Sunday, October 8, 2017

GORGEOUS SUNSET -- A HEAVENLY MASTERPIECE




Found this on the internet. Gorgeous sunset, isn't it? I fell in love with it instantly ......and why I just had to have it here on my blog. A heavenly masterpiece! 💓😍

A big thanks to whoever took this picture.





Saturday, October 7, 2017

RELIGION - SPIRITUALITY - DIVERSITY - CHANGE





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Was in the midst of a very nice book when the phone rang. It was Delilah (not her real name, of course) who has this uncanny knack of calling me just at the precise moment when I’m just about settled on something perfect for a lazy afternoon such as today.

‘Hi, EleAnor!’ boomed her voice on the phone… pronouncing it as ‘elyanor’.

‘Ok, if you don’t start learning how to say it correctly I’ll put down the phone in 2 counts…. 1….’

‘Aww c’mon … kiddingggggg…’ and she laughed so loud my eardrums hurt!

She loves poking fun at my frustration with my high school teacher in Tacloban back then… who just couldn’t–simply wouldn’t–never did pronounce my name right!

‘Ma’m, it’s Eleanor with a silent a.’ -- I’d stress ofttimes with a wee bit of annoyance but with respect she definitely deserved. She was terrific at her job. Still, she never gets my name right!

To which she’d reply ‘Sit down, Elyanor.’ (Bisaya gyud, pastilan!) Gaaahhh I'd breathe between my teeth. To this my seatmate (yeah, Delilah) would giggle. So much for that.

‘Ok, so what brings this call? It better be good. I’ve got a good book which I’d like to finish.’

Delilah replied….. ‘You remember Carla?’ (A new friend we both met.)
‘Yes. Why?’ I replied.
‘Well, she’s having this rift with Jenny.’ (Another friend.)
‘Over what?’ I asked with piqued interest pushing my book aside.
‘It looks like a tiny difference which now seems to have been blown out of proportion.’ Delilah replied now being serious.
‘Over what nga?’ I wanted to know.

To make a long story short, the subject was about being …religious or spiritual. These two friends were bashing each other for being one or the other. Well, that’s as much as I’m going to tell you about my friends. I will say this much though that my friends patched up things in a manner which didn’t harm the friendship in a way (fortunately) but let’s just say that they simply agreed to disagree. Which, I think, is a smart way to deal or handle issues which may be difficult to resolve.

The issue though was something that isn’t nor can be simply confined between or among friends alone, I must say. Because it happens just as much in ordinary lives everywhere among many and diverse people.


I may have read up a few things about those two words….. And to roughly quote
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Religious ----- imbued with or exhibiting religion; pious; devout; godly

Spiritual ------ relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things

There are some pretty clear ways in which religion and spirituality differ. --Religion: This is a specific set of organized beliefs and practices, usually shared by a community or group. --Spirituality: This is more of an individual practice.

Those who speak of spirituality outside of religion often define themselves as spiritual but not religious and generally believe in the existence of different "spiritual paths," emphasizing the importance of finding one's own individual path to spirituality.

Many people use spirituality to refer to their interior life of faith and religion.

A religious person may be spiritual, but a spiritual person is not necessarily religious.

Unquote.
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But it really doesn’t matter on which side of the fence you are. To my mind, both are equally worthy and acceptable. Each with its use or uses. If one or the other makes you a better person, that’s fine.

To impose one's beliefs on others or try to change them can cause much division. Because they rightfully have theirs. Judging people for what they do or do not do with their beliefs is rather shortsighted, don't you think? Speaking up when you feel like you should is fine. You have your voice. But try to temper it with kindness. Hurting people for whatever reason, good or bad, is no excuse to act mean. Express your opinion go ahead but that is all there is to it. Don't go further thinking that they should listen to you because you think and believe that yours is right. If change should come they should want it or cause it themselves. The decision to change is an internal thing. Comes from within, not without.

People are as diverse as the North and South poles. With differences as the color of their skin or the size of their eyes…. the different languages they speak…. the diversity of habits and comfort zones.... the different sets of preferences, likes and dislikes, loves and hates, or how they were raised or educated. Each as flawed as the other and each with their respective beliefs and influences, too. People live by their respective histories as laid down by the Divine. That's the journey set out for us to travel.

So religious or spiritual is not the issue -- shouldn't be ..... unless we shortsightedly make it so triggered by the ego and pride.



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

IT'S OCTOBER!


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OCTOBER --- Have a good one, folks! Fill it with wonderful memories to last a lifetime.
 








EVERY JOURNEY NEEDS A FIRST STEP

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Good morning, world!  
 
I'm doing a repost today. Because somebody needs to see this. This piece was done way back but I'm bringing it back to life for the things I want to say to a fine young lady.
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Here it is.
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First, a great quote.....


"Wellness isn't about deprivation and it's not about perfection. It is about pointing yourself in the direction of growth, training yourself to get comfortable with your highest potential, and then taking small steps to support that shift. It's about showing up for yourself, day by day, and then one day finding that you've undergone a transformation." ------- Kathy Freston

Unquote.


I guess that speaks out not only for those in pursuit of health but it works just as well with the other pursuits which fill up our plates in life. It always begins with that tiny-little-small-bit of .. 'the first step'. That first step begins the journey, the project, the writing, the story, the relationship, the dream, the adventure, the memories ..... and on the other end of the spectrum the misery, the frustration, the disappointment, the failure, and more. It's what we do or do not do for the first step.

In our journey the aim should always be towards our highest potential. Oh yes, it's wired into our system from birth. Big thanks to a very wise God. So the quicker we begin to understand that the quicker become our growth towards our better selves.

Do not belittle nor limit yourself with the idea that only the rich, highly educated, and famous are privileged with talent or brilliance. It's not their monopoly. We have our portions, too; maybe in greater measure where it matters.

Our highest potential is in doing what we do best in our everyday lives. Neither do we need an audience to do that. All we need is the desire and passion to be the best that we can be in whatever our God-given talents lead us. It's what we do with our lives with the highest care and attention which truly matters to God's eyes and heart. That, incidentally, is also by God's design.

Blessings, everyone! Remember to pay kindness forward.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

ALSO LEARN TO UNLEARN




Good morning, folks 'Hope your weekend is coming along just fine. Here's an interesting poster shared from a friend's fb page. I'd like to share it with you, too.

---- Just my tiny thought on that poster. 😊

Life, as many say it is, is one big university of learning. There are many things we should be learning undoubtedly. We did with the past... we do with the present.... and we should with the future. So it never stops whatever your age, whoever you are, no matter the feathers in your cap.

But we should also learn to ---- unlearn. 


Meaning we should try to shed off those layers in our person which do not or no longer serve us a good purpose. Or maybe through the years have shown us nothing. Negativity is one of those. When those habits of negativity stand as a wall or seem to block efforts for further improvement or that of moving on with life, then those should be peeled off and thrown to the bin. Say goodbye to it. The sooner the better. Perhaps not without pain or inconvenience but... worth the effort we would be putting into it. We'll be far off better without it than with it. Comfort zones are a comfortable place to be... yes. But no learning is ever done there. Neither can true happiness thrive in it.

When done, then finally and easily we can and to quote Shakespeare ---  listen well, think well, earn, forgive, feel, try, love, and live! And try be truly happy!

Learning is a life journey taken one day at a time. And if perchance we fail to grasp the lesson or lessons the first time, life will send it back to us repeatedly until we finally get it! 😊

Oh yes... I'm still learning. See you in class!



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I WISH I WAS JUST ME --- OLD AND WEARY



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A friend called me up not so long ago. Having just arrived from Cebu she wanted to meet up for a chat over green tea Frappuccino. Both our favorites at Starbucks (of course). Unfortunately I had to bow out of the invitation as there were important errands that had to be done. So…. she persistently and determinedly tied me down to the phone with updates about her life in Cebu. Although I was delighted over her adventures and misadventures for the past couple of years (that’s how long we have lost touch with each other) I sensed that something seemed off with the way she sounded.


“Okay, what’s up?” I asked straightforwardly. We’ve been friends too long that straightforwardness has become a comfy thing between us.

“Len, sometimes I wish I was just me… old and weary.” She replied with unsurprising honesty.

…. And that’s the point where I stop telling you about her, my friend Irma (not her true name). Yes we had our chat, a lengthy one, and it was a two-way learning moment for us both. That already is a treasure.
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Let’s think about this……
“I wish I was just me… old and weary.”


That’s a ‘hugot’ line, right? We would probably guess that something or some things happened somewhere in there which had caused this weariness of the soul. But I will tell you this, honestly, who would not think along those lines at some point or other in this our fragile life?
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“I wish I was just me…”
-------------- Do you know who you are? What roles do you play in life (I know we can be many things to many different people)? Are you catering to other people’s expectations or just yours? Do you do things because you love doing them? Do you hate doing them? What matters to you? Do you or do you not care? Do you sometimes wish you were doing something else? Or lived another life different from yours now?


There is no straight or right answer to those questions. Or so I believe. Because you are that person in each-and-every-question-and-answer lived by you at many different and diverse points in your life.

You hate, you love, you adore, you are brave, you despise, and you abhor, also can be cold and despicable when reason presents itself. You pretend you are strong and yet vulnerable too, you are confused, and sometimes stubborn even in being wrong.

You are all of the above and even so much more. You are everything a human being is. Perfect and flawed.

But then at the end of the day when the dust has settled and you stand alone tired and utterly exhausted, you drop to the ground buckling under the overwhelming weight of it all. Then you exhale a weary wish…….… ‘I wish I was just me.’

Oh? So you think you are somebody else inside that body carrying your name? Because I think those things that you do both the good and the imperfection in some is … you. And that heart-breaking wish is simply your weary soul’s cry to stop and rest awhile. 

Pay attention. Rest. Connect with the heavens.
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“…old and weary”
---------------- Oh but I hear that often said by friends and strangers alike. Both from the young and the old. 


When young people say it, it rises from being drained of all energy, effort, plans, strength, courage, hope, and perhaps faith, too. Trying to make it in this crazy world of ours is tough. Pursuing dreams even tougher. And you are not even assured of success or of making it. Sometimes it may seem so near and yet still so far. So each day you struggle with frustration, disappointment, irritation, failed expectations, and bits and pieces of your broken dreams. Every night you plop down on your bed worn out to the bone. So weary… so feeling old.

When old people utter those words, it expresses a mix of everything past present and even the future. It hovers over why-did-it-happen or what-could-have-been. Regrets creep in and weigh down both the mind and the heart.

It doesn’t help if within the home they become just a piece of the furniture. No longer enjoying the vibrant connection enjoyed with the family in those younger days. Although not entirely the family’s fault. The new restrictions on the mind and body put on limitations to choices, his or theirs. This reality creates a painful void for loneliness and longing. The soul becomes weary and feeling so very old.
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It’s the soul that feels and bears the brunt of our physical effort and lives. It is strong, no doubt about that. But sometimes you just have to let it breathe… recharge itself… give it space to become new again. Just as the body needs to rest – the soul needs to remember its connection with the Divine. It needs to reconnect every so often. When the soul speaks.... Listen!


You do this with prayer.
God bless you.



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

NO PAIN ---- BIG GAINS!


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Good morning, folks
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You know what, I'm going to do something different today and you might not like it. I think. It's a subject that I have noticed here which nobody does really warm up to. Or give a second thought to. They simply gloss over it or just pass it by.
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Well, maybe this time you could spare me a few minutes of your time with this.. just a teeny-weeny bit of your time. Okay?
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Time moves fast. It moves us along so fast that before we know it our bodies have grown weak, slow, or fat and our brains atrophied. That among other things is a fact of life. It's the physical that suffers first and most with time.
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So before you get to that point of one day feeling sorry for yourself (and to cut a long story short)... I would say you can do something about it.
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For instance.....
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  1.   Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
  2.   Avoid the Negative Bandwagon: people who      can't seem to pull themselves out of the negative rut of their lives or mind sets.
  3.   Do things that make you happy.
  4.   Learn something new everyday.
  5.   Engage in regular chats with God.
  6.   Keep connected with family and friends.
  7.   Touch base with Mother Nature.
  8.   Exercise
  9.   Engage and indulge in a hobby.
10. Laugh often.
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#8 EXERCISE -- Let's talk about this. Many have this at the bottom of their list kasi ma-effort daw. Saying that it's too much effort and takes so much time away from work and other things they would rather be doing. But as health buffs would say... no pain, no gain.
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Well, here's what I say to that......... NO PAIN, BIG GAINS.
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That's TAI CHI for you.
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A excerpt from the Tai Chi For Health Institute ...
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"... Just what is Tai Chi?
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Originating in ancient China, tai chi is an effective exercise for health of mind and body. Although an art with great depth of knowledge and skill, it can be easy to learn and soon delivers its health benefits. For many, it continues as a lifetime journey. There are many styles and forms of tai chi, the major ones being Chen, Yang, Wu, another Wu (actually two different words in Chinese) and Sun. Each style has its own unique features, although most styles share similar essential principles.
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These essential principles include the mind being integrated with the body; fluidity of movement; control of breathing; and mental concentration. The central focus is to enable the qi or life force to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the body. Total harmony of the inner and outer self comes from the integration of mind and body, achieved through the ongoing practice of tai chi. ..."

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Also lifted from The Health Benefits of Tai Chi, Harvard Medical School ...
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" Tai chi is often described as "meditation in motion," but it might well be called "medication in motion." There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. And you can get started even if you aren't in top shape or the best of health.
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In this low-impact, slow-motion exercise, you go without pausing through a series of motions named for animal actions — for example, "white crane spreads its wings" — or martial arts moves, such as "box both ears." As you move, you breathe deeply and naturally, focusing your attention — as in some kinds of meditation — on your bodily sensations. Tai chi differs from other types of exercise in several respects. The movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tensed, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched. Tai chi can be easily adapted for anyone, from the most fit to people confined to wheelchairs or recovering from surgery. .."

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Further,
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"...To get the most benefits from tai chi you need to practice for at least 15 minutes a day - every day! It is better to practice every day than to have longer tai chi workouts 2 or 3 times a week. So you might want to think about the balance of classes and practice if you get stuck for time. In case you are wondering - we're told you should not practice tai chi or qigong (pronounced chi kung) for more than 6 hours a day.!!! .." (Everyday Tai Chi)
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There you have it, folks. It's easy and can be done by both young and old alike. Further you can browse YouTube for a wide array of Tai Chi videos. Choose one according to your needs or preferences whether it be done standing or sitting down.
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That's all for now, folks! See you later. Got some Tai Chi to do
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(By the way, if the video below gives you problems viewing, you can also view it at this link ----- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21-HARM-E4g )




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Thursday, September 14, 2017

CHALLENGES AREN'T SENT TO HURT US


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This is for a friend. Why am I putting it down here? Because she wants to see it here. Saying that her challenges are everybody's challenge.... that basically we are all the same. That if she was learning from life, we should be learning it, too.


So.... this is for you, dear friend.
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DON'T CRY, IT'S JUST HARD


You have your share of life's worries, concerns, adversities, problems. But I'd rather call them challenges. Because that's what it is. 

Those things when they come are the least bit pretty (to put it mildly)... quite inconvenient.... messy sometimes.... confusing.... aggravating.... and takes the mind and heart off the track in crazy unforgiving ways. It often takes you up a wall ... a frustrating blank hard stubborn wall. And as much as you would desire it, there is no magic word that would make that wall come crumbling down for you. There is no magic word or potion that would make your worries go away.

But I do know this.

Life is a leveler of people. It gives everyone problems big and small, hard and not always easy. It covers about everything there is in life or about life and living. The rich and the poor both struggle with it in a vast assortment of ways. Visible and invisible.
It affects people in diverse ways and people react to it in also a diversity of means and manner. Some succeed and then some don't. 

Life through the years have shown me how people live with it in their own respective turfs. I have my own share to learn from, too.

I guess that is the key ----- learn.

Mom would always remind me that ..... 'there is no life without its share of challenges'. She calls them challenges, too, not problems.

But we have to be strong, she says. Stand our ground. Rev up our store of faith. Challenges come in different sizes.... color.... mode.... degree or intensity (akin to the typhoons Ondoy and Yolanda which buffeted our country way back.. or ..that of Hurricane 5 which hit Florida recently). Through it all we are asked to be courageous, defiant, flexible, undefeated, persistent in prayer, and hopeful. Yes, it can hurt us but it can't hurt our spirit. We will be and should be ready to bounce back up again!

Challenges aren't sent us to hurt us (although we often perceive it to be). Sometimes it does look like it did. But we should open our eyes... mind... heart to see the bigger intent for it. Because there certainly is a reason for everything that happens to us or to this crazy planet. 

In human terms, what I understand is that we are being nudged even though painfully (sometimes) that there are some things that we should be learning. If we pay close attention, we will get to see that lesson, understand it and learn.

Mom would also remind me.... 'do not react but rather respond to your challenge'. Explaining further that 'reacting' involves feelings... while 'responding' requires some thinking. Reacting is often impulsive. Responding is more thought out.

Oh yeah, but not to react is more often hard. Because it's the first impulse of a heart that is hurt or hurting. Tears follow it in torrents filling up buckets and buckets more while the pain lasts.

I know... but ....don't cry, it's just hard. Look your challenge straight in the eye and say..... 'You won't get me. I will lick you yet!!'

And you will!

Besides..... Somebody up there will enable you. That's for sure!


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

ONE HAS NOT TO BE DEFINED BY THE PHYSICAL CHANGES OF TIME ON OUR BODIES




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I have a good friend (won't mention her name) who wails everytime on just about anything-everything that aging does to a person. She does make me smile with that and I do understand of course. We all do, don't we? Although nobody wants to talk about age or aging nor be reminded of it, I think it's inevitable and unavoidable. The sooner you make peace with it, the better your life. This brings to mind a post done way back, also for a friend back then. I'm bringing it back to life now for you, dear friend.
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My dear precious friend,

Got your note. Am fine, thanks. Ah so the job tires you.
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Maybe that's the reason why your daughter does not want you working again, the job tires you out. Hey, you're supposed to be retired. You know, I'm inclined to agree with her cos at your age it's no longer 'healthy' to be as energetic as a twenty or thirty yr old. Well, I must tell you that unlike before when I could walk miles without a glitch, now I tire easily with very long walks, the reason why I've learned to pace myself.
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I think that is your daughter's concern over you. It makes sense. Even if you think you feel fit, you cannot ignore the fact that you (and me and countless more in this whole wide world) are traveling down that same road. Age means slowing down, inevitably diminished in physical power and function.
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BUT ..... what we can take pride in and on is that our minds have retained its power -- never has grown stale nor weak. In fact, our minds have grown to such stature that it now defines us as individuals in our own right. I believe younger minds have bowed down to yours
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So then let us adapt to these changes -- better for us if we do and better for our respective families who only want to do what is right for us out of great love and affection. Give them credit for such noble familial values. We ourselves, if you remember, have taught them that. Those are the very same things which will be passed on to their children. It will go down to many generations. A legacy -- Love of family. Let it not be said that we as parents have deprived our own children of such wonderful character and values... all because we so foolishly hang on to the illusion that we 'feel young' and want to be treated as so.
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Who wants to grow old?! I don't. I don't relish the idea of being dependent, hopelessly tied to restrictions that come with age. I don't relish the idea of not being able to run in the vast fertile meadows that I love with the wind on my face chasing butterflies. I don't delight in looking at pills on my plate along with a delicious dish of my favorite morning breakfast. I weary at the thought of the aches and pains in my knees and bones after indulging in an exhilarating enjoyable activity. And to the vanities of women like me, I fear the wrinkles multiplying on my face each year. Most of all, I feel the loneliness of being alone by myself unable to participate in the hustle-and-bustle of the vibrant active life I see in others and once knew. (As a hindsight, we've been there-done that and enjoyed it too, haven't we? Lots of good memories there.) :-)
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BUT...
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I write. And there in the writing I renew my strengths. I am eternally young. I soar unfettered by physical wings of flight but rather on wings of awe, discovery, learning, wonderment, and imagination. I am free from this physical body........ unrestrained unshackled unchained. Thoughts dance on print. It takes wings and touches the sky. It glides over wonderlands of magic. It unravels mysteries and reveals truths and carries songs soothing weary hearts. It reveals to me blessings known and unknown. It wraps my heart with love and thanksgiving as it takes me closer to the heart of God... my heart's desire.
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My dear friend, one has not to be defined by the physical changes of time on our bodies. No matter how uncomfortable it may seem. Rather one must seek to nurture, preserve, and grow that which shapes our person and character. We are defined by the power of our minds and the warmth of our hearts and the strength of our faith. It assures us of immortality by what we think, say, and do with it - by it - for it. Be that person and you will live forever in your children's hearts and on to generations following. Be that person and although it may not take away your aches and pains, fears and loneliness -- it will keep the door of happiness always open to you. And all you have to do is just to step right into that door each time... unafraid.
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You'll be just fine.
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Blessings to you and your family.
Have a lovely weekend and life.



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

WHEN THE HEART IS FULL AND THE SOUL CONTENT AND HAPPY




A repost (written long time ago) because someone needs to see this now.


HI! :-)

How did your morning start today? Did you rise with the sun smiling and that special glow in your soul? 

The day is great, made special by the myriad of blessings strewn our way by a loving God. What others may perhaps think in their weary minds as quite ordinary or insignificant ------- isn't really. It's awesome, in fact!

Awesome is all around us. But often we fail to see that as these awesomely wondrous things seem to reveal itself gladly to the simple, trusting, calm and childlike heart. And somehow we have lost it somewhere down the road of our life journey. It's like we have shut ourselves - our minds, hearts, and souls - to everything else except work. All that we seem to care about is being busy …. like doing nothing is such a big crime. Busyness, essential as it is, has its own place and time and yet we allowed it to dominate all of our time. We allowed it to crowd out all the fine things essential to the heart and soul. Sadly we just don't know anymore how-where-and-when to stop --- look --- and listen.

If we try allow ourselves to be still for a moment from the hustle-and-bustle of our world, then perhaps we will get back the delight and pleasure of discovery amidst the grandeur and magnificence of life and all that is in it on land, sea, and air…. And in people, too.

Imagine……….

-- soar with our senses with the eagle flying above us on high,
-- breathe-in the fresh wisp of a gentle breeze,
-- be soothed by a gentle flowing stream,
-- be serenaded by the choir of birds song atop gently swaying trees,
-- be delighted by the sight of soft cotton clouds drifting by,
-- be inspired by the height and majesty of the king mountains,
-- marvel at the glorious arch of the rainbow,
-- be awed by the infinite span and space of a clear blue sky,
--feel the tingling hug of cool waters at our feet by the shore,
--be at peace and calm with the serene sunrise or sunset on the far horizon,
--appreciate the goodwill and comradeship of people around us
--enjoy just being
--and so much more; it's all up to you.

Think of these in your mind, feel it in your heart. Make these your first thoughts when you rise in the morn... until it becomes a habit. The smile will come easy when the heart is full ....... and the soul content and happy for understanding that things of immense beauty and magnificence is seen with the heart. By divine design. 

For these and more, I also thank God for you. God bless you.