New Month Affirmation

Affirmations are wonderful things, and can – quite literally – shift one’s mindset. By so doing, we are then open and able attract the good things we want and need to create our desired reality.

Yes, you can start anew – it’s never too late!

Magic, really. . .

Let Go Of *Should

“Should” is dangerous.  It looks perfectly benign, and wasn’t exactly something I grew up thinking deeply about – it’s just a word after all.  Right?

“Should,” however, can quickly turn into trouble when we apply it to our situation, for example.  “I should have more money by now,” “I should have reacted differently,” I shouldn’t have studied ____ in school…now it’s too late,” or “I should have listened to so-and-so.”

Life is a journey – we are all presented with circumstances, joys, challenges, and opportunities as they are meant for us. . . I sincerely believe we are precisely where we need to be.

If we had more money, maybe it would be at the expense of our own self-worth, or our family’s happiness.  If we reacted differently to a stimulus, perhaps that resultant, and positive opportunity, would not have been made available. If we didn’t study what we had, perhaps we’d not have come to the realization that we are best suited for another area.  If we listened to so-and-so, maybe we wouldn’t have made the mistake that finally put us on a path to recovery…

There are so many “what-if”s and if we play too much with them in our minds, we neglect all the blessings we have in front of us.  To say should” imposes on reality the idea that we are not where we should be… And yet there are so many circumstances where we find our lives falling right into place, rather miraculously.

When we use “should” with respect to ourselves, it can become much more than a word – when we say things like “I should have known better,” or “I shouldn’t be ________” we are adding a layer of self-judgement to the mix.  It becomes less about a word, and more about an attitude – and when we use words with respect to ourselves, we begin to believe them….

None of us are perfect. . .and that’s okay. There is no “right way” to be, neither a flawless mold to which to adhere.

Each of us is on a unique path, and we are – even when it seems otherwise – right we are meant to be.  When we view our world from this lens, we bring the present back into focus, diminishing the anxieties, worries, self-imposed judgments and falsities that the brain likes to dwell on when we revisit our past…or project into the future.

Including “should” in our conversations with ourselves begins to erode our self-confidence – it can do so not only unbeknownst to us, but at a frighteningly rapid pace.  To let go of the notion allows our inner dialogues to remain healthy, and as we are a reflection of the divine around us (whatever that means to you) those words we speak about ourselves matter.

Our lives are like flowers whose petals must unfold as they – and Nature – are ready. To rush them is to destroy the life itself, whether directly or on a more, shall we say, spiritual level.  

Allow yourself the room to BE without the confines of “should” – even when life feels askew, remember that the last time it felt that way, the cycle came whirling back around to everything-is-okay.  

And…it will be. ❤

Kindness

Cliche but…truth. And a nice reminder.

Someone very close to me actually can’t see that well anymore – and it isn’t a result of age.  To be robbed of sight before 40 – pronounced legally blind as the result of an undefined virus – feels so criminal. He’s vastly more talented than he’ll ever know as an artist, and yet he will never again be able to create as he once did. 

In his world, colors have faded, leaving a bleak landscape flanked only by peripherals of deadened black. Values constantly bleed into one another, making objects difficult to define.  Bright lights, even a subtle glare, render an ever greater “blindness” than the already tunneled, spot-like field of view that remains.

So while I’ve seen this quotation hundreds of times, over many years, it has an even more valuable quality now. . . I saw it.  And I paused with a heavy breath.

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When has to ask for help because he cannot see whether his food is safely prepared, or because he cannot make out a number that he needs on the computer screen…I feel my heart bleeding.  He takes it in good stride, thankful for the blessings he does have…and in that, are we all reminded yet again…

He once crossed paths with an angry man in the street – one well under the influence.  Having thought he was being stared down – not realizing the man looking at him in fact could not see – this man became engaged, aggressive, and approached. But – perhaps from some subconscious knowing – he backed away before becoming violent. . .leaving a nearly-blind man, resigned to being beaten, thankfully (unexpectedly) untouched.

The thing is…you wouldn’t know he cannot see.  He doesn’t walk around with a cane, able to see SOMEthing, and reluctant to give up what freedom he has left.  

You wouldn’t know that the center vision is pristine, but so much else is lost that he is, truly, disabled, and fully unable to see the breadth of what is going on around him.  

When kindness is spoken among all, we include those who may in fact be suffering, though we cannot – ourselves – necessarily perceive it.  

The world is a sometimes a violent, cruel, and inhospitable place – we have the ability to offer kindness regardless of circumstance.  To do so – difficult it may feel at times – is a gift we are all capable of giving, and one that might go wildly farther than we dream. 

It is easy to forget the blessings we do have, and to take life, and health, for granted.  So I – for one – appreciate seeing familiar words from a newer perspective.  

I appreciate being reminded without the severity that some reminders may come with.  

I appreciate the example of perseverance that those in adversity demonstrate.  

And I appreciate the kindness that people offer. . .because you might cross his path one day too. . .and your kindness will not fall on deaf ears, nor blinded eyes – it will be received with gratitude, and far more of it than you’ll know.

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“Smelling The Roses”

I’m definitely one of those go-go-go! people… I’m always running around, and pushing myself hard.  I’m not *quite* as bad as some of the Fashion folks I worked with – for them (and good for them if it made them happy!) “chaos mode” was not only okay, but they way they preferred to be!  For me personally, it was too much, but I do have a habit of running from one thing to the next to the point of exhaustion sometimes.

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Fortunately, I DO take time to appreciate what’s around me – I am aware of the weather, the temperature, the scents in the air, the sounds…  I don’t go about my day paying no attention to those details because they are all blessings in their own right, and I don’t want to miss them because I was too busy to lift my head away from my phone.

I needed to drop some things off at Good Will this weekend so I decided I’d take a leisurely stroll there, and back – I opened my mind and senses to the experience.  Just a walk?  Not really.

I felt the cobblestones underfoot through the soles of my boots, and the sound I made as I touched each one.  I noticed the runners who were out with their dogs, and the couples casually walking by… I took in the scent of Spring that came in gently-windy waves, admired how green my favorite creeping ivy had become, and the sound of people outside enjoying their lunch and friends…

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Even just a decade ago, I’d have had to remember the color of the petals on the trees, or the shade of blue of the water without a photo to remind me – which, I have to say, I DO feel is an important exercise (if nothing else, cerebrally!)  Nowadays, we phone cameras with which to capture some of those moments.  While I like to ignore my devices sometimes, I also appreciate that I have a camera at my fingertips – It’s still important to soak in the experience in order that our mind (soul, spirit etc) has an opportunity to form those impressions as richly as possible – but I also love that I can refer back to that “gorgeous sunny day” if I want to.

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It doesn’t matter when you take the time out – nor whether it is one minute, versus thirty.  ANYTHING is a start, and it really is vital to our experience as human beings.  Life moves far too fast- when you hop on the rollercoaster and only look ahead, you will miss the beauty around you.  

Our blessings are countless, truly – take a deep breath and just look around.  The World will become infinitely more astounding right before your eyes…and it was there the whole time!

You’re Not Going That Way…

This is something I try to be incredibly mindful of…

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Having met with fear, failure, and success over time…as do we all of the human race…I cannot help but “fluctuate” – some days are good, some are great, while others feel somber and disheartening.

I sincerely believe that each experience provides wisdom and strength – while in some ways the construct of time is man-made (or made-determined), each moment builds, follows a prior one…and collapses as the next “tick” comes.  It will march forward one way or the other and being “stuck” is a painful and lonely place to be.

Accepting and acknowledging our feelings is of vital importance – they are, after all, valid.  That said, the deeper-colored they are, the more oppressive the shadows they cast over our positivity and well-being.  

I had some flashbacks myself the other day about an abusive person who had very little good to say, and who wounded me very deeply.  It hurt.  It was frightening.  It was sobering, and saddening…  I coincidentally came across this quotation not long after them – what a lovely reminder!

Staying mindful, and as much in the moment, focused on the good things feels like the proper undercurrent for me – I have my moments, and I forgive myself that I am human, shaped by the ups and downs of Life.  I remember that I am okay NOW – I am in a great place, I have fought to be where I am…and I am SO much stronger than I was.  

When the past endeavors to persuade my heart and spirit to sink, I take a deep breath and focus on the path ahead of me, and the blessings of NOW.  You are allowed to feel…but remember that you also have control, and you ARE doing great. 

Blessings

I don’t really believe in  current day “Thanksgiving” – I haven’t for many years.

Why?

In part, it has steered away from traditional roots – I have the sense it is more about indulging than anything these days.  In my heart, the celebration of ingurgitating in excess feels “off” to me somehow.  I’m not sure that’s *quite* how the story went… 

That aside, needing to be reminded about gratitude feels so odd – truly being thankful,” being kind, seeing the good, are daily practices…

They are a way of Life...

They are what (perhaps idealistically, I recognize) one hopes are an involuntary undercurrent in humans’ habitude. 

Blessings

It’s important that we find something positive.  With every dawn, and every dusk.

To take a moment to appreciate whatever “it” is…

The sky is a radiant blue.  

There wasn’t traffic this morning.  

Someone held the door for you…

Practice the arts of Thankfulness, Gratitude, and Mindfulness…

Thanksgiving is a fun time to gather with friends and family who have the day off…absolutely!  It’s fun to cook together and enjoy delicious foods.  (And for some, I respect it may still be about the cultural and religious roots, which is perhaps specific to the time of year.)

But being thankful is something we can do every day….

We see family and friends all the time. We very likely have meals that keep us full and healthy.  We have shelter, and loved ones.  Our hard times have brought us lessons that have helped us become stronger and wiser…

I don’t really believe we need a “holiday” specifically relegated for thankfulness – Life is full of Blessings, and they occur every single day.