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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

 

 

Unhappiness

A short definition of Unhappiness is something which you would wish to un-happen. In other words, you are not happy with the results/consequences of something.

Is this possible? Can history be changed? Are there regrets? Do you ever wish you had done something differently?

If it happened a second ago or years ago, history cannot be altered.

You can do things differently from now on, starting this minute. But you cannot undo what has been done. You can apologize perhaps. But you need to forgive yourself and others and move on.

The dictionary says the definition of Unhappiness is sad, wretched, sorrowful, ill-chosen.

I think we can all agree on that.

So what then? You must deal with the consequences, of course. But ruminating on the past can only get you the dictionary’s definitions of emotions that are not only unproductive, they are counterproductive. The more you think about something that has happened, the less you are in the present and unable to look forward to your future.

You need to ask yourself if you are Happy or Unhappy. If it is the former, congratulations! Keep up the good work! However, if it is the latter, regardless of the reason (no matter how justified you feel about it), you know you are STUCK.

It’s like Brer Rabbit and the tar baby. The more you fight with it, the more stuckered up you get!

Do you want to stay all stuckered up? It is your choice, after all.

It is like the vines that kept Harry Potter and his two friends all tied up — the more they struggled, the tighter they got. When Hermione realized what the vines were, she relaxed and fell through the tangle to the floor below, as did Harry. Hermione had to use light to get Ron freed.

We also need the light of understanding to free us from whatever we are stuck in. Seeking the light is the first step in the process. It will always come to anyone who is truly seeking it.

Bless you on your journey!

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?

 

 

Divine Inner Companion

An old hymn from my childhood says, “You’ll never walk alone.” It goes on with, “Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain, though your dreams be tossed and blown…”
How many times has that happened to you?
Life rarely comes to us in ways the we like. There are many problems and seemingly irresolvable issues that occur to all of us at one time or another.
Rarely, can we estimate if it is a mountain or a mole hill when we start to climb. As we continue, we can multiply whatever it is and make it an even steeper climb, or we can look at the facts of it (division) and turn it into a mole hill so we can have an easier time of it. The multiplication happens because of the emotions we generate. The division happens when we decide to ACT in lieu of REACT to a problem/situation.

If I turn within and commune with my Divine Inner Companion, I can depend on it that I will ACT. I am more rationale and can see things differently, perceive the situation more clearly, and can come up with a resolution more easily.

In the days of yore, when I was not connected to God, I would stumble along blindly, falling, hurting myself, and wailing away at the Universe because I was unhappy and things were not working. My grief multiplied, exponentially.

My epiphany came like the popular poem:

Footprints

“One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to him, and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see  only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

I was never alone. I had just let go of His hand. He was always there for me. I was just disconnected. Life’s problems just wore me out. Only when I turned within and reconnected could I feel His Presence. After the chaos that went on when I was “alone,” I determined that was not for me.

How about you? What form of chaos do you live with daily? Are you feeling alone? Only you can change it. Only you can light your candle so you can see through the darkness and find your path. Are you willing to take that action?

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