smidgen of hope

SMIDGEN of HOPE

SMIDGEN of HOPE   What is your definition of hope? Do you even believe in the concept of hope? I know of people who have no belief in hope. Hope to them is foolish. Hope has kept me alive in certain periods of my life. It may also have contributed to my staying in situations for too long. The Oxford Dictionary defines the word as: “A feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. A person or thing that may help or save someone. Grounds for believing that something good may happen. archaic  A feeling of trust.” -- https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/hope As a child, I hoped the abuse would stop. My goal was to become perfect. Maybe that would prevent the abuse from occurring ever again. I had fantasies of someone saving me … a Prince Charming. The idea of hoping could be considered foolish. Yet fantasies and hope (however childish) of a better life kept me alive through terrible times. As a young adult, the Prince Charming did not come. I fell into a relationship of domestic violence with torture once I left my mother’s house. Leaving the abusive family of origin and moving into a DV (domestic ...
past, present and future

PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE

PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE   Past, present and future are important aspects of one’s journey. Do you put more weight on one segment of your life than others? How does that affect who you are and how you live your life? Past – 2016 (or even further past) Present – this moment – today Future – Hopes and/or Fears I recently watched the last half of “It’s a Wonderful Life” with James Stewart playing George Bailey. Most of my readers have probably seen the movie, so I will not go into depth regarding the plot. If you have not watched “It’s a Wonderful Life”, you may enjoy it! George Bailey is desperate and suicidal. George is facing financial ruin and even jail. An angel trying to get his wings saves George. This angel then proceeds to show George what his life would have been like if he had not lived. George also sees what occurred to others who did not have George in his life. These experiences of seeing life as if he had not been born gave George a different perspective of his life in the present. He returns to his wife and children filled with joy. Whether he ...
grief, light and love

GRIEF, LIGHT and LOVE

GRIEF, LIGHT and LOVE   Grief, light and love may be a part of your holiday season. Although we picture the ideal peace and joy of the season, many of us experience grief as well. The reasons for grieving are varied. I do not need to enumerate them here. Each of us know what causes us heartbreak, sadness, and grief. Recently I was unexpectedly struck by grief. This sadness was precipitated by the realization that it has been ten years since I spent the holidays with my daughter. Years are gone. The love is not lost though. Aeschylus wrote: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.” As I sat … in tears … I once again realized that grief had struck. Grief is like that. It comes and goes. Grief has a life of its own. The intensity may lessen over time. Sometimes we need to revisit hurts and losses of our past to process them further. This revisiting can be surprisingly healing. Bittersweet is a word someone used to describe the loss of a parent ...
gratitude challenge

GRATITUDE CHALLENGE

 GRATITUDE CHALLENGE   October has arrived! Autumn is here. Thanksgiving will arrive in six weeks! Readers may remember that this time of year brings gratitude to my mind. I am offering my readers a chance to participate in a gratitude challenge. Megan (my daughter) and I used to keep a blank piece of paper on the refrigerator starting in October. This paper became our gratitude list. Whenever the mood struck, one of us would write something that caused us to be grateful. (See my blog post: http://roadtofreedomandpeace.com/gratitude/.) I removed the list after Thanksgiving. The lists were kept to glance at each year. Unfortunately, the sheets of papers were left in my former apartment in Germany when I left abruptly to protect Megan. The lists and memories remain in my heart though. Gratitude exists in my heart! The gratitude challenge is quite simple. Make a gratitude list of your own this October and November. Maybe you will even choose to keep two separate lists. A community or family list could be on the fridge and a personal list could be kept by your bedside (or in another safe place). Make sure the list is where it can be seen or where ...
cat's comfort zone

COMFORT ZONE

 COMFORT ZONE   Do you find it easy or difficult to step outside of your comfort zone? Are you a creature of habit? Many of us are. Do you desire change, but draw back when you arrive at the line of demarcation between comfort and discomfort?  What holds you back? Take a moment and look at the photo of the cat in the tree looking at the moon. Do you think the feline is a creature who lives in the outdoors and is in its comfort zone? Or do you imagine the cat was accustomed to a cozy indoor lifestyle and decided to leave its comfort zone for a night? It is something to ponder for a moment or two. What does the cat see? How does it feel? Maybe it is an outside cat who sits on the tree branch often and is in its comfort zone. Maybe this feline is lonely though and is deciding whether to take a chance with human beings to find a new home. It makes me smile to imagine the cat is an inside creature who decided to leave the house. Maybe this cat is sitting on the branch filled with a sense ...
don't stop - perseverance

DON’T STOP! KEEP ON GOING!

DON'T STOP! KEEP ON GOING!   Perseverance … Determination … Resiliency … Momentum … Endurance … Strength … “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill The words above convey power … personal power, communal power, and societal power. I just finished reading the book titled “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. It was highly recommended to me by more than one person. It is the fictional story of two sisters during World War II. (See: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21853621-the-nightingale.) For anyone who has seen the horrors of war or who has survived the horrors of abuse and torture or who has been close to someone who has been a victim of the aforementioned, this book has even more depth as well as hope. Life does not always bring success in the way we hoped. Sometimes success comes after a person’s death. We all heard stories of starving artists whose works of arts are admired and loved after their deaths. It may take generations for families to heal from generational abuse and to fully escape from it. Life evolves. How do we continue? How do we go forth when life’s trials seem overwhelming or never-ending? How do ...
"little" gains

LIFE’S “LITTLE” GAINS

LIFE’S “LITTLE” GAINS   Can you name one of life’s “little” gains that occurred this month? Do you tend to mainly see the big changes or large gains in your life? If you are in therapy or a support group, do you focus on not achieving the big goals in your life? Are you frustrated that you did not land your dream job or meet your perfect mate? Life’s “little” gains may be easily overlooked. It is human to look forward to reaching that next goal of importance in your life. The road to reaching your dreams may contain a multitude of “little” gains that we blow off as not being important enough. I, as a life coach, challenge you to be aware of your life’s “little” gains! “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu Maybe you work with a coworker who you dislike or she/he dislikes you. You find common ground one day and the work environment improves for both of you. I would label that as a “little” gain for both of you. ...
stories

STORIES: The GIFTS THEY MAY BRING US!

STORIES: THE GIFTS THEY MAY BRING US!   Do you enjoy stories? Are you a reader of biographies or autobiographies? Do you find yourself reading portions or vignettes of people’s stories online? Have you ever wondered why you are drawn to knowing about the experiences of others? Stories may bring us gifts that we do not even recognize. My writing style has evolved over the years. As a life coach and a blogger, certain marketing and search engine optimization techniques are recommended. Part of me rebels. I seek to be authentic and true to myself. The business part of me knows I “should” conform more in order to enlarge my reader and client base. I usually lean toward authenticity over marketing. There is a part of me – the spiritual core – that trusts my future readers and clients will discover me. Recommendations are given to write posts using a step method. An example is five steps to a new you or 10 steps to relieve stress. I understand these titles are catchy and do persuade people to read (or at least skim) these articles or posts. There are times that I do write using that step method. Mostly though, ...