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Archive for February, 2011

Mining Diamonds

In the February edition of the roadSIGNS newsletter, I shared with my readers the following:

I want to tell you, in case you have yet to realize it, that each of you has a diamond within you. Your diamond represents all the special aspects of you that make you unique, whether this is a specific talent you possess, the gift your presence gives to others, the strengths you bring to the things you do, or simply just the way you ’be’ in this world.

 I want to remind you, that this diamond grows dull and unpolished as it gets covered over by self-criticism, lack of self esteem, unworthy thoughts and self-limiting beliefs, and simply not seeing the miracle of who you are. And it is easy to do this, as when we fail to appreciate the truth of who we are, it is difficult to be seen by others.

I am here to remind you that you are a miracle and that I SEE YOU! I am here to ask you to search for the diamond that you may have lost track of and to take out a soft cloth and begin polishing this stone to a sparkling brilliance. It is time for your light to shine in this world, and, as Marianne Williamson wrote, “As you let your light shine, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same.”

Since writing this, the theme of Mining Diamonds continues to show up for me and it seems that with each additional thought I have regarding the subject, I have a roadSIGN, yes actual SIGNS. It started in Charleston with Diamond Cleaners, then Columbia with the Diamond Plaza, on to New York with Diamond Point. Each sign appeared during a conversation I was having with Jim. And so it is, that my life /spirit speaks to me, assuring me that the road I find myself on is the perfect one and inviting me to continue along this path.

Our life speaks to us – interesting don’t you think. What is your life saying to you? And, are you mining your diamond – trust me, it’s in there!

Until next time,

Betty

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Full Moon

As our vacation on Kiawah Island draws to a close, Jim and I are taking in those important beach walks, this evening to the light of an almost full moon. The weather here is finally warming up and as we strolled along this evening, it felt down right balmy.

In the final days, I can feel myself gearing up, first gear – beginning to think about the journey home, second gear – initial thoughts about what awaits us when we land back at TighShee. That’s as far as I have gotten so far – fortunately for me I drive a five speed Versa, so I have a few more gears to shift into before being in full speed.

We have enjoyed the southern cities of Charleston, Savannah and today, Columbus. By far, our favourite is Charleston. Love the older homes, the feel of the city.

As we drove to Columbus today, we (Jim and I) began to chat about the idea we have for the next book – Mining Diamonds – The many Facets of Self (working title only!) The Diamond analogy comes from the idea that each of us have a diamond inside of us, a diamond which many of us don’t see. As we pulled off the highway in Columbus, in search of gas and bathrooms, one of the first SIGNS we saw was for Diamond Plaza. Was this a SIGN for us we wondered. Always interesting to notice your surroundings. Stay tuned for how this idea grows.

Until next time…

Betty

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Valentines and More

I checked my e-mail this morning, the day after Valentine’s Day and found the following message from Michelle Allinotte:

Love Stories for Valentine’s Day
by Candice N. Aiston

In my adult life, I have learned a lot about love, and I guess the biggest thing I’ve learned is that love is not a feeling, love is the things we do. Do you remember what you thought about love when you were younger? I remember thinking that love must be thrilling, exhilarating and blissful. My ideas about love probably started with some Disney movie, and then continued with 90210 and whatever other TV shows and movies I was into as a teenager. Although I heard from many grown-ups in my live that “love is in an action”, I didn’t really grasp that until I was older. 

The truth is, most of us are suckers for love stories, but not the unsexy stories that focus on real acts of love.  We like romance.  And when it comes to our kids, we enjoy those special warm and fuzzy moments like Christmas or birthdays, but we don’t feel warm and fuzzy about the loving acts that we do every day.  Changing a diaper is a loving act, trust me.  (Consider the alternative.)  Going to work every day is a loving act.  Making sacrifices to raise your kids according to your beliefs is a loving act.  Sometimes, sacrificing the feel-good moments for the greater good is a loving act (like when you have to say no to something your kid wants to buy, because you are spending that money on something more important, like contributing to your retirement account).

 

I am grateful to Michelle and Candice for sharing this after so much to do about the perfect Valentine’s gift, flowers, chocolates, diamonds. What about simply being with another person in a truly meaningful way.

All this from the person whose husband celebrates the 14 days of Valentines, a now 20-year tradition in our home and yes, everyday for 14 days, Jim presents me with a small token of his appreciation for me and our relationship. I enjoy January as I can see Jim sneaking off to do his pre-Valentine shopping and then harbouring the gifts into the house to some secret hiding place. Occasionally I come upon them accidentally – NO, I don’t peek!

Back to the meaning of LOVE – I love what Candice shared about love also being about boundaries as well as those essential caring acts that may not be things we love to do. Most importantly, in my view, love is about being in love with yourself as well, an act of selfness, valuing who you are. When we see ourselves first we can truly see others.

I just returned from a sunrise walk on the beach. I admit that I debated leaving my warm bed for the coolness of the still winter mornings, but I forced my body into my yoga suit and dragged myself out the front door. Once the colour of the morning sky assaulted my senses, I was no longer drawn back to my cocoon. There was no other human being on the beach as I began my walk. A few seagulls eyed me from their one-legged stance, like yogi maters in their own right. Teams of willets ran in and out with the waves, digging their pointed beaks into the sand between their dances, in search for whatever prize lay hidden there. A single pelican flew across the water, inches above the breaking waves, a dark shadow on a pale pink backdrop. I watched the colour in sky change from sky blue pink to orange to yellow, until finally the crescent of the new sun broke free of the water, and rose and came into the full ball of fire. The waves picked up the light, sparkling with the new day, reflecting back to the sun the magnificence of its light. My head filled with an old refrain from Joni Mitchell, “And the seasons they go round and round, And the painted ponies go up and down. I am captive on a carousel of time”. It’s one of my long-term favourites  – a carryover from university days.

We have a few precious days left here at the beach. I am so grateful for the experience of being here, for simply BEING for a few days, for quality time with Jim, for experiencing our love which has extended over 43 years, for life, and for all the possibilities that stretch out before me.

Be with love!

Until next time,

Betty

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I Am Back!

It has been three months since my last post. No, I won’t bore you with the usual trite excuse ‘where did the time go’? It went and here I am once again. I took some time off after landing myself in the hospital in late November. The time was booked off for a vacation in Stowe Vermont, meaning the good news was I had the time to be sick. I had set an intention of complete relaxation, spending my days in bed, signing off from any and all responsibility and being looked after and pampered. Well guess what I got – what I asked for with the exception of course that I did not bargain on having this sejour in a hospital bed.

As I believe that life really is a series of perfect events, I recognize that my life was speaking to me and offering me the break I wanted in a form I had not anticipated. I had ample time for reflection and in that reflection I was working through something that had been brewing as a theme in my life. There had been multiple roadSIGNS by the way, and as we as humans are wanton to do, I had been sorta dealing with them and sorta not.

The body, mind, spirit connection is amazing. When I failed to honour my spirit, my body decided to give me the wake-up call I needed. It shut down literally, my bowel obstructing and, well, you get the picture.

What was up. I was feeling an enormous sense of responsibility in my life, a long-term pattern I admit. Responsibility for everything – projects, work, people, everyone and everything my life touched. Have you ever felt that way? And in this place, I was shutting down. There was no space for my curiosity, my desire to learn and to expand, to create – the space was full of all the have to’s and must do’s. I have visited this place before and one would think that I would have moved on. Yes, and there is a new lesson to be learned each time I arrive here.

Since then, I decided to give myself additional time to breathe and to evaluate where all my energy was being invested. I like that word – invested. Wouldn’t it be interesting if all of us made an appraisal on a regular basis as to where our time is invested and in this process assessed what is really ours and what is not. Wow! I am signing on for that.

Currently I am on vacation in South Carolina. We arrived here on February 7th, a small condo on the beach, Kiawah Island just outside of Charleston. We have many friends in the south – Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and my apologies to all of you as we will not be seeing you on this trip. I have learned that a visitation is different from a vacation. I love and enjoy my friends and there are simply times when I am ‘peopled out’. And this is a good thing, as on this vacation it has been Jim and I, the beach and the sand dunes, several varieties of sea birds, books, sleep, meditation, and romance movies. Oh yes, and we did squeeze in a concert – the Indigo Girls as well as a play, Raisin in the Sun.

Something else has shifted. As I released the responsibility that seemed to be weighting me down and shifted into flow, being where I wanted to be with my work in this world and accepting only what is truly mine, I did find the space to once again be curious and excited. And I am wanting to share this with all of you through my blog. Who reads me – a few and eventually more. I want to write here from a sense of true desire and love rather than obligation and responsibility – you will know the difference.

What excites me these days: A lot!
– we are launching our ME FIRST Leadership Program, a five-day in-house retreat in April. This is a leadership from the inside out program as well as teaching others an in-depth view of our work.
– the ME FIRST Playbook has been written in draft form and will be coming out later this year. it is whimsical and creative, the right brain version of the book, ME FIRST, If I Should Wake Before I Die.
– we will be recording the Chakra meditation we use during our retreats in March
– we see all the SIGNS that ME FIRST is going corporate as more and more people understand that to change what they want around them, they must first look inside.
– we are launching some new self discovery tools this spring -more to come!
– finally I am excited about the emerging field of Positive Psychology, the study of happiness and what makes people thrive. You can see the relevance to our work here at the roadSIGNS Coach.

I am back! I hope you will choose to take a few moments from your busy days to travel with me on the journey of 2011, that you will comment on the blog, ask questions and be attracted to our work. I hope you too will choose to be curious and I will keep you posted as to where my curiosity lands me.

Until next time….

Betty

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