Monday, March 03, 2008

STANDING TALL



“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do. ”
--Eleanor Roosevelt--


Today I am standing tall in a pair of shoes my sister gave me yesterday. I have coveted them for two years--and, like younger sisters everywhere, have begged for her to pull them off and hand them over many times. Finally, (and unexpectedly) she did. I slid my feet inside and felt the *magic* I always knew I'd possess if only these loafers were mine. Now, of course, I inherited them because she'd found another pair she preferred...I inherited them after they'd been well-worn with scuffed heels and soft insoles...but there is a power tucked into the buckles--a strength in each stitch. Sometimes there are things that can only be learned by traveling through the process. I feel empowered to be able to walk the miles now in a pair of shoes already imbued with such wise experience. {Also, they're cute...another very important point!}

I have been thinking so much lately about gathering strength and power and recently read through a book offering practical suggestions to do just that, the essence of which was this:

"1. Stop All Criticism It is a useless act; it never accomplishes anything positive. Don't criticize yourself; lift that burden from yourself. Don't criticize others either, as the faults we usually find in others are merely projections of the things we don't like in ourselves. Thinking negatively about another person is one of the greatest causes of limitation in our own lives.

2. Don't Scare Yourself We all want to stop that. Too often we terrorize ourselves with our own thoughts. We can only think one thought at a time. Let's learn to think in positive affirmations. In this way, our thinking will change our lives for the better. If you catch yourself scaring yourself again, immediately say, "I release the need to scare myself. I am a divine, magnificent expression of life, and I am living fully from this moment on."

3. Be Committed to the Relationship You Have With Yourself We get so committed to other relationships, but we tend to toss ourselves away. We get around to ourselves now and then. So, really care for who you are. Be committed to loving yourself. Take care of your heart and soul.

4. Treat Yourself as Though You Are Loved Respect and cherish yourself. As you love yourself, you will be more open to love from others.

5. Take Care of Your Body Your body is a precious temple. If you are going to live a long, fulfilling life, then you want to take care of yourself now. You want to look good, and most of all, feel good and have lots of energy. Nutrition and exercise are important. You want to keep your body flexible and moving easily until your last day on the planet.

6. Educate Yourself Too often we complain that we don't know this or that and we don't know what to do. But we are bright and smart, and we can learn.

7. Build a Financial Future For Yourself Every woman has a right to have money of her own. This is a significant belief for us to accept. It is part of our self-worth. We can always start on a small level. The important thing is that we keep saving. Affirmations are good to use here.

8. Fulfill Your Creative Side Creativity can be any activity that fulfills you. It can be anything from baking a pie to designing a building. Give yourself some time to express yourself. If you have children and time is short, find a friend who will help you take care of your children, and vice versa. You both deserve time for yourselves. You are worth it.

9. Make Joy and Happiness the Center of Your World Joy and happiness are always within you. Make sure you are connected with this place inside of you. Build your life around this joy. When we are happy, we can be creative, we don't sweat the small stuff, and we are open to new ideas.

10. Have Integrity; Keep Your Word In order to honor and respect yourself, you must have integrity. Learn to keep your word. Do not make promises you will not keep even to yourself.
"

{Note: These ideas are taken from Louise L. Hay's book, Empowering Women, Every Woman's Guide to Successful Living.}

Today is a day of sunlight and warmth here on the East Coast...a brief hiatus from the winter weather. A sky like this one, and the crocus in bloom, and the tree branches swelling with buds can make it so much easier to breathe deeply in the moment and celebrate the here and now. I'm also celebrating a new poem of mine published in the latest edition of Flashquake, called "The Lament of the Bearded Lady" and the fact that they mentioned it for me over at the wonderful magazine I edit for, here. I had an interview about my writing process, motherhood, and my novel for a local magazine coming out soon to publicize my fellowship award...and I have been confirmed for a public reading on June 1st with a talk beforehand and a question and answer session afterward! (Feeling nervous and excited all at once). I am busy getting to work with a couple of new writers at Literary Mama this week, but will be posting as hostess for this kindhearted blogger over at her "just be connected" website here if you'd like to read along.


"If God sends us on stony paths, He provides strong shoes."
--Cory Ten Boom, writer and Holocaust survivor--
Thanks, C. for sharing yours with me...
Link

16 Comments:

Blogger Susannah said...

congratulations on the publication of your poem, my love... and oh me oh my, i think i need to read that book.... i miss you x

3:57 PM  
Blogger rebecca said...

first, let me tell you that those shoes you have pictured....i had the same exact pair in junior high and I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED THEM! the same color, the same stitching, the same worn-weather look...now, i feel i need to go and get me a similar pair because you've woken in me the desire to have them again....

second, and most importantly, i read your poem. WOW! i wish i could write poetry as beautifully as you but somehow the words and descriptions evade me. it's powerful in every sense of the word. simply gorgeous.

i'm glad i found your site...i will return again to read more of your magic....

4:03 PM  
Blogger Frida said...

congratulations - the poem is exquisite and publication worth celebrating.

thanks for the reminder of the Louise Hay wisdom - some of that comes naturally to me (look after your body, take care of your financial future) some less so (make joy and happiness the centre, stop criticism) so a reminder was well timed.

thanks for your lovely comment. it was recieved at the perfect moment.

4:14 PM  
Blogger daisies said...

congratulations on your publication beautiful you and because i appreciate a good comfortable pair of cute shoes ~ congratulations on your recent acquisition ... they look like they will take you fabulous places, xo

6:37 PM  
Blogger Melba said...

My big sister always gives me her shoes!

Thank you for this post and for all the great suggestions and for hosting at justBeConnected.

I appreciate you!

XO,
melba

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Corina said...

Wonderfully written. I had not come across the Louise Hay book previously. It sounds like it is full of wise words. I might just go look for it.

Congrats on your poem and your reading. I love to read my stuff in public. It's a heady feeling!

6:03 PM  
Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Awesome post. I've got a pair of boots that makes me feel the same way when I wear them.

And congratulations on the poem and the other successes!

10:11 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Ah yes, don't cha just love Louise? What a great lady.

I am so happy for your success. Give me BIG smiles.

just wanted to come by and give you some love.

:)

11:12 PM  
Blogger LittleWing said...

it's all abt being left handed...sometimes... awesome post.. having two older sisters and not necessarily the same size foot i had to laugh at the memories of wanting their shoes so bad i could taste it... your poem was beautiful and definite congrats ... the two comments from ER and CTB were beautiful... CTB and her family were beautiful souls who lived way beyond their years in dedicated righteousness..amen...

2:34 PM  
Blogger odessa said...

first of all, your poem is so powerful. WOW! i can't even find anymore words to say.

and oh, those shoes, they look very magical. being the eldest child in the family, i thought about my two sisters and how i often gave them my old shoes. must make a note to self to give them more :)

12:30 AM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

I love your "strong shoes!" There's much wisdom here, Delia.

12:41 AM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

Thank you ALL for the kind words...I am glad you liked the poem (and find the shoes almost as magical as I do!)
Love,
D.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Congrats!
Thank you for typing out this list. It was exactly what I needed to read today especially the first few.

Where will this be June 1st? I would love to come and as you know am on the east coast too. How far are you from upstate ny?

2:44 PM  
Blogger January said...

Financial freedom and nurturing the creative side are two very important things for me. I try to build that into my life on a daily basis.

Congratulations on your newly published poem and your new old shoes!

10:05 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

great shoes, D!
see, i knew having a big sister would have come in handy.
i'm so glad about all your news! now i'm off to click on those links and explore :)
Vx

9:11 AM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

Thea: I'll email you about the reading...I'm afraid I am rooted a bit further from upstate NY than I'd like to be!

January: those two are *so* important...

Vanessa: ah, yes...the benefits to being the "little sister" are endless!
Love,
D.

1:19 PM  

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