where I’m going that I am destined to meet. Some personal or spiritual connection that is lining itself up with my path. And it has come true in every case.
As I look at my friends who are retiring, I can feel the call of change beckoning me as well. Not to retire (just yet) anyway. But to come to another area of the business. There are people to meet, and connections to make that are critical for my life’s journey. I am open to the change – with one step on the path of excitement and one step on the path of longing for that which is familiar. It takes courage to take the foot off that last step and reach for the unknown. I feel my courage growing.
I encourage you to step out on your path … and be blessed!
Lately I have become overwhelmingly aware of how blessed I am. I may not be rolling in cash at the end of each month but I know that I have family that love me, friends who support me, food for each day, and a roof over my head.
And today as I see the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, I am grateful for the protection of my location. I have friends in the affected areas and I pray constantly for their protection and safety. The devastation will take years to recover – it is being called New Jersey’s Katrina. What a frightening thought.
Outside of our disasters we continue to hear of wars and bombings and man’s inhumanity to man all over the world. My daughter asked me today if this is the end of the world. Well no I told her but it is widespread catastrophe. We hear each day of incredible poverty and unbearable conditions. I am saddened for the conditions of our world, and I am grateful to be blessed.
I pray for direction for me to do God’s work. I write because God guides me. I paint angels and provide messages of inspiration because the Spirit (and angels) move me. I stand open to the nudging of my faith and discernment. What is next I ask. Right now, I’m considering a mission trip to Nigeria but I have no true plans or connections. I’m open to recommendations and will consider all options – humbly on my knees.
Nope, not the nightmarish sleeping dreams. I mean your day dreams. Is your dream so big that it scares you? I was talking about this today to a friend. They have been feeling like life has no upside and nowhere to go but what’s real today. This is all there is. No hope, just daily existence. I wanted to shift their thinking from impossible to the possible. So I asked them to dream a dream, make a wish that is so big it scares them. But it scares them because life without that dream would not be unacceptable.
It was a concept they had never dared to explore. I could tell by the long pause and under the breath “WOW” that they actually, for a split second, allowed a dream that big to flash before them. Suddenly the lilt in their voice changed. And in that moment something changed for them. They said the 3 words that can make a difference … “I want that.” And then it scared them again. This time it was the fear that we all face – I’m not worthy. What if it’s not possible? What about the barriers? It’s too big. I don’t know how. Nothing like that happens to me.
With a gentle whisper and nudging “shhhhhh” I gave them an assignment. For homework they had to not look at what was hard about it, but actually research what was real about it. What are the facts – the process, the cost, the waiting periods, the preparation time, and the steps from here to there. I know when you have a dream that you take even a little action on, it grows and gets stronger. That’s why I want them to research it. Break it into manageable bites sized pieces. Identify the quick wins and the big needs. Just begin.
I’m glad my friend has a dream that scares them. And then it hit me – their dream scared me too because I might be a piece of the puzzle to help them achieve it. Goosebumps and silly grins – I’m scared now. I love it!!!
CALLING ALL PRAYER WARRIORS! I have a friend who is in need of a financial miracle by Tuesday. I know only 1 way to bring on a miracle and that’s the power of prayer. So if you are a praying person, please join me in praying for the special intention of my friend FJ. Thanks and be blessed!
Have you taken note of the sensual and sultry changes going on around you? There is a dance afoot with the season of the fiery metamorphosis. The way the wind whips up the leafy skirts of the trees and sets the fallen, colorful carpet to dancing. Yesterday and today are the perfect examples.
We had sunny skies and 70 degree weather yesterday. As I walked outside I noticed both the crimson leaves and the hot pink of late-blooming roses in my yard. The mix of the aromas was intoxicating. Standing there I could feel the warm breeze of early fall. The leaves were dancing in the streets and swaying to the rhythm of the gentle breeze. The crunch of the leaves beneath my feet added accent to the senses. The leaves looked as if they were lazily skipping around to a distant song that I could not yet hear. Children could be heard laughing down the street. It was serene and lovely. Yesterday the autumn air was sensual.
And then the rains came. I could hear it tapping on my window through the night. When I awoke to leave the sky was still dark, just softly kissing the dawn of the day. I found the air cool and drippy with tiny droplets. Not fully raining but definitely chilly with spits to wet the cement. And the leaves were dancing again. But this time the rhythm was swirling and twirling and more vigorous. This was air that ushers in the late October moon. The song of the leaves was more vigorous and spirited. This morning’s autumn air was sultry.
It is the ebb and flow of the warm and crisp air and the changes to the sights and sounds in the trees as the wind whispers through the season that captures my soul. And I long to join the dance. That sensual, sultry dance that marks the descent of another year. A celebration and a final farewell.
Today I learned a lesson in trust. Not because someone broke my trust but because they didn’t. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in my fears. When I look at new situations with the suspicions of the past I have done a disservice to both myself and the person I’m dealing with. They can neither know our pains nor anticipate our buttons.
And what I learned today is that while holding onto my own fear and my own self preservation I didn’t see theirs. I didn’t recognize the signs of their pain. I didn’t know they had the same lesson in their life. Patience, compassion, and the willingness to take a risk allowed us both to share and see the other side. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it. And I was able to move from fear to freedom. As the Bible says, “the truth shall set you free.”
I have come a long way in learning lessons from my past. So I choose to acknowledge that and pick up with a new possibility. I choose to look at the future as bright, not as bleak. I choose to leave the person who hurt me behind in exchange for a new slate with someone else. I’m glad I had the lesson today. I’m glad I spoke out and I’m glad I pushed myself to be open. In the end, the lesson I learned in the past has opened me up to the sweetness of trust in my today.