Setting the Scene A:  Your only remaining parent has just passed away. You’d like to grieve in whatever manner seems fitting for you. Truth be told, grief is not in the forefront of your mind. Instead, you’re consumed by anger, hurt, and disbelief—your sibling has attempted to steal your part of the inheritance.

photo for Betrayed

Setting the Scene B:  Your only remaining parent is in ill health. You’d like to continue to be present as a loving caregiver.  This is a role you’ve held as the youngest child for some time. Sadly, it is difficult to be present when you’re consumed by outrage, betrayal, and numbness—your sibling has convinced your parent that the totality of the inheritance must be handed down to the eldest child.

Cast of Characters:  These two scenes are not fiction. The sequence of events recently happened to two of my friends within a one-week period. This betrayal occurring with two good friends at the same time seems uncanny.  The fact that two betrayals happened at the same time suggests that this is not randomness, bad luck, or karma. You’ve likely experienced this scenario in your own family.

It’s All Too Much

Sometimes life can feel all too much. Yet, remember the title of Hunter Hayes’ country song, I don’t want easy, I want crazy! Can life get too crazy?

CalmUp® photo of orange flowers preparing to bloomThe solution for my own life this past year became clear when I re-prioritized what I consider to be most important. Determining what to let go of or add to your life doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might imagine. You’re the only one who can ascertain what’s of value to you.

I’ve found that generating personal priorities helps to maintain a sense of clarity. Yet priorities can change. Remaining flexible to one’s convictions, while remembering what’s important to your loved ones, is necessary when you’re seeking a degree of sanity. You don’t have to accomplish everything all at once.

CalmUp® photo of orange flowers blooming

Notice I wrote a degree of sanity! Then there’s the title of the movie with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, Something’s Gotta Give. So for the present time, I’m writing a quarterly instead of a monthly blog, and letting go of those Monday Morning Moments™. I’m still available for walks and talks.


CalmUp® photo of bird flying away

I recently walked the dogs and noticed the construction at our new neighbors’ home, turning the addition into a large garage. It wasn’t that long ago when our friends, who used to live in that house, turned the garage into an addition.

Whereas some things never seem to change, others never stay the same. Eckhart Tolle said it best: Even the Sun Will Die.

With the recent flooding in Colorado, many people lost their homes, and some people lost loved ones. At my work in long-term care, the residents are regularly faced with impermanence due to their own physical decline, as well as the loss of friends and roommates.

With the transience of life, I love taking a CalmUp® Journey, because the focus is on TODAY. The premise of the CalmUp® Journey is that you are the expert of you and your life, and you can live at the height of your power every day, despite life’s adversities.

Whether you’re constructing or reconstructing, the small amount of time spent ascending the simple worksheet will give back to you tenfold. By being fully aware, we can choose to accept impermanence as a part of life.

A Thorny Subject: What’s My Beef?

CalmUp® photo of thornsI get so tired of people who think they know everything. Where do public figures get off telling lay people they have to do something or they must feel a certain way? I recently listened to an interview of a financial expert who made statements such as, “You have to look at money as __________” and “You’re afraid of __________.” Granted, money is a hot topic. However, I don’t believe that anyone has the right to push one’s philosophy on others.

A person’s expertise in a specific topic doesn’t warrant ordering others to think and feel in a particular way. There must be more appropriate ways to communicate knowledge. It astounds me that a speaker can convey an opinion, and without even taking a breath, suggest that everyone should follow by example.

I realize many people might simply attribute this style to narcissism or narrow-minded thinking and move on, so why do I become so emotional and intense when this approach is used?

Practicing self-reflection, I remind myself that historically my buttons have been pushed in response to should statements. I’ve also been known to take things personally, even though I’ve read The Four Agreements. Let’s face it: I’m the one who needs to change here. To me, one of the primary tenets of creating peace among others is to be peaceful within, and inner peace has no need for being judgmental.

Testing the Power of Prayer

I’m remembering part of a story, the important part, which I’d like to pass on. A major attack had just occurred on a people. An eminent peace leader had been giving a talk when they were interrupted with the news about the attack. The leader asked everyone in the room to pray for the people—the attackers!

I thought of this story recently when a friend wrote to me about a tragedy that had just taken place in her small town. An eighth-grade boy was showing the dad’s gun to his older brother, a high school senior, who was accidentally shot and killed. A few days earlier, another friend shared with me the recent suicide of her friend’s fiancé. These events taking place before the holidays were heavy in my heart.

My intention is not to re-traumatize. My only purpose in writing about these events is to remind myself of the power of prayer this holiday season. It doesn’t take much effort to send a prayer to victims and family members of those whom we feel compassion. However, it can take serious conscious effort to send a prayer to the perpetrator of any event.