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

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

Capable of Becoming

“You are not what has happened to you. You are not what you have accomplished. You are not even who you are today or who you have become so far. You are who and what you are still capable of becoming.” (Matthew Kelly, I Heard God Laugh).

I read this in my morning meditations the other day and I found myself filled with inspiration. I know you have read other posts in which I have talked about the past………letting it be, not dwelling on it, learning from it, and keep moving forward. I have also talked about living in today and practicing intentional living in the moment. Albeit, even though our lives are filled with little and big accomplishments, it is exciting to know and believe there is more to come! However, I believe that may incorporate the past and the present: choosing what you want to use from your past, capitalizing on your current situation, and developing/becoming more.

The clematis above has a past of questionable growth…..I almost removed it because I did not think it was going to grow. Capitalizing on a little fertilizer, sun, rain, time and patience, the plant took off. Today, it has become ‘more’ as it has beautiful purple flowers on it and several buds of new growth.

Here are some questions to spur moments of ‘capable becoming’:

  1. Dream and brain storm……take money out of the picture and ask yourself ‘what would I like to do if I didn’t have to rely on X amount of dollars’? Think big, then adjust the money part.
  2. Make a list of the five most important things that you enjoy, then prioritize them.
  3. Walk and pick one of the things listed in # 2 to talk to your self about. Let the thoughts flow; non are eliminated during this exercise.
  4. From these thoughts, pick a doable idea and commit to writing it on a post it note; place it where you will see it every day.
  5. Mark the day on the calendar with a large green circle (for go for it) that you commit to the first step of implementing your idea.
  6. At the end of your week of implementing, celebrate and share your ‘capable becoming’ with someone, maybe also journal about it.

This practice can be enlightening when during your brainstorming a really new and great thought appears, action is taken and flowers start to bloom. Happy becoming!

PJP

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

SOME THINGS ARE FOREVER…SOME THINGS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE:

As you can note from one of my flower garden pictures, some are perennials and others are annuals. Perennials are forever (at least we plan that they will be), and annuals go away, but you can replace them next year. So be it, as it is in life.

Turning points in our lives are so salient and how we end and start new chapters is just as salient. Moments that we will never forget, like a ‘perennial’. Yet some, we work at forgetting and reach that level of hope that we will never have to experience them again, maybe replacing them with new ‘annuals’.  Then we glance over our shoulder, move on, and start writing the new chapter, scripting new paths and building our perennials, wanting to get it ‘right’ this time.

However, we learn from annuals…….how much sun and water, how deep to plant, or when in the season to let them go and put something more hardy in its place. So true also about things in life; we have to let go, accept, and build anew. It takes wisdom to know which things, their level of positive or negative, and when to accept ‘it is not something that was supposed to be’. Then purposefully move on, with the operative word being purposefully. That is our challenge whether it be regarding a job, a relationship, an illness, a past hurt, a personal behavior or a way of thinking.

Two of my favorite quotes:  John F. Kennedy: “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

Helen Keller: “True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity  to a worthy purpose.”

PJP