Blog Archives

Driving Your Destiny or Yourself?

The question arises: Are you Driving your Destiny or Yourself!

Are you preoccupied with possessions? Do you know that what you own, owns you? You have to clean it, care for it, insure it, take dogs for walks or pay someone else to do it, etc. Stuff Rules!

Do you long for a simpler life? Do you feel that you do not have any time for yourself? Guess who can change that.

Life happens…a day at a time and a moment at a time. Yesterday is history and cannot be changed. Tomorrow is a dream which one can plan and work towards. Today is the only day that matters…this second as you read this.

If you believe that, will you act on it? Hug your child, tell someone you love and appreciate them, begin to do something that matters to you personally. Do you want to read a book or take a class? Pick up that book and begin it. Look for the class you want to take and sign up for it. Do you want to get in touch with someone that you have not spoken to in a while? Pick up the phone or send an email or letter. Don’t wait for the “perfect time” because that may never happen.

The only way your life will change is if you do.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer states: “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”

Are you stressed out? The price of carrying that stress is high. It can cause significant health problems, if not your life.

How are you breathing? Your breath will tell you how well you are making choices in your life. Is it shallow and from the top of your lungs instead of belly breathing? If it is, you can be absolutely assured that you are shortening your life span considerably. Look for a yoga class you can do so you can learn to breathe better. Maybe you cannot get down on the floor, so look for a Silver Sneakers Yoga class in your area as they are everywhere. The poses are friendly to everyone who has physical problems, no matter the age.

This moment in this day is the only time you have to take a look at your priorities and assess what needs to change. Are you willing to get off the treadmill of your life and do it? Or is the treadmill going to continue just as it always does? If you are happy with the life you are living, I congratulate you for you are a rare bird. However, if you are not satisfied with the ways you spend your time, begin this second to look at where you are now and where you want to be. I am not talking about stuff and possessions. I am focusing on the one thing you cannot buy: More time.

Do you want to look back over the last few years of your life and wonder where it has gone? It happens to all of us, no matter the age. But you can begin to make a difference right now. Are you willing?

God’s blessings on your journey!

New yoga pose

 

Looking Forward Instead of Backward

With the 2015 New Year before us in just a short three days, it is a time to begin Looking Forward Instead of Backward.

If one is driving a car, how much time does one spend gazing into the rear view mirror? Now there is an accident waiting to happen!  We all have to be aware of what is going on around us, right here, right now, real time. It is no different with Life, every day, day in, day out. Usually, it is some unfortunate experience that keeps us gazing backward, to no avail. Perhaps it is a word spoken in haste that cannot be retracted. Perhaps it was an unthinking act on someone else’s part that hurts us so very much. Perhaps we have done something we are sorry for but cannot take back. History cannot be changed. It has been said that Unhappiness is a result of someone trying to make something Un-Happen. It is a fact that Time cannot go backward. Yesterday is gone, and Tomorrow is but a figment of our imagination. The only day we have is TODAY.  That is why it is known as the PRESENT. That is why it needs to be cherished, appreciated, and utilized the best we can. Forgive and let go of that which was so that you may move into your PRESENT with more livingness.

Now is a time when some people  begin to make New Year’s Resolutions so that goals may be set and achieved, possibly change some negatives in one’s life to positives,  “Turn over a new leaf!” etc. Some decide to begin a physical fitness program, pay for a fitness center contract, and make aggressive actions for a short time before the energy for change wears out amid the humdrum vicissitudes of daily life. Some decide to lose a lot of weight, set a goal that they remember from long ago and far away,  and then feel like a failure when the required changes in eating habits just do not magically happen. Why is it that so many actually do not see the necessary steps to success actually begin with very small increments?

Do not be disheartened if you desire to actually make a difference to your health and life. Consistency is the key, of course. For instance, one could begin to lose weight by looking at your eating habits and writing down what you actually put in your mouth for a week. There is an eye opener for you! Physical Fitness could begin by setting a goal of walking on a treadmill for a few minutes every day, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, or parking farther out so you have to walk a little more. But first, you have to set a goal that is within your reach. You may not ever run a marathon, but you could see a healthier you in the mirror by beginning to make changes in what you do, how you do it, and the choices of food that you ingest.  Questions to ask yourself: “Do I quickly grab a Starbucks and a donut, or do I actually figure out what is good for me in the long run? No matter how good that sweet Danish tastes, will it nourish my body? Do I skip breakfast altogether (which, by the way, every doctor/nutritionist/health addict knows is the major sin against the body) or do I learn to eat to live vs. live to eat?”

It has been suggested that Food Police is a negative idea in watching carefully what your choices are — treating the idea from a forceful point of view, ensuring failure. Actually, it all comes down to your choices. Is becoming more healthful important enough for you to look at the sweets that surround everyone at this time of year, the alcohol being consumed, the pops that are offered at every party, and enormous quantity of food on every plate?

Every diet in the world begins with measuring the actual intake of what you consume before you open your mouth, choosing the foods that will nourish you, and passing up the rest that is out there. Why is that so difficult?

That answer usually is tied up with our emotions. Are we stressed out? Are we overtired? Is the quality of sleep good, bad, or excellent? It has been proven over time that our hormones respond to all of these, even to the point where we are hunting for chocolate to eat so we can calm down, or some other comfort food which has nothing to do with our long term goal of becoming more healthy.

Attitude matters. It is paramount to make an analysis of what is going on between our ears. There are so many good things that come from exercise for our bodies that will help us along our path towards our goals. The peptides, etc., are released, helping us to feel better.

Some people do not want to take baby steps. They desire gargantuan goals, ensuring the probability that they will become failures more quickly. After all, if one cannot climb a mountain, what is the point in starting?

Confucius said, “Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

He had it right!

So if you want to begin to write your New Year’s Resolutions, be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Look at where you are now, and then decide where you want to be  a year from now. Then write a list of achievable steps where you can begin a synergy that will carry you onward.

It has been said that “Rome was not built in a day.” You might remind yourself of that as you go forth on your journey.

The Christmas Season is such a lovely time of year. It always seems to me that people are kinder toward others, more generous, more forgiving. But when that special day is passed, the attitudes in general change back to more “business as usual.” The meanness we all see every day overpowers our senses, and we lose sight of what Life is all about. Is it possible to extend these lovely Christmas moments and attitudes so that they are here every day of the year? It can be if you personally choose that to be your attitude and goal. It is, after all, up to you.

God’s blessings upon your journey! Happy New Year to one and all! May the light from the beautiful fireworks celebrations for the New Year remain in your mind and heart, long after they are gone from the skies. May God bless you with Love, Light, Life, Laughter, Joy, Truth, Beauty, and Peace every day this coming year!

Fireworks

Fireworks

 

 

 

The Joy of Life

The Joy of Life is a mysterious thing which you either have, know you have it, and experience it daily if not all the time —  or something has caused it to drain away, leaving you with an empty feeling, knowing not what you have lost.

Have you ever watched a dog that knows it is time to go for a walk? They are wagging all over, tail included. As they walk along, their head is up – unless it is down sniffing around at all the other smells. Their excitement does not lag as they go along, either. They are pulling on their leashes as a rule, and it does not matter what size the dog is.

How long has it been since you experienced the excitement of looking forward to something during your day? It could be something as small as a child’s smile or a small hand holding yours, or it could be meeting a friend or loved one for lunch. The possibilities are endless, aren’t they?

Or are they? Have the daily vicissitudes (wear and tear) worn you down to a nubbin?  Are you so caught up in what you have to do, what has to be done, and know you cannot do it all that your days disappear? It is like a thief in the night, for when you turn around, time seems to have evaporated before your very eyes. You look back over the last few days, or months, or years, and wonder where it all went.

The solution? Pay attention daily, hourly, and by the  minute. Do not let time slip through your fingers like sands in an hourglass.

Be alert! Look for it! Be like the dog who is looking forward to going for a walk. Be enthusiastic! When was the last time you “wagged your tail” over something you wanted to do?

Life comes to us in the present — not tomorrow or yesterday or even five minutes ago. It is the very second you are reading this, only to slip away into the past. What choices you make NOW do make a difference!

Do you have a dream that has dissipated into a ghost of its former self? DREAMS and GOALS help us to achieve more than we deemed possible, because SYNERGY comes into play. When was the last time you thought about your DREAMS or GOALS as a possibility/probability? Have you shelved them as improbable? You shoot yourself down before anyone else has a chance to do it! Perhaps you think you are too old? Too young? Do not have enough money? Do not have any time for such foolishness?

Any step you could take to achieve these dreams and goals is NEVER TOO SMALL! If you would take the step you see, it will lead you on…just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz did in the “Follow the Yellow Brick Road!” Along the way (where she tried to get back home), she was accompanied by Toto, her little dog, and then the Scarecrow (without a Brain), a Tin Man (without a heart), and the Cowardly Lion (without a medal). The Wizard of Oz  came up with a solution, which worked for him just fine. It took the Good Witch of the North to show her that the Red Slippers could take her home if she just thought correctly. Ideas are like that as well.  If you have the courage to begin it, life unfolds before you like a flower. Yes, you may have to pay in time and effort, but think of the fun you could have along the way!

Each day should be like a banquet, with the table spread before you containing all you could enjoy. What would your table look like? What do you want from life? Is mere existence enough, with one day melting into all the others along the way? Or do you want more? Define it. Write it down. Think about it. What step would begin it?

The Joy of Life is not afar off. It awaits you…with every choice you make today. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

 

The Picture of Alert/Excitement

Picture of Alert/Excitement

Dancing for a Treat

Dancing for a Treat

Having fun with paper

Having Fun, Playing with Paper

 

 

Beware the Bitter Root

In the Bible in Hebrews 12:15, it states: “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any  root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”   In Deuteronomy 29:18, the last part of it says: “lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall (poison) and wormwood.”

The definition of diligent is: Persevering and careful in work; hard-working, industrious,; done with careful, steady effort; painstaking. Bitterness is defined as: Causing or showing sorrow, discomfort, or pain; grievous; sharp and disagreeable; harsh; severe; characterized by strong feelings of hatred, resentment, cynicism, etc. Defiled has a synonym: Contaminate. Gall is: Something that is bitter or distasteful; bitter feeling; rancor; to irritate; annoy; vex. Wormwood is a bitter, unpleasant, or mortifying experience.

Just looking at these definitions, my mind conjures up so many instances of negative feelings that it is almost overwhelming. Small daily irritations take on a new depth of meaning: Someone cuts you off in traffic; you have ugly words with a loved one that you cannot take back — even though they were spoken in haste and in the heat of a moment, you do not truly mean them or the way you said it; the boss chides you in front of others; your child says, “I hate you!” in frustration because you are correcting his/her behavior; someone does a spiteful thing to you on purpose; ad infinitum ad nauseam. LIFE HAPPENS ONE MOMENT AT A TIME! Think of all the times you felt irritated, annoyed, or vexed. I imagine it happens on a daily basis.

This truth spoken here is worthy of careful contemplation. Why, you might ask? Because it is a poison so strong that it wilts the spirit of the one who holds onto it. It is like a parasite that sucks the very life out of you. Your livingness is diminished so greatly that you cannot live your life fully.

The greatest problem with the bitter root is that it enters in quietly, as a rule. You do not even know it is there. Yet its roots are invasive, grow quickly, and are very hard to eradicate once they are established.

How many times have you thought, “I wish thus and so did (or did not) happen.” Or perhaps it is an “If only…” expression. Then you dwell on it. Your emotions get caught up usually in the negative aspects of something and you cannot (or do not) stop it. Soon you are dwelling on yesterdays, with perhaps fear being created for your tomorrows, while today slips by, unnoticed. Isn’t it sad that, when one looks back at all the wasted hours, you cannot recreate them and take positive steps to make changes?

Synergy continues.

The only way to stop it is to change what you are contemplating about NOW. Let go of YESTERDAY‘s events and fear not for TOMORROW!

Daily events create emotions in all of us, both personal and impersonal. Sometimes we take things way too seriously as the circumstances do not warrant the garbage created in our minds. You have had such a bad day that you collapse on the couch when you get home, grab the TV remote to get away from the unpleasantness of it all, or hop on the computer and use social media. The idea of processing the incoming information from the events does not occur to you, keeping that which is good and trashing that which is not. I call it mental housekeeping. The emotions need released as well, hopefully with exercise that raises the endorphins and calms the mind. Dare I suggest meditation and deep breathing? Or perhaps a massage? The problem with emotions that never get processed is that they tie your body into knots, and it is not long before you have ill health because the dis-ease (literally) is nourished by the negative energies. It all is stored somewhere or released. Which would you choose?

Ephesians 4:26 states: “Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” In verses 31 and 32, it says: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another…”

In light of the preceding paragraph, that is excellent advice for the longer you hold onto something, the harder it is to eradicate the bitter root.

Each day is a precious commodity — once spent, it cannot be regained. Each moment that goes by is history and cannot be altered. The only question you need to ask yourself is: How do I want to remember this day – with good thoughts or bad; with joy or sorrow; with anger or release? It is your choice, after all. Choose wisely.

God’s blessings on your journey!

Your response makes a difference inner peace

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead

This poem comes from Jan Phillips, The Living Kindness Foundation (858-571-1417), http://www.janphillips.com:

Instead

Instead of rosaries and litanies
I will make every small move
a mindful one
every exchange a kind one

Instead of lighting a candle
I will light the way for someone
stand with a friend facing the dark
hold my torch like an umbrella
over both our heads

Instead of dropping coins in a collection box
I will clean out my closets and
empty my cupboards
giving away all that I no longer need.

Instead of kneeling in a confessional
to admit wrongdoings
I stand and confess my unabashed love
for all my soul mates and family of friends
I confess to an unbearable joy
at the sounds of spring
the sight of a redwood
the feel of a kitten’s fur on my neck.

Instead of processing to the altar
to receive communion
I call this earth my altar
and my intimacy with her creatures
the bread and wine of my life.

Instead of saying “I am not worthy”
I say let me live up to the challenge
TO BE,
let me remember I am One with What Is,
I do not need redemption,
nothing is wrong.

Instead of calling for help from a faraway God,
I sit in silence and feel the roar
of creation churning in my cells.

Instead of waiting for a priest to come
anointing the passages of life and death
I don the vestments of service and love,
I stand with others in a circle of trust.
We raise the chalice in a toast to earth,
we make the water holy with our humble hands,
we baptize ourselves as redeemers of peace,
servants of unity.

Instead of waiting for the world to turn,
we become its revolution
we spin new webs, build new cogs
with our feet in today
and our minds on tomorrow.

Instead of the old,
we bow to the Now
and turning within,
we create the new.

Jan Phillips

 

This has so many worthwhile suggestions, I wanted to pass it on.

God’s blessings on your journey!

 

 

 

Remember Lot’s Wife

The whole world knows the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. As Lot and his family were leaving the city, they were forewarned: Do not look back! In Genesis 19:17, it states, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” In Genesis 19: 24-26, it says, “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

There have been some astute astronomers who state that a meteor did, in fact, strike there. Who is to know for certain? It is a fact  that the whole region contains pitch, a petroleum derivative which is flammable and is still used in making torches and charcoal.

In the Lamsa translation of the Bible, it comments that, ” ‘She became a pillar of salt’ is an Eastern idiom which means, ‘She had a stroke, or she was paralyzed and dead.’ In the East, when a man becomes paralyzed or has a stroke, the people say, ‘He has turned into a rock.’ or ‘he has become like a stone.’ ”

It goes on to state:  “Lot’s wife had been reluctant to leave the pleasant gardens and orchards of Sodom. She had doubted her husband’s vision and the divine warning. Her sons-in-law had thought Lot had lost his mind and that he was mocking when he told them of the divine warning asking them to leave the city. Evidently Lot’s wife also did not believe the city would be destroyed.

When Lot’s wife disobeyed the divine command and stood up and looked behind and saw the city of orchards and lush gardens and everything which had been dear to her heart, on fire, and the smoke rising to the heavens, she had a stroke and she became hard like a block of salt or flint rock, which is also called salt, and she was dead. Such blocks of salt rock are still to be found in Sodom.

The catastrophe and the loss of her daughters, her sons-in-law, and her other relatives were too much for a woman who had been brought up in the luxuries of Sodom and who had no faith in the God of her husband.”

Emmet Fox states: “Never look back. Always go right ahead. Even if you are quaking, go right ahead. No matter how unattractive or how dangerous the road ahead may be, it is better than the road back. The road ahead may be veiled from sight; but you must teach yourself to regard the unknown as friendly. Remember that God is always on the road ahead.

Psalm 143:8  ‘…cause me to know the way wherein I would walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.’ “

My point? Our personal histories have a way of projecting themselves from the past into each today and our tomorrows if we let that happen. All you have to do is focus on the past in lieu of the present. Very simple. Not hard. The past, no matter how good it was or how bad it was, is unchangeable. You may take lessons learned from your past and make better choices today because of them, but you cannot change history. Mostly, we concentrate on the bad stuff. Have you noticed that tendency in yourself? Actually, even the good stuff can influence and change your present as well. We try to hang on to it because we think it was better than our present. Then it becomes life defeating because it, too, is unchangeable in the mists of time.

Time does not go backward and does not tarry with yesterday. All you have is today to make different choices so it will change your tomorrow.

I fully appreciate Fox’s point: “go right ahead.” Regardless of your past, good or bad, you have to formulate a new plan of action so that you can begin again to live the life that God has for you. You must begin it NOW! The only place that will effect a difference is NOW!

Are you willing to let go of your yesterdays/history? REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE!  Are you willing?

God’s blessings on your journey!

Garden

Garden

Flowers

Flowers

 

 

Fresh New Day

Psalms 118:24 says, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

A child’s song from Agapeland album, “Bullfrogs and Butterflies” sings, “The is the day that the Lord has made, Not like tomorrow or yesterday, …so let’s all sing and be glad.”

When I work up this morning, my heart had wings on it. I thought, “This is a fresh new day. What shall I write upon it?” I have a feeling of anticipation and joy, looking forward to see what I shall do with it.

I had put a gift away for my husband, whose birthday is tomorrow. I put it in a special place. Have you ever done that, and then could not find it? I was on the edge of panic because I am a very organized person, but guess who could not locate it. Well, I did finally figure out where I put it, but then I got the giggles, laughing at myself. Have you ever done that? Giggles are good for the soul! Have you found a reason to laugh at yourself today? It is certainly a sure-nuff mood lightener!

Yesterday is now history and cannot be changed. Tomorrow has not yet arrived. Matthew 6:34 says,  “Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” It is a lesson in today…how will you spend the time you are allotted…today?

It is the only time we have. It comes to us, second by second. How will you use it?

Depending upon your perspective, time can be wasted, used up, and used well. It is all a matter of choices.

I have four signs on my wall:

“Inscription on an ancient sun dial:

Time was is past —

Thou canst it not recall.

Time is thou hast —

Employ thy portion small.

Time future is not

and may never be.

Time present

Is the only time for thee!”

John F. Kennedy stated, “We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.”

E. C. McKenzie says, “Do it now – Today will be yesterday tomorrow.”

Another one says, author Anonymous: “If you need more time, take it, it is yours…it is all a matter of choices.”

So I ask you, since today is all you have, what are you going to do with it?

Blessings on your journey!

Sunshine on Delicate Flowers

Sunshine on Delicate Flowers

Peace Begins With Me

This new year presents us with a brand new page to begin again, to change what we want to change, to become the person we were meant to be, and one place to start is a song by Vince Gill:

“Let there be peace on earth

And let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on earth,

The peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father,

Brothers all are we.

Let me walk with my berother

In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me.

Let this be the moment now.

With every step I take,

Let this be my solemn vow:

To take each moment

And live each moment

With peace eternally.

Let there be peace on earth,

And let it begin with me.”

Each day, with every word we speak, with every thought we think, we are creating our reality as we know it to be.

We are, indeed, planting the seeds that will bloom in our tomorrows.

Do you want a more peaceful life and experience less chaos?

It all begins with your thoughts and emotions. Do you REACT in lieu of ACT? Did somebody else make you angry?

Do you feel justified in these negative feelings because it is somebody else’s fault?

Guess who pays? It is not the other person, who has moved on and could usually care less.

You baggage just got heavier, didn’t it? Is it worth it to you to drag it around, every moment of every day?

Peace can be maintained as an attitude and a reality if you can truly realize that “Peace begins within you!”

There is nowhere else it can start. Life is so short. Why drag around chaos-creating emotions when you can choose to let it go?

If you could pretend to yourself that you are a spectator on some aggravation going on in your life, would your point of view change?

What advice would you give yourself when you see it from a different point of view? Is it really all that important? Is there something you can actively do to effect a difference in outcome? Are you listening to yourself? Are you listening to others?

Peace is not something that comes wrapped with a bow. It takes work on yourself and your perspective to calm down so you can experience something else that is far more livable and lovable.

Are you interested in PEACE, personally, and moment by moment? Figure out what the price is and pay it in whatever coin required. It could be the coin of forgiveness of self or others, the coin of blessing others on their way, or even the coin of loving yourself enough to be happy anyway. This is not an oxymoron. It is TRUTH.

It is in your hands. What do you choose?

Hibiscus - Adding Beauty

Hibiscus – Adding Beauty

Hibiscus at Christmas

Hibiscus at Christmas

Autumn Seeds

Autumn Seeds

Autumn Seeds

Autumn Seeds

Thoughts and Feelings

I often ask myself, “What do I choose to be today: bud, blossom, or withered stem?

The thoughts and feelings I dwell on will determine my choice:

The bud is my tomorrow…

The withered stem is my yesterday…

The blossom is NOW — this moment.

The choices I make today will determine what buds are made tomorrow.

Out of the cocoon of my yesterdays

comes what is happening today.

Today, I can choose once again to be reborn

into a new sense of awareness.

Again, I ask myself, “What will I choose?”

 

What do you want to choose?

Would you rather cling to those withered stems,

refusing to let go because of some worth you attached to them?

Could they ever again produce a bud or blossom?

Not likely.

Remember the good those stems once brought to you,

and choose to begin today to look for buds and blossoms.

They are all around you, if you but look.

They come in all colors, shapes, and sizes.

Widen your horizons and focus!

DSC_0576

 

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