Happy 4th of July Weekend

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To me, this is idyllic ~ 2 inviting Adirondack chairs facing the sea.  Imagine us together today.  Sipping iced tea (or something stronger perhaps?), embraced by the sunlight, enveloped in the peaceful moment, silence and conversation flowing without awkwardness, the sea air filling our lungs with its sweetness.

Ahhh…pure bliss!  May your entire weekend be as such.

Shine On!

xo

*Photo credit: FB unknown

Clap Along…Because I’m Happy

dance

Clap Along…Because I’m Happy!

In the memory care facility this week, they had dance time to the song, Happy by Pharrell Williams.  Many of the residents got up and were clapping a bit and dancing with the caretakers there.   The song is so upbeat and easy to learn that it was perfect.  Smiles were on everyone’s faces as they took a break from the day and just enjoyed their happiness!  What a gift, don’t you think?

That’s the way it is with all of our lives, not just those who are enduring Alzheimer’s and Dementia although they seem to have the secret.  It’s living in the moment for them (and for us).  It’s finding the simple joy in being alive, being able to move and connecting with others with love.  It’s the healing power of music.

I’m not saying it’s easy for sometimes it’s not.  But the joy when one lets go and just claps along as we get caught up in the moment, is a precious gift.  Certainly, it’s not one to be missed!  Take a moment today to watch Pharrell’s video below and just clap along and be happy.  Don’t you wish you were there, smiling, laughing, dancing and clapping along with them?  I certainly do!   I feel such gratitude for the special caretakers in our lives.

Shine On!

xo

Lyrics:

It might seem crazy what I’m ’bout to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air like I don’t care, baby, by the wayBecause I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to doHere comes bad news, talkin’ this and that
But give me all you’ve got, and don’t hold it back
Well, I should probably warn you, I’ll be just fine
No offense to you, don’t waste your time, here’s why…Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to doBring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down… my level’s too high…
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down, I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down… my level’s too high…
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down, I said…

Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to do

Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to do

Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down… my level is too high…
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down, I said (let me tell you now)

Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to do

Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy…
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to do

Lead With Your Heart

leadwithyourheart

Lead With Your Heart

When we lead with our hearts, we change the way we look at our own lives and at the lives of others.  We can lovingly observe the world around us with compassion, thus raising our energetic vibration and increasing our positivity.  Just this small change in how we see ourselves and those around us, makes a difference in the world.

By leading with our hearts, we inspire others to do the same.  When we band together with caring connections, we expand Universal Love which heals and embraces everyone.  We travel, arm in arm, along the yellow brick road.

We see each other’s strengths and applaud them.  We may see our weaknesses as well and together we strengthen them.  We teach, we learn, we enrich and we share.  We release what doesn’t serve us and expand what does.  With help, we drop negativity and infuse more optimism and positivity into our lives.  We find The Presents of Presence in simple steps to freedom.  We allow instead of controlling.  We bless our current situations and embrace the gratitude for all experiences that we endure.  We find the good in every situation, allowing the bad vibrations to drop away ~ we learn the lessons needed to move onward and upwards, all the while connecting with others.  We use our power for good.

We choose to lead with our hearts.  It’s a choice, dear friends.  One that we choose, moment to moment, day to day, year to year over a lifetime.  The beauty of choice is that we always have the freedom to choose again at any time.  How blessed we are to live this life!

Shine On!

xo

 

*Photo Credit SendOutCards

Follow the Yellow Brick Road With Me

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I think this is the last post with The Wizard of Oz theme, but I have to agree with Lulu (Lulu’s Musing) that our blogosphere can be seen as the yellow brick road as we all connect and search for inner/outer peace, supporting each other through the power of kindness, love, compassion and blogging!

For me, I have found loving support through blogging and I believe it raises our vibrations to connect as such on a global level.  To have ‘met’ so many loving souls at different stages in my/their lives has been inspiring to say the least.  I am so grateful for all of you.  Your friendships have enriched my life in ways that I can’t even begin to describe or even fathom.  To know that we are all here writing, sharing and supporting each other is such a gift for which I am truly grateful.

We learn from each other’s experiences.  We grow by connecting through friendship.  We share joy and sadness.  We feel the companionship of caring.  We are not alone.  We are a growing, enriching, connecting group who shine our heartlights, each different and yet the same, as we follow the yellow brick road.  Sometimes we skip and dance, sometimes we fall down, but always we help each other on the journey.

Isn’t life with all it’s trials and tribulations, joys and sorrows, just full of gifts?  That’s why I call my blog, The Presents of Presence!  This blog post is dedicated to all of you!  You are loved, appreciated and I am blessed to know you!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

*Photo credit here

My Wizard of Oz Theory

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This came to me a few nights ago as I closed my eyes to sleep and is my own theory.  Let me know what you think!

I’ve been thinking about how we are all on this journey called life.  We search for answers inside and outside of ourselves.  We connect with others along the way who help us in many ways:  teaching us lessons, supporting us and even sharing similar experiences to bond with us.  Each of us has our own unique journey and we can intersect with eachother’s journeys throughout our lifetime or only for a little while.  But I believe we each leave a distinct mark on humanity by being ourselves.  What type of mark you leave, depends on you.

I remember in The Wizard of Oz the gratitude that each character had when they joined together to travel to the Emerald City to see the All Powerful Oz, each with their own agenda.  As Dorothy travels along the yellow brick road in search of the Wizard because she wants ‘to go home’, she meets up with the Scarecrow whose deepest wish is to ‘have a brain.’  Deciding to travel together, they meet the Tin Man who ‘longs for a heart’ so they invite him to join them.  Further along, the come across the Cowardly Lion, who confesses that he’s ‘searching for courage’ and joins the quest to find the All Powerful Oz.

As you may remember, in the end, they learn that each had what they were searching for right inside of themselves.  It was not the Wizard who bestowed those qualities/characteristics in them, it was they themselves who carried them already, but hadn’t been able to ignite their gifts alone.  Together however, during their journey, the others were able to see that what each of them felt they ‘lacked’ was not lack at all.  They simply hadn’t had the chance to use their potentiality and thus had missed the gifts that they already had inside.

Dorothy carried her ‘home’ inside of her (love, security, confidence).  Scarecrow had a ‘brain’ that he used quite frequently in their travels.  Tin Man’s compassionate ‘heart’ helped him and others along the way.  Cowardly Lion ‘courageously’ to stood up to protect himself and others.

The Wizard acknowledges their quest by giving each of them an outward reminder that they have what they were searching for already.  Scarecrow receives a diploma.  Tin Man gets a testimonial heart-shaped watch and the Lion is pinned with a medal of valor for bravery.  Dorothy is offered a ride home in the Wizard’s hot-air balloon, but misses her chance.  Glinda the Good Witch lets her in on the secret of her ruby slippers and by tapping her heels together three times and repeating, ‘There’s no place like home’ arrives safely back to Kansas.

I often write about connecting with others as a way to not feel so alone and to bond, to strengthen and to open our hearts and minds to a happier life journey.  I guess the parable of The Wizard of Oz just reminds me how when we connect on life’s yellow brick road, we increase our inner lights.  We can acknowledge eachother’s strengths and remind ourselves that we are not alone.  Together we make a difference.  Connected we share experiences and strengthen ourselves and others.  We increase peace and love within the universe by shining our heart lights.

So when I sign off with Shine On, know that I am sending you a ray of my heart light and asking you to do the same wherever you are on the yellow brick road of life.  Shine so others can see you and help you along the way.  Connect your light with joy, compassion and love.  Be grateful for your gifts.  Acknowledge others’ strengths and watch how your own grow in tandem.

Shine On!

xo

 

In researching The Wizard of Oz theories, I never found anything similar, but I sure did find a lot of theories as to the significance of it here.

*Photo credit The Wizard of Oz from Classic Hollywood Central

There’s No Place Like Home

there'snoplacelikehome

“There’s no place like home” ~ Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz

With Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, many patients get confused towards the end of the day and want to go home.  It’s not necessarily to the last home they inhabited, but to their childhood home, even though they seem to mix them up in their minds.  Many times during a sundowners episode, my Aunt will want to ‘go home’ to her childhood home, believing that she needs to feed her Mama and take care of her siblings even though most of them have passed away.  She was a caregiver until the disease took her mind so I believe because the role is so ingrained in her, she returns to that role time and time again.  Then again, many times she believes she is home in the place where she now resides.  It is confusing to us all how her mind works and reworks reality as time goes on.

When it is explained with kindness that most of her family have passed away, she is saddened by the news, explaining that ‘she didn’t know,’ even though she has been repeatedly told this information.  Many times distraction helps to alleviate her need to ‘go home’ without having to sadden her unnecessarily about her loved ones being already passed away even though she was present during that time in her life when it happened.  Intentionally we use distraction instead of reality in order to ease her mind and worry.  Living in her present is more beneficial to her than repeatedly hurting her with sad news that will not stay in her head.

Weather, barometric pressure changes and moon phases all play a part in the severity of sundowners.  Loved ones with sundowners get agitated easily at dusk and the need to go with the flow of their thinking is crucial.  Lucky for us, my Aunt has a mouth full of ‘sweet teeth’ so chocolate kisses help immensely when she’s not in the mood to put on her pjs or go to bed.  A few delectable chocolate kisses on a pillow make for sweet dreams and a calmer patient when she’s irritable.  Patience is key as well since rushing a patient simply doesn’t serve the situation since we are on ‘their time’ and not our own.

Do you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s and Dementia?  Do they confuse home as well?  Do they return to their long-term childhood memories easier than the short-term of the last 10+ years?

For me, home is where the heart is and I wish yours to be safe, happy and filled with love.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

*Photo Credit from PrettyCleverFilms

Magical Deer Meeting

deer

In my neighborhood, I have enjoyed the privilege to observe many wild animals ~ chipmunks, bunnies, birds and deer.  From time to time, I have encountered a herd of deer crossing the roads near my house or grazing by a small pond.  A few years ago, I was blessed to come upon a newborn fawn and her mother in my neighbor’s yard as I was bringing in their garbage cans.  I stood quite still, speaking softly as I watched the fawn nurse.  Both mother and fawn knew I was there, but continued on with the moment, watching me from afar.  The fawn stayed in my neighbor’s yard for a few weeks as she grew, hidden in the ivy that covered a part of their property.

Once last year, I walked out my front door to see a big buck standing majestically in the early morning in my neighbor’s yard.  He stood there looking at me for about 5 minutes before he turned to walk away, apparently done with our eye contact and my conversation.  I can still recall the moment as it felt so special to me.

But last night, I went into my backyard to check on the koi in our pond.  As it was such a beautiful night, I was staring at the sky when I saw a glimpse of movement.  A small deer had entered our backyard.  I stood still, whispering to BAngel on my phone so as not to startle the deer.  She (or he) wandered through the backyard, oblivious to my presence which I found interesting as I thought she would bolt when she saw me there.  Instead, she headed right towards me and stopped about 6 steps from me.  It was dusk, but I watched as she listened to my voice, cocking her head and raising her ears intently.  I was wishing that I had a small carrot in my hand or something to offer her.  We stayed that way for about 5 minutes although it seemed like an eternity and then she wandered to the side of the property to nibble on some leaves.  A few minutes later, she turned and sauntered back to where she had entered the yard, only to reemerge again and walk the same path near me.  I kept wondering if she would drink from our small pond, but she didn’t.  At one point she began walking towards the side yard where we have some tasty rose bushes, but then suddenly, it was as if she was startled by something, she turned and ran back to where she came.

What a gift to be so close to her, to have her walk right towards me and stop to simply be with me.  It was exciting and it made my heart sing to feel that connection with her.  I looked up deer spirit totem animal here in case you are interested in reading more about the significance of my encounter.

Have you ever had an encounter like this one with a deer or another wild animal?  Please share!

Shine On!

xo