Sunday, January 31, 2010

Peace

There is something so peaceful about spending a quiet day at home. To do whatever I want or nothing at all! I always try to have at least one day on the weekend that I don't make any plans or think about what needs to be done.

Sunday was always my mom's favorite day of the week. She liked to go to the mountains for a picnic if the weather was nice. I would rather stay in and enjoy my home. Read, go for a walk, watch an old movie and cook a nice dinner. Now that is my idea of a lovely day!

As I grow older I am finding so many ways to enjoy my life. I let my soul be my compass. I follow where ever it leads and know I will find peace and joy!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Big Rocks

In First Things First, Stephen Covey talks about Putting the Big Rocks in First. It is all about deciding what your biggest priorities are and making sure you put them first - otherwise you may not have room!

I have a dear friend who has always understood and lived this simple concept. She has been a great inspiration to me in many ways - somehow she seems to find that perfect balance of caring for her family but also taking care of herself.

This wasn't an issue for me when I was raising my children because they were always my top priority. It was after they left home that I struggled with what I really needed and wanted for my own life. I began working unbelievable hours in very stressful and toxic environments. It took me a long time to realize that if I didn't take care of myself I would not be able to do anything for me or anyone else.

Now I understand what is really important and try to put my Big Rocks in first!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Magic Happens

It was 1965 and The Lovin' Spoonful sang "Do You Believe in Magic?". I have experienced so many things in my life that I would never have believed possible but it keeps getting better and better and I have become a true believer! Even as a young girl I knew I was here for a reason and that somehow my life would be worthwhile.

Now, all these years later I understand how that humble beginning brought me to this place of magic and wonder.

Tonight was the biggest and brightest full moon of 2010 and it stopped me in my tracks when I saw it rise as the sun was setting.... Unbelievable how beautiful and surreal it seems - just like my life!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cooking to Soothe the Soul

I love to cook! There is something very nurturing about preparing a lovely, nutritious meal. I enjoy cooking for others but I also love to do it for myself. It is so comforting and relaxing to take the time to slow down and enjoy the entire experience. It gives me a great deal of pleasure and reminds me how important it is to take care of myself.

I used to bake bread to relieve stress. The combination of working my frustration out on the dough and then having the reward of a wonderful loaf of fresh bread when I was done was fantastic! I learned that the kitchen can be a great place to practice a little self appreciation!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Trust

Today I got a great reminder that I am a work in progress....
My positive "all is right with the world" attitude gets challenged on a regular basis. I need to remember that this is a process and there will be some bumps along the way.

A few days ago I wrote about the power of truth. It is very disheartening to me when I am honest with someone and they deceive me. I trust people until they prove otherwise. I think it was Maya Angelou who said "When people show you who they are believe them"!

I know everything happens for a reason and if something did not work out for me it means that there is something better coming. I have to trust that it will all happen exactly as it should!

So when I'm feeling like this I go through my mental checklist of what makes me feel good and get myself back on track. Today it was too cold for a walk so I wrote for a while, made some nice homemade soup, listened to Eric Clapton on the stereo and I feel much better!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Unspeakable Joy

Unspeakable Joy - Just saying that makes me smile! Knowing that I have the choice of what I want my life to be is very empowering. I can choose joy or sorrow, delight or despair, fear or excitement - it is all up to me.

I don't know who wrote it but there are lyrics to a song that I just love. "If I live to be a hundred I'll die young - Life is like a ladder, I'll dance on every rung - If I live to be a hundred I'll die young!"

Every morning I wake grateful to have another day. For every new day holds the fantastic potential for Unspeakable Joy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Receiving

In the book "Ask and It Is Given" they call it The Art of Allowing. What dreams and desires are possible in our lives if we were to simply let them in? For me that means to stop controlling what I think it should be and let it be what it is.

Looking at that tapped into some very old and negative thoughts for me. Am I worthy or do I deserve this? I can now say YES - I do deserve all the goodness this world has to offer and so do each one of us!

I had a wonderful experience with a woman in Ireland. She was doing career counseling at a local resource center but I have to say she was much more than that! I was concerned about all the work we were doing and if I was taking too much of her time. All she said was "You are worth it". Just those few simple words touched me so deeply because in over 50 years no one had ever said that to me!

Now, I say it to myself daily and believe everything is possible all I have to do is receive it!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Truth

I always know when I am ready to learn something new, it shows up everywhere in my life. Right now that lesson is about the power of truth. I have always valued honesty and integrity. My struggle has been to speak my mind without hurting anyone. I realize that I can't always do that and stay true to myself.

There are times when saying nothing at all is the best choice. But I have found that sometimes silence is taken as agreement and that may or may not be accurate. I have to trust myself enough to speak up then I feel the need. Whether in support of something or to the contrary it does not matter.

I read long ago - your feelings are not good or bad, they just are! What is important is that I am honest with myself and know that will always be my best answer.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gratitude

We've all heard it many times and in many ways during our lives. Count your blessings, give thanks, feel lucky for what you have, think of people who don't have anything....

I'm not sure exactly when it occurred to me but one day I really understood what it meant to be grateful. Not just for the good but for everything! The light came on when I realized that no matter what the circumstance, someone else's stuggle was more difficult and I had learned something valuable.

Practicing extreme gratitude has truly changed my life. I trust that everything that occurs is for my highest good even if it is painful - sometimes especially if it is painful! Those can be the best lessons of all.

Every single day I see or hear something in the world and I know that without question I am blessed and fortunate in every possible way and for that I will always be grateful!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Giving

A friend of mine suggested this topic and it is something that is very important to me. It is one of the reasons I started this blog, to find new ways to give back. A few years ago I began a small non-profit called Pennies from Heaven. The desire was to help women, especially single mothers become more self sufficient.

I've always wanted to be a Philanthropist when I grew up but thought I didn't have enough money. Now I realize that money is only one of the ways in which we can help others. As defined by Wikipedia - Philanthropy is the effort or inclination to increase the well-being of humankind, as by charitable aid or donations.

After reading "Giving" by Bill Clinton I was thrilled to see so many wonderful ways each of us truly can change the world!
Here are just a few of my favorites that I love and support:

Habitat for Humanity, The Gathering Place (Day Shelter for Women and Children in the Denver area), KIVA (International Microlender), UNICEF, Concern Worldwide, Food Bank of the Rockies, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and Dumb Friends League.

I am so very grateful to have so much that I can afford to give away!

Enjoy the Journey

James Taylor wrote "The Secret to Life is Enjoying the Passage of Time". Life is not a race to a destination but a lovely, meandering walk through the experiences we need in order to grow.

Very often when I find myself at a crossroads in my life I ask the simple question "where do I go from here?”. It is unbelievable how quickly and clearly the answer comes.

Sometimes it comes in the form of a book or a conversation with a friend. Sometimes it is strange and obscure - once I was walking through an airport and the gate agent called out a passenger’s name which was also the name of a small town in Ireland I was thinking of visiting. I smiled and nodded my head knowing that was where I needed to go.

Every step brings with it an opportunity for another path, another adventure on this fantastic journey!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No Coincidence

I am so amazed at how the world works. Yesterday after I wrote my very first post "New Beginnings" I saw an article from a magazine with the exact same title and generally the same message. You can create the life you want!

That is confirmation that I am doing exactly what I should be doing! I understand and truly believe that there is no such thing as coincidence. Everything happens for a reason. I get reminders every day - some are soft and subtle and some are bold and absolute.

All I have to do is stay aware and ask for the information I need to make any decision. I always know which way to proceed by the way that I feel. I believe we all have the choice to go with the flow or to resist and try to push the river. One will be effortless and joyful and the other will be a difficult and futile struggle.

Just like a lovely stream - it moves along smoothly until it encounters an obstacle. It either finds its way around it or builds up enough strength to go over it - either way it will continue to flow in its natural direction....

New Beginnings

Today is day one of my new blog. I have been procrastinating since the 1st of January and now it is time to begin.....

I love new beginnings and this one will be the best yet. I have a very simple philosophy - be grateful and seek joy!

Life is a precious and wonderful thing and you have to make the most of it. None of us knows what will happen tomorrow, all we have is right now!

There is a lovely poem that sums up my feelings very nicely.

The Beginning –
As I begin this journey of mine I will loosen my laces and remove my boots to protect me from absolutely nothing - Michele LeDoux