Tag Archives: Love

Lavishly Spreading Love

When I splurge, I do so lavishly (not stingily.) Give me thick pads of butter on toasted raisin bread. Add vanilla ice cream AND whipped cream on my warm bread pudding. And please, fill the white cream so that it oozes to overflowing out of those chocolate covered donuts.

I’ve found most donuts to be quite stingily filled these days, and you can’t even find my all time favorite anymore.

Maiers cream-filled donuts could be found at Wawa convenience stores in a long white box with navy blue lettering. If you had a Maiers in one hand and a Krispy Kreme, Entenmann’s or Duncan in another, the weight of the Maiers was substantially heftier. And the first bite puncturing the cake-y dough would cause a sugary puddle of white heaven to spurt outward so that you had to quickly lick to avoid wearing it.

Today’s donuts can take two to three bites to even GET to the cream.

Why bother?

As a “go big or go home” kind of gal, I don’t just take my carbs and sugar in heavy doses. I want my love that way, too.

I don’t want to have to cajole love to respond or tiptoe around so as not to disturb it. When I’m far from camera ready and my foot is wedged firmly in my mouth, love me lavishly c ri

I want love like a bouncy, sloppy Golden Retriever puppy gets.

Don’t you just love people who take you as you are and who revel in your weirdness? It just makes you love them more.

For many years I attracted unsatisfying, dry donut kind of relationships. Working so hard to get to the the good stuff (if I ever got there) left me thinking afterwards, “Is that all there is?”

When attracting inadequate substitutions for good, juicy love, the tendency is to point the finger outward and blame all the losers for falling short. Or worse, to question one’s own worth and settle for less than because you think you are less than.

What it really always boils down to? What you attract is what you think you are worth. The quality of love you have for YOU sets the limit for the level of love you attract.

When I had my breakthrough moment and finally hit the mat, realizing I’d turned my back on the very person I’d be spending the rest of my life with (me); when I once and for all decided that loving ME would be a priority for the rest of this human experience, everything changed.

Because my vibration shifted, it changed what I attracted.

My love-tank filled and I had plenty to give away.

Now I am a walking, oozing, cream filled donut of love. If you’re waiting on me at the Publix, I’m gonna compliment your eyelashes. When you’re walking your dog, I will ask if I can lavish it with belly rubs. Don’t even get me started about close friends and family.

Let’s just say my biggest fantasies involve coming up with new ways to lavishly douse them with love. And the fun part about being generous with love is that you never run out. As one of the lines in a one-hit wonder song by New Radicals goes:

“Don’t give up

You’ve got a reason to live

Can’t forget

We only get what we give”

So whaddya want? You only get what you give.

And I want TONS more love, don’t you?

Here are my thoughts on LOVE and a brand new WOW (Word of the Weeks) for us to chew on:

https://youtu.be/7ini8ko_8WA

Ooooooooh…I love how communication builds off of love. If you love something, SAY it! If you love someone, TELL them. Don’t be stingy. Let’s be lavishly loving!

Let your love flow (and watch it flow right back to you.)

Love,
Brenda

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Blessed Are the Tenderhearted

I’m talking to YOU, tenderhearted people. The tough, cranky, hardened ones don’t usually saddle up to my posts.

They find them annoying. I get it!

When I’m grumpy, feeling negative, pinched off from love and entertaining crappy thoughts, the opposite irritates.

Fortunately, I’ve trained myself to stay in the lane of good feeling thoughts, so when I step out of alignment, it feels like Spanx two sizes too small.

So back to YOU, tenderhearted people. You’ve decided that despite the knocks life brought your way, you’d roll with those punches. Instead of beating up on yourself and others for perceived failures, you overlooked them, choosing love.

You’re on your way to being one of those sweet people who just emanate the comfort of warm sugar cookies fresh out of the oven. Your presence makes those you encounter feel safe – and a little bit better than before you walked into the room.

Judgement isn’t even IN your wheelhouse. You understand that every person’s journey is different, and until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, their walk is between them and them.

I love you, tenderhearted people. You make this world lovely.

I met a tenderhearted person last week. Her name is Joanna Sanders, Municipal Clerk for the City of Port Townsend. She hired me to give the keynote at the Washington Municipal Clerks Association’s Annual Conference in Blaine, Washington (just across the Puget Sound from Vancouver.)

You know I love any opportunity to encourage people, and I was pumped and ready to go (it helped that they blared Aretha Franklin from the speakers prior to the start of the Conference.)

Prior to my introduction, though, was an invocation. And instead of a prayer, Joanna offered this reading from the play “The Time of Your Life” by William Saroyan. It touched me deeply, and I want to share it here with you:

“In the time of your life, live

so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself  or for any life your life touches.

Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed.

Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away.

Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption.

Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world.

Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart.

Be the inferior of no man, or of any men be superior.

Remember that every man is a variation of yourself.

No man’s guilt is not yours, nor is any man’s innocence a thing apart.

Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil.

These, understand.

Have no shame in being kindly and gentle but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret.

In the time of your life, live

so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world,                                               but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.”


― William Saroyan, The Time Of Your Life

Only a tenderhearted person could choose such a meaningful, deep reading to open a conference. This invitation to LIVE was embraced by the crowd.

I wonder if, like me, any of the others brushed away a tear from their eyes?

The tenderhearted ones, I am sure, were a teeny bit choked up.

It struck me that we each have a choice to LIVE, NOW.

Life is precious – and fleeting.

Blessed are the tenderhearted, for they can feel – and let love IN.

More on tenderness and being in the NOW:

https://youtu.be/Dzffqn5X94U

Ah, distraction! It is a thief that steals time; robbing us of connection.

May you steal no more these next two weeks!

xoxoxox

Brenda

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Christmas Cheer to Far and Near!

This image was from one of the very first blog posts I wrote – and the sentiment still holds true.

My annual attempt to spread Christmas cheer through sugar and carbs has drawn to a close.

I have a huge burn mark on my right arm (tended to lovingly by Mark, with antiseptic and aloe.)

Sometimes you have to be burned to realize how loved you are.

The list of people who receive this gesture of love seems to grow each year as my heart grows bigger and the list of people I love gets longer.  I wish I could leap out of every box opened and encourage the recipient to toast first, then SLATHER with butter, ’cause if you’re going to break your diet, you might as well do it right.

But most people know by now the raisin bread ritual and how to savor it well.

I think about my grandmother, whose kitchen was pretty much covered in flour by the time she finished her annual bread-making.

Edna Hartsell made a deep impact on my life…from the way she knelt by her bed at night (literally!) and prayed out loud for everyone (literally!) she knew to the way every car ride with her was a rousing chorale of gospel songs.  We learned, as Elf affirmed, that “The best way to spread Christmas cheer was singing loud for all to hear.”

Each loaf of bread is a tribute to my Mom-mom, who inspired me to a spiritual life.

We each have our own ways of expressing and embracing our individual faith.  Some like to cheer, clap their hands and shout “Hallelujah!” and other prefer to quietly meditate and center their souls on Source.

Though my own spiritual path has been a bit like a Family Circus cartoon, full of twists, turns, detours, valleys, and mountaintops – I am so very very very very very glad to be a believer, not just during the holiday season, but all year long.

My heart is full of appreciation for the Loving Presence that has sustained me through dark times and carried me to better days.

Perhaps the greatest lesson of my past year has been that this Presence is not like a butterfly that descends and departs (based on how good, bad, or tuned in I am) but that it is EVERPRESENT.

I can call upon the Power that created worlds at any time, for it resides in me (and I in it.)  There’s no penance to pay for a misstep, only a moment’s acknowledgment to get back into alignment once again.

Jesus said, “I and my Father are One.”

I get that now, Jesus.

I believe the One we celebrate this time of year would, if He were here, take us each gently by the shoulders and say, “You’ve got the Power!  It’s all right there – use it!”

In my fantasy conversation with Jesus I think He’d also say, “Sheesh!  Stop wrestling with your own worthiness once and for all.  You are LOVED – unconditionally!”

What a Christmas gift. 

Wouldn’t that be the best gift for all of us? 

I came face to face with this once again over the past two weeks when I realized how CONDITIONAL (still) my own love was for myself…

Oh my!  Isn’t it interesting that POWER ends up being our new WOW?

Wouldn’t that be the best Christmas miracle of all – to realize our POWER and walk in it?

I look forward to delving into this with you over the next two weeks.  And if you’ve never visited my other website, www.MEseminars.com, I’ve love you to download my e-book on the topic of my own journey to self-love.  My gift to you!

In the meantime, even if you didn’t receive a loaf of raisin bread this year, my heart is sending you Christmas cheer and heartfelt wishes for the FULLNESS of love to inhabit your heart, now and forever.

xoxoxoxoxox

With love,

Brenda

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Friends are Wonderful Teachers

It’s Thanksgiving morning as I write this, and I’m thinking about my friends.

Friends have been the best teachers in my life and I think the reason why is because the love level is so high, the wall level is low.  With trusted friends, there’s no need to put up defenses or be on guard.

With friends, my heart is wide open, and revelations can penetrate deeply.

It’s not ALL deep stuff.  Though my friend Cynthia is as deep and insightful as they come, she’s my fashionista/stylist/hair/makeup and on trend friend.  Whenever we are together, there is always a conversation about, “Where did you buy that?  What serum do you use?  What diet are you on?”  We keep each other sharp (and smokin’ hot, I like to say!)

My friend Renee is a nurturer/caretaker/nursemaid/comforter who LISTENS in a way that always makes you feel heard.  She hangs on her friends words because she cares so deeply.  And research?  Just mention a topic you’re interested in, and the Inter-Nay (as we affectionately call her) conjures up the pertinent info and helps the Fab Four make informed decisions, while sending funny dog videos to keep us smiling.

Anita never skims.  She reads voraciously and has a PhD level knowledge about matters like quantum physics, spirituality, and health.  I tend to be a Cliff Notes/Readers Digest abridged version person, so how grateful I am for a friend who digs into the depths of a thing. She, too, is a world-champion listener, and always hears what I HAVEN’T said and asks the followup questions that provoke me to think.  She has a giggle like a teenager (and the bonus is that she lives directly on Jacksonville Beach, making for a perfect getaway.)  I will, however, always wonder why we live in the same state FIVE HOURS AWAY.  Seems wrong.  But it’s better than five states away.

On our recent girls’ weekend in Atlanta, Cynthia presented each of us with this “We go back, but we also go forward” mug. My coffee tastes better in it every morning!

These are my sisters from another mother.  And then there is my sister since birth, Shirlee.  So beautiful and talented, I could have been jealous, but she has always been so good to me I couldn’t help but adore her.  One of the greatest things she ever taught me was, during bad times, mark your calendar for two weeks away.  Guaranteed, life will be better by then.  (It’s true.  Bad times don’t last forever.)  She’s whipped up magnificent meals and desserts and watching her inspires me to try them at home.  She has NEVER stopped learning – now acting in local plays (even a film!) and playing her beloved ukelele with gusto.

Could I go on? Forever.

I could mention how Roseann taught me the power of a Hallmark card to really let people know I care.  (Hallmark should send her residual checks, I caught on to this so well.)  Or write volumes about Cindy, Linda, Hillary, Chelsa, Karen, Karen (I won two Karen’s when I moved to Sarasota!), Jennifer…

…you get the point.

We celebrate Friends-giving at my apartment complex, and with EDUCATION being our recent Word of the Weeks I couldn’t help but think of how much my beautiful friendships have taught me.  

And perhaps the point is not that friends are the best teachers.

LOVE is.

Onward to a new Word of the Weeks!

How perfectly does today’s post about friends go along with SISTER/BROTHERHOOD!

Keep learning, keep loving.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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Truly Living is Risky Business

It’s risky to put yourself out there and decide to truly live. The idea that we can live fearlessly is a misnomer.  The trick is how we respond to fear.

Fear can keep you on the edge of the diving board, never taking the leap.  It can paralyze you in a moment of opportunity that slips away while you deliberate.

I’ve been on that end of fear and that’s where most of my regrets reside.

Lately I’ve been viewing fear from the aspect of “feeling excited and ready.”

That nervous bubble in the pit of my stomach is simply a reminder that I’m alive.

That’s a good thing.

A few Saturday nights ago, Mark and I were invited to a going away party for a mutual friend. She was taking off to start a new life in Sweden with a new love she met on vacation a year ago.  At the party, she was surrounded by the love of friends and family.  People offered toasts and well wishes, and there was an unspoken acknowledgement among us that this was indeed a risky move.

A new country.

A new relationship.

No guarantees that this would be her happily ever after.

The flip side?

Not taking the leap could haunt her forever with the question, “What if?”

At the end of the night, the guest of honor took the floor to thank those of us in attendance, and she said something really beautiful.

“I know this is a risk.  But I know I am safe to take it because of all of you.”

See, there are no guarantees that risky business will pay off.  But when it doesn’t, knowing you have people who love you; you will offer you their spare bedroom or let you call them at 2 AM is the comfort that softens the potential blow.

Did any of you watch America’s Got Talent?  There was this amazing acrobatic couple, Duo Transcend.  They specialized in risky, jaw-dropping moves that were downright dangerous.  Her life was in his hands.  His life was in hers.  The love energy between the two of them was palpable, making their feats even more thrilling.

On their last performance before the final, she dropped him.

We gasped!

Then realized, this was part of the act.

Out of the sight line of the cameras was a soft landing place for him to fall.

We all have that same safety net beneath us.

Rarely are the risks we take matters of life and death.  Mostly, they’re a leap from where we are to where we want to be. And if we end up being wrong about our desired destination, we can always course correct.

Don’t be afraid to try for fear of failing.  Failure isn’t fatal; it’s simply a detour; a building block to success.

We can all look over our shoulder and recall things that didn’t go according to plan, but life still went on and ended up exactly as it ought.

Lessons learned. Conflicts created clarity of purpose. Contrast revealed what we really want and don’t want.

Our happily ever after isn’t an ending place; rather, it’s a continual unfolding as we create the life we dare to live.

And there it is:  Dare to live.

Go for it.  Be afraid and act anyway. Feel the pounding in your chest and take the leap.

Be alive.

There is an underpinning of love and well-being that surrounds you, not only in those who love you here on earth but also in the unseen spiritual forces commissioned to keep you safe and sound.

If you knew that you couldn’t fail, would you do it?

More thoughts on RISK, including how this very blog was birthed, and the new WOW, coming right up:

Is there something you’re holding on to that you need to release?

Just as you are safe to take a risk, you are also safe to LET GO.

Have a beautiful couple of weeks!

xoxoxox

Brenda

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Under the Influence Of…?

We are all under the influence of SOMETHING.

Back in the day, it was usually a nice red wine or a very naughty Grand Marnier.

Because my feelings were on lock-down, I had to numb them.

When I started to allow my feelings to rise to the surface (thanks to getting off of Zoloft and eliminating alcohol), those feelings made clear what was TRULY influencing me.

Good feelings? Happy thoughts? Joyful intentions and a positive outlook? That means I’m under the influence of Source/God/Spirit…however you choose to refer to the Divine.

Stressed? Anxious? Feeling insecure and inferior? Oh, I have just unplugged my connection and I am all caught up in what I can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch.

The senses are very compelling, but they are only PART of the story.

There is a meta (above) physical reality that is FAR more powerful that what my senses can discern.

It is in THAT universe where unlimited potential, lavish abundance and boatloads of  creativity and inspiration reside.

One of the most powerful realizations of this past year has been that Brenda and Source are ONE.  I don’t have to strive for a connection; it is not sever-able.

I don’t have to be good enough, or praise enough, or be holy enough to make myself attractive to God.

That’s the unconditional part of love where traditional religion goes off track.

Conservative Christianity’s view that a God that is love – and unconditional love at that – could damn a soul to “hell” always troubled me; yet I was so entrenched, it terrified me to consider otherwise.  I felt guilty reading Rob Bell’s book Love Wins, yet I couldn’t pull myself away from the sense it made.

This awakening was the first of many to follow…and just like playing whack-a-mole, as soon as I learn something new I learn there’s more to learn.

We’re all on our own, individual journeys. Some of you are further down the road than I, and maybe I’m down the pike from where you are…but the best part is it doesn’t matter.

Ha! Doesn’t it often turn out that when you think you’re ahead you’re really behind (and vice-versa?)

This isn’t a competition.  No one has the corner on the market of spirituality and everyone has a little piece of the truth.

I have found that the safest, most peaceful space to live in is where love truly wins.

In that space, everyone wins.

My closing thoughts on awakening and the new WOW, coming right up!

Well, hello possibilities!  What risks are YOU going to take this week?

(I’m rooting for you!)

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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Expecting a Beautiful Life is My Birthright

Just to put you all on notice, I’m expecting an amazing year.

For years, I’ve said, “Watch out.  When I turn 55 my world is going to explode (in a good way.)”

And today, I turn 55.

For years I’ve been setting myself up for a rip-roaring year and I believe that outrageously wonderful things are ahead for me!

No, I’m not “psyching” myself up.

I’m just AM up.

There’s a real reason why I can so boldly say that 55 is going to be one for the record books.

I believe that my world is surrounded by well-being, underpinned by love, and fueled by a Divine love that is FOR me.

And you are too, by the way (but we’re talking about me right now.  ‘Cause it’s my birthday.)

I believe that any and everything I ever wanted shows up like a series of birthday presents, because God/Source is not stingy. There’s plenty of blessings to go around for everyone, and when you are loved unconditionally, you get rescued when you fall.

God breaks the fall every time.  I count on it.

Further, like a magnet, everything good is coming my way and even if things appear to be “off” they ultimately work out for my good.

I love how bold this is!  It’s invigorating to bask in a good feeling and to choose to live EVERY day expecting great stuff.

Now, you might be reading this and feel truly annoyed.

What about all the BAD stuff, Brenda?

Annoyed people, my head is not in the sand. 

But really, when did focusing on the bad ever help anyone?

C’mon!  You know my story!  We could mention all the low-lights here, but when I look over my shoulder, they all led me RIGHT HERE.  To this amazing point of happiness in my life.

And I’m not turning back.

Nor am I looking back, ’cause that’s not where I’m headed.

And I wrote and felt all of this BEFORE I picked the new WOW, which I also selected intending it to be my word of the YEAR. And even though all of the words that preceded this video were about my approach to life, I so hope the same for you.

That would be the best birthday present of all.  For all of you lovely people to fall madly in love with yourselves, to boldly believe that you deserve good, and by expecting it, to attract so much good stuff that you feel like you’re living in heaven on earth.

That’s what I’m going to wish for when I blow out the candles later today.

In the meantime:

Oh yes – now THAT’s a word I can sink my heart into this year.

Have a beautiful week, everyone.

You make my heart happy.

xoxoxox

Brenda

 

 

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Memorial Days and Emotional Landmarks

Dates on the calendar can be such emotional triggers, can’t they?

Now that I FEEL my feelings rather than stuffing them into a dark crevice of my soul to be more easily ignored,  I “get gotten” regularly.

Instead of skipping along in merry oblivion, life and its memories stop me dead in my tracks and instead of plowing through, I stop.  And I feel those feelings, as messy and soppy as they may be.

A “memorial day” of sorts just passed; it would have been my 15th wedding anniversary.  I know, I’ve mentioned it before, but for an entire week I felt like I was walking through emotional quicksand.

Another is right around the corner: The one year anniversary of when I left.

Every memory can be weighed on a scale, balancing all of the reasons why and, alternately, why not.

Ask ten other people to view the same set of circumstances and their judgments rendered will run the gamut.  They bring their own biases and projections as they view the evidence, which is why I am not a fan of judging.

To one observer, we are heroines of our own stories.

In other versions, we are the villains.

Some days, I see myself as both.

Why?

Because I am well aware of my imperfections.  And I refuse to try to pretend that I am without fault  (though I became QUITE adept at pretending happiness and have since given that up for good.)

Someone recently chastised me  – not intending cruelty – but these words plucked at my heart:  “You could have done it differently.” (This was in reference to how I left my marriage.)

My reply?  Yes, perhaps I could.  But at the time, I couldn’t see any other way.

And maybe it WAS the only way.

None of us will ever know because it went down as it did and it can’t be undone.

Which leads me to another “memorial day.”

September 9th marks the day I finally let go of all of the trappings of pretension; looked my soul square in my heart and said, “I love you.”

Yep, I am aware of all of my stuff – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

And I love you.

I forgive you.

Now let’s get on with this thing called life and start feeling again, start living again, and let love start winning.

Our word these past two weeks has been flexibility, and sometimes it is painful to dislodge from our fixed position of how we see things.  Or to entertain someone else’s view of the choices made.

I can see your point of view. Perhaps it could have been done differently.

These close encounters of the heart are all part of the bumps and bruises of life.  From my current vantage point, I believe a life unmarred by such wounds reflects a life not fully lived.

I could have died, long before my physical death, by not rocking the boat.  And I could have existed the rest of my days without really living, only to get to the end of it all and find I missed the point.

May I always be flexible enough to admit when I’m wrong.  To leave – anything – when it is time to move on.  To own up and apologize, but most of all and always, to forgive. Everyone.  And especially, me.

After all, I’m the ONE person I’m definitely stuck with for the rest of my life.  So I might as well make it a love affair!

And I hope you will, too.

On a lighter note, some less profound matters can easily make us anguished, irritable, emotional, and altogether flummoxed.  I talk about them in these closing thoughts on FLEXIBILITY (and ushering in a new WOW):

Ah, finding joy in the right here, right now.

Wishing you all boatloads of contentment these coming two weeks!

(And Happy Memorial Day Weekend.)

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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Faith of Our Mothers (and the New WOW)

It’s the faith that can move mountains, because the love is so fierce.

It is faith shockingly unafraid to walk through the valley of death if the trek can make certain their son or daughter stays alive.

Mothers go without to ensure that their children never do.

And while they know better than anyone else how to go for the jugular, over their dead body will they ever let someone ELSE cut you to the quick.

No, there is NOTHING so powerful as a mother’s love.

It is Mothers Day and I think of all the moms who are both mom AND dad (like my mom had to be.)  I wonder what it must have been like for my mom to realize her daughter had a dream to go to college (no one in our family ever had) and to muster up the faith to say yes.

My heart pains for those mothers who have lost babies…or any child of any age.

And I think of those of us who never had the privilege of being a mom.

Funny, I never really gave it a thought in my twenties and thirties or even my forties. But now that that ship has TRULY sailed, I sometimes wonder how different my life would be if I had been someone’s mom.

What a privilege!

And what potential heartache.

There’s just no guarantee how it is all going to turn out, is there?  Which is yet another example of the faith involved with this most holy calling.

When I lost my Toastmaster’s speech competition a few weeks ago, I was honored to watch my friend, Bryan Courtenay, win. He delivered his personal redemption story, which began in a dirty bathroom. The main character was slumped over the toilet bowl after securing his fix.  In the next scene, he paints the picture of his mother banging on the window of a car, trying to revive that young man who had overdosed.  It ends in prison, and the photo of a dead-eyed man’s mug shot.

As he unveiled the mug shot, to the gasps of the audience (who didn’t realize he was speaking about himself the whole time), my eyes were on his mother. She wept through the entire presentation.

Even as I type this, my eyes well with tears for the pain she endured…

…but I bet she’d endure every second of that pain again for the beautiful outcome she now enjoys.

The faith of our mothers, or those who have been like mothers to us, has likely sustained each of us in ways we’d be overwhelmed to see. 

Perhaps in heaven a video reel will play showing the number of times their prayers, and tears, tipped the balances, empowered angels on our behalf, and forestalled tragedy.

Moms who taxied us to rehearsals or sporting events.  Who dug deep and shelled out for those designer jeans or sneakers we HAD to have.

They made us eat our vegetables, say our prayers, clean our rooms and write thank you notes.

They cried with us, then cried some more on their own when our hearts were breaking.

For the nurture that comforted us and for all the maddening times as teenagers when we screamed “I hate you!”  For the treasure of another Mothers Day spent in your presence…thank you for the gift of YOU.

And for the faith, which so beautifully worked by love, to bring us to this very day.

Happy Mothers Day to all!  Here are my non-Mothers Day closing thoughts on FAITH, and a wonderful new WOW:

 

Ah!  So yes, keep the faith – but don’t be stuck on HOW it is going to manifest.

Have a beautiful, flexible week –

xoxoxox

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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