Today I decided to put my company to rest. After 16 years of working with the disabled, I closed my company in December 2012, and today I have boxed it all up. Glancing and reading through old files and programs, I was both happy and sad. Over 2,000 people I have serviced in my years, and with that ten times the memories.
Today I decided to put my life in order. After years of being a mom, a grandmother and wife, ex-wife, I put my thoughts, in a file cabinet in hopes that those I leave behind will read what I have written about so many periods of my life- my happiest times, and my low times. I have filed away years of writing to leave it in wait for when my children will come across it and finally understand who I am.
Today I ran across an old goal list I wrote in 2001. Out of 25 goals, I reached only 3. I put away the list, and will start a new one. Many of my goals no longer exist, such as being the best company, or having a new dream house. My goals were misdirected, and caused so much heartache in my marriage and life. Now I have no marriage, and no dream house.
Today I put my past to rest.
Today I am happy to have a house, small and old as it is.
Today I realized how much I have learned from my past.
Today I love my children deeper and richer
Today I love my life- simple as it is
Today I look forward to what is to come with no expectations
Today I packed away my regrets and am now thankful that the regrets brought me to the place I am now.
Les Brown said, “The good times we put in our pocket. The hard times we put in our hearts.”
Today I put them in a safe place to take out and hold in memory and quiet expectation and joy with no regrets, only sweet and bitter life lessons.
What have you learned from you life lessons?
For thirty years I have written stories for my children and grandchildren. There have been action stories, fantasy stories, and many Christmas stories. My stories are my gift to my children as they have been written with love, humor, and good life lessons. I never felt that they meant anything to them as they never jumped for joy when I announced I had another story to read, but I continued to write them and read them as they grew up. Now I write for their kids.
A few months ago, my son Derek, asked me if I was ever going to do anything with The Whisper. I was dumbstruck that he even remembered the story let alone ask if I would someday get it published. I joked with him and told him that I had been waiting for him to grow up so he could do the cover. He called my bluff and asked me to send the first three chapters to him and he would do the cover! I had no choice but to finish it. He put me on the spot and off on another writing spree of editing and re-editing. He got me excited again about that old story.
For years I kept my stories hidden from anyone but my children. I don’t know why, really. I suppose I felt they weren’t good enough or strong enough to stand up against the change in kids of today. I didn’t write about vampires and strong evil out to kill. I just wrote good fantasy that was about good feelings and life’s lessons. When Derek asked me to do something with it, I thought, what the heck, at least the kids will have an actual book I wrote.
My son gave me a gift- that of encouragement and the feeling that my book may be worth something special to some little kid who might just like the softer fantasy of wizards and adventure. Time will tell, but I’m going for it. The next chapter book is in the works and will be a continuation of Tippin ,a twelve year old boy, and the aging Wizard Gladwyn, whose spells don’t always come easy. Together they journey on exciting adventures.
The Whisper is available on Amazon.com and Amazon Europe.
Derek Von Ecker is an artist, dreamer, and curator originally from Michigan, with a B.F.A from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit. Derek now resides in Chicago, Illinois where he draws inspiration from his imagination, pop-culture, and personal experiences to create his works of art. Von Ecker’s work can be seen in galleries throughout the Midwest, and his illustrations have been splashed across everything from children’s books, shoes, handbags, skateboards and t-shirts. To view more of Von Ecker’s work you can visit his web gallery at http://www.voncecker.carbonmade.com
“Nothing ever happens in the past that can prevent you from being present now, and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?”
I did myself a favor today. I took a walk to the beach to clear my head. Persistence and surrender came to mind as I sat on the bench looking across the water. Persistence is both a good and bad thing. In my case, persistence has been both a burden and a blessing. I was persistent in staying in a past that no longer existed– that was the burden. Persistence in living in the present moment is the blessing.
Surrender is the savior. It reduces the persistent gnawing that I have had about the past. I hate to admit it, but I am the worst at letting go of memories and seem to be persistent in forgetting the worst times. I know when I’m doing it. I recognize this weakness in myself. I know I have to surrender the past and move forward in the future. Surrendering my past, has been the blessing. In surrender comes freedom to explore new possibilities and new life changes in the present moment. Life is so good when the past is put away and a new road awaits.
The Mouse, The Zen Master and the Cheese
The Zen Master was taking his afternoon walk. As he looked down, he saw his rodent friend the mouse, and reached down to pick him up. ” Still looking in the same places I see. You look troubled and so unhappy.”
The little mouse sighed. “I want the cheese I used to get. I keep remembering how good it tasted, and how beautiful it was to look at. Now all I get is dull looking cheese with holes in it. Nothing satisfies me like the cheese I once got.”
The Zen Master stroked the mouse’s head and looked deep into the little mouse’s eyes. “I can see you are hurting, but not to worry. It’s all about attitude and surrender. What you had was good cheese, but there are so many other wonderful things to taste. You have forgotten that even the best cheese can go bad. If you persist in looking for what you once had, all the rest that is here in front of you goes unnoticed and never to be savored. You will miss the best to come! You cannot be like your cousin the hampster on a wheel just working and working and going nowhere. It isn’t in you to stay in one place.” The Zen Master reached down and saw some crumbs of bread on the ground. “Did you see this? It is full of yummy things for you. Taste it for a new flavor. Touch it for its new feel. Smell it for its sweetness.” He passed it to the mouse who did what he was told.
The mouse’s little nose sniffed at its sweet smell. Umm, it’s a good smell, he thought. His little paws placed the bread in his mouth. He closed his eyes and chewed. “Umm, it tastes as good as it smells, ” he said to the Zen Master. “Now I get what you are trying to tell me. If I hadn’t been open to surrender, I would have missed this experience.”
The Zen Master smiled as he saw the look of pleasure and happiness on the mouse’s face. He placed the mouse back on the ground, and said, “now go and be happy with what is waiting for you now. I guarantee you will be happy with all the new joys life has to offer.” The little mouse scurried off to find what else was waiting for him, and the Zen Master smiled as he watched his little friend run off to new happiness.
What ways have you had to surrender to your past? Please comment in the comment section. I am most interested in sharing.