September 1, 2014

September challenge: Make an “I’m grateful” list

This month’s challenge comes from a quote I saw posted as part of a public participation art display in my local art gallery:

If you don’t feel grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more?

This September, I challenge you to make a list of all the things you are grateful for in your life RIGHT NOW. Put at least 25 items on the list; more if you want to. Then post the list in a place where you can see it before you go to bed at night and when you get up in the morning. For the rest of the month, read half the list, aloud, every night; read the other half, aloud, every morning. Add new items as the mood strikes you!

You have lots to be grateful for. LOTS. It is important to recognize this truth, and celebrate it. ❤

August 30, 2014

Credo for a life well lived

At the end of her memoir The Second Journey, author Joan Anderson shares a list of personal guidelines that she wrote to remind herself how to remain grounded, present and open to continual growth in today’s over-busy, over-achieving society. Consider the list a permission slip of sorts: YOU have the right to these things, too!

Embrace change — knowing that life is always being reconfigured.
Befriend the person you are striving to become.
Welcome new paths. Enjoy the detours.
Strive to go deeper rather than just forward.
Know that most unnecessary demands come from the unfinished parts of self.
Beware of speed. It is often one’s undoing.
Wholehearted is the way. Half-hearted will kill you.
Harness your evolvement.
Let go of what is outlived to make room for the unlived.

If I have learned nothing else, it is that the journey [of life, of self] will always be unfinished.

August 26, 2014

Be patient, my dear, for the light will shine again

Thought for the moment, courtesy of Joan Anderson’s memoir The Second Journey:

Nothing worthwhile can be hurried — not the seasons, not birth or death, the coming of day, the moving into night; not a composition, a thought, a work of art, the form of a story. Patience is what makes each experience meaningful. Finding the time to be patient is what makes a life well lived.

Sometimes life hands you some real “lemons” of a moment. All you can do during these trying times is trust that the cycle of your experience will eventually swing back up into the positive again. Patience is key, but so is gentleness . . . gentleness with yourself, and with others, and with your heart, and with the hearts of others.

Life is ultimately circular in motion. What goes up must come down, but what goes down must come up again. Be patient; you will rise to the light again.

August 14, 2014

Your brain is BIG – take care of it!

Ever consider the complexity of the human brain? It weighs just three pounds but contains over 100 billion interconnected cells (half of which are nerve cells) and controls our muscles, senses, thoughts, emotions, motivations, executive functions and more.

It’s hard to get a handle on the sheer scale of the brain’s activity — and what can happen for someone who sustains a brain injury —  but the Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide by Dr. Glen Johnson provides a great example by comparing the brain to the world’s telephone system:

If we took all the phones in the world and all the wires (there are over seven billion people on the planet), the number of connections and the trillions of messages per day would NOT equal the complexity or activity of a single human brain. Now let’s take a “small problem”: break every phone in Michigan and cut every wire in the state. How long would it take for the entire state (about 10 million people) to get phone service back? A week, a month, or several years? If you guessed several years, you are now beginning to see the complexity [of the brain and] of recovering from a head injury. In the example I used, Michigan residents would be without phone service while the rest of the world had phone service that worked fine. This is also true for people who have a head injury. Some parts of the brain will work fine while others are in need of repair or are slowly being reconnected.

All that to say: Take care of your noggin!! Wear a helmet, wear a seatbelt, and take adequate time to rest and recover if you do sustain a head injury. Be safe out there!

August 5, 2014

Live the whole glorious hazard

I like this passage from the memoir Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor:

There is no immunity from life — that’s what I’ve learned. I will never be the kind of person to volunteer from the audience at Cirque du Soleil, but I won’t be satisfied with being draperies either. I don’t want to miss out on what the Greeks call zoe. Life. I want to live all of it, the whole glorious hazard.

What a great way to describe life: “the whole glorious hazard.”

I want to live the whole glorious hazard, too. I want to greet each day excited about what it might bring, not worried about what may come to pass. I want to focus on what I have in life, rather than what I don’t have. I want to reach old age and still have a sparkle in my eye and a desire to try new things. I want to always have a true understanding of what zoe is because of all the zoe flowing through my body and my mind and my heart every single day.

Let’s get out there and live the hazard.

July 26, 2014

Pave the way for new beginnings

It’s a new moon tonight, a perfect time to reflect on old goals, set new ones, and open yourself to new beginnings and all the possibilities that go along with them.

The new moon also brings a calmness to your psyche, allowing you to breathe deeply, truly relax, and observe your emotions and motivations from a detached perspective.

Take advantage of the energy that the new moon brings to look within yourself and set a new course for the coming month — or reaffirm a positive course that you are already on!

A word on new beginnings, from English novelist Arnold Bennett:

The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose. 

starry_sky

July 21, 2014

Keep rubbing the coin that is your heart . . .

Thought of the moment, courtesy of author and poet Maya Angelou in her book Letter to My Daughter:

The human heart is so delicate and sensitive that it always needs some tangible encouragement to prevent it from faltering in its labour. The human heart is so robust, so tough, that once encouraged it beats its rhythm with a loud unswerving insistency.

Two sides of the human heart — fragility and fortitude. The sides oppose one another, yet both require the same crucial ingredient — encouragement — in order to persist, to flourish.

Surround yourself with people, places and environments that encourage and support your heart. Do this always. And above all else, make sure that you yourself are the biggest, loudest, most loyal and enduring source of encouragement in your own life.

July 20, 2014

Observed on the street: “Can I drive this time?”

Observed on the street: A young girl of about 5 and her father walk towards their car outside a local drug store. The little girl skips along beside her father, and, as they approach the vehicle, chirps out hopefully, “Can I drive this time, Daddy?”

:-)

July 17, 2014

Give fear and doubt the busy signal

Quote of the moment, courtesy of Edith Armstrong (and my mother!):

I keep the telephone of my mind open to peace, harmony, health, love and abundance. Then, whenever doubts, anxiety or fear try to call me, they keep getting a busy signal — and soon they’ll forget my number.

Our attitude to life and what it brings our way really does depend on which thoughts we choose to broadcast over our internal sound systems. We can turn some thoughts way up and others down to zero. Choose your sound track wisely, for the music of your mind has wide-reaching impact on many areas of your life.

July 2, 2014

Unfurl, unrushed

Thought for the month, source unknown:

We grow one petal at a time.

Through thick and thin, good and bad, joy and sorrow, we grow slowly, delicately, one petal at a time.

With each new petal we unfurl, we become more beautiful.

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