Friday, August 16, 2013

“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.” ― Arthur Schopenhauer

photo by Theophilos/flickr
We all know that what we focus on is what we see - but sometimes we forget that we have a choice. I recently watched an episode of "Brain Games" that reminded me that focusing on obstacles prevents me from seeing opportunities that lay just beyond my reach.

Let me share it with you. Hold your index finger in front of you so that it rests between your eyes and the picture above.. Stare at your finger for 10 to 15 seconds and then shift your focus to the scene of the boat in the water. If you are like most of us, you discovered that you can see through your finger to the beautiful scene in the background. Even though your finger is still there before your eyes, you are suddenly able to see the view beyond it with clarity and your finger seems to disappear from view.

If a solid object like your finger can disappear with a simple shift in focus, imagine what happens to obstacles when you shift your focus and concentrate on your dreams.

Today, I am grateful for the approach of fall and the cool night breeze, for the flight of the hummingbird as it inspects bright red and gold nasturtiums, and for the sweet fragrance of my herb garden. 
I am grateful for the bark of a distant dog as it echoes in the night, for the bat that wings its way through my garden in search of food, and for rainbows that will come to call another day. 
I am grateful for wild berries that feeds God's creatures, for trees that bring comfort to the world, and rocks. 
I am grateful for grown children who always make me proud, for my husband who is always there, and for brothers and sisters who helped make me who I am. I am grateful for parents who taught me the way to go. 
I am grateful for food to eat, water to drink and air to breathe. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you resist the urge to focus on obstacles and look beyond them as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. Henry Van Dyke

 nagillum/Flickr

How easy it is to become down trodden and lose our way because we fear that what we are is not good enough, that our talents and skills will never match up to those around us. The problem, of course, is that we tend to compare ourselves to the best of the best and become discouraged when we fall short in comparison.

Some contend that comparing ourselves to others is a natural tendency to find out where we fit in to the world - that the human brain prefers to sort and rank information. It's your job to give it something to do that will move you forward toward your goals instead of leaving you feeling like you have missed the mark.

Instead of comparing yourself to others and the accomplishments you think they have achieved, get in the habit of comparing your past and present self. Whatever your endeavors, look back to where you started. Take stock of what how far you have come and celebrate your accomplishment with joy as you work to reach your goals and dreams.


Today I am grateful for the chokecherry tree laden with fruit that provides food for a multitude of birds, for the varied songs that waft through the air and the shimmer of new morning light.
  I am grateful for blue sky, green grass and the remnants of rain that cools my bare feet. I am grateful for the rogue sunflower that adorns my garden and for the steady drip of water from surrounding trees that tells me the rain is done.

I am grateful for family and friends that share my life, for old friends who helped make me who I am today and for new friends I will meet along life's way.
 And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you resist the urge to compare yourself to others as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Negative thoughts stick around because we believe them, not because we want them or choose them. Andrew Bernstein

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net


Lately I've found myself sucked into negative thoughts that seem to linger throughout my day. The slightest indication of criticism, the suggestion that things might not work out as planned or a hint that something negative is on the way is enough to send my mood pummeling downward.

It's not so much that I choose to dwell on negative thoughts as it is that I am struggling to push them away. I realized today that its not the fact that negative thoughts come that is causing the problem, it is our tendency to believe them.

I recently encountered an editor that seemed overly harsh in his assessment of my work, which cast a shadow of self-doubt over me. I thought it was the sting of criticism that was bothering me, but I realize now it was my belief in his criticism and the negative effects of self doubt that has caused the cloud of insecurity to envelop me. Today, I will choose to cast away my belief in my negative thoughts and get on with the business of working to reach my goals as I go forward in the direction of my dreams.

Strive today to chase negative thoughts from your life by refusing to believe that they have power over you. Look them square in the face and say, "I don't believe you." Know that refusing to believe them renders them powerless and opens your life to positive thoughts and positive energy.

Today, I am grateful for green grass, bright flowers and birds at my feeder. I am grateful for the fruit of my garden, for the call of the owl and the light from the sun. I am grateful for soft raindrops that fall to refresh the earth. 
I am grateful for family and friends who make my life rich, for the kindness of strangers who I meet throughout my day and for the vastness of the universe. I am grateful for the human mind and its infinite power to learn new things and reach new heights. 
I am grateful for good health, a sound mind and laughter. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you overcome your negative thoughts today by refusing to believe them as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.






Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Better keep yourself clean and bright. You are the window through which you must see the world." George Bernard Shaw


It is so easy to forget that how we view the world creates our reality. When we focus on the obstacles to reaching our dreams and goals, we lose of sight of where we need to go. When the momentum is broken and the vision becomes clouded by circumstances, our paths darken and we cannot find our way.

For today, strive to clear your vision by viewing the world in a positive light and know that you can reach your goals as long as you continue to go forward in the direction of your dreams. Allow yourself to see the world through the innocence of childhood today and believe in the power of your dreams.

Today, I am grateful for new opportunities I have yet to recognize but I know lie just out of sight. I am grateful for the beauty of the Universe, for the music of the wind, and the earthy scent of greenhouses.
I am grateful for a clear, sound mind with which to view the world, for the courage to pursue my dreams, and for the knowledge that dreams do come true.
I am grateful for the people who have touched by life - for good and bad - who helped me become who I am today. I am grateful for the ability to make wise choices, for a heart that feels compassion for others, and the wisdom to know when to offer help and when to let them find their own way. 
I am grateful for my family who forms the center of my life, for my pets who bring peace and joy into my life, and for my garden that patiently sleeps beneath the snow. I am grateful for improved health, abundant energy and the vision of a bright tomorrow. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you keep yourself clean and bright today that you may see the world clearly as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The most powerful moral influence is example. Huston Smith

freedigitalphotos.net

I've been trying to find the right quote and image for this post for a while now. You see, recently I saw a post by someone on Facebook who has a habit of posting cryptic messages about all the people who are mistreating her. Her recent post declared their devotion to Christianity. I found this very disturbing - not because I think Christians should be perfect, but because of the contrast in the example she sets for others and what appears to be her real beliefs.

It started me thinking about how easy it is to become pulled into behaviors that don't match our beliefs. When how we live our life is opposed to our beliefs, we will never reach our dreams and goals.

If you, like all of us at times, have gotten into the habit of focusing on set backs, instead of your dreams and goals, take time today to consider the values you portray with your words and actions and compare it to your beliefs about reaching your dreams.

Today, I am grateful for the nearness of spring that I know lurks beneath the snow. I am grateful for a cozy home, a warm fire and healthy food to eat. I am grateful for the road crews who work diligently through the night to keep the roads free of snow and ice.

I am grateful for warm blankets and soft pillows that keep me comfortable through the raging storm. I am grateful for dogs and cats that love unconditionally. 

I am grateful for my greenhouse that allows me to grow green things in the midst of winter, for good books to read and for the sound of wind chimes.

I am grateful for my family - for my children who always make me proud, a new daughter-in-law who has joined our family and for my husband who is always there. I am grateful for brothers and sisters who made me who I am, and for my parents who have long passed on.

And I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you take the time to consider the example you set for others as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.



Saturday, January 26, 2013

Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. Harriet Tubman



It is so easy to forget that within each of us lies the enormous power to change the world around us. We become lulled into thinking that the outside world holds all the power and soon find ourselves letting circumstances control our lives. We give away our power to chose, our power to act, and our power to believe and then wonder why our world begins to crumble around us.

Believing in the power of your dreams - whatever they may be - is one way to regain your power and make changes in your life. Just the act of believing set the wheels in motion for achieving the seemingly impossible.

If you have become lulled into thinking that your dreams and goals will remain out of your reach forever, it's time to start believing in the power of your dreams and begin working to achieve them.

For today, gather your dreams and begin the journey toward reaching them. Give no thought to the criticism of those around you, for they do not have your insight and your desire to go forward in the direction of dreams.

Today, I am grateful for the brightness of the sun that brings life to earth, for the blue of the sky that adds beauty to the world, and for blankets of snow that creates a blank canvas that will awaken in glorious color in spring. I am grateful for chattering of the squirrel, the call of the jay, and the tiny chickadee.
I am grateful for warm clothes, hot coffee, and a roaring fire that keep me warm as winter rages on. I am grateful for houseplants that liven my world, for paperwhites in bloom, and tiny plants that struggle to burst forth from seeds.
I am grateful for a clear, sound mind that I may see the direction to go, for a healthy body that sees me through the day, and for laughter that brightens the world. 
I am grateful for family that I hold dear - for children who always make me proud and for their ability to go forward in the world and make a bright future for themselves. I am grateful for a husband, who is always by my side, for my cat who brings me great joy, and for a dog that alerts me when strangers are near.
I am grateful for the freedom to pursue my dreams, for the courage to follow wherever they lead, and for the quiet joy they bring to my life.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. In the words of Harriet Tubman, "May you always remember  you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them. W. Clement Stone

Freedigitalphotos.net

I've been thinking a lot lately about how the people I choose to spend time with - both online and in real life - and  the environment I  choose affects me and my ability to reach my goals. In the past few months, I've been writing about topics I'm not particularly proud of because they are popular and bring in the most readers. 

Although I've enjoyed the added revenue, I've found myself drifting further and further from the things that matter to me. As I dabbled in writing celebrity gossip and reality tv reviews, I soon discovered that in order to write it, you have to live it. That's something I'm not willing to do. I have a friend who is wildly successful at it and I envy her ability to somehow put it all in perspective and enjoy what she does.

Filling my mind with gossip and the misfortune of others has taken me down a path that I don't want to go. The environment and the people began to mold my thinking and I can't let that happen.

You see, I love my cozy little life filled with images of flowers and herbs (yes, I am garden writer, too). I love encouraging others to reach for their goals. I love writing about touchy-feely new age topics, reading good books, and growing plants in my greenhouse. 

Be on guard today for ways you may be sabotaging your own success by staying in environments and associating with people that may hinder your success. Look carefully to those around you and choose friends and environments that build you up instead of tear you down.

Today, I am grateful for the freedom to pursue my dreams, for the ability to see the way, and the wisdom to choose my path wisely. I am grateful for the positive people in my life who always look to the good in others, for warm hearts that are willing to share, and for the insight to guide my way.
I am grateful for the winter sun that grows stronger everyday, for the blue sky that brightens the day and for night stars that fill me with wonder. I am grateful for nourishing food, a cozy, warm house, and family to share my world. 
I am grateful for opportunities to grow and learn, for good books to challenge the mind, and for music to sooth the soul. I am grateful for lavender-vanilla candles to bath my world in scent, for hot coffee, and for fuzzy socks that keep my feet warm.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you be ever careful of the environment and friends you choose, as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.