Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sunflowers


I'm thinking about a dear friend today and the joy she has brought into my life. She gave me these lovely sunflowers and I cannot look at them without thinking about the 'sun' she has been and is for so many people. Do you know somebody like her that just brings life to the party, joy to the room, sunlight to your life? Yes, that's my friend.
When I think about her and the friendship we've had now for a number of years, I wonder if I have 'touched' others like she has? This is not meant to be a comparison but only a reflective inner search.
Another question I asked myself is "just what makes a person have the ability to be so special?" I believe the person has to be their own person and have some of the following characteristics-be centered; live in the NOW, share appropriately with boundaries, to be able to laugh at themselves, to let go easily, to know how to play, listening skills, to always be willing to learn from life, and to see the best in others.
Individuals with these traits often become mentors for others and leave a rich legacy. They truly are special. I challenge each of you to think about your own specialness and commit to being the sunflower for yourself today and for somebody else. Life then becomes rich.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Path

As another week approaches I think of the 'age-old' question, "Am I on my path?"

Perhaps Kitchen Table Talk is about making our lives 'work' and to explore just what that means on a daily bases. The path that we are on implies just that-the day in and the day out of each of our lives. It is the ordinary, the structure, the routine and the moment of the NOW.

The path I'm on I hope is manifesting who I am, what I value, and what I want to reflect on in my latter years as living my life mindfully. I want to be able to sit down one day and say, "a job well done."

How about you? What is your path? Are you in the midst of changing paths? Do you hunger for a new path? Have you been detoured from the path you know you are meant to be traveling?

It is interesting to reflect on where one thought they'd be today and to see how this or that occurred re-routing one's path. Yet here we are; and, I have to trust that I am exactly where I am meant to be, doing exactly what is purposeful for my life today, and that if I fully live into this moment then all is well.

It brings me peace and joy to treasure the path that I call my life today. Imperfect as it is with all of the limitations I present in living my life it is my life and my path. I am here NOW and grateful for my path.

I like to encourage journaling and for today perhaps writing about the roads that you have travelled and the path that you see yourself to be on today, knowing that it is enough to be in the NOW.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Time and All the Meaning it Holds


Kitchen Table Talk today is about time. It seems recently for me that time is just going by way too quickly. One morning as I was getting ready for my day I became acutely aware of this as first it was 8:00am and the next thing I knew it was 1:30pm. Where did the time go? It went too fast! I felt as though the clock had legs on it and it was literally running. This fostered some reflection for me about time and all the meanings it holds.
I was reminded to use my time management tools and to maximize my use of time. I told myself to stay in the moment as that is the only time I have. I know to respect time, to be organized and to prioritize my objectives and, how I set about meeting my goals within my daily 24 hour time period. I reminded myself to make the NOW happy as this is all I truly have and to make memories now and, not to postpone any happiness that I can achieve today.
A few weeks ago I subscribed to Where Women Create created by Jo Packham and published by Stampington & Company's Somerset Studio (www.wherewomencreate.com). I received my first issue this week of this beautiful magazine which is truly a piece of art. In this issue Jo Packman writes From My Kitchen Table and she talks about time. I was pleased to see the universality of my thoughts about time in this article. She writes so beautifully and illustrates with wonderful photographs. I'd encourage each of you to look at this creative endeavor as it so supports what I am trying to write about in KTT.
It was nice to read that Jo Packman uses her kitchen table like I do-for everything. I'm sitting here right now at the kitchen table with my laptop, newspaper, a pile of reading, writing paper, a cup of coffee as I also listen to the news on TV and think about time and all the meaning it holds. She talks about the activities that she engages in at the kitchen table. Then, she moves into the article about time. She reflects on birthdays and how she did her 50th and now soon to be her 60th. The article is not only about birthdays however; it is about the ways we think of time.
Time marks our days, our years, and also our memories. It goes quickly at times and then there are times when it moves like a 'snail.' We want happy moments to last forever and times of suffering to quickly be gone and, never to return. We are encouraged to learn from all these experiences of time gone by.
Today as I live out my treasured moments I will be grateful for this day and will honor my creative self to live soulfully. And, I do think maybe the clock instead of 'hands' has 'legs' that are running way to fast for me ... as I say, "slow down, slow down, slow down."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fill Your Basket


Aren't baskets just the greatest! I own several and to me it is the symbolic meaning of the 'container' that holds my fascination.
What's in your basket? This picture is of an empty basket and it is displayed to remind me that it is really my choice of what I put in this basket today.
Do I want to fill it with negativity, irrational thoughts, fear, anger, judgments, etc or do I want it to contain positive thoughts, rational comments, hope, joy, peace, and love. It is really up to me.
Once I 'get it' that my life is about the power of what I put in my 'basket' and this is what I carry around, will determine how I feel. The outcome of my day to day life will be determined on how I fill my basket. I can make choices about today that will foster the next step I take and the next step.
I can learn new behaviors by decisions I make about what goes in my basket. Over time of re-deciding new behaviors are formed and, a new life is shaped.
The next time you see a basket ask yourself "what's in my basket?" You can also remember the power of choices and how that shapes a life.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Letting Your Light Shine

Kitchen Table Talk (KTT) is something most of us enjoy doing and perhaps tend to have more time on the weekends and during holidays to linger over coffee and tea talking with each other around the kitchen table.

A recent topic of conversation during a KTT was on the subject of "do I do enough for others?" I call this Letting Your Light Shine, and it means just that-allowing your light, which is who you are to be seen by others.

How much do I do for others and is it enough and could I do more? These were some of the questions that were explored as we sat around the kitchen table, and I noted that I think we each probably do more than we realize.

Today's KTT is a pause to invite you to think about the many ways you do give or perhaps to think about how you can participate in Letting Your Light Shine. I do not think it is important that we necessarily talk about the giving we do, however it is important to acknowledge it to ourselves.

Knowing how to receive as well as how to give is a part of Letting Your Light Shine. It is in the receiving that we allow the other to receive the blessing of giving. So, the next time somebody wants to do something for you, instead of saying, "no" remember they are trying to Let their Light Shine and your Light gets to Shine in the receiving, as you are then being a giver to them as well.

Monday, April 12, 2010

It is Time for Cake


This is a coconut cake that I made over the weekend. It is a receipe that I found on one of my favorite blogs-Slow Love Life.
I am definitely not a cake baker however, this receipe was easy to follow and the results were good. I must add that for me to make a cake I have to really love it and I love coconut cake!
In my family I look for reasons to have a cake and no reason existed with the exception, "I wanted a cake."
Cake has a feel of luxury, of it is a special time, and it brings out the child in all of us to sit down to a piece of cake. How about for you? What kind of memories do you have around having cake?
When I travel I like to go to visit libraries, old churches, yarn shops, and cake shops! I remember a little town in North Carolina (Tyron??) that had the most fabulous bakery. It is a special treat to find a bakery and to have the time to sit down with cake and coffee. It fosters the simplicity of life that each of us so crave. It allows time for reflection, relaxation, and conversation. It is the feel of the Kitchen Table!
Happy Monday and make sure you eat some cake this week and maybe even visit your favorite Bakery.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Zen of Knitting

I learned to knit in 4-H as a young girl and I have knitted periodically throughout my life. However, I have never passed what I consider the beginner stage of knitting. I can cast on, knit, purl, increase, decrease, and bind off. I have knitted afghans, scarfs, shawls, and just recently a hat. I have only in the last year started knitting on circular needles.

I stand in awe whenever I see a knitter who can create pieces of art such as sweater. When I can knit a sweater I am going to feel like, "I have arrived!" Someday I hope to really settle in and become a 'serious' knitter.' I am going to take a beginner class and move all the way through the classes until I can make a sweater.

Most knitters will tell you that they love yarn, they love the colors, the textures, the feel and the smell of yarn. Many knitters sit in knitting circles at yarn shops and become connected through their projects and the stories that are shared as they sit in circle. I have done this a few times and it is quite nice and it is a learning experience as well. I am still amazed that one can talk and knit difficult projects, which is something I observed in the knitting circles.

In the meantime, I enjoy the Zen of Knitting and what that means is that I can breathe, reflect, feel creative, and bring some balance to my daily life. It is the feel of the yarn, the counting which brings a rhythm, the sitting still, and the envisioning the outcome. There is a form of prayer and meditation that comes with knitting. I can chant prayers while I knit. And, if I do not want to just sit and be with me I can listen to music, a movie, or, a book on tape. It is time I claim for me. It is an oasis to sit and knit and, usually my dog is by my side. I believe it is all of these benefits that for me creates the Zen of Knitting.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Eyes to See


I have been wearing reading glasses for several years now, as perhaps many of my readers have also. We want to see, don't we!
I am writing this Kitchen Table Talk today as a prayer or meditation.
Eye To See
May I have eyes to see the facts and not the irrational that I so many times believe;
May I have eyes to see the hope instead of the despair in situations that burden me;
May I have eyes to see the hurt behind the anger
and, with this new vision be more understanding;
May I have eyes to see the potential as I witness
the struggle of the moment;
May I have eyes to see the form that the chaos
might be creating;
May I have eyes to be creative with the facts,
the hope, the hurt, the potential and the form
to make my moment full as I live my life today.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Silence


The silence came when I stepped outside
Outside to nature
and, outside of my nature.
My nature is to be busy
and, to have interior noise.
Stepping out of the interior
allowed both to occur: my nature was nurtured
by nature and, silence came.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Limitations


Kitchen Table Talk today finds me with a friend and we are talking about our limitations. We both share that as we have gotten older we can recognize our limits better and agree that this a 'good thing.'
Limitations for most of us are something we'd rather not think about, instead would prefer to just focus on what we can do well. However, this conversation developed in depth and allowed us to see how helpful it is to truly not only know but accept our limitations.
It is a sign of well being to know our limits. It has the potential to protect us from ourselves. I do need to know my financial limits or, my monthly credit card bill could be more than I could afford to pay. If I do this monthly then it isn't long before I have credit card debt. This is a simple example and one most of us probably have experienced, or certainly can understand.
Another awareness my friend and I had was the limits that we must put on our eating habits in terms of "hey, I cannot have dessert every day like I did when I was younger." I know that is the truth however, I'd much prefer dessert with dinner; the price is weight gain. I must know and accept my limits or I am going to be in trouble with my weight and, overtime with my health.
A healthy life is about balance and not knowing our limits will impact that balance. It is important to balance out our daily living to where there is time to have a life. Work has a role, however, does your work occupy your life in such a way that the daily balance is disturbed? Life needs daily self-care, time to do 'life repair' (the 'to do lists'), play time, hobby time, family life, and time for solitude.
A more difficult example might be to know our limits in what is ours' to change and what isn't ours'. It is difficult when we are in relationships and see our family and/or our friends in trouble and we want to help them. However, there are limits with what we can do and truly what is not any of our business. Healthy relationships also require individuals to know their limits.
Perhaps a journaling exercise as you sit at your Kitchen Table and do your Kitchen Table Talk might be to think about where you are with limits. How would you like to bring more balance into your daily round? Where haven't you accepted your limitations? These questions are for you to honor who you are today and thus have that quality life of simplicity, peace, and joy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

One Hundred Favorite Things

I was recently challenged to write out my One Hundred Favorite Things. On the list it could be something I want to do again or, something I want to do someday that will be a new experience for me.

This exercise reminded me of the popular movie, The Bucket List. Perhaps many of you have seen this movie and if not I'd recommend it. The movie reminds us that there are things in our lives we want to do and there is no time like the present to make that happen.

On my list I was happy to see that most of the items were very ordinary activities and things I could readily do anytime I set my mind to it! I wrote out several of my hobbies that I enjoy, but do not take enough time on a daily round to do, such as spend more time reading, knitting, cooking, gardening, walking, and revisiting some favorite places. There were other activities listed that with planning and budgeting I could make happen.

This exercise taught me that it usually is not about having enough money or even enough time to engage in the activities that interest us however, it is the decision to decide that 'yes, today I am going to...' I was reminded that it is about living life today, in the NOW! I was reminded of the power of decision, of choices, and how important it is to live our dreams today. The exercise fostered hope and brought a renewal of life energy for me to move forward with my desires.

I'm curious what your list will look like. I'd encourage you to write it out in your journal and please feel free to comment about your list.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Create Beauty in Your Life


Everyday I try to bring beauty into my life. Beauty for me can be experienced in many ways and I'd encourage you to think about what brings beauty into your life as we converse today in Kitchen Table Talk.


Alexandra Stoddard whom many of you may know is an expert on beauty and design. She is the author of many books, including one of my favorites, Living a Beautiful Life. In this book she writes about ways to add beauty and joy to every day living. She discusses how rituals are the patterns that we create in our everyday living that can make the ordinary special. I enjoy the role of routine, structure, and details and try to find ways to make these ordinary aspects of my life special. Certain things that can augment rituals that create beauty for me include the use of candles, books, color, nice linens and bringing nature into my day.
A daily ritual to help bring nature into your day might include a walk with nature, watching birds, filling your bird feeders, weeding your garden, watering your plants and just sitting at a window watching the outside world. And, learning to listen to nature brings beauty into my daily routine.
How about your daily rituals that you foster to help create beauty in your life? Write about them in your journal and if you don't have a journal this could be a wonderful time to create one. You could title it 'Kitchen Table Talk' and after reading these blogs write your response in your journal. Since doing this blog, I have found that many people will not write a comment here, however will email me and comment. Do what works for you and remember to find ways to create beauty today in your life. Blessings.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Now it's Monday


Monday, back to the ordinary. And, the Monday after a holiday is always a hard one.

What is it about the ordinary that feels so 'less than?' We all like excitement, the special, the feeling of the extraordinary to make us feel good. The challenge of course becomes how to feel 'good' with the ordinary. The day in and out of routine, structure, sameness and doing what needs to be done to make life work for us.
A key to being with the ordinary is to be in the moment, to be in the here and now as we go about the daily living. Monday's invite us to do just that! What can support being in the NOW?
Look around you and see the beauty that is present. As I looked at my today I claimed the beauty of health, of a job to go to, of family, of my interest in writing Kitchen Table Talk, and then my eye caught the Easter Lily sitting on the table with its' newest bloom. My soul said, 'all is well.'
Monday is a day that holds beauty for us if we have eyes to see. Make sure you see the beauty of this day; it is there waiting for you. Peace.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday


Today is Easter Sunday. It finds me reflecting about the meaning of the word Resurrection.
Some words that came to me on this Easter morning about the word resurrection include hope, transformation, and renewal. I was reminded of the importance of hope in each of our lives. What is it that you are hoping for that needs a 'resurrection' in your life? Is it for a return of health, improved finances, a change of attitude, a healing of one kind or another?
Transformation was another of the words that came to me this Easter morning as I thought of the word resurrection. What has to happen for a transformation to take place; oftentimes it is a letting go. A letting go might be needed for that change you are seeking. As I sat at the kitchen table with my newspaper and coffee this morning the thought came to me that attachment to can hinder transformation from ... and, like any spiritual traveler, I asked myself where this is true in my life. And, how would you answer that question?
I defined renewal as what was it in my life that I need to renew; that needs refreshed. I wish it were as simple as pushing that refresh button on my computer. Instead, I have to have an open mind and a willing heart to begin the action step of change. Here is where hope can be our refresh button and here is where we need each other for support.
Wishing you this Easter Sunday hope, transformation, and renewal in all the areas of your life that needs change. I further wish for you kitchen table talk within yourself and others.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Cupcakes on the Kitchen Table

What is it about the simplicity of cupcakes, especially Easter Cupcakes with all the frosting, spring colors and of course, the little Easter Bunny to grace the center.

Simplicity is the beauty I believe, and it is interesting to see the color combination of these spring time hues. The center of the cupcake calls me and reminds me of the power of being centered.

C. G. Jung has a wonderful quote about the center: " I have called (the) centre the self...It might as well be called "God within us." The beginnings of our whole psychic life seem to be inextricably rooted in this point and all our highest and ultimate purposes seem to be striving toward it."

The kitchen table holds the center for people to gather and talk. Easter is a time of family coming together to once again renew their love, hope and faith. It is a time for loved ones to listen to their hearts and express gratitude for each other and to feel joy.

Easter is a time of renewal and believing again in miracles. It reminds us that hope is healing and we can once again know life continues. It truly 'centers' us to be reminded that life resides within each of us and as Jung's quote said "... all our highest and ultimate purposes seem to be striving toward it."

Enjoy your Easter Cupcakes and all else that Easter holds for you. Make sure you sit around the Kitchen Table and Talk.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Weekend

Easter Weekend finds me home and not with my extended family as planned; instead, I'm 'nursing' an aching back! Yes, I guess the saying is correct that "God laughs at us when we make plans."


I have prepared for weeks with thoughts of Easter outfits, Easter dinner, Easter egg coloring, Easter baskets and going to church with my family. Now, because I'm not able to travel this weekend I am at home with hubby, and my little dog.


I am trying to remember all my spiritual lessons and to practice my 'tools' that lead one to letting go, acceptance, and peace.


Smoked salmon, coconut cupcakes, cinnamon praline coffee cake, Starbucks coffee, pita crackers, are some of the special foods I bought for this 'stay at home Easter weekend.' I'm trying to practice loving myself and sending healing energies to my back. Books, movies, magazines, and my wonderful bed are all waiting for me too. I will be OK but it certainly isn't the weekend I had planned.


The weather here in Florida is going to be beautiful this weekend. I could have been walking on the beach, sitting by the pool, rocking on my back porch however, here I am, HERE and not THERE!


Acceptance is what this Easter weekend offers me, reminding me of surrendering and resurrection. I will accept this gift of time to be separate and not my extended family. I will accept this introverted time to read, reflect, renew, and recover. I will enjoy and be grateful for this time to heal and trust that all is well.


The lessons are it is the Now that is real. Plans are plans and only plans. Reality is about the moment, the Now the truth! Truth is that I could not travel this weekend. Truth is acceptance. And, when I can let go, accept, be grateful, be present in the Now, trust and surrender then, I have a resurrection.


Happy Easter to each of you.


creativelife