Personal Success

Full Bloom

Georgia O’Keefe was a great lover of flowers.  She believed that looking into a flower, you were in a new world and she wanted everyone to have that experience. But alas, she knew too many people were in a constant state of hurry. Wouldn’t this world be a better place if more people stopped to admire flowers?

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Health, Personal Success

The 101 South

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photo by Taste for Life

My daughters are participating in a summer violin camp for 9 days. It’s a 30 minute drive on the 202 West to the 101 South. I’m always on the 202, but haven’t had to drive the 101 South much. I don’t like it. Drivers speed and change lanes quickly. They all know where they’re going and they’ll ride up on you if you hesitate for even a second.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night and couldn’t sleep for over an hour. I was thinking of the 101. But this time, I remembered something.

Seven years ago, I had to take the 101 South to a high school twice a week, after work. I was completing my M.A, in Educational Leadership and I was in a night class. I had just been diagnosed with early stage I breast cancer and had a radical mastectomy. I was determined to finish the degree. So I drove to my class with tubes coming out of my chest. The tubes drained excess fluids where the tumors used to be. My chest was tightly bandaged and no one in my class knew what was underneath my shirt.

So my fear of this route was not so much the traffic, but old memories. The fear of infection, disfigurement, recurrent cancer… I had those thoughts during my drive. I mourned my life pre-cancer. Here is a post from that time.

My insomnia occurred on the seventh anniversary of my radical mastectomy.

Driving today, I felt much better. The apprehension was gone. Sometimes, just identifying the cause of one’s jitters and meeting it with compassion (not over-analysis or sentiment) can be enough to overcome it.

 

 

 

 

 

Health, motivation, Personal Success

First Things First

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Life happens. Your best laid plans can go awry. And that’s OK.

Make sure you schedule the most important thing for the first thing – so you increase the chances of getting it done.

It’s winter, so it’s dark and cold in the morning. But I force myself out of bed, don my workout clothes, and exercise before I face my students. Working out gets my endorphins going and I feel calm the rest of the day. Just about anything can happen and I’ll feel capable of handling it.

First things first,” is what Stephen Covey always espoused. It’s all about priorities.

What’s the most important thing for you to do tomorrow? How can you ensure that it happens?

 

 

Health, Personal Success

Discipline + Solitude

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It’s a busy world. Now, more than ever, we have “noise”: news, videos, people in cafes talking, television, the Internet, etc.

I’m  a teacher and my work is noisy. When I visit my husband at his corporate job, I’m always struck by the quiet in his office. It’s so quiet! Sometimes, I am envious.

I love my job with children, my life as mother to two daughters and I love getting together with friends.

But I always crave solitude. I want to be alone to read, write and just feel calmness.

Fortunately, I am married to a man who will help me out. He will take the girls to violin lessons without me if I need some seclusion.

Seclusion. Solitude. Loneliness. Some people like to be alone. I do. I think this is a good thing. It means you like yourself!

Demand some privacy. Detach yourself from social media and people.  It’s OK. In fact, I’d argue that you NEED it, you need to know yourself, your self. Make it a priority.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health, Personal Success

Waiting

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You’re waiting in line at the (fill in the blank: post office, grocery store, gas station).

Do you grab your phone and surf the ‘net? Do you get on Facebook? Do you sigh and impatiently monitor the line, wishing you were somewhere else?

An alternative activity: sit with your eyes closed. Breathe in. Breathe out. Feel sensation in your hands, feet, stomach. Want a sample of nirvana? Ask yourself, “I wonder what my next thought will be?” And wait. The moment that follows, where you mind is completely blank, that is complete peace of mind.*

 

 

 

*Eckhart Tolle