2 August 2016
each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the
drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the
influences of each.
must accept finite disappointment,
but we must never lose infinite hope.
Luther King, Jr.
people who say you are not facing
reality actually mean that you are
not facing their idea of reality.
is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again
to the earth and in contemplation of her beauties
to know the sense of wonder and humility.
Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.
When life as we know it comes crashing down around us, our hearts
ache, our minds go numb, a haze seems to surround us. We are
shocked, angry, and sad beyond anything we've ever felt before. We
are frightened and shaken. We ask, "Why? How could this
happen?" And often, we ask, "Why me? Why us? Why
them?" Our faith is tested…and also our resolve. We might
wonder if we will find the strength to go on…or if we even want to
go on. It's all so overwhelming. Here are 10 steps to help you move
1. Schedule quiet time.
Do what you have to do each day,
but schedule at least 15 minutes of silence every day for a while.
Take a walk alone before work, stop at noon for a bit of reflection,
or meditate each evening before bed. Use the time to reflect, weep,
pray, or just sit and be aware.
2. Accept your feelings.
Don't try to push them away.
Healing begins with identifying our emotions…whatever they are.
Fear, guilt, regret, anger, or sadness…accept them as they
3. Express your feelings.
Write in a journal, pen a poem,
sketch a drawing, or write a letter to a dear friend.
4. Connect with people.
Be with family, friends, or church
Share your pain, and comfort each other. Talk to a
counselor, if you wish, or a spiritual leader, but be open to the
love and comfort available to you. Know that you are not alone.
5. Create remembrances of what has been lost.
memorial service and ask close friends to share memories in a book.
Assemble a photo scrapbook of someone lost, or a video collage of
treasured moments. Frame a special note or a shared favorite quote.
Perhaps you can find a small object (a ring, photo, or small piece
of glass?) that will help you to feel connected. Keep it close to
you and hold that love forever in your heart.
6. Pass along the love.
One way to honor a life lost is to
give others what meant so much to you…a tender touch, an
understanding smile, a shoulder to lean on, or the boost of positive
7. Contribute what you can.
Donate to an appropriate
cause, offer prayers of healing, volunteer your time, give blood, or
support your local rescue workers.
8. Be an emotional support.
Hold someone who is grieving.
Listen generously. Tell your own story of this and past recovery so
others will not feel alone.
9. Commit acts of kindness.
In your workplace leave
anonymous notes of appreciation, offer to help someone who's on a
tight deadline, or simply bring in a breakfast treat. In your
community, you might adopt a homeless pet, volunteer to deliver
meals on wheels, or rake leaves for an elderly neighbor. Show more
patience with everyone you meet.
10. Live each day in meaningful ways.
important to you, and then schedule it in. Make time for birthday
parties and coffee with friends. Tell people what they mean to you.
Stop to give thanks for all that you have. Use your gifts every day.
Hug your children more…teenage or not!
And remember that we all heal in different ways and at differing
speeds. Follow your heart. Take time to feel, take care of yourself,
and take one step at a time.
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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Expectations into No Matter Whats
The most ungrateful person I know is an older woman who can't see
the beauty of her life because she is so bitter that it didn't
turn out the way she thought it should. She has a lovely
home and garden, healthy, bright, successful children, a
fifty-year marriage, and the means and health to travel. No
one in her immediate family has died or been seriously ill, she's
never known poverty or lack; she is, from all external measures,
highly privileged, with much to be grateful for. And yet all
of what she has is completely invisible to her because somehow it
doesn't match the picture of what she expected. Her kids
don't live close enough or visit often enough; she wishes there
was even more money; her marriage isn't as loving as she
desires. Her ingratitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy, for
the more she complains, the more lonely and isolated she finds
herself as friends and family grow weary of her moaning.
To me, this acquaintance is an important teacher in the
practice of gratitude--a vivid example of how expectations can
create blinders so that we can't even see the true blessings of
our lives. Expectations are the killers of gratitude and
joy: If you expect to live in the Taj Mahal, your cozy
little cottage will feel pretty awful; if you expect your son to
become a doctor, you can't appreciate him for the fine bodyworker
that he is; if you focus on how you are going to be miserable
without a BMW, your trusty, rusty Toyota that reliably gets you
around will only bring you misery.
dreams, and visions for the future is one thing; it's important to
have goals and schemes pulling us into the future. But we
need to be careful that such envisioning doesn't get in the way of
appreciating the things we have in the here and now. Let's
not miss the beauty of our actual lives while we're lusting after
a mythical perfect life.
If we expect someone or something outside ourselves to make us
happy, we lose our power. The truth is we can't count on
anything except our ability to choose how to respond to what
happens to us. One way to counteract the tendency to look
outside ourselves for happiness is to practice No Matter
What. Before you go into a situation, ask yourself,
"What is it that I can learn, accomplish, or experience here,
no matter what happens?" Let's say you have to give a
speech and are nervous about how it will be received. Your
No Matter What might be, "No matter what, I want to
experience a sense of peace while talking. As I look out
into the audience, I'll remember to breathe and notice that at my
core there is peace." Afterwards, no matter what else
happened--that people appeared bored, or no one came up to thank
you--you can still appreciate yourself for having kept your
commitment to experience peacefulness.
When we practice No Matter What, we are no longer hooked by
expectations to externals--other people, other events--but are
free to choose what we will focus on to make us happy.
creates a powerful state of happiness because it returns
us to the natural place where we notice what's right
instead of what's wrong. In Attitudes of Gratitude,
M. J. Ryan teaches us how to unlock the fullness of life
through the expression and exercise of a grateful heart.
In a series of brief, evocative essays, she inspires us to
discover and distill a sense of gratitude in every aspect
of our lives and offers practical suggestions to help us
focus on all that we have, rather than our perception of
what may be lacking.
Wallpaper! Just click below
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right-click on the
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photo's from a spring
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A child is
entitled to sane messages from adults. How parents and
teachers talk to children will help them to know how they should
feel about themselves. Their statements affect the child's
and self-worth. To a large extent, their
language determines the child's destiny.
For some reason, we put an incredibly negative slant on the term
"giving up." We see it as a reflection of a lack
of character, as something that someone does in admitting defeat
and not having enough perseverance to continue doing something
that may or may not be worth doing. The fact is, though,
that giving up may be one of the most important strategies that we
can learn in life, as long as we keep in mind that the most
important element in giving up is recognizing when it's best for
us--and the other people in our lives--to do so.
A good leader in battle knows when it's time to retreat so that
the troops can live to fight another day. A good politician
sees when it's time to stop battling and simply get the job done,
so that he or she can move on to more important work. In my
life, I recently realized that the job I was at didn't offer the
elements I need professionally and personally, so it was time to
move on. Many people have attempted to climb mountains such
as Everest, only to have to give up the effort short of the
goal--and they've lived to enjoy another day, to climb more
On the other hand, history is full of stories of military leaders
who didn't retreat when they could have, and have caused the
deaths of many troops. Some politicians get so strongly set
in their positions on one issue that they neglect other important
things, thus letting down their constituents. There are also
many stories of climbers who had everything go against them, yet
they still continued their efforts, only to lose their lives on
the mountain itself.
Giving up should be seen as being strongly related to the concept
of letting go. Generally, we take on a task with a specific
outcome in mind, such as successfully completing a task or
continuing to learn and grow in a job or a process.
Sometimes we get so focused on the desired outcome that we stop
paying attention to the process we're going through, and we start
to make ourselves miserable by continuing to do something that's
neither gratifying nor fulfilling.
Think about it: A marathon runner is going to give up the
race at 14 miles, 12.2 miles short of the goal, if he or she
breaks a leg. It's that simple--the broken leg is a very
clear and unambiguous sign that the runner should give up.
Many of us continue to go on with things, though, even when we're
suffering worse than we would from a broken leg. We go on in
destructive relationships because we can't bear the thought of
breaking things off, of "giving up" on the other
person. We refuse to leave jobs because we're afraid we
won't find something else that's going to be better for us.
There is a negative side to giving up, of course. When
someone hasn't even made a real effort to accomplish something or
make things work then giving up can be disastrous, affecting the
person's self-image and confidence. We should do everything
we can to encourage people to persevere only when we know that
they haven't really made the effort yet to accomplish something
they really want to do.
When kids are growing up, they may go through lots of
stages. They may become interested in tennis, then give it
up for the guitar, which they then give up for drawing, which they
then. . . you get the point. This kind of experimentation
doesn't establish them as quitters for the rest of their lives;
rather, it gives them a broader scope of interests from which they
can pull when they're older.
Giving up doesn't necessarily mean that a person is a quitter; in
fact, giving something up can be one of the most positive actions
that any person can take--think of cigarettes for the smoker,
alcohol for the alcoholic, and sweets for the diabetic, for
example. When we get a healthy view of what giving up
actually is, then we can look at some of the things that we're
doing now and make better decisions about whether or not we want
to continue doing those things, for giving up on some things
definitely makes more room in our lives for things that are better
for us and more fulfilling.
on letting go.
of the most important elements
of living life fully is
awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people
and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that
affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively.
In the twelve years of livinglifefully.com's existence, this
essay series has been a mainstay of the weekly e-zine--a
series that has explored not just the things that exist and
that happen around us, but also our reactions to those
things. The first five years of the column are now available
exclusively on Kindle.
Life Fully, the e-zine
exists to try to provide for visitors of the world wide web a
of growth, peace, inspiration, and encouragement. Our
are presented as thoughts of the authors--by no means do
mean to present them as ways that anyone has to live
from them what you will, and disagree with
whatever you disagree
with--just know that they'll be here for you
need in love to practice only this: letting each other
For holding on comes easily--we do not need to learn it.
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