Looking in the Right Places

Is this house crooked or is it the street? Or the picture? Or your glasses ?

There’s nothing like a summer night at the baseball field to remember small town life and the simpler things.

The cool air, the beautiful mountains so close you could touch them. Sweaty, sticky little innocent faces whose whole lives are ahead of them. The crack of a bat, the anxious parents yelling to “Hurry! Get the ball!” As if there were any other goal of the game.

It’s all so surreal to me….

It’s been 11 years since I left the small town life and moved to the “Big City”. Luckily every summer I can go back to that life when watching my grandkids play baseball.

Many nights were spent at the ball park in my home town and the next one over where I raised my kids. So, of course I know many people there. Small town families are notoriously all have that LOOK that you can usually place them in their respective families. However, last night they all looked like strangers to me. People from a whole different world. I might as well have been back in the city, where everyone is anonymous.

So I asked my daughter, “how come I don’t recognize anyone?”
She said, “Well, are you looking in the right places? Because this is a whole other generation & your people are over there in the rocking chairs in the shade!”
She was right.

I was looking in the wrong places. How many times in my life had I done that very thing?

Sometimes it’s not at the ball field. Sometimes it’s on dating sites or on a social media post that we interpret to our own personal experience and jump to conclusions about what it must mean.

Wherever we are, we will find what we are looking for. 

If we are in the habit of feeding our fears or insecurities, we will most certainly find things that will.

Brene` Brown states:

Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don't belong. You will always find it because you've made that your mission. Stop scouring people's faces for evidence that you're not enough. You will always find it because you've made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don't negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.

There’s an old story of a couple who were moving and pulled up to a gas station in their new town. They asked the attendant if the town was friendly. The attendant said, “Was your old town friendly?” “No, not at all”. The woman said. The attendant shook his head: “Then this one won’t be either”.

Our preconceived notions can set us up for failure. When we are unable start a new experience with a blank slate; we will experience what we always have. People who have a “chip on their shoulder” are very obvious to others even if they don’t think they are. In fact, they often wonder why the world is so cruel, or why others are so unhelpful or even ‘rude.’

So, how can we find what we are looking for, yet have a blank slate free from expectations or judgements? How to be like a child who can play and acclimate in almost any situation? I believe it’s because they have one goal in mind- to have fun. They have an intention.

“Our intention creates our reality”- Wayne Dyer

If we are intent on finding something that helps us grow, we will. If we (usually subconsciously) are looking for something that offends us or irritates us, we will. All of us have had those days when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed and everything goes wrong. We keep waiting for our luck to change as if something will drop out of the sky and change our life. Until we realize we have the power to change the mood, the day, or at least stop the barrage of negative thoughts that seem to attack us.

In order to find what we are looking for, we not only have to look in the right places, we have to BE in the right place ourselves.

How to get there?

Habits for Well Being has a great list Here:

  • Writing in your journal.
  • Meditating.
  • Reading an inspiring quote or poem.
  • Go for a walk or run (if you are able to).
  • Spend some time stretching or doing yoga.
  • Focus on a power word for the day, week, month or year.

It isn’t easy, especially when we are so focused on our problems, or on that one thing that seems to be our kryptonite.

I’m going to try it today.

I’m going to limit my social media time so I’m not drawn into conflict or endless debates on things that drain my energy.

I’m going to spread light and love, especially since it’s my daughter’s 24 th birthday and the fact that I have her AND my amazing prodigal 35 year old son close by, is seriously a miracle.

I’m going to focus on seeing the good. I’m going to look for the helpers as if I’m riding the train into Mr Roger’s neighborhood.

May you find what you’re looking for on this happy & bright Saturday.

Perspective Is How Everyone’s Truth Manifests

One of my little jobs I have is calling rest homes & assisted livings across America & surveying them on their experience they had with their loved one.
Since I call the same facilities every month, I get a feeling for which ones are pretty well ran & which ones are going to have a bunch of very angry southern folk yelling at ME for it all!

I know when I call the Bible belt facilities, I will get a lot of “Bless you’s” & “praise the Lord!” which I appreciate!
But it always amazes me how much of a different experience people can have in the SAME place, same time period, SAME food, somewhat same staff.

Yesterday I called my only local building. I had to keep reminding myself this is the SAME building that all these people are taking about!

It just goes to show that Sometimes (keeping in mind there ARE lots of variables in healthcare) it’s our attitude that can make or break our experience of life.

These are the answers I received to the exact same questions:

“I appreciated everything!!! I’ve never seen a group of people who treated their residents like family. Everyone was very professional and willing to help out if you needed them to.

“I’d say it was a great experience and the best place for rehab.

“They treated like you like long lost family, accommodating, communicative. If I had a question they would answer it.

“They never returned my calls.

“Communication is lacking. Management was poor. They made promises and would never follow through with anything.

“They were very attentive to my dad, the nurses were always good to contact me.

“If you can rate it into the negative, do that. It was horrendous.Nothing redeeming about this building. I appreciated NOTHING about this place.

“Very poor, if I could go below one I would. The care was that bad.

“If you guys are serious you should send in someone who has empathy for their patients.Have them go undercover, if anyone is not doing what they should, you should fire them on the spot.

“Therapy was disorganized and too much into themselves.

“The therapy was ok.

“GIve therapy FIVE STARS!

“The food was terrible.

“Food wasn’t properly prepared and no special diets.Lettuce was tired.

“The food was not good at all.

“The quality of the food was a five.

“Their food was edible and a good variety

Everyone’s experience differs according to what they’re dealing with. Fear can takeover how we see things and how we treat people – which then creates a dynamic of how they treat us back. If you’re coming from a place of unhappiness most of your day will look bland and negative (I’m speaking from MY experience). If you see a gray sky you may never notice the bright pink flowers. When your emotional energy is spent on worry and fear for your loved one or for a pressing problem, such as finances, you see everything through that lens, as stated in this lens of trauma.

I spent a lot of time listening to Abraham Hicks over the years. She (orthey’ – since she channels a spirit guide through her) preach on keeping your vibration at stellar heights in order to achieve the results you want. This article describes the cult like following of Abraham, but I still find her rants and speeches helpful to pull me out of a slump. It’s basically the theory of The Secret which has been tweaked into different psychology fads for years. Her quotes are helpful to pull my perspective into one of gratitude and grace by acting as if I have everything I need, so the universe doesn’t detect ANY LACK. The old saying:

If you're not grateful for what you have, why would the universe give you more?

After my Abraham binge, I moved over to Matt Kahn, who believes quite the opposite. He advocates accepting all feelings as valid and to be loved, so as to not glaze over them in some kind of fake positivity.

With so many opinions and paths to take, my goal now, is to maintain a balance of peace despite outside circumstances. Some days I fail miserably, like yesterday, as I cried all morning after a phone call from the IRS.

Today, I'm breathing life, hope and abundance into my family. I'm trying to appreciate memories for what they were, people for who they are, despite their struggles and actions; and the future for the possibilities.

Knowing that my perspective on life is going to make it as pleasant or as miserable as I decide to let it.