Life became easier when I surrendered my own tenacity and began to live with an open heart and an open mind.
There are things I’ve discovered and learned along the way, which I might never have unearthed if I had remained locked in my own stubbornness.
Our struggles often result from our inability to see the possibilities beyond our own thinking and the doctrines imposed on us.
Living with an open heart and mind means considering alternatives, actively listening to opinions different from our own, being kind before jumping to judgment and being aware of signs along the way pointing you in new directions.
Open minds and open hearts, have created more music, magic, poetry, peace, love and light in the world, then closed minds and cold hearts.
Once upon a time there were three little bulbs planted side-by-side in a magnificent garden.
Slowly they began to wake. Their shoots began to break through the earth. Two of the bulbs were tulips, the other, a daffodil.
As they began to grow, the tulips turned to the daffodil and said “Your stem is too thin you must make it thicker to look like ours.”
The little daffodil tried to make her stem the same thickness as the tulips. She couldn’t and she became sad.
As the petals begin to develop on each of the flowers the tulips looked to the daffodil again and said, “No, your petals must be red.”
The little yellow daffodil tried to make her petals red, but she couldn’t, and she felt even worse about herself. She didn’t understand why she was different.
The tulips demanded that her petals be wider and turn upward like theirs but the little daffodils petals reached outward and resembled the sun, beautiful and yellow.
As the three bulbs grew the tulips ignored the little daffodil because she was not like them.
One warm spring day a little girl wearing a Santa hat came up to smell the daffodil. “Why am I different,” the daffodil asked the little girl, “Why can’t I be like them?”
“You’re not supposed to be like them. You’re supposed to be like you. The garden would be boring and plain if all the flowers looked the same. I think you’re beautiful as you are, that’s why I choose to come over and gaze at you.”
This made the little daffodil smile. She now felt proud and happy that she was different.
You, me, each of us, can only grow into whom we’re meant to be. Love the bits of yourself that resemble nothing you’ve ever seen before. Yes, even your weird beautiful bits.
As we begin the slow descent out of the dark clouds of 2020, and prepare to launch a new year, things are still not right with the world.
Covid continues to wreak havoc across the planet and is now way to close to home. Election chaos continues to play out for our friends in the south. There is civil unrest breaking out in several countries around the world. Wind and rainstorms are keeping people hunkered. Christmas is pretty much cancelled and there will be no fancy festivities to ring in 2021.
People are out of work, many businesses have shut down, we can’t travel, and we miss our families and friends. Add to that, many of us haven’t touched another human in months, haven’t gone to a concert, a play, a restaurant or a celebration, wedding, birthday or graduation for almost a year.
However, amidst all the chaos, I’m still happy, really happy. My spirit is light, my heart is settled and my mind is peaceful. I find multiple reasons to smile or laugh out loud every day. My inner child is as goofy and playful as she has ever been. I’m truly grateful for this life despite what’s going on around me and the rest of the world.
This feeling of contentment is proof (for me) that happiness comes from the inside. No matter what is going on around us, we still have the capacity to feel joy and be grateful. What happens inside us, not outside us, is what regulates our happiness meter. In my case, having hobbies, exercising daily, eating right, meditating, spending time in nature and engaging in creative activities, all fuel my sense of positivity and well-being.
This sense of happiness and well-being doesn’t mean I’m not affected by what’s happening around me and the people I love and the world, of course I am. It means I won’t let it unravel me or get me down, because that serves no purpose.
When the weather outside is turbulent, we generally seek shelter from the wind, rain and the cold by coming inside and creating a cozy internal retreat. When the world around you is turbulent, seek shelter from the chaos by creating a cozy, peaceful place in your mind. You can do this by engaging in positive and creative activities, practicing gratitude, staying physically active, being kind and carrying out random acts of kindness, celebrating small successes, eliminating toxic people, toxic media content and toxic substances from your life. Read uplifting information and listen to uplifting music. Make your mental wellness your first priority.
Life’s storms can not rain on your peace of mind, unless you let them. Don’t let them.
I’ve often wondered why certain people have come into my life, or why I stepped into theirs. Some have turned my world upset down leaving me to clean up the rubble and put the piece of my shattered self back together. Others made my think, made me laugh, made me shake my head, inspired me or loved me just enough and then they were gone. I have come to understand and appreciate that sometimes we’re meant to step into someone’s life for barely a moment. Just long enough to leave a small imprint and change each other in ways we might never know. We walk together from one place and time to another, and then, head to separate shores, knowing with great clarity that we’re profoundly different, although not quite sure how. Be grateful for everyone that comes in and out of your life. Wish them peace, happiness and love. Each of these beautiful souls brought you something magnificent, even if it was painful. They helped shape you into who you are. And who you are, is wonderful.
Thank you for stepping into my world, if only for a moment.
If you plant a seed today, its going to take time before it starts to grow. After basking in light and drawing in the nutrients it needs the plant will begin to sprout. When we plant a thought or an idea, or sow the seeds of love, the same thing happens. Those seeds take time to germinate and bloom. Be patient, all good things, ideas, creations, love and yes even you, require time to take root, grow and flourish.