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Thanks for visiting Tinfoil Magnolia, a blog about my life, times, marriage, friendships and all the strange things that happen to me and with me. I hope you find something here that will encourage you, inspire you or at the least entertain you. And if it doesn't today, check back tomorrow because, my life? honestly...

Monday, July 26

Feels Like a Daily Devotional

Over the last 10 years or so, I  have been on a strange and wonderful personal journey. It all started because of a friend of mine who actually is no longer a friend. In retrospect although it was difficult but necessary to end our friendship 4 years ago, I truly believe the sole purpose of meeting her in 1997 was to open my mind up to personal fulfillment, new ideas, and new ways of looking at life in general, and spirituality specifically. I don't think it was ever meant for us to be lifelong friends, and now for the first time since 2006 I am actually at peace with that.

So part of my journey began with meeting J in 1997 and the fact that we shared the same church background. She was in the process of leaving the church altogether because of basic differences she had in belief. Can I just tell you ... that NEVER occurred to me? Not even once. I had stopped attending pretty much any church function, but it never occurred to me that I could just say "I am not a part of this anymore. I don't like how women are treated and expected to take a backseat to the men. I am not sure I believe in the veracity of the bible after thousands of years of interpretation, translation and editing, specifically by King James, to fit a personal agenda. I don't like the negativity. I don't like the judging which goes on among the people. More than that I hate being taught that prayer is the only solution to your problems when I have the feeling that prayer is a crap shoot, god will answer but if he doesn't then it just isn't his will."

I had long since been frustrated with the feeling of helplessness the church instilled in me and I won't even go there on the hypocrisy I saw every day. My church said no drinking and no dancing, and my parents never allowed me to go to one school dance, while preacher and elders' kids went off to every school dance and most of our church's members drank at the country club every weekend anyway. Yet,  I was the bad one if I didn't attend services. I have long since gotten over the guilt and now Sunday mornings are my favorite time of the week. A rest from the crazy week and the errand/chore frenzy of Saturdays.

Anyway, one of the most life changing things I have ever done actually came in the form of a real estate sales program called Ninja Selling. At J's insistence I participated in this at great financial cost, but I still maintain it is the best thing I have ever done for myself personally, not to even mention for business. There is a lot to the program (too much to go into here) but the basic premise is that it caused you to look at your business and life from the perspective of helping others. If you earn a living in the process, then great. In fact, you may prosper more from approaching clients from the helping perspective than a predatory perspective. There is enough out there for everyone and we should live from a positive, abundant perspective at all times.

I really make an attempt to do this every day, and I have worked long and hard to overcome the incessant stream of negative thoughts that used to run through my head. (at least 6 years) There is still a trickle but I am getting there. When you start trying to recognize negativity in your own speech and thoughts, it becomes so much more obvious in other people. I have a really hard time being around negative people now, to the point that I have avoided specific people and social situations in the past. I could be dragged down into negativity very easily, but you know what? I feel so much better being positive. And thinking about myself in a positive way. I am changing.

The abundant part is hard for me to do. It is easy when life is abundant, but when you are on a tight budget, it is tough not to focus on that. I highly believe in gratitudes, and that encourages me to be thankful for what I have not resentful for what I don't. No matter how much any of us suffer, the tendency is to focus on how everything is someone else's fault, how someone did us wrong or caused us to fail or fall short of our goal. We give so much responsibility to others for our happiness, and take so little on ourselves. Part of abundance for me is accepting my life, taking responsibility for my life, and taking action toward what I want. I try not to ever blame someone else for "stealing my joy", my joy is up to me to achieve. People can not victimize you if you refuse to be a victim.

Every single day, EVERY DAY I tell you, I write a list of 5 things I am grateful for that day. It is a way to focus on what I have rather than what I want. It will surprise you at the end of the month to read them all and see how wonderful your life really is. Then you can focus on that and not on why me? when things don't go the way you like or plan.

So, all that being said, one thing we were encouraged to do during the course of the program was come up with different life strategies which involved visions of how you will live your future and really looking inside to see what is important to you in your life. One thing I learned about was making up a "Goddard" list (or bucket list as is the current term).  It is basically a list of "big" things you want to do before you die. Today I found an old notebook from 2006 when I attended a seminar in Ft. Collins, CO. In it I wrote out my list, and I have to tell you it is interesting going back to read it 5 years later. I have thought of it from time to time and sort of felt bad that I wasn't "actively" persuing anything on it, in fact I really couldn't remember what I would have written at that point in my life.

I am not going to share all the contents of "the list" but I just wanted to say that some are serious and some are funny but I have actually accomplished one, "Having a piece of art on exhibit" OK, it was a student exhibit, but I had 2 photos and 1illustration exhibited and even won 3rd place for my illustration. I also had a t-shirt design that hung in a student exhibit in the PA State Museum and was voted one of the top 3 designs. So, cross that off. I am currently working on another, which I didn't remember putting on the list, "Receive a bachelor's degree". I was accepted at WKU three months ago and intend to get a bachelors in English and I don't have a lot of hours to complete it. But I have to tell you, my favorite item on the list was the very first one. "Have a beer in a biker bar." Really???? I don't remember ever wanting to do that! But OK...

That is the glory of the Goddard list. You commit these ideas to paper and it somehow plants the seed in your mind. Sometimes you start moving forward on things that you didn't even know were on there. Like #'s 3 and 4 which are "Sell a short story" and "publish a book" neither of which I thought I was even focusing on that long ago, but both of which I have been working on for the past 6 months.

Anyway, this brings me to the point of my writing today. When I turned the page over I found 4 lone items on the back of the page, the final one was "Go an entire month without complaining". WOW! Sure haven't done that one, but maybe I will work on it in August. I feel I must develop a very liberal policy about what complaining is.

By the way, does anyone know anyone who could introduce me to Bill Clinton?


  1. Maybe you could start with a week, and work up to a month. It is funny how sometimes we don't even notice the complaining, like the negative thoughts, until it is brought to our attention.

    Personally, I'm trying to work on being kinder to myself with my thoughts. I don't know how many times a day I think "You idiot" or something along those lines. I've made progress, but I don't see myself ever thinking "You genius." Not yet, anyway!

  2. Oh, I totally know how that is. According to my counselor, those are the ones that should be banished forever. If only I gave myself the credit I give others, I would probably not need medication! :) Life is evolving, girlie! We'll get there.