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


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


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