The time around the New Year used to be my favorite time to plan my personal and business projects. Out with the old, in with the new. All is possible again. It is tougher this year. We all took some beating during the last few years. When I speak with young people, I hear shades of anxiety, confusion, some defensiveness. Heartbreaking sometimes. In my meditations, I come back to words I have not used in decades - stillness, hope, magic. I start to remember that as a kid, my life was full of magic. Life was not easy - poor, shortages of food, the failing economy, strikes culminated in civil war and oppression. But life was full of magic. I felt vibrations in the air, I spoke with invisible teachers, I understood more than I had words for.
I see the stress levels mounting around me. Scanning morning paper does not improve the optimism.
In the middle of the night, with my mind full of problems and worries, it saves me to give thanks for the true values in my life. For our sons growing up wonderfully. For my family, simply that they are alive. For my bed and roof. For my breath. I am thankful for the people around me who help me learn and see more. So many people are selflessly friendly, nice, good-natured people. Thank you for showing that heart to us. I am thankful to You for being our customers.
I was only a few years old when my family took a long risky car ride across the "forbidden border" of our East neighbor, the Soviet Union. It took my dad 20 years to gather the courage to try to find his place of birth and place of trauma.
Perfect day last Saturday - sun shining, weather warm, gorgeous. I left for the store early as the new Alpaca socks arrived, I need to price these.
Our contractor was working on a garage, so I stopped by.“Gary, I maybe shouldn't be saying that but I was thinking about you. With all the surgeries you have been having, take a look if there is any stressful situation in your life that needs resolving. Stress contributes so much to accidents and health issues.”
He looked at me, startled, and said“You know, there is something. I never connected the two. But it's a tough one.”“I bet. Otherwise you would just have a cold. Don't ignore it, you are so young. All the best!”
I think that we need a reminder that, despite the circumstances, we are the ones that continue to create the world made for us. That we are an expression of life and as such, we give life to others. It matters.
Through the individual hearts, thoughts, actions - we help life to vibrate with more clarity and strength. Nobody will ever take it away, no muzzle, no six feet distance, no worldly upset.
We make a day better for a person on the street that seems lost and needs help. We wave to neighbors and express sympathy to a friend. We pay for coffee for the person six feet behind us.
A lady walked in our store, looking a bit rushed. She wore a mask (Washington has mandatory masks rule), she sanitized her hands at our sanitizing station, she observed blue arrows on a floor. I greeted her and she asked "How is the store doing? How are you guys holding up?"
I took a breath and stopped myself from answering her question by telling her EVERYTHING uncontrollably
There is a network of waterways close to where we and our store are. It is called the Salish Sea - part of it in British Columbia, Canada and part in the state of Washington, U.S.A. The area is a home for many Native American tribes with numerous cultures and languages.
To have the courage for the next step, when you feel like curling in a ball with a pillow over your head, has always been a mystery to me.
Yet, I want to share two survival skills that help me when the anxiety feels squashing me.
First - we are never ever alone. We are never ever here just for ourselves - we are here to be of service to others.
Second - is even more important. In each of us, there is a well of resilience. It’s carried from your grand-grand-parents in your DNA. Via them, you have survived, like they survived moments of unimaginable fear and pain and it passed.
Seems like everybody talks about LOVE in February. Valentine rules the month and thank goodness! Instead of focusing on the deluge of snow, rain or gloomy skies in our Pacific Northwest, it is so nice to attend to subject much nicer - like Love. And it is not only just nicer – the science already proved that oxytocin, the hormone and a neurotransmitter released in a body by emotions of love, truly does miracles.
A timeless look, elegant yet effortless. Casual but refined, interesting but not overdone. Simple yet stunning.
I keep dreaming. The words come to my mind thinking of fashion icons I admire but I don't wear what they do. Why is it so hard to define our special unique style?
It may be because defining your style is defining your identity and that is hard to put the finger on. It has as much to do with looks as with how it makes us feel – just like we love a good friend for how we feel together.