Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's never too late!

There are so many people who think as they get older, they have missed opportunities in life. Some lament that it is too late for them, their time has passed. Not true! But there are some that are more difficult to convince then others. From my personal experiences, I know that it is never too late to go back to school, it's never too late to start writing that poem/novel/article, it's never too late to start a new enterprise, it's never too late to forgive and to love - it's just never too late. One person said, "It's not that you are a human being, it's that you are a human doing!" The only time it is too late is if you're dead - obvious right? With every breath you take, you inhale possibility! Think about that while I share a recent posting on my Facebook page. Enjoy and DO!

A story that could inspire you for the rest of your life...

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. "I will come next Tuesday," I promised a little reluctantly on her third call. Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into my daughter Carolyn's house, I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren. I told my daughter, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and my grandchildren that I want to see right now. I don't want to drive another inch!" My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this weather all the time, mother." "Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her. "But first we're going to see the daffodils. It's just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this." "Carolyn," I said sternly, "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."

So we went! After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, "Daffodil Garden ---->" We got out of the car, each of us took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers! "Who did this?" I asked Carolyn. "Just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain." The third answer was, "Began in 1958." For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught me is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time. "It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!" My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said. She was right. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use today?"

The Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting.....

Until your car or home is paid off.
Until you get a new car or home.
Until your kids leave the house.
Until you go back to school.
Until you finish school.
Until you clean the house.
Until you organize the garage.
Until you clean off your desk.
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married.
Until you get a divorce.
Until you have kids.
Until the kids go to school.
Until you retire.
Until summer.
Until spring.
Until winter.
Until fall.
Until you die...

There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So work like you don't need money. Love like you've never been hurt, and, Dance like no one's watching. If you want to brighten someone's day, pass this on to someone special (like I did to you!) Wishing you a beautiful, daffodil day! Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin. - Author unknown

Friday, January 23, 2009

Let's try this again!

I can't believe I haven't posted anything in over a year! I think I tried too hard to give a meaty, lesson filled article in each posting and burnt myself out. After reading my brother's blog, I noticed that he posted almost daily and most of his posts were brief, maybe some were even just one sentence. But they were meaty, lesson-filled sentences. The lesson for me was that hopefully I could provide insight, differing perspectives, thoughts, advice, suggestions, guidelines, to those in grief, in brief - but meaningful - postings. Let's try - although I reserve the right to get lengthy from time to time. :)

A client came to see me today and was tearful and distraught. This client was doing so well, for so many weeks, that this "grief attack" took her completely by surprise and wanted to know what she was doing wrong in her grief that would produce such painful emotions, remembrances and tears.

Now you know I'm going to say she didn't do anything wrong, right? Right! She had simply experienced an "emotional trigger." She had completed some of that nasty, necessary paperwork that comes with losing a loved one, and then saw a car on the road that looked just like his - BOOM! Down she went!

The paperwork was one more nail in the coffin (sorry about that) to make her realize that her loved one was not coming back. It was the reality of the loss hitting her, yet once again. Then on the heels of this realization came the sight of the car. Another smack of reality - it's not his car. He's not the one driving.

So what could I do to help her? Nothing, really. I let her know that although painful, this "grief attack" was normal. It's an unfortunate part of the grieving process that some people feel YEARS after the loss. It's like pushing your finger into a sore spot from time to time. Yup, it's still sore! The emotional triggers do lessen as time goes on, but they don't completely disappear. Not as long as we hold our loved ones in our hearts.

So the only answer is this - be gentle with yourself when these grief attacks occur. When the emotional triggers happen - allow yourself to feel the feelings - honor the emotions. You truly do have to feel to heal. There is no way around it, only through it.

Ok, so this was not one of those short, concise, meaning filled sentences. Maybe I'll have better luck on the next posting!