What does Christmas mean to you? The answer to this question can be different for everyone. I enjoy simple, easy decorations. I love the shining lights and singing along to Christmas music. I savor getting together with family and friends. I am not particularly religious, but understand the Christian ceremony for this holiday and appreciate that much of the giving of the season is done through religious and other charitable organizations.
I don't like the hectic nature of Christmas. The pressure of buying things for others that they might not want or need. The debt many go into so they can buy all these gifts.The stress of getting together with family members, that you don't have a desire to be around, because it is "what you do at the holidays."
Make Christmas a time to reflect on all you have done in the year. Take time and celebrate as simply or as lavish as you choose. Remember to be grateful for all you have. Listen to a good Christmas song or two, and maybe sing along.
"Christmas and New Years is a time to celebrate our lives, be reverent, to give and center ourselves in the energy of illumination, love, and wisdom. A celebration of the past, present, and future!"--John C. Bader http://responsiveuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/what-does-christmas-mean-for-a-buddhist/
Yesterday I wrote about love and quoted the movie "Love Actually." Last night I was watching an interview with Mariah Carey. The interviewer said his favorite Christmas song was Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is you." He then showed video clips of the song and among the clips were multiple scenes from the movie "Love Actually." I am aware that this song features heavily in the movie, however I still had that moment of synchronicity. I didn't have to watch that show yesterday, it was taped I could have watched it anytime, but I watched it on the same day I wrote the blog.
Pay attention to your moments of synchronicity. I will be chronicling mine. Write to me and tell me about your synchronistic moments, I'd love to hear them. If you aren't sure what synchronicity is I explain it in my December 6 post.
"All I want for Christmas is you" by Mariah Carey happens to be my favorite Christmas song too. If you want to watch the full 3:55 version of her hit follow the link below.
I love the opening line of the movie "Love Actually." It shows the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport and Hugh Grant is commentating. He says, "Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world. I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport. General opinions started to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. Seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified, or news worthy, but it's always there. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the twin towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from people on board were messages of hate or revenge, they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling that love, actually is all around."
Look for love around you as your friends and family arrive for this holiday season. Enjoy what you have and see that love, actually is all around.
There have been the most amazing sunrises, sunsets, and moonrises in Florida recently. The air is crisp and clear and everything looks spectacular. It has made me think about appreciating what I have.
I am grateful for so many things and I try to take time out each day to think about what I have. The moments we are given each day are precious and how we use them is important.
The moon has been full and luminous the last few nights. I went out last night and looked up at the dark sky and was shocked by how many brilliant stars I could see. The winter air appears to make the sky vivid. The moon and stars seem to stand out more than they do in the other seasons.
Looking at the stars can help you realize how infinite the galaxy is and how small we are. It is astonishing. My problems don't seem as big when I realize how small I am in the scheme of things.
The next time you get a chance to see the sunrise, the sunset, or the moonrise watch it and remember to appreciate what you have, because you never know when it might be gone.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”--Thomas Edison
I am sitting here at my computer putting off editing my book because it is a long and tedious process. I know when I put in the work I will benefit from it and acquire a sense of accomplishment.
Don't miss out on an opportunity for growth because you don't want to put in the hard work. Opportunities come in all shapes and sizes and you never know what you will gain by seizing them.
I read a CNN article this week on a family's struggle with mental illness. I was impressed by the candor of the family interviewed as well as the willingness of the writer to publish the article. He tells us of the battle these people have been through trying to help their son. It hit home with me. I have been there, I know what they are going through, and I was heartened to see someone else talking about mental illness in public, instead of hiding behind closed doors.
In an all-day National Conference on Mental Health, President Obama said that he "hopes that a summit on mental illness will help bring that sensitive topic 'out of the shadows.' Too many Americans who struggle with mental health illnesses are still suffering in silence, rather than seeking help." Too many people are afraid to come forward and get the help they need. They are in fear of the stigma their illness will place on them.
The article's author, Wayne Drash wrote:
"The only time mental illness dominates the national conversation is when something goes tragically wrong. But the dialogue doesn't last. It gets buried under arguments about gun control, video game violence and unheeded signs of trouble -- until there's yet another mass shooting."
Now is the time to talk about mental illness, not tomorrow, not after another tragedy, but now.
I can only imagine the pain and agony someone with a mental illness suffers. I read my son's journals, with his permission, to get a glimpse into the mind of someone with a mental illness. When he is suffering he writes "Quiet all seasons and silence the rants. Bleak, darkness, sorrow, pain, aching, peril, know my name."
But when he is doing well, has support, and uses the skills he has learned to help himself he can write this about himself:
"A single reason to continue on this path I have made for such a long time has left me completely. Now I find myself searching for what used to be, instead of what should be. Lost and confused, I stagger back and forth for a while, trying to find my balance. The initial shock has kicked in and a life with this, this lack of what I depended on, is flashing before my eyes. At first glance I yearn for my satisfaction once again. I want to cradle my obsession and love my obsession, but leaving impulse behind requires me to think forwardly and consequentially. The potential my life now holds is not fathomable. I am slowly beginning to realize what this has held me from becoming, that I am capable of achieving all my aspirations. That the monster that has festered for, it seems like an eternity, inside of me can be tamed, and being held back from the true self will only cause me to bask in the reality that is me. Relishing the every moment I succeed."
The long road to helping someone with a mental illness is full of bumps and pot-holes, but it can be navigated successfully. It is not easy, it is a lifelong illness. A good friend of mine referred to it as a marathon, not a sprint. We are in this for the long haul, and there are times when my son is exhausted and "falls" down, but with help or on his own, he gets back up and starts over, and each time he does, he comes through it a little stronger and a little wiser.
Follow the link below to read the full article by Wayne Drash.
The story of Helen Keller comes to mind when I think life is difficult and overwhelming. She lost her hearing and sight from an illness at nineteen months old. Her parents and instructor, Anne Sullivan, worked tirelessly to help her communicate and become independent. Despite her handicap, Helen Keller went on to become a world-famous speaker and author.
Helen Keller did not let a handicap stand in the way of what she wanted. Are there times in your life when you want to do something different? To break away from the norm and be adventurous? Life is too short to wonder what if? It is important to be responsible, but it is also important to grasp what you want in life. Don't let fear rule your life. If you want a change, stop, assess your life, look, know what you want and go after it.
Remember, if Helen Keller could do it, so can you.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”--Helen Keller
"There is no substitute for hard work."
Thomas Alva Edison
I was thinking about hard work when I was on my hands and knees scrubbing my bathroom floor. I made the big mistake of having white grout put down when the tile was laid. My German shepherd loves to go and lie on the cool tile floor and lick it, so not only does it get dirty from the oils and general dirt on his body, but he coats it with a nice layer of saliva. My hands ached and my knees were sore and I was wondering why I was doing this. The only thing I could think of was that I had a goal to get the floor clean. Despite the effort it has taken, I have a sense of accomplishment after doing hard work, especially when you can admire the end result.
This rule of hard work can be applied to anything we do. It could be school work, house work, yard work, or office work. We may not be enjoying what we are doing, but if we stick with it to the end, and finish what we started, we will find a sense of peace in what we have accomplished.
Go forth, work hard, and find your inner peace.
Have you ever had one of those moments when you are thinking about someone, your phone rings, and it's that person? Or you have a dream about something and it occurs the next day? This is called synchronicity.
Synchronicity is a term coined by Carl Jung. Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) made a significant contribution to the psychoanalytical movement. He worked with Sigmund Freud, but did not agree with Freud's psychosexual theories. Jung established himself in the fields of spirituality and esoteric science. He practiced dream interpretation and the process of individuation, which is the union of the conscious with the unconscious.
Wikipedia defines synchronicity as, "the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related. Jung was transfixed by the idea that life was not a series of random events, but rather an expression of a deeper order. Jung also believed that in a person's life, synchronicity served a role similar to that of dreams, with the purpose of shifting a person's egocentric conscious thinking to greater wholeness."
The following is another example of synchronicity from Wikipedia:
"The French writer Émile Deschamps claims in his memoirs that, in 1805, he was treated to some plum pudding by a stranger named Monsieur de Fontgibu. Ten years later, the writer encountered plum pudding on the menu of a Paris restaurant and wanted to order some, but the waiter told him that the last dish had already been served to another customer, who turned out to be de Fontgibu. Many years later, in 1832, Deschamps was at a dinner and once again ordered plum pudding. He recalled the earlier incident and told his friends that only de Fontgibu was missing to make the setting complete – and in the same instant, the now senile de Fontgibu entered the room."
These are just two examples of synchronicity out of millions. This is a phenomenon I am fascinated with.
On the website: http://www.crystalinks.com/synchronicity.html it says, "We have all heard the expression, 'There are no accidents.' This is true. All that we experience is by design, and what we attract to our physical world. There are no accidents just synchronicity wheels, the wheels of time or karma, wheels within wheels, sacred geometry, the evolution of consciousness in the alchemy of time."
Be aware of your synchronistic moments, pay attention to them, they might be telling you something.
In my September 20th blog I quoted Barry Schwartz, who said, "the secret to happiness is low expectations."
Recently I watched a TED lecture by David Steindl-Rast, and thought maybe the secret to happiness is more positive. David's words were motivating and inspiring, so I wanted to share them with you. He said that all of us, as human beings, have one thing in common, no matter who we are, where we live, or what we have; we all want to be happy. He says there is a connection between gratefulness and happiness. Happiness isn't about the abundance you have. "Happiness doesn't make us grateful, gratefulness makes us happy."
What is gratefulness? According to the dictionary it is, "warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful." David Steindl-Rast says that when you experience something valuable to you that is given to you as a gift, gratefulness spontaneously rises and this brings about happiness.
What is the most valuable thing that is given to everyone, everyday? Moments. "The key to happiness is living gratefully. Becoming aware that every moment is a gift to you. The moment and all it's opportunity is the gift within the gift given to everyone everyday." We must be grateful for the moments we are given, because we never know how many more we will have. When times are difficult we need to learn to rise to the occasion and find the opportunities that are presented to us. Use these difficult times as a challenge to rise to that opportunity.
David says, "the method to harness this, to live gratefully, it's simple. It is what we were taught as children when crossing the street. Stop, Look, Go!"
Don't miss opportunities that are given to you as gifts in every moment. Find time to stop, get quiet, wait, think, and review what is going on, and then when you do, look around, go, and be grateful.
If you want to see the whole lecture by David Steindl-Rast click on the following link and watch it for yourself.
Just remember to Stop, Look, and Go.
It was my anniversary yesterday and I wanted to take the time to share with you the amazing man that I am privileged to call my husband.
There are moments in life that take your breath away, and the day I met him was one. I didn't believe in love at first sight until then. There was a spark that ignited and continues to grow each day, despite the difficulties life has brought. I could not have asked for a more loving, supportive, and exciting person to share my life.
Do I believe in miracles? Absolutely!
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