Cooling off

October 5, 2005

We’re finally getting a bit of cool weather down here and it’s amazing how October always brings in more business. The change of seasons always inspires me to write my newsletter and this time it’s no different. I’ve already written the first draft and hope to have it posted by early next week. The topic covers painting preparation which is something that most people don’t pay much attention to, yet it’s crucial to a great and lasting paint job.

My mother telephoned yesterday morning to tell me that the power is back on in her neighborhood in Lake Charles so they’ll be leaving their forced vacation on the Gulf Coast Friday to return and clean things up. I don’t think she realizes how lucky she is. I received an email from Eileen Gambel of New Orleans, who I’ve been thinking about. I mentioned her in a previous blog entry, as I was worried about her and her family. Just a few weeks before Katrina, Eileen painted her daughter’s room Alexandra Blue and her bedroom Citrine. She had emailed me telling me how much she loved the colors and we were working on colors for her home’s exterior. Last week, I received an email from a Red Cross volunteer saying she had met Eileen in Madison, Wisconsin and wanted to give her family a gift to make them feel more at home. Unfortunately, I didn’t know much more than color preferences. I received an email from Eileen yesterday filling me in on her life post Katrina. I cry every time I read it. Her house is uninhabitable. Their family beach house in Bay St. Louis is gone, along with the entire town. Her husband is down here trying to run his business while she and the rest of her family (including her 80 year old parents) are living in dreary apartments in Madison. She seems most concerned with the fact that her daughter’s senior year in high school is lost. I can’t tell you how much I admire her courage, strength and faith. I just hope that these tragedies will continue to inspire compassion from those of us who are not directly affected.

So many of my paint customers tell me that they feel guilty being able to re-paint their homes when others no longer have a home. However, guilt is a useless emotion. I remember reading that we each have approximately 60,000 thoughts a day and that every thought has a sponsoring thought which in turn has a sponsoring thought, etc. and then when you reduce the original thought all the way back, you’ll find that it comes from one of two energies: love-based or fear-based. Guilt, along with anger & resentment, are all part of the fear energy. Empathy and compassion, of course, are part of the love energy. I also like an analogy Lee Carroll said about not being able to help others if you don’t take care of yourself first. If you’re on an airplane with your young child and there’s an emergency where you need to put on your oxygen mask; the adult needs to put on his mask first, so that he can put on his child’s.

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