Dec 152016
 

The joy and excitement of holidays!

Laughter, joy, beautiful memories and words of love, wisdom and grace … but what if your experience is more of a season filled with complaining, bitterness, anger, frustration and hurt? 

imageThis post first appeared on 12/15/2015)
Painful events have a way of stacking on top of each other squashing out the ‘wonder-years’, and the warm fuzzy feelings along with them. Throughout the years, events and emotions are sprinkled in our lives that can bring a great deal of joy and wonder … as well as pain and sorrow. The holidays have an almost magical way of bringing every one of them to surface! The music … the smells of delicious food … blinking lights and festivities at every turn ignite feelings of warmth and love, or grief, sorrow and anger. No doubt about it – emotions are all over the place during the holiday seasons!
 
Does the thought of seeing relatives over the holidays set your teeth on edge or fill your heart full of dread? Unresolved issues, assumptions about others, and unresolved childhood memories and beliefs easily undermine many family gatherings. Have you asked yourself “Where are the magic moments of love filled with precious memories and loving words?” First of all … they aren’t magic … they are a choice to be given, and to be received.  
 
Resist the toxic “white elephant” party that is played at too many households; where the pale pachyderm sits in the center of the room, watching … glaring … waiting … and silent. 
 
Give Thanks! Emotions are a sign of life! They are also signals to pay attention to the condition of your heart and our mind.
 
To fix anything, it first has to be noticed. Your thoughts are conscious, unconscious, intentional, and automatic. Reactions to emotions become habitual and unquestioned when not noticed. So, the first step is to ask yourself a few questions when you experience an emotional flush. Here’s a few questions to get you started:
 
  1. Was it anger, shame, frustration or embarrassment that just rose up and made your face flush red?
Jul 202013
 
Man praying

Yesterday I received, along with a host of other people, a string of Tweets from someone we all know and love dearly.  This sweet man was visiting a city that he was not completely familiar with. While there, he decided to take a walk and, as is his nature, became deeply engrossed in his thoughts and prayers. 

The time flew and when he realized the sun was setting, he was mortified to find that he had completely lost track of where he was and was now in unfamiliar territory.

Moon at night

Mar 232011
 
Woman looking and listening

There are moments when we are in the heat of a discussion and tempers flare, that the art of listening slides to the rear of our minds.  Emotions boil up, over and out, carrying acid thoughts and accusations.

When listening ends, we take to heart only what we EXPECT to hear, not what is actually being said, and in an effort to counteract those expectations, the temptation to attack verbally before we are wounded further overtakes us.

Mar 192011
 
Sarah's Tent coffee mug

“Would you like a Carmel Highrise?” Carol asks as she moves towards the counter the moment we walk through the door of our favorite coffee shop.  Who ever asks first is saying, “I love you and want to buy you coffee this morning.” Carol is always thoughtful and extremely patient. The energy she brings with her is calming and tender – and my energy (I’ve been told) is encouraging and inspiring. Together, we balance each other out and strengthen one another.

Mar 182011
 

Shannon at age 5When I was a little girl, I remember asking an adult a question. This far down the road, I have no idea what I asked, but I do remember my response quite clearly – as well as the resolve that occurred from this experience.

Whatever the adult said to me, it was a stupid answer that made no sense, at least to me as a child, it made no sense and I thought that was stupid.

As I stared up at their face, completely puzzled by why they had given me such an off-the-wall answer, I remember thinking, “When I grow up, I’ll have the answer and know what the child is asking.”