#1: Life Whispers #LifeYouWantDC

whisperAs I write this, I’m sitting at Reagan National waiting to board a flight home. People are rushing, televisions are blaring, airlines are screaming announcements–noise is layered on noise in a way that makes my heart race and my blood pressure rise. Why On Earth does USAirways think we need CNN blasting on top of all this?

I hear so much I can’t hear anything. 

I realize that’s what happens in my own life so much of the time. I am an over-thinker and a multi-tasker, intent on being as life-efficient as possible. I work out how I can start a load of laundry, chop vegetables for dinner, download an audiobook and update my computer’s software all at the same time. I think about what I’m doing, what I should be doing instead, what I’m going to do next, what I just did, how I could have done it differently. I try to work through problems, rehearse conversations, rehash situations, reconsider every angle.

It’s ridiculous, quite frankly.

It’s also exhausting.

And it was a primary topic at Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend.

GIANT TAKEAWAY #1
Your life whispers to you all the time. If you don’t get still and listen, the whisper will become a pebble making some serious waves. And before you know it, the pebble’s become a brick upside your head.

Do I know this one. Man, have I lived it. And so I recognize the importance of getting quiet and paying attention to the things my life is telling me.

Thanks, Oprah, for a powerful reminder.

 

Up next: GIANT TAKEAWAY #2 from Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend.

 

 

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Are You Living The Life You Want?

stage
anticipation

Not much on my life list ranks as high as seeing Oprah Winfrey live. So when I got an email last Spring announcing her The Life You Want Weekend tour, I jumped at the chance.

O did not disappoint. Inspiring, informative and incredibly entertaining, I loved it all. And I can’t wait to tell you about it! We’ll just start with this:

oprah
O my.
cat
me, mesmerized
sheets
doing her thing

If you can attend any of the remaining O weekends, do it! If not, check back here as I dig into my Oprah Journal to share bits of wisdom from the gathering.

Did I mention it was so cool.

Til next time!

 

 

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Friday Love 10.25.13

a little roundup of things that inspired me this week

1. The Seven Gifts of the Universe Everybody Gets

I love Leigh Newman’s insights so much I’m not going to crowd this link with any other Friday Love. She writes:

All of us—even the bleakest and unluckiest of us—get seven particular moments, those brief, unexpected times when the stars do more than align; they communally redirect their light expressly to illuminate the value of our wee, earthly existence.

These moments sometimes go unnoticed and are almost always unexpected. They are not subject to the vicissitudes of your success or failure. They are not something you can blame yourself for not experiencing sooner or flog yourself into experiencing now. They are on their own time schedule. They have happened to you or will happen to you sooner or later. The key is not letting them slip by uncelebrated.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Best-Moments-in-Life-7-Golden-Moments-in-Life-Leigh-Newman/1#ixzz2iaevnZW6

Please, please, please give yourself the gift of this read. It is a powerhouse.

 

On Being Insanely Nice*

Mrs. Cibber as Cordelia (King Lear), Yale Center for British Art

I’m headed to Birmingham, he said, softly kissing my sleeping face in the darkness. Be back tonight.

I swam hard for the shore of awake that I might properly tell him goodbye, have a good meeting, be safe. But of course by then he was gone, the sound of the garage door closing behind him. And so I lay there thinking of the dream I had just been in, wondering where the story came from, what it all meant. And in a matter of moments I was fully awake, ready to get on with the day.

Coffee in hand (yes, he made coffee for me before leaving), I opened my laptop to find this email among the heap of overnight arrivals.

I clicked, and here was Number One the list of 10 Insanely Nice Things You Can Say To Anybody.

1. “Take your time. I’m not in a rush.”

This one is great for the grocery store, the takeout burrito restaurant or anywhere else that involves really tired people trying their best, even as they fumble and flail. For example, the woman in front of you pays the cashier but then has to rifle through her overstuffed wallet to put away the change, then store the receipt, then mash the whole fat leather money accordion into her purse. She will usually complete this action with frantic fingers because she knows she’s delaying the whole line; she knows everybody just wants to go home; and she knows she should not save old, mostly-used-up gift cards with 63 cents on them. Telling her to “Take your time. I’m not in rush” always sets off the same reaction: first, surprise (really? because everybody’s in a rush…) and then a flash of sweet wide-open relief. You have just given somebody a three-minute holiday, not from the stress of life, but from the stress we put on ourselves.

Yes, I thought, remembering the power of my recent grocery store exchange. Yes, such a tiny little gesture, a gift returned to me in the kind acknowledgement of a stranger, this woman who, like me, is simply doing the best she can.

I clicked to #2. And #3. And on through Leigh Newman’s list of 10 Insanely Nice Things You Can Say To Anybody.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. What important kindnesses to remember.

*As it turns out, this is a 2-part post. Part One: On Being A Not-Very-Patient Waiter

Day 30: Promises, and Resolutions

It has been a long time since I last found a feather. This was my thought the other night as I did some updating work on thedailygace.com. Have I simply not been paying attention? I wondered.

But that doesn’t seem a very plausible explanation, since I never really look for them. Instead, feathers just seem to appear in my world, particularly when I need a little encouragement.

The very next morning I opened my inbox to find a note from Oprah Winfrey, sent, no doubt, to the thousands of us who have emailed her since that final Oprah show. (I had sent her a photo last summer of the joyful night I spent with Eliza and friends, just before they headed off to college. We gathered to watch that last show together and to talk about the life lessons Oprah shared as part of her goodbye.)

As I read the email, several lines stood out:

  • Our journey is the same, though every circumstance is different.
  • We are all on a quest for Wholeness that comes with fulfillment and Grace, and a connection to something GREATER than ourselves.
  • Whatever challenges you’re facing, I know that your faith, resolve, and your Decision to get through whatever it is, is most important.
  • You alone are responsible for transforming your life. Which ultimately means seeing yourself as a human vessel for experiencing a deeper spiritual essence as a Being here on earth.
  • Every problem has a spiritual lesson. Get the lesson. Life gets better. Don’t get it. And the lessons get harder.
  • Stop resisting what is. Either change it or find a way to move with the flow.

And then I get to this.

That is my new goal: to become what a Sufi teacher recently shared with me “A Feather on the Breath of God.” Flowing where I can best be used in service to my calling.

My feather, delivered as a New Year’s wish, from Oprah.

On this Day 30, I wish you great, great joy as you make your way into 2012. As my husband says about having a full tank of gas: Anything is possible.

30 Days of Joy