Monthly Archives: March 2021

Day 90: The Value of Patience

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Patience is like a seed it takes time to grow and develop. It’s in the middle of its growth that patience begins to show. Through lots of practice, patience begins to bloom into a beautiful flower of calmness.

It takes patience to learn how to master the things we want to learn. While it’s true patience requires a lot of practice there is a great feeling of accomplishment that comes when we choose patience over impatience. It tells us “we are in control of things”, and that in itself gives patience a lot of value.

This old Chinese proverb reminds us of the value of patience “One moment of patience may ward off great disasters. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.”

My Tom is the most patient person I know but when he gets behind the wheel he becomes very impatient with other drivers. He has enough sense not to cause road rage. He just gets all worked up over something he has no control over. While Tom is not looking for a fight if he’s not careful about what he says or does the other person might not be able to control their impatience with the way he’s acting. Things could get pretty ugly.

Patience keeps us in a safe place, it also keeps us healthy by lowering our stress levels. Patience helps us master the things we work hard at. Patience helps us be better spouses, parents, friends, and coworkers. And finally, patience builds character in us.

Reflection: I love the lesson I learned long ago when I asked prayer to be a more patient parent. God always answers our prayers. God did give me patience and then I had to learn how to use it and master it by putting it into practice.

Day 89: The Value of Vision

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“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” -Carl Gustav Jung

The Value of Vision I’m talking about has nothing to do with the eyes, but more to do with what we see through the vision of our heart and soul. Our visions are the bigger picture of who we want to be, what we want to accomplish, experience, and know in life. It is the visions we have that help define the framework of our goals and continue to allow us to examine the work we put into them.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” -Proverbs 29:18

As people, we all have different visions for the way we’d like to see the world or even our country. But one thing I would like to believe is that our visions are alike in wanting the better good for all. It’s hard to keep our focus on the better good when there is so much division pulling us away from each other and the joy that still remains around us.

Some of the questions we can ask ourselves is:

-What can you visualize yourself doing to create a better world?

-What are the greatest things you could accomplish, given the right circumstances, resources and motivation?

-What kind of people would you like to draw into your life who would support your vision?

-How do you want to be remembered.

Reflection: Our visions inform us how the things we desire can be accomplished. But sometimes we have to catch the vision before it flys away from us. Once you grab hold of it, keep it close to your heart and never let it go.

Day 88: The Value of Common Sense

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It is common senses not to put your hand over the burning flame on a stove. You’d know better than to stick anything metal in an electrical socket. You wouldn’t run out in traffic without looking first. But as children, we were not born with common sense. It was something we learned over time either the hard way or through good parental training.

The definition of common sense is that it’s a sound prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. It involves practical decision-making and the ability to imagine the consequences of something you do. It can stop us from making irrational mistakes giving us the pause we need to make better choices.

So it is obvious that there is a lot of value to understanding what common sense has to offer us. Part of the reason I decided to write about values each day was because I was feeling as if I couldn’t trust my own sense of right from wrong. How could so many good-hearted people justify what my common sense was telling me was wrong? I began to think there was something wrong with me. If I couldn’t trust the things I had come to value in my life, then I needed more practice with what common sense could teach me. What better way to find those answers than through the understanding of what my own values are. I don’t write my ‘one a day values’ to tell you how you should live your life. I write it to help clarify my own beliefs and hopefully give you the reader a positive thoughtful takeaway.

Reflection: My common sense tells me I’m onto something good when so many I know are like me, are just looking for answers. My common sense also reminds me that there’s no better place to find my values than within my true-self.

Day 87: The Value of Serenity

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I wonder if there is any value greater than the inner peace we get from serenity. It represents all the calm, and peacefulness we desire in our life. But how do we get to that place of serenity?

I was introduced to the Serenity pray by my dad when I was sixteen. He handed me a coin he got from Alcoholics Anonymous that he carried in his pocket. He was a struggling alcoholic and I was a struggling teen.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.-Reinhold Niebuhr

52-years later I still carry that coin around with me. It is a simple little prayer with many powerful words sewn together to create inner peace.

How do we find serenity in our life?

It’s already there waiting to be embraced, but it’s often hidden behind the things that get in the way of the life we long for. One of the things that come to mind for me is the constant political division I hear and experience in my life. How do I find serenity in the midst of that storm? If I apply the serenity prayer to the situation it helps me realize that I know I cannot change the way others see their political opinions. But I can find the courage to listen and still stand in my own beliefs. Wisdom will show me the difference and trusting in truth will set me free and what is left but…serenity.

Because we are so different no one shoe fits all, but the Serenity Prayer comes close. It’s held in the three-part breakdown of the prayer.

-accepting the things I cannot change

-the courage to change the things I can

-and the wisdom to know the difference

Reflection: The value of serenity is the calm we find right in the middle of the storm.

Day 86: The Value of Contemplation

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What is contemplation?

Wikipedia, tells us that in the life of the intellect ‘contemplation’ refers to thinking profoundly about something. In the religious life, contemplation is a kind of inner vision or seeing, transcendent of the intellect, facilitated through practices such as prayer or meditation. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/contemplate

Dictionary.com explains the word contemplate in more depth.

As a verb (used with object)

  • to look at or review with continued attention; observe or study thoughtfully:
  • to consider thoroughly; think fully or deeply about:
  • to have as a purpose; intention:
  • to have in view as a future event

As a verb (used without object)

  • to think studiously; consider deliberately; meditate.

Ok, now that I have a good sense of what contemplation is I realize I am a very contemplative person. I think deeply about everything. My sister, Mary tells me I think too much. But that is where the value of contemplation comes into play. Whether your life is too busy to stop and think about things or you think too much. The value of taking some time out to contemplate our life or what we are thinking so deeply about gives us a good sense of what is going on inside us so we can make thoughtful decisions or just enjoy the thoughtful reflection it creates for us.

Reflection: I have several contemplation spaces cut out in my life. One is my sacred space in the corner of my office. The other is sometimes looking out my bay window. Then there is my favorite spot out on the deck in the morning when the birds are in their full singing mood, the smells of the dew-kissed earth, and the breath of fresh air. An atmosphere of contemplation at its best with nature.

Day 85: The Value of Acceptance

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My reading today was on acceptance. It was exactly what I needed to hear as I’ve been fighting against myself and the things I should be doing. That resistance is like trying to wind my clock up the wrong way. It won’t go that way and if I force it something will break eventually. This constant battle with my weight, the food I eat, my daily happy hour drink, and my inconsistent exercise. I don’t understand why I do the things I know I shouldn’t…instead of the things that make me feel empowered? This was the answer I got: “And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.”-The Big Book, from AA

The value of acceptance is understood through the act of letting go. But you can’t let go of what you don’t see the actual problem to be. Like a banked-up river, you have to pull apart the debris one thing at a time until it begins to flow with the ease of its unhindered intention.

Reflection: I am blessed with a brand new day. Open to one new beginning at a time. I think I’ll start by accepting who I am right now and clearing away one thing at a time that stands in the way of being the best I can be for myself.

Day 84: The Value of Transparency

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Transparency is showing yourself for who you are without any hidden agendas or conditions behind it. A transparent person doesn’t lie because they live their truth. We appreciate their honesty yet we can feel intimidated by their meaning. Asking for clarity can be hard because we’re afraid to know what they see in us. But not knowing gives our mind permission to create all kinds of negative scenarios. They become more damaging than the truth. Still, the transparent friend, family member, or co-worker can be the most trusted friends we have.

Transparent people do not need to brag about how outspoken they are. Their transparency comes from a place of honesty, passion, and confidence in who they are. They don’t play the part. They are the real thing. It comes naturally to them.

Transparency is like any other quality. It can work for us or against us. While it may come naturally to the person who has it. The quality must be nurtured through the proper candor and honestly, it takes to be effective in a positive sense. Transparency is not being authentic. Being authentic teaches us how to live a more truthful honest transparent life.

Reflection: The beauty of getting older is the many things we learn along the way. Letting go of the things that keep us bound frees us up to live a life of truth and honesty. I am learning to be more transparent, but I have a lot more to learn. Trusting in the process that my transparency has to teach me about my truth.

Day 83: The Value of Challenge

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If it was easy it wouldn’t be a challenge. Imagine how boring life would be if we stayed in our comfort zone all the time. I don’t feel like doing anything some days. Challenge pushes us forward into the middle of life where we have to do something or what? We waste our life away. I’m grateful for the challenges that have awakened me to living my best life.

When you have post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD creates periods of depression and anxiety. I have dealt with this most of my life. Through medication and many years of therapy, I’ve learned tools that help me to recognize what is happening. It’s like getting stuck to a spider web. If I don’t take the challenge right away, getting myself unstuck becomes a harder challenge. There is no easy way to work through such difficult challenges that PTSD brings up in your life. But what I learned was that even in the worst of situations I still have a choice. This was a huge awakening that gave me a sense of empowerment. I still hadn’t taken on the challenges yet. There was one more thing I needed to know. Was I willing to change? It was only through my willingness to change that I could find the courage to take on the challenges it would take. Each challenge became a building block. And each building block gave me the confidence to take on the next big challenge. It took a lot of hard work and time to build the foundation I have today.

Reflection: Thinking back there were many times I wanted to give up. I would turn to God asking Him to please take this burden from me. But I learned what my potential was through each challenge that came my way. I am better, more empowered, and confident…just as God knew I would be…once I discover it for myself.

Day 82: The Value of Harmony

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It is difficult to write about something positive and life-giving after yet another tragic shooting. Still, the worst thing we can do is fall into the trap of negativity it creates.

How do you find harmony when there are so many different things to harmonize with?

It reminds me of when my kids were in grade school and they wanted to play an instrument. At some point in the school year, the teacher would put on a concert for the parents. All these kids trying to join their instruments to bring about a harmonious sound. It was total disharmony because each one hadn’t mastered their skills yet. Of course, we all clapped because we were proud of the effort they put into it and we knew with individual practice and time the harmony would come.

Picture this, if Johnny over there is playing the instrument of social harmony and Debbie is playing cultural harmony, Jenny plays the environmental harmony, and Ray is playing religious harmony. They are all playing to a different tune with one common goal in mind, to find harmony through the instrument of their choice. No one instrument is better than the rest. It’s what they can create when they tune into the passion behind the harmony they desire to create.

Where does harmony begin?

Just like peace, harmony begins with me and you. Like the child learning to play an instrument first, they have to want to learn it, then they have to accept that it takes daily practice. It’s the same with the harmony in our life, we must first truly desire to have it then put it into practice every day.

How can we do that?

Here are 7 secrets on how to live a harmonious life. You can check out their deeper meaning behind each secret at https://www.mindmovies.com/blogroll/7-secrets-to-live-a-harmonious-life

  • 1. Celebrate life – live life with passion.
  • 2. Show gratitude and appreciation.
  • 3. Learn how to communicate.
  • 4. Know what you want.
  • 5. Have compassion.
  • 6. Teach others how to treat you.
  • 7. Stay positive.

Reflection: Today I look to the peace and harmony within myself so that I can be a reflection of the better-good it creates in me. The 8th secret I would add is getting in tune with God to create the perfect harmony in our lives.

Day 81: The value of Kindness

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True kindness comes from the heart and soul. One random act of kindness however big or small adds to the better good for all the world. A simple act of kindness creates a spark that ignites a light inside the giver as well as the receiver. And the worth within the value is understood for the kindness that it is.

There are big acts of kindness like the one our friend Denise did for us recently. For 25 years she has faithfully made us the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal of corn beef and cabbage. This year due to the pandemic we couldn’t get-together so she decided to make it for us anyway. She packed 9 meals. Made four deliveries and one was picked up. Between the planning, the two different desserts, the soda bread, scones, dipping sauce, peeled potatoes and carrots, cabbage, and corn beef, the process from beginning to end took three days. And you know where the real loving-kindness comes from? Her joy of cooking. Not only were our bellies full, but our hearts were filled with the love that went into it.

We all can show kindness in some way. Even the small things we do for each other can feel big to the receiver. Like simply telling someone that you were thinking about them today. Wow! How cool is it to know that you were important enough to someone that you came into their thoughts?

Random acts of kindness big or small feel just as powerful when put into action. Here are a few I found through the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/

  • Smile at someone you pass by
  • Give old towels and blankets to animal shelters.
  • Help create a more positive world by creating positives posts online.
  • Make up a care package for someone in need.
  • Reply to a post you enjoy and share the love.
  • Gift an inspiration book.
  • Clean your house for no one else but you.
  • Send a thank-you note
  • Buy the coffee for the person waiting in line behind you.
  • Have a judgment-free day where you turn negative thoughts into positive ones.
  • Send a handwritten letter or postcard to someone.
  • Walk outside a bike instead of driving.

Reflection: And after all the giving you do…don’t forget…to find ways…to be kind to you, too!