These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Managing Life

In every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong;
honor that; try to imitate it, and your faults will drop off like dead leaves
when their time comes.
~~John Ruskin (1819-1900) English Art Critic

You are all you will ever have for certain.
~~June Havoc

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions,
and not our circumstances.
~~Martha Washington

Even on the road to hell, flowers can make you smile.
~~Deng Ming-Dao

I'm doing what I think I was put on this earth to do. And I'm really
grateful to have something that I'm passionate about and that
I think is profoundly important.
~~Marian Wright Edelman

Whatever we put our attention on will grow stronger in our life.
~~Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Sometimes you just have to take the leap, and build your wings
on the way down.
~~Kobi Yamada

~ ~ ~ ~

How do you assess what happens in your life?

I've been thinking about the many ways in which my life has changed, and the changes are significant, to say the least. My life is a long way from perfect, but I'm relatively happy and becoming more so with each day. I don't think I'm a pollyanna. I've just chosen to put my focus on the positive aspects of my life and use my energies to strengthen those rather than letting the negatives rule my life.

The quotes I listed above are just a few of many that say something about that philosophy. Take the first one from John Ruskin, "In every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong; honor that; try to imitate it, and your faults will drop off like dead leaves when their time comes." If I am focusing on the positives in others, I honestly don't have to try to imitate it; my own life improves accordingly, without a specific attempt. I love that.

But there is a problem. Most of us don't believe it is possible. We doubt that we can change the course of events in our lives. We tend to let others' negativity direct us. Why??

  • An unpleasant coworker in my office consistently rubs me the wrong way. What usually happens? I complain, I get grumpy, I wish she/he would go away to another job (or another planet!). I start dreading going to work. I pull inward to avoid that person and the angst of his/her presence.
  • My spouse is a gloomy Gus. Over time, I find that I've fallen into his/her stride. I'm matching insults, put-downs, negative words and behaviors because I have to hold my own, don't I?
  • One of my friends believes that "what goes around, comes around." That means that no matter what one does, one can't escape the bad crap that happens in life. You know, she is right; nothing goes right.
  • I have a neighbor that is an inconsiderate slob. He mows his lawn at 6:30 every Saturday morning, his dog craps in my lawn, and his kids have broken all my solar lights. I start thinking of ways to retaliate, the even the score, to make him as miserable as he makes me.

Does any of this sound familiar? We've all experienced something along these lines. It is easy when we are daily confronted with negative energies around us to fall into the same trend, but how sadly it limits our lives! As Ruskin says, when I focus on the positives in others, the positives in my own become so much greater. The more good I find in myself, the more I seek the positives in others, the better my life is. Sometimes this is a struggle for me. I fall into slumps and find myself blaming all the problems on other people, or at the least I want to do so. At those times, it is a challenge to avoid falling into negative mind sets which then seem to have a life of their own, much more powerful than I am.

I don't always succeed. But I am getting better as time goes on and I concentrate and practice this. Am I right? Should I ignore negatives? Am I doing right my myself and others when I "grin and bear it"? I think so. I hope so. I don't always know what I'm doing, and it is a little scary. As that last quote above says, I'm functioning by the spiritual and philosophical "seat of my pants" when I take that leap of faith and look for finding a way to build the wings on the way down.

I've been living with that attitude for a while now.

I haven't bottomed out yet!


  1. This is a thoughtful adn thought-provoking message today. The last quote regarding building wings on the way down is strongly reminiscent of Carlos Castaneda's character Don Juan who had to learn to jump off a cliff. (I think it was in The Eagles Gift.) He had to take the leap in faith, but was taught and then learned that the body (an egg shaped bundles of luminous fibers) would send out fibers to the canyon bottom and he would have his anchor. Wow! It's been many, many years since I read's still with me. Gypsy Moth

  2. I believe 100% in positive thought. And I sure as hell am not a pollyanna. (chuckle)

    I look back on my life often and without fail, I feel it has been absolutely charmed. I'm serious..without fail. And I've had some nasty experiences. There is ALWAYS a positive side to any's there waiting to be found. It's not always obvious. Sometimes it's strength...sometimes it's knowledge...sometimes it's just surviving. But it's there...even in the most painful situations. You can bet on that and win every time.

    It's second nature to me now...when I get hit in the face with a pile o' look for something positive. But it took me YEARS to hone the skill.

    I had a therapist one time and she listened to me for an hour. Then she held her hands out in front of her...palms up. She held one up higher and said "This is your shit." Then she held the other one up higher and said "And this is everyone else's." That was all I needed at that time in my life. But it rings true...we don't have to take on anybody else's negativity. But we can certainly gain from their positivity.

    Anyway - that's my 2 cents. I'm a believer.

  3. I absolutely love quotes and poems. And I must say, you chose some good ones. They fit the rest of your post quite well.

    Once again, you've been an inspiration. You're words and thoughts speak volumes.

    Enjoy the rest of your week.

  4. Gypsy Moth - Boy, you're chatty today! I love that last quote. I've held it close for a long while, because, many times over the past 2 years, I've had not idea how I'd get through it, but I just had to believe I would. And I did!

    Jenn - I think you and I have a number of traits in common. I'm glad you've tuned into yours at an earlier age than I did. It will help you to know about directing your own path. And watching out for hidden agendas, too, eh? ;-)

    Oh, Dawn, you make me blush! I love quotes. I like looking for the message as it applies to me, or sometimes to people around me who need a "picker-upper." Thank you so much.

  5. I need to rub up against your blog and glean some of your positivity. When I'm in "waiting mode," I become an impossible-to-live-with gloomy gus. :-|

  6. Catherine - Feel free to rub all you need. I understand the angst of waiting; I don't do that well, either. And maintaining a positive aura is not a cinch, but over time, I've found that it is easier than crawling out of the abyss after I let myself sag. I have times when I rant and rage like a banshee ... then I realize how counter productive it is, and I slap myself back into a reasonable state! Hang in there. There is life after #1!!

  7. I'm with Jenn, I try very hard to be positive (nobody snicker now) and I am no pollyanna either! I truly believe if you try to do good it will come back to you and.. well the opposite applies also.

  8. I agree with you 100%. Life is experiences, you learn from it and move on. Days become easier when you look back, not in sorrow, but with a smile.

  9. Patti - You have to try, and I know it's not easy. I had to BELIEVE that I was ok, that there was more positive to live with than negative. Eventually it was real. Keep positive thoughts active, and when you find the crud getting in the way, breathe deep and change your thought pattern. And, yes, what we do does come back to us, and I don't want some of the things I used to think!!! Yikes!

    Pepper - Yes, and if you expect smiles tomorrow, you are more likely to find them! You know that factoid about it taking fewer muscles to smile than to frown? I think the same applies to thoughts. I find it easier to think about the positives in my life, past, present and future, than to ponder the negatives. I equate it to any major change (weight loss, exercise,etc.) ... it is a total life style change. That is hard for a lot of people because of the human resistance to "change." Sad, because we are always better afterward!!

  10. I am in agreement also and I celebrate your discipline with this Lynilu. In my practice of it I haven't bottomed out either - maybe mooned a few people in my leaping - but thankfully no bottoming out.

  11. Eileen - I love the mooning analogy! Just perfect! Sometimes staying afloat is a challenge, but I've found that what comes after it makes it all worth while. Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for giveing me another smile!


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!