Paradise is Sharing...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Paradise - Rediscovered ....

I woke up on this beautiful Sunday morning, with the intention of tackling my to-do list with a vengeance.  MyHubby is still in bed, and I had the quiet morning to drink my tea, catch up on emails and enjoy the new heater MyHubby bought me for Christmas to warm my "writing corner."  I am working on creating a series of programs for my coaching business, and was looking forward to a couple hours of productivity before the house came alive. 

But, in regular procrastination fashion, I logged on to Facebook, checked my Instagram account, and then looked at my Timehop timeline.   Scrolling back, I found an entry from 5 years ago "Happy Birthday Sweet Destiny - Rest In Paradise...."   and the emotion ran as raw as if I typed the words yesterday.   Today would have been Destiny's birthday.  She would have been 19 today, which of course, I realize is longer than a dog's life expectancy, but the fact of the matter was, 19 years ago today, I was given a gift from the Universe - my soul mate was born.  The same soul mate that shared this earth with me for 13 years, and the one who continues to send me strength, messages, and wisdom from Paradise.  She is the one who showed me that Paradise exists - not only for those who cross over the bridge, but also for those of us still on this plain ... we just have to slow down, and look and listen.  Paradise is here, Paradise is now, Paradise is (fill in the blank).

In my moment of nostalgia - I went back and re-read some entries on this blog.. I read about Kindred Spirits, Silver Girls and Self-Discovery.  I remembered the personal growth and healing I experienced because I took the time to Find Paradise.  Tears streamed down my face as I read the blog entries - and I also laughed, and marveled at the journey I've been on.  This blog has been neglected - and Paradise hasn't been captured, let alone noticed in my life lately.   I promised Destiny that our Adventures would live on.... and while I've been "busy" and I have certainly had adventures - (I got married, rebranded my business, and am currently fulfilling my life-long dream to be a Maine Guide) - I haven't been taking the time to find the Paradise in the adventures, let alone capture the moments and write about them.  Today, I am making a new promise.  Not to you, not to Destiny,  but to myself..... Our Adventures not only live on, but I will write about them - preserve them, so that when I get busy, when I get distracted and caught up in my own world - Paradise will be documented, waiting for me to notice her once again. 

Paradise is here, Paradise is Now .... Paradise is rediscovered. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Facebook and the Four Agreements

This morning I logged into Facebook with the intention of sending a colleague a message, only to find out she had blocked me.  My immediate reaction was "What a bitch! She blocked me!"..... I proceeded to "cyber-stalk" her - I looked up her Linked-In profile which remained unchanged, brought up her twitter account which was still active, and even checked to see if she was still "pinning" on Pinterest ... The rest of her social media world seemed normal - so I was left with the feeling of "what the heck - did I say something to piss her off?"....

I had just spent a good part of an hour worried about the state of our relationship, I had created fake arguments in my mind, and awful girl-fight scenarios in my imagination.  All that time and energy - wasted - over a social media account.  Maybe she shut down her entire Facebook account because of a personal issue.  Maybe she decided she only wanted to use Facebook for friends and close family.  Maybe I needed to stop taking everything so personally and move on with my life.  Maybe I just need to pick up the phone and call her instead of sending her a message on Facebook.  Although I didn't ask her about being black-balled from her friends list, I did find out that she is fine, we are fine, and everything in her life is busy, chaotic and wonderful.  It felt good to connect with her in such a positive way.   Why didn't I just pick up the phone and call her instead of creating this crazy scenario of her hating me in my head to begin with?  Think of the time and energy I could have saved!

Then I remembered one of the Four Agreements established by author Miguel Ruiz - "Don't take anything personally."  I pulled out my book and re-read the chapter and realized that even though this book was published a full seven years before Facebook was established, the Four Agreements could be a rulebook on how to behave and act on the social media platform, and made a pledge to walk the talk and follow these golden rules myself.  Here again, are the Four Agreements, and I modified them to fit the etiquette of Social Media.  It is my belief that if you follow these Four Agreements while posting, corresponding and sharing on Facebook or any other social media platform, you will save time, feel more at ease, have more friends and followers, and save your sanity.


1) Be Impeccable with Your Word -

Speak with integrity.  Say only what you mean.  Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.  Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

In Facebook terms - only post what is absolute truth and not hearsay.  Check our sources and be sure that what you post and share is the truth.  Gossip is defined as "talking to someone about something who is not part of the solution"

2) Don't Take Anything Personally

Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own dream.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

There has been a time or two when I have posted something that had nothing to do with anyone on my friends list, but someone took offense.  It had nothing to do with them, I was expressing my own pain, but my pain landed on them like a hot arrow.  Hurt people, hurt people.  If you are hurt, it is best to stay off Social Media until wounds have healed.  At the same time, if you are wounded by someones posting - it is not you, it is their anger that caused them to lash out.  You are not forcing them to be hurtful, their hurt is causing them to be hurtful.

3) Don't Make Assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.  Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.  With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

This can transform your life, both on and offline.  We make assumptions because we believe that we know what other people are thinking and feeling.  Remove your ego from the chat room.  You can not possibly know how that person feeling from a mile, 10 miles, or a 1000 miles away.  Break down the barrier of time and space and make human contact to alleviate the unknown.  Pick up the phone or ask them to coffee. 

3) Always Do Your Best 

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.  Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

In Facebook terms,  we have allowed the world to peek in through window and see us at our highest and lowest moments.  When I think of always doing my best  - I don't mean that every status update has to be upbeat with rainbows and unicorns farting glitter and fairy dust.  I think of doing my best is to be humble, forthright, and human.  Sometimes we fall down, but it's how we pick ourselves up that defines us.  Look back at your last few days of posts - were they complaining? Cranky? Whiney?  Would you put up with that behavior from your child?  If not, you may want to consider to change your mindset - and your status updates.

Facebook is a funny, weird, crazy new territory that we are all learning to get along on.  It is creating scenarios that we never had to think of even a decade ago - how to deal with break-ups, bad news, family issues, or even someones death on this social media platform. Keep in mind that while some kids are growing up in this culture, it is still very new to most of us.   Be kind to each other - and remember to stay in Paradise.

Paradise is here, Paradise is now - Paradise is being connected.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lost in my mind....

Photo credit:
I was just reading the Maine Wardens Services updates about the lost hiker Geraldine Largay who has been missing since July 22nd on the Application Trail here in Maine.  It got me to thinking about the times that I have been lost in my life.  Not nearly as life-threatening, but frightening just the same.

When I was in fourth grade, my friend Missy and I got lost in City Hall on a field trip.  We went to the bathrooms together, and when we exited the ladies room, we fell in line with a group from another school.  We didn't really notice we were with the wrong group until we went to get on the bus and realized none of the faces were familiar.  

The first thing that happens when you realize you are lost is fear grips you.  Your mind races and tries to scramble to find the missing puzzle pieces so things make sense again.   You watch your safety blanket of familiarity unravel, and panic sets in. This is where instinct takes over.  My instinct was to sit still and let someone find us or ask a security guard for help. (after all, that is what my Dad always taught me to do if I was ever lost in the wild - and being in the middle of a big city was as wild for me as it gets).... Missy's instinct was to fret, grab my hand and start running bus to bus looking for our class.   We got deeper and deeper into unfamiliar faces, and more and more lost into crowds of the unknown.  We were desperately and hopelessly lost. 

Just as I started to picture our faces on a milk carton, a big lady swooped in and grabbed us each by the ear and dragged us to our bus.  Mrs. Varney had found us, and was madder than a wet hen that we had strayed from her flock.  She abruptly flopped us into the front seat of the bus, where all eyes were on us as we were lectured about straying from the group.  My ear throbbed and my face burned.  I looked over to Missy who was crying.  Anger took over my humiliation as I sat in silence on the bus ride home.  We were lost.... why were we being punished for being found? 

Obviously, that day really bothered me... because here I sit, 30 years later... wondering why I have a hard time admitting to people when I am lost.... instead, I wander, circle hopelessly, and get deeper and deeper into myself.  My Dad's words ring in my ears - "If you find yourself lost - sit still!"

I have been hopelessly and dismally lost.  Not at City Hall, or in the woods - but in the deep, dark, and unfamiliar territory of my mind.  Yes, I am talking about depression.  I felt like I had no direction, I didn't know where I was going - I had no idea what my destination was.... I am sure we have all felt that way - even the most directed and focused people I know get lost from time to time.  I just knew I hated the feeling, and kept circling around and around hoping to find my way out.  Instead, I just got deeper and deeper. Panic set in, and I frantically tried to put together all the puzzle pieces of uncertainty and fear to get it to all make sense... but alas  - I was lost, alone, and afraid.  Worst of all, no one knew I had gone missing.

My Dad would share stories of being lost in the woods, and what he did to find his way out.  Dad would say "You need to send a signal" He told us of a time he was lost on the ridges of the Western Mountains while hunting with his father.  Once he realized that he was lost, he aimed his gun to the sky and blasted off a single shot.  Then he would wait for an answer.  He said in the distance, he would hear his father signalling back -"BOOM! BOOM!" and he would answer back with a single shot - and so it went until they found each other. 

Why was it so hard for me to signal for help when I was lost?  I thought back to the day my ear felt like it was being ripped off by my 4th grade teacher and was reprimanded in front of the class.  Sending a signal would be admitting I was lost - and that thought deeply embarrassed me.  As a self-assured, confident business woman, I was supposed to know where I was going.  I was supposed to have clarity, focus, and strength.  How could I get so twisted around? 

I thought of my Dad being up on the ridges of the Western Mountains in the fog and signalling for help.  Imagine if he had been too embarrassed to send a signal?  He would have died up there. 

Summon your courage - don't let embarrassment be your assassin. - Signal for help.  

Send a message that is bold and clear -this is no time for being subtle.  Wave your arms and jump up and down - "I'm over here!!! I need HELP!"  Don't be shy. 

Then wait for your rescuer to answer.  This is also a difficult skill to master, because it requires listening.  Sometimes the rescuer comes in the form of a friend, a family member or sometimes even a complete stranger.   Sometimes, your rescuer is your Higher Power. You don't know who will be sent to your rescue.   Depending on how far away you wandered, you may have a hard time being heard, or hearing your answer signal in return. You will get one -trust me, someone is out there looking for you.   Get Visible -  Step out into a clearing so you can be seen. 

Let your heart guide you.  It whispers, so listen carefully.
  ~Littlefoot's mother, Land Before Time
Don't be surprised if you get the same primal reaction of Mrs. Varney.  You might have scared the beejezus out of  your friends and family - they may have a hard time regaining their composure, and be angry that you let yourself go so far away.  Remember - their reaction is of love, concern, and relief that they found you.  Thank them for coming to your rescue... ease their fears by insuring that should you get lost again, you will send a signal sooner.

Once you are out of the woods - reset your internal compass - also known as - your instinct. Somewhere along the line, you didn't trust your internal compass, and you were led astray.  My instinct in 4th grade was to sit still and ask for help.  As I grew older, that instinct got off kilter.   Reset your internal compass by living in the present moment.  Don't look behind you, you aren't going that direction.  Start where you are NOW.  Trust the steps you take are surefooted, and in the right direction.  Get a good guide - someone you trust who can navigate you through the wilderness of the unknown. A good guide will help you from getting so lost again. A guide can be a friend, a family member, a clergy person, a coach, or a therapist.  Getting lost is nothing to be ashamed of - what matters is surviving the journey so you can live to tell the tale.

Sit Still - Send a Signal - Wait for an Answer - Get Visible -  Find a Guide you know and trust - Reset Your Compass.

Tell the tale.

Paradise is here, Paradise is now ..... Paradise is allowing yourself to be FOUND.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I remember my Dad telling us a story of how my Grandmother scolded my Uncle for carrying two sacks of potatoes down the cellar stairs.  "That's a lazy man's load!!" she hollered, and made him put the sacks down, and carry them back up the stairs one by one, and then carry them back down the stairs, one by one.

As a child, I couldn't fathom what was so lazy about carrying two heavy sacks of potatoes at the same time.  As I've grown older, I've learned that indeed, yes, carrying two many projects at the same time is truly, a lazy man's load.  Not lazy in the context that we tend to think about.... when I think of "lazy" I picture someone not getting out of bed until noon, not putting the milk carton back in the refrigerator, or leaving their socks on the bedroom floor.  No, my grandmother was describing a different kind of lazy - she was describing being inefficient. 

My grandmother knew that if my uncle continued to carry two sacks at a time, he would wear out, he would get slow, and the other boys who were carrying one sack at a time would eventually do more work than him.  She knew that in order to get the work done, you had to pace yourself.  Taking on too much at one time may seem industrious, but in fact, it is really foolish, and sometimes, you are just being a show-off.  My grandmother recognized his efforts as being counter-productive.

This morning I am remembering my grandmothers story, and I am reviewing all the heavy sacks that I am carrying.  All the groups and clubs I belong to, my business, my work, my household chores, my responsibilities - all the half completed projects, and all the looming deadlines... and I am wondering if I too, am being lazy according to my grandmothers standards.  Yes, I get a lot done, but I am feeling overburdened, and I am sure it's prohibiting me from being the most efficient I could be.... so what sacks do I need to put down?  While it may seem like it will take me longer to get to the finish line by not doing SO much, at least I will get there without exhausting myself, and therefore, not being any use to anyone.  I guess it's time to lighten my load, and stop being so damn lazy.

Paradise is here, Paradise is now, Paradise is lightening your load.

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Breeze at Dawn....

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.  Don't go back to sleep.  ~ Rumi

I've never been a morning person.   I have always struggled with being coherent and my mind is muddled in a fog until at least 10am.  I have always had to drink copious amounts of coffee to jumpstart my day, and the thought of being up before the sun would literally make my stomach turn.  But long ago, I heard Dr. Wayne Dyer repeat the quote from Rumi "The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you..." and I was intrigued enough to start setting my alarm at 5:30am each day to find out what secrets the breeze had for me.   At first the breeze told me it was dark out, and I was tired.  After a while the breeze told me it was freezing out, and to huddle underneath a quilt as I sipped my hot strong coffee.  Eventually the breeze began to carry song birds, and the sky would be grey and pink instead of stark black.  And now, as I drink an herbal energy drink instead of coffee, I realized the sun beat me out of bed... and the breeze is telling me I need to start waking up earlier.

I have learned to embrace the morning... it is the one time of the day when I am able to sit in solitude and silence - the only noise around me is the song birds, and the awakening world as it comes to life.  I write my morning pages - reflections of who I am, and who I want to be, and instead of a fog in my head, my mind brightens and comes alive.   Sleeping in is simply no longer an option for me, my internal alarm clock snaps me up out of slumber as the morning breeze whispers "Cilly, wake up.... you don't want to miss this..."  I stumble out of bed, rubbing my eyes, and still in half slumber... and greet the new day.  The birds are all a chatter like nosy neighbors - chirping amongst themselves like little biddies reporting on every move their neighbors make.  The squirrels hurry to and fro to gather their wares for the day - and get side tracked by a game or two of chase, and the bees have been working for hours making me feel quite lazy as they drone flower to flower with the work ethic that I can only envy as I stand in my pajamas and watch them toil.

Nature is already hard at work, and I haven't even had breakfast yet.  While what Lao Tzu said
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." may be true .... I know now, that it's only because nature wakes up pretty darn early. Perhaps that is the secret the breeze at dawn wanted to tell me ...

Paradise is here, Paradise is now, Paradise is the breeze at dawn.