Find the good.
– Heather Lend
When was the last time you tried to find a lightening bug? When did you stop trying to find four leaf clovers and change on the sidewalk? When you last heard a slow rhythmic bell ringing in your neighborhood, did you go looking for the ice cream truck or did you sit anxiously on your front steps hoping it would find you? When is the last time you tried to find the good?
In her book (by the same title), Heather Lend tries to get us thinking about looking for the good in people, situations, difficult times and, I think, ourselves. There are times when we need motivations to stay in relationships or move forward in our lives. If you’ve given up on finding the good somewhere, some place, there’s very little reason to try or even to hope. Finding the good can be the first step out of “being stuck. Finding the good can keep you from getting caught in that downward spiral which soon ends in depression, complacency, anxiety and a variety pack of pains.
You don’t have to know how to get to the good, how to have the good in your life or how to use the good. You can learn that. If you see it, if you believe in it, you have hope of bringing it into your life, and of living it. Finding the good is finding hope, faith and the existence of love.
Be mindful this month of finding the good in people, places, things, and in the present situations of you’re life. If you’re out of practice, go try and find a four leaf clover.
Life always matters…very much.
– Mrs Rosen
While waiting for news about his wife’s surgery, a husband asks his brother what time it is. His brother answers, “ten minutes later than you asked me the last time.” For the fourth time during her 6 hour shift the checker behind the counter at Target tells a rushed customer what the date is as she writes out her check. The lady in the hotel gift shop sells her sixth $8.00 tube of tooth paste to a traveler who forgot to pack one in his travel bag.
Do we know more than we think we do? The answer is yes. Why then do we seem to forget so much. The demands, expectations and distractions of each day seem to keep us from remembering. So it is important to use reminders. Friends, phones, lists post its; anything to remind us of important necessities of life.
So enter Mrs Rosen. From the sinking ship, Poseidon, she reminds us that life always matters. You say you knew that? Didn’t you know it really was 2015 last January 5th, when you wrote 2014 on that check? Didn’t you know you needed to brush your teeth when you went to that hotel gift shop and spent $8.00 on that tube of tooth paste? Didn’t you know life matters…very much when you spread that rumor, gave your friend that cutting remark, thought only of yourself, took advantage, etc. etc.
Be mindful this month of Mrs. Rosen’s reminder. You really do know life matters…very much. Now go out and act like it! You might also remind someone else who has forgotten.
Where flowers bloom, so does hope.
Look around for the flowers of Spring. Look around for hope. Hope may be harder to see, but when you find it, it’s just as beautiful. Every flower began with the planting of a seed. Go ahead, plant a seed. Go out the next day and look where you planted the seed. What do you see? Dirt. You’ll see dirt for quite a while. One day, however, you’ll go out and see a green shoot poking through the dirt. Later a stem, then a leaf or two, finally the bloom of the flower. Watching, waiting, patience, not giving up, these are all stages of blooming flowers.
Be mindful this month of planting seeds, seeds of hope, friendship, strength, forgiveness kindness, loyalty, trust, all the many intimacies we need in this world to make it beautiful. Trust, forgive, care, hope, don’t give up on someone. These acts are the planting. When your trust is not returned, don’t give up. When your love is not accepted, don’t detach. When your forgiveness is not reciprocated, try again. Hope of the bloom begins with the planting. The bloom comes later. The hope starts right away, if you want it to.
Tis a poor thing to fear the inevitable.
Tom Selleck (Crossfire Trail)
Since January 1, you’ve made resolutions and broken how many of them? Does this make you a bad person? Are you unreliable and irresponsible? Should you fear ever making resolutions again?
This year someone you know will die.
This year you will fail at something you try. Should you not try?
This year you will get sick sometime. Should you fear leaving the house?
This year you will not get something you really want and pray for. Should you not pray?
There are many things that will not happen the way you want them to this year. Should you live in fear all year and not try? There will also be many successes, healthy days, prayers answered, peace, joy, and love experienced.
Be mindful this month and the rest of the year not to fear the inevitable. If you worry and fear what will go wrong, you’ll never experience and enjoy the times when everything works out in your life. Tis a poor thing to fear the inevitable.
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet-ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?
“It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
“It came without packages, boxes, or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!”
– Dr. Seuss
Be mindful this Christmas,
When you are in a store,
Dr. Seuss taught that Christmas,
Means a little bit more,
Than what you might eat, drink,
Buy, give, or receive,
Use your puzzler and ask,
“What does Christmas mean to me?”
Hopefully everyone at least once a day
When is the last time you said thank you?
When is the last time you said thank you and meant it?
When is the last time you thought about what you were thankful for?
How often are you appreciative for your life?
How do you show appreciation?
Do the people you love know you appreciate them?
Why would they know that?
Can you easily make a list of ten things you are thankful for?
Can you quickly make a list of people you are thankful for?
Would the people you love think they would be on that list?
Do you have an attitude of gratitude?
Do you live a life of appreciation?
Do these questions make sense to you?
Be mindful this Thanksgiving of not just saying thank you but of being thankful. Being thankful is not just something you do, it is something you are. Do you know how to be thankful and appreciative?
– Every kid who ever went trick or treating on Halloween
What’s scaring you this season of Halloween?
What’s the big monster trying to make you scream?
A cat, a bat, things that go bump in the night?
Or is it Freddie, Jason or Michael that give you the big fright?
Or maybe something inside of you? Alien! Out of sight!
Yeah, what scares you might not be a costume or a mask.
It could be depression, responsibility, a relationship task, fear of commitment, the green eyed monster jealousy, low self esteem, the demon guilt, stressed out feelings or a PTSD dream?
We need a magic formula, silver bullet to make the monsters go bust.
The only antidote for fear I know of is trust!
Trust in yourself, that you’re brave and strong.
Trust everything will be ok, that you can handle the wrong.
Trust in faith, hope and love.
In peace and in grace.
In people, in life, in guidance from above.
Be mindful this month when you’re scared you must trust.
You must trust, simply trust.
You must trust or you’ll bust.
You must trust when you fear,
So your life remains dear!
On the street one day I saw a small girl cold and shivering in a thin dress without much hope of a decent meal. I became angry and said to God,”Why do you permit this? Why don’t you do something about it?” He said nothing. I settled into my anger and went on with my day. Later that night, He suddenly said something to me, “I most certainly did do something about that little girl. I made you.”
Why did God make you?
Was it to ask your parents how they were doing this morning instead of, “I’m in a hurry. What’s for breakfast?”
Was it to help your little brother or sister get ready for school so they didn’t forget anything?
Was it to cooperate with your teacher so she could have a better day than yesterday?
Was it to smile and be polite to the checker on the other side of the counter instead of being another customer to ignore her?
Was it to say hello to somebody, sit next to somebody, pay attention to somebody or help somebody so they wouldn’t feel so alone?
Be mindful this month of why your God made you. There is a reason. You don’t have to go searching for it. You can decide it. You need to decide it if you, and possibly someone else is going to be hopeful, peaceful, happy or feel loved today.
And there’s one thing I do know, son. And that is, you are here for a reason. I don’t know whose reason it is, or whatever the reason may be. But I do know one thing; it’s not to score touchdowns.
– Jonathon Kent
“There’s a reason for everything”. Have you ever been told this when you are trying to understand something bad that has happened in your life? Or maybe during a reflective moment, pondered the reason for your existence, only to be reminded “there’s a reason for everything”. Do you buy that answer? Is it really an answer, or a substitute for there not being an answer at all? Does it send you on an endless search for who decided this, the reason, and what the elusive reason is?
What if the one who decides the reason for everything is you? What if the reason is whatever you decided it to be? Whatever peace, comfort, or joy you receive from decisions you make, and what happens during your existence is yours to create. The only responsibility you have is to be healthy, so you can decide on a reason that will lead you to peace, encouragement, hope, perseverance, or whatever it is you need to move on with your life in a positive direction. It is now your responsibility to bring reason to your life, resulting in more understanding, sense, and reason to be found in the world.
Be mindful this month of healthy choices, in order to decide the reasons for everything in your life. Take on the responsibility for these decisions, in order to have the life that you want and deserve.
If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.
– Lao Tzu
Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
– Warren Buffett
Who would have guessed that Lao Tzu and Warren Buffett would come together to point out that the year is half over and that the summer is slipping away. There are those that think the summer is just about gone once the fireworks have all exploded on July 4th. I’ve seen Christmas decorations in the store as early as mid-August. It’s easy to get depressed about what never got done and anxious about what still has to get done all at the same time.
Together, Lao Tzu and Warren Buffett tell us that sitting in the shade of a tree is enjoying the gift of the past and planting a tree is insuring a gift for the future. Both must be done today, in the present. Both can bring peace now.
There are all kinds of shade in which to rest, all kinds of shade to insure. Continuing to learn, relationships to heal and strengthen, projects to begin and finish, self-esteem to build, are all ways to insure living in peace today.
The last two months I’ve asked you to be mindful of the importance of doing and the witnessing of healing. This month be mindful of a day, a month, a season or even a life slipping by because of not focusing on today and the peace to be found within it.