Finding Joy in Your Life

Caregiving has many rewards.  A sense of being needed, the joy of giving to another, rewarding work, responsibility and often a sense of doing something that is beyond what the average person is privileged to participate in during his/her lifetime. Along with great work in our lives we can all appreciate a sense of joy that comes with connecting to something that is thrilling to us.  Joy in your life on a regular basis, in my opinion, should be considered your birthright, like the air you breathe.

How often do you get to experience joy?  Do you know what gives you joy?  Can you recall the last time you felt the thrill of joy?  If you can answer those questions positively, I know your life is good, no matter what your responsibilities or circumstances.  You know where to find your joy when you need it, when your cup needs refilling. What we focus on, on a regular basis, is what we create more of in our lives.  Creating space for joy will bring more joy, and more space for lovely experiences in your life.

MASTERFUL CARE FOR YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES, the byline of this website, starts with you taking care of yourself first. I hope you give yourself permission to indulge in your joy often.

If you feel a little less than positive about your answers I have a feeling you’re not alone.  How many caregivers find the time to even think about doing something that would be just for their own pleasure?  Please see this as a possibility. The things that give us real pleasure are often so simple.  But we have to make a point of recognizing them.

I recall a sweet friend who, in the midst of my most difficult times right before my husbands passing, offered to come over and sit on the curb outside my house and just be with me for a little while.  There wasn’t a lot of joy just then in my life, but I could always find a little time for two things that will always bring a thrill and joy to my life on a regular basis no matter what shape my daily life takes.

My simple pleasures are having coffee with someone I enjoy and can share life’s experiences with on a personal level (I leave feeling somehow restored) and reading books, especially great works of literature and books that make me grow. It was a great sentence I read this morning that gave me such a thrill I wanted to share it with anyone who might have the patience for it and feel thrilled by it, as I do.  I hope you enjoy it, nineteenth & early twentieth century writers have such a way with words and a sensibility I miss in modern society. Their writing is often a character study and the study of human nature has for me always been a passion. I had to read it several times to get the full measure of it.  Enjoy!:

“Nothing could have been odder than Strether’s sense of himself as at that moment launched in something of which the sense would be quite disconnected from the sense of his past and which was literally beginning there and then.”

– Henry James; The Ambassadors

Please take the time to recognize what gives you joy and find the time to get a little of it each day.  Then…when you know how to find it, you could help the person in your charge find what would bring some joy into their life.

I Wish You the Thrill of Finding Joy and Experiencing It Often,

Hugs,

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Screbere Jussit Amor

Screbere Jussit Amor

 -Ovid

Love Has Commanded Me To Write

Have you noticed that there is a movement afoot that is bigger than many of us realize?  A movement that will counter the most visible, terrible turn of events making history in our world today?

As a child of The Cold War Era, I remember our instructions in school.  In case of emergency (a bombing), we were to get under our desks and cover our heads with our little arms.  The present political atmosphere around the world is feeling unsettlingly familiar.

The good news is, there are signs all around us that the number of people interested in real world-wide peace is growing exponentially.  And it’s growing at the grassroots level, too.  The Internet and cell phones (technology) are a blessing, juxtaposed to being at the same time the curse, that may save humanity from itself.  Man creates and, hopefully, he is creating for good fast enough to overcome what would otherwise destroy him/her (us).  Our means of connection across continents with people we would never reach in all of past history, seems to have arrived in just the nick of time.  Coincidental?, I don’t think so. The Universal collective mind knows we’re on the brink.

I believe one purpose of humanity is to create as much love in the world as possible, as much kindness and joy as one can spread. Hence, love has commanded me to write.  There is a responsibility to do what one can when faced with a problem, as a Caregiver and as a Citizen of the World.  Even if it is just to give Hope.

What is happening that gives Hope?  People are standing up against the bullies, from the one next door to the dictators around the world.  We’re doing it in peaceful ways.  We’re developing a sense of awareness, relying on our own instincts, self education and sharing experiences on the internet that reach individuals all across the globe.  We’re recognizing that the differences between our cultures does not make us enemies.  Where do I see this?  Among my own generation, the Baby Boomers, to begin with. Some of the most socially intelligent influential leaders of our time, in business, science and spirituality are turning 70 years old about now.  Generation X has lead by bringing awareness of the doom we face if we continue on destructive paths and are designing avenues for change.  People of all ages are interested in technologies that can provide high quality water, food, shelter and medical assistance for people in the most remote corners of the world.  Young people always seem to be more inclusive and their ideas are being recognized and implemented.

Creativity abounds.  Foundations are being created to help people in nations worldwide to live more safe and healthful lives.  Here is a list of just 20 of the leading organizations working for world peace.  Look beyond the 6 o’clock news and the 24/7 cable news channels and you’ll see a completely different world out there.  The Movie and Entertainment industry has been producing consciously aware product since the sixties.  Books and educational videos are a wonderful source of inspiring information. The Internet brings people together.

What I’m really getting at is that there is every reason to have hope for planet Earth. Leaders in science, religion and spirituality around the world are coming together, if at  least in conversation, in an attempt to find common ground for the good of humanity. People are reaching people through the Internet and commerce.  We’re not singing Kum by yah yet, but we’re witnessing Quantum Mechanics proving much of what ancient Eastern religions have espoused for thousands of years.  Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims are joining with Secularists to find common ground and understand that we haven’t walked in each other’s shoes but many are willing to try.  When we work together we accomplish miracles. This is spreading Hope.

Our own lives are a microcosm of the larger world around us.  My wish for you is that your life is full of hope for your own future and you are inspired to spread love, kindness and joy wherever you can.

Hugs,

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Moment to Moment

Imagine how wonderful it would be if you could live your daily life without thought of past or future, paying full attention to just what you’re doing at the moment. Because if you could, there would be no fear of the unknown, no adjusting what you’re doing to fit what you think is expected of you by others, no fear of judgement to keep you restrained from creating to your full potential. There would be only the present moment with all its freedom to create with the full force of your joyful self. You do remember that joyful creative self, right?

Imagine what you could accomplish by focusing fully on anything you do. All your talent would arise because you would be out of your own way, out of your mind, so to speak! You would be free to feel the joy of pure inspiration. It would be reconnecting with the self within you that once knew such freedom. Like when you were a baby and the discovery of a new taste, like applesauce, sent chills through you and brought a big smile to your sweet face. We see innocence in babies and forget that we were once that baby. That innocent child who hasn’t yet been conditioned to worry about what others will think of their spontaneous reaction to pure pleasure.

It’s not easy to live in the moment, at first. It takes practice. Most of us have gotten into the habit of living in our minds, playing those old recordings of “our story” over and over and convincing ourselves that our future is limited to what our lives look like compared to those around us. I’m inclined to think it would be a much better world if we were taught in school to live in the moment, The Power of Now, as author Eckhart Tolle writes. We should be taught, at a young age, to protect ourselves from the conditioning of our own societies. To keep our youthful enthusiasm for life.

In my last blog, I wrote about purposely taking the time to be silent, even for just a few minutes a day to feel the connection we have to all life. When you live in the moment, it is that connection to all life that you are experiencing and it is the silence that will allow your creative self to poke it’s head through the door that may have been closed for a long, long time.

Just for fun, what if for just a moment, you pretend that you are someone else? You could even make up a short new history of “who you are”. You could come from that place if you need to and dare to create something new using a nom de plume, if you like. Something that’s just yours! Who cares what others think. I’ll bet you’ll feel good about it. Because who’s more important than you in this moment?

Frankly, I’m in awe of other people’s stories. Hearing their experiences and how they dealt with challenges is inspiring. There’s a best selling book in each of us. Our own biography. How would you like yours to read from this day forward?

Of this I am sure, that life is not a matter of luck, but rather of being Awake to the innate potential in each of us to create our own stories. To change them if we’re tired of the old direction.

The practice of consciously living in the moment, with full attention on what you’re doing, like attending to a loved one in your care, or a simple task like dusting furniture, relieves you of the pressure of thinking of what may seem like “more important” things in your past or future. There is nothing more important than this moment. It’s the only thing we can be sure we have. Treasure it. Acknowledge it. Enjoy it. Your creative powers will blossom, the tangible energy of your life will make you smile. You may even feel the freedom of early childhood again. You’ll be inspired!

I wish you all the joy of finding the present moment and living there.

Hugs,

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Grounded in Nature

Today is one of those days! Good days. As I write this, it’s a full moon and this moon-child is reflecting on the many wonderful gifts she’s been given. I have in mind, especially, two wonderful friends that have each been my dearest of friends since the day we met. Yvette was my next door neighbor when we were twenty-four years old and Cathy since our daughters were in the first grade together. That’s 45 and 37 years ago, respectively.

Only today, after all these years, did it dawn on me that Yvette and Cathy, who hardly know each other, have something very special in common and perhaps it’s what makes each of them such loving and thoughtful women. They are both master gardeners. And, please excuse the pun, they are probably the most grounded people I know. Their connection to the earth, more than even they may realize, appears to have given each a perspective on life that is simple, honest and firm. As an observer, one who is curious about human nature and been studying, in recent years, the connection of all life on our planet, I’m very fortunate to be close to these two remarkable women who are naturally so close to nature.

Yvette does most of her own gardening to this day (even the heavy lifting) and you would not see more beautiful landscaping in Architectural Digest or Better Homes and Gardens magazine. A visit from Yvette means a huge bouquet of a variety of flowers in a lovely vase will be brightening my living room. Her roses and hydrangeas are magnificent as are all her flowers, shrubs and trees. Hummingbirds and butterflies are happiest in her gardens. And so is Yvette. The beauty of nature is her life’s breath.

Cathy owned a large organic vegetable/produce farm for much of her young life. She can manage a crew of workers, haggle with buyers and sweep you off your feet with her earthy, witty, sense of humor. Organic produce wasn’t in all the markets in the 80’s. Most of us know now that the most beautiful produce is probably genetically modified to resist bugs, etc., or waxed to look picture perfect. I remember her telling me, “Don’t worry about a few flaws in the lettuce, if it’s good enough for the bugs, it’s good enough for you!” Today Cathy is in high demand by people who know her by reputation for her expert advice whether they’re starting a new garden, putting in new landscaping, or just wanting their gardens to thrive. She manages to help them all with a smile and her sage Mother Earth advice.

Being grounded is a physical thing as much as an expression of a mental state. We don’t need to get into quantum mechanics to observe nature and notice that everything in life is connected and, therefore, precious. Looking out my window I see the blue sky, the sun and passing clouds that nourish life in all its forms. I see birds that connect from the sky to the trees. Trees and plants that are rooted in the earth and home to the birds and other life forms. The trees and plants give us oxygen and we, along with animals, give them Carbon dioxide so we can all live together. Underground and in our lakes, rivers and oceans the life is tremendous. When you look at the grass or the street or the floor in your home, the fabulous life underground is not obvious. It’s actually one miracle after another if we use our imagination and visualize what’s happening under there 24/7. It’s all connected to us, we humans who are fortunate to be able to recognize the beauty of it all.

Stop and smell the roses is just a beginning. Consider how that rose is connected to you and the beauty of it all. Makes you feel beautiful, doesn’t it?

You don’t have to be a master gardener to get grounded. You just need to take a few minutes, everyday if you can, and be still. Be quiet. Listen to the silence. If you can’t take a walk in nature, think of a tree. There’s silence there even when the wind is blowing, the birds are nesting and the earth it grows from is teaming with active life. The tree is silent. The tree is peaceful. You will feel peaceful thinking of the peace in the tree. That’s being grounded. Life is easier when you’re grounded. Makes you want to hug a tree! Can’t believe I said that.

Caregivers need to be grounded and peaceful.

I wish you peace and beautiful walks in nature.

Hugs,

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Believe and It Will Happen! How’s That Working For You?

nurture-your-mind

Fascinating how life works, we’ve got to use our imagination before anything we want can happen. We have to imagine (think) we can pick up our cup of coffee before our hand will reach for it. We have to imagine ourselves putting the key into the ignition before we start the car to take us to the job we imagine we’re supposed to go to each day.  A baby has to imagine himself walking before he will take that first step. All this imagining (forethought) happens so fast every moment of everyday that we take it for granted.  We just ASSUME.  We forget that imagination is involved at our most basic level of functionality.

We could move onto bigger things like Edison imagining his inventions before he created them, or Tom Brady imagining winning Super Bowl 51 with the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.  You creating the life you would find most desirable at this moment in time. I want to make the point that if we’re already doing what we need to know how to do to create the movement and basic function of our lives, then we already know how to create what we want but don’t yet have.  Most of us are just not consciously using our skill to manifest what we desire in our lives.  It’s at this basic level where we just know so clearly that a thing will happen (if you reach for the cup you will pick it up if you choose to) that the magic comes in.  It has to because we’ve willed it and know without question that it will.  We don’t have to think about it.  We just do it. This is Jonathan Livingston Seagull style of knowing!  We all have the ability if we can shed the layers of conditioning that causes us to think we’re limited.

You, like me, may have read every book and heard every motivational speaker out there trying to get a hold on that one tiny little clue that turns our switch on and suddenly says, YOU’VE GOT IT!  WOW, THE ANSWER TO LIFE IS IN OUR HANDS!  It’s going to be a dream world now, like it is for those who tell us they know how to do it.  Do they really know?  To tell you the truth, I think they do.  They’ve found how it works in spite of their own individual experiences and in spite of societies conditioning. I think it’s reverse conditioning.

I think those who consistently function at that highest creative level and demonstrate it by example, have come to that knowing in different ways. Mike Dooley of tut.com is one of those people. He taught himself how to continually create his fabulous life.  He really lives what he has learned. He and others are trying to teach the rest of us, collectively, how to use our innate gifts in order to have the best experience possible while we’re in this life. It’s unbelievably complicated because we each come to the class with a different set of life experiences.  And, unfortunately, most of the 7 billion of us on our planet don’t have a clue that life could be wonderful.

I’m not forgetting about the seemingly impossible odds against a better life that many people are born under.  The suffering and oppression in the world is overwhelming to say the least.  That’s what I mean about how complicated this subject is.  How can it be possible to make something happen that seems like a miracle when overwhelming evidence to the contrary is before ones own eyes? But, that’s what I think I’m starting to grasp. You have to go beyond what is before your own eyes that see through your level of conditioning. I’m hoping more and more people are and the world is on the verge of a tremendous shift in consciousness. It all comes down to imagination, believing something is possible and having unshakeable faith that a thing can come to pass.  One organization I’m aware of that’s bringing healing to Veterans and others around the world is The David Lynch Foundation, davidlynchfoundation.org.  A big miracle!

This subject is much too complicated for just one blog post, but I’m seeing in my own life and the lives of others around me, that small miracles, events that involve the shifting around of fewer circumstances and other peoples lives, appear to happen faster than big miracles.  Today I call all positive things that happen miracles. For so long it was just uncool to say you believed in miracles. Today, when caring about being cool is so uncool, I enjoy watching miracles happen and am intrigued by the speed at which they often do. Having patience while we let the Universe process all the details necessary for the big miracles to happen is easier when we make an effort to grasp the complexity.

I’m always thinking about Caregivers and how their lives are restricted in ways that causes time to seemingly move slowly.  Slowly, in the sense of them being able to get on with the things that need to be done for themselves.  I wish I had known what I know now about creating changes, small miracles and large ones, in my life when I was caring for my loved ones for sixteen years.  I would have been consciously creating more and feeling a lot more patient.

Expect a miracle, they happen everyday!

 

HUGS,

 
 
 
 
Feel free to send me an email with some of your creative ideas. If you have questions, I’m happy to answer your emails. Our FAQ section answers a few common questions and my bio will give you information on my professional background in case I can help you in other matters.

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