Give It Some Time – The Richness of Life Will Reward You

Last night I ate green curry for supper. It was very good but I couldn’t eat it all. This morning, I decided, why not eat the left overs for breakfast. I know, not your traditional breakfast food, but I am not a traditional girl. I came to some big realizations by eating this non-traditional breakfast. The first was that it tasted so much better today! Think about all the things in life we hurry along, but if we only had allowed them to simmer and get ready in their own time, perhaps they would be much better. We value youth but age (experience) has so much to teach us. We live in a world of instant gratification but, if we let things come around in their own time, they could be so much better. 

Let’s look at senior citizens. These amazing folks have lived through things that we have never experienced. We are unlikely to experience all the things they have. Look at the changes they have seen to civil rights, technology, travel, and the economy. The world today, is a very different place than the one they grew up in. They have lived through World Wars and the Great Depression; these are certainly things I hope to never experience but just imagine all they learned going through that. Look at the changes to Women’s Rights. In her day, my mother was fired from her job because (as a married woman) she got pregnant. That was completely normal and acceptable, not so very long ago. Growing up fast could not give us the knowledge and experience or form us into the people we are meant to be. Only time can work her magic in these situations. 

Let’s look at relationships. In the past I have rushed quickly into relationships. I did not give myself the time or freedom to date many people. I would meet someone and then make them my everything and eventual marry them. I did this twice. When I eventually decided I would like to try a romantic relationship again; I allowed myself to date many people. I did not rush anything. I allowed things to come about in their own time. I held enough respect for myself to walk away when it wasn’t right. This allowed me to find the man who would be my third and final husband. We are a nice match. We fit well together. If I had tried to rush one of the earlier relationships into being something it was not meant to be, I would never have gotten to this place, where I have a beautiful partnership with a man who is perfect to me. 

Another good example of taking time over instant gratification is books. Are you a reader? Do you like to read novels? Have you ever read a novel and then gone to see the movie they made of it? Were you disappointed? I have found that when I see a movie after I have read the book, that I am often disappointed, because so much of the meat of the story has to be left out. Sure it is a quicker way to experience the story. A couple hours verses a couple days or more to get through the book. Depending on how much time you have to read each day. I just feel frustrated by the changes they have to make in the story, for it fit into the movie’s allowed time. 

Don’t get me wrong. I still really enjoy movies, just as I really enjoyed the green curry last night. I love the life I have lived and do not wish it to be anything but what was. I am grateful for those brief and quick relationships and what they had to teach me. But sometimes, just sometimes, we need to realize the gift that giving something some more time, can be. No, time does not heal all things, but time can allow changes within ourselves to be able to face what we could not face before. Just like my mother’s lasagna, which was always better on the second day, time makes life more flavorful. 

 

I love you. Thank you for reading my blog today. May your life be full of the ‘flavor’ that time allows to permeate all things, as if by magic!

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My Grandmother’s Hands

I love this picture of my grandmother’s hands holding her new great great granddaughter. This was the last great great grandchild she would get to meet, for she passed later that same year. I love how this picture shows the legacy that her hands started so long ago. 

My grandmother’s hands scrubbed floors and took care of her siblings as a young girl. She grew up on a farm in rural North Dakota. She was the oldest child in a large Catholic family. As an adult, she worked hard to care for her own family and keep her house clean. She taught me to work hard.

My grandmother’s hands baked bread and cooked big meals. As a farmer’s wife, she fed the farm hands and neighbors who came to help with the harvest. She would take meals to the sick or sorrowful neighbors. She hosted large happy holiday events. She taught me to take care of others.

My grandmother’s hands raise two children. She would have liked to have more, but it wasn’t meant to be. She mourned the loss of two still-born children.  She was crazy proud of her son and daughter and the successful careers they would have. She taught me to be proud of your family.

My grandmother’s hands instructed 5 grandchildren. I was the oldest of those 5 grandchildren. She fostered in me, a love and respect of nature. She showed me how to experiment and express myself through cooking. She modeled for us the best way to accomplish many tasks. She taught me how to learn from others’ examples.

My grandmother’s hands held on to my grandfather’s while they danced. They loved to dance and did it often. They belonged to a round dancing club and had many friends and much fun doing it. She taught me how to embrace life and do what you love.

My grandmother’s hands painted. It was something she started as a hobby. Her beautiful landscapes and floral paintings decorated her home. She taught me the value of art and being artistic.

My grandmother’s hands held a passport. Her and my grandfather loved to travel and they did not wait until they were old. They went and explored the world. She gave me my adventurous spirit and she taught me that wanderlust is a wonderful thing.

My grandmother’s hands played. She loved to play cards, other games, and was not one to be left out of the odd squirt gun battle or ballgame. Throughout her 80s she played and kept up, never saying she was too old. She taught me to always embrace your inner child. 

My grandmother’s hands prayed the rosary. She was Catholic and her faith was important to her. I saw how God held her following my grandfathers death. She was open to learning about others spirituality, but for her faith, she made no apologies. She taught me that even though my beliefs were different from hers, it was safe to be who I am and have my own faith.

My grandmother’s hands tried new things. She rode jets skis and tubes behind the speed boat well into her 80s. She was the queen of the kayak. She even let me give her Reiki (healing touch) with my hands. My grandmother taught me that it is important to always try new things.

My grandmother’s hands read. She was hungry for knowledge and loved politics. She felt bad that she didn’t go to college but she still learned through reading, traveling, talking to people, and being open to it all. She taught me to never stop learning. 

My grandmother’s hands hugged 11 great grandchildren and 4 great great grandchildren. She never met a baby she didn’t love. Some of her great grandchildren lived further away then the others and she did not get as much time with them as she would have liked, but she loved each and everyone of them for their individuality. She taught me how to love.

My grandmother’s hands cheered people on and congratulated them. She was always happy for other’s accomplishments. She celebrated right along with them. My grandmother made a room brighter by just being in it. My grandmother taught me that a positive attitude will raise the spirits of others.

My grandmother’s hands held a telephone. She loved to chat on the phone. She was always ready to listen to what was going on in my life or something new I was learning. She talked to many people, every day. She truly loved people and sharing their lives with them. She taught me how to listen.

My grandmother’s hands held me when I was broken. When bad or sad things happened in life, I could always count on my grandmother to comfort me and help me see the silver lining. She taught me how to keep going.

I miss her everyday. I still often go to pick up the phone to call her. Her legacy will go on and on. The people who knew her will never forget her and those who carry her blood in their veins, will carry her bright light into the future. I love you grandmother and I was blessed to have your influence in my life. Thank you for all you taught me.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you be an inspiration for others, as if by magic.

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Our Connections With Others

People are wonderful. They really are. I have met so many amazing people in my life time. Each interaction, changes me a little. I learn from them, I grow, and ultimately have a bigger (and better) understanding of the world around me. 

There is a group I facilitate once a month. We explore a number of topics and have rich discussions. We all learn from one another. Last night there were 13 of us in attendance. We have had bigger groups and we have had smaller groups. It is a very fluid collection of attendees. New members come and old members drop in from time to time. Some people come once and never return, while others join and become regulars. It is a group that welcomes everyone. The richness of the group is directly related to all the wonderful attendants. As I looked around at the people who were there last night, it made me think about the spider web of life. It made me reflect on how these various members had come to be present at our gatherings. There were those who were friends of mine, those who came because the were connected to the church where we hold the gathering, and still others who were friends of friends and had made their way to our little circle. It is a great representation of the wonderful diverse web of life. 

Because I have been gifted with a life of travel, I have friends in many different places. Some near and others very far away. I have learned from all of these people. As with my monthly gathering, these friends have come into my life from so many different sources. Connections from relatives, classes, and jobs. This is one of the reasons I feel social media is a blessing. It allows me to keep a connection with many of these people. Some I consider deep and intimate friends that I care very much for, but it would not be possible for me to keep up relationships with all of them, if not for social media. There are those that I get to have a meal with once or twice a year. Others, who are a random text message now and then. This doesn’t diminish the thoughts I have for them and the gratitude for their parts in my life, nor the blessings I wish for them. 

Someone told me once that people come into our life when we need them. When they have served their role in our life, the energies will change and they will slip away to a new part of their life. I like this concept. It makes me feel better to understand that those very dear friends, who are no longer active in my life, have moved on as is intended by Divine order. New people are coming into our lives all the time. Are you open to the messages and lessons they bring with them? 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of dear friends, as if by magic. 

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When You Love and Hate Someone at the Same Time

I recently saw a meme on Facebook that said; “I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who wasn’t sorry and accept an apology I never received.” I shared it to the BWCAdventureSisters Facebook Page. What a powerful statement! I imagine we all have had experiences like this that have caused us pain. Where we did not get the apology we hoped for from the person who hurt us. I imagine, that there have also been times in our own lives, that we have been the cause of pain for others and never apologized; for whatever reason. I know I can think of several times in my own life. These were times when I was not brave enough to say “I was wrong”.  Other times when I never had the chance to express what was in my heart before the other person was gone. I wrote about one such time in my blog When the Last Interaction Is Not Positive.

I like and shared this quote, because it shows that we do not have to stay stuck in anger, just because we didn’t receive what we thought we needed to move on. My first divorce was incredibly painful! I didn’t know how to love and hate someone at the same time. It was confusing. More so than confusing, it was also so lonely. No one could really help me through it. I was suddenly and utterly alone in this deep grief. I had friends and I had family. All who were supportive and willing to be there for me; but it felt like none of them could possibly understand what I was going through.

How do we reconcile love and hate while still respecting our need to protect ourselves from further abuse? How do we move on past anger and into acceptance and forgiveness? How do we allow the love that is there to take that pain and safely transform it? It is not easy nor does it happen overnight. They say time heals all things but I do not believe that time alone is enough to transform these very difficult situations. It takes work, processing, acknowledging, and ultimately forgiving; to move beyond these confusing times when we feel we were wronged.

I have forgiven my first husband for that long ago pain. Yet I have never apologized for keeping his children from him though. I was doing what I thought was right, but in the end, I understand that I hurt him and I hurt them through this action. Relationships are tricky things. We can have an impact on others, sometimes in ways we don’t even realize. I hope those I have hurt can find it in their hearts to forgive me, so that they can be freed from the burden of ‘that’ pain. Because really; forgiveness frees ‘us’ more than the person we are forgiving.

I love you! Thank you for reading my blog today! May you find peace and forgiveness, as if by magic!

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7 Tips to Help When You are in a Dark Place

I saw a meme that my niece posted on Facebook. It said, “When you are in a dark place you sometimes tend to think you have been buried. Perhaps you have been planted. Bloom!” When you think about that, I mean really think about it, that is so true. I believe this! Those dark places that life takes us to, causes us stress and pushed us to change! It helps us transform from who we were to who we are becoming. You may be saying that, this is all great in spirit, but going through this type of transformation is painful and really stinks. How can we nurture ourselves through these dark places? How do we keep putting that one foot in front of the other while we are moving through these times? What can we do to keep our spirits up while our world is falling apart? Here are some thoughts to help you keep looking for the silver lining in these difficult, sometimes even terrible situations.

  1.  Listen to upbeat and motivational music. Remember the song from the play Annie? The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow! Whether upbeat songs from musicals, pop culture, or your favorite local band; music can be a great way to change your mood, remind you of a brighter tomorrow, and just help you keep going.
  2. Meditation. When things are falling apart, it can be hard to imagine they will ever be whole again. It can be hard to imagine that you will ever be whole again. It can be easy to dwell on the past and imagine a dismal future. Meditation is about being “in the now.” Just staying present in this moment, can help you step back from past regrets and future fears, at least for a little while.
  3. Do kind deeds. Sometimes when things seem bleak in our own lives, we feel we need help and it is easy to get stuck in this feeling of need. By doing kind, random acts for others, whether they be strangers or friends, can help our self-esteem and give us a chance to feel valuable in the life of others.
  4. Pet Therapy. Play with puppies, pet a cat, or cuddle a bunny. I personally do not have any pets and I am very happy in my pet free existence. But there are few things as stress relieving as the unconditional love of an animal. When I go on walks, I will often ask to pet the dogs. My friends’ dogs are usually happy to see me come visit because they know I have lots of love to share with them. Studies have shown that animals help reduce stress, anxiety, pain and even blood pressure when interacted with. You don’t have to have your own pet. I bet you know someone who has one that you could share some love and affection (and scratching) with.
  5. Feel your emotions. Feel your emotions and realize you are safe to have these feelings. I think this is one of the hardest parts for me. Touching those painful emotions seems so scary. I wonder if I truly allow myself to feel them, will I ever be able to come back from that precipice. Remind yourself that you are safe! You can stick your toe into the river of emotions and feel the cool wet water without having to get washed away by it.
  6. Journal. There are many different journaling techniques.
    1. There is Free Writing, where you do not sensor, just let whatever comes, flow out of you and onto the pages.
    2.  There is a technique referred to as the Divine Witness Journalling. This is one of my favorites because you can see your own wisdom (the advice you give your friends) come back to you. In this type of journaling, you give your wise-self a name, then you write notes back and forth. You write your question or whatever you are struggling with, on one page to that wise part of yourself. Then on the next page you allow that wise person to respond to your note. You will be amazed at the the wisdom that pours out for you.
    3. Gratitude Journaling is another that can really help change your mood. It shifts your focus from what’s wrong to what’s right. There is always so much to be thankful for. Looking at the positive things in life can help shift you towards a more positive tomorrow.
  7. Get out into nature. There is just something about being in the forest, hearing the birds sing, and watching a creek gently meander amongst the trees; that is so refreshing. Depending on where you live, “nature” may look very different. It may be hiking up a mountain, riding your bike in the desert, walking on the beach, cross country skiing, or sitting on a park bench near some roses. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to be with nature. I remember driving through downtown Minneapolis one morning and seeing the sunrise reflected on all the skyscrapers. I realized then that nature is all around us. From the vegetation growing up through the cracks in the sidewalk and pigeons landing near the sidewalk bistro tables, to the squirrels racing up and down the trees along the street. Nature is always there for us, even in the city. We just have to notice her. Find a quiet corner of your city or a peaceful place in the country and allow nature to refresh your spirit.

If you are in a dark place right now, I am sorry you are experiencing this. I hope these ideas may help you push out of the darkness and force your beautiful, authentic self; up into the light. We all spend some time there, so know you are not alone. I love you and I am proud of you for continually moving forward, even on those days when it seems next to impossible. We are with you in spirit. You are not alone.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your life be happy and joyous, as if by magic!

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Our Missteps Can Be a Reason To Laugh; Why Let Problems Steal Our Joy.

Do you ever have one of those days when you think you should have just stayed in bed? How do you choose to deal with them? Do you get frustrated, mad, and let it ruin your whole day and everyone that you interact with? Do you roll your eyes, come up with a counter plan, and laugh at the day? Can you carry on without letting a couple missteps ruin your whole day? I want to share with you my ‘Monday’ this week. Where circumstances fell into place to give me just such a day and a ‘choice’ to make.

I typically travel Monday through Thursday every week. My husband enjoys driving me to the airport. It gives us a last few precious minutes together. He is such a gentleman and really works hard to take care of me to ensure that all my needs are taken care of. So, well before the crack of dawn, ourMonday morning started. I packed my suitcase and rolled it into the kitchen, as I always do. I set it by the backdoor where my husband always grabs it and puts it in the trunk of the car. Typically I put my computer backpack onI; he dutifully and lovingly places both in the truck of the for me. This morning, I decided to carry my backpack myself and placed it in the backseat of the car. On the way to the airport, my husband asked about the computer backpack, stating he didn’t remember seeing it with the suitcase. I assured him that I had carried it to the back to the car. When we got to the airport he opened the trunk, said, “It’s not back here”. I am sure I looked like one of those wide-eyed cartoon characters who silently blink in shock. What did he mean it “wasn’t back there?” I asked him, didn’t you put the suitcase back there? He said he thought I had put it in the car. I let him know that I had left it by the door, like I always do for him to carry to the car. So there we stood. In front of the airport, 45 minutes before my plane was due to depart. There was no possibility of going home and making it back in time for the flight. I could either not go, which since this is my job, was not really an option. Or I could be the ultimate light traveler today! I grabbed my backpack, told him I guess I would be going shopping. Kissed this sweet, wonderful (and easily distracted) man, and headed into the airport.

I could have been angry at him and thrown blame his way. But ultimately I am a grown up and responsible for myself. I trusted him to bring it but I did not verify that he did indeed put it in the car. He had arrived home after midnight, the night before; having gone to a family funeral about 7 hours away. The alarm had went off early, for my departing flight. So I know he had likely only had about 4 hours of sleep, if that. I had offered to make my way to the airport by other means but he said he enjoys those extra 20 to 30 minute together in the morning and so he would drive me.

I could have been frustrated with my job and cussed and carried on about the lifestyle I lead; always the go and burning the candle at both ends. I could have blamed it on my busy weekend that had left me exhausted by Sunday night.  All of these choices would have negatively impacted my day in a big way! Instead I decided to laugh at it. How funny that he was able to walk past the bag in the doorway and that I so trusted him, to bring it, that we got all the way to the airport without it.

He let me know that my stepson called him in a panic when he realized it was still in the kitchen. Poor boy thought his Dad was going to be in big trouble for leaving the bag behind. I had decided why spoil my day and everyone else’s, by being mad and throwing around blame. In the end it is my responsibility. Marty works very hard to take care of me but on this earlyMonday morning he thought I was embracing my independent streak and carrying my own bags. We got some good laughs about it. I encouraged myHusband to go home and go back to bed for a bit before going to work. He was evidently more tired than he realized.

I have a couple new outfits in my immediate future and a great story to tell. Embrace these days when you feel you should have stayed in bed. Look for the humor in the missteps along your human journey.  Life is too short to be angry and frustrated.

 

I love you. Thank you for reading my blog today! May your life be filled with smiles and laughter, as if by magic.

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Protect Me, Open My Heart

“Protect me, open my heart and I will be free.” This is the refrain from a pretty Kundalini Yoga song called “Aad Guray”: by Nirinjan Kaur. I absolutely love this phrase! It says so much to me. This song pops up as the first song in my iTunes account and I sing loudly and poorly with the refrain every time.

The idea of opening our hearts to others can be so scary. So starting this by first asking for protection, to open the heart, is brilliant. Protect me, keep me safe, while I open my heart and share my love with everyone. Such a vulnerable thing to do. I feel like the idea of opening my heart while being protected really is the definition of freedom. I can love everyone then. I can love that person who hurt me. I can love the person who may not be a safe bet to love. I can love the difficult person. I can love strangers.

Understand I do not think all this free sharing of love, means we put up with abuse. It is okay to love someone from afar. It is okay to send love to someone without getting mixed up in the drama of their life. I find that to truly protect myself, this is sometimes necessary. I also have learned that sending love to someone who has hurt me or someone I love, is often the best way to change the situation. It seems like; once I open up my heart and send love (from afar) the situation seems to defuse. When I hold fear, anger or even hate in my heart; my negative feelings are rewarded with negative events.

When we know we are protected, we free safe. When we feel safe, we are more likely to to be able to send love to those who bump up against our lives. Is asking for protection enough? I personally like to enhance the, asking for protection, with some “setting the intention of protection” and visualizing a white light around my heart. The white light is the Divine Energy of Pure Love. It is all around. Pull that energy around your heart and use it to create a force field to allow the love out but no hurt in.

I challenge you to open your heart, surrounded by protection and set yourself free. Let us know what experiences you have had with this in the past and as you step into the future and try it anew.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you feel free to love safely, as if by magic.

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