Simplicity

“I do not particularly like the word ‘work.’ Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.” 

Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

Today was my second day of mowing with our new John Deere. I have to say in my wildest dreams I never ever thought I’d say I owned a Deere.

The plan was to take a picture of me as I mowed. A problem with that plan presented itself very quickly. Because it has been so very dry here from the moment I began mowing I was immediately covered in a substantial layer of reddish-brown powder. It’s not that I’m that vain. It just seemed kinda silly to take a picture of someone so very well camouflaged.

Now I understand why people in the old Western movies wore kerchiefs over their faces.

So, for the sake of storytelling, I took a still of “Bull,” our little tractor. He did a remarkable job today. I’m starting to get pretty attached to this little guy.

As I type I am having a hard time believing we are heading into the last holiday for this summer season.

As I pour my wine, I wish you all a very happy and safe Labor Day holiday. Take this time to rest and spend time with those you love. I am reminded daily time is promised to no one. Grab and treasure every minute. Let the small stuff go. Live and love like there is no tomorrow.

I’m taking my own advice and stepping away from the daily posts for a couple of weeks so I can spend time with people I don’t get a chance to see often.

Just think of the stories I’ll have to share!

“Thank you for the day and night,

for rainy spells and summer’s light.

Thank you for the skies of blue

and puffy clouds in grayish hue.

Thank you for the gigglefests

and midnight’s cloak to hasten rest.

Thank you for tomorrow new

and yesterday’s tomorrow too.

Thank you for “I’m glad we met”

and also for “we haven’t yet.”

Thank you for the peace of mind 

a grateful soul doth always find.

I am…

B…simply being…

I love you all and wish you a holiday filled with heartwarming memories.

~Peace~

Resting

“I make no secret of the fact that I would rather lie on a sofa than sweep beneath it.” 

Shirley Conran

Yesterday became a rest day.

I was exhausted. The early morning heat took its toll quickly as I worked in the front yard. Those weeds were a lot stronger than I’d anticipated. By the time I was done, my body told me in no uncertain terms she needed some time to refuel.

I listened.

“Each wave that rolls onto the shore must release back to the ocean. You are the same. Each wave of action you take must release back to the peace within you. Stress is what happens when you resist this natural process. Everyone needs breaks. Denying this necessity does not remove it. Let yourself go. Realize that, sometimes, the best thing to do is absolutely nothing.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

Anticipation…

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” 

A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

When I was working planning a trip was stressful. There rarely seemed to be enough time to get it all together.

Now…I’m still a 5-star procrastinator. I’m sure there will be last-minute running around doing all those things I should have done much earlier.

The difference is I now have time to think about all the things I’m looking forward to seeing and doing.

In no particular order, I’m sharing my very short and simple list for our upcoming trip:

  • Sleeping with the windows open.
  • Wearing long-sleeve shirts and being chilly.
  • Waking up to the sound of the river right outside my door.
  • Fly fishermen.
  • Seeing mountains and pine trees.
  • The sound of wind through aspen trees.
  • Canyons with switch back roads.
  • Walking the dogs down the country road with little or no traffic.
  • Cows.
  • Horses.
  • Big Horn Sheep.
  • Afternoon beers around the picnic table.
  • Conversations with old friends.

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of Music

“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!” 

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 

As a kid I sang all the time–didn’t matter what I sang about–I made up my own songs.

I sang as I roamed around the house, as I ran through the neighborhood, and while I climbed and sat on the swing set in our backyard.

In school, I was always a part of chorus. Somehow I was always lucky enough to be part of the school shows in spite of the fact I could not read music.

As with so many things, time went by and work obligations grew. I had so much on my mind there was no room for music. My singing and my music fell to the wayside.

Over this past year I’ve rediscovered both. A lot of that is thanks to my friend, Lana.

Lana and her husband, Doug, know their music. I mean that in a very literal sense–they know the bands, the songs, and the history of if all. I’ve been the fortunate benefactor because they’ve always shared with me.

Now music is back in my daily routine. In fact, I just bought our tickets to an annual music festival held in a little mountain community in Colorado. I am so excited. I know I’ll be back in this peaceful valley, listening to the music that soothes my soul.

Thank you, Lana and Doug, for being you and sharing your love of music.

“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.” 

Hunter S. Thompson

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

I am thankful for my friend, Kimberlee Salimeno, for allowing me to use her photo in my blog today. Thanks, Kimberlee, I love you. Please note, no-reuse of this photo without permission from Kimberlee.

 

Sunday Dinner

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” 

Frederick Buechner

I’ve been thinking about family lately.

I think turning 65 is pulling at some heart-strings.

For many years every Sunday my sisters and I would get together for family dinner. I’d cook and we’d sit around. We’d share our stories of what happened to us that week, play cards, and drink some beer.

It was, by far, the most under appreciated time of my life.

As we begin our weekend, let’s all make a conscious choice to take time to appreciate those you love. Absorb every single moment, tucking those irreplaceable times safely away in that place you put all those special memories. One day these every day occurrences will give you comfort beyond measure.

“I may not always be with you 

But when we’re far apart

Remember you will be with me

Right inside my heart” 

Marc Wambolt, Poems from the Heart

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

 

 

Books

“Some people won’t dog-ear the pages. Others won’t place the book facedown, pages splayed. Some won’t dare make a mark in the margin. Get over it. Books exist to impart their worlds to you, not to be beautiful objects to save for some other day. We implore you to fold, crack, and scribble on your books whenever the desire takes you. Underline the good bits, exclaim “YES!” and “NO!” in the margins. Invite others to inscribe and date the frontispiece. Draw pictures, jot down phone numbers and Web addresses, make journal entries, draft letters to friends or world leaders. Scribble down ideas for a novel of your own, sketch bridges you want to build, dresses you want to design. Stick postcards and pressed flowers between the pages.

When next you open the book, you’ll be able to find the bits that made you think, laugh, and cry the first time around. And you’ll remember that you picked up that coffee stain in the cafe where you also picked up that handsome waiter. Favorite books should be naked, faded, torn, their pages spilling out. Love them like a friend, or at least a favorite toy. Let them wrinkle and age along with you.” 

Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin

Yesterday my friend Mary Beth told me she felt books found you.

I completely agree.

My favorite books look pretty battered. I love them and make every page mine. I don’t dog ear books, though. For some reason that’s not okay–BUT I do love to find books that other people have dog eared. Those pages I look at closely. What had someone else found so note-worthy?

Occasionally, our local library has books for sale. That type of sale has my attention immediately.

My first purchase was a little book by Ted Menten called, Gentle Closings, How to Say Good-bye to Someone You Love.

Today as I walked into my office that little book caught my eye.

Yes, I need to be reading about my healthcare but I noticed I’d flagged a few pages. I had to see what I found.

It was even more noteworthy today.

   “…In time I became a storyteller. Then I became involved in a process called closing, which is the way the living and the dying say “good-bye” and “I love you.”

   All of this just happened. I am not a doctor. I am not a psychoanalyst. I have no degrees on my office wall. I haven’t even got an office. I am simply a storyteller who goes where the stories need to be told, and where I can learn new stories. My training was all on the job.

   The children, and later their parents, taught me everything I know. The nurses and the doctors shared their expertise with me as well. Everything I experienced made me re-examine everything I had ever thought or believed. 

   Since we are traveling together, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned with you. You don’t have to believe what I believe, or question what I question, or even come to any of the same conclusions. We’ll just walk together and talk things over. 

   I believe that there is a supreme being, a creator, because when I look around at the wonder and beauty of life, I can find no other reasonable explanation. 

   I like the idea of prayer. I think it is more sane to talk to someone else than it is to talk to yourself. (At first I had a problem with unanswered prayer until little Susan, age seven, explained to me: “That’s simple. God’s answer was no.”)

   I like ghosts and reincarnation, too. A mystic once described my grandmother as an aura that followed me and protected me. That seems right enough; it’s what she did before she died. I support recycling, so I suppose it is only natural to accept reincarnation. I might like to come back as something really special and magical like a butterfly or a teddy bear. 

   Heaven is a good idea, too. I like reunions; I like all that hugging and kissing and tears of joy when old friends get back together. 

   I believe that loves gives the best return on investment. 

   I believe that truth is like a straight line–the shortest distance between two points. 

   I believe in second chances, and third chances, and fourth chances. 

   I believe that listening is essential to loving.  

   I believe in grief and sorrow and tears flowing like Niagara Falls. Tears mean something. They mean we’re alive and feeling. 

   I believe that death is a friend, a fabulous dancer who will twirl me away in my last waltz. 

   I believe in taking the time to say good-bye and not putting it off until another day. Because more than anything, 

   I believe in love.    

~Ted Menten~

I am thankful this book reached out to me today.

It is exactly what I needed.

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

 

Priorities

“Sometimes exhaustion is not a result of too much time spent on something, but of knowing that in its place, no time is spent on something else.” 

Joyce Rachelle

I’ve been reading about Medicare and supplemental health insurance the past two days.

My mind is full and feeling pretty dull at the moment.

In reality, I wanted to be writing…or working in the yard…or making those lemon bars…

I hung in there and I learned a lot. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more waiting for me.

I’ve reach my limit.

It is time for all that new knowledge to age a bit in my mind.

In the meantime, I’ll share another prayer by Marie Shriver. Her book, I’ve Been Thinking, has influenced me a lot this summer. It’s been great sharing it with you.

This prayer reminds me to save some time in my day to talk with God.

Dear God, may I spend time with you every day, quieting the cares and the concerns that make so much noise in my mind, heart, and spirit, so I can hear your wisdom and feel the love you’ve given me every day of my life.  Amen ~Maria Shriver~

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

 

Acceptance

“There is no way to genuinely, powerfully, truly love yourself while crafting a mask of perfection. I know, you know, we all know—it’s hard to let your pimples and your flaws be seen. It’s hard to stumble and bumble. It’s hard to not know the right things to do or say. It’s hard to not look like TV.

Sometimes, it’s really hard for me to be the awkward mess that I am when I’m authentic, instead of having runway authenticity—all natural, but flawless. But every time I allow that to be okay, not just around myself but around others—I affirm something to myself. I affirm, to myself more than anyone else, that I am lovable and acceptable unconditionally. I affirm that it’s okay to take on and take in all the flavours and hues of human experience, and not just the ones that are acceptable in this culture, in this time, in this place.

And that kind of acceptance, that kind of love—that’s the kind of love that creates miracles. That’s the kind of love I really need. That’s the kind of love that makes approval taste like cardboard.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

Today as I read posts from my Facebook friends, I had some of the same thoughts I’d had for years.

Without this type of social connection, would I ever have had a connection or a re-connection with some of these people?

Many I reach out to every day have become such important parts of daily routine. These old but new “friends” hold unique places in my thoughts–some I barely knew in school or during other busy times in my life.

The inspiring and supportive”conversations” we’ve had with each other across the miles separating us have added so much to my life.

How has this type of daily contact changed my life? How has it influenced how I think and what I think about?

Would I even be sitting here now sharing my thoughts if I’d not had this experience first?

Of course, on the flip side, I have noticed who was not there.

I’ve spent so much of my life trying to be liked by those who I thought were my friends–probably better said–those who I wanted to be my friends. Now, my nearly 65-year-old self knows I could have saved myself so much time, effort, and money if I’d just paid attention to the people around me who were always beside me.

These were and are the people I never needed to do anything to impress or gain their approval. They accepted me for all that I was or wasn’t. They stood beside me through the good and bad times. These were and are my rocks–my pillars of never-failing support.

Special reminder to self:

“Note that acceptance is different from approval. Acceptance is simply saying, “It is so.” 

Margie Warrell, Find Your Courage!

Dear God, help me accept others the same way you accept me. Empower me to accept people who are different and especially those who often experience rejection and are made to feel unacceptable. I want to love others as you have loved me. Amen. ~Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking.

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace be with you, my friends~

The Messenger

But in real life things don’t go smoothly. At certain points in our lives, when we really need a clear-cut solution, the person who knocks at our door is, more likely than not, a messenger bearing bad news. It isn’t always the case, but from experience I’d say the gloomy reports far outnumber the others. The messenger touches his hand to his cap and looks apologetic, but that does nothing to improve the contents of the message. It isn’t the messenger’s fault. No good to blame him, no good to grab him by the collar and shake him. The messenger is just conscientiously doing the job his boss assigned him. And this boss? That would be none other than our old friend Reality.” 

Haruki Murakami

Yesterday my very own personal messenger stopped by to deliver a message. This message served to remind me exactly why I’ve often said reality sucks. In a matter of minutes, my world took on a slight tilt.

I needed some time to think.

If nothing else, I’m usually adept in finding ways to escape.

One this hot August day, I decided my mode of escape would be to go to an estate sale. It was not far from our house. It’d been publicized because it was at the home of a well-known retired astronaut. Those of us who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s know our space history and idolized our space heroes.

When I arrived at the sale, I’m pretty sure many waiting beside me were there just to see a place Captain Jim Lovell lived for part of his life. Hey, that was part of the reason I was there! This was confirmed by the fact many who walked out of the sale carried nothing–only the big smiles on their faces.

In hindsight, an estate sale may not have been my wisest choice for making a break from real life. Even on a good news day, I find these types of sales a stark reminder of the final days of life–not to mention it is a not so subtle reminder to get my own shit in order.

I walked through the rooms, thinking about many things. Not much caught my eye–maybe my mind was too preoccupied. As time passed I felt I’d received guidance and encouragement. Maybe it was left over energy from the miracle we call Apollo 13?

Earlier in the day I’d asked for help from my angels and spiritual guides. I asked for input in how to help my friends when they face crisis in their lives.

That help would come with conditions.

In order to help others I could no longer dodge my own old baggage. Dealing with that would not be so easy. I knew with the help I’d asked for, I’d be able to heal myself as well as help those I love.

I feel as though the frame holding my tapestry has been enlarged–the mighty weaver has many more threads to add and intertwine–I am thankful.

Dear God, when my problems seem overwhelming, I trust you to take care of what I cannot. I choose to fix my gaze on you and trust in your mighty power. I know that nothing will happen that is outside of your knowledge or control. Teach me to find shelter in your presence, to follow you one day at a time, and to take the steps that will overcome the challenges I face.  Amen. ~Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking~

I am…

B…simply being…

Have a safe and happy weekend. Know you are loved.

~Peace~ 

 

 

 

Self-Compassion

“Awakening self-compassion is often the greatest challenge people face on the spiritual path.” 

Tara Brach, True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

I’ve noticed a new word being used for taking care of yourself. Self-care. I like it which means I probably over use it–the word–NOT the practice.

I’ve been searching for a word or phrase that describes what I’ve been so focused on these past few years. I found that phrase today–I am on my spiritual path in search of self.

I like that as well.

In my family it was stressed you never put yourself first. You took care of everyone else before yourself. Since I was a kid when this lesson was first taught, I was expected to be even more subservient.

This lesson is one of those childhood tapes that has played every single day and always comes in loud and clear. You never questioned it. It was just the way it was. Even talking about in now makes me uncomfortable.

Buried within those lesson notes is the word “should.” I’ve become very aware of the times I use that specific word. It falls into my sentence structure so naturally I don’t notice until I read it out loud. As I read my voice triggers an immediate shame response when I say the word, should.  Nearly every circumstance revolves around something I didn’t do but had the opportunity to do so. It’s about a choice I made to give myself a rest which automatically means I was neglecting the needs of someone else.

Oh, those old lessons are hard to unlearn.

I understand it won’t happen over night. Like so many things I’ve discovered on this path, it is another part of this amazing journey I’m on that is a work in progress.

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” 

Louise L. Hay, You Can Heal Your Life

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~