Archive for the ‘kindness’ Category

h1

8 Suggestions to Create a New Normal

April 13, 2020
apricot fruits on bowl

Photo by Lum3n on Pexels.com

If you’re like me, the novelty of quarantine has worn off. My young adult kids are restless, missing the worlds they created for themselves. We’ve worked and puzzled and gamed and cooked. Now what? The days blend. Time means nothing.

But it can.

Finding a rhythm that works can improve physical and mental health. It can help you focus and make better sense of time.

As you set a plan for yourself, keep in mind a few things…

  1. Wake up at the same time every day
  2. Drink lots of water and eat healthy food (believe me, I spent a month eating bread,            which—yum—but not so good for inflamed tissues)
  3. Set specific hours for work, breaks, and play
  4. Stretch, walk, and dance (or whatever cardio makes you feel good)
  5. Try working in different parts of the house
  6. Create small rituals to set the day apart from other moments in time
  7. Music can shift a mood in a heartbeat- play some
  8. Forgive yourself when none of this works

Whatever you do—avoid groups of people.

Coronavirus is not done with us yet. Stay safe.

h1

Emerging Beauty: Spirituality and quotes

March 27, 2020
photo of rainbow colored flower in glass jar

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Who doesn’t like a good quote? I’ve compiled a few to make your day.

Quotes:

“Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each of us individually. Peace, for example, starts within each one of us. When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us.” – His Holiness the Dalai Lama

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

“Kindness is the mark of faith; and whoever has not kindness has not faith.”– Mohammad

“Language is the laughter of the soul.”-Pablo Neruda 

“Simplicity of living, to retain a true awareness of life.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
“Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his creatures; it is our gift to each other.– Elie Wiesel

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” –Galatians 5:14 

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough. -Oprah Winfrey

“This outward spring and garden are a reflection of the inward garden.” -Mevlana Rumi

Because of deep love, one is courageous.– Lao Tzu

“Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it. Showcase it and you’ll start believing it.” –Jesse Owens

“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” – Maya Angelou

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day.” Native American Proverb

This is a good time to enhance or start a spiritual practice. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some ideas. If you already belong to a church or synagogue, consider listening to a global meditation practice as well. We are all in this together.

Links to help grow a spiritual practice:

-Soundstrue.com offers a variety of spirituality gurus

-Brenebrown.com always insightful information

-Jackkornfield.com (free ½ day mindfulness home retreat with him and Tara Brach)

-More meditations: https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/coronavirus-meditations/

-AltheaTV on YouTube

-A good article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/smarter-living/coronavirus-anxiety-tips.html

-And more suggestions! https://hds.harvard.edu/life-at-hds/religious-and-spiritual-life/spiritual-resources-during-covid-19-pandemic

-Buddhist meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30bn9TxJ62k&app=desktop

-a wonderful little garden commune in Northern Scotland: https://www.findhorn.org/workshops/

-great article and advice: https://www.sanbornwesterncamps.com/blog/2020/3/mental-health-practices-for-everyone?fbclid=IwAR0LiK_N2I5YXP1Lh5tDt-jw9kb5O1VDCAYJnIId8J8y8h2yb8mcO_obUb8

Most churches, synagogue, mosques, temples and spiritual centers are now offering online services. IT IS OKAY to try a few!

Stay well. Find emerging beauty.

Carrie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

h1

Emerging Beauty: Find beauty in your world. Day 2: Free Food

March 20, 2020

 

60572348772__1B1F17F9-691F-4B06-9F09-B338E04A4106

Do the photos of empty grocery store shelves unnerve you? They do me, but not because of the lack of food. For now, I have what I need, which makes me one of the lucky ones. Empty shelves rattle my nerves because there are folks, many of them, going without food. Elderly, undocumented, homeless, and people waking up without their jobs may not have access to a basic human need: food.

It’s terrifying. And yet, beauty emerges.

Yesterday, an excellent local restaurant, Soupz On, offered free soup for lunch, leaving containers outside on the café’s doorstep. I know Stacey Hill, the owner of Soupz On. Her soups; potato chorizo/jalapeno, Asian silken corn, Mexican meatball, and many others, warm the belly and the soul. Stacey is one of those beautiful people creating good in the world.

Many of the restaurants that have closed due to Coronavirus are offering free food for their communities. Call and ask, then spread the word. My son’s university dining hall gave away food to people in town as well as to students stuck on campus. Disney World donated food to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and Disneyland donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County in California. Is there a company or college in your area that might have access to free food? Find out and pass it on.

In addition to business, there are local organizations, food banks, churches, and resource centers offering food, but most need help and money. If you are in a position, consider donating. Create beauty. Help, not hoard.

Stay well. Find emerging beauty.

Carrie

 

h1

Emerging Beauty: Find beauty in your world. It’s there.

March 19, 2020

5616

Last fall, my daughter, Ellie, taught English in Colombia. As an 80’s girl, my vision of Colombia was one of cocaine, violence, and death, so her going made me nervous. But when she called from Medellin to tell me the city was full of art and beauty, I tripped over my disparaging prejudice. The city, which had been ravaged during the 80’s drug war, has become a place of emerging beauty.

Emerging Beauty.

Out of chaos, tragedy, and pain; beauty, love, and creativity transpire just as sure as a flower rising from the dirt. The Coronavirus has spun the world into uncharted, frightening territory. It is surreal, and yet, far too real. As we face the unknown, I’m transforming this blog into a place of discovery, hoping beauty will emerge.

Lately, my social media feed has exploded with frightening statistics and harrowing tales. But beauty has surfaced with good people offering good things. My intention is to cultivate and provide resources, so people can find sparks of positivity and pass it forward.

Day 1:

Today’s beauty is a simple quote by a 13-year-old girl who was ‘quarantined’ for two years.

“I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.”

– Anne Frank 

Stay well. Find emerging beauty.

Carrie

If you have links or ideas to share, please add them in the comments below.

Photo from: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2017/nov/21/street-art-in-medellin-colombia-in-pictures

 

h1

And Yet: Gratitude for the Moment

November 15, 2018
backlit clouds dawn dusk

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Gratitude. While wildfires strip lives, and storms rip away homes, it’s hard to feel grateful. It’s hard to feel grateful when we see pollution and destruction and division. It’s hard to feel grateful when people are hurt and hungry and suffering.

And yet.

The birds still sing.

Dogs wag their tails.

Sun warms our skin.

Peach juice drips down one’s chin, delicious and juicy.

Ice-cream sweetens the tongue.

Someone opens the door and smiles.

The breeze blows gently; bringing with it the smell of soft rain.

A pillow offers welcome relief at the end of a long day.

Someone says thank you and another whispers you’re welcome.

And yet.

There are hundreds of small moments to offer gratitude. In a world where so much is out of our control, leaving us helpless and frustrated, it’s even more important to find gratitude in the present. It is the everyday flashes of beauty and joy that will bring a sense of hope. A sense of wellbeing. A sense of gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

h1

An Ode to my Kids, and Perhaps to Yours

August 10, 2016

 

Saying goodbye is hard to do. No matter how much you prepare yourself—no one can truly anticipate being so damn sad. Grief flows its own river.

Like many, I’ve had significant loss—in addition to my grandparents; death took my two aunts, my dad, two brothers, and a number of pets. I know how grief works. It grabs you, swallows you, spits you out and repeats until you crash and begin to finally begin again.

This time, my loss is not so permanent; thus not so powerful. That said, good-byes are painful, and change is scary. My oldest child leaves for the University of Colorado this month, altering our family life forever. Ellie will be back, probably with a load of dirty laundry and a need for home cookin’, but she’s gone. Her place at the table will be vacant, her bed empty, and her siblings lonely (okay, maybe not all the time). The happy news? She’s embarking on a grand adventure, starring herself. It won’t be long before my other two leave, too. I’m beyond proud of the people they’ve become, and yet, still sad.

To help me process and understand the tremendous change, I’ve written an ode to my kids; things I hope I’ve taught them. I’m sure I’ve messed up, forgotten things, and have probably failed in some capacity. But that’s parenting. At least I made a list, outlining 25 things I want them to know. Who knows if they’ll heed the advice or grasp the full meaning, I can hope.

  1. I wish you a life of love and know that you are always loved by me
  2. Find good company
  3. Laugh often
  4. Eat lots of fresh vegetables and don’t drink too much alcohol
  5. Call me when you are hurting or happy- I’ll be there
  6. Remember to breathe deeply and that it is enough
  7. Brush your teeth
  8. Be honest- with yourself and with others
  9. Know that life isn’t fair, but it is what you make it
  10. Eat breakfast (more than a Starbucks’ latte, please)
  11. Work hard
  12. Pay your debts (better yet, don’t have any)
  13. Don’t post inappropriate pictures online
  14. Take good risks (don’t jump out a window, but do try a new activity/class)
  15. Read for fun
  16. Know that it is okay to let go
  17. Don’t hold onto anger, guilt, or resentment
  18. See a doctor, an acupuncturist, or a good healer when you are sick
  19. Take your vitamins
  20. Don’t leave a friend alone at a party
  21. Don’t stay alone at a party
  22. Trust your intuition
  23. Be kind
  24. Meet many diverse people
  25. Know this: I am forever grateful for the time we’ve lived together, arguments and all

 

 

h1

Back to School: What’s Important to Know?

August 17, 2015

Yes, it IS still summer, but students across the country are heading back to school, and although I hate to see big, yellow buses round the corner, a heightened energy resonates with me. It’s a season full of possibility; positive and encouraging.

As teachers begin to set their curriculum, I’ve decided to set my own; as a parent, an educator, and a concerned community member who wants to see our children and our society thrive.

What is important to learn? What goals have we made for our families, our students, and ourselves? In my book, achieving a 100% on a test, winning a race, or landing a lead is fantastic, but not what’s essential or really all that important. So—what is important to know? I’ve created a list.

  • Love: enough said
  • Kindness: it goes a long way
  • Acceptance: of others and oneself
  • Balance: between one’s mind, body, and soul
  • ABC’s- and 123’s: we all need to read and to add
  • Self-sufficiency: learn how to learn on your own
  • Spirituality: find faith
  • Respect: yourself and others
  • Healthy habits: eat well, sleep well, rest well, work well
  • Understanding the world around us: this includes geography, cultural behaviors, religions, politics, and social influences
  • Self-confidence: trust your intuition
  • Nature: spend time outside, it’s life’s best and yet most underutilized teacher
  • Beauty: look for it everywhere—in the slice of an orange, the shape of a cloud
  • Creativity: make time to discover and explore
  • Visualize: dream possibilities
  • Compassion: it also goes a long way
  • Gratitude: enough said

As your kids climb aboard the school bus, keep life in perspective and remember what’s really important.

What’s on your list?