Recharging

“Each wave that rolls onto the shore must release back to the ocean. You are the same. Each wave of action you take must release back to the peace within you. Stress is what happens when you resist this natural process. Everyone needs breaks. Denying this necessity does not remove it. Let yourself go. Realize that, sometimes, the best thing to do is absolutely nothing.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

Today became a day to linger over coffee, watch wildlife, and take it easy.

I had some great visitors.

The little brown-eyed doe I wrote about a few weeks ago is still visiting us. Her front leg has stabilized and she is putting some weight on it as she makes her way across the fields. She keeps up with the rest of her herd and runs like nothing ever happened to her. She is an amazing example of determination.

The traditional bird house had two different birds putting a bid in for it today. A little wren and a titmouse had a rather serious discussion about who had first rights on the new little abode. The last time I checked it appeared the very vocal little wren had won.

Two yellow finches, a male and female, found the thistle seed. Made me wonder if they would find the little Hobbit bird house.

It was a restful, peace-filled day with Mother Nature entertaining me and recharging my spirit. I am blessed and grateful.

“Authenticity is not the search for uniqueness. An oak tree does not try to become an oak tree. A cactus does not try to become a cactus. All living things simply reach for nourishment – they reach for sun, reach for water, reach their roots deeper into the ground. By being open to receiving what they need, they become unique effortlessly. So let yourself fall open. Forget about crafting yourself a unique personality. Just allow. Allow in love. Allow pain. Allow desire. Allow learning. Allow healing. Allow frustration. Allow uncertainty. Allow yourself to experience what you must experience and learn what you need to learn, so that your uniqueness can emerge organically.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

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~

 

 

Resting

“I make no secret of the fact that I would rather lie on a sofa than sweep beneath it.” 

Shirley Conran

Yesterday became a rest day.

I was exhausted. The early morning heat took its toll quickly as I worked in the front yard. Those weeds were a lot stronger than I’d anticipated. By the time I was done, my body told me in no uncertain terms she needed some time to refuel.

I listened.

“Each wave that rolls onto the shore must release back to the ocean. You are the same. Each wave of action you take must release back to the peace within you. Stress is what happens when you resist this natural process. Everyone needs breaks. Denying this necessity does not remove it. Let yourself go. Realize that, sometimes, the best thing to do is absolutely nothing.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

Self-Compassion

“Awakening self-compassion is often the greatest challenge people face on the spiritual path.” 

Tara Brach, True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

I’ve noticed a new word being used for taking care of yourself. Self-care. I like it which means I probably over use it–the word–NOT the practice.

I’ve been searching for a word or phrase that describes what I’ve been so focused on these past few years. I found that phrase today–I am on my spiritual path in search of self.

I like that as well.

In my family it was stressed you never put yourself first. You took care of everyone else before yourself. Since I was a kid when this lesson was first taught, I was expected to be even more subservient.

This lesson is one of those childhood tapes that has played every single day and always comes in loud and clear. You never questioned it. It was just the way it was. Even talking about in now makes me uncomfortable.

Buried within those lesson notes is the word “should.” I’ve become very aware of the times I use that specific word. It falls into my sentence structure so naturally I don’t notice until I read it out loud. As I read my voice triggers an immediate shame response when I say the word, should.  Nearly every circumstance revolves around something I didn’t do but had the opportunity to do so. It’s about a choice I made to give myself a rest which automatically means I was neglecting the needs of someone else.

Oh, those old lessons are hard to unlearn.

I understand it won’t happen over night. Like so many things I’ve discovered on this path, it is another part of this amazing journey I’m on that is a work in progress.

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” 

Louise L. Hay, You Can Heal Your Life

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

 

 

Self-Care

“The day you start giving yourself priority and catering to your own needs first, that day everything will fall in 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

In my midwest Catholic family, I was raised to put others first–that was the way it was–to do otherwise was selfish.

Taking care of myself–self-care–is a relatively new concept for me. I struggle with it most days–I think many of us do. It’s an entirely new thought process for me so I should not expect it to be comfortable immediately.

I’m learning to be patient with myself–I’m more aware and beginning to believe the simple fact is this–I am worthy–as are YOU.

“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

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

It Was a Day For Me

“If you celebrate your differentness, the world will, too. It believes exactly what you tell it—through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.”
― Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty

Today became an unplanned self-care day.

It was so good and I am so thankful.

Of course, now I’m having a tad bit of a guilt attack for not getting much crossed off my to-do list. Not to worry–I found this great quote as a way to prepare for my day tomorrow.

“You get up in the morning; it’s the start of yet another day in your daily life. However, if you want to make it interesting, exciting, extract the best out of it and make those 24 hours go a long way then make-believe that it’s your last day! Make every minute, every second, nay, every heartbeat count. Do things you’ve hesitated doing before. Go on, apologize to that dear friend with whom you haven’t spoken for quite some time now. Express your true feelings to your sweetheart. Give a hug to your children or grandchildren and tell them how much you love them. Wear that beautiful dress you’ve been saving for an occasion. Eat from your best crockery, drink from those crystal glasses that you’ve been maintaining for some grand party. What’s more precious than your own life? YOU are THAT important person you’ve been waiting for so long. Throw yourself a party, pamper your own self, tickle those taste buds and have a blast.

We keep waiting for that right occasion to take out that pretty dress, little realizing that we may not fit into it after some time. We keep maintaining those crystal and bone china ware little realizing that they can break. Use them often; use them for and on your own self because the most important person is YOU.”
― Latika Teotia

I am…

B…simply being…

Get out there and spread wonder and experience joy.

~Peace~

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Time for Me

“Solitude is where I place my chaos to rest and awaken my inner peace.”
― Nikki Rowe

I had this entire day to myself.

I know I need my alone time. It is important for my peace of mind and sense of self. Even after just a few hours, I am beginning to feel back in control of my world, my mind more centered, and the weight of that damn extra baggage I lug around with me everywhere has lightened up a little.

It was an excellent day. There was no agenda. I just had to show up and let things roll.

“I lied and said I was busy.
I was busy;
but not in a way most people understand.

I was busy taking deeper breaths.
I was busy silencing irrational thoughts.
I was busy calming a racing heart.
I was busy telling myself I am okay.

Sometimes, this is my busy –
and I will not apologize for it.”
― Brittin Oakman

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

 

 

The Gift of Laughter

Re-posting from December, 2017, because it is just such a great memory. Love you Doug and Lana Flemmer.

The church is near, but the road is icy. The bar is far, but we will walk carefully.  

Russian Proverb.

Oh, the holidays are so stressful. Honestly, I am feeling some stress this year because I have no stress–zip–nothing–nada.

Let me remind you all that it is okay–really okay–to say no. You do not have to accept every invitation or attend every gathering or buy every single person who ever entered your life a gift. It’s okay to say no and it’s okay to say no without some excuse. You, my friend, need time to unwind and relax. You cannot give to others without taking some time to recharge your own batteries.

For all my recently retired friends, know that your retirement is not the time for you to run errands or take care of all your still working family and friends. No guilt trips allowed. No excuses necessary. Now it is finally time to take care of YOU.

“I lied and said I was busy.
I was busy;
but not in a way most people understand.

I was busy taking deeper breaths.
I was busy silencing irrational thoughts.
I was busy calming a racing heart.
I was busy telling myself I am okay.

Sometimes, this is my busy –
and I will not apologize for it.”
Brittin Oakman

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

Love and peace, Y’all.