Twas the day after Christmas and let it be said, When you eat lots of sugar you can’t move from your bed!
Oh the cookies, the candies, the gravy, the pies…. My mind says “Let’s Eat It!” My gut says “Unwise”.
As my stretch pants keep stretching, and my joints they do ache, My heart whispers softly “Better choices let’s make!”
A NEW YEAR FULL OF HEALTH, JOY, AND FUN I do crave, Time to breathe some fresh air and come out of the cave!
My mind needs to clear and my soul wants to sing. Feeling Good, Growing Strong, Living Healthy’s the thing!
So as 8 tiny reindeer all fly out of sight, Let’s embrace a bright future with every new bite!
I am still laughing about this… and reminded that it is all magical, no matter how it turns out, when it’s done with love.
Somewhere long ago I was told, perhaps not in words but by a much deeper means of communication from those who held all the power in life, that I could not fully shine, celebrate, or be all that I knew I could be if people around me were suffering. The instant question that was installed and always arises when I am about to leap into joy, or love, or something wonderful is “Will this make someone else feel bad?” After all, they may not have my talent, my relationships, my resources, or the gifts I have been given in life. If I let my light shine and share all that is good in life…. will it add to other’s depression and despair? And thus I became a shadow artist. Stepping out on special occasions to create something that delighted me, then quickly disappearing back into the shadows so as not to seem too full of myself, too good at anything, too happy or satisfied or proud, or toooooooo……you get the picture. The crazy thing is that my holding back never seemed to help relieve others’ suffering. It only added to my own. That is one of the false narratives and lies that we grow up with that I believe robs us all of finding out what’s possible. So we find ways to express ourselves through others. “I am here to help you. I have an idea for you. I have something that can help set you free.” And sometimes we do make things better, and at other times we are unable to make a dent, and then we get angry that others are not taking the necessary steps or living the life we want them to live so that we can be happy. It is so messed up! Be clear, helping others IS a source of great joy and fulfillment and how things get better, just not “helping” in the place of living your life fully and with as much love and joy as possible on a daily basis.
Today I am contemplating laying down my life as I have known it for a while, (it’s just an exercise, don’t worry), and going inward. What if I let God handle all the finances for a while and supply all of our needs? What if I lovingly bless and let go of all the people I think I have to save just for now? What if I become like a child again in the midst of all the chaos, and begin to play, create, imagine, and celebrate the life I have been given here? What if I make an apple pie, spend time listening to Dakota our horse, Riley our dog, and Max our cat, sing songs around a fire pit, clean and decorate my home, dance with abandon, paint, write, read, take long walks in nature, make trips to the ocean, take pictures of life, laugh a lot every day, do QiGong for healing, make love and lay in bed talking for hours, hear other people’s stories, tell stories of my own, ride bikes, take hikes, have picnics, celebrate being alive, and focus on all that makes me happy? What if I try something completely new? There are times to go into the cave and sit around the fire and rest, eat, reflect, and renew. This feels like one of those times. Time to try something new. Go gently with yourself right now. Joy is within your reach, just stretch a little to touch it.
I wrote in my last entry about leaving the prison cell of dysfunctional family dynamics, self doubt, and false beliefs, and beginning my journey to freedom. Dysfunctional family dynamics can show up in a single family, a community, a state, and an entire country at times. With only weeks away from one of the most volatile decisions our national family will be making in my lifetime; and with tempers flaring, energies spinning out of control, lies being announced as truths and more, I find myself shuffling down the dark hallway having left the cell itself, but wondering how to get the heck out of this place to real freedom.
I am trying to drown out the many voices competing for my attention right now, and I am going inward to listen to God and to my own true voice. In my search, I found a training online that was useful that I wanted to paraphrase and share from Kevin Daum for Inc.com. (https://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/5-ways-to-stay-positive-when-the-going-gets-tough.html)
5 steps to keep going when the going gets tough (thank you Kevin)
- Strip Away The Excess. When it all feels overwhelming, write down everything you have on your plate (to do lists, tasks, people to deal with, issues to solve, anything that makes you feel overwhelmed), and then delegate to others, postpone, or just remove things from your plate until there are only a few truly important items you can put all of your attention on. By focusing and accomplishing a single task that matters, it can restore your own personal sense of power.
- Jump Into Something New. Look for new ideas, a new approach to something, a whole new venture, new friend, or a new group. By refreshing and pivoting just a little, you can bring fresh air and fresh thinking into a place that feels stuck and unproductive.
- Fast Forward The Negative Movie Reel In Your Head. I particularly love this one, being a filmmaker, because you can fast forward the movie called your life to a happy ending that is up to you to create. When we are in a bad place, the mind will tell you that this is all there is and will ever be, but that is a lie. It is seriously like pausing the film and just staring at a dismal scene that you find upsetting. Instead, imagine a wonderful outcome and remember that whatever you are going through, this too shall pass and you never know what lies just around the corner. Focus on what great things you want to create when you get through this particular storm.
- Find The Lesson. Kevin Daum says “Setbacks and Transitions are lessons to help you move forward to something greater.” If you read any of the great leaders’ biographies, there are countless stories of dismal failures that led to some of their greatest insights and personal breakthroughs. Say to yourself at any given moment “This could be my greatest lesson and opportunity of my life right now…. what can I learn from this and how can I allow this to change me for the better?”
- Focus On Health And Opportunity. We don’t realize it, but any real change or transition that we go through can also be a source of trauma. We are creatures of habit and when our routines get shaken up, sometimes our systems go into tilt. We are all going through tremendous change while dealing with the pandemic, the elections, our jobs, relationships, even daily activities. Now more than ever we need to attend to extreme self care, health practices because we matter and are of value, and the discovery of the opportunities that lie in every challenge. If anyone wants some special guidance in terms of health and new opportunities, please message me as I have some suggestions and ideas that might help.
So, my friends, we continue to hold hands and shuffle down the dark corridor together in search of the big doors that lead to freedom. We’ve got each other, we’ve got some amazing tools and templates, and we have bright faith in better days ahead.
Blessings to all and much love,
We were trapped… my family, friends, and I were all trapped together in a dark, dank dungeon of a medieval castle. There was wailing, howling in fear, tempers flaring, people pushing other people as we all wondered what the future held. Fights broke out among us as one cast blame upon the other for our predicament. Exhausted from being in the middle of the ongoing drama, I decided to explore the cell… looking carefully at each of the bars, the stone walls beyond, the dim light that cast a yellow pall on all of our faces. I pushed gently against the cell door, and a breath went through me… IT WASN’T LOCKED! Is that possible? Has this door been unlocked the entire time?
“We can get out! We can leave! Everyone, this door isn’t locked!” I said. Nobody seemed to be listening. “Please, we don’t have to be here, THE DOOR ISN’T LOCKED!” The fighting continued. Time passed and my beloveds continued to cry, fight, and give up in despair. Nobody would listen. For years I stood at the door of that cell, trying to convince the others, beg them, show them that we could leave. Nothing changed. Then one day, with a heavy heart and extra dose of courage, I said “I have to go”. I was leaving with or without them, and I would leave the door open if anyone wanted to follow.
I pushed the door to the cell open wide and stepped out into an opening that led to a long, dark hallway. There were 2 guards standing against the wall at the end of the hallway and I thought “this will surely be when I die”. With my heart in my throat, I started walking down the hallway toward the guards. It was the only way out. They were talking, and as I drew closer they looked up briefly, acknowledged me with a nod, and then continued to talk. I walked past them in amazement. They didn’t stop me. They barely even noticed that I had walked by. Why had they been there if not to stop me from leaving? I worked my way up a circular stone stairway in the damp, cold castle. As I got to the top, there were two more guards. “Oh, this was a trick. They let me get this far just to lead me to believe I could be free, and now I will die” The second set of guards nodded, smiled, said nothing, and let me pass. I just had to keep walking. In the distance I saw 2 giant wooden doors. A ray of light peeking through the crack between the doors told me that I had reached the entrance. Do I dare? Do I push these heavy doors open and face whatever lies beyond? Yes. I had to know.
I pushed the doors open with all of my might, and there it was. Before me was a huge, open field of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen, beaming with color in the sunlight. Above me, billowy white clouds floated effortlessly in a crystalline blue sky, and in the distance giant trees swayed and danced together with their leaves shimmering like tiny diamonds in the breeze. I could breathe. Really breathe. It was exquisite. I was free.
I could have left at any time. The door was never locked, and the guards never meant to harm me. It was my own fear, my imagination, the rules we had made up together that we were living by, and my not wanting to leave anyone behind in their suffering that kept me in my own personal prison for so many years.
No, I was never really physically imprisoned with my family and friends, thank God. But mentally, psychologically, and emotionally I was imprisoned with false beliefs, unhealthy family agreements, hard wiring from my childhood, doubts about the possibilities, and decisions I had made long ago that held me back from exploring my full potential. It felt as if I was being held in jail.
This is the new journey I am embarking on. I am finally ready, still with my heart in my throat at times and legs trembling, to walk past the inner guards of my life and find out what is out there, what is possible, what beauty lies ahead with my hand in God’s hand and my eyes toward the future. I have to find out. Hold my hand, if you want to, and together we’ll begin our adventure and journey toward freedom. I love you!
I am beginning a campaign for love. It starts now, but this campaign will go far beyond November 3rd and beyond the election of my lifetime. This campaign will reach beyond a single country and political idea. This is a global campaign to remember who we really are, deep beneath the hurts, the anger, the misunderstandings, and the agendas.
This is a campaign to challenge those of us who remember to take the actions described in 1 Corinthians 13… “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. LOVE NEVER FAILS….. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
In my short film, “The Face, a film by Elizabeth Browning” the opening lines say “…the battle will end when you stop fighting. ‘Stop fighting?!?’ Her tribe had always fought. How else does one remain victorious?” There is a way to emerge victorious. There is a better way. Love is a decision, an action, a verb, a doing… not always a feeling. And yet, this I know… feelings follow actions. Will you join me? LOVE NEVER FAILS. My hand in yours dear friends!
It is September 27th, 2020 and I am BEGINNING AGAIN…again! No more waiting for the perfect time, the perfect format, even the perfect content…. just beginning with a commitment to LIVE IN LOVE TODAY!
This actually started a week before my 65th birthday. I was walking alone in the woods in angst over turning 65. I was talking passionately to God: “I don’t get it! My whole life I’ve been waiting to do something really special… that special thing I came here to do… waiting to step into my full potential! And this time next week I’ll be 65 and I’m still waiting!!! There is so much I still want to do, to create, to say! Did I miss it? Is it too late? What exactly is that thing anyway? WHAT HAPPENED!?!” (I’ve actually done a lot in my life… but that wasn’t the point (-;). Then God answered. “Elizabeth, I don’t think the problem is that you have missed it. I think the challenge has been that you have missed so many of the moments along the way waiting to do that spectacular thing. I highly recommend that for this birthday you decide not to miss any more of the moments. And no, it isn’t too late.”
I stopped on the path right there in the woods and looked. Everything was glistening. The dew drops from the morning rain made the trees look as if they were covered in diamonds. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and smelled fresh pine and wood all around me. This was one of those moments. Then I saw it. In front of me were 2 huge trees framing an opening just ahead, and it looked like a portal. I said “I’m going through that portal and beginning again. And this time, I am going to pay attention to the exquisite moments of life itself all along the way.” I had one more question before I started. “What exactly am I here to do anyway?” The answer came. “Love. Live in Love. That is what you are really here to do”. So I stepped through that portal and have decided… I will commit to love. I will dance love, sing love, speak love, write love, live in love. And by the way, at 65, I’ve also decided to retire from doing anything I don’t want to do. The new adventure begins!
January 1, 2018
HAPPY NEW YEAR! HAPPY NEW BEGINNING! HAPPY EVERYTHING!
After 3 years, I am returning to my blog, Olympic Luminaries. I want a place to share with those of us who choose to shine a light in the world and work toward change as if we were athletes in training for the Olympics. I first started this blog to teach, to share wisdom, to lead others. Now I am here to learn how to do this amazing journey myself. This year I will lead by example, and I invite you to come with me… which could be a hot mess or a glorious adventure (or both), but nevertheless, it is my turn to “be the change you wish to see in the world” (thank you, Gandhi, for that brilliant quote). It is now time that I learn what I’ve been teaching others for years. Feel free to add insights, inspiration, ideas, or funny stories.
If you don’t already know me, I am 62 years old, I feel like I should be about 27, and in truth, my life is eternal. I am a filmmaker, actress, acting coach, public speaker, small business owner, entrepreneur, mother, wife, and caregiving daughter of my 96-year-old mother who has been living with us for 17 years. Sounds like a lot, right? It is all true. I have done all of those things. Some of them I could list on one page the number of times I have done them, and a few I have made a career out of. But here is the thing. I’ve been playing small. I’ve been hiding out. I’ve been waiting for some unknown miracle to happen and for someone to tap me on the head and say “Okay, now you have permission to step boldly out into the light and really go for it”. Well, I am officially tapping myself this year. It is time to go for it. It is time for all of us to really go for it (especially if you have any love or light to bring in the world).
Time is too short to spend any more time struggling with the tedious, self-induced issues that have kept me stuck and playing small for most of my life. What will others think? What if it doesn’t work? What if I fail? Well…. let’s find out. I have gifts to be shared, stories to tell, trips to take, friends to meet, and so much love to offer the world. I have opinions, ideas, longings, and life to be lived. I know that you do too. So let’s just do it!
Today, I start anew. I woke up to the image of my mother on the nanny cam, lying there, eyes open, waiting for me to bring her breakfast in bed. (Yes, she is spoiled and grateful). I sighed and started with the same old tired thought “Poor me, the moment I get up I have to start to take care of her”. Then I stopped it. No! NEW YEAR, NEW MINDSET! So I am starting with gratitude and committed to controlling my thinking upon rising. Thank you, loving God, that my mom is alive and relatively well. Thank you for my warm house, my kids at home for the holidays, my sweet husband, the fact that I get to start a new day and a new year. I will bring her breakfast, spend some quiet time with You, and set a new course. So here I sit, returning to my blog, looking toward a new beginning, and leading from the front this time. Buckle your seatbelts, it is going to be an awesome adventure!
My view from the nannycam:
My view for the future…
I read something really interesting today from John Assaraf:
“Remember that your self worth determines your net worth”
I got to thinking about that…. what is my true sense of self worth…. not what the world says about me, but what I secretly say to myself about me? What is that dialogue with myself based on? How do I change the inner dialogue it if it isn’t as “rich” as I’d like it to be?
Am I kind to myself?
Am I gentle and patient with myself?
Do I pay attention to what I need in terms of my wellbeing?
Do I give to myself what I give to those I care for the most?
What would it look like to fall in love with me?
When I feed myself whole, clean, nourishing food… that’s a beginning.
When I give myself enough sleep rather than drive myself into the ground with work, responsibilities, pressure… that feels pretty yummy.
When I remember that all the problems of the world are not personally my responsibility to handle in a given day… that is really nice!
When I stop to look and see that life holds a much bigger and more beautiful picture than I usually focus on, and that a precious moment of laughter with someone I treasure, or a simple act of kindness makes me feel deeply happy… that’s good.
When I breathe… stop and take in 3 beautiful breaths and give thanks for anything… my ability to taste, see, touch, move… I begin to wake up to me.
I find it interesting that when “an expert in the law” asked Jesus what the greatest commandment of the law was, he answered that there were two… love God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and to love your neighbor as YOURSELF” Maybe that is where a lot of the problem lies… that final piece of the puzzle… LOVE YOURSELF Hmmmmm….
WHAT DOES LOVING YOURSELF LOOK LIKE TO YOU TODAY?
With so much love and respect for you!
It has been a long time since I started this blog with the intention of growing a community of visionaries interested in making a positive and lasting difference on this planet; and wanting to be a shining light of love, hope, and possibilities for others.
Thanks to the http://www.wellnesswindow.org and the lovely Ilana Davidson, I am back! If you want to challenge yourself for 30 days to share some kind of love and inspiration with others, and aren’t up to blogging yourself, please feel free to post your inspirational quotes, thoughts, insights, and love letters to life here. The mere act of having to say something of value each day will help you begin to look at life a little differently. And if you just want to read and enjoy… welcome as well!
We will train together as athletes training for the olympics… but the games we are playing and determined to win are the inner games and the victory will come each and every time we find a way to bring a little more love, compassion, inspiration, and hope to our world. I am going for the gold… how about you?
With love and respect,