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Believe In Yourself

How many times have you heard, “Believe in yourself?”

If you begin at the very beginning, your self concept begins from the day you are born and continues to build as the days go by. The important people in your life, especially your parents or a teacher, can have great bearing on the formation of your personal identity. Whether or not you have low self-esteem issues, or perhaps you have a hard time expressing your opinions or standing up for yourself, you are a person with the ability to recognize any perceived short-comings you have. You also have the power to decide to change.

When I was young and in the above-mentioned state, I read Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. I came to many realizations as I read this book. I could see the common sense of it. I began to implement some changes. My husband at that time did not like the idea at all. In fact, he tore up my book into confetti-sized pieces, threw them at me as he exclaimed: “You cannot be a person because you are my wife!” Did the marriage last? No, because once I knew I could stand on my own two feet with the ability to make new choices, the situation was untenable.

If I were to look in a mirror today all these years later, I can celebrate because I married a man who truly wanted an intelligent mate who can think, act, and be the person I need to be – even while I am working with him, side by side, in harmony traces. (This is like a pair of horses, pulling a wagon, where the strengths of one aids the weaknesses of the other and vice versa, pulling the load equally.)

When I was a senior in high school (many years ago), I took Speech. Of course, I had to speak in front of the class. The person sitting in the first desk could not have really heard me – no projection, shy, slow of speech, etc. However, as I began to age, I discovered that I can be in a room of any size and be able to have everyone hear me without the aid of the microphone. How is this possible? It happened because I discovered that I could begin to unwrap my God-given gifts that I was born with and learn to use them to benefit myself and others.

When I was in elementary school, an art teacher, Mrs. Able, told me to never attempt to do anything in the art field. I was crushed and did not attempt any form of art for a long time. A few years back, I took an art class on my lunch break. My teacher made me promise to finish and frame my pencil drawing of a Norwhal, a collage I titled “Quietness,” and another collage in blue titled “Flight.” He told me I could put my works on  display in any gallery in town. So I ask you, “What made the difference?”

The answer is simple: I discovered some of the gifts that I possess and did, indeed, learn to use them. My self definition changed from “I can’t!” to either “I can!” or “I want to try something new.”

You, too, can discover that you are a unique human being with many gifts inside of you which need unwrapping. The words, “Believe In Yourself” take on new meaning as you find what you are capable of doing. As you begin to set aside the old tape recordings of how incapable you are, the more you begin to actually live your life more fully. You can decide to make new choices instead of rehashing old memories/words or beliefs.

The only question remaining is: Are you willing? It is, after all, entirely within your capabilities to recognize that a change is needed. Then you find out that just the process of recognizing that a change is needed actually begins a synergy that can carry you forward as far as you want to go.

God’s blessings upon your journey!

believe-in-yourself-kitty believe-in-yourself be-yourself how-do-i-see-myselfn attitude



Death is Merely a Journey

Because I have personally experienced the loss of so many loved ones, I wanted to express some thoughts that have comforted me along the way.

It has been said that: “Death is merely another journey, one we all must take.”

Kahlil Gibran in “The Prophet” states: “For  life and death are one, even as the river and sea are one…For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”

Mary Elizabeth Fry (11-13-1905 to 9-15-2004) wrote a poem:

Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep

“Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glint on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.”

It has been determined that, when a person dies, their weight decreases by one ounce immediately. Is this the weight of that person’s Spirit/Soul/Essence of Being? Interesting idea, to say the least.

Our Spirit is Us, undeniably. Apart from any religious beliefs, we are all the same. We, the living, forget that our Spirit is indestructible and is more than our bodies, which merely provide us with a place to live and learn while we are on this plane of existence.

John Denver sang about life as: “Just a gathering of memories and then we are gone.”

Hollywood does a good job of stating in pictures that the person who has made his/her transition is still here with us in our hearts as feelings and in our minds as memories.

Christians state: “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Perhaps they say: “We know that person is now with Jesus and is not in pain anymore.”

Other religions state it differently, but it is the same idea: That person’s Spirit has moved on, leaving only the shell behind.

Testimonies of people who have clinically died and been brought back have one thing in common: They saw Beautiful Beings and White Light, which was so peaceful. That idea comforts me.

Sometimes death comes in a tragic, unexpected way. That leaves dear ones dismayed by the suddenness of it all. Sometimes it comes to one who has lingered terribly long, so that death is a release from the agony.  Sometimes it comes calling when one least expects it.

Grief over the loss of a loved one can come in many forms: Anticipatory Grief when someone is lingering, Instant Grief when one leaves unexpectedly or a relationship ends. There are many books out there to aid the ones left behind.

Death is, indeed, a part of life. It is a journey we all must take at some time or another. The weird thing is that one does not contemplate one’s own demise. It is as if we will go on forever. When we are reminded of how fickle the Grim Reaper can be, reminding us of our mortality, we usually shrug it off and move on down the road.

My question is this: How can you truly live if you don’t accept the inescapable fact that death is inevitable, sometime?

It is not morbid to contemplate it. It ultimately gives one the freedom to really live! Be in the NOW!

We can comfort others in their sorrow, knowing that they feel deprived of the presence of their loved one. We can have compassion for them during their grieving process. The normal grieving period is two years. It is that period of time when you think of that person, and it stops you in your tracks. Perhaps the tears flow as you miss that one so very much. Even though times goes by, your memory of that person is as fresh as yesterday when you think of them.

Very few people who are going about their daily lives ever really think that: ‘Today is the day when I will cease to be on this planet.” When you kiss a loved one good-bye, you do not know that will be the last time you see him/her.

I always make sure to tell the people in my life that I love them. When my husband and I part, there is always a kiss and a goodbye said. I am comforted that, come what may, I left on a happy note as would he.

Can you say the same about your loved ones? Or are you still fussing over the burned toast or a hasty word spoken in anger? You never have the assurance that will be the last thing spoken or done. Always be aware of it.

Life is a funny thing – it goes to the living. My question is: Are you living? Or are you just existing? Are you doing that which is best for you and your loved ones? It is always your choice in action.

No one who was caught in the 911 catastrophe knew that would be their last moments on earth, or even in plane, car, or train crashes. One woman became so afraid of flying that she took the train, which derailed. The only person who died was her.

Fear of death is an awesome thing and takes a terrible toll. Fear paralyzes one’s abilities such that inaction becomes the order of the day. Sad to say, but when Fear rules, that person loses so much life force and ability to function, which can never be recovered.

“Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” -Mark Twain

If “Life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one,” how can you go on ignoring the reality of it all?

Your choice is all you have to enable you to be 100 percent functional. Are you willing to use it wisely?

God’s blessings on your journey!






Everyone looks outside of themselves for guidance. Ask a friend. Ask an associate. Ask a boss. Ask a parent. You name it. There are as many opinions out there as there are people.

A child needs the help and guidance of the parent/parents as he/she grows. God designed it that way.

However, as we mature, we have to come to the idea that we have to make decisions on our own. One cannot depend on exterior sources forever. We can inquire into many resolutions in any way that seems fitting to us…all exterior to our minds. They can help us sort it all out. But we have to know: THE MOMENT OF ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY WILL NEVER ARRIVE!

Sooner or later, we have to decide: Get into the boat with both feet and begin to row, or get out on the bank with both feet and find a different path. You cannot go anywhere by having one foot in the boat and one on the land.

For me, it is vital to make the connection/recognition of the God Self within — the Inner Companion who will always be there for me, waiting for my attention, recognition,  and listening ability. First, last, and foremost, Prayer can help me sort out what is important and what is not. My mind can be jumbled like the Dr. Dolittle’s Pushmi-pullyu. I can feel stressed out, thinking about some problem that is of significance to me at that moment. Once I enter my meditation and calmness breathing, I can sort things out so much quicker. I can KNOW that everything is going to be all right, no questions asked. You see, Prayer, Meditation, and Breathing are all one — not separate functions.

Life unfolds before me in its fullness. I know that all my loved ones, problems notwithstanding, are being held in the hands of God. Each one is God’s child, too. Sooner or later, each one will find whatever it is that is needed to guide them and provide for them in every way.

Doubt is the killer here. If God’s phone is on busy, and I am not deserving, I am pleading for naught.

Belief is vital. God is With Me = Emmanuel.   That is what it means. If God be for me, then who can be against me? Together, we form a majority. I ASK, BELIEVING that it is already done. It is moving from the unseen into the seen. When I say Amen, I know it will appear in whatever form it needs to take. I watch answered prayer every day of my life. How, then, could I not believe?

I ask God questions all the time by writing them down in a book and date it. When I get the answers, I also write them down. God is faithful and always responds through any avenue He sees fit. It might not be the answer I thought of, but it is an answer nonetheless.

God is so good to me. I can truthfully say that. I can look back over all the years, and be grateful for the good people who have come into my life: friends, loved ones all, are wonderful to my eyes. My life is full. My cup runneth over, daily. I have wonderful memories of so many delightful things.

I can look back over the tears I have shed by the bucket-full, and know that they served their purpose. I can remember all the sadness, disappointment, and dismay and know the same.

Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” addresses this very well:

“Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.

And he answered:

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The Deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very woods that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, ‘Joy is greater than sorrow,’ and others say, ‘Nay, sorrow is the greater.’

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.”

These are treasured words for me.

Would I want to relive any of the bad memories? Nope. They came. They went.

Would I want to revive all of the good memories? Nope. They came. They went. I will treasure them always, but they are not my now.


All of life’s memories become a tapestry, where the dark threads only highlight the brightness and color of all the others.

Knowing this has given me great equanimity and calmness, helping me to not only ask for Guidance and in Prayer for the many needs of every single person I know, some very tragic and heart-rending, some just confused, some seemingly lost on the path, some needing healing, etc.


Matthew 7:7-11: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that seeketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

Additionally, Luke:11:12 “Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?” Same story.

Matthew 21:22 “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.””

Is your life chaotic? Confusing? Are you in need of more information? Guidance is available. ASK, SEEK, KNOCK. Are you willing?

Anger Management

A quote I live by every day: “Life is too serious to be taken seriously.”

I have had at least one person ask me what that means. I just responded, “Lighten up.”

When I was young, my temper would often get the best of me. Then I would dwell on the situation, only making myself more upset by the minute. Often it would take me days to get over some small incident.

Even if someone actually means to do something ornery to you, is a grudge the best way to handle it?

If someone cuts you off in traffic, do you react with anger? Are you still upset at your desk hours later? I figure that  person who cut me off, nearly taking my fender with him, did not actually do it to me — it is a habitual way to drive which is a poor paymaster, eventually causing that person to damage his own vehicle and probably somebody else’s. I bless him on his way.

As I have aged, I grant others the ability to misbehave and make mistakes, knowing that they are doing the best they can at that moment. I do not take it personally. It saves me a lot of wear and tear on my heart and mind because I just do not want to get angry about the situation. When I get angry, I am leaving my center of peace and tranquillity and exchanging it for something that will not be worth the agony it causes. I have to choose to ACT and not REACT. If I have to state something clearly so that a situation is resolved, I do not have to yell or cuss to get my point across. Yet there is no doubt in anyone’s mind what I am communicating.

I took an Anger Management class many years ago. I learned that ACTIVE LISTENING is the key. You repeat back to the person who is yelling at you exactly what you heard. You keep it up. Soon, the volume decreases. People yell because they think you did not hear them. When you repeat what they say, they lose steam. The Anger flows away. You cannot rationalize with an angry person. He/she is not listening to you. You cannot discuss the issues if one person is yelling and not listening. You can even, eventually, agree to disagree and then set another time to actually discuss the issues if it is necessary. I personally had to deal with a very angry 300 pound man who was borderline getting physically violent. The active listening calmed him down until I could ask him to leave. So I know it works.

Anger, in some people, causes them to withdraw as a reaction. They crawl up into a little shell, which only increases the anger expression of whoever is perpetrating the situation. Obviously, that person does not know you are listening to them.  Some people just try to get away from whatever is happening and just run away from the scene as fast as they can. Resolution never occurs.

Bullies love it. We admit that. They like to feel powerful and power-filled. They usually find someone to pick on that is smaller than they are.  They win by intimidation. Some supervisors do that same thing. You cannot interact with them because they know they have POWER. But being quiet like a mouse does not work either as a response. They usually only get worse. Try Active Listening techniques. Perhaps it will help calm the situation.

When someone is angry, it raises their blood pressure, the adrenalin “fight or flight” response, and the wear and tear on the body. It is like a light that goes shooting out at the person or situation. When it is over, one feels empty and drained. If the anger is not expressed properly, however, it turns inward and becomes depression. That is a bad beast to have to deal with.

You can pound on pillows, write a hate letter and shred it, perform physical exercise, imagining that you are stomping out the problem/situation/person. There are lots of ways to exorcise the bad feelings without putting one’s fist through a wall, person, or thing.

I have had three accidents in my life which have impacted my body functioning and hampered how I can do many tasks. I have had to deal with anger over the losses to my healthy body. Life is not fair, and it will never be so. I had to work my way through the anger responses so I could deal with the pain and the situation. That is not an easy thing to do, but it is necessary because I choose to be a pleasant person with a smile on my face. Most people will never know what I have gone through and what is happening to my body at any moment. I do not let the pain or the anger control me and dictate what my interaction level will be with others. I choose to overcome it and share the best that is in me with my world.

We are like puppets of the memories we have, registered long ago when we were learning how to interact with our world. We learned how to deal with situations by watching those around us. If we did not have good mentors (and most of us had parents and others around us who are capable of making mistakes), we respond with whatever we learned, good or bad.

Most of the therapy that people pay for is so they can react and interact with their world differently than what they learned when they were small. They want to be able to be more functional. That is a good thing. It is never too late to change, using whatever tools you can find that work for you, be it a book, a good friend, etc.

If you find yourself becoming angry at something or someone, can you stop for even a second before you light that flame of destruction? Can you ask yourself why you are ready to rip somebody’s head off? Can you stop and breathe deeply, trying to calm yourself, your blood pressure, and your “fight or flight” response? That is the purpose for counting to 10, slowly.

Do you remember the scene in the Harry Potter movie where Ron was facing his fears, and he turned the spider into a clown, with roller skates on each leg?  Do you know that anger can be dealt with in the same way? I quietly think about a scene from Alice in Wonderland, looking for the Mad Hatter, The Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit with the pocket watch yelling, “I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!” Anything that will add levity to the situation until I can regain my perspective. I don’t have to tell anyone what I am up to…I just do it.

When things gets crazy around me, instead of joining the craziness, I just calmly rise in my air balloon, looking at the situation as a spectator. If I choose to ACT, I can then do so. No hint of REACT is there. (Now, if I had a charging tiger to deal with, I would put my adrenalin to good use. But short of that, in real life, there are not many  dangers out there to react to. It is the imaginary dangers that cause the damage, and most of them never happen. We just worry about it all, nonetheless.)

If have been told that I am a very positive person. I work at it. It is not something that happens by chance. I work on my calm attitudes because I want to be part of the answer, not the problem.

Each morning when I get up, I set my sails so that if some errant wind catches me, I can then adjust my sails so I can keep heading towards my destination, whatever that may be for the day. Lots of people can try to huff and puff, and blow me off course…all to no avail. Circumstances can do the same. I still press on with my hand on the helm, charting my course by my belief system and my faith. with prayers always in my heart.

Life happens. We all make mistakes. We have to continually pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again.

If you find yourself stewing over some situation and not arriving at a peaceful resolution, just know that you have lots of company. The only questions you need to ask yourself are, “Do I want to continue feeling like this? Do I want to change that?” Hanging onto your anger will not solve a thing. It only wears you out from the inside. Is it worth it?



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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