Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Life Is Short-Treasure Friendship

On April 27, I'm going on a Girlfriends' Vacation with Mary, Di, Helen, and Sue. We're all retired teachers and met in the early 90's at Breckenridge Elementary School. Now we're scattered in different locations, but we try to gather to make new memories and have some fun at least once a year. We'll all spend a week in Mary's home state of Arizona. The second week, Mary and I will travel through Arizona into Utah to do some hiking and sightseeing. I treasure these special friends and look forward to our adventures.

As I get older, I've come to realize how important friendship is. Do you make friends a priority in your busy life?

To read a post about the trip by Lucinda B. Rabbit, visit LIVE and LEARN.

Cherish friends!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Can You Change Your Mood?

I've been feeling a bit prickly the last couple days. Do you know the mental heaviness I'm talking about - when something isn't quite right, and you're just generally out of sorts?
Sometimes, I need to change my mood. I really believe that when I experience these subtle downswings, there are ways to switch to a more positive frame of mind. Often, just getting outside for some fresh air is enough. Other times, I need to practice a technique my friend, Mary, taught me.
I take a walk, allowing random thoughts to come into my mind. If the thought is bothersome, stressful, angry, sad, or generally a bummer, I open an imaginary trapdoor in the back of my head. I move the thought I want to eliminate to that door and let it topple onto the ground and roll away from me. I keep moving forward, cleaning out negative thoughts and sad feelings until I begin to feel my mood stabilizing.
Now this is important: Problems still exist - I'll have to deal with them (hopefully productively) at another time. But, mentally, I feel a relief - a more positive attitude where I can feel appreciation, joy, and calm.
My focus turns outward instead of inward.
I feel more connected.
Small things give me pleasure.
The present moment seems enough.
What helps you feel better?
Exercise? Food? Music? Hobby? Shopping? Meditation? Prayer?

How do you change your mood?

PS I'm learning a new blog application (Blogsy) for iPad in preparation for my trip. I'm going to publish this post from that platform. It's giving my old brain a bit of stress - but hopefully building some new circuits, too. Now, my plan is to go outdoors and practice this technique to relieve my frustration!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Celebrate Differences

I spend 6 hours at the Apple store in the mall one day. The first hour isn't too bad because I have a One to One session before the store opens. However, I also have a Genius Bar appointment to deal with some problems I'm having with my computer. The store gets crazy-busy as soon as it's officially open for business. The decibel level of people talking around and above each other is deafening. I'm uncomfortable with so much noise and turmoil. However, I sit quietly on one of the high black stools awaiting my turn. I breathe and try to relax. I start watching the "geniuses" who are dealing with other customers. One is a young girl with spiky hair, long shaggy bangs dyed neon pink, bright red lipstick, purple glasses with square frames, and a glinting silver hoop in the right corner of her bottom lip. I see how she listens intently to the older woman she's helping. I see her smile encouragingly. I note that she's completely engaged in what she's doing and totally unselfconscious. I begin to think she's lovely - an exotic specimen from another planet. I am intensely pleased when finally she finishes with the other customer and calls my name, beckoning me toward her. Then a wondrous thing: She introduces herself and her name is the same as my grown daughter who was once (and possible still is in her heart) a rebel child. I am immediately in love with this geekily-odd young woman and feel an intimate connection with her - I believe I'm in good hands. She is meticulous and organized in handling my problem. She takes my computer into the inner bowels of the store where in a few hours it is miraculously restored (free of charge) to working order. When I come back to retrieve the computer, I thank her profusely. She gives me a vivid smile, her piercing sparkling in the overhead light.
I think to myself: "Vive la difference!"
Please let me remember this encounter the next time I'm not sure I "like" another person's appearance. 

It's who we are inside that counts.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Imperfectly Perfect

I'm practicing using a new Macro lens which fits on top of my zoom. As you can see, I have a way to go to achieve clarity. I think steadiness is necessary, so maybe I'll need the tripod. But, this image of my blooming cactus, though blurred, reminds me of something beyond what it actually is. In my imagination, the bloom morphs into something more nebulous, something spiritual and positive. So, I'm sharing it with you. After all, we're all imperfect.

I walked in the city today in bright sunshine with wind swirling blossoms off the trees and through the air. My spirit also soared as I caught the eyes of others out enjoying the day. Often, smiles were exchanged. I felt a sense of renewal, hope, and energy. No matter our differences, we are connected in ways we cannot always fathom. I give thanks for this day and for you - to whom I am also connected in ways I sometimes ponder.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Learn from the Animals

Kindness and gentleness are always the best options. Surely, I can put aside petty grievances and try to find common ground. 
This week I'll focus on sharing kindness and finding grace in others. 

Denver Zoo, March 2012