Wednesday, December 28, 2016

You And Energy Created By Heartfelt Gratitude

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. Thornton Wilder

Thank you. Words we say all the time. It's our habit response for all kinds of, compliments, kind gestures, etc, etc. As children we're taught it's the polite thing to do. But we say it, and then go about our way and forget about it. And we leave out the most important part of those words--the heartfelt energy behind them. That's the part that makes good things happen.

The ability to express heartfelt gratitude is an amazing gift we've all been given, but many people have no idea it even exists or the many benefits we receive with its use. Every time your heart lights up with gratitude, energy is created...loving, healing energy. And there's a lot more to it than most realize.

Everything in the universe, including people, is made up of energy vibrating at different high or low frequencies. With positive thoughts you vibrate in higher frequencies and attract love, peace, harmony, abundance, etc, the good you want in your life. With negative thoughts you vibrate in lower frequencies and attract lack, discord, fear, anger, etc, what you don't want. Thus practicing positive heartfelt gratitude puts you in a higher vibrational frequency, and this attracts more of your good.

Research shows that gratitude is a vital part of our lives. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, is a leading scientific expert on gratitude and says, "Gratitude heals, energizes, and transforms lives physically, psychologically, and socially. And people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits." In his writings, he details much about gratitude and its many benefits.

The gratitude experience can involve other people or just your own personal life issues. When you receive a gift from someone, a kindness, a thoughtful gesture, etc, you feel grateful. Then when you achieve a goal, find something you're looking for, or a plan turns out well, etc. you also feel grateful. Either way, when you express gratitude in a heartfelt way you experience a happy, more meaningful life.

In the bad times, choose to grow stronger. In the good times, choose to enjoy fully. In all times, choose to be grateful. Unknown

It's easy to feel grateful when your life is going well. But how can you feel grateful when hard times hit...loss of a job, a health issue, etc? You can't just tell yourself to feel good about some misfortune. Well, there's a distinction between feeling and being. Dr. Emmons explains that feelings are about the way things are, the way they should be, and the distance between them. But being grateful is a choice to view life in its entirety, and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances. It's like separating the temporary challenges from the overall meaning of your life. And gratitude can actually help you cope with the crises.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie

Look back on your life. You survived a lot. And you can survive this challenge. It is possible to feel whatever you feel about your present situation and still be grateful that your life does have meaning. And this sense of gratitude can lift you to a higher energy frequency.

A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles. Unknown

Learning to use gratitude in a productive way doesn't come about by itself. It takes some thought and practice to become a habit. And various deliberate, calculated tools are necessary. First make a list of tools you can use to help you learn. Some of the following suggestions may help.

1. Begin each morning with intention to notice situations through the day in which you can express gratitude.
2. Take notice of how good comes to you, recognize the positive, and fully enjoy whatever good comes.
3. Use a gratitude journal, and every night record your day's gratitude activities. You might even draw some happy faces.
4. Take walks outside, look around, and notice nature's blessings. Give thanks.
5. Give little notes of gratitude to the people in your life.
6. Include gratitude in your prayers.

When you put your heart into your sense of gratitude in higher vibrational frequencies, it becomes more powerful and your life will be more fulfilling. Be happy.

I wish you many grateful experiences.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Dealing With The Holiday Season. Part 2 Holiday Miracles

We need a renaissance of wonder. We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls, the deathless dream, the eternal poetry, the perennial sense that life is miracle and magic. E. Merrill Root

Life itself is a miracle, and every year we get to renew this truth observing a holiday season with love, peace, joy, fellowship, giving and receiving, and gratitude. Sometimes we lose sight of miracles waiting to happen. But if we answer the true call of the season with open minds and heats, the miracle and magic will be renewed in miraculous ways. This holiday can be anything you want it to be if you make it so.

It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. Mother Teresa

For many people, this is a holiday for giving, and stores are filled with shoppers. But gifts come in many forms...packages wrapped with bright colored ribbons; food prepared for celebrations; hugs we share with those we love, or sometimes even strangers; gifts of service to others; the list goes on. But the one ingredient that creates the miracles and magic is love. I remember when a friend had no money to buy me a gift, so she cleaned my house. I will never forget that gift or the precious angel who gave it.

Giving connects 2 people, the giver and the receiver, and this connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging. Deepak Chopra

Recently I approached the grocery store when I heard a song bursting forth from an elderly white-haired man collecting money for the Salvation Army. People gave money and hurried past. But I was drawn to stop and listen. I heard more than a song...I heard love and joy in every note pouring from this man's heart and soul. And as I stood listening while he sang, I felt my whole being touched by this beautiful miracle. We smiled when I put some money in the bucket and thanked him for his blessing. We both gave and received. And I think we felt a connection.

Later in the store checkout line, a mother ahead of me unloaded her buggy while her small child sat in the buggy facing me. Our eyes met, and I smiled and waved to her. She smiled and waved back. I winked at her. And she winked back. We made funny faces at each other and giggled. We played like I was a child too. And this was one of those moments when we both belonged. One of those moments when your heart skips with glee, and you know it's a magic moment, never to be forgotten.

This is a time of year when relationships are especially important. We reach out to the people in our life, and there's usually a gathering of loved ones in someone's home for a celebration together. I join my brother's large family for their pot-luck dinner, and I always take my gelatin cranberry salad. And by the time I spend hours putting this together for 15 or 20 people, I consider it a true miracle.

Not everyone has a home to go to or someone to love. So for a number of years I took some time on holidays helping serve lunch at a shelter for the homeless. At first I expected to see sad, downhearted faces. But most of these people smiled and chatted over plates of hot food. And I saw love in their tired eyes. Their clothes were tattered, and holes in their shoes. But they'd found a place to go and people to love. And for a little while, they had a home and family. For a little while, they were blessed. And so was I. This was a miracle.

Where there is great love, there are always miracles. Willa Cather

Love can be expressed in many ways. Put your love into everything you do, and watch and listen so miracles won't go unnoticed. Smile at strangers, and play with children. If you attend worship services, exchange hugs with others who need hugs as much as you do. And call people by their name. We like being validated. Allow your love to flow into this season, and others will receive the blessing your love carries with it. And you'll find your holiday miracles.

I wish you miracles all year long


Monday, December 12, 2016

Dealing With The Holiday Season. Part 1, Holiday Blues

It's the holiday season, and excitement is in the air. Holiday music is everywhere, and stores are filling with shoppers, their gift lists in hand. Attentions are focused on just the right gifts, food for holiday meals, greeting cards and phone calls--everything to make the holiday what it should be, a time of sharing with those you love, renewal of spirit, and hope for the future.

It would appear this is true for everyone, but for some that's not the way it is. A holiday season can be filled with all kinds of emotions--beautiful wonder and excitement, or it can involve stress and even dread. It usually depends upon our circumstances and/or our ability to feel at peace in spite of some kind of adversity.

It's difficult to feel at peace when alone, missing a loved one, dealing with illness or family upheaval or having an empty pocketbook. In these kinds of situations, anxiety, depression, and loneliness can creep in, and a person may feel so overwhelmed they seek isolation and say, "Don't bother anyone with your problems." And they give up. And they grieve alone.

All art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and hanging on. Havelock Ellis 

A holiday can also be a time when our minds wander to years past, and we're caught up in memories. At this time of year when I look at my grown children's childhood pictures, I sometimes wish I could go back and re-live those times. I had little money for holiday goodies, but I can see their faces full of joy and excitement, and I want to hug them again. Today my children live in different areas around the country, and I don't see them at all except sometimes for a week in the summer that passes too quickly. And I wonder where the time went.

I remember times in my own childhood when my single mother had no money to surprise my brothers and me with holiday treats. Sometimes angels came through for us, but sometimes not. Once in a while over the years, my scattered family has managed holiday reunions when we raised a glass to the wonder of the season and celebrated another year of being together. We still have those occasional gatherings, but now I look around and realize some are no longer there. And I miss them.

If you don't believe in miracles, perhaps you've forgotten you are one. Unknown

Most of us have something we're trying to deal with, don't we? And this time of year can bring painful feelings to the surface, preventing our full embrace of the season. We think about what's going on around us, and we feel inadequate. We forget that our own life is a miracle. Our strength is right there inside, in our own mind and heart. And each of us has more power than we know to create the emotions we want to feel. So do we suffer through it, deny it's there, or find ways to actually find some joy as we face those challenges?

You may feel very much alone right now, but you're never alone. Your angels are waiting to help you. But you have to choose--decide what you want to do with your present situation. You don't have to give up old memories, missing the ones who are gone, or being realistic about a financial challenge, or anything else that takes your focus off what this season is meant to be. Your memories and your love of people and things from the past will always be dear to you. Keep them close in your heart, but don't let anything now inhibit your expression of love in the present.

You have innate ability to focus within and reach the love, peace, and strength that reside there. Bring those up in a spirit of hope, and move forward. Reach out to someone you trust, and know it's okay to experience and express your feelings. Volunteer your time. Be someone's angel. Listen to music. Get back to nature and walk outside. Yes, even if it's snowing. And if you fall back, get up and go again. And make miracles that will last all year.

I wish you peace in your heart this season.

Tune in next week for Part 2, Holiday Miracles


Monday, December 5, 2016

Connected or Separate? Truth or Delusion? Are We All One?

Individually we are one drop. Together we are the ocean. Ryunosuke Satoro

Just as many drops of water are part of the same ocean, each person on earth is part of the same human family. And we're all connected by energy. There's nothing that's not energy...including us. And this energy moves among us, uniting us, connecting us as one earth family. We can't exist alone. We're connected. And we need each other. Our life is within us, but it's kept alive through our connection with others.

I sit here thinking about what I want in my life, and I realize it's not only about me. It's about all of us and the world we live in. My mind runs in two dimensions. What do I want for me? And how can I exist without you...all of you? It may seem impossible that my intentions, my desires, can affect anyone but me. But there is power in the energy I project with my thoughts. And what I envision today for myself and others can manifest in positive and negative ways far beyond what I imagine.

Knowing a person is like music. What attracts us to them is their melody, and as we get to know who they are, we learn their lyrics. Unknown

I remember when I was a child during the Great Depression years, and my family lived in a large apartment building in Detroit. We were the only American-born family there. All the others were from different countries. Everyone left their doors open during the day, and I had such fun sneaking in front of each apartment door listening to different languages spoken, smelling ethnic foods cooking, being part of a wonderful diverse world. We shared whatever we had, and offered love and compassion in the hard times. In spite of our differences, we were a family. We were connected.

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other. Mother Teresa

Today we live in an 'us and them' world, choosing separation over togetherness. We look down on others unlike ourselves to the point of bigotry, contempt, even hatred. We attend worship services and then condemn those different from us. And we blame others when misfortune invades our tightly knit lives. On TV we see the result of separation producing senseless loss of life. And we bolt our doors at night to feel safe. We produce enough negative energy to build a thousand tombs to hold the spoils of separation. And we don't know we're connected. When I abuse my brother, I abuse myself.

Albert Einstein explains our delusion of separateness. "A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

What do you want, really want, in your life? Think about it. What you envision today and hold in your mind can bring blessings in your own life and can make a difference in the world where those blessings are needed. Start with people close to you, and gradually move out to those you don't know. Use understanding and compassion without judgment. Then allow your love energy to embrace your entire world family.

What a responsibility we have. Yes, responsibility. Each day is a new day to live life in more meaningful ways, ways that not only help determine the quality of your own life, but for all those millions with whom you are connected. You may not personally see the blessings you provide with your loving thoughts, but they will land where they're needed. And you will be blessed.

I wish you peace and joy in all the days ahead.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Just For Fun

Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity. Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Some people work at jobs they don't like; others find work they enjoy; and some express a hobby in their work making every day a special pleasure. Either way, it helps to have something to get excited about. And what a blessing for those who can maintain happy work and play.

Years ago when my son and daughter-in-law's bicycle shop became too demanding, they sold it and went into other careers they enjoyed. But they clung to their love of bikes, and over the years they've biked all over their state, up into Canada, and on camping trips. Now they're retired and back into the bike business. My daughter-in-law finds used bikes, and my son repairs them. Then they sell the bikes from their garage or rented booths downtown in flea markets.

I've had some happy work and some not so happy. But since childhood I've clung to my love of writing. And today I'd like to share a shortened whimsical story I created. Enjoy...just for fun.


     "Take your hands off me, you brute," Rosie demanded. "Bert, help me."
     "What can I do?" Bert yelled. "He's got me too."
     A tall man with muscles like footballs hoisted Rosie and Bert up the side of a truck and threw them flying over onto the middle of a trash heap. When the truck took off, their chains rattled with every bump in the road.
     "We've been kidnapped," Rosie screamed. "How can we get out of this, Bert?"
     "Hang on, Babe. Let's see where we're going, and look for a way out."
     Rosie trembled with fear, and couldn't keep her chassis still. She'd never been so shook up. "What's he gonna do with us, Bert?:
     "Probably what everybody else did with us our whole life--get rid of us."
     "That's not true. Remember that nice couple we met a couple years ago? We had a good time with them before they moved to Wyoming and had to leave us."
     "I'm glad they left. I didn't like the way that dude looked you over, checked out your rear end and everything. Yeah."
     "He was just curious. Don't let things like that get to you. I don't think..."
     "Whoa, Babe. We're slowing down." Bert strained to see ahead. "Oh, no. It's that salvage dump around the bend. Now we're doomed."
     Rosie and Bert braced their bodies as the truck turned into a long driveway and parked. When the driver pushed a button, one end of the truck bed rose up, and the whole load clanged and banged to the ground, rattling in all directions. Rosie looked around and cried, "Now my seat is full of dirt. It's bad enough being kidnapped and stripped of all decency, but to see my rump like this is too much."
     Bert ignored her complaints when he saw the truck pull away. "Never mind that now. It looks like we've been spared, for a while anyway."
     They huddled together, unsure of their next move, when they heard thunder overhead. Rosie panicked again. "Oh, Bert. What if it rains? I'll get soaked like last year. Remember what a mess that was?"
     Bert grinned. "I sure do, Babe. I kinda liked you that way."
     Before Rosie could answer, they heard a car pull into the area, and a young couple got out. They wandered from one pile of trash to the other, and ended up in front of Rosie and Bert. "Honey," the woman said. "This is perfect. Not much fixing up to do."
     The man walked around and took a better look. "Well, I thought we'd look for two, but yeah, this will do fine. Won't take much to make it look like new, and it might be fun riding together on a tandem bike."
     Rosie squealed. "Bert, we're saved. We're saved. They want us. Oh, I know they'll take good care of us."
     Bert smiled and whispered. "Take is easy, Babe. Don't look too anxious."


You don't need a reason for doing everything in your life. Do it because you want to. Because it's fun. Because it makes you happy. Unknown

Maybe you can't incorporate a hobby in your work, but you can find expression in your life for something you love, and create a necessary balance. We all have a talent, a yearning, a fire inside. But we get lost in daily activities and push it aside. Don't let your fire die. It's an important part of who you are. Let all of you shine through, and make it fun.

I wish you many happy days being you.  


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Dealing With Your Insecurities To Be More Of Who You Really Are

Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are. Marilyn Monroe

Everyone is insecure to some degree, although most insecurities don't cause extreme discomfort. Our insecurities can involve fears that we won't measure up in certain areas of our life, fears that we don't belong, we lack certain abilities, status, or education, and it seems like everything we do is a mess. So we cover up our personal insecurity the best we can and end up living a fairly normal least what's termed 'normal' by all those folks who don't appear insecure.

But there are those who suffer through life with a damaged sense of self, feeling incapable, unimportant, and unacceptable. Their fears branch out to all areas of their life and impair their ability to function in rewarding ways. They can become isolated, avoiding social contacts, taking jobs that don't require interaction with others, and missing out on their full life potential. Insecurity can also manifest as arrogance, jealousy, bigotry, etc. And as a means of escape, some may even turn to alcohol or drugs.

So what causes someone to feel insecure and fearful in particular situations? We're all born with certain traits, and some children are more vulnerable than others. Insecurity is unique to each person, so we manifest our insecurity in different ways and degrees. And we develop an inner voice at an early age that conveys positive and negative messages to us throughout life.

If our inner child hears things like, "You're a loser, ugly, can't do anything right, why are you so stupid, etc, we believe what we hear and form critical messages that produce insecurity. Other contributing factors are rejection, a need to be perfect, forms of abandonment, bullying, etc. Then when we goof up as adults, that critical inner voice says, "See? I told you so."

Tell that negative committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up. Ann Bradford

We try to deal with our fears and get on with life. But situations we run into trigger our insecurity. We can feel fine until we encounter such things as loss of a job, lack of money, personal mistakes, speaking in front of others, social situations, even being late for appointments...anything that arouses our critical voice. "It's your fault; you should have known better; they'll think you're stupid; you're just not competent, etc." Then those scared feelings take over, and we believe those things about ourself.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

Whenever my church Minister went out of town, I used to present the lesson (sermon), and I pushed through with heart pounding and knees shaking. Then I devised a new approach. I began by telling the whole congregation I was very nervous but would do the best I could. Wow. I cleared the air, and they were understanding. Now I didn't have to stumble over words, lose my thoughts, pause and regroup, and appear incompetent. Now I relaxed and enjoyed the experience.

I may feel insecure about one thing, while you might feel insecure about something else. We're all different. And once you understand your own feelings and reasons behind them, you can work on confronting the issues. If you feel a sense of insecurity that holds you back, the first step toward healing is to figure out the root of those feelings. You can do that with questions and searching for insight. Why do I feel insecure when___? What do I feel insecure about? I feel insecure because___. Ask questions you feel would help you, and ponder over any answers you get.

Don't let your insecurities ruin the beauty you were born with. Unknown   

Whether or not you get the answers you need, practice doing what you're afraid to do, and use denials and affirmations. I deny that childhood experience has any power over me. Because in truth, I affirm I was born whole and wonderful (any words you want), and that's who and what I am. Take a deep breath and say, "That was a long time ago. Things are different now." And make them different. You may or may not totally heal your insecure feelings, but you can reduce their hold over you. And you can be more of who you really are.

I wish you freedom to be your wonderful self.


Monday, November 14, 2016

How To Deal With Shock In Your Life

It's just a shock. You go from one day to everything being OK to your life being upside down. Amber Margarejo

We've just come through a stressful presidential election like nothing I've seen in my lifetime. And whether you're happy or sad about the outcome, the final result was a shock not only in our country, but in much of the world. As I observe people's reactions to this situation, I'm reminded of other shocking situations we sometimes encounter in our own personal lives and/or collectively. 

Shock over happy outcomes passes quickly. But sudden traumatic situations can affect us physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually. The degree of shock depends upon each individual's perception of the event and personal situation at the time. What's mild to one person can be serious to another. When we know what's coming, our body begins preparing for it. If not, the sudden element itself can render the mind helpless to think clearly. It shakes our sense of reality of who we are, how we live our life, our expectations, our perception of truth, etc. and we must go through a series of adjustments to healing.

Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. John Wayne

I remember a personal shock I experienced a few years ago. During the many years I worked, I faithfully invested into my retirement fund. But 3 years into retirement, I suddenly learned that due to neglect by the person handling my account, I'd lost my retirement fund. It was gone. Nothing to show for all those years. At first it was difficult to believe the reality of the situation. I was in shock, and felt devastated, scared and helpless. But somehow prayer sustained me and I survived...wiser than before.

Another time I experienced a shock felt by the whole world. I still remember it vividly. I was a child listening to the radio with my mother and brothers when suddenly the program was interrupted with news that Japanese planes had bombed our ships in Pearl Harbor. My mother's first instinct was to run, and she quickly hurried us up the street to my aunt's house. I remember hysterical neighbors pouring out of their houses, grouping together in the street, fearful about what might happen next. I didn't fully understand what was happening, but I felt that emotional shock.

Accept, then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Eckhart Tolle

A personal shock can put your body in an almost nonfunctional mode with questions like, "Why did this happen? What am I going to do now? What will happen to me?" You may feel that life has thrown you more than you can handle, and there's no place to run. So your first survival mode is to stop, breathe deep, quiet your mind, and accept where you are without resistance. And if prayer is part of your life, pray for peace and guidance.

Allow yourself to calm down as much as possible, and for a while concentrate only on yourself. Cling to what's real and valuable in your life, and list what you have that's safe and dependable. What does your well-being depend on, and do you have that? If not, how can you create it? Be kind to you, and seek support from people in your life who will listen to you and offer understanding and compassion.

You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice. Bob Marley

As your mind clears, take time to digest what's happened. Ask yourself how might the new situation change your life, or does it? Can you mend what's broken, or do you have to let go? Does the situation need your immediate attention, or is it out of your control? And establish what's yours to do, or not do. Then move forward from there.

If the shocking situation is more on a collective level, seek out others and share your thoughts and feelings. Whatever the cause, shock needs to be dealt with in order to heal and move on. Know that you have what it takes to accomplish this. And you will.

I wish you peaceful times ahead.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Free To Love

Hello again. I apologize for missing last week. My computer was down, and I'm behind in everything. I'm glad to finally be back.

When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. Donald Miller

As we go through life we sometimes take our relationships with those close to us for granted. Nature designed us to connect, to belong, and one of the greatest blessings in life is those people we share our life with. But sometimes we label each one who and what we design them to be, and we encounter conflict or disappointment. How much are we willing to let them be who they really are and still love them? Love flourishes when it's free to blossom according to its own nature and not be constrained by our own human perceptions and requirements.

Until a few years ago I thought I knew the people in my life, and I took my perceptions of them for granted. Then one day I was struggling with a stressful situation, and I went to a friend looking for understanding, compassion and support to help me cope. I was very surprised when my friend half listened to my feelings and began telling me how to fix my problem. I already knew what to do. I needed the strength to do it. But she didn't hear me. I was devastated, and felt even more alone.

I went to my minister, where I should have gone in the first place, and she explained something about people and relationships that I have always remembered and learned to use in my life. She said every person is given certain gifts, talents, and we're all different. Some people are good at repairing broken items, some are good listeners, some help clarify, some make us smile, and some tell is how to fix a problem. I hadn't noticed that my friend was a fixer. I thought I knew her. My minister advised me to take a second look at the people in my life, figure out what each one is able to give, and love them anyway. And figure out my own gift, and give that to others. Then I understood my friend's response to me. She gave what she knew to give, and she loved me in her own way. After that I began understanding the people in my life better, and my love for them became more unconditional.

I think the following poem says it well.

Let us know how not to ask too much of each other,
share who we are without giving up our freedom,
love without trying to absorb,
be kind yet not smother with kindness,
walk together but neither retard the other's pace.
I would not lead one who did not choose to follow
or follow one who demanded that I be led.
The spark of selfhood, that high and precious thing;
each his own master and the two of us
richer, dearer because of it,
but neither sunk passively in the other.
 That alone is true loving.

We are here for a reason. We all have a gift or gifts to share. You want to look inside your heart and your soul, and you want to tap into the one thing you love to do. Develop it. Share it. Nurture it. You were meant to have that gift. Debbie Fields

Take a closer look at the people in your life, and identify what gift each one is able to offer. Then when you need something, go only to the person who has the gift to help with your particular need. And look within yourself, and identify your own gift. Are you a good listener, or a fixer? Can you make people laugh? Do you have the ability to focus well and clarify a problem? Discover a strong quality within yourself of which you may not be aware, and offer that to others.

Allow each person in your life to be who they are in their own special way, and allow yourself to love freely, unconditionally, from your heart. We are blessings to each other, and that in itself is a gift.

I wish you freedom to love.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Are You Really Free To Be Your True Self?

Life is a narrative that you have a hand in writing. Henriette Anne Klauser

Freedom doesn't mean being free from challenges in life. Freedom is the ability to make wise choices when challenges arise, whether internal or external. Our challenges are symptoms of what's going on inside--our belief systems, thought patterns, and how we deal with live situations. And there's power in understanding what's happening there so you can take control and work it your way. That's freedom.

On various levels, each of us suffers from negative messages about ourself, others, and the world. And inner turmoil runs the gamut from miner insecurities in particular situations to dysfunctional depression and/or anxiety. No one is left out. We're all works in progress on our own individual journey of self-discovery. But we forget who we are and what our journey is about.

"Addiction enters when self love is traded for self limiting and judgmental thoughts." Dr. Bill Tollefson

According the the World Book Encyclopedia, addiction is the condition of being a slave to a habit; strong inclination. And some of those habits may surprise you. We usually think of addiction as only involving substances, but it can be any number of thoughts, words, feelings, or actions we unknowingly slip into.

Sometimes a faulty belief system can lead to chronic focus on negative 'self-talk' about your life. And you feel lonely, insecure, unworthy, unimportant, going nowhere, inadequate, or even stupid, etc. And those behaviors become painful addictions.

When I grip the wheel too tight, I find I lose control. Steve Rapson

We either live with our faulty belief system or do something about it...and not always to our benefit. We seek ways to cope and relieve the pain, and some may grab onto food, alcohol, smoking, gambling, drugs, etc. But nothing works, and they become addicted to behaviors that add more pain to the original pain. But there must be a way out that leads to the freedom you long for.

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live. Goethe

You were born with courage and trust. So go within and ask your inner Voice to help you experience these qualities as you seek freedom. Then look within and begin working to uncover and change the core thoughts inside that led to bondage. Inner work is important, because those false messages about you that run around in your head cloud your self-image and you feel defeated. When you replace them with truth about you, you won't need a crutch to hold you up. Denounce false messages and embrace truth.

Inner Work: Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31,32.

1. Clarify and make a list of old false, negative messages that cause you pain...what you're running away from. Examples: 'You're not important', or 'You don't measure up', etc. Use details.

2. Make another list of positive statements to confront and replace each false message with truth, even if you don't yet believe the truth about you. Examples: 'I was created important, and my life counts', or 'I am my own unique, immeasurable self'.

3. There's much power in the words "I am". Every time a negative message runs through your mind, replace it with a positive statement using "I am." Example: "You can't do anything right." "I am usually successful in all that I do."

4. When you finish your negative and positive lists, find someone you trust to work with you on changing your inner negative thinking to positive. Call on your God-given courage and trust to move your mountains and rise out of the darkness.

Outer Work: Inside is where we shape outcomes in our life, and changing what goes on inside changes the severity and frequency of what goes on outside. So doing your inner work will strengthen you to deal with any behaviors you need to face in your outer world.

You know yourself better than anyone, and you know what is needed to release bondage and embrace your freedom. So summon your courage to get the help you need--friends, family, groups, counselors, clergy, medical--any resource that can help lead you to freedom. You were born a beautiful child, and that child is still within you. Allow that child part of you to laugh, sing, dance, play, and help you be your true self in peace and love. That's an expression of freedom.

One of the most powerful prayers I know is, "Change my life by changing me." There is no other way to freedom.

I wish you freedom to be your wonderful self.


Monday, October 17, 2016

When Those Hurricanes Hit Your Life, Find An Angel Moment

Last week a hurricane knocked out my computer, and I couldn't write. I'm so sorry for that. But we survived, sooo:

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. Willa Cather

I've just survived another hurricane, and sometimes I'm so focused on what's going on, I forget about what I call angel moments. Some call them coincidences. But I believe in angels, and some of those coincidences are so well orchestrated that angels must be responsible. I forgot about them again this time, but when it was over, they gave me a sound reminder.

Each hurricane has a personality of its own, and this giant took its time causing damage as far reaching as it could. Then it came crawling up my coast, getting closer and closer. I always prepare and ride them out, but I'm never really prepared...just on ready if I ever need to run.

This time I spent 3 days and 4 nights without power, carrying 2 small lanterns for light. I thought I'd prepared to keep my freezer cold, but I lost all the food in my fridge. I lived on bread, peanut butter, and fruit, but had a hot meal the last day when my sister-in-law got her power back.

When I finally got my TV on, I saw all the terrible devastation, not only far south, but in my own city. And I cried for all of those less fortunate than I was. My yard was covered with limbs, branches, and debris from old oak and pine trees, but my house and car remained in tact. You never know who will get hit and who will not.

The most incredible thing about angel miracles is that they happen. G. K. Chesterton

When the storm had passed this area, people were out clearing their yards, and that's when I received my angel moment. Many years ago, my climbing rose bush gave up blooming near the ground, and it put 2 shoots up into the palm tree next to it. So every spring beautiful white roses bloom in the top of that tree. Well, the hurricane blew both shoots onto the ground, and the little green leaves spread clear across my lawn. I loved that rose bush, and this was a loss for me.

But as I stood over my rose bush mourning its end, my angels jumped in, and just at the right time a van with 2 men passed my house, then backed up. They got out, and one said, "Excuse me, ma'am, can we cut that up for you and put it out for pick up?" I cringed. "Oh, no. I'm mourning the loss of my rose bush." And I told them about the roses in the palm tree. They looked at each other, thought a minute, and said, "We'll get it back up in the tree for you." Impossible, I thought. One shoot had died, but they worked until they actually got the other one back up secure in the tree to bloom again. That was a true angel moment. I offered to pay them, but all they would take was a hug. I thanked them from my heart, and I thanked my angels. Coincidence??

When difficult times come into your life, you may feel like you've been hit with a hurricane. Sometimes you see it coming. Sometimes you don't. And it's hard getting through. But call it what you will, angel moments are always there if you pay attention and look for them. They were probably there during the hurricane, but I forgot to pay attention. Next time I won't forget.

When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person that walked in. That's what the storm is all about. Haruki Murakami

Process to work through your storms:

1. Angels are already there. Ask them for help, even if you don't believe in them.
2. Clarify and understand the storm you're dealing with.
3. Don't resist. Accept what is and let it be.
4. Transfer your focus from problem to resolution, and do whatever you can to resolve it.

Important: Throughout this whole process, and beyond, watch for angel moments and listen for guidance. They will bring you help and the peace and comfort you need to get through. And always remember to thank them for their gifts.

I wish you many happy angel moments.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Heal Your Childhood Wounds And Find Joy In Your Family

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future. Alex Haley

I recently spent time with my daughter, my son and his wife who is like a daughter to me, and another son. My children are scattered around the country, so this was the first time we've been together in many years. We looked different from the last time we were together, but the same eyes were there, the same smiles and mannerisms we remembered, and we recognized family. And the experience stirred new awareness...awareness about what it means to be family.

For some people, family is kind of a boring subject. They say, "Oh, So what? It's just something you're born with." You probably like some of your family, and maybe some you don't like. But they're yours. And they have a profound affect on your life journey. You can be nurtured into who you really are or misguided into who you're not.

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in. Graham Greene

We start out with genes, DNA, inherited talents and gifts. Then our experiences develop personality traits, habits, values, strengths and weaknesses, etc, until we believe we've become the finished product. But we're constantly unfolding, and it may not always be the way we want to unfold. So it's important to know and understand yourself and your family very well.

No family is perfect. They're all products of their families before them, flawed in some way from miner to major. And we reap whatever our own families are able to give us as we're growing up, both positive and negative. Even in the best families, no child escapes some childhood wounds. Think about what your own family is like. And maybe people who were like family but not blood related. They would also affect your life.

"Oh, yes, the past can hurt. But you can run from it, or learn from it. Rafiki, The Lion King

Take a good look at yourself, and think about issues you might like to change now. Are there parts of you, or all of you, that sometimes feel lonely, unhappy, inadequate, ugly, not as good as? Do you ever feel like you don't belong? Anything you wish were different? If so, you had to get these beliefs and feelings from somewhere. You were not born with them. In many cases, family was the source. But those beliefs and feelings can be released and replaced with the truth about you...and the truth about your family.

Most of the time families are loving, kind people, and don't realize the damage that can be done. They do their best as they know it. But now it's up to you to look at family issues; look at your own issues; and do what you can to create a better life without old wounds holding you back.

If you want to grow, you must learn to let go. Darren L. Johnson

First explore what you want to change in yourself. Be clear, precise, and determined. Then explore your childhood and see if you can identify what words or treatment might have caused whatever issue you want to change in you. You can't change what people did, but you can rewrite your response, therefore what you believe and feel about yourself now.

Create the childhood scenario in your mind, and then rewrite it in a different positive way, a new script, with  your response using denials and affirmations. Example: Suppose as a child you were made to feel that you didn't belong. In your new scenario, participate with a smile and say, (denial) "I deny that your treatment of me has any power over me...because (affirmation) in truth I was born with a very important place in this world which I now fulfill." And practice until you truly believe your affirmations, and your pain is gone.

Now about forgiveness. Forgiving whatever or whoever caused childhood wounds is vital to your peace and happiness. Don't minimize the importance of family. They build us into what we are, and they guide us on our journey. Not all families are safe havens, but they love us in their own way, and they teach us with their mistakes. Laugh with your family, cry with them, love them, and forgive them. And forgive and release what needs to go. You are blessed.

I wish you peace and love with your family


Monday, September 26, 2016

We're Living In The Fast Lane. Are You Going Where You Want To Go?

The trouble with life in the fast lane is that you get to the other end in an awful hurry. John Jensen

Everything is energy, so everything affects everything else--including people. Dynamic changes are taking place in the universe and in the earth, and these changes are disrupting our human energy fields. According to scientific studies, our universe is rapidly expanding, the earth's magnetic poles are shifting, and the earth's pulse is speeding up. And that's enough to sweep us along in a sea of fast moving energy. But it seems most people aren't even noticing. They're just running the race to nowhere.

In an age of movement, nothing is more critical than stillness. Pico Iyer

Sometimes I wonder how much we're missing in our fast paced lives. We get anxious, depressed, fed up. Then we pop a few pills and keep running. When was the last time you listened to the birds singing outside? Or read a book to a child? Or told someone you love them or looked into a mirror and said, "I love you?" When was the last time you simply heard the sound of quiet...just quiet?

Have you ever noticed how your own energy affects your world? Do your thoughts and words have a positive influence on your own well being and on the lives of those around you? Human energy is powerful, and we have the ability to produce harmony or chaos. Every thought we think and every word we utter produces an action or response within ourselves, in our environment, and beyond.

I worked on a psychiatric unit in a large hospital in Las Vegas. And each day at 3 pm during shift change, the staff walked quietly through the halls and projected thoughts and words of love and peace into each room. Then whenever staff from another unit came on our unit, they always remarked about how peaceful it felt there, especially for a mental health area. And we smiled.

Energy never lies. If you work at your right rhythm, you will be more productive. Judith Orloff

Energy levels differ in different individuals, and I like to think of levels in terms of quarts, pints, and half pints. Quart people feel driven and have to force themselves to slow down. Pint people have all they need for however they want to use it. And half pint people are too tired to keep up with where their mind wants to go. Energy levels depend upon a number of factors--heredity, physical and mental health, life situations, etc, and can change over time. But most people seem to have a mindset that says, "Keep running. Don't stop."

Moving fast is not the same as going somewhere. Robert Anthony

What is your energy level, and how are you using it? Are you a dynamo who keeps going until you drop? Or a pint person who gets everything done, but feels guilty when not busy? Or a half pint person who feels like a puny wimp who can't keep up the pace? After all, isn't everybody supposed to run through life? I don't know what would happen if you walked instead of running, but it might be fun to put some balance in your life and find out.

You have the power to rethink your life and choose the way you will live it. And balance is key. But if you don't do it, it won't happen. To work on balance, put everything aside for one day and become familiar with (1) your own unique energy level and (2) how you spend it on a day-to-day basis. This knowledge will help you move forward.

Given your energy level, create a plan for balance with work, rest, play, relationships, activities, whatever is important to you, eliminating some things and adding others. Some can be combined like play and work--music while you do laundry.

Who and what you are is not measured by your energy level, so find no fault with yourself. Just stop living in hurry energy, and keep working on this until you're being who you are in your own way, living a balanced life with inner joy and peace.

I wish you time to enjoy being you.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Picking Up The Pieces After A Loss In Your Life

"Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging." Joseph Campbell

Life is never a one way street with all the pieces fitting together. Each of us in our lifetime experiences a mixture of many situations. But one of the most disturbing situations we face is losing something important to us. Today, using my own experiences perhaps more clear than my explanations,  I'd like to address some of our most common losses. Maybe you'll recognize yourself in some of it as I go along.

Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim. Vicki Harrison

Loss of a Loved One: This is one of the most difficult, and I don't believe we ever fully recover. With some, it may take years to find peace with it. I lost my parents and both of my brothers, and I still live with the feeling they took a part of me with them. I don't dwell on the loss, and I'm finally at peace. But I miss them, and when I look at their pictures, memories come back and I allow whatever comes up. Then I have to move on with the ebb and flow.

After a break up, make sure to put your heart into intensive care. Give yourself time to heal. Focus on you, focus on good, focus on now. Doe Zantanata

Divorce: I filed for divorce. I wanted it. But when the final papers arrived, I sank to the floor devastated. Why wasn't I celebrating? After my initial tears, I realized I cried not for the relationship I just lost, but for never having the relationship I'd dreamed of growing up. When I was young I made the wrong mistake...12 miserable wasted years...stupid. I had to pick up the pieces, forgive myself and heal, and create a different life for my children and myself.

Your child's life will be filled with fresh experiences. It's good if yours is as well. Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Empty Nest: When our children leave the nest and venture out, we worry they can't make it on their own. There's less cooking and less laundry, the house feels empty, and we lose part of our parent role. So who are we? I kept in touch with my children, but I had to overcome my identity crisis and discover there was more to me than parent. And I began some inner growth.

One day. Anything can happen in just one day. Gayle Forman

Loss of Job: Loss of a job can be traumatic in any circumstance. It means tightening your belt and learning a new way to manage. It may even involve a major move, and a whole family can suffer. I lost jobs raising children without child support, and moving when my mother had a stroke. Each time I had to regroup and get help where I could. Then a job loss at age 47 forced me back to school into a new field of work where I spent many years as a Psych Therapist. Yes, a loss can bring a blessing.

Are any of these examples familiar to you? Loss is loss, and it can come from any life situation in our environment or within ourselves. It can create stress, anxiety, depression, fear, family tension, etc. And we wonder how we can survive. But we do. Every healing journey takes time and effort. But we all heal at our own pace.

The first step in finding your way through a loss is to accept that your life is and will be different. And then begin your healing. Christina Hibbert, Psy. D. gives clear direction for approaching and facilitating healing from loss. She says, "Instead of ignoring loss and trauma, or moving past them, we can choose to slow down, sit with each loss, examine it, and grieve it. It's better to sink in and experience it now, than to find yourself drowning years later in losses that had no voice."

Take care of your personal needs as you explore resources and alternatives. And reach out for support. Your life will will change. But you're not alone. And as time passes, look for a blessing. You may find something wonderful you would have missed without your challenge. You become stronger, wiser, more of who you're meant to be. And that in itself is a blessing.

I wish you peace in your heart.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What Is Your Life Telling You? And Do You Like What You're Creating?

You can live your whole life not realizing that what you're looking for is right in front of you. David Nicholls

Recently I had a birthday, and that's always a time for a one year check up to look at where I've been, where I am now, where I want to go, and if I stayed on track with last years directions. But that procedure is not enough to look closely at a life and how it's being lived. Life is a daily experience and needs daily attention to be the life you want it to be. You wouldn't drive your car on a journey without checking a map now and then to avoid getting lost and having to find your way back to the highway. So when was the last time you took a close look at your life?

"Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?" Bob Marley

Nobody's life is sunshine all the time. We don't expect that. We all have challenges, painful experiences, times when we want to run away for a while. But the overall quality of life can and should be generally happy and peaceful. Are you satisfied with your life? Could it be better? Think about it. Do you ever wake up in the morning dreading another day, wanting to get off the road for a while and find a peaceful rest stop along your journey? Are there times when all you see are clouds?

Today I was driving with dark ominous clouds overhead, and I hoped I'd reach my destination before the downpour. Then I noticed a break in the clouds with a beautiful clear blue sky where sunshine sparkled. How could both exist at the same time? But they did, and I got a message about life. Pay attention, and you see the whole picture. Would you like more sunshine in your future? You really can create it. And one of your best tools for growth is understanding your past.

The best thing is looking back and realizing how good life is. If you don't take the time to think about it and analyze it, you'll never realize all the dots that are connected. Beyonce Knowles

The Past: All of your experiences in the past are connected to the rest of your life, for the past has been your teacher. Look back and remember good times and bad. Remember specific events and people, times you wish you could do over. Remember your feelings, your disappointments and happy surprises. Admit your weaknesses, and praise your strengths. Who were you back then? And how did all of that bring you to where you are now?

Remember the moments of the past. Look forward to the promise of the future. But most of all, celebrate the present, for it is precious. Unknown

Present: The present is where you live your life...where decisions you make decide your past and your future, and where you can create miracles. So look closely at where you are now. What would you like to change, or keep, or expand upon, or create brand new? If you can't change a situation, you can work on your response to it. Examine what you've learned from your past and how you can use it today. Look within and find that eternal, special essence that is you, and know you have all you need within to move forward.

It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell. Walt Disney

Future: And what kind of story will you be telling in the future? According to Peter Drucker, "The best way to predict the future is to create it." And that's all we can do, the best we can at any given time. We check the past, live in today, and try to create a future we want. And as time passes, if we stay aware and vigilant, our tomorrows can be better than our todays.

So don't wait for your birthday. Use time every day to monitor your progress, and make necessary changes as you go. You really are a miracle, capable of creating miracles. Make your journey whatever you want it to be. And be happy.

I wish you a miraculous journey.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

How To Survive Your Storms And Grow Stronger

Don't confuse your path with your destination. Just because it's storming now doesn't mean that you aren't headed for sunshine. Unknown

The storm has passed. It's quiet now. An eerie quiet. As if waiting for the next devastating gust of wind to come and carry away whatever is in its path. Waiting for more tree branches and debris thrown to the ground, for more flooding with homes and lives destroyed. I wait. But the storm is gone. And now everything bravely comes alive again. I know as I watch critters work with nature to recover and rebuild their lives.

I know from the sound of birds calling to each other from their secret places where they found refuge. I hear their happy whistles and chirping, now free to do what birds do--gloriously spread their wings to join others in search of new horizons and rebuild their nests for new families to replace those lost in the storm.

I know from squirrels running up and down and hopping over wet branches planning their next adventure. Calling to each other, chattering and flipping their tails in happy pursuit of food perhaps thrown to the rain soaked earth by heavy winds. Happy sounds of creatures.

I know from lizards scurrying about, or peeking out from under drain pipes to find a dry spot to survey the territory. Their mouths snapping open and shut, and their heads bobbing back and forth frantically pursuing their next move. Lost in this new dry world, with maybe no memory of where they were or what they were doing when the storm ran them for shelter.

And I know from the way my own heart jumps as I feel the sun's warmth on my bare arms; and breathe in the smell of crisp air washed clean by heavy rains; and watch bright sparkling sunbeams dancing on grateful plants reaching up with outstretched arms. The clouds are gone, and the sky is as clear as DeLeon Springs where I swam growing up. I smile at nature coming alive, venturing out. Each to its own identity, being what they are when the storm has passed, and a new day arrives to begin again. What a world to behold.

When I experience one of those storms, I think of the human storms that arise within each of us when our calm lives are turned upside down. Our feelings are much like the qualities found in the storms of nature. In one of your own life storms you may experience a rain of tears over a painful loss; or feel you've been caught up in a cruel tornado tossing your life in a hundred directions; or you're out of breath treading water, and going deeper all the time; or a belief you've held your whole life suddenly toppling to the ground.

Be encouraged...Not every storm is a disaster. Some are simply cleansing moments. Gregory Prince

When you're hit by a life storm, you can do whatever you can to change its course, or you can ride it out. And one way or another, your storm will pass. But until it does, a positive attitude is necessary. Storms may stall, as nature's storms do, so watch for signs that it's still moving out. There's less turmoil, your stress level is dropping, each day becomes a little easier. And it has given you a lesson and made you stronger.

Remember to play after every storm. Mattie Stepanek

After the storm passes, don't be satisfied with just knowing the storm is gone. Walk in the sunshine and smile at the critters. And take time to nurture and care for yourself. Then focus on rebuilding, and use what you've learned to make your life better than before. Is there debris from the past you can release now? Did your storm reveal strengths you didn't know you had? Explore and set your sights on a new tomorrow.

As each day passes, look for positive changes, and make new discoveries about yourself. You may be surprised at what you'll find as a result of experiencing the storm.

I wish you a peaceful heart and new tomorrows.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Dealing With Hard Times, And What To Do When They Hang Around Too Long

Hello. Sorry I missed last week. Computer trouble. Now I can't get images to attach to my posts. I think I need to take a lesson from this week's subject. Hard times are hard teachers, but they're part of growing in our potential. Blessings.

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. Vernon Saunders Law

Everyone experiences hard times, and they run the gamut from a hang nail to a devastating situation, depending upon who's doing the interpretation. Roget's International Thesaurus notes descriptions such as dilemma, complication, misfortune, catastrophe, disaster, and many more.

What's interpreted as a hard time is unique to each person. And this depends upon each one's past experiences and their ability to deal with problems. A crisis to one person may be a snap to another. So to me, hard times are whatever feels like hard times to you.

Those challenges are part of the package, and we can't live without them. But when one happens to you, do you ever ask yourself why? What brings them into our life? Some stem from outer situations, while others may be our own doing. Or their presence could be just the difference between opportunities or handicaps, help or going-it-alone, or the belief system we formed from childhood messages. But whatever the reason, they can be difficult to get through.

For some, hard times come through lack vs abundance in their environment. In many deprived countries, and some areas in our own country, there are those who spend their whole lives trying to survive. There are always a few who rise above it, but for most of them it doesn't end. And believe it or not, the majority are not lazy, good-for-nothings. They're born into adverse conditions and will never have a way out.

Others even attribute their hard times to superstitions or karma. And there's nothing they can do short of finding a guru to release them from whatever's got a hold on them. So everything becomes a crisis and hangs on for a long time.

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. C. S. Lewis

Most of us are just ordinary people tending to our work, relationships, finances, health, spirituality, various commitments, etc. And we move along through life. Then adversity enters and knocks us side ways. We see it, we know what's going on. But sometimes we get so consumed with the problem we don't question the reason it's there. And that reason could be an important lesson.

The hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs the most. Kelly Cutrone

We come into this life with missions to learn, grow, serve, identify and use our gifts, and express our God given potential. Fulfilling these missions means dealing with hard times. So how can you deal with them and shorten their time, so you can fulfill your potential in a happy life?

Non-Resistance: Usually when a challenge first appears, we just want it to go away, so we respond with resistance. But the more you resist, the stronger the challenge becomes, and it's not going anywhere. So you need to set a healthier approach from the beginning.
Acceptance: Here acceptance means that you acknowledge the presence of a challenge--it is what it is--and you will do everything you can to resolve it. It may take a while, but you accept that you are patient, strong, and capable.
Clarify: Clarify the main problem, and be specific with a plan. You may need plan a, b, c, etc. Ask if there's a lesson in it for you, and listen for answers and guidance. You may not hear anything at first, but stay alert.
Action: Begin your plan with confidence and reassurance. And get help if you need it. Give it your best, don't drag your feet, and be patient.

When we are no longer able to change a situation; we are challenged to change ourselves. A Teacher

If hard times hang on, in spite of your efforts, it could be for one of two reasons.

First: As Pema Chodron says, "Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know." What? A useful message? A lesson? Listen for an answer
Second: What is there within you that may need changing? See yourself with mind and heart, and make whatever changes. Know that you can live with that hard time in peace with yourself and the challenge. A happy life is worth it.

I wish you many sunshiny days.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Starting Over And Leaving Something Behind

One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure. William Feather

Starting over means different things to different people. What does starting over mean to you...some monumental, life changing, fearful transformation in your miserable life? It may be all of that...but not necessarily. Starting over can be involved in any number of scenarios from minor to serious, depending upon the situation and your ability to take action.

We start over dozens of times every day and don't even know we're doing it. You're looking for the cereal aisle in the grocery store and take a wrong turn. Start over. You take the wrong book off the shelf, put it back, and start over. It can be as simple as changing your mind about something...anything. Some call it going back to square one. So we have a lot of practice starting over in non-threatening situations where the consequences are not life changing.

The only way around is through. Robert Frost

But some situations are thrust upon you, like loss of a job, a loved one, money, your health, an important relationship, etc. It might even involve a broken heart you think will never heal. You didn't cause any of it to happen, and you can delude yourself into thinking it didn't happen. But you know it did. And if you want to survive, you have to get through it. You have to do something. You have to get up and start over.

And suddenly you just know it's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginning. Meister Eckhart.

Sometimes the choice to start over is one you make within yourself to move from the status quo to a different path, like choosing the marry, move to another city, pursue a dream, etc. But it all involves starting over from your own conscious desires or being given a new direction. You may have a restless feeling inside, like there's something you need to do, but you don't yet know what it is. Years ago, I was working as a waitress, and for a long time I had that feeling. Then one day at work I heard a voice in my head say, "You have to work in the mental health field." I was totally flabbergasted by that bizarre idea. I knew nothing about it, and had no credentials for such an endeavor. But it kept pushing me. So I moved to a new path and started over. I was scared, but I went back to school, and ended up working many happy years in the mental health field. You will know when it's time to change the path you're on and choose a new one. 

You don't need a new day to start over. You only need a new mindset. Hazel Hira Ozbek

No matter what the reason for change, there may be some confusion, fear of the unknown, lack of confidence in your own ability, a situation that seems impossible, anything that could hold you back. If this happens, accept those feelings as quite normal, clear your mind, and begin moving forward with a new beginning. If you need emotional help, find someone you trust for help and, friend, counselor. It's wise anyway to voice your thoughts and feelings. This helps clarify your situation and give you the confidence you need. If you're in a situation that can't be changed, you don't have to be controlled by it. It's part of your life, but not all of your life. Your task now is to put some emotional space between you and the situation, and add something new in your life just for you.

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Arthur Ashe

Starting over always involves letting go of something and embracing something new. What is there you no longer want or need in your life? What are you ready to release? Write down where you've been, where you are now, and where you want to go...and what you'll need to get there. Then begin releasing what you don't want, and start over on your new path. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. You have the ability to create whatever you want. Go for it.

I wish you happy days ahead.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Relationships. You Can't Find Bread In A Hardware Store

We all have different gifts, so we all have different ways of saying to the world who we are. Fred Rogers

If I asked you how well you know each person among your family and friends, you'd probably say you know them very well. After all, you've known them for years, and you can usually...usually...predict how they will think, feel, or act in various circumstances. But sometimes a situation arises between people that brings about a new perspective in how well they really know each other.

A few years ago, I felt very depressed over a situation for which there was no immediate resolution. I knew how to resolve the problem, but the depression was robbing me of stamina I needed to move forward with it. So I went to see two friends for emotional support to help me through it. I told them about my depression, but their reply told me they'd not really heard me. The wife began telling me how to fix the problem, which I already knew, and the husband came back with a totally unrelated problem of his.

Confusion is the first step toward clarity. Syd Field

I went home feeling unimportant, invalidated and confused, worse than when I reached out for help. I knew my friends cared about me. Why had our meeting not brought the help I needed? I had to gain some understanding and clarity for this situation. So I asked my Minister for feedback, and I learned an important lesson.

Different people have different duties assigned to them by Nature; Nature has given one the power or the desire to do this, the other that. Each bird must sing with his own throat. Henrik Ibsen

She explained that we've all been given certain gifts, or talents, we use to help others, and not all people are good listeners. But each is important. There are fixers, caretakers, and doers, and some offer humor, knowledge, patience, understanding and compassion, while others give good directions, etc. So when we need help, we must go to whoever has the talent we need rather than someone who can't help us. And be ready to share our own talents with others in need.

In the past, I had not noticed anyone with their particular talents in mind. They were just my dear family and friends. Now each relationship has expanded with new dimensions and new ways to relate to them. We've actually been sharing more than I had realized, and our relationships are more meaningful.

Maybe you've experienced times when you kept going back to the same place for help, but kept coming away confused and empty. The door was closed, and you didn't understand. It wasn't that someone didn't love you. They just didn't have the talent you needed, and couldn't help you. How much easier it would have been for both of you, had you known where to find the open door.

I can do thins you cannot; you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things. Mother Teresa

We take so much for granted in relationships that we can actually miss parts of the other person's personality, and can misjudge some of their actions. How often do you look at a family member or friend with your own mind so preoccupied, you can't really see them at that moment? And that moment might be very meaningful.

When you're with someone, take time to really look at them with different eyes. Notice what you haven't seen before. Feel their presence. Acknowledge who and what they are to you. What's different and special about them? What makes them unique? And if you see something you don't like, that's okay. Accept the whole person, and let it be. Don't judge.

This may seem like a tall order, and one you don't need to do or have time for. But it will break down the doors of communication, and you'll know how to be there for someone else, and who has the bread when you need help. And the better you know and understand the people in your life, the more fulfilling and meaningful each relationship will be.

I wish you clear vision and a happy journey.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Your Thoughts Direct The Quality Of Your Life. What Are You Thinking?

Listen when your body whispers to you, so you don't have to hear it scream. Unknown

Every day we're faced with stressful situations, minor to life changing. And we've been given a mind to guide us to positive outcomes. But we don't always listen to the part of our mind that's divinely tuned in to truth. We listen to the confused rattle of our human thinking, and allow our thoughts to keep us stuck in situations we don't want. But whatever the situation, if we're aware, there's usually a reminder to lead us back to where we need to be.

Recently, I went to my physical therapy session, and noticed a message on the wall. It said, "The body achieves what the mind believes." Aha. I know that. And so do most of you. But when you're in pain, and you see no way out, it's easy to forget. We just leave everything up to the doctors and whatever they prescribe with a 'one size fits all' attitude.

Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live. Jim Rahn

I'm struggling with an 8 month old injury to my side and back, and I never once remembered the power my thoughts have over my body. I've just plugged along every day wondering when I'll finally recover and the pain will stop. No positive thoughts there--just ain't it awful--until I was reminded to examine what my mind believes about my health.

It's easy to forget that every issue in your life is a reflection of your thoughts. And maybe your thoughts are in the wrong place. A few years ago I was facing a nagging problem believing I had to resolve it, me alone, or it would not get resolved. Well, I'd done everything I could think of, and nothing changed. Then one day I was standing outside looking up at the sky, feeling very inadequate and frustrated when I heard a voice in my head (no, I'm not crazy) saying, "Leave the orchestration to God. He/She knows the music." Wow. 

I realized then that some situations, like relationships or work, require more than my efforts, and I could not change everything myself. I actually got in my own way with my worry and fretting. So I stepped back and took a breath, did what was mine to do, and the rest easily came together. By the way, I told my dentist about what I'd heard, and he made a plaque for his desk with those words on it.

You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be. Marianne Williamson

Some situations in life such as any kind of personal loss cannot be changed. They are what they are. But they don't have to destroy you. I know someone who's wheelchair bound with multiple sclerosis, and at first she was devastated. But she changed her thinking and found peace. Now she is remarkable. A friend takes her to lunch every week, she and a neighbor 'walk and roll' around their neighborhood every day, she does light chores around the house, she and her husband are active in the children's program in their church, etc, etc. And she always has a smile for everyone.

Clear your mind of can't. Samuel Johnson

Every once in a while look around and see what you have created in your life. And if there's something that needs attention, examine your thoughts about it, and correct your thinking if necessary. It's important to believe in yourself and your ability to choose sound options for change. Ask for help when you need it, but think about what's yours to do, and do it. And don't forget to include and maintain hope and faith in the process. They will keep you moving forward. Move through each day in a state of awareness, and you'll see your life unfold in miraculous ways.

I wish you good thoughts and a happy life.