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The Present

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Today’s Daily Prompt of PRESENT was a no-brainer for me to write about because hello! it’s the name of my blog!  The Presents of Presence.

It’s been a HUGE PRESENT to write to you, to make connections with you and to get to know all of you!  I love our friendships and I feel grateful and honored to know you all!

Because if we look around, precious moments are presents and they are everywhere.  But they can be fleeting when we are not paying attention.  You know what I mean?  When you turn around and wonder, what in the world did I do yesterday?  Or how did this past week fly by?

We have a limited time on this earth dear friends.  Connections can be fleeting or lifelong.  Either way, we must take each and every special opportunity to savor them.

May you have a blessed day and continue to shine your heartlights!

Shine On!

xo

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Two Weeks

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Last night, I watched the movie Two Weeks with Sally Field.  While I hadn’t ever heard of the movie before now, I found out that it’s been out since 2007 on DVD as it’s one of those Indie films which I had somehow missed.

For those of us who have aging parents and relatives, this movie poignantly touched me in many ways.  The complexity of family relationships is evident here along with the reality that we all face when we pass away and when we come face to face with grief when a loved one passes away (especially a mom).

Honestly, it’s not a movie I would feel compelled to watch again as I have with others.  But I tend to watch movies about relationships and people dealing with real-life situations.  Grief seems to bring out the stark reality in relationships and this one does just that.  If you’ve endured a similar situation, this may hit too close to home.  But I think it does just that, in a good way.  It showcases the conflicted emotions that we endure when we are faced with the death of a loved one.

It was reviewed as a dramedy which I think encompasses Two Weeks well.  It’s not all laughter nor tears.  It’s the enmeshment of life’s reality.  If you’re interested in seeing more, please click on the image below and it will take you to Amazon.

Have you ever seen it?  I would love to hear from you if you have as I’d like to know what you thought of the movie.  Please let me know.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

We Are Here To Serve

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I’ve often wondered, why me? when life gets hard.  I think it’s a normal response when we feel overwhelmed by hard life experiences.  We’ve all had them, but to different extents and different types of experiences.  Dysfunctional relationships.  Cancer.  Financial problems.  Death of a loved one.  Divorce.  Alzheimer’s.  Childhood hurts.  Depression.  Family relationships gone awry.  Illness.  Just to name a few, I am sure we share some of the same hurdles, but maybe in different ways.

Life experiences teach us what we couldn’t have learned otherwise.  We can’t help others if we haven’t endured similar issues in our own lives.  What’s that quote?  Walk a mile in my shoes?  Maybe I haven’t walked in your particular shoes, but perhaps my similar experience is enough to connect with you and to help you on this life journey.

I am grateful for all that I have endured in my lifetime.  When we can see the gratitude in the hardships, we can change how we feel about them.  We increase our faith and our love quotient.  We rise above what we could have let hold us back from living a full life.

We are all here to help each other as we connect, we bond and we share our experiences.  There’s nothing better than someone else who knows what you are going through (by similar experience) who reaches out to share the experience with you as a friend, a guiding light to help you find peace within while offering a hand to hold as you heal.

The Why Me?  was answered recently by my soul who gave the response that if I hadn’t endured these experiences, I would be unable to connect so purely with others who may be in the trenches.  Without first-hand knowledge, I would only be able to sympathize and not empathize and put myself in similar shoes.  Does that make sense to you?

What I know for sure (thanks to Oprah for the phrase) is that we are here to serve one another in this lifetime.  To share experiences, to open our hearts with compassion and love and to shine our heartlights together!

You are not alone…take my hand and let’s…

Shine On!

xo

Puzzled

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I’m often puzzled by people who are too busy or are unable to connect with others.  I understand being caught up in the rat race of life with work, responsibilities, paying bills, family, etc., but there’s something precious in reaching out to others to connect that to me feels as necessary as breathing air.  I can’t be the only one who feels this way, can I?

While I have much compassion for those who live guardedly because to feel and to be vulnerable is sometimes hard, it makes me sad when I hear that that’s how some people feel most of the time.  To speak in one’s own truth and to feel openly takes courage.  Obviously, there’s some trepidation and balance needed in order to do it safely, but the precious give and take between people is priceless.  I look around at some people who are so concerned with how things look that they miss the importance of what could be if they were to be honest with themselves and others instead of hiding behind the mask they’ve chosen to show the world at large.  There’s that soft underbelly of emotional connection that they hide deep within themselves for fear of being hurt by someone or something.

I’ve been hurt in my life.  Betrayed by those whom I trusted.  I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone else, but by enduring those situations, they taught me more about people and life than I ever could have learned otherwise.  If truth be known, I am grateful for the experiences, even though they were so hard.  Because by enduring heartbreak, I learned forgiveness, compassion, empathy, and how to love others and myself more deeply.  Life lessons that couldn’t otherwise be learned except by experience.

We are here to experience life in its fullest form so to hide away doesn’t expose us to the amazing experiences that can be had by being present in our lives.  It’s like living in a cave and never seeing the light of day nor the moon at night.  We stifle ourselves when we hide behind the mask and live with the dull roar of fear which limits us.  When we blossom and open to the light, we shine our heartlights knowing there’s a danger of having them dimmed, but we can still see the meaning in the experience as we grow.  We blossom.  We deepen the life experience.  By sharing our stories, we bond with one another.  We flourish.  We help one another through the trials and tribulations of life.  We experience life from a deeper part of our souls when we are open to living to our fullest.

There is much evil in the world, I know.  I’m not such a fool to not realize that there are dangers lurking and I’m careful.  But I’m not going to let evil make me afraid of living nor sharing my heartlight with you for fear of what could happen.

For many of you, I know you think similarly for I read your blogs and your comments and there’s a team mentality here.  We reach out to connect, we enjoy each other’s virtual company and we bond.  We hold hands, we support each other and we shine our heartlights unabashedly.

Keep up the great work dear friends!  Let’s make a movement together to show others how we can live to our fullest extent.  Let’s help them when life situations break us down in order to let more light in to heal us.  None of us are alone if that’s what we choose.

Be the piece of the puzzle that joins us and not divides us.

Shine On!

xo

 

When’s Your Last Day?

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Do you think that your last day here on Earth is pre-determined?

Or do you think it’s a matter of circumstances?

Would you want to pre-know your death date (or not) if you could?

I know I may be opening up a big discussion here, but it’s a topic that has come to my attention recently through a few conversations with friends and I thought I’d ask you too.  (To my knowledge, there are no imminent deaths coming to my family/friends, so it’s just a question.)

But honestly, I think it’s a sad, but important topic to cover, to share our thoughts and to expand our thinking from others’ experiences.  Life is fragile and as my blog states, we only have the present moment for sure.  Not that I don’t plan for the future, but nobody knows for sure what’s on the horizon.  I’m not being morbid here honestly.  I don’t want to add fear to anyone’s thoughts.  I guess my point is a reiteration of being grateful for the past and being grateful for the present moment at all times.  Plan for the future, but don’t put off holding your loved ones close, spending time with them and telling them in real life, whether in person, via email, or sending a card, how you feel.

Because frankly, who doesn’t love hearing that we are appreciated and loved?

So back to the topic at hand!  What do you think of when you envision your last day?  Or do you even think about it?  I think about mine.  I think cancer changed my views on life, so I have thought about it.  I believe that we may have a pre-determined last day, but I’m open to listening to your thoughts on the subject.  For me, a pre-determined last day means I’m free to live my life without measure, completely in the moment, sharing love easily and without fear, but with the knowing that we never know our last day or that of our loved ones for sure.  With that in mind, we need to be the best, most loving souls we can be today and everyday.  It helps me to consistently choose connections, love, kindness and understanding instead of the lower vibrations.  It allows me the freedom to shine my heartlight with sparkling enthusiasm.

What about you?  If you feel inclined, please share your thoughts!

Shine On!

xo

 

Animal House Party

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2:30am on last night’s moonlit night.  Snow is still on the ground, but it’s a warmer evening.  I’m nestled in my oversized winter coat, mittens and hat pulled over my ears, seated on a lawn chair in the shadows by the house.  The house light is on, but my eyes have adjusted and I can clearly see the backyard’s open field and the trees that line the back and side yard.  I’m waiting, but my eyes are getting heavy.

3am  I must have fallen asleep.  I awake with a start because I hear a rustling sound from the treeline as my eyes adjust again to night vision.  Who on earth is that?

Out of the shadows emerges a party of epic proportions!  It’s a parade of animals, big and small, which seems to include families and friends that come traipsing through the trees onto my lawn.

Much to my surprise, a big group of black bears lumber into the yard.  There’s a pretty lady bear with a portable keyboard, two hippy looking boy bears with electric guitars and one baby bear who heads over to use my garbage cans as his own personal drum set.  Oh how exciting!  There will be music tonight!  I have a big smile on my face as I watch unseen from the shadows.

Soon enough, the biggest black bear gets everyone’s attention and the party begins.  A cacophony of wildlife cheering breaks the silence as the bear band begins to play.  Big Foot, as I hear he’s named, begins to croon Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night and immediately the yard is full of dancers.  I search the couples and immediately spy two snakes undulating and doing their form of the rumba.  Mark was right!  There are deer dancing with big bucks, fawns and does, swaying to the music.  There are some Canadian geese dancing as well.  In the air above, the hawks are circling in time to the music.  On the ground nearby, I see some mice scurrying by, completely unaware of my presence because they are late to the party.  Whew!  Two black cats saunter over to dance, their tails entwined romantically.  There are plenty of animals who aren’t dancing, but are just standing around chatting away.  I can hear them as clearly as if they were speaking English to me instead of their native sounds.  It’s so much fun sitting here watching the scene as it unfolds!  I wish someone besides the moon were here with me to witness this!

As the younger ones get more excited, they call out for faster dances and Big Foot and his family band oblige.  A ruckus breaks out in the far corner by the trees.  There’s a lot of honking and I squint to be able to see what’s happening, but I can’t tell from this angle.  Maybe it’s the geese playing pool?

All of a sudden, I feel a heavy weight on me and down plops a big stork onto my lap!

I’m sorry little lady, but I’m bushed after dancing with Miz Heron and you’ve got the only seat in the house.  His crutch clattered to the ground.

You’re not afraid of me Sir?

Nope.  Not me.  You think you’re over here hiding don’t you?  That none of us saw you in your little lawn chair in the shadows?  He began to laugh uproariously.

I..I…I just wanted to see what was going on out here while I’m sleeping.  After that snowfall  the other day, I saw so many paw prints that I just had to come out tonight to see who was partying in my backyard!

Oh that’s ok Missy.  We don’t mind a bit.  Glad to see some life in this house finally.  You know your house was empty for quite awhile.

Yes, I did know that.  So you’ve been partying here for a long time?

Well, we have a fiesta once a season, but we especially like the snow, so we decided to host the Snow Ball twice this month because tonight is so warm.

Oh, I see.  I guess I picked the right night.

You certainly did, girlie.  He cupped a wing around his beak and bellowed out into the night.  Hey you geese, play nicely!  I hear you honking over there.  No cheating!

From the far darkest corner of the yard came a response:  Yes Sir, Mr. Stork!  It was just a little scuffle, but we’re ok.  Big Goose was trying to set up his shot and Clover the bunny tried to hop over the 8 ball and messed up our game.  It’s ok now.  We’ve put it all back to rights.

Ok, then play on and don’t let me hear you all honking so loudly anymore.  You’ll wake the neighbors over there! 

Mr. Stork turned back to me, leaned over to grab his crutch and got up.  I immediately felt so much lighter.

Now Missy, it’ll be sunup soon, so the party is winding down.  Nice to have met you.  I hope you enjoyed our show.

The music had stopped while I was so engrossed in the conversation with Mr. Stork.  I hadn’t realized it, but all the animals were now nearby and staring at me.  As I looked from face to face, I felt so blessed.  Each one was smiling at me.

Thanks for letting me attend your Snow Ball fiesta! 

Mr. Stork spoke for the group:  We are happy to make you a part of our family.

You are welcome here any time.  Thanks for letting me crash your party!

Next time, we will put a note on the porch to let you know when the party is again.  Bring your dancing shoes and you and I will boogie down!

Laughing, I grinned and said, I would love it!  Thanks everyone!  Safe home! 

As I turned to walk back to the house, I was grinning from ear to ear.  Laughing to myself, I thought, Nobody but Mark will believe this tale, but I will tell it on the blog tomorrow!  Hmmmm…..How did Mark know about the party???

Shine On!

xo

 

Winsome Winter

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Icicles! Icicles! Icicles!

In addition to the massive snowfall, the gusty winds and the freezing cold, the house has developed icicles!  These are the biggest ones I’ve ever seen!  What a winsome winter we’re having here!  Thanks Mother Nature!

In the photos, you probably can’t see that there are some which are even taller than me (because they end behind the banister on the stairway), but I think they are beautiful.  When the sun was shining on them and they were glistening, they were magnificent.  Unfortunately the photos I took don’t do them justice.

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Snowfall and morning moon with a snow drift in the bottom forefront! Farm house across the road.

The temperatures with wind chills factored in are reaching – 5 to – 20 which is mighty cold for Jersey.  But we are cozy in the house, so that’s all that counts.  We had some snow drifts that were about 3 feet high in places, so they weren’t shoveled.  But the driveway is clear, thanks to a few snowblowers and some back breaking shoveling.  Thank God, all is well.

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A little Caturday surprise before the tree is removed.

How are you doing in your area?  Snow?  Cold?  Windy?  Sunny?  Warm?  I hope that whatever your weather, you are nestled all snug in your home like our kitty Tigger.  As always, I wish you a lovely Saturday, filled with blessings, goodness and with a heartlight that shines brilliantly!

Shine On!

xo