Thursday, March 22, 2012

Don't Confine Yourself...

 
“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place
when they can fly anywhere on the earth,
then I ask myself the same question.”
― Harun Yahya

I love quotes. I collect them as sort of a little side hobby, for I find them very inspirational and thought-provoking. I recently discovered the above quote by Turkish author Harun Yahya and it really made me think…a lot.

Much like Mr. Yahya, I have often wondered what it must be like to be a bird…to have the power to literally fly anywhere you wanted to at any given moment. Where would I go? Where would you go?

Do you ever wonder what else the world could have in store for us? What else could be awaiting us if we dared step outside of our own little world? It’s an exhilarating thought. Why do we confine ourselves? I’m not speaking of merely physical confinement, but also intellectual confinement as well.

Just a random Thursday morning thought that I wanted to share with you :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Benefits of "You Time"



My job at the college usually requires me to work about 47 hours per week. That, coupled with my 45 minute commute, leaves little free time on any given day. So what I have gotten into the habit of doing, and it's made such a world of difference, is setting aside a little time each day to myself. Yesterday, for instance, I took an afternoon stroll on my lunch break and walked down to a beautiful meandering stream that runs adjacent to campus. Once there, I sat on a large stone next to the stream and enjoyed about 15 minutes of nothing but the sounds of the birds and the sounds of the stream flowing over the rocks. I returned to work refreshed and re-energized.

Sometimes, usually about every other Saturday, I will go to the cinema by myself and catch an afternoon matinee. It’s a good way to escape from the world for a couple hours and the popcorn’s not bad either. I also hit the treadmill at the gym for 30 minutes every night after work while getting lost in the multitude of 90s songs that I have on my MP3 (don’t judge). It’s a great way to wind down the day and also some great thinking time.

I think it's so important that we make time for ourselves. We often get so caught up in making sure that we're not neglecting other things (work, school, family, etc.) that we end up neglecting the one thing that we should not neglect...ourselves. Perhaps it's because it's in our nature to view devoting time to ourselves as selfish...but nothing could be further from the truth! Think about it, the stress-relieving benefits of a little time to yourself each day will actually make you that much more effective when attending to family, work, and school.

Also, time to yourself is healthy! Make some time for yourself...even if it's 15 minutes per day. It's essential to have some "you time" every once in a while. Will you have to sometimes get a little creative to accomplish this? Of course. But it's manageable...after all, if you can successfully devote yourself to other activities/responsibilities then surely you can successfully carve out a little time for you.

Do you get to enjoy "you time" as often as you'd like?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Little Something to Think About...

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I came across this picture a week or so ago while searching for thought-provoking quotes and images - which I like to do regularly. This particular picture, and the quote within the picture, resonatd with me. Take some time to look at this image. Look at the hand of this faceless, famine-stricken child reaching out to be comforted by this faceless stranger. Take some time to think about the things that we take for granted each and every day...the things we complain about. This child would give anything to have our complaints. In the grand scheme of things we're much more fortunate than we realize.

Secondly, I ask you to share this picture/thought with your friends today. We should never forget that there are people in this world who are literally starving to death...it breaks my heart. Let's work on being grateful for the blessings that we have...the roof over our heads at night...the food and water that we have in abudance. Simply being aware of these things can do wonders for the soul, for it allows us to keep our everyday problems in perspective. So today, my friends, let's all take some time to truly be thankful...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Extraordinarily Ordinary

Today has been quite a long day and the moments have blurred together. It’s cloudy yet still beautiful this evening. When I close my eyes tonight another Monday will have broken broken. I have my window open as I write this. The birds are whistling rhapsodic tonight…perhaps their blissfulness is the result of the fast-approaching spring.
I sometimes pause and wonder how the days pass so quickly. How the days between last Monday and this Monday vanish so unbelievably fast. I wonder how many everyday gifts I miss and fail to appreciate due to time passing so fast. Even the gifts that recur daily feel like new gifts every single day. I wonder why we so often look for the biggest gifts and adrenaline-filled moments rather than enjoying and savoring life’s every day moments…the moments that truly last.
Maybe it is the ordinary days, mundane yet dependable, that are the days we should truly cherish.  Days draped with the familiar blessings that shield us from vulnerability. I think that these are my favorite days. Simple, quiet, ordinary days.
Today is one of those days…”extraordinarily ordinary” :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Love Never Fails...

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Heartbreak…we’ve all experienced it. That “end of the world” (I’m being melodramatic for effect of course) feeling that comes with losing the love of your life – or whom you thought was the love of your life. It was a little over a year ago that I experienced profound heartbreak. I only bring this up to segue into the point of this blog piece…which is to refrain from allowing past heartaches to jade us when it comes to love. Is that easier said than done?  Of course it is. I haven’t dated since but that’s only because I recently vowed to take some time to go on a journey of self-discovery prior to dating again. One thing I will not do is allow myself to be jaded though. If you allow yourself to be jaded…to close your heart to love…then love may very well never find you again.
There’s an old saying: “One day, someone will walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else”. Think about that for a second. In the midst of heartbreak we are unable to see past the immediacy of our hurt…we think things like “I’ll never feel this way about anyone else ever again”. I would venture to guess that there’s no one reading this blog piece that hasn’t, at one time or another, uttered those words to themselves after experiencing heartbreak.  It’s human nature…we all do it. What we don’t realize is that someday, whether it’s tomorrow, next month, next year, or 10 years from now – that person will walk into our life. That’s why it’s important to keep believing in love even when it’s hard to do so.
Some of you reading this may think that I’m being boyishly na├»ve…fair enough. However this is who I am and who I’ve always been. As an adolescent I remember absolutely falling in love with the story of “Romeo and Juliet” (we read it in 8th grade literature class) and I was absolutely captivated at the possibilities of a love that powerful, that meant-to-be, that magical. Now of course I knew it was fiction but I’ve always felt that life imitates art. That type of love does exist in real life; it's just that so few people are fortunate enough to experience it because they don’t allow themselves to believe in it. Quite simply, I believe that that type of love is more real than we allow ourselves to believe. There is a powerful song entitled "Entwined" by Jason Reeves. It's my favorite love song of all time. It really speaks to the amazingly powerful emotions of true, uninhibited love. Just imagine being able to experience, and to let yourself experience, something that is beyond description...something that so few people ever get to experience. How can one not believe in that?

There's something inescapably romantic about being a part of something greater than oneself...and I think that's the essence of what true love really is. It’s like taking a leap of faith...surrendering yourself to a power that is greater than anything known to us here on earth.  So if you’re someone who has recently experienced heartbreak…or even if the heartbreak has not been recent but is still affecting your belief in love, heed the words of the late writer Peter McWilliams: “It is a risk to love? Sure. After all, what if it doesn’t work out? Ah, but what if it does?”

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Perspective...



'We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are..."

It’s always fascinated me how reality differs depending on one’s perspective…
How my view of a person, a situation, or an event can be perfectly clear to me

Yet seemingly just as perfectly clear – albeit completely different- to another
When we talk to another person about the person or situation it’s as if
we are looking through two different windows yet with the same view…
I suppose that it’s rather that the window is the same
but it’s actually the view that’s different…

It’s as if each of us creates a different reality
a different way in which we make sense of the world we notice
in how we process what we see, hear, and feel


Fascinating…