loving connections and loneliness

LOVING CONNECTIONS & LONELINESS

LOVING CONNECTIONS & LONELINESS: A Paradox – Part 1   The loving connections and loneliness paradox is apparent in my life. In spite of loving connections in my life, I experience intense, profound loneliness sometimes. In the past, I would attempt to escape the loneliness through unhealthy and healthy methods. Now I befriend loneliness or at least get to know it better! This post will concentrate on the loving connection aspect of life. I will address the loneliness piece in the next post. Loving connections are any type of relationships that contain a meeting of hearts or souls. These meetings may be short or long, simple or complex. Loving connections may include: friendships, significant other relationships, parent-child ones, parent-adult child bonds, or even a momentary interaction with a stranger or acquaintance. We each know and experience loving connections. Define it as you will! Take a moment as you read this post to breathe. (After reading this paragraph, look up from the screen and breathe.) Life is often quite busy. I find myself skimming articles too much of the time. If you are able, sit. Relax. Breathe … take a deep breath … again … Spend a few moments thinking of ...
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: https://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 ...
intention of a good day

DECISION to HAVE a GOOD DAY!

 DECISION to HAVE a GOOD DAY!   Have you ever made the decision to have a good day? Was the intention beneficial? When the day ended, did you feel a sense of satisfaction even if the day was not perfect? I was working in a coffee shop one day when a coworker reflected that customers seemed to be in good moods. My impression and comment to her was that we, the employees, were happy and that happiness made a positive impact on our customers. She thought about it and agreed. Months later during a very rocky and stressful period at work, this coworker and I made the spoken decision to have a good day. This included our desire to improve customers’ moods and possibly our other coworkers’ attitudes. The morning working with her was a success – at least for the two of us! I am sure our positive, pleasant attitudes provided benefits to both customers and coworkers. When my coworker left for the day and I remained, it was more difficult for me alone to sustain the positive mood and atmosphere. Other coworkers arrived who were dealing with the stressful work environment in their usual ways. Although the day ...
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, ...
freedom

FREEDOM LIST

 FREEDOM LIST   Today I am introducing the idea of a freedom list. I like gratitude lists, as my readers and friends know. Gratitude brings forth a sense of joy or peace especially in time periods when life seems gloomy and despair is near or here. When I was first in a 12-step program, the idea of a gratitude list was introduced to me. It became a yearly habit each October or November to put a blank piece of paper on the refrigerator. My young daughter, Megan, and I would write whatever either one of us was grateful for on any given day. Some items were funny, some poignant, some unusual, as well as the normal things that evoke thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, I would remove the list. After several years of gratitude lists, it was interesting to reread the recordings of our gratitude. Growth occurred. No matter what was occurring in our lives, there were always many items on the paper. Gratitude existed. July 4th, Independence Day, always brings to mind my own independence. Thoughts of victims still in domestic violence relationships, incest, or other type of abusive situations weigh heavy on my mind also. My heart goes out to ...

SIGNS of HEALING

SIGNS of HEALING   You allow yourself to face the past and present abusive situations in your life. You find the courage to deal with the truth of the abuse in your past. If you are currently in a domestic violence situation or any situation of abuse or trauma, you admit it and find help. Healing becomes a strong possibility. You have an inkling that you are worthy of a better life. You do not doubt your memories. You do not continually question how could this person who should have loved you and protected you be a perpetrator of abuse and/or torture. You accept that, sadly, the person who “should” have loved you committed abuse against you. Life is not the way you want it to be. It is the way it is. You arrive fully at acceptance – not approval – of the trauma that occurred.  You do not have to prove that the abuse happened. Some people may label you as mentally ill, especially the perpetrator(s). Your therapist, friends, and others (including survivors) believe you. The urge to prove the abuse occurred is no longer with you. It is enough that you know it did. You are no longer ...
importance of community

IMPORTANCE of COMMUNITY

IMPORTANCE of COMMUNITY   As a life coach, broaching the subject of community has value for clients. Where do you rank the importance of community in your life? Are you single? Do you have a significant other? Children? Aging parents? Are you an active member of a church or spiritual group? Do you belong to a meet-up  group in an area of interest to you? At different ages and stages of our lives, community has different meanings and levels of importance. It is valuable to analyze and acknowledge your individual need to belong to a group to give and receive support and love. As individuals, our desires vary. Americans tend to be rugged individualists and quite independent. The idea of doing it myself without help is not a foreign one to most of us. Some cultures tend to value extended families and reaching out for help and support. Where do you fit in? What is good for you? I enjoy television shows, such as “Gilmore Girls”, where families of all types exist and communities are formed. These communities do not only include family members. Who will bring you chicken soup if you are ill? Who do you serve when they ...
smidgen of hope

CELEBRATIONS!

CELEBRATIONS!   I am a believer in celebrations! If you are reading this post on the day it is going live, my daughter is arriving to visit me. Megan (my daughter) and I will celebrate her graduation from college and her new job! Celebrations, in my mind, do not need to big ones. We tend to mark milestones such as weddings with big gatherings or receptions. There is much joy when a marriage is celebrated, or a child is born or baptized, or a first new home is bought. Acknowledging those milestones with a reception, big party or an open house is wonderful. Funerals, wakes, and memorial services may be a celebration of a person’s life and the love shared. Life, though, holds many smaller occasions and even tiny moments to acknowledge with joy as a celebration. As a homeschooling mom, I marked certain days and seasons to change the schedule and to take a day off from our normal routines. Birthdays (both mine and Megan’s) were a reason to not homeschool, but to spend the day in other enjoyable ways. Children naturally celebrate life and the small details of life. There was a child’s book that spoke of turning ...