Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!



It's New Year's Eve, a time to reflect on the year that's ending and look forward to the year that's approaching.

Most people will make New Year's Resolutions.  I used to do that, but I stopped many years ago.  I never seemed to be able to keep them.  Then I'd feel bad about myself.  I don't think that's the intention of making resolutions, so I just stopped doing it.  One of my all time favorite quotes is from "Star Wars".  Yoda said, "Do or do not.  There is no try."  So I can't even say I'll TRY to do something.

One of my Facebook friends posted an idea that I think I can actually do.  Start by getting a jar.  All year when something good, nice or special happens, write it down and put it in the jar.  Next New Year's Eve, open the jar and read about all the wonderful things that occurred during the year.

Isn't that a great idea?  Wouldn't that be a fabulous way to end one year and begin the next?  On New Year's Eve, by reading the notes from your jar, you'll be reflecting only on the positive, feel good things  that happened during the year.  You can then take those positive, good feelings into the new year.  I can't imagine a better plan.  So that's what I'm doing this year.

However you decide to celebrate, I wish you a prosperous, abundant, FABULOUS 2013.  Happy New Year!!!

Love,  Paula

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve with all the wonder and magic that it brings.  If you have young children or grandchildren, it's so much fun to experience this special time of year through their eyes.  It helps you to remember what it was like when you were little and there was so much anticipation.  There were special treats, company, decorations, dinners, TV specials, movies, vacation from school, and SANTA!!!  Oh that wonderful, wonderful man!

I'm so fortunate that two of my three children live in the area and they happen to be the parents of my grandchildren.  I get to experience Christmas through their eyes.  It's special... magical.  I don't know what I would do without my wonderful family.

But there are people out there that don't have any family.  Let's try to remember them while we're busy with all our festivities.  Reach out with visits, phone calls and prayers.  Just being remembered is the best gift they could ever receive.  There are many charitable organizations that do this work.  If you can't get involved personally, maybe you could consider donating to one of those organizations.  It will make you feel good and make someone else's holiday a little brighter.

However you choose to celebrate, I wish you magic and wonder this holiday season.

Love,  Paula

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to me!  It's been ONE WHOLE YEAR since I started this blog.  I can't believe it.  I was very timid about starting it.  But my son Joe encouraged me to do it without worrying about the outcome.  Just start.  Just do it.  So I did, not knowing where I was going.  What would I write about?  Who would care?  Who would read it?

It's been an interesting experience for me.  I found that writing a blog is therapeutic.  It helps me work through my thoughts, ideas, and problems.  And it doesn't matter if anyone reads it, it's still therapeutic for ME.  But hopefully, it helps the people that do read it.  They can either identify with what I write because they've been through the same things or had the same thoughts.  They know that they're not alone.  Others may learn from my mistakes so they don't have to make their own.  Or maybe it's just entertainment... like reading a short story.

I had no idea I had so much to say.  And yet here it is one year later and I've posted a new blog every Monday - except one - for a whole year.  Thank you for reading.  Thank you for indulging me.  Thank you for your kind comments and support.

Love,  Paula

Monday, December 10, 2012

Power Up


I need to remind myself - and therefore all of you - about holding onto my personal power. I know that no one can hurt me by the things they say and do (or don't say and don't do), unless I give them the power to do that. But it's not always easy. When someone close to you says or does hurtful things, it's not always easy to stay centered. We're human after all and sometimes you just feel hurt and have to work your way through it.

There's also the issue of not being a doormat. If you work your way through the hurt, do you just move on and act like nothing happened? Do you wait for an apology? Do you just avoid that person until you feel in a better space? Or do you initiate discussion and try to work things out?

I guess the answer is as individual as the people and the situation involved. It depends on how important the person is to you. But the most important thing is how does it make YOU feel? If you're upset, angry, or hurt, you don't want to hold those feelings inside of you. They will only make you sick and really not hurt the other person (or people) involved at all. So I would say that in most cases, it's probably best to let the person(s) know that they hurt or upset you and why. Hopefully you can have a calm exchange and things can be resolved. If not, at least you've had the opportunity to get things off your chest so that you're not holding things in and compromising your own health.

Love, Paula


Monday, December 3, 2012

Preparation

It's that time of year again... shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking, cleaning, decorating. Isn't it fun? Isn't it exciting? Isn't it exhausting? Isn't it all of the above?


I love this time of year. There is a lot to do, but it's so much fun. There's all that anticipation. The things that need to get done are labors of love.

I've come to the realization that most of the pressure we feel during the holidays is self imposed. WE'RE the ones that think we have to have certain gifts for certain people, wrapped in a certain way. WE'RE the ones that think we have to have certain cookies or certain meals. There is nothing wrong with doing these things or having these things as long as we don't let it consume us. It's great to have gifts for loved ones as long as we can afford it and we give it out of love, not obligation. It's wonderful to have special meals and special treats as long as it's a joy to give of yourself in this way and not a burden.

Take a step back and think about why you are doing the things you are doing in preparation for the holidays. Are you filled with love and joy? Or do you feel obligation and drudgery? If it's the love and joy, you're in the right space... continue. If it's the obligation and drudgery, you may want to rethink what you're doing and maybe make some changes. If your friends and family love you, they won't want you to be overwhelmed with preparations. They'll be just as happy with a smaller, easier meal and/or fewer, less expensive gifts if that would make your holidays less stressful. Trust their love. Trust that they want your happiness as much as you want theirs.

I believe that if we took a poll, we'd discover that what's important to most people is just being together with family and friends and being surrounded by love.

Love, Paula


Monday, November 26, 2012

The Day Without a Computer

Our son Joe and his girlfriend live in L.A. Through the computer we get to "see" them every week, usually on Sundays. I not only enjoy that, I LIVE for that. It closes the close to 3000 mile gap. They're in our dining room and we're in their living room "visiting." It's great!


The last couple of weeks though, they've been able to see us, but we haven't been able to see them. We can hear them, but we can't see them. Joe is pretty knowledgeable about the workings of computers. He thinks that our computer is just getting too old to support the newer version of Google.

My husband is a very thorough person. He studies things from all angles and exhausts all possibilities before he makes important decisions. No knee-jerk reactions. So after talking to Joe on Sunday, he talked to the I.T. guys where he works. They wanted to take a look at our computer for him to see if there was anything they could do. So he said he'd bring it in the next day, Tuesday, November 13th. That's a day that will be etched in my memory forever. I was off work that day. I have to admit that I'm a bit of a computer junkie. I check my e-mails and Facebook at least 3 times a day, usually more like 5 or 6 times.

So... I wasn't at work to use my computer that day AND there was no computer at home. What was I going to do? How was I going to survive? How would my "friends" survive without my comments and "likes"? Things weren't right. My world was upside down. It was like I was living in an alternate universe. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Here's the amazing thing: I survived. I actually had a very nice day. I caught up on some things around the house, visited with a friend, had lunch with another friend, made some phone calls, made dinner. It was a productive, relaxing and enjoyable day. I found out that life goes on even without a computer. I'm glad to know that BUT I have to say, I'm THRILLED to have my computer back. Not only is it back, but the problem is temporarily fixed. We'll eventually have to update our computer, but at least for now, we can see Joe and Helen again.

Order has been restored to my world.

Love, Paula

Monday, November 19, 2012

Reminder

I know I've written about this before, but circumstances have come up in my life as a reminder to me, so I'm taking this opportunity to remind you also. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST!!!!! It's not a selfish act, it's a necessary act.

I've had several people in my life - friends, family, acquaintances - who have needed and asked for my help which I gladly give them. Lately though it seems like there are A LOT at the same time. In my post of 10/29/12 about the most important relationship, I talk about taking care of yourself first. I speak of "feeding" yourself on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels and how VERY important that is. I even share with you some ways to accomplish that.

Guess who didn't listen to her own wisdom? That's right, yours truly. And guess who is now suffering the consequences? Right again, me. When so many people asked for my help at the same time I just ran, ran, ran. I didn't exercise, I didn't eat properly, I didn't take time to meditate and pray, I didn't read and relax. I'm kind of depleted... exhausted actually. Now I HAVE to take care of myself. I have to recharge.

I have two Reiki appointments today which will help charge me up. I have a massage scheduled this week. I have a book I want to dive into and I've set aside some time for meditative walks.

The old saying "Do as I say, not as I do" comes to mind. I always thought that was so unfair. But in some cases, it's loving. I'm asking you now to do as I say, not as I did to save you from exhaustion. I'd like you to learn from my mistakes so you don't have to make them yourself.

LOVE YOURSELF FIRST and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST. Trust me, it's the most loving thing you can do for the people you care about. Then, and only then will you have the strength and energy to help others without depleting yourself.

Love, Paula


Monday, November 12, 2012

Make A Difference

This video came to me via e-mail. It embodies many recurring topics I write about like love, compassion, being the best you can be. It impressed me so much that I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!
Love, Paula

( Click on the picture above or here for video. )


Monday, November 5, 2012

Sandy

Hurricane Sandy has given me cause to reflect. I'm a firm believer that worry and fear are wasted energy. Quotes like "Worrying does not empty tomorrow of it's troubles. It empties today of it's strength" and "Stop thinking of what could go wrong and start thinking of what could go right" really resonate with me. They just make so much sense.
So when we were warned that Sandy was coming and we should prepare "just in case," I was conflicted. It seemed like it was fear-based. It was making people worry - scaring people into stocking up on food, water, batteries, supplies. Encouraging people to get their gas tanks filled and have a plan in case there was an extended period without electricity. Have a full charge on cell phones. Make sure ALL clothes were washed. And on and on.

So, as a person who chooses not to live in fear and worry, you can understand my conflict. Did I want to heed the warnings and be prepared "just in case"? Or did I want to be positive and not believe anything bad would happen? For me it was a fine line between preparing and worrying.

My decision was to prepare without worry and fear. Because I WAS prepared, I didn't HAVE to worry. And none of the preparations were wasted. I have a full tank of gas. That's good. My clothes are clean and I have a full charge on all my electronics. That's not a bad thing either. The food and water will be consumed. It's all good. I think I managed to walk that fine line without going over the edge. It was an interesting exercise for me personally.

We were very fortunate where I live. Things weren't nearly as bad as they were predicting for our area. There was some wind damage and sporadic power outages, but over all Sandy wasn't a big deal for us. My love and prayers go out to all the people who weren't as fortunate. Please join me. They'll need our love, prayers and help for a long time to come.

Love, Paula

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Most Important Relationship

Last week I wrote about relationships. But the one relationship I left out was the most important one of all... your relationship with yourself.
It seems like the most important relationship is the one we ignore the most. We spend less time on taking care of ourselves than we do taking care of others. We've been taught that it's selfish to put ourselves first. In reality, that's exactly what we all SHOULD be doing. If you don't "feed" yourself, you will have nothing to give to anyone else. You need to eat and exercise so you have physical strength. You need to read, play games, have intellectual and philosophical discussions to exercise and feed your brain. You should pray, meditate, be in nature to feed and exercise your soul. THEN you will be ready and able to be of service to others without depleting yourself. Even in an airplane they tell you that in case of emergency put YOUR oxygen mask on first, THEN help others.

We also seem to have a hard time forgiving ourselves. It's easier to forgive others for hurts or perceived hurts, but we just can't seem to extend that same kindness to ourselves. It's like we can't forgive ourselves for being human. As humans, we're going to make mistakes. That's inevitable. But after making the mistakes and after asking for forgiveness from those we may have hurt, we HAVE to forgive ourselves.

The most important lesson I tried to teach my children while they were growing up is this: You can run away from anyone or everyone. You can be a hermit in the forest and never see another human being the rest of your life. But the one person you can't run away from is yourself. No matter where you go, YOU will be there with YOU. So make sure that's someone you like.

Love, Paula

Monday, October 22, 2012

Relationships

Relationships take work. It doesn't matter what kind of relationship -- romantic, sibling, friend, mother, father, son, daughter, co-worker -- it takes work.


When relationships are new, we only see the good and wonderful things about that person. But as the relationship matures, we tend to become less infatuated. Now the work begins.

We have to accept people for who they ARE, not who we THOUGHT they were, just as we want them to accept us. We have to accept their faults and work around them, just as we want them to accept ours. Don't try to change anyone because the truth is, the only person you can change is yourself. Don't dwell on the things about them that irritate you. That will only magnify them - make them seem bigger than they really are. Keep looking for their good points. Everyone has them. Remember what attracted you to that person in the first place in the case of a romantic or friendship relationship. Look for everyone's good qualities and amplify THAT. If you slip up -- and being human, you probably will -- just pick yourself up and start over again.

Like I said, it takes work and it's not always easy. But if it's a relationship you want to hang onto, it will be worth the effort.

Love, Paula

Monday, October 15, 2012

Evolution

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I attended a spiritual fair in the Cleveland area several weeks ago to see James Twyman. I wrote about the concept of spiriting through problems instead of spiriting around them.


There was another topic that really spoke to me. I was fortunate to be able to attend a small group reception before the actual talk. There were only six of us and James Twyman. It was like sitting in your home with friends having a discussion. Someone asked, "If we're supposed to be evolving, why are so many awful things happening around the world and why does it seem like things are getting worse instead of better?"

His answer surprised me. He said that most people imagine evolution as a slow, steady climb - like a long straight line from the bottom to the top. He said that is not the way it goes at all. It's like the human race is moving toward a brick wall. The closer they get, the more momentum they build (problems, discord) until they hit it. Then there's no place to go but up. So... we jump up. That's how we reach a new plateau in evolution.

I hope he's right. There is so much strife in our country and around the world. His explanation of evolution gives me hope... hope for humanity and the planet. It feels like the momentum is reaching it's peak. I'm seeing the brick wall.

Ready?..... JUMP!!!

Love, Paula

Monday, October 8, 2012

Gratitude


There are so many things we have to be grateful for. Most of us have homes, families, extended families, friends, food, sources of income, our health. I'm sure everyone could add many more things to their own personal list. Hopefully you take the time to express your gratitude to your God, Universe, Creator Being, All That Is, or whatever you call your Source. By being grateful, REALLY grateful, you attract more of those wonderful things into your life.

But there are so many other things that we almost never even think about that we should also be grateful for. Our heart beats without us even thinking about it. We see, we hear, we talk, we walk and most of us never give it a thought. Our blood flows, we breathe, our bowels and kidneys work, our wounds heal and we hardly notice. There's a whole universe working inside of us twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We are an amazing machine and most of us never even take notice. It seems like we only notice when things AREN'T working, not when they ARE.

Here's my idea. If gratitude helps attract more of what you're grateful for, how about if we start being grateful for ALL of it. Be grateful for our wonderful bodies and all the systems that we know about, and the ones we don't know about, that keep us healthy and living without having to think about it. What if we were totally grateful? What if we started thinking about all those things we now take for granted? What if we started giving thanks for all of it? MAYBE it would help us to start being healthier... start feeling better. It's just an idea. It certainly wouldn't take much effort. I think it's worth trying. I've already started. How about you?

Love, Paula


Monday, October 1, 2012

Aging


In talking to a friend the other night, the subject of age came up. This particular friend had a problem turning 60. Being 60 was okay, but telling people she was 60 was hard for her to do.

I have another friend who had the same problem with 70. She doesn't mind being 70, but when she has to tell people she's 70, she feels old and feels like other people think she's old.

It made me stop and think about age and aging. So far I've been good with every age I've acquired. I'm actually embracing my aging process. I really enjoy being a crone. I'm honored to share any wisdom I may have with younger people that ask. I'm excited to watch them question and explore at such young ages. They're doing things in their 20s and 30s that I didn't even think of until I was in my late 40s and 50s. It makes me so hopeful for the future.

I'm having so much fun. Life is treating me well. I don't know how I'll deal with age in the future, but for now all I can say is age is no big deal for me. It's just a number and LIFE IS GOOD!!!

Love, Paula


Monday, September 24, 2012

Being Human

I went to a spiritual fair a couple of weeks ago in the Cleveland area. I enjoyed the whole experience, but the main reason I went was to attend a seminar by James Twyman. I also had the opportunity to meet with him in a small group before the talk. He spoke for over two hours about many wonderful things and introduced several new and different concepts.

The concept that most resonated with me was, "to spirit your way through a problem and not spirit your way around a problem." In other words, it's okay to be human. Even though you know things like "everything happens for a reason" and "everything is the way it's supposed to be," it's okay to feel your human feelings. Go through the pain, grief or whatever. Let your spiritual beliefs help you THROUGH these feelings. Don't "use" your spiritual beliefs to go around your feelings. Even though we're working on evolving and enlightenment, we're still human. If we don't allow ourselves to feel our feelings, we set ourselves up for future problems either physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally.

I guess I needed to hear that, so I'm assuming some of you may need to hear it too. It's like if I really believe in the things I say I believe in, why am I feeling grief, pain, depression or whatever I may be feeling? The answer is simple... I'm human. And I'm okay with that.

Love, Paula



Monday, September 17, 2012

Personal Power

There are things I just KNOW, but being human, I occasionally forget. I know that we are powerful, creator beings. Unfortunately, I often give away my power. Let me try to explain.
We have the power every single minute of every single day to be happy, sad, angry, upset, or at peace no matter what is going on around us. It's a CHOICE. We can let things that people say or do upset us. But the minute we do that, we've given away our power. We've given them the power to upset us. Does that make sense? We can respond with anger or discontent OR we can choose to hold on to our personal power and be at peace. The choice is ALWAYS ours.

There are other ways in which we give away our power. Many of us are "people pleasers." We just want everyone to be happy so we agree to do things that don't even really make sense just to make them happy.

Recently a friend and I were going to an event together out of town. I was going to drive. She lives in a nearby town and wanted me to go there to pick her up. She said it would be closer. I agreed... gave away my power to please her. Eventually with the help of another friend, I realized that this wasn't the best idea. We talked and decided to meet at a more convenient place for BOTH of us. I didn't want to take her power, but I also didn't want her to take mine. She realized that the original plan was closer for her, not me. By changing the plan, we both got to keep our personal power and enjoyed a special day.

I'm not talking about being aggressive, bossy and always having to have our own way. It's not that kind of power. It's the power of choice. Being human there will probably be times when we slip up. But as soon as we realize it, we can take back our power and continue to be happy and at peace.

Love, Paula

Monday, September 10, 2012

Is Your Mission Complete?

I believe we're all here for a reason... many reasons, actually. Some we'll realize, some we won't ever know. Several of us have children. We could say that the reason we're here is because we were supposed to have these children. I'm sure that is true, but that's only a part of it.

Many people live LARGE lives. They become mayors, congressman, senators, presidents. They invent cars, airplanes, telephones, computers. They become movie stars, pop singers, directors, executives. You get the idea. LARGE lives.

Most of us don't fall into that category. Only a very small portion of the world will know we even existed. But that doesn't make our existence any less important or valuable. I mentioned in a previous blog that we ALL have our own piece of the puzzle to bring forth and share. The puzzle isn't complete until our piece is placed. Even though we perceive that what we do and say is insignificant, we may never know what impact it has on someone else. I'll give you a couple of examples.
I have a friend who was going through a difficult time in her life. Occasionally after work we would get together and walk. Obviously while walking, we did a lot of talking. I mostly let her talk so she could vent and work out her problems. She made a life changing decision and things were going better for her. Years later in a conversation, she told me that what I said to her changed her life. I had no idea what she was talking about. She said I told her that if she only looked for minimum wage jobs, that's all she was going to find. She said it was like a slap in the face and the wake up call she needed.

I used to have these little cards that looked like business cards. On them were the words, "Thank you for being who you are. Who you are is wonderful and what you do is important". The idea was to leave them discretely with people you thought should have them. Once when I was having my yearly "pap," they had a nurse practitioner give it to me. She was wonderful, kind and did a great job. I left one of the cards in the exam room hoping she would find it later that day. Instead, she found it right away and ran out to give me a hug and thank me. She had a tear in her eye and said how much she needed that right then. She had just been told that they were cutting back on staff and she was being let go.

A friend of mine who was my mother's hospice nurse in her final days told me that mom asked her why she couldn't just die. My friend told her that she wasn't finished with her work yet. She still had a life to touch with something she might say or do. Mom asked if she really believed that and my friend answered, "Absolutely."

These are examples that I know about. Hopefully there are many, many more that I'll never know about. The same goes for all of us. You never know if that smile, compliment, hug or kind word were just exactly what someone needed right then. It may even change their lives.

So if you ever feel unimportant or that you're not doing much with your life, remember that you may be touching others just by being you.

Here's a simple test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. If you're alive, it isn't.

Love, Paula

Monday, September 3, 2012

"It's Today!"

The Erie Community Foundation is an entity set up to invest in local charities and non-profit organizations. Every year they designate a day where they match gifts of $25 or more that are donated. It's called "Erie Gives." Of course all the local charities advertise however they can to try to get as many donations as possible that day because the donations double.

In a couple of other blogs I've quoted signs that I've seen on my way to work. The sign I've quoted most is in front of The Regional Cancer Center, a local non-profit organization.

The other day on my way to work the sign read, "It's Today!" I thought to myself, how cool is that?! It doesn't say much yet it says everything. Celebrate today. Be conscious. Be present. Don't dwell on the past, it's over. Don't worry about the future, it's not here yet. It's today. Let's just be here now and celebrate that. That's where my mind went.

I eventually realized what they were REALLY saying. It was Erie Gives day. They wanted to remind people that "It's Today" so they would hopefully donate to their cause.

OOPS!!!!!

Love, Paula

Monday, August 27, 2012

Listening

In last week's blog I talked about getting together with a friend who was going through the same things I'm going through. It occurred to me that it might be helpful to you if I shared those things with you.

In January, I had bunion surgery on my left foot. Two years ago I had the same surgery on my right foot and had no problems. This time the foot wouldn't heal. I'm still using a bone stimulating machine on it to help it heal... over six months later.

While camping, I fell over the gate on a trailer that I KNEW was down. I "flapped" the palm on my left hand and I injured the index finger of my left hand. The palm has healed but left a scar. The index finger hasn't healed and is weak. I'm left handed.

Then while playing with my grandchildren, something snapped in my left buttocks. It's healing but is still sore.

Finally, I lost a filling in a tooth on the left side of my mouth. I went to the dentist. He worked on me for over an hour. When it came time to scrap and shape the filling, it fell out. I have to go back and he's going to put pins in it to hold it in. I never heard of such a thing.

All of these things happened on my left side and, except for the bunion surgery, everything happened within a month and a half. My friend is having left side issues also. It FINALLY occurred to me that maybe the universe was trying to get my attention.

I started asking friends if they "got" anything on this. My first friend told me that the left side is the receiving side. She said that there is something there for me but I don't "see" it so I keep tripping over it.

Other friends mentioned that the left side is also the feminine side. They feel that I need to do things that feed the feminine... massages, readings, dancing, window shopping, meditating, spending time alone in nature, spending time with female friends, things like that. Both of those suggestions seem to apply.

My point in telling you all this is that it is so important to live consciously. Pay attention to your body, your life, and all that is going on around you. Sometimes random things just happen. But if a couple of things happen, pay attention to that. MAYBE there's a lesson there. MAYBE the universe is trying to get your attention. Listen, learn the lesson, and grow.

Love, Paula


Monday, August 20, 2012

Gifts

In my blog "Support," I was looking to form a little group for anyone needing support to accomplish their goals and dreams. The other day, I got together with a friend I haven't seen for about a year. While talking we discovered we were going through the exact same thing. I'm not talking similar, I'm talking EXACT! It was unbelievable. It was like we were the same person. We decided that we were going to get together more frequently to talk, give each other Reiki and generally support each other. It was an unexpected surprise and a wonderful gift for me.

As I've mentioned before, we need to let go of expectations and preconceived ideas. We need to remain flexible. I was looking for support through the Internet. And if that happens, I'm still open to it and will enjoy and appreciate it. But apparently the Universe had a different idea and felt I needed something more personal. So I was reconnected with a friend going through the same thing I'm going through. These kind of serendipitous things happen for me all the time and I AM so grateful.

Believe me though, I'm not any more special than anyone else. If you take the time to look around you and really SEE, the things you need and are looking for are there for you. They may not come the way you expected, but they're there.

Love, Paula


Monday, August 13, 2012

Goals

On my way to work every day I pass by a business that puts sayings on a sign outside. Their latest one is, "A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline." This seemed to fit with last week's blog. It's like the Universe is trying to get through to me.

Last week I talked about a couple of my passions. I ended the blog with a call of support for our goals and dreams. Reading this quote made me realize at least one of the things I'm not doing. I had no real plan and I definitely don't have a deadline. So this quote has given me a place to start.

In order to manifest a hospice house, I should probably know a little more about the inner workings of hospice. So I've decided to volunteer at one of our local hospices. That's HUGE for me. It's the start of a plan. It's forward movement. It's a small step in the right direction.

I'm excited to have at least made that resolve. Now I have to decide which hospice to volunteer at. There are so many and I'm sure they all do good work. My hope is that I can find a hospice that will allow me to utilize my Reiki skills with their clients.

Now I have a dream and the start of a plan. I ALMOST have a goal according to the above definition.

Love, Paula

Monday, August 6, 2012

Support

"To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did." I have absolutely LOVED that saying since the very first time I read it over a year and a half ago. So much so that I printed it out on an index card and have it displayed on my desk at work so I can read it every day. It just makes so much sense.

Yet my life hasn't changed. Do you know why? I keep doing the same things I've always done. It's easy. It's safe. It's comfortable. It's familiar. It's habit. But it doesn't help to change things. I have a couple of passions I'd like to see manifest, e.g. Transition Rooms in nursing homes which I wrote about in my blog, and a community hospice house. Writing about them and talking about them is at least something I guess. But like the saying says I need to "DO something I never did." I'm not sure exactly what that is yet, but I think I'm FINALLY ready to move forward with it.

How about you? Is there something in your life that you'd like to accomplish? If so, let's move forward together. Let's do something we never did. You'll probably be hearing about my progress (or lack of progress) through my blogs. But I'd love to hear about your progress. You can leave a comment at the end of this blog or contact me at paula@lovepaula.net. Let's start our own little support group while we're accomplishing our goals and dreams.

Love, Paula

Monday, July 30, 2012

Still Learning

I was recently asked to give Reiki to a client. This person was someone with whom I've had a tentative relationship. Here's the wonderful thing about Reiki: it's an energy that heals at physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. Also, since it's channeled through the Reiki practitioner, some of the energy stays with the practitioner so they receive healing as well as the client.
This person came to me because of a physical problem. The Reiki definitely gave this person immediate relief and they were very grateful for that. But from my perspective, what I saw happening was that our personal relationship was healing. That is a special and unexpected gift for me.

As I mentioned in a previous blog (Lesson Learned... Hopefully), "When called into service, go with an open mind and heart. Allow the process to unfold the way it's supposed to unfold without getting in the way." Guess I'm still learning.

Love, Paula

Monday, July 23, 2012

What's Stopping You?

I think most of us have dreams of things we would like to do: travel, go back to school, start a business, retire, change careers, try a new hobby, write a book. The list can go on and on. Well...

WHAT'S STOPPING YOU?

That is usually a layered question. If you really want to do something but you just can't seem to get yourself there, ask, "What's stopping me?" Write down the first thing that comes into you head. Then ask it again. Write, Again, Write. Again, Write. Continue until you can't think of another reason. I'm betting I know what the final answer will be.

YOU

Ultimately, the only thing that's keeping you from your dreams is you. Once you are willing to accept responsibility for that, you can begin to change your thoughts and change your life.


Love, Paula

Monday, July 16, 2012

Family Values

I was challenged by something I read to define and understand what family values means to me. With all the political rhetoric being tossed around, it seems more important than ever for me to find my own meaning.


There are the traditional families; mother, father, children. There are the unmarried father, mother, children. There is the married couple with no children. The same sex couple that is unmarried. Same sex couple that is married. The same sex couple with children. There are single people either by choice, widowhood, or divorced with children. There is the extended family. There is family connected by a cause, an interest, a passion, or a shared experience. There is the human family. All of these fall into my definition of family.

I believe the definition of family and family values is personal and should be decided by each person or family individually. This is something that should not be regulated by our government or politicians. It should also not be regulated by our religions. The founders of all of our major religions were kind, forgiving and accepting beings... Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, God. Are we saying that they were wrong? That we (religions) know better than they did? If so, then why even follow a religion?

And the founders of our country stated that we ALL have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As long as no one is getting hurt, then the government... the politicians... should stay out of it.

Everyone has the right to pursue happiness in their own way and decide their own family values. I personally have my traditional family, a spiritual family, an extended biological family, and of course the human family. Some of those families even overlap.

If we're REALLY a free nation, let "We The People" decide for ourselves our own definition of family and family values as long as it doesn't infringe on anyone else's freedom.

Love, Paula


Monday, July 9, 2012

Everything Old is New Again

As I was washing dishes after supper the other night, the song "Everything Old Is New Again" popped into my head. You see that happening a lot in fashion, but the reason it popped into my head while doing the dishes is because of my newly purchased frying pans.

As I mentioned in a previous blog ("Mom Knew"), I'm very interested in nutrition and good health. In my reading I'm finding out that even the pots and pans we use to cook our food in are important. Research is finding non-stick and aluminum cookware my be a contributing factor to many illnesses - several cancers and Alzheimer's to name a couple. Stainless steel is a good option, but it appears cast iron is the best option. Cast iron was discarded by many people because it is very heavy and also takes a lot of care so that it doesn't rust. The up side of it is that as you cook, iron leaches into the food. Our soil is becoming more depleted of iron all the time and most of us have a least a minor iron deficiency. Women have more of an iron deficiency problem for obvious reasons. I don't know about anyone else, but when I took iron supplements I would get constipated, so I quit taking them. Cooking in cast iron is an excellent way to consume more iron naturally without the side effects.

Our moms, grandmas and great grandmas had it right. With these "new scientific breakthroughs," we're finally catching up with them. "Everything Old IS New Again".

Love, Paula


Monday, July 2, 2012

Potential




We all have our own gifts, interests, talents, missions, inspirations, ideas and insights. Some seem bigger and more important than others, but the truth is that they are all equally important. We all have a job to do so to speak, and the whole won't be complete unless all the pieces are in place. Think of life as one huge jigsaw puzzle. It doesn't matter how big or small a piece is. The puzzle is not complete until all the pieces - big and small - are put together. We all have at least one piece to that puzzle. It's our responsibility to bring it (or them) forth to share with the world and complete the puzzle.

Notice I said "share" with the world. That seems to be another concept that many people struggle with. We're always so protective of what is "ours." The fact is, it isn't ours personally. It's ours as a whole... as a species... as a resident of earth. It's ours to share. We need to take to heart the saying, "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." It loses nothing and has helped another candle reach it's potential. We need to share our light and help all those other candles out there to reach their potential, just as they are helping us to reach ours.

Love, Paula


Monday, June 25, 2012

Lesson Learned... Hopefully



I am a Reiki Master Teacher. I have been for over ten years now. Being a Reiki Master Teacher means that not only can I administer Reiki Therapy to clients, but I can also teach Reiki to students and certify them as Reiki practitioners and Reiki Masters. Sounds like I'm pretty knowledgeable and really have it all together, huh? Guess again. It's amazing to me that the more I know, I find that there's so much more to learn. That's the only thing I know for sure.

I have a client that is failing. She has had diabetes for years and it's starting to win. She has neuropathy, diminishing kidney function, congestive heart failure and is in constant pain. I was asked by one of her relatives to give her Reiki. I hesitated because she didn't ask. Ethically, the client has to ask. It has to be their choice because in reality, any healing that occurs is done by them. A Reiki practitioner simply channels energy to assist the client's body, mind and spirit in healing itself. Her relative then asked her if she would be open to Reiki. She said yes so I went over to work with her.

What was interesting to me was that it really wasn't about the Reiki. Don't get me wrong, the Reiki helped to temporarily ease the pain. But what this client seemed to need most was someone she could talk with openly and honestly about her circumstance and about death and dying. She wouldn't talk to her family about those things because she doesn't want to worry them. But she needs to talk about these things to someone. Reiki was an excellent way to make myself available to the client for that purpose.

The lesson in all this is that we should not have preconceived ideas or expectations. When called into service, go with an open mind and heart. Allow the process to unfold the way it's supposed to unfold without getting in the way.


Love, Paula

Monday, June 18, 2012

Stay Flexible



Let me tell you about a day I had recently. Here was my plan: My brother had to have some minor surgery. I was going to pick him up at 7 AM to have him at registration at the hospital by 7:20. His surgery was scheduled for 9:15 and was supposed to take about a half hour. After surgery he would be in post-op for an hour. Then he was to go to "Short Stay" until he ate something and they knew he was stable. We should have been out of the hospital by 1:00 at the latest. Dena asked if I could watch the kids for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Since my grandkids are my greatest pleasure I said, "No problem." I'd watch any or all of them any time for any reason or no reason at all. It was to be a full but great day. I would help my brother out and then my reward would be spending time with the grandkids. A perfect plan.

Here is what happened: I picked up my brother at 7 AM and had him to the hospital in plenty of time to register and to get to pre-op. In pre-op we found out that his surgery was pushed back because there was an emergency. He was not taken back until 11:00. I was informed his surgery started at 11:35. At noon the doctor came out to tell me he was done, everything went great and Bill would be in post-op for about an hour. Later a nurse came over to give me a room number. When Bill got there, he was sore, but awake and alert. His vitals were all good so we ordered him something to eat and drink. That went well so he was allowed to get ready to leave. The nurse had to get his discharge papers ready. THE COMPUTER CRASHED!!! Any chance I had of spending time with the grandkids was quickly dwindling. I was so disappointed and I started getting edgy and anxious. I had to remember to surrender to the situation. I had to recall the Serenity Prayer and have the wisdom to know that this was a situation that I had no control over. It was no one's fault. It was just an unexpected set of circumstances.

After we left the hospital, I had to take Bill to the pharmacy to get prescription pain medication. I got him back to his apartment after 4:00. I got home around 4:30. Dena no longer needed me to watch the kids. She worked around it.

It was an exhausting day, but I believe there is a lesson in everything and everything happens for a reason. So when I got home, I reflected on the happenings of the day. I feel my lesson in this is to be more flexible. It's okay to make plans, but you also have to be able to go with the flow. I share this with you in case you ever have a similar situation. Remember to be flexible. It will save you a lot of stress.

Love, Paula


Monday, June 11, 2012

Feelings


Joe and Helen were here visiting which is why I didn't post a blog last week. I just enjoyed their visit and spending time with them and the rest of the family. While Joe was home, we had the opportunity to have several one-on-one discussions. I think that is my favorite part of our visits. I love just talking with him and sharing ideas.

Because of a fairly recent death of a family member, one of our conversations turned to grieving. People always seem to want to comfort, which is fine; but it seems to make people uncomfortable when a grieving person cries. Joe remarked that it should be all right to just cry. We should be able to feel our feelings so that we can work through them. He's right. We should be able to feel our loss, our grief, our emptiness, our anger, and whatever else comes up. Science and the medical community are now starting to agree. They're finding out that when people suppress their feelings, it can cause illness. There is a belief that suppressing feelings can be one cause of such illnesses as arthritis, heart disease and even cancer.

I think it would be better to just "be" with a person who is mourning. Let them talk, let them vent, let them cry, even cry with them. That's much more helpful than speaking perceived comforting words to try to stop them from crying. Right or wrong, when a loss is "fresh" most people want you to feel as badly as they do. They would like your world to stop, just like theirs has.

This doesn't just apply to grieving. We should feel our feelings whatever the circumstance so we can work our way through them and let them go. This will help us to lead fuller, richer lives.

Love, Paula


Monday, May 28, 2012

Time for a Change?

I've always thought there must be a better way as far as the education system is concerned. Don't get me wrong, I have a great respect for teachers. I believe that most teachers are very loving, concerned, caring, and committed. Unfortunately, the system as it exists ties their hands. There's a "mold" that they have to try to fit all children into. There's not a lot of room for individualism.

I believe each child - each person for that matter - has their own special gifts, talents and interests. The "mold"... the establishment... doesn't always allow students to explore the things that are of interest to them. Who decided that we should all graduate knowing the exact same things, like little robots?

Albert Einstein said, "Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it's stupid." Is that what we're doing to our children? To our society? Are we making people feel stupid because they don't fit into the mold? Maybe those "stupid fish" are the smartest of us all. I look forward to a time when all people will be celebrated for who they are, for their individual genius.


Love, Paula



Monday, May 21, 2012

Guided Meditation


My oldest grandson Luis and I have been talking about getting together to meditate for almost a year now. Between his schedule and mine, we just haven't been able to make it happen yet. We finally made a "date" though. We'll be getting together in a few days.

While I was in that wonderful state between awake and asleep last night, I was "given" the following guided meditation to do with Luis. I did it myself and it left me feeling great. I wanted to share it with you.
Take a deep breath..... let it out.
Take another deep breath..... let it out.
With the next "in" breath, breathe in the love of the Universe.
Feel the love enter your body.
Feel it start at your toes and move up your legs..... your hands..... your arms.
It's now filling your whole body.
Feel your heart expanding. It's filled with so much love, you think it might burst.
Now, on your next "out" breath, send love to Mother Earth and all her inhabitants.
With the next "out" breath, send love to the whole universe.
Breathe out love - give it freely.
Continue breathing in love and out love..... in love..... out love.
Stay in this state as long as you're comfortable or as time allows. Let me know how it works for you.

Love, Paula

Monday, May 14, 2012

Unwrap the Present


On my way to work today, I saw a sign which read, "Don't count the days. Make the days count." Brilliant! I love it.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we lived our lives that way? Most of us tend to look forward to upcoming events and we forget to LIVE all the days leading up to that event. If we're planning a vacation for example, we count down the days. And the days leading up to it are filled with packing, planning, shopping and dreaming about our expectations. We don't LIVE those days. It can't come quick enough and we wish our lives away. Instead of enjoying today, we dream about how much better and more fun tomorrow is going to be... or the next day... or the next day.

Joe and Helen are coming to Erie at the end of this month for a week. I'm so excited and can't wait to see them. And guess what I'm doing? I'm planning food, treats, where we might go and when we might go there. I'm counting down the days and can't wait until they get here. I'm wishing my life away.

Now don't get me wrong, planning is a good thing. There are things you might have to get ready before going on a trip or having company. That's okay as long as you don't let it consume you. Plan, but plan consciously and live the day... the WHOLE day. We need to learn to enjoy every moment of every day. As the saying goes, "Each day is a gift. That's why it's called the present." Let's learn to unwrap the present to enjoy and live every moment of every day.

Love, Paula


Monday, May 7, 2012

The Planetarium

Tom and I took our youngest grandchildren Troy and Maria to the Planetarium for the first time this weekend. I'm not sure how much Maria got out of it. She's only three years old. But Troy, who is five, was wide-eyed with excitement and curiosity. He's at such a great age. He has this wonderful, natural curiosity and absorbs information like a sponge.

It reminded me of the first time that I took my grandson Tommy to the planetarium. He was around Troy's age. About a week before we went, I told him where I was planning to take him. A few days later he said, "Grandma, what planet are you taking me to?" When I said the planetarium, he heard the planet Tarium. Talk about love and trust...! He was so confident of my love that he knew I'd never do anything that would hurt him. He trusted me so much that he was willing to go to another planet with me... no questions asked.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to have that much excitement for life? To recapture that innocence, love and trust? To get back to being open; not guarded, protective and jaded? I believe that is our real nature. Life experiences, expectations of family, friends and society has taken that away from most of us. But by being around children, we can recapture some of that wonder and excitement. They can teach us how if we watch and listen. I'm so fortunate to have such wonderful little teachers in my life. I hope that all of you are as fortunate as I am.

Love, Paula


Monday, April 30, 2012

Mom Knew

You probably wouldn't guess this by looking at me, but I'm very interested in nutrition and good health. I was reading an article the other day about eating seasonally for good health. Eat what is in season in your part of the world. That will help you to be more healthy naturally. The heavier foods of the north should probably never be eaten by people in the tropics. Foods that are in season in the summer should not be eaten in the winter. There are several reasons for this. If you eat seasonally and locally, you get fresher foods with better taste and more nutrients. Also, the foods of spring and summer help cool you off. The foods of fall and winter help you heat up. There is a natural order and divine plan in all of this. If we would stop believing we are smarter than "mother nature" we would be healthier and happier. It just makes sense.


Reading this article reminded me of a wisdom that mom imparted to me decades ago. I was probably around eleven or twelve years old. We had a lovely grape arbor right outside our back door. In the fall, all you could smell was the wonderful aroma of concord grapes. And all we had to do was open the door, pick all the grapes we wanted and eat our fill. Obviously there were consequences to eating so many grapes... use you imagination.

Talking to mom all those years ago I remember her telling me that you should always eat what was in season. She told me that it was a natural way to cleanse your system and get all the nutrition you needed. The older I get, the more amazed I am at how really intelligent my parents were. I wish I knew it then. Maybe I would have listened better or taken notes. Thankfully some of their wisdom stayed with me so I can use it and share it with you.

Love, Paula

Monday, April 23, 2012

Words

Powerful... sweet... angry... compassionate... caring... hurtful... vengeful... bitter... healing... loving... sympathetic... CREATIVE.

Words are powerful, creative tools. Let me explain. Have you ever been around people who complain all the time? You know the ones. Nothing in life seems to make them happy. They complain about their house, job, kids, money, lack of money, spouse, health, and on and on. I call them Eeyores - you know, the little blue donkey with the permanent cloud over his head from "Winnie The Pooh."  They love to complain. They LIVE to complain. Did you ever notice that they always seem to have something new to complain about? That's because their words are creative. By always complaining, they draw more things to complain about. And they love it. Knowingly or unknowingly, they love the drama. They love being the center of attention. They love people's sympathy. They love to tell their stories. And that's fine if that's the way you choose to live your life. No judgements.

Conversely, have you been around people who are happy all the time? Nothing seems to get them down. They smile and laugh easily. They light up the room when they walk in. Good things seem to happen for them. Their life is good.

How do you feel when you're around the Eeyores? I feel a heavy energy. I get tired. It's like they're energy vampires: they're sucking the life right out of me. I try not to be around them for any length of time. How do you feel when you're around happy people? I feel happy and energized. I want to be around them for as long as possible. I may have been exhausted, but then they come around and I could go on all night.

Now I'm going to let you in on a little secret. How you live your life is your choice. Every second of every day YOU can choose to be happy or miserable. It's up to you. You create your life with your thoughts, words and actions. You know the saying, "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade"? That's what I'm talking about. It doesn't necessarily mean that things won't happen to you. What's important is how you respond to those things... what your words, actions and attitudes are.

When I'm on the phone at work, in a checkout line at a store, or at the bank and someone robotically asks me, "How are you today?" I always respond with an enthusiastic "FABULOUS!" The reaction is incredible. First of all, in that moment I DO feel fabulous. I've emphatically stated it so I instantly feel it. But the fun thing is to watch other people's reactions. All of a sudden, they're out of their robotic, automatic existence. They're with me. They look at me and "see" me. They usually smile or laugh and we really connect on some level. We actually talk TO each other not AT each other and it's a nice feeling for both of us. And that all happened because of one powerful, creative word.

If you're one of those happy people, you probably don't want to change a thing. You're doing it right and are an example for the rest of us. But if you're an Eeyore and want to change -- or if you're somewhere in between (which most of us are) -- then start one word at a time. Be conscious of the words you use and how they make you and people around you feel. Believe me, it's a process. Don't be hard on yourself if you fall back into old habits. Just pick yourself up and try again... one powerful, creative word at a time.

Love, Paula

Monday, April 16, 2012

More Wisdom from Dad



wishing on a star
My grandson Tommy stayed overnight a couple of weeks ago.  My husband Tom was out of town so it was just the two of us.  He's an amazing kid.  He wanted to sit out on the patio at night under the stars and talk.  We identified constellations and planets.  He's 10 years old and he knows more about that than I do.   It was fun and interesting listening to and learning from him.

When we do this kind of thing, we usually end up having "philosophical" discussions.  This particular evening was no different.  We discussed thoughts, ideas, and life philosophies.  As we did, I found myself imparting some of dad's wisdoms to him.

Dad always told me to be open to everything.  There's so much we don't know.  You don't have to agree with or assimilate everything, but you should always have an open mind and be open to the possibility.  "If you are always doing the talking, you can't learn anything new."  Think about that one.  It is the absolute truth.  You learn new things by listening to others or by reading.  Also you should listen to what everyone has to say, then YOU decide what's right for YOU.  Since he told me that, I have tried to live this way.  This philosophy has served me well.

These wisdoms have impacted my life profoundly.  They're very much a part of who I am and how I live my life every day.  You know how they say that when a loved one passes on, they still live on inside you.  They've become part of you; part of who you are.  And now I find myself passing my father's wisdoms on to my grandchildren.  So even though dad never had the opportunity to meet my grandchildren, through me he's living on in them.  I like that.

Love, Paula

Monday, April 9, 2012

Everybody

I woke up this morning with the words, "Everybody, everybody wants to love. Everybody, everybody wants to be loved," from the song "Everybody." Those two lines kept playing in my head all day. I was in the middle of writing a different blog, but apparently this one wanted to be written first.

Everybody wants to love. Everybody wants to be loved. There it is, the answer to everything. Think about it. That's what life is all about. Loving and being loved. Giving and receiving love. If we can always remember that, it may help us understand the actions of the people around us and around the world.


Observe the happy, self confident people. I would bet that they KNOW that they're loved. It's something they've always had, so they have this confidence about them. They know that they're lovable because they've always had love. It's just there and there's no doubting it. It's almost taken for granted because they've never known anything else.

Now let's look at the people who are sad, angry, acting out. These are people who are probably lacking love. They haven't had love, at least not real, unconditional love, so they don't understand love. "If I have more things, people will love me." "If I have more money, people will love me." "If I have the right job, get accepted to the right school, am seen at the right places, people will love me." "If I join a gang, at least THEY'LL love me." Of course, those things don't work. That's not really love. All those things are about false respect and acceptance. And no matter how much you achieve, you still feel empty. That's because those things have nothing to do with love.

Love, real love, doesn't require you to do anything or be anything. It's just there. It's inside you. It's outside of you. It IS you. You don't earn it. You just breathe it in and receive it.

You should give love the same way. Just give it. No one should have to BE anything or DO anything in order to receive your love. Love them just because they are; they exist.

Think about the possibilities. What if we all gave EVERYONE love all the time for absolutely no reason? And what if EVERYONE in the world started feeling that love? What if they started KNOWING that they were loved, just because? Do you think maybe crime would go down? Maybe there would be less mental illness. Less illness in general. Less suicide. Less road rage. More kindness. More compassion. Who knows, but don't you think it's worth a try? And it costs nothing... but love. Let's give it a try and see what happens.

Love, Paula

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dad's Wisdom

As I was growing up in the 50's and 60's, my father would give me "wisdoms."  Some were funny.   "Make sure your best friends are heavier than you so you always look good."  "Even if the latest style is mini skirts, if you have fat legs you should cover them up."  And some were quite profound.  (Check out my previous blog "Winter Wisdom" posted January 9, 2012.)

I thought, "Wouldn't it be great to compile a book of dad's wisdom's for my brother, sisters, myself and our children?"  I didn't have enough on my own, so I thought I'd ask my siblings.  First I called my sister Candy and told her my idea.  She said dad never imparted wisdom to her.  I gave her a couple of examples.  No, he never talked to her like that.  Then I called Sharon.  We had pretty much the same conversation.  I didn't even call Bill; I was pretty sure I'd get the same response.  So much for the book idea.

I thought the whole thing was quite interesting.  Why would he impart such wonderful wisdom to me and not the others?

Maybe it was family placement.  My sister Sharon once told me that we're all born into a different family.   That didn't make sense to me.  She then explained: She was born to mom and dad; Candy was born to mom, dad and Sharon; Bill was born to mom, dad, Sharon and Candy; and I was born to mom, dad, Sharon, Candy and Bill.  I never thought of it that way.  So maybe dad was so busy helping raise four kids that he didn't have time to impart wisdom.  Or maybe he just had more years of reading and life experience by the time I came around so he had more wisdom to impart and I was the lucky recipient.  Or maybe it was because I took the time to really listen to dad.

Dad loved to fish.  All of us were welcome to go with him, but sometimes you had to be up and ready to go at 5 AM.  Most often I was the only one willing to do that.  It was hard getting out of bed that early on a Saturday or Sunday morning, but it was SO worth it.  Dad would make breakfast for the two of us and off we'd go.  I could care less about the fishing, but I savored my alone time with dad.  He had a way of making me feel special and important.  He would talk with me, not at me.  We would discuss topics like politics, history, and current events.  Even though I was little, he listened to me and made me feel like my thoughts were as important as his or anyone's.  I would hang on his every word.  I couldn't believe that my brother or sisters didn't want to share this special time with dad, but I was grateful that they didn't.  I guess that's when he would share his wisdom.  I know he would have shared with them too if he had the opportunity, but I'd prefer to think that I was special.  It was his gift to me... only me.  And I've used much of his wisdom throughout my life.  They've become part of me; part of who I am and what I believe.  So thanks for my special gifts, dad.

Love, Paula

Monday, March 26, 2012

Love Yourself (Right Where You Are)

I happened to be watching "The Today Show" last week while eating breakfast.  I looked up one time and Matt, Al, Anne and Savanna were standing outside on the plaza.  It struck me how uncomfortable they looked.


Savanna is a tall, beautiful, model looking woman.  Looking at her you'd think she had everything going for her; what every woman would like to be.  Yet there she was, slouching and looking uncomfortable with her height.

Matt and Al also looked uncomfortable with her height.  Men are supposed to be taller than women after all.  Here were these two well known, well respected, multi-millionaires looking uncomfortable with and intimidated by this tall woman.

The only one that looked the least bit comfortable in her own skin was Anne.  She is exactly what society dictates.  She's the right height and weight.  Not too short because, of course, THAT isn't good.  But still she's shorter than the men because we all know how important THAT is.  And you can't be a pound too heavy because you have this image to uphold and these clothes you have to wear and make look good.

I really felt bad for all of them AND all of us who buy into society's "rules" for how we should look, be, think, say and do.  There's no allowance for individuality and variety.  How sad that people who are too short, too tall, too heavy, too thin, too much hair, too little hair, the wrong style of hair or clothes and so on are made to feel less than, not good enough and judged.  Why can't we all love each other right where we are?  More importantly, why can't we love OURSELVES right where we are?  I think that's where we need to start.  If we love ourselves, I mean REALLY love ourselves, it won't matter what anyone else thinks.  And when we love ourselves, we send out an energy of that love and confidence that other people pick up on.  If every person did that, it would impact and peacefully change the world.  So I challenge you (and myself) to start right now working on truly loving yourself and let's see how your world will change.

Love, Paula

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring


The spring equinox is upon us.  After being couped up during the cold winter months, we all look forward to the promise of spring.  Birds are singing, flowers are starting to appear, the weather is getting warmer and all is right with the world.  It's fun.  It's exciting.  It's energizing.  We open windows to let in the fresh air.  We do our spring cleaning to get our houses in order so we're ready to emerge to the outside activities.

The spring equinox is one of two days in the year when we have equal amounts of day and night.  Equilibrium... balance.  It's a wonderful reminder to take a look at our lives and see where we might have lost our equilibrium so we can work to bring back our balance.  Let's open the windows of our hearts and minds to get a fresh, new perspective on life.  Let's clean away the cobwebs of old thought patterns and ideas to allow new ones to spring forth.  Let's get rid of all thoughts, ideas and patterns that don't serve us anymore, and prevent us from becoming who we really are and who we want to be.  Let's really "clean house," inside and out.  Then we can emerge fresh and rejuvenated into the promising energies of spring.

Love, Paula


Monday, March 5, 2012

Serenity


We have been having the most wonderful mild winter this year.  We got some snow, but not nearly as much as we usually do.  And when it did snow, it melted within a day or two.  I'm looking out the window now at beautiful sunshine and a bright blue sky.  It's actually supposed to get close to 60 degrees tomorrow... in February... in Erie...!  Awesome!!!

There are naysayers out there worrying that we're going to have to pay for this when summer comes along.  They think that we will either have a cooler than normal summer, a rainy summer, or both as a payback for this mild winter.

Worry is wasted energy.  We don't know what the summer will be like until it gets here.  There is no sense worrying about it because there is nothing we can do about it.  It's going to be what it's going to be.  My favorite prayer is the Serenity Prayer.
Lord, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.
Well, weather is something we cannot change.  There is really nothing we can do about it.  So let's just enjoy these beautiful days while we have them.  Live each day to the fullest.  And deal with whatever comes along when it gets here.

Love,  Paula

Monday, February 27, 2012

Some Good Examples



I'm finding a new appreciation these days for the simple things in life.  Walking.  Simple, right?  Well, not for me right now.  I'm very fortunate though.  I know that in a few more weeks I'll be up, walking and on my way to a total recovery.  I'll be running and playing with my grandkids in just a couple more months.

A lot of people aren't so fortunate.   Some steadily worsen.  Some for whatever reason find themselves suddenly in a wheelchair and know that they'll never walk again.

Before she passed away in 2008, my mother experienced a steady decline in her physical mobility.  It was gradual and painful.  Arthritis slowly took over her body.  She went from walking normally, to walking slowly, to walking with a cane, then a walker and then a wheelchair.  She never complained, but gracefully accepted her fate.  She took one day at a time and simply did the best she could.

A friend of mine found herself in a wheelchair by the age of 50 after a bazaar set of circumstances.  She will never be able to walk again.  After a long depression, she has come out on the other side.  She lives alone, works, does house work, cooks, and is living a full live.

I have so much admiration for both of these women and the many others that I don't know personally.  It would be so easy for them to just give up or to spend their lives complaining.  But they chose not to do that.  They chose life, They chose to live each day fully to the best of their ability knowing that their physical condition would never improve.

Knowing people like this makes me appreciate my health more.  It really helps to put things in perspective.  What's going on in my life right now is inconvenient, but I know I'll be better shortly.  I don't know if I could be as brave as my mom was and my friend and so many others are.  I hope I never have to find out.  But for now I intend to embrace my life and live it as fully as I can.

Love,  Paula

Monday, February 13, 2012

Independence vs. Dependence





As I mentioned in a previous blog, I had bunion surgery on January 24th.  This has turned my whole world upside down.  Nothing is really "normal" in my life right now.

I am basically a pretty independent woman.  If I want to do something, I do it.  If I want to go somewhere, I go.  I don't have to wait for anyone or anything.  I do things in my timeframe, when it's convenient for me... until now.

Now I find that I'm a pretty dependent woman.  I can get around the house okay with my wheeled walker.  I just kneel on the seat with my injured leg, and push myself around with my healthy leg.  It works out pretty well.  But there are limitations.  I can't get myself a cup of tea for instance, or a bowl of soup.  I have no way to transport them without spilling.  I need my hands to steer my walker.  I have a bag attached to my walker so I can transport things like bottled water, fruit and a sandwich.  But hot stuff is impossible.  So if I want something hot to eat, I have to depend on my husband, family and friends.  A task as simple as taking a shower is a team sport these days.  (I won't go into the details.)

Getting out of the house takes care, planning, and a team effort.  We have only three steps, thank God.  What a chore!!!  Thank goodness my husband is strong and healthy.  I wouldn't be able to go anywhere without him and I am very appreciative.

Being an independent person, this whole thing is very difficult for me.  I'm used to being the giver, the helper, the fixer, the one that is there for everyone if they need me.  It's hard for me to receive.  I guess that's part of the lesson in all of this for me.  By giving, you allow people to receive.  By receiving, you allow people to give.  By doing both, you allow a continual flow of energy.  Energy flows in a circular motion.  By always giving and not receiving, you cause an imbalance, a blockage.  By always receiving and not giving, you again cause an imbalance or blockage.

As I mentioned in last week's blog, imbalance causes dis-ease.  So if we want to stay healthy, we need to find that perfect balance of giving and receiving.  Let's change that old saying, "It's better to give than to receive," to "It's better to give and receive equally".  

Love,  Paula