Ties That Bind Our Hearts And Souls

Traditions are the guideposts driven deep in our subconscious minds. The most powerful ones are those we can’t even describe, aren’t even aware of. ~Ellen Goodman

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Memory has carved her signature upon my soul. I remember the warmth of love radiating from smiling faces, laughter tickling the walls of the house, and foods of childhood comforting the voids within us.

This time of year is steeped rich in tradition, making it bittersweet for many. Our traditions have evolved through the years. I prefer not to say they’ve died because they still exist but not in the context of the past. People die, move, estrange themselves…still, time moves on and love builds bridges. While I long for gatherings of the past, I am encouraged to birth new moments of deep connections.

As I plan menus, choose gifts, bake desserts, and write lists, memories sweep in and out. At first, I felt a shadow upon me knowing I can’t recreate the past.  Now, I realize my preparations are merely the setting for future memories. More important than cherished memories are enjoying the moments as they are happening and I hope to make that my focus.

While DirtMan and I are now empty nesters, we find distance to be an issue. Neither our adult children nor our widowed mothers are in close proximity. We find ourselves traveling often to visit, and welcome their presence into our home. We treasure these moments as they slip away all too quickly.

When it comes to family gathering, I no longer look at it as entertaining the masses but loving the individuals. And I so look forward to doing that.

This year we get our children for Thanksgiving, and we’re on our own for Christmas. Youngest and his longtime girlfriend will arrive tomorrow. Oldest and my mother arrive a few days later. I anticipate their arrivals like a giddy child on Christmas Eve. I plan to savor the moments as I do the flavor of my food.

It is time to focus on what is, not what isn’t. I wish each of you memorable moments of love, good food and drink, and infinite joy. May your tummy and heart be filled to capacity. May you have enough. Remember always, you are enough just as you are.

Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world. ~Susan Lieberman

Coming Home To Yourself

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I have a simple philosophy: Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. Scratch where it itches. ~Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Once upon a time I thought life was about who had a bigger house, sportier car, higher paying job…

Then, I decided life surely had to be about who loved deeper, lived harder, gave more, fell softer, and learned quicker.

Sounds more accurate, but is it really true?

Now, I’ve learned, life isn’t about WHO. It’s not about comparing yourself with others.

Life is about YOU. Measure against your own capabilities and desires.

Are you living and loving enough? Are your senses awakened?

Life is not only about knowing others. It’s about knowing you.

A serious question I ask myself is “Am I living the message I want to send the world?” This helps me define not only who I am but what I want to be. It brings my values and priorities to the surface. Am I living what I believe? If I am, then I know I am on the right path for me.

When I set my intention for the day to giving rather than getting, I am satisfied when my day is done. But better yet, when I set my intention on being rather than doing I find I accomplish both.

What I have been has brought me into who I am now and this will shape me into who I will become. The same holds true for you. I love that we are ever learning and becoming…and that is the true purpose of life.

The depth and breadth of my living comes down to the capabilities of my heart…where is it leading me? It comes down to the fine line between holding on and letting go, the ability to find success in the midst of failure…only to realize there is no failure, only lessons learned.

They say life is what you make of it. I find it to be true. In being, that is my life. Who can assess the accomplishments of one life by the standards of another? My journey is not yours; nor is yours mine.

Where is your focus? Time, energy, talent…is your life more about what you use or what you waste?

I ran across this the other day, and it continues to speak to me. “Just keep coming home to yourself. You are the one you’ve been waiting for.” ~Byron Katie

I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.  ~Joseph Campbell