Be Gentle With Yourself

There seems to be a recurring theme that I’m seeing and hearing everywhere. People are completely overwhelmed with the scary, stressful things happening in the world today and that everyone is trying as hard as they can to keep life as normal as they can. I’m one of those people.

I’m also hearing how exhausted people are and many can’t figure out why. Um, see the paragraph above for a clue.

We live in a society that rewards hard work, pushing on and getting things done.

Sometimes we just can’t do it.

Then we feel like there’s something wrong with us because there’s a disconnect from the stress we are dealing with in a world full of a pandemic, political and social unrest, natural disasters like extreme weather and most of all an inundation of information about all of these things all the time. It’s just too much.

Sometimes the regular things we take for granted that we do all the time suddenly seem too much. And then we worry that we will never be able to do them again.

When people can’t keep up their normal pace, they begin to feel guilty and worried about that. This is an endless cycle that depletes our self confidence, energy, and eventually our health.

We need to be gentle with ourselves. Really.

If you can’t keep up with everything, that’s okay.

Rest.

It doesn’t have to be a long rest and in fact, you may be surprised at how great you feel simply by giving yourself permission to rest.

Take a day or an hour to do nothing. Read, play a game, go for a walk, sleep, or just sit and stare out the window. Whatever it takes to give your mind a break. Experience a little peace.

And don’t feel guilty for it.

Have faith that your drive and energy will return. It always does.

We will be okay.

This post is as much for me as for you.

Be gentle with yourself.

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

I’ve been trying to get outside every day and was just thinking how wonderful and calming it is to hear the cheerful birds and see the plants growing as usual. Some normalcy in this scary time.

Thanks to David Kanigan for posting this. Margaret Renkl perfectly expresses what I wanted to say but couldn’t find the words.

Please enjoy.

Read via Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Today’s Perfect Day

What Today’s Perfect Day Looks Like?

For me a perfect day is one that is completely of my making.

Full of promise and possibility.

I wake when I want to and sleep when I want to, never worrying about it being too early or too late.

Having some goals in mind but being loose about whether I do them or not.

A balance of getting the practical, responsible things done with the creative, fun or decadent.

Getting to the things I crave to do.

The wonderful feeling of never being rushed or pushed or pulled in any direction by myself or others.

The amazement of how good I feel and how much energy I have to accomplish so much

because I’m not fighting the tension and friction of obligations.

Of moving easily and effortlessly.

Of going with the flow.

Of checking in with myself and feeling what is right.

Time to myself.

In silence.

To hear and feel clearly what I need to do.

What I want to do.

Of deep, contented sighs

of satisfaction.

 

Miracle. All of it.

Hummingbirds are living miracles and full of life and beauty. Please enjoy David Kanigan’s post and visit his blog. It’s full of beautiful posts.

Live & Learn

Consider the hummingbird for a long moment. A hummingbird’s heart beats ten times a second. A hummingbird’s heart is the size of a pencil eraser. A hummingbird’s heart is a lot of the hummingbird. Joyas voladoras, flying jewels, the first white explorers in the Americas called them, and the white men had never seen such creatures, for hummingbirds came into the world only in the Americas, nowhere else in the universe, more than three hundred species of them whirring and zooming and nectaring in hummer time zones nine times removed from ours, their hearts hammering faster than we could clearly hear if we pressed our elephantine ears to their infinitesimal chests.

Each one visits a thousand flowers a day. They can dive at sixty miles an hour. They can fly backwards. They can fly more than five hundred miles without pausing to rest. But when they rest they come…

View original post 368 more words

The Power of Creativity

Orange SparkDo we create in order to have some control of our lives in a world that dictates much of how we live? In a world of cubicles or ‘How may I help you?’ from the back side of a counter does our desire to create come from the desperate need to have some personal freedom? And does everyone feel this way? Or are some people totally content in accepting the 9-5 grind? Or the swing shifts or the ever-changing schedules of retail? Are there people for whom that is enough?

Much of our world does not reward creativity and often punishes or demeans any spark of individuality or independent thinking.

So for those of us who find this way of life draining we crave to be creative. On our own limited time we have the desperate need to write, draw, sew, design, paint or build. We wake up early or stay up late to work on our own creations. We spend hours dreaming, visualizing and ultimately bringing our ideas to life.

And doing all of this empowers us. We feel more in control. We get recharged. We are happy that we get to create.

If we had lives that we could create all the time without limits, what would that be like? Would we lose the desperate feeling of needing to create? Would we settle into a peaceful contentment of working on what we love all of the time? I can only imagine.

For those who can only do the dreaming and the visualizing but never get to manifest their ideas must be the saddest of all.

To live a life flat, sterile and devoid of passion would be the worst.

If you have the craving to make something; do it. Start small. Start tiny. Jot down a few words. Make a rough sketch. Take some measurements. Then see how you feel.

Excited? Scared? A spark of … something?

It’s a start.

Think of it as an adventure. How can you take the next step?

Grab on to your creative spark, add a tiny bit of kindling and blow gently. Nurture your idea; your vision. Feed it a few minutes at a time.

Little by little your dream will come to life and you will benefit from the boost it will give you. You will thrive in a tough world.

When you are in your cubicle or ringing up an order at the register, remind yourself that you have a creation in the works which will make you smile and give you something to look forward to. Something to love.

Use your power of creativity. Let your imagination shine!

Believe and Focus

2017. What a year!

I was really struggling in the last quarter of 2017. I’m usually a pretty positive person and for the short times when I’m not, I can pull myself out of it and move on. I wasn’t able to do that as well as usual. I had a sense of anxiety that didn’t seem to be caused by any one thing. That was unnerving. And scary. And for those of you who suffer from severe anxiety on a regular basis, I have a new respect for what you deal with on a regular basis. And I’m so glad there are a variety of treatments out there.

I knew that I needed to keep searching for a solution and an answer to why I was feeling this way. But the more I thought about it the more I worried and the worse it got. So I stopped questioning why I felt the way I did and shifted my focus. 

This all sounds very deep and wonderful but I’m also a bit stubborn so I sometimes overlook the obvious. After a week or so (maybe it was longer) I was in a store looking at Christmas ornaments and I found one that had the word ‘believe’ on it. I realized that I had been seeing or hearing the word ‘believe’ over and over again for weeks! I mean a lot. Like a ridiculous amount of times. I finally really saw it and knew that this was my sign, my word, and I was on the right track. I bought the ornament and hung it on the Christmas tree at eye level, (which is pretty low because I’m short) so I could see it as a positive affirmation every day.

Just focusing on that one word a few times a day made a difference.

For me, focusing on believing that things happen for a reason and that it will all work out was what I needed to get out of my funk. Mostly. It’s a daily practice. Sometimes it’s hour by hour or minute by minute. It depends on the day.

So that brought me to the word ‘focus’. Our thoughts are powerful so we need to focus on what we want in our lives and not all the craziness in the world around us. I know this sounds like a cliché but it’s true.

If I can focus on finding something beautiful, positive or inspiring every day it’s amazing how much better life is. It never fails. It isn’t easy, but it works.

Like what?

Like the miracle of the tiny Juncos that visit my feeder in this frigid weather. The fact that these tiny creatures can survive outside when the temperature has been in the teens during the day and in the single digits at night amazes me. 

Junco hanging on a windy, frigid day.

Or the soft touch of my cat’s paw resting on my arm at night. And that gentle look of contentment on her face.

Or the giggle of a toddler at work.

Or helping someone anytime and anywhere. It doesn’t have to be big. Just seeing someone smile or say thank you because of something I did is huge.

When I focus on these things then I can believe that there is good in this world and if we choose to focus on that instead of all the terrible things the media throws at us then I believe that 2018 will be a better year.

I wish everyone a positive 2018.

Happy New Year.