Tag Archives: vision

Hold that Thought! (It Becomes Your Vision)

My brain can be like Grand Central Station; a steady flow of traffic with each thought vying to gain some traction.

I’ve entertained far too many thoughts that never deserved my attention. 

Entertain is a good word choice.  Thoughts knock at our door and the majority should be treated like unwanted  solicitors.  Would you invite a stranger in for coffee and to set up housekeeping in the spare room?

Of course not.

So why did that pretty mist-colored laptop on HSN end up in my house?

Well, I kept LISTENING, and the more I entertained the thoughts surrounding the laptop and imagined using it, the less the $500 price tag troubled me.

Even though I already have a perfectly good laptop.

(Yes, I returned it.)

But the point is, what thoughts we entertain give us imaginations or VISIONS that can actually become reality.

I’ve learned to approach my thoughts like a buffet.  I used to try to get my money’s worth and took advantage of “all you can eat.”  Indigestion and regret usually followed.

I’ve learned to be more choosy at the buffet, only selecting what I’m in the mood for at the moment.  (This can lead to a focused attack on the desserts, but that’s another story.)

When it comes to our thought lives, it’s wise to understand that not everything that flies into our brains merits consideration.

But some things DO.

I bet some of the most brilliant entrepreneurial ideas started with just a thread of a thought.

This very blog started with a “Hmmmmm” moment in a float tank.

How many relationships ended in happily ever afters because someone thought, “I’ll give online dating a try!”

My sister took a calligraphy class decades ago, and she has been gainfully employed doing what she loves ever since.

Does it make your heart leap?  Does it bring hope?  Then by all means HOLD THAT THOUGHT!

Nurture it and let it breathe.  Water it and fertilize it and who knows – it can end up being a full-blown vision.

Were you as captivated as I was by Prince Harry’s engagement announcement this week?  I didn’t know much about Meghan Markle until I saw this video, which is an example of holding a THOUGHT and taking action based on that thought to effect change:

I think Diana is smiling, don’t you?

So let’s not get caught up in VISIONS of grandeur that overwhelm us.  Let’s start with a thought, and then play with it a little.

I did that this week and it turned me a bit upside down!

https://youtu.be/la8hY9xh9-U

Oooooh…sisters and brothers.  We ARE a resilient bunch!  I feel like this is a week where our mantra should come from Dirty Dancing:  “No one puts baby in a corner.”

Let’s go out, rise up and seize the week!

xoxoxox

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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Making Your Vision REAL (and the New WOW)

If your vision for your life is something you just can’t shake, there’s one thing I know: You’ve got what it takes to bring it to fruition.

Let me temper that statement with a little special sauce.

I’ll keep it personal, but if the stiletto fits…

Some of my grand visions for me were planted in some rich soil called EGO.  This manure effectively fertilized the seed for these visions:  INSECURITY.

 I needed to be a successful, amazing, superior WHATEVER because on the inside I felt like a worthless, meaningless, nothing.

Sheesh! What a roller coaster ride of inflated-sense-o-self and inferiority!

Thank you very much, I no longer ride those waves of insecurity.  They sometimes beckon me with a free ticket to ride, but I’ve learned to say “been there, done that, gave it up for Lent.”

When you check your ego at the door and begin to love on yourself, your TRUE vision for you can emerge…and it is never unattainable, because LOVE never fails.

You were born for this.

Every gift, talent, resource, connection – you’ve got it.  And if it hasn’t manifested yet, it’s going to show up just when you need it.

What’s this “I don’t know what my gift is…” business?  Ha!

Your gift is the thing that lights you up and lights up everyone it touches.

And when it comes to VISION, yours is wrapped up in a bow made of your gifts.

For some practical VISION advice and the new WOW – here you go!:

We call this the WOW – the Word of the Week, but the feeling I got when I pulled that card was truly “WOW…”

I began talking about the sense of inferiority and how it can abort our visions for a happy and a good life.  To follow that up with the word HEALING and a sense that so many of you are holding yourselves hostage to the past…well, WOW.

Please forgive yourself.

Treat yourself as kindly as you do others.

Let those deep places heal so you can get about the business of living and loving and using your gifts.  The more you do, the more healed you’ll feel.

Love to you as you consider these things today – and thank you for giving me a place to use my own gifts.

In gratitude,

Brenda

xoxoxoxo

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In Praise of Nagging (and the New WOW)

Sometimes a nagging voice can save your life.

I hear you; sometimes nagging can also annoy the #$%^ out of you.  There are certain reminders from my husband that reverberate in my head even when he’s not around. The admonitions to not leave the house with the washing machine running…or to not put the good knives in the dishwasher (and a few hundred other Duane-isms) sometimes make me groan.  Since he’s been proven right about many of them, I tend to comply with his voice in my head.

I’m not so sure my exhortations against leaving a used K-cup in the Keurig or dishes in the sink have been equally successful.

Exhortations!  What a lovely euphemism for nagging!  (Well, nice nagging.  There is also bitchy nagging, which is a blog post for a different day.)

Nagging can take on various forms. Sometimes they start as a simple “Hmmmmmm….” 

These are easily dismissed.

If the “Hmmmmms…” continue, they turn into heart tugs that evolve into questions. Questions become torments if answers aren’t sought.

Which led me to the doctor’s office.

A little dime-sized bump on my leg started to nag me.  I think I was shaving my legs, felt it and thought, “Hmmmmm…I guess it’s a mosquito bite.”

Then when reading at night a few weeks later I remembered it…and there it still was. “Hmmmmmm….”

My heart tugged and I asked Duane to look at it.  “I dunno…get it checked out.”

It got a little bigger and I began to Google every possible iteration of “bumps on the leg.”

The questions demanded an answer.  Fortunately, I had a checkup arranged – one that I was excited about.  My doctor was going to praise my weight loss and exercise program, and crown me the queen of the New Year’s resolution parade (if there was such a thing.)

Instead, she said, “Hmmmmmmm….”

She recommended a biopsy and at the B word I went into overdrive. The specialist she recommended couldn’t see me for ANOTHER MONTH.  Ha!  Now that my nagging had a directive attached to it, I wasn’t going to wait another MINUTE (let alone a month.)

Dr. Fernandez saw me that very week.  He checked out the bump (as well as another one elsewhere; I mean, after all, if you’re getting biopsied, go for it, girl!)

I said, hopefully, “It’s nothing, right?”

He replied that to get an accurate reading would take at least 10 business days.  Which were a super long ten days, as you can imagine.

When I got the call, I said, “You have good news, right?”

She said the other “B” word – basil cell carcinoma.  Which I Googled while she was on the other end of the line scheduling its removal.

As I have stated previously, if you are going to have the “C” word, this is the one to have. Quite common and easily removed, you almost want to say “thank you” to the universe for dishing out a lesser form of awfulness.

As I write this, my zapping of the C is happening on Monday morning, and I look forward to sharing good news with you all.

Don’t think you’re off the hook.  I bet some of you have had  nagging thoughts that you have suppressed and disregarded.  Please take this blog post as an exhortation to GET IT CHECKED OUT.  

Also, in conclusion, if you have backed off of nagging your husband to get his prostate checked or dental work done or a host of other medical musts that no man ever wants to do, KEEP NAGGING.

Here are my final thoughts in praise of nagging, and another personal story of how being OBEDIENT (last week’s WOW) to that still, small voice changed the very course of my life:

Interesting that VISION ended 2016 for us.  Perhaps this is a reminder to dust that off and remember what your vision for 2017 was (before too much of it is in our rear view mirror.)

If you are faced with a difficult decision; one that requires heart-wrenching obedience to the still, small, nagging voice – I am rooting for you.

As the theme song to my very favorite show of all time went:  You’re gonna make it after all.

RIP Mary Tyler Moore.

And love to you all –

xoxoxox

Brenda

 

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A Resolve to be Happy (and the New WOW)

Some people hate the whole resolution ritual. To me, it’s a tradition that sort of forces me to establish my priorities for the year and resolve to take steps in support of them.

Hmmmm…that sounded a bit too much like a corporate memo.

Take two:  I think about the stuff I want to happen and dream about what I can do to make them burst forth into reality!

I really wish I had learned this earlier in life.

My approach through my teens, twenties, thirties and most of my forties was to “wish, want, hope, pine, yearn” with feeble faith that I could impact any outcomes.

Something clicked in recent years. I was acting like a tennis ball, being directed by forces beyond my control instead of being the tennis racket and directing my life in the way I wanted it to go.

This does not preclude my dependence on God, the Holy Spirit or Jesus. But I do feel that the heavenly host has been sitting in the bleachers all these years saying, “Will you finally take a swing? We can’t do it ALL for you!!!”

Well, when you put it THAT way, Jesus…

We’ve got the equipment. We were BORN with it.  Our gifts, our talents, our special sauce – it’s all there, waiting to be whipped up into a unique and remarkable treat for the world -and us – to enjoy.  But too often we spend time focusing on what we DON’T have when it’s actually irrelevant.

If we don’t have it, we don’t need it to fulfill our calling.  We are completely equipped for our purpose in life.  And if you read this and start to protest, ask yourself, “Why am I fighting?”

So you’re flawed.  Join the crowd.  So you think your flaws or ailments disqualify you from certain joys in life?  Only your faith in that faulty line of thinking keeps you there.

My resolve every year is to be happy.  And I am.  Annoyingly so!  (Except to those who also are fans of happiness.)

Some people are as devoted to being miserable as I am to being happy.

Every ache or pain or bend in the road is a license to complain or make excuses or blame someone for their station in life.

Seriously, how’s that working for you?

No, I do not live a perfect life. I’ve had my share of broken hearts, physical challenges, disappointments and paralizing fears.  I choose, however, at this later stage in my game – with time fleeting and tomorrows not promised – to see the disappointments as a detour because something better is coming my way.  I acknowledge my fears and then do the work to get back to love because I don’t to waste one moment of this beautiful life living like a deer in the headlights.  I have a weird bump on my leg that needs to be biopsied next week and I am positive that it is either nothing, or if it is something, I’m going to beat it.

Can you tell I’m fired up this week?

I put some of that energy into this week’s message:

Isn’t that sweet?  What a lovely way to start 2017!

Be gentle with yourself first, my friends. It makes it a heckuva lot easier to then be gentle with others.

Hello, 2017.  I welcome you with open arms, an open heart, and a full expectation that you will be my best year ever.

And I wish that for all of you, too.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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A Merry WOW to End the Year!

Merry Christmas!  (Or whatever you celebrate, I hope it is super merry!)

It occurs to me that we don’t use the work merry enough in regular life.  It tends to pop up only around Christmas.  But I think I want it to be MY word year-round.

Yes!  Extra doses of MERRY all year – for ALL of us!!!

Since I was headed to PA for a work trip, I knew I would have the pleasure of staying at what I affectionately call “Kamp Kantor.”

I’ve written about my dear friends, the Kantors, many times before.  Back in 1994 we became next door neighbors.  As 2017 approaches, we are not just the best of friends, but are family to each other.

It was a week of sleeping around! I was also able to spend one night at my sister’s home in Ventnor, NJ.

Both the Kantors and the DiBaccos have beautiful homes, but what makes them both my favorite places on earth (aside from my own home) are how filled they are with LOVE.

I found myself thinking throughout my whirlwind trip, “What did I ever do to deserve this kind of love?” 

And the answer is even better: Nothing.  Because this is the kind of love that is truly without conditions.

If I’m at my best or at my worst; through thick (or thin – literally), these people LOVE me.

And isn’t that the best present of all?

It was in my heart to ask my camera-shy friend Renee to assist me with the new Word of the Week to end 2016.  After all, she is the one that introduced me to her Angel Cards many years ago – and I was thrilled that she agreed.

The video is a little dark and the audio a little light, but turn your speakers up because the word my dear friend picked COULDN’T BE MORE PERFECT to end a year and start another:

My wish for all of you is that you snuggled up somewhere with someone you love (even if it is a furry, four-legged friend) and that you are so busy counting your blessings that you can’t even remember the things that didn’t go your way this year.

(I mean, counting your sorrows?  What good did THAT ever do anyone?)

Someone once suggested that to start a new year, make a practice of keeping a blessings jar.  Every time you have a blessing, write it down…and at the end of the year, go through them all.

I didn’t do that this year.  But my heart is full.

My cup runneth over.

I have a VISION for 2017, and it is lavish, abundant, joyous, FREE and happy.

What’s yours?

xoxoxoxox

Brenda

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WOW (Word of the Week) for 10.4.15

For some of you, things you have been banging your head against the wall about finally broke through.

For others, what seemed impossibly overwhelming just a week ago is now in the “done” pile of your “to do” list.

And my friend’s chance meeting on the beach led to a coffee date and the start of a new friendship.

SYNTHESIS was a WOW that required my trust and faith that “it was all going to work out – and work out for GOOD.”

Sometimes you just don’t know the end from the beginning, but when you look back over your shoulder, how many times have things “come together” just when you needed them to?

Synthesis for some of you (you know who you are) was a thrilling WOW.  For me, the thrills had their share of chills, and as you can tell from this week’s video, I was READY to get off of the rollercoaster.  Not that I’m not grateful for the lessons learned, mind you.  Just ready to move on.

How about you?  OK, here we go!

Ooooooh!  I am really excited about this.  Taking it to heart, I’m starting right now to write out and put sticky notes in front of my face (pictures, too) of what I envision for my life.

Why not grab a cup of coffee and spend some time dreaming and visioning about your own future?  What a cool way to spend some time – and to start creating the life of your dreams!  Oh, and don’t listen to that little voice that wants to talk you out of it.

It’s a liar.

It’s never too late to start your happily ever after.

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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