Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ending a Year of Intentional Thinking

Cairn: A mound of stones built as a memorial.
2012 was my year of intentional thinking. I set intention on a roll by focusing on a different intention each month. If you have followed this path with me, you will know we have improved our lives twelve times over. Here is the year in review:

I Intend…
* We sometimes forget about where we have been when looking at what we still have not done.

While I end the year of intentional thinking, intentions have become a reliable way of moving forward for me. Intentions are my choice and provide a more balanced approach to my life as I consider where I have been this year. Because there are always going to be those things we still have not done, let us all celebrate where we have been as we look forward to the year ahead.

Twelve photo courtesy of  Mrs Logic
* Thanks Viv for reminding me of this every now and then

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Special Occasions

We celebrate many things throughout the year: birthdays, anniversaries, various holidays and on and on. Each celebration denotes a special occasion for those of us doing the celebrating. Recently, I received a bag of holiday treats from my friend Ann. In large white lettering on each purple side, the bag seemed to be screaming, “Life is a special occasion!”

Ann’s goodies are always yummy and appreciated, but I was quite taken by the Hallmark, Inc., slogan on the bag. It made me smile and think, yes, yes it is. Life IS a special occasion. I now have the bag hanging from a doorknob inside my home to remind me of this very special message⎯just in case I get a bit caught up in whatever it is I am doing and forget.

While we mark our special occasions with celebrations, let us not forget to celebrate life. As I have noted on the bottom of the home page of this blog, “Each day is truly the best gift you can give yourself. Don’t waste it!” Celebrate each day because it IS a special occasion, and one you can share with others. Don’t wait for a bag to scream it at you.

Peace, love and light to you all this holiday season and every day.
Shruti celebrating Holi (Hindu festival of color) photo courtesy of Sukanto Debnath

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Lifesaver Sweet Story

One Christmas, when I was in elementary school, I received a Lifesavers Sweet Storybook as a gift. When I opened it up, inside were twelve rolls of Lifesaver candy ⎯six on each side of the book with each roll a different flavor. I treasured the sweet candy book as if each candy was a little jewel. Being someone who still had Halloween candy at Christmastime, I'm sure I had the little candy book for a good long while.

I hadn’t thought of this sweet gift for years, but during the last few Christmas holiday seasons, I have seen Lifesaver Storybooks popping up in many of the drugstore advertising flyers⎯although, there are now only six rolls of Lifesavers in each book. Whenever I see a picture of the storybook, I smile and feel a slight glow come over me. I think about how much I enjoyed this simple, inexpensive gift. I don’t remember the last time I had a roll of Lifesaver candies, and I only received the Storybook one Christmas, but it must have made a real impression on me.

I did not have the Lifesavers Storybook on my Christmas list that year. I have no idea what was on my list or what other gifts I received, but I do remember my little candy book. I share my sweet story to remind us all, simple is always best.  Oh, and my favorite little jewel⎯butter rum!
Photo courtesy of amanda_munoz

Monday, December 10, 2012

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

Yesterday I was hanging wreaths on the fence posts around my front yard. I do this each year to celebrate the holidays and the winter season. Although they are artificial, they look quite real, particularly when snow is hanging from them. About ten years ago, bundled up like a child heading out to play in the cold, I was hanging wreaths and heard Christmas carols being sung in the distance. As my neighbor and her two young boys pulled into their driveway, they finished their song and rolled up the car windows.

I was quite taken by this little moment in time. Not only did it put a smile on my face, I, too, started singing holiday tunes as I finished decorating my fence. Since then, each year as I hang my wreaths, I think back to that day and begin singing and humming away. It never fails to make me smile. I cherish this flash of holiday spirit and carry it with me each time I glimpse the wreaths hanging from my fence throughout the winter.

We do ourselves a disfavor during the holiday season, when it gets so crazy-busy, to not notice the little things making up the moments of our lives. It seems those simple moments add up to so much more than the big complicated ones

Little snippets of life connect like garlands decorating our lives. How will you decorate your life this holiday season? Is it beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas?
Wreath photo courtesy of Clark family

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Simmering Love

Year after year it never fails, as we draw in the last days of autumn, the thought of a hearty bowl of homemade soup pulls me into the kitchen. Making soups, chowders, stews and chilies goes back to when I was a teenager. Yes indeed, I have been chopping away and throwing all sorts of food mixtures into a large pot for many years. You don’t even need a recipe. Some of the best soups I have made come from clearing out my refrigerator. I would consider it a bit difficult to make a bad soup when the ingredients going into the pot are those you love.

I enjoy the process of preparation as I set the ingredients out before me and start peeling, chopping, slicing and dicing. It is rather a Zen feeling as I focus on the matter at hand. Yes, for me, soup begins as a state of mind and moves my hands to create a bowl of simmering love. You heard me right; preparing a meal of any kind is a gift of love to those seated at your table. But the sheer simplicity of a bowl of soup seems to transcend all other food. I can almost taste the soup as I throw each ingredient into the pot. The moment I engage the sense of smell and taste the hearty concoction before me, this bowl of love warms me from the inside out.

Don’t let the thought of making soup strike fear in your kitchen. Engage your senses and nourish your spirit, join me in a bowl of simmering love; and don’t forget⎯any kind of soup is good for the soul.
All you need photo courtesy of Dennis Skley