Celebrating more than 50 years together…

Posted Friday, January 17th, 2014. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

First of all I want to wish everyone again a happy and healthy new year. The energy starting the year is much lighter than that ending the year. I hope you sat down and set your intentions for this year. I have.

I missed last week’s post and one in December as I was on holiday with my family. Last week my entire family, 13 of us, flew down to Punta Cana in Dominican Republic and stayed at an all inclusive. There were 5 rooms amongst us – each family had their own suite. We were there to celebrate my parents’ 50th anniversary. CRAZY or what! It had been 14 years since we had a family trip away outside all of us being together at the chalet.

The trip had a few hiccups but for the most part it was amazing. The kids got along so well – playing in the water, at the beach, beach volleyball, planned activities, shooting pool, playing poker, watching shows together. The best part was it was 24/7 access to food! Most of the family came back with ‘happy pounds’. I managed only a few. This trip was good for me as I have struggled with a few things with my family. I went down with the intention of going with the flow. For the most part I did however I also stood up to my family when I felt it was appropriate. I am proud of my behaviour. I am also happy that I didn’t let the little things get to me.

Celebrating 50 years together is quite a feat in this day and age. My parents have had quite an interesting relationship. I wouldn’t say it is one I would like to emulate. Yet despite the lack of respect at times when they speak to each other they have found their way to make their relationship work for them. I do believe they enjoy spending time together. When I signed the card for their anniversary I did applaud their tenacity, acceptance and love for one another and that they made their journey work.

Again it is not a relationship I will like especially having a failed marriage. What I have learned is that it’s okay that I want something different and can still honour their choices.

Are my parents happy? I would say yes in their way. I am reading a book which I HIGHLY recommend called, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman.
It is a fascinating read. Most of us strive for happiness and joy. I realize happiness for one is not the same for another.

What I love about this book is that to me it really hones in on authenticity, being in your truth and being in the moment. I want to be clear that I am a positive person and I have a vision board and have set my intentions. What I love about this book is that it questions the believers out there who tell you to only be positive – to wash away any negative thoughts or feelings and rise above that.

I have learned THE HARD WAY that it is okay to be positive and put forward your dreams and desires however if you are not aligned from within at a subconscious level your ego or saboteur will likely make sure that it does not ultimately happen. If you have lived your whole life hearing you are not good enough … you can sit in front of a mirror for days, weeks and even years telling yourself an affirmation like, “I am a beautiful person worthy of receiving” yet if you do not go to the core beliefs that you hold or the stories you tell yourself and alter or discard them you will more than likely take the happiness you are feeling and find a way to destroy it in order to return to the state you know well: I am not good enough. It is important to embrace flexibility, uncertainty and vulnerability. By being in the moment and honouring these feelings will allow you to move through it and find that place of peace and happiness. It means taking the resources you have RIGHT NOW and working with them right now. So you are not waiting for something to happen, more money or whatever before you realize your happiness. In this case it likely won’t happen for the ‘carrot will always be in front of you and not reachable’.

The great thing is you can change this. It does require work from within. Learning to love and honour who you are and that you are part of something bigger in this world.

This book also talks about the emphasis that we as a society have placed on goal setting and how sometimes we become too stringent and narrow in our approach in reaching our goals often to the detriment of the larger picture. He gives two good examples. One is the 1996 incident where numerous mountain climbers were killed on their journey to reach the top summit of Mt. Everest. One of the teams were so focused on their goal of reaching the top summit that they put other teams at risk and did not consider other factors. They did reach the top – their goal- however at the expense of their lives. Many died on the way down because they did not care that they had gone past the time of day where it was safe, evening descended and the harsh weather and darkness played havoc on their lives. The second example is General Motors (GM) who was so determined to get back to their glory days of having 29% of the market share that they set this goal and became so focused on it not considering other factors or foreign competition and ultimately did not reach their goal. In fact they had to declare bankruptcy and was bailed out by the US government.

I have underlined so many quotes from this book I’d love to share… here are a few:

“I think business plans are interesting, but they have no real meaning, because you can’t put in all the positive things that will occur. The most valuable skill of a successful entrepreneur .. is the ability to adopt an unconventional approach to learning an improvisational flexibility not merely about which route to take towards some predetermined objective, but also a willingness to change the destination itself”.
Chris Kayes (p.97-98)

“To be a good human is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertainty, and on a willingness to be exposed. It’s based on being more like a plant than a jewel: something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility.”
Martha Nussbaum (p. 99)

“Then this is the deep truth about insecurity: it is another word for life. That doesn’t mean it’s not wise to protect yourself, as far as you can, from certain dangers. But it does mean that feeling secure and really living life are, in some ultimate sense, opposites. And that you can no more succeed in achieving perfect security than a wave could succeed in leaving the ocean.” (p.149)

I hope you enjoyed these.

I am nearly finished reading the book. I am on the part how failure is so vital to our success and learning: embracing our failures.

Time to go and read…

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend. If you truly want happiness consider embracing uncertainty, vulnerability, flexibility and the unknown — go with the flow, make decisions for the now and be in that moment.

All my love,

Sandra

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