Summer is in full swing and Mother Nature is at her most bountiful abundant prolific time.
This week we’ll talk about the wisdom we can glean from Mother Nature. She has much to teach us, if we’d only pause a moment and become aware of her. She doesn’t use abstract concepts that we have to wrap our minds around, rather she actually shows us through the actions of living things the Guiding Principles of Life.
Let’s make a pact that this week, as we explore and extract the teachings from the natural world around us, we’ll spend as much time as we can outdoors quietly watching, looking, and seeing what we see. Then we’ll take the time to note our observations and ponder how they might apply to our life.
Let’s start this today!
In the comments below, feel free to let me know what you discover. Thanks!
When you’re feeling bad about yourself and can’t seem to shake it, here’s what to do:
1. Ditch the negative people around you as fast as you can! The reason you can’t shake feeling bad about yourself and your life is probably because you’re hanging around people who don’t value you, appreciate you, and/or celebrate you. They’re also the people who see nothing but woe and disaster ahead of you, which is most definitely NOT what you need right now.
What do you do? DISTANCE YOURSELF FROM THEM AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!!
Call up a few of your friends who make you feel great about yourself and always have something nice to say to you. Be up front with them and tell them you’ve had a hard day and you need them to remind you of a few good things about yourself. Jot them down and keep them handy in a scrapbook or in a folder on your mobile device or computer.
2. You’ve forgotten or lost–or never had it in the first place!!–a vision of the fabulous future that awaits you.
What do you do? REMEMBER THE DELICIOUS FUTURE THAT’S WAITING FOR YOU!
Get out your vision board, your mission statement, your Scrapbook of Optimism and remind yourself that the rough patch you’re in right now is NOT permanent–it, too, will pass. Remind yourself that better days are ahead. Remind yourself that, no matter how wonderful your life may have been in the past, your best days are still yet to come–they’re still ahead of you!
And, if you don’t have an exciting future imagined for yourself, then immediately and right now and at this very instant start dreaming! Write it all down, make a collage, choose some sort of item or symbol that reminds you of your dreams and keep that symbol where you can see it every single day.
3. Get the icky feelings and emotions out of your system! Best advice from a dear friend: vent, steam, rant, rave, cry, gnash your teeth, shake your fist, scream if you have to and then take the next step forward.
What do you do? DON’T WALLOW; KEEP PRESSING ONWARD!
4. Pressing forward looks like this: networking to find a new job, bartering with friends and loved ones to get the help you need to clear out the clutter in your home, taking classes online to improve your knowledge and skills…. Put on your Thinking Cap and come up with the things YOU can do that will help YOU.
What do you do when you’ve done all you can? LET GO AND TRUST THAT THE GOOD WORKS YOU JUST DID ARE GOING FORTH AND BRINGING GOOD STUFF BACK TO YOU
5. Make your waiting time productive by pursuing things that interest you, that make you feel good, that bring you peace and contentment. I’m not talking about hedonistic pursuits, I’m talking about the soul-prospering pursuits.
What do you do next? GET BUSY!!
Some soul-prospering pursuits are: spending time with your hobbies, enjoying the people you love and who make you feel loved and cared for, following the thread of a new idea or activity that has captured your interest, taking a class in a topic that, for you, is “off the wall”, volunteering your time and helping others…. I’m sure you can come up with your own ideas to follow through on.
6. What do you do after all this? REPEAT THESE STEPS AS OFTEN AS NEEDED.
Let me know how these simple steps work out for you. Thanks!
When we think of giving and donating we think of our favorite charities and non-profit organizations. We may also think of community-based needs such as the local food bank, soup kitchen, or local fundraising efforts on behalf of a family or individual facing an overwhelming challenge.
But what about us? How often do we give to ourselves?
The kind of giving I’m talking about is the type where you cherish yourself and the life you’ve been given; you show your love to yourself by honoring and respecting yourself. For instance, you move yourself up on your list of priorities from the bottom to the top, or at least the middle of the list….
Here are a few suggestions of ways to cherish yourself and your life:
~Cleaning out the clutter in your home;
~Straightening up the landscaping;
~Working on that idea that will give you the soul-prospering life you seek;
~Scheduling time to pursue things that have captivated your interest;
~Getting rid of all the junk food in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry;
~Adding enjoyable physical activities to your life–a fun way to get in your exercise;
~Each morning saying “I can’t wait to see what wonders, laughter, and interesting things this day will bring!”;
~Each evening saying “Thanks for the great day!”, then think about at least 3 good things that happened to you during the day;
~Saying kind and encouraging statements to yourself, especially if it’s a tough day…..
I’m sure you can think of other ways that will “hit the spot” in cherishing yourself.
Treat each day as if it’s your birthday because, in a sense it is–you birth from your nighttime slumbers into a fresh, new day filled with possibilities for you!
When we think of noblesse oblige and donating to worthy causes and organizations, we think we have to be wealthy. Seemingly counter-intuitively, studies have shown that people of moderate incomes give a higher percentage of their income than do their wealthier counterparts. When wealthy people give, it’s splashed across the headlines because it’s a large dollar amount. But when compared to their overall income, it’s a relatively small portion. People of moderate incomes rarely make the headlines with their donations but more of the money they earn goes to charities and other non-profit organizations.
Here are some interesting statistics on philanthropy in America:
~Per capita, Americans are one of the most generous peoples in the world;
~Over 70% of households donate to charities;
~While the wealthy give large sums to charities and organizations each year, it’s individuals from average households that form the backbone of philanthropic giving;
~Giving has increased every year since the recession of 2008;
~The numbers of women mega-donors continue to increase;
~Wealthy people tend to give to the arts and humanities, universities, and hospitals;
~People of moderate means tend to give within their communities: local churches, local human services organizations, community events, and reaching out a helping hand to community members who have fallen on hard times.
The point is, you don’t have to be Mr. or Ms. Gotbucks in order to have an attitude of noblesse oblige. Get out there and give a helping hand!
The idea of noblesse oblige came about during the Middle Ages, during the time of chivalry and courtly love. The concept is that people of privilege have an obligation and a duty to help those who are less fortunate. The saying goes: to whom much is given, much is expected.
We are all privileged in some way.
Even if we don’t have much in the way of tangible things to offer–money, food, clothing, etc.–we all have abundance in some aspect of our lives. Perhaps we’re good listeners or we have a beautiful smile or an infectious laugh–these are a bounty worth sharing! Maybe we’re good at noticing someone’s new haircut or a piece of distinctive jewelry and we’re always quick to compliment them. This, too, is a wonderful thing to give to others.
Do you know there are benefits to being generous? Here are six:
~Being generous helps you develop an attitude of giving and helping rather than taking. This creates in you a more positive, optimistic outlook;
~Generosity gives you a physiological, psychological, mental, and spiritual boost–It feels good to know that you can be helpful and that you’ve helped someone;
~Giving helps you overcome feelings of discouragement;
~Helping others gets you out of your own little world. You meet other people, thus enlarging your social and professional circle. People with better social networks are better adjusted and tend to live longer;
~Volunteering, getting involved in charities and other organizations helps you grow as a person; it’s a way to find out your likes and dislikes;
~Helping others helps you gain a new perspective on your own troubles and on your overall life.
What are your favorite ways to give back or to reach out a helping hand? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!
A friend of mine has an interesting technique she employs whenever she is feeling as if there is no hope for her situation. She looks through her possessions and give one of them away.
The item she chooses is one she likes and is currently using.
I was stunned when she first told me this. I thought she was going to tell me that the thing she gave away was something she hadn’t used in a while and was just muddling up her life. I thought she’d go on to tell me that clearing out the clutter helped open up the channels for new opportunities to enter her life.
She explained to me that while she also clears out the things she’s no longer using–precisely to open those doorways to interesting and new experiences–she relies on turning events in her favor by giving away something she really likes and uses often.
Doing this reminds her that she doesn’t need anything other than herself, her skills, her intelligence, and her talents; that any possessions she has are icing on the cake.
I asked her if after doing this, events shifted for the better. She said that she found the benefit of this technique is to lighten up–not be so grasping and worried. It helps her have a more optimistic outlook and it teachest her to believe that things will work out. And it’s this attitude of letting go and trusting that helps her see the opportunities surrounding us all.
I’ve tried this technique from time-to-time and each time I do this, it’s a tiny bit easier to fully let go. It’s a work in progress, though, for sure!
How about you? What have been your experiences with this technique or something like it? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!
Make it a point, a top priority, this week to notice the good stuff that happens to you this week. Don’t wait for the big things like winning the lottery, getting that huge promotion, or winning the impressive award. Instead, focus on the small things.
Nothing is too small to be noticed. In fact, these seemingly small, inconsequential things are the things that make up your every day life and, strung together, form the substance of your life.
Here is some good stuff:
~you arrived at a meeting a few moments early so you were able to sit quietly, gather your thoughts, and take a deep breath or two;
~you glanced out the window and saw a bird soaring and it made you feel free;
~a passerby smiled at you and said hello;
~someone gave you a coupon for a product that you use all the time;
~on your commute, you noticed all the wildflowers growing in the median of the highway
~you watched the raindrops splashing in a puddle and it reminded you of when you were a child when your mom let you play in the rain….
These are just a few suggestions. Keep your eyes open for the good stuff that surrounds you each day, every day.
You can do it!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Crafting a deeply meaningful, soul-prospering life