Paradise is Sharing...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Palabra (Word) ~ Reinvison - Clarity

After watching the State of the Union address Tuesday night, I have been inspired to complete a writing challenge I found last month.  Ya, it's supposed to be done in December, and ya, it's a daily writing challenge that I may or may not keep up with daily... but the result is the same - to sum up the State of Cilly, to reflect on a year of change and challenges, and to move forward towards success and prosperity.  Thanks to my "constituents" for all the support you have given me.

Palabra (Word)
Encapsulate your 2011 in one word. Why that word? What would you like your word to be for 2012? Why?

Ugh... 2011.  To encapsulate 2011 in one word, I guess it would have to be Re-envision.  See, at the beginning of 2011, I had a much different vision then I had at the end of 2011.   In the beginning of 2011, I was struggling financially.  I was trying to get my coaching business off the ground, while trying to make ends meet .... and what little money I had in reserves was running out.   The thought of not being able to pay my rent, put food on the table, or keep my car running was weighing heavily on every business decision I made.  The biggest lesson I learned from 2011 was the impact that fear based decisions can make.  

Decisions made from fear remind me of getting an eye exam.  As the doctor has you look through the cyborg like goggles at the eye chart, he gives you choices on which lens is clearer ... "One? or Two?"  Hmmm... both choices seem  good... noting my hesitation he flips back to the first slide "One?"  flip flip "or Two?"  ... feeling embarrassed that I can't make up my mind, and not able to decide if the character on the third line, second to the bottom is indeed a backwards E (do they really do that?) or a 3, I say "One... I think"...  The result can be a bad prescription that causes stress and strain.

Remove the fear - in this case the fear of feeling embarrassed of not being able to see the chart, I make better decisions.  I choose carefully... and the next decision is clearer "One or Two?"  Two.  "One?"  flip flip "or Two?"  One.  Definitely one.  Suddenly, the character on the third line, second to the bottom clearly becomes a 3.  See.. I knew they wouldn't trick me with a backwards E!

In the beginning of 2011, I made decisions out of fear and my life became fuzzy and unfocused, and it caused stress and strain.   I could no longer see my goals.  My vision became fuzzy.  Everything became blurry.  I lost sight of where I was going.  It was actually a very dark and scary time.

It took alot of soul searching to start shedding some light on my situation.  I started to realize that I had made fear-based decisions.  I recognized the impact fear made on my choices.  And, as Oprah says "Once I knew better, I did better."  I sat down and got brutally honest with myself.  I looked hard at my life, my business plan, my goals, my future and my finances.  I stopped creating stories in my mind about financial failure and being destitute and helpless.  I suddenly realized the only reason I felt helpless is because I hadn't asked for help.  I found that when I faced my truth, I faced my fears, and when I faced my fears, they faded away.  I started to dial in - (flip, flip... one, or two?) and made decisions based on truth.... and suddenly, things became crystal clear.

So, that was 2011.. and now on to 2012... what word would I choose to encapsulate 2012?  Clarity ...  

 I am taking off the blinders of fear, taking my new prescription of truth, and viewing my life through new lenses.... and my future looks pretty damn good.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I Am The Greatest...

"UGH!!!! I burned the effin' cookies!!!"

Not sure whether to laugh or hide, MyHoney rolled his eyes and tried to soothe my Inner Martha Stewart the best he could.  While running around, opening the door to my apartment, turning on the fan over the oven and praying to God that my smoke alarms wouldn't start blaring causing another impromptu fire drill for my landlords kids... I swore like a pirate, and beat frantically at the smoldering charcoal cookies with a dish rag.

"This is why I don't bake! I totally suck at it!"

In a huff, I stormed off to sulk, and left MyHoney wondering what Hurricane Cilly would do next....

After checking my pride, and telling Cecilia to go take a long walk off a short pier, I composed myself enough to come back into the kitchen and apologize for my outburst, and pray that MyHoney wasn't contemplating running off with a disgustingly overly-cheerful, peppy perfect cook like Rachel Ray.  Instead of retreating however, MyHoney was happily munching on burnt cookies. 

"You don't have to eat those to make me feel better."

"I'm not" he replied with a satisfied grin.... "These are the best burnt cookies I've ever had!"

"Yup, that's me, I'm the best damn cookie burner this side of the Mississippi!!"... and he smiled and said "That you are!" and he reached for another cookie, and ate it with gusto and delight.

I am a HUGE success!  I am the best at burning cookies!  No one does it better than me! What a talent I have! I'm amazing!  And while I watched MyHoney put away a half a dozen burnt cookies.... I began to realize that even this is a successful moment.  Next time I make cookies, I will try to successfully NOT burn them... but I really am the best at what I do - because I always try my best... and if the result from trying my best is burnt cookies.... isn't that still a success?

My success at burning cookies has gotten me thinking about the paradox of success.  Have there been other instances in my life where I felt like a complete failure... but in fact I was a huge success?  What other cookies have I burned?  In what other instances did I feel like my efforts didn't match up because I was comparing my outcome to someone who is much more advanced than me?  Key words - comparing my outcome to someone elses.  Of course my cookies are not going to come out like Paula Deen's ... I don't sit around making 100 dozen cookies a week, and go through two tons of butter a year.  My cookies are going to come out like Cilly's cookies... perhaps burnt, perhaps not.

Comparing my outcome to someone else.... that has gotten me in a lot of trouble in my life.  Cecilia thrives when I do that.  I get a good case of the "I'm not good enoughs"... and it brings me DOWN.  It would be rather silly to damn myself because I "only" hiked up Bald Mountain (a 2.5 mile hike to a beautiful summit in Western Maine)... because I didn't hike up Everest like Sir Edmund Hillary, or "only" skiing the bunny trail at Sugarloaf and not mastering the half pipe like Seth Wescott.  That would be ridiculous to take away from my own personal success because I am not in the same caliber as professionals that have dedicated their entire lives to defining thier OWN success.... and now, it is time I define MINE.

What is the definition of my success?  For today, it's burnt cookies.... tomorrow, it may be my own personal Everest... but what ever it is... you can be sure that I am the best.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Auld Lang Syne ...

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o’ lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

I always think back to the movie when Harry Met Sally, when the stroke of midnight is counted down, and the song Auld Lang Syne plays and Harry and Sally kiss... and after he says "What does this song mean? My whole life, I don't know what this song means. I mean, 'Should old acquaintance be forgot'? Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot?" 

Sally: Well, maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it's about old friends."  

But it makes me wonder,  should old acquaintances be forgot?  Or is song suggesting that if you run into someone from your past, someone you thought you left in the past, to raise a cup of kindness, and wish them well.  Think of them fondly, remember the good times... the good times of Auld Lang Syne.  I think it's about remembering with fondness the good times you had with old friends, but not needing to relive the past - to be perfectly happy and content with the present moment.

This weekend was a big weekend for New England sports... mainly football.  I actually never even paid attention to the games, and to tell you the truth, if it weren't for Facebook, couldn't even tell you who won.  What a difference from my life "B.D." (Before Divorce).  I jest that my divorce decree states that I am no longer obligated to watch any sporting event.

Now don't get me wrong.... it's not that I don't like sports.  In fact... Auld Lang Syne... I used to love to have people over - make hot wings, chili, and nachos for all our friends.  My house was loud, alive, and full of energy and excitement.  I loved being praised for my cooking, my hospitality, and yes, having a 52" LCD TV with surround sound was a plus.  I liked over hearing my husbands friends tell my husband how lucky he was to have such a "cool wife"... I even enjoyed the game.... even though to this day I do not understand one thing about football.  But I loved sitting on the edge of our seats, wearing our pro-football jerseys (of a number of someone I didn't even know)... with paint on our faces, booze in our hands, and hope in our hearts - cheering on OUR team.  And when OUR team won - yelling with excitement, jumping up and down, giving high-fives and sloshing beer about the room as if WE had actually been on the field and scored the winning touch down ourselves.  Yes, us lazy-boy athletes with our nacho-cheese stained fingers and beer drenched jerseys were WINNERS.

Auld Lang Syne.... those days are gone.  Some of my friends ask me to football game parties, or ask why I don't host them anymore.  Truthfully, if I really wanted to feel included in the festivities and joviality I could always go down to the local brew pub and watch the game, but I feel happy and content that the days of football parties and being the "hostess with the mostess" are behind me... and I smile fondly when I think of them, but I have to say, I am so content to sit here, quietly, with a cup of hot tea, a warm quilt, and a good book.  
We'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne - Cheers sports fans =)