Friday, October 14, 2011

Don't Buy It

 "The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it." 
- Professor Morrie Schwartz, Tuesdays With Morrie

Thank you, Mitch and Morrie, for this reminder of life's basic truths. I'm looking forward to dusting this book off and enjoying a full refresher course. 

Looking forward to sharing more later.  
In light and love...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Waking with Gratitude: Tuesday top 10

It's such an incredible feeling to wake up and be filled with gratitude. I am thankful for every aspect of my  life. It's the little things, as much as the big things, that make my heart sing.

  • My lightweight striped pajama pants. They're mellow, they're comfy and they make me feel smart. Really, whoever set the trend for separating day wear from night clothes should get that designation, but for now, I'll take it. 
  • My coffee this morning. Brewed perfectly, enough for two cups. In my adorable honu (green sea turtle) mug. 
  • Waking up to a text message and picture of one of my best friends.... in a Batman costume. Because it's Super Hero Day at the Office Max call center. Of course! 
  • Modern medicine.
  • My amazing, incredible, resilient, loving friends. I learn so much from them. I admire them. I respect them. They rock!
  • My job. Okay. There! I admit it! My job is not always the catastrophic nightmare it has been of late. It often brings me happiness and joy. There are quite a few days when I feel that I'm doing something worthwhile, making a difference in the world. 
  • God. I'm not a traditionally religious person at this point in my life. But I am spiritual. I believe that God exists in many forms. I know that I am being guided. I am uplifted and I am grateful. 
  • Let's get basic here: my car! It runs, I can afford to put gas in it. Vroom, vroom, baby!  
  • My health. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the current of wellness flowing through my body. 
  • ME. I'm far from perfect, I make mistakes like everyone else. I have moments of poor judgement and there are times when I seem to snap, crack or pop under pressure. But I'm human. I'm so grateful that I finally understand that perfection isn't realistic. Authenticity is where it's at. 
Cheers to a terrific Tuesday! :)

Needs vs. Wants

When it comes to NEEDS, it's easy to believe the list is long. Most people I know think we need things like cell phones, computers and flat screen tvs. Think about it - when was the last time you went a day without checking your email, talking on the phone or watching TV? Our perceived needs aren't just limited to technology. We "need" cute clothes, nice cars, scented soaps, appealing food, frosty beverages, etc. The list is endless.

My household recently underwent an enormous reality check. For two weeks, we opened our home  to friends/acquaintances who were homeless and living out of their car. The following week, we hosted guests who live in a $860,000 home complete with a million dollar view. 

For a total of three weeks, we had front row seats to completely contrasting lifestyles. "Group A" lived off of a daily McChicken sandwich and cans of coke. "Group B"enjoyed more variety: fine dining at restaurants, groceries (no expense spared), fresh fruit from farmers' market, bottled water, soda, ginger ale and a liquor stash (Jim Beam, Seagrams 7 Crown). 

Group A's mission was to secure housing, find paying work, maintain running transportation and stay medication compliant. Group B was focused maximizing their vacation: snorkeling, sunning on the beach, hiking and finding the perfect island property for purchase. Talk about yin and yang.

My household tends to fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, but suddenly I'm questioning my values and beliefs. What I once viewed as a necessity (a steaming shower with scented bath gels, exfoliation cloth, pumice stone, followed by a rich body butter) has been boldly bumped into the category of luxury.

In my NECESSITY column, these things remain:

  • Faith in the goodness and kindness of the human spirit
  • Self respect 
  • Love for self and others
  • A stable foundation
  • Warmth (both emotional and physical)
  • Trust in one's self
  • Humility
  • Resilience 
  • HOPE