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Posted on January 7th, 2012 by & filed under Be Inspired, Quotes & Notes

Success means doing the best we can with what we have.
Success is the doing,
not the getting – –
the trying,
not the triumph.
Success is a personal standard – –
reaching for the highest that is in us – –
becoming all that we can be.
If we do our best,
we are a success.
Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.
      – Zig Ziglar

We are all winners!

Be who you are
and say what you feel
because those who mind
don’t matter
and those that matter
don’t mind.
    – Dr. Seuss

Me

May you run and not be weary.

May your heart be filled with song.

And may the love of God continue

to give you hope and keep you strong.

 May you run and not be weary.

May your life be filled with joy!

And may the road you travel always lead you home.

 – Murakami

The Road Home

A STRONG PERSON

A strong person knows how to keep their life in order.

Even with tears in their eyes, they still manage to say “I’m ok” with a smile.

God is good.

Change is coming.

God saw your sadness and said hard times are over.

After my sister's funeral, with tears still burning in my eyes.

 

 “Let us rise up and be thankful,

for if we didn’t learn a lot today,

at least we learned a little,

and if we didn’t learn a little,

at least we didn’t get sick,

and if we got sick,

at least we didn’t die;

so, let us all be thankful.”

 ~Buddha

Um, whatchya talkin' about Willis?"

There are only two ways to live your life.

One is as though nothing is a miracle.

The other is as though everything is a miracle.

-Albert Einstein

“I Wish For You…”

Comfort on difficult days,

Smiles when sadness intrudes,

Rainbows to follow the clouds,

Laughter to kiss your lips,

Sunsets to warm your heart,

Gentle hugs when spirits sag,

Friendships to brighten your being,

Beauty for your eyes to see,

Confidence for when you doubt,

Faith so that you can believe,

Courage to know yourself,

Patience to accept the truth,

And love to complete your life.

Photography by Colin Reyes

Transformation

Posted on January 6th, 2012 by & filed under A Year With Myself, Everything Miz Meliz

I was looking through my journals because I am so excited that I have started writing again, that I wanted to take pen to paper.  (Remember paper?)  I flipped through some of the poetry that I wrote and I can’t believe it’s been ten years since I wrote regularly.  Ten years! So much has happened since then.  I have been inspired lately by some of my friends who blog, and the challenges and prompts are all about finding oneself and improving.  I am more about embracing, exploring and experiencing right now.  I realize that I have been through quite a transformation in my life in the past decade.  In 2002 I was struggling.  Writing helped.  Reading over what I wrote helps a lot.  One of the journals that I wrote back then I called “I Love My Life.”  I was just learning about acceptance and loving the moment.

If I imagine myself on a threshold of new possibilities, I consider that there is much more to learn and so much more to experience. I read Patti Digh’s article on Liminal Spaces and began to think of how I really enjoy the space that I am in at the moment.  A liminial space is that space in-between, “not the here or the there, but the not here and not there.” Digh calls this the transition zone.  It’s the moment of release before a trapeze artist would catch the new bar.  Like swinging on monkey bars, you must let go and swing to the next one.  It is the exhilarating moment that you are in the air.  And I feel as though I am weightless, flying through life right now.

Digh describes this space as the moment that there is nothing to hold on to.  It is the moment when we are flying that the real changes occur.  It is when we are “the most present, most alive, most vulnerable, most human.”  She suggests that we “cross the threshold, enjoy the space between and fly.”

I am ready for this!  After I turned forty and both my parents and, more recently, my sister passed away, I felt like I was at a point that I could express my thoughts and feelings openly.  I was not as concerned with what others thought of me anymore.  I was less likely to seek approval.  I am the mom now.  I developed into a person that I liked.  When some of my friends were going through divorce or major career and life changes, I was at a strong point in my marriage and in my life.  Healthy and active, financially stable (for the most part) and generally happy and satisfied.  I am grateful for this.  I am especially grateful after reading through my journals because it reminded me that it did not come easily.

The monkey bar that was so difficult to let go of was the feeling that I needed to make something of myself.  I wanted so desperately to be something. I felt as though I should have a degree, or advance in my career, or make a difference in some way.  I thought that I needed to honor my parents’ hopes and dreams for me and please them by becoming a successful professional of some type.  My family situation was somewhat unique in that my siblings were teenagers when I was born, so pleasing my brother and sister was also a goal I had.  My sister was (I can admit this now) like a mother to me.  She and my brother led the way for me, inspired me and watched over me like parents.  I only realized how much my parents loved me unconditionally when I had my own children.  I know the love that my brother and sister felt for me because I feel it towards my nieces and nephews. Once they started to grow up I began to exert expectations on them – out of love.  Putting expectations on myself was, as Digh puts it, “the illusion we put up to avoid where the real change occurs.”

This explains why I am so much happier now.  I am free.  I am flying!  I have released that bar and I am stretching forward to the next one.  I know in my heart that my parents are proud of me for the person I have become.  More importantly, I am proud of myself!

http://www.pattidigh.com/

To laugh often and love much;

to win respect of intelligent persons

and the affection of children,

to learn the appreciation of honest critics;

To appreciate beauty;

to give of oneself,

to leave the world a bit better,

whether by a healthy child,

a garden patch

or a redeemed social condition;

To have played and laughed

with enthusiasm

and sung with exultation;

To know even one life has breathed easier

because you have lived –

That is to have succeeded.

 

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Experience

Posted on January 5th, 2012 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz

Newsflash! The word that I have decided on for my focus this year (in place of a resolution) is experience. I wish to embrace the experiences that become present in my life, I wish to create meaningful experiences for myself and my family, and I wish to use my prior experiences to help me to appreciate the beauty of each moment.

This morning I had the opportunity to read a beautiful excerpt of writings from Raam Dev, a friend of a friend who I met in Channel Islands Harbor. He is a nomadic minimalist. I love the way he writes and I appreciate his perception and ability to convey his thoughts and beliefs in a way that I can relate to them.

I am probably the most polar opposite of a nomadic minimalist. (Don’t laugh!) I have many of my childhood possessions that I keep near and dear to me. I have barely travelled. I live and work within five miles of the home where I spent the first twenty years of my life. I have not lived outside the Valley. I work at the school where I attended seventh through twelth grade. My hubby and I have lived in our home for thirteen years and love it. I hoard my possessions and anything that I think may have a future use. If I had to describe myself in terms that relate to nomadic or minimalist, I would not say that I am a static maximilist!! However I would describe myself as being rooted, grounded, and settled. I am grateful for the things that I have and I appreciate that I am able to have those things.

When I think of Raam, after reading some of his articles and letters, I realize that someone who is nomadic is still rooted, grounded and settled. He is comfortable in his home, the world. As they say, “Home is where I hang my hat.” His possessions may be few, but they are pricelss to him. He values abundance. He is grateful for every thing in his life as I am. We actually have so much in common! So if I need a word or two to describe my way of life, I might say that I am. . . a traditional simplist. (I know, it sounds funny!)

I was impressed that Raam used a quote from Lao Tzu to confirm his point because it is a way of being that I have embraced long ago:

“You’re already complete; you’re not missing or lacking anything. When you see yourself as complete, everything else immediately becomes extra; everything else becomes icing on the cake: the air you breathe, the water you drink, the body you reside in, the family you love.
You become grateful for everything you have and you recognize its full value.
“Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

I have always related to the words and beliefs of Tzu. I can’t explain it as gracefully, so I will borrow from the internet: ( The following excerpt was found at:  http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Philosophy/Taichi/lao.html )

“The central vehicle of achieving tranquillity was the Tao, a term which has been translated as ‘the way’ or ‘the path.’ Te in this context refers to virtue and Ching refers to laws. Thus the Tao Te Ching could be translated as The Law (or Canon) of Virtue and it’s Way. The Tao was the central mystical term of the Lao Tzu and the Taoists, a formless, unfathomable source of all things.

Look, it cannot be seen – it is beyond form.
Listen, it cannot be heard – it is beyond sound.
Grasp, it cannot be held – it is intangible.
These three are indefinable, they are one.From above it is not bright;
From below it is not dark:
Unbroken thread beyond description.
It returns to nothingness.
Form of the formless,
Image of the imageless,
It is called indefinable and beyond imagination.

Stand before it – there is no beginning.
Follow it and there is no end.
Stay with the Tao, Move with the present.

Knowing the ancient beginning is the essence of Tao.

Move with the present.

I like that!

After I read the article by Raam Dev on Developing an Abundance Mindset, I responded with some thoughts that I would like to share:

“I have lived this way for as long as I can remember. I practice gratitude and counting my blessings. I have fine tuned my perspective on abundance by loving what I have. I have often sat on the beach contemplating my existence and long before Google Earth was invented I would zoom out in my mind’s eye and picture the vast world around me growing bigger until I realize that I am but a grain of sand and all the people and living things and all the earth and atmosphere are part of one whole, equal and vital parts. My being a small part of it sitting on the sand on a beach in California is just as beautiful and important and majestic as the most powerful wealthy man in an office in a big city or the weakest tiniest newborn in a tiny village in Africa. We are all born the same way and we all will die and the mountains and oceans will go on shifting and changing with or without us. Every person is equal in value in that perspective. I believe we are all connected by the fact that we all share space and time together on this planet. Our opportunities are equal. The baby in Africa may find it more difficult to achieve wealth and prosperity but it is possible. It’s more likely that he will never know about wealth and prosperity as I am aware of it. Having food and good health and a family may be all that he ever desires. And the wealthy man who can obtain effortlessly any material thing and can travel the world with ease may have desires for intangible truths such as love, simplicity, friendship, or freedom. Every grain of sand is needed to make a beach by the ocean shore. My existence is vital in my world made up of the people I know and love. What I own, what I want, what I can achieve is all part of the process, the journey from birth to death. Since I do not know when that last day will be that I share space on this earth I live each day in appreciation of its opportunity loving that I have air to breath and an able body to carry me through it. Then I start thinking about how truly lucky I am to have eyes to see and ears to hear and beauty all around to love. Everything else is gravy from that perspective. And that is all I need. I value time and space. I value love and the ability to experience joy.”

Hmmm. . . experience.

Christmas Quotes

Posted on January 3rd, 2012 by & filed under Be Inspired, Quotes & Notes

Here are a few quotes that I just stumbled upon in my stack of mail.  I want to remember them for next year.  I am actually glad that I can share them with you now, since I wouldn’t want to sound too preachy before the holidays.  I love that we celebrate – no matter how, when or where!  Celebration of life and living it to the fullest is what is important to me.

“It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child himself.” — Charles Dickens

“The way to Christmas lies through an ancient gate. . . It is a little gate, child-high, child-wide, and there is a password:  “Peace on earth to men of good will.”  May you, this Christmas, become as a little child again and enter into His Kingdom.” — Angelo Patri

“Christmas has lost its meaning for us because we have lost the spirit of expectancy.  We cannot prepare for an observance.  We must prepare for an experience.”  — Handel Brown

My challenge will be always to prepare for the experience.

Quick Note

Posted on January 1st, 2012 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz

I am setting the timer for ten minutes.  Everything we do these days seems to be fast.  I can do this.  I just want to take a moment and get started anyways.

I love to write, I love to share and I love my life.  I plan to keep working on this blog until it is what I first intended it to be.  A place to share my creativity with my family and friends.  A place to write and a place to read.  It’s just as much for me as it is for everyone else who dares to enter!  I enjoy looking at my pictures and re-reading the posts.  I place prayers and quotes here for my own purposes.  Of course I hope that others gain strength and hope from them.

This is the place that holds my collections.  It is important to have collections.  Something of value. Some people collect stamps or coins.  Many people have art collections or value designer clothing.  I love words and photos.  I love making things and giving things away.  I love recipes and cooking.  I want a place to keep all of my collections.  So here it is.  I give it freely to all who would like to visit and share.  I welcome input and additions to the collection.  Please leave comments, add pictures and submit your own poems, prayers, notes and quotes.

I was recently challenged to think of a word in place of a resolution for the new year.  What word would I chose to focus on, to guide me in the direction of my hopes and dreams?  Lately, living in the moment and making every moment count has been of utmost importance to me.  Since my mom passed away many years ago, Lito and I have wished for trouble-free years, healthy years, years without death, more prosperous years, more secure years.  What do I want now?  I gave it some serious thought.  I am still deciding.  Time is up for today!

Peace!

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