Fork in the Road

The term fork in the road typically means a decision point; a metaphoric place we come to on life’s path where we need to decide between two or more options—including standing still (not making a choice), which of course is a decision.

IMG_1770

Creating a list of pros and cons for each option is often helpful. And if we truly learn from our mistakes—which I believe we do—we can benefit from both positive and negative outcomes of past choices. In addition to doing our due diligence (looking before we leap), we can also draw upon the “gut factor”—our instinct as it relates to the matter at hand.

As Len and I wait for our home to sell, we’re having fun researching where we want to move. We’re looking at climate, cultural offerings, property and income tax rates, unemployment rate, crime rate, occurrence of natural disasters (ie., earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods)—to name but a few of the considerations.

What was your last fork in the road?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”  — Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2013

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
Find me on Facebook

Twists & Turns in the Road of Life

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” — Don Williams, Jr., American novelist and poet

Crystal Twister - Mother's Day 2011

Crystal Twister - Mother's Day 2011

One of the gifts I received for Mother’s Day is a really cool “Crystal Twister.” The silver twists of metal hold captive two multi-faceted lead glass spheres, and have a single pear-shaped piece that dances freely at the bottom.

After selecting a corner in the living room—the one with the most natural light—I hung it from the ceiling, and then opened the top portion of one of the windows. As the twister caught the gentle breeze, it threw confetti-like reflections onto the surrounding walls and ceiling. Rather mesmerizing, it set my mind to thinking about the many twists and turns in life.

Hasbro produces a board game called, “The Game of Life: Twists and Turns.” The product detail reads: “Players can test drive different lives, make their own choices, take their chances and experience the twists and turns of real life. The automated LIFEPod helps players track time, manage money, houses, cars, and family matters with the touch of a button. A thousand ways to play, no two games are the same!” 

As a kid, there were times in the car that we’d hit an unexpected bump in the road. My mom would turn around and say, “That’s a kiss-me-quick!” I don’t know about you, but in hindsight, some of the most seemingly “negative” twists have turned out to be positive.

What’s the most unexpected twist or turn that you’ve encountered along life’s journey? If it was seemingly “negative” at the time, did it turn out to be positive after all?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               — Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Heart-Based Elder Care

Self-Portrait - Laurie and Dad

Self-Portrait - Laurie and Dad

That’s a picture of me and my dad. I’m currently visiting him in Encinitas, California (Dec 16 – Jan 1). One of the many purposes of my visit is to research local options for all levels of elder care.

But not just any elder care. I want my dad to be on the receiving end of heart-based elder care if and when he needs it; heart-based elder care with a holistic approach. In other words, people who have his best interest—body, mind, and spirit—at heart.

While here, my goal is to help my dad understand that there are many ways to approach optimal rest-of-life wellness, stress, pain management, and comfort. My desire with the research findings I present, is for him to make informed decisions as he crosses various bridges associated with the ageing process.

My objective during this visit is to maximize his self-confidence and independence, and to help him integrate complementary and traditional approaches in an effort for him to reach and maintain a state of balance.

In addition to working with healthcare and associated insurance benefits, we’re working on financial and legal aspects. Hands-on we’ve been doing lots of breathwork, cranial therapy, and reflexology. I think he’s actually having fun—at least I hope so.

In a recent email discussion about elder care with my friend Barbara K. she said:

“I have witnessed so many people headed for the 20-year chronic disease and disability in retirement sentence. I have listened to that lesson and, like you, practice good eating, exercise regularly, watching that cholesterol level, and working this brain on both sides. The women in my family live into their 90s and I can either do that vertically and independently, or horizontally and dependently. Genetics pretty much determines how long we live. Lifestyle determines how well we live.”

George Burns, the comedien who lived to be 100, is famous for saying: “If I had known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.”

Leaving you with that wonderful food for thought, please know that my next post won’t be until I return home on January 2, 2011.

Happy New Year to You and Yours!

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com.

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Y is for You

Who Are You? by Len Buchanan

Who Are You? by Len Buchanan

There are times during a session when I ask a client to tell me who they are. I preface this by saying, “I don’t want to know whose mother, wife, or daughter you are, what you do for a living, what group(s) you identify with, where you live, what you collect, or what you drive. When you take away all of those trimmings, who are you?

This question usually causes a long, thought-filled, inward examination. It’s a question that’s important for each of us to be able to answer for ourselves.

I remember Olivia (not her real name) who thought quietly about this question for the longest time. Eventually, tears slowly began to roll down her cheeks, but she was smiling. When she finally answered she said, I am enough.” That was the most powerful, profound answer I’d ever received. This is the place that we all need to be—I am enough!

An equally important question is why are you here? Not your geographic location, but your life purpose. Knowing why we’re here provides us with the most concrete and basic thing we can know about ourselves—that there’s an individual reason for each of us being here.

Many people believe that we “find” our purpose. Not me. I believe that we determine our purpose. There’s a big, whompin’ difference.

Who am I? you ask me.
I’m an extension of Source Energy; an expression of Divine Love.

What’s the purpose that I’ve determined? you’d like to know.
I determined that my purpose is to be a mindful agent of heart-based change—body, mind, and spirit.

What about you—Who are you? Why are you here?

“All my life, I always wanted to be somebody. Now I see that I should have been more specific.”
               — Lily Tomlin, American actress, comedian, writer, and producer

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved.

P is for Perspective

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Because each person carries different baggage, we see the same things in different ways. Our perspective is based on what’s inside the luggage we’re dragging around with us. The contents affect our judgment. Sound judgment is absolutely necessary to stay alive. Being judgmental—critical—is not. They’re two very different things.

Have you ever gone to an art gallery to look at beautiful pieces of work? I find that I don’t stand still in front of a piece. I move around and look at it from many different angles. I shift my perspective.

When I find myself judging a person, place, or thing, I make a point to move (mentally) so I can observe from a different angle. I shift my perspective.

Our perspective—our point of view—is how we see things; how we think about them. Our thoughts shape our lives. Individually and collectively our thoughts contribute to the healing, or the demise, of the planet.

Our perspective is our reality. Our personal reality, however, may not be what’s actually happening. For instance, Chicken Little’s perspective was “The sky is falling!” When in reality, an acorn had fallen on his head. I love this quote from the Talmud, We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” 

One of my friends shared: “When I’m disturbed, I mentally take a step back to obtain a wider perspective. When I’m confused, I mentally take a step forward to narrow my focus and observe only what’s directly in front of me.” I applaud her ability to change lenses—shift her perspective—as necessary.

For my clients who would benefit from a change in perspective, I have them do the following exercise so they can physically see that there’s always more than one way to look at something:

Shift in Perspective Exercise
(as shown in the slideshow above)

1. Stand up and hold your dominant hand over your head, index finger pointed at the ceiling. 

2. Make a continuous clockwise circle about 6-inches in diameter. Maintain a clockwise direction. 

3. Slowly lower your hand while continuing a clockwise motion. 

4. Once the top of your index finger is just below your chin, take a look. Notice that your hand is now circling in a counter-clockwise fashion!

When you started, your observation was from below. When you ended, your observation was from above, an aerial view. Your direction never changed. The only thing that changed was the way you viewed it—your perspective.

In my experience, shifting one’s mental outlook—one’s perspective—even slightly can significantly change the trajectory and reveal the sun coming up beyond the dark horizon.

What did you discover the last time you shifted your perspective?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

D is for Destiny

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


You’re the one that determines your path in life—your destiny.

It is my perspective that we are in charge of our own destiny. We create our destiny with every choice we make. We can change it at any time.

Think of destiny as a horse that you’re riding. Every pull of the reins and flick of the wrist (choices and decisions) guides the horse where you want it to go (creates your destiny).

Fate is different. Fate is what the horse becomes when you let go of the reins. The horse is no longer guided. Fate is something that happens to you.

When Rabbi Shmuley was a guest on Oprah Radio he said, “Believing in fate instead of carving out your destiny can leave you powerless.”

Have you ever heard or used one of these common phrases? “Those are the cards I was dealt,” or “That’s just what life handed her,” and “She really got the short end of the stick!” These are fate-based statements.

Fate is a belief that human beings have no choice—we’re scripted.
Destiny is a belief that we have control of our choices, actions, and reactions.

I love the words of wisdom shared by Enzo, the wise dog and narrator in Garth Stein’s heartwarming book, The Art of Racing in the Rain:

“We are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.”

What path have you chosen?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com.

© 2010 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Piggy Back Rides!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


A couple of weeks ago we traded in our 1990 Suburban and or 1996 Volvo and purchased a new-to-us Toyota Highlander. Quite by accident, the one that fit both our price and mileage range also happened to match the exact color of our bicycles — champagne!

We had a 2-inch hitch installed so that we could use the bicycle rack we purchased at REI’s “garage sale.” Every time we drive our bicycles to a trail head, we are, in fact, giving them a piggy back ride

Some of life’s loads, while heavy, can enhance the joy factor. Others are detrimental.

What type of load are you giving a piggy back ride to?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

No part of this blog post may be used in part, or in whole, without written permission from Laurie Buchanan. Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.