Blog

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

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

WE I.D.!!   Do we?

I. D.  …..can refer to an ID card or document that verifies we are who we say we are, user ID’s  for our personal technology devices, the ID number of a vehicle etc. Literally, it means identity.

We all have various types of identities: work, family, emotional, spiritual, community…… just to name a few. Perhaps, the most important identity we have is our authentic identity. That core of self that does not wear a mask; that self that is beneath our darkest fears; that raw emotion that is buried deep in our heart. Thus, the authenticity of our deepest being. Sometimes, it takes a lifetime to find our true identity, the type that is really authentic; and a lifetime plus to allow our true identity to bubble up to the surface of our daily lives. There are hurts, pains, wounds, traumas and life experiences, as well as the people in our lives that shape our identity. Sorting it all out can be a daunting task that will evolve during our journey.

I.D……yes, we must work at finding our true identity; the one that shapes our PURPOSE and brings us the greatest JOY in our lives.

WE need to I.D. …….every day, every week, every month, always. How can you I.D. Today?

Maya Angelou says it well: “We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror? And, according to our light, according to our understanding, according to our courage, we will have to say yea or nay——and rise!”

 

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

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

A lighthouse near the banks of the shore or at sea is the guiding light to bring ships to safe harbor, amidst rushing waters, reefs, or other dangers that are in the path of safety. Before lighthouses, our ancestors built fires high up on the hills to guide the ships, warning of dangers, guiding those at sea.

So it is with fathers or the important people in our lives whose role it is to be our father figure. Sometimes, they don’t show up when we are born, but may present themselves later in our lives, biological fathers or maybe not.  Sometimes, the going may be rough until that father figure appears. Sometimes, they may disappoint us deeply, but they are still our father. We may have to grow to the age of being able to forgive.

These figures are the guiding light to help us on our life path, to warn us of dangers, to show us a safer road, to help us avoid the pitfalls that could crush us, to hold us up when we fall. They can be our superhero’s one day and the next week the strictest person of discipline we have ever encountered. One day we may admire them as our role model and the next week we might wish we had our best friend’s father. Through it all, the one we call ‘father’ in our life is human and will make mistakes; yet, he means only the best for us and will go above and beyond to bring PURPOSE, JOY and POSITIVES into our lives. He is only a man, with his own limitations and skills. And sometimes, it takes us a long long time before we can acknowledge his  role in our lives……maybe not until one day when we become a father.

To each of you who are fathers, father figures, step fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers: May you have a wonderful day of celebrating you, counting your blessings and knowing that you are appreciated and loved. As a father, you may never know how many children you influence, just by your actions and your commitments. You may never know how many lives you touch.

This quote reflects my father. “My father didn’t tell me how to live: he lived, and let me watch him do it”  (Clarence B. Kelland).

 

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

TODAY FIND JOY…….

In these days of uncertainty, sheltering at home, and the unusual ways we are spending our days, I often find myself searching.
My heart and mind are searching for understanding, for real truth, for comfort, and for something deep inside I can’t put a name to. I don’t know what it is, but I can sense it and feel it.

This morning in one of my prayer group meditations, this attachment was waiting for me. As listened, it brought tears to my eyes but some sense of joy to my heart. I share it with you and hope that you will also feel a sense of calm and joy.

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

TODAY IS TODAY:

It is one rainy, sunless, damp unsettling day with little motivation in my heart! That was my sentiment at eight o’clock, noon, and I find it still lurking around the corner of my day at four o’clock. So, I decided to write and share.

First, looking at the picture of a plaque my sister gave me years ago, I see that this day was supposed to be just like this. It could be no other way.  Last week, I was quite productive in organizing, accomplishing and re-settling in my home, a contented feeling most of the week. Maybe then I  needed to experience this type of day to more fully appreciate the better days/weeks. So, today is today and that does not mean it will be more of the same tomorrow. I can chose and orchestrate tomorrow!

Second, this is just plain a very weird time in life with experiences that are new to most of us, unless you are in your nineties and survived WW II.  If you are in that group and are reading my blog, I congratulate and thank you for your contributions during that unbelievable period of history. My father, no longer here on earth, was a WW II survivor, but he never talked about most of his experiences. As I have become more interested in that time period by reading about it and watching films, I am sure my father held much closely in his heart.

Those things being said, I want to share with you a quote that was in one of my emails the other day from a company I have used. The quote is from Jean Paul Sartre who lived during the WW II period in Paris, a French philosopher. He said: “Look back, look forth, look close, there may be more prosperous times, more intelligent times, more spiritual times, more magical times, and more happy times, but this one, this small moment in the history of the universe, this is ours. And let’s do everything with it. Everything.”

This pandemic is in our time; we are living it; we are constrained by it; some days we are consumed by the news of it; we are learning from it; we are praying for an end to it; we are pinning our faith on better times. This too will become part of history, part of the fabric of our lives; we do not have a choice in that matter. But we can do ‘everything’ with it today and tomorrow. What is your ‘everything’ you will do?

PJP

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

LONELY OR ALONE: YOU CAN CHOSE

In the last few months due to the pandemic,  I am sure we have all experienced a little bit of both the above. We are alone much of the time as we social distance and at times this may induce the feeling of being lonely. During this time, it is so important to take good care of not only our physical, but also our emotional and spiritual health.

When things in life change so rapidly and so counter to the life we knew and understood how to navigate, it can be overwhelming. Yes, overwhelming to the point that we really have to work at lifting our spirits, even if we are by nature a positive, joy filled  person. It is important to take those feelings, bless them for what they are (they are real),  let  them simmer in our minds, and then give way to a different place in our thinking/feeling. As with most feelings brought about by unwelcome changes, they will be temporary. Temporary can be defined on a time line differently by everyone. But we do make our own ‘temporary’. We get to chose.

As I have walked this journey in my own life, I know that I can still thank the Lord every morning and night for the gifts and the graces I have been given, have not lost, and wish to pass on to others. Maybe it is just a phone call, a long overdue handwritten note, a ‘hello’ text, the sending of a small gift or dropping something at a friend’s front door that I can do today. I have always found that when I do things for others, my own emotional being  feels better.

May you chose to use your alone or lonely to lift someone else up, especially now during this unprecedented journey we all are living.

PJP

 

 

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

TO STAY OR GO?

Life can be full of decisions, choices and of course consequences! So often we have to decide to stay the course or create a new path…….whether it involves friendships, family, jobs, health or relationships. It ‘s like taxes: you have to pay your dues!

The good part about the decisions and choices is that they give us new opportunities to write a different story……not one involving the past, but the creation of a new life story. Sometimes, it seems like an endless process doesn’t it and the older I get, the more I am trying to focus on the process, not the destination.

What is interesting is that there are times you start the first chapter of this new story thinking you will go in a certain direction; then something pops up, like a rock or a mud puddle,  that you sort of stumble on or through, and everything changes! Really?? And now what you say?? Well, truth is these path changes will be what we chose to make of them…….either they will push us to a new comfort zone or pull us backward. The choice is always within us. We have the power! Others can tell us what they think or what we ought to do, but ultimately it comes down to our own personal discovery through the choice.

Abraham Lincoln said : “The best way to predict your future is to create it”. So, I say be proactive, control your thinking to lead you to the most desirable future you can envision. When that future moves from a present reality to the past, it will be time to recreate, once again a process which can evolve into a new most desirable future. That is the beauty of life……..it just keeps evolving!

Happy creating your new script!

PJP Continue reading “PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES”

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

WHERE ARE YOU ON THE ROAD?

As we walk this path of life, sometimes we will be in the sunshine of good times and all is going well. Other times, we may be in the shade; maybe we are resting or maybe we are not able to find our way back to the sun because something is blocking our vision. Is it an actual obstacle or just our perception that it is blocking our moving forward?

Who is on your journey with you? Sometimes, we find ourselves in front of our journey partner and sometimes we are behind. We might have to slow our pace and allow them to get to where we are. Or perhaps, we have to work on ourselves to catch up. It isn’t a race or a competition; no, it is a journey of collaboration by design…..to be truly with and present to the journey. This will be the heart of our story.

On my journey in 2020, I have chosen the word GRACE to accompany and guide me. It is interesting that after much thought in searching and choosing this word, nearly every day at least once it comes up in something that I read! One of the things I want to experience is to acknowledge and use the graces I am given each day to the best of my ability.

How is your 2020 journey thus far?

PJP

PURPOSE, JOY AND POSITIVES

WELCOME NEW YEAR 2020!!

Here we go……new days, new weeks, new months, new year AND a new decade!!

Where were you last year at this time mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually?  How did you progress into and end the year 2019 in these areas?

What did you let go of last year  that was toxic in your  life or no longer was positively purposeful?

What did you accomplish that you planned or what was achieved that you did not plan?

Did you take a new path at a cross road on your life journey?

These are just some of the questions that we ask ourselves as we contemplate stepping out of the comfort of 2019 and into the unknowns of 2020.

When it is all said and done, we all have the positives and the negatives that we remember from 2019. Being grateful for both, and the silver linings that emerged from even the negatives, should be a part of our reflections. Sometimes, yes, we do have to search for those silver linings, but they are there.

Happy 2020 to each of you and Blessings for a healthy, peaceful and life filled with your purpose and joy.

PJP