Monthly Archives: June 2007

Family Reunion

Every year around July 4th, my family gets together for a one day reunion. Many of us do not see each other except for this gathering. We have first, second, and third cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, first cousins once removed, second cousins twice removed, parents, sisters and brothers. Lots of permutations!

It’s always nice to catch up with everyone and see what has happened over the year. We never really have an agenda, though we usually have something for the kids to do. Humor is really important and we tend to laugh for hours during the day. Food is an integral part of the entire day and usually a lot is consumed. I’m still recovering and probably will be for another day or two. :-)

This year, for a variety of reasons, we had less than 20 people, but that number can potentially be well over 30 if most are able to visit. There is something about an extended family that is comforting. Even if you don’t see them for a year at a time, it’s just a good feeling to know that there are potentially many people that can help in times of need. .

I look forward to next year’s reunion; to see how people have grown, to share what we’ve experienced and learn about what has changed in their lives.

Have a great day!

Michael

Friends for Life

It’s the friends you can call up at 4am that matter.  – Marlene Dietrick

Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person‚ having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words. – George Eliot

Ahhhhhh! Good friends. They are priceless. I am so fortunate to have several in this category, but today I’m talking about one very special friend in particular. She and I have been best friends for over 10 years. We have gone through incredibly challenging times, but it has made us even closer and stronger in our friendship.

She probably knows more about the inner me than anyone. Years ago, not many people really knew the real me. It was hidden. She found it, brought it out to the light of day and I grew by leaps and bounds. Actually, this relationship and the inner growth that ensued is a large factor in who I am today.

I would, at the drop of a hat, help her at any time. She knows that she can call and I’ll be there ( hence the 4 a.m. quote above :-) ) And I could get the same from her. We are there for each other at all times, up or down, joyous or sad, through thick and thin, during good and not so good relationships. When all other avenues fail, one of us is there.

I feel that I’ve done something right in my life to have the gift of her.

Kim, thanks for being nothing more than who you are!

Michael

Dance – Release the Spirit

If you are feeling stressed out, frustrated and boxed in – Dance and release the spirit. Tonight we went to a five rhythms dance class and I was able to release the stress of the last few days and my horrible mood (my monthly bleeding started today so I’m using that as is my excuse).

Dancing takes us out of our minds and into our bodies. It allows us to express ourselves through movement without the need for words. Sometimes it is just too difficult to say things verbally and so the feelings remain trapped inside unable to be expressed. Dancing to the rhythm of the music helps to release these pent up emotions.

Five rhythms http://www.gabrielleroth.com/ is a form of dance that takes you on a journey through five tempos. The first one is Flow, which gets you out of the head and into the body. Without judgment flow allows us to get in touch with what we are really feeling. Staccato allows us to give clearer definition and expression to the feelings that have begun to well up. Chaos is when we face the tension and pain and go into the chaos. Lyrical is what we feel coming out of the chaos and feel that joy of being alive. Finally the ‘Wave’ is completed by stillness, and the perfect time to go deep inside and really connect to our inner truth,with out all the mind games.

However, you don’t need a class to dance. Go and put on some up lifting, feel good dance music and just let yourself do whatever you want. Don’t restrict or judge yourself. The more you relax into it, the more you can enjoy the journey.

Over this full moon weekend, as the emotional energy becomes more intense, find some time to dance.

It will help release the spirit and lighten the mind……

Love and Blessings

Rebekah Shaman xxxx

Getting Rid of Baggage

Baggage in the context I’m discussing means emotional baggage. In other words; hurts, disappointments, tragedies, failed relationships and etc. that we all experience at some time or another through our lives.

The benefits of getting rid of your baggage are many. Some that I’ve experienced are increased energy, less mood swings, more openness, ability to deal with difficult situations in a mature manner, increased happiness, not holding grudges, living in a more conscious manner and increased tolerance.

A great place to start eliminating your baggage is open and honest communication; first with yourself and then with others as needed. It is vitally important to express your feelings without holding back. Each time you repress what you feel, you create a little more baggage. Before you know it, the “load” is quite heavy.

Many times, good communication will be enough to unload your baggage, but sometimes additional actions are required. Acceptance and forgiveness are important tools in your arsenal. Both work well regardless of the situation. If you are truly having a difficult time getting over something that has happened in your life, a short time with a counselor could do enormous good for your well being.

As you learn to live in a more conscious manner, you’ll find that life becomes a wonderful thing to experience. The possibilities are endless, the opportunities are boundless and the level of happiness that can be experienced has no upper limits.

Have a great day.

Michael

Potato Salad

Between last night’s dinner and breakfast this morning, the first batch of summer potato salad has disappeared from my refrigerator.  And, alas, I am the culprit.

I LOVE potato salad.  Let me restate that: I love MY potato salad.  Far be it from me, one of the world’s pickiest eaters, to eat just any potato salad.  I’ve spent years perfecting our family recipe to the point it now requires no measuring or guessing.  Dollops of mayonnaise, mustard and pickle relish are dropped in the huge mixing bowl.  An undefined number of eggs and cut-up potatoes are boiled in the copper-bottomed Revere Ware 4 1/2 qt. stock pot.  Bacon is cooked in the microwave.  After testing the potatoes for “done-ness”, I drain off the water and fill the pan with cold water (to speed up the process.)  By now I am impatient and my mouth is watering.  I crumble the bacon on top of the mayo/mustard/relish pile and slice scallion stems.  The potatoes drain in the strainer and the eggs cool in the water. 

I look at the mixture in the bowl.  I move back and forth in front of the sink, as if this little dance will make the potatoes drain faster and the eggs cool from the breeze I create.  I crack the shells off the eggs, and dice them, still warm, onto the mixture in the bowl.  Gauging the potatoes as still pretty wet, I no longer care and they are dumped into the bowl and quickly stirred in. 

I eat the first bite using the mixing spoon. It is followed by a delicious sigh.  This makes me happy.

The Invicible Summer

In the depths of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. – Albert Camus

Many associate the winter with dark times in one’s life. I see winter as a time of inner renewal and introspection, the gathering of energy in preparation for the lighter times to come. I believe the quote holds true in both cases.

What sustains us is our belief and hope that all things change. I’m sure there are many of you that view change as problematic. I erroneously believed that also. But without change the negative things in our lives may never go away and the positive things become even more positive when contrasted with the challenging times.

When we have a solid foundation internally (i.e. invincible summer) there is really nothing that can affect us. It’s like having a concrete pillar supporting us from the inside. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you like or love yourself? If you answered yes, fantastic. If no, can you name the things about yourself that are causing you to dislike the “entire” you? Pick one and began to learn how to accept that part of you. Once you accept that part, it will be much easier to make any changes that you desire. Acceptance must come first.
  2. Do you block out time for yourself every day to do something that you love to do? This is a critical factor of self-love. We tend to be creatures of giving and can sometimes feel guilty if we take care of ourselves in this way. How much time can you devote to “you” everyday; 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour or more? Whatever it is, do something that is completely satisfying to yourself.
  3. Do you laugh every day? How much? Laughter actually changes the chemicals flowing through our blood. It is immensely healthy, both physically and emotionally. I’m finding that laughing everyday is not enough. I need to laugh every hour. Do something to make yourself laugh every day; read jokes, watch a funny T.V. show or movie, talk with a friend and etc. Watch your attitude change very quickly.
  4. Do you think or write about your hopes and dream? The first three ideas will help you feel better about where you are at any moment. But, if you want to change you need to clearly see where you want to go while being firmly rooted in the present. Write your dreams down. Think about them. Talk to your friends. Be specific. Imagine what it will be like to fulfill them, but don’t forget about being okay with not having them right now.

These simple techniques will help you build your invincible summer within.

Have a great day!

Michael

Lots of Laughter

I’m traveling with one of my managers this week to meet some of our new direct reports. As you may have gathered from some of my recent posts, I’m riding a fairly big happiness high, which is probably an understatement.

The happiness I’m feeling and experiencing is bleeding over to other people. It’s quite fascinating to watch. My dry sense of humor seems to be working overtime. I’m having a lot of fun with it. The more I have fun, the more others seem to be having fun also.

During a large meeting today, the humor appeared to be contagious almost to the point of being out of control. It instantly relaxed everyone and the meeting was quite a success.

I’m finding that all this fun stuff is coming very easy to me. The simple reason is that I’m being more of who I am inside without holding back anymore. No longer do I have the old habits of restraint because of a fear of being judged. It’s a great feeling. I look forward to having interactions with people because I don’t know what the outcome will be. All I know is that it will probably be fun. I guess this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. :-)

How about laughing as much as you can today? Try it out. You may be surprised at what happens.

Michael

Belief to Success

Success is not what you think it is… it is what you believe it is… and most never believe… – Doug Firebaugh

Belief really is the secret ingredient to success. We can think all day about what we want, what we think success is, but the emotional component of believing is what carries our thoughts through to success.

In the book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill writes in great detail about the emotional component or belief in getting what you desire. Believing you can do something changes everything. I know it sounds simple and very logical, but so many of us don’t do this important part of being successful.

I believe I can work for a good boss. I believe I deserve a good relationship. I believe I can have fun every day. I believe my life is an adventure. I believe I can improve my financial situation. Belief is a great start to changing your life for the better.

What do you believe? Is it helping you or holding you back?

Michael

Happyness

Wally wants extra attention this morning.  He sits next to me as I drink tea, peering up at me as if I can sit here and not notice his woebegone brown eyes.  Something large just hit the branch of the Maple tree and I’m quite sure no pterodactyl have flown by in the last few minutes.  I hear the bird calls, the trucks on the highway and notice a very non-pterodactyl-like squirrel in the Maple, now the Ash tree.

Last night I watched the Pursuit of Happyness.  It seemed insightful of Chris Gardner to notice how the Declaration of Independence included the pursuit of happiness, not just happiness alone.  He noticed that happiness was included other places in the Declaration, that it was something he was pursuing, and at the end of the movie declared his moment of happiness.  It took alot of work to reach that one moment.  Although he had timesof despair, he was focused and his intentions remained on completing the internship and being THE employee who gets the job.  I admire that and wonder what I’ve done in my life with the same level of intensity.

Life Takes a Positive Turn

Life can take such dramatic turns. I shouldn’t be amazed anymore, but it’s really hard not to be. In one week, I have a new boss who is fantastic and I’ve started a new relationship.

As I’ve stated numerous times, I really belief the key is that I constantly work on being as happy as I possibly can at every moment. This attitude makes my world have unlimited potential and possibilities. This is not an arrogant statement. I’ve been down the negative thought road and in my experience, my world was extremely limited in choices. In fact it was so limited, I could easily label it as crippling.

As I practice the techniques to adjust my thoughts and emotional state to be happier, it gets easier to do. I can’t wait to see what my life will be like in 10 years. Things are getting better all the time. It is a drastic difference from my “old” life of things getting worse.

Here is a great book to start learning how to change or pivot your thoughts to feel better: Ask and It is Given.

Have a great day!

Michael