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Spirit of Christmas

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)

 

 

 

Christmas Is Coming!

Christmas is both a time for giving and receiving. How are you at giving? How about receiving? Most of us are predominantly either one or the other. Rarely are we able to do both.

A child’s rhyme/song runs through my mind during this time of year:

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please do put a penny in the old man’s hat
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!”

You hear repeatedly that “It’s not the amount you spend on a gift that counts, but the thought you put into it.” Do we really hear that at the heart level?

I truly love this time of year. I love playing Santa to my friends and family. I know others do as well.

The naysayers emphasize the commercialization of the Christmas Holiday, stating that it is just a time for the stores to make money.  Yes, that is true, but it does not take away from the idea that you can give of the love in your heart, no matter the item.

It is a time for expressing that love in whatever way you deem appropriate. What attitude do you have when you are selecting your gifts? Are you stressed out? Do you feel unhappy because you do not have enough money? If this is true for you, you need to take a look at your priorities. If you cannot give even the smallest gift with a happy heart, filled with the peace of the Season, what blessing are you adding to the gift? That is what matters the most, after all is said and done.

What do you feel when you receive your gifts? Are you looking at the amount someone must have spent, or do you think about what a loving thought and blessing is wrapped inside the package? Are you open to receive that thought and blessing?

My first gift to my friend, who later became my husband, was a small Christmas stocking from a mall kiosk, with his name in glitter and some candy inside. He went into shock when I gave it to him because it was so unusual for him to receive a gift. He still has that little stocking in his desk drawer all these years later. So you never know what a small kindness can do.

In the flurry of the season, take a few moments to stop and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. The Christmas decorations, the music, and the Holiday Spirit (which does not come in a bottle, unfortunately) are all a part of it. I love to exchange Christmas cards because it is a time to touch base with friends and family to see how they all are, for they are now spread far and wide across the globe. What a special time of year!

The center of this Holiday is, of course, the Christ in Christmas. It is a time for celebrating his birth. Is He in your heart, mind, and spirit as you go about your activities? His Gentleness, His Love for all mankind, and His Caring Nature are all expressed through you on a personal level to every single person you contact. Be mindful of that as you go through your days. Do not be so busy with anything that you forget that.

Just know that you choose whether to be that blessing or not as you give your gifts. Put a little of your thoughts inside each one, K? Be a Blessing, K? Be aware of your attitudes when you open your own gifts — look for the thoughtfulness and be open to the gratitude for the expression of love that is inside each one, K?

God’s blessings upon your journey. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

 

Hibiscus & Christmas

Hibiscus & Christmas

Christmas Poinsetta

Christmas Poinsettia

 

 

Saying that Final Good Bye

Saying that Final Good Bye when a loved one passes away is one of the hardest journeys one can take.

The age and circumstances can affect you in ways you never imagined. Sometimes the ill-health of that person can make it a little easier because you do not want to see them suffer anymore, so it becomes a release for them and perhaps for you.

Sometimes it is an unexpected accident — one that you could never have considered as a possibility. Tragedy can break your heart because it is so sudden.

Then the details, expenses for burial, paperwork, rules and regulations come into your awareness. Who knew how complicated it would be? It would seem that an original of the Death Certificate is needed for just about any transaction. It can take weeks or months to take care of the business.

It is said that about 96 percent of people do not have a will or express their wishes in a written document like the Five Wishes as a Living Will. Do those people in the 96 percent understand the negative impact of such an act of omission? Could they not see what a morass of regulations that they are leaving for their families?

As for me, my dear mother passed away recently. Her last month was filled with suffering that even narcotics could not take away. She was surrounded by caretakers who truly cared for her, including family members.

When I looked down at her for that last time, saying a prayer for her on my lips and in my heart, I knew she was finally at peace and without pain. In our belief system, she has become “absent from the body but present with the Lord.” Her Spirit is in a better place. She was set free from a failing shell that just could not house it anymore.

Will I miss her? Of course, every minute of every day. But I believe in God Mail — my thoughts and words to her will be delivered instantly by the best transmission system in existence. Hence, I know that I can still “talk” to her freely. I want her to see through my eyes the beautiful flowers she loved so much on this plane of existence, so I’ll send her a “snapshot” of the Beauty I partake of, or of the loved ones she cared about, or any other thing which I consider important.

I do not know how others who do not have a faith/belief system survive this moment, and the moments to follow. I can only think of the emptiness that must be a part of that. Which faith/belief system that you have is not a factor here. But one must believe in something in order to get through this trying time.

How about you? Have you chosen to take a moment or two to express your wishes in a legal way? I highly encourage you to do so. Not one of us is going to get out of this world alive, so think about it. It would make a tremendous difference to your affairs and those who would have to deal with all the problems created thereby through a lack of a written document.

Life itself will go on for me. The Memorial Service details are almost finished. There will be that moment of one final Good Bye to my beloved mother. But I rest assured that Her Spirit is doing just fine where she is now.

Remember, life is made up of choices, minute by minute, and day by day. Have you told someone, “I Love You!” as they go out the door? It does not matter the age or circumstances. It may be the last words you can express to that person. 911 taught us that in a dramatic way. We have no guarantees.

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Forever in our Hearts

Forever in our Hearts

 

 

 

Are You Building Your House Upon the Sand?

Matthew 7:24-27 states: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

This Biblical story is now thousands of years old, yet it can guide us in our lives today because it is a story about CHOICES and VALUES. Think about it. What did you have for breakfast today? When did you get up? Why did you get out of bed? What are your plans for the day? Are you going to be a couch potato, or is it time for a family outing? Do you want a beer or a cup of coffee?

LIFE HAPPENS A MOMENT AT A TIME. THE CHOICES YOU MAKE, BASED ON YOUR VALUES, WILL MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE, EACH AND EVERY DAY!

The sayings are, of course, WORDS, and the rock is your BELIEF SYSTEM. It is more than what Jesus taught. It is, in fact, how you live your daily life. Your BELIEF SYSTEM is more than going to church every Sunday or whenever the Church door opens. It is more than what your pastor, preacher, Rabbi,  priest, or Holy Man says. IT IS WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT THEY SAY THAT MATTERS.

Are you doing ARK’s (Acts of Random Kindness)? Are you acting in a caring manner with your coworkers, family, friends, acquaintances, and the local confused sales clerk? Or are you spewing forth unthinking words just because the milk got spilled all over,  a mate does something you do not like,  a clumsy child breaks something, or a sales clerk rings something up incorrectly? The point is: WHAT YOU SAY AND DO EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY MATTERS BECAUSE IT IS YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM IN MOTION — IT IS BRINGING YOUR VALUES INTO REALITY.

John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

This is more than a casual verse. It brings the importance to light of: WHAT WORDS YOU SPEAK ARE VITAL TO WHICH HOUSE YOU CHOOSE TO BUILD! Your actions will follow your words and thoughts!

If you think that words and actions do not matter, you are literally “BUILDING YOUR HOUSE UPON THE SAND!” Do you feel like you are on a treadmill, going nowhere fast? Every day is like all the others. Money goes out faster than it comes in. There is always more month left and no money to live on. CHAOS RULES! IT PROPAGATES ITSELF SO FAST THAT YOU CANNOT FIND THE OFF BUTTON! Confusion is the order of every day. Priorities change constantly. Perhaps you have great intentions in the morning, but by the evening you just collapse on the couch and turn the TV on, glad the day is over.

SYNERGY OCCURS AT ALL LEVELS. WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT, YOU BRING ABOUT! Do you ever ask yourself, “How is it I am thinking? Are my emotions running away with me? Is my anger a realistic reaction to the circumstances, or is it not commensurate with the situation?” Questions like these could begin to turn the tide of every day for the rest of your life. You see, questions indicate a change is possible – then the answers will come to you, teaching you what you need to do differently. The answers will come in many forms: Books, classes, workshops, preachers, teachers, etc. Your Spirit will recognize your answer because you asked the question in the first place. I actually write down my questions and then the answers when they come, dating them for fun. I have enjoyed watching the changes unfold. Are you willing to try it?

The house Jesus was talking about is your Spirit, which is inside of you. The sayings He was talking about is all the good, positive stuff which can help you make changes and have a better life. If you choose to follow the negative thoughts and emotions, your SYNERGY is stifled, no real changes in your life can be experienced,  and CHAOS RULES THE DAY! SYNERGY THEN MULTIPLIES THE BAD STUFF! Is that what you want…more of the same yuck?

It is your choice: WHICH HOUSE WILL YOU CHOOSE: BUILD IT ON ROCK OR ON SAND? Your words and actions are the expression of your POWER OF CHOICE IN MOTION. The power to make changes in your life is held solely in your own hands…nobody else can do it for you.

Kahlil Gibran stated: “If your garden is to be lit, it is you who must do it.”

God’s blessing on your journey!

Light on Poppies

Light on Poppies

Rose in the Light

Rose in the Light

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Sense of Purpose

Life can be difficult. Circumstances can become seemingly unbearable. How can one’s spirit survive all the negativity that surrounds us?

I have a plaque on my wall that says, “Life is too serious to be taken seriously.” Hence, I find that, by lightening up, everything does get better. This is not a Pollyanna idea for it is real, and it works. I bring a sense of purpose to each day. Through this vehicle called blogging, I am sharing ideas to aid others along their paths. Perhaps it will help each one, enabling that person to arrive at a new perspective. This will bring about positive changes so that each one can live a more effective life. What a joy that would be! Based on thousands of comments, it is happening.

At a lecture with Og Mandino, he gave the following story:

“There is an old Japanese legend that tells us that, may thousands of years ago, in the central part of Japan, there was a mountain with a flat top surrounded by dense jungle. The mountain was called, ‘The Place Where You Leave Your Parents.’ As the legend goes, if one’s parents were still alive at a certain age, their children carried them bodily through the jungle up to the top of this mountain so they could leave them there for the gods.

One day, a strapping young man was fighting his way through the underbrush, heading right for the mountain, carrying on his shoulders a wisp of an old lady. As he fought and pushed his way through the dense jungle, heading right for the mountain, he noticed that she was doing something with her right hand. Finally, he turned and looked up at her,

Half in anger at himself for what he was doing and half in anger at her, he asked her, ‘Mother, what are you doing?’

The old lady looked down at her son with tears streaming down her wrinkled cheeks and said,'”Son, I’m just breaking off a few branches and dropping them to mark a path so that, after you leave me, you will be able to find your way back home.’

I would like to break a couple of branches for you so that, if you have lost your way, you might be able to find the path again.”

So, I now say to you, let me break a few branches off for you so that you, too, might find your way to a better choice.

In the helter-skelter existence we live in, filled to the brim with noise, chaos, confusion, conflicting priorities, lack of money, stress, etc., how does one begin to make even a little sense of it all?

As I have stated in other blogs, you must begin with yourself, living your life from the inside out. Finding a sense of purpose is part of that process. Take a closer look at you so you can appreciate the assets you already have. Each of us is like a snowflake, unique, different for all others. Only you can make a difference in your life by the way you express your ideas to others around you by living your life in accordance with that inner vision.

Author Richard Bach has said, “There is a golden web of others out there who connect with us. As we reach out to others from the best that is in us, we find our extended family, not of blood but of spirit.”

We all need to find that family. Together, we are stronger and better than when we thought we were alone, which connotes helplessness and inability to deal with life constructively.It is so overwhelming.

An example that I saw in the movie, “The Straight Story,” the main actor states, “If you try to break one branch, it is very easy. But if your put more branches with it and bind them, it is impossible. We all need somebody.”

As we reach out with knowledge and understanding, we plant the seeds for our tomorrows and others as well.

Let me take this opportunity to thank all those who have shared this blog, for sharing is the highest form of praise. It has been a joy to my heart to see my own golden web forming. May you find yours as well. God bless you on your journey!

Sometimes

Sometimes…like today,

When sad things happen along the way,

I have to stop and ponder

So I can return to the wonder

Of the majesty of Life.

Sometimes…when tears fill my eyes

And my heart can feel the sighs,

I have to lift up my spirit

Because the mundane has stolen my joys…

Over a trifle of no importance.

Sometimes, when my feet are leaden,

My body weighs heavy from sadness,

Laughter beckons me with a smile:

“Follow me,” she says,

And I do, so willingly.

Sometimes, the sun breaks out from behind the clouds

Of confusion and despair,

Lighting my way along the path

To a profusion of colors and scents

In my garden of Peace.

The flowers that grow there

Grow nowhere else in this world.

One sniff brings Heaven,

Along with the sight of the Beauty

That guides me along my way.

Refreshed, I return to my world.

I hear the birds singing…

My being is winging

Its way aloft

To Higher pursuits more fitting.

No longer a broken-winged bird,

Caged in my unhappiness.

I am free to flit and float

In the sunlight,

Singing my song.

Drifting along to a happier sound am I…

No longer tied to the woes and agonies.

They are but a moment in Reality.

I do not feel bound to them anymore.

Sometimes, I am Spirit, and It is enough.

Are you willing to release

whatever is weighing you down

so you, too, can soar?

Sun breaks out

Sun breaks out

Lighting my way

Lighting my way

Profusion of colors

Profusion of colors

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