Saturday, December 29, 2012

Word of the Year Challenge

 
Six years ago I attended a couple of retreats led by Christine Kane.  I learned a LOT about myself and the power of words and thoughts.  Energy goes where Attention flows!  Christine mentioned the word of the year idea and I absolutely loved it.  I managed to get quite a few friends on board...we have been doing it instead of a resolution for several years now.  Quite simply you choose one word for the direction you wish to go in the New Year.  I have learned that the word you choose may bring up some old stuff that needs resolving!  So give very careful thought to what you choose!  In 2012, my word chose me...it was exploration.  Exploration encompassed many areas...travel, inner travel and being brave.

I struggled with a word for this year...my thinking has been so scattered and I procrastinate on everything.  However, all the words that I was choosing all came back to one word....Mindfulness.
Mindfulness covers a multitude of areas...I have a BEAUTIFUL life and I want to SAVOR it!  I get caught up in the busies, the go, go, go of errands and responsibilities...much of that won't go away, however I get to choose the quality of what I am doing and I can slow down...smell the roses. 

My friends and I, we begin to question each other about our words slightly before Christmas...just to get the idea rolling.  My dear friend, Jayne wrote a great blog post last year about the word of the year and she re-posted it with a bit of an add on...I have also linked to Christine Kane, who was the source of the inspiration for me.  Christine has helped change the world and many people's lives for the better...finding their own best potential...you can click on the highlighted names and that will direct you to these very interesting, wonderful people!  Thanks Christine for the impact on my life!

So my challenge to you is this...toss those resolutions...choose one word...embrace it...let it unfold in your life...you will NEVER make and break a New Year's Resolution again!  Let me know which word you choose (no pressure there)  Wishing each of you a New Year filled with joy, prosperity, love and all the wonderful blessings we all stand to receive if we are willing!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kindness begins with Me!



Someone recently asked me, "What is your purpose in life"  There are so many ways you can answer this question.  Some days, my first thought would be, I dunno?  I have many roles in my life so the purpose varies depending on the role.
I recently taught a lesson on kindness.  I mentioned that I was waging a war on ingratitude and the lack of kind in the world.  I may fumble on the skirmishes or the small battles however for the most part I am victorious.  So many take the month of November to express gratitude each day...I think this is lovely...I make it a point to express gratitude for something EVERY day of the year.  I want to experience and share goodwill and kindness towards my fellow humans (and four legged non humans) ALL year not just in December.  Life is Good but not Easy...none of us knows what is in the person's heart standing in front or behind us in line, sitting next to us or cutting us off in traffic (where I might just occasionally lose my goodwill) Surely everyone has some good in them and is deserving of our consideration.   Each of us must stamp out the rampant rudeness we encounter by being part of the solution.  It is never easy to be kind when someone treats us poorly or unfairly.  As we hustle about our business getting busier and busier...Please let us take the time to be kind one to another.  I am not sharing anything "new" here and these only serve as a reminder to myself to be a better person tomorrow than I was today.  As the holidays are approaching know that I hold you in my thoughts and my heart as we all charge forth into the fray!  May it be a time of peace, joy, love and kindness!



"No act of Kindness however small is ever wasted" Aesop

"You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important"  The Help

"A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses"

"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” Stephen Grellet

“Be kind to unkind people - they need it the most”  Ashleigh Brilliant


“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”   Leo Buscaglia


"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless"  Mother Teresa


I love Mother Teresa...she made a huge impact on the world...a humble, loving and faithful servant of God....

If you are looking for some teaching moments for your little ones or yourself or just some inspiration I have found Random Acts of Kindness Foundations website to be wonderful!  The site offers stories, ideas and free printables.  You can also like them on Facebook and a daily message or two will appear on your newsfeed...always worthwhile. I leave you with a children's song:

I want to be Kind to Everyone
For that is right you see
So I say to myself
Remember this...Kindess begins with Me!

 Peace, Love and Hugs Y'all!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Compilation of Letters In Which I Have A WEE Bit of a RANT

WARNING:  DISCLAIMER:  We will resume normal sunny thoughts shortly!!!

During the last few days, weeks and months I have been presented with a few annoyances.  I did promise to write lovely letters, notes and cards.  I have done and will continue to do so.  Here are a few notes that will not be sent but do allow me to release a bit of steam to my captive audience...let the ranting begin...

Dear Dish Network,
It has come to my attention that you have discontinued a few channels I enjoy watching.  How can I possibly know how to defend myself during a zombie attack if I cannot watch "The Walking Dead"  This may be critical to my survival.  I will have to visit somebody with that channel and I am kinda sure they don't want me showing up in my pjs and robe.  Please for the survival of my family, restore the critical channels...thank you and bye.

Dear Lady in the Big Ole SUV,
Those giant white lines mean PEDESTRIAN CROSSING...Throwing up your arms and glaring at me doesn't make you right.  I was in the GIANT CROSSING first, get over it already!  My family would be mightily upset if you hurt me or we got into a brawl in the middle of the GIANT PEDESTRIAN CROSSWALK!  Thank you, have a nice day...Watch Out for Pedestrians.

Dear Man in the Big Ole Truck,
I have a middle finger too...I try not to use it because it is rude.  I may be in a small car but I bet mine is faster than yours...
you can't bully me out of the way...I know I am not driving slow because I have a tendency towards speeding myself.  Oh yeah and merging traffic means move the heck over someone wants in to share the highway with you.  Sorry about your penis.

Dear I Am Always a Victim,
Get over yourself already and get a new story.  Everyone that has ever lived and will ever live will have  problems some of them downright tragic.   If you are creating your own personal drama...I don't do drama.  AND I have had my share of problems, tragedy and just plain life...I put a smile on and move FORWARD!

Dear You Only Call When You Need Something,
I am pretty sure if the only time you call is when you need something I am going to be an unwilling participant.  My phone number and address are in fact the same...you can call and say "How are you"  or "Is there anything I can do for you" or how about "I was thinking of you today"   I mention this just in case no one ever taught you the give and take of friendship, family etc., etc. Oh yeah, see above when you are ranting about no offers of help!  Thank you I cannot help you right now because I am watching paint dry.

Dear Job Applicant,
I am fairly certain you are unemployed because you are rude, arrogant and belligerent.  You are not entitled to a job just because you have a) tons of education  b) loads of experience  c) all the credentials that ever were.  Use your manners when talking to the person who will decide whether you even get your foot in the door.  You may wish to consider a bureaucratic job where such characteristics may be valued.  Don't call us we will call you (NOT).

Dear Cell Phone User,
REALLY???  Please for all that is holy, put your phone down when backing out of a parking space.  I really do not want to hear your very personal drama or business while I am shopping or dining.  I really do not want to hear it when I am using the toilet in a public office building etc.  that is just gross! 

Dear Salesman/especially AFLAC,
Please do not stop by on a cold call...I will not be available for five minutes (your 5 and my 5 are completely different)  Three different salespeople in the same week will not make me change my mind it will make me more determined to shut the door permanently!  Get your AFLAC ducks in a row.  Thank you, bye, I will call you if I need anything.  P.S.  Don't hold your breath.

Dear Survey takers/telemarketers
The Answer is still NO!  I appreciate that you are working however if I say I am not interested you will not talk me into changing my mind.  This also applies to all the people calling about the copy machine...don't lie to me...go bother someone else. 

Dear Facebook
I have a love/hate relationship with you.  Sometimes you are a big train wreck...I am repulsed but cannot look away.  Face book users the political ranting and raving is not likely to change any one's opinion or reflect their decision at the polls.  Vote wisely and keep it to yourself! 

Dear Judgmental Person,
You may be at church every time the doors open however I am fairly certain that the Lord would not appreciate your preachy, judgmental, petty attitude (oops, that was me being judgmental nay truthful?)  Your opinion is/was not asked for nor valued.   Every single person is on a different path...your path may not be their path...their progress on that path will not be the same as your progress on the same and/or different path.  Stop it already!  AND I can say crap if I want to... your attitude reminds me of the tattle tellers in grade school....I'M TELLING ON YOU...jeez, grow up already.  When and if you get to Heaven...you may be surprised...

Whew, I feel much better...Back to our regularly scheduled programming of turning sour lemons into sweet lemonade!



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dear John

My dear friend Ruth Ann recently sent me this lovely card as a thank you note.  She and I share a love of similar artists, museums and other fun stuff.  On a recent facebook post Ruth-Ann mentioned that she loved receiving mail and did that make her a dinosaur.  No my friend, I, too love receiving cards, letters, notes and postcards.  It is such a pleasure to open the mailbox and find something special instead of the usual bills and junk mail! 

I participate in Postcrossing whereby I send and receive postcards from all over the world.  I recently sent a card with some fun stamps, stickers and a $1 bill to a young lady in the Ukraine...she responded by sending me several postcards, a Ukrainian bill and a lovely letter asking if I would like to be penfriends...well yes I think I will!


I also participate in Necessary Room's Gift of Jewels...several times a year cards are exchanged around the globe...given a random name you send and receive cards from and to a new friend!  It is such a wonderful experience.  I have maintained a blog/facebook friendship with former participants.  My latest Gift of Jewels was sent to Norway...I received a beautiful card and some beautiful postcards made from Sharon's photos.   She shares my love of heart shaped rocks and clouds.   Her letter to me was so very beautiful and YES, I will respond to her as well.




It has recently come to my attention that rather unconventional objects may be mailed as well...hmm...might I mention that excites me to no end!   Here are some ideas for that venture 13 ounces or less   

Because of all the Happy that has been in the post lately and because my friend Ruth-Ann adores mail...I am paying it forward...who knows it may be YOUR day for some HAPPY MAIL!!!  If you would like to be a victim oops I mean beneficiary of  a joyful surprise and I do not have your address....send me a little note and I will be happy to oblige!!!

Scatter some sunshine of your own...husbands usually enjoy love notes as do children even if they are grown, grandchildren...random strangers enjoy finding a sweet sentiment...go ahead pass a note I won't tell the teacher!



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Treasures all Around


 Are you ever on the prowl for wonderful treasures...little trinkets...the mother lode.  Have you noticed that the Mother Lode is often right in front of your very eyes and yet you may be just a bit too busy to see it for what it is...



I love to discover rocks, shell fragments or pieces of wood that are in the form of a Heart...a little love from nature.  My darling husband now looks as well.  However, most of the time...the love from the Universe appears when we are not looking for it.  You can search and search for these tiny little symbols, look away for a moment and Ta Da, the magic appears when you least expect it!


The lens of a camera has opened my eyes to unlimited possibilities...every seemingly normal, ordinary person, place or thing becomes extraordinary when I have a camera in my hand.  Unlimited possibilities...I tell ya! 








I was given the grand tour during a first time visit to a friend's home.  She had so many lovely pieces of furniture and art...all with an interesting tidbit or story about the origin of the piece.  The piece she treasured most was this rocking chair...ordinary in appearance, perhaps outdated for the room as she stated " I know it doesn't go in here but I just can't part with it...it was my first furniture purchase for $18.00 from Haverty's"  She then turned the chair over and the reason it was so highly valued was on the bottom.  The priceless crayon writing and drawings of her small son now a grown man and married.  Treasures of the heart.  I had a grandchild's fully formed hand print that I could not bear to wipe away from the hallway wall.  That hand print stayed there until we had the interior painted last year.  That hand print made me smile every time I walked through the hall.  It often saddens and gives me pause when plundering through an antique/junk/thrift store to find old photographs, albums, postcards, books and letters gathering dust.  The owners long gone...how much can we really hold onto...in the end we give up the tangible and all that we have left are the moments, the memories that we store in our hearts and minds.  Which, incidentally, by the way I am racking up as much as possible!!!

When my children were small we watched a program based on the novella "The Little Prince"  It remains one of my favorites and here is an excerpt that helps express my thoughts about "treasures":

“People where you live," the little prince said, "grow five thousand roses in one garden... yet they don't find what they're looking for...
They don't find it," I answered.
And yet what they're looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water..."
Of course," I answered.
And the little prince added, "But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”
― Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, The Little Prince

Here's to wishing you many moments and memories to cherish...challenging you to find the extraordinary in the ordinary...the hidden treasures right under your nose and in front of your eyes...look for "them" and the magic will happen...I promise! 
 
This post is dedicated to some of my greatest treasures...friends and family and to those giving me a gentle nudge back to writing.  LYMI...love you, mean it! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Joyful Heart Maketh for much Laughter!

It finally occured to me just exactly why the shampoo bottle is so much larger than the bottle of conditioner!  According to the shampoo instructions you are to lather, rinse, repeat...I know this, I just choose not to do it.  With the laundry list of stuff I can't pronounce I am reluctant to use more than I think I need.  It was one of those AHA then WELL DUH moments!  It is always good when we can laugh at ourselves.

Speaking of laughter...I recently saw this photo and quote from an awesome, inspiring woman...


I have to say I agree wholeheartedly!  I laugh often and sometimes inappropriately...if I am upset or nervous I may laugh as an alternative to something worse...please do not think me insensitive.  It has always been much to my dismay that I do not have a "girly" or sweet laugh...no, I am loud and boisterous in my laughter and speech.  People have approached me and said, "I knew it was you...I heard your laugh"  (blush, blush)  They tell me it is a compliment.



Last month, I went on a most fabulous "girl's retreat and as you can guess there was much laughter.  We laughed so much our muscles ached...it sure did feel good.  We had a session of Laughter Yoga...again it really works your muscles and gets oxygen into your lungs!  I am pretty sure if you watch the video below you may actually start laughing!  The body and brain apparently do not know the difference between "real" and forced laughter.  Perhaps a little laughter can turn your day around...I needed some and now I am smiling again.



In a world where there is too much ugliness I prefer to find the humor in any given situation.  Obviously everything cannot be cured by laughter...hugs and kindness help as well.  My true core personality is that of a pessimist, negative thinker...I make a conscientious effort to be positive, to look for the good and to laugh often.  When I cannot or will not do it for myself...I surround myself with my tribe of beautiful, lovely spirited friends. 

Laughter truly is the best medicine.  Go have a laugh, it's on me...won't cost a you anything (well, except maybe a little dignity, which is overrated anyway)


Monday, April 23, 2012

Always in Celebration!


I can think of so many captions for this photo.  For example...the much used what happens ________stays __________.  In our case, what happens at the restaurant stays at the restaurant.   I love the moment this photo captures.  Friends for a long time sharing a secret or two.  We gathered to celebrate this lovely girl's birthday!  Along the way of wining and dining we were evacuated from the restaurant due to some type of kitchen mishap/fire.  Since we are all capable of making the best of the moment...we continued on in true celebratory fashion including a cute couple, waitstaff and a few hunky firemen. 



Life happens.  My husband and I have dodged several bullets where our health is concerned...we are ever vigilant and more determined to eat properly, move more and stress less.  Some of our friends are undergoing extreme health issues and all we can do is support them with good healing thoughts.  Others are experiencing financial difficulties.  Us...the husband and I...we have alternated taking three cars to the shop...thank goodness not all at the same time and some are company cars!  Our tenants completely trashed the house Carl lived in before we married...it will require costly repairs...this too shall pass.  Two friends have had sons rushed to the emergency room on the same day (totally unrelated incidents) one is recovering and the other...still waiting on word of his condition.  We pray for good things.  I think of my friend, eighteen months a widow and still feeling incomplete and as she says "I feel crippled without him"  Another friend seeking a new path since the love of her life has passed.  We lose family, friends, loved ones, our health and yet life continues.  Amidst the sadness and trials there are babies born (lots) save the date cards accumulating and signifying that two people will begin to share their lives together for better or worse...anniversaries and birthdays to celebrate...milestones of every sort.  This life is a testing ground, it is rife with trials and tribulations...it is also full of joy, passion and good will.  We each bear different burdens and we each can and should lift each other.  Paraphrasing something I once read or heard..."never look down on a person unless you are helping him/her up.






  I will adjust to the many changes and challenges around...put my shoulder to the wheel and push on with a happy song in my heart.  It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood...celebrate the moment...hug someone...smile lots...revel in gratitude for the many blessings we all experience !  Peace and Love  Y'all!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tap, Tap...is this thing on?



I thought the above sign appropriately described my conspicuous absence from bloglandia.  I do not know who said it first however I attempt to live by the words "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all".  On the outside I have been my usual cheerful, kind self...inside I have been a raging lunatic...that is what the so called "change" will do for you.  Lately I have been telling friends and family, call me and ask...I won't remember or if you don't like my mood...wait for it, it is changing as we speak.  The following cartoon speaks volumes, I  mean volumes...




Mostly I have been living with these alien feelings, however I have been researching possible alternatives to being miserable.  On a funny note...every symptom unequivocally and emphatically stated that all THIRTY FOUR (34)  are a result of declining estrogen...NO SH%*!!!  I have ordered an herbal remedy based on the recommendation of a friend and provided I don't strangle anybody in the meantime...it should be delivered around the 18th of April. I don't think those "people" understand what declining estrogen means and they should probably drive it to my doorstep yesterday! 

Lately, I find myself particularly annoyed with the male population...I am sure declining estrogen is their fault in someway.
My husband sheepishly asks me if I still love him.  And I very gently scream at him..IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU...leave the thermostat alone, get another blanket and don't touch me...poor guy...he is a champ.  And YOU, yes you in the gigantic big truck...get off my a$$...do you really need a truck that takes up 3 parking places, uses enough gas to fuel a third world country to go to your office job...if you are not in heavy construction...WHY???   Oh yeah and get off the phone and drive.
There, there I feel ever so much better now...where was I...oh yeah, attempting to write a blog post.

This week and this morning particularly have just been a Bear!  I am positive that dawn arrives each day with new possibilities...I just have to ride the storm!  Life is Good and this too shall pass!  Anyone else feeling the need to rage against the world, feel free...I will commiserate!  In the meantime, I am going to walk around in the sunshine and gain a more peaceful perspective.  Cheers!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Free Spirited, She Is!

My granddarling Anna will soon be six.  She burst into this world in quite the hurry and has not slowed down since her arrival!  She started kindergarten this year.  My biggest hope is that the system will not steal all her joy, independence and free spirit.  "They" want her to conform...she has a hard time with it.
To say she has her own sense of fashion is an understatement.  My daughter prefers not to battle over clothing, hair and shoes.  As long as she is covered and it is not a safety issue so be it.  The assistant in her classroom asked Anna if her Mother looked at her in the mornings...apparently Anna's choice of shoes did not suit her...she wore her jazz boots...leather bottom, leather tops, neutral color, very comfy not distracting to anyone except the assistant.  Yeah, several of us were ready to string her up.



Anna dances through life...she is on a competition dance team with her first performance in February.  She flew through my kitchen after dance dragging a pink suitcase on wheels.  I told her I loved her pink suitcase and she assures me that it is HOT pink.  She proceeded to do her dance routine on the breakfast bar. 

Give the child some paper and something to write with...she is busy for hours, really!  When this little girl has had enough of the world around her...she takes herself to bed and snuggles in with a stack of books.



Her Mimi (great grandma and my mom) gave her money for Christmas.  Anna decided it was time to re-do what she calls "her" bathroom.  Pink and purple polka dotted shower curtain, pink rug, toothbrush holder, cup and towel set...with a huge Justin Bieber poster (a gift from her brother).  What five year old does this? 



I LOVE this girl.  I love her spirit.  I love being reminded to dance through life...to be creative and to take yourself to bed with good books when the world is too much.  Most of us knew what made us feel good and how to just BE before we let life take over.  Yes...there are jobs, families, myriad responsibilities...in the midst of all of "that" let us not forget to just Be, to explore, to enjoy.  I have a feeling 2012 is going to be an Amazing year...how about you, what do you think?