Tag Archives: Spirit

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

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Your Masterpiece is YOU (and the New WOW)

For our entire lives, we’ve been working on a masterpiece.

We may not call ourselves creative and a paintbrush may never have graced our hands – still, we are artists.

On my 4+ hour drive to Jacksonville to spend Thanksgiving with my friend Anita and her family, I had good company.  Joining me on the open road was the audio book of Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Voice of Knowledge.”  A new friend had shared with me that Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements” deeply affected his life for good. He highly recommended the trilogy of Toltec Wisdom Books.

The word “Toltec” means “artist of the spirit.” In the Toltec tradition, every human is an artist, and the supreme art is the expression of the beauty of our spirit. To consider that we are artists (rather than mere humans), makes us creators – just like the One Who created us.

From page 47 of The Voice of Knowledge:

How do we live our life? This is our art; the art of living.

There are two kinds of artists.  Those who create their story without awareness, and those recover awareness and create their story with truth and with love.

To think that I – that WE – hold the paintbrush to our lives is an awesome realization.  Is there something that doesn’t fit into our vision of truth and love?  Paint over it.  Create something new.  We have the power to do this.

We were BORN to write our own story and have everything we need to make it a work of art.  Yes, people will come along who will try to impose on us what THEY think our lives should look like.

When I handed over the paintbrush to other people, I became something other than the authentic Brenda.

It has taken many years to get her back.  As the song goes, “Reunited and It feels SO good!

This passage from page 68 excited my spirit so much I wanted to share it with you:

You are the only one who can change your story, and you do this by changing your relationship with yourself.

Every time you change the main character in your story, just like magic the whole story starts to change in order to adapt to the new main character.

I think of one of my favorite movies of all time, Frequency, in which the main character is able to connect to his long-deceased Father through a miraculous ham radio.  At one point he mentions that “cigarettes will kill, you Dad…” as an off-handed comment.

Long story short, that suggestion led to a decision by his Father that resulted in him changing the course of his life…and his death.  The script was rewritten.

I consider my decision four years ago to stop drinking.  After years of wrestling with, “Do I have a problem?” I heard clearly in my spirit that if I kept it up, I would die prematurely.  When tempted to sip a Cosmopolitan, I have reminded myself of that revelation to keep me from turning back.

The clarity of sobriety has graced me with so many gifts; most importantly, a clearness about what I want my life to be and who I want Brenda to be.  It has afforded me a newfound ability to call a lie a lie and step away from pretense and performance.  Being clear gave me the courage to walk away from those things that no longer “fit” the true me…and the health in mind, body and spirit to enjoy a new way of living.

It was the first domino in a series that led to removing Zoloft from my life, journeying to Costa Rica to get back in touch with my wounded soul and begin this journey to wholeness.

What a ripple effect!

I’m sure there will yet be many more changes to the main character of my story, but my point in writing is to encourage YOU to take that paintbrush and adjust your masterpiece accordingly.

Paint your beautiful life with broad strokes of love and truth, my friends.

And what a great word to follow up these thoughts on CREATIVITY:

What a wonderful assignment for all of us!  It is NEVER too late to be who you “might have been.”

I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving.  It’s a holiday to be celebrated year-round…and my heart is overflowing with gratitude for this life I get to live (and create!).  I’m so blessed to share it with you.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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Keep Swimming (and the New WOW)

So with theaters packed with people seeing Finding Dory, I can’t wait to get my ticket. Dory exemplifies resilience, our recent Word of the Week, with her “Just keep swimming…” philosophy.

I reflected a bit this week on when my tank of resilience wanes and there’s a clear connection.

One of my favorite scriptures (Ps. 77:3) provides the insight:  Complaining overwhelms your spirit.

Your body and soul may give up, but your spirit has indomitable resources. The catch is NOT to overwhelm your spirit with complaining and to let that unsinkable cork inside of you WIN.

There’s a catch that sometimes snags me, though.  In the effort NOT to overwhelm my spirit, I sometimes choose to not “talk it out” (whatever IT is) with someone else, somewhat afraid that negative energy will be expended and sprinkle its evil pixie dust, making matters worse.

Then I realized that talking something through with the end goal to glean insights from an impartial party that might actually bring relief, resolve or at least COMFORT is a good thing.

If my intent is simply to whine, murmur, have a pity party and otherwise indulge the negative vibes that seek to swallow me into a quagmire of muck, then no – it’s best for me to shut my trap.

Perhaps Dory’s short term memory loss aids her ability to just KEEP SWIMMING.  

She can’t obsess over that thoughtless comment or perceived slight.  May all of our offenses have short-term memory!

Final thoughts on resilience and the new WOW coming right up…

There are SO many ways to look at this new WOW.

Aside from being WILLING personally, how do you view the world?

Here’s a nugget to chew on this week (I know I’m going to): What if you believed that at ever turn, things were actually working to benefit you; that God (the Universe; however you choose to define the Source) is WILLING to more than grant your desires.

One of the companies for which I work has a credo to “delight our customers and exceed their expectations.”

If a business can make that claim and fulfill it, how much more can the Author of life and the very Essence that is love make good on that brand promise?

Instead of expecting a fight (based on past experiences in the school of hard knocks) what if you made the shift to seeing every person and every circumstance as a willing participant in your happily-ever-after?

I’m willing to meditate on that this week.  How about you?

xoxoxox

Brenda

 

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Goosebumps and the New WOW (2.28.16)

Last week’s WOW was PRESENCE, and this time around I was focusing on the fact that I’m never alone.  This realization is often accompanied by the presence of goosebumps.

Whether you call that Presence God, or the Universe, the Holy Spirit or Energy…you’ve felt it.

When you’ve been encountered by pure acceptance and love, ka-ching – that’s it!

When the sunset takes your breath away or a baby’s little hand curls around your finger…

…these are all goosebump worthy in my estimation.

This past week, did you see that clip from Undercover Boss? Where the woman (she’s so awesome) tells her new co-worker not to feel down…and to keep moving forward (then reveals that she leaves work to go to the homeless shelter where she and her three children have been living.)

I can’t do it justice, you just have to watch it. And get your tissues ready.

Sometimes in tears or the expression of true emotion, I experience the Presence. Like when Kelly Clarkson sang this week on American Idol.

When I speak or write about the Presence of God, I see a sharp drop in “likes” on Facebook. My thought is that it brings back memories or thoughts of religion that didn’t work for you and you don’t believe in anymore. I get it!

It’s also revealing that when I post a video of the Gulf of Mexico at sunset or a bunny eating a carrot with its nose wiggling, the likes go through the roof.

And it delights me. Because these, too, are a celebration of life and love and light and all that is Good.

Anything I experience that is Good, I attribute to my understanding of God.  I find such comfort in feeling that connection.

So while I will always cherish the goosebumps, it’s time for a new Word of the Week (with a few parting thoughts on the word Presence…)

For those of you at a crossroads, at a huge decision juncture, preparing to embark on a business venture or a love affair…or even if it is as small as “should I take that umbrella with me?” – may we all have heightened discernment this week.

And if you can’t yield it;  if it’s full of angst and bad energy – flush it.

That’s not the wisdom that should win your vote.

And when in doubt, don’t.

Have a wonderful week!

xoxoxox

Brenda

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