Hawaiian beaches are the stuff dreams are made of. Clear water, sweet surf, breathtaking sunsets. It looks as good in person as it does in the travel brochures. Until it doesn’t.
My work brought me here several time a year. It began to feel like a long commute to the office from Mainland to Island. Business and speed of life on the islands held dramatically different values. I naturally thought maybe it was the fact that I was working instead of playing that left me feeling not-quite-right about it.
One morning as I sat having coffee on my high-rise balcony overlooking Waikiki beach and the Pacific Ocean, I stopped long enough to listen. This is what I heard: Loud traffic noise. City traffic. Garbage trucks backing up. Buses honking horns. Police sirens.
What was sorely lacking was the sound of nature. In fact, I couldn’t even hear the surf over the busy din of a city waking up.
Beautiful views, distracting background noise. Kind of like my life at that time. I felt trapped in so many ways. While my life looked good from the outside it didn’t always feel good to be there.
There is so much more to happiness than outer trappings. How we look, where we live, what we drive, who we love.
The bigger questions are: How does it feel to be in your skin, in your car, in your home, in your head? Are you pretending it doesn't hurt when it really does? Are you thinking if you ignore the problem it will go away? Are you waiting for someone to rescue you? Are you hatching an escape plan? Are you staying too busy to notice your feelings at all because if you did, you might have to do something you're not prepared to do?
I answered those questions in my journal that day and shifted my life. How about you?
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“True generosity is an offering given freely and out of pure love. No strings attached.” - Suze Orman
In our selfish society, very little is truly given without expectation of repayment in some form. We consider it fair trade to appear generous while we hold the recipient hostage to repay in the form of recognition, appreciation, or favors in the future.
Giving with no strings attached is spiritual service. It is sharing what you have physically, financially, emotionally or spiritually with no expectation of repayment. It is paying it forward without sticking around for the nod or thank you.
We humans are wired for love and generosity. Our greatest joy comes in the giving, not in the gain. To selflessly share from our abundance fills us with gratitude that we have it to give.
Giving with no strings frees us from attachment to how the recipient receives, rejects or re-gifts our offering. It fills our heart to allow stuff to flow freely through our lives and into another’s hands or heart without expectations or demands.
Letting it go is an act of pure love.
KIMMISM: Giving with strings attached is not a gift, it is manipulation.
(c) 2019 I AM LUCID, Kim Halsey, All Rights Reserved
Do or do not; there is no Try. -Yoda
The biggest lie we tell ourselves and the world is that we tried. If I ask for a ride to the airport at 8:00 tomorrow morning and you say “i’ll try” then I know not to depend on you. I keep looking until I find someone who is committed to helping me.
Do we really think life is any different? We ask and it is given. Always. The answer to prayer often comes in the form of an opportunity that requires us to take a step (dare I say leap?) of faith. We don’t sit on our ass and wait for the Uber driver to know we need a ride. We take action and schedule the thing. Then we watch and wait. Timing matters.
Do we imagine the things that break our hearts are for nothing? No! They are there to remind us we are not alone. If we would just STOP, LOOK, LISTEN we would hear that still, small inner voice guiding us through the dark places.
We have the energy to get in the game and put our hearts into action. Individually and collectively. That, friends, is how you change yourself, your life, and the world you want to condemn. We are not victims, we are co-creators in this chaos. As within, so without.
Own it. Be the change you want to see in the world. Love is still the answer.
The word percolate reminds me of Mom’s oh-so-strong coffee. The longer it percolated, the more robust and flavorful it became. At just the perfect moment, she would take it off the heat and serve it with love to friends and family. Nobody made coffee like Mom.
Then came the land of instant coffee, drive throughs and k-cups. In a culture of instant gratification we sometimes think transformational
change should happen overnight as well.
I recently retired and moved from a lifetime in the city to a quiet farm in New Hampshire. I’m big on my morning coffee. While people move at a frantic pace in the busy-ness of their daily grind around me, I see nature - life - as a constant stream of growth, death, and rebirth. An ever present reminder that we need time to percolate.
The Rhythms of Life
It takes time for the flavors of life to ripen. It takes patience to see the fruit of your labors. Fruit picked too soon is bitter and sometimes even toxic. Left too long and it can die on the vine or be ravaged by savages.
Nobody is meant to percolate (sometimes ruminate?) forever either. Left in the heat too long, we become bitter and off the heat too long, we become cold and stale.
So where is the sweet spot? It’s all in the timing. Not the strategy, not the science, not the belief. The timing. Wait. Listen. You’ll know when you’re ready Life’s got this.
Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
I remember my first automobile accident. I was broad-sided at a four-way stop in Las Vegas. At the moment of impact, every scary driver's education movie I had seen in high school flashed through my mind. Then I saw the windshield shatter and it was as if I could see each small piece of safety glass passing my field of vision like a slow-motion kaleidoscope. I also remember my last thought being "Oh, this is going to hurt."
The next thing I remember was approaching the police officer who was arranging for a tow truck on my abandoned vehicle. He concluded it must have been a DUI hit and run case since the driver (me) was at fault (what?!?) and left the scene. It had been nearly an hour and they couldn't find me. That time is lost forever in the recesses of my rattled brain. It was 9:00 am on a weekday. I was stunned, dazed and confused, but not drunk.
It did hurt. The car was totaled and it wasn't even my car. I had to rely on family to get back and forth to work for months. My boyfriend broke up with me over it (yes, it was his car and he wasn't even in country.) My insurance costs skyrocketed. I was 18 years old. Welcome to the real world where Adulting is difficult. If you believe the programming you've been sold.
With experience comes knowledge and eventually wisdom. I've had more than a handful of close calls in my lifetime. Today I know a better way. The real world is not the over scheduled, hectic, busyness that characterizes 'success' in our culture. Real life isn't captured in an Instagram shot or a Facebook post. Memories aren't made behind the lens.
Memories are stored by the lens of your very own eyes, in real time and real life. The real world is the space between the thoughts, the scenes between the drama, the calm before the storm. The real world records in slow motion every millisecond of a life worth living.
Is your life worth living? Have you stopped to smell the roses? Are you living the way you always imagined you would? Is there something standing in your way? Could you use a hand or a friend?
That's why we have each other. Let's swap stories.
Can you think of a time when life handed you a lemon?
It usually comes in some form of loss. The job ended unexpectedly, someone's health took a turn for the worse, you were passed over for that promotion you felt you deserved, or you lost your best girlfriend.
In each case, the unexpected happened. Or what was hoped for - even planned for, didn't happen. You have suffered a loss. A loss you didn't see coming.
It is that element of surprise that makes the lemons we all get handed in life sometimes well, suck.
How did you overcome it?
I am an entrepreneur living in the leap from the life I was programmed to live into the life of my dreams.