Thursday, April 21, 2011

Story of (my) stuff.

Today my husband and I spent hours cleaning out the garage - and it's FAR from finished.  We got rid of a lot of stuff.  It's sitting out by the curb waiting on the garbage truck that comes in a few hours.  Of course there's a nice windy storm of the century brewing up right now that may blow our garbage all over the neighborhood...but at least it's not in our garage anymore.

Isn't it neat when you find stuff you thought you'd lost?  You're so excited - I literally heard myself squeal when I spotted my timbuk2 bag in the bottom of a box.  Hal found some iron tool and shouted "hey!"  Sarah was all over the place rediscovering toys she hadn't seen in a while...some she'd outgrown but still wanted to keep.  We found clothes we'd forgotten but would still love to wear, clothes we can't fit into anymore, and lots of things to give away.  Hal's SUV has several bags in the back of it now, headed straight to the Goodwill donation center tomorrow.

Ah.  Feels so good.  Too bad it doesn't happen very often.

See, Hal and I are messy, disorganized, pack-rats.  Plain and simple.  And we've moved a lot.  All over Athens in the beginning, then up and down the Eastern U.S.  When you're moving either quickly or with a toddler and 2 cats in tow, you tend to just throw crap in a box and make a run for it.  And if you're already disorganized to begin with, you get a hodgepodge in each box.  It's kind of like, what's behind door number # 2 Al?

Every once in a blue moon (like that old Southern adage?) we both get sick of the mess at the same exact time, and we actually make progress clearing out and cleaning up.  But there are still things we hang on to, despite knowing that we'll never actually use them.  Like Hal's bag 'o karate videos - VHS tapes!  We don't even have a VCR anymore!  Or my collection of coffee cups.  I will never have 40 people in my house at once all drinking coffee.  But yet, the stuff persists.

I even read a book last year about getting rid of stuff...called The Story of Stuff.

I rarely invite people inside our messy house.  Yet I'm a social person!  You think that would be enough of a motivator.  I don't know what the right combination is.  Today I was both sick, and tired, yet we worked for a long time and got rid of a lot of things.  I wish I knew what magic spell brought that on.  I'd be more apt to bippity boppity boo if I did.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Earthbound Spirits?

This is a whole new idea for me to take in - this book is fascinating - it talks about ghosts who are Earthbound - which are different than the ones mediums can talk to, because Earthbound spirits haven't yet crossed over into the light.  Huh?
I'm currently almost half-way through.  The author is the woman who inspired the television show The Ghost Whisperer.  Cool!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Learning the Tarot

I have discovered Tarot cards.  Before you read any further, allow me to state...
*no, I'm not a devil worshipper or a pagean
*yes, I believe in God, read the Bible, and attend Church occasionally - currently looking for a church closer to home

Right now, I'm on a quest for understanding, both Spiritually and Literally.  It's not enough for me to sit back and let life happen to me, although there have been periods of time where I've done just that.  I want to be an active participant in my life - directing it at will if I can.  That said, I still hold the belief that everything happens for a reason.

The Tarot cards (in the traditional 78 card deck) leave nothing out in our human experience here on Earth.  In the meanings of the individual cards you can find every form of human suffering, joy, fear, challenge, and fulfillment.  It speaks to all of the things that oppress us, hold us up, hold us back, and what we have inside of us that can propel us forward.  They go back at least as far as the 15th century, AD. 

Here's how I think it works.  We all have a conscious mind - that's what we use daily - it's the conversations we have with ourselves all the time.  Then there's the more mysterious yet unusually omnipotent subconscious mind.  This is the part of our higher awareness, our higher self, that can guide us through situations where our conscious mind gets bogged down in emotion and facts.  The higher self can recognize these events for what they are and steer us through by saying, no - here is the direction you must go.  The Tarot is a tool for uncovering the thoughts and perceptions of the unconscious mind.  It's what our soul already knows on a deeper level but our brain just can't figure out on its own.  Some people go to therapists, some meditate, some use dream interpretation or hypnosis even - all of these are designed to help us get to the core of the matter.  The key is helping your self figure out your life. 

*this does not mean I don't pray - it's absolutely possible to believe in God, pray for guidance, and use the Tarot at the same time.

I've been practicing for a few weeks now and have definitely had some success!  It's amazing how much more SELF REFLECTION I'm able to do once I consider what the cards are trying to tell me on any given day.  And I've freaked out a few friends too!  The Tarot always has something to tell you.

If you're interested in learning more, check out

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Big Daddy Starbucks wrote a new book!

As you all know, I'm a huge fan.  Reading this right now and it's so neat to see what went on behind the scene when SBUX stock toppled and Howard took the reins of the company again.  I was actually working for the company during this time and remember very clearly attending the 3 hour retraining that he describes in Chapter 1.  If I could I'd work for them again today because he's such an inspiring leader, because the company is founded on strong guiding principles, and because I believe in what Starbucks has created.  Great reading!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Don't squash the caterpillars.

"Something traumatic happened today," the kindergarten teacher told me as she walked my 6 year old to the car.  "She cried - she'll tell you."  Sarah was already frowning mightily when I asked her what happened.  "Diego killed a caterpillar on the playground!" she shouts at me - arms crossed, lips pursed out as if she might cry again right then and there.  "He squashed it with a stick!"  I asked her what she did and her response was that she'd thrown her jacket down and stomped away crying...with much drama if I know my little girl.

So this makes me think.  Sarah went to the butterfly exhibit at the Florida National History Museum a couple of weeks ago.  She learned all about the life cycle of a butterfly - knew the stages before the beautiful creature gets its pretty wings.  She knew that caterpillar lost it's chance to become a beautiful butterfly.  She probably didn't have the wherewithal to explain all this to poor adventuresome Diego, who probably felt awful after Sarah's dramatic display of emotions.  But what one does not know, one cannot fully judge.

There are many situations that present themselves in our lives as we go through each day, month,  year, as time passes on and on and we grow older and experience more.  When we are children, most of us have a natural wonder - eager to see and experience all that we can.  As we grow older and things don't turn out the way we planned, some of us close ourselves off to what could be lurking around the bend.  Everything doesn't work out the way we want it to.  No one can tromp through life without taking a misstep once in a while.  It happens.  If you live, you hurt.  But joy can be and is found every day. 

Caterpillars aren't cute creatures.  In fact, they're quite ugly, unless you're watching A Bug's Life!  Looking at that caterpillar crawling in the dirt, all hairy and nasty, I can see why Diego might want to get rid of it.  Just end the poor thing - get it out of its misery.  But see, if he'd only given it a few more days, he would have witnessed just how beautiful that little guy would become. 

When something in your life seems ugly, doesn't fit just right and right away, or just doesn't measure up to your expectations - when the going gets tough and you're sure you should end it - that's when you have to hold on and wait a minute.  Give it some time.  Let the thing grow a while undisturbed save for any nurture you might want to give it.  Feed, water, and hold the thing in your palm, close to your heart.  You just don't know if that thing you're thinking about squashing could become something to behold if left to develop naturally. 

Inhale.  Exhale.  Have patience.