I feel like Sally Field

It was 1984.  Madonna was like a Virgin, the Ghostbusters were getting slimed, all the girls just wanted to have fun and Bacon was Footloose in his faded Levi’s jeans. This was the year a bubbly young Sally Field clutched a fresh Oscar and beamed, “I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”

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Fast forward to 2015. A hopeful writer pecks out her broken thoughts on a small screen and taps publish with a mix of nerves and embarrassment.

Slowly, unknown readers begin to leave kind and inspired comments of encouragement and understanding. One by one the group of followers grows and the likes are tabulated. The writer is humbled and grateful. Having found a little place for her words to live and be shared.

One way or another we are all seeking connection and recognition for our musings.  We foster the thoughts, chew on ideas, lay out a blueprint and then craft each post with the hope that the words will find another head to live in and a connection to make.

This isn’t an Oscar, I know, but it may as well be. It is proof to me that my words have landed. This is my little piece of recognition and I’m taking it to the bank. I’m reveling in this little moment and taking this time to thank you. Knowing that “you like me” is wonderful. I like you too!

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Find me on Twitter @tallerthanilook

Access makes invisible

Constant access to anything makes it invisible. Gratitude brings it back into focus.

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I live in the Rocky Mountains in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I am surrounded by stunning natural beauty and encounter wild animals almost daily. I have often wondered if I’ve become complacent in my awe of this place until I was recently struck by a thought that cut deep into my existence.

On a recent road trip with my family I was daydreaming and gazing out the car window when out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of something common, but saw it with new eyes.  What I saw was a group of tourists on the side of the road taking photos of a handful of bighorn sheep. As I watched the visitors inch closer to the dangerous wild animals I was struck first with concern for their well being then harsh criticism over their response to something as banal as a herd of sheep. Rather than revel in the beauty of these majestic wild animals I was contemplating why anyone would ever want to photograph this roadside scene,  nevermind risk their lives to do so?

This thought suddenly sent me back to the first time I ever saw a big horned sheep. As a 19 year old girl living in the majestic Jasper National Park in Alberta, I eagerly whipped out my camera every time I saw an elk, bighorn sheep,  deer, and of course a bear. It was an awesome and new experience to cross paths with such animals and snapping a photo was part of the excitement. Those photographs live in a box somewhere and have long lost their luster, but for a time they hung on my walls and refrigerator and filled me with enthusiasm and appreciation for the place I temporarily called home. 

When did it change? At what point did this experience go from awesome to ordinary? Why do I so easily criticize people for doing the exact same thing I did years ago? As I followed this thought I realized that there was a profound lesson here.

Why does the newness of something dictate its value?  Perhaps our conditioning to want the next and the newest and the best and the brightest has eroded our ability to value what we already have. Would escaping this paradigm not alleviate some of the pressure to constantly work to accumulate and obtain?

What I realized in that moment was that access creates invisibility. When we have constant, never ending access to anything it loses its value. Constant access to money reduces the value of each dollar. Constant access to love can make it so invisible that we take it for granted. Living in a place without war makes peace invisible.

I don’t want to ever lose sight of what is true and what is right and what is important no matter how accessible it is to me. The best way to do this is to practice daily gratitude. Gratitude opens the heart and the eyes to things we already have and brings the invisible back into focus. When we take time to really appreciate the things that are presently in our life we direct our attention to what we love rather than focusing on what is missing.

So to those eager tourists I say a humble namaste and thank you for reminding me to appreciate all that lies in front of me.

Find me on Twitter @tallerthanilook

Hard time

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I’m always giving myself a hard time.

Have you ever heard someone say that?Have you ever felt deep inside that you are giving yourself a hard time?
Do you criticize and critique your every thought, every move, every action… thinking that somehow it will propel you to be better.
Do you think that doing this protects you in some way? Think it will make you smarten up or behave or do the right thing or be the right person?

The truth is it will do nothing but cut you down and make you feel awful. Harsh words reduce and diminish they don’t inspire and ignite. Whether said to yourself or someone else criticism is not what makes us grow. It is love and compassion that makes us better.

If we get what we give in the world and we spend so much time giving ourselves a hard time it makes sense to think that what we would receive in return is a life that feels hard,  feels difficult, like it’s beating us up.

Whether we like it or not we are part of this cycle of giving and receiving and if we continue giving ourselves a hard time that’s what we will get. Give yourself a break.. give yourself love and compassion and you will receive that in return. Look for examples of how you are in the cycle of giving and receiving in your life and you will see very quickly that it is true. Look for beauty and it will find you. Give into the temptation to find what feels good and your life will be full of things that feel good.

Find me on Twitter @tallerthanilook

Coming up from within.

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I am in awe
Blown away
Can’t ever unsee
What I saw tonight
Thankful for the awakening

I am abundant
Connected and pure
Can’t ever change what is
Only how I see
And my eyes are open

I am love
Can love myself
Without guilt or self hatred
And still be ok 

Coming up from within
Can’t stop me now
Bursting with life
With a smile on my face

The journey goes on
Never starting or stopping
Just going forever
As love does in me

Find me on Twitter @tallerthanilook

Thank you!

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As I set out to write this blog my goal was to reach out to the world. I am so grateful to have reached 50 followers today. This is a great community and I’m so glad to be part of it.

I am a keen student of the world and always interested to learn more about the human experience.  Please feel free to share your thoughts with me, I just may write about them.