Friday, January 1, 2010

A Simple Thank You

This is one of my favorite days of the year. I know I can renew and update my dreams and desires for life at any point in time, but for some reason a new year seems to call me to take stock with a more pronounced and meaningful focus.

Some of my thoughts are about plans for the coming year, but mostly my mind goes to how I want to be. Since I am always experiencing, learning and growing as a result of the choices I make, it is my desire to have whatever I experience serve me in some way.

To help myself get the most out of each year, I create a phrase or motto that I refer to frequently (especially when I slip off course). This year my saying is "Thank you". I love the simplicity of those two words, yet feel a lovely and powerful sense of peace and joy when I focus on thankfulness. I have learned that one cannot feel negative emotion at the same time as being grateful, so focusing on saying thank you in my mind for the many things in my life that I am deeply grateful for is bound to help me return to peace.

Knowing there are also likely to be some events that show up on my path in 2010 that are challenging and difficult, I also want to say "Thank you" then. If I see all of my life experiences as stepping stones that propel me forward, being able to say "Thank you" for all that occurs, since it all ultimately helps me grow, is likely going to make those bumps in the road, easier to take.

I suppose this is a case of not judging something to be good or bad, but to feel unconditional gratitude for it all.

As I stand in the present moment, I can imagine that 2010 will likely be a memorable year with much to be grateful for.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Disappointment Lessons

As mentioned in a previous blog post, in late December I tend to look over my shoulder at the previous year to see what I've learned and perhaps what I may want to change.

On my mental search today, I realized that disappointments don't have the same kind of power over me that they used to. This is a muscle that has been growing gradually for me. Where I used to be temporarily paralyzed when something didn't go the way I planned, or if someone didn't come through in carrying out a promise, or if I simply did not have "a plan" come together the way I anticipated, I notice I am now rarely even knocked off balance by disappointments. In the past, I would allow disappointments to pull me into the land of "victim", or stimulate me to be angry and seek revenge if another person was involved in a disappointing plot against me.

When I think about why I am not so easily hooked by disappointments, I believe it is a natural side effect of my ongoing focus in the practice of acceptance. With complete acceptance, there is another natural side effect of peace. When peace is present, disappointment doesn't have a place to latch hold.

Another component of not being victimized by disappointment is that I trust more than I used to. When something doesn't go as planned, I trust that a better solution or answer will take it's place. I may not know what it is, or when it will appear, but I generally trust it will eventually show up.

Of course, this is a muscle I will continue to strengthen by simply noticing how I feel. When disappointment hangs around longer than I care to hold it, I will follow the plan that works for me..........Accept what is and trust that all will eventually work out perfectly.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Peace Returns to the Kingdom

The Kingdom of Kate has officially returned to a peaceful norm today. All of the holiday decorations have been packed away. Guest's beds have been re-made with fresh sheets. Party leftovers have been eaten or frozen for later use. Gifts have found a place to be stored. Our beautiful Frazier fir has been carried outdoors and awaiting pick up. All outward signs of the Christmas holiday are gone, but certainly not forgotten.

Once again, our home was a center for several weeks of parties and quiet dinners with friends and family. Although it has been a very enjoyable time of celebration, I welcome the return of peace and order to my kingdom.

Perhaps I am a bit obsessive about having order in my surroundings. I like it when things are in their place, clean and neat. Each year, I temporarily over-ride my usual habits of housekeeping and schedules so that I can fully enjoy all the holiday prep and entertaining. It was complete this morning as we bid farewell to our last guests.

So, as I look around my kingdom, I see order and I feel peace and gratitude for all the fun that made the messes in the first place and I look forward to doing it all again next year.