Morning Meditations (help from Louise Hay)

Woman with busy-brain learns to meditate and focus her mind on positivity with a little help from the right books.

Do you struggle with meditating like I do? Here’s my latest tool.

So, you have a busy brain? You wake up with a drumbeat in your head thinking of all that you need to do, or you struggle to get up and feel positive about your day in any way? Have you tried meditation, they ask. Ha. My busy brain struggles to meditate and needs all the help it can get. Here’s what’s working for me lately.

Last summer, my holistic friend Kim gave me a lot of journals and self-health books. Since I love books, self-help books and journaling are both things I love to spend my time with, and being a teacher on summer break allows me exactly that! I started last year with the Soul Coaching, 28 days book with focused each week on one of the elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Believe me, I had a few seriously negative things that I needed to get through last year, but I began to open my eyes more to God’s blessings all around me and to learn more about myself and my spirituality through them.

This year, I am using the Affirmation Journal by Louise Hay pictured above. It really centers my mind each morning on positive things that exist in my life and helps set up my mood for the day. Things are going quite well for me this year, but summer is a time I could be dangerously lazy and develop serious kinks in my neck from reading on the couch or sitting at the computer for countless hours, starting with breakfast even. Being my age, I at times struggle with focus as well and may have 20 tabs open at once, so starting my day with breakfast and writing in this Affirmation Journal helps me to get centered with a positive mindset. Another goal I have is to be more active and have several breaks from sitting, writing, or computer time. So, getting centered in the morning helps me all around.

Sure, I could Google positive thoughts or daily affirmations. No, never mind, I can’t. I would be distracted by the latest drama between two celebrities suing each other over their broken, toxic marriage, or even by Amazon telling me what I should buy now. I could read a Bible passage and reflect on that. No, some of those passages are quite confusing. I was raised on the Bible, and it has its purposes, but if you’ve read it, you know it’s confusing. I’ve had preachers preach that you can’t just pick and choose what passage you wish to read. Sometimes I do agree, other times, I may seek it out. At any rate, I have found this book helpful as it asks for my interpretation and reflection on each thought.

Here is an example based on the thought: “I now accept all good as normal and natural for me….”

I think this entry had a lot to do with gratitude as well, but accepting good things for exactly what they are has been a struggle for me at times, having “busy-brain.” I just want to share what has worked for me lately.

Blessings to you all for a happy week and great summer!

Weekend Coffee Share, Waiting for Brighter Shores

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a full throttle coffee day, as I have grades to prepare. My son just walked Bixby, who is feeling a little lonely lately.

My mother has been sick with COVID and is isolating herself, so Bixby feels really lonely during the day when I and my son are at work. I have been worried about her, but she’s getting better. I hate seeing her uncomfortable and unhappy. She is a lively woman who likes to go places and socialize with friends. She just wants the sickness to be over and done with. It was last Saturday she got the results. I know she can’t wait to go out to dinner again or go to exercise class with her friends.

Monday, I stayed out of work and got a COVID test as well, but fortunately, it was negative. So I had a four day work week, but I still felt so stressed and overwhelmed by Friday. I have a lot to do today, but I took some time to go eat some barbecue with my son last night. It was enjoyable, and I’m glad we did that. I’m grateful for the time I can spend with him.

So, that’s the state of our world right now. We do have some sunshine today in Northeast Florida, and I’m thankful. The light is coming in little by little, and Spring is on its way.

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

Have a good weekend, my friends. Hold your loved ones in high regard and hug someone today.

Wrapped Up, #RDP

Photo from Pixabay.

Wrapped Up, (c) 2021 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Some journeys are covered outwardly

in confusion, bedlam, or shock

They are things we wouldn’t invite,

but we had to accept and take the journey

to get to peace on the other side.

Wrap it up anyway you want,

it’s how we deal with real life…

The story of my year, 2021.

**Written in response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt, https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/12/23/ragtag-daily-prompt-thursday-wrapped/

Weekend Coffee Share, Grateful!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog It’s sunny today, but temperatures will be in the sixties. My morning drink is match green tea, since I had coffee yesterday.

It’s a great week to be grateful, so I’ll organize this post into 10 things I’m grateful for.

1. I’m grateful for two days off followed by this weekend! It gives some good time to pause and reflect.

2. I’m grateful for family, and Thanksgiving gave us time to spend time together. It was different, since my ex-husband was at out dinner, but it all went well. My mother cooked a great meal, and I helped.

3. All of us, when given a chance to speak our gratitude, are so grateful for my son being with us at the table and doing well in his life right now. He, my mother, and I, walked to Starbuck’s yesterday for a coffee. That was my only contribution to Black Friday. I love the atmosphere at Starbucks, including the jazz music!

4. I’m grateful for my dog, Bixby, an important member of our family!

Dog yoga!

5. I’m grateful for my friends that are constantly there for me, and that includes my companion, Chris, and I’m thankful for the twists and turns that helped me reconnect with him. I’m thankful for several friends who helped see me through a tormentuous family issue this past summer. I think I learned to reach out, and I have not regretted it!

6. My job is a blessing, and I am grateful. I’m able to share my gifts and help others appreciate things that I love, such as reading and writing. I’m glad to be employed and to afford things I need, although I’m becoming sort of minimalist with finances. I don’t spend money just to spend anymore. One day I’ll need a retirement strategy. 🙂

7. I feel gratitude when walking through nature, usually with my dog. We’ve actually had some seasonal colors and a recent cooldown, albeit a mild one.

8. I am grateful for all that I’ve learned and for the people who have commiserated with me on this writing journey so far. I’m not sure what the next turn is; I’m really feeling a minimalist change in the wind, and considering Kindle Vella. Anyone have experience with this? If you’d like a taste of my fiction writing, I have two books that are currently .99, Detours in Time (always for .99) and Undercurrents in Time (ending Monday, 11/29). https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716

9. I am grateful for this blogger’s community! Many here are writers, whether full-time or on the side. Some of you post here regularly, and I’m thankful for your thoughts on my posts and for what I can learn from your posts!

10. Last, but not least, I am grateful for my health! Recent checkup tests have been good, I eat fairly healthy, and I’m about to go to the gym with my son today.

Current mystery: my hair believes it is straight again. 🙂

There is so much I can’t control, but acceptance, humor, and an attitude of gratitude are helping me to see the best in whatever comes my way!

Peace and blessings, my friends!

Thankful for Each Turn, #poetry

(C) 2021, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

When the leaves fall

Is it the dying of a tree?

Or is it merely a sign of change

And what one day shall be?

Ghosts of yesterday

Get trampled into the ground

They willfully move on

For something new to come round…

When leaves fall, oh so brittle,

Yet colorful and bright

A reminder to grab hold

Of our spark before

The descent of night.

Every change brings something new

Every night brings morning dew.

Every moment holds its gifts.

I’m grateful for those I didn’t miss.

Weekend Coffee Share, Honor Thyself

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. This week brought a short work week, something most of us in the education field have welcomed! It’s below 70 today, which is cooler than it was yesterday, so I am enjoying some hot coffee!

This past Thursday, besides being Veteran’s day, was also the 7 year anniversary of bringing home our dog, Bixby, from the Humane Society. With a sullen teen/young adult in the family who didn’t talk to us much at that time, my mother and I were thrilled to bring a furry toddler home that wagged its tail anytime we came home! My son has even built a bond with this enthusiastic canine. He has changed our lives.

I am constantly reminding myself to love my life and where I am right now, instead of jumping ahead to the future and looking for guarantees; It’s hard. However, life is better than it had been months ago. My family is in a good place, my son is doing well, and I have steady employment. I won’t focus on the stresses of my job at this moment. 🙂

Seen at the mall last night. Too soon, too soon.

Still, the season may be affecting my moods a little bit. I am fortunate that I could reunite with my old friend/boyfriend who listened through a lot of my hardships this summer, and we enjoy spending time together, but I think back to last year’s Thanksgiving holiday; I have memories and start thinking how different this year will be. I am mindful that I am not alone but sometimes wonder why. Would I be okay if I was alone? So I am seeking more activities to do in my spare time and hopefully to meet more like-minded people. You can’t just rely on one person.

However, I am quite close to my mother, and my son and I are getting along well, even though he isn’t predisposed to being loquacious. I’m still investing in his well-being though. I took him to the mall yesterday to pick up something his dad ordered for him, then we ate in the Food Court. I had honey bourbon chicken with rice and veggies. It was tasty, but maybe not so healthy. I was glad we did something together, as my weekday life keeps me so busy right now. I am really hoping and praying for a teacher raise soon as I want to focus after school time on healthy living next year instead of seeking to supplement my pay.

The approach of the holidays also has me looking back on this year. This year reminded me that anything can change on a dime. I suppose we just have to see the silver lining in those changes. I mean, my son did change for the better. His dad is now in the picture for him, and though those dynamics sometimes stress me out, I do not have to live with him anymore, and my son is doing well living in my home again but being able to spend time with his dad weekly.

Sometimes I write in a gratitude journal in the morning. Yes, I have to actively practice gratitude, mindfulness, listen to a pain podcast sometimes to keep the negativity at bay. Gratitude can retrain the brain., but I’ve also learned to stay away from people who increase my negative thoughts. Trying to honor myself. Holidays can stress me out, but I am going to plan some low-stress time with loved ones. Then, I can be grateful for the time I have with them.

There’s my holiday survival plan. Thank you for reading! What’s your plan?

Weekend Coffee Share. Where I am

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Today was a green tea day for me, and very much a rest and restore day. Yesterday after work, I got a cold tea at Starbucks and sat outside, since the air was breezy and nice for a change. Their inside seating was closed off anyway, thanks to COVID.

Time to rest and restore. I deserve it. I got my exercise this morning and walked the dog for a while. The fresh air was great once again.

A post came up in my Facebook memories feed that I’d like to share. I’m sort of in a peaceful place with life and acceptance right now, but I realize I need to stop expecting something bad to crop up, and I certainly need to disengage from COVID news or mask controversy! Maybe more gratitude is what I need.

I wrote the following post when thinking of the lotus and all it represents: “Be the lotus flower and rise out of the muck. Don’t be ashamed of your low beginnings or that you were underwater last week. Be all that you can be the minute you feel the sun on your face; embrace your beginnings or your dark yesterdays, for they brought you to where you are right now.”

Yes, this is where I am today. Gratitude. I think I should ponder on that again.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunny Day Gratitude. #poetry

(C) 2021

Thank you, Lord, for the ability to sleep
And wake to a beautiful day
I learned not to fret that yesterday was gray,
I took care of business and rested,
So today I could play.
Thank you for the daily chance to make a difference and show love
In what I do or say.
I may not be a hero, but help me be present, a loving mainstay
Even when I don’t know the logic in your ways.

Weekend Coffee Share, Health: Body and Mind

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

It’s 9:59 a.m. here in Jacksonville, Florida and sitting at about 50 degrees. Nonetheless, our Florida sun is shining vigorously. My coffee is half-caff with almond milk and honey. Have whatever you like and join in the conversation!

Please excuse my bedhead, however. 🙂 I slept until 9:30 this morning. Sleep: what a glorious thing it is! There was a brief wake-up when I heard my son’s alarm and his shower running. I had to take the phone and knock on the bathroom door so he would make it stop; evidently I don’t know how. He was out the door and went to the gym. I returned to the world of dreams. I needed that sleep. Work has been hectic and life with my grown son at home has been taxing.

He’s moving out next week. This should be a good thing for my stress levels. However, he has been bullheaded and agitated leading up to this move. His move was at my request, though I thought he’d take a few months to save up. He won’t be far away, so that’s good. Still, he is increasingly irritated when I ask questions or give him reminders, as if he is offended and just can’t wait to get away from me. Well, I worry. I’ll have to give myself a number, and that is the number of times I’m allowed to contact him during the week. Only one or two, and I’ll have to stick to it, because I know it’s better for my own health and well-being. There have been too many near-misses, mishaps, ER visits and accidents that I have seen him through. You may be thinking, I see why you worry then. However, he’ll be twenty-five in two weeks. It is time for his next phase, and I can just hope he will step up and show more maturity with spending and responsibility to take care of himself.

I am one of those people who can get really tense, and I’ve been feeling that. It leads to more aches and pains, something I’m quite familiar with, having had several of my own injuries and in the last few years, having been diagnosed with arthritis and now, poly-arthritis. I was tested for RA and it came up negative, which is good. I’ve had my share of accidents and slips that may lead to recurring pain as well. I’ve read a lot about healing and dealing with emotions that may have surrounded an incident. I’m trying. I don’t think the pain is strictly emotional, but that these things react to each other. Part of my healing is likely dealing with past emotions and putting them in their place (which is a raging, burning dumpster that I will send off into a mysterious river by night).

My childhood emotions aside, and the numerous times of teen imbalance when I just fell off of stairs out of the blue aside, the first thing I remember is a car accident with my friend driving at age 20 when my head hit her windshield. I had no seatbelt on. I seemed okay, the paramedic said I looked catatonic, but no medical treatment. I made a little crack on her windshield.

When I was 24, living in Tulsa during my ill-fated engagement before my ill-fated marriage, I slipped and fell on my back on some ice. Also at this time, I caught a TV on my knee at work when a fellow salesman was trying to hook it up and it slipped out of the cabinet. I had gotten on my knees hoping to catch it with my hands and use my knee as backup. Stupid things we do in our youth, you know. My not reporting it was also stupid.

At age 25, I was married, and my husband was driving the car behind a foolish young girl who kept breaking. He sped to get in front of her. We had to stop in a long line of cars, but she just barreled into the back of us, and we had a ten car fender bender. I got x-rays and had physical therapy that time.

Let’s make a long story short, and I’ll sum it up with, a few more car accidents, one of them in 2016 setting off anxiety in me and possibly causing some lingering claustrophobia. Then, there’s the one my son was in that landed him in trauma and ICU for a few days with a head injury. I was not involved, but waiting in the ER with no word of his condition for a few hours and then hearing the details of the accident caused me to envision it all in my mind, and how it could have ended up differently. He suffers no recall of the actual accident to this day.

My sidekick and source of relaxation and play. Circa 2016

Until a few moments ago, I had written event by event, and then my laptop froze, forcing me to exit out and come back into WordPress to finish. I’ve lost a few paragraphs. Maybe it helped me to get it all out but would not have helped my readers. Suffice it to say, the physical injuries we sustain are not as harmful until we emotionally take them to heart. Our emotional reaction to our injuries can impede our healing. Dealing with our emotions can really aid our physical healing.

I’ve spent a few days this week starting my morning with morning meditations through the DARE app (for addressing anxiety) and Youtube videos of positive affirmations involving gratitude for everything that is wonderful. I had no idea my post today would seem as dark as it is, but sometimes you throw the bottle into the ocean and it goes its own way, goes with the tides, or takes a path determined by fate. I do see the need for more gratitude. I promise you I will soon write the post, as it is long overdue. Now I am trying to get motivated to get my exercise in today.

Thank you for bearing with me as the subject took a turn today. I suppose it’s what I needed to talk about. What are you going through? Perhaps some of you can relate to my struggles as of late. I am not fearful; I am making progress. There is hope in that! Have a great Easter weekend, and enjoy the holiday or the coming of Spring, whichever you celebrate.

The Words

The words that we hear

Influence the people we become.

There is no way around that as a child….

But then there is the process of becoming an adult,

And the moments of awakening you may be fortunate enough to reach.

You are influenced by the words you choose to let in, you influence the world with the words you send forth and share, and you may negate the power of any words aimed at you or nurture them in your heart and soul. Don’t grow and nurture the vitriolic words that bring you down.

Nurture in your heart the words that help you grow as a person, just like a flower grows toward the sunlight.

This thought comes to me on this Holy Week as we head toward Easter weekend, and I feel I’ve been neglecting my faith.

Perhaps a change is coming, or maybe this is just a phase. Hopefully, we are near the end of COVID’s rule over our lives, and I can get back to fellowship with my church friends instead of watching church or talking to heads on a screen when I actually choose to participate in Book Club. The fellowship sometimes feels two- dimensional in this era, but of course, that’s just me being like a stubborn child when my routine is upset and the things that I like change. So, I’ll ask forgiveness for that, but I will not judge myself for the way that I am.

The stories of the love of Jesus fed my childhood imagination. The judgment of my childhood church stifled my growth. Nonetheless, I am past that paradox and I hold the stories of Jesus dear.

On this Easter weekend, I feel it is helpful to think of what Jesus would do. He would love my troubled son no matter what. He’d work to get along with those who seem difficult to take. I don’t always feel up to it, but it’s worth a try.

I started today listening to a positive affirmations recording. It was an awesome start to my day. I don’t feel very churchy lately, but I am seeing the benefits of putting the right words in our mind. So I’m going to try to frame my life with words of gratitude.

That’s where I am this Easter, 2021.

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