Is there a time of year or a season that reminds you of a loved one? Of course Christmas and other big celebrations remind us of our loving family and friends, however, is there another time that triggers warm thoughts of the people–or a person–you care about?
Strawberries are one of the markers in the year that does this for me. When it’s strawberry season, I can’t help thinking about my Mom. I shared with you last week my childhood memories of strawberries and my Mom. Strawberries also remind me of her birthday. I think the strawberries celebrate her birthday, too, because they seem to peak right around her special day!
When I was at the farm picking strawberries earlier this week, I marveled at how there were loads of ripe ones close by for the picking. I didn’t have to range through the patch looking for enough to fill my quart container. Within a step or two of where I started, there were plenty for me.
Our loved one’s caring and love for us is much the same. People who truly love us are always there for us–only a step or two away. They may not know how to help us and we may become frustrated because of this. If we take a deep breath and center ourselves, we can see and feel their loving concern even though all they can do is send prayers and good vibes to us. We can help them help us by believing and knowing that they are thinking of us and sending us their very best thoughts and wishes.
Thanks, strawberries, for reminding us that our loved ones truly do care for us and want the very best for us.
Here’s to fathers the world over who share themselves with their children: teaching us about intellectual pursuits and the value of education; the joy of physical activity, goofing around, and sportsmanship; the honor of putting our best foot forward and—regardless of the outcome—the satisfaction of knowing we did our best.
Thank you fathers for holding our hand when we needed it and for pushing us out of our comfort zones when we needed that—and thanks for knowing the difference!
Thank you fathers for showing us that real men step up to the plate and do what needs doing, whether they want to or not or whether it’s cool or not. Thanks for showing us that real men are gentle, compassionate, kind, and forgiving, and that they also know when to be tough, strong, and fierce.
Thanks fathers for showing us how to live with honor and integrity and that those virtues really are the best guides in life.
Recently, I tweaked my morning practice. I now spend the first 20 – 30 minutes of the day sitting in silence–not meditating but sitting in silence and listening. It’s through this updated practice that I discovered I don’t really thank myself. I console myself, treat myself from time-to-time, and I even spoil myself when I’m feeling particularly bruised.
But I hadn’t made it a regular practice to thank myself.
The benefits I’ve discovered in the short while that I’ve done this have been pleasantly surprising. As I said in yesterday’s post, it’s helping me turn away from the past, letting go of it, and, as I said in yesterday’s post, I’ve found that forgiveness–of myself and others–is a natural, welcomed consequence.
I’ve also discovered that it’s an effective way to “turn that frown upside down”. The disparaging things that people have said about me–and even the negative things I tell myself–can be neutralized with this technique.
For instance, if someone says that we’re stubborn, usually that has a negative connotation: that we’re ornery and prickly and not very nice people. Needless to say, this can have a very bad impact on our self-esteem!
But, what if we took that statement, “you’re so stubborn”, and instead dug a little deeper in ourselves to find what’s going on. We probably aren’t agreeing to go along with what the other person wants for a very good reason. It can be that the person didn’t think through what they’re asking us to do and we can see all sorts of pitfalls. We should thank ourselves for being the type of people who think things through and do reasonable due diligence before undertaking something. We need to thank ourselves for being in tune with our intuition and the warning bells that are alerting us to something that needs further investigation.
So, stubborn? Not hardly! And, Yay Us for having the skill and nerve to speak up and do what we think is right!
Also, I’ve found that thanking myself is a great way to start off the day. And, it’s also a great way to press the reset button on the day. Naturally, it’s an excellent way to fall asleep, too!
You don’t have to make a big ordeal out of thanking yourself and it doesn’t have to be for Big Stuff. It can be for simple things such as “Thank you, me, for enjoying Nature and being able to give myself a lift by gazing at it through my window.” Or “Thank you, me, for being diligent and persistent about understanding who I truly am.” Or “Thank you, me, for choosing such good friends.” Or “Thank you, me, for buying fresh flowers for my home once a month.” Or “Thank you, me, for always trying to see the good side of situations.” Or “Thank you, me, for giving people the benefit of the doubt.” Or “Thank you, me, for being a great cook!”
Simple things, ordinary things, the way you naturally are, the things you naturally do, are all excellent things to thank yourself for.
By making this a regular practice, you’ll find you feel lighter, more hopeful, and you’re more present in the moment and looking forward to the future. All good stuff!
Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you. Leave a comment!
Each of us has in our family tree ancestors who have lived honest, courageous lives. They may not have been famous and they may not have made millions, but they faced heartbreak and disappointment with grace and dignity; they crafted good lives for themselves. Each of our ancestors’ DNA is in each of us.
We can take courage from our forbearers–our foremothers, since we’re honoring all mothers this week. When we face tough times, let’s remember our grandmothers’ and great-grandmothers’ strength in the face of adversity and use that to bolster our spirits and our will to go on.
I’ve been reading several memoirs that are inspiring. All of them are written by mothers and each one of them are accomplished women.
When we see successful women, they make it look so easy. We think they’ve breezed to success and now that they’re at the top, they’re kicking back and coasting. They seem to have it all figured out.
Their memoirs make it very clear that they struggled every step of the way and they still face struggles today, in spite of their success. They struggled with the very things that we “common” folk do.
Here are some of their struggles:
~staying connected to their spouse;
~staying connected to their children;
~being respected in the work place;
~dealing with coworkers that are jerks;
~dealing with workplace politics;
~wondering how they’re going to pay the bills;
~how to make space in their lives for “me” time;
~picking up the pieces after divorce;
~figuring out how to be a single parent and not have their kids “miss out”;
~keeping up with the fast-paced business world…
Do any of these struggles sound familiar to you?
The memoirs I’m reading are:
Cowgirl Power: How to Kick Ass in Business and Life by Gay Gaddis
Inventing Joy: Dare to Build a Brave & Creative Life by Joy Mangano
I’ve Been Thinking…: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver
There are plenty of other memoirs available that can nurture and encourage you. In reading them, you’ll discover that the only difference between you and these successful women is that they find a way to keep taking at least one tiny baby step toward their dreams each day.