As I wrote yesterday, I’m looking at life a little differently lately. I’ve been missing out on little pieces of incredible that live within the everyday.
This winter was a long one, and then this morning while I was enjoying my first cup of coffee, I noticed green grass with delicate drops of morning dew. How long have you been there green grass? I haven’t noticed you until now. A bright patch of wispy green grass surrounded by dead leaves and bits of lefts over snow. The new pushing its way through the old.
As I sat there staring with fascination at the dew drops, I inwardly wished I had a macro lens to capture what I was finally seeing.
And then…a picture of a lens came into my mind with a macro switch on it. Wait, did I already have a lens? I ran to my old camera bag and there it was. A 70-300mm third-party lens that my hubby had given me for my birthday back in 2002. The lens was still mounted on my old film SLR, my very first SLR camera I ever owned. The very camera that opened a door to looking at the world in a whole new way. There it was, a little nugget of joy in my morning.
There’s beauty all around us, one just has to open their eyes to see it. And sometimes you realize the very things you want in life, you already have. You just didn’t notice.
There are times in life that remind me that life is meant to be savoured. Life’s a gift and each day is fresh and brand new. It’s meant to be lived with purpose.
I often think about what my purpose is in life, because without purpose, there is no direction. I get caught up in the hectic pace of life, and forget to enjoy the little moments full of pure joy that are there right before me. If only I would stop, listen, and live consciously. Soak it all in. These little nuggets of joy are all around us my friends.
You see, kids know when these moments happen, they live within the joy of a moment and they don’t need to be reminded to live consciously. They aren’t aware of insecurities. They love and live without condition.
You know the saying “Dance like no one’s watching”? Have you ever watched a little girl dance? She always dances like no one’s watching. She isn’t yet burdened with outside influences. She just is exactly who she is. Purely authentic.
And then we loose pieces of that as we grow older. We lose our ability to just be.
I was thinking about Purpose today, and what it is that I want to achieve in life. It’s easy in today’s society to get caught up in the “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. We work so hard for “stuff”, and no matter how much one makes, there is always more “stuff” to buy. Love doesn’t live within “things”. Surely my purpose isn’t to be successful in terms of monetary possessions. What’s unique or purposeful about that?
I do know where there is no purpose in my life, and it’s taken me a long time to come to this place and accept that it’s just not a healthy reality. There is no purpose found within negativity, judgments, insecurities, jealousy, and lack of forgiveness. All these things weigh on a person’s soul. They are a burden on the heart. There is true freedom to just. let it. go.
How do you do that? You focus on the good, the now, the present, the positive, the gratitude. Perception, perception, perception.
Friendship and the ability to give unto others without expectation is a gift.
I was reminded these past couple of weeks that life is too short, and life is meant to be LIVED. Lived with purpose and pride. If I get to the core of it, I know that’s why I love to stay active, because it’s when I feel the most alive. It’s a gift. Yes, health is a gift.
There is no comparison to how I feel now versus how I felt when I first started the path to reclaim my life. I’m not only speaking about the changes physically, but more importantly the changes within my heart and mind. I took so much for granted. I didn’t feel the responsibility to take care of myself. I gave up in many ways. I’ve changed my lifestyle because there is no going back to that space I lived in for many years. It fills no purpose in my life today because I didn’t like who I was then.
I should clarify in case you haven’t read other posts, that I don’t believe happiness comes based on the physical body. I can only speak from my own personal experiences. For me, self-acceptance and pride happened when I found ways to feel alive inside again. Those amazing bits of life that kids just inherently know to experience. A big part of that was getting active and to stop watching life go by from the side-lines. Happiness is a choice, and a big part of feeling gratitude and joy lives within how one perceives life.
My goal is to live consciously, be reverent of the amazing moments life dishes out when one least expects it (and often in the most unlikely of places), and to live a life full of purpose and gratitude. Change can only occur when action is taken.
I know I’ve shared this quote a few times, but it’s one of those amazing life quotes that has to be read a few times to truly sink in!
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” George Bernard Shaw
I’ve lived far too much of my life waiting for life to start. I didn’t realize that life actually starts when I say so and I simply had to get out there and start living it! Not all of life is supposed to be “sunshine” and “rainbows”. How would we truly know how to appreciate life if it was always good? Adversity is what brings about reflection, change, and gratitude.
I didn’t think about what I was going to say when I made that video. I just blurted out how I was feeling at that moment, I’ve never made a video before.
You see, my Mom, Dad, Aunty and I went into the appointment with the specialist at the Cross Cancer Institute feeling great about the appointment as we thought the doctor would just say that his levels had risen just a bit, nothing to worry about. It would take time for the levels to come down, and they will just keep an eye on it. Obviously that was not the case.
As we walked into the Cross Cancer Institute, I saw so many people sitting and waiting. Our waiting room was quiet. Chairs lined the halls, filled with people of all ages. All Waiting. Waiting for their turn to hear what the specialist would advise.
We were called into the doctor’s office, we all sat together, listening to the doctor explain the details in layman’s terms. He was very thorough and gave so much info that there was very little left to ask by the end of the appointment. We wore very little emotion on our faces, we all sat there expressionless. Like the wind had been knocked out of us. My Dad has the more aggressive type of Prostate cancer. There was no way I was going to break down at all, because that wouldn’t be fair to my father to have to comfort me when it’s him that has to deal with the reality that is cancer.
“Thank you for your time Doctor”. He left to explain the status of another cancer patient’s treatment in the next room. It was time to leave, digest the information, and Dad was advised to call back with what his decision would be. Wait? Seek radiation therapy as soon as possible? Dad’s main worry after the appointment was in regards to who would look after his cattle. Yup, that’s my Dad, a soft-hearted man.
When we walked out of the doctor’s office into the waiting room, everything looked different. I smiled at everyone lined up still waiting to go for their appointment, and I thought: how is it we are here obviously dealing with cancer in some way…sitting, waiting, filled with anger, rage, sadness, frustration, and we are able to hold it together. We sit and we wait, reading magazines, looking out windows, inwardly hoping, inwardly praying. But we wear brave faces.
Everything looked different on the walk out.
We went to the nearby Southgate Centre for a coffee and a cinnamon bun. We didn’t say a lot, there were no tears, we just enjoyed one another’s company.
My Dad and I were visiting on a mall bench and looked up and thought the leaf art work in the sky light was so pretty… Right after I took this picture, I looked to my right and my dear friend Tawny was walking by us. We never just accidentally bump into one another in the City. Kismet.
We said our good-byes, and I drove home with the windows down, music turned up as loud as it would go.
I picked up my kids, fed them supper, sat down in my office and it all sunk in. I phoned a few of my sisters, and then I cried like a baby. And made that video.
But I want you to know something, despite the tears and the fears I shared, I feel very hopeful. My Dad is a fighter and I have faith he will make it through this second fight. I feel positive. At this point in my life, I’ve realized there is real power in sharing and connecting, and sometimes that means showing vulnerability. It means we are not alone. There are others feeling the same frustration, pain, and anger. One doesn’t have to put on a brave face all the time, it’s OK to show that emotion, and then move forward through it. By sharing, you create a circle of support that is so needed during times of trial.
cancer is that horrible disease that brings forward emotions one has never felt before, and often those feelings are just left within to grow and fester. Our family has always come together in faith and support. We believe in the power of prayer. My Dad asked me to share his journey with you so that he has people out there praying for him.
Sometimes, it’s hard to know what to say when you see someone in pain. But, the positive thoughts, prayers, kind words, a hand reached out in support, a coffee delivered to your door, a phone call, an e-mail, a smile when you pass by…truly has the power to change the state of another’s heart. The strength of the human spirit is alive and well my friends. Thank you God for that.
There is power in authentic sharing and connecting. I believe it changes perceptions and it’s what makes walls come down. We are not alone, we are never alone.
So thank you to all our friends and family who have taken time out of their busy lives to support, care, and pray. We appreciate it more than you could ever know.
Thank you for all of those who have donated to our Team Hope for the Leduc Relay for Life. http://convio.cancer.ca/goto/christinehopaluk
It’s the only way I know how to fight back at this time when I feel so helpless…not just in honour of my Father and in memory of my Aunt, but also for all of the loved ones out there who have been affected by cancer.
For my dear friend who is dealing with so much. This is what I need you to know.
Sometimes strength comes in the most unusual ways. It takes courage and strength to stand up with a quiet assurance that comes by taking action towards securing your own future. So much in life is out of your control. The things you DO control in life are your actions and the way your perceive your circumstances.
Take the steps you need for a life of peace and respect. Let go of the things that are out of your control. You only have one life to live. Your future is bright and you alone have the power to create the life you wish. Remind yourself often of your life-goals and align your actions with those goals.
In the moments when self-doubt creeps in, please remember that life is meant to be lived with joy and pride. You are strong, powerful, and so very wise. You have given your time and wisdom to so many others, now it’s time to internalize that inner-wisdom for yourself.
You know who you are within. Take the time to listen to that quiet inner voice that speaks loudest when you actually stop and listen.
Wishing you Strength, Courage, and Wisdom.
But most of all I wish you peace of heart.
This song says everything I wish for you.
Sometimes in life you just have to let it be…
I love you, I miss you and I’m always here for you,
One will stop casting judgements on others when they focus on bettering themselves. When you focus on your own heart, the state of another’s is not your concern. Surround yourself with people who support & love you. You will figure out who these people are when you are struggling, because they are the ones that will stand by you without doubt or question.
I posted the above collection of thoughts the other day on my facebook status and I want to explain where it comes from! I have always believed that if I don’t judge other people, then I will not be on the receiving end of judgements! Guess what my friends? This is not the case sometimes! Judgements directed my way have caused me to stop and think about who I am as a person, and it has also caused me to doubt who I am as well! I’m actually thankful for it today, because it has solidified even more my own inner-truth about the woman I am today.
At this point in my life I have learned that there will always be haters unfortunately…even if you put your best foot forward and treat others the way you wish to be treated.
Here’s the shift in my thinking that I want to share with you! Yes, there will be negative thrown my way, and sometimes it hurts coming from people who I care about; however, why does the negativity seem to hold more stock inwardly than the positivity from others? The positive support should outweigh the negative judgements. To focus on one negative rather than many positives is ridiculous I tell ya!
I used to be a judgmental person. My life was filled with “shoulds”, but often directed at other people. I deflected so much of what I needed to deal with personally by wasting time on what others were doing. It was my own issues, and often the things I couldn’t handle about others, were the exact things I needed to change within myself.
It wasn’t until I focussed on bettering myself that I moved forward through that way of thinking. I worried solely about my own heart rather than the state of another’s. It gave way to a state of true acceptance of all kinds of people. People of all different ways of thinking!
I have to tell you that the acceptance of others has been one of the greatest blessings I have come across. It actually makes me giddy! I love meeting new people, and hearing other points of views that are so different from my own. Rather than make judgments, I now internalize so much of it and just figure out which path is actually right for me. It helps me to figure out who I am even more! Yes, that’s fantastic!!! 🙂 Seriously amazing news my friends!!! (do you feel my enthusiasm in this area?! lol) I have learned there are many different roads one can take, and just because it’s right for them, doesn’t mean it’s right for me (and vise-versa)
Also, I had another revelation today! The best things happen when you give and expect nothing in return. You actually receive so much when you least expect it. It blows my mind sometimes! Positive out, positive in! Thank you to all the people in my life that give so much of themselves to me! I’m so very thankful for you. I woke up this morning with so much gratitude for the amazing people I have met along the way.
Giving is so good for the soul. Whenever I feel discouraged, I just need to remember there is always someone else dealing with more than I am. We are blessed simply for the fact we live in a free-country! I have taken so much for granted. Sometimes it just takes a shift in perspective to realize that. Just tune into the National news for an hour, and one is reminded! We are spoiled my friends. There are a few sayings that I remind myself of and this is one: “Always give more than you take.”
Change your focus: when you are down…focus on the good, the positive, the uplifting. Before you know it, your outlook changes. Gratitude is a gift.
I’m so often humbled when I meet others who are dealing with so much more than I am: health struggles for one. Because I’ve witnessed what my sister has gone through battling MS, I see the ability to run as a privilege. When I go for a run, I am so thankful that I’m able to run. I run because I can. Thank you God for that privilege!
Have a great day, and remember for those in the Edmonton area…the snow will melt! It only makes a person appreciate the sun that much more! 🙂
And a song that makes me smile for your TGIF (you will have to click to watch on You Tube)