Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Going Away Party



Sara was moving away. At her going away party, her sister-in-law made up a clothes line with an airplane on one end and a mile marker on the other. She also made up little post card sized suitcases with a string attached, so everyone could write her a message and they were tied to the line - a simple way that friends and family could send best wishes to Sara as she started her new life. She could save the cards and read them when she got lonesome and know that she was loved and supported as she started a new adventure.


Simple, effective, inexpensive - a delightful way to send Sara off. I didn't hear, but I do hope each person was able to read their note out loud, because the witnessing of the wishes becomes even more meaningful when shared.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Today's Saints



My husband and I attend a small Methodist church in our town. We have a new minister who is bringing us delightful insights and perspectives. Read about what happened yesterday.


We were celebrating All Saint's Day (normally November 1st). In the front of the church as we walked in was a very large bare tree branch - no leaves at all. In the bulletin everyone found two paper cut out autumn leaves (yellow and orange). Our assignment was to write the names of the saints in our lives - not just the ones from history, but ones who we have known. We then were instructed to attach them to the tree. By the end of the service our bare canvas was a cheerful expression of important people who have passed on and influenced each of us in a

special way.


This was a lovely ritual/expression of remembrance - new to our congregation, but received with joy, increasing awareness, and appreciation of the saints who have resided close to us. For me it was an unexpected meaningful moment. I am so used to planning them that when one was sprung on me, I was thoroughly enchanted - and from an arena where I wasn't expecting it. We can create unique occasions when we become aware of the many opportunities that present themselves on a regular basis. Keep your eyes open, and you may be surprised where you find them and what they are.






Monday, October 3, 2011

New Book



Finally after ten years of planning, collecting stories, writing and rewriting, "Celebrating Beginnings and Endings" is a reality. I have 200 books at my house. The publish date for the public is January 2012. That's when you will find it in outlets and Amazon. At the moment I can sell them myself, so contact me if you can't wait for the public release. They are $19.95 + tax.


If you have been following this blog, you probably already have the gist of this book; inspirational vignettes of what people have done to mark significant milestones in life. It also includes a recipe and tools to help you create your own unique celebrations.


Be prepared to change the way you do the business of loving and connecting. You don't have to wish for a different approach because you now become the designer creating your reality.


You can contact me through info@mark-the-moment.com

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Cherished"



I have introduced you to my 104 your old friend, Victor, from previous stories. This is the latest adventure with him. He is in his closing days on this earth - with one foot in our world and one foot in the next - yet he still loves company and can communicate in his own way.


A couple of weeks ago my string quartet and I went over to play a Haydn quartet for him. It is a little tricky to think about what I can do for him at this time in his life. His eye sight is gone. His hearing is keen and he has a love of classical music. Bringing the music to him was an interesting possibility. The day was glorious. His room is a generous one, but a bit on the small side to hold an entire quartet with stands, plus the intensity of the focused sound in that live room might have been a bit much on his senses. We set up outside his open windows and played for him. He could hear it all from the cozy comfort of his bed and we were seated in the lovely yard in the sunshine.


As I went in to say good bye to him, he lay there for a minute, then said, "I feel cherished."


We were all touched by that little statement. It summed it all up!


Finding a way to share is worth the effort. You offer what you can and let go of the outcome. In this case our payment in the form of that little statment was more gratifying than I could have ever imagined. Let your heart lead your way.






Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Graduation Story




Our nephew, Chase, came to visit this weekend. He is finishing his fifth year of college and graduating. We hadn't seen him much during these academic years and were curious as to what they were like. Eight family members gathered.



I decided that I wanted to learn more about his college years. What would be an acceptable/non threatening way to introduce this topic? After thinking about it a while, I contacted the people who were coming and asked them to bring a question to ask Chase about his university life. When he arrived here, I asked him if he was willing to answer some questions. He said he would be glad to - so we proceeded.



We sat in a circle using a pom pom from his university as a talking piece and each guest asked a question - what was the high point of your college years and what was low? How much music did you play? What role did the fraternity have in your experience. When you hit your most challenging personal time, what sustained you to overcome the adversity? Who were your best friends? Each question added something unique to the mix and brought out highlights (and low lights) of his total years as an undergraduate. Chase was articulate and terrific about answering the questions. He could have given one or two sentences and let it go at that, but he gave insightful and interesting comments about each topic.



At the end, all of us listening to him felt we had a better understanding of his total experience, where he was heading, lessons he had learned, appreciating his ability to speak eloquently on short notice, and observing the wonderful young adult he has become ready to tackle the next stage of his life.



This circle was simple in format, fairly non threatening to the participants, and gave Chase a chance to share his story. It was a delicious closure of this part of his life - maybe it even helped him notice the bigger picture of his school life now that it was concluding.

Graduation

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Can Happen to a Sparkle Queen


I must confess that I am a sparkle queen. I carry small sticky sparkles with me most everywhere I go. I usually wear one on my neck and if someone comments on it, then I can share a tiny bling with them.

Over the years I have found that these little gems have a mind of their own and can turn up in interesting and unusual places when they vacate your neck - or wherever a person decides to put them.

Today was a tickle day for me with regards to the little sparkles. We are leaving town tomorrow, which meant that I was doing laundry. I did four loads - one dark clothes, sheets, one delicates and one of the white stuff. When I was folding up my husbands athletic socks, what did I behold but a tiny bling attached to the bottom of his clean sock. The little sparkle had made it all the way through the washer and the dryer and came out looking better than ever.

I must admit I broke out into a smile...even a chuckle... at finding this little gift. It must mean that there is humor in the Universe. It comes in unexpected places and lifts our spirits. There may not be any meaning. I just wanted to share this sweet story with you.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Grandma's Wine



My mother-in-law was turning 88 in January, and her six children and partners were all coming to help celebrate her birthday. I was put in charge of what to do to make this time special - always a bit of a challenge to come up with something unique and meaningful. I put the Mark the Moment recipe to use and here is what I came up with...



Intention: Of course, to celebrate the birthday



Exploration:


  • Grandma's husband had died this summer
  • Grandma sold her big house and moved into a small retirement apartment, so was downsizing everything
  • Grandma suffers from non essential tremors, which means she can hardly get a fork to her mouth because it sways. The doctors say she can take a medication for it or she can have a glass of wine before dinner, and that will temporarily stabilize the tremors so she can eat.
It was the wine part that inspired the pieces of the celebration to fall into place


Plans:

I thought that everyone could bring a bottle of wine for her birthday party. Since she is not a wine connoisseur, she drinks only for utilitarian purposes, we could exploit the labels and have fun with them. I put out the word to bring an appropriate bottle. Each person would present their bottle and explain why they had picked it.


I was delighted with the dedication with which the family took on the project. There were funny stories about visits to the wine shops and liquor stores looking for appropriate labels. One son-in-law was determined to find a Silver Fox label. He looked and looked, but had no luck. He settled on Old Goat. Then he tried one more time and found a huge bottle called Silver Fox and gave them both to her. The illustration with the question mark on the bottle indicated "senior moments." We have a boat called "Sophia" and my husband found a bottle with that name on it. People used their creativity and humor to come up with bottles for grandma, who had been never been a wine drinker and we laughed as each offering was added to the box.

By looking at grandma's situation at this moment in time, I was able to capitalize on what was happening in her life, and package that into a practical form for the party. You too can create special occasions by using the Mark the Moment formula found on the web page http://www.mark-the-moment.com/. I encourage you to practice the concept with fun times like birthdays. You will then have the tools in place to honor more serious transitions when they come up in your life. My new book Celebrating Beginnings and Endings is getting close to publication and will help you with the process the designing your meaningful moments. I'll keep you posted as we get closer to actual publication.

Letting Go


The last part of the formula is to sit back and enjoy the unfolding of the idea. It is way too easy to judge and second guess what might be, how people will really like it, will it work and think what you might do differently. I find that my projects take on a life of their own when they fall into place. I try to sit back and laugh or cry or just enjoy what comes forth in the enactment of the evening. This sounds like a small and insignificant piece, yet when you can allow yourself to let go of the judgement and be with the unfolding, your work will take on a different unveiling into the world



Look for opportunities in your life to seize a moment for celebration and learn how to offer special gatherings for your family and friends. I am available for consultation and encouragement via email or phone. See the website for more information. Be courageous and bold and begin new traditions for your loved ones.