Every week I speak to three topics: anecdotes, books, ideas, products, or innovations that I believe are peace-building, heart-opening, community-celebrating, love-spreading vehicles.
So, my sweet friends, here goes…Our world is a beautiful village and peace does begin at home.
What I am thinking about / loving this week….
This week I had another echo cardiogram,
and a couple weeks previous to that I had my first mammogram.
Neither of these ended up being at all difficult or lengthy tests, just a little awkward and uncomfortable.
What ends up being much harder is the anxiety and mind games that can set in before, during, or after these kinds of procedures.
Will they find something? Has my heart condition significantly worsened? When will I hear back? Why haven’t I heard back? Should I prepare myself for hard news? What if? What if? What if?
and around and around and around it goes…
as I am suddenly caught up in a silly whirlwind of habitually preparing for the worst and losing the joy of the present.
This is no way to move through a test or a day or a life,
and so I am now employing a couple of new strategies that are helping,
a little bit.
First of all,
I can’t even adequately describe the difference this simple strategy makes. Of course, the mindfulness trend is talked about at every turn these days,
but, for me,
the real triumph comes when I can successfully make the choice to just focus on gently breathing rather than panicking or jumping on a crazy runaway thought train,
whilst in the middle of what would typically be an anxiety inducing event.
I focus on the idea/truth that for the most part, my body truly is a miraculous mechanism that is actually functioning quite perfectly and beautifully for the most part,
and so it makes so much more sense to focus on gratitude for all that is working,
which is pretty much everything.
The crux of it all is that
I can no longer live in fear of ‘what if’.
I choose ‘what is’.
Peace in Perfectionism
In our house it may often seem as if we can never do anything in a small way. We love to create, all of us, and it’s not uncommon to suddenly find ourselves deeply immersed in a ginormous idea of which the scope, or dedication and time required,
we had not considered carefully enough.
For example, several years ago, Dan decided to build for George’s dinosaur-themed birthday party,
a life-sized 3-d T-Rex, inspired by the little wooden models you find at your local dollar store.
Another event that jumps to mind is the ‘day at the office’ themed birthday party that we threw for Olivia at Dan’s place of work,
complete with Starbucks for everyone, a full meeting with a real agenda, office-wear, and even a presentation from a potential make-believe company that wanted us to market and test their candy.
Below, see Ry brought in as the candy representative live via video tele-conference,
and Glenna waiting outside to present a ‘personal relations’ issue for the birthday party girls to discuss and resolve.
I look at these pictures, now, and laugh again,
remembering the fun far more than the expended energy. At the office party, I actually can remember laughing so hard that the tears were rolling down my cheeks.
This week a wise friend was offering me advice about ‘perfectionism’. She was commenting on the idea that we often (I often) perceive perfectionism as a negative trait.
I criticize myself for being a perfectionist, but this is just who I am in part.
We are told constantly that we all need to
let go of perfectionism,
and find more balance.
We also may avoid trying too hard, going to extremes, or appearing as ‘too much’ or ‘over the top’
because maybe that’s just not cool –
and all of this, ironically, whilst navigating a society that ultimately rewards performance.
The thing is though, that for our family, this is just sometimes how we play and create and collaborate. Not all the time, but sometimes.
It’s not right or wrong. It’s just us,
and every family has their particular ways of being in this world and finding their own sense of meaning and fun.
So today, I am coming out with our wacky and wild side that can be over-the-top,
but always fun.
And it’s all good.
This week’s production involved a homemade gopher head bopping game created by George and Dan for the school carnival.
Do you LOVE paper, stationery, cards, stickers, tags, labels, wrapping paper, mail and such!?
Do you ever comb the magazine racks for a beautiful, relevant, playful, meaningful magazine to no avail…?
I have discovered the most gorgeous magazine, created in the Netherlands,
which offers intelligent articles on themes that are close to my heart, such as connectedness, play, and peace. Flow is aesthetically gorgeous and even includes the most delightful paper treasures. The current issue even has 26 detachable letter cards, each one designed by a different illustrator from around the globe.
I discovered Flow when I fell in love with and bought the special edition Flow Book for Paper Lovers at Chapters. The current magazine I ordered from the Netherlands. It came quickly and I am quite definitely smitten.