Advice From A Tree

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The deep rooted symbolism of a tree is hard to deny, and over the last year of my life in particular, the strong, massive presence of trees and what they stand for has been an undeniable presence in my life and down my life’s path.  I would like to recognize their importance in my life and take notice of what lessons they have to impart.

A forest full of trees is as beautiful as it is dangerous which makes the allure even more great.  The lessons that I have learned while walking through this particular stretch of forest have been as daunting as a dark forest in the dead of night and as inspiring as a lush, green path at the break of new day.  I’m taking it all in.  I’m learning and growing slowly, like a tree.

A flower may grow to it’s full beauty in one season, quick and noticeable, but that’s not what I’m after.  A tree grows long and true. A tree stands firm and strong for years to come.  A flower may attract more attention in the short term, but the tree stands it’s ground and lays roots as far and wide spread underground as it does above ground.  You may not realize as you stand next to a tree just how much is underneath the surface.

Wood is solid, wood is long lasting, but at the same time with a spark can be burned to the ground.  Even the strongest of oak trees has a weakness.  But the symbolism of a large, abounding tree is unmistakeable.  There is much to be learned from our forest friends and I am in constant awe of their lessons and beauty.

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Love is Like a Butterfly

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Bamboozled at the Movies

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Taking my daughters to see their first movie made me very happy!  Having to carry my frightened 2-year-old out during the trailers because they were incredibly terrifying did not make me happy.  Who matches up the movie trailers with the feature film and why is the rating of the actual movie not considered more carefully in this process?

I took my 2 and 3 year old daughters to see Madagascar 3 in the hopes that they would be entertained by the familiar characters and easy to understand humor.  In my opinion, three of the five movie trailers were exceedingly inappropriate for the target audience that a movie trilogy like Madagascar attracts.  I have no problem with my kids seeing Katy Perry don all sorts of crazy outfits and sing about fireworks, but when my girls saw the trailer for Paranorman they were almost driven to tears by the horrific monsters and Psycho and Jason spoofs that were way too nightmarish for their innocent little eyes.  Do they really need to be introduced to the idea of creepy, green monster hands coming out from underneath a bed while eerie music plays?  I have done a pretty good job of hiding this sort of thing from them so far only to be bamboozled by the movie industry.

I was able to take my youngest out of the theater and calm her down.  It took a few minutes of convincing her that the actual movie had not started yet and then we were able to enjoy the rest of our time at the movies.  So shame on the movie industry for dropping the ball on this one.  I really feel like there must have been some better trailer choices for a cartoon meant for young audiences.  I’ll never arrive in time to see the trailers again, so the movie industry is missing out on a big advertising opportunity with this family.

As for the happy part of this adventure, I’m thrilled to have another outing I can enjoy with my kids!  Being able to venture out to see a movie on a rainy afternoon is a pretty cool option to add to my mommy bag of tricks.  We nibbled on popcorn and licorice together and giggled with each other through the whole movie.  I’d just like to keep it G rated for as long as I can.

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Change the Channel

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I accept personal responsibility.  I accept blame.  Even if I had been blindly guided into each decision that has led me to today, I still indict myself for every choice.  I’m not any worse off than my neighbor and I never got a bum deal.  It’s all perspective and it’s all in my head.  Taking an honest assessment of my strengths and making an effort to sort through my weaknesses keeps me in check.  If I am to find happiness, I need to be willing to give up on blame.  I need to stop giving away my power and take responsibility for my own life and my own choices.  The consequences give me wisdom to grow, change and learn from all that I experience.  The consequences are what help me survive and motivate me to stay my course on this journey.

So what am I supposed to do with all this disappointment?  Harboring disappointment will never lead to happiness.  I seem to feel disappointed when others fall short of my expectations, so again, it’s ultimately my responsibility to keep my expectations in line with reality.  And then there is regret.  I am accountable for my own choices and therefore must direct the blame inward when a personal choice does not meet a positive outcome.  The disappointment about the outcome itself should only be a lesson, not a source of stress.  My energy is better focused on finding healthy ways to avoid poor decision making by using more careful analysis.  Always thinking that the glass will remain half full no matter what happens is a fool’s fallacy.

Then again, when I have a win, I can feel fully empowered while I take my victory lap with my fists pumping and my smile wide.  Positivity is a skill to be mastered and must be attained with mindfulness.  The world doesn’t owe me any favors and I’m ok with that.  I take pride in working hard for what I achieve.  Fulfillment is like a warm shower after a long run…sometimes that’s the best part.

The running diatribe of others that I hear means that I’m listening to the wrong source.  It’s not my burden to bear, it’s my choice to change the channel.  Even static in between the stations is better than negativity.

Better yet….unplug.

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myhappypromise

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