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Moments of Time

Sometimes, we need to step back and evaluate life from the outside looking in. For the last six months, or so, I have been trying to do just that. Detaching from my life has given me a new perspective that has been liberating for me.

Essentially, life offers two choices – live life our way – or live life the way the world tells us to live. Either way, someone will say we’re doing it wrong. In addition, we’re never going to get out of it alive and no one is immune to hardships and troubles.  However, it’s a measure of how much we are willing to endure before throwing in the towel in any given situation.

Something to remember, particularly in times of hardship, is that EVERYTHING is temporary. NOTHING is permanent. Even that most regretted tattoo will fade over time. It may not go away during your lifetime, but believe me, it will go away. The Israelites were in the desert for 40 years, but it WAS temporary. The only thing permanent is where you’ll be spending eternity – but that’s a subject for another day.

Our lives are made up of moments. Obviously, the more connected happy moments we have – the ‘happier’ we are or the opposite is true – the more discontented moments we have – the more ‘unhappy’ we are with our lives. Therefore, our all-time goal is to have more strings of happy moments than moments of discontent. However, what you discover is that even within the happy times, we can have times of discontentment sprinkled in here and there. Again, the opposite is also true.

Please be aware that each moment that occurs, another moment has come to take its place – and the world keeps revolving. The temperature changes, the color on a leaf becomes red, a wrinkle appears or the hair turns grey. Nothing is forever.

We all have become accustomed to living in the world of NOW.  I want it and I want it now. We are conditioned to believe that if we have more moments of discontent for too long – then we should throw out the source of discontentment in hopes of finding a better string of moments to make us happier. I know many people who have changed the whole course of their lives in search of a happier string of moments. Some have found those, although, not without some sense of loss and heartache for themselves and those around them. Some have traded in their string of discontent for a different string of discontent. Others – have endured their string of discontented moments and found that …… life is made up of strings of moments. Some are happy moments and some are sad moments, but neither moment is permanent. The key, I think, is to determine whether you can endure the current string you are given until the winds of change happen and your moments become happier. We don’t live in a perpetual world in which we are guaranteed happiness in all that we do. In fact, I think we put too much emphasis on happiness. It’s completely how you view the moments you have. It is all called LIFE. And LIFE is temporary. And sometimes, life isn’t happy. What can you endure for now in lieu of what you will be given to endure in two weeks, two months, two years, or five years? Because – it may take some time, but time will change things.

My whole point is this – many people say, “If you’re unhappy about your situation – leave it and go in search of a better situation.” Sometimes, that is not the best solution to that situation because life is forever changing. Just as you may have had happier moments in time and now it is not happy, does not mean that it can never be happy again. It’s all in what you are willing to endure and push through to get to happier times. So – the question really becomes – what are you willing to do to bring about some happier moments in your current situation? Rather than to leave it or throw it out – how can you work to bring about a happier change from one moment to the next – because EVERYTHING can change in a moment’s time.

Well – these are a few thoughts that I wanted to share. Feel free to take a moment to comment – I’d love to know what you think! Thanks for dropping in – and until next time…Be Blessed – then be a blessing to others –

Peace,
Ann

What Has That Screen Done for You Lately?

There are plenty of conversations about how these little screens we hold in our hands are affecting our lives. It’s not that the screen is bad, but unfortunately, it takes us away from where we are and places us completely somewhere else.  The question is what are we missing right in front of us?
Sometimes, I feel we behave like little children who are afraid we might be missing out on something, so we stay constantly connected to the online party. I know….I’ve been there. Although, our present moments are giving away to future moments, they are all too soon becoming moments of the past…it seems tragic that they are spent looking at a screen rather than into the eyes of a loved one. We choose to hold the cold electronic device, rather than the warm hand of someone we love sitting right beside us.

7041607626c3525a30c5ff14e2a1b355This Christmas season, make a concentrated effort on being present and having a presence in the room with those who you have chosen to be in your life.
Think of it this way….if this were your last Christmas ….how would you like to be remembered? Do you want them to remember you by the type of phone you hold in your hand or by the sound of your laughter as you engage and connect with those around you? Something we all might consider.
Thanks for stopping in. Be blessed today….then spread it around to others.
Peace,
Annimage

Sometimes… Ya gotta dig deep!

We can not fully live today until we cast off the shackles of yesterday. We have to take an honest look at where we’ve been to know where we are going, but to cling to the past is detrimental to our future.
The Universe is vast and open and there is no predetermined path for which we need to search. Strike out with faith on the road less travelled and find that for which you were created.
Dig deep inside – ask yourself the questions – but find that purpose that will keep you moving forward.
Let not discouragement be near you. We will experience disappointment but discouragement is a choice.

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Let your mind focus on what could be rather than what has been.
Live generously and you will have abundant blessing.
May your Christmas pre-season be filled with hope and anticipation for the new year to come!

Thank you for stopping in! Be blessed today and then spread the blessing around!

Peace,

Annimage

 

Just a Little Something to Think About…

Meditation:

Just a few thoughts about empathy, compassion, and generosity…..

Empathy gives you the ability to emotionally connect with a person who is encountering a loss or a sadness in their lives.  Compassion is a call to action to DO something for someone who is encountering a struggle in their life.

Can we have empathy without compassion – yes – but can we have compassion without empathy….I don’t see how that is possible without the emotional understanding of what the other person is actually going through in their struggle.

And the generosity?  We need generosity to open ourselves up to others in order to even recognize they are even having a struggle in life…

Thanks for stopping in…have a blessed day – and be generous with your blessing for others today too!

Peace,

Annimage

 

To Be or Not To Be Committed

Commitment is a place of dedication
I may want that – but I am committed to this
So where does that leave us?

My family, my husband, my marriage, my career, where I live – to all of these – I am committed.

But where is my commitment to myself – where does it come into play?

We will remain in our commitments to another until the commitment to ourselves becomes a greater need in our life.

And in the time – when we choose ourselves over our commitments – Some may think of it as selfishness – – but perhaps, for most…..it’s life preservation…

 

Thanks for stopping in…be blessed today, but also be a blessing to others.

Peace,
Annimage

How Can I Help You Heal?

I have been working on Centering Prayer – or what one might consider to be meditation. I have this cool app on my phone called, Centering Prayer. It is designed to give you an experience of meditation. It offers a reading and a prayer of your choice…then it moves to helping you become settled by playing some chimes. That is my choice, anyway. They have several sounds to choose from in order to get settled into your position of meditation. It then moves to a timer that has been preset by you. I choose 15 minutes, because if it’s too long, I’ll fall asleep. I do this in the morning and I’m not very good at it yet. After my 15 minutes are up – it moves to another screen and the sound of ‘singing bowls’ is made. It sounds like a soft gong with lasting vibrations. It is supposed to slowly bring you back to reality. Like I said, I’m not very good at it yet.b22293df97a4fc0a0df5f0392b984a3a

During the meditation, it is encouraged to choose a sacred word upon which to meditate. Today, I chose Healing. In this torn world that we live in, I feel that we are all just a little broken and we are all in need of healing. What I’ve come to realize, though, is that healing is not a one person job…it calls for a group effort. It comes from helping others and being strength for others. It comes from reaching out and being there for others, whether it’s working the homeless shelter or hanging out with someone who has just suffered a loss in their life. Sometimes it’s sitting with a friend who has a terminal illness and they need your company.

Take a look around you and see who could use your presence. What can you do for others. If we begin to look to others as what can I do for you instead of what can you do for me, I believe this will be the first steps toward healing one another. It comes with an offering – not a taking.

Just some inspirations that I received today and thought I would share them with you.  This year – I’m going to be thankful for the ability to give!  Be blessed today – but more importantly, be a blessing to others!  Thanks for stopping in –

Peace,

Ann 🙂         image

 

 

Grief is Not a Disorder

Loss comes to us in many different forms…could be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job or simply moving from one city to another, a person can incur a sense of loss. We are given opportunities for which to mourn and to grieve, but how do you do it? Do you allow yourself the gift of grieving when you’ve encountered a loss? So many of us pick up and continue on, as if nothing happened.

When we encounter a life changing event in our life, it’s important to take heed and notice that something is changing and we need to give the time necessary to adjust to the changes in our life.  This doesn’t mean to put on the sack cloth of ashes and mope around as though you’re the only one in the world.  But it is important to allow the spirit to heal from some major change that has occurred in your life.

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I turn to prayer.  When I encounter a loss or a change in my life, prayer is where I turn to first.  It may not always give me the consolation that I need, but I feel that it’s important to keep the lines of communication open with my creator and my savior.   In addition, I write.  But that’s my thing and it brings me comfort and clarity.  What brings you clarity?  What brings you comfort?  Do you go out and do for others?  Do you stay home with the covers pulled over your head?  How is it that you deal with grief and loss in your life?  I’m curious to know.

Please leave me a comment and let me get to know you a little!  Thanks for stopping in to see me!  Have a blessed day – but more importantly – be a blessing to others!

Peace,

Ann 🙂

 

What Silence Can Do For You

Shhhh…. quiet the mind. Quiet the spirit. Go off by yourself, turn off the radio, turn off the TV and put down your phone. Unplug for some time during your day. Whether it’s ten or fifteen minutes – simply breathe deeply and learn to get quiet. This can be a tremendous benefit to your mind, spirit, and your body.

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You’ll find that when you first attempt to detach yourself from the world, your mind has a difficult time letting go of the stimulation around you. You will continue to carry on conversations. Your body will fidget and you will have a hard time relaxing. But with practice, eventually, the mind will understand what you’re attempting to accomplish and it will become obedient to the will. Your body will be the same. Breathing deeply – in through the nose and out through the mouth – will put your body in a state of stillness as it makes use of the precious oxygen that our bodies are so deprived of.

After learning to quiet the mind and body, focus your spirit on being open. As though you were a sponge awaiting the rains to saturate the pores of your soul. Breathe slowly, but deeply, keeping your mind focused on the open space of nothingness. In the beginning, you’ll only be able to do this for a short period. The more you practice this, the easier your mind and body will respond and assume the position of stillness and the spirit will quickly become quiet, and the longer you will be able to remain in this relaxed stance. I recommend sitting, in that laying down might be conducive to sleep.

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Giving yourself fifteen minutes of time to allow the mind to rest, the body to rest and the spirit to rest, all at the same time, without sleeping, offers a person a strength that goes beyond that which is offered by sleep. Because the spirit is awake and allowed to meditate on an openness of spirit, your mind will become sharper with a clarity of thought. Your body will gain strength because of the oxygen it is receiving and the spirit will become more open to the whispers of the universe.

Try to offer yourself this little retreat at least once a day for a few minutes. We are bombarded by noise, chaos, and stimulation during our days that stopping for that short amount of time will allow our bodies to catch up and come together as one being as opposed to being blown from one direction to another.

Please leave me your email and I’ll be sure to let you know when I write again.  Thank you for stopping by…..be blessed but further more…be a blessing to others!

 

Simply Age or Age with Grace?

There is a truth in life we all must face – whether we like it or not – it’s inevitable – it’s called aging. And we have a choice – we can age with grace or simply age. I prefer to age with grace if I can at all help myself.

When I think of aging with grace, I think of my mother and my grandmother. They were both wonderful women and I’m grateful I had their influence upon my life. I can only hope to have a small amount of the grace that they encapsulated. There are a few elements that stand out – some they had – some they did not, but a good balance is always essential.

First of all, aging with grace simply means aging with elegance or a refinement. When I think of someone like Rosanne Barr’s character in her show, “Rosanne”, the aspect of aging with grace does not come to my mind. However, someone who does come to mind aging gracefully would be Julie Andrews or Mary Tyler Moore. There are some key differences here!

There are a few ideas that I feel will help us gracefully age. Perhaps you can’t incorporate all of them, but again it’s all about having that balance in our lives.

1) Diet and Exercise. Clean living with clean eating makes a difference in our bodies. Eating garbage can make its appearance in more ways than just your weight. Your hair and skin is healthier when we are getting the proper nutrients and drinking plenty of water. Exercise is important, not just for our weight, but for our blood flow and to help us keep agile enough to continue to move our bodies.2617fd2616bf01adb881bef64436dff5

2) Keep the Mind Active! My grandmother was the mother of 12 children and had 63 grandchildren and over 110 great-grandchildren by the time she passed away. I was down towards the end of those grandchildren and whenever I would go to see her, she would remember the name of my husband. Can you believe that? She would ask how he was doing by name. This impressed me. My mother could always talk about sports with the men. She was not particularly interested in sports, but she read about them because she wanted to keep fresh on what was going on in the world of sports as it pertained to the interest of those surrounding her. Keep reading, learning and stretching your brain muscle, otherwise, it’s going to shrivel from lack of use. It’s important to keep your mind fresh for as long as you are able.

3) Spirituality! Have some sort of meaning for your life. We were not put on this earth for ourselves. Having a meaning and a purpose keeps us moving forward with the knowledge that crawling out of bed in the morning when your body doesn’t want to co-operate has a greater good to it. We can offer our aches and pains up for the betterment of young people, the society, our world. When we have a restful spirit – it shows on our face and in our eyes. When our soul is full of grace because of a spiritual connection to something larger than ourselves – our countenance is reflecting of that connection.20e217408dcaf3a502cfec1ca44ebed4

4) Surround Yourself with Positive People and Keep Humor in your Life. My mother and grandmother were funny and they enjoyed laughter. Having so much family around, they were surrounded by good fun people, which was a blessing! When we are left alone to face our aging years, we can let the negative thoughts overtake us and give into it. But it’s important to keep the negativity at bay in order to be the difference in the world. Humor keeps you young at heart. When we lift our voice in laughter, the years fall from our face and is replaced by the mirth of youthfulness.

5) Have an Encouraging Word for Others! My mother paid attention. When she would see a young mother with several children or a young pregnant mother, she always had a kind word for them. Whenever anyone talked with my mother or grandmother, we all came away with something to hold onto for our lives. It’s all about leaving the world a better place than the way we found it, so to speak.

6) Lastly, and this is paramount …. You must have a great skin cream! I am a Mary Kay lady, myself, and I love the skin care! However, I, recently, have discovered the uses of coconut oil. And I’ve been using that quite a bit on my face and hands. Whatever is your favorite, some type of good skin cream is a must!

All in all, it is known that we age as we have lived. So if we’re hardened of heart during our younger years, our heart is not going to go much softer during our golden years unless we make a concentrated effort to change things. If you find yourself in that category, I hope that you can make the changes necessary to have your grandchildren say that when they think of aging with grace – they think of you!

Thanks for stopping in! Be blessed but more importantly, be a blessing to others!

 

 

On the Hunt For Happiness!

There is a pursuit out there that has many of us on the lookout for it. I don’t know a single person that says they have too much of this in their life. Believe it or not – it’s not money, nor is it love. It’s happiness.

There are many people who need a little happiness in their lives, but how do we achieve happiness, especially if we’re on the other end of the spectrum? Many of us are not where we wish to be and many of us are somewhere in the middle, but the actuality of happiness eludes us. We are constantly asking ourselves, “What will make me happy…. or happier?” It seems we’re always looking for it – as though it’s hiding and we’re playing a game of hide and seek. One day, we all expect that it’ll just show up and we’re all going to be in a place of blissful happiness. We tell ourselves that happiness isn’t a destination – it’s the journey. What does that even mean?

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What is the definition of happiness? It means – the state of being happy. Synonyms for happy are: pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, etc. It goes on to give a dozen words that have to do with being lighthearted and cheerful or joyful. So – our pursuit is a search for certain contentment or satisfaction with our life, right? Perhaps we need to implement a few essential commitments into our lives on a consistent basis. I know, for myself, I am in a better place when I incorporate certain elements into my life.

These are not in any particular order, with the exception of this first one. I believe this needs to be a priority before the others are set to coincide with your life circumstances.

1) A commitment to happiness needs to be a priority. This commitment entails a resolution to allow happiness to be a very real aspect of your life. If you are not resolved to be happy and you find it acceptable to be miserable, then a realization of happiness will forever elude you.

2) Set a Goal. When we are working toward something, we are driven onward and we keep our mind occupied with what could be as opposed with what is at this moment. It also gives us something to look forward to in life. Perhaps it’s just to look forward to the achievement of the goal, nevertheless, we look forward and it helps keep the negativity at bay.

3) Plan something for your future. Maybe it’ll just be the next six months or so, but some sort of excitement to keep you moving toward the event. Whether it be a trip, or someone special coming to see you, or perhaps a new house, whatever it may be it’ll always give you a sense of hope when you’ve got something exciting to happen down the road.

4) Stop thinking about the past. Even if the past is a pleasure to remember, it overshadows the future. In most cases, the future will be brighter than the past, but you have to leave the past where it is and move on!

5) Turn off the TV! Have a little silence in your life. Sometimes we are so inundated with noise that we can’t hear our inner spirit, the Holy Spirit, our subconscious – whatever you call it – speak to us. Take a few moments to just reflect on the positive aspects of your life. If you are having a difficult time doing that then just look at the basics…. you woke up this morning, you have air in your lungs, you have a roof over your head right now, you have food in your belly. They don’t have to be astronomical aspects for which to be grateful, just enough to know that you have positive things happening in your life. This is strictly my opinion, but I think there is a lot of toxic TV and we just don’t need it in our daily lives. Maybe it’s your way of relaxing, and that is perfectly okay…. just turn it off every once in a while, and learn to be content without the constant distraction.happiness

6) Three health elements in your life to work on – your mental health, your spiritual health and your physical health. Keep your mind active. It’s easy to push the button on auto-pilot on your way home from work and quit exercising your brain until you need it the next day, but an active brain is a young brain. We all know that the brain is a muscle and needs to be worked. It has memory, like all muscles in our body and if it gets accustomed to being shut down at 5:00, then it’s going to continue to shut down at 5:00. When we begin to ‘veg out’ with the TV at 5:00, our brains become vegetative, making us sluggish and difficult for us to continue to move our bodies, as well as our minds.

7) Physical exercise should speak for itself, but so often we ignore it. Part of the reason why is that we want to ‘veg out’ and our mind is telling our bodies that it’s too tired to do anything, because our minds shut down at 5:00. What the mind does, the body soon follows. Get your sweat on a little bit, and you’ll see a difference in your reaction to your life.

8) Spiritual exercise. This is key, but again, sometimes we just don’t know what we’re doing. I’m not talking about religion at this point, I’m talking about taking care of the spirit. Serve others, maybe…pray for others, perhaps…. read something that fortifies you with goodness and kindness. Just remember – garbage in/garbage out. Be careful what you ingest into your body because often it will simply be regurgitated back up into the world.

9) Lastly, you’ve got to eat properly. I know this sounds crazy, but if I eat poorly throughout my weekend, and especially on Sunday, I pay for it on Monday. I have been known to feel weepy during work on Mondays because I feel so unhappy, but it is directly related to the fact that I had too many carbs and I vegged out all day on Sunday. It’s awful. Why do we dread Monday’s? It’s because we gave into ourselves all weekend and didn’t say NO to the sugar and carbohydrates all day!  I’m not saying that everyone is like this, but it is important to pay attention to what we eat. Again – garbage in – garbage out!

These are simply some suggestions. If you’re like me – you would consider yourself to be relatively happy, however we might have moments of being uncomfortable with where we are in life. That’s a good time to look at these suggestions, and see what might be off. We might not have to make drastic changes in our lives – just little adjustments here and there – but we must be committed to our own happiness and take responsibility for it. It’s no one else’s job to make us happy – it’s strictly an inside job.

I hope these suggestions help someone. It’s important to pay attention to ourselves and invest in our own well-being. Become content by enjoying your own company, then no matter where you are, you can find your spot of happiness.

Thanks for stopping in – please let me know what you think. I welcome your thoughts! Stay blessed and be a blessing to others!