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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.

Harmony Traces In a Relationship

Harmony Traces is an example of a couple who is pulling together, focusing their energies, money, and goals so that synergy occurs, creating the desired end result. It is the quintessence of cooperation.  This happens in less time than it would take two individuals working alone.

Have you ever tried to pull a heavy wagon all by yourself? It doesn’t work too well, does it? If you have two horses trying to pull a load, they are yoked together so the effort expended achieves the goal. That is what Harmony Traces is…pulling together.

For those who are familiar with Charlton Heston in the movie, “Ben Hur,” he is talking to the sheik’s four horses, telling each one of them their strengths. He told the sheik that they were harnessed incorrectly so that they would not hold a turn as they should. He then told him how each one should be placed so that their combined effort would be successful.

Life is a lot like that. However, I have found over the years that there are not many couples out there who are concerned with this. Life itself helps us to pick at our partners, dividing us, creating enmity and hurt feelings. The end result gets lost in the details.

Communication fails so badly that some couples just stop talking to their partners, trying to avoid another confrontation. It is just too painful to endure.

If you are feeling a separation with your important other, you need to ask yourself if you want it to continue. Or…do you want to do something about it?

If you decide to change the situation, there are many counselors, books, communication classes, etc. out there. If you truly want it, you just need to seek it.

Harmony Traces is not something that happens by magic. It is an idea you have to work towards. If there is something you need to discuss with your partner that is unpleasant, you have to start somewhere. Deciding when and where may be a delicate issue. But you begin the conversation, peacefully, calmly, and with a recognition of just how much you care for this person, communicating that first. Respecting others opinions, active listening, and responding appropriately are key here for both of you.

I saw in this one movie with Steve Martin where they had 12 kids between them. During a family meeting, they passed around the talking stick. Only the person with the stick could say something, and the rest had to listen. I have often thought about how valuable this idea is: Simple, easy, and doable. But when emotions get involved, people stop listening, respecting, and communicating. Guess what happens next? You got it: A full-fledged battle is underway. You can rest assured that feelings, memories, and words occur that you cannot take back or change.

Honesty and trust are developed over time. It does not grow like a mushroom, which can blossom overnight. It is more like the oak tree, slow to develop, but the growth is worth any effort in the long run.

All you have to do is to think about the idea of Harmony Traces as a worthwhile goal to strive for. This journey of a thousand miles will begin with this step. Are you willing to take it?

God’s blessings on your journey!

Mushrooms Blossom Quickly

Mushrooms Blossom Quickly

Oak Tree in Autumn - Beautiful to Behold!

Oak Tree in Autumn – Beautiful to Behold!

 

 

Live, Love, Laugh!

This particular threesome is visible everywhere – on cars, plaques, walls, etc. Sometimes it is:

Live Well

Laugh Often

Love Much

It could be very esoteric (beyond the understanding or knowledge of most people, as defined by the dictionary). It could just be that it is so simple, its deeper meanings are overlooked in the chaotic, busy world we live in. Certainly, many things occupy are thoughts from the second we wake up to the minute we go to bed.

But taking a deep breath and pausing, just looking at the three above phrases, ask yourself, “What comes to my mind?”

Live Well could immediately be translated into a materialistic ideal in lieu of being happy with your life and how you are living it.

Laugh Often could be nullified by the stress you are feeling at this moment over many situations in your life which you do not feel you have any control over, engendering a sense of hopelessness.

Love Much could simply be an erotic invitation to enjoy the flesh and its ecstasies, or it could make you think, “Have I told my loved ones today how very much I love them, appreciate them, enjoy them?” You know, with all the tragedies that have happened in this world in these past few years, I wonder how many people passed on without hearing that simple phrase?

Live, Love, and Laugh are my personal commandment for every moment of my day, every single day I am alive. I want the people in my life to know how very much I appreciate them. I do not want anyone to doubt that, ever. Each one is a gem in his/her own right – unique, special, one-of-a-kind.  No matter how small they are, or what age they are, or how I know them. It matters not to me. I want to cherish each and every one, and I want them to know it. Life is too short to do otherwise. I want to look each one in the eye and let them know that I am listening to what they have to say. Each relationship, no matter if it is a busy store clerk who is obviously having a bad day, or a long-term friend, deserves not only my attention, but a smile as well. (You might be surprised at the lift a simple smile can accomplish, or a small act of kindness.)

Life passes us by through simple inaction, words unspoken, feelings unexpressed, and good intentions never fulfilled because one runs out of time. That happens with every minute of every day as it becomes  history from this present moment.

You have to ask yourself, “Do I want to write a note today to just say Hi to a lonely friend, or a dear one I have gotten out of touch with, or even a note of forgiveness to someone (whether it is ever sent or not)?” Perhaps even a phone call,  an email, or a Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Love is more than a feeling – it is a state of mind. If you are coming from a LOVE perspective, you act differently than you would if it comes from any other point of view.

Laughter, alias Levity, is a cure-all of just about every negative emotion we can muster. Sometimes we feel like the tail end of the dog, instead of the nose or ears. We get wagged a lot – by others, by situations, by things we believe are not under our control.  Laughter has so many gifts to share. Yet, in this serious world so many of us live in, Laughter is the exception, not the rule. Isn’t that truly a sad state of affairs?

When I say Laughter, I also mean the state of mind known as JOY or Inner Joy. It is a sense that all is OK in your world. Is it? Or not?

You could ask, “What do I have to be Happy about?” Then follow that with a diatribe of complaints. Now I ask you, does that make you feel any better? Doubt it.

In your negativity, may I ask you, “When was the last time you went outdoors to experience Nature at her Best?” I find that even a trip to an indoor area where there are plants helps when the weather outside is adverse. When it is not, step outside. Find something from Mother Nature to admire. You will find your heart lifted like magic, your stress will disappear, and your perspective will lighten and improve.

Are you willing to make the move from the dog’s tail and go up to the ears or nose? You do control your destiny. Declare it to be so.

Look for my three friends: Live, Love, and Laugh in all their fullness. May your step be lighter, your heart happier, your breath much deeper, and your life more meaningful. God bless you on your journey!

Green Mtn Reservoir CO

Green Mtn Reservoir CO

Rocky Mtns CO

Rocky Mtns CO

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

Wild Sweet Peas

Wild Sweet Peas

Bee on Flower

Bee on Flower

Happiness

The definition for Happy is:  “Favored by circumstances; lucky; fortunate; having, showing, or causing a feeling of great pleasure, contentment, joy, etc.; joyous; glad; pleased.” By the way, Happiness is a noun, while Happy is an adjective. That means the latter is active while the former is static…that means a lot.

Happiness is many things to many people. It is a state of mind. Some people equate it to ecstasy, or a state of euphoria. I would suggest to you that it is much more than that. It is more than a feeling, however fleeting that can be.  Some believe that circumstances outside of you can bring you Happiness, unknowing that Happiness is an inside job. Perhaps you may want a soul mate so you can live “happily ever after,” yet that particular one has not appeared because all of the candidates are flawed. Some have become disillusioned with the idea, believing it to be an impossibility. So they just stop looking or trying. Some keep looking even though they are not exactly sure what it is they are seeking. Some reach a sense of desperation because they want to begin a family, feeling like the clock is ticking against them. They actually have the option now of freezing their eggs or sperm, just in case they finally find that certain someone. That keeps their options open so they can have a healthy baby.

Some think that stuff can be the essence of their existence. Just go out and buy whatever you think will finally make you Happy. Yet that newness wears off, so you go buy something else. It is a wonderful thing to enjoy your possessions and all the good that God has brought to you…whether it is a beautiful necklace or a fancy car. Just remember that there is more to life. Besides, if material possessions brought Happiness, why are there not more of us deliriously Happy? Some people seek money and fame beyond all else, yet when they find it, they still must feel empty because of involvement with drugs, alcohol, and other addictions, some of which are fatal. It appears to be conundrum to me. (Definition of Conundrum is any puzzling question or problem.)

Some seek security and base all their decisions on that one idea. Yet security in itself is usually a moving target, especially in this economy and changing circumstances for so many people.  Some people even think that getting married will provide you with it. When they find out that it does not, they opt for divorce in lieu of being together and learning from each other. Tough decisions all.

There is a tale about a king who wanted to be happy, so he sent out a decree that he wanted to find the happiest man in his kingdom. He thought that, if he could find this person, he could wear this man’s shirt and be happy too. However, when he found the happiest man, it turned out that he did not even own a shirt. There is an idea to ponder.

Think for a minute: If Happiness is an inside job, how can anything outside of you actually truly create it? If you had a Happy plant growing inside of you, it would need nourishment in many forms: water, vitamins, sunshine, you name it. Yet we neglect to do any of that because we are waiting for some magic from outside of ourselves to help it to grow. While we wait, the plant withers and possibly dies.

I would suggest to you that Happiness has some basic qualities that help one to realize it:

H          Healthy

A           Admiration

          Politeness/Respect

P           Peace

I            Intimacy

N          Neatness/Orderliness

E          Ecstasy

S          Stillness

S          Serenity

All of these are interconnected with a sense of well-being. If one considers each word and then looks for something in their life that could be identified with it, perhaps just realizing it will raise your Happiness Quotient. If we remember that what we focus us on grows in our life, just changing how you approach the circumstances in your life could make it better.

Life was meant to be lived. Isn’t it about time that you felt you were, indeed, more alive?

If you are serious about being a happier person, suggest you sit down with a blank sheet of paper. Draw a line down the middle. Now write the words, “Am I Happy” and add a punctuation mark. It can be a “?,” a “!” or even a period. The punctuation mark will tell it all. Once you do that, on one side of the column on the paper, write down what makes you feel happy. On the other column, write down what makes you feel sad, lonely, lost, or unhappy. You might be amazed at what these answers will show you. Just writing things down helps you to take a look at your perspective and perhaps change it if you want. We get stuck like a hamster in a cage, doing the same things every day for the same reasons. Sometimes, it helps to get out of that cage of humdrum existence. Writing things down can add clarification and help you formulate a new beginning for you, starting now.

Are you brave enough and willing  to try it?

 

 

Renew Your Mind

Romans 12:2 states: “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
What does that really mean? The dictionary defines RENEW as “to give new spiritual strength to, revive, to begin again, to refill with a fresh supply.”
Could we then decide to treat every single day as though it was a new beginning? Of course!
How much of yesterday’s (yester- year’s) baggage are you toting around? Perhaps you feel as though someone wronged you so you are JUSTIFIED in carrying a grudge? Perhaps someone did something you class in the “Unforgivable” Category? My own brother did something over 20 years ago to our mother that put him in that category for me for the rest of his life. He died this year. On his deathbed, I kissed his forehead and forgave him. I told him that he was doing the best he could, no matter whether I agreed with it or not. I asked myself if it really mattered after all. What point was there in carrying the grudge anymore? I blessed him on his way. Why did I wait so long? That is a good question. I never spoke a word to him directly from the date the Unforgivable happened till he died. Since then, it has been brought home to me what a burden I carried which I was not consciously aware of…because the minute I truly forgave him, I felt lighter.
So I ask you, what do you need to do to create a new beginning for yourself? Is it something inside of you, in your surroundings, in your companions, or in your life itself?
It is not a difficult thing, nor is it complicated. You just have to be WILLING. That is the first step. You will be guided from there.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German poet born on 8-28-1749, said, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has a genius, power, and magic in it.”
What do you need to RENEW? Raise your awareness. It is the beginning so you can control your thoughts and emotions. Are you brave enough to try? What are you willing to release so you may be free?

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