Be the Gift

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The Earth is a beautiful place, but our world can at times be cold and cruel. During this holiday season and all year-long be the gift that keeps on giving. Be the one who smiles at a stranger. Maybe that smile is perfect timing to an otherwise horrible day. What about that person in a wheelchair or scooter that is staring at the top shelf in the grocery store wondering how they will be able to reach. Can you be the helping hand even if you feel too busy?

Take someone under your wing and help them to soar. I remember once when I had started a new job and was struggling to learn and keep up, and feeling that every day was pure hell. If someone would have taken me under their wing and helped me along I’m sure I would have succeeded. Think about taking someone under your wing at work and helping them to learn the ropes. Better yet, we should teach our children to do this at school. Being a friend to the child everyone picks on, or helping the new kid find their way. Wow, loving children, no more bullies.

Be the one who says to the child, “I’m proud of you.” Doesn’t matter if you are the parent, teacher, or just the neighbor, let them know when they’ve done well. Give encouragement and praise helping them along the path so they believe they can. Let them know you have their back and care. This kind of compassion will sustain them when future dark days descend, and you know they will. A child with a box of coping tools will get through because they’ll know they’re loved and matter in this world.

Happy Holidays to you wonderful Beings, and here’s my wish for all of you:

“If I could give you any gift, I’d give you LOVE and LAUGHTER, a PEACEFUL HEART, a SPECIAL DREAM, and JOY FOREVER AFTER.”  ~ Unknown

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Listen

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Listen not only with your ears, but your eyes—your whole body.

Listen to the voice within.

“Listen to your heart. It knows everything.”  ~ Paulo Coelho

Listen to what’s not being said; to the silence all around you.

“The inspiration you seek is already within you. Be silent and listen.” ~ Rumi

Listen to nature it’s desperately trying to get your attention and tell you something you need to hear.

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” ~ Ram Dass

Listen carefully to the children.

“People start to heal the moment they feel heard.” ~ Cheryl Richardson

Pay attention to the children because they are the future and the last hope for this precious planet.

“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.” ~ Kate Chopin

Are you listening?

It’s Still There

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When tragedy hits whether it happens to us personally, or we are spectators of a horror that we can’t comprehend, we lose our bearings and nothing makes sense anymore, and beauty seems to go out the door.

But, the beauty and the sense of our lives are still there. It’s all around us and all we have to do is open our eyes to see.

It’s there in the small baby we hold so close taking in the sweet smell of a new life and fresh beginnings of hopes and dreams.

Our loved ones who accept us for the beings we are, and hold us tight when our world is falling apart.

We hear it in the giggles and laughter of children at play going about their day feeling safe and loved without a care or worry in the world.

The sunrise and sunset that begin and end our long days bring us the sense and beauty that we belong to each and every day.

It’s there in the elderly hand we hold giving love and support as once we were given when small and everything was so new.

Let us not forget the furry family members that grace our homes. Always listening and showing us unconditional love no matter what.

The warm sun bringing gratitude to our hearts, and each rainy downpour enticing us to jump into puddles. And, oh yes, the tiny snowflakes that tickle our noses making us feel so alive and wanting so much more.

We see the beauty and sense of life in the magnificent trees and colorful flowers that paint our days, and the delightful singing of songbirds that make us stop for a second and take notice.

Nature always teaches us about our lives even sometimes brutally, but its beauty and strength takes our breath away and makes us better in so many ways.

When we get lost from things out of our control we need to remind ourselves that yes, beauty and sense are still there. Just open your eyes and see it’s all around you and me.

 

Too Centered

Our lives are very busy—especially if we are working, raising children, and caring for our own parents. We get centered on things that we feel are important like education, making money, getting ahead in our jobs, simply surviving. And sometimes we forget to tell the ones we love that we “Love Them.” Maybe it’s that we don’t think we need to remind them. After all, we told them that a long time ago, didn’t we? They should just know.

But do they know? Maybe not. We can’t just assume. If we are so caught up in making it through each and everyday we just might miss the human component of our lives. It’s that part of our lives where even if the person we love is at times driving us crazy, or we are just feeling tired, worried, fed-up and even mad, we are still able to show how much we love them.

With our aging parents we can become exhausted from all the running around of errands we do for them, and tired of hearing the same old stories over and over again, but they still need to hear that we love them. And all the wild things our kids do that upset us, they too need to hear those tender important words of love. It’s not only when our kids are young that they need to hear it, but also when they are adults and struggling with their own grownup lives.

Sometimes we can just get too centered on what we feel is important and probably is, but we must not forget about the human side that speaks of only love. That human side is what your kids will remember about you and treasure, and it’s what will make your parents feel warm and safe in your care. Without that reminder of love, life can be bitter cold.

Be mindful and free with saying “I Love You.”

Danger in a Tone

That old adage, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it,” is so very true. It’s that tone we use that can make all the difference in the world. I don’t think most of us give much thought about how we sound or come off to others. And it’s not just the verbal tone we use, but also the tone we use in print, especially in our e-mails and texts.

Tone represents the mood we are currently in, but not necessarily how we actually feel toward the people or subject we are dealing with at the time. So if we are in a bad mood then how we deal with the people around us verbally or in print will have a hard and sometimes nasty edge to it. This can cause a lot of problems at work and in our private lives. And this can especially be devastating when dealing with children or very sensitive people.

Sometimes it’s hard to know when our tone is off because we are busy people, and always in a hurry. We speak or text very fast before we have really processed all information. Yours truly has made that mistake many times. Usually this happens to me when I get caught up in a situation that I feel is critical and the other person has a different view.

So what do we do about keeping our tone smooth and cordial? “SMILE.” That’s right. Before you open your mouth, or write that offensive line, smile first. It’s pretty hard to say or write anything in a mean tone while smiling.

It doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves to be kind and gentle toward others. We all have stressful days, but a bad or really cruel tone can throw another human off into misery, and I don’t think any of us ever mean to do that.

Life can be hard, so put that smile on your face and let’s watch out for one another.

“Tone has the living soul.” ~ Shinichi Suzuki

What Are You Willing to Sacrifice?

What are you really willing to sacrifice for your career? Are you willing to cheat and lie and crush those below as you climb up the ladder? Well, that may be going a bit far, but some have done just that. But would you sacrifice your marriage, or miss your children’s childhood? What about your health? Are you willing to give that away? And those dreams for something even better, remember those? Are you willing to put your whole life on hold for this thing called a career?

When it’s put this way most people would have no trouble saying, NO. But in reality most of us do sacrifice much too much for the career and even for the thing we call the job. Some of us seem to have no problem sacrificing ourselves for the cause. We live by the motto of “work hard and one day you will make it.” The truth is that there is no guarantee you will make it to the top of your career, or even have a career. Life just has a way of sidelining us. And even if we do make it, was it all worth it?

Time is very valuable, and when you think about it, goes by very fast. Time waits for no one. And once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. So think about what you’re willing to sacrifice for your career, or the job that works you to death. Is it worth it? Can you still make a living without losing time with those you love and losing yourself in the process?

What it all comes down to is “Balance.” When you find the balance in your life everything comes together and works for you instead of against you. You can have the career without sacrificing yourself if you find and keep that balance. When you stop sacrificing to achieve that’s when you live your authentic self. And when you think about it, isn’t that what you’re really looking and working for?

Go out and live your best life!

Your Recipe for Loving

You can find recipes for making great dishes in magazines, books, online etc., but have you ever thought of a recipe for loving? How do you love yourself and the important people in your life? Sometimes I think there really needs to be some kind of guideline for how to love.

Maybe the recipe would go like this:

It’s never easy to love yourself because all kinds of faults are always popping up. But if you can’t love yourself then how in the world will you ever truly be able to love anyone else? You’d probably just keep finding faults with others too. So I guess the directions here would be to stop criticizing and accept yourself for the special being that you are. No one is perfect.

It’s easy to have that mad passionate love for someone, but what happens after you have been together for a long time and passion takes a back seat–does love go away? No, the formula just changes and love becomes deeper and means so much more. You start to know each other in new and wonderful ways. And in changing and growing, passion can make a return, and become better than ever.

Babies and young children are so easy to love, and they love and need you too. You love them to the extent that you would walk over burning coals to save them. But when children grow up and don’t want you around all that much, or even decide they don’t like you, how do you handle the love you still have for them? This is a hard one for all parents of grown children. You just have to realize that your job is done and it’s time to move on. Allow your child to change their love recipe so they can go off and build their new life. Give them lots of space and maybe they won’t forget where they came from, but at the same time, rebuild your own life, and learn to love them in a different way too.

The capacity to love stretches from humans to animals and the love for nature. The thing about a recipe for loving is to never stop. When you realize that it’s what you put in the recipe that deepens the flavor you will always find it easy to love.