Persistence and resilience. Are we persistent and resilient?

Are we persistent and resilient? Persistence and resilience.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems. Gever Tulley

A new month starts tomorrow and I’m ready for it. This year April ends with the promise of freedom coming and challenges to face that will require persistence and resilience.

Last night my husband and I went for a lovely walk and a fine mist was falling on our way home. This is likely to be a weird but welcome summer. Will soccer fields stay empty this year?

What a shame for people if this was their year to shine at the Olympics or on a sports team. One of the things we need to be is resilient. Many people over the years have had dreams dashed because of things happening in the world.

Don’t we always have something to deal with in our lives? Why are some people resilient and others not so? Is it something we are born with or do we develop it?

Resilience is the capacity to cope with stress and adversity. It comes from believing in our self and at the same time, in something bigger than ourselves. Is resilience a trait we are born with or is it something we develop through behaviors, thoughts, and actions? Can it be learned and developed by anyone?

It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Ten ways to develop resilience:

We can’t fix the problem with the same thinking that created it. We need to be honest and figure out why something happened and take the time to come up with a better plan going forward.

We need to master our emotions instead of letting them control us. Resilient people have a positive outlook. They remind themselves they’ve faced setbacks before, they can do it now, and they will do it again.

Resilient people are tough. They know tough times don’t last but tough people do.

Resilient people keep moving forward. Life doesn’t get easier they get stronger, braver, and more courageous. Life is not what happens to them but what happens within them.

Resilient people are prepared. They work on solving problems instead of being paralyzed by negativity. They keep planning for the future even when they have to revise their plans.

Resilient people fail bigger and fail better, they get themselves up and dust themselves off after every failure and move forward.

Resilient people celebrate small wins. They believe in themselves, work hard, take joy in small things, and enjoy life with gratitude for what they have.

Resilient people find ways to care for others because sometimes caring for others is the best way to care for themselves.

Resilient people maintain strong and supportive relationships. They have strong relationships in the good and the bad times because they can be counted on and they also count on other people.

Resilient people search for meaning in their lives. They find passion and purpose in their lives. They see how their life impacts others, and how their life is impacted. They take a broader view and have a larger perspective.

We need to build resilience in our lives because disappointment, failure, and even success can impact our lives in ways we didn’t imagine. We need to rise to face what is ours to face. We’ve got one life and we need to make it count not just for ourselves but for all those around us we impact.

Can we develop persistence and resilience?

A good half of the art of living is resilience. Alain de Botton

It may sound strange, but many champions are made champions by setbacks. Bob Richards

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall. Confucius

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 Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life's Greatest Challenges by [Steven Southwick, Dennis Charney]

Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges Kindle Edition

by Steven Southwick (Author), Dennis Charney (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars    16 ratings

The joy of reading books. What are you reading?

What are you reading? The joy of reading books.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The more you read the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go. Dr. Seuss Giesel

Reading books is one of life’s joys. Now more people have time to read than ever. Are we reading deep books, are we reading quick reads for enjoyment, or are we reading books that help us think and develop ourselves? Are we reading books on prophecy? Books on health, wellness, herbal, and folk remedies?  Do books with lots of action and adventure pique our interest now as we have none in our days? Are we reading about the wonders of the world we long to see? Are we reading about past pandemics to see how they managed?

If we have a library in our own homes we are lucky. Often, even when we do the book we want is not on our shelves. Through kindle and audible we can download books. Listening to a book while we garden is a great way to accomplish two things at once and we get vitamin D at the same time.

The more time we have to do things don’t always work for us. They say if you want something done give it to a busy person. Many of us are not busy in the ways we were before. We aimlessly sit in the kitchen, we may even have good intentions of doing something but we get pulled into articles on the internet, Facebook, TV, or videos. Before we know it, its four o’clock and we ask ourselves, “Where did the day go?”

It might be time to start a to-do list and tick things off as a sense of accomplishment. Keeping track of the books we read is a way to have a sense of accomplishment. Are there books we say we’ve always wanted to read? Is now a good time to put them on the list and then tick them off as read? Would it be a sense of accomplishment to be able to finally say, “I read…?”

Do we worry about what other people would think if they saw our reading list? Why do we do this? There are hidden gems in books. Shouldn’t we read wide and deep, for fun and pleasure as well as knowledge and inspiration?

We learn from those we would like to emulate but also from those we would never like to end up as. Cautionary tales can be as worthwhile as inspirational ones. We’ve never had so much access to knowledge. We’ve also never needed discernment more to sift through all that is out there.

If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads. Ralph Waldo Emerson

We will be changed through the books we read, the thoughts we think, and the actions we take. These are all in our power to choose.

Reading is an active, not a passive pastime. We become changed by reading and some of the changes are:

We develop increased levels of concentration.

We increase our vocabulary and we learn about new things.

We become better writers because we have a better vocabulary and ability to put our thoughts into words.

We become better speakers and conversationalists because we have things to say that are interesting and well thought out.

We have access to solutions in books we would never come up with on our own.

Our imagination is enhanced through reading. Our ingenuity and creativity are enhanced as we don’t only create new things so much as give birth to them.

We learn new things and travel to new places in books. We see perspectives as we are immersed in lives we will never live, and see things through characters’ eyes that can seem more real than people we know.

In a blog post by Samuel Osho, he says the book that changed his life is the book his Dad gave him shortly after he graduated high school. That book is You Can Make a Difference by Tony Campolo.

Is there a book we have read that changed our life? I can’t think of a book that changed my life but many have impacted it. Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life has been that book for many and it was introduced to me by my son who it had a big impact on.

Is there a book you would recommend to people that had a huge impact on you? If there is any subject we want to learn about we can find it in a book. What are you reading and what do you expect to get from it? Does reading a book bring joy to your life?

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on treasure island. Walt Disney

No two persons ever read the same book. Edmund Wilson

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. Mason Cooley

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 Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

See this image

You Can Make A Difference Hardcover – March 15 2003

by Tony Campolo (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

Asking questions. Are we asking the questions how, what, who, where, when, and why?

Are we asking the questions how, who, what, where, when, and why?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Asking, “Why?” is the key to everything. Question always. Answer the why. Vicki Gould

I’m reading How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb. In it, he tells us to think about our problems or question what we are concerned about in our personal or professional lives and ask. What? When? Why? How? Where? And why?

What is the problem? What are the underlying issues? What are the preconceptions, prejudices, or paradigms that may be influencing our perception? What will happen if we ignore it? What possibilities may exist that we haven’t yet considered? What problems may be caused by solving this problem? What metaphors from nature can we use to illuminate i?

When did it start? When does it happen? When doesn’t it happen? When will the consequences of it be felt? When must it be resolved?

Who cares about it? Who is affected by it? Who created it? Who perpetuates it? Who can help solve it?

How does it happen? How can we get more objective information? How can we look at it from an unfamiliar perspective? How can it be changed? How will we know that it has been solved?

Where does it happen? Where did it begin? Where haven’t I looked? Where else has this happened?

Why is it important? Why did it start? Why does it continue? Ask why, why, why, why … to get to the bottom of an issue.

Isaac Newton, a true visionary of his time (the late 1600’s), was a man looking in many directions for answers to questions most people didn’t know to ask. Will Craig

Michael J. Gelb says Leonardo da Vinci’s questions were often striking in their simplicity. Why does the hammer blow cause the nail to jump out? Why is the sky blue? We need to ask awkward questions like why is the Emperor naked. Why is this a problem? Is this the real issue? Why have we always done it this way? We should aim to ask questions that have never been asked before.

Finding illustrative metaphors in nature was one of Leonardo’s favorite techniques. When he designed the magnificent spiral staircase for the French King’s chateau at Blois, he was inspired by the twisting shells of the conchs. His design for musical pipes similar to the recorder, was drawn from his study of the human larynx. Andrew Graham Bell was inspired to invent the telephone by modeling the ear. Velcro was inspired by the burs that were stuck in my dog’s beard yesterday.

Most human innovations are inspired by the question “What if…?” Some of the happiest people in the world have asked “How can I get paid for doing something I love?” What if we can’t get paid for doing something we love, shouldn’t we still do it, because we love it?

According to Michael J. Gelb, Leonardo da Vinci was not satisfied with his work. Obviously the reason for not doing things because we will not do it well enough is not a good excuse if someone who is considered a master was not satisfied with their work. Perhaps we are not supposed to be satisfied with our work, because if we get satisfied, why would we continue doing it? If we knew we’ve already done our best work, painting, writing, or invention, what is there to strive for?

Are we asking the right questions to get an empowering answer?

Questions are the root of everything great I have done in life. The most creative ideas every experienced are often conceptualized by asking simple questions. Jeff Shinabarger

The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he posed the right questions. Claude Levi-Straus

The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life. Confucius

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 Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

Audible SampleAudible Sample

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Michael J. Gelb (Author), Doug Ordunio (Narrator), Random House Audio (Publisher)4.5 out of 5 stars 269 ratings

Challenged to change ourselves in challenging times. Will we end up bitter or better?

Will we end up bitter or better? Challenged to change ourselves in challenging times.

Photo of quilt Mom made

When you are no longer able to change a situation, you are challenged to change yourself, and that changes everything. Unknown

Yesterday my dog barked as a parcel was dropped off at our door. When my daughter brought it to the kitchen I realized it was the quilt Mom made me, my sister finished it with her quilting machine and sent it on to me. It’s beautiful and the picture on this blog.

I looked at all three of the quilts Mom has made me. The second one, a star quilt she gave me in 2016 and my sister who also lives in Ontario was going to bring it back with her because she drove and I flew. We don’t live close so I would pick it up when I went up there or she would bring it down to my place. Somehow, she couldn’t find it and was sure I’d already received it, but one day she found it, and last May I picked it up.

Yesterday I listened to the Church of the Rock and the pastor was telling us about twin brothers whose father owned a hardware store. They took over the hardware store and worked together in harmony until one day one brother made a sale and he left the dollar from the sale on the counter and went into the back room. When he got back the dollar was gone and he accused his brother of taking it. His brother said he didn’t take it, but the brother who put it there said, “there are only two of us in the store you had to be the one who took the dollar.” They quit talking to each other and divided the store down the center, put in two cash registers, and operated two separate businesses in the hardware store without talking to each other for twenty years.

One day a man came into the store and put a dollar on the counter. He said, “twenty years ago I was down and out and as I walked by your store I saw a dollar on the counter and no one was in the store so I took the dollar. I’ve come to return it.

Twenty wasted years because of a dollar. How many of us have relationships that are strained, broken, or ruined over something as small as a dollar? No matter how contrite those two brothers may feel they wasted twenty years.

Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. Viktor E. Frankl

We may be upset over how things turned out. We may think people should have acted differently, be more considerate, understanding, loving, or honest. Maybe they should have been but they weren’t, they were exactly who they were, and they did what they did, things are what they are. Is not talking a good way to go forward?

We have a situation now where some people will not be careful enough and that is how viruses are spread. Maybe we can’t be careful enough and if it is us, we will expect others to understand but if it isn’t us, will we understand?

As we begin to move into the next phase of this we will go more places, we will come into contact with more people. We will relax and begin to feel comfortable again. We won’t know it’s over until it’s over and we don’t know what we don’t know. The easiest thing in the world is to blame someone else if we get it or someone we love gets it.

We all have to live with the aftermath of this and hopefully, in times of hardship, challenge, sickness, or even death, families come together.  It is also in these times that breaches become wider, hurts become more bitter, and hearts become harder.

Will going through this make us better, bring us closer, heal breaches, bring reconciliation, or will we be more bitter, hurt, and disappointed? We cannot choose what happens to us only our reaction to it. What will be our reaction? We are challenged to change, will we meet the challenge?

It is not events that disturb people; it is their judgments concerning them. Marcus Aurelius

Between stimulus and response is the freedom to choose. Viktor Frankl

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. Epictetus

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 Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Glad to Be Human: Adventures in Optimism by [Irene O’Garden, Kristine Carlson]

Follow the Author

Irene O’Garden+ Follow

Glad to Be Human: Adventures in Optimism Kindle Edition

by Irene O’Garden (Author), Kristine Carlson (Foreword)  Format: Kindle Edition

 See all 2 formats and editions

Nature heals us with her beauty and bounty. We are all part of nature.

We are all part of nature. Nature heals us with her beauty and bounty.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike. John Muir

Yesterday the sun didn’t shine so I didn’t get my vitamin D, but today the sun is shining in all its glorious splendor. My garden is calling to me but the birds are so busy taking the dry stalks to make their nests I hesitate to clean it up and deprive them of what they need. Maybe everyone else has cleaned their gardens already and they are busy in my yard because mine is the last messy one they know of.

At one o’clock till four there is a zoom meeting I must attend so their building materials are likely safe for today. Yesterday I needed more room in my pantry so I moved some things around and before long the kitchen looked like a cyclone hit it. My husband came upstairs and took one look at everything piled everywhere and turned around saying nothing. By the time dinner time came, it was all put back with new shelf liners in a cupboard I hadn’t intended to touch.

Having more order in our lives gives us a sense of control. Planting potatoes this year will give us a sense of peace. Exercising makes us feel we are doing something for our bodies to keep us strong and healthy. Eating chocolate, cookies, and chips makes us feel comforted at the moment but looking in the mirror makes us sad. Getting on the scale these days takes grit and determination.

When our lockdown started I quit fasting two days a week telling myself I need to be strong if I come in contact with the virus and fasting may weaken my resistance. Any excuse will do if we want an excuse but the scale told me I must get back to fasting twice a week and so on April 9th I started it again from dinner on Sunday till dinner on Monday and then dinner on Wednesday to dinner on Thursday.

Last Sunday I had an old exercise machine called the E-Force moved into my bedroom so I can add it to my morning routine. Even though I didn’t feel like using the E-Force this morning I did and feel better for it. I’m grateful to my husband for putting some WD40 on it so it isn’t making that high pitched squeal that made us all cringe. Yesterday, had I thought about tackling that cupboard I wouldn’t have, but because moving things in the pantry meant moving things there it’s now done, and looking in my neat and newly lined cupboard makes me smile.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. Rachel Carson

Today there are pansies to plant and put in my front urn. It’s time for the winter arrangement to go. If we are lucky enough to have a little earth to get our hands dirty in we will find connecting to the earth in some way feeds our soul. If we have a balcony, back or front yard, at least a window sill, or table that gets some sun we can grow something. If we don’t have enough sun we can purchase a grow light. Connecting to nature in small and big ways will bring a smile to our face, a spring in our step, and nurture our soul.

We need to bother to do the things that make us smile and feed our souls. We will have more to give to others if we take the time to bask in the beauty and bounty of nature.

The sun beckons, I’m going for a walk. What joy to feel the sun on our face and the wind in our hair. Nature heals and all we have to do is go for a walk, play in the dirt, or dance in the rain. Are we taking the time to experience the bounty and beauty of nature?

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. Eleonora Duse

People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering. Saint Augustine

When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience sleeps. John Lennon

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 Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by [Florence Williams]

Follow the Author

Florence Williams+ Follow

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative Kindle Edition

by Florence Williams (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars    146 ratings

Seasons of life. Are we embracing the season we are in?

Are we embracing the season we are in? Seasons of life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Embrace this season of life, for it is just that, a season. Unknown

This morning the sky is dark even though we are promised a lovely day. My daughter and I have a date for a walk. We will get some much-needed vitamin D. Early flowers are welcome and lovely and it is a pleasure to walk in the spring and see the trees in bud. All of nature seems pregnant with promise.

A tiny bunny runs through my backyard. My brother tells me his daughter is hatching chicks and he is going to be hatching turkeys. New life is all around us and hope springs anew. Spring is my favorite time of year.

New beginnings, don’t we all love beginnings? We love the excitement and anticipation of what may be. We see a picture or walk through a lovely garden and we want one too. Lovely gardens aren’t built on whims they are a lot of work and anyone who has a truly lovely garden I applaud. I’ve been on local garden tours and seen lovely gardens but I have never traveled the world and seen the masterpieces out there.

One of the mistakes I’ve made is thinking if I had more space I could create a truly lovely garden. If we can’t make a small space beautiful we won’t make a bigger space beautiful. Some of the loveliest gardens are pocket gardens tucked away in a little space and they are all the lovelier because they are unexpected.

Our garden looked the best the year our daughter got married and we were planning to have an outdoor bridal shower for her but it rained and we held it indoors. We may love the promise of spring but if it doesn’t lead to the fruition of summer and the harvest of fall what do we have?

I have resolved to live, not just endure, each season of my life. Unknown

There is beauty in every season and as we move from the spring of our lives to the summer, fall, and even winter we need to find the beauty, promise, and harvest of each stage. There is no standing still in life. We may have snapshots of our life that were perfect but fleeting moments. They will never come again. We can’t hold tight to the past, we are building a future and as the future moves forward sometimes we don’t move with it. The cycle of life continues and we need to be okay with our part in it.

Yesterday I received a memorial card for my uncle. He probably hated the year he spent in the nursing home not because of the nursing home but because of the kind of person he was. He was always busy doing, collecting, planting, harvesting, and selling the bounty of his garden. Maybe he didn’t hate the last year, maybe it was rest and making peace with what was to come. The doctor’s said he had a strong heart and even though he got down to ninety pounds his heart valiantly kept on. This would have been the second year he couldn’t plant anything in his garden. He was almost eighty-eight; eighteen years more than the threescore and ten we are promised.

What a caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly. Richard Bach

For everything, there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. Victor Hugo

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 Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

A Season of Grace: Embracing God's Gifts in the Autumn of Our Lives by [Carolyn Bassett]

A Season of Grace: Embracing God’s Gifts in the Autumn of Our Lives Kindle Edition

by Carolyn Bassett (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars    11 ratings

Don’t worry, be happy. Can we not let worry steal our joy? Gratitude and prayer are they the antidote to worry?

Gratitude and prayer are they the antidote to worry? Can we not let worry steal our joy? Don''t worry, be happy.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

I couldn’t sleep last night because I was worrying about things I can’t change. Most of what we worry about is out of our control. It can be hard even when we don’t want to have those thoughts to get rid of them.

When there are no good solutions we have to trust that the people making the decisions are making the best ones they can. Someone has to be in charge, someone has to make the decision, and if it isn’t us, what is the point of worrying about whether it is best to open a store on a Monday or a Friday? We need to get back to our circle of influence.

We will never know if some of the decisions made were the right decisions or if doing things differently would have been better. We are where we are, it is what it is, and things will unfold how they will. We will look back in hindsight but we may never know if there was a better way.

Worry is not totally bad; there are some advantages to worry. Worry can guide us to recognize what is meaningful if we don’t already know. It can help us predict possible bad outcomes before they happen so we can avoid them. We show people we care about them when we worry about their welfare.

Decisions are easy when we get to choose between a good and a bad outcome. Some of us still seem to choose the worse outcome. What about when we have to choose between two good outcomes, how do we know which one to choose? How about when we have two bad choices and we have to try and choose the best of the worst.

Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change. Prayer is a conversation you have with God about things he can change. Unknown

We may be second-guessing choices people in power have to make. We may think they always make the wrong choice. We can live secure knowing we don’t have to make those choices. We have the luxury of criticizing them, but not being accountable for making them.

When we worry we often become irritable, confused, insecure, and have nightmares. This does not set us up for a better day tomorrow. What can we do to minimize our tendency to worry?

Can we avoid the sources or situations that generate the worry in the first place? Last night after overhearing a conversation about how bad things can get, my mind kept churning because it is hard to eliminate the fear behind the worry. We often fear change and we worry about the unknown but if we can develop a sense of adventure for new experiences and outcomes perhaps we can embrace them without having to worry about them.  Good things come out of bad situations. Can we focus on the positive even if we don’t know what that will be? Can we practice an attitude of gratitude for what we have and the knowledge we will have the strength to deal with what will come?

Can we take a wait and see attitude? Things will be better or worse but worrying about them will not make them better or worse. What we can’t control there is no point worrying over. Can we learn to be, instead of trying to control things out of our control? Perhaps we can expend more energy on the things within our control like reaching for too many cookies, cake, chips, and chocolate. We need to develop faith. With practice and faith, we can overcome worry to some degree. We need faith in ourselves to deal with what will come and know we can rise to the occasion. If we have faith we can pray for strength and for the outcomes we prefer but know we can also deal with the outcomes whatever they are.

Faith is the opposite of worry and even though we know this. It can be hard when certain things we hear or see get into our minds. We have a hard time shaking them. We may hear a song we can’t get out of our mind does worry work the same way?

In Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor she says, “While the dark night of the soul is usually understood to descend on one person at a time, there are clearly times when whole communities of people lose sight of the sun in ways that unnerve them.”

Are we worrying about things we can’t change instead of counting our blessings?

Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All it does is steal your joy and keeps you very busy doing nothing. Unknown

Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don’t want. Abraham Hicks

Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles it empties today of its strength. 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.

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 Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Learning to Walk in the Dark by [Barbara Brown Taylor]

Follow the Author

Barbara Brown Taylor+ Follow

Learning to Walk in the Dark Kindle Edition

by Barbara Brown Taylor (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars    557 ratings

Will the truth set us free? But, what is the truth? Is there the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Is there the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? But. what is the truth? Will the truth set us free?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

No human being is constituted to know the truth, the whole truth; and even the best of men must be content with fragments, with partial glimpses, never the full fruition. William Osler

Last night we had our book club meeting by Zoom. It was great most of us read the book but we spent most of our time discussing the changes in our lives. One of our members shared a painting she created from a painting tutorial on YouTube. When we don’t know what to paint YouTube is a great place to go for inspiration and techniques.

Everyone is keeping busy, connecting with people, finding ways to pass the time, learn new things, and enjoying more family time. For some people, this is a harder time because there is still bad news being shared but they are unable to get together for a hug or a cry.

All the things that go on in our lives are still going on. Birthdays still happen but without the big birthday party. Anniversaries still happen but no big fancy dinner in a restaurant. When we get out of our stay-in we will have to be careful we don’t go too crazy.

If we aren’t careful what we watch we can get caught up in the conspiracy theories of the day of which there are many. Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler and other behavioral economists have shown how the mere provision of more and better facts often lead already polarized groups to become even more polarized in their beliefs.

We need to look at how other people think but research shows that individuals who change groups and opinions constantly may also be less trusted, even among their new peers. Being open-minded may lead people to become outcasts which is uncomfortable at best and can be dangerous to our health if we rely on groups for survival as we did when we lived in hunter-gatherer societies.

In one large experiment, it turned out that both liberals and conservatives actively avoided having conversations with people on the other side of issues such as drug policy, the death penalty, and gun ownership. This was the case even when they were offered a chance of winning money if they discussed it with the other group. Avoiding insights from opposing groups helped people dodge having to criticize their own community.

Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing wrong with this, except that it ain’t so. Mark Twain

It is believed millions of people the world over and by one estimate half of the U.S. population believes in conspiracy theories. Platforms like YouTube and Facebook allow conspiracy theories to go viral. It is hard to not get pulled into some of them.

The problem with condemning conspiracy theories is it plays into the conspiracy theorist’s mind. So, how are we supposed to handle the misinformation, and mistrust that is out there? Much of the conspiracy theories seem to be we are afraid we are not being told the truth for nefarious reasons. People are afraid they will lose their freedoms. They fear they are being told something to make them happy while things are going on without their knowledge.

In January, YouTube announced it would gradually start “reducing recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways. Conspiracy theories were part of the targeted content. Some content providers are now complaining about the conspiracy to de-monetize them.

There is probably no good way to deal with conspiracy theories because some like the flat-earthers seem to be a growing movement. They say it’s hard to find a flat-earther who doesn’t also believe most other conspiracies and flat-earth conferences are also a gathering of anti-vaxers, 9/11 truthers and, Illuminati subscribers, to name a few.

They say the truth will set us free, but we seem to be having a hard time knowing what the truth is. It’s hard to believe that the flat-earth society is growing in numbers but they say it is, maybe that’s a conspiracy too?

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. Winston Churchill

There is nothing so powerful as truth, and often nothing so strange. Daniel Webster

The truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. Little men are dissolved in it. If there is any gold. Truth makes it shine more brightly… Truth, even in the mouth of the informer, a spy, a briber, can become bigger than anybody who tries to destroy it. Truth survives. Adel Rogers St. Johns

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 Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories by [Rob Brotherton]

Follow the Author

Rob Brotherton+ Follow

Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories Kindle Edition

by Rob Brotherton (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars    46 ratings

 See all 4 formats and editions

Creativity and self-expression are good for the soul. Are we feeding our souls?

Are we feeding our soul? Creativity and self-expression are good for the soul.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy, they come when the mind is still. Unknown

When we do something, we might want to do it as well as we can, perfection might be our aim. This can leave us stuck and worried that the next action we take will ruin it.  A pottery teacher told his classes I can grade you on one or two pieces you take a lot of time with or I can grade you on the sheer weight of the pieces you create. He found that the students who went with more volume created the best pieces overall.

The more we create the better will be some of our creations. We may labor with writing a great sentence. The more sentences we write the more good sentences will be in the mix. The more cakes we bake the more fabulous ones we will produce.

Isn’t quality supposed to matter more than quantity? What if it is better to sift through quantity to find quality than to agonize over everything trying to make things perfect? This might be where writer’s block comes from. We are trying to be too perfect. Just writing anything that comes into our head and then deleting it later if it doesn’t fit may be the way to move things along.

We may think we aren’t creative enough to do something creative every day. Maybe we are using too narrow of a definition of what creative is. Some people believe that tapping into our creativity is good for our mental health. When we immerse ourselves in a creative activity we often enter a meditative state where we are so engrossed in what we are doing we temporarily forget the things that are troubling us.

Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow. Vincent van Gogh

Have you ever tried to tell yourself to quit thinking about something? It seems almost impossible to get our minds to quit churning over something we are sick of thinking about. If we start doing something like cooking, drawing, photography, art, music, or even crossword puzzles we enter a meditative state where our brain releases dopamine, which is a natural anti-depressant.

Adult coloring books are a way to relax and enjoy the creative process. Zentangling is a form of doodling that can be meditative and helps us be creative. Intuitive painting is an opportunity to explore our inner self through creativity. The main premise of intuitive painting is to tune in to our own unique creative process without attaching meaning to the end result. The more layers we add the more likely we are to find something in the end that we love.

One expert said to use warm colors on the first layer, cool colors on the second layer, and to create as many layers as we want but to let the canvas dry between layers so we don’t muddy our colors. As the colors below and above mingle we can use white if we want to paint an intense color over it. We may see images show up we didn’t plan. We can paint everything onto our canvas and by covering it up with another layer we can lay our soul bare but in a way that is recognizable only to us.

On this canvas, we could lay all of our hurts, troubles, fears, and hopes in whatever image, scribble, words or symbols has meaning to us. People are paying artists to do this for them but we can do it for ourselves. One price I saw was for a 36-inch by 36-inch canvas for $17,497.00 done over a one to four-week consultation between client and artist. Check out Dominique Hurley’s website to see some really beautiful work. I’m thinking of doing a large size eventually but right now I am working on smaller canvasses and watercolor paper.

The idea is we have no idea what the finished work will look like, what colors will be dominant, what images may surface, or at what point we may feel we are done. The more layers we use and the more colors play against each other the more interesting it will be. In the end, we may feel there it is, the mosaic of our life, the dark times, the bright and happy times, the worry, the excitement, the fear, the joy, and the love.

We are told the more we do this the more we will find to express, the more chances we will be willing to take, and the freer we will feel.

Are we finding ways to bring creativity and self-expression into our lives?

Do things that feed your soul, not your ego, and you will be happy. Unknown

Feed the mind good wisdom, the body good nutrition, the soul good vibes, and the heart good love. Elevation for your situation. T.F. Hodge

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. Socrates

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 Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate link.

See all 2 images

Creative Revolution: Personal Transformation through Brave Intuitive Painting Paperback – Nov. 1 2016

by Flora Bowley (Author)

Clothed with strength and dignity. So we can laugh at the days to come because we are prepared?

Laughing at the days to come because we are prepared. Clothed in strength and dignity.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

What do we think when we hear that a psychic predicted the pandemic? Mom told me about this in a phone call over the weekend. My sister told me about the Dean Koontz novel The Eyes of Darkness, about a killer virus. Many of us have watched the movie Pandemic during our stay-in.

 I found this post by Benjamin Radford

But there’s more to the story because as it turns out Browne made at least one other similar prediction with some significant differences. I discovered this a few days ago. I have several books by Browne in my library (mostly bought at Goodwill and library sales), among them Browne’s 2004 book Prophecy: What the Future Holds for You (written with Lindsay Harrison, from Dutton Publishing).

On p. 214, I found an earlier, somewhat different version of this same prophecy. Details and exact words matter, so here’s her 2004 prediction verbatim: “By 2020 we’ll see more people than ever wearing surgical masks and rubber gloves in public, inspired by an outbreak of a severe pneumonia-like illness that attacks both the lungs and the bronchial tubes and is ruthlessly resistant to treatment. This illness will be particularly baffling in that, after causing a winter of absolute panic, it will seem to vanish completely until ten years later, making both its source and its cure that much more mysterious.” 

Comparing this to her later 2008 version (“In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments. Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it arrived, attack again ten years later, and then disappear completely”) we can see a few differences. 

Sylvia Browne died in 2013 and her books End of Days and Prophecy are becoming big sellers on Amazon and Kindle. I searched my bookshelves but I don’t have either of these books.

If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment. Henry David Thoreau

Had I found this in November last year it would be terrifying but because I’ve only learned about it now it seems comforting. We are in the middle or past the middle and it has already spread to most nations on earth. We are already wearing masks and gloves. We’ve already seen many cases and deaths and we are handling it. So, if the last part is true that it goes as quickly as it came that will be welcome. If it comes again in ten years and then disappears forever we can deal with that too.

We worry about how we will deal with things but when we are in the thick of them we do what needs to be done. Do we really want to know what the future holds? What challenges are ahead we will have to deal with? Instead. do we really want to know we can deal with the challenges ahead and we will find the strength to take each day as it comes? Sometimes we may only be able to deal with each moment as we go through the hard parts of our lives.

None of us will get through life without challenges. We learn things through the hard parts of our life we may learn no other way. My Aunt tells me when my Uncle died after a year-long stay in a nursing home, “I thought I was ready.” What if we will never be ready, but we can be prepared for what comes?

A woman who does not waste her time, her resources, her abilities, or her life is prepared for what life brings:

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings, she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand, she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

(Proverbs 31:13-27)

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 Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts) by [Nancy Guthrie]

Follow the Author

Nancy Guthrie+ Follow

What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts) Kindle Edition

by Nancy Guthrie (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition