Tag Archives: Light

Keeping it Kind in the Mind (and the New WOW)

My mind can be either a landfill of thoughts or simply a breezeway for them to enter and exit.

Thoughts are like beloved company or dreaded solicitors, and we should treat them similarly.

A welcome visitor should be encouraged to stay (perhaps forever). You fluff their pillows and linger over coffee at the kitchen table. You ENGAGE and cultivate experiences that build to more of them.

With solicitors, who never fail to call just when you are sitting down to dinner or ring the doorbell at the WORST possible time (actually, any time the doorbell rings without a pre-planned visit is usually inopportune), you cut to the chase and close out the contact as quickly as possible.

I suggest we do the same with the thoughts that come to call, hoping to lodge in our minds.

Why do we entertain liars, bullies, Negative Nellies and Debbie Downers?  If we wouldn’t invite them to sleep in our guest room, why let them linger in our minds?

Perhaps because we fear they speak the truth.

I protest!

It is the TRUTH that sets us FREE; lies put us in bondage, render us losers and talk us out of our dreams.

As those of you who follow this blog know, I had my own crisis of faith in recent weeks that almost talked me in to quitting my practice of the Word of the Week.

It toyed with my soul, nagged and chipped away at my joy and was building power…

…until I gave it a voice. Speaking it out loud and sharing it with people whose opinions I respect took it out of the shadows and into the light.

When the light shines, you see the fuzz balls and the dust for what it is – and you can clean house.

Which is what I did.  And why I am here today, talking to you wonderful friends.

Let’s take the flipside for a moment:  If Jimmy Fallon showed up at your door (or George Clooney or Oprah or maybe your favorite character from This is Us or someone else delightful and/or hunky), wouldn’t you roll out the red carpet?

So when someone compliments you or you think kindly about yourself, why do we so easily dismiss or deflect?  Is it a false humility?

Does it matter what it is if it doesn’t serve our best selves?

I had some close encounters this week with wonderful people setting up housekeeping with MEAN thoughts.  Here’s what I had to say about that (and of course, the new WOW):

Ah, HARMONY.

A call to be at peace, within and without. Embracing differences so they blend rather than tear us apart.

This goes along beautifully with the exhortation to be kind, to yourself and to others.

When the nasty thoughts come, toward yourself or to another person, show them the door.

And usher in HARMONY.

xoxoxoxo
Brenda

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In the Dark about Light – and the New WOW!

For all my exhortations about being light (lightening up, letting your heart be light, etc., etc., etc.) I found myself in a bit of a funk this week.

I may be coming to a “come to Jesus” moment about my level of busy-ness in life.  When 12 hours go by and you realize you haven’t stopped to go to the bathroom, it’s too much.

This, by the way, is no one’s fault but my own.

Trying to keep all the balls in the air when juggling can be an amazing skill, but the downside is you never get to enjoy crossing one project off of your to-do list, because you’ve got to quickly move to the next one before it comes crashing to the ground.

That’s not living.  It’s a hamster wheel that never stops. And I’m not a hamster.  (Though I’ve been acting like one.)

Oh, I have been trying to squeeze fun in here and there, but my phone remains tethered to my arm and I have been less than present in my human interactions.

Add to the mix some health challenges (like eyes that are still blurry – and much of what I do all day is read, write and proof things!) The internet is and endless pit of diagnoses, non of which make my heart LIGHT.

As I write this I am on another airplane, this time headed to a girlfriends weekend in Charlotte, NC.  While my friends have excitedly texted each other about what they are packing and what we’re going to do while together, I’ve been AWOL, sucked into the vortex of too many irons in the fire.

My plan of action?  To seek their wisdom this weekend.  This Fab Four (me and Renee, Anita and Cynthia) are some of the best sounding boards a person could have.  They are kind, honest, loving, funny and want the best for me.  I am going to sink into the comfort that they provide and believe for some clarity this weekend (in between or during shopping excursions and karaoke.)

Perhaps that is part of the reason why, when recording this week’s WOW I had the word WISDOM on my mind instead of LIGHT.   (And yes, I did also enjoy a rousing ‘put your foot in your mouth’ episode that also prompted this week’s parting message.)

WOW!  And boy do I need me some power.  How about you?

Power. Love.  A Sound Mind.

Sign me up!

May we all be empowered to make the decisions we need to in order to have the life we want to live.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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Tickled by Memories – and the New WOW

Our WOW was humor and nothing tickled me as much as taking a few trips down memory lane.

My friend Anita and I recalled my turtle adventure as well as my hanging sausage imitation para-sailing with the fab four (Renee, Cynthia, Anita and me.)  We texted back and forth remembering when Cee Lo’s “#$%@ You” song came out. It was a particularly challenging time in our lives, so we danced wildly to it, releasing some much needed endorphins.)

Thinking about next week being the two year anniversary of this on-line venture (which started out as “FLUFFI”), I was perusing the last years’ worth of WOW videos.

Talk about HUMOROUS!

Not the videos so much, but my HAIRSTYLES tickled my funny bone!  In fact, there’s even one where I didn’t bother to do my hair at ALL (what was I thinking?)

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I see how my fonts changed along with my hair color.  Which also reflected what was going on inside of me at the time.  What I find encouraging is that the new posts look brighter – and it’s not the lighting.  It’s ME.  I’m lighter (well, not just in pounds, but on the inside.)

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I also chuckled because my face is SO expressive, it’s hard to stop the recording at a place that would be a normal “smile.”

With me, it’s all teeth or furrowed brows, rolled eyes and hand gestures.

I’d be a terrible poker player.

More about this website’s landmark anniversary next week, but for now, parting thoughts on HUMOR and the NEW Word of the Week:

I think my take on the word RESPONSIBILITY was tempered with my week-long quest to lighten up.

Like I said in the video, taking on burdens that aren’t ours to bear is NOT what responsibility is all about.  It’s about getting OUR stuff done, being true to our commitments and making decisions that support them.

And I’m sure by this time next week, we’ll have a whole lot more to say on that subject!

Have a beautiful week, everyone –

xoxoxox

Brenda

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Acts of Kindness (and the New WOW)

What I’ve marveled at this past week is how bright light shines when it enters a dark place. How people come out of the woodwork with acts of kindness when they sense you need it most.

Like this meme said so clearly (thank you notsalmon.com:

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The new of hurricane Hermine was EVERYWHERE, and the location of Sarasota was front and center. Sure, we had our generator ready to go and the pantry and fridge stocked; candles ready to light and our phones and iPads fully charged.

But what really lit me up were the messages that flooded us (far more than the storm did.)

The big galoot I used to work with five years ago who private messaged to make sure I was OK. He’s not the warm, fuzzy type – so his concern touched me especially. The Facebook posts from family asking for updates and reminding us to “batten down the hatches.”

Not to make light of what was a damaging storm to many in our area, I do thank Hermine for passing through simply for the kind connections that made us feel so cared for this past week.

I observed from afar a dear friend undergo surgery for that “C” word this past week, and firmly believe that the love he was bombed with expedited what his doctors are calling an amazing recovery.

Darkness brings out the best light in us.

There’s something particularly fierce and vocal about our expressions of love and kindness when someone we care about is going through a tough time.  We become demonstrative and lavish…and it’s a beautiful thing that, having NOT gone through that dark tunnel we might not know otherwise.

I am reminded that we need to be that way with ourselves – whether it’s the big “C” or a little hormonal uprising.  Kindness is the special sauce that makes anything we face in life not only palatable but sometimes, remarkably wonderful.

Here’s a little bit more about how KINDNESS touched my path this week:

Feel free to choose your own word, but like I said, I’m sticking with HUMOR.

(And feel free to tell me a joke!)

xoxoxox

Brenda

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Simply Choosing Light (and the New WOW)

There are often simple solutions to daily conundrums.

The trick is to take action instead of allowing said conundrum to consume, overwhelm and otherwise wet blanket your joy.

Those little, trifling matters, like a wildly disorganized desk can be rectified by a good purging.

Then there are other events that stop you in your tracks.

I believe it is important to feel a thing; to be real about life and allow emotion to run its course.

However, I believe it is equally important to guard my heart from being immersed in the darkness of a thing.

I can only take so much. How about you?

The horrors of the massacre in Orlando this past week…the thought that innocent people enjoying a night out could have their dance so viciously interrupted just wrecked me.

To grieve for the lives lost and the pain caused to their loved ones is good and right.

Then I began thinking about the perpetrator…and the unknown others out there intent on spilling their hatred in unexpected places.

Like the obsessed fan who ended singer Christina Grimmie’s life.

And then, a child playing in shallow water, fatally attacked by an alligator.  Imagining the scene and how traumatized the family must be…

I can only take so much.  How about you?

Yes, it was a worst-ever week for Florida. If I meditate on it too much, it conjures up a forecast of more storm clouds and tragic thunderbolts that come out of nowhere to ensure our misery.

Not to turn off empathy or deny myself a good cry – but there comes a point where I have to take the simple solution.

My heart can’t take too much of the darkness.  I need to focus on the light.

Light in the form of good people, like the man who built 49 crosses to memorialize the lives cut down at Pulse nightclub.

And on a day like today – Father’s Day – that can often squeeze my heart with the pain of loss, I choose to think of the joy of a beautiful, smiling man who exemplified love in the ten short years I knew him.

 I can focus on what I lost…or on the joy of what I had.

It’s simple.  As the guardian of my own heart, it is what I must do to face tomorrow.

Yes, tomorrow it may rain.  But there’s also a good chance the sun will shine or a rainbow will appear.

Life is good and bad and horrible and joyful.  Yet I choose to live it because I believe in tomorrow.  And I believe that love ultimately wins.  And I’ll fight with all that is in for me fear NOT to win.

Which leads into my recap of SIMPLICITY and the unveiling of the new WOW…

Here’s my introductory thought on our new WOW, and for all of us who are going through a difficult time…let’s KEEP going.

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May our hearts find and embrace contentment this week.

xoxoxox

Brenda

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Choosing to See the Light (and the New WOW)

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Can I wallpaper my office with this saying?  LIGHT has been our Word of the Week, and when I read this it jolted me.

Oh, the people I love most are those who treat me as if all I am is good. They’re not stupid; I’m sure they see my flaws – but they choose instead to focus on the best of me.

Which makes me want to BE that best version of Brenda.

What a challenge it is to, instead of judging, to view every person we encounter through the lens of love…and then to treat them accordingly. That is my lifelong prayer.

Do you know someone like that?  Thank them today for being the friend who whisks away our ugly parts with “the breath of kindness…”

And now, parting thoughts on LIGHT and our new WOW!

It’s sometimes so nice to JUST SAY IT.  Not to dance around a thing but to be clear and candid…

The challenge, however, is for our honesty to be filtered through kindness.  Dumping our truth on someone can sometimes make matters worse.

That’s why I always fall back on this one scripture:  Pray for a DOOR to speak the truth in love.

(That’s a mashup of Colossians 4:3 and Ephesians 4:15 if it wasn’t ringing any of your bells.)

A door is an opening.  Pray for an opening.  (And I usually add, “And make it CLEAR, Lord!)

A brick wall is not an opening and requires a jackhammer to penetrate.  And a hard hat (or head), if the work shoe fits.

When I ABSOLUTELY MUST SAY IT is exactly when I just need to swallow it and let it marinate in love a bit more.

Whether our Word of the Week plays out in being honest with ourselves or with others, let’s honesty our policy this week.

May it be a great one!

xoxoox

Brenda

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Maddeningly Simple Stuff – and the New WOW

I say maddeningly because on several occasions this week a simple solution caused me to groan, “How could I have MISSED that?”

But the point (always) is not to kick yourself for having missed it, but to rejoice that you finally GOT it.

I was also struck by the needless complications of life – self-imposed ones that add burdens and suck time and energy from our day.

Like my hair.

When I lived in Pennsylvania, my daily ritual was to get up early enough to do full hair and makeup and dress for success so that I’d be ready for whatever the day might bring.  It has always been part of my DNA to look sharp on the outside – it’s like a hobby of mine.  Some people scrapbook; I go to Ulta and Steinmart.

The move to Florida changed everything.  I was now working from a home office and some days, the only people to see me are Duane and Shasta.

They’ve seen me at my worst (and still love me), and I soon realized that wearing mascara added nothing to my ability to get the job done.

If a tree falls in the wilderness and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?

If there is a press release to write and the writer is in her jammies, does it matter?

Son of a gun, the answer is “NO!”

However, my links to the outside world in my professional life are twice-weekly video conferences. Yay!  I’m going to see people!  And they’re going to see ME!

On those days, I actually wear clothes and perform the whole beauty exercise.  Should a surprise or impromptu meeting arise, I choose the “audio only” function to spare my colleagues from my foundation-less face.

Along the lines of simplicity (there IS a point to this story), I had such a meeting this week and, due to a time crunch, something had to be sacrificed: hair OR makeup.  Since makeup ALWAYS wins, it was with trepidation that I pushed my hair into a clip-pie and let the Florida humidity have its way with my fine, frizzy locks.

This was a wild and carefree Brenda – not one I was completely comfortable with, but hey, I wasn’t hired for my hair, right?

The crazy thing was, the minute my video popped up, everyone exclaimed how GREAT I looked!

MADDENING!

All those mornings when I layered product, painstakingly blow dried, back-combed and sprayed Sebastian Shaper everywhere, NOT A WORD.

But when I kept it SIMPLE?  Suddenly, my look had everyone abuzz.

Methinks there is a lesson in this about not needing to try so hard and that the real beauty is being comfortable with who I am (and if the stiletto fits, who you are.) 

And that wasn’t the only MADDENING lesson I learned about simplicity this week:

What a beautiful word to meditate on this week.

Sending tons of love and light to all of you – and Happy, happy Mother’s Day!

xoxoxox

Brenda

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