I am a Millionaire~~

I am on vacation with my family…On the island of Kauai. This fact alone is enviable and I apologize if it even remotely appears I could be bragging.  However, this trip is not what makes me a millionaire! Rather, it is the people I am sharing this experience with that makes me feel incredibly rich!

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Today we spent 6 hours on a lovely beach; the sun, palm trees, and amazing, warm waters were sincerely lovely BUT the sweet conversations, deep laughter, family banter, rough housing, and the love expressed remind me again, I AM RICH!!

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My family fills my heart.  These individuals are kind, smart and interesting. Watching them interact, respond kindly to those we encounter, and listening to their thoughts and engaging ideas, make me a MILLIONAIRE! It does!  I am deeply grateful and I do not take this precious family for granted!

I pray that when you experience your own families you feel so rich, so fortunate, so blessed~~ Aloha, my friends! 🙂

STOP Rushing Me!!!

My mother is a wonderful artist and has painted some amazing pictures for me. Most recently is a fantastic European setting that is so beautiful and inspiring.  Deserving a perfect framing job; I took the large painting to Micheal’s Craft Store to be professionally framed.  They do a good job!!

However, I walked into the building passing all the summer items on sale, 75% off…When in the first week of August is Summer over??  Stunning and sad news to me!!

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As I passed a few aisles I encountered pumpkins, goblins, Bats, and Apple Cider Candles…seriously? Why are we setting up shop for next October??  This is August, it’s Summer, C’mon people!!!

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And then the biggest stunner of all…..an aisle full of Christmas Ornaments!!! Are you kidding me??  Why does retail PUSH us so quickly??? Arrgh!

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Then I began to think..how often to we live for tomorrow, a better season, a new day?  What would it look like to be fully present and appreciative for this day?  I love Summer and when it IS Fall I will love it. When the Holidays arrive I will enjoy every sweet minute of it!  But Today, just don’t rush me!!

” Choose happiness by taking life day by day, and being thankful for all the little things that mean so much!  Ritu Ghatourey

ENJOY THIS DAY!!!

Are YOU really going to play with me?

Recently I had the fun of visiting my friend in another state.  She is a great mother yet had a new precious little boy only 3 weeks ago. I came to visit in hopes that I could occupy her 3 1/2 and 2 year old for her ~to lend a hand for a few days.

My days at home are filled with many “mature” focuses: Coaching, running a household, handling finances, and building richness into the many family and friend relationships I am privileged to have. So, having a few days to “play” felt truly amazing.

I was fortunate that I had sweet favor with these precious children; they allowed me into their hearts.  We played at the park and in their big basement playroom; I spent many hours on my knees as a dog, being an engine behind a fast moving car, and sitting in tiny chair pretending to be floating in big boat! My goal was to be fully present when I was with them as I knew it would be many months before I would get to play with them again!

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The reason I share this with you is that the oldest son said something to me 3 times that gripped my heart, he looked up at me as I heading towards the playroom with him and said ” Are you going to play with me?, my new friend…are you going to play with me?” What struck me was the look of uncertainty in his eyes….he seemed to wonder if I was really planning to “play” with him!

This boy is dearly loved and certainly NOT starved for attention; yet I think he truly wondered if I was going to be ” in the room” with him or if I was going to “play” with him! I had to think, how often am I with people yet not truly engaged?  How often am I physically in the room, yet mentally far, far away?  I wonder if there are those in my life who would look at me in wonderment and ask ” are you going to be fully present with me?”

What about you?  When you are with those you care about in your life are you fully engaged or only in the room with a busy mind? What I learned was that I gained the most by getting down on the floor with those precious children; I returned home with a full heart.

In the days ahead, try to be mindful about how “present” you are with those in your life–really engage–really play!

Now, seriously, who could resist this face?? I couldn’t! 🙂

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Being Family!

It’s shocking but true, Family members don’t always get along!

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One of the most difficult matters to confront with respect to challenging family relationships is that we don’t control the entire relationship ourselves. Whether the relationship thrives or withers isn’t up to us alone. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. So often, family members get stuck. Despite our best intentions, we can become stubborn and defensive with one another.

When major family relationship problems are encountered, it’s common to attempt a control strategy. We try to get the other person to change, to understand the situation from our point of view.  Sometimes this approach can work if we are compelling and sincere enough.  But many times it just leads to frustration.  A second strategy might be to simply accept the other person, difficulties and all, just as they are! Yet, this could also result in frustration, as there may not be any true resolve within our hearts.

There is, however, a third alternative for those times when changing the other person & accepting the other person as-is are both unfruitful. That option is to change us in order to solve the problem. This requires that we redefine the problem as an internal one instead of an external one; meaning that I must change my attitude and filter in order to understand my family member and their point of view.

As long as we keep looking outside ourselves for the answers, we may continually find ourselves frustrated by our family members choices or decisions; always finding conflict with OUR personal values and choices. Once we start looking inside ourselves for the problem, we might find it easier to bring resolution. This does not imply “agreement”, simply relational resolution.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a close family that is genuinely supportive of the person you are, that’s wonderful, and in that situation, you’ll likely find the closeness of your family to be a tremendous source of strength to you! However, in many families, not all members are close or in agreement as to how life should be lived; thus conflict can occur, values differences cause hurt.

So, if we find ourselves in a family where some of the members are experiencing distance or challenge, it may feel impossible to be conflict-free. However, if we keep an open mind and a forgiving spirit we will keep the count of offenses lower; which will ultimately help in keeping family peace.

One way of experiencing “Family” in a fresh way is to give ourselves the freedom to re-define family to include those with whom we share our lives; kindred relationships that often times feel closer than our natural born families.  To nurture these relationships and invite them into the gaps that have been left vacant by our natural born family members who have chosen to remain distant, can be incredibly sweet and ultimately, rewarding.

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My point is simply this: Life is short.  We are born into families and it is our responsibility to navigate them as best, as kindly, as honestly as we can. If we find that after all is said and done we cannot call those family relationships “close”…invite trusted, caring friends into your “family circle” and share your life richly with them.

As I said in my first paragraph:  “Whether the relationship thrives or withers isn’t up to us alone. As the saying goes, it takes two to tango.”  Do you feel connected to family? Have you sought understanding and clarity? Do you have others who love and care for you that have “become” family to you?  Life is short, family matters!