It’s a rainy Monday here in NJ and to celebrate the rain, I started the day off with Karen Carpenter singing to me one of her famous hits: Rainy Days and Mondays….what a dreary song from a soul-searcher who never really ‘got’ how much she was loved and cherished, for whatever haunted her, it is undeniably heard throughout her entire catalog of music. I have always admired her unique quality and often tried to imitate her, in song, but not in Spirit. I always felt so bad for her, and when she passed away from the complications of anorexia, my own heart broke, and I realized another spirit left Earth that never quite found her way. That is what today is about…finding my way…..
In front of me on the kitchen table, (from where I am writing today) sits a beautiful vase filled with a dozen of the happiest Sunflowers I have ever seen. I have a neighbor across the driveway who insists on giving ‘me’ a gift whenever I give ‘her’ a gift, because she isn’t good at being a thank-you-note-kinda-gal. She shared with me that she buys stationery, thinks the thoughts, but can’t find the time or energy or wisdom to write the note. I giggled, as I am completely the opposite! I love to write! The flowers were for two little digital photo albums I had created for her from my Creative Memories Carriage House business – little Storybooks for her daughter and neice in honor of their First Holy Communions. It was truly a work of heart, and took me forever to create, for being a Protestant, I had NO idea about ‘what’ was involved in the day, and I must say, I almost became a Catholic by the time I was done googling the Hail Mary, and all the prayers and rites, rituals and passages that go along with a First Communion. I testify that – they loved the books – so my neighbor thanked me with a bouquet of Sunflowers. So- it may be raining outside, but in my baby-chick-yellow-painted kitchen they beckon at me from their sturdy stems and make me smile! The beauty of this life lesson is that in the past I have not been a good receiver of compliments and always countered the gesture with a negative, or a down-playing of what I had done, which I learned leaves the person who shares this gift of gratefulness with you, with a feeling of uncertainty. When another soul takes the time and verbally tells us they love something about us, or love what we’ve done, or made (created) our role is to say thank-you and endear their spirit (and our own soul) by saying out-loud, “Thank you so much for noticing that about me, I love that about me, too. ” Awkward – but so rewarding. The more I practice this graciousness, the more I notice as I look into the eyes of the giver that they feel gratified and the circle is completed. You validate your own soul in receiving the gift and validate the giver for presenting you with the opportunity to love yourself. Loving myself is what this whole chickchatfromthecarriagehouse journey is all about. It’s not been easy to do, and I struggle with it every single day….
Soul surfing is something that I have been practicing for years. Unfortunately, I am still paddling out to the break zone and getting pounded by the waves. This past Saturday morning, my husband and daughter and I sat down for a cup of coffee and watched the movie: Soul Surfer. So much about that movie resonated with me. Quite literally, I asked myself, “would it take getting my arm bit off by a shark to finally realize that I, too, can do ALL things thru Him who strengthens me? How much more of the Bible do I have to read before I get the message? How many more self-help books do I have to pour over before the words become reality in my day to day? How many mentors, messengers, moments have to occur before the knowing become owning? How much more misery must I go thru before it becomes someone else’s ministry? I do not know. But I am ready to duck-dive, and I have 2 hands and 2 arms and 2 elbows to be able to do that to come up on the other side of the waves…..and wait. I can wait in between the ‘big ones’ and feel the ‘water’ and utilize my sixth sense for the ‘right’ moment to take the wave in, not any wave, but the perfect wave. For God, knows. It is about HIS timing and not mine. I may not be able to stand on the board, but I can try. And I will.
What are you soul surfing for?