Monday, November 26, 2012

December: I Intend to Count My Blessings

For many, December is a month of celebration; although, the expectations we all bring to the table can take the meaning out of any celebrating. So instead of focusing on overrated expectations, I intend to highlight my blessings every day in December. How will I go about doing this?

  • Each morning I will repeat my intention for the day. 
  • I will say thank you, and really mean it, throughout the day.
  • I will let others know how much they mean to me.
  • I will thank others for continuing to be a part of my life.
  • Each night I will repeat my intention and do a mental review of my day.

By counting my blessings, I intend to shine a light on all I am grateful for, and not get caught up in those things that really don’t matter in the end analysis. Join me as we wrap up our year of intentions with a month of focused daily blessings. By doing this, I guarantee December will bring many heartfelt moments, smiles and peace within.
Candlelight photo courtesy of Bracketing Life

Monday, November 19, 2012

Celestial Hug

Like planets orbiting around the sun, each of us have people who revolve around our lives. Some may be closer in, others further out, but orbiting indeed. At this giving time of the year, I am reminded of those in my life who are in need of more attention. These people usually drift along on the outer reaches of an orbit through choices of their own or present life circumstances. It is up to each of us to reach out, give them a big celestial hug, and remind them one very important thing: they matter!

"Reach out and touch somebody's hand make this world a better place if you can."
 Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson

Letting someone know they matter could just be one of the most important gifts you could give another human being. If you were struggling, due to whatever reason, wouldn’t you want someone to reach out to you?
Hug in hand photo courtesy of Dyanna Hyde

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Catching My Z's

"Your brainwaves have more structure when you are asleep than when you are awake. It’s kind of like defragmenting your hard drive, only it’s much more important.”
Dr. John Wilson, neurologist and co-director of the Sleep Lab at Loyola University’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Maywood, Illinois

I think of my brain as an endless series of file cabinets. When I am more tired, I see these file cabinets with drawers open, files pulled out here and there, and papers scattered in all directions. Like my computer, the constant updating of information and the addition and deletion of files results in pieces, or fragments, of information floating around. This slows down my computer and my brain. I know when my brain is in this state because I tend to be more muddled, I make mistakes and become even more drained of energy. When my computer slows, I run a defrag program. When my brain becomes cluttered and I feel my energy lacking, it is time to defrag my brain by making sure I am getting the sleep my body needs.

“In studies of humans and other animals, they have discovered that sleep plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions.”1

“Research has revealed that people who consistently fail to get enough sleep are at an increased risk of chronic disease.”2

Basically, if you don’t get your Z’s, you are more prone to a host of problems. Information on the benefits of sleep abounds, but for me, I know I feel better and function at my best when I catch 8 to 9 hours of hibernation time. I would like to have more awake time in my day, but I’m not doing myself any favors by cutting back on my sleep. Getting the Z's I need is a choice and keeps me balanced. My body works twenty-four hours a day, and sleeping is when I am able to let my body recover from what I may have put it through during the day. Sleep allows my body to heal.

With autumn daylight growing shorter, I feel my natural rhythms of sleep falling into step as I reset my internal clock. As these days gradually grow shorter, I feel more of a draw towards hibernating. Join me⎯defrag your brain by making sleep a priority, and discover the power of sleep⎯one Z at a time.
Patch taking a nap photo courtesy of mike@bensalem

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Tears of a Clown

The ghosts and goblins were out last week in celebration of Halloween, and my friend Lynn’s children stopped by for trick-or-treating. Her twelve-year-old daughter, Charlie, was unrecognizable under her rainbow striped clown costume, orange yarn wig, makeup and owlish looking swim goggles. Charlie was having a great time clowning around with her younger brothers. Later that evening, Lynn’s family got together with another family they know from church to trick-or-treat. Charlie assumed the two girls in the other family would be dressed for the occasion. Wrong! One of the girls was a year older and ignored Charlie, the other girl was a year younger and was busy with her own friends. Charlie tried to have a good time but she just could not pull it off.

At home, through tears, Charlie told her mom she couldn’t understand what she did wrong. Lynn spoke to her for a bit, but it didn’t seem to help much. Before too long, she could hear Charlie shouting to her brothers about sorting through the candy. Lynn said Charlie seemed to be her happy old self again.

Lynn and I were talking about how, at times in your life, you are caught between being a kid and being a grownup. Charlie got her first taste of what that is all about, and she figured out how to move on and make her own happiness. It’s really quite a sweet story, no pun intended, but we can all learn from Charlie. We should embrace those times in our life when we can feel like a kid again. It gets a bit stuffy being the grownup all of the time. And in those times when you can’t seem to find happiness, it is up to you to choose to turn things around. We cannot leave it to others to find happiness for us. Only we know what truly makes us happy. So don’t get caught clowning around without a smile, and any clown knows it can be dangerous shedding tears when wearing goggles.

I would like to thank Lynn for sharing Charlie’s story as a reminder to all of us.
Sad Clown photo courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography