“Table For One, Please”

Everything is fresh and new to me in the small town I’ve found to live in while enjoying a new phase of my life.  I’ve shed the big city for another adventure.  This time in the mid-West.  I’m working in an enchanting little shop on Main Street, USA.  People come in to buy gifts, most often personally engraved with lovely sentiments they want to express to loved ones.  It’s easy to fall in love with people when they’re expressing their heartfelt feelings.  I get to see the best side of them.  Such a pleasure.

A few days ago, I had just said “Goodbye” to a couple who purchased a gift but didn’t know the exact wording they would use for the engraving.  It had to be perfect and part of it was to be in a foreign language.  They were going to call me later to complete the inscription. We were all excited to see how their creation would turn out.

With a light step, feeling good, I clocked out to have lunch at a restaurant across the street. I like the food there and the service had been very good both times I had eaten there, previously.  There’s usually a line out the door at lunch hour.  This day I walked in and could see they were busy, but there were a couple of empty tables so I felt lucky to have beaten the crowd.   The host greeted me with a menu in his hand.  “Table for one, please,” I said.  Right then that little jab of recognition hit me, I know it because I’ve eaten in restaurants alone for years.  “Sorry,” he said. “I don’t have a table for you now.”  My instinct told me that if I had asked for a table for two I would have been seated.  I, also, sensed that he knew that I knew he could have seated me.

Okay,  “Don’t take it personally,” I told myself. Some people think they’re going to lose money on a single customer.  Maybe it’s the culture there.  The owner may put pressure on the employees and they have no choice but to follow orders or lose their job.  Whatever the situation, I felt sorry for them.  For now, I had to consider my options and decide quickly.  “Okay, thank you,” I said and left.

I could choose the cafe across the street, but I was in the mood for the Spanish omelette this restaurant served.  I headed back to the store to clock back in.  I would wait till the lunch rush was over.

As I walked back into the store, the couple who had left me earlier were at the desk, they had returned, unexpectedly, with the information they needed and were so happy to see me.  We completed the order for their creation and their gift would now be everything they wanted it to be.  Besides that, we had become friends, even if for only a short time that morning.

Always on the lookout for serendipity in my life, I realized, after the couple left, that had I gotten a table earlier or chosen to go to another restaurant, I would have missed those lovely people when they needed me.  Isn’t that just how life works?  That subtle connection that goes unnoticed most of the time is the magic we really should be appreciating.  Is there any doubt we’re all connected?

About an hour later I ventured back into the restaurant.  As I caught the eye of the host, I sensed a flicker of recognition (maybe surprise at seeing me again?).  I smiled and asked if he had a table for me now.  He did, he nodded pleasantly, and led me to a good spot next to a window.  Life is good. The Omelette was great.

Reflecting on how the day had gone, I thought about how it might have played out, had I been offended by the hosts rejection. I would have set in motion a whole different sequence of events. To punish him (in my mind only), I might have chosen to have lunch elsewhere and never go to his place again.  But I would have been punishing myself.  I would have deprived myself of the good food I so enjoyed.  If I had taken the rejection personally and been resentful, my appetite would have diminished and the whole lunch experience would have been soured.  And, most importantly, I would have missed those lovely people who returned expecting to complete their creation with me.  With a hurt heart for the rest of the day, my low energy would have effected anyone with whom I came in contact.

That’s just my side of the experience.  The waiters tip and the income for the owners, which they use to pay employees would have been missed.  You could extrapolate endlessly on the negative vibration that goes out as a result of taking personally, what isn’t personal.

But, reverse that and think of the infinite positive energy that spreads through your body and out into the world, as a result of a joyful experience.  Think of the good health we could each enjoy if we could let things roll off our backs like a duck sheds water.  For today, could we forget all the injustices that we feel from our past that build up and cause negative energy in our bodies and minds?  For just this moment can you clear your mind, imagine you’re a blank slate, with no past?  You don’t even have a name, no label.  Everything is fresh and new.  Even the future doesn’t exist.  Take a deep breath!  Let a wave of freedom wash over you.  Now that’s a positive vibration!

Doesn’t it feel liberating?  Now you are cheerful, going about your day as you see it in the moment.  Stuff happens, you deal with it from a place of interest, curiosity, generosity, understanding and compassion.  Life responds to you with interest, curiosity, generosity, understanding and compassion.  Its a fresh start.  Every moment we have a choice.  The past is gone, why let it effect our present?  The future isn’t here and never will be.  It’s always the present moment.  We have free will. Choose to love life as you are creating it.  Trust nature to respond to your creativity with like vibration.

It is absolutely possible to live this way, no matter what your life is like right now.  Choose new and fresh everyday.  Look at people as if they are new and fresh. Give them a chance to interact with you from a fresh place.  A smile can open the door.

I wish you lovely present moments for the rest of your life,

 

Hugs,

 

 

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Everything Has Its Season

Life is magical, mysterious, wonderous, and miraculous. Lose the magic, and you lose life. It becomes dull and joyless. When you have flashes of wonder, that is the wizard’s touch. The worst curse to befall anyone is stagnation, a banal existence, the quiet desperation that comes out of a need for conformity

– Deepak Chopra; The Return of Merlin

 

Nowhere do I see the fear of stagnation as I see it in the eyes of so many Caregivers.  There’s a battle going on inside, it’s a swimmer trying desperately to keep her head above water.  It feels like you’re drowning, alone.  Will you ever have a life of your own again?  The battle can, if you choose, be seen positively, as a Challenge.  Maybe the greatest Challenge of your life.  The one that brings you the most fulfilling Joy as you take responsibility for finding your way.  As you recognize it as a Season in which you and those you care for are in a dance together. Each finding your own flow with Nature.  Have no doubt, our Season of devoted Caregiving will have its way.  Just like Winter is a prerequisite for Spring.  Your time as a Carer is a preparation for your next phase of life.

Caregiving is not a sacrifice and it is not one-sided.  The laws of Nature are firm.  Struggle, resentment, self-pity, sorrow, and fear will only bring you more of the same.  It’s that stubborn law of attraction.  The only way to live without the fear of stagnation is to accept your Season (in whatever your current situation).  Go with it in the most patient, loving, trusting way possible.  Give all that you have to give and do it with love.  But, not passively.  Be mindful that this is an opportunity for you to grow in spirit.  In your soul. You must ruthlessly take responsibility for everything in your life.  Never, ever, hold a grudge or blame anyone else for your circumstances.   And always see yourself as a magnificent creature in the throes of a human experience and appreciate every moment.  We don’t have to understand it.  It’s too marvelous and so complex and mysterious.  It’s beyond knowing. All I know is what I’ve witnessed through my own observation and experience.  Nature will respond and bring us through our difficult Seasons faster and more easily when we surrender to whatever is happening in any given moment.  That’s the nature of Nature. The law of cause and effect.  There are no exceptions.    

When we embrace our nature as Caregivers, we recognize that our innate desire and ability to help others, to nurture, is a great gift.  The ultimate Feminine is in the human nature of both women and men.  You don’t have to be a woman putting your life on hold (or so you think) while you take care of another person’s every need to be a Caregiver, a Carer. That’s just the stereotype. You know who you are by your life’s experience.  It will never be different.  It’s an archetype. One of the most desirable, in my opinion, because giving out of love is beautiful.  It’s not your only attribute, we humans are composed of many archetypes.  But, like each of our attributes, it is up to us how we use our talents and develop our skills.  We can see ourselves as powerless and without choice, or we can surrender to our current situation and take control by seeking the means by which our personal needs and desires can be met while we do the job we feel compelled to do.

With Love, I hope you go in search of the Magic of Life.  It is there, your desire to find it will lead you to it.

Hugs,

 

 

 

P.S.

If you’d like to share some thoughts or tell me your story, please send an email to me at patricia@caregivingcornerstone.com or go to the “Send a Message” section of my blog. I’ll get back to you promptly.

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“Beauty Sufficiently Charged”

Caregivers go through tremendous upheavals in their personal lives, especially after years of not thinking of themselves enough. We could all spend more time getting to know ourselves and getting to know what we believe is important about life and our place in it. My hope is that my writing will inspire you to feel solid and good about taking care of yourself first. About searching for what has meaning to you and brings you peace. Your peace and contentment will be your new best gift to others.

The famous philosopher and author of the classic book “A Sense of Beauty“, George Santayana, is quoted often for his insight into human nature. He said, “Is it indeed from the experience of beauty and happiness, from the occasional harmony between our nature and our environment, that we draw our conception of the Devine life.”

To recognize the absence of beauty in my life was a great surprise to me. I thought I had a good life. I was surrounded by the obvious beauty of family, friends and the home I had created. But, after my husband passed away in 2010, my unrest caused me to pull away from my roots, my comfort zone. I was forced, by that unrest (which I now consider to be a soul searching for a reason for living) to reevaluate my life and go in search of what would truly bring me peace and contentment. It’s been an eight year trek, with big highs and very deep lows. I don’t say it’s over, it will never, in this lifetime be over. There is so much to experience and learn. It’s part of the joy, to keep learning.

The trek is, however, on the incline. I’m feeling and seeing the beauty daily, in different ways than before. With a sense of wonder and awe at what I’ve been missing all my long life. At what I’m able to create with such ease. After reading hundreds of books and endless hours of studying and soul searching I’m seeing results. There’s a natural connection between everything that is and happens. The serendipity in what once looked like coincidence or luck is at all our fingertips. I recognize the thunderous karma that follows out of sync (against the laws of nature) behavior. And am benefitting from my new found sense of expecting miracles and knowing that everything I need is at hand. Some of us come to it the hard way.

To find your place in the world, on your own, with no one to take care of and no one to take care of you seems daunting to most, I suspect. I’m loving it! Living what I’ve purposely created and bucking up my courage for the next big adventure. Just me and the Great Creator.

I saw three dear on the side of the road grazing on grass as I was driving this morning. An awesome sight for a city girl. Life is good, simple and beautiful. My children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are in good places in their lives. My family is solid and friends true. I’m surrounded by lovely, generous, kind people daily. What was missing is a knowing, that everything is perfect, just the way it is. Who or what appears difficult at the moment is a gift. It’s meant, by Devine natural law, to challenge our ability to be loving, generous, kind, understanding and patient. It’s our job to create our own best lives and we can definitely do that if we approach everything from a place of love and compassion. Have faith and confidence in that Devine natural law, it never deviates.

My cell phone beeped an alert at me today. It was plugged into the charger. I looked at it and read “BEAUTY SUFFICIENTLY CHARGED.” I blinked and read it again, BATTERY SUFFICIENTLY CHARGED. I think that was a Devine message. Don’t believe it? That’s okay, patience.

I wish you love, patience and Beauty Sufficiently Charged!

Hugs,

 

 

 

P.S.

If you’d like to share some thoughts or tell me your story, please send an email to me at patricia@caregivingcornerstone.com or go to the “Send a Message” section of my blog. I’ll get back to you promptly.

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Living Life on Kairos Time

Cup of coffee with view on Vesuvius mount in Naples | The Caregiving Cornerstone | Kairos

KAIROS is an Ancient Greek word meaning the right, critical, or opportune moment. The ancient Greeks had two words for time: CHRONOS and KAIROS.  The former refers to chronological or sequential time, while the latter signifies a proper or opportune time for action…per Wikipedia.

Caroline Myss, a teacher I respect, sees KAIROS time as vertical.  Vertical as Universe time, GOD’S time and CHRONOS as chronological, earth time.

This vertical, timeless, view of life has been a gift beyond measure to me so I will do my best to share what I hope you’ll find interesting and helpful.  Yesterday and tomorrow are not significant if time is vertical.  Living in vertical time means having your thoughts focused on NOW.  Nothing to the left (your past) and nothing to the right (your future) exists on a vertical timeline of NOW.  Many of us have heard about living in the NOW (read: Eckhart Tolle).  Its a way to find peace in your life that I and millions of people around the world are extremely grateful to Mr. Tolle and others for sharing with humanity.

If you learn best using visuals, as I do, the vertical concept of living NOW opens up a whole new world.  Not only can we live a peaceful life through acceptance and surrender as Eckhart Tolle teaches, but by releasing our past and truly not worrying about our future, we open space in our thinking for the intelligence of the laws of nature to come through. We unblock the opening through which inspiration and inner guidance comes. There’s room for new ideas when you let go of old issues and do not fear your future.  Room for solutions to situations to occur to you.  Room to breathe and dream and be inspired by your own genius.  You know how when you’re trying hard to think of something and you let go of it and move on, it suddenly pops into your head?  It’s like that. You made space for your thought to materialize. It’s just a law of nature.

The old saying CARPE DIEM (Seize the Day) suggests that opportunity is always available to us. When you’re thinking vertically,  serendipity has the opportunity to play in your life and miracles that come out of nowhere start to feel natural. People come into our lives that we never imagined would be there to help us with our needs. You don’t even recognize it at first.  It’s often after the fact that we say, aha!  That was the Universe at play.  Nature taking its course.  The hand of God.

All events show up at the perfect time in KAIROS time. Even the difficulties and challenges become obviously for our own good.  Its the challenge you must learn from as your humanity grows.  Sometimes that takes awhile.  Caregiving can be a great challenge.  Love and understanding help give us patience. Practice letting go of the past and not thinking about the future.  Focus on NOW, putting one foot in front of the other as honestly and truthfully and lovingly as you know how.  Serendipity will play, miracles will happen. Be more patient than Job. You’ll be rewarded.  You can’t outsmart nature. You only slow it down. It’s like being able to start over, only being smarter this time around.

I wish you the perfection of a KAIROS time life!

 

HUGS,

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“Chef, From Your Kitchen, Create!”

It’s so inspiring when the Universe drops another pearl at my feet.  I get to share it with all of you. Maybe I should keep the source of my inspiration to myself and just pretend I come up with such wisdom on my own, from my intellect. But that wouldn’t be any fun. Pearls of wisdom are treasure. The fun is in sharing and enjoying, what I believe, is Universal wisdom.

This pearl, “CHEF, FROM YOUR KITCHEN, CREATE!”, came to me in a flash (a thought in my head) as I was contemplating the consequences of words I use when I say, “I am…” and, alternately, when I say, “I am not…”.

At the moment I received the words I thought of cooking, of course.  But, you can replace the words CHEF and KITCHEN with anything that you relate to.  “ARTIST, FROM YOUR EASEL, CREATE!” “SINGER, FROM YOUR VOICE, CREATE!”  “WELDER, FROM YOUR TORCH, CREATE!” “TEACHER FROM YOUR CLASSROOM, CREATE!”  In my case; “WRITER, FROM YOUR PEN, CREATE!”

It’s a metaphor that reminds me that life is about creation. We humans feel JOY when creating because that’s when we’re in sync with the source of all creation. JOY is the wonderful feeling we experience when we’re lost in our work because our work is what we love to do.  And when we’re feeling JOY, our life’s energy, our spirit is shining brightly.  More Joy leads to better health and more physical energy. CREATE and live life well.

Finding a way to experience more JOY is the best thing a human being can do for themselves and those around them. When we’re happy with our lives it’s contagious.  The energy around us changes the energy of others. Life becomes a pleasure.  Perception of our tasks and interactions with others is changed for the good.

For most of my life I didn’t know where my JOY was.  I thought we were each born to accomplish something important. Something society thought was important. Only I never figured out what that was for me.  Actually, I think our American culture pressures us to become SOMETHING. And not just something, but something IMPORTANT.  To be SUCCESSFUL.  And the proof of success, of course, is how much money can be generated from our efforts.  But, how often do we hear of the unhappiness of those we think have everything money can buy?

Rather late in life, I learned that the thing that takes our minds to a place where time has no meaning is where our JOY is.  The place where we forget to eat, where we work effortlessly and something just flows through us so naturally that we forget about everything around us.  I’d had those experiences since I was a child.  Drawing, painting and sewing to name a few, were my constant activities when young.  When I was older, reading and writing, which are still a passion. But, I never saw those passions as having a purpose of value. I guess I was having too much fun and didn’t see how I could make those things into something that would “pay.”  My values were misplaced. I can’t help but feel that I’m not alone in this.  The value was in the JOY!

Happy is the person who can lose themselves in the JOY of their work.  I am…a writer.  I am…an artist.  I am not…going to waste any more of my time on earth letting others make decisions about my life.  Love and creativity make life worth living. Life is short…CHEF, FROM YOUR KITCHEN, CREATE!  NOW.

 

HUGS,

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