February 2023 Musing

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday! As a young girl, my family would travel to my grandparent’s house for the festive evening. The night would begin with my grandmother holding court at the head of the table in the formal dining room and my quiet grandfather on the opposite end. I would have on my very best dress, use my impeccable table manners and listen in on the worldly conversations taking place. I thought it all very thrilling and sophisticated! My grandmother would ring a small bell and Mildred would whisk in to clear the plates and bring the next course. Then we would gather in the long elegant living room. The interesting conversation would continue as the champagne flutes were being filled in anticipation of the ball that would drop in Times Square; while we counted down the seconds that would flash before us on the television. There I would excitedly make my New Year resolutions. Many years later, long after my grandparents had passed and their New Year’s Eve parties ceased, it was only fitting that on my still favorite holiday my eldest son would be born, right at midnight just 15 seconds after the clock struck. It was such a joyous and festive time and every year it feels that way as we ring in this very special birthday.

As I welcomed 2023 I thought not about New Year resolutions but rather what is my purpose? What does God intend for me to accomplish during my time on earth? What does He want to create through me and what does He want to co-create with me? What experiences are left to be had? Coincidentally, my youngest son was asking himself these same questions at the same time. While 36 years apart, we both were asking the same age-old questions! I believe our big overarching purpose is divine and contributes to changing the world in big or small ways through our unique gifts, and that it unfolds over our lifetime. Equally important though is the day when our purpose is simply to get out of bed, empty the dishwasher and get kids to school, only to wake up and do it all over again. In those instances, our purpose can change every single day. Today’s purpose could simply be to get my house in order and go to the gym, period. However big or small, I do believe man fulfills his purpose with ease when he allows God to flow through him so completely that he acknowledges he is simply the vehicle.

In the book of Hebrews 12:1, the author, widely believed to be St. Paul says, “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” What race am I running? Answer: the race marked out for us. I take that to mean my race, not my neighbors, not my family’s, but my own very specific race. What does the race look like? Quite suddenly the answer became very clear to me. The race is the one that makes me happy and fulfills my purpose. Intrinsically, we know what makes us happy but we don’t always do it. We get conditioned by society, we feel guilty, we deny our feelings, we make excuses and even play the victim. When that happens the race becomes very hard. It’s no longer fun. It takes a toll. Paul reminds us we must run the race with perseverance. We must stay true to ourselves and our divine purpose regardless of outside influences trying to knock us off course. Perseverance is the key, vigilance is its aid.

The first time I came across the word perseverance I was quite young, around 2nd or 3rd grade. I was asked to do a reading in front of my entire elementary school. I practiced every night for weeks with my mother and every night I stumbled over the pronunciation of the word perseverance. Eventually, my mother broke it down phonetically as well as drawing a picture of a purse to represent the “pers” part of the word which I kept stumbling over. I often wonder if that was a sign from God nudging me to get a grasp on that word at an early age. Like, hey Ailsa this may be a big part of your journey, learning the word, understanding the word, living the word. I couldn’t have possibly understood back then the large role perseverance would play in dealing with heartbreak, death, finances, relationships, raising children, reparenting myself, and many other things I faced along my journey. Yet, all the while, I had Paul’s advice: “to run the race with perseverance” playing in a loop in the background, like a spectator on the sidelines cheering on a marathon runner. Perseverance is a tool that can get us through some of the more challenging or confusing times and lead us to the light. We must be vigilant though; we must be true to our own race, don’t look to the left, don’t look to the right instead look to your heart.

I wish each one of you all the best in running your race no matter what it looks like and persevere in running it so that you may live your truth and express your purpose which in turn brings about a peace that surpasses all understanding.

With love and deep appreciation,

“Do not allow your fire to go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not at all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours.” -Ayn Rand

December 2022 Musings

Hi friends! It’s been a while! I am very happy to be back as we wrap up 2022! Naturally,
thoughts turn to the new year and the excitement of what will unfold. Simultaneously, I find
myself thinking of things that didn’t unfold as expected. I read an interview with the actor
Jennifer Aniston in Allure magazine recently where she talked about her inability to have a child
and how hard that was for her. Upon reflection about having the baby, she longed for but
ultimately couldn’t conceive she succinctly said “the ship has sailed.” That got me thinking
about what “ships have sailed” for me. I could count several. While it’s an emotionally hard
exercise to do, it is without a doubt very valuable. Mostly because the next step is to surrender,
to let go. It’s OK if I missed a few things that I thought were for me. Maybe it opened up other
avenues that would not have occurred otherwise.

We all have those things that we thought would happen or that we thought we would
experience, yet they just didn’t come to fruition for one reason or another. Who knows, maybe
those dreams can still come around. Maybe the fulfilling job, the long dreamt for the house, the
great relationships you’ve wanted, and even a late-in-life baby are all still viable just maybe not in
the way you thought or the order you expected. Maybe Jennifer Aniston adopts a baby, maybe
she becomes a foster mother or maybe she’s made peace that this dream of motherhood was
not for this lifetime and that’s OK. My son wrote a poignant song recently and the refrain is “It’s
OK”. I love that message. The missed opportunity is OK, the life you thought you would have
but somehow turned out differently than expected is OK. With that wisdom in hand, we are free
to move on! We are free to live in the now and think about the future. There is no life in the past.
It doesn’t exist anymore. I admit it can be a bitch to let go, especially if you’re a can-do,
stubborn woman like myself; but then I remember the peace that follows after letting go. As a
result, I make it a point to surrender to peace constantly. It’s the mantra that runs through my
head all. day. long. I surrender to peace, I surrender to peace, I surrender to peace. I like to
hold my hands up and say out loud (especially at stoplights) I surrender! Eventually, it becomes
a habit, all this surrendering.

The author Judith Orloff says there are three types of surrender: forced surrender, learning to
surrender and accepting what is. Forced surrender occurs during a crisis that causes
change. In this change which is often very difficult is the opportunity. Learning to surrender is
an exercise in focusing on the positives in your life while leaving the fear and anxiety behind.
Judith recommends storing positive images as a way to combat the fear and anxiety and
malaise. For me the easiest way is to focus on the exact opposite of the fear or loss I am
facing; therefore inducing the positive as the favored outcome. And lastly, accepting what is.
That’s an absolute choice. That will involve some trust, a dash of hope and a modicum of going
with the flow. When I’m looking for that acceptance I focus on letting happiness in and
surrendering to joy. Again, it’s OK. Everything works itself out eventually. There’s always light!
With that, I wish you all the very, very best this holiday season and always as you surrender to
all that is yours in 2023 and beyond.

With love & gratitude,

September 2022 Musings

Redemption Song by Bob Marley ran through my mind all summer; and more specifically the lyrics: Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery None but ourselves can free our minds. That may be easier said then done. I pondered these lyrics, as the events of the summer unfolded.As fate would have it, I would be led to a healer in Ellsworth, Maine where things would begin to crystalize.

I arrived at the healer’s address, an old victorian house, where upon entering a sign read please take off your shoes. I neatly parked my Birkenstocks by the staircase. I wandered in calling out “hello, anyone here?” I entered the living room and ran into another client who said, “Make yourself comfortable, someone will come to get you for your appointment.” I did just that, plopping down on to an overstuffed sofa. My appointment was for 11 and by 11:15 no one had come to get me. Going with the flow, I continued to peruse my phone. Eventually someone came in and he said, “You’re not on the schedule.” After some back and forth we determined there had been some sort of mix up; but as luck would have it he did have time for me. We headed up to a light filled room in the turret of the victorian. The healer asked, “Why are you here?” I said, “I don’t know.” He was bemused as he repeated my answer. I said, “A friend thought I should come see you and I followed her prompting.” I awkwardly mumbled something about my right shoulder and back being sore, maybe we could work on that. Then the most amazing thing happened as we started on these areas; mostly through talking, we came upon the reason I was there! It turns out I was looking for clarity! Honestly, who isn’t these days? It could have been a lucky guess but in my case it was absolutely true.

There was a nagging question on my mind all summer that I would think about on my long walks with the dogs or when sitting in my favorite cool stream in the Maine woods and that was, what is the difference between judgement and discernment? I live in a very judgmental world; I guess we all do. I don’t like that feeling. I don’t like judging people, it make me feel physically sick as in pit-in-stomach sick after I do it or when I hear others do it. So what’s that all about? I casually asked that question in my session and that turned into a half hour discussion which resonated deeply, as well as relieved the pent up pain in both my shoulder and back.

I learned there is a big difference between judgement and discernment. One is toxic (judgement) the other helpful (discernment). He also said that when we judge someone it stops any other alternative scenario. For instance, if I judge that someone is unkind and decree it so then there really is no way for that person to grow or change in my mind. I have made a judgement and that’s it. Now, if I can discern that the same person is being unkind in that moment and I can then discern even further through talking that that person has just lost a family member; than I can see that although the behavior is unacceptable to me, I can understand and then forgive and also give that person the chance to grow and change in the next moment. That’s a big difference than declaring an irrevocable judgment!

Further in my session because of my interest in judgment vs discernment the book Steps to Freedom which we have as our September read was recommended. There’s a lot of good information in that book with the intent of unpacking the road to true freedom which is what we crave at our very core. I have touched on one aspect of the book regarding how the mind can be enslaved in the context of judgement. There are obviously more obstacles to true freedom.

However, as we chip away at the conditionings of the mind, we can begin to set free who we really are! We uncover that we are in fact a direct channel for God to experience the world. We soon see that all the ego stuff of confusion, envy, fear, greed are just petty things in the way of our true self and that ultimately we are free to experience an exciting world that is at our finger tips. Add to that, if we can let God flow through us through service to others we could live lives way more fulfilling than we can ever create in our small, fixed worlds of who we think we are or should be.

I saw the movie Elvis this summer and there is a scene where Elvis is being manipulated by his manager to do a cheesy Christmas show and he just can’t do it, so instead Elvis writes a song presumably inspired by God called If I Can Dream. The words are so powerful and true:

But as long as a man
Has the strength to dream
He can redeem his soul and fly

I think that dreaming is God’s call to us. He’s saying come along and dream a great dream with me. Let go of the shackles of your mind that sound like: I should do this, I am that, this is what’s expected of me, because all of that is made up. It’s all made up by us and whatever conditioning was pumped into us starting at a birth. It’s equally important not to judge ourselves but rather use discernment. We can do that by trying to figure out what we want, what we’re hearing. Listen for the whisper that brings excitement and joy. It may not be what the world wants for or from us but it’s most likely what God wants. I guarantee it sounds and feels like freedom!

So the natural questions are, what is freedom and how do I attain it? The short answer is freedom will be personal to each and every one of us. In Steps to Freedom Reshad Field writes “freedom is the flow of all that is. freedom is expressed by the interchange of energies passing through all the Kingdoms of God.” He goes on to say, “We have not tasted our true freedom because we are overcome by the tyranny of the mind.” If you believe that to be true then the next question is what shall I do? The answer is very simple yet takes immense training, SURRENDER! That means giving up the identity I’ve created, negative habits of the mind and judgement. That sounds like a tall order! However, without putting pressure on ourselves, as we take small step to surrendering, changes can occur. “If you take one step towards God, He takes ten towards you” – Hadith of the Prophet

A whole new life can blossom as a result of surrendering and letting the Divine flow through us. You may be thinking this is a lot of hippie stuff; after all she did mention Birkenstocks! Yet, I can attest from my own experience this to be true.

I’ve always thought that God wanted to experience life through humans and then I read this quote “I was a hidden treasure and I longed to be known, so I created a world that I might be known.” – Hadith of the Prophet

It hit me so powerfully! What a beautiful way to think about God and don’t we think that way about ourselves as well? We create our worlds so that we are known, we join teams and clubs and form deep relationships all in order to be known. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing, and in being known, truly known, discernment is necessary and judgement has no place.

Sending true love always,

June 2022 Musings

Happy Summer! As I cruise through the month of June with two recent high school graduates under my belt I can’t help but think of the future. My children will all be living on their own within months and for the first time in a very long time I will be my primary focus. What will I do? Where will I travel? How will I take care of myself now that I come first? These are the questions that weave in and out of my day and appear even in my dreams. I am confident the answers are here inside me ready to burst out!

It has been an interesting exercise to look back and bless the past; and at the same time know that the seeds I plant today will bless my future. With so many “seeds” to choose from I can get overwhelmed and freeze. Then I think, pick something you love and if that changes that’s ok; choose something! However, I want to take any pressure off myself, go easy on myself. I’ve been running hard for a lot of years. I want to take a breather after a very rewarding yet busy 23 years of raising children. I want to rest some. I want to really think hard about what I want to experience next. One thing I do know is that I want to serve myself well and be of service to others in a meaningful way. I think it’s very common to feel this way at this stage. While some lament this change, I welcome it. I’m ready now!

The visionary, Peter Thiel has always been a source of inspiration to me and is one of my mentors (although he doesn’t know it yet). There are many reasons I respect and admire him. I’ve learned so much about how the world works and even how I work through his talks, interviews and books. He’s generous in sharing his wisdom; and challenges the world to think, act and be true. I’ve heard Peter talk about Mimetic Theory, developed by French anthropologist Rene Girard, and how it has contributed to his world view. Mimetic Desire: after the basic needs are satisfied (food, sex, safety, shelter), people move into the realm of desire in which there isn’t a biological “radar” or instincts to guide them. Instead, their radar becomes other people. People want what other people want, desire is social. Girard claims this behavior eventually leads to conflict and scapegoating. We can easily see this wanting what others want in what society calls trends. Remember when white kitchen cabinets, Sub Zeros, Viking ranges, Carrara marble, Mercedes SUVs were all the rage? One could argue that “I saw that look and it looked nice and so I wanted it too because I liked it”. But what if we hadn’t seen it? Or seen a commercial with someone telling us what others like? What if we were isolated and had no frame of reference and had to come up with our own ideas? What would we come up with? What could we add to the world? What unseemly behaviors, trends would disappear? How would we feel as individuals? Would we feel empowered, more creative, more trusting of our instinct? Would we feel isolated and disconnected?

I’ve been accused of beating to my own drum throughout my life and I’ll admit at times it can be lonely. Some people don’t understand my choices.Those people tend to criticize and make unfounded judgements, yet something always keeps me leaning into my truth regardless. And that’s where our power lies! Our uniqueness can fuel our desires and take precedence over the desires of others and/or the desires that others have for our lives. When I think of my future I want it to be my future not a cliched future, not one I’ve read about or seen somewhere. Sure, inspiration may come from others but my desires must be mine and only mine. And when you go down that path I believe internal conflict subsides and therefore the need for scapegoating too. I don’t have to make someone or something or someplace the scapegoat, the bad guy, in order to justify my needs, wants and decisions.

I have fallen victim to mimetic desire in the past; it’s human nature. The times when I’ve realized this, I would say, “Oh, this isn’t what I really want to experience for me and my family. I thought having what initially looked good would in fact be different than it actually is.” And then I’d think, OK time to pivot! Interestingly, although not surprisingly as children generally are closer to the truth without as many blocks keeping them from it as we adults have, my children are constant reminders to stay true to myself. Not only do they call me out when necessary but they too tend to take the path less traveled that feels right for them. So in the spirit of love and freedom (my two favorite words) may we all discover our true desires and may we have the courage to fulfill them!

Love always,

May 2022 Musing

It is day five of Covid for me. Unable to leave my bed or sleep, I’ve been down the rabbit holes
of Discovery +, HBO Max, and Hulu. I learned you can renovate an entire house in 5 days, that
the Kardashians are still an enigma to me and that the first season of Love Life starring Anna
Kendrick is essentially parallel to the book Women Who Love Too Much. The series takes you
on the journey of a young woman as she navigates relationships and grows from each one. I
was looking for a mindless rom-com that my hurting brain could handle but Love Life proved to
be a bit more than that. The writers dive into insecure vs secure attachment style and other
psychological phenomena that end up influencing our romantic relationships. It’s easy to see
ourselves and the patterns that are so common as the main character jumps into one
relationship after another. Fortunately, she starts to grow, change, and eventually makes the
relationship with herself the most important one. She no longer acquiesces to the boyfriends’
needs while forsaking her own. She accepts herself, her past and truly learns to love herself.
What a triumph!

Watching this series made me realize that we are all on this journey of self-discovery. While I’ve
always been a direct-flight-destination person over an enjoy-the-journey type; I’m coming to
accept that maybe there are some steps that just can’t be avoided. Maybe some of the crap that
happens in life is necessary for the growth and shifts to even occur. My stubborn side still likes
to think that it shouldn’t have to be like that. My son likes to remind me that you need the dark to
have light. I’ve always just liked the light, no dark, please! However, if I can frame the “darker”
times in my life as a catalyst for necessary growth and change maybe I can see it all as positive.
I’ll try to apply this to my current Covid situation and let you know how it turns out. This is one
challenge I would have gladly missed! So, to you dear friends, wishes of good health and happy

Sending love always, Ailsa

April 2022 Musing

Dear Truistas,

I missed the month of March with you all and I have no real excuse. I guess I was mostly feeling uninspired, but now I’m back!

This past Christmas a friend of mine gave me a beautiful botanical puzzle. I looked at it lovingly and thought about the day I would crack it open; having 1000 pieces I couldn’t be sure when that would happen. Maybe I could start it when all the kids are out of the house, maybe on a rainy summer day? Then something miraculous happened. My son’s girlfriend was over and she asked if she could open the puzzle and work on it. “Absolutely”, I enthusiastically replied! Thankfully she completed at least a quarter of it over the next few hours. Now that it was started I was inspired to soldier on. It took me a few weeks to get to it but when I did I couldn’t stop. I pulled at least one all-nighter (and my back) as I toiled over the project at hand. Would this become my life, hunched over a puzzle eschewing all responsibilities? I can be very maniacal.

On one particular night in the wee hours, while listening to WFUV Fordham University’s radio station (highly recommend), I had a revelation or two. Sting was being interviewed and generously sharing all kinds of important wisdom. One thing that stood out to me was his belief that the feminine in all of us (men included) equals water and water is the bridge to the subconscious. As we know, the subconscious is a powerful tool. How wonderful to think of it lovingly guiding us (when programmed properly). How comforting to know it’s our feminine qualities doing the guiding. All that talk plus the excitement of pieces going together on the table got me questioning, what do I want my puzzle, my life, to look like? Is my subconscious aligned with what I’m desiring now so that I may actually see my wishes come to fruition? Some of the things in my subconscious like the pieces of this partially assembled puzzle were already there. Set in motion in utero, things like where I was born and to whom and what kind of family would raise me would shape me and my subconscious without my consent. Some of these things would need to be rooted out, unlearned, in order to let my truth shine. As it turns out my subconscious would require an overhaul by the time I made it to my early thirties. So many things got in there that had no business directing my life. The good news is with vigilance and awareness things can change quite easily. Habits and beliefs that no longer served me were a pleasure to kick to the curb. Once I shined a light on the non-truths I had been taught or conditioned to believe I became freer, a truer version of myself. As a result, my subconscious became a lot nicer and a voice that made sense to me.

When I look back on my journey some of the pieces fit so easily: serendipitous meetings, great relationships, a good job. Some pieces I jammed in, they almost fit, they look like they fit but ultimately they didn’t. In which case I would take that component out of my life and try something else, as I would do in the puzzle. That can be frustrating. You want it to work but eventually, you realize it won’t and if you don’t fix it then it will put the rest of the puzzle (your life) out of whack, just plain off.

I prefer to focus on the pieces that glide right in, the gifts! They fit with ease and give such a sense of accomplishment and encouragement. They make it all worth it. They can take time and patience but they always bring about peace through their presence. It’s effortless, just like life when you go with the flow, when you go with the river instead of against it. Before you know it two big sections of the puzzle come together by inserting just the right piece that connects them! Everything after that gets a little bit easier; it’s coming together, you can see the big picture. Sure you may still try and jam a piece in every once in a while but that becomes less likely. You’ve gained a familiarity with the puzzle; you can see where it’s heading. There are fewer pieces to fit and more sound choices abound. You know the landscape now! Of course in life, we don’t have the advantage of looking at the full picture on the puzzle box for hints but that is where faith comes in. An advantage of the human experience is that, unlike the set puzzle picture, our life picture can change. We can all of a sudden decide to make an entirely new picture for ourselves. The question now is: What do you want your puzzle to look like?

With Love,


February 2022 Musings

This past Fall I spent a wonderful weekend at The Art of Living in Boone, NC. The weekend program I signed up for hosted the Ruiz brothers, Jose and Don Miguel, Jr. who spoke beautifully and intelligently on the tenets of their father’s book The Four Agreements. The book, which we’ve recommended in the past is a guide to the philosophy of the Toltec tradition. As you can imagine much valuable wisdom was shared that weekend. Two thoughts really stood out to me though and they were:

  1. If you doubt yourself than you can be controlled.
  2. It’s a lack of respect if someone forces you to doubt yourself.

Wow, that resonates! It hits home the importance of knowing yourself and loving yourself so much that no matter what anyone says you are committed to doing what is right for you. If that leads to being ostracized, criticized, or bullied, then so be it. You must stand tall and fight for your truth, your freedom.

Truth can be a tricky word; what does it mean? I’m guessing your definition is different than mine. I’ve heard it explained as truth equals common sense. I love that! Common sense seems to imply that the majority accepts something as true. If I touch a hot burner, I will get burned. If I leave ice cubes on the counter, they will melt. However, there are some common-sense ideas that are not across the board acknowledged as true. In those instances, you must claim your truth and let others claim theirs. That fosters freedom, and freedom for all is common sense! It’s nothing new to say that we must be free to express ideas, opinions and to make empowering choices in our own lives. We should be applauded, supported, and encouraged to have differing ideas and opinions, even if at times they are not considered common sense by others. If we don’t, we may succumb to the many dangers that arise from suppressing our views. Many do acquiesce due to fears, like feeling unsafe or left out; but that behavior eventually leads to exactly what we don’t want separation! While it may be a short-term fix, phew my neighbor likes me because I agree with her; ultimately leads to a larger scale separation. Because my neighbor doesn’t like my other neighbor since she believes something different, I better not engage with the “offensive” neighbor either. Separation is to go against ourselves and God. It achieves the exact opposite of what our souls really want, oneness, love, acceptance. Not to mention how disrespectful it is to be told one’s true beliefs and desires are wrong.

When we doubt ourselves, our intelligence, inner knowing (God) we separate ourselves from not only each other but the Divine. That in turn puts others before God. Rule #1: You shall have no other gods before me. In addition, we often think it’s a zero-sum game when in fact it’s not. Win-win situations do occur! Don’t believe those who tell you otherwise. Differing opinions can coexist and foster compromise and even growth.

You are a free agent on this planet. You must listen to your inner guidance above all else. If it leads to being ostracized that’s ok! That means you’ve routed out one or more beings who do not respect or value you. And at least you know that you did what was right for you! Nobody, absolutely nobody has the right to tell you what to do with your life, how to live it, how to care for yourself, where to live, what to study, and especially what to believe! You do you!

In love and freedom,


“The greatest glory of a freeborn people is to transmit that freedom to their children.” – William Harvard

“The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving.” -Proverbs 17:28

January 2022 Musings

We are a few days into the New Year and so far, so good! It’s exciting to think of all the time ahead as the new year unfolds. I look forward to blessings, growth, and experiencing deep joy the most!

I don’t have a whole lot to add to attaining and maintaining joy since the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu (may he rest in peace) nail it in The Book of Joy (our January must-read). What I will say though is it really is imperative to let our natural state of joy shine through. Let her out, take her for a spin, see where you end up! It’s worth quieting the mind that is always trying (bless her heart) to “protect” us, yet in that protection can conjure up fears, the what-ifs, that suppress our innate joy. When we can sustain a state of joy all kinds of opportunities arise and most importantly peace can come in.

My wish is that your cup runneth over with joy and everything good this year and beyond.

With love,

January 2021 Musings

I send new year blessings to all of you my dear Truistas! It’s been a while since I’ve last connected and a lot has happened. There were good things, a wonderful unexpected interior design partnership emerged (see avenueinteriors.net), as well as a long hoped-for gift, and then the not so good, the sudden death of my mother.

While driving back from the country the other day at dusk I was struck by the beauty of the sky. It was the perfect shade of sky blue pink which was my father’s favorite color. That got me thinking about my father’s most used saying from my childhood which was, “You can like it or lump it.” (That along with macht schnell – loosely meaning hurry up in German, leads me to believe that we were a bunch of complaining slowpokes). I believe the “You can like it or lump it” saying is a cousin to the Queen’s less insensitive, “never complain, never explain” motto. Both imply that whatever the petty annoyance you’d like to discuss will not be tolerated. That’s not to say that important things were dismissed, and in fact, they were treated with more care. I learned that going the complaining route leads to the “boy who cried wolf” syndrome. After a while, people don’t pay attention. (Are you seeing a childhood theme here, one riddled with cliches?)

As a child and teen the phrase “you can like it or lump it” would prove to become quite annoying as I continually expressed my views on everything from the inedible dinner before me to the latest hair cut mishap. As an adult who has actually never used that phrase (and may soon begin); I find it to be a valuable bit of wisdom. After all, it’s empowering; I can choose how I’d like to feel! I like that! And depending on my choice, life will flow accordingly. If in my youth I had decided to “like” the long car ride and the traffic, I would then have had many opportunities. I could have had an engaging conversation with my father, I could have listened to an interesting segment on NPR or a symphony played at Carnegie Hall, all soul-enriching. Or I could have won a round of car bingo and subsequently the prize of a few dollars. If on the other hand, I had chosen to “lump it”, I would have alienated my father and others in the car. I would have then stewed in my head the entire drive, dwelling on my terrible circumstances all the while missing out on the good fun that could have been had. After all, nobody would have engaged in my sullenness and I wouldn’t have blamed them.

And isn’t that the same in adulthood? Accepting the less than perfect situation, the delayed flight, the restaurant dinner not to one’s liking and the hotel room that doesn’t live up to impossible standards often seems like an imposition of the worst kind. Only until I put it in perspective of the truly awful (disease, death, worldly injustices) can I even begin to get a handle on the pettiness of it all. To see these annoyances as something to endure at worse, and really, as a blessing, is to employ the wisdom of acceptance, and a step further, gratitude. That fruitful attitude is much better than the alternative, alienating others while upsetting myself. The happiest people I know make it a habit to not complain.

But the deeper question is why do we do it? Why do humans have a tendency to complain? Why is it so hard not to? Does complaining legitimatize an experience? Maybe it’s a learned behavior as a way to connect with others, to communicate. Maybe it’s something to talk about in order to fill empty space. Perhaps we are looking for empathy or even love through this channel. While the reasons are likely to be different for each person, what I do know is that complaining is a waste of time. It’s a bore to the person who has to listen to it and it takes with it your power and happiness. And for what? A few minutes of (negative) attention, a false feeling of power and importance, superiority? What it doesn’t give is “the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). It doesn’t spread hope and light. It doesn’t elevate the conversation or bring joy. It doesn’t create, it steals.

The next time I’m tempted to complain that my coffee shop was out of nonfat milk so I had to go with 2 % or how I have to go grocery shopping again, I intend to remember that I am blessed to be able to go to a grocery store anytime I want and buy whatever I’d like. My intention in 2021 is to choose to use my words in the most productive manner. And the next time I see a sky blue pink horizon may I remember to thank my father for sharing much wisdom through his many cliches.

With love always,

October Musings

While walking the beach with a friend recently I was rambling on about when I was making rice and couldn’t find the matching lid to the pot. I searched half heartedly for it before landing on one that was almost a fit and would probably do the trick. However, it made me think of the old adage – every pot has a lid; and when I told this to my friend she said “I feel a Truista Musing coming on!” LOL, she was right!

The ill fitting lid was bothering me. I wanted the correct lid for the simmering rice/water combo. If every pot has a lid that fits then surely this one does too. I dug deeper into the lid cabinet and voila, I found it! That got me thinking; you usually hear that every pot has a lid in regard to romantic partners. But I take it to mean that there are “lids” for all aspects of our lives; jobs, friendships and even clothing! Why settle for a job that will do, but doesn’t excite? Why settle for a relationship that’s almost a fit? We may think; it works ok, but it’s not quite how you’d like it. Why settle for the almost perfect sweater or jeans because the price is good or the fit is almost right?

When you get clear on what you really want, believe in having it and add a dose of perseverance I believe that “lid” shows up. In my case it was the literal lid to a pot! Going forward I’ll be sure to carry that thinking over to all areas of my life.

I hope you enjoyed this very short & sweet musing. Thank you for joining me! Blessings and love to you! – Ailsa

September Musings

The word perfect has been running through my mind all summer. It started on an evening walk with my dogs. Most days we would take a left out of the driveway, walk down the familiar main street in our small village, past the town green and past the beach. Each time I would admire this one house, particularly for its perfection.

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August Musings

I remember being at my Aunt Beanie’s house several years ago, right before she died. I was milling around the living room looking at the artwork, and the pictures displayed on the baby grand piano that was once my grandmother’s. I was mesmerized by the beautiful wedding portrait of Beanie at age twenty-five and much less mesmerized by the 8×10 eighth grade school portrait of me.

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