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Cherish Every Moment

Tempus Fugit! (Time Flies!) As I age, it seems like the hours, days, months, years just evaporate before my eyes. It appears to be a time warp, yet it is not.

If one were to think about the word, “Cherish,” its many connotations explain the deepest, most meaningful use of the word: “To feel or show great love for something or someone; to remember or hold an idea or belief in a deeply felt way; to harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely.” There is nothing casual about this word.

Each and every day, each person gets on the treadmill of life, doing activities and work, play, exercise, etc. So I am asking you to pay attention to the people in your life, young or old, boss or coworkers, your child or someone else’s – just notice how you interact with each one. Ask yourself, “If I never see that person again, can I live with what I just said? Was it kind or mean? Did I share a smile or a frown?” Instead of just trying to get through the day, why not experience each moment as it comes? Soon enough, the day will be gone. Are you happy with it or not? Is there something you would change? Do you wish you could “unsay” something? If you are not paying attention, a lot of things just slide right on by, good, bad, or indifferent. Is that OK with you?

If you decide to cherish each moment, you will notice a significant change in how fast the hours disappear. The people in your life will feel your affection and thoughts, simplifying interactions tremendously.

It is, after all, solely your choices which will make a difference. Choose Wisely vs. Poorly.

God’s blessings upon your journey.

Last Chance

Last Chance

 

 

Driving Your Destiny or Yourself?

The question arises: Are you Driving your Destiny or Yourself!

Are you preoccupied with possessions? Do you know that what you own, owns you? You have to clean it, care for it, insure it, take dogs for walks or pay someone else to do it, etc. Stuff Rules!

Do you long for a simpler life? Do you feel that you do not have any time for yourself? Guess who can change that.

Life happens…a day at a time and a moment at a time. Yesterday is history and cannot be changed. Tomorrow is a dream which one can plan and work towards. Today is the only day that matters…this second as you read this.

If you believe that, will you act on it? Hug your child, tell someone you love and appreciate them, begin to do something that matters to you personally. Do you want to read a book or take a class? Pick up that book and begin it. Look for the class you want to take and sign up for it. Do you want to get in touch with someone that you have not spoken to in a while? Pick up the phone or send an email or letter. Don’t wait for the “perfect time” because that may never happen.

The only way your life will change is if you do.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer states: “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”

Are you stressed out? The price of carrying that stress is high. It can cause significant health problems, if not your life.

How are you breathing? Your breath will tell you how well you are making choices in your life. Is it shallow and from the top of your lungs instead of belly breathing? If it is, you can be absolutely assured that you are shortening your life span considerably. Look for a yoga class you can do so you can learn to breathe better. Maybe you cannot get down on the floor, so look for a Silver Sneakers Yoga class in your area as they are everywhere. The poses are friendly to everyone who has physical problems, no matter the age.

This moment in this day is the only time you have to take a look at your priorities and assess what needs to change. Are you willing to get off the treadmill of your life and do it? Or is the treadmill going to continue just as it always does? If you are happy with the life you are living, I congratulate you for you are a rare bird. However, if you are not satisfied with the ways you spend your time, begin this second to look at where you are now and where you want to be. I am not talking about stuff and possessions. I am focusing on the one thing you cannot buy: More time.

Do you want to look back over the last few years of your life and wonder where it has gone? It happens to all of us, no matter the age. But you can begin to make a difference right now. Are you willing?

God’s blessings on your journey!

New yoga pose

 

Freedom

Freedom comes in many forms. There is the patriotic kind which can affect nations. There is the personal kind which alters lives.

There are also many meanings of the word, depending upon your perspective. There is seeming freedom which belong to royalty, who are bound by protocol. There is the freedom exercised by despots throughout the world, until they meet their end, usually a bad one.

Somehow, freedom has gotten confused some of the time with power, from personal  on up the line to the top of the political chain.

It is a well-known fact that Lord Acton stated: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!” All you have to do is look at the current state of world affairs to see this truth clearly demonstrated.

Freedom has many connotations: “The state or quality of being free; esp., liberation from the control of some other person or some arbitrary power; liberty; independence;  immunity from a specified obligation; release from imprisonment; being able to act, move, use, etc. without hindrance or restraint; being able of itself to choose or determine action freely; ease of movement or performance.”

I remember a story of an election in Africa, where some women carried an old woman for days to the polling place so she could vote for the first time. It was that important. Yet I look around at all the politicizing going on already in the United States, with the spin doctors beginning their song, and I wonder how it all got turned around so badly. I personally do not want to hear another promise from any of them because they say whatever they think the people will want to hear on the campaign trail to get elected and then turn around and do as they please the rest of the time. It is a sad story, to be sure. I have the freedom to vote, which many people in this world do not have and will never see, yet I would like to have someone to vote for instead of against or the best option of two poor choices. The United States has many wonderful options for others to vote for — yet they do not step forward because they will not become involved in the political arena. It makes one wonder about that.

As one looks at all of the stories that come out of each and every country in this world, one sees similar stories playing out. There are the poor and disenfranchised, the person trying to make his/her daily bread however he/she can, the few at the top who enjoy enormous riches, and the rest are somewhere in between. Regardless of politics, there are the fathers and mothers everywhere who are loving their families and trying to survive. Each one may have their own definition of freedom, but we are not as different as political miscreants would have us believe.

Love is still a human quality that we all may share. Each morning, each of us, no matter where we are in the world, can commit to trying to make our little corner of the world a better place. Not all of us are meant to be Mother Theresa. But we can offer a smile to a sales clerk when we see someone else being rude to her for no ascertainable reason; we can pick up a piece of trash in the street and put it in a trash can; we can hold the door open for another, be it a man or woman; or many other ACTS OF RANDOM KINDNESS (ARK). Every single act you choose to do could multiply many times, as in the movie, “Pay It Forward!”

Personal freedom is the same as  LOVE, for  each one of us could help improve the conditions in our world. How are you choosing? Are you willing to help make a difference and change the world? It is in your power, you know, for it is based totally in your use of your choices.

Life unfolds for each of us very differently. Some of us choose poorly, and then watch as bad situations become even worse. Some of us choose to ignore the fact that we can change, so they sit and whine about their conditions while they do nothing to change that. We all know somebody like that. Some are putting forth super efforts to make global changes while they ignore their daily lives and small acts that could make a big difference. It all depends on how vested we are in living our lives the very best we can.

Freedom carries with it the idea of personal responsibility, as consequences of our choices make themselves manifest. One can be “free,” but I learned as a child that my freedom ends where somebody else’s nose begins. In lieu of being combative and controlling, one can choose to offer respect to everyone we meet. Friendliness opens doors that are shut by negative emotions like anger and fear. Our world would be a lot better off if everyone practiced these ideas. Utopian? Nope! Just putting into daily practice thoughts and ideas that can truly change our personal realities.

Freedom is a precious thing to be cherished in whatever way we deem appropriate. It is not to be taken for granted or used for deleterious reasons. It is not meant to be manipulated or controlled. It is a God-given right for every soul, no matter what the religious belief is. For too long, we have languished through a lack of understanding. WAKE UP! Become the person you were meant to be, no matter where you are in the world. Begin to make a difference. Reach out across the miles to other souls who are also doing that. Connect. Whatever you can do, begin it. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey.

ship - water - negativity Seagull in flight Kite

 

 

 

 

What Is Your Point Of Reference/Perception?

PERCEPTIONS are a wonderful key to personal growth because you will only be able to recognize in your reality whatever your point of reference is. It is your BELIEFS about your life that act like a fence – it keeps what you like/understand inside and separates whatever you don’t want on the outside. Then it gets confusing – we want something very much but believe we are not worthy. Guess what you get? You are right – ZIP – nothing. One cannot put opposing thoughts and emotions out there because they neutralize each other.

The dictionary defines PERCEPTIONS as: “mental grasp of objects, qualities, etc. by means of the senses; awareness; comprehension; insight or intuition, or the faculty for these; the understanding, knowledge, etc. got by perceiving, or a specific idea, concept, impression, etc. so formed.”

One example is religion – one tends to include everything in one’s life according to a creed or a set of rules/ideas promulgated by that specific church, synagogue, or mosque. All else is suspect and excluded, as are any people who do not believe the same identical way. Many then are urged from the pulpit or lectern to proselytize (to try to convert a person to one’s religion). In other words, others must act in accordance with your personal beliefs. The only problem with that is that GOD DID NOT MAKE US LIKE PRINGLES!

Each one of us is UNIQUE – as in one of a kind. We are a special blend of our positive and negative traits.

Some people are unable to look at their clothing choices, personality reactions and interactions, or even look at their reality clearly. They do not trust their own judgment to decide on what to wear, what to say, or how to act in given situations. Some people, particularly women, are put down so long that they begin to believe they are actually worthless, wrong, and hopeless. This sometimes happens to men, too, however. Lack of self esteem prohibits growth, absolutely.

In personal growth classes, we are given a form to appraise our personal attributes. Many times, I have seen others turn to their coworkers and ask them how to answer…Are they friendly? Are they personable? Do they dress appropriately? I was always amazed that self-evaluation is impossible for them. After the years have come and gone, however, I find that it all boils down to BELIEFS and PERCEPTIONS. Some of these were implanted in us by an authority figure when we were very young and unable to separate the good stuff from the bad.

“So what do I do now?”  You might ask. The answer is really quite simple. You must be ever watchful of your thoughts, behaviors, and actions. Personal Growth books, teachers, workshop leaders, etc., all may have a piece of learning that is right for you so you can analyze your life in order to begin modifying your reactions, words, and thoughts – dispose of those that are not in line with who you are today. When you catch yourself asking, “Why did I just do that?” Do not blow it off. Look at it. Think of other ways you could have done something differently. Do not think, “Well, that is just who I am, and it is too late to change now.” It is NEVER TOO LATE!

If you want to test how you feel about yourself, go to a mirror and study your reflection. Do you immediately start criticizing what you see there? Guess where those comments begin…from long ago and far away. The question is: Do you want to change that reflection? All you have to do is ask that question of yourself. Awareness that a change is needed is the beginning of it. Then you take a class, buy a different outfit, or make a list of what needs changing. It is not hard. You just have to take that step. Are you willing?

Our world is changing so fast. Information transmission has never been this good. News travels around the world in minutes. When you hear it, you have an inner reaction that is based on both your BELIEFS and PERCEPTIONS. Do you ever think about it from a different PERSPECTIVE? Do you buy into what the spin doctors are putting out? You must know that these people are in every political arena in the world. So think through your reactions before you send money, write a letter, or talk about it. WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT, YOU BRING ABOUT! DO YOU REALLY WANT ALL THESE NEGATIVE SITUATIONS TO GET WORSE? YOU ARE EMPHASIZING WHAT YOU DO NOT WANT!

Sounds crazy, does it not? You can pray for others and ask for guidance and comfort for them, including all others. You can take whatever action you deem appropriate for those caught in disasters, which seem to happen daily now somewhere in this world.

Life unfolds before us daily with each choice we make. Do you want to stay in your squirrel cage, just running around in a circle and getting nowhere? Or do you want to get out of that cage and begin anew. IT IS YOURS TO CHOOSE!

Just because you bought into your points of reference and perceptions at a very young age, does not mean you cannot change them. It just takes more effort. Are you willing to look at your daily life to see what needs a change in perspective?

I was taught from the beginning that I could never do anything right. It was always about being wrong. (Do you know anybody who parents like this? Of course, you do. It is as normal as apple pie.) Until I was 19, I actually believed that. Then I learned to ice skate. I could do something right! This was a life-changing event for me. From there, I have learned many things, done many hobbies, and had lots of adventures. I am grateful that I learned that I could change. I am ever aware, even now, of things that I need to change. I make a plan to achieve that end, and put it into action. Life is not static. All you have to do is look at the natural world to see how the seed becomes the plant, blossom, wilts, and goes to seed.  If you are taking personal responsibility for your life, you can institute a plan to begin today to make a difference in your life. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Change Your Direction

Change Your Direction

Louise Hay: Changes

Louise Hay: Changes

 

Autumn - Metamorphosis: Change

Autumn – Metamorphosis: Change

 

 

 

Is Life Serious, Seriously?

Have you looked at yourself in a mirror today? If so, what did you see? Was your countenance pleasant? Could you smile at yourself in the mirror. Could you check yourself out in the mirror and say, “Lookin’ good!”…?

Or do you see sad eyes, downcast,  and a tearful look on your face? Or perhaps you see someone who is extremely angry over something, real or not, in proportion or not? There are many negative emotions out there that can become a way of life for us, instead of a passing moment.

We all imagine our lives to be different than they are…perhaps a path not taken earlier changed your available options to something less than ideal. Lots of things happen to each and every one of us on every day we live. Some good, some not-so-good.

Oscar Wilde stated: “Life is too important to be taken seriously.”

I have to constantly remind myself to lighten up, find a reason to laugh, and even a giggle qualifies. Good thoughts can lift your spirit. Prayer is a great tool as well because it gets you outside of your own head (read that as hamster in a cage).

The key here is that you have to look for these opportunities so you can be aware of them.

Unfortunately, too many of us wallow in the problems, without a glimmer of light to show us the way out of our difficulties.

Yes, sometimes there are life-threatening happenings in our life…certainly not the time to laugh about it. But a bit of humor definitely changes an outlook. It also multiplies the quintessential possibilities available to us all.

There is so very much in our everyday world that could cause us dismay. Just look at the news casts. We have compassion for our fellow travelers on this planet and for the agonies they face.

But the main thing is: Life has to be lived from the inside of us, going outward to our world. We each have our own, you know. Your world is not mine. Conversely, mine is not yours. We each have different acquaintances, different beliefs, different thoughts, and different ways of communicating. If I am to make a difference in my world, I have chosen to use words to add more light along the paths my readers take, and I know I am personally able to share thoughts with others that they may raise their awareness, which changes their choices.

I choose the light of positive thoughts over the darkness of negative ones, which lead to no good end. If we are ever to find our way, we must find our own light for our path. The question is, are you willing to be open to that possibility? You are the one who needs to raise your awareness so you can see other options available to you.

God’s blessings on your journey.

 

Remember Lot’s Wife

The whole world knows the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. As Lot and his family were leaving the city, they were forewarned: Do not look back! In Genesis 19:17, it states, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” In Genesis 19: 24-26, it says, “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

There have been some astute astronomers who state that a meteor did, in fact, strike there. Who is to know for certain? It is a fact  that the whole region contains pitch, a petroleum derivative which is flammable and is still used in making torches and charcoal.

In the Lamsa translation of the Bible, it comments that, ” ‘She became a pillar of salt’ is an Eastern idiom which means, ‘She had a stroke, or she was paralyzed and dead.’ In the East, when a man becomes paralyzed or has a stroke, the people say, ‘He has turned into a rock.’ or ‘he has become like a stone.’ ”

It goes on to state:  “Lot’s wife had been reluctant to leave the pleasant gardens and orchards of Sodom. She had doubted her husband’s vision and the divine warning. Her sons-in-law had thought Lot had lost his mind and that he was mocking when he told them of the divine warning asking them to leave the city. Evidently Lot’s wife also did not believe the city would be destroyed.

When Lot’s wife disobeyed the divine command and stood up and looked behind and saw the city of orchards and lush gardens and everything which had been dear to her heart, on fire, and the smoke rising to the heavens, she had a stroke and she became hard like a block of salt or flint rock, which is also called salt, and she was dead. Such blocks of salt rock are still to be found in Sodom.

The catastrophe and the loss of her daughters, her sons-in-law, and her other relatives were too much for a woman who had been brought up in the luxuries of Sodom and who had no faith in the God of her husband.”

Emmet Fox states: “Never look back. Always go right ahead. Even if you are quaking, go right ahead. No matter how unattractive or how dangerous the road ahead may be, it is better than the road back. The road ahead may be veiled from sight; but you must teach yourself to regard the unknown as friendly. Remember that God is always on the road ahead.

Psalm 143:8  ‘…cause me to know the way wherein I would walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.’ “

My point? Our personal histories have a way of projecting themselves from the past into each today and our tomorrows if we let that happen. All you have to do is focus on the past in lieu of the present. Very simple. Not hard. The past, no matter how good it was or how bad it was, is unchangeable. You may take lessons learned from your past and make better choices today because of them, but you cannot change history. Mostly, we concentrate on the bad stuff. Have you noticed that tendency in yourself? Actually, even the good stuff can influence and change your present as well. We try to hang on to it because we think it was better than our present. Then it becomes life defeating because it, too, is unchangeable in the mists of time.

Time does not go backward and does not tarry with yesterday. All you have is today to make different choices so it will change your tomorrow.

I fully appreciate Fox’s point: “go right ahead.” Regardless of your past, good or bad, you have to formulate a new plan of action so that you can begin again to live the life that God has for you. You must begin it NOW! The only place that will effect a difference is NOW!

Are you willing to let go of your yesterdays/history? REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE!  Are you willing?

God’s blessings on your journey!

Garden

Garden

Flowers

Flowers

 

 

“Good Morning, God!” or “Good God, It’s Morning!” ?

What is my attitude when I open my eyes for the first time each day?

Good Morning!

Is it a Good Morning?

This picture of a little chickadee is in my bathroom, asking me that very question.

Attitude affects and effects perspective, always. AFFECT is defined as influence; produce a change in; to move or stir the emotions. EFFECT is defined as the power or ability to bring about results. PERSPECTIVE is defined as a specific point of view in understanding or judging things or events, especially one that shows them in their true relations to one another.

You may ask me why this is important. The answer is a simple one: How we view our world and interact with it begins with the second we open our eyes. Our first waking thoughts “set our sails” and will determine our journey for the day..the winds that come, as they always do, will catch those sails and blow us completely off our intended course unless we first set them properly and then adjust them as needed.

Is your world a fright-filled one where you have to turn on the morning news to get your first dose of negativity or pick up your newspaper to do the same? Or do you get a fresh cup of coffee and sit down out on the patio to quietly greet the day? All of your first actions in the morning will influence the rest of your day.

You control your reactions to what happens to you by starting to make small changes in your schedule to accommodate new beginnings. Are you willing to take that tiny amount of time to make a difference in your life?

Peace Begins With Me

This new year presents us with a brand new page to begin again, to change what we want to change, to become the person we were meant to be, and one place to start is a song by Vince Gill:

“Let there be peace on earth

And let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on earth,

The peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father,

Brothers all are we.

Let me walk with my berother

In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me.

Let this be the moment now.

With every step I take,

Let this be my solemn vow:

To take each moment

And live each moment

With peace eternally.

Let there be peace on earth,

And let it begin with me.”

Each day, with every word we speak, with every thought we think, we are creating our reality as we know it to be.

We are, indeed, planting the seeds that will bloom in our tomorrows.

Do you want a more peaceful life and experience less chaos?

It all begins with your thoughts and emotions. Do you REACT in lieu of ACT? Did somebody else make you angry?

Do you feel justified in these negative feelings because it is somebody else’s fault?

Guess who pays? It is not the other person, who has moved on and could usually care less.

You baggage just got heavier, didn’t it? Is it worth it to you to drag it around, every moment of every day?

Peace can be maintained as an attitude and a reality if you can truly realize that “Peace begins within you!”

There is nowhere else it can start. Life is so short. Why drag around chaos-creating emotions when you can choose to let it go?

If you could pretend to yourself that you are a spectator on some aggravation going on in your life, would your point of view change?

What advice would you give yourself when you see it from a different point of view? Is it really all that important? Is there something you can actively do to effect a difference in outcome? Are you listening to yourself? Are you listening to others?

Peace is not something that comes wrapped with a bow. It takes work on yourself and your perspective to calm down so you can experience something else that is far more livable and lovable.

Are you interested in PEACE, personally, and moment by moment? Figure out what the price is and pay it in whatever coin required. It could be the coin of forgiveness of self or others, the coin of blessing others on their way, or even the coin of loving yourself enough to be happy anyway. This is not an oxymoron. It is TRUTH.

It is in your hands. What do you choose?

Hibiscus - Adding Beauty

Hibiscus – Adding Beauty

Hibiscus at Christmas

Hibiscus at Christmas

Autumn Seeds

Autumn Seeds

Autumn Seeds

Autumn Seeds

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