Take All Your Senses for a Walk

The value of a brisk walk can probably not be overestimated! Even a short walk can bring meaningful change to our physical, mental, and emotional state. So make it a goal to make time for a walk today – even if it’s only five minutes.

And while you’re walking, try to focus extra attention on just one of your senses at a time for a a minute or two.

Smell all of the scents there are, pleasant or otherwise, trees in bloom or chimney plume.

Feel the way the ground meets your foot, sense the breeze as it moves through your hair or across you cheek, and then moves limbs or leaves or dust around you.

Hear the sounds that surround you, some near and some distant, some natural, some human made, birds, laughter, horns honking, and perhaps even the sound of silence.

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See the light and shadows play across your path. Watch as clouds slowly morph from shape to shape.

And then if you can, allow yourself to be engulfed in all of those pieces of the world around you. See, feel, and hear a moment as you breathe deeply.

Please do make time for a walk today, and as I do I will be thinking of you.

 

Random (?) Questions

What animal your fond of?

Why?

What attribute does that animal display which may be helpful to you as you face a current challenge?

And if you don’t feel like literally responding, that’s perfectly OK. But at least contemplate the questions, please. They might be beneficial (and not completely random questions after all!)

Thanks for taking good care of you!

 

Mistakes or Lessons

Most of us will agree that learning an important lesson sounds like a positive step. Learning is good and lessons prepare us. Fun or not, learning lessons is good for us.

Most of us will agree that making mistakes can be embarrassing and painful.

Some of us will realize that¬† mistakes and missteps are opportunities to change and learn and grow. Choosing to see “failures” that way is a game-changer! When faced with a mistake, press the pause button, take a couple slow deep breaths, and summon a sense of curiosity to explore how else you might have tried or what else you could do differently.

The lessons will keep happening. The real question is whether or not we will choose to learn from them, so that we may move forward.

#ChooseWisely

 

Hustling Hope

Hope is curious stuff. It’s always right in front of us and yet, so often, hard to see. Hope is undeniable, irrefutable, and evident, even in the midst of tragedy (perhaps especially there.) Hope has the power to change almost everything. Hope is always near, but there are eyes which cannot see it. Hope can meet needs and yet some will never taste it. Sadly people perish every day while surrounded by it – unable to see it or know it.

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When people wonder what my blog is about or why I take the time to post, I suppose an appropriate answer would be that I want to hustle hope. As long as I have breath, I want to shine the light on hope, point your eye toward hope, sing you a song of hope, or share a story of hope. There seems to be plenty of demand in the world, right?

Hope is the stuff that allows us to see that the same rainstorm that cancelled our parade sprinkled “leaf gems” all over our garden. And when I take a moment to look at the gems on the grass and flowers, I feel hope.

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Hope is what I peddle. It’s what I hustle every day – or at least every day while I have it in stock. Hope alone doesn’t change things, but it seems to be a catalyst which¬†allows things to change or helps them to. It’s the greatest game-changer of all because it can serve as a sort of a key to unlock things which seemed, mere moments ago, to be impossible.

On your journey (aren’t we all on a journey?) hope can definitely change your outcome, whether you believe it or not. In fact, whether or not you believe it is part of the key that can unlock hope’s power. So try to stay hopeful. And if you have trouble staying hopeful, stay in touch with your friendly neighborhood hope dealer!

#HopeDealer

 

Let it Rain

Right?

We may as well “let” it rain rather than hate it, wish against it, or try to pretend it isn’t raining. Rain happens and I usually choose to suppose that the rain happens for a reason. Then it’s not only neutral, but it actually feels positive.

Decades ago, whenever there was a thunderstorm, my mother would turn off and unplug the television. As the storm approached, she’d go to the den and start playing songs on the piano. We’d all be in the den in no time once we heard the piano. Before we knew it, we’d all be singing at the top of our lungs. My siblings and any neighborhood kids who happened to be in our yard would fill every seat in the room and laugh as the thunder clapped and the lightning flashed. Some of the neighborhood kids would get permission to come to our house before a storm started, because they were more fun at our house!

Sometimes we’d say that the angels were bowling in the sky and the really BIG crashes were strikes. We sang and laughed and even shrieked when lightning struck really close. We’d count the seconds between the flash and the crash. But I never remember anyone panicking. Singing through the storm and laughing when a shriek interrupted a verse, we road out many, many storms.

When we were older, my mother explained that she was terrified of lightning storms and that for all those years she was trying to keep herself distracted with the piano and singing. By doing so she taught most of us to “let” storms be storms. Some of us even like storms – even 50 years later!

When it comes to those things we cannot change, we can always change our mind. Or as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said…

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”

 

 

 

 

Grace

Here are a few thought-provoking quotes about Grace.

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Grace is my hope/wish/prayer for you today.

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May you have sufficient grace to hear the message that the universe is offering you today, regardless of the messenger.

5.31.2018 Grace

May we listen in grace, walk in grace, and offer grace to all. Please don’t forget to treat yourself with grace, too!

 

 

Take Five

Whether or not it’s actually said on a movie or television set, “Take Five” is a fairly familiar phrase that means take a break. And there are surely times in our worlds when we need to take a break.

Here’s a simple tool to learn so that we can take a safe, healthy break when we need to. This tool could help us avoid angry actions (which we might have regretted later.) It might help some of us avoid using an unhealthy coping skill.

The next time you find yourself facing a conflict or stressor..

TAKE FIVE (or more) steps away from the source of the conflict.

TAKE FIVE slow, deep breaths. Visualize the oxygen circulating through your body and visualize the stress/anger exiting as you exhale. (Deep breathing can really change how we feel!)

TAKE FIVE minutes to carefully, calmly consider if or how best to respond to the situation. If it isn’t literally on fire, you can take a little time before you respond.

Take five steps, breaths, and minutes. You deserve a break and you deserve to be free. Please learn it, memorize it, and use it. It works!

((Extra credit of you whistle “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck))

 

#FeelGoodFriday #DFTYA!

Live in Belgium 1964

Paul Desmond (alto sax), Joe Morello (drums), Eugene Wright (bass) and Dave Brubeck (piano)

All I See Is Your Courage

When I listen to people talking about their challenging experiences (especially friends who are battling addictions) their voices often seem to convey guilt or shame. They seem to say – sometime with and sometimes without words – that they feel defeated, overwhelmed, or weak. In a word, I guess I hear regret.

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Recently, as I listened to a person talking about their past missteps and stumbles, I was quite overcome by the glaring disconnect. The speaker was candidly retelling the tales of his numerous attempts at quitting and the relapses that had ended the periods of recovery he achieved. The lyrics of his story were accompanied by the unmistakable chords of despair and regret.

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But there he sat, voluntarily fighting to regain his freedom AGAIN. He wasn’t drafted into this war. He enlisted. What courage! Even while his voice and affect conveyed feelings of guilt and regret, all I could see was his courage! I observe scenarios like this almost daily, but the other day it moved me in a deeper way to recognize the courage that these brave souls too often cannot see. I can hear a song that they may not easily hear. I can hear a chorus of hope rising from the clamor of their despair and regret.

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So may I say again that it is my privilege to serve such brave and hopeful people, and I will loudly sing of hope not just too you, but because of you! While you may not feel courageous and when the war has left you weary, your actions, your efforts, your struggle and persistence quietly attest to your bravery. Thank you for your courage, even when you feel defeated. Your courage sends ripples of hope to all around you. You inspire me and others to believe that anything is possible.

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Thank you!

#DFTYA!

 

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