Flight no. 2015

My Dad sent an email version of this to me and I had to share it. I’ve taken so many flights over the past 20 years and never once had this message. But, I’ll think about this from now on.

The Boarding of Flight no. 2015 has been announced.

Your luggage should be safely stowed and only contain the best souvenirs from 2014. All unwanted items, including the bad and sad moments should be left in the trash.

The duration of the flight will be 12 months. So, tighten your seatbelt. The stop-overs will be:
*Health
*Love
*Joy
*Harmony
*Well-being
*Peace

The captain offers you the following menu which will be served during the flight:
*A Cocktail of Friendship
*A Supreme of Health
*A Gratin of Prosperity
*A Bowl of Excellent News
*A salad of Success
*A Cake of Happiness
*All accompanied by bursts of laughter

Wishing you an enjoyable trip on board of flight no. 2015.

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Filling my cup

Years ago I was sitting with a dear friend on vacation and she was talking about her work. She mentioned an annual conference with great anticipation. She described it as a time when she “filled her cup”. It was important to learn in such a way that her personal reserves of energy, creativity and enthusiasm could be filled up. Otherwise, what would she have to give to others?

I thought about that for a long time. I wished that my work provided me with that kind of opportunity. Well, wishing was not going to fill my cup, so I found a conference on my own. That was WDS2014 and WOW is all I can say about that. As the conference ended, a discount for the next year was extended and I immediately signed up. I finally found a place where everyone, (and I mean everyone), was nice. They were interesting to talk to and freely expressed their deepest desires, for themselves and a keen interest to serve others. The main stage presentations gave me insights into a whole range of topics, some of which I didn’t know I was interested in. (I could rave on about WDS, but that is not the point here).

Recently my same friend and I were chatting about “filling cups” and she mentioned a further portion of that idea. That was the saucer. Always put a saucer under your cup so that when it overflows, (I was only trying to put something in my cup, I had no idea it might overflow), you have reserves with which to help others!

A quick internet search later, I found the poem below. Enjoy and may your cup overflow!

“My Cup Has Overflowed”

I’ve never made a fortune, and it’s probably too late now.
But I don’t worry about that much, I’m happy anyhow
And as I go along life’s way,
I’m reaping better than I sowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
Cause my cup has overflowed. 

Haven’t got a lot of riches,
and sometimes the going’s tough
But I’ve got loving ones all around me,
and that makes me rich enough. 
I thank God for his blessings,
and the mercies He’s bestowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
Cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when things went wrong,
My faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke,
and the sun peeped through again.
So Lord, help me not to gripe,
about the tough rows I have hoed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
Cause my cup has overflowed.

If God gives me strength and courage,
When the way grows steep and rough.
I’ll not ask for other blessings,
I’m already blessed enough.

And may I never be too busy,
to help others bear their loads.
Then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer,
Cause my cup has overflowed.

Author: unknown

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Inspired by paint

As Carrie Thachuk said today, “Welcome to your new obsession.” I didn’t think that could be true….at 10am this morning. Now that I have finished the course, walked around my house a bit and reflected on what I learned today, yes welcome to my obsession might be a fair statement.

To be honest, my history with paint is not great. As I mentioned in the round table of introductions this morning, I have painted many things – different pieces of furniture, interior wood decor, fences, houses, etc. All of it, under a punishment – finish the project before you can go out with your friends. Of course, going out with my friends was what got me in trouble in the first place. Mainly breaking curfew, so nothing too serious, (as far as I can remember). So I would get my friends to help me work off the punishments, a little bit like Huck Finn. And the cycle would start again. My parents had an in-house painter at their disposal. It was all just a matter of time.

Fast forward to present day where I found myself sitting in a painting class. (If my teenage self knew, she would be aghast!) The topic today was a beginner’s guide to Annie Sloan chalk paint. In the 5 hour session, we covered everything you need to know in order to feel a good level of confidence to start attacking those old wood pieces in need of a lift. Or in my case, pieces that resemble wood, (laminate) and need to look amazing in my newly renovated bedroom and I don’t have the cash to buy anything other than paint!

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The ladies at The Passionate Home in Langley were wonderful, encouraging and provided a healthy dose of inspiration. They are running a fantastic business over there. (And I’ll be seeing them again tomorrow, because instead of buying a big can of “old white” I grabbed “old plum”). Which is probably a good thing, because I might have started painting straight away. My husband is away until next Friday…I could get a lot covered by then!

 

Finding a mantra

For my last assignment in part one of Brene Brown’s ecourse, it was back to page one of they art journal to write a mantra. Fill that first page with some words that really speak to me. A phrase which I can repeat to myself when I need motivation, inspiration and grounding.

Problem is I can’t seem to pick just one phrase. In one way or another, all of these speak to me. I even have a strange desire to group them together into sub categories. There are a few themes emerging from the chosen phrases. Maybe I’ll do that one day. For now, I’ll let these soak in.

“I think I’ll just be happy today”

“Love is spoken here”

“Well behaved women rarely make history”

“Breathe in the good shit, breathe out the bullshit”

“You’re not designed for everyone to like you”

“When nothing is sure, everything is possible”

“Your thoughts will rise and fall away like a breeze”

“Don’t let the bastards get you down”

“The question isn’t who is going to let me – it’s who is going to stop me?”

“Everything I need to know is inside me”

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new”

“No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys”

“The struggle is part of the story”

“Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful”

“I love the person I’ve become because I fought to become her”

“Does this serve me?”

“I believe I can be kinder to myself”

“She turned her cant’s in cans and her dreams into plans”

“Sky above me, earth below me, fire within me”

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“Be brave. It’s going to be good”

“The only person you should try to be better than….is the person you were yesterday”

“Take your pleasure seriously”

“How beautiful it is to stay silent when someone expects you to be enraged”

“This too shall pass”

“Starve the ego, feed the soul”

“Do no harm, but take no shit”

“A negative mind will never give you a positive life”

Wholehearted

“I now see that cultivating a Wholehearted life is not like trying to reach a destination. It’s like walking toward a star in the sky. We never really arrive, but we certainly know that we’re heading in the right direction.” ― Brené Brown

Just started week #3 of the e-course designed to follow the 10 guideposts from the book, “The Gifts Of Imperfection”, by Brené Brown. Let me tell you, (I am trying to convey the slight Texas accent in her speech), this is big stuff. “Life changing” are words that have been uttered by participants who have taken this course already. If you scoff at the notion that a book and an e-course can be life changing, well that just shows how much you are missing out! Quite frankly, I was that skeptical at the beginning, so don’t feel bad.

I’ve never given much thought to the word wholehearted. I must have learned the definition in school, because the meaning seems logical enough. But to practice living in a wholehearted way, well that is another matter. There was no class about that. Not a day, or an hour or even a 15 minute segment was devoted to this extremely important word.

Ironically, it seems that as children, we were pre programmed to live wholeheartedly. It is life, school, society, etc., who have beaten back this natural tendency. One of the exercises last week, to reinforce the idea of authenticity, was to get a picture of ourselves that conveys an example of when we were most authentic. Some people had recent photos, some had to go back to being babies! Most photos were somewhere in the primary school era.

Somewhere along the way, most of us have lost our most authentic selves, those little people who knew in their bones how to live in a wholehearted way. Many of us had to focus all our energy on our school work and on the “activities” we seemed to show some aptitude in. The rest just fell away. Over the years, creativity was stamped down, no more drawing, painting, singing, dancing or playing. Writing became technical, a medium with which to answer the never-ending schedule of questions and tests.

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The fantastic news is that the knowledge to live wholeheartedly is still there, buried maybe. The children inside of us know what to do. Like waking Peter Pan after he had grown up, it is possible to easily get in touch with that authentic part of ourselves.

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Epiphany

Holiday or feeling? How about both? Depends on what you believe.

Down here in Mexico and in many other countries around the world, January 6 is a celebration day. It marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas which begins on the 25th. El Día de los Reyes (The Day of the Kings) is the name of the day and the 3 Kings were thought to have brought presents to baby Jesus. Children will typically get presents and the family celebrations will include sweet wine and the 3 Kings Bread, which is also sweet and filled with dried fruits.

The term epiphany means a “vision of God” and this day is a Christian feast celebration to honour the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ.

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Epiphany is also used to describe an experience of sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective.

I can’t say that I have this kind of feeling on a regular basis. But, I do think back on accomplishments and get a sense of all the little pieces coming together. Everything fell into place accordingly. The realizations happened slowly.

Until today.

I’ve been mulling over a few ideas for quite some time, (years actually) and have not been able to make sense of them. I knew they had to be connected in some fashion, but the framework and structure has eluded me. Like a waft of morning dew, I could sometimes get a clear sense of it, but as I moved closer, the spark of understanding would be just beyond my reach and then disappear altogether.

It is a fantastically energizing experience to suddenly have a crystal clear series of thoughts, which have eluded you for so long, sitting right there. It was all I could do to quickly grab a pencil and paper and get everything down.

With this roadmap sitting right beside me on the table, all my thoughts have changed. It allows me to think of problems as opportunities, take negative ideas and turn them around to positive, quite amazing really.

To quote the 1980’s one hit wonder by Timbuk3. “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”

Folk Wisdom of Mexico

Proverbios y dichos Mexicanos

I picked up this little book in the condo we are renting. I love finding these little treasures. Especially when the subject is local. Gives me a glimpse into the culture, the customs and the feelings as if we too were living here.

However, this kind of wisdom would not necessarily come form merely living here. We would need to understand the language, inside and out. Without growing up hearing these stories passed down through generations, the essence, the real meaning may not make sense.

Translated into English, the understanding gap gets a little wider, I think. But it is interesting to interpret in our own way. Learn by viewing old ideas in a new light. (And I feel a little bit caught in a Modern Family episode, with Gloria talking about “her country”.)

*Flies don’t enter a closed mouth.

*There is more time than life.

*Ambition never has its fill.

*Blood boils without a flame.

*One must learn how to lose before learning how to play.

*When in doubt of what is right, consult your pillow overnight.

*Conversation is food for the soul.

*All the time spent angry is time lost being happy.

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