Tag Archives: dreams

Is Gaper’s Delay Jamming Your Dreams?

Traffic jams are such an annoyance. No one likes a traffic jam!

Actually, they can be downright infuriating.

After all, you left in PLENTY of time to arrive at your destination, only to be stuck on the freeway.

You strain your neck out of the window, trying to figure out WHAT’s going on. Fuming, you inch forward at a snail’s pace.

Too many minutes pass and you finally see an accident…but one that occurred quite some time ago. The paramedics have long left the scene; the debris cleared. Cars are removed from the flow of traffic.

But traffic isn’t flowing.

You’re in a jam.

Because you’re you, you breathe a prayer for the poor souls who were in the accident. But next you say, “Why did every one slow down?”

The fascination of something gone wrong is magnetic.

It draws you in.

You can’t help but look.

And so it is in everyday life. (Even off of the roadway.)

That curt reply to your lengthy e-mail. The maddening lack of collaboration on an important project. The juicy tidbit of gossip about a colleague. Fixating on your neighbor’s tendency to leave their trash can by the curb long after pick-up day.

Nagging little things!

Or, bigger things.

Like the drama that unfolds regularly on our TV screens or TMZ alerts. The tragedy of human life lost. Or the bluster of the election season with its fear-inducing ads.

Attraction to negative things creates a gaper delay. It jams us up, delaying our better selves and our higher hopes.

It holds up resistance to the flow of good.

No, I’m not saying to ignore the truths of life. But must they have SO much of our attention?

What you give attention to grows. And by that attention, you attract more of it. Even if it is something you abhor!

My friends and I have a rule. When we’re “gotten” by a thing and feel we must talk about it, we preface the conversation with: “I’m giving you just a ten-second rundown because I don’t want to energize this anymore.”

We understand that language with each other.

It’s not that we don’t care, and if we WENT there, we’d be marvelous commiserators.

But would it help?

Would it do any good?

We have decided we’d rather be co-creators of that which we WANT.

So we flip the script and move the conversation to one that feels better.

Yes, so that thing happened, but how can we see the good in it? Or let’s daydream a bit and imagine the thing we WANT happening.

This bad thing? It’s only temporary anyway. No matter what it is, it will pass!

And the next thing will come along.

This is the cycle of life.

I want to accelerate the good and attract more of it.

What I see right now?

It’s actually OLD news. Because I’m going forward.

If you feel you’ve been waiting way too long for things you want or for change to come, consider if you’ve jammed yourself up by gaping at the UNwanted.

Change the subject in your mind. Encourage your friends to help you stay on track. Take a nap to stop the momentum!

And feel the relief that comes from once again, putting your pedal to the metal.

My last two weeks? A rollercoaster! And thanks to angels of mercy, I made it through…

Thank a healthcare worker today!

And I hope everything that seems a bit lifeless has life breathed into it with new inspiration these next two weeks —

Love,

Brenda

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A Dream Goes on Forever

A little known Todd Rundgren song is a favorite of mine: A Dream Goes on Forever.

My interpretation? Our dreams sustain us through difficult times. They are unsinkable corks, bouncing up as lifesavers (sometimes despite our best efforts to drown in our sorrows.)

Like flowers yearning to break through the cracks of cement, these resilient buggers called dreams stretch onward and upward.

“A dream deferred makes the heart sick…”

Oh, boy (or oy vey!) I’ve had some sick hearts over the course of 56 years. From not getting the part of Dorothy in the 4th-grade play (and instead, cast as the Lion) to watching my younger friends marry during my single 20’s and 30’s, life dumped some #$%^@ on some of my dreams.

“…but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” – Proverbs 13:12

Beating out thousands to land a job as one of the original QVC Show Hosts! Finally walking down the aisle to a packed church cheering the end of my single days!

Some of you quizzically read those last two lines, knowing that I was unceremoniously dumped by the shopping network and cut bait on an unfulfilling marriage after 14 years.

Hey, weren’t those dreams fulfilled supposed to be trees of life?

Well, they were. For a season.

My tears dried after losing the part of Dorothy. Life went on. Life marches on! What mattered SO much once is just (as my friend Roseann likes to say) a pimple on an elephant’s ass.

Gotta love my spicy Roseann-isms.

Thoughts of dreams stirred my soul this week when immersed in a Sex and the City marathon. The show begins in their twenties with invincibility fueled by cosmopolitans and a fabulous foursome of friends. Over the course of a decade we watch breakups, losses, cancer, babies and so much more that Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte could never have imagined.

Had they a crystal ball, they might have avoided most of their adventures to avoid pain.

And so might have I, as I pondered this photo from my past:

This photo captures the moment in time when I prepared to graduate from college. Already working in my chosen field, there was no doubt in my mind I would be the next Diane Sawyer.

It was my dream to write and speak words. To use them skillfully to inspire and inform.

Also, to be fabulously wealthy and famous. (Look, I’ve never claimed to be Mother Theresa.)

Oh, had I a crystal ball I would have definitely bypassed that QVC audition, kept driving past the church (that ended up being a cult)…

…but in the choices made to avoid pain, I would have lost some of my best stories. And my best friends.

I may not be Diane Sawyer, but I’m really glad to be Brenda Viola.

Yes, Viola. I loved my ex, still hold affection for him, and love that last name. It fits!

Just as I have changed over the years (my taste for pitch black, sky-high hair replaced by golden highlights), my dreams also evolved. Some have come true! (Published author, anyone?) Some remain to be fulfilled.

But that’s the beauty of life.

I believe the dreams of our hearts are Divinely planted. And they must grow! They will materialize in perfect form when the gestation period has ended.

But aren’t we supposed to learn lessons from disappointments?

Sure!

And once learned, we move forward. To think that life is meant to be a constant string of lessons learned from heartbreaks runs counter to the idea that God (Source, the Divine, All That Is) is good and life should be happy.

I believe life should be happy.

Perhaps my message today is if you are pregnant with a dream, don’t abort it.

Turning your back on your dream is to turn away from your very self.

Your dreams are intertwined with your gifts and answer the question, “Who am I?”

They light you up. You feel most alive when expressing from that deep, holy part within you where the dream lives.

This is what you were made for!

John Russo croons a standard from the Rat Pack. My sister, Shirlee, acts on a moment of inspiration and whips up a calligraphy masterpiece. Artists are brave souls!

I have friends who claim they don’t have dreams. Oh, but when they express their gifts, they so beautifully live their purpose.

Maybe that’s a better word…purpose.

But I’ll stick with dreams. And I hope you stick with them, too.

On this topic of how what we want evolves over time and how when WE change, everything changes, here’s this week’s video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7S8BZ-CNsc&feature=youtu.be

If your dreams are feeling choked, your hope has been deferred, and you feel a bit adrift – take heart. We all weather such storms. These, too, shall pass.

Ask for the grace to help in time of need (and don’t be afraid to ask for help.)

Much love –

Brenda

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Perspective and the Passage of Time

The passage of time offers clarity of perspective unimaginable when in the thick of distress.

This past week, I enjoyed a full circle experience and could savor with glee what once had been completely unsavory. More like gut-wrenching and heartbreaking.

In fact, if you looked at my life as if it were a stock market chart, the particular juncture I revisited would have equaled my greatest crash.

Ah…but the passage of time offers the gift of perspective. 

It’s not the time itself that heals all wounds, but what you DO with the time.

In a whirlwind of excitement, I’d beat out thousands to win a slot as one of QVC’s original show hosts. I moved from New Jersey to West Chester, PA, signed a lease for a new apartment, and settled in to be the star I knew I was born to be. Heady stuff for a twentysomething who’d been making $75 a week as a reporter for a local cable TV news show.

Then, out of nowhere (and after three months of being put on a diet, having my hair shorn so tight it looked like a boy cut, and my wardrobe dissected) I was unceremoniously laid off.

A moment that so sucker punched me, I burst into tears and begged them to at least give me a position in the control room. I had bills to pay!

They declined.

Determined to not go home with my tail between my legs, I did the only thing I knew how to do to survive.

I waited tables.

It was the breakfast/lunch shift at the Penn’s Table Diner in West Chester. Bleary eyed and dejected, each morning I arrived at 5 AM to fresh-squeeze the orange juice and try to remain sunny-side up when my life was so scrambled.

At the end of each shift, covered in syrup stains, I converted my dollar tips and change into larger bills to ensure I could keep my apartment for one more month.

My ego had taken a huge hit. My perspective at that point in time? Brenda, you’re a failure. One week I hosted a show reaching ten million viewers. The next, burning my hands on hot plates and only noticed when late providing coffee refills.

Still, it served as a testament to my resilience; to my desire to survive independently. Those nearly eight months sustained me until, finally, a position in communications was once again secured.

And, after 30 years, life brought me full circle.

This week, in town for a work conference in…you guessed it, West Chester, PA, I revisited the Penn’s Table Diner. As I sat at the counter with 30 years of life experience since my last visit. I savored my new perspective, sipping a steaming cup of coffee and waiting for my omelet to arrive. Tears of appreciation welled up in my eyes.

The night prior, at our annual awards dinner, to my shock and surprise, a table covered in copies of The Public Servants’ Survival Guide awaited me.

Steve and Renee Kantor, the best owners a company could ever have (and the best friends you could ever hope for) read the book and felt everyone in the Company would benefit from the keys it contains to restore joy in work and life. I spent the end of the evening signing books – a dream come true – and my heart warmed by their genuine and generous display of support.

Sitting at the same counter I had once served, I thought about the dreams of 27 year old me. Dreams that seemed so elusive in the midst of rejection and humiliation.

Oh, if I could have whispered in her ear, “Just you wait. It’s going to get so much better. And you will be so much better for the experiences that await you.”

For writers, it’s all material!

Some subplots we never would have chosen, but these experiences chipped away and sculpted the people we are today.

Of course, I left a lavish tip.

And wondered what dreams my waitress harbored.

If you are in a squeezing the OJ at 5 AM juncture in your life, I encourage you to hang in there. Keep believing, and whisper in your own ear, “Hang in there. The good part is coming.”

https://youtu.be/ak__tchFV94

To celebrating in advance! And whispering to our own hearts, “Your dreams have all come true.”

Love,

Brenda

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You Do YOU (and I’ll Do Me)

You do a great job of being you.

You’ve got all of the qualifications, abilities, talents, and instincts to do you incredibly well.

In fact, no one can do you better than you.

Further, no one has a CLUE how to do or be you better than you.

So stick with your instincts.

In my youth, I so easily and willingly abdicated my free will to the will (and whims) of others. So hungry for approval and so unsure of how to make my way in this world, a mere suggestion would change my course.

These were not usually fatal or egregious turns in the road, but they did make life more like a crazy dotted line in a Family Circle cartoon.

The problem with so easily deferring? When you encounter toxic people who do not have your best interests at heart (only their own).

You end up silencing your beautiful intuition. Courses of action are chosen that actually hurt you on the inside. You decide that your own feelings must be liars, rendering you out of touch with your emotional guidance system.

How grateful I am for the day when I said, “Enough!”

The great thing about life is that the truth always rises to the top, even though sometimes it has to hit you over the head to wake you out of the fog.

You will always hear whispers that question your dreams and capabilities. Most times, these voices aren’t from the peanut gallery. They’re your worst, familiar fears rising up to choke your creativity and stop you in your tracks.

Don’t waste time and energy wrestling them to the ground.

Ignore them long enough and they’ll dissipate, just like the Wicked Witch of the West when splashed with water in the Wizard of Oz.

I know, the temptation is to dig deep and try and figure out what’s wrong with you.

There’s nothing wrong with you.

You are exactly right. You are perfect, as is. And you are more than enough for any task or wish your heart could hope for.

Now stop questioning yourself and get back to believing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEFyhtKPfYM&feature=youtu.be

Being free to be you – and me.

An honest life is a free one. And freedom is the fuel that can take you wherever you want to go in life.

You’re going places, baby. Don’t doubt it for a minute.

xoxoxox

Love,
Brenda

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You Don’t Have to “Sell” the Truth

When someone throws the big-time sell at you, don’t ignore your internal GPS truth system.

I recall sitting at a kitchen table with an earnest couple who gave me the sales pitch of a lifetime about how joining their church would ensure I’d fulfill God’s purpose for my life.

They persistently pounded on the need to be planted, despite my dreams of travel. My television career was in its infancy, and in TV, you couldn’t stay put in the Delaware Valley (one of the top markets in the country) and gain the experience you needed to rise through the ranks.

The thought of moving to Lima, Ohio to hone my craft…and then to a middle market and finally, a big city – maybe even back home to Philly – thrilled me. This was the path I knew led to my desired outcome: A successful career in broadcast journalism.

And I was being told; being SOLD, that staying put was what GOD wanted.

I bawled.

I remember sloppy tears streaming down my face and crying, “But why would God want something for me that I DON’T want?”

“Ah,” they said. “That’s the voice of rebellion trying to talk you out of the will of God.”

Since when do you have to sell someone on the will of God?

Still, not wanting to rebel against God, I acquiesced.

Fourteen years later, this “church” revealed to be a cult, and over the course of those fourteen years I had the very life sucked out of me. Each “sell” involved me taking action counter to my God-given instincts.

Any resistant truth I haltingly uttered resulted in ME as the guilty party for daring to question authority. Chastised for wanting some semblance of normalcy (like, say, dating, establishing credit or having medical benefits), giving credence to my feelings signaled carnality.

Feelings, they said, were liars. Only the spiritually weak listened to feelings.

This was the master stroke of control that made me a walking zombie. I could quote any scripture for any situation, but I had lost the ability to think for myself. Why? Because when I dared to do so, it resulted in “counseling” and threats of disqualification for the ministry.

I often wonder if an alternative universe exists in which I left that table and listened to my heart. Who might I be today?

Fortunately, I believe everything is always working out for me and boy has it. To this day, the dearest people in my life are those that I met in the cult. Those I escaped with are the kind and tender friends who helped me find my mind again. But it took YEARS; even another fourteen, to fully understand the danger of suppressing my internal emotional guidance system: my feelings.

To realize that if it doesn’t feel good, it isn’t in alignment with that which is Divine.

Jesus doesn’t want or need me to suffer for him to prove my love.

And the truth sets you free.

I own my part in the charade because I abdicated my ability to choose for my life. At first, I thought they were more spiritual and would know better than me how I should serve God. Later, I acquiesced mostly just to stay out of their counseling offices where the most vile twisting of truth would render me full of self-loathing and confusion.

The good news is that truth won. It never fails to rise to the top and it will win the day.

And when you truly are flowing with the Divine, there’s no such thing as lost time.

We are eternal beings. And we’ve only just begun.

My parting thoughts on TRUTH and a double whammy WOW:

https://youtu.be/I01_2fOZ47w

It is rare to have a two-word WOW. I wonder what opportunities to put yourself out there on behalf of someone else will present themselves this week?

Let me know what happens as you take them!

Much love,

Brenda

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Understanding and Knowledge (& the New WOW)

This past couple of weeks I’ve been studying a subject about which I truly need knowledge.

I liken to process to pulling a thread from a sweater and watching it unravel. Just when I complete one webinar on the topic, it ends up raising ten other questions  needing answers.  Which results in signing up for another five webinars, all of which end in a sales pitch with the goal to get my credit card out and sign up for their advanced courses.

I’m gaining knowledge, yes.

But I want to make the leap to UNDERSTANDING. Until that bridge is crossed, information is simply overwhelming.

When facts and knowledge overload my mind, I stop feeling the joy and excitement of the original idea.  It doesn’t feel good.

My original idea (brilliant, but requiring knowledge to execute) literally descended on me as I was walking on the pretty Ringling Bridge on Memorial Day morning.  It dropped into my mind like a gift.  Without angst! Without even trying! Inspiration filled my heart and ideas flowed. Doors opened; resources came to me like a moth to a flame.

You know that feeling when you know you’re on to something?  At that beautiful stage when you haven’t tried to figure out HOW it’ll get done – you just have a clear vision of its awesomeness upon completion?

Maintaining that initial vibe while filling in the gaps of knowledge has been the challenge.

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE to learn.  But even more, I love to ACT.  And until understanding comes, I don’t have a green light in my heart to take action.

Understanding is the green light in your heart that says, “Aha!  You’ve got it.  Go for it.”

Understanding is also the red light in your heart that whispers, “Don’t you dare get out that credit card.”

This past year has all been about allowing myself to feel my feelings and learning to NEVER underestimate them.  Our feelings are guideposts, indicating our connection (or lack of) connection to SOURCE (God, Spirit, The Force – however you wish to refer to the Divine.)

Or as they said in the 60’s, “If it feels good, do it.”

The completed vision?  Feels amazing.

It’s the ruminating on the gaps between start and finish that try to trip us up.

Many of us dream dreams, but we focus on how far from manifesting they seem.

We seek relationships or financial freedom or weight loss, and we mull over how elusive these desires appear to be. 

All of which only focuses on the LACK.  And what you focus on is what you (and I) ATTRACT.

In other words, keep complaining about it, and you’ll keep having it (or not having it.)

So what do we do because we DO need to fill in those gaps?

What’s working for me is to stay on the path of least resistance.

When it stops flowing, I stop going. 

When I hit a brick wall in progress, I distract myself with something entirely different – something that reignites my joy level.  It could be an episode of Shark Tank (I’m obsessed) or watching Amy Sedaris’ Instagram videos (also obsessed).  America’s Got Talent never fails to bring a heartfelt tear to my eyes.  And a good mani/pedi is another great distraction.

The dream WILL be accomplished; the gaps filled in.  But I refuse to worry about the HOW. 

Why? Because my overriding UNDERSTANDING is this:  God does not put a dream in our heart for it to be frustrated.  It is a seed that we must tend to with love.  And for it to spring forth and bear fruit, we must nurture OURSELVES.

If you feel overwhelmed or sad or just a little off about your particular dream, wish, or want, distract yourself with something lovely.  Conjure up in your imagination the feelings of how wonderful that elusive thing will be while counting your blessings about the right here right now.

Stay in a happy place.

Doing so will keep you in a receptive mode for more serendipitous encounters with creativity, people and other miracles.

More thoughts on UNDERSTANDING, provoked by the recent and tragic suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain…and the new WOW, comin’ right up!

OMG – that just confirms it.  Keep that vibe high!  Celebrate like it’s already happened.  Don’t apologize for your joyful exuberance!

I’m excited for all of us to delight in this wonderful word that invites us to fan the flame of every happy feeling.

Love to you all!

xoxoxoxox

Brenda

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Knocked Down (But Willing to Get Up!)

There are a few songs that bring out the fight in me when I’m feeling down.

The theme from Rocky always does it for me. Bill Conti’s horns always make we want to jump up and down on the couch with my arms raised in the victory pose.

Then there’s that “I get knocked down, but I get up again” song by Chumbawamba.  Its actual title is Tubthumping, but I never understood that (or most of the other words.) However, that fighter’s chorus just gets my blood thumping. (Or rather, “tubthumping?)

Our Word of the Week was WILLINGNESS and the truth is, sometimes I get knocked down and I DO NOT WANT to get up again.

I want to slink into the bedroom with a vat of pistachio gelato, curl under the covers and hibernate for at least a few days.  No phone calls; no texts:  I “vant to be alone” in full-on Greta Garbo mode.

That’s how I felt when I lost the final round of my Toastmaster’s Humorous Speech competition last fall.  I had won the club, area, and district competitions and gave what I felt was my best-ever performance at the BIG finale.

And I didn’t even place.

I smiled through the excruciatingly long awards ceremony, wanting to appear to be the good sport that I hoped I would be.

But I was mad.  And I felt robbed.

I swore I would never grace another Toastmasters’ speech competition with my presence and even considered quitting the organization altogether.

No, I am not 9 years old, but I was acting as if.

When the dust settled, I remembered why I got involved with Toastmasters in the first place.  I wanted to compete and perfect my craft; I wanted feedback and a track to run on to pursue my dreams.

When you feel like quitting, friends, go back to your “Why?”  

Your why is the fuel that will take your legs up to the top of the Art Museum.

Your why makes you willing to try again.

As I write this, I am preparing for a Saturday competition in which I will deliver “How To Fertilize Your Life” – the speech I wrote about a few weeks ago.

Yes, I want to win.  But more than that – I want to inspire the crowd assembling at the Gulf Gate Library on a Saturday afternoon.  I want to give them something to take with them that will encourage them to kiss their spouses, say thank you to a co-worker or compliment a stranger.

Oh, and yes, I want to win.

My dream is HUGE.  I want to be the Toastmasters International Public Speaking Champion.  Which means, if I am fortunate enough to win at Gulf Gate this Saturday, I’ve got several layers of the candy cane forest to travel through to get to my destination.

One step at a time, right?

Here’s the thing: We all get hurt.  Some wounds are minor bumps and bruises, like losing a speech competition.

Some are more profound, like finding out a church was really a cult and saying, “I’ll never darken the door of another church again.”

My nevers, however, are usually wrapped up in fear. Today I find myself attending a sweet little Center of Light with Mark every Sunday morning and finding joy in the ritual of a spiritual community.

Willingness is not only a trademark of resilience but also of saying YES to life itself.

Let’s not let our failed marriages keep us from being open to love.

Let us try yet again when we fall flat on our faces…

…and not let the past dictate our futures.

We so often wall ourselves up to protect from future disappointments, but then I remember that with every disappointment has come loving comfort by friends who have wooed me back to health. And whattya know, I’m up again and back in the fight.

More on willingness here…and I’ll keep you posted on Facebook about the competition!

Hefty doses of self-acceptance to all of us (no matter HOW the judges rule.)

xoxoxoxox

Brenda

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Waiting in Wonder and the Power in Patience

I am in love with waiting patiently these days, because I have found the POWER in this space in time.

The waiting period between now and a dream actualized gives us time to PREPARE for the moment.

Mohammed Ali put on those boxing gloves long before his first fight.  Oprah Winfrey practiced speaking as a little girl, long before the cameras were rolling. And everything you  (and I) are doing right now is preparing us for OUR moment.

My recent attendance at an Abraham Hicks workshop reminded me that waiting is a juicy time.

Before I can see it, smell it, taste it or touch it, I can ENJOY it.  

I see the lines of smiling people as I sign my books.  The light on my face is warm,  as I encourage a standing room only audience to love themselves in a dark auditorium. I can taste the salt in the air at the yellow house on Casey Key with a writing room that overlooks the Gulf of Mexico.

Yesterday morning, I even saw the sunflowers on the windowsill as white curtains billow through the kitchen on a sea breeze.

It’s PALPABLE!  And not complicated.

Complication enters when I entertain conflicting thoughts on the same topic.

When I meditate on the details and how-to’s and uh-ohs, my power stance putters.

When I meditate on what is being created, it jazzes me so much I could levitate.  It fills my faith tank so fully that I’ve got too much readiness to believe the bad.

What a thing to NOT to feel guilty about what the world deems important.  (Note to Mom: No, that doesn’t mean I’ll stop being responsible.  I will continue to work hard, pay my bills, remember peoples’ birthdays and to eat my vegetables.)

What I am learning, rather, is to not give attention to the squeakiest wheel and instead give focus to my INNER BEING.

My life – your life – is a petri dish.  We establish (or not) a vibrational ecosystem that supports (or not) what we desire.

What is manifesting (or not) is what is dominant in our thoughts. Thoughts become THINGS.

“If you are not realizing movement on a topic, this influence of your inner being is being dominated by opposing thought.” – Abraham Hicks

What?  You mean I’m hamstringing my own progress by entertaining opposing thoughts?

I thought I was just being practical!

Instead, I choose to be impractical and simultaneously psyched about the pipeline and its contents.  THAT is where the fun is!

And SATISFACTION – right here and now, while you are “waiting” is proof that you are in alignment with SOURCE, God, the Universe, or however you wish to describe the Almighty Power that created ALL of this.

Find as many ways to feel as good as you can feel.

BLISS OUT.

Worry is not how you love people, least of all yourself.  Worry is clutter and resistance to that which we seek to manifest.

So what do I do today?

What inspires me.

My inner being (just like curling in the Olympics) creates a path of least resistance to my dream (which shall be referred to as REALITY from now on) as I chip away at little pieces through inspiration.

Find the POWER as you patiently wait. Don’t wait in loss or longing or lack.  Wait in joyful anticipation.  Enjoy it BEFORE it shows up in the physical.

And know that for this very thing; this moment in time, you exist.  The spark of Divine put inside of you the desire to create this very thing – not to frustrate you!  No! To give you a juicy vision, full of vitality and friskiness, as the cake bakes in the oven.

Who knew patience carried with it such power?  Here are my parting thoughts and the new WOW:

https://youtu.be/4_C3OqGYgsE

A two-fer!  That makes sense since it’s going to fuel us for two weeks!

May your “to-do” list be completed.  I trust that it will.

And don’t forget to let your SOUL win the day, not the drumbeat of what you can see, feel, taste, smell and hear.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

 

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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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