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~

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~

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

 

 

Awareness Meets Self

“What if you spent some alone time every morning? Call it prayer. Call it planning. Call it centering. I call it a powerful way to begin the day.” 

Steve Goodier

I’ve become aware I’ve missed my early morning hours.

It was those predawn moments when I’d write my gratitudes, read, and reach out to loved ones.

My soul needs me to find that time.

I’ve prepared by bringing out my journal and making my first reading selections for 2020. My year of awareness taught me unless I have everything in place, I will lose precious time making minute decisions.

Tomorrow will be the beginning of putting self care first.

I like it.

“Self-love is not the process of ignoring things, paying attention to fewer flaws or forcing yourself to look away from the parts of you that you perceive as ugly or unwanted. Self-love is the process of expanding your awareness, of seeing those flaws and imperfections alongside the incredible potential of the universe flowing within you, alongside the eternal truth of life flowing within your veins in each second, alongside the flickers of creativity and opportunity present within each moment of your existence. Like this, the imperfections persist, but only as lovable quirks, like a bad doorknob on the front door of a cottage in paradise, like a few thorns on a beautiful rose, like a cloud in a sunset. Like this, what was once unwanted becomes essential, memorable, humbling.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

2020

“Maybe sometimes we should just sit, and in the sitting understand that life speaks in stillness and therefore on occasion we would be wise to join it there.” 

Craig D. Lounsbrough

I’ve stepped away from my desk these past few weeks.

Part of this time was filled with year end appointments and procedures. It surprised me how each event took its toll, both mentally and physically. The time remaining I declared  “my time.”

I rested, read, and began the search for my word for 2020.

My word was actually pretty obvious once I was still and listened. My word is “self.”

I wasn’t comfortable with this word, questioning and feeling it was a very selfish word choice. After a lot of internal debating, I realized the source of all the questions and creating such uneasiness.It should not have surprised me–I’d been listening to all those old critical voices and judges I spent most of my life believing.

As I became aware (my 2019 word) where the uncertainty came from, I knew I’d found the best word for me.

As I began the second day of the new year, I knew I was ready to sit, write, and share.

“You don’t need to wait for someone else to notice your talents before nourishing them. You don’t need others to accept you to feel accepted. You don’t need to wait. You can begin, at any moment, to work on noticing, nourishing, and accepting yourself. You can work on being a better friend to your reflection. You can start listening to yourself like you wish other people would. You can become curious about who you are. You can begin to learn the language of your mind and body so that you can decode it, understand it, speak it. You can work on understanding yourself instead of always trying to make yourself into someone else.” 

Vironika Tugaleva, The Art of Talking to Yourself

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

I’ve Been Busy

“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. 

~Peace~

 

 

Mountain Time

“The greatest gift of life on the mountain is time. Time to think or not think, read or not read, scribble or not scribble — to sleep and cook and walk in the woods, to sit and stare at the shapes of the hills. I produce nothing but words; I consumer nothing but food, a little propane, a little firewood. By being utterly useless in the calculations of the culture at large I become useful, at last, to myself.” 

Philip Connors, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009

This is my 28th day in the mountains, sitting beside the Arkansas River, soaking up the magic of my surroundings.

I am humbled, blessed, and grateful.

“The mountain has left me feeling renewed, more content and positive than I’ve been for weeks, as if something has been given back after a long absence, as if my eyes have opened once again. For this time at least, I’ve let myself be rooted in the unshakable sanity of the senses, spared my mind the burden of too much thinking, turned myself outward to experience the world and inward to savor the pleasures it has given me.” 

Richard Nelson, The Island Within

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

 

Serenity

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

~ G.K. Chesterton

I had today all to myself. It was a wonderful self-care day.

A friend suggested I write about serenity. After thinking I remembered the Serenity Prayer. I’d not read this version before so thought I’d share.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world As it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right If I surrender to His Will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life And supremely happy with Him Forever and ever in the next. Amen. 

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Thank you, Kimberlee Salimeno, for sharing your beautiful photo with me. I love you. 

Happy Friday

“Its always difficult to keep Fridays confined within themselves..they tend to spill over..” 

Parag Tipnis

When I saw this picture I could feel the coolness and hear the silence. What a wonderful imagine to share on this very hot Friday afternoon.

Stay safe and hydrated this weekend, my friends. Take care of yourselves and check on each other.

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thanks, Glynis Walker Morse, for sharing Sherrie’s garden with us. I love you.