Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Who knew that there were so many different ways to breathe?
Seriously - there are special breathing techniques for all kinds of things...
for playing a musical instrument,
giving birth,
stress management,
to get more oxygen,
truly, there is a breathing technique for just about everything. 

I have been told to breathe through my diaphragm, my lungs, my mouth, my nose, my heart, and yoga god Rodney Yee told me to breathe through my eyeballs just the other day. 

Frankly, it's not a technique I need, it's a reminder.

Others usually have to tell me that I'm ready for a paper bag. Sometimes it is a subtle comment..."Laura, are you ok?" And other times, it grabs me by the shoulders, strongly shaking me... "BREATHE, DAMNIT."

Life is crazy and if we don't stop and just breathe, damnit, we're going to miss a lot of it. Use the technique you started with when you took your first breath. It will work. If not, Google has about 493,600,000 suggestions...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Let's just see where this goes...

I admit it. When an opportunity presents itself and it is something I want to do, I go after it. Enthusiastically. Head first. Overboard. In fact, my ability to envision and imagine how it will be when I've achieved the goal focuses my attention and efforts on success. It's that whole self-fulfilling prophecy thing. Full-court press. One-hundred day letter writing campaign...

When my family and I moved to our new hometown almost seven years ago to start a great job at the hospital, there were tons of logistical hurdles to maneuver to get us here. Whenever there was a question, an answer seemed to appear. I just knew that things were going to work out the way I had hoped, and often even better than I imagined.

Of course, things didn't just happen. I worked at it. I shaped outcomes. I did what I had to do to get where I wanted to be. It's still my m.o. about things I really, really to want achieve. There's nothing wrong with going after what you want. We are taught from an early age that working toward goals is the way we succeed in this world. You know.... Go for it! Pull out the stops! Don't hold back! Throw yourself into it! What gets handed to us on a silver platter? Precious little.

Until I realized, embarrassingly, that charging full steam ahead does not work well in relationship - with friends, family, children...

One of the things life is challenging me to do is to simply let some things just unfold on their own. No pushing or scheming. Just let it happen. Be patient...Uhm. Ohh-kay.

As is usually the case, one of my favorite bloggers has some wisdom to share.
Leo Babauta "The Wisdom of Allowing Things to Happen" from his blog, "Zen Habits."

Leo counsels me that when we just let things happen, the end result may be better than we had envisioned. We close off other possibilities and opportunities when we push our own single and laser-focused agenda. This isn't to say that we just let the world roll over us, but to allow things the space to grow. Enjoying this moment right now without designs on tomorrow.

Well, that's a perspective I had never really considered. But I am now. It is easier said than done, to be sure.  It can cause all kinds of anxiety when I feel the universe is in control rather than me, and what I've learned is that one is, of course, never in control of the universe. Things will happen even with the best effort for a positive outcome. So, this girl is learning a new trick. It has been one of the most challenging personality course-corrections I've attempted, and certainly one of the most rewarding.

This is an important life lesson for me to take on and I am filled with gratitude for the chance to learn how to let go of expectations and enjoy life as it comes. Who knows what opportunities I have missed already?

"Your biggest opportunity may be right where you are now."  Napoleon Hill

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Independence - I do declare

"freedom from the control, influence, support, aid or the like, of others."

With all due respect to Mr. Webster's dictionary... I'm adding a few personal items to the definition.
freedom from: 
negative self-talk
too much stuff
unrealistic expectations
controlling others or others controlling me

So I'm declaring my own independence. From all of the above....and probably a lot more things that should be added to the list but I'm just not ready to publicly declare here... 

I find myself on my own for a few days right now and I'm deep into The Great Purge dealing with bullet no. 2 - Too Much Stuff. 

Most importantly, I'm reclaiming my house, room by room. Things that used to be his, mine, and ours. Declaring independence from the emotional tax that I have always placed on stuff. And in the process, reclaiming my self.

Armed with a glass of wine, a box of kleenex, packing boxes for keeps and giveaways, and a lot of trash bags, I'm headed to the chill of the basement, enjoying music, sorting through bits and pieces of life, and moving on. As Martha would say, "It's a good thing."