Monday, September 26, 2016

The Art of Letting Go

I have been a creative soul since birth. I enjoyed drawing and coloring when I was young. Then once I got married I was introduced to the crafting world and got my first glue gun! Since then I had tried at least every craft hobby at least once. My favorites have been painting, cross-stitch and scrapbooking. I had a little dream that someday I would have a craft studio in my house so that each time I felt the urge to create, my kitchen table would not look like a disaster. For the most part art or the act of being creative has always been an outlet for me, a stress reliever and even a peaceful meditation. But lately something was different, I was getting craft supplies from friends and my collection of supplies for the first time was overflowing which became overwhelming. Rather than being excited at this windfall, it actually caused me a great deal of stress. I had too much stuff and not enough time to do it all. I could not decide what to make and my creative mojo had left the building. I then noticed other parts of my organized life following suit. I became overwhelmed at the books I brought home from the library book sale. They were lovely and I had the intent to read them, but there they sat on the book shelf every night like a reminder of something else I didn’t have time to do. Finally, my little pantry in my kitchen that is really my hutch began to taunt me as well. You know you have too much of this and too much of that and there are expiration dates on those items! And don’t even get me started on the spices! Which ones hadn’t I used in the last few months and needed to toss? I had no idea! So basically I was in my own little tornado that I myself had created. By praying and asking for abundance, boy did I get abundance. Even a few extra pounds snuck in too-Drat! I realized I was using my creativity in a bad way and creating an anxious environment that was affecting me like never before. I came to the conclusion that I know where the craft store, library and grocery store are located if I need to craft, read or cook. So I cleaned out my pantry and in the process put aside items I will donate to a local thrift store. I took the books I got from the library and gave them to my co-worker who desperately needed some reading material for her Jewish holiday time. I went through my craft items, shared some with friends and donated the rest. I am only keeping enough scrapbooking supplies to finish some scrapbooks and then I am done. The lesson for me was “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. I am turning 50 soon and want the next 50 years to be a little bit more peaceful and calm and that begins with me. By being creative and alive in the moment, I will get much more out of being creative. I learned the art of letting go and my world didn’t come to a catastrophic end. Instead, it gave me clarity, focus and freedom.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

It is better to give, than to receive

When it comes to gifts, is it the thought that counts? Absolutely! If someone is thinking of me in any way, a conversation, a handwritten note or merely a passing thought in their busy day I am thrilled. Any gift that goes along with that is a wonderful added surprise. Spending quality time is another of my favorite “gifts”. However, there does seem to always be two types of people when it comes to gift giving and/ or gift receiving. There are the ones who love being the recipient of a homemade gift because they appreciate the time and effort you took to make it. But, then there are the ones who think you could not think of anything to buy them, so you made something instead. Some people enjoy receiving gift cards while others feel that like cash it seems cold and not thoughtful enough. I have learned the hard way to identify these types and act accordingly, but it is somewhat confusing to me. For instance the folks that think gift cards were insensitive actually give me gift cards? Or I don’t mind if you do not have the money to get something and choose to re-gift something, but please do not re-gift my gift back to me. That is like a present wrapped in an insult. I can’t help wanting to cheer people up and if they cannot identify with the love and thought that goes into it, not sure what to do about that situation. However, I do plan to continue to be as considerate as I can when it comes to gift giving and receiving and hope that on some level, I brighten someone’s day and make them smile.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Message in the Mess

My blog is all about the lessons and the blessings and more so lately the message in the mess. In mid January, I fell down a flight of cement stairs at work. I actually blacked out and came to when folks were attending to me and telling me not to move. In my 49 years, it was my first ambulance ride and my first broken bone (wrist). I had fallen completely on my right side, so amidst the bleeding, swelling, broken bones and injured pride were many lessons and blessings that would soon unfold. As someone who is a self-proclaimed caregiver who lives her life with the intent of bringing care and kindness to all, I suddenly found myself on the receiving end. Not that I had never received kindness before, but for the first time I was unable to be the giver. As foreign as this was for me to handle, so were the thoughts and words coming out of me. For the first time in my life I literally uttered the words “I would rather be dead!” Not really, of course, and just the thought of what could have happened to me that day stopped me in my tracks…literally and figuratively. The first few weeks were the hardest as I was suddenly in a splint and then a cast and then another cast. I was unable to shower without assistance, unable to use my dominant hand and swollen from my black eye down to my foot. I was scared, concerned and overall just overwhelmed. But then something happened. I let go and let God guide me. I had to learn patience. Not an easy task for someone who has none, well at least none for herself. Then I was blanketed by the kind words, cards, gifts and gestures beyond my wildest comprehension. I began to adapt and adjust to my circumstances and in doing so began the healing process. Then I was informed that a reorganization at my workplace was taking effect and not only was my senior status job position being removed, but with a significant pay cut. Initially shocked, but then I again chose to trust in God’s plan and roll with it. Then another setback occurred. My husband who has been dealing with cervical arthritis suddenly experienced his most excruciating pain and was forced to take some time via short-term disability to see specialists and seek a pain management plan. We were losing money fast. So God doesn’t put you through what you cannot handle, but really? What to do? Sit in worry and fear or trust God. I chose to trust and what happened is nothing less than a miracle. I continued to heal and did not need surgery as I was previously told I would need. Through all of this, my husband and I grew closer. We spent part of the day meditating and reading scripture strengthening our relationship with God and with each other. His neck pain is beginning to lessen and I continue to pray that one day it will be easily managed and/or gone. Did things go wrong during this time? You have no idea! But did we make it through? You bet we did. Was there always just enough money and food? Yes! It was a 44 day experience overall. The biggest lesson and blessing was that we have the strength to get through anything when we let go and let God. I do believe that I was meant to fall that day. I saw myself falling forward but yet didn’t feel the impact of hitting the floor. However, I have felt the impact of this experience. In a sense, I was pushed into this situation in order to be ready for what God has in store for me. There are greater things coming my way. I used to think lessons and blessings were separate things, but this experience has taught me that they are intertwined and that even in a mess there is a message if we allow ourselves to hear it. On a funny note, when you blurt out things to the Universe like “I wished I didn’t have to work and could just stay home!” try to be "very specific"…just saying! ;)