Long ago and far away, the reason for the season was born. He was a humble man, born in a stable. Life for him was simple. His message was clear, free from complications, and full of love for mankind.
But as we look at the Christmas Season today, it is filled with so many things to do that we drop into bed exhausted by the day’s activities and expectations. Have you ever stopped to think about why?
It should be time filled with good memories, moments of love and good will shared with others we care about. However, it is often a time of great stress, both personally and financially. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why that happens? It is a time filled with overdone to-do lists, stressed out, short breathing, and exhaustion. Does that sound merry? Nope.
When was the last time you took time for yourself to stop and enjoy the fleeting moments of your life? How are you breathing? Is it short and from the chest? Or is it relaxed and coming from the stomach, filling your lungs with life-giving oxygen?
Yes, it is a time for celebrating other people in your life. Does it come from expensive gifts you cannot afford? Or is it gifts from the heart, no matter how small? Is it baked goods, cooked with a happy heart, sharing of your energies and time? Do you stop to actually listen to others? Sometimes, that is the greatest gift of all. People in our world are crying out to know they exist. Is it a smile or a shoulder to cry on?
Life can be so much simpler if you let it be that. Look hard at your to-do lists. Examine them carefully. Is each item coming from a heart brimming with joy or expectations? Hope for a better world, no matter how small an action?
Your attitude of gratitude is necessary from beginning to end. Do you spend even five minutes of your day being grateful for the good in your life? This is vital to your well-being.
It is the way you give a gift and not the gift itself, after all. It is an expression of the love, appreciation, and joy that the gift is given. It is not the amount of money spent on it, but the act itself of remembering.
They say that the first gift you buy should be one for yourself. Do you do that? Have you ever done it?
This is the most beautiful time of year, filled with so much to be thankful for: Eyes that see, ears that hear, taste buds that celebrate the many delights of food made especially during this season, and the touch of others – be it an elbow bump, a hug, or a massage.
Remember: Life is so precious. Take time for yourself so you can relax into the season. Do not overextend your energy levels. Do what you can do each day, and do it with a happy heart filled with the joy of life. What more could you ask of yourself? That takes deep breathing, which goes away with the first moment of stress and anxiety. Stop and query: Is this act/gift, etc., really necessary? If exhaustion is a factor, take care of yourself first, not last. We only get so much energy to spend each day. Make each detail of your day count towards that end. Life will go on, whether you drop into bed at night, still filled with the stresses of the day, or if you relax before going to bed, counting the blessings of the day.
Life can be so much simpler if you put some thought into it. Are you willing?
Warmest wishes for the happiest of Holiday Seasons!
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Tags: anxiety, celebrating, complications, deep breathing, exhaustion, expectations, expensive gifts, grateful, hope, humble, joy, life, life is precious, Love, metaphysics, New Age, New thought, Reason for the season, simple, stressed out, thoughts, to-do-lists, touch, Truth, understanding, wisdom
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!
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Tags: Beauty, blessings, goal orientation, God, grateful, Gratitude, Happiness, journey, joy, life, light, Love, meditation, metaphysics, New Age, new perspective, New thought, optimistic, Peace, Pessimism, prayers, smile, thankfulness, thoughts, trials, tribulations, Truth, understanding, wisdom
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.
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Tags: alive, answer, birds, butterflies, colors, diplomacy, emotions, feelings, flowers, friendliness, God, grateful, guide, journey, life, Life within you, Live in the Now, livingness, Love, Love Life, metaphysics, music, New Age, New thought, questions, relationship, sexual attraction, song, thoughts, time, Truth, understanding, Valentine's Day, willing, wisdom
Emmet Fox states:
“There is an anecdote of the Far West which carries a wonderful lesson. It appears that a party of hunters, being called away from their camp, left the campfire unattended, with a kettle of water boiling on it.
Presently an old bear crept out of the woods, and, seeing the kettle with its lid dancing about on top, promptly seized it. The boiling water scalded him badly; but instead of dropping the kettle instantly, he proceeded to hug it tightly — this being a bear’s idea of defense. Of course, the tighter he hugged it, the more it burned him; and the more it burned him, the tighter he hugged it; and so on in a vicious circle, to the undoing of the bear.
This illustrates perfectly the way in which many people hug their difficulties to their bosoms by constantly rehearsing them to themselves and others.”
Are you one of those? When something upsets you, do you fuss and fume about it? How long do you do that? I personally know people that can hang onto bad stuff for days, weeks, months, and years at a time. They feel justified because it was a particularly bad memory. Guess who it hurts? Nobody but you.
Alternative: Let it go. Release it. Know that life happens, one day at a time. You cannot get anywhere when you are driving if you are always looking behind you; in fact, that would be very dangerous. You must always be aware of your surroundings and look ahead as part of that. Life is no different.
History, even that which happened a second ago, cannot be changed. There is no power that can change the past. So let go of it.
If a dog has an itch, he scratches it. He is living in the now. How about you? Can you say that?
If some problem is wearing you out from the inside, become the spectator and see if you can see it from a different view. If you cannot do anything to change it, move into the present, look around for something to be grateful for, and give thanks to your Creator for it.
Can you just let it go? It’s up to you!
Blessings on your journey!
This information came from the Huffington Post picture/suggestions on 3-20-14, and I heartily agree with them:
5 Way to Turn Happiness into Advantage:
1) Write down what you are grateful for. Write down three new things you are grateful for each day. (Research shows this will significantly increase optimism even 6 months later and raises your success rate significantly.)
2) Focus on the positive: Write for two minutes a day, describing one positive experience you have had over the past 24 hours. (This is a strategy to help transform you from a task-based thinker to a meaning-based thinker who scans the world for meaning instead of endless to-dos.)
3) Exercise 10 minutes a day. (Trains your brain to believe your behavior matters, which causes a cascade of success throughout the rest of the day.)
4) Meditate for two minutes a day: Focusing on your breath going in and out. (This will help you undo the negative effects of multitasking. Research shows you get multiple tasks done faster if you do them one at a time.)
5) Send a positive e-mail: Write one e-mail first thing in the morning, thanking or praising a member of your team/family/friends. (This significantly increases your feeling of social support.)
These five things take only a few minutes a day, yet the fruit you would get from them could not only change your life, but it would create a Synergy that could ultimately make a huge difference. Are you willing to try it?
God bless your journey!
“Forgive Me When I Whine” by John Palmer
“Today upon a bus I saw a lovely maiden with golden hair;
I envied her—so beautiful, and how, I wished I were so fair;
When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle;
She had one foot and wore a crutch,
but as she passed, she wore a smile
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two feet –the world is mine
And when I stopped to buy some sweets,
the lad who served me had such charm;
he seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner was so kind and warm;
I said, “it’s nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find;”
He turned and said, “Oh, thank you sir.”
And then I saw that he was blind.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two eyes, the world is mine.
Then when walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue;
He stood and watched the others play,
it seemed he knew not what to do;
I stopped a moment, then I said,
“Why don’t you join the others, dear?
He looked ahead without a word,
I realized –he could not hear.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two ears, the world is mine
With feet to take me where I’d go,
with eyes to see the sunsets glow,
with ears to hear what I would know,
I am blessed indeed.
The world is mine.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.”
This article always strikes a chord deep within my being.
The definition of whine is: “To complain or beg in a childishly undignified way; a complaint uttered in a whining tone; to utter a peevish, high-pitched, somewhat nasal sound, as in complaint, distress, fear, etc.”
How about you? Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed? Is your coffee cold and your toast burned? Did you have a flat tire or the car would not start? Daily life is filled to the brim with instances like this.
Remember, it is not what happens to you that really counts…it is your REACTION to it that does the damage or begins to make a repair.
Which will you choose?
The Serenity Prayer is always just a thought away:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”
(by American theologian Reinhold Nieburh 1892-1971)
So, if you look carefully at whatever is distressing you, you may well find something to be grateful for. It will change your attitude immediately.
Are you willing to give it a try?
Christmas and New Year’s are now past. The gifts have been opened and enjoyed. Perhaps you have made some New Year Resolutions, had a party, and welcomed the beginning of a New Year. So…what comes next?
Will it be more of the same? Or are you determined to make some changes?
Do you look at your life frequently, just to comment on what is wrong with it?
Do you need more of ….. (you finish that sentence)?
Here’s a novel idea: Look at your life carefully. Look at all the elements that are in it. Inside of each element is something to be grateful for. Many elements you were born with: You can walk, talk, speak, smell, think. There are many in this world who do not have the abilities you do. Are you contemplating what you will have for dinner? Many are wondering if they will be able to find anything to eat at all. In short, life is really not about what is wrong, but what is right. Too much attention is devoted to correcting deficiencies, while little is spent on the attitude of gratitude.
A song says, “Count your many blessing, name them one by one…” How long has it been since you did precisely that?
Whatever you focus your attention on is “the seed of your tomorrow.” Do you want more of what is good for you, or do you want to continue like a hamster in a cage, going round and round in the same old lessons?
Life is about lessons. It is meant to be lived. We all of have to do whatever it is we do every day…work, ride the bus, drive a car, play super mom or super dad, provider, bill payer…our routines rule our life.
When was the last time you said, “Thank you!” to someone? Do you show appreciation when someone does something for you? It is all part of the Attitude of Gratitude.
As for me, I am grateful for each and every day, from the sunrise to the sunset and beyond. I do count my blessings often. I love to be able to exercise and be healthy. I love to be outside and enjoy all of God’s wonders that He shares with me, be it a coyote, a Kestrel, or a bee on a blossom in my camera’s vision, which is also a gift. Beauty is all around, and I actively seek it.
Life comes to us a moment at a time. The Attitude of Gratitude becomes a part of our way of life, which expands our blessings and our livingness in the enjoyment of each day.
So instead of condemning (finding fault with) ourselves and others, why not spend more of our time being grateful, COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS?
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