Archive for Grain of Sand

Life Lessons

Posted in Blessings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2013 by Tanya

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This weeks lessons centered on the importance of extending kindness, gratitude, compassion and respect in every imaginable facet.

Initially in these scenarios, my immediate reaction might have been one derived from frustration. Instead, I discovered myself in the simultaneous positions of teacher and pupil once again.

It would have been relatively simple to voice my frustration and anger in each of these situations. Yet, despite my feelings I was able to exercise what I believed to be the appropriate course of action and perhaps lend a bit of enlightenment to what could have potentially resulted in entirely negative exchanges.

My students, if you will, were individuals approximately twenty years my senior and thirty eight years my junior. Neither scenario proved to be an easy task, both parties were reluctant and resistant to express rationality or entertain room for reason or the possibility of error. The situations demanded a demonstration of endurance, patience, humility, compassion, trust and love. A little nurturant tutelage was in order for all of us.

Anyone that knows me well enough, also knows that I rarely back down from a challenge. On the contrary, they often inspire and fuel me toward new heights of self standards, discovery and awareness. Each new challenge, undeniably tests my levels of endurance and patience and these two in particular were anything but mediocre in ominence.

The week began simply enough, ordinary in every way.

I received a phone call just prior to heading out toward work and I immediately felt the scales of positivity begin to tip. En route to work, as my thoughts began to spiral through imagined confrontations, I could feel my jaw set and begin to flex. Upon my arrival I quickly assessed that the situation was far more grievous than initially anticipated. Anger had reared her ugly head and it was a very uncomfortable and ill fitting reunion.

A gauntlet had most assuredly been thrown and demanded a response. And as ridiculous and uncanny as it might sound, my first intuitive response was one of gratitude. My next thought of course, was that rather than make a rash decision based predominately on frustration…perhaps I should enlist the advice of my supervisor. Imagine my surprise when she suggested we spin my initial response of gratitude rather than the expected confrontational stance.

Although I had hoped that the inevitable call would get lost in the airwaves somewhere, my phone rang anyway, just as I already knew that it would.

My greeting was met with an onslaught of accusations, anger and negativity. I swallowed hard and extended my gratitude and appreciation anyway. There was a nearly undetectable shift in the tone of our conversation, then more negativity. Again, I flexed my jaw and reiterated the magnitude of her generosity and was met this time with a slightly softer tone, then still more negativity. I exhaled, bit my tongue and began to detail how her efforts ultimately served as a catalyst for the valuable project we had imagined. There was a brief pause and then kindness manifested with a response of “You’re very welcome.”

My jaw dropped to the ground, a smile nearly reverberating across my face as I hung up the phone.

The problem was not completely eradicated, but kindness, perspective and communication were established and they are often the key components which serve as a springboard to all others.

One down….

The next morning my phone rang again and set into motion another chain of events which initially left me reeling in their wake.

Listening and gathering facts was imperative to squelching the frustration, anger and disbelief battling in my head. The enormous gravity of the situation warranted all of my time and attention and it required a level of tolerance already stretched beyond normal limits.

So I dug in…deep…and allowed myself the necessary time to breathe in and emerse myself in the whole picture, rather than adopting the narrow perspective I might have. It was an uncomfortable and precarious position to straddle the fence and explore all possible viewpoints. But it was also necessary to reaching
a fair and amicable resolution for everyone involved.

After a considerable amount of listening and discussion, I was able to reach my own determination regarding what had occurred. At that point, three simple words whispered into tender young ears, dispelled countless fears and anxiety. “We believe you.”

Although this problem has yet to be completely resolved either, what had transpired up to this point, could have been altered dramatically had I allowed myself to be led by my anger and frustration.

Ironically enough, for the past three weeks I have been involved in leadership trainings which began by completing a Meyers-Briggs Personality Test. Results determined that my personality type is ENFJ, very Creative individuals, widely known as the Teacher, the Giver and the Smooth Persuader.
I nearly fell off my chair laughing.

Somebody obviously has a warped sense of humor. ūüôā

If taken at face value, my week in it’s entirety, could have been considered fairly miserable. Yet once again I find myself smiling that I stumbled across more mountains, scaled and conquered them both and managed to maintain gratitude, compassion and love.

Who knew?

  
mountains-azalea-sunset
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12/02/12

Posted in Random Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2012 by Tanya

Momma

Eleven days and counting

Everyone’s moved on with their lives

Including me

Business as usual

But there’s nothing ‘usual’ about it.

In the forefront of my mind

I know you’re gone

And there’s nothing I can do

To change it

I can’t turn back time

I can’t fix ‘this’

And it kills me

That we all keep clicking away

Like you were never here at all.

Your picture is so vivid

In my mind

It can’t be real

You’re just away

Like any other day.

It all went down so wrong

Nothing to show you belonged

Everyone crying

Everyone fighting

But nobody’s fighting for you

Everyone wanting something

To build memories

From fragments of you

So much time was wasted

When we should have

Been loving you.

It’s fine to say

“I wish I had”

And “Momma, I miss you now”

But where were those words

When you needed them

And why should they

Matter now?

The world keeps spinning

And my mind keeps reeling

My feet don’t touch the ground

I’ll never get used

To missing you

Or not having you around.

Damn Your Genes Momma!

Posted in Blessings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2012 by Tanya

“Damn your genes Momma”!

That just happened to be the very first thing I heard after lifting the phone to my ear. “Oh no…you bought the Haagen Daz, didn’t you”? This of course, brought immediate laughter from my youngest daughter. “No Momma, I went with the sherbert.” “Too bad honey, I definitely would have went with the coconut macroon Haagen Daz….but then, that’s probably why I needed to bring the treadmill home too.”

“So what’s up”?

“Well, I went to the bank today to make a withdrawal, and after the teller handed me my receipt…I looked at it, then back at her, then back at the receipt again.” “This went on long enough to make both of us uncomfortable and the teller beside her to ask what was wrong.”

“Are you sure this balance is correct”? “Mom, I knew that it wasn’t, there was an additional $450.00 that obviously didn’t belong to me….not that I couldn’t have used it and I couldn’t believe I was saying it out loud….but I actually insisted to the tellers that it wasn’t mine.” “Despite the fact that their records were showing otherwise, I argued enough that they agreed to look into it and call me once they straightened things out.”

At this point I was laughing. “I’m proud of you honey, and despite what you might currently think…you did the right thing.”

Our conversation went on to discuss all of the probabilities of who the money actually belonged to, along with my daughters concern that one of the teller’s drawers might be short and the prospect of somebody having to compensate for the error. I couldn’t help but smile.

“Good things have a way of rippling out honey, in ways you could never begin to imagine.” “The good you did today, will inevitably find it’s way back to you.”

“Thanks Momma, but Nick’s gonna give me a hard time for giving it back.”

“It doesn’t matter honey, you know you did the right thing.”

“Oh jeez…hang on Momma.”

“I’m in the grocery store and I dropped some eggs….what’s that you were saying about good things happening”?

I just had to chuckle again. “It’s all about perspective baby.”

“Momma, what ARE you talking about”?

“Honey, after you dropped the eggs, did you tell somebody”?

“Yes.”

“Good…were they angry or irritated or tell you that you had to pay for them”?

“No, but I would have paid for them.”

“I know, but you’re missing the point.”

“No Momma, they weren’t angry, they actually said not to worry about it.”

“Right. They weren’t upset and you didn’t have to pay for them so it’s all good right”? “The only reason you probably dropped them to begin with is because you were preoccupied with second guessing your decision at the bank…right”?

“I love you Momma.”

“I know honey, I love you too.”

Score one for Momma’s Gene’s and Amber’s Heart.

The Chrysalis Project

Posted in Pulseline with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2012 by Tanya

Like most children, I spent a good portion of my youth fantasizing about who I might become when I grew up. And although there were a multitude of choices to select from, I usually exercised the child’s¬†prerogative to change my mind on a daily basis. However; one of the things I always knew I would become was an Artist. ¬†Even at such a young and impressionable age, I also knew that more than anything else in my lifetime, I wanted to discover a way to simply ‘Touch Souls.’ Although a clear method for this phrase has continued to elude me, the underlying concept has never changed.

Much of my adulthood has been centered within the Human Service arena, a surprising, yet rewarding detour into the lives of countless, extraordinary people. Artistically, my experiences have been varied and rewarding also, but not quite the particular caliber I would prefer. So I continue to challenge myself to be accountable and to strive towards excellence in every respect.

While contemplating all of this recently, I was struck by the realization that although I had always assumed my first love to be art, it was actually a close second to helping others. ¬†Why something that was right in front of me had managed to elude me for so long is beyond me. But from this realization was born an idea….a brand new project to satisfy both passions in a creative arena meant to inspire, encourage and engage people in helping each other through random works of heART.

I have been working diligently to set up another website and accompanying blog with all of the specific details. I am absolutely elated at the prospect of sharing this project with everyone and hope with all of my heart that it creates the ripple effect I expect.

As soon as the sites are completed and ready for debut, I will post the appropriate links here.

In the meantime, have an absolutely wonderful day!

Beyond Justice to Mercy

Posted in Poems with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by Tanya

It seems I’ve imagined you

Most of my life

The source of my anger & strife.

Caught in the madness

The tears and the sadness

I’d imagined you

Out of my life.

Bound by my anger

Heart wounded & stripped

I demanded my right

To be heard.

Unscathed by your words

And led by my pride

I shut the door on compassion

And pulled justice inside.

Where is the mercy

That I’d hoped to find

It seems in my anger

I’d left it behind.

Now here I find you

Alone with your tears

Embraced with compassion

After all of these years.

No need to remember

Nothing to forgive

All these years wasted

In an effort to live.

Where is the angry

Heart that once fell

Victim to justice

Casting mercy toward Hell.

Wrapped in the arms

Of a grace unknown

Filled with a love

I might never have shown.

A Grain of Sand

Posted in Poems with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by Tanya

Walking along the beach one day

I paused to take in more

Transfixed by the oceans persistence

To somehow, conquer the shore.

 

Swift and furious

Relentlessly strong

The waves

Must have pummeled the beach

Until the day

Was nearly gone.

 

At times

It seemed as though

The ocean

Might have won

Then suddenly

It seemed to concede & retreat

As quickly

As it had come.

 

I marveled

At such power

As I stooped

To touch the sand

Confounded by the wisdom

I then sifted

From my hand.

 

I retained

A single

Grain of sand

And tossed it

Far from me

Alone 

It was quickly conquered

Swallowed

By the sea.

 

I pondered

The heart

Of our Father

And the wisdom

Of His plan

The struggle

Between

The earth & sea

The likeness

Of sand and man.

 

As I

Turned to leave

I knelt

To retrieve

Several grains of sand

Knowing

That united

They form

The beach

Upon which I stand.