PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

TABLE OF LIFE:

“Time decides who you meet in life, your heart decides who you want in your life, and your behavior decides who stays in your life”  (Ziad K. Abdelnour).

As I move quickly to the close of another year of life and embrace the new year, I have been  reflecting on this quote I read a few years ago.  It is so true isn’t it? Timing of meeting people, friends, partners or acquaintances is just that….timing.  Although, I personally believe that you don’t meet anyone by accident. I believe people are placed in our lives for a PURPOSE….maybe we will or maybe we won’t ever really know that PURPOSE while here on earth. That part is mostly  irrelevant.

After we meet people, yes, the heart does help you decide who will sit at the table of your life. We ask ourselves: How do I feel about who this person is and how they present themselves? What is our connection? Is this person a POSITIVE in my life? Are we complimentary to each other as friends, partners or acquaintances?

Life goes on with our chosen people in life, but our behavior shapes the relationships. Behavior eventually determines who remains at our table of life. Over and over again, I find this to be true.  If someone’s behavior is less than kind, selfish in nature, with undermining PURPOSE, we would do well to rethink if this person should remain in our lives. Certainly, if someone’s behavior is hurting us emotionally or physically, then we must detach and say good-bye, no matter what the immediate cost may be. The long-term benefit will be greater JOY in our lives and a much more enjoyable meal.

These ideas I share today certainly are not necessarily easy to do, but worth a good long thought. May we carefully invite those to our table of life to serve the common good of all.

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

BY PJP

MORE GRATITUDE BEGETS GOOD ATTITUDE:

This such an important part of starting a day that will leave you feeling satisfied and content at the end of that day. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines gratitude as simply, yet as complex, as ”the state of being grateful”. Okay, is that an emotion? no. Is it a feeling? not really. I think of it as a ‘way of being’ that is a conscious choice each day as we put our feet to the floor.

Some mantras to encourage gratitude:

I choose to remember the blessing of waking up to a new day filled with opportunities to create a better-version- of myself (Matthew Kelly’s original term).

I choose to live in the moment of today and nurture it as if it was my first and my last.

I choose to pay attention to those around me and provide encouragement and compassion.

I choose to forgive and to be humble.

I choose to appreciate my family and friends and to serve where needed with a smile.

I choose to honor this day, myself, my past, present and open my heart to the future.

Developing a strong gratitude awareness practice can take time and like any other new habit you wish to acquire, you have to CHOSE it and do it everyday, until it becomes a natural part of you. The benefits of more gratitude are stated in many different articles and they include physical, psychological and social benefits. I will end with a quote from Harvard Health Publishing:

Expressing gratitude helps people feel positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

With gratitude to my readers,

PJP

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

OPTIMISM:

If you are an optimistic person, you most likely look at the glass as ‘half full’, tend to find the silver lining of events that may be less than great, are engaged positively in life, and are in general a positive joyful person. There is a fair amount of research that indicates our health is impacted significantly when our emotions are positive which is closely linked to a lowered stress hormone cortisol, thereby, supporting greater immune response and reduced times of illness.

Dr. Andrew Weil offers proactive suggestions to incorporating a more optimistic way of being: (www.drweil.com)

”Eat a more healthy diet; exercise and get adequate deep sleep; write in a gratitude journal; breathing exercises to calm ourselves during stressful events; confide in someone or even seek professional help; let go of the small stuff; find humor in difficulties (finding the silver lining are my words); and relinquish control and go with the flow.”

There are also some essential oils that you can use that support a sense of calm, especially if you put a small drop and rub it into the middle of each foot. The two I use most are from Young Living called Peace/Calming and Joy. ( I am not a distributor so no plug here for a product, just sharing info). There are many companies that carry similar products.

Have a joyful day and think POSITIVE!

PJP

LOVE:

I believe that this is an appropriate post for the upcoming event of Valentine’s Day.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy; It does not boast; It is not proud. It does not dishonor others; It is not self-seeking; It is not easily angered; It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. LOVE NEVER FAILS.”

1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-8

After this quote from the Bible, my favorite quote is from Leo Buscaglia:

“What love we’ve given, we’ll have forever. What love we fail to give, will be lost for all eternity.”

May you each have not only a loved filled day, but a love filled life with PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES.

PJP

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

WORD FOR THE YEAR:

Welcome to the New Year of 2021!!

Three years ago I transitioned from selecting resolutions for a New Year to choosing a word for the year. The first year it was TRUST and last year it was GRACE. As usual, I have sifted through my brain since the last few days of 2020 to pick a word that has meaning to me. Last year it took me until January 9; this year about the same! Slow process. Drum roll………my word for 2021 is ‘NOWNESS’.

I came across NOWNESS in something I was reading and it spoke to me for these reasons. First, my life like many of yours, I am sure has been filled with many transitions during the last year. For me, it has been a couple of years with one transition after another………..some I chose and others were not by choice. Nevertheless, transition came and I find myself in yet another transition period. I have also found myself over the last few months with unwelcome thoughts about so many future things……..will I maintain health, will my family be safe, will my finances hold up, will I work next year, will I be able to finish the major house projects I envision. And on and on and on it went every few days. I would have to add that this type of thinking has not really ever been an issue for me. I am positive; I have great faith. Why then this new train of thought? I have no clue as to ‘why’ , but I do know that I am putting a halt to this mindless chatter in my brain. It starts with my NOWNESS spirit for 2021.

  • I have pledged that I will stay in the moment of today, each day
  • I will not give traction to the ‘will I….’ thought
  • I will think instead of the JOY that this moment in this day brings
  • I will breathe deep and enjoy what is here now

Here is a poem, by Claire Boot, writer, that expresses the word well:

hereness and nowness:

hold the hereness

know the nowness

not the thereness thenness

nor the ifness whenness

let go of whatness whereness whyness

leave off the howness whoness whichness

hereness and nowness

sense the Presence that presents as present in the present

take it

it’s a present

Thank you from,

PJP

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

BABY BOY:

December twenty-fourth, the eve upon which we await the promise of the Baby Boy’s birth;

The shepherds journeyed far, following the Bethlehem Star, looking for the inn door, only to find a tiny Baby Boy in a manger, on a stable floor.

For us all, rich or poor, strong or weak, the weary, the helpless, the challenged and the meek;

The Baby Boy came quietly, after the journey, in unfamiliar surroundings, amidst the shepherds, yet He is Deity.

The Baby Boy, newly born, quietly brought peace, love, joy and hope to our world in many a form.

Reach for His tiny hand to lead you, protect you, and carry you when you you fall. Hold Him close to your heart; the reason for this night may you often recall.

Note: This is my original Christmas 2020 poem. Merry Christmas to all.

PJP

PUPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

INNER PEACE

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” (St. Frances de Sales)

This week begins my favorite season: Advent. Yes, I love Christmas with the beauty of the decorations and lights, the traditions, the family……. oh, and also the special foods! But my favorite part of this season is the preparation time, lighting the four candles of Advent, waiting for, and knowing WHO it is we celebrate on Christmas…..the birth of Jesus. The four themes of Advent represented with the candles are: hope, peace, love and joy.

Each year I try to find new ways to use my preparation time. This year I came across a quote from Bishop Robert Barron: “your being increases in the measure that you give it away”. I decided this would be a nice way for me to travel on my journey this Advent. As much as I can, I look for opportunities to ‘give’ of myself to others, family, friends, acquaintances and even those I do not know. It will be my time, my listening ear, my intentional special prayer, my help, my attention, maybe even a small gift. I know I won’t find opportunities every day, but I will find them many times during this season I am sure. This will be my calming and quieting my spirit.

PJP

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

CHOOSING GRATITUDE:

Just as the sun sets in this simple serene last moment of the day, we can chose how we begin and end our day. As I have written about before in my blog, for a very long time, I have chosen to begin each day by vocally saying my ‘gratitudes’ and prayer. Recently, I read about being grateful in advance for those things/people who will cross our paths the next day. I had to stop and think about that and decide if this was something I wanted to incorporate at the end of my day. The answer was YES, and so I have as I wrap up my day, thinking about tomorrow.

Choosing to be grateful is a conscious decision and can be a way to turn a negative challenge for us into a life giving gratitude, an intentional quest to find the good in an otherwise difficult situation. This is not easy!!! I repeat, this is not easy. I think it requires adjusting our mindset on what is really important, given any situation. There will always be difficulties, tragedies, crisis, and you name it because that is life! Yep, it happens doesn’t it?? Sometimes, it even feels like a tsunami! I don’t want to trivialize switching the mindset; maybe it is more like baby steps on finding that path of gratitude when the tsunami hits. Baby steps are positive and move us in the right direction. Our first step is to make the choice, the choice to find some part of the pain/loss/challenge that we are so grateful for that we know if it had not been a part of our lives, we would have missed the gift.

May you each feel the tender warmth of a grateful heart today, tomorrow and always.

PJP

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

FUNDAMENTAL HAPPINESS:

We all long for happiness at our core, especially during these trying times of 2020, with its challenges and so much being out of our control. At times, true happiness can seem so elusive and just out of reach. In other life chapters, happiness feels like it exudes from our being. Happiness means different things to each person in their own unique understanding of it. I recently listened to a podcast given by Dominick Albano titled “Fundamental Theory of Happiness”. Here are the four fundamentals of happiness he discusses.

First, when we become dissatisfied with things, think about making some sort of small sacrifice each day. For example, pass on the second cup of coffee, skip dessert, read something positive instead of watching the movie, call an old friend, reach out to help someone.

Second, deepen your perception by having a daily time of silence…..no Alexa playing, TV going, podcast cuing up, phone ringing, washer going……complete silence. Several years ago, I began the new habit of the first 15-30 minutes of my day being devoted to just sitting in silence, either outside or in my resting space. It really does change your perception as you tune in to your inner most thoughts.

Albano’s third point is called the Permanent Principle. Think of something that has to do with your purpose and how permanent that is in your life. He states that the more permanent something is, the more it relates to your purpose.

Finally, the fourth point is to live with purpose and ON PURPOSE. Something he discusses here is having a daily affirmation. The action he speaks of connected to this point is to be generous with love, starting with Our Lord, others and ourselves.

Where are you on your personal happiness continuum in this chapter of your life? Do you want to move the mark to the right? How can you do that?

Wishing you each HAPPINESS!

PJP

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

WISDOM:

A few weeks ago at Mass one of the readings was about Solomon’s answer when the Lord asked him what he could give him. What did Solomon want from the Lord? Solomon asked Him for “a listening heart to judge your people and to distinguish between good and evil”(1 Kings 3: 9). Simply, Solomon did not ask for wealth, power, or a long life. No he asked for wisdom. This greatly pleased the Lord.

The homily that followed and my thoughts about applying it to my own life gave me pause for reflection. First, I had to understand that by asking for wisdom, all the other things Solomon needed would be provided for because he had the gift of wisdom and could discern well. He would want for nothing, absolutely nothing. Second, I began to think about how to revise my own prayer requests. It has been enlightening for me.

My prayers and meditations usually start with gratitudes, a daily reading from a scripture reflection, specific prayers for others in my life, and then prayer requests. For some time, I have been requesting resolution to a major issue in my life; for the Lord to ‘fix it’, along with other requests for healing and solutions to life’s general dilemmas. Same requests, done in pretty much the same verse daily. However, my light bulb moment while driving one day the following week after this Mass and homily, presented itself. MAYBE I AM REQUESTING THE WRONG THINGS! Yes, I should be asking for wisdom and wisdom alone.

Thus, I have changed the way I end my prayer time and I ask only for wisdom. I believe that with wisdom, I will be shown what action I personally need to take in finding solutions and healing. I also know that having wisdom will lead me to the right choices, positive actions for others put in my life, and a greater purpose.

May the gift of wisdom be your guide on this journey.

PJP