Enough

I heard this word today by a motivational speaker. She made the point that when you know you are enough you will stop the struggle to get more and learn to accept, allow, and attract all that adds to you instead of who/what subtracts from you. When you know you have enough the desperate drive to get more will be replaced by the comforting flow of gratitude.

I paused and reflected on this and I must say she made valid points. Thoughts that kept coming to mind after this were: rat race, perfectionism, being over spent, overspending, keeping up with the Jones, anxiety, frustration.  None of that is appealing, or lead to happiness and peace.

When we’re content we’re happy. What defines your contentment?  I value peace tremendously. If it means staying away from the malls and online shopping for months to cut back on financial stress then I do it.  If it means getting together  with a friend at my favorite gelato shop I do it. If it means buying a plane ticket to an exciting new destination…yup I do it. But if it also means saying no….I do that too.  With time I’m learning to be content with enough.  I have enough of what I need, I am enough as a person so I make a great friend/companion/mate…

But truly, when you learn contentment- being satisfied with the things you have without constantly focusing on what you don’t have- your joy increases.  You’ll realize you have enough.

I long for peace that flows like a river.

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Colors of Life

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What’s your favorite color?

I could never pick just one as my favorite because there’s something captivating about each.  Yellow is fun and whimsical; pink is soft and nurturing; red is bold and feisty, purple is royal; green is natural and calming while blue is energetic; black is confident and strong while white is pure…at least that’s how I view them. So I tend to say my favorite color is in the berry family, like  fuchsia or magenta.  They’re Striking yet not over bearing.  So beautiful.  But truly I love most colors.  Color adds texture to your personality.

What color would you use to describe how you’ve been feeling?

I’d say lately I’ve been a mashup of many colors. With the pace of life- trying to get to and balance each responsibility- with life constantly changing and having to make adjustments, it all can be overwhelming. I balance that by making time for the more important things which include taking care of me. If I’m constantly expending myself then one day I’ll be all used up.  What’s that line from that Bill Withers song, “keep on using me till you use me up”?  That doesn’t work for me. And it shouldn’t work for you either.

Because we’re industrious and compassionate many of us tend to give our best to everyone else, like our employers and family, and what we have left for ourselves is just the rest.  Keep going like that and eventually you’ll have nothing for yourself or others.

So take time to enjoy the colors of life. “Taste the rainbow”. You’ll be happier, and since joy is contagious you’ll inspire others to be colorfully happy too.

Perspective

“Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.” – Bob Marley

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It’s all in your attitude. What your mind thinks your heart feels. What your heart feels reflects in your speech, demeanor, and health.

These past few weeks have been tough.  I allowed myself to be filled with negative thinking and overwhelmed with anxiety.  Some problems I created in my mind- situations that really didn’t even exist, or wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be.  I felt physically and emotionally drained, barely able to get on with my days.  What I learned from this is the mind is very powerful, what we feed it will define what we get from it.

So to get over this slump I had to actively work at controlling my thoughts.  Each time I was well up with anxious thoughts I prayed.  I prayed for a calm heart and positive thoughts.  Then I focused on something good, like the picture of my nephew being silly trying to eat his first cantaloupe 🍈.  Other times I talked it out with a friend. Friends are blessings for sure. Exercising helps too, you release negative energy while taking care of your health.  But I think what step must be taken is taking time to analyze the situation.  Is it really as bad as you made it out to be? Oftentimes you’ll find the situation is workable. What can help you feel better is how you view it. If your thoughts are negative you’ll stress more and find you have little energy to make it through the situation.  On the other hand if you put things in perspective you’ll find a bit of courage to carry on.

So don’t just get wet in the rain; feel it.  Yes life is tough, but there are many blessings to be had if we appreciate the little things- like the rainbow that came out after the rain.  Focusing only on bad things will rob you of joy.  You can’t live fully without joy.  Continue to count your blessings and make each day count.

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Courage

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
Maya Angelou

What’s the most courageous thing you’ve done?

When you’re afraid what do you do to regain power and confidence?

Do you face your fears or do you get up and run as fast and far away from them?

If you run, won’t the day come when you can no longer run? End of the road, so to speak, so you’ll have to do something? Will procrastinating really help?

I’m thinking no.   Running only prolongs the problem and builds a stream of anxiety that gets deep, dense, dark. I bet you the problem creeps into your mind throughout the day.  So wouldn’t it be better to deal with it as soon as possible? I’m one to avoid dealing with a challenge for a while. Sometimes I have to make sure when I’m ready to face the situation I’m in a heathy place physically, emotionally and mentally.   Then when time comes for me to deal with it I come from a place of courage and clarity in order to make appropriate changes, decisions.

When I don’t have courage I have to ask for it, I have to pray for it. Along with courage comes a measure of self-confidence. This confidence can help you rise from a place of fear and inaction to having the fortitude to face the problem and work through it with the tools we’ve been given: our minds, heart, body, time, connections… we can only use what we have.  So just always do your best in each situation.  giving up, running away, cowering is not the solution . Trust yourself enough to be bold, to act, then to move on… even if initially the results are less than favorable.

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Self care

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It’s true if you’re discouraged your strength will be meager. Focusing on every problem that comes along and wallowing in it – then creating more problems in our minds that doesn’t even exist is not healthy. Stress kills. When it scares you to wake up each morning because you can’t mentally and emotionally face the day, or when you can’t quiet your thoughts at night to rest then you need to pause and examine what’s going on.

Do you need encouragement? Let your family and friends knows. A good word spoken at the right time is comforting.

Do you need some time off? Take it.  “A live dog is better off than a dead lion”

Do you need professional help? Seek it. Mental and emotional health is as important as physical health. They work together.

Everyday we have to face life’s challenges, and it’s hard not to carry the weight of the world when we care.  I find that turning off the news and all the negative stories on social media is sometimes necessary.

I caught a glimpse of the sun setting as I drove; Instantly I felt calmer because I saw the beauty in creation and remembered to be thankful for being able to experience  it. I was at the beach and as we walked along the shore I felt awe at its majestic power.  Where does the sea begin and where does it end? How much life is really down there?  I felt so small in comparison, but thankful for its existence. How unimportant and futile some things seemed at the moment – like the $2000 purse I recently saw at a mall.  There’s beauty in creation- so much knowledge to gain by studying it.

So I’m choosing to focus on these things. Yes, we have to deal with issues that arise, yes we have to problem solve and quench life’s fires, but we don’t have to dwell in negativity and lose joy, peace, or health. There may be truth to something I read: life is 20% what happens to you and 80% how you react.  Training our minds to remain happy and hopeful despite trials can build resilience.  Then we’ll be better prepared to cope with challenges.

Take time to care for yourself

Count your blessings

Focus on the good

Inspiration

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Where do you look for inspiration? In nature? creation? People? Books?

When you’re not feeling motivated what helps you to get up and keep going?

When you’re feeling defeated what helps you get back to being strong to get through/ overcome the obstacle(s)?

For me it’s prayer.  Knowing there’s a creator who thought enough of me to create me and to bless me with the ability to enjoy the wonders of creation, and who I can always rely on, is my inspiration, motivation , and confidence. Sometimes I’m at a loss as to how to proceed in life, what path to take, when to change.  So I pause. I sit still -meaning I don’t act rashly- and I pray.  I look out in nature and observe the perfect order of things. A beautiful sunrise or sunset is so calming. The beautiful colors which range from bold reds and oranges to cool shades of grays and purples are magnificent. If there’s that much order and balance in nature surely, since I am wonderfully made, I can be redirected to the right course.

Conversations with trusted family and friends is another source I tap into. At times it’s good to share your feelings and concerns, or bounce ideas with others who care and want to see you happy and thriving. Sharing thoughts creates a safe place to learn, grow, or change.

Reading is a wonderful gift.  There are wonderful books, quotes, thoughts, proverbs that have been written.  Many of these are powerful enough to get you going and refocused.  Reading feeds the imagination, and imagination feels the soul.

I hope if you’re looking for some inspiration, motivation, or courage that you search for it and not accept complaisance or defeat.  You have a life to live; make the best of it .

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An ode to friends

“There exists a friend that sticks closer than a brother”

I’m afraid and amazed by squirrels. They’re funny and playful, yet seem to be on guard to get you at any moment.  I remember at my college campus there was this one black solo squirrel that seemed to chase people just for fun, as if he got a kick out of watching us run and scream.  I’m also fascinated by them.  Oftentimes they travel as a crew; you see one squirrel you can bet there’s another close by.  They play, chase, fight -especially over food.  But they can be loners.   Many of their characteristics reminds me of human behavior.

Alone time is good. It gives you time to pause, meditate, and reflect- all of which is helpful in gaining perspective and remaining balanced.  But life is so much better with friends- genuine friends who cheer for you, pray for you, calls you out when you’re being a fool, loyal no matter where you are in the world because you know their friendship is pure.   As far back as I can recall there has always been a good friend in my life that I shared good laughs and wild imaginations with.  If we couldn’t be together we would spend hours on the phone. Friends help you get through difficult challenges, listens with genuine interest when you talk, helps you in making the right decisions.  With a good friend you can be yourself- you can sing off key, you can dance off beat, be unkempt, and speak your truth without being judged.  They’re like a sibling without the blood ties.

Adulting and technology has changed the dynamics of relationships.  We grow up, move away, marry, have children, travel…we text or Snapchat or Instagram/ Facebook rather than chat over the phone.  But you know a friendship is real when your friend is there for the special moments -or the challenging ones-, use technology to keep in touch, and when you get together not much has changed, you pick up right where you left off: the laughs, teasings, talks.

So this one is to friendship.  It’s a special gift to know there is a friend who is like family and who has your back come what may.  I’m grateful for each person I call a friend.  What a blessing you are to me.  I thank God for you every day.

“The greatest gift of life is friendship and I have received it.”

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