creating a life you love


An Invitation

You can create a life you love… right here, right now.

You’re going to work with the raw material of your life… exactly as it is.

Start with a willingness to practice creating moments of
Peace, Joy, Empowerment, And love… in each day.

What would that look like?
What is peace? Joy? Empowerment? Love?
How does one live those qualities?

Peace is a deep inner quiet we each have within us, that can be accessed anywhere, any
time, by briefly pausing, breathing deeply and allowing one’s self to be still.

Joy is the exuberant feeling that comes from being aware and awake to the small miracles
and wonder of life in each moment.

Empowerment is recognizing one’s ability to take action, and taking action.

Love is making a choice in this moment to support one’s divine potential or that of
another with kindness and compassion. Love is not an adjective, it is a verb.

You can create a life you love by bringing these qualities to the circumstances of your life
as they are now. All you need is a sincere “yes” to yourself… and a daybook…

A daybook can be on your phone, I-pad, computer. It can be a big beautiful journal or a
little notepad that can be carried easily in a pocket or purse. It can be a graphic journal
where you draw instead of write.

Each day just take a moment to record:

When today did I create a moment of peace?
When today did I create a moment of joy?
When today did I create a moment of empowerment?
When today did I create a moment of love?

As you begin doing this right here, right now… your life will change and you will begin
creating a life you love.

 

woman-sitting-in-beach-yoga-practice
Chapter 0

Finding Balance

“To be a woman is to have interests and duties, raying out in all directions from the central mother-core, like spokes from the hub of a wheel.  The pattern of our lives is essentially circular. We must be open to all points of the compass; husband, children, friends, home, community; stretched out, exposed, sensitive like a spider’s web to each breeze that blows, to each call that comes. How difficult for us, then, to achieve a balance in the midst of these contradictory tensions, and yet how necessary for the proper functioning of our lives.”                                                                – Anne Morrow Lindberg, Gift of the Sea

It was not a good day.

feature1aI had awakened too late to shower before work and had six appointments scheduled nearly back to back looming before me.  A few pounds I had so conscientiously lost during summer had found their way home.  We needed groceries and my desk had become such a mess I couldn’t find the list.

I felt overwhelmed and discouraged by my many responsibilities in life as a wife, mother, (even though the children are all gone, in theory anyway) therapist, writer, and homemaker.

It seemed like my life perfectly fit Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s observation in her book Gift from the Sea, that our lives as women tend “more and more toward the state . . . described . . . in the German word, ‘zerrissenheit’ –torn-to-pieces-hood.”

Lindbergh was married to the famous pilot Charles Lindbergh and was in fact a pilot herself.  She was the mother of six children—her first kidnapped and killed when he was only 20 months old.  She ran a large household teeming with children and social events.  She survived political scandal during World War II.  During her life she lived in six states and three different countries. And despite serious difficulties in her marriage to Charles, it lasted 45 years.

GiftFromTheSeaCover Gift from the Sea, her inspirational book for women was published in 1955. The book has sold over three million copies and has been translated into 45 languages—with good reason.

I own two copies. One is underlined numerous times in different colors of ink because of the many times I have read it. Now, once again, dear Anne has rescued me.

As I write, it is my day off, which really means: the day I scramble to get ‘everything else’ done in my life that is ignored while I am working as a therapist.  My work is deeply meaningful to me, helps provide for our family, and honestly feels more like a ‘calling’ than a profession.

Nevertheless, it is demanding and like most women I struggle to juggle my different roles and many responsibilities.

nature-sand-shell-starfish-wallpaperToday though, I have spent most of the morning rereading Anne’s book yet again. And it has felt like I have been sitting on the beach next to her, looking at the elegant shells that provide the poignant metaphors in her book, and listening to a woman who is older and wiser than me.

This is what she has been reminding me in our conversation:

Simplify:  Have fewer clothes and possessions so life is easier to manage; make simple meals, (see my daughter Sarah’s recipe at the end of this article); let go of perfectionism with running our homes—not worrying what others think or minding a bit of a mess here and there. She instructs us that peace comes when we ask ourselves how little we can get along with and live the answer.

woman walking in natureSeek Solitude: “When one is a stranger to oneself,” she writes, “then one is estranged from others. . . .the most important times are when we are alone.” (I obeyed her immediately and went down to the trail close to our home and sat on a big rock in the middle of Cougar Creek and just listened to the sound of water rushing down the little green canyon. It truly helped.)

Say No: “With our pitchers, we attempt sometimes to water a field, not a garden,” Anne tells us. “We throw ourselves indiscriminately into committees and causes.” She reminds us we need to feed our spirit, and still our center.

img-thingStay Centered and Strong:  Anne’s metaphor of ‘the hub of the wheel’ in her book offers us a powerful metaphor regarding where our energy is best directed in order to sustain the myriad spokes of life. The hub is the element around which all the spokes (activities and responsibilities) revolve.  By staying balanced and strong, honoring our core, we are less likely to be pulled off course or to crack.

Even as I write, I myself feel the tuggings of skepticism.  I have been trying to get organized my whole life, and have in fact more times than I can tell you . . . the trouble is order’s natural inclination to return to chaos!  But today my eyes are opening to a new vision.  Anne is not talking about doing as much as she is talking about being.

And being is not something we add to our to-do list.  It is a way we inhabit our lives. It means noticing our own breath and practicing it mindfully.  It can be stepping away from our demands just for a few moments to walk around the block. It might mean expanding our inner narrative about what really matters and what is actually working for us. It can mean saying ‘no’ to what is a distraction from our true work and ‘yes’ to what really matters.

stock-footage-attractive-woman-in-tree-yoga-pose-on-pristine-beach-dolly-shotAs Anne puts it, “It is more basically, how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off center; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel.”

paragraph-clipart-13309573511112670181decorative-lines-2_largeMy daughter Sarah has three children under six.  Her husband, Grant, is working on his doctorate degree at the University of Michigan.  This is an easy recipe that helps in her busy life as a mom and resident assistant in family housing.  This is shared — exactly as she wrote it– so you will see her humorous personality and her appreciation of not taking life too seriously unless need be! This is what we’re having for dinner tonight.

 Sarah’s Fickle Chili

1 can diced tomatoes undrained
1 can corn (whether you drain it or not depends on how you feel that day.)
3 or 4 cans of any kind of beans (I use kidney, pinto, and black.)
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
½ packet of Chili Seasoning (But even this is optional)
 
Everything else is for sure optional, depends on what you have in the house.
Diced Onion
Diced green or red bell peppers
Cooked meat
Throw all of it in a crockpot. Stir. Cook on low for 8 hrs/ high 4 hrs.

 

©2012 Tamera Smith Allred. All rights reserved.
Chapter 0

Choosing Happiness

Hello Dear Readers, I am at Sea Breeze Farm with my daughter Rose. My daughter, Maria Allred, who posts and does the pictures for these posts is in the middle of filming and getting donors for her new film If.I Love You.  See her new update video for her project here and please donate if you can.  She is on the home stretch and almost to goal.  In the meantime, here is an article I wrote just a little over a year ago about a spontaneous...

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Chapter 0

Living Consciously

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” Aldous Huxley, complete Essays 2   Often we move through our waking lives partially asleep. Our unconscious mind has hidden motives, influencing our choices and actions without our knowing.  Examples range from the simple to the complex—eating when we’re not hungry because we long for something else in life; or having an affair in a misguided attempt to find the fathering or...

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Chapter 0

The Season of Soul

“We get out of bed in the morning and begin again where we left off yesterday, attacking life as if we were waging a campaign of control and survival.  All the while, deep within us, flows an endless river of pure energy. It sings a low and rich song that hints of joy and liberation and peace.” – Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open As summer gives way to fall, the air is cooler; night pulls its dark cover over the day earlier; and trees are...

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