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

 

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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

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

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!”

Courage to Be Yourself

Come on jump into the fun of being yourself!
Come on jump into the fun of being yourself!

Throughout our lives we have received input on who and what we should do do be ok.  Some of us have huge ideas that are impossible to reach or often these ideas are conflicting.  We read magazine articles or books trying to improve ourselves and if you are like me these are sometimes helpful and sometimes make us feel a little less than or never able to measure up to others.  Other people look like they have life easy and have achieved perfection or gotten it all together.  So,we try harder and sometimes we are successful and other times fall on our faces.  For me the break though came when I realized no one really has achieved this perfection.  Everyone puts on a nice smile and gets dressed the same way I do!  I can learn great things from others in one area or another and they can actually learn from me in another.  I am so lucky to have a long time friend who taught me to be more structured and organized with my days with young babies.  She is highly gifted in this area.  She in turn says she learned from me to relax more and have more fun with her kids.  We all have strengths and weaknesses.  The challenge it to grow in both of them; to understand and accept our own unique selves while continuing to grow! Continue reading “Courage to Be Yourself”

Blog Post #100 – Yippeee!

395549_261699080561387_146189222112374_736403_1165990731_n[1]Knowing my hundredth post was coming up, I have been thinking of  what would be most important to write about.  Many ideas came to mind, but none that sounded really perfect for celebrating my 100 blog milestone.  That is when it hit me—  Of course– Celebrate the Milestone!!!!   Hooray   Hooray!  Time for the happy dance and confetti! Continue reading “Blog Post #100 – Yippeee!”

How was your weekend?? It depends on your perspective!

Fun time or stressful.  The choice is mine!
Fun time or stressful. The choice is mine!

It is so easy to look at the lives of others and think about how amazing they are, and then compare our family and life to this vision.  We see our own foibles and feel somehow like we fall short of the dream life and family.  The truth is there is no perfect life or family.  The reality is that life is a roller coaster.  We can however, choose our focus and the meanings we place on events.  Care for an example from my crazy weekend trip?

Continue reading “How was your weekend?? It depends on your perspective!”

Good Grief (even when it doesn’t feel good)

Good GriefJanuary marks an anniversary of my father’s death.  It is not marked on my calender and has been over 25 years.  Sometimes I don’t remember or acknowledge it, but this year it came into my mind. I am writing a Middle School curriculum on The Vikings and a High School study on the book Kon Tiki by Thor Hyerdahl (one of his favorites).  It was one of those moments where I thought “OH wow, the movie Kon Tiki is on instant Netflix, I need to call my dad and tell him.”  Of course, the next moment realizing I cannot do that brings a wave and sadness and grief to my heart.  Thankfully, as I go ahead and say it to him aloud and enjoy the movie and my  heritage, the grief passes and I can rejoice in life as it is today.  This has not always been the case.  The very strong emotions I felt after his death were the most intense I had ever experienced.  Granted I was pregnant, had a preschooler to care for and was exhausted from his long illness.  At that time it  was all completely overwhelming, so I just responded by stuffing those painful emotions down as far as possible.  Of course the result  was a crazy horrible depression t hat lasted for too long of a time.  Digging out of that pit and learning to deal with all these uncomfortable emotions was a difficult journey and also a gift to myself and to everyone around me.  I am so thankful for those lessons learned.  When my mom passed, I was able to deal with the strong painful emotions and come out on the other side quicker.  While I still miss them, I honor the memory by living my life fully charged and with purpose.

This experience has led me to focus on helping grieving people in my coaching. Losing a loved one is hard and painful.

One exercise I have found very helpful is to write a letter to your loved one.   Explain to them what you are thankful for, then what you are angry about and finally how you wish things could be.  These items take you through most of the emotions of grief and sharing them with your loved one helps to acknowledge them and validate them.  After this tell them you will remember and hold on what is good and then say goodbye.  This is a hard step.  People often say, “But, it has only been one week, …or month …or year….!”  consciously saying goodbye is accepting reality.  It takes you out of denial and allows the grieving process to work within you.  This may need to be done more than once and even years later.

If you find yourself stuck in any of the stages or emotions of grief denial, anger , depression, bargaining-find someone to help you get out of it.  These stages are necessary and normal, but getting stuck in any one doesn’t help and the longer you stay , the harder it is to get out.  Working through grief is one of my specialties, primarily because I had quite a struggle with it when my Dad passed away and just couldn’t find the help I needed.

The process of grief is painful and challenging, however it can bring new strength and endurance to your life.

Caring for yourself– Key to peace and preparedness!

Ice Angels
Ice Angels

This is an example of rime icing … supercooled water droplets (i.e., liquid water at subfreezing temperatures) in the fog we had overnight, and these super tiny droplets of water froze as soon as they made contact with the weeds  which were also exuding water creating these very delicate crystalline fibers that got bent into various shapes by the subtle winds tracing out what remains of the leaves here in the woods.

You dare not touch them, for they are hollow and disintegrate into a feathery mound of crystals at the slightest disturbance.  Since our temp today will be above freezing, even for a few hours we will lose these delicate beauties.  This is an example to me of enjoying the beauty of life in small things! (this photo and explanation were sent to me by the local weather man- way too scientific for me to come up with, but can still enjoy!)

We are into day 3 of our icemagedden.  This is a unique pattern for Texans.  Day one is fun and exciting as school and work are closed and kids are enjoying sledding.  But by now our food sources and growing slim and cabin fever has set in. Even the paper is not delivered.

Whenever this is predicted, people make a mad dash to the store, emptying the shelves of water, toilet paper and salsa.Of course the predictions could be wrong and we only get non freezing, but very cold rain.  When it is right, who would  want to be caught without the necessities of life. Everyone’s idea of housebound food is different. I sent my hubby to the store for hot cocoa  and-he returned with frozen shrimp!!

This got me thinking about preparation and how vital it is to life.  When a storm comes we stock up, wrap our faucets and put water in the bathtub. I do have great memories of losing power when growing up and my dad (a former farm-boy) keeping us warm and cozy with the fireplace. While life adventures cannot be predicted by the weather man, we can be prepared in some ways for what might happen.  I do not advocate worry or always looking for the next shoe to drop, but life is often crazy and stuff happens.   Our December habit is self- care.  Stay with me here.  When we neglect our self, we are not ready for the unexpected.  Often when life feels out of control or just very busy, the first casualty is our self.  How many times have we neglected, sleep, eating right, and even bathing when life is uncertain.  These are the things that keep us going and keep us ready.

Thursday night I had finally made it home and ready to stay bundled.   My MIL called and had a bloody mouth, possibly from a fall.   Thankfully, I had gas in my car and could make a mad dash over there.  MY thought was to bring her here for the duration, but when I got there she was fine and couldn’t remember a problem. It was good that I went, even if I did complain and even better that I was prepared for the unexpected.

This month when we focus on peace and joy and reaching out caring for others, lets not neglect the fact we must care for ourselves in order to spread peace and joy to the world.

It might be,diligence in an exercise class once a week, making sure to get to sleep on time, or noticing emotional issues we cannot resolve on our own and taking steps to find a good professional to walk us through.

These people were not prepared!!
These people were not prepared!!