simplyenjoy


True thankfulness.

“True thankfulness is no other than the exercise

of love to God on occasion of his goodness to us.”

– Jonathan Edwards –

Sometimes what stands in the way

of a good day and a great day

or a bad mood and a better mood

is just a simple

prayer of thankfulness.

Just saying thank you and cultivating a sense of gratitude for your blessings increases your positive feelings and positively changes your brain and body.

Make a list.

Keep a journal.

Take mental notes!

We may face problems, obstacles and challenges in life, but there is always something GOOD to be THANKFUL for!

Happy Friday ūüôā



May we think of freedom…

Some thoughts on freedom…

what does it mean to be “independent” and what does “freedom” mean?

 

“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions,

the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed –

else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”

– Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

“I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them;

if I find them too obnoxious, I break them.

I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” – Robert A. Heinlein

 

“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.” – Albert Camus

 

“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” Jean-Paul Sarte

 

“May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” – Peter Marshall

 

Happy 4th of July and Independence Day and may true and lasting God-given freedom reign in our hearts and in our homes and in our country and in our world.

 

More words on FREEDOM.



Made to bloom.

“And the day came

when the risk to remain tight

in a bud was more painful

than the risk it took to blossom.”

~ Anais Nin ~

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” ~ Romans 12:10¬†

 



In verdure.

“To sit in the shade

on a fine day

and look upon verdure

is the most perfect refreshment.”

– Jane Austen –

jane(courtest of google images.)



Thinking and feeling.

“Apparently, the most difficult feat for a (Cambridge) male is to accept

a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking,

but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.”

– Sylvia Plath

U1889231(courtesy of google images)



Creativity and mental illness.

“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy.

What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach.

Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”

– Charles Mingus –

wpid-CAM01019-1.jpg

(magazine collage by me 4/12/13)

The old adage says, “There is a thin line between genius and ‘insanity,'” but studies are now showing there are indeed connections with the creative mind and mental health difficulties. The following article below is copied from the National Alliance on Mental Illness¬†(NAMI), which I have repeatedly plugged on SimplyEnjoy¬†and it’s a fantastic resource for mental healthcare information. You can find descriptions on illnesses, treatment and support options. Consider checking it out and even making a donation if you or someone you love have been affected by mental illness or have had mental health difficulties.

Mental Illness: New Study Explores Link with Creativity; NAMI Events include Music, Drama and other Arts

~ July 1, 2010 ~

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is focusing on films, music and other creative arts this week-at the same that a new scientific study has found a possible explanation for the link between mental illness and uninhibited processing in the brain that allows people to think “outside the box.”

In¬†Beautiful Minds: Creativity and Mental Illness¬†appearing in the latest issue of NAMI’s¬†Advocate¬†e-magazine, NAMI highlights a Swedish study and other research exploring potential links between schizophrenia and artistic tendencies.

The Swedish study shows that highly creative people have a lower density of dopamine receptors in the thalamus. People living with schizophrenia also have been found to have low dopamine density. Other studies suggest that a genetic difference may be shared by creative people and those with psychotic symptoms.

In¬†NAMI’s weekly blog, NAMI Executive Director Michael Fitzpatrick discusses creativity as a “powerful” means for education about mental illness. In fact, “creativity is required by anyone whose life is touched by mental illness” in order to enhance education, support and recovery.

The 2010 NAMI Convention opening this week in Washington, D.C. includes many artistic elements, including a performance by Grammy-award-winning singer Susan McKeown. On Friday evening, award-winning poet and songwriter¬†Michael Mack¬†will perform portions of¬†Speaking in Tongues, about his mother’s life with schizophrenia.

The Free at Last Players, a theatre troupe now in their 20th year, will speak openly in skits and songs about their experiences with mental illness and different forms of stigma and exclusion.

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month also begins this week and the NAMI Advocate Bookshelf feature recommends reading the newly-published novel¬†Try to Remember¬†by Iris Gomez as “a wonderful way” to observe it. Set in Miami in the 1970s, the book portrays a family’s struggle with mental illness from a Latino perspective. Their teenage holds them together in the face of her father’s battle with schizophrenia.. Fewer than one in 20 Latino immigrants with mental illness ever get help.

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.

wpid-CAM00942.jpg

“Living creatively is really important to maintain throughout your life.

And living creatively doesn’t mean only artistic creativity, although that’s part of it.

It means being yourself, not just complying with the wishes of other people.”

– Matt Groening –

 



Slowly, surely… Walking away from broken love.

I was inspired by a Jill Scott tune last night and it got me thinking about all the good women in my life with such beautiful voices, hearts and spirits who have been survivors of broken relationships, harmful histories and hurtful connections on so many different levels. I wanted to write something to empower women today to tell them that love does not hurt. Love heals. Love strives to protect and to build you up, not bring you down.

I often struggle with how much personal life history to reveal in my blog. Since I felt called to write this today, I will say that I struggled with a co-dependent mindset for many years as a teenager into my early 20’s. (It is actually still a part of me, but now I know I am only fully responsible for my choices, my life and my health and personal well-being. I can help others only after, I, myself, am properly cared for, loved, and nurtured.) I truly believed, as many women and some men, of course, also now believe, that they are capable of changing another person. Their heart may be in the right place, but what usually happens is their spiritual, mental, emotional and perhaps even physical resources are depleted in an effort to “help fix” or “heal” a broken person struggling with an issue such as drug and alcohol addiction, an incorrectly treated mental health diagnosis, or explosive or violent behaviors. It is impossible to change another person. What happens with a co-dependent mindset is that you place a lower priority on your own needs and treat the other specific individual or number of individuals above yourself. You begin to harbor guilt, hurt, and low self-esteem when you find (ultimately) that you have no control over another’s addiction or diagnosis.

Codependency affects people in a variety of ways. Common characteristics of Codependents include:

  • Excessive Care-taking:¬†Codependents feel responsible for others‚Äô actions, feelings, choices and emotional well-being. They try to anticipate loved one‚Äôs needs and often wonder why others do not do the same for them.
  • Low self-esteem:¬†Codependents are people who need to be needed. They will only feel important and valuable when they are helping others, and blame themselves for¬†anything¬†that goes wrong.
  • Denial:¬†Codependents typically ignore, minimize or rationalize problems in the relationship, believing that ‚Äúthings will get better when…‚ÄĚ They stay busy to avoid thinking about their feelings.
  • Fear of anger:¬†Codependents are afraid of both their own and their loved one‚Äôs anger, because they fear it will destroy the relationship.
  • Health problems:¬†The stress of Codependency can lead to headaches, ulcers, asthma and high blood pressure.
  • Addictive behavior:¬†Codependents may themselves develop addictions in an attempt to deal with their pain and frustration

I know many people who have struggled with this, but since this blog is mine I don’t feel comfortable writing about their stories. My first relationship and my dive into the world of “love” was with a person who struggled against his own drug and alcohol addiction. I was young, naive and hopeful. There were several people around me who nudged me and told me truths, which I chose to ignore in my co-dependent mindset. The relationship lasted four years until I knew nothing would change and that all I could do was done. Feeling broken, lost and confused, I turned from faith and began living a kind of numb, shallow life on the inside, though on the outside I was still pursuing education, bettering myself, travels and learning. I was blessed with the support of great friends and family members, which I know many women stuck in wrong relationships may not have access to. I believe all along the spark was still inside of me to come through my pain, although I did not fully recognize it. I stumbled through other empty relationships and unsafe behaviors with men until I began dating my husband, who has been on the journey of healing with me. I was blessed by our relationship, as we were friends long before we began a romance. He knew me in my “co-dependent days” and he knew me as I grew out of them. I never thought I’d be one of those girls to marry her best friend, but I have. I count myself truly blessed.

It was put on my heart to write this today – ¬†if you feel you are being abused emotionally, psychologically, verbally or physically you must reach out to a trusted friend or relative. If you are struggling with a co-dependent mindset and you put your own health and and worth below another’s, you must reach out for help and begin to see how truly special you are. Look up resources in your community, whether it be a church, women’s organization or a domestic violence hotline. Talk with someone.

When women thrive, the world thrives.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 it is written…¬†

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

“Slowly Surely” by Jill Scott

Slowly surely,

I walk away from 

that old desperate and dazed love 
caught up in the maze of love
the crazy craze of love
thought it was good
thought it was real
thought it was
but it wasn’t love¬†I just don’t know
Where i should go
So
Slowly surely
I walk away from
self-serving 
undeserving 
constantly hurting me love 
deserting me love
you said, I said, we said
butSlowly surely
I walk away from 
confusing love 
misusing love 
abusing love
this can’t be

Slowly surely
I walk away from
self serving
undeserving
constantly hurting me love

I just don’t know
where I should go
No
I just don’t know
know, know, know
Where I should go
so

Slowly surely
I walk away from
that old desperate and dazed love
caught up in the maze of love
the crazy craze of love

thought it was good
thought it was real
thought it was
but it wasn’t love

I just don’t know where to go
So

Slowly surely
I walk away from
I walk away from
Slowly surely
I walk away from love
Oh
slowly, surely one step at a time
but surely
I will pass the old love aside
and love me
slowly,
surely I walk away from
slowly surely I walk away from desperating love
caught up in the maze love
crazy crazy craze of love
slowly surely, I walk away from [repeat 5 times]
Slooooooowly Suuuuuuurely, slowly surely

“Man has not invented God; he has developed faith, to meet a God already there.” Edna St. Vincent Millay


Surrender…

“We can only learn to know ourselves and do what we can – namely, surrender our will and fulfill God’s will in us.” ~Saint Teresa of Avila~


002

Elijah the cat letting loose and stretching out.



Service is an attitude.

laundry

 

 

(My late-night doodles)

 

“Most of us wait until we’re in trouble, and then we pray like the dickens. Wonder what would happen if, some morning, we’d wake up and say, ‘Anything I can do for You today, Lord?'” – Burton Hills

Being newly married means double the laundry and while my husband does his share of domestic duties, I find that the household work never seems to end. With it being just the two of us this gets me to thinking about how that work would be multiplied with children or other roommates. I also think back to days at home as a child, coming home from kindergarten class, starting up a game with my little brother or building living room forts out of the sofa cushions while my mom sorted through piles of lights and darks in the kitchen. My grandmother was often there to help my mom with the busyness of raising four children and the obscene amount of laundry that goes with it.

I always remember her words, “Stephie, look forward to a lot of laundry if you ever get married!” and then she would laugh. Now when I’m throwing a load into the washer, I often think of her and smile. I think of the small hills of linen on the ceramic floor, of the extra bottles of Woolite she donated to us, of the donation of her time, energy and help to my mom and the family while we were busy building forts. Of course, we were also ordered to carry the laundry upstairs, put it away and sometimes, even, fold. With six people in one house, you can imagine the amount of clothing to take care of.

A chore that never ends, this laundry business.

And as I sort, switch loads and fold, I sometimes get annoyed. “Didn’t I just wash this yesterday?” or “Seriously, where is that matching sock? I don’t understand.”¬†But then I stop and think about the universality of laundry. We all need it. We all do it. How do we do it? How do we do anything we need to do?

Do we do our duties with resentment? Out of obligation? Out of sheer joyless duty?

Or do we do our service in love? For the joy of it? Because it’s necessary? Because it’s valuable?

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

 

 



Discovering…
February 24, 2013, 2:32 am
Filed under: Mind, Minimalism, Poetry, Spirit, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , ,

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” –¬†Gustave Flaubert

Joy.

Simplicity.

Peace.

Truth.

Grace.

Love.

Will.

“How did I survive? When a person is in trouble he wants to live. He fights for his life…Some people say, ‘Eh — What will be, will be.’ No! You have to fight for yourself day by day. Some people did not care. They said, ‘I do not want to live. What is the difference? I don’t give a damn.’ I was thinking day by day. I want to live. A person has to hold on to his own will, hold on to that to the last minute.” – Solomon Radasky

changes

(Courtesy of Google images.)




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