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Archive for August, 2011

Happy to announce #34

Happy to announce   #34

 Two weeks ago, I wrote about a great job opportunity that was presented to me. Although my initial reaction was to say no because I wasn’t looking for a full-time job, or any job for that matter, I decided to check into it further. I wondered if it might possibly be leading me in some unknown but more favorable direction. In fact, I agonized for days over whether this was a great opportunity or a test of my resolve to follow my lifelong dreams. I went for the first interview before my vacation so that I would have more information to make my decision. I ultimately convinced myself while I was away that it was an opportunity that I shouldn’t pass up. All those well intentioned warnings that a chance like this wouldn’t come again and that I could always quit if I didn’t like it got my attention. I returned from my vacation ready to accept the position and called to schedule a second interview as we had agreed.

 During that second interview, I began to open my eyes to the reality of the situation. I had been fairly excited about taking the job but it was for all the wrong reasons. The financial stability was tempting, to be sure. But also, I could see myself enjoying getting dressed up professionally everyday and having the status and title of the position. I kept picturing how happy my mother would be to know her daughter had a financially secure position and was using her R.N. again. I really liked the people I would be working with in the office, especially the man who would be my boss. But what about the long commute on Rte 3 during rush hour; a lot of driving around in congested areas that I was unfamiliar with; dealing with scheduling people and coordinating care for seniors around the clock; being in charge of conflict resolution; and most importantly, not having time to do my painting, writing and inspirational speaking? What about that dream?????

 I remembered when I was struggling with my role as shop owner a few years ago. A lifelong friend said to me, “Paula, in all the years I’ve known you, I never heard you say that your dream was to open a shop.” So now I have to ask myself, is it my dream to run around crazy in a 9 to 5 job coordinating care for seniors? Although it’s an incredibly worthy ambition for the right person, the answer for me is, “Heck NO!!!” So, I’m very, very happy to announce that . . . . .

 I will NOT be selling my soul today.

Let your spirit soar!
Paula

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Free pass #33

Free pass   #33

 As I fly home from my spectacular vacation in the Pacific northwest, there are so many stories I could share. I’ll begin with my visit to the beautiful Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon. That’s where we met Stephanie, the shuttle bus driver. She looked all of 16 but told us she was 23 and had just moved there from very far away all by herself without knowing anyone in the area. She said she moved because she was “bored.” I suspect there’s a more painful version of her story but that’s not what she chose to share. Instead, Stephanie absolutely sparkled with a love of life, people and her new job. She was so engaging that I just had to tell her how special I thought she was. Our conversation was brief but a deep connection had been forged. I ended up giving her a tip and wishing her well in her new life.

My friends and I adored the garden. We took a guided tour and learned a great deal but I was wishing there would be time on my trip to return and enjoy the tranquility in what my friend dubbed “solo silence.” The following day found us touring another nearby garden. To my delight, my friend agreed that it wasn’t holding her interest either and we decided to return to the Japanese one instead.

When we arrived, I was shocked to hear her ask if we could get in for free! We had less than an hour before we would be meeting friends to go elsewhere and, since we had just paid admission the day before for the tour, she asked the ticket seller to make an exception. I was even more amazed to look up and see Stephanie standing further back in the ticket booth, winking at us and signaling the attendant to let us go through! We certainly had no hidden agenda when we spoke with her the day before, but it was nice to see how our heart to heart exchange paid off in such a lovely and unexpected way.

Let your spirit soar!
Paula

 

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Opportunity or test #32

Opportunity or test   #32

Life can be confusing at times. For example, a year ago I was looking for a dream job that would be a most unlikely find. I wanted a position with pay commensurate with my status as an R.N. but, since I haven’t practiced medicine since 1998, I really didn’t want a lot of medical responsibility. Nothing materialized.

 Now that I’m in a position of being close to selling a house (it’s under contract!) that is not my current residence and I do not absolutely need to work, the perfect job has shown up out of the blue and is being offered to me on a silver platter! What to do?

I find my mind going back and forth. Is this job a perfect opportunity in ways I can’t yet imagine or, is it a test of my resolve to keep pursuing my dreams in the direction I’m currently going? Have you ever heard the story about the man stranded on his roof during a flood? He passes up help from a passing boat and a helicopter saying, “No thanks, God will save me.” After he drowns, he asks God why he didn’t save him from the flood. God replies, “I DID! I sent you a boat and a plane!!!”

Is this job the boat!

 I don’t have the answer yet but I do know this. Money can’t be the deciding factor in my taking this high paying position. It’s just not a good enough reason. And I can’t see myself half-heartedly taking the job, knowing that I can always quit if I don’t like it. That’s just not who I am. If the owner and I ultimately agree that the position should be mine, it will be because I am ready to enter it with a full commitment to serve the company and its clients with excellence, integrity, and heart.

Let your spirit soar!
Paula

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 As I sit here watching my hardwood floors get refinished it occurs to me that the process is similar to refining our view of ourselves so we can let our own light shine.

 The dullness, marks and stains on the floor represent the accumulation of anger, hurt, fear and guilt that we have built up over the years. Just as we can’t put one coat of ployurethane over the stains and expect them to disappear, we can’t hide our pain under the thin guise of over-busyness, over shopping, over eating/drinking, or whatever our drug of choice, and expect it to go away.

The deeper the stain on the floor, the more sanding it needs. And, just like removing a stubborn stain, sometimes we have to dig deep to let go of our pain. The events we experience and the relationships we attract to us are all part of the sanding process. They rub against us to cut through our thin coat of defense and expose the true essence of who we are. If we use these encounters to practice remembering our true, loving nature then, with each “sanding”, we become a little clearer about ourselves.

At first things may seem to be getting messier but, after the dust settles, we wipe it away and see a smoother, lovelier self than we saw before. As we learn to grow in love, we need less and less sanding. With no deep stains left to hide, we can safely let our love (polyurethane) rise to the surface; not to cover anything up, but simply to bring out the natural beauty of who we are.

 Each layer of love will be stronger, shinier and more resilient than the one before. Then, instead of needing major drama in our lives as a wake up call, we will find that just a gentle reminder (buffing) will be enough to let our inner light shine brighter than a thousand newly finished hardwood floors.

Let your spirit soar!
Paula

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