Sunday, October 22, 2006

Working Through a Slump

How do we work our way out of a slump? We start by realizing that this is just a temporary state. There is some lesson to be learned or demonstrated, or maybe some seed of growth is germinating. At the appropriate time, things will start happening again.

When a seed is planted, for quite some time, it will appear nothing is happening. This germinating period is normal and healthy.

I have found that these periods often precede periods of rapid growth. I am looking forward to just such a growth period and I am confident this will occur soon.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

What Love Language Do You Speak?

I've never really thought much about this, but we cannot feel someone else's love. We can feel grateful or loving or joyful in response to something someone else says or does, but we are not actually feeling their love. We would have to be hosting their heart to do that. What does it mean then when we say we feel loved? It means we perceive that whatever that person has said or done is a demonstration of love.'s where we can get bogged down very easily. Because what represents love to one person means nothing to the next. Maybe you brought home flowers, and she didn't seem to care. Or maybe you gave him a warm hug, and he still acts distant.

Have you considered that perhaps your language of love differs from your significant other's? We naturally want to show our love for others in terms that we understand as love. But the person we are trying to communicate our love to may not understand that love language, and so they don't perceive the act as loving at all. We think they are rejecting our expression of love, when in truth, it is as if we are speaking to them in a foreign language. They can't receive the message because it is not being communicated in a language they understand.

The five love languages include physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time and receiving gifts. If you are not aware of this, you may be giving him gifts when what would really make him feel loved would be for you to iron his shirt. Or you may be cooking her gourmet meals when all she really wants is for you to tell her how wonderful you think she is. It would save us all a lot of heartache if we took the time to learn the love languages of others and to communicate our love to them in a way they understand.

This is true of our kids as well. If we help them feel fully loved, we are going to enjoy a much more joyful relationship with them and also help to insulate them against peer pressure and exploitation. Kids whose love needs are met at home don't have to go looking for love in all the wrong places. It's having a love hunger that never quite gets satisfied that makes kids vulnerable to anyone who will come along and offer counterfeit love in order to exploit them. I'm not saying this is the case every time a kid gets exploited. I'm saying having unfulfilled heart needs makes them more vulnerable to exploiters. We may not be able to make 100% sure our kids will never be victims, but we can take steps to make it less likely to happen.

Plus, we will have happier kids. And happier spouses or significant others or friends. Happy people are much more enjoyable to be around and their happiness contributes to an atmosphere of happiness wherever they go. It's a viral kind of thing.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


What is one thing you can invest in that's a sure thing? "Oh, come on, Cathy", you say. "Nothing is a sure thing." I beg to differ. Maybe you have thrown money after businesses or stocks that seemed to be unsinkable, only to find out better via the sting of loss. Let me set your mind at ease. The sure thing I am talking about isn't a thing at all. It's a who. Or rather, a whole lot of who's.

I'm talking about investing in people. People who know, know that there is no more certain ROI than that secured by investing in people.

Consider the laws of sowing and reaping:
1. You reap what you sow - you can't plant corn and expect to harvest beans;
2. You reap more than you sow - a few little seeds can yield a whole lot of fruit;
3. You reap later than you sow - it takes time to see the fruit of your actions, but it will happen.

We reap what we sow. When we mistreat others, we are ultimately mistreating ourselves because we are a part of whatever we are undermining. If we do our co-workers or our company wrong, we are part of that team or that company we are damaging. If we hurt our family, we are part of the family we are hurting. If we do wrong to any other person, we are part of the humanity we are injuring. In addition, we now have to live and work in the negative atmosphere we have helped to create.

It's not rocket science. It's agriculture. People understood this long before there were college degrees for agricultural science.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bring It, Providence!

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in ones favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: 'Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.'" --W.H. Murray, of the Scottish Himalayan Expedition

This quote has been an inspiration to me since I first heard it in massage class at The Phoenix School of Holistic Health.

It contains two of my favorite elements, inspiration and passion. Add a little courage and you have one hot recipe for living the life of your dreams.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Stories We Write, Roles We Play

What story are you telling with your life? What roles have you decided to play in your own life story? What roles are you playing in the life stories of others? Are they still working for you?

Maybe you signed on to play the lonely spouse or the victim. Or maybe you took on the role of the one who always screws up, or the one who always loses, or the one who never gets the girl, or the one who never feels good enough no matter how outstanding her performance may be. Is that still working for you? Or have you outgrown those roles, and your story line is due for a change?

Maybe there are stories in which you will always play some part. You share some kind of life-long bond with that storyteller, perhaps as co-parents or in some blood relationship. But if the events of that story deplete your life force and detract from your health, joy, satisfaction or success, perhaps it's best to play only bit parts in that particular story.

My life story began as a horror story. The first few years of my life were spent navigating dangerous territory, both physically and emotionally. The next thirty years were spent surviving. Yes, I was a survivor. But that was a deeply dissatisfying place to be. Try being passionate and expressive, but locking that up inside because you think you have to fit into the roles others have written for you.

It wasn't until I experienced an emotional "rock bottom" that I was able to move past survival. I was so done with surviving. It was such a bland existence, and I craved flavor and texture and color, fragrance and harmony and delight. I decided at that point that I wasn't going to survive any longer. It had to end right there and then. A part of me died there, but in the end, Life won. Love revived all that was real and genuine and loving. I didn't lose anything worth keeping.

I am still learning to flesh out my decision to live the fullest, most joyful, most passionate and adventurous life possible, and part of that is re-writing my life story as an adventure/inspiration/romance/comedy. Some of the roles I once played no longer fit my story line. I gave most of them up. Some of the people who played supporting roles in my story of tragedy and pain were out of place in my passionate, joyful version. I let go of the ones I could and relegated most of the others to bit parts. I still have some editing to do.

What about your life story? Are changes needed in your story line? Are there characters you need to write out of your story or relegate to smaller roles? Are there stories you need to be recast in or written out of because you no longer fit the roles those storytellers have created for you? It's your life. It's your story. It's your choice. Make it.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Why Do I Write? I Love The World, Too, Elwyn.

"All I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world."
--E. B. White

I'm with you, Elwyn. I like what you said about planning your day, too.

“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes, this makes planning the day difficult.”

I am an explorer. Sometimes, I like to get into my car and just follow a road to see where it leads. I may not be charting new territory on the earth, but I am continually exploring in the realm that knows no limits - the realm of imagination.

Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." I so agree.

Words to Inspire and Enlighten

Words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

That is what I hope to do with words. Enlighten souls. Even more, I want to emblazen souls.

One of the people who served as an angel on my path emblazened my soul with a simple phrase of appreciation. He said, "Thanks for being who you are." That single sentence completely changed my life.

At the time, I did not know how to give myself that validation. Those words revealed to me a path to love - loving and accepting myself, which has only served to increase my love for others.

I love the way Leo Buscaglia expressed this, “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.”