I am celebrating Olympic Gold here in the Zen Den!!!
Twenty five years ago I moved to California and in a blink twenty five years later, I am starting again—my way. In just the last two years I have experienced a move, a new job, the death of a parent and deciding to move forward on my divorce PLUS I became an empty nester all while facing my 50th birthday. If I recounted all that has happened in the last five or ten years—you’d swear I was a reading straight from the pages of a great work of fiction. Too much drama for one person to endure!
Therefore, to celebrate the trials and tribulations of my last quarter century, I am awarding myself Gold medals in the categories of Mental Gymnastics and Emotional Track and Field. I have performed like a champion!
Hands down, this is the happiest time of my life. Why you ask? Because I learned that being happy begins with the intention of being happy; then you have to make happy happen. Make more happy, think less crappy. (I have not been drinking (much) today.)
I minimize, eliminate and avoid the things that don’t make me happy. Let me clarify, I don’t avoid responsibility. I live through uncomfortable moments and learn from them. I refuse to be victimized by my struggles. Where there is pain there is growth whether I am ready for it or not. I don’t grin and bear it but rather I grit my teeth and swear.
I also laugh at the weirdest moments. Like when I walked into the county jail to visit someone only to realize I was wearing my bright red 4th of July tank top that said, in sequins no less, “I Love Freedom”. I didn’t plan this of course—I wouldn’t be that insensitive. There lies the funny.
I also thanked a quiet man who approached me in the grocery store yesterday to say, “Your aura is huge and warm and that of a healer. Standing next to you I feel just as good as when I am home cuddling with my eight cats.” I kid you not. It was a “bless your heart” moment –more sweet than creepy. I’ve decided that I may be a super hero in disguise and since the name Kittylicious is already taken, you can call me Madam Meow. Is this funny or is it just me??
Or the time I was standing in the library when a wiry four foot tall silver haired elder grabbed a book right out of my hands saying she had seen it first, she just needed time to walk across the room to pick take if off the shelf. One of the few times I found myself speechless! Had to laugh at that one…. I was bullied by a tiny granny!
The brain is pliable and can be rewired for positivity after just a few weeks of concerted effort. If you feel that you have nothing to celebrate, look again. You may be looking for miracles while missing...
Today I smelled a hint of spring in the air and for me there is almost nothing better than connecting with my garden. I decided to plant the Hollyhock seeds I’ve been saving from my previous garden. (Clarification: this weekend I found the seeds I put away when I moved a year ago! Time to plant them before I lose them again!)
Planting seeds is a wonderful visual. I hope that my little seeds will become stately stalks of color but I won’t know for many months. What do I have to lose? I lovingly set them in moist rich soil and wish them a safe journey.
I love giving time and attention to my garden because it graciously receives all my efforts. (and there is no talking back!) I give and give and have no expectation of any return. Is that a crazy statement? Not at all, especially if you know me! It is one of the few things I do where I plan, nurture and happily accept the results. I have no control over the weather. I do my part to fertilize, water and place plants where they will thrive. The rest of the work is up to those little seeds.
My seeds are my hope and a reminder that life has seasons.
Resentment is like a seed. You put it away but it grows—it doesn’t need light or water; just time. Resentment takes up valuable space. I think of resentment like an AA battery left too long in my desk drawer. The acid slowly leaks out and ruins things, leaving a rusty stain behind.
Angry feelings left unattended will seed resentment. Is it realistic to assume can avoid resentment when anger is a natural emotion?
The next time you get angry, ask yourself a few questions BEFORE you react.
Identify the ONE thing that irks you most—was it an insult? Someone let you down? Was there lack respect or appreciation? Resist the urge to rehash the entire situation by focusing on the predominant offense.
What is your role in the situation? For instance were you relying on telepathy to communicate? (I do it all the time!) Were your expectations out of line? Did your mood invite or elevate the situation?
Have you allowed this behavior in the past to go unaddressed? Do you say “whatever” and silently seethe?
If we understand the anger, we can prevent the anger from seeding poisonous resentment.
There were times in my life when I wore resentment like armor. You see, I love someone afflicted with addiction. Addiction is a disease—not a lifestyle. I have been disappointed, irate, terrified, and sad beyond words but then I look at that four letter word H.O.P.E. I have HOPE that he will be safe and find his way. I have hope that I will continue loving him without judgment.
I also was in a long term relationship where I felt unappreciated; where sarcasm was considered “affectionate banter”. I thought that no response was the right response...