Body Language

I speak two languages, Body and English. – Mae West

I’m not sure when I became aware there was a lot more being “said” when I interacted with people than just the spoken words. 

I’m sure we’ve all had those experiences when our parents knew immediately when we were not being completely truthful. My Mom was especially in tune with me. Was it her mother’s Intuition or was it something in the way I behaved that made her suspicious?

That question sparked a curiosity that stayed with me, making body language one of my favorite research topics to read about over the years.

Today, a post from Healthyways.com caught my attention: 7 Habits That Make People Seem Less Intelligent by Michael Taylor. 

As I read over the seven points discussed, I could picture certain situations in my past where I could see myself or someone I was with making these same mistakes. Let me share Michael’s insights.

-Dressing too casually for the situation. I will always remember a male friend–one I was trying to impress–making the comment about a woman who had walked into the restaurant. It was a Saturday morning and we were all at a business meeting. I saw no reason to dress up. I was in my jeans, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes. The woman walking towards us wore a nice pair of slacks, a well-pressed casual blouse, and dress shoes. It began to dawn on me that even though it was a Saturday, we were all at a professional meeting. I needed to stay aware of how I presented myself. Not only did I underdress but what I wore was not in the best condition. From that day on, I would dress for the occasion and the situation. 

-Like our moms told us, stand up straight. A poor posture gives the impression we have little energy and/or confidence. I have to agree with Michael when he says women tend to make themselves smaller when they are in certain social situations. Men, on the other hand, tend to puff themselves up and expand into their environment. I am an introvert by nature. I learned early on I needed to take a minute before going into meetings or social events to visualize myself as strong and successful. As I captured that image, I’d stand up straighter and taller. My mantra was and still is when I find myself in certain stressful situations–fake it until you make it. 

-The next behavior noted in this article surprised me. The author says that excessive head tilts and nods make the person appear vulnerable or submissive. The picture that came to my mind was my dog, Bud. When you talk to him, he will tilt his head this way and that. I had to admit, he’s certainly cute, not particularly intelligent looking. Over nodding confused me because I felt nodding was a subconscious signal of listening. With overuse, nodding gives the appearance we are agreeing to everything or we have no opinion or ideas of our own. The author cautions some other head positions. Looking down can give the impression you are shy while looking up makes you appear aloof or arrogant. Best advice–keep your chin parallel to the ground.

-Miss using words or phrases. This point made me wince because I have been guilty of this so many times. In an attempt to appear much smarter than I was feeling, I grasp for words that I would not ordinarily use. In my haste to get those words or phrases out there and look great–I stumble on the tense or the correct pronunciation. I learned it is always best to present the real me. 

-Using language softeners. This was a new phrase for me as well but definitely describes something I do all the time. I, like many women, find it difficult to accept a compliment. When someone notes something I have done, I tend to minimalize it, crediting my team or co-workers instead of simply saying thank you. Such an easy thing to do but one I struggle with yet today. An interesting suggestion made in this article and a pertinent one for me as I continue to battle allergies. Be aware of mouth breathing. Not only does it make your face look a little odd but it can accentuate the sound of your breathing. Be aware–any loud breathing is definitely not going to give the impression you want. 

-Be cautious about being too judgmental. Criticizing someone you don’t like shines a negative light on you, not them. It makes those around you think you are trying to make yourself look better at someone else’s expense. When you speak about others negatively, it shows a lack of compassion–would you say those things if you’d ever been “in their shoes?” Gossiping is never good. It makes people question what you say about them when they are not around. It is a true trust buster. And–heaven forbid–what if the gossip you shared turned out to be untrue. That makes you look doubly bad. 

-Using profanity. Oh, the times when the “F” word has come flying out of my mouth! Even though there’s been a recent study saying that people who use profanity are more intelligent, I’m thinking it’s still bad judgment. When my speech becomes overpopulated with four-letter words I know I am tired and I am stressed. When my filters are in good working condition, I have the discipline to grab onto more socially acceptable words. Profanity, regardless of why it’s used, shows a definite lack of class. I have had to really watch myself since we’ve moved south–the tone and the verbiage here are much more gentle. 

I enjoyed reading a little about body language today–hope you did, too. It prompted some sweet memories of my Mom, making me smile at some of the stories I tried to sell her. I will continue to read and share. 

“Our first experience of life is primarily felt in the *body.* … We know ourselves in the security of those who hold us and gaze upon us. It’s not heard or seen or thought it’s felt. That’s the original knowing.”
― Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless. 

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

The Next Year Begins…

“I’ve enjoyed every age I’ve been, and each has had its own individual merit. Every laugh line, every scar, is a badge I wear to show I’ve been present, the inner rings of my personal tree trunk that I display proudly for all to see. Nowadays, I don’t want a “perfect” face and body; I want to wear the life I’ve lived.” 

Pat Benatar, Between a Heart and a Rock Place: A Memoir

The past few days have been busy catching up from my birthday celebrations. Actually, I’ve had months of celebrating. It has been wonderful.

Going to leave you with a prayer I’ve shared before. It is especially fitting as I begin another year. The petitions in this prayer reflect my own concerns as I observe my aging self. I don’t think it was a coincidence that it came up in my search today.

This year I’ve been given time to think about my life as I traveled to Iowa and Colorado. As I’ve reflected on the past, I am surprised at the unexpected turns my journey has taken and the precious souls I’ve met along the way. There are some marvelous stories there to share.

Thank you, God.

“Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess:

Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.

Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.

I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.

Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.

Amen” 

Margot Benary-Isbert

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You For Your Time

I wrote this a year ago. It sums up my feelings for today so I am re-blogging. Thank you all for making my day so memorable and special. Love you all.

B...simply being...

It’s the day after my birthday. It was a wonderful day filled with unexpected wishes and love-filled gifts.

Thank you.

I wonder if I am the only one who has just a little sadness sneak in the day after that day of celebrating your special day? I am not sure exactly why. Maybe it’s because it is the only day I know where you have blanket permission to be and do whatever you want. Come on, it’s your birthday.

I am very good at taking advice–usually. I did exactly what I wanted to do all day long. I read all my cards. I opened all my gifts. I ate what I wanted for dinner. I opened and enjoyed a wonderful bottle of wine.

I relished every single minute.

As my day played out, I became aware that each gift came with a bonus. Each card, note, email, or phone call…

View original post 43 more words

Birthday Eve

“Perhaps it takes courage to raise children.” 

John Steinbeck, East of Eden

In the past, I’ve used this day to thank all the people in my life who’ve helped me become the person I am today.

I wanted to do something different today because I realized I’d never written a thank you to my Mom or Dad.

I’ve been hesitant to write about them. I barely knew my Mom. What I know is she was my biggest and strongest advocate. Even though I am sure I challenged her every single minute of every single day, she allowed me my space. My Dad and I certainly had more time together. Even with all those years, I don’t think we really never knew each other. I think we both thought we’d around to it one day–we’d both taken small steps in that direction but time snuck up on us and caught us both off guard.

My mom and dad met each other later in their lives. I’m sure World War II had a lot to do with that fact. My mom was the middle child of her family and my dad the youngest of his much larger family. My mom lived at home with her parents, working a full-time, thinking she’d never marry. Being 27 years old when she married my dad, she always told me she was sure she was bound to be an “old maid.” My dad had been married before, marrying his high school sweetheart soon after he returned from the war. Sadly, shortly after they married, she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She died soon after that diagnosis.

They Mom and Dad worked at Montgomery Wards in Fort Dodge and met at a local dance. Mom said when they met that first night, she knew immediately Dad “the one.” As a kid I thought that was the most romantic story–I can still see myself move very close to her and ask her to tell me the story of how they met one more time. In my mind, this short little story was every bit as beautiful as any ol’ Cinderella story.

They married and moved to Kokomo, a little community outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1953 that was a long way from Fort Dodge, Iowa. There were no planes to jettison anyone across the country. Long distance phone calls were very expensive for the average person. I think back on my days alone in Denver and sympathize with my mom. How alone she must have felt. She’d never lived by herself–always living with her parents and close to her sister and brother. This move may have been easier for my dad since he’d been overseas in the war, but I’m sure he was dealing with some degree of post traumatic stress along with the memories of losing his very young wife.

Through it all, they made it all workout.

I arrived in the early morning hours of September 25, 1953, and their lives were never ever the same.

Thanks, Mom, Thanks, Dad.

As I age, I see so many things in such different light. I sure wish you were here to share your thoughts, your stories,  and your wisdom. I admire you, love you, and miss you.

Thank you for me.

“Your children are not your children.

They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. 

They come through you but not from you.

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the make upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness.

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He also loves the bow that is stable.” 

Kahlil Gibran

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

 

 

Still Standing

“No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side.

Or you don’t.” 

Stephen King, The Stand

A quote from one of my favorite books, The Stand. This book caused me to lose many hours of sleep–not just once but several times over the years. Even after all these years there are still times when I get anxious when I’m watching a newscast and the announcer starts to cough. Noooooo……

This week has certainly seemed like some type of endurance test. I am thankful to say I’m still standing and mostly smiling.

I was skimming Rabbi Naomi Levy’s book, To Begin Again, in search of something to add to my story today. When I found this segment of Chapter 8, The Comfort of Prayer, I knew I needed to pass it on.

     “Often people who are in trouble ask me to pray for them or their loved ones. They say, “Rabbi, I don’t know how to pray.” But anyone can pray. There are, of course, the prayers that were written long ago by our ancestors and have been codified into liturgy. But there are also the spontaneous prayers that flow from our hearts. They might not appear to be as beautifully crafted, but they are infused with an eloquence that is just as powerful–the passion of a soul crying out. A prayer does not have to be a ritualized, structured piece of writing. Anything that comes from the heart, that we communicate to God, can be a prayer.

     There are petitionary prayers where we ask God to help us There are prayers of repentance where we turn to God after having transgressed. There are prayers of protest where we cry out in anger, and there are prayers of gratitude for blessings. There are daily prayers and once-in-a-lifetime prayers, communal prayers and individual prayers. There are long, drawn-out prayers and prayers of just one word: “Help,” “Thanks,” “Sorry.”

     There are prayers with no words at all. They are the thoughts that we don’t even have to utter. Hager and her son Ishmael were lost in the desert, dying of hunger and thirst. The Bible tells us that God heard the cry of the child. Nowhere in the narrative does it say that the child cried out to God. So how could God hear the cry? The answer, according to one interpretation, is that there are cries that are silent and are heard by no one. But God hears even our silent cries. 

     Every one of us has a different prayer on our lips. Some of us cry out in bitter protest. Some whisper a secret longing. Others weep in pain. Our needs may be vastly different, but ultimately all our prayers contain the same yearning: a desire to be heard.

     In our daily lives we are so often misunderstood. We carry thoughts within us that no one knows, hopes that have never been voiced, confession that are too terrible to speak of, yearnings that are too deep to share with even those who are closest to us. And so we pray in the hope that God will listen and accept us in all our frailty, in all our end, in all our failings. 

     Each of us has a prayer in our hearts. A prayer of singular importance. Chances are we will only find it by opening our hearts and speaking directly to God. When the moment is right, close your eyes. Take a deep breath, and as you breathe out, relax. Without censoring or editing, look inside yourself. Look deep down inside. Find the prayer of your soul. Tell God your pain, your hope, your rage. Tell God your secret. Tell God what you need to say and listen for a reply. 

 A Prayer

God, I need to know that You are with me; that You hear my cry. I long to feel Your presence not just his day but every day. When I am weak and in pain, I need to know You are beside me. That in itself is often comfort enough. I do not pretend to know Your ways, to know why this world You have created can be so beautiful, so magnificent, and yet so harsh, so ugly and so full of hate. The lot You have bestowed upon me is a heavy one. I am angry. I want to know why: why the innocent must suffer, why life is so full of grief. There are times when I want to have nothing to do with You. When to think of You brings nothing but confusion and ambivalence. There are times, like this time, when I seek to return to You, when I feel the emptiness that comes when I am far from You. Watch over me and my loved ones. Forgive me for all that I have not been. Help me to appreciate all that I have, and to realize all that I have to offer. Help me to find my way back to You, so that I may never be alone.   Amen.”

May Rabbi Levy’s words comfort you as they comforted me.

Have a safe and joyous weekend.

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

Good News Day

“Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart.” 

Roy Bennett

Yesterday I learned two very important people in my life received good news from recent medical tests. As I sighed with relief, my heart filled with joy.

Something once taken for granted is now seen for its true worth–a priceless, precious, gift for us all.

Dear God, I thank you. I am so grateful that you encourage me to celebrate my life with the wonderful people you have put in my life. Thank you for the many times you have blessed my life by answering my prayers. May I never forget your amazing goodness. Amen.

Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking 

I am…

B…simply being…

May God bless you.

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winding Down

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” 

Leo F. Buscaglia

Things feel like they’re winding down in Hibdonville. Thank you for listening to my latest RV stories. Your encouragement and kind words were and are appreciated.

As I’ve looked back on the past two weeks, I see over and over again just how lucky we were in every story worthy situation. In addition to that insight, I see other important components. At the end of the day, we are all together–man, woman, three dogs, no one is injured, and we are optimistic enough we are preparing for the next adventure.

For me it’s important to note Michael and I stuck it out together. I’ve mentioned this in all my stories but I gotta tell you, my hat’s off to my husband. He was traveling in unfamiliar territory beside a wife with no sense of direction who randomly confuses right and left with three dogs panting in the backseat. His was not the easiest task in the world. Because we are all human and tend to take things we shouldn’t’ for granted, this is the type “stuff” that is under appreciated–if it’s acknowledged at all.

I thank you, Michael.

I love you.

“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.” 

Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

 

Inconveniences

“If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience.” 

Robert Fulghum  

In all our years traveling by RV, we have never had so many “inconveniences” as we had on our latest trip to Colorado.

A blown tire, a new star on the windshield of the truck, and the top of the dinette table coming off sometime during the tire repair.

Through it all, we remained pretty calm. The dogs watched the two of us like it was all part of the deal. That fact alone is incredible to me and I am so grateful.

Our time in Howard at Pleasant Valley RV Park was wonderful as always. It is my home away from home place and re-energized my soul.

On the way home, we stayed in Santa Fe for a few days. The weather was wonderful and our lunch at LaFonda was delightful.

When we get home we were handed our biggest challenge.

We pulled up to our drive and Michael tried to open the garage door. His “clicker” would not open the door. No big deal–he does not use it often. We both expected it was due to a bad battery. I grabbed the dogs and headed up to the garage. I used the key pad and the door did not open.

Hmmm.

We knew there had some bad storms while we were gone. My initial prayer was that the garage door opener had not been damaged.

Little did I know how the tune of my prayers would change over the next few hours.

While we were gone, the GFI had been triggered in the garage. Unfortunately for us, that GFI controlled all the power for the garage. In our garage was a chest freezer and a frig/freezer. Both units were full and had been without power for probably a week or more.

All my radiology friends–remember those trips to the morgue during those hot summer days?

In a matter of minutes, I was transported right back to that spot at St. Francis. I could see myself pacing that long, dark hallway by the storeroom. Now I realized there was no one I could call for help.

Once again, the two of us got ‘er done. It was far, far, far from pretty.

Thank God for that heavy-duty mask I’d stashed away from hospital days.

I’m still not sure the little ‘frig will recover. The chest freezer was so full nothing had spoiled yet. This little Montgomery Ward freezer powered right back up and is working–just like it has for the past 40 plus years. It is the last thing I have from my Iowa days. Gotta tell you–tears filled my eyes as we talked about how it was not working very efficiently anymore and re-filling it was probably too big a risk to take.

Oh…isn’t it incredible the things that can stir up old and powerful memories? Those memories provided a very blessed silver lining to an otherwise very tough day.

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass… get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” 

Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~ 

 

 

 

 

Mis-Adventure

“Our God is sovereign. That means there’s no such thing as luck. Anything that happens to you, good or bad, must pass through His fingers first. There are no accidents with God. I like the story of the cowboy who applied for health insurance. The agent routinely asked him, ‘Have you ever had any accidents?’ The cowboy replied, ‘Well no, I’ve not had any accidents. I was bitten by a rattlesnake once, and a horse did kick me in the ribs. That laid me up for a while, but I haven’t had any accidents.’ The agent said, ‘Wait a minute. I’m confused. A rattlesnake bit you, and a horse kicked you, Weren’t those accidents?’ ‘No, they did that on purpose.” 

Tony Evans, Our God is Awesome: Encountering the Greatness of Our God

Oh, the stories I have to share, my friends.

Nearly two weeks ago, Michael and I headed out with the dogs to visit friends in Colorado. The RV was packed to the brim–we were all ready for a few days away from the heat of Texas.

Just outside of Lubbock we blew a tire on the RV. Shreds of our tire joined the many other shards already littering the side of the road.

I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to blow a tire–now I know–lesson learned.

All-in-all, things went well. The blown tire was on the curb side of the RV, meaning Michael was not right next to the highway as he struggled to assess damage and change the tire. Our three dogs handled it well, moving as asked to the front seat of the truck when Michael needed to get under the seat they were secured to in order to access the heavy-duty jack. The spare tire was in excellent shape, the jack worked, and every vehicle passing us never seriously compromised our safety.

As with any scary situation, it feels better if you walk away feeling you learned something from that experience.

Here’s what I learned from this segment of our trip.

  • Before hitting the road, make sure everyone knows where your emergency equipment is located. If it’s not easily accessible, move it so it is.
  • Review how to put things like jacks together before hand so repairs go faster.
  • Pack water and snacks for all–be sure to include something your dogs can use as a water bowl.
  • Have alternate RV spots to spend the night in case you are delayed.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, never ever text and drive. As I stood watching for anyone not paying attention in the steady line of traffic coming our way at speeds around 75-80 mph, I prayed each and every driver was paying attention. Stay alert, giving those working on the side of the road all the space you can as you pass.

Thank God for cell phones and internet. By doing a quick search, we were able to get to Discount Tire in Lubbock before they closed. Even though they were busy, in a matter of hours, they had four new tires in place and we were back on the road.

As I sat and waited in Lubbock, I thanked God no one was injured. I thanked God our GMC truck kept the trailer in control and the damage to the trailer minimal. We’re fortunate Michael and I have been traveling together by RV for many years. We’ve learned each others strong points and work well together getting whatever needs to be done. I’m not saying it’s always pretty–but we get ‘er done!

What surprised me the most was how our dogs settled in and acted as if this was just another day. They sat quietly beside me, watching people and cars come and go as I tried to pre-determine what person went with what car. I learned I am not good at that game but it certainly entertained me! Even Mother Nature stepped up her game–the dark rain clouds building all around us held off until we were well down the road.

“Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~