Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coca Cola Insights

Last night around 11:30 p.m., when I was getting some white tea with mango out of the closet, a can of Coca Cola fell dramatically to the floor and exploded in one hundred million different directions! I was so astonished, that I helplessly watched in horror as the fizzy explosion covered the floor; closet; trash container; chair; my shoes, jeans, shirt, glasses, face, and hair -- just to name a few locations! I, of course, tracked Coca Cola footprints around more of the kitchen before I realized that my shoes were goners too! I had to disrobe in the kitchen, hoping my neighbors had gone to bed, then upstairs for some jammies, then down to the basement for the mop and bucket. Suffice it to say that cleaning up was not a simple job! Just when I thought I was done, more stickiness would appear -- under something, on something-- everywhere. I never knew that 12 oz. could stretch that far! That could be one way to advertise it! "Coke explodes further and faster than 7-Up any day!"

During all this midnight cleaning adventure, I am thinking that there must be some message here, some wisdom that I can take from this late night explosion of soda pop. (Don't mind me, I am usually looking for meaning -- sometimes it's there, sometimes not!) Of course! It's obvious! I should quit drinking Coke, now and forever more! It's not the healthiest beverage ever invented. It is fun to have a nice cold glass on a hot day. Since I don't drink coffee, every once in a while I sneak a Coca Cola into my life. When I was a little girl, my Mom used to take me to the grocery store with her and I got to get a bottle of Coca Cola out of the pop machine first thing. That would last me throughout the entire store. Dare I tell you that my precious bottle of Coke cost 6 cents? (Aha, you caught me, I am in my older youth!) So you can imagine that even though I don't drink Coke very often, the idea of never ever ever drinking it again would be very sad for me. But wait! It took me a while to get to it -- that's not the lesson I figured out!!!!

As I was cleaning the kitchen floor and surrounding areas, the smell of the floor cleaner reminded me of how much I really do love to have a really clean white plastic trash can; and I like a friendly, happy kitchen floor that is an inviting place for my grandsons to play; and I love having friends over to visit and being proud of our home. I do find a lot of satisfaction in cleaning and organizing. I get so caught up with all the "importance" of my outside activities, that I often come home tired and just seeking respite, or I stay up late working at home. As I was wielding that mop and bucket, I found I was not particularly annoyed to have to be doing such a weird clean-up when I was so tired -- once I got into it, I felt happy to love up that trash can, mop that floor, clean up my shoes, etc. I notice that when I am doing housecleaning, or have done it, I feel more grounded. I was doing dishes the other night and understood what monks say about when you get used to doing mindful thinking, even doing the dishes is an act of supreme mindfulness. I was so happy to realize that I had noticed the feel of the water, the sight of the bubbles, the movement of cleaning the dishes and finished with calm satisfaction, sparkling dishes, and a clean sink! Does it get better than that?

So if you ever think of it, please remind me how much I love housecleaning -- it truly is a neglected wellness strategy for me, Here's hoping I can figure out ways to get in good and happy rhythm with it. Now that's I've publicly stated my intentions, I guess I better head on down that hopeful highway!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ode to the Moon

Last night I was in downtown Chicago with Matthew Federici, the new Executive Director of the Copeland Center, who is kind of one of my "bosses". I do facilitator trainings and an occasional presentation for the Copeland Center and we are both attending the National Association of Peer Specialists Conference. He is very passionate about WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) and so am I, so we have that automatic great connection that helps people feel comfortable with each other even before they meet in person. And then I spotted his boldly striped blue and and gray socks and knew that we would be friends for life! Sometimes it is important identifying factors like fun striped socks that make me know that I am with the right person at the right time!

Anyway, I told you all that so you would know who I was with when I spotted the glorious full moon in Chicago. Now I know that the same amazing full moon was working it's glorious magic in many other places, but believe me -- the moon in Chicago last night was a breathtaking sight. Every time I see the full moon, I am newly amazed. It never loses it's moonspell over me. I am utterly more alive when I see a full moon. Matthew and I went to Millenium Park and saw the full moon dazzling us over the lake. Later as we were seated at an outdoor restaurant, the moon placed itself right between two open umbrellas, as if to contribute to our outdoor dining decor.

It is a joke in our family that I will probably never be arrested for a DUI (driving under the influence), but I might be arrested for a DUM (driving under the influence of the moon)! When the full moon is out in all it's glory, I really should not be allowed to drive at night. I see it peeking out from the trees, tantalizing me, and I keep looking, as I drive, to see when it will pop out again. I remember the time I was driving down our main thoroughfare and the moon was right in front of me. I don't know how this happened, but it was enormous -- like out of a science fiction movie! I will never forget that night! I felt like I was driving right into the moon!

When I spot a morning full moon, a light white circular wafer in the sky, it's always a lovely surprise. One time a friend took me to watch the moonrise! I had never heard of that, but we went to a local park, and there were lots of other people gathered, all chatting and friendly, until the time of the moonrise. Then it was very still as we all waited reverently for the moon to show itself over the trees. What a triumphant evening of fun, appreciation, and celebration! It was also another indication of how we can have enormous amounts of enjoyment for no money at all!

Thank you to the moon! You never fail to impress me with your glory! Your crescents are great, the half moon is promising, three-quarters moon gets me in the mood -- but when you pull out all the stops and show yourself in your entirety -- all I can say is WOW and WOWEEEEEE!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Have To or I Get To

Somewhere along the line I heard that instead of thinking, "I have to do this, or I have do that," we can think or say, "I get to do this or I get to do that!" It's a much more enthusiastic approach to living. Even on a day where there are things we don't really look forward to doing, it really is a privilege that we get to do them at all. The year I spent volunteering in a nursing home home in my younger youth influenced me greatly in many ways. Sometimes on a day when I feel that I am overburdened or have a bad attitude, I remember that there are people who would love to have my errands and chores to do. They would love to be able to drive a car and do tasks and job related responsibilities.

I am trying to remember to think, or even say out loud, in the mornings -- "Today I get to . . ." and really enumerate some of the highlights of my day. For example, today I get to set up a book table at a conference in the Chicago area; meet lots of new people, tell them about Mary Ellen's new book - WRAP Plus which I love; meet Matthew Federici, the new Executive Director of the Copeland Center for the first time and have dinner with him -- WOW! -- What a lucky day I have ahead of me!

There are other days when I have said, "Today I get to clean the bathroom and make it sparkling since my dear friends are coming over; pick up my prescriptions; work on my project for work, and so on . . ." It doesn't really matter what you have lined up for your day, what matters is that you know that living it out is a "get to" and not a "have to" -- hooray!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lists Make Me Happy

Haven't gotten the hang of posting regularly here, as you can tell! I was reading where someone had written about "agonizing 'to do' lists" and I was thinking about how my lists are my salvation. When I am feeling out of sorts, disorganized, and even slightly hopeless -- I know I will start to get back on track once I get a list made. I like to color code my lists, or make several for different topics, and I very rarely date them so I don't feel that day's end pressure. Oh how I love to cross things out on my lists! My sister Barbara used to write things on her list she had already done, just so she could have the joy of crossing things out immediately!

Sometimes if I am feeling way too serious about what I have to get done, I draw my lists with colored markers on cardstock -- dry cleaners, dress; grocery store, fruits; hair appointment, head -- and so forth. It's fun to do and then I put it out the night before and have a good laugh in the morning.

I also find that if I am writing in my journal and a list just spontaneously starts to happen, I have struck gold! That list is a call to action for me and enumerates my next steps, often things that were not in my conscious mind.

So lists are never agonizing to me -- it's when I don't make them that I feel agonized!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Welcome to Me and to You!

This is my first blog and I am so happy to be here! There's not much for you to read yet, but I am hoping that will change soon. My friend Crystal from goodlistdaily.com helped me set this up very patiently. I decided on the name - " Celebrate Possibilities" because I want to write about all kinds of things, especially relaxation, fun, and creativity.