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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lessons To Be Learned from a Newspaper Ad

Reading the Sunday paper today, my attention was drawn to the words at the bottom of an ad for Naturalizer shoes.

Be flexible.
Go lightly.
Find balance.
Move softly.
Breathe easy.

So, with apologies to Naturalizer, I thought this would make a good blog topic.

Be flexible. This phrase can refer to so many things, from being physically flexible (something I'm currently working on to aid my bursitis) to being mentally flexible. I see it as a reminder not to become rigid in our thinking and outlook. Be open to new possibilities and to new ways of seeing the world. Be flexible and willing to change your opinion about something or someone.

Go lightly. Again, the possibilities are many. Go lightly in the world. Don't use more than you need, whether it's water, energy or food. Recycle and reuse. Minimize your impact on the Earth. See the humor in things, and don't take yourself too seriously. Find your own 'lightness of being.'

Find balance. This is a wonderful life lesson. We should all strive for balance in our lives. Balance work with play, activity with rest, crying with laughing, social time with personal time. This lesson is a difficult one for me, as for so many people. Life in 21st century America doesn't lend itself to balance, so it requires a real effort to find and maintain a balance in life.

Move softly. Move softly through the world. Deal with others with respect. Minimize your negative impact on the world. Be firm when necessary, yet gentle. Think of the great people who have moved softly yet had tremendous impact: Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Rev. Martin Luther King.

Breathe easy. This is another dictum that is difficult for me. It is difficult to breathe easy, but oh so easy to become caught up in worry, fear and the 'what ifs' of life. But as I have learned during the past couple of challenging years, "Nothing gets done until we feel the peace inside," to quote a friend of mine. Things will happen as they are meant to. Sometimes those things are positive, and sometimes they are negative. But our worrying and fretting about them won't change the outcome. Trust in your higher power, Mother Nature, or whatever your source of strength.

So, here are today's life lessons, courtesy of an ad for shoes in the local newspaper. It always amazes me where I will find the inspiration or the kernel of an idea for a blog post.