Why do I love my life so much?

No more New Year's resolutions for me! This year I picked a theme question to guide and shape my choices. The theme: Why do I love my life so much? I am not seeking answers but rather planting the question as a seed and nuturing it. The research: How does this theme play out in my life and affect those around me? What vibrational impact do I observe? What are my results? Posts build on one another, so best to start with the first one.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bend or Break...

We have been having a lot of storms here in Kentucky of late. Tornadoes that leave great century old trees looking like jagged standing toothpicks... the tops twisted out. It is a sight that tugs at my heartstrings to recall. Some of the cedars trunks simply split with half of the tree laying on the ground.

Not all of the trees respond the same way. I also have bamboo. I know it isn't exactly a tree but palm trees have the same quality as bamboo. It is in its nature to bend, to surrender to the winds, even to kiss the ground in prostration. Then it springs back up.

I have been watching the same variety of stance in a chat line I am on. Someone with a contrary point of view starting posting and the usual calm was disrupted. Some members began defending "our" perspective with vehemence. Their force was met with equal or greater opposing force. And the battle grew. Eventually someone suggested simply letting go of our end of the rope. Let the comments stand as a perspective and move on. It was like the trees that broke under the strain of opposition and those like the bamboo who let the criticism blow through and by.

I have been noticing a similar struggle in myself recently. I have been in resistance to life. I was allowing constriction or apparent rejection to break my spirit. The more I tried to fight back with a positive attitude, the more I withdrew. I thought I knew better but I couldn't do better.

Today I noticed that I felt better when I went to work seeing clients. I was looking outside myself by helping someone else instead of pondering my predicament. Then tonight I read about how the palm trees bend in the hurricane force winds, down to the ground if need be, only to rise up again.

The shift really came when I moved from a belief that the world was against me to wondering about how the world might be conspiring on my behalf. As I protected myself against perceived adversity, I was broken of spirit. When I felt myself flex and bend it was like the sap of life started rising again.

So for now I am being Bamboo. Inspired by its nature, I again feel how much I love my life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How many plates can you....

How many plates can you keep spinning in the air at once? Remember the variety acts on the Ed Sullivan Show where someone would get a plate spinning on stick and keep it spinning while spinning more and more. I know I date myself. Younger readers probably don't even know who Ed Sullivan was.

I rise this analogy to illustrate why I haven't been blogging much lately. I seem to have the ability to focus on 2 or maybe 3 projects at a time. When I redirect my attention to learning other methods of reaching out on the internet, I am not inspired to log in at my blog. In fact I didn't even know my password to get into write a post. That's sad.

In the past month I have been taping material for my gourd batik DVD's and my "No Sweat Joint Health DVD. I thought they were "in the can", needing only editing. I finally I saw some of the material we decided to re-tape 2 whole segments. The first was because something happened to the sound. The second was because the backdrop and fake plants used to spice up the setting were so tacky I couldn't even watch the video.

I secretly wanted to redo the exercise video as I thought I could do a better job than I had done. I put a lot of effort into rewriting the script and reviewing it over and over. In the end I presented the material differently but I think better.
I didn't rehearse or prepare the gourd material much as I thought I had that down cold. WRONG! That was awful. And taping 2 segments that were so different on the same day might have been a mistake. I couldn't shift gears. I had the exercise material in the front of my brain but we shot the gourd material first. Oh well. The miracles of editing will fix it, I hope.

The process has taught me a lot about myself and my standards. I first confess that I barely look at myself in the mirror. I take pride in being neat and clean. I'm not into primping and make up. So I was totally surprised to note that I have lazy eyelids. Now that I have seen it, I can look at photographs and see it was there as well, but I didn't note it. I just thought they were unflattering photos. So now I have a new goal. To look at the world with my eyes wide open. It is taking effort to keep the eyelids up without bugging my eyes or opening them too far. I can feel the air on my eyeballs when I am consciously practicing. Strange as it may sound, this practice is giving me a new take on the world. I shift my posture to be a bit more upright. The tilt of my head changes slightly. This shift is fun to watch.

I also learned that I have a curious click when I speak. It happens when I swallow and my tongue is at the roof of my mouth just before speaking. If I am conscious to completely finish my swallow before talking, I can avoid the click. A little thing but it does effect the sound quality.

I also learned about quality. I patted myself on my back for choosing to have my DVDs filmed at a TV station instead of by a friend. This felt upscale to me. They had lights, multiple cameras for different angles, sophisticated sound systems and mixing boards. So it was better than a single camera home video shoot. But this community TV station lacks polish. It is bad when crinkle cloth looks wrinkled or when the fake plants are so dead and frayed that I wouldn't even put them into a yard sale. Some of the staff understood my comments and appeared to be resigned to the standard, like no one listens to them. Some say it is a matter of money. These nuances don't take a lot of money but they do demand attention to detail.

Now I know how to be more discerning when I consider my options. I know my standards of presentation. I know to open my eyes wide in various nuances. I am learning why I love my life so much.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Paying the Price

I love the way insights are sneaking up on me and whalloping me over my head. The universe is making sure that it gets my attention. Todays ah-ha comes from Christopher Westra at www.lightisreal.com. He has been discussing the 10 laws of goal accomplishment. Here is number 9:

Remember the two laws of goal achievement. The first law is
that you must always pay full price for achieving what you want.

The second law is that you must always pay in advance. Stop
looking for shortcuts and go to work - mentally and physically.

This is not new information. I have written about the concept of "bread of shame" before. There are unfavorable consequences to getting something for nothing.

I know I can have whatever I want if I am willing to pay the price. The price may be learning something new, changing my self concept, or postponing gratification. But I have to admit that I am always looking for shortcuts. I call it working smarter. Yes, there are better ways to do something, sometimes cheaper ways. But it is the underlying attitude I have of seeking to avoid possible rejection and for that matter
possible success that motivates my wanting to be rescued.

The price I don't want to take is that of asking for what I want, of developing human connections. Ironically it has also been the very point of great advance during power month. The greatest shortcut also turns out to be the biggest price for me. You have to love how meticulous the universe is at stacking the cards just right for each individul. It boggles my mind. Under every rock or in every article I find another answer to my question, "Why do I love my life so much".

I stand in awe.

For all the Love

I couldn't sleep and finally got up and went to the bathroom. I picked up the nearby Reader's Digest and opened it randomly. The article was Steve Martin writing his memoir's concerning his father's death. I skimmed the text, unprepared for the way my heartstings would be tugged.

His dad: “I wish I could cry, I wish I could cry.”

At first, I took this as a comment on his condition but am forever
thankful that I pushed on. “What do you want to cry about?” I finally said.

“For all the love I received and couldn’t return.”

My heart opened. My eyes teared and flowed over. I started sobbing. I don't know if I was relating these feelings to my dad or to myself.

Most of my life I would have projected the sentiment onto my dad. In recent years I realized I didn't interpret his extensions of love and caring as that. Now I think I was closed to receiving. I preferred to feel alone and unloved. In that sense I didn't receive the loved given and therefore I didn't return it either.

This isn't about beating myself up. I am simply noticing how far I have traveled in my personal journey. It is no longer true about me. I do now let the love in. I do return that love. I even initiate the flow of love.

This realization was the result of that flood of tears. I feel cleansed and refreshed. I am grateful to have grown in this way before the end of my life so I have time to feel loved and give love all the more. Yes, why do I love my life so much?

My sleep was deep and peaceful.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Spy

While I was stuck in my Internet ventures I began playing a computer game seeking for a lost tomb. It consisted of 21 archaeological sites that contained 80-99 objects hidden in plain sight. In each round I had to find 10 identified objects in as short a time as I could. Asking for a hint resulted in a substantial penalty.

Some of the most difficult items were the most obvious. At a certain level of the game, I could choose to play the whole site. The name of a new item came up as soon as I identified one on the list until all 90+ objects were found.

This was interesting to me as an exercise in manifestation. I get what I focus on.
There are thousands of bits of information coming into my systems at any given moment but I am only aware of handful of data bytes. Similarly, each site had 90 objects competing for my attention but I had to find 10 specific objects. In this instance I was given the items to locate. In daily life, what I see is determined by what I expect to see or what I believe.

It was great fun to encourage my brain to search for things outside my normal patterns. And I had to think. A "Queen" might be a historical queen, the queen from a deck of cards or a chess queen. It was a test of eye-hand coordination, problem solving, figure ground discrimination and memory.

I am now paying greater attention to my environment. More detail is available to my conscious awareness. I can choose to highlight different aspects of my experience by shifting my focus or question. It was a fun way to expand and manipulate my consciousness. If I don't like what I am currently seeing, I can focus on something else. There is always something that reminds me why I love my life so much if I look for it.

Losing the "Tude"

I admit I have milked the "I don't know what I am doing" attitude for some time now. I am referring specifically to my Internet attempts but as I write I realize it is one of my standby cop outs. "Don't ask me I am a newbie". "I haven't made more progress because I didn't know what to do next".

I have been playing that game with myself concerning my classwork for my blog i360. In fact I believed my own story and developed a dread of trying. Sad but true. Why do you think I have not been posting here? Each new post would simply read, "I'm stuck". Here is my best imitation of a two year old, "I don't CARE to do that".

Today I was on a conference call with someone who took the same class from Bob the teacher on Blog i 360 as I did. In one weeks time his site has climbed from ranking 14,000 something to less than 500. He has moved 13,500 slots up while I have been nursing my attitude.

I was reminded of one our family's heritage stories. My brother turned 1 year old in early December. He was slow to walk and evidently even slow to even want to walk.
Come Christmas eve he was still on all fours. We had a clan gathering Christmas day and he was the only one on the floor. I can only imagine what went on if his little baby brain. But the next day he was......WALKING.

Now that I feel like the infant around all the walkers I too am calling myself on my "'tude." It is time for me to walk. I will report on my progress tomorrow!
Learning that overcoming challenges are one way to love my life.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Learning Curve II

Yesterday I was greatly distressed in my inability to follow my "blog i 360" class. I actually was in tears more than once. I did attend all sessions and got an overview of what could be done but watched the clock count down the minutes until it was over. Whew!

Today I boldly downloaded an audio tape of one of the early classes onto my mp3 player. It actually worked! I know for many of you downloading something is as easy as turning on a light switch but for me....I did a little dance and song. I listened to it and followed it in real time. I wrote down some terms like wysiwyg and technorati to ask someone about but I was able to follow the directions. What a relief!

My blog now has a title page and you can check out my progress. www.askpatriciaz.com/blog

So here's to the agony of learning and the joy of having a live link to this blog!
Let's see how I progress from here.

What in your life was once hard and now it is so easy you take it for granted?
Besides walking, speaking, dancing, reading, driving.....

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Learning Curve I

I am learning to use Blog i360 and how to link it to social sites , aweber it, affiliate markets and the like. It was a 3 day class. I signed up to have a systematic approach to working on the internet. I thought the focus would be good for me.

Thursday 3PM: Call 1. Questions, OK, I am on board. I don't understand much of it but assume I will.

Thursday 6PM: Call 2. I realize I can't get into the blog site because I didn't redirect my DNS. I redirect and listen to the call. Dead in the water. I can't even attempt action.

Thursday 8PM: Call 3. More of the same.

Friday calls 4 & 5. The behinder I get the more discouraged I become. There are too many different user names and passwords. I can't get any combination to work and ask for yet another password.

Friday call 6: Writing content. This is something I can finally understand.

Sat 4AM: I still can't get into my new blog site. I recheck the DNS redirection and put in a support ticket. So much for catching up in th early morning. I did register for a-weber and a couple of social bookmarking sites. I sent positive posts to other members of my team.

Sat 8:20AM miracles happened and the site became live. I even got an e-mail telling me which user name and password to use. Eureka!

Sat 8:30AM I have a client for the morning.

Sat 11AM Call time. I have my Dashboard open on my blog and a-weber installed and active. I am ready to go. By the end of the call I am in tears and again thinking of quitting.

Sat 1:40 PM I am figuring what is my best course of action:
A. Listen to each tape and follow along until I get it no matter how many times I have to listen.
B. Listen to all 9 tapes in a row and keep listening until I familiarize myself with the material and I get it.
C. Go back and listen to the pre seminar calls in case I missed something basic.
D. Just quit messing with the internet business idea altogether.
E. Throw another temper tantrum and pick one of the above.

Right now, "E" looks good. Anyone have any ice cream bars to help me numb myself?

This is the behind the scenes look at what happens between the high points of realizing I love my life. Maybe I don't like the training before the event very much.
I hate it that I think quiting is an option.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Learning about myself

I have a knee jerk withdraw and shut down reaction when I don't feel able to keep up with a project. I joined a 3 day intensive on web 2.0 and blog i360 http://www.blogi360.com/jamaffiliates/id/1917. we are on calls for 90 minute segments 3 times a day for 3 days. I went dead in the water in hydroplane lingo at call number 2. I failed to redirect my DNS to my new blog and had to wait. Since then I have been listening to the calls and observing my reactions.

So far I have been through a blame phase as in "he should have explained more clearly", an anger phase I might call Woman on a Rampage, total despair and self flagellation was close on its heels. Now I am feeling numb and wanting to be rescued. Here I am blogging instead of trying to do something. I am thinking learning about my default reactions is as valuable as learning the blogging material, though it does nothing to assist my cash flow.

In one way it is like language immersion programs where one lives with a foreign speaking family. The difference is there is a built in human community. Someone to sit on the bed with you and babble sympathetically. There is an attempt at a community in terms of a master mind team built into this class as well but what am I going to do, yell at them, cry, act pitiful? The home front thinks I am crazy to be learning in this way already and the home front is getting the frustrated fallout.

I don't yet know what I love about this process. My current gut take on it is, "This sucks". Yet I am not willing to throw in the towel and say I am unable to do it. The infant doesn't stop getting up while learning to walk even tough she falls a thousand times. Of course she probably doesn't yet have that little voice inside calling her names and telling her it is beyond her ability. In fact, everyone around her takes it for granted that one day she will be able to walk without falling. They applaud every little progress.

So for myself, it is time to go make one tiny little step to applaud.