Live well

Stop and Take Notice of Your Insides

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I am walking down the steps. The goldendoodle we are sitting for is at the bottom, looking for all the world like a raggedy stuffed animal toy from an alien planet.  Her cuteness makes me smile. She will go home tomorrow and the long curly white dog hairs and pieces of chew toy all over the rugs and couch will be expunged. I will welcome the peace that replaces the mess and chaos. At the same time,  I will miss the funny, joyful dog.

Stop and savor the sunset.
Stop and savor the sunset.

If you took a snapshot of my heart just then, as I paused on the steps to soak in what I was feeling, it would transmit  joy and thanksgiving. I love my life and all the good things in it.  I stood there for awhile, mid-staircase, savoring it all.

Funny goldendoodle - makes me smile.
Funny goldendoodle – makes me smile.

Life would have us all be too busy to stop and notice warm moments like these. 

Rituals and holidays are important, but some of them create so much busy-ness, they drown out the meaning  they claim to exist for.  I don’t want to be told I need to eat turkey and feel grateful today.

I think the better message is to take some things off your plate, stop what you are doing and notice these moments of joy and gratitude as they occur naturally. It takes practice to do this, and awareness, and openness.  We sometimes use the busy-ness of life and holidays to protect our hearts from opening to the deep-real. That is like knowing the heart beats without feeling its life-giving rhythm.

Goldendoodle with boy at sunset. Photo by M. DeLuca
Goldendoodle/alien stuffed animal with boy at sunset.

 

Copyright 2013, Lisa C. DeLuca. . Re-posting this article on the web is against copyright law and it will harm this website. Instead of copying this work, if you like it, post a quote from it and  link back to this page. If you would like to use my work in any form other than linking to it, please ask first. Contact me at  LisaCDeLuca (at) gmail.com. Thank you.

The information in this post is general information and is not a substitute for personal mental health advice.

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Listen to your Calling

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I don’t know why I write, whether it will ever amount to what the world considers valuable: money or recognition. I don’t know if it’s all just a big waste of time. But I am compelled, so I write. I allowed myself to notice recently that I spend EVERY day thinking about what I will write. I think about writing even when I have nothing to write. This, I remind myself constantly, is reason enough to engage it.

What is it that you are called to do? Are you listening to that calling? Or ignoring it, squelching it, pushing it away? 

Children are often better than adults at knowing what they want to do and doing it. Adults ask too many questions. Photo by Mokra, Sxc.hu
Children are often better than adults at knowing what they want to do and doing it. Adults ask too many questions. Photo by Mokra, Sxc.hu

There are lots of things we have to do in a day, a week. But spending some time on your passion is what makes that week worth living. Regardless of the outcome. Regardless of whether it “amounts” to anything in the eyes of anyone else. We’re so obsessed with outcomes. I’ve struggled with this, but I do, in my better moments, accept that the outcome is not the point. I’m following where I’m led. And if it goes “nowhere”, well, whose label is that anyway?

Maybe what we love to do is worth doing even if it is only whimsy.

I work with people who are very burned out because of the enormous and unending responsibilities they have, taking care of a sick loved one. Doing something they love, even if only for a half-hour, is the only way they keep themselves going. It releases and recharges them. Statistics show those caregivers who take care of themselves in this manner are healthier and actually live longer. The life force is never wrong.

Copyright 2013, Lisa C. DeLuca. . Re-posting this article on the web is against copyright law and it will harm this website. Instead of copying this work, if you like it, post a quote from it and  link back to this page. Please do not reprint or distribute my work without permission. If you would like to use my work in any form, other than linking to it, please contact me at LisaCDeLuca (at) gmail.com. Thank you.

The information in this post is general information and is not a substitute for personal mental health advice.

Don’t Just “Get Through” It

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What are we always waiting for that we think is better than what we have right now? I want to do more than just “get through” the day, the work-week, the school year, college, the kids college, the daily chores, and my whole life up until retirement.

Today I stopped and looked – just looked – at my children and absorbed them into my heart, just as they were in that ordinary moment. It was one of the greatest moments of my life.

I don’t want to retire from living until the life has left my body. Every moment carries a possibility of igniting the passion that leads to the meaning of life.

Keep your hart and soul open to the sparks. Photo: Dantada, Morguefile.com
Keep your heart and soul open to the sparks. Photo: Dantada, Morguefile.com

Being open to these possibilities, I’ve learned, requires practice and attention. It involves keeping the heart open.

A few years ago I was sick for five months. The worst part was being unable to take care of my children, who were young. The daily chores that used to be mundane and annoying to me were not an option now. I felt helpless. As a mother of small children, helpless is maybe the worst feeling you could have. But I was still well enough to do laundry. My folding those clothes took on new meaning for me. I did it religiously. It was my great act of love for my family, and I was grateful, at the time, that I could even do it since I couldn’t do all that much else for them.

When I do housework now, having been restored to full health, I have this new perspective about it. Do I forget and complain sometimes? Sure. But I have this opportunity now, to be alive, in love and gratitude, when I am doing housework, rather than just getting through it.

– copyright Lisa C. DeLuca, November 2013. All rights reserved. Please do not copy this work without permission of the author. Contact me at LisaCDeLuca (at) gmail.com