Monday, July 25, 2011

The Hard Edges

The hard edges of overwhelm have consumed me lately.  My apologies for the lack of posts on this blog, but I really detest writing for the sake of writing.

I'm learning the lesson of listening to my body and knowing when to rest in the midst of life swirling around me.  Relaxing is another issue altogether . . . something I have a real problem with.  The immediate goal is to find the harmony of rest with relaxation.

As I was cleaning out my email accounts, I ran across the following article from The Daily Om, which is an extremely important source of inspiration for me.  Sounds like good advice!

Have a wonderful day . . .

When our minds are cluttered with too many thoughts and information, our bodies respond by trying to take action.

Our minds and bodies are interconnected, and the condition of one affects the condition of the other. This is why meditation is such a powerful tool for healing the body, as powerful as physical therapies. When our minds are cluttered with thoughts, information, and plans, our bodies respond by trying to take action. When the body has a clear directive from the mind, it knows what to do, but a cluttered, unfocused mind creates a confused, tense body. Our muscles tighten up, our breath shortens, and we find ourselves feeling constricted without necessarily knowing why.

When we sit down to meditate, we let our bodies know that it is okay to be still and rest. This is a clear directive from the mind, and the body knows exactly how to respond. Thus, at the very beginning, we have created a sense of clarity for the body and the mind. As we move deeper into meditation, the state of our mind reveals itself, and we have the opportunity to consciously decide to settle it. A meditation teacher pointed out that if you put a cow in a small pen, she acts up and pushes against the boundaries, whereas if you provide her with a large, open space, she will peacefully graze in one spot. In the same way, our thoughts settle down peacefully if we provide them with enough space, and our bodies follow suit.

When we settle down to examine and experience our consciousness, we discover that there are no hard, definable edges. It is a vast, open space in which our thoughts can come and go without making waves, as long as we let them by neither attaching to them nor repressing them. As we see our thoughts come and go, we begin to breathe deeper and more easily, finding that our body is more open to the breath as it relaxes along with the mind. In this way, the space we recognize through meditation creates space in our bodies, allowing for a feeling of lightness and rightness with the world.

Source: The Daily Om

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Honor the awesomeness

"I’d gone through life believing in the strength and competence of others; never in my own. Now, dazzled, I discovered that my capacities were real. It was like finding a fortune in the lining of an old coat."
-- Joan Mills

"People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success."
-- Norman Vincent Peale

"We cannot rise higher than our thought of ourselves."
-- Orison Swett Marden

Imagine that you are awesome just as you are . . . believe it . . . you are!  Free yourself from those chains that bind you . . . enjoy the freedom to become an even more awesome person.

Many of us have been or are guilty of beating ourselves up for not being good enough, not doing enough . . . blah blah blah.  Rather than focusing on what you are not doing right, switch the emphasis to all that you do that is a blessing to others . . . what you are doing right.

Norman Vincent Peale said it best in one of the featured quotes . . . believing in yourself is the first secret of success.  Have enough faith in yourself to know that you can do anything that you want to do!

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happiness is . . .

"Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: "A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others."

- Eleanor Roosevelt

What a beautiful quote!

Of course there are many other aspects to happiness, but I agree they are the most important . . . except I would change the ability to love others to the ability to love and be loved.  It is #1 for me.

My #2 . . . Honesty with myself and others . . . in my opinion equates to total freedom.  Not being honest with yourself is not being true to yourself.  The harmony of knowing what it takes to make you happy by being honest with yourself is so important.

As far as NOT being honest with others . . . that is straight up being a fake person trying to be someone they are not.  In my opinion, it is way too much trouble to keep up with untruths.  A lie is a lie . . . 

My #3 . . . do the best you can do in all your endeavors and you will feel awesome about yourself.  Your best should be enough for you and those you love.  

If your best is not good enough for yourself, you need to evaluate your reality perspective.  In the case of relationships . . . who made them judge and jury of your best as not good enough?  Don't allow someone else to rob your happiness with unrealistic expectations!

What are your most important
 requirements for happiness?

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Simple Contentment

Since taking my mental health days a week or so ago and making the decision to stop procrastinating and get those things done that need to be done, I've been making small changes that are starting to make a difference.

One of the things I've done really good with is doing small tasks at a time and then doing something that I really enjoy . . . constantly alternating.  The result is I'm getting things done and also taking it easy in small increments so I feel the same affects of mental health days in small doses.  It works for me . . . the secret is SMALL INCREMENTS . . . maybe 15 minutes at a time.  Next on the agenda is to buy a kitchen timer so I don't get carried away.

It is still difficult for me to see what I've accomplished versus what hasn't been done, but I am making a conscious effort.  The positive mindset is difficult for me in this area!

The mindset that has really worked for me is that of being grateful for simple things which has provided me with a very content life.  It has to do with finding simple joy in sitting outdoors listening to the wonderful sounds of nature and having Willie the Wonder Cat pass by, brushing against my leg as he goes by, wanting attention and love.  Nothing spectacular, I know, but these are the little things and moments in time that put a smile on my face.  Finding pleasure and awareness of the simple moments in time has been one of the most important revelations of my life.

The need to slow down mindset has also worked for me.  There are times when I try to do more projects than I can possibly do at one time.  I set myself up for failure!  Setting priorities is a much better way to handle those times.  I can be aware of those projects, but also know their priority in the scheme of everything else.  This mindset has also brought me to the point of reality . . . the result was to weed out those low priority things that wasted too much of my time.

Another mindset that changed my life a long time ago is simply embracing where I am in life.  What I mean by that is this . . . I don't care about what anyone else has that I don't have . . . I am happy with what I have been blessed with.  There is such a stigma in today's society to want what someone else has . . . the bigger house, the newer car, blah blah blah.  That mindset is such a waste of emotions!

In my life I have had times of depression, happiness, contentment, successful career, failures, near poverty and an abundance of money and stuff . . . so many life experiences.  All in all, my happiest times have been when I am content with who I am and what I have in life.  Ironically, they came during poor financial times.  

After spending way too much time chasing and achieving wealth and success, I realized those things are superficial and don't bring happiness.  I'd rather be poor with enough to contently survive and achieving happiness . . . with peace of mind and an awesome quality of life.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

The little things in life

~ Boogie Oogie Oogie | A Taste of Honey ~

It was one of those bad life phases where I found myself in and out of depression . . . a streak of bad luck made it difficult to be optimistic about anything, but I always had the faith that if I took one day at a time, being grateful for finding joy in little things that mean a lot, everything would be fine.

Today I'm looking back and realizing that those simple joys in life kept me going from one day to the next . . . and they were big things to me.

A big thing for me is happy music, especially when I'm down.

There are times in life when something to smile about is a big deal.

This post was originally published
July 2008 on one of my older
 blogs that is no longer online

Today I am feeling overwhelming gratefulness for little things in the form of stuff you buy at the grocery store. I know . . . I'm gonna have to explain this one :)

I finally got out yesterday to do my grocery shopping. It had gotten to the point of bare pantry shelves and refrigerator.  When I got down to my last two eggs, I knew it was time to get out of this house out of necessity.

When the waves of depression hit me last week, the usual comfort of food wasn't there . . . I didn't even want to eat. The only thing I really missed was Pepsi . . . I'm totally addicted to Pepsi. It was one of those times where I was hungry for something, but I had no idea what it was and didn't have the energy or desire to try to figure it out. Therefore, no incentive to get out of this house.

Don't laugh, but I did satisfy my craving for Pepsi over the weekend . . . I ordered Pizza Hut delivery just to have a Pepsi delivered to me . . . hmmmmm $20.00 for a pizza I really didn't want and my beloved Pepsi :) In retrospect, I should have ordered the chocolate dunkers instead of the pizza!

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I thought of was Pepsi. I could not get to the kitchen fast enough to get my first fix of the day . . . and for some reason, it tasted better than a Pepsi has ever tasted for me.

As I enjoyed my first drink of the day, it brought a smile to my face to realize that I am so grateful that I went to the store yesterday for one of those little things in life . . . or maybe a not so little thing depending on how you look at it . . . enjoying a Pepsi is one of those big things in my life.

So was the apple turnover I had this morning and the chocolate caramel pecan ice cream I had last night . . . my appetite is back and all the goodies I brought home from the grocery store are calling me this morning.  Thank God I'm no longer depressed . . . something else to be most grateful for :)

Get off your diet and eat or drink something that you are not supposed to . . . it will put a smile on your face . . . have a beautiful day enjoying all the little things that you love :)  Sometimes you just need to indulge yourself!

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Optimistic Creed

To be so strong that nothing can
 disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and
 prosperity to everyone you meet.

To make all your friends feel there
 is something special in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything
 and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for
 the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the
success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press
 on the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
 and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement
 of yourself that you have no time to criticise others.

To be too large for worry,

Too noble for anger,

Too strong for fear,

And too happy to permit
 the presence of trouble.

~Author unknown~

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Living in harmony

~ Dog and Butterfly (Acoustic) | Heart ~

"Peace comes not from the absence of conflict,
but from the ability to cope with it."
Unknown Source

"Peace is not won by those who fiercely guard their
 differences, but by those who with open minds
 and hearts seek out connections."
Katherine Paterson 

 "Harmony makes small things grow,
 lack of it makes great things decay."

Our human nature tends to gravitate towards controlling, 
managing and changing others.  

We are usually met with negative results since it is also
 human nature for people not to change unless they want to
 . . . some personality types will rebel against the change
even if they want to.

The reality is that a person cannot
 change anyone but themselves.  

Be the change . . . 
and the world around you will also change.

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