Friday’s Focus—Get in Trouble

Not the kind you need a lawyer for but the kind that will put a smile on your face and make you feel like a kid again. With the beginning of a holiday weekend only hours away and fresh page on the calendar, it’s as good a time as any to go do a little something or go a little somewhere that’s been nipping at your heels but somewhere along the line you decided you were too old for it, had no time for it, or were too busy for it.

Shake it up and shake it off. Stop looking at your phone, take off that watch, and close that laptop. Get the wind in your hair, your hands a little dirty and be a little more flexible with the day.

Surrender to the what if’s and why not’s and indulge that part of you that you would if you could but you decided you couldn’t so you didn’t and go have a blast!

There’s always time for the responsible stuff in life and it’s easy to forget that it’s just as important to take some time out for play.

Taking things deeper doesn’t always mean taking things more seriously. Sometimes we feel we need permission to do things we feel we “shouldn’t” or “aren’t supposed to” because we’re adults. The only permission you need is the one you give yourself. What are you waiting for?

#takingitdeeper

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Friday’s Focus—Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs

Signs, signs, everywhere are signs….the clocks moved ahead, the flowers are budding, Easter candy has been on sale since February….all signs indicating that Spring is around the corner (at least after the next predicted snowfall). There are always signs around us, guiding us, informing us, playing with us. How often do you notice them?

If you’re on the road, notice license plates and slogans on trucks. Listening to the radio, notice if a song or a chorus resonates with you. When you’re watching TV, talking to people, or reading a book, become aware of any word, phrase, or idea that keeps popping up (“That’s the third time I’ve heard that today!”).

Make it a game! Sometimes the Universe uses what’s around us to reveal answers to a particular question or something that may be on your mind, while other times, what we see is just a fascinating reveal of simple patterns. One of my favorite authors, Robert Moss, talks about this regularly and it is the focus of his book Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols and Synchronicity in Everyday Life. He calls these reveals, sidewalk tarot. Be aware of your thoughts and aware of your surroundings as you go about your day and see if the Universe doesn’t have a word or two to offer you.

Last September, I wrote a post called “Don’t Stop Believing,” about keeping the faith and hope alive even when you can’t clearly see the path in front of you. What inspired me to write that piece was my going through a difficult time where it seemed that every area of my life—from job to health to family was being squeezed. You name it, and there was an issue or at least a concern with it.

During that time, the song of the same name, by the group Journey, kept popping up during some of the deepest experiences I’ve ever had in playing sidewalk tarot. I started to notice that moments when I’d get lost in thought of “How am I…?” “Where are we…?” Journey’s song, “Don’t Stop Believing” would come on the radio—sometimes from the beginning, sometimes the middle, and sometimes the tail end, but just enough of the notes for me to recognize the song. I heard it so often during these times of personal questions, I couldn’t help but notice it had long crossed the line from coincidence to message.

One particular afternoon I’ll never forget, my husband and I were people-watching from a bench in the center of the town we’ve been talking about moving to. We dreamed and schemed about how we can arrange things and make this our new home. At that time, there was no clear way that we could see it happening, so we kept pleading our cause to the Universe.

As we continued to sit and talk about the house we would have and what we would do once we moved there, a blue pick-up truck came into the local traffic queue and in the most perfectly-timed sidewalk tarot orchestration I’ve ever seen, the truck drove past us, and through it’s open windows we heard the undeniable voice of Steve Perry belt out those three words “Don’t Stop Believing.” That was it for me. Not only was it the appearance of that song, but what stunned us was of all the lyrics, it was those specific three words that we heard as the truck passed directly in front of us as if in answer to our questions. I didn’t know how but I knew  from that day things would work. Six months later,  we’re now in the process of moving to the town we’ve always talked about.

There were other moments  when those three specific words showed up for me, and now looking back, I can see that it was always during the times I needed to hear them most. Because I had become aware of the message, each time I heard them or read them, I was able to take a moment and just close my eyes and say ok. I wasn’t alone.

Signs can come from anywhere and everywhere, from an image in the clouds to a phrase in a commercial. Sometimes you’ll see the signs when you least expect it and other times when you’ve specifically asked for them.  I hope you use today’s Focus to go out and play and see what the Universe has to say to you today—Is it an answer? Is it a new opportunity? Is it a new pattern? Whatever it is, just Don’t Stop Believing!

#takingitdeeper

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And That’s How It Started

Tell me about the first time
that
you climbed a tree
or ran a mile.

Tell me about the first time
you
rode a bike
or caught a ball.

Tell me about the one time
you
got caught in the rain
and a
stranger gave you his umbrella.

Tell me, again, about the time
he called when he said he would,
and then met you at the door with flowers.

Tell me.
Tell me this…
Tell me that…
Tell me these things,
and more.

And I will tell you, too.

We braided our stories over coffee and tea.

That is how it started. This is how we started.

Now as we sit across from each other,
steam rising from our mugs,
the words from our stories hang between us.

We have grown and settled to a place
that is comfortable and where speaking is not really needed.
Just a look or a gesture conveys
all we need to say.

The hours and years of the intimacy of all that I told you…

And all that you told me…
of the first time
that
you climbed a tree
or ran a mile….

Friday’s Focus—Balance

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And Jane a frazzled mom. And Steve a stressed out commuter. And Becky an exhausted caretaker.

It’s a tough thing these days to keep our lives in balance with so many responsibilities, and though the intention is there, the follow-through can be hard. It’s easy to become so focused on keeping our heads down and marching one foot in front of the other just to survive the day, that we tend to lose balance by losing ourselves in working too hard to keep everything (and everyone else) together.

Take some time out today and this weekend to do something to bring some balance back into your life and your daily routine. Even if it’s  a start with 5 minutes of stopping and looking out the window or closing your eyes and taking some deep breaths.

Have a great weekend!

Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way…

It’s Never Too Late

It’s that time of year when we all wax poetic and look over the past 12 months, taking stock of what we did or rather didn’t do and draw up yet a brand-new list with a January 1 headline and the subject is Resolutions.

New Year’s resolutions are the grande dame of the To-Do List, and too often we hold ourselves dutifully accountable until either our enthusiasm runs out or things get in the way and the exuberance of the YES! I WILL becomes, TOMORROW! I WILL and on it goes in its decent toward NEXT Week I will,  Next month I will, next year I will.… and before we know it, it’s Happy Birthday, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year (again) and we start over.

Why not let each day be a New Year and go forward to start (or finish) whatever that something is? It’s never too late. Let what you want to do go beyond New Year’s resolutions and don’t let the calendar dictate the absolute end date for accomplishing what you set out to do. Yes, it’s good to have goals (which is what resolutions really are) set within a timeframe but it is so easy to become discouraged and give up if we don’t meet the goals we set for ourselves by the particular date we think we should have.

This doesn’t mean you should let things go until whenever, either, but if you find things are getting in the way of accomplishing what you want whether it’s life happenings or your own procrastination, break down that capital “G” Goal into smaller, lowercase “g” goals. This can help in making them more attainable and easier to meet. It will also give you a sense of accomplishment, which may make your original end Goal easier to see and reach.

Envision it. See it. You don’t have to know how you’ll get there only that you will.  Let your resolutions be the beginning to something you’ve always wanted to do; be; experience, but instead of treating it like a chore of something you feel you should do (losing weight, give up smoking, spend less time at the office, eat better, etc.)  put things on that list that you’ve always wanted to do and up until now didn’t. Even go so far as thinking back to when you were a kid—what did you want to be when you grew up? What did you like to do? Why not pick those things up again? You’re never too old and it’s never too late.

Setting New Year’s resolutions are a great place to start and reboot yourself to the place you may have always wanted to be mentally, physically, and emotionally and when June rolls around and you find yourself with that list still untouched, no one can say you can’t reboot and re-start your resolution then. You’re in control.  Too often we procrastinate by saying One Day, so why not let that “One Day” start this January 1 and if need be, then February 1, March 1 and so on. No matter what you want to do, don’t believe it’s too late—in the calendar or in your life. Your dreams and resolutions may have changed as you got older, I know mine have, but I don’t believe that dreams and goals have an expiration date just because they weren’t fulfilled by a certain age or time.

May each day of this new year inspire you instead of it being the tick-tock of things undone and goals unmet.