Sunday, January 28, 2007

Something about trees and roots

(Photos from my personal travels)

There's something about trees and roots that has always fascinated me. Is it because every tree is like a person ... unique? Is it because roots grow underground and create stability (mostly)? Is it because they have roots and often I feel I have none?

Try this, an exercise in creativity:

Look at the photos, choose one that "speaks" to you, give it a name, and describe its personality. Do it again with each one if you like.

Have fun with this, you may even find characters to put in your stories.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Beauty after a storm

Although shoveling three times in two and a half weeks has tipped my annual quota for exercise, I am grateful. Not only did I get some exercise, but the view outside my window is exquisite. Just take a moment and pretend that you get to work in a room with this view.

I've tried to sell this house a couple of times in the last 4 years, and today I wonder why. I'm glad I am still here to see this.

May you be grateful for the views in your life.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Another snow day in Denver

Three times in two weeks, we've gotten socked in with inches and inches of wet powdered sugar here in Denver! It's effected mail delivery, Fedx and UPS, and grocery stores. The eerie thing is last week there were bare spots on the grocery shelves. I've never seen that in my lifetime. We live in such an affluent country, we don't expect not to get what we want. We're spoiled and we often don't give thanks that all those shelves are stocked just so we can have milk in our coffee or tea. I'm guilty. I like milk in my coffee. In fact, after the second snow, there was no 2% or whole milk on the shelf at our local grocery store. So ...

What do you do on a snow day?

Some folks try to get out to go to work and get stuck.
Some folks do get out and go to work.
When you work at home, there are no excuses.
So today is a good day to print my book project
And continue to watch those little white flakes fall
that cause us so much havoc when we have productive lives to live.

I think hot cocoa, a warm blanket, and a three hankie movie
sounds like a good idea
Or maybe it's a time we can catch up on our reading
make homemade bread, or have quality time with our family.
Why sweat it? Sometimes the forces of nature are stronger than our will.
Is there a message in there somewhere?

Of course, I feel for those who don't get paid if they don't show up
but I never get paid unless I show up anymore
How can employers expect folks to shovel out, spin their wheels,
and come to work fully present when those little white flakes
threaten to lock them in at work.

Now with that said, I spoke to someone today who said,
"I work at a place where if I get snowed in, at least there's a place to sleep."
She's lucky, she works at a hotel.
Most do not have these kinds of comfy accommodations at their office.

My words of wisdom
Stay home
Stay warm
Enjoy the silence and beauty of the little white flakes.

Do you have a snow storm story?

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Well, sometimes things don't work out

As many of you know I was scheduled to be on Nancy Aronie's Writing from the Heart segment on Lime Radio today. The subject was A Time I Wasn't Invited .... Hmmm.

Well, I was invited, but with the constraints of live radio, sometimes they can't get everyone on the air. Now the upside of this is I captured a moment in my life and as the song goes, "no one can take that away from me."

I'm going to work on getting a recording of the story (my own recording) up here, but in the meantime, I thought you might be interested in reading it. Here you go ...

A time I wasn’t invited …

They said they were going out. But what about me? Why couldn’t I go? Where were they going anyway? They said it was an adult party, no children were allowed. They said I would have more fun at the nursery. Yes, nursery. I was only four.

So, Mom and Dad took me to the Army post nursery. My dad was a Lt. Colonel at the time. There were lots of protocol events they attended and I was always shuffled off. For my own good, of course.

This memory is sketchy—a stark building, 6 or 8 other children of all ages, a lady who ran the activities, a linoleum floor, cribs and beds for napping. But I do remember sitting in a circle on the cold floor singing Old MacDonald Had a Farm and playing Duck, Duck, Goose. I also remember finger painting, and why I remember the color green, I don’t know. It was all lots of fun and I didn’t miss my parents at all. In fact, I’m not sure I even realized they were gone until Dad picked me up out of the bed and carried me to the car. I slept in the back seat of lots of cars as a youngster as evening was often a time for travel.

I wonder now, why does time seem non-existent as a young child? Why do we miss our parents in the anticipation of their absence more than their actual absence when we are very young? Why would we want to be by their side while they drink and talk about silly things rather than playing with other children and having fun singing, dancing, coloring, and creating.

Maybe we were worried about what we’d miss. Maybe we wondered if they’d ever come back. Maybe we were afraid of what may happen where we were to be left.

Isn’t this a great lesson in honoring a process? Even as an adult there are times I’m on my way to a speaking engagement or a class or some gathering, and all the way there I’m thinking, “I don’t want to do this, I really don’t want to do this.” And once I’m there I find that I have a grand time. I get to meet new people, share stories, find new connections, see new perspectives—sing, dance, and create. I find that my fear sometimes lies.

Isn’t this what invitations are about? Whether you’re invited or not, it’s all about the experience. You’re experience. My experience. It is what we make it. Too often we think of not being invited as being left out, being shunned, being forgotten, or not being liked. Sometimes not being invited is a better time, a more fun time.

I have found that I am sometimes relieved that I wasn’t invited to an event. I don’t have to find that “black tie” outfit to wear. I don’t have to put on makeup. I don’t have to feel the anxiety of having a less-than-model-shaped figure. I don’t have to shake hands with strangers, put on a smile that I may not feel, drink alcohol, which I rarely do, or watch what I say lest it tarnish my image. Sometimes staying home is the best invitation I could ever ask for.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

New Beginnings

Traditionally, January 1st is a time to start anew, begin fresh, make new promises, dream big dreams. I believe this can be done at anytime of the year and my creative spark happens at the oddest times. BUT, this year is actually starting out with a bang for me and I am having a flood of new ideas and the desire to implement them. Like this blog thingy I've heard about for quite some time! I think it has something to do with the blizzard of 2006 in Denver that we're still digging out of. What else is there to do when you can't get out of your house ... but create!

I challenge you, when will you begin those life stories you've been meaning to write for your children? When will you get the photographs organized? Are you too busy living your life to record your life? Maybe.

I have a question for you? If you don't take some time to record your life along the way, will you remember it accurately when you get around to creating the legacy to leave for your family? Don't have regrets later. Do it now.

Take the first step. Make a new beginning. Leave the critic at the door. Tears are not to be feared but felt. Spend 10 minutes every day--writing. Even if it's only a list of what you accomplished that day. You can expand from there. In the next 10 minute segment. You really do have the time ... it's all about priorities. It's all about finding what's important in the moment.

Are you ready to be the chief creative in your life? Are you ready to take the first step? Put your socks and shoes on and start walking the path--the writing path.

I look forward to hearing from you along the way--your progress, your challenges, your accomplishments, your great moments! Find joy in this coming year. I have a feeling, that niggling that bubbles up inside, that this is going to be a very good year--not just for me, but for many. Join me and smile!

Now, if they can build a snowman in Tempe, AZ, where I moved to Denver from 9 years ago, you can make your dreams come true!