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It’s Campaign Season!

September 29th, 2012 by stephanie

The Presidential election is heating up, and folks are getting hotter as well by the minute…

I don’t know why I was so surprised at the frustration over not seeing eye to eye with a particular individual. It was a very simple premise. But when you think about it…that is why wars are fought. You see things one way, I, with my different background and beliefs see things another way. You dig in. I entrench. Shots get fired. And, well before you know it, the battle rages.

People who want to eradicate misunderstandings, disagreements, wars, and etc., are ignoring a very human reality. One that will never be wiped away. I am not going to change the way I was brought up and how I believe. In turn, it is not very likely that you will change either. What to do, what to do, what to do?

There is a saying I heard that goes like this: When in a tug of war, let go of your end. If you think about it, there’s some wisdom there. If both sides are huffing and puffing and pulling with all their might, and suddenly, one side just “let’s go”…what happens? That’s right. The side left with the rope all falls down.

Now, am I saying to just give up, even when you believe deeply about something? Nope. Am I saying if you get tired of the fight, let go? No. Not that either. What I am saying is that many times in our lives, certain arguments and disagreements simply aren’t going to be resolved. Period. Sometimes, one side just needs to let go, accept that the two sides shall never agree, or aren’t willing to work on a solution, and thus move on. It’s that easy.

If you deep down know that you aren’t going to change your way of thinking, and too, you know deep down, the other person is not going to change, then why fight? Neither of you are going to successfully convince the other. Someone has got to let go. It might as well be you. Save your energy for the crises and the real things in life that need your attention and matter. The point? Staying mad, pointing blame, holding a grudge, all take energy. Energy that can best be used for healthy purposes and the good of mankind. So, why not let go, and get going…in the right direction.

Just my thoughts,
S.

Lofty Aspirations.

September 25th, 2012 by stephanie

“…loving kindness, good humor and self-awareness…These are the things to which we aspire in all areas of our lives”.
Such were the words our yoga instructor chose to close out our class that morning.
As I attempted to release my ankle from my thigh, rotate my shoulders back to their normal position and successfully re-locate my feet I began to work toward re-entry into the real world. Those final words really struck a chord with me though and rang heavy in my ears as I gathered and packed up my gear.

“Hmmm.” I muttered to myself while exiting the torture chamber, (er, studio). What a concept those few words posed. As I trapsed past the water dispenser I could imagine the various scenarios that take place, and how differently they might play out if that simple phrase became action.
For example, when that annoying individual enters our personal space, instead of looking up with that “make it good and make it fast” glance that we are prone to shoot, what if we truly stopped and thought loving kindness, good humor and self-awareness as they crossed the threshhold into our domain? The outcome of that momentary connection could be radically different to be sure.

Passing the treadmills and heading towards the door, I was embarrassed as I thought back on the many times I have showed my annoyance or arrogance in certain situations. How difficult would it truly have been in those moments, no matter how tired, irritated or whatever I was, to simply have mustered up a light smile, offered a heart-felt laugh or realized how I was coming across during that interaction. Why? Because that is what they will remember most about our time together.

If truth be told, we do tend to think a bit higher of ourselves than we ought on most days. It’s not something I like to admit. But it’s true none the less. It then struck me that the self-awareness part of the mantra is what wraps up the entire little phrase.
Maybe that being self-aware part should be placed at the beginning of our day everyday, to get our attention, I mused. If we started there, think of how differently our day could go. Or, if it’s not too late, still can go for you or me. It’s definitely something to aspire to? Namaste. 🙂

Just my thoughts.

S.

Happy 5773!

September 17th, 2012 by stephanie

Happy New Year! It’s the year 5,773…if you’re Jewish, that is.

I saw the funniest clip this weekend of a Rabbi practicing blowing a ram’s horn (known as the SHOFAR). What was so hilarious was this. As he was preparing for Rosh Hashana (which began Sunday evening), unbeknownst to him, a black labrador retriever was standing behind him. Every time the man blew into the Shofar, the dog would throw his head back, nose in the air and happily howl along. It was truly the funniest thing to watch. No matter how hard the man tried to get the canine to quit, the unintentional duet continued.

If you haven’t heard of Rosh Hashanah, it is the Jewish New Year. It will be celebrated from sundown this past Sunday to sundown this Tuesday.

Ten days after this celebration, there will be the highest holy day known as Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is probably the most important holiday of the Jewish year. Jewish folks who don’t usually observe any other Jewish custom will stay home from work, fast and/or attend synagogue services on this day. (Leviticus 23:26)

And now you know. Something to generate some interesting conversation perhaps this week.
Just my thoughts,
S.

Do You Hate to Lose?

September 12th, 2012 by stephanie

I was playing some Chinese Checkers with some folks recently, and I will admit, it was fun. No one got bent out of shape or upset. Simply a good game and great conversation.
Some people, however, just do not like to lose. And if you watch them closely enough, in time, you will begin to see how they go to great lengths to make sure they win.

Now, in fairness, loss is not something I handle well either. But more than losing in a competition, loss can come in many different forms.

This past week, a friend of mine lost a person. Not through death. They are simply no longer a part of their life. At times like these, it’s easy to question. At least I have a tendency to do so. Interestingly, the message that keeps coming to my is this Don’t try to open a closed door. Just leave it alone. So hard. We don’t want to hear that. So, we argue with God, and question, and argue some more. Needless to say, the door, many times, does not re-open.

There’s a verse that also comes to mind. It is found in Isaiah, chapter 43 verse 18. It goes like this:

Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past. (NAS)

a more modern translation says it like this:

Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history. (
The Message)

If we’re honest, most of us would admit that we struggle to let go of the past. Whether it’s our past or someone else’s. Sometimes, it’s just simply hard to move on. Perhaps it’s a grudge or a personal grievance that we feel quite justified in holding. Whatever the case, there is one piece of advice I think you’ll agree is good to not only hear, but to adhere. It goes like this: KEEP MOVING.

Basically, lose the baggage of the past or whatever is holding you back. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.

Just my thoughts,
S.

It’s Patriot Day. But did you know this?

September 11th, 2012 by stephanie

There’s a story I never tire of hearing about. But it may be a bit new to many of you. A tiny town came to America’s rescue on one of it’s darkest days. More here…

When Americans hear the words “New Foundland”, we usually think of the breed of dog that bears it’s name. But a small community on this Canadian island to the north of our American border played a major role on 9/11 that most folks don’t know about.

As you may remember, every American plane was grounded that day. All International flights were diverted to Canada. Pilots recall seeing planes do complete 180s in airspace in order to return to their European destinations. Air Control Central sent tons of planes to the tiny colony of Gander, New Foundland. Pilots concerned that their flights might contain terrorists, told passengers they needed to land due to mechanical problems. Gander was only prepared for their usual 8 flights. Instead, 38 jumbo jets with 200 people on each plane landed that day. Gander landed 167 planes in all without incident. The 10,000 residents suddenly found themselves sheltering and feeding thousands of unexpected guests. Most passengers had no idea where they even were.

Ironically, Gander was an airport before it was a town. During WWII it was a take off place for our American military. (Not built to house Jumbo jets, it sat rather silent until 9/11/01.)

In a matter of hours, Gander doubled their population that day. The only vehicles that could be found to transport the new guests were school buses. As luck would have it, the bus drivers were on strike! Without a thought, that afternoon, each driver showed up and did what was needed.

No one was allowed off of the planes until each and every passenger was processed. Basically, checking for terrorists. Passengers weren’t allowed to retrieve their luggage due to safety reasons. Some sat on places for 19 hours not really knowing what was going on in the outside world.

It wasn’t until 30 hours later that the passengers got their first look at the footage and the photos of the devastation. New York fire fighter Kevin O’Rourke’s parents were on one of those places that landed in Gander. Praying their son wasn’t working that day. Unfortunately, he was. Beulah Cooper, also the mother of a firefighter, but from Gander, did what she could do befriend the grieving mother. Sadly, the O’Rourke’s would soon learn that their son, of Rescue 2, was one of the brave first responders.

What is hard to believe, but what is truth, is that good things happened that day too.

Residents threw together home cooked meals to feed their new friends. But there just wasn’t enough food on hand to feed the stranded masses. So, it was hauled in from other areas and stored on the town’s ice rink. Which was quickly dubbed the world’s largest refrigerator.

Pharmacies, worked day and night, filling all prescriptions at no cost. People were sent into stores and were told to take what they needed off the shelves.

An oil man from England noticed a woman from Houston sitting on one of the Army cots their group was living on. Something inside told him that day that she would be the woman in his future. And so, it was to be. When the entire ordeal was over, he returned to England, requested a transfer to his company’s Houston office, and they were married a year later.

U.S. Airspace reopened on 9/13. And the passengers were allowed to return home. One passenger, once the groups were finally airborne, asked to make an announcement. She suggested the plane take up donations and create a scholarship fund for the children of Gander where they had lived during their unexpected detour. It is now up to one million dollars!

Though many lost faith in humanity that fateful day, our Northern neighbors proved that good can still be found–in the most unexpected places. We should look for that in the dark times. It’s not easy, but this wonderful story may be a helpful reminder to you this weekend…as we look back and remember.

Just my thoughts,
S.

More here. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2009/09/17/brokaw-newfoundland.html?ref=rss

Now, Be Nice…

September 6th, 2012 by stephanie

“Be nice.” I can hear those words in my head as if my mother is saying them to me right now. She liked to say them. Alot. And it drove me crazy, but the older I get, I see how much pain and suffering, in the end, that little phrase can and would have saved me-had I listened.

I would imagine most of you are familiar with this line: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. If it didn’t come from our mothers it came from some other well meaning soul that simply was trying to help us along our way.

Sometimes, it’s not even the saying of anything that hurts–it can simply be the actions. More times than not, I can remember when someone didn’t have to say a word. They were just cold, or cruel, or intentional in their behavior. They are making sure that they get their point or message across. To you or me. I think you follow me on this one.

It’s amazing how people can say something and make it sound like you just cut them off in traffic. It’s that sting or tone that is meant to inflict injury on the person they hurl it at. Sometimes it’s even just a look.

It never ceases to amaze me when people are in that frame of mind are determined to take out their anger on you. They have a need to make you feel that their struggle is really all your fault. Strange.

For whatever reason, they need to let you know, in some way, that they are just plain angry with you. Even more so, that they simply don’t like you. The thrill of the “jab”, I call it.

I don’t understand how their treatment of you, or me, in those situations makes them feel better, but alas, I guess it does. Perhaps someone hurt them at some point in their life, and they are still wincing from the pain. As a result, they will make someone else pay for that experience. And today, that someone might turn out to be you-or me. Lucky us!

Regardless of the odd-bird whoozits or whatzits in our lives today, let’s plan to remember this old saying too: misery loves company.

With that, let’s not join in on the “anger” or the “tantrum” or the revenge . If we can help it. And to be honest, usually we can. As for you and me, my friend, if we can’t say something nice, we’ll let’s just smile, go about our business, and not say anything at all. It’s leaves us feeling better about ourselves and.. it’s simply the “nice” thing to do.

Just my thoughts.

Stephanie

Prov. 15:1

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