I was reading a wonderful article in my “Country Garden” magazine by Margaret Roach called “Sparrows.”
It wasn’t the particular title that caught my eye although I do love sparrows. It was the quote she wrote below it: “A busy life with a long to-do-list means some of the smallest things go unnoticed–but those small things can teach us big lessons.”
Sometimes I can’t even get to the task at hand because I’m too busy putting things on my to-do-list. Then onto the business of figuring out how I’m going to get them all done.
She goes on in the article to say; “If I could only slow down and be still someday, I’d (—-fill in the blank).” And I’m thinking to myself, I’m retired. I don’t have to do this or that if I don’t really want to. As a matter of fact I’m the one who writes about being in the moment all the time.
Sometimes having a snowy day where we can’t do much of anything else gives us the opportunity to slow down and ask ourselves that very question, what could I do?
I picked my magazine up because I’d been wanting to read it for a while. I opened it to this article first thing, and in this small gesture I got a reminder lesson on the more important things in life. All we have exist within our untamed moments, and if we’re too busy cluttering our thoughts with things to do later, we miss out on what life has to show and offer us…in the now.
Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” -Pema Chodron
I love painting pictures with my words. It starts when I’m trying to figure something out. I visualize what I’m thinking in an animated or metaphoric way that helps me make sense of it. So, what is my carpet bag of baggage?
It’s a rug big enough to fit all the stuff I’ve collect along the various journeys of my-life. It’s an ugly carpet, full of untruths, most of them having to do with my self-esteem. It’s all tied together with the black rope of fear. I’m so used to carrying it around that I don’t even feel how much it’s weighing me down most of the time. It’s in those moments when I’m paying attention to life that it falls off my shoulder. It’s a wonderful feeling as if I’ve sucked in some helium and I’m floating right above the ground. And I wonder why it can’t be like this all the time.
When the black rope of fear sees me happy it starts to untie itself around the carpet. Moving like a snake. Fear knows I’m afraid of snakes. It’s the way it gets my attention. As the carpet bag begins to slowly open all the dreadful demeaning voices jump around shouting me, me, me pick me. All it takes is for me to believe one demeaning thought of worthiness, and I’ll find myself standing upon the rug that fear uses, to pull the joy right out from under me.
But I’m seeing a little clearer now. They say, you have to see what needs changed, before you can change it. As the quote says about, “nothing goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” I’m learning one thing for sure, that as big as fear looks, what lies on the other side of it is majestic.
“It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”
-William Ernest Henley, “Invictus”
And God is the compass that points the way.
It’s up to me
which way I sail,
Which way I go
Is where I’ll be.
Sometimes I feel
Alone at sea.
Inside of me.
I look for an answer
A narrow telescope.
There is nothing in sight
But a seagull
Why do I forget
Its easy to see.
It can’t get lost,
For its inside of me.
I am after all
Of my soul,
But it’s the compass
That shows me
Way to go.
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.
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.
One of my daughters called recently to see how I’ve been doing. As we talked and I shared how difficult my recovery has been. I began to hear an echo of my own words coming out of her mouth. My spirits were lifted not only by her words of encouragement, but the fact that the very same words I’d said to her had so resonated that she was now feeding them back to me. A true gift for any parent to receive. But it didn’t end there. She was trying to find ways I could cheer myself up looking toward the end results of my recovery. So she encouraged me to plant some spring bulbs inside and as they grow I could see my own growth along the way anticipating the end result that blossom with hard work and time.
Sometimes those of us who try to inspire others, need to step back and let others inspire us. Thank you!
Digital art by Jennifer Woodward
This month of November has been a challenge for me. However, I’ve learned a lot of good things about myself along the way. One being that I still have the ability to organize, and multitask in a short amount of time. I honestly am not sure I could have handled this if not for the people in my life who remind me what I need to know when I can’t see it for myself. It has been a true practice of putting into affect what I believe, live by, and share in my daily postings. My most importantly task has been making sure my grandchildren each have their gifts to open on Christmas Eve. Why all this fuse? Because I’m going in for knee replacement surgery this Tuesday, and I’ll be kind of limited as to what I can do for a while.
One of the best helps through all the shopping, our vacation and thanksgiving has been a book my friend JoAnn has shared with me called “Preparing for Surgery, Heal Faster,” by Peggy Huddleston. It comes with a meditation CD that I’ve listened to twice a day for the past month. It has given me the physical, emotional, and spiritual encouragement to do what I’ve needed to up to this point.
Now that the time is approaching and there is not much left to distract me. The reality of my surgery comes swooping into my psyche. I’m not going to pretend that there isn’t a bit of fear and apprehension. However, the practice I’ve had this month keeping my stress level at bay is helping me to change my thoughts from fear to faith as I focus on the quality of life this procedure will provide for me.
One of the last things the book encourages me to do is asking for others to pray and think positively for me especially on Tuesday. All that wonderful prayerful positive energy gathered together the last time I had surgery truly made me feel peaceful going into it. I greatly appreciate it in advance. I end this post with the positive words of a friend from my last surgery, “I’ll see you on the other side of this.” 🙏
Today is a good day all things considered. I owe it to God who is always whispering in my ear the things I need to hear. I am grateful to God of course, but also to myself for turning down the volume on my troubled chatter long enough to hear Him. I’m also grateful for my friends, family and fellow bloggers who are always inspiring me in one way or the other. There is gratitude all around us if we take the time to look beyond the negative. I see more things to be grateful for then that which tends to pull me down. It’s truly the best medicine, and it’s not even something I have to swallow it’s already inside me. All I have to do is tap into it.
Keep your hope anchored in God so you don’t drift into doubt. -Joel Osteen
It’s hard to keep hoping when things keep going wrong, but when we drift into doubt we tend to get our anchor stuck in its mud. There is nothing productive that comes from doubt. It robs us of our faith, and the life we have to live. If we believe that anything is possible through God. Then we must see in our minds what we want, think it, and realize it, and keep it at the forefront of our thoughts so that nothing gets in the way of that hope. If we look at our hope through God’s eyes, we are better able to see His plan for us. As we trust in that knowledge there is a wonderful sense of comfort that comes over us. He will never leave us. He is always with us, and no matter what we’re going through, He will be with us all the way.