Apr 29

Way too serious…

20151210_063535

Scrabble Anyone?

What do you do for fun? How many times does someone ask that question? Have we lost sight of our need to relax and enjoy simple pleasures in life? In this day and age we are surrounded with the ability to gather whatever information we desire. We can be entertained or distracted by a variety of ways that never existed in the past.

With so many things available at our fingertips, are we missing opportunities to be with others face to face? Old fashion games were very valuable for entertainment and created many memories. Are they out-dated, never to return? How do we fill our basic needs for love and belonging as well as love in this generation of technology?

Many are busy texting or posting on Facebook, and appear to have many friends, yet suffer from extreme isolation and loneliness. It is a true gift to be able to spend time, face to face with others. It has been said, “If you can hang out with someone without talking, that is saying a whole lot!” It takes time to learn how to  be comfortable with others, whether having fun or being silent. It also takes effort.

Are we willing to risk sharing thoughts and emotions with the hope of building friendships and enjoying life? Do we always have to think about the challenges of the world we live in, or can we have time to relax and watch the sun go down? Is there an invisible sign that states we must be way too serious? Have we  forgot we are created to enjoy life? It is never to late to begin as we learn how to balance our responsibilities and take time to appreciate life’s beauty.

Apr 28

Making New Relationships

20160408_114349“Simple Beauty Grows All Around Us”

There are days when I do not think I can continue on doing what I am doing. Then I take time to capture in thought or with a camera, simple beauty, as these flowers proudly reveal as they grow outside a local post office.

I believe we all have those moments in time when everything seems to get turned upside down and chaos is everywhere. What do we do when we find ourselves in situations that are out of our control? How do we get help when everything seems so overwhelming? Many times in life we may withdraw from others due to circumstances, obligations, restrictions, or fear.

Then a time comes when we really need the love and support of others, even if we don’t know how to ask for help. If we were too busy to develop relationships in the past, or were not allowed to connect with others for a a variety of reasons, it is not too late to begin building new relationships now.

Courage isn’t having the strength to go on, it is going on when you don’t have strength. (Unknown)

It takes courage to face our fears and be vulnerable to share our thoughts, and even our hearts with others. Hopefully we will use wisdom and reach out to create new friendships and long lasting relationships. It is important to be trustworthy, and find trustworthy men and women who are willing to take risks and share their life experiences. This is a gift to all those willing to walk along side us in this journey we call life.

 

Apr 26

Being Yourself Without Permission

495“Each Individual & Unique Flower Is Living It’s Own Life”

How am I not myself? What a great question to ask ourselves. Are we bold enough to really think about this? For those who are willing to do so, they can find out it is awesome to actually contemplate the answers. What is the wisdom of others who say so flippantly, “Just be yourself”? How can we not be ourselves? Being authentic, unique and being true to ourselves is a great goal. Not everyone desires or is willing to do so. Living outside of the box (arena) that other people think we should live in can be painful.

Why do we think it is important to gain the approval of others, so much so, that we strive to try to be something other than what we really are? Whether short and sweet, or long and drawn out, we must determine what really matters in the long run?

Taking time to reflect on the meaning of life one may recognize the futility of striving to become something or someone else, especially if it is only to climb to the top to try to be successful. Is success defined in a career that may provide abundance with money in the bank? What about being rich in relationships, good health, and spirituality?

Not judging others along this journey, more questions come to the surface. At the end of the day we all may hope to arrive where we belong. Once there, what will we find? Does it all come back to the simple fact we should enjoy life and celebrate who we are created to be? Let us embrace those we are fortunate to have in our lives each day and encourage them as they become more authentic as well.

Apr 25

Does Anybody Care I’m Hurting?

615“One Place of Refuge When the Our World Falls Apart”

Many times we may wonder, “Does anybody care what we are going through”? We have a secret world others are not aware of and we may guard it closely to protect ourselves from any prying eyes. Yet we also hope secretly that there is at least one who is aware of our pain and might ask if we are OK? Is the spirit of the good Samaritan still alive that passed by and acted upon that which others ignored? He was one who saw another human being suffering and reached out to help.

Do we think that we are exempt from the humbling experience of pain, suffering and need? Do we categorize those who are supposedly less fortunate to a realm of purposeful failure, therefore deserving of their fate? What happens to our minds when we find ourselves in those same circumstances, all without our consent or wrong doing?

Depression, anxiety, fear, anger, and other negative emotions run the gamete, coming into play when we find ourselves in circumstances beyond our control. They are so painful and we can not comprehend it, nor know how to handle it. What do we do when we  do not know what to do?

These are times when we need others who are willing to be supportive, love us unconditionally, and are dependable to give us good counsel. They have no hidden agendas, are not manipulative, and have our best interest at heart. When we find ourselves in a place of vulnerability, it is truly a blessing to have others in our live who can stand beside us. They share a word of encouragement, a hug, or will be a silent companion willing to sit and be still in a painful environment. These are the times when we can give thanks for those who are gifts sharing life and love no matter what circumstances we are facing.

Apr 24

Now It’s Time

 

142“Taking time to relax and sketch outdoors is awesome”

How many times have we heard someone say it is time to leave,  go, stop, or to wait? How many times have we asked the simple question,”What time is it”? Is it time to get back to work, study, or time to eat?

There are some who say time is an illusion so it doesn’t matter what time it is. There are others who seem to live in or struggle with a type of strange time warp. It is funny how so many are amazed at how time seems to fly asking, :”Where did the time go”?

Many talk about living in the ‘Now’. What time is that? We also may be told we should practice living in the present. Again, the present is right now, whatever time that is. We have created a system that is set up with a standard to measure time. We accepted these standards and acknowledge time by seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years.

It is fascinating to realize that different locations on earth have different time zones, each influencing the time of day. Keeping that in mind, when we begin to stress about something being late, or worry there’s not enough time to finish our project, or complete our goals, perhaps we could re-frame our thinking. It is important to be responsible and take care of business in a timely manner. Yet there will always be more to do, more to say, more to see and more to learn.

Balancing work and play, let’s prioritize our time and purposely tell others how important they are to us. For in the big scheme of things, at the end of the day, love and relationships that we have been built over time are most valuable.

Apr 23

What Can I Say Now?

236 Beauty Can Be Comforting

 

What do we say when we do not know what to say? There are times when there are no words to describe the circumstances we are dealing with. How do we express the emotions we feel, or the pain we are in? Perhaps the reason we are given tears is to be able to express the deepest emotions that words can not convey.

When we are given the opportunity to be comforted by another during a time of trauma or loss, what can we say to describe those intimate moments that only those involved will ever know? Perhaps we will never be able to explain or talk about those experiences, although they were life changing. Some things in life result in circumstances that bring us to the point of reality we never dreamed possible. At those times we are getting as real in life as it ever gets.

How do we recover from painful times of grief, loss, or a break up? How do we deal with losing a relationship with someone we were involved with for many years? Knowing we can not change history, nor can we change circumstances, being able to come to acceptance is the key to peace. I choose to understand this truth. We cannot change history, therefore we need to grieve our loss and embrace the knowledge we have gained from each experience and move forward. .

This is not an easy concept, yet a very powerful one for those who accept it. We continue to learn as time passes day by day. How we view life now will determine how we view life in the future.

Apr 20

Time to Start Clean Up

 

1-3-11 692Some Things Are Outgrown and Lose Their Usefulness

There are times in life when we may look around and see our collection of treasures have lost their luster. During spring cleaning, preparation for a yard sale, or other reasons we may decide it is time to simplify. Although the word seems simple enough, it is a difficult task for multiple reasons.

As a mental health professional I understand the challenges we face dealing with things. When it is time to let go of something that once brought us pleasure it can be very difficult. Due to the fact it is possible to attach memories to inanimate objects, knowingly or unknowingly, a variety of reactions can arise. Fear of forgetting a loved one, a positive experience, or even a portion of a previous identity can cause anxiety to arise.

Everything is for a season, and seasons change. Perhaps one played sports, had trophies and celebrated with team members their success. As time passed the games were no longer played and the trophies began to gather dust. How many trophies do we have stashed away in life? They can take on different forms yet still represent something important that happened in the past.

The unwillingness to release material things, although they are no longer of any use or value may not be understood by family or friends. It is a process that takes time to let go emotionally as well as physically. As we press forward in our daily lives, with the help and support of others, we can simplify and enjoy the beauty of life that surrounds us .

My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants. (Pastor Joseph Brotherton)

 

 

Apr 19

Don’t Deny the Giver

221A Tree Sharing Life and Beauty For All To Behold

A dear friend of mine said, “Don’t deny the giver the joy of giving.” Perhaps we have been taught it is better to give than receive. Therefore many may have a difficulty being on the receiving end. What happens when we insist we are the ones that give but never allow others the joy of giving to us? Fear, pride, distrust, as well as many other emotions can cause us to reject the blessings offered to us. In addition, being able to receive is a humbling experience, one that is difficult for many to experience.

I heard a man once say he was a servant at heart and derives joy for being able to help others. He said, “It is the way I express my life by serving others.” His desire is to give assistance by sharing a part of his heart beats and breath while giving to or ministering to others. By being able to do so gives him great joy.

To many that is a foreign concept, for they may be selfish, self-centered, or too greedy to think about the needs of others. Then there are those who have been faithfully giving of themselves, never allowing others to pour into their lives gifts of love and service in return. In addition, it is difficult to find those who are willing to trust others, especially when it comes to accepting the gift of a true giver. How beautiful it is to find those who are sincere, have no agenda, no strings attached, who are displaying a form of love that cannot be described in words. May we learn from their example.

Apr 17

Surprises in Life

Hope Springs Eternal

Good job! Isn’t it wonderful when we hear those words? At times we may forget to acknowledge when we actually do something well. It is important to remind ourselves we are created with limitations as humans,  therefore when we accomplish that which we desire it is noteworthy. Working toward our goals, even when we can only take very small steps will still move us closer to the finish line.

Hope is a the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings a tune without the words – and never stops at all.   Emily Dickinson

Embrace the day, it is a gift to each of us to enjoy and share.

 

 

Apr 16

From the Heart

JUNE #2 08 045Determined to live life while I am alive may sound strange, therefore I decided to write from my heart. After facing the loss of many loved ones over the past few years I realize I too am here for a limited time offer. Knowing this fact is true, I must ask myself how do I pursue my dreams, desires, and fantasies?

Is it OK to follow our passions, perhaps throwing caution to the wind, when we know there are so many things that need to be done; some of which others may call being responsible? Or can we actually say it would be irresponsible ‘not’ to follow our true feelings and hearts desires?

I do not believe this life is a dress rehearsal so I challenge myself to live without regrets to the fullest. We know that as this day passes it will never return. Ending at midnight, everything that was accomplished is now already history. It is an amazing gift to be able to see each morning, knowing it brings new opportunities to express emotions, communicating with others, or enjoying silent reflections of the heart. Wherever we are, whatever we are facing, let us seek out creative ways to share ourselves with others.  Let’s celebrate this experience and acknowledge our awesome gift of life.