What’s Your Purpose?

Yesterday was hard.  I poured out my heart writing but couldn’t hit the publish button.  Some struggles are best kept private.  Overwhelmed, lost, I struggled to get my bearings.  I prayed that God would show me the way but I didn’t expect an answer.  One was provided for me any way.  In my faithlessness, I was shown faith.  My closed heart shown an opportunity to love.  Lost, I was given the way.  No one else was given the job to be me.  It’s time to step into the life I’ve been given as a gift.  It’s time to be me, the better me, the best me.

 

My Calling

fromheaven

The idea that I have a unique calling isn’t new to me.  A calling is what got me to enter a convent.  I was truly convinced that God was calling me to the religious life and for a time, I believe he was.  My calling changed but I didn’t want to let go of what I believed my calling was.  I was angry with God that things hadn’t turned out the way I’d planned.  And, yes, I know how silly that sounds.  Humans are funny that way, especially this one.

It has taken years for me to begin to understand that my calling is my life.  My life only becomes my calling when I open myself up to it, when I accept the path that shows up in front of me and I follow it.  A calling isn’t something exotic or special and while it’s unique to each one of us, it is as simple as opening oneself to the life we were given.

This simplicity doesn’t make it any less powerful or important and it certainly doesn’t make it easy.  For years, I’ve resisted what was before me all the time.  I just didn’t see it.  I stumbled through life with my eyes closed.

Now the pieces are starting to fit.  I look back over the years and I clearly see how some things were meant to be.

I was called to a relationship with my husband in marriage.  Much of my character has been refined because of this relationship.  I have not always liked the lessons but I have no doubts that marrying him was answering my calling.  I love him.  He is blessed to have me and I him.

Nothing has ever felt as natural or as right as being a mother.  Motherhood was a calling, a very important and very special one.  I have been given the privilege of being a mother to both my amazing children.  This too, is often difficult and challenging but it has been my calling and nothing has improved my character more than being a mother.   Every day I struggle to rise to the occasion and every evening I am grateful for the opportunity no matter how trying the day.

I am called to write.  Maybe, not best sellers or even non-selling e-books but this blog.  The reasons don’t matter.  What matters is that I am drawn to do this despite the fact that sharing so much of myself feels uncomfortable and often embarrasses me.   I am my own harshest critic.  Yet, when other critics appear and I question the sanity in continuing, the call remains.  Questioning stops and I continue to write.  If this isn’t a calling than I don’t know what  is.

I am called to be an Independent Mary Kay Beauty consultant.  This isn’t a job or even a career, it is a calling.  I am very aware of the irony here which is precisely why I take this so seriously and continue despite the occasion challenges.  What I learn about this business is helping me in ways I never expected.  It constantly challenges me to push past my reluctance and resistance and show up and meet the women I am called to  meet and to work with the women I am called to work beside.

People are placed in our lives for a reason.  Once I understood this I open myself up to the chance to really learn from all of them.    This is a calling to empowerment, which begins with me and has a ripple effect on everyone in my life.  Great skin care and makeup products are a tool to change lives, to help women feel better about themselves.  I am constantly touched and humbled by the women I meet who need reassurance and affirming acceptance of their looks and who they are.  So many women have yet to be introduced to the beauty that is inside them.  My calling is to open the door to that beauty in a small and gentle way.  I am humbled by this opportunity.

All these things are my calling, yet some times I still resist.  I am often guilty of failing to grasp the importance of my calling.  I try to get out  of it.  I try to find excuses, other things to do, distractions that take me away but none of these things satisfy or feel good.  My heart knows what its work is.   When I avoid it, I do not know peace nor feel a sense of alignment with the God/Universe that has created each of us for a special and beautiful reason.

Every day I am called to wake up and engage in the gift I was given, this particular life with these particular people, challenges, tears and joys.  This is my calling.

 

 

Perfect Timing

The older I get the less I believe in coincidence.  Ideas, people, things do appear at the right time, the time when we can open our eyes and see them.

Recently, I reconnected with a friend.  She inspired me with her ideas, her passion for life, her drive to find her purpose and to develop that purpose in to a life work.  How can you not love that?  Yesterday, she referred me to a book which I immediately placed on order:  Lean-In Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg.  Find it at Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Lean-In-Women-Work-Will/dp/0385349947/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367086380&sr=8-1&keywords=Lean+In
The author, Sheryl Sandberg is chief operating officer at Facebook.  She is also a woman. Continue reading

A Language of Things

I had great plans for this week.  So much would be done.  New beginnings, final closings, progress, change. . . and then I got a cold.  Not an ordinary cold, but a nasty, painful, achy, dull throbbing cold.  Sitting up is a challenge.  I’ve hit the wall, a cold, icy wall.  I’m down on the ground, dazed and more than a little confused.  Part of me wants to whine, “Why me?” and “Again?”  “You’ve got to be kidding me!”  “What about all my projects and good intentions?”

Even the dazed and confused parts of me know that “what is, is.”  Some times, I really hate my inner Buddha but I’m learning you just can’t fight it.  There are lots of things I can’t fight.

Traffic, the decisions of others, the weather, time, and unexpected and unwanted illnesses, and God.

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No Complaining

It’s Wednesday.  Woe day and Carol finds time to write.  Some how I don’t think it’s a coincidence.  Wednesday and woe are such a natural pairing in my brain.  How I want to change that channel.  It isn’t easy.

To this end, I picked up yet another book at the library.  This one is called,  A Complaint Free World: Take the 21-Day Challenge by Will Bowen.  The book came home with me on Saturday.  I’ve read up to page 12.  Despite how little I’ve read, I’ve been captivated by the main action idea that the book proposes.  It is this:  Wear a bracelet, watch, or rubber band on your wrist or put a coin or doodad in a pocket.  Every time you catch yourself complaining, gossiping or criticizing out loud, you switch the item to the other wrist or pocket.

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The Taste of Freedom

“A human being is not one thing among others; things determine each other, but man is ultimately self-determining. What he becomes – within the limits of endowment and environment- he has made out of himself. In the concentration camps, for example, in this living laboratory and on this testing ground, we watched and witnessed some of our comrades behave like swine while others behaved like saints. Man has both potentialities within himself; which one is actualized depends on decisions but not on conditions.”
― Viktor E. FranklMan’s Search for Meaning

I awake longing for a greater understanding of freedom. I know I am free even when I don’t feel free.   Thoughts of breakfast and hot coffee push out the cerebral and philosophic this Sunday morning.  Comfort anchors me in the now.  It tethers me to the ordinary.  The kitchen floor needs sweeping.

My mind pushes freedom over a cliff.  I don’t  know what to do with freedom.  My identity is rooted in captivity.  There, I see it.  I am a prisoner of myself, of the past and the future all at once.  This will never do.  Now that I have caught this glimpse of truth, there is no going back.

The last few weeks flew by in a flurry of hurried moments full of every emotion.  I have had the feeling that I was standing upon a ledge contemplating a leap into a new way of being, something greater than before, something new and unknown and frightening.  The familiar, no matter how uncomfortable is at least known.  Fear and dread wrap themselves around an eager excitement.    Letting go does not come easily.

It is so easy to forget how freedom tastes.

 

 

Hooks

Words are just the hooks I hang my life on.

Some times the hooks are like the ones in the back of the fifth/sixth grade classroom.  The carefully, colored counties of Oregon were pinned up neatly on the sliding cork board while our coats lurked underneath like empty prisoners.

Some times the coats fell off and lurked around the bottom like sleepy escapees from a gulag among the umbrellas and rain boots.  It was a half-hearted attempt to find freedom.  On Friday, that week’s “Sergeant at Arms” would carry out their duty and impose order on all those coats.  Chaos and disorder were not to be tolerated for long.  As for that Sergeant of Arms,   it was never clear exactly what a “Sergeant at Arms” duty was.  Why would anyone ever need to keep order at a meeting and how did a meeting have anything to do with the classroom?  None of us where going to openly oppose Sister Emily.  Even the boldest child was still a little bit afraid of her.  We didn’t need a Sergeant at Arms.  We did need an occasional organizer of coats and miscellany.  And, we needed hooks to hang our lives on.

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History Lessons

Part I: The Century: Boom to Bust.

As I stagger into my Friday morning, my sleepy mind tries to begin a game of Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda.

Fortunately, the smarter me wakes up in time to put a stop to such nonsense.  Focusing on the past and the choices I did or not not make is the easiest way to punish myself.  No, this morning, in between a bowl of cereal and a cup of hot creamed coffee, I make the decision to start again.  Over thinking life often gets in the way of living it.  I try not thinking but am not successful.

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Rapunzel

Source: http://www.allposters.com/-sp/Grimm-s-Fairy-Tales-Book-with-Rapunzel-in-Her-Tower-Posters_i8662976_.htm

When I awake, I am Rapunzel.  After a night filled with childhood dreams, I slide into the day carrying ancient myth within me.

I am not blond.  My hair will never grow past my shoulders and yet, Rapunzel remains.  I carry her on my back.  My days aren’t made of the stuff of fairy tales.  I know she doesn’t belong here. And, yet, she feels right just like a pair of well-worn slippers; not glass slippers or ruby encrusted shoes, sloppy house slippers worn to the color of ancient dust and ashes.

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I am the person behind the words printed here. I write because my heart will not allow me the option of NOT writing. It has taken me half a life time to discover this basic truth, but now that I have, writing is as natural as breathing. This is where my breath takes the form of words.

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The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
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