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Join me for a virtual cup of tea, to share and discuss points of interest as you journey through life and discover the unique brilliant treasure called YOU.
The Yuletide holiday is filled with joy; the joy of shopping, homemade cookies, parties, trees, lights and gifts. There is a lot of joy to entertain. And where is the comfort? Do you even seek comfort? I’m a big fan of comfort and I pursue this holiday as quietly, as minimally as I can. I look for something different in this holiday. I look for the quiet.
Recently, I was sitting on the red couch in my kitchen daydreaming, as I stared out the large windows into our backyard. Our backyard is full of garden spaces and those spaces are currently full of leaves to keep the beds warm and fed with rotting compost before the next growing season. But what caught my eye this day was the filbert tree. There it stands, on the edge of one of the beds, barren of leaves in the cold, gray winter. And I got it. I understood the lesson I heard often in my seasonal courses. Winter is the time when the energy of nature is drawn within. I could see how the tree was drawing energy into its sap, into its roots. I find that meaningful. This is nature’s time of quiet and calm, of nurturing its essence so that it will be ready for the hysterical fullness of spring, summer and harvest. The tree has lots of work to do ahead in the seasons to come. But right now it works at nurturing essence, sap, roots. I want to approach this time of year more like the filbert tree. I want to nurture my essence, create rest and comfort, so that I can be ready for the fullness of summer and harvest as it shows up in my life, business, creativity, household, etc.
The word Comfort means:
Comfort is an important word for me, an important strategy I bring to my coaching clients. It is easier to bring about change in life when one is feeling grounded, centered in one’s body, and at comfort with one’s self. Knowing how to provide comfort for one's self is an important skill no matter what time of year it is. And, it is at this time of year that we can learn from nature.
I wonder if you crave comfort in the holiday season as the song invites?
Do you need time out from shopping and merry making?
For my health and well being, I have made a commitment this season to get out and walk in the fresh air and the neighborhood at least once a day and in the morning. But I also, have made a commitment to explore a path in the forest once a week. Nature is my chapel. Nature provides me with comfort, deep comfort, Soul comfort.
I invite you this Holiday Season, to notice if you need to take time out for yourself, to provide yourself with some sweet comfort of life that will nurture your spirit, your essence, your Soul. What does that look like for you? Providing yourself with comfort and rest will fortify you so you may rally on in this holiday season and beyond that, into and through the New Year.
Happy Holy Days!
I thought I would share with you today the magic of my art process. The pie pictured above was the result of working in my sketch book. Sometimes the art work I do looks like what you see in the picture below on the left. In fact, on that day, there were nine other pictures like that one, one right after another. And then suddenly the balloon people showed up revealing their joy in dancing for pie. The happy picture of that session. I took it as a message. I got up and made pie. And truly, that day, making art and making that pie did restore my Soul.
What restores your soul?
What beauty do you make in the world around you?
By the way, smiling counts as an act of beauty.
Writing, as a habit, opens up the treasure chest
of your heart and your Soul.
By writing you come to know yourself.
By writing you come to love yourself.
It takes time. It takes writing.
If you want to know your mind, write.
If you want to go beyond your mind, write.
If you want to create inner quiet, write.
We spend time with our spouses, our children, our friends.
But what about spending time with one’s self?
Writing carves out time for you to make friends with yourself.
Writing shows you your pain, your confusion.
Writing solves problems, creates confidence.
As we witness the turmoil of our lives and our minds
upon the written page,
we develop compassion for ourselves
which in turn develops compassion for others.
Writing cultivates peace, inner peace.
As peace grows inside our hearts and minds
it then radiates outwards.
That’s the way it works.
Writing creates a home in the heart,
a home in the body.
We discover that we live with
A cranky voice
A complaining voice
A worried voice
An anxious voice
A sorrowful voice
A confused voice
A critical voice.
And as we give all these parts of ourselves a place
in our written journal, in our awareness,
they calm down.
These parts of ourselves just need space to speak,
space to be heard, loved and accepted
When we accept all the parts of ourselves as we are
then it becomes a little bit easier to accept others.
We don’t need to talk so much.
We become better at listening.
I write to listen. The more I listen to me,
the better I get at listening to you.
Write. Every day write.
Become your own companion.
I can't promise days without pain,
laughter without tears,
nor sun without rain.
What I can promise is strength for the day,
comfort for the tears,
and light for the day.
- author unknown
A person comes to coaching because something is not working in their life. They aren’t happy. Something needs to change. As a life coach, when I am presented with this, I wonder “What would bring them joy?” Finding joy sounds so simple. I wish it were. For some people, finding their joy is easy. They know what they want to do and they do it. They are on their path and never get off. How lucky. But for many, creating a happy life is more of a challenge.
Finding real joy is a treasure hunt. I’m not talking about the joy we get from grabbing a cappuccino or having a laugh over a good movie. I’m talking about the joy that comes from waking up each day and knowing what we need to do that makes us feel whole and happy. Does that sound like a tall order? It can be and we shouldn’t settle for anything less.
When seeking the happiness that is true for us alone, we are looking for the treasure that will make our heart sing, that will make our lives “feel right” to us.
In her book “Big Magic” Elizabeth Gilbert says:
“We are all walking repositories of buried treasure.
… the hunt to uncover those jewels – that is creative living.”
“We are all walking repositories of buried treasure.” I love that. It is the map for finding our personal gifts, skills, and interests. It’s about finding our personal joy. The treasures that will bring us joy are inside us. It’s like each of us have been given a gift, a treasure that is uniquely ours. As we find our expression through our uniqueness we feel whole, we feel joy, we live a creative life.
Elizabeth Gilbert illustrates this point with a true story about a man who made his made his living as a common worker and who wrote poetry. His poems were published. He was honored with fame and public acclaim. And he turned his back on all that. He found it boring. He went off to live a simple life in Europe and continued to write his poems. After awhile, he published another book with the same appreciative response from the public audience. After this success, he agreed to teach at the University of Tennessee.
His students described him as “not quite of this world.” He would teach them “why” to write instead of “how” to write. He encouraged them to write from delight and gladness. Once while conversing with a young, aspiring student who expressed her desire to become a writer, he counseled “Do you have the courage? Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.”
How about you? Do you have the guts, the strength, the fearlessness to turn your attention to uncovering your treasures, that which wants to be expressed from within you?
I hope so. When we commit to making our life right, happiness and many other good things follow. When we make our lives right, we make our little corner of the world right. Making our lives right is a gift to ourselves, our community, and to the world.
Say yes! to your treasures and your happiness.
Go within. Find your treasures. Make them a part of your life.
I went on a visit today. My path led to a nursing home, a modern construction, designed to be airy and breezy, pleasing to the eyes and senses. One might have thought I stepped into a motel chain. As I sat with my friend. her body and face spoke of the grim journey she’s been on.
She looked like a scare crow. She was skin and bones. Except for the incision which was pink and swollen. She still radiated the happy openness of a hippie flower child. But her face had aged with pain and disease.
She told me the story of her collapse on the side walk in the parking lot. In her semi-conscious state, she could hear and see (?) the tap tapping of her friend’s pink stiletto heels as her friend left her job at the nearby bank and rushed to her side. And then she felt the hands that picked up her head and placed it into the lap of a little pink skirt that went with the pick stiletto heels. The voice wearing pink told someone “Call 9-1-1.”
My friend had just vomited blood that was a bright, vibrant red. A voice in the ambulance asked her questions. She was weak and could barely talk. But the gruff voice said ”I can’t hear you. Louder. Louder.” He was fighting to keep her conscious. He was fighting to keep her alive.
Later, a surgeon removed one whole organ and pieces of four others, touting success at removing the cancer she never invited to live with her. The cancer that grew despite the chemo. The cancer the oncologist said was inoperable.
My friend, led by her disease, walked though hell. And my friend is fighting to take back her life. As we sat together, she talked about traveling to Hawaii, camping and walking in the forest along the river. I believe in Miracles. I find myself wondering and arguing with myself; do her present, hopeful thoughts feed her cells providing an instruction guide for how she wants them to evolve? But her cells became cancerous. She had never provided them with that instruction.
She is home now and on the long road of healing and returning to Life. Her painful journey, her brush with death reminds me that Life is way too short. And we should use our time to Love. Love each other. Love Life. Love our selves. We live on this beautiful planet and every day we live, death comes a little bit closer. Pursue Love, my friends. Appreciate every day, every moment of your life. It’s just too damn short.
One of the biggest challenges I face every day is time management. Tic Toc goes the clock. I always have so.o.o.o.o many things to do. And I never know how to fit them all in. It can all feel so random, like I am chasing down one creative thing after another. And please, don’t ask me to clean the house, do the laundry or deal with the garden. Oh and by the way, I have a physical therapy appointment and if I don’t get some exercise today I will have another sleepless night.
My coach suggested to me that I set a schedule for myself. “Good idea” I said. So, at first, I looked at my schedule and put office hours in and around all the other appointments and things to do and then worked in time in my art studio as well. It didn’t work. It was implossible for me to follow, even when I had it strategically mapped out. So next I tried a much simpler plan: business office in the morning, art studio in the afternoon and let all the other pieces fall around that. And, I am trying to have fewer outside appointments and schedule them strategically. And then, there’s just some things I have to let go of.
Being a Coach and building a business is a path I am called to. Being a Creative is a necessary way of life. So I am exploring, what is it like to show up for the important things of my life at scheduled times, instead of following the Muse whenever She shows up. First of all, it is very calming. Instead of living every day on the frantic edge of “I have to” I am living with “Well, here I am. Now what?” My business and my creative self feels cared for. And I am better able to mark my progress. It’s like, in my previous way of doing things, I would be making tracks but they were all over the forest. I was getting somewhere but it was hard to mark my progress. With a schedule, my tracks are lined up. I have more focus for my work. I can see where I’ve been, where I am and where I am going. It’s as though making a schedule has deepened my commitment to myself, my crafts, my progress, my goals and, I will also include, the Muse.
Lining up my time and my creative flow appears to be the secret formula to my success. In a measured way, step by step I have a clearer path to the top of my mountain.