Choose To Shine  #MondayMusings

Choose To Shine #MondayMusings

Often we think of all the ‘what-ifs’ and ‘could have beens’ ‘should have beens’ and allow them to prevent us from being happy in the present moment. I think if we all learned to  choose to shine in all situations, we would be so much happier.

The author, Sue Monk Kidd writes the story about her daughter, coming home from school in early December, telling her mother she got one of the great parts in the Nativity Play.
“What part did you get?”
“I’m the Star of Bethlehem!” the daughter says proudly.
“Well, what will you do?” Sue asks.
“I just stand there and shine.”

Choose To Shine

I choose
to live by choice, not by luck
to choose to focus today,  not look back on yesterday
to be grateful for all I have,  not yearn for more
to make lasting changes, not never-ending excuses
to listen to the wisdom of my heart, not the opinions of people who don’t matter

I choose
to make a difference, but not be used
to reach out in love, but not be taken for granted
to listen with understanding, but not be drawn into drama.
I choose to be creative
I choose to be brave
I choose to live in the Light
I choose to shine

Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” ― Anne Lamott

choose to shine

pic via Karenika

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Did 2016 Live Up To Your Expectations? #MondayMusings

Did 2016 Live Up To Your Expectations? #MondayMusings

Did 2016 live up to your expectations? Even as I start to answer, I hear my inner voice, rephrasing the question to ask ‘Did you live up to your expectations of all you wanted to be and do in 2016?
And the answer comes back to me loud and clear : No.

Is that cause enough to be disappointed in myself? Yes.
Am I going to wallow in guilt and beat myself up? No.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last few years, it is to accept myself faults and all. I’ve also learnt to live in the moment and be much more forgiving.

Am I making excuses for myself? No way. I don’t need to and don’t want to.

Does that mean that I’m not going to plan and dream for the next year? Absolutely not. Stay tuned for my word of the year linkup.

Here’s something that I found that I keep telling myself.

“Even at the moment of your failure, right then, you are beautiful … you don’t know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That’s your beauty.” — Lidia Yuknavitch

In many ways 2016 was a hard year for me. It forced me to make some difficult choices. But those choices helped to simplify my life.

I found that the best way to deal with situations was to be honest. Was I being dishonest before? Yes, when I chose to pretend that people didn’t hurt me. Or act as if it was open season for anyone who wanted to play games with me. 2016 was the year of no waffling. You ask me a question and you’ll get an honest reply even if you don’t like it.

“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” — Gandhi” ― James Altucher, Choose Yourself!

I still have a long way to go towards complete authenticity but 2016 took me a little closer to it.

What about you, dear reader?

Did 2016 live up to your expectations?

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Do You Create Space For Yourself #MondayMusings

Do You Create Space For Yourself #MondayMusings

Life can be overwhelming. Sometimes circumstances cause us to feel stressed. But more often than not, we invite stress. I know I do it all the time.  My question for this Monday (although it’s way past Monday) is : Do you create space for yourself?

The fact that a #MondayMusings post is coming out so late is evidence of me biting off more than I can chew. It also shows that I have a long way to go towards making life simple.

Just this morning, I was rushing our dog through her walk because I was trying to beat the clock. I wasn’t giving her time to stop and smell the roses the evidence of other dogs! What fun is a walk for her or me, if I keep rushing her through it?

It’s the same with life. What fun is it if we keep rushing through our days, not taking the time to enjoy them.

Do You Create Space For Yourself?

Space is something we must learn to create for ourselves. Reduce clutter both in our homes and in our minds.  We must consciously make time in our day for ourselves. You might say that’s a difficult thing given the demands of work and family, but it’s really not.  What if we took 10 minutes off watching television, or being on social media and spent them literally doing nothing. Just being.

I’m borrowing from a compassion practice to suggest a simple way of creating space for a few minutes every day.

Sit in a quiet place. Breath in deeply and release your breath gently.

Place a hand gently on your heart, cheek or stomach.

Acknowledge your feelings in that moment. For example, ‘I am feeling stressed by all I have to do today……’ or ‘I am upset with …………’

Connect yourself to the human experience. For example, ‘Everyone feels stressed. Everyone is under pressure….’

Extend yourself whatever compassion you need in this moment. For example, ‘May I be kind to myself in this moment.’ or ‘I give myself permission to relax’

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Reflections From Me

What Was It Like To Be You In 2016? #MondayMusings

What Was It Like To Be You In 2016? #MondayMusings

It seems like I’ve asked a lot of questions these days. But don’t you worry, I don’t ask you any questions that I haven’t already posed to myself. Today’s question is one that I asked myself as I’m looked back on 2016 (yes, it’s almost over) and looking ahead to 2017.

My Word of The Year

My word for this year is simplify. When I asked myself if I had done that this year, I was quick to reply in the negative. But then, I stopped and thought about it a lot more. I realized that I had indeed simplified but not in the way I had  envisioned at the start of the year.

I’ve actually done a lot more this year, including working two to three days out of home in the second part of the year, after an almost 10 year gap of being a homebody.

Difficult, but worth it

I’ve simplified in one area that I had struggled with for years – in my relationships with some people. I’ve learned how to deal with them, not allowing them to drain me emotionally, keeping things simple. Believe me, it’s not been easy, but I’m so glad that I’ve succeeded. I’m much happier and more at peace. No longer bound by ‘shoulds’ but ruled by choice.

So being me in 2016 was not exactly easy, but every step was worth it, because it brought me a lot closer to being ME.

What was it like to be YOU in 2016?

what-was-it-like-to-be-you-in-2016

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Reflections From Me

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The Wrong Time To Decide? #MondayMusings

The Wrong Time To Decide? #MondayMusings

Is there such a thing as the wrong time to decide? Is there a good time to make decisions?

I’ve made some awful decisions, the consequences of which I still feel up to today, at a time when I felt I was at my strongest. Was it pride that made me feel that way?

Then I’ve made at least one fantastic decision at a time I felt that I was at my lowest.

The Wrong Time To Decide?

I found this quote interesting.

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” – Robert H. Schuller

I can see where Schuller is coming from when it comes to decisions about entering into a new relationship, embarking on an adventure or making a big career change.

But what is the right time for a woman who is being abused to decide that she should leave the relationship? What’s the best time for an employee to quit an organisation in which she feels unfairly treated?

I really have no answer.

This week, like the week before, I’ll leave you with a question:

What is a good time to make an important decision?

The Wrong Time To Decide

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What Day Would You Live Over

What Day Would You Live Over

If you had a choice, what day would you live over?

It’s a question that I came across somewhere and one that I’m struggling to find an answer to. Would I choose a day that I was the happiest? Should I choose a day in which I was at my lowest? Can I choose a day when I made my worst error of judgement?

I find it hard to choose the day I was the happiest ever. I’ve had so many happy times, that it gets difficult to find one that I’d like to relive.

It’s hard too to want to live over the day I was at my lowest. When I did hit rock bottom is the day that I started to work towards making one of the wisest choices in life.  That too is the day that I discovered the power of grace and gratitude. So really my lowest day would also be, in many ways the best day of my life!

I’m guessing I would choose the day I made my worst error of judgement? But honestly, that day was the culmination of a series of bad choices.  Little decisions. Hubris. Thinking I had it all together. So it cannot be one particular day. And having decided that I’m not going to look back with regret on my choices, it just doesn’t make sense to do that any way.

What Day Would You Live Over?

It’s now 10.08 pm on a Monday evening, and pondering this question, I begin to wonder if I would choose today, as the day to live over. Once again, the answer is no. I’ve reached the end of this day entirely satisfied with what I did with it.

I’m thinking, that if someone were to offer me a day to live over, I’ll say, ‘No, thank you. But could I trade the do over for an extra day at the end of my life?’ That’s the one day I’d like to live completely mindful of all the blessings I’ve received.  I can hear a soft voice in my head saying, why wait for the trade in…….?

 

what-day-would-you-live-over

If you had a choice to live ONE day over, what day would it be? Why?

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