Friday, March 26, 2010

The Four Agreements

For my 32nd birthday, Sheri got me a book I'd been wanting. It's called The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. I had heard such good things about it, and I was dying to read it...and because she is such a good friend, she went right out and bought it for me. I distinctly remember sitting down to start it that very night, but I'm a little fuzzy on the details after that. Obviously, I didn't finish it then.

Or the next time I picked it up either.

Or the next.

Many times over the next few years, I grabbed it to take on vacation or carried it in my purse, hoping to have that insatiable need to read it. But each time I was denied.

You know how sometimes you pick up a book you want to read, and when you start reading, your mind wanders? You start thinking about all sorts of random things that have nothing whatsoever to do with the book...planning your grocery list, thinking about your vacation (which is 4 months away!), trying to figure out when you can get to the gym, wondering when you'll be able to meet up with a friend for lunch...for some reason, you're just not into it. Well, that's what was happening here. I wanted to read it...I wanted the information in it. I just couldn't concentrate on it.

My mind was not ready...not peaceful. And that happens sometimes, through no fault of our own. It just isn't TIME.

Well, that all changed for me when I was working the Auto Show. Sometimes there will be periods of time when I won't have a client, so I always bring a book to read. And guess which one I grabbed on my way out the door this year? That's right...The Four Agreements. And apparently, it was finally TIME.

I read the entire thing in 2's a small book, and fairly easy reading. The concepts are easy to grasp, and promise "a practical guide to personal freedom". By committing to the four Toltec principles in the book, you can help to create love and happiness in your life. And after reading the book, I can see why. Nothing earth-shattering here, but some very good guidance, indeed. Talk about leading a simpler and drama-free life! And we could definitely all use a little of that!

The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

If you are in need of a little pick-me-up, or are looking for a way to get out of your rut...this just may be the book for you. Ruiz never promises it will be easy to stick to the Four Agreements, but he does assure you your life will undergo dramatic changes if you do. Food for thought!

And Sheri, thanks so much for the book!! It was worth the wait! And it only took me 7 years... ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Auto Show...and a laugh for the day!!

If you've been hanging out around here for very long, you know that every year at this time, I do chair massage at the Columbus International Auto Show. I don't work on the general public, just the product specialists. It's actually really fun, although it IS a long day of work. The product specialists are normally actors or models who do this when they aren't working on a project. They do "the auto show circuit" around their other jobs. How much fun is THAT? So I get to meet people from L.A., Chicago, Detroit, NYC, etc. And even better? THE STORIES. I ask every single person I work on what is the weirdest/funniest thing they've seen while working the shows, and boy do I get some hysterical answers!! You KNOW how I love comedy!

So this past weekend, I was working on a delightful gal from Chicago. Of course, I asked her my signature question..."So what is the funniest/weirdest thing you've seen on the auto show circuit this year?" She didn't even have to think about it...not for one little second. She quickly blurted out that it was definitely while working a show in Oklahoma. She was up on the platform, halfway through her presentation, when a guy drove by on one of those motorized carts that elderly people or injured people use at Meijer or Walmart, or what have you. But here's the funny part...his had a custom paint job. It was painted like a John Deere tractor.

Not funny enough yet...oh no.

No, this guy is driving a motorized cart painted like a John Deere tractor and PULLING HIS WIFE ON A MATCHING FLATBED TRAILER!!!

Now, I ask you...what is more embarrassing here? The John Deere-inspired motorized cart? The fact that you have a flat-bed trailer to match? Or the fact that you are pulling your wife on said trailer? about the fact that your husband feels that you are big enough to warrant being pulled on a flat-bed trailer, and does so in public??? (The gal telling me the story assured me that yes, the woman was quite large, and that she was, in fact, "sitting quite unlady-like" on the trailer.) LOL!!!!

I'm sorry, but I have to tell you that I almost peed my pants while she was telling me this. I mean, picture it, will you? Of course, I had to ask if this appeared to be normal to the folks of Oklahoma, or if other people were staring as well. She informed me that yes, everyone in the area just stopped what they were doing and stared. In fact, as well as this gal had her presentation memorized, and as many times as she's done it over and over and over, even she was rendered speechless for a second or two. It takes a lot to rattle these narrators, let me tell that is speaking volumes!!

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the reasons while I will never miss the Columbus International Auto Show!!! Well, the comedy AND the fact that it pays pretty good. Hey, I'm just keepin' it real here!! :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

The List

I just got back from taking Kendall to school, and upon taking a quick look-see around the kitchen to see what I needed to tackle first, I saw a big pile of papers sitting on the table that I hadn't noticed this morning. On closer inspection, it appeared that Kendall had decided to clean out her desk. There were notices about events in January (JANUARY!!), various graded assignments, art projects, pictures and notes from her friends...everything you would expect to find in a little girl's desk. As I was weeding through the ones that would go directly into the burn bin, I pulled one out that was a pencil-written list on lined paper. It was titled "My Mom". As I read through her list of 28 items, I laughed, cried, and felt proud...all at the same time. I thought I would share with you is her list:

My Mom

by Kendall

1.) She can make me laugh.
2.) She is good at cooking.
3.) She is understanding.
4.) She loves Daddy.
5.) She has natural curl in her hair.
6.) She loves me.
7.) She used to have a cat.
8.) She loves to read.
9.) She has brown hair
10.) She takes me to special places a lot.
11.) Her clothes are nice.
12.) She is a massage therapist.
13.) She will care for others.
14.) She is nice.
15.) She is short-tempered.
16.) She runs fast.
17.) She buys me what I need.
18.) She never lets me down.
19.) She takes the time to help others.
20.) No matter what...she always smiles.
21.) She has tons of friends.
22.) She has freckles.
23.) She encourages me a lot.
24.) She plays with me a lot.
25.) She loves shopping.
26.) She rocks!
27.) She will donate.
28.) She likes to read.

Now I know I am biased, but I think I have a pretty great daughter!!! This list, in it's pure and innocent honesty ("she is short-tempered" true!), has made my day. In this stage of her life, where I question almost every move I make with her and wonder what mistakes I am making on a daily basis, it's so good to see that the majority of things she lists about me are positive. Maybe I'm doing some things right after all...

Friday, March 05, 2010

Things to get accomplished today...

I just need one really productive day. Two or three would be nice, but I'd settle for one! Today, I'm going to try to get a lot of "little" things crossed off my list. Here are a few I've got my sights set on...

1.) My dad is going to build me a spice rack for the inside of one of my cabinets to match the one that is mounted on the other side. I need to take pictures of it and send him all the dimensions so he can get busy. He is also building me a pedestal for my front-load washer and dryer, so I need to send dimensions for that as well. I will be so grateful to have both of those things built!

2.) Finish my mileage reports so Barry can get the taxes finished. Figuring up mileage is my least favorite part of keeping my records, so I always put it off as long as possible. But hopefully today is the day to get it finished up!

3.) Season my cast iron skillets...they are in desperate need of a little TLC.

4.) Take Scout to get groomed. This is happening in one hour!

5.) Wash my Odyssey. While I was getting a massage last night, my friend Sheri stopped by and wrote "Hi Jen!" in the dust on my driver's side door. Can't be driving around like that now, can I? (Thanks for the kick in the pants, Sheri!)

6.) Schedule a consultation with the orthodontist for Kendall. Yes, it's about that denying it.

7.) Reschedule my dentist appointment. I can't find anyone to watch Noah that day, and I definitely don't want to have to take him with me.

8.) Schedule an appointment for a full-body scan with a dermatologist my D.O. recommended. I've never been to a dermatologist, and never been fully checked out. She thought this was a good idea, considering how fair my skin is. I guess I can see her point.

9.) Order Scout's heartworm meds for the next 6 months. It's so much cheaper to order them online through the vet's office!

10.) Call A Friend's House, our local domestic abuse shelter. I have a table and a TV to donate, and I'm ready to get it out of here.

11.) I really need to go get my eyebrows threaded, but I think that just might be pushing it.

12.) Make dinner and special snacks for the munchkins, because Barry and I are seeing Avatar tonight (YIPPEE!!!), and the kiddos are staying home with Uncle Luke. I promised them a Star Wars movie marathon complete with snacks if they can be good for him. Cross your fingers!

I'd better get busy...this list isn't going to complete itself!!!
Designed by Lena