Hydrangea or Peony?

The other day, I decided it was time to rearrange my flower bed.  There were two hydrangea bushes that were no longer bearing any flowers and it was time to dig them up and plant something new and exciting.  Beside these bushes flourished the most gorgeous Peony Roses that overtook their glory anyway.  It is always good to freshen any space up, and these hydrangeas paid their dues and spent their time in the sun.  It was time for me to make a change and plant something new and fresh in their place.

As I started to dig up these fifteen year old shrubs, I had no idea how strong and deep the roots were.  They were much stronger than this 43 year old body, and won the fight against me.  I had to recruit the big guns.  My husband.  They didn’t win the battle against him.  He easily extracted these stubborn shrubs from their cozy home.  He wasn’t letting them stick around any longer.  A few minutes with a shovel in his hand and out popped the hydrangea bushes from their fifteen year old flower bed.

During the wheelbarrow ride to the woods with these lifeless shrubs aboard for their destination to become a pile of mulch, I started to feel sorry for these plants.  They were happy where they were for the last 15 years.  They were rooted.  They were at home, and I just ripped it out, roots and all.  I felt ashamed.  How could I do this to a living creature?  I know, it might sound silly, but that was how I felt.

Then I realized, they weren’t thriving any more.  They hadn’t shed one blossom or flower for years. They were just big green leafy shrubs that didn’t serve any purpose to me any longer.  I had to start focusing my attention to the flowers that were thriving, and give them space to grow in my flower bed.  Not only were these hydrangeas not flowering any longer, they were still spreading and growing bigger.  Almost starting to smother out the other plants that were flowering.  They were going to start sucking the life out of the prospering plants around them.  It was time for them to go and make room for the other plants that were still living their life.

Do you have things in your life that might be choking off your zest for life?  Are you like that hydrangea bush and haven’t flowered in years?  Or are you like my thriving Peony Roses that are in full bloom, but others around you aren’t so much.  Is there something in your life stealing your joy?  We all have people in our lives that are like this, but you have to remember it is only you who can make you happy.  You have to take control of the old hydrangea bush in your life.  As sad as it is, you might have to remove that shrub from your flower bed of life, so that you can thrive even more than you are now.

John 16:33 explains, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  God, said we would have troubles, but if we let him and the Universe lead our way, we can overcome anything…even the hydrangea bushes in our lives that are sucking the life out of us!  Just like I had to get the power of my husband to help me eliminate this pesky shrub, you have to also recruit the power of your God to help you overcome this world!

Your true power and your true happiness lies in your own connection to the Universe and God, Spirit, the Divine, the Tao, whatever you want to call it.  You will not find happiness and your divine purpose with the flowers that live in the same bed as you, not in the flowers that you work with, not with the flowers that you hang out with, not with the flowers that you think you are in love with.  Happiness lies in your blossoms, in your pedals, in your leaves, in your soil and in your roots.  Once you realize this, you will thrive more and more each year, just like my beautiful Peonies!

Let what makes you happy overtake your flower bed of life!

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Downfall Detours

As the summer approaches, so does baseball season.  It’s our family’s favorite season.  We all enjoy the sport!  I love watching my son play and my husband coach him from the third baseline.  My daughter enjoys all the baseball sisters that hang out at the ball park with her.  And, of course, my husband and son love the sport to the core.

As much as I love the season of baseball, there is a hard part to the season.  May is difficult because I have to watch my husband ponder over who should make his team, and my son wondering if he is going to make the team he is trying out for too.

Since we are in the month of May, I am watching the troubling part unfold before my eyes.  It’s hard watching someone you love go through pain.  Nobody enjoys cutting children from a team, especially when you know these children and their parents on a personal level.  I also don’t like seeing my son stress on whether or not he will make the team of his choice either.

Now that I am in this time of my year again, I have to sit back and witness my two favorite men struggle with this season of their baseball lives.  Is there anything I can do?  Absolutely not.  I can be there for them to listen and give them love and support, but the Universe has to unfold as it will.

If I didn’t have faith in what will be will be, I guess I could forward a nasty email to the powers that be that have to do with my son’s selection if he doesn’t make the team.  Is that fixing the situation?  No, it might make me feel better expressing my opinion and getting it off my chest.  It’s showing my son that I can fight his battles for him, which isn’t teaching him anything about life.  Am I going to eventually email a university that he gets rejected from?  Absolutely not, they will laugh in my face, so why fight his battles at any age?  He has to learn survival techniques not fighting techniques.

Failure is part of life and part of the growing up process, but you would be surprised how many parents will do this for their child!  My husband always receives many emails questioning his decision making process, even though they were Provincial Champs last year.  If people only knew how much turmoil he goes through trying to make the right decisions.  He doesn’t believe in my method of listening to his Higher-Self and going with what the Universe is telling him to do.

We have to start letting our loved ones fail.  We have to let them learn from their mistakes.  We have to let what will be-BE!  We have to start letting go of this control we want to have over every little minuscule aspect of our lives and our child’s.  People are going to hurt us.  Someday your child will get many broken hearts, and they will break a few as well.  We are going to get cut from teams or let go from jobs.  We are going to suffer loss of loved ones.  We aren’t going to get everything we want in this world, and during childhood is the best time to learn strategies on how to deal with disappointments, when they are resilient and open to change.

If we let them perceive that it is the end of the world, it will be the end of the world for them.  Change their perception on any disappointments in their lives.  Give them strategies to overcome downfalls, don’t try to defeat the downfalls for them.  That obstacle was divinely placed in their lives for a reason.  Let their lives unfold and watch how that obstacle becomes their conquest.  Watch how being cut from a team made them come back with more heart, more life, more joy than they ever had before.  If they don’t have this reaction, then this quest wasn’t that important to them in the grand scheme of life either, and let them walk their own path.  Could this means more to you then it means to them?

Sometimes as parents, we have to sit back and watch our child’s stories unfold before our eyes whether we like it or not.  We have to take our hands off of our parenting wheels and stop trying to steer their lives in the direction we feel they should be steered.  Instead of steering, pray for the best outcome to happen.  God knows best, and we have to put our trust in him.  Sending nasty emails, or attacking a person who you feel is out to get your child is not doing your child any good.  Just like we have to use the strategy of prayer, give that strategy to your child as well.  Try giving them prayers and affirmations, not a nasty vocabulary of choice words about people who were just trying to do their job.

Remember Romans 8:28 in these hard times, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Focus on what is thriving in your child’s life.  Don’t let them see you swayed by their downfalls.  Downfalls are placed strategically in their lives to detour them in the right direction.  Stop steering them in the direction you think they need to go and let the Universe work that out for them.  You might be a Super-Parent, but no power is strong than the power of the Universe, so let their downfall be their detour on their way to all they were created to be.

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University’s Universe

Facebook is such a great site sometimes!  I’ve been loving all the pictures that people are posting of the university graduates!  Such an exciting time in a young person’s life.  The world is theirs for the taking.  Options are endless.

I remember feeling just like this when I graduated from my first degree.  I had no experience to do anything.  I had a university degree but no work experience to accompany any of my education, but I thought I knew it all.

I was excited to start work in my field of study and change the world.  I was fresh out of studying and all set to make my mark in my community.  But, then reality started to set in.  Nobody was as excited as I was to hire me.  I thought I knew it all, but the employers weren’t so convinced.  I was devastated.

My hopefulness turned to hopelessness.  I had spent many years of my life waking up and going to school.  I lived to learn.  Now, I had to start applying this knowledge in the real world.  How does one do this?  How do you transition from one stage of your life into another without the feeling of total despair?

After months of searching, finally I was given an opportunity to prove my intelligence as I was offered a great job in the field of my dreams.  Only, I learned to find out after a few years of doing my perceived dream job, that it wasn’t what I wanted to do at all.  What I thought was my destiny was not my destiny at all.  I started to not enjoy the job at all.

It’s not only when we come out of university that we may feel this despair!  Life is constantly throwing curve balls at us.  Relationship breakups are very hard to get through.  Money problems are also another hard hitter.  Sick children is never nice.  Lose of loved ones is probably the worst.

These obstacles that are thrown at us are to help us realize the Universe is trying to show us what we don’t need in our lives.  It’s the Universe’s way of teaching us, developing our character and trying to get us back on the path we are supposed to be on.

Looking back over my first choice of university education—it is not something that I regret doing.  No education is a waste.  I use my education in this area probably on a daily bases.  I’m not getting paid to do this job anymore, but I still enjoy implementing what I learned during my first four years of university.  Am I glad that I don’t work in this area anymore?  I sure am.  Was it a waste of time?  Absolutely not.  It taught me what I didn’t want to be.  It showed me the contrast in my life that I was to learn and build on.

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – Chapter 44 explains, “Which matters more to you?  You or your renown? Which brings more to you?  You or what you own?  I say, what you gain is more trouble than what you lose.  Love is the fruit of sacrifice.  Wealth is the fruit of generosity.  A contented man is never disappointed.  He who knows when to stop is preserved from peril.  Only thus can you endure long.”

This verse is all about life and knowing when to stop.  You have to change the way you prioritize your life to ensure you live a fruitful one.  In the Book of Galatians it explains, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”  If something is in your life that is not one of these nine attributes, get rid of it!

Contrast comes to us every day.  Sometimes all day.  You have to recognize when enough is enough.  Learn from it.  Look into your heart and realize what is truly important to you.  Contrast is there to reveal to you what you don’t need in your life.  It’s to help guide you onto a path or adventure that you are not letting yourself take.  Start listening to the contrast in your life, and make changes to reflect what this contrast is dictating to you.  Stop ignoring the signs that the Universe is giving you, and make the necessary changes today!

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Flightradar 24

My brother-in-law introduced my family to the coolest new App!  It’s called “Flightradar 24”.  If you haven’t heard of it, and you have any interest in aviation at all, you really should download it and check it out.  It’s amazing what this App can do.

Once it downloads your location, it will inform you of all the different forms of aviation that is flying over top of you that you normally see in the sky.  It tells you if it is a commercial or private plane.  Where it is coming from and what its destination is.  How long the flight is.  How much time they have left to reach their destination, and many other tidbits of information.

It blows my mind that an App can do all this.  What people won’t think of?  As I was scanning the skies and watching these planes flying overhead, it really got me thinking.  It’s incredible how these planes are traveling so freely in the grand open skies.  They are traveling hundreds of kilometers an hour with ease.  If that was happening down on the ground it would be crazy, but flying high above the land, they travel effortlessly from point A to point B.

I think many of us make this mistake in our lives.  We try to hard.  We think we can go hundreds of kilometers an hour in a place that doesn’t foster this sort of speed.  We all occupying our lives with more than we can handle, and making our worlds a crazy place to be.  So many of us are becoming depressed or anxious about our day to day lives and we are losing site of the grand picture…what makes us happy.

We have to start giving our selves some space to soar, just like these airplanes.  There is nothing wrong with traveling at this speed as long as you are in a spot that makes this possible, and of course, safe.  Safe on you mentally, emotionally and physically.  All of us want to soar and be successful, happy and prosperous, and these things are all ours if we go about it the right way.

When you are feeling like you can’t maneuver this huge jet plane in the area you are trying to move around, then you are trying too hard.  You have to sit back and relax and let life find your place to make this navigation safe and prosperous for you.

As I am getting older and learning from my mistakes, this is one of the things in my life that I am changing.  If something doesn’t make me happy I’m eliminating it from my world.  As the ancient Chinese yogi, Lao Tsu, wrote in his famous piece of writing the Tao Te Ching, “The Tao does nothing and nothing is left undone”.  We have to take on this attitude.  Relax and let the universe be your navigational system.  If something is upsetting you, let it go.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, eliminate things that are making you feel this way.  Minimize if you have to.

If you’re not a fan of the Tao, then listen to the wise words from the Book of Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Let what will be…be!

Download this App, and picture your life as free sailing as these planes in the sky.  Eliminate things in your life that doesn’t foster happiness and hopefulness in your world.  You have to start looking after yourself before you can help navigate others.  Listen to your body and find your happiness today!  Remove anything that makes you feel uneasy.  It is your body’s way of telling you are driving too fast in an area that isn’t capable of such great speeds!

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A Tribute to Mothers

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, and it is one of my favorite times of the year!  Not only do I get spoiled with a big feed of lobster, but I also get to honor my precious mother and all that she has done for me!  Now that I am a mother myself, I can appreciate what she sacrificed and gave to me to make me what I am today.

As I now have almost 15 years of parenting under my belt, I am still learning how to be the best parent I can be.  It’s a lifelong learning process I think, but I love to read parenting books, and listen to wise people on their parenting tips.

Have you ever heard of Sadhguru?  He is a one of my favorite yogis because he really cracks me up.  I enjoy his humor while he is teaching different aspects of life.  One of my favorite things he said was in regards to parenting his own daughter.  He makes a fantastic point that children don’t listen to a thing that we tell them, but they do pay very close attention to what we do, or what we model.  They are becoming who and what we are modelling for them.

This is why I also turn to the Bible for many parenting question that I have.  I know you are probably sick of hearing it, but I love Proverbs 31.  Not only is this lady a super mother, but she is a fantastic wife, homemaker and cook.  Exactly what I’ve watch my mother model for me all my life, and which is my goal in life as well.  I’m aspiring to have a long line of Proverb 31 Women in my family line.

My favorite verse, which I think is a verse all mothers should honor, and that is Proverbs 31: 27, which states “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”  This is exactly what I’ve watched my mother (and my grandmother…God rest her soul) do my entire life, and she is still on this path, which is such an inspiration!

If you break this verse down, “she watches over the affairs of her household” is exactly what mothers have to be doing to all aspects of her family.  Making sure that all members of the family’s needs are met.  We have to be attuned to our children’s and husband’s needs at all time.  We have that sixth sense that we know when something is off with our children and should follow our hearts with it.  Not only does she watch all aspects of her family, but she is paying attention to what her family is watching, doing on their free time, what they are eating and who they are hanging out with.

And the last part of the verse, “does not eat the bread of idleness” is what we have to focus on doing to stay in tune with our family’s needs.  This takes a lot of work.  We need to learn great time management skills, which means to fight the urge to spend our time binging on Netflix, or spending countless hours on social media or online shopping.  There are many other important things to be doing for your family, and your home.  Sure, we can convince ourselves that we deserve to relax, we had a hard day, but nothing should take priority over our family.  Even on Mother’s Day!

This mothering job is a never ending job.  We are here to serve our families and our community and once you wrap your brain around that, and let go of your ego, you will watch your family flourish.  You are becoming a model of what God has created you to be!

Just like Sadhguru suggests that we should model for our children the behavior we want them to exhibit.  If we don’t want them to yell at us, we shouldn’t yell at them.  If we want them to keep their room clean, we have to keep our rooms clean.  If we want them to treat people with respect, we have to treat them with respect.  The old saying, “Do what I say and not what I do” is no longer valid.  It doesn’t work.

I was very fortunate to have a mother who models all of these aspects of a Proverb 31 Woman.  We all love our mothers and every woman is trying their absolute best to raise their families the way that they feel is the right way.

You can never go wrong if you follow the advice of the Bible.  This coming Mother’s Day, honor your mother, just like it advises you to do in the Bible, and cherish and be thankful for the job that she did raising you.  She did her best, and loves you with her whole heart.

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Spiritual Technology

Have you ever in your wildest dreams imagined when you were younger that the world would have all the technology that it has today?  Who ever thought that we would see the time that the ‘home phone’ would grow obsolete?  Many families of today don’t even have a home phone any more.  I know that if my home phone rings, it is one of two people.  My parents or my husband’s parents.  That’s it.  Probably because my parents haven’t even broadened their horizons to a cell phone yet.  Crazy, but it is true.  There are people in this world that still have no cell phones.

I grew up in a time of “party lines” where three families shared the same line.  There would be three different rings, to indicate if it was your phone number they were calling or not.  There was one long ring for one family.  One long ring and one short ring for another family.  Then there was two short rings for the final family.  You could listen to other people’s conversations if you were sneaky enough to lift your receiver and not have them hear the click.  Come to think of it, it was quite invasive, but that was all we had and if you wanted to talk on the phone, you had to put up with the down falls of this system.

Now, look at all the options that we have for phones.  No longer are three families sharing one line, all members of the family have their own cell phone and number.  Can you imagine living without your cell phone?  Having to wait and have an actual conversation on a home phone.  How painful would it be to go all day without texting or checking your email?  For my parents who don’t know any difference, it’s not a big deal at all.  To my children who have had their own phones since grade 5, this would be a travesty!

When I think about this, it is much the same as spirituality.  There is many options out there to tap into.  If organized religion has turned you off of church, there are many other ways now to tap into spirituality.  Are you sick of the hypocritical people who pretend they are all holier than thou?  They might frown upon the things that you are doing with your life, but you know that they are only human like yourself and shouldn’t be looking down at you?  They judge you for the choices you make, but are supposed to be nonjudgmental.

There are many reasons that people have been turned away from religion, and I was one of them for a long time.  I totally get it.  The funny thing is, I was like my parents without a cell phone.  I didn’t know any better.  I thought I was perfectly happy without a cell phone in my life.  People, and churches totally turned me in the other direction.  I grew up in a community where one religion thought their religion was the only way to make it to Heaven.  That if you did certain things you were going to Hell.  Really, it is a type of brainwashing that religions do to their population and then wonder why people who are different in race, color, religion, etc. can’t get along.

There are so many great things in this technologically advanced spiritual world.  The world of spirituality is huge.  Go shopping and see what you find.  Open up to the idea of getting rid of that home phone and realize the world is greatly full of cool options.  My favorite find lately is the significance of the elephant to certain cultures and religions.

Both Hindus and Buddhists revere the elephant.  Why you may wonder?  It isn’t the elephant that they are worshiping instead, it is the qualities of the elephant they wish to emulate.  Elephants are a powerful role model for anyone wanting to lead a spiritual lifestyle in any religion!  They’re obedient to their leader, calm, nearly unstoppable when set on a path, and have large ears so that they hear more than they speak.  Or, they are the perfect disciple.  Isn’t that what we are all trying to achieve?  To be the perfect disciple?  Isn’t this exactly what the Bible teaches us too?  Shocking isn’t it!  Another religion is trying to teach the same ideas!

In Matthew 7:1 it tells us “Judge not, that you be not judged.”  Stop judging other religions and explore them.  Browse the world of spiritual technology.  Educate yourself on difference across cultures and find the good in them.  You may even find something that you like, get rid of you home phone and get on a new spiritual path.

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