PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

GRACE:

There are several meanings of the word GRACE, one of which is ‘unmerited Divine assistance given to humans’ (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). It is freely given and filled with numerous blessings. It cannot be earned, stolen, nor is it based on our worthiness. GRACE …. just is simply GRACE with no attachments, surrounding us, waiting for us to be aware of GRACE, experience it, and use it.

I recently had lunch with a dear friend and we were talking about prayer and how we have developed our prayer life and changes we have added/deleted over time. She reminded me that we should include asking for GRACE in our daily prayers. As I pondered our conversation on the drive home, I realized that I have sort of been taking for granted that I am praying for GRACE automatically in my prayers, that  it is an all inclusive deal in prayer.  However, as I thought more about this, I realized I am wrong about that. I need to specifically ask for GRACE …….and so I started doing just that. It has been interesting to me to note that a few things have happened in the last couple of weeks that I believe were the direct result of the Lord answering my prayer for GRACE.

Our response to GRACE is to live our days here on earth showing GRACE to others with a sense of gratitude, generosity and kind gentleness with those we come in contact with. Our heart and soul can be filled with as much GRACE as we can be aware of. There is no limit. But we must indeed return it to others in our world and beyond in all ways.

“Life is measured in love and positive contributions and moments of grace” ( Carly Fiorina, American business woman and author).

Write down your moments of GRACE each day for five days and then review at the end of that time. I am sure you will find “Amazing Grace”.

 

PJP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

ARE YOU READY?

Are you ready for…………..work, dinner, class, to work out, new projects, a new season, or CHANGE?

Change in our lives happens whether we invite it or not; change can be outside in our environment or within our beings, sometimes both. Change can be temporary or it can be permanent; this involves our own personal choices as to whether the change is limited or remains.

Let’ s talk about the permanent changes in our lives, expected or unexpected, which can be viewed as negative or positive, depending on many factors. Sometimes change involves required healing and this can create opportunities in time and space for us that would not have come about without the change. Interestingly enough, change happens every day because when we open our eyes each morning, that day is a new reality to create, born out of change. How this is manifested lies within our power as to the manner in which we address the change. Shifting out of our comfort zone and ‘the way we always have done things’ is not easy by any means, but as Judith Viorst said there are at times ‘necessary losses and that is how we grow’. That shift is possible for each of us, but we have to be willing to do the work to see the progress.

Yesterday, I attended a Day of Autumn Prayer and one of the leaders asked us to contemplate on an important change that had occurred within the last year, negative or positive, but to focus and evaluate the GOOD that came out of that change. Wow! On my drive home, I enlisted my thoughts to go to a devastating loss this past year and I was able to bring up five GOOD outcomes from that change in my life. I will be journaling later today because I think I may have just scratched the surface of the GOOD. I invite you to do the same, as I found this to be an enlightening experience.

I will end with a quote directly from one of the leaders of the group, Fr. Ted Lawson:  “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday”. I think many of our worries of today are about the changes in our next day, so this quote left me with much to ponder.

PJP

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

WAITING vs. PATIENCE:

This is a fact of life is it not? When we were younger we waited to become a teenager, then to get the driver’s license, then to turn a legal 21, then to find the right career, partner, first house, to have a family, to get the big promotion, also  waiting in line at the grocery store or the DVM. Even the grapes in the crate above are waiting to be processed into delicious wine! Waiting escapes no one!

Sometimes, the waiting we experience throughout our lives can turn to frustration or even disappointment, especially if we have been waiting a long time for a certain event and the outcome isn’t what we expected or wanted. So, let’s consider an alternative to the feeling of continually waiting…..patience. As my dear mother use to say to me (and often): patience is a virtue!

Patience doesn’t mean that we become powerless and give up, rather, it can be empowering in that we wait, observe and determine when and how to act. One author, Judith Orloff, M.D.  in her article The Power of Patience (September, 2012)  presents the idea of patience as a “form of compassion, a re-attuning to intuition, a way to emotionally redeem your center in a world filled with frustration”.  She further says that she is defining patience as an “active state, a choice to hold tight until intuition says….make your move. It means waiting your turn, knowing your turn will come.”

Easier said than done sometimes, right? However, in life timing is everything and that means you have to ‘wait’ till the correct opportunity presents itself, trusting that the ‘wait’ will be worth it. The key word….trusting the wait.

I also think that maybe sometimes we ‘wait’ on the wrong things…….maybe there are just some things that we should not be waiting for. Worth a few moments in thought I think. Maybe in the big scope of life, a few things we thought were worth the wait, just really don’t matter.

“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience”  Ralph Waldo Emerson.

PJP

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

INSECURITY……

Self-doubt, anxiety over decisions, questioning our worth, wondering if we are ‘good enough’…..these would all fall under the umbrella of insecurity.  They hang in the back of our consciousness and come forth when we find ourselves out of our comfort zone. Perhaps, we start a new job but perceive ourselves as not competent and wish we had never signed that contract in the first place. Feelings of being fraudulent surface daily as we open that door. Maybe, we sense that others are judging us in various situations that we have not excelled to our own expectations. Or possibly, we just take note in negativity that others are so much better than we are in _________________. Fill in the blank.

Where do these feelings come from and why won’t they go away? There can be many reasons as to the cause of these feelings. Remember, your feelings are valid, only you can change those. Examples of few of the root causes could be any number of things, such as, anxiety, being constantly berated as a young child, limited positive talk in the household, being bullied during school age years, or verbal/emotional/physical abuse in your life as either a child or an adult. These feelings then perpetuate throughout life and steal away our own personal self power.

Changing our self-talk, taking risks and succeeding, being decisive and trusting in our own power are steps we can take to build our inner strength. There is no better feeling than stepping out, making a decision, sticking to it and getting to the finish line. This boosts our confidence and is a great beginning to upgrading our self worth and ‘yes, I am enough status’.

“When you feel insecure or like you don’t measure up—remind yourself of how far you’ve come. And in the moment you’ll realize you’ve climbed mountains and can overcome anything.” (Brittany Burgunder, Author, Certified Professional Coach)
 

Purpose, Joy and Positives

GRACE:

Grace lies within us, always. It is in our souls, hearts and every cell of our being. It is defined as ‘unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration  or sanctification’ (Merriam -Webster).

Recently,  one of my  daughters and I were talking about aging and we agreed that to age gracefully is a worthwhile endeavor. Ahhhhhh…….yes, to be able to accept the changes that transcend our minds and bodies as we move through the decades; to look in the mirror and feel content with our reflection; to understand the wisdom of life’s experiences, positive and negative; to be genuinely accepting of those around us who can still do more; and to not feel anxious about things to come. Challenges will always be there, young or aging; it is all in how you chose to manage the challenges.

I think my mother, who lived to a remarkable 94 years of age, nailed it. She said that an important part of life was about having something to look forward to. I would embellish that thought not only to include planning and visualizing positive activities, but to also keep our minds focused on gratitude for our many blessings and work with where we are in life. Stay on today and make it a great one!!!  It is all about attitude and that is a choice we can make each morning.

“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.”  (French Proverb)

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

SUMMER:

Here in the Midwest, until a week ago we were still asking  ‘where is summer?’ Today’s temperature in the high eighties, with a lot of humidity, says summer may have arrived.

Summer is my all time favorite season, heat, humidity and everything that goes with it, except for mosquitoes. My favorite place is on a beach with a good book. I will share with you a few books that I have read in the last few months that are worth taking a look at.

The  first is  The Nightingale, by Katrina Hannah, which is a story about two sisters during WWII who each in their own manner, as well as their estranged father, work diligently saving thousands of lives while France was being bombed.

The second is Where the Crawdads Sing by  Delia Owens. This was a real page turner and I read it in one night! (It was a really late night for sure). A young sister and brother under the age of ten are abandoned by their father after the mother’s death. Soon after due to abuse, the brother leaves the sister to fend for herself. It is the story of true reliance, survival, grit determination, self learning, and lasting friendship which eventually turns to love for the girl.

The third which I just finished yesterday is A Beach Wish, by Shelley Noble which is set on the ocean front town in New England. The primary character, Zoe, finds herself in unfamiliar territory to complete her mother’s final wishes and a whole new family she knew nothing of. Great read.

The final one to share with you is The Dream Daughter, by Diane Chamberlain. This is a great read especially if you enjoy time travel. Again, this is a war time story with a wonderful very special ending. I loved it!

So, happy reading wherever you are in your summer!

 

PJP

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

PERFECTIONISM …TO BE OR NOT TO BE, THAT IS THE QUESTION:

Multi-tasking and managing lots of ‘stuff’ in life…….schedules, time, commitments, family life happenings, money, bills, health and our work domain have become the norm. Yet, we Type A personalities try to multi-task while always striving for perfectionism; but in reality, long term perfectionism IS NOT POSSIBLE! We drive ourselves crazy trying to keep it all together and everything in perfect, absolute perfect order.

It is certainly good to be organized in life, but that does not mean we have to be perfect. Are there options to getting it all completed and not everything perfect? Yes, I think there is an option, but it lies not out there; it lies in our thought process. The process that starts out like: “you know self, this project can be done a little differently involving a little less time and still be perfectly acceptable. It can be GOOD ENOUGH!”

An option is not having an all or nothing mindset. There is a lot in between all and nothing, and that is where our change in mindset lies……..in between. Learning to find that happy delicate balance between ‘this is good enough’ and ‘this still has work to become perfect’ is a process in and of itself. One has to let go of doing it until it is just perfect. Honestly, most of the time, no one will ever know that we stopped three steps ahead of our ideal perfect. Because, guess what? It turned out great and everyone loved it. Our stubborn steadfast ideals of perfect keep us from celebrating the much needed little victories we have in life. I will be the first to admit, I have gotten much better at this ‘good enough’ thing in life as I have aged. Maybe it has to do with that I have realized  I have only so much time and I want to make it count with lots of memories, not how long I spent perfecting something.

Anne Wilson Schaef, author of various meditation books, states it well: “Perfection is self-abuse of the highest order.”

Where do you fall on that continuum of all or nothing?

PJP