Archive for the 'Featured' Category

Positivity Again: How Many More Times

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

family1The most effective mind-shifting, gratitude-awakening thought I have is when I ask myself to seriously consider how many more times I will have to do the thing right in front of me. I remember reading this thought somewhere where the author realistically assessed just how many more nights like this one would you see a sunset that makes your jaw drop?  I can’t remember how many nights I watched my kids splashing in the tub and didn’t take the time to share the sheer joy of their playfulness.  I couldn’t imagine then, that those days would disappear as they have already.

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Positivity Again: Letting Go Again

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

opendoor2I have come to believe that a life well lived is really closely attuned to one’s facility to let go.  As I age,  more and more things that would have seemed so important years ago become unnoticeable-  a blip on the screen. Maybe I just don’t have the adrenaline for the drama anymore.   Yet, other things seem to stick to me and take advantage of every opportunity where my energy is waning to needle its way back into anxiety.  As I have begun to study the things that I can’t seem to drop, I would have to say that those fall into another category of unfinished emotional ties.

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Positivity Again: Finishing the Courtyard

Friday, May 16th, 2014

pccI have been working on the completing the Positive Change courtyard at South Eugene High School for over 3 years now.  Like the long- awaited ending of most things, the resources of time, money and people have run thin and I, like most everyone else, is ready to move on.  Unexpectedly,  I have had an offer from a small group of boys who have taken on building furniture for the courtyard as their senior projects.   Suddenly, I am in the courtyard again every day and it is the kids who are reminding me how far we have come.

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Positivity Again: Mothers (Every) Day

Friday, May 9th, 2014

wendykidThe best things that ever happened to me in my life, occurred on the birth days of my four children; although I might not have admitted  to it immediately post labor.  Becoming a mother and growing into the kind of mother I always wished I had, has been the most essential  healing journey of my life. Lest I paint some overly rosy glow of the challenges and frustrations of raising children,  let me say that this love affair between mother and child may well be the most intense, complex and significant relationship we create in our lifetime. Certainly, it is the primary relationship, which instructs and influences our capacity for sustaining all those that comes after.

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Positivity Again: Decoding the Future

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

technology1The future will be spoken in images.  Words will be used in small quantities, as a laser pointer to highlight a meaning or to elicit an emotion- mostly laughter. We are already on our way to this new language if you are a teenager or hang around teenagers. Facebook is so ten minutes ago and Instagram and Snap Chat are the mechanisms by which they communicate. Capturing the moment and sharing it is the new art form.  And it is less a broadcast mechanism like Facebook and Twitter, which opens your content to everyone and more a select tribe.  Also, snaps disappear in seconds; no long term record of what has passed…  The kids are all about this moment and the only way into their attention is through a personal invitation.

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Positivity Again: Celebrating the Beginning

Monday, April 21st, 2014

“So many fail because they don’t get started – they don’t go.  They don’t overcome inertia.  They don’t begin.”  -W. Clement Stone

 

hand2Starting things is hard. It explains why so many great ideas go unrealized.  To begin, you have to become comfortable with the discomfort of the unknown, to embrace the truth that even the best laid plans often don’t hold up to the uncertainty and chaos that accompanies the process of making a start.  Relationships are especially fragile in the space of beginning and often the people you believe would be beside you at every step fall away and people you may not have even known come forward to guide you at moments when everything seems lost. Likewise, the process of identifying roles and assigning responsibilities takes both patience and flexibility. The beginning offers a clean slate on learning how to relate, and the leadership that emerges from striking a delicate balance of direction and freedom is both inspired and inspiring.

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Positivity Again: Second Life

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

deadseaI have been feeling the resurrection myth coming to life lately.  Since my father’s passing, my relationship to him has completely transformed. There is a kindness and gentleness that has not been there in decades.  I discovered a box of old photos in his home when I was cleaning it out that he had never shared with me from his childhood. It is easy to get lost in the black and white images of him as a baby being washed by his mother, my grandma who I loved dearly, and of his baby sister who died as a toddler. My own sons have such a strong resemblance to him that I never saw before and I am strikingly so much my grandmother.

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Positivity Again: Celebrating 30 Years

Friday, April 11th, 2014

wendyfrancThis Monday is the 30th anniversary of my marriage to the guy I fell for when I was 19 years old.   I wept when I came across the first published piece I ever wrote among my father’s photos and memorabilia when I was cleaning out his home after his death.   This was a reader’s write column for the sun magazine, for which I won a year’s subscription.   It was 1988, the year our first child was born and I was 26  when I wrote:   “He laughs when he tells me, ‘so here you are married to the man of your dreams.’ He’s right, But I often forget that. The memory gets lost beneath the piles of dirty laundry, dirty dishes and frantic schedules. New baby and old family issues dominate the focus.  But every now and then, seeing his penmanship or looking at him reading across the room, behind his round metal rimmed glasses, I feel the young girl of nineteen who fell in love with him.  Grown up now, I fall in love all over again…But this love is a deeper one, born of all the efforts of conflicts resolved, communication achieved, joy and pain shared.  It’s a love that fills all of me and all of my life.”

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Positivity Again: Even If You Can’t Feel It

Friday, April 4th, 2014

hand2Lately, I am having to do a lot of practice with going through the motions of my Positivity work.  Meditation, usually a deep solace, is hard to stay focused. I drift into thoughts and concerns for half my time and then awaken to what I have missed. Likewise, with my exercise routines, my clogged head feels like it is dead weight on a body that is weak. My emotions and thoughts pull me back over and over to what is wrong around me or worse still within me.

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Positivity Again: The Power of Ritual

Monday, March 24th, 2014

nightsky2When All That’s Left Is Love

by Rabbi Allen S. Maller
When I die
If you need to weep
Cry for someone
Walking the street beside you.
You can love me most by letting
Hands touch hands, and Souls touch souls.
You can love me most by
Sharing your Simchas (goodness) and
Multiplying your Mitzvot (acts of kindness).
You can love me most by
Letting me live in your eyes
And not on your mind.
And when you say Kaddish for me
Remember what our
Torah teaches,
Love doesn’t die, People do.
So when all that’s left of me is love
Give me away.

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