Monthly Archives: July 2021

Day 212: The Value of One

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“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

~Edward Everett Hale

When I look at the world and all the problems, I sometimes feel like a tiny ant, and I feel too small to do anything to make a difference. When I look at my country and all the problems, I sometimes feel like a busy bee flying around, pollinating each situation, in my opinion reproducing good or bad opinions. When I think of my community, I don’t know where I belong what I can do. Sometimes I don’t particularly appreciate fitting in or being told what I have to do.

One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do, as the song goes. But, the power in one is that it can’t be divided against itself. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do, as the quote above states.

There are many ways I can help the world right in the tiny space I occupy—one small thing at a time, like using my own shopping bags instead of plastic ones. I can help my country by laying my pride aside and listening to one person at a time. In my community, I can offer the best of who I am. And for my friends and family, treat all with the same kindness I would intend.

Reflection: When I open my heart and soul to God, I remember what it truly feels like to be one with God. Nothing can divide that oneness but through my own choosing. It works the same way in the world and with each other. Our uniqueness is our one puzzle piece in the world, and when all the details coming together, we create a better world.

Day 211: The Value of Routinizing

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Routinize your routine. The things that aren’t important to you, whether it’s breakfast or your commute, try to do them with the least energy possible so that leaves you with more energy for other things.

~Robert Pozen

What does routinization mean? It means to discipline oneself into a routine until it becomes so much a part of us that we don’t even have to think about it. The routinization becomes so ingrained in us that it melds into our everyday life.

A friend gave me this word to write about and today seemed an appropriate time to use it because I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with things that keep getting in the way of my daily routine. I like the idea that is knowing the certain essential things I want to get done are so routinized into my life that they are like getting up and brushing my teeth every day. When things are put off like they have been for me this week, it drains my energy and sucks away at all the other positive things in my life. So I realize I have to plan a little better and not make my routine so rigid that I feel like a failure when I don’t get my walk in.

Reflection: Remembering what the value of routinization has to offer in reaching my goals is important, but being open to change allows the joyful things in my life to not be swallowed up by any of the rigidness I create.

Day 210: The Value of Breath

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“The wisest one word sentence? Breathe.

~Terri Guillemets

I thought this was an excellent time to stop and take a few deep breathes in and out slowly. The subjects of life can feel heavy on our hearts at times creating a lot of anxiety inside us. The value of breath brings us back to the fundamental importance of the miracle of our lives. It is the first breath that we begin our journey in this world, and it will be with our last breath that the journey ends. It is the focus on our breath that awakens us to pay attention to its rhythm, and as we breathe in and out, it quiets the mind enough to become refocused on the things we value the most in our life.

The first time I learned to tune into my breathing was in the early 70s’ in a childbirth class. I was taught to take deep long breaths and blow them back out slowly. The idea was that it would help relax me through the worst part of childbirth. Cool! I thought, and with Tom as my coach, he would encourage me to breathe when I forgot. It was not easy to focus on, and there were times I just wanted to stuff a sock in Tom’s mouth. But it did help more than I gave it credit for at the time. I learned through four births that the more you relaxed your body, the less tension there was to fight against the natural process. It didn’t take away the pain, but it meant I wasn’t in labor longer than I needed to be. That was my personal experience. I have used the breathing method at other times in my life to get through other painful things, and I have sat beside those who were scared and encouraged them to concentrate on their breath.

Breathing involves the whole body. It’s needed to think clearly, and our soul benefits from the lessons our breath helps us focus on. Maria Sevilla wrote that * “breathe is so vital, the air around us that we breathe is essential to how we live but also how we perceive and interact with our environments. Joseph Pilates called it the “internal shower.” It cleanses us. It fuels us. It’s our relationship with our outside world. It is a superpower.”

Reflection: I am grateful for the moments I take to stop all the craziness spinning around in my head. It reminds me that I can’t control all the world’s problems, but I can control how I let them affect me through my breathing.

* https://www.sevillabodyworks.com/blog/2016/11/21/the-value-of-breath

Day 209: The Value of Ethics

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Our values, morals and ethics work together as one. I call it the human trinity.

There is a system of three vitures that work together called values, morals, and ethics. For instance, an ethic would be that you don’t betray your friends. The value is your friendship, and moral value is that helping our friends is a good thing. I call it the human trinity. We are not born knowing what our virtues are, we develop them as a part of our true nature, and our beliefs are deeply embedded in them. Like the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, they work together as one. The human trinity of values, morals, and ethics work together as one also. Both are having the same purpose in mind working for the better good of all humanity.

* “Ethics and morals are very similar and are known to be interchanged, but there is a slight difference in how they affect our lives. While morals are concerned with individuals’ feelings, “good” or “bad,” ethics determine what behaviors are “right” or “wrong.” Ethics dictate what practical behaviors are allowed, while morals reflect our intention. Consider morals as the rulebook and ethics as the motivator that leads to proper or improper action.”

Reflection: Every day, in every way, I aspire to practice the things I value the most through the guidance of my moral thinking, which in turn creates an ethical action I can be proud of.

* https://examples.yourdictionary.com/difference-between-ethics-morals-and-values.html

Day 208: The Value of Morals

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Love is the expression of one’s values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person, the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another.

Ayn Rand

Since I write about values, I was wondering how morals fit into the equation. It seems that the two go hand in hand. See, morals are actually based on our values. * “Our values are the foundation from which we are better able to choose between right and wrong. Each person’s values are deeply rooted in an individual system of beliefs. They are what guide our decisions and influence our behavior.

Morals are specific and context-driven rules that govern our desire to be good. Great moral values such as truth, freedom, charity, etc., have one thing in common. When they are functioning correctly, they are life protecting or life-enhancing, not just for self…but for all.”

I believe I have a moral obligation to my family, friends, and community to stay home when I am sick and not infect others with my disease. Speaking of disease, I sure don’t want to go through another pandemic like the one we just we through. I was tired of living in fear. I missed my kids, grandkids, friends, going out for dinner, getting my hair done, or a massage. I’m a senior citizen, so I am in the high-risk category. So I felt another moral obligation of mine was to get vaccinated. For me and all those I care about, it was the most life-giving thing I could do, and boy did it give me my life back. But a moral doesn’t end just because we put it into acting. It has an ongoing responsibility to follow through. Such as my responsible for staying informed with the best-trusted information I can get. Who better to trust than your own doctor for advice, and if you don’t trust your doctor, then find one you can trust.

Okay, now this is important, please, and don’t get bent out of shape. This is based on what I believe, and just because I apply this moral value to myself does not mean I don’t value what others believe.

Reflection: If I want to be respected for my beliefs, then it works both ways. I still have to follow my own belief system, but I am also willing to find ways to make things work for the better good of all concerned.

* https://examples.yourdictionary.com/difference-between-ethics-morals-and-values.html

Day 207: The Value of Walking

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“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh

I’ve been walking at least five times a week or more for the past three weeks. I can feel how much stronger I am getting in my legs, especially when walking up hills. I get between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day now just by adding a walk to my everyday routine. I’ve lost 4lbs, which isn’t much, but I can feel my clothes getting looser, so I’m happy.

You cannot put a price on how many valued benefits there are to walking, especially in your senior year’s. It not only helps clear our minds but is known to keep our memory sharper as we age. It reduces stress and anxiety and lowers blood pressure. It helps the heart by lowering cholesterol and gives our lungs a good workout. Walking strengthens the body, gives you a boost of energy, and burns calories, helping us lose weight.

The best part of walking for me, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, is what I call the experience of stillness in motion. I might be moving, but I notice the quiet stillness of everything around me in the early morning. I love how it makes me feel.

Reflection: “After a day’s walk, everything has twice its usual value.” ~G.M. Trevelyan

Day 206: The Value of Stillness

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“Be still and know that I am God.”

Psalm 46:10

I see these chairs at the end of people’s yards, where I imagine them sitting in peaceful silence. Have you ever done that? Just sat in the stillness of the moment where you find yourself unwinding, and your busy daily thoughts begin to fade away, and your senses awaken to the sounds, smells, and sights of life we so often take for granted. You don’t have to just sit in the stillness of the moment to enjoy what it has to offer. I experience it in the early morning hours when I walk Lucy through the park. I see the big bright sun as it’s coming up, the air feels cooler then, and hardly anyone is around—just me, Lucy, and God.

I try to practice this stillness before I pray, do my daily readings, and journal. It helps bring clarity to my mind. It releases any stress going on and helps me focus on the good things in my life. Most importantly, it enables me to center myself with God.

Mother Teresa expresses the value of stillness in the form of silence, “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature…trees, flowers, grass…grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun…how they move in silence…We need the stillness of silence to be able to touch our souls.”

Reflection: Creating stillness is one of the easiest things there is to do. There is no physical effort in doing nothing. The part that is hard about it, though, is quieting the mind. Once I’m able to do that, I feel like I’m a piece of laundry hanging on the line flapping all the wrinkles out of my life and breathing the freshness of life back in.

Day 205: The Value of Venting

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Venting with good intentions creates clarity.

Finding a way to release all the tension building up inside us is like holding a fart back. It becomes painful, and if we don’t find a way to release the buildup, we will explode in the most unpleasant way.

It always feels better to vent than hold things in. It makes me feel lighter and clearer in mind so that I’m better able to deal with my problems in a constructive way. On the other hand, the more I let that pressure build-up, the worse the problem becomes. There are no boundaries to hold back the destructive words that can come flying out of my mouth that is as harmful to me as the person or issue at hand. It takes a trusted family member or friend who understands me enough to let me get it all out.

Most of my venting to someone has more to do with understanding the situation better than bashing the people involved. I’ve learned other ways to vent, like walking or writing things down that I’m grateful for, breathing exercises, meditation, and praying. They don’t necessarily release the tension, but they soothe me enough to get a better handle on the problem until I can vent things out in a healthy way.

Reflection: Life teaches us that when steam builds up, it cannot be contained, or it explodes. I am the container of my life. I am as responsible for what I put in it as I am for keeping it under control. Preventive measures like letting the steam out a little at a time help keep my venting under control.

Day 204: The Value of Being A Gorgeous Grandma

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You don’t have to be a Granny to celebrate Gorgeous Grandma Day. Read on….

Today is national ‘Gorgeous Grandma Day.’ But just because you are not a grandma, it doesn’t mean you are excluded from being celebrated as well. Read on, please.

The person behind this national treasure is Alice Solomon. After graduating from Wellesley College in 1984 at the age of 50-years-old. Alice felt that society viewed women starting at her age as nothing more than an old Grandma that was no longer relevant or useful. She decided to make it her mission to change this notion. That’s when she came up with the idea of the ‘Gorgeous Grandma.’ It was the term ‘grandma’ after all that was attributed to older females, irrespective of whether they were a grandmother or not. So she decided that the best way to embrace the term was to add the adjective ‘gorgeous’ in front of it. She thought that this created a ‘notice me’ and snappy image. To get rid of all the typical stereotypes that surround older women, Alice created a national ‘Gorgeous Grandma Day’ to celebrate who we become and are yet to be because there is still a lot that they can do with their lives.

There are so many negative things to adjust to as we age. It’s nice to focus on the positive things that come with aging. It’s true, what they say we Gorgeous Grandmas are indeed like a fine wine🍷 that gets better with age.

Reflection: To all my Gorgeous Grandma friends, let’s raise a glass of that finely aged wine🍷and celebrate the sassy, intelligent, creative women we have become. Here’s to us, ladies!🥂

* https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/gorgeous-grandma-day/

Day 203: The Value of Responsibility

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“Once you carry your own water, you will learn the value of every drop.”

Unknown author

Are we not responsible for all the things we take on in life? Sometimes we take on more than we can handle, like when I got a puppy and newborn at the same time. The best and most responsible thing I could do was find a loving home where the puppy could thrive. However, when I had another child, and it felt hard to take care of both children, in the beginning, there was never a thought of giving away one of my children to make life easier for me. I chose to have them, and putting my wants and needs first was something I had to put aside because they depended on me for everything.

It’s so much easier to want, dream and imagine the things we desire in life. We can’t imagine the reality of responsibility that comes with those things. That’s why it’s so easy for a child to promise they will take care of a puppy if you just let them have one. Responsibility is overwhelming, but it also teaches us what we are capable of doing. Responsibility helps us build character and confidence in the things we take on.

Everything we do requires a level of responsibility if we want the outcome to be beneficial. If I want to have a lovely garden, then I’m responsible for the work and care it takes to produce. I’m responsible for my finances, my taxes, my little business, how well my book sales. I’m responsible for my friendships, my family, and my own personal happiness.

Reflection: Every day, I am responsible for the life I create. It begins with the first thoughts of my day, then the things that I do and things that I say; it is I who am responsible in every way.