Thursday, December 29, 2011

Peace On Earth...................

My heart was touched by many tender moments this Christmas. One that stands out so sweetly in my mind is when I opened a gift from my sons (ages 14 and 18) Christmas morning. They prefaced my opening the gift by saying....."we were looking online, trying to get ideas of what to get you, so we did a search of kind, peacehappiness and this came up".

I opened the package to see a book titled "How to be Compassionate: A handbook for Creating Inner Peace and a Happier World" by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It feels oh so very special that my boys know me so well. That they would search such tender words to find me a gift.

Last year was of similar feel when they told me they knew all I asked for was "peace on earth"! I then found myself holding my own Peace on Earth "Holmemade" ornament, that brought a tear to my eye.

Frequently I look for the positive results of my efforts as a Mom (which my husband replies "seriously??"..... more obvious to him than me I guess) and I wonder what pieces of their upbringing they will hold onto? If I could pick and choose it would most definitely include my passion for peace and kindness to others.

Whether they know it or not, my sons have given me gifts far beyond the ones they have wrapped. Gifts they have given me indeed.....that I graciously accept and joyously return!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


So, being sick the week before Christmas is oh so very difficult for me. Fortunately, the majority of shopping is complete, because I was leaving the final weeks for holiday fun and living in the moment.  My vision and plan was to do this by visiting with family & friends, baking for neighbors, teachers etc. and writing heartfelt postings for my blog.

Well, all of these things have had to go to the wayside, while I rest in bed overdosing on the Hallmark channel.

This morning there was an aha moment. It occurred to me how this past week has been loaded with goodness and heartfelt moments in it's own way. My "go to tribe" has rallied for me,  providing soup, school pick up, making lasagna for Christmas Eve,  encouraging emails reminding me that the glass IS half full and they are available if I need anything at all, my very dear husband running out at 9:00pm to get me a Waltz roast beef sandwich just because I felt like having one (and I think eating it in bed made it taste even better)  my youngest son playing marathon rounds of Hanging with Friends, and my older son running off on errands for me as Christmas gets closer.

The many blessings I spoke of in my 12/5/11 post of my "go to tribe" have presented themselves as wonderful reminders this week.....and for all of them I am so truly grateful!

I thank goodness the light bulb went off and knocked some sense into me, because after all............ it's the most wonderful time of the year!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tag You're It........

So let's think about who's day you can brighten right now! How about someone you work with, a family member, someone at the next errand you stop at?

Come on.... at whatever point you read this, do even just a little something for someone within a half an hour. Then ask them to keep it going by "paying it forward". 

Words are powerful, make yours matter while they brighten someone's day....and yours too while your at it!

Would love to hear back what you said/did and their response. We can start our own unearthing of person at a time!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Show 'em a Smile........

"A heartfelt smile gives warmth enough for 3 winters"  ~ Mongolian Proverb

OK to fully understand the intended impact of this quote, keep in mind, winter temperatures in Mongolia can dip to -22F !

That, to me basically proves that smiles hold a great deal of power. I'm going to keep sharing them and look forward to the ones I'll receive in return as I brighten another person's day!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Letting That Go..........

I've started a note book for "blog thoughts".  As posting ideas pop into my head or I read something of interest that I feel I would like to write about at some point, I jot it down.

So this morning I was flipping through my notebook, looking for a tad of inspiration, when I read "the opposite of being happy scares me". I tried to recall where I got that and then I was something that I had actually said !

When I wrote it, I was feeling so happy and content that the thought of it slipping away and my being left with the opposite scared me.

Why is it that when things are ticking along just swimmingly, we ( I say "we" but perhaps it's  just me really) become tentatively guarded that we cannot be fortunate enough for it to last any length of time? I go into the whirling thoughts that include "do I deserve such goodness and happiness"? "Will I be able to handle the alternative"? (there was that "self imposed" pressure at it again)

So let me tell you what I did with those thoughts......A while back I came up with a mantra "I've let that go so I can grow"! That's what I repeat to myself when my thoughts go into an automatic response of how I "use" to think .  Just because I previously had trouble with something, or worried and stressed over certain things, doesn't mean I have to carry that baggage around with me in current situations. If it isn't helping me on my personal quest to move forward...I let it I can grow! Corny, I realize, but it works for me...maybe you too!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Time of Giving............

"Giving is so often thought of in terms of the things we give, but our greatest giving is of our time and kindness, and even comfort for those who need it. We look on these gifts as unimportant - until we need them". J.S. Hifler

Regardless of written or mental, we are all making lists, of gift giving ideas....I toss into the ring for consideration a gift that is less materialistic and certainly from the heart.

My very dear friend and I decided a few years ago that we would much rather spend time together than exchange gifts. (Turns out that in itself is a gift because it eliminates some shopping) So now we dedicate time together to celebrate the holiday and our friendship!
We've made cookies, gone to lunch, toured a mansion that was decorated for the holidays, even stayed in while enjoying comfort food, watching a holiday movie and drinking hot chocolate.  I think the element of playing hooky from our regular daily responsibilities as Moms, also contributes to the fun!

The gift of sharing time with others is something that can obviously take place all year long. At times it is for social, joyous reasons, but it is so very important to extend ourselves to those in our lives in their time of need as well. The tricky part is being aware when that need arises. It's so difficult to ask for  help. Letting them know we are here to listen or sometimes even offer comic relief......can you say show tunes?? Everyone needs their "go to tribe" to draw from. I am blessed to be surrounded by wonderful people in my life, who each play an amazing role as my safety net in life!  Personal challenges are just that bit more manageable when we know we have someone waiting in the wings.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Show Me Compassion......

"The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren't born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities-warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful - happier" - taken from "The Essence of Happiness" by The Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler,M.D.

This book resonates in me with each page I read! I must admit part of it is the validation I feel in my heart. It's that sense of belonging when we are reassured others feel similar to us. Not ALL the time mind you, because that would be boring....but it is so important to me, that the beliefs at the core of a person are the people I want to surround myself with!

I take comfort in knowing that the other hand is raised to complete my high five........we're connected!  :O)

A common thread through out the book is Compassion ! The more I read, the more I believe that this is the key. When I stop and think about what the other person is going through, I can accept them more easily.

Recently shopping in an over crowded store (ok it was the day after Thanksgiving, but still) a women came at me with a carriage on a mission to obviously occupy the exact spot I was in. There was an "excuse me" from her, in a tone far from polite and my first response was to be nasty back, but I quickly realized that would perpetuate the negative vibe and I had an opportunity to turn this around. I considered she was having an anxious reaction to the lack of personal space (amazed at the same time that I wasn't...that could have gotten real ugly).

I smiled and said "let me get out of your way as soon as I can".  She softened and sped off.

I now realize the way I responded was really for my benefit. It difused my frustration and I carried on with the Black Friday mayhem.

So I'm thinking how amazing it would be, if everyone works on their own personal happiness, we'll cross each others path at some point of our busy days and reap the sweet reward........more peaceful ~ happier .