“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
~ Louisa May Alcott
Our aspirations and dreams of what can be give us the energy and fight to get up in the morning. They are part of what drives us. Never give up on your dreams because they’re who you are and why you’re here.
How many of you actually take care of yourselves? Hello there… anybody? Are you constantly running around and bouncing here and there like a ping-pong ball? I know that I once was, but not anymore—at least for the most part. I used to be so crazy busy and stressed out that you could have attached my head to jumper cables and received quite a charge!
All this running around taking care of people and making deadlines etc. didn’t have to be so crazy if I would have believed in the word, “No,” and practiced better self-care. Yoga, meditation, taking a walk, swimming, etc. Whatever calms you down and brings peace to you will work. But not drinking too much wine and stress eating. Yes, I confess, that is how I used to handle stress.
I know it’s hard to think of yourself when you have so much responsibility, but if you don’t take care of yourself then who will? And what’s going to happen to everyone and everything that’s depending on you if you get sick? A stressful life can make you very sick. Self-care isn’t something that’s selfish, or trendy. Self-care is something that is necessary for a balanced life.
When you are living through a nerve-racking time in your life, then that is just when you need to take a step back and think about what’s right for you. You need to be mindful of the choices you’re making and how they are affecting your overall health now and into the future.
It helps if you get yourself in the habit of self-care on a daily basis before you find yourself in a stressful situation. This way, you will know how to handle the horrible way you are feeling and de-stress before you get sick.
Remember, cheating yourself is going to cheat those that love you. Don’t beat yourself up all the time. Take a break and enjoy this life of yours.
It’s very painful when we experience the death of a loved one, and the grieving process is different for everyone. One thing to remember is that there is no time limit in grieving. Those that might say, “It’s time to put this behind you,” or, “It’s been a year now and youshould be over it…” etc. SHAME ON THEM! There is NO time limit.
When a loved one dies we go through stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance and everything in-between. Every stage is different for each of us, and at some point memories of this person will fill your mind. Remember, memories don’t have to be sad or even make you mad. They can be funny, happy memories that make you laugh and fill you with joy.
My co-worker and I told the children going through the bereavement program that it was okay to laugh, and have funny memories. They looked surprised. But as they talked about their loved ones and told little stories—some sweet and some funny, they seemed to relax and accept that memories can be funny and laughter is always good for the soul.
I love remembering the happy and mostly funny memories of those I have lost. I find it comforting. Sure there were plenty of bad and some very sad times, but I only care to remember the good ones. Sometimes I’m surprised about how many hilarious memories I have. Makes me wonder why I ever thought things were so bad.
Nothing lasts forever and that includes the pain you may be in right now. As long as you can remember, then the memories of your loved ones will never fade. They will bring you comfort on a cold night. They will fill your heart with joy and treasured thoughts, and they will make you laugh as well as cry because of the richness they give your life.
What a wonderful time of the year. It’s a time for kicking back, and a time to reconnect with nature. Depending on where you live, summer may be brief so you want to make the most of it. That doesn’t really mean planning big vacations, or having ongoing summer parties. It means letting go and unwinding.
Remember when you were a kid stretched out on the cool grass looking up at the stars in wonder, or swimming by the moonlight? Unstructured time to ourselves is what we all need.
Speaking of being a kid, don’t over structure your children’s summertime. It doesn’t need to be overfilled with organized sports and places to be. At the same time, kids don’t need to be on their electronic devices all the time. It can become an obsession for them and that is never good. Kids need time to play, dream, and just be lazy—maybe watching the clouds float by. Balance is the key.
Nature gives us the gift of summer’s long days and warm nights to go exploring who we are, and to dream of what can be. It’s a valuable time for making memories, and for the soul to grow.
Go outside and take a deep breath and let yourself be part of summer.
We can get embarrassed when we tear up in public, but maybe we shouldn’t. Tears are the way of clearing our bodies of emotion and the stress we carry around. It’s a beautiful way of cleansing and setting our bodies back into balance.
Some people think it’s a sign of weakness, but it’s really a sign of being human and caring. There are tears of joy and tears of pain, but whatever the tears don’t hold them back, let them flow.
It’s true that there are times when you can’t just break down and sob, but you can tear a little bit and maybe sob later. When I’m working with a child in bereavement and he or she starts to cry, it breaks my heart and the tears start to fill my eyes. I can’t just lose it; I have to be there for the child. So I stay in command of my tears by concentrating on helping the child and only letting a few come into my eyes. I also have to get over my embarrassment, but we tell the kids that tears are always okay and maybe seeing tears in my eyes makes that really so.
Feeling joy or pain is part of our journey and so are the tears that accompany all of that. Don’t be afraid; feel what you feel and let yourself connect to the moment and to life itself. We are all just human, so let’s be that. Be a beautiful feeling human.