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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

 

Balanced Living

There is a Divine Polarity to all of life. Magnets have positive and negative poles. Most of our learning comes to us in that manner. We find out what we do not want after we get it, and thereby learn what we really do want and need. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?

Some examples are:

Joy vs. Sadness

Truth vs. Lies

Peace vs. Chaos

Beauty vs. Ugliness

Life vs. Death

Love vs. Hate

Light vs. Darkness

Laughter vs. Tears

Good vs. Bad

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone, and, after it is over, said to yourself, “Well, I’ll never do that again! I will change my choices. I will ask more questions. I will be able to see that quality in someone else before I get involved.” Yet, sometimes history repeats itself?

We learn by bumps in the road, apparently, as a species.

I love the Pushmi-Pullyu in the Doctor Dolittle series. I have found that life is not all one thing or all another. It is usually a mixture of both polarities. The questions is: Can you separate them out clearly enough to be able to change your choices?

Add in the idea that rarely is anything simple. Usually, it is some of each. Whether it be a job, relationships, raising children, or any other topic that comes to mind. I personally know people who stay in a bad relationship because they have become vested in it–stuff rules as do habits. So they stay in the same old toxic atmosphere year in and year out. You can say the same for a job. Vesting dictates because one cannot afford a lower wage or whatever it takes to make a change. Raising children has its joys and its heart aches because these are little beings with an idea of how they want life to be and seek it out at their level, which may not be the wisest course. In short, simplicity is difficult, if not impossible, to find. That does not mean that one should not seek it. It only means that it is a gem of great price and should be sought after with due diligence.

There are positive aspects of all the above. Having been in a bad marriage or relationship, one can then seek more wisely to find a mate who is more compatible. If one is unhappy with the workaday life they have created, for whatever reason, one can seek that which will make them happier. Some Wall Street workers quit that life style and go to the country, finding a different way to live. Some go to college so they can change their resumes. In short, one can seek that which will give him/her a more positive balance in living.

Life is not like walking a tight rope without a safety net. Mankind can learn, grow, and change at will. Fear keeps us from doing that. It has been said that Fear of the Unknown is the greatest reason for not seeking a better answer. What one knows is better than looking for a challenge. The sameness of daily living is secure, no matter what the Happiness Quotient is.

I have been fortunate because I have accepted the challenges and sought Change and Balance in Living. I know what I want my life to look like. I have had to learn Forgiveness of myself and others in my journey. I have never thought that I would rather live alone than try to find that certain someone who will be my  Best Friend for the rest of my life, someone I could grow old with, and someone who will be on the other end of this relationship. After all, relationships are TWO-WAY STREETS, not one-way. If one person is giving all the time while the other is taking all the time, no Happiness Quotient can be found.  I have said that relationships are like a waltz, and I would rather dance through life with my partner than have somebody who is out of synch and not on the same page. I have been most fortunate to find my Best Friend. I would wish the same for you.

I started this article with many positive qualities which I consider necessary for my life. I endeavor to achieve my balance with them in some way, every day. I look for them. I accentuate their presence in my life. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, which are also present daily, I look for some way to lighten the day with laughter and the other ideas.

How about you? Are you willing to look at your Happiness Quotient and seek new ways to find Balance in Living? You will find that it is worth the time and effort to think about, seek, and find. Even if your life is good, it can always be better. Are you interested?

May your journey be blessed in every way. 🙂

 

Awareness of Beauty

It has been said that, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I find that to be mostly true.

We all have our own definitions for Beauty and what it consists of. Out West here, it could be seeing a beautiful horse in full gallop, or a sunset over the mountains, or the sight of an eagle in the sky. It depends on your frame of reference really. Perhaps it is a sailboat on the horizon, or windsurfing, or zip-lining through the top of a forest somewhere. Perhaps it is a smile on a loved one’s face. Perhaps it is a beautiful flower or barn swallow babies on the nest.

Whatever it consists of, one thing can be ascertained: We can get so wrapped up in our work, our jobs, our To Do Lists, emotions, etc., that we lose our awareness of Beauty in any form.

I have been with a friend, looking at a beautiful sunset over the mountains, and standing in awe at the colors before me. I turned to my friend to comment on it, and she said, “What? I don’t know what you are talking about.” She was so consumed with some sad issues that she had totally lost sight of the moment and her surroundings.

Have you ever done that? If you have, are you willing to let yourself become more aware so that you can wake up your senses to the loveliness that surrounds you? After all, the only day we have is right NOW, the PRESENT. It is the only place we really live, second by second. Not yesterday, not tomorrow…Do you want to LIVE NOW?

Mountain Sunset

Mountain Sunset

Gardenia

Gardenia

Barn Swallow Babies

Barn Swallow Babies

Focus

The Bible rightly states, “Whatsoever things are good, right, and pure, think on these things.”

How often do we get caught in the mundane details of every day life? The importance of little things gets blown out of proportion. The more we think about some incident that upset us, the more we get caught up in turning mole hills into mountains. Sometimes, we build mountains so big and for so long that they seem impenetrable. We assign more of our attention to them than they ever deserved.

A song says, “Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy!” Yet, how often do we do that? Emotionalizing, concentrating our focus and imagination on such incidents only creates more chaos.

The way to begin to change this habit (for it is a habit) is to begin to look for better things to focus on: Beauty in any form, an ice cream cone, a child’s smile, children playing a game and laughing, a good book, a warm bath, a kiss from a loved one. Simple things that we often overlook when we are listening to the sound of war drums. Change the war drums from a cacophony to a waltz.

The only question is: Do you want to?

 

Sometimes

Sometimes…like today,

When sad things happen along the way,

I have to stop and ponder

So I can return to the wonder

Of the majesty of Life.

Sometimes…when tears fill my eyes

And my heart can feel the sighs,

I have to lift up my spirit

Because the mundane has stolen my joys…

Over a trifle of no importance.

Sometimes, when my feet are leaden,

My body weighs heavy from sadness,

Laughter beckons me with a smile:

“Follow me,” she says,

And I do, so willingly.

Sometimes, the sun breaks out from behind the clouds

Of confusion and despair,

Lighting my way along the path

To a profusion of colors and scents

In my garden of Peace.

The flowers that grow there

Grow nowhere else in this world.

One sniff brings Heaven,

Along with the sight of the Beauty

That guides me along my way.

Refreshed, I return to my world.

I hear the birds singing…

My being is winging

Its way aloft

To Higher pursuits more fitting.

No longer a broken-winged bird,

Caged in my unhappiness.

I am free to flit and float

In the sunlight,

Singing my song.

Drifting along to a happier sound am I…

No longer tied to the woes and agonies.

They are but a moment in Reality.

I do not feel bound to them anymore.

Sometimes, I am Spirit, and It is enough.

Are you willing to release

whatever is weighing you down

so you, too, can soar?

Sun breaks out

Sun breaks out

Lighting my way

Lighting my way

Profusion of colors

Profusion of colors

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