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Friday, July 29, 2011

May you...

I came across the piece by John O'Donohue and thought it perfect for today.  I hope you enjoy!

May you listen to your longing to be free.

May the frames of your belonging be large enough for the dreams of your soul.

May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart…
something good is going to happen to you.

May you find harmony between your soul and your life.

May the mansion of your soul never become a haunted place.

May you know the eternal longing that lies at the heart of time.

May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.

May you never place walls between the light and yourself.

May you be set free from the prisons of guilt, fear, 
disappointment and despair.

May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you, 
mind you, and embrace you in belonging.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Seasons of Life...

There are many seasons of life.  There are times when we feel on top of the world.  Then, there are the "other times."  What we must remember when we have those other times, is that nothing is permanent.  Time does not stand still, but rather, it is always moving.

Thich Nhat Hanh once said "If you suffer, it is not because things are impermanent.  It is because you believe things are permanent."  I could not agree more.

Suffering is sometimes unavoidable -- but what if we were to remember next time we are suffering, that time is not standing still?  That this too, will pass. Would that help us maintain perspective and minimize our suffering?  I have the upmost confidence that it will.   

Thought of the Day:  Sometimes we just need a little perspective to keep things in line.  When we're suffering, it feels eternal, but it's not.  Let's remember that times stands still for no one, and will always keep moving.  Whatever you are going through -- although it feels permanent -- will pass!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Designing Your Day

Make each day...your masterpiece!
John Wooden

Each day is a gift  -- to be enjoyed, savored, and cherished!  We are not receiving this gift fully if we are just trying to get through the day, instead of enjoying it. Yes there are exceptions, but overall, we must be savoring them.  If we are not, then something is wrong.

Each morning before we even get out of bed, we should take a few minutes to "design" our day.  We should start our day with thanks and gratitude for all that is right in our lives -- that we woke up healthy to see another beautiful day, for all our family members, etc.  Each morning before I get up, I also take a few minutes to design my day.  I think about what I want to get accomplished, and what types of things I can do to make the best of the gift I've been given.  I do this not only for myself, but for my kids who are out of school for the summer. 

Setting your intentions for the day helps you shape the kind of day you want to have.  If you are not intentionally designing your day, you end up having a day in which you are responding to things.  This makes a world of difference!  

Thought of the Day:  Do you need to start taking a few minutes each morning to "shape" your day?  Remember, great days always start with thanks and gratitude.  We can design our days the same way an artist would design any great work of art.  Our days -- each and every one, should never be anything less!

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Coming Alive

Thought of the Day:  What makes YOU come alive?  It would be safe to say that which makes you come alive is your passion.  Whatever that may be, you need to be making time in your life to do it.  By doing so, you will be feeding your soul and sending your positive energy into the universe.  By doing that which we truly love, we are truly living!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Achieving Balance

Balance.  It's something we usually don't give much thought to until we realize we're lacking it.  It's easy to get out of balance with today's busy lifestyle.  With a little thought, we can usually pinpoint what went wrong though and easily fix it.

The culprits are many.  Perhaps work has been too demanding, or we have simply gotten into the habit of working too much or too often.  Sometimes taking care of and doing for the kids takes its toll and we realize we haven't gotten adequate time for ourselves.  Sometimes it is our "to-do" list, and we are spending too much time focused on trying to get things done.  Whatever the source, the symptoms are not pleasant:  moodiness, stress, feeling emotional, being cranky, feeling depressed -- those are just a few.  It doesn't feel good, but these are the warning signs that it's time to get back on track.  

Life is demanding, but we have to keep making time for ourselves.  Oftentimes we can get more done in smaller chunks of time when we are making time for the other enjoyable things in life.  We must be getting enough sleep.  Eating healthy gives us energy.  Drinking water ensures that we are properly hydrated which also provides us with energy and clear thinking.  Working out is always immensely rejuvenating - whether it be cardio, meditative, or sports related activities.  Carving time out of our schedule to enjoy our activities - whatever they may be, is critical.

Thought of the Day:  Are you balanced?  If you are feeling great, then you are!  If you are feeling out of balance, don't worry!  It's just time to regroup. Examine how you are spending your days.  Take a look at what you're not getting and modify your upcoming schedule.  All things are possible when your life is in balance.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Believe in Yourself

I believe strongly in the power of belief.  So yesterday when my daughter announced that she wanted to contribute to today's article, I told her I believed she could do it.  Truth be told, it was a really busy day, and she wanted to help out.  What she produced impressed me.  So, without further ado, I am proud to introduce "Positive Living Girl's" work to you today.  I hope you enjoy!

Believe in Yourself
By:  Rosie (Age 9)

Believe in yourself,
you can do it.
You have the power to change the world.

Believe in yourself,
it's the least you can do.
It's the best choice for you.

Believe in yourself,
stand your ground.
Believe in yourself all year round.

Think:  this is me
and there's no one else I'd rather be -
because God made me, me...
and that's who I want to be - ME!

Thought of the Day:   Believing is paramount to becoming.  We can not become what we desire without first having a strong foundation of believing.   If a 9-year old can do her writing debut without fear because of the belief that she has in herself, what might be possible for each and every one of us?  

Have a wonderful day!  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dancing in the Rain

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass,
it's about learning to dance in the rain."
(Author Unknown)

Life isn't perfect.  It never has been, and never will be.  But that doesn't mean we should waste one single second waiting for it become perfect.  We need to accept where we are now and try to improve upon that.

We will always have minor obstacles, changes, and things that get in our way.  Unfortunately, there will be times where we will also have major ones.  What we do with and how we handle the minor ones can also determine how we handle the major ones when they strike.

We must not waste our precious time by waiting for life to become "perfect."  Life can be enjoyable even though everything isn't as you think it should or could be.  We must make the best of any situation or circumstance.  It prepares us for when it's really stormy.

Thought of the Day:  Don't wait any longer to start living the life you want!  START NOW, with what you have, and where you are!  Make the best of the circumstances you've been given.  Dancing in the rain CAN be fun!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Beginning of a New Day

This is the beginning of a new day.
God has given me this day to use as I will.

I can waste it or use if for good.
What I do today is important, because
I'm exchanging a day of my life for it.

When tomorrow comes,
this day will be gone forever,
leaving something I have traded for it.

 I want it to be gain, not loss; good, not evil;
success, not failure; in order that I
shall not regret the price I paid for it.
Author unknown

Thought of the Day:  Our days - however beautiful, are limited.  We are here for a short while.  Each day, once over, will be able to be visited in memory.  How will you make yours a day you'll want to remember?

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Love Comes in all Different Shapes and Sizes

My husband is a sweetheart.  Once in a while, as a special treat, he will go out and get us a Starbucks coffee as the kids are getting tucked into bed.  He'll order my peppermint mocha (decaf, you don't want to see me with too much caffeine). He'll even have them put in the green stopper thing, knowing that if he didn't, it would be cold by the time the kids were done with me.  This is just one of the hundreds of ways he shows me he loves me.

My daughter is the sweetest person I know.  She leaves love notes and pictures for me all over the house.  It's rare that I go shopping without a love note written from her at the top of my grocery list.  There are also love notes in the bathroom waiting for me.  This is how I know she loves me.

My oldest son is always helping out with chores.  He seldom walks by without giving anyone a hug.  He's never cranky, and always has good intentions.  This is his way of showing that he loves me.

My youngest son reminds me of those mixed nuts you can buy at the store -- you know the kind, labeled "Sweet and Spicy?"  That's him!  He's always keeping things interesting to say the least, and always makes me laugh.  But he also is very sweet and tender and loving.  These are the ways he shows me he loves me.

Love doesn't always come in a standard shape or size, but rather in different shapes and sizes.  Sometimes, it's a Starbucks coffee just as you are winding down after a busy day.  Or a sandwich that was made with love by someone who knew you were hungry.  Sometimes it is a note waiting for you on your grocery list or night table, or a phone call or email from someone you haven't heard from in awhile.  Sometimes its the donation of an organ to someone eagerly waiting for a transplant.  Always, no matter what shape or size, it is love for both the sender AND the recipient.

Thought of the Day:   With love coming in all different shapes and sizes, it can sometimes be easy to overlook.  Take time today to think about all the shapes and sizes that you convey and are conveyed love.  You don't want to be missing out of them!

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


There is beauty in stillness.  Just take a calm moment outside, and you may be surprised at what you might find.  The trees gently blowing in the wind, all in rhythm.  The sound of the crickets and cicadas, along with songbirds, making a beautiful symphony.  The shadows of a willow tree's leaves dancing along on the ground with the sunlight.  A toad parked under the tree, trying to escape the hot weather.  All pure and simple beauty!

There is beauty in the "inner" stillness.  When you go inside yourself to think and reflect.  Equally as beautiful, and equally as important.  You don't even have to travel outside to achieve it, but rather to a quiet part of your home where you can be comfortable and alone with your thoughts or daydreams.  Going to either of these places of stillness is always a peaceful part of my day!

The art of stillness is very undervalued in our society today.  I call it an art, because I believe it to be one.  Just like an art, stillness takes time to practice and develop.  Just like art, stillness can be a beautiful craft.  Today's society seems to be obsessed with being busy, and impressed with busy people -- it seems almost a "status symbol" to be as busy as possible, as if being successful is tied into how busy you are.  This does not impress me.

We can not always be on the go.  We must take time daily to be still (without having The Wild Things tame us into doing so).  We must have time to reflect.  It is only by being still that we can properly listen to the messages our body, mind, and heart are trying to send to us.

I try to plan my days with care so they will not be overwhelming.  I plan my life accordingly, so my family and I have a good balance of fun, work and obligations, but also have plenty of time to appreciate life's beauty.  I don't want to be rushing through our days as a way of life, missing the beautiful things on the way.  I want to be able to sit under a tree and watch a butterfly's flight.  I want to marvel with my children at the bee's progress on the hive they are building in our backyard.  I want time each day to "check-in" with myself and see how I am doing, what I want to do, and what I will inspire to do.  I am an active participant in creating my life -- not just responding to it.  Stillness helps me achieve that.

One of my many spots to achieve "stillness."

Thought of the Day:  Everyone needs time to be still, but it will not come unless you get into the habit of planning it.  You have to make time to create it. Will you choose to plan some stillness into your day?  If you do, you might just be able to create your day instead of reacting to it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Waste in Worry

I came across this neat story recently and thought it was fitting to share today.  There is always something to worry about - the question is, do we really need to?  

The Waste in Worry
by Brad Stevens

If we were to keep a record of all the things we worried about during a given period of time, we would discover, in reviewing them, that the great majority of our anticipated problems or troubles never come to pass.  This means that most of the time we devote to worrying, even the constructive kind that prompts us to try to come up with a solution to what is troubling us, is wasted.  Thus, we not only caused ourself unnecessary mental anguish, but also took up valuable minutes and hours that could have been spent elsewhere.

To avoid this, it is often necessary to subject potential sources of worry to the coldly objective and analytical light of reason.  Once, shortly before a major concert before a standing-room-only audience, a member of Arturo Toscanini's orchestra approached the great Italian conductor with an expression of sheer terror on his face.  "Maestro," the musician fretted, "my instrument is not working properly.  I cannot reach the note of E-flat.  Whatever will I do?  We are to begin in a few moments."

Toscanini looked at the man with utter amazement.  Then he smiled kindly and placed an arm around his shoulders. "My friend," the maestro replied, "Do not worry about it.  The note E-flat does not appear anywhere in the music that you will be playing this evening."

The next time we find ourselves in the middle of worrying about some matter, we might be wise to stop and ask ourselves what the odds are of the problem really coming to pass.  We may be able to go on to something more constructive.

Thought of the Day:  Worrying is like a giant storm cloud that obstructs the positive light in your life.  It offers no healthy benefits.  I have found it to be much more constructive to give your concerns to God and the universe, in the form of prayer.  By shedding those unnecessary concerns, you will allow yourself to bask in the sunshine!

Have a great day!

Friday, July 8, 2011


"Life is huge!  
Rejoice about the sun, moon, flowers, and sky.  
Rejoice about the food you have to eat.  
Rejoice about the body that houses your spirit. 
Rejoice about the fact that you can be a positive force 
in the world around you. 
Rejoice about the love that is around you.  
If you want to be happy, 
commit to making your life one of rejoicing."
-  Author Unknown  

Life IS huge!  Just the fact that we are here, that we were purposefully created by our loving God, is worthy of rejoicing!

Thought of the Day:  
Are you rejoicing?  You should be!  Rejoice that you are here and that you are loved.   Rejoice for all the loved ones that God has placed into your life.  These are all gifts -- life's treasures to be celebrated!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Love Letters

Our time here is limited.  Every day is precious and needs to be treasured.  Even if it's a bad day, there are still good moments that deserve to be recognized.

Our children are only young for a short while, and looking back, it seems our older relatives are only with us a short time also.  We must treasure the people who are most important to us.

Today, stop wasting time.  Stop waiting for things.  Today, begin to treasure each and every moment.  Build those legos with your child.  Make that phone call to your elderly relative.  Let those who are loved by you feel your love.  We are only here for a short time  -- we need to let our loved ones know we care.

We may never know the true impact of our words to another.  Notes left for a loved one are precious and a treasure.  They have the ability to turn a bad day into a good one.  They have the ability to convey that that someone is cared treasured!

Thought of the Day:  Do your loved ones know how important they are to you?  Take time to do this today.  There is nothing more pressing on your "to-do" list.  Create time to make a call or leave a note.  Today is the day we let others know we care!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Being "Rich"

"I'm rich - I'm rich in memories
- like the time I jumped off the swing rope into the lake...
or the night I won the basketball championship...
or the time I was the only one that caught the sunfish, 
even though I was a girl and the youngest...
or the times we went to the zoo and I climbed the rock climbing wall."
Rosie, age 9

This was a conversation that my daughter initiated on the way to our "emergency evacuation" to the woods last week, in our (successful) attempt to turn our "lemons" into "lemonade."  Truth be told, times have been a little challenging lately.  This house "flood" was the second we have had in eight months.  Our home just got back in order a few months ago from the first water leak.  This one ruined more than half of our new living room floor.  Our house is ripped up, with three kids at home on "summer vacation."  But you know what?  None of that matters in the grand scheme of things!

Understandably, there has been some talk of finances.  Talks that the kids aren't supposed to hear, but have sometimes ended up hearing, due to the fact that parts of the house are closed up due to the construction.  We are much more confined in the smaller space.

My daughter understands that it will take a while to recover from this flood, that we will need to watch our spending more carefully than before.  So this is where she was coming from when she stated that she was rich - she was focusing on the things she does have, like being "rich in memories."

She couldn't be more right!  We are ALL rich!  I'm very rich in memories too -- like the day I gave birth to that beautiful girl!  Or, the day I first laid eyes on my mom at the age of 22.  Then, there was that fun night when my husband and I "crashed" a Texas wedding and had the time of our lives, meeting the most wonderful people!  Or, the day I realized my dreams of bull riding would never come to fruition by the fact that I couldn't stay on a mechanical bull for more than 3 seconds at a time, while my family roared with laughter as they watched this embarrassing display!

There are also the memories I have of my grandparents, who are no longer here in their physical form, but  who have enriched my life by the beautiful memories and their spirit, which I hold close.  Those memories are truly a gift to me!

When it comes down to it, all that truly matters is that you are rich in memories.  To be so means you have truly lived!

Rosie creating more memories during our stay in the woods.

Thought of the Day:  What memories are you "rich" in?  Please feel free to share!

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Don't Quit

This is an oldie, but goodie.  It's a little outdated, however I remember it making an impression on me as a high schooler and I still feel its powerful message today.

I know there are quite a few people out there going through tough times.  So, if you are one of them, this post today goes out to you with love and hope.  If you aren't going through tough times right now, then please be thankful and send a prayer of hope to those that are.  Together, we can lift each other up!

Don't Quit
Author Unknown

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit!

Wishing each and every one of you a beautiful day!

Friday, July 1, 2011

You're Alive!

You're alive.  
That means you have infinite potential, 
you can do anything, make anything, dream anything.  
If you change the world, the world will change.
Neil Gaiman

News Flash:  You're alive if you're reading this!  Woohoo!  Congratulations!  ;-)

Now I know you already knew that, but just take a second -- a split second to realize just how wonderful that truly is.  Ahhhhh!

As long as we are here, ANYTHING is possible!  It is not too late for anything.  Ok, well, maybe it IS too late for me to start bullriding, I don't think my chiropractor would approve.  However, it is not too late for most dreams!  So often we tell ourselves it is...we lay down excuses.  As long as you are living, there is still time -- and hope!

Life is an amazing thing.  We are so fortunate to be here.  But don't just be here, be involved!  Be creating your dreams.  Make the things you want, happen.  For as long as we are alive, anything AND everything IS possible!

Thought of the day:  You're alive!  You can do, make or dream anything.  You CAN change the world!  What will you do?

Have an AMAZING weekend!