Having fellowship with a confidant or friend helps to wash away the hurt feelings and creates a vacuum. Then that new space that can be filled with the cool breath of greater understanding.
Once those dark feelings and emotions have been shared with a dear friend, the heaviness begins to dissipate. There is more room for light to pour in because it takes the sunlight of truth to nurture our growth.
Being energized, there is a lightness that frees us to graciously advance forward. We feel strengthened and more able to cope with our missions in life.
We step livelier as we hoist up our crosses and stand firmly to face our battles. And yes, these are our personal battles that no one can fight for us.
Friends and well-wishers can, however, assist us by listening and acting as sounding boards as we wheedle through the stuff, as Alice Walker calls it.
Once we have refilled our cups, we can take a warrior’s poise and get ready to slay the Goliaths that try to block our paths.
The cobwebs of our minds have been swept down and now the daylight of clarity shines in every corner. We continue on and fill up our gratitude pages as we thankfully progress on our journeys.
We see ourselves as overcomers because those grand fellowships serve as mirrors. Our reflections are silently singing that, “Every little thing is going to be alright.”
”Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:2
Lynn M. August 11, 2018
What does it mean to be rich? By most standards, being rich means that a person has an abundance of things like houses, cars, boats, planes and access to loads of cash. Yet, as recently seen in the media, an abundance of things do not necessarily bring those lasting treasures such as joy, contentment and peace.
Some have traveled the world over yet they still have a continual need to keep grasping at the straws. They still want more like an insolent child who screams to get his or her way. They continue to spend their assets and use their resources to get or do more, failing to realize that oftentimes, less truly is more.
Paul wrote about Christ and said, “though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, that ye through his poverty might become rich.” (II Corinthians 8:9) And how did he become rich in his poverty? The poor often have an increased wisdom and understanding. They know what it feels like to be in pain so in turn they are able to share compassion with others.
The poor have walked in meekness and humility after they realized that they could not force change. They have learned to wait until the tide changes, as it surely will. During their wait, they have grown in patience. Like an astute farmer, they have become attuned to nature and its timings.
Yes, the poor are well-seasoned in long-suffering yet unconsciously they have become richer as their inner peace expands beyond measure. In a quiet, yet watchful grace, the poor become witnesses to the passing of the material things as they cling to their faith and a more spiritual assuredness.
Ultimately, hope floats to the top and sure enough others reach out to them. They want to garner a few moments in the presence of the poor to feel their richness of spirit though it is often a mystique. The humble poor are often well-loved because they have successfully found those real treasures of life blanketed around their inner joy!
Lynn M. July 28, 2018
Last week, I wrote a piece on Whitney Houston after seeing the new documentary about her private life. This week, I focus on her dearly beloved cousin, Dionne Warwick who has been serenading us for the past several decades.
I went on You Tube last night and listened to the hauntingly beautiful theme from the movie Valley of the Dolls. It had been playing in my head and when I found it, I was pleasantly reminded that it had been sung by Dionne Warwick in 1968.
The movie had a strong impact on those of my generation and the lives of these three women still speaks volumes today. It reveals what happens when each of them get caught up in the game as they look for success and love along the way.
Some get the material gains but lose their souls while stampeding on others as they race to the top (Patty Duke). Some are overwhelmed and crushed by life’s circumstances because it all proves to be simply too much (Sharon Tate). And some are fortunate enough to walk away though battered and bruised by the storms of life (Barbara Parkins).
When feeling like you are continually waking up in a scene from the movie Groundhog Day, listen to this theme song. Those feelings are timeless and there are ways of getting off of the merry-go round and regaining your balance and equilibrium.
Push play and listen to Dionne Warwick do what she can do like no other singer!
Lynn M. July 14, 2018
When you are ready to make a change towards something more positive, you have to get your feet moving and become like the little penguin, Happy Feet. Take small steps and rehearse the verse “Precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, there a little” (Isaiah 28:13).
Snails may move slowly but they are thorough and effective. They keep it going like the tortoise in Aesop’s The Tortoise and the Hare. Those who run at an amped-up pace like the hare usually deplete themselves.
They are too exhausted to be around for those important things. They may have seen a lot of things as they moved at a breakneck speed, but did they truly experience them? Was every moment truly savored or were they wondering, “What’s next?”
Slow down and smell the roses but keep moving both gently and succinctly. There are ways to let the universe know that you are ready for something new. Try moving a few pieces of furniture or fixtures around in your home and create a bit of feng shui.
It has been said that the movement of 27 items immediately brings new energy, new auras and new points of view. Wayne Dyer stated, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
While living in this society that demands instant gratification, it is crucial to take the time to become quiet. Listen to that still small voice. As you become aware of new things, jot them down. Stay open and formulate new plans of action. Then, glide forward effortlessly like a sailboat on a sunny day and rock on!
Lynn M. June 30, 2018
When life is shaking you up and down like a salt or pepper shaker, just stop. Go inside to the center of your power like the eye of a hurricane while things on the outer are being tossed in circles.
Give thanks that you are a witness and not a victim. If you are able to see or observe it from a distance, then you have a chance to walk away from the shuffle. Yes, it may cause some discomfort but change is like that because as the adage goes, “No pain, no gain.”
Realize that you are being shaken from your foundation and the old beliefs and thoughts that no longer serve you must go. They have no place in the new and evolving you that is growing and stretching. New and beautiful islands are formed from unsettling and scary volcano eruptions because Mother Nature knows what she is doing. Similarly, the oyster’s inner agitation produces that priceless pearl.
So, in the midst of mighty change whether on the world stage or within your own soul, first find a safe space. Create a breathing room, a reflective spot or a scenic corner where you can find solace for a short time while the outer things continually spin around and around.
Let the storms of life pass over as you become still. Breathe deeply. Become centered and take time to remember who you are when nobody is looking or demanding your attention. Reflect on times gone by as you acknowledge and bless them. It took every nuance and event to shape who you are today. Now, pause. Salute the new and wonder-filled you that is determined to push right on through!
Lynn M. June 23, 2018
Have you ever felt like you’ve just scaled a mountain? Or perhaps, you may feel as if you’ve been running like there is no tomorrow? Either way, at some point, you have to stop and take a station break, so to speak.
And then, you turn and look back and when you see how far you have come, what you were able to do and how far you have moved forward, you simply say, “Wow!” Then, you can Cash In, the title of a song by the great Phoebe Snow.
You can take all of the chips that you have gathered and as you count the stockpiles, you can hear the cash register ring cha-ching. There are monetary gains yes, but there are so many other assets. There may be new friendships and associations formed or new skill sets added on as you unconsciously prepare for your next level.
Then you pause again and see that it’s time for a little self-indulgence. You may not be where you want to be but when you really get still, you can express gratitude and sigh, “It is enough. I have enough. I am enough.”
So you smile softly knowing that you shot your best shot. You have let your light shine. You then take the time to repair your mind, body and soul. You know that yes, the battles of life have taken their tolls but the rewards are immeasurable.
You realize that every wrinkle was bought with a price along with all of the other changes that come from walking this earth over time. W. Herbert Brewster, a Southern poet, wrote a poem called “Be Proud of Your Wounds and Scars.” Accepting life as it comes and presents itself, you just beam on quietly knowing that you gave it all you had!
Lynn M. June 2, 2018
Have you ever felt as if you were a juggler as you tried to manage all of the pins being shoved your way? If so, you understand why the jugglers don’t take their eyes off of the pins because one wrong move can cause the whole game to come crashing down!
Life is like that as you try to keep it together or keep on keeping on. It is comparable to watching a dog jump through hoops or a skilled track and field sprinter clear those hurdles in a timely manner.
But if there is huge slip-up, it’s just like an opponent in a chess game calling out “Checkmate.” You then know that the game is over. There is no other recourse other than to simply start over, if given the chance.
There is a children’s story called Anansi the Spider and Anansi was prone to trouble; yet, his six sons often saved him. Each son used his unique gift to successfully rescue their father as the brothers worked as a team.
On one occasion, they had to save Anansi from a huge falcon. After Anansi was freed from the mouth of the bird, he fell towards the ground. His youngest son, Cushion, then positioned himself so that his father landed on his back. Cushion offered a buffer and and helped his father have a proverbial soft landing.
So, the next time that you find yourself in the middle of running a challenging race, remember that in the end, the most you can hope for is a smooth landing. Later, when you have time to reflect and let out a big sigh of relief, you can lean on the words of Shakespeare. He wrote, “All’s well that ends well!”
Lynn M. May 5, 2018
As we hurry through our lives at breakneck speeds, we often forget some of those simple pleasures that once brought us comfort. We continually gather the new things and pile them on top of our already collected goods until we have tall totem poles of stuff.
We may eventually realize that we indeed have a plethora of gains and in a few moments of stillness, we might have a chance uncover some of those beloved items at the bottom of the barrel. It’s comparable to cleaning out a drawer and rediscovering a favorite blouse or snugly pair of pajamas.
As clarity returns to us when we slow down, we begin to remember other things that once brought us joy. It could be a classical radio station that we once found rewarding, a gospel CD that has been tucked away or a radio talk show that we had forgotten during our frenetic paces.
Old books that we once enjoyed could catch our attention and we may revisit them. Or we might pull out the paint brushes and therapeutically finish a poem that we started on a piece of stretched canvas.
After completing several high-paced projects, we take the time to draw back the heavy curtains of our personal stages and notice those things that we once cherished. We hear ourselves say, “Oh yeah,” as we remember how much peace a sauna or pool brought us.
Or, we may decide to replace those old ballet shoes that we enjoyed wearing around the house for increased balance. It is the small things that bring us the most happiness if we only take the time to remember them.
We should shuffle around those possessions that we already own or jog our memories to recall what once brought us peace in the past. When the cream has risen to the top along with our smiles, we can make a pointed effort to restock our treasure troves of joy!
Lynn M. April 28, 2018
Everything comes to a rest after being in motion. Musicians learn to read the rest signs on musical scores. Trains, cars and airplanes come to a stop to unload and reload passengers or perhaps they have come to the end of their destined routes.
Birds stop flying to eat, regather and get their directions. They may need to confer with the leader who is flying the point and see the new plan. But they still have to come down to the ground to have that communication.
Wise ones know that in order to make good choices, they must descend from the mountains of high activity. Then, they can come to a low valley point and simply stop. As they rest, they can reflect, reassess, analyze and decide on what needs to be done next. They can then create a new blueprint or action plan.
When the mind, body and soul are in one accord and all of the right tools are in place, they can emerge from those resting places. They are then fired up and ready to go on. They may have had to put everything and everyone on hold but now, they can have continued success. Then they are recharged, replenished and as all systems are set to go, they can assertively, dive in!
Lynn M. April 21, 2018
The other day I was teaching a unit on New Plants to a group of first graders. I thought of the many parables and parallels about life that were tucked in this lesson. It basically said that plants need air, water and space.
I thought about my own fascination with gardens. Those of us with a green thumb know that it all starts with a tiny seed that is deeply planted in fertilized soil. Yet, if properly nurtured, those tiny seeds grow into rows and rows of bountiful beauty.
Just like the plants, we also need plenty of air. One of the first recommendations of our physicians and metaphysicians is, “Get plenty of fresh air!” A breath of fresh air not only fills our lungs but it changes our thoughts. A brisk walk in the elements whether sun, rain or wind is a sure-fired method of solving a problem. A mental light bulb will invariably pop on and new perspectives are likely to emerge during a walk.
We need light too and the sun usually brings a smile to most of our faces. It is a welcome source that inspires us to enjoy daily living. If we have been sitting in the dark for too long, we realize what we have been missing once we open the blinds and pull back the curtains. That emitted light speedily brings us closer to better health. We can see that the glass is truly more full than empty.
And lastly, we definitely need space. When plants stop growing we pull them out of their old pots and see that they have become root-bound. The roots are all crowded together and there is no room for them to stretch their proverbial new wings. So, we get a larger pot and make room for the new growth.
We may feel the walls of constriction are closing in on us but it is usually a sign that it is time to move on up higher. Like the plants, we have been unconsciously growing. There is a saying that says, “Your growing is showing!” So, as the process dictates, we must move on to airy, light-filled, spacious places as we drink from even fresher fountains!
Lynn M. April 14, 2018