Tag Archive | gratitude

Lucky You

luckyyou

Do you believe in luck?

Full Definition of luck by Merriam-Webster is:

  1. 1 a :  a force that brings good fortune or adversity

  2. b :  the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual

Curiously, I believe in luck and yet, I don’t, which is a conundrum on St. Patrick’s Day even though I have a smidgen of Irish in me.  I believe in fate.  I believe in free will.  I believe in karma.  I believe in the ability to change our ways of thinking in order to change our lives.  I believe in angelic help.

And I believe in you…and I believe in me.

What do you believe?  Have you ever sat for a moment to ponder your beliefs, to write them out and then peruse them?  Do they still stand stoically rooted in your childhood beliefs as they were downloaded to you from your past or have they changed over time, expanding the limits to an expanse of limitlessness?

Beliefs from childhood can be limiting or limitless depending on our circumstances and what is downloaded to us from our parental figures and from those whom we looked up to as children.  As we grow, we learn and expand our thinking or we can stay stuck in those beliefs that were given to us from the start.  It’s a choice to see ourselves as limited or limitless.  It’s a work in progress as we develop our mindset to raise our personal vibration in the world at large.

Perhaps it’s that old adage of seeing the glass 1/2 empty or 1/2 full or with gratitude for even having a glass.  Today in honor of feeling lucky, I’d love to hear from you.  Are you lucky?  Do you believe in luck?  What do you believe?

Lucky you, you can choose your thinking!

Shine On!

xo

 

Out of the Mouth of Alzheimer’s

outofthemouthofalzheimers

Recently I had a precious moment with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.  It came quite unexpectedly as our phone conversation was in the evening which usually brings sundowners for her which means she can become more easily confused.

But on this evening, the woman who spoke to me was a voice from my past, her voice quiet but firm, yet with a softness for which I had hungered for a long time.  My Aunt spoke with me and I sat ready listening with my heart.

At first, I thought that we would just chat, I would make her giggle and then having connected in the only way she has been able, we would say our goodbye and requisite, ‘I love you,’ at the end of the conversation.  But instead, I received a gift that we shared.

She told me that she was happy that I could understand her as it had been hard on her for a long time.  “Words don’t seem to come to me,” she explained in a resigned voice.  “And I can’t say what I want for I don’t know what I want to say.  It’s been a long time since I was able to be understood.”

I waited patiently, stunned by her admission ~ for the last few years, we haven’t been able to have this type of conversation because she simply hasn’t been able to share how she’s feeling.  Words to even express pain weren’t readily available to her, instead a grimace gave us the inkling that something was wrong.

“It’s like I can see the words, but I can’t reach them.  I get confused easily and then everything vanishes.  My brain just refuses to work like I want it to anymore.  I think that I want to say something and then the thought is gone and I just can’t remember what it was.”

I listened with my heart and felt through the phone her ability at that moment to tell me what was going on with her.  She was strengthened by sharing with me and I am ever grateful that we had that time of lucidity together for it had been a long while.

We had a few giggles as elder sisters can when we talk about our younger siblings.  We’ve always had that bond and it was strengthened for a few minutes during our conversation.  In the end, her sister was getting antsy to talk with me, so she explained that she would give the phone back to ‘the baby’ (aka baby sister) and we giggled.

She thanked me for always talking with her and for being her niece.  She told me that she was glad we had a chance to talk and that she knew we may not be able to talk like this again.  I promised to continue to try to translate for her when the words didn’t come easily again.  I could hear us smiling together as she said, “I love you.  I love you with my whole heart.  Please remember that,” and I repeated the same back to her.

She handed the phone off to her baby sister and the moment was over.  When I hung up the phone, tears continued rolling down my face for I knew, in my heart, I had just been given a precious gift which I would never forget.

There was no pity party invite when she told me what was happening with her and how aware she was at that moment in time that words, thoughts, and understanding escape her.  She didn’t ask why.  She didn’t make excuses.  She only wanted to share with me how she felt and I was there, a ready listener to receive her message.  A true moment ~ The Presents of Presence. ♥

And isn’t that what life is all about?  Being there to listen and connect with a kind, loving heartlight?

Shine On!

xo

Ringing in 2016

happy2016

May 2016 be the year all of our wishes are fulfilled.

May love, health, wealth and joy be ours.

May we make memories to hold close to our hearts.

May we be healthy in mind, heart, body and soul.

May we heal in miraculous ways.

May we reach out in kindness and be greeted in kind everyday.

May we know love and trust in the Universe.

May we travel safely.

May we keep our faith strong.

May our heartlights shine brightly.

May hope spring eternal.

May love conquer all.

May we continue to be grateful and appreciate every gift.

May we remember to look up and to search within when times are hard.

May we count blessings and not troubles.

 May we make connections through caring.

May we hold dearly the Presents of Presence.

May peace be ours to share with the world.

~~~~~~~~

 May we never forget we are perfect, whole, complete and loved.

May 2016 be your best year yet!

Shine On!

xo

Tips to Help You Cope With Holiday Estrangements

holidayestrangement

There may be times in our lives when we feel separated from others and it seems that the holidays are the hardest to bear when we are in this position.  There are no words to balm the feeling of grief and loss, not even succinct platitudes which are uttered that bear witness to the heaving sadness in our hearts.  Whether your estrangement is with the living or deceased, it is sometimes hard to put on a happy face during this otherwise joyous season.

Feeling alone doesn’t help, so I am here to walk this holiday season with you.  Take my hand.  Let’s get a plan in place to make the best holiday season that can be!  I want to say that it doesn’t matter what the cause of the estrangement is or with whom, but then I’d be lying, for each of us in this position feels the pain of estrangement in our own ways and in our own situations and my goodness, it does truly matter.

But in a general way, here are some tips that may help us all.

Decide what makes you happy, festive and in the mood to celebrate and plan it.

Be kind to everyone, (especially you) during the holidays.

Remember Ram Dass’ quote, we are all just walking each other home and as you may be finding it hard to walk home at this time, others may be as well.

Change is difficult, but it opens our lives up to fruitful empowerment.

Take some quiet time for yourself.  Meditate.  Take a bubble bath.  Nourish your soul by feeding yourself loving, peaceful moments of stillness.  Smile.  Pray.

Be the observer in your own life.  See how each and every person you meet is struggling and feel the compassion in being kind to everyone, no matter the circumstances.

Do your best to shine your heartlight.  Do what makes you happy and not for approval of the masses.  They may judge anyway.  Just continuej to be your sweet, loving self.

Get enough rest.  Drink extra water.  Do not overindulge in food or alcohol for it will not help you.

Silence is a gift you give yourself.  If you have nothing nice to say, then please don’t say it.  If someone says something nice to you, allow yourself space to walk away and not engage.

Listen with a loving heart for you may hear tidbits which explain the estrangement (if you don’t already know).  When you speak, do it with kindness and not with negativity nor anger.

If you must leave, then do so quietly without rancor.  Best to err on solitude than to have your actions gossiped over by others.

Remember the reason for the holiday season ~ to show kindness, generosity of spirit and love.

Make good memories for yourself and others by coming from a place of patience and peace.

Look up.  Ask for help from God.  Imagine yourself surrounded by white, loving light which protects you all the time, especially during trying times.

Bless the festivities.  Ask your Angels and God to be there with you as you pass through the holiday season.

Be grateful that you are here and do your best to make a difference with each and every encounter.  Let no one leave you without feeling the genuine warmth of your smile.

Remember that you have a friend in me.  Take my hand and know that you are loved.

Shine On!

xo

 

Until You’ve Been There, You Can’t Quite Understand

untilyouhavebeenthereUntil You’ve Been There,

You Can’t Quite Understand

At some point in life, we can feel misunderstood and alone as if no one truly understands what we are enduring.  It happens.  We can swirl in strive alone or we can reach out to others.  I have found through my experiences that when we endure hardships, we have a choice.  We can allow them to keep us down or we can use our knowledge to help others.  There’s nothing like the connection when we share what we are going through and find the comfort with someone who understands because they have a similar experience.

On the other hand, if you have not experienced ‘x’ (fill in the blank with whatever hardship you are currently enduring), you may find it difficult to be compassionate with a friend who just doesn’t ‘get it’ because they simply can’t imagine the magnitude of ‘x’ in your life.

Don’t despair dear friends for it happens to all of us.  We all have certain hardships in life that can drag us down, but here you can find a connection of love that endures, supports and helps to raise you up when you need comfort.  You only need to tap into the love of the universe to feel it.  Take my hand.  I understand.

Holidays can be trying times for the best of us.  Grief and loss can sour happy times if we let them.  But we have a choice to allow sadness to swallow us up and sap our energy or we can reach out and look up.  I know it’s not easy, but it is possible.  Begin to feel the festive spirit of love in your life.  You are not alone, ever.  Even when you feel completely misunderstood and alone, you are not.  Faith is a great healer.  Your inner spirit shines with a heartlight full of love when you let it.  Allow your soul to glow with love and peace.  Begin to feel the gratitude for being here in this moment.  Breathe in the source of God’s love for you.  Close your eyes and see the white light of love surrounding you.

Grief comes in waves.  Ride the peaks and valleys of grief as best you can and know that it can be a wild ride.  But know that it is a part of life’s journey.  For without grief, we would not understand the beauty of happiness and joy.

Share your experiences with others as when we connect, when compassion forges that connection, we all become empowered by the moment.  When we lift someone else up by word or deed or even companionable silence, we lift your own spirit as well, we begin to heal and we strengthen our loving heartlights to shine even brighter!

Remember you are loved.  You are cherished.  Life is a season of years with ups and downs.  We remember the good and the bad, but the choice is ours as to what we allow to take our attention.  You are wise.  You are here.  Be kind to yourself and others today for we are all enduring something.  Compassion heals, dear friends.  Shine your heartlight, connect with others and know that you are loved.

Shine On!

xo

 

Saying Goodbye To A House

house

Saying goodbye has always been hard for me.  It’s always been that way my whole life.  To let go is a right of passage and even though I’m letting go of a home which was never mine, it’s just making me sad.  I guess it’s the final part of an era in my Aunts’ lives and it’s breaking my heart.

I can’t figure out why I am so sad for honestly I am so very happy that the closing is scheduled and we have successfully gotten it into selling condition after all that we had to do.  But there’s a small part of me which can’t stop crying for the bereft feeling inside that I can’t label.

I wrote this a few weeks ago and simply couldn’t post it.  I was intensely sad to let go of an era ~ not so much for me, but for my family.  But now it’s a few weeks later and I’ve got some clarity.  Isn’t that always the way ~ get into the observer mode in your life, let a little time pass and voila, you understand all the tears, you can deal with the grief in a better way and you can let go of whatever it was you were holding onto back then.

Time heals by lessening hurts.  Although I don’t think some hurts ever truly heal or for that matter, some emptinesses never can be fully filled.  But we can move on, we can take baby steps towards healing and we can fill the emptiness with healing love.

Shockingly, I think it helps when people have Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia in some cases like this one.  They simply don’t remember the life they had a few months ago.  There doesn’t seem to be any hurt or sadness in the present moment, there is only presence, love and happiness.  Sure we’ve had times whereby my family members get confused with the past and present, but a gentle change in direction of conversations or a redirect in a kind way, helps immensely.

Shine On!

xo

Drop Your Cosmic Vending Machine Belief

dropyourcosmicvendingmachinebelief

This is a hard post for me to write today, but I think it it’s an interesting concept.  I can’t seem to find the origin of the idea that there’s a cosmic vending machine in the Universe that when we do good deeds, act politely, do what others want us to, etc., we believe that our desires/wants will be granted once we’ve paid in full.  Or for that matter that there’s any definitive price of goodness or suffering that heralds the gift of winning the lottery, getting into the college of our choice, being healed, finding a soulmate, getting that promotion or even having another person respond to us the way we believe we deserve.

It’s a false belief that was ingrained in my head from childhood and I’ve perpetuated the belief for years until it became a part of me.  I can’t explain what’s shifted this thought for me, but I can share that what I feel now is empowering in the fact that I do not stand by the cosmic vending machine expecting anymore.

Yes, I still do good deeds.  Yes, I continue to strive to be the best person I can to everyone with whom I come into contact ~ be it family, friends or strangers.  Yes, I still look for good things to happen to me and I am grateful for each and every gift from God and the Universe.  That hasn’t changed.

But what has shifted is the mindset that because I do all of these things, strive to be authentic, loving, compassionate, caring and empathetic in connecting with my fellow man in life, I deserve the good things that happen in my life.  In addition, with this shift comes the letting go of the guilt baggage that I believed that I wasn’t enough when tough times entered my life.

How’s that for a huge shift in thinking?

It goes against the norm, I know.  Perhaps you will not agree with me either and that’s ok.  I’d love to hear from you either way as I am open to all ways of thinking about this topic.  Honestly, I love to expand my thinking so please, be kind, but be honest.  Do you look to the Universal vending machine when you think you deserve that special something?  Do you lament when you’ve been a very good person and yet tragedy and disappointment seem to conspire against you?

How do you feel about this topic?

I think from a young age, we are taught to be good, respectful and to follow the rules and to not hurt others.  We are rewarded by parental figures when we act in the social norms of society.  We may even be treated when we are exceptionally behaved or get good grades and such.  I think that perpetuates the vending machine belief.  I’m not saying that we do things for a reward.  No.  Most of us do them because it feels right and good to help others, to be respectful, to be kind and loving and it raises our heartlights when we connect with others in a good way.  Most of the time, we don’t expect the cosmic vending machine to treat us when we are simply doing what is expected.

But there are times in which, we’ve been trying to be good, do good and we feel as if nothing good comes from the experience.  Instead, we get tough times, tragedy, heartache, grief and loss and we throw up our hands in frustration.

“Why me?” seems to be the popular question when this happens.  Over and over some people will perseverate over the fact that they’ve been good and yet bad things are happening.  Woe is me thinking begins to take over or the extreme of “well, then I’m not trying anymore” and a give up attitude, “What’s the use?” begins to grow.  Resentment increases and do-gooding goes out the window.

But if we could release the belief of the cosmic vending machine waiting for our good tally to be paid up in order to be given whatever it is that we are thinking we deserve because of ‘x, y and z’ then life would be different.  We would feel more empowered and free to accept whatever life experiences come our way without shame, guilt or ego.  But we’ve all heard the ‘get what you deserve’ line and I feel like it’s debunking itself when we rid ourselves of that belief.

We would be empowered and that’s a very good feeling.

Shine On!

xo

P.S.  I am not talking about God or religion with the above post.  For me, that’s an entirely different post which we can chat about another day so please don’t beat me up. ♥

 

 

Infinite Sky Poem

infinitesky

To see the world from above

is to touch a piece of Heaven,

Peace, unity, love.

United in sunlit clouds

and moonbeamed sky.

Wonderment reigns

with a quiet smile

of knowing

that in this present moment

all is well in our world.

Shine On!

xo

 *Photo and poem by The Presents of Presence

How To Embrace Change

Change is beautifully inevitable

Seasons change, people change, weather changes, day changes to night.  When we balk at change, it stunts our growth.  Many of us can flow with the changes of daylight savings time, etc with ease, but when it comes to deeper changes, more life changing changes, we stomp our feet and dig in our heels, crying ‘no fair!’ to the Universe.  But friends, it’s all for naught.  The changes that are coming, the changes that arrive, come whether we believe it’s fair or not.  It comes as no surprise that change happens in life, for otherwise we would remain stagnant and not have the opportunity to grow, to move out of our relegated zones of comfort and expand our experiences.

Change happens.

“When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change,” is a quote from Dr. Wayne Dyer and happens to be on of my favorites.  It’s helped me through many of my life experiences when I wanted to refuse to budge from my own comfort zone even though my life had changed dramatically.  The idea that I can look at change from a different view and find the good in the change even when it was hard to see has been a pivotal point in my soul’s growth.  I can tell you that it hasn’t been easy to deal with many of the changes in my life, but then I don’t think that upheavals are supposed to be easy.  Sometimes they are simply mind shattering and belief scattering ~ which allows us to pick up the broken pieces of our lives and put them back together in a different way.  We change (for the better) when we allow change to flow and not dam the flow of life.  Certainly, I’ve learned that lesson time and time again as I know you have as well.

Change heralds freedom and allows us to drop the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s that may have had us imprisioned in our own lives.  Whether it be changes in health, relationships, jobs or roles, we need to find the peace in our own minds, hearts and souls to embrace the change and go with the flow.  That doesn’t mean you are in a canoe without a paddle, it simply means that you now know that you are the paddler of your own canoe.  Sure, you can link your canoe up with another’s, but you are still in charge of your own buoyancy.

For we can sink or swim when change happens.  We can stop trying and drown in the sorrow or we can tread water until we begin to swim again.  It’s a choice.  Lessons learned by change can feel daunting, but given time and trust, we can see the gifts that come from change.  There are blessings in change.  There’s opportunity to shine your heartlight when you’ve survived what you never thought you could.  There are connections with others to be made when you share your life experiences.

I know it’s not easy, but it can be done.  I am living proof.  Everyday in every way, you choose to swim or to give up.  Keep swimming dear friends.  You can do it.  If you need a helping hand, grab your paddle and let’s flow together.

Change is inevitably beautiful.

Shine On!

xo

You Gotta Live and Let Live

liveandletlive

My Granddaddy owned a general store in a small town in South Carolina.  Because people sometimes didn’t have the money for the necessities that they needed to buy in his store, he would often trade with them instead of using currency.  He would come home with chickens or eggs, once even a goat, from the farmers who needed to buy flour etc.  The story goes that he never let anyone leave without what they needed even when they lacked money.

“You gotta live and let live,” was his motto even back then.  He has long since passed, but the refrain still sticks in my head.  I was talking with one of my cousins today and we were reminiscing about our family and the memories that we shared were priceless.  When I told him the motto above, he chuckled and said it was one of his favorite sayings from AA and he never knew why.  It was simply one that stuck in his brain.

~ Live and Let Live ~

What a lovely way to look at life, don’t you think?  Allow others to be who they are, don’t judge and just look after your own self.  Do what’s right.  Be a good person.  Be yourself.  Be kind and loving towards everyone.  Just remember you can only change yourself and you need to accept everyone else as who they are.  Be a blessing in someone else’s life.  Allow your hardships to help others and not to harden your heart.  Look up and embrace life.  Be joyful that you are here to hold someone else’s hand.  When it’s your turn to need help, embrace the kindness given to you.  Pay it forward.  Don’t hoard your lessons, but share the experiences.  We are all battling something ~ patience and understanding go far when we connect with others on our life journey.  It helps to share when you connect with understanding and embrace others in a kind, loving way.  Be grateful that you can help someone else, even in a small way.  That’s what we are all here for on this life’s journey.

Hold my hand…let’s share!

Shine On!

xo