Tag Archives: practice

“I Believe in You”


Today I asked myself; what kind of world do you want to see?

I want to see a world with people I can trust and believe in. I think though, that the only way to obtain that belief is with one person at a time. Simple by saying, “I believe in you.”

How empowering that is. Like a building block one person at a time. That powerful affirmation turns into a positive flowing vibe that moves from one person to another.

”The Smile Workout”


Life is like a mirror, smile at it, and it smiles back at you. -Peace Pilgrim

I am working on a new exercise. It’s one for the face called a smile. I am cursed with the Miller frown. I don’t even realize most of the time that I’m doing it, so if you see me frowning smile at me and I’ll give you one back. I certainly don’t frown because I’m unhappy or miserable at least most of the time I can say that. I think I have a combination of things going on here one came from an unhappy childhood when I had something to frown about, then there’s genetics, and now age, when everything begins to sage including the face. Even now, as I write this, I catch myself going into that frown that comes about when I’m concentrating on something.

I remember the day I married Tom. I was smiling so much that by the end of the day, my face hurt. As with all exercises, no pain, no gain as they say. So, I read that the best way to do this exercise is to have a mirror nearby so you can catch yourself at a glance. It’s a kind of hard to do that. So, I’ve decided to let life be my mirror reflection. My smile is the practice, and your smile is the strength I gain!

“Old Chinese Proverb”


Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”-Chinese Proverb 

 It’s funny that I read this quote today because I recently pulled my manuscript out to work on my 2nd drift. As I’m reading over it I’m reminded of what every instructor taught me, show don’t tell. My goal in the end product is to involve the reader so much so that they see, feel and understand what I experienced.

This quote also applies to everyday life. I learned better by doing. You certainly can’t learn to type or play instrument or even cook by being told how to do it. Showing helps you to know how, but the real understanding comes when you get involved and do the work.

Politic is the same thing. What people tell you is not necessarily true, and even if someone shows you. How do you know if it’s factual unless you get involved in finding the facts. How will you understand unless you do the research?
How easy it is to talk, and show someone how to walk, but the only way to understand is to get involved with what the talk and walk has to teach us.

“My Adventurous Day”


“There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a mircale.
-Albert Einstein

Being very excited to set out on my own this morning, I planned my first trip to the grocery store by myself since my knee surgery. Today marks going into my 8th week. I’m still having trouble walking correctly, but also know I need the practice. Having the cart to hold onto and taking my time…no problem! I think to myself.

As soon as I get out of the car my mind is way ahead of me trying to push me faster then I can move. By the time I get from my car into the store I’m feeling as if I’ve gone far enough. But with determination I push myself because that’s what I think I have to do. Now I have to go from one end of the store to the other even though I don’t need that much. I get halfway through the store and I can feel my leg starting to cramp. I find a bench and sit for a few minutes. It’s funny how close things look but how far out reach they seem to be when you walk like a turtle.

I finally worked my way down a long aisle toward the checkout. Get in line and empty my basket. Than look on wondering what the hold up is. The lady in front of me has food stamps and about every four items the cashier rings her up separately filling out checks, scanning her Welfare card, and her Giant card going through the same process 5 times. I’m dying now in line wanting to scream that this is a handicap checkout and I’m in pain, but I didn’t because I’m too frigging nice for my own good. I finally check out. Make my way back to the car, head home and the worry begins to play in my mind. Why I am I having such a hard time? What if something went wrong with the procedure? What if I need surgery all over again? I pull into the garage and slowly make my way into the house. I go straight to the freezer. Throw my coat off. Head for my recliner and put my leg up. Than I start to cry. After I get it all out. Talk to Tom and calm down. I’m able to look back and remember how far I’ve actually come. As I’m thinking this, I’m reminded of how relevant my experience is to my daily reading as Mark Nepo says, “Being human, we struggle constantly to stay with the miracle of what is, and not to fall constantly into the hole of what is not.”*

And so the lesson of the day has been learned. Now that’s an accomplishment!

*”The Book of Awakening” Mark Nepo

“Heel Toe, Heel Toe”


“Heel Toe, Heel Toe”

“There once was a one-legged dragon called Hui.
“How on earth do you manage those legs?” he asked a centipede. “I can hardly manage one!”
“Matter of fact,” said the centipede, “I do not manage my legs.”

I couldn’t help but laugh when I read this ancient Chinese story told by Chuang Tzu. It reminded me so much of what I’m going through as I relearn how to walk correctly trying to manage my own leg.

“Heel Toe, Heel Toe!” No it’s not a dance step. It’s my walking mantra. I walk across the room one minute getting it perfect only to slip back to using my hip instead of bending my knee. I don’t even realize that I’m doing it wrong again. So I try harder to manage my leg. My steps become stiffer as I try to control it. “No! Like this my therapist shows me again “heel toe! You’re just thinking too much into it,” she says.

A patient getting treatment for PT at the same time puts his two cents in, “maybe you should put a shock collar on her to remind her every time she does it wrong!”

“That’s not nice!” I say.

When my session is over my therapist tells my husband to make sure I’m doing it right showing him the correct heel toe movement. “I try to tell her, but she yells at me.” Poor guy is just trying to help me. We both become frustrated at each other because I think I’m doing it correctly, but he has to keep pointing out what I’m doing wrong.

By now my ego is doing a number on me. “See how stupid you are. You can’t do anything right,” it plays in my head.

As I practice again In frustration I try to stop the negative defeating talk going on inside. Heel toe, heel toe I say over and again, and the mantra that it becomes quiets my thoughts. Suddenly I hear my knee telling my hip to get out of the way, but the hip wants to continue to protecting the leg. The knee thanks the hip for all its done to help it heal and get this far, but it’s becoming more of an enabler than a help now. The knee also tells the brain to stop trying to manage what it knows instinctively how to do.

Think of the trouble the centipede would have if another part of its body tried to manage its legs. It would lose its natural flow of rhythm. So I’m no longer trying to manage my leg, but instead working with my knee letting it figure out how to get back to its own natural flow of rhythm. And yes, I still use this mantra that helps in more ways than one, heel toe, heel toe not only gives me a sense of direction it also brings me back to the quiet of my soul.

“The Power Of Gratitude”




“It is impossible to be unhappy and grateful at the same time.”-Dr. Tom Costa

This is very true. I awake each morning thanking God for giving me another day to live. Then I go down the list of all things I’m grateful for. Since Ollie’s been gone I’ve been saying the words, but not truly focusing on what I’m saying. It is impossible to be grateful when you’re feeling unhappy. It consumes your life and you forget all the good things that still exist.

It never ceases to amaze me how God finds a way to get my attention. I saw this quote this morning and it made me think about the other times in my life when I’ve had to work hard to find something positive to focus on. Practicing gratitude taking one small thing at a time, building one on top of the other has a transformational effect on us. I know it’s happened to me before.

I realized that even though I no longer have Ollie in my life to be grateful for. I can be thankful for the years we had together. Thankful for all the unconditional love he gave me. Thankful for the inspiration he gave me. Thankful for the comfort he gave me when I needed it. Thankful for all the lessons he taught me about the simple things in life. These are things that can never be taking away from me, and that is the most important thing I should be grateful for.

It may be impossible for an unhappy person to be grateful. But it’s not impossible for gratitude to have a positive effect on an unhappy person. It certainly softens my pain. You know the biggest thing it reminds me of is that I wouldn’t have anything to be thankful for if it weren’t for the gift of life God gives me each day.


“My 7-Day Challenge”



“My 7-Day Challenge”

Ok, so this morning I woke up thinking about what a good night’s sleep I had. I grab the opportunity to say how grateful I am to have been given another day to live. My gratitude moves off into a list of things that come to mind. My day is started on a good grounding. I want to stay in this frame of mind, but I know that it takes work and practice to shut out all the things that begin to creep into my everyday life. How easy it is to lose sight of the joyful things we want to hang onto.

Something that I recently read came to mind. It was a challenge that was planted like a seed and I could hear it calling out to be watered. The challenge was to not complain for 7 days. Hum! This could be a good practice in seeing how much I actual do that. But I start thinking that maybe this isn’t a good week to do it. I’m still recovering and I have a lot coming up this week, maybe I should wait until the conditions are better. I realized that it sounded like the same thing I do when I think about going on a diet. Ha-ha! I’m laughing at myself as I realize the game I play to avoid the things that are good for me.

So I sit down with Tom for a chat. At some point I find myself complaining about this that and anything else I can think of. It feels like I’m getting it all out before I venture onto this challenge, and when I realize what I’m doing I’m ashamed to see the ugliness it brings out in me. This is certainly not the reflection I want to cast of myself. It doesn’t even feel like the real me.

Now some would say, “ah Connie, you’re only human.” I might say the same thing to someone else to make them feel better. But isn’t that actually settling for less than we really are capable of being as humans?

So I’m accepting the challenge as of today Friday September 16, 2016. I’ll let you know how I make out. Maybe you might want to join me in the challenge for yourself. Wow! Think of what the world would be like if we all stopped complaining for even one day.