A few years ago, while travelling through South Carolina, I was touring an old barn when I noticed, above me in the ceiling, a large bird was frantically trying to escape the barn. The bird continued to fly into the closed window in its frantic desire to escape the barn. Attempt after attempt, nothing changed for the bird. It flew towards the closed window, smashed into the window, and once again flew into the closed window. Presumably unbeknownst to this anxious bird, the barn doors, one on each end of the barn, were wide open! Had the frantic bird simply stopped a moment to observe its surroundings, it would have noticed a very easy escape into the freedom of the outside sky. Yet, the bird was so focused on the task in front of it that it failed to see any alternate options.
I mention this story as I recalled it a couple days ago while at my house. I happened upon a butterfly, who, in similar manner to the bird I described above, was frantically flying against a screen on my porch in an attempt to escape the enclosure. Also, similarly to the story above, immediately behind the butterfly…Write comment (0 Comments)
Many of us in the United States turned back the hands of time early this morning. We have ended the period of Daylight Savings Time and are now on "normal", called "standard" time. Our ability to change time prompts a few questions for me, some mundane and some a bit more philosophical. But, to stay grounded I will refrain, for this post, from discussing the abstract philosophical notions of time. Rather, I would like to reflect on this day in two specific ways, namely, how do we take advantage of our "extra hour", and, how do we turn back the hands of time in our own lives.
I am certain many of us have had life experiences for which we have wished we could turn back time to change the events. There are times that we wish we could have back to cherish again, to say something different, do something different, or to have never had happen in the first place. But, regardless of our ability to change clocks, we do not yet have the ability to go back in time. Hence our personal feelings of resentment, disappointment, anger, sorrow, etc. But, all is not lost. Even though we cannot go back in time to change the event, we still have the ability to change our current feelings about the event. In our reflection about past events, what can we learn from them? What steps can we take to avoid a future repeat? Do we have the opportunity to "make peace" with those from our past? If so, what is stopping us? We aren't able to change the event, but we can change the present moment. How do I take advantage of the time I now have?
So, what do I do with the extra hour I am given? Do I use it wisely? Here are some thoughts for what we can do with our "extra" hour:
I pray your extra hour is a positive one for you along your life's journey.
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“Hey, did you see that?”
“No, I missed it. What was it?”
Does this conversation sound familiar? It sure does to me. My days were so busy and hectic that I had no time to care to notice something other than the task hand. At the end of each day I wondered where the day went! I had always lived that way, until recently.
A few years ago I changed jobs to one which allowed me to have the summer off. After 20 years of working year round, having a few months off was strange, and even unsettling. After a week without I had no idea what to do with myself. I was ”forced” to slow down. It wasn't comfortable at first, but over time I started to discover that I was physically, mentally, and spiritually slowing down. As I was slowing down I found myself feeling more peaceful. As the summer progressed I no longer was anxious, I didn't rush, and I began to notice the world around me.
I wasn't yet consciously aware of this, but I was beginning to live mindfully. As I slowed myself I focused my thoughts and attention to the present moment.…Write comment (0 Comments)
Pain, whether it be physical or emotional, is unavoidable in life. We all try our best to avoid pain, almost at all costs. As a society, we make every effort imaginable to avoid, end, or numb, all pain in life. Yet, the more we try, I feel the more we end up still in pain and not feeling at peace or happy. According to the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, “In 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication, enough for every adult in the United States to have a bottle of pills.”
Talking about pain leads to many questions, both practical and philosophical/spiritual. In my life experience, I have found that the two main questions asked about pain are: “Why do I feel pain?” and “Why does a loving God allow pain?” For the purpose of this article, I would like to focus on the former question, why do we feel pain? Maybe if we understood the “why” we would better understand how best to cope with pain.
According to Barbara Finlay “The basic function of pain is the same for all vertebrates: it alerts an animal to potential damage and…Write comment (0 Comments)
Ed note: I am pleased to present this post from guest blogger Ms. Amanda LePore.
I have anxiety. It runs in my family, so I should have expected it (thanks a lot, genes!). Growing up, I felt that I wasn’t completely “normal.” (insert all the jokes about me being an “awkward weirdo” here) I mean, don’t get me wrong, I had a great childhood with a loving family, great friends, etc., but I noticed that I would act a bit differently than my friends. I was a “goody-two-shoes,” but to the point where I would cry and it would be a huge deal when someone was mad at me or I got in trouble. In hindsight, I had a lot of guilt over things that now I realize weren’t that big of a deal. One memory is from 2nd grade when I told my friend that a lunch lady was fat and having that friend go and tattle on me… then I needing help getting my shoes tied and the only person available was the one I had insulted. I felt like such an awful person (this was one of the things I confessed at my first Holy Communion……Write comment (0 Comments)