Sunday, September 14, 2014
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Friday, September 12, 2014
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Dear 16 year old me: I am so sorry that you feel the way you do right now. Its ok, because things do work out in the end.
The first thing I would tell you is to stand firm in your faith. You know yourself best, don’t be persuaded by peer pressure. If you want to be a hair dresser or a writer or a wife and mom, that’s ok. Its also ok to be what you grow up to be too, but don’t cave into peer pressure. Be firm with your beliefs. When you are questioned, don’t waver. Be strong.
The next thing I would do is give you a great big hug.
A lot of your sadness over the years could be prevented by just accepting that you are an incredibly wonderful, loving, kind, compassionate person. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. Some people are just like that and they will never accept how wonderful you are. You shouldn’t waste your energy on the 1 who doesn’t care, when there are 99 others who love you for you. You are smart, talented, beautiful-please don’t listen to others when they tell you that you are not. You are the most unique creature on the planet, so you can never, ever EVER be like so and so-and they can never be like you, either. Relish that uniqueness. Embrace your quirks. Flaunt your fierceness.
One of the most important lessons is to not let shame overrun your life. You have not done anything to be ashamed of. You have lived your life and explored your world and made mistakes. Congratulations, you are human. Don’t listen to those who tell you things to kill your spirit. They aren’t worth your time or energy. A mistake is a learning experience. Mistakes help you grow, and growth is essential to living.
Don’t just think that you are not worthy of love. One day you will meet Prince Charming, and he will rock your world. Listen to your heart, not the words of others who don’t live your life. Don’t put your dreams aside because someone else doesn’t believe in them. Believe in yourself.
And time for another hug.
Yes, you do have every right to be angry. You deserve a chance to vent that anger and let it go. Its ok to be angry. Please don’t think that when bad things happen, they are your fault because they are not. You really are a rock star already, just keep believing in yourself and you will go places. And its ok to cry too, both when you are sad and when you are happy. And laugh all the time. Don’t be ashamed of your laugh either, because it’s a pure one-full of joy.
Embrace your body. Learn to listen to cues. Stop equating self worth to a number on a scale. You have more value than what clothing size you wear. Eat foods that are going to fuel your body and give you the most optimum health. Kick the soda habit now and never start smoking. Be active. Don’t make time for people who judge you on your appearance. Stop starving and purging. Calorie restrictions will only make you miserable.
Saturday, September 06, 2014
Friday, September 05, 2014
From the time I was a small child, I have been a voracious reader. I loved being read to and reading on my own as I got older. Its something that I have worked hard to instill in the Little Man too.
There have been five that did just that for me. I did not include any of the most obvious choices, like the Bible, because that didn’t just change my life-it framed it for me. I also did not include any fiction, since
The first one was Simple Abundance by Sarah ben Brethnact. It’s a daybook-you read one essay a day. Sometimes there are exercises to do, like creating a look book or reading something. Other times, its just a piece to read and reflect upon. I’ve been using this book for about 15 years now. Despite having read each and every essay dozens and dozens of times, there is something comforting about it. Its part of my morning routine. Its taught me valuable lessons. The first was developing an attitude of gratitude. One of the first exercises listed is to create a gratitude journal, which I’ve kept for well over a decade now. Another lesson learned is that of finding simple joy in things, and to look for beauty in each and every day.
The second book that changed my life was the Artist’s Way. Reading it was a revelation. For most of my life, I have been a creative soul. I write. I paint. I craft. I scrap. I do all sorts of creative endeavors. However, since I am an accountant and youth minister by trade, I never considered myself an artist. After reading this book and working through the exercises, I can call myself one now. I start my morning with my daily pages. When I skip it, I can tell. It helps keep the flow flowing. Another concept was the weekly artist date. I spend some quality time with my muse, and sometimes its creating something, other times I’m working my kitchen magic. Then there are other times I take a class or even just move.
The third was Ghost Hunter by Hans Holzer. I read over and over and over again as a kid, and its inspired me to pursue my paranormal interests. It introduced me to the concept that ghosts were real, and can be quantified. As I grew older, it encouraged me to get into the paranormal field and find like minded souls.
The fourth book was Restoring the Woven Cord. About 15 years ago, the associate rector of my beloved Trinity Princeton went on sabbatical to
The fifth and final book may be a bit of a surprise, unless you really know me well. Scott Cunningham’s book, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. Since I was already interested in the paranormal, this was a natural progression. Wicca is loosely based on ancient Celtic and Britannic pagan traditions, but as a theology Wicca is relatively new. I thought it was fascinating how traditional holidays (ember days and holy days in the Christian calendar) became Wiccan Sabbats. It also is a terrific resource for herbal remedies as well as aromatherapy blends. I have to admit that this book was my introduction to those fields, and for that I am thankful.