Have you ever been told you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, but you did?

Where there's a will, there's a way, by Laurie Buchanan

Have you ever been told:
– You couldn’t lose the weight
– You couldn’t run the marathon
– You couldn’t quit smoking
– You wouldn’t amount to anything
– You couldn’t have a baby
– Your head is a receptacle for silly ideas
– You couldn’t get a business loan because you wouldn’t make a go of it
– You couldn’t write a book, and if you did, you couldn’t get it published
– You wouldn’t make a good parent
– You wouldn’t live more than 5-months because you have cancer taking over your body, and you responded (like my friend, Ted) with a beautiful, robust, health-filled life!

What have you been told you couldn’t, or wouldn’t – but you did anyway?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com

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

It’s What’s on the Inside that Really Counts!

Capilene Long Johns

The mornings of riding our bicycles in short pants and sleeves are done and gone. We’ve consistently been greeted each dawn by 43-45 degree weather. Add in the speed of a bicycle, and we’ve got some additional wind chill to contend with.

And while outerwear is certainly important, it doesn’t compare to the importance of what’s inside the final layer:

Moisture wicking briefs and sport bra
Capilene long underwear – top and bottom
Under helmet skull cap with ear flaps

Yep, it’s what’s on the inside that really counts! This isn’t just true for outdoor sports; it’s true for life as well. You’ll recall that Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies with in us.”

What inside your outer layer?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights ReservedNo part of this blog post may be used in part, or in whole, without written permission from Laurie Buchanan.

America the Beautiful

Recently I said to Kathy over on Lake Superior Spirit, “Isn’t it grand to be grateful, to be appreciative of the things we sometimes take for granted? Just the other day on a bike ride I was thinking about the many freedoms I enjoy and I started singing out loud.”

In thinking about my comment—and also being grateful for the 1,100 photographs that were retrieved after my hard drive died—I thought I’d pull some of the photographs to support the song I was singing:

Oh beautiful for spacious skies

For amber waves of grain

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain

America, America

Grace has been shed on thee

Crown thy good with peoplehood

From sea to shining sea

In order of the lyrics, the locations where the photos were taken are listed as follows:

Spacious skies – Mackinack Island, Michigan
Amber waves of grain – Owasso, Oklahoma
Purple mountain magesties – Mount St. Helens, Oregon
Above the fruited plains – Capron, Illinois
America, America – Belgium, Wisconsin
Grace has been shed on thee – Poplar Grove, Illinois
Crown thy good with peoplehood – Wrigley Field (Chicago, IL)
From sea to shining sea – Cardiff by the sea, California

What was the last song you sang out loud out of sheer joy or gratitude?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved 

Achieving Nothing (No Thing)

Laurie Keynote Speaking Using Baggage as Props

We arrive in this world empty-handed, and we leave the same way, with nothing (no thing). To me that’s a pretty big hint that we don’t need much. Yet somehow in the time between birth and death most of us manage to acquire and accumulate a multitude of items, stuff, things.

The National Association of Professional Organizers says we have so much “stuff” that each person spends approximately one year of their life looking for lost items.

As a society we’ve acquired so much “stuff” over the last 3 decades that the self-storage industry is the fastest growing new industry in the United States. It’s grown so fast that in the last 12 years the use of self storage space has grown from 1 in every 17 households to 1 in every 10. That’s an increase of 65 percent.

Many people’s garages are so filled with stuff—some to the rafters—that they can’t be used for parking their vehicle. But that’s only one type of clutter—material clutter. There’s mental and emotional clutter as well.

My desire? To be baggage free—body, mind, and spirit—prior to my exit point. How about you?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved

Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive

Four Generations

Do you remember the 1996 comedy “Multiplicity” with Michael Keaton? In an effort to accomplish more, he had “copies” of himself made. Unfortunately, each copy (clone) was more blurred than the previous one; less efficient, less effective, less everything … In fact, the negative aspects of the original became emphasized with each copy.

On a recent bicycle ride I was thinking about my son and our similarities and differences. That got me to thinking about how similar—yet different—I am to my mom, and she was with hers, and so on…

In looking at the “bolt of cloth” that I’m cut from, my goal is to “accentuate the positive, and eliminate the negative.” I’m hoping that my son will do the same as he examines that same bolt of cloth.

In the four generations picture above, my mom’s on the left, I’m on the right, and my maternal grandmother is in the center holding newly-born Eoghan (1983).

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved. 

If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium

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Do you remember the 1969 romantic comedy — If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium — with Suzaqnne Pleshette and Ian McShane?

Well, pretend for a moment that I’m Suzanne Pleshette and Len is Ian McShane. We strapped our bicycles on the back of our car and left Crystal Lake, Illinois at 5am and headed for historic Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

After stopping for breakfast in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, we continued on and arrived in Cedarburg at just before 9am. We were on the Ozaukee Interurban Trail by 9:10am, headed for Belgium, Wisconsinthe village with a heart.

On the way, Len was almost hit by a fawn. No, Len didn’t almost hit a fawn; a fawn almost hit Len. The itty-bitty fellow flew out of the bushes on the left side of the trail and came to a dead stop next to Len, eyeing him up-and-down. Then took off at top speed into the bushes on the other side of the trail. We could see his mama grazing about a quarter mile away.

Our first big stop was at Sauk Harbor in Port Washington — this was the 10 mile mark on the ride — where we got caught in a pretty good rain shower. In the photographs, you’ll see the gazebo that we stayed under until things cleared off a bit (the photo was taken on sunny the return journey).

Then we continued on to Belgium. This was the 20 mile mark. However, we did and extra two miles riding around looking for lunch. The search was well worth it.  We found Crissy’s Now and Then Pub. The food was beyond delicious!

By the time we finished lunch, the clouds had cleared off and the return journey was hot and beautiful. The lushness of the surrounding farm land was not lost on us. Every now and then we’d be enveloped by a wave of sweet clover scent.

We arrived back in Cedarburg exhausted, having riden a round trip of 41.45 miles. My legs were wobbling so much that I had to hug a tree to remain standing and get some stability back. In so doing, I got sap on my shirt. When we got home I Googled how to get tree sap out of clothes. Peanut butterit worked like a charm!

According to Len’s bike computer our actual riding time was 4 hours and 36 minutes. We averaged 9 miles per hour, with 18.32 miles per hour being our fastest speed.

I hope you enjoyed the journey — we had fun doing the pedaling for you.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

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

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved. 

Death is Not the End

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve learned that:

Health is a state
Wellness is an action
Wellbeing is an ongoing pursuit

They all attend the same church but sit in different pews, so to speak. They work hand-in-hand to bring about balance—body, mind, and spirit.

Wellness can’t be achieved from health. Neither can health benefit if there’s no wellness. However, we can experience wellness even if our health is questionable. Wellness is an inner state of being that supports health.

Health is the property of the body.
Wellness is a gift of the spirit.

Every single one of us—without exception—has an expiration date; the date that we’ll draw our last breath in our current body. Most of us don’t know when that will occur. It can happen in any number of ways: heart attack, car accident, natural disaster, illness, war, plane crash, or natural causes from the aging process.

I’ve shared with you before that my mother was a physically small woman, yet she was the biggest person I’ve ever known. She taught me by example that how we live impacts how we die. She lived a life of courage, beauty, and integrity; she died in the same manner.

As human beings we are energy. Each of us has a personal energy signature. One of the fundamental laws of physics states, “Energy can be transferred from one form to another, but neither created nor destroyed.”

As such, birth is not a beginning; it’s a continuation. That lends tremendous comfort because we then understand that equally true, death is not an end; it’s merely a continuation. In either case, it’s a change from one form to another.

Rabindranath Tagore was Asia’s first Nobel laureate by winning the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. One of the writings that he’s best known for is, “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.”

Recently in her blog post – Poem and Book about Death and Grieving – my friend, Sheila Glazov, shared about a wonderful book that explains death—especially to children. I purchased it and fully agree. It’s titled, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia. It’s a beautiful, strikingly simple story that illustrates life and death through a leaf and the changing seasons.

When recognized as a continuation, death is no longer a threat or a tragedy; it’s not a defeat or necessary evil that we have to brace our self against. Rather, it’s the way we embark on the next part of our journey. A journey we can undertake without fear.

 

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