Remember to Rabbit

Are any of you going to Rabbit tomorrow? – Chrissy

No affirmative responses, so

We began our spin class and rode hard til the end of class. As we cooled down, stretching while still seated on our bike saddles, we listened to our instructor, who asked again,

Who’s going to Rabbit tomorrow?

I had no idea what she was asking, and seemingly, the rest of the roomful of cyclists were perplexed, too. Chrissy explained,

“I’m usually not too superstitious, but a few years ago a friend of mine told me to say Rabbit first thing on the first day of every month.  Before you put your feet on the floor, you’ve got to say ‘Rabbit’ for good luck and good fortune. Last month is the first month – in like 2-3 years – that I haven’t Rabbit’d.  This month I had some bad fortune, so tomorrow, August 1st, I’m going to Rabbit.”

So I’ve set a reminder for tomorrow and every 1st day of the month forward with no end date,

Rabbit today

✌🏼

and with ears like Gabriel, my friend from Saba, I’ll surely be heard.

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Take A Look in the Mirror

Dressed up for church and then dressed down for spin class, my daughter and I spent a Sunday morning together. Post-spin we were sweaty and makeup-less but stopped at the grocery store to get food for what’s become Sunday night tradition, dinner for J⁴.

Parking outside the store, my daughter and I sat in the car for awhile, talking about how great spin class had been and what we should make for J⁴’s dinner.  Entering the store, my daughter looked down at her sweaty clothes and said,

‘I sure hope I don’t see anyone I know in here.’

I told her that I’d cover for her if she’d run into someone she knew. Although I had no idea how I’d cover for her, I thought my assurance would help her insecurities.  I walked through the produce section to the lettuce section.  I sent my daughter to search for avocados.

Returning to my side, my daughter rubbed up next to me as I inspected the lettuces, and she whispered in my ear,

“I think that might be so-n-so, but I’m not sure.  You both were standing side by side, and when she saw it was you, she grabbed her cart and bolted for the deli.”

Really? oh, dear.

So instead of me covering for my daughter, my daughter covered for me, seeing a person avoid me.  My daughter then saw the insecurities that surfaced within me.

I looked over at the deli and confirmed who my daughter thought the person to be.

What have I done to make someone want to bolt away from me?

What’s wrong with me?

What did I do wrong?

My daughter had gone into the store, worrying about running into someone she knew and instead saw someone worried about running into her mother.

Life lessons can be found everywhere – even in a Fry’s produce section.

Our own insecurities leave people questioning and feeling insecure, too – it’s universal.

We care so much about what if – what if that person judges me, what if that person doesn’t like me, what if that person thinks I’m avoiding them, and we care not enough about so what? so what if I see a person sweaty and makeup-less, so what if I say the wrong thing, so what if I’m not liked.

What about if I acknowledge others no matter what.

Who would you run away from if you saw them across a crowded Sunday morning produce section?  Why would you run away?  What is it about you that makes you want to avoid that person?

********

This week is the one year anniversary of my dear friend, Mark’s suicide. He died on July 21, 2016.  Along with teaching me about workouts and diet, Mark taught me a lot about life. Mark  explained, “there are three universal commonalities:

  1. we all want to be loved.
  2. we all want to get the joke.
  3. we all don’t want to be the butt of the joke.

“It is easy to dismiss people you don’t even see” – Canvas SF guest speaker

I believe by saying a hello, a positive acknowledgment or by smiling, we could change our world and heal our world’s insecurities from the outside-in.

We all need to take a look in the mirror, looking not at what’s perfectly reflecting in the mirror but rather at what or who we see staring back at us – what are we projecting into the world? It may be uncomfortable, but it reminds us of another universal commonality:

4. We all want to be seen.

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“Trees of Life often symbolize growth into a beautiful and unique person. When trees are young, they pretty much all look the same. But, as they grow older, they weather storms and are battered by the forces of wind and water.

Their branches may break and grow back in a different direction, or the very soil beneath them will erode away, causing them to grow even stronger roots to hold on.

Over time, they become very unique and beautiful in their eccentricity and idiosyncrasies. They are just as we all wish to become – shaped into fascinating, intriguing individuals who have weathered hardships and broad experiences in life that have made us into who we are.” – Woot & Hammy

 

We are all imperfect. We are all worthy of acknowledgment.

 

Mark, I see you even after you’re gone. You’re missed.

Thank you for coaching me to look in the mirror and not run away.

Why Wait?

“We wait all week for Friday.

We wait all year for summertime.

Why are we waiting? What are we waiting for? The time to make it happen is now.”

-Chrissy, spin instructor

“There are two things I’ve meant to tell you to preserve –

your lips and  your handwriting.” 

– 2017 advice from my mother

If I wait to moisturize and protect, my lips age and wrinkle.

If I wait to use my handwriting in this day and age of typing, my penmanship suffers and fades.

If I wait to launch my dream, the idea stalls and disappears.

If I postpone my dream with lip service, waiting for tomorrow, I’m left with an undeveloped idea.

My mother’s getting older, why would I ever make her wait!

Introducing:

RP Stillworks’ greeting cards –

Professional images on mighty fine card stock

wherein all you have to add is your handwriting –

Show your loved ones, your clients, your prospective bosses, your babysitters, your friends how much you care with a handwritten note – note cards don’t arrive via email to sit in an inbox and wait, instead, they arrive, immediately enhancing a personal space.

Harmony achieved; preserving penmanship and advancing a dream beyond lip service.

Why Wait!?

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http://www.rpstillworks.com

“That possibility absolutely exists.”

-shopping cart launches on June 22, 2017

 

 

Heaven on a Stick

Don’t blame the fence, blame the gardener.

White picket fences don’t just happen.

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“That’s heaven on a stick!”

– Mrs. Jane Young, my first boss.

Mrs. Young liked perfection.

One Saturday in 1985, I arrived to work at 8 AM, and Mrs. Young gave me the day’s instructions.

“I’d like you to organize and display all the sterling silver and crystal in the display cases.”

She pointed to the hand-carved, mahogany, floor-to-ceiling shelving behind the waist-high, enclosed glass jewelry sales cabinets.  I knew from a prior conversation that Mrs. Young adored the cabinetry since it was a family heirloom and it was the primary design fixture of her family-owned jewelry store.

With no further instructions, she left for the day.

To say I was intimidated, at age 16, handling the fine silver and crystal and placing the valuables in the gargantuan, cherished cabinetry, is an understatement.

I worked a straight 8 hours, right through my lunch hour. I remember being a nervous wreck the entire day –

Am I leaving fingerprints?

Is that too high?

Does that look good next to this or does this look good next to that?  

Is this lighting going to help this sell? 

Fifteen minutes before the 5 PM close, Mrs. Young entered the store.

Arriving in her blue, crisply-ironed pantsuit with a silk, floral scarf tied at her neckline, she, an ex-NYC runway model, was exquisite looking, and she, herself, downright intimidating.

She gazed at the shelves, inspecting the design, and as I recall, after only 2 minutes or so, she looked me in the eye and gave her appraisal,

“This looks like crap. Now let me show you how it should be done.”

We worked overtime, transforming what I had made look like crap into what Mrs. Young expected and envisioned.

And on that day, I learned a valuable life lesson.

We may think we know what perfection looks like, but it takes more than hard work.

It’s takes listening, learning, accepting criticism, and paying attention to detail, plus a whole lot of practice.

It also takes heart, respect,

and a whole lot of desire,

and if it has true value and worth

we may have to focus for an entire day – maybe even weeks, months and years –

if it’s going to be deemed

“heaven on a stick!”

“That’s heaven on a stick!” (not “that looks like crap,”) has stuck with me since my inaugural design day in Mrs. Young’s jewelry store.

Mrs. Young left her perfect mark on me, and I credit Mrs. Young for teaching me a secret of sales –

how do you make others want what you have?

Invest in good gardeners.

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(Em)Powerlifting

 

“You’re back, girl!”

– Justin, Soul Cycle, Palo Alto

He didn’t know he was speaking directly to me, as the beat dropped in the roomful of riders, but in my mind, his encouraging welcome back was like a welcome home, speaking directly to my 50-year-old legs I’d seemingly retired from cycling.

Justin’s words lifted my spirit and my rusty legs, carrying me to a place where I felt I could fly –

There’s no better exercise than lifting others up.

IMG_4863“Powerlifting”