Friday, July 24, 2009

Enriching vs Defining

Our endeavors and achievements should enrich rather than define us.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Right Hand Turn

Sometimes a couple has to take a right hand turn, veering bravely off the left-turn only, oval-shaped runners' track of life.

Tom and I took a right hand turn the other day, hand in hand, wandering like explorers letting the road reveal its merriment. It began with a hidden pathway off the beach, steps that led to a cheerful, narrow cobblestone street.

A glass artwork gallery greeted us, beckoning. We entered.

Inspired by creativity, hand in hand, the adventure continued. Out to the street, upwards on cobblestones, is that music we hear? Irish music? A quaint pub!

Friendly people, refreshment, ready for more roaming.

Full circle, our path returned us to the beach on this stormy day. Who says a gray beach isn't beautiful? Cozy. A silver, salt-breezed blanket wrapping a soul in reassurance.

Reminders...people notice, people care, people express.

A spontaneously taken, fulfilling right hand turn invigorates a long-time marriage. More right hand turns, less worrying about what 'the world' expects.

Another goofy self-portrait, sealed with a kiss, hold my hand, Tom. We're going to make it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


"...People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments." ~~ Elizabeth Gilbert
A rather idealistic quote, yet there is truth in it. Especially the concept that happiness is man-made not some magical, mystical turn of fortune. There are times when we glorious yet flawed humans - in maintaining our balance - spiral downward for awhile. These times only increase the intensity of happier moments. And it's in the suffering that wisdom is found. But one mustn't allow the suffering to continue past is usefulness - by wallowing once the darkness has passed - but instead summon effort toward restoring the happier state. And not just for our own comfort.
"...I can see exactly where my episodes of unhappiness have brought suffering or distress or (at the very least) inconvenience to those around me. The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefiting act, but also a generous gift to the world. Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people." ~~ Elizabeth Gilbert
It's taken me awhile to figure this out. Still new at it.

Slow learner, late bloomer, not complaining.

Currently happy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fighting to Let Go

The Horse Whisperer is a favorite movie of mine. For many reasons.

Today the film comes to mind as I struggle to let go, to pry my fingers up, to allow my mind to find strength through relaxing, to do the gritty impossible by becoming gentle, trusting outside forces, to willingly sink into life as into a comfortable sofa at the end of a tiring day.

Why is it so hard to relax? To quit straining? To loosen up? To see that not everything requires my management, that, in fact, the time for my firm hand on some things has past? That I've done all I can, that freedom awaits if I'd just accept it? A gift. New beginnings. Forward movement.

And if I refuse? The knotted ropes I've created which bind me head-to-toe only tighten with the struggle. To believe that it is in energy's cessation that the ropes drop away seems ridiculous, yet, in this particular instance it is so. Required is a different sort of energy, quiet energy, flowing, centered, mindful, trusting, wise, light, peaceful, inclusive, faithful, experienced, awake, confident, and in a winning way, resigned.

How can it be so difficult to NOT and so easy to STRAIN?

Understanding is the beginning of wisdom. And therein lies the answer. Acknowledgement of a problem is the beginning of solution. I'm on the right path.

Now, relax little fingers, we'll land in a safe place, a new safe place.