I Have a Dream

On Monday, January 18, 2021 the US celebrates the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. 
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968.

Although his life ended, the work that he had accomplished changed the nation. King will be remembered not only for his commitment to the cause of equality for African Americans but also for his profound speeches that moved so many.

In reading some of MLK’s quotes, I feel inspired and enlivened. Today,  I would like to share excerpts from his “I Have a Dream” speech and a few of his famous quotes My reason is to inspire and enliven you to stand up for what you believe in and follow your dreams. Too often, we become discouraged by what others may say or how they react to our ideas. Or we sabotage ourselves with negative self-talk. 
Do not let others or your inner being talk you out of what is meant for you. What you truly believe in. Affirm everyday that you can and you will succeed. You are your own coach. Of course, if you are like me, I thrive on reading positive, encouraging and enlightening quotes, phrases, books, lectures, teachings and writings. I focus on that. It nourishes me. It supports me. It strengthens my resolve and commitment to continue on. We can all benefit from that. It may not be easy at times. But it is worth it.  So Dream on!

King’s celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered on August 28, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in which he called for civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States. 

“So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. 
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.”

And througout his life, the words of Martin Luther King Jr. resonated and inspired others to follow their dreams and stand up for what they believed in. He was so gifted as a communicator and was able to positively evoke activism and right action in those that heard him speak. A few of his quotes:

“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.”

“The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

“No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”

“You will change your mind; You will change your looks; You will change your smile, laugh, and ways but no matter what you change, you will always be you.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

“Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”

“We cannot walk alone.”

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

“World peace through nonviolent means is neither absurd nor unattainable. All other methods have failed. Thus we must begin anew. Nonviolence is a good starting point. Those of us who believe in this method can be voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion. We can very well set a mood of peace out of which a system of peace can be built.”

“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.”

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” 

Martin Luther King Jr. truly left his mark on society and inspired the human race to strive for harmony among all people. His tragic death shocked the nation, but his words and his dedication to equality continue to inspire all generations.

May his thoughts and words and life inspire you to be a Better You.
With Love and Light and a Dream,
Karen

A New Meaning for DBA

DBA is known as the acronym for “doing business as.” It relates to a business that operates using a name that is different from the owner’s name or from the legal name of the partnership, LLC, or corporation. 

However, I recently learned of a different way the acronym could be used by all of us. And what a great tool it is as we embark on a New Year.
It is the theme for the 2021 Pasadena Rose Parade. Since the parade as we have known it was virtually reimagined due to the Covid restrictions and safety guidelines, it was decided to carry over the theme into 2022. The theme is:
Dream. Believe. Achieve! 

Although the theme references the Pasadena Tournament of Roses commitment to celebrating education’s ability to open doors, open minds and change lives, it presents a great acronym for us all. 

These three words have powerful meanings that we all can benefit from and incorporate into our daily lives. Let’s look at each word individually.

Dream 
A dream is a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that usually occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. Dreams are not fully understood, although they have been a topic of scientific, philosophical and religious interest throughout history. Dream interpretation is the attempt at drawing meaning from dreams and searching for an underlying message.
Opinions about the meaning of dreams have varied and shifted through time and culture. From Freudian’s theory that dreams reveal insight into hidden desires and emotions, theories suggesting dreams assist in memory formation, problem solving, or simply random brain activation, to the theory that dreams are a connection to the unconscious mind. Dreams can have varying natures, such as being frightening, exciting, magical, melancholic, adventurous, or sexual. Dreams can at times make a creative thought occur to the person or give a sense of inspiration.

Believe
Believe comes from old German words meaning to have trust. 
Belief doesn’t require proof, just acceptance. 
To believe can mean having confidence. If you believe in me, you think I can do what I set out to do.
Believe can also mean to think that something is true, correct or real. Think that a fact is true. Have opinion about what is true or likely. Accept as true.
Have faith or confidence in the existence or reliability of something.
A strong belief in yourself can bring you many benefits: ​You recognize your ability to accomplish goals. ​You’re optimistic about the future as you set goals and achieve them. ​Deep down inside, you know you can do anything.
Believing in yourself affects everything you do. Everything. From your professional life to your personal life to your solitary life. In your relationship with yourself and in your relationships with others, both personally and professionally. In the choices you make and in the dreams you dream. How you view yourself, how you measure your value, how you assess your potential and how you determine your worth all combine to create the life you will live.

Achieve
Successfully bring about or reach (a desired objective, level, or result) by effort, skill, or courage.
Carry out successfullyAccomplish, attain the result, reach your objective
Conclude, bring about, win, manage, obtain, attain, work out, accomplish, end, enact, do, complete, reach, produce, gain, realize, earn, resolve, settle, solve.

Success magazine published an article in 2017: 7 Steps to Achieve Your Dream
Step 1: Dream it. Everything begins in the heart and mind. … 
Step 2: Believe it. Yes, your dream needs to be big. … 
Step 3: See it. The great achievers have a habit. … 
Step 4: Tell it. One reason many dreams never go anywhere is because the dreamer keeps it all to himself. … 
Step 5: Plan it. … 
Step 6: Work it. … 
Step 7: Enjoy it.

Dream  Believe  Achieve or DBA has also been written about by Ed DeCosta, one of the most engaging executive coaches and thought leaders of our time. Here are some excerpts from How can you become the best possible version of you? 

Step 1  Dream
Begin with dreaming (conceptualizing). You have to think about it, and feel it first. You have to think about what it is you want to achieve. Not only do you make those commitments and focus on what they are, you need to understand why it is important to you. The “why” is a step that you would be foolish to skip, because if you don’t think about and really fantasize about how it will feel when you do the things you put down on your plan, then you are likely to lose momentum. You are likely to lose the enthusiasm that you generate during the planning process.

Step 2  Believe
Believe you have to have high enough self-esteem. And if you don’t? You can get it from elsewhere. Borrow others’ belief in you.
Ultimately, it has to rest inside of you. You have to understand your destiny, your fate, your potential, and what your purpose is. You must believe that, with the right level of effort sustained over a significant period of time, you can, in fact, do it. Be inspired by other people who have overcome bigger obstacles than you are facing. Most likely, you will be able to find them. But you have to believe you can do it.

Step 3  Achieve
Once you’ve dreamed it, and believe it, then set concrete goals to actually achieve it. Break it down by quarter, month, week, day, and, literally, by the hour. Use timers, create a vision board as the physical representation – a manifestation – of what your goal is.
Do you want to manifest your own destiny? It has to start in your heart, then go to your head, and then get reduced to paper. Once you do that, you are well on your way to achieving the kind of results and the kind of life you want.

The Tournament of Roses, Success magazine, and Ed DeCosta have all tapped into the power of Dream  Believe  Achieve or DBA. Now it is your turn.

With Light and Love and DBA,
Karen

 

 

 

It’s a New Day…a New Year…a New Beginning

I have read many articles, posts, headlines and comments these last few days about ways to kickoff 2021.

So many varying thoughts on whether or not to make resolutions, set goals, define your intentions, create your vision board, set your priorities, write in a journal, do yoga, meditate, exercise, eat healthier, practice self care, and so on.

Who is right? Well, it all depends on you. What feels right for you. Identify what will work for you. And so important, for all 365 days of the year. Not just a week, not just a month, but for the entire year. 

During the month of January, I usually encounter more runners on the beach that are not familiar faces. These are the newcomers that have made a New Year’s resolution to be more active. I applaud them and do wonder how long I will see them. No surprise that when February rolls around, most of them are no longer out there. What happened? For whatever reason, their commitment could not be sustained. I do hope though they find the activity that is right for them, for we all benefit from daily exercise (physical, mental and spiritual).

Take the time to reflect on 2020. What did you learn? Yes, we all were dealing with so many negative and disturbing issues; Covid, racial injustice, political unrest, police brutality, the economy, the election, unemployment, wildfires and other climate related disasters. However, we survived. We are getting to the other side. In a way, we were forced to develop greater resilience, persistence, determination and resolve. And while many felt paralyzed and unable to cope, others prospered, succeeded and started new ventures, learned new skills and sought out ways to be culturally entertained. 

I think we should pat ourselves on the back. Difficulties that we overcome do make us stronger. We realize what is truly important. Personally, being a cancer survivor of what will be 16 years in March, I am grateful for each day of living. I give thanks for the natural beauty around me, for a loving partner that encourages me, inspires me, and challenges me. For friends and family. For all the experiences of my Life up to this point and still to come. I never want to not appreciate the gift of Life.

During the past year, I have also heard and read more people talking about kindness, compassion, Love for self and Love for others, respect, peace, and harmony. Collectively, this energy will continue to gain strength and impact all of us.  For regardless of whether we agree with someone else, they deserve as you do to feel respected and accepted. 

So however you decide to make 2021 your Best Year Ever, begin the journey. Continue to evolve. Continue to seek out adventures and experiences that will enhance your Life to be the Best you that you can be. Even though we are still working through all the issues that developed in 2020, adventures and experiences are still available. It just takes a little creativity, imagination, technology and your willingness to be open to the possibilities. 

With Light and Love and wishes for your incredible journey into 2021.
Karen

 

 

Winter Solstice

For us in the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice marks the longest of nights and shortest of days of the year. Meanwhile, the Southern Hemisphere is having short nights and long days. 

The 2020 December solstice moment – when the sun reaches its southernmost point in the sky – will happen on Monday, December 21, 2020. No matter where you live – no matter what time the solstice happens for you – it’s your signal to celebrate.

For us on the northern part of Earth, the shortest day comes at the solstice. After the winter solstice, the days get longer, and the nights shorter. It’s a seasonal shift that nearly everyone notices. My husband and I recalled that a few years ago we experienced the solstice in Alaska. As it was getting dark at 3:30pm, we were so excited to start enjoying more daylight. And everyone around was celebrating! 

According to Forever Conscious, “The winter solstice celebrates the longest hours of darkness or the rebirth of the sun and is believed to hold a powerful energy for regeneration, renewal and self-reflection.”

In looking up the significance of the Winter Solstice on various websites,  I related to the concept that this is a time of quiet energy, where you get the opportunity to look within yourself and focus on what you want and need. It’s a time to set goals and intentions for the coming year, to examine and let go of our past, and to make changes within ourselves. The solstice is essentially tied to a personal awakening. Probably the most important spiritual meaning of the winter solstice is that this is a time meant to reflect and recreate yourself. 

So on Dec 21st, spend some quiet time with yourself. Light a candle, keep the lights off, and embrace the darkness. Turn off all your devices. It’s okay to have soft music in the background. Take some time to think deeply about yourself, your past, and what you want for your future. Write in your journal, think about what your Vision Board for 2021 will look like, focus on what is important to you. Be thankful and grateful for your Life. I cannot think of a more perfect way to close the chapters of 2020 and creatively write your story for 2021.

With Light and Love,
Karen

Joy Hope Love Peace

Sending you Holiday greetings this year from No Place Like Home! And this shot was perfect to capture the moment. As we took our walk Sunday on the beach, we got to see someone’s artistic expression. How beautiful it was and it brought so much joy to everyone.

Usually, during this time of year we enjoy spending quiet time somewhere in the world experiencing new and different cultures, traditions and celebrating Life, Love, Peace and Joy. I love quiet time during the holidays, especially since during my retail career that was not an option till after the New Year. When we travel, I enjoy making an album of the best photos and usually share with family and friends via Shutterfly or Snapfish. In addition, we would select a few shots for our Christmas cards.
However this year, although no travel photos, lots of wishes coming your way.
I have used Paper Culture for many years for our photo cards. They are a wonderful company that uses post-consumer recycled paper and plants a tree for every order. Over 1 million trees planted and counting! They also do non-photo cards of which I ordered this year.

When not traveling during the holidays, I look forward to decorating our home. This week, on went the Christmas music, then out came the poinsettias and wreaths. Then our holiday ornaments, stuffed animals, lights, stockings, holiday scented candles and diffusers, reindeer, toy soldiers, nutcrackers, Santa’s and sleighs. Took a breather for a day and then this morning put up our 3 foot table top wrought iron Christmas tree filled with an incredible array of handmade, old and new ornaments. So many wonderful and cherished treasures. All bringing us joy and love. I do realize that some of you may not agree with our choice of trees. However we have done the real trees and after one that leaked on the white rug, that was it. I also like the uniqueness of the wrought iron with the spiral stems that truly showcase the decorations. Do what works for you and your family. 

So however you choose to celebrate the Holidays, do celebrate. Yes, they are different. Yes, one can feel sad and disconnected from loved ones. One may even think not to decorate or celebrate at all. For what? Why? 
I say Do it for you! Do it for the feeling of joy and happiness and Love. Do it because it will make you feel more alive and well. Because You are Worth it!

With Light and Love and Holiday Cheer,
Karen

 

Here’s to Travel Adventures Again

Keep believing! Keep visualizing! Keep dreaming! Keep your goals in mind!

If you have a passion for travel and adventure as I do, this year has not been easy. Most of us have been unable to pack up and explore the world. Am I antsy to go? Yes I am. And since I use services like Snapfish and Shuttefly to produce travel booklets, I have been receiving emails with our photos reminding me of our incredible explorations. However the time is not right yet for me. I do feel though that we are closer to the end of the tunnel and I see some light breaking through. This is the time we need to dig deep and bring forth our courage, strength, and determination to get to the other side. And we will get there!

At this time of year, my husband and I would be somewhere on holiday. From the Arctic, Bhutan, Argentina and Chile, to Singapore, Hong Kong and so many more places – we have experienced the Holiday season all around the world. I miss that. This year, our plans would have taken us to the Antarctic. As disappointed as we are not to go, we are grateful to live in a beach community that feels like being on vacation all year round!  Am I a bit disappointed by not traveling? Yes. However being safe and remaining healthy is our top priority. And it should be everyones. No exceptions. We are in this together. The way we behave and conduct ourselves, impacts everyone around us. 

So let’s be smart. Let’s be careful. Follow the protocols. Wear a mask when directed to do so, keep your distance, wash your hands and use hand sanitizers. Keep to yourself for your protection and for others. However, continue to socialize via Zoom, calls, texts, cards, and socially distanced conversations when out and about. Stay healthy by exercising outdoors. Go for a walk, a bicycle ride, a run, surf, practice yoga. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the beauty of nature all around. It is so healing and necessary for our mental state of being. And good for our immune system as well. Practice self care. Take your vitamins. Take a nap. Luxuriate in a bath. Have some tea. Get proper rest. Meditate. 

Nourish yourself with fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and other healthy foods. Of course, desserts can be enjoyed in moderation.  Mine would be liquers in my coffee on weekends, dark chocolate avocado mousse, nut butters,  and a few other indulgences. I savor every sip and bite!  I look forward to enjoying them.

I know that one day we will realize our Antarctic adventure. Until then I will continue to visualize it. Dream it. Believe it will come true and continue having the Faith. I will focus on what will be and what I will create. I will focus on what I can control, not what is happening around me.

I invite you to do the same. Keep imagining your future the way you want it to be. 

With Light and Love and New Travel Adventures. Looking forward to hearing all about yours!
Karen

 

 

 

Some Things Never Change! Or Do They?

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Black Friday.  Cyber Monday.  Giving Tuesday. The Holiday Season has kicked into full speed ahead. 

And even though some activities, promotions, festivals, boat parades, parties and celebrations have been cancelled, these 4 current events have remained. Although how the event takes place has dramatically changed.

Having been a retailer for so many years,  I remember it well. I would cherish the parade on Thanksgiving Day and enjoy the quiet calm of the day before the hustle, bustle, crowds, promotions, early and late hours, finding stock still in the warehouse and not on the floor, scheduling staff at peak hours, making early morning calls to the stores with the Chairman challenging them on their hiring of Holiday help (or lack of), working 6 day weeks to visit the stores, be in the field as well as still fulfilling my corporate office responsibilities. I loved seeing the decorations in store and in the malls, checking out the latest items and product offerings, hearing the carolers, wishing everyone a Happy Holiday Season. The list goes on and on.

Fast forward to todays landscape. Events are still happening, however they are modified, enhanced, tweeked, and adapted for the times. So much is on line. So much is done from the convenience and safety of our homes. Everything seems to be only a click away. Add in the virus and all the safety, social distancing, mask wearing and hand sanitizing protocols in place, and store’s limiting their customer capacity, one’s face to face encounters have significantly been reduced or eliminated. All one needs is their computer or laptop and they are connected, informed, productive and entertained.

Zoom, streaming services and more have provided platforms to bring it all to us on our screens. In some cases, we feel like we are there even though it is a virtual experience. The colors are brighter, our views are not blocked by someone taller, we are cozy in our homes. 

These events are perfect examples of how we as a society are adapting, innovating, creating new ways of doing business and living our lives. Safely. Healthy. And hopefully Joy filled. Are there challenges? Absolutely! Are there frustrations? Absolutely! Are you feeling depressed, angry, anxious or lethargic sometimes? Absolutely! Are you going to stop living or stop pursuing your dreams? Absolutely NOT!

For we all want to feel Happy. Be Happy. We want what is best for ourselves and for others. We want to be successful, accomplish our goals, achieve our desires and live a full and rewarding Life.

I invite you to imagine your new world. Think outside the box. In fact, throw out the box. Explore what can be. Decide what is important, what is worth saving, and what needs to be recreated. Think it. Visualize it. Create it.

You have the power, control and insight to make it happen. Go for it. Be flexible, be adaptable, be open to the endless possibilities. And remember to always be grateful and thankful, appreciating all that is.

With Light and Love and Changing ways,
Karen

 

Roadrunner Meaning and Messages

A few weeks ago, upon returning home from our run, my husband Charles and I noticed a roadrunner on our front walkway. We were surprised and delighted. We watched in awe as the bird strutted across and then flew up onto our roof. 
This was the second time we have seen one by our property in the seven plus years we have been here. We live by the coast, not in the desert, however we have had some dry, low humidity, very warm days. Seeing the roadrunner was truly very special.

Of course, I wanted to better understand the symbolism it signified for us. So off to Google I went!

Roadrunner spirit is a positive force that reminds people of happiness and joy. They are inquisitive, quick witted, intuitive, funny, serious, playful, caring and above all, fearless.

They symbolize intelligence and courage with an ability to face dangers and difficulties with a positive attitude. In some cases, Roadrunner symbolism is encouraging you to take quick action on your ideas, reminding you that you possess the knowledge, wisdom, and wits to see everything through to its finish. 

Roadrunners radiate optimism and good vibrations, helping us achieve our goals by listening to both our instincts and mind. Roadrunners also bring luck and fortune.

Seems like the roadrunner knew exactly what I needed to be reminded of and practice more of. I attempt to live my life from a healthy and positive state of mind. I am thankful to be alive, healthy and happy, however it can be challenging during these troubled times. And even though the chaos of the world can dampen one’s spirit, and cause one to pause and not take action, I prefer to remain optimistic and keep going. My resilience and drive to achieve what I set out to do propels me forward. I have always believed that being born premature instilled in me that desire to thrive against all and any odds. And later in life, when faced with cancer, I was determined to survive. And now, 15 and a half years later, I am so thankful to still be here, alive and well. 

My nature is to be compassionate, caring, and kind. I try to be diplomatic in dealing with others. I feel energy around me and am sensitive to the vibrations that we all give out. Therefore, I protect myself with my zipped up bubble when I encounter those that are negative, rude, or mindless. 

I am grateful and thankful to be in a loving and compassionate relationship with my husband for almost 39 years in Dec. I have had a successful career and am now enjoying more free, unstructured time at the beach and focusing on staying healthy, strong and happy. I love to travel, and although it has been curtailed this year, we look forward to resuming our passion to experience the world and all it offers. I do not take Life for granted. I am truly blessed. 

As we approach Thanksgiving, take a moment to reflect on your blessings. Clear out the rubbish and noise that distracts from seeing the real you and the beauty that does exist all around us. And like the roadrunner, radiate optimism, be joyful and happy, be caring, be playful and be fearless. Bring your positive energy everywhere you go, practicing loving kindness to yourself and then to others.

Allow the reminders of the roadrunner to enliven and inspire your spirit.

Happy Thanksgiving,
With Light and Love and Roadrunner Wisdom,
Karen

 

Lessons from a Caterpillar

The other day, while walking up the hill after a great run and hike, my husband and I saw a caterpillar on the side of the road. It was slowly edging along. I marveled at its shape, size, coloring and smooth texture of its body.
As soon as we got home, I looked up the significance of the encounter.  Because of course, there is one.

Ted Andrews in his book, Animal-Wise, writes:
“The caterpillar represents new birth and new foundation and is a symbol of good luck in the early phase of new actions.  
Caterpillars usually signify a need for gentle and quiet approaches to our activities and endeavors. 
They can also signal a surprise or gift about to be offered to us, or that can be beneficial to our future if we take advantage of it. 
Caterpillars herald a time of good news, new birth, and creative inspiration, signaling a time to get ready to start a new project or initiate a new endeavor.  
The appearance of the caterpillar reminds us to be cautious in starting our new endeavors.  We should protect and disguise them as much as possible as we pursue them. If we do so, we will see rapid growth and we will experience the birth of a new foundation. 
Caterpillars can also indicate obstacles within our path. They may even indicate that a person or persons are blocking our growth or serve as a reminder that we must look at things and people around us realistically at this time. Failure to do so will slow down our progress.   
Caterpillars also remind us that new growth cannot occur unless the old is shed. As the caterpillar grows quickly and must replace its skills with some caterpillars shedding their skins every few days to make room for a bigger body. A caterpillar showing up may indicate that we are refusing to shed the old that we have outgrown.”

Seeing and observing the caterpillar was a good reminder that lessons are all around us and we learn so much by staying open and receptive. During this year especially, we are all faced with so many challenges, obstacles and unknowns. At times, we do not know how to handle what is coming our way. We are tired, confused, frustrated and want to feel hope, feel optimistic, be strong and resilient to get to the other side. Seeing the caterpillar gave me hope, made me smile and realize that we are also transforming, evolving and moving forward. Slowly, however moving.
I ask you to be aware of your surroundings and choose to look at the characteristics of all forms of life – from insects, animals, birds, plants, the ocean, stars, clouds and more. Allow Life to speak to you and gift you with guidance and support. For it never stops offering wisdom. It is up to us to stay open and receptive to the learnings.

With Light and Love and staying Open to all of Life’s Learnings,
Karen

 

The Storm before the Calm

As the wind whips through the air, and the rain drops sideways, I think about the symbolism of it all. 
We have just come through a volatile, highly charged, emotional election. 
We are in the midst of a deadly pandemic which has created more economic, employment and health care challenges beyond our belief. 
We have had to totally disrupt, change, adjust and adapt to new ways of doing things. From grocery shopping, seeing friends and family, home schooling our children, being creative with activities and experiences to remain safe and healthy.

What a storm we are in. And this weekend with the first major rain storm of the season here in Southern California, it appears to mirror what has been happening. It certainly is giving me food for thought and contemplation.

Friday, as I ran along the beach, the winds howled, the sky was full of dark clouds, the waves crashed up onto the rocks with a vengeance. And then, the sun peaked out and shone brightly on the water.  A song popped into my mind and I immediately starting singing it. The song is “Put on a Happy Face” by Tony Bennett.  Here are a few of the lyrics:

Gray skies are gonna clear up
Put on a happy face

Brush off the clouds and cheer up
Put on a happy face
Take off the gloomy mask of tragedy
It’s not your style
You’ll look so good that you’ll be glad
You decided to smile
Pick out a pleasant outlook
Stick out that noble chin
Wipe off that full-of-doubt look
Slap on a happy grin
And spread sunshine all over the place
And put on a happy face
And if you’re feeling cross and bitterish
Don’t sit and whine
Just put on a happy face

As I sang and ran, I felt a calmness. I smiled. I gave thanks. I sensed that everything was working out. And today, after the winds and rain, blue skies are breaking through. True, weather predictions show more volatility, wind and rain. But clear and sunny skies are not far away. 

This storm feels like a deep cleansing, a purging of what no longer works.
We are washing off dirt, debris and dust, freshening up our spirit to heal and strengthen ourselves, our country, and our world.

It will not happen overnight. However it will happen. It is happening.

Have Faith. Continue to Dream and Believe.
And Put on a Happy Face!

With Light and Love and a Smile on my Face,
Karen