Oh darn! I’m the Frog! Why it’s Sometimes Hard to Do Nothing.

I have just emerged from the Cave of Gloomy Things, after taking up residence there after the death of my dad in late October 2013 converged with the holidays and an unexpected downturn in my business. As an entrepreneur, much of my mental energy is tuned to a sense of urgency, driving me to anticipate a clients needs; start another project; write another blog post. The momentum is always there. The voice in my head that said, “Find something to DO!” was louder than the rational yet unfamiliar whisper that said, “Do nothing, it’s time for healing. It will all be okay.”

So I caught the flu. Well, not the flu exactly, but some sort of bug that zapped my energy and directed me to the couch where I played Angry Birds and caught up on daytime TV. I white knuckled it through the holidays and the time of little sunshine, when after about a week of doing nothing, I realized I was feeling a whole lot better. And not just physically.

Even though I know that “doing nothing” is a proven way to restore my sunny mood and supercharge my creativity, I can see now that I had been blind to the increasing percentage of work versus restorative play. Was I that driven to be productive or else I didn’t feel good about myself? Darn it, I realized I was like the frog who was put into the pot of cold water. He didn’t jump out of the pot to save himself as the water heated up because he got accustomed to the incremental rise in temperature. By the time it boiled he was cooked.  Most of the time we are human, but every now and then we are frogs. Returning to self-care by doing nothing and getting out of the hot water is Love Applied.

But hey! Aren’t I “doing something” by writing this post? Time to stop. There is Nothing that is calling me.

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Wheeeew…..What a month!

So here’s what’s been going on.

Bride

WE DID IT! WE MARRIED!

Got engaged in February. Wedding planned for April, 2014.
Ninety-one year old father went under Hospice care at the end of August, 2013.
Wedding moved up to end of October. (Awesome, happy, joyful wedding on October 26, 2013.)
Dad passed October 29, 2013. Funeral November 1, 2013, and honeymoon on November 4.

Whew.

There’s nothing like having two major life events on opposite ends of the spectrum compressed into such a short time to make you prioritize life, and quickly! We didn’t want Dad’s impending passing to dampen the joy of our celebration, so we chose to fully appreciate the happiness of our wedding and also to fully celebrate the life of my dad. One beautiful way to manage the feeling of loss and sadness is to focus on what you have, and we have a rich abundance of love and support of friends.

So, that’s why it’s been quiet in here….but the big lesson in life is that Love always continues. And that’s Love Applied!

P.S. Here’s a link to a cool wedding slide show made by my friend Michael Trufant if you want to see more of the fun.

Sometimes It’s Really Simple.

 

Yesterday I ran into a friend who had just celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary.  She was bubbly and excited about how happy they now were.  “The first 15 years were really rough but now we get along great!”  I knew that they had difficulty during the first years of her marriage so I asked, “What changed?”

 

She grinned and said, “I just quit looking for all the things I didn’t like about him.”

 

Focus

 

 

Isn’t it sometimes tempting to inventory all the things ‘wrong’ about the person we love?  It helps to remember that they are probably doing the same about us.  We get what we focus upon, and what we focus upon, grows.  Why not ‘grow’ what you love about someone?   Choosing to do that is truly Love Applied.

Want More Love? Give it Away :)

Tiny Changes, Big Impact

 

The other day I had coffee with a reporter friend of mine, who told me that she had an interview with a graphic artist whose specialty is designing typefaces.  I shared with her a story I had read about the change in fonts on highway signs from Highway Gothic to Clearview, which was described as being like ‘putting on a new pair of reading glasses:  there’s a sudden lightness, a noticeable crispness to the letters.”  The changes made to the font were subtle but effective:  lightening up stem weights and increasing the interior space of certain letters, like a lower-case ‘a’ or a capital “B”.  The result is an easier to read font that ultimately enhances safety.

So it got me thinking.  What tiny changes can have big impact in a relationship?  One of our practices is that the first one to bed gets a glass of water for the other and puts it on the nightstand.  A small gesture, for sure, but it sends the message “Your comfort is important to me.” And that’s Love Applied.

What are some the tiny things you do or someone has done for you that mean a lot?