Sunday, February 26, 2023



"Happiness does not come from happiness itself, but from the journey towards achieving it."  Finnish Proverb

Through observing my dogs, I have come to the conclusion that our dogs really are more on cue with self-care than most humans. Our Earth gives us so many ways to heal ourselves and to take care of ourselves, yet so many times we are too busy to take the time to notice this. 

For me, especially in the winter months, a cup of tea is such a sweet thing to do for myself. I just must take the time to do this once a day. It warms my very soul. Many times, it is when I finally take a moment to put my feet up and just breathe.... which by the way is another major observation of dog behavior. They obviously can't make a cup of tea, even if they wanted it, but they do love their little treats and notice the way they breathe. It is the correct way of breathing (just like an infant). The simplicity of full body breath affects everything within us from the spinal column, to our lungs and our nervous system. I have noticed that just as each of my dogs get ready for a little rest, they take a deep breath, sort of a deep sigh. From that point on they are breathing by inhaling and their belly moves up...exhaling takes it back down again. This oxygenates our bodies and stirs up the nerves throughout our system. It is the consistent care and attentiveness to one form of self care.

"Discipline provides a constancy which is independent of what kind of day you had yesterday and what kind of day you anticipate today." Jon Kabat-Zinn

We all need to acknowledge our small moments of accomplishments and think about what courage we had to achieve our goals. Enjoy it and relish in it. Every moment won't be perfect and that is ok. That's life. We can't have it all every moment. What I like to do is to think of all of the good things that I have and go for the gold. In other words, don't save the good dishes for special occasions only. We are special and we should enjoy using it for ourselves. One specific example I read about is that if you get a box of expensive organic dark chocolate cherries and only eat a few each day. Then later you discover the others have started to rot away. One must give freely and abundantly even to ourselves. I know that my dogs do this as a second nature. It seems that the moral here is that, "While we pursue happiness we flee from contentment." This is a Hasidic proverb which really hit home with me. 

Change is always inevitable. I am learning more to make do with what I have. It is enough. And it can be quite interesting. It can be a time to slow down and listen to the quiet. 

Saturday, February 18, 2023



Now that we all have just gotten through Valentine's Day, I was thinking, especially for myself, that it would be a good time to think about my own Love Inventory. It seems that when Valentine's Day comes around that there are so many people who have love on the brain. I am not excluding myself. Afterall, Steve and I married on Valentine's Day. It was OUR day. In reality, every day was OUR day. Love is not something to focus on for one day a year.

Love needs to be a daily practice of loving yourself and those around you. It often takes practice to accomplish this. I took a Love Inventory Self Assessment that was on-line and could be taken as an individual or a couple. When I took the Inventory, I discovered that I was most definitely a Right Brain person. More subjective, seeing the big picture, kinesthetic and paying more attention to what my heart says. I really did not need an Inventory test to learn this.

The "unifier" is the one who has intuitive skills, usually calm, gives love and accepts love unconditionally, spiritual, creative, and I do know that I fit into most of these categories vs. a logical thinker. 

One way to be sure to work on this love practice is to always write how you practice love daily in a journal. I find it can be most meaningful and rewarding to myself. I love to write as if I am talking to Steve if he were still physically here with me. And, I try to include what inspired my love for others today. Putting a smile on my face, looking at others in positive ways can be so fulfilling. My heart seems to grow stronger with love. Sounds corny, I know. Hey, that is just me and who I am. 

Yesterday, I was a judge in an Elementary Science Fair. As each child came up to present their project, I could feel their love of what they were presenting and how proud they felt to share it with me. (Let's say at least 9 times out of 10!) Love is everywhere. Love is all around us.

It can even happen in line while waiting at the grocery store. It is a form of kindness for others. Sharing a piece of yourself, not expanding only on the romantic love and finding our soulmate. The absolute chance to love and be loved can happen at just about any moment in our lives such as with friends, with family, and yes, even at times with strangers. Thinking of times when someone showed me that they cared enough to do a little something special for me. It is always fun to reciprocate that love. Then it becomes a special bond. 

I highly suggest each person take a look at their own Love Inventory and write about it or sketch it out. Sometimes we can surprise ourselves with our own creativity. No one will be judging you.

Saturday, February 11, 2023



As I wrote about just a few blogs ago, for myself, I do not set resolutions. I set a word to live by that fits what I feel will help me to accomplish what I want to set out to do. Definitely, it is based on good intentions so in a round about way, I guess it is sort of a resolution yet it covers so many areas of my life. 

It is interesting to notice that the New Year starts with a BANG at gyms everywhere. The resolution being that there are those that want to get fit and back in shape, or healthier, etc. If you drive by the gyms in January the parking lots are jammed full. Now that we are coming up on mid-February...not so much. 

For me, setting my hopes on one specific thing or several things just did not make it happen for me. This is why my word is the best thing for me to work with. It is broader in my mind and not just ONE focus to work on. 

Don't get me wrong. Intentions do matter, just not always so specific. I have good intentions of getting my exercise in and my own positive hope can help that happen. And I will say that if a day goes by and it is not on my things accomplished, then I make sure that I do not beat myself up about it. I am human. I look over my schedule and see what I possibly could have changed around so that it does not happen again in the next few days. It is the little steps that matter to me of what I want to accomplish so it is important to look at my intentions and did I fulfill them? Sometimes it is a matter of getting back on the right track of my "HOPE."

I need to be my own inspiration. Thinking about what will inspire me to meet my intentions. It is good to have my own inspirations, yet also I believe that it is wise to allow some others that I admire to help inspire me and to help give me hope of meeting my goals.

Many times it is the hardest thing of all just to "get started." I know that I had a task that was not going to be easy. I held high hopes that I could do it. I almost didn't go through with it at all. I am the Queen of putting it off and talking myself out of something that is scaring me to try. FINALLY, after two hours of coming up in my head with all of the reasons that I could not accomplish this task...I pulled up my big girl panties, marched to the car and I did it. And if I say so myself, I did it with confidence and my head held high. YES! I did make it happen all by myself. There are no words to use that can let others know just how proud that I was of myself. It was exhilarating. 

Everyday there are not always major tasks that I hope I can accomplish to get this feeling of walking on sunshine. Yet there are most of the time at least small tasks that need to be celebrated. In fact, I love to make a list in my journal at night of things that I can celebrate throughout my day. All of these little things can really add up and make me feel proud. That is where the HOPE comes in. Time does seem to fly so that is why it is so important to celebrate the large and not so large accomplishments in our lives.

I never let go of HOPE. I hold on to it, even if it is at times pulling me along instead of me pulling it along.

Saturday, February 4, 2023




Just the other day I saw a quote with a picture of Liam Neeson above it. I actually believed that this must have been his quote. After a bit of research, I discovered that a Bosnian writer used this quote in one of his books. His name is Mesa Selimovic. 

I believe that you may be able to see where I could have been mistaken. However, I really wanted to get into the actual quote.  So, let's start with the beginning. Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true. If you remember back to the song  called 'Love Hurts' sung by many different artists including The Everly Brothers, Roy Obison, and Nazareth you may believe that it does. The song states that love wounds and marks any heart not tough and strong. And on and on and on. And I suppose, literally? It can. But let's not look at it in such a way. 

There are many things that hurt. Loneliness hurts.


Chemicals are released in the brain when we deal with emotions such as loneliness and rejection and envy. It is a little different than physical pain but nonetheless, it has been scientifically proven to be true. Neuroscience has concluded that it does literally hurt.

Moving on to the 'the envy' part of the quote, we all know this is not a pleasant experience. It can make us feel inferior to other people. The negative effects of envy can make us less likely to help others. So yes, envy hurts.

One more emotion that I would like to add in this blog is grief. It is hard and it hurts. It is such a personal thing and it upends our world because it is so confusing. It changes us and others may not understand what some are going through. It hits the heart and it hurts because love is real. 

What is important to remember is that everyone gets these things all confused with love, but in reality love is the only thing in this world that covers up all pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in this world that does not hurt.

Although the pain of losing the love of my life has taken me through so many different phases of emotions (and I am still going through them and will be forever) I still know my love for him in my heart is what I will always need. When I think of him and feel all of our memories come to life then I know that love can make someone feel wonderful again, even if it is in a different way.