April Showers - May Flowers
Spring - New Beginnings
Learning to Live Again
Spring is here across the land. It is a time of rebirth, replacement, renewal and fresh starts. This year, because of the virus we are getting an opportunity to discover strengths within, ideas, creativity and innovation. The reset button is in its place. Flowers are blooming both outdoors and inside our hearts and souls.
Equally relevant is the hardship with the loss of loved ones, jobs and retirement funds along with so much more. How do you marry the beauty of spring with desperation and tragedy? The virus has indeed set the world off kilter and righting it back into a new reality will take a significant amount of time. The universe we live in is bound to be different in a variety of ways and perchance better.
We can only hope that strength, courage, independence, self-reliance and a survivor instinct will leap forward. Change is here just as the flowers are renewed from the ground. New beginnings are everywhere. How we work, live, eat, travel, give back, and communicate with others is all in play. The future is unknown though the opportunities are endless.
Flowers for Thought
Integrity is the Best Policy
We can revise, amend and move forward with grace and dignity. Evolving can be a beautiful word. Bring your best self forward with your words and actions. When you fail, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and march on knowing that you are aware that your integrity and those of others is everything. Especially in today's climate when the world is an upside down apple-cake and confusing.
"It is important to take an honest look at yourself. Do your words match your actions? If not, your words are meaningless."
Love is the Gatekeeper
Love prevails and is the only path. How you love yourself is often telling. We all have struggles, challenges and fears yet we must try and love ourselves and circumstances. Our lives are a gift. Or another word is "like" the present and where you dwell. The word love and like can be interchangeable. If you can achieve self- contentment, then liking everyone you engage with is entirely possible. Of course, boundaries are important too. Protect your inner self from negative energy. Surround yourself with love and not hate or anger.
It is simple belief. All roads are open when you seek out love and light. As a result, your responses will reflect inner love of self, love for the world and love for others.
"Love thy neighbor, as thyself." Matthew 22:39
True Friends are Fans
Friendship in life is the most precious gift of all. When you meet someone and become a close friend it is wondrous gift never to be squandered. I have been blessed to have a few close girlfriends that are my inner circle of confidants. Yes, we are not perfect and have moments but we makeup, grow and refresh our relationships. We are careful to never overstep nor destroy a relationship. The relationships are too valuable. You see them and they see you.
What is a friend?
From a book called, Toxic Friends - 10 ways of dealing with people who make your life miserable by Lillian Glass
- A friend is not just a person whom you have known for a long time.
- A friend is someone who helps you through crises.
- A friend is elated for your happiness.
- A friend is not jealous of you.
- A friend will never break a confidence.
- A friend will defend you.
- A friend is respectful, generous, sensitive and accepting.
- A friend openly and honestly shares thoughts and feelings with you.
- A friend does not judge you.
These are your biggest fans. Occasionally the dynamic between two people might need to be replaced with a new dance. We are human after all. We each know when the era comes to change a melody to a slow methodical beat. Conceivably, the tempo will change and pick up speed in the future. Or the relationship changes and moves on. People are brought into your life for various reasons and a few remain constant.
Who do you call in crisis? The inner circle.
Who do you call when you have a problem? Who is there for you no matter what? Who is not trying to change you? The most important question: Who supports and loves you as you are? Who accepts the good and bad within you? In other words, they cherish your existence, and nothing would ever break that bond.
This is a perfect space to look deep within and note who "has your back?" Hopefully, all of us have someone. If you do not, then open your door. There are so many who want to connect and have "true" friends that hold your hand as you journey through life.
"It's not the diamond that are a girl's best friend, but it your best friends that are diamonds." Gina Barreca (American Academic and Humorist)
The Art of Saving Money
How many of you have saved money during this crisis? I would suspect many have saved by not overspending on essentials. For instance, women are painting their own nails and coloring hair. Or maybe making dinner every night, a yummy latte in the morning or a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. It is stunning how much money can be curtailed when doing it yourself. No more unnecessary stops that cost in the long run.
Even painting rooms has become a favorite obsession. Celebrities in social media and personal friends are painting rooms for fun. People are being creative and realizing they can complete a project on your own.
Of course, perhaps not cutting their own hair! When the salons open, we will all head back though maybe not as often. What we realized is that we can do much by ourselves and the sense of accomplishment is profound.
The sky is the limit when saving a few pennies here and there.
"Earning a lot of money is not the key to prosperity. How you handle it is." Dave Ramsey (American Radio Host)
Social Media Diet
Currently most of us are connecting daily via texting, reading social media sites, email and video. Texting and social media are poor forms of communication on important issues except for video conferences. Why you ask? Because the perception of written words is different for everyone and can be mistakenly misinterpreted. Perhaps information is being shared that is the opposite of another persons thinking. This might cause lead conflict, anxiety or anger by others. It is best to limit opinions on any issue unless using video where you can see their aces.
What is Social Media Good For?
Social media communication is perfect for sharing the latest funny video when you are arriving somewhere and displaying upbeat photos. Also checking in to see if you are okay. It is the lowest form of connecting.
Another idea is to take a break from social media. How about not texting, reading texts, or checking social media sites for a few days or every weekend? I have friends who are not on social media and they do not care to ever to be on it. They do not feel like they are missing out. A couple days of no written communication is a breath of fresh air. Read a book instead with coffee and sunshine. Talk to your family, play a game and put the phone and electronics away.
Social Media Diet
For quick and satisfying communication pick up the phone. The reward is ten-fold over the written form.
"Skill in the art of communication is crucial to a leader's success. He can accomplish nothing unless he can communicate effectively." Norman Allen (Playwright)
Kindness is an art. Kindness is a conscious skill. Kindness reflects you. I have written about kindness in other posts and still find that it is lacking. It could be because we are living through an extraordinary hardship and emotions are high. People can be rude in grocery stores, driving or even on walks. Though I must say in my neighborhood everyone is gracious, keeps their distance and says hi.
How does one become a "kind" person? Well, it is easy. Watch your words both written and verbal. We all know this is the truth because when we are not kind, we know it. I have been there and most likely so have you. Thus, it is work in progress to be present and to be kind. Kindness is paramount now.
"We say that flowers return every spring, but that is a lie. It is true that the world is renewed. It is also true that the renewal comes at a price, for even if the flower grows from an ancient vine, the flowers of spring are themselves new to the world, untried and untested.
The flower that wilted last year is gone. Petals once fallen are fallen forever. Flowers do not return in the spring, rather they are replaced. It is in this difference between returned and replaced that the price of renewal is paid.
And as it is for spring flowers, so it is for us." - Daniel Abraham, The Price of Spring