What is your favorite time of day? Now that I am in my forties, I would have to choose morning. I remember as a teen and continuing into my twenties that often times, morning was something I didn’t enjoy at all. Often times, it consisted of rushing around to get ready for my day or sometimes on weekends skipping them all together, sleeping in until the middle of the day. Now morning is a time of calm. I no longer hurry out of bed. I wake up and reflect on the things I am grateful for. I remind myself that each new day is an opportunity to get it right, to live better and to use my time wiser than the way I did the day before. I bask in the calm quiet that morning brings, pausing there for a while to take it all in. It is the time I recharge and start my day from a feeling of peace instead of charging into the day full force in the midst of noisy chaos. The older I get, the more I long for solitude, quiet and a calm environment to escape to when there is just too much noise. What is your favorite time of day and why? If love to hear about it.
Today, as I opened my eyes on this Satirday morning, I heard my husbands heartbeat. In that single moment I was reminded of the miracles all around me. While I go on with my usual daily business, my body is working behind the scenes to keep me alive. Life is precious and it’s nothing short of amazing that I am here today celebrating this precious gift as I continue to dance through my life. I know how easy it is to get caught up in the little things that we become obsessed with. We spend so much time fixated on something that no amount of thought is ever going to change. When we wake up and the sound of a heartbeat greets our day we remember how fragile, how beautiful, how mysteriously amazing life can be. Those who forget fall into a bitter sleep. They stop noticing the little things that fill us up with wonder and gratitude. Happiness slips from their grip and the everyday troubles become the focus of which they live. Remind yourself today and every day that life is a gift. The people in our lives are meant to support and love us while others are meant to challenge us until we grow. Live, love and appreciate every drop of rain, every morsel of food you put in your mouth. Be grateful for the abundance around you and wish everyone well, especially the ones who challenge you the most. Remind yourself that today is a gift and how lucky you are to be alive.
Too much of any one thing is never very good. Too much eating leads to obesity, too much exercise leads to exhaustion, too much rain leads to flooding and the list goes on and on. I’ve met people in my life who never seem to be satisfied. They are constantly complaining about every single thing, never finding gratitude for what is right around them. Why are people so unhappy? Why is everything less than what we want it to be? Maybe we are stuck believing that everything has to be extreme. It’s not good enough to feel a spark of happiness, we have to be completely satisfied and indulged in every way to really feel good. We’ve lost the concept of balance somewhere along the road to selfish gratification.
I know for me it’s taken several days of unusual rain to really appreciate how fortunate I am to live in a place that has so much sunshine. If I eat too much of a good thing, I have to step away from the table the next day and eat a little less so I don’t feel so sick and full. Too much for some is never enough and too much for others is overbearing. The sweet spot is finding the balance in everything in our lives. We must learn to find beauty in a rainbow instead of conditionally placing our happiness in the warmth of the sun. We must have a little bad to really appreciate the good and we need to be happy wherever we are instead of always wanting something else. We must stop comparing this hamburger to that hamburger and find a way to enjoy each bite. It sounds silly I know but if we get caught up in comparing the little things, it will carry over into comparing the big things and then less than perfect will never make us happy again. Keep life simple. Find something to be grateful for every single day. Make sure your positive outweighs the negative and don’t compare yesterday with tomorrow or you’ll waste the time you have today.
Today I stayed in bed as my kids left to go to their last day of school. My son is at the end of his 7th grade year and my daughter is wrapping up 10th. They are so excited summer is finally here and that they can leave another school year behind. It seems like yesterday when they were climbing on the school bus together in elementary school. I remember when I was about their age thinking the school years would never end. As a parent, I feel much different. I’m not sure why life seems so cruel when you are a parent. Each year goes faster and faster as your kids gradually slip away. I never had to think about anything other than our little family residing together separate from the rest of the world. Now I realize, ready or not, those days are quickly coming to a close. They are excited to grow up, get out on their own and move on. Quietly I sit with my heart in my hand, sadly watching them tiptoe away. Of course I want them to be responsible adults with lives of their own but I also long to go back to the days when they were so small and full of life. When their world was much smaller and my time with them was so much bigger. We get stuck on this carousel riding and waiting out the circle of life. Sometimes we need a minute to jump off and catch our breath but it keeps spinning and spinning until we are so dizzy we have no choice but to lay down and close our eyes. There are some years that are so hard you pray for them to pass quickly so you can just move on. The older we get, the more we learn to get over the hard and stay focused on the moments in life that are good. We move our feet to a place that is better and happier and we no longer dwell in a place that is uncomfortable and doesn’t feel so good. We hold onto the moments as the years slip away under our feet. We shed a tear of sadness because another school year is over instead of a tear of joy that our child successfully made it through. We go on, we get out of bed and we adapt to the change taking place every single day. We forgive more, we love deeper and time becomes something that is more precious as each minute ticks away.
I went to get my hair colored yesterday. For some crazy reason, the only place that is turning pure white is right around my face. I asked the girl what type of treatment I needed to cover my gray and she decided on a root erase. When I got home and finally looked in the mirror I was horrified to still see white. I just sat there for over an hour, spent 52.00 dollars and I still looked the same. Normally I am not one to confront or complain but I was pretty upset and decided to go back and ask the girl what had gone wrong. To my dismay, instead of offering to remedy the problem, she acted like that is what I should have expected for that particular treatment. I looked her in the eyes and asked her why I would have come in to get my hair colored if she wasn’t going to cover all the white. She still blamed me and apologized wrapping it up with “Have a nice day.” I was horrified and realized there was no need for anymore conversation with her. I walked up to the front desk and explained my situation to the manager who immediately handed back every penny I paid including the tip.
Sometimes it’s just best to admit you are wrong. And when you are wrong, sometimes it is necessary to do what it takes to make it right. Needless to say, I will never go back to that girl again. Maybe if she was apologetic and took responsibility to admit the mistake and do it over, then maybe I would have come back. Now I am forced to search for a new hairdresser and remedy the problem myself with a $5.99 store bought root erase. The moral of the story is this, just admit when you are wrong and do all you can to right that wrong. Then and only then, you will be forgiven and everyone can move on.
One thing being a parent has taught me is not to judge other parents. Like it or not, sometimes our kids do something that is so embarrassing and humiliating that we never want to show our face in public again. Slowly we learn to judge a little less and be empathetic a little more.
I remember watching the news a few weeks ago. I could not for the life of me understand how people could be dumb enough to drive into flood waters. Yesterday, I got my answer. I picked my son up at school when it started to rain. It was coming down so fast and so hard that I could barely see the road in front of me. In just a matter of minutes the water started rising all around me. No matter which way I turned, I couldn’t escape. I was trapped, I was scared and I was trying really hard not to panic. Cars were stuck on the side of the road and others were trying to back themselves out of places the water was too high. I did get out and I realized we should never judge because someday we might find ourselves in a situation we never imagined. It was a great reminder to be less critical and more understanding. Use your fingers for pointing if you’re giving directions but don’t ever point them at another person.
Have you ever found yourself in the same situation you once judged someone for? I’d love to hear about it.
It’s only recently that I discovered the spectrum of the concept of attitude. I’ve always understood attitude to mean a particular viewpoint or how we perceive what is going on around us. What I didn’t connect though is how attitude or our perception of things directly determines our behavior. Google defines attitude like this: truculent or uncooperative behavior; a resentful or antagonistic manner.
There is nothing quite worse than being around someone with a bad attitude. It’s heartbreaking to watch someone you care about find absolutely nothing good about anything. It’s like being in a room and someone shutting off the oxygen supply. The life slowly drains right out of you as you realize there is nothing that will ever be good enough to be good at all. The constant complaining and criticism is like venom that kills the spirit of everyone it enters. Not only does a bad attitude ruin the person who is holding onto it but it also ruins everything for everyone who has to be around it. Everything we do affects everyone else. Everything we say, everything we do, the way we act either lifts others up or brings them down. We need to be aware of the negativity that flows from our mouths. No one wants to be around someone with a bad attitude period. Sometimes when you think everything is horrible, life hands you exactly that….more horrible. And really, who would want that?
When you wake up in the morning, remind yourself this day will not last. You will never get it back.
When you choose anger and lash out at the people you love, remember you can never take it back.
When you choose to be selfish and walk all over the people who love you, they will remember every time they look back.
When you choose hatred and waste a precious day not loving, you will never get it back.
When you spend years of your life complaining instead of practicing gratitude, those are lost opportunities you will never get back.
When you choose to hurt the people you love just to prove a point, you take away a happy day they will never get back.
Your life is a gift. You are meant to serve, love and celebrate every single day. What you do with your time, every hour, second, minute is up to you. You have a choice to ruin your own life and the lives around you or you have the choice to make the most out of time that is continuously ticking away. We are only given a set number of hours. Will we spend them loving, hating, complaining? We must choose wisely because every moment that passes is one less we have left to live. We must choose love and kindness. We must choose to look for the good in every situation even when it’s hard to see. We must learn to appreciate the people in our lives and love them enough to not use our words and actions to push them away. We must notice the little things like a sunset or a beautiful rainbow after a horrible storm. We must notice the rose blooming in our backyard more than we notice somebody’s flaws. We must see the beauty in everyone instead of placing conditions on who we expect them to be. We must embrace the moments as they come and not waste waste them because we are too proud to let go of our own anger. We must choose to laugh and love and most importantly to be happy. One day, we will open our eyes and stare into the mirror at someone very old. Our eyes will be filled with joy or pain as they reflect back on the time we will never get back. Our hearts will explode with joy or crumble inside our chest because of the way we chose to live. If you were looking in that mirror right now, what would you see? There is still time to live a different way, are you too proud? Will you look the other way? Will you live without regret? The mirror does not lie and as much as we try to avoid it, someday we will have to be accountable for who we are.
Sometimes life doesn’t go as we plan. There is so much we cannot control, so much we cannot predict, so many things that will come out of nowhere and completely knock the wind out of our sails. We have a choice to lay down and die as our boat gets tossed around. We have a choice to remain completely stranded, lost at sea or we find another way. When there is nothing left to do, we row. We must use every bit of knowledge we have, we must reach down deep and find that strength and the will to do whatever it takes to survive. When we are destroyed on the inside, we must put a smile on our face on the outside and carry on. We wait for those things that knock us off our feet to pass. We embrace the pain, the disappointment and that gnawing tug of anxiety that robs us of our sleep at night. We must feel what we want to heal and accept the scar that will be left behind. When we feel raped and left there feeling used and vulnerable we must stand back up. When life throws us into a tailspin, we must find a way to straighten the wheel. When selfishness and anger attack us unexpectedly we must choose love and forgiveness and pray for the healing we need to move on. When we look in the mirror and our deepest pain is staring back at us, we must make the choice to be patient and gentle with ourselves. We row and row and row until finally drained and completely exhausted, we reach a better place. We distance ourself from the place we don’t want to be but the memory of it will always be fresh in our mind. It will try and drag us down, reinvent the sinking feeling deep in our gut to pull us back under. It will tap us on the shoulder and dare us to look back but we must find the strength to turn our head and look forward. We row. We move on. We do whatever it takes just to survive.
Do you have a special mantra you use for words of encouragement? What is it?
One day I was in yoga going through a guided meditation for relaxation. I really believed I was completely relaxed until the yoga teacher would suggest something like softening your eyebrows. I realized even though I thought I was relaxed, my body was still tense. It was necessary to focus on each individual part to relax completely. Sometimes the whole is a slight misrepresentation of the parts. That is the day I realized how important it was to set an intention and to check in with myself throughout the day to assure I was meeting my own personal goal. Wayne Dyer suggested a mantra recently that I have started to practice recently. It goes something like this, Everywhere I go, I am surrounded by peace. Inner peace is such an important thing to me. Sometimes though, I don’t realize I am putting out thoughts and behaviors that will bring me the exact opposite and if I achieve that peace and carry that with me while I am putting out that intention, the odds are my day has a favorable chance of leaning that way. So tell me, what is your mantra today?