Archive | February 2012

The Beauty of Sharing

We all have them: the day, the week, sometimes even the month when we are down in the dumps, feeling the blues, nothing is going right and we wonder what is our purpose in life.  Many of us get frustrated at such a time.  We  withdraw into ourselves and “ride it out.” For some, this action can be dangerous as it leads to excessive levels of depression.  For others, it is thought to be the cure that is needed to help get themselves together again.  I will readily admit that I am currently in one of those spaces.  Instead of shutting down and closing in on myself as I would normally do I decided to take a different approach.

I actually decided to share a little of what I’m experiencing with a few close and trusted friends.  The result, a mere 24 hours after the fact has been interesting to say the least.  Those who appreciate the cheer I share with them were more than happy to help fill up my cup.  A small act on their part, no doubt, but hugely appreciated by me.  The lesson is that sometimes people can’t give you what you need if they are not aware that you need it.  The next lesson is one that I’ve known but I love the reinforcement. It comes from a young lady who was wise beyond her years named Anne Frank: “despite everything, I truly believe that people are really good at heart.”

I know the temptation is there to not share disappointments and mistakes.  You figure no one wants to hear of your troubles or that you may be judged.  While this is a risk it doesn’t outweigh the rewards. Especially when your strongest desire is to withdraw, don’t keep everything to yourself.  Be willing to step out on a limb and share your experiences.  They may help someone else to heal and in the process you may find some or many who help you heal as well.  It all comes down to spreading love.  It’s true that no one wants to hear someone’s tales of woe all of the time, but people are far more desirous than you may believe to help someone else along the way.

Spread love…peace and blessings

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The Lenten Season: A Time to “Give Up” Or Add To Your Life

Many people, regardless of whether they are devoutly religious or not, chose to eliminate a bad habit from their life for the Lenten season.  Lent begins this week on Ash Wednesday.  I have been thinking about the concept of “giving up” something for Lent and what exactly that means.

Many people elect to forego either a bad habit (smoking, drinking, excessive shopping) or eating some food that they feel is detrimental to their health (chocolate, red meat, sweets, etc.).  These are all admirable habits to change. Many years ago, however,  I read an article that changed my viewpoint on “Lenten fasting” for good.  It suggested that the aforementioned things are easy to eliminate for 40 days.  The challenge is to give up things that are much more challenging. Give up: gossip, worry, lying, cheating, regret, envy, inattentiveness just to name a few.

Let’s take that a step further.  Wouldn’t we all be better off if our goal were to eliminate these and other things like them from our lives not just for 40 days but for good?  Instead of thinking about what we are “giving up” think about what you are adding: better interpersonal relationships, more time for meditation and self-reflection, emphasis on the spiritual instead of the material, the opportunity to see others only the best that they have to offer just to name a few.

I will admit, that in an effort to cure (or at least diminish) my sugar addiction I will indeed eliminate candy and sweets from my diet for the Lenten season.  I am not ashamed to tell you that this commitment has resulted in my eating sugar like it’s “Fat Tuesday” for about a week now.  Darn that blasted Valentine’s Day and the 1/2 price candy that follows!! I am working on the last obstacle to fully obtaining the body I desire and I know that my sugar diet is the hindrance, so I look forward to a stated reason for me to stop (oh don’t read it and give me that look! You do know that will power decreases as you get older don’t you?  So the fact that I am now 36 instead of 21 is catching up with me.  LOL!! Whaaaaaat?!?!)

At any rate, the sugar is just the beginning.  I have embarked on an A Cup of Cheer project that already requires more introspection, concentration and down/quiet time.  What a wonderful time to add : seeing everyone for their best, judging only myself, spending daily time in communication with the spirit,  and getting adequate rest to my life regimen.  Not for 40 days either- this is a life commitment.  I will add more things next year.  I will look forward to Lent every year from here on out as a time to add more to my life. The time for “giving up” is up.   Enjoy the season.  Let me know what you will add for this year.  Let’s encourage each other to stick with the commitment well past the Easter weekend.

 

Spread love…peace and blessings.

Love Me In A Special Way

Normally I write my blogs on Monday, the self-imposed due date.  No multi drafts for this kid.  Nope, I wait until the topic hits me, write, edit and post- normally in record time.  This week I’m doing things a little differently.  It is a Sunday afternoon and I am at the laptop.  There are two things that make this Sunday a tad different from a lot of other first days of the week.  First of all, it is the Sunday before Valentine’s Day, a holiday which I personally love.  Secondly, it is the day following the death of my most beloved Whitney Houston.  I, no doubt, would have written about love in this blog anyway, but now it has a much more poignant message.  As you know, the theme of A Cup of Cheer is to spread love.  Naturally that lends itself especially to the season of love as signified by Valentine’s Day.  This holiday will be a little different though.  Ever since I received news of Whitney’s passing yesterday evening I have been in a state of shock.  I found myself watching CNN for hours last night.  In that time period I saw and heard both fan and celebrity reactions to the news.  In the end, I had to turn off the television, to divorce myself from the situation if you will.  Why?  Because I kept thinking about how so many people seemed to have turned their backs on Whitney in recent years.  It caused me to write a Facebook status about it “Please, please, please don’t wait til I’m gone to talk about how wonderful I am. Sing my praises RIGHT NOW so I can hear them.” If there is any message I’m getting right now it is this : love me now.

Most people would be pleased to hear the accolades that come once they are gone.  But the truth is we do not know whether they hear them or not.  So, in cases like Whitney Houston’s, you have a person who was beloved and adored by fans all over the world.  These same fans, however, have been less than kind to her in recent years.  We know that Whitney has battled the demons of drug and alcohol addiction. It has been well documented.  We also know the “The Voice” was altered over the years.  Now, however, some of the same people who once mocked her are in mourning.  They are shedding tears for a woman who I’m sure at many times did not feel the love that is now being so freely expressed.

I say all of this to say I think a lot of us have it all wrong.  When you love someone let them know it.  Say it to them.  Say it to others. Love is more of an action than a feeling. It’s about what you do.  If you love me, you defend me, you protect me, you offer assistance, you check me when I need to be checked, you let me know that you care and that you are there. I am as guilty of this as everyone else.  There are some members of my family whom I love deeply but I don’t put the time in that I should with them.  It is true that time is precious and that we only have a certain amount of it.  True but no excuse. We ALL find the time to do the things we really want to do.

As we approach Valentine’s Day some will write it off as a commercial enterprise.  They don’t feel that they should be told when to express their love to someone.  I agree wholeheartedly.  We need to be diligent in showing love daily.  I do challenge you to take Valentine’s Day as a reminder to boost up your love game.  “Love me in a special way. What more can I say. Just love me now.”  When I’m gone is 5 minutes too late.   Happy Valentine’s Day.

Spread love…peace and blessings.

The Road To Good Health

I see people all of the time who are proud, as they well should be, of the accomplishments they have made towards good physical health.  Their eating habits have improved, they are exercising (at least a little), and they are drinking more water.  They may even be closer to getting the recommended amount of sleep per night. They are feeling good about themselves and I feel good for them.  However, … dun da da da… I would contend that they still might not be healthy.  Why not you ask?  Well, because in my most humble opinion to truly be in good health we have to take care of not just our bodies, but also our mind and our spirit.

The effects of exercising on a regular basis can be quickly negated if your weekend “entertainment” consists of drinking all of your calories.  And no, you know I’m not talking about smoothies or veggie juice.  A lot of the drinking is social in nature, but a lot of it is also related to an unsettled soul.  People drink to cure what ails them.  The same way you exercise your body you should exercise your mind.  Focus on the positive.  Look to do good for others.  Read for enrichment.  Meditate.  Find healthy ways to “self medicate.”   A healthy body means nothing if your mind is not focused on positive, uplifting things.  It has been proven that a lot of our medical health is based on the mental.  That alone ought to be more than enough encouragement. Get your mind right.

Related to your mental health is your spiritual health.  The most balanced people are those who live their life with some type of spiritual component.  Whatever your higher entity is and by whatever name you call that entity, get in touch with it.  Recognize and appreciate that there is something greater than yourself.  Most people are of the belief that the spirit of that entity resides within each of us.  Learn to get in touch with that source.  It is the source of all that is good.  It will help guide your choices and serves as a good moral barometer.  Most of the time when we are not “doing right” we have a nagging little feeling in the pit  of our stomach.  That is the higher source trying to communicate with you.  Learn to listen to it.

In summary, it is not about the specific exercises that you do, it is not about which specific scholars you read, and it is not about the name you give the God you choose to worship.  It is about the combination of the three.  Word hard on the trinity- body, mind, and soul and you will be a lot further along on the road to good health.  I have my backpack on my back trekking along.  Are you coming?  😉

Spread love…peace and blessings.