Tag Archive | habits

The power of positive thinking

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“Although extraordinary valor was displayed by the entire corps of Spartans and Thespians, yet bravest of all was declared the Spartan, Dienekes. It is said that on the eve of battle, he was told by a native of Trachis that the Persian archers were so numerous that, their arrows would block out the sun. Dienekes, however, undaunted by this prospect, remarked with a laugh, ‘Good. Then we will fight in the shade.'”

I don’t like wars and other violence but I see much beauty and inspiration in this quote here.

The concept of not giving up when there are obstacles, not to succumb to negative thinking.

There’s almost always a bright side and if not, we can still be positive about it.

Just this strong conviction of mine is liberating and deeply inspiring.

Even when I don’t currently feel it, I always believe it.

We cannot always choose our circumstances or even always choose our emotions at this moment, but we can choose positive thoughts and actions that become a habit or strengthen our already optimistic/positive nature.
We can empower ourself with positivity!

Thank you to anyone who has written me comments recently! I will get to them shortly! I appreciate every single one! I’m at work now working two shifts!

❤ 😀

Much love & light,

xoxo Kim

Courage to overcome

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“Find courage to overcome the circumstance.” ~
Lailah Gifty Akita

This is a great reminder that we cannot always choose our circumstances but we can choose to react in a positive way. 
Even if we cannot currently choose our emotions, we can choose to think and react positively even if we aren’t truly feeling it just yet.
“Fake it til’ you make it.”
If we act in positive ways and choose positive thoughts, we are more likely to begin to feel and live in positive ways, strengthening and developing positive habits. 
This isn’t always easy, it can be so tempting , so easy to give in and succumb to unpleasant situations, emotions, and negativity.  
But it’s worth the work it takes to become and remain positive. Even if we’re naturally, generally positive, there’s usually always room to evolve and be even better.
We can choose to do something as simple as stopping to take a few deep breaths instead of reacting in unpleasant ways, reading uplifting quotes, going outside for a walk or to look at the beautiful sky…

Our teacher in Buddhist class tells us to stop after an unpleasant encounter and before reacting, take a deep breath and ask “What would Buddha do?” 
We don’t have to be a Buddhist to adhere to this wisdom. Buddha is a symbol of peace, calm, love & compassion….

Even if we don’t know for sure what Buddha would do, we can be certain of what he would not do. He would never react with violence or bitterness or give up and quit his life of compassion, he would never allow problems to wear him out.  

I saw this quote today and decided to share here! It can apply to the most minor problems like being stuck in traffic, someone looking at us in unpleasant ways or saying something we don’t like and to more serious problems like depression, physical illnesses, grief, and other difficult situations.

What a great reminder!

😀

Much love & light to you,

xoxo Kim ❤

One word.

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“…maybe if we are surrounded in beauty
Someday we will become what we see.”
~Jewel

I’m Sensitive – Jewel – mobile

I’m Sensitive – desktop

This post is longer than I want it to be but I’m much better, in general, with keeping my posts, messages, comments to people….shorter. Who wants to read like 20 pages of a blog post or e-mail or comment?! Lol But I still tend to get carried away now & again!

;-D   

For the last few years I heard about the one word challenge where we choose one word for the new year and decide to live up to and honor it any way we can the whole year.

I never felt compelled to participate in this because I felt there’s too many words I want to live each day, not just one. It seemed uninteresting to choose one word to live & breathe each day for just one year. And many words or concepts are interconnected. So how do we choose which aspect to focus on? And I used to think, when the year ends, what happens to our word? It gets chucked out the window, kicked to the curb, forgotten, abandoned? 

I remember at the end of 2013, I was having a horrible cluster of severe headaches and it was terrible. The word I clung to is “hope.” Hope that my headaches would soon end or that I would learn to live with the blinding, burning, aching agony, somehow learn to live with it. I bought a few things including a candle holder and notebook with the word “hope” on it.  I was so hurt and the end of 2013 is one of the most desperate, agonizing, traumatic, but beautiful seasons of this life of mine. Even though I still feel the trauma of it while remembering, it really showed me my strength and how desperate but hopeful I can be. It showed me what I’m made of and how a single word can do so much, be so much, be so inspiring, so empowering. The memory, while painful, is also beautiful in my mind. It really tested my life philosophy that life is so beautiful and is worth holding onto, worth each battle, even with very severe pain, both emotional & physical.  

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My experience with headaches piqued my interest in the one word challenge but not too much. But I wrote here that if I were to choose a word for 2014, it would be “hope.” I wanted to go into 2014 with more hope and a conscious, intentional determination to find & feel hope. I still did not engage in the one word challenge very consciously but I did better keep hope alive. 

You can read my December 2013 post here:

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/and-then-a-hero-comes-along-with-the-strength-to-carry-on/

This year though, I received an e-mail, a subscription e-mail, suggesting I try the one word thing as an alternative to new year resolutions and for some reason I felt so inspired and compelled to participate the moment I began reading the e-mail and the word “beauty” was already in my head. I did not even have to search for or contemplate my word; it was just here in my head. I think it’s because my wisdom is deeper now than it was every other year that this challenge now inspires me enough to participate. Not that those who aren’t interested in this challenge are not as wise or even more wise than I am! 

It’s just that I now see the wisdom of focusing on just one word. Or just one thing. It doesn’t mean we can’t also honor other words or incorporate them into our days. Or that once the year ends so does our focus on the concept of our chosen word. I won’t stop seeing beauty when it turns 2017.  It’s just that the simplicity of focusing more on just one word for this challenge is very effective and organized. And we can take the skills it equips us with into the new year while choosing a new word to put more focus on.

Sometimes if we have multiple things to give much attention to, it can be distracting or not as clear. 

For example, when I have multiple books out or multiple books on my Kindle’s home screen, I often don’t know where to start or start with one book then keep switching. I love reading two books or even three on the same days but having too many isn’t always good because I don’t focus on the couple I try to. It’s good to give attention to one or two then when they’re through, move on to the next. I have had good books I tossed aside and never read yet because I had too many out at once and kept getting distracted so gave up on them all for a while.

It can be the same with college classes or utility bills that we are in debt with, if there’s too many, we may not know where to begin or how to get organized. 

One word for this activity brings clarity and organization. 

My word is “beauty.” I vow to see and look for beauty in each day, every situation, every person, no matter what goes on. I see/feel beauty naturally and when it doesn’t come naturally some occasions, I make it a point to look & find. 

But this year, I will focus even more on the beauty of life each day. When I say “see” I’m not just referring to visual beauty but all forms of physical and non physical beauty. We can use all the senses we are blessed with, however many we have. It’s often said we have five senses. Some say we have more. And some people have less than five. But no matter how many we have, we can use them to bask in all the beauty they receive. Beauty of all forms can engage our senses.

But beauty isn’t just physical. Haven’t you ever just felt the beauty of something or someone or your own beauty or beautiful feelings? I can often feel beauty, not just with my senses but feel it deep within. It can’t even be explained in words. 

“Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.” ~ Markus Zusak

There are many practical steps we can take to participate in this activity. We can use journals, calendars, arts & crafts, social media, lists, various outlets….

I focus on and see and feel so much beauty but this year I want to make it more intentional and even more conscious. 

One of my first steps to living in beauty will be better organizing my room. I am horribly disorganized in a physical way. My room is always a mess. I live with my mom, dad, and sister and my sister said my room is like a teenage boy’s room. Lol

I have food and candy wrappers around, clothes and books scattered around, soda cans, stuff just out of place. I disagree with a lot of people who say the condition of our room or house says who we are or a lot about who we are. Sorry but no my messy room will not tell you too much of who I really am within. All my room says about me is that I’m disorganized. Someone may interpret it as me being careless or apathetic or emotionally imbalanced but I’m not, I’m just a slob is all. Lol 

In elementary school, I loved school and my schoolbooks and class but my desk was one of the worst! I crumpled up paper and folders and just shoved them in my desk. I had broken crayons and pencils scattered about. ( I miss those desks now that I think about it!)

In high school, which I also loved, in eleventh grade English class, my teacher held up my folder and notebook which were overstuffed, falling apart, crumpled up, to the class as an example of what not to do. Lol Awkward! 

I have a beautiful mind and am passionate about the beauty of life and I love my books and things even though they are thrown around.

But it’s definitely more pleasant to walk into a beautiful room. Especially if we are someone who struggles with depression. 

My disorganization doesn’t depress me but organization and a beautiful room can be uplifting to someone who is in an episode already. And when we’re already deeply depressed, I’m sure clutter and things out of place, can drag us down a bit more. 

So I plan on organizing and beautifying my room completely! Not just clearing the junk but setting out more pretty things that stimulate the senses and emotions in a positive way, candles, knick knacks, decorations, flowers, pretty colors….  There’s also things I want to get rid of because they contribute to not just taking up space they aren’t worth but they contribute to negative energy or are somewhat draining to me.  

One thing I have laying around my room are celebrity gossip magazines. Eww. I do not read those. EVER! But my sister and me sometimes cut stuff out of magazines to glue into notebooks and stuff and we have a bunch of various kinds or magazines laying around the house. The one magazine I cannot stand to have near me is the celebrity gossip magazine. No thank you. I don’t think it’s ok to trash talk celebrities or stalk them or harass them at every street corner or air out their dirty laundry without them wanting us to, or make up and perpetuate lies about them just because they chose a job that comes with fame and fortune. They are not different than I am. I would never want gossip magazines or blogs or things about me and people constantly on my ass watching my every move then reporting it to the media or others. That would suck! Also, I do not judge people who read them. When I was young I used to read them myself. I used to try to sneak around in stores reading them without getting caught because we’re not supposed to read without buying. Sometimes they still catch my eye, rarely but still happens. I wasn’t horrible for getting into celebrity gossip. My sister loves celebrity gossip and my grandmom does. It’s just not my cup of tea anymore. I like stuff that others think is terrible to love. (like fiction horror stuff! And some people can’t stand horror books and movies/dvds just being near them like me with the magazines. It doesn’t mean they think less of me for loving it.)  

But that’s beside the point here anyway. My point is those magazines do not aid in my Beauty/one word challenge. They actually go against it. They don’t take up much space but they contribute to unpleasant feelings when I glance at them. I usually throw something on top of them so I don’t have to see them. But soon I will get rid of them completely! Things have an effect on our energy whether or not we fully or consciously realize it. Something that affects my energy or vibration a certain way may not have the same effect on others. It’s important to tune in and see how things affect us. Something that I find exhilarating(like being around lots of people, for example) may be life draining to someone else. It’s important to go deep within the self, pay attention, and see how things affect our energy. 

http://oneword365.com/

On the website (above) for the one word challenge they give seven ideas to effectively integrate our word into our everyday using a calendar. I probably won’t be using a calendar but I will be using a journal and put the date on each page, hopefully at least once a day. My handwriting is terrible though and it so frequently contributes to me giving up on journaling. I write like a 1st grader but worse. But as part of my beauty challenge I know I will find beauty even through my horrific handwriting. 

On the website they suggest a paper calendar or planner but also mention that most tips will work with a digital one. They also suggest maybe dedicating a specific planner or journal to our word, which I will be doing. 

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Here are their seven tips and my thoughts about them.

“1. Make a list of actions you can do daily, weekly or monthly that focus on your word and help you integrate it into your life. Then schedule them into your calendar.”

This is really good for staying motivated. I’m horrible with keeping up with things. I get so wrapped up into doing other things and then my goals get kicked to the curb. By scheduling them into each day, incorporating our word into our life each day, not only are we more likely to not give up on it but it will be more threaded throughout life each day, maybe having a deeper effect. 

“2. Collect quotes and sayings about your word and write them down in the daily or weekly section of your planner.”

This is one of my favorite ones because I love quotes & sayings & clichés! They are so powerful, quick, and uplifting! They are brief but say so much in just a few breaths. I think I will try to find a quote or song each day or week about beauty of some sort and write it in my beauty/one word journal as well as share here sometimes. 

The song I shared above, I’m Sensitive by Jewel is a great song about inner beauty and surrounding our own selves and each other in beauty. It’s about being kind to each other. It’s a beautiful song.

“3. Create a simple bookmark with your word. Take a piece of cardstock or scrapbook paper and write your word onto it with a sharpie. Punch a hole at the top and attach a ribbon. Use the bookmark in your planner to mark the current day.”

This sounds really fun! I think I will!

Maybe I’ll use these!

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(the little nose is my dog, Woody’s. Lol He was interested in my circles.)

I got them at Target a couple years ago but never really used them much.

“4. Write, doodle, draw or paint your word on your daily or weekly pages, or assign a fixed spot to write it down in your monthly overview.”

This is really good for maintaining our focus on our chosen word. Allow it to seep into even our daydreams and lazy thoughts. 

“5. Keep a record of things that happened relating to your word. Did it teach you something? Did it surprise you? Write it down!”

Yes, our experiences each day can strengthen our focus on our word and our determination to honor that word can help us stay positive in situations that may tempt us to succumb to unhappiness or other unpleasant feelings. I have an example already. I had a psychiatric appointment recently that  I did not feel much like going to just because. Sometimes I have to wait hours in the waiting room when my appointment should have been over in fifteen minutes. The people there are not always pleasant to interact with. The workers often treat us like we’re nothing just because we are financially struggling and mentally ill(at least I suspect that’s why – they don’t treat each other or the doctors in this manner, that I know of). They act in a very condescending, rude, abrupt manner, sometimes. Not all of them but enough of them. Not the nurse I talk to, she’s sweet, or the peer specialists who are also mental patients but very advanced in recovery. They are very friendly.  It’s a free mental health clinic and I am very blessed and thankful I have access to it. It’s not always a walk in the park having to deal with it but there are so many opportunities to find beauty like on my walk there, the air on my skin, things I can take pictures of, even glimpses of beauty seen in the people who act in rude ways(they still have good things about them!)…., the other patients I sometimes talk to, the people I meet on the way sometimes. Broken people attract other broken people. We often just sense each other. So I’m always finding someone new to talk to whether another patient or someone hanging around the clinic or neighborhood or at the busstop. There’s a couple busstops near the clinic. I usually walk the half hour instead since I love walking. It’s good to keep a list or book of our inner experiences of how this activity goes for us. It helps organize our thoughts, see what’s working well, what isn’t, and we’ll always have it to look back on. 

“6. Take a look at your to-do list: can you use your word as a guide to tackle your tasks? If you for example chose “Simplify” and you have 35 items on today’s list, you know what to do… :)”

Yeah this is similar to the above answer. Just incorporating it into our everyday tasks. This will have more of an impact. Our everyday chores, tasks, encounters are great opportunities to get in the habit of living up to our chosen word. And it can make these tasks more interesting if we incorporate our word’s concept into them.  In my case, it will be more mindfully finding beauty in each mundane encounter or situation, even the more unpleasant ones. Finding beauty or creating beauty in ugliness or dullness. Using our word to tackle tasks can stimulate our creativity. We can find new ways to integrate our word in each day, thread it throughout our everyday. Maybe your word is even creativity or creative and this activity itself honors that word. If your word is “calm” or “peace,” you can make it a point to do mindful exercises while doing each mundane task you have to do. If you are often late for work or somewhere else important, you probably aren’t very calm on your way there almost being late! That’s so distressing! So you can either start leaving earlier to be more calm or still be late but focus on breathing (and driving! If you drive to work or wherever it is) to calm your nerves.  Those are just some examples. 

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“7. Cross off or circle the dates in the calendar to indicate that your word has been present that day. A year-at-a-glance calendar can serve as a tracker for the whole year.”

Yeah this is really good for getting us in the habit of actively “using” our word each day. If you are a calendar user already (I’m not) then it’s probably even more effective than a journal keeping you on track because you already use it. With the journal, it’s a new activity I have to remember and find motivation to keep up with, challenging but fun! Also, marking the days that our word is present, we can keep track of and look back on our progress and better maintain our one word goal. 

While this activity can be practical like with journals and physical actions taken, it can also be an experience in our heads, just to honor our chosen word in our inner world, summoning feelings and images that relate to it.

I want to find beauty everywhere and share it with others through photos, quotes, blog posts, Facebook posts, conversations on and offline….I do this anyway but this year, I will be even more mindful. 

I will also live in love, compassion, kindness, inspiration….and other lovely words…but beauty is my word for this challenge. And beauty includes love and inspiration and other concepts. Compassion, kindness, & love are beautiful and when I engage in or feel them, I will also be honoring my chosen word, “Beauty.”

If you are also doing this challenge, I would love to know your word and/or how you plan to honor it each day! So let me know! You can write it in the comments here, write me an e-mail @ kimberlyjm52@gmail.com or write your own post on it and send me the link! I hope to think of some more creative ways to live in Beauty! ❤ 😀

Got any ideas? If you have anything to add, like creative ways we can incorporate the concept of our word into our everyday, let me know! I love knowing people's ideas! 

Even if you haven't chosen your word yet, you can now! Or whenever you want! I just decided to engage in this fun & inspiring activity a couple days ago!  And my mind is already even more in the habit of seeing beauty in mundane and unpleasant situations. It's never too late as long as we're alive!

😀

Here are some ideas I thought of: serenity, inspiration, love, patience, gratitude, peace, kindness, creativity, light, motivation, astute, organization, beauty, alive, truth, acceptance, wonder, awe, confidence, clarity, discernment, tranquility, play, playful, , humor, laughter, lighthearted, health, enthusiasm, positivity, optimism, forbearance, magnanimity, humbleness, humility, independence, joy, openness, receptive, passion, tolerance, bold, assertiveness, fierce, gentleness, nurture, strength, wisdom, tact, spirit, attitude, persistence, compassion, hope, Earth, oneness, heart, sky, fun, mindfulness, music, song, minimalism, simplicity, growth, happiness, zen, balance…

Maybe you want to choose a word that already resonates with you in a deep way or maybe you want it to be a bit more challenging and choose a word or concept you struggle with. Either way is fantastic!  

When we choose a word, we can still live all these other words too but our focus for the challenge will most directly be on the one we chose for it. There are so many, many creative ways we can come up with to live the word we choose. 

Check this out for more fun & inspiring ideas for this new year! They are alternatives to the new year resolutions. 

10 Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions

Thank you!! 

Xoxo Kim 

Space

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“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. “ ~ Viktor E. Frankl

This is a quote I found in a book about addiction & mindfulness. But it’s a great concept that can apply to any situation. We have the power to choose how to respond to whatever provokes us. It may feel like we have no choice and no control over a situation but the reaction is always in our control even if we cannot yet choose our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. In this space, we can refine our ability to proact,. This space is empowering and it’s true our response can either contribute to evolving or to destruction. The more we choose to respond with positivity, love, grace, gratitude, and optimism, the more we evolve. 

We are truly liberated when we learn to always or frequently respond in a productive or positive way to people and situations that potentially tempt us to lash out or respond negatively in some way. When we have or cultivate a pro-active attitude and strengthen/maintain it, no matter what happens, no one and nothing gets over on us. 

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This is me today at work.

I hope your day/night is going beautifully! I was at work all day trying to work on blog posts and things but had no Internet connection. It wasn’t a really busy day but busier than it has been. But when I was not tending to customers and doing work related things and bloggy things, I read books on my Kindle app. It was frustrating at some points because the wifi would come on and I would begin writing things then trying to send them and it would go off before going through and sometimes I would lose what I wrote.
So I decided to see what quotes I have saved in my phone and found this! Great quote for the situation! 😀

Much love, ❤

Xoxo Kim 

Minute by Minute

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“Life is not lost by dying 
Life is lost minute by minute 
Day by dragging day 
In all the small and uncaring ways.”
~ Stephen Vincent Benet

All the “little” things we do or don’t do, not paying attention, not caring, acting mindlessly or absent-mindedly, just drifting through each day not soaking up each moment or gem of beauty…all adds up to days lost, days and occasions we’ll never get back. Living to “the fullest” to me means making each moment, no matter what, the best we can. Whether we are sick or in pain, sad or happy, financially stable, poor, or rich, living our dream or not, have a great job, a dead-end job, or none at all, anxious or depressed…we can “bloom where we’re planted.” Make the most of what we have and where we are NOW.

Each moment won’t be the best but we can choose to make it as great as possible. It’s an amazing goal and habit we can develop.

Let’s pay attention to the simple beauty around us, the leaves, the cool breeze, the city lights, a heated room in the Winter, the deep blue of the sky, the twinkling stars in a midnight sky, the fragrance of flowers in the Spring, the taste of food we love, the sound of cars in the street, rain tapping on a roof, the softness of a blanket that comforts us through the night, the scent of cold air, the look in someone’s eyes, the softness of feathers or fur on a pet…

These are things so often overlooked by us each day. If we stop and pay attention to a single leaf, the crispness or greenness, an individual flower petal, the pastel softness, if we feel, truly mindfully feel the air carassing our skin while outside…it’s like a whole new world! A beauty that can make us go weak at the knees, make our breath catch, make us come alive, make our insides quiver, make us want to jump for joy! We can feel this feeling everyday!

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I saw this tree recently which still has green Springy/Summery leaves and not Fall ones yet and I looked at each leaf individually, not litterally every single one, but many. Instead of seeing it as a whole tree as one and all the leaves together like I usually do, I looked at each one separately, the vibrant green, the light tan/brown bark, the narrow trunk and branches, the way it looked against the sunset sky…and was (and still am!) astounded by the beauty. There’s so much we’re missing!!

All we have to do is look, open our minds and receive.

Our idea of living to the fullest may mean having our dream job, doing fun things like sky-diving, having a family, having lots of money…but while we’re working for those things, we can still live to the fullest! By tuning into each moment no matter what we’re doing! Being mindful, giving it our all, giving our whole self to whatever we’re doing.

This quote above is a wonderful reminder!

Lots of love to you! 😀

xoxo Kim ❤

A Varied Source

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“For sentient beings, poor and destitute, May I become a treasure ever plentiful, And lie before them closely in their reach, A varied source of all that they might need.” ~ Shantideva 

This is an amazing concept. To be “a varied source” of all that someone, anyone may need. Be a source of happiness and riches, not just material, monetary riches but rich in love and joy, generous and comforting to anyone in need. Be a source of inspiration, a source of light, be a friend and a protector, give a helping hand, a warm hug.  

There’s a blog called “Waking up with Ryan” by a man who loves to help and inspire people! Just my kind of man!

http://www.wakingupwithryan.com/

(and he’s cute too! Go check him out! ;-D)

Ryan’s everyday morning e-mails, which are about positivity, love, and inspiration, resonate with me so often. His messages each day can apply to people in general. And so often when I’m thinking about a certain topic or concept or something, his e-mail seems to be about that very issue! 

He asks:

“How do you show up for the people all around you?”

This is a fantastic question, one that is of great importance and is good to ask ourselves each day. 

The possibilities are infinite. There’s so much we can do for others whether or not the people realize we are doing anything to help them. Simple things they may not realize we did but would notice if it wasn’t done. Like doing extra work so our coworker doesn’t have to. Moving stuff out of the way if we see it in a street or the middle of a pavement where someone can trip over it or cars can crash. Feeding pigeons on a pavement. Sharing our snacks with a squirrel. Showing love to a homeless person. Even if it’s just eye contact or a sweet smile to show that person’s existence is something, is important, is valued. Saving insects when we can instead of crushing them. We too often overlook certain kinds of people and other sentient beings. Texting our mom just to say hello. Buying our friend coffee or tea. Putting things on hold to help someone else. Creating a blog/e-mail subscription system to send out inspiring messages to millions of people or just one who may see it, write positive messages to people on social media whether we know them or not, compliment a stranger, share an uplifting quote or song, let someone else have the last available seat on a bus or in a waiting room, or the last product in a store even if we need it, warmly reach out to an acquaintance who seems to be struggling even if just to say hello, when we feel like being judgmental instead of acting on that, seek to understand…

Ryan writes(in his June 23rd subscription e-mail):

“It’s too easy to lose ourselves in the day’s activities. We forget to consider the impact we have on each other.

Let’s slow down today and consider that every single interaction is an opportunity to add a little more hope to someone’s life.”

Isn’t this beautiful?

This is so profound. Think about it. Imagine if our every interaction each day, every mundane encounter, every random encounter, every planned encounter, at home, at work, out and about, driving, on a bus or train or plane, with other sentient beings is grasped as an opportunity to bring hope, love, light, and inspiration to that living being. 

Imagine if we all make the choice every single day throughout the day to lavish love onto each other and the world in every way we can. The world would change dramatically. And even if just one of us does this and the rest of the world doesn’t, the world around us will be better for those we touch. Not everyone will be interested in receiving our love and the love we send out to the world won’t always be returned to us but that’s ok! It’s not about what we get but what we give. 

Truly listen when someone wants to talk, listen to understand, not merely to respond in a mechanical, automatic way just to converse or satisfy social expectations, hold our tongue when we feel like lashing out in anger, encourage when someone needs inspiration, hug the hurt, comfort the sick, befriend the lonely, smile at those who are frowning, love the lost, guide them with your love and light, show compassion to those who seem to be lacking it, help the broken heal, be a varied source of all someone may need. 

We won’t always be able to be what everyone wants and needs and that’s ok. Maybe someone needs money you just don’t have to give, maybe someone wants to hear words you can’t bring yourself to say, needs your time when you really have somewhere else to be and can’t give it right then…

We can’t always be everything to everyone. But as long as our intentions are good, our heart is pure, our energy is loving….it’s all that matters. What we have to give, we can give. Let it be enough for now. And it’s a beautiful way to live. 

This quote attributed to Shantideva, inspires me so deeply. To be the best me I can be for whoever needs me. I won’t always succeed but I can do my best in general. 

I hope you have a varied source of all that you need but more importantly, I hope you will be that varied source to others in need. ❤

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I hope you are having a beautiful night or day wherever in the world you are. I’m sending my loving energy to you and wishing you the best. ❤ ❤ ❤ 😀

Ordinary Angels – mobile link to song

Ordinary Angels – desktop link

Xoxo Kim ❤

Stepping out of our ruts

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I was working on a blog post today about positive thinking and handling difficult situations and it turned out much longer and more disorganized than I intended.

So I decided to save it for a while and do a different post today.
I have a book of positive quotes, one for each day of the year. I decided to look at March 7th since that’s today and guess what?!

It’s about the very topic I was attempting to write about today! What a coincidence! There it goes again that law of attraction at play! Lol ;-D

So here’s the quote:

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” ~ M. Scott Peck

Did you know that a problem, even a tragic, devastating one can lead us to something better than if we never had that problem? 

It’s true!

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“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” ~
Elliott Erwitt

One example I have is my depressive condition. My depressive disorder is the catalyst for positive change and I am much better, in general, than I would have been if I never experienced the disorder. While I still plummet to the lowest depths of despair, I believe in the middle of episodes, I am better than I would have been if I never knew such pain. I work on myself constantly and have equipped myself with skills to help in any situation that seems unpleasant. I learned about meditation, gratitude lists, appreciative living techniques, and other things that can help anyone, not just depressed people. And that’s how I got this blog!  I wouldn’t have discovered all this if not for my quest to heal my depression I would still be happy but just not like this. Depression sucks but all we can do is cope with it and be even better for it!

Another example is my currently incurable
 pain disorder which causes wretched cluster-like headaches and other horrible physical pain. These headaches, no one can ever imagine the terrible pain involved like being burned alive and the terrible ache involved. I would take a kidney stone and a million broken bones anyday over this. But like my depression, these “headaches” have inspired me to notice the beauty all around me in a deeper way than before. Right before a headache gets to the point it’s unbearable, I begin to notice beauty in a way I never did before the headaches. They start out almost unbearable then escalate to literally unbearable. And before they get to be unbearable, I see the smallest simplest things most of us never notice. Like reflections bouncing off of objects, little beads of moisture on soda or water bottles, or someone’s shoulder in the scorching summer sun.
Sunlight dancing upon someone’s beautiful hair, the sounds of water drops….i can’t take as much pleasure as if I wasn’t having a headache but I wouldn’t have noticed these things as deeply as if I never had the recurrent headaches and it took a few for me to realize.
Then when they end I am still aware of the beauty and can take full pleasure. Even on days I don’t have these headaches of horror, I see simple beauty in a deep way. 

“Suddenly – life has new meaning to me.
There’s beauty up above and things we never take notice of
You wake up and suddenly you’re in love.” ~ Billy Ocean

There’s so much beauty we take for granted. Cliche and oh so very true. 

One warm summer day some years ago a headache hit me so hard and suddenly, unexpectedly as they usually do. I fell back onto my bed in my bedroom, clutching the side of my face. I was destroyed. My life was over, or so it felt.  I knew it was going to get much worse as I have had many before. I couldn’t believe the terror that was and that horror that was to come. And I looked up at my soda bottle. I saw something I have seen countless moments before, year after year after year and thought nothing of. But this moment, it struck me. The beauty of it, I almost had to shield my eyes against the startling beauty. I was awestruck and struck with remorse for overlooking it all these years.

Little beads of moisture streaming down the bottle, glistening and screaming, pounding into my brain and piercing the pupils of my eyes. As if to scream at me “Look at us! We’re here!” Pretty soon the headache completely took over and everything around me completely disappeared. I was engulfed by mind blasting shots of physical agony piercing my very essence. 

Then when I woke up, I was changed. 
I was reborn. I began to see a forgotten world of astounding beauty I have never truly laid eyes on before. Or I have and did not know it.  I still have those headaches and each one is a reminder to acknowledge the beauty, overlooked and ignored. The simplest of all the pleasures in this life.

Here is my post on the suicide/cluster/cluster-like headaches if anyone is interested in it. It’s very long, you can just skim through it if you want. It took a lot of strength to write. 

 https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/on-pain-suicide-headaches-prevailing/

And here is a post about my goal each day:

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/small-things-forgotten/

Think of all your problems no matter how seemingly serious or seemingly trivial. List them all. What can they teach you? How can they strengthen you? How can you use them to your advantage to awaken the wisdom in you? And if you can’t yet think of anything, make something up! Create something.

Let’s take a very trivial but annoying problem for example, being stuck in traffic. It can teach you patience, compassion for others who annoy you, you can practice meditation while not driving…and if not then you can make it a point to go home later and do something positive to “make up” for that minor but really annoying inconvenience even if that positive thing has nothing to do with it. Like donate money to a positive organization to help others, exercise, make it a point to warmly smile at someone you wouldn’t usually.
Don’t let those problems be in vain! Get creative!

;-D

Much love to you,

Xoxo Kim  ❤

A Note of Thanks <3

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WordPress notified me about a week ago, I think, that my blog here has been getting some unusual attention lately! I was informed that typically the average views each hour that my blog gets is 0 (lol) but then the average views an hour was 28!! Twenty-eight!! Whaaaatt?!

Lol Some Internet celebrity must have shared my blog or something!  

Thank You so much Internet celebrity!  
And Thank You so much to everyone who “likes” & likes, shares, comments, reblogs, lurks, follows….I’m so humbled and grateful!!

You have no idea! The happiness and joy that surges through me to know someone is somehow inspired, uplifted, or helped in some way by my content!

So I’m just writing a little thank you note here to all of you who read/like/comment/share/reblog….

Much love to you! 

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In honor of this amazing news I’m going to share some gratitude quotes!

😀

1.) “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” ~Author Unknown

This is so true! Sometimes we may feel that we want, need, deserve more than what we have and whether or not that’s true, focusing on this kind of thinking more than focusing on the positivity of what we do already have, is draining and limiting. There’s nothing at all wrong with wanting and striving for more but it’s not good to overlook all of our current blessings just because we want more. I noticed that no matter how much I really want something, taking inventory of all the great things I already have, even the most simplest, mundane things, like the air that I breathe, is an incredible way to feel that right
 now is enough. This moment is enough. 
I can still work for more and want more sometimes but without ignoring all that I currently have. It’s especially uplifting to write down a gratitude list. 

2.) “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” ~G.B. Stern
 
I definitely disagree with this quote. “Silent gratitude” helps the person experiencing it. The very feeling is beautiful, uplifting, exhilarating. So the person experiencing it is helped. But also, I believe feeling gratitude emits positive vibrations out into the universe which touches others. And a grateful person starts to act grateful and just be more positive and happy and loving, which positively affects others.  But I get the gist of this message, that expressing gratitude out loud or in writing or in some other way, is a fantastic thing and helps people know they and whatever they do for us, are appreciated. 

3.) Gratitude is the memory of the heart. ~Jean Baptiste Massieui

4.) The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you. ~John E. Southard

Mmm hmmm…! I used to often be a fan of revenge when I felt people did me wrong. Sometimes if someone said something negative to or about me, I would be sure to say something worse back. When I found people were gossiping about me, I spread worse gossip. Equal revenge wasn’t even good enough for me often. I had to “get ’em worse than they got me.” Sweet revenge was something I felt compelled to pursue, whether in a subtle way without them knowing or in a more explicit way.  I realized that’s not the way I really want to be and I began resisting the urges to seek revenge until eventually they became almost non existent. Now I can’t even imagine being that way. I’m so so thankful I came to my senses and outgrew those trivial little games. 

Now I don’t get even, I get even more fabulous! Lol 

5.) Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture. ~Kak Sri

We can learn to view pain, negativity, struggles…as amazing opportunities to get better, get stronger, learn life lessons, and help others. We don’t have to go out looking for pain and bringing it on ourselves and hoping for it but it’s inevitable as long as we’re alive so we can use it to our advantage. 

6.) If you have lived, take thankfully the past. ~John Dryden

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7.) As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world. ~Terri Guillemets

8.) I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton

9.) You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. ~G.K. Chesterton

Yes, let’s be thankful for everything! Every little thing!  

10.) For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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11.) If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get. ~Frank A. Clark

I have found this to often be true. Some people, it seems the more they get the more they want. And gratitude while being a fleeting feeling most of us probably experience at some points can also be a general attitude. An attitude that can be developed, strengthened, and maintained. 
Just as gratitude can be a habit, so can ingratitude. And if a person is ungrateful then when the person gets whatever that person wanted, that habit of ingratitude is likely to carry over. 
I have a natural inclination to be thankful that I have strengthened, with appreciative living techniques, to be even more, consciously grateful in general. But there are some occasions I am being and acting ungrateful when I want something “more” or “better” and I stop and remind myself that an unwavering, underlying, general, foundation of gratitude is better than the fleeting sense that comes with each specific thing someone wants and gets. 
And if I’m not giving thanks for what I already have, why should I get more?  
Gratitude as an attitude can be developed with practice! Even if you are currently not a very grateful person. 

12.) “Praise the bridge that carried you over.” ~George Colman

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! ❤

I hope you’re having a beautiful night or day wherever you are!

Xoxo Kim ❤ 

Rainbows & Stars

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“When it rains look for rainbows, when it’s dark look for stars.”

So, I stumbled upon this lovely quote today! And it happens to be dark, dreary, and rainy as I write this. Lol My very favorite kind of day!

To me, chilled, dark rainy days are not gloomy and depressing as many seem to feel. I LOVE these kinds of days. They awaken something lovely inside me. I also love sunny, warm, days with clear blue skies and fluffy white clouds! I love it all. All four seasons I am blessed to know all year long.

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I complain about the weather on occasion, I confess. Lol I don’t care much to admit it but I do.  I wish I can say I *never* complain about something as stupid as the weather and I can  say that!  But it would be a lie. Lol And since that truth is kind of relevant to this post, I am here to admit it! ;-D And I’m generally very open and honest about myself. 

There are days it’s hot and I wish it were cold. There’s cold days I wish it were hot or warm(although rarely!). I don’t think there’s ever a rainy day I wish it weren’t raining though! Bring on the rain any day! It’s the same with snow! I love it! I love diversity though so it’s great that all days aren’t rainy or snowy.

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But, this quote is a beautiful and simple reminder to appreciate the things that are going well even in the midst of negativity and pain. Some situations in this life seem overwhelming and unbearable and sometimes it may seem that even if there’s good things, the bad things are currently outweighing the good. But we can’t always change our current situation immediately.

Even if the unpleasant things seem to be more deeper or prominent or frequent than the pleasant things, we can still make a conscious decision to focus more on them when we can’t change the negativity or pain or unpleasantness right away.

This develops and strengthens our habit of appreciating everything we have no matter how big or small or simple. 

This ability is like a muscle. The more we work at it, the stronger it becomes. And even after it’s developed, it must be maintained so it doesn’t diminish. We have to practice, practice, practice even when we don’t feel much like it. Just like if you build your muscles. You can’t do all that work, develop a six pack, then stop and expect it to stay! It has to become your way of life.

It’s the same with positive mental habits. And negative ones too. The more you give in and complain and over-focus on the negativity, the stronger your negative habit becomes and the stronger the hold is it has over you. 

But negative habits can be replaced and overcome!

Of course, we have to tend to and think about unpleasant things and healthy venting is often necessary but we don’t have to dwell on it. 

Even in the throes of tragedy, depression, physical illness, pain of any kind, grief and loss, serious distress, this habit can be cultivated and maintained. It will not cure our problems, take away all of the pain, but it will help us cope and see the sunny side of things or at least see the sunlight seeping through the dark rain clouds even when the situation itself has no sunny side. Metaphors, I love them! Lol 😀

It was also raining a few days ago and I got some photos of the rain! As best as I can with just a phone’s (and a broken phone 😦 ) camera.

I have been feeling my creativity blooming again. I get these “things” every now and again where I’m so incredibly inspired to do something but don’t know what or how. It seems to come more when I meditate more frequently. Or read certain things. Sometimes it just comes out of the blue. I’m currently reading a novel (mystery) about a mysterious painter. I have a feeling it’s inspiring me on some unconscious level! 

I want to create create create! Photos, paintings, poetry, writing….anything!

My wonderful phone (even though these phones break so easily and quickly like inside for seemingly no reason, they are still wonderful phones, blackberry z10) has amazing photo apps which allow me to use bokeh effects, various other effects, and text on pictures, and much more and this sparks my creativity even more. I never thought of myself as creative but I think we are all creative to some extent, in some way, some more than others and some people are more in touch with their creative side. For some it comes so naturally and so easily, it’s ridiculous. (jealous) lol! 😀

But some of us have to struggle hard to find even just a thin sliver of our creativity. (That’s usually me) oh well!   🙂

But I’m so thrilled when I get fun ideas and plans and actually execute them even when they aren’t the most beautiful creations. Creativity is another “muscle” we must keep nourishing to keep it strengthened and maintained.

Even if you don’t feel very creative or have many ideas, you can just put pen or paint to paper or take photos and see what happens! It can become easier and easier and more conscious. And creativity isn’t just for artistic stuff, it can be cresting or finding solutions to problems or anything!

I hope this quote is a sweet reminder for you to look around, look within, look up and always see, feel those rainbows and stars even through the hazy fog and darkness. 

Xoxo Kim 😀

September 21st – World Gratitude Day

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Today, September 21st, is World Gratitude Day!! Yay!! I’m not a fan of gratitude on just certain days but everyday! But it’s great to have a whole day to bring awareness to gratitude. Gratitude can be a fleeting feeling that comes out of the blue every once in a while or when something great happens or around holidays. But it can also be a way of life, a conscious habit, an intentional decision we make each and every day to experience gratitude no
matter what. When good things are happening, when bad things are happening, in happiness and in pain. In sadness and even despair. In joy, laughter, and in tears. Live it and breathe it. It’s life changing. No matter how naturally grateful we are, how easily it usually comes to us or how ungrateful we are, we can choose to consciously live in gratitude, to feel it in every cell of our bodies, in every pulsation of our hearts, in the pores of our skin, deep into the marrow of our bones. We can summon these feelings often after developing the habit of living in gratitude. We can do this by using certain techniques, meditation, gratitude journaling each day writing a list of
things we are thankful for that day or in general, gratitude photography taking a photo each day of something that inspires gratitude in us, making mental lists of all we are thankful for, sharing quotes, reading books on gratitude…

In honor of World Gratitude Day, here are a few beautiful quotes related to the concept of gratitude.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John F. Kennedy

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Melody Beattie

I’m thankful for a pair of shoes that feel really good on my feet; I like my shoes.

I’m thankful for the birds; I feel like they’re singing just for me when I get up in the morning… Saying, ‘Good morning, John. You made it, John.’

I’m thankful for the sea breeze that feels so good right now, and the scent of jasmine when the sun starts going down.

I’m thankful…” ~

Johnny Cash

At any given moment we can think of a list of reasons why our lives suck but at that same moment we can think of a list of reasons while our lives are simply amazing! The choice is ours. Here’s to Gratitude EVERY DAY!!

😀

Xoxo Kim