- Intention: When you get up in the morning, say with enthusiasm, “This is a great day!”
- Clean the clutter: Your home should be a sanctuary from the outside world’s chaos. Deal with mail as it comes in and discard or donate what you do not need. Your piled excess may be another’s treasure. Repurpose what you can.
- Date yourself: Pursue what makes your heart sing. If necessary, get up an hour earlier when the house is quiet.
- Exercise: Keep the body moving for good health. Choose a variety of activities that you enjoy. Make it playtime.
- Face your fears: We make our own jails. Most worries never happen. Precious time and energy that could have been spent pursuing your passions are lost forever. Fear and Love cannot coexist. Choose loving thoughts.
- Gratitude: At least once a week, write ten items for which you are thankful. Alternative: Go over them in your mind while exercising.
- Self-love: Stop the negative narrative in your head. You are perfect.
- No comparison: Stop comparing yourself to others. You are on your own journey. Follow your heart without worrying what other people think.
- Empathy: Put yourself in the other guy’s shoes. Be kind, compassionate and serve humanity in your own gifted way.
- Focus: Look for good and beauty. As per Dr. Wayne Dyer, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
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Devastated by her husband’s infidelity, romance writer, Mysti Wade, loads her personal possessions into a rented trailer and sets off to claim her unseen inheritance with her rescued hound, Zak. Left by her estranged grandmother, the Second Empire Victorian mansion on Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay is thirty years past prime condition. The estate has no money for maintenance and repairs. Stuck, with meager means and no place to go, Mysti stays, despite rumored ghosts. When a drifter, Harry Pearson, shows up during a severe thunderstorm, she agrees to let him live in the carriage house in exchange for work. Soon, the tumbledown, brick fortress, springs back to life with mowed lawns, tended gardens, rebuilt porches and painted trim, but invisible evil shrouds the property. Broke, and heartbroken by her failed marriage, Mysti abandons a romance novel to write a mystery, using reality for inspiration. Oblivious to danger and driven by an unexplainable force, she delves into her grandmother’s accidental death and squandered assets with skeptical eyes. Bodies drop to protect guilty secrets, some buried for generations. Walking a tightrope to stay alive and protect her dog, Mysti Wade exposes deceit, greed and murder. Justice is served!
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” ― Confucius.
If happiness came in a pill or a bottle, life would be easy. If there were a perfect place to live, we would all be there. Happiness is a choice. Each has a super-power to create life experiences, but many prefer to blame others and play the victim role.
Life dumps challenges, some horrific, at our feet that are out of our control, but we own the responses. Choices are to curl up in a fetal position or face reality, assess options and problem solve to survive. Get ready to steer your ship. Break the chains of limiting beliefs. Take a deep breath and look at the sky’s vastness. The possibilities are limitless.
The first step to growth, change and abundance in all areas of your life is to be grateful. How often do you hear the expression of gratitude outside of a place of worship? It is more likely to hear whining about the weather, spouse, children, boss, work, money, health and services. There is always something for which to be grateful, regardless of the situation.
Most people plod through life, numb to their surroundings. Like gerbils on a wheel, one runs and runs and runs, on automatic pilot. Get up, go to work, go to bed, repeat, until one day, the house of cards crumbles. Miserable and unfulfilled, the finger points to everyone and everything, except yourself.
Instead of being grateful, it is human nature to feel inadequate and say, “If only,
- I had money
- I had talent
- I were thin
- I had hair
- I were good looking
- I had a better job
- My skin were flawless
- I drove a Ferrari
- My teeth were straight
- I had bigger boobs
Know that you are a spirit having a human experience to grow and learn. Your soul is perfect, created in the image and likeness of God, the Source. Your greatest misgivings are perpetrated by the ego. Many have been programmed by parents, ancestors and former lives.
Trying to protect me from the hurt of disappointment, my mother would drown my dreams by saying, “Get off your high horse. Who do you think you are?” When I told her I was engaged, she said, “You’ll end up barefoot and pregnant and amount to nothing.” These words sound hurtful, but in her own way, she was trying to protect me. I understand her motive now, but the comments made me insecure for most of my life.
Gratitude requires awareness. For example, a musician hears each instrument and the technical components in a composition. To my tin ear, it is a melody with a beat. One of my friends can identify birds by their songs, although she can no longer see them in detail. Focus aids appreciation.
My mother spouted a saying, “A man complains that he has no shoes until he sees a man with no feet.” Things could always be worse. Be appreciative for what you have and you will not feel victimized.
Commandment # 10, “Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods.” Instead of looking at this from the sin viewpoint, examine the impacts to you. To covet is to envy. Trying to keep up with the Joneses will cause the ego to shout that you to prove your self-worth with a new car, house, boat, grill, furniture, Rollex watch, etc. Excited at first when you acquire the coveted item, soon you yearn for more. Significant debt may suck you further into a hole of despair. For those who can afford the luxuries in life, enjoy, but realize that things are not satisfiers. They cannot replace inner peace and happiness. Work on you and the happiness that you deserve. The extras that money can buy, will be the icing on the cake, as you draw abundance to your new, positive energy. Too many humans think money would solve their problems. That is putting the cart before the horse. Instead, get to know yourself. Find the inner guidance and purpose. Be grateful for today. When abundance flows, play, be appreciative and share. Bill and Melinda Gates have a luxurious lifestyle and also created a foundation to make the world a better place.
You can make a difference, regardless of how much you earn or have in the bank. Many years ago, I learned a lesson from a nervous eighteen-year-old, flying from Houston, Texas to join the Army. His rural high school’s fundraiser was a squirrel hunt. Raised by his Granny, he said, “It don’t cost nothin’ to be nice.” The young man taught me a lesson, that I have never forgotten.
It does not cost anything to smile, hold open a door, shovel a neighbor’s walk or volunteer at your favorite charity. Each of us has something to give. Share your talents and positive energy with others.
A year ago, I slipped on a wet, tile floor, fell on my side and broke my elbow. I was thankful that my sore hip was not broken, which would have been more debilitating. Find a way to be grateful in imperfect situations.
Exercise- Take a walk. Pretend that you are a witness to a crime, who must testify in court. What do you see, hear, smell? Touch a shrub or two. Is the foliage soft, hard, smooth, prickly? What colors do you see? Look at the sky. Is it blue with puffy clouds or grey? Are the clouds moving quickly? When you return home, jot down what you remember. Do this every day for at least five minutes. A walk during your lunch break is good for mind, body and spirit. If the weather is uncooperative, perform the exercise indoors. Caution for those working at home, dust bunnies may appear.
Compile a gratitude list. Start with five items the first day. Try to add five new ones each day. You may be surprised at how blessed you are. It is human nature to focus on the one slighting, mechanical failure or mistake that happened than the kindness, praise, smiles or good fortune received. Has it been your experience that when you obsessed about something negative, more went wrong to ruin your day and evening? When in crisis, it is challenging to have positive thoughts, but worth the effort. Do not wait for the magic genie to pop out of a bottle. Take responsibility for yourself and your happiness.
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” Wayne W. Dyer
On a sliding scale, Earthlings perceive life somewhere between magil and Hellish. What lenses do you use to view the World? Are they scratched and dirty, seeing only what is ugly or clear to view beauty?
Illness, poverty and injustice plague the planet, but love, kindness and service to humanity abound. Many escape unhappiness via drugs and alcohol. Some pop prescribed antidepressants like candy. Masking issues is not a solution. It takes courage to look in the mirror, examine yourself and your choices. Whatever you see, you have created. Running away from problems is not a remedy, because wherever you go, your baggage will be your traveling partner. One cannot expect different outcomes without changing behavior.
Do you drag out of bed every morning, dreading the day ahead? If so, why? Examine your emotions. Are you angry, bored, frightened, anxious, or frustrated, to name a few? Pinpoint what is generating the emotion. If you cannot change the situation, i.e. an annoying coworker, try to perceive the person or situation in a different light. For example, instead of being riled by a braggart, feel compassion for the insecure person who is intimidated by your accomplishments and wants to impress you.
From your self-assessment, you may determine that you need time to exercise, read, take a luxurious bath or pursue hobbies, but you lament that there are not enough hours in the day. You are short on sleep and long on frustration. Record how you use your time for three consecutive days, including phone calls, social media and television. There is at least a half an hour a day that is wasted or could be appropriated. You must prioritize your needs and communicate that to your loved ones. I know a mother of seven who took from 1-2 P.M. to paint, read or nap. She scheduled her time around children’s nap times and school. With more organization and less martyrdom, you will reap mental and physical rewards. Nothing is more energizing than doing what makes your heart sing. Plan to get at least eight hours sleep per night. Minor difficulties are overwhelming when one is too tired to cope.
Perception is the event. Start the day with a positive vibe. Will the ride be smooth like Zamboni cleaned ice? Probably not. You may spill your coffee, be cut off by another driver, deal with a foot stomping teenager or make a mistake at work. Stuff happens. Mindset and reaction determine if they are petty annoyances or day shattering events. Humans focus on the negative and forget the positive, which are subject to your perspective. For example, you may perceive spilling your coffee as negative, but while wiping it up, you find your lost gold earring, which is positive. Look at the big picture when possible, although most of life’s synchronicities are beyond our comprehension. One may never know that a flat tire prevented involvement in an accident.
Ice jail or spectacular display? For a week I pondered the question. Looking from within, I felt trapped by the jagged wall of ice and afraid of water flooding through the roof. I imagined eaves troughs crashing to the ground from the excessive weight and icicles impaling unexpected guests. I shivered from the cold and longed to live where palm trees grow.
A drip caught my eye. I followed its path down the craggy, frozen barricade and contemplated whether it would add its mass to the tip or fall to the ground. Each icicle was unique in size, shape, length, diameter and density. Visions of a magical, crystal palace danced in my mind.
I concluded that the icicles were constant. I was the variable. My perception labeled the icicles threatening or awesome. Most worries never materialize. Time, energy and health are squandered needlessly.
This chapter is about dealing with daily frustrations. Coping with tragedy, loss and grief will be discussed in another chapter. Before playing a concerto, we must learn to play the scale.
Exercise- Make a list of the positive and negative occurrences for three days. Include random acts of kindness, that you may usually take for granted. Which list is longer? With reflection, can you find a silver lining in any of the negative?
Try to change your reaction to minor irritants. Are they a matter of life or death? If not, is the anger, anxiety and stress worth it? Lighten up. Find humor in a situation. Laugh at your clumsiness. Do not sweat the small stuff. Regardless of what happens today, the sun will rise tomorrow. At the end of the day, you will feel better, in mind, body and spirit.
Five Ways to Relieve Stress and Worry
- Identify your fear- Many times stress is fear of the unknown.
- Consider the worst scenario and prepare. Stock the car with supplies when traveling (blanket, first aid kit, non-perishable food like energy bars, water, cell phone) Have emergency kits at home in the event of power outage, snowstorm, tornado or hurricane (battery radio, flashlights, generator with fuel, canned goods, propane, camp stove, bottled water, non-perishable food) Preparation can make the difference between inconvenience and desperation. The same applies to making presentations, taking exams, house maintenance. Be prepared.
- Reflect on the best outcome- Once prepared, focus on the positive. The chance of your worst nightmare coming to fruition is small. If planning a trip, immerse yourself in the adventure. The butterflies in your stomach are excitement. Do not confuse the feeling with fear.
- Be flexible. Go with the flow. Swimming against a rip current is exhausting.
- Trust. The universe has your back. When you encounter obstacles, trust that you are being guided to something better.
Points of light, forever joined, a web of consciousness
Leave the lower frequencies, ascend with love and light.
View the world objectively upon a sheltered bluff
Earth in flux, a beacon be, humanity survives.
Ego’s trapped victim
Gasping for air
Flames scorch the flesh
Screams go unheard
Starved to the bone
Jails one created
Break chains for freedom
Listen to soul
Trust Divine order
God’s master plan
Light, love creation
Perfect and whole.
Door is about to slam on the year like no other. The pandemic rocked our self-absorbed, instantly gratified existence. Fear, grief, chaos, loneliness, poverty and illness hover like an ominous cloud. It may be another year before the sky is blue, but streaks of light penetrate the darkness. Vaccines bring hope that one day, we will not shrink from physical contact. Scars of grief and loss will remain long after the virus is irradicated.
Although we navigate the same crisis, our experiences vary. Essential workers care for the sick, put out fires, enforce the law, defend countries, keep the food chain supplied, provide public transportation, pick up garbage, mow lawns, plow snow and make repairs. Their dedication keeps us safe at home, to complain about inconvenience and boredom.
2020 delivered a smackdown, but the cloud has a silver lining. Some benefits from forced lockdown are:
- Family mealtimes
- Homecooked, healthy meals
- Non-programmed, quiet time for reflection
- Appreciation for people versus things
- More outside time, connecting to nature
- Work from home independence
Hardship teaches gratitude. Humans are resilient and will rise again, but as wiser, tested warriors. Carrying the torch into 2021, we will press forward with perseverance, strength and optimism, for with linked arms we can light the world.
Life is a series of snapshots that reside in the heart. Our minds may only recall the happiest or most painful events, but each frame is captured for future review. We choose the pictorial.
Six tips for happiness:
- Words and thoughts shape the experience. What we think, we become. Be positive. Trust in your power.
- Pain, hurt and loss happen. We control how we respond. Choose love, forgiveness and compassion for healing. Give yourself time.
- Enjoy the simple things every day. Notice the beauty and magic in the world.
- Take care your soul’s temporary home with diet, exercise, sleep and hydration. With a depleted body, small irritations become insurmountable challenges. Treat yourself.
- Trust intuition. Turn off the internal and external noise. Listen to inner guidance, instead of seeking outside validation.
The album is yours to create with love and light.
Many suffer due to the pandemic, fires and hurricanes. Fear, loss, grief, illness and hunger are rampant. Although contributions to food banks, animal shelters and other charities are desperately needed, we can serve, regardless of our financial situations. Each of us has the power to brighten another’s day. Ask the divine how you can serve.
Ten free ideas to spur your imagination are:
- Phone call, text, email. Provide encouragement. Show that you care.
- Offer to take the garbage can to the road and back for an elderly neighbor
- Offer to pick up something at the store
- Walk an elderly neighbor’s dog
- Rake leaves, shovel snow
- Clean closets and donate usable clothing
- Hold the door for someone
- Be courteous when driving.
- Let someone go ahead of you in the store.
Post-war 1950’s was a time of prosperity. My hometown of 30,000 was a safe place to grow-up. People left the doors unlocked and children could walk or ride bicycles anywhere. Milk and bread were delivered. Specialized markets provided meat, pastries and produce. Everyone, who I knew, had two parents. We went to school and church, regardless of the weather. Chains were put on rear wheel drive buses and cars for traction. Trunks held a sand pail and shovel for emergencies.
If this sounds too idyllic, it is. During this time was the Korean War and Cold War with Russia. We lived under the threat of nuclear attack. Civil Defense mobilized locally, encouraging every home to build an air raid shelter. Municipal buildings, including schools, were designated as public shelters. Beside fire drills, each school participated in air raid drills. We would file to the hallway, away from glass, crouch and cover our heads with our hands. I was terrified that a bomb would strike and I would die, or be separated from my sister and parents. Perhaps, that explains why I am intrigued by the supernatural, mediums and psychics.
Raised Catholic, I attended weekly Catechism classes during the school year. A nun from the Sisters of Mercy order taught the class. In those days, the sisters wore full habits that gave them a penguin appearance. Only their faces were visible. In those days, children were afraid of ruler wielding grown-ups of authority. A call to parents was terrifying. We were a compliant bunch.
One day during catechism class, the nun explained déjà vu, as recognition of a person, place or event that we had seen before birth, when a veil was placed over us to forget. I had never heard the term and was sure it was untrue, but the story stuck, unlike everything else in eight years of religious training.
Looking back at the strict rules of Catholicism and the denial of psychic capabilities, I wonder if the nun was teaching her own radical belief. Another puzzling contradiction is that some priests are trained as exorcists.
All of us possess ability to connect with God, Source, Allah or whatever name you prefer to call the supreme love of creation. A simple look around shows that miracles abound. The one that races my heart is that we are spinning on a molten core rock, in an endless universe, with no strings attached, kept alive with earth, fire, air and water.
My skills are not honed, but I knew things about my life that came to pass. At age 10, I predicted my grandmother’s death. When I was engaged, I told my husband to be that I would have two sons. Although I avoided risky sports to avoid breaking my leg, I finally did it on a cruise. Involvement in cancer deaths, weighed heavily on my mind. I witnessed the passing of my father, mother and husband. All succumbed to cancer. Thinking about someone and receiving a phone call, text or email is a frequent occurrence. You may have similar experiences that you shrugged off as coincidental.
Many yearn to know how things will turn out, instead of letting them unfold like the petals of a flower. Our Earthly journeys flow like a river. Until the transition to the other side, challenges and learning opportunities continue. In my darkest hours, I asked for enough light to take the next step. Sometimes they were baby-sized, but I trusted my inner voice and moved forward, one foot in front of the other.
My message is about faith, hope and trust. Look within for guidance. Follow the light. It will lead you to love and your highest good.