Read this only if you are thin-skinned

This post is for anyone with thin-skin.

Please Read this post only if you have thin-skin. If you feel deeply the unkind words and actions of others…if you have received criticism through angry words, callous actions, insidious gossip, careless jokes, please continue reading.

Disclaimer: This post is written by someone with thin-skin. It is for those with thin-skin.

If you are a thick-skinned, “take no prisoners”, kick-fanny-and-take-names kinda person, kindly click away. There is exciting content just for you on other pages and blogs.

Ok…are we alone now? <Looking over shoulder>.

Here is something i want you to know when you are in the midst of another’s criticism storm…

You are not alone. I want to wrap you in a hoodie of grace to weather criticism’s storm.
As you feel the insulation of this hoodie I want you to feel insulated in His love.

And here is something else i am learning as well…

Critical lotsa i's no u by teague

~Some advocate running away from criticizers. But, running away leaves the possibility for being caught.
~Some advocate arguing with the accuser. But when pots and kettles clang and clamor, then peace is lost. We are unmatched in the meanness arena.
~Some advocate envisioning a wall of protection, but what is walled-in and contained is difficult to share. And those who accuse and criticize are swirling in a poison chaos. They need what you have to share. Desperately. But from a distance, perhaps.

Every criticism, judgment, diagnosis, and expression of anger is the tragic expression of an unmet need. ~Marshall Rosenberg

I saw this quote from Marshall Rosenberg at Amanda Oaks’ kindness portal  and it zipped the hoodie of grace snugly around me.

blue snowy skyWhen in the storm of criticizing, i learned to count

and Because of Grace
The tally of letter i’s grew.
And there was absolutely no u’s to view.
It is about them and not you.
Or me.
Does it help to know you are not alone?
Does this help at all to heal from the pain?

Roses and My First Blog Give-away

joyceTflowrs

Photo by Joyce Takeda

1975: Walking one day with my dad in San Diego’s Balboa Park. I was a younger version of me and dad was a younger version of him. What he said during that day stayed with me all these years.

There was a popular song by Mac Davis called “Stop and Smell the Roses.” It played over and over on the radio (note to young readers: “radio” was an iPod before iPods were the brainchild of Steve Jobs).

We stopped to look at rows of delicate pink roses. The roses grew straight up and blossoms proudly opened to reveal layers of soft petals.

“You know, people always say that we should stop and smell the roses,” Dad said that morning,
“But please remember that someone took the time to plant them and nurture them so we can stop and enjoy them.”

Creativity/Virtues/Values are a bit like those roses: they grow best when we take the time to tend to them. When we accept our Creator’s invitation to partner in our own tending.

We cannot outsource our own Nurturing.

My adventure in the Be Gentle, Be Love eCourse  gave me the tools and the support. I (finally) slowed down and began to tend.
By (finally) taking the time to pause, ponder, read, reflect, synthesize, and create, my awareness and gratefulness blossomed. The experience has been reminiscent of sophomore English class only without the vocabulary to memorize. Or maybe a new vocabulary to internalize!

What I know: I am different after Day 30 than I was on Day 1

butterflysweetbluephotography1

via sweetbluephotography

Like the rose, I have blossomed. I’ve been nurtured by the course, Amanda, and the course community.
…and especially by an Abundant Creator.
These gifts were there all along from the Creator to (me!)
I continue to regain my once-(loud) voice and remove the
parentheses around (me)!

I am also the first nurture-tenderer to finish the course!

As a fun celebration of crossing the BGBL finish line, Amanda Oaks, course and book creator, has offered to give a free course ebook to a friend who also wants to tend to the blossoms of her own Creativity for awhile.

BGBL3dcover

Whether you're an artist, writer or someone that doesn't think you're creative at all, this book was tailored to help you dig deep inside yourself & then use what you find to create meaningful, life-shifting art.

Is that you? I hope so!
If you would like to be entered into a drawing to receive a BGBL e-coursebook, please leave a comment below describing a way
you tend to the blossoming creativity of your life. (journaling, music, dancing, praying, reading, cooking, baking, painting, etc…)

Feel free to comment each day through Wednesday, August 31.
On Thursday, September 1st a new month will start with a new gift (my first blog give-away!) for a randomly selected special someone.

Day 29~Vision~Be Gentle, Be Love

Would I rather have vision or sight?

My best sight has occurred in hindsight, when I look back and know what I should have done.
My best vision sees beyond masks, my own and others.
These masks deceive and twist my perspective. It is yucky wearing a mask.

I would like to be near-sighted and far-sighted:

Near enough to be aware and notice the beauty of each day

Far enough into the future to sustain hope

I recently had to choose new glasses when going the bi-focal route.
When the doctor gave me the glasses, he said it would take awhile to adjust to “corrected sight”

How correct he is.

vision

Day 29 Be Gentle, Be Love eCourse and eBook

Day 27~Justice~Be Gentle, Be Love

Justice Word Art

From my dad's talks: the question in the arrow is what he would always ask. The squiggled lined phrases are what was said about him.

No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do
only a little. ~Edmund Burke

From Day 27 in the Be Gentle, Be Love e-course

For a verse that helps when we seek Justice, gently click here

Day 26~Courage~Be Gentle, Be Love and Wholehearted Living

For awhile, Thursdays will provide a Because of Grace Wholehearted Living Story.
Today it is <tentative pause> about me.
This is not a post about superhero, admirable courage akin to those who fight for us and protect us.
This is a small incident report of a few of my small steps.

Every step is a step toward taking back your life.

You deserve this. ~Amanda Oaks

A couple of weeks ago, on my birthday, I hiked.
Solitary but not Alone.
Surrounded by Abundance
Reaching the summit.
I was not at all self-conscious about making the climb sing-glee
until a younger version of me commented about it, as she took my picture.
For a long minute
or two…

my spirit fell like Peter’s did when he walked on water toward the source of his joy.
and then started thinking too much. Too much in his head.

I smiled. Pointed to a hawk, felt the breeze

And I took tender steps away
from another’s idea of companionship,
my mind filled with possibilities of

hearing the voices the Indian’s still claim to hear in the breeze
and
getting the t-shirt that proved I climbed
and
soaking in the pedicure
and
the iced latte(s)

The breeze swirled with this reminder…

 Baby souls follow.

Young souls lead.

But old souls are happy to dance alone. ~Mike Dooley

Openness~Day 22 Be Gentle Be Love

Elizabeth Lesser Poem

I meshed the quote above by Elizabeth Lesser with the background for Day 22 in the Be Gentle, Be Love class.
Then, when re-reading the course content for Day 22, these words, previously read,  resonated loudly:

if you open your heart & mind, life begins to show you its greatness, that you would’ve never experienced had you kept your viewpoints sealed shut.  ~Amanda Oaks

The gentle challenge for me is to keep my eyes open and not retreat to the safe and familiar.

Maybe,  Because of Grace I can :)

Openness

A page from my journal caressed on a shimmering blanket of hearts

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
{Gently click on the picture to see what I am openly accepting}

Day 5 Kindness: Be Gentle Be Love

 “You are in a toxic friendship: Niceness, you say their behavior is okay & let them off the hook time & time again. Kindness, you tell them they need to change their ways & offer your help to do so.”  ~Amanda, Teacher, Be Gentle, Be Kind course

Amanda teaches me that there are differences between Niceness and Kindness that nudge passed semantics. I have noticed them this week. From the corner of my dad’s hospital room I have paid more attention. Niceness is Mary, the nurse’s aide who brings his food tray with a smile. Kindness is Mary’s action to remember to place the tray angled to the right because of dad’s sluggish left side, gently placing all the utensils within his reach. Napkin too, although Southern regimentation dictates its left-most position

Niceness is Adam, who arrives quickly to rotate him, calling him “Sir.” Kindness is Tony, the technician assigned to complete the barium swallow test, but who stays, noticing the length of time that Dad has been in this same position. Tony calls Adam, and together, with Adam, gently instructing Adam in the best way, Tony stays to readjust my dad, adding range-of-motion exercises to let sluggish muscles know that Tony won’t let them lapse to atrophy on his watch.

Even though it is not in his “job description,” Tony stays. He lingers, positively, confidently. With dignity.

And so does Kindness. Niceness arrives and that is good. Kindness lingers and that is better.

If Niceness places a period after action, Kindness inserts the ellipses that continues and extends.

Big Yellow Sun

Course Invitation to Create: Use the Printable Kindness Sun in your printable pack or draw/paint a circle in the middle of your page & write the word Kindness inside. Make lines coming out of the circle like a sun. Start with however many lines you wish. On each of those lines write down an act of kindness that you will perform.

As I look at the sun, maybe it is just my insistence on using the printer toner until the very end, but I think I see something. The sun rays grow lighter as they extend. The rays are strongest at the center, then dissipate as they extend. We lose control of what can happen next, but what happens next will be better than good.

From this corner of the hospital, with dad resting, breathing deeply now, this seems to symbolize that as our kindness leaves our center, we lose.

We lose control of it. It blends with other moments, other paths, other lives.
And in a swirl of Sprit, it extends.

Is this what pixie dust is?

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