Tag Archives: Delight

Let Your Heart De-Light (and the New WOW)

The carol goes, “Let your heart BE light…” but I’m flipping it to “Let your heart DE-light” in honor of our recent Word of the Week.

There’s nothing like treats in the mail (instead of bills) to delight your heart, and my cup ran over with jelly and jam joy with this package from my Aunt Joan upon my return to Sarasota:

Aunt Joan gets regular shout outs on this blog for her constant love and support.  However, she will be scolded this week for totally blowing any semblance of my diet with her amazing “What are they called?” fruity, crumbly cookies.

I ate them all.

Myself.

But the pièce de résistance of her over-the-top gift package was the silver cuff that sits atop the jams in the above photo, engraved with these words:

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.

How true!  I started 2017 with the intention that it would be an “annus mirabilis” or “year of miracles.”  It was all that and a bag of chips, but the road was forged with grit and tears, hopes and fears marked by bold and brave moves that surprised even myself.

When the dust settled, I marveled at the complete and utter paradigm shift that had occurred.

My life had been completely upended, purposefully.

It was HARD.  Detoxing from Zoloft, settling into a single person’s life, finding a new rhythm and learning to love me, myself and I was a journey as jungle-like as my trek to Costa Rica.

My expectation was that I’d navigate this new way of life for a few years and then, maybe, someone might come along that I’d like enough to spend time with.

The universe had other plans, and now I find myself in love with a guy who wants to sit and map out our intentions together for 2018.

If I’m dreaming, please, nobody wake me up.

That’s not to say violins are playing and I have stardust in my eyes.  Life is real and relationships are the best opportunity to put to work all the spiritual truths collected over the course of a lifetime.

Here’s the kicker:  This is a man who laughs.  Alot.

He laughs when I get all wonked out about imaginary fears.  When I spill the soup all over the counter and miss the bowl, he chuckles.  I trekked him through an entire parking garage at the airport until I realized we were in the WRONG garage.

At every turn, I’m braced for the blow; the harsh, eye-rolling, “Brenda!” tinged with exasperation.

Yet the blow never comes.

Every time I get all heavy, Mark Roach gets all LIGHT.  And not in a diminishing or condescending way.  He just thinks that life is too precious to get all riled up about insignificant stuff.

These kind responses are healing another layer of my heart so bruised from being so darned hard on myself for far too long.

If you ever struggle with giving yourself a break, my closing thoughts on delight will hopefully encourage your heart.  Plus, we have a fantastic new Word of the Week (and Word of the YEAR!):

What do you want to be?

WHO do you want to be?

What do you want to become?

Where do you want to live?

What do you want to do?

These questions that I posed extemporaneously in this week’s video are the very ones I am asking myself as I head into 2018.  I hope you will ask yourself the same and we can begin INTENTIONALLY our year of TRANSFORMATION.

Much love to you all –

Brenda

xoxoxox

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My Christmas Surprise (and the New WOW)

Sometimes life hits you with a surprise and it feels like a dream.

My friends, this is my story – and it is a very happy one.

As you know, my marriage ended in 2017 and my goal was simply for PEACE; to rediscover Brenda and reclaim her joy.  I wanted to become whole, authentic and to carve out a life that made space for my dreams, gave Spirit free reign and brought healing to my heart.

In none of the above-listed equations was a man-component envisioned.

The love story I was working on was the one with MYSELF.

Who knew that this very emphasis would unlock the door to meeting someone special?

It was QUITE a surprise.

But before we get to the good part, there were plenty of entertaining detours!

For months, friends encouraged me to “get back out there”…but I didn’t want to.  I just wanted to enjoy my peaceful apartment, go to Toastmasters meetings, dance at Zumba, hang at he CitySide lobby with my new friends and read good books in solitude.

I did all of that, but then I got a little bit lonely.

My friends, Larry and Brian, scolded me.  “It’s 2017, Brenda!  You need an online dating profile!”

NO WAY.

Brian gently suggested that I open my mind; that I could be selective and set my boundaries.  That I could swipe and delete and be in control of the experience…and that I should at least TRY.

After some resistance, I became WordGirl22 on Our Time, Zoosk, and Plenty of Fish.

A series of painfully wrong dates ensued – one with a man that demanded that I “twirl for him” so he could see my physique.

I did not twirl.

After a week of thinking there were actually only tin cans instead of good catches in the fishing pool, I disgustedly looked through the latest photo gallery of candidates hitting “No…no…no…no…”

…but then, out of nowhere, “Hmmmmmm…..”

He had dimples.  I’ve always been a sucker for dimples.

Boldly, I wrote, “Nice dimples.”

And the rest is history.

The dimples were attached to a lovely man named Mark who has become my best friend and has made this holiday season both merry and bright.

I felt the need to share this with you because you have been with me for the lows, and I wanted to give equal time to the highs.  Plus, some of you have seen me posing with a handsome man on Facebook and “Inquiring minds want to know!”

So now you know.  My smile is higher wattage and the exercise of building a relationship is putting into practice all the internal spiritual lessons and healing I have sought this year.

What a happy surprise!

And an encouragement to all of you that, whatever pain you may have faced this year – on the other side of it is a gift that you could never have experienced any other way.

May yours show up soon!  (And when it does, please tell me about it!)

In the meantime, I talk about my supportive friend Kevin in this week’s video, and have for us all a perfectly DELIGHTFUL new Word of the Week:

Kevin is just one of the friends that turned my year from traumatic to tremendous.  Thanks, little brother!

Sending you all huge doses of love and DELIGHT.

May all of your dreams come true –

xoxoxox

Brenda

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Pity Parties (and the New WOW)

Someone once said that having a pity party was like crying on the devil’s shoulder.

ICK.

That’s a visual image that always stopped me in my tracks.  However, pithy sayings aren’t enough when a full-blown expression of WOE IS ME wells up and wants to win my day.

How inconvenient that our Word of the Week was DELIGHT!  I received further insight into why that word in the Greek means “pliable.”

If you’re not flexible, you can’t find delight in ANYTHING.  

In both my professional and personal lives, I like to write out scripts.  For my wedding reception, I had every speech and song plugged into a spreadsheet timed to the minute. (Control freak much?) Never a fan of “winging it” I write out presentations word for word and practice them until they sound extemporaneous.

My mantra (said first by Ben Franklin): If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

But what about my best laid plans blow up all around me????  (Or you?)

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I had splurged for what I thought was going to be an amazing Christmas gift for my four most favorite people in the world.  Before hitting the purchase button, I checked with both parties to make sure the event date worked for them.  I had such a vision of an evening filled with friendship and laughter!  Nothing delights me more than a well-chosen present! Yippee!

Without going into the complete details, life had other plans.

For one of the couples it involved triple-bypass surgery. (!)  For the other, a nasty, ill-timed virus rendering her bedridden for a week.

Now I KNOW that everyone’s health is way more important than my planned outing.  I really know this.  I knew this so well that in the days leading up to said failed event, I didn’t even acknowledge that I was disappointed.

Until, out of the blue, I burst into tears. Full blown pity party ensued.

It was quite a juicy sob. And then, I felt remarkably better!

Just knowing how you SHOULD feel doesn’t mean you feel that way.  And, as my friend Roseann is famous for saying:  Your feelings aren’t right or wrong; they’re just the way you feel.

Suppressing my disappointment – and failing to acknowledge it – only made me irritable and cranky in all the other areas of my life.  When I finally admitted to myself that I was disappointed, I could LET GO and even be glad that those tickets were going to be enjoyed by other people.  My inability to shake MY idea of how things were going to happen kept me unable to just let life FLOW.

We’ve all got boiling water in our lives.  It’s how we RESPOND to it that makes or breaks us.

The lessen hear for me wasn’t to have the perfect response, but to allow myself to be HONEST about what I was feeling, ’cause until that happened I wasn’t getting ANY release.

Nothing changed.  But how I FELT about it changed.

Here are my closing thoughts on DELIGHT (and softness) – and the New WOW:

And thankfully, my sisters and brothers are all on the mend!

Here’s to holding close those who hold that special place in our heart this week.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

 

 

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Soft Yet Strong: A Powerful Duo (and the new WOW)

There’s something so soft about the word tenderness, isn’t there?

Nothing makes me melt like a kind word or a gentle touch does. They are far more magnetic than a flirtatious comment or an over-the-top gesture.

Tenderness stops me in my tracks.

How powerful is THAT?

One of my favorite quotes of all time is, “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” (Eric Hoffer)

When we get afraid – particularly of being taken advantage of – we tend to get louder, more emphatic, less flexible and, well, anything BUT tenderhearted.

I scream when I am afraid of not being heard.

Yet it is the soft answer, according to the scriptures, that turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1) I don’t know about you, but I want to turn away wrath every chance I can get.

The word TENDERNESS, for me, was a call – a beckoning – to stay soft. To not let life harden me; to embrace the sweetness of a tender response and extend the gift of sublime softness in areas of my life where I have instead been strident and screeching.

More on that and the new WOW here:

When I went back to look at the recording I was taken aback by my use of the word “DELIGHTFUL” before I chose the word DELIGHT.

It also strikes me that the theme of softness was resonating with me, while the meaning of “DELIGHT” in the scripture I quoted actually means to “be pliable…”

Goosebumps!

This week I am not going to try and be braced for anything and everything.  I want to let life flow and I want to flow with it in a calm and peaceful repose.

This is NOT my normal MO.  I am a complete Type A personality with ten concurrent lists going at any given time. I want to do and be more all the time and I sometimes don’t stop working because I want so badly to do well.

But I wonder if a softer approach; a less frantic/performance driven way of pursuing life might not actually be more effective?

Since a life-changing trip with my best friends a few months ago, I have been conscious of how the need to “perform” has added so much pressure – unneeded pressure – to my life for the entirety of my life!

As I walk away from the old in this new year, I am getting the messages of tenderness and softness loud and clear.

The thought of living that kind of life DOES bring delight to my heart.

What about you?

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

 

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Jump-Starting Joy When Your Delight Battery is Dead

You’d think in the midst of a week where DELIGHT was our happy Word of the Week, I’d just walk around smiling, right?

But NOOOOOOOOOOOO…

My hormones took revenge and played ping-pong with my emotions.

Storm clouds (and the occasional lightening bolt) hovered over my head. Instead of looking at my husband, I glared – and the smallest, most innocent comment from him received a snappish, wicked-witchy answer.

Happy anniversary, honey.  (Tomorrow marks 13 years since we said “I do.”)

Indeed, I was not the poster child for delight this week. In fact, I was at a loss about what to write to you today until an unexpected opportunity to jump-start my dead delight battery arose.

Taking it changed everything.

We went to Cannon’s Steakhouse as we do every Friday night to enjoy my swoon-worthy singing friend, John Russo. Just being around him and our fellow Lounge Lizards (that’s what we call ourselves) is usually all I need to improve my mood.

And it did. A little.

There’s this 90+ year old lady named Shirley who is always there on Friday nights. I’d love her just for the sparkly hats she wears and of course, her name, which also belongs to my sister, though spelled with an “ee” at the end.  Shirley can’t help but make you smile because at various interludes in John’s performance, she gets up and tap dances throughout the restaurant, wearing a smile that could light any dark place.

Seeing her always makes me breathe a prayer that I’ll be a similar hoot at an advanced age.  And that I’ll get to BE an advanced age.

But what triggered the return to joy wasn’t just John, or the Lizards, or Shirley, or the fact that my husband gave up his failed attempt at growing a beard and shaved that day.

It was a sneaky little thing that happened between me and my heart.

John announced that the lovely couple sitting with Shirley was celebrating their 75th anniversary.  Seventy-five years!  Sheesh!  And I thought I slayed the big one by making it to thirteen!

Then it came to me.

Secretly buy their dinner.

I slipped Brad the bartender the credit card, asked to remain anonymous and voila!

Doom be damned.

Ha!  Take THAT hormones.  I’m going to kill you with kindness.

It DELIGHTED me that, regardless of what I was feeling, I could send a shock wave through the universe, defiantly choosing a loving act when I thought my love tank was empty.

Turns out, there are always reserves in that tank.  And miraculously, drawing upon them fills it up again.

It doesn’t have to involve a credit card.  Maybe it is something only you can do and be that, when extended, tips the scales for someone else (and your own at the same time.)

It will come to you as a gentle invitation, which you can choose to ignore or embrace.  I can only say embracing it was good for what ailed me this week.

So what’s ahead?  Here’s parting thoughts on delight and the new WOW:

Scaling back should never be equated with “settling for…”

What does SIMPLICITY mean to you?

This post is sealed with a KISS (Keep It Simple, Sweetie).

xoxoxoxoxox

Brenda

 

 

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What a Treat! The New Word of the Week…

When you’re in a jam, INTEGRITY will preserve you.

(Did anyone else get the jam/preserve play on words?  I actually am writing this soon after having peanut butter on an English muffin, and was craving jam.  Or preserves.  But we didn’t have any.)

I talk about this aspect of integrity in this week’s wrap-up video:

So we won the WOW lottery!  It’s a week to be DELIGHTED.

Or delightful.

Even more so than usual.

As I always say:

Little treats

I’m interested to know what delight looks like to YOU?

For me, it’s hearing John Russo sing The Way You Look Tonight or Fly Me to the Moon.

It’s the show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix that I binge-watched giggling non-stop this past week. Who knew being a former cult member could be funny?

When Duane visits me in my office and rubs my shoulders…*sigh*.  Or we start singing Jimmy Fallon’s “Tight Pants” song together – yippee!

Don’t tell me you’ve never heard it?

Now the song WILL be in your head for days to come.  Duane and I like to change the words to fit the moment.  “Every body’s talkin’ bout my ______….”

You get the idea.

Unique cards that are like little works of art. Beautifully wrapped packages (it doesn’t even matter what’s in them.) The perfect cup of coffee. Payday!

Triple digit Scrabble words and episodes of Modern Family!

Life is full of potholes, speed bumps and sometimes sink holes. I believe that the little delights in life are the exclamation points and highlighters that keep our stories moving forward.

Please know that you deserve every single delightful thing that comes your way. And if one hasn’t come along in a while, it should be your priority to do something about it.

Buy YOURSELF those flowers.  Stop waiting for someone to take you to that restaurant – just go (sit at the bar and order dinner there if it helps.) Carve out an afternoon to binge-watch an entire series you haven’t caught up on.  (If it’s Grey’s Anatomy, proceed with caution.  With McDreamy gone and Japril on the rocks, it’s rough going…)

Just do it.  Whatever your IT is, treat yourself.

“Let your heart be light” is a great line in a Christmas carol, but good advice all year long.

Notice it says LET.

It’s a decision; a choice – and it’s all yours.

Have a delightful week, dear friends –

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

 

 

 

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