Saturday, October 30, 2010

Storm Watch

A woman leaving a 22 year marriage. A young mother diagnosed with cancer. An aunt wasting away with an agressive tumour. A woman getting that phone call that tells her the father of her children has died.

What do all of these things have in common, besides being unthinkably sad? Unfair? Grievous? Painful?

These are all people I know.

A friend of mine has chosen to walk through the fire with someone. This girl has, in the last year or so, been diagnosed with cancer, has found her mother ravaged with the same disease, and is now in the beginning stages of wading into grief, as the father of her girls was killed in a car accident a couple of weeks ago. My friend expressed to me how helpless she feels. She asked me, "what do I say, or do...or explain to her about life? How do I dare to say life happens as it should...and that everything is working together for good?"

In a lightbulb moment, I responded with something that could only be a God thought, a divine revelation...clarity.

You don't have to do or say anything. You are the palm tree in the storm. Your purpose is to remain still..stationary, fixed. In this life we are different things at different times...sometimes we are the palm tree, sometimes we are the debris, and sometimes, we are in fact, the storm.

When a cyclone whips a life into disrepair...when it destroys familiarity, safety and faith...there is a refuge, and that is shockingly, at the middle of the storm. The place we know as the Eye in meteorological terms. In human terms...I believe it's the Soul. As Wikipedia explains:

"In strong tropical cyclones, the eye is characterized by light winds and clear skies, surrounded on all sides by a towering, symmetric eyewall."

The storm can rage all around...but there is a refuge. If the storm has beaten you past the possibility of faith...if the Eye inside you has been lost due to a tidalwave of epic circumstances, then might I challenge you...find a palm tree. Find someone with deep roots...someone who bends with the storm, but remains fixed, and strong and provides shelter for you.

Someone did that for me not so long ago...he caught me as I was defenseless against the elements. In a blink, he was gone. In a second my life is different. Today I am grateful for his friendship....and I am overcome with the lesson, " At the moment of your greatest challenge, is also presented your greatest opportunity".

Thank you Michael...I know who I need to be. xo

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Post-It Project

It's been a long time since a post has gotten me out of bed...but here I am. I was awakened abruptly, often around 3:00am, not so long ago, with ideas...with stories...with lightbulb moments that dragged me sleepily to my laptop.

It's much earlier than 3:00am tonight...I have not been jostled awake by agonizing grief, or memories of a simpler life that sits comfortably in my peripheral...I've been brought here with an idea.

The Post-It Project.

I have an ungodly amount of Post-Its in my office. It's true. For some reason, everytime I order my monthly supplies from work to stock my home office...I order more. I have no idea what I am thinking. I haven't ordered any in a number of months now, because a brick of Big Bird yellow, sticky pieces of paper, caused a casualty. A stack of them, not yet opened out of the plastic wrap, tumbled off the shelf above my desk, and unforgivingly, and with great precision I might add...took the "G" clear off this laptop. NO room for massacre.

So, with all of these Post-It's...what's a girl to do?

Starting tomorrow...I will have a block of Post-It's with me, at all times. Each time I enter a business, whether it be a convenience store, a coffee shop, my dentist....a gas station...I am going to leave a message. I might hide it somewhere...maybe on page 137 of the latest Harper's Bazaar fashion magazine...perhaps on the mirror in a public bathroom...definitely on the back of a pack of gum, or on the handle of the gas pump I am using.

These notes will say affirming, thoughtful things to the recipient. I will never know who gets the message...and that, I think is brilliant. Perhaps I will quote Shakespeare, or maybe, I will compliment the shoes I'm not seeing...but, the intention will be to make someone smile, and to create a bright spot in their day to day, mundane activities.

So, don't be surprised if you start seeing yellow tabs on magazines at Chapters... or a hidden one found in the next cookbook you buy when you get to page 48...I'm determined to post some happiness into this world, one yellow square at a time.

Do you need some Post-It's my friend? xo

Friday, October 8, 2010

Who Are You?

Someone mentioned an interesting philosophy to me this week. It has entered my mind in quiet moments of reflection, and times when I am able to to contemplate just who I am.

We have all heard that in life, there are givers, and takers. But, in taking that concept one step further, the question raised to me was:

Are you a lifter or a leaner?

The tide of this human experience determines times where we are inevitably either the reliant, or subsequently, the relied upon. There isn't a single person who has been just one, or the other.

We can choose to be the student, or the teacher. I would hope, that at all points in this brief life...being a student ravenous for knowledge and experience would be a goal that is top of mind, morphing and adapting to a life out in front, not behind. Being a teacher to someone seeking an advocate and gentle guidance is more than being mindful of your role as a teacher...sometimes, the life you live in front of someone, a life lived on purpose, inspires one...or many to seek a life past their predictable horizon.

I have observed in the last number of months, that it is truly easier to be a nice person, than an unpleasant, negative one. Kindness is disarming...kindness defuses...kindness is acutely unexpected in our world. Pouring a glistening drop of belief into someones life, reaches far beyond the initial leaves a ripple mark, it instills activates a beacon deep inside a person desperate for a champion.

A positive attitude is contagious...and also needs to be protected with great diligence. Surround yourself with those who are likeminded. Build an inpenetrable border for yourself with people who uplift you...believe in you...and push you beyond what is acceptable according to your they urge you to stretch, push and grow personally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Don't be ashamed to ask for help. Find something everyday that you can say, "I don't know" to...and aggressively seek the answer. Know that as you are surrendered to leaning at different times in your life, that you are preparing, even in those dark, blurry moments for a call:

To be a well equipped, just on time, not late for even one second... lifter.