Archive for 'Nuggets of Goodness'

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland Ohio

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone…
  4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion, Today is special.
  22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
  23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
  27. Always choose life.
  28. Forgive everyone and everything.
  29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  30. Time heals almost everything. Give it time.
  31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  33. Believe in miracles.
  34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
  35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  37. Your children get only one childhood.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
  41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  42. The best is yet to come.
  43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”
  46. Blood isn’t thicker than water.  Some of the BEST families aren’t blood related. Surround yourself with people that LOVE you.
Thanks to our mutual friend Shannon Lowry who sent this lovely list to Bern and me.
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In many of our classes we talk quite a bit about making bedtime the last emotional fill-up rather than the frantic end to it all that it can sometimes be. There is something about bedtime that is wrought with a kind of mad panic for both parents and child. The parents are knowing they are almost free from their perpetual duty and the children are knowing they are about to be disengaged for ten, eleven, twelve hours. One is scrambling to get away whilst the other scrambles to be close.

We feel it works out much smoother when bedtime can serve as a sort of last communion of the day – a last coming together as opposed to the frantic separation it is sometimes wont to be.

That’s how we say it. Today, our friend Liz sent us this extremely eloquent clip from writer, Daniel Pennac. He says…

“…{T}he ritual of reading every evening at the end of the bed when they were little—set time, set gestures—was like a prayer. A sudden truce after the battle of the day, a reunion lifted out of the ordinary. We savored the brief moment of silence before the storytelling began, then our voice, sounding like itself again, the liturgy of chapters. . . . Yes, reading a story every evening fulfilled the most beautiful, least selfish, and least speculative function of prayer: that of having our sins forgiven. We didn’t confess, we weren’t looking for a piece of eternity, but it was a moment of communion between us, of textual absolution, a return to the only paradise that matters: intimacy. Without realizing it, we were discovering one of the crucial functions of storytelling and, more broadly speaking, of art in general, which is to offer a respite from human struggle.” – Daniel Pennac, The Rights of the Reader

Um, yes, that’s what we were trying to say. Only this is better. Thank you Mr. Pennac.

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People ask us that all the time.

Our tag line explains it somewhat. Slow down. Connect. Enjoy.

But what does that mean even? Here’s the break down as we see it.

Slow down. Be present. Schedule spaciousness. Pause in your activities and your breathing and your body and your mind. Check in with yourself. Take time to look around. Recognize the value of the being versus the always doing.

Connect. Ask yourself first, “What am I needing, wanting?” By becoming present with yourself you are then more able to be fully with those around you. See, acknowledge and allow the feelings and needs and moods and wishes and wants and hopes of those around you. Make time together.

Enjoy. Simple. Make it fun. Fill it with play. Appreciate each other and the joy will follow. Do the things you love and if you have to do them, find pleasure in the things you don’t. Ask yourself on a regular basis, “Is this working?”

When we are spacious and present and connected and appreciative and loving and playful we can live the slow family life we truly want to live.

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Nuggets of Goodness

One year ago Bernadette and I were in Bastrop with our amazing women’s group which has come to be lovingly known as Goodness. Before I go on, if you don’t have a group of your own, start one. It has truly changed my life to belong to a collective of such amazing, brilliant, loving and kind women.

Anyway, back to where I started, while we were on retreat Bernadette and I started talking about family life and relationships and self-care and life in general and a few little Truths started popping out. We decided to see what would happen if we tossed out these gems to the people on our email lists. And in that moment our ‘Nuggets of Goodness’ were born. Over the past year we’ve sent out 35 nuggets. At first we thought they should be weekly but then realized that was too much pressure and pressure is very ‘un-nugget of goodness-like’ so we let it flow more naturally.

Here is the nugget that went out this week:

If you want to change what happens on the outside,
start by changing the belief on the inside.

Figure out what you really believe.
Figure out what you really want.

Like it?
Leave it.

Loathe it?
Change it.

After reading it, a friend and nugget recipient emailed this question:

“I’m dying to know what I ‘really believe’ where do I start?”

And here’s my reply:

“What you really believe? It’s what unconsciously drives all of your thoughts, behaviors, actions and results. Do you expect things to work out or are you often planning for the worst? Do you feel OK in who you are and what you do or do you feel, like many if not most of us, that you are ‘not enough’ – not good enough, not doing enough, not giving enough…? If you tend to lean more towards the latter, is it true? How do you know? Do you want to keep believing that? How does it serve you to believe that? It’s a bit more complex than that, but not really. Once you get underneath the surface and down to the bottom of what’s really running the show — old, old, old paradigms that are probably not relevant any more, life changes. The things that happen, the people who show up, the way things flow, it all just starts to change.”

If you would like to received your very own Nugget of Goodness please join our mailing list. Here’s to slowing down, connecting and enjoying your day.

Imagine if you will…

It’s January 7th, 2010. (yes, one year from now)

In a word or two, a mode or a mood, sum up your 2009.

How do you want it to go?

Go ahead, toss it out there.

We’re listening.

 

Care to share?

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