This posting is going to be a bit different from the others. It’s made up of random thoughts that I’m sure are tied together in some way.
“Boy, having the right tools makes such a difference,” my husband, Martin, said to me as he finished loading the last log onto the wheelbarrow.
He and a kind neighbor (yes, another one) had spent an hour cutting and removing two very large trees that had fallen in our yard the previous week during a wind storm.
Martin did not have the right size chainsaw and it would have taken him the whole day to cut through all the wood and another day to haul it to the curb. The trees were tall (over 40 feet) and thick. Our neighbor offered to help when he learned of the fallen trees – and he had a chainsaw that was much stronger than the one we owned.
And because Martin had the help of the neighbor and his son the curbside dump went quicker as well.
Let me add to Martin’s statement – the right tools and a community (friends, family, neighbors) make any job easier.
And the jobs don’t necessarily have to be physical ones like cutting trees.
Community helps during times of illness and death of course. But it also helps during times we need encouragement, or someone to just sit with us in silence, or help when we’re stressed or pulled in too many directions – you know because you’ve been there.
But remember, to have the help of the community you have to actually participate in the community; be willing to be present in the lives of others. It should be a healthy give and take.
And as for the tools, they too don’t need to be physical. What tools do you use to navigate a difficult situation, to make decisions? What tools do you pull out of your invisible toolbox during the course of a day? Do you need to “upgrade” the tools you have at hand?
I like to use the tools of the Four Agreements that I’ve written about so many times: don’t take things personally, don’t make assumptions, be impeccable with your word, and always do your best. Other tools might be to sleep on something, to not respond too hastily, to let things settle, to pause and breathe.
The right tools and a community really do make any job easier. And the right tools in your life’s toolbox along with a supportive community will make your life easier. The sky’s the limit with what you can build in your life! Go at it.
This thought is related to the sense of community that I wrote about in the above. Your community doesn’t have to be in close geographic proximity; it might extend across oceans and mountains. Community is mutually supportive. Sometimes you or a member of your community might have quicker access to what is needed at the time. Suppose you are baking and need a cake pan. You own a cake pan but it might be buried in all of your stuff that’s in a storage unit because you are in the process of moving. It would take a lot of time and energy to go through all of your piles of things to locate the pan. So a neighbor offers to lend you one.
Remember as you go through the day that you might have things readily accessible that you might be called on to share – and non-tangible things count so much. You might have greater access to compassion, forgiveness, patience, and/or humor than does a friend in need. Be willing to share.
And be willing to ask if what you need might not be easily accessible to you. You might have buried the ability to trust based on past hurts. You might have lost your sense of humor and need someone to cheer you up. Ask. And remember that sometimes the asking is not specifically directed to someone. You can just ask for something or someone to be sent your way. Magically things and people do appear. I can attest to chainsaws and backhoes finding their way into my world!
Bruce (Springsteen) summed it up in his song Into the Fire:
May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love
It’s all about sharing.
Many times during the day I find myself on autopilot not really paying attention to the moment of what I’m doing or what I’m hearing or what I’m even seeing. This past month I’ve found myself needing to go a bit slower. And it’s created a sort of laser focus in my life. As I sat in my yard and listened I was able to hear the different songs of birds. I heard a “dialogue” between two cardinals – a give and take of calls.
I noticed too that while I hear songs on the radio or on a CD that I’ve heard for years that I stopped listening to them. Sure I heard the words and the tune but I stopped listening. I really listened to Art Garfunckel sing Bridge Over Trouble Water the other day and the beauty of his voice moved me. I don’t remember ever really listening to his voice the way I did that day.
Heightening your senses by actually paying attention is the bomb! Taste your food, smell Spring in the air, listen to what people are saying or singing by hearing their voice and inflection, see those robins splashing in a puddle after a rain, feel the sun shining on your arm as you drive, see that beautiful plant that’s randomly growing by itself in the woods or by a stream or poking in a very determined way through the cracks of the sidewalk.
What I’m Reading
I recently read Big Magic by Liz Gilbert. It’s a motivational read for stepping into your true work. And I’m currently reading If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie, a hard-to-describe book that touches on the power of nature and the power of women, her struggle to leave what she calls the Wasteland, a way of living that’s alienated from the natural world, tied together with references to Celtic mythology and the land. I love Sharon’s blog, Singing Down the Bones and plan on doing a retreat with her in Ireland in 2017.
I remember singing in the 6th grade assembly for the first Earth Day in 1970. Earth Day’s 46th anniversary last week coupled with Sharon’s writings remind me that I am a citizen of the planet sharing this space with plants, animals, birds, the ocean. And it reminds me to co-exist. Healing of mind, body and spirit can really be found by spending time in nature.
Quote of the Month
I’ll end with a quote from Brene Brown that really spoke to me. I hope it does the same for you.
“I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:
“I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.
“Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.
“Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”
I’d love to hear what you are thinking and doing and reading. Because this posting is for you! Leave a comment on my Facebook page, Anne Greco Life Coaching or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And remember, my numerology readings continue to be offered at $49 for a comprehensive overview specifically based on your birth date and birth name.
Until next time, be well. I wish you peace and joy in abundance!