‘Mom’s Poem’ Quote

Gliding on wings

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‘Begin’

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Each new sunrise offers us a precious gift: to live in the moment. It is here where we come to understand how utterly beautiful all of life truly is. Every day we have a chance to begin again. We can start over if we so desire, by choosing to create a different story, with one single step into a brand new adventure of our own choosing. The power lies completely within our minds and bodies.

With gusto I read the book, recommended by my sister, entitled One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer, Ph.D. He shows and explains how anyone can take one small step, even metaphorically speaking. After that first step it’s easier to move forward into the second one. Maurer’s book has helped me understand how, when I break tasks and dreams down into small parts, I can accomplish much, including new beginnings.

Watching a sunrise is one of my favorite activities at the start of a new day, especially when the early morning light begins to filter through the feathery gray hues that are clouds and turn them into swirls of pinkish orange. My widened eyes cannot keep up with the transformation of the ever-changing sky mural. It has been known to leave me breathless.

Each of us has an opportunity to transform ourselves on a daily basis, like the sunrise, moment by moment. Too easily we allow ourselves to fall into a pattern of living in the past, even the recent past, ruminating on memories of that which no longer exists in our immediate circumstances.

Memories are great when they bring us joy and learning and information to share, but sometimes we live them so habitually, we forget to be present. Just as easily, we are drawn into the future, thinking too much about what has or has not yet happened or worrying needlessly about our to-do list or an unknown outcome and asking the unanswerable question,

“What if?”

What if instead we focus on right now? Eckhart Tolle wrote the book, The Power Of Now, where he shares much wisdom through his personal experience. He writes about how he finds himself in a place of greater awareness and living in the present, and finding peace in the process. His philosophy is and always has been available to us. My sister-in-love (I like the sound of ‘in-love’ much better than ‘in-law’) read this book and liked it so much, I had to read it, too. In following Tolle’s advice and choosing to live in the now, I have found that peace he speaks of.

What if we stop what we are doing for a moment, close our eyes, take a deep cleansing breath, and think about…nothing? Nothing at all. Just be in the moment. Now. Allow your body to relax and rejuvenate in that long, slow breath. It may even cause you to smile as your muscles peacefully unwind. Ahhhhhh…perhaps another…

What if we begin to appreciate the deep learning thrust upon us through our different life experiences? We all have much to share through lessons learned and insights discovered, and have come to this life to do both equally well. What if we ask ourselves, “What am I here to teach?” “What am I here to learn?” Then let it go. The answer arrives as we allow ourselves to become more receptive to signs and nudges that guide us on our journey.

What if we begin to notice the way the yellow leaves on a quaking aspen shudder in unison in the crisp autumnal breeze, as if they inherently know to embrace the moment? Do you think the leaf worries about tomorrow?

What if we begin to see the perfect calm water of early morning drowsily awaken to its first wisp of a wave created by an unknown creature swimming just under the surface? Do you think the water frets over yesterday’s waves?

Each new day is full of miracles. On a continuous basis, moment by moment, we have the choice to begin again. I always love a new adventure…Oh, look at that gorgeous sunrise!

Copyright 2014 Patricia Westbrook All Rights Reserved

Saved

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Life savers come in many flavors and colors. Some watch over you. Some are angels disguised as people. Some life savers are round and can float, others are sweet and crunchy. Some stay in the shallows until the time is right for them to float your way. Some show up completely unexpected. Sometimes you don’t realize you even need saving.

I’ve been blessed with many different life savers through the years. My sister saved me with one phone call. A truck driver saved me with a single CB (Citizen Band) radio message. Snow saved me from certain injury when the car I rode in slid off the side of a slippery mountain road. My dad saved me from drowning more than once when I was little. I saved myself.

When I think about it, life savers have been with me all my life. I didn’t fully understand the ways of life savers until quite a while after I started journaling. As my feelings poured onto the page through the pen in my hand, a shift began to occur in my interpretation of events.

With new perspective comes great awareness. Discovering a true passion, turning it into a dream, and creating something beautiful allows me to share experiences and ideas more fully.

Getting ideas out of my head and onto the page is freeing. It doesn’t matter if they are real experiences or imaginary places. The point is to release them. Sometimes I journal in the darkness and am surprised the following day to see what I’ve written. It’s cathartic.

More good news: my paperback is now published on Amazon! WOO HOO!!! I feel like a little child who just unwrapped a present! This gift was bound in many layers that needed to be torn away one at a time to get to the core.

Here’s the link for my book:

http://www.amazon.com/When-You-Look-Up-Selection/dp/1500603406/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417660387&sr=1-5&keywords=when+you+look+up

It’s a great accomplishment for me to be able to say, ‘It’s done!” It is also a heartfelt gift for the world to enjoy. Who knows? Maybe my poetry will be a lifesaver for someone. From my experience, lifesavers come in all sorts of surprising packages.

‘Be Yourself’

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Are you an extrovert or an introvert? A couple of years ago I mentioned in conversation that I was an introvert. The response? “Don’t worry, we can change that.” My mouth dropped in my mind. I was taken aback wondering why anyone thought I needed changing. I replied. “Oh, I prefer being an introvert.” They looked puzzled.

I am often reminded how deeply ingrained our social norms have become. We are all on very different paths of understanding ourselves and others. I believe our communication breaks down because of these differences. We really don’t know each other very well.

Susan Cain, author of ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,’ did a TED2012 Talk on this subject. Giving this speech was an extremely difficult task for her, but she pulled it off with seeming ease. She won the 2013 Golden Gavel Award from Toastmasters for this speech.

According to Cain, extroversion is valued in our world society and Introversion is not, but should be. She is here to change that assumption. Introverts add much more than we might realize.

Cain gave a second TED Talk in 2014 with some lofty goals in mind for the workplace and for empowering children. She calls it the ‘Quiet Revolution.’

I wrote the poem, ‘Be Yourself,‘ to bring awareness to the subject. We are all here to do our part in helping create a better world, in our own way, together. Doing what makes us happy and fulfilled helps make Earth and her inhabitants thrive.

I heard recently on NPR that up to 40% of people on the planet are introverted. I am happy to be in that large minority and wouldn’t want to change a thing.

Note: If you’ve never seen a TED Talk, you can find them on a wide variety of subjects. Some talks are a few minutes, some an hour. They’re very informative and entertaining.