Posts Tagged ‘play’

Releasing Expectations

 

       Life presents us with opportunities for growth; some painful and some exciting, but these lessons are always challenging our core values and beliefs.  With every new opportunity, we test ourselves and all that we currently know by choosing to either move forward toward the unknown or play it safe.  Whenever we start something new, we’re pushing past our comfort zone and thus pushing past our expectations. While there is familiarity with the known, there is little growth so we make up expectations and fantasize about what this new experience will be like. It’s almost like preparing for a play by studying our lines, except we are the writer, actor, and director. We give emotion, dialogue, and set the scene for our new adventure, environment or relationship, and then get upset when things don’t turn out the way we planned (expected).

Having expectations is part of being human, however, it doesn’t have to take center stage. We’ve all heard the saying “expectations are planned resentments”. This means that by creating them, or buying into them, we are setting ourselves up for failure, disappointment, and pain. Instead, take life as it comes and learn to “roll with it”. Plan, if you must, but don’t fall into the trap of “expecting” anything of a person, place, or thing (ex: event).  The key to releasing expectations is acceptance.

Accept what you cannot change. And that is pretty much everything outside of yourself. Recognize your Spiritual power within and harness control (awareness) over your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and actions. Practice an attitude of gratitude. As Dr. Bernie Siegel says in his book 101 Exercises for the Soul, “you can’t be troubled and grateful at the same time”.  Through acceptance and gratitude, peace and joy exist.

I am so grateful to have learned this lesson in my life and for the opportunity to practice is regularly.     Join me in releasing expectations forever! There is freedom in not expecting and instead simply allowing experiences to unfold; naturally.  Try it today and see for yourself.

 

Thank You Dad

Father’s Day is a time for celebrating the dad’s in our lives. Whether they are or were our biological father’s or not, we acknowledge the significant men in our lives today for being there in good times and bad; teaching us about life, playing with us, raising us with positive values, for believing in us and always loving us unconditionally. Thank you Dad for caring. Thank you Dad for taking your responsibility to me seriously. Thank you Dad for putting a roof over my head, food on the table and clothes on my back. Thank you Dad for protecting me from the harsh and sometimes cruel world. And thank you Dad for instilling confidence in me and self-esteem. Thank you Dad for always looking out for me and setting healthy boundaries so I would learn from my mistakes and make good choices. Thank you Dad for paying attention to me, listening to me, and following through with your promises. Most of all, thank you Dad for showing me that you are human and that it’s ok to make mistakes. I’ve learned so much from you; regardless of your intentions or actions.

There are many of us who grew up without a father figure or an abusive dad who didn’t know how to be there for us the way we would have liked or needed. Instead of feeling bitterness, anger, and/or pain today, lets forgive our Dad’s by acknowledging they were simply doing the best they knew how at the time. Often times, they were just repeating patterns of behavior from their upbringing and don’t know any better. Dad’s make mistakes, just like we do. We’re all human and don’t mean to hurt one another… it just happens sometimes when we’re hurt or upset or don’t have healthy coping skills. While parents are supposed to model healthy behavior, they often don’t know what that even looks like. As a child, this is difficult and painful. Many people have developed negative feelings towards their dad’s for a myriad of reasons. I honor and respect that. And I know that anger and resentment only hurts us and causes lots of other problems.

However, as adults we can make different choices. We can choose to forgive our dad’s and ourselves and move on. We can also choose to get help/ support to resolve the past as well as overcome unhealthy patterns of behavior so that we can be positive role models for our children and grandchildren. It is possible to release and let go with love. I encourage anyone with unresolved father issues to seek help in order to not repeat them with your own children. When we take this courageous step, we can truly be happy and embrace the blessings of our dad’s.

For those who have a great relationship with their dad; let them know how important they are to you and celebrate their presence in your life. Recognize the bravery and determination your dad has shown; honor his wisdom and sacrifices. Thank him for bringing you into the world.

Namaste’

Lisa

Harvesting Your Creative Talents and Gifts

This weekend I embarked on a new craft project that reminded me of the vast array of creative possibilities that exist within me and all around. While on a fun outing to the local craft store I found a black metal door or wall decoration with a black crow on top. The manufacturers had glittered the perimeter and outlined the frame in white but the middle was completely plain; a blank canvas. After careful consideration of my crafting options, I decided to take it home and see what to make of this little sign. With the help of my husband, stencils and some acrylic paint, I was able to transform this fairly boring object into an adorable and personalized work of art. Although the project took approximately 5 hours to complete, it was the most fun I’d experienced in months. It even spurred me on to try other creative projects like card making and updating my grandmother’s metal butterfly’s with matching mirrors. While that’s a much larger project that might take me several months, I feel confident in what action steps to take in order to update this family heirloom so that I can enjoy it for years to come.

All of these projects require harvesting my creative talents and gifts as well as letting go of any fear, doubt, or inner skepticism so that my God-given abilities can shine forth as beautiful pieces of art. What unique talents and gifts are beckoning for you to harvest this season? If you’re unsure, take a deep breathe and go into the silence for greater insight. Perhaps there is a project you’ve been wanting to work on but are overwhelmed by it and don’t know where to start? All ideas are manifestations longing to be brought into this world of form through your creative hands. Allow them to be expressed. I am so grateful I did because it was one of the most connective activities my husband and I participated in together in a long time. Sometimes we all need a break from the day-to-day routines and obligations to just play like we did when we were kids. What will you harvest today?

Take Time Out

I am so thankful and grateful for time out’s. Whether it’s a minute, five, ten, or all day, taking time out from the day-to-day routine is essential for optimal mental health. Doing this before the pressures of life get too much is far better than waiting for things to back up or worse, explode! Recently, I enjoyed a wonderful conference that explored integrating our shadow side (fears, resentments, frustrations, or other limiting beliefs) in order live from greater conscious awareness. It was a fabulous day away from the family, pets, and housework where I could dress up and feel like a real adult. Ahhhh. We all need time outs like these and I realized that it had been far too long for me.

The beautiful part about time outs is that afterwards, you feel completely rejuvenated and inspired with greater motivation as well as a fresh perspective. It’s like going away on a vacation, when you come home everything looks so much better.

Now a little more info on these time out’s and what they look like. Taking deep, cleansing, breathes for a minute or two can suffice in a pinch when you’re feeling stressed out and need to calm down to collect yourself. Practicing some yoga or Tai Chi postures for 15 minutes of more can be a great time out to re-focus and go within. Exercising at the gym or going for a brisk walk /run/ bike ride, can be another form of time out that is just for you, allowing for greater energy, improved physical health, and mental clarity. There are times, however, when one needs a longer time out than those described above. When this happens, enroll in a seminar or workshop for the day or go on a private retreat for the weekend to refuel and pamper yourself. The time alone will not only benefit you, but your family, job, and outlook on life as well.

Just like toddlers, we all need to take time out from our day to nap, rest, and play; yet as we grow up and the pressures of life build, we need greater time outs to reflect and bask in the silence. Media, technology, financial obligations, and increased job/personal demands have created a pace to life that is difficult for any human being to sustain. Thus, taking time out from this pace to slow down and relax is key to balance the inner with the outer and maintain feelings of emotional satisfaction with the lives we lead and the direction they are taking.

I, for one, am grateful for taking these time-outs in order to examine and re-align my life with Divine Purpose. Try it for yourself today and see how much better you feel afterwards. Mix up the varying kinds of time-outs described above and notice your productivity and outlook skyrocket.

Puppy Love

What is more adorable that this? Puppies, like children, are so uninhibited and free; they seek only to provide joy through play and boundless love along with energy and of course wet kisses. Given the challenging times we are experiencing, what could be better than coming home to “man’s best friend”?  Besides, children or a loving spouse or partner, not much else comes to mind. In my opinion, puppies rule above all other pet possibilities as they are more loyal and trainable.  (they are also the most cuddliest)

Puppy love is easily visible with a speedy, wag of the tail and humans irresistible urge to pick them up cooing all the way. Puppy love, is 100% unconditional and the purest love affair of all, with limitless health benefits for everyone.

So, if you don’t have a puppy or dog, adopt one immediately; if you are already a canine parent, rejoice and enjoy in this special kind of love! I am so grateful for my new puppy Buttercup and all the joy, love, and fulfillment she has brought into my life. This time of year is challenging as my husband and I morn the loss of our daughter Faith Ann who would have been 4 years old. Buttercup’s ability to heal our hearts with comfort and happiness is priceless and the best anti-depressant available. If you suffer from heartbreak, anxiety or loneliness, give puppy therapy a try, allowing their love to wash away your sadness.

Fantastic, Wonderful, Authentic, Friends!

Friends pick us up when we are down. They provide comfort in the face of despair and laughter when life gets too serious. The gift of friendship goes way beyond socializing as it validates and supports the very essence of who we are as human beings walking through life together. Without friends, the stress of day to day life would become too much and we would miss the perspective and wisdom that comes from sharing of ourselves in such intimate ways. No other relationship has greater impact on us than that of friends, since they are among our choosing.

Friends reflect back aspects of us that we don’t see in ourselves. Sometimes this signals a need for healing or forgiveness and sometimes it helps us celebrate the preciousness of who we are. We get an opportunity to practice new behaviors, play, be our authentic selves, learn, grow, and make mistakes in the presence of a safe person who really knows and accepts us. A special bond exists among friends that lovers and family can’t fill; for friendship is all about mutual caring and support without the romantic or family ties that can stir up drama and dysfunction. Friends help us to see the humor within ourselves and the world around us. We also get to practice listening, boundaries, intimacy, generosity, and trust (just to name a few). Friends help get us out of our comfort zones and encourage us to grow and spread our wings. We in turn, help them to do the same and take this into the world with others.

While there are different kinds of friends as well as levels of friendships, the gifts are immeasurable and positive. At each stage, our evolutionary growth can be catapulted, just by allowing another into hearts and lives.  Even 1 friend who loves and supports us unconditionally is enough to change our personal world and alter how we show up in life; making us better people.

Tell your friends how much they mean to you; show them with appreciation, love, and gratitude. Treasure your friends today and relish in this most special relationship. Give them and yourself the gift of friendship.