Saturday, December 22, 2012

Traditions-Blessing or Burden?

As Christmas is fast approaching, I realize that there are two ways to look at traditions. They can either be a rewarding and joyful blessing, or they also can become a burden that can feel like a sort of bondage. As I seek for more joy, I become acutely aware of the difference. Mostly the difference is because of my own attitude, but sometimes there are traditions that simply given the permission to let go of can be liberating and that make room for something else more joyful. I realize that giving up a certain tradition one year doesn't mean it has to be gone forever. It is just as I seek for that internal peace and joy then sustaining that feeling becomes my priority and not necessarily the traditions that I might feel compelled to carry out especially if it interferes with those feelings.

For example, this year I never got around to decorating my fireplace mantel, but instead of lamenting that I didn't carry out that tradition; I can joyful say that I have received joy in doing something else with my time instead. As I listen to people lament about all the things they feel like they HAVE to do for Christmas with a sort of attitude of stress; I realize that I want to take a hard look at all the so-called "have tos" on my list and give myself permission to let joy be my guide, and in the process, say good-bye to the tradition of Christmas stress.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Step Inside

I have inherited an uptight state of being. I know that I have been programmed to accomplish and achieve, but with that focus there is a level of tenseness that is out of harmony with what I read in the scriptures this morning. As I reflected on the words, "entering into the rest of the Lord" (Moroni 7:3); I realized that the Sabbath isn't the only time to rest and that in my quest for peace and joy, that I need to loose the uptight sensations that I carry throughout my body and truly enter His rest. I must truly embrace that He is in control; not me and all the tenseness that I allow thinking that it is all up to me. 

As I have been sitting at my computer writing and organizing information for the book I plan to write, I felt that anxiety that is now starting to feel out of place in my quest for joy and peace, and I knew that I needed to step inside my heart and breath deeply as I let go of the pressures that I used to believe would be my best motivator. Now I want to be motivated by joy. I really don't HAVE to write a book. I want to, and in the wanting, I can feel relaxed and joyful. All I have to do is step inside my heart and enter God's rest.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Close Encounter with a Star

I saw this magazine cover and I had to take a picture and reflect on my little encounter with Jamie Lee Curtis that relates to her fears. Years ago, my kids and I took a little snorkeling cruise on a catamaran in Hawaii. There were only about 15 people on the boat and one of them was Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband and daughter. Her daughter was about the same age as my daughter Courtney and Jamie's daughter was afraid to get in the water.  My daughter and her sister that is 5 years younger bravely went out and snorkeled. My sons were also diving off the boat and one did a back flip. Jamie commented to me that she was surprised at how brave my children were.  I found it interesting that this magazine cover talked about tackling her fears. Maybe my children inspired bravery!!

I also have to share the other interesting thing that happened on that little cruise with Jamie (first name basis, you know). I was sitting by her on a bench as we ate lunch and she called out to our whole group that it was so fun being with us she wouldn't mind getting stranded with us on Gilligan's Island. I quickly claimed that I would be Ginger, and she responded that she would be Mary Ann. It took me months to realize my faux pas.  What was I thinking? I claimed the star status with a genuine star and relegated her to the country girl, which is the obvious role for me. Forgive me Jamie. You can be Ginger.

PS She was as nice and down-to-earth as can be.