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Mindfulness

Webster’s Dictionary defines Mindfulness as: “Having in mind; aware.”

The Google for Mindfulness says:

“mind·ful·ness
ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/
noun
noun: mindfulness
  1. 1.
    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
    “their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
  2. 2.
    a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
     
My favorite is, of course, the latter one. I would also add: “Doing one thing at a time.” We can, in fact, do only one thing at a time, even if one is a good juggler and has a lot of items in the air all at once. At that present moment, it is only one item at a time, even though all items are in movement. That is the art of keeping them in motion.
Life sometimes comes at us so quickly that we actually can get lost in the shuffle: Of feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations, actual events that are occurring in our lives, etc. What then?
The first thing you will notice as you get stressed out is that your breathing has changed: You are breathing from the upper body, leaving the diaphragm out of it altogether. When you notice this, you stop for just a second or two (or a moment or two), take a really, really deep breath.
You will notice that one act alone helps to calm you down. If you do not know how to do that, maybe it is time to look into a yoga class.
Focus is key here. What are you putting your attention towards? Is it a plethora of so many things that you feel like you, personally, must do all of them before the end of the day? That is common in our society, unfortunately. However, it can also, in fact, be a truth. Each person has many roles to play every day. Often the roles overlap and collide, causing a mess, both inside and outside of you. What then?
As we age, we also lose the ability to keep “balls in the air.” We slow down. Our responses are slower. I don’t believe that life is moving faster. It is just that we are moving more slowly.

Your choices are clear: Get on that spinning merry-go-round and keep going until you drop from fatigue, OR STOP, BREATHE, Prioritize, figure out what is number one, do that, and then move on to number two. Anything else leads to insanity and ill health.

Besides, it does not work very well if you just jump on and keep going. Even Type A personalities get tired.

Meditation is taught in so many forms these days. If you need a quiet mind to function at your optimum level (and most people do), even a few moments in the morning before you begin your day is enough. Beauty is everywhere around us. Look for it. Take a few seconds to enjoy it. It just takes Focus and Awareness.

When the tempo of the dance of your life picks up to a pace where you can no longer keep your rhythm, something has to change. You just have to decide what that is. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Flowers – Hibiscus

Autumn, Maroon Bells, CO

Autumn at Multnomah Falls, Oregon

beauty Mt Sneffels, Co

What’s up?

Baby Goslings

 

 

 

Christmas Spirit vs. the Spirit of Christmas

Is it the Christmas Spirit or the Spirit of Christmas? Good question. The answer lies either between your ears or in your heart.

If it lies between your ears, your mind will say, “There is no difference – it is the same thing.”

Your heart will reply quite the opposite, however.

Christmas Spirit defined can include everything from the “Ho! Ho! Ho!” to Christmas Cards to gift giving to one and all. It can include stress caused by many sources, exhaustion from too much to do and too little time to complete tasks, the lack of money, etc. It can be an  endless array of Christmas parties and too little sleep. It can be Christmas gifts put on display in the stores before Halloween and reminders of how many days until Christmas signs everywhere. It can be holiday music, lights, trees, and tinsel every time you look around. Yes, it can be all those things and more, positive and negative, bright and festive, cheap and elegant side by side.

But when you look at the Spirit of Christmas with your heart, you may find many surprises, one of which is the ability to see Beauty in your surroundings. That is because one is aware of time passing, along with a sense of peacefulness (like when floating on an inner tube on a lazy river).

If you are feeling rushed and filled with angst, slow down and take several deep breaths. Focus on just one thing at a time instead of a litany of tasks. Make a list of the tasks and choose just one, get it done, and then move on. Multi-tasking is a possibility if you still focus on just one object, like a person who is spinning plates on top of wooden dowels – touching one plate at a time to keep it spinning.

The Spirit of Christmas is not limited to a specific time frame on a calendar – it is truly an attitude that you can utilize year-round! In this way, one can see so much more clearly what is important vs. what is not so much. For example, you can give a gift from a thankful heart because of how satisfied you are with how well one is doing in lieu of giving out of duty or expectation. Pay attention to the details, one at a time, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of it all. You can enjoy one Christmas card, one gift your receive or give, or one bite at a time of a fantastic meal.

Time will, indeed, flow by regardless of how crazy you make yourself. So why not slow down your responses to exterior (and interior) stimuli? Then you can select the way you react to it instead of wearing yourself out from the inside, reacting vs. acting. Life can become so much more simple if you try this method of selecting a response (Acting) vs. gut level Reacting.

The Spirit of Christmas should nourish your Spirit, creating attitudes of thankfulness and joy. Do you remember that last time when you actually felt JOY? If it has been a long time, some introspection is required to find out when it left, how long it has been gone, and decide what you can do to restore it to your life so you can experience it again on a more regular basis. You may ask why that is important: Because JOY and PEACE are twins – they come and go together.

Peace is more than a word you hear and see during the Christmas Season. It is an attitude and a way of living.  It is something you can cultivate in your life which can begin with learning to  breathe deeply. Take a yoga class or T’ai Chi if needed. In our frenetic world, it is vital to your Spirit because it nourishes you from the inside out. It also simplifies complex situations which crop up all too often. When you feel like you are in a box and cannot get out, it is time to take a truly deep breath and seek the CALM (like that at the center of a wheel in lieu of living on the circumference where you feel like you are being run over).

The Spirit of Christmas is a gift you can give yourself every morning, if you so choose, no matter the time of year. Think about it: Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Image result for Bling Christmas

 

 

Thankfulness

As I contemplate Thankfulness, I realize that it is an optimistic quality. It renders a feeling of lightness and levity. There is no room for pessimism here.

Life itself can give one a sense of heaviness and darkness. Perhaps prayer is not a tool for you to help you get through negative happenings. Another one of the tools – Meditation – to aid in changing consciousness is not thought about as a possibility. Goal orientation is as remote as the moon because “just make it through the day” is on your mind.

How then can one begin to arrive at a better place in mind? Smile! It lifts the spirit. It is a beginning.

Look around you. What are you grateful for? No mater how small, one can find something. Are you breathing? Is your heart beating? Do you have a roof over your head and food for your tummy? Life is in your every cell.

I, for one, am glad that I have so many wonderful friends and loving family members, both immediate and extended. I have once again achieved fairly good health, and I am able to deal with the foibles of this body as it ages. I have so much to be grateful for. I have already written my thank you note to God, expressing my gratitude. Have you? It is a great way to “get in tune” with all that is good in your life, accentuating the blessing and lessening the effects of the trials and tribulations that our existence brings on this “Third Rock from the Sun.”

If you try it, perhaps you will have a new perspective, which you can then expand on as time unfolds for you.

Are you willing? Your efforts can exponentially grow, making tremendous changes possible for you.

Three things to remember as you go forward: Take life day by day; Be grateful for the little things; and Don’t get stressed over what you can’t control.

God’s blessings upon your journey! May it be filled with Life, Peace, Love, Joy, Truth, Beauty, Laughter, Light, and Happiness!

Be grateful Think 3 things 2 b thankful 4 be thankful Be thankful for Life

 

Awareness

As I left Walmart recently, I looked to the east and saw the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen! It was so bright and clear as the sun was setting. Beneath the rainbow was a light blue sky. Above the rainbow was a darker, cloud-filled sky. Above that was a mystery rainbow that was almost there but not quite. What an amazing sight it was! I do wish I had my camera with me so I could capture it, but it was placed instead in my heart, mind, and memory as clearly as if I had taken a picture.

My point is that, if my mind had been busy on some problem, I probably would not have had the Awareness to see the Beauty in my surroundings in that moment of time.

Does your mind play tricks on you as well? We are so caught up in our thought processes that the Present just slips by, unnoticed. I wonder how much Beauty we miss every day?

What if one is so caught up in an electronic gadget that you remain unaware of anything but the screen? That happens more often as the technology produces even greater toys for us to play with.

Awareness and Focus are actually the same thing. How about you? What do you keep in your attention zone? Is it worthwhile? Or is it just entertainment?

While you are experiencing it, are you aware of time passing? You turn around and an hour, day or week have passed you by. Time is something you cannot buy back. Once it is gone, it becomes irretrievable except in your memory.

In short, Awareness is a valuable tool for you to experience your Present. Are you willing to consider this idea?  It is well worth it.

God bless you on your journey!

Life is short - carpe diem

Life is short – carpe diem

 

S — — T Happens!

S — — T Happens! Good Happens. These sayings are both true. We see them on car bumpers and on walls. Have you given them any thought at all? Do you just react to the bad stuff, without analyzing it? When good things happen to you, are you joy-filled? Sometimes, we are reluctant to enjoy that moment because we fear that something worse is just around the corner. Which one are you?

It has been wisely stated that it is not what happens to you that counts – it is how you REACT to what happens. When you get knocked down by incidents in your life, do you get back up again? Or do you “stay down for the count?” Do you nurse your emotional and physical wounds by proclaiming loudly to anyone who will listen to your statements about how bad your life sucks? If you do, you may find few who will listen to your sad tale for long.

It is a very true statement that: “What you think about/emotionalize over multiplies exponentially.” Is that what you want?

The questions then arise, “How can I pick myself up and get on with my life? Do I just pretend nothing happened? How can I change my reaction to the bad stuff?”

Answers can come to you slowly or in a flash. Your answers are personal to you. Awareness is the beginning of change.

Perhaps a class will come to your attention about your particular problem, or maybe a sermon, friend, or magazine will catch your eye. You will have an “AHA!” moment and begin to focus on something else.

Beauty surrounds us in many forms. When I have had very sad times in my life, I found that, if I went outside into nature, I became more peaceful. Bird song and twitters, flowers, walking barefooted in the sand at the edge of the surf, a nice long bath, reading a good book, listening to the breeze rustle the leaves of the trees, etc., enabled me to pick myself up again. In short, just anything that makes you feel better is a key to changing you from feeling like a victim to helping you deal with whatever happened.

Life is not an unending story of happiness. It is just moments of joy that your attention can spread to fill your days. Bad stuff occurs in all of our lives. Again, how you choose to react to what happens will determine if you “let the bitter root grow” in your heart, contaminating every moment of your days OR if you decide to not dwell on it, deal with the repercussions/consequences if there are any, and see where you go from there.

In my own life, I have had tremendous sorrows, many of which I did not think I could endure, from death and injury of loved ones, feelings of separation and loneliness, losses in many forms, etc . I have had many physical challenges over the years which have required physical therapy, pain pills, and medicines. I have had to change my vocation, which I loved. I had to find a way to deal with the pain so that my personality, which is optimistic, would not darken into pessimism. It is a natural flow if one stays with the problem but does not seek a better answer. Luckily, I have found many answers that help me stay optimistic, some of which are listed above.

Each person is different, however. You need to find your own way of dealing with S — — T till you can turn it into fertilizer for new growth.

Are you willing?

God bless you on your journey!

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Surfing Master, Waikiki, HI

Surfing Master, Waikiki, HI

Day Lilies

Day Lilies

Your response makes a difference

 

 

 

 

Are Your Roots Healthy?

When I ask the question, “Are your roots healthy?” – I am referring to your basic thoughts, feelings, and expressions of life. How you are living, the choices you make, what you think about, how stressed you are, etc., all form the background of every minute of every day of your life.

Are you so concerned about what others think of you that you never stop to ask that question of yourself?

Roots are just like a plant: Unless you nourish them with your spirit, thoughts, and positive emotions, they can just wither away, drying out and draining you of your life force, every day in every way.

Nourishment occurs when you stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and look for something beautiful in your environment. Beauty brings peace, calmness, serenity, and joy into your life. When was the last time you did this? Do you remember the early morning sunrise or sunset at evening? Did you stop and smell the flowers along your path today? Did you notice a beautiful or unusual bird?

Or are you so busy with the every-day work demands, your families’ needs, soccer practice, making a cake for the bazaar to support your child’s activities,  dancing lessons for your little girl, football practice for your young boy, etc., that you have just gotten lost in the shuffle? You know we have all had our turn at having to perform those requirements.  The bad news is that it can go on for the rest of your life if you let it. You will not have much time to yourself to ponder your personal growth issues. In fact, that may sound like a joke to you as you drop wearily into bed at night.  Whatever you need is at the very bottom because everyone else’s needs/demands/wants  have to come first…or so you may have been taught to think that way, especially if you are a woman with a family or a man providing for same. The daily vicissitudes (wear and tear) of life can exhaust you.

So where do you begin to make a change in the above priorities? It all starts with thinking about it and writing it all down. Once written down, ideas come to mind as you look at the words. Perhaps you can begin to question how important each one is and decide whether or not to keep doing same.

Albert Einstein one said: “The definition of Insanity is to keep doing the same things over again the same way, but expect different results.”

So I am asking you to just step back from your life for a few moments, think, grab a pen and begin writing your observations of yourself/your choices/your life. If you are willing to do that, you are raising your awareness. Awareness of the need for a change is actually the beginning of a new life for you, living more according to your purpose, happier, and more able to actually support the loved ones around you because of your new vision. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Maui Sunrise

Maui Sunrise

Bougainvillea with Palm Trees, early morning Waikiki

Bougainvillea with Palm Trees, early morning Waikiki

Red-Crested Cardinal - Beautiful Bird on Oahu, Hawaii

Red-Crested Cardinal – Beautiful Bird on Oahu, Hawaii

 

Room to Grow?

When one moves a plant, you carefully prepare the soil with additives and root starter. You put a lot of effort into making the transplant a success. Do you do as much for yourself?

One moves a houseplant around so it gets just the right amount of sunlight and moisture. Do you do the same for yourself when you discover you are in a negative environment which is killing your soul?

Many of our decisions in life dictate how we spend our time each day. Do you have a family, especially one with children? Do you have an aging parent that requires your care-giving? Do you have a high-performance job that involves staying in touch 24/7 with a computer, smart phone, or other tech-savvy equipment? Do you do business world-wide with different time zones? Are your relationships doing well, or are those filled with bickering over large and small things? Is there a lot of stressful people making unreasonable demands on you? Do you wake up at night and go to your computer to make a note about the day’s events so, if you get called to task, you can know what really happened? Do you have any time during the day which you can call your own?

My point is that your mental and physical health often come at the end of all the demands placed upon you. How can you have room to grow if you have no time for yourself? It takes time to read mentally and spiritually stimulating books/articles. Exercise does not happen without a solid intent by you. Neither does meditation, even if it means taking a few minutes to just stop and breathe, looking at the world around you and thinking good thoughts. Have you literally “stopped to smell the flowers” lately? Do you look for the beauty in your world? It takes time and paying attention to your environment to do it, no matter whether it is just a minute or two or a long coffee break. It has been proven that, when you hang art on a wall, it stimulates emotions and thoughts. That is why you see it everywhere. It is more than just a decoration. Take a minute now and look around you…what do you see?

Dr. Caroline Leaf (drleaf.com) is traveling the world, telling everyone that the brain needs nourishment of all kinds, including healthy food. The emotions that rule your world are either curing you or killing you. They evoke physical changes in your brain and body which will literally do precisely that. So are you paying any attention to the emotions and thoughts that fill your days? Or do they just run rampant over the top of you most of the time, dictating actions/inactions/reactions? That makes for a really crazy world. Do you like this type of situation, or do you want to take an action that will change it? There are so many classes out there aimed at teaching you to control your emotions and thoughts. Are you willing to look for them?

Dr. Emma Seppala (www.emmaseppala.com) has done some amazing research into the impact breathing has on you. You can say, “I know how to breathe as I have done it all my life!” But what you do not realize/know can be literally causing a lot of damage to your body. Everyone knows that stress kills, a simple fact proved many times over. Dr. Seppala is teaching that yogic/deep breathing can transform lives. When you are under stress, your belly breathing is gone, giving way to chest breathing. The cure? Belly breathe, of course! Have you ever watched an infant sleep? The little belly just goes up and down. Somewhere along the way, as we become adults, we become chest breathers and must relearn how to breathe correctly. It brings in more oxygen to the body, enabling it to help heal injuries faster and perform better. You would be the benefactor of many improvements in your life, including a greater ability to deal with the stress-causing elements and feeling much healthier.

Some think that meditation is a religion. It is not unless you choose to make it so for you. It quiets the whole body. It restores so much that, until you try it, you will never know the possible changes you enable in your physical makeup. It is said that five minutes can do wonders. Do you dare to take five minutes for yourself? You may find that you end up making more time for yourself because of the changes you see.

A king with a very busy schedule (where every minute was taken up with some required duty on his part) had an appointment at a beautifully-decorated room in a hotel. When he got there with his retinue, no one was there. His aid began apologizing profusely for the mix-up. He held up his hand for silence. He looked around the room for a few minutes, and a smile appeared on his face. He took the time to look at his surroundings. Finally he turned to his aid and said, “This was wonderful! You must schedule more of these for me — at least one a day! It will be very good for me!”

Sleep is another problem that can cause many serious problems to your personal detriment. People sleep with their phones at hand and work on the computer until time for bed. The television is part of your daily routine. Many studies have been done that state that the blue light from electronic devices can delay the body’s melatonin processes for hours, causing poor quality sleep. Why does this matter? Because REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep restores the body. If you don’t get REM sleep regularly, over time detrimental health effects appear: Change in mood (as in grumpier), poorly functioning body and brain, ability to handle stress, etc. It can even cause hallucinations. Studies state that  7-8 hours a night is needed for optimum results — any less than that causes significant problems. As one grows older, it is a rare occasion when you do not have to get up and go to the bathroom, but this is just a temporary interruption. My point is that your life can change dramatically if you change some of your choices regarding electronic usage close to bedtime.

Life can pass so quickly, second by second, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, and year by year. You can look back over your current reality and see how things are. Then you get to make a new choice if you are not happy with what you see. But only you can make the changes. Take a chance on yourself. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Orchids

Orchids

Beauty

Beauty

Seedlings

Seedlings

Bees At Work

Bees At Work

Breathe

Breathe

Chihuly Exhibit at Denver Botanic Gardens

Chihuly Exhibit at Denver Botanic Gardens

 

Looking Forward Instead of Backward

With the 2015 New Year before us in just a short three days, it is a time to begin Looking Forward Instead of Backward.

If one is driving a car, how much time does one spend gazing into the rear view mirror? Now there is an accident waiting to happen!  We all have to be aware of what is going on around us, right here, right now, real time. It is no different with Life, every day, day in, day out. Usually, it is some unfortunate experience that keeps us gazing backward, to no avail. Perhaps it is a word spoken in haste that cannot be retracted. Perhaps it was an unthinking act on someone else’s part that hurts us so very much. Perhaps we have done something we are sorry for but cannot take back. History cannot be changed. It has been said that Unhappiness is a result of someone trying to make something Un-Happen. It is a fact that Time cannot go backward. Yesterday is gone, and Tomorrow is but a figment of our imagination. The only day we have is TODAY.  That is why it is known as the PRESENT. That is why it needs to be cherished, appreciated, and utilized the best we can. Forgive and let go of that which was so that you may move into your PRESENT with more livingness.

Now is a time when some people  begin to make New Year’s Resolutions so that goals may be set and achieved, possibly change some negatives in one’s life to positives,  “Turn over a new leaf!” etc. Some decide to begin a physical fitness program, pay for a fitness center contract, and make aggressive actions for a short time before the energy for change wears out amid the humdrum vicissitudes of daily life. Some decide to lose a lot of weight, set a goal that they remember from long ago and far away,  and then feel like a failure when the required changes in eating habits just do not magically happen. Why is it that so many actually do not see the necessary steps to success actually begin with very small increments?

Do not be disheartened if you desire to actually make a difference to your health and life. Consistency is the key, of course. For instance, one could begin to lose weight by looking at your eating habits and writing down what you actually put in your mouth for a week. There is an eye opener for you! Physical Fitness could begin by setting a goal of walking on a treadmill for a few minutes every day, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, or parking farther out so you have to walk a little more. But first, you have to set a goal that is within your reach. You may not ever run a marathon, but you could see a healthier you in the mirror by beginning to make changes in what you do, how you do it, and the choices of food that you ingest.  Questions to ask yourself: “Do I quickly grab a Starbucks and a donut, or do I actually figure out what is good for me in the long run? No matter how good that sweet Danish tastes, will it nourish my body? Do I skip breakfast altogether (which, by the way, every doctor/nutritionist/health addict knows is the major sin against the body) or do I learn to eat to live vs. live to eat?”

It has been suggested that Food Police is a negative idea in watching carefully what your choices are — treating the idea from a forceful point of view, ensuring failure. Actually, it all comes down to your choices. Is becoming more healthful important enough for you to look at the sweets that surround everyone at this time of year, the alcohol being consumed, the pops that are offered at every party, and enormous quantity of food on every plate?

Every diet in the world begins with measuring the actual intake of what you consume before you open your mouth, choosing the foods that will nourish you, and passing up the rest that is out there. Why is that so difficult?

That answer usually is tied up with our emotions. Are we stressed out? Are we overtired? Is the quality of sleep good, bad, or excellent? It has been proven over time that our hormones respond to all of these, even to the point where we are hunting for chocolate to eat so we can calm down, or some other comfort food which has nothing to do with our long term goal of becoming more healthy.

Attitude matters. It is paramount to make an analysis of what is going on between our ears. There are so many good things that come from exercise for our bodies that will help us along our path towards our goals. The peptides, etc., are released, helping us to feel better.

Some people do not want to take baby steps. They desire gargantuan goals, ensuring the probability that they will become failures more quickly. After all, if one cannot climb a mountain, what is the point in starting?

Confucius said, “Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

He had it right!

So if you want to begin to write your New Year’s Resolutions, be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Look at where you are now, and then decide where you want to be  a year from now. Then write a list of achievable steps where you can begin a synergy that will carry you onward.

It has been said that “Rome was not built in a day.” You might remind yourself of that as you go forth on your journey.

The Christmas Season is such a lovely time of year. It always seems to me that people are kinder toward others, more generous, more forgiving. But when that special day is passed, the attitudes in general change back to more “business as usual.” The meanness we all see every day overpowers our senses, and we lose sight of what Life is all about. Is it possible to extend these lovely Christmas moments and attitudes so that they are here every day of the year? It can be if you personally choose that to be your attitude and goal. It is, after all, up to you.

God’s blessings upon your journey! Happy New Year to one and all! May the light from the beautiful fireworks celebrations for the New Year remain in your mind and heart, long after they are gone from the skies. May God bless you with Love, Light, Life, Laughter, Joy, Truth, Beauty, and Peace every day this coming year!

Fireworks

Fireworks

 

 

 

Christmas Is Coming!

Christmas is both a time for giving and receiving. How are you at giving? How about receiving? Most of us are predominantly either one or the other. Rarely are we able to do both.

A child’s rhyme/song runs through my mind during this time of year:

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please do put a penny in the old man’s hat
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!”

You hear repeatedly that “It’s not the amount you spend on a gift that counts, but the thought you put into it.” Do we really hear that at the heart level?

I truly love this time of year. I love playing Santa to my friends and family. I know others do as well.

The naysayers emphasize the commercialization of the Christmas Holiday, stating that it is just a time for the stores to make money.  Yes, that is true, but it does not take away from the idea that you can give of the love in your heart, no matter the item.

It is a time for expressing that love in whatever way you deem appropriate. What attitude do you have when you are selecting your gifts? Are you stressed out? Do you feel unhappy because you do not have enough money? If this is true for you, you need to take a look at your priorities. If you cannot give even the smallest gift with a happy heart, filled with the peace of the Season, what blessing are you adding to the gift? That is what matters the most, after all is said and done.

What do you feel when you receive your gifts? Are you looking at the amount someone must have spent, or do you think about what a loving thought and blessing is wrapped inside the package? Are you open to receive that thought and blessing?

My first gift to my friend, who later became my husband, was a small Christmas stocking from a mall kiosk, with his name in glitter and some candy inside. He went into shock when I gave it to him because it was so unusual for him to receive a gift. He still has that little stocking in his desk drawer all these years later. So you never know what a small kindness can do.

In the flurry of the season, take a few moments to stop and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. The Christmas decorations, the music, and the Holiday Spirit (which does not come in a bottle, unfortunately) are all a part of it. I love to exchange Christmas cards because it is a time to touch base with friends and family to see how they all are, for they are now spread far and wide across the globe. What a special time of year!

The center of this Holiday is, of course, the Christ in Christmas. It is a time for celebrating his birth. Is He in your heart, mind, and spirit as you go about your activities? His Gentleness, His Love for all mankind, and His Caring Nature are all expressed through you on a personal level to every single person you contact. Be mindful of that as you go through your days. Do not be so busy with anything that you forget that.

Just know that you choose whether to be that blessing or not as you give your gifts. Put a little of your thoughts inside each one, K? Be a Blessing, K? Be aware of your attitudes when you open your own gifts — look for the thoughtfulness and be open to the gratitude for the expression of love that is inside each one, K?

God’s blessings upon your journey. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

 

Hibiscus & Christmas

Hibiscus & Christmas

Christmas Poinsetta

Christmas Poinsettia

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our warmest wishes for you is to have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

It is a day to watch parades on the television, probably overeat from a heavily laden table (if you are lucky), take a nap, enjoy the companionship of loved ones and friends, or perhaps even to just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Whatever your day consists of, we hope that you take the time to list all of the blessings which fill your life. Some are obvious, and others are not. Some you think of frequently, while others pass you by without your noticing. Some do not get any of your attention at all until something negative impacts it. Sometimes, the negative takes it away for a long time, if not forever.

Thanksgiving has always been a day for doing exactly that: Change your focus from what you do not have and are striving for to what you already possess. It does not matter if it is a nickel when you need it, or lots of cash at the right time.

Just notice: Can you walk? Can you talk? Can you sing? Can you use your hands freely? Do you have your health? Are you working your way through a health challenge? Can you eat whatever you like? Can you see? Can you hear? What beauty surrounds you?

There are so many people who do not have those blessings for they are either unable to do them for whatever reason or their life situation prohibits/inhibits it.

Life is made up of a lot of simple things which pass us by like a ship in the night if one does not take time to focus on them. We miss many blessings just because we do not see them. Look at your surroundings to see the beauty, life, and laughter that are there – no matter how small or insignificant it may appear. Just know that what you bless increases.

Gather your loved ones and friends, be they near or far, into your heart and thoughts. Bless them one and all.

How about you? What do you choose to focus on today?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Beauty from Chihuly Exhibit at Denver Botanical Gardens:

Blue Icicle Towers

Blue Icicle Towers

Persian Towers

Persian Towers

Saffron Tower

Saffron Tower

White Tower

White Tower

Mirrored Green Hornets and Gold Waterdrops

Mirrored Green Hornets and Gold Waterdrops

Blue and Purple Boat with Walla Wallas

Blue and Purple Boat with Walla Wallas

Summer Sun

Summer Sun

Heliconia

Heliconia

Orchids

Orchids

 

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