“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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WHO HEARS YOU WHEN YOU SPEAK?

With your hand on your throat (where your voice and power arise) and a response from your heart (where the truth comes from), who hears what you really want to say? Only you? Only the pit of your stomach when it goes queasy and says to your mind: “I should have said no. Why can’t I say no? Why do they take advantage of me? Isn’t my time as valuable as theirs? Why do they make me feel guilty if I say no?”

Because I speak from experience, I know what a big deal it is to have no boundaries on what you’re willing to take on for others. It’s not an unusual Caregiver trait. I’m an expert. But, I’m a recovering expert and want to share with you how I discovered how to say “no” and be okay with that. No guilt.

First, I paid attention to how others handled it when they were asked to do something for which they said no. I observed that for some it was difficult. You could see it in their face and hear it in their voice. For others it was fairly easy. I’m guessing the ones it was difficult for were just starting to get their power back. The latter had practice.

Most people that have no problem saying “no” might tell you it’s not so hard, “just say no.” But, it is at first. It’s hard because we’re used to not telling the truth. We learn this at an early age if we don’t have strong roll models. We even think it’s okay because we see it as being a nice person. It’s like a white lie. But, a lie is a lie, no matter what color the ink is. Sorry, I’m being tough here, saying “yes” when you want to say “no” is not truthful. As a former non-truthful, no boundaries practitioner, I can HONESTLY say I’m recovering. And it’s empowering!

You take baby steps, you buckle-up, armed with your weapon that is TRUTH. Once you realize you’re not the honest person you always thought you were, that will get you. Now that you’re aware there’s no going back. You’ll recognize your moment when you need your reinforcement, your HONOR. It will come out of the blue, someone will ask you something and you recognize that this is it. Do you respond with TRUTH or do you remain a liar and say yes when you want to say no? Are you willing to find your voice (it’s hidden in TRUTH) or will you go on for the rest of your life knowing that you could have been a more powerful and happier human being? You’ll slip, it’s okay, that slip will teach you how easy it’s been to be less than truthful much of your life. You’ll have another chance very soon. Don’t be hard on yourself unless you don’t start improving. It should happen quickly. It gets easier with each opportunity. The feeling of being empowered is intoxicating.


Anita Moorjani, author of “Dying to be Me”, is one of the people I admire most in this world. Her Facebook video discussion has been added to this post because she brilliantly addresses the significance of being able to say “NO” and has several suggestions for Caregivers that I hope you will find interesting and helpful in your own lives.

It’s amazing how your life just perks up when you live in truth. You’ve heard the saying, “The truth shall set you free.” You will finally understand the meaning therein. It seems like a little thing, saying NO. But it’s a huge Yes in your life when you have boundaries! It’s all you’ve ever lacked. Otherwise, you’re perfect and I love you.

BIG HUG on this one,

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THE DARK-SIDE OF CAREGIVING

With much love intended, can we shine some light on the dark-side of Caregiving?  Can we work through the tough stuff, for our own sake, and try to understand rather than fight and feel pain?  For many, there is a dark-side of Caregiving and it keeps wonderful people, unnecessarily, in a sad place.  It often leads to illness for the Caregiver.  It’s the reason support groups (like: daughterhood.org) are popping up all over the country.  When we’re in the depths of it, all we can think of is WHY.  WHY me?  WHY does it have to be so hard?  WHY doesn’t someone else stand up and help?  WHY am I in this position and HOW did I get here?

By the dark-side I mean when we’re exhausted, when our nerves are shot, when we’re feeling the effects of self-neglect.  When we’re frustrated with government programs, doctors and insurance companies- it goes on and on- we ask ourselves, “How can I keep doing this?  Isn’t my own life worth something?”

The byline of this website is:  “Set the Foundation for Masterful Care for You and Your Loved Ones.”  I’m here to encourage and support Caregivers, not coddle them. My mission is to help people who take care of other people become stronger,  more confident, more knowledgeable and compassionate for themselves, and, consequently, for those in their charge. My hope is to help as many people as possible be grateful they’re alive, to recognize that they have a gift and to know that when they face life’s challenges head-on, they come through with more power and are stronger than ever.  Your life is as important as everyone else’s. And you’re meant to have challenges like everyone else.

After 21 years of more caregiving than I ever expected in my life, I can tell you that, for me, the answer to WHY has nothing to do with things like: being an especially good person, that you always do the right thing or that you’re the only one who stood up (though all these may be true).  It’s not because you love those in your charge and want them to have the best care (also, may be true). It’s not even because you’re a doomed person, life for you has always been hard and always will be, as I hear from some.

The raw truth, in my opinion, is that IT’S SOUL WORK.  I KNOW this. How do I know this?  I can feel it in my aging bones.  I can’t prove it to you in any tangible way.  I can only say that if you look deeply enough, long enough, within yourself, you may be able to know it, too, like I do.  A lifetime of experience, observation, study, research and self-reflexion has confirmed for me what I never would have considered as a young woman. In our myopic society, where most believe only in what they can see with their own eyes, or what science/reason tells them, there’s been little room in the last century for something bigger.  Something timeless and fantastic.

My gut tells me that we’re here on earth to express the beauty within that magnificent little baby we each were at our birth.  As our DNA is revealed more and more, I hope one day science will join with the unknown secrets of life, revealing the mysteries of the Universe, completely. Until then, I can only go on faith and see the love which is at the root of all.

As we express our individual gifts to the world, some of us are here to give of ourselves more than others.  It’s okay, the others have their gifts, equally important.  Caregiving is the opportunity to express love under sometimes very difficult circumstances. The more difficult, the more rewarding, if we can only see it that way.  I do notice we caregivers have a bit of trouble receiving sometimes.  We need to allow others to give, too, in their own way.

We’re all connected on this earth.  We’re connected to everything and everyone.  Every plant, every wave in the ocean, every cloud and drop of rain.  Every speck of dirt, every animal and every human being is connected.  The earth is alive and we’re part of the way it functions.  In health, we have a natural instinct to love, protect and care for other living things. 

We’re Caregivers, it’s what we’re doing now.  Today.  We’re working out our destinies, with love and compassion. How bad is that? It’s written in our DNA, you got the Caregiver gene.  Flaunt it!  Adopting an attitude of accepting who you are and seeing the beauty in it can only be good for the soul and your health.  Love yourself and your gift ❤️

 

Hugs,

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WITHOUT JUDGEMENT

When we go about our day, making a judgement at every turn, isn’t it easy to think we should have an opinion on everything?  We are constantly making decisions which require an opinion to lead to a judgement.  We judge how much time we need for our tasks of the day, how many layers of clothing we need for the temperature outside, how much distance is safe behind the car in front of us on the road, what we should plan for dinner tonight, where should we go on vacation this year, who we should vote for in the next election.  Decision, opinion, judgement.  It’s a way of life and quite necessary much of the time.  If you’re a caregiver, you’re often making important judgements on behalf of another who is in your care. 

We acquire confidence in judging as we take on responsibility in life.  We judge our own actions and those of others.  We need to make judgements in our daily work.  It seems we’re expected to have an opinion about everything that goes on in the world, too!  About everything we hear in the news 24/7. 

May I suggest that the judgement maker in us can use a break.  We can choose to not have an opinion, occasionally. It’s not always necessary to make judgment on every subject. In fact, no opinion can feel wonderfully liberating. How on earth am I supposed to have an opinion on what someone in the news, you or anyone else should do as you conduct your daily life?  I’m not you.  It’s not my business.  No more than I can judge if the European Union was a good idea, or not, for most Europeans.  The answer lies with the individual who is directly involved.  Its their business not mine.  And I have no idea how to fix global warming, excuse me, climate change. 

People expect others to have an opinion, they expect to be judged on their own opinions and love to argue them.  They feel like others will think they’re not informed if they don’t have an opinion and can’t make a judgement off the top of their head on every topic so they can post it on Facebook.  Or, chime in on Twitter.  You must have an opinion, society says.  Decide and judge or be judged as less!

When I was a young wife & mother and my whole focus and pleasure was on homemaking and family, I had little interest in what was going on in the broader world of national and international affairs.  The six o’clock news was enough for me.  This was before the Internet and reading magazines and newspapers was how people kept up.  I was behind the times and reminded of it when around people who were discussing important current topics.  I couldn’t participate because I had no opinion and no points to argue.  I just listened and felt boring.  I was judging myself.

Later, I went to college, became an avid reader of history, ran my own business, and became obsessed with the politics of the day.  I eventually had way too many opinions on way too many subjects. Caught in the vicious circle of unconscious living, my ability to judge was stunning.  And who was I impressing?  Only myself, I think.  More than likely, I prevented others from feeling free to express their opinions to me, if they differed.  A great way to close off communication. 

Things come full circle!  It has taken a BIT of work to get to a place where I can say, “I don’t have an opinion on that.”  It feels great, really.  Jaws sometimes drop.  Age is a great teacher and liberator.    

I wish you all the freedom to be who you really are and the grace to allow others to be who they are WITHOUT JUDGEMENT.  Love and understanding allows others to be comfortable expressing themselves honestly.  What a wonderful gift to give and receive.

Hugs,

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Peace Be With You

winter house mountain

Every Holiday Season brings lovely wishes of Peace and Joy for all.  How wonderful it would be if we could all have real peace in our lives.  Joy would surely automatically follow. 

If we could each live in a constant state of peace within, we would be so calm, healthy and brilliant.  We would have clarity of purpose, be creative and kindness would flow from each of us toward all others.  We would give our attention to the important things that are right in front of us everyday.  We would have no concern for what has passed that nothing can change. We would have no worry about a future that is not here yet and will be fine as long as we live for the best for all today, including our planet.

Peace, that’s the answer.  Finding inner peace and living it may be the biggest individual challenge in our world.  But, what a worthy goal.  Change ourselves, change the world.  Might be easier than trying to change everyone else! 

It is possible to find peace, some people live this way.  You see it occasionally, it radiates from smiling relaxed faces.  There’s a powerful magnetic energy in peaceful people.  I’m on the lookout for them now.  I want to hang out with them.  I want to learn from them.  I bet they’ve had some interesting challenges in their lives, maybe overcome tremendous adversity.  They know something about which others are not yet aware.  They seem to accept everything for what it is in that moment.  They don’t judge others and seem untroubled by the past.  They are somehow aware that the future will unfold in due time, in better form, if they just mind what’s in front of them today. 

The best gift I can think of to give to you, my readers, is to wish for peace in each of your lives.  Have a lovely Holiday Season.  I look forward to hearing from many of you in the New Year. 

I wish you blissful Peace.

Hugs,

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