10 Things to Give Up

Suddenly, she realized that a fresh start was hers for the taking; that she could be the woman she’d always she’d always seen on the horizon – her future self. One step at a time, starting today.” – Life On Purpose

Some things to consider giving up include:

1. Trying to please, and be acceptable, to others

2. The fear of making a mistake

3. The fear of change

4. A fear of the future

5. Guilt or shame that’s tied to your past

6. Beating yourself up, or putting yourself down

7. Over-thinking

8. Living by your feelings

9. The desire to get even with others

10. The tendency to procrastinate.

How would your life be different if you choose to give up one of these things?

Which one could you choose to start on today?

A Beautiful Life

Do the things that make you feel alive. That ignite the flame in your heart again.

Wear the funky necklace. Buy the clothes from the store that are beautiful, exotic … clothes you really want to have.

Spend a whole day cooking an extravagant meal with fabulous ingredients that smell so wonderful.

Sign up for a class you know you’d really love to take. A subject that excites you, or has really piqued your interest.

Decorate your walls with art. Fill your shelves with dog-eared books. Scent your rooms with perfumed candles. Put real flowers everywhere.

This life is yours to live, so go and live it in full colour.

It’s your one precious gift. For you to use.

Entirely yours.

Make Today a Beautiful Day

“Make today a beautiful day. A beautiful day that you’ve created just for you.” 

Today …

Take a few moments to quieten your heart, and to remind yourself again that it’s good to be alive. And to remind yourself, again, that there’s a place down deep inside where you’re grounded, calm and settled. Where you know just who you are.

And then go out from that place into the rest of your day, making sure that you make space for the people you love most. Give your kids a longer hug. Send a message to a friend. Play a song that’s filled with memories, and reminds you of good times.

And perhaps you’ll read some pages from a book that you’re enjoying, or you’ll spend some extra seconds soaking up the winter sun. Or you’ll watch the silent snowflakes falling gently to the ground, or you’ll sit out on the porch and watch the sunset fill the sky.   

Yes, I’m sure you’ll find some magic in these ordinary moments – these beautiful, inconsequential, simple, precious moments.

Then, as your head rests on your pillow, say a prayer of thankfulness for the things that turned this day into a very special day.    

“The time to be happy is now.”

Hope Born from Ashes

You may shoot me with your words. You may cut me with your eyes. You may kill me with your hatefulness. But still, like air, I’ll rise.” – Maya Angelou

Let these words inspire you when the struggle feels too much.

When you feel defeated, and there’s pressure to give in.

Inside you, there is courage.

You are brave, and you are strong.

There is no-one … there is nothing … that is going to bring you down.

For that life force that’s within you: it will have the final word.

And you will win the battle.

Like the phoenix:

You will rise.

Some Thoughts on Finding Hope

I was shocked and traumatized by the news I received. For a while I couldn’t function. I could barely survive. But I held on hard to hope – for without it: “What’s the point?”  And there had to be a point, or you give into despair.

When I look back on the time, I can see the steps I took that helped me to stay strong, and which helped me find this hope. And perhaps there’s something here that will work for you, too:

1. Keep doing the same normal, routine things you’ve always done. You’ll have zero energy, and often doing the next thing will feel like an achievement. An impossible task. However, if you can still meet with a friend for a short walk once a week, or buy some groceries, or go and wash your car, there will be some things in life that still feels predictable. And “the same old” really matters when you’ve been traumatized.

2. Don’t hide yourself away; don’t isolate yourself. Yes, you need to be quite careful about who you spend time with. Also, you must be careful about who you share stuff with. Not everyone trustworthy, or will be there for you. Still, we need to be with people, even if we wear a mask. There is something to be gained just being in the world.

3. Do something that’s meaningful to you. That’s meaningful to you, and not to anybody else. Not because you feel you ought to, or because it’s meant to help. You do it just because it makes you feel a little better. Because it’s a distraction, and it’s what you need right now.

4. Look back to see where things have worked out in the past for you. Right now, you’re going to feel as if the whole of life’s gone wrong. Like everything a failure, and has been a waste of time. But that isn’t true. There have been times when things worked out. Try hard to find those times. Try really to seek them out. You need find exceptions to inspire you to go on.

5. Remind yourself that there are no grades in life. Your life is not a score card.  It is about experiences. And how you deal with everything that life has thrown at you. It’s how those things have changed you. What you learned and how you grew. It’s how you were courageous, and fought hard, and persevered. It’s how it made you human, and much more compassionate. It’s how it gave you depth, and gave you greater empathy.

6. Remember the people who matter to you. For me, it was my kids. I wanted to be strong for them. I didn’t want to burden them, or add to their heartaches.  I wanted to be someone who would model “Don’t give up. For you are a survivor. Please believe ‘there’s always hope.’”

“Hope is not pretending that troubles don’t exist. It is the hope that they won’t last forever. That hurts will be healed and difficulties overcome. That we will be led out of the darkness and into the sunshine.”

I Want to be Remembered as ….

When my kids were small, we used to really enjoy making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Tossing them, however, was another matter.

Often, we would have to scrape them off the frying pan. And occasionally we scraped them off the walls and floor. But most of the time, they made it on to our plates, and then we would cover them in chocolate and fruit … and all sorts of other delicious things.

Yes, Shrove Tuesday was a lot of fun.

I was vaguely aware that the day after that was something called Ash Wednesday. But, honestly, Ash Wednesday meant nothing to me.

And it’s only recently that I’ve heard the phrase: “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The words associated with Ash Wednesday.

An interesting phrase. One that really made me think.

We tend to live our lives as if we’re never going to die. And the more we enjoy life, the harder it can be to contemplate the fact that one day our life will end.  

It’s not the kind of thing we really want to think about.

But knowing we will die can also help us to live well. It can help us each to think about the legacy we’ll leave. And that can be a really good thing.  

So maybe take some time today to stop and ask yourself:

“How do I want to be remembered?”  

Getting What You Deserve

“Darling, you deserve it all.

Love, and peace, and joy dancing in your eyes.

Heart, deep belly laughter,

and the right to let those tears fall and water the soil.

You deserve freedom, and goodness, and company, and days of bliss and quiet.

You deserve happy, and healed, and content and safe.

So keep going. Go realize into being the life you deserve.”

You deserve it all.

Happiness. Deep happiness. A rich, contented meaningful life.

The right to be authentic and genuine. The right to be who you were meant to be.

Unique you. Beautiful you.

The right to feel your feelings. The right to express your feelings.

The right to be healed. The right to feel safe.

Don’t ever believe you deserve less than this.

This is the life you were meant to live.

Quote of the Day: Life Advice

Life Advice

Always be the best person you can be.

Be kind even when you’re tired. Be understanding even when you’re angry.

Do more than you’re asked, and don’t ask for anything in return. Don’t silently expect anything either.

Listen when someone talks; and really listen too. Stop just thinking of how you’ll reply.

Tell people that you love them, and that you appreciate them. Go out of your way to do things for people.

Be the greatest person you can possibly be and when you mess up, make up for it in the next moment, or minute, or day.

One thing you should never do? Never spend your time trying to prove to anybody that you’re great. Your actions will speak for themselves.

And we only have limited time on this earth, don’t waste it.

If someone doesn’t see your light, don’t worry. Like moths, good people are attracted to flame and to light, and they will come.

– Source Unknown