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Showing posts from February, 2018

Note to Myself No. 28

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Note to Myself No. 27

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Note to Myself No. 26

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These bodies -- strong and able, feeble or decaying -- are containers for holding most beautiful souls. That ineffable something that makes you who you are.

Note to Myself No. 25

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Analyze. Plan. Act. Pick your area of passion.

Note to Myself No. 24

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Right now, with gray skies and snow on the ground, I'm guilty of thinking WARM instead of big. Can you blame me?

Note to Myself # 22

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There are times like now when following the leader will get you in trouble. Time's a-wastin'. Listen to the beat of your own drum. Be uniquely you.

Note to Myself # 21

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Well, if not weird, then quirky.

Note to Myself: No. 20

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Enough said.

Note to Myself: No. 19

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I've mentioned before that my word for 2018 is LOVE. Give it. Receive it. Embody it.

Note to Myself # 18

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This is so much harder than it seems. The lovely moments seem to be fleeting. The instant of trauma feels more likely to imprint. Collect and  celebrate extraordinary moments, moments of astonishment and celebration, moments of tender love moments that give you hope and inspiration.

Note to Myself # 17

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For better or worse. How has love  (or the absence of it) changed you?

Note to Myself # 16

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The old Disney song tells us that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true. I don't know if that's true or not, but it can't hurt, unless you get a stiff neck  from spending too long in a position  of absolute amazement at the beauty of the night sky. Next time you look up into a crystal clear night, pick one shimmering star  and make a wish.

Note to Myself # 15

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There's a saying that if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there. The current norm in American society is based on plans and goals and incremental steps toward those goals (which mostly deal with career advancement and the accumulation of material things). God forbid you should just drift along,  waiting to see where the current takes you. Working toward goals is fine, but you can't control serendipity  or ignore those unplanned opportunities. Well, you can. . .  but it's probably a mistake. Sometimes the best scenery is on a blue highway. And, looking back, it seems to me that everything I did led me to the logical next step  without a whole lot of planning agony. It all kind of hung together as if there was some grand master plan for me to discover. Maybe it's true that if we follow our path, the next step will appear. 

Note to Myself # 14

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Are you happy you are who you are? Often, it takes much work to get to this place of. . .  more than mere acceptance, a place of celebration. A place where we realize (as Carole King said) you've got to take the bitter  with the sweet. If you're not there yet, what do you need to change? Do you see yourself as others see you? If you're too self-critical, where does that come from? What old tapes are you playing too often? What are your best qualities? What are the benefits of your worst qualities?

Note to Myself No. 13

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Once, a few years ago, I attended a writing conference on the campus of Brown University.  The summer session was taking place, so there were lots of students around (some of whom thanked us for coming,  because the food in the cafeteria improved when there were conferences on campus). One day, as I was walking between workshops, I paused to watch a young man who was practicing his skills as a tightrope walked. He had a rope tautly stretch between two large trees, perhaps two to three feet off the ground. Enough height to practice, but not enough to break bones  if balance didn't outwit gravity. He moved slowly, with determination, a look of concentration on his face. One foot. . . then gingerly, the next foot. Sometimes his arms shot out to steady him. And sometimes, his arms weren't enough and he'd fall (or self-propel) from the tightrope. He'd shake off the mishap and mount the rope again, always lookin

Note to Myself No. 12

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When I was in the year-long memoir writing class at University of Washington, the instructor extraordinaire Theo Pauline Nestor said that this Rolling Stones song was the perfect way to remember the narrative arc of a memoir. You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometime you just might find you get what you need. Think about it. Life is filled with frustrations, with detours from the path  we think we're supposed to follow. But sometimes, once we're pushed off "our" path we find the new one takes us to strange and wonderful places. We don't always know what we need. Sometimes we learn by  accident or adversity.

Note to Myself 2018: No. 11

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Let's face it: nobody's perfect. Each of us is a hot mess of contradictions. Sometimes patient and kind, sometimes snappish and irritable. Shadow and light. Light and shadow. Even our most cherished qualities have a negative side. For example, being loving and forgiving is generally seen as a positive thing. But, if inappropriately overdone, it can lead to enabling, becoming a doormat, turning the other cheek  when the offending party  has no interest in curbing his or her egregious behavior. And those negative parts of ourselves that we're critical of? Those bouts of aggravation  tell us our boundaries are being violated and we need to act. . . to confront someone's behavior  that violates our standards or threatens our self-esteem. Or to examine what is putting us on red alert in order  to see  whether we're reacting appropriately to a here-and-now violation  or whether something has tr

Note to Myself # 10

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Too many little girls are taught to be nice to color inside the lines to squelch their anger to put others first always. But wholeness comes from integrating light and shadow. Anger signals boundary violations and the need to teach others  what is acceptable and what won't be tolerated. Putting others first all the damn time just makes us feel depleted  taken for granted and unimportant except as a functionary  for others. Be your WHOLE quirky beautiful self not some truncated, socially prescribed version of yourself.

Note to Myself # 9

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Mere dreaming doesn't make it so. Dreams are arrows pointing the way, telling you what beckons, what the possibilities are. You've got to figure out the route from here to there. Preferably one without too many detours. Right this way.

Note to Myself # 8

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When I was a kid, daydreaming was a given. When I wasn't focused on multiplication or fractious fractions or the order of the planets outward from the sun, my mind would wander. Daydream. Imagining wondrous adventures I'd have when I was grown up. Imagining being grown up. Wondering when my prince would come (and foolishly believing that he'd rescue me from everything humdrum and we'd be blissfully in love ever after). But being an adult means thinking about what to make for dinner, wondering if the front door got locked, feeling guilty about not having gotten tax info ready, paying the bills, taking the car for servicing, clearing clutter, being on time for work even when you'd rather sleep, and so much more. We have a tendency to fill up the time we used to spend in waking reverie with all manner of things and something is lost. A sense of potential. A momentary escape from humdrum tasks.

Note to Myself No. 7

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Life is uncertain. It can end at any time, whether or not we're ready. So inhabit yourself fully. Be who you are, deep in your soul. Be present.  Notice (and celebrate) every single moment. Give hugs. Say what you need to say from a place of kindness. Shine your light out into darkness. Practice being love embodied. Drink every last drop of life every day.

Note to Myself No. 6

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Right now, it's hard for me to believe that there will ever be civil discourse in the political arena here in the good old U.S.A. I have given up on believing that Trump's behavior will ever be anything but self-serving and offensive or that Congress will stop enabling him and rein him in. But I'll never stop believing in kindness,  in beauty, in laughter, and in hope. We need all of those things in abundance. Right now. Every day.

Note to Myself 2018: No. 5

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Despite what you may have been programmed to believe, there's no one out there that can make you happy. You're not going to finally land  in a big, fluffy blanket  of happiness because The Love Fairy flicks her wand  and a handsome prince or princess shows up in your life. (And, on the other end of the spectrum, you won't have permanent unhappiness because someone exits your life, though I admit that happiness may seem unlikely for a while after a breakup, a divorce, or a death). You see, happiness is an inside job. You build it by learning to celebrate all the goodness in your life. By recognizing each and every moment of contentment  and learning to sustain that feeling. By learning that if you resist what is, you'll be fighting a losing battle. By coming to terms with the fact that everything changes. . .  not only the bad stuff, but the good stuff too. Nothing stays the same forever. Like fas

Note to Myself 2018: No. 4

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There's no one quite like you. No one has your unique combination of talents, ambitions, quirks, and liveliness. You have a singular energy signature, a sacred one. When you are kind and caring, you touch the hearts of others. When you're willing to be authentic or vulnerable you give others the courage to do the same. Don't underestimate your impact on others. As Dr. Seuss said, No One is You-er than You. The You that you are matters.

Note to Myself 2018: No. 3

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Too many people flounder, wondering for years what their life's work will be and what kind of life  they'll build. Hint: notice what you love and figure out how to turn what you love into a calling and work into play. As for what kind of life you're destined for. . .  well, it seems to me  that we build the life we're destined for by our everyday choices. Want a brilliant, satisfying life? Practice kindness. Be grateful for all your blessings. Cultivate and express your talents. Learn to delay  gratification to reach a long-term goal. Recognize  that life is precious and fleeting. Love with gusto. Laugh until tears run (or until you snort). If you lack a supportive family, build one from your dearest friends. Be present. Learn to accept what is (and to change what you can). Teach others to treat you well. Honor your word. Go for walks. Spend time in nature (even

Note to Myself 2018: No. 2

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This Note to Myself is only partly tongue in cheek. We know from experience  that too much of a good thing sometimes can be disgusting. . . think back to amateur drinking behavior in college and the hangovers (or toilet-hugging) that ensued and you'll know what I mean. But with those other kinds of good things, things without unfortunate after-effects, we often fail to luxuriate  and really suck each drop of joy from them. Sometimes we don't even acknowledge and celebrate the wonderful things in our lives. There's a saying that goes, "Where attention goes, energy flows." What we focus on is a signal to the Universe that we are asking for more of those experiences. Too often we turn our focus on the problems and unfortunate experiences in our lives, rather than on things that bring us joy or cause tears of gratitude to well up in our eyes. Let's make it a practice to feel joy from our fl