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    Are You Afraid to Change?





    What you are afraid to do is a clear indicator of the next thing you need to do.

    ~Anthony Robbins


    The only thing holding you back is you.


    That statement can be difficult to believe. We’d like to think it’s all sorts of circumstances outside of ourselves - things we’ve chosen, perhaps, but more often things we have felt we have no control over - that have pushed us down the path where we are. Not, instead, that we’ve chosen the path we’re on, or that we’re still on this path because we are choosing not to leave it.  Excuses are comforting. Complaining about our lot in life, over why we can’t do this or that, or what has been done to us, gives us a false feeling of comfort - especially when we share those complaints with others around us. People nod, agree, commiserate, and empathize… and we go on feeling consoled in our state of not doing.

    We don’t move towards what we want because we think we can’t change. And that belief in “can’t” because of x,y,z locks us into not doing what we actually want to do. Not doing leads to more not doing - Newton’s law even backs up our own laziness - and as time passes, we hold on to the excuses more tightly; they become us. And we don’t change. We don’t take risks, we don’t try something new, we don’t pay attention to our dreams, because… we are afraid to fail, afraid of others’ opinions, afraid of change, afraid to lose, afraid, maybe, that we won’t even LIKE what we want to do.  More than thinking we can’t change…


    We are AFRAID to change.

    What are you afraid of? If you try and fail you have lost nothing. If you try and succeed… think of how amazing that will feel. And if you succeed, if you’ve shown yourself that you can instead of can’t, you’ll be more likely to continue moving towards what you want, to start believing in your dreams, to embrace change. I encourage you to try - even if it’s a small thing you’ve been wanting to do, but have been afraid of - to take a step towards it. Tell yourself you can. Because you can. And you will.

    Posted: Nov 22 2013, 14:29 by kelly | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Inspirational

    Stranger than Fiction





    I recently watched Stranger than Fiction (Yes, it was been six years since this film came out. I like to watch movies way after they come out. Okay, it's not strictly purposeful; it just happens that way when you have kids, a job, [insert excuse for less free time here]. Although it's nice in a way, to come late to a film, as you don't have the wave of publicity distracting you from your actual impression of it. In fact, if you're like me, the distance from pop-culture means you have no idea what you're in for. Of course, I have varied from that trend when the stars align - i.e. babysitter and free time is available when desired movie is still in the theatre.). It stars Will Ferrell, Queen Latifah, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman  (who, ohmygod is 75 years old. I am currently refusing to believe that, regardless of evidence to the contrary. He's still 20-year-old Ben in my eyes.) and Maggie Gyllenhaal. 

    On to the film:

    It was funny, light, sweet, and yet... incredibly intense, somehow, all at once. I didn't want to move from my spot during watching. 

    The writing was so funny - Will Ferrell cracked me up continually - and yet...

    so. poignant.

    --- if you haven't watched the film yet, the following will be a bit of a plot spoiler, so, consider yourself warned ---

     

    Plot Synopsys:  Famous serial fiction writer Karen Eiffel is suffering from writer's block. Chiefly, she can’t find the close of her story; ending the life of her main character, Harold Crick. Harold, it just so happens, is more than a character - he exists outside of her imagination and page; living his life, as narrated by her. How Harold's life unfolds - with order, routine, sameness - is predicated on how Karen writes the story - mostly. At essence; what happens to him is dictated by a greater force - and thus, he comes to believe the ending of his life may already told; destiny writ, like a puppet. Only, it isn't, and he isn't. He starts to break away from his routine, change up the sameness, tries to figure out whether his life is a comedy or a tragedy, discovers love, and who he really is, and begins to look for her (God). Upon meeting, each telling the other who he is; they find they are each, in their own way, searching for the right ending. Harold reads the ending of his story and lets her know that it's okay for her to dictate how his life will end:

    "I read it and I loved it and there's only one way it can end."

    Only... she doesn't agree.

    Because, you see, life just isn't like that.

    As Karen varies from her path of killing off her hero, she shines a light on the importance of the time we spend alive; how we shape our lives, and what we choose to do in our day-to-day - matters:

    "Sometimes when we lose ourselves in fear & despair, in routine & constancy, in hopelessness & tragedy... we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture or a subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort...

    and we must remember that all these things: the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties which we assume only accessorize our days are in fact here for a much larger & nobler cause: they are here to save our lives."

     

    I took away from the film that our lives aren't already written, no matter how much it might feel that they are. Our destinies aren't sealed, and no one is pulling all the strings. If we want to effect change on our path, we can. In fact, the path our life story takes is perhaps far more important than the ending or where we might go when our story is complete.

    This film is sweet, funny, and definitely worth a watch. I loved the chemistry between the characters - all of them, interwoven and complex in their own rights. If for no other reason, you should see this so I won't be the only one who is stunned by how young Dustin Hoffman looks (gratuitous photo of Ben in The Graduate).

    6 Ways to Change Today





    Be better today than you were yesterday.

    If not for yourself, then for your children – who are always watching. There’s never a better time to start over than this moment. You can’t edit what you’ve done, can’t control what will be, but you CAN affect change RIGHT NOW. How?

     

    Keep trying.
    If you fail at something, don’t give up, do it again, with more gusto the second (or third, or fourth…)! The best solutions usually aren’t the first ones you come up with.

    Be kind.
    Even when it’s challenging; a kind word is NEVER wasted.

    Stop & think.
    There’s always more to what you see on the surface. Take a moment to contemplate before you speak or act.

    Apologize.
    We’re all fallible. Sometimes an apology breaks through a disagreement like nothing else. You can iron out the details after everyone feels better.

    Don’t take it personally.
    You are only responsible for how YOU feel and act and behave. So when your child (or anyone) acts out, acknowledge their hurt, offer support, but don't make it about you.

    Love.
    Hug, kiss, touch, connect, and look at your loved ones and really listen when they speak. Simple actions - things that come naturally - are key to letting them know you truly LOVE THEM.


    [source: flikr community commons ~ monkey mash button]

    We just don't know how long we're here. It's never too late to make a positive change in yourself, and in your relationships. How are YOU going to change today?

    Posted: Sep 18 2012, 19:23 by kelly | Comments (2) RSS comment feed |
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    Everything is Life





    Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
    ~ Marthe Troly-Curtin

    So, I like Wire Tap (a show on public radio); though I don't often get to tune in. But, Adam came home from work telling me this evening's episode was listen-worthy, so, I went online & found it.

    The second half of the show starts with a reading from David Eagleman's book, Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

    It's fascinating, and worth a listen (actually, the whole episode is worth a listen, but even if you just tune in for the first few minutes to hear the reading of the short story, it'll be enough to understand the point of my post).

    Here's the link (there's a short commercial at the start, reading begins about 30s in): 

    wiretap_20091114_23048.mp3 (12.21 mb) 

    (a bit of transcription, in case the link doesn't work for you...)

    In the afterlife you relive all your experiences, but this time with the events reshuffled into a new order.

    All the moments that share a quality are grouped together: 

    You spend two months driving the street in front of your house. 

    7 months having sex. 

    You sleep for 30 years without opening your eyes. 

    For 5 months straight you flip through magazines while sitting on a toilet. 

    You take all your pain at once: all 27 intense hours of it. 

    Bones break, cars crash, skin is cut, babies are born. 

    Once you make it through though, it's agony free for the rest of your afterlife.

    That doesn't mean it's always pleasant. 

    You spend 6 days clipping your nails. 

    15 months looking for lost items.

    18 months waiting in line.

    Two years of boredom staring out a bus window, sitting in an airport terminal.

    1 year reading books; your eyes hurt and you itch because you can't take a shower until it's your time to take your marathon 200 day shower

    2 weeks wondering what happens when you die

    1 minute realizing your body is falling

    77 hours of confusion

    1 hour realizing you've forgotten someone's name

    3 weeks realizing you're wrong

    2 days lying

    6 weeks waiting for a green light

    7 hours vomiting

    14 minutes experiencing pure joy

    (... and continues on with more awesomeness)

     

    On to my point:

    We talk a lot in this life about wasted time. Worry over it. Try desperately (typically unsuccessfully) to multitask, in order to make up for that time we think we're wasting. At night we may fret before bed of how little we “got done”, or swear how tomorrow will be different; we fantasize over our entire to-do list checked off.

    But, I think we forget this thing about time… time is moving forward, always going, and taking us with it. Each moment – MOMENT – not even minute, our one glass of experience is filling, while our other glass of experience yet to come is draining - and none of us really know just how big that second glass is. We could be sucking droplets out of the bottom with a straw and be blissfully (or not so) unaware.  We don't know. But we spend so much of our time in a state of worry over things not done, annoyance that we’re having to do this, that, or the other, and planning over how to optimize every moment, that we often forget the time is moving on, regardless of how we feel about it, but how we feel about it colors our moments.

    So why not feel good about it? This moment right now. Why not embrace it for what it is – the here & now – the only time we actually HAVE for SURE. How would it feel to believe that THIS MOMENT is exactly what you need it to be.

    As my husband said after listening to the show: Everything is life.

    Everything is life. This blog post. The laundry. Hugs from your kids. It’s all life. It’s all worth it. It's all what you need, right now. 

    Posted: Jul 13 2012, 19:20 by kelly | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |
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    LOST: The Questions of the Universe... Unanswered. Bummer.





     

    Over the last few months, I decided to catch up on the last two seasons of the television show LOST. Adam & I had stopped watching after the close of season 4; feeling a bit, well… lost. Ahem. The story was starting to feel contrived; the characters predictable, and it was unlikely that a real resolution was on the horizon. The key resolution, of course, being a reveal of what the island ACTUALLY was, and WHY everyone was on it.

    It was frustrating. But, because I've never liked leaving a story undone (I've been known to trudge through a book that I dislike just because I started it and, well, you never know… it COULD have an amazing ending!), AND because running indoors in cold weather can be BORING, I decided I could set up my laptop on my treadmill, and slog through the last 35 episodes - multitasking for the win!

     

    <Now, here's where you want to stop reading if you haven't watched the whole series, and you're planning on it someday.>

     

    Now, once I got back into the story, it really wasn't slogging, as I'd feared it might be. Almost right away, I that familiar enticement of science fiction and the unknown that drew me into the series in the first place; and the emphasis on mythology and religion in the last two seasons proved particularly intriguing. Taken together those elements made for more thinking, less watch-checking in the last two seasons then the previous couple. And to top it off, the introduction of flash-sideways(es) which were some of the best moments of LOST. That said, the (unnecessary) repetition of "trust me" and "follow me" themes got a bit tiresome. I couldn't help but picture Jack Bauer of 24. Over. and Over again. Of course, when taken in the context of the finale, that particular broken record makes sense:  Light, dark. Good, evil. Which path are you going to choose; who/what are going to follow or believe - in life, death, or the hereafter… trust, choice, follow, believe - or not. But still; it wore on me at times.

     

    My assumption for several seasons was that the inhabitants of the island were dead, and perhaps in a sort of purgatory - earning their redemption or being offered a chance at another go-around in life (think, "Defending Your Life", Al Brooks/Meryl Streep --- LOVED that movie), though, with the arrival of the flash-sideways scenes, I wondered excitedly if LOST were veering back towards sci-fi (alas, this was not to be). I admit that even with the cool new plot lines, I continued through the last two seasons to be concerned that after all was said and done, all the characters, all the mysteries presented in six seasons, there'd be no WAY they'd be able to tie everything up in a nice, neat package. Nevertheless, I was anxiously awaiting the finale. Midway through the final season, I just wanted to KNOW already. Was it heaven, hell, purgatory, a dream, a futuristic planet, the next life, an ACTUAL island?

     

    So, I reached the ending a couple weeks ago. Watched it with eyes wide open. I actually wasn't even running for the last half of the last episode. Hmmm. So.


    Well… I didn't hate it. I wasn't completely disappointed; but I was… mostly disappointed. See, I realized at some point while watching, that those flash-sideways I loved so much, well, I loved them because I really WANTED them to represent redemption, a new shot at life, like a here & now reincarnation: lives they(we) ACTUALLY lived, or COULD live, if they(we) chose to. I wanted the sci-fi time-travel part to be true; I wanted to embrace the paradox of multiple timelines running at the same time (think, Back to the Future). AND, I wanted to believe that even if it WASN'T that, if it WAS, instead, as was heavily suggested in the last season, some kind of life-after-death experience, then the greater message here was: be good, be righteous, be kind, helpful, follow your heart, and you'll get it right – you’re crafting your destiny. It's not God or your religious doctrine choosing your path, nor that your path is already chosen for you, and you’re just moving along it, but that YOU choose your path, you're always choosing your path… and that you'll always have a chance to get it right, even when things don't go right.

     

    But in the end, that isn't what happened; not exactly.  All the loose ends left un-wrapped-up aside (they really DID do a shoddy job with closing up the many sci-fi aspects of the show, much to my disappointment - though I kinda knew it would be that way), my problem with the last episode was that it was a cop out. They all meet in a church and then the world ends with a bright light and lots of hugging, and none of the “bad people” are anywhere to be seen! What?

     

    I felt betrayed, in a way, that all the suggesting they did about time travel, reincarnation, life choices, following the “good” or “evil” path… they just didn’t follow through. The good guys go to heaven, the end. Sigh, how boring. How predictable. How safe.

     
    I know the answers to the questions of the universe: why we're here, where we're going, what happens next; won't be answered by a television show. But I had hope in LOST.  I had hope that maybe what would come from the millions of viewers tuning in each week was a promise, even just an inkling of a promise, that we have CONTROL over our destiny - that if we DO the right things in the NOW, if we make choices to help, be kind, to LOVE, that regardless of all the dogma, it’s truly the here and now that counts.  I think a lot of people may have left LOST still feeling lost, which is a shame. On the upside, it gave me a few moments of really engaging television, some ideas for my book, and a lot of motivation to keep running. So, there's that.

     

    Did you watch LOST? What did you think?

    Posted: Apr 28 2012, 11:53 by kelly | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |
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