Live a Great Life Anyway …

No Mud. No Lotus.

No mud No lotus

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. 

But it will only grow in mud.

In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud ~ the obstacles of life and its suffering.

The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life.

Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death.

If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.” 

(Goldie Hawn)

 

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Chin Up …

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Source Unknown but deeply appreciated!

Each and every one of us is offered countless invitations over our lifetime to hang our heads in shame … to rake ourselves over the coals … to accept the ‘story’ that tells us we are not good enough, not love-able enough, not important enough, not smart enough, not skinny enough … blah, blah, blah.

But here is the thing … we don’t have to accept every invitation we get!  Just because we have a thought … doesn’t mean it is true. We do not have to accept the invitation to believe that thought.

Instead, we can simply look for the lesson in the moment, make any amends if/where necessary to clean up the mistake (including to ourselves!) … and then … chin up!  Falling and failing are essential parts of being human.   A ‘fall’ can’t define us … unless we  neglect to get back up.  Let’s not forget that things turn out the best for those who make the best of how things turn out.  Only always.

So … the next time you catch yourself accepting an invitation to let your head down, just take a quick peek at your shoes instead.

Upward and Onward …  Karen

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There is goodness in everyone … but sometimes it gets snuffed out.

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There really is goodness in everyone.  Sometimes, however, the light inside them gets snuffed out by wounding, pain and trauma that they have experienced.  Sometimes, in people’s best efforts to protect their hearts they lash out or may put walls up in order keep others out.  Sometimes people can get so hyper-focused on their own injuries that they might overlook and/or fail to honor and acknowledge the pain in someone else’s experience.

Paradoxically, we can see clearly what others have done to hurt us, but we are oblivious to how we might have unwittingly hurt them first.  It can be very hard to see the places where they feel like we took the first punch …

One of the most challenging things in all relationships is to have compassion for the wounds of another when you are bleeding yourself.  And, the more deeply you are hurting yourself, the less capacity you will have to ‘see’ beyond your own pain.  It takes a conscious and deliberate effort to make room in our relationships to have compassion for the wounding of others.

And that is not to dismiss, minimize or excuse the pain we can unwittingly inflict upon each other. It is simply and invitation for each of us to open up some space in our hearts towards those who may be struggling to heal their own hurts.  Perhaps hurts that we cannot even see.  And, it is a reminder for each of us to be cautious … to give ourselves a wider berth at times … in order to protect ourselves from any unintentional slights.

With tender compassion for our collective wounding, Karen

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Are you cultivating a pearl … or … cursing the pain?

pearl in shell

It’s a choice … we can choose to make the most of the mess, to turn the grit into gold … to be better not bitter.  But it is a choice.

May we all find ourselves growing glossier not despite our experiences, but because of them, Karen

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Yes, but our eyes may need time to adjust …

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And … sometimes, before we do that, we need to sit in the dark for a while … giving our eyes time to adjust.

With heartfelt compassion for those times when our tender hearts are aching deeply, Karen

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And they pegged her as a ditsy blonde …

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And they pegged Marilyn Monroe as a ditsy blonde … and … we should be careful we are not erroneously judging a book by it’s cover.  It’s easy to do.

But, I am inclined to think she was on to something here …

What if she is right …?  How would it shift your world if you chose to seek out the potential for light in the seemingly obvious dark?

Karen ❤

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What next … ?

Source Unknown

Source Unknown

As my amazing 86 year old mother-in-law has often lamented: “It’s always something.”

And, as life unfolds before us … I have learned that she is right.  Sometimes it seems ‘good’ and sometimes it feels ‘bad’.  But for sure, we are always meeting the next something.  We welcome the ‘good’ times with open arms,  but very few of us embrace the ‘bad’ ones.

But … what if we decided to be completely open and resist nothing.

As Byron Katie says, “You don’t have to like it, it’s just easier if you do.”

It’s not like we have much control over  what happens anyway. We like to believe we do but …

May we be wise enough to roll with the punches and make time to savor the joys … because … this too shall pass!

It always does … Karen

 

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Finding the message in the mess …

When I saw this quote … I noticed my head nodding in solemn but silent recognition that we have a choice about how we will respond when people hurt us.  We can remain victims of their recklessness disregard of our hearts … or … we can choose to look for the lesson in the exchange, decide to find the blessing in the challenge, or as the old adage goes – we can make lemonade from lemons.

It’s not always the easiest choice to make, but it IS the most empowering choice.  Some years ago I was targeted unfavorably by someone in my workplace.  I allowed it all to wreak havoc with my self-esteem for years.  I tolerated malicious gossip and inexcusable deeds to slowly poison my entire workplace.  I kept hoping that if I took the high road and ignored it, it would eventually stop.  It didn’t. My passive response appeared to be an invitation to ramp it up even more.

After one particularly painful assault on my soul … I realized that I could keep turning the other cheek OR I could stand up for myself. I realized I was being offered an opportunity to teach people how to treat me.

And, once I got the message that was tucked into that mess … I unwrapped a whole new cacophony of gifts that were just waiting for me.  Most surprisingly, there were so many blessings tucked into that challenge that I ended up identifying them in another blog post entitled Better Because You Were Not the Least Bit Nice.

As I look back on it now, I can truly say that I am grateful for what I learned … not for what I had to go through to learn it, but grateful for the lessons.  Truly.

Holding hope that you , too, will seek out the messages that might be hiding in any messes you are experiencing, Karen

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In “Childhood Disrupted”, Donna Jackson Nakazawa explains how your biography becomes your biology…and that you really can heal

This is a revolutionary cutting edge approach to healing. It won’t be long before we recognize that the medical issues that we think are the “problem” to be treated are actually just “symptoms” of other issues. Once we identify the problem with new eyes, the solutions look entirely different!

ACEs Too High

childhood-disruptedcovIf you want to know why you’ve been married three – or more — times. Or why you just can’t stop smoking. Or why the ability to control your drinking is slipping away from you. Or why you have so many physical problems that doctors just can’t seem to help you with. Or why you feel as if there’s no joy in your life even though you’re “successful”, there’s a book that will show how the problems that you’ve been grappling with in your adult life have their roots in childhood events that you probably didn’t even consider had any bearing on what you’re dealing with now. After hundreds of interviews and two years of writing, science journalist Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s long-awaited book, Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal, hits the bookstores (and e-bookstores) on Tuesday. Besides being the first self-help book about…

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The Wounded Healer …

 

Wounded Healer

I spent decades being ashamed of my past … pleasing, perfecting, proving and performing in order hide my ‘shoddy’ roots. I could never have known, and would never have believed at the time, that the finding the wisdom in my wounds would be so beneficial in my work as a counsellor/therapist. 

It just never ceases to amaze me
how often I get to ‘use’ the pains of my past in my efforts to support someone with their own hurts. When, as Oprah says, we find a way to turn our wounds into wisdom, they lose their painful grip and become the finest catalysts from which we can build something beautiful.

With gratitude for those gifts in my challenges, Karen

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