Tag Archives: spirit

Fruit

1 Jan

On the eve of 2016, I won’t go to a glamorous party.  I am not heading out to a swanky dinner.  No, New Years Eve, for me, is about quiet gratitude, thoughtful prayer, and personal peace.  This post is a couple of years old, but I am posting it again.  It still feels relevant to life.  Thanks for reading it.  Happy New Year!

It is now 2013. I don’t really make New Years Resolutions, but I do make some goals. I also reflect on the past, and think about how to improve my future. My journey to love, loyalty, forgiveness, and appreciation continues, as does the journey to discover myself. A goal for my journey is to make it a joyful one. So as I do that this year, I want to say thank you.

Thank you to those who told me I couldn’t. From you I learned that I can.

Thank you to those who gossiped. From you I learned how to hold my friends dear, and how important it is to keep my mouth shut.

Thank you to those with no faith. From you I learned that God is central in my life, and that my faith runs deep.

Thank you to those who told me that I am weak. From you I learned fierce inner strength and confidence. For you allowed me to dig down and discover that I am stronger than I ever imagined.

Thank you to those that told me I was ugly. From you I found my inner beauty.

Thank you to those that put up barriers in my life. From you, I learned how to tear down walls and fight for what I want.

Thank you to those who told me that I am not a good mother. From you I learned that my commitment to motherhood is beautifully imperfect, and perfectly loving.

Thank you to those that put me second (or more accurately third, fourth or fifth) . From you I learn to put myself first.

Thank you to those who are loud and demand attention. From you I learned to be quiet.

Thank you to those who created drama in my life. From you I am learning to truly appreciate peace.

Thank you to those who have an overpowering sense of entitlement. From you I am learning to appreciate everything that I have.

Thank you to those who told me to quit. From you I am learning perseverance.

Thank you to those who brag. From you I learn humility.

Thank you to those that lied to me. From you I am learning the importance of the truth.

Thank you to those who are false and phony. From you I am learning the importance of being genuine.

Thank you to the people who showed me kindness not because I am needy but because you are good.

Thank you to those who extended generosity, for you have enabled me to more openly give to others.

Thank you for those of you that protected me not because I am weak but because you are loyal.

Thank you to those that shared their strength with me during times when I wavered. For you give me the power to be a pillar of strength to someone else.

I am no different from anyone else. I have been hurt. I have felt pain of deceit, the heart break of divorce, cruel disloyalty, and the sting of failure. From that I rise up. Push forward. Continue on. I give thanks to those by my side, and for those that, it seems, turned against me. From everyone whose life has touched mine, I learn. It is easy to be thankful for the great people in your life and to love them. The challenge lies in loving and learning from every body else.

This blog addresses mostly food. Today it is about fruits. The fruits of the spirit.  So I enter this year with gratitude, an open spirit, and prepared to learn more lessons!  I am grateful to everyone that has touched my life and continues to shape the person I am, and the person I am becoming.  So to you I say thank you!

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Fruits NOT from your grocer

1 Jan

On the eve of 2015, I won’t go to a glamorous party.  I am not heading out to a swanky dinner.  No, New Years Eve, for me, is about quiet gratitude, thoughtful prayer, and personal peace.  This post is a couple of years old, but I am posting it again.  It still feels relevant to life.  Thanks for reading it.  Happy New Year!

It is now 2013. I don’t really make New Years Resolutions, but I do make some goals. I also reflect on the past, and think about how to improve my future. My journey to love, loyalty, forgiveness, and appreciation continues, as does the journey to discover myself. A goal for my journey is to make it a joyful one. So as I do that this year, I want to say thank you.

Thank you to those who told me I couldn’t. From you I learned that I can.

Thank you to those who gossiped. From you I learned how to hold my friends dear, and how important it is to keep my mouth shut.

Thank you to those with no faith. From you I learned that God is central in my life, and that my faith runs deep.

Thank you to those who told me that I am weak. From you I learned inner strength and confidence. For you allowed me to dig down and discover that I am stronger than I ever imagined.

Thank you to those that told me I was ugly. From you I found my inner beauty.

Thank you to those that put up barriers in my life. From you, I learned how to tear down walls and fight for what I want.

Thank you to those who told me that I am not a good mother. From you I learned that my commitment to motherhood is beautifully imperfect, and perfectly loving.

Thank you to those that put me second (or more accurately third, fourth or fifth) . From you I learn to put myself first.

Thank you to those who are loud and demand attention. From you I learned to be quiet.

Thank you to those who created drama in my life. From you I am learning to truly appreciate peace.

Thank you to those who have an overpowering sense of entitlement. From you I am learning to appreciate everything that I have.

Thank you to those who told me to quit. From you I am learning perseverance.

Thank you to those who brag. From you I learn humility.

Thank you to those that lied to me. From you I am learning the importance of the truth.

Thank you to those who are false and phony. From you I am learning the importance of being truthful and genuine.

Thank you to the people who showed me kindness not because I am needy but because you are good.

Thank you to those who extended generosity, for you have enabled me to more openly give to others.

Thank you for those of you that protected me not because I am weak but because you are loyal.

Thank you to those that shared their strength with me during times when I wavered. For you give me the power to be a pillar of strength to someone else.

I am no different from anyone else. I have been hurt. I have felt pain of deceit, the heart break of divorce, cruel disloyalty, and the sting of failure. From that I rise up. Push forward. Continue on. I give thanks to those by my side, and for those that, it seems, turned against me. From everyone whose life has touched mine, I learn. It is easy to be thankful for the great people in your life and to love them. The challenge lies in loving and learning from every body else.

This blog addresses mostly food. Today it is about fruits. The fruits of the spirit.  So I enter this year with gratitude, an open spirit, and prepared to learn more lessons!  I am grateful to everyone that has touched my life and continues to shape the person I am, and the person I am becoming.  So to you I say thank you!

Love. The real soul food.

31 Aug

School is back in session.  Football has started.  That means one thing…summer is rolling into fall.  When seasons change, it’s a new beginning of sorts.  Mother Nature freshens up her Earth.  Time to refresh the soul as well. I reflect on the past, and think about how to improve my future. My journey to love, loyalty, forgiveness, and appreciation continues, as does the journey to discover myself. A goal for my journey is to make it a joyful one. As I sit back and marvel at the obstacles I have overcome and the resulting  strength that has grown within, gratitude washes over me.  So I must say thank you.  Again and again.  There is no denying the gifts.

Thank you to those who told me I couldn’t. From you I am learning that I can.

Thank you to those who gossiped. From you I am learning how to hold my friends dear, and how important it is to keep my mouth shut.

Thank you to those with no faith. From you I am learning that God is central in my life, and that my faith runs deep.

Thank you to those who told me that I am weak. From you I am learning inner strength and confidence. You allow me to dig down to discover that I am stronger than I ever imagined.

Thank you to those that told me I was ugly. From you I am finding my inner beauty.

Thank you to those that put up barriers in my life. From you, I am learning to tear down walls and fight for what I want.

Thank you to those who told me that I am not a good mother. From you I am learning that my commitment to motherhood is beautifully imperfect, and perfectly loving.

Thank you to those that put me second (or more accurately third, fourth or fifth) . From you I am learning that God puts me first.

Thank you to those who are loud and demand attention. From you I am learning the value of being quiet.

Thank you to those who create drama in my life. From you I am learning to truly appreciate peace.

Thank you to those who have that overpowering sense of entitlement. From you I am learning to humble, see the good, and appreciate the little things.

Thank you to those who told me to quit. From you I am learning perseverance.

Thank you to those who brag. From you I learning to be modest.

Thank you to those that lied to me. From you I am learning the importance of the truth.

Thank you to those who are false and phony. From you I am learning the importance of being genuine.

Thank you to the people who showed me kindness not because I am needy but because you are good. Thank you to those who extended generosity, for you have enabled me to more openly give to others. Thank you for those with whom I share friendship, prayerful faith, and comforting touch not only in times of need, but in all times.

Thank you for those of you that protect me not because I am weak but because you are loyal. Thank you to those that share their strength with me when I have none. For you give me the power to be a pillar of strength to someone else. Because of you I can extend the generous love you have shown me to others. After all, it is in giving that we receive.

I am no different from anyone else. I have been hurt. I have felt the pain of deceit, the heart break of cruel disloyalty, and the sting of failure. From that I rise up.  I give thanks to those by my side, and for those that have turned against me. From everyone whose life has touched mine, I continue to learn to love. It is easy to be thankful for the great people in your life and to love them. The challenge lies in loving and learning from those that hurt us.

This blog addresses mostly food. Today it is about fruits. The fruits of the spirit. Food for the soul.  After all, we should strive for progress, not perfection.

Starting line

5 Nov

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start” – Nido Qubein

Some days my spirit feels a little dark.  Everyone has them.  Days when you feel that there is a bulls eye on your forehead, and the hits just keep on coming.  Those days stink.  Luckily, they are few and far between for me, because I just don’t let myself wallow in that kind of junk for long.  Neither should you.

Sure it’s easy to get stuck on the negative. In fact, in some circles I think it is not only acceptable, but popular.  Just think of some teen age girls sitting around talking about how “fat” they are, maybe even calling themselves ugly.    Unfortunately, that is a proven phenomenon with teenage girls.  It is popular in this circle to degrade ones self.  Sad but true.

Every one has crummy days.  Every one has stress.  And it can steal our wellness, our health, and our happiness, if we let it.  Stress has been proven to manifest in the brain and our immune system.  Stress can literally make us sick.  Since we can’t eliminate stress alltogether, it is important to learn how to manage it.

It takes a conscious effort to get out of the adrenaline loading stress triggers in life.  Stress can beat a person down.  It is bad for overall well being.  So reset the clock on stress.  And unlike that popular dieting start date, you don’t have to wait for Monday morning to do it.  Here are a few things that work for me.

Breathing.  This is simple, but I am a breath holder when I get stressed.  I literally have to tell myself to breath.  When I get stressed, I stop and focus on breathing.  Where ever I am, whether it is in the elevator at work, driving in traffic, or cooking dinner, I will take a moment to breath.  I breath in for a count of 4, and out for a count of 7.  You can feel muscles relax when you breath in this manner. And I will do it several times in a row till I feel a good problem releasing exhale.

Take a walk.  Increasing activity triggers your body to release endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.  Endorphins also create a positive feeling in the body.  Who wouldn’t want to experience that?  Get out of your head for a few minutes and just focus on your body.

Face your problems or obstacles head on!  One of the quotes I have posted around me, and I have many, is “Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them.  You will find they haven’t half the strength you think they have“. – Norman Vincent Peale

This quote runs through my mind often.  At times, I can be guilty of turning a problem over in my head and giving it more importance than it really has.  A conscious effort needs to occur to stop that stress increasing cycle.  And it is like anything.  The more you practice it, the easier it becomes.  So I practice this often.  Don’t let something grow larger than it is…face it fast.   In other words, just nip it in the bud and move on.

Eat well.  Healthy food not only helps you feel great, but boosts the immune system as well.  Shore up your immunity so that when stress hits, there is some reserve power in it.  And if you blow it, have a little amnesia, forget about it, and grab something healthy to eat.  Do not fall into that trap of “waiting for Monday to begin again” with healthy eating habits.  Get back on track fast.

Pray or meditate.  This is a biggie for me.  I am a woman of strong faith, and I am lucky enough to be able to share my faith with many of my friends.  Pray or meditate until it rests in your heart.  That is how behavior can change.  Live it.  Actions speak faith more than words do, so believe in something. Really believe, really live it.  This is a game changer.  It can reduce stress by empowerment!

I should add sleep to this recipe for stress relief, but I would be a hypocrite if I did.  After all, these are actions that help me.  Unfortunately, I am not a great sleeper.  I think I live with that deficit in my life automatically.   Oh sure, I can fall asleep at a decent time, but I am a night time waker/worrier.  Then I start arguing with myself about the dumb things I am worried about.  After all, most things we worry about never happen, but I get caught in this loop at 3 a.m.  Hey, what can I say?  We all have things that we need to work on.

Don’t wait until Monday to start reducing stress levels, or to do anything positive in your life.  Every minute of every day is a new starting line.  Crummy things happen, we all have bad days.  How quickly we turn them around is the key!

Precious Time

15 Sep

The beginning of the weekend is ripe with opportunity.  My weekends are spent working, grocery shopping, studying, cleaning, socializing, and tackling the never ending laundry piles that teenagers generate.  But Friday afternoons let me dream a little bit.  I think of other things, fun things, frivolous things, that can fill my weekend.

I love to think about getting cute cloths on (do I still have any?) and heading out for dinner with friends, amazing them with my well rested charming self.  Uummm, yup, that’s not gonna happen!  Friday nights bring exhaustion, something easy tossed into the oven, and an early bedtime (if I am lucky!).  Not what I fantasize about while sitting at work Friday!

Fast forward to Saturday morning.  This Saturday morning brought a sweet surprise.  My teenage daughter wanted to take a brisk cardio walk with her old mom.  What a treasure of time.  Walking with my daughter on a crisp fall morning was healthy for our hearts and good for our souls!  We walked fast enough to raise the heart rate, and slow enough to chat.  She didn’t even seem to mind that my  running pants made me look like Bozo the clown.

We talked about everything,  like how the sun on our skin was generating healthy Vitamin D.  Cute boys at school.  A bonfire that she was going to Saturday night.  An upcoming golf match for her school golf team.  My nutrition classes.  The upcoming holiday season.   It was a sweet treat to have these moments on Saturday to connect with one of my children in such a low key way.

Sunday morning coffee and paper reading are a cherished part of my weekend.  That first cup of piping hot coffee with the front page prior to heading out to worship is truly delish.  But even that paled in comparison to my Saturday morning with my daughter.

We often forget to just take time for the gentle moments that life offers us.  But they are ripe with spiritual renewal and must be savored!  These moments, too, hold a wealth of positive health benefits for us if we let them.  Relax, step back, and forget about the vacuuming, the errands, and the obligations.  Let the pure organic time unfold, and just take a walk!