Friday, October 29, 2010

Friendship and Goodwill

Ok – it's the end of Friday and I have come painfully close to missing this deadline to do my blog today.

The week has been a full one; an election here at the beach, meetings with clients, networking events and then more meetings to initiate a plan to move a vision forward for our community here. These are the tangible bits and pieces of my week.

What is really happening though is that relationships are being built or being broken based on some intangible essential ingredient called 'good will.' We either have goodwill for each other – and therefore a friendship – a trust and a bond that allows us to work together- or we don't.

I treasure my friends and I am currently mourning a friend who has meant a lot to me. Now, it needs to be understood that this friend is far from perfect – in fact, she can be very annoying. But that is the true gift and privilege of friendship – it allows us to be who we really are – warts and all – and to feel loved and accepted exactly as we are.

If there is enough goodwill in a relationship, then it is possible to overcome the inevitable glitch – the annoyances, the fights, the disagreements and the tears. If there isn't, then nothing will resolve the differences.

We need to come together in friendship now more than ever. Goodwill is in short supply in many parts of the world; maintaining it in our own world is extremely important.

The words of Randy Revel – founder of Context Associated – ring in my ears often and never more often than now – he believed that we needed 'to strengthen the fabric of goodwill that exists in the world.' This was an idea that I bought into over 26 years ago and I continue to buy into it today. It is a simple but very important idea – an idea whose time has finally come.

Friendship equals goodwill.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Saying Goodbye

I'm having a difficult time getting to my blog today. No real inspiration and a lot of sadness. I have received very sad news about a very close friend of mine. She has cancer and she has been told today it is terminal – 6months to a year to live.

For me, this is a first. I have never had a friend of mine in this position. I have of course had other people in my life – family and close family friends – who have passed away. The difference has been that they weren't my peers, she is my peer. We have known each other since high school and we have had a lot of laughs and good times together; including a trip to Italy. We have also shared many sad and difficult times; this obviously being among the most difficult.

Soul mates can be friends too – friends who share a certain soul connection, an understanding and a history that I thought would last forever. It has called me up very sharply to know that this particular friend is nearing the end of her time here with me and with everyone else who knew and loved her.

This isn't the usual kind of thing that gets posted on a blog about 'Soul Mates' but I made a commitment to write this twice a week. That means that I write it, whether I feel like it or not. I also promised myself to be authentic and write about what was in my heart and on my mind.

Today – this is what is in my heart and on my mind – the termination of a relationship through death. A tough one because it isn't the one we expect or feel any sense of control over. So for me, it is coming to grips with this passage and to make whatever plans I need to make in order to honour this relationship and give it the respect that it is due.

Time to say goodbye.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Point System

The other night on my way out, sans the husband, my parting remark was, 'Don't have too much fun without me.' To which he responded, 'I never do.' My retort back was, 'Correct response.' To which he said, 'One point.' Ah but a very good point.

Women and men count differently. When a man does something for a woman, say buys her flowers, or takes her out for dinner or a trip to Jamaica – it's one point for each event. On the other hand, when a woman does something great for a man, it usually is about 50 points or several hundred. A man can live on the bounty of a good compliment from a woman for a long time. Sadly, the same is not true for the woman; it is still just one point.

I was introduced to this particular point system many years ago and thought it was rather interesting – didn't quite believe it and then I noticed that it was true. A great evening out with my husband, fun as it is, is still just one point. The next day, the counter starts again. Now the men reading this may think that this is totally unfair and yes, it probably is but if you can adapt yourself to the system.

For example, one rose = one point; a dozen roses = one point. Given the points system what is the better thing to do; one rose a day for twelve days = 12 points or a dozen roses on one day = 1 point? See, you can make this work for you.

Women have a short attention span when it comes to grand gestures; they enjoy them but they don't have staying power. In other words, you can't sweep a women off her feet, take her to Vegas for a weekend, wine and dine her and buy her diamonds and expect that to last a year or two, no, it doesn't work that way. The way women count that would be about 4 maybe 5 points and they all disappear once the weekend is over.

For a man, a wonderful meal, a great compliment, a beautiful gift can rack up any where from 50 to a 1,000 points; often good for a few weeks and perhaps even a year. Men will remember and therefore forgive a woman when she's moody, unhappy or downright miserable – he's still living off the points from last Christmas.

So then you have to ask yourself, why is the woman moody, unhappy or miserable? That's right; he's thinking that she's doing the same thing – living off the many points from that great birthday present or holiday. Nope – she isn't – she is down a few points now and any little thing he does is upsetting – because those big events were only two points and the slate was clean the next day.

This may seem like a very unfair way of counting and frankly, it is. But here’s how it works, you can accumulate many points in one day and it doesn't cost much. A great compliment, a helping hand, a thoughtful gesture – hug, kiss or even a rose – every day will keep you in the black.

Now aren't you glad I taught you how to count?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Feeling Blessed

I started this Blog with a focus and title of 'Soul Mates' and now it looks like I am off on other tangents. Well, it may look like that but the theme running through all of these blogs is on relationships. The relationship that I am focused on is the one that I am having with myself. This is the one that needs to be in tip top shape before I can have a relationship with a soul mate.

Also, just to further clarify the point, a soul mate relationship can be any relationship; between same sex friends, between parent and child, between brothers and sisters – the connection is the important factor. A soul connection is a deeper more meaningful connection that features transparency, honesty, integrity and acceptance. There's that word again – acceptance – joyful in particular.

Creating 'soulful' connections with people starts on the inside. How I think, how I feel and how I extend myself out into the world is a function of me and my acceptance and love for myself.

When I am in 'right relationship' with myself; I can then be in 'right relationship' with everyone else. Creating right relationship with self begins with feeling blessed and knowing that you are absolutely perfect just as you are right now. You don't have to fix yourself, lose weight, buy a new wardrobe or do anything else to 'improve' yourself - you are beautiful, lovable and completely 'perfect' just as you are.

Now don't you feel blessed?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Miracles are everywhere

Stop and think for a moment about the miracles that have happened for you today. We don't do this often enough and yet it is only in being aware of the miracles that we open ourselves to more.

The world has recently witnessed 33 men rescued from a mine in Chile. Out of the darkness into the light – who would have thought that would happen? They faced enormous fears; the worst kind possible and yet, they are alive today to tell their story. This is a miracle and we are all a witness to it.

In a previous post I wrote that a miracle is a 'shift in perception.' A simple definition but think about it – how much did those men need to shift their perception to retain their sanity and optimism that they would be safe? They emerged from this ordeal not haggard, not miserable, not angry - in fact, the opposite; prayerful, thankful, feeling blessed and smiling with joy. That didn't just happen because they were released from their prison. They were released, I would suggest, because they were able to shift their perception of the situation to one of acceptance beforehand.

I may be wrong about this but I think that before we get released from the prison we place ourselves in; we need to shift our perception and accept where we are and notice that our life is already blessed.

Now can you see the miracles?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness as a spiritual practice is the act of letting go and being able to 'give again.'

We forgive so that energy can flow again and we can start receive what it is we desire. This relates to love, money, joy, inner peace – whatever it is that you want to be flowing in your life.

For example; if love is missing then the antidote is to forgive someone who you are currently withholding love from. Usually that person is the person closes to you; your partner, children, friends, brother, sister, mother, father. When you forgive you return to a place of 'joyful acceptance' or unconditional love – you welcome the flow of love back into our life.

So, why am I writing about forgiveness today? Well, traditionally after a long weekend like Thanksgiving, things don't always go to plan. Sometimes feelings are hurt, words are spoken (refer back to the previous post) and there may be some anger and resentment that you are holding onto.

Times with family can be like that. People do their best and yet, the afterglow may not be as beautiful as had been hoped.

To start this week off fresh – let go – forgive who ever you need to forgive – including yourself – and begin to enjoy the flow again.

My favourite definition of a miracle is 'a shift in perception.' Miracles abound in the energy of forgiveness.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Men, Women and Medals

Why do women continue to choose to have a man in their life when it really isn't essential? This is a conversation my husband and I had earlier this year. I had commented to him that we are in our 20th year of being together as a couple. My husband's response was that he deserved a medal – I said, no, actually, I think I'm the one who needs and deserves a medal.

Needless to say, he challenged that remark and stated that we women were pretty darned full of ourselves. My response back was that previously women have needed men for social and economic reasons and as such, put up with their bad behaviour. Since these reasons no longer apply and women are creating their own wealth and social networks, men are no longer essential to requirements. Explaining why many more women today are choosing single life over being married or co-cohabiting with men. They no longer feel the need to put up with behaviour that is unacceptable.

My husband's response was that this statement had a disturbing ring of truth to it and must be immediately denied.

Women don't need men anymore but they certainly do want men in their life. The question becomes, how do you live with a man and not go crazy with some of his weird and wonderful ways of being?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Living in the Flow

Relationships like most things in life have an ebb and flow. Living by a river, I feel quite connected to the flow of life.

Life is simple on the river. Nature operates in a pretty balanced way; for every day of sunshine and smooth waters, we have days of thunder and lightening and rocky water. The river, and nature in general, reminds me to enjoy the smooth days that flow and prepare for the stormy weather.

This is true of our relationships; they have days that are smooth, that flow like the river; life feels effortless. Then there are days when it feels like the sun will never shine again.

Part of being in a relationship, especially with a soul mate, is learning how to go with the flow and trust that storms do pass and the sun will come out again.

Enjoy the weekend and remember to not get caught in the rain!