Thoughts on Love

It is the time of year when many may more fully turn their thoughts toward love. But then, anytime is always a wonderful time to think about love! Our focus will be on self and romantic love as well as love for humankind.

Self Love

  • I’m a big believer in ‘you must love yourself before you can love anybody else’, and I think for me that breeds the most inspired relationships. Scarlett Johansson
  • We accept the love we think we deserve. Stephen Chbosky
  • Love yourself first and everything falls into line. Lucille Ball
  • To love is to recognize yourself in another. Eckhart Tolle

Romantic Love Thoughts

  • My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep. The more I give thee, the more I have, for both are infinite. William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
  • To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides. David Viscott
  • Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • You are my sun, my moon, and all my stars. e e cummings

Love for Humankind

  • Love is such a powerful force. It’s there for everyone to embrace – that kind of unconditional love for all of humankind. That is the kind of love that impels people to go into the community and try to change conditions for others, to take risks for what they believe in. Coretta Scott King
  • Love is the whole thing. We are only the pieces. Rumi
  • Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. Oprah Winfrey
  • I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more potent than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death. Robert Fulghum

When we turn our thoughts toward love, we are allowing our bodies to heal, our relationships to heal, our world to heal. Here is an amazing site on this healing power: https://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/healing-power-love/ Two of my posts illustrate how a more loving manner could change your world: Speaks with Sunshine and Your Thoughts Are Seeds. Remember, no matter the question, that love is the ultimate answer!

BALANCE

Well initially, it was thanks to my Dracaena Marginata ‘Tricolor’ (pictured above) that I was given the theme of balance. This houseplant has been in our home for over three decades. Not long ago, we divided this leggy plant by air layering. There is always a fine equilibrium between type of soil and kind of pot with the species of plant. I’d decided the divided plants needed to be repotted with a different type of soil. The other soil was holding too much moisture. In just a couple of weeks, one of the two plants showed me how happy it is by intensifying the depth of color in the leaves! Just think if we could have more of this harmony in our lives! What could happen for us then? How could this be achieved?

Balance in Life

  • Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
  • The body needs its rest, and sleep is extremely important in any health regimen. There should be three main things: eating, exercise and sleep. All three, together in the right balance makes for a truly healthy lifestyle. Rohit Shetty

Find it in Art

  • It’s all in how you arrange the thing…, the careful balance of the design is the motion. Andrew Wyeth
  • What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter – a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue. Henri Matisse
  • Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Robert Fulgham
  • Find your balance and stand with it, … your song and sing it out, … your cadence and let it appear like a dance. Find the questions that only you know how to ask and the answers that you are content to not know. Mary Anne Radmacher

Grief needs it, too!

  • Through substitute activities, therapy, and hard work, grieving individuals can work through their anger and progress to live more balanced lives. Valerie Orr
  • There is a fine balance between honoring the past and losing yourself in it. For example, you can acknowledge and learn from mistakes you made, and then move on and refocus on the now. It is called forgiving yourself. Eckhart Tolle
  • If you restore balance in your own self, you will be contributing immensely to the healing of the world. Deepak Chopra
  • Love is the undisturbed balance that binds this universe together. Mahavatar Babaji
  • Life is balance of holding on and letting go. Rumi
  • Balance is the perfect state of still water. Let that be our model. Confucius

Here is a helpful link for healthy grieving: https://www.washington.edu/counseling/resources-for-students/healthy-grieving/. These are a couple of blog posts on grief: What is a Vilomah? and ERASE GRIEF. Finally, may you ponder what ways your life could use more balance.

Child Loss Questionnaire

As my blog strongly identifies with the concept of child loss, a brief questionnaire may be in order. First of all, allow me to extend my sympathies to those of you who are grieving. Your loss, of course, could be a child of any age, from pre-birth up to mature adult. There are only two questions. I plan to write a future blog from the resulting answers. No one who participates will be identified. More than likely, most of the blog resulting from these two questions will show generalities sourced from the responses. If there are some quotable answers, the words will be in quote marks, however, rest assured, you will not be identified.

Questionnaire

1. What do you wish others could know about losing a child?

2. What has helped you the most in your journey of grief?

Before you answer, perhaps compare your life journey from before losing your child, to just after as well as to now. Contemplate what information could assist others in understanding the situation of a grieving parent. Remember what advice or feedback you may have received from a grieving parent that comforts you. What gives you the strength to carry on? Ponder sharing your inner wisdom to be of service to others who may have recently lost a child. Those who are new as well as experienced to this grief journey may greatly benefit from your answers. Remember, we are stronger together!

Finally, if you are a grieving parent, I would greatly appreciate your honest feedback. You will have two weeks from the day of this posting to complete your answers. Please share your responses with me by clicking on the word “Contact” at the top of this page and entering your answers. I will begin gathering and analyzing all answers by February 9. If you aren’t already a follower of my blog, please follow so you may view the results of this questionnaire. I truly hope to support you, as well as all the others, by sharing what your experiences have been.

Thank-you in advance for your help by sharing your hard earned wisdom!

Winter Cozy

How can we make this winter cozy? Hygge (pronounced HOO-gah) is a Danish and Norwegian word for making the indoors comfy during the cold winter months. I’d like to share my winter cozy, Iowa style!

1. Bring the outdoors in! Indoor plants can remind us of being outdoors during warmer weather. Here is a link on the benefits of plants: https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-home-guide/benefits-of-indoor-plants

Indoor Jungle

2. Snuggle up with a lovely afghan. Enjoy the beauty of the stitches while it caresses you in warmth!

3. Make yourself a favorite hot drink. Mine is a warming spice based tea.

4. Take a hot bath in scented epsom salts and soak in the steamy goodness while you detoxify. Here is a post detailing reasons as to why this is a healthy practice! WASH AWAY NEGATIVITY!

5. While using actual sunlight or a natural sunlight lamp, do some artwork or writing. Here is a link on why sunlight is so important for us. https://elemental.green/15-reasons-you-need-as-much-natural-lighting-in-your-home-as-possible/ Here is a post I shared on CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING and why it is so vital.

6. Bake several loaves of homemade bread or make an entire meal in the oven. Either heats up the kitchen, nice and toasty!

Fresh Baked Bread

7. Listen to music to create a sense of ambience. Here are some suggestions for your listening pleasure during leisurely meals: Treat Yourself to Ambience!

8. Play an instrument to warm your heart!

Piano and Guitar

9. Exercise your brain with Sudoku or your physical body with your Exercycle.

10. Read a good book. Couple it with that afghan and hot beverage! If you aren’t yet winter cozy, one could always invite a friend to engage in a snow scooping race!

Stay cozy this winter!

World Hunger Poetry

What if poets could make a difference to prevent and eliminate world hunger? Poetry X Hunger is one such organization with the goal to prevent and eliminate this social issue https://www.poetryxhunger.com/. Some poets inform from first hand experience with hunger. Others write as an observer. Yet other poets dream of solutions. Let’s explore world hunger poetry!

Here is my poem.

When the Hungry Sleep

The hungry rest on tufts of pea green grass
beneath a sunset sky of cherry red;
evolves to berry blue as time does pass.
A mashed potato moon lights nature's bed.
Some meteors streak silver through the night,
appear as schools of fish in unison.
The hungry gaze in awe for one last bite:
Could you, could I provide much more than one?

Let's donate to some food banks, stop food waste,
grow healthy food on Mother Earth to eat,
Imagine plenty - food for all to taste
from nature's palette plenty - what a feat!
The trees would clap when all are satisfied.
Please help us spread our message far & wide!

Linda M. Wolfe, First Rights to Poetry X Hunger 2021


Here is the link which includes me reciting my poem if you like: https://www.poetryxhunger.com/poems-submitted-for-the-2021-world-food-day-poetry-competition/poem-by-linda-wolfe

These are a few links with more of my poetry: Vincent Van Gogh, The Mona Lisa Effect, Michelangelo Inspiration, and Stars. If you feel so inspired, please join me in doing what we can to end world hunger. Thank-you for reading World Hunger Poetry!

Radical Acceptance

Sometimes we humans have potentially difficult situations in our lives. It could be trying to cope with a severe health condition, to dealing with grief, or attempting to fathom our ever changing society. Do you live with radical acceptance? It is an intriguing concept. Here is what our son taught me through his having cancer.

Our son dealt with pancreatic cancer for nine years before his passing. Two of those years were undiagnosed, simply because the pancreas is hidden so deeply within our organs. It is a particularly difficult area to access. He accepted most of the conventional treatments offered to him. Our family also exposed ourselves to lots of reading and practices with complementary approaches to treating disease. I honestly do not know the specific influence which brought him to radical acceptance. If I had to guess, it could have been from reading Dr. Bernie Siegel’s work http://berniesiegelmd.com/. Perhaps it was a generality he himself formulated from the complex conglomeration of options before him.

Walk of Acceptance

Our family participated in many cancer walks. Our son’s longevity made him a role model to many. One time, it seems the focus was to have been put on our son. He flat out refused anything to do with this recognition. Do you know the reason? It was because of one of the themes of this organization. It was to “fight” one’s cancer. Our son felt that an attitude of acceptance was more beneficial. When one is in a fighting mode, one is on edge. A fight would release adrenaline and nonadrenaline into one’s system. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-fight-or-flight-response-2795194 The fight or flight response induced by these hormones is not conducive to good health. It exacerbates the condition. Our bodies actually need relaxation hormones in order to be healthy. https://www.healthline.com/health/happy-hormone Our son learned to practice radical acceptance to everything in his body as it was all a part of him – including the cancer.

Acceptance in Other Walks

With any potentially difficult situation, an attitude of radical acceptance can ease our burden. The process of allowing our bodies to produce feel good hormones, rather than those that put us on edge, permits our bodies to create a natural healing response. It could be helpful for any illness, for any challenging situation.

Look at grief. It is one of the most difficult emotions for humans to process. The potential directions grieving people have are many. Each person has specific ways that may bring more comfort. The secret is finding them. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/grief/coping-with-grief-and-loss.htm

What if we look at society now? We have so many factions fighting against one another. Some political parties, countries, religions, etc. are at odds. Each is treating the other as if they are a scourge or a plague on society. Dare I say, we are FIGHTING one another as a cancer? We do ourselves nor the “other side” any good by constantly fighting.

Cancer can be a teacher to invite one to examine one’s life and search for answers to improvement. Don’t ask why. Ask what one is to learn.

What if we pretended that all of society was as one body? Could we practice radical acceptance? Even scientific journals are now recognizing that quantum physics supports the concept of the oneness of all. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/what-would-happen-if-everyone-truly-believed-everything-is-one/ This article beautifully elaborates on what could happen if we acknowledged that we all are truly one!

The same is true of any illness, with grief. How could we compassionately befriend these situations?

This sense of one being with no separation is quite beautifully reflected in Rumi’s poem, The Guest House.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Rumi 

My blog post, THINK LIKE WATER depicts a similar model of living. Here is another link on how the magic of music, as well as all the arts, can be key to initiate peacebuilding to positively affect societal relationships: ARTS AND SOCIETY – I.

Finally, let us consider this model of graciously accepting all. It is possible to welcome difficult situations, to peacefully accept what is in order to move forward. Just think what an amazing world we would have if we all practiced radical acceptance!

Call of the Winter

Ah, there is nothing like the first good snow cover to begin to hear the call of the winter! It always seems to capture that childlike enthusiasm of a classroom of students upon getting to play in the early snows of the season. I reminisce the wonder of students in creating their own paper snowflakes, each as unique as the children who created them.

Winter Wonderland

  1. It was the kind of snow that brought children running out their doors, made them turn their faces skyward, and spin in circles with their arms outstretched. Eowyn Ivey
  2. The color of springtime is flowers; the color of winter is in our imagination. Terri Guillemets
  3. Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world. Sarah Addison Allen

Nature’s Winter Artistry

A fresh snow brings out the artist in me, searching for beauty in the world. A memorable time was had when my husband and I went on a hike through pastures following an eight inch snow. It was quite a workout, but we captured some amazing photos!

  1. I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it; the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. Andrew Wyeth
  2. It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it. John Burroughs
  3. Kindness is like snow – it beautifies everything it covers. Kalil Gibran

Call of the Winter Wisdom

Winter is a time of rebuilding and replenishing.

  1. In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. Albert Camus
  2. The fire is winter’s fruit. Arabian Proverb
  3. Winter is a season of recovery and preparation. Paul Theroux
  4. That’s what winter is: an exercise in remembering how to still yourself then how to come pliantly back to life again. Ali Smith

Here is a link for some fun outdoor winter activities: https://www.moneycrashers.com/fun-outdoor-winter-activities-kids-adults/May you relish whatever season you inhabit as that is the best strategy of all!

HOP into the New Year!

In approaching a new year, many times we do a reassessment of our previous year or years. This year, perhaps we can HOP into the new year! My acronym stands for happiness, opportunity and potential.

If you happen to be in the throes of grief, allow me to extend my sympathies. Part of the beauty of being human is in the diversity of our emotions. We must express our feelings. Learning ways to influence our emotions can be beneficial. However, if you need help to allow daily functioning, please consider a grief counselor.

HOP: H is for Happiness

Let’s begin with happiness. This elusive emotion may depend upon many factors. Here is an excellent article which does a great job at enumerating many ways which may influence our happiness mindset. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/happiness It is interesting to see what the experts consider to be the minimum and maximum of various resources to enable optimal happiness. There are always outliers to any data. Sometimes, we are as happy as we decide we want to be.

O is for Opportunity in the New Year

We could say, “Whew, our last two years have been a doozy !” Or, we could say, “What an opportunity we have to improve upon the past two years!” How might you approach this new year? Here are some wise quotes which certainly reflect my take on opportunity. I will also tell you, this kind of attitude is what lifted me up when our son was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Instead of bemoaning his situation, I framed my thoughts to, “What can I do to make a difference for him?”

  1. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Albert Einstein
  2. Expect change. Analyze the landscape. Take the opportunities. Stop being the chess piece, become the player. It’s your move. Tony Robbins
  3. Victory comes from finding opportunities in problems. Sun Tzu
  4. A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston S. Churchill

Believe me, I have lived my life both ways. It is a heck of a lot more fun to look at challenges as positive opportunities. Here is a link to help: WASH AWAY NEGATIVITY!

P is for Potential

This new year is fast approaching. It has never been lived before. What potential lies before us?

  1. Everyone has inside himself a piece of good news! The good news is that you really don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is! Anne Frank
  2. Believe in your infinite potential. Your only limitations are those you set upon yourself. Anonymous
  3. The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good. Brian Tracy
  4. You know what strong and successful people understand that other people do not? They know that problems are gifts. Think about one problem you are facing now. Can you see it as a potential gift? Drew Rozwell

To fully explore your potential, perhaps try to THINK LIKE WATER.

New Year, a HOP, Skip and Jump Away!

As you approach the brand new year before us, remember to contemplate these strategies. We are not promised it will be easy, but with these considerations, perhaps looking at the new year with a fresh attitude, we may even be amazed with our results!

Remember, If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be meetings. Dave Berry

You could either interpret this as me suggesting you limit your meetings or perhaps to remember to keep your sense of humor about you.

Happy New Year!

Holiday Quotes

It is inspiring to contemplate certain holiday quotes from classic Christmas movies. These help to focus upon what the important things are in life.

  1. Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. It’s a Wonderful Life
  2. I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all really. Maybe it just needs a little more love. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  3. Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind. Miracle on 34th Street
  4. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Elf
  5. When we’re together, it’s my favorite place to be. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
  6. This is extremely important. Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back. No toys. Home Alone
  7. Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see. The Polar Express
  8. Be grateful for your gifts. They are all around you. Toy Story Christmas
  9. There’s great beauty in this world if you just have the eyes to see it. Bells of St. Mary’s
  10. God bless us, every one! A Christmas Carol

Coping with Holiday Grief

Even with all the good cheer and wonder of the season, holidays can be a challenging time if you are missing a certain someone(s). Here is another post of a favorite holiday memory of mine: OUR VISITOR. It is regarding one of my most amazing signs from our dearly departed son. If this is a first holiday in missing a loved one, perhaps you may want to read this resource: https://thepsychologygroup.com/how-to-cope-with-grief-during-the-holidays/ or my Empty Chair Holidays.

Pondering this grouping of holiday quotes may make you nostalgic for these movies or for times past with family and friends. It seems to be the intangibles – love, beauty, caring – which make this blessed time of year so touching. May you be gifted with time shared with you and yours this holiday season.

Follow Your Joy

It is the season to find this beautiful emotion! Do you try to follow your joy? Remember that grief is the complete opposite emotion. To cope with grief, it helps to follow what brings us to a blissful place. Allow me to help you to find it. First of all, check out these quotes for a little inspiration. Secondly, enjoy a few of my other posts on positive emotions as well as on transforming grief.

Ten Quotes

  1. Find ecstasy in life, the mere sense of living is joy enough. Emily Dickinson
  2. Balance, peace and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them. Thomas Kinkade
  3. There are souls in this world who have the gift of finding joy everywhere, and leaving it behind them when they go. Frederick William Faber
  4. A thing of beauty is a joy forever : its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness. John Keats
  5. Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. Karl Barth
  6. I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace – a connection to what matters. Oprah Winfrey
  7. Beauty is whatever gives joy. Edna St. Vincent Millay
  8. To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with. Mark Twain
  9. When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
  10. Joy is to fun what the deep sea is to a puddle. It’s a feeling inside that can hardly be contained. Terry Pratchett

How do you follow your joy?

Finally, think about what brings you to this beautiful emotion. Is it being with your family and friends? Is it possible to find it in being in the great outdoors? What kinds of creativity may bring you there- playing music, making art, cooking food or writing words? Perhaps it is in being generous by giving of your resources or talents to others? Does exercise bring on this powerful emotion? You must simply listen to your heart. May you find copious amounts of this wondrous feeling, overflowing to you and yours this holiday season! For this I hope you are contagious!

Here are some other posts to help you to bring more positive emotions into your life: http://Speaks with Sunshine, Treat Yourself to Ambience! and the last one which by transforming our grief changes it to the blissful emotion of joy Tuning into Healing: Grief.

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