Friday, 20 October 2017

October 20, 2017 Chautauqua


Beth's Ponderings

   How would you describe the course of your daily life?

   Some (myself included at times) would say it is a roller-coaster with dramatic ups and sometimes even more dramatic lows, with twists and turns, and unexpected moments that turn you completely upside down, but the biggest feature is that there is no speed control as you barrel along gong faster and faster.

   Others may describe their lives as a spiral which turns around and around, but you have no idea if you are going up or down, or both directions at the same time.

   Another favourite description is the hamster wheel, where you feel like you are running as fast as you can but you’re just spinning the wheel and going nowhere fast.

   And, we’re all familiar with the “so many steps forward, so many steps back” version - another one I’ve used often - which can either have slow forward motion or backward motion depending on which side of the equation has the larger number of steps.

   This summer I heard that it is healthier to live our lives as a lemniscate (aka sideways figure 8 or the infinity sign ).  It is the natural motion that bees, as well as other insects and animals, follow. 

   The lemniscate is a balanced symbol - there are no extremes, left and right are equal, one side isn’t longer than the other, the distance to the top and bottom are the same as from the middle to the outer sides, and while it appears that one is going over the same territory in a never-ending (infinite) loop, each time is different as a greater degree of balance, calmness and clarity are obtained.

   Walking in the lemniscate pattern provides a great meditation for mental, emotional and physical relaxation.  It is a pattern that just comes naturally to young children, so why do we forget it as adults?  


   Drawing a lemniscate with your finger over your heart, or around your eyes (circle each eye and cross at the bridge of your nose) is healing,  calming, and it relieves stress as it brings balance to the body and brain.

Beth


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Friday, 13 October 2017

Solutions

You are surrounded by simple, obvious solutions...
The problem is you just don't see them.
 - Jay Abraham

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Faith

Faith is willingness to take action
 on that which you can't see. 
- Author unknown

Monday, 9 October 2017

Today

Make today so awesome, yesterday gets jealous.
 - Good Housekeeping magazine (September 2017)

Friday, 6 October 2017

October 6, 2017 Chautauqua


Beth's Ponderings


   How well are you able to handle change in your life?  Okay, now be TOTALLY honest - how well are you able to handle change in your life?  If we are honest, most of us resist change of any nature with every fibre of our being.

   We are entering a time when things are going to change for some communities.  Elections are on Monday, October 16, and the results will mean that changes are on the horizon.  Maybe the changes won’t be big, or overly dramatic, but there will be changes nonetheless, and the more we are able to accept them, whatever they are, the better.


   Incidentally, I can tell you some people can’t seem to handle that after ALMOST 16 YEARS, I updated my picture that goes beside my words.  If you can’t handle a small change that doesn’t affect you personally, how can you handle changes that do?  And quite truthfully, I have changed (aged) in those years, and I’m not 28 any more. ;)

Beth


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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Trust

Magic happens/every moment/
you release fear/and trust the flow 
Your best self/will trust yourself/
to play the notes/you do not know 
- James McCrae

Friday, 29 September 2017

Candle

Your job is to protect your candle and keep the flame alive. 
It does not matter how many people 
see your candle or how big the light grows.
 The only thing that matters is that your flame always burns. 
The people who will benefit from your light will find you. 
You may wish you had a bigger candle, or you will be tempted
 to abandon your candle so you can bask in the light of another's. But, when you allow your truth to shine, everything you need
 is already within the flame of the candle you were given.
 - James McCrae

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Shine

When a light beam shines on a surface, 
it shines without judgment or hesitation.
 If an object is placed on the floor and blocks the light's path,
 the light does not resist or resent the object. 
It continues to shine without judgment or hesitation 
on whatever it encounters with equal dedication. 
The light beam's nature is to shine. 
It does not concern itself with what it shines upon.
 - James McCrae

Monday, 25 September 2017

Place

The planet doesn't need more “successful” people...
It needs people to live well in their places. 
- David Orr

Friday, 22 September 2017

Enjoy

All of the animals except for man 
know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.
 - Samuel Butler

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Don't Fit

If you feel as if you don't fit into this world,
 it's because you're here to create a better one. 
- Author Unknown

Monday, 18 September 2017

Door

Don't worry if a door doesn't open for you. 
It's not your door. 
- Colette Baron-Reid

Friday, 15 September 2017

September 15, 2017 Chautauqua


Beth's Ponderings

   It seems whenever elections of any nature, or level of government, come up, suddenly there are serious personality clashes that didn’t seem to exist before, and opponents do all they can to discredit the others running against them.

   So, it should be no surprise that we are seeing a number of politicians getting into trouble of some form or another, with the most recent being Strathmore MLA Derek Fildebrandt.  What makes his situation a bit more “severe” is that he was part of the Alberta Tax Payer’s Federation prior to being elected and is accused of activities similar to those he used to criticise other politicians of doing.  Some of his constituents feel betrayed and have adopted a “how the mighty have fallen” attitude.

   I don’t know Derek personally, nor do I know all the ins and outs of the situation, but rather than a case of the mighty falling, to me, it is just another example of how easy it is to criticize from the OUTSIDE when you don’t know exactly what’s going on INSIDE, for him and us.

   To some degree, we are all guilty of this.  We think we can run the government, or our local community organizations, much better than those who are currently doing the job.  We think we have the answers to fix our family’s, friends’ and neighbours’ lives, solving all their problems, whether we’ve been asked for our advice or not.

   While, it is true that an outside perspective can give valuable insight and clarity, and provide answers that those in the situation are too close to see, more often than not, those outside are missing vital information that only those on the inside are privy to, information that makes a significant difference to the situation at hand.


   Nomination Day for municipal elections is just around the corner, and if you are called to run, I strongly encourage you to do so.  However, it is very important that we have individuals running for our municipal councils who are willing to do the best for our communities, not individuals who think they can come from the outside and “fix” whatever they think needs fixed.  What we see from the outside is merely the tip of the iceberg of what is happening.

Beth 


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Wander

It does not matter which way you choose. 
All that matters is that you start. 
Once you start, the doors crack open, slowly at first, 
and before long the mystery is revealed. 
Don't worry about getting lost. 
If your work is good, you are guaranteed to get lost. 
Give yourself space to wander. 
Wandering leads to wondering, 
and wondering leads to revelation. 
- James McCrae

Monday, 11 September 2017

Friday, 8 September 2017

Hell

If you're in hell, you might as well relax
 because relaxing will as least decrease your suffering. 
- Judith Orloff

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Medicine

You cannot seek water from the one who drained your seas, 
and you cannot build a home for your worth 
inside another being. The medicine is when you
 return to yourself, where you will remember
 your strength, reclaim your own rhythm,
 and write your new song.
 - Victoria Erickson

Monday, 4 September 2017

Limitations

Limitations live only in our minds. 
But if we use our imaginations, 
our possibilities become limitless.
 - Jamie Paolinetti

Friday, 1 September 2017

September 1, 2017 Chautauqua


Beth's Ponderings


   Last week we experienced a solar eclipse.  For some locations in the United States, it was a total eclipse, here in Central Alberta the sun was only partially covered, yet at the peak of the eclipse, there was a noticeable dimming of the sunlight.

   While we are now “enlightened” enough as a society to realize that an eclipse is not a catastrophic event that means the world is about to suddenly come to an end, I noticed, leading up to the actual eclipse, lots of comments and concern expressed about the various “shadow” events occurring around our world in the past few weeks.

   One thing that the solar eclipse showed us, is that while the moon may have covered the sun for a moment in time, it had no effect on the sun at all.  The sun continued to shine brightly that day and didn’t dim or hide itself.  The moon, nor clouds for that matter, can really prevent the sun from shining.  Any dimming or hiding of the sun is only from our PERSPECTIVE, it doesn’t in any way reflect reality.  No matter how dark the day, or even how dark the night, the sun continues to shine ceaselessly, and manages to appear yet again in our sky.

   And, it may appear, from our limited perspectives, that the “shadows” are getting bigger and bigger in our world, however, we can’t let that discourage us, or cause us to become so fearful that we stop bringing love, kindness, and compassion to all those we encounter on a daily basis.  The shadows only dim us if we choose to let them.  What is going on around us should not prevent us from bringing our best selves, and best efforts, forward.  If anything, it should encourage us to shine even MORE brightly.    

   I was reminded last week, and shared in conversation with others...the brighter the light shining, the bigger the shadows, so all the shadows are showing us is proof that we ARE shining brighter and brighter as we each bring more light to our corner of the world.


   And it is the light that holds the true power, not the shadow.

Beth


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Monday, 28 August 2017

Mirror

Running from a problem is like running from a mirror
 because we don't like the unhappy face in the reflection. 
We can run to a different mirror but will continue to see 
the same face until we stop running and choose to smile. 
The mirror changes when we do.
 - James McCrae

Friday, 25 August 2017

Answers

From the outside, the answer is simple: 
just shut up and do it...
Questions are funny because the answer
 appears difficult to anyone who has them 
and appears easy to anyone who does not. 
- Mark Manson

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Fail

If someone is better than you at something, 
then it is likely because she has failed at it more than you have.
 If someone is worse than you,
 it's likely because he hasn't been through all 
of the painful learning experiences you have...
We can be truly successful only at something 
we are willing to fail at. 
If we're unwilling to fail,
 then we're unwilling to succeed. 
- Mark Manson

Monday, 21 August 2017

Wrong

For any change to happen in your life,
 you must be wrong about something.
 - Mark Manson

Friday, 18 August 2017

August 18, 2017 Chautauqua


Beth's Ponderings

   I once had a friend express that she was glad to know I got angry after I’d totally erupted in a public venue.  I, on the other hand, was surprised that she would even consider that I DIDN’T get angry, because I most certainly do, and I definitely express it, though not always publicly, yet just often enough to get me into trouble.

   As well, I found some of the reactions to my recent makeover to be in that same category.  One person actually said they were surprised to see me wearing a dress?!?!  Now, THAT should NOT have been a surprise to anyone who knows me in the slightest!

   So, why these reactions?  It seems to be a case of people only seeing me, or interacting with me, in a particular setting or circumstance.  Or, else they just aren’t paying attention.

   Just because you, in particular, have never seen me angry, doesn’t automatically mean I don’t get angry.  Just because you, in particular, haven’t seen me wearing a specific item of clothing, doesn’t automatically mean that I don’t.  And, more important, just because you, in particular, have seen me act or dress in a certain way, doesn’t automatically mean I ONLY act or dress that way.

  While we humans are multi-faceted, our interactions with the people around aren’t always.  We tend to make assumptions about what we think we know about others, and then it is so easy, and very tempting, to look at them as equivalent to cardboard cut-outs - in a static state, never changing. We often do this with people we have limited contact with, but we can even do this with close family members.

   But, life doesn’t work that way.  We have many sides and aspects to our personalities that may, or may not, be expressed depending on the situations we find ourselves in.  As well, we are always changing - even if we don’t think we are - and we bring those cumulating changes into each and every interaction we have with the people around us.  


   As much as we think we know the various people in our lives, we may not know them as well as we think we do.

Beth


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Monday, 14 August 2017

You versus

If it feels like it's you versus the world, 
chances are it's really just you versus yourself.
 - Mark Manson

Friday, 11 August 2017

Problems

Life is essentially an endless series of problems...
The solution to one problem
 is merely the creation of the next one...
hope for a life full of good problems.
 - Mark Manson

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Despite

[Move] lightly despite your heavy burdens,
 [rest] easier with your greatest fears,
 [laugh] at your tears as you cry them. 
- Mark Manson

Monday, 7 August 2017

Chaos

Chaos is not a bad thing. 
Chaos stirs things up like wind...
it helps things move along. 
- Colette Baron-Reid

Friday, 4 August 2017

August 4, 2017 Chautauqua

 
Beth's Ponderings

   What side are you on?  Are you sure?  Do you even know?

   There as been a lot, and I mean a LOT of media coverage of late surrounding Omar Khadr, who, let me remind you, is a Canadian citizen who, as a minor, ended up in a war situation and survived.  Truly, that is his ONLY crime - he survived the war.

   Now, no matter what your personal feelings are about him and his situation, I would also like to remind you that there was a war going on, and Omar was fighting for the wrong side...or was he?

   That is where things get tricky, and we don’t like to admit that life isn’t as black and white as we portray it, because that REALLY shakes up our sense of right and wrong.

   A war means there are two (at least) sides fighting each other.  So who is the enemy?  We say it was the other side.  But….

   Not so fast.  The Canadians, Americans, and British were not fighting on home soil, so they were foreigners.  We were interlopers in a conflict that was already in progress.  Plus, how many local civilians did our armies end up killing, even by accident, because it was a war situation? 

   Hmmmm, that almost sounds like it could be a definition of an enemy, doesn’t it?  Because it doesn’t matter what side the soldiers are fighting for, or what justifications are used (fighting to impose our values on others doesn’t mean our values are right, or are even wanted by others), to a local civilian, the soldiers are the enemy if they endanger the civilian’s life, the lives of family and neighbours, home, and livelihood.

   In a war situation, which is horrific beyond belief, there are too many casualties, and untold destruction, caused by both sides.  Soldiers on all sides are merely doing their job, and fighting as they are trained to do.  One side is no more completely innocent than the other side is completely guilty.

   So, either EVERY single soldier, of every rank, on BOTH sides is punished because they are ALL guilty of fighting, or...none are. 


   Because, at the end of the day, there are no winners in a war.

Beth


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Uncertain

Attempt things you are not sure you can accomplish: 
if you are certain you can do a thing,
 this means that there is little to no point in actually doing it. 
The reason you're sure you can do it is
 that you or someone else has already done it...
It is much more exciting, thus creatively energizing
 if you are attempting something where you are 
uncertain of its outcome, where you don't know
 if it will work or not.
 - Alan Moore

Monday, 31 July 2017

Friday, 28 July 2017

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Medium

We can achieve a degree of importance
 by expressing ourselves in the medium
 which best suits our particular talents. 
- Lajos Egri

Monday, 24 July 2017

Truth

I always tell the truth. 
Then I don't have to remember what I said.
 - Author Unknown

Friday, 21 July 2017

July 21, 2017 Chautauqua


Beth's Ponderings

   One of my absolute favourite times of the year is the ten days in July when the Calgary Stampede is on.

  While I have never been there in person, I thoroughly enjoy watching the thrilling rodeo events and chuckwagon races on TV - where you can see the action a lot closer, and don’t have to battle crowds to do so.

   The cowboys and cowgirls who compete in Calgary every year are the best of the best - whether they are veterans of the rodeo circuit, or relatively unknown newcomers.  And so are all the animals.

   Because they are so good, it is such a treat to watch them compete.  They make their event seem so easy and natural.  You can tell they love what they do.

   Yet, just because they are so good, doesn’t mean that they can all win, or even that it is smooth sailing for them.

   Things can, and do, go wrong.  Riders get bucked off, barriers are tripped, calves and steers get away, barrels go down, someone ends up being faster, and competitors get hurt.

   Just like in every day life.  

   No matter how proficient we are at our favourite tasks, sometimes things just don’t work out for us.

   No matter how much we love what we do, sometimes we just have a bad day or two, or month. 

   No matter how good we are, sometimes someone comes along who is better or faster.

   No matter how careful we are, sometimes we just end up getting hurt.

   But, in life, as in the rodeo world, we can’t let that stop us.  We need to dust ourselves off, regroup, and get right back in the ring to give it our best shot the next day.

   Cowboys and cowgirls are not defined by just one ride or race, and we are not defined by just one activity or situation.  They are the best because they keep competing and don’t give up.  We become the best in our lives when we keep showing up and don’t give up too. 

Beth


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Open Heart

Until we can receive with an open heart, 
we are never really giving with an open heart. 
When we attach judgement to receiving help, 
we knowingly or unknowingly 
attach judgement to giving help.
 - Brene Brown

Monday, 17 July 2017

Path

Knowing that you're working toward something, 
and understanding that you are on a path, 
gives you the opportunity to look at that path
 in order to traverse it more skillfully.
 - Christiane Northrup

Friday, 14 July 2017

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Choices

It is not necessary to accept the choices
 handed down to you by life as you know it.
 - Hunter S. Thompson

Monday, 10 July 2017

Start

If you want to be more productive,
 then start at the start:
 get there on time.
 - Richard Branson

Friday, 7 July 2017

July 7, 2017 Chautauqua


Beth's Ponderings

   I recently received a FABULOUS gift.  The end of December 2016, I won a makeover from Lori’s Little Luxuries Salon, Spa & Gifts in Alix, and over four days last week, I was slowly transformed - facial, waxing, teeth whitening, eyelash extensions (most dramatic change as I haven’t had eyelashes since I was 14), eyebrow tint and shaping, manicure, pedicure, hair, makeup and 4 outfits - culminating in a fun mini photo shoot on Main Street, Alix.


   A very LARGE HEARTFELT THANK YOU to Lori, Dixie and Jessica...you gals are the best!


Beth


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Dance

Don't look at your feet
 to see if you are doing it right,
 just dance. 
- Anne Lamott

Monday, 3 July 2017

Story

We don't turn to story to escape reality. 
We turn to story to navigate reality. 
- Lisa Cron

Friday, 30 June 2017

Fine

We get so used to things not being fine, 
that we forget what fine is, 
and so what we once recognized as a problem 
no longer seems like a problem at all...
not only does it remain a problem, but...
it gathers force just beneath the surface, 
until at long last it erupts... 
- Lisa Cron

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Change

We're still maddeningly hardwired to resist 
voluntarily making the very changes
 it often takes to get what we want.
 - Lisa Cron

Monday, 26 June 2017

Wall

Nothing is holding you back...
Nothing is standing in your way. 
You don't have to go over the wall, 
or around it, or even through it. 
All you have to do is realize the truth: 
The wall isn't there.
 - Gabriela Pereira

Friday, 23 June 2017

DNF

Choosing to go the way of DNF [did not finish] 
is not a sign of weakness,
 and it doesn't mean you are not smart enough...
you are showing respect for your time and efforts.
 - Gabriela Pereira

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Monday, 19 June 2017

Best Practices

Don't blindly follow someone else's best practice. 
You need to test different approaches 
and only adopt the ones that give you the results you want...
The only best practice is the one that works for you.
 - Gabriela Pereira


Friday, 16 June 2017

June 16, 2017 Chautauqua


Beth's Ponderings

   The other day I was listening to a speaker who informed his listeners that he was the ONLY one with the true facts on the subject being presented.

   I didn’t agree.

   The speaker, as I am at this moment, was merely expressing an opinion, and contrary to what he said, it was solely his, as this is solely mine, opinion, and though there are some who would have agreed with him, his opinion was not that shared by the entire world.

   Even when he quoted the various experts and authorities that he based his premise on, he was still just offering us his opinion, and his version or interpretation of the material, which may have been correct, or it may not have been.

   Was he telling the truth?  He thought he was.  Am I?  I think I am.  Yet, someone else, with a different opinion, and different information, could come along and - with their different viewpoint - reveal something totally different.  It all depends on how the situation is interpreted.

   As for whether what he was presenting consisted of true facts, well, I reserve judgement on that too.  Excuse me...but how many years did the Europeans believe BEYOND ANY DOUBT that the world was as flat as a pancake and the sky was an upside down bowl over their heads?  That was an indisputable “fact” that everyone knew.

   I do have to qualify that it was an European belief because pretty much every indigenous tribe around the globe, as well as the ancient Chinese and some northern pre-Celtic peoples, knew that the world was indeed round, not flat.

   And how many of the “facts” that we learned in school have now been proven to be false, or at the very least, incomplete, in all areas of life?  Just because “everyone” believes something, doesn’t make it right or true.


   As humans we love to create, and then mindlessly cling to, certainties in our lives, yet, there is no certainty, really.  We like to think the sun will rise tomorrow (the most certain event in our lives) - and chances are pretty good it will - but we have no certainly it will till we see it rise.

Beth


Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Know

Don't judge your readiness by the things you don't know...
it's about what you do know.
- Mike Dooley

Monday, 12 June 2017

Ducks

Your ducks will never line up.
If you are waiting for them to line up,
you are going to wait forever...just go!

- Mike Dooley

Friday, 9 June 2017

Bone

To succeed in life, you need three things:
 a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.
 - Reba McEntire  
 

Monday, 5 June 2017

Eraser

If you can't be a pencil to write anyone's happiness, 
then try to be a nice eraser to remove their sadness. 
 - Unknown 

Friday, 2 June 2017

June 2, 2017 Chautauqua

 


Beth's Ponderings

   According to folk wisdom, if you hear a message or song, or read the same phrase in different resources,, or see a particular sign, three times it is very important and you should pay close attention.

   Well, for the last four years I’ve been told I need to slow down, take it easy, rest more, and other variations of that theme.  Okay, to be totally honest, I’ve heard that message longer than four years, but it’s been louder, and more often, in the past four years since I totally collapsed, most particularly in the past year.  Occasionally, the message has been accompanied by an implied, or spoken, “...or else…” statement.

   Now, in my defence, I honesty thought I had slow down, and I have been resting for a good three-quarters of my time, but still it didn’t seem enough as I kept hearing the message to slow down and rest over and over again from various sources.  And, I’d counter that if I slowed down any more, I’d be at a stand-still.

   I wasn’t...it was worse.

   The end of February my mom fell and broke her right elbow (yes, she’s right-handed), and I wasn’t able to physically cope with the situation on top of my own health issues, and my cries for help were ignored.  When I reached a crisis point, I found myself - not standing still - flat on my back unable to stop crying for a month and a half!  Bone-deep exhaustion didn’t even come remotely close to describing how I felt physically, mentally, and emotionally.

   You’d have thought I had hit rock bottom at that point, but no, I seemed to merely be bouncing around it, as I managed to go down even further!  This was, in part, because I was still doing the paper deliveries each time, even though I was supposed to be in bed.

   Resting, slowing down, taking it easy, and stopping became my only option as I had absolutely no energy reserves left to do anything else. I am required to rest for much longer if I want to recover.

   The good news is that this time of rest is slowly giving my body a chance to recover, rebuild, and replenish itself.  And thankfully I do have people helping me out now, which I really appreciate.

Beth

 

Contact The Chautauqua via email: thechautauqua@gmail.com or via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChautauqua

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Tears

There are more tears shed over answered prayers
 than over unanswered prayers.
 - Teresa of Avila  
 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Enthusiasm

Years may wrinkle the skin 
but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. 
 - Samuel Ullman