Tag Archive | spirit

Dad’s Flag Day

FLAG1Today is Flag Day for those in the United States.  June 14th, marks the celebration of the birthday of our flag ~ a reminder of the love of freedom, liberty and justice for all that our country stands for and that our flag embodies ~ it is a day to proudly fly the American Flag.

And for me, it is a reminder of my Dad, who proudly flew the American Flag from our porch’s flagpole.  It was my Dad who showed me how to roll the flag and put her away.  He carefully never let her touch the ground and when she was battered by wind and the elements he carefully folded her and disposed of her properly.

It’s funny because I’ve never really remembered how reverently he treated the flag until now ~ and it brings to mind that at his funeral, we were blessed to have the help of the Navy to make it a military funeral which he would have loved.  At his request, he was even ‘piped over the side’ by a friend ~ just one of the few nuances to his service that those who attended experienced.

Which brings me to the Daily Prompt as I think this moment of recall counts ~ today I realized how strongly he felt towards the flag and the USA.  I never really thought about it until now, but as clear as day, I can still see his daily ritual of putting the flag out in the morning and taking her in at night and if she were left out, she had to have the porch light illuminating her.  I’d bet wherever he is now, he’s the one in charge of the flag!

Father’s Day looms this weekend and the first anniversary of his death comes shortly afterwards.  It’s been a long year without him ~ full of struggles, tears and conflicting emotions.  In fact, it simply doesn’t seem like he’s dead sometimes because I can trick myself into thinking he’s on one of his biking trips.  But then of course, when I have to continue to take care of everything for his business and my parents’ affairs, I know he’s gone.

I didn’t have an easy relationship with my Dad.  It was fraught with turmoil.  But I’d really appreciate seeing him again standing on the porch unfurling the flag proudly today.  He was very proud of his country, proud to serve her and proud to be a Navy man.

Long May Her Flag Wave!

Shine On!

xo

Daily Prompt: In Good Faith

Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/daily-prompt-faith/

Change your thinking!

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~ ~ It’s not about what happens.  It’s about perspective.  I may not be able to change what takes place, but I can always choose to change my thinking.  ~ ~ Michelle Sedas

The above quote tugged at me today and I knew I had to share it.  I thought it may be as helpful to you as I found it to be for me.  For you see, I’ve been stretching out of my comfort zone for a second week, eating the frog shall we say (don’t know what that means?  CLICK HERE!)  and trying to continue Inner Hotshot University Have you been trying to stretch a bit too this week?

I know it’s not easy to choose to stretch out of your comfort zone, but I will tell you that it’s well worth it!  Everyday I continue to try to say yes to opportunity which was my commitment last week.  I’ve also tried to allow others to be themselves and to just work on myself.  In other words, I’m trying to be my own cheerleader and not look to others to praise me.  Does this happen to you?  It’s a bad habit that I”m breaking, but it’s a work in progress ~ kind of like me!

So what have you been working on?  Do you need any help?  Want a teammate?  I’m ready to give you  a hand, applaud you with my own 2 hands and lend you a wing until you remember how to fly with your own two wings!

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

When the going gets tough, the tough get going and change their perspective!

Come along with me!  The best in life is meant to be!

Shine On!

xo

Inner Hotshot University!

72460666_Welcome to IHU!

Inner Hotshot University!

Happy Friday Y’All!  Are you revved up and ready to ROAR?  Now don’t hide from me, I’m not asking you to cure cancer today.  I”m just asking you to think of one thing that you can do to stretch out of your comfort zone a bit.  Just one little baby step or even a big huge step if you’re ready!  This is your life journey ~ I’m just here to help you take that step.

Anyone can participate ~ and please do!  Pass it along!  This is just for fun!

RULES:

1.  Commit to something outside your comfort zone.

2.  Comment below to tell us you’re participating!

3.  Share your commitment for the week

(or if you don’t want to share, just tell us that you’re participating)!

4.  Next Friday, we’ll compare notes on how it went!

5.  Check FB The Presents of Presence Click here!  for inspirational posts during the week.

6.  Know that we are rooting for you!  You’ve got peeps!

So I’ll start ~ it’s only fair, right?  Ok, so my stretch out of my comfort zone for this week is that:

I’m going to say YES to opportunities that come my way! 

Now let’s be clear here, I won’t do anything illegal, immoral or against my will (nor should you)!  But I’ve gotten comfy just doing what I want to and what I feel like doing which isn’t always a good thing.  For example, I’ve wanted to try Zumba and I have a friend who’s invited me to take a class with her numerous times, but something always comes up.  This past week, I awoke with a migraine on Wednesday and had to cancel.  Although I really wanted to go, I think that sometimes my mind plays tricks with me and gave me a migraine because I feared looking foolish in front of a class because I would be new and wouldn’t know the steps.  In my fear of feeling foolish, I missed out on an opportunity to try something new, to giggle a bit, to get a bit of oxygen pumping with a little cardio and to enjoy time with my friend!  Does this make sense to you?  Have you self-sabotaged before and not even realized it?   Am I the only one out there?

Because the younger me, wouldn’t have worried about looking foolish, I would have just jumped at the chance to dance and burn calories!  I liked that Inner Hotshot who wasn’t afraid to try new things!  So I’m going to go for it this week!

So what’s your Inner Hotshot going to do this week? 

Remember you can either commit to doing one thing like trying something new (like a Zumba class) and/or you can commit to a change in your life (like saying Yes to opportunity)!   Make sure it’s something that stretches you out of your comfort zone and puts a little fire in your belly!  Since this is the first week, just enjoy the change in thinking.  Don’t worry about what you choose ~ we don’t care here ~ we just want you to stretch your wings a bit ~ put a little Spring in your step!

~ Get back that Inner Hotshot ~

Shine On!

xo

P.S.  I just saw the Daily Prompt and thought I’d include it as it’s a bit similar ~ with all of your Presents of Presence peeps by your side cyberly, you are guaranteed not to fail!  So now what are you going to do?

Daily Prompt: Too Big To Fail

Tell us about something you would attempt if you were guaranteed not to fail (and tell us why you haven’t tried it yet).

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/daily-prompt-too-big-to-fail/


Back to Your ‘Self’

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Hi Everyone!  I’m reblogging a post from Ellie at Invisible Sun today.  In order to help each of us find our Inner Hotshot, I think we need to find our way back to ourselves and Ellie’s post is just the ticket to help you start!  Please enjoy and make sure you click on her link so that you can subscribe to her blog!  Thanks Ellie! ♥

The Art of Finding Your Way Back to Your ‘Self’

http://blog.myinvisiblesun.com/the-ar-of-finding-your-way-back-to-your-self/

While getting settled in our new home, I stumbled across a bin of memorabelia I’ve been lugging around since I left my parent’s home when I was 18.  Stuff like yearbooks, awards, pictures, letters passed in the hallway, report cards, and a few projects I did along the way were tightly packed in this time capsule.

Eventually I came across a report that I did in 4th grade on the State of New Jersey, and I immediately noticed many qualities about my work.  My cursive handwriting was impeccable, stylized and artistic.  (Ahh, the lost art of cursive writing!!)  The report had beautiful presentation, with lots of colorful, detailed drawings of various images relating to New Jersey.

Now that I have kids of my own, I could clearly see that this was impressive work for a 4th grader, and my teacher thought so too as he gave me 4 A’s on the project.   After viewing my work from the perspective of an older, wiser version of myself, what immediately came to mind was my mom telling me just a couple of years back that my elementary school had mentioned to her on several occassions that I was very artistic.  I then began to retrace the years in my mind, and realized there were so many clues along the way to validate my talents, interests and passions but for whatever reason they were not pursued.

Why didn’t I continue on a path to pursue my passion for art and presentation?  Where did I get off track?  Why did no one, myself included, pick up on the recurrence of these clues?  Instead, I went on to study Finance in college, feeling unfulfilled by a career in Financial Services.

Interestingly, since being at home raising my kids, I have ventured into several creative endeavors.  I opened a small boutique for the home in Reading, Massachusetts, and I launched Invisible Sun in November of 2011.  After having a chance to explore creative opportunities, returning to a career in Financial Services is so far off my radar at this point.

Finding this report and launching myself back to a younger version of myself shifted my perspective of myself today and how I should guide myself (career-wise) into the future.  It was an absolute validation that my passion for art, creativity and presentation was present very early in my life.

The source of our creative expression, our purpose and our passions resides in the essence of who we are, and it is my belief that the essence of who we are is in its purest form when we are children, before external factors influence our behavior, gel our limiting beliefs, taking us farther and farther away from who we are.  The exercise of making a reconnection with an earlier version of yourself can truly short-circuit you to the essence of who you are.

One way I stay connected is by keeping a picture of myself as a little girl on my desk.

ellielittlegirl

As you try to reconnect with the essence of who you are to, ask youself some questions:

  • What did I love to do as a kid?
  • What was my favorite subject in school?
  • Where did my interests gravitate?
  • Did something come along that mesmerized me?
  • What did people compliment me for?
  • Who were my friends?
  • What attracted me to those friends?
  • What what did my friends and I love to do?

As you look at your answers, ask yourself if you still feel a strong connection to yourself as a child or is there a disconnect?  If there is a disconnect, try to pinpoint the stage of your life you may have gotten off track.

If you’ve been lugging around bins of memorabilia like me, dig them out!  Reacquaint yourself with an earlier version of yourself.  It’s like coming home, and once you open up the ‘vault,’ you’ll find yourself peeling back more layers every day.  I liken the process to loosening up the soil before planting a new plant.  Sure, it takes time and energy to unearth the essence of who we are, but it’s a interesting journey worth taking.

Another great way to help unearth your ‘self’ is by listening to music you listened to as a kid because it will bring many great memories to the surface that will offer you more clues!  I’m always amazed by how I can still recall lyrics to songs I haven’t heard in decades.

Let me know how it’s going for you, and if you have any other tips about how you’ve made a reconnection with your ‘self,’ leave a comment!

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Hopefully you’ve found something that clicks for you!

Tomorrow’s the day we begin to stretch out of our comfort zones!

Do you know what your baby step is?

Shine On!

xo

Let’s Fire Up Your Life!

40241_Anything that is worth having is worth working for.

Good morning!  I’m reblogging a post from Open Your Journey ~ Create the life you’ll love to live ~ as I think it’s an excellent way for us to kick off IHU (Inner Hotshot University) and hopefully get you moving and grooving!  Start thinking about what you want to try to do as your personal stretch out of your comfort zone goal for the week.  It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be something that makes you take that baby step!  I think we’ll start on Friday so start thinking what you’re going to try to do!  Remember we’re all here together to connect and to help each other succeed!  I believe in you and I know we can do it together!

I’m thinking that we can also connect via my FB The Presents of Presence Click here!  There we could communicate on a more immediate basis!  What do you think?  When you need a bit of applause, we could all gather there as well on a daily basis!  Stop by when you get a chance!  I post inspirational tidbits and giggles to brighten the day!

I hope that you get fired up below and hop on over to Bobbi’s blog when you get a moment!  She’s a life coach and has some great ideas ~ and if you’re interested, she can be your life coach as well!

Let’s Find Your Old Spark To Fire-Up Your Life!

“Fire-Up, you say?” with tears at the ready edge of the thought of adding anything to this never-ending, overstuffed schedule called life. I can hear you protesting from the depth of your unfulfilled soul, “But, I’m exhausted! I do everything for everybody, all day, every day, except for me, and there’s simply no time left over!”

Well, I hear you, and I truly empathize. I was that woman scattered in every direction, every day like a hamster in his little pretend merry-go-round wheel. In fact, sometimes, on a low day, I just wanted to jump off that merry-go-round because it just wasn’t that merry anymore, and I sadly resented feeling locked into it. I loved my family, and I loved my career, and I loved all the friends and neighbors, and causes, etc., but my plate was simply too full. And I’m not saying I really, really wanted to run away (though I occasionally dreamt about being on a desert island quite happily), but I couldn’t see a way to make the exhausting repetition and expectations stop. I didn’t know how to carve out room for me. My energy was drained and there was no time for that, so then came the colds…basically this was my “dis-ease” time in my life.

So, having been there, I feel for you, and I feel for so many people I know right now. Friends I once knew as happy and productive people, now have lives completely driven by the daily saucer-juggling that fills and evaporates their every day. The only sense of calm they have is their feeling of “not-too-far behind” as they collapse on their pillows, night after exhausting night. And now that they have lost their spark, they have lost their joy. Happiness, for them now, is the occasional vacation, but with just a different to-do list and almost not worth it.

Okay, so remember back when you felt alive, energized by new ideas and creativity, and you felt free to try new things and embrace life? Try hard, now, you know there was a time! Maybe you have to go as far back when you were a teenager, but I know you can remember having a zest for life somewhere in your history. That’s what you want back. You want a fire in your belly…sparked by a passion…a reason to feel alive and participating…making a difference…connecting with what you’re here to embrace. And the path to that old spark is becoming re-acquainted with your worthiness. My guess is you forgot you deserve to be giving your excitement and gifts to the world. You only need to go inside of you to your deepest and safest sanctuary to remember your inner voice. Listen. It says you are here for a reason. This lifetime isn’t a practice, so you can and should be exploring, creating, teaching, learning, giving, growing, and making a difference in the wholeness of your existence! All in little steps starting with believing you could…believing you should…believing you can…believing you will…and then reaching for what inspires you to go for your joy.

How about you take a baby step today? Start with a belief that you deserve to have a life that includes your happiness, too. (Okay, so maybe that’s a giant step for you? I don’t know, but, you have to admit, it’s not unrealistic.) Add to that a little brainstorming and some creative planning with someone who believes in you and can keep you on your “I-deserve-it” track. And voila! Your spark will be back! Just imagine that…I mean really, really imagine yourself…energized, fired-up, and happy! Will it be worth it? You better believe it! So why are you waiting?

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Shine On!

xo

Monday Morning’s Inspiration for Your Life

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How to Make a Beautiful Life
Love yourself.
Make peace with who you are,
And where you are,
At this moment in time.
Listen to your heart.
If you can’t hear what it’s saying
In this noisy world,
Make time for yourself.
Enjoy your own company.
Let your mind wander among the stars.
Try.
Take chances.
Make mistakes.
Life can be messy
And confusing at times,
But it’s also full of surprises.
The next rock in your path
Might be a stepping stone.
Be happy.
When you don’t have what you want,
Want what you have.
Make do
That’s a well-kept secret of contentment.
There aren’t any shortcuts to tomorrow.
You have to make your own way.
To know where you are going
Is only part of it.
You need to know where you’ve been, too.
And if you ever get lost, don’t worry.
The people who love you will find you.
Count on it.
Life isn’t days and years.
It’s what you do with time
And with all the goodness and grace
That’s inside you.
Make a Beautiful life…
The kind of life you deserve.
~unknown
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I found the poem above this morning and felt that it must be shared with you.
May you make yourself a beautiful life,
the kind you deserve.
I know you can do it…hold my hand.
We’ll do it together!
Shine On!
xo

Your Mind: Friend or Foe

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Recently I’ve been chatting with a friend and it seems that many of us are realizing that we want more in our lives than what we currently have.  I’m not talking of more money or things, although financial freedom is always helpful.  What I’m talking about is getting back to the fire of our younger selves ~ do you know what I’m talking about?  That gal or guy that you used to be before the burdens of family, work, and responsibilities took hold of your life!

Am I making any sense to you?  Am I making any sense to me?

You see, I understand what my friend was talking about for I have a younger, less-fearful, more trusting self of youth that I long for ~ a part of me who reveled in fearlessly pursuing her passion and not only thrived but excelled!  That girl didn’t worry about what others thought or if she was too old or if it wouldn’t work.  Failure wasn’t a road block, it was a stepping stone to turn over, take the lesson and move on!  It was fun to work because work was fun ~ because I was pursuing my passion!  Sure there were days when I didn’t enjoy it a lot, but for the most part, I loved what I did!

Then for me, life got in the way, or better said, cancer got in my way and it’s been in the background, occasionally rearing its ugly head at the most inopportune times in life.  You’d think I’d get used to it, but I don’t think you ever get used to having had cancer.  You create a new normal where you try to embrace life, squeeze the happiness out of every moment, grateful that you are here with your loved ones for we never know what tomorrow brings.  As survivors of illness, tragedy and life, we learn how precious each and every moment is ~ so gratitude becomes as common for us as breathing!

But back to your mind!  It’s time to open the cage which has trapped your mind into the should be’s, the oughta’s and unlock the past so that we can let fly that hotshot self of youth!  No matter that you are older now ~ that inner hotshot lurks just below the surface.  Do you know it?  Do you remember her/him?  Are you ready to add a little spice to your life?  To enjoy your life again?  So, I’m looking to you ~

How do you do it?

Shine On!

xo

Escape!

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Sunlight dancing on the water

Today’s Daily Prompt asks for our escape plan and from what we’re escaping ~ well for me, that’s easy ~ put me on the water, let the sunshine glisten on the surface of the water like diamonds, allow the sun’s rays above to caress and warm my skin and allow the breeze to lift all my worries from my brain.  Being on the water gives me freedom from everything ~ I can only concentrate on the beauty of the moment, escape to the Presents of the Presence ~ relishing the NOW as only this moment allows.

It is my very favorite escape ~ I dig deeply into my soul and rejoice in the beauty which surrounds me ~ the call of nature ~ the serenity which envelopes me, the peacefulness which soothes me and lifts my spirits.  Guess it must be the Pisces in me?

Take a moment and breathe in the peace, the serenity and the glow of life!

Shine On!

xo

Where’s your favorite escape?

Daily Prompt: Escape!

Describe your ultimate escape plan (and tell us what you’re escaping from).

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/daily-prompt-escape/

Out of Step With the Crowd

Yes, you march to the beat of a different drum…

And I’m right behind you!

Have you ever felt out of step with the crowd?  Recently I was chatting with a friend about cliques and how even some of the 40+ somethings we know can be cliquey.  Now I’m not a cliquey person and truth be told, I never really was.  My childhood didn’t allow for a lot of free time to spend with friends so I never had the opportunity to be a true part of the pack.  Not that I’m complaining as I think I’m a happier person because of it.  But back then, I did want to be a part of the group.

Now, I’m still not a part of the ‘in’ group which doesn’t bother me in the least.  I am friendly with everyone and therefore I can float as I wish, not worrying about the cliquey part of being in a certain group.  The competitiveness which breeds in this area doesn’t concern me because I don’t follow the pack rules.  Let’s just say, I’m my own pup!

It makes me happy to be this way ~ and I find it refreshing to find others who feel the same way.  Because many of our experiences mold us to be the people we are today, it’s important to embrace our differences and enjoy who we are!  By reveling in our true selves, we allow connections to others because we are comfortable in reaching out.  Does that make sense?

Having an illness or surviving abuse or enduring trauma changes us ~ it’s up to you how you allow it to change your life.  For me, although it sounds strange, my cancer diagnosis changed my life for the better.  It’s allowed me and my family to realize truly how precious life is and how vital enjoying the NOW is since we’ve learned that our only guarantee is this moment in time.  I didn’t realize the magnificence of life before ~ and now I won’t let that moment go!

What about you?  Are you reveling in the Uniqueness that is you?  Do you follow the pack or are you your own pup?  Have you endured sadness only to be able to help another along the way?  I think that adversity brings out the best in us ~ it allows us to dig deeper into our spiritual selves in order to deepen our connection to others.

Which brings me to today’s prompt which I read after I wrote this post ~ and to answer it ~ I began blogging, my FB page The Presents of Presence, my twitter account and pinterest because I enjoy learning new things ~ I enjoy sharing the quotes, the optimism and the inspiration that I find in the everyday ~ so I am not sure I ‘get’ social media, but I didn’t join because my family and friends did it.

Be a Beacon of Hope today to others!

Today I celebrate the UNIQUENESS that is YOU!

Shine On!

Don’t forget to say Rabbit Rabbit!

xo

Daily Prompt: The Social Network

Do you feel like you “get” social media, or do you just use it because that’s where all your friends and family are?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/daily-prompt-social/

Pawprints in my Heart

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Many people will walk in and out of your life,
but only true friends leave footprints in your heart.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

We have returned home without our darling Chessie Cat.  My heart is breaking and I am so sad.  It was an honor for us to have held this sweet kitty soul in our lives for almost 17 years and it was a blessing to be there when she passed as well.  We wrapped her in the blanket that she has been sitting on for the past week on the couch, which happens to be my husband’s and we also wrapped her in my favorite nighttime sweater ~ snuggled in our love and our smells.

I couldn’t bear to bring home an empty cat carrier, even though she has one from MIL which has her name on it.  So we wrapped her in the blankies and just drove slowly.  I think she enjoyed being able to see out of the windows and feeling the sunshine on her face.  She was actively snuggling into my arms, but keeping her head up, watching the world go by and surely wondering if I had lost my mind since she was outside, riding in the car without being in her carrier.  She never uttered a peep, but leaned her head next to mine and made sure her face was to the warm sunshine.

I think she knew and being her brave, constant angelic self, she continued to hold our gazes.  I held her while she leaned toward my hubby every time he stopped petting her.  She wanted us to know that she was there with us ~ and we wanted her to know that we were there for her as well.

I am bereft now ~ saddened by losing my kitty angel, but I am snuggling our other kitty Tiffy as much as she’ll let me.  I wonder what she is thinking as her sissy is now not here.  I know she knew that Chessie was sick, but watching her today, I don’t see her mourning as much as me.  Perhaps it is easier in the animal world, they know that life goes on and she accepts that Chessie is now in kitty Heaven, feeling healthy and happy.

So perhaps that’s what I have to do as well ~ change my thoughts and my perspective.  Be grateful for the time we’ve enjoyed Chessie’s presence and now be grateful in knowing that she is healthy and happy in Heaven, continuing to watch over me in a different form.  I just have to get my mind around that she isn’t here to purr next to me, but that she’s here in spirit, purring me into health.

Thanks for sharing this time with me throughout the last few posts.  Our lives have peaks and valleys in which we travel ~ connecting with others, reading your comments, being grateful for the time you’ve taken to send a heartfelt comment, has helped me.  Please know how thankful I am for all of you.

Big Hugs ~ Shine On!

xo