When life hands me a lemon…

4 12 2007

Years ago, we were touring New-Zealand for four weeks. What I had looked forward to for months was a hike around Mount Tongariro. When we came to Tongariro NP, we were told at the tourist information, the park would be closed due to a snow storm. It could take up to a week. By then we would be on the boat heading to the South Island, we had booked earlier that day. I looked at our options and in a split second came up with an alternative plan. We would go east to Napier and then head south. My husband was stunned and honestly, so was I.

I come from a place of zero flexibility. When life did not go as I wanted or expected to, I’d sob endlessly over a lost chance or dream. I would get stuck in time and in life in general. What I have learned over the years is that everything in life is about letting go. With letting go comes flexibility. And with flexibility comes being human. It is a godgiven talent. Look at a child and you’ll know what I mean. I had forgotten I had it in me, and had not nurtured and developed it appropriately. It has taken a great deal of practice and courage to get it up to speed. I had to be willing to go out on a limb. To embrace the uncertainty of the unknown. To open my heart to all other possibilities life was handing me. I’m still learning, but I know for sure that when life hands me a lemon, I’ll make lemonade.

Just do it!

2 11 2007

Have you ever sat at your desk playing office, doing things that did not matter, just because you dreaded a phone call you had to make or a paper you needed to write? Something similar happened to me yesterday. The worst thing was I knew I was just fiddling around to avoid what I had to do. I was feeling awful. Finally, it hit me: I had better felt miserable while doing what had to be done. Then I would have been halfway and finished in the time I had reserved for it. This morning, as a result, I got up early to write this post, so I will have some extra time later to finish what could have been done yesterday.

On letting go

1 11 2007

These last weeks, I have been confronted with traits I don’t particularly value in people I do love dearly. It was eating me. How could I let them see they were on a road to nowhere? How could I let them see the world differently. Basically, I wanted to solve their problems. Until I discovered there is nothing I can do to solve this problem. There is no problem to begin with. Nothing has to be solved. This problem exists only in my mind. I have to let go of a wrong and right way of doing things.  Albeit I see they have so much more potential than they’re showing and would want their lives to be better, I have to let go of how I think people should react to life. I have to remember that even if they don’t see it themselves, they are still great. But most of all, I need to recognize these notions of good and bad exist only in my head.

Will the real me please stand up?

29 10 2007

Do I let people see the real me? (Is this a trick question?) A part of me wants to scream ‘Of course you see the real me!’. As hard as I try to live life without masks, deep inside some part of me always pretends her way through life, pretends to be smarter, wiser, more disciplined than I actually am. That’s not the real me though. I’m the one messing up all the time. I’m the one struggling. I’m the one who can’t seem to find the time to meditate, who doesn’t always eat right or find the time to exercise.  The real me is ok with that, doesn’t mind showing my imperfections to the world. I’m human, I’m born to make mistakes. That doesn’t mean I let these mistakes define me. I always wants to do better, to learn from my mistakes. The real me knows I can be all I want to be, but sometimes it helps to fake it ‘til I make it.

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe

11 10 2007

I have committed myself to entering one post every day, in sickness and in health, till death do us part. Seven posts a week, four of which my own writing. What do I do then when my mind is blank, when I have nothing to write about? Do I search frantically for some subject no matter what or do I renegotiate my commitment and let go? I was busy doing one, almost resorting to the other, when I was reminded there is a lesson in everything, all I have to do is capture it in writing. One lesson, one post, done.

My past is my past

24 09 2007

What part of your past would you like to fast-forward or even skip altogether when telling your life story?  In stead of curling up in shame, trying to avoid the pain or maybe denying it happened at all, you could try to find some positive meaning to it. What have you learned from it? What has that brought you? And what can you learn from it now?
I believe every situation holds an opportunity for spiritual growth. I have come to deeply appreciate difficult periods in my life for they have taught me the most amazing life lessons.  For instance, I have learned that I always bounce back, that I can turn bad things into positive experiences, that my life is worth living simply because I am here. My past is my past. It has made me who I am today. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Closed path

19 09 2007

I thought that my voyage had come to it’s end
at the last limit of my power, - that the path before me was closed,
that provisions were exhausted
and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity.

But I find that thy will knows no end in me.
And when old words die out on the tongue,
new melodies break forth from the heart;
and where the old tracks are lost,
new country is revealed with its wonders.

Rabindranath Tagore

Don’t cheat yourself out of a choice

18 09 2007

“I’m a woman, I should be able to bear children.” I heard a woman say who is physically unable to have children naturally or through IVF. I am deeply sorry for her, not only because she cannot fulfil a lifelong dream, but also because she is not willing to let go of that dream. She feels cheated by nature, by God and she’s angry about it. I can understand that. She believes giving birth is her birthright. She cannot accept this is beyond her call. She is fighting a fight she cannot win and is depending her happiness on something she cannot control.
In everything, she sees reminders of the children she should have. She says she feels stuck. I am not surprised and am afraid she will for the rest of her lifeif she doesn’t drop the ‘shoulds’. Been there, done that. Different subject, same should. I can tell her it’s a dead-end. Instead, I have learned to see my life as it is, to change the things I can change and accept those I cannot. I have learned that in some circumstances, my power lies in how I cope with them. I have learned that choosing a different perspective changes the way I feel about them. I have learned this choice is my birthright. I have chosen to count my blessings, become pregnant with hope and have given birth to happiness. With all my heart, I hope she will too.

The sun can shine as bright as it did back then

7 09 2007

I was this investigative, independent toddler, the happiest kid you can imagine. I can still vividly remember playing in the sand pit making mud pies, riding my bike, walking to school. In those memories colours are bright and it seems as if the sun is always shining, even on rainy days, as they too were special. At the age of 6, we moved from one side of the country to the other. I was eager with anticipation, but no one had prepared me for the changes life was about to bring. As the new school year started, I literally felt dislocated. All of a sudden, I deeply missed my former life. I did not learn how to cope well. I had a hard time making new friends. My self-esteem and everything else went spiralling down.

It took me more than 20 years to realize the sun could shine as bright again as it did in my memories, that I could be happy again, that I could be me again. I had been reliving on a daily basis what had happened to me between age 7 and 11. I learned that I didn’t have the right coping skills back than. As sad as it was, I couldn’t change that. What I could change, however, was the way I coped with my past in the present. This was a turning point in my life.

Everyone responds differently to life’s challenges. Some have learned to cope better than others. But every day offers new opportunities to sharpen those skills, to see the bright side of life, to be happy, to be you.