Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Action conquers Fear.....

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face" - Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lesson from a Very Big Rock

Lesson from a Very Big Rock
Well, maybe not this BIG...but big.

I was digging holes for shrubs I was planting on my property in Oklahoma. I had 10 holes to dig. On my sixth hole, I hit a huge rock with my shovel just a couple inches down.  This was not good: I needed a hole more than 2 feet deep.  If I had not been planting a line I would have just moved over but I needed a hole in that very spot.  I dug, I sweated, I panted, I pried, I pushed, I pulled.

I fell backwards when the earth finally let go of that big rock.  That is when my “Aha” moment came!  When I rolled over and looked into the hole, I discovered that I only needed to dig down a few more inches in the very soft dirt under that rock.  The hardest part was done!  Removing that rock created an equally big hole and the job was finished.  It actually took me less time to make that hole than any of the others where I had just dug past small rocks.

At that moment I was reminded that I often give up when while I am in the process of getting past my obstacles, not knowing that just a bit more effort would mean success.

I had been tempted to curse that blasted rock and make a deviation in my line, but I realized that every time I looked at that row of shrubs and saw the gap I would be reminded that I let a rock defeat me.  Living on that property for years I know that if I let one rock defeat me, then I am doomed — because it is ALL ROCKS!

And if I had given up I would have
missed this lesson:

Don’t let the size of the rock defeat you. BIG success is under the BIG rocks.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Power, Strength, Service and Vision

When I dare to be 
to use my Strength 
in the Service of my Vision  
then it becomes less and less important 
                                                    whether I am Afraid.                         Audre Lorde 

Something that I have observed  in the last few weeks, and have certainly learned from personal experience, is that fear is a death knoll to dreams. 
I wonder how may dreams I have let slide through my hands because of fear.  There is no shame in changing your dreams and goals but don’t let fear steal them from you.

The Tenacity of a Tomato

Shown up by a Tomato!

I spend a great deal of time on the freeway.  Which goes without saying because I live in Los Angeles.  One day last summer, as I inched along toward home, I was reminded of how I was once encouraged on the 405 by a tomato plant. I may have told some of you this story before, AAMI students have heard it a couple of times....but here it is again, just in case.

The first time I saw it I thought I was hallucinating.  If you knew the 405 you would know that it is not that unusual see things you don’t believe, but there it was — a big ole’ tomato plant.  In a tiny crack, literally under the edge of a huge concrete divider, in the middle of 10 lanes of highway, in the blistering heat, on the 405!!!!!!!!  How anything could live on the 405 is beyond me.  I hate the 405.  No, hate is not quite strong enough. I detest the 405.  I will drive miles out of my way to avoid the 405.

But this tomato seed evidently had no choice.  If it was going to be, it had to be there
....right on the 405. (Boy, this tomato plant took Dr. Schuller’s advice to not only “bloomed where it was planted” had 3 big green tomatoes on it!)

Can you imagine the chances of survival in that environment and what an incredible series of events must have taken place to make that possible? I am guessing someone threw out a sandwich with a bit of tomato on it.  A seed from that tomato landed in a crack that had enough dirt in it to support a root system in the middle of a desert of pavement and hot air from cars passing by 24-7!  No water other than the occasional summer rain!  How did it survive all those odds???????

It was not a hallucination; it was there next time I made that drive.  Tomatoes were still green.  There is no tomato on earth worth stopping on the 405 for..but when the tomatoes were gone the next time I drove by, I had to wonder if they had ripened since I was there and someone had done just that!
And I also wondered if anyone else who had seen that tomato plant on the 405 was reminded by a tomato plant on the freeway that we can overcome and even reach far beyond seemingly impossible circumstances.....

So the next time you think you cannot complete some major life goal, think about that tomato plant on the 405 who didn’t know she had any other choice but accomplish her purpose!  No excuses, no complaining....just growing tomatoes.............on the the middle of hundred degree plus weather!

Wow.....I am shown up all the time by that tenacious tomato! I continually give up on projects and dreams in far less dire circumstances than having to survive in the middle of the 405.

I think I will get a plastic tomato from the 99 cent store

to remind me of what I learned from a tomato.  
Maybe you should get one, too!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Don't limp into your future...

Don’t limp into your future.....
Get up and walk there.
I am amazed at the excuses we give ourselves for failure.  Yet some of the most successful
and wonderful people I know have had things happen in their lives that are too horrendous to imagine. Some people I know who had wonderful childhoods, but don’t appreciate them, make excuses for everything. 
I had a horrible childhood myself and could have used it to excuse away my mistakes.....but the truth is that I have — and have had the POWER to let my choices be made by my past or by my future.  “Usually” I choose the future.  I look at it this way: my childhood determined a lot of who I was then, but I am no longer a child.  Those circumstances are no longer relevant or even present to point a finger at.  Yes I am a product of so much I had no control over, but responsibility for  the final product is MINE. - Carla

"Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future." -Deepak Chopra,

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A life well lived.

REAL life has not been what I thought it would be when I was a young girl imagining my future. I have come to realize that life is in a constant state of redefinition.  Life that doesn't come at me means I am doing it wrong.  I don't want to float or flitter.  I thought I did.  I was wrong.  I thank God for the choices and the challenges.