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Starting My Blog

iStock_PuzzlePeople_000009338479XSmallWelcome to my first blog on our brand new eClubSoda site.
There is something so exciting about the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle coming together and revealing a magnificent picture. It can be so much fun to share this activity with family and friends and neighbors. With the invention of the social media, we have an opportunity to put jigsaw puzzles of IDEAS together from far and wide, no longer restricted by physical location.
 
I read so many blogs that are filled with derogatory comments, hatred and intolerance. I think it is time that all of us in this world perk up our ears and listen...truly listen...to not only ourself, but also to others and Life.
 

I see conversation having the potential to reveal new possibilities and find wonderful solutions...by finding the fit of dissimilar opinions. We listen for what we don't know that the others might, rather than listening to disprove any differing perspectives. We honor the validity of the other person's point of view, even if we cannot exactly see it...yet. I emphasize "yet" because if we learn to listen with true curiosity, we will eventually be able to see why they see it in the way that they do. It doesn't mean we have to agree with it entirely...and it doesn't invalidate our own perspective. In fact, it actually expands it.

 

Creating My New Year!!!

Happy New Year!

We are a few days into the New Year...and I am busy planning what I want my days to look like.  Not like in making resolutions that might soon be broken...to me those usually feel like deprivation and I rarely do well with being deprived of anything I think I want. It is the addict in me!

So instead, I am looking at the calendar in a whole new way, e.g., how much time to I want to sleep...eat...play...work...spend time with my family....contribute to others...even exercise!  I am doing this in a number of ways.

1.  I am reflecting on what is important to me.  There is no reason to include anything else.  What do I really, really want?  So often we are very much removed from the answers to this question.
2. I am enlisting friends and family to support me as I learn to recognize what might be old fears or stories that would stand in my way of even knowing what I want!
3. I am answering questions, even when they feel difficult.  Those are usually the ones with profound gifts nestled inside.
4. I am taking ownership of my own life...realizing no one "makes" me do something or "keeps me from" doing something.  It is a liberating feeling.

This process takes time I am finding.  The most important learning tool I have is the true connection with myself. How do I feel after I do something? It is amazing how that can be my own personal internal guidance system. If I feel good, I include it in my plan.  If I have regrets, then I need to look at why before I even consider adding it to my plan.

I am excited this year about my plan...why wouldn't I be? It includes everything that is important to me...which includes how I am with others.

What is your plan for this year?  Are you budgeting time for things that matter...to you?  If not, what stands in your way?  Would love to hear your thoughts....and plans!!!
 

Happy Holidays

I sit here on Christmas eve, blessed with my loyal German shepherd, Rachel, by my feet...thinking about my dear friends around the world. So many are facing the most difficult emotional situations conceivable...the death of a child...or of a parent. The fatal diagnosis of a grandchild. The end of a marriage or relationship.

Others are anticipating the beginning...of a new relationship...a birth of a child...a new job...or even just a new way of celebrating the holidays.

Where do you find yourself tonight? And what does it mean to you?

I am lonely tonight. I find myself missing the days when my children were young...and my mother was visiting...and we would throw pennies into the fireplace, and my children would be delighted with the presence of Santa Claus. Tonight, I so miss the presence of my mother...and my small children who are now grown. And I see...that, then I did not even have a inkling of the glorious grandchildren today whom I now enjoy beyond description!!

So what does that say about our future? What can we not yet see...that is waiting for us right around the corner?? How can we trust the unfolding of this moment...just the way it is?

Tomorrrow I will be with my family...I plan to enjoy each and every moment, because I realize how much I miss those of the past. I do not know what is next...I just know what is now. And I love being totally connected to this moment in time and to the important people in my life.

Happy holidays to you, my friends around the world. May 2012 bring peace, love and harmony to us all. Much love, Nan

   

Romancing the Wine

She called me one night and I could tell she had been drinking.
 
 
I decided to ask her directly about it, and to her credit, she answered me honestly.
"Yes, Nan, I slipped. I really wanted a glass of wine."

"What were you wanting that you thought it could provide?" I asked her.

"That feeling," she said, "of being special and enjoying a lovely bouquet in a beautiful glass by candlelight. And I wanted to know I could have what I wanted."
 
"Is that what you got, that feeling of being special?" I asked curiously.
There was a silence. I let her think for a few moments.

"Well, no," she said. "I feel awful, actually. And I drank it out of a chipped colored glass so no one would guess what was in it."
 
I asked her to get real quiet and centered. To become very conscious of her body, mind and spirit. Then I asked her to name what she was experiencing in that moment. Here are her answers:"Skin on fire"
"Head confused"
"Taste is Nasty"
"Compulsion Strong"
"Crazy"
"Sweating"
"Gassy"

All these are a far cry from what she was wanting. I suggested we talk the next day to work on how she could treat herself in a special way and begin truly allowing herself to have what she has really been wanting for a very long time...that which alcohol was actually silencing.

What do you truly want...have you been listening to yourself lately?
 
 

Change...what does it mean to you?

Change...what does it mean to you?
So many people seem to be terrified of change. I used to be one of them, but now I have learned to welcome it as a means to my growth and development.

"How can you trust it, Nan?" I am asked over and over again.
 
It is easy now...since I am way past the first half of my life. I can look back and see how absolutely every moment has led me to where I am today. And so now I trust that where I am today is exactly where I need to be to learn that which I will need tomorrow.
 
Five years ago, my life changed is a most dramatic way when my marriage ended abruptly and unexpectedly in divorce. I thought my life was over. Instead it was just beginning in a whole new way. My daughter gave me a magnet that said "The barn's burnt down, now you can see the moon!"
 
In that moment I would never, ever have believed I could do all of the things I have done since that moment. Many of those things were difficult and at the time unpleasant. Looking back though, my willingness to do them strengthened me in ways I could never have imagined and prepared me for my next step.

I heard Oprah Winfrey on OWN talk about the beauty of the fall leaves...and how we could use that image as the promise of the beauty of change. That worked well for me...as does the question, "How is this moment in time perfect for my growth, development and welfare?" Just asking the question reminds me of the perfection of that which I cannot yet see.

How do you hold change? Do you welcome it or fight it? Are you willing to wrap it around yourself as you would a soft comforter? You might want to try it...and, if you do, please enjoy the moment!
 
   

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