Monday, January 2, 2012

Love the Rock

One of the many perks of my current freelance job is that I get to spend a lot of time online, connecting with other bloggers.  One of the newest additions to the blog tour event I'm organizing Teresa, has posted about 7 suggestions for 2012.  By far, my favorite is #2.

"Remember if you can't change the situation change your attitude.  If you're tied to a rock, learn to love the rock.  Let the situation change you."

I had this image in my head of myself hugging a rock, though a chain bound us together, loving the rock as if I'd chosen to be bound to it.    While many of the things we are bound to are results of our own choices, sometimes we are bound to things because of the choices of others, or circumstances beyond our control.

I LOVE freedom.  I love to have no ties that bind, no anchors, no chains holding me back, all the analogies you can think of, I'm sure they apply to me.  And when I do sense something weighing me down, I tend to fight it, wriggling like a worm on a hook to get out of the situation and be free once more.  But sometimes, the things that "weigh us down," whether it be a loved one, a job, a health concern, a living situation, financial lack, whatever it may be... have purpose in our lives.  These things are there to teach us patience, perseverance, wisdom, to strengthen us and prepare us for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

So I am trying to see the "rocks" of my life as blessings.  How can I grow from this?  How is this rock helping to change me into the person God wants me to be?  When I see the rock as a blessing in disguise, I love it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Look Back, Look Forward

Well, it is New Year's Day, 2 am to be exact.  The evening did not go exactly as I had originally planned, but I ended up having the perfect, lovely evening with family and friends.  I have been aching to get some time out in nature or to just be alone and meditate, really soak in the events, opportunities, and challenges of this year and think about what I'd like to change.  Unfortunately between work and um... other things (Harry Potter marathon, totally necessary) I haven't been able to do that.  I had this long list of things I wanted to wrap up today, in order to start the new year with a clean slate.  Somehow I managed to get most of it done and still enjoy the evening.  And since I am still wide awake, I'll take the time now to look back, and look forward.

Looking back: This year brought me lots of adventures: concerts, the circus, 3 months in Australia, 3 new jobs, a ton of new friends... it also brought me lots of challenges: money issues, health issues, relationship issues.  But looking back I can see how each of those things shaped me and made me into the person I am tonight, right now.  I have learned so much this year- new ways of thinking that I know will help me progress, new insights to myself, recognizing more of my strengths and weaknesses.  I feel so blessed tonight, looking back over the past 365 days, but there are still many things I want to change- new things to see and do, new people to meet, and new ways to become a little more the woman God wants me to be.  So what do I want to see, do, and try this new year?

I want to invest in my health more-time, money, energy, whatever it takes for me to be truly healthy and happy.  I want to invest in my dreams more- write, paint, create anything and everything I can, and not let feelings of fear, doubt, and negativity hold me back.  I want to use my talents and gifts to help those around me, enrich their lives, uplift people, and make the world a more beautiful place.  I want to build upon the skills I developed this past year, fine tune the basic good habits that give me strength and peace.  And last but not least, I want to have more courage- courage to open my heart to people, courage to try new things, courage to fail sometimes, courage to be myself, courage to rise to any challenge that may arise.

I am reminded tonight of "Up," an incredibly touching and beautiful movie (if you haven't seen it yet, please do!)  In the movie, 78 year old widower Carl Fredricksen finally embarks on an adventure he's been wanting to take his whole life.  He spends a lot of time looking back over his life- meeting the little girl he would later fall in love with, building a life together, living through disappointments and joys, losing her.  He goes on an amazing adventure with tagalong boyscout Russell, and comes to realize that though one phase of his life is over, he still has many more adventures ahead of him.  At one point he has to empty things from his house so that he can continue to travel, which reminds me of an analogy from Amy Parmenter, who says that when we are making transitions or seeking to change our lives, we need to look at it as embarking on a journey.  We need to "pack a suitcase," carefully considering what supplies (attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, habits) will help us, and what will weigh us down and hold us back.  And then we need to consider what supplies we don't have that we should have to help us on our journey, and focus on acquiring them.

What are you unpacking at the end of this crazy year?  And what new things will you choose to take with you into 2012?