Rest Stop (autumn) ... learning from change

Fall scene in MA (credit: Blog author)

Way back in the 1980's I took this photo while I lived in a small town in western Massachusetts.  Most people I know tend to get excited, perk up, prepare for, and are encouraged as Spring moves into Summer.  Not that I don't like Summer, but for me, I do the same preparations for the beginning of Autumn.  I must say, Autumn is by far my most favorite season (with Winter a close second).  And now here we are, the first day of Autumn (officially starting at 10:21 am EDT)!

As far back as I can remember I have enjoyed Autumn.  Growing up in the northern reaches of the US I am used to the colder seasons, probably part of the reason for my enjoyment of Autumn.  Of all the seasons I find this one to be especially focused on family and God.  During this season there are holidays, gatherings and the beginning of school.  Halloween and Thanksgiving are near with Christmas not too far away.  The cooler weather draws us closer together as we huddle indoors, and as we do so I hope we recognize the presence…

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Rest Stop (Valentine's Day) ... love is an action

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Heart Cloud (credit: unknown)

Today, as many of us celebrate Valentine's Day, our thoughts turn to love and those whom we love. But do we really understand what that simple, yet very powerful word, LOVE, means? This four letter word holds power, and not just power over our emotions, but also power over the prospect of world peace.

So what does this word mean? Personally, this is a tough word for me to reflect on since my natural inclination is more toward the intellectual pursuits not understanding my emotions. Yes, as a counselor I deal with emotions, but note what I wrote: "my" emotions. I have no issue in helping others to come to an understanding of their own emotions and how they affect their lives. But my emotions, well, that's a whole different story.

So, what is love? This is what the Christian bible states about love:

1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I…

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Winter Scene (Credit: unknown)

As I write this I, like millions of other people along the NE coast of the US, have hunkered down in the house due to the blizzard occurring. As of this moment it is still snowing and I already have two feet of snow on the ground.

Personally, I love snow. This event is a joy for me, and I am like a kid again. I see the beauty in the snow, it’s uniqueness, the sights, sounds, and smell in the air. All of this is perfect for me! Yet, I do realize that my love of this weather is not shared by everyone. There are many people who despise this weather, and, there are those who have been panicking for days before the start of this storm.

I am not in any way judging anyone, since each us views life from our own perspective, and that perspective is our reality. So, although I was not panicking over this storm, those that were truly felt fear. Panic is defined as: “a sudden overwhelming fear, with or without cause, that produces hysterical or irrational behavior, and that often spreads quickly through a group of persons.” (Panic at Dictionary.com. 2006. 24 Jan. 2016. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/panic) One of the reasons we panic is because we allow ourselves to “live” in the future where we have no control over the events. That realization of our lack of control brings on our panic.

Living in the moment is when we will feel at peace, but living in the moment is not always easy to do. In this short video I talk about ways we can change our perception to therefore change our reality to find peace.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfMN_UXaBiQ]

Share with us your ways of coping with events which otherwise would worry or panic you.

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Read more: Rest Stop (Saturday) ... coping with the Blizzard 2016

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Today, in the USA, we remember and celebrate the pastor and civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In honor of Dr. King and all he stood for, I created this collage of three of his quotes for us to reflect.

I believe that Dr. King's message is universal, and a call to action for us to live each day in love and justice.

How can each of us live his statements in a concrete way?

Share with us your thoughts.

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Read more: Rest Stop (Monday) ... celebrating peace & unity

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Rest Stop ... New Year 2016 is here!

Marvin New Year's comic strip 2014

Happy New Year 2016!!  As I reflect on writing this post I realize that this time last week I gathered with family and friends to enjoy Christmas Day, while just last night I joined with family and friends watching the Times Square ball descend into a new year.  A lot seems to happen in a short time during the holiday season.  But what does it all mean?  As I relax with a good cup of coffee on this first morning of the new year, I reread this Marvin comic I came upon a couple of years ago as I feel it's still perfect for today!  When you think about it, what makes this morning any different from yesterday's morning?  It feels the same; I'm doing the same things, the people around me are the same, the scenery is the same, and yes, the smell is the same.  But I am told it is the start of a new year!  New beginnings from old.  New opportunities and adventures!  Ahhhh..... the promise of new.  But it doesn't feel new.  Does it feel or smell new to you?  What is different today from yesterday? So, if this new year still "smells" like…

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