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Always Free To Change

Last week I celebrated my birthday and it was a blast! Three, full days of breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners with dear friends and the party continued on through the weekend and into a couple of nights ago. So many people sent me sweet messages via email, FB, and text messages. I really felt a wonderful connection and I realized how much I cherish everyone in my life.

At one of my many celebratory meals (needless to say, I am wearing my looser clothing this week! ) a long-time friend mentioned how kind I am. I was touched by his comment and even though I thanked him for saying so, my first reaction was, "I'm not so sure that's true." After giving it a little more thought, I realized that he's right and I've not always been that way. In fact, I often use Catherine Aird's quote to summarize my life:

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have

to be a horrible warning."

For a good chunk of my life, I set a terrible example. I was angry, impatient, super judgmental, and generally miserable. The weird thing is, when a dear friend pointed out how unhappy I was, I thought she was crazy! In my mind, I was just fine and if only the rest of the world would get its act together, life would be good. I didn't even know how wretched I was until I fell into a black hole of depression. Even then, I still tried to make it someone else's fault and initially I didn't understand how much the reclamation of my soul was completely up to me. Fortunately, there was a glimmer of sanity still trying to get my attention and slowly I began listening.

I could probably have figured out where some of my defensiveness and crossness originated if I had wanted to spend my precious time doing that, however, fortunately, it seemed way more important to find ways to get back my divinity. I believe that I had it when I was a young child and over time, as I "grew up" I took in the "wrong" messages. In my case, it might have been the only way I could get to where I am today. I had to go through the darkness to find and truly appreciate the light.

Birthdays have a funny way of bringing up the past, looking at the now, and wondering about the future. As I review my journey, I am aware and thankful for nearly everything (there's always going to be a few things that make me wince at the very least). I've had so many varied experiences with jobs/careers. My education, both formal and informal, has taken a circuitous route. My emotional evolution has often been more of a revolution and always a revelation! Some of what I've gained, so far ...

  • self-compassion which has contributed to compassion for others

  • patience (well, more than before!)

  • calm centeredness (again, better than previously!)

  • improved emotional health

This is merely a taste of some of my rewards for my persistence and pursuit of betterment. The most important thing I learned is that anything and everything is possible. If I hadn't found out that we can change the way we interact with the world and the way we look at things, I would never have even tried and that would have been both sad and tragic.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that one of the most important tools I used on my journey (and, continue to use) is meditation and mindfulness. I have to give developing a practice a huge thumbs up. If you'd like to know more about it, please contact me through my personal email:

If something's not working in your life, please understand that you can do something about that. You don't have to be "stuck" and you can change your approach to life and improve your ability to cope and learn to be proactive. I know this for sure and this is what I wish for you.

Love and Sparkles,

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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

the Mindful Maven and Mistress of Meditation, is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with everyday life support. 

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