Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
–William Ernest Henley
Invictus means “unconquerable” or “undefeated” in Latin, The poem was written while Henley was in the hospital being treated for Pott’s disease.
If you are fighting some sort of battle be it depression, loss, divorce, just go inward and feed your soul. Be kind to yourself, take it slow, meditate, pray, surround yourself with people who love you and want to listen to you. This may be a painful time but know that you are strong and you are never alone. And remember to count your blessings, that in itself is a way back from the dark.
In just a second your entire life can change. Someone you love can be diagnosed with cancer, or get hit by a car. You can have an accident that can leave you disabled. Your perfect idea of a relationship can suddenly end in divorce. These are changes that can leave you filled with anxiety and fear. There are also many positive changes in life, such as a new partnership or marriage, the birth of a new baby, a new exciting career opportunity. Change is inevitable, it’s all part of life. Some are planned, others are unplanned
We forget that we are all on an inexorable journey that will end with the obliteration of our individual ego. Change is all around us but we ignore it. I can remember exactly how I felt bringing my daughter home from the hospital. She was so tiny and perfect, so helpless, unable to do anything for herself. Now she is a tall, lovely, competent ten-year old girl with her own opinions and ideas. Before I know it, she will be a teenager and there will be even more changes in my life. These are things we can’t control. When you can’t control what is happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That is where your power is!
The end is inevitable. The journey is irreversible. We die because we are born and that begins the unrelenting odyssey. We don’t know how much time we have in life. What matters is what you do with the time you have. In fact, with each day. Live it now!
Spend time with the people who bring you happiness
Do what makes you happy
Don’t fall into the ‘some day’ trap
Use your best china
Go on that vacation
Explore the world, go somewhere new every year
Show your love to the people who mean everything to you, saying I love you is one thing but actions speak louder than words
Be kind, serve others
Spend one on one time with your children, parents, partners and friends you cherish
Sometimes having a breakdown is what we need to keep our emotional life in balance.
Most of us have experienced holding back our emotions for so long that when they finally come out, we have something that looks like a breakdown. The overwhelming flood of feelings coursing through our bodies consumes us, and we stop functioning. Often, it takes us by surprise, welling up within us as we drive to or from work, watch a movie, or are busy with some mundane task. We may feel like we don’t know what triggered us. This is because we are releasing feelings that have accumulated over a long period of time, and whatever inspired the release was just a catalyst for a much larger, much-needed release.
When we find ourselves feeling this way, it’s important to find a way to let our feelings out. Set aside some time for ourselves to give our emotional system much-needed attention. Allow ourselves to release the pent-up emotions inside ourselves so that they don’t create imbalances in our bodies and minds.
When you are feeling better, make a plan to find a way to process your emotions regularly. You can do this by seeing a therapist, talking to a friend, journaling and or meditating. Making room in your life to take care of your emotional needs on a regular basis will keep you healthy and balanced.
Recently I was talking to my cousin about the amount of time he allows his two-year old to be in front of the screen. This started a conversation about how I don’t let my 10-year old watch any television during the week. Our conversation turned into whether or not the amount of time in front of the screen makes a negative impact. This prompted me to put some research into the subject and find out what the professionals suggest. I really always went to my sister, a speech therapist and my go to guru for what I should and should not allow my daughter. I trust and respect her input and her knowledge.
So first, here is what screen time means, watching television, being on computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets.
I found out that too much screen time has been linked to health problems in kids including obesity and emotional problems. Experts say using media while in the classroom can be helpful, but too much use outside school decreases academic performance. Using it at bedtime has been shown to disrupt sleep. Technology can also get in the way of family time. As with anything in life balance is key.
Here is a family media use plan that is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Mealtimes should be screen-free.
Homework should be done without any electronics.
If homework requires a computer, have kids work on it in the kitchen or other common area.
Don’t use electronics during the school week; this will help avoid creating a dynamic where kids rush their schoolwork to get to their screen time.
Have kids earn screen time by equal time spent on physical activity or chores.
Make bedtime screen-free.
Here are the limits of screen time for kids in different age groups according to experts:
Ages 0-2, no screen time
Ages 2-3, 30 minutes per day
Ages 3-5, 1 hour per day
Ages 5-6, 1 and a half hours per day
Ages 6-12 2 hours per day
So now we know that too much screen time is harmful, but it’s important to also think about what our kids are doing online. Content matters! We can use screen time to learn, create and challenge ourselves or simply to veg out. It’s important that our children’s screen time emphasizes the first three.
Obviously technology is here to stay and we want our kids to thrive in this digital world. They can do this with our support and involvement. Start a conversation on the risks of technology use and how much screen time Is too much.
Good luck, they aren’t going to like it now but they will thank you later in life.
Forgiveness is the smell that Lavender gives out when you tread on it.-Mark Twain
Every second of every day is an opportunity to be grateful. Grateful for the air we breathe, the beauty that surrounds us, our health, the children we are fortunate enough to raise, our loved ones, our friends. Every situation in life good or bad gives us an opportunity to grow and to be grateful. Even in the worst of times we can find something to be thankful about. Live this way and you will see your life change for the positive.
Here are some other ways to live a positive life
Spend time getting to know yourself
Appreciate what you have
Accept and love yourself
See the positive in every situation
Live in the moment
Travel to new places
Stop worrying about the future
Spend quality alone time with your spouse
Enjoy every second of your children, they grow fast
If you are lucky enough to still have your parents, spend time with them
Make time for friends that want to spend time with you
Be a positive role model for your children by living authentically
Teach kindness and compassion by practicing it yourself
Do something for others on a daily basis, you will be surprised how much happiness this will bring you
Keep on learning, a new language, knitting, dancing, cooking, something that will keep you reaching for goals
Take time to make new friends and reconnect with old ones
Forgive, love and let go
Stay away from negative people
Live your dreams and take risks, life is happening now
Connect with your source, learn to meditate, pray
In all things in nature there is something of the marvelous -Aristotle
Take time to be present, stop and smell the flowers.
Shenpa is Tibetan and it defines obsessive feelings and urges you just can’t seem to release. Feelings like resentment, failure, anger or urges like addiction and cravings. Tibetan Buddhist, Pena Chodron, says that’s how we get taken over by a negative experience. A death of a family member takes me directly to Shenpa. I feel sad, so sad that I can think or feel nothing else.
The Tibetan Buddhist says that the best thing to do when we feel that way is to remove ourselves from the situation. Give ourselves some space. Take a walk and just be aware of what you are saying to yourself. Notice your thinking and come back to just being present. Keep on doing that and you will learn to live in the present more often.
Chodron says the negative feelings are really our ego. Once you realize that it’s your ego you can notice it, allow yourself to have the discomfort of suffering, then let it go allowing evolution to happen.
Change is inevitable, if we don’t learn to embrace it our life will be an unhappy one. I’ve always battled change. When I was little I didn’t want to grow up, I hated it when we moved and I had to change schools. I always fought it and even though I was always able to find my footing, I just hated change and I still do .Losing someone I love is the biggest and most painful change for me to endure. I now know that I have to learn to embrace change, be open to what God has in store for me.
In a blink of an eye our lives can change and it will continue to change for decades to come. We have to focus on the now. To enjoy it, embrace it and be grateful for the ride. Easier said then done for some but all we can do is try, otherwise happiness will elude us.
You have to decide whether you are going to be the leader in your own life or an extra in somebody else’s life. Take charge. Make a conscious effort to change what you don’t like about your life. Be grateful for what you do have.
Sit in contemplation everyday and meditate about what will bring you happiness. Then take the first step to make it better. It’s not easy or simple but it’s a good place to start, one step at a time.
If you want to get in better shape…take the first step by eating better and moving your body..
If you want to improve your marriage…take the first step by having an open dialogue, spending time together or even seeing a marriage counselor… take a step to change it for the better.
If you are feeling a void in your life, you have to first find out what it is that you are missing. Take the steps it takes to look within yourself. Once you find out what it is then you can move forward.