Mindful Monday

Changing Playmates and Playgrounds

Hangin’ out choices.  We all get to make them; we get to determine how and where and when and with whom we choose to spend our time.

I used to hang out with people and in places where I didn’t belong or had no business–unhealthy places–but I thought I was choosing to be there.  Now I know that my addiction made the choice for me.

Then I got sober and found myself still making unhealthy hang-out choices.  I’d go places because I thought I was supposed to or because I thought it would make someone else happy.

Never mind my own desires.  I let others make choices for me. I sacrificed myself a lot back then.  Today I know that I am worth more, that I am worthy of stating, and then following, my own choices.

Today I make good hang-out choices.  I go where I want to go.  I go there because I want to be there.  I go with–or without–the people I want in my life.  For the most part, I go when I want to go (although this one is a bit trickier.).

Can you say the same?  I hope you can because giving your power and choices to another out of  obligation could be habit-forming.  Should’s and would’s can become ought-to’s and could-have’s.

I’ve spent the last few days hangin’ out at Tender Acres in Bartonville, TX, with a sweet 11-year-old boy and his grandmother.  On this Mindful Monday, I feel re-charged and re-focused.

I know for sure that life is good.  Even the barn cat says so!

Where are you hangin’ out today?  Are you there by your choice or because someone else wants you to be there?

Mindful Monday Mission

I’m a tad bit late getting this post out to you today because I decided to give myself a break.  Self-care is not an over-rated concept.

Why am I working on taking care of myself?  I’m coming off one of those weekends that wipes you out emotionally.  I was with fabulous people and was exactly where I wanted to be, but the emotional commitment to be present there touched a whole bunch of core issues for me.

I felt like this Crepe Myrtle tree that I saw on my walk this morning.

Can you see how the bark has thinned and been worn smooth?  It looks exposed, doesn’t it?  That’s exactly how I felt this weekend, and continue to feel.

And notice in the apex of the tree that  a branch has either broken or was sawed off.  Up close, it looks like a scabbed-over wound.  Again, that’s my feeling as I walk through this week of the first anniversary of my mother’s death.

But what caught my eye and I hope you can see, is the new growth coming out of the wounded area of the tree.  Growth that is happening in spite of all the surrounding tissue and bark looking so vulnerable.

Hmmm . . . nature is a great teacher . . . if we but take time to observe . . . and live with our senses wide open (no matter how raw we feel).

That’s my mission today.  Can you describe yours as it relates to your senses?


Adjustment Bureau

Movie-watching ranks on my Top 10 list of enjoyable activities, but only if the movie meets my criteria of “having a deeper meaning.”  Unlike most of the rest of the movie-going crowd, it is rare for me to want to simply escape into a mindless movie.

Please don’t misunderstand.  I am not a fine arts cinema kind of gal, although I’ve been to my fair share of artsy films.  No, when I describe movies, they are mainstream, action-packed, love-infused, hilariously comedic (but not to the point of stupid) movies.

They have meaning.

I want to be moved.  I want to have my thoughts provoked.  I want to have the over-arching theme of the movie stay with me for days, and . . .

I want to relate to the bigness of a meaningful movie’s theme.

It’s rare for me to make a movie recommendation. But for Mindful Monday, I’m making an exception.  Here’s why:

While this photo shot from the inside of a cave is not a part of the movie’s action, it is a part of the film’s theme.

My central takeaway idea–the theme that has stayed with me for days–from The Adjustment Bureau is that a person can spend her life on plan (a description from the movie of following the path that has been laid out for her by The Chairman) OR she can let her spirit perch on the railing of life and then fly into the unknown.

As you may imagine, it is this deviation from the Plan that causes the movie’s conflict and drama.

And fulfills my necessary criteria of having deeper meaning.  Rent the movie and tell me what you think the deeper meaning means.  A great Mindful Monday to you!



Independence: So Much More Than a Day

Fireworks will ignite across America today as celebratory symbols of freedom.

Flags will fly, hot dogs will grill, parks and pools will overflow with folks grateful for a Monday off work.

I’m a gal from Independence, MO so I’ve always been proud of my connection to independence as a word.  In my 20 years of sobriety, I’ve learned to use independence and the word freedom in tandem.

Freedom from addiction:  now that is something to celebrate, as is independence from the mental twists and turns that led me to the disease of addiction.  And the coolest part of being free and independent of active addiction to substances?

I’m grateful that I used them in the first place.  Every time I abused my body, mind and spirit with alcohol or came out of a blackout or suffered through the world’s worst hangover, I traveled closer to this day.

This magnificent, awe-inspiring, God-filled Independence Day is the day of freedom I so longed for when I was drinking.  Little did I know that I had to consume every drink and had to wrap my arms around each porcelian bowl in order to arrive here.

God, what a place this is today, what a peaceful, yet thrilling place of grace.  Thank you not only for the grand gift of sobriety, but for the laser-sharp awareness of what it took to get to this day of independence.

Please share your thoughts of the glory of independence on this Mindful Monday.  Love to all!


Introducing: Mindful Monday

I’m pretty excited to offer, beginning today, a weekly Mindful Monday blog post for my BHT readers.

MM is an inspirational writing and photo to help you open a channel for love, peace and joy to flow throughout your week.  I know you usually have a ton of stuff to do on Monday mornings, but please take a moment to ground yourself.  I promise Mindful Monday will be a short read so think of it as setting the tone for your week.  Let me know what you think and . . . Enjoy! (note: this was scheduled to depart my cloud early Monday morning, but thanks to operator error, is leaving mid-day–room for improvement is always good!)

I’m still thinking about the principle of Intention. Regular readers will recall that Intention is one of my power words for 2011. (see my January 11 post: http://www.bheretoday.com/2011/01/11/while-most-peoples-resolutions-wane-three-words-live/)

It occurs to me that setting a deliberate spiritual intention accomplishes little if not followed by a belief that a path will be provided.  In fact, the path offers the perfect melding of Intention with my other two words for 2011:  Source and Order.

Source is the way of orderly direction, or “demonstration,” to use an old-fashioned term.  A demonstration cannot not work so long as the focus stays squarely on the intention.

What we think about we bring about, or as within, so without.The Rev. Ed Townley, who writes Spirit Expressing  (http://www.spiritexpressing.org/), says he thanks God and acknowledges the joyful good in his life.  The critical follow-up step, however, is to allow the good to express, and to believe it is good.

Are you demonstrating your good today and do you believe it IS good?