Thankful Living

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John F. Kennedy 

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I thank God many times a day for the blessings in my life. I pray I can somehow be a blessing to others as well.

My blessings come in many forms. I am fairly healthy. I live comfortably and in relative peace. I am surrounded by love. I am protected, provided for, and gifted with grace.

I am thankful for the love of family. Though my father died this year, I appreciate the time I had with him, the life lessons he provided, and the memories of his love. I appreciate I still have my wonderful mother. I am grateful for the family that reminds me where I am from, and my husband and sons who remind me where I am…places interwoven with love and belonging.

I am thankful I live in the beautiful state of Virginia. Between the mountains and the sea, I appreciate the beauty and power of nature all around me. My environment provides me with peace, a spiritual connection for which I am grateful.

May you be grateful every day, not just on an appointed day of thankfulness.

May you give yourself permission to see the true beauty of your life.

May you be a blessing to those who cross your path.

May you be blessed this day and always.

Reaching

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Have you ever met a wounded soul? Have you ever wanted to help, to teach, to guide that person back to safety?

A person must save himself. He must know he is worthy. You can’t do the work for him, but you can be the catalyst for change.

Sometimes you’re needed to teach skills to others, to help others discover the tools within them. Other times you’re simply a support system, a means of encouragement. Whatever your role is, never underestimate its importance. You just be the balm needed for healing.

We all learn by making mistakes. Allow the ones you love those lessons, but be there to pick them up when they’re down. There’s no need to control anyone. Loving and edifying them is enough.

Lead your friend to freedom, and you will be liberated as well.

Serve your friend. Help him and you shall be helped in the process.

Pour your love upon another and you shall rise with him.

When You Can’t See For Looking

“The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision.” ― Helen Keller “

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The other day I woke up with a migraine. As my headache lessened my vision remained spotty. I felt dizzy and disoriented as the day progressed. I decided to go to the grocery store…talk about a joke. When the road became fuzzy, I knew something was wrong. I roamed up and down the aisles with products merging together and drifting away. Alas, I’d lost a contact lens! To top it off, I’d forgotten my grocery list. The hubby took a photo and texted it to me…not that I could read it! I did make it home safely and with all items purchased.

Have you ever not been able to see for looking? You know, looked for something in all the wrong places? Or perhaps looked to everyone else for answers when you held it yourself? I have, too many times to count.

This reminds me of the importance of keeping a clear head. Too often I jump to conclusions rather than letting things play out and seeing them for what they are. Things are not always as they appear. What are the facts and what are opinions?

It is also human nature to treat the symptoms rather than the cause. It’s imperative to go to the root of a situation if one wants lasting results. Again, it’s all about truth.

Today I plan to approach life with clear vision (with or without my contacts!).

I’m starting at the root…preconceived notions of inadequacy and simple procrastination.

I plan to do what I’ve been resisting. I’ve bundled the fear and tossed it out the window. I’ve rolled up my sleeves, and I’m digging in. I’ve decided to be friends with time and capability today. How about you?

From Where We Stand

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You must look within for value, but must look beyond for perspective. ~Denis Waitley

Is it the backdrop of life which makes us stand out, or are we set apart by what we hold within?

We are all we encompass through our lifetime. Our experiences are colorful threads connecting with our responses to life situations which weave the stories within our tapestry.

As we share our stories our lives intertwine. We find our worth in ourselves and in others. We learn to see life through new perspectives. We grow as individuals and prosper in a community of love.

May we not be afraid to speak our own truths nor hear divergent truths.

May we respect the stories and perspectives of one another.

May we each learn to use our experiences to support others.

May we love others enough to see life through their eyes.

May we learn to connect the dots between our stories to fill the book of life.

Season Of Splendor

There are two ways of spreading light…To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it. – Edith Wharton

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Have you ever felt you’ve lived your life in seasons? You have graduated from childhood to parenthood.  On many subjects you’ve advanced from student to teacher. You spend periods of time working on particular projects or enjoying certain activities or hobbies. You might even find yourself among various groups of people depending on your career, community service, and clubs.

When you look back in memory and think of times you were “at the top of your game” or in “prime season”, what is it about those times that stand out in memory? Did you seem happier? Did you excel at what you were doing? Did it seem a time of fulfillment? Were you surrounded by love? Did you feel you were making a difference in the world?

You have the power to make now a season of splendor.  All you have to do is reach inside. Realize your own attributes and put them to action. You have a gift…it can be as simple being you, because really you are a gift. You might have a way about you that makes people come alive. Perhaps you bring out the best in others.

When your authenticity comes to light, you shine. Others reflect your warmth. The world is a better place because of you.

If you don’t feel you are in a season of splendor, take the first step today. What can you do today to spread the light?

IMG_4958Where will your path take you today?

This Thing Called Beauty

“For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
 For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
 For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
 For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
 For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. 
 People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
 As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.”  ~Sam Levenson

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Like most people, I am enticed by physical beauty whether it is a person, a place, or a work of art. To be fully engaged I must be swayed by more than the sense of sight. In other words what is pleasing to the eye must also be comforting to the soul.

Personal beauty is depth of soul. I am attracted to compassionate people. People who are kind, sensitive, and generous of their time and resources have a vibrancy which can’t be achieved through silky clothes, thick makeup, or sparkling jewels. It is a humble confidence which speaks for itself; a genuine goodness. Love is the most beautiful attribute of all.

Many places are visual paradises. That alone is not enough. I must be able to hear the trickle of the stream or the singing of birds. I want to feel the tickle of wind or the warm sand beneath my feet. I want to smell the aromas around me whether it is cedar, lilac, or baking bread. I want to taste what my oasis offers me, be it rain, apples, or my own sweat or tears.  I want to feel as if I am a part of the scenery.

A work of art must stir my senses. It must touch a deeper part of me…I want to feel the music in my soul.

What is your description of beauty? What types of people attract you? What do you look for in an oasis? How does the beauty of art or life in general move you?

Spin Cycle: Description of Beauty

Windows Of The Soul

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“The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.” – John Vance Cheney

 

Who was it that said eyes are the windows to the soul? Shakespeare? There is also a passage in the bible (Matthew) that says much the same.

You can tell a lot about people by their eyes. Are they shifty? Will they look you in the eye? Then again, some behaviors aren’t natural but trained. There’s something much deeper than the outward appearance of eyes. It’s a personal truth which speaks through one’s eyes. I’ve seen the light or wisdom in some eyes, and I’ve also seen emptiness and grief. I’ve seen smiling eyes and angry eyes. So yes, eyes do talk before a person speaks. Seriously, have you ever had a conversation with your eyes? When you know someone well enough you can. And sometimes, it’s that very connection which unites two people.

 

That said, I can tell much more about people by what their eyes see. Upon first glance you see a person’s eyes. Give them time to spill their guts and you’ll see how they view life. You’ll hear whether they seek the good or the bad in life and people. Perhaps, you can see positivity or negativity in the eyes themselves, but the heart is revealed when the mouth opens.

 

Most of my instincts about people and their eyes have been on target. Notice I said “most” because honestly, I’ve been known to be wrong. (Don’t tell the hubby that though!) How about you? Can you size a person up by his/her eyes?  I know we are prejudging, and we’re all guilty of it to one degree or another.

 

So, how much of the soul is revealed through the eyes? Watch where one spends his time or money…you’ve got a visible soul.

 

Where do your eyes take you? Do you search for beauty on the outside or the inside of people? Do you look at the beauty nature provides or do you scan the pages of celebrity magazines?

 

Do you search high and low for things and people to make you happy?

 

Look around you. Is this a comfortable environment for you?

 

Look inside. Are you content with what you find?

 

If someone were to take a deep look into your eyes, what would they see? What do you hope they’d see?

 

Portal To The Past

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Have you ever felt you were whisked into a different dimension? Perhaps you seemed to step back into the past or entered new terrain of the future? Did it give you comfort or did you find yourself uneasy?

Sometimes it’s a feeling of déjà vu, that feeling like you’ve been there or done that. It’s an all knowing feeling without the memory. The feeling is hard to shake. It arouses the senses and sits you on edge. It’s as if you’re waiting for the rest of the scenario to unfold because you can’t remember what happens next, almost like watching a movie you’re sure you’ve starred in.

What about when a certain aroma startles something within you but you can’t put a finger on it? Sometimes those make you feel warm and cozy and other times send chills through you.  Those situations seem to arouse more emotions than others. I wonder why.

Do you have a déjà vu story to share?

On Defining Success

“Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.” ~Lou Holtz

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You are extraordinary. You are gifted with talents which make you unique.

Stop the struggle against yourself. Believe in yourself. Let your talents guide you to a life of fulfillment.

Don’t allow your talents to lay wasted upon the ground.

Be courageous. Hone your craft. Release it to the Universe.

Success doesn’t mean your song has to hit the top ten charts. Success is singing your love song to the one who deserves to hear it. Success is not a best seller. Success is when your words touch someone’s life in a positive way. Success is not a masterpiece. Success is the resonance between the creation of the artist and the viewer. Success is simply giving what you have your best shot.

Use the gifts you were given to satisfy your soul. Use these gifts to bring joy to others.

Choose happiness. Spread cheer along your path of life

Be who you are. Make your life count.

****I first posted this last year on Chicken Wire & Paper Flowers

The Wonder Of It All

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We often ignore the most ordinary of circumstances. They slip by our radar unless illuminated.

Sometimes it is the setting which brings the beauty to life. Have you ever been acquainted with someone but never given them much thought, then you get to know them and you see them in an entirely different light?

Down the street from me there is a lot surrounded by scraggly bushes. It looks kind of creepy, like something is hidden beyond the mass of twigs and leaves. But oh, when the roses bloom it becomes a paradise.

Maybe we live in a world that jumps between disregarding and judging , or perhaps we simply walk through this world blind to the miracles all around us.

I might never have seen the beauty of the sunset over the ocean had my husband not insisted I rise early on the morn of my fiftieth birthday. Groggy eyed and complaining I climbed from bed.  The rest of the world seemed to be asleep as we crossed the silent road. We trudged through the sand. A few souls were combing the beach for shells. A few others were on balconies with coffee taking in the morning miracle. The yellows, pinks, and oranges swirled like cotton candy against the blue sky. Clouds illuminated as the sun slowly burst through. Waves lapped and crashed against the shore. Brown pelicans swooped for breakfast. My feet were grounded in the cool, damp sand while my soul soared with the morning miracle unfolding before me, what a gift!

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May you experience the beauty and miracles of ordinary life.

May you watch the miracles of life unfold around you today.

May you know yourself as the miracle you are.

May you truly see the beauty of life.

May you see your own beauty.