About a month ago, my longtime friend and close college “bestie” let me know she would be traveling to NYC from her country, Sweden in July. Did I or anyone want to meet up with her? Well it took about .5 seconds to say yes…but I wasn’t sure about New York. I have never been. As I began to plan, my husband reminded me that I have been to many big cities around the world and I enjoyed taking classes in Chicago last summer…Y-not NYC?

Well, I made my plans and here I sit – looking out the window of my sweet tiny apartment. Sunflower, no doubt, to welcome me. In the morning I will meet up with my long-time friend over coffee. She will attend her class and I will hit a few sights.

To be honest, my jury is still out on NYC. I never thought I would ever visit here. I am gradually opening my heart and mind to this “incredible,” “energetic,” “amazing” city as you all have said. Let’s see if I can adjust to the sticky humidity and then I am sure I will find the joy over the next few days.

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“I am a necessary part of the story.” I am a ripple in the water. My words and ideas contribute to the flow of this world. And they make an impression on those around me…for sad and for good. I am a flower that blooms from a seed. And I produce seeds that fall on vaccunt and fertile land. My part of the story is evolving, healing, inspired, and crashing into the next stages that I am creating. I am standing, waiting, and humbled – In the River. Find me Here.

The French mathematician, La Verrier made a wild suggestion that there might be “something” beyond the planet, Uranus. He thought “something” was pulling on its orbit causing irregular patterns. La Verrier was correct and later used math to discover the planet Neptune.

This week, I have enjoyed many surprises from the gifts of my Universe. I have an ongoing invitation to new and exciting discoveries. I have opened my mind and life to the possibilities beyond running a music studio and teaching voice lessons. Something seems to be pulling on my orbit pattern.

In the months to come, I will enjoy listening, feeling and partaking in the invitation to the Neptunes and other beauties. What is calling me to complete the, “Who I Am and How I can Give to this World” story? Consider unknown planets beyond the orbit of your work and daily schedule. Consider the possibility of a Neptune in your life.

Reworkcently a friend of mine, an engineer, was given a project at work. She has degrees and years of experience in the field of Engineering and was very curious about why she was given this particular set of tasks. When she spoke to her team lead, he replied by referencing her choice to work part-time and that it was the easiest job he could find to assign her.

Working part-time doesn’t mean a lack of education, time, experience, energy or that you are looking for an “easy” task.  My friend chooses to work part time to enjoy a quality parenting schedule with her 4 and 9 year old girls.  Her husband also works, making an adequate income to contribute to the support of the family. In fact, my friend’s part time working schedule gives everyone the balance they are looking for.

In this case, is this a success or a set back? An engineering degree, choosing to work part time and time to enjoy life, to me, sounds like a great success. But, being told you need easy work because you won’t work at home in the evenings and full time in the office sounds like a set back.  Navigating through the bias of part time work is tricky.  Finding the support and understanding from your employers is essential – and a little give and take from both is success.  My friend has her yearly review this week.  We will see how it goes.

A woman, listed only as K. Switzer of Syracuse, found herself about to be thrown out of the normally all-male Boston Marathon when a husky companion, Thomas Miller of Syracuse, threw a block that tossed a race official out of the running instead, April 19, 1967 in Hopkinton, Mass.(AP PHOTO)

Success!  Is it planned, tracked and achieved? Or is it luck?  According to Success for Teens, a free publication from Success Magazine, only you can define what success means, no one can do it for you.  Which also means that no one can really place their desires and dreams on you and expect you to achieve them. So what does it mean when we do things “for” other people?

I am a committed follower of Top Chef and I often hear competitors say they are competing for their families or their moms.  That kind of statement doesn’t connect with me.  It isn’t that I am heartless and wouldn’t consider dedicating my efforts to someone, but doing something with such weight and expectation must be done for the self.  How is the physical, daily effort of becoming an Olympian or CEO benefiting someone else?  It isn’t!  It is and must always be for the self – so that the residual outcome from the effort might be a benefit….for others.

This is my opinion and feel I am getting a little “micro-deep” for a blog. So, let me reference a great example.  The very famous series of pictures in this post is of Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1967.  At the time, it was considered a men’s only race and as you can see, her efforts were not appreciated by some men. For her courage and her ability, K.V. Switzer opened the door for all women who run the Boston and other Marathons.  She is a historical figure for women’s rights….and success.  But my point is, her efforts first and foremost, encouraged by injustice, guarded by other runners, were to succeed for herself.

Being Tbravehin-skinned is not a recommended or appropriate attribute for any professional adult. Crying, withholding information, the silent treatment and passive aggressive behavior are but a few ways women reveal their thin skin, says author Dr. Lois P Frankel.  Whether you are a musician who has heard a few, “thank you, don’t call us, we’ll call you…” Or someone who has made a mid-life career change or you are mom whose teenage angel just turned witchy.  It’s OK.  It’s your process of the event that will reveal your self with thin or thicker skin.

My go-to response when thrown a curve is to let it sit.  I don’t judge, react or take action until I can sort out my view.  Then, I move into an appropriate response.  The answers to questions that address my values, feelings, time, self-respect and a suitable behavior should dictate my move.  Do we sometimes get hit so hard that we cry? Yes – don’t worry, it happens.  But should I continue whining about it or use pity to get me way? Of course not.

We have people in our lives who want us to be brave.  Punching someone is not brave.  Back stabbing and blackballing is not brave.  Taking time and thickening my skin is brave.  This is what I have learned about myself.  My skin is getting thicker.

 

Glenda going homethe Good: Home is a place we all must find, child. It’s not just a place where you eat or sleep. Home is knowing. Knowing your mind, knowing your heart, knowing your courage. If we know ourselves, we’re always home, anywhere.

 

Let us continue to find home or enjoy it.

Dorothy: Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?
Glinda: You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.
Dorothy: I have?
Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before?
Glinda: She wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.
Scarecrow: What have you learned, Dorothy?
Dorothy: Well, I—I think that it, that it wasn’t enough just to want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em — and it’s that — if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?
Glinda: That’s all it is!
Scarecrow: But that’s so easy! I should’ve thought of it for you –
Tin Man: I should have felt it in my heart –
Glinda: No, she had to find it out for herself. Now those magic slippers will take you home in two seconds!
Dorothy: Oh! Toto too?
Glinda: Toto too.
Dorothy: Now?
Glinda: Whenever you wish.

Finding our home opens the next phase to understanding we are a strong self, a purposes self and full of everything we need, and then some.  I will walk as if… I am home and allow it of fill my conciseness – and my countenance.

betty davisFor me, January has been a bit of a yelling fest. My search for self has been interrupted by random people either yelling at me or “giving me a stern talkin’ to.” In each case, I am completely surprised.  And in each case, I have a choice.   – I can weigh their information up against what I know to be true of myself.  – I can react and defend myself.  – I can listen and in a low tone excuse myself. – Or, I could actually yell back at them.

In case you were wondering, I always choose the high road and respectable calm exit. But what about the more assertive response?  What about saying, “you are out of line.” What about standing up to a bully or disrupts the self-righteous instigator? There is nothing wrong with this approach, in fact a more assertive response may be necessary.  Women and girls in general should investigate that place between being mean and being a doormat.  We need to incorporate an assertive response that says, “hey, you sound upset, maybe it’s me, but maybe it’s not.”

I have to admit, I did allow all this interaction to confuse the perception I have of myself.  I wondered if I have had the right approach – for that day and for the entire length of my life? I kept my balance and decided to be better prepared the next time it happens, if it happens. It might be time for a new approach, a self, interrupted.

TPaulo Coelhohe word for today in church was, gift. Have you ever considered yourself a gift?  Or that what you have to offer yourself, others and the world is your gift?  Well, consider it because this is the thing you have been looking for.  Yes, understanding that you are gift begins to close out all the noise, crap and false self conversations around you.  To see myself as gift, I can say no to unimportant offers, controlling colleagues and mismatched partners.

For 388 weeks, my all time favorite book has been on the New York Best Sellers List.  This week at #3, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, is 1 of 3 things I would take to a dessert island (chocolate cake and water being the other 2), because it takes me back to a child place when I knew I was gift.  Another story with similar insights is the Wizard of Oz.  I hope to connect the two in my next post.

Consider the birds, children and the beauty of nature.  They all know they are gift. Small children naturally live a life that expresses their unique gift-ness.  After a 3 month capitalistic season of over gift-giving…. just think, you have been here all along. You are the greatest gift.