Little by Little

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Recently we planted some rose bushes. They were blooming and full of life, and then all at once that was it. The one seemed to go dormant for quite some time. Every day I sat out there watching and waiting for something to happen, but nothing. I was so disappointed. The other day it caught my eye. It was so much taller and I could see the red color indicating the new growth. The blooms are about to open. I guess this serves as a perfect lesson to be patient. Sometimes, to the visible eye, it appears that nothing is happening. Then all of a sudden you notice amazing change you didn’t even know was taking place.

I hope this reminds me to sit back and allow things to happen. I think this applies to personal growth as well. We want to change and bloom over night but change happens gradually. We can’t focus on the end result but rather on the subtle changes. Every bit of growth leads to a better place. So here’s to all the growth that’s happening all around us.

OMG! Did She Just Post Another Positive Quote?

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I have noticed something happening with frequency lately and I feel the need to blog about it. In fact, one of my blogging friends recently did, and you should check out her post called Facebook Insults. You can find her here https://suzjones.wordpress.com/.

I am the kind of person who believes in kindness and compliments and truly making the world a better place, not only for myself, but for those people around me as well. In a world filled with criticism and judgement and rudeness, I feel compelled to spread something positive. I’ve noticed quite a bit of underlying tones and messages through social media. I guess maybe people are too cowardly to say things personally to someone so they will direct something at someone to get their attention. The unfortunate part is that usually the message isn’t one of kindness. Every time I check Facebook I see another shared post of how annoying positive quotes are. I say this. People can share whatever they want. Ask yourself this. Do you want to spread your sarcasm and insults or do you want to share something uplifting or challenging for people to examine their lives? It’s your choice. I’ve also realized this. There is a small word you can push that will eliminate any aggravation someone causes you. That little word is unfollow. I am starting to use it more and more. For me, it is necessary and healthy to remove myself from sarcastic, negative people. I don’t need that in my life period. Any good that could come from sharing a relationship with a person like that is easily outweighed by the negativity surrounding the name. My point is this. PUSH THE BUTTON, save yourself the aggravation on either side and move on surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good. Negativity and sarcasm bring people down. Some people find it funny but I do not. So off I go to adjust my friend list to bring me to a more positive place. Does this mean I don’t like the people I unfollow. Not at all. I just don’t like their bad attitude or sense of humor. Believe me there are several and I’m not here to tell you not to be you. I just expect the same from you.

Have you noticed this as well? How do you handle it?

Do You Believe in Magic?

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We all have a playful child inside us dying to break free. Last night I became one with the child in me. We headed downtown to listen to a concert. By mistake, I stumbled upon this fun little place and it didn’t take long until I was running around exploring the wonderful world all around me.

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I read this book as a child and I must admit it was one of my favorites. I imagined that the garden was real and was filled with all kinds of magic. This fun little garden was just that. Everywhere I looked brought a silly smile to my face. There were beautiful flowers as tall as adults just begging us to come to play. That’s exactly what we decided to do.

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There were tiny huts and tepees and skinny little winding staircases that led up to whimsical tree houses where you could see the dancing colored lights blink on and off as the water in the fountain teased the children to come a little bit closer. We ran like excited children through mazes that led to tiny houses that magically played music notes that caught us by surprise as we stepped on the tiles. There were little grassy pads lit up with twinkle lights and if you didn’t know better, you could almost see little fairies flying through the colored tunnels daring you to look.

It was dark so the pictures did not come out as well as I would’ve liked. I definitely plan on making a trip back in the daytime to get a better look. My favorite part is where we decided to park our chairs next to a beautiful pond with running water and red rock trailing across inviting the kids to jump from stone to stone to get to the other side. It was one of the most adorable, relaxing places I have ever seen and I am grateful we found ourselves inside of it. Was it really magical? I guess it’s different for everyone who experiences it but I am a believer. I haven’t felt that happy or playful or that excited in many, many years. Here are a few pictures. I only wish they came out better.

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The Scale Says What?

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The scales have tipped and my balance has slowly been lost. It happens. When you stop taking care of your own needs and you try and please everyone around you, for awhile there is great satisfaction in seeing those around you happy but then it happens. You wake up on the wrong side of the bed. In fact it wouldn’t matter what side of the bed you woke up on, either side would have been wrong. It’s the fact that you woke up period that makes it a bad day. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate every day of the life I am given, I just have a really bad case of the grumps.

It’s important to remember to continue to do the things that keep you feeling peaceful and grounded. For me it is blogging, yoga, and at least a small amount of quiet time. Noise is one thing that kills my balance almost immediately. Especially constant noise like the television being on all day or the constant noise in my head when I fall behind on everything I know I still have to do. There is really no excuse for it and it is nobody’s fault but my own. I know all too well if you do not love yourself and take care of your own needs that you can certainly not exceed at doing it for anyone else.

Awareness of why you feel the way you do is the first step in resolving it. You always have a choice, to continue down the same miserable path that led you to feeling this way in the first place or getting back on the path that leads you to a better place. Hopefully you will choose wisely. I am going to give it my best try and hopefully I will be feeling a lot different at the end of the day.

How Are YOU today?

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More and more I am starting to realize how my thoughts and attitude affect the person I am. I will give you an example. I have lived here in this house for four years now. Every summer, the barn swallows build a nest at my front and back door. Last year they really started getting under my skin. They would dive bomb our heads if we walked out the front and the ones in the back use our pool deck for a public restroom. It’s pretty disgusting, especially because we are out there in bare feet.

We were floating in the pool just this past weekend and noticed there were more birds than usual. The babies from the front and the babies from the back were flying over our heads for the first time. It was so sweet to watch their enthusiasm and effort in trying to glide through the Oklahoma winds.

I guess life is just that way. There will always be good with the bad, negative with the positive. What’s important to know notice thought, is that we can have the exact same circumstances and a completely different attitude than the day before. What is it that makes us enjoy something or abhor the same very thing depending on the day? It’s a quandary and something I just can’t quite figure out. Maybe it has to do with fatigue or too much of negative that starts to dominate the positive. Maybe you just wake up on the wrong side of the bed. If the little things can make your day, I guess the wrong little things can ruin it as well.

Today, I wish you more happy than mad. I wish you more positive than negative and more smiles than tears. There’s always a choice. You can change your circumstances if you change your perspective.

When Planning Just Doesn’t Work

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Some days don’t go as planned. In fact sometimes weeks and months and years don’t go as we planned. It takes time, but eventually we realize it was never really our plan at all. There is such a peacefulness that comes with accepting the truth that we cannot control the world around us. We cannot control people or events or the weather or anything else. The only thing we can control is our own attitude and how we respond to the people and events in our everyday life. Sometimes I believe life hands us a test and we have to take it over and over until we learn to respond the proper way. We have to find a way to stop reacting and take control over the only thing we really do have control over at all, our own words and actions and emotions. It sounds so easy as I type the words on this page but I know how hard I struggle to do a little bit better every day. Some days I throw in the towel and completely fail, but other days I make those small baby steps that lead to bigger steps. One day I hope to run fast enough until I can lift off and fly. That is my goal, to rise above the pettiness that comes from indulging my reactions. Even better, to rise above the pettiness of others reactions.

A Milestone

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When is the last time you were so excited about something that you uncontrollably giggled? The time has finally arrived to teach my daughter how to drive. The second she sits behind the wheel, the giggling starts. Maybe she senses the incredible amount of freedom that comes with being the one who sits behind the wheel. Maybe it is just the silly excitement of knowing she is growing up and given more responsibilities that allow her to fly a bit further from the nest. Whatever the case, she is super excited. As I watched her accelerate through a turn as I held on for dear life, I caught the beautiful moment on her face. The teenage years are a time for many firsts. I have such fond memories of my high school years and I hope for her the best is yet to come.

Finding Big In The Little Things

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How many times in the last few days have you checked in with yourself? We check our weight, we check our schedules, we even check the time; but how many times do we check in with ourselves and the condition of our souls? When is the last time you have been really happy? Do you keep track? Do you adjust your activities and lifestyle to assure you have enough of those peaceful moments to help you glide past the ones that steal the peace from beneath your feet?

Last night we went to a small restaurant on a local lake. As I sat there on the deck, I was at total peace. There is no place else I could have wanted to be. It was a beautiful night and the view of the sailboats in the distance just added to the scene. We were smiling and singing Sweet Caroline and Cheeseburger In Paradise. It was a perfect night. We all need moments like this to bottle up. Life is supposed to be fun and happy and rewarding. Sometimes we just look in the wrong places and we miss those little moments that mean so much.

I hope you find many of these moments in your own life this week. Look for them, expect them and enjoy each and every one. What you appreciate will multiply, so take a look around you and notice the smallest things that make the biggest difference. Breathe them in and count your blessings. Bask in those moments and discover the big in the little things all around you. They are right there patiently waiting to get your attention.

Not My Problem

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Isn’t it amazing how we can convince ourselves things are one way when they are entirely another? I noticed lately that people keep score in their head for what they believe they do for others. The problem though is what they do actually occurs only inside their head and not in their actions. The bottom line is this. No-one likes to ask for anything. We are proud and want to believe we are self sufficient and can take total care of ourselves. Sometimes though we need help. We need to ask for a favor and all of a sudden that simple thing we need gets turned into something monumental. Imagine how that makes the person feel that does the asking. How belittling and degrading and hurtful we can make someone feel who has just put himself out there to ask for some help. That simple little favor gets turned into something monstrous and monumental. When did people stop doing things simply out of kindness? It’s not my problem and it’s not my responsibility have become common phrases in today’s society. Guess what? Selfishness and meanness is a problem that belongs to all of us. Kindness is something that should be freely spread rather than be treated as if it is some type of disgusting disease. It’s so simple for some to ask of others but the second someone asks something of them, no way Jose! Ask someone else.

I try to stay positive. I have learned to separate myself from relationships with people who are wrapped up in their own greatness and their own selfishness. This I’m important and you are beneath me attitude is an epidemic that spreads faster than a wildfire. That is why it is so important to surround yourself with people who are good and kind and grateful and build you up instead of constantly beating you down. Sometimes you have to make some really tough choices. You have to say I don’t accept this behavior in my life so I can no longer accept you in my life. People have got to step outside the tiny bubble they float around in and realize the world is a whole lot bigger than the confines of their own body.

Find people who are good and kind and greet you with a smile on their face instead of a large list of gripes about all that is terrible in their insignificant small life.You don’t need that kind of relationship and you deserve better. Negativity breeds more negativity and meanness breeds more of the same. Find someone who simply makes you feel good and start to put your time there. Slowly and surely start to separate yourself from the rest. I guarantee you will start to feel better and happy in a very short time.

Sit Back and Enjoy The Ride

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Last night we drove to the drive-in to watch Jimmy Buffet by satellite. It was a beautiful night and we sat there eating our “Cheeseburger In Paradise” special. A little corny, I know, but we are always up for a night out.

Not long after it began the temperature dropped. The winds picked up and goose bumps spread across my body like wildfire. We climbed in the car and the made the best out of the circumstances we were given. That is when it happened. Rain, lightening, thunder, ferocious winds and the satellite bringing us Jimmy Buffet was sadly lost.

We had waited weeks, driven an hour and a little more that one hour into the concert, it was over for us at the drive-in. Were we disappointed? Sure. But the fact is this, we could focus on the good or we could focus on the bad. I was just happy to spend some outdoor time with friends and family and at least catch some of the concert, even if the sound was somewhat muffled. We always have a choice to see the glass as half empty or half full. What we forget is sometimes we think entirely too much and should accept and enjoy the glass exactly the way it it. All the thinking in the world won’t change it’s contents. Take life as it is. Find the good and see past the bad. Go with the flow and things will always turn out the way they should. No sense fighting it just buckle up and enjoy the ride.

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