Digging the Details

My daughter has left to spend the weekend with her father. I won’t see her until Tuesday, the day of my appointment. He has a busy weekend planned for them, but before she left I said, “I don’t know what I’m doing this weekend.” She responded with, “The possibilities are endless.”

I’m sitting in the middle of my bed, watching it rain.

The dogs are laying on the floor beside me, just to be near.

It made my heart happy that she said, “The possibilities are endless.” That whatever I choose to do over the weekend would improve our lives in some way. I’ve begun this new thing while she is away by looking at the details of our life, and making adjustments. Just tweaking what we already have.

This began in a big way by moving furniture. Using the most of our small space, and helping things flow. Those things are noticeable, but now it’s down to the finest detail.

This has been going on for months, so now when she walks in the front door, there is a  pause to look around. There may be a picture that has been moved, or curtains swapped from another room. The last time she was away, I bought a new shower curtain liner. You would think, no one would notice a new piece of plastic while showering, but she did.

Yesterday, I gave our bathroom some attention. While cleaning the toilet, I looked at the bowl brush, and decided it had seen better days, so in the trash it went. Yes, life should be beautiful all the way down to the toilet bowl brush! We now have a new bowl brush. Will she notice?

 

 

This Ain’t Easy

If you had $20 to your name, how would you spend it? Years ago, I would spend that money on diapers. Today, I would spend $13 on my favorite candle, and the rest would be a toss up between a Pumpkin Spice Latte, or actual food.

Does that sound silly? I try to be a good steward of everything God gives me, including money. I think He knows, there are a lot of small things I would rather buy before food. It’s just not that important to me. A home that smells like fall from an amazing candle? The moment of savoring my favorite fall coffee drink? Those are important to me.

faithIt’s not easy living in the calling God gives you. God put a desire in me to write and that is what I do. Is it perfect grammar? I’m from Texas, it ain’t gonna be perfect.

I know one of my God given gifts is an Encourager. God prompted me once my legal separation began to start writing publicly. I have always kept a journal, but He wanted to show people my life. Walking through alcoholism and a divorce wasn’t easy, but it was possible. That is all my daughter and I need. Possible.

It is all thanks to God. He gets all the glory for it and that is what I’m here to share.

I’ve had the life of get up, take kids to school, go to work, pick kids up, eat dinner, go to bed and start all over. When it was time for my son to attend high school, the thought horrified me. He was such a good kid, I was afraid he would be eaten alive, so I homeschooled him. Then my daughters school closed down after her 3rd grade year, and I chose to homeschool her. That was the beginning of quality of life for us.sky

When she was younger, I would take her to work with me. As she got older, employers started to frown upon that, so God opened a door for me to work from home. When she turned 13, the beginning of her teenage years, I worked virtually for a friend of mine in California and still do, part time. It was less hours and less money, but the rewards!

That was when I found it to be true that we can make better choices and have a better life. My daughter took this picture of the sky behind our house. She goes outside almost everyday between 6 and 7 pm. The time she goes out depends on the colors reflecting in the house from outside. It’s the beauty factor that gets her attention.

This morning, I was going through a file I have for her in my email. In it was an email she sent a year ago, wishing me a Happy Birthday. The words that jumped off the page this morning were, “I want to be like you when I grow up.” This humbled me as gratitude just spilled out for this beautiful life God has given us. Once again, this must be God.
 

No More Hair

I woke up this morning before the alarm was set to go off. My body was trying to protect me from that annoying cell phone alarm we discussed yesterday. If you’re new here, welcome!  You may want to read Sweeping Dog Hair first.

blogI took the clock radio off the shelf and placed in on my bedside table before bed. It has two alarms, which works well for me! I set the first one for 6:20 am, which would allow the amount of sleep I need. It would buzz, so I set the second one a little later and with music. Neither was needed.

Before God showed us this house, I was praying for a fenced in yard for Gus. We lived on 40 acres at the time, but near a dangerous curve. I watched him get more brave in his ventures of heading down the driveway toward that curve. He’s a dog and being a Blue Heeler, he likes to run!

There were two Great Pyrenees on that country road that always ran out in front of me and started chasing my truck. Never saw the logic in that because I am driving a truck. I didn’t want that life for Gus. He deserved better. God showed us this house we’re in today and the yard is fenced.

Gus is a dog, but he needs boundaries. As I was gazing at my beautiful hardwood floor, covered in dog hair, God reminded me, “I gave you a fence.” Mr. Smith had already reminded me, he’s a dog and he can stay outside some.

Gus ran around outside yesterday and had fun. When he got hot, or missed his people, he would jump on the screen door. This doesn’t work for me, so this habit needed to be stopped. As I was sweeping, I would politely open the door, see him on the other side of the screen, look at him and give him a firm, “No”. This went on for a while, just like disciplining a child, until I opened the door with the broom in hand. Gus doesn’t like the broom, so he chilled out.

Maybe Gus made the connection that I was using the broom to sweep up his hair, and he was next. I don’t know. I was just grateful he got the message his behavior was stealing my joy and it was to be stopped. Gus is a good boy!

I gave Gus everything he needed, but didn’t tolerate what was not needed. He played outside later than normal, which meant he would sleep later too. I got up early, grabbed coffee and went to the porch to sit with God. Sitting in the swing and having quiet time was a beautiful thing. Looking at the floor while typing I see no dog hair. Gus has always quietly napped when he hears me typing. He knows I like quiet, and Gus wants to please. Gus and I work.

 

blackandwhiteBarbara is a writer and loves being a Mom to her 15 year old daughter. It’s a dream come true for her to be a Let It Go Coach and help others enjoy their lives. She hosts Workshops, does one on one Coaching and is working on her first book.  You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

Hey….Watch This!

I live in the country, so the title of this post is a rather popular saying by guys around here. It usually precedes a physical act that can lead to an emergency room visit shortly thereafter. As I sit at my desk this morning typing this, I gaze out the window and see my kind of, “Hey…Watch this!” The foliage has grown rather tall around the pond, and it’s earth tone colors made this easy to miss. Looking carefully…I see Stork!

frog

If you’re not familiar with Stork, go back and read, “Just Breathe” for an introduction. There are two that visit our pond, and this morning, it’s the Great Blue Heron. It’s rare to see him, and you have to look closely to spot him during his visit.

He stands majestically in the water, and moves with graceful intention. I go out onto the porch and sit on the stoop to take in a closer look. He takes three long strides, lowering his head toward the water. He plunges his beak below the water level, and pulls back with a fish. As I’m typing this, he has done this three times that I’ve seen.

He is in the present moment. He is aware of his surroundings, but focused on what’s in front of him. Breakfast.

now

There are distractions. Birds are flying all around, and half a dozen or so are having a party on the pier. A truck rides by on the road above, but it doesn’t distract him. He walks away from the road, finds a quieter spot, and retrieves another fish.

Are you enjoying the present moments of your life? I am guilty of not paying attention to what’s important at that moment. Sometimes I’m too focused on what’s at hand, and I miss what just happened beside me. My daughter trying to tell me what just happened in her day. I’m practicing reverting my attention from work, to focusing on her and listening to what’s she’s trying to share. This is her present moment, and we won’t get it back. If I miss too many of these, she will be less likely to invite me in.

presentmoment

I encourage you to pay attention to what’s around you, and what’s in front of you. A fabulous book to help guide is, “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh. This book is beautifully written and pure joy to read. Look around and ‘see’ what’s important. What is happening that wasn’t happening a moment ago?

The vacuum is going to sit until plugged in and used. My world is still and quiet at the moment, but that will change as soon as my daughter wakes up and the cat and dog are set free from their sleeping quarters.

Stork has moved on for the day. I enjoyed catching glimpses of his present moment experience. The fish could learn a lot from Stork, and so could we.

Is Your Mind An #OMGFest?

Went to one of the best concerts ever last night with my daughter, and we’ve been to quite a few! It was a beautiful venue, and the weather was perfect, for Texas. You know me, I’m going to observe the crowd, and I saw so many levels of overwhelm. I call these…’OMG Moments’.

My daughter tweeted after the show, “OMGtour is called what it is because that’s all you say after meeting…..”, and tagged all the artists she met. How many OMG Moments do you have during a day or week?

omgfest

Here at Letting Go, we teach how to quiet your mind and think thoughts you choose to think. Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That’s an average of 2500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. What are you thinking?

Thoughts consist of sentences. Sentences consist of words. Words are part of language. The mind uses language, words or pictures to describe or define reality. This means that anytime you hear language or are seeing pictures you know that you are in your mind. At the concert, there were signs everywhere that said, OMG, so you can imagine the extreme energy that was felt.

The young girls were overwhelmed with emotion at meeting and seeing their favorite artists. Some to the point of breaking down and crying. I ran into a Mom, who told me, “This is all so overwhelming to me!” The first step is accepting what you see or hear without judgment, that if you’re hearing language or seeing pictures, you are in the mind. I wanted to tell her, “Relax, and enjoy the present moment. It will be gone in a second.” It made my heart hurt that she was so overwhelmed with something I found to be fabulous! This moment for me was about listening and being quiet. lifeoverwhelm

There are situations you will find yourself in that will require the least to the greatest amount of involvement. There are times you are there to simply witness what is happening. There are other times you are called to act. There are times you will be called to pay attention and at the perfect moment, you will be called to add your wisdom.

Remember, the mind is aware and it wants to remain in charge. The mind is scared of being peaceful for in the state of peace the mind has no role. This is when breathing exercises are a must. By taking deep breaths, and paying close attention to your breathing, your mind stops. You cannot breathe deep and slowly and think at the same time. Try to be in the being state as much as possible…being present, being grounded, being connected or being aware. We often tell our clients, “You don’t have to think as much as you think you need to think.” The bottom line is….How free do you want to be?

Little Bit of Everything

Life happens. It’s what we choose to do with it that matters. We can continually deal with what it throws at us, take a side step and live in denial, or step up and make a shift. Ask yourself, “What are three options?”, toward every situation. Then take a step toward what’s best.

I’m a country girl, and love country music. Being young at heart, my fave artists are Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Chris Young and Keith Urban. These guys sing about love, having fun, enjoying a simple life and getting through the rough spots. These are not your, “Let’s get drunk push Mama off a train,” kinda guys. Their songs will make you smile. Keith Urban actually laughs during some of his songs! One song in particular by Keith opened my eyes to endless options of what we can receive from life. A Little Bit of Everything.

The beginning of the song, Keith mentions hanging a disco ball from an old oak tree. Having an old oak tree in my backyard this worked for me! Why not?

discoball

The song is about endless options.

Keith doesn’t focus on how to quickly fix his situation. He projects options and leaves the door wide open for ‘a little bit of everything’ to occur. It’s not about what we think we need, it’s about taking the limits off what could happen. He sings, “Well, I know that I don’t need a whole lot of anything…I just want a little bit of everything.”

Participating in a Letting Go Workshop, we learn to ‘Let Go’ of what is not serving us or anyone around us. I collected a lot of material and mental debris over the years. When it became obvious it was time to start downsizing my home, I would have never guessed it was going to take me where I am today. A lot of time, energy and money go into maintaining a large home full of stuff. What if that same time, energy and money was available again? What would that look like?

If my plate is full, or overcrowded, that doesn’t allow room for anything new! God has cleaned my plate many a time over the past 10 years, and there’s always change involved. I live in a house that is 5 times smaller than where I began.  The material items are minimal, but each one brings me joy! The same amount of time spent to clean one bathroom before, is spent cleaning my entire house today.

I have time and freedom which is precious.

NO

As I was going though The Letting Go process, I realized these methods would continue to serve me throughout everyday life. The downsizing of material things showed me there’s a huge difference between want and need. What brings you joy?

I hope it’s a little bit of everything.