Tag Archives: Perspective

Celebrate BAD Times, C’mon! (and the New WOW)

I should have anticipated that, upon picking the word Celebrate that the next two weeks would provide opportunities to grumble, complain, moan and groan.

It’s always that way with the WOW; it challenges me (and some of you, too) to embrace a positive in the midst of the speedbumps of life.

Enter edition 5.0 of Adventures in Airports.

Each quarter, I fly to Philly and participate in work meetings. Whenever possible, I try to fly out of Sarasota, because the local airport is literally five minutes from my home.  There are never direct flights (yet, I’m praying that will change) to PHL from SRQ, but the hour drive time to and from Tampa usually makes up the difference.

So SRQ it was, and a mid-afternoon flight stopping in Atlanta. Let me begin by telling you everything that went wrong.

Once settled at the gate, the thunderbolts came, and with them, the first of 3 delays.

At the first announced delay, some fellow passengers began grumbling.  One woman started to freak out a bit.  A seasoned traveler, I thought to myself, “Chill lady. You’ll get there…eventually.”

You know that scripture, “Judge not, lest you be judged?”  By the third announced delay I WAS that hyperventilating woman, and it was clear that no Sarasota flight would get me to Philly by the next morning.

A quick search revealed a Tampa flight leaving in two hours.  Scurrying to retrieve my bag (carry-on size, but holding a huge hairspray, therefore checked), I hailed a cab and said, “Get me to Tampa ASAP.”

There would be just enough time to arrive, check in, get through security and make the flight.

Except after 20 minutes of smooth sailing, traffic halted to a standstill.

As the minutes ticked off, I began Googling OTHER flights.  My only other options were revealed to be connections to Newark rather than Philly, and an earliest arrival time of around 11 AM.  Two and a half hours AFTER the start of the meeting.

Yes, it occurred to me during this tense standstill that CELEBRATE was the just-revealed Word of the Weeks.  Which I found utterly annoying.

Then my phone battery died.  I had no USB charger, only one that would fit an electrical outlet.  And my taxi driver’s phone was a Samsung, not an Apple.

Did I mention that the thunderstorms followed me during the entire route?

When, just a little over a half an hour before the flight was to board, I arrived at the American Airlines terminal, the check-in screen informed me that it was too late to check my bag.

Goodbye $15 can of hair spray.

Trudging through security, I beelined it for the gate.  As I found myself starting to relax and even celebrate making the flight, the monitors announced that those of us attempting to get to Philly would be delayed.  First an hour.  Then almost two.

I’d get to my destination around 1 AM.

Did I mention that to fill the void and the sheer boredom of waiting in airports for a total of 5 hours I ingested every unhealthy, carb and sugar laden  option available to me?

By the time I arrived, I was exhausted, bloated, grumpy and…grateful.

Because here is everything that went RIGHT:

I never pack a carry-on sized bag.  NEVER.  I love having several shoe and clothing options, my makeup case is almost the size of a carry-on itself, and I HATE hoisting a carry-on and flailing to shove it in the overhead.

But for some odd reason, I DID pack my smaller luggage.  Had I not, when I finally checked in at Tampa, I could have gotten on the flight – but with  no luggage.  Which would have been my particular idea of hell on earth.

Did I mention when I booked that last minute flight from Tampa that first-class one way was actually CHEAPER than the main cabin?

When I went to board, the flight attendant looked at my maximum sized carry-on and quite large computer case and said, “Ma’am, you can’t board with both of those items…”

You should have seen the look on my face.

Until she said, “Unless you are in first-class.”

A cause to celebrate. I nodded, numbly, thanking my lucky stars that by some sheer twist of fate, I was indeed in first class.

Which enabled me to plug in my phone.

So I could find out that my wonderful brother/friend, Steve, would personally pick me up from the airport in the wee hours of the morning.

And take me to his home where the most comforting person on earth, Renee, would have my pillows fluffed and soft music playing when I arrived.

So many things went wrong, yes.  But so many things went RIGHT.

It’s all how you look at a thing.  (Which was ultimately the correct conclusion I came to, after kvetching and moaning and grumbling.)

The scriptures say that complaining overwhelms your spirit.  I would add that celebrating buoys your spirit.

Our days are full of plot twists. We can’t control what happens to us, but we sure can choose how we RESPOND to what happens to us.  So why not celebrate?

And sometimes, that’s what makes all the difference.

It seems like the universe is continuing with this theme of positivity.  I blapped out a word during my closing thoughts on CELEBRATION…and wouldn’t you know, it was a precursor to the new WOW.  Here we go!

Oh yes!  Let’s raise our respective vibrations and expect more good stuff.

By the way, for my SW Florida area friends, I am conducting my first open-to-the-public workshop on August 11th at 11 AM at Davis Hall (Sarasota Center of Light).  It’s all about how to raise your vibration when you’re “Running on Empty.”

The workshop leads participants through a 7 step self-assessment. It’s enlightening! The Hall is located at 852 S. Tuttle Avenue in Sarasota. BYOC! (Bring Your Own Coffee)

We’ll laugh ALOT and learn, too…and the point is to spend time on YOU so you can course correct and get that happy tank full again.  Click on the above photo or here to link to the event and buy a ticket.  (Best $25 you’ll ever spend.) Please share with a friend (and I hope to see you there!)

Love,

Brenda

Share This:

My Messes Are My Message (and the New WOW)

To live in harmony, I’ve had to make peace with the messes in my life.  Yes, I’ve looked at them through the lens of bitterness and victim-hood, which did not serve my hope for a happy future.

Instead, I have chosen to see messes through the lens of gratitude and a believe that a Divine thread has woven them into the blessings that sculpted the person I am today.

So, as I shared with my fellow Toastmasters in my first speech this past week: There are three primary MESSES in my life that have made me who I am.

No one wants to ride the seesaw with a 100 pound kindergartner.  Yes, you heard correctly.

Born a month too soon in 1963, Sal and Bette Costello weren’t sure I was going to make it!  Hooked to tubes in an isolated area, four-pound me needed to reach five pounds to finally go home with mom and dad.  When finally released, the need to feed was never a problem again.  Getting me to STOP was.

…and there I was in kindergarten, 100 pounds.  Twice the size of most of my classmates, I had to have special clothes and shoes made for me; I couldn’t run (without peeing my self) – but my mess became my message.  I learned that what I could create between my two ears and come out of my mouth could build the bridges that my lack of looks couldn’t.

This mess birthed in me an empathy for the underdog; a sensitivity to those whose feelings might be hurt. It’s a mess that made me.

For mess #2, we must fast forward to age ten. My mother had long ago put me on a diet, so my weight was no longer an issue.  I was in 5th grade, just starting to discover boys…and I was particularly excited for the annual roller skating party where I knew that Aldo Falasca would be and who I hoped would invite me to a couples’ skate.

We whirled around the rink, girls giggling and boys showing off…and I heard my name called over the loudspeaker.  Had I won a door prize?  I excitedly skated to the office and saw Mr. Coccaro, a friend of the family, with a somber look on his face.

I knew something very bad had happened.

Before a word was said, I blurted, “Was it Mommy?” He shook his head. “Daddy?””

He nodded.

At the very age I am today, one fatal heart attack stole him from our little family and with it, robbed me of so much security.

But eventually, my mess became my message.  We all suffer loss in life – mine just occurred earlier than most.  And what it taught me is to never take someone you love for granted, because their tomorrows – and yours – are not promised.  Oh, I’d give anything to have that stolen time with my dad back, but what a valuable lesson to learn:

That love and gratitude reside in your heart to be expressed…and that if you live a life of love, you live a life with no regrets.

My third mess was the heartbreak of being single when everyone else was married.

My sister was married at age 20, and I had lived through ALL of my twenties and most of my 30’s with NO Mr. Right (and truthfully, very few dates.) I had, however, been in almost ten weddings (to my chagrin) and well-meaning friends encouraged me that, “When you least expect it…”

Ha!  I went to every outing – including the grocery store or hopeful visits to Home Depot expecting…and expecting…and expecting.  Nothing materialized.

Fortunately, I had a full life filled with friends and family and challenging work.  In fact, in 2001 I was writing an annual report for the local government.

Printing companies from around the region competed in a bidding process to win the job and, once awarded, the vendor called to arrange a meeting.

“Oh, it’s not even ready yet.  When it is, I’ll call YOU.”

The printing rep called again in a few weeks and by this time, under pressure to meet my deadline I responded with more agitation:  “I will call YOU when it’s ready; please don’t call me again.”

You know how you create a mental image of a person you talk to on the phone?  This guy was to me Danny Devito from Taxi.  Short, gruff, tubby and probably with a cigar sticking out of the side of his mouth.  I was not impressed.

Then the day came for the file to be picked up.  And this was NOT Danny DeVito.

No, this was more like Tom Selleck from Magnum PI.

I couldn’t find my powers of speech.  I fumbled to act professionally, while searching that left hand to see if it was adorned with a ring.

When I least expected it…

…three months later we were engaged.

Fourteen  years later, I am still in love with that printing salesman.

My mess is my message: If it is in your heart, it is your destiny.  Don’t waste time being sad because what you desire WILL eventually come to you, because I believe with all of my heart that desires are planted there to be fulfilled.

It’s the waiting, though, that makes you grateful when the dream is finally fulfilled.

In closing, is there something that might be a mess in your life today.  Hold on, my friends. It could actually end up being your message.

And that’s how I ended my speech!  Thanks for letting me share it with you, and I do believe that making peace with your past and seeing through the lens of gratitude makes for a much more HARMONIOUS life.

Drum roll please for the new Word of the Week!:

Ah, WISDOM!

The scriptures say if we ask for it, we will receive it liberally.  Here’s to huge doses of it for all of us this week!

xoxoxoxoxo

Brenda

Share This:

Trusting in More than Me – and the New WOW

I’d be remiss, as a believer, to not add that there is great comfort in trusting that there is a Higher Power with resources, reinforcements and grace to help in time of need. I choose to TRUST that God’s power is there when I need it (and boy, do I need it.)

I remember facing a really scary circumstance once; the kind of thing that had me quivering on the inside AND the outside. I really was afraid.

Someone reminded me that when I looked at my own strength and abilities, of course it would seem overwhelming.

But when you can call upon the Power that spoke the worlds into existence and ask for help beyond what YOU can do – and you TRUST that when you ask, you’ll receive…it can give you an uncanny boldness.

That scary thing turned into a big win, by the way. I actually surprised MYSELF by my words and the strength behind them, at a time when I never needed those superpowers more.

So that’s my parting thought on TRUSTING. I never push my belief system on any of you wonderful friends out there, but I always try to be clear about what works for me.

So how about we find out what the NEW WOW will be this week?  (Along with a few more details about how TRUST played out in my life this past week.)

I’ve already started my own “AWAKENING” in that I finally feel sort of normal again.

Being sick makes you appreciate the little things you take for granted when you’re feeling fine.

Like the ability to get stuff done without taking naps every two hours!

What might you dust off this week that has been lying dormant? What has been slumbering that will finally wake up this week?

Here’s another thing I like about the word AWAKENING.  It’s not a clamoring alarm clock that jolts you out of sleep with the gentleness of a sledgehammer.

The very word infers a gentleness…a slow reveal…the lifting of a fog to see things you never saw before.

If we are sensitive to the AWAKENINGS in life, we don’t need the jackhammers.

My prayer is that we are all open to seeing new things with new eyes and a fresh perspective on life this week.

Love,

Brenda

oxoxoxoxoxo

Share This: