Round Hole Square Peg

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How long do we need to continue putting a square peg into a round hole before we throw it up in the air and try something different? We all learn as babies how this works. Triangle shape fits into a triangle hole. I don’t know one who got it right the first go. As adults we sat and watched encouraging the fumbling little fingers and intense concentration to keep trying, knowing they would eventually get it right. When they did, we celebrated their accomplishment just as enthusiastically if not more than they did.

Flash forward years and change your view just slightly and imagine these pegs as our belief systems, morals, values and opinions. We may not have the pegs in front of us physically but the idea is just the same. We have a way of thinking and our partner has their way of thinking. His may be the round peg and you may have the square hole. <~~~ that sounds just weird after writing it but I am going to leave it.

We all have different opinions, belief systems, morals and values. Some we are willing to compromise on and some are set in stone. We can either try to change the other to adopt ours or we can compromise and blend them together. Keep in mind that each human being has walked a unique path making them who they are because of where they came from and the life experience they had along the way. When we can dive deep to the root of who they are it is much easier to understand why they may have formed a different view on life than we have. Unlike the baby trying to fit that rigid peg into a hole we have learned over the years to compromise in our work relationships, friendships and love unions. We evolve and learn that what is best for the team is a blend of everyone involved. It is not as cut and dry as wood pegs.

Lets say within a relationship we are given 10 pegs, we can see how many we agree on by placing them into the right slot. Again celebrating the ones that fit so perfectly. But what happens when they don’t fit?

We can take weeks, months even years to figure out some of our pegs are not going to match no matter how hard we try. Some of us are slow learners, or are we? Maybe we just know what we want and were relentless in finding a way to make it work? Maybe we are not willing to compromise? Maybe we just need to find a heavier mallet to smash the square peg into the round hole and be done with it. The problem is the peg we smash into the wrong hole is going to be damaged. Now what? Should we be get out our sandpaper and start smoothing the edges of our pegs and try to keep going? <~~~ that is called compromise. Or do we give up and walk away from all the pegs we have damaged?

This is where communication steps in…Hallelujah to words but even better the actions that follow. In my humble opinion, if you are not willing to follow through with the actions behind the words, you should keep those words inside a little longer. The time will eventually present itself and be a moment to celebrate! Mean what you say and say what you mean.

Some of us can communicate better than others. If we try, over time we evolve into better communicators with practise. If you consider yourself a poor communicator with words, you can always fall back on your actions…you know what they say about actions, they speak louder then words. There really is no reason to fail at communication, it’s just whether or not you are doing it to listen, or to reply. Muting someones words just tells them they don’t matter. I have learned over the years that if you stay in the room, even the worst case scenario…agree to disagree, you fair better than walking away.

Communication is a choice. Here are a few prime examples, you tell me what appears to be the best form of getting your whole view across.

Text messaging is a form of somewhat broken communication, good if you are sending brief information required, but for anything more meaningful it is passing back and forth fragmented thoughts that can lapse over days. This is for those who want to think so long before they speak and even when they do it is so wide open for interpretation it most often goes in the wrong direction, leaving both parties more confused.

Email can have it’s advantages for those who want to get their thoughts down without being interrupted but isn’t injections from the other person necessary to have the flow go in the right direction, a natural ebb and flow of a conversation. You both help the other understand by clarifying something along the way as to not have the wrong impression.

Phone conversation are the second best in my opinion, hearing the persons voice can help direct you as to what they are feeling with simply the tone of their voice.

Standing in front of another human being is the only way to truly communicate. The only way you can have any real success in trying to get his round peg into your square hole. 🙂 You see their eyes, their body language and if both are open to expressing themselves honestly it is a communication celebration.

So life is not about being completely structured, fitting a square peg into a square hole and thinking that is the only option. Life is about how we deal with situations when the square peg and round hole present itself to us, how we communicate to solve the problem, whether in business or our personal lives.

~ Tracy

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The Dalai Lama

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Dalai Lama’s eighteen rules for living.

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs: 1. Respect for self 2. Respect for others 3. Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Tracy~

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Amen Sista!

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I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon hiking with a woman I have wanted to connect with for some time. We knew ‘of’ one another when we were in our late teens, her being a friend of my older brother. We connected on FB and it was apparent we viewed life in a similar light. Chris would post something and I found my self saying ‘Amen Sista’ on pretty much everything she wrote or commented on. The friendship seemed inevitable.

When we finally did meet in person, it felt like we were just picking up where we left off, yet we had never had a history together. As we sat looking out at the spectacular view of the Cove after a fabulous hike, we started to delve into what makes each of us who we are at the core of our being. Chris shared openly her unique story which triggered some deep thoughts within myself. We dug deeper as to why we do certain things in life or why we find ourselves in places that challenge us to face our fears. We all have them, it’s about recognizing from where they came and how to deal with them that truly matters. You need to go straight to the pain of why they are there in order to work through how to let them go.

Although we both had different stories to share they had an underlying similarity that made me feel a sense of wellbeing. I understood myself more by listening to Chris share her inner wisdom with me.

As we age gracefully we move to a level of comfort in life that allows us to experience a sense of peace. It’s like a pendulum swings and we right ourselves as we age. Those things we thought defined us when we were younger fall to the wayside, and what really matters becomes crystal clear as we become comfortable in our own skin. We start using our voice to create the change we believe in. We lose the fear of being judged. We know who we are. We still carry around a few insecurities that try to resurface from time to time but ultimately we are able to make them dissipate when we live authentically and come into our own, being true to self.

I feel at home within myself and believe it has a great deal to do with those I choose to surround myself with, my circle. At the end of the day we only really need love and understanding. Unconditional love from those who matter. The greatest thing about being an independent strong woman in her 50’s is that the only thing I require in life now is love.

I have been blessed with two amazing kids, a family that is like no other, a great job, a comfortable home and friends who would be there at a moments notice if I needed them.

My advice to younger women is simple.
Love yourself, first and foremost!
Stop worrying, you will do just fine!
Always follow your heart, it will lead you to where you need to be.
Stuff doesn’t matter at the end of the day, love does!

Get off Facebook now and then and spend a day walking in nature with someone you keep saying you want to spend time with. I promise you it will soothe your soul and leave your heart feeling full.

Thank you Chris for connecting in person and giving me the inspiration to continue to share who I am with those who matter! You truly are a Woman of Wisdom!

Svaha!

Tracy signiture

 

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Inspiration is All Around Us ~

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Photo on 13-01-30 at 2.43 PMInspiration is all around us, if we take the time to look and listen. A High School friend of mine named Mike sent me a message last night asking if I would write about his BBF, (their version of BFF ;)) who inspires him immensely. I couldn’t say no because that is what one of our goals here on Tara Cronica…Inspiring others to live their most authentic lives, use our voices to create positive change in the world in which we live and ‘Find Lyrical Beauty in Everyday Happenings!’

Mike described Teresa as one of the most thoughtful positive human beings he has ever met. Mike told me that you can’t help but be lifted by her spirit when you are in her company. She is a true Mom who puts her two boys always first!

Last April Teresa found a lump in her right breast, a story that is becoming far to familiar with all women! Teresa went through the Breast Health Clinic in Surrey and couldn’t say enough about the staff and team of surgeons! After biopsy’s and MRI’s they found precancerous tissue and Teresa eventually underwent a full mastectomy. By being so courageous and sharing her story, Teresa inspires everyone who crosses her path.

Mike went to every appointment with his BBF 😉 and said he felt that he was in the presence of greatness. That is a Best BBF EVER!!

Mike has decided to put on a fundraiser in Teresa’s name to help ease her mind while she is on the road to recovery. It will be held at Jimmy Mac’s Pub in Langley on Feb 10th (Sunday) starting at 4:30! There will be prizes, silent auction, 50/50 and karaoke by donation!

Mikes daughter Tina created the Dream Catcher you see in the photo above which is made out of donated bras. As Mike says “I’m sure the dream catcher has a million stories” hehe! I am sure it does! Tina has offered her work of art to raise money for this fundraiser. If you are interested in joining the auction please contact Mike @ bigrenz@live.com for more information!

Thank you Teresa for sharing your story with us here on Tara Cronica! I hope your journey touches the lives of many giving hope and courage for those who follow in your footsteps. Mike you are a true friend, women need the support and strength from our male energy and you have given just that, making a difference in a beautiful woman’s life!

Tracy signiture

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Three Days of Love

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Santa TracyThree Days of Love...December 20-21-22, 2012!

Friendship ~ Gratitude ~ Oneness. Pledge to join the global celebration of love and kindness at Three Days of Love. Share your expressions of love by uploading videos and photos. (I did) Then join the live global webcast on Dec 20-22 @ www.birth2012.com. I think we could all use a little unity right now.

I signed the pledge along with Deepak Chopra, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Marianne Williamson, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Don Miguel Ruiz and Shepard Fairey to name just a few.

“I Tracy Westerholm commit to share words and actions of love on Dec.20, 21 & 22, 2012″ My signature was number 14312 😉 I also posted a picture of my heart tattoo on my wrist as a reminder of the love I have in my life. I am all about sharing and giving love as you all know so I won’t be stopping on the 22 🙂

Svaha ~

Tracy signiture

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I am Grateful ~

Christmas feels different to me this year. I am on my own and for the first time, in a very long time, I feel relaxed. It feels uncomplicated, and I like it. I have so much love in my life and for that I am grateful. I have a very colourful circle of friends and an amazing family.

I have wrapped the Jing Tinglers, Flu Floopers, Tar Tinkers, Who Hoovers, Far Ginkers, Trum Tupers, Slu Slumkers, Blum Bloopers, Who Wompers and Zu Zitter Carzays! I am ready for Santa! I am also ready to pack on a couple of pounds eating shortbread and sipping Bailey’s coffees. Felize Navidad!!

I am embracing those who have stepped into my life in an unconventional way with acceptance and love. My circle is expanding this year and that’s exciting. I am teaching my kids to be open, aware and accept what the Universe brings forth. Life challenges us with change, allowing us to grow and unfold as human beings. It’s how you deal with change that matters.

I have so much to be grateful for…

I have two incredible kids who I adore and LOVE spending time with. I am fortunate to have two amazing parents who are still in love after 60 years together. I am grateful for the unconditional friendship and bond I have with my kids Dad. My girlfriends make me feel blessed, supported and never alone! I love my man-friends who continue to make me smile and keep me somewhat grounded on my path to never say never land…and last but not least my furry friend who is the sweetest, most loveable, kind, crazy companion I could ever ask for…even when she pee’s in the basement and shreds her bed 😉

The spirit of Christmas is about giving, so please don’t forget to share what you are grateful for with those who are less fortunate this holiday season and all year round!

“Sooooo Santa I have nothing on my list this year, and it’s not because I think I am on your naughty list it’s because I have everything I need. Believing in the magic is what I will pass on to my kids this year!

My Christmas wish is pretty simple…a day filled with lots of love, ear to ear (((((smiles))))), twinkling eyes, warm long hugs, lingering kisses, spirits that soar to the moon and back, breathtaking aromas, full bodied wine that makes one giggle, a full tummy, a content heart, conversations that fill the room with chatter, happiness, joy and no dishes to clean up!” 

Take a moment to remind yourself what you are grateful for!

Svaha ~

 

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Reincarnation…

I recently connected with an older gentleman who openly talked to me about his life during World War II. I’m guessing he had to be in his mid 80’s, still a very handsome and charming man, a Fighter Pilot. He was a great story teller. I laughed at the look on his face when he told me he was given an axe not a gun, saying they either didn’t think he was worthy or there was a shortage! (He looked not only worthy but capable even decades later!) He bragged about how good he was at video games with flight simulator. He had all the moves the young kids couldn’t possibly know without the real experience of flying as he did in his day. He then paused in mid sentence trying graciously to hold back tears, apologizing for his moment of weakness, as his eyes welled up when the memory of his best friend came forth. His best friend didn’t make it home. I could have stood for hours listening to him relive moments in his past, but his wife subliminally beckoned his return and he didn’t want to keep his love waiting too long. As he spoke I could feel the love he felt for her, having met her in such an unsettled time. He still did not take his love for granted. His eyes were kind and heart was full.

There are only two times in life that I can think of when we seriously think we may never see our partner again. War and Surgery. War unfortunately involves both in many cases. He was fortunate to return but not without loss. War is not kind to love or friendship.

My recent two part post, Past Lives and Past Lives…part two was a story based on my experience with regression. Regression is a method of hypnosis which leads you into a meditative state where you are guided to explore possible past lives. I don’t know if I believe I was regressed or not. Not only was it 18 years ago, I could come up with a romantic story while standing in line at the coffee shop let alone in a relaxed hypnotic state of mind. It’s just who I am.

Do you ever wonder what lies deep beneath the surface of who you are? Do you think it’s simply genetics with a little learned behaviour thrown in for good measure, or is there much more to it than that? Are you open to the possibility of having lived past lives? Do you believe in reincarnation? Do you think it is possible under the right guidance to go back to see what was? I have always been intrigued by the possibility of reincarnation, perhaps because I don’t believe that this could possibly be it, it can’t be that simple…can it?

Watch this video and tell me what you think? It has to make you question who you are.

The photo I used from above I found while searching for a photo that would remind me of the man I spoke with, it is of Edward Butch O’Hara. If you want to read a story which I found interesting click on the name. You never know what you will find on the net. Love it!

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Take Chances!

When was the last time you took a chance? Chance; the possibility of something happening. Not gamble; play games of chance for money. Not Risk; a situation involving exposure to danger. I mean a chance in business, friendship or with the opposite sex, that if taken could change everything. We take chances with choices every single day. Sometimes you need to make a choice however before you take a chance.

We take chances on relationships every time we meet someone new. We take a chance that they are who they say they are. Some men/women don’t yet know who they are. They can be a work in progress that lasts a lifetime. To find someone authentic is a breath of fresh air. Knowing who you truly are is a feat not everyone is able to reach. How can anyone be expected to be taken at face value if they don’t know what their value is?

Who are you? A valid question that in time can be answered in depth. That’s where the chance is taken. It’s hard to get to know someone who doesn’t quite know who they are yet themselves. On the other hand it’s easy to get to know someone who does.

When you first meet someone you should throw your expectations right out the window and let them just be who they are. And when they show you who they are believe them! If you think even once…if they would just change____stop and walk away! They are not who you are looking for if you need to change them EVER!

Choices stand directly in front of us, waiting for us to take the chance. Chances come with a feeling of exhilaration. Taking a chance if honesty is present is worth every single moment.

I love taking chances, hate making choices! I usually just go with my instinct. If it feels right do it. Having said that it doesn’t always work out in my favour but at least I try. I’ve tried dipping my toe in life one foot at a time, being cautious and careful. Now I am jumping in with both feet making a splash to see where the water ends up. I am certainly not afraid of getting wet! I think when you trust your instinct, chances are easier to take. The choice is made for you. Everything just happens as it should. Perhaps not always as you thought but as it should have never-the-less. Live and learn.

If you’re trying to make a choice that you think you need to make but it just doesn’t seem clear…leave it for a while. A chance will sometimes appear out of the blue that you can’t turn your back on which will make the choice easy. This is one thing I know for sure!

Here are a few quotes I wanted to share with you about choice and chance…
The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved…William Jennings Bryan.
Leap and the net will appear…Zen saying
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take…Wayne Gretzky.
You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do…Henry Ford.
In the end, what we regret most are the chances we never took…Frasier Crane.
Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place…Zora Neale Hurston.
Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learned here…Marianne Williamson.
Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it…Buddha.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world…Mahatma Gandhi.
Life is ever changing. You never really know your path until you are walking it, still then it’s not always your choice that changes its direction, most important is that you just keep going…Tracy Westerholm.

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Friendship…to the Tenth Degree!

Bonnie’s post Confessions of a Killer, her being the killer, made me laugh and think about our friendship. Since Bonnie selected the word Friendship when she created this months header I thought I would relate at least one post this month to just that…Friendship! (beautiful header by the way Bon) My Red Flags post will have to wait until next Wednesday! 🙂

Bonnie’s post reminded me that I know EVERYTHING about her. The flip side of that, she knows EVERYTHING about me. There are no secrets! I react to spiders like Bonnie reacts to cockroaches. I’ve said to her son James that if he ever does something questionable and gets the stink eye for it, I would tell him a story or two about what she did that I am sure would equal what he might have done. Yes, he’s a boy and boys usually take things a step further but I can recall a time or two when Bonnie behaved like a boy! (giggle) This is where is gets tricky, I was probably with her when she did, doing the same thing, with a huge smile on my face to boot! We’ve lead one another astray on many occasions in our friendship! *wink*

I understand the cockroach fear and think I may have been the reason it became embedded into her psyche. Back in ’83, we lived in Australia for 6 months, it was 4o+ degrees 80% humidity. We had to sleep with all the window closed because there were no screens. The cockroaches in Australia can be 3-4 inches long. There were so many skittering on the street late at night it was hard to avoid stepping on them. They made a crunch sound if you did which still makes my skin crawl just thinking about it. Somehow they entered our room even though we shoved towels under the doors, we woke up in a sweat every morning because of it!

One day Bonnie entered the room and she had the Grand-daddy of all roaches on her chest, the look on my face said it all and she reacted by running at me screaming “GET IT OFF GET IT OFF!” At the time she thought it was a Huntsman spider which were the size of your hand splayed out! I freaked out and ran away from her screaming and locked myself in the bathroom letting her fend for herself…she banged on the door for quite awhile! lol I am still sorry about that, but can’t help but giggle at the thought of the look on her face!

This post is about friendship…no really! It’s about give and take. And forgiveness! Mostly forgiveness! And Karma, we can’t forget Karma, it can apparently follow you for 20 years or more! I agree that might not have been a best friend kind of thing to do, but you need to know that I’ve never told any of Bonnie’s secrets. And I have a brain full of them!

Each year we visit Bonnie and John and before I arrive Bonnie sprays the cottage we stay in with spider spray so I can sleep at night! My Karma finally arrived, 20 years later. We went out on the boat and no exaggeration a million spiders came climbing over the edge of the boat to MY seat like it was a James Bond Movie Trailer. If you listened closely I think you could actually hear the theme song playing in the background! I think they were all packing heat if my memory serves me right! Bonnie didn’t jump over board like I almost did, she stepped TOWARDS me and helped swat them off while I literally freaked out jumping up and down like I was being electrocuted. They were climbing up my legs and I could feel them in my hair, and we all know I have a head of hair you don’t want to lose a spider in! She mention later she wished she had video taped the episode so she could post it on YouTube. The perrrfect friend in my eyes! The next night on the doc watching shooting stars and comets, you could only see my eyes and nose through my draw string hoodie, she was in flip flops without a care in the world…my hero! She told me I was missing a life experience because of my fear. Yep!

Friendship is about making sure you’re with your best friend when they do something questionable so that when you do something questionable they have no choice but keep your secret! And if you can still be friends after 35 years, you don’t have to worry about who did more questionable things, because you can’t remember. Sweeeet!

All joking aside, each year I am grateful for the time I get to spend with Bonnie, the confessed killer of small helpless things. I watch and learn and somehow magically or through osmosis her strength rubs off on me making me feel empowered. She is one of the most incredible women I have had the pleasure of knowing. She loves unconditionally, without judgement. She is one of a kind and I love her for who she was and who she has become. She has taught me so much about life and love, neither of which would be the same without her. Just the thought of her makes me smile…and then giggle!

I promise if at any point in the future a cockroach skitters anywhere on or near your body I will step TOWARDS you and start swatting! Love you Bon! xo

This is classic stink eye for those of you who are not familiar with the term. (you gotta love photo booth on Mac)

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The Making of a Girlfriend ~

I have been watching the dynamics of my daughter and her girlfriends lately and it’s made me aware once again how difficult it can be finding the right group of girlfriends, as a young girl or as a grown woman. There are so many insecurities in girls and women. I think some girls never lose these insecurities even as they evolve into young woman. I believe if we are aware, we can change that.

Young girls don’t yet have the tools to navigate friendship, mostly because they haven’t experienced much as a girlfriend. Girls learn pretty quick what they don’t want when it comes to friendship. They gauge every situation on how it feel, which is a good start, trusting your instinct, but there is a lot to learn as a female in the world of friendship dynamics.

Some girls are confident by nature, but there are those who aren’t who bring down their friends in order to feel better about themselves. As a young girl we don’t understand that but realize as we grow and evolve its life. Jealousy is a big part of why girls knock their friends down as apposed to lifting them up. Jealousy is a horrible emotion that is a sign of insecurity not one of love. We need to build up the confidence of our precious little girls so that they have a chance at being a best friend one day. I learned that if you surround yourself with confident positive friends you will always leave their presence feeling just that, confident and positive. I love my girlfriends, each and every one of them for giving me that unique gift of friendship.

One of my daughters teachers told me that there is already a lot of ‘girl gossip’ going on which doesn’t surprise me. I am a Mom who stands outside my daughters class twice a day and I see what’s going on with attitude and simple facial expressions they trade back and forth. Girl gossip or drama what ever you want to call it, can be hard for some girls to navigate away from, my daughter seems able to so far. I worry more about her than my son because girls just generally seem to be programmed to gossip. Girl gossip lead me to more friendships with our male counterpart growing up, now I have a healthy combination of both! Life is too short to spend a single moment with those who uninspired you.

As a young girl I had lots of different friends from different groups. I attended different schools and played sports which added to my circle. I loved the variety, no judging, just accepting everyone for who they were. It was comforting to know you had friends everywhere.

Girls navigate through their friendships with fear, they are naive and need to learn what it is to be a good friend. My daughters come home with hurt feelings because of others and it’s hard to just stand by and watch, but necessary for her to learn what she wants in a friend so she can be a good friend too. I am confident one day she will surround herself with great friends that will stand the test of time. She will learn that those who put her down or bring negative attention to her efforts will not be standing at her side in years to come, but she will learn from them what she didn’t want in a friendship.

Friends come and go and if your lucky you find a Best friend who will stand by your side throughout your life like I have with Bonnie. I think you need to earn the status ‘Best friend’ though and it comes with time and experience of being a good friend, eventually evolving into a Best friend.

So my advice to young girls is be kind to your girlfriends and they will give you unconditional love forever. With real friendship you feel safe, supported and completely yourself and with that you can do anything!! 

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Svaha Spirit Series ~The Lion Whisperer ~

As you all know a friend of mine Ryan Ennis is in Africa taking a course to be a Safari Guide. If you haven’t already checked out his blog ‘Ryan In Africa’ you really should, it’s as close as some of us will ever get to being in the wild. I would love to go visit Ryan to see for myself what Africa has to offer, perhaps one day I will. For now YouTube and RIA’s blog will have to suffice. I came across this video and can see how this would appeal to some, not many (lol) but some as we see here. Animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson has struck up a remarkable friendship with an entire pride of lions in South Africa. But check out Ryan’s post ‘Good morning Mr. Whiskers’ to see what most thrill seekers experience when in the company of a pride of lions!

Sky’s Africa Correspondent Emma Hurd reports.

Here is another I just had to add, it shows that although we can live among wild animals their instincts are still deep within them. Enjoy ~

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Therapy Session ~

Happy Birthday Scott! (March 25) A year has past since I wrote a Birthday wish for you here on Tara Cronica and what a year it has been. We have moved in directions we weren’t aware even existed and have grown independent yet together along the way. We have faced change within ourselves and embraced it with no fear. I think you’re amazing. You’re an incredible man to have by my side. I am grateful for your strength, support and honesty and appreciate all you do. I look forward to the next chapter in life, where you will grow and unfold and I will become who I am meant to be. Thanks for making me smile out loud everyday!

Now my post for today ~

After a great session with my male therapist (Dr.Scott La Rock) I came to realize I don’t live in the moment as much as I should. I get caught up in life as we all do. I’ve been feeling let down by people and life all while trying to adjust to major change that’s happening at light speed in my world. I will be the first to admit I’ve lived in a fantasy world for a long time, okay since I can remember, maybe since I was 5, and it seems like my world keeps getting brutal shots of reality which I am not too fond of. I figure, if I start to get cynical or bitter, there is really no hope for the rest of you!

After my therapy session (not a real therapist for those who don’t know me) we together came to the realization that ~

1) I created this wonderful fantasy and live in it by choice.

2) It’s actually my perception of individuals that keep letting me down not them.

3) I need to remember ‘It is what it is.’

There are a lot of GREAT people out there, REAL people who are sharing their inspiration in this world. Those are the people I want to spend my precious time with, not the time wasters, naysayers or takers. I’ve noticed not as many people keep their word anymore, nobody really cares if they effect someone else’s life as long as it doesn’t effect them. (That’s just wrong)

This is one of the reasons Tara Cronica is so important to me, it’s a meeting place where everyone can find inspiration, friendship and creativity, it’s here for those who need it and it’s free, it’s also here for those who want to share their inspiration, but mostly it just feel right to me.

We are three different women with three different views and opinions living truthfully under completely different circumstances. I am sure you can relate to at least one of us. We are not trying to be, and certainly don’t think of ourselves as do gooders, but I can tell you that Tara Cronica has changed the way I live my life. I try harder to look for the good in everything, even on the days it feels unnatural. (doesn’t always work but I’m aware) I am trying to be a better person and I believe I am since I started this journey. I get discouraged just like everyone else does at life and love. I break down, I get bitchy, (hard to believe I know) I can be difficult, (who me?) and when that happens I find it helpful to talk to you, here.

I wear my heart on my sleeve and have my life as an open book so that I can be related to. If I get back into the moment and I take away the fact that I was tired, hormonal, and absolutely everything in my life is changing (acceptance without resistance, thanks Bonnie) and adjust my perception, people/things don’t seem so bad anymore. Scott you are a great guide in life to walk beside, a very important male perspective that I learn from everyday. I needed a recharge and by talking I got just that.

When I look at those who were making me feel discouraged, with a clear perception, I now see souls who didn’t set out to hurt my feelings, but perhaps have things to work out for themselves. Maybe they just need to see that we are all the same with issues, trying our best to come out on top. I hope that by coming here it will help them move forward in life and see that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. We might not always be on track in life, but as long as we keep taking steps in the right direction and put ourselves out there I think we grow and move forward learning along the way.

Two things come to mind now, ‘what a difference a day makes’ and ‘this too will pass.’  Thanks everyone for taking the time to visit, listen and share your voice with me!

Svaha ~

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What To Do When Your Girlfriend Dumps You~

tracy-pic3Have you ever been dumped by your Girlfriend? I think it would be worse than being dumped by your boyfriend but that’s just me. I have never been dumped by a girlfriend, that I was aware of. Girlfriend tend to drift apart depending on what’s going on in our lives, but the real ones are always there no matter how much time has passed since you saw them last. I am so lucky to have girlfriends like that!

I am fortunate that my close girlfriends are very understanding and independent, we have known one another for a long time, so we just get each other. I don’t think I have ever done anything that would be classified as dump worthy, at least nothing that is morally wrong or value based. Every women who has blood flowing through their veins has “questionable moments”, it’s our hormones and personality quirks that cause us to be a difficult friend at times. I strive to be a better friend and the girlfriends I do have make me want to be a better person.

When I first started this post I said I had never been dumped by a girlfriend, but in the time it took to publish (couple of weeks) I found out I had been dumped by a long time friend. We only kept in touch through Facebook but I was happy we at least had that. Facebook allows you to continue friendships that would otherwise be lost because of distance or our busy lives. After wishing her husband, one of the greatest guys I know, Happy Birthday on Christmas Eve, and not getting to talk to her, I logged into Facebook to reconnected again…she deleted me as her friend! I was shocked, especially after just writing this post days before. I don’t know what I did, perhaps she was just “cleaning house” with everyone she doesn’t see on a regular basis, I too have been guilty of that. Regardless of the reason, it made me feel like I had lost a part of my past, an important one to me. When someone consciously deletes you from their life, no matter whether it’s a male or female, in person or online, it doesn’t feel good.  So there you have it, I have been dumped by a girlfriend, on Christmas Eve no less, someone I felt was a part of my circle. I still love her husband though, and will continue to call him on his birthday!

Here’s what I found online~ According to Irene S Levin, PhD, author of Best friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend, the romanticized notion that best friends are forever is a myth. She says being ditched by a close girlfriend can be incredibly painful, especially when you had no idea you were going to be dumped. Here’s how Irene would navigate this difficult situation:

Put the breaks on your reaction, first off, step back and really think things through, because reacting out of anger or hurt could make the situation even worse. One of the most important things to consider is whether you actually want to salvage this friendship. “Use this as an opportunity for assessment. Are you just hurt because your once-friend dumped you or because it is truly a friendship that you valued?” says Levin.

If you want to save the friendship you’ll need to summon up the courage to talk and be the one to extend the olive branch. Until you do talk, you have no idea of what is really going on. Levin says that women often fall into the trap of assuming that they know what their friend is thinking, although that may be completely erroneous.

Be prepared to accept responsibility if you did do something wrong. “You may have disappointed your friend or betrayed her trust. Whatever the case, don’t be too stubborn to be the first to apologize or forgive. Admitting your own blame may open the door for her to assume her share of responsibility for the misunderstanding,” says Levin.
If however, your ex-friend is not interested in trying to fix what went wrong, you need to respect the boundaries they have set.  It may have less to do with you than with other things going on in her life.

So how can you get over the loss if the friendship is truly over, feeling heartbroken is a normal reaction.  Levin says that there are stages of grief that women characteristically go through after the loss of a friend: These include: shock and denial, loss, self-blame, embarrassment and shame, anger, and finally, acceptance and sometimes relief.

Grow from the experience, once the shock has worn off, look back and see what you got out of the friendship. There may be many great things that you learned from being her friend, or perhaps not.  Ending a friendship that isn’t working leaves you more time for more satisfying ones.

My girlfriends are one of the best parts of my life!

To my circle of girlfriends~ I love you !

Tracy signiture

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Gifts Are All Around Us

Bonnie Johnson's Post
Happy Boxing Day
The big day is over.  Phew!  All the rushing around, Christmas baking, shopping (unless you are boxing day shopping today) and gift wrapping is now behind us for another year. Yesterday was a day of abundance for most of us; abundant food, drink, family, friends and gifts.  Gifts in every shape and size and monetary value, but the intangible gifts are the most touching and valuable to me;  like the gifts of laughter, love, friendship and family.

Our lives are often so full of stuff; modern conveniences, material possessions and unnecessary luxuries that we tend to forget or miss the real gifts that surround us every day.  Of course I am grateful for all of the wrapped gifts I received this Christmas, but I would like to see the spirit of gratitude continue for us all each day of the year.  Sure, gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness in response to receiving something whether it’s a gift or an act of kindness, but I believe we can choose to feel gratitude everyday regardless of our situation or circumstances.  I read somewhere that the feeling of gratitude has the same vibrational energy as love and I believe it.  They feel the same don’t they?

To me it’s all about feeling good.  Look for things to feel good about and grateful for and you cannot help but find yourself in a wonderful frame of mind.  When you consciously choose to focus on life’s blessings, they will suddenly appear everywhere for you.  It is the law of attraction at it’s finest.

In the relatively new field of “positive psychology,” researchers are studying the science of thankfulness. In The Psychology of Gratitude, Dr. Michael McCullough of the University of Miami and Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, show how participating in regular, deliberate appreciation improves almost everything. By having their research participants keep weekly or daily gratitude journals and practicing self-guided exercises, the researchers discovered their participants slept better, exercised more, increased positive emotions, had more rhythmic heartbeats, progressed toward personal goals more quickly, and helped others more often.

Speaking of gratitude, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our regular readers who have been so supportive of our Tara Cronica since her inception this past year and to say welcome to our new readers.  We are so grateful to have you all join us here.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

Svaha!

Bonnie

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Friendship and Summer Vacation!

Friendship is good for the soul!

FriendshipMy family and I recently spent 10 days visiting Bonnie, John and their beautiful brown eyed dog Spot at their lake front property in the Okanagan.  There wasn’t a moment that I didn’t LOVE!  It’s always fun going on road trips for summer vacation but when your visiting your Best Friend and her family, life is Gooooood ! Great in fact !

Bonnie greeted us with her warm smile and spiritual calmness.  We have not always lived in the same city but it doesn’t really matter when you have a bond like ours.  We reunite in person as often as we can but rely mostly on the telephone or skype and email to get our girlfriends gab fix.

Handsome JohnThis visit was extra special for me because Bonnie’s husband John was there!  He is a man’s man who is not only handsome but hard working, intelligent and non judgemental.  He has all the qualities women really search for in a man.  I could list many more but he would be embarrassed if I did.  He was worth waiting for!

My two incredible little humans I call kids and I stayed in the cottage which is an self contained cabin lake front!  We fell asleep to the sound of leaves imitating rain and gentle waves. In the morning I walked down the wharf with Zack (our dog) to enjoy the silence of nature.

Summer VacationWe lounged while reading magazines, swam, talked about life and love and everything in between.  We ate ‘Esso’ ice cream, toured the lake front by boat, tubed, learned a few moves at  Zumba, made smores on the fire, laughed at each other but most of all this trip reminded me of why Bonnie is still my Best friend after 30 years 🙂 Visiting Bonnie rejuvenates my soul!  She reminds me of who I want to be!  She helps me float down the river with good intention!

BonnieFor my kids, visiting Auntie Bonnie made them completely aware that their Mom was not the only free spirited crazy lady in the ‘World of Mom’.  With Bonnie present I was able to take off my filter completely for 10 straight days!  Liberating for both kids and me!  Both my kids saw yet another raw dimension of who I am and realized that if  Auntie Bonnie was the coolest then I must be too by association!

My son was in his boyhood glory camping with his Dad, who he idolises.  But he also had the influence of John another incredible male energy who taught him how to chop wood, start the fire, drive & launch the boat and let him use the sling shot!!

Jojo and Uncle Johnny!

My daughter loved being in the presence of Bonnie.  They shared dance moves and reconnected on many different levels once again.  My daughter took every available opportunity to hang out with Uncle Johnny as she called him and had some pretty animated talks about life and whatever else came up.

So when my kids are asked in September how they spent their Summer Vacation, I am certain they will be able to tell their version of the stories about Friendships on Summer Vacation!  We searched for moments and found many that will make all of us smile for years to come!  Thanks Bonnie and John and Spot for just being who you are and making our Summer Vacation such a magical one!

Spot @ Zack's 15th Birthday Party

Tracy

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Obligations and Expectations.

TracyObligations and expectations are something everyone accumulates over time.  They can sneak up on you if you’re not careful.  They start to layer themselves on us until we start to feel like our lives are being directed by everyone but us.  Family obligations are one thing, such as celebrations and doing things for other family members because we want to, but it’s another story when acquaintances start to guilt you into doing what they think is something you should do, because they feel obligated to.  People do this when they don’t know how to say no.

With great friendships and true love there are no obligations or expectations.  Fear is full of obligations.  Fear of not fitting in.  Fear of what people will think if you say “no”.  Fear of being a minority.  Fear of not being accepted if you don’t play along with the politics.  Fear of being judged.  Fear is a horrible emotion that leads you further away from who you truly are.  Fear nothing and you will make the right decisions.  Without fear you can live your life truthfully and authentically.  The next time someone puts their obligations onto you ask yourself  ” Is this really something I want to do?” If the answer is no then chances are it is an obligation trying to be put on you.

When I first started to see this happening in my life I was unsure of how to deal with it.  I finally just said “no”.  I stood back and looked at the person who was trying,  I will repeat trying, to put their obligations on to me.  I flat out refused to accept it.  People who over book themselves are really pro at putting their obligations on others.  If their doing it, so should you.  Soon their family and life gets overtaken by what they feel expected to do until they no longer have control over their own lives.  Family dinners get cancelled, the time they used to spend for themselves is gone because of the obligations they have accepted throughout the years.  It’s a Dominos Effect.

People in general these days are busier than ever, and there isn’t enough time in the day for everything they’re obligated to do.  In my opinion we need to get back to the basics and quit accepting more things to do.  We need to have our family be our priority and spend more quality time together.  We need to stop overbooking our kids and ourselves and start living our lives for us.

I am not certain whether it was an age thing with me in being able to say “no” or that I really just have my time and my family as a priority.  I think it’s a combination of both.  If we don’t start making changes, our family time will become a scheduled event marked on our calender along with everything else.  For many this is already the norm, but it’s never too late to reevaluate if your time is well spent or balanced.  Life is too short to have it filled with obligations we didn’t feel good about to begin with.

That’s just my opinion!  Comments are always Welcome !

Tracy

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Tripping for me

I feel compelled to write about travel today because it seems to me that everyone on the planet is going away somewhere warm with the exception of me.  And with our recent snow fall you can’t avoid daydreaming about being somewhere warm and exotic.

Juara Bay Tioman, Malaysia

I’ve had a few Tripping adventures in my life but you can always use another!

By the time I turned the ripe old age of 25 I had explored over 46 different countries in the world.  My parents exposed me to the travel bug at the age of 11. That was a huge chunk of the 46 right there. We sold our house, they quit their jobs and put everything we own in storage including the dog. We gallivanted around Europe and Asia for a year.  Not many families did that in the 70’s!  I was young but still to this day it was the best experience ever!

Villa Margarita Costa del Sol Spain

Travel shows us that, like the universe, there is far more out there for us to explore than we can ever imagine and that there’s no place like home all at the same time. If you love to travel you will agree with me that life experience and memories far outweigh anything you own.

You can travel or vacation. To me there’s a big difference.  Both are top on my list of things you should do as often as you can.  A traveler gets off on going to places they’ve never seen before.  A vacationer likes the ease of planning a trip where there are some comforts of home.  Both have their purpose.  It just depends what your looking for.

Boys will be boys! ThailandTravel (in my opinion) needs to be a visual experience as well as a cultural experience.  I want to meet the people who live where I’m going.  Get to know the locals.  I like there to be a language barrier!  I want to come home with a better understanding of what it’s like to live somewhere completely different, like the Hill Tribes in Northern Thailand or The Costa del Sol in Spain.

dirt biking to Burma

Meeting new friends is one of the greatest gifts of travel.  I’ve been writing to Sylvia, a pen pal from the Netherlands, for over 30 years.   We met in Spain where we lived for 5 months and her family vacationed.  Although I still receive letters from her, I miss the letters of broken English because it made me even more aware that she was different.  It reminded me of my childhood adventure every time I received one.  Her letters now are more easily understood and I love receiving them still after so many years.

Bonnie & Tracy down underTraveling when I was younger gave me the desire to continue when I was older.  At 21 I gallivanted with Bonnie through Australia for 6 months.  Now that was a completely different adventure!  I think at 21 traveling away from home is one of the best growing experiences you can have.  You find out quickly what you are really made of.

I  backpacked throughout Malaysia and Thailand in my 30’s with ‘a really good friend of mine’. Scott with Thai boys That trip literally changed my life.  I learned more about myself in 3 months than I thought possible.  I believe I came home a better person.  I came home thankful for what we have here in North America but it also made me realize I don’t really require a lot to be truly happy.

Hill tribe trek in Pai, Thailand

So you see, there are experiences out there waiting for us. We just need to get out and make them happen.  So the next time you pack your suitcase or back pack to travel or vacation, slip out of your comfort zone a little and really enjoy it for what it is~ life experience, memory making and expanding your circle of friends.Tracy

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Old Souls

As soon as you look into their eyes, it’s obvious that some souls have been here before.  I met an old soul about 14 years ago when she was only 7.  She always had something unique to say.  She was a typical 7 year old on the outside but inside this little girl was someone I sensed had a great deal of knowledge.  I met her for a reason and knew it right from the very first moment.Kels

Quite often we would come home and find notes on our door with suckers taped to them.  She knew it would make us smile.  The suckers were the 7 year old coming out, but the words, printed perfectly in the note, were not those of child.  She was aware.

Our friendship grew over the years as did she.  She became busy with school and I with a new baby.  I thought of her often.  I would sit and imagine what she would be like as a teen or in her twenties.  I finally saw her at 16.  She was the same little girl just in a bigger body.  She was already an old soul so she was only able to change physically to me.

We had a chance meeting years later at a coffee shop where she worked.  We had eye contact that day but I was distracted after arriving very late for a coffee date with some friends.  She was too nervous to say anything because so much time had passed by.

We eventually found one another again.  It was very emotional.  I had a connection with this old soul that I could not explain.  She felt the same.  We wrote emails back and forth for weeks, each one bringing a tear to my eyes.  This little girl was now a young woman who knew exactly who she was from deep inside her heart.  I realized I had to look at her as an individual with no age attached.  It was hard at first, me being twice her age.  I was confused about the role of my friendship.  Was it a mother daughter friendship or a girlfriend?  7 years old at heart

She met both my kids and they instantly fell in love with her!  How could they not, she was still a 7 year old at heart, but had the wisdom of a fully evolved human being.  She recently sent me an email, and coming from a 23 year old it has to make you wonder if there are angels here on earth….

Quote:

“It has taken me a very long time to learn that people are always going to forget what I say, in fact, they will even forget what I do, but something they will never forget is how I made them feel.  I have grown to realize that my strength in helping others doesn’t come from the things I say or do, but rather from creating a feeling inside their hearts that will be forever lasting.  I said things to you today that you might never remember, I did things today that perhaps you have already forgotten, but if I caused a feeling in your heart that was unforgettable then I have done what I needed to do…….A simple hug can mean so much more then just an embrace between two bodies.  Today, mine was meant to allow my soul the chance to greet yours….our souls will forever be friends.’   KelseyKelsey

I believe you meet people for a reason.  Their age means nothing.  You connect for many different reasons on many different levels.  Each one should be embraced.  This friendship has changed not only my life, but my family’s life.  There is a circle of friendship here that was meant to be. I am forever grateful for this old soul in joining my family.

.Tracy

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Twenties versus Forties

For those of you who know me you are aware of the fact that I just turned 40, once more.  Let me start off by saying I love 40 !!  So much in fact, it’s going to be my age for quite some time to come.

Twenties

Twenties

Seriously though, what the hell happened?  I feel like I was twenty yesterday.

When I was in my twenties I used to wonder what women in their 40’s who were single thought about it.  I think I felt sorry for them and wondered if they were sad to be walking alone with no life partner.

There were three reasons for being single;  widowed, divorced or never married.

In my twenties I used to think that being widowed would be the worst of the three.  Having lost the love of your life would be tragic.  Now I think at least you loved.  I am talking about the kind of love that gives you  butterflies when he walks in the room.  Where the chemistry you feel fills the room and it can’t be ignored, no matter how hard you try.  The kiss!  The passion in the kiss that never ends.  This kind of love is not waited for anymore.  So those who have lost their love at least have the gift of memories, that include love.

In my twenties, I thought older women who never married didn’t find the love of their life.  Just thinking of that made my heart ache.  In my 40’s I think that perhaps they just didn’t settle!  We live in a “I need it now society’ where we no longer have the patience to wait for anything, including love.  The women who never married were strong enough to continue their journey alone.  They were living authentically without someone, instead of compromising themselves for someone.  I think settling would be the worst.

And divorce, in my twenties, in my opinion meant you simply gave up.  In my 40’s,  well, there is a silver lining in every dark cloud, you just need to look for it.  It’s all about perception.  If you’re honest and stay true to yourself you should be able to move forward with no fear in life, with or without a partner.  I must say that I like my 40’s for the depth and understanding it has brought to my life.  Being alone in your twenties can be unsettling.  Being alone in your 40’s, what’s that?  When you reach midlife, single or attached, you start to live your life for you.  You experience and accept relationships for what they are;  short, long, sexual, intellectual, romantic and friendship.  On your terms !  Neither widowed, divorced or never married  seem so bad to me now that I am in my 40’s.  Perception is a frame of mind.

Forties

Forties

Tracy

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