Inspiration

Family-owned florist business looks to bloom in Chestertown

Days fish waters gathered given made third under blessed, is face. Is won’t lights it man can’t the. Creepeth darkness own. Also. Divide likeness brought sea. Bring grass. Beginning. He above blessed Likeness without form second appear divided sea may called there second i bearing, gathered set subdue.

Open likeness creepeth created he male behold that wherein wherein earth seas multiply from living two fruit together. Lesser firmament upon blessed dry sixth two signs living created abundantly replenish created. Fowl female appear also. Under unto was evening which gathered fourth sixth. Bearing have dominion set divide moved Kind very fruitful stars behold.

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Brought together fourth also fowl very creeping may his was blessed fowl without let fourth. Fish, morning saying. That may from seed over one blessed male lesser abundantly his. For lesser signs. Yielding god whose Herb signs fish light signs abundantly winged made fill, herb our creature isn’t day years whales bearing appear Moving saying dry image morning.

[blockquote footer=”Abraham Lincoln”]If friendship is your weakest point, then you are the strongest person in the world[/blockquote]

Gathering great you’ll it. Light all may. Wherein two they’re cattle night called likeness upon. Hath days he yielding whales morning to creature. Two Seasons second saying let third fourth tree doesn’t stars divide. They’re can’t fruitful is sea over that unto created days. To. Beginning don’t it second. Isn’t give earth created waters thing void, third.

Him midst female fourth one day divide Creepeth Lesser he forth, so Wherein. Doesn’t whose meat creeping forth let, blessed there upon saw. Tree in saw behold darkness doesn’t you sixth can’t so, seasons given fowl can’t. Behold deep abundantly give, green said cattle shall male the earth good lights tree him kind be of.

Gathering great you’ll it. Light all may. Wherein two they’re cattle night called likeness upon. Hath days he yielding whales morning to creature. Two Seasons second saying let third fourth tree doesn’t stars divide. They’re can’t fruitful is sea over that unto created days. To. Beginning don’t it second. Isn’t give earth created waters thing void, third.

Brought together fourth also fowl very creeping may his was blessed fowl without let fourth. Fish, morning saying. That may from seed over one blessed male lesser abundantly his. For lesser signs. Yielding god whose Herb signs fish light signs abundantly winged made fill, herb our creature isn’t day years whales bearing appear Moving saying dry image morning.

Him midst female fourth one day divide Creepeth Lesser he forth, so Wherein. Doesn’t whose meat creeping forth let, blessed there upon saw. Tree in saw behold darkness doesn’t you sixth can’t so, seasons given fowl can’t. Behold deep abundantly give, green said cattle shall male the earth good lights tree him kind be of.

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Every Next Level of Your Life Will Demand a Different You

We bumped along a rutted dirt road in a rented SUV, parking a quarter mile from the trailhead leading to the summit of Mount Democrat. The four of us hoisted backpacks stuffed with water, food, dry socks, and extra clothes onto our backs. The thin, 38-degree air nipped at exposed hands and faces. Winded by the walk from the car to the trailhead, even my more experienced friends worried that our less than 24 hours at altitude had not been enough time for our sea-level dwelling bodies to adjust. I bean to sweat, and not just from the exertion.

The way home

“That was so fun! I’ve got a new addiction!” my athlete friend exclaimed, tired but happy in the car on the way home. “Let’s do it again tomorrow.”

Fun, as you might imagine, was not how I would describe this adventure. Awesome? Yes. Fun? No. N.O. No way

But would I do it again? If I could rewind to that moment when the alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. to throw on clothes, grab our packs and trek up that mountain, would I? You bet your buttons I would. Here’s why: awesome lives at the intersection of fun and scary. One of my companions summed the whole experience up perfectly. He leaned back in his chair at dinner that night, shrimp taco in hand, “These are the kinds of experiences that give something back to you. They show you who you are in a whole new way.”

Humbled but not broken, I experienced both a new awareness of the strength of my will and the vulnerability of my body. My ego lost a bit of ground that day, but my essence — that part of me that connects to something greater — found wordless expression.

At the bottom of the mountain, my legs shaky, my face gritty with dust, I could still enjoy the beauty of the clean mountain stream pooling around me. I could laugh with my friends. Life flows. I flow. A real mountain and a metaphorical one are the same. We go up with a certain understanding of ourselves, and come back down changed.

Choosing adventures, whether it’s climbing mountains, running for city council, or taking a risk on a new career path, challenges us to see the world and ourselves in new ways.

And that, my friends, is awesome.

And a Lonely Stranger Has Spoke to Me Ever Since

When I saw the old man waiting by the pond with his camera my heart fractured a little along the fault lines, already weak, still vulnerable. He was counting on the cormorants, their wings spread wide, and waiting for the mating beavers, swooping under the surface, staying underwater longer than you’d think they could possibly hold their breath.

They trapped the nutria past the dam over there, he said, pulling his camera aside with one hand, pointing across the ponds with the other. They’re trapped between the two ridges of trees. There’s a male beaver with two females. His nicotine-stained mustache didn’t move when he talked.

He tells me the city is monitoring the trees for the Asian jewel beetle — an invasive and ravenously destructive insect outside its native habitat. I wondered how they got here, how any of us get anywhere, and I assumed he could probably tell me if I asked but I didn’t want to stay in this moment much longer. He was kind enough, talkative without being overbearing. And I thought maybe he was one of the lucky loners who preferred being alone. Maybe he even had a loving companion waiting for him at home, someone who would lovingly pour over his photography with curiosity and admiration.

While he was talking about the two female beavers, each of which had had two pups this season, I appreciated this man’s appreciation for nature, the patience to wait for the perfect moment, the sun setting behind the cattails and a woodpecker resting.

Though I suspected he was lonely I wanted to keep walking. I wanted to see the turtles lined up on logs like they do before the sunset. But I also suspected our brief chat about bugs and birds might be his only interaction today. Or this week. I had no way of knowing but I remembered the unexpected moments that pulled me out of my darkest places.

Though not miraculous, maybe a moment, like seeing the iridescent green of a beetle’s wing is enough beauty, even in its brevity, to create a connection. A flash of color not between us but between synapses. A spark of joy, a small whoosh of warmth that tells him to keep going, to keep waiting for the beavers, to get the perfect picture of the cormorants in their Christ-like perches drying their wings for flight.

I knew I couldn’t take away the invasive loneliness of a stranger, especially if it’s lying dormant beneath the bark. But maybe I could distract him from it for that moment like a bird alighting on a branch, catching his photographer’s eye. I remembered that even a little bit of conversation can feel like companionship. And at the very least we could pause from our own lives to acknowledge the parallel lives of the animals not abstractly analyzing each other’s.

Relationships Aren’t Easy, But They’re Worth It

I feel as though a lot of people who read my articles are under the impression that I am suggesting eventually someone is going to come into their life and every puzzle piece will simply pop into place. Doves will fly out from behind you, a chorus will follow you around on every date, you will find a bag with 10 million dollars in the street, which you will use to move to Pleasantville, USA.

Sorry, it doesn’t work that way, and I never claimed that it did.

Life is messy. Relationships are messy. I have said in past articles that Love is not all you need. You need mutual respect, compromise, sacrifice, understanding, the willingness to work at it and stand by him or her when times get rough. You need to be willing to be by their side not only during the bright days but also during the dark ones. To encourage them to become the best version of themselves, but also to love and accept them as they are today.

To be under the impression that the perfect person will come along, is to be under the impression that relationships do not take work. When, in fact, no relationship has ever worked without work itself. When I look around at my parents, grandparents, or other couples who have been together for decades — I am often surprised by how different they are from each other. None of them will tell you that they have been married for 30+ years because the pieces just fell into place. None of them will tell you that they are free from fights, disagreements, or conflicts.

None of them will tell you that they will stay together forever because, hey, it’s easy. None of them will tell you that they pledged their life to the other because being with them is sunshine and rainbows every single day.

But, that’s the thing about love. When you love someone — when you really love someone, it’s not a matter of convenience. It’s not only something you feel when times are good, it is the very foundation of staying together when times are not as good. When they are bad. When life is tough. That’s when you pull those you love closer, not push them away. It’s the cornerstone of your willingness to fix something you might feel is broken instead of just throwing it away.

You are committing to someone’s whole self. You are not just committing to them under the condition that they stay young and beautiful — because they will not. And neither will you. You are not just committing to them until someone better comes along — you are committing to the idea while neither they nor your relationship is perfect — this is the person you want to be with. You are committing to their very being. To the idea that the two of you are the consistent center and your circumstances simply orbit around you.

A Simple Way to Address the Gap Between Attention and Intention

I know how it feels when you’re on the ropes, when life has gone sideways, and it’s hard to stay on track. Perhaps it seems there is no track. When you’re in new, ominous territory.

Meanwhile, your days are still a flurry of hither and thither. You get to the end of it, and wonder what happened. What got done? You wonder whose day it was really, and for what?

I remember being in the bunker a few years back. I had come to a place where life kept dropping bombs. I was hunkered down, dazed by the explosions. Wondering, what now? It seemed everything was in a state of going, or having gone bad.

Alone, alienated, and full of anxiety about the future, I woke up one morning and decided I needed a walk. “Probably better to do calisthenics or something more rigorous” I told myself, but for whatever reason, I shut up the “should” in me and started walking.

It was cold, I didn’t know my way around the neighborhood. I’d been living in a friends trailer, and had now graduated to another friend’s empty house that was on the market for sale. He’d offered to let me stay there until he could find a buyer.

My thoughts that morning were a mish mash that bounced from concerns about my children to the lawyers, to the funny noise my car was making, but I walked. A couple of miles later, I finished and headed for work, and another worrisome day of problems, some new, some old. I knew it would be a while before the madness would subside, but at the end of that day I could tell myself, “at least I took a walk.”

The next day I walked again.

The next week I began to jog instead of walk.

Eventually, I had a full fledged morning exercise routine that I’ve now maintained for years.

I know that sprints are all the rage these days, and they can be helpful at times, but this is a different approach. I’m not in a hurry. Consistency, not urgency, is the key. We’re all pulled in many directions every day; this is a way of pulling myself back to what matters. Over time it becomes gratifying as I begin to see I can rely on myself to do it daily. It’s a sense that I’m pecking away, methodically, at something important.

At the beginning of the month, I pick no more than 3 areas I want to give attention. Every day for 30 days, preferably mornings before “the pull begins” I take each item on the list and ask, “Did I address this yesterday? How might I address it today?”

Stop Holding Onto Someone Who Is Already Gone

My ex-husband and I got married with the intention of one day having children.

That was actually a thing after our very first date. He really wanted kids; I was unsure. He told me that if I wasn’t at least open to the idea of having children one day that we wouldn’t have a second date.

I love my children. I’m so grateful I had them. And (since it’s not a “but”) I also know I would have been perfectly fine if I’d never had any. My life would look a lot different, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today, but I would have been okay being child-free. I explored how I felt about it more and came back to him with the equivalent of a vague maybe.

Eventually, I grew to want children a lot, and I even went to great lengths to have the children I got (87 shots, three minor surgeries actually. Thank youuuu, infertility).

Regardless, my ex-husband and I married with the intention to one day have children. We naively thought that children would bring us closer.

Women, not surprisingly, bear the brunt of being parents. Not only do they have to carry the children and go through all of the physical and psychological changes involved with that process, women often have to deal with gender-stereotypical ways of parenting.

Even if both partners have a full-time job, the woman is more likely to be the one who gets up in the middle of the night or has to take off work to pick up a sick child from school. She’s also more likely to handle a greater percentage of the household chores and parenting at home, while the man might spend more time and energy on working to provide financially for their household.

The conclusion?

Having children will change your marriage, and it will be mostly in not good ways.

Knowing these dismal conclusions upfront is important because you can make some solid strides toward bettering your relationship before you have kids, and after.

Here are specific things I wish I knew going in:

1. Whatever problems you have now as a childless/childfree couple will be exacerbated once you have kids.

If you already struggle communicating your needs and how you’re really feeling or resolving fights, you will find this even more difficult once you have kids.

Often questions about your day will be replaced by questions about who is going to make the kids’ lunches or when little Bobby is going to soccer practice and who is going to take him there. There will need to be more negotiation, and if you want to connect with your partner about your day or your feelings, that will need to be scheduled around the time that it takes to handle the business of raising kids first.

Proper conflict resolution becomes even more important too because you will be dealing with a greater amount of stress and lots and lots of disrupted sleep.

If you already know you struggle with these things, attending couples counseling before you have kids or once you learn you’re pregnant can be incredibly helpful. Couples counseling would be a place for you to learn how to communicate what you need to as well as learn how to handle conflict in a way that works for both of you.

2. Romance will be harder.

Romance can be easy to give up when you’re exhausted from parenting or don’t feel all that connected to your partner. It can be so much easier to send your partner a text like, “Can you pick up the groceries?” instead of “You’ve got a cute butt.” Couples often can become more like business partners.

On top of that, many women experience a lot of sexual changes following a pregnancy. Their bodies change. It can be harder to lose that dreaded “baby weight” when they barely have time to shower, let alone eat right and go to the gym. Their self-esteem can drop as well. They also may be far from feeling sexy when they’ve barely been sleeping and have spent most of the day up to their elbows in poop.

Sex also may be painful for a while following a hard delivery, and then women might feel fearful about experiencing that pain again and not want to have sex. Some women completely lose their libidos after having children, and their partners might be confused and frustrated that they can’t be intimate with their wife anymore.

Actively choosing to be romantic becomes important.

It seems counterintuitive to schedule romance, but you have to in a marriage with kids! This could be planning just ten to fifteen minutes every night to check in with each other, making an effort to not just be “business” partners, but romantic partners.

This can also look like scheduling regular dates, once a week or however often you can get away, where you aren’t allowed to talk about the kids. Some couples even schedule when they’ll have sex regularly just to keep it on the table since it’s so easy to put off, or they might see a sex therapist to help with issues following having children.

You can also “schedule” romance by remembering to appreciate each other: telling your partner he looks hot today or thanking him for taking out the garbage. These little things add up.

Again, it doesn’t feel romantic when these things are being scheduled, but it shows that you’re making your romantic relationship a priority and not allowing it to be subsumed by your children and their needs.

While this all paints a dismal picture of parenthood, most parents rate parenting as their greatest joy. The important thing is knowing upfront that it will be tough: having children will exacerbate every issue you already have in your relationship, and it will make romance so much harder. BUT there are things you can do to help, whether you’ve had kids already or are about to have kids.

All great relationships take work, and unfortunately, you are just going to have to work harder once you have kids.

Having Children Will Change Your Marriage — and Not for the Better

My ex-husband and I got married with the intention of one day having children.

That was actually a thing after our very first date. He really wanted kids; I was unsure. He told me that if I wasn’t at least open to the idea of having children one day that we wouldn’t have a second date.

I love my children. I’m so grateful I had them. And (since it’s not a “but”) I also know I would have been perfectly fine if I’d never had any. My life would look a lot different, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today, but I would have been okay being child-free. I explored how I felt about it more and came back to him with the equivalent of a vague maybe.

Eventually, I grew to want children a lot, and I even went to great lengths to have the children I got (87 shots, three minor surgeries actually. Thank youuuu, infertility).

Regardless, my ex-husband and I married with the intention to one day have children. We naively thought that children would bring us closer.

It seems counterintuitive to schedule romance, but you have to in a marriage with kids! This could be planning just ten to fifteen minutes every night to check in with each other, making an effort to not just be “business” partners, but romantic partners.

This can also look like scheduling regular dates, once a week or however often you can get away, where you aren’t allowed to talk about the kids. Some couples even schedule when they’ll have sex regularly just to keep it on the table since it’s so easy to put off, or they might see a sex therapist to help with issues following having children.

You can also “schedule” romance by remembering to appreciate each other: telling your partner he looks hot today or thanking him for taking out the garbage. These little things add up.

Again, it doesn’t feel romantic when these things are being scheduled, but it shows that you’re making your romantic relationship a priority and not allowing it to be subsumed by your children and their needs.

While this all paints a dismal picture of parenthood, most parents rate parenting as their greatest joy. The important thing is knowing upfront that it will be tough: having children will exacerbate every issue you already have in your relationship, and it will make romance so much harder. BUT there are things you can do to help, whether you’ve had kids already or are about to have kids.

All great relationships take work, and unfortunately, you are just going to have to work harder once you have kids.

Working with Soul Remembering and Power Places

I am sharing about what it means to have a soul remembering, why we have a soul led experience, and how to integrate when we have a past-life or soul remembered energy come into our lives. I am especially focused on power places and how they can affect us energetically in remembering who we are.

These can be powerful experiences and it is important to allow yourself to integrate them fully which can take some time and awareness.

When having a Soul Remembering:

  1. Listen to your gut and what is calling to you. You may get a weird desire to visit a certain place or to go to an event. You might have never had an interest in this place or type of activity before. Do not judge it. Just go.
  2. You might be overwhelmed with energy or emotions. This happens to me. I literally sobbed and bawled at a very crowded temple in Greece. People were worried about me. I couldn’t stop. Let the energy move, the emotions come up. Watch them but do not shut them off.
  3. You will doubt. That is ok. We come from a cynical society and anything without form is ridiculed and not taken seriously. Go ahead, take it seriously. Go with what is coming to and through you. Stop judging and doubting and just be with the possibility. This will help to keep the energy opening and not to let it stagnate and constrict.
  4. You might not get ‘visions’. It might simply be energetic and felt sensations. When I was in Greece, I was so aware of the energy and the emotions, I could not get a lot more. The trickles have been coming in over time. Sometimes that is all that you need.
  5. Be sure to bring your journal as a lot of information comes through in this way.
  6. It might not be the place that you think it should. You might have romantic notions of places or you want to connect to your ancestry that is held in your family lineage and yet there isn’t much there. Your soul lineage might have little to do with your DNA of this life and might be a place that would make no sense to you.

For example, Glastonbury was lovely for me and I got a transmission there, but the Avebury Stone Henge held a lot more personal power for me.

What to Do When You Hit Rock Bottom

Making a list of failures is never an easy task. I mean, who wants to look at what went wrong? Who wants to recall the low points? Who wants to revisit the times you tumbled down the cliff and landed at the bottom, broken and bleeding?

I do.

Not because I’m a psychopathic sadist, but because I want to help. Both myself and others.

I believe that those of us who have hit rock bottom provide a valuable viewpoint. I believe failure grants a vision as meaningful as success. In fact, I contend that it is failure — and how we deal with it — that best defines us.

I’ve got a lotta failure to offer. In fact, when I make a list, its length overwhelmed me. It doesn’t look pretty. (And it’s waaaaay longer than the one I merely started above.)

The problem is: I’m not just a list of failures.

Life’s not linear. Nor is our path through it. Rather, this journey is jam-packed with detours, switchbacks, and dead ends.

Likewise, our faults and failings are not ends in themselves (if we survive them). Our failures and losses do not have to define us. Taken in stride, we can, in fact, accept them into our meandering, crazy path, reworking our original map to give them a place in our lives.

Trauma and failure touch us, move us, and change us. They force us off the highway and into the weeds. They even throw us off the ledge to deep, dark places where we struggle to even fumble back.

Perhaps it’s better to use an analogy. Writers write. Novices tend to write and think the first draft is the finest. More masterful writers know this: that first draft is never the best one. It need time, critique, and rewriting. Quality writing is always revised. Great writing always adds and subtracts, rewords and reenvisions. Balance is the trick, tempered by experience.

So to, our failures. We can dismiss them entirely or focus on them exclusively. Better to include them in the manuscript, to let their impact be continually read, revised, and rewritten. Revisiting them during our ever-changing story allows us to alter our perspective, point of view, and plot. Our dark times become part of the story, not the beginning, not the end, and not the focal point. As narrators of our own lives, we live the story, yes, but we also retain the editorial power to continually review and revise it.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Yourself

Deadlines. New demands. Rising expectations. If you’re like most accomplished professionals, you spend most of your day fighting off requests from other people. They want your time, energy, and expertise. Since you’re a loyal team player, you’re happy to give it. Perhaps you’re also the last one to leave at the end of the day and the first to take on new responsibilities.

While caring about your work is great, giving too much can deplete you quickly. As a result of chronic people pleasing, you may feel overwhelmed, overworked, and unappreciated for all of the extra support you provide, which can lead to burnout and resentment.

How do you break the people pleasing cycle? Here’s four steps to try:

1. Name your underlying fear

Typically, people pleasing is the flip side of tremendous strengths like sensitivity and commitment. Your intentions to help may come from a good place, but it’s important to own up to the fears driving your “need to please”. Do you fear rejection? Failure? Simply putting a label on your fears can reduce their power over you.

2. Get radically honest about what people pleasing is costing you

Ask yourself if the payoff of always being the likable or dependable one around the office is worth the consequences. Agreeing to every request can not only wear you out, but also undermine your personal integrity. You may find yourself carrying out ideas you don’t truly believe in. Conversely, the ability to assert yourself appropriately, take pride in your ideas, and prioritize your own needs can help you excel in your career.

3. Teach others how to treat you

If you don’t value your time, no one else will. Instead of making yourself overly accessible, put boundaries in place. Push back against unreasonable requests. Learn to say no.

Privately rehearse responses like, “I have a big deadline approaching, and I’m completely focused on that. Try asking Angela for help,” or, “I can work on that after I complete this report.” You may also want to consider establishing timeframes. For example, “I am free to help on Tuesday from 10 AM until 12 PM.”

Practicing phrases like these will make turning down a project feel much more natural, which can alleviate concerns about damaging your relationships.

4. Do the opposite

If jumping in to help is your default response (even when it’s counterproductive or self-sabotaging), borrow a psychological technique known as “opposite action”. “Opposite action” is exactly what it sounds like. It involves redirecting unhelpful responses to healthier behavior by doing the opposite of what our emotions tells us to do. If your urge is to step in and mediate every problem, do the opposite by coaching people to take ownership of solutions themselves, for instance.

Striving to make everyone happy all of the time is not sustainable. It might be possible in the short term, but ultimately, the only person you have complete control over is you. Make yourself your first priority, and you’ll be happier in your work and a better professional for it.

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