If you could adopt this one idea, "it's all perfectly imperfect as it is,” you will free yourself from so much pain and suffering. Your experience of every moment will exponentially deepen with acceptance, and you will become liberated from having unreasonable expectations that can be a ball and chain to your inner experience of joy.
I learned the art of listening to the feelings behind the words one day as Richard and I sat, ironically, in our large house at our children’s miniature table and chairs. It was a funny sight, this grown couple choosing this space to confront their issues while their kids were at school. We were having a rare “marriage moment.”
Letting go isn’t easy, but life gets easier as I let go.
Holding on too tightly to anything causes pain and suffering.
Attachment is in our nature when it comes to being attached to people we love. It’s a natural and healthy thing to bond with our Mother and Father from birth.
My favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it's in hot water.”
We all want to give advice, don’t we? In fact, many of us dive right into solving problems—when all that’s really needed is simply a good ear--an opportunity to get clarity and strength back from having some support.
I recently had some minor surgery, and it forced me to slow down to a snail's pace and stay home. At first, it was all a physical thing. Any kind of surgery completely knocks you down for a few days as your body rushes all the energy and blood to heal the trauma of a knife.
When I was a mother to two small children, I would at times fantasize (in my fatigued state of mind or a lower mood than what was usual) about what it would be like to run away. I knew when I had those thoughts that I was long overdue for some me time. What I needed was a safe haven and a place of recovery to replenish and revitalize, so I could return to my busy life with the kind of enthusiasm that only comes from respite away.
Listen, listen, listen.
My mind is quiet and is now primed for that familiar voice: my writer’s voice.
When I’m not trying too hard or thinking too much, and I least expect it, she’s suddenly knocking on my psyche. (Sometimes, she whispers softly or cackles like a morning rooster!)
Often, it appears that life is running us. It feels like our circumstances are beyond our control.
This may, in fact, be true to some extent, but you don’t have to become the Victim. You don’t have to eliminate any circumstances of your life in order to feel better about them--but you must change your relationship and your mental dynamic toward them.
Recently, I was playing in the snow. I grabbed a clump of snow in my mittens and made it into a ball. I began to roll it round and round until it was big enough to be the base of a snowman. The more I rolled it, the more form and weight it took on.
There are so many kinds of losses to grieve--not just the obvious in loss of a person. Sometimes, we grieve our perceived lost health.
I received a beautiful message from a woman suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome that inspired this blog post. I’m not a doctor, but dealing with disease points me in the direction of Louise Hay and her work in the Emotional body. Her work shows that emotions literally shows up in physical symptoms. I love her book You Can Heal Your Life. I’ve always had a copy lying around the house as a “go to.”
I recently spoke with a medium, (a psychic to the spirit world) and Richard came through. He was right there—accessible—by my side. I often feel him in subtle moments… crossing the street, or walking the foot path at our coastal home in Sea Ranch, California, or sitting with me in bed as I write.
By Richard Carlson
I’d love to share with you today a holiday piece that Richard--my late husband and founder of the “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” series--wrote a decade ago. It appeared in his “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” column in 2005, and the infinite wisdom it holds still stands true today. Never before has our culture so needed a gentle reminder to slow down and embrace imperfection this December.
It seems that as a culture we are on a quest for more of everything. More great experiences, more success and money, and of course, more happiness.
Yet, happiness does not come from more of anything on the outside. Those moments of exhilaration when you purchase that new car... or new sweater... or new anything are only fleeting boosts that you’ve become accustomed to feeling; they become more of an addiction than anything.
A few times, in this new world of technology, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve caught myself immersed in my phone when I should have been acknowledging a clerk or the person ringing up my groceries. I think about that, and I put my phone aside these days—even, sometimes, leaving it at home so I can be more present in my life.