Small changes lead to big changes. Start small.

Start small. Small changes lead to big changes.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change. Jim Rohn

It is getting to be great walking weather when it isn’t raining. Even if it is raining it isn’t always worth canceling a hike. My son invited us for a hike a week or so ago. We said we’d go if it wasn’t raining. The day arrived wet and dreary, the other person showed up and so did we.

A few other brave souls braved the trail that day. It was very enjoyable even though it was wet. Much more enjoyable than if we had stayed home and done nothing.

Life is like that, we can get out and enjoy life, deal with the less than desirable or we can sit at home and do nothing. We are usually happiest when we get involved in life. It is easy to talk our self out of going to the gym, making plans with friends, making plans with family or even our spouse.

We start projects and then they sit there. Every time we go near them we feel bad because they aren’t complete. They always say if you want something done ask a busy person. The people who have all the time in the world don’t seem to be pushed to finish or even start things.

Do we make a mistake when we keep ourselves too busy? Is it better to live a more relaxed life? Does it depend on what we are busy doing, or how we spend our relaxed life? Are we busy going for a walk or to the gym instead of relaxing in front of the TV?

We all have twenty-four hours, no more, and no less. What we do with our twenty-four hours is ours to decide. My garden is beginning to call out to me. It needs time and attention. I see houses where nothing has been planted in twenty-five years. It seems a shame to not plant anything. When one of our neighbors moved into his new house he looked over at my garden disapprovingly, and said, “I’m a fancy Gardner.” He only lived beside us a few years, but in that time we never saw his “fancy gardening” skills. His yard was as bare the day he moved out as it was when he moved in.

He was waiting until he could do his “fancy garden”. Maybe it was time or money but because he couldn’t do it perfectly, he didn’t bother. Sometimes we just have to do what we can, because doing something is better than doing nothing.

It is surprising what we can accomplish if we apply ourselves to projects with small bits of time. An hour here, an hour there and we have a painting, a novel, a fit body, a painted house, a garden. We lament we don’t have time, but we have the same amount of time as the people who accomplish things we only dream of.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. C.S. Lewis

They go to school and get degrees, raise children, volunteer, go to the gym, grow their own vegetables, build things, renovate their house, and read books. Obviously, it’s how we use our twenty-four hours.

We can say to our self, “If I’d started sooner”, but there are people who start any number of things late in life. There is now, this is all there is, what we start now will grow and develop and in twenty-five years might become something. We think we should have saved for retirement earlier. We should have bought stock in any number of companies, earlier. We should have developed that idea earlier. We should have planted that tree earlier. We should have watched what we ate and gone to the gym earlier.

What’s stopping us from embracing what we know we should have done earlier, now? We feel overwhelmed by choice. We are pulled in so many directions we have a hard time choosing.

As I sit here I wonder could I go for a walk or the gym every day. My mind is telling me no, no, no, that’s too much of a commitment. It is easy to talk ourselves out of doing things. I’m going to settle for the commitment of walking more. That is doable. I can deal with making a commitment to be better, but trying to be perfect makes us not bother to do anything.

Is there some change we want to see in our lives? Can we start small? Can we develop it into a habit?

Don’t try to overhaul your life overnight. Instead, focus on making one small change at a time. Over time, those small changes will add up to big transformation. Don’t give up. 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, hope, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

If you purchase an item through the link I do receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

See all 2 images

Habits: The Power of Habits – Creating Habits For Success to Change Your Life Paperback – Nov 28 2016

5 out of 5 stars   3 reviews from |

We are enough. Marriage is worth it. Build a life you love.

Build a life you love. Marriage is worth it. We are enough.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A healthy relationship with yourself sets the standard for a relationship with someone else. Renee Slansky

Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook by a woman I grew up with. Her post is about self-love, we make mistakes, we don’t always say, nor do the right things. We trust the wrong people; we give people chances and second chances they don’t deserve. All our failures, missteps, disappointments, joys, missed opportunities, and chances we’ve taken have made us into who we are. We are good enough, we are worthy of love, from our self and others.

If we are lucky enough to have a partner who is great but not perfect we need to love them and appreciate them.

I’m hearing some young men say they don’t know why they should get married. My advice is, get married if you want to experience the depth and breadth of life. Get married if you want someone to share a life with who has your back, shares your dreams, and wants to build a life with you. Get married if you’d like to create a family and have the joy of bringing a new baby home, seeing them walk for the first time, say their first words which are usually Dada. If you want to feel you’ve done something really special create a new person with someone you love.

There is nothing in life that will give you more joy than your family. You will never feel as vulnerable as knowing everything you love could be taken away in an instant by death, or divorce. We are stronger than our fears; many of the things we fear never come to pass. We must go after what we want and face failure in all areas of our lives to achieve success. We can get through the tough times whatever they may be with strength and perseverance. Sometimes we have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

There are no guarantees in this world. Loving someone is not a guarantee of never being sad, hurt, lonely, betrayed (or feeling betrayed even if the thought is only in our own mind).

If you want to feel empty, lonely like you don’t matter, that you don’t make a difference then stay single and don’t become a father. Because then you really don’t matter in the scheme of things. It is only through connection with others that we really matter.

You don’t marry because the partner you’ve found is so special you are guaranteed she will never leave you. Even in the bible Genesis 2:18 it says, “If a man is worthy, the woman will be a helper, if he is unworthy, she will be against him”.

This would put a man’s behavior and attitude squarely as being very important and if he wants a wife that loves and supports him, he has to be a man worthy of that love, respect, and support. As Dr. Phil says, “we don’t demand respect, we command respect.” When we command respect people respect us of their own volition, it is not forced, it is not, “You will respect me or else”?

The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest. Unknown

My son said to me, “women are initiating most of the divorces”. It seems to be true, and when you look at that bible verse doesn’t it make sense?

If a young man or even an older man wants a wife. He has to step up and be worthy of his wife’s love and support. Maybe women are leaving men too quickly, but maybe men aren’t stepping up and being the husbands they are supposed to be. We can have no divorce when women have no choice. We have choices, and some people feel if women didn’t have so much choice, it would be better. I am not someone who believes it is better when women have no choice.

We need to make our marriages better, so both parties want to stay and build a life. We look at marriages from the outside and we can’t see how some marriages stay together that look like train wrecks, and other marriages that look so nice and seem to do so well end in divorce.

No one knows the intimate details of someone else’s marriage. One of the mistakes we probably make is thinking “Love is enough”. Love is just the starting point. Another mistake we make is thinking, “If he or she loves me they would know what I want, need, mean”. Good communication is one of the most important things in all relationships, especially marriage.

Who we marry is one of the most, if not the most important decision we make. Not making that decision may be the biggest mistake of our life. There comes a point when we have to take the chance on someone to build the life we want. We always have to risk failure to risk success.

In marriage do thou be wise: prefer the person before money, virtue before beauty, the mind before the body; then thou hast a wife, a friend, a companion, a second self. William Penn

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.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

If you purchased an item through the link I do receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

See this image

Knowledge is power. A food journal helps us determine what foods work for us and what foods work against us.

A food journal helps us determine what foods work for us and what foods work against us. Knowledge is power.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. Jim Rohn

If we have nagging health problems we need to become detectives. I have been a health detective for years. One of my tools is a food journal. After going plant-based with the Starch Solution I relaxed my food journal entries but didn’t stop them entirely.

As I get ready to start the Plant Paradox Plan the food journal is coming back into play. If you are like me and sometimes a nagging problem presents itself it is hard to go back mentally over the last few days and examine every morsel that entered my mouth.

With a food journal, it’s easy. What is so great about the food journal is over time if you note every time that problem presents itself you can see if there is anything you ate every time it happens.

If our immune system in on extra high alert it means our immune system attacks when something is similar to what it is defending us against. This is why it sometimes attacks our own tissue. When we get our immune system back on normal patrol, we will still want to know if something we eat ramps it up to high alert.

If we believe that health is our natural state, and illness, pain, congestion, headaches, migraines, unexplained weight gain or loss, poor sleep, acne, psoriasis, or any other of the health problems we are sometimes afflicted with are not our normal state. Then we need to figure out how to get our body back into its normal state.

It may seem like a big leap to think small things like plant lectins could be the cause of all our problems. Small things become big things. Everything starts somewhere, what if Dr. Gundry’s Plant Paradox has some answers, even if not all the answers, is it not worth trying?

You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. Margaret Thatcher

This is what I am thinking. My daughter is looking over the list of Yes and No foods and thinking what is she going to eat? The strictest part is a three-day kick start, followed by a six-week phase two. After that is where it gets tricky. Some people will be able to bring back some or all of the foods with lectins in them in small or large quantities depending on how their body reacts. Other people will find their symptoms return if they eat certain foods.

If we keep a food journal it will help determine which of the foods bother us. There are ways to cook certain foods with lectins to mitigate lectins. When we pressure cook beans and legumes lectins are rendered safe to eat for most of us. Everyone will have to be their own lectin control board. Some of us may find white bread we make our self may be okay, others may find commercial bread okay, some may find bakery bread okay but only from some bakeries. Others will be able to eat any bread and baked good they like.

We may find we have one offending item and every time we treat our self to it, we develop symptoms. Knowledge is power. It is our choice to try something new. It is our choice to see if improving our gut health improves our life.

What if when we change our diet to what we think is healthier, and most of it is, but we might incorporate a problem food or two that causes us problems.

What we may be sensitive to may be one of the things we love most or something we hardly eat. It may be the newest health food that promises to be the answer to our health problem but instead creates one.

Our body is unique, what works for some of us, will not work for all of us. We need to beware of cookie-cutter solutions. Our ancestors came from different places, ate different things, our immune system may be on high or low alert.

Knowledge is power, and if we keep track of what we eat, how we feel when we eat certain things or eliminate certain things we can determine how to make ourselves healthier. We need to quit looking for only one answer. Everyone may have part of the answer and we have to put it all together to be as healthy as we can be.

One of the worst things we do is believe all we can do is live in misery. It may be the truth that some things we just have to live with. We also might have a lot more power to change things than we think, and what if it starts with what we put on our plate? Can a food journal become your best friend?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Lao Tzu

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, health, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

If you purchase an item through the link I do receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

See all 7 images

The Plant Paradox Cookbook: 100 Delicious Recipes to Help You Lose Weight, Heal Your Gut, and Live Lectin-Free Hardcover – Apr 10 2018


Healthy gut, healthy body. We build our health with our spoon and fork. We are what we eat.

We are what we eat. We build our health with our spoon and fork. Healthy gut, healthy body.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A healthy gut is a happy brain. Did you know? 90% of serotonin (mood stabilizer) is made in your digestive tract. Unknown

How many of us think we are just the way we are, in control of our thoughts, cravings, what we eat, and when? Our body is just the way it is because of genes, and getting older has to come with aches, pains, and disease. What if a lot of what we think isn’t true? According to Dr. Steven R. Gundry author of The Plant Paradox, we are a condominium for all the bacteria that resides within us. These bacteria can live in harmony or it can be like the Wild West in our gut.

Dr. Gundry’s analogy is we are at the lake singing camp-fire-songs. All is right in our world and our condominium until the gang members move in. Our immune system is now on alert, the trouble is it gets on such high alert that it attacks everything, even our own healthy tissue. This causes inflammation, which causes a lot of pain and suffering.

It is the gut bacteria we feed that multiply and they don’t all eat the same things. We need to be careful about our food selection so the gut bacteria that keep us healthy are the ones we feed. He also says that the right gut bacteria can renovate our body and promote health.

Some people have such serious illness that in order for them to recover a fecal transfer from a healthy person is required. This person is usually a family member. In one of his talks on YouTube, he talked about a woman with a serious infection that was given a fecal transfer from a family member. She was a runner. Within one year not only did she recover but she gained thirty pounds. The family member she got the fecal transfer from was thirty pounds overweight. The gut bacteria she received called out to be fed and by feeding them she gained thirty pounds.

Quite literally, your gut is the epicenter of your mental and physical health. If you want better immunity, efficient digestion, improved clarity and balance, focus on rebuilding your gut health. Kris Carr

Plants make us healthy, but plants also have developed ways to protect themselves. They don’t want to be eaten; they developed lectins that affect us and other animals. These lectins cause a lot of problems for many of us. He believes that with the high fiber movement we quit preparing foods the way our ancestors had developed to deal with the lectins. The lectins are found primarily in the husks, peel, and seeds of plants. When we eat white rice, white flour, peel our tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes, etc we remove some or most of the lectins. Pressure cooking is another way to deactivate lectins in food.

My daughter came across Dr. Gundry on YouTube and leaky gut is something I am familiar with. When I went plant-based following Dr. McDougall’s Starch Solution I believe my health improved and I lost weight over three years. My health still isn’t quite what I think it should be. Dr. Gundry says he thought he was doing everything right, hardly ate junk food, jogged, lifted weights, but was still overweight. He lost seventy pounds following his program and gave up his heart surgery practice because he believes he can do more good promoting health through nutrition, than trying to fix people through surgery.

I picked up his book last night and will implement many of his suggestions. If it is any consolation knowing we will have to give up foods we love he does recommend, chocolate, berries, nuts (not peanuts which are legumes), olive oil, avocadoes, goat, sheep, and water buffalo cheese. He also recommends ghee (clarified butter), which I have never bought but it will be on my shopping list today.

We are what we eat, and who we feed in our condominium. I’d rather sing campfire songs than have warfare in my gut. Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” We are all our own experiment when it comes to food and creating better health for ourselves. Can this be the tweak to create our healthiest self, for our best life?

What we’ve come to understand is that the set point, the balance point of inflammation in the body is really dictated by one fundamental issue, and that is the permeability of the leakiness of the gut lining. David Perlmutter MD

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, health, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

If you purchase an item through the link I do receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

See all 2 images

Choose to bring more laughter, fun, frivolity and humor into our lives. See the funny side.

See the funny side. Choose to bring more laughter, fun, frivolity, and humor into our lives.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

You don’t stop laughing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop laughing. Michael Pritchard

Last night at Toastmasters our theme was humor. Everything was geared to humor. It was a light-hearted, funny evening.

A few people throughout the evening noted that some people have a humorous side and some of us don’t seem to. We see the more serious side of life. We were born to laugh, look at a baby and see how often they laugh. What happened to all that laughter we had as children?

Do some of us have a humorous disposition? What do the rest of us have, a miserable one? Is it possible to develop a humorous disposition? One of the best things in life is shared laughter. We look forward to seeing certain people because they always make us laugh. Is there anyone that looks forward to seeing us because we make them laugh?

Researchers have discovered that people who hold a pencil between their teeth in an artificial smile found funny videos funnier. If we did it in front of other people they would laugh and then we would laugh. It is like the anti-negativity rock I picked up, one for mom and one for me. As my sister says whose boss gave her one, every time I rub the anti-negativity rock all over myself, it makes me laugh; the laughing is probably what produces the anti-negativity.

We can have a joke a day sent to our inbox, or we can browse Facebook or YouTube for funny videos. There is always a laugh on Facebook and bless the people who look for the funnies and post them.

There is humor all around us. If we look for it we will find it, if we want to be serious, dour, and miserable that is our choice. If we want more laughter in our life we can even try fake laughter, which if we try it, often turns into real laughter.

A good laugh is sunshine in the house. William Thackeray

If we want more laughter in our life we are told to surround our self with funny people. This is great advice but not everyone has access to a new group to socialize with. It may be easier and better to figure out how to bring more humor into our life than look for other people to bring humor into our life. We need to bloom where we are planted. It may be hard to bring more mirth into a very serious, uptight family.

It doesn’t mean it is impossible. We may even think certain groups are not where funny happens. Toastmasters are a group that a lot of people think is staid, serious, not for me, until they come out to one of our club meetings. We have guests all the time who seem surprised they enjoyed themselves. They didn’t know what to expect but it wasn’t a fun evening of laughter.

Joining groups is good for our health, and one of the reasons joining groups is good for our health is probably because in groups we laugh, joke, and look on the lighter side of life.

If we look at life as serious business, we might find it hard to see the funny in our life. One of the things my husband says to me is, “I love to see you laugh.” We need to laugh, when we can laugh together we see the funny side when we don’t laugh little things can become irritants.

We hear from people who have lost spouses that they miss the little things. They miss the shared laughter, fights, and rituals. Don’t we love to hear a joke and share it with our partner? Don’t let the funny moments in our lives pass without laughing and sharing, we don’t know how long we will have to laugh, let’s make the most of it.

Laughter is like the oil that makes our lives run smoothly if we can see the humor it can take the sting out of anger.  We naturally turn our anger, frustration, annoyance, and irritation into laughter, eventually. Some of our funniest stories are about things that happened to us that weren’t funny at the time, but through the virtue of time and distance, we can see the funny in them.

The problem is eventually is too long to wait. How can we speed up the process? We find it easier to laugh at other people’s mistakes quicker than we laugh at our own. If we can remove ourselves from the story maybe we can see the funny quicker. After all, we’d be rolling on the floor if it happened to someone else. It’s our choice to see the funny side of life, or not.

A well-balanced person is one that finds both sides of an issue laughable. Herbert Procknow

As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it. Lao Tsu

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, laughter, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

If you purchase an item through the link I do receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program

See all 2 images

Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic Paperback – Sep 13 2005


Surrendering to “what is”. Living in “the Now”.

Living in "the Now". Surrendering to "what is".

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply. Thich Nhat Hanh

In Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now he talks about “mind energy and “spiritual energy”. He says there is a gap between the demands or rigid expectations of our mind and “what is”.

Things go wrong quite often in our lives, the world, and life in general. It is our expectation that things should be different than what is, that causes our problems. We don’t want to accept that the situation is, what it is. We waste energy wishing, hoping, lamenting. He says if we can surrender to, which means yield to rather than, opposing the flow of life.

This does not mean we cannot change things. Surrender is not resignation.  Surrender means there is no judgment of the now, it just is. Therefore there is no resistance, no emotional negativity. After we accept what is, without negativity we can take positive action to do everything we can to get on with our life.

The example he gives is if we are stuck in the mud, it just is. If we get angry and rant and rave we expend more energy getting less done than if we surrender to the situation and accept that “it is” without putting a negative spin on it. Then we do what we can to get out of the mud.

When you are here and now, sitting totally, not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is the miracle. Osho

Resistance is futile. Resistance hardens us. We begin to look at the world and people in general as threatening. The unconscious compulsion to destroy others through judgment arises; our interpretations and perceptions are governed by fear.  Our attitudes and our body become rigid. The free flow of energy through our body becomes restricted. He believes we access our spirit through surrender.

We think surrender is defeat. In the surrendered state we have access to a new state of energy. Through non-resistance, the quality of our consciousness and therefore the quality of everything we are doing is enhanced. According to Mr. Tolle, this is why Jesus said, “Look at the lilies, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin.”

According to Mr. Tolle we are to look at each situation we are in and if it is unsatisfactory or unpleasant ask our self, “Is there anything we can do to change the situation, improve it, or remove our self from it?” If so, we are to take appropriate action. Focusing not on the hundred things that could be done, but on the one thing we can do now. We are to be careful we don’t put our energy into running mental movies of what can be, and lose “the now”. He believes it is through surrender that spiritual energy comes into our world.

When we surrender either our conditions change or they don’t. If they change when we surrender they often change faster than when we resist the reality of life. If circumstances don’t change, our acceptance of “the Now” allows us to rise above them. Either way, we are free.

This is not new, nor is it easy. This is according to Mr. Tolle exactly what Jesus was preaching. This is also what Byron Katie is talking about in her books.

Eckhart Tolle’s ideas are not new. Some people believe that Eckhart Tolle is not compatible with Christian thinking.  He is not asking us to believe anything; he is asking us to try something. As Mark 9:38 says, “Whoever is not against us is for us.”

It may not be easy to surrender to “what is”, learning to live in “the Now” may be the best thing we can do. Can this be one of the changes we need to make in our life?

The meeting of two eternities, the past and future…is precisely the present moment. Henry David Thoreau

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.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment and share.

If you purchase an item through the link I do receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

See all 3 images

Getting through the hard times, one day at a time. Dealing with what is.

Dealing with what is. Getting through the hard times, one day at a time.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Journaling is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time. Mina Murray

On Saturday I stopped in at my favorite Indigo store and saw an author sitting at a table with no one visiting him. I talked with Darcy Patrick for a short while and learned he is a runner, author, speaker, and his topics are running and mental health. One of his books is Creative Writing for the Mind, Body & Soul.

He told me that writing helped him through depression and he is hoping to help break the stigma behind depression and mental illness. Writing is one of the keys that helped him, by letting others know what helps he is trying to give the keys to other people.

When we find our voice we find our self. We may find our voice through writing journals that no one but us will read. We may write poems, songs, short stories we never intend to do anything with. Getting our thoughts out of our head is good for our mental health.

Telling our stories to each other may be even more beneficial but if we can at least put them down on paper or a computer we can see what we’ve written with some distance between us and our thoughts.

Making money from our writing may be a laudable goal, but writing for its own sake is important. In fact, once we bring money into the mix we may no longer say what needs to be said. We may no longer write what is important, how could we say “that”? It is the hard things we must write about, not that they need to be shared. We don’t have to write our story, we can put distance between our self and our story by writing fiction. In fiction, we can write “the lie that tells a truth”.

At Toastmasters some people give speeches that are very personal, vulnerable, and powerful. Other people never touch on anything that is personal and we don’t have the same kind of connection to their talk. There is no right way to do this.

The page listens and does not judge. Therefore you can tell it anything without fear. Unknown

Many people find when they are willing to speak the truth about their life; other people are touched because they also felt the same insecurities, made mistakes and had to get back up after a failure.

When we hear or read about how other people got through the hard times in their life we feel we too can get through the hard times in ours. Often we have the misperception that everyone else has better relationships with their spouse, kids, in-laws, friends, and family.

Long marriages aren’t long because it was necessarily easy. They are long because two people got through everything that came their way. Our lives go through seasons and we may look at the spring in someone else’s life when we are going through the winter in ours and think how lucky they are. Our spring is coming too if we hold on, and work through whatever we need to work through.

Writing can help us do that. When we write down our thoughts, dreams, desires, hopes, fears, failures, vulnerabilities, and angst about the world we can find a measure of peace.

Sometimes in life, we have to be willing to say “just for today”. All we can manage is getting through today. If we get through enough today’s we get through the situation we couldn’t see the outcome to. Maybe the worst actually happened. Someone died, a divorce that was threatened became reality, we have to deal with the disease, loss of a livelihood or relationships that are severed. Maybe the worst didn’t happen. Either way, we are on the other side of it.

When we take life a day at a time, we can deal with “what is”. We can write, we can pray, we can meditate, and we can talk. A lot of life is putting one foot in front of the other, and doing the next thing there is to do. Can we be kind to our self and others, and do it with gratitude, joy, and love? Is there is anything else to do but deal with what is?

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

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.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

If you purchase an item through the link I do receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

See all 2 images

Creative Writing for the Mind, Body & Soul Paperback – Dec 21 2017

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Humor is the best medicine.

Humor is the best medicine. Laugh and the world laughs with you.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand. Mark Twain

Laughter is the best medicine. Laughter is good for our health. There are times in our life when if we don’t laugh we’ll cry. Both laughter and crying are outlets for our emotions but most people don’t know what to do when they see us crying.

When we laugh a good hearty laugh our body is physically relieved of tension and stress for up to forty-five minutes.

Laughter boosts the immune system. Stress hormones are decreased and immune cells infection-fighting antibodies are increased, increasing our resistance to disease.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, our natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote a sense of well being and can temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects our heart by improving the blood flow and is thought to protect us from heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.

Laughter burns calories and laughing for 10 to 15 minutes per day can burn 40 calories which over the course of a year or a lifetime might be significant.

Laughter lightens angers heavy load. A shared laugh diffuses anger and conflict. When we can look on the funny side problems can be put into perspective and we can move on without holding onto bitterness and resentment.

Laughter may help us live longer. A study in Norway found people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who rarely laughed. This was especially noticeable in cancer patients.

Laughter is more than a respite from sadness and pain; it gives us courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Laughter is contagious and just hearing someone else laugh primes our brain and readies us to smile and join in the fun.

Is there a better way to bring people together than sharing humorous stories? When we take the time to engage with other people there is usually lots of laughter. We feel recharged after an evening spent in the company of people laughing and having fun. We feel closer to people when we laugh together. Laughter allows us to look at the funny side of life, not just the heavy, tragic side.

Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine. Lord Byron

A Georgia State University study found incorporating bouts of simulated laughter into an exercise program helped improve older adult’s mental health and aerobic endurance. Hearing others laugh even for no apparent reason can trigger genuine laughter.

We can bring laughter into our life by watching funny movies, TV shows, YouTube, Facebook is a good place to get a chuckle or two.

We can invite friends, relatives, or co-workers to a comedy club. We can host a game night with friends. We can collect jokes so we always have a funny joke or story to share.

Our pets are often funny and playing with them can make us laugh and put a smile on our face. Children make us laugh. Listening to the children walk to school or play in the schoolyard always makes me smile.

We need to learn to laugh at ourselves instead of taking ourselves too seriously. When we can laugh at situations instead of bemoaning them we can see the irony and absurdity in life. We can try and take negative situations and see the humor in them.

Some people may think, how can we laugh with all that is going on in the world? Is the world helped if we walk around with drooped shoulders and sullen depressed looks? Or is the world helped when we see the humor and irony of situations and do our best to fix what is going on in our circle of influence? As we work within our circle of influence it may widen until we have more to offer to the wider world.

Humor can’t fix the things that are broken. Humor can’t make wrong things right. What humor may do is give us hope, strength, and perseverance to carry on when we’d rather give up, keep going when things look bleak.

Wouldn’t we all rather be around someone with a sense of humor? If we can find the humor in life we will have a better life than if we feel mired in what is hard, wrong, unjust, and must be changed.

Grim care, moroseness, and anxiety – all this rust of life ought to be scoured off by the oil of mirth. Mirth is God’s medicine. Henry Ward Beecher

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, laughter, and love.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

If you purchase an item through the link I do receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

See all 2 images

Eating together. When we eat together we nourish our bodies and our souls.

When we eat together we nourish our bodies and our souls.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations. Oscar Wilde

When family gets together and the laughs just keep coming we feel filled up with joy. A family dinner last night was one of those. When we can come together and feel the warmth and togetherness it is worth the bother of two days of preparation.

Getting together to share a meal is one of our most ancient traditions. Through food, we share ourselves, time and attention. Family stories are shared, memories are created, we relax in the warmth at the table and it is believed the family that eats together stays together.

Anytime families get together it usually involves food. It may be a family picnic in a park taking up several picnic tables and barbeques. It may be more formal in a restaurant, or in a home.

It doesn’t matter what is served, it doesn’t matter how large the family is. What matters is that someone bothers to bring the family together and they reconnect and bond.

Usually, someone is responsible for hosting, inviting, and setting things up. It may be a position they jealously hold, everyone feels they would be hurt if anyone else tried to host. The problem with relying on one person like Grandma, Mom, or Aunty is what happens when something happens to Grandma, Mom or Aunty?

Family dinners may be the glue that holds us together. As young families, we talk with our children about their day. It may be the only time we have together, where all we concentrate on is food and each other.

If we don’t create these times when we talk and laugh we may miss the closeness that develops through family dinners. Do we have anything that can take the place of the family dinner for bonding and closeness?

All great change begins at the dinner table. Ronald Reagan

A study from a team of South Korean researchers suggests that frequently eating meals alone may lead to poorer food choices and eating habits. The study found men who eat alone more than twice a week have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

When children eat with their families it is not only about preventing bad outcomes – it is also about developing good ones. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development looked at data from nearly three-quarters of the world’s countries. Among its findings were children who shared a main meal with their families were less likely to skip school. Family dinners are strongly linked to children less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol. Teens that have frequent family dinners are more likely to say their parents know a lot about what is going on in their lives. When teens feel closer to their parents they are less likely to use drugs or alcohol.

A study from the University of Montreal found that children that eat with their families experience long-term physical and mental health benefits. These children were in better physical shape, drank fewer sugary drinks, had better social skills, and were less aggressive. Family meals may also help children with social interaction, discussion of social issues and better communications skills as they learn to discuss day-to-day concerns.

Staying connected is one of the big challenges of our time. It is easy to lose connection with our loved ones if we don’t make time to talk. Eating together is the easiest time to talk and laugh. It is worth it to try to eat more meals together. Getting together for celebrations with our extended family is a way to keep our bonds tight. We all have to eat, eating together may be one of the easiest things we can do to create connection, impart values, and bond.

I applaud everyone that has family dinners. Your family is probably reaping the rewards. If our families could do with more closeness, maybe we can fit in a family dinner here and there. If life is what we make it, making dinner and eating together may be the best thing we can do for our family. We all have to eat, why not eat together more often? Could it be the change to make the world better?

Taking time for each other is the key for harmony in the home and in marriage. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Dinners are defined at the ultimate act of communion; men that can have communion in nothing else can sympathetically eat together, can still rise into some glow of brotherhood over food and wind. Thomas Carlyle

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.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

If you purchase an item through the link I do receive a small percentage of the purchase through the affiliate program. 

See all 2 images

Growth is our purpose, pleasure, our everything. Where there is growth there is life.

Where there is growth there is life. Growth is our purpose., pleasure, our everything.

Painting by Marion Wilson Kinnunen

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing. William Butler Yeats

In One Door Two Locks author Dr. Jim Muncy gives us the 7 keys to success.

Discernment: Judge the seed by the harvest.

Optimism: Be realistic, see what you can be.

Responsibility: Think results, not reasons.

Initiative: Favor action over endless contemplation.

Perseverance: Be persistent but not stubborn.

Purpose: Be unique, but not average.

Sacrifice: See wealth, not riches.

As a University professor teaching sales techniques he began to realize he wasn’t teaching the students how to succeed, and he couldn’t put his finger on what it was his students needed to be successful that they weren’t getting from school or anywhere else in life.

What he realized is the secret to success is not hidden or maybe it is hidden, but it is hidden in plain sight.

King Solomon said, “Wisdom calls aloud from the streets. She raises her voice in the public square. At the head of the noisy street, she cries out in the gateway to the city, she makes her speech. Doest not Wisdom call out? Doest not Understanding raise her voice? On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand. Beside the gates leading into the city at the entrance, she cries aloud.”

Dr. Muncy decided he would teach a class on success but he didn’t know what to teach. He set up his class on success and told his students to find a book on success and read it. The only requirement was they had to read a book that would improve their life in some way. In class, they discussed what the students were learning through the books they chose.

Many of his students told him this was the best class they had ever taken. What he and the students explored and learned together changed his and their lives.

His students varied in age, accomplishments, sex, where they came from but despite the diversity in the students and the diversity in the books they chose to read, a few key concepts always emerged. These key concepts aren’t difficult to understand, or hard to discover or even hard to implement, but putting them to use changed these students lives.

We all have access to the books and it is up to us what we use, and what we ignore.

Growth and comfort do not coexist. Ginni Rometty

Getting everything we desire is not the road to happiness. Michelangelo perhaps the greatest artist in the world prayed, “Lord grant that I may always desire more than I can achieve.”

Dr. Muncy says there is only one way to enjoy life – to have a willing desire. There are two ways to be miserable one is to not desire anything. When we don’t desire anything we don’t sit around completely satisfied, we are bored and useless. The other way to be miserable is to have a desire but to be unwilling to do what it takes to reach that desire. Unwilling to take the steps needed to reach our desires creates frustration.

Happy is the person that dreams and is willing to pay the price to make them happen. We must be willing to work, risk, delay gratification, endure pain, and be willing to grow. According to Dr. Muncy growth isn’t a key to success, it’s the door.

The one thing we must be willing to do to achieve success in our lives, make our dreams come true, and reach our goals is growth. The real pain in desire is not that we want something but don’t have it. The real pain is that we want something but are unwilling to change to get it. If we can have everything we want with who we are we don’t want enough. As we grow we change into the person we must become to achieve whatever it is we desire. We will grow in knowledge. We will grow in wisdom. We will grow in understanding.

What happens when we grow? When we grow our life improves, our relationships improve, we find our passion and purpose, we make a difference. Too many of us feel “Success” is all about money. Money is important only as much as it is useful.

A rich character in a novel whose title I can’t remember says, “Money is a byproduct not a product in itself.” He likened it to the peel left over from his wife canning fruit. When he died he didn’t leave his wife any of the riches he’d accumulated, he left her an old house and a life to build. If he left her his wealth, would she have grown into the person that builds her own life?

We are all somewhere on our life path. Growth is always ahead for us. We are like the buds in Spring waiting to burst forth in leaf or flower. What growth is our life calling for? What change needs to be made? Is growth our purpose?

Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead. Morihei Ueshiba

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.

To subscribe, comment, see archives or categories or posts click on the picture and scroll to the end. Please subscribe, comment, and share.

If you purchase a book through the link I do receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

See this image

One Door, Two Locks: The 7 Keys to Unlocking the Door to Success in All Areas of Your Life Paperback – 2009

5 out of 5 stars   3 reviews from |