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Inspiration: Ten Things To Consider This Holiday Season…

17/12/2011
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“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.” Gautama Buddha

Inspiration: Ten Things To Consider This Holiday Season... Reflect...

As the holiday season approaches; Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanza are around the corner for those who celebrate them, and the New Year will come a week later for all of us, it would be wise for us to spend some time in reflection. The end of the year is usually a time when we look back and review our year.  Below, the ten things that come to mind are worth considering. I have been reading a number of posts/articles around the internet and sharing some would help explain what I mean.
1. Reflections: What truly matters?
The Top Five Regrets of the Dying By Bronnie Ware via Maria Shriver‘s blog
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Brene Brown: The Power Of Vulnerability – video below

2. Reflections: Where would we give more?
During this season of giving, many companies are sharing their good fortune. Google gave $40 million in grants. AOL Mail is helping make a difference in local communities with Giving Good. Help decide which three organizations, from a selection of local non-profits, are most worthy of a $10,000 award or give more to those charities or groups on your existing list.

“If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another.” Winston Churchill

Inspiration: Ten Things To Consider This Holiday Season... Celebrate lives. RIP Cesária Évora.

We can spend some time remembering those who have passed on and celebrate their work and lives. We can celebrate the lives of  others around us; our family and friends, our community, and even strangers who have made a difference in our lives.  How are we spending our time? Are we stopping to think about the blessing the gift of life is for us?


Cesaria Evora singing Embarcacao with Kayah

3. Reflections: What and who do we celebrate?
Celebrating the Life of Cesaria Evora: Cesaria Evora, the “Barefoot Diva,” a Grammy-winning singer who was famous for her bluesy “morna” music, passed away today in her native Cape Verde. She was 70. I loved her music and had written about her in one of my African Divas posts. She would be sorely missed… My condolences to her family.

4. Reflections: What have we learned?
Reading the list of 100 top books on Amazon, I was struck by the top ten on the list and it got me thinking about what appeals to us and what we learned this year. How do we get our ideas and information? What have we learned from our explorations this year?
1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson,  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney, 3. 11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King, 4. Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed… by Bill O’Reilly, 5. The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set+ 6. The Hunger Games both by Suzanne Collins, 7. Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle, Book 4) by Christopher Paolini, 8. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and… by Laura Hillenbrand, 9. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman,  10. Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins. What are we reading? What mind shifting lesson did we learn this year?

“All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” Albert Einstein

Inspiration: Ten Things To Consider This Holiday Season... Work and change...

Another conversation that has held our attention this year has been the job market. Unemployment figures remain static and, even with projections from the Department of Labor, the fact remains that 14+ million people remain without jobs. How has this affected us or friends and family we know? What are we doing to ensure we remain marketable in our field or a new one?
5. Reflections: How are we preparing for the work world in 2012?
CBS has an article that uses statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics‘ Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011, to identify 10 job categories projected to shrink in the coming years, as well as areas of job growth.  Will these 10 jobs disappear in 2012?: Judge, Fashion designer, Insurance underwriter, Travel agent, Newspaper reporter, Broadcast announcer, Plant manager, Chemist, Economist, and CEO.

6. Reflections: What adjustments/new skills can we learn?
Conversely, there are areas where demand will remain high or increase. Where are the jobs? Health care; Registered Nurses, Teachers in Higher Education, Accountants, Computer software engineers, Home health aides, Customer Service Rep, Food prep helpers, and Retail salesperson.  Are we on board for change? Always more below. 😉

“Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.”  Dalai Lama

Inspiration: Ten Things To Consider This Holiday Season... Our mental and physical health.

7. Reflections: How are we handling our health?
A disturbing bit of news circulating through the media, see this ABC News report, is that some Apple juice brands/batches contains arsenic, so called premium Orange juice is stored in vats for a year and reconstituted, and fruit juices might not be healthy for young children. The holidays is a time we tend to indulge our appetites and overdo things. Keeping our health in mind, even as we partake of the food and festivities won’t hurt. If nothing else, an exercise plan to counter the excesses is the way to go.

8. Reflections: Where does our care and compassion lie?
This is also the season when domestic violence and crimes of opportunity increase. It is a time when people can become indifferent or insensitive to the worries/needs of others because we are feeling overwhelmed ourselves. Please don’t forget to keep compassion close by.  I read a horrific DailyMail post about a husband who cut his wife’s fingers because she wanted to study and improve her lot… It is shocking, yet the incidences of such violence grows during this season as families struggle to make ends meet.

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.” Mohandas Gandhi

Inspiration: Ten Things To Consider This Holiday Season... Our talents, ourselves... (self-portrait of Vivian Maier)

9. Reflections: What talents do we need to embrace and showcase?
Many of us spend a lifetime dismissing the wonderful gifts we were born with, either because we don’t see the value in them, or because others told us at some point in our lives that they weren’t valuable gifts. Vivian Maier was a nanny and housekeeper who also happened to be a super talented photographer. It was only after her death that her body of work was discovered. Take a look at her photos; they are amazing. This is the time to take another look at the skills that come easily to us and recognize the gifts/blessings in those skills. How can we put it/them to use? What can we do to make it/them stronger and beneficial to us and others? This is worth considering this season and in the years to come.

10. Reflections: What are we grateful for; in small and large ways?
Gratitude is an attitude we ought to maintain all our lives. Every day we wake up should be a day to give thanks for life, and then, from there we should honor all the things that make our lives run smoothly. Some of my fellow bloggers like The Incredible Lightness of Seeing, and The Real Sharon, I believe, add a “Daily Gratitude/I’m grateful for” line at the end of each post. It’s a wonderful way to keep us focused on seeing the good in the world around us and in our individual lives. What are we grateful for on a daily basis? What are your thoughts? What ten things come to mind? How are you honoring the end of another year? Do you make time to reflect during this season? If not, why not? Do share! Thank you. 😉

This post was inspired by a prompt from Mamakat’s Writers Workshop: Write a list of ten things on your mind this week.

Positive Motivation Tip: The holidays are a time for shared joy and giving. Reflect on the things that matter… then go within…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Home Lit Up, Singing Diva, Unemployed March, Orange juice, via Wikipedia. Vivian Maier self portrait via Daily Mail. Or via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

30 Comments leave one →
  1. Bree permalink
    18/12/2011 2:09 am

    Great list and questions. I’m shocked about the juice findings! Unbelievable.
    B

    • 18/12/2011 11:53 pm

      I was too… But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense that they would hold the juice in vats for such a long time. The harvest comes and goes rather quickly… I think Florida Natural should can that ad where the farmer hands the lady a gallon directly from his farm… Yeah right! 😆 TY!

  2. 18/12/2011 3:14 am

    Excellent list – it is so easy to forget to reflect and to forget to be grateful – thanks for the reminder.

    • 18/12/2011 11:54 pm

      TY too for so patiently supporting this blog as I rally to return the kindness. I will complete the task this season. TY and I am grateful for all things great and small. 🙂

  3. 18/12/2011 4:16 am

    I like “TED” and that video is nice article for learning English.Thank you for sharing.

    • 18/12/2011 11:55 pm

      I’m glad you find it helpful too. I enjoyed the research she did. 🙂

  4. 18/12/2011 5:21 am

    This is a great list, one that I will spend more time with as I reflect on the past, what I’ve learned, and how I want to move forward into the coming year. Thanks. 🙂

    • 19/12/2011 12:18 am

      Thank you Cecelia. It has been a long year for all of us and I need time to reflect too on how to move forward in 2012…. 🙂

  5. 18/12/2011 5:51 am

    I just watched Cesaria singing Besame Mucho — so sad to hear that she’s left the planet, but her amazing spirit and voice will soar into eternity.

    • 19/12/2011 12:20 am

      Yes, so sad… She had an amazing voice and life to go with it… Amen to your prayer for her. TY! 🙂

  6. 18/12/2011 6:31 am

    LISTEN . . . to the wisdom within. _/!\_

    • 19/12/2011 12:20 am

      Amen and lots to be found there if we listen… TY! 🙂

  7. Goz permalink
    18/12/2011 8:22 am

    I like.

    • 19/12/2011 12:22 am

      Hey Goz,
      TY for stopping in and for your emailed article contribution to this list. I loved it! 🙂

  8. 18/12/2011 9:05 am

    You have captured reflections in many ways, as I was reading through this post..I was reminded of so many virtues we each carry in our hearts…but how many of us are blind sided by every day chaos and busy schedules…may the new year bring blessings to all..and remember to love our neighbors and help each other with a loving heart…!!

    • 19/12/2011 12:23 am

      Amen Penny… and may all our lives be blessed with light, love and abundance… TY! 🙂

  9. 18/12/2011 11:42 am

    Very comphrehensive body of work of aspects of our lives to reconsider. Well done!

    • 19/12/2011 12:24 am

      TY Robyn, Sometimes it comes together and then at other times … nothing. TY! 🙂

  10. 18/12/2011 11:49 am

    Excellent ‘think’ piece Elizabeth. It is the season of reflection for sure.
    b

    • 19/12/2011 12:25 am

      It sure is, even as we hustle and bustle with all the demands of the season. It is imperative that we find that quiet time to just sit and think through the year. I’m with you on that. TY! 🙂

  11. 18/12/2011 8:44 pm

    Thank you, Eliz. You always write a post that makes us think. At this time of year, many do take the time to reflect. Our goal should be to live EACH day to the fullest…being the best person we can be…and realizing that every day, we can begin again if we want to do better. 🙂

    • 19/12/2011 12:29 am

      TY Vivian! We started the year together and I’m grateful we are still on course and have stayed connected… Life and people are fickle; they come and go.
      If we can remember to honor even one commitment no matter how long it takes, that would be great. I stay hopeful. TY! 🙂

  12. 18/12/2011 9:42 pm

    for sure it costs a lot of time to write such long, well reflected articles. thank you so much for delivering this the whole long year 2011, Eliz! today my special thanks for your link to Vivian Maier’s photography
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2075228/What-nanny-saw-Housekeepers-stunning-images-1950s-Chicago-working-class-America-new-light.html
    +

    • 19/12/2011 12:32 am

      Hi Frizztext,
      You’ve been an amazing support this year and I’ve learned so much from our exchanges and connection. TY too for your blog friendship and I look forward to more fun next year. I knew you’d love the Vivian Maier photography retrospective… Awesome! TY! 🙂

  13. 19/12/2011 9:00 am

    All ten are important things to consider and reflect upon. Best wishes in 2012 Elizabeth! May you continue to embrace your talents and utilize your ability to be sensitive to the concerns of others while you walk safely through the maze of human life.

  14. 19/12/2011 4:37 pm

    Lovely list – and rest in peace Cesaria! Thanks as always for sharing so much! 🙂

  15. 19/12/2011 8:04 pm

    You have inspired ne to look back at my past year of posts and see what captured my attention.

  16. 20/12/2011 6:34 pm

    Great list, Elizabeth. I’m trying not to get overwhelmed by what appears to be important and forget about what really is.
    Sad to hear about Cesaria – I wished I was able to see her in concert but I have her music, which I truly enjoy.

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