Dear Rod E Smith

New friends and followers can be simply the best – and once again I owe an idea for blogging to a very inspiring man, Rod E. Smith, MSMFT.

Rod actually found my blog about a month ago and he picked up the phone and called me.  How is that for cool?  I immediately recommended his website, his Facebook page and more to everyone I know because Rod has a very compelling blog and more.

Here’s Rod:

http://rodesmith.com/about-rod-smith-who-is-therapist-mercury-columnist/

I don’t think Rod will mind that I am going to use his “Nine Things Worthy of Pursuit….” list and talk about what it means to me.  The list was posted on May 31, 2010.  I think it is a simple but very measurable list of how we should live.

1.  To be the most generous person you know.

In this very difficult economy generosity is difficult to come by if you are thinking only of actual dollar bills.  Everyone has felt the pain of having to tighten our belts, but there are so many more ways of being generous.  One of the most meaningful things I do is give the gift of time.  Everyone is busy these days, but time is one of the most personal, kind and generous thing you can give to someone.  It doesn’t cost anything but your time.

2.  To hold everything you own with an open hand.

When I thought about this I actually pictured someone with their fists tightly clenched hanging on to something that they just were refusing to let go of.  The flip side of my visualization is seeing a bird land on my open hand look around and fly away.  Nothing is ours forever, and anything can leave us suddenly without warning.  Keeping that in mind gives me the freedom to let go and with ease.  I also see it as a willingness to share and a very kind gesture.

3.  To share everything you know with willingness.

This just follows #2 so appropriately and in my own personal life I know knowledge is power.  I overhear a conversation and I am drawn to it if I believe I have something important to share.  I tell my own story about living with a diagnosis of breast cancer 17 years ago to empower someone else for example.  A willingness to share is a kind, loving gesture.  In looking back at this list you can see how these things intertwine.

4.  To do all you can to empower the people within your circle of influence.

In my own personal life this comes through those who read what I write.  I have 3 main blog sites and these are connected with 7 other blog sites.  Then I throw in a dash of Facebook,  a pinch of Twitter, mix these all together and they all bubble over with filling the needs of the people I reach.   I want readers to have a takeaway, an “aha” moment, or give them something to think about.  I like sharing my knowledge, I refer to it though  as paying it forward since someone, somewhere once did the same for me.

5.  To be able to say “yes” more than “no” to the adventures that come your way.

Hell’s bells, I am the first one to say “yes” in most cases.  My husband knows I fly by the seat of my pants and rarely do I have a bad landing.  Life is too short to be afraid to leave those 4 walls, only going to work, and doing necessary things.  I once asked someone to go to Paris with me.  I said “Come on let’s go, let’s be daring.”  When I finally went to Paris it was with my husband.  There are so many adventures waiting out there beyond going to Paris.  There is making a sudden change in careers.  There is buying the sports car when all you ever drove was an SUV.  There is, sorry to say, ending a relationship that stifles you and starting your adventure over.  The people who say “no” more than “yes” are the wall flowers of life adventures.

6.  To have the capacity to “see beyond” the limitations set by your family history, your nationality, and your faith story.

I had the courage to stand up to family beliefs.  When I was growing up women were teachers, nurses and secretaries (not admin assistants back then).  I defied all that got pregnant, eloped, pissed off my entire family and then became a nurse.  When I got pregnant I thought I would get disowned.  Little did I know that my son would be such a  blessing to my life.  Having that baby boy probably gave my dad two extra years of life with cancer.  I am not saying what I did was right, it turned out right for me.  I can see beyond many family instilled beliefs and I am grateful for that.

7.  To be able to live within your own means.

Ooh boy not many of us can say we do just that.  If I would have had a crystal ball 5 years ago I may never have moved to Florida.  Living here has been slightly helter-skelter and we got caught up in the mortgage mess not once but twice.  I can live with myself and my decisions if I think about living within those means, but for now like many of us who are upside down in the housing market this is a difficult concept.  It is a lesson to be learned though.

8.  To embody forgiveness, freedom and grace for all who will repeatedly and naturally attempt to sabotage you as you live your full and passionate life.

Unless you live under a rock, then you probably do know you should forgive people for yourself so that you can move on.  I am not sure that people who repeatedly and naturally attempt to sabotage anyone care if we forgive them.  We are going to meet too many of these manipulative geniuses in our lives.  I call them that because they are the ones we don’t see coming until the damage is done.  They are very good at what they do.  We can stretch this out to cover those whose politics we do not agree with – we feel they sabotage what we have or don’t have, but I think Rod means forgiving those you really know who have tried to stand in your way like a mother, a mother-in-law, a step-child, your own child, there is a saboteur in every family.

9.  To embrace your dark side (everyone has one) by trying to understand it, accept it so that it will not need to push itself onto your center-stage and take you by surprise in response to your denial of its presence.

I totally get my dark side, I have explained it to those closest to me and my husband has seen my evil twin.  Rational people can keep their dark side tamed and quiet most of the time.  Feed your dark side the wrong food for thought,wash that food down with alcohol for example and a dark side can become very ugly.  We have all seen someone elses dark side.  I know someone whose dark side was getting physically violent without warning, you never saw the slap coming!  I know someone else whose dark side is to be your friend all the time trying to seduce your man.  I know people with addiction related dark sides at night while by day they lead professional lives.  Then there is Ted Bundy the epitome of clean-cut college boy looks and serial killer on the dark side.  That is an extreme dark side, but since we all have one, we may as well love that part of us, keep it happy, keep it well fed, and under control or you could find yourself exposed one day and it could become the talk of the town.  It also gives you an excuse when caught talking to yourself to tell people that you are keeping your dark side under control.

Rod, thanks for putting this list together, I hope more people go to your sites and start following you even more now.

It was therapeutic for me to write how I personally feel about your list of 9 – and remember I have a real estate  business in Florida if ever…….

Fondly,

Carole

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