Posts Tagged With: smile

Getting past the storms to Pure Joy

As I lay in bed, listening to the storms in the early morning, that have finally come to relieve us of our 100 degree July days, i think about the storms of our lives. How do we survive? How do we move forward each day in the storms? I know with each storm comes green grass, flowers and new growth. So here are some of my thoughts for moving past the storm and into the light!

1.  PRAY – only when we begin to awaken do we realize that we were asleep. Sometimes we need to be alone to reflect on life, take time to pray and take care of yourself inside.

2. SMILE – as much as possible, whether life is joyful or not, a smile will lift your day as well as others. You can change someone’s day, as well as your own with a simple smile. You are always free to do what makes you smile because a smile shows the true depth of your soul.

3. ATTITUDE- be positive, never allow a bad day to change your mood. Don’t look at what you’ve lost, look at what you have.

4. GRATEFULNESS- focus your energy on what you have in your life, not what you have lost. Remember there are others with much less than you.

5. SHARE – your happiness with others, through your actions and your words. You will never regret helping someone else’s life.

6. COMMUNICATE – talk to others and release your worries and anxieties so that you can move past anything that is weighing on your heart. Then you will be able to move beyond it to a brighter life.

7. HAPPINESS- can be created in your present, don’t think it’s something you’re planning for your future. The happiness you experience each day is determined by the love you share. Be yourself, it’s the best way to be happy.

8. GOOD FRIENDS & FAMILY- are worth their weight in gold, treasure those healthy relationship and trust in their love for you.

9. FREEDOM- to walk away from negative situations, be in tune with your feelings, don’t question your gut just walk away for your happiness. One of the greatest freedom is not caring what others think. If you worry about what others think of you, they own you. Be your own self.

10. TEMPER – your anger, words can hurt so much deeper than physical pain, stop and think before speaking in anger. You are always in control of your thoughts, be confident and kind, not mad and insecure.

11. CHANGE – something you don’t like, if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Let go of the need to always be right and you will change to be happy.  Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. Sometimes being open to change will allow a magnificent event to come into your life.

12. DREAM – about what you want to be, then go do it.  Good things come to those you pursue it with happiness and love. What you believe has more power than what you wish or hope for.  You become what you believe. Be open to dreams, hope and joy.

13. FORGIVE – yourself and others, it takes time and patience, but you can heal emotionally to create love in your life.

14.WEALTH – can’t by happiness, it’s nice to have material things, but don’t loose track of the things money can’t by, those are the true treasures in life.

15. LAUGH – because life will never be perfect, but it is wonderful. Don’t try to control everything, relax, breathe, let go, live in the moment and laugh.

16. KNOWING YOURSELF – is truly believing and living as yourself. With so much social conditioning and pressure in our society, we can forget who we are. Stay true to yourself in all situations.

17. BLESSINGS – fill your life, learn to see blessings in everything. The close parking spot, the unexpected call from a friend, the food before you, the smile of a stranger, or the hug of a loved one, embrace every blessings and share them with others. Satisfaction is not always the fulfillment of what you want; it is the realization of how blessed you are for what you have

18. PASSION – in our lives is important, discover what you are passionate about and do it. Whether it be crafting, fishing, dancing, reading, cooking or meditating, discover it and summerge yourself into it to give your life passion

19. EMBRACE – people, situations and life as it comes…storms or bright days. Each day has a lesson for us to learn. Always learn the lesson and grow.

20. LOVE – it’s all you need, time spent on worry and hate sucks your energy. Center in love and know that you are loved, write your own love story every day. John and Paul had it right…the love you take is equal to the love you make.

Advertisements
Categories: Balance, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kind…Smart…Important

You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important.

Aibileen may have been just the lowly black servant of the house, but she forever positively influenced the lives of the children’s ears she whispered those words into.
I watched “The Help” and then read the book recently. A wonderful story with touching characters and harsh realities of our world.

Aibileen was treated as unimportant, but she made sure the children in her care felt elevated.
Aibileens kindness and intelligence went unnoticed because of her skin color, but she was one of the most perceptive and giving characters in the story.
She saw the prejudice around her and the prejudice directed at her, but she rose above it and lived in truth.

Prejudice still exists today. Sometimes it not the color of the skin, but the address of their home or the intelligence of their being. Hate comes masked in all different forms. Evil comes masked behind pretentious smiles just as often as hatred is visually noticeable in others body language.

We need love, we need acceptance, we need purpose.
We need to be told we are kind, smart and important. People do not realize we feel that way unless we tell them. Can you imagine if every child was told each day how important they are to the world around them…what a world this would be…just stop and imagine…now help that become a reality!

Those three little sentences in a movie about so many life lessons may have been the most profound for me.

Do we tell those around us how important they are to us? Do we reach out in kindness to others? Life brings us many challenges, depression can come so easily if we feel that we have no purpose. The funny thing is, you may never know how one small act can impact another. Consider Mark and Bill…a true story…

Mark was walking home from school one day when he noticed the boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all of the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball bat, a glove and a small tape recorder. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles. Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden. As they walked Mark discovered the boy’s name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball and history, and that he was having lots of trouble with his other subjects and that he had just broken up with his girlfriend. They arrived at Bill’s home first and Mark was invited in for a Coke and to watch some television. The afternoon passed pleasantly with a few laughs and some shared small talk, then Mark went home. They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, then both graduated from junior high school. They ended up in the same high school where they had brief contacts over the years. Finally the long awaited senior year came and three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk.

Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. “Did you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?” asked Bill. “You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn’t want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mothers sleeping pills and I was going home to commit suicide. But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So you see, Mark, when you picked up those books that day, you did a lot more, you saved my life.”

-John W. Schlatter

You may have read or heard of a similar story on the internet about Kyle, but that story exploded from this simple one. But this story is not simple, it was important to Bill. It is a story that needs to be shared.

You can make a difference too!
You can be a Mark to someone else and turn a simple momentary act into life altering action!
You can be Aibileen and build up someone’s confidence by using only the power of your words!

How will you be Kind, Smart and Important to someone else today?

Categories: Balance, Family, God | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family game nights

I’m sitting here working on my laptop and out of the corner of my eye I see three Wii guitars.
Guitar Hero took the country by storm a few years ago and has morphed into Band Hero and other active family style video games.
But what has family game nights become? When my children were younger, family nights were sitting together around the kitchen table playing card games and board games. We loved Trivial Pursuit, Apples to Apples and Brain Quest, but were most inclined to pull out our Dominoes or a Card game.

We loved family nights of UNO, Phase 10 or just a deck of cards for Gin or Seven’s. Dad would make our children a bowl of ice cream or popcorn and we would settle in for a couple of hours. Laughing and talking, having a great time.
I remember when we moved to the couches. It was Scene It.
A trivial game using video – so much fun and so much more comfortable on the couch, but we lost something – the circle of conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I love Scene It and would love to play anyone, anytime, but it changed the circle at the table into a line on couches facing the tv instead of each other. Video games tore at family nights.

Video games, PS, Wii, XBox, etc, pulled our children individually to the screen. Oh manufacturers have managed to have 2-player games and family games, like Band Hero, but again it’s a different feel on family game night. It just feels different.

I LOVE watching my son play the guitar on the Wii, dreaming of some day being that fluid, precise and animated. He makes it seem so effortless. Or watching my daughter play the drums along with him to Aerosmith or Taylor Swift. We still have the laughter and love, but it just feels different. Something has been lost…do family still own a deck of cards?

Friday I had a hair appointment and as I opened the door to enter the salon, to my left was a mother waiting with a 3-year-old daughter. This adorable little girl had a toy cell phone and was talking away to no one with her head cocked to her right shoulder to hold the phone and her blonde curls bouncing behind her. Three years old! I’m sure she’ll have a real cellphone before 7 years old! Technology has so many positive attributes, like Skyping with my sister in China for 20 minutes yesterday, but do we pay attention to the attributes of family life that are slipping away? Where’s the doll that was a three-year old’s best friend? Has it been replaced by toy cell phones?

My family gathered last month to say farewell to my sister that was moving to Shanghai – we were all together, my mother’s six children and all her grandchildren and one great-grandchild to boot! Twenty-seven in all. We decided to fit in a game night at the Caschetta’s! And what a night it was. Everyone was crammed into our sunroom while playing Loaded Questions. This hilarious game can be played on the board provided (as per the instructions) or by just sitting around asking the questions in a large group (as we improvised). It is a wonderful way to learn about each other, to laugh until you have tears in your eyes and to uncover secret dreams and ambitions. Family game night was recaptured!!

I also created a “family quiz” for my sister’s family that was leaving. All my siblings, nephews and nieces sent me facts about themselves and Toni, Matt, Margaret and Frank guessed who it pertained to. We kept track of which Barton knew the most about family members. Sitting around my brothers living room laughing and loving each other – everyone enjoyed pulling a question to ask and seeing who knew the answer. Often there were more than one person in the room that could say “me”. We discovered that “who owned a red convertible” applied to six family members!! It was so much fun. This is what family game night should be…
No one wanted the questions to end…what a great memory!

Reclaim family game night – and not in front of a television!
Pull out your dusting deck of cards, create your own trivial game or call over friends if your children are not home. Learn a new card game or enjoy the treasured ones of your childhood and circle around a table with LAUGHTER and LOVE and you will receive great blessings!!

When you go into the house, greet the family with a blessing. Matthew 10:12

Categories: Balance, Family | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Refresh

This past weekend I was high! It was exciting, exhilarating and exhausting all at once. This is the eleventh time I was on this high and it never gets old. Each year at the end of June I spend three days getting lit on fire!

Okay, I don’t know what you are thinking, but I am talking about the energy and fire of the Holy Spirit!

YLC 2011’s theme was “Bread of Life, Covenant of Love” and at this 31st Annual Youth Leadership Conference you felt LIFE and LOVE!!

Over 650 teens, 50 college students and 100 adults come together to Praise and Worship and learn how to Share their Faith with others.

It was a powerful experience.

LIFE – – I felt LIFE at every turn. From the high energy in the large general sessions that included teen witness talks, intoxicating prayer services, compassionate reconciliation and adoration; joyful presentations by Jesse Manibusan and ValLimar Jansen and workshops by spirit filled presenters!  We experienced God’s great love through new friends, reconnecting with old friends, singing, adoring, Mass on the grass, and of course frisbee in the quad.

The power of forgiveness was flowing in the field house Friday night with teens gathered at the large crosses, knelt in adoration and feeling the mercy of reconciliation.

Prayer experiences on Saturday were a strong testament to the openness of these amazing youth. They were assigned “by the Holy Spirit” which prayer workshop to experience. Their openness try new things and let the Spirit guide them was apparent as they attended Guided Meditation, Taize, Marian, Art Prayer, Centering, Novena, Digital, Nature and other prayer forms. What a spirit-filled adventure.

LOVE – – I felt LOVE! Love from all the youth; smiling, joyful, kind youth that were eager to share that joy with everyone they met. I want to harness that love and energy just to release a little every day. The youths were happy to be there even amid all the construction of the college campus and walking from dorm to workshops, from workshops to cafeteria, from cafeteria to dorms and back again!

This was a high for me. It is every year.

Our bodies seek this type of event to refocus and refresh ourselves. It’s a time to put the busy-ness of life away and to be in the presence of a collective joy. From 6:30 am to 10:30 pm, non-stop vitality is exciting, exhilarating and exhausting all at once. We all need a retreat every year. I actually prefer three “retreat” experiences a year. They can be service retreats, leadership retreats, contemplative retreats or spa retreats. We need to spend time working outside of our everyday routine…and get REFRESHED!

Even though I was so glad to be in my own bed Sunday evening, I was already missing the joy and fire of the weekend.
Well, until next YLC!

Categories: Balance, God, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tourist in my home town

It was an amazing  day in Chicago today.

We love to spend Father’s Day in the city and today was no exception. Our family of four become tourists in a place we have been visiting for twenty years. Last year we hopped on the double decker bus for an hour tour around the city. Even though I can’t imagine how many time we have gone into Chicago for museums, shows, dinners and parks, we discovered places and history we did not know. So this year we did the same, we were tourist again today and had a lot of laughs.

Today was a Segway day. We have never been on these two wheeled personal transportation systems, but we figured that balancing and edging for years skiing may be to our advantage. And is was! After a short intro, we were off and moving. Traveling from Navy Pier to the Museum Campus, we saw the sites and snapped some pics. The Yacht Club, Buckingham Fountain, the Skyline, all the city has to offer. It was a beautiful day.

Then after dinner at Navy Pier, we were walking back to our car we saw Vietnam Veterans under a small tent answering questions and selling t-shirts. Then we realized that behind where they stood was the “Moving Wall”. The replica of the Vietnam Memorial in DC that travels the country bringing awareness and honor to those that have served, are serving and will serve. It was a great way to end a perfect day…Remembering all the fathers, brothers, and sons, honoring their memories.
Right in our backyard…and we would have never seen it if we were not tourists for the day.

Sometimes we become so busy in our lives we forget all the wonders we have around us.
What wonders are in your neighborhood?
When was the last time you spent a day discovering them?
Families spend time in front of screens all day.
Our televisions, our computers, our laptops in front of the televisions…our smartphones, our tablets, our ereaders…

Discover the wonders just outside your door.
Drive into the city, explore the normal, and find new discoveries in familiar places.

We love to stop into a restaurant off the beaten path. A mom and pop diner with delicious food.
A farmer’s market with delicious fresh fruit. An art show on the streets and alleys.
Maybe even music in the park.
What can you discover in the ordinary places you know.

So get up…get out of your comfort zone…and be a tourist in your home town!

Categories: America, Balance, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: