Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Holiday Reminder For Every Day

2012 brought the usual ..and the extreme and downs to many. We usually take the time to reflect around New Years, and usually say we'll do better at our efforts to stop and smell the roses.  But sometimes we are stopped before we can do just that.

Illness is another time of ups and downs in the life of the patient, and of his or her loved ones. It's often the patient who then has time to reflect and experience the epiphanies to which we all aspire.  Yet, just as we each have to learn by doing and can't take the growing pains away from someone else, my friend Peggy never stopped trying to share the beauty she discovered throughout her four-year journey with cancer. 

While this may be sentimental for a primarily business blog, I haven't had time to write much recently. So I think it's especially important to divert from strictly business and add a personal touch, especially since one of Peggy's greatest realizations was that she needed to slow down and work less.  And smell the roses.  She did that remarkably well right up to this past springtime.  I was so moved by her love and encouragement of EVERYONE in her email updates and observations I asked if I could share some of thoughts.  She agreed, so in the spirit of giving and and reflecting here are thoughts, from my loving friend, Peggy Goff Bottger, who said it better -- and lived it better -- than I ever could:

At Christmas of 2009 she wrote:
"I was once asked what Christmas means to me, and I've never felt that I did my beliefs justice in the answer I gave.  So here's where I am right now.  Christmas is a time to stop and focus.  On another year gone by: what, of real meaning, did I accomplish?  Did I find joy?  Bring joy to others?  On family: a time to get joy fully out of the act of giving and providing, to honor the memories and traditions established by my own parents, and to hear the kids squeal with happiness at gifts they've long dreamed of (yes, my kids still squeal!).  On spirit: this time symbolizes for me the reminder of light and love and hope.  While I don't prescribe to any specific religion, I have a deep and beautiful connection to God and Spirit, and this time of year reminds me that everything we need is already here, and everything we dream for will come if we just close our eyes and open our hearts."
And at Thanksgiving of 2010 Peggy wrote:
"...I wish for you all a beautiful week with your family and friends, and may all your dreams come true!"So my dear ones - I hope this finds you all healthy and centered.  Don't forget to take care of yourself during this busy season - if you give it (yourself, your energy) all away, there will be nothing left for you! Another thing I've learned since diagnosis.  It doesn't all have to be done a certain way - no one will really notice if the pie is store bought, or if the Christmas tree isn't decorated just so, or the bathroom sink isn't polished when guests arrive.  It's the most impactful lesson I've learned from my studies in A Course in Miracles: "I am under no laws but God's."  It's crazy when we think through all the laws we have created in our minds, which we then accept as true law, and then we get stressed out when we don't live up to those crazy and twisted laws.  We created them, we can release them!  And God's laws are so simple: give love, choose joy.  You can't imagine the burden that was lifted off my shoulders when I learned this. I'd been driving myself to the brink of destruction all those years, and why?  Anyway, that's my loving lecture to you all today; stay with what's true, live from your heart, and give thanks for the many amazing things in your life."

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