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Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!

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Photo Challenge: AWAKENING

11/04/2018

“The ghostly winter silence had given way to the great spring murmur of awakening life.” Jack London

Photo Challenge: AWAKENING

Photo Challenge: AWAKENING

 

Photo Challenge: AWAKENING

Photo Challenge: AWAKENING

We live between the act of awakening and the act of surrender. Each morning, we awaken to the light and the invitation to a new day in the world of time; each night, we surrender to the dark to be taken to play in the world of dreams where time is no more. John O’Donohue

Like all other life forms in nature, we experience our version of an awakening… an unfurling of our fears and limitations… we are reborn anew. What I love about nature is that we get to see this unfold before our eyes every season. There is no hiding in shame or blaming anyone for the changes; all plant and animal life stay open and surrendered to the cycle of life. Humans battle this change with all sorts of machinations. We fight it because we are afraid of what might happen to us and our beliefs, rigidities and denials. Yet, if we could just stop and trust in the infinite wisdom of the universe, we would thrive.

The Awakening by Sonny Carroll
There comes a time in your life when you finally get it … When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out “ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on.” And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world from a new perspective.
……….This is your awakening The Awakening

 

 

“Inspiration is an awakening, a quickening of all man’s faculties, and it is manifested in all high artistic achievements.” Giacomo Puccini

Photo Challenge: AWAKENING

Photo Challenge: AWAKENING

 

Photo Challenge: AWAKENING

Photo Challenge: AWAKENING

You can have a spiritual awakening and discover a new side of you at any age. And best of all, love can happen at any age. Life can just start to get exciting when you’re in your 40s and 50s. You have to believe that. Salma Hayek

Some of us put our lives on hold because of pressing responsibilities, indecision or prior commitments. We table our dreams with our fears and, soon, we get consumed by life. I’ve always loved music and dance and enjoyed a ton of it in my teen and college years. When I got married and had my twins, I still loved to listen, dance and go to concerts but over time, something else kicked in and those favorite pastimes diminished as a focal point in my life. Recently, I experienced a reawakening of sorts and have picked up where I left off. The great, good thing about awakening is that it can occur at any age and that it is an invitation to seize life with both hands and live it. What are you waiting for?

The Awakening via poets.org
James Weldon Johnson, 1871 – 1938
I dreamed that I was a rose
That grew beside a lonely way,
Close by a path none ever chose,
And there I lingered day by day.
Beneath the sunshine and the show’r
I grew and waited there apart,
Gathering perfume hour by hour,
And storing it within my heart,
Yet, never knew,
Just why I waited there and grew.

I dreamed that you were a bee
That one day gaily flew along,
You came across the hedge to me,
And sang a soft, love-burdened song.
You brushed my petals with a kiss,
I woke to gladness with a start,
And yielded up to you in bliss
The treasured fragrance of my heart;
And then I knew
That I had waited there for you.

 

 

MORE BELOW! Read more…

Motivation Mondays: Perfect Conditions

09/04/2018

“You cannot afford to wait for perfect conditions. Goal setting is often a matter of balancing timing against available resources. Opportunities are easily lost while waiting for perfect conditions.” Gary Ryan Blair

Motivation Mondays: Perfect Conditions

Motivation Mondays: Perfect Conditions

If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow. Beyonce Knowles
Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes are uncertain. People are irrational. Hugh Mackay

PERFECT CONDITIONS: Happy National Sibling Day! What are you waiting for? Do you have a sibling you need to reach out to and rebuild a relationship with? Do so. Our life on planet Earth  comes with a set of unforeseen challenges and unexpected conditions. We can choose to see the situations as barriers to our goals or as hurdles to jump over. We can sit around waiting for the perfect condition to move forward with our lives or accept that we are perfectly imperfect and the best time to get things done is now. My Pastor who keeps us inspired and often makes us laugh out loud, offered five tips that I will expand on in this post.  I have added a sixth tip as a bonus. We all need to be reminded that perfection is not a requirement for living a fulfilled life and that to fail is to live.
1. Live life with a sense of urgency – When we live in the present with a commitment to get things done, we will accomplish more because we are not putting off our goals/dreams. We are doing the work that needs to be done and the prize dances before us.
2. Challenge your endless excuses – We all have times in our lives when we procrastinate for a whole slew of reasons. We put off things because we don’t feel like it or are afraid to deal with it. Yet, when we finally make the effort to face a wall that has stood in our way and tackle it, we soon find out how easy it was to traverse that wall. So, let go of the excuses. Write your goals down, visualize them and act on them. Even baby steps are better than zero steps.

 

 

“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” Alice Walker

Motivation Mondays: Perfect Conditions

Motivation Mondays: Perfect Conditions

Motivation Mondays: Perfect Conditions

Motivation Mondays: Perfect Conditions

We see the world through the lens of all our experiences; that is a fundamental part of the human condition. Madeleine M. Kunin
So as long as I’m a human being and I’m not perfect, I’m able to say I’m having some growing pains. Mary J. Blige

IMPERFECT CONDITIONS: What would you choose if this was the only day you get to create a perfectly imperfect life? In a perfect world, all our plans will fall into place and things will unfold just the way we imagined them but, that is not reality. Things unfold in direct and indirect ways and if we surrender to the process, we will be wonderfully surprised by the achievements that come our way.
3. Do it today … start now – Don’t put off facing the areas of your life that need help and healing. What do we want for our family? Relationships? Finances? Health? Mental health? Face them squarely and begin the process of rebuilding your life.
4. Be comfortably uncomfortable – Instead of playing it safe all the time, practice reaching out to be a source of goodwill to others. Encourage at least 3 people every day and as you grow at doing so, increase that number to X. As we grow comfortable in our own body, we will no longer see others as a threat or envy them. We will be able to reach out and encourage them. Try it. Come back for the rest below.
READ: The Thankful Bird by Anon below!

The Thankful Bird by Anon
There was a bird who lived in a desert; very sick, no feathers, nothing to eat and drink, no shelter to live in.
One day, a dove was passing by so, the sick and unhappy bird stopped the dove and inquired:
“Where are you going?”
The dove replied:
“I’m going to heaven.”
So the sick bird said:
“Please find out for me when my suffering will come to an end.”
The dove said:
“Sure. I will,” and bid goodbye to the sick bird.
The dove reached heaven and shared the message of the sick bird with the angel at the entrance gate.
The angel said:
“For the next seven years of its life, the bird has to suffer like this. No happiness until then.”
The dove said:
“When the sick bird hears this, he will get disheartened. Could you suggest any other solution for this?”
The angel replied:
“Tell him to recite this verse: Thank you God for everything.”

Days later, the dove on meeting the sick bird again, delivered the message of the angel to it.
After 7 days, the dove was passing by again and saw that the bird was very happy. Feathers grew on his body, a small plant grew up in the desert area, and a small pond of water was even there. The bird was singing and dancing cheerfully.
The dove was astonished. The angel had said there would be no happiness for the bird for the next seven years. With this question in mind, the dove went back to visit the angel at heaven’s gate.
The dove put forth his query to the angel.

The angel replied:
“Yes, it is true that there was to be no happiness for this bird for the next seven years but, because the bird was reciting Thank you God for everything in every situation, his life changed. When the bird fell in the hot sand he said; Thank you God for everything. When it could not fly it said; Thank you God for everything. When it was thirsty and there was no water around it said; Thank you God for everything. Whatever the situation, the bird kept on repeating Thank you God for everything …. therefore, 7 years got dissolved in 7 days.
The narrator: (paraphrased) When I heard this story, it helped me to shift my life in every way. I shared it with everyone; my friends, family, co-workers and even strangers. It had a deep impact on my life and helped me to remember how the power of gratitude can change our attitude…. be humble and you will never stumble.

 

 

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for MAR 2018/APR 2018 are:

MARCH

03/04 – Women’s History Month, National Nutrition Month, Irish-American Heritage Month, American Red Cross Month, 08 International Women’s Day, World Kidney Day, 04 Academy Awards
03/11 – 11 Daylight Savings, 14 Pi Day, 15 World Consumer Rights Day, 17 St Patrick’s Day
03/18 – 19 St Joseph, 20 International Day of Happiness, 21 World poetry Day, 22 World Water day, 24 Earth Hour
03/25 – Palm Sunday, 29 Holy Thursday, 30 Good Friday, 31 Passover

APRIL

04/01   –   01, April Fool’s Day, 02, Autism Awareness, 06, International Day Sport Development Peace, 07,  World Health Day,
04/08   –   10, National Siblings Day, 10, Equal Pay Day,  12, Holocaust Remembrance Day
04/15  –   17 Tax Day
04/22  –    22, Earth Day,  23, World Book Day, 27, Arbor Day
01/29  –   29, International Jazz Day

 

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2018?

post-a-week-2017-md
– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.
BHWritingLab_052016_post_PROMPT1A

— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab

 

MORE BELOW! Read more…

Photo Challenge: SMILE – YOU Matter!

04/04/2018

“Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.” Anthony J. D’Angelo

Photo Challenge: SMILE - YOU Matter!

Photo Challenge: SMILE – YOU Matter!


Logic – 1-800-273-8255 (LIVE From The 60th GRAMMYs ®) ft. Alessia Cara, Khalid

Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things. Kenneth Branagh
Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life. Yoko Ono
Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts. Paramahansa Yogananda

SMILE … a loaded word and a powerful act. I was sifting through some old files yesterday and came across a set of photos I took a while back. Looking at them brought back a flood of memories of a time when what was behind the smile was not quite what one would expect. The photos represented an important chapter in my journey through life, and I am grateful I took the leap to jump in feet first. At the time, my marriage had ended, another important relationship had gone south, and I was at my wits end. Truthfully, I was suicidal and had considered a number of ways to put an end to the unbearable emotional pain I was carrying. On a visit to my doctor for a routine check up, I blurted out how down I felt and how I wanted to end it all. He could hear the desperation in my voice, and immediately stopped everything and counseled me to reconsider. At different points in our lives, we might walk through the valley of the shadow of death and it takes the presence of God’s grace and angels in human form to rein us back in… I was fortunate.

I knew I needed help and it showed up. With the encouragement of my doctor, family and friends, I checked myself into a hospital and was under a suicide watch for 10 days. I was in great pain and needed a place to regroup and recover… my cry for help brought a lot of grace and revelations into a very dark period of my life and I fought the demons with every ounce left in my being.  I had to do it for my kids and for myself. The doctors and nursing staff were compassionate and attentive, and I stayed committed to my recovery plan. On my release from the hospital, I cut all my hair off… Shedding our hair is symbolic of a cleansing and a release in West African culture; it is done for funerals and recoveries and the inner prompting to shed the weave felt right. Sharing this also feels right and liberating as I come from a culture where such conversations are frowned on. Truth is that by telling our stories, we can save lives and inspire others to step back from the precipice. I wish I could turn back the clock on Andrew’s death. I wish I could stop another person from crossing that divide that separates life from death. If you or anyone you know is in desperate need of help, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255 Your life matters.

 

“If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.” Maya Angelou

Photo Challenge: SMILE - YOU Matter!

Photo Challenge: SMILE – YOU Matter!


Walking Trophy (Official Video) by HoodCelebrityy

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come. Henri Nouwen

As I started to rebuild my life, one of my best friends, Diahann, gave me fortuitous advice. “Go do something fun to lift your spirit and put a smile on your face,” she said. I was baffled. What could I possibly do when I had just pulled myself back from the brink and needed all my energy to figure out my what next? I contemplated it for a few days and the answer came. Go take some upbeat fashion photos and wear your favorite clothes, including that aubergine Azzedine Alaïa jacket you’ve been holding onto forever. I shared my idea with Diahann and she thought it was terrific. I did some searches online, found a photographer in Queens and reached out to her. When I shared my intention with her, to do something fun that would put a smile back on my face, she was all in. We set a date and I was stoked. She suggested I get professional make up done to ensure the entire experience was special… so I did. I found a makeup artist locally and scheduled an appointment for the morning of my photo shoot day.

On the fateful day, I believe it was early summer, I drove out to the studio in Queens and had a fantastic time. Initially, I was tentative and self conscious but, as the day progressed, I got very comfortable and my mood shifted. At one point, her beautiful dog got in on the act and I took one of my most favorite photos holding him in my arms. It was also a reminder of the healing love we experience from pets. Their intuitive love is unconditional. After the photo shoot, as I drove back home, I felt something heavy shift inside of me, and it was replaced with a great sense of joy, gratitude and relief. How could I have even considered ending it all? How do I move forward with a sense of purpose? The emotions flowed and I knew somehow, that everything was going to work out… it would take time but, the healing had begun. I look at the photos above and below and they still put a smile on my face. When we empty ourselves of our emotional baggage and pain, and leave them at the doorstep of faith, all that is left is grace and healing light. Make peace with your pain and find a way to put that smile back on your face. You matter. Your life matters.

Phenomenal Woman BY MAYA ANGELOU
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me. Contd Below via Poetryfoundation.org

 

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