Apr 26

Be A Light In This World

“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.”
Albert Schweitzer

I have a great deal of respect for the writings of Albert Schweitzer.  I particularly love this simple quote as I believe we can all be that light in the world for others.  We often won’t even know we have had that much impact on the other person, instead just offering what we can at the time and leaving without recognising the value of what we have given.  At times we won’t even know we have given anything of any significance.

My last post, Smile – It Really Is Worth It, encouraged a lot of comments about the value of a simple smile, something given without any real thought, it is just a natural and spontaneous action, but it can make so much difference.  Holding the door open for someone shows we care, spending time for a word or a thank you to a server, someone who is doing their job, but it shows you recognise their effort.  These little things can have a real impact on another person’s life.

Every one of us has those dark times when our light goes out.  We don’t always share those feelings with others, especially not with strangers, but how often during those times has someone you do not know made the world of difference to your day and how you feel with their simple words or actions?

We can all be that light for others.

Enjoy the journey!

Apr 17

Smile – It Really Is Worth It!

Following my last post, Helping Out Where We Can, I had a number of comments from readers about the immense good that a smile can do.

This weekend I have been working in my shop and for the first time I really noticed how many people simply don’t smile.  I always greet customers with a cheery ‘hello’ and a warm smile, but many do not return the smile, which is such a shame.

A smile can do so much good, it can brighten someone’s day and you really never know how much someone might need that smile.

Indeed it has been scientifically proven that smiling also does you a great deal of good.  You can read here about the benefits of smiling – There’s Magic In Your Smile.

I am a cheerful sort but wonder whether I smile because I am cheerful or if I am cheerful because I smile a lot!  For sure they are most certainly linked.

Enjoy the journey!

Apr 12

Helping Out Where We Can

When someone close to us in our lives has a crisis how far do we go to help out?

When someone not so close to us has a crisis how far do we go to help out then?

And what about someone we don’t know at all, a stranger in the street?

Recently on UK tv there have been a number of programmes based around strangers helping others who need it.  Usually the ‘helper’ is extremely wealthy and helps financially.  The results have often been life changing for the recipient. The results for the helper have often been life changing too as they realise what great benefits they can bring to others with a little bit of thought and sharing a little of what they have.

Most of us don’t have great wealth.  It is often difficult to find enough for our own needs without considering what others need, but in a crisis we all can find that little bit extra to help out.

Often it isn’t money that is needed.  We can give our time, we can give our compassion, we can give our support, and all of these are free and only cost us a bit of effort.  An friend of mine, Chery Schmidt, recently wrote on this very topic.  You can read her post here, Become More Generous by Giving Freely of Your Time.

Help out where you can.  The rewards can be immense.

Enjoy the journey.

Apr 05

What Difference Will Your Life Make?

Easter is a time of new beginnings.  I like to think of it as a time to let go of what has gone before and start with a fresh, spring like approach.  We all have the opportunity to change how we are in our lives, after all it is all about choices, we choose who and how we are.

 

Following on from my last post, Do Something For Someone Else This Week, I wonder if we ever really know how much difference we do make in others lives.  Of course there are always times when people tell us exactly how we have made a difference to them or for them, but often we have no idea.  That kind word to a stranger in the street can have a profound effect on them, even though for us it may just be some random kind comment, but if someone is having a really bad day (and let’s face it we have no idea what they are facing) it can be that ray of sunshine for them, that bright spark that is missing from their lives right now.

We can go through life in a very selfish way, just looking out for number one and not taking any notice of anyone else around us, we can go through life only taking care of those closest to us, our family and friends, or we can go through life and notice others, do something for them, help out selflessly where we can.  At the end of the day we might need a stranger to help us out one day too.

What difference will your life make to someone else today?

Mar 21

Do Something for Someone Else This Week

There’s a saying that what goes around comes around, and I have first hand experience of benefiting from acts of kindness.  I constantly look for ways to help others and so it returns to me when I least expect it.

There is a sense of satisfaction in giving something to others when you do not expect to receive anything in return.  Two things happen, the first is if you don’t expect anything it is a lovely surprise when something is given to you in return, secondly there seems to be some wordly credit machine that pays out to you at other times.

So how can you help others this week?  Think about that for a moment.  Is there something you can do for someone else, freely and willingly, without expecting anything in return?

Sometimes it can be a simple thing, maybe holding a door open for someone who has their arms full, perhaps you can take something to someone who needs it, like a cup of coffee and a sandwich to the Big Issue seller on the corner or the homeless person you see at the bus stop each day.  Or maybe there is something bigger you can do.

How about getting involved in volunteering for a charity?  Most people think volunteering is time consuming and they won’t be able to do it.  But most charities would be so grateful for just a couple of hours a week or even a month.

I volunteer wherever possible.  I am in a small group of people and together we raise money for animal rescues.  We do anything we can to raise a little at a time then twice a year we allocate the money to our chosen rescues.  It’s small scale events that we don’t have to worry about too much rather than putting in big amounts of effort for one grand event.

I also drive the minibus for our local old people’s day care centre, Heritage House.  I volunteer once a week and pick up the attendees from their homes and take them to the centre, then return them in the afternoon.  They are always short handed and volunteers on the bus often only do one day a month, but 40 people volunteering would cover two on the bus every day each month.

I have recently started a new volunteering position.  I go once a week to an animal sanctuary and help with the horses, chickens and sheep.  I feed them in the morning and clean up after them.  Just one day a week for about 2 hours.  It’s great to be out in the fresh air and around horses, which I love.  At the moment we are fund raising for some new land for the project.  The increased space will enable the project to help more animals and expand their work with children too.  The charity is called A Change of Scene For Children and they work hard to introduce children to animals.  They work closely with local youth organisations and currently even have a Duke of Edinburgh participant volunteering for them for the community part of their award. If you would like to donate to their grazing appeal fund please click here to go to the fund raising page.  They also have an Amazon wishlist running which you can find here.  All donations are so very needed at this worthwhile project.

Of course if you feel you have no time to spare for volunteering you can always donate to charity.  I make one off donations from time to time but I also donate goods by participating in appeals.  I particularly like shoe box appeals that come around Christmas time.  I enjoy filling shoe boxes with items for both people and animals.  At the moment I have been filling rucksacks for The Rucksack Project for the homeless in Birmingham.  I ride out sometimes with a group of trikers and we are thinking of duplicating it up north as a group project.

On a weekly basis I give about 4-5 hours of my time to volunteering.  It isn’t much out of my life really and I know how very much it helps.  Maybe you could spare a bit of time for a local project, or if not why not donate in some other way.

Enjoy the journey!

Mar 07

Cleansing your personal space

I was recently asked how to clear a feeling of negativity in a place.  It’s always a great idea to ‘cleanse’ a new area you go into, but equally this technique works if you are wanting to cleanse an existing area that has become tainted with a negative energy.

For me cleansing is as much about routine as intent.  I have a routine of actions that I perform to cleanse an area.  In addition to this I will focus my intent on dispelling the negative energy and creating positive energy in its place.

The first step is to make sure your focus is on positive intent.  Clear your mind of the negative and work on creating a positive mind set for this task and afterwards.  Know that your actions and your intent combined will work to dispel the negative energy.

The actions I take whilst focusing on positive energy is to first clap, loudly, in each corner of the room, three times in each corner working from the top to the bottom of the corner.  Whilst doing this I ask that any negative energy in the room be dispersed and that positive energy be allowed to flow into the room.

The next step I take is to use a sage smudge stick.  You will need a bowl to hold the stick over while it is burning and water to extinguish the smudge stick after use.  It is important to remember to open windows and doors while you use the smudge stick.  Light your smudge stick and blow out the flame so the stick glows and smoke drifts from the tip.  Once your stick is smoking you walk around the room, wafting the smoke into the corners and around the perimeter of the room.  While you do this say an affirmation as you go.  Ask for the negative energy to be dispersed and that positive energy be allowed to enter the place.  Focus on bringing into the place things that are good for you and the people who enter and imagine the negative drifting out of the windows and doors with the smoke.

Don’t forget to extinguish your smudge stick when you have finished.

Enjoy the journey.

Feb 29

The 17th Century Nun’s Prayer

It’s called the 17th Century Nun’s Prayer, source unknown.

“Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will some day be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others’ pains, but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessing cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memory of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a Saint – some of them are so hard to live with – but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And, give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

Amen.”

Enjoy the journey!

Oct 10

Set In Stone

I don’t usually include pre-written content in my blog posts but I have just been sent something by a friend that I would like to share with you, my loyal blog readers.  It is called ‘Stone’.

‘Two friends were walking through the desert.  During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything wrote in the sand:

“Today my best friend slapped me in the face”.

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.  The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning he wrote on a stone:

“Today my best friend saved my life”.

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him “after I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now you write on a stone.  Why?”

The friend replied “when someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where the winds of forgiveness can erase it away.  But when someone does something good for us we must engrave it in stone where no wind can erase it”.

Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your benefits in stone.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

Do not value the things you have in your life, but value who you have in your life.

Enjoy the journey.

Sep 12

Have You Set Your Intention?

Today I drew the plans for our new extension on the house.  Don’t get too excited; that sounds rather more grand than the sketch I have in front of me!  The point of the exercise is not to submit these very detailed but very inaccurate drawings to the local planning office, this is an exercise in setting my intentions.

I love where we live.  We’ve been here for 22 years now and although I vaguely consider living somewhere else from time to time (Scotland being the favourite choice!) I don’t think there will ever come a time when this house will not be mine.

There really is only one drawback here, and that is we have no dining room.  We love entertaining, I adore cooking, but currently we can only host a buffet type evening or a sit down meal for a maximum of 6 people (and that’s a squeeze!).

The plan I have always had is to build an extension that will become a lounge and small library downstairs, with a bedroom and ensuite bathroom above, turning the existing lounge into a dining room, as it is only 14′ square.  In addition to this we will put a conservatory leading off from the kitchen, not too big, just about 10′ x 16′.

So I have now drawn the plans to set my intention and let the Universe know exactly what I want.

I hope you know what you are aiming for too.  Write it down, draw a picture, make a plan.  Let the Universe know what you want from it!

Enjoy the journey.

Feb 23

Lost And Found

I am amazed at how we can lose things that seem to be intrinsic to our very being but then find something far more precious, far more satisfying, and giving us a feeling of being far more complete.  There is a saying that when one door closes another opens, and this is very true.  The door that opens can bring great rewards.  Loss is often a hard thing to cope with but if we did not lose things from time to time our lives would become so very full there would be no room for the new adventures we need to explore.

If we want to grow as people we need to embrace these losses, accepting the changes that come our way so we can make room for the new beginnings and new experiences that face us, and these may well bring us much greater happiness than we have ever known.

Enjoy the journey.

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