“The Freedom to Be Me”
America, the land of the free. Who wouldn’t want to live in a country where they could say, “I’m free to be me?” Is that not why our own ancestors came to this country in the first place? To live their lives in a way that would fulfill their potential and personal calling from God? But freedom is not merely entitled to those who come to America. The source of freedom was given to us by God from the very beginning when he created us in likeness. He taught and continues to guide us through his example. That through our thoughts, words, and actions we create the world we live in, the country, the family all the way down to ourselves. Freedom is not just a word. It is nothing without choice. That choice is like the stone you toss into the still waters, it creates a ripple effect and touches everything around you. So, while the freedom to be me is a beautiful God-given gift. It also comes with a great responsibility not just to the people around me but to this great big wonderful world I live in. The real power of freedom begins with you and me right where we find ourselves…now. So, on this special day of freedom and independence maybe we could all take a moment to pause and ask ourselves, am I adding to the better-good of all through my thoughts words and actions? Or could I make a new commitment on this 4th of July to do the best I can to forgive and love one another as God first loved us? I’m in! How about you?
I went to great length on Sunday to plan out my week. It’s the only way I can get the things I want done. I got up as planned and wrote for two hours. Got dressed so I could walk Lucy after I ate. While I was making my smoothie, it splattered all over me and the kitchen. I stood there; you know the way you do when time stands still, and you’re not sure if you want to scream or cry. I remembered how it was when my kids were little, and they’d drop milk on the floor all the time. I came to repeat the quote “That there’s no use in crying over spilled milk.” What’s done is done, and the only thing left to do is clean it up. As I was eating, I remembered a quote I read the other day. “Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” -St Francis de Sales
As I headed out the door to walk Lucy, I ran into my neighbor. She has a one year and is expecting her second child. The baby she’s carrying has some severe problems that will require surgeries as soon as it’s born. She and her husband have a lot of faith, and they’re trusting in God’s will. Instead of going on about herself she wanted to know how I was doing. She is living the words of St. Francis de Sales. She wasn’t going to let anything take her inner peace away, and yet she has every right to feel as if her whole world is upset.
As I proceed to walk on with Lucy, I thought how the unplanned things find a way of eating up our time. My well-planned morning wasn’t going as I’d anticipated. Yet, it’s those unforeseen things that remind us what’s important. That where we find ourselves is often where we’re supposed to be and what matters is being mindful of what those moments have to teach us. It’s in the space between the moments that we catch a glimpse of God. And grace fills us from our head to our toes with its everlasting peace. It’s where we find our caring heart too that makes us want to reach out and ask, what can I do for my neighbor today?
“‘A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make a new tree.”-Amelia Earhart
What a beautiful thought and visual of what one act of kindness can create. But it takes a moment of deep contemplation to see the vastness of its growth and potential.
On the other side of this is the act of meanness. A single act of meanness throws out roots in all directions as well, and the roots spring up and make a new tree.
The roots begin with the seeds of our daily thoughts. Those thoughts start from the moment we awaken each morning. That’s why it’s so important to take a few moments to reconnect with that beautiful source of Divinity (God) that exist within each of us. We have to act quickly because the ego often gets in the way first. And before we know it we’re in automatic mood going through our day never taking the time to think about the seeds we’re planting, and the roots were spreading along the way.
We have to keep in mind that if we want a better world, it has to begin with every action we take. If you don’t know where to start, then join me with one simply act of kindness today. Think of all the beautiful trees we’ll grow together.
Today is International day of peace
I should change the name of my blog to “Flower Girl,” because I do love spreading peace. The thing is I want to be taken serious when I talk about it, and the flower girl tends to be looked at…as having no-clue. My brother told me not long ago that I always reminded him of Janis Joplin. I have no idea where he got that impression except I had a tougher edge to me when I was a teen. I needed that in order to survive the world I was thrust into. Maybe he was talking more about the way she looked, I don’t know. What I do know is that when caught between our own right and wrongs sometimes letting go of all the hurt and anger they cause us…opens up a space for peace to come in.
I was with a group of ladies the other day taking a yoga class. At the end, I stayed for a group meditation. In the space of time between yoga and meditation the heaviness of the world events was the subject of talk. One of the ladies asked if we could focus on gratitude. I was thinking to myself how much more attention we put on the things that go wrong rather than the many more things that are still right in our life. The beautiful thing about counting our blessings is that we always find more to be grateful for than all the bad things we place our focus on. Letting go allows the peace to come in and when the peace comes in it gives us a healthier outlook on what we can do to help and make the world a better place. We could all aspire to be a little more like St. Francis who not only said, “Let peace begin with me,” but lived it as an example to all of us.
May you have a peace filled day!
As I begin my day I light my spiced pumpkin candle. The light representing the presence of God. The smell awakening my senses and I give thanks for another day to experience what life has to teach and offer me. Then I open my little marble book that holds the names of people who are in need of prayer. I don’t ask God for what he already knows their needs to be. I simple see them as receiving whatever it is that God has to offer them on this day. Then I center myself through meditation and as I concentrate on my breath I can’t help feeling blessed to be alive yet one more day. One breath at a time and nothing else matters except the moment I find myself in. All else stems from this moment of thanks and praise. I breath in wellness and out happiness in and out filling myself with all that is good and right in the world. Remembering that with all that can go wrong there is so much more good to draw from.
May your day be blessed and filled with all your hearts desire.
As I sit with my new journal in hand I pause to look back over a trying 2016 for me, my family, friends, our country, and the world. But instead of carrying the negative, sorrow and pain with me into 2017, I choose to let it go, and as the cover of my journal reads I plan to live the story I want to tell.
Standing before a brand new path I want only to take what I’ve learned and gained from my experience. The only way I know to get beyond the pain and sorry is to look for the good that remains. As always when I sit down to list all that I have to be grateful for, it never fails to show me that there is so much more good in my life than not.
I’m ready and packed for the journey with my positive optimistic bags full. I intend to make the best of each day I’m blessed with, and to continue to learn and grow from the days that bring me difficult paths to climb over.
I hope that your journey this New Year will be blessed, and that you are able to live the storys you want to tell as well.
Happy New Year!
December 24, 2015
A Note from Ollie
“I’m ready for this party to get started!”
“The Grandkids are coming that means I’ll be cleaning up the floor tonight! Can’t wait!”
This popped up on my Facebook timeline this morning, and I lost it. There’s no Ollie this year here, they’ll be no grandkids here for our annuel Christmas Eve celebration because of my condition. I do have a lot to be gratful for though. My family and friends who have done so much in these past few weeks to make things easier for me. And we are still having our celebration at Shannon’s this year as our kids pitch in together to carry on our family traditon. Letting others do things for me is not easy, but has been a good lesson in humility. In turn I’ve been blessed with much grace. I guess the lesson for me is to remember with change comes much pain, and yet beneath it lies the grace that gets us through it.
Merry Christmas and may we all be blessed with a health happy New Year!
Sleeping under the stars
“We’ve never experienced this very moment before, and the next moment will not be the same as the one we are in now.” -Pena Chodron
I’ve been sleeping propped up on the couch for the past few nights since my surgery. Our couch sits up against the big bay window in our living room. As I can only lay on my back to sleep right now it gets a little uncomfortable through the night. At some point I opened my eyes to get resituated, but I couldn’t move because of what I saw. It was as if I was sleeping outside under the stars. The sky was clear, the moon was almost full, and the stars were shining extra bright, at least they looked that way to me. I would have never been able to see this view from inside my house if I hadn’t been laying at the angle I was. It’s funny how one little open door of awareness can open us up to all the things around us we have blocked out. Suddenly I was aware of the cool fresh air coming in the corner windows, and the sounds of the summer night as if in full concert mode. Between the sight, sound and fresh clean air I felt like I’d been given a glimpse of heaven. It was a captured moment in time in which all else was forgotten. There was no pain or discomfort and after a while I fell back to sleep forgetting why I woke up in the first place. Every mindful moment like this seems to build on top of the other for me. Through this whole ordeal I’ve been able to find a way to see something better than my condition, and it’s had an amazing effect on my healing so far. I don’t question anymore where it come from. I know it comes from the grace of God, and all it takes is a moment of awareness to tap into.
I learned a simple beautiful prayer today by Jean Houston that goes like this:
“God let me be a blessing to someone today.”
As I went about this beautiful day, I thought about all the different ways we can do this. It can be as big or as little as the opportunity presents itself to us. I don’t think we have to go out of our way to find things to do. We simply need to be mindful of the opportunities. There’s many ways to be a blessing. Like one friend shared early this morning a beautiful picture of a flower on Facebook with two simple words to contemplate on, “peace and quiet.” It was a seine start to my morning. Someone else got a call very early to help jump a friends car. Without hesitation, fussing or irritation he went, and not only blessed the person, but himself as well for the good feeling it gave him. Another event I witnessed was at the grocery store where someone found several five dollar bills left behind. Instead of pocketing it the person turned the money in to the cashier. Within a matter of seconds the person who lost the money came back to retrieve it. She couldn’t say thank you enough to the person who found it.
As I write this with the inspiration God places in my heart. I realize how others have blessed me today. In return my prayer is answered as it gives me the opportunity to reach out and bless others with my words. It is beautiful when you think about it. God touches one, then that one touches another, and in our blessings we become extensions of God without even realizing the effect it creates.
One of the most amazing things
that can happen is finding someone
who sees everything you are,
and won’t let you be anything less.
They see the potential in you.
They see endless possibilities.
And through their eyes,
you start to see yourself the same way.
As someone who can make a difference in this world.
If you’re lucky enough to find this person,
never let them go.
Sometimes someone like this comes along in your life, and it feels uncomfortable at first. Especially if you have always had a low self esteem and feel unworthy of any kindness. I remember when Tom first came into my life, he was so kind, attentive and caring. I was’t use to having anyone treat me so good, and it felt weird and uncomfortable. I wanted him to go away. I went to visit a friend, and she was the one who pointed out to me that I may have made the biggest mistake of my life. “Sounds like he’s the best things that’s every happen to you,” she said. I was afraid I’d lost him forever. But when the bus pulled into the terminal there he was waiting for me. I jumped into his arms and never let him go again.
I thank my good friend Mary Faith too, who knew me well enough to set me back in the right direction.