Nostalgia

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“That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.” ~ Emily Dickinson

It’s so hard to find positive quotes on nostalgia. The very definition is “Sentimental longing for the past,” and most quotes have to do with that longing and a kind of sadness. I like what Emily Dickinson had to say about nostalgia.

Nostalgia came about for me when my two granddaughters spent the night. Since they are thirteen and very busy with friends etc. I don’t see them as often as I used to. The room that they sleep in—which was once their mother’s room, has some toys and fragments of things that go way back to when they were really little. Since I don’t know when they’ll be coming back to spend the night, I thought we’d take the opportunity and see what they wanted to keep and what to give away, or recycle.

I found my memories dancing around of endless times playing with dolls with them. Board games, coloring books, old purses and things they made that now they have no use for. So much stuff that in the past they would have never let go. But I didn’t feel sad. I just felt amazed at how mature they have become, and how lucky I am to have played with them all these years. The stuff animals that once belonged to their mom, and books that I had read over and over, plus the very loved doll house, they want to keep. These items are over forty years old, and it’s special to know that maybe there will be a whole new generation enjoying these toys.

Of all the things I’ve experienced in life, I’ll have to say that the gift of raising my two daughters and being a grandmother I am most grateful for. Those times were not always easy. In fact, many times they were difficult. But I’m thankful for the good, bad, and the ugly of it all. That’s what life is really about. You learn to flow through it all and be grateful you’re alive to do so.

“Nostalgia is simply the result of aging and liking the life you’ve lived. Be happy you can feel it—it’s a good sign.” ~Anthony Marais

Put a positive spin on nostalgia. Whatever you’ve experienced in life be happy for it all. The bitter with the sweet moves our life along. No one ever said it was going to be easy, and that’s where expectations should be thrown out. Indeed, tomorrow is promised to no one.

Cherish all that comes your way, and let your heart feel warm and full that you got to be in the game of life this far. How lucky you are.

Frustration

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We all experience frustration; maybe some of us more than others. But from time to time, it’s bound to happen, and it’s not pleasant. It can be caused by small things and big things, and by having expectations, and holding on for dear life what we want to achieve. Sometimes we are just too hard on ourselves.

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” ~ Confucius

I’ve been frustrated lately dealing with a cat that has a chronic illness. This is a middle-aged outdoor cat that the humans in her life have let down. She chose my husband and me to save her. We weren’t prepared to take on the care of an animal, but here we are. It’s been expensive, interrupted sleep, and medication issues. It has pretty much consumed us. Some people would think this is a silly thing to be frustrated about, and compared to so many other things like dealing with a sick child, or other human, or financial problems, it’s pretty minor. But like I said before, frustration comes with small and big issues. It doesn’t matter what the cause is. What matters is feeling frustrated is not a good way to be living.

I found that I wasn’t flexible with my goals concerning this little cat, and my expectations were too high. So I took a deep breath and said to myself: “Let go and step back, and let things flow.” Every time I feel frustrated I say this to myself and actually visualize letting go and stepping back. Since I’ve been doing this, I am feeling more balanced and not so consumed by this little being. She appears to be doing better, and actually enjoys spending time indoors. The holistic medication and new diet are also starting to work for her.

I believe that life is all about the lessons we need to learn. I think this cat is in my life to help me learn not to be so intense; slow down and just relax and trust the life force that’s inside of me. So I only got one dose of the medication in her. Start fresh tomorrow. There’s just so much you can do with cats and their attitudes. It’s the same with people. Inside every frustration there is a lesson waiting.

When we let go and take a step back we make space for clarity, and new ideas form showing a better way. If you’re feeling frustrated, ask yourself what lesson you need to learn and then to help things along try letting go, stepping back, and see how free and clear your thoughts become.

“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” ~ Pema Chodron

Adrift but Strong

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“What you are is where you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.” ~ Buddha

Sometimes I have been adrift at sea and feeling alone much like the tiny picture above of the lighthouse. But just like the lighthouse, I am also strong, more than I realize, and able to carry on guiding myself and trying to help others along the path of this journey. I’m sure many of you also feel this way.

Everything that we have done and experienced has brought us to the point we find ourselves in right now. We learn along the way, sometimes falling and ending up with banged up knees and deep bruises that no one can see. But it’s these things we’ve been through that have shaped us into the beings we are now and will carry us on into the beings we’ll become.

Don’t let those times when you’re feeling adrift at sea and so alone freeze and depress you. Instead, let yourself flow forward into the next installment of your journey. You are strong. You are brave. Take the knowledge that you have– the bad and the good to the next level of your life and live with no regrets. Thrive and embrace your life because as far as we know, this is the only life we’re going to get. Make it special; make it count.

Embrace Your Tears

 

“Don’t ever discount the wonder of your tears. They can be healing waters and a stream of joy. Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak.”  ~ Wm. Paul Young

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.

Just Go With It

 

“Accept this moment as it is.”  ~ Eckhart Tolle

I agree, it’s hard to accept some moments when they are downright horrible, but fighting against those times gets you nowhere. I think it’s better to just go with it. “This too will pass,” is a saying that’s been around for a long time and one my grandmother used to say. It’s a good saying and one maybe we should keep in mind when life gets tough.

In accepting the moment as it is you are surrendering–not giving up, there is a difference. Surrendering is letting go of having to control every little thing in your life. You are learning to flow through your life so you can enjoy all of it fully.

Every day I am reminded how precious life is and how short it can be. So I take the good with the bad–the cold rainy days with the glorious sunny warm days and treat them equally. After all, they are both part of my life and I own them.

Bad things come, but they also go, and then good things take their place. Don’t use up all your energy fighting those bad moments. Just go with it and the good moments will come.

This is your life so be completely present.

 

What Are You Waiting For?

“Sometimes you have to stop thinking so much and just go where your heart takes you.”  ~ Unknown

“Do it now. The future is promised to no one.”  ~ Wayne Dyer

“Live the way your soul yearns to sing.”  ~ Melanie Werenczak

So, what are you waiting for? There’s no limousine coming to get you. No bus going your way. And hitchhiking will never get you where you want to go. It’s just you kid on your own. Only you can make it happen, but I know you can do it, and I think you do too.

What are you waiting for? Get going!

 

Invite the Light In

Close your eyes and breathe in.

Relax those shoulders as you breathe right out.

Let those crazy thoughts fly in and out, but don’t attach yourself as they soar in–just let them be.

Invite the light into your soul by concentrating on happy thoughts even if they were very long ago.

Come on, let a giggle slip in and become unburden as hopefully you once were when you were little and carefree.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Invite the light in chasing the darkness out.

 

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.”

~ Maori proverb

Truly Real

 

“If my heart could do the thinking, would my brain begin to feel?” ~ Van Morrison

I think sometimes we all make the mistake of thinking with our heads too much and not enough with our hearts. We analyze situations over and over until they don’t make sense anymore. We put too much energy in trying to figure out why someone did this or that to us, and we play the blame game constantly where there are never any winners.

If we could clear our minds and start thinking with our hearts can you imagine how wonderful and fresh the world would be? We wouldn’t be looking for problems to appear around every corner. We wouldn’t be in conflict with anyone, we would just be in bliss and flowing with life. Such balance would be ours for evermore.

This all sounds like a fairy tale. How could this be in a world so complicated that at times you just can’t see. Call me an optimist, but I believe with hard work and determination we can all change the way we think and feel. We can train our brains to use that compassion from our hearts and they can work together bringing us a peaceful, happy life, that is filled with love instead of fear and hate.

What is truly real? The darkness your mind is showing you, or the love you want to feel? What if you went with your heart this time instead of giving in to the conflict your head wants you to explore. Choose wisely my friend, for your happiness on this journey may very well depend.

Go For It

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”  ~ T.S. Eliot

Don’t let anything in life get in the way of what you truly want. Keep those dreams and plans and simply go for it. Obstacles do appear from time to time and make our lives stressful, but you have to kick the barriers down and go for what you want.

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.” ~ Abraham Maslow

I know it’s hard sometimes, and life can sure get us down. But don’t be rolling up in a ball and hiding from all the hassles that keep raining down. Pick yourself up–I know you can, and then just do what you need to do and see how far you can go. In the long run, you’ll be happy that you did, and you just might surprise yourself at how far you’ll go.

Life is what you make it and it can become your friend, or foe, so why not just decide to make it your friend and flow.

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”

~  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Then and Now

Are you doing it again? You know, that thing where you kick yourself for all the horrible mistakes you made in the past. The operative word here is PAST. You realize that you can’t do a thing about all that stuff that happened in the good old past, right? I hope so. But I had a conversation with a friend that has decided to take a trip back there and try to relive decisions she made and figure out all the whys of her decisions. Friends, that just doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because the who you were in the past is not the who you are now.

“Your past mistakes are meant to guide you, not define you.”
~ Unknown

Sometimes in life doing your best becomes your absolute worst. Why? Because you can only give what you have and sometimes you’re just out of stock. During these times your best is your worst. But don’t be so hard on yourself because you did do your best. As a person grows and matures the decisions they made in the past probably are not the decisions they would make today.

So, you out there, stop doing this to yourself. Look back at your past and the bad decisions and realize it was you then and not now. View the past as a learning experience — and that goes for the past mistake you just made a few minutes ago. It got your attention and you have learned your lesson. Come on, move on down that highway and forgive yourself.

Hey, this is you now, and you are giving it your very best.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes for getting through this life:

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
~ Lao Tzu