My Resolutions…2013

526772_532712873423076_748988913_n      New Year’s Resolutions….too often equated with a silly annual attempt to make some drastic life change. Why does this have to be a half-hearted thought complete with a nod and wink to defeat. I vow that this year…it will be different for me. Oh I may try to eat healthier…sleep more…and cut out some of the wine (maybe). But these are not resolutions about my life, they are mere attempts I will make now and again to get my body back on track. My resolutions- declarations as they are- will encompass my life as a human being and not what society determines through mass commercials of dream diets and exotic exercise equipment.

     As you sit and ponder your New Year’s Resolutions…I ask you to consider this to be the year of your personal declaration of who you are and strive to be each day. There will be moments of regression (much like eating cake on a diet) but overall…the awareness and focus of being a better person within our souls regardless of our body shapes and sizes.

So here I write my life resolutions….

I resolve to be a better listener to others- for when one speaks they do so with the desire to be heard. One of the greatest gifts we can give another is letting their voice speak their thoughts. Wars have been fought over the right to be heard and many have died trying. It is a basic human right to have a voice, to be seen and noted. Yet, this is difficult…very difficult especially when the words do not connect with my own. I realize this and desire to make a better effort to open my ears and close my mouth more.

I resolve to be a better steward to the planet earth. I am concerned about the future of the earth and our impact upon what life holds for our children and grandchildren. Nature’s beauty and our wonderful planet has been taken for granted way too long and I must do my part to respect this world that I live upon. I have so long been a taker and cluttered the world with my garbage. I hope to explore ways to change, be kinder in my consumption.

I resolve to live more in the present. It is truly a gift from the universe and one I never fully unwrap as I throw back the covers and begin my day. I have lists of things to do, lists of things undone and lists of things yet to be completed. Lists upon lists filling up my tomorrows before I ever get there. I am clearing them from my head and paper. Today I will do what seems to fit into my day and no more or less. I will find contentment in this day and when it is done…be grateful for it. I will enjoy each season as it comes – unique that it is and full of the unexpected. I will breathe deep the crisp, cool winter air and amaze myself with the world outside as it rests in wait of spring. I will marvel at the new spring buds and blossoms as they unabashedly abound with a desire to survive. I will warm my bones and my soul in the summer sunshine and welcome the sweat of the summer heat. I will watch the beauty of fall, walking in the woods and sitting by a fire as the world gets painted in warmth of reds, oranges and yellows. Knowing that soon winter will be back and change will circle around again.

I resolve to spread kindness…pay it forward if you will. It can be free to give and anyone who receives unfettered compassion from another will tell you- it is priceless. To keep myself mindful of this, I will each month have at least one anonymous act of unexpected kindness completed…maybe more. Each day is filled with possibilities…and honestly should result in at least one simple act of kindness on a daily basis. If you have never done this before, try it. The unexpected thoughtfulness may really make an impression on someone who needs to again believe in this world. Unfortunately, we see mainly that which is dark, depressing and violent in our world as we watch the news. It makes us scared, defensive and builds walls of insecurity that separates us from each other.  I do not want to live in such a world that fills me with fear and the utter belief that I have no control.  Actually, I refuse to believe it.  So I will take control of my world, resolve to live in the present, effectively listen to others, be kinder to my planet and sprinkle a bit of kindness, compassion with others and see what grows. I invite you to join me and see what we can do over the next year. We can make change and it is time to do so. I resolve to try.

Random Thoughts Of Thankfulness…

Lavendar Sunshine (wallpaper4me.com)

     Some thoughts on what I am thankful for….I have limited myself to those random thoughts that immediately flooded my head…the ones that rushed in as I opened the gates. They seemed most eager to express themselves…yet know there are many more unwritten that I have not pulled from my heart and painted with words.

 I am thankful for the wonderful yellow sun…warming me from inside out and making me squint into a wrinkled smile – I can not imagine life without it

 I am thankful for the summer breeze that cools my skin when I think I can barely take the sweltering heat of the sun for one more minute

 I am thankful for spring which is the earth’s promise to me that new life is forthcoming and once again I will be captivated by rows of exquisite flowers for sale with lush shades of color coaxing me to once more try my hand at gardening

I am thankful for the autumn change of leaves, the beauty of which astounds me and takes away my sadness at my gardening failures now withering before me

I am thankful for the brisk winter cold, for without it I don’t know if I would fully appreciate the ongoing heat of the summer

I am thankful for the courtesy of others, strangers who hold the door open when my hands are full- I hope to return the favor by instinct and not obligation

I am thankful for the kindness of others, who are willing to acknowledge my presence with a smile or a hello,  as I hope to do in return

I am thankful for color…..what would life be like in black and white…never to look at the sunset or sunrise with the amazing glows of pinks, reds and purples…the green grass after a rain…and the blue sky above me….oh I could go on about color which is one of my favorite things in life

I am thankful for love…the feeling of completeness that it gives me…purpose…and connection with others. My friends and my family, loved ones here and gone- so important to my past and imprinted onto my future and always present

I am thankful for those who have taught me about the hardships of life: pain, fear, suffering. For without their courage, my life would not be the same. Showing me that life is so much more and coaxing me to think outside of the box time and time again.

I am so thankful for those who encourage my dreams and hopes and love me for who I am. Laughing with me at life and holding me when I cry. They accept my quirks, my off track thoughts and liberal values.

I am thankful for awakening the ability to feel compassion and empathy for others- I truly feel connected to a life truth in some way as I witness another’s life with a semblance of understanding. A gift so to speak that we all have – yet many never opened. I love this particular awakening and encourage anyone else to seek it.

I am thankful for my breath- for the ability to draw upon it at those moments when stress and emotions take hostage of my body, a deep intoxicating breath that grounds my feet and clears my head. Always there to the end, breath gets me through the hardest moments.

I am thankful for my days upon this earth, and if I should end my time here tomorrow…I would be thankful for having experienced this amazing journey.

Because You Do

 I wake to sunshine in the summer, cool morning breezes in the fall, white enchanted snow in the winter and the remnants of a new rain in the spring. I mark my days with weekend plans and pay checks. I am truly loved by a man whose eyes tell me so before any words leave his lips. I have grown children who have learned well and taught me much along the way.. My parents supported me, guided me and let me grow into my own ideals and values as they loved me unconditionally. There are people in my life that I dearly love and we are bound by blood or marriage or deep friendships. And I have a career that teaches me so much more about human survival…there just aren’t words.

     Yet sometimes over the years I have wondered how I came to live this life. Usually this would wander into my head after I see the pain and difficulties others face, many throughout their whole lives..Some in very young lives. But how did I get this life? Why me? A simple answer taps me on the shoulder and whispers in my ear- “because you do.” Yet something in me, deep in me where love and hope are kept tells me that life isn’t simply good/bad, right/wrong and “because you do” is not the whole but a piece of the puzzle. So it makes me uncomfortable and pulls at my conscience and tells me to not waste this opportunity.

For there are many who have no sunshine in their lives, the morning is a harsh reminder to them of another day to make it through. Fall is simply a reminder of what is yet to come. The winter snow is cold and impersonal and the spring rain is purely wet. Many live in fear, pain, torment and loneliness. Love only comes with conditions. How do they march on? How do they walk next to me on the street yet live so differently when our paths are no longer shared?

     So every morning when I feel the sunshine on my face or the breeze through my hair, the snow glistening on the trees or the smell of a fresh rain, I try to remind myself of not wasting this. Live in the moment, recognize it and appreciate it. I haven’t figured out the riddles of life but believe me I have thought much about it. I can’t explain to someone why they walk a different path…but
I can help them feel their life is valid whether it is a smile, random act of kindness, listening to their story, providing encouragement or simply accepting them as a person. Then I have a moment of clarity and that simple answer suffices “because you do.”