The Power of A Smile

power of a smileFebruary 5,  2017

You Can Change the World with The Power of A Smile.

“The power of a gun can kill and the power of Fire can Burn.  The power of wind can chill and the power of the mind can learn.  The power of anger can rage inside until it tears u apart.  But the Power of a Smile especially yours can heal a frozen Heart.” – Tupac Shakur

There are a hundred languages around the world, but a smile speaks them all. 

Have you ever been in a sour mood and then someone has come along with a huge smile that changes your day your mood.  Perhaps a baby has just looked up at you and smiled? Or perhaps a stranger has just passed by you.  How did this make you feel? When speaking with a person you are talking to or you are surrounded by others that are smiling, you yourself can’t help but smile.

A smile has special powers!  You can calm fear, insecurity, hurt and anxiety not only in yourself but in those that are experiencing those feelings.  The next time someone is feeling sad, scared, nervous, whatever it may be, smile with them and see how this makes them feel?  Smiling heals the soul and soothes the heart.

A smile is a contagious thing! Give to the world and the world will give back to you.  Smile at the world and you will receive one in return.   You will brighten the day of those around you and you will make a difference in their lives… simply by smiling!

Smiling throughout life will NOT mean you won’t get wrinkles…  I wish it did!  Smiling, however, means that you will show permanent marks of happiness when you speak with those even in your later years, you will automatically be smiling.   You use fewer muscles to smile than you do when frowning! Hopefully, you’re smiling now.  If not, smile now!

When you’re smiling, no doubt you feel better which leads to optimism a much better time than when you’re not! Smiling simply makes you feel better! Imagine the wellbeing you display and how inspiring you will be to others.

“I will never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.” – Mother Teresa

“If you ever want to tap into a superpower that will let you and everyone else around you live a longer, healthier happy life…… SMILE”

“I believe that a smile is one of the most powerful and most underrated gifts that we, as humans, possess. It embodies our ability to create and our ability to express the infinite love that is within us. So many of us go through our days dragging our feet, lamenting our struggles, waiting for this or that to happen to cheer us up and we forget that all the while, we have this incredible tool at our disposal to raise our spirits. When we smile, something lights up inside us; we connect to our Source and we are actually able to alter our mood. What’s even more amazing is that we can share this gift with others. The only thing more powerful than one person smiling is two people smiling at each other. We all know that wonderful feeling we get when we look into someone’s eyes, and with the simple exchange of a smile, a world of meaning is communicated. It can be an expression of love, of joy or of laughter. Smiling is contagious, as is laughter, and the only thing they cost us is whatever suffering we are holding on to.” – Mastin Kipp

Each of us has a unique smile that can bring joy not only to ourselves but to others. This is a gift that we can share with the world. A gift can spread joy, love, happiness and inspiration. Smiling helps us when we are at a low period in our day or life and to lift the lives of those around us up.  There are an infinite number of these gifts that we possess and that we can share.

When we use our gifts and share them, much like a smile, our gifts moves our energy out into the world around us like love in motion. Love has the power to heal, to move and to inspire. Don’t waste a simple gift of a smile and that of love stop you from sharing with others in the world

If you do today what you have always done, then tomorrow you will get what you have always gotten.

I believe the world would be such a nicer place for us all if we would just share a smile with everyone.  So much fighting and disconnection in the world would be eliminated when we come together and realise we are all one race. Who want the same common togetherness, the desire to love and happiness in each day.

So how about starting right now and share of yourself, share a smile. Smile often, smile at strangers, smile at loved ones and most importantly at yourself.

Check out this fantastic video on TED, spoken by Ron Gutman who provides some fascinating insights into the power of smiling!

Peace of I

Anne

Feeling Stuck?

November 16, 2016

woman-in-jar-feeling-stuck

Have you ever had that feeling of being stuck? When you’re not entirely sure how to go about changing things, or maybe not even knowing what you want to be different?

If you’re experiencing that right now, you know what that underlying feeling of being stuck is like. It’s as though you feel lost and uncertain which direction to take or whether to take one at all.

A lot of things can bring about the feeling of being stuck…

Maybe it’s that you want to make a change or reach a goal, but that you seem to never be able to get yourself to start to take action.  Maybe you feel stuck because no matter what you try, you seem to always feel like it isn’t happening or hasn’t turned out the way you wanted it to. You could even not know why you feel stuck, but have an underlying desire and need to change something, anything, but what?

In all those moments, it can feel like we’re pushing against some unseen barriers and wonder, “Why is this so hard? Why can’t I make things different?”

“The frustrating part about feeling stuck is the Pattern of Panic that can come with it…”- Jessica Ortner

Why We Get Stuck

We tend to get stuck when we think we should be something we’re not. When we think life should be different than it is.

I know  for me when I’m trying to force myself to do something,  when words like ”should,” ”have to,” and ”must” enter my mind, I feel like something should be happening.  Instead of allowing life to unfold, I feel like I need to control and push through it.

When I relax and surrender to this quiet period in my life, things seem okay. I see that I can’t control life. I can only notice what life brings to me.

Here are some suggestions to help:

  1. Give UP

When you’re stuck, surrender to being stuck.

Notice the thoughts and feelings of you that say that you are stuck and that something is wrong.

If you stay completely in this moment, there is no being stuck. There is only the label of a situation—a label that you’ve invented based on what you think your life should look like.

When you notice all this going on, breathe a deep sigh of relief and let go.  It doesn’t mean the feelings will go away.  You may still feel anxious, but it isn’t in control of you anymore. Surrender to what comes.

The funny thing about  being stuck is that it is something you have created in your thoughts and thus you have the ability  to change those thoughts.

  1. Enjoy yourself.

There’s always something you feel drawn to do during these periods. You’re not completely stuck, not in every area of your life.

Do the work you need to and then let yourself have fun.  Enjoy the things that flow and come easy to you.  Take a walk, read a book, meet a friend, watch a movie.

It’s easy for me to feel guilty during this period because I feel like I’m not doing enough. But I’ve learned to see that I’m doing the best I can with what I have and I know that is always enough.

The tide will shift soon.

The same is true for you. Do what you can, but go easy on yourself.

  1. Journal

At times when I feel truly stuck, I write.

I find to have a journal close by and take the time to write my thoughts, makes me feel better and relax with what is.  Sometimes it even helps me work through what is keeping me stuck, one step at a time.  I write down all my thought without hesitation or editing.  I let everything come out.

The more I do this, the more I notice repeating patterns. I see how I want to change what is, and how futile it is.

The more aware I become, the more these things fall away.

When you truly become aware of what goes on inside of your head, you can start to let go because you see how you create your own suffering.

My Biggest Mistake

When we resist what is, we suffer. That’s true for anything in life.

When I try to change what is, I create my own worst enemy within.

But with time, I’ve learned to see my resistance as a sign to relax.  I realize my best is all I can do, the rest is out of my hands.

Allow life to flow and feeling stuck seems to disappear. We are supported in life.

I am not separate from anything or anyone. I am this planet. I am the stars. I am you.

We just think that life should look different than it does. But the fact that life isn’t what you think it is shows that you’re wrong. (maybe change to shows that your thinking is wrong)

Let Things Be

Whether you feel stuck for a week or for a year doesn’t really matter.

It is the darkest periods of my life that have taught me the most about myself.

I’ve learned that life isn’t all about accomplishing things. Sometimes it’s about resting and letting things be.

These periods are no different than the seasons. There’s sun. There’s snow. There’s light, and there’s darkness.

Once you let it be what it is, things change because your perception changes.

But beware of making this another thing you have to do. Be kind to yourself.

It’s all good.

Peace of I

Anne

Let Go and Let Grow

July 25, 2016Let-Go

“Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.” ~Sonia Ricotti

Sometimes in life, we have to allow it to be as it is. “In order to grow, you must be able to let go.”  As I watched my daughter take on an adventure to Ireland this past month, with the hopes that she would surpass any and all of her dreams and desires, I was filled with excitement for her. The possibilities that lie ahead, the people and experiences she could have would be an incredible time in her life.

As a parent, you only want the best for your children and you try by giving them the tools and guidance to help them in life and their own journey. We are always trying to make sure they are safe and happy, that nothing will hurt them or disappointment them. When we parents think about our children being independent, we may picture them as all grown up in a happy life, with us hoping that they will find a good job, be part of a community, and maybe even get married. When looking at this future picture, it may seem like “independence” is an event that happens down the road. The reality is that we have already been promoting their independence from a very early age without realizing that we have started the process of letting them go.

Unfortunately, Ireland seemed to bring a great deal of distance and separation anxiety for her.  Her excitement changed to fear and loneliness. As her mother, I tried to help her with guidance and reassurance that this was an experience of a lifetime and things will work out, all the while feeling her sadness.  I found that I was trying to convenience her to stay and try to work through it.  What I didn’t realize  was that each day she would try to make it work, with no luck, just made her feel even more lonely and separated.  Sometimes, what we as parents, think will be the best for them, isn’t at all.  We can’t make someone have love in their heart when it’s not there.  I had to let go any hope that this was where she wanted to be.  When I received her note, I knew it was time to come home.  As a parent, there is nothing worse than knowing your child is unhappy, far away and you can’t run to her. Many may suggest, “let her tough it out” but that has never been my belief.  When your child needs you at any age, we must be there for them.  That was our contract in life, to them.

The Note:

“I always knew that this trip was not going to be a cakewalk. I knew I would be homesick and lonely, that there would be a lot to deal with, that I would have to set up a life all on my own. I expected negative emotions, confusion, and a complicated start. I want to stop agonizing about staying or leaving. I want to make a decision instead of how awful I feel. There are a lot of things I will miss about this amazing country, and I won’t get to do a lot of what I had planned. I learned a lot, though, and discovered a deep love for Ireland. I know that I will be back. This is not my last hurrah on the Emerald Isle. I still plan on seeing the world. I still want to see everything there is to see. But thanks to this trip, I am a little wiser about how I want to do that. It’s okay to make things a bit easier on yourself. You don’t always need to do things the absolute hardest way possible, just to make sure that you’re getting a “full experience.” Doing something because it feels right, or because it will make you happy, isn’t a sign of weakness.”

These are the times in life that you have to stop, let go and allow for their own growth, on their own terms.  I am very proud of her for taking this adventure and also, realizing it wasn’t for her just yet.

“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.”

Welcome Home Beautiful!

Peace of I

Anne

 

Infinite Possibilities

June 19, 2016

infinite possiblities

“You are the artist who never sleeps, continually yet unconsciously rearranging the images on your life’s canvas with brushstrokes of thought.” – Mike Dooley

Manifesting our dreams isn’t about hard work, it’s about belief, expectation and above all knowing the truth about our place in the universe. From a very young age, we are programmed to the beliefs of those who raised us.  Their beliefs that they too have been given.  We live in a world of abundance, yet our belief thinking, say scarcity. Anything that affects our thinking affects our lives.  Nothing else affects our thinking more than our beliefs.

For me as a young girl, after the loss of my parents and siblings, my belief was fear.  Fear of not having enough, fear of not being guided or loved enough and most of all fear of even more loss. Ironically, my life did have more loss.  My thoughts allowed the chapters in my life’s journey to repeat the loss that I repeatedly thought of.  It’s incredible to think that our thoughts, truly do shape our life.  You may question things that have happened in your life, but think back and ask yourself, where you thinking these thoughts that allowed the life you currently live or the circumstances that unfolded.

There is no reason why you can’t start making your own beliefs.  In the last 4 years, I have started to change the way I think, and know that all things are possible, there are no problems but rather solutions to the problems.  Along with having gratitude for all that surrounds me, both now and what life has to offer in my foreseen future, I stay with a knowing that life is meant to be happy, exciting and full of hope.  I know my life is a gift and I shall open and live it as if every day is a surprise, a wonderful surprise.

“Once self-awareness dawns in you, the questions you can ask about yourself, about how you think and feel, have no limit. Self-aware questions are the keys that make consciousness expand, and when that happens, the possibilities are infinite.” – Deepak Chopra

As it turns out, the quantum world actually reveals the true nature of the universe, while what we see on the physical level is a carefully-created illusion. For example, at any point in time, life presents an array of infinite possibilities. When you make a decision as to what to do next, then – only then – does your immediate future become a reality instead of just another possibility. Then, and only then, does the next step in your history get written.

As I get ready to watch my beautiful daughter leave for a journey to Ireland and start  her next chapter in life, I remind her of her own Infinite Possibilities.  I strongly emphasize to her the importance of her thoughts and actions to create the life you wants. I give her the tools to speak words of faith and know hope will follow. The tools to remind herself not to stay in the negative or can’t but rather anything is possible with determination and action. First comes the thought, the dream and then the actions.  Always believing, no matter what others says, having a knowing within yourself and never letting that go.  I know my life will only be filled with Infinite possibilities of faith, hope and love for all that I set out to do and continue on, in my next chapter.

Remember, there are always the ones who will tell you, “you can’t do that, it’s impossible”, know your own strength and beliefs and don’t allow anyone to shatter that.  Stay positive!  Start to become aware of how you think, and more importantly how you speak.  With the challenges all around the World, that we are all facing, remember to not allow those circumstances to veer you off your road to success and happiness.

Wake up with gratitude.  Even before you take your first steps of your new day, which in itself, can be your first thanks.  Be grateful for awakening and having this gift of the day ahead. Staying in gratitude will help you along this path of infinite possibilities.

Great read, Mike Dooley “INFINITE POSSIBILITIES”

mike dooley

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Consciousness is the ground of existence that becomes and then regulates the flow of energy and information in the universe.”

My wish for you all is to have a life you’ve always dreamed of.  To stay on a frequency of knowing Infinite Possibilities.

 

Much Love Always

Peace of I

Anne

The Power of Surrendering

April 18, 2016

 

surrender “Just as the miracle of nature effortlessly produces the beauty of its surroundings, you have been provided with and
hold the power to effortlessly attract and create YOUR desired miracles in each and every area of your life if only you will trust, surrender and “allow”
it to be so. – Chuck Danes

 

Have you every wondered why, when you try so hard and work at it constantly, that the things you want to happen most, don’t seem to come, to pass?  The frustration sets in, the doubt, confusion and perhaps even blame, all of which are blocking what you want most. I know from experience that this has happened to me on more than one occasion and it wasn’t until I decided from a lack of anything happening, to surrender and let go.  For most of my life, it seemed as though I was constantly trying to control each outcome in all aspects and arrears of my life.  From a very young age, I was left with the perception that life, in order for it to work and feel safe, had to be controlled just the way I thought it should.  I believed that if I tried and worked hard, all would come to be, from my efforts.  I felt exhausted trying to catch what I thought was suppose to be my life.   I always had this picture of what life should be for me and ironically the harder I tried, the things closest and most dear to me, were lost.  It wasn’t until I truly had a meltdown and realize it wasn’t about running after my hopes and dreams but rather taking the action towards them and then letting go of the outcome. I find myself now knowing, that whatever direction my life takes if I fill it with love, laughter, kindness and a sense of know, all will be as it should, and therein lies the peace within.

If I ever run into the situation of trying to control my outcome, I stop myself and remember that my life has become the happiest and most content when I allowed life to flow for me.  It’s not about how fast we go, or how much we have that makes life fulfilling.  It’s about the peace that you have  in yourself and the life that you give to others, of love and kindness without the presence of judgment and control that matters most.

In the Taoist way, when we come to understand that when we force an outcome we are going against the flow of life, and in doing so, we often encounter resistance, disappointment and often suffering. It often feels like we are pushing to no avail. When we surrender, we are letting go of the need to control everybody and everything around us. The need for control comes from fear; the fear of our own inability to handle what we are not ready or prepared for. There is a natural rhythm in the flow of life, and when we find it, we are able to effortlessly keep in step. Only then do we live our lives by letting go of stress, worries and fears, trusting in a power greater than ourselves.

“In pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can’t be gained by interfering.”

Practice

For one week repeat the following affirmation whenever you are tense and find yourself trying to control situations and people.

“I am open to allowing what needs to happen. I trust there is a greater power than myself at work in this situation. I relax and let go of my hold on it.

Resources

Dyer, Dr. Wayne. Change your Thoughts, Change your Life. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2007.

Lao Tzu. trans. by Stephen Mitchell. Tao Te Ching: A New English Version.

“When TOTAL SURRENDER happens, SUFFERING is removed, DUALITY is removed too.”

 

With Much Love To All

Peace of I

Anne

ACHIEVEMENTS

Man on top of mountain. Conceptual design.
.

March 5, 2016

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Mya Angelou

Take a little time to reflect on what you have achieved to date.  It is often easy to forget where you started from and how far you’ve come. Honor and be grateful for this extraordinary journey that is your life.

I find sometimes I get so caught up in life and trying to achieve more, that I don’t take the time to see all that I have achieved.  I truly marvel at the success that my life has been graced with through all the obstacles and struggles the road I have traveled has given. “ It’s not the size of the celebration that counts, what’s important is acknowledging that you are growing and creating your best life.”  

What was yesterday like?  a good day or perhaps a day that brought you struggles, and obstacles to complete or step towards achieving a bigger goal? More importantly, did you recognize all that you have achieved, even if all you did was get up and move through your day.  That in itself, some days is an achievement.

Sometimes it’s important to celebrate even the smallest success to keep you energized and motivated.  Give yourself the satisfaction and permission to feel joy and acknowledge the measure of dedication and courage whatever the size of the goal was.  We so often celebrate and acknowledge the things our children do without missing a beat, allow yourself to celebrate all that you have achieved. When you take the time to acknowledge your achievements, happiness, self-respect and your confidence will increase. When you increase your positive emotions on a regular basis you will be surprised to see how resilient you become.

Achievements come in all shapes and sizes and while they are all worth acknowledging, some will be more meaningful to you than others. I’d like to suggest that you find ways to create memories around your most important successes, then in the future if you should have moments of self-doubt or find yourself facing a particularly difficult obstacle you will have some tangible reinforcement of what you can do when you set your mind to it and how far you’ve already come.

Rather than dwelling on what you didn’t achieve, make it a habit of opening your eyes to the value of all that you did accomplish, and then reward yourself with a few kind words or a little pampering. In the end, it’s not the size of the celebration that counts, what’s important is acknowledging that you are growing and creating your best life.

I have to say my biggest achievement is in my daughter and all that she has achieved.  As I get ready to watch her begin her journey abroad and travel to Ireland for the next year or two, I feel utterly blessed to have been a part of her success thus far.  Remember that your achievements can be transformed onto another to succeed in their achievements.

“Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.”

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. ~Benjamin Franklin

With Much Love

Peace of I

Anne

Finishing Grace – Determination

finishing graceFebruary 5, 2016


“The God who gave you the grace to start will give you the grace to finish” – Joel Osteen

I can remember so well how I would begin and be so excited and enthusiastic about something, having a beginning plan only to  find myself not following through because things weren’t happening as fast as I wanted or hoped.  It wasn’t until later in life that I realized  that the most important part of wanting to achieve or fulfill a task, an idea, a career, a project, a dream, was to have faith and follow it through to the end. Even when the end seemed so far away and with all the hard work and time spent, seemed to show little results.  What kept me going and still does today is to follow my heart and stay focused on my dream.  Knowing without any doubt, that no matter what the obstacles were, I was going to finish.  I needed to have faith and not stray from that.   To this day, I still keep that within my soul and do my best to honor it.  Having a knowing that what lies within your soul is the truth to your existence.  I remember when I struggled with the loss of my husband and then the fight of cancer ahead, all I wanted to do was give up.  Giving up seemed so much easier, but something deep within me kept moving me forward, at times, I had no idea how I was doing it. I had to keep telling myself I would make it through this, and be stronger than before. As soon as you allow yourself to think negative, you lose power. It really does matter what you think. Your thoughts are so powerful, more than we realize. They are what will keep you alive, move you forward or drag you down. With practice, you can change the way you think, which will change the way you live.  Finishing Grace and determination are all about keeping your thoughts positive.

Of all your lifetimes, do you know which ones you’ll look back on with the fondest memories, the most pride, and the widest grin? The ones were in spite of challenges, no matter how daunting, difficult, or painful, you pressed on.

“It doesn’t take a lot of effort to start things, start school, start a diet, start a job, starting is easy, finishing is what can be difficult.  Any two people can get married, but it takes commitment to stick with it for the long hall.  Anyone can have a dream, but it takes determination, perseverance a made up mind to see it come to pass.  The questions is not if you will start but will you finish.” – Joel Osteen

We all have setbacks and sometimes get discouraged this is the time to have faith and know that when you started your hopes were high. “Remind yourself that you were not created to give up or quit but to finish.” When we allow our thoughts to control our actions, and forget what truly lies within our soul, we can be tempted to give up.  This is not the time to have self-pity, quit telling yourself you can’t make it. Don’t give up on your dream.  It’s when just at that point when you want to give up, that if you just stick it out a little long, your strength will match what you’re up against.  You’re closer to your destiny than you think.

Never give up on you. Honor yourself and what you’ve told yourself.  At the same time realize mistakes are what move you forward not meant to bring you down. This is one tool I adapted into my life, whatever I told myself I was going to do, I did it.  I followed through even when I didn’t want to.  If I promised myself something, I honored that. It’s about respecting who you are and what you are.

As I end, I leave you with these last thoughts.   “A Tanzanian runner fell and broke his leg during an Olympic race but he finished his race.Everyone else was gone but he kept going.The runner said he didn’t quit when he broke his leg because his country didn’t send him 7,000 miles to start the race but to finish it. The race is not for the swift or the strong but to those who endure to the end. You weren’t created to quit.You have to dig your heels in and say I am determined to finish my course.”          KEEP GOING, KEEP GROWING

With Much Love

Peace of I

Anne

 

A Fresh Start

freshstartJanuary 3, 2016

 

Every New Year brings a “Fresh Start”

As I end the year 2015, I again see how precious life in itself is.  We all strive so much to have it all, do it all and be it all.  The one thing I have realized in my own life is that life is a gift that sometimes seems to be missed.  This year I witness two very dear friends leaving this earth much too early.  I witness their struggles and their fight to just have another day.  Their cries for “I should of, if only”, but none of that could give back the life that they were losing.

We forget that living another day is a blessing and that what we make of it is what’s important.  As life has gotten faster, busier and more expensive we still forget that having another day, breathing another breath is what truly matters.  So when you making these New Year’s promises don’t be so hard on yourself.  How about saying “this year I will make it my best year. I will do more to forgive myself to help others and remember when my feet touch the ground, I will have gratitude for another day.” Forget what didn’t happen and the past year that lies just where it should, behind you.  You don’t walk backward so why to, look backward.  This quote was shared with me and I feel it fitting for all to read.

The reason some people have turned against you & walked away from you without reason has nothing to do with you.  It is because they have been removed from your life because they cannot go where you are going next.  They will only hinder you in your next level.  They have already served their purpose in your life.  Let them go and keep moving.  Greater is coming.”

The Resolution that matters most is how to become a better version of yourself. “How can I invest in myself? forgive me.”  Don’t let the inner voice control what the heart is truly telling you.  Say “YES” to life and try something new.

Consider asking yourself these questions:

What story (or stories) do I need to stop telling myself?

Who do I need to forgive once and for all?

What do I need to release from my life in order to feel free?

What behaviors or habits would I like to change?

What behaviors or habits am I willing to accept and embrace?

What new adventures do I want to experience?

Where would I like to invest more of my time and energy?

Don’t be afraid to live your life, to speak how you feel and to honor what is yours.  Respect yourself.  Remember the most important relationship you will ever have, is with “YOURSELF” Find out who you are.

Below are a few links that I found great starters for this year of “Your Best Self”

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-23079/cant-afford-a-life-coach-for-2016-read-these-10-books-for-your-best-year-ever.html?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=160103-cant-afford-a-life-coach-for-2016-read-these-10-books-for-your-best-year-ever

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-23020/18-sacred-intentions-to-set-for-2016.html?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=151228-18-sacred-intentions-to-set-for-2016

My hope and wish for you all is to fulfill your own inner calling.  To live your “BEST LIFE”, whatever that is.  As you start the beginnings of a new week, instead of “It’s only Monday” try saying thank you for another day, another breath, my health, my family, my job, the stranger who smiled at me and me at him.  Don’t wait for Friday to be happy, start on Monday.  When you give a smile, your who world smiles back.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you all for a wonderful year of support and kindness.  I know 2016 will be your “Best”.  Don’t forget to keep telling yourself that. “GREATER IS COMING” 

With much love

Peace of I

Anne

We should never give up on Children

SmilingTeensDecember 3, 2015

 

“A child with a dream, is a child with a Future.” – Wintley Phipps

“Simply punishing the broken—walking away from them or hiding them from sight—only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.”

Teenagers face real problems on a daily basis during the most awkward growth stages of their lives.  During this time, teens are exposed to some overwhelming external and internal struggles.

I spend most of my days with teenagers and see the struggles and challenges they face today.  From trying to find who they are to fitting in and feeling part of something.  Some come from loving, caring families and others have never known what it is to feel love.  Teenagers whose parents want only a better life and more opportunities than they had, send them away to another country, in the hopes that they will achieve this. However, they are left alone, perhaps not even knowing the language and being guided by strangers or not at all.

We as parents only want the best for our children, however sometimes our wanting the best takes away from the dreams of our kids.  We take our dreams and put them on our own.  Our children were given to us to guide, not to mold into what we want them to be, but rather be allowed  to become self-actualized individuals.  Knowing this is not an easy task.  As parents and teachers we feel we know what’s best, but in fact for some, we are not hearing their voice, their dreams and their wishes.

I had to endure my teenage years without parents.  At the age of 14, I became an orphan. From a loving family to now having to figure most of it out on my own.  I was given the gift of a solid foundation early in life, which gave me the tools and strength to move  through even the most challenging situations in my teen years and later in life.  At times as a teenager,  I felt extremely alone and that no one had the time to listen, let alone hear.   I yearned for that someone who could hear me and validate what I was feeling.

I feel today we need to address the needs of our teens and focus on their skill building, character building and dream building.  In the schools today I respectfully appreciate the tasks of teacher’s and the overwhelming change in our society and what they deal with.  However, although change faces are teens today with many challenges,  we must ask ourselves have we changed to fit the needs of our children, especially our teens?  After all, they are the future, shouldn’t we be preparing them for what lies ahead.

Today most teenagers deal  with so much more, from social media, drugs, alcohol, foster care, one parent, no parents, incarcerated parents to the pressures of high school which has now been crammed from 5 years into 4 years. I feel where missing what they need most, to be heard, understood and respected in the lives that face them today. It’s a sign of the times and they are being hit the hardest with uncertainty and the pressures of our fast pace, over stimulated very confusing environment.

“I promised myself and that of teens, that when I became an adult, I would be a voice for them, knowing what it felt like to be in their shoes”

I think our teens can teach us something.  We are heading into a new dimension, one that will fill all our lives with a variety of circumstances and cultural differences.  I watch the many teens today who don’t seem to have any difficulty with cultural intertwine in their own daily lives both in and out of their learning environments and as adults, we need to follow.  We have to remember that this world was gifted to us all. We own “Nothing”, but share it all.  Let us empower our children through our words.  A negative report always spreads faster than a positive report. Be positive or be quiet.  Bless their lives.  Your words will become their reality.

My hope is that I can give to the teens today guidance, mentoring and coach them to be everything that they desire. To have a knowing deep within, that anything is possible if you are willing to work hard enough and take action to achieve it.  To encourage, empower and speak words of wisdom over their lives and that they know, they can transcend their circumstances. This is my soul’s calling.

 

Out of the mouth of a teen: http://yorkcountypa.gov/images/pdf/human-services/EssayWinner.pdf

 

Lots of Love

Peace of I

Anne

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pebbles, Stones, Boulders and Pearls – Guest Blogger

November 5, 2o15

Today I share a blog from a dear friend of mine and a writer herself.  Elizabeth will, in fact, be writing my first book.

Elizabeth Kelly Atwell is a mum of four, teacher, director and writer living in Denver, Colorado. She currently travels back and forth between Denver and Toronto to have and support her mum’s end of life journey with stage 4 brain cancer. Elizabeth has found her writing voice in her goal to write to inspire and help others heal, but she writes for a variety of publications and purposes. If you want to read more or use her writing skill for your own purposes, please contact her at elizabeth@atwellfamily.net..

Anne uses pebbles, stones and boulders as metaphors for the challenges of life. When I think of Anne’s story, it is tempting to dismiss my own challenges as less significant, but in truth, pain is pain and we all have to figure out ways to face and overcome challenges. Challenges are just part of life, whether they are pebble size or boulder size. My own survival through painful times has come from strategies that extend Anne’s metaphor. Over time, the boulders get battered by wind and water and become stones; the stones become pebbles and a pebble eventually becomes a grain of sand. And a grain of sand can get caught in an oyster’s shell and become a glowing, iridescent pearl.

Clearly, nature doesn’t make it easy for a boulder or even a grain of sand to become a pearl. Human nature doesn’t make it easy for us to turn our boulders into pearls either. But it is possible, and that was the key for me not just to survive, but to become stronger, wiser, kinder and more compassionate (I hope, anyway). While an irritating grain of sand can become a beautiful pearl, challenges can become gifts if we choose to make them so.

When my husband faced a life-threatening illness that lasted three months, I would get my four kids off to school and hope that they could make it through the day, then spend all day at the hospital, and pray he would make it another day, and then return home not only to those four kids who were terrified their daddy was going to die, but also to a financial nightmare I couldn’t ignore. Was it exhausting, stressful, frightening and painful? Absolutely. Were there moments when I was so overwhelmed that I could barely think? You bet. But, within that boulder I could see a very large and very precious pearl.

That pearl, the outpouring of love and friendship and support, and my faith, gave me the strength, and comfort to be there for my husband and my children. My sister, my mum and my aunt all came to Denver from Canada for a week each to support me during some of the worst of it; my in-laws were at the hospital in evenings so I could feel okay leaving to be there for the kids, meals arrived at the door; even yard work got done. Messages and emails of love and support and prayers were sent from around the world. This extraordinary kindness and love even from random strangers gave me strength and comfort to survive and focus my energy and gratitude on that instead of the pain.

You might ask, what if there is no one there to help, to show love? Then the challenge you face and I know it is a big one because it was for me too is to look for it and ask. You will be surprised and amazed to find how much is there. I learned that. At first, it was hard to accept, and it was even harder to have to ask. But I had to be strong for my husband and my kids, so I learned. And I realize now it was okay to accept it for me too. So I learned to accept the love and help offered. I also learned that I am not the only one who needs and wants to give so it’s okay to say yes and receive. I know I will pay it forward. That lesson alone is a precious and life changing pearl.

In hindsight, that pearl has grown larger as I have reflected on the many blessings that, that boulder brought to my family and me. As a family, we have become closer and more loving. My children (ages 14, 16, 18 and 20) are now best friends because they had to come together to support each other, their dad and me. The kids discovered their own strength and the recognition that I had faith in their strength and love to get through. That is a lifelong gift for them (especially in the world where kids tend to get rescued in ways that will not prepare them well for adulthood). I have learned to find joy in so much, not the least of which is paying forward kindness and service to others. And we all learned to appreciate and be profoundly grateful for what’s most important in life family, friends, love, kindness and faith.

Today, another challenging boulder presents itself: my journey with my mum and my family as we face her terminal stage 4 brain cancer. As I travel back and forth from Denver to Toronto, I hold on to the pearl I created three years ago and use all of its lessons on this journey with mum. The creation of that pearl has given me greater strength, wisdom and compassion so that I may make another pearl out of this boulder.

I can’t say that I would choose a lifetime of boulders, stones and pebbles but if I do, I plan on making a priceless, glowing pearl necklace out of them.

May we all find strength in Elizabeth’s story and remember what is most important in life.  I thank you, Elizabeth, for you most gracious friendship and continued support on both our journeys together and separately.

Lots of Love to you all

Peace of I

Anne