Oh December! You are Almost Here!

100_5469This year started on a stressful note and has decided to try to end that way as well.  This has been a very challenging time for a lot of people.  2017 has been a year of losing friends and loved one’s.  Yet, there is no path, no time so dark that light cannot break through.

I have thought a lot about mindset and what it means to me.  We have a choice on how we look at things and how we respond.  Never forget you have this choice, it is yours alone.  Me?  I am a spiritual being on a physical journey.  Knowing that helps me get through the tough times.  Everything in this life is temporary, both good and bad.  Knowing that keeps things tolerable and enjoyable.  Keep your head up through the tough times and realize that no matter what difficulty you are facing, it’s temporary.  Take time for the good things.  More importantly, take time to notice the good.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the struggle we forget to appreciate the sunrise or sunset.  We forget to notice that gentle breeze, or the color of the leaves this time of year.  Oh to absorb even a part of the excitement a dog feels when he see’s you walking toward him again.  Whether it’s been 5 minutes or 5 days, that dog doesn’t care.  They are ready to run around, wag their tail, bark, and show you how excited they are that you are there with them.

Take a moment to breathe.  Take a moment to be thankful.  You are still here.  You still have a purpose and as long as you don’t quit, there is still time, still hope.  December is going to be a good month.

Cherry Coley (c)

The Draw of Netflix

I confess over the last year I discovered Netflix.  You know that feeling when you settle down to watch “a little” television then realize several hours have passed.  It’s addicting and I hear it call to me at times.

As a single mom struggling to stretch funds as far as possible, our little family went years without cable.  So signing up for Netflix has led to the discovery of many series that I had not ever watched, but had heard others talking about at work.  It also led to going back and watching childhood favorites and getting to watch the entire series of some shows where I had missed many episodes.  At first this seemed great!  We could finally catch up and know what others know and understand references to shows that we now had seen as well.

However, (you knew that was coming) Netflix, while wonderful when you have a cold or just need a break, is also very addicting.  Why?  I’ve watched some series more than once and then wondered why I was sitting and watching something I’d already seen.  Why am I spending my valuable time watching other people?  The answer is that Netflix fills a hunger, a void.  It can be entertaining when there is nothing you want to watch on regular cable or television.  It can be funny, horrifying, mind boggling, informative, or sad depending on what you choose.  In essence, Netflix is like a visual book.  What?   Yep, I said that right, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, all those streaming services are like a visual book.

Why are we so drawn to watch series on Netflix?  Is it because we are spoiled and want to watch the entire thing without the break from week to week like we get on television?  Partially, but mostly I think the essence of binge watching is caused by the need to feed your mind an ongoing story.  We get more attached to the stories when we watch them in succession.  The characters pull us in closer, we crave more until we reach the end and then, there is that same feeling as when you put down a good book, a good story, and it’s ended.  We are a little sad that our time with the characters is done.  Sometimes a little upset because it didn’t end the way we thought it would.  It’s the same.  What do you do if you want more?  You either pick another book – or series, or you go back to revisit or reread so you can be in that world a little longer.  This is why Netflix and Hulu, etc. are so popular.   So why not choose to read instead?  The imagination is so much more adept and better equipped to create that fantastic world the writer has in store for us than pictures and actors on the screen.  We say we don’t have time to read.  That’s not true.  There’s always time to read.  Reading is portable.  Oh, I know, with smart phones, tablets, watches and gizmo’s the shows we watch are also more and more portable every day.

So, it’s up to you.  You don’t have to choose one or the other, but it would be beneficial to switch things up at times.  Remind yourself of how much fun reading is.  How nice it is to let your mind be linked to another creative mind through the magic of pages for awhile.  You can read outside and decide to put the book down and take a walk.  Something that doesn’t really occur to you when you’re inside binge watching.  You choose.  Aren’t we all connected and stuck with taking in someone else’s interpretation of what they perceived something to be enough?  Take some time to do things to exercise your imagination.  Get lost in a good book and let your mind wander and explore.

Cherry Coley (c)

 

 

 

 

 

Burning Bowl Ceremony – Make a Positive Change!

The Inspiring Blogger Award

I posted this article a few years ago.  It is a great way to start out the New Year.  Let’s make 2015 a better year  with a positive outlook!

Someone asked me about burning bowl rituals the other day, what they were and what the purpose is.

I actually love burning bowl rituals.  What a great way to let go of things that are bothering or hindering us.  It’s a great way to clear negative thoughts and energy and make way for a new, positive start.  What better time than the start of a New Year!

I started doing burning bowl rituals at a young age, though it wasn’t initially with a bowl, just a candle.  It’s really quiet simple and something that is generic to any belief system according to how you make it.  I liked the idea of something I didn’t need in my life anymore burning and going up in smoke.

 Find a bowl preferably metal or glass (you don’t have to have one, but it makes it nice and neater), fill it up a third of the way with rock salt or salt, and stand a white candle in the middle.

 Simply take two sheets of paper – on one sheet write all the things like bad habits you want to get rid of, excuses for things you haven’t done, weaknesses, temptations, things that are bothering you or you would like to be gone in your life; including negative ways of talking to yourself, or beating yourself up for things that go wrong.

 On the second sheet of paper write down all the things you want to take place of the things you are getting rid of in your life.  If you are getting rid of negative ways of talking to yourself, then write that you will find daily affirmations that will work for you.  If you often beat yourself up when something goes wrong, write that you will celebrate when things go right.   Once you have this list written, fold it and put it in an envelope and attach it to a month on your calendar – say December since that is the end of the year.

 There is no right or wrong way to do this, it is totally up to you what you are making a point of letting go of in your life whether it be emotions or specific things.  Take some time to really contemplate this, then either roll the paper, or tear it into pieces and feed it to the flame and let the paper burn out on the salt by the candle.   (NEVER leave a candle unattended).

 As the paper is burning see and visualize the things you wrote down going up in smoke, take a moment to meditate and say a prayer of gratitude and forgiveness.  Recognize that you are letting go of the things that are clogging your creativity and holding you back from who you want to be, and where you want to be.  Choose to be thankful that these things no longer have a place in your life and you are making a point of letting them go and deciding on another direction right now.  It can be as elaborate or as simple as you want to make it.

 Have fun releasing all the bad things and things that just seem to linger and never really do any good.  Feel the stress go up in smoke, when the air clears breathe in the fresh new start. Remember to write down and set your goals, take small steps to reach them each day.

Later in the year, check your calendar and in the month that you attached the other envelope or reminder – take out the other list and see how successful you were at implementing the changes you wanted in your life.  The important thing is to move forward.  You will be pleasantly surprised how small acts of faith can make things happen.

 Cherry Coley ©