She was petite, perky, and full of life. Her smile brightened a room and you felt uplifted as soon as she walked in.
She never made a big deal about the obstacles she faced in her life. With severe food allergies she would bring her own food with her to any event without any fanfare and nobody noticed. It wasn’t a big deal to her. Life was to be enjoyed and not spoilt by little things you could or couldn’t do.
Her outlook on life carried through in all situations. She looked at problems and found solutions.
Be in the moment. Take 15 minutes and simply disconnect from life as usual and connect with your self and your surroundings.
From the time we get up until the time we go to bed we are running – even when it is time to relax we are bombarding our thoughts and minds with media sites, posting, texting, zoning out with TV, video games, and on and on and on. All the things we must do, should have done or ought to do. I get tired just writing about it.
I propose a 15 minute reprieve from the madness of the day to day business of life.
Yes, there is a lot we have to do to pay the bills and take care of our families. And it may seem like a ludicrous suggestion to add another 15 minutes to my list. And yet, it may be the most important 15 minutes of your day.
As I was sharing with a friend a page from my book, “A Love so Great, A Grief so Deep,” I thought about all the times in life when we get overwhelmed and lose hope.
Here is what I wrote about hope when my husband was dying.
Hope is the effort to fly with wings not yet grown. If I don’t hope – don’t try – don’t struggle, there will never be the possibility of flying.
I was still hoping that he would live – even as I knew he would not.
We cannot live without hope. We may feel as though we are getting bruised and bloodied in the process, but that is a part of living. To live without hope is worse than struggling – you are only flapping your wings without going anywhere.
But with hope, our wings get stronger, and soon they are not just flapping but carrying us – taking us beyond sorrow to healing, recovery and beyond.
“I have to hurry, I will be late, there is so much to do, where will I begin, I wish I could have slept longer, I wish I hadn’t stayed up so late, did I make the kid’s lunch………
From the moment we wake up to the time we finally lay our thoughts down for the night, we are focusing on some part of life. Our thoughts often revolve around all the “have to’s” – the things we have to accomplish in order to survive.
After awhile our thoughts become so adrenalin filled we become highly charged and stressed before we leave home for work.
Before we know it, stress is ruling our lives – we aren’t. We are creating a pattern – a habit – a way of thinking that creates tension that works against us.
Stress. Everyone lives with it. But can you make it work for you?
When we allow ourselves to remain in constantly activated high stress, we are impacting our health on many levels. That stress maintained over time has an impact on your pocket book.
Many health costs experienced today can find their roots in long standing stress levels. But we can lower those levels when we become aware of those things that trigger unhealthy stress.
Several years ago, I put together a Wellness workshop and compiled facts and figures about stress at that time. Although these statistics are several years old, they still give us a picture of some of the costs associated with stress. Here are some of those statistics:
Life will give us those Ah-Ha moments where we are able to get a glimpse of a larger truth that can forever alter our thinking. But we need to be ready to recognize them.
I was given such an Ah-Ha moment many years ago that changed my thinking forever.
We were preparing for a summer camping trip with the kids. I was doing loads of laundry in preparation for leaving the next day. But the job was hindered by a water pressure problem. For some reason the water filling my laundry tub was so slow it seemed to take forever.
It was one of the things on my husband’s to do list.
I believe in setting goals, hard work, and having a never give up attitude. I love to read stories about people who have applied these attributes to their life.
I was just finishing the new book, “Shoe Dog”, written by Phil Knight when the funeral of Mohammed Ali was held. People who spoke at his funeral, talked about Ali’s determination, persistence and never give up attitude. Despite setbacks and unfriendly circumstances he never gave up.
I was surprised at how similar the two men, Phil Knight and Ali were.
Neither man let obstacles and circumstances keep them from accomplishing their goals. They both fought with their last breath of energy, succeeded and then gave back to others.
Years ago, when I was helping design and write a ten week class on living with chronic illness for a large HMO, I designed the following handout. I shared it in a blog in 2013. I share it with you again.
LETTING GO – TAKING CONTROL
“If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.” Victor Frankl
To experience freedom and create meaning in our lives, we must “let go” of the past while taking “control” of the present and future.
June is the month for graduations and we celebrate with family and friends who have completed a course of study and are prepared to receive their recognition of work done.
Graduation means you have accomplished something – you have spent time studying and learning and are now ready to apply that learning.
But your education has just begun. You are leaving one institution of learning for another.
The University of Life is less structured; you don’t meet at a particular time of day or have a specific text book of study. The options for study are endless.
If you love to learn become a teacher
I loved to teach. Teaching challenged and expanded my knowledge base. Because the classes I taught in psychology and life development were captivating subjects to me, I could share that enthusiasm with my students as I thought of ways to make the subject relevant for their lives.
As I listen to the words spoken in ceremonies on Memorial Day I am reminded of what it means to have a military that has sacrificed so much for us and for others around the world. We take it so for granted.
Courage – Sacrifice – Bravery – Valor
They aren’t just words. They represent actions taken that has put their lives on the line.