Tag Archive | acknowledging

Cool Nights {it’s like a heatwave}

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“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you,
if the simple things in nature have a message you understand,
Rejoice, for your soul is alive.” ~Eleanora Duse

This is exactly how it feels to me to acknowledge the beauty of Nature. I have always been aware of the profound beauty all around me even while in severe emotional or physical pain. Mindfulness of natural beauty and the thrill it brings have come easily to me for as long as I can remember. Even as a little girl I would be in awe of the simple joys of living. The blueness of the sky, the sparkle of the rain, the dramatic colors of sunsets, the scent of cold air, the fragrance of grass and soil, the seasons changing…but I never realized this as a “thing” or concept or way of life until years later when I decided to create a personal development plan to heal my depression and I learned about mindfulness and gratitude at deeper, more conscious levels.

I decided to take my natural ability and habit of being aware of and thankful for the beauty all around me and make it even deeper, a conscious, intentional habit.

This to me is truly living. And it’s beautiful and also helps me cope with pain of any kind. But even when I’m not in pain it’s a thrilling way to live. Living generally mindfully with a conscious frequent attitude of gratitude, not just as a fleeting mood or feeling, has a dramatic impact and healing effect. Being mindful of my mindfulness itself also uplifts me often, knowing I have this ability, that I accomplished this lovely way of living.

Mindfulness or awareness or acknowledgment of beauty and blessings, an attitude of gratitude as a conscious, intentional way of life are incredible life changing habits but they are not cures for anything. When we accomplish this and develop these habits we will still feel pain, unhappiness sometimes. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be when you think about it, right?! That’s what it is to be alive. To feel both happiness and unhappiness, pleasure and pain, joy and sadness, thrill and blah feelings. But those habits can help us cope when something unpleasant is occurring.

Summer is my least favorite season but I love all four lovely seasons. They all have their own blessings. One of the things I will miss most about Summer is the beautiful insects/flying creatures/kreepy krawlers….lol

The bumble bees and the butterflies, the fireflies and other beauties.

Many days this summer there was a bumble bee drinking nectar out of a bright orange flower on the street where I live. So many days I would walk by the beautiful vibrant flowers and see the bee there sucking through the center of one of them. Truly amazing to see such beauty! 

I got a few photos one day. 
I will also miss the flowers. But I usually don’t dwell on what I miss. Instead I focus on Now. Whatever is currently here is really all I have. All any of us has. It’s great to look forward to, hope for, and plan on things in the future but generally I believe it’s best to honor Now. Now is still Summer and right now it’s a heatwave.

95 degrees in September!! For real! It wasn’t even this hot all Summer! 

But I see signs of the impending Fall. Pumpkin lattes and coffee and donuts are already out!
I get in holiday and season spirit very early. In July I’m already ready for Fall and in October I’m ready for Christmas and snow! Lol

I think pumpkin coffee is more thrilling in cooler weather though and if I get it now in the midst of a heat wave then on the first crisp, Fall-like day it won’t be quite as thrilling. Still totally thrilling but not as much of a new feeling.

So I guess I will wait on that. Right now I’m drinking toasted almond coffee!

Here is a list of my favorite things about Autumn!

1.) Pumpkin Everything 

2.) Cool nights

3.) Fall fashion (although I dress like it’s Summer all year except I wear hoodies in Fall) I love seeing photos of Fall fashion and other girls wearing it. It’s just usually not the style for me to wear myself.

4.) The colorful leaves on the ground

5.) Halloween themes and Thanksgiving things. I believe in gratitude all year round but it seems everyone else gets in the mood for gratitude around the holiday season

6.) Hoodies

7.) the feel in the air, the mental feeling of Fall

8.) apples 

9.) Fall colors – brown, yellow, orange, red…

10.) candy corn!

11.) the fragrances of Fall -cinnamon, apple, cool air, pumpkin

12.) hot coffee, cocoa, tea…it’s just more magical in the Fall

13.)  my dog loves the Fall & Winter! She gets quiet all summer and on really hot days and isn’t as playful but as soon as Autumn is in the air, she gets all wild and playful and happy! She’s a big pitbull and loves blankies and pillows! She loves snow too!

14.) The Eastern Stare Penitentiary – the old prison has exhibits all year I think. To learn about the history and all but in the Fall they have the haunted attraction! We get to walk through and monsters jump out at us and there’s all kinds of gory stuff and creepy sounds. I don’t always get to go but I always see the advertisements and stuff and it’s fun! The first day I went was years ago in college with a group of other students and we were clinging to each other, holding onto each other, hugging each other like our lives depended on it! Lol it was fun! One funny memory I have is the group of us consisted of all girls and one boy and the boy was the most scared and tried to make us stand in the front and we told him since he’s the boy, he should be leading the way! Lol  I was so afraid we were going to be separated and I would be alone in small, dark places! When it was over we got outside and there were candy and caramel apples and monsters dancing and flashing lights! 

15.)  longer, darker nights

16.) Halloween decorations 

17.) Halloween lights

18.) pumpkin pie, apple pie, coconut custard pie

19.) cranberries!

20.) candy doesn’t melt in cool weather 

21.) Everything 

22.) hay rides

23.) apple spice 

24.) apple cider 

25.) sweaters 

26.) jack – o – lanterns 

27.) cool, windy days

28.) it gets dark early

29.) crunchy leaves

30.) sweet potatoes 

Fall just thrills me so much!

And since it’s still summer I will honor it with some lovely summery photos I took! 

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This little beauty was drinking nectar through this bright orange flower all August long! I used to stand there and watch with wonder.

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This fly was basking in a light rainy afternoon one day out in my backyard. I captured him and the glistening drops on the vibrant green leaf.

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A different fly on the same day on a flower or leaf stem. Aren’t they beautiful?! Flies really can be quite lovely and I have great photographer skills, don’t you think?!

I think so too! 😀

Xoxo Kim

p.s. check out “Cool Night” by Paul Davis!! one of my favorite songs since I was a little girl! ❤

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“Ordinary” people who inspire me <3

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There’s a lot of inspirational people in this world who most of us know about: celebrities, authors, politicians, world leaders, other famous or well known people. Ones who people tend to think of as extraordinary. 

But then there’s the other people.   The ones who aren’t famous. They’re not known in the media or around the world. Maybe they’re your friends.   Your family members. Your coworker or neighbor. Someone you met at a bus stop. A teacher you had in school one year, a professor in college.   A random stranger on the street or a salesperson at a store, a customer at a place you work.

All the “little” things they do may not reach as many people, maybe the impact of them doesn’t reach people at the same magnitude as the people frequently publicized in the media. But their actions, words, kindness, compassion, & love are no less extraordinary to the lives they touch & warm.

Inspirational people are everywhere. 

I decided to create a list of some people who have at one point inspired me somehow. Some of them I know personally. Others I have only encountered once in all my days. But all of their lives have touched mine, somehow, for the better.

1.) The man who stopped his car to ask another man, a random stranger, if he needed help with the ladder he was putting up. “Yo, buddy, you need help with that?” he asked. And it warmed me to see such random kindness extended to a stranger. 

2.) The man who noticed I was lost one day and offered me help without me asking.   I was lost in Center City Philadelphia a few years ago. I was confused and had no idea where to go or who to ask for help.   I walked along the crowded, busy streets and must have appeared to be lost & confused. A man I have never seen before approached me with a warm smile & genuine concern, asking me if I need help. I told him yes, I can’t seem to find what bus I need to get home. He asked me where I was going and showed me where to go. He helped me find my way back home. 

3.) The group of little girls who blessed me with kindness which was more than necessary. I was working at the store one night and a group of young girls came for ice cream. They were no older than 13 years old. They all sat on the bench after paying, to eat their ice cream. They were all wearing girls soccer uniforms. After they ate their ice cream they came back to the window and looked at me smiling and whispering to each other.   I suspected that they were doing this in the way girls do when they are being malicious.   Girls of all ages do this. They can be 8 years, 13 years, 25 years, 40 years, 60 years or older and they will stare, whisper, smirk, gossip, about other girls. Not all girls do this but many do.   I wasn’t sure but I thought maybe these girls were doing this. But they were not. They each pulled out money, put it together and handed it to me, “This is a tip for you, thank you” and they smiled at me warmly and walked away. I was and still am so touched by their kindness and generosity.

4.) Diane, the lady who brags about me as if I am her own daughter. I have known her for about 7 years, I met her at work. She has a few sons who are close to the same age as me. She loves to introduce me to new people , loves to tell them how sweet I am, how friendly & loving, and all about my education and interests. If you listened to her,you would think I’m her own daughter the way she’s so proud and so ready to show me off to people. 

5.) Brian, my next door neighbor who loves to help stray animals. He is so dedicated to helping homeless cats. He takes them in during storms, feeds them on his steps even though other neighbors get angry saying he attracts them.   He goes on doing what he loves, helping animals in need. He places bowls of food near a lot on the street for a mommy kat & her kitties. He comes out at all hours of the night checking on them. He is very friendly & kind.

6.) The stranger who I told everything to in the rain one day under his umbrella at the bus stop. It was after my therapist appointment one day. It was raining hard. It was beautiful. I was waiting for the bus. He stood next to me and put his umbrella over me. He wasn’t coming on to me, wasn’t trying to hook up, wasn’t being a creep or trying to take advantage.   He just wanted to help me not get soaked and was genuinely interested in my story. He asked if I live around there I said no. He asked if I work near there.   I said no. I told him I go there for therapy.   He was interested in why. I told him I have severe depression. He couldn’t relate much but told me his sister can. He asked what it’s like for me. I told him. I expected him to turn away at first, to give me a weird look, a scared look, which some strangers have done when I told them. But he looked at me in no such way. He was kind, compassionate, empathetic, interested, friendly.   And he told me about his life & his sister.   It was perfect.

7.) The lady who came to my work to buy ice cream and bought a homeless man everything he wanted. He was so grateful, she was genuinely concerned. I bought him a soda.   He was so moved. He cried. Said he never experienced such warmth & kindness.

8.) The little girl who came to the store where I work to buy something. She started to walk away then turned back and said “I just want to tell you, you look beautiful tonight.”
 

9.) The doctors & nurses in the hospital I was in when I was 21 years old and had to get emergency surgery for my kidney. They were so kind, warm, caring, compassionate, & genuinely concerned. I have never been so sick and in so much pain before then. My heroes.

10.) The very patient & helpful Philadelphia detective when I had to try to identify someone who held a gun to my chest and no one in the pictures were that man. Another detective was inpatient, fed up, angry, and bitter with me, for not knowing enough info. Which I understand with all the stressful, heroic work he does day in & day out. But this other man, he was warm & told me how helpful I was and how good I did even though I wasn’t very helpful.

11.) The psychiatric technician I met during one of my hospitalizations for depression. Very caring, compassionate, uplifting, empathetic, unlike many other of the staff members. He cared about us truly. He told us about his own struggle with addiction, how he was hopeless at one point and turned his life around and now helps people who are in a dark place where he once was. He told us we all have an inner sun and to let it shine through, to take good care of ourselves, how deserving we are of love, how capable we are of turning our own lives around. He told us about the “Gambler” song sung by Kenny Rogers and how inspiring it is about life in general, which I already knew but love more now.

This is just a brief list. I have many more inspiring memories/people as well. And not only positive / happy people and things can be inspirational.   Tears, heartbreak, struggles, pain, illness, setbacks…can all inspire us and strengthen us.

Who are the “ordinary” people in your everyday who inspire you? I encourage you to frequently make mental notes, and even lists on paper or electronic lists. One seemingly small act of kindness can be so big to the person’s whose life it touches. 

You may be touching other people’s lives for the better everyday without even knowing!

You can inspire people in person & through your writing or drawing or singing.

I believe we should appreciate all of the people and the simple things they do and the way they inspire us everyday and I believe we should be the kind of person who inspires others.

Much love, laughter, life, inspiration, & healing to you all.

Thank You, Earthbound angels. Thank You mortal goddesses & gods.

Xox0 Kim

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