Does Excellence Stand On Its Own?

Excellence

ExcellenceIt seems to me we try to reach a state of excellence by waging wars on whatever stands in its way.  I look around and see what’s wrong with the picture.  And, while I’m looking for what’s wrong, I totally miss what is right.  The more I war against poverty, drugs, bad behavior, mistakes in others, it seems the more poverty, drugs, bad behavior and mistakes are around me.  I am immersed in anything but excellence.

That is until I stop my little finding faults campaigns and stop waging war on anyone or anything.  It starts with acceptance.  It starts with stopping in my tracks.  Breathing.  Pausing.  Sh-sh-sh-ing.  Stop!

In the silence of the pause, I realize that excellence is all around me.  Everywhere.  In everything.  In me, even!  My job is not to find fault with bad, bad behavior in the world.  My job is to discover excellence within everything and everyone in the world….even myself.

Hope you join me in this quest for excellence today.  Thank you!

Painting Reproduced Onto Pillow — Looks pretty awesome!

Several years ago I painted this scene on canvas board.  It was a delight to paint.  It’s been selling on Art.com and Artistrising.com since then.  Today, I wondered how it would look on a pillow and it looks great.  Hope you enjoy!  Today I think my job is to heal the wounds of past lives through art.

Abunana.com

Abunana

I upgraded to a premium level yesterday and was eligible for a new url. Instead of taking WordPress’ suggestion, BarbaraDeanAliaga.com or something that was similarly logical, I meandered downstairs to brainstormed with my husband, Manny. We did the normal kidding around thing until we found a name that has such a great sound and entirely no meaning. Well, it really stems from meaning. Abu is what our grandsons call Abuelo, and Nana is my current name. We eventually discovered AbuNana.  Of course, we will each take individual credit for it!   Go ahead and say it over and over, Ah’-bu-nana, Ah’-bu-nana. Sounds pretty cool to us.  What kind of service would Abunana provide?  Would it be an Abunana Self-Help Center? Or an Abunana Design Studio?  An Abunana Delicacy Shoppe?  An Abunana Self-Publishing?  We were getting pretty kidding pretending to answer the phone, Abunana, at your service!  Such a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

But really, what about a place where grandparents could be supported in writing and publishing their stories.  Wouldn’t that be a fun place to run?  What do you think?

After the chanting of Abunana simmered down, I went back upstairs to draw and this is what came out.  The first Abunana pillow!  Never stop dreaming!

Dear Students Returning To School Today

Here it is, the first day back to school today.  I remember the new outfit, the anticipation.

I also remember the uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach at the unknown events that might occur in a world I was not creating but was expected to fit into.  It was a bit scary.  Okay, sometimes it was a lot scary.  A lot of the time I shrank down inside myself and watched the clock.  It was not until I found something within the school day that interested me that I could survive.  Sometimes a drama club or an art class or finding some activity that was meaningful to me, made me feel more at ease.

At any rate, know it isn’t easy to meld into a bigger pot of people apart from your family.  Hold on to the fact that you will have a home to return to at the end of the day.  Try not to blame your family for all the bad things that happened during the day.  Instead, examine what part you played in experiencing these irritating things to happen during the day.  Think of ways you could change your actions and reactions that might change the way things are happier tomorrow.  The most important thing is for you to create situations that make you happy.  You can do this!  Talk with your family and friends about school, but know in the end you have to make choices that are good for you to succeed.  Keep looking for the treasures that are hidden just for you within the school day.  And, if you still cannot find them, talk to your parents and let them know you need help in fitting in.  You may need to talk to them more than once, so don’t give up.  Keep talking until you feel comfortable at school!

One last thought.  In a way, going to school is preparation for going to work in the future.  Most likely you will be required to work in order to contribute to your family’s needs.  You may as well find solutions now for your uneasiness.  It will make a big difference to your life when you are older. Take a deep breath, or several breaths during the day and find your treasures hidden within your day.

I salute you who are returning today.  I wish you well. Trust in your reactions and be kind to yourself as you venture out into the world outside of your family!

September 1, 2014 – Some thoughts

8 313

 Even when you are having fun,

life slips by.

Even when you sulk around,

life slips by.

Even when you fall in love,

life slips by.

Even when you are sick and frail,

life slips by.

There’s no way to stop the time

you have in this one body.

You might as well hug yourself

and live in wondrous ways.

There’s no way to stop the time

you have in this one body.

So accept it well and live

today with all the secrets,

adventures, and

gifts to you alone.

Autumn Colors Personalize Designer Couch Pillow
Autumn Colors Personalize Designer Couch Pillow by Rascality
Shop for another pillow.

 

Five Ways to Combat Worry

WorryWe are at war.  Everyday.  We are not even aware. We wake up and try to smile at the day ahead.  Almost immediately our dutiful brains remind us of challenges, old debates and grudges we continue to hold.  Tapes begin to play in our heads. We are not even aware of them.  We dress to disguise any trace of unrest, and get on with the day.

This worry, no matter how short-lived within our days, takes it toll on our bodies: our muscles, bones and organs; our blood pressure, blood sugar and ability to fight off infection. Often we engage in worrisome thoughts, emerging from one worry to another.  We think this is life.  We think we are destined to be concerned.  This is the adult thing to do.  But worry is a state that keeps us from our true happy selves.  Worry is a state that damages our body.  Worry is the war we need to win.  Here are five ways to replace worry with confidence, smiles and general, overall happiness.

  1. Look in the mirror every hour.

You can use a mirror or your iPhone/iPad/computer camera. Look carefully.  Each time you use the restroom, look, really look at your facial expression as you pass the mirror.  It may surprise you!  Where’s your smile?  Where’s your ease?  Where’s the person you think you are?  The answer is, probably lost in some concern or worry.  Easy enough fix!  As soon as you recognize the worry, let it go and turn it into a smile.

Hi there! you say to yourself as if to a best friend.  How’s it going!  I sure love you!.  Now that will get you smiling because you will feel foolish at first, but it will work.  The more you become friends with yourself, the stronger, more confident you will become.

Put your timer on and do a spot check every hour for the first week or two.  See if things won’t turn around almost immediately.

2.  When you catch yourself worrying, give it a category.

It is thought that there are three ways to handle worry.  One: see if you can change the situation.  Two: see if you can set yourself apart from the situation.  And, three: accept the situation and go on.

Once you hear yourself lost in a concern (and you may see yourself faster than hearing yourself, so use the mirror every hour), decide how you will proceed.  Stop the tapes immediately.  For example.  You see a worried person in the mirror and ask what is going on.  You’re thinking about a water bill that just came in the mail.  You decide to categorize the worry.  You choose to change the situation by going to your checkbook or computer and paying the water bill.  You have freed yourself from worry.

But what if you do not have funds for the water bill?  Then you will need to dig a bit deeper and see what situation is causing this.  Once you identify the situation, (perhaps you spent all your money on a party last week), then you need to change your way of living in the future to make room for your expenses.  You can forgive yourself for being human, call the water company and ask for an extension and then pay the bill.  If your situation is more complicated with lots of months or years of making decisions that cause you worry, then you will need to take one worry at a time and sort them into categories and act on each worry, one by one, until you find peace.

3.  Do something out of character.

When you live within the same situations every day, it is hard to find solutions for your worries.  Give yourself a new character when you find yourself worrying.  Put on a crazy hat or shirt. Put your plates where your drinking glasses are, and your glasses where your plates were.  Change things around and get your brain occupied with something other than chewing and re-chewing your current worry.  This is especially important when you have chosen to accept the situation or person who is causing you worry.  Put on some music and even listen to a type of music that you seldom hear.  Let the light in!  If you don’t wear shoes in the house, wear shoes.  If you don’t dress up in your house, dress up.  Do anything out of character and you’ll see an improvement.  The part of your brain previously sending feelings of worry, will stop sending the worries and pause long enough to listen for a different directive..  This is enough time \ sort out your worries in a happier state.  Quickly solve your concern and move on. Life will all of a sudden become fun.

4. Let nature calm you:  take a walk, stroll, or drive

Nature is a free gift that is everywhere.  Nature waits to calm you!  It’s just outside your door.  Sit with a flower, bush or tree.  If you are quiet enough, nature will speak to your heart and in no time at all you will be feeling great.  If you want to tell nature all about your concerns, go ahead.  In moments you’ll be putting them into the categories and feel 100% better.

Walking is good for your body and good for relieving stress caused by worry.  A walk a day can keep the doctor away!

5.  Forgive yourself and others daily

Once you start thinking about the process of forgiveness, you can take advantage of the extraordinary opportunity it provides.  Letting go of resentment is a powerful tool toward letting go of worry.  Resentment imprisons us. Worry provides us with feelings of resentment.  It compares our lives to others and resents that we do not have the surplus of funds that seems so available to our friends.  Resentment goes on and on.  It provides us with a zillion reason this is so unfair.  We are lost and victimized through resentment and the worries continue.

Forgiveness is an often misunderstood and therefore under-utilized.  Lose the resentment of others when you perceive you are being threatened or disrespected.  Lose the resentment of perceived situations resembling hard times.  Lose the resentment of self when you do not measure up to what you perceive you should be.  Forgive, forgive, forgive.  Be generous in your for-giving!

When you are doing your hourly mirror checks, take a moment to forgive whatever is going on in the moment.  Forgive yourself, others and situations and you will become stronger, able to achieve more and happier.

Practice these five methods to decrease worry in your life.  I hope they help you and I hope they help to make a better, happier world.  I welcome your comments.

Love,

Barbara