Oct 112016
 

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Hurricane Matthew was my first big weather adventure in my new home state. YIKES!  What an experience. My online friend Lore Raymond of Women as Visionaries has more than thirty years of experience with Florida weather and, during the storm, reached out to me several times. Although that was reassuring, I especially appreciate the question she posed when we were safely home: What gifts did Hurricane Matthew send your way?

For us there were many. Give me a blizzard any day — I’m a lifelong New Englander and have a pretty good idea of what it will do as well as what needs to happen to stay safe. But this? I felt ignorant and helpless. The first gift was the ability to recognize our inexperience and listen to the warnings. When we left, Matthew was a Category 4 storm headed directly for our little island. We had no idea what we would face upon our return… or even IF we’d be able to return. (I shudder to think what we’d have faced if it had not tired itself out, drifted a few miles east, and become a Cat 2!)

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Favorite Husband and I packed up a few changes of clothing, our dogs, my laptop and a few books. Evacuation sure helps get priorities in order in a hurry. We headed west where we were able to connect with my son and my sister.

Western Floridians greeted us with incredible hospitality, generosity, and compassion. They’d gotten beat up by Hermine just 3 weeks ago; its memory was close to the surface. We were comfortable, safe and able to monitor island events through a combination of texts (both personal and from the Office of Emergency Management), social media and an occasional news broadcast.

You call those gifts?

Yes. But wait… there’s more! We spent time together as a family and connected with other evacuees from the island. We made some new friends and explored a new city.

And back home on the island? I feel a stronger bond  and a closer connection with my new home and everyone who lives here. Hurricane Matthew brought out the best in so many. I have mad respect for the utility company and our local first responders (who, by the way, waited at the bottom of the bridge and waved “welcome home” to those who were able to return late Saturday afternoon).

And, of course, there were our four-legged evacuees who, most likely, will get a post of their own.

Overall? I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and ready for a nap. Much love.

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How to support relief efforts in Haiti.

Resources to support hurricane relief in North Carolina.

 October 11, 2016  Posted by  Happiness, Self care, Special Topics 10 Responses »
Oct 052016
 

Did you ever have “one of those weeks?” Home repairs, hurricanes, health… and don’t get me started on politics. Yikes! Some days are just harder to love than others, aren’t they? Yet, no matter the challenge, my best teachers have always found a way to let me know: no matter what we’re looking at, there’s always one answer that’s better than the rest. Yup. No matter what the question? Love is the answer. Gratitude is a close second.

So I’m off to appreciate the progress we have on home repairs. (They are better than where we started and will never really be done, will they?) I’m packing “go” bags and, with the beloveds, headed for higher ground. (I’m trying to look at it as a little vacation.) And, heck, most of us could benefit from tweaking some of our personal health habits, couldn’t we? It’s time to start viewing these changes as a privilege rather than a burden.

One of the things I do when I need an attitude adjustment is to read thoughts that are better than the ones I’m having. Here are a few that I’m using today…. and, of course, I’d love to see yours in the comments.
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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.,

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”― Elie Wiesel

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“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”― Paulo Coelho

“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow–this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”– Elizabeth Gilbert

 

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 “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”– Maya Angelou

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In a related note, Andrea Patten managed to love her inner editor for long enough to publish  The Inner Critic Advantage: Making Peace With the Noise in Your Head a little book full of big ideas about how — and why — you can learn to love “that voice.”   The Inner Critic Advantage is now available on Amazon.

 October 5, 2016  Posted by  Happiness 13 Responses »
Aug 242016
 

 

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“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other, gold.” – Girl Scout Song

Lately, my life has been pretty peaceful. Some of my friends, on the other hand, have been having their turns in the blender. Professional frustrations, personal betrayals, family upheavals, big moves and small… my people have been going through changes.

I’ve been thinking about the nature of those relationships, our histories, and our connections. The ease of online connection contributes something. There’s (usually) something wonderful about hearing from someone with whom I haven’t connected in years. (Hey, cut me some slack: we’re talking about friends, not bad boyfriends, OK?)

Here are a few more thoughts on friendship.

 

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“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.” — Octavia Butler

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“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” —  Oprah Winfrey

“Please take my hand. I give it to you as a gesture of friendship and love, and of faith freely given. I give you my hand and welcome you into my dream.” -Wonder Woman

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I’d love to hear some of your favorite thoughts about friendship. Please feel free to share them in the comments section, at the bottom of this post.

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You know who else could be your friend? You might not believe it, but that pesky #innercritic that lives between your ears could become one of your strengths. Check out The Inner Critic Advantage: Making Peace With the Noise in Your Head to learn more.

 August 24, 2016  Posted by  Fun & Inspiration, Happiness, Thinking 4 Responses »