Paradise is Sharing...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Am, therefore I write....

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” Henry David Thoreau

This morning I woke up and made a pot of coffee, turned Pandora on my favorite jazz station, curled up on the couch with my little dog, and a great book. The thought crossed my mind "wouldn't it be nice to just sit here all day?" Lexi stretched and yawned and cuddled in a little closer as if in perfect agreement with me.

My cup of coffee eventually became empty, and when I looked up from my book I noticed that the sun was skittering across the living room floor, and the leaves outside were glowing in all their Autumn glory. Another thought crossed my mind... "I should get up and go enjoy this beautiful day"... but the couch was so comfy... but then I thought "hmm... I might find more to write about if I go have an adventure" and as if Lexi read my mind, she leaped off the couch and started chasing her tail.

To some, the word "Adventure" conjures up grand images of death defying feats such as sky diving, scaling rock cliffs, or traveling at break neck speeds. Not me. Adventure is my word for going outside with the intention of exploring my surroundings around me with the curiosity of a child. That's all. Sometimes, the Adventures of Lexi and Cilly are as simple as walking the path behind my apartment down to Otter Ponds. Sometimes it's sitting out on the porch watching the chickens. Sometimes it's taking the kayak out for a little paddle around the lake. Whatever Lexi and I end up doing, it's more of an exploration and treasure hunt than a quest to actually "get somewhere"..

Today we ended up at my parents farm. Lexi played with the customer's kids who picked out their pumpkins that they would undoubtedly take home and carve into jack-o-lanterns. Some will end up with smiling faces, some with scary faces. One little boy wanted to get the biggest pumpkin in the patch, and I do believe he succeeded when he pulled his prize up in a wagon, tugging and toiling, and had my father lift his find up onto the scale, where it tipped at 31 pounds. I joked that Lexi weighs just 31 pounds, so he got himself a Lexi-o-Lantern. Lexi seemed very pleased with that idea because she did zoomies around the barn yard to celebrate.

Dad and I took a short walk out back where he pointed out some work he had done, and we talked about haying, his neighbors, deer, geese, and whatever else seemed to come to mind. With an "ayah, I'll be seein' ya"... we walked in opposite directions - he towards the piece of equipment he needed to get greased up and ready for winter, and me towards my car, whistling for Lexi who came springing up from her job of chasing the turkeys out of the corn field.

The rest of today's adventures involved running some errands. It's always an adventure navigating the grocery mart on a Sunday. Once home, Lexi and I ate some supper, cooked up the fresh squash we got from the farm, and enjoyed each bite. There is nothing like farm fresh food... and perhaps we have to eat the garbage we eat day in and day out to realize that food grown from soil and sunshine is far superior gifted from the Universe Herself. Once I cleared my plate, I sat back down with a head full of ideas I wanted to make sure I got down on "paper" before I lost them. As I was typing, I had a "Carrie Bradshaw" moment. OK, so I am not a tall, thin blonde living in New York City writing a relationship article for the New York Times, but I finally felt like I was a writer. I went, I saw, I wrote.

When I first met my boyfriend (who is a DJ who hosts karaoke shows), I said "I can't sing"... he said "sure you can - you just might not sing well!" Deep down, I always wanted to sing karaoke, but fear held me back... What if I sound horrible? What if they laugh at me? What if I make a fool out of myself? What if I clear the bar? Other singers would get up there, belt out a tune.. some were good, some eh, not so good.. but they ALL seemed to be having fun, whether they sounded "good" or not. A couple of beers (liquid courage) and coaxing from the man I love, I was up on the stage belting out a rendition of "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics with all I had. The ten people in the bar applauded and I was a star. Now, I can actually say I CAN sing (badly, but with gusto!)

Deep down, since I was a little girl reading "Little House on the Prairie" by Laura Ingalls, I wanted to be a writer. Somewhere along the way, I convinced myself that I am not a writer. Maybe it was my horrendous grades in English class and my incorrigible misuse of grammar. Maybe it was because my mother read my journals when I was a teenager and I was embarrassed because I knew my ramblings about boys, crushes and teen spirit was now "out there"... whatever it was, where ever it came from, it ran deep.

A friend of mine paid me an amazing complement today on Facebook after reading my blog post. She wrote "You are a wonderful writer." She made my day! It wasn't the "wonderful" part of her compliment that made me beam... it was the fact that she called me a writer! Me? A writer? I can't write!? Oh wait... yes I CAN. I just might not write WELL. (and my friend blew that theory to hell because she just called me not just a writer, but a WONDERFUL writer!) It wasn't until she wrote those words of encouragement to me, that it dawned on me..... I AM a writer.

Just like my singing, I CAN sing (I just might clear a room) and I CAN write (just no one may read it)... So what?! As Dr. Wayne Dyer said "When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step along the way." So here I am, living my adventures, singing my songs, and writing about them all... because I can.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dog-Earred and Tattered

*Disclaimer... yes, this post is about religion and my experience with it. I respect your religion, God, relationship with God, or lack thereof... please let me share my thoughts and experiences without judgment....*

At my Toastmasters meeting last week, I listened to a riveting speech delivered by one of our very dynamic and INTENSE members. He is a Christian advocate for a topic that is deemed very controversial, but he is very passionate about. At Toastmasters, we do not critique content - that is not our "jobs"... we are not necessarily his audience, we are there to simply give advice, support and feedback to support the structure and delivery of his speech.

As he was speaking, he held up a Bible, dog-earred and tattered, as proof that he had done his homework on Christian doctrine, and no one, NO ONE can challenge him on what is in the Bible (in regard to his controversial topic) because he had read each word written, he had scoured each verse, and researched each documented verse. As he held the Book above his head and gave it a firm shake, a page came loose. This Bible was so throughly consumed it was starting to fall apart. I was impressed.

I thought about the Bibles on my bookshelf. One was given to me in Sunday School by a sweet, kind, matronly woman named Rose. It is a hard-covered King James Version Bible, and inside the cover is her handwriting "Priscilla, May the Lord Bless You and Keep You".... I treasure this Book... I really do... but as far as putting the Word to good use, I believe the most I used it for as a child was to press a four-leaved clover. That was, until I started looking for answers in my life.

When I was right out of High School, one of my best friends committed suicide. I was so hurt, confused, and frightened. I needed answers. I needed to know if God was there, if he was going to be there for my friend, and I needed to know what I thought of God. I pulled the Bible off my bookshelf, dusted it off, and looked for answers.... and found none. I am not saying the answers weren't there, but with the King James Version of the Bible in my hands, I just couldn't get past all the The's, Thys, and Theys.... any answers that were there were lost in translation.

So I asked for a new Bible, and was gifted a Womans Daily Devotional Bible. It has a pretty pink cover, and is seemingly easier to read, but try as I may, I still wasn't able to extract what I needed from it. During my divorce, I turned to the pretty pink Bible for comfort and solace, and in my inexperienced hands, all I found were verses damning divorce, telling me that women should be meek and subservient to their husbands, and basically feeding my Gremlin. Again, I'm not saying that the doctrine wasn't there.... it just wasn't jumping off the pages at me.

Still, there seemed to be something reverent about someone reading a Bible until it was falling apart. It seemed Holy and disciplined. I was attracted to the idea, but not the practice. Why? What was I hoping to find hidden in the verses that I do not already know?

While I was driving to Belfast today I was listening to "A New Earth" by Ekhart Tolle. He writes
"The Truth is inseparable from who you are. Yes, you are the Truth. If you look for it elsewhere, you will be deceived every time. The very Being that you are is Truth. Jesus tried to convey that when he said "I am the way and the truth and the life." These words uttered by Jesus are one of the most powerful and direct pointers to the Truth, if understood correctly. If misinterpreted, however, they become a great obstacle. Jesus speaks of the innermost I Am, the essence identity of every man and woman, every life-form, in fact. He speaks of the life that you are. Some Christian mystics have called it the Christ within; Buddhists call it your Buddha nature; for Hindus, it is Atman, the in-dwelling God. When you are in touch with that dimension within yourself - and being in touch with it is your natural state, not some miraculous achievement - all your actions and relationships will reflect the oneness with all the life that you sense deep within. This is love."

Once I heard these words Eckhart Tolle dronefully recited on my audiobook, I realized that I AM THE DOG-EARRED AND TATTERED book! All the answers I need, God has given me, they are already inside me. I may feel weary, worn out, tired and beat up - because I am scouring the pages of myself - looking for answers, stretching my limits. I do not have a weathered and forlorn book to shake in front of an audience to prove that I am knowledgeable about my faith - I have MYSELF. I have my experiences. I have witnessed amazing wonders - moments in time that I would call miracles. I am full of stories, verses and songs, and just like the Good Book, I may need some translation to help people understand me... and that is ok.

So, for now, my Bibles... both of them, King James and the pretty pink womens devotional Bible remain on my bookshelf. I am grateful to have them, I know I will refer to them when searching for specific phrases or meanings, its comforting to know they are there.... but for now, I am going to dutifully study my pages until they are lovingly worn and tattered.

Friday, October 21, 2011

#Self Occupied

Grew up on a Rutabaga Farm.
First day of work was when I was 6 years old.
Worked side-by-side men twice my age, throwing hay bales, hand weeding thousands of tons of rutabagas and pulling them all by hand.
Graduated from High School and put myself through business school while working three jobs.
First car was a piece of crap Subaru
Got married and bought my own house when I was 24. Made mistakes. ALOT of mistakes. Divorced in 2008.
Corporate job downsized in 2009 - job was outsourced out of state. Became self-employed. HAS NEVER BEEN HAPPIER (and I still drive a piece of crap Subaru)

I am #Self Occupied.

If you've spent anytime on Facebook, you've seen the posts of the lone protester, holding up a sheet of paper detailing their lives, declaring their allegiance or non-allegiance to the #Occupy Wall Street protesters. They either label themselves as the 99% or not....

All of this is rather confusing to me. I am not politically astute. I know enough to stay afloat of issues, and to form an opinion for myself, but not enough to defend my views in a debate - so I avoid political conversations altogether. But this Occupy Wall Street argument doesn't seem completely political. There seems to be more conversations about "fairness" and "obligations" than debates on actual political rhetoric. So, here is where I feel I can form an opinion, voice it, and put it out there. Again, if I am rubbing you the wrong way because of my ignorance of the matter - you are right in feeling frustrated that I am not well educated on the debate - but please do not try to school me. Trust me, I find my own truth.

What concerns me about the protesting, is not necessarily the Occupy Wall Street movement itself, but the alarming number of "copy-cat" protests that are popping up all over the place. Case-in-point, there was a group of protesters outside Bank Of America protesting the fact that they are "too big to fail" and got a bail-0ut from the Government. Fair enough, that seems to be a good argument to base a fight on. What I had a problem with was one of the women the TV reporters interviewed said "The people in this building make more than I do..." and went on to complain that she hasn't been able to get her social services because of the budget cuts by LePage. (if I had a story to reference, I would, but I don't and this isn't a formal article, so I am taking the creative license not to quote sources)...

Hey lady - I have to tell you.... those people in that building make more than you because they worked hard to earn that money. They got good grades in high school, they went to college, they applied themselves, they sacrificed time with their families, they climbed the corporate ladder - and guess what - because we live in America, they have the RIGHT to earn more than you! So get over it!

I am sure that this is NOT why people are protesting at Occupy Wall Street (or at least I REALLY hope so) but it really irks me that there are so many people out there with the attitude of "us verses them" when it comes to high earners and low earners. I do not make as much money as I want to make, but it is nice knowing that because I live in a free country - my earning potential is literally UNLIMITED. All I have to do is work hard, apply myself, and I too, can live the American Dream. I can, you can, we all can. There are plenty of "Average Joes'" out there earning LOTS of money.

Now, I know there is a plethora of reasons to be upset with the Government, taxes, and unfair practices right now, but its time that people start taking personal responsibility for themselves. If you are not earning as much money as you would like to earn - work harder, and then give your time to volunteer. If you are not as educated as you would like to be, pick up a book - and then read it to a child. If you feel you are being treated unfairly, treat others the way you want to be treated. If you feel like the world is full of greed, give more.

I have decided I am starting a movement. So far, it's just me and Lexi, but anyone else can join. It's called #Self Occupied. It's simple to join, there is no place to meet and no posters to make (although if you REALLY want to break out the glue and glitter, be my guest)... there is nothing to protest, nothing to be angry at, no fingers to point, and you are not a number. You do not have to camp outside for days on end, and you can continue to go to your job every day. You are not a label, stereotype, and you are not limited in anyway. Your earning power, potential and creativity is limitless.

To get started, first you have to pledge that you will take 100% responsibility for yourself. It is no one elses fault if you are unhappy or dissatisfied. It is no one elses fault you are lonely, in debt, are overweight, or any other thing that is less than optimal for you. You may have found someone else to shoulder the blame - your spouse, your parents, your boss, your Government, your God....but in order to be #Self Occupied, you need to take that burden back and put it squarely on your shoulders. Once you have acknowledged there is no one else to blame for you being in the place you are..... forgive yourself.

Step two is to realize that every thing you do - everything - is a choice. You choose to be happy. You choose to be abundant. You choose to be grateful. You choose to suffer. Yes, you choose to suffer. Think long and hard about that. Then think about who you would be if you chose something besides suffering. What if you chose joy, gratitude, forgiveness, empathy or compassion instead? What kind of person would you be? Are you willing to be that person? Are you ready to be that person? What does choosing suffering allow you to continue to do?

And finally the last step to join the #Occupy Self movement is to practice kindness. Start yourself and radiate out like the ripple effect of a pebble cast into a pond.... be kind every chance you can. When you think you can't possibly be kind in a situation, find a way. There is always a way to be kind, whether it is to yourself, to another, spoken, or unspoken. Just be kind.

If anyone would like to throw a buck or two towards my organization, heck... I'm a capitalist, I'll take it... but I'd rather see you give it to your favorite charity.

Be the change you want to see in the world... Ghandi

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Let Your Light Shine...

If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself.
If you want to eliminate suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.
Truly, the greatest gift you have to give
is that of your own self-transformation ~ Lao Tzu

As much as I love Maine, and it's four seasons, I have to admit, I have a hard time with losing hours of daylight each day. I find it difficult to transition from being woken up in the morning by the sun shining in my windows, to being jolted awake by a relentless alarm clock bleeping in a still dark and cold room. I have all I can do to not pull the covers over my head and hibernate like a lazy slumbering bear, and dream of warmer days and feeling the sun on my skin.

But I am not a bear. I have responsibilities, and I have to get moving and get on with my day. Instead of the sun beaming through my kitchen and dancing off my suncatchers as I make my coffee, the hum of energy-saving bulbs beam their iridescent glow through the dimly lit morning. I stumble into the bathroom and blink painfully at the blaring light on the medicine cabinet as I fumble around for my toothbrush. Once in my car, I snap on the headlights so I will be visible to other commuters through the misty morning fog. At work, I sit under the buzzing florescent lamps, and squint at the harshly lit paperwork strewn on my desk, and after a long day, the artificial beacon of my porch light welcomes me home.

Once dinner is made, I light a row of candles, and admire them as I read or write ..... the flickering flame warmly glowing is the most organic light I have seen all day. The flames blink and wink, glint and gleam, and seemingly dance as the shadows behind them cast an array of colors and shapes that bend and sway. The light from the candles is warm and inviting, soft and gentle, soothing and seductive.

The differences of light sources, and the feelings they evoke remind me of a quote I once read: "We are told to let our light shine and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.”

I believe that is what is so attractive about natural sunlight, candles, and the moon and stars.. they are not noisy, they are not intrusive or invasive or glaring - they just ARE. Which makes me think about about how I let MY light shine. Do I just allow my natural talents, skills, and abilities to unveil themselves, to glint, to gleam, to dance, to shine... or do I come across like a flare gun?

I can certainly see, at times, I have revealed myself both ways, and obviously, the former method is more gentle and effective. Admittedly, I have at times, in certain situations jumped up and down, waving my hands saying "look at me! look at me!", when all I really needed to do was to simply SHINE ... naturally. My light is bright enough to illuminate even the darkest of night.

This little light of mine... I'm going to let it shine....

Friday, October 14, 2011


Halloween is fast approaching, and it's got me thinking... what masks do we commonly wear?

While it's fun wearing a mask on Halloween, to play a different character for a while, to live out a little fantasy, to create a little mystery. It's not as much fun to mask our true authentic selves on a daily basis. It's exhausting really.

When we are not 100% truthful with others, when we try to hide our feelings, when we suppress our thoughts, we put on a mask. After a while, the mask becomes smothering, difficult to breath in, and causes deep resentment and bitterness. The further away we travel from our Source , our true selves, the more anxiety and discontentment we experience.

So what masks do we wear? Well, like all masks, they come in different shapes, sizes, colors... but they all serve the same purpose - to create an illusion.

I've discovered a few masks I often wear:

The "It's OK" mask.... This is probably the most used, most versatile mask. I believe I have had this mask the longest. This mask is the one I put on to create the illusion that my feelings are not hurt. I often put this one on to suppress my feelings, or to put someone elses feelings above my own. It was created as protection, as a shield - forged so strong it's bullet-proof. This one may be used in times of someone forgetting a special occasion, or being two hours late for a date, or breaking a commitment. It's also used when someone lies to me, hurts me, or puts me down. Sometimes I wear it all by myself when no one can even see it, because it's comforting to wear it - like a cloak.

The "I get it" mask.... This mask gets used often. It's the one that creates the illusion that I understand every word you say, and the lessons you are trying to teach me are sinking in. This mask prevents me from feeling stupid or inferior. The caution label on this mask should read "caution, this mask can cause undue frustration and may cause you to quit. It may also lead you to believe that you are of lesser intelligence than you really are. Long term use of this mask can stunt your growth"

The "I can do it all" mask... This is the mask that is the most dangerous. This mask is donned when I am being asked to help someone, when I don't really have the time or resources to give. This mask creates the illusion that I am helpful and not letting people down. It is so convincing, that I even believe it. This mask leaves me feeling stressed out, burned out, and in the long run, people see straight through the facade. Come to find out, there are many holes in this mask.

When I first started using these masks, I thought they were beautiful and ornamental, clever really. But the more I used the masks, and felt the ill effects from wearing them, I saw them for what they really were - ugly, hideous and menacing.

And the purpose I thought they served, the illusion of something more beautiful, more honorable, more desirable than my own truth... was a mirage. The true beauty lies within. "To thine own self be true!" was my humble statement as I took off the mask.

I was once afraid of people saying, "Who does she think she is?" Now I have the courage to stand and say, "This is who I am."--Oprah Winfrey

What masks are you wearing?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"I'm so disappointed"....

and with that utterance of those three words, my lip quivered, my head bowed down, and huge drops of tears splashed onto the table top.... and with release I sobbed.

To merely admit "I am disappointed" created such a rush of emotion, like someone releasing a flood gate, I was finally given permission (or rather, I gave myself permission) to admit my feelings, and let them gush out of the sluice gates.

Disappointment dresses in all sorts of disguises - Being disappointed with someone else ... carrying around the burden of someone elses actions, that happen to weigh heavier than our expectations. Or, being disappointed in ourselves ... being so attached to the outcome of a situation, we are no longer able to disassociate with it.

I had an unexpected workshop this morning. I was sitting on the couch, drinking coffee, wondering what I would do with the fine weather we are having today, and I flipped on the TV, and lo and behold, Joel Olsteen was on. I like Joel Olsteen. I'm not much on "religion" and certainly not TV evangelists, but I appreciate his style of public speaking, and I can relate to his messages which are normally not too "preachy".... and today's lesson was on "Letting Go."... how fitting.

Letting Go. Joels message was rather simple - instead of trying to figure out WHY something didn't go your way - accept it, and move on - knowing that God has something better in store for us. That the end result that we hitched our wagon to was not the end result God wants for us... he has "a better seed" for us to plant.

Did I say simple? Why yes, it is simple. Simple does not equate to easy. But even the message Joel preached today was one that I have talked about with clients several times "If you will let it go and move forward, then you’re going to come into something awesome that God is about to do; not ordinary like you had planned, but extraordinary like God has planned."

Let Go, Let God

So today's workshop is about letting go of disappointment. Letting go of the expectations I have on myself, and expectations I have put on my friends. I am normally pretty good at thinking about "letting stuff go"... but I realized today that I never officially "hand stuff over"... I am bit of a control freak, and delegation was never my strong suit. Trusting that God (or if you care to substitute the word "Universe" or "Higher Power" as I often do)... knowing and trusting that God, the creator of the Universe has it ALL under control is critical in letting go. You gotta let it go SOMEWHERE... simply dropping stuff is not my style - but letting someone else handle it, someone who is more capable than me.... ya, I can see that much clearer.

Joel also talked about removing "Why" from our vocabulary. My Inner Life Coach smiled when he said that, because in coaching training, we learn that "Why?" is one of the most useless questions we can ever ask. He said "Since the Lord is directing our steps, why do we try to figure out everything that happens along the way?” God has you in the palm of His hand. He is directing you every step of the way. That disappointment may not have been fair, but it’s all a part of your divine destiny"

So, the redirect is this... when faced with a disappointing situation ... rather than ask "why is this happening to me?".... the question to ask is "How can I grow from here?" and "What opportunities are available for me?" and "What lessons is the Universe presenting to me?"

I have to admit... I am still pretty bummed out about a few things going on right now.... I am bummed that three of my best friends marriages are on the rocks, I am bummed out that a good friend of mine lost her son last weekend. I am bummed out that a project I am working on is not lifting off the ground the way I had hoped.... but I am letting go of being disappointed, and I am wondering what is in store for my friends, what greater opportunities are coming my way, and what lessons I can learn from here.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It's Just Another Day In Paradise....

It's a phrase we hear often, one that we say through gritted teeth, meant as sarcasm, in jest, to answer the old tired question "How's it going?"....

Most of the time, whether we are the deliverer or the recipient of the phrase, we can relate. We get the person saying it doesn't feel as though life is idealistic, nor are they living the life of their dreams. Usually, when I say it, I want to shut down any "real" discussion of how it is really going, and quickly change the subject.

I've been struggling lately. I've been the person who has been answering (or at least have want to answer) people with the quick and witty phrase of "just another day in paradise" when asked how I am. It bothers me to feel this way, to have this reaction, because daily I work with people to realize their dreams, pursue their passions, and break down the barriers that hold them back from, well... living a life of paradise. My poor attitude and disposition is not an overnight phenomenon... nor do I need to explain its origins or how it came to manifest itself in me... but it's here none the less, like an old comfortable, faded, ratty chamois shirt and sweat pants that I bum around in around the house ... but would never want people to see me in out in public.

Coach, Coach thyself!

I'm a life coach... I guide people every day to find answers deep within themselves that unlock their fears, unblock their hurdles and free them from being stuck in their heads. Well, just like the landscapers lawn, the mechanics car, and the accountants checkbook... sometimes working on yourself is not as easy as working on others.

Last week I had what I would label as an amazing session with a client who decided that she was going to take 5 minutes, three times a day, to focus on what she trully wanted. Before work she would visualize herself having a great day...after work she would visualize herself having a great afternoon with her children, and before going to to bed at night she would reflect on her day, and write down what went well, and what she would like to do for a better tomorrow. Genius. Pure genius. It's not a new stategy - Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Steven Covey, Esther Hicks... all the self-help gurus HIGHLY recommend spending some time with yourself ... to "workshop" to "create" to "visualize" ... what ever you want to call it, many highly successful experts recommend this as the one thing that we should be doing for ourselves.

Taking my own medicine....

Since that session I realized I have not been spending much time on myself. Many of my friends have been going through challenges, and because I love them, I have been focused on their issues, not my own. It's ok friends, if you are reading this... please still continue to lean on me.. just know I need to put the oxygen mask on myself first - the plane is going down.

So here is the start (or rather, the continuance after a long hiatus) of my self-exploration. I am not writing this as a "professional blog" because I don't want to worry about "key words" or marketing, branding, SEO or any of that other self-editing crap I have to worry about with a professional blog. This is a personal blog. At times, it may be raw. It may be candid. If you are close to me, you might recognize yourself in some of my ramblings (I will change names to protect the innocent).... but it's real, it's me... it's for me, and it may not be for you.

Today's workshop

Each day, or at least... each day I create space for myself, I intend to pause, reflect, talk about what matters, and hopefully walk away with a deeper understanding of myself. Today I spent some time (listening to an audio book while cleaning my office) .. listening to first Esther Hicks and then Eckhart Tolle. I guess the combination of the two lessons is rather amusing, because Eckart Tolle speaks of being in the NOW, and Esther Hicks speaks of attracting what your desires are by aligning your vibration. I am probably not the best to translate, articulate, or interpret the teachings of the two ... but I can say the understanding I came to this afternoon while scrubbing toilets and sweeping floors....

I've been spending alot of time being dissatisfied. I know that is going to sound vague to some people who read this... but to others, the people closest to me, they will know exactly what I mean. My only hope is they do not own my dissatisfaction. No, it is all my own. It is not through the fault of anyone - not my boyfriend, not my friends, family, parents, clients, employers... no one can own my dissatisfaction but me.

I normally avoid talking about my feelings of dissatisfaction because I don't want to let anyone down, or make them feel uneasy. I don't want my boyfriend to feel inadequate, my clients to feel uneasy, my employers to feel nervous, my parents to feel judged, my friends to feel burdened. So I hold it all in. I never talk about it... and as a result, I feel all the things I hope to shield from others. It's not healthy - and it bums me out.

So you may be asking "Cilly - what are you dissatisfied about?".... because, you see, I asked myself that very same question. And after writing a very long list, and looking at it over and over for possible solutions, I decided none of it is important anymore... because today I am choosing satisfaction. Satisfaction comes from focusing on the present moment, and being grateful for what I have here and now. It does not mean acceptance or being complacent. I still have lofty goals, dreams and ambitions that I am striving for... but being dissatisfied will not get me to the finish line.

I am satisfied (or substitute the word grateful) for so many things - right NOW. It was a beautiful day, the sun was brilliant. My dog Lexi is laying on the couch next to me chasing rabbits in her dreams. I am writing again. I feel creative. I am loved by friends, family and my boyfriend. And if you ask me how it's going... I can trully say.. it's just another day in paradise.