Seasons

Many of us get to enjoy 4 unique seasons, each with its unique pleasures, beauties and activities. But there are some negatives with each season. Example, winter time in some places can be harsh and brutal. I read of a train full of passengers at a standstill for over a day because of the snow. Yet, I know plenty of people who relish in the snow because of the fun activities they can engage in, like skiing, snowboarding, making snowmen with their children. I even know fashionistas who love showing off winter clothing, coats and accessories.

I’d venture to say many more people enjoy summer time. You can dress lighter – I mean who doesn’t love a flowing sun dress or cool shorts? There’s swimming, biking, picnics, ice cream, vacations… the list seems endless for things associated with summer. Now let’s not forget the scorching heat though. This could be deadly and so not fun when 3 minutes after stepping outside there’s sweat beads as big as raindrops rolling down from the nape of your neck to the small of your back down to the soles of your feet!

Spring and autumn are just as glorious. Generally, more moderate temperatures, beautiful colors, blossoming flowers, color changing leaves, good hiking weather, pleasant moods, the aroma- ahhh the aroma: Pumpkin spice, lavender, vanilla, pecan pies….then there’s the allergies, the rain, fickle weather….

Like the seasons we’re constantly changing and growing. There are certain seasons in life we thrive and other we’re more at a standstill. Maybe we could use those seasons to listen, learn, grow, set goals, and try something new so when those thriving seasons arrive we’re prepared, ready to take off running and killing the game. Still in our thriving season we should take time to reach back and lend a helping/mentoring hand to those who are in their still season. This way the circle of helping and growing will continue year round. Most importantly, though, we should always be humble and grateful. Pride comes before a crash, but gratitude means peace.

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Move

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“If you don’t like where you are, move.  You are not a tree”

Are you afraid of change? Change makes me nervous.  I’m excited – filled with anticipation of what’s to come.  I’m also afraid – of the unknown. I don’t know what’s coming so I can’t control it, prepare for it.  If I listened to my fears each time change happened I’d be in the same place I was ten years ago.  No growth, no new experiences, just same old predictable me.

The good thing about change is you always learn something new, even if it’s  unpleasant.  It could be a life lesson- like letting go of that wrong “love” or not killing yourself for that self-serving boss. Change also allows you to move on from an unhappy place.  If there is something that you don’t like, change it….at least take concrete action to make improvements – spruce up that resume and network, call your sibling and work out your differences …. No one or nothing has absolute control over you.  We are free people.  So use that privilege to make the right changes;  it could mean your happiness and peace.

Passion

“Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing”

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I find it hard to describe what I’m passionate about. I often hear “if you find your passion you’ll never work a day in your life”. I think this is true. But what is my passion?

I love to travel. I love visiting new places, seeing how other people live; I love to experience the culture, cuisine, music and art. I love learning about family dynamics and history of the people. I enjoy reading – I used to do a lot more of it-but now I have to carve out time for it. My favorite place to read is at the beach under an umbrella with the soothing sounds of the waves crashing ashore and hearing the happy squeal of children attempting to ride the waves. I love going to shows of all kinds. I love spending time and laughing with family and friends. I enjoy writing.

But can I make any of these my passion?

Probably. Does following your passion have to mean making a profit from it? That’s definitely nice. But is it ok to just do things you enjoy solely to feed your soul? If it brings you peace and satisfaction isn’t it ok to passionately do it and not gain monetarily for it? I’d like to say so.

What are some of your passions?

How about unfulfilled passion? Do you have any?

I have one: dancing. I remember being about 6 years old and walking pass a dance studio and asking my mother if I could take dance lessons, especially since I had a cousin who was taking dance lessons at that time.  She said no.  I can’t remember if she gave me a reason but I do remember not pushing the issue and taking no for an answer.  I’ve always regretted that; I should’ve been more persistent.  Till this day when I go see a dance show I dream of being on stage as a seasoned dancer.  Sometimes I even get angry with myself for not having followed my passion.  Then I comfort myself by enjoying the show and dancing at every party, in my living room, at concerts, with friends…basically any time the spirit moves me.

So if you can’t easily pursue your passion what can you do?

Well for me I put on my dancing shoes.

 

Keep Going!

“Stay away from negative people.  They have a problem for every solution”

Have you ever been in such a state of mind that you can’t calm down or think straight? You’re full of anxiety and stress?  You can’t rest your mind, sleep through the night, eat healthy – you either over indulge in junk food or not eat at all?  Then you decide to talk it out with people who “understand” your situation.  In the midst of garnering support you find that you’re more upset and unproductive.  Why? Harping on a problem rather than strategically mapping out a plan to address it makes the situation worse, and being fueled by others with negativity prolongs your misery.

I feel a good solution to combating negativity is 1) staying away from more negativity – including people, 2) taking time to breathe and gather yourself – clearing your mind will help you gain a better perspective of the situation, 3) counting your blessings. Show gratitude for the smallest blessing: like breathing.

When you come up with great ideas and you share it with others and you’re not met with excitement, rather discouraging words – all the reasons that you shouldn’t or can’t pursue your dreams, ignore it. Don’t be discouraged by the naysayers.  Pursue your goal, go for it.  Whether it takes you time to achieve it and you have to revise along the way, or you achieve immediate success, or even if ultimately it does not work out.  You’re not a failure.  Having ambition and putting in the work itself is success.  Now any wins along the way are extra blessings.

Keep going, even if the road seems a bit lonely. You’ve got this!

In the still of darkness

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing”

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It was dark by 6 pm, but pitch black by 7 pm. At first I read a few pages of a book by flashlight.  When that got exhausting I played with the flashlight by creating different shapes in the shadows with my one free hand and voices to go along. I amused myself for a while. This power outage brought into sharp focus how dependent we are on electricity – being without tv, smartphones/tablets, and especially the Internet is hard.  As I relaxed in the dark I imagined what people did before the days of radio, tv, and Internet to entertain themselves.

After a while I caught myself smiling.  Why did I feel so happy though I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything?  I was brain exercising. I was reciting stories and songs I learned as a child; “What a wonderful world” by Louis Armstrong came to mind so I belted it out loud as if I were back in the 5th grade in my elementary school auditorium with my music teacher on the piano; then I was in my neighborhood park jumping rope, swinging on metal swings with my friends, eating 50 cent ice pops.  I thought of people I hadn’t seen in years, I wondered how they are?   I thought of some people I need to check up on, send cards to, or visit.  I made a mental list.  Finally, I remembered a few good things that I have been blessed with.  All these memories and thoughts brought me joy; that’s why I was smiling.

In the still of darkness I sat still long enough to remember the beauty of living.  In spite of the daily chaos that comes with life, if you pause long enough and disconnect from the news, social media, tv shows…you may come to realize the beautiful moments you’ve lived through, the memories you’ve created, each person who left a footprint in your life. I’m sure there are some great ones you could share.  Take time to do so.  There’s nothing like the human connection.

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