January 25, 2011

When Akiba was on his deathbed, he bemoaned to his rabbi that he felt he was a failure. His rabbi moved closer and asked why, and Akiba confessed that he had not lived a life like Moses. The poor man began to cry, admitting that he feared God’s judgment. At this, his rabbi leaned into his ear and whispered gently, “God will not judge Akiba for not being Moses. God will judge Akiba for not being Akiba.”

From the Talmud

What a wonderful blessing to grow in to your own skin and nestle down in the comfort of being “just who you are.”

Many who come to counseling are focused on what they haven’t done, what they should have done, who they wish they were, and what they don’t have. I spent too many years of my life in the same rut, and I can tell you from personal experience that type of thinking gets you nothing but heartache and misery.

One of the silver linings of getting a bit older is the realization that I have a choice. I can spend the rest of my days bemoaning my inadequacies and losses, or I can focus on all of the many, many blessings of my life and revel in joy and happiness. I am a work in progress, just as we all are, but I can tell you that I am really learning to like living in my own skin. It is like coming home to a pair of worn, comfy slippers…not the snazziest shoes on the block, but the shoes that perfectly fit all the curves of my feet.

Accepting “just who you are” is the greatest gift you can give yourself. It is a true gift of kindness and love. Why don’t you put down the stick and take up the wand and wave the magic dust of self-love from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Ahhhhhhh. That feels SO good.


Happy New Year!

January 18, 2011

What brought you joy when you were a child? Was it a warm summer day of playing with a friend, building a snowman, hiking down a country road, or roasting a hot dog over an open fire? When did you feel most at peace? When did you feel the world was in perfect order?

My perfect day started with waking up on my grandmother’s farm. With no alarm to wake me I laid in bed while the breeze softly blew the white organdy curtains and listened to the hum of the farm…cows lowing in the pasture, tractors puttering to the field, and my grandfather and his farm hands chatting back and forth. As birds chirped, flies buzzed, pots and pats clanged, my grandmother busied herself cooking the noon meal for hungry farmers. The world was right. Pure joy and peace.

When you get in touch with what really brings you joy, fill your life with those experiences. Our anxieties, our “shoulds,” can drive us to numb down on TV, comfort food, and alcohol. We grasp at anything that brings us temporary pleasure, taking us father away from joy. So often in our quest to start families, build careers, create retirement savings, and conduct our lives in this busy, demanding world, we lose site of what makes our heart sing.

I think we should all make a New Year’s resolution to seek, find, and do what brings us true joy and inner peace. Pay a visit to your happy, carefree child. Just the thought of that brings a smile to my face. Please share with me what brings you peace and joy. Happy New Year!

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