Friday, January 22, 2016

Freedom to Say, "No"


The ability to say, "No," is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves.  Too often, we become overwhelmed in life because we fear that agreeing to do something for others is expected and if we decline, then we have somehow done something wrong. This kind of thinking leads us to become resentful, exhausted and sick.

Trust me, this is not an easy lesson to learn.  I didn't become good at it until well after I turned 50 and I still have to remind myself that it is OK to let go.  Recently, I had to let go of several duties I had taken on.  They were duties I had enjoyed, but, had now become burdensome when coupled with responsibilities at home and work as well as battling Epstein Barre virus. I knew in order to get back on my feet, I needed to give up some of what I was doing.

Letting go, saying no, making wise choices about how to use what energy and resources you have is difficult, but you can get the hang of it with practice.  

As we get close to the end of this first month of the new year, let's challenge ourselves to be better at saying no without guilt or regrets.

Here is a great article from the Mayo Clinic on this very subject: 
Stress Relief: When and how to say no

 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Called to Serve

Photo Credit: Public Domain Image - Wikimedia

Forty-seven years ago, I made a very conscious decision to serve my brothers and sisters around the world.  For the longest time, I didn't know how this was going to happen, after all, I was a poor, inner-city kid. However, as in all things, when we stay open to possibility, Creator sends us the tools, the mentors and the means to do the work we are here to do.

For me, that work is partly creative (poet), partly sharing what I know (teacher) and partly serving in whatever way I can (minister).  

I am blessed to be able to reach out to so many with Words from the Heart. I always hope that what I write touches others in some way and eases their journey through life, or inspires them to be their best, or even open them to new possibilities.

Today, as we observe the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I challenge my readers to do something of service.  You don't have to give or raise money; you don't even have to join an organization.  Simply do something for someone else out of kindness and respect.  Do it unexpectedly.  Do it without looking for recognition or praise.  Do it simply because it is the right thing to do. 

The blog - The Vedge has a great list that you can check out.  This is only one site, there are many, that have suggestions for how to serve others. Take a look.

Make MLK Day count for more than just another day off.  Serve...you can change the world! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Health - My New Year Word



For the last few years, I have picked a word on New Year's to be my point of meditation.  Last year was Light and I explored all the ways "Light" is used in our lives.  This year, my word is "health."  

As I get older, I am becoming more and more aware that our health has so much more to do with our mind and spirit than it does our actual physical selves.  So, I have begun the year improving, working on and developing my creativity.  

Seems that when we decide to do something, Creator sends all kinds of help, so it was not surprise that my dear Soul-Sister, Eliza Fayle was thinking on the same tract as I was.  She is facilitating a great workshop, The Artful Joyful Me Project through her website, Artful Joyful You .

Just learning about the project got me all fired up into researching how creativity helps reduce stress.  There are so many new reports available that it is mind boggling! 

For Christmas, I gave my daughters adult coloring books and pencils.  No surprise...one of them gave me the same thing!  Love when that happens!!

Roger gave me an app for my phone that turns it into a camera with tons of lenses and filters, allowing me to take top-notch, artistic photos.  The one above is an example - taken with the "vortex z" filter, the photo of my daughter's dogs became a gorgeous tile!

So, how does this all boil down to health?  Well, when we create, we step out of our daily stress and into a space of creativity that ultimately leads to healing of all kinds.  I am not a scientist or a doctor, but I can say that from my own experience, creating has given me a voice (especially when I write), given me the opportunity to feel good about myself, and helped me to heal the parts of myself that have suffered. 

As the year progresses, I will check in with more thoughts on "Health."
Please feel free to share what you do to be healthy.  We can all learn from each other!!

Blessings!!