At times in our lives, we have worked on solving a problem for so long that we feel as if there is no answer. We sigh! We lament! We think that the situation is hopeless. Darkness and despair try to envelop us.
But if we are wise, we will pick up some inspirational book or quote to sustain us. Or as we are driving, we may happen to hear a song that emits some light and gives us a glimmer of hope.
We may hear songs like Hold On, Change is Coming by the Sounds of Blackness or Alabama Shakes’ Hold On. Clearly, the lyrics in both of these tunes encourage us to hang in there.
Sometimes we might hibernate like bears until the chill passes. We temporarily shut out the world and we no longer listen to the naysayers. They only make us further doubt ourselves by saying that our situations are hopeless or implying that our visions will never come into fruition.
Some spiritual books refer to these periods as “the dark night of the soul.” They advise us to stay with the problem until a resolution is in sight. It is comparable to swimmers who come up out of the water to take in a full breath of air. They see the finish line but they need a new burst of energy for that final lap.
We can identify with those marathon runners who have learned to regulate their breathing to get them through all twenty-six miles of the route. Or we may think of the writer who remains quiet until the Muses speak and reveal that next idea for that award-winning novel.
There is an answer to every dilemma, but we have to stick with it and truly hold on. With persistence, the way will reveal itself. We will get our bearings. We will know what to do as we work on getting it right. Billy Jean King reminds us that, “Champions keep playing until they get it right!”
Lynn M. January 27, 2016
There is still time! The New Year is well underway but there is still time to lay down those foundations for positive change.
In education many teachers call them rituals and routines. These are the daily practices, procedures and rules that students will follow for the entire school year. They set the tone and outline the expectations for success.
For adults, it is still January. Even if some of those New Year’s Resolutions are already slipping away or falling by the wayside, you can readjust your wheels and get back on track.
It is easy to relax and pick up the old habits again. But that way was obviously no longer working. If it had been, there would not have been a noted need for change or improvement.
There are ten days left in the first month of 2016. Do a recap. See how many new ways have been put into place. It is a New Year and a new you is coming through. You don’t want the mistakes of 2015 to roll over into 2016.
Refocus. Alter that list. Reformulate it, if necessary. Change is crucial to your personal growth and happiness. Don’t let the lines become blurred. Walk the chalk line. Stay with the plan.
Keep those resolves to eat healthier, budget better or choose friends more wisely. Whatever you promised yourself has merit and worth. The ideas came to you for a reason and with a pointed effort, they can become a reality.
In many spiritual books, authors speak of a 21-day consistency. Many believe that it takes that span of time to form new habits or ways of doing things.
There is still time during this January of 2016, to set those new rituals and routines down like a typesetter sets the print for a publication. Get knee deep into the new and innovative promises that you made to yourself and before you know it, there will be smiles for miles!
Lynn M. January 22, 2016
Have you ever walked a labyrinth? Years ago, I walked one on a Maundy Thursday at a Catholic church in Memphis. I will never forget it because it was such a spiritual experience.
A huge labyrinth was laid down on a large gym floor in the church and guests were invited to walk it. “A prayer labyrinth is a labyrinth used to facilitate prayer, meditation, spiritual transformation and/or global unity”(www.GotQuestions.org).
You enter the labyrinth and stay on your path until you reach the exit. It is a quiet, meditative motion of the feet and no voices are heard. It is a time for individual focus and reflection. There is a specific pattern and design and you have to stay with the plan. “Unlike a maze, a labyrinth is designed for ease of navigation and it is impossible to get lost in one” (www.GotQuestions.org).
As in everyday life, you have to concentrate so that you will not get onto someone else’s lane and have a collision. As you circle the labyrinth, you will see people on their journeys and sometimes you may be relaxed enough to look up and acknowledge them with a smile or nod of the head. You see them and then you refocus on your own narrow way.
But here is one amazing fact. Sometimes, you will meet the same person over and over again. In most instances, you will only encounter a person once during the travel. It is so similar to real life because you often interact with people once. But then, there are those who come in and out of your life at different intervals.
The labyrinth truly represents everyday life and its journey. If one is ever set up near you, go and have this meditative experience. This precious memory will forever be etched in my mind and I think Marc Cohn’s lyrics say it all. Click the arrow below and enjoy the sights and sounds of his Walking in Memphis!
Lynn M. January 17, 2016
Nothing is quite as refreshing as a breeze of fresh air. It is a sure reminder that we are alive and there are new opportunities on the horizon. We remember the promises that we have made to ourselves and we vow to be vigilant as we move forward.
We also have the chance to do things to make others’ lives more tolerable. We can act as a buffer while they tumble and break a possible fall. Like a cushion, we can be a shoulder to lean on when the going gets rough.
We can share our talents and skills by extending ourselves in a variety of ways. We could organize some papers on a crowded desk or straighten up some books that are in disarray. Our caring actions can lighten others’ loads and open their doors of optimism.
We might have that tissue on hand to wipe a tear of a child. We can give a soft pat as we reassure him or her that everything is going to be okay. Or we may end up comforting an adult who has a bleak outlook about some matter.
Many of us have had some time away from our routines over the holiday break. We have revved up our engines for the New Year by eating, sleeping and being merry. We have had time to sit in the silence, breathe deeply, think, renew and reflect.
We’ve come away more focused and clearer about our direction. We‘ve tossed out the old and stale and our viewpoints have been altered. We are now living in the present moment.
As we breathe in, we are refurbished. As we breathe out, we expend more positive energy. We can use this time as a golden opportunity to share our gifts with those in our sphere!
Lynn M. January 9, 2016
It’s a New Year and so many of us are ready for fresh beginnings. We know what is no longer working and we are ready for the crisp and new!
Better days are ahead and they normally start with a change of attitude and outlook. We have to admit that the former ways have played out. I chuckle when I think of this television commercial where this woman talks about the same ole, same ole. She says slowly, “It’s the same and it’s old.”
Some of us make those New Year’s resolutions and put that unnecessary stress on ourselves to live up to those lengthy lists. Others of us, perhaps a tad older, know not to promise too much, if anything at all.
We just go with the daily flow and allow those intuitive leads to point us in the right direction. Our spirits are ready so we become like magnets that attract the untried and the untested. Those safe harbors can no longer hold our ships ashore, so we lift the anchors and venture out into the deep yonder.
We may think that we have not been edging forward, but we have. If we take an honest inventory, we can see how far that we have come. St. Francis de Sales said, “True progress quietly and persistently move along without notice.” So, yes! We are ready for 2016 and all of the wonders that it holds for us!
Lynn M. January 4, 2016
Hey! It’s Twenty-sixteen!
Much new stuff to be seen.
Starting the year anew,
Hope buoyants. Skies are blue.
Those fresh, crisp plans unfold,
Stories wait to be told.
Resolutions are sworn,
The unexpected born.
We raise those shades up high,
Sun streaming in! We sigh!
January 1, 2016