Thursday, December 29, 2011

Desperate Times




~ Crumblin' Down (Fusion Mix) | John Cougar Mellencamp ~


What is happening to our society?  Perhaps it is desperate economic times?  Or do we just not care about others?

I'm watching the news and hearing reports of the bizarre behavior.  Sometimes the news sounds like a spoof of the news.  A 70-year old woman was punched in the face while doing her job at Wal-Mart, merely asking a customer to produce a receipt, which is a normal practice.  She ended up in the hospital.

Mob mentality struck the Mall of America after it was rumored that some rap stars were making an appearance at the mall.  What resulted was a stampede and general mayhem.

Black Friday just begins the holiday shopping season which used to bring out kindness in society.  Now shoppers come armed with guns and pepper spray so they can get a good deal on "stuff" . . . if all fails, just knock the weaker person down and step on them.  How sweet . . . watch out who you casually say "Merry Christmas" to, they may get offended.

What about flash mobs?   Large numbers of teenagers who have choreographed criminal behavior with great success. 

Sometimes I wonder why I enjoy online stopping as opposed to going to the mall or the local Wal-Mart . . . just watching the news today reminded me why.


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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Breathing in Heaven and Earth





~ I Try | Macy Gray ~


When we choose not to focus
On what is missing from our lives
But are grateful for the abundance
that's present,
We experience heaven on earth.


Sarah Breathnach

It was a troubling chapter in my life . . . I was so lost and desperately seeking the way to crawl out of the situation, knowing that in time I would.  Sometimes I go back to my old journals and blog posts to grasp reality and see the transitions in my life since JR died.  Those days were like a roller coaster that I could not stop . . . one day good, the next day unbearable and miserable . . . back and forth.  I had to go through it to get to where I am today.

The following post was written back in 2008.  Of course I still have bad days . . . and I've come to accept the fact that I have a condition that has been diagnosed as restlessness and anxiety.  As time goes on, I've learned how to cope when those days appear.  With the help of the wonderful man I married, I learned how to move on with life itself.  It has been quite a journey back from the depths of depression as a result of grief and drastic life changes!

One of the reasons I blog about my journey is to help others going through a life situation that seems hopeless.  Nothing is ever hopeless when you have faith that "this too shall pass" . . . it will.

The feeling of  breathing in heaven and earth is awesome . . . in good AND bad times, when you learn how to be grateful.  It is the lesson I had to learn before moving on with my life.


THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY 
WRITTEN JUNE 2008 

The presence of faith, hope and limitless opportunities in my life is what I am most grateful for today. It is the absence of faith and hope in our lives which brings the mindset of depression, hopelessness and dread of life. The ability to regain faith within us, exhibiting the strength to blindly walk the path of opportunity, pulling oneself out of the pits of depression is the feeling of heaven on earth.

Sometimes we must go there . . . to enter the pits of depression and feel the fire . . . to be reminded of how much we have to be grateful for and realize what is missing in our life. Surprisingly, at this moment, I am grateful for feeling the heat of that fire.

To wake up with a smile on my face is a blessing . . . the hope and promise of a new day rather than the dread of having to wake up to face a living hell . . . that is the feeling of heaven on earth.

The pleasure of preparing a home cooked meal, enjoying and savoring every bite . . . rather than not having the appetite for anything or the emotional energy to put it together . . . another feeling I am so grateful for at this moment.

Living life rather than anticipating and waiting for death, pulling oneself out of the pits of depression, the feeling of standing on a steep cliff and seeing your life flash before your eyes . . . I'm so grateful for heaven on earth.

A thought occurs to me . . . as long as we are breathing there is hope and opportunity is always present, we just need to open our eyes and minds to see it. And from the immortal words of Scarlett O'Hara . . . tomorrow is another day.


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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Things Aren't Always What They Seem






Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the  home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guestroom. Instead the angels were given a space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem".

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the, couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel "how could you have let this happen! The first man had everything, yet you helped him," she accused. "The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let their cow die." "Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied.

"When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave her the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem."

Sometimes this is exactly what happens when things don't turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every outcome is always to your advantage. You might not know it until some time later.

Think about this:
Should you find it hard to get to sleep tonight,
just remember the homeless family who
 has no bed to lie in.

Should you find yourself stuck in traffic, don't despair.
There are people in this world for whom
 driving is an unheard-of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work,
think of the man who has been out of work
 for the last three months.

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad,
 think of the person who has never known
 what it's like to love and be loved in return.

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend,
think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve
 hours a day, seven days a week, for -15.00
 to feed her family.

Should your car break down, leaving you miles
 away from assistance, think of the paraplegic
 who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror,
think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes
 she had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering
 what is life all about, asking, "what is my purpose?,"
be thankful. There are those who didn't live long
 enough to get the opportunity.

Should you find yourself the victim of
other people's bitterness, ignorance, smallness
 or insecurities, remember, things could
 be worse--you could be them!

Source:  Unknown

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Decide Today






~ Wake Up Sunshine | Chicago ~



Decide today that you will have no regrets. And you'll free
up much time to actually get things done.

Decide today that you'll have no complaints. And your
thoughts can be focused on creative, productive pursuits.

Decide today that you'll carry no anger or resentment. And
you'll bring out the best in those around you.

Decide today to be accepting of whatever comes your way. And
you'll discover much value that would otherwise be hidden.

Decide today to be sincerely thankful for every moment. And
you'll be delighted at how beautiful and filled with
opportunity the world becomes.

Decide today to be truly alive. And joy will pour forth from
your soul. 









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Monday, December 12, 2011

Too Much Of A Good Thing . . . Not Possible!







Too much of a
 good thing is wonderful. 
(Mae West) 

In my opinion . . . no such thing as too much of a good thing!

I've entered a state of contentment, an acceptance of the way things are in my life and knowing that isn't such a bad thing after all I have been through in the past.  The Captain and I have settled into married life and I have no doubts that he is the most perfect person in this world for me.  We have everything we need, but most of all, we have each other.  This state of stability, contentment and happiness brings me peace.

Trust and faith in God also brings me peace and contentment.

 Of course any situation could be better. 
 Couldn't any of us say that? 
 Anything could be better. 

Peace comes from contentment with the status quo.


Have you ever thought of where
 your peace comes from? 

 What brings peace in your life?



May you find peace and contentment in your life, especially in this holiday season!  It can be a very lonely and sad time for so many . . . reach out to someone who is in need.




Claim Your Authentic Self at Beyondword.com



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Monday, December 5, 2011

The Wonder of Luxuries


Some people have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy. 

Abraham H. Maslow


For me, it has become a routine lifestyle . . . that of simple living and being grateful for what you have.  Wanting only what I absolutely need has become the mindset.  It was actually a turning point in my life . . . one that brought special meaning and appreciation for everything I am blessed with.

The lifestyle is one of survival for many . . . a lifestyle that way too many people in this world have had to adopt as we have moved into very poor economic times together with rampant unemployment.

The other night I learned how naive I have become with stuff and the necessities of life.  Honestly, I do not need the extras anymore, although I still love those luxuries of life.

It was date night with The Captain . . . we went out to eat at our favorite neighborhood buffet and decided to go to the huge mall across town.  I had forgotten how festive malls can be this time of year . . . I have not been to a mall in years.  You can't help but get that awesome feeling of Christmas.

As we went past one of those kiosks lined up in the middle of the aisle, a sales lady came to me and offered to fix my hair.  I'm always ready to be pampered!  So, she proceeded to make my very long hair that is thick and curly very soft, straight and so shiny.  I kept looking at myself in the mirror with great disbelief at how easy it was to make my hair straight with this cute little contraption.  We always want what we don't have and I have always wanted straight hair.

Before I knew it, The Captain pulled out his wallet and bought me the cute little contraption!  OMG . . . I wasn't even thinking about taking one home with me.  It is quite a pricey little thing!  What a treat!  I was like a little girl the rest of the evening.  For one thing I couldn't stop touching my silky soft hair . . . and I loved that my sweetie couldn't stop touching it either :)  I held on to that bag like someone was going to steal my little treasure from me (well, in this world, you have to be careful in reality).

When I found the above quote, I thought about those little girl feelings I had that night, so happy with my new treasure and SO excited that I can have soft straight hair whenever I want!

I'm really grateful for and appreciate my new husband :)  He's my treasured gift from God!



A luxury that is a basic need for me . . . my favorite perfume.  I always find the best deals online!  Here is one of my favorite websites to treat myself . . .


FragranceNet.com


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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Comfort Zones





~ Comfortably Numb | Pink Floyd ~



A soft place to land is the term used by The Daily Om, describing the comfort zone as the place to "provide us with a safe and comforting refuge in which we can decompress and recover from the day’s stresses."

My little piece of paradise in Florida is my comfort zone . . . outdoor spaces for me are therapeutic.  Our outdoor dining area provides that comfy, cozy spot to unwind, de-stress, take a timeout . . . or just relax.

I've always found that gazing at the sky provides that comforting feeling. There is something about watching the clouds pass by, observing the sun dissolve into the horizon, admiring a full moon with all its magic and twinkling stars on a clear night or experiencing night transforming into day.

My "Happy Place" is in the arms of The Captain, where I feel loved and safe from everything.  It reminds me of the saying "home is where the heart is."

Comfort zones change as our life circumstances change . . .

When I first became a widow, my comfy bedroom recliner in the candlelit room with music playing in the background was my comfort zone, where I could grieve, come to terms with the swift manner in which my life had changed and figure out how to deal with it.

In my working days, the outdoors was my "escape" . . . away from the job stresses and office politics.  As time went on, that comfort zone made it tolerable to stay at the job and not go completely insane.

A bad habit I'm happy to say I've conquered is finding the comfort zone in a rum and coke or a bottle of wine . . . not a happy place!

It is important to know when to retreat to the comfort zone to momentarily shift from the outside world back to the needs of our inner self.

What are some of your comfort zones?








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Monday, October 10, 2011

Great expectations






~ Tell It To My Heart (Club Mix) | Taylor Dayne ~

In an older post, 
I defined great expectations
 as going beyond hope and faith.


Often faith is described as seeing the outcome before it happens.  I felt it, I knew it.  I just didn't know what "it" was.  My hope was to be happy again.  Some people are meant to share their lives with a significant other.  I am one of them . . . definitely miserable living alone and grieving my loss way too long.

The gift in my greatest expectations was to find true love again.  Little did I know . . . be careful what you wish for!  As I experienced the most unusual and entertaining journey of my life, through the good and the bad aspects of it all, I can honestly say that I enjoyed every moment of falling in love again.  

The one single thing that I remember in that time before I encountered The Captain is that I felt as though something wonderful was about to happen in my life.  I just knew.  God put a peace in my heart that surpassed all understanding and logic.

The following post describes the emotions of anticipation and great expectations as it relates to faith and hope . . . and "it."

My fuzzy dreams became a reality.  

"It" was to love and be loved again.

The Captain has been one of the
 greatest gifts in my life . . . friendship
that turns into love.

I'm still enjoying the moment :)


Never lose faith and hope, even in your darkest days.

Look for the light at the end of the tunnel.

It is there.





Originally posted March 2009

Out of the darkest despair of blue days came sunshine and rainbows, expectations and plans running through my mind repeatedly like a child on Christmas Eve being so excited anticipating Santa’s visit and what gifts he may bring.

The expectations are more like fuzzy dreams and what I’m feeling is the anticipation of what is to come with the faith that it is everything I need . . . that is all I want.

All of these fabulous emotions have brought me a peace and calmness that has allowed me restful sleep and a definite routine. As a result, the anxiety and restless feelings are under control and what is left goes beyond faith and hope . . . great expectations.

A slight shift in my thinking has made such a difference for me by putting a positive emphasis on enjoying the journey rather than constantly anticipating the destination.

Just as the excitement on Christmas Eve anticipating the gifts, once the gifts are open, where is the excitement of anticipation? The anticipation is what brings the most joy . . . at least it does for me.

The balance of the outcome, what I call the “ying/yang thing” is accepting the gifts, relax and enjoy them . . . experience and love the joy of the moment.

Living in the moment and anticipating unexpected changes in life as a new and exciting journey has been making a big difference in my life.




Has faith and hope ever given you
those kind of great expectations
 that surpasses understanding?




FragranceNet.com



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Monday, October 3, 2011

Finding the key




"So often time it happens,
 we all live our life in chains,
 and we never even know
 we have the key."


The Eagles, lyrics from the song
"Already Gone"












The possibilities are endless when the realization hits that we hold the key to that ball and chain many of us attach ourselves to.  

Lack of self-esteem and self-confidence is an example of what could be seen as a ball and chain.  Some people confuse the ball and chain as depression . . . it is a fine line.

Life circumstances can get someone to that point and play tricks on the mind.  The thought process turns negative and everything looks impossible.  

However, nothing is impossible when we know we have that key.

In the darkest days of my life, learning how to be grateful for the simplest of things helped me realize so much and put everything into perspective.  Gratefulness was my key.

Do you know what yours is?












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Saturday, October 1, 2011

The foundation of a great relationship




Love is not enough.
It must be the foundation.
The beginning and the end.
Everything or nothing.
And nothing without truth.
Author unknown




~ You Spin Me Round | Dead or Alive ~



I want to take a part of the storyline from one of my favorite movies, "The Wedding Singer" to illustrate what I want to talk about . . . Trust, loyalty, respect in a relationship. Although I am speaking romantically, it also pertains to all types of relationships in life.

It is how we should treat any other fellow human being, no matter how much money they have, where they are born, what color their skin is, or what they do for a living.


RESPECT


A quick synopsis of the movie

The time is the mid 80’s . . . Robbie Hart is a wannabe rock-star, but in reality, he is New Jersey’s favorite wedding singer . . . the life of the party, that is, until his own fiancĂ©e leaves him at the altar. 
Heartbroken and dejected, Robbie can’t help but make every wedding he plays a disaster. Along comes Julia, a waitress who wins his affection. Problem . . . Julia is about to be married to a Wall Street shark. Robbie must pull off the performance of his life or the girl of his dreams will marry the shark who is all wrong for her.

Julia’s fiance was a cool guy with the good job, has money, dresses nice, drives an awesome car, he’s drop dead gorgeous and . . . oh yeah, he is already cheating on Julia before they are even married just because he can.


She feels it, she knows it . . . she’s not madly in love with him . . . so really, what difference does it make? He’ll give her a comfortable life.


But wait!

Isn’t that what is wrong with this world? We settle for what is going to be tolerable and comfortable, but not what is going to make us deliriously happy to want to jump out of bed everyday to a beautiful new day because we are so in love and so happy with our life?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH WAITING FOR THAT?

Why is does it seem that everything
is all about the money?

But I digress . . . I wanted to talk about honesty in a relationship. Why can’t people be honest anymore? Why is there always a hidden agenda of some kind? Don’t people want to simply be happy anymore? Is happiness, respect and decency coming second to whatever else is more important?

I don’t understand . . .
what could be more important than that?

And what about living a lie? Don’t people have a conscience that they can tell a lie so easily and be so dishonest? Don’t they have a problem looking at themselves in the mirror and looking at someone who is actually betraying themselves by telling lies? 

We answer to God and he knows . . .

Maybe that is why JR and I had such a great marriage.  We were totally honest with each other . . . sometimes I wondered if it was such a good idea to be so honest, but in the long run, it was the good thing to do. We had total respect for each other as individuals, as two human beings living sharing our time together on earth in peace and harmony, respecting each other and doing the best we could to make the other happy.

The Captain and I have both brought emotional baggage to our new marriage.  However, past lessons can make our present lives so much happier.   Working through all the little things that two people encounter with total honesty when they first come together is so very important in building the foundation for an awesome relationship.

The good thing about second marriages . . . you know what NOT to do.  


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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Great love, wishes and miracles


What a beautiful quote by Willa Cather!

Another version of this quote replaces wishes with miracles.
I'm not sure which one is the correct quote.

As I came across the quote, I pondered the meaning although I have run across it many times through the years and never gave it a thought.

My first interpretation was "with love comes faith."

My second interpretation was "is love enough?"

"Enough for what?"

Perhaps Willa was conveying the message that even the greatest love does not bring happiness, but we can always hope for a miracle?  Or was she conveying another message about being patient with love?

Could it be that she had a great love for someone who did not return the same degree of love, but she could wish for her desires?

There is a popular quote that has been used in song lyrics through the years . . . 
"love can move mountains."

Could we interpret the meaning of the Willa's quote to mean the same thing?

Sometimes I analyze and think too much!

The quote just got me to thinking about what her thoughts and feelings were when she wrote it . . . and what was going on in her life at the time.  Love and how it affects us fascinates me!


What is your interpretation
 of the quote?













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Friday, September 23, 2011

Embrace Self-Worth and Self-Love



~ High and Mighty | Cyndi Lauper ~



If you have built castles in the air
your work need not be lost.
That is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau


One of the ways to love the self more is to stop comparing yourself to others. Although you are part of a whole, you are also an individual self, with your own path. The group and family belief systems you have taken on as your own can be obstacles to your self-love. The challenge of loving the self is to step aside from everything you are told, and ask, "Does this fit me? Does this bring me joy? Do I feel good when I do it?" It is ultimately your own experience that counts.
(Orin & DaBen through Sanaya Roman,
from the book, Living With Joy) 

orindaben.com


"Nobody needs to prove to anybody what they're worthy of, just the person that they look at in the mirror. That's the only person you need to answer to."
Picabo Street



"Self-worth comes from one thing - thinking that you are worthy."
Wayne Dyer



"We long for love, success, abundance and all that is good to come into our life. Yet, many of us feel we are not worthy of such good fortune. It is a great moment when we finally realize we are worthy of all the goodness, all the greatness and all the love that life has to offer. For it is that moment we realize our true nature, our true identity and from that moment forward our lives change. When we know we are worthy of our heart's desire, it shows up effortlessly."
Mastin Kipp




Self-love and self-worth can be tricky, especially when one is afflicted with any degree of depression.  The mind can play tricks on thoughts and perceptions that may lead to feelings of unworthiness and self-hatred.  It just happens!


Even though I had the emotional tools to deal with feelings of failure at various stages of my life, my conscious mind didn't want to deal with it.  Isn't it easier to just give in and let yourself dig the hole deeper and deeper into the danger zone?  How well I know . . .

I think of the millions of people who are currently unemployed in poor economic times, having to compete with those who are over-qualified for the same positions . . . those who are willing to take the position just to survive.  I've been there too . . . the subconscious feeling of self-worth and and the survival mode is what got me back on my feet and back to the reality of having to compete for a job.  It is a mind game.

It is my belief that anyone can do anything they set their mind to when self-worth, confidence and a strong sense of survival is present.  What a freeing experience it was for me to finally realize that I am an asset in the workplace.  At that point, it was easy to present myself as such to a potential employer.

Finding real love again happened for me the same way.


Self-love and self-worth are
important ingredients in this
 world of survival of the fittest.

Refuse to be a victim!














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