Friday, February 4, 2011

Finding Love With An Acupuncturist

Last night I had a dream about falling in love with a gorgeous, charming acupuncturist who swept me right off my feet.  Why on earth I was going to see an acupuncturist I have no idea, because although I am curious about and believe in the possible benefits of acupuncture I have never taken part in the practice.  It just looks and sounds too…creepy.  I have heard repeatedly that you barely feel the needles, but I have never volunteered to have a needle jabbed into my skin and find it difficult to imagine ever doing so.

Upon waking up from this dream I felt certain God was trying to tell me something.  I just wasn’t sure what…and I am still not certain, but after pondering it for awhile I got to thinking how many things in my life I understand could result in a positive outcome but I am just unwilling to take the risk of taking part.

I’m not and never have been a risk taker.  I live in a family of non-risk takers.  Since birth the messages came through loud and clear that choices should be made wisely.  For example, I grew up wanting very much to be a first-grade school teacher.  I loved each and every one of my elementary school teachers and can still name and tell you stories about each one.  Now, one would think that my family, which greatly values education, would be thrilled and even cheering about my chosen career path…but alas that was not the case.  For my family was convinced I would be forever struggling financially if I became a school teacher.  For my benefit, they “encouraged” me frequently over the years to select a different profession.  This was quite frustrating for me, for it was also communicated that I could do anything I set my mind to.  “Do you want to be an astronaut?  Then go for it!  There is nothing that can hold you back if you put your mind to it!”  Well I wanted to be a teacher, but the messages from my family had held me back, and by the time I got to college they had successfully changed my mind and I majored in social work…without consulting my family about it.  Now you don’t need to explain to me that social workers don’t make any more money than teachers do, because I did finally come to that realization.  And I didn’t actually get my MSW, for a number of reasons.  But what I had learned in the school of life is to play it safe.  Make choices that will ensure an easier, more secure, more predictable future.  And, for the most part, that is how I operate even to this day.

I will acknowledge there have been times when my “play it safe” nature has really saved my tush.  (Just ask Donna, one of my best friend since high school, about “the night that could have changed our lives” as we refer to it.  Yes, there were boys involved.)  But I have missed out on so much more because of my fear of taking risks. Which is why I adopted the word “Courage” as my motto for 2011.  And maybe…just maybe, that dream about finding love with an acupuncturist was a reminder that taking chances will open up my world and bring unknown blessings.

Hugs and Smooches,
Lisa Ann

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

May I Never Be Shiny

It may be an odd thing to admit, but fancy, shiny teapots frighten me. Their mere presence can make me uncomfortable and trigger feelings of unworthiness and insignificance. Their gleam beckons me to stare at them, but their apparent perfection warns me to stay away, be careful not to get to close…and touching is out of the question!

I find tarnished teapots more relatable. Don’t you? A tarnished teapot can beg me to come and visit from across a crowded room, for I wonder about its story - where it came from, what it has seen and done, who it has spent time with, how it has gotten to where it is now…and when it last shined.

I find I relate to people in a similar way, for I find shiny people cause me the same kind of anxiety as a shiny teapots do. I am referring to people who walk into rooms and immediately have all eyes on them. They have perfect smiles and wonderful laughs without a wrinkle as a witness. Their clothes are always fashionable and are never in need of an iron, and their hair looks like it was professionally done just minutes ago. There is no evidence of flaws to be seen by the naked eye. The shinier they are the more intimidated I am by them. I wouldn’t dream of approaching a shiny person without receiving a figurative engraved invitation of some sort…which would probably send me into a tizzy.

On the other hand, the people I am drawn to are the ones that have a indescribable beauty that glows from the inside, unrelated to their outward appearance. They have a twinkle in their eye, a warmth in their voice, an authenticity in their demeanor, and an unassuming joy that lights up the space around them. When I recognize those people I long to be friends with them, to have deep meaningful conversations with them, and learn about their story so I can figure out what makes them sparkle.

That is why I am proud to be a kin to a tarnished teapot. I’m curvy and even bit round presently, frequently blemished, often smudged…definitely far from flawless. But I have plenty of beauty to share even in my imperfect state. And ironically, yet thankfully, my tarnish might be the welcome sign that leads someone into a deep and meaningful conversation with me about why I shine in spite of, and even because of, my tarnished condition. For even though I am not a shiny person I have a light that sparkles in me, which longs for the freedom to spread out and be a light in the world. So I hope you will join me as I embark on the journey to expose my sparkle and share it with others. May I never be shiny, but may I learn to let my light shine.

Hugs & Smooches, Lisa Ann