Perfect Words for this Time of Year

I came across this passage that reminded me of why this time of year is so refreshing:

“I don’t have a favourite season, I have a favourite feeling. It’s the windows open, silent back roads with dirty bare feet feeling. It’s when I can walk straight outside without pausing to fish out a jacket. It is curtains dancing around my room because of the cool breeze that brushes against the fabric. It is the sunset after desert and grass as my pillow. The sound of lawnmowers, of falling leaves and rain against the window. Pockets of shade and walks along a gravel road…I don’t have a favorite season… I have a favorite feeling.” ~ Author unknown

Sometimes it is all in how we look at something. When we can appreciate the little things around us, we feel content. When we are grateful for what comes with every season, we can focus on the good feelings they invoke. 🙂

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Food for Thought from Eckhart Tolle

When I first read this quote by Eckhart Tolle, I paused. And then I said “Yes.”

“What a liberation to realize that the ‘voice in my head’ is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.”

– Eckhart Tolle

We can be so bound by our thoughts. Because they can also be very automatic and instant, we believe them. When exploring automatic thoughts in therapy, it is important to go back – most of the time, our thoughts are linked to core beliefs formed in childhood. Because we internalize everything as children, those messages, with time and reinforcement, will become tied to our self-identity. Forging a well used pathway in our brain, the thoughts now have a ‘mind of their own,’ and we must ask ourselves at one point, “Is this really my own voice?”

I can tell you that if the automatic thought is a critical one, it is not your voice. We are meant to be light in spirit and our instinct is to love – that includes ourselves. If we have negative, automatic, critical thoughts about ourselves, those are planted seeds. And it is our responsibility to say “Does it have to be this way?”

When we give ourselves permission to challenge those thoughts and replace them with a more realistic portrait of ourselves, we become liberated. Lighter. Grounded. At peace with ourselves. Thank you Eckhart Tolle for the reminder. 🙂

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A Lovely Passage to Remind Us of Our Goodness

This lovely passage is by Nikki Banas and it is entitled “Always Gentle:”

Always Gentle

My beautiful friend, be gentle with yourself and your soul…Be kind to yourself when you feel like you’ve failed or when you feel like you just can’t get things right.

Know that your mistakes only feel big right now, but soon they’ll just be little moments of the past. And also know that they don’t define your future; you can still grow and become in every way that you want to….

Be gentle with yourself. Be one of the people who believes in you wholeheartedly – there is plenty of discouragement out there, so create a space of encouragement within your own heart. Become the voice that always says you can, the voice that has faith in you regardless of what others say.

Be gentle with yourself, beautiful friend. Be gentle especially when you are hurting and when you’re down. Always gentle…. you really are doing great. – Nikkie Banas/Walk the Earth

“Be one of the people who believes in you wholeheartedly.” What a wonderful reminder that we can have faith in ourselves; to best create a self confidant and secure feeling in who we are, but to also shine our light so that others can follow our path.

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Nature to the Rescue Again

The following passage was found on a post from Youth Mental Health Canada:

“Hello, my name is Jack Linklater Jr. I live in Attawapiskat, Ontario. I am Cree and proud to be. I live along the James Bay shorelines, the lowlands of the Mushkegowuk territory.

My message to you if you’re having a hard time: Look to the tree, as it shows you to stand tall and proud. Look to the rock, as it shows you the strength you need. Look to the river as it shows you to keep moving forward in life, as it flows and to never give up. To the flowers, as it shows you the love you need, the colours. The grass, as it teaches you forgiveness, as it always grows and grows no matter if you keep stepping on it. It’s there to show you to forgive.

We matter. Every living thing matters. The trees, the rocks, the flowers. You matter. Stay Strong.” – Jack Linklater Jr. 

To visit the Youth Mental Health Canada website: https://ymhc.ngo/

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Wise Words to Get Us Through Tough Times

When life begins to feel like its dragging its heels, when we are faced with a challenge, we can often lean into the negative feelings that come with those types of situations. Although we need to be able to be comfortable with discomfort, we always run the risk of following those negative thoughts down the rabbit hole. Here are some wise words from Marianne Williamson on the process of finding light in the dark:

“The darkness is an invitation to light, calling forth the spirit in all of us. Every problem implies a question: Are you ready to embody what you believe? Can you reach within yourself for enough clarity, strength, forgiveness, serenity, love, patience and faith to turn this around? That’s the spiritual meaning of every situation: not what happens to us, but what we do with what happens to us. The only real failure is the failure to grow from what we go through.”

– Marianne Williamson, The Gift of Change

We can lean into our values when difficult times arise. They will help us find the light. 🙂

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A Poem to Renew Our Spirit

I have to admit that the blues surrounding this pandemic and all that it encompasses begins to flutter around me. I recharge, lean into self-care, I connect. Reading this poem this morning by J.R.R. Tolkien helped to remind me that this too, shall pass:

“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

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A Little Reminder About Resilience; Post 3

I have quoted Morgan Harper Nichols many times on this blog. I love the way she composes her words to reach how we can feel on any given day. This quote wraps up our small series on resilience:

“There will be days when you are certain you are over it. There will be days you feel everything all over again. But no matter the day, there will be songs to listen to. And when you don’t feel like singing, there will be rhythms to breathe to, for grace is still at work in you.” – Morgan Harper Nichols

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The Intention of Love

I love this passage by Kahlil Gibran:

“He said, “And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit. Work is love made visible.” – Kahlil Gibran

We tend to do well when appreciated; we also tend to experience meaningful choice when we ascribe to the golden rule of treating others as we wish to be treated. Kahlil Gibran reminds us that there is also a part of the human spirit that moves solely with an altruistic purpose; that we intend with love to simply love, without immediate recognition or praise, in our thoughtful intentions towards others, in our acts of kindness, in the ability to love with intention. For it is in that intention, that “work is love made visible.”

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The Tools We Use

I came across this quote by Anne Lamott:

“It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.”
― Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

When we consider coping strategies, we often think about the tangible things we have learned over time. Grounding techniques such as deep breathing when we feel anxious, positive affirmations when we experience self-doubt, acting ‘as-if’ when we feel quite unmotivated, building our time, self-care strategies.

Lamott reminds us; however, that the tools we use can also come from what we ascribe meaning to. For some people, that will be friendships or prayer, for others their value system and moral code. We can lean into the qualities that we hold dear such as authenticity and grace, honesty and connection. We can learn from our mistakes which leads to wisdom and when we know better, we do better which leads to patience. We can experience and learn from grief, from forgiveness, from both our challenges and our joys. We can lean into laughter and contentedness.

What becomes the tools we use will follow not only what we deem to work best for us, but also what sits well with our soul. Thank you for the reminder, Anne Lamott 🙂

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Focus In – We Will Be Okay

When I get fluttered feelings of anxiety, I like to remind myself that “No matter what, I will be okay.” It is also important to focus in on the simple things in life as that is where we will gather the most contented feelings. I rather appreciate reading Brooke Hampton quotes for this reason as she reminds us about what in life, really matters:

“Fancy things never appealed to me. I like the sweet, simple things. I like to watch the sunrise on my old front porch with a warm cup of coffee. I like good books on rainy afternoons. I like to grow things. And I like the way it feels to be surrounded by real friends and people I love.” – Brooke Hampton

Sometimes we simply need a good reminder that life, despite its chaos, has a calm.

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