Monthly Archives: December 2015

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Scaffolding

hands

How long does a structure need a support before it can stand alone?  Or, how long does a child need nurturing before he or she becomes truly independent?

I thought about this after having a conversation during these holidays.  I was reminded of the educational term called scaffolding.   They are simple support systems put in place to help the learner achieve a higher level of mastery and independence.

We both agreed that scaffolds or supports are there to assist us until we can rise, walk, trot or jog on down our paths.  They were never meant to be permanent and these aids can help us get ‘back on our feet again?’

They are there for us to lean on during a spell or season, but rarely for an entire lifetime.  Help comes and help goes; but the ultimate aim is to operate and function without the extra scaffolds.  It is quite similar to the training wheels on a bicycle.  At some point, they must come off or their purpose is defeated.

As many gather for these annual festivities, we should remember to grant each person his or her own autonomy. We should not expect our loved ones to do what they have done in the past.  If they decide to switch it up, it is okay.

What was, simply may not be, anymore.   All should be free to thrive in their own comfort zones.  If someone has been that anchor, listening ear or helping hand in the past, we should give thanks.  But just as the seasons change, so do we.

When plants outgrow their older, smaller pots, a wise horticulturalist simply goes out and buys new soil and larger flowering pots.  The old roots are cut back and the plants are repotted into more spacious containers, where they are allowed to stretch out and expand.

We too must show appreciation for those who have supported us on our journeys.  They chose to do so. They have done what they could for us and we should grant them that admirable freedom to soar and move on.  If anything, we should ask them, “How can I support you on your new flight plan?”

hands

Lynn M.

December 27, 2015

Another Christmas!

christmas-wallpaper46

Here we are saturated in that ‘most wonderful time of the year.’  No one can question that!  Even for those who practice other belief systems,  there is no denying that there is a huge celebration going on all around us.

It is everywhere! Christmas songs, favorite holiday movies such as Home Alone, The Sound of Music or It’s a Wonderful Life.  They  all help to mark this glorious season. Massive cooking is taking place along with sprucing up the living quarters to match those marathon shopping sprees.

There is a magic on the air.  It is filled with a quiet expectation and wonder. There is a sacred silence. A holiness. And then there’s that certain peace- that peace deep down in our souls.

There are smiles, open hearts and reunions.  Conversations are being held with those who know us best.  It is a season of hope and faith.  There is a knowing that something wonderful and grand is on the way.

As we prepare, we become still and know that things are brightening.  There is a light and our futures look promising.  We know that another year is ending and we have held on tight.  We have fought the good fight on many fronts.  We have combined hope with hope.

As we scrub, clean and scrape off the debris of the year, we reflect.  We think of those that we have lost during this year and other years. They are forever with us, if we quiet ourselves and listen for their voices.

They are silently standing there, beaconing us onward and cheering every time we get back up, after a defeat.  They are pouring oil in our lamps and refueling us.  They are reminding us that it is our time to hold up the banner to represent them as well.  We are stronger because we have known them.

Now, we must continue to carry the torch with a new spring in our steps.  So, we hoist the banner high, knowing that we are lifted up by their angel wings. We thank goodness that we have been chosen to see another Christmas.  We are filled with joy because we are happy, healthy, prosperous and whole as we renew daily!

Lynn M.                                                                December 24, 2015

 

 

 

It’s Christmastime!

Christmas

Once again, it’s Christmastime!
A season of joy and rhyme.

Gatherings with those most dear,
Soon, ringing in the New Year.

Good cooking filling the air,
Done by loving hands, with care.

Hot meats, pies and veggies too.
Succulent; easy to chew.

Things fall together at last.
Trotting on! Forget the past.

Lynn M.
December 20, 2015

Toss It!

The other day I decided to start cleaning out a closet that is filled with boxes.  It is my December project because I thought it would be a good way to end the year.  A Zen proverb says, “Knowledge is learning something every day.  Wisdom is letting go of something every day.”

I am continually reminding myself that it is okay to release things as I let certain items go.  My mother often said, “It has served its purpose.”  It is so easy to become a packrat or even a hoarder.  We must let go so that we can free up that space for the new.

We have the memories but we do not have to hold on to every momento.  Those moments of delight are only one thought away.  If we take the time to reminisce, we can remember the good times with a great degree of clarity.

Librarians call it weeding.  It normally has to be a secret mission  because coworkers think that we are throwing away perfectly good books.  They can become incensed and outraged when they see loads of books being discarded.  They don’t know that there is a method to the madness and that we have standards to follow as we decide what is outdated.

Oftentimes we, as librarians, have to disguise the throwaways in large garbage bags.  Otherwise, the books may end up back in the library by some book lover!

As 2015 draws to a close, it is important for us to create a vacuum and clear out those spaces. Old items can be unconscious blocks because we are still attached to times that have gone by.  If we can lovingly release and let them go, we can make room for the new.   If we can’t part with some things, then, that’s okay.  Maybe next year or at another time.

I am asking myself, “Do I need this?  Is there space for it?  Will I use it again?”  So, I am tossing and tossing and tossing.  And guess what?  It feels good!  It is liberating because I know that I am clearing the passages for the new, fresh and wonderful to fly to me from all directions!

Lynn M.                                                              December 15, 2015   let it go

 

Breathing Spaces!

Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that we should create a breathing room.  We need to find that special place in our homes where we can insulate ourselves from all of the chaos around us.  He writes,” I recommend that we set up a small room in our homes and call it a ‘breathing room,’ where we can be alone and practice breathing and smiling, at least in difficult moments.”

This could be a corner, a cubicle or a garden.  Somewhere close to the plants in the house would be a good idea because they represent the breath of life.  This should be a sacred spot where concerns can be forgotten for a few moments of each day.

Exhaling and breathing out, when the going gets rough is what will sustain us.  We had a family friend who worked as a security guard for a large corporation.  He said that when he received news of some disturbance, he would breathe, fold his newspaper slowly and then approach the situation  as calmly as possible.

If everyone is flying off the handle at the same time, then more confusion and anger ensue.  Someone has to remain calm and keep a level head until the storm passes.  Finding a place to re-center and think things through is essential to making good choices and living with minimal regret.

We all know that in the heat of the battle, tempers flare and poisonous words are spoken that cannot be taken back.  We must retreat to our breathing spaces and think before we speak, if at all possible.  Stuart Wilde said, “Retreat can sometimes be the most powerful tool in your bag of tricks.  It’s the ability to walk away when things aren’t right.”

Our breathing spaces should be chatter-free and quiet.  After spending some time sitting in the silence, we are restored and we find our balance. The rhythm of our breathing becomes normal again.  The fog lifts and the sun peaks through the long-standing clouds.

We let out a sigh.  As the elders used to say, “We have come back to ourselves.”  It was their way of saying that we had come back to our senses.  We breathe and thank goodness that we are feeling whole again!

Breathe

Lynn M.                                                                December 11, 2015

Slow Down!

During this bustling holiday season, we need to pace ourselves and slow down.  When we get in a hurry, we run into a myriad of delays and blocks, so to speak.  This happens because we are out of sync and our timing is off.

To travel, the clear unobstructed path, we need to heed Thich Nhat Hanh’s advice and operate from the basis of mindfulness. We should deal with one situation at a time and give it our best.

Hanh writes, “Most of the time, we think too much and mindful breathing helps us to be calm, relaxed and peaceful.  It helps us stop thinking so much and stop being possessed by sorrows of the past and worries about the future.”  (Peace is Every Step)

As in music, there is the beat or tempo that flows along and then there are periods of rests or stops.  We breathe as we anticipate the next, continued beat.  We too must pause and take breaks as we plan and rethink our strategies before going on.

Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, said, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”  This is a perfect reminder as we prepare to close out the year of 2015.

Our December calendars fill up quickly with those office parties, gatherings, shopping sprees, and other obligations. We may feel rushed and overwhelmed when we look at all of the things that must be done.

We sigh, “How can I get it all done?  Where will I find the energy or the time?”  When the sweat builds on our brows, we should step back.  Again, breathe deeply. Create a plan of action.  Make a daily “to-do list” and confidently dive into the season with a feeling of reassurance.  Put on a brave face and take it one brush stroke at a time.

The other day, I found this quote and I wrote it on a post-it note.   I placed it where I can see it on a daily basis.  It will surely help me move through the tasks at hand, with a level of ease.

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.  Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever….”  (St. Francis de Sales)  Slow down and get it done!

Lynn M.

December 6, 2015

 

Welcome December!

Christmas Bells
Those frigid mornings, frosty air,
Warm blankets wrapped without a care.

Peering out and seeing the snow,
Makes us know that we need to go.

And get ready for the new day,
Wake-up to make a clear pathway.

Once out in the bright, shiny sun,
Christmas lights strewn signaling fun!

Bells ringing. Birds singing in tune.
We know that we’ll be shopping soon.

It is the last month of the year,
We made it! The New Year is near!

Lynn M.
December 3, 2015