2020 a year in hindsight. Triumphs and struggles. Looking forward with great expectations.

Looking forward with great expectations. 2020 a year in hindsight. Triumphs and struggles.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny. James Allen

Wow! As we ring in the New Year how will we feel about this year just past? It has been a mixed bag for me. At the end of November, I received my first royalties from my book “Secrets and Silence”. Now I have that to look forward to at the end of every month. I moved some mutual funds into dividend stock and it has been fun watching the dividends come in. I don’t want to get like John D. Rockefeller who said, “Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It’s to see my dividends coming in.” There are so many things that make life worthwhile. I can’t wait until my husband and I can go out for coffee again. We still go out, but sitting in the truck drinking it, just isn’t the same. We will laugh about this time in our lives for years to come.

Yesterday a friend and I went for a walk along a pretty street with pretty stores we couldn’t enter. We still had fun, we laughed and talked, bought peppermint tea, and made plans for our next walk.

If we think we should wait until we have a big enough amount to start saving, investing, or tithing we may never start. Small amounts grow into big amounts. Nothing grows if we don’t start. I hope to have a herd of pigs “passive income generators” over time as I add more novels to my catalogue.

I laugh to myself as I write, “Catalogue” we think things can’t happen but they can. We can plant seeds that grow. It’s all about reaping and sowing but we have to sow before we can hope to reap.

Many of us will look back over 2020 as a year that changed our lives. Many of the changes that took place in mine weren’t started in 2020. Just like any harvest, there was a time of more importance. Harvest time is the evidence of things unseen. Things we put into motion that create a harvest.

Life is an echo. What you sent out comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you. Zig Zigler

One of the most exciting times of the year is spring, watching new life emerging. When we plant seeds we may look every day for signs of growth. Finally, we see a green shoot. We may wonder what people are looking at if they are looking at the bare ground, but we don’t know if they’ve planted something. If we haven’t planted any seeds we don’t look at our bare ground the same way as someone that is waiting to see growth.

We need to build our lives in such a way that we are looking for growth. My daughter is being watched carefully now she has been married for two years. If she doesn’t feel well she gets a phone call. “Are you feeling better?” But, of course, that is not all that is being asked. People are waiting expectantly for news.

If we think of spring we can get through winter. One of the joys of winter on the farm was new calves were born. I remember walking with Dad on bright moonlit nights to check on the cows. There are many little joys in life we may overlook because we are waiting to be hit over the head by bigger things. A healthy calf suckling at their mother was a joy to behold. A litter of new pigs, kittens, or puppies was life-affirming. Birth brings joy but also sometimes heartbreak.

As we enter 2021 are we getting ready to plant new seeds? We can’t expect a harvest without preparing and planting. We can spend winter thinking about what to plant. Paging through seed catalogues is a great pastime. What we plant in our life will grow and we need to choose what that will be. Even our thoughts are seeds and perhaps the most important ones.

As we go into 2021 the choices we make will impact our lives. What we plant will be what we harvest. We may not think we are reaping what we are sowing but what else could we be reaping?

Life is a garden our thoughts are the seeds, we can grow flowers or we can grow weeds. Unknown

In your deeds and in your works, don’t expect to start reaping just as you start sowing. Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

Words are seeds they do more than blow around they land in our hearts and not the ground. Be careful what you plant and careful what you say. You might have to eat what you planted one day.  Unknown

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Sowing and Reaping [Annotated, Updated]: Whatever a man sows that shall he also reap. – Galatians 6:7 by [Dwight Lyman  Moody]

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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Happy New Year! 2021 a year of hope. Interesting times are ahead.

2021, a year of hope. Interesting times are ahead. Happy New Year.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself. Unknown

It is time to take stock of the year that is ending. This hasn’t just been another year of the same old thing. No, this year has brought some of us to our knees. The aftermath of this year will be felt for years to come. We have a war and a war effort has produced vaccines that we hope will stop this pandemic and we can get on with our lives.

Are there gifts we will be left with as we move on to a post-pandemic world? Will we have more home-cooked meals going forward? Will we evaluate our lives and decide that we must put first things first? Have some of our priorities changed? Do we feel an urgency to get on with the important things? Is our list of what is important becoming clearer?

This year many of us may feel diet and exercise will be even more important in our lives. Some of us have not been to the gym in almost a year. Have we managed to stay in shape at home, or are we facing a bigger challenge in our fitness as we go forward into the New Year?

Are we further ahead in our goal setting or are we behind? Have we read more books this year, or less? Do we feel as mentally strong? Are our relationships as good, better, or worse than last year? Are we on track to meet our goals? Is our life filled with gratitude?

This morning as I write this the news is saying we may not get back to normal until September when enough vaccines have been given. Holding on until then may be challenging for many, certain sectors are much more affected than others. We say we are all in this together, but of course, we aren’t all affected in the same way. We can’t possibly all be affected in the same way.

Things money can’t buy, manners, morals, respect, character, common sense, trust, patience, class, integrity, and love. Unknown

Challenging times create opportunities for some, fortunes are made and lost. The Wheel of Fortune has shown up in our lives. For some of us, things will never be the same again. Is life ever really the same from year to year? Don’t we always need to grow, adapt, and change with the circumstances in life? Opportunities may present themselves we never thought possible. Are we willing to grab hold of the opportunities that present themselves? Are we willing to go forward into the unknown?

Do we have a choice? Don’t we always have to move forward and get out of our comfort zone? My parent’s generation didn’t have a comfort zone for a good part of their lives as they went through the depression and then World War ll. I’ve lived my whole life in a comfort zone, and I still do. Has it been too comfortable to take big risks?

People who become great don’t usually live in a comfort zone. Circumstances shape our destiny. We are leaving the year of The Emperor behind and if we look at some world events doesn’t that explain some of what has gone on? The year of the Hierophant is coming and some say this represents organized religion, established entities, methods, and traditions. It would not surprise me if going through a pandemic makes people turn to religion and a higher power.

It is with gratitude for all the abundance in my life that I look forward to 2021 with all its blessings and challenges. May a happy, prosperous, and healthy New Year be yours.

Interesting times are ahead. Happy New Year!

Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized. Terry Pratchett

Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once. Paulo Coelho

It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. Rumi

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Make Lasting Changes: The Science of Sustainable Behavior Change and Reaching Your Goals by [Peter Hollins]

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Peace and joy, glad tidings to all.

Glad tidings to all, peace and joy.

Photo of 2020 Gingerbread house

Frustration is built by unmet expectations. John Lund

Are we filled with peace, joy, and glad tidings?

Christmas Eve dawns and for some of us, this seems like a disappointing Christmas. Our expectations are not being met. A lot of expectations over a lot of lives over the centuries have not been met.

When we read of the birth of Jesus, the expectation was not that he would be born in a manger. The people of the day did not want the savior they got; they wanted a King that would put the Romans in their place.

How often do we not get what we want but instead get what we need? Is such a time upon us? Without all the trappings of Christmas we are used to, the big gatherings, the huge meals, we may find more meaning than we’ve previously had. We may be making an effort to connect with people we’ve been taking for granted. We may be enjoying the little things we’ve overlooked.

We might remember this Christmas more than any other Christmas, it will stand out in our minds partly because we have been going along happily or unhappily but not really taking stock of our lives. This is a year to take stock. For a lot of people, this is the year that will change everything. This might be the year we say “Never again.” Never again will we be in a situation where we are this close to the margins. Never again will we take our relationships for granted. Never again will we be just sleepwalking through life. Never again will we be caught with our proverbial pants down. Never again will we expect someone to do for us what we have to do for ourselves. Never again will we let the little things destroy our relationships. Never again will we be waiting for people to tell us what to do in our life.

We can go forward as people making plans and goals. We can go forward repairing the relationships in our lives. We can say never again will we not talk to people because…

What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be. Unknown

When we hear how some businesses have found ways to manage in this time it is uplifting and empowering to see the resilience they are showing. A fancy restaurant is now a meat shop selling fancy cuts of meat and sides to prepare at home.

Tough resilient people are created and this year will be a defining moment in many people’s lives. It isn’t easy times that create strong people. No one wants to live through hard times, but it is because of the times they lived through that we call the “Greatest Generation,” what we do.

Have we come through “The dark night of the soul” phase? Do we still have lessons to learn? We are on a hero’s journey and we are the hero of our own life. We are told that all we have is all we need. Are we grateful for all we have?

There are many disappointments and my nephew was to have his fiftieth birthday celebration. He is still turning fifty today, but the celebration will be different than he hoped for. I hope his birthday is filled with peace, joy, and glad tidings. Is it our choice to feel blessed, at peace with ourselves and the world regardless of circumstances? Even though we don’t get to choose the circumstances in our life is the power in our attitude and mindset?

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas full of peace, joy, and glad tidings to all.

Unmet expectations are tough when it’s your wife or your husband, but it’s really tough when it’s God. And yet, it can be a time of growth and a time of faith, a time of understanding who God is. Max Lucado

When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be. Mandy Hale

And then it happens… One day you wake up and you’re in this place. You’re in this place where everything feels right. Your heart is calm. Your soul is lit. Your thoughts are positive. Your vision is clear. You’re at peace, at peace with where you’ve been, at peace with what you’ve been through and at peace with where you’re headed. Unknown

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Finding Christmas Paperback – Picture Book, Oct. 1 2017

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Canada a work in progress. Happy Canada Day.

Happy Canada Day. Canada a work in progress.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada with its virile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people. Winston Churchill

Home is one of the words that touch our hearts. We’ve all had a home, longed for home, dreamed of going home again, left home, and arrived home. Home is where the heart is. Home isn’t just a physical place, home is the place our dreams become reality.

If Canada is our home or was our home we are tied to it no matter where we live or what we do. When we come home after a trip no matter how great the trip was we are glad to be home. When we have driven through parts of America on trips back and forth to British Columbia we have only had good experiences and yet when we hit the Canadian border we feel more at ease. We are on home turf even though we are still hours from home.

What a year it has been since last Canada Day. We were on a high, the Raptors were the champions. This year we are struggling with an unseen enemy. We have to be careful we don’t turn against each other as we get back to normalcy. We have to find a balance between rights and responsibilities, what we expect other people to do to protect us, and what we do to protect ourselves. A balance needs to be found between being responsible and letting fear rule our lives. We may have to choose between the best of two good choices or two bad outcomes. Do we choose the economy over health or health over the economy? Is there no health without a good economy? We have walked the razor’s edge and hopefully, the worst is behind us.

A beautiful day dawns and we are lucky to be able to appreciate it. Today is a day when we celebrate Canada our home and native or adopted land. We may have ideas about what would make Canada better, we may work toward that end and indeed we should. No matter what changes we work toward everything in life will not go smoothly. We will still have disagreements; we will still end up in situations that don’t turn out how we hoped, expected, or even understand how they became what they did.

We often take for granted the opportunities we have and some of us don’t notice the opportunities that are there until we see someone else take advantage of them and become wildly successful. Do we dream big enough dreams? Do we ask for what we want and go after it? Do we even know what we want? If someone said you can have your wildest dream come true, what would that be? Do we have an answer? So many successful people will tell us that opportunity shows up as hard work. It isn’t just about working hard, many people do that but to what end? What are we working hard toward?

Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. Jack Layton

What if life is a bit like a vending machine and when we put our money in we have to choose what we want. Do some of us put our money in but not choose and we walk away wondering why we didn’t get the prize. We didn’t choose a prize. Do we know what the goal is we are working toward? Can we name it? Do we need to name it, to claim it?

The advantage of people who come from somewhere else is they had to make a decision. They had to have some sort of goal to impel them forward to make the move. Moving somewhere new gave them the belief they were taking their life in their own hands. We don’t have to move somewhere new; we can bloom where we are planted. No matter where we bloom can we quit looking at how everyone else is blooming and appreciate ourselves for who we are and appreciate others for who they are and together build something great?

In the garden of life are we a daisy, rose, sunflower, oak tree, or grass? Can we appreciate our contribution and the contribution of others that create a beautiful garden?

We are blessed to live in a beautiful country. If we woke up in Canada today we are some of the luckiest people in the world. Do we count our blessings or our problems? Do we look at what is good or what needs to be changed? Are we part of the problem or part of the solution?

We are blessed, and even though we may quibble over what our government does, or what other governments do, we still live in peace and plenty. As we live our lives we must do our best to make life better, socially, environmentally, economically, and politically, if we want Canada to remain what it is, a safe haven of peace and plenty.

Happy Canada Day! May we forever be a work in progress.

Love of country is like love of women – he loves her best who seeks to bestow on her the highest good. Felix Adler

I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong or free to choose those who shall govern my country. John Diefenbaker

We have it all. We have great diversity of people, we have a wonderful land, and we have great possibilities. So all those things combined there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. Bob Rae

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Canada Hardcover – April 30 2019

by Collins Canada (Author)3.9 out of 5 stars 5 ratings



Celebrating fathers on this father’s day. A day to remember and celebrate our fathers.

A day to remember and celebrate our fathers. Celebrating fathers on this fathers day.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, and singers of song. Dan Brown

Father’s day is a bittersweet day for many of us. We’ve lost our Dad’s or worse yet they were never in our lives, or the relationship wasn’t good.

We all have a father; we couldn’t be here without one. He occupies a place in our heart or leaves a hole in it. We can’t ignore our father’s impact on our lives. This year if we are lucky enough to have our father in our lives we may gather around the barbecue, laugh, tell stories, and bask in the warmth of our family circle still unbroken.

For those of us whose family circle is broken through death or other reasons, a tear may come to our eye. It comes to mine, as I write this. If we were blessed with a father who was there for us when we did well and when we made mistakes. If our father encouraged us, warned us of dangers, and let us know he believed in our ability to make good decisions we were given a foundation to build our lives on. We take what he taught us and in turn teach that to our children.

If we didn’t have the blessing of a good father it is still our blessing and burden to be a good parent to our children and be or provide a good father to them if at all possible.  Even good and great fathers aren’t perfect. They will make mistakes. We might not see what they were trying to teach us until later.

We might not see eye to eye on politics or changes we would like to see in the world. Conversations may get heated as polar opposite opinions are voiced. We need to try and see both sides, even if we never come to the same conclusions there are points to be taken into consideration. Can we try and understand where each other comes from?

By moving so far away I deprived my children of knowing their grandparents well. They could have learned so much from Mom and Dad. We visited but that isn’t the same. Mom and Dad had already left the farm before my children were born. It is a side of life I wish they would have had a chance to experience, even as visitors.

Having a dad who is there for us, a constant fixture, guiding and encouraging us is a blessing. We were given examples of how to deal with life and we went into the world and built a life. Often fathers are a moral compass in our lives.

Mom always told me the best gift you can give your children is to love their father. Now as I see my children taking their place in life. One married and the other planning a wedding it truly is the best advice. If we can be happy from the moment we find out we are to be a mother or father that we feel it truly is the best gift we can be given, what a blessing. It is a blessing to us, our partner, our children, and our society.

A father should be his son’s first hero and his daughter’s first love. Unknown

Being a father is a lot more than just being a sperm donor. It comes with a lot of responsibility but also a lot of gifts and blessings. Jordan Peterson tells young men to take up a load, do the heavy lifting in life by getting married, having a family, and providing for that family.

When we can look ourselves in the eye, our partner in the eye, our children in the eye, and society in the eye because we’ve done the heavy lifting in life, we’ve carried our responsibilities to the best of our ability we can be proud of ourselves, our children, and our contribution.

I’ve been blessed with a father that I can be proud of and that counts for a lot, it helps us be proud of ourselves if we can be proud of our parents. It gives us a jumping point in life. We have more to offer a partner if we don’t have a gaping hole we can never fill, left by a father who was never there. Sometimes things happen and that father is not there through no choice of his or the mothers. That gaping hole will still be there and a burden to carry.

To all the fathers, without your contribution, we couldn’t exist.  Much of the advancements made in our society have been made by men trying to make things better for women they loved, for their families, and the betterment of society.

Happy father’s day. Dad, you played such a role in my life, you’ve impacted it in ways I can’t even express. I am so grateful for having a strong, loving, steadfast father who was there for all of us, and whose presence and, impact we feel still.

What you teach your children, you also teach their children. Unknown

The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature. Antoine-Francois Prevost

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person. He believed in me. Jim Valvano

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12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

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Jordan B. Peterson (Author, Narrator), Norman Doidge MD – foreword (Author), Random House Canada (Publisher)4.7 out of 5 stars 10,775 ratingsAmazon Charts #9 this week

Making each other happy. Does our husband know what would make us happy? Why are we keeping it a secret? Do we expect him to be psychic?

Does our husband know what will make us happy? Why are we keeping it a secret? Do we expect him to be psychic? Making each other happy.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be. Mandy Hale

Much of what ruins otherwise perfect days is our expectations of them. We want them to be bigger, grander, and more special than they can possibly be. Our spouse may be loving, kind, generous and do their best to make us happy, but if it doesn’t meet our expectations we will be disappointed.

It sounds like the worst thing in the world to lower our expectations. When we do we can be happy with what we have. When we go through something terrible and survive we often feel the most grateful, the most alive, and exhilarated at our good fortune. The barn is gone, but I can now see the moon type of experience.

We might be grateful we can see the moon because the tornado that came through only took the barn, we still have all of our family, and a house to live in.

This Valentine’s Day reminds me to grab hold of my husband and hold him tight because I can. He is still here, and I’ve been to too many funerals lately leaving wives behind whose only wish is they could hug him one more time.

If we are lucky enough to have a loving spouse in our lives we are blessed. We woke up to our Valentine and looking into his or her eyes over coffee, tea, or anything this morning should make our heart swell.

My husband and I joked about going to the store and exchanging cards, then putting the cards back and leaving the store. Cards are written to tug at our heartstrings, to put into words what we would like to say, we feel, but don’t express openly to our partners. We don’t want to be vulnerable; we don’t want to wear our heart on our sleeve. Somehow a cold hard exterior seems better. We never think its better when we see that cold hard exterior on someone else, why would we think it is better on us?

One of the recipes for a happy life seems to be to expect more from ourselves, and less from other people. What can we do to make our partners day, instead of what can they do to make ours may be the recipe.

My husband and I are blessed to be in a long, loving relationship. We all have disappointments, unmet expectations, irritants and areas where we don’t see things the same way. We didn’t marry ourselves, we married someone who can help us see things from the other side, experience things in a different way, and help us smooth our jagged edges as we help them smooth theirs.

Sometimes we may think we should have made different choices, but we are on the road we are on because of those choices, we have to make the best of them. We don’t get a do-over.

Two things can destroy any relationship: unrealistic expectations and poor communication. Unknown

I suggest we try to create for someone else what we would have liked someone to do for us. Unless we know what they would secretly like, and then do that. Do we wish they would ask us out for breakfast, ask them out for breakfast? Is there a particular type of chocolate we love, get them some fabulous chocolate.  Do we want them to want to spend time with us, let them know we want to spend time with them? Would we like to watch a movie, ask them to watch a movie?

One of the mistakes we women make is not letting our husbands know what we want. How can someone give us what we want if we don’t tell them? If we want a particular dress and our husband says “let’s go shopping.” But, we never take him to the store that has the dress we want, how will he even know it exists. We may think, it’s too expensive, it’s too impractical, it’s too sexy. What are we afraid of, he won’t like it, he won’t think we look good in it, we ‘ll show him a side of us we are trying to hide. We might not even want the dress once we try it on. We’ve lost an opportunity to let him make us happy, and to share who we are when that is exactly what he wanted.

How often does someone ask us where we want to eat and we say, “I don’t know?” We end up where we least wanted to go because we wouldn’t make a decision and let someone know what would make us happy.

I’m going to try when I am asked what I want to have an answer. My son asked me what I wanted for dinner for my birthday. I told him, I want to not have to decide what dinner will be. That is partly right. But, really I couldn’t make a decision about what I would like someone to prepare for a special dinner? How can they possibly choose the right thing, because everyone has some expectations about their birthday dinner, even if they don’t voice them?

Women, can we give our husbands a clue about what they can do that will make us happy? Can we let them know that they are a big contributor to happiness in our lives? Most of our happiness comes from our family. This weekend starts with Valentine’s Day and ends with Family Day. It should be a complete love fest for the whole weekend. After all first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby carriage. At least for many of us, it goes in that order.

Can we be easy to love? Do we let people know what pleases us, and what would make us happy? Or do we keep that information locked away, so only a psychic could figure it out?

Every criticism, judgment, diagnosis, and expression of anger is the tragic expression of an unmet need. Marshall Rosenberg

Art of true relationship: To love without condition, to talk without intention, listen without judging, to give without reason and to care without expectation. Unknown

Understanding the other person’s needs – does not mean – you have to give up on your own needs. Marshal Rosenberg

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Things Will Get as Good as You Can Stand: (. . . When you learn that it is better to receive than to give) The Superwoman’s Practical Guide to Getting as Much as She Gives Paperback – Apr 6 2004

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Bell Let’s Talk Day.

Bell let's talk day

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Post reposted from 2019 Bell Let’s Talk Day.

I lie about being sick sometimes because people understand if you have a cold, but not if you have depression. Unknown

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day and we have a lot to talk about. I just read an article written by Philip Moscovitch that was published in The Globe And Mail yesterday.  He frequently writes about mental health and mental illness and is working on a book about life with psychosis – for those experiencing it and those around them.

Last night I watched a video of a young man experiencing psychosis and how hard it was for his mother and mental health professionals to get him to agree to any treatment.

Philip Moscovitch’s article is asking “do we really need more talk?” His son who is open about his recovery from psychosis knows the flip side of fighting the stigma and how appearances are inherently built into how people respond to someone else’s mental illness.  He says, “Even as a privileged person you are marginalized when you have a mental illness. There were nights when people I thought were my friends wouldn’t let me sleep at their place, I thought I was alienated from my family, it was minus-15, and I was just walking down the streets of Halifax with jeans that were frozen to the bone, unable to go anywhere and sleeping in underground parking lots.”

We want to help, we want to make a difference but when we are faced with helping someone whose behavior scares us, what are we to do?

Once we know someone has had an episode or more than one episode how do we pretend we aren’t looking for signs of another one?

It may be true that Bell Talk Day won’t help those with serious mental illness. We may have to live with the fact that someone we know suffered through mental illness and we wish we’d done better. We wish we’d found a way to help.

It’s so common, it could be anyone. The trouble is, nobody wants to talk about it, and that makes everything worse. Ruby Wax

This disease comes with a package: shame. When any other part of your body gets sick you get sympathy. Ruby Wax

One of the criticisms of Bell Talk Day is although raising awareness and funding worthwhile programs and services is worthwhile. They don’t emphasize the kinds of fundamental change we need.

No matter how good we get as a society we will never meet everyone’s needs to their satisfaction, all of the time. We may not know what the fundamental changes are some people believe we need. What works for one person may not work best for others.

We are trying and that is worth something. Are mental illnesses simply physical diseases that happen to strike the brain? There is so much we don’t know. It would be easy if one has a family member suffering from mental illness to feel not enough is being done. Someone who lives with a person with mental illness may even feel they know things about mental illness that aren’t being recognized.

We have a long way to go; we have a lot to learn. Raising money for research is one way to make a difference. It might not make much difference to someone in the throes of mental illness right now. It is the same with research on any other disease, research being done helps future patients, and it leads to future understanding.

It is easy to get discouraged; it is easy to feel not enough is being done. Bell Let’s Talk Day is trying to be part of the solution. It won’t happen overnight, it might not help the one we love. Isn’t it still worth doing if who it helps is not born yet?

Don’t be ashamed of your story. It will inspire others. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life  Audiobook – Unabridged

Byron Katie (Author, Narrator), Stephen Mitchell (Author, Narrator), MacLeod Andrews (Narrator), Rebecca Lowman (Narrator), Random House Audio (Publisher)4.5 out of 5 stars 1,141 ratings


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Looking forward to a great New Year. What changes will make our lives better, healthier, filled with gratitude, joy, and love?

What changes will make our lives better, healthier, filled with gratitude, joy, and love? Looking forward to a great New Year.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek. Barack Obama

Today is the last day of the old year. A New Year starts tomorrow. What will it bring? What great things will be accomplished? What new discoveries will be made? What will we learn? What will we do? What will we complete? What will we improve? What are the chances we will take, what fears will we face, and what challenges will we overcome?

This is our year, it will fly by fast like the last one did, but it will give us opportunities to grow, develop, live, love, change, be grateful and live in abundance.

We may not think we are living in abundance because our abundance doesn’t look like someone else’s. Every life is different. What do we want to accomplish? What do we need to feel happy, grateful, alive, loved, important, useful, and complete?

Are there small things we can do to improve our lives. One of the things I can do is get more sleep. Over the holidays I’ve been experimenting and no matter what time I go to bed at about eight hours I feel ready to get up. One of the best changes we can make in our life for our health is getting enough sleep.

Another thing I think we can do is cut off arguments at the start. If I can listen to someone’s complaint without becoming defensive it rarely becomes anything more. If I don’t put my two cents in, just let them say what they want to say, and in my own time roll over what they had to say. Trying to understand instead of seeking to be understood makes a big difference.

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. Confucius

If we are going to learn anything it will be from listening, not talking. This year I’d like to become a better listener, even when it is something I don’t want to hear.

This year I’d like to walk more. I love walking, my husband loves walking, my dog loves walking and so do my son, daughter, son-in-law, and my son’s girlfriend. We’ve gone on hikes with all of them; I’d like to do more of that.

I’d like to streamline our meals and bring in more vegetables and salads. The greener we eat, the leaner we get, or so I’m told.

This year I’d like to read more.  Read for fun, knowledge, and enlightenment. It would be great if our book club meets more regularly. We have our January date tentatively set. It works best when we set a date and everyone tries to make it but the meeting goes on even if someone can’t attend.

This is the year to finish editing and putting my novel out there. My son keeps telling me about the 80/20 rule and to quit obsessing about perfection, get it done, get it out there, and move on to the next book. He’s right but going through it with Pro Writing Aid is illuminating and will leave me with a much better book to hand off to a professional editor and then I will have to say okay, here it is.

Whatever we want to do in the New Year we won’t know how it will work out unless we actually do it. Diet and exercise make us healthier, but only if we do it. We don’t need to do things perfectly we just have to keep doing them day after day, after day. One day we won’t even think about not doing them, they will be a habit, a habit that will enrich our lives. Then we can turn to the next thing and turn that into a habit.

If we do this enough times we have healthy habits that build a healthy life. Health will always be our greatest wealth. If we are lucky, make good choices, and develop good habits, we can die young at a ripe old age.

Here’s to a great New Year filled with possibilities, challenges, changes, risks, rewards, facing our fears, reaping the benefits of fully living, and loving in gratitude and joy.

What would we do if we knew we could not fail? What habit would we develop if we knew it would lead to greater health? What change would we make if we knew it would lead to greater love in our relationships?

Are we the change we need to see in our lives?

Can we make this coming year the best one yet?

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. C. S. Lewis

Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for change. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature. Edmund Burke

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist Paperback – Mar 23 2010

by Andrew Newberg M.D. (Author), Mark Robert Waldman (Author) 3.7 out of 5 stars 16 ratings


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Loving what is. A small Christmas can be just as much fun.

A small Christmas can be just as much fun. Loving what is.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly Merry Christmas. Peg Bracken

Another Christmas is in the bag. Today for many is a day of hustling and bustling looking for a bargain or three. Jostling for parking spots, waiting in line it’s all part of the fun. We’ll come home to a cup of tea and lots to nibble on, and then a dinner of what is left of the Christmas excess.

Yesterday we had a lovely big breakfast, opened our presents and then in the afternoon, our numbers began to thin. Our daughter and her husband were off to his family’s festivities. My sister-in-law and her family were off to theirs. We were a group of five who sat down to turkey and fewer trimmings as I realized how small our group for dinner would be.

One of my sister’s cooked a turkey and it was just her and her husband and Mom. Roast beef is Mom’s favorite but my sister was pulling rank this year, she hasn’t had turkey in a long time so she cooked a turkey.

It doesn’t matter if our celebrations are big or small. If we are together we can celebrate, and as we gather around a table we can hold hands and create our circle. With grateful hearts, we are here to share once again the magic of Christmas.

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. Janice Maeditere

As the group played dominoes my son said, “Mom you seem very busy for someone who had everything prepared.”

“Oh, I thought I’d make fancier vegetables since I’m not cooking so much.” Boiled green beans and Brussels sprouts became Green Beans Provencale and fancy Brussels sprouts.  We had a lovely time. Unlike last year where the turkey wasn’t touched this turkey was carved into and enjoyed. When I realized how few would be eating dinner I cooked less of what wasn’t already prepared.

My daughter said a few days ago, “I’m sorry we can’t stay for Christmas dinner.”

“I’m not,” I said. “I am so happy you have a life, a husband, and you get along with his family and are spending time with them. I’m not so selfish that I want you all to myself”

We didn’t know how this Christmas would work out. Family friends who have spent every Christmas with us were no longer able to attend. Their health is deteriorating and we can’t do anything about that but accept what is.

Sometimes it seems not knowing how things will work out leaves us with fewer expectations, and fewer expectations leave us enjoying what is, and what is, is full of laughter and fun, spontaneity and joy.

Can we find joy in the moments of every day?

From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas bring us closer to each other. Emily Matthews

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life Paperback – Dec 23 2003

by Byron Katie (Author), Stephen Mitchell (Author) 4.4 out of 5 stars 92 ratings


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Reach out and touch someone. Merry Christmas. Tis the season.

Tis the season. Reach out and touch someone. Merry Christmas.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace, the gladness of Christmas give you hope, and the warmth of Christmas grant you love. Unknown

As we get ready to celebrate another Christmas my thoughts go to those whose chair is empty for the first time. Many people are going through this, their first year without their father, son, daughter, sister, mother, brother, uncle, aunt, wife, husband, or friend. Maybe it isn’t even the first year, or maybe they aren’t gone yet but it is inevitable and soon. Others may be hovering over a hospital bed not knowing the outcome.

Sometimes we don’t know what to say when people are going through these times. Especially if we aren’t really close. Often it is easier to think about them, but not call. We don’t know what to say, so we don’t say anything.

I’ve been guilty of that. When we aren’t in close contact with people we don’t know how to reach out to them. If we wait too long there is no reaching out to do. We may now have a regret to live with for the rest of our lives.

Christmas is a good time to reach out to people. To let them know we think of them, they are in our thoughts and prayers.

I wish we could put some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar every month. Harlan Miller

At Christmas, our circle is big or small and over the years it gets smaller or grows depending on the season of our life. Some families have the joy of a baby’s first Christmas, or a son-in-law or daughter-in-law has now joined them. Maybe they’ve invited someone to share Christmas with them who would otherwise be alone.

Some people may have healed a long-standing breach, and wonder what took them so long.

Whatever our situation let’s gather round, and give thanks for what we have, and who we get to share it with. It’s a special time and through our hard times, there are hidden gifts. We didn’t want these gifts but they are here, life goes on, and a New Year dawns.

Merry Christmas to all and may you have all the blessings of the season. If you can think of someone to reach out to, reach out to them. I bet you’ll be happier if you do.

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone. Charles M. Schulz

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Wonder of Christmas: 101 Stories about the Joy of the Season Paperback – Oct 16 2018

by Amy Newmark (Author) 4.7 out of 5 stars 4 ratings


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