Love And Addiction: Not One And The Same

June 28, 2012 by  
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Interesting post pasted below on one of my favorite topics: the difference between love and addiction.

The definition of addition is: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

Now combine addiction with the stories we watch on our computers, TV or film screens and we have a recipe for disaster.

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The Downside Of Go Go Go

June 26, 2012 by  
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boy and the sky

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech 2005

We all live in a societal system that keeps us going. Most of us work long hours Monday through Friday and struggle to gain more power and money.  We do that mostly because that is what we are taught and supposed to do.  Society tells us that.  But are we living according to our own set of needs? Are we getting out of life what we really want?

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Delicious Ambiguity

June 23, 2012 by  
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Photo by Angie Rubin

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.” — Gilda Radner

The above came from Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer at age 43.

Tomorrow, June 24th, would have marked 9 years since I had met my late husband.  June 26th, 6 years since his liver transplant.  August 15th, four years since he passed away and August 26th would have been our 6th year wedding anniversary. Life is indeed not perfect.

When I met Chris I knew for a fact we would be a couple till old age.  When we giggled together at night at how happy we were, we thought it would last forever.  But, life has its own mind, and all we can do is show up at every moment with our full presence.

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Empower Yourself And Make The Changes You Need

June 19, 2012 by  
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Making life changing decisions is tough business.  It means letting go of something familiar and jumping into the unknown.

Even if the familiar isn’t quite right, it is still familiar, which means we have already developed coping mechanisms to deal with and to live within a certain set of circumstances.

The unknown on the other hand is just that; unknown.  It can be more pleasant or less.  But, more importantly it will require us to adapt and change.  And that is what we don’t like – a feeling of not quite knowing how to be and behave.

But, here is a secret: If we don’t do the changing on our own, life will take over and do it for us.

So, let’s practice being mature and in charge and learn how we can make tough decisions on our own:

First, if a situation doesn’t feel right or comfortable, chances are there is something amiss.  Ignoring it, it will only allow whatever it is to become more difficult.  So, let’s ask ourselves why we are not comfortable.  It is important when doing the asking to go deeper than the feeling of anger, envy, or jealousies – which are emotions that serve to masquerade others – so we can find out the truth.  Once we have our answer, we need to gather up strength, make sure the time is right, then focus and take action.

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Stop Being Negative

June 16, 2012 by  
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Photo by Angie Rubin

It is so easy to see the glass half full — what I don’t have that I wish I had,  why others seem to have an easier time than I do, etc.  To most of us this type of reaction or behavior is almost automatic.

But being “negative” only compounds the problems.  If we’re feeling bad about not having achieved certain goals in our lives, thinking about that and lamenting our current situation doesn’t do us any good.  But, if instead we look at what we do have and our accomplishments; we will certainly enjoy our lives more and then be energized to continue to seek fulfilling our dreams.

To me learning to reeducate my brain to be more positive has been a long road.  Somehow lamenting and feeling sorry for myself became my MO sometime during my late twenties.  Not sure how it happened – maybe a combination of old family behaviors with a very unhappy relationship was enough to get me there.  But, regardless how it started, it soon became my modus operandi.  And then to complete the scenario I surrounded myself with others that behaved the same way.

Once you embark in this style of living, it is hard to turn back.  As we are habitual creatures, we start to find solace in our own pity and sadness. Soon that is how we respond to lives challenges.  Our attention goes to what is wrong instead of what is right.

If you find yourself not celebrating your relationships and achievements as much as you do your losses and frustrations, maybe it is time for you to also take charge and change.

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Learning To Release Control

June 13, 2012 by  
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I have always had trouble accepting weakness and/or the feeling of being powerless.  For people that know me this is probably a strange confession to make as I have always been a loving and compassionate and understanding person.

Maybe my difficulty comes from never wanting to accept the frailty that also resides in me.  Or it comes from the knowledge – buried deep inside – that I’m not 100% the master of my destiny.

There is still a part of me that believes it is all up to me.  I can make it happen if I’m strong enough or persistent enough.  That’s the part that I have been working on.

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Is Everything Going To Be Okay?

June 2, 2012 by  
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Photo by Angie Rubin

First I used to ask my best friend if everything would turn out well.  Then I asked a therapist, my late husband and then the new best friend.  What I was really asking was: regardless of all that is going on in my life today, tell me that in the end I’m going to be okay.  I will be left standing and happy.

As I extracted these assurances from others, deep down I knew no one could guarantee the outcome of anything.  But, hearing the words “everything is going to be okay” – even knowing they held an empty promise – made me feel safe.

I am spending time with my dad, who is 87 years old, and who last year spent two months in the ICU.  No one thought he was going to come out – including me.   The combination of 47 years of cardiac history, age and a nasty lung infection did not bode well for a good outcome.  But, he did come out.

My dad has forgotten how close he came from dying and is unhappy by his current physical limitations.  I reminded him, at his age he has outlived everyone in his family.  And yes, at 87 his life is different.  He can still have any experience he wants in his mind and heart, but not in the physical world.  His frame is frail.

Life is seldom what we imagine it to be.  It is what it is.  What we do with it, is where we get to express who we are.  Am I lucky to be alive at 87 years of age or am I unlucky to have limitations?

I still ask from time to time if everything is going to be okay.  I ask that when I feel vulnerable and need a quick fix of an empty promise.

But, most of the time I have learned to appreciate what I have in my life and trust the never ending flux of opportunities.

Truthfully, I don’t really know what having everything turn out okay really means.  What I do know is from each obstacle I have to surpass, I learn to jump higher and my legs get more limber.  And in the end I’ll be left  holding a large bag of wisdom.

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Attaining Personal Freedom

May 31, 2012 by  
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boy and the sky

Walking down the street yesterday, I was thinking about how hard it is to simply do what we want or think to be right without having any expectations.   The reason being is we are always concerned about how others will see us and/or we are living by societal “shoulds” we have adopted as our personal mantras along our life paths.

But, to find and act according to our own truths, means to have complete freedom and a much better chance for contentment.

This concept of personal freedom translates into our lives as: I’m going to live this moment to its fullest because I’m happy now.  What will take place tomorrow is not as important.  What other people are thinking or experiencing is also not as important.

This is not about acting out.  It is not about being selfish or hurting others – those would actually be results of a lack of a true relationship with the self.

Living truthfully and in the moment means to have an intimate relationship with the self where our feelings are not dependent on others to have the right to exist.   This state of being occurs when our egos are no longer so frail that we feel threatened or hurt by responses and reactions different from our own.

When we are constantly waiting to see how others feel or where the future will lead, we are never in our own present or in our own truths.  How we feel about something or someone is independent of how they feel about us or how things will turn out.

Having the courage to be means we have finally switched from living a life of reaction to living a life of action.  We act based on how we feel not on how others feel.

Imagine for a moment having the ability to honestly express yourself without expecting any specific response.  Wouldn’t that feel light?  Wouldn’t that feel like opening many doors?

I believe, living our truths, allows us to stop wasting time and energy on things we have no control over such as other people’s thoughts and feelings.

Start your journey by spending time with yourself.  Create a trusting relationship then ask yourself how you really feel and act accordingly.

 

 

 

 

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Managing Life’s Struggles

May 28, 2012 by  
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So, I’m in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  The people are beautiful and friendly and the beaches can be exotic or inviting – it all depends on your mood.  But, I’m really here to visit my aging parents.  Rio is the city of my birth.

Anyone, with older parents knows how difficult it is to see our loved ones struggle with things that used to be easy to do.  To witness their health wane.  In my case I also have to deal with the distance between Los Angeles – where I live – and Rio de Janeiro.

My visits are always full of mixed emotions; happiness in seeing them and stress for not being able to stop life’s unstoppable march.

By nature I am a caretaker.  When my late husband became ill, I spent the better part of two and a half years taking care of him.  I was by his side every minute of his journey.  My husband died at home by my side.  We slept in the same bed till his last night.

Through all my experiences of care taking, I have learned that we can only give if we take care of ourselves as well.  If we don’t fill up the well, it will eventually dry out.

Pain is part of the human experience.  There is no way around it.  Even if nothing tragic ever happens in your life – yes, there are a few of you out there – one day you will have an aging parent.   One day for sure you will have pain.

It is in these times of emotional stress that we need to remember to willfully seek beauty.  As sure as I am that we all deal with pain so am I that we can all have beauty.  It is all around us.  We just need to open ourselves up to it.

Beauty comforts inspires and fills up the well.

Diligently taking breaks to renew our emotional well allows us to go through the different pains life brings us from time to time.  It also allows us to give more.

If you are today going through a difficult time find the beauty in your world.  I know it can be difficult.  I know you can easily dismiss it by thinking “I have no time for this”.  But, you do.  And it is the only way you will be able to sooth yourself and others.   Go out with a friend.  Do something that is fulfilling to you.  Beauty is pain’s antidote.

 

 

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Putting Your Thoughts To Work To Change Your Life

May 25, 2012 by  
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Human Hearts

A couple of days ago, I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in a while.  As we caught up with each other’s life changes the name of a mutual friend came up.  Unbeknownst to me, this mutual friend had quit her job and moved in with her boyfriend who lived in another state.  My comment was: wow.   Not because I thought it was out of this world for someone to quit their job and move in with someone else, but because it seemed unexpected.

After I shared my thoughts with my friend, she said our mutual friend had a board.  “A board?”  I asked.   “Yes, I board where she pinned her greatest desires.

It turns out our mutual friend had a white board and on it she pinned clear messages to the universe.  Her messages were about being with this particular man.

Now, we have all heard about people pinning things all over their walls.  So, why am I writing about this?

There is something really powerful about paying attention and giving energy to what we want.

I’m not talking about repeating like a parrot – without real meaning –  I want to be happy, or rich, or successful.  And I’m not talking about saying time and time again “I’m beautiful” or some other affirmation which most of the time we say without really believing.  I’m talking about a specific want like: “I want X studio to buy my Y screenplay” and giving the thought the respect it needs.

By concentrating on a particular want, we are taking our lives seriously, and we are letting the universe know we really want a positive outcome.  Our want becomes empowered by our energy.  It is different attitude from wanting something and then just sitting back to see what happens.

There is amazing power in taking a stance.  Know what matters to you and make it happen.  Have a board.  Say it out loud.  Tell a friend.  Tell yourself.   And see it come true.

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