Information overload: the good, the bad and the ugly

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I’ve got a lot on my mind but, rather than write multiple posts, I condensed my innumerable thoughts into six key points so I can say my piece and move on. You’re welcome.

  1. Consistency and mindfulness: Hey, they really work! My recent blood workup illustrates the positive results of both. See “Consistency is key…” and “7 tips to incorporate mindfulness…” for helpful reminders.
  2. Authentic change requires forgiveness: Did you commit a wrongdoing that compels you to ask forgiveness? Or are you waiting for an apology? See “Forgiveness is a funny thing” and “Forgiveness leads to freedom.” Only through forgiveness can we experience authentic, life-altering change.
  3. Health stuff: Nothing major, but a new pesky concern to monitor.
  4. Enough with the negativity: Quit bellyaching (note to self) and see “What we speak is what we get.
  5. My heart hurts: For my friends and family who suffer with illness, disease, loss, heartache. For my own unrequited dreams.
  6. Humanity: God help us.

What’s on your mind?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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Embrace the struggle: every good story contains conflict

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We must let go of the life we have planned,
so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
~ Joseph Campbell

Nearly 18 months ago, I embarked on a rite of passage: the admittance into “Club 50“—a new season I embraced with enthusiasm, positivity and sparkles. Oh, the places I’ll go, to coin a favorite Dr. Seuss book title. I began to plan this next half century, my hopes and dreams—my bucket list—with gusto and determination. Yet, here I am, a year and a half later, my bucket filled with these same goals, along with a few plot twists along the way: loss, disappointment, unrequited dreams. But, if we release our plans—or, at the very least, loosen the reins—perhaps, in turn, we invite opportunities to build character and deepen relationships through our struggles. In the process, we might even create space to dream a new dream. And to share that dream with others.

What plan(s) do you need to release?

Newsflash: it’s not all about you

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news flash

 

When the familiar ache in my heart warns me a self-inflicted pity party might be in progress soon, I remind myself of the truth in Gretta Brooker Palmer’s quote about how making someone else happy serves to sprinkle joy into our own lives. A backwash of blessings, if you will. Mary, the woman I write about in ‘The secret to a happy life,’ whose partner withholds communication and touch on a regular basis, has taught me much about removing self from the equation. To take what I’m missing in my life and turn loss into an opportunity to pick myself up for the umpteenth time, dust off the ashes and allow my faith to create beauty in the lives of those around me. The hardest part is keeping our gaze fixed ahead of us, rather than focusing inward on our lack. Just for today, let’s discard our metaphorical blinders and do something kind for someone else. I guarantee we’ll both feel better.

How can you change your focus?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Purging and prioritizing: housekeeping for the soul

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regrets mistakes memories

Hard, this life thing. Over the past few weeks I’ve engaged in significant housekeeping tasks that, below the surface, denote a clean slate—a ‘starting over’ in practice and in theory. On the home front, I’ve tackled clutter and tossed what is no longer necessary, bagged up things to be sorted through eventually and donated items I hope might bless others. My personal life also experienced a collective loss, which has become the catalyst toward a sense of peace and healing—an opportunity to put my priorities in right order, to live with intention instead of allowing life to happen to me. Every regret or mistake I’ve made is a lesson learned, a temporary memory purged much like photos that fade over time or are deleted off a hard drive. And then replaced by the truth of knowing I’m finally on the right path as I leave behind my self-centered ways and prepare to step into my fabulous new life.

How do you ‘get over’ regrets or mistakes?

Navigating a new normal

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Navigating a new normal

[Image credit: digitalart]

Since my last post, I’ve been muddling through most days in a film of malaise. My beloved father passed away mere weeks ago. I vacillate between feelings of abandonment and guilt, relief and hope. But often I stumble around life in ill-fitting emotions I’d prefer to shed. Yet I attempt to find my new normal among the living. I’ve been told to be gentle and kind as I navigate this unforgiving territory; to learn to say no and to accept myself wherever I’m at … that I’ll reach a point where I’m angry enough at my depressive state I’ll finally be ready to move forward. Some days are better than others. Some I wish I could turn back the clock and see my pop one more time on this side of heaven. My last post shared The meaning of life according to Gast—about truly living. Now I simply long for my sparkle to return—spark by small spark.

How are you gentle to yourself in times of loss?

Try thankfulness

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[Image credit: David Castillo Dominici]

If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.
It will change your life mightily.
~ Gerald Good

Several people in my life are struggling with illness and chronic pain.  Others are in dire financial straits.  At least two friends suffer from psychological issues and medication side effects; a few couples are going through the motions; an acquaintance goes to work and stagnates a little more each day.  A father sacrifices in the name of love.  Loss, heartache, regrets, poor choices.  Each of us bears our own cross.  But in the midst of it, finding one thing to be thankful for may make all the difference in the world.  Perhaps the person ahead of you in line paid for your coffee this morning.  Or you find the missing five dollars tucked between the receipts in your wallet.  A kind word spoken.  Second chances.  Pep-talks.  Another sunrise and sunset.  Every day find one thing to be thankful for.  It could just change everything.

What’s on your holiday agenda?

A feeling of helplessness

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[Image credit: Salvatore Vuono]

There have been instances in my life where I’ve felt helpless.  When I knew that nothing I said or did would affect an outcome.  Soul-wrenching grief.  If I could have stayed under the safety of my bed covers until the universe righted itself, I would’ve been the first to raise my hand in agreement.  Loss and I are no strangers.  One time, a year or so after a tragedy touched my family, I ran into an old acquaintance who knew that story.  “You don’t look any different,” she’d said.  I laughed off the comment then, acknowledging that I was, indeed, the same person.  But that was only a partial truth.  To the naked eye, there were no visible changes, but on the inside there were many broken spots.  After all, to go through a catastrophic event unscathed would be unlikely.  And yet, the essence of me remains.  Except a few cracks that still require mending.

Describe a time in your life when you’ve felt helpless in your circumstances.

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