As women one of our greatest gifts are the women friends that we have in our lives. They offer us support on our good days and our bad. They can make us laugh and offer us a place to go to when we need someone to listen to our broken hearts, sort out our problems and to share our dreams. They allow to be vulnerable because we trust them and know that they accept us for who we are, despite our bumps, bruises, mistakes and failures. The best conversations of our lives will be with those friends who inspire us to take time for ourselves to enjoy a cup of tea together.
Click to set custom HTML
Sometimes we find people who inspire us beyond belief. Debbie Jorde is one of those women who is living a life of acceptance and moving forward despite her overwhelming challenges. We can learn so much from her life changing story.
I recently had a phone conversation with a women who was intelligent, ambitious and over worked. As I listened to her tell me about everything that she was doing, I was amazed at the level of success that she had achieved. It was the typical story. She had a rough start in life and had lived through many challenges while trying to bring up her children on her own.
Yet she had never given up on wanting more out of life and today she seemingly had it all. The house, partner and a job she loved in an upper management position because she jokingly said she could tell others what to do. From the outside, she seemed to be living the good life. On the inside, she was dealing with major health issues. As I listened to her tell me about all the doctors that she had been to see about her different health problems, I could tell that she had stretched herself to the limit and her body was giving her the warning signs to slow down and bring some balance into her life.
She was on several types of medications, for things like high blood pressure, thyroid problems, and pain in her joints. Some mornings she told me that she had a hard time to get out of bed because of back and leg pain. She had appointments with her therapist to talk out her anxiety problems and to manage her depression pills. She had been going to see different specialists about different problems, as if one doctor could only fix one part of the body and then another doctor could hopefully fix another. In one week, she had seen several doctors, had extensive testing done and was given more pills to alleviate her symptoms. I listened in disbelief, wondering if her different doctors ever compared notes on her health.
The one thing that they have all been telling her is that she needs to get some exercise, eat better, lose weight, stop smoking and get rid of some of her stress, but she told me that she did not have time for that at this point in her life. She was too busy to prepare meals with her kind of job that required travel, major stress and long hours siting at a desk. She certainly did not have time to exercise, although she had bought a really expensive exercise bike that she hoped to use some day. It seemed like a valid point but as I listened to her, I felt that she had lost her way, like so many women, who are walking around stressed, sick and confused about their lives, wondering why their success is not bringing them happiness.
This is the type of story that so many women are living, as if there is no end to what they can do and achieve. Unfortunately for too many, they lose their health trying to climb that never- ending ladder of success. Somehow the world has given women a few too many mixed messages about who they are and what they should be doing to live in that place called happy.
I love the smell of summer lilacs. The simple pleasure of walking around my yard and filling up on the sweetness of the pink and purple blooms is definitely one of my favourite summer experiences.
Lilacs remind me of the innocence of my younger self. As a child, there was a big lilac tree in my parent's back yard. It had alway been there and every year I knew that it would bloom and that there would be a bouquet of fresh lilacs filling the living room with its delicate scent. As long as they were in bloom, we gathered the branches filled with the tiny flowers and brought them indoors. I also remember tasting the sweet nectar from the blooms as a treat on a hot summer day.
After I got married, Mom would pick me a big bouquet of lilacs from that same tree and bring them to me every year on my birthday. It was always the best present and as I write this I can remember her smile when she gave them to me.
So on the weekend, I will go to Mom's tree which is still standing proudly next door and gather a bouquet in memory of her. How lucky I am to be able to go back in time and still connect to those special memories. Yes there is just something about lilacs that makes life special.
I wrote a short story about a bouquet of lilacs found in the attic of an old house that you might enjoy.
There is a lot of talk now days about letting go of the what was in our lives so that we can move on towards ours hopes, wishes, dreams and basically what would make us happier. Our lives seem to be filled with more stress than ever before as we try to keep up with the many demands placed on our time, health, energy and financial stability. Everyone is struggling in some way or another with their own personal challenges, whether they are major life events or minor irritations.
We all walk around with our personal stories playing in our heads day after day. This determines how we react to everyone and everything in the world around us. Our own story can be so powerful that it can often blind us to the reality of who we are and what we are capable of doing. Although hard to believe and accept, our story is not always based on the truth. The fact is that as children, we started to tell stories to protect ourselves from hurt and continued to do so as adults. When something went wrong, we learned to blamed it on others because being wrong was not a good thing and could lead to punishment. We also learned to tell lies to avoid feeling that we were not good enough in some way. It was innocent and over time, we told these stories to ourselves so many times, that it became what we thought was our truth.
Unfortunately this type of inner dialogue is defining our future and unless we become aware of it, it is a pattern that will continue to hold us back from living the life of our choosing. There comes a time when we have to change the conversation that we are having with ourselves. There comes a time to let go of the old stories that keep us trapped in the past and to believe in a new story and make it happen.
Life sometimes has a harsh way of telling us that we are on the wrong path as we make our way through life. Sometimes despite our best efforts, it presents us with a challenge that forces us to change in some way. It gives us road blocks, dead ends, closed doors or a rejection that forces us to change direction. It can leave us feeling disillusioned, fearful, anxious and not knowing what to do or where to go. What we took for granted is no longer there anymore and we are left feeling scared, lost and searching for a solution.
This situation happens to all of us at different times in life. It can lead to financial disruptions, health crises, being forced to cancel plans, changes in living arrangements and family stress. It can lead to fear, blame, anger, shame, guilt and regret for not having been able to know better than to let it happen.
It can happen repeatedly, forcing you to question your bad luck and recurrent difficulties. Yet the truth is that if you step away from your confusion and struggles for a time, you can usually find the honest reasons why it keeps happening to you. Amongst your many thoughts of dread and fear, you can see that there was an unease with the way that you were living. There were reasons why you weren't happy with your situations. More than once, you wished for something that would make you happy. There was a knowing in your thoughts, that someday you would make the changes that would enable you to live a better life, according to what was important to you.
Unfortunately, like most people, even though you wished, hoped, prayed and secretly told yourself that you would find a way to do what you wanted, you never actually did anything about taking action to change things. Your fears and limited beliefs kept you in the same place. You were too afraid to let go of your everyday security to reach out for what you really wanted. It is normal because most people do the same thing.
But then you met the road block that threatened your emotional and physical security. It did not show up for nothing because the unexplained forces of nature are designed to help you even in the most confusing and worst moments of your life. It may not be the best way to prompt you make changes, but it sure got your attention because it stopped you and made it uncomfortable enough for you to have to rethink your life.
If this has happened to you, don't waste your dead end. Don't let fear threaten you to go back and repeat what you were trying to escape. Statistically most people go back to what they know because in a crises, we naturally seek security. The old saying. " the devil you hate is better than the devil you fear", is true for too many people.
When you hit a road block, take some time to walk away from your fears. Turn around and dare to go and find what it is that will enable you to discover the path that has been secretly calling you. Don't waste another chapter in your life, holding back from being and doing the things that make you happy.
Sometimes a dead end can be a very good thing if you see beyond its limitations.
One day it happened and you just knew that it was time to walk away from that situation. The reality of it all said "enough". It is time to change directions and go towards something else. You knew that it was not working and that it had not worked for a very long time, yet you had put up with it because you felt that you had no choice. You pretended it was okay. You stayed stuck in the situation because you feared what would happened to you if you left.
You were too afraid of all the what ifs that could happen to you if you walked away. You went to bed feeling heavy and you got up feeling even heavier because you knew that it would be another day headed in the wrong direction. You had spent months and maybe even years hoping to find a way to change things. You had tried to change a few times and always seemed to end up back where you had started from; in that place called "this is not what I want... there has to be another way, somewhere else where I can start over and get it right."
But today it became all too clear. You knew that it was time to go, to walk away. You could no longer deal with how wrong it felt for you to stay. You could not hold back the tears, the emptiness, and the hopelessness that things would never change. So you picked up your coat and on the way home, you knew that you had no choice but to say good bye to that part of your life.
Tomorrow will be the first day of a new beginning. Open your eyes up to the possibilities and do not let fear take your thoughts to the places that you do not want to go. It is time for you to become creative again and to follow what has always been calling you forward to explore. Trust yourself and put your energy into creating your best life. Don't waste time looking back or having regrets. Turn the page and fill a new one with what you want. It is time!
I often ask myself why? Why do we get so caught up in the stories of our lives that all too often we become disconnected from the reality of it. I see it everyday in the lives of people who deserve to be happy and yet can't find happiness. I suppose you are wondering what I mean by that and I will try and explain it.
We have all been through some difficult times in our lives. They say that struggles are a part of the process of living and like it or not, we spend a great deal of time trying to make choices to avoid what will hurt us. We teach our children to stay away from strangers, to watch both ways when they cross the street and to work hard so that they don't fail. We are all programmed from an early age to watch out for danger and so we live our lives being aware that we must avoid anything that could harm us.
Unfortunately no matter how careful we are, we all experience some degree of hurt, loss, betrayal, failure and pain. When it happens, we try to deal with it using our limited experience, often based on our past and up-bringing. As we do, we quiet naturally make up a story about it in our heads because each and every one of us is a storyteller about our own lives. The trouble is that our stories are not always true. Too many times, they are based on our interpretations of what happened to us and we learn to tell our stories from a place of hurt.
Our painful little stories grow inside of us and then when another bad situation happens, we link it back to our main story of hurt. After awhile, we become so attached to our tales of failure, blame, shame, pain, guilt and other triggers, that we end up creating more of the same emotional upsets which feed our deeply wounded story. We know that we don't want to live with the pain of it and yet we can't seem to escape from it despite what we think are our best efforts.
Unfortunately all too often, our best efforts are based on our avoidance to deal with the real issues of having to decipher the truth from the emotional covers and layers that we had to create to protect ourselves.
There is much more to be said about this but for today, I will leave you with this thought...
What you spend your time thinking about is what will show up in your life so choose the words to your story wisely.
Sign up here to receive your copy of A Woman's Story - This Much I Know
Well I finally self-published another book on Amazon Kindle. All I can say is that writing is more work than I could have ever imagined. It is one thing to sit and write but the editing part is an extreme test of patience. I guess that is one of the reasons so few people ever get to the point of hitting the publish button. Although it is not an extensive work of literature, I have put together a collection of life lessons that I had to learn by living through some of life's many storms. I am hoping that it will give the reader a few reasons to reflect on some aspects of their own lives, so that they can find their way to making peace with their past and live with less of the heaviness that clouds our thinking.
Like all writers, I fear the judgement, the mistakes that may show up in it and of course the fact that I have put a part of myself out there. One of the things we learn growing up is that the less we expose ourselves, the less chance there is of facing criticism. But if I want to write, then I have to be brave enough to publish it. I know writing is like everything else, it takes practice.
I chose this beautiful photograph for the cover because it says so much about a woman, feminine, strong, beautiful and mysterious. It was taken by Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, who was born in 1820, in Paris, France. Under the name Nadar, he sold caricatures to humor magazines, then opened a photographic portrait studio. Nadar's portraits were a hit and he began to innovate, building a giant balloon named Le Géant ("The Giant"), powered by gas, to take the world's first aerial photograph. He took it upon himself to change the face of portrait photography with his unorthodox approach to the medium, effectively becoming the most famous celebrity photographer of the 19th century.
You can find the book here on Kindle that is readable on all mobile devices and on your computer as well.
Click the link below....
A Woman's Story - This Much I Know
As the spring days get longer and the snow slowly melts away, we naturally find ourselves wanting to clean our living spaces. This is another busy shopping season and stores are making a fortune selling us cleaning products, garbage bags and plastic storage bins. Like everything else in nature, winter slowed us down and we found a multitude of excuses for sitting more and doing only the necessities of house cleaning. Now spring has arrived and Mother Nature has given us a boast of energy to wake us up from our winter slumber and urges us to get ready for a new season of fresh beginnings.
Spring is also a time to make new plans for house renovations, summer gardens, vacations and of course wanting to get fit and trim for our summer clothes. Despite the best of intentions that everyone had to get into shape at New Years, winter hibernation gave us many valid excuses to remain sitting on the couch at the end of the day. But by now, everyone is starting to feel that need to get up and get moving again. Maybe it is because the sun is brighter and we can see the dust more or maybe we know that our heavy sweaters will no longer be able to cover up our waistline.
All this to say is that spring is a time of renewal not only for our surroundings but for our personal lives as well. As we go about decluttering the stuff that we no longer need in our closets and garages, it is also time to let go of some of our old limitations, beliefs, grudges and excuses for not doing what would make us happy. For example you know the feeling you get after you clean out your fridge, just before you go and do a big grocery to fill it up again. You threw out the almost empty jars of this and that and removed the carrots that had started to sprout in the vegetable bin. After some hot soapy water, you saw all those clean shelves and white shiny walls and it felt fresh and new again...fridge happiness!
Well this is also the perfect time of year to declutter our mindset so that we can get rid of the limiting thoughts that are taking up valuable space and weighing us down.
It is no use to hold on to what someone did or said to you ten years ago or even as far back as your childhood. It is over and has faded in time. As much as it hurt back then, you have to understand, that unless you can make peace with it and let it go, it will forever clutter your life with an old story that will hold you back from a making a fresh start filled with sunny possibilities.