Sunday, December 30, 2012

Year End...........

Well folks it's here....the end of 2012. It causes me to pause and think of what I did and didn't accomplish this past year. It's certainly more fun to focus on the "did do" list rather than the alternative. 

One of the powerful "did do" things for me this year was, to "ask myself questions." As odd as it sounds, a few key questions can guide and motivate me, which then lends itself to keeping me on track with my goals.

I think it falls into the "stay true to me" category....or maybe more like a "pep talk" sort of thing, not quite sure just yet. For example as simple as asking "will this matter tomorrow?" or "does this bring me closer to my goal of making a positive difference in people's lives?" helps ground me. Both questions allow me to think a little before doing something. It keeps me aware of where I place value.

Additionally, various questioning allows me to consider if I am viewing something rationally or not, and that then eases stress and anxiety for that has been a positive "did do" for certain.  I think for me it goes back to the idea of building momentum on the positive & good, as a way to provide structure and guidance to my day.  It creates more feel good moments, rather than conflict and glass half empty kind of thoughts do.

So looking towards 2013, I will focus on the good that we can bring into each others lives. I will continue to question myself as a means of moving forward, I will step out of my self imposed box a little bit more...I will remind myself that the racing, anxious feeling that takes over sometimes, is a pretty good indication that I am onto something BIG.... I will continue on my journey to maintain inner Peace, I will disprove my thoughts/theory that "odd" year years are negative beyond their numeric value....I will begin and end each day with a Thank You and pray for the ability to keep my heart and mind open, in order to acknowledge and appreciate all the goodness in my Life!  

Sending to you dear readers wishes of Peace, Laughter and Good Health in the New Year ~

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Gift To You.........

"One of Life's most fulfilling moments occurs in the split second when the familiar is suddenly transformed into the dazzling aura of the profoundly new."  ~ Edward B. Lindaman

The magic and hope of that very split second is the pulse that runs through me. It's about being awake and being certain to look up so not to miss the rainbow. The many colors that fill our days are often darkened and never seen, as a result of looking the other way.

The awareness that they are there and ready for our viewing is one of the most spectacular  gifts of this Holiday Season.

So go's time to open them!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Feel The Impact.............

My older sister and I  ~ 1968

     Christmas is about traditions, memories and the impact they have on us. One of my earliest Christmas memories is the creche my Dad made. It was an important part of our decorations. Each year it was and continues to be displayed prominently on the server in front of the "big mirror" (with the reflection adding a special touch.) Additions made through the years included animals, straw, and angels hanging from a twig branch that my Dad painted gold. There was just something so magical that took place when that creche came up from the basement.

It always held a great presence for me during the Christmas season. It was one that brought both comfort and tradition to my Holiday. 

When old enough, my son and husband built our own family creche. It is a staple item to our decorations. The baby Jesus' crib is actually the one my Dad carved out when I was little.
Now it sweetly collects the straw the weeks leading up to Christmas, as each of us shares an Act of Kindness with others. It reminds me of my childhood and the foundation that was built.

As I wrap up this post, I'm actually wondering??? parents have said they are really simplifying their decorations this year. Yikes! I should have asked if the creche made the cut. I'd rather know ahead of time, than walking in and being surprised. I mean c'mon though it's the creche, it's got to be there.

Ahh yes the impact traditions have on us. The really tricky thing is....... it's different for each of us!

Wishing you all that is Merry & Bright my dear readers. And may your traditions and memories be overflowing with goodness ~

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Give A Little......

A shift is the aftermath of tender lives senselessly lost, Random Acts of Kindness are popping up all over of the place! There is a buzz and vibration that is building momentum. Have you heard about it?? Better yet.... have you felt it??? Here's a chance to join a part of something that is touching lives!

I am sharing two links that tell of Random Acts of Kindness that have already taken place since last Friday. Please check them out and think about a little something you can do to add to your own part of the world.

Anne Curry kicks off #26Acts    Link to the left

From Guerrilla Goodness          Link to the left

Also, for inspiration is a link below to a video a friend recently shared with me. It's about "Love....give a little...get a little of your own".  My friend sweetly wrote "I'm holding on to the thought that when the world ends Dec 21, 2012, it will be the old world. A new world of compassion, caring and the courage to act on these feelings will usher in the new and improved world."  I love that, along with all the meaning and hopefulness it brings.

Give A Little Love                  Link to the left

Grab hold my friends...Life is such a gift and it's meant to be shared.

***Technical note: Links are in the larger type above

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Gentle Prayer.......

Our hearts are heavy our eyes are blurred 
The unthinkable has happened, such
tragic news we have heard

Our questions are many, the answers are few
 longing to ease their pain
knowing there's little we can do

Bring comfort and Peace to these families Dear Lord 
as they face the days ahead
Grant them serenity & strength to carry on 
knowing the beautiful lives their loved ones have lead

The heavens are now filled with precious Christmas Angels above
showering down on their broken families, an abundance of Love.

Together let's pray, as we look to the sky
knowing at Peace these tender hearts lie ~

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Comin' Back Around............

Typically my Wednesday posts consist of a quote that has spoken to me, one that I look to share, reflecting on my own interpretation. This week however I deviate to share a story that I just feel compelled to write about..............

Last night my dear Mom called to say "I've got a story for you!" "Today while checking out at the local market, I went to pay and you know they only take cash? I had $68.00 on me and I thought I had a hidden $100 bill" (ok side note for safety sake, Mom does not generally carry that kind of money on her, it was a rarity)

She asked the cashier if she could hold the items for her and she would be back later. The women behind her asked how much she was sweet Mom said "oh no that is fine I will come back". The young women asked the cashier and was told around $20.00. The gracious women insisted and said to my Mom.."in the spirit of Christmas please let me do this!"

Mom was taken aback and very appreciative. When loading the car my Mom noticed the same women loading hers. Once again my Mom expressed her appreciation and gratitude. My mom asked, "could I at least have your first name? My husband and I pray together each day and we would like to include you in our prayers." The women sweetly replied " Sure, I could really use some help."

As my Mom told me of her experience of earlier in the day I couldn't help but smile. Mom is always the one on the giving end. Delivering food to the elderly, talks to everyone and believe me I mean everyone, heck she was the first to jump on board with my Smiles and Stars Outing (you can read that post on my Dec 2nd entry) and approach the first stranger.

It felt great to hear Mom was on the receiving end of such an Act of Kindness. Something she greatly deserves. To feel that goodness that she frequently brings to others.

My wheels are turning now as I am about to head out on errands. I want share goodness in the hopes of it landing on some one who frequently does for others... in a a pay it forward kind of way.

So please if daily prayers are part of your routine, please keep Cheryl yours. She can use them. She was a Christmas Angel to my Mom. One who reminds us all that we can truly touch someone's Life .. and to quote my Mom "she blew me away."   ~ Thank you Cheryl ~

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Flashbacks............

My blog is about my feelings and my thoughts. I share them and give them over to my dear readers to process as they will. I create judgement in my head.....I question a great deal, but I believe in me and the journey I am on. That being said, there is still a filter, a protective guard that screens just how much I want to share. It only makes sense right?? Well, today I sat down to start a blog post and I thought "where is this going to take me?" The first thought that popped into my head was something that gave me a Mom pang. Gut response would be to move onto another thought. I heard words  of  "get over it". Thought to myself ..."keep it upbeat and positive after all it's Christmas time"...but OK I'm just going to say it.....I'm feeling melancholy and blue!

I am missing Christmas with my young sons...the traditions and the tenderness has truly shifted. At 15 and 19 it's just not the same!! Now I am not saying there isn't anything traditional and tender about the holiday season with teenagers, I am just saying "I miss some parts of the past!" Things now are moving so quickly and all over the place.

I have started emailing and texting to co ordinate schedules with the three important men in my Life. For example when our tree shopping outing had to be arranged. Gone are the days of bundling them up and plopping them into their car seats when Mark and I wanted to go out for our trees. On the tradition front, we've (obviously) had to let slide the nightly family time of reading a Christmas story and the times of when we would get together nightly to talk about what good deeds we had done for others through out our day in order place a piece of straw in Baby Jesus' bed.

We have modified that tradition this year. We place the straw in whenever we do a good deed and then we connect whenever we can all be together and share our stories.

This morning I said "looks like my pieces of straw are the only ones going in!" My oldest responded "oh just because I'm not putting them in doesn't mean I'm not doing good things. Haven't gotten around to that part yet." Brought a smile to my face. The fact is, Life is busier, and  our sons are off doing their own things. Which is really good and what we want as Moms, it's what we would think about as we were pouring our entire being into them in their younger years. This is why we did it, for them to be independent "good kids" getting on with their lives.

So just because there won't be any A into B assembling this Christmas eve or nibbling carrots and tossing them on the front lawn....there are moments of NOW that I will look back on and miss for sure!

I may struggle with missing the past and I realize it's just more apparent at the holidays because of the memories/traditions...but I wouldn't change anything about NOW. And also too, realizing how awesome it is that I have something so great to miss....and knowing that there is more to come, just warms my heart......enough to last a Lifetime.

Still making it happen ~ 12/9/12

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Keeping It Simple........

" Grant me daily the grace of gratitude to be thankful for all my many gifts, and so be freed from artificial needs, that I may lead a joyful, simple Life." ~ Edward Hays

It is so easy to get caught up in the commercial side of Christmas. This quote I found today is a sweet reminder of the value of our non materialistic gifts. Let's look to share experiences & gestures to express the abundance of goodness that surrounds us this holiday season!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Smiles & Stars Do Shine..................

Smiles & Stars distributors

......and exhale! Woke this morning with a smile on my face and deep gratitude in my heart. What started out as my quirky Smiles & Stars idea had become a reality.

We kicked off our adventure yesterday at the mall with a plan to simply share smiles and stars with brighten their day and encourage them to smile at others so they can feel the positive effect they can have on people too!

We walked around together, randomly approaching people and saying something like "hi we're sharing smiles today just to brighten your day and a star to remind you that your smile can brighten other's days too."

Responses were absolutely awesome! There was such a variety...we heard "Gosh Thank You, that is cool" ,  "Oh I smile all the time", "I love smiling", "No really are you selling something?" A couple of people even smelled their star. No joke....thought it may be scented. We noticed a young women taking a picture of her star with her phone, she wanted to post it online. 

Tender moment observed.....we gave a star to an older gentlemen sitting in the food court. He grinned and said he would share it with his wife when she returned. Shortly after I was aware of him handing the star to her, kissed her sweetly and said "you make me smile."
This great group of people above really got into it! They eagerly opened the origami star to reveal their message. They proudly displayed their stars and said they would chat about smiles with fun is that?!

We approached one worker at a kiosks in the center of the mall. He seemed to really enjoy our diversion to his day.  He then took us into the store directly in front of him and wanted us to share some of our good cheer with employees there. Eager to join in and sport one of our stars was Shawna.  She was even willing to step out of the store and pose for a quick picture. Thanks Shawna! You are great!  (sorry if I got your name wrong I was so caught up in the fun, things became a blur)

Met this awesome "smiler"! She can join us any time.

We hit all three floors and occasionally passed repeat people. They would look at us, show us their star and say "hey we're still smiling!" It felt great!

It was pretty remarkable, only three people wanted nothing to do with our good cheer..or anything else we may have wanted to say. (thank goodness their car wasn't on fire and we were trying to tell them) Eyes down and "I don't have time" was all we got after we said "hi".  Oh but they still got a smile and a "that's ok, have a great day anyway." Only three out of the 100 +, is a pretty good percentage if you ask me.

The experience/vibe for me was fun, heartfelt, and Christmasy! My take away would have to be the palpable connection we can make with others, however briefly, and the fact that it has the ability to both unite and ignite into something more.  I  learned that the power of holding close the desire to do something for others and then running with it to make it happen with the help of family and friends...really is, reason to SMILE!

**Would love to hear in the comment section below any SMILE stories you may have! Go ahead give it a try. Just click on the word "comment" after this post!

Simply delightful experience yesterday for Smiles and Stars! Recap and photos to be posted by this evening....yay!