Success

regret

We all have them. We all attempt to ‘silver line’ them. We all try to reduce them.

REGRETS

It’s not a pretty word. It lingers on your tongue like a bad tasting sip of wine. The word evokes doubt, indecision, and even fear when spoken. If you write it, the word flows awkwardly from your pen. Regrets never have a feel good feeling.

So why then aren’t we frozen in time? Not moving forward. Why do we, as the human race, repeatedly venture into the unknown? Wouldn’t it be less painful to just do the same thing over and over again. The proven method that cannot cause regrets.

What would our world look like if no person had one regret?

That is terrifying. No one would strive to be different. There would be no innovation. No iPhone, no cars, not even the most basic of items. We would still be living in the era of the Caveman. Our world would not exist.

I take chances. Not only for the shock value of it, but also because I want to minimize my regrets. The eventual outcome for most of my risk-taking is success. On this day will you work towards success or have regrets? You know what I’ll be achieving.

What To Write?

frustratedwriter-250x167Writing is not for the faint of heart. These little letters, mixed together to form words, strung along to form a sentence, then squashed into groups to be titled “paragraphs”, do not always come easy. Let us not even delve into the writing of a book yet, with the myriad of chapters, forewords, acknowledgments, and so on. The words jumble together. The ideas fizzle as life whirls by. The confidence as you scrawled the first words fades. The computer screen glares back at you expectantly. And you sit….waiting….editing….writing….deleting.

Minds are a fickle expanse.

Desire to write grows in your heart. That tell-tale tickle that begins for each author at different times in each of our lives. It is just a thought, at first. Maybe a journal that becomes more of a story to an outsider looking in. Maybe a character on the street that inspires a character in book. It begins and no writer can predict where it might end.

Ability to write comes from your mind. So the tickle in your heart has become “hell-itch” (like the kind you get after a nasty sunburn). You can’t ignore it any longer, so you start. Your mind settles into, what you think is organization, and your fingers begin to put together all the words floating around in that grey goo between your ears. It is like learning to walk. You stumble through the first few lines, you fall in love with your delete button~no one really talks like that. Then they just start rolling. Words coming out of thin air. Smoothly gliding from your mind to the tips of your fingers.

It is magic.

Focus to publish your writing comes from your soul. So now after years and tomes of stories/articles/poems/thoughts/books/scrawlings, it is time. It is time to dig into the most scared of areas in your being and publish. Your words are your soul. Your desire to write has been overtaken by your desire to share. Those still moments when the kids were sleeping, the tears late at night when the only escape were the words, the chaos in your hospital rooms after surgeries, now it is time to share. The focus required to publish consistently becomes a part of your waking moments. No one in your life is exempt from your writing. Teenagers are editors. Best friends are sounding boards for ideas. Family members are marketing gurus. When did this happen? How did this happen?

So you cultivated your heart, mind, and soul. You nurtured the relationship to expose the raw parts of yourself. What happens if you stop?

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Where The Birds Glide

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It is nothing short of a miracle to witness the lightening of a loved one’s soul. You see pain etched on the lines of their face. The light in their eyes is dimmed. Their shoulders carry an invisible weight only they can feel. Then, slowly, gently or sometimes all at once, their burdens dissapate. The shoulders that were drooped, are lifted. Their eyes glimmer with love and mischief like you remember. The lines on their face are softened to better represent the soul you love.

I traveled yesterday to The Holy Family Shrine in Nebraska. This was my second journey to this site. In the early spring this year I ventured there with a tour group. I loved the serenity it inspired in me. I wanted to linger. I desired a sanctuary where my heart could heal. I yearned for peace in my soul, even if it was just little bandages holding it together for a few more months. My overall impression was pure love.

As I stood in the chapel overlooking the Nebraska prairie, watching vehicles dashing back and forth on the six lane interstate, I began reflecting on my own soulful journey to this moment from the last time I stood in this place. I am stronger than I believe, I am the beckoning light for others, I am gracefulness emboldened. I stood a little straighter, glanced to my beloved traveling partner and said a silent prayer for her continued strength. Her inner light is back, full of promise and determination, just like always.

We stood together watching the birds outside, gliding on the blustery winter winds. Hovering, dipping, soaring, twirling, appearing to have no reason for their flight except pure joy. Taking the wind and making a playground for themselves. As I moved out the doors of the chapel, I pulled my coat tighter around me against the gales and glanced back one last time at the feathered campions of our visit, they continued their joyous arial acrobatics, using what they were given for happiness not sorrow.

Travel well my friends.

Manic Monday Morning!

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Are you KIDDING!?!?!?

It was only a 3 hour time period!  I am going back home and crawling back into bed!  This is ridiculous!

Let’s just list it out: (this began at 6:15 am)

  1. Accidentally called my Fiance’ after he texted at o-dark-thirty this morning
  2. My body aches
  3. Stayed up too late
  4. Had to clean snow off my car
  5. “Service Airbag” notice is on in my car
  6. “Low Tire” notice is still on in my car
  7. I am almost out of gas
  8. Running late for an appointment
  9. Dealing with “Senioritis” infected teenager
  10. Dealing with above mentioned teenager’s school
  11. Heard a loud pop while driving, to see the small crack in the windshield is now more than doubled in size, across to the drivers side of my car
  12. Scraped my brand new bumper of my car on the curb
  13. Forgot a necessary work flash drive at home
  14. Forgot the keyboard for my iPad at home

Oh my gosh this is too much for me to handle so early in the morning, especially Monday morning.  It is now 9:15 am.  I feel like I should call for a “do over” like when I was a child, learning a new sport, trying to swing a bat at a tiny white baseball flying at me.

But wait….

Let me look at this list again….

I reached my daily stress level quickly but were those incidents really stressful?  Or will I be better served changing my perspective, just a little?

Here is my blessings list for those same 3 hours:

  1. I was able to wake up to my Fiance’s voice this morning.
  2. My body aches!  I am alive!  I am blessed with a body that still moves.  Although it is difficult sometimes, I now have more knowledge about how I can help relieve my pain.
  3. I had an indulgently fun late night!
  4. I did not have to drive over the weekend while it snowed.  The snow was fluffy and beautiful, which is why I love this season!
  5. My car is smart enough to know something is not right with the airbags that could potentially save my life and my passengers lives if they were ever needed.
  6. My tire is still low but has not gotten any worse which means it is still fixable.  Plus it wasn’t completely flat!  WIN
  7. I have enough fuel to get where I need to go. This afternoon I can fill up the tank in the warm sunshine.
  8. I’m frequently late recently and the world has yet to stop spinning because I couldn’t choose which boots I wanted to wear this morning.  🙂 (let’s not forget having choices in footwear is another wonderful blessing)
  9. My firstborn son is a senior in High School!  I am so proud of every one of his accomplishments! His graduation may be one of his top ten achievements in his lifetime!
  10. I am so blessed to be involved with a school system that is attentive, organized and engaged with my son’s educations.
  11. The crack in my windshield is in the driver’s direct line of sight, which can not be avoided.  I can’t put off the necessary repair now.
  12. I have a new bumper! After years of wear and tear, then the selfless sacrifice of a brave raccoon. The scrape left no visible damage to my bumper and I will be more careful in the future.
  13. I know right where I left my flash drive.  I know the information on it is safe.
  14. The keyboard for the iPad is a luxury and I will manage today.  Plus I can pick it up when I return home to pick up #13.

All of my stress has melted away.  I am ready to tackle the rest of my day.  I only needed to change my perception.  Yes these events happened, but the way I looked at them was my stress, not the actual incident.

Our lives need to refocus on the positive, the bright lights, the blessings, the joy.  Let go of your worry.  Redefine your outlook.  Allow your perception to reflect all the blessings in your world.  Share your joy with others.  Your joy may be the light to someone else’s Manic Monday!

Travel well my friends!

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Find your calm.  Let the winds of chaos settle into calm breezes!

Perspective

Yesterday I mentioned perspective in my blog.  Perspective can relate to many different aspects of ones life.  I loved slowing down a little to really appreciate all the different ways I can view my life, my community, my relationships, and my travels. I experienced small children giggling, wind chimes making their music in the breeze, leaves crunching under my feet, the last of the insects attempting to survive the chilly weather, the pride in a project completed, and the energy of my teenage boys (they come into our home like a whirlwind, eat and are gone just as fast!). I love the perspective of this photo.  I love that the small yellow leaf adhered itself to the tinted window of my truck.  My intention was capturing a fallen leaf no longer blowing in the wind but securely stuck to a window. What I actually captured was a different perspective of a quiet neighborhood.    image

Wow!

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So I decided to work in my back yard this afternoon, like research and writing work, not rake leaves work. So I bundle up, grabbed an old quilt and some paperwork and headed outside (you know outside like where the sun shines). I’ve been so engrossed in my work I didn’t even notice till I rolled on to my back and opened my eyes to this pristine site! Make sure you get a different perspective today even if it just for a different view!i

Stress

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It seeps in to your life like a thief in the night, stealing away your time, your ambition, even your drive to achieve.  The growing pressure distracts you from your goals.  The smallest of tasks seems overwhelming.

Take a stand!  Do not let this vanquisher of dreams into your life. Banish this scoundrel from your spirit!  Let stress melt away from your heart and refocus your soul on happiness.

Remember,…this to shall pass!

Happy Monday!

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Traveling Within

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Grey veils of clouds blotted out the sun.  The rain hesitated with its exit.  I drove on.  The road is familiar, the terrain unchanged.  I maneuvered my car around slower trucks.  The radio was off, so in the quiet I could focus my rambling thoughts.  The butterflies in my stomach fluttered once again.  The closer I got to my destination the further away I wanted to be.  Hours passed.  I looked out over the horizon to see the patches of sunlight illuminating the hillsides.  The car rocketed up and over each hill.  For as much as I did not want to take this journey I also knew I needed to.

So many times in our lives we look back with regret.  Regret we didn’t say the right words, take the leap of faith or just physically be near someone.  I speak of travel often as a movement, “point A to point B” yet travel is so much more than moving yourself to another location.  Your inner thoughts travel as well.  Look back at an event in your life and see each stop in your mind’s eye.  You did not simply move in one linear direction.  Your thoughts on the event begin, then a process of decisions are consciously or sub-consciously made, which usually changes the course of your physical path, and maybe after some time the thought becomes reality within the outer event. Our thoughts are traveling just as our bodies travel.

At the conclusion of my day, I looked back with fondness at the journey my thoughts had been on and although my wants could not match my needs, I felt a weight lifted to make room for some much-needed peace.  My traveling thoughts were home again.

Travel well my friends!

Pastimes

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Bowling, fishing, biking, skiing, boating, knitting, scrapbooking,….the lists of pastimes could go on and on.  This past weekend I participated in a pastime that I have come to love, Cowboy Action Shooting.

I have not talked about this pastime very often in a public forum because I was raised to think quite differently about firearms. Society and the media have attempted to paint the issue of the 2nd Amendment in a black and white.  I still believe that the grey areas of this ongoing debate have yet to be determined.  I have no use for guns. I do not own a gun and believed there is absolutely no reason for anyone to own one.  I was raised with the belief that guns were created for one purpose and one purpose only, and that purpose has no place in my household.  Then I met him….

He came into my life as a friend, we started getting to know each other and then the most amazing thing happened to me, I fell in love with him.  He introduced me to this pastime/sport shortly after we met but it was another few years before I even attended a match. Looking back I am sure he tempted me with clothes!

For all the hesitance I displayed about firearms, I feel the exact opposite about costuming.  I love costuming!  It has been a lifetime, yes a lifetime (I literally have a black dress from my childhood that is now in my costume wardrobe) of building different costumes for various events.  I have enough costumes to start a small store.  If I don’t have what you might need to help you change your persona, I know enough similarly costume addicted individuals that can help us out.  So when I learned costumes were strongly encouraged and sometimes required for Cowboy Action Shooting I was intrigued.

 

I started this learning process as rigorously as I begin any unknown project….lots of research.  I read about the sport, the clothing, the era, and yes, the guns, with the same fervor of a law student preparing for the Bar Exam.  After months of study, I acquired a costume and took a very deep breath, ready to attend my very first Cowboy Action Shooting event (match).

I started out as an observer, watching the routines, the safety procedures, and of course, the fun.  Away from the matches with a private instructor, on a private range, I learned the fine art of safely handling the guns, specific to the sport.  I was then practice shooting after my instructors felt I was ready.  At the matches I was soon keeping score, counting misses, picking up brass and helping anywhere I could. Basically I was a full-fledged shootist without firing a gun.  Finally after a beautiful summer of Sundays at the range I decided I was ready for my first competition.

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This pastime has taught me another outlook on my belief structure. I feel the shootists I have met are celebrating a very volatile time in United States history.  Not all of history is peaceful, much of it is violent, but in amongst the tragedies there are stories of perseverance, dedication, love and heroism.  As a settler in the Wild West it was imperative to you and your families survival to use the best tools available to you, from wagon wheels to guns, your survival depended on your choices.  Cowboy Action Shooting allows the people of present day to celebrate another time and place that helped shape what this country is today.

I will not say my view on guns has changed drastically but my appreciation for another viewpoint has changed immensely.  I will continue to grow in this sport with a love of history and costuming to support my desire to learn everyday.

For more detailed information of this historical pastime go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboy_Action_Shooting with great links to CAS, SASS and NCOWS clubs.

Soul Experiences