Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Adventure of the Airport and Travel

Day 83 of 100 days of Blogging

Two of my housemates drove me to the airport yesterday. Big hugs and kisses. Well wishes of “safe travel” and “see you soon.” I love that kind of send off and I love picking people up from the airport, too. Hearing the first words about their trip and how they are feeling.

Even with the long line to check-in at Southwest with the holiday weekend approaching, I could feel my heart fluttering with excitement and anticipation. There is something about the airport that always fills me with joy. The hustle and bustle. Watching people arriving. Noticing moments like children with teddy bear backpacks and little suitcases on wheels. Watching people go through the security checkpoints, like the woman yesterday who had a bottle of Jack Daniels in her bag shrugging her shoulders in resignation when she had to let it go and the man who untied his sneakers and walked very carefully through the queue without stepping on them and tripping. Watching people just tickles me. We are all so precious!

My smile just kept getting bigger and bigger as I walked to Gate 11, radiating joy and sharing it with everyone who checked my bag and ticket; every person I bought food and drink from for the 7 hour plane ride; every person I passed that would make eye contact. I love it!

How about you?

Is there a place where you get filled up with joy and then send it back out into the world?

12 Peace Prayers: #5 The Sikh Prayer for Peace

Day 82 of 100 days of Blogging

As the Authors of Heal My Voice are writing their stories for the next book: Harmonic Voices: True Stories by Women on the Path to Peace, I was inspired to post 12 Peace Prayers and a little bit of the history from an event in 1986 in Assisi, Italy. 

Today is the Fifth prayer: The Sikh Prayer of Peace.


5. THE SIKH PRAYER FOR PEACE

 
“God adjudges us according to our deeds, not the coat that we wear: that Truth is above everything, but higher still is truthful living. “Know that we attaineth God when we loveth, and only that victory endures in consequence of which no one is defeated.” 

From the website: The Peace Abbey traces its roots to the Day of Prayer for World Peace which took place in Assisi, Italy during the UN International Year of Peace, 1986. For the first time in history, the leaders of the twelve major religions gathered to pray for Peace of Earth.

The event took place on sacred ground at the Basilica of Saint Francis, and was the occasion for the handing down of the prayers for peace. The Sacred Office of Peace, which these prayers comprise, is the text around which we established and maintain our fellowship as well as pursue our global peacemaking. 



An Exploration of Anger

Day 81 of 100 Days of Blogging

Ugh! Here it comes again.

Someone confronting me about my disconnection from anger.

One of my housemates talked about how solid my heart is and how he can feel me but there is something underneath that I am not expressing. He called it anger.

I find myself wanting to “do” something with that and yet, I am afraid of it. It feels too big. It feels like I will destroy someone or something. It feels like no one can handle my anger. It feels like anger hurts people and there is no recovery.

This morning Erik talked about how disconnecting from my anger, disconnects me from people. It shuts down the dark side of me.

I feel safe with Erik and I feel like I can sink in to explore this. He is encouraging people in the house to look for moments when they sense I am angry and to do things to pull that out of me.

This is so freakin’ scary! What if they stop speaking to me? What if they don’t like me? What if they kick me out of the house? What if, what if, what if?

This is fresh and raw and vulnerable and unfiltered and unprocessed. It feels messy and good.

What?!?!?!?

Did I just write good?

Okay, I’m diving in. Let’s see where this goes.

I know one thing…it is connected to my power and keeping a lid on anger is limiting my power.

What is your current relationship to anger?

Post in the comments and let’s get this party started. 

 

Be Who You Are ALL the Time

Day 80 of 100 days of Blogging

I saw this photo and inspiration on Ginny Robertson’s Facebook Page this morning:

Many years ago, I was in the middle of a messy divorce. There were so many lies being told about me, including that I didn’t want to be a mother and that I was crazy for wanting to divorce my husband. Some of the “proof” was when I moved out of my house without my children (I was setting up a household in a rented house) and I learned how to read tarot cards and wore quartz crystal earrings. Another “proof” of my insanity.

In my distress, I shared this with my supervisor at work. He listened and then one day calmly told me:

Be the person you are and let that shine through in everything you do. It doesn’t matter what other people tell your children about you now. Keep being the person you are and one day, they will see and know the truth.

From that day forward, I lived as authentically as I possibly could with the highest integrity. Not perfection. I live life raw and real. I strive for authenticity.

It hasn’t always been easy. It can be hard to hear the lies and I haven’t always handled it with the highest integrity.

When I slip off and down into a space I regret, then as quickly as possible I make amends, move forward, and do better the next time.

Twenty-five years later, I have a built a real relationship with my adult daughters. We love each other. We see each other. We agree and disagree and continue to evolve our relationship.

Best advice I ever received. Thank you Jim Onaitis.

Honoring Your Feelings

Day 79 of 100 Days of Blogging

I have a new practice.

Recently, I found myself in a flow of adjustments throughout the day. After traveling for three weeks, I arrived back to my community house with bed and work location changes happening. More guests were staying in the house than usual. So, where I was sleeping, where I was working kept changing and one person moved out and three people were moving in.

It went on like this for five days. I slept in a different bed every night. I walked throughout the house to find a quiet place to lead Heal My Voice phone calls and that changed with each phone call.

Until one day, I realized that underneath my yes, sure, going with the flow, “I can share a room with anyone”…I became aware of a feeling of sadness. I was about to push it down and not feel it and adjust, but something inside of me said, “Stop. Feel. Say it out loud.”

This inspired me to start a new practice: Take a moment throughout the day to see how I am feeling. To acknowledge the feelings that are under the desire to flow with change and to give my desires and feelings a voice. It may not change the direction of where I am flowing next. The practice is a commitment to feel and communicate. No more stuffing or being the person who flows so easily without a voice.

“How am I feeling” is the question and then a moment or two or more to honor it all.

                                                                   *****

Three years ago, I wrote an article where I talked about honoring the feelings in grieving. All change involves loss. You let go of one thing to open to another. Even the loss of a roommate and the gain of a roommate you are excited to get to know is a change of loss and gain.

Honoring Your Feelings

Originally written in summer of 2010:

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet. ~Bob Dylan

The quote from Bob Dylan reminds me of the most important step in grieving, honoring your feelings. You can stand in the rain and get wet or you can let the rain into your heart and soul. Your feelings are there for a reason. Whatever event has opened the door to grief, the loss of a loved one; a health challenge; the loss of a job or the loss of a dream; there is a gift in grieving.

The gift is in the feelings and they deserve respect. Feelings can be anger, sadness, disappointment, hurt, shock, betrayal and even relief. Why is it so important to feel the feelings? When you can feel and grieve, you open your heart to experience more love, joy and happiness.

In the Art of Loving, the author, Erich Fromm said, “To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness.”
In other words, by detaching from the feelings around grief we place our heart in a box. Nothing can touch it. We cannot feel the pain and we cannot feel love. The gift of grieving is the ability to go deeply within ourselves and to open our heart to feel more emotion. Ultimately that leads us to feel more joy.

The greatest gifts in my life have been the moments when I loved so deeply that I felt like my heart was breaking. The truth is that the heart muscle was being stretched and expanded in this moment of pain. There is a gift in the ability to love and feel all the feelings.

My son, Cooper was born with a congenital heart defect. He had an absent pulmonary valve and an enlarged lung. After his first open heart surgery at the age of two weeks old, the doctor told my husband and me that he might not make it through the night.

As I looked at my little boy in an infant bed I knew that I loved him more than I had ever loved before. In the pain of the thought of losing him, my heart expanded to be with him and love him. With tears streaming down my face, I told my son that no matter what he chose, life or death, I would be by his side. I told him that if he wanted to fight for his life, I would be with him every step of the way. And if living was too hard and he wanted to die I would still love him with all of my heart. My heart expanded to love him unconditionally. Five minutes later the nurse told me his vital signs were improving. In this moment, he had chosen life.

For 19 months, I loved my son for who he was through two open-heart surgeries, shunt and hernia operations. I threw away the developmental books that told me who he should be at a certain age and I loved him unconditionally for who he was. Ultimately, he died from a 4th stage neuroblastoma cancer. In my heart I knew that he had completed his mission in life and had made the decision to let go and die.

He was one of the greatest teachers in my life. One big lesson was to love people for who they are and let go of trying to change anyone. Grieving the loss and feeling all of the emotions opened my heart to love everyone in my life deeply.

When you open your heart to grieve, you open your heart to love.

12 Peace Prayers: #4 The Muslim Prayer for Peace

Day 78 of 100 days of Blogging

As the Authors of Heal My Voice are writing their stories for the next book: Harmonic Voices: True Stories by Women on the Path to Peace, I was inspired to post 12 Peace Prayers and a little bit of the history from an event in 1986 in Assisi, Italy. 

Today is the Fourth prayer: The Muslim Prayer of Peace.

Islam4. THE MUSLIM PRAYER FOR PEACE
In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful. Praise be to the Lord of the Universe who has created us and made us into tribes and nations, that we may know each other, not that we may despise each other. If the enemy incline towards peace, do thou also incline towards peace, and trust in God, for the Lord is the one that heareth and knoweth all things. And the servants of God, Most Gracious are those who walk on the Earth in humility, and when we address them, we say “PEACE.” 

From the website: The Peace Abbey traces its roots to the Day of Prayer for World Peace which took place in Assisi, Italy during the UN International Year of Peace, 1986. For the first time in history, the leaders of the twelve major religions gathered to pray for Peace of Earth.

The event took place on sacred ground at the Basilica of Saint Francis, and was the occasion for the handing down of the prayers for peace. The Sacred Office of Peace, which these prayers comprise, is the text around which we established and maintain our fellowship as well as pursue our global peacemaking. 

.


Sexuality, Money and Power: The Value of Female Desire

Day 77 of 100 days of Blogging

“The anthropologist Margaret Mead concluded in 1948, after observing seven different ethnic groups in the Pacific Islands, that different cultures made different forms of female sexual experience seem normal and desirable. The capacity for orgasm in women, she found, is a learned response, which a given culture can help or can fail to help its women to develop. Mead believed that a woman’s sexual fulfillment, and the positive meaning of her sexuality in her own mind, depend upon three factors:

1: She must live in a culture that recognizes female desire as being of value;
2: Her culture must allow her to understand her sexual anatomy;
3: And her culture must teach the various sexual skills that give women orgasms.”

~Naomi Wolf, Promiscuities

This quote and the opportunity to hear Naomi Wolf speak at the OMX (Orgasmic Meditation Experience) last weekend in San Francisco is opening a dialogue that I have been wanting to have for thirty years. I shut it down when I got married the first time in 1981. And when I shut it down, I also shut down desire. I shut down my ability to ask for what I wanted from life and I shut down my ability to have it all. I shut down my expectations, my asking, my receiving.

All of that shut down the full expression of me!

In an exploration of sexuality this year, I finally got the AHA about what I want to talk about and where I want to focus the next 20+ years of my life!

Sexuality, Money and Power. 

It started to bubble up in me about two years ago. I noticed it again last month around Day 29 of blogging for 100 days this summer. Now at Day 77 of blogging, I can feel the AHA and the burning desire to embrace and heal this part of me and to deepen the conversations with women (and men) around this topic.

Here are some of the questions I am exploring:

Sexuality: Are you connected to and tapping into your sexuality in your personal, business and spiritual life?

Money: Is there a flow of money in your life that meets all of your needs and desires?

Power: Are you connected to your personal power in every area of your life?

All three are tied together. Out of balance with one and the other two follow right behind.

This is the next frontier for women to embrace and conquer together in community, especially at this time on the planet.

This is the key to balance in the world.

Post in the comments and let me know what you think and feel about this!

Liberating women, liberates men!

Day 76 of 100 days of bloggingEvery time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man. ~Margaret Mead

Funny the way that works. I was noticing how each time I receive support from a man, my ability to give back is exponentially increased. So all of the men and women in my life receive more…love, time and attention from me.

How about you? Do you notice this in your life?

Living, Learning and Growing ~ My Journey Continues By Beth Bracaglia, Guest Blogger

Day 75 of 100 days of blogging

Guest Blogger FRIDAY

Living, Learning and Growing ~ My Journey Continues
 By Beth Bracaglia
From August 2-4, I attended the “Next Big Buzz 2013” conference in Baltimore.  While I don’t normally attend many business conferences, I felt compelled to go to this event.  One reason was that I was getting ready to hit a milestone for Simply Organized, four years of having my dream come true – my very own business where I am able to do exactly what I love – organize my client’s homes and offices.  Yet, up until a few months ago when I completely revamped my website, I was beginning to become a bit unfocused on where to take the business next.  Another reason was that I felt the need to make my presence known on a much larger stage, and to truly figure out if I was heading in the right direction.  I was looking for a sign, but wasn’t exactly sure where it would appear.  
Well, I can tell you one thing – that sign showed up, big time!  From the start of that conference, I knew I was in for something that would really begin to catapult me to the next level.  I went to the networking event on Thursday evening and met some of my Facebook friends from near and far, some of whom I knew would be attending, and many that I had never met in person.  They were as dynamic as I thought they would be, and it was great to connect on a face to face level.  On that first evening, I had the opportunity to meet some of the speakers who would be attending the conference that weekend, and it gave me the opportunity to make those connections early on. 
During the first day of the conference, I had the good fortune of sitting next to a young business man who is really making his mark in his area of expertise.  I really don’t believe that there are many coincidences in this world.  Sitting next to him, I realized that no matter how young (or old for that matter) you are, you can make a difference to the people that you meet.  It also made me realize that my message and story of both organization and inspiration truly matter.  It’s not that I didn’t believe that before the event, but listening to him talk about his passions, and then hearing many of the other speakers who were up on the stage, it just made me think even more about where I want to focus my energy and how to spread my own message. 
On Saturday, something really incredible happened to me.  I was one of two people – out of the 175 people in attendance – to be chosen for a laser coaching session on stage with Mara Glazer, the event organizer and a business coach that really just tells it like it is.  She actually calls herself the “cut the crap” coach.  Well, she definitely lives up to her title, and that is a very good thing in my opinion.  She was the main reason that I was there, after having met this dynamo coach two months earlier in person at an information session she held in the Baltimore area.  There, she spoke about her upcoming August event and made me realize that it was long overdue that I spent some time focusing on ME, and paying even more attention to Simply Organized.  Let me note here that I do truly care about my business, and while I focus on it each and every day, I also do consulting work for a sports marketing/events company, where I work about 20-25 hours a week, so at times, I need to find clarity in my own business goals for the Professional Organizing part of my business.  I was a bit nervous about going up on stage to tell the whole business truth to a ‘cut the crap’ business coach, but it’s what I was there for after all.  In the application for the laser coaching, I spoke of how I wanted to move forward with Simply Organized and how much I wanted to achieve those goals.  The main issue is that I’ve been so busy helping others in their life and business, that I often disregard my own dreams, hopes and goals for the business.  I’m certainly not saying that helping others is a bad thing, but at times, it can stop the flow of money into my business.  And sometimes, that is where I can get stuck.  Well, after a taped 45 minute session up on stage, in front of the other attendees, I came out with so much more clarity than I even thought was possible. I realized that I can still help others, but also not by pushing aside my own business.  I realize this, but I needed to hear the ways to improve my business in order to move forward and thrive.  And, you know what?  I’m going to continue to do so, in a MUCH bigger way.
This past week I hit a big milestone in my business – it’s 4thAnniversary!  Simply Organized continues to grow and be successful.  I’m using my voice to get referrals, testimonials, and to network even more.  I’m continuing to write each week in my blog.  I’m getting out there in a bigger way, because I have to and I want to.  It’s the reason that I started the business – to help my clients to organize their homes and offices and to bring them peace of mind through the process and to help them move forward in their lives by utilizing my skills and expertise as a Simplicity Coach.  And the journey continues into my fifth year in business.  What does the future hold?  Big, big things … I can just feel it!  
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Beth has over fifteen experience as a Professional Organizer and is the Chief Organizing Officer & Simplicity Coach of Simply Organized.  She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Management and Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Clemson University.  Beth also studied Organizational Development at Johns Hopkins University.

Beth’s experience prior to owning Simply Organized was in Project Management, Training & Development and Human Resources in fields as diverse as communication, technology, restaurant management and event operations.  She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers.  Beth also does consulting work for companies in the Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC areas.

web:                http://www.simplyorganizedtoday.com
LinkedIn Profile:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/bethbracaglia
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/simplyorganizedtoday
Pinterest:          http://pinterest.com/bethbracaglia

Raise our Sons More Like Our Daughters

Day 74 of 100 days of Blogging

“We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.”
Gloria Steinem

What does it mean to raise our sons more like our daughters?

I raised my daughters to be nurturing, caring, to serve others; To connect, build community, cook and clean. I nurtured and encouraged their unique talents and skills.

I also raised my daughters to have a voice. To speak up for themselves and to speak up for people who were less fortunate than them. To be free thinkers and use their creativity and follow their heart.

In the homeschool community, I witnessed sons being raised in that same way.

I read this quote by Gloria Steinem right after one of my new housemates, Erik, offered to pour me a bath with bath salts, candles and essential oils. (He received support and assistance from Jamie, one of the women, who knew where everything was located. Jamie also brought me a tall glass of water.)

 Tonight Jason and Erik are cooking dinner for the house. Playfully creating the meal, telling stories, talking about food intermixed with booming laughter.

Damian just arrived home from a business trip and he listened to the details of my three week trip and then helped me carry things in from the car to the house. Ending the evening with dancing.

I enjoy living with ignited men. I witness when they get angry and when they cry. I see their strengths, the edges they are working on to be better men. I see where they jump in, where they hesitate. I see that they are waking up alongside the women.

Seeing all of this gives me hope for the world. We are raising daughters and sons as full human beings and many of them are now adults who are igniting the world with their desires and passion and brilliance.

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