Wednesday, 30 December 2015


Destiny is not a mystery.  
For better or worse, your destiny is
 the result of your daily decisions 
and defining decisions...
Those daily decisions add up...
We only make a few defining decisions in life, 
and then we spend the rest of our lives
 managing them.
 - Mark Batterson 

Monday, 28 December 2015


Taking time to rest is a way of saying 
that not everything in life 
is up to you. 
- Tricia Goyer

Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas

A heart-felt THANK YOU
 to everyone for your support of 
The Chautauqua this past year.
May the blessings of this special time of year 
reside in your hearts today and always.


Wednesday, 23 December 2015


...when in doubt – when you aren't sure 
what the right thing to do is...
remember WWLD...what would Lassie do? 
 - Dr. Bernie Siegel 

Monday, 21 December 2015


 My life has a superb cast 
but I can't figure out the plot.  
– Ashleigh Brillant

Friday, 18 December 2015

December 18, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   How much did you try and cram into your day yesterday?  

   How much did you actually enjoy doing? 

   How much do you actually remember doing?

   How much did you actually accomplish/finish? 

   How much from yesterday will get crammed into today?

   We seem to think that the more we do, and the busier we are, the better we are as people.  But is that really true?

   We cram so much in to our lives and schedules, and the lives and schedules of our family members and friends, that we aren’t actually doing anything more than running here and there, and back and forth, like a hamster on a wheel.  

   We try to fit so much into a finite time slot, and then wonder why we can’t remember anything, or are feeling so pressured and stressed.

   We long for holidays to get away from it all, and yet continue our cramming habit by overfilling our holiday times.

   Society today is the most workaholic of any previous era - even European nations known for their generous holiday schedules, are getting on the bandwagon as it were.

   Did you know that hunter/gatherer societies - prehistoric and current (if contact with outsiders has been kept minimal) - only “worked” about 3 hours a day.  That’s roughly how long it took to gather their daily food supply.  The rest of the time was spent socializing, playing games, and other leisure activities which honed life skills, kept them fit and active, as well as in right relationship with themselves and others.

   It seems to me these “primitive” societies knew something valuable that we have forgotten today.

   The new year is just around the corner, and for some, it is a time of making resolutions and changes.  Yet, for many of the ancient cultures, the Winter Solstice was the beginning of the new year with the dawn of the new day following the dark of the longest night.

   As we celebrate the holidays this month, instead of cramming more into your life, why not create more space and quiet?


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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Monday, 14 December 2015


Happiness isn't a destination...
it's a realization that things couldn't possibly 
get any better than having
 the freedom to perceive as you please 
and to think as you choose...
- Mike Dooley 

Friday, 11 December 2015


We must not allow the clock and the calendar
 to blind us to the fact that each moment of life 
is a miracle and mystery. 
 - H.G. Wells

Wednesday, 9 December 2015


The difference between a helping hand 
and an outstretched palm
 is a twist of the wrist.
  - Laurence Leamer

Monday, 7 December 2015

Life Expectancy

The good news is that life expectancy is increasing; 
the bad news is that the extra years 
are tacked on at the end.
 - author unknown 

Friday, 4 December 2015

December 4, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings
   What are you missing or lacking in your life?  

   A refill for your coffee?  A parking space at work?  Money in your bank account?  Someone to love you?  Time?  Safety?  Peace on earth?

   No matter what you think is missing or lacking in your life, the truth is that NOTHING is missing.  

   We get so hung up on the “form” we want the elusive thing to appear in, that we are blinded to the many forms that it does manifest in our lives. 

   For example, if your coffee cup is empty, you aren't really “lacking” coffee as there is probably more in the pot, and if not, then there is coffee in the jar to make more, and if not, then you can buy a cup ready-made at the coffee shop, or go to the store to get another jar to make more.  There is no “lack” of coffee in your world.

   If you think you are lacking money, look at where you do have money - change in a jar or under the couch cushions (never underestimate how fast coins can add up), some money in a coat pocket, money in a savings account, or a paycheque arriving on payday.

   If you think you are lacking time, think again - you woke up today which means you potentially have another 24 hrs or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds at your disposal.  That’s a lot of time.  

   If you think you are “lacking” love, look around – you are alive, the sun still rose this morning to ensure your continued existence, and there is oxygen in the air for you to breathe.  That's a whole lot of pretty significant love right there.  Add in the approximately 7 billion people on this planet and you’ll find that no matter who you are, there is at least one other person in this world who will find you and like you.

   No matter what you think you are missing or lacking in your life, it is there somewhere.  Be open to recognizing that there are a multitude of ways and means that our desires can be, and are, fulfilled every moment of every day.

   “Try not to get hung up on the how and instead allow.” - Gabrielle Bernstein. 


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Wednesday, 2 December 2015


It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves,
 and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.  
- Agnes Repplier

Monday, 30 November 2015


Realizing that love is a divine spark in one's heart, 
one blows that spark until a flame
 may rise to illuminate the path of one's life. 
 - Hazrat Inavat Khan

Friday, 27 November 2015


Our image of perfection is the reason 
why we reject ourselves the way we are, 
and why we don't accept others the way they are. 
 - Don Miguel Ruiz

Wednesday, 25 November 2015


There is no end to the adventures that we can have 
if only we seek them with our eyes open. 
 - Jawaharial Nehru

Monday, 23 November 2015


Reality is that which, 
when you stop believing in it, 
doesn’t go away.
 - Phillip Dick 

Friday, 20 November 2015

November 20, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   I am sure I have mentioned before that I don’t really like shopping - unless it is in a bookstore - I can spend hours in a bookstore.  

   I enjoy buying things, I just don’t like the process of going into a store and looking for what I want, and not always finding it.  I prefer to go in, and then get out as quickly as possible.  And, for me, grocery shopping is the worst.

   That is one reason why I prefer shopping in small town stores where everyone knows you, and your preferences.  There is a chance to visit and catch up, and finding what you want doesn’t become an elaborate scavenger hunt.

   Yet, during this healing journey, shopping - especially grocery shopping - has been a bit of an adventure.  Mainly because I was trying to figure out what was safe for me to eat, so I was constantly on the look out for different products and items.

   In the past two and a half years of twice-weekly (then graduating to weekly) appointments in Red Deer, I needed to find a place to buy groceries, and I chose Eastview IGA.  The reasons for my choice were: I didn’t have to drive far off of Ross Street to get to it, I could park right outside the door, the produce section and tills were very close to the door, and they had a large selection of pre-cut fruit (and cut more if I needed it).  Important considerations when I was still rather weak.  

   While it is a city store, it feels more like one in a small town.  I’ve gotten to know some of the staff, and they’ve kept an eye on me - seems they were concerned about me collapsing in the aisles in the beginning - and my food purchases as I’ve progressed on this healing journey.  They’ve teased me about bringing Co-op bags to an IGA store and we catch up as I go through the till.

   So, I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to Joe, Shara, Becky, Bruce, Lynnie, MJ, Dorothy, Christine, Helen, Samantha, Lorna, Doris, Dallas, Tammy, Calvin, Donald, and everyone else (sorry I don’t know all your names yet) who work at the Eastview IGA for making it such a delight to shop in your store...from the “Fruit Lady”


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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Monday, 16 November 2015


 Stop trying to be the person you were yesterday 
and let yourself be the person you are today. 
 - Author unknown

Friday, 13 November 2015


Love is the knot you tie in your proverbial rope, 
to hang onto while God 
works out His will in your life. 
- Charlotte Hubbard

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Monday, 9 November 2015

Throw Away

You don't throw a whole life away
 just 'cause it's banged up a little bit.
 - Mark Joyner

Friday, 6 November 2015

November 6, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings
    Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate. - Jordan Bach

   I do not participate in protests, nor do I tend to sign petitions, and I avoid boycotts if at all possible.  I also do not sympathize with those involved in strikes.

   The reason is that those methods of showing displeasure and demanding change rarely bring about the desired change.  This is true even if the point is only to raise public awareness.  It may grab people’s attention for a moment, but then their own concerns occupy their thoughts.

   Another reason, is that these methods of protest generally put the emphasize and focus on the opposite of what they want, then the results end up being the opposite of what they want, and then they can’t figure out why.

   Anti-drug campaigns, anti-war campaigns and others put the focus on drugs, war and whatever else they are fighting, and not in an educational awareness way.

   Truthfully, education and awareness are not lacking for most of these issues.  In fact, we are overloaded with information and statistics to the point it becomes just background noise.

   Even the all to common “Don’t Drink And Drive” campaigns don’t work.  Everyone knows that drinking and driving is wrong and that it endangers lives, yet it still happens every day, and lives are still lost.

   Maybe if they changed the slogan to something such as “Have Fun And Arrive Home Safe” they would see the results that they desire.

   Or are you trying to lose weight?  A more positive approach would be to focus your efforts on gaining health which is a more wholistic approach than just losing some pounds.

   Our memories are short and for a campaign to be successful, repetition is necessary.  Yet, what is being repeated should be what is wanted.

   Granted, sometimes it is easier to figure out what you don't want - we seem to be wired to notice the negative more than the positive - but once you figure it out, shift the focus to the positive and watch your results change.


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Wednesday, 4 November 2015


Expecting the world to treat you fairly 
because you are a good person 
is a little like expecting 
the bull not to attack you
 because you are a vegetarian. 
 - Dennis Wholey

Monday, 2 November 2015


If you're breathing, things are looking good...
Your job is to be the best you can be in this moment, 
dealing with whatever is directly in front of you, 
one small step at a time.  
And when you need help, ask for it.  
- Dr. Bernie Siegel

Friday, 30 October 2015


Follow your heart
 and use your mind 
to navigate the heart-chosen path. 
 - Fred Croker

Wednesday, 28 October 2015


If you can see your path laid out in front of you
 step by step, you know it's not your path.  
Your own path you make with every step you take.  
That's why it's your path. 
 - Joseph Campbell

Monday, 26 October 2015


I can't go back to yesterday
 because I was a different person then.
  - Lewis Carroll

Friday, 23 October 2015


What might be the right path one day 
may be completely wrong the next. 
 - Dr. Bernie Siegel

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


We can sometimes migrate
 from place to place and job to job...
until we realize that the sky above us
 is the same everywhere we go... 
- Dr. Bernie Siegel

Monday, 19 October 2015


Find the time in your life
 to have the time of your life. 
 - Dr. Bernie Siegel

Friday, 16 October 2015

October 16, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   Aren’t you glad we live in the 21st century with all of our gadgets and technology?

   Just imagine how difficult - in fact, practically impossible - it would be for us to complete so many of our daily tasks if we didn’t have our umpteen modern appliances and gadgets.

  Yet, “Labour-saving machinery only creates endless and worse labour.” - J.R.R. Tolkien 

  Don’t believe me, then ask yourself this...what are our lives really like now with all this technology?

  Yes, it took all day to wash clothes by hand in a hot tub of water, with a scrub brush and scrub board, however, there was less to wash.  The average family - even if there were a lot of children - generally had one good outfit (Sunday, parties, weddings, or funerals) and their every day outfit (which they wore more than one day in a row!) and a work/chore outfit.  So, while it looks like we’ve gained with our washing machines and dryers, complete with all the latest bells and whistles, we haven’t really as we just stuff our closets, and then those washing machine, with more and more clothes.  Laundry is an endless task now, as we spend more time washing some outfits than we do actually wearing them!  

   The same is true of our homes.  It used to be possible to completely clean a home with a pail of water, a scrub brush and a broom.  Once vacuum cleaners became the norm, and now our Swiffers and the like, our homes have gotten larger and larger.  It is almost like we needed to justify having the convenience, and thus complicated our lives more.

   And, let’s not forget telephones!  Gone are the days when you had to walk next door to talk to your neighbour.  Do any of you remember when we used to get into the car (or sneak into the bathroom) to get away from the ringing phone?  Now phones are everywhere, and are considered so vital to existence, for more than just talking to someone. 

   Technology, in and of itself, isn’t bad.  It does help us in numerous ways and makes life easier.  Yet, we have, as a society, negated so many of those benefits by filling our lives so full of stuff and information.


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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Monday, 12 October 2015

Thank You

When I say “I love you” to someone, 
what I mean is “Thank you.”  
- Robert Holden

Wednesday, 7 October 2015


The truth is, 
nobody actually wants it all...
We only want what we want. 
 - Kate Northrup

Monday, 5 October 2015


Nothing is really work 
unless you would rather
 be doing something else.
  - J.M. Barrie

Friday, 2 October 2015

October 2, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings
   “I can’t afford __(fill in the blank__”

   How many times do you say that in a day? In a week?  In a month?

   Do you say that about small items, or just big-ticket ones?  Frivolous wants, or actual needs such as food and shelter?

   I recently read that we shouldn’t say we can’t afford something.  Instead, we should say we “choose not to have” something.

   I’m sure you can think of at least one instance where you didn’t have the money for something you really needed or wanted, and yet you moved heaven and earth to get it.  You may have borrowed the money, worked a extra job, or even traded something else to get it.

   The truth is that if we really truly wanted whatever it was, and valued it enough, we would find a way to obtain it.

   That’s the key - value it enough.

   It’s not enough to just want something or desire it.  It has to also match up with our internal values.  It has to be something that is vitally important to us.

   This is true of everything in our lives, not just the items we purchase.  

   If you value education, you will find a way to obtain it even if you don't go to university or trade school.

  If you value employment, you will find a way to get a job even if it means taking a salary cut, taking a different career path, or working as a volunteer or intern to acquire some experience in your chosen field.

   If you value family and friends, you will arrange your schedule to accommodate them and make decisions that will foster those relationships.

   If you truly value yourself, you will choose to take the necessary steps to take care of your wellbeing such as scheduling downtime, doing things that you enjoy doing, and making healthy habits part of your daily life.

   The interesting thing that happens when you choose to follow your values, and not what the crowd (aka “they”) says, is that affording what you want becomes effortless.  

   It only becomes hard work when you don’t really want it.


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Wednesday, 30 September 2015


Instead of seeing the rug
 being pulled out from under us, 
we can learn to dance 
on a shifting carpet. 
 - Thomas Crum

Monday, 28 September 2015


Doors that close are just as valuable
 as doors that open.  
- Nancy Sleeth

Friday, 25 September 2015


Selfishness comes from too little self-love,
 not too much. 
 - Anita Moorjani

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


The more you love, the more you grow;
 the more you love, the healthier you are;
 the more you love, the happier you feel; 
the more you love, the more successful you are.  
Conversely, not loving enough and feeling unloved
 are the root causes of every problem 
and conflict in your life and on our planet. 
 In sum, your life works when you love,
 and it doesn't when you don't. 
 - Robert Holden

Monday, 21 September 2015


Imagine how insane it it would be 
to believe that we have to hold our breath 
because we're afraid that if we breathe deeply
 the person next to us won't have enough air. 
 - Kate Northrup

Friday, 18 September 2015

September 18, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings
   The other night on the news a lovely 103 year old woman was interviewed.  Now, honestly, if I was asked to guess her age, I’d have put her no more than 75 years old.  While she did possess some wrinkles, her infectious smile was youthful as she literally skipped and danced her way into the room.

   Naturally, the big question asked of her was what was her secret to her longevity.  Her reply was that she keeps her heart happy.

   She’s not the first to say that, and I’m sure she won’t be the last.  When long-time comedian George Burns was asked how he was able to live so long - and remember he smoke, drank and had other so–called “bad health habits” - he too replied that he did what he loved.

   So the secret to living a long and happy life isn’t really a secret.  We all know that we should be doing more of what we love, more of what truly “makes our hearts happy.”


   Ah, there is the sticking point.  The “but.”

   I would, but……
         I’m too old               
         I’m too young
         I’m too poor
         I don’t have enough education
         I’m too set in my ways
         I’m too tired
         I’m too lonely
         I’m too scared
         It’s too late

   List all the things that make your heart happy and see how many are NOT currently part of your life.  As soon as you do that, your mind will automatically start saying to you, “Yes, but…”

   Are the “yes, but’s” real, misperceptions of your reality, or are they something you (or someone else) has imposed through expectation?

   Deal with the “buts,” and you can make your heart happy.   


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Wednesday, 16 September 2015


Conversation doesn't have to lead to 
consensus about anything, 
especially not values;
 it's enough that it helps people 
get used to one another. 
 - Kwame Anthony Appiah

Monday, 14 September 2015


It's not always that we'll choose what's in front of us, 
it's that we would like to have the freedom to do so 
if we felt compelled.  
- Kate Northrup

Friday, 11 September 2015


Stillness is where
 creativity and solutions to problems 
are found.  
- Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, 9 September 2015


Every tension in your body
 is a reflection of how you live your life...
the joys and problems of the world 
are also reflected in your body. 
 - Bob Cooley

Monday, 7 September 2015


Holding the entire universe on your shoulders 
and controlling it all is not your job. 
 - Kate Northrup

Friday, 4 September 2015

September 4, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings
   It’s back to school time for a number of children, young adults, and adults.  While my sister and I said the best year was the first year we DIDN’T have to go back to school, this year we are aware of it again as my niece enters kindergarten this fall.

   Even if you are not a student in the formal sense, back to school time is a great time to learn something new.

   There are so many options for learning now besides taking an actual class.  You can watch how-to videos or ask someone you know to teach you how to do what they do.  You can read books or take free university courses online.   You can learn at your own pace and your own time, you don’t have to be tied to a classroom.

   With the countless resources available, there is no excuse not to follow your dream and learn something new.

   The possibilities are endless.

   Besides learning something new, the process of learning keeps us mentally young and our brains agile.  People who continue to learn new things are generally healthier and more balanced.

   As well, learning something new broadens your world view and makes you more accepting of what is around you, and what happens to you.

   Learning something new can be life-changing on so many levels, as the results can lead to avenues you never considered before.

   Perhaps your new training can enhance your current employment and lead to a raise or promotion.  Or, your new skill could lead you to a change of career.  Maybe you can help teach others what you are learning.  Or, you could learn something that will provide you with more enjoyment and relaxation in your life.

   Even if you have no plans beyond the learning process, doors can open for you with new training and skills.  Doors that you never noticed before because you weren’t ready for them.

   What have you always wanted to learn more about?  What skill have you desired to master?  


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Wednesday, 2 September 2015


Allow it to be easier than you think,
 faster than you expect, 
and more fun than you can imagine.
 - Michael Neill

Monday, 31 August 2015


Organizing is what you do before you do something, 
so that when you do it, it's not all mixed up. 
 - Christopher Robin (A.A. Milne)

Friday, 28 August 2015


Dripping water hollows out stone, 
not through force but through persistence.
 - Ovid

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


Real and lasting happiness 
comes through the progressive accumulation 
of unforgettable memories and special moments.  
 - Robin Sharma

Monday, 24 August 2015


When you can take the things you judge in yourself
 and appreciate them to the point 
where it wouldn't matter if people found out, 
you'll attain real self-love.
 - John Demartini

Friday, 21 August 2015

August 21, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   One day, three or four years ago, a very nice guy held the door of the post office open for me so I could manoeuvre the stroller containing my niece through the door. I thanked him and he replied, “Life is easier when someone holds the door for you.”

   I remembered his words because they are so true. Whether it is an actual physical door someone is holding open for you because your hands are full, or just as a courtesy, or whether it is a symbolic door, life is easier with the assistance of others.

   Yet, that is easier said than done!

   We are often readily willing to hold doors, of various varieties, real or otherwise, for other people. Who hasn’t helped someone out at one time or another just because you were there and able? However, we are often unwilling to allow others to do the same for us. We fear and shun the kindness of others. Why?

   On the flip side, there are those who demand that other people hold doors for them and yet they are not willing to reciprocate or even acknowledge the assistance they have received. They too fear the kindness shown to them. Why?

   What is it about kindness that we can find so threatening?
   Why do we tend to feel that we don't deserve help, or that we are being a burden and inconveniencing someone who offers assistance?

   Or, is it that we fear that we will be required to reciprocate in a way and means that we feel we are unable?

   Our society prizes, and promotes, independence to an almost fanatical degree at times, yet, we can’t do everything ourselves, no matter how much we think we can.  We can only exist, and thrive, in community.  And community requires interacting and assisting others around us.

   We have lost so many of the small societal courtesies that were a part of everyday life for ages.  Those little courtesies that some considered demeaning and condescending and wanted the world to stop.  Yet, they weren’t demeaning.  What they really were was a sign that someone cared enough to show kindness to someone else.  Do you still care?


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Wednesday, 19 August 2015


What one thing can I do
 to make better use of my time
 so I completely eliminate 
the reason I feel so overwhelmed? 
 - Cheryl Richardson

Monday, 17 August 2015


Lord, grant that I may always desire 
more than I can accomplish.
 - Michelangelo

Friday, 14 August 2015


Love has power to give in a moment
 what toil can scarcely reach in any age.
  - Goethe

Wednesday, 12 August 2015


If your inner creative force 
loved you enough to give you life, 
who the hell are you to say
 you're not worthy[?] 
 - John Demartini

Monday, 10 August 2015


I don't think you go out of style 
when you're living in the present 
most of the time. 
- Shirley MacLaine

Friday, 7 August 2015

August 7, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   No matter what area of our lives we are dealing with, we all have an idea of what we want the ‘ideal’ to be, our ultimate wish list of the perfect outcome, be it a dream job, the place we want to live, something we want to achieve, or a particular relationship.

   Generally, it is good to have goals and dreams, and achieving these dreams and goals helps us develop into the person we are destined to become.

   However, sometimes we discover that what we thought we wanted is not really what we want.There is an old saying, “Be careful what you wish for, as you may get it.”We find out that the dream job is not such a dream, the place we want to live is not a nurturing environment, the achievement is not enriching our lives, or the relationship is going nowhere.

   One reason for this is because we confuse the external wants for the internal wants.  The externals - job, new location, achievement, relationship, etc. - are merely different paths to our internal wants.  Once we realize the difference, and acknowledge the internal wants, then we can see more options available to us and can stop fixating on one narrow path.

   There are many paths our lives can take.  We are not being forced to choose just one.  Nor does it mean that if we miss one path we should just give up as our lives are over. 

   While it is important to identify our internal wants, that isn’t the whole story either. 

   What we want isn’t always what we need.  And life has a unique habit of giving what we need more often than we get what we want.
   Our wants are many, but few of us ever really take the time to think about what we need in particular life situations to help us grow and move forward.

   Wanting something is not bad, but sometimes we are required to release the desire for what we want so we can welcome into our lives what we need, which ultimately will lead to greater happiness in the long run.


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Wednesday, 5 August 2015


The true depth of your own
 value, beauty, and worthiness 
has already been conferred by the Divine. 
 It is set.  No one else's behaviour or opinion 
can honestly ever minimize it.  
It's like clouds trying to eradicate the sun.  
It always reemerges. 
 - Tosha Silver

Monday, 3 August 2015


Always be yourself and have faith in yourself.  
Do not go out and look for a successful personality 
and try to duplicate it.
 - Bruce Lee

Friday, 31 July 2015


Don't talk to me about rules, dear. 
 Wherever I stay, I make the...rules. 
 - Maria Callas

Wednesday, 29 July 2015


The power to move the world 
is in the subconcious mind. 
 - William James

Monday, 27 July 2015


 Hope, self-esteem and education 
are the most important factors
 in creating health daily.  
- Christiane Northrup

Friday, 24 July 2015


We all have to make choices...
since we can't have two lives, only one.  
But, most of these choices we make fresh
 every day, not just once.  
So, if you regret something, 
if you want to change your mind, 
you usually can. 
 - Menna van Praag

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Many of us spend our our whole life 
doing the things that are supposed to lead us
 to a great time but that actually lead only to 
more work, aging, stress and exhaustion...
we have a lot of encouragement to 
work through lunch, work late, 
work weekends, and not much encouragement
 to go off and have fun or do nothing for a while.  
This is the way life is, in spite of the fact 
that you all know that you get your best ideas 
when you are on vacation. 
 - Regena Thomashauer

Monday, 20 July 2015


Most of us get really hung up on 
the long, crooked, ungratifying trip into 
Why Things Are the Way They Are..
.The problem with looking for the why of it all 
is that you never really, truly find it.  
And if you do, it doesn't necessarily 
make your life any better. 
 - Regena Thomashauer

Friday, 17 July 2015

July 17, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   Have you ever watched a really good improvisation sketch, or participated in an improv class?

   The basic rule of improv is to say “yes” to everything that the other participants come up with.  As soon as one person refuses, the whole sketch falls apart.

   Pretty much anything and everything is allowed, no matter how zany or bizarre or off-topic it originally seems.  Even if the participants have an idea of how they want the sketch to progress, it can end up in a totally different direction or go around in crazy circles.

   Sounds like life, doesn’t it?

   As we plan and try to figure out what direction we want our lives to go, things happen and we have a choice - do we say “yes” and move forward, or do we say “no” and stall out?

   We are all faced with countless options and choices in any given moment or day.  Some seem familiar, some seem repugnant, some seem just plain bizarre, some are intriguing, some are routine, some seem to come completely out of left field, some seem like they’d be a good match for someone else, and some seem like they are too good to be true.

   In true improv style, we have no idea where each of those choices will lead, or what the next choice will require of us.  Some choices appear to have clear consequences, while others don’t.  We can use our imagination to come up with possible reactions to our choices, however in the end, it is all a mystery till we actually make the choice and say “yes” to whatever is before us.  People rarely respond how we think they will - for example, they say “no” at lot less than we think they will, it is just our fear that holds us back from asking.

   Too many of us say “no” to life’s opportunities before we even think to say “yes.”  Fear is our default setting and holds us back.  We may think we are keeping ourselves safe, yet all we are doing is adding more stress to our lives, and limiting our chance to move forward and grow.

   You never know till you say “yes” what you are capable of doing and being, so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone and isn’t illegal, why not start saying  “yes” to what life puts in your path.  


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Wednesday, 15 July 2015


Be careful going in search of adventure
 - it's ridiculously easy to find.
 - William Lewis Trogdon

Monday, 13 July 2015


Look beneath the surface;
 do not let the multiple qualities of a thing 
nor its value escape you.
  - Marcus Aurelius

Friday, 10 July 2015


An inordinate passion for pleasure
 is the secret of remaining young.  
- Oscar Wilde 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015


At anytime you decide to improve
 your behaviour and make lifestyle changes,
 they make a difference from that point on.  
Maybe not right away. 
 It's like slamming on the brakes.  
You do need a certain skid distance.  
- Dr. Jeffery Koplan

Monday, 6 July 2015


It's up to us to learn to look beyond what 
separates us and find what makes us alike.  
After all, every spirit is made up of the same energy, 
and the last I heard, energy molecules 
had no interest in judging other molecules.  
- Char Margolis

Friday, 3 July 2015

July 3, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   What a difference a year or two can make!

    If you had told me a couple of years ago what my life would look like in 2015, and what I’d be doing, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. Yet, here I am.

   Many people I know who have gone through a significant life change some time in the last year or so have commented along the lines of, “It sure is nice not to have to (fill in the blank) any more.”

   Ironically, just before I collapsed two years ago, I started reading a book called “The Laws of Subtraction” by Matthew May. I have only read half the book, however, the premise is that value is found in what you take out, or subtract, not what you add.  Similar to the theme “less is more,” but deeper.  Remember it is the empty space inside a cup that makes it useful.

   We’re all too busy, too focussed on the wrong things, and too tired to even realize it.  If we aren’t rushing here and there, trying to cram endless activities into our schedules, our minds are on overdrive, racing all hours of the day and night.

   One positive thing about a major life change is that it interrupts our lives and thoughts just enough that we can see what is important to us, and what is draining us.  

   For some reason, we find it easier to subtract what we don’t want to do or have when we face a crisis of some nature.  If it is that easy to subtract from our lives, why do we wait?

   There is a fine line between expressing life through your time investment in various activities, and becoming so consumed by those activities (and heaping even more on your plate) that you are actually hiding from life.

   We struggle for the elusive “life balance,” but there is no such thing.  Instead of balance, we should be aiming for manageable - whatever that means for each of us.

   Ultimately it doesn’t matter how many ball (activities) you are able to juggle in your life, you are juggling most effectively if you are only juggling 3 balls (activities) at a once, and you are most proficient when you focus on only one ball (task) at a time.


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