I think it is important to remember the power of our words. What we speak is so powerful. We can use our words to make someone feel so special and we can also use our words to tear someone down. I can remember hearing several people tell me after my father passed away that they can never remember my father saying an unkind word about anybody. What a beautiful thing to say about another human being. I want to strive to use my words for good. I want to make others smile with my smile. I want every one who enters my world to feel a little better off after meeting me. I know it is a tall order, but I plan on making my words a gift to those who hear them.
Today in your journal think about all the wonderful words that have been gifts to you. What can you do or say to someone to be that special gift? I am grateful that each day seems to get better and better. The other day I was driving to my yoga class, the top was down on my car and I became overwhelmed with gratitude. I realized that at that moment I couldn’t recall a time when I felt happier. Life is so good and I am thrilled with all the possibilities that are coming to me. Express yourself and your love to those who enter your world today. Be the gift!
Writing for me is a passion. I write each day, whether it is something in my journal or on the computer. I realized the other day that I write because I want to remember and because I want to be remembered. Ok, I am going to admit something to you…I love reading the obituaries. I no longer get the physical paper, but I read the paper online, from the local Desert Sun, to my hometown San Jose Mercury News to even venturing off to read the LA Times. Here is what I love about reading the obituaries, it gives me a glimpse into who that person was. I especially like it if there is a picture that goes with the obituary. I always wonder who was the one to choose the picture. You all know what I mean, sometimes the picture is of them when they were much younger and other times it looks as if they were already dead and gone, I mean really people…give them some respect!! But truthfully, it is not the picture that I care about so much but what is written. I have a special binder where I save some of these obituaries. The questions pour through my mind, such as who wrote it, what they say, is the deceased quoted or do they use someone else’s quotes. But what I am really interested in, deep down is what is their legacy they are leaving behind. I want to know what did they do to make the world a better place.
I am inspired by reading the obituaries because I am reminded that life is precious. Obituaries are generally full of the elderly, but sprinkled throughout are the young who seemed to die way before they should have. So many times I feel as I read about the children who have passed on that they lived each day with a sense of purpose. Their legacy was about living in the moment, being fully present. Each time I read about a younger persons death, it reminds me that life is precious, whether you live to be 100 or only 10.
Each obituary represents a celebration of a life. I think a great exercise to do is to practice writing your obituary. What is it that you want to say about yourself, and what is it that you want others to remember you for? This exercise will allow you to contemplate what is the legacy you want to leave behind? Every one of us can leave a legacy behind, start thinking about yours. Live your life more purposely and more present…start this very instant!
Another thought to think about is what are you learning? I have just found the video function on my blackberry and thanks to the magic of youtube you can see my creations (I posted 5 I think!) You can go to youtube.com and do a search for mstammy64 and that should take you to my videos. Maybe I can start making video journals as well, just a thought!
This picture of my sister and me reminds me of all of the choices we have in life. I smile as I see this picture and it looks like the pepsi can is as big as my head. I can’t believe we used to drink soda as a kid, but we did. Look at your life today, what are the choices you have to make? Some of the choices are so simple, such as orange juice or apple juice…chicken or fish…coke or pepsi…
But in reality, we usually have some pretty tough choices to make in life. I have spent my last two blogs talking about who we really are. We do have the choice of what face to show to the world. When you are smiling on the outside, what are you really feeling on the inside? Can you really go deep within and see what is it that you are feeling?
Do you feel safe to cry or scream or shout? How do you handle loss? Can you express yourself clearly. I was reminded today of the importance of journaling as I taught a class at the Inter Valley Health Plan of Palm Springs on the importance of journaling. You have a choice of what it is you want to say in the privacy of your journal. Are you angry? Happy? Sad? Fearful? Write it down…don’t censor yourself, this is for you. When you spend time journaling, you give yourself a gift of reflection. Remember, this is a gift for you. What I have journaled these last several months have been many hours of self reflection and examining what has happened in my life. I have come away with a better sense of awareness and love for me.
What choice do you have to make today? Is it a big one? Are you ready to reflect upon it in the safety of your journal?
We have a choice of who we surround ourselves with as well. Today in class Pat read a beautiful piece she wrote about her friend Joy. It was a gift she gave to the whole class. We can choose the people with whom we hang out with. There are basicaly two types of people: lifter-uppers and puller-downers. We have a choice as to who we will be and to whom we will hang out with. Spend some time examining who you spend the most time with.
Journal today about your choices and experience a new sense of freedom!
This is me on Day 20 of the 30 day challenge. This is me after completing a double class back to back with my friend Melanie. Pictures are a reminder of what we look like, but a picture doesn’t tell others how we feel. As I look back through the pictures of my life I see various times in my life when the picture seems to say one thing, but my true emotion was hidden. The beauty of writing a memoir and using your pictures to guide you is that you can use it as a tool to bring you back to that place and time. Some pictures are painful for me to look at because I was going through a painful time in my life. Some pictures are so wonderful to ponder over and remember the memories.
Pictures of your childhood can sometimes be painful to reflect upon if you had an unhappy childhood. Sometimes seeing those you have loved that have passed on can also bring up the tears.
As you look through the photos of the movement of your life be gentle with yourself. What do you see? What do you remember? A memoir written with the perspective of wisdom from passing through your experiences topped off with pictures of the event is wonderful. As I look at the movement of my life I can see that the woman I am today is not the woman I was 3 years ago or even 3 months ago. I am forever changing and becoming more clear on who I am. Even this picture of me taken almost 10 days ago and the picture I will take tomorrow (the end of my 30 day challenge) will look different. I am different each day as I choose to grow and be.
Today in your journal I would ask that you really “see” yourself. Who are you today? Who were you a year ago? Are you changing and growing? If not, examine why not. Take out those pictures and write about not just the event, but how you felt about the event.
When I first came upon this lovely cactus family they were all just standing tall and straight enjoying the beautiful sun. Yesterday was a completely different story. As Courtney and I walked by I had to laugh because now it seemed as though this family was in “hiding.” It reminded me of the old black and white comedies where if someone wanted to be in a disguise they put on a big old groucho marx mustache or donned a toupe. So even though this cactus family looked different, they were still essentially the same as before, just with a new accessory!
Of course, like I usually tend to do, I brought forth this story in my journal. It made me think to myself who am I really. I think as people, we usually wear so many different masks and disguises. Who really knows us? And for that matter, do we really know ourselves? Do we take the time to explore and examine who we really are? What are those things that make our souls sing?
Most people are surprised to hear that I am really shy. It doesn’t bother me to speak before large crowds or to teach my workshops all over, but in a small group I am shy. I can remember when I was a freshman in high school and I was trying out for the cheerleading squad. I can remember thinking I hope I make it because then I won’t be shy anymore. In a sense, this was a bit true, because when I was in my uniform, I wasn’t shy. I cheered through high school and even cheered in college and I was a different person when I was “on”.
Have you ever examined the masks you wear? Who do you allow to get to really know you? As I have written about before I have my “tribe” that knows me. They have seen me at my best and at my worst. One of the gifts of having my tribe is that we don’t have to wear masks with each other, we can say whatever is on our minds without judgement from anyone. One of the gifts we can give ourselves is to get rid of the masks and costumes of our lives and to really be authentic with first ourselves and then with everybody we associate with. I no longer worry what other people think of me, I am just content to be me.
Today in your journal examine the periods of your life when you felt more comfortable wearing a “mask”. Do you think you still wear a mask? What do you look like when you are being authentic? What would we see if we could see the real you?