Lighten Up

You have a unique gift to offer this world. Be true to yourself, be kind to yourself, read and learn about everything that interests you and keep away from people who bring you down. When you treat yourself kindly and respect the uniqueness of those around you, you will be giving this world an amazing gift… YOU!” 

Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

It’s been great hearing from other first borns since I posted my story yesterday. We certainly share many of the traits I mentioned as well as a lot of guilt. We do take charge and set very high expectations for ourselves. Perfectionism is a hard taskmaster and failure is not an option. Being kind to ourselves is foreign to us and something we have to work hard to learn.

It’s going to take time. With a little patience and help from each other, I think we can learn how to live a more balanced life and “lighten-up.”

May Rabbi Levy’s prayer help us all.

A Prayer When We Are Too Hard on Ourselves  

Teach me how to love myself, God. I am so critical of myself. I set such high standards for myself. I accept shortcomings in others, but I am so unforgiving of myself. Help me, God. Teach me how to enjoy my life. Remind me to be kind to myself. Show me how to embrace the person I am. Lead me to appreciate all the miracles that surround me each day. Soften my heart, God; open my eyes. Fill me with the capacity to treasure my life. Thank You, God, for creating me as I am. Amen.

Levy, Naomi. Talking to God: Personal Prayers for Times of Joy, Sadness, Struggle, and Celebration 

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

 

Caring For Yourself

CARING FOR YOURSELF 

Be Yourself– Truthfully 

Accept Yourself– Gracefully 

Value Yourself– Joyfully 

Forgive Yourself– Completely 

Treat Yourself– Generously 

Bless Yourself– Abundantly 

Trust Yourself– Confidently 

Love Yourself– Wholeheartedly 

Empower Yourself– Prayerfully 

Give Yourself– Enthusiastically 

Express Yourself– Radiantly 

TAKE CARE OF YOU!!

~Brad Boyd  

I have met some of the most amazing people through Facebook.

One such amazing person is Terri Boyd Lucher. She is a suicide survivor and someone I now have the pleasure of chatting with on a fairly regular basis.

Our “friendship” began when I sent a message asking to use the picture I’m reusing in today’s story. She graciously gave her permission and shared more about her story.

All I can say is her guardian angels were definitely beside her for some time during her recovery. I am thankful to have the opportunity to call her my friend and thankful she continues to not just live but thrive in all she does. God bless you, Terri, and many thanks to your brother as well.

Between the two of you, my work today is beautifully and easily completed.

Just goes to show you how gifts find their way to you when you least expect them.

“I find that the more willing I am to be grateful for the small things in life, the bigger stuff just seems to show up from unexpected sources, and I am constantly looking forward to each day with all the surprises that keep coming my way!” ~ Louise L. Hay

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

 

The Summer of Fudge

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” 

Gautama Buddha, Sayings Of Buddha

We rushed about this morning so we could go to a large estate sale. The wait to get inside to view all the treasures was long and the worthiness of this investment of time was certainly debated among all of us who waited.

For me, it was worth every minute. I was able to walk on elegant rugs as I meandered through all the custom furniture, bronze artwork, and then stand beside the restored 1880’s Steinway Parlor Piano. My inner child was thrilled.

My greatest find was a surprise. In the kitchen was a bookshelf hidden inside a built-in cabinet. As I walked over the red and white cover of this cookbook caught my eye. The cookbook was in great condition with a note attached telling me it was an intact Better Homes and Garden’s Cookbook, First Edition, Third Printing, Copyright 1953.

This was the same cookbook my mom had–the cookbook I used the summer I call, “the summer of fudge.” All those memories unfolded before me as I turned and looked at page 135. On the left hand column was Chocolate Fudge, the right column White Taffy. That entire summer I’d fine tuned my candy skills with that one fudge recipe–it met all my requirements–it was super easy and I knew we’d always have all the ingredients.

As I put this book on my own kitchen shelf, I remembered those summer afternoons. It was a very unstable and unpredictable time in my life. Actually seeing page 135 again reminded me how making candy was the one constant in my roller coaster life. Without a doubt, as I measured and stirred, I subconsciously understood I was in control of that little space in time. I knew as long as I followed directions and stayed patient, things would be all right.

“I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.” 

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

Breathe

“The road to happiness starts with a deep breath and an awareness of the many blessings tied to that single breath.” 

Richelle E. Goodrich, Making Wishes

Breathe in.

I took in many deep breaths today, fiddling here and there as I worried about this and that.

I eventually realized I had to stop the busyness in order to become aware of my thoughts. My gut told me I was not on a positive path. I needed to stand back and take a few deep breaths. As I held each breath, I gave myself the time to evaluate my concerns. As I exhaled, I acknowledged each worry, prayed for guidance, and released each and every nagging thought out to the Universe.

Worries are always going to sneak in. They come in all kinds of diguises. Today reminded me to breathe–follow this simple process instead of allowing my thoughts to grow into monsters.

As the sunlight fades outside my office, I appreciate re-learning this very valuable lesson. I understand and KNOW I have the power to make my life easy or difficult. It is up to me.

“You have peace,” the old woman said, “when you make it with yourself.” 

Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

I am…

B…simply being…

May God bless us all.

~Peace~

My thanks to my friend, Kathy Adams Brezinski, for allowing me to use her wonderful photo today. I am blessed and I am so thankful.

A Morning Prayer

Re-sharing from a few months ago because I ran into some of the same challenges today. 

I fell behind on my to-do list today.

I’ve learned there is no way to push or rush my thoughts into words.

Maybe I have Spring Fever? It certainly feels like Spring is in the air today!

Today I’ll share a Morning Prayer from Rabbi Levy. This will give me some time to gather and sort through my thoughts.

I’ve been reading a lot of material on memoir writing these past few weeks. It is interesting and encouraging to read other writers have experienced some of the same types of angst I’ve encountered lately.

Yes, my friends, I’m being assigned another round of lessons on patience, self-awareness, and perseverance.

A Morning Prayer

There are so many things I take for granted. May I not ignore them today. Just for today, help me, God, to remember that my life is a gift, that my health is a blessing, that this new day is filled with awesome potential, that I have the capacity to bring something wholly new and unique and good into this world. Just for today, help me, God, to remember to be kind and patient to the people who love me, and to those who work with me too. Teach me to see all the beauty that I so often ignore, and to listen to the silent longing of my own soul. Just for today, help me, God, to remember You. Let this be a good day, God, full of joy and love. Amen.

Levy, Naomi. Talking to God: Personal Prayers for Times of Joy, Sadness, Struggle, and Celebration (pp. 23-24). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

Thanks once again to Kimberly Salimeno for letting me borrow one of her great photos. Love you, my friend.      

 

 

 

Compromising vs Settling

“You need to wake up and realize that you deserve more, and there is more waiting for you out there. Stop settling; it only tarnishes and corrodes your soul.”
― Lebo Grand

As I hung up the phone, I noticed my husband, watching me.

“What was that all about?” he asked.

“Nothing, really, the “bug service” is not sending Ronnie to do our service today. They are sending Stephen.”

“Really.”

“Yes.”

Silence.

Hmmm.

I waited, knowing there was something more he wanted to say.

“Why do you do that, settle for something you don’t want?”

Hmmm.

I felt my skin bristle; my head began making small back and forth motions as I squared my shoulders. I slowly inhaled, standing just a little straighter, a little taller.

“No, I did not settle for anything, I compromised.”

Hmmm.

The more I thought about that little verbal exchange, the more I questioned my behavior. Had I been just settling for things? Just what was the difference between settling and compromising?

I pulled up my desktop New Oxford Dictionary, typed in the word compromise:

accept standards that are lower than is desirable: we were not prepared to compromise on safety.
• [with object] weaken (a reputation or principle) by accepting standards that are lower than is desirable: commercial pressures could compromise safety.  

I typed in the word settle:

• [no object] (settle for) accept or agree to (something that one considers to be less than satisfactory): it was too cold for champagne so they settled for a cup of tea.

Regardless of which word used, my gut told me I had not been true to myself lately. In an attempt to make and keep the peace, I’d been accepting some things that were not making me feel good about myself.

One little comment has made me very aware of how I allow things to unfold around me. By being “nice” I was sacrificing my self-worth. I needed to get a grip on a few things. I need to care for myself and my gentle spirit.

Awareness comes from some indirect means sometimes. I am grateful for that gift and I am very thankful I was paying attention.

“The day you start giving yourself priority and catering to your own needs first, that day everything will fall into place. Most of us were taught (or believed) that taking care of your own needs first is being selfish. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Unless you look after yourself first, how can you look after others? It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that if you want to help others, you have to take care of your own needs first. No, you are not being selfish by doing that. Charity begins at home- in this case with your own self. You can feed others provided you have enough to eat. More often than not, you are misused if you are nice. You have to compromise many a time to suit needs of others. That way you are seconding yourself to someone else. Stop doing that. You have a right to your needs and a reasonable chance to fulfill them. Demarcate clear boundaries, draw very clear unambiguous lines and stick to them; your personal space should not be violated. If in your relationships you find that all your efforts are concentrated on pleasing others then it is high time you unshackled and freed yourself from their vice-like grip or else you will sink into quicksand with no chance of survival. If people don’t like the new you and decide to walk out, don’t stop them, they were never meant to be in your circle. Good riddance. Believe me, you will feel relieved because a very heavy load would have been lifted from your chest. Surround yourself with like-minded people who care for you, respect your individuality, see your value and don’t cross the line. They are people you should stick to- because they are genuine.”
― Latika Teotia

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

I am so fortunate to have an amazing photographer in my circle of Facebook friends. Thank you, Mr. Chuck Hackenmiller, for allowing me to use your wonderful photo, Corralling the Sun, as part of my blog. You can see many of Mr. Hackenmiller beautiful pictures on the Facebook page, I grew up in Iowa. Please note, no re-use of this photo without permission from Chuck Hackenmiller, Boone, Iowa

 

 

 

A Morning Prayer

I fell behind on my to-do list today.

I’ve learned there is no way to push or rush my thoughts into words.

Maybe I have Spring Fever? It certainly feels like Spring is in the air today!

Today I’ll share a Morning Prayer from Rabbi Levy. This will give me some time to gather and sort through my thoughts.

I’ve been reading a lot of material on memoir writing these past few weeks. It is interesting and encouraging to read other writers have experienced some of the same types of angst I’ve encountered lately.

Yes, my friends, I’m being assigned another round of lessons on patience, self-awareness, and perseverance.

A Morning Prayer

There are so many things I take for granted. May I not ignore them today. Just for today, help me, God, to remember that my life is a gift, that my health is a blessing, that this new day is filled with awesome potential, that I have the capacity to bring something wholly new and unique and good into this world. Just for today, help me, God, to remember to be kind and patient to the people who love me, and to those who work with me too. Teach me to see all the beauty that I so often ignore, and to listen to the silent longing of my own soul. Just for today, help me, God, to remember You. Let this be a good day, God, full of joy and love. Amen.

Levy, Naomi. Talking to God: Personal Prayers for Times of Joy, Sadness, Struggle, and Celebration (pp. 23-24). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

Thanks once again to Kimberly Salimeno for letting me borrow one of her great photos. Love you, my friend.      

 

 

 

In Search Of…

“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.”
― Heath L. Buckmaster, Box of Hair: A Fairy Tale

Have you ever had the feeling there is something you need to do but you have no idea what that thing is or how to go about finding it?

That feeling has been a very strong force for me since I began sharing my stories.

As I’ve searched, read, and eventually written, I’ve come upon other quotes or articles that tickle areas in my memory where things are sitting slightly off-kilter. Those thoughts or memories have been jostled around and rearranged over the years. Like an unsteady atom, their imbalance creates a restlessness in me. I’m learning I need order in my life, so search for ways to stabilize myself. I need that internal balance so I can safely navigate my journey of self-discovery.

I am excited to share it–even with that twinge of fear elbowing its way into the arena. Often, like it did today, trailing closely behind those fearful thoughts comes a surprising bit of encouragement. Today, that quick nod came by way of this quote:

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
― C. JoyBell C. 

Nice to get a confirmation slip letting me know I’m on the right course.

“I feel like, God expects me to be human. I feel like, God likes me just the way I am: broken and empty and bruised. I feel like, God doesn’t look at me and wish that I were something else, because He likes me just this way. I feel like, God doesn’t want me to close my eyes and pray for Him to make me holy or for Him to make me pure; because He made me human. I feel like, God already knows I’m human…it is I who needs to learn that.”
― C. JoyBell C.

I am…

B…simply being…

May God bless us all.

Peace

“Peace comes from within.  Do not seek it without.”
― Gautama Buddha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try a Little Kindness

“MR. BROWNE’S SEPTEMBER PRECEPT:
WHEN GIVEN THE CHOICE BETWEEN BEING
RIGHT OR BEING KIND, CHOOSE KIND.”
R.J. Palacio, Wonder

It has taken me many years to come to this place where I can admit to my own limitations. I am learning to ask and grow. I now have a place where I can let my guard down and confess I really do not know everything.

I’d begun to tire of the charade. I was tired of pretending.

I began to see others, people I respected and trusted, speak up when they did not know or understand something. They stepped forward and asked questions in order to learn.

As I quietly observed their honest examples, I started asking my own questions.

It took a long time to have enough trust in myself to risk that–simply asking questions.

With each risk taken and each question asked, my belief in myself–my real self–began to grow. With each successful step forward, I grew.

With this growth, I found myself on a new path.  I came to a point–a crossroads–where I knew I needed to forgive myself in order to continue my forward progress. I needed to believe that I had done the best I could in my past with the knowledge I had at that time.

That was a big assignment. It is difficult for me to forgive and forget. When it came to forgiving myself, I struggled. I still so.

I began to see that until I forgave myself for my past mistakes, I would not be able to move on.

I’m working on staying aware, having an open mind, and moving forward. It took me decades to get to where I am. I need to stay patient, take those baby steps, and continue moving on.

“The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ — all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself — that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness — that I myself am the enemy who must be loved — what then? As a rule, the Christian’s attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long-suffering; we say to the brother within us “Raca,” and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves.”
― C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflection

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

Peace