“AHA” a new tool for me

I didn’t write yesterday as I came home exhausted from taking a class on Community Conferencing. This is a program that works with the school, courts, police, to deflect teens with offences to a resolution process instead of getting them into the system. The trainers told us that where they are teens who have been through this process are 60% less likely to re-offend. I will see how this works for me.

One of the people who was also training told us about a way she looks at people’s differences and how they live. She broke it down into this.

Tolerance: She is tolerant of how others live and their opinions.

Acceptance: She will accept that the way may not be her way.

Approval: This is where she steps back and feels she doesn’t have to approve.

The-aha-moment

 

This makes so much sense to me. I may not agree with you but I can be tolerant about your life and your opinions and accept that you want to live that way but I don’t have to approve of it.

This is a way to break it down into pieces and be a tolerant and accepting person without agreeing with what it is. There are people who I love but cannot approve of their lifestyle. For me, it is usually when I see it as hurtful to them or others.

This may not work or help some people but for me It was sort of an “aha” moment. Another tool to put in my toolbox and help me understand and move on.

With thanks to Yolandra for this insight!

A “holy” task

I'm having trouble breathing.

 

Today I have been down. When I worked in the garden the other day I carried around a sprayer that was quite heavy. It was slung on my right shoulder and now I have a pulled muscle next to my shoulder blade in the back. The strange thing is it has caused some anxiety since I can’t breathe deeply.

This minor problem has made me appreciate what it must feel like to not be able to breathe properly. It is scary. I know that I can breathe just fine but a deep breath hurts. That make you want to take deep breaths.

Everyone has their physical problems. Some more than others but each of us has some part of our body that is weak. There is so much research that shows that even our mental health is physically connected. I wonder when everyone will realize that we are whole people and that our physical, mental and spiritual health is linked Medicine has grown in such a way that doctors know mostly about their own area. It is nice to see some practitioners using a holistic approach to treatment.

whole ness

 

We all must take care of our whole selves. It is a “holy” task.

Mastering Silence

There is so much noise in our daily lives that silence is almost unknown. When I worked for the church I would occasionally ask people to sit in silence for one minute. I actually timed it and after 30 seconds the fidgeting would begin.

silence power

There is not only no silence on the outside but there is little silence on the inside. Most of us have not learned how to shut off the voice in our heads. Since we have been so little exposed to quieting that voice it requires time and effort to learn how to do it. We decide that we want to try meditation and we can’t seem to settle and so we quit. It really is difficult to meditate in the beginning on your own. It is so much easier if there is a voice directing you. There are many Amazon Alexa apps that will take you through a meditation but even those aren’t always enough.

quiet-mind-meditation-quote (1)

The best meditation I ever did was in a group with someone walking you quietly through the process. A really good leader can help you explore more depths that almost any other way. I have not found many meditation experiences except in yoga classes and most of them don’t meditate long enough for you to get into the place where you can let everything go.

I am hoping to start a group but I don’t know if I will have any takers. It remains to be seen.

Face things and move on

Today I decided to bake some bread from a different recipe. It didn’t work. Although the bread rose initially after shaping it just sat there. After a little rise I decided to bake it and it promptly fell. After taking it out the taste was great and the texture wonderful but it only rose the slightest bit. Won’t use that recipe again. Back to my own recipe that works every time.

my-bread

Bread baking is so therapeutic. I love kneading it with my hands. The silky feel of it and the smell when it bakes. (even if it doesn’t rise) The house smells so good. I was planning to take some to a neighbor but another day.

Things don’t always work out the way we planned. This was a small thing but when big things happen we have to move on just the way we do with the little ones. Sometimes it helps to fuss and #%^&*+#  some to make us feel better. If it is a truly bad thing it may take some time to get over it. I have a friend who says “take 24 hours for a pity party and then shake it off and get on.” I have actually found this to work for me. After the 24 hours are up I challenge myself to rise up out of the depths, take a deep breath, and move on. I think our minds just need time to absorb whatever new reality is facing us.

Image result for life is a challenge quote

Life is never boring but shakes us up to test our mettle. Those upsets don’t get to me as much as they used to except for life and death issues. Even then I have learned that those things can be faced and accepted even though they hurt. At my age one has to acknowledge that death is inevitable. Doing so brings a kind of peace.

If only we could learn to live each day knowing that it will never come again. Participate in life every moment instead of waiting for tomorrow we would be so blessed.

 

Weather the storm

rise

I saw this quote today. I sort of chuckled and know it is true. When we lived at West Point we lived on top of a mountain called Stony Lonesome. I would get up in the morning to a sunny day and dress accordingly. Going down to the post to shop I would discover that I truly was above the storm and it was pouring down below. I actually lived above some storms.

However, when we are talking about life it is not always possible to get away from the storm. It can sweep into life and change things as we know it. Those kind of storms can’t be escaped but they can be endured and will pass.

I have been in some long lasting storms in my life. Some that I never thought I would get out of but I did. During the storm there were friends and family who shielded me from the deluge and gave me something to hold on to. I have been blessed that I have not had to face things alone.

looking out for friends

I hope for everyone that they can find someone to anchor them in life. It may be God, a friend, a family member….it doesn’t matter who. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Only the strong are willing to reach out. It is not a weakness to need help. Don’t suffer on your own.

Here on Word Press is one place you can reach out and know that you will be heard and answered. This is a loving and giving community at your fingertips.

Laugh at yourself

catastrophe-2028623_640Today is one of those days where you have to laugh at yourself or just sit down and cry. This morning I decided to make a summer soup I have been craving. It is a curried fresh spinach and green pea soup and is a chilled soup and easy to make. It is made on the stove and simmered for a short while. Making the soup was a breeze and the last step is to put the hot liquid in small quantities in the blender. I blended the first two batches and all was well. There was just a small amount to finish up. I put it in and turned the blender on. At that moment the bottom of the blender began to leak and then there was a cascade of soup all over the counter, the floor, my socks. the cabinets and, of course, the machine part of the blender.

Apparently I did not check to see that the bottom was screwed in tight and it undid itself. The next hour was spent in cleaning everything up. I used almost a whole roll of paper towels along with cloth towels. I had to put the blender mechanism on towels and run it to clear soup from the inside. I have left it to dry and still don’t know if it will work or if I have to get a new one. When I tried it after cleaning it started to smell burnt but I am not sure if that is leftover soup or if it is the machine burning. I will find that out later.

Sense-of-Humor-864x486

I have long decided that one of the most critical things in life is a sense of humor. Without that I would have been cursing and crying over the mess I created. My sense of humor kicked in and all I could do was laugh. This yucky event gave me my laugh for the day.

I hope that you are blessed with the ability to laugh at yourself. It saves a lot of anger and pain.

Today is what matters

It is so easy to forget that today…this moment….is all we have. The sky could fall on me right now and it would be all over. Yet, I can spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about tomorrow.

Those of us who are troubled with anxiety are so good at worrying about things which usually don’t happen. I tend to pick the worse case scenario and obsess about it. So silly.

worry about tomorrow

It is time to throw off the shackles of worry and enjoy each moment of life that is given to us. Tomorrow may never come and if it does then that when I’ll think about it.

Neutral is hard

How can things go so awry? How can life get so out of hand? In mediations I see the mistakes that people make. Sometimes they have to do with relationships. Sometimes they are about money. Sometimes it is a mixture of both.

business conflict resolution conceptThe hardest part about being a mediator is wanting to fix it and that is not allowed. It is part of the legal court system and we must remain neutral and not give any kind of advice. Once there was a case where the only thing dividing the two people was $10.00. It would have been simpler to give the person the money rather than try to get them to meet in the middle.

As of yet I have not been trained to do Domestic cases which deal with divorce and child custody. I can see the real emotional issues attached to that. I am not sure if I want to do that.

If you have a family with multiple children I think you have spent a great deal of time mediating.  I learned early on to let one person pick two brownies and the other choose first from the two. Much time was spent finding exact pieces. I have always loved this cartoon from a long time ago.

popcorn

Just wait

home no longer

It is an interesting to discover that you no longer feel at home someplace where you used to. That has happened to me. Lately I have felt disconnected from the church I am attending. There is nothing really wrong just me feeling differently. I suppose spending 20 years working for another church didn’t help but I do want to be back at church with my husband and this is where he is at home.

The church has made major changes over time. Initially there was a minister who seemed right for the church but turned out to not be. Following that mistakes were made in finding someone new (not by the church itself) and now the attendance is down to a very small group. It is really sad.

I love music and for me that is a large part of connecting spiritually. The music is not reaching me. Again may be just me but there it is. I can’t return to the church where I worked so am just puzzling about the whole thing.

I am finding my connections in my writing, reading and prayers but there are things I really miss. Both churches have wonderful people that I love and so I know the questions are mine.

Somehow I will wander through this time of feeling at a loss and come out the other end. It is nothing that I have to solve quickly. In fact I think taking time to sort it all out will help.

sit and wait

Questions about one’s faith are not unusual. In fact I think if we don’t question we don’t grow. I will find ways to fill my soul until some clarification comes. That always happens. Sometimes we just have to sit and wait.

Don’t fear

It is a funny thing about love. We really can’t experience the fullness of it unless we are open to it. Being open, however, puts us at risk of being hurt. That is the trade off.

vulnerableSometimes we choose to love someone and are hurt by that person. It happens to everyone. Sitting back in fear gets us nowhere. I know people who have spent their lives alone because they couldn’t accept the uncertainty. Love is rarely certain.

We take a risk when we choose to love. I have taken that risk more that once and been hurt. I also took that risk 56 years ago when I married my husband. That risk paid off. Not all of them do.

For me, a life without love is a barren life. Yes, I have been hurt by relationships. Sometimes even those we think of as friends can hurt us terribly. It takes time to know a person well and the person we see at the beginning may be wearing a mask. We may not find out until later what is underneath.

I know someone who was married for years only to discover the person she loved was a criminal. We can be fooled.

Is it worth it? Yes, yes and yes! If the love is lost we will experience pain. We learn from the pain and become someone who has more depth. If it lasts it brings joy.

Don’t stay away from love out of fear. It is one of the most fruitful things in life. You can’t afford to not live fully!