To Mothers: The Original Peacemakers. Such a beautiful tribute to mothers by Everyday Gurus. It will move your heart, please visit and read.
I’ve been away, busy, overwhelmed, entertaining guests, and a little under the weather at times. Life has been interesting, ups & downs, wonderful things and immediate concerns rocking my boat a bit. But if the sea were always calm it would be a bit boring, wouldn’t it?
Last week I enjoyed a lovely trip to the seacoast. It was sunny and warm at first, but later became very overcast. I enjoyed both parts of the day for many reasons; I was with family & friends welcoming spring and love was in the air.
Early Monday morning last week a vary special person I was privileged to know passed away. She lived 101 years but I only knew her during the last year of her life. During that time she had a profound impact on my life.
I only worked for her a little more than 5 months, as an aid. Often I felt that she didn’t really need me, not because she made me feel that way but because she never stopped trying to do everything herself. Of course at 100 you’re going to have some limitations, but she took a walk every day, she did exercises for a leg/hip injury, she sat in the sunshine reading mystery novels, stayed up late watching movies, and went out to lunch or dinner with friends and family several times a week. She lived in her own home, and went to NYC every winter.
Mrs. G as I called her, was a gift from God to me and she became my mentor. Her smile, her sense of humor, her love for people and life, and her straightforwardness were as genuine as gold. She was generous and trusting, and she always made a point to say “thank you” even for the smallest things. Those were the last words I heard her say to me on Saturday 3/2/13.
Those were also some of the last words I said to her last Sunday, because being included in her life and helping her in any way was a great blessing to me. I learned so much from the way she thought, the way she treated people and the way she lived her life. Her attitude and example gave me encouragement, hope and strength at a time when my life was falling apart.
The job itself came at a time when I desperately needed it, but I got so much more than I bargained for. I used to tell her that her house was like Heaven because it was beautiful inside and out, and filled with so much love. It was a calm and comforting refuge during a stressful time in my life, and being in the company of her family and friends was always refreshing.
Mrs. G always complemented me, on my clothes, my hair, my cooking, my driving, and other things, in a way that no one else ever has. It’s not that I don’t get compliments, it’s just that she had a unique way of making me feel special. We had similar interests in art, literature, movies, social issues, spirituality and activities, so I enjoyed every minute I spent with her. I grew to love her very quickly.
I realized at one point that she was the same age as my grandmother, who died about 17 years ago at age 83. She had some of the same furniture and personal items from that era. however, in spirit she didn’t seem old enough to be my grandmother.
Mrs. G. was a timeless woman, very modern and very hip, most of her friends were much younger than her. She was a successful business woman during a time when very few women were running a business. She was also a great mother and a social activist.
I feel honored that I could accompany her to the events that were held in recognition of her life and accomplishments. I am blessed to have been included in her circle of family & friends, even for such a short time. I will always remember with love and gratitude the impact her life has had on mine.
Have you heard of Reiki Gong? It’s a combination of Reiki and Qigong. A friend of mine invited me to a retreat that will be in April in Nashville, TN, but I can’t afford to go (wish I could). However, I was intrigued by the content and decided to look into it further.
So I checked out their FB page: Reiki Gong Dynamic Health. As I scrolled through the posts I came across a post about a project they are working on for mental and emotional health. They are trying to create a practice on DVD for those who suffer with mental & emotional health issues and don’t have access to alternative therapies. Reiki Gong Mental & Emotional Stability Practice DVD · Medstartr. I was moved by this and wanted to share it with my readers.
Personally I have not had a lot of success with so called “modern medicine” concerning my own health issues. I am very sensitive to drugs and find that I do better with natural and alternative practices. Through my work I’ve known many people over the years with moderate forms of mental and emotional illnesses and I never experienced that any of them were cured with drugs. Some of them did better for awhile, but then there was always a need to eventually find a better or different drug. In this type of situation I think it’s worth looking into alternatives.
During this past winter I was helping to care for an elderly woman with serious anxiety and depression issues. She was on 3 different types of anti-anxiety, anti-depression medication and she felt terrible all the time. Most of these drugs have side effects that make you feel ill and weak. She was too old to make significant changes in her life and that made me really sad.
Through talking with her, especially when she had “episodes” or “panic attacks”, I realized that she had built a pattern of thoughts and behaviors over a lifetime that had created her present circumstances. She was helpless, needy and totally dependent but this was not because of her age or illnesses. I know people much older than her who have worse ailments but are less needy and dependent, and not depressed at all. I realized through talking with her that most of her mental and physical health issues would not have developed if someone had taught her to think differently when she was young, and to take care of herself.
That experience gave me a lot of motivation to look at my own thought patterns and to put more effort into caring for myself both physically and emotionally. I have always been inspired by people who are pioneering the way of alternative practices in the west. So, if you have a chance, please check out these pages about Reiki Gong and if you like what you see, give them some support.
This woman is now 109 years old and still as optimistic as ever. Please watch this video, it is well worth the full 12 minutes of your time.
Published on Dec 11, 2012
At age 108, Holocaust survivor Alice Herz Sommer still practices piano for 3 hours every day. At age 104, she had a book written about her life: “A Garden Of Eden In Hell.” At age 83, she had cancer. Alice survived the concentration camps through her music, her optimism and her gratitude for the small things that came her way – a smile, a kind word, the sun. When asked about the secret of her longevity, Alice says: “I look where it is good.”
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Under the snow in the cold damp earth there are seeds of new life. Winter hides the secret of renewal. One day those seeds will surely burst with energy driving shoots up to break through the top soil. My heart explodes with thoughts of spring, new growth, and the blossoms that fill the air with fragrance. With this thought I can endure winter, seeing also it’s beauty.
“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather that luxury; and refinement rather than fashion…to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.”
William Ellery Channing, 1780-1842
And The Winner Is ………... Cheryl
Thanks so much to Candy at Finding Order in Chaos for having this contest, and thanks to those who voted for my title submission. (And thanks to whoever designed the image, it wasn’t me but I really like it!) To get organized this is what I have to do – Dive Right In!
This is the second week of my “Create The Day” Series.
How will you create your day, your week, your year? The power is in our own hands to create a life we love. This week I’d like to create with gratitude and joy (I hope I can).
This weeks theme is Gratitude
This morning I woke up feeling grateful for the soft bed and fluffy downy comforter, a little too grateful maybe. I wanted to stay in bed. The mornings are the most difficult time for me because I’m never quite ready to greet the new day.
My husband is a morning person and gets up at 5:00 AM. He’s usually quiet at first, reading and meditating for awhile, and then begins his morning routine. By 7:00 the music drifts up from his basement office, and by 7:45 he’s banging around in the kitchen just outside the bedroom door. I wish I were a morning person, it’s such a lovely routine he has.
I’m a night person. I get inspired at night and I have trouble falling asleep. I often stay up until 2:00 AM. Even if I try to go to bed earlier, it’s useless before midnight. Even when I’ve taken pills or herbs to make myself fall asleep before midnight, I still don’t wake up refreshed in the morning.
I have to get out of bed and start the day, so I try to think of something I’m grateful for. I’m grateful for coffee! I got up early for many years because of my children, helping them get ready for school. I am so grateful for my children, they are the light of my life, but now they don’t need me like they used to.
I used to have a job that I had to get up at 4 or 5 AM for. I loved that job, but I’m grateful that I’m not still doing it at this time in my life. You see, I’ve spent many years doing what needed to be done, taking care of whatever needed to be taken care of, and that’s what got me up in the morning. I’m grateful for that, but it’s time to move on.
Now, I want to create my days with intention. It’s not easy though, having been an urgent responder for so many years, to take back control and focus in a new direction. In some ways, when your children grow up and move on there’s a lot to clean up from the past. There has to be a way to organize, store, and save the treasures as well as throw out the trash and give away the leftovers. Teenagers and young adults are not always receptive to these changes, but it has to be done if I’m going to move on in my own life.
I’m a person of movement and I’m grateful that I can still move. For me, life is about change and growth and discovering all the beauty and goodness there is to be grateful for. I’m grateful for the past, but I’m more grateful that I still have time to do new things, to meet new people and to create in new ways. Maybe I should write this on my ceiling so I can read it every morning to motivate myself out of bed.
I’ve been thinking about gratitude lately and what it means. It doesn’t mean much to say, “Thank you for this gift” and then turn around and trash it, does it? Sometimes I think I don’t live gratefully enough. Living gratefully would mean taking care of everything and everyone very well all the time – out of gratitude for their (it’s) existence.
Well, I can say that I’ve been striving for that, but really there’s way too much stuff and way too many people, even just in my own little bubble. Personally, I do try to live simply, having too much stuff can be a burden, but at the same time stuff just collects in a family. I don’t really feel grateful for that, but I would be grateful for some help to deal with it.
Anyway, if you think about it, gratitude is a very deep subject. As a society & world, if we could all live with gratitude for each other, that would solve the worlds problems. If I’m grateful that you exist I’m not going to start a war, or let you starve to death, or suffer from lack of medical care. If I’m grateful that you work for me I’m going to pay you a living wage so you can support your family. If I’m grateful that you employ me I’m going to work hard and do a great job. You see where I’m going with this?
Following this line of thought you could say, whether life is good or bad boils down to how much gratitude there is in the world, how well we learn to live gratefully. Have you ever tried to teach a child to be grateful? “Say thank you”, you tell them, but sometimes you know they could really care less. They toss the gift aside and run off to play with something else. We shrug our shoulders hoping that they will see more value in manners, people & things when they grow up.
So today I think what I am most grateful for is grace. Grace is the gift of time, the benevolent patience of the Creator who waits for us all to grow up. Grace allows us to learn from our mistakes and have a chance to try again. Grace allows us to grow and move toward the day when we will know and live as our true selves.