Promises

“I feel keeping a promise to yourself is a direct reflection of the love you have for yourself. I used to make promises to myself and find them easy to break. Today, I love myself enough to not only make a promise to myself, but I love myself enough to keep that promise” 

Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

My word for 2020 is “self.”

I am not comfortable with that word choice. It has a selfish ring to it–which is exactly why I need to keep it and focus on mySELF this year.

I promised myself I would restart my morning pages, write daily gratitudes, and read for at least an hour every morning. I began my morning ritual on the New Year’s Day. I am proud to say I have not missed a morning.

As my mornings evolved I realized how many times I’d broken promises to myself. Whenever something came up my time was the first thing I pushed aside or cancelled.

If I treated a friend like I treated myself I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have a friend any longer. This was a very big realization It was a very big aha moment for me.

Each morning as the sun rises in my little world, I am grateful for the gift of this special time reserved for me. It is a joy making it a reality.

“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!” 

Charlie Chaplin

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Learning About Prayer

“Lord, make me a blessing to someone today.” 

Jan Karon, At Home in Mitford

A big part of my morning reading includes prayers and affirmations–some traditional and some less formal and more modern. Regardless of the format, I was beginning to understand there are many different ways to pray.

I’m not sure why I thought a prayer had to be this long, formal written collection of words. I think it’s a hold over from those prayers my sisters and I had to memorize when we were growing up Catholic.

As usual, I’ve made the simple very complicated.

Today when I pray my prayers are more like having a conversation with an old friend–a friend who knows all about me and loves me anyway.

One of my favorite prayer suggestions comes from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s, Simple Abundance, the reading dated January 24:

“Bless a thing and it will bless you. Curse it and it will curse you…If you bless a situation, it has no power to hurt you, and even if it is troubles for a time, it will gradually fade out, if you sincerely bless it. ~Emmet Fox

A powerful set of blessings that I learned from the teachings of Stella Terrill Mann, a Unity minister who wrote during the 1940s, encourages us to greet the morning with the affirmation ‘Blessed be the morn for me and mine.’ At noon declare, ‘Blessed be the day for me and mine,’ and in the evening, invoke this prayer: ‘Blessed be the night for me and mine.’ As you about your work at home or int eh office, affirm, ‘My work is a prayer for good for me and mine.’ These affirmations of good will bring many blessings into your daily life, as they have in mine.

Then start to count your blessings.”

I don’t think God cares about formality, word choice, or the length of our prayers. Like anyone who loves us, He is pleased we’ve taken the time to reach out and talk with Him.

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” 

Meister Eckhart

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thanks, Sue and Al Rogers, for letting me use your picture as part of my story today. I love you.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2020

He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.” 

Bob Marley

Oh, the places we’ve gone, the people we’ve met, and the life we’ve shared.

I cannot imagine my life without you.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Michael, I love you.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 

Lao Tzu

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

IMG_1987

Creative Reading

“There is creative reading as well as creative writing.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

My morning reading ritual is evolving very well and becoming a vital part of my day.

Exposing myself to several different authors at one setting seems to help me stay focused and adds another level of appreciation for the ideas presented by each writer.  Sometimes what I read seemed to be on the page especially for me.

Here are two examples:

From Suzanne Giesemann’s book, In The Silence:

“A strong prayer issued on one’s behalf remains in effect, for you have set it in motion. It gathers energy when joined by the prayers of others. You may add fuel to this creation as you wish, but there is no need to do so constantly. We say again, once created, so it is.”

From Deng Ming-Dao’s, 365 Tao Daily Meditations

“Worry is an addiction

That interferes with compassion

Worry is a problem that seems to be rampant. Perhaps it is due to the nature of our overly advanced civilization; perhaps it is a measure of our own spiritual degeneracy. Whatever the source, it is clear that worry is not useful. It is a cancer of the emotions–concern gone compulsive. It eats away at body and mind.

It does no good to say, ‘Don’t think about it.’ You’ll only worry more. It is far better to keep waling your path, changing what you can. The rest must be dissolved in compassions. In this world of infants with immune deficiencies, racial injustice, economic imbalance, personal violence, and international conflict, it is impossible to address everyone’s concerns. Taking care of yourself and doing something good for those whom you meet is enough. That is compassion, and we must exercise it even int he face of the overwhelming odds.

Whenever you meet a problem, help if it is in your power to do so. After you have acted, withdraw and be unconcerned about it. Walk on without ever mentioning it to anybody. Then there is no worry, because there has been action.”

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”

Albert Einstein

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

Thank you, Kimberlee Salimeno. Once again you’ve allowed me to use your beautiful photo for my story. I love you. 

Refueling

“Close friends are truly life’s treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.” 

Vincent van Gogh

Yesterday, I had a long conversation with one of my dearest friends.

Even though we’re a thousand miles apart, we talked just like we did when we lived across the street from each other. Our conversation took off like we’d just talked yesterday.

Our shared stories skipped back and forth between decades without the need for details. We’d seen each other through some of the highest and lowest parts of our personal and professional lives. We didn’t always agree with each other. This was a huge lesson for me because I wasn’t used to having someone disagree with me. I learned even though we did  not agree, we’re both good people and good friends.

That’s just one of the many lessons she taught me. I cannot imagine my life without her.

Thanks, MB, for spending happy hour–actually hours–with me. You refreshed my soul.

I love you.

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Thanks, Deb Henderson, for letting me use your picture for today’s story. God bless you and your beautiful family. 

My 60 Minutes

“Prioritise self-care and incorporate a MINIMUM of 60 minutes ‘ME TIME’ into your daily routine. 

YES THERE ARE enough hours in the day. 

NO EXCUSES.” 

Miya Yamanouchi

I’m beginning to understand the value of making time for myself.

Since the beginning of this year I’ve been up early enough to have at least an hour to myself.

Today I started doing my morning pages. For whatever reason I thought I didn’t need to do them anymore.

I was wrong.

Initially I struggled finding something to say. I finally stopped trying so hard and began to write whatever came to my mind. It didn’t matter if it made a lot of sense or not. With each line the words came easier. I remembered how important these pages were to me and saw myself sitting at my desk in the wee hours of the morning, writing to bolster my courage to face hard days at work. As I remembered those days I realized I’d missed this type of writing. I felt as though I was sitting down with a friend I hadn’t seen in a very long time.

My morning ritual feels in order. My morning pages are back where they belong, I have my gratitude journal, and my stack of daily reading. Each element has found its own space and place.

Some of my hardcopy books have special bookmarks. My favorite is a card with butterflies covered with glitter–the perfect reminder of the person who sent me that note. She is such a positive light force in my life. Each time I move the card to a new page I see little pieces of glitter left behind–mirroring the impact Mary Lou has had on my life. Thank you, Mary.

A calendar of 2020 marks the pages of another book. Each day I read I mark off the date. I initially did this as a way of validating my commitment. What I hadn’t anticipated was the impact that little swiped line had on me. With one little swish I could see how quickly the days are flying.

“No one’s approval is enough to make up for a lack of self-love, which is really a lack of self-awareness.

When we feel a desire to be loved, it isn’t other people’s love we need. It’s our own relationship with love that we’re longing for, our own awareness of being interconnected with others, our own sense of the magic of our own interwoven existence. 

To seek the fulfillment of this desire in others’ approval is a losing battle. It will never be enough. No one can compliment you enough to supplement for the acceptance that you need from your own self, in each moment. Acceptance for your struggles and your talents. Acceptance for your humanity. Celebration of that humanity.

Love is an inside job.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Blessings

“Bless a thing and it will bless you. Curst it and it will curse you…If you bless a situation, it has no power to hurt you, and even if it is troublesome for a time, it will gradually fade out, if you sincerely bless it.”  ~Emmet Fox, Sara Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance

My morning readings have taught me a lot since I began this daily practice.

Today the prayers recited throughout the day by the Unity Minister, Stella Terril Mann, were shared:

Mornings: Blessed be the morn for me and mine.

Noon: Blessed be the day for me and mine. 

Evening: Blessed be the night for me and mine. 

Could prayers really be so simple?

The long and the short of it is–yes.

Help me be a friend today, Lord, and see the needs on the faces of those I know and love. ~Jon M. Sweeney, Daily Guideposts, 2019

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Thank you, Jim and Ann Doner, for allowing me to use your picture in today’s story. I love you.

 

 

Little Lines

“Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.” 

Angela Carter

I found this quote this afternoon and it explained something to me.

As I’ve continued my morning readings, there are a couple of books I’m re-reading. Some of these books it’s the third or fourth time I’ve read them. I must confess–some mornings it’s still like I’ve never read them–ever.

Why?

Angela Carter and Sara Ban Breathnach helped me understand.

“Today I want you to become aware that you already possess all he inner wisdom, strength, and creativity needed to make your dreams come true. This is hard for most of us to realize because the source of this unlimited personal power if buried so deeply beneath the bills, the car pool, the deadlines, the business trip, and the dirty laundry that we have difficulty accessing it in our daily lives. ”  ~Sara Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance

Today I do have the time and I’ve acquired more life experiences which help add depth and understanding to my reading.

Some of my favorite readings come from: 365 Tao Daily Meditations, by Deng Ming-Dao.

This little book has been a wonderful addition to my library. Dang Ming-Dao puts Taoism into words I can understand and apply to my daily life.

Something unexpected and quite magical has happened with this book.

Yesterday I began to notice faint lines under all the sentences. If the light fell across the page just right, I could see how someone used a pencil as a way to focus on every word.

This has become a very tangible message to me–I am not alone.

Someone else–another seeker–has been on this path.

Such simple things–these delicate wavering lines that encourage, comfort, and soothe my soul.

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” 

Mortimer J. Adler

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Order

“Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.” ~Pearl Buck, Simple Abundance

After working to establish an early morning routine, I have one that works.

Okay, maybe I’m being a tad bit optimistic.

It’s worked for over a week–including the weekends. For me, that’s a monumental event because nothing has ever invaded the sacred time of the weekend.

I treasure my early morning time–fresh hot coffee, my teachers, and me. I am surprised at how often the authors compliment each other.

I’ve become acutely aware of how I feel after the mornings I’ve started calling my sacred moments.

I am less scattered and more focused.

I am less anxious and more tolerant.

I am less critical and more patient.

I am less afraid and more confident.

“Many women today feel a sadness we cannot name. Though we accomplish much of what we set out to do, we sense that something is missing our lives and–fruitlessly–search ‘out there’ for the answers. What’s often wrong is that we are disconnected from an authentic sense of self.” ~Emily Hancock, Simple Abundance

God has also mixed in a little bit of synchronicity.

Out of nowhere my cousin sent a message telling me she had also started reading Simple Abundance.

Quotes, like those included in my story today, speak so strongly to me, often addressing things/tasks I’ve just completed.

Today’s reading began with the quote I used in my introduction coming after I’d spent the past few days cleaning and organizing my work spaces.

Coincidence?

No.

These are signs I’m on course and I’m not alone in my latest quest.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”  ~Melody Beattie, Simple Abundance

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thanks to my sister, Susan M. Rogers, for allowing me to use her sunset picture for today’s story. I love you.

Epiphanies

“It’s very simple. As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed at twenty-two, you’d always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.” 

Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie

It’s been an interesting week, working to establish a daily self care routine.

The days have been full of those little tasks we all do as we begin the new year. As I updated my calendar I noticed names and dates on last year’s calendar.

My eyes filled with tears and my chest tightened.

Thumbing through the weeks of 2019, I realized I’d made different appointments for our dogs, Duffy and Ruby, not knowing these would be their last. Such a small task was so eye and heart opening for me.

It was a swift reality check and a harsh reminder of how precious life is.

This morning, if you’ve joined me in reading, Simple Abundance, you read about the play Our Town. When I was much younger, I had to read this play for one of my English courses. At the time I thought it was such a waste of my time. After reading the quotes Sarah Ban Breathnach chose, I think I may need to revisit this play.

For me, these two paragraphs were very powerful and caught me completely off guard.

“In Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town a deeply poignant scene takes place in a grave yard. Ghosts comfort the young heroine, who has recently died in childbirth. Emily, still longing for the life she has just left, wishes to revisit one ordinary, “unimportant” day in her life. When she gets her wish, she realizes how much the living take for granted. 

Eventually her visit is too much for her to bear. “I didn’t realize,” she confesses mournfully, “all that was going on and we never noticed…Good-by, world. Good-by, Grover’s Corners…Mama and Papa. Good-by to clocks ticking…and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths…and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize  you.” 

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

“It always comes down to just two choices. Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons