Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lessening Stress..

*Apologies for my last post. It was a tad dark and gloomy...I'm in a mood and I took it out here. So let's try today to focus on the positives...let's examine the nicer side of my personality. Forget everything you've previously read about me....continue...*

Is there a woman alive who doesn't suffer from stress? Yeah, I didn't think so. But if there IS...find her, make her tell you her secrets, beat it out of her if you must. Whatever works for you! OK..violence might not be the best solution. So let me offer this...I have spent the better part of this year dealing with an ABNORMAL amount of stress. For serious. Weird, unrelenting, imaginary, real, difficult, miserable, crazy stress. I've had more than my fair share. And I'm stubborn...but I do eventually learn. So in lieu of imaginary no stress lady..I'd like to offer the following suggestions (most of which I have learned the hard way and struggle with..daily..):

  • Cultivate gratitude. Be thankful. (We do 'Thankful Conversations' around the dinner table every night.) 
  • Take an hour a day to indulge in solitude. (It's so hard...I know...but it's important.)
  • Begin and end each day with prayer, meditation, and reflection. 
  • Keep it simple. And by 'it' I mean everything. (Life is not a race..or a competition, people.)
  • Keep your house picked up. (I personally fail at this alot. But we all know that we feel better when our house is tidy. Order begets order.)
  • Don't over schedule, overextend, or overdo. (Chill out...relax..we all have the same 24 hours in a day.)
  • Strive for realistic deadlines. (Rome wasn't built in a day.)
  • Never ever make a promise you can't, or won't, keep. (Especially to yourself.)
  • Allow an extra half hour for everything you do. (This one seems a little unrealistic..but shit happens and we get behind and then we get frustrated. Bring on the stress.)
  • Create quiet surroundings at home..and at work.
  • Go to bed at nine o'clock twice a week. (Sleep is rejuvenating. Indulge a little.)
  • Always carry something interesting to read. (Gossip Rags, NYT Bestseller, your kids geometry book, The Bible. Whatever floats your boat.)
  • Breathe...deeply. And often.
  • Move...walk, dance, run, swim. Whatever you enjoy.
  • Drink water. Lots of it. (After you've had your coffee of course.)
  • Eat only when you are hungry. (No more standing in front of an open door fridge at midnight.)
  • If it's not delicious, don't eat it. (Enjoy what you consume. Take time to savor it.)
  • Be instead of do.
  • Set aside one day a week for rest and renewal. (Even God took a day off. So can you.)
  • Laugh. Out loud. Often. (Laughing with others is better.)
  • Always opt for comfort. (There's a place for LBD's and stilettos. Go with the sweats.)
  • If you don't love it, live without it. (Especially true for people. Learn to let go.)
  • Let Mother Nature nurture. (She's good at it.)
  • Don't answer the telephone during dinner. (Don't text either. And turn off the T.V.)
  • Stop trying to please everybody. (You can't.)
  • Start pleasing yourself. (You can.)
  • Stay away from negative people. (And try to limit your own negativity.)
  • Don't squander precious resources: time, creative energy, emotion.
  • Nurture and cultivate friendships. (Healthy ones.)
  • Don't be afraid of your passion.
  • Approach problems as challenges. (Overcome them.)
  • Honor your dreams. (Happiness is found when you are doing what you love.)
  • Set achievable goals.
  • Surrender expectations. (This is the big one. Expectations breed disappointments and resentments.)
  • Savor beauty. (Especially yours.)
  • Create boundaries. 
  • For every 'yes'..let there be a 'no'.
  • Don't worry; be happy. (Now you're's OK to admit it.)
  • Exchange security for serenity. 
  • Care for your soul. 
  • Cherish your suffering. (Learn from it.)
  • Express love every day. Every. Single. Day.
  • Show kindness.
  • Search for authenticity.

Remember, happiness is a living emotion. Will you wake up one day stress free? Probably not. But you can I slow down and begin living. And you will notice change. I promise.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Quit..

There are days that beat me up. There are weeks that drag me, kicking and screaming, through the brambles. There are months that leave me lost..and confused..and broken. It happens because I am alive...because I care...because I open my heart and soul to the world.

I quit...
Thinking things might ever change.
Trying to keep in touch with friends and family.
Being OCD about the cleanliness of my home.
Getting my hair cut. (Random..but still I quit.)
Being nice to undeserving people.
Being excited about decorating the house for the holidays.
Obsessing over my photography.
Saying yes to everything.
Worrying about what people think.
Believing people are good. Some people are just bitches. Feeling sorry for them, praying for them, worrying about them won't help anything or change who they are.
Trying to please everyone.
Using my filter or being politically correct. If you can't handle me, you shouldn't be around me.
Pretending I am ever going to be any different. Or better.

Things I WANT to quit...
Obsessing about finances. I am never going to be independently wealthy.
Worrying about my health. Death finds us all eventually.
Letting stupid random bullshit affect and upset me.
Giving crazy bitter angry people space in my life, my head, my thoughts, or my heart.
Staying up late when I should be sleeping with my boyfriend.
Making excuses.

Change happens when we least expect it...but there isn't any reason why I can't give it a little *shove* in the right direction. Commence shoving.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall-y Fall Fall Fall..

My favorite time of year! And quite honestly...Fall has been uber kind to us this year! There has been an abundance of blessings, beautiful weather, great friends and family, and new beginnings! And because Fall would not be complete without a trip to the local Farmers Market...

And Oh My Goodness...the veggies were Yummy!!! The pumpkins and mums are all nestled decoratively on my front stoop (thanks to Smalls creative effort!), the evening air is getting that crisp snap, and I am enjoying the sounds and smells and views from my deck. Life is good.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


According to the Buddha's teachings, the most basic condition for happiness is freedom. Not political freedom, but freedom from the mental poisons of anger, despair, jealousy, and delusion. As long as these poisons are allowed to form in our minds and grow in our hearts, happiness cannot be possible. He suggests that if we learn to take good care of our own suffering, we can help others to do the same. That, he claims, is the path to true happiness.
So let it go...all of it. I promise it won't be won't be won't be painless. I promise. But it will be worth it. Strength, clarity, compassion, forgiveness, truth, grace, love, mercy, happiness, passion, contentment, possibility. Charity in your heart. ALL WORTH IT. I know. I know this because I'm right there..making the journey..learning to accept and release my sufferings, learning to take good care of myself..and my heart..and my failures, learning to open up to the freedom that is possible. I'm right there. Every day, every moment, every step.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Thank you Lord. Amen.