Conflict

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When I was younger I enjoyed conflict. It meant that I was letting things be known and getting things done. These days I just want peace. Gone are the days of spending two hours trying to convince B that I am “right.” Gone is the time spent crafting a great argument. I would much rather spend time meditating and sitting quietly than fighting.

Yet, there is something to be said about the positive effects of conflict. During conflict we are often forced to grow, to dig deep within ourselves to find the answers that are needed, and do a bit more in an effort to resolve the issues that are at the root of the problem. Oftentimes, conflict brings us some much needed insight about ourselves and our loved ones that can then be used to find solutions that best fit our mutual needs. Usually conflict forces us to do a bit more thinking, to take action, and encourages us to analyze patterns that are dug up when our nest is disturbed.

Conflict is hard, especially when we as a species, tend to want to chase rainbows and live our lives surrounded by sunny skies. Many of us avoid conflict like the plague. But conflict if managed with mutual respect and sharply attuned listening skills can unearth gems that can change our lives or our thought patterns. So while I am not encouraging anyone to go out and start a fight with their loved one; I am saying that the next time you are in conflict with your loved one try to look for the treasures that conflict can bring. You may find exactly what your relationship needs in order to take that next step by digging deep and listening carefully and in doing so; you might just find the peace that you have been searching for.

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Magical Places

I am fortunate. I have been to many magical places in my life. I have visited the hot thermal waters coming out of the ground at an ocean front setting in Greece. I have seen the birth of my grandson. I have sat on a hilltop in a field of flowers overlooking the Sierra mountains and watched magnificent sunset of reds, yellows ,and brilliant oranges. Yes, I have been blessed many times over to have experienced some truly exceptional moments in my life.

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Magical places for me provide opportunities to connect with myself and others. I realized that when I inventoried all those magical moments they have not been solitary. For me, they are shared moments/places in which we get a glimpse of our own awe reflected in the faces of those we love which serve to bond us tighter as we witness something truly spectacular. They are those moments which become shared stories in which the words, “Remember when…” are uttered for decades to come. They are the times, after you are gone, that your children tell their children about and their children do the same. Although they may not come often when they do that we really sit up and take notice and discover through them, what is important to our souls.

Magical moments are the heartbeats of the universe. We all experience them at one time or another and the sense of discovery and wonderment is what binds us together as human beings. They connect and transform. They provide a way to shared experience and give us a way to say, “I know what you mean” even amongst people half-way across the world from one another. We may not have even see the same thing but somehow the feelings brought about from what we have each observed can build a bridge over which we can both traverse. Magic indeed.

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Magical moments sometimes arrive on their own out of the blue. For me, they are the best because they are spontaneous and unplanned. But often, I think that we have to create these occasions ourselves. We have to be open to trying new things and stepping out of our comfort zone to make them happen. We have to take a path untried. But mostly, we just have to open our eyes and recognize the beauty in what we are seeing and  celebrate it. And when we do this, somehow the magic just takes over. For its a choice we make to appreciate what is in front of us and to celebrate the beauty of those moments that forever imprint themselves on our lives.