That Part of Me (c) Angela H Penn 2013

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That Part of Me

 

Those songs lie neatly on the shelf,

Much like the pain I hide from myself,

 

We were wild and we were free,

Society was a mystery,

 

We were fearless and young,

Still knew how to have fun,

 

We envisioned a world better than we had known,

We claimed this new place as our own,

 

Then things became too intense,

Reality intervened at a great expense,

 

Now physically apart,

The strains of the heart,

 

Only accessible by phone calls and emails,

the exchange of music videos and fanciful tales,

 

And then everything ceased,

Only to find that you were deceased,

 

So I ask myself in a state of shock,

How do I live without my rock?

 

And who will NOW understand that part of me?

 

Although I mourn the loss of you, my dear sweet friend,

One day, we again will meet, for this is not the end,

 

Our mornings of laughter in which I did not sleep,

My jokes that made you laugh until you would weep,

 

The midnight jam sessions with you playing your bass and I singing by your side,

Your smile and glance that would feel me with pride,

 

I guess we both forsake the life we could have had but never made,

In my heart you will never ever fade,

 

My only wish that you must know

Is that I regret not being able to hold your hand and be there when you go.

 

But fate would not allow me to ease this ache.

that part of me is now at stake,

 

I leave you with this poem I wrote through hours of tears,

My heart will not forget those precious years.

 

And when my time comes to leave this plastic place,

Greet me at the garden of his good grace.

 

 

Be Kind to Yourself by AHPenn (c) 2012

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Be kind to yourself as this is often a hectic time with family and perhaps some unresolved issues from the past.  Speak softly, meditate quietly, take a deep breath, whatever you need to do to stay calm.  Remember to proceed with love as some of us may not get a second chance to say I love you or see someone next time, this year.

Enjoy the holidays and love with all your heart.

Peace and blessings to all

🙂

The Random Acts of Kindness Challenge Update Nov 29th

It has almost been a month since I posted this blog.  Officially, this week marks Random Acts of Kindness week.  As we move closer to the Christmas season many of us are seeing  requests from various charities for their financial support.  Why not take the time to buy some non-perishable food items and drop them off at a local Safeway or buy a child a toy or teddy bear and donate it to a store collecting gifts for children.

If you have any winter coats, blankets, gloves or scarves you no longer use wash them and donate them to a local charity collecting winter clothing items.

I challenge you, the reader to commit a random act of kindness once a week for one person or family until Christmas.  One can get really creative with this but you cannot divulge who you are or take credit for ir.

Some ideas I came up with are:

Shovel someone’s walk before they get home from work.

If you go through a drive thru coffeeshop or fast food place, give the person at the window a $5,00 bill and tell them to use it for the next person.

Leave an envelope of money in a grocery cart.

If you know someone that is really struggling financially leave them a grocery store card in their mailbox or a box of canned food items, some used clothing, whatever you think they need.

Buy some cookies for some aged people in your neighbourhood and leave them on the step, ring the doorbell and run fast as to not get caught.

Drop off a bunch of older VHS movies to a senior center or nursing home.

This can be a fun way to help someone else and boost your level of happiness knowing that you made someone else fell good too.

Buy a few teddy bears, some fancy pencils, some children’s books and donate them to a school in your community where the kids are from low income homes.

Buy a christmas ornament, wrap it and leave it in the library with a card that says for you.

Got any old coats or blankets, take them to a local shelter drop off box and let someone who needs it, use it.

Give someone a plant in the spring.

Get some flowers delivered to a widower, include an uplfting quote on the card.

Anonymously donate money to the library for two yearly library cards for people who are low- income.

Please comment with your experiences and ideas.  I would love to read what you did.  Enjoy yourself and you will because you will be making someone else feel good to.

Lessons My Dog Taught Me About Life

Are you a dog lover? I know, I am.  I love cats too.

Animals of all kinds can bring us so much joy, not only when things are going well, but also when we feel pain and are suffering.

Man’s best friend” can be our true and faithful companions through thick and thin. We look to our pets when we are ready to play and laugh, and they instinctively know when we need their support.

We all have struggles and challenges in our life, and it’s during those times that our pets can really come in handy to help us find our joy.

As I watch my dog Molly  go through her day, I realize the lessons are really right there in front of me if I care to pay attention.

Here are some of the ways I can be the person my dog wants me to be, and be the person I want to be as well. I know that whatever life brings me, joy is still always there for the taking.

Live for now

We can spend time regretting the past and obsessing about the future but I have learned that the solution will not be found that way. Spinning my wheels thinking about things that I cannot change is not productive.

Dogs live for today—and so can we. We can appreciate every moment as it comes and be grateful for what we have. Like all animals, when we live in the present, we can have more enthusiasm, joy for life, and less worry.

Forgive

When you study animal packs, there is rarely a conflict, as the members of the pack solve their problems and move on. They don’t hold a grudge or worry about what happened yesterday.  I can easily forgive an animal or a child but adults can be tricky.

Forgiveness gives us back our power, as we regain a sense of wholeness, peace, and the ability to move on with our lives.

Trust your Intuition

Many of us have not developed or have lost touch with our intuition. We listen to words, but neglect our inner feelings. We may feel uneasy about a certain situation, but neglect what our body is telling us.

Dogs understand what is going on beneath the surface, as they are led by their instincts and rely on their gut reactions. We have these clues as well.  Use your intuition and it will guide you to a life of peace and serenity.

 Find balance.

When any of us have a traumatic situation, we can get off track and spend too much time focused on the situation, neglecting the other areas of our life. I have, at times spent too much time worrying about the problems of others. I’ve learned that we shortchange not only ourselves, but those around us.

Notice how well a dog does when their life is balanced.  Dogs need their exercise, a dose of love, and structure to their daily routine, and so do we.   When we achieve balance, the stress fades to the background and we enjoy life that much more.

 Find your purpose

Have you ever wondered why you were placed here on earth? Sometimes we lose our way and are not sure about our true purpose. The same is true for dogs.

When dogs are given a job and contribute in some way to the well being of others they feel a sense of satisfaction. As humans, we need to find our purpose as well. When we take the time to discover our purpose in life, we feel more fulfilled, and our life feels more meaningful.

 Make every day special.

Sometimes we can let days go by and get swallowed up in our routine. Every day is the same and our excitement is lacking.

Have you ever noticed how a dog finds everyday life exciting? They can’t wait to eat, go for their walk, see you come home, or greet a visitor. We can learn so much by observing how our pets have enthusiasm for the simple joys of everyday life.

Everyday can be special for us as well.  When we take the time to look, we may find our joy is still there waiting to be rediscovered.

Unleash Your Authentic Self

What exactly is the authentic self?  Let’s begin with a definition of authenticity which has been described as Authenticity means being real and genuine when you communicate.  We can add trustworthy, loyal and sincere as areas that are part of our authentic selves. The truth should guide you on your path.

Michael Kernis and Brian Goldman defined authenticity as “the unimpeded operation of one’s true or core self in one’s daily enterprise. (1)

Writers tend to agree that authenticity is something to be pursued as a goal intrinsic to “the good life.” And yet it is often described as an intrinsically difficult state to achieve, due in part to social pressures to live inauthentically, and in part due to a person’s own character. It is also described as a revelatory state, where one perceives oneself, other people, and sometimes even things, in a radically new way. Some writers argue that authenticity also requires self-knowledge, and that it alters a person’s relationships with other people. Authenticity also carries with it its own set of moral obligations, which often exist regardless of race, gender and class. The notion of authenticity also fits into utopian ideology, which requires authenticity among its citizens to exist, or which claims that such a condition would remove physical and economic barriers to pursuing authenticity.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ―    C.G. Jung

To know ourself, our authentic self, is to embark on the greatest journey of all. Author, Hermann Hesse and psychologist, Carl Jung were pivotal influences in my own journey of discovery and both continue to be touchstones for my path in life.

In self-analysis we stop looking outward and focus inward. In doing so, we begin to strip away the compressed layers of conventional attitudes we are taught as ‘reality’, or how we should be, and begin to think for ourself, as we are, with all variables in play and in doing so we come into our authentic self. We do this not in a narcissistic way, where we use the world and others to inflate and gratify an immature grandiose-self, but quite the opposite, in a whole, non-fragmented way where we are functioning on all levels – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We detach from the world, just as we detached from our birth mother when we were born, in order to find our true identity and thus embrace the person we are.

http://asheham.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/carl-jung-journey-to-self-discovery/

 

 

The Authentic self is who we truly are or are aiming to be.  Those that choose enlightenment and want to be better people do so but now we add the public self to the equation and everything changes.  The public self is what “society” expects us to behave like, how we act, talk and our opinions are greatly influenced by what we should do.  This is not necessarily a bad thing for if we did not follow laws and behave in a civilized manner there would be repercussions for our actions.

Many people present a persona on Facebook that is contrary to who they truly are, is this to follow some norm?  Is our authentic self truly what we are projecting to the world of social media?  Or are we inclined to be pretending to be someone else just to fit in?

 

 

 

The authentic self is the soul made visible. – Sarah Ban Breathnach

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Behaving authentically means acting in accord with one’s values, preferences, and needs  as opposed to acting merely to please others or to attain rewards or avoid  punishments through acting ‘falsely.’ . . . Authenticity is not reflected in a  compulsion to be one’s true self, but rather in the free expression of core  feelings, motives and inclinations. (2)

Don Miguel Ruiz shares centuries of Toltec wisdom in his book The Four Agreements.  To apply this wisdom, choose to create these profound agreements with yourself:

1.Be impeccable with your word. Carefully examine what you tell yourself, what you tell others, and when you decide to speak. Use your word consistently to express and strengthen your values. Don’t employ or overlook factual errors, fallacies or, distortions during communications. Express yourself authentically. Earn trust. Do what you say.

2.Don’t take anything personally. It’s not all about you. Reject the fallacy of personalization. Rely confidently on your own well-founded self-concept; it is the only evaluation of your worth that matters. Challenge and balance your first-person viewpoint.

3.Don’t make assumptions. Suspend judgment. Readily acknowledge what you don’t know and have the courage to ask questions. Carefully examine the evidence. Don’t attribute intent to others. Retain a healthy skepticism as you avoid cynicism. Develop, refine, and constantly apply your own well-founded theory of knowledge.

4.Always do your best. Do all you can while you recognize you can’t do it all. All you can do is all you can do. When you have truly done your best, there is no reason for shame. It’s ok to goof off if you do your best when it matters the most. Apply your time and effort toward your well-chosen and enduring goals.

If you are ready to explore and unleash your authentic self start with these three simple tasks and see where they take you.

1.  Sit in silence with yourself every day.

Living an authentic life means taking action from the inner confidence of intuition. Most people have no idea what their intuition feels like because they are so busy. We do not stop to listen to what we truly desire.  Our culture values productivity over peace and tranquility.   Cultivate and harness your voice of intuition.  it will always lead you to where you need to be.  You need to be able to actually hear it,  practice the art of silence every day — even if it’s only for 5- 10 minutes at a time.

2.  Be vulnerable. That’s Where The Real Power Lies.

If we want to live an authentic life, be more real, feel more alive, empowered, and fulfilled then we need to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is facing these emotions of shame, fear, guilt, frustration, and grief.  It’s only when we connect with our pain and move through it that we connect with the emotions of love, joy and happiness on the other side.

Have the courage to be still and feel what you feel, don’t run from it. Being vulnerable is real strength. It’s the ability to honour your boundaries. It means having the confidence to be the real you even if it’s not pleasant. Being vulnerable is the path to authenticity.

3. Fulfill Those Dreams.  Write out the steps you will need to take in order to live that dream and take your first “next step.” It won’t feel overwhelming if you focus on one step at a time.

Images: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

References:

1. Wright, Karen (May 01, 2008). “Dare to be yourself”. Psychology Today.

2. Kernis, M. (2003). Toward a conceptualization of optimal  self-esteem. Psychological Inquiry, 14, 1-26.

NEXT BLOG IS ON MODERN HERBOLOGY

Strategies for Strengthening Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself as a person. Those with high self-esteem believe that they are adequate, strong and worthy of a good life, while those with low self-esteem feel inadequate and worthless. Low self-esteem can develop in childhood and continue throughout adulthood, causing great emotional pain. Therefore, it’s important to develop a healthy, positive sense of self.

Low self-esteem has been linked to depression and/or anxiety. If your emotions feel overpowering or out of control, one way to build self-esteem around this issue is to learn to manage your mood and gain control over your feelings. Some people are able to do this with the help of friends and family. Others need to work with a mental health professional to manage the problems that lie beneath the surface of low self-esteem.

Strategies for Strengthening Self-Esteem

Recognize how you’re attacking yourself. Identify what you may be doing to perpetuate your low self-esteem. For instance, you might find that you are surrounding yourself with toxic people who further lower your self-esteem. You may not be aware that others talk down to you. Some people don’t voice their needs/wants and let others speak for them.

Once you can recognize the ways you sabotage yourself, you can work through them. Take the initiative and start voicing your needs. If you’re finding you are too passive, learn ways to become more assertive.   Start small: Ask your partner to turn the television down, say no to an event you don’t want to attend or something that is being asked of you that you do not want to do.

Identify and challenge self-critical thoughts. Certain distorted thought patterns enable low self-esteem. A common distortion is personalizing things; one example is seeing yourself as more involved in negative events than you really are.  Maybe you take full responsibility for your spouse’s medical conditions, or for your boss’s anger.

Remember that you may be able to influence someone’s behavior but you certainly didn’t cause it nor are you necessarily responsible for it.

You also can learn to challenge other negative thoughts, such as: “I’m a loser,” or “I can’t do anything.”

Find out who you are. A healthy self-esteem also means having a quiet happiness about who you are, but first you need to know who that person is. Each individual must determine his/ her own values, principles, and moral standards and live by them

What do you value in life? What matters to you? Once you can pinpoint your values, you might even realize that the very things you beat yourself up about have nothing to do with your goals. One example is a man I know who berated himself for not earning a high enough salary and felt he was letting his family down. But when we explored his goals and dreams, he realized that helping others and spending time with his family were more important than earning a specific income.

A healthy self-esteem doesn’t mean thinking you’re flawless; it means knowing realistically what you need to work on and making the necessary changes.  If you’d like to be more social, you could join a social club, volunteer, or start a new hobby.  If you don’t like that people walk all over you, research material on establishing appropriate boundaries.

Learn what lights you up. People with low self-esteem often have a long can’t-do list. Start a what you can do list.

For instance, a friend of mine saw herself as a shy person but wanted to try stand-up comedy.  I encouraged her to join a local group of amateur female comedians.  She thoroughly enjoyed it and still attends on a monthly basis.  She tells me that this is the best thing she ever did and her self-esteem has soared.

Accept your imperfections. Think of your best friend, partner or kids. Why do you love them? Undoubtedly it has little to do with their flawless traits. We don’t wait to love others until they’re perfect.

“Love is a choice and a commitment that we make each day, despite our imperfections.

Take Good Care of Yourself

Another way you can build your self-esteem is to take very good care of yourself. You may take very good care of others and put your own personal care last. You may be so busy that you don’t take the time to do the things you need to do in order to stay healthy. You may feel so badly about yourself that you don’t bother to take good care of yourself anymore.

Practice healthy habits. It’s important to prepare your brain — maximizing the health, function and receptivity to new learning of neurons — before studying new skills. This includes feeding your body nutritious foods, participating in physical activities, getting enough sleep and treating medical or psychological conditions.  For example, if one has been shamed by physical abuse, it is  critical to heal the emotional wounds first before trying to get to a more positive place.

Some of the things you can do to take good care of yourself include:

•Eating three meals a day that are focused on healthy foods—fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as whole grain foods and rich sources of protein like chicken and fish.

•Avoiding foods that contain large amounts of sugar, caffeine and food additives. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you may want to avoid it.

•Getting outside and exercising every day.

•Spending some time each day doing something you really enjoy.

•Spending time each day with people who make you feel good about yourself.

•Having regular check-ups with your health care providers.

Again, having a positive self-esteem isn’t selfish. It’s important for leading a fulfilling, healthy life, which in turn helps you help others.

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

~ Judy Garland

Images: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Joy of Forgotten Treasures

  Sunday evening I started an intensive reorganization of my office. As a writer, singer, herbalist student, very amateur musician or rather dabbler, and crafter my space is extremely limited and as such I am always coming up with space saving ideas. I began doing a visual review of what needs to be rearranged and discovered a collection of angel pictures and ornaments I had forgotten about, There is a small bookcase I was able to utilize to display these items and I was most pleased with my discovery and new display They now sit beside my waterfall which is now flowing and that too is a treasure I enjoy to watch.

  Angels make me think of Christmas and pleasant memories, human decency, kindness and love. Maybe this is why these angels mean alot to me they allow me to be in a special place.

  To create,one requires a certain ambience and those forgotten treasures are a part of who I am in many ways. Funny how as we get older we change, life changes, seasons pass but those forgotten treasures will remain the same.