Create a little each day

Floral.oilpastel.872017Oil Pastel, August 7, 2017 ©Paula Baines

It is not a matter of making time, it is why you make the time.  I had excuses for not being creative. I was not inspired, I was tired, I had housework, or other commitments.  When you really look at your life-you either make time for what is important to you, or other things are allowed to take that space. I got tired of being tired. So I started taking time to be creative.  I would try to make a new dessert, sketch a flower, get my camera out and take a photo, or jot down ideas for my next blog. The first step is the hardest sometimes.

Try this, for the first week, set aside just 15 minutes a day, find a way to create. It could be a poem, a short story, simple, a few minutes to add stitches to a blanket that you are crocheting or knitting. Each week, thereafter, add five minutes more. Find a way to create something each day. I was surprised that little time could inspire me to do more.

“Do what you can, with what you have . where you are.”–Theodore Roosevelt

Share with us on our FB page, what has inspired you.

 

 

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Why the Rush?

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What happened to slowing down and taking in all that is around us bit by bit? I am tired of the fast-paced world. I want to get off this “merry go-round” of rush, rush, rush, and stop. I recall the days when my sons were toddlers. They took their time to take in all that was around them. They were curious about almost everything. If I tried to move too fast, they got overwhelmed, stalled, and would not budge. I could feel my patience spurting out of me as if I was a sieve. Perhaps, they had the better way to approach life; taking the world in bit by bit.

In our culture’s rush to get and there, we miss out on the need to stay focused. When I slowed down, my sons were less anxious and tense. We can create the atmosphere for our children to explore. My sons are now grown. One is twenty-two years old with another semester of college left. The other just graduated from high school. I am learning to appreciate my surroundings.

I admit my to-do list is trying to take a spot in my head as I write this blog. I am not going to let it take over. I am focusing on the words that I type on this page. Just take a moment, sit still breathe, and look all around you. What do you see that you had not noticed before? Remember, why the rush?!

Magic of Grace

Originally published on 11/14/2013

https://acreativevoicebeckons.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/magic-of-grace/

Seekers are offered clues all the time from the world of the spirit. Ordinary people call these clues coincidences.”—Deepak Chopra.

Per Cheryl Richardson, there are three things that will help you stay on the Life Make Over path: “a partner, successful results, and the magic of grace,” p. 38, Life Make Overs.

“Action creates change,” wrote Richardson. Adding, it is time to stop thinking about the changes and start doing something about it. Who can you partner with to act?

What motivates you? Motivation is the fuel that inspires us to act. I am motivated to self-improvement and help others improve. Therefore, I am working on my coaching certification. A coach is a great way to help you set your goal and steps for you to take to get your goal.

I think I am motivated my daylight. In the last few weeks as the days have shortened, I have fallen backwards in my weight loss. I had maintained a twenty-pound weight loss for quite a few weeks. I have slipped into bad habits. Last month, I began a three-month contract position. Over the last few weeks, I have averaged 35 hours a week. The flexibility that I had prior to this contract position has been curtailed. Since I began this contract, my time to walk outside is limited to first thing in the morning. Unless I walk as early as 7 am, I do not get my walk in at all during the weekdays. Walking outside has been key for me to losing the weight. I prefer walking outside than trudging on the treadmill downstairs. Over the last couple of days, I have walked on the treadmill as a last resort. It was okay not great. I need actual sunshine.
I made up every excuse in the book not to walk outside today, it was too darn cold. So, I sat on the coach and ate my lunch, then after an hour, I was back on the computer for work. Working from home has advantages and disadvantages. I have worked hard over the last months to exercise and eat right. It is 5:15 pm and looks like midnight outside. Ugg! Something must change in my mind before I can change my negative pattern. I do not want to slide into unhealthy eating habits. I pray for help to change.
“The best motivating factor of all, however, is divine intervention, or what I like to call The Magic of Grace,” wrote Richardson.

Have you ever experienced divine intervention? What did it look like for you? I have experienced it in the past but not in a long while.

Perhaps you are waiting to decide about a job or a possible move, you could receive a piece of mail to help make that decision. Or, you are struggling with an issue and a friend has had a similar experience; your friend’s life lesson could help you. These events are a direct result of investing in your life and yourself to care for yourself. Setting time aside for yourself, saying “no” to over-loaded schedule, and saying yes to your goals are key to seeing the value in ourselves. Once we give time to ourselves, the magic of grace (coincidences) seem to happen more often.

“When you take steps to honor yourself…you’ll set in motion a higher order for your life,” wrote Richardson. Richardson advises taking good care of ourselves and wait for the miracles and those miracles will become the very special source of motivation throughout this journey.

Here is this week’s challenge: Pay close attention to coincidences that occur in your life as you make self-care a top priority. Notice when something makes your life easier, or when you receive a gift of kindness from another. Write down these coincidence (miracles of grace).

I suggest to paying attention to your dreams as well. Through my personal experience, God has spoken to me through my dreams. If I am struggling with something in life, I always end up back at my childhood home in my dreams. In my dream, I discover a new door that I had not seen before and open it up. It is almost as if, God wants me to see a new perspective. That perspective provides new information for me to make a choice.
Long time ago, someone I knew referred to coincidences as “God incidences.” Recognizing small miracles of grace in the coincidences, learning to trust yourself and your intuition go hand in hand. God bless, may you experience the miracles of grace.

Resources:
Richardson, Cheryl. Life Make-overs: 52 Practical Ways to Improve Your Life. Broadway Books, New York. ©2000.

 

What is Hope?

What is Hope?

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”— 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, New Revised Standard Version.

A friend of mine, Marion Syversen, shared with me her definition of hope. I wanted to share it with you:

“Hope is a seed of vision placed in a dry and troubled heart with love. It is planted with encouragement and slathered in love and sometimes a hug. It is a gift that we can give to everyone.”

Hope is not optimism and wishes are not enough, stated Shane Lopez, author of the new book, Hope Happens. Hope is how we think about the future. How we hope determines how well we live our lives added Lopez.

In a recent article called “Making Hope Happen” (Live Happy, February 2014), author Shane Lopez states that Hope matters. It is a choice, it can be learned and it can be shared.

“Optimism is merely an attitude. Hope, on the other hand is belief plus action,” stated Lopez. (p. 50).
In Lopez’s work in psychology and neuroscience, he noted that intelligence or how smart people were, had little to do with coping when as patients. They were spinning out of control because of health, financial or relationship problems.

Hope is about our connection with our future. Stan Lopez ask what is your relationship with the future.
This article in Live Happy highlighted the work that Shane Lopez is doing in schools and in the community. He works with teachers and students as early as fifth grade.

I am no “negative ninny.” Yet, I honestly believe that we need to be realistic in setting our goals, or else we will lose motivation for achieving them. It is critical to be aware of our strengths, because, as Lopez states, our goals need to be aligned with our strengths. However, we also need to be aware of our weaknesses, because it can be at our lowest points that our weaknesses can chip away at our confidence, shake our resolution, and quite frankly, undermine our goal chasing.

Realism plays a big role. Just think of all the singers that audition for “American Idol.” Optimism will only get them so far. Talent, luck, choice, and hard work play big parts in getting past the initial judging.

Step up and create hope, and put action to your tomorrow. Next week, I will be sharing more definitions of hope. Please share with me your definitions of hope on A Creative Voice Beckons Face Book page:
https://www.facebook.com/acreativevoicebeckons?ref=hl

Resources
“Making Hope Happen” (Live Happy, magazine February 2014, pp. 49-51)

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-hope-20-uplifting-scripture-quotes/#ixzz2ss61N300

Go all in. Make a Commitment to You

Time is a gift that we need to steward, noted author and speaker Joyce Meyer.

What better thing than to commit time to make the most of ourselves.

In John 15:16, Jesus states “You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.”—New Revised Standard Version, Bible, p. 878.

Commitment can be a scary word. There are a lot of “what-ifs” that can pop into your head that can cause confusion in our hearts. Commitment requires courage, faith, trust, and love. I am not just talking about just commitment of romantic relationships. I am talking about a commitment to ourselves; to care for ourselves in mind, spirit and body. I am also talking about a commitment to our Christian faith.

Research has shown that many women tend to put themselves last and put the care for others such as their parents, spouses, children, and friends, first. So where does it leave us…over tired, lacking sleep, perhaps frustrated, worn out, and prone to get sick.

I saw a meme today on Face Book that showed a toddler calling their Grandmother, “Help Grandma, your daughter has lost it.” I have been there and I can relate.

I have no problem giving to others as that is my natural instinct. However, some of us can overdo-it. Perhaps we need to remember and follow the instructions that flight attendants give: put your oxygen mask on first, then assist others. (The bold italics is my emphasis).

“We are supposed to receive from God, be blessed, and use what He gives us to bless other people,” noted Joyce Meyer.

Yet, we can take giving of ourselves beyond our limits. If we get sick, we are not much good to ourselves or others. Yet there seems to be a cultural demand on women to care for all that surround them. It is a commitment many are willing to make, thus sacrificing who we are.

I say, 2014, is this year to go all in…make a commitment to make one change in your life for spiritual, mental and physical health. What is going to be? If you make it your goal to improve just one percent each week, you will see a fifty percent improvement over the twelve months. Wow…taking a step to commit to caring for we will have an overall impact our self-esteem, our mind, our body, and our spirit. If we feel better, we will have more energy to do what we enjoy. Trust me…this will have a positive impact on our loved ones.

I made a commitment last month to study God’s Word. So twice a month, I am taking part in a Bible Study group with my friend Kristen Hornbrook of Defeat Your Goliath . I have made a couple of friends through doing do so. It has taken me out of my comfort zone. It is expanding my mind.

“When God puts a dream in your heart or shows you what He wants you to do, you will have to commit to it and persevere. You have to confront issues in your life that will hinder you from fulfilling it,” wrote Joyce Meyer in her book, The Secret to True Happiness: Enjoy Today, Embrace Tomorrow.

Is there a dream that you have put off? Is there a goal that you want to achieve? Do you have a gift that you want to share?

Resources:
Meyer, Joyce. The Secret to True Happiness: Enjoy Today, Embrace Tomorrow. Faith Words, NY. ©2008

The Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version. Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI. ©1989.

Moving forward

Last month, I highlighted the challenges of looking through the rear view mirror at life. It gets me stuck. I hate being stuck. It is like spinning your tires in the ruts of a dirt road in Maine. It is like stepping into what you think is a shallow puddle and going up to your ankle instead.

We joke in Maine that our seasons differ than the rest of the country: winter, mud, brief spring, mosquito, a week of summer, then fall. We are on the cusp of mud season. I am hopeful we can move forward into the brief spring we get in Maine. There are buds are on the trees, brown grass instead the white of snow. During my walks up my road, I see that the pot holes and frost heaves are appearing instead of tire treads of snow, slush, and sand.

Moving forward is more than just the physical of our world. It is involves the realms of mental, emotional and spiritual. As I and my Christian brothers and sisters are in the Easter season; we are in the period of renewal. It is a time to move past the hibernation and stillness of winter and step out renewed. Moving forward can seem quite scary without a map or knowledge of what could happen. Yet, it is also has an unleashing power. Moving forward has an energy and power to incorporate our internal spirit that yearns for freedom.

“For God has no given us a spirit of cowardice; but rather a spirit of power and of love, and of self-discipline” -2 Timothy 1:7, p. 966, New Revised Standard Version Bible

No more looking over my shoulder or through the rearview mirror. I need and desire to move forward, grow and learn. Delve into the daily experience of life. Be in the moment instead of a spectator of the parade. It also means taking better care of me. Creating a wellness and peace that spans body, mind and spirit. Explore my faith more fully than I have in years past.

“even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.”
–Ephesians 2:5, p. 950 New Revised Standard Version Bible

One of my favorite authors Joyce Meyer, offers inspiration, “part of embracing your tomorrow will be developing a positive attitude toward new opportunities.” P. 266, The Secret of True Happiness.

Now I need to step ahead and seek out the new opportunities. How will you move forward? Share your ideas on my Face Book page, Paula Rizzo Baines.

*New Revised Standard Version, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI ©1989.
**Meyer, Joyce. The Secret of True Happiness. Faithwords, New York. ©2008.