My Flavor of Being …Happy

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Facebook thoughts…

Happiness has been a journey for me. I wrote this on my post today , and boy …was I surprised what I wrote!

I didn’t expect to write about the “flavor” of my happiness. I laugh inside because I didn’t expect Happiness to have a flavor… (haha) … But it does! Happiness has a taste of butterscotch ice cream or vanilla amaretto something-law, or other.. It’s a savoring kind of taste. something that makes you wants to taste it, like, forever.
I have tasted happiness but not so much until I reached fifty-something, on a consistent basis.

I attribute this to hard work. Hard work involving “working on ME.” I have being doing tons of self-evaluation lately. I had a group of women it began with; yet I ended up doing most of it involving me doing it alone. And I’ve been consistently over the past maybe fifteen years working on it with deep, digging , introspective work.

Here are the words that I feel like deserve some applause:

🌸Confidence

🌸Self-Love

🌸Motivation

🌸Self-Trust.

🌸Settled.

🌸Placed.

🌸Courageous

These words helped me to step out of my comfort zone. Amazing how “one-word” reflection can help you to become intentional. If you’d like to be involved in a process for this, let me know and I’ll coach you through the process .

Seeking Normalcy in a Pandemic

The Blessedness Of Being.

I have been thinking about self -love and self-care and why others have such a hard time with it, sometimes . Lately, in the pandemic, I’ve been way too busy. I’ve been a caregiver for parents, I’ve been a mental health therapist, I’ve been a concerned friend. But I haven’t cared for me , like I should. I’ve placed others’ needs above my own and thought less of mine .

When the racial protests happened I felt bad I couldn’t walk with them, because I was trying to be safe from the Corona virus. I compared my suffering to that of others and thought about the consequences; feeling guilty I was not as involved as a activist for social justice issues like this. Yet then, I realized as long as I had a voice my voice would matter , my sharing and transparency mattered, and so did my attention on…

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Mesmerized By The Skies…

Since I was a child I have been mesmerized by the skies.

I’m not sure if it was being raised by parents who just placed in me a sense of wonder and joy, or just had professions where they absorbed the unreachable. Mom was a teacher so learning was her best thing. Mom could teach you , while at the same time cut up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in front of you and it was the best classroom ever, right there in the kitchen. Often at the table …why I asked her pensively, why the sky was green or why people were so mean inside. One thing for sure, I listened to all this answers and they formulated opinions in my head about how to treat others, myself.

Dad … on the other hand, was a librarian. (Another major absorber… ) sometimes I would see Dad with a book in his hand , reading.. but not often . He mostly seemed to like the interaction with others in how he brought the books to others and the thoughts related to engaging with them. He liked the sense of wonder and conversations that arose from those books. And I think he secretly like also the way I’d visit the bookmobile he drove daily and grab nearly 15 to 20 books every week and get stocked up on my next few that I’d settle into for the next week or weekend.

(I believe both of my parents were grateful they were raising a book nerd, to be honest… maybe I’d stay outta trouble..)

Evening skies. July 2020

Yet Dad nurtured that sense of wonder the most, when he took us on rides in the country . Every Sunday, he would grab his family and we’d go for a Sunday drive. Just looking out our windows, feeling the evening breeze on our cheeks, rising in the breeze and remembering how soft and free it felt on our faces.

I think perhaps I loved it the most.

I was the baby of the family, and I’d get excited, skip and laugh to get in the car. My siblings on the other hand would have scowls and frowns on their faces .. that was until they got about five miles outside the city, and they too would feel the nostalgia.

And everyone would just.. relax. The car would get quiet, we would all get contemplative and just watch the skies. Or… fall asleep.

To this day my siblings and I send each other photos of the sun going down or beautiful skies and photos of nature.

So the nostalgia continues …

Even in our older age.. we are mesmerized by the skies…

Selah.

Seeking Normalcy in a Pandemic.

I have been thinking about self -love and self-care and why others have such a hard time with it, sometimes . Lately, in the pandemic, I’ve been way too busy. I’ve been a caregiver for parents, I’ve been a mental health therapist, I’ve been a concerned friend. But I haven’t cared  for me , like I should. I’ve placed others’ needs above my own and thought less of mine .

When the racial protests happened I felt bad I couldn’t walk with them, because I was trying to be safe from the Corona virus.  I compared my suffering to that of others and thought about the consequences; feeling guilty I was not as involved as a activist for social justice issues like this. Yet then, I realized as long as I had a voice my voice would matter , my sharing and transparency mattered, and so did my attention on friends who were suffering the same.

“Even our pain and hurt should not be compared and ranked .” (Brene’ Brown)

These were Brene ‘ Browns‘  soothing words while experiencing crisis. I don’t know about you but I’ve had a range of emotions during this ” stuck at home time.”

Brene encourages is by saying: “Don’t ration love.” We need to up the ante on self-love. Self-love is not something I often think about ; but oh do I need more of it!

Though it’s hard sometimes, I find the need to just stop, slow down, and take morning baths. Why? Because morning baths are soothing, relaxing and set the tempo for the rest of my day.

I also read  on self- development and  how to be my best self,  take notes and meditate on learning points through the week. Why? Because knowledge is always present , and I am ever- evolving. And I need this meditative , contemplative part of me to be a sanctuary for a sound mind.
I have other self- soothing tips during this season. But self-love is an ‘acquired taste’ for me, and it takes thoughtfulness , meaning-making and time to pause.

“We need to attend to our own emotions, so we can be also present for others.”

I am not certain I’ve been very consistent with this. There are times I didn’t want to even think about how I felt. Being numb and not thinking much, just felt safer. But then I realized “there’s safety in a multitude of counselors.” (Scripture) And this safety is wrapped up in the arms of those who comforted me and believed I wasn’t alone. With them in my life,  life is just better.

We should never compare our suffering, emotions or affect with other-suffering. We should not deny or double down on our feelings. This invites shame, says Brene’ Brown.

Listen in to the Unlocking Us Podcast with Brene’ Brown, here. 

 

 

Giving from a deficient place.

I’m reading a devotional , and in the devotional it speaks about giving from a deficient place. And I that deficient place, it says more shall be provided than you’ll know. Interesting that ‘lack’ can have an almost amazing fulfillment.

It makes me think about how my esteem used to be really low. But then, I’d go to school with my mom who was a teacher.

And I was famous for a day.🌺

It’s So odd how true truth rests in how we perceive and how we are received. Receiving unexpectedly, like being in the right place at the right time, makes you feel valued. As a spiritual principle, being valued can exceed your imagination .

It gives you strength, affirmation , acceptance, worth. Wholeness …smiles, warmth.

And most of all, LOVE.🌺

When I was younger, my moms would take me places . She’d give me all these new experiences . I’d go to the beach, I’d travel to the library, I’d take days off to go on fields trips with her school, and her school children. She was not just my own Teacher. She was THEIR teacher . And some of the kids would just STARE at me. Like wishing they could go home with her too.’ Like … ‘what made HER so special that she hung out with my teacher?’

I learned from my Momma the power of making people feel special. It made you famous . Well.. sorta. Lots of people like you when you make them feel worthwhile. And make them smile.

Not that life is all about that, but… YOU feel good too when you make them smile inside . For this reason, I thought I wanted to be a teacher, too.

Then I changed my mind once I was in a room with a bunch of kids. Couldn’t handle it.

Decided I’d spend maybe a few hours with them, yet still be their teacher . How could i do that?

Oh! ( Be a school social worker!)

And that was my longest job.

I learned so much about kids and how to water them and make them grow. I learned a lot about myself, too. And what I needed to grow.

Value yourself , today🌺.

You deserve it.

And don’t settle for anything less.

Quite longingly… they would look…as if I were special. So i began to believe I was. 🌺 And they’d desire to play with me and be my friend, and sit right next to me. They knew I wasn’t a student in their class. And they knew I was a pretty special girl, if I’d come to their class, and belonged to Mrs Cox.

Q

I always wondered why it felt so special to be there .To experience the class as an outsider. As I think about that special feeling; I now know what they saw. Value.💜

Read more about Value, here on my podcast, ShineBaby Shine!🌺

For me to see from a deficient space.

To see opposite of what everyone else saw. To see from a deficient space, and give from that special place.

New Doors, Open Landscapes

Today, I spent time in my mind. Making a creative space. A room to where I could go and create.

That my dream.

Have you ever had a vision for something, and created a lace your min made it comfy with all you could ever place in that space, then just spent time there, creating?

Well I had it in reality before I came to Rochester. Now, I return in my mind because it helps me to relax, and envision.

Keeps my creative juices flowing.

This picture above was taken in Bend, Oregon. I’ve never been there. Just asked my husband to send a picture from there, while he visited on business. (I may not have captured this vision had he not sent it .) But I’m glad I have it. It helped me envision.

My room I created is creatively mauve, soft, warm, inviting, sunny & bright. With floor to ceiling windows. And it smells like lemon. That’s my place . Kindness dwells there.

It’s Refreshing. Open. Free.

I’m not sure what your room looks like, but envision it, and leave every worry, hurt, disgruntlement and grudge behind . It’s your room.

No one else’s.

Create your space.

You’re the Painter… 🧑🏽‍🎨

Selah.