Simplicity

In today’s world, it’s easy to get lost in the complexity of our society. Our life can become a whirling mass of chores, things, people, responsibilities and places, leaving us feeling lost and joyless.

When that happens, take some time to make yourself a top priority. Decide what really matters to you…your well-being and peaceful existence. Eliminate as many of the “shoulds” as possible, and let go of unnecessary things and people. Take some time to do what makes you happy and clears your mind. Relax and go with the flow of life; don’t complicate it with overthinking. When you return to what you absolutely have to do, you will approach it more lovingly because you’ve found time to nurture yourself and relax back into yourself.

My favorite go-to place locally is without a doubt, Cape May, NJ. The beauty of the ocean and rhythm of the waves relaxes me and helps to clear my head. The same is true to some extent for writing and genealogy although those activities can at times be bittersweet. 🙂

Do you have a special place or activity that allows you to relax and free yourself from your routine?

What Are You Grateful For Today?

There’s always something to appreciate if you think about it. Even on dark, gloomy mornings, the fact that you woke up to see it, is a blessing. Life is something to be thankful for, and as tough as it may seem now, things change and the road levels off.

I find my own life goes more smoothly if I focus on gratitude at least once a day. Before going to bed is an excellent time to be reflective of the day just lived. I know, some days you’d like to forget. We all have those days. Bad things often happen to make room for new opportunities and growth.

If you can’t find the silver lining in that day, then look around at the people in your life. No doubt many of them love you more than you will ever realize. Love is always something to be grateful for. If there are no friends or loved-ones there, it’s an invitation to step outside your comfort zone—join a group or get involved in a charity or church group. Reach out to a neighbor, co-worker or a stranger who needs help. There are plenty of them around.

Some people keep a gratitude journal. While that doesn’t work for all (me included), it’s easy enough to say outloud five things (events, people, objects, feelings, etc.) you are grateful for each day. Be sure to actually feel the gratitude as you think about each one. Can’t do five? Start with three.

We frequently take people and things for granted. Remember to search for the joy in whatever and whoever is in your life. As the saying goes, tomorrow is promised to no one. Make the best of each day and remember that the more you appreciate your life and the people in it, the easier it will be for more good things to come your way.

Change

     The necessity of change is difficult for many of us to accept. There is no doubt that sudden unexpected change such as the death of a loved one is devastating. Some are able to integrate loving memories of their dear one into a life that moves ahead. Others lead limited lives by failing to accept the unwanted change in circumstances.

     It’s often easier to accept less tragic, more gradual change, especially if you are younger. If you’ve lived more than a few decades you’ve seen numerous shifts in culture, ways of thinking and lifestyles. When we are young it seems easier to flow with these changes. As we age, however, flowing with change tends to become more difficult. When we get older, we sometimes nurture a desire to return to the safety or “sanity” of the childhood years, or the beauty and agility of our younger glory days. Too many past thoughts blind us to the present, and we fail to see and appreciate all that’s worthwhile right in front of us.

     A fully lived life necessitates a reasonable degree of adaptability. Accept the idea that nothing stays the same. It’s the only thing that’s certain in life. Learn to accept what you can’t change. If you have no control over the circumstances, there’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t change other people, only the way you react to them. Moreover, if you are unhappy, take the necessary steps to make the changes you can control. Don’t allow anxiety and fear to dominate your actions.

     If you seek more peace and fulfillment in your life, remember to live in the present moment. Every second is precious; don’t waste time reliving the past or dreaming too much about the future. Being grateful for all the good things in your life presently, will bring you even more reasons to be grateful down the road. Flow through the rough spots and live each day fully. You can’t move ahead, or live your best life, with your head stuck in the past.

Growing Older – Forgiveness

The older I get, the less emotional baggage I want to carry with me, so at this point in life I have learned to pick my battles carefully and let go of those I no longer want to own. I have realized that some “injustices” need to be released because holding on to them is simply doing me harm, physically and emotionally. I value my own well-being more. It also helps me to remember that forgiveness does not mean that you have to forget.

In addition, my slowly-acquired awareness that the “injustice” says more about the perpetrator than about me, has allowed me to move on. Do I really want to “sink” to their level? Neither am I so quick now to “perceive” an injustice and attribute intention to another. I don’t really know what is going on in their head…perhaps it’s just my perception and they never intended it the way I took it.

I trust in my belief that God (the universe) is ultimately fair so why would I waste my time plotting some type of revenge? It will be dealt with in its own time and place. I am happier to live peacefully by focusing on the positives in life.

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