Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Satisfactory Struggles

I have been getting to know myself better in my 30s. I know my weaknesses as well as my strengths. I am independent, courageous, optimistic, enthusiastic, and generous. I continue to work on having more patience, thinking of others over myself, not letting my feelings control my words, and thinking things through before acting. I have come to realize my true friends/family accept all of these things and accept me for who I am, shortcomings included.

Many times we see in others the things we don't like about ourselves. Instead of working on ourselves we choose not to like a person because we don't want to face ourselves and our shortcomings. We fail to see that person's strengths as a result of focusing on the negative. How hurtful that can be.

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. -Buddha

I have never been popular and it used to harm my self esteem, but I have come to realize that sometimes my strength, courage, optimism, enthusiasm, generosity, determination, fearlessness, and independence can rub people the wrong way and I am not meant to be their friend. Maybe I remind them of who they are not or maybe I speak too much truth for a certain individual's liking. I have never been good at lying so I don't practice it. My self esteem is not defined by how many friends I have or which party I am invited to or how many likes I get on Facebook. It is defined by me. I am many things. I am worthy, I am caring, I am understanding, I am compassionate, I am passionate, and I am someone's mother. I am happy, successful, and beautiful. I am not perfect. But I am me.
If we get our self-esteem from superficial places, from our popularity, appearance, business success, financial situation, health, any of these, we will be disappointed, because no one can guarantee that we'll have them tomorrow. -Kathy Ireland

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Don't Honk at Me---It's Illegal & RUDE!

I cannot believe the ignorance of people sometimes. It clearly states in the Nebraska Driver's Manual, "Do not blast a vehicle's horn when approaching a bicyclist." I got honked and yelled at twice yesterday! Those people only succeeded in making themselves look like asses because of their ignorance. And because they were the only one breaking any laws.

Bullying a bicyclist must feel really powerful to those that do it.

As it states in the NE driver's manual, "A person riding a bicycle has all the same rights and responsibilities as a driver of a motor vehicle; bicyclists must obey traffic laws."

Here's how to think of a cyclist: They are a tractor.

Since bicycles are typically slower than cars, trucks, etc., think of them as a tractor. They are still a vehicle but they are incapable of going as fast. So what should a driver do? Wait until it is safe to pass and go around. Simple.

Remember though, when you go around, give 3 feet of room to the left of the cyclist as also stated in the NE driver's manual, "Motorists overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction should leave a safe distance of no less than 3 feet clearance, when applicable, when passing a bicycle and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle."

A bicyclist is no match for a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds and it sucks a cyclist cannot stop a vehicle from taking chances with their life. The value of that life is more important than valuing getting to a destination 8 seconds faster. More people need to be patient, fair, and show respect for the fact that cyclists who commute have the right to use the road and should be able to do that as safely as possible.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bicycling is Rather Lovely

I love cycling! I love it almost as much as roller derby as a way to exercise and stay fit. I feel so proud when I reach my destination each time, love the wind flying through my hair, love the challenge of climbing hills, love riding with friends/family, and it has been a real time-saver in getting a workout in almost daily while commuting at the same time. I'm such a multi-tasker.

I started cycling about 3 years ago because a: I needed to cross train for derby, b: I wanted to save money on gas, c: I didn't have time for a workout outside of commuting time, and d: I hate parking 3 blocks away from work. It also helps reduce my carbon footprint which benefits our earth which I like a lot.

In the beginning I made lots of excuses not to ride (it's raining, I have to get up 20-30 minutes earlier, too tired, etc.) and probably only commuted by bicycle 1-2 times a week, 3 if I had a good week. The 2nd year I did a little more probably commuting 3 to 4 times a week at least every other week. This year I have exceeded the monthly miles of the previous year by at least 20 miles each month, although in May this year I did 60 more miles than last May. The extreme jump in May was because I decided to hook up a trail-a-bike for my daughter so that we could commute to her school as well. It was difficult at times, especially up hills, but to ride 10 miles total each day gave me a pretty awesome feeling.

Over the summer it got more difficult to commute with my daughter since her daycare location was 5 miles from home the opposite way from work. There were a few times we rode the bus and I biked from her daycare but I wanted more and I wanted an easier way to have my daughter ride with me that didn't make me feel like the bike was gonna tip over when I stood up on it to go up the hill.

The solution:

My new Yuba Boda Boda!!!

I have had this bicycle for about a week and I love what I am able to do with it. I can bike almost wherever we need to go because this bike not only carries the rider, it carries a second adult rider (or 2 children), PLUS a load. This bike is made for carrying loads and can be ridden in all kinds of weather, and is still not too much bike for just myself with no load/passenger(s).  I have already biked 11 miles on the trail with my daughter and rode 5 miles to her daycare and then 4 miles each way to work once, ridden 4 miles each way to work by myself twice, and will do the daycare/work commute again for the last day there.  We would have ridden 4 days this week, except we had to unexpectedly take care of and eventually put our little chihuahua to sleep so needed to take the car to the vet's office daily for a while while she was ill. After this week my daughter returns to school and we will have a more efficient ride there than last year so likely will do it most every day. Riding 15 miles in 1 day for commuting feels pretty awesome. Riding more will be great for my health AND my pocket book.

I have learned that I am never disappointed if I take the ride on the days when the voices in my head tell me I don't wanna, but I do get disappointed if I eat a donut and I didn't ride that day. Riding almost always helps me cancel out any cheating I do on my diet. If I don't cheat on my diet I am able to maintain my current weight very easily. I also find I am more likely to ride if I get everything ready the night before. It doesn't really take anymore time to get the bike out and get helmets on than using the car either.

We have some kinks to work out such as dressing for weather that isn't necessarily ideal for cycling, but we will learn just as we have learned the past 3 years, we can take small steps towards our goal of riding year round to commute.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dislike-The Energy Thief

“When we dislike someone, or feel threatened by someone, the natural tendency is to focus on something we dislike about the person, something that irritates us. Unfortunately, when we do this--instead of seeing the deeper beauty of the person and giving them energy--we take energy away and actually do them harm. All they know is that they suddenly feel less beautiful and less confident, and it is because we sapped their energy.” -James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy

In my experience, there are few reasons I have found for disliking someone. In the rare instance I truly dislike someone it is because:
A. I don't trust them-they are a liar, cheat, or unreliable (no consideration for anyone but self),
B. I don't respect them-usually brought on by A or some other offensive behavior,
C. I am threatened by them (which is really brought on by my own insecurity unless they are literally threatening my life).

Now, being that I am a mother, I have found my kids at times to fall into these categories which taught me that just because you don't like something about someone doesn't mean you shouldn't love them or build up their self esteem. I love my children no matter what they do or say and if I say anything mean/hurtful because of my dislike for their behavior, they feel hurt, inadequate, and deflated and I feel guilty and upset that I hurt them and feel inadequate as a parent. I want to encourage my kids to make good decisions and help them learn through empathetic and loving consequences when they make bad choices. If I knock them down, how will they ever love themselves enough to share that love with humanity? Because as we all know, humanity is sure to knock them down at one time or another. I want them to get back up with courage, dignity, and forgiveness and come out stronger and better because of it.

I have learned that it takes more energy (and it isn't the good kind of energy either) to actively dislike someone than to love them. It is sad that humanity thrives on this kind of behavior sometimes, which is why I don't put my faith or hope in humanity.

Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, does not boast, and is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs. Love is never happy when others do wrong but it is always happy with the truth. Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits.**

I remember these words when humanity becomes ugly. I have found more often than not, humanity can become beautiful to me again. Build each other up. Love and light.

** 1 Corinthians 13

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rink Rash, Hip Checks, and Hoopla: Seek to Understand...NOT to be Understood

Rink Rash, Hip Checks, and Hoopla: Seek to Understand...NOT to be Understood: Throughout my adult years, I have had to struggle not to be judgmental. Many times throughout my childhood and adult relationships, I have w...

Seek to Understand...NOT to be Understood

Throughout my adult years, I have had to struggle not to be judgmental. Many times throughout my childhood and adult relationships, I have witnessed many demonstrations of superficial and unreasonable behavior due to a lack of information or communication in various situations. I have made progress and experienced growth over the past few years through healthy communication and learning to listen with empathy.

Through my experiences as a parent I have found that you cannot tell someone how to act if you are not showing them. So it goes with strangers. You cannot tell people what to do and expect them to listen to you, especially if they don't feel close to you. People need to learn through their experiences in order to complete their personal journey. Supporting and loving someone through their journey, even if you don't like their path, makes relationships stronger than any behavior fueled by feelings ever will. No matter what my relationship is with any person, I respect and honor their journey. I may not always understand or agree with the path that person chooses. I choose to see the best in people, even when a person has had more than a few bad days or made more than their fair share of mistakes. I realize that if people act selfish or rude, they have a fear of something and just need someone to listen and empathize rather than pass judgment on any behavior that stems from their fear. Fear is at the root of what makes people angry. People are taught to deal with anger differently from the examples they have been shown throughout their lives. Some seek vengeance, some hold grudges, some alienate, some become violent, some manipulate or justify, and the list goes on and on.

I am not always proud of my behavior when I act out of anger. Sometimes I scream or yell, sometimes I slam doors, and I have been guilty of gossip when I become upset with someone who refuses to communicate with me. I realize it is not productive or honorable behavior. It doesn't mean I won't ever again make a mistake when I become angry or upset. Through some much needed therapy I have learned to notice when I am about to yell/scream/slam things and to be more thoughtful before I speak to or about someone and their situation, especially if they are not around. To listen and believe what one person says about another without communicating or caring about the subject of the gossip is not empathetic or trustworthy. I want to be trustworthy and empathetic. I also want people to feel they can come to me for an ear or a shoulder without feeling that they will be judged or admonished or talked about. I want people to feel loved. Must be the Aries in me.

I realize there will always be people who do not see me the way I want to be seen, but I also realize people have different beliefs, expectations, and values for their relationships. I may not agree or understand, but I will try to honor them and their journey. If they do not feel honored I do hope they would be kind enough to communicate that to me rather than gossip to someone else who may not have the whole story. And I am special and important enough to be part of the story. It's called loving myself and I am glad I am learning to do that more and more these days.

I wish you all love and light in your lives. Here comes the sun, do-do-do-do...:)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Equal Love

God IS Love (1 John 4:8).

Love is in and through us all. It is the light energy and hate is the dark energy IMO.

As I have been questioning what God (love) would want to happen with marriage equality I keep coming back to these verses in the bible: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NLT (see references below).

Humans are all different. Different beliefs, different morals, different looks, different gestures. Disagreements and bickering trying to persuade people to believe the same beliefs or morals are like noisy gongs and clanging symbols with each party demanding their own way which is not love or God for that matter since God IS love. Love does not demand it's own way.

Love is patient and kind. Kindness does not exclude people from anything. Patience allows people to learn through their own journey, spiritual or otherwise, without judgement or disapproval which is unkind. Love is not rude. It is rude to try to force people to believe your perception of what is right or morally correct.

Love does not keep record of being wronged. So even if you believe someone has done or is doing something wrong, God is not keeping record of that. God (love) does not take delight in wrongdoing but LOVE (God) takes delight in the truth. The LGBTQ community are being truthful about themselves and what they are doing, and rather than delight in the truth, human beings keep record of what they think is wrong and take delight in punishing or taking rights away from those they disapprove of.

God (love) doesn't want us to keep judging people and telling them which rules to follow. God (love) wants us to love God and others as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). If we have the courage to admit our wrongdoings we still want and very much need love (God) from others. Slamming the door of God (love) in people's faces because you don't like what they do is never a solution to a problem and doesn't show love (God). If someone shares true LOVE with a person, any person, then God is with them and you can't take away their light by taking away their rights. One of which is happiness. If they are happy, let them be happy. Let it be. It will not affect you. Who knows, you and your children (if you have them) might learn compassion, empathy, or humility rather than being filled with pride, jealousy, or irritability.

If people have love, then they have God and nothing can separate us from God's love (Romans 8:38). Encourage those you love and live in peace and harmony with them (2 Corinthians 13:11). Be joyful for your happy friends and family members.


1 John 4:8 NLT
But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NLT
1If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 

4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. 5It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 

8Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. 

11When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 

13Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Romans 8:38 NLT
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

2 Corinthians 13:11 NLT
Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.