Leave A Trail Of Smiles

It’s easy to judge and to be harsh – I catch myself all the time.  Without snap judgements, we argue, the species might not be where it is today. Right…?

The deeper reality is that Life is hard.  The more positive we can be, and the more we can bring light into our own lives, and to those around us, the better the ride for us all. There are so many wounded souls, evil in their actions, to whom I wished I could have stressed this point (maybe with a fist!) over my lifetime. . . But along the way I realized it takes oneself to learn, to know the difference, and to make the change – wishing does nothing.  

To, however, act in such a way ourselves is to lead by example.  Any day could be the one that our upstanding or positive attitude alters the destiny of another.

A single word or gesture is capable of changing a Life – we never know the wars raging around us, nor do others know the ones we face ourselves daily. To inspire a smile can create shifts so great that – without even realizing – you shed light on a once darkened path for a once hopeless soul.  Life-giving indeed. . .

Shine you light, for you have much to give, and in so doing brighten the world.

 

Find Happiness In The Moment

As the wise saying goes. . .

It isn’t designed to put Life into a negative light, nor to add a sense of morbid urgency. . .but the idea is that Life – truly – is a gift.

The people we love, the blessings we have. . .most of all, our own breath, are gifts.

To recognize the temporal confines of this “go ’round” is to bring our awareness to the beauty, the good, the positive, the happy.

We have no control over how much time we are – or are not – given, nor the time given those we cherish. . .

We can, however, find joy in each present moment.  We have the choice.

If you find you cannot. . .endeavor to seek it out – fervently – lest time march past before you discover you had the power all along.

Be Ridiculous

Once upon a time I worried about what people thought.  I worried about if they’d like what I was wearing, if I looked silly, or if the things I enjoyed weren’t “cool.”  But it didn’t last particularly long, those worrisome spells, because I simply couldn’t mold myself to fit within the confines that others did.

Boxes didn’t work for me, and I made myself sick – in the short time I tried to care – trying to figure out what I was “supposed to” do, and “supposed to” be.  Based on someone else’s definition, by the way.  I was like a dodecahedron trying to fit into a triangular shape – I had so many facets, I’d make a gemologist spin, and the “mold” simply didn’t work.

I feel like that was fortunate for me, though. . .because I learned to just do my thing and be, unabashedly, my curiously off-beat self. It’s so much easier when you don’t have to squeeze yourself in to other shapes.  It’s SO much easier being authentic than having to remember the details of the “lie” that you pretend to live.

The world doesn’t need more conformists…it needs the beautiful variety that all of us bring to life. It’s not only okay to be you, it’s what you, and everyone else deserves.  If someone takes issue, that’s okay – that’s for them to worry about.

Do your thing, and be ridiculous if you want to.  Even if it means wearing obnoxiously-printed leggings, leg warmers a la 1982, and Thundercat shoes at age 38. 

Happiness is the heart of the beholder. ❤

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What Christmas ISN’T

I saw this posted today, and I smiled for two reasons…

For one thing, I’ve always been a HUGE Grinch fan – anything of the monster-ish ilk was up my alley even early on.  I insisted we watch this each Christmas, and never seemed to tire even of the “fahoo forays, yahoo dorays.” 

As for second part, the Suess-ie blurb speaks to something that I really believe in – a reminder I want to shout from the Grinch-inhabited hilltops whenever December rolls around. Or maybe just in overcrowded, emotionally-charged retail parking lots. . .

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I’m a “giver” so I get the idea of wanting to share with others – it’s a wonderful feeling to give something that we know a person wants or. . .better!…truly needs.

At the same time, though…it is not NOT NoT about the gifts.  Everyone gets CRAZY around Christmastime.  WHY?! People have this immense pressure to buy, buy more, buy again…to wrap and deliver.  But that’s not what it’s is about…  I feel like I’m always left so baffled.

There are of course layers of religious meanings and importance surrounding mid-December (through to early January) depending on the culture and beliefs.  But I’m not even talking about THAT (far too great a topic, far too weighty!)

I just mean that this time of year isn’t about throwing material things around, so much as true, sincere giving.  I’m not saying I didn’t get gifts as a kid…or that I still don’t.  For children, especially, it’s exciting.  There are generally rituals built around Christmas morning, and I love seeing happy faces.  But there really DOES have to be a point at which it goes overboard.  

My favorite gift – the one I looked forward to every year – was my red snow shovel.  My parents didn’t know that for a long time, but it was the ONE THING I absolutely LOVED getting.  I would use it to help my father shovel the driveway…and to me, it therefore well transcended the “material.”  It was such a fun event, despite the work involved – the “shovel” represented time we’d spend together, outside, enjoying the snow and fresh air. 

As we got older there were years where my parents would have us all choose a charity and give to each one instead of getting each other things we wouldn’t use.  (I think the whole “wouldn’t use” part tends to happens far too often as we pass into teen and adulthood. And frankly, I don’t think there’s anything I CAN get my family and loved ones that they really want – we all kind of get what we want and need anyway!)

I don’t think gifts are a “bad” thing, don’t get me wrong.  It means a lot to some people to give, and in that way denouncing the whole thing would be denying them something that makes them feel great.  What I think is important, though, is that people don’t feel obligated and pressured to buy things.  Certainly not “BIG” things.  

The “holiday spirit” is more about the thoughtfulness above and beyond anything else.  And I’ve gotten to a point where time and connection with loved ones, HAPPY loved ones, and health for all of us, is – * yes, really * – all I want.  Those things are far more precious to me. The little things, like a random “I love you,” lights up my world with a brilliance no material item could.  Life is precious.

So even if gifts are part of the holiday “thing”…just remember that you don’t have to stress out about getting the latest and greatest.  There are ways to give, to share, to receive, without having to go crazy (no one needs an extra car accident, or angry retail exchange!) 

Enjoy the essence of the holidays while they are here – the gathering of those we love, and the blessings we already have.   Generally speaking, those in your circle will be happy no matter what. . .and if you want to reach out to those in need (people, animals alike!), there’s plenty room there too. ❤

 

Vitamin D

I love stormy, rainy days…and I most definitely don’t deliberately sunbathe… But there’s nothing more wonderful than being outside on a beautiful day (with your sunscreen, of course! – I use Cetaphil 35 SPF every day) to catch a little Vitamin D.

Fortunately for me…a “beautiful day” includes just about all weather conditions – snow storm, pouring rain, Spring morning, Autumn afternoon…it’s all DIVINE to me.  ❤

Really the only thing better than being outside, surrounded by the sounds of Life, is sharing it with someone I love.  

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It doesn’t matter if we sit together quietly, whether we laugh until our stomachs hurt…  Whether we are deep in conversation, or watching other park-goers playing sports as we sip our second coffee.  That time to just BE and enjoy the blessings of health, and warming sun, is a gift.

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I know a lot of people who say they are “too busy”…but I’ll tell you, those are the people who need it most.  If you don’t make time to smell the roses…or get a regular dose of mood-boosting Vitamin D…you may find yourself not only missing a lot, but feeling lethargic and downtrodden on top of it!

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High-tail it outside and you may just find you have a brighter outlook. 🙂

Choose A Good Mood

We really DO have the choice…

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Some days it takes a deep breath and a reminder.  Other, it just comes naturally – a good mood is contagious, after all.  What I have learned, both in grace, and through hardship, is that we do have the power to make that decision.  As an Empath, there are moments that feel so suffocating that the prospect of morphing my mood from ill to cheery seems nigh impossible.

But...it ISN’T.  

Deep breaths and an internal reminder that I have a choice really CAN help.  

It didn’t matter that the person in front of me cut me off, or stood around while my groceries piled up as they took their time moving to the side.  

It didn’t matter that the rain-soaked my clothes, or that the cat knocked over my glass, or that the person I held the door for didn’t say “thank you.”

I don’t have to have a perpetually bad day, or one which spirals downwards, because of any frustration.  

I have a choice to be in a positive mood, and find the good in everything.

I may fall short from time to time but I’ve set it as my default – I’d rather be laughing, or encouraging smiles ‘ere I go, than walk about adding to a rainy day.