It’s that time again, and I am offering you the only New Year’s resolution you will ever need to make.
Live your life like you mean it.
Yep. That’s it. Resolve to live your life like you really mean it.
Don’t wait to mean it when you fall in love. When you’re out of school. When you have money. When the kids are grown. When your hand is forced by age, or disease, or death. Don’t wait to live your life like you mean it when challenged with some outside circumstance that suddenly opens your eyes. (Like we usually do.) And certainly don’t live your life like you mean it because I told you to.
YOU are the meaning-maker in your life so live your life like you mean it – the way you mean to live it.
Make eye contact every morning with that you looking back in that mirror and mean it, even if just for a moment. Make eye contact with everyone you meet, every day, and mean it. Not as a series of foreheads and noses and lips and ears. Look life in the eye, and all the other folks that show up with you each day, like you mean it. And, when you do, pay attention. You just might be surprised at all that you can be and do and feel.
Put this locomotive at the head of the train. Don’t lead with cabooses. (As cute as they look, save them for wishes.) If you put this resolution up front, all the other desires, intentions, determinations – and even wishes – will hook up and follow at their appropriate time. Read more
Here are some creative holiday ideas that are gentle on the environment as well as the spirit!
LOW-IMPACT GIFT WRAPS
Remember how Grandma used to press and save wrapping paper? Start your own tradition of “re-use.” Wrap presents in last year’s calendar, old posters, maps, coloring book pages, sheet music, blueprints, and pieces of old quilts or embroidered linens. Or my favorite – shopping bags! (As you can see I have a Trader Joe’s theme going.)
Use strips of fabric and yarn as ties. Old costume jewelry, Christmas ornaments, fresh flowers, pine cones, and netting for bows. Make gift tags from last year’s Christmas cards.
Silk drawstring bags with beaded tassels can hold all kinds of goodies and be used by the recipient the next season for their gift-wrapping. The year’s recipient can toss in a “fortune cookie” wish as they pass it on. What fun you can have watching those fortunes grow within your circle of family and friends!
Take stocking stuffers beyond the fireplace mantel. Come up with gift-wrapping pairs. In other words, wrap a gift with a gift. Put kitchenware in a breadbasket, a gift card in a picture frame. Let a necklace and earrings adorn a plush teddy bear. Read more
Cherishing is an act of willful rebellion in frenzied times. (Paraphrased from God is No Laughing Matter by Julia Cameron)
Cherishability is the ability to cherish and be cherished through insistent, repeated acts of willful rebellion to hone this skill in a messy life. Okay, so I know cherishability is not a word but you have to admit it rolls nicely off your tongue. And, after playing with it for a while, you might even have to cherish me for making it up.
Cherish is a rather lonely word in our culture. Sad for so precious a practice. When we cherish, Read more
glean 1. To go over a harvested field and gather by hand any usable parts of the crop that remain 2. To collect information in small amounts over a period of time
gleanings 1. Usable parts of a crop that are left behind in a harvested field and can be gathered in by hand 2. Objects or ideas that have been gathered or amassed over a period of time, especially when they form a collection or comprehensive whole
Ever throw out a tattered dress or shirt with the buttons still on? Or a pair of pants with a “perfectly good” zipper? (Brief audio flashback to my grandmother’s voice.)
Gleanings. There was a time, not so long ago in our history, when those buttons would have been cut off that dress or shirt and any fabric that could be restored to favor got salvaged into great grandma’s next quilt. And lets not forget the rest of the scraps that found favor as rags for household chores.
Leave it to an ephemera junkie to think about gleaning as she sorts through bags of 100 year old buttons and snaps and hooks and eyes oh my! on a Sunday afternoon.
Gleanings. Clipped off tattered clothing and passed from Ray’s grandmother’s hands to his mother’s to mine.
“What’s the difference between gleaning and hoarding?” I wonder out loud, as I separate buttons into glass jars.
“Purpose.” Responds my right-brained husband, as he prepares a gleaned canvas for his next painting.
Sigh of relief. Well, then that makes us gleaners. Read more
Do you get lost in a blur of expectations? Life does not stop for the Kodak moments of the past to catch up with the present.
One of the stressful aspects of holidays is when traditions collide with life circumstances. Add to that the expectations exalted by the media for a ho-ho-holiday and you have the recipe for stress and the ho-hum-holiday blues.
If your life looks anything like mine, you find the picture shifts – not so predictably – from one year to the next. All sorts of transitions can occur in a year’s time. Re-locations. Job changes. Children leaving home. Children moving back in. (Yipes!) Aging parents. You name it. Life does not stop for the Kodak moments of the past to catch up with the present.
With all that in mind, I want to share a little secret that has maneuvered me through many holidays with low to no stress.
Ritual-making. The kind of ritual-making that supports tradition but does not need tradition for its power. Add a dash of creativity to the mix and you will uncover Read more