Thursday, September 25, 2014

Advice From Your Fears...NEVER!

I don't know if I'll ever conquer all of my fears.  I have grundles of fears. ( Grundle...more than a bundle, and even more than a gross!  Grundle.)  I do understand that my fears reflect my life experiences.  I've had ever so many life experiences.  I generally prefer to focus on all of the grand ones, and I've had lots of those, but for the sake of this post I'm going to chat a bit about my fears, where they came from, and the attempts I've made to beat them back.

Darkness.  A loving friend once told me by way of comfort, "There's nothing in the dark that isn't there in the light."  GONG, is that comfort?  I am completely and utterly aware that in the light there are plenty of things to cause fear.  The biggest difference is that during the day you can SEE what you fear, and that takes away a little of the hair raising, goose bump creating, adrenaline pumping, fright.

Heights.  I remember being very, very young, probably two or three and my six foot two Father swinging me up on his shoulders.  He had a firm, safe, hold on me but I went wacky.  I pulled at his hair, screamed, kicked, and cried until he put me down on terra firma.  I can NOT ride in a lift chair at a ski resort.  My feet simply can NOT dangle hundreds of feet in the air with nothing underneath.  I can do slightly better in a tram, but NOT if the floor consists of see through anything.  I see no powerful reason to face this fear.  Maybe someday when I want to encourage grandkids to face their fears.

Choking.  I was born allergic to this world.  Seriously, I have had many, MANY allergy tests performed.  I react to every substance.  I've had allergy shots three or four times in my life.  They HAVE helped, but I still remain very allergic.  I never know what substance I'm going to react to.  Choking happens less than it used to.  HOORAY!  I just never know when it will happen.  Sitting in a very sacred worship service, suddenly I feel my throat swelling, my air passages narrowing.  I can't just stand up and retreat.  Fortunately, I almost always carry a lozenge of some type with me. (I have to even be careful what type of lozenge.  If they have honey, sometimes the honey pollens make me react!)  The lozenge tends to beat back the swelling. 

Dentists.  My teeth are almost gone, and I'm just fifty-eight.  It happened by a combination of factors like illness, car accidents, etc. etc.  I've been through root canals, crowns, cavities, fractured teeth, many, many other dental horrors.  I can NOT sit calmly in a dentist chair and let them work on me.  I can only be worked on through the use of Nitrous Oxide/Laughing Gas.  It doesn't make me laugh but it takes the fear firmly away.

That is enough of fear.  Just by relating those fears I feel my heart pumping harder, and my adrenaline beginning to ramp up.  I speak of them only to express the difference between living with fear firmly in control, or living with FAITH in control.  For those who do not believe in any sort of religion, or God inspired ideas let me bring in common ideas.  Faith is NOT just about God, or religion.  It takes faith to go to sleep at night.  Faith to wake up and live.  Faith to have a family. Faith to work at a job.  We need faith in ourselves to achieve, and grow.  Faith is a living, vital power.  Not simply "The evidence of things unseen..." 

I love the quote that says, "Never take advice from your fears."  NEVER!  Stop and think of the profundity of that quote.  It doesn't imply SOMETIMES, any period of time, allowing fear to control your life choices.  IS THAT POSSIBLE?  Can we literally, actually NEVER allow fear to tell us how to live life?  Please understand I am NOT suggesting that you immediately sign up to jump from a plane, or climb a rock face on a mountain.  There are many more simple ways to fight fear.

What would that mean in your world?  For me it would mean not watching murder mysteries before bed!  lol  That's a simple fix for my intense fear of the dark.  In the hour before I retire to sleep I need to fill my mind with thoughts of power, and inspiration.  I need to focus on Ideas that elevate, and bring me into my strongest self.

How do we do that?  Beat fear with faith?  Is it even possible?  I am all too human.  I DON'T always manage.  Yet reaching for the brightest within myself, the strongest possible self is the grandest adventure of life.

Let me re-state that.  When you think of an adventure how do you define it?  Do the characters in pirate movies have adventures?  Do you think of swashbuckling with a sharp, bright sword your fears away.  That is an excellent image.  Using something powerful and sharp to slash those fears away!

Adventure?  Robert Louis Stevenson (one of my favorite writers and humans), wrote "Treasure Island," before he ever saw an island.  He wrote of those adventures from his sick bed.  He was born with severe allergy asthma.  That was a terminal diagnosis at that time.  There wasn't even canned oxygen to give him when he would struggle (yes, and choke) for oxygen.  Yet he had a grand adventure...IN HIS MIND!

Is that possible?  I validate that YES it is!  I wrote my books for years from my bed.  As a small child, ill most of the time, no worthwhile children's daytime television, and not old enough to read,  I would write stories in my mind.  Those early childhood ideas cogitated for over forty years before I began to put them on paper. 

When I would make up strong, valiant, people in my mind I would also strengthen myself.  I would face my fears instead of letting THEM face me! 

YES...I have lots and lots of fears.  Yet I am aware that it IS possible to face them.  I like to envision myself sticking my tongue out and stamping my foot and saying, "I AM stronger than you!"  I do not wish to give another minute of my life away to being ruled by fear. 

Today, find a fear moment, and conquer it!  Build some mental armor.  Helmet, a quote that inspires you, breastplate, a friend who helps you to be your best, lower part of the armor (Can't remember the name), prayers or meditation, Shield, a physical activity that creates endorphins (dancing for me, or water aerobics).  In your mind, put on that armor and FACE YOUR FEAR!  You may be surprised by how empowering this small activity can be in your life.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Can We Create Our Own Reality?'s a word that has many, many meanings.  The basic idea is that the word represents the life that each of us lives.  Reality is supposedly a law that has strict boundaries.  The sun is shining outside.  Today that is a reality in my word.  It can be proven simply by looking out the window. 

Last night there were angels flying through our home.  The joy and peace that they brought with them helped me to relax and sleep.  I could not SEE those angels with my human senses.  In other words, that was not REALITY. 

Reality means the things that you can define with your senses.  If you can't see, hear, touch, taste, or feel with your hands, the experience falls outside the definition of reality, or does it?

I attended a lecture where the speaker said, "Each of us have our own reality."

To that point I was very comfortable seeing life as reality...and now he was telling me that MY reality might not fit in someone else's perception?  How could that be possible.

When my husband attended Law School, into his brilliant mind was pounded the concept of "Relative truth."  That was another mind stretcher for me.  To this point in my life, truth, much like reality was either black, or it was white.  There was no gray shading shadowing reality or truth!

Imagine taking a test where every single answer was correct?  Your task?  You had to choose the MOST correct of any of the answers given.  Welcome to a great portion of the Oregon Bar Exam.  Relative truth must be understood to pass this test.

I believe that each and everyone of us is capable of creating our own reality, our own truth.  I wake up in the morning every single morning, feeling physically miserable.  I live with many, many chronic illnesses.  I could choose each morning to make my reality the struggles of living with disability.  Some days, by necessity, I must face some unpleasant realities that come with living with physical challenge. 

On the other hand, why would I wish to give any portion of my life away.  Why would I wish to see ONLY the DIS in the word DISability?  Why wouldn't I wish to find all of the ABILITIES that I still have? 

Nyle related a story to me about an athlete who was paralyzed from the waist down in an accident.  His response?  "Before I had limitless things that I could do.  I still have at least a million things that I can do!"

Healing from that injury he became involved in para athletic events.  He was riding a hand controlled bicycle in a race.  He turned the corner and ran head on into a car that had ignored all the barriers, and warning signs and driven the wrong way on a one way street.  He lost both of his legs.  Again as he regained consciousness to this new grim loss his response was, "Now there are at least 800,000 things that I can still do!"

I wish that I were this endlessly positive.  I'm not.  Yet I do realize that it's very, very important to remember the law of focus.  If it's not actually a law, it should be.  To end my discussion I will tell a simple story.

 Sadie was an adorable 8 year old girl who had been cranky all morning long.  Her Mother was at the end of her patience.  She wanted to help Sadie change her attitude.  So drawing Sadie with her to the window the Mother said, "Sadie, look out the window and tell me what you see."

Sadie said grumpily, "Yuck Mom.  Don't you ever wash this window?  There are dead bug guts, and streaks all over it."

Sadie's Mother took a long, deep breath.  Then she answered, "Honey, look THROUGH the glass.  What do you see beyond that glass?" 

Sadie giggled, "Oh, there is my dolly that I couldn't find this morning.  I must have forgotten to bring her inside last night!  I don't remember the grass being that green.  Oh look at those fluffy clouds.  One of them looks like a bunny hopping!"

Her Mother now said, "Sadie, which one would you rather focus on, the bug guts, or the green grass?  Life is about focusing on what is the most positive."

Lest anyone say, "That's denial.  That's not reality!"  I remind you, Sadie SAW those bug guts, and the streaky window.  She didn't ignore them or pretend they didn't exist.  Instead a conscious choice was made to look beyond those negatives and see the positives.

Monday, September 22, 2014


I sit at the lovely collaged table in my dining nook to write.  I have habitually sat on the end of the table.  There I look straight out through my sliding glass door into beauty.  I see the trees that arch above our backyard.  In the winter I have an empty branched peek into the mountains above. 

Then one day I put my sewing machine in that spot.  So the next time I sat to write, to express my thoughts, I sat at the side of that same lovely table.  (It really is beautiful...filled with quotes, pictures, colors, textures, and inspiration for my writing!) 

Suddenly I realized that my view of everything exterior was completely changed.  Now I could see out of THREE large, lovely windows.  Each window is fluid artwork.  In the window straight ahead lies a portion of the silvery Salt Lake.  Beyond that are mountains that often seemed to float in space, lying squarely on top of wispy wondrous clouds.

To my right there are acres of blue sky.  This view changes from minute to minute as clouds fingerpaint the sky.  The window is six feet long, and about five feet wide.  It is very much like living art.  The window lets me view the artwork that changes.  BEAUTIFUL!

There was certainly nothing wrong with looking straight ahead to that majestic view.  Yet simply moving around to the side strengthened and lengthened my view of our planet.

Can we change our reality?  I would shout from the highest point of these awe inspiring mountains...YES! is up to us to move around the table and change our perspective.

I have had the privilege of traveling throughout Europe, Mexico, and Canada.  I have learned so much from just watching people live their lives.

In Mexico my husband and I were on a cruise ship.  We rubbed shoulders on that ship with wonderful people.  Most lived lives of financial privilege.  We would dress in formal evening wear to eat dinner at night.  (My sweetie sure made that tuxedo look good!)

Then by day we would choose excursions that would take us into different cities.  One such excursion took us by bus to a teeny, tiny, town.  There were no stoplights, no paved roads.

We walked through a garden that rivaled the biblical Garden of Eden.  A woman smiled sweetly at all of us, strangers, trooping through her garden and over to her covered patio.  Her husband sat inside his open doorway.  You could look in to the house and see that it was pretty much just two rooms, and not very big rooms at that.

The woman had a tortilla iron.  She had grown and blended the mixture that she would put on the iron.  It was like a waffle iron only with flat plates.  She would press down with the iron.  In short minutes you had a completely fresh, delicious tortilla.  Then she would ladle a mixture of beans onto that fresh tortilla.  A dollop of home made salsa completed the meal.

Later I learned that one of the tour guides had arranged for this older couple to be paid to create this meal for their tours.  The couple was too old and infirm to work at a regular job.  Now they earned a tiny pittance serving food to people who had probably never experienced the grinding power of want.

As we drove away our bus created a plume of dust.  Soon that dust was filled with bare-foot children laughing and chasing the bus.  It was probably a high light in their lives.  There was no television in their village.  There were certainly no computers, or smartphones.  Chasing a bus was a smiling way to be entertained!

My perception was that these people were poor, living lives of want and need.  I felt great sorrow watching those children running behind us into the dust spilled by the lumbering bus.

Then I noticed.  The children were smiling!  They were laughing!  These weren't desperately miserable human beings.  They were living their perspective with joy!  What they did have they were grateful for.  Their lives were simple.  Hard defined their existence.  They worked with their families much of each day.  This was true for adults AND children.  In that simple dynamic of their lives they found joy, and laughter!  Hard to them did not mean BAD!

I returned home with new eyes of gratitude.  My humble home kept the elements from my family.  We never went without food, or clothing.  Our support network, faith, family, and friends was firm and strong.

Did I see sorrow and pain?  YES, of course, as we traveled to different areas of Mexico.  Children greeted us at each location, begging, or selling small obscure tourist items.  I never got used to seeing children beg.   I was well aware that in THEIR reality there was pain and struggle.

Sometimes there was also great joy in living.  One woman that I sat next to spoke only Spanish.  I speak Un Poquito (very little).  Somehow we managed to communicate.  She joyously showed me pictures of her hijos (children).  I joyously shared pictures of mine.  We were sisters in that moment joined by the commonality of family.

The heart of what I'm trying to communicate is that we can learn and be changed by simply changing our position.  It CAN be simple.  It MAY be hard.  Hard is not always bad.  Sometimes it's the catalyst of great change and growth.

So today, what perspective are you working to change?  Stand up and move to a new view, and you will be surprised at how that tiny change can open your mind, your heart, to new ideas and growth.