Is This A Good Time for Me to Share?

This is my first article in improving our communications!

How do you respond to this question?  To me it is so good to be able for my brain to go to a place of having to think about this.  It is an honoring thing to do.  So often, when I have something to say, I have been thinking about it awhile and boom as soon as I see someone, I download all my thoughts onto them.  They on the other hand have not been thinking about this and have had their other thoughts on their brain.  So it  takes awhile for them to shift into what I am saying and go there.

After learning this and trying to apply, I will ask my husband when he comes in the door, “Is this a good time to talk about my amazingly, transformational ideas?” or just what happened in my day or what the repairman had to say about the oven?  Each of these might have a different response but my asking allows him to think about it.  Usually the response will be, “Let me change me clothes, or eat dinner.”  or even “Let’s talk in the morning, I have had a rough afternoon.”   Even if the answer is “Yes, this is a good time”  He still has had a chance to get his brain into listening mode and prepared to hear what I have to say.

With my son, I usually text and ask for an appointment. “When can we talk about the lawn?”  This usually works better than just barging into his life proclaiming that the yard is a jungle and I fear for the life of the dog.  He can be prepared and is more open to making the change I am requesting. Especially on the phone, asking this question is amazing.  We never know what is going on on the other side of the line.

As a receiver I have to allow myself this space too.  When someone begins a conversation, I can ask myself, “Is this a good time for me to listen to this?”  Sometimes just that honoring thought allows the space for me to attentively listen and other times, I have to say, “This sounds really important, can we set a time for me to listen?”

Have you ever been asked a question out of the blue and you feel compelled to give a quick answer?  This frequently freaks me out and makes me panic to respond.  I love allowing myself to say, “Let me think about that and get back to you?” (I usually add to call or email me if I haven’t gotten back in a reasonable amount of time, because if I have multiple thoughts running through my brain at that moment I just might forget.)

To sum it up:

Ask for time to speak.    This shows respect and care for others as well as yourself.  It can make a world of difference in how you are received.

Try it and let me know what you experience.

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Enough!

enough

The past two weeks have been crazy in the news.  When tragic tragedy occurs other places and cities, we stop and pause.  It is heartwrenching and makes you wonder about life and who are these people.  Then you go on with life.

When violence comes in your own front yard, climbs on your porch – it changes you. For me it is a ripping at the fabric of my heart.  Our leaders responded quickly setting an example to us all of humility and of determination.  A gathering of hundreds in the heart of the city brought some great messages.

Mayor Mike Rawlings said “We as a city, as a state and as a nation are struggling with racial issues, they continue to divide us. We’ve got to change.”

“Is this what it takes for us to come together? Does it take tragedy? Does it take murder?” Imam Omar Suleiman asked. “Hatred is not an appropriate response to hatred.”

“We are being tested down to the core, to see not only if we will survive the atrocities of last night, but if we will rebound and become a better city,” Bishop T.D. Jakes said,  “Enough is enough. Let that which unites us be greater than that which divides us.”

We in Dallas have seen the end of the path that hate speeches and violence, and taking sides will take us and have said “NO, not in our city!”   And the biggest cry has been a call for action.  This event is unacceptable and we have to make a change.

Not just expecting someone else to do it.  Not pointing fingers, not taking sides.  While I appreciate our leaders for setting an example, I can’t expect them to do it all.  It is going to take all of us showing up each and every day.

 It is going to take me standing firm and asking, “How can I be the change I wish to see in the world?”

I have seen this in effect on the streets and in churches and organizations. Many have asked this question.  I see this in individuals at the store of all races raise their heads and make eye contact, giving smiles and greetings and hugs.  The outpouring of support for our fallen officers has been monumental as well as support for those officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.  People are taking a stand and action.

Police Chief Brown puts out an opportunity, “We are hiring, put in an application.” While a good idea for some, this would not work for this grandma, way past the hiring age.  So where does that leave me, still asking the question.  In another blog I will maybe outline my process for this discovery, but for now I will simply say, “I have  to look at what I have, who I am, what are my gifts and abilities. How can I stretch and grow and share who I am and be the change?”

Sooo. I have a blog.  I can write.  I also have some great information on communication.  Practical and down to earth.  How can we really listen to our spouses, children, neighbors, friends and enemies?  How can we listen to ourselves and respect our beliefs and open lines of communication, celebrating the differences in others?  How can we communicate our desires and needs effectively?  Very often, it is not what you say, but how you say it.

In the next few weeks, I will use my blog to speak out on some great communication strategies that will help you in all areas of life.  I would love to join with you and  discover how we can make a difference in this world. In our own way. With our own unique gifts. In our own corner of the world.

I would also love to hear your views.  How are you dealing with the current situation in our world?  We can all learn from each other as we stand together and say- “ENOUGH”

It will take us all.   Every One of us!sonja in hole at gog

Sonja

 

Forward on the Path of Life!

Interpreting life as a journey helps keep me going.

Sometimes we get a little lost only to find we were on the right path all along and didn’t know it.

Sometimes the path is bright and cheery and others filled with sorrow. Sometimes the direction is clear and sometimes it makes little sense.

Too often I find I am walking someone else path or the one I think I am supposed to be on rather than the path that is unique and true to me.

There are moments in life that seem so amazing, I don’t want them to ever end or change- but they do and life changes and moves on.

Some moments are so filled with pain and hurt we want to move on, but feel so stuck it is hard to take another step.

Others can join us, love us, support us. Sometimes it is for a long time, others it is fleeting. Some people seem to be in our path as obstacles to our movement and happiness. These people can show us parts of ourselves where we need to grow that we would really rather not see.

My current life journey includes launching my youngest into adulthood. It is exciting and scary. For 33 years I have had a child at home to care for, nurture and prepare for moving on.  It seems like a huge step to move on from here.  In reality it is just one step, just like the others, just like each day.

I remind myself of my intentions-

Give and receive love generously

Be open and connected to my creator

Experience fun and excitement in each situation

These are the constants I want to keep in my daily life journey.   For today I will add –

Just keep moving

Your path belongs to you.  Where are you going and how do you want to get there?  What are your intentions for today??

Garden of the God's

Best Way out of A Funk

The other day I was in one of those crazy funks.  You know, when everything is annoying.  I was so annoyed, I was annoyed at myself.  I worked out, lit a candle and tried various other methods to shift myself into a more enjoyable mood, but it persisted.  Finally, I stopped and sat outside trying to do a breathing exercise.  I was so grateful for the breeze blowing on my skin.  Then I shifted my mind into other things I could be grateful for in this moment, if I allowed myself.  The shift was dramatic.  My new philosophy is:

“You can’t be in a funk and be in gratitude at the same moment!”

Seriously, try it. While I might sustain sadness or anger if there is a reason for it, the general funky dissatisfaction of life cannot coexist with gratitude.

November is a great month to  develop a habit if gratitude, thankfulness, and rejoicing!!

395549_261699080561387_146189222112374_736403_1165990731_n[1]

Who wants to join in???

In This Moment….

May 8 Waterfall

Today, I sit in my favorite spot on top of my favorite waterfall. The water level is less than it was only a few weeks ago when I had such an amazingly fun time.  I am also aware that next month there will possibly be no refreshing water at all cascading over these rocks. It is a challenge to enjoy the deliciousness of this moment and to accept what is true at this time, in this place. The sun, the breeze, the birds and the cool water all provide a banquet for my heart and soul.

I went for  an annual exam at the doctor.  I like to hear everything is ok and working as it should.  Only, not this time. Hmm… what’s this lump. Of course it is a lump, why did I not notice it myself?  Which led to another appointment, another test and then yet another.  And the expectation of more to come.  Words we really do not want to hear from someone in a white coat. Not what I had in mind for my summer plans. I can take this moment to stay here, accept what is truth and not fight it, yet not make it more than it is.  I know I am stronger than I feel.

I can remember back so very long ago a  situation with a tumor which grew to be as large as my unborn baby.  The fear and struggle from that time tries to fill my heart and soul.  I have to remind myself, “This is now, not then.”  I am in such a different place.  Of course, I can remember the good lessons from that time- love myself, love others, don’t sweat the small stuff , keep a sense of humor and stay in the moment- don’t get ahead of yourself. I just have to look at my amazing 6′ 5 son to remind me of the miracle of that time.

So, here I am  in this moment.  I am free to choose courage over fear.  Acceptance over striving. Peace and grace in this moment.  I can enjoy and celebrate all the love and support from family and friends. Decisions will need to come. Summer plans and goals will adjust and change. Tomorrow, I will deal with what comes my way in the strength of that moment and the next and the next.  I will gratefully return to my waterfall perch in times when I need to refresh, renew and remind myself to accept and thrive in this moment.  There may be an abundance of water or none at all, but still I can choose to embrace this time.  Kind of like my life at this moment.

How can you embrace this moment for yourself?

 

5 Life Lessons We Can Learn From A 100 year Flood

Thankful for those flood plains as water reaches new highs!
Thankful for those flood plains as water reaches new highs!

1) In order to end a drought, we have to have a flood:

One rain storm, even a heavy one will not erase years of drought conditions.  We have to have a deluge and more than we need. If we neglect caring for our solves, one healthy meal or sleeping in will not bring us back.  If you find yourself in a place of burnout, you get into a crisis care situation and really need to spend lots of time regrouping.  Self care is not selfish.  It is essential to living.

2) Those Flood Plains are There for a Reason:

WE get used the the drought  conditions and all these vast areas of land around rivers seem so odd.  Thankfully city planners and civil engineers know what can happen and plan accordingly.  It is not a good idea to build too close to the river or lake.  In life we must plan with margin.  When we fill our schedule too full with no down time, we put ourselves at risk. It might be great in the short term, but situations beyond our control are inevitable and can overwhelm if we don’t have emotional reserves to deal with them.

3) Respect the Boundaries:

The stories of people who notice a barricade and choose to go around it, only to get stuck in high water and have to be

I don't think this guy is worrying today! Happy to go exploring.
I don’t think this guy is worrying today! Happy to go exploring.

rescued are puzzling.  While I am so about expanding yourself and going beyond our internal limits, it is foolhardy to disrespect others boundaries and try to change or control them.  Lack of boundaries  also encourages us to take on others expectations for us rather than being ok with he person we are.

4) The World is an Abundant Place:

When we have severe water rationing we have to  conserve and be aware of lack. It is also so disproportionately spread.  Even now California needs some of our abundance. This month 35,000,000,000,000 gallons have fallen in the state of Texas.  This is enough to supply the entire worlds population with 10,000 days of water for everyone to have eight 8-oz glasses a day. We know 85% of the worlds diseases are caused by lack of pure drinking water.  While I can’t completely fathom this or hope to change this gruesome statistic by myself, I can be informed and contribute to organizations working to make this change through education, relief and drilling water wells.  Emotionally,I can be in a good place where I share hope and grace rather than fear with those I encounter on a daily basis.  Loving words, kind gestures or even a smile to a stranger at the grocery store can spread abundant life.  As we encourage our family members and coworkers we create strong emotional waves to spread and renew life and love.

5) Life is fragile and the Future Uncertain:

While the loss of life has been small considering how extensive this has been, each story is so sad. Makes me aware of the fact that we cannot control so many events.  We can spend quality time with loved ones, building them up and not letting hurts and wounds cause rifts and bitterness.  Deal with your issues and move past.  Don’t allow fear and worry or insecurities to rule life.  I want to enjoy each moment.  This year my motto has been Peace with the Past, Present in the Now and excited for the Future.  While I may not always stay in this place, this season of crazy weather has helped reminder me this is my goal and where I want intentionally to live my life.

Here is our favorite spring fed waterfall just a few weeks apart.  Funny on the left, the fun was from climbing on top and on the right, from hiking in the creek and under the falls. Ahhhh Life !

May 8 Waterfall
May 8 Waterfall
May 29, 2015
May 29, 2015

Mothers Day When We No Longer Have a Mother….

Last year for Mothers Day, we took Clay’s mom out to eat. With her flowers and card, she told everyone it was her birthday. We went with that. It is a good memory in the midst of that season.  This year she has passed and we find ourselves with no mom in the family. When my mother died a few years ago, I was surprised by the strong orphan feeling.  I am an adult and been successfully navigating my life for many years but when faced with the reality of both parents leaving this earth, it was an odd mix of responsibility and neediness. Now with my husbands family gone, we are it.  The patriarchs of the family.  It is strange with no family standing between us and the end of life.  Whether we have had great relationships or struggles, there is something comforting about that buffer. Even when I remind myself -this is normal life changes and seasons, it feels odd and unnatural. Embracing this new season and acting on my decision of what do I want this time to look like and feel like for me helps to make it more normal. What legacy do I want to leave in this world? Am I making steps to make that happen?

Then, we are faced with a holiday reminding us of what we are missing.  Normally, I say look at what you have in your life rather than focusing on what is missing. However, Continue reading “Mothers Day When We No Longer Have a Mother….”

7 Ways to Play Where You Live!

Fun times with my daughter!!
Fun times with my daughter!!

Yes, I will admit it.  I have been running away quite a bit. I have had some great times with loved ones where we had such fun times.   Considering the hectic pace of my life this summer, I am saying it is good stress management.  However, traveling from  my last getaway, I was thinking, “When can I  go again?”   Somehow, I would need to arrange my life in a way where the day to day routine is more exciting and inviting.  While it might be good stress management to have breaks, it is not healthy to  only be ok when I am away from home.  We all do it, though. While, I love to getaway to the country and hike and 4-wheel, the people there just use their 4 wheeler for work, and not play.   This idea spawned my

“Play Where You Live” plan. Continue reading “7 Ways to Play Where You Live!”

“What did I do to Deserve This?” How our questions influence us forever.

cropped-garden-of-the-gods.jpgWe were driving home from a very frustrating doctors visit, with a doctor who knew little about dementia or how to deal with a dementia patient.  I was looking for assistance with home health for bathing and medication for her anxiety.  Instead, I came away with paperwork on cooking for a patient with high-blood pressure… sigh.  My mother-in-law had already forgotten about the traumatic visit and was distracted by the huge cumulus clouds banking all around the sky.   Suddenly, the sky opened up to a huge downpour. The rain was so heavy and strong even the wipers on full blast could not keep up. It was a bit terrifying for me, who loves storms, trying to see and keep on the freeway.  She was in quite a panic.  Then she asked, “What did I do to deserve this?” Continue reading ““What did I do to Deserve This?” How our questions influence us forever.”

First Things First

10525916_781390441881524_13519433434744531_n[1]When life gets busy and crazy with a never-ending to-do list usually I tend to roll up my sleeves and get on the treadmill and keep going and going and going.  It takes a while for me to realize I have gone too far over the edge.   Yesterday, I thought about working out.  Hmmmm how long has it been?  Over a week…No wonder I am feeling lethargic and tense. Really, I know the fact is, the busier I am, the more I need to be aware of what it takes to keep me functioning – physically and emotionally.   Just like I need to set up routines in my life to make sure the dishes are done every day and people have food to eat, I must have some routines in place to keep me balanced and energized.   Everyone is different.  For me I need to do these things every day!! Continue reading “First Things First”