Blog Archives

Are you listening to your own drummer?

That question, “Are you listening to your own drummer?” is a formidable one. If asked sincerely by your mind, what would you answer?

Life comes at us helter-skelter, haphazardly, causing confusion in its wake. From the moment one wakes up until one falls into bed at night totally exhausted, incoming information about a plethora of things bombard the mind and emotions. Even if we succumb to sleep, it is not a peaceful one, even if one takes a pill to get a little shut eye. How does one quiet this cacophony? Does one just simply react to each thing? It becomes a conundrum of spirit, to say the least.

Life is not simple. It can get very complicated in a heartbeat. So much can control one’s very being because it commands the time, thoughts, and everything one turns a hand to do. How does one survive this onslaught?

Simplicity is forgotten amongst the rubble of it all.

Einstein’s definition of insanity is apt: If one keeps doing the same things the same way but expecting different results, it is truly insanity.

So, if you ask yourself honestly, “How do I get off this crazy merry-go-round?” the answer actually is a simple one.

Stop and breathe deeply. Inhale with the diaphragm and then pull the abdomen in and push the air out. (The first thing to go when enduring stress is the breathing. We become chest breathers instead.) Perhaps get yourself a cup of tea or something warm. Sit down. Stop the scurry for just a few minutes. Then you can truly ask yourself:

“Am I listening to my own drummer, or am I just overwhelmed by the cacophony of it all?”

Perhaps you could put on some quiet music and think of a happier moment in your life. Transport yourself to that moment by closing your eyes, remembering the scene, colors, scents, and sounds.

You will find that five minutes of breathing deeply and thinking of something else, much happier, will be magic to your soul.

Life will, indeed, go on. But if you can but stop like this, you will find a tonic for your soul that no pill can compare to it.

Your own music is sweeter by far than anything else could possible be. Are you willing to stop and listen?

God bless your journeys.

Grasping Hand

Grasping Hand sounds pretty startling, doesn’t it?

Do you know how they catch monkeys in the forest? They put out glass jars with a nut in the bottom. The monkey reaches in, grasps the nut, and then cannot pull the hand out because it will not let the nuts go. They come back, pick up the monkeys, jar and all. They break the jar once the monkey is secured. Easy.

Do you have a Grasping Hand? Are you holding onto something so tightly that you do not want to let go? Do you know how much effort that takes?

Place a pencil in your hand and wrap your fingers around it. Ask a friend to remove it. Not going to happen. Now – open your hand. The friend can remove the pencil easily. The difference? Readily seen – you let it go by opening your hand.

There are many reasons to have a Grasping Hand, some of which are sentimental (which is OK). Some things have served their use (as in clothes you have outgrown or no longer wear because your tastes have changed). Yet, sometimes we hang onto things just because we have a lack consciousness. Hoarders are one example. Yet they, too, acquire things that they will never even use.

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? It can be.

Many of us were raised up with very little possessions. Hence, we decide to keep stuff that no longer serves a purpose for us.

There are so many others out there who still have very little. Why not share with them what you no longer need? There are so many organizations out there that would appreciate that set of dishes, silverware, serving spoons, clothing, furniture, etc. Recycle your stuff with the universe. Let it go!

A few years ago, I had the obligation of going through a relative’s house. Many of us have to do that. Things that held such attachment to that person become no longer valid. So the sort begins: One bag to the Good Will or other charity organization, some to relatives, and others to the trash.

Why wait for somebody else to do it? Take charge of your life, keep what you want, and then let the rest go to wherever you think it will be needed.

I know someone who keeps everything by the stacks. These items are never looked at or cherished. Yet, if asked to go through them, it causes such agitation that it is mind boggling. It is very sad to see.

How about you? Are the emotions that are generated by these items so difficult to endure that it makes it impossible to release them? This can be the case, easily. Each item can only be examined on its own merits, and then a decision rendered, item by item. That is pretty overwhelming, yet necessary.

What price is there for the Grasping Hand? It can be extreme in many instances, from creating a fire hazard to feeling helpless about it. Only you can decide what price you want to pay. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

You Own Nothing

You Own Nothing

Problem Solving

Albert Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Sound familiar? So , how do you begin to change so you will get a better end result? One thought at a time. Sounds silly, but is, nonetheless, true.

Every day, life presents us with situations/lessons in disguise. How you respond to them is entirely up to you, your thought processes, your emotions, and your choices. Sometimes, we feel that circumstances dictate our responses, which can be partially true. I am not referring to “exiting a burning building” or “danger–run!” I am discussing things like an escalating argument where one participates in that escalation. Nowhere is it written that one must respond in kind till a situation gets out of hand. One can always withdraw from the room, decide to keep silent, or even listen with a verbal acknowledgement of what the other person is stating (which is the best way to defuse it according to Anger Management techniques). My Golden Rule which I have used successfully for many years: It takes two to fight – if one is unwilling, it cannot happen.

I am not addressing abuse situations where a victim and an abuser, either through emotional or physical actions, fuse into a deadly dance. Professional help is needed in those cases.

There are situations where we choose our response because of exterior demands: Working with a person with Dementia, sickness, disability, etc. We modify our own words through training, caring, or loving response.

Problem solving can begin as a written exercise, where one sits down with pen and paper (or computer or other electronic device) with the intent of brain-storming ideas for solutions. Then you take each item and contemplate its positive and negative merits. It may take time to really think it through. It can be as complicated or as simple as you make it. It may take several tries to come up with something you are ready, willing, and able to do. Just remember, you need to know that a resolution exists and you can find it, use it, and release that problem through whatever action you deem appropriate.

Just endlessly talking about a problem with numerous people does not change it. In fact, it can magnify it. The more you think about it without any solution that you can believe in, the more it becomes a permanent resident. If that is what you want, keep talking. If not, begin to look for a way to resolve it.

Life is a precious thing. It is more than an endless conundrum of existence, like a hamster in a squirrel cage, going round and round endlessly. One must come up with a different idea if you want out of said cage.

How do you begin? Answer: One step at a time.

Most situations do not change overnight. Yet, persistent effort to accomplish a different outcome does not go unrewarded. Every little bit begins a new synergy, which in and of itself, can accomplish more than going around in that cage another time. It is worthy of your thoughts so that you might find a new way to live.

Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

 

Small Steps

Small Steps

 

Do Feelings Pray?

The question arises: “Do Feelings Pray?

Some would reply, “What an absurd thought!” Some would think, “How could this be true?” Others would agree wholeheartedly. How about you? What reaction do you have to those three words?

That is the telling tale in how you live your life.

If you would be the first one (“What an absurd thought!”), your reality is based on what you can see with your eyes, hear with your ears, taste with your taste buds, touch with your hands, etc. Is that all there is? Nope! In fact, so much of our reality is just our perception of things, not the real hard facts about things. There is so much more to life than this.

If you are the second response (How could this be true?), you want a bona fide answer to all of life’s myriad questions. Some would say, “You are from Missouri – Show me, Prove it, etc.” Unfortunately, taking something on faith is not within your possibilities. The quandaries your mind must go through are endless.

If you are of the third type who would agree wholeheartedly, you have been able to work through some of life’s most troubling problems successfully.

Why? Because feelings begin in the unseen world of thoughts, rising up from that well deep within your being. Your Spirit resides here. Your Consciousness lives here.

Most people think that outer situations command a response – be it anger, bitterness, love, laughter, etc. Yes, there are messy situations outside of us. There are people on this planet whose main goal in life is to make others miserable. Yet there are others who are working for the highest good of all. There are so many in between these two extremes.

As for you: Have you laughed lately? Have you smiled? Are you “down in the dumps, thinking that life sucks without end!”

Have you given your power away to someone else who may be bent on making you incredibly sad? What do I mean when I say, “given your power away?” Just precisely that. Your interaction level with that person is solely within their control because you let it happen. If you want something badly enough from that person, he/she can manipulate you at will. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that question.

Feelings are precious. They are the seed of your tomorrows. If you plant feelings of sheer misery, how can you hope to grow plants of laughter and good things coming to you?

One must be always aware of what you are emotionalizing about because those emotions then quantify, multiply, and bring more. If it is good stuff, great! If not, guess what kind of crop you will receive? You got it. In other words, if you emotionalize over what you DO NOT WANT, you are sure to get exactly that! Is that really what you want? Doubt it. That can never change unless you do.

Outer situations cannot control you unless you let them. The difference is between ACT and REACT.

When you REACT to a situation, you are giving your power away. When you look at what is going on, analyze it, and think about how you want to ACT in response to it, you maintain your sense of  awareness. You actually DECIDE on an appropriate action in lieu of getting angry, saying mean things (which you cannot take back), or getting physical. Even SILENCE maintains a powerful influence on the outcome of events, especially if you cannot decide what to say or do in this instance.

It is OUTER vs. INNER. Some people would pray about it first before responding. Others would rather scream and yell. It leads to no good end, but so many use this response, it does make you wonder.

How about you? If you are pondering some of life’s events, both good and bad, where is the balance of your emotions? Are you feeling PEACE, GRATITUDE and THANKFULNESS for the good you still have, or is your heart bitter, complaining over all you have lost? Until you can release the latter, you will be unable to see the former. It is as far from you as the East is from the West. In other words, you cannot get there from here.

If you think about the possibility that FEELINGS DO PRAY,  you can begin to change your life for the better. It simplifies a complicated process of personal growth, of which AWARENESS is the Beginning of Change.

It is all up to you, after all. Do you want the sadness of your yesterdays to continue to rule your life now, or is it time to let it all go, turn your attention to this very moment of today, and look for something to be pleased about? Do you want to keep moping around, or do you want to begin to REALLY LIVE your life?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Seedlings

Seedlings

Orchids

Orchids

Maui Sunrise

Maui Sunrise with Rainbow (Promise of Peace)

 

 

 

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

 

Love – Emotion, Feeling, or State of Being?

Love is defined as: “a deep and tender feeling of affection for or attachment or devotion to a person or persons; an expression of one’s love or affection; a feeling of brotherhood and good will toward other people; a strong, usually passionate, affection of one person for another, based in part on sexual attraction; the person who is the object of such an affection; sweetheart; lover; sexual passion; sexual intercourse.”

Valentine’s Day is set apart as a celebration of Love. Couples use it as an opportunity to give gifts of chocolate, flowers, or jewelry, especially for the lady. Today, my husband and I exchanged cards expressing our devotion.  But the acts of love we give each other are a daily occurrence, large and small, year in and year out. Sometimes it is just listening to each other, exchanging a foot massage, or just enjoying each others’ presence while we walk in the park or watching a movie. We do not need to buy expensive gifts to show how much we love each other. Of course, we are older and more mature than young people are. We know what we cherish, which is time together and the attitude of being each other’s best friend. We not only honor, but we respect, each other. This removes many evils from our path.

As you look at the definition above, you need to decide for yourself which one applies to you. Love is more than sexual passion, attraction, and touching intimately. If one truly Loves another, one cares about that person, along with his/her needs/wants/desires. We are divinely made so we can help one another to grow and become the person we are meant to be. We are not meant to inhibit, control, or exhibit power over anyone if we actually are expressing Love. We are not to do harm in any way. This would include hateful, mean words which achieve nothing in the long run, but they do cause hurt feelings which sometimes cannot be eradicated. Gentle words are vital to a good relationship, while screaming and yelling exacerbate any situation.

Do you think about what you are going to say before you open your mouth? It is a good policy and serves diplomacy well. Do you ask questions, which require an answer, versus making statements which you must then defend and qualify. If you are talking to someone you truly care about, you might want to remember this. It can make a big difference in any relationship, be it a loved one, coworker, or anyone else.

If Love is just an Emotion or a Feeling, it may seemingly express itself in an ebb and flow, like the tides. Can you really have Love for a wayward teenager who is bent on achieving some idea that makes you crazy? Yup! That is when you use your Love to guide that person the best you can. It may or may not work. In the end, you do the best you can. Someday, that teenager will have children and only then will  understand how hard you tried to do the best you could. I used a teenager as an example, but it could be anyone with whom you have a relationship. Sometimes you might feel the ebb and flow with your mate. It is not a sign that love has died, necessarily. It only says something about the nature of emotions and feelings, which are not constant.

When one first “falls in love,” that person usually can do no wrong. You see “through the eyes of love.” Then somewhere along the way, little habits begin to irritate you. You either resolve them, or they continue to expand — like a snowball going downhill. Eventually, it becomes too big to stop. Bickering begins, and those turn into fights. The next thing you know, you two are separating and going your own way. Sometimes you are happy about it, and sometimes you are not. If you are caught in this spiral, you must ask yourself about why you got together in the first place. Are any of those reasons still valid? If they are, you need to find a way to fix it, if you can. If not, you need a different game plan when you enter a relationship with someone new.

A revolutionary idea: Is it possible to live in Love as a State of Being?

When you open your eyes in the morning, what is your first thought? Your second one? Are you glad to be alive? Are you grateful for something? Are you expressing friendliness to people in your world? When you take a deep breath, do you feel a sweet release of tension and stress?

The element of Livingness is expressing Love as a State of Being, coming from within, and going outwards to anyone who contacts us during a day. It does not matter if it is five minutes with a salesclerk, giving a smile and a thank you for the service rendered, or if it is towards someone you truly love — be it your mate,  mother,  family, friend, or anyone else of importance to you.

Love is a State of Mind First, Last, and Always.

If you Love Life, you stop and smell the flowers along the way, appreciate the colors that surround you, the beautiful butterflies that flutter by, and birds that sing their song. You are living in the moment, not worrying about tomorrow or yesterday. LIVE IN THE NOW. You must have heard this many times in so many different ways. By doing this, you are more able to stay in tune with your thoughts and emotions.

If you dance, are you listening to the music you are hearing RIGHT NOW? That beat, that movement is all timed to the music. It is not the song that was playing yesterday or last year. Nor is it the song that will be played next year. It is Today’s Song. By staying in the moment, you will be moving to the music of Life Within You, more able to better respond to Life’s situations, be they positive or negative.

If you look at your current situation , you need to look at where you are versus where you would like to be. It is that simple and that hard. You are the captain of your ship. You alone must decide where and how to sail it. Are you willing to make changes so that you can achieve a new beginning? It is all up to you, after all. What do you choose?

God’s blessings upon your journey.

Chuhily Exhibit

Chihuly Exhibit

Orchids

Orchids

Moonbow

Moonbow

Fire Rainbows

Fire Rainbows

Sunrise

Sunrise

Aurora Borealis and Sunset

Aurora Borealis and Sunset

Butterfly

Butterfly

Butterfly

Butterfly

Red Winged Blackbird

Red Winged Blackbird

Dove

Dove

Live in the Moment by Dr. Wayne D. Dyer

Live in the Moment by Dr. Wayne D. Dyer

 

 

Dealing With Sickness

Sometimes, out of the middle of nowhere, a health issue pops up. Sometimes it is serious, sometimes not. But whether it is serious or not, it always messes with your mind, attitudes, and emotions. How do you get through it?

It is not an issue of wimping out, having a pity party, or giving up. As long as you are alive, you have to deal with it. How you do that is up to you and nobody else. What does your mind say? What attitudes do you choose to encourage? What emotions do you endure?

Common attitudes vary from looking on the bright side, taking your courage in hand, and do what you have to do to get better, whatever that consists of…be it physical therapy – doing it with a good effort, knowing that what you put in will determine how well it works – take your prescribed medication as you should – change of diet, either temporarily or permanently – asking for help when needed, even if you are independent-minded and do not want to ask – make a list of questions for your physicians – listening to their answers – in short: Doing whatever it takes to achieve your goal of improving and getting better.

Looking on the other side of attitudes, you see an unwillingness to go through the pain of it all, be it exercises from physical therapists,  uncomfortable tests for evaluation, unwillingness to trust your physicians or their advice, inability to cope with it all so you withdraw and do nothing (which is an option, though not a very wise one), just hoping that somebody out there has a magic pill to make it all go away.

So far, I have not found any magic pills. Have you?

I cannot wave a magic wand and make the problems disappear, never to return.

The emotions you deal with can exacerbate an already tough situation, as can your brain. Fear immobilizes – always! Anger is debilitating. (Yes, anger is a component, more than we like to admit.) It can even be a generic anger that this has happened to you.  It is all inside of you, bubbling away like a witch’s brew.

Knowing the cause – be it an accident, exposure to a sickness, or just a problem with your body – rarely helps.

Somehow, you need to find a way that works for you personally. You must seek help to resolve the thoughts, emotions, and attitudes. Books can aid you. Counseling can, too. Venting with a good friend can come to your assistance. Prayers for me are a vital part of it all, requesting them from caring family and friends I know.

When it is a loved one who is ill, it becomes a lot more complicated. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness come unbidden as you watch them suffer. You might be able to paste on that smile while you are in their presence, trying to help where you can, but when you are alone, it can fill your heart with angst and fear. You are not in control of anything. That is when you have to do the same thing as listed above: Get yourself under control. You cannot be of assistance to anybody if you don’t calm yourself first.

I know dear people who are caught in the horns of this dilemma. Denial causes inappropriate reactions, delaying resolution – sometimes permanently – as the condition continues to deteriorate.

It has been said: “The way out is the way through!”

I believe this from the very bottom of my heart. There is no avoiding it. You just have to ask yourself: How am I going to respond to this situation? Examine your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and emotions. They are as important as the symptoms of the illness. You are a whole person, not just an arm, leg, heart, head, or other body part.

With that in mind, perhaps you could start by making a list of them. Then you can look for ways to resolve each one. There is no evading this issue, so deal with it.

The question is: Are you willing? Do you want to look for a resolution? It is within your purview to do it – and you are the only one who can. The problem is well defined. Now look for the answer.

God’s blessings on your journey!

 

 

 

Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis is defined as, “Change of form, shape, structure, or substance; transformation; a marked or complete change of character, appearance, condition, etc.”

This happens during Autumn of every year. I revel in the sight of leaves drifting down from the trees and the changing of their colors.

It reminds me that I need to examine my own life to see what is not serving me very well so I can let it go. Amazingly, there is always something to find. Life does it to us, serving up a cup of sad memories, should have’s, shouldn’t have’s, wish I had, wish I hadn’t…you name it. That includes lack of forgiveness for myself and others. We hang onto the memories, both good and bad.By hanging onto the memories, we also hang onto the emotions. In most cases, that gives us more grief than the original occurrence of whatever happened. As usual, it is the bad stuff we hang onto the tightest. We wonder: Why am I so bummed out? Depressed? Sad? Angry?

Like a caterpillar that spins its cocoon so it can morph into a butterfly, we need to examine our attitudes, emotions, thoughts, etc. We cannot become who were meant to be as long as we continue to hang onto whatever is holding us back.

I tell myself that this is a time to accept changes and let go, peacefully and without frustration or gnashing of teeth. It is like putting a leaf into a stream and watch it float away with the current, releasing it.

Life is a journey, not a destination. I would rather enjoy the journey, wouldn’t you?

It is very difficult to enjoy something when you carry so much baggage with you, isn’t it?

Oak Autumn Leaves

Oak Autumn Leaves

Reflection of Autumn Leaves

Reflection of Autumn Leaves

Magnificent Autumn Leaves - Colorado

Magnificent Autumn Leaves – Colorado

Colorful Caterpillar

Colorful Caterpillar

Blue Morph Butterfly

Blue Morph Butterfly

Yellow Swallowtail on Dianthus (Sweet William)

Yellow Swallowtail on Dianthus (Sweet William)

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