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Category Archives: Inspiration
March 19, 2012 – 7:00 pm
February 29, 2012 – 7:43 pm
Oh My God! The temperature climbed to 77 degrees in Dallas today. That’s not an unusual temperature for north central Texas during the spring and summer months, but it’s still winter according to the calendar.
The day took my breath away when I stepped outside. A few high clouds floated by overhead as the sun beamed down and chased away the chill that the morning typically brings. It was the kind of day that makes you want to play hooky from work and find something to do outside, so that you can take advantage of the perfect weather. I didn’t. I went into the office, but I will admit that thoughts of me sitting by the pool with sunglasses and a good book repeatedly invaded my mind.
In a world where we are connected 24/7 and receive a never ending stream of information about breakthroughs and major events, a warm sunny day in Dallas in February may not seem like anything worth taking note of. For some of us it may not have enough wow factor to capture our attention. I have been there. In that place where I needed the ‘incredible’ to make me pause.
A few years ago I probably would have been in such hot pursuit of whatever was on my calendar for that day that I would have failed to fully appreciate the splendor of a day like today. But thank God that most of us wise up at some point. I learned that if we only focus on the so-called big things in life, we spend much of our life bored, discontented and waiting for the next big thing.
There absolutely is a time and place to celebrate the spectacular, but if we can appreciate the simple things, the extraordinary things seem even more special. We may even realize that the simple things are sometimes the most extraordinary things.
Do you notice the simple things? Do you recognize the blessing in a beautiful day or the gift of the presence of people in your life who always seem to be there and love you unconditionally? If the answer to these questions is no, perhaps it’s time for you to slow down, disconnect for a moment and take a look around you at the things that are simple but priceless.
“It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.” – Paulo Coelho
See. Live. Enjoy.
February 27, 2012 – 11:46 pm
February 20, 2012 – 10:29 pm
October 7, 2011 – 10:08 am
Rest in peace.
August 18, 2011 – 8:36 pm
A day often does not seem like much time when we look at what we want to do in a day. The reality is that many of us try to squeeze too much into twenty-four hours. We often become frustrated when the day ends and we realize that we were not able to complete all of the things we planned.
Some of us even start the day thinking that it’s just another day, so why bother to expect anything good or different than the previous day. But before we write off another day, let’s consider what a day is.
A day is a gift, give thanks for it.
A day is an opportunity, seize it.
A day is a journey, travel it.
A day is beauty, see it.
A day is precious, cherish it.
A day is life, live it.
Now that we know what a day really is, let’s welcome each day with appreciation and expectation of good.
See. Live. Enjoy.
August 13, 2011 – 1:30 pm
Morning is my favorite time of the day. There is something special about the energy of a beginning. That is what morning is to me, a beginning. A few days ago I did what I normally do to start my day. I walked into the kitchen and opened the blinds on the windows that look out onto my patio. I enjoy watching the world around me wake up. That morning the azure sky shimmered with a vibrancy that authors write about when they want to convey happiness and joy.
I looked to the sky, slumped my shoulders and groaned. “Ugh!”
I could not focus on the beauty of the day. All I could see was the precursor to more extreme heat. Another day with a temperature above 100 degrees was in the making. I looked at the sky longing to see anything that could remotely resemble a rain cloud, but it was not to be that morning. In my mind I grumbled.
“I can’t stand this heat.”
“When will it end.”
I continued to bemoan the weather as I turned my attention to breakfast. More random thoughts flew through my mind.
“A break from this heat would be wonderful.”
“Maybe I can arrange a long weekend to California?”
“Many people went to bed last night who did not wake up this morning. They would have loved to have endured the heat to be able to see another day.”
I did not expect that last thought, but it got my attention. Those words stopped the chatter in my mind and made me pause. I reflected on the truth of what I had just heard. In an instant my aggravation shifted to appreciation. I had been given another day. A day that I could spend complaining about the heat and other annoyances, or a day that I could enjoy and use to make a positive difference.
Of course there are things that we should be irritated by. Things that we will want or need to argue or fight for, but much of what we encounter as we go through a day is small stuff. Stuff that really does not matter. Stuff that is not worth our time and energy.
“Making a mountain out of a molehill” is a saying used when we make more out of something than we should. Are you making more out of something than you should? Are you making a mountain out of a molehill?
We all have the ability to decide whether to make a big deal out of the small stuff, or to simply let it pass. Life is precious. Let’s not waste it on the small stuff.
“I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.” – Denis Waitley
See. Live. Enjoy.
August 5, 2011 – 12:41 am
Reading is a big part of my life, and it has been since I was a child. I read for a number of reasons: to be informed; to be entertained; to be challenged; and to be inspired. Here are some of the items that I am currently reading.
The Holy Bible – The Bible has been a staple in my life since I was a child. Sometimes I stick to a reading plan. Other times I search out Scriptures that address the need that I have at that moment. Reading the Bible gives me a sense of peace and strength.
When The Soul Listens by Jan Johnson – This book is about prayer. Not the “give me this or give me that” kind of prayer, but the be still and hear God kind of prayer. When The Soul Listens is a short book that is taking me a while to read. It is a book that makes me think. I read a little and then I put it down to absorb what I read. I purchased this book at the urging of a co-worker, and I am glad that I did.
Slow Love by Dominique Browning – This memoir follows Dominique on her journey from the last day of her job as editor-in-chief at House & Garden Magazine to revamping her lifestyle and gaining a sense of self that is no longer defined by her former high profile position. Her story shows how a few small decisions can yield big changes. This book received mixed reviews on Amazon.com, but I think that it was worth the money that I spent.
Fearless Confessions by Sue William Silverman – Fearless Confessions is a guidebook for those who want to share their stories. Last weekend I attended a writing conference, and it re-ignited my desire to write. After the conference I made a commitment to post more often on my blog and to start some of the writing projects that I have put off for years. One of those projects is writing a memoir. I purchased Fearless Confessions a couple of years ago, but I never read it. My renewed interest in writing motivated me to finally open this book. I am only on chapter two, but the information and exercises presented so far have been helpful.
Creative Addiction – The name says it all. This blog is about creativity. Creative Addiction showcases some of the works and ideas of its author, Kim, and introduces its audience to other talented artists.
Mirth and Motivation – This blog centers on appreciating life and serves up inspiring stories. The author of Mirth and Motivation, Elizabeth, encourages her readers to look for the joy in life and to laugh.
What My World’s Like – The author’s desire to change her habit of always looking for the negative in something to looking for the positive inspired this blog. Leandra shares the lessons she learned along her journey to being more positive and confident.
What are you currently reading? Why do you read? For information? Entertainment? If you check out any of the books or blogs I shared with you, I hope that you enjoy them.
“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.” – A C Grayling
See. Live. Enjoy.
August 1, 2011 – 11:35 pm
A friend and I recently met for dinner and chatted about what was going on in our lives. The topic that dominated our conversation was how much change we both have experienced during the last few years. Whether we like it or not, change occurs. Some change we welcome with open arms. Other change we avoid at all costs until we realize that we have no choice in the matter. Regardless of whether we view a change as good or bad, living through it can be stressful. If we are not careful we can lose our sense of stability and well-being.
I shared in an earlier post that a few changes recently took place in my life. The changes were good, and I readily embraced them. But even good change is change, and at times I felt off balance. How did I survive the changes? To the extent possible, I continued to do the things that I normally do that keep me calm and grounded. When I stepped back and looked at my daily routine, I realized that there are seven simple but powerful habits that I do that help to keep my sense of peace and well being intact.
Habit #1 Pray
Each day is a gift, and I start it with a prayer. I thank God for the day, and I ask Him to direct my steps.
Habit #2 Feed My Body
I figured out early in life that I cannot focus when I am hungry. I feed my body “good for me” food throughout the day. For me this usually means three meals and two or three snacks.
Habit #3 Be Quiet And Still
Constant noise and movement can frazzle the most relaxed person. I step away from the noise of the day and take a deep breath. Even five minutes away from all of the buzz can stop or slow down the frenzy that we often find ourselves in.
Habit #4 Feed My Spirit And Mind
It is not just our bodies that need to be fed. I want to maintain a positive attitude and state of mind, so I need to take in nourishment for my spirit and mind. One of the ways that I do this is by reading something uplifting and inspiring everyday.
Habit #5 Tap Into The Power of Love
There is no greater power or support than love. It is important to give and receive love. Whether in-person or by phone or internet, I communicate with loved ones everyday.
Habit #6 Laugh
Laughing is good for the body, spirit and mind. It decreases stress, and that helps to strengthen the body’s immune system. I find a reason to laugh everyday whether it is by reading a funny story, watching a sitcom, or hanging out with people who love to have fun.
Habit #7 Pray Again
I end the day the way that I start it. I pray. I thank God for carrying me through the day, and I talk to Him about the events of the day. Ending my day with prayer helps me to release my concerns and prepares me for a good night’s sleep.
This is what I do to help me stay calm. What are the things that you do on a regular basis to keep your balance? These are the things that can help you maintain a sense of peace and security during the uncertainty that sometimes accompanies change.
“Change brings opportunity.” – Nido Qubein
See. Live. Enjoy.
January 24, 2011 – 7:02 pm
Do you remember the joy and excitement that you felt as a child when you tried something new and accomplished it? Whether it was learning to walk or to ride a bike, the satisfaction of a first time success exhilarated us.
As children our lives were filled with many firsts. Those victories built our confidence and inspired us to venture out and try other things. We wanted to know more about our world, and we explored it with little to no concern about making mistakes. But as many of us grew into adults, we settled into routines that became our lives. We became comfortable with what we knew how to do and we stopped trying new things. There is nothing inherently wrong with living a life filled with the routine, but when we only encounter the familiar we stop growing. Trying something new can help us discover more about ourselves.
When was the last time that you tried something new? If you have to think about it for too long, it’s probably time to add a little spice to your life. Even something as simple as taking a class on something that you’ve always wanted to learn such as sewing or salsa dancing can help re-energize you. What are you going to do to step out of your box and try something new? I wish you wonderful new experiences.
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” – Vincent van Gogh
See. Live. Enjoy.