Helpful Tools

Tools of the Trade

Dreams can take a long time to come true.  Goals can seem forever in the distance.  It’s a fairly common outcome to lose our steam in the journey to arrive.  Today I thought I would talk about the importance of symbols and how to use them for the greater good.

Anyone who holds down a job when its not their dream job is to be commended.  It’s hard giving it your all when your heart isn’t in it, but you likely have mouths to feed and bills to pay, right?  If there really is a dream burning in your heart, you are thinking of it 24/7, day in and day out.  It takes a lot of courage to awake to a new day and see that things haven’t changed for you (I hope I’m not making you cry, here – take this quick hug from me!).

Many times I debated (fantasized would be a better word) of stringing a bead-counter across my office.  I would, in my head, slowly move the beads to one side as I counted the times I had been annoyed with someone or something.  Voodoo dolls and stickpins entered my thoughts, too.  I came so close to the real deal in my office, but I stopped. The good me told me it wasn’t the right thing to do.  I would be drowning in negative energy and that doesn’t help anyone.

The RIGHT thing to do is to make positive symbols, ones that help you keep your eye on the prize.  For me, I have this rugged backpack filled with my artists supplies and sketch books (none of my coworkers no a secret artist lives in me).  It was a gift from my husband, so that really elevates the positive vibe level.  It has a little weight to it and the truth is I don’t really need to lug it with me to work everyday… but I do.  The constant visual along with the physical act of carrying my dream with me has been transforming.

I have read that other people wanting to reach their dreams should dress the part.  A physical change in dress can also transform the thoughts of a person.  In the picture, I show another gift from my son, a beautiful woven scarf from Africa.  I am told the richer colors indicate a person of greater wealth.  It makes me feel special, so I wrap up in it and start churning out all kinds of creative thoughts.

Last, but not least is this very simple, little package.  One day, when I was feeling a little sorry for myself and my dream, I decided to wrap up a package, as special as I could make it.  The package would sit in front of me at work and be a little reminder of the exciting things I had in store for myself.  I have probably had that little present near me for over two years (no one said dreams happen overnight).

I hope I have given you some ideas how you can make your dreams and goals more real.  Whatever you do, keep your dream alive!





Helpful Tools

Laughter Unleashed

When is the last time you laughed so hard you cried?  I mean gasping for air, can’t talk, tears streaming down your face?   Even 30 minutes later little flurries of  giggles pour out.  And you feel good.  Even the next day you feel good, a smile glancing across your face in memory of the event.

Apparently, it is so few and far between that my family recalls those moments of me fondly and retells the stories as if worthy enough to hand down from generation to generation.

But that is changing, everywhere in my life.  I’ve begun to notice how laughter is creeping back in, settling into a more permanent fixture.  It certainly didn’t happen overnight.  I love going to work now and engaging with my very pleasant co-workers.  Sharing in funny stories of their personal lives or daily routine.  The hum of a happy staff person engrossed in their work, is music to my ears.  Back home I share in a laugh with my family from a clever comment or something funny that happened.  It’s a great way to start the day.

If you are jealous right now, I get it, I would be too.  It was not always like this, not for years, which is a long time to feel dead inside. A heavy fog had settled over “employment land” leaving it a barren landscape.  Sadly, it just takes one person to cast that cancerous cloud.  When that person leaves, it can take a really long time for people to feel safe again.  In my personal life, unfulfilled dreams left me feeling bitter and resentful – and I didn’t know how to deal with that.

Recently I was thinking about how I feel so deeply when a sad event has occurred.  I internalize it and feel that the only right and honorable thing I can do is to keep carrying on with the “grief torch.”  That is probably why I try to watch as little news as possible, the ugliness seems to stick.  With regret, I realized that time is passing me by and the wonderful little giddy moments –  that I actually have control over –  are nonexistent.  I CAN laugh, I CAN dance, I CAN live in the moment.

Right now, unhappiness and conflict rocks my faith community, to the point of people leaving.  I remember when this happened years before and I recall the words of my father-in-law, “We will still be here to carry on, long after others leave.  This time will pass.”  It’s often hard for us to see the horizon and that conflict is temporary.

You may think that it is the foolish that laugh, that celebrate… maybe it is the wise.


Planes, Trains, & Automobiles – laughing at their troubles