Taking a Breath

Dear God, 

Thank you for the wisdom that comes with age. Thank you for all the joys, the heartbreaks, the successes and the failures that have shaped me into who I am today. Life isn’t always easy, but I love that you have granted me the gift of always growing and evolving.  Amen.

~Maria Shriver, Sunday Paper

It’s been a busy weekend and an even busier Tuesday–one of those Tuesdays that definitely feels like a Monday.

I’ve started a little notebook filled with prayers. The one above is one of my favorites. As the day winds down, I thought it’d be a perfect one to share.

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thanks again, Michael Hibdon, for letting me use another one of your pictures from the ranch. I love you.

Self Love

“I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art.” 

Madonna  

I’ve discovered a new podcast, Maria Shriver’s, Meaningful Conversations.

Don Miguel Ruiz was her guest on the episode I heard this morning. I recognized his name from the book, The Four Agreements.

By the end of this podcast I’d know Don Miguel had more to share with me.

Today’s conversation revolved around the true meaning of love. The discussion was based on another book written by Don Miguel, The Mastery of Love.

My immediate thought was, okay, this is a Valentine’s Day show. I continued to listen and was pleased when the conversation worked its way to the concept of self-love.

I realized Don Miguel had a different way of describing how and why we develop our love for self. The basic concept was the same ol’ same ol’. The attention grabbers were his word choices and metaphors. This combination unlocked another door. My gut told me to pay attention. I became aware what I’d simply accepted as truth in the past was starting to come into a much sharper focus.

The foundation I need to secure my journey to “self” continues to expand, one little brick at a time. As I learn and grow, new pathways open and my next teacher arrives. With their support I know I can journey on.

“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~

 

 

 

 

In My Neighborhood

“The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” 

Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes

So many in our world need help. We seem to go from one disaster to another. I imagine I am not the only one wondering how they can help.

What we all need to remember is it doesn’t require a disaster.

It may be as simple as helping our neighbor take out the trash or using our professional knowledge to help them understand new medications or medical equipment. We are here to help each other. If we have the ability and the knowledge to help, what a blessing we could be without leaving our neighborhood.

There is no question our neighbors appreciate our help. What continues to surprise me is how much better we feel after we give our help and support.

 Dear God, when my problems seem overwhelming, I trust you to take care of what I cannot. I choose to fix my gaze on your and trust in your mighty power. I know that nothing will happen that is outside of your knowledge or control. Teach me to find shelter in your presence, to follow you one day at a time, and take the steps that will overcome the challenges I face.  Amen.  Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking…

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

A Day at a Time

“You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.” 

Tom Hiddleston

Today two friends are facing some serious challenges. Now, these women are very strong and courageously independent. They will persevere because that is what they do.

So, instead of sitting idly by and worrying for and about them, I’ll do what I do best…

I’ll write and send them love and prayers.

In addition to that, I ask us all, myself included, to remember this:

“The key is this: Meet today’s problems with today’s strength. Don’t start tackling tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow. You do not have tomorrow’s strength yet. You simply have enough for today.” 

Max Lucado, Traveling Light: Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear

Dear God, when my problems seem overwhelming, I trust you to take care of what I cannot. I trust youth take care of what I cannot. I choose to fix my gaze on you and trust in your mighty power. I know that nothing will happen that is outside of our knowledge or control. Teach me to find shelter in your presence, to follow you one day at a time, and to take the steps that will overcome the challenges I face.  Amen.                                                            Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking…

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

 

 

 

Remember…

“My Dear Friend, 

Don’t ever allow yourself to forget how incredibly special you are, even for a single second. Without you, the world would not be as magnificent. Let yourself remember to love again, starting with you loving you.” 

Miya Yamanouchi, Embrace Your Sexual Self: A Practical Guide for Women

I rarely admit it but I DO realize when I’ve pushed myself too hard.

A never fail, serious red flag is the word “should.” Any time I use that word it always signals something is out of  balance.

The latest subtle example….

I was washing dishes yesterday. No big deal–it was a simple, easy, uncomplicated job. That was until a Pyrex baking dish slipped out of my hands. It fell maybe three inches, hitting the wall of the sink, exploding into a zillion pieces all over the kitchen and dining room. Words began to fly…all mine–all unkind…

Step into the picture, my husband.

God bless you, Michael.

He calmly took charge of the clean up while I used every phrase I could grab from my past in order to describe how inept I was–not narrowing it down to any specific event but gathering every little thing I could in order to make it an all-inclusive evaluation.

Yup.

It was not pretty.

I know many of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I took a deep breath. After some under my breath protests, I stepped aside, wisely letting Michael help me get it all put together again.

By the grace of God, I made my way back to the place I’d been many times–the little slip of land where I wash up after pushing myself to the limit–where I finally relax and allow myself to rest.

I am thankful…

Dear God, please  help me to let go of trying to be perfect. Help me to realize that I am okay as I am. I was born sacred, and I will always be sacred. Help me to remember that when I stay focused on comparing myself to others–or to some illusion of perfection–I always come up short, and that’s not honoring the gift of life you’ve given me. Help me to remember I am one of your precious children, and I am enough.  Amen.  

Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless you all.

~Peace~

Good News Day

“Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart.” 

Roy Bennett

Yesterday I learned two very important people in my life received good news from recent medical tests. As I sighed with relief, my heart filled with joy.

Something once taken for granted is now seen for its true worth–a priceless, precious, gift for us all.

Dear God, I thank you. I am so grateful that you encourage me to celebrate my life with the wonderful people you have put in my life. Thank you for the many times you have blessed my life by answering my prayers. May I never forget your amazing goodness. Amen.

Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking 

I am…

B…simply being…

May God bless you.

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Priorities

“Sometimes exhaustion is not a result of too much time spent on something, but of knowing that in its place, no time is spent on something else.” 

Joyce Rachelle

I’ve been reading about Medicare and supplemental health insurance the past two days.

My mind is full and feeling pretty dull at the moment.

In reality, I wanted to be writing…or working in the yard…or making those lemon bars…

I hung in there and I learned a lot. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more waiting for me.

I’ve reach my limit.

It is time for all that new knowledge to age a bit in my mind.

In the meantime, I’ll share another prayer by Marie Shriver. Her book, I’ve Been Thinking, has influenced me a lot this summer. It’s been great sharing it with you.

This prayer reminds me to save some time in my day to talk with God.

Dear God, may I spend time with you every day, quieting the cares and the concerns that make so much noise in my mind, heart, and spirit, so I can hear your wisdom and feel the love you’ve given me every day of my life.  Amen ~Maria Shriver~

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

 

The Messenger

But in real life things don’t go smoothly. At certain points in our lives, when we really need a clear-cut solution, the person who knocks at our door is, more likely than not, a messenger bearing bad news. It isn’t always the case, but from experience I’d say the gloomy reports far outnumber the others. The messenger touches his hand to his cap and looks apologetic, but that does nothing to improve the contents of the message. It isn’t the messenger’s fault. No good to blame him, no good to grab him by the collar and shake him. The messenger is just conscientiously doing the job his boss assigned him. And this boss? That would be none other than our old friend Reality.” 

Haruki Murakami

Yesterday my very own personal messenger stopped by to deliver a message. This message served to remind me exactly why I’ve often said reality sucks. In a matter of minutes, my world took on a slight tilt.

I needed some time to think.

If nothing else, I’m usually adept in finding ways to escape.

One this hot August day, I decided my mode of escape would be to go to an estate sale. It was not far from our house. It’d been publicized because it was at the home of a well-known retired astronaut. Those of us who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s know our space history and idolized our space heroes.

When I arrived at the sale, I’m pretty sure many waiting beside me were there just to see a place Captain Jim Lovell lived for part of his life. Hey, that was part of the reason I was there! This was confirmed by the fact many who walked out of the sale carried nothing–only the big smiles on their faces.

In hindsight, an estate sale may not have been my wisest choice for making a break from real life. Even on a good news day, I find these types of sales a stark reminder of the final days of life–not to mention it is a not so subtle reminder to get my own shit in order.

I walked through the rooms, thinking about many things. Not much caught my eye–maybe my mind was too preoccupied. As time passed I felt I’d received guidance and encouragement. Maybe it was left over energy from the miracle we call Apollo 13?

Earlier in the day I’d asked for help from my angels and spiritual guides. I asked for input in how to help my friends when they face crisis in their lives.

That help would come with conditions.

In order to help others I could no longer dodge my own old baggage. Dealing with that would not be so easy. I knew with the help I’d asked for, I’d be able to heal myself as well as help those I love.

I feel as though the frame holding my tapestry has been enlarged–the mighty weaver has many more threads to add and intertwine–I am thankful.

Dear God, when my problems seem overwhelming, I trust you to take care of what I cannot. I choose to fix my gaze on you and trust in your mighty power. I know that nothing will happen that is outside of your knowledge or control. Teach me to find shelter in your presence, to follow you one day at a time, and to take the steps that will overcome the challenges I face.  Amen. ~Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking~

I am…

B…simply being…

Have a safe and happy weekend. Know you are loved.

~Peace~ 

 

 

 

Today’s Gift

I’ve been reading so much about worthiness lately I should not have been surprised when I found this prayer by Maria Shriver in the notes I made while reading her book, I’ve Been Thinking…:

Dear God, I trust that you will meet me right where I am. Help me to make choices that are good for me and those I love. Help me to become the person I’m meant to be. Help me to say and believe that today, I am enough and I am worthy. Help me to know that each day is a gift and I can begin anew.  

Amen.

On this beautiful July day, I felt this would be the perfect thing to share.

May these words help us to trust our journey and remind us that we are enough and worthy.

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace be with you~

 

 

 

 

A New Teacher

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I found a new teacher today–by way of a new book.

I’ve Been Thinking…, by Maria Shriver.

Maria was on The Today Show this morning talking about her latest book. She described it as a book for anyone going through a transition in their lives.

Well…that sounded like a pretty good description of me. Before the morning was over, I’d ordered a sample and headed to the office.

I have to tell you, Maria had me by the end of the introduction. As I read those first few pages, the discussion felt so personal because she talked about some of the same things I’ve been saying in my own daily pages and blogs. She shared how thinking and writing helped her get “above the noise of daily life.” As I read, her story seemed to mirror my own when she stated her writing comes from a place deep in her heart and helps her to clear her mind and find peace.

Each chapter begins with a favorite quote and ends it with a prayer–similar to how I write my blog. As I noticed this, I felt as though this was a subtle Godwink of encouragement and validation for my own work.

Even though I’ve read just a small part of this book, I think I’ve found a new teacher–I’m ready.

As all the chapters do, the introduction ends with a prayer as well–a version of St. Teresa’s Prayer. I hope Maria won’t mind my sharing.

Morning Prayer

May today there be peace within
May your trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith
May you use those gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you
May you be content knowing that you are a child of God
Let this presence settle into your bones and allow your should the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love
It is there for each and every one of us.
~St. Teresa of Avila~

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

Many thanks to my friend, Judith Weitzel Wilmer, for allowing me to use her wonderful photo today. It certainly is a new way to share a glass of wine! Thanks, Judi! Love you.