Monthly Archives: January 2017

“My Bucket of Water”

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What happens when you rub two sticks together? It creates friction, and that friction creates fire. You build the fire by adding sticks and once it takes off your ready for the logs. The more logs you throw on the bigger it gets. That’s what happens with our negative outlooks. Each person throwing another log on the fire only makes the fire burn out of control.

As I wonder what to write about in the heat of all the turmoil going on in our country, I feel as if I’m up against a big bonfire that’s out of control. Where does an optimist fit into all this and what do I have to offer, but a bucket of water. Even though It’s not enough to put the fire out, I have to believe that by being true to my nature maybe, just maybe, my bucket of water can slow it down a little.  

“Optimism gives us bread crumbs of hope. Whether they lead to a rainbow is not the point. What matters is that we are given enough crumbs to keep going.” -Martin Seligmam*

Pessimism has already tried to rob me of my optimistic outlook on life. When I ask myself, how I could let this happen I’m able to see the fear, helplessness and lack of control I’ve let overwhelm me. It’s really not easy to be an optimistic, it takes a lot of work to remain positive in a negative situation. So I have to look beneath the troubles to remind myself of what I do have control of. Than I have to stop feeding the fire with my own thoughts by watching what I let seep into my mind, and slip out of my mouth.

We need all kinds of people to make the world a better place. Being true to myself I ask how can I help. Certainly not by burying my head in the sand. Everyone should be informed as to what’s going on in the world. It’s the amount of attention I give it, that makes or breaks my optimism. So working at being true to myself and giving hope beneath the misery, that’s my work. For what would be left to hold onto if we stop believing in what hope has to offer. I have a lot of work to do as I brush away all the residue that still hangs on. It won’t be easy with the controversy playing out everywhere I go. So I have to dig a little deeper, hang on to that hope and share where it takes me.

* “Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life” by Dr. Martin Seligman, a renowned psychologist.

 

“THE MAGIC BANK ACCOUNT”

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Photo by Pixabay

I recently celebrated another birthday. “Celebrate” that’s the key word here. However, as I get older, it isn’t the number that bothers me as much as the time I have left between now and the finish line. I feel like I’m running out of time, and I still have a lot I want to do. So instead of whining about it, I kind of look at it as a chance to reevaluate what is important to me. Everything looks overwhelming if we look at the big picture, and all that does is take away from what I have right in front of me “Now”.

A couple I know, who are a great example of how to enjoy life to it’s the fullest, sent me this interesting reading that put everything into perspective for me. I hope it opens your eyes as much as it did mine.

 THE AUTHOR IS NOT KNOWN. IT WAS FOUND IN THE BILLFOLD OF COACH PAUL BEAR BRYANT, ALABAMA, AFTER HE DIED IN 1982

THE MAGIC BANK ACCOUNT

Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has Rules:

The set of Rules:

1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.

2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.

3. You may only spend It.

4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with    another $86,400 for that day.

5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time, it can say, “Game Over!” It can close the account, and you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally do?

You would buy anything and everything you wanted, right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself – right?

You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?

THIS GAME IS REAL!

Shocked??? Yes!!!

Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*.

We just can’t seem to see it.

The PRIZE is “TIME”

1. Each morning we awaken to Receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of Life.

2. And when we go to sleep at Night, any remaining time is Not credited to us.

3. What we haven’t used up that Day is forever lost.

4. Yesterday is forever Gone.

5. Each morning the account is Refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING…SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?

Those seconds are worth so much More than the same amount in dollars.  Think about it and remember to Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than You think.

So, take care of yourself, be Happy, love deeply and enjoy life!

Here’s wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day.

Start spending….

“DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT GROWING OLD

SOME PEOPLE DON’T GET THE PRIVILEGE!”

 

“Self-Worth”

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Lately the subject on “self-worth” has popped up in a few things I’ve read. It’s a subject close to my heart because I grew up believing that I was a mistake or reject from heaven, and that God forgot to give me what everyone else seemed to have…love. How do you have self-worth without a sense of self-love. I was lucky to meet someone who saw something special in me, my husband. He loved me enough for the both of us. While I couldn’t understand what he saw in me that was so lovable, eventually I was able to see it through his eyes. Something inside me began to change as my faith grew.  I awakened to a whole new understanding that God made each of us unique, and there was no one else in the world like me. That made me feel pretty special. Still I had to unlearn so much of what I’d grown up believing about myself. Mark Nepo, one of my favorite authors says, “I’ve learned that loving yourself requires a courage unlike any other. It requires us to believe in and stay loyal to something no one else can see that keeps us in the world—our own self-worth.” *1

Anita Moorjani reiterates this same idea when she experienced her dramatic near-death experience. She shares what she heard clearly before coming back: “Your only work is to love yourself, value yourself and embody this truth of self-worth and self-love so that you can be love in action. That is true service, to yourself and to those who surround you.” The message continues with her, and she explains that by not loving ourselves, we are denying the part of God that expresses itself through us. *2

As Nepo says, that learning to love ourselves requires courage like none other because it seems to go against just about everything we’ve learned. But think about it, how can we be the expression of God’s love to others, if we don’t see that it is God himself who desires to shine that love through us? Hum! Now that’s something worth to ponder on.

*1 “The Book Of Awakening” by Mark Nepo page29

*2 “What If This Is Heaven?” by Anita Moorjani

“My Adventurous Day”

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“There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a mircale.
-Albert Einstein

Being very excited to set out on my own this morning, I planned my first trip to the grocery store by myself since my knee surgery. Today marks going into my 8th week. I’m still having trouble walking correctly, but also know I need the practice. Having the cart to hold onto and taking my time…no problem! I think to myself.

As soon as I get out of the car my mind is way ahead of me trying to push me faster then I can move. By the time I get from my car into the store I’m feeling as if I’ve gone far enough. But with determination I push myself because that’s what I think I have to do. Now I have to go from one end of the store to the other even though I don’t need that much. I get halfway through the store and I can feel my leg starting to cramp. I find a bench and sit for a few minutes. It’s funny how close things look but how far out reach they seem to be when you walk like a turtle.

I finally worked my way down a long aisle toward the checkout. Get in line and empty my basket. Than look on wondering what the hold up is. The lady in front of me has food stamps and about every four items the cashier rings her up separately filling out checks, scanning her Welfare card, and her Giant card going through the same process 5 times. I’m dying now in line wanting to scream that this is a handicap checkout and I’m in pain, but I didn’t because I’m too frigging nice for my own good. I finally check out. Make my way back to the car, head home and the worry begins to play in my mind. Why I am I having such a hard time? What if something went wrong with the procedure? What if I need surgery all over again? I pull into the garage and slowly make my way into the house. I go straight to the freezer. Throw my coat off. Head for my recliner and put my leg up. Than I start to cry. After I get it all out. Talk to Tom and calm down. I’m able to look back and remember how far I’ve actually come. As I’m thinking this, I’m reminded of how relevant my experience is to my daily reading as Mark Nepo says, “Being human, we struggle constantly to stay with the miracle of what is, and not to fall constantly into the hole of what is not.”*

And so the lesson of the day has been learned. Now that’s an accomplishment!

*”The Book of Awakening” Mark Nepo

“The Giant Lady and The Baby Spider” -a lesson in all lives matter

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Photo from Anxaid.

Baby spider stood proudly looking up at the Daddy-long-legs surrounding him and proceeded to tell his story. “There I was,” he said, “exploring the world of the Giants for the first time, walking innocently across the floor when I stepped onto a bright soft surface. I could hear the rumble of the floor getting closer and closer stopping me in my tracks. There she was towering over me as I looked all the way up meeting her eyes.

“ Ohhhhh…the Daddies cried out in surprise as they listened.”

“How could you survive such a confrontation?” one of the Daddies called out.

“Even our most experienced Daddies, could have never survived such a vulnerable situation without the big foot coming down them,” another Daddy chimed in.

“The strangest thing happened as she suddenly started to scream. Her feet jumped up and down so fast I couldn’t tell one from the other. Her hands flew up covering her eyes than everything became quiet as I waited for her next move. Two fingers spread apart and I could see one eye looking down at me.

“Ah ha ha ha ha ha,” the Daddies roared out in laughter.

“I realized in that moment…that she was as scared of me as I was her.”

“What did she do?”

“How did you get away?”

“How did you live to tell us this story?” The Daddies called out.

“She picked the cloth up and hung it on a peg. While I remained hidden in its folds she whispered to me, “this is your lucky day baby spider because I have chosen to respond rather than react,” she said to me.

“What do you suppose she meant by that?” the Daddies talked among themselves.

The wisest of all the Daddies stepped forward standing over the baby spider, and said, “it is anger, fear and misunderstanding that makes us react to unfamiliar things. If the giant lady hadn’t stopped to think about how silly she was acting she would have easily reacted by stomping down on the little guy. But when she took a moment to evaluate the situation it gave her enough pause to respond in a way that was more in line with her own truth.”

“What do you suppose that truth is?” Asked one of the Daddies.

It was the baby spider that answered this time, “I learned a great lesson today. That no matter how big or small you are we all have fears of the unknown, and it’s what we do with our fear that determines the outcome of our action. I believe that the truth in her heart was that even though we are very different in many ways she remembered in that moment that all lives matter.”

“Where Is The Joy”

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Even in times of trouble, when we’re sad and blue. Joy can be found under the rug of gratitude. There is always something to be grateful for. There’s breathing in air, hands to pick things up, feet to carry us where we want to go, a nose to smell the flowers, eyes to see the rainbows, ears to hear the heartbeat of the one we love, a brain that holds our most precious memories. We don’t have to be rich or poor to find the things that give us the ability to experience joy. It’s right under our nose. If you can’t find it there look a little deeper maybe you’ll find it hidden under a rug.

“Anything Is Possible Through God”

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As I sit in contemplation and prayer today, the beginning of the inauguration has already been set in action. I find that I am unable to enter into proper prayer and connection with the God I so desire to be one with without first laying aside my own feelings of anger and pride. It is hypocritical of how I try to live my life daily working to see the better good in everyone. Trump has continued to make that difficult, but today I put my faith and hope in the power God can do to change our ways. My prayer is that he has a change of heart in how he goes about things, and he sees the responsibility he has that affects every level of our county from our children to the world itself. I hold my hope in the famous words…that anything is possible through God.

An important note: I do not say this in support of any party. I am not conservative or a liberal. I base my decisions on what reflects the better good of all. Some might say that makes me a socialist. I say, if that’s what you think than what does that make God who wants nothing less. No labels please only know I speck out as one wanting to move on. There is much work to do yet, let’s do it through the grace of God.

“Start From Now”- A follow-up from yesterday’s post

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This is a follow-up from yesterday’s post. “Start from Now.” I was asked for a source of where it came from and as I wrote the answer it got me thinking about how important it is to share with everyone.

It’s a phrase my Dad often said to me when I found myself discouraged by the choices I made or the circumstances I found myself in. I figured he got it from one of the many inspirational books he’d read, but since I was asked I decided to google it. There are many different references to the same idea but none that are specific to these 3 words. It was found within the quote written by Carl Bard. (see the photo attached.)

Many already known the story I wrote a few years ago, about how I found these words written on a yellow sticky note stuck to the inside door of my Dad’s medicine cabinet. Something he couldn’t miss each morning as he began his day shaving.  What many people don’t know is that he was a recovering alcoholic who had been sober for about the last 25 years of his life before he died at 79. Just because alcoholic’s stop drinking for long period doesn’t mean that the urge to drink goes away. It was a decision he had to make daily, sometimes several times a day. He found a way to take each moment and start anew because the other alternative would play on his mind, and he knew he couldn’t go there.  He also learned to apply it to many other areas life.

These 3 words for me are not just words of feel good fluff. I don’t share anything I myself don’t use in my own life. One thing I will say is that starting from now is not for sissies. It is hard work. Moving past the things in my life that drag me down feels like my own personal addiction to overcome. I’ve shared this quote with friends going through their own struggles. My friend Donna used it daily as she fought her way through cancer, and when she was too overcome by her condition her husband reminded her to take one step at a time…starting from now. Even through my own illness this past year and my surgeries where I felt stuck in limbo bringing myself back to the now reminded me that I was still alive, and that each day is a gift worth living no matter how I feel. Nobody said it was easy. The choice is there. I can choose to make the best of where I’m at each day or choose not to. Starting from now is just a formula to begin with…the rest is up to us.

“Start From Now”

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Forget about the past,
don’t even look to the future,
all we have is today,
So start from now.

Do you ever have the kind of day where you didn’t do anything you wanted to? You just let it slip away from you, than startled to beat yourself up for it? Wherever you are right now is a new beginning.

So pick yourself up,
brush yourself off,
Start all over again.

What are you waiting for
Start from now!