Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Value of "The Meltdown"

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Well....I finally snapped...

I can only laugh the morning after...I mean I have zero tears left. *Sigh*

So...I am in between two very, very important meetings yesterday...simply driving down the road doing a quick phone call to a dear friend who is in the eye of the hurricane headed to the Gulf Coast, and as we are talking, I start telling them about another meeting...my voice gets louder and louder as I talk faster and faster...and then...I ran out of time. 

Then snap.

The only good news is that I held myself together through the next meeting before the floodgates slammed open.  As I left the meeting, I got so flustered that I couldn't decide whether to go to my LR house, go grab dinner, drive north, or pull over and just have a good, long cry.  I actually did all of the above in no particular order arriving me at the workshop way past my bedtime.

I admit all of this (no matter the embarrassment) because we all have these "meltdowns" from time-to-time, and I am here to tell you IT IS OKAY.  Whether you are a man or woman, adult or child...it is okay to hit the wall, bawl your eyes out, and seek out a hug like a heat-seeking missile.  I am a huge believer that a good cry every now and again is a wonderful stress reliever.  Clearly....clearly, my stress had/has been building up, and yesterday it took the most obscure (and untimely) of events to send the waves crashing over the wall....in light of the news of the day...lets just say the storm surge busted my levee.  Yeah...lets say that.

*Sigh*

So what is the lesson in all of this?  Give yourself a break.  It is okay to hit the wall, find a corner, and give yourself a time out.  Really.  I needed to give myself one yesterday...unfortunately, I realized that slightly too late. :)

Also, don't let others demean you because you have a good cry, or even a "meltdown"...we are human.  Very stressed out humans.  It is okay.  Really. 

Love is patient.  Love is kind. 

Be patient with yourself.  Be kind to yourself.

You will be glad you did...as will everyone around you...;)  :)))

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Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's Playtime :)

Sometimes God has to hit me over the head a few times to make his point...this morning I finally "got it" about one I believe he has been trying to make for a few days.

*Sigh*

There is one thing about staying at the tree house....the master bedroom.  Aaaahhh...  The master bedroom is on the third floor, quite literally in the trees (hence the nickname tree house), and it looks out not only into and through the trees but over into a bird sanctuary.  Needless to say, it is not unusual to see lots of birds and squirrels from this vantage point. 

Yesterday as I was slowly waking up, two squirrels caught my eye.  They were racing through the trees, leaping, rolling, and overall having quite the time.  It made me smile.  I didn't think much more about it.  This morning...the same thing.  This time, I laid in bed and watched them.

What I saw was pure joy in motion.  Fun, spirited play...playful joy.

It got me to thinking...

I work...hard.  I play...hard.  Is there true joy in either of them?

Let that sink in...I still am.


Do you really want to be happy?

In the past 48 hours I have had two separate friends say to me, "I have to decide whether or not I want to be happy."  Really?! You have to think about it?  Really?!

Do you think an animal ever has to say to another animal, "I have to decide whether or not I want to be happy..." before doing x, y, or z.  Doubtful.  I have watched too much Animal Planet with Jon...way TOO much.  They aren't asking..themselves or each other...they are too busy living. 

Now...let that sink in...

One of my nearest and dearest friends (Class XX Rocks!!!...inside joke) said to me the other night, "He (speaking of someone we know) is so afraid that he is going to be hit by a bus (and what happens when he does) that he isn't living NOW therefore it doesn't matter what happens after he gets hit by the bus."

Now...let THAT sink in...

Back to the squirrels...

Have we lost the pure joy that IS living?  Have we not only lost it, but lost it to the point that we have to have a debate, or hire a consultant firm, or do a market study before we can choose to do something joyful or move in that direction?  Sadly, I believe a lot of us have...and in some ways (or areas of our lives) we all have. *Sigh*


John Eldredge, in one of his AMAZING Podcasts, talks about the story of Adam and Eve and how they chose the Tree of Knowledge and how they "got the wrong one"...it was the Tree of Life we needed....now I am not going to preach (if you want to hear a great non-sermon on this...I recommend Eldredge...not me).  His point...we need LIFE.  We (often secretly) want LIFE.

Whatever your religious beliefs (or non-religious beliefs)...and I have dear friends of ALL beliefs...we all (I have found) want the same thing...LIFE...and all that entails.  Period.

Oh yeah...there is a "but"...BUT...they/we are all scared of LIFE.

Holy CRAP (sorry Treva)!

I just had an epiphany.

*Sigh*

It isn't the death we are afraid of...it is the living...or not living as the case might be (and in some people's lives that I know...it is...one of those might be the one I find in the mirror).

"We are what we repeatedly do." ~ Aristotle

What are you repeatedly doing Every. Day.? 

Worrying?  Stressing?  Whining?  Complaining?  Denying?  Sticking your head in the sand?

OR

Loving?  Playing?  Sharing?  Giving?  Trying?  Risking?  Living?

Boys and GIRLS....it is time to play.  It is time to play infused with JOY.  It is time to love, play, share, give, try, risk, live...LIVE.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." ~ Proverbs 4:23

Everything...good/bad, fear/joy, stress/confidence, love/hate, dreams/denial...EVERYTHING. Period.

I don't know about you, but I have to get going...it is time to PLAY. :))) 

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

Friday, August 10, 2012

A State of Being

How many opportunities can one girl entertain before her head COMPLETELY explodes?  Also, I had forgotten how much I missed doing laundry.  These opposing radically hysterical thoughts are just a sampling of what has been rolling around in my head for the past 48 hours.

This morning when I woke up....before I even opened my eyes, I prayed...I prayed to God to clear the path and reveal what he wants...not what I want.  Before you go, "Way to go Heather!"....I am overwhelmed so I don't simply want God's guidance...I NEED it.  Desperately.

This got me to thinking...


One of the things I discovered while at Camp Caudle ("CC") was that I don't spend enough time in stillness, in quiet, simply "being"...and this past two weeks have shown me quite clearly why that is...and the blame lies solely with me.  Yesterday I ditched my social plans so I could find some quiet time.  I did some overdue tasks around the house (laundry being one of them), and in between loads and folding...I sat on my couch and wrote....long hand.  I wrote a long letter of gratitude to an old friend of mine.  I couldn't believe what came out on paper....basically 5-6 years of stuff.  *Wow*  So for about five hours I gravitated between laundry upstairs and writing on the couch downstairs.  No music...nothing.  Silence.  Okay, besides the washer and dryer....and the rumbling in my head. :) 

What a wonderful five hours. 

We...okay I....go go go constantly.  When do we ever stop?  When do we ever be?  When do we ever take the time to do tasks in silence or simply sit in silence?  I would venture that I am not the only one that would struggle to remember even one date.  What are we afraid of?  Yup, I said it.  Afraid.  I believe we are all slightly afraid of silence.  The silence around us...the silence inside of us...what could come out of the silence. 

If I go back and look at critical points in my life where I screwed up royally...I would see a pattern...me running, running, running....instead of pausing, taking a breath, making the best decision, and moving forward calmly and decisively.  I am grabbing desperately at the gear shift and pumping on the brakes to try and slow myself down right now.  It is not easy.  BUT, I know myself...too well, and I need to slow IT down.  Now.

There is a great podcast by John Eldredge entitled "Spirit of the Age" that a dear friend of mine gave to me years ago...it was my first introduction to Eldredge, and that introduction has changed my life.  I have listened to that podcast so many times that I believe I could teach it.  I can hear it in my head as the chaos swirls around me.  What CC did for me was stop the roller coaster for a week.  That sudden detox was exactly what I needed to break me from my addiction to busyness (if only for a week).  It is an addictive drug though, and I struggle with it...Every. Day.  I like busyness.  I am addicted to it.  There...I said it. :)))

A state of simply being.  What the heck does that even look like?  Maybe it looks like laundry, a notepad, and silence.  Yesterday it did.  All I know is that finding those moments in a day, hours in a week, and day(s) in a month where I can find quiet time with myself...with my soul...is becoming (not becoming...IS) critical to my sanity (all dear friends stop laughing here :)).


A state of being.  What a concept. :)

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Gathering of Women

Last night I attended A Gathering of Women, an annual event in Little Rock that brings together women's organizations from across the state.  It is a social gathering not only for networking, but even more importantly to educate each other on all of the various organizations and their missions.  I don't know what I was more surprised by...that there were so many organizations or the fact that until a year ago (this is only the second one) most of these women didn't know about each other's organizations. 

This got me to thinking....

Women are missing something...not just in Arkansas, though I am most concerned about that (at present).  We don't network and bond together professionally like our male counterparts do, and it shows...in politics, in business, in religion...in every aspect of our lives.  I love men.  This is not to bash men; I applaud and admire how they support each other.  I simply want to figure out how we can get women to do more of that.  The best thing for men is strong women counterparts.  The whole a "...rising tide lifts all boats.." theory.  The men in my life, for the most part, support this theory.  How do we get that to catch on?


Some of my family and friends are talking about starting a women's bible study class.  Even at church, we are having discussions around how to support, educate, and empower our young women...who are we kidding, us old gals too. :)  So what does this all say to me?

We are way beyond realizing that we need to network and bond...now we are to the point where we need to take more action.  Women are harder on women than men can ever imagine being to us.  We can be each other's greatest advocate or worst enemy; that is a personal decision we must all make for ourselves.  Recognizing that....and looking at our day-to-day actions towards other women at work, at church, at school...is really the first step.  Simply choosing to be supportive instead of catty (or gossipy) of other women in your immediate surroundings every day begins to turn the tide.

What do your words toward other women say about you? about them?  Are you being supportive and building up other women?  Are you being demeaning?  Catty?  Gossiping?  Are you a friend or foe of other women?

Every day should be a gathering of women...we need each other.  Our children need strong women.  Our men need strong women.  Our world needs strong women. 

Recently I was having a wonderful discussion about women and religion.  I find it crazy that we talk more about Eve "...taking down Adam and the entire human race..." (and I am not denying she took the bait...so to speak) than we do that Jesus chose a woman to be the first evangelist (and she was quite the sinner if you like to keep tallies), and when he rose from the grave...he appeared first...you guessed it, to women.  Jesus loved women.  Jesus loves women. 

I digress...BUT I could tell stories of strong women and their importance all throughout history...in work, in politics, in families, in life...

I continue to look at my daily life dramatically different than I did even a year ago...I hope that I build up men, women, and children...but specifically I work to be constantly cognizant of how I am supporting (or not supporting) other women...especially young women.  Last night was another educating "aha" moment as I realized there are so many more great organizations in Arkansas, than I was previously aware, that are trying to do that exact same thing. 


I am so glad...

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Hoarder Within

I woke up this morning to a new article in Time magazine on hoarding (link provided for your reading pleasure).  I thought about posting it on several friends' Facebook pages, sending a few e-mails, and printing it (THIS is my greatest fear) to post on my refrigerator. :)

Brigitte Sire / Getty Images

This past weekend, I spent two days going through boxes of stuff that I had piled up in my home office in the chaos of fifteen months ago.  As I started unpacking them, it felt one part Christmas, and one part disgust.  I found myself shaking my head wondering how I had allowed myself to let the volume of stuff get to this point. 

Consider me a girl convicted.

One thing I have learned over the past year and a half is that I can live in a much (MUCH) smaller space.  I have learned that I have way too much stuff.  I have learned that it is not healthy to add up in your head how much you have spent on....well, books for instance. :)  I have learned that there is a fine line between OCD and hoarding, and I have hopscotched between the two repeatedly over the past couple of years. :)  I have learned that the list of things I actually need is way, way less than the things I want....and I need to focus on the former more than the latter. *Sigh*

 ...and that is the short list...

The truth of the matter is that there is a little bit of a hoarder in all of us.  It is completely natural to hold on to items, people, dreams, desires, beliefs that you love....completely natural.  The bigger question is when does it become an obsession....a stumbling block?  Hmmm....let that sink in.  I am, and I am none to happy with where that question has led me.

I have to be honest.  I come from a line of hoarders so to fact that I have allowed some of that to creep into my life (in big and small ways) is...well, it is hard to look myself in the mirror.  I am though...*Ugh*

I digress. :)

We have too much.  All of us have far, far TOO much.  We have too much stuff, too much baggage (physical and emotional), too much space, too much...too much.  I have TOO much.

I am in the middle of the purge of my life.  I am purging the inside, the outside, the possessions, the emotional baggage, my personal financial balance sheet (literally and figuratively)...I need to lean down.  I am drowning in stuff to the point that I cannot breathe.  Maybe I have been hiding in it and/or behind it.  Maybe it is much simpler than that...maybe I just have stuff.  What I know for sure is that I don't need all of this.  I need a lot less stuff.  There is one of me, and yet I have multiples of stuff...big and small.  Why?

There is a hoarder in all of us....ALL of us.  What are you hoarding?  Remember...it isn't just the physical.  A lot of time we hoard physically to cover the emotional.  Something in you, in me, needs something.  What are you filling your need with?

Let me just say...when I started accumulating "stuff" I had the best of intentions...the best.  Somewhere along the way, I lost my mind (clearly).  As I go through yet another box of books, project ideas, cards I couldn't throw away, selling an extra vehicle, clothes and more clothes, scattered pictures, and lists (I could write a book on to do lists)...I am struck that I have more than I have the time to truly enjoy.  That is really where the rubber hits (not meet - hits) the road.  Beyond the fact that I have more than I need....I have more than I can TRULY enjoy.  *Ouch*

So...what are your hoarding?  What are you allowing yourself to hide in, behind, under?  Do you truly enjoy what you have, or do you simply 'have' things?  These are questions we all need to be asking ourselves.  I didn't like my answers.  Do you?

The Great Purge continues....I will keep you posted.  I have a ways to go....:)))

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Love One Another


When I extend love, it always makes me happier....so why then do I ever NOT show love?  Because I am human, fallible, and short sighted....and in the war between the devil and the angel on my shoulders...sometimes the devil wins. :(

We are called to love.  It doesn't matter your religious or spiritual leanings...at the core of most every religion I have ever studied (intensely or passively) is love.  LOVE.

Sunday morning before church, Jon and I were watching a show on Honey Badgers on National Geographic (I think.), and yes they are very cute. :)  That said, they sometimes kill each other to show dominance.  The mother of a baby made him a burrow in the ground and went off in search of food, and while she was gone a male came and mauled the baby.  When the mother came back, she quickly grabbed the baby to take him to safety (even though he was clearly dying) carrying it in her mouth.  Now, I am watching this in shock and horror while Jon very calmly explains to me why this is happening and describing, in great detail, how another animal that does this same thing. (Sidebar...the boy is 12 and so beyond me...he blows my mind).

So, I'm wondering this morning...are we no better than wild animals mauling (verbally) each other??

This post...full digression. :)

I don't know about anyone else, but I am going to focus on extending a little love today. :)))

**If you see me today...I will be the crazy lady giving out free hugs, and yes...yes I am thinking of holding up a sign. :)))

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Blog Rewind ~ What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

A wonderful person reminded me of a few old posts today...one of them "...What do you want to be when you grow up?", and I love that they prove this quote true....

Take heart: "There are people in your life whom you unknowingly inspire simply by being you."  I so wish everyone could remember this because this is SO true for all of us. :)

It is a reminder that just because we pass one "lesson" in our lives doesn't mean we won't need that lesson again. :)  It is also wonderful to know that something you "worked through" helped or is helping someone work through something. :)

Thank you for the reminder today. :)))

All, enjoy the re-post (click on link above). :)

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)