The Gift

Photography by Terri Pouliot / Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens

Every minute someone leaves this world behind.
Age has nothing to do with it.
We are all in this line without realizing it.
We never know how many people are before us.
We cannot move to the back of the line.
We cannot step out of the line.
We cannot avoid the line.
So while we wait in line:
Make moments count.
Make a difference.
Make the call.
Make priorities.
Make the time.
Make your gifts known.
Make a nobody feel like a somebody.
Make your voice heard.
Make the small things big.
Make someone smile.
Make the change.
Make yourself a priority.
Make love.
Make up.
Make peace.
Make sure to tell your people they are loved.
Make waves.
Make sure to have no regrets.
Make sure you are ready.
This world will often leave you wishing you had just 5 more minutes. Feel free to share this powerful reminder on perspective and wake up each day realizing it is a gift and to make the most of it!

Author: Marianne Baum

Connection

 

“Our world hangs like a magnificent jewel in the vastness of space. Every one of us is a part of that jewel. A facet of that jewel. And in the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal. We are intimately related. May we never even pretend that we are not.”

-Fred Rogers

 A look back at Rogers’ memorable 2002 Dartmouth commencement address.

Procrastination

PROCRASTINATION

is on my mind this morning….

Why do we put ‘things’ off?

Why are we willing to do ‘anything’ other than the ‘one thing’ we know we should be doing?

I’m not a procrastinator. I’m one of those ‘roll up your shirt sleeves and get it done’ kind of girls.

So, when I find myself avoiding a task I know needs action; I have to delve deeper and find out exactly why I am putting that particular activity on the ‘back burner’.

There are many reasons why  space exists between our intentions and actions.

There are also different types of ‘procrastinators’.

The reality is this: the end result is always the same; procrastination eats away at our most valuable asset, which is time.

We only get so much time. So why are we wasting it?

Procrastinating would seem to be a self-inflicted sort of wound that delays what we feel will result in ‘failure’.

Whenever I am dragging my feet toward action I need to dig deeper and find out what is really going on.

This winter, I found myself begrudgingly heading toward my  basement exercise room. This happened more than once. I found my morning exercise to be postponed well past its usual time.  I had to ask myself , ‘Why?’ What was it about my exercise program that I was not feeling the love?

Sometimes, it can be as simple as we need to change our routine. Maybe we need to give ourselves ‘permission’ to take a rest day. Maybe we need to make some minor adjustments to our meal design. Begin by tweaking a few minor things and see if our ‘procrastination’ lingers.

Have we been performing the routine longer than six weeks?  Are we getting impatient for results?  Do we dislike the activity?  Is our workout area bright and cheerful?  Are we getting enough sleep and recovery time?  Are we drinking enough water?

Getting to the bottom of our delay tactics requires brutal honesty with ourselves.

Get real. Let’s stop kidding ourselves.   As someone once said, “This isn’t a dress rehearsal.”  This is our life.

In my case, I needed to switch my physical design routine. I was getting bored with my current situation. I needed a change of scenery.  The boredom was not with just the exercise, either.   I was feeling antsy and ready for change in several areas of life.  Again, this realization requires us to be brutally honest AF with ourselves.   Deal with the reality then do something to change it.

I think we all postpone things from time to time. Shaming is not motivation. Fear of failure is often the truth behind stalling and needs to be dealt with realistically, if that is the root cause.   Frustration from lack of results may simply mean we need to be more realistic with our goals.  Boredom may require us to be a bit more creative with our physical activity or daily duties.

What are you trying to avoid?

We only get so much time here. I want to help us stop wasting it.

In Between

Photography by Terri Pouliot

In between.

seasons

months

years

In between.

Waiting….for the real spring to show up

the opportunities to appear

your big break

In between.

Not a place of comfort for most people.  I’ll be the first to come clean and confide it’s not my happy place.

We need to gently remind ourselves during these seasons of in between

this is where the real magic happens!

All winter long,  nature must rest and ‘toughen up’.   Germination is taking place even during the most brutal winter months.

Trust the process.  ‘In between’ can be a place of rest, renewal and preparation.

It is not the time to retreat back to bed with our favorite yoga pants and comforter.

Consistency is the thing.   Keep writing, lifting, painting, creating, eating healthy….whatever it is that you are working toward.

In between is only temporary.

Spring blooms will be soon be strutting their stuff!

 

 

 

Self-Judgement

Photography by Terri Pouliot

“When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.

The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”

– Ram Dass

Finish Line Smiles

Finish Line Smiles

This is a story I intended to write a couple years ago. My memory was jarred this weekend while attending the Hale Farm and Village Music in the Valley Folk & Wine Festival. Inspirational words in a beautiful song titled, ‘Up on my Feet Again’ by Charlie Mosbrook, recreated a vivid scene in my mind.

The song itself deserves to be heard because it’s all about personal struggle. Charlie’s struggles resulted from a spinal cord injury. Pure grit, determination and gratitude pulled him through a dark valley. Charlie was a marathon runner prior to his injury and today he dreams of someday racing Boston from his hand cycle. I have no doubt he will do it.

A while back I ran a 5k for the first time. This was really out of my comfort zone. I’m certainly not what I would consider a ‘Runner’ in the truest sense of the word. Running is not my choice of exercise. But since this was a non-competitive race, and a fund raiser, I was willing to give it a go.

Race Day arrived and I was nervous and extremely apprehensive. I wasn’t sure I could ‘run’ the entire 3.10686 miles that were included in the route. But I was determined to try. This was something I had to prove to myself. I was here that day for many personal reasons. I never discussed these reasons with anyone. They were tucked securely away in the safest and most secretive parts of my heart.

 

 

The signal sounded for the Race to begin. There were so many people! The pathway couldn’t adequately hold them all. The experienced runners jutted out around the participants who were running a slower pace. My adrenaline kicked in and soon I was one of those moving ahead on the outer portion of the route. Having never participated in a 5k before; I was surprised at how many people were happy to simply be walking and a part of something special.

That’s the moment, or collection of moments, I want to talk about.

Time seemed to -s-l-o-w- down as I whooshed past people. The backs of T-Shirts had sayings on them, photos of loved ones, and some of the racers had mementos with them. Then, it hit me… like a ton of bricks. Their stories. I could sense all that energy present. Not in a hooey-whooey kind of way, but a deep in your gut kind of way. As I approached each person, I could sense it. They each were present that day because they had their own struggle to overcome. Their own illness or the illness of someone they loved, was their motivation. So many of the racers had something to prove, to prove to themselves, as an advocate for someone who no longer had a voice, against cancer, or for unspoken tears. Yes. We each had our own race to run. Different reasons, same race.

Then my tears began to flow. And I could not stop them. I ran and cried, cried and ran. For the first time ever, the saying, “It’s the journey, not the destination,” made sense. It wasn’t about the race. It was never about the race. It was always about the journey and story that was represented that day.

I finished that race. Yes. I wore a huge ‘finish line smile’ when I crossed that final destination. But the reason was multi-layered. I learned so much that day. I never felt more alive. Maybe because I could feel the energy of so many other humans. Connection in the purest and most beautiful form.

Did I run the entire race? No. Did I complete it? Yes. Prior to the race, all I could think about was that finish line. The final destination. Could I run the whole thing? Did I have what it takes? Oh, I got there all right. But that was not the best part. The most meaningful part was the journey itself.

I will always remember that day. I can still feel the ‘stories’ and energy of so many of those people. People that I will never know but forever be connected to. There were many ‘finish line smiles’ that day. Finishing a race was only a small reason behind those smiles.

Finish Line Smiles. Dedicated to Leslie Ann (far right) who passed away recently. I am third on the right.