Showing posts with label From the Heart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label From the Heart. Show all posts

Sunday, May 8, 2022

10 Questions to Test How Well You Know Your Mother

Ten Questions for You to Answer or Ponder this Mother's Day about Your Mom or Mother Figure

A mother is anyone who raises us or is an integral part of our life.

My own mom recently passed away, but I'll answer too ...

1. What is the most significant life lesson you've learned from your mother?

For me, and maybe for you too, it's hard to pick one thing, but if I had to, I'd have to say my mother taught me strength through what she handled and how she coped with all of life's challenges.

2. Have you ever seen your mother cry?

Of course, I know mom cried, but I'm not sure I ever witnessed it. Mom wanted to protect us (or that is how I felt), so she kept many "grown-up" emotions private. I always thought it was because she didn't want us to be further burdened. I was intuitive enough to read her feelings whether she cried in front of me or not.

3. If you had to pick one, which personality trait would you say best describes your mom?

If I had to pick just one, I'd have to say strength. Mom was a lot more than just strong, but strength is what I think about when I wrap a bow around her life.

4. From your perspective, what moment in time would you say was your mother's happiest?

That's a tough one to answer. I'll pick a moment that doesn't involve the kids or grandkids because that's always happy, but it's work. Perhaps when she traveled with Dad on business conventions or when they would spend winters in a warm climate. 

5. Which food does/did your mom dislike the most, and which food does/did she like the most?

I'm feeling guilty that I may not know the answer to this! I'm going to say she hated any creamy white foods/sauces, and she loved pasta.

6. Does/Did your mother have a favorite color? If so, what is it?

I'll cheat; deep blues for clothes and neutral home decor.

7. Does/Did your mother have any regrets?

I think my mother regretted not pursuing the career she wanted to pursue. In her day, it was difficult to break out of the traditional jobs for women. Mom wanted to be an investigative lab technician (think CSI, lol).

8. What would your mother say was a perfect day for her?

I think my mom would answer, a day when everyone was ok, and the worries were few. I'm not sure she ever had a day like that, but there were many days I remember fun, family, and togetherness.

9. Who is/was your mom's favorite musician?

My mom loved Frank Sinatra's music, and later on, she absolutely loved Elton John's music.

10. If you asked your mom which one of her parent's personalities she believes she was most like, who would she pick?

My mom would say she was most like her dad. My grandfather was a strong family leader, and there's no doubt my mother was all of that and more.

Feel free to answer some, all, or none of these in the comments below.

Wishing You and Yours a Happy Mother's Day, and to all the Fur Baby Moms Too!

I wrote this video poem for mom years before she passed; it means even more today.





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Sunday, May 1, 2022

The True Meaning of a Kitchen Table

 


I'm having a moment.

We're in the process of giving our kitchen a facelift, and our dining room table, which has sometimes doubled as our kitchen table for thirty-six years, may need to be sold.

What's the Big Deal About Selling a Table Anyway?

Thirty years ago or so, I read an eloquently and emotionally written article in Reader's Digest about a family's kitchen table; it brings tears to my eyes thinking about it today. I tried to find it for you, so I could link to it here, but so far, no luck.

The author talked about her family's life around her table; gatherings, birthdays, celebrations, games, and tears. I've never forgotten about that article. Having such a big family, I  easily relate to the memories created around the family table.

She spoke about how she didn't want to sell her memory-filled table to just anyone. She wanted it to go to a family that would grow with it and fill it with their memories.

Why Thinking About Selling this Table Has Me in Tears

I'm a wuss. It's official.

My husband and I purchased this table in 1986. We needed a large table for our large family. I have three step-kids (all grown up now) and, at that time, one son of our own. Today we have four sons of our own, and we've since added six grandchildren. 

We have had almost every birthday for all the kids around this table. We've celebrated baptisms, Christmas, Thanksgiving, weddings, and every other major event families celebrate.

A memory from 1987 at this very table
with my Dad, our oldest boy as a baby, making us laugh,
and my youngest brother

Our kids have gone from little to big; we've added spouses, girlfriends, and boyfriends to the family mix. There have been in-depth conversations, teasing, and great food shared for decades.

I recently sat with my oldest boy, sharing tears at this table about mom's (his grandmother's) passing. Mom and dad shared many dinners with all of us at this table. Dad passed in 2013; missing him is now a part of my soul.

This Table Has Lived

It's not just a table; it represents our life.

I'm not sure I'll sell it.

In fact, after typing this, I think if we can't incorporate it into the new design, I'll keep it just in case there's a move to a new home in our future. 

It's solid oak. In my book, it's priceless. 

It's not priceless because it's solid oak, but rather because the characteristics of an oak tree represent our family traits: longevity, strength, stability, and endurance. 

Hey, our family isn't perfect, we've had our share of struggles, but as the mom, I see many faces passing through time whenever I glance at the empty seats gathered around.

Here's our table, our life:

A Kitchen Table Filled with Memories

Do you have a table where your family has gathered for generations? 




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Sunday, February 20, 2022

The Secret to Happiness, What? Really? - A Personal Diary Entry

Is this really the secret to happiness? A Happiness Review

This quote from the Netflix movie "Full Count" has been on my mind since viewing it five days ago:

"The secret to happiness is to be content, no matter your situation"

 The Movie, Full Count, Caught Me Off Guard

The Netflix description, and preview, seemed to indicate that Full Count is your typical baseball hard life story. However, I was shocked by the direction the film takes.

The movie takes a spiritual turn. 

If you like films where it seems a happy ending is impossible, but with divine intervention, there it is, you'll enjoy this movie.

Could the Above Quote About the Secret to Happiness be Offensive to Some People?

After hearing the above quote narrated in the movie, my first thought was about those who rarely feel happy through no fault of their own or for medical reasons.

Don't get me wrong; the quote personally fits the core of my beliefs; however, my happy state of mind has been tested this past year.

Medical issues aside, I feel happiness will always be a personal choice. No matter the circumstances in this crazy life, I maintain that much-needed center and inner calm. I treat mental and spiritual training as a daily exercise with practice, practice, practice. 

Some days are a success at maintaining calm, and others not-so-much ... I just keep plugging away. I won't go through the laundry list of things recently faced, as I'm sure you've had your own life issues to conquer.

Do You Personally Agree With the Above Quote?

Can you relate to this quote? Have you been able to be the captain of your life's ship? 

For me, yes, after a great deal of thought, I do agree with the above quote. 

During the pits of hell, I've been able to keep a hold of the light, sometimes barely. It's never easy. Here's an example of a personal nightmare I faced over a decade ago. I wouldn't wish this on anyone!

Even through this less-than-perfect life, I've been able to maintain inner calm and thus some happiness. 

"Sometimes God calms the storm, and other times God calms the child who is in the storm"

I live by that quote about the storm.

Here's another quote from the movie Full Count. What do you think about it?

"Life isn't going to make you happy, but happiness is going to make your life"

Yes, I believe.

After multiple decades, the biggest life lesson I've so far learned is that our inner self, our soul, cannot be owned by anyone. It's the one thing that is truly ours. 

No matter what happens in this physical existence, in the end, our thoughts are something we can work to control; and for those who believe, guided by a higher power. For me, Free Will means protecting my soul, so I do.

Here's a video about love and light that I created one afternoon while visiting my amazing mother. She passed away three months ago. Knowing she was in her chair while I wrote this brings me unexpected added peace. I hope you enjoy viewing it, as much as I enjoyed writing it.


If you need a little more inspiration, I've authored a personal book of poetry based on fifty years of life experiences. You can find the book "We Will Have Morning Smiles" on Amazon.

May you know happiness, in some form, daily. Blessings.





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Sunday, February 13, 2022

10 Ideas on How to Unwind When Life is Nothing But a Big Knot

 

10 Ways to Unwind and Destress

How do you manage this crazy life? 

I know! Sometimes we can't!

When life gets too otherworldly, we can implement techniques to bring ourselves back to earth. But sometimes, spiritually leaving earth is the break we need!

Here are Ten Ideas on How to Destress and Unwind

(1) Go For a Walk

If you're able to handle walking, in my opinion, that's the best way to try and clear your head. Health permitting, physical movement is free and something we can do almost anytime, anywhere.

(2) Aromatherapy

Choose a scent that relaxes you. I love anything lemon or eucalyptus. How about you? What is your favorite candle scent?

(3) Meditation, Mindfulness, and/or Prayer

Whatever your belief system, focus on the combined power of body, mind, and spirit. I pray all the time and everywhere. You can also try repeating short, positive reinforcing phrases whenever negative thoughts creep over you. On really tough days, I've often been in a constant state of prayer repetition. For me, I find peace when I pray for others.

(4) Sleep

Are you overtired? Have you been restless and unable to get a good night's sleep? Admittedly it's hard to sleep on demand; otherwise, you would have slept, right? Try to take a nap or two (if you can), listen to relaxing music, or use the app "Calm." 

(5) A Hot Drink - Perhaps a Flavored Tea or Other Treat

A soothing hot beverage (as Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory often said, lol). It sounds too simple, doesn't it? A warm drink is comforting - he was right.

(6) A Day on the Couch, or in Bed, Doing Nothing, Watching Movies

Sometimes we just need to stop. Even when we feel we've been unproductive and don't deserve to stop, that's when we should stop. Watch your favorite movie with a warm blanket and a nice hot beverage!

(7) Drink More Water

For some people, drinking water is difficult. My mother-in-law wasn't a water drinker, so I get it. However, if you can handle drinking water, get a good six cups a day. To achieve the six-cup threshold, try to drink two cups in the morning, two in the afternoon, and two at night. 

(8) Turn Off the Negative News

We are bombarded with so much negativity these days. Be proactive with what you allow in your head. It's ok and necessary to be up-to-date and informed, but there's no need to have that news be on repeat and consume our lives. I'll venture a guess that most people in your life, directly or indirectly, are good people. The news does not reflect the life most of us are living. In the early 2000s, I was so consumed by the news that I wrote these song lyrics about the state of the planet. I proactively moved forward, and years later, followed up with this poem about Good People.

(9) Laugh! Watch or Read Something Funny

Skip movies and tv shows about crime, death, stealing, hate, and war. Don't turn those shows on when you're in a funk. Basically, turn off the ugly side of humanity. Go straight for humor. 

(10) Be Grateful - Practice Inner Truth

When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I give myself a shake and remind myself how lucky I am. I'm actively grateful for things like running water, electricity, and plumbing! Truth is a self-searching technique I use. I force myself to examine my truths, be honest with my feelings and acknowledge my imperfections and how I can be better to those around me and myself.




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Saturday, February 12, 2022

Made With Love – From the Heart

 Reviewing heart-shaped gifts for Valentine's Day




This is a gift review of handmade gifts that are definitely 'made with love'; thus, are perfect for Valentine's Day or any occasion where you wish to express your love for the recipient.  


There have long been certain gifts associated with Valentine's Day. Flowers are the most popular, especially roses.  Chocolates and jewelry run a close second.


Today we are going to talk about handmade gifts made with love.


Couple in Love


Made with Love
Couple in Love Giraffe Wood Puzzle

For a sweet way to express the love of a couple, this set of giraffes with a heart in the form of a wood puzzle would be perfect.


Handmade from hardwood birch, sanded and coated with linseed oil, this 3-piece puzzle of two giraffes hugging, with a heart in the middle, is a lovely depiction of a 'couple in love'. Created by Ecopuzzle on Etsy.


Cuddly in Crochet


Made with Love
Crochet Pig with Heart


Cute for a little girl for Valentine's Day – a cuddly crocheted plush pig holding a heart.  Handmade by Amanda and found in her Etsy Shop Created by Manders.



Hearts Bibs for Baby 


Bib with Heart Designs

An easy and very practical way to remember baby for Valentine's Day is with a bib with a hearts design.  Cute photo-op too. 


These bibs are handmade in cotton with red hearts on a striped background. The back of the bibs is soft, absorbent terry cloth. Bib closes with a snap and comes in infant and toddler sizes.


Handmade by a Kentucky crafter for the Etsy Shop Nana's Notions Crafts



Grogu with Heart


Grogu with Heart (Baby Yoda)


A fun Valentine's gift for any Star Wars fan is this Grogu with Heart.  Grogu, also known as Baby Yoda, has become very popular. Finding him with a heart fits right in with this made with love from the heart themed gift guide.

Grogu with Heart and many other Baby Yodas can be found in the Etsy shop of Mad Mac Crochet created by Michelle of Calgory, Canada. 


Hearts for the Home


Valentine Beverage Coasters

For a heart-warming home décor gift, check out this set of Valentine Coasters handmade by Wednesday Elf and found in her Etsy Shop Coastal Crochet Crafts


Summary


So, if you are  looking for a gift that is perfect for Valentine's Day, or for any occasion where you want to give a gift that is 'from the heart', check out the Made with Love items here or anywhere on Etsy.


Source: Pixabay


This Made with Love article was written by Wednesday Elf







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Sunday, December 26, 2021

To All Those We Lost in 2021 - We Love You, Thank You


When I think back to 2020, for us, it was an easier year than 2021 ... and that's hard to believe.

There is one connection in life that truly matters; it's love. We take it with us.

My Mother Passed Away - If You Suffered Loss, My Heart is With You

My brothers and I shared the day and evening with my mother as she left this world in late November. It was the most beautiful and terrifying experience of my life. I compare it to birth for those very emotions.

As a little girl, I remember feeling so scared that my mother would die. I would ask to sleep with her when my dad traveled for work. When I was eight years old, I finally told her why - "I'm scared you're going to die, mom."

As a grown woman with kids and grandkids, I somehow graduated out of that fear of losing mom. I'm confused about how that happened - how did I lose that fear? I'm grateful for losing it but am genuinely baffled how I grew out of it. Since mom passed, I have had this strange feeling that she's with me (inside me), and I think that's the reason? It's weird.

On the night she passed, I broke down like an infant. They were the sobs I needed, and my brothers and my sister-in-law were there to hold me through it. We each had our moments, and the beautiful side is that my parents raised a family that gets along and stands by each other. We're fortunate.

My Wish for Humanity - That 2022 Goes Easy on Us

We've all been challenged in unforeseen ways, some more than others. Despite the difficulties we've faced, including the loss of my mom, I'm the first to admit how fortunate my family is to have a roof over our heads, running water, plumbing, and electricity! There's so much unfairness and financial inequity in the world that those of us who live in a functioning society need to remember how blessed we are.

My hopes and dreams for all of us are inner peace, love, prosperity, and good health. May 2022 bring you balance in body, mind, and spirit.

Here's a song that beautifully honors all moms; this lyric resonates with me, "there's no safer place I've found than the shoulder on her white nightgown."

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year xxoo






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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

10 Wonderful Ways to Relieve Holiday Stress! From the Heart

The Big Holiday many people have been waiting for is just around the corner. 

It's literally just days away and many people are feeling the stress building! Oh don't get me wrong, I'm sure everyone loves this holiday, but when the stress becomes so all encompassing, it's hard to enjoy it!


What can you do to make this time of year the joyful and wonderful time it's supposed to be?  Well in my experience, I know I had put a lot of the pressure on myself and got caught up in all the things that could go wrong.  I needed help to see that my focus was in the wrong place!  Instead of focusing on the negative, I needed to focus on something positive and different.


So here are some of the things I do to help relieve that pressure:

  1. Wrapping things up can make me crazy.  I have two left hands but  I still want my packages to look nice!  Now I still do that, but I use gift bags to make the packing that much easier.  Dollar Stores are great help for this!  Inside each package goes a personalized note to the recipient, letting them know how much they mean to me! (It doesn't have to be long, just meaningful)
  2. Take lots of breaks,  drop everything and go for a 10 minute walk around the neighborhood.  When you get back you'll get twice as much done because you are  more relaxed.
  3. Take your phone with you and grab some festive pictures while out in the "hood".  Focus on Christmas decor, Dogs in their Christmas sweaters, People willing to smile at you, etc.
  4. Get physical and do someone a favor while you are out!  Do you have a neighbor that could use a little help?   Offer to do something for them (go to the store, shovel their walk, walk their dog, or ask them to join you for a cup of tea or coffee)  The gift of your time is priceless!
  5. Head out to a local church and just take a few steps inside the doors.  Go to a church/temple that you may never have been to before. (Check the internet for times, most places of worship will have some kind of schedule and extended hours)
  6. Take an hour or two and head to your local library.  Browse the shelves for something you might enjoy reading over the holidays.
  7. Turn up the music (not necessarily Christmas music, but something that you enjoy!  ABBA, the Beatles, Rolling Stones (am I dating myself?))
  8. Browse You Tube to learn a new dance.  Moving and getting your blood flowing are great ways to relief some stress.  Plus you could learn a few new moves along the way and share those with your family and friends (Even if it's just to laugh at yourself).  
  9. Sit back and watch a movie!  Again it doesn't need to be a Christmas movie, but one that you enjoy!
  10. If all this fails, then you can always take a nap!  Sometimes just resting your eyes can do wonders for your nerves and your anxiety. Close those eyes and say a little prayer so your focus is on something supernatural and divine.
When your stress  drops to a manageable level, you can restart what you were doing and probably accomplish more than if you had stayed with it.  Taking a break is a game changer for many people. Believe me, the holidays will come one way or the other, but if you are relaxed, they will be more enjoyable!

Learn to laugh and smile, what you share out in the world will come right back to you!


My hope for you is that you truly enjoy this Holiday Season to it's fullest!  May you have a lovely Christmas with your family and friends and may your New Year be Blessed with lots of Joy!






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Sunday, November 7, 2021

Do You Ever Feel Indifferent About Things In Your Life - A Personal Diary Entry

A Personal Diary Entry - Do You Ever Feel Indifferent?

How do you handle the feeling of indifference? 

I'm even reluctant to write about this mood!

Why am I reluctant to write about it? Apparently, I've heard and read that indifference is one of the least attractive and least productive emotions.

The Dictionary Definition of Indifference: "Lack of interest, concern, or sympathy"

In no-way do I feel a lack of sympathy for others when I'm feeling indifferent! (just wanted to put that out there)

Indifference About A Day, A Direction, Feeling a Lack of Control - That's The Indifference I'm Speaking About

Some days, not often, but a little more often lately, I feel a complete lack of control.

I know, I know, I know .... you're about to tell me that's a good thing.

Well, I agree; at times, that can undoubtedly be a good thing.

However, this lack of control brings out that dreaded word and feeling, "whatever." 

The Not-Knowing is Suppose to Be a Good Thing, Right?

Do you think, lack of control and not knowing what's ahead is a good thing? Do you accept those moments in your life for what they are ... hopefully a temporary blip?

For me, it seems when things are somewhat overwhelming and a bit out of control, I get a little bit "indifferent." I get a sort of "so what" "whatever" feeling. I honestly despise that feeling. In my opinion, a lack of concern about a situation is unproductive.

Could it be a survival mechanism? Nah, I just think it's a newer feeling for me, and I have to learn to process it because I've rarely felt this way about life.

Since I'm solution-oriented, feeling "blah-what-ever" about a life issue annoys me further! I prefer to move forward and resolve matters ... not wallow in "whatevers."

The good thing about not knowing the answers and the resulting indifference is being forced to practice patience and accept that I can't control everything.  Things have to resolve themselves in their own good time.

Two Things We Cannot Change: Natural Law and Other People

Most of us who have lived long enough already know and understand that we cannot change others. Goodness knows it took me into my thirties (a long time ago) to figure that one out.

However, I must ensure I don't get too indifferent about situations I cannot change or control lately. I'm not a heartless person and never want that unkind trait to infect my persona. It won't, but holy-hannah feeling indifferent really does suck! 

What Do You Do to Cope With and Manage Your Feelings?

My entire life, I've written poetry. I recently published 50 years of poems on Amazon. I've been writing poems since I was 8 years old and decided it was time to assemble a book.

To cope, do you write? Read? Exercise? Sleep? Sing? Dance? Travel? 

So today, I'm feeling indifferent (blah); this too shall pass.

Oh, by the way, what I've been doing to combat this unproductive feeling? Binge-watching Prime and Netflix series. Yah, I know, everything in moderation :)

Additional Personal Diary Entries:

Do You Have Any Regrets in Life?

Everything Will Be OK?

How to Accept Change in Life

10 Ways to Be Happy Even When Life Sucks

Ten Ways to Handle Stress and Anger





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Sunday, October 31, 2021

Do You Have Any Regrets in Life? - A Personal Diary Entry

 

Do You Have Any Regrets in Life? A Personal Diary Entry

Here on ReviewThisReviews, I've made several personal diary entries. My latest entry was "Everything Will Be OK." Today I'm wondering whether you have regrets in life?

I'll Go First - Do I Have Any Regrets in Life?

Yes. I have regrets. Inside, I'm a happy person; no matter the obstacles I've faced, I have been able to maintain a peaceful soul. I've had to deal with being let down multiple times by someone close to me. It hasn't been easy. I'm not one to whine, so I hope this doesn't come across as whining - I don't mean to sound like a whiner. I accept full responsibility for where I am in life. Every decision has led me here, so I'm equally responsible for the good and the bad.

There have been good days and bad days in my life - just like everyone else on earth - however, I've tolerated a lot in my life. I've been disappointed and treated without regard at times. I've gotten through it, and I've held onto myself through the drama and disrespect.

The way I've gotten through my hurt is to not become that which I rail against. Fortunately, I'm not a vengeful person or one who seeks revenge. Thank goodness for that! I know a few vindictive people, and I honestly believe that's an unhealthy way to live. However, who am I to judge. For me, I need to get as far away in behavior from the behavior that hurt me. I don't want to become that person who intentionally hurts others out of revenge.

A friend of mine once relayed this quote to me, "hurt people, hurt people." That's not who I want to be. That's not who I am.

So What Do I Do With This Regret? - What Do You Do With Yours, If You Have Any?

To say I don't struggle with it would be a lie. However, I turn the pain and the regret into something constructive. I focus on the good, and I focus on love. I know this sounds too simple, but for now, that's what I do. 

We can't fix other people. They have to step up. What I've learned over the years is that I can't make that happen - the person who does the hurting has to take responsibility and, God willing, change. I'm at the point where I don't expect change and don't try to make it happen. I work on myself and send love.

If I Could Go Back in Time and Change My Destiny, Would I? Would You?

I don't know. Part of me says yes I would, then another part of me reflects on who I have become "inside," and I'm really very proud of the person I am today; strong, tenacious, forgiving, filled with love despite the hurt, compassionate, tolerate and I like to think that I'm kind. Sorry, I don't mean to toot my own horn, lol - I'm just expressing what all this pain has taught me. So I'm not sure about whether I would change my stars. Some days it's a blatant yes, but for the most part, I'm not sure.

How about you?

I've written poetry for over 50 years and put my life out there for everyone to read. My book, We Will Have Morning Smiles,  is available on Amazon. I started to write at eight years old and continued through my entire life. The writing process, as those of you who write know, is therapeutic. My whole life is on display, via poems, in that book.

Here's a video poem that reflects one of the poems in my book - I think this one speaks to the topic of this article. If you're reading this via mobile, you can see it here.

Remember Who I Am - A Video Poem




In the end, I hope for the best, plan for the worst, but always hold onto who I am and keep my heart filled with love. How about you?



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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

October A Month of Many "Awareness" Days! Learn Something New Today!

October is the month that most people know is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness, but it is NOT the only disorder we should be aware of.

 

Every year beginning on the First of October, you will start to see ads and lots of references on Social Media about Breast Cancer and getting your mammograms done.  For the women out there who have not done so yet, there is still time to book your screening before the end of the month.  Prevention starts with getting that mammogram done.
 

 



I have several friends that over the years have had Breast Cancer or are still dealing with this cancer.  Some,  unfortunately,  have also died from this disease!  Do whatever you can to help prevent Breast Cancer from invading your life or that of someone you love.  Encourage your gal pals to get their screening done every year!  We have enough statistics already and no one wants their friends or family to join that long list.  


October is also  SUDEP Action MonthSUDEP is the acronym for Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.  Most unexplained deaths are subject to autopsy and when someone presents with this type of death, no other reason can be found for their demise, it is called SUDEP.  Epilepsy affects 50 million people around the world.  I have a young nephew who has been diagnosed with epilepsy.  With medication he is living a life that is normal in most ways.  He loves everything, plays sports, swims and hikes just like any other child!  



Awareness and action are needed to make this neurological disorder better understood and you can also learn how to reduce your risks.  If you want to know more about this here is the official website dedicated to teach everyone about this disorder!



 And while we are at it, October is for SUDEP  and November which is just around the corner is the official month to make people aware of Epilepsy as this disorder continues to affect many people young and old.
 

 

More October Awareness Days


October is also the month where DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is brought to the forefront.  There are so many people that are suffering from violence within the home.  Some is physical, while other forms of this violence might not be as noticeable.  I'm talking about the mental and verbal abuse that can happen within a family.
 
I'm sure that there are many of us that can say we personally know someone who is in this situation.  We need to encourage those who find themselves in the cycle of abuse to come out and find the help they need.  Quite often friends and family of someone in a domestic abuse situation will try to help, but find themselves hitting the proverbial brick wall.  When you try to help, the couple all of a sudden stand together in trying to make people believe there is no problem.  Worse yet, if you step into that situation, you yourself could become the target of the violence. 
Most often Domestic Abuse has the wife/mother as the recipient of the abuse, but there are also signs that Men can be abused as well.  Domestic Violence in either form is not acceptable.
 
Domestic Abuse, especially if it involves children, cannot be tolerated, and our efforts should go to finding safe places for moms and children to be.  There are websites that strive to help anyone who finds themselves in a position where violence seems to be the answer to every problem.  Children as especially vulnerable to the ravages of domestic violence and there are places to get help for them too.
 
https://ncadv.org/2021DVAM is a great place to start your search for yourself or someone you love or know needs help.   Many hospitals will have information for you as well.  Don't wait to get help, it is there if you need it.  In Canada you can visit the website : https://endingviolencecanada.org/about-us/


During this month of October, let us become more involved in a cause that can help so many people.  If you cannot help this month, maybe making a Christmas donation to one of these causes would be something you could do.  If everyone helps we can move mountains!

May you enjoy the rest of October and remember those fighting Epilepsy in November too!




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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Everything Will Be OK - A Personal Diary Entry

 

Everything Will Be OK

One of my favorite personal affirmations to pass along to friends and family in their hour of need is, "everything will be OK."

Let's Review the Phrase "Everything Will Be OK" or Just "OK"

The word "OK" can be magnificently soothing. If you haven't tested out that theory with text messages, give it a try.

Not long ago, I discovered that receiving the "OK" response to a text I've sent to family or friends, especially a lengthier text, is absolutely calming and instantly soothing. How about you?

Why the Words OK are Soothing

Here's my conclusion about this: We live in a world of constant information, turmoil, debates, disagreements, and multiple stresses - and when someone responds back to us with the simple words "OK," we're lifted away from the edge for that moment.

When my kids respond to my texts or verbal requests with "OK," I'm immediately disarmed and relieved. I am keenly aware of being "yessed," so I'm not speaking about that baloney. A sincere "OK," acknowledging that you've been heard, and there's actual consensus, is what I'm referencing - wow! Isn't that nice?

I Like to Hand Out OKs

Whenever possible, I respond with "OK" or the more detailed version, "everything will be OK." Since discovering what these responses do for me, I seek out as many honest moments as possible to say "OK" to others. It's such a gift.

I'll respond with OK to the most mundane things whenever I get the chance. Try it. Here's an example, "mom, I'll be late for dinner" - my response 'OK.' Just a simple 'OK' is what I'll use whenever possible. Here's another boring example, "hun, I'll be home shortly, can you be in the driveway to help me unload the groceries?" my hubby's response, "OK." I can't express how much I appreciate that short, agreeable text!

Our lives are filled with so much emotion that often, telephone conversations go off into unrelated tangents. A simple response and truthful acknowledgment of "OK" via text is the next best thing to therapy, in my personal opinion! Just kidding about the therapy part, but it does help! That's how much I appreciate it and love to hand out an OK as much as receive one.

Currently, my friend is going through a traumatic life event, and I've said "everything will be ok" to her multiple times. She needed to hear the sheer possibility of it all -  I could honestly say this phrase because it is legitimately what I believe. 

Is the Self-Fulfiling Prophecy at Work?

There's no doubt; what we believe is our truth. As that quote goes, whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right.

Since my truth is that everything will be OK, I'm sure I'm subconsciously taking steps to ensure it happens. Whether the issue is something involving life and death, or personal strife, I absolutely believe that in the end, "everything will be OK." 

At the moment, I have mountains going on in my life. My mom is dangerously unwell, another friend's husband almost died in a vehicle accident, and I have other personal issues I'm sorting through. However, I still believe everything will be OK.

Will I cry? Is it stressful? Am I overwhelmed at times? Yes, to all. 

BUT in my soul, there's an untouchable place, a place that only belongs to me and my higher power. For respite, I retreat there. I know to my core that everything will be OK. This truth shapes my life.

I'm not sure where all this hope inside of me comes from, but it lives - it's a real thing.

Here's a poem I penned decades ago about holding onto inner peace, that place that belongs only to you and your higher power, no matter the storms.

Take Me To Your Beautiful
50 Years of Poems By Barbara Tremblay Cipak Available on Amazon



Additional Diary Entries:





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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

September, the Month to Prepare for Traveling Birds! A Hobby Review!

September is a month that is generally full of all kinds of changes.  Notably, children are going back to school and the days are quickly getting shorter and cooler.

Autumn is definitely in the air and I know I have already been witness to the geese starting to gather and fly in their typical V-formation.  

Birds that have spent the better part of the summer in the north are preparing themselves for the long trek back to their southern winter spots.  But, and here's the important part, it is a long way for them to go and they need our help.


Typically we are all familiar with the Geese that make their way to the south, but there are a host of other birds that also migrate.  According to Cornell Labs there are about 650 species of birds in North American and about half of those are migratory.

Why do they migrate?  Most of these birds leave their resting places to move north to their breeding grounds.  This is hard work for the birds, but instincts make them do this perilous journey at least twice a year. 

Many of us wait eagerly for those pretty little hummingbirds that make their way to the north and we do fill our feeders with sugar water to satisfy their hunger.  But in September, you might just notice that those feeders are being visited more often.  Even though there are plenty of flowers for them to feed on, they know they will be making a long trek soon.  They are filling up their reserves for that journey.  So please don't stop filling your hummingbird feeders just yet.

Most North American songbirds are migratory.  Yet there are other bigger birds that also move from the north to the south in the cooler autumn months.

Let's concern ourselves with the smaller birds for now.  How can you help them?

  • Keep your feeders full of good nutritious seeds is the first way to help. 
  •  Make sure there is a good clean source of water for them too.  All that flying around is hard work.  
  • Gardeners, please leave your seed heads in place! Don't clean up your garden just yet!  Migratory birds love sunflowers, but will also eat seeds from other plants as well.  A natural garden will attract those little birds quite nicely.  
These are just a few little things you can do to help them on their way.  

Learning about these migratory birds and what their needs are will make them happy to stop at your yard for some refreshment and food.


Bird migration happens twice a year, yet we never seem to get tired of seeing our favorite birds making their way to us in spring time and then leaving us again come autumn.  Let's help them as much as we can by being a safe and bird friendly place for them to stop and refuel.  It doesn't take much effort, and you will enjoy the beauty of those little creatures as they make their way south!

If you want to know more there is plenty of information available on the Internet.  There are many bird watching clubs in several states and provinces.  If you are really keen on bird watching, I would recommend you join a group of like minded people.  A camera is a must as well.  You will want to start keeping a diary of all the different birds you have seen over the years.


Birdwatching is a hobby that you will keep at for years and years.  Start small and see how much enjoyment you get from seeing with your own eyes, the birds that make these treks across miles and miles.  Start your list and add to it as you become accustomed to finding these little winged creatures.

Helping our birds make their way is just one small pleasure we can have and it isn't hard to do either.

Once you have seen and admired the strength and determination of those little birds, you will have a new appreciation for hard work they put into surviving and thriving.  There are many life lessons here for all of us too!

May you enjoy September, October and November as the skies become magnets for our little bird friends and we become their helpers on the way!




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Sunday, September 5, 2021

How to Accept Change in Your Life

 

A Personal Review - How to Accept Change In Your Life

Life has been challenging for many of us for at least a few years now. 

What's happening around us, directly or indirectly, can seem overwhelming, especially when the issues touch our lives.

Here are My Five Personal Ideas on How to Accept Change and Move Forward:

1. Resist the Natural Urge to Resist the Change

Whether it's moving, a breakup, or a job change, embrace it. 

I know, that sounds impossible and a bit crazy, right? However, trying to embrace the change helps create a mindset that puts us into task-oriented activity to do the things needed to move forward. Despite it being difficult to go through that change, we are progressing through change instead of bathing in dread.


2. Be Solution Oriented

I'm not one to sit inside a problem for too long. It's just not who I am. Over the past four decades, being a solution-oriented person has carried me through a mountain of problems. 

If you're wondering what solution-oriented means, it means to spend your energy solving the problem instead of digging yourself into a pit of despair. 

Be productive with your mind; write down your options, talk to people who can help with the issue, research, and plan your way out. Take action, whatever that may be, and tackle the change with tasks and fortitude.


3.  Don't Suppress Your Emotions - But Don't Dwell on the Negative Either

This doesn't mean you get to yell and scream at people willy-nilly! And it certainly doesn't mean you get a free ticket to the irrationality show. 

Talk out your changes with others who can help. If you need to cry, find a safe shoulder or a private place where you can go ahead and bawl your eyes out. We know most men won't do this, but men need it most to all. I've raised four sons and personally know the emotional suppression that can take place. Break free from your emotional jail.

Once you've allowed your feelings to escape, focus on moving forward. To get through it, you have to go through it.


4. Accept Responsibility For Where You Are in Your Life

For adults, where we are in our life is a result of every choice we've made. That may seem a bit harsh, especially when we've had outside circumstances shape our lives. The operative word there is "shape."

Once we enter adulthood, every choice we make forms who we are; friends, where we live, how we live, schooling, work, relationships. Every one of these areas involves a choice. 

I've long ago come to terms with the fact that I am where I am, problems and all, because of every choice I've made. As much as I like to share my successes, I've accepted that my choices created my world, both good and bad; and yes, there have been some not-so-good times.

I remember sitting at the dinner table with my sons and throwing out this point about accepting responsibility for where you are in life; you should have seen their eyes widen! 

Most of us are rarely ready to accept responsibility for everything in our life until we really think about it and what that means. I'm here today because of series of decisions, or lack of decisions that I made and didn't make. Period.

This can be a freeing mental experience as well. Accepting responsibility has helped to point me in better directions and helped me to cope with adversity with grit. 


5. Choose Your Words Carefully While Going Through Change

The self-fulfilling prophecy is a real thing. The words we speak affect us. While you're going through life's changes, avoid words like hate, hurts, no way, can't, won't, ahole, and any other words that don't serve the solution or move you forward. The only exception to this is when you're having that all-important emotional release moment(s) described in point number three. 

When having a tough time, try 'opposite day.' I use this technique quite often. If inside I'm feeling apprehensive about an upcoming change or problem and all that is real is telling me I should wallow in the depths of despair, I project the polar opposite. 

I do opposite-day until good feelings become a natural feeling. Since I've practiced this so much, the change in my emotions will happen within an hour or less. It may take you longer to go through the faking it process, but you'll eventually master this.

Remember this one thing if nothing else at all;

"Don't let people rent space in your head" - Be your own inner voice, fight for your true self, lead with love and compassion, even when you're not getting any in return. Do it for the greater good. You're part of that greater good as well.

Additional Personal Guidance For Life:

10 Ways to Be Happy Even When Life is a Bucket of Lemons

Top 10 Ways to Manage Stress and Anger

Disclaimer: This is not meant to be medical advice and is not meant to be professional mental advice. I'm not a doctor. I'm just a mom sharing my decades of personal life experience.




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Sunday, August 29, 2021

10 Ways To Be Happy Even When Life is a Bucket of Lemons

 

What? You Can Choose Happiness?

Can you force yourself to be happy? Is that even possible? 

We've seen it written all over the internet, "happiness is a choice."

Is Happiness a Choice?

I think it is a choice. Stress, problems, situations, difficulties ... let's face it; we will ALWAYS have those to deal with.

So, where does the choice come in? 

For me, it's deciding that no matter what living nightmare is going in my world, I'll find a way and moments to speak positively or to simply remember to speak with a smile on my face.

Just because I'm writing an article on "Ways to be Happy" does not mean my life is perfect. Far, far from it! I have issues coming at me daily, but I refuse to be sucked into the pits of  dark energy, or as some see it, "hell."

Ten Personal Ways to Be Happy:

1.  Wear Happiness and Hope

I'm speaking literally right now, wear a piece of clothing or jewelry that says "Happy" or "Hope" on it. You don't have to wear it every day, but on the days you feel you need a pick-me-up, dress up with happiness and hope. Check out what I'm wearing today. My Hope necklace was a gift from a friend. The word hope is my personal word. What's a personal word? It's your go-to repetitive word you call upon to clear your mind. To yourself, repeat your word over and over until you've forgotten what you wanted to forget!

Wearing "Happy" and "Hope"

2. Move Your Body

For those who have health issues, moving can be a serious problem. The good news is that you don't have to head to a gym to get moving! Do anything that involves movement! Housework, cooking, stretches, or, if you can, go for a walk or bike ride. Personally, I work and move at the same time using the Cubii, which I highly recommend. It's under my desk, and I can't say enough positive things about it. I do office work and get a workout at the same time. Pedaling while working is a wonderful stress reliever.

3. Help Other People

I know what you're thinking! Girl, how can I focus on other people when my life is all-consuming? Guess what, force yourself to do it. If talking, texting, or going out with a friend isn't possible, simply pray for them. No matter your belief system, there's nothing wrong with focusing your giving energy on the people in your life.

I do this all the time. I go on prayer bike rides (that's what I call them). I get physical and spiritual exercise all at the same time. I spend a good forty minutes praying for each person in my life. The prayers are specific to their needs. It clears my head, and although I'll never really know if I've helped them in any way, I begin to feel like a whole person again who holds onto love when all else fails.

4. Laugh

A lot of people do this. One of my sons is particularly hilarious, and he does a comedy skit for me almost every day, and he makes my day and changes my mental state every single time. I told him, "if I'm ever in a coma, come in the room and do these skits, and I'll absolutely wake up!" If you don't have a comedian in the family, watch comedians on YouTube. Here, go watch Sebastian Maniscalco; he's frigging hysterical. My funny son has his routines down!

5. Dance, Yah, Dance

Put on some music and dance, by yourself or with someone in the house! Be spontaneous and just do it. Especially if your head is filled with all kinds of non-productive trash. Physical activity helps the body to clear the mind. 

6. Remember About 85% of the Things People Worry About Never Happen

Don't believe me? Here's an article featured on NBC News that talks about how to manage our worry gene. Worrying about things that haven't happened is a particular waste of energy. At first, it's difficult to turn off the worry bug in your head; however, think about all the things you've worried about that never happened! Energy is energy, and worry energy is still energy. Change your vibration using any method you can to refocus your magnetic field on something constructive and positive.

8. Tackle a Personal Project

Taking on a creative project is an ideal way to redirect your energy. Write, knit, draw, paint, or start a DIY home or garden design. Consume your mind with something you are personally vested in. It doesn't have to be something extravagant. Just do it! 

9. Socially Support Your Friends Online

Most of us know of people working a small online businesses. When you're not sure what to do for yourself, that's a good time to start doing for other people. Go visit their web pages or product pages, and share their work and ideas. Take the focus off of yourself and just give of yourself for the benefit of others. It's difficult for many people right now, so I like to help my friends out - it takes me out of my own head, and yes, it makes me happy.

10. Dress for the Day

Working from home or not working at all can drag us into track-suit hell. Make an effort to clean your room every single day. Get dressed into something nice and clean yourself up. Start your day with intention!

Here's an Inspirational Video about Love and Light I Created - I Hope you enjoy it <3 - If Viewing Via Mobile, the Video is Here







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