While the leaves of fall turn their colors naturally, change does not come so easily to rest of the world.
For this month’s positivity challenge, I want you to consider one change that may allow you to enter into a new season of beauty in your life.
A season of beauty doesn’t necessarily have to do with changing your physical self. It can include changes in faith, patience, humility, acceptance, or simplicity. Choose to do something that brings a more beautiful light or outlook to your existence. Brighten your daily encounters with a more hopeful view or a greater appreciate for the diversity that you experience in others.
Some simple but significant changes to consider for your spiritual or emotional self include:
- Practice quiet meditation for 5 minutes each day; select a mantra that will bring about the change you seek, such as “I appreciate the good in others,” “My time is a gift and valuable to myself and those whom I share it with,” “Peace begins within me, let that peace find me here.”
- Smile, greet, or politely acknowledge all you meet, especially those who you don’t normally pay attention
- Compliment others on jobs well done or their appearance; make note of it
- Be conscious of the words you use when speaking to your family, spouse, or coworkers; keep a log or jar of unkind or impatient words. Making note of the not-so-nice things we say forces us to select less “noteworthy” negativity when we speak.
- Schedule time for things that will reduce futures stress:
- pick out your clothes the night before
- make a grocery list before going to the store and stick to it
- make a budget and stick to it
- plan a game night or movie night with your loved ones
- share your schedule with your spouse or significant other
- clean as you cook allow yourself to enjoy time with your family after dinner
- fold each load of laundry after taking it out of the dryer (this way you don’t have mountains of laundry to fold later)
- Pick up trash or use recycling bins, even if the refuse isn’t yours
- Reduce time spent on social media
- Increase time telling stories or sharing memories with friends and family
- Clean out cluttered drawers
- De-clutter your desk
- Clean out your car
- Say an extra prayer each day for someone or something other than yourself
- Keep a journal of positive things or share one positive experience from the day with your family members each night
We can’t consider change without including a few healthy, physical progressions. With physical change, gradual will get the job done most every time.
Continue reading “The Leaves of Change – Monthly Positivity Challenge”
It’s only when we fail to stand our ground that we cave.
Only when we fail to be true to ourselves, we cave.
When we fail to be honest, we cave.
We fail to believe; we cave.
Fail only when we cave.
The times when I have felt least successful are those when I felt I caved to insecurity or scrutiny of others. It was in allowing the foundation of what I knew was right to crumble. I let my emotions cascade in an avalanche of uncertainty around me. I caved.
One instance from junior high, where I personally caved, still haunts me.
In 6th grade, recess changed the social dynamic for everyone at my school. The 6th grade girls were assigned the parking lot between church and our grade school along with the 7th and 8th grade girls for recess. There were no soccer goals, basketball hoops, or kickball fields in this lot. As someone who always loved sports and being active, this move was not an exciting one for me. The other girls seemed perfectly happy to sit on the steps next to church and clump in tightly knit circles gossiping away our precious free time. Recess was not much fun as far as I was concerned, but I made the most of it floating from group to group, checking to see what the topic of conversation might be, or if there was a chance of athletic ambition from anyone.
One day I ran to talk to one of the 8th graders, who played basketball on the school team with me. She was talking to two others girls and I was excited to see if they wanted to talk basketball.
As soon as I entered their circle, one girl took me by the arm and turned me around. “You are like a wart. We want to burn you out of here,” she said and pushed me in the opposite direction of their conversation. Continue reading “Cave”
About a month ago my children discovered the movie The Greatest Showman. It is a musical based on the life story of P.T. Barnum (played by Hugh Jackman). In the film Barnum invites individuals who are considered “freaks” to become part of his show. Some of Barnum’s “freaks” include the bearded lady, the world’s tallest man, the world’s fattest man, wolf boy, and acrobats. As far as musical movies go, it was an alright show.
Of course the cruelty shown to the “freaks” in the film led to questions from my kids, and they wanted to know, “What’s a freak?”
I explained to them that the term “freak” comes from “freak of nature” meaning that sometimes things occur in our world that make humans or animals freaks of nature. In their infinite innocence they understood that being different makes someone or something special but also makes the abnormality a target for cruelty and ostracism.
With true indignation all of my kids ranted about the the mean things done in the film by citizens who were afraid of or hated the “freaks” in Barnum’s show. I just reminded them that, in real life, they should be kind and accepting of others who are different. Continue reading “What’s a “Freak”?”
As fireflies make their evening entrance and whippoorwills warm up their whistles, the light wanes and twilight touches porches across the country. There is no better time to feel the power of sundown and breathe in the shift between day and night.
Twilight possesses the power to slow time and heal the aches of the day. I recently had the chance to share a sunset rocking in porch chairs with my cousin. All our lives it seems like we have been racing to get to whatever destination life has in store for us next. Our pride in the tenacious nature with which we usually attack our lives was set aside. The sway of our rocking soothed our need to speed through the rest of the day. Sitting there, being serenaded by the crickets, it seemed as if the sunset was giving us permission to slow down and embrace the chance to just be.
Soaking in the serenity of the moment, we both acknowledged that we felt better somehow. I knew I was tired before our visit, but after taking that time to quietly experience the evening, I found that I would rest better that night.
By witnessing twilight touch the porch, we allowed it to touch our hearts and minds, we invited the sun to take away our worries and weariness.
When twilight touches the porch, we really need to be a part of that moment.
― C. JoyBell C.
Continue reading “When Twilight Touches the Porch”
We all know the adage, “When life give you lemons, make lemonade.” What about when life gives you bananas?
Recently my mom came into a pile of bananas. Literally, there was a pile of bananas at her work that were just going to be thrown out because they were overripe. Not wanting to let good bananas go to waste, Mom politely asked if she could have them. Her manager said, “Yes, my wife will kill me if I bring home another box of brown bananas.”
When she got home Mom set to work putting the soft, but still yummy, bananas to good use. She baked a banana cake, banana bread, and banana muffins. She still had a few of the aged fruits left over; she will surely come up with a clever way to use them. (Fertilizer for her rose bushes, maybe?)
Saturday night, Mom and Dad joined us for dinner. She brought the banana cake. It was awesome! (In fact I had one of the last pieces this morning with my coffee. A terrific way to start a Monday morning.) She plans to share her banana muffins with her co-workers at school. I am sure the banana bread has a generous future too.
What do you do when life gives you bananas?
Do you toss them out? Do you let the fruit rotten? Do you make them into something that is still enjoyable? Do you fertilize your flowers? Continue reading “When Life Gives You Bananas…”
There are days I really wish I had an instruction manual for life. There are days that I think I should write an instruction manual for how to NOT live. There are days that I am pretty sure I am not smart enough to follow an instruction manual (if I had one) to save my life.
We all feel this way sometime.
The best part of our imperfection is that we all suffer from it.
Our mistakes are part of the human condition and they are tools for personal growth.
The three steps to surviving imperfection are as follows:
(Unofficial Instruction Guide for Life)
- Be able to laugh at your mistakes
- Be able to learn from your mistakes
- Forgive yourself for making mistakes
Continue reading “Lacking Instruction – Wise Words Wednesday”
54 steps… that is how many steps it takes to get to my aunt and uncle’s lake house.
54 long, tall steps.
From the dock to the house it is 54 steps. That equates to a lot of hard work for a spot that is supposed to be relaxing.
Time at the lake house is so refreshing. We eat, sleep, drink, and play there with no other purpose than to get away from the exhaustion of everyday life. As we head from the house to the dock, we pack everything we can into our arms and hope we don’t fall forward on the descent. (Did I mention it would be 54 long, tall steps down?)
Once on the dock, time seems slower. The sun shines brighter. The breezes massage our worries away. The fish and birds provide breaks in the calm of the waters. The occasional boat or jet ski add speedy bursts of entertainment to the scenery. It makes those 54 steps worthwhile.
There are a lot of things in life that are worth effort. I would like to extend an Intentergy effort challenge. Choose a task that challenges you but will make your life easier in the long run.
- Consider cleaning out and organizing a closet or cabinets.
- Make a To-Do list and do the things on your list.
- If there is something you participate in that is NOT worth the effort or frustration, eliminate that unhealthy practice from your life.
- Fill in your calendar or planner with all your obligations and use it to keep appointments straight and help with timeliness.
- Plan your meals ahead of time; this saves time and money.
- Make a change that you have been putting off. Change is the first place to start when you need greater positive energy.
Just as climbing those 54 steps gets my heart racing, hopefully the challenge you choose will fill your heart with energy and excitement. Whether it be heading down those steps or up, I always know that where I end up will be a good place to land. Know that you will have the same optimism if you choose a challenge that is impactful for you. So take a deep breath, grab all the stuff you will need to make the change, and take that first step. It will be worth the climb.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Take a flashlight if you go before dusk. Those 54 steps can be scary without a light. (or be smart enough to turn on the outside lights before heading down)
P.P.S. Check with your physician before climbing 54 steps a whole bunch of times. Some of us are a bit out of shape and may need to ease into the process. 😉
via Daily Prompt: Bury
Digging for spring is something I find myself doing in the fall. Most Octobers or Novembers I scramble to clear out dying plants and add a few bulbs to my flower bed, but this year I am showing some real ambition for spring. I have extended one flower bed and added another in front of our home this week. (We’ve lived in the house 3 years and I am just now getting to these beds. Don’t judge.)
Tulips and daffodils are my bulbs of choice this year. Hopefully I will have the chance to enjoy plenty of new blooms come spring, but for now I get to look at fresh turned dirt and mulch, while feeling the pain of more shoveling than my shoulders are used to. 😉
Even if you are not a gardener, you can appreciate the need to dig for a more beautiful future and maybe that requires us to bury somethings that aren’t so pretty. My favorite things to bury are guilt and worry. I want to stick them deep in the ground and pray that they fertilize something much more enjoyable in the next season of my life.
In addition to the bulbs, I have added a few mums. Mums are my favorite perennial because they bloom for a long time and come back every year. There are plenty of perennial elements in our world and I encourage you to celebrate and give thanks for recurring pleasantries. Whether that annual awesomeness comes from birthdays or anniversaries or more frequently, like weekly coffee with your BFF or breathtaking sunsets each evening, relish the dependability that blooms in your life.
Right now I encourage you to dig deep for intents that will bloom into beautiful moments and memories. Bury ugly and unfruitful practices, habits, and influences and let their absence make room for more fruitful experiences. Planting positivity always blooms grace, gratitude, and joy.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Fertilizer is stinky, but so are guilt and worry. Don’t use too much of any of those. It really burns up the joy in planting.
I can be pretty annoying sometimes. My occasional forgetfulness is bothersome but it REALLY bugs my husband when I point out the good in the failed efforts of others.
Someone may have just run their car through our fence, but I, in earnest, point out that they at least avoided our mailbox. The person who is blocking our lane of traffic to turn, when there is a turn lane, infuriates him; I mention that it’s a good idea to not dart in front of oncoming traffic. My son colors on the wall. Hubby freaks out; “At least he used the washable markers,” is my reply. (It’s really annoying. I know.)
Parents used to tell me at conferences they didn’t know how I could put up with “those kids.” Often times “those kids” were their own offspring. It was weird to me that they would not talk up the golden traits in their kids. Many parents would say they were being “realistic” about their children. I would point out that if you always tell your kid they are “bad” then being “bad” becomes their reality.
I still watch the morning news, even though the negativity kills me. The journalists drool at dropping headlines about failure, fighting, and fear but the feel-good, happy-ending stories are giving a 15 second spot and a quick commentator remark as the closing credits roll. Why is that?
Why is it so much easier to share the dirt on people than it is to find the gold in others? Continue reading “Be a Gold Digger”
via Daily Prompt: Solitary
I think I found where world peace should start…
After a long day of travel, we arrived at our rented, vacation cabin. We spent the evening checking out the lake and camp grounds, did some fishing, and tested out the kayaks. When the kids finally realized they were hungry, each began to gather smalls sticks to start our fire. Hubby purchased firewood from the local woodshed and got it going. I dug out the hotdogs, buns, marshmallows, and skewers.
The open-flame grilled dogs were extra delicious and the kids probably wasted more marshmallows than they ate, but it was fun to watch. When the camp fire and “roasting” things began to lose its appeal, the kiddos hopped in the hot tub. I cleaned up the meal mess. Hubby checked out the area map and brochure of attractions.
It was not until well after dark and the kids were tucked into their respective beds that I was able to do what I wanted on vacation…sit quietly.
There is something powerful and energizing in a camp fire. Watching the flames dance and hearing the logs crack you are fully award that in front of you is a living, breathing creature. Even though I was alone by the campfire, I could not feel lonely. Continue reading “A Fire All My Own”