Live a Great Life Anyway …

Our beauty is not determined by the gravitational pull of the Universe …

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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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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!

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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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Taken for Granted …

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There are so many moments, circumstances, events, situations, abilities, capacities, people and things that I mindlessly step over each day in pursuit of something else.  I recognize that I do myself a grave disservice when I fail to claim the magic inherent in those moments.  And … every time I pause … even briefly to let myself experience an iota of gratitude and appreciation, I can feel a shift in my whole system.

I am challenging myself to notice at least one thing each day that I have previously taken for granted.  And so, right now as I write this, I have become aware that I have taken my literacy for granted. In this moment, I am savoring the fact that I can read and write.  I am noticing how full my life is because of that ability.  And then of course I must also give thanks for my eyes.  And that brings me to the literary world … wouldn’t have much to be grateful for if there wasn’t a whole world of words to nourish my spirit and nurture my soul.

Yikes … it appears that one moment of being acutely aware of our blessings morphs itself into a vicious cycle of appreciation!! 🙂

May our days be filled with awareness of such sparks of delight, Karen

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A Good Laugh …

Happy because we laugh

Yes … you might have to read that again in order to let it land. Maybe a couple of times.

There is something so deeply nourishing about having a good chuckle … or even better … one of those belly laughs that make your cheeks hurt.  On those days when it all seems like too much … when the weight of life and love and soldiering on become burdensome – we must deliberately seek out a good laugh.

Yes, even when it feels like there is nothing even remotely humorous to smile about … or … even when it feels like laughing would be a betrayal of the pain/sadness you are currently marinating within.  For example, six years ago today, my dad passed over …. very unexpectedly at an outdoor BBQ with family.  He had just loaded his plate and proclaimed “This is great!” And, that was it.  My heart feels tender in recollection … but I know he would not want me to sulk away the day.  So I am reminding myself to have a laugh.

A good laugh has helped me get through some of the worst times in my life.  In fact, sometimes there is nothing left to do but laugh. Finding the humor in something becomes a very adaptive response that says …“Okay … you got me.” And once we concede that there is no point arguing with something we cannot control …we are able to carry on, move forward and free ourselves from the frustration of the moment.

This conversation  reminds me of that old Zen proverb that says “Let go … or be dragged.”  There is something about the wisdom in those words that makes me snicker quietly to myself.  Maybe it’s because I have been ‘dragged’ more than I dare to admit.  Anyway, some of those ‘trying’ moments in our lives actually become the perfect fodder for some great story telling once they are in far enough in the ‘past’.

So, I saw this little cartoon on Pintrest the other day … and … yes, I laughed out loud.  It spoke about THAT part of me … that part of me that appears to be capable, competent and have it all together.  Yes … it tickled my funny bone and I had a little chuckle at myself with myself.  A good giggle really can take the edge off the inevitable ‘irritablilties’ in life.

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The good news is that we don’t have to wait around for something to spontaneously spark our laughter.  Everyday, we get a chance to make life better/brighter by purposely cultivate a laugh or two … i.e. choose to watch a funny movie,  check out some jokes on-line, read some greeting cards in the ‘humor’ section, call a funny friend etc.  You get the idea …

What makes you laugh?  For example, I don’t really get the humor in movies like “Home Alone” but watching my husband howling until the tears are tricking down his cheeks while watching them gets me going too.  I also find it entirely hilarious when little kittens are frolicking and jump straight sideways and then topple over.  It makes my heart smile just thinking about that right now.  Anyway, I’d love for you to leave a few thoughts about what makes you chuckle in the comments section.  Let’s share some laughs …

Hoping we all remember to deliberately put some big toothy grins into our days, Karen

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Perhaps It’s Unbecoming …

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When they say “it’s unbecoming” … it means that we are not following the ‘shoulds’, ‘oughts’ and ‘musts’ that frame their expectations of who they want us to be.  But, perhaps, it is precisely in UNbecoming that we get to embrace our most authentic, real and truthful place. 

Perhaps it’s unbecoming … but entirely essential to being the best expression of who we can be in the world.  Perhaps it is in the un-ravelling of expectations that we can truly find a sacred space to stand in our own integrity.

I’ll meet you there … Karen

 

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