Don’t Give Up

Before I publish my usual “Happy New Year” post, I want to remind myself (and anyone else who needs it) that giving up is easy. Persevering is hard. And sometimes doesn’t make sense.

I’m a short distance runner. And by short, I mean two miles max. I run every day with my dogs. Rain or shine. Dark or light. Make the bed, brush my teeth, throw my gear on, leash the pups and we’re out the door. It’s a habit. If I don’t get my running fix, I’m out of sorts and my back aches. I doubt that anyone on earth who knows body mechanics can explain it. I’ve been told by many experts not to do it. But it works for me. So I’ll keep running (like Forrest) until I stop.

But that’s not what I want to remember. 

What I want to remember is that after three days of taking a walk instead thanks to Goliath, I needed a run. Badly. Headed out with my girls and Chloe (our houseguest) and it wasn’t looking good. The melt, freeze, melt, freeze cycle we’ve had made it slicker today than ever. Every other step was treacherous. The girls were pulling and I couldn’t keep my footing. The voice in my head had a few choice phrases:

“This is madness.”

“You’re going to break your neck.”

“Don’t be an idiot.”

“Turn around. Now.”

“Are you stupid or something?”

And that’s just a few feet into my culdesac! But I thought, “just a bit further.” I turned the corner. And there it was. Bare pavement. All the way to the end of the subdivision. More than a mile and a half. Sweet relief!

To the voice in my head that tells me a I can’t or shouldn’t, I have a few phrases for you:

“I’m not stupid or crazy.”

“Easy is for wimps.”

“Mow your damn lawn and sit the hell down.”

Sometimes you just have to keep pushing to get what you want.

Don’t. Give. Up.

The Art of Being Human

Say yes.Bend the rules.Show up on
Although this blog post from my hero Seth Godin is aimed at small businesses, one cannot escape the universal truths. From his “Yes!, please and thank you,” just substitute “customer” for “person” and you’ll get the gist.
“Don’t jerk people around” writes Godin. I can’t imagine any situation in which the following suggestions would not be appropriate.

  • Say yes.
  • Bend the rules.
  • Show up on time.
  • Keep your promises.
  • Don’t exert power merely because you can.
  • Be human, be kind, pay attention, smile.

Not everyone deserves this sort of treatment, not everyone will do their part to be the kind of customer you can delight and serve. But that’s okay, you don’t need everyone.

The Silence is Deafening

The Silence is Deafening

Books of Inspiration
Sometimes the universe has a message for me…I just have to be still enough to hear. I’m in the midst of a BIG life change as I transition to my new role as a professor at the College of Media & Communication. The last few months have been a blur of activity, but I have kept good on my commitment to journal as a tool to reflect on the day before and focus on the day ahead. Well…mostly. IT’S BEEN REALLY BUSY!

I like to mix things up, so I dug out an unlikely selection of books to dip into for a daily dose of reflection or inspiration. From the Bible to “Putting First Things First” … from to Islam to Tao, my 2015 collection has it covered.

For the second day in a row, the messages are pretty clear:

  • Slow down and be at peace with the quiet in your life.
  • More is not better.
  • Slow and steady wins the race, making little changes add up over time.

What message does the universe have for you? SHHHHHH. You have to be still and listen.

Read my TUMBLR post from yesterday.

Today’s inspiration from DailyOm
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With all our best intentions and rich resources, why is it so hard to slow down, simplify, and care for ourselves? Why do most clearing efforts fall short or peter out?

Why are we so afraid to let go?

Our drive to attain and succeed comes at a great cost to the soul. We are malnourished, if not starved, when it comes to compassionate self-acceptance, awareness, and care. We yearn for simplicity but struggle to find it. We ache for balance but can’t sustain it. There is no time to juggle it all, let alone clear the things and thoughts that have caused us to feel so overwhelmed in the first place.

Most traditional approaches do not make room for us to feel the feelings that come up when we clear, and they make us feel bad when we fall short. These linear modalities do not account for our fight or flight response, nor recognize the energetic impact that our thoughts and emotions can have on our living spaces.

After years of study, deep inquiry, and personal experience, here’s what I know for sure:

For clearing to last you need to put yourself first. You won’t make a dent in reducing the stress and stuff until you’ve healed the patterns that created it. If you don’t feel safe, you won’t let go. Clearing is an inside job that begins and ends with you.

For clearing to last you need to change your mindset. Clearing is not something you “do” or squeeze into your life. It’s a way of life – a journey – that doesn’t always add up, make sense, or go in a straight line. Clearing is not about “getting rid of.” It’s about letting go of the things and thoughts that get in the way of realizing your true nature and best life.

For clearing to last you need to slow down. Clearing old habits and resisting behaviors is not possible until you slow it …way …down. In a world that is all about speed, this requires awareness. Daily doses of it. “Slow drip” efforts applied consistently over time are the real game changer here.

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Happy New Year!

As I open my journal (a left-over composition book rescued from my ex-husband’s hoard) so much has happened, but so much has remained the same. A good thing. My entries tend to be short … moments of joy and worry, hope and frustration, pride and disappointment … affirmations, reflections of books I read, food I enjoyed and places I traveled; rants about my parenting failures…little pieces of me.

When I’m gone, will my kids want to read their mother’s random scribblings? Her lists of intentions? Her prayers for them and for strangers? Her self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy? Her GOLF SCORES? Probably not, but I read them. And laugh out loud or roll my eyes, but in that process, journaling helps me get to know my true self. A daily retreat from the craziness of life in the 21st Century to help me reflect and focus at leading a deliberate life. Little self-corrections so I don’t stray too far from my chosen path.

My path took me to some awesome places this year:

  • Made good on my goal to travel more: San Jose, St. Louis (and a joyous trip down memory lane in Southern Illinois), Durango, Santa Fe, OKC and Stillwater
  • Always a foodie: Cooked and ate some delightful meals. Tortured my office mates with baked goods all year.
  • Still a wino: Drank some amazing wine and champagne, most notably with my Cali cousin at Vintage Wine Merchants in Santana Row.
  • Read some great books: Texas by James Michener, Dr. Sleep by Stephen King. Joined a cool book club and read Plato and Aristotle for the first time in my life (not a fan) but met some pretty amazing new friends!
  • Adventures in parenting: Had some amazing times with my son: Saw Sir Paul McCartney, best concert EVER! Checked out some local museums (Silent Wings and Buddy Holly), explored the public library, took the dogs to Buffalo Springs Lake for a swim, and played a lot of golf. Playing Cards Against Humanity may have been the highlight. Inappropriate? Yes? Laughing until you cry? Worth it.
  • Staying active: Ran and walked more than 600 miles with the labs … we run every day, rain or shine, wind or snow. Tried Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Santa Cruz and Ziplining in Durango!
  • Giving back: volunteering is important to this family, we worked at the Food Bank and I delivered lots Meals on Wheels and walked some dogs at Morris Safe House.
  • Working with the TTAA crew was fantastic as always, we did some amazing work in 2014. I’m off to my new adventure as a professor in 2015, but a part of my heart will always be at the Mc-Merket.

Goodbye 2014, you’ve been a great year! Hello 2015! Hoping my path includes a nice long visit with my “baby” girl and her family this year. I’ve missed them.

See all of my adventures on instagram!

Fondue. What heaven tastes like. #cheese #wine #garlic #yum

A post shared by Lisa DuBois Low (@ldlow) on

Take Out the Mental Garbage

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How often do we react to the world around us in ways we aren’t even aware of? Only when we bring awareness and live in the moment can we hope to be at peace.

Journaling is a great way to process our thoughts and feelings. Sift through the “keepers” and kick the garbage to the curb.

Namaste!

From my morning meditation:

Until you begin to notice and use your awareness, you are slave to your thought processes. As you begin to regulate the flow of your awareness of your body and relate it to the people and events in the world, your emotional habits will become more obvious.

Get the whole article from DailyOm:

Can I Get a Do-over?

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Everywhere, every day, someone just wants a “do-over.” Bad day? Burned dinner? Lost keys? Fight with my teenager? Sometimes the minutia just makes me want to crawl in bed and try again tomorrow.

In my personal journey to be more present in the moment AND to build the life I want, I’m soooo impatient and distracted. Distractions that usually come from focusing too much on what’s going WRONG instead of what’s going RIGHT. In her article Starting New, A Moment of Choice, Madisyn Taylor wrote “giving all of our attention to the unwanted aspects of our lives allows what we resist to persist.”

Every moment in life, we can choose a different attitude or a different path. We don’t have to wait to start exercising, eating right or saving money. Not happy with the last choice you made?

YES you can get a do-over. Anytime. We can’t change the past, but we control how we react in the future. Choose differently right now.

Another excerpt (read the whole article here)

“Starting new is most powerful when we focus our attention to what we are choosing to create. We need to remember to leave enough room in the process of new beginnings to be kind to ourselves, because it takes time to become accustomed to anything new, no matter how much we like it. There is no need to get down on ourselves if we don’t reach our new goals instantly. Instead, we acknowledge the forward motion and choose to reset and start again, knowing that with each choice we learn, grow, and move forward.”