Tag Archive | changes

Transitions and Dichotomies

images (9)Have you ever noticed that the rhythm of life seems to bring highs and lows at the very same time? I have often wondered if it’s God’s way of balancing our hearts so they do not break under the pressure of sad events. It is the rainbow that is in the midst of the rain and lightening. It is hard to notice one without noticing the power of the other. And I suppose the why of it all and the timing sequence is one of those questions that will remain unanswered in this lifetime.

090607 (31) - lotus flower closed close-upRight now, I feel that life is in transition in so many places. My son is marrying the love of his life in less than a month. My daughter will soon follow next year. The joy I feel for them both is still tripped up by the mourning of that time I had with them as children. Oh sure, they are still my children but soon they will be someone else’s spouse. The center of their world has already shifted but mine is lingering behind. My day to day life has changed and that is not painful. But those still quiet moments when I think of what has ended forever, my heart breaks in the memory of it all. So life at home is changing and shifting every day.

87678138On the other end of the spectrum, while my children move into beginnings, I see endings for others I love. One of those is my Grandma. I still am blessed to have both of my grandmothers – one 94 and the other soon to be 90. The older one is recovering from 2 strokes and it seems at times that she is slowly slipping away. Her mind is still fairly good but her body is weakening. When I sit with her she sometimes is quite focused on what’s happening here and then I notice her drifting forward, looking, seeking, longing for what’s next. Even asking for it at times. I know this is the cycle of life, but the timing is right in the midst of joyful transitions. It seems that the timing is “off” – I am jumbled in the joy and the sadness.

On the career front I have been dreaming and working toward a new possibility as I see the long-term career cresting toward the final years. This is a bittersweet transition as I have great longing for both possibilities. But as one bloom on the tree of life wanes, another begins to appear. It is the balance of yin and yang. Dark and light. Morning and evening. The world seems to be spinning out of control and standing still at the same time.

day nightPerhaps transitions is one word to explain it and dichotomies is another. It appears that life has 2 opposites existing at the same time for me. For many people this is true I imagine. And I find myself not knowing whether to celebrate or to mourn. To plan or to wrap-up. Today I stand in the middle and my mood is fickle.

What transitions and dichotomies are you grappling with? Any tips and tricks for standing in the middle?

Be blessed!

Itty Bitty Changes

I have long lamented the overwhelm I feel when it comes to getting big jobs done. Whether it’s weeding, cleaning my house, managing the mountain of mail or emails – it doesn’t take much for a little bit to become a huge undertaking. Add a couple of kids (no matter how old they are) and well, you get the picture. I used to swirl and fret about the fact that I can’t get it all done in the limited time available to me. So I did the avoidance game and felt worse about it. Part of that is my bent for procrastination, part of it was lack of energy to tackle the whole job.

So, I’ve been adjusting my approach these days and I feel sooooo much better. I’ve taken to 2 different methods, depending on the day, my mood, or the time available.

1) 10 minute sweep – When I have a wee bit of time I use this method. I might set a timer or just do a watch check. I give myself 10 minutes of intense organization or cleaning. I always start with the biggest impact items to maximize the effect. And for 10 minutes I do all that I can. A sense of urgency and speed enhance the process but I try not to sacrifice efficiency. When it’s over it’s always amazing to me what a difference a short sweep of 10 minutes can make. It’s not done. It’s not perfect. But it’s usually presentable.

2) Graze as You Go Method – This is my “don’t sweat about it” approach when I have no time to tackle a specific task. Basically I just make sure wherever I go I’m not going empty-handed. So if there are shoes on the floor I grab and go. If there are glasses sitting in the bedroom or living room I grab as I go by on the way to the kitchen to leave. When I walk the dog I grab a handful of weeds. It’s only one or two items at a time. But I’ve learned, there’s a million back and forth trips we take in our homes. Whether it’s to pre-heat the oven, grab a drink, go to the bathroom, get dressed, etc. You know how it is – we go back and forth with a singular purpose and I’ve just added a second purpose to a path I’m already taking.

Neither of these approaches are going to get the job done when it comes to completion but it helps me to make an impact or maintain and improve without taking the time to do a big job. Since I’ve started doing these things I find a couple of things have happened. First, I get momentary satisfaction that things are improving. Whether it’s noticeable in the grand scheme (10 minute sweep), or just a satisfaction that I’m taking the million bites out of the elephant (graze as you go), either way I feel better about the overwhelm.  Second, it helps me manage the chaos in a way that doesn’t let it deteriorate further.  Last, by the end of the week or the end of the month I usually find that some major, overwhelming jobs are either done or can be finished in my next 10 minute sweep.

I’ve taken to appreciating these small enlightened improvements in my journey as micro methods for me to manage stress and live a happier life.

What little changes have you made that help you make progress or decrease stress?

Be blessed!


There are days that come where we all seem to just wander around unable to define who we are and what we are here to do. Have you ever noticed that people tend to drift during times of “in between crisis” and “in between celebrations”? Why is it that our lives are all about circumstances dictating our moods or our thoughts or our actions? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t it be that passion and commitment and decision drive our attitudes and actions?

I’m learning about this concept and trying to put into motion the changes based on what I choose. If life is about choices then that should include the choice of action, reaction, emotion, and mood. Yep … still learning. Yep … still practicing.

I do notice that the times when my life seems to be really rocking along in a good and powerful way I feel that I am in charge. I don’t feel swept away by emotion in those moments. I feel like I am the cause of those emotions. I don’t feel like I’m drifting but rather that I’m driving.

So, today, as the weather is gloomy and full of “liquid sunshine” I choose to continue to deliberate with myself about my level of control over what I think and what I feel. I choose to leave the drifting feeling on the sideline and get into the game of life again.

What do you think?

Who Do You Inspire?

In my work as a Human Resources Manager for a large corporation I tend to meet alot of people. A whole lot. When I add in the work I do as a Myers-Briggs certified trainer, I meet a bunch more. Every once in a while I meet someone who absolutely, hands-down inspires me. It’s electric and enchanting when it happens!

I’ve been thinking about what it is that touches me so much about these people and I think I finally figured it out – because they are all about making the lives of others better. Simple isn’t it. They don’t even do it in big, grand or sweeping ways – they do it in everyday life. They are easy to talk to. They are genuine in their concern for those that don’t even usually have a voice in the matter. They are humble and kind. They aren’t donating wings of hospitals. (Don’t get me wrong – that’s pretty spectacular!) But the people that truly inspire me are the ones that make me happy to be me and happy to know them. Which is pretty much the basis for love – love grows when we are happy to be ourselves with someone else.

Simple … simple … simple.

I wonder, just wonder, if I am ever the person who inspires another. Do I measure myself against the right success criteria? Do I make them happy to be who they are when they are with me? Am I self-aware enough to notice?

If you want to see someone who I think is inspiring by venturing to spread smiles, peace and happiness in these difficult and worrisome times – check out Paul Wesselman and his uRock campaign. And then, check out this video on youTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EYAUazLI9k.