About Time

If you haven’t seen this delightful 2013 movie About Time, it is a refreshing reminder to relish life, one ordinary day at a time. If you don’t want to see the movie, or feel like your life is too ordinary to get excited about, try this:

  • Look out your window as if you were on vacation, traveling to your city and your neighborhood for the very first time
  • See your family and friends as if for the first time
  • Forget about what you want them to do differently and delight in them just as they are

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Stay tune for great joy. And…it’s about time!

Miracle Cure

With ample supply of this amazing elixir, I can:

  1. Overcome pain
  2. Disregard criticism
  3. Persevere through obstacles
  4. Smile at the future
  5. Heal my dis-ease
  6. Accomplish goals
  7. Forgive others’ faults
  8. Love fully

What is the elixir?

Confidence in my own worth;

Knowledge that my value is equal to the value of any and every created being that ever lived or will live; knowledge that even death cannot destroy my eternal presence and purpose; awareness that my value is something given freely to me. My value does not have to be earned or defended.

What time, energy, and sanity I would have saved if I had taken this elixir early and often.

(originally posted in 2013)

The Nature Doc

It’s nothing new that nature soothes, heals, and puts our senses in order. The problem is often our inability to access nature.

  • If I am caught up in self-pity or the pain of disappointment, sucked into my couch’s black hole…
    • Someone asks me to go outside, I say no
    • And, if I don’t go, it will be more difficult to go later
  • If I am stuck inside working (or sick in bed) all day, I can’t visit the “Nature Doctor”…
    • That’s when I must go to my stored-up memories of mountains and waterfalls
    • Or use my Google machine to call up images
    • Or “switch apps” or “change the channel” in my brain to refresh
  • If I see nature everyday, but it has lost the power to impress me…
    • My callousness to miracles is the most difficult problem to fix
    • I have to imagine being confined underground, in prison, or in a hospital
    • And see the sun and sky for the first time
    • Taste the water, smell the grass, feel the wind, touch a leaf

When Days Feel Like Ghosts

This insightful Emerson quote feels especially true when there is nothing on the agenda, when the phone is not ringing (and the mail is not dinging), when we are ill, not sure of our next step, or broke.

How do we use the “gift” of the day when the days feel like empty ghosts passing by? The key seems to be asking versus saying, “My life sucks” or “I’m completely useless.”

Is there anything I can do today to make a difference for someone?” prompts ideas, seemingly from out of nowhere, like sending kind texts or emails to those with whom I haven’t spoken in a while.

Then, there will be more energy to catch the ghosts and unwrap the gifts.

If I Feel Good, Am I a Good Person?

Bad logic alert!

In Feeling Good, David D. Burns asks the question, “If someone feels really good, does that mean they are a great person?”   The answer is obviously, no. So he makes the point that when we feel bad, it doesn’t follow that we are worthless or despicable, even though this is a thought process common in depression (that perpetuates the depressed state). He reminds us that human beings are not static, but ever changing and growing, so these labels (that depress us) defy logic.

If we change our thoughts, we can change our feelings. We don’t have to fall deeper and deeper into the darkness.

P.S. There are those who never wrestle with feelings of worthlessness. So glad of that. Yet, if you are one of those people, please remember that feeling better is not as easy for the rest of us.

(initially posted 2013)

When It Is Good to Lower My Standards

It is not always a bad thing to lower my standards. It is a good thing to do when…

  • I have been too critical of myself (as I have aged, I’ve noticed that my appearance standards {ahem, obsessions} have not contributed to mental health)
  • I am too critical of others (my standards do the most harm when used to facilitate a feeling of superiority)
  • my standards were unreasonable (perfectionism) or alienated the people around me (self-righteous)
  • I based my self-worth on my standards (lack of awareness of how ridiculously messed up I am)
  • I bragged about or felt compelled to talk too much about my standards (insecure)

Or, prepare for the institution.

For Less-Opportunity Social Stratas

For those of us who were born without

For those of us who will die early

For those of us with disease or deformity

For those of us who never knew the “right people”

For those of us with low IQs

Who didn’t go to school

Or have a job

For those of us without a home, shoes, clean clothes

Or love

There is the equanimity of sun and rain

Earth’s free gift of light and water

And, yes, a path that leads to the finish line

Where we are welcomed with honor

Appreciate It…Now or Never

We humans have the audacity to look back at photos from the past and swoon with nostalgia after completely underappreciating what we had at the time! I guess that is better than not appreciating it at all…but…

Nostalgia will not recover lost people, opportunities, places, our youth (or the body we had), and we will have missed the gifts that were ours for the taking, if we had only known how lucky we were at the time!

It’s too late to fix my ingratitude for how skinny I was in the past (when I thought I was fat), but, I can change the future by what I do now. When tempted to complain about…

  • a relationship that irritates me,
  • something that isn’t exactly right, or
  • my appearance

I will stop myself in mid-sentence by saying, “Appreciate it!” and give now it’s just respect before it is gone.

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Where Do You Live?

hafiz-quote

“The words you speak become the house you live in.”  -Hafiz

In the past, when I wasn’t pleased with my situation, I thought that I had been a victim of a cruel fate, injustices, and others’ misjudgments. And, I seldom missed a chance to let everyone know about it. Now I realize:

  • my words were defining my experience.
  • many “injustices” I thought I suffered were self-inflicted. I was just clueless.
  • uncomfortable “accommodations” were part of the journey to appreciating the better ones to come.
  • happiness was always an inside job.

In the beginning was the word.

My words are the architect, the interior designer, and the realtor for the place I want to live.

A Payoff from the Process

Acceptance of one’s life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes, and injustices. – Paul Tournier
That’s a heck of a lot to accept.
Who wants to accept hereditary handicaps, suffering, psychological baggage, topped off with injustices?
Not me. Not anyone. That’s awful!
Yet, nature teaches that there will be a transformation and a payoff…when I decide to submit to the mysterious usefulness of all the awful stuff  that I wanted to be angry about.
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Or I can stay angry, miss the blossoming, and make a lot of people miserable in the process.