December!!

Cherry's Camera Dec 2010 008December is here already.  It is hard to believe we have arrived at the last month of the year so soon.  Now is a good time to look at where you are, what you’ve accomplished so far this year and see if there are any last minute projects that you can wrap up before the year ends. 

 This is has been a difficult year for many people due to illness and loss.  It’s been a year of struggle for many who are still looking for work or trying to get back on their feet from having been without a job for a long while.

 Each year has its challenges that we will either rise to meet or let over take us, how we respond is our choice.

 

December is a time when I like to look at the progress made throughout the year.  That’s when I take the time to really look at things, could I have done something different? Would the results have been different if I had chosen a different approach?  What did I learn and how can I improve on things for the next year?

 Take some time today to be thankful for the blessings and events of this past year.  Be thankful for the people you’ve met along the way, and the lessons you’ve learned, even if they weren’t too pleasant.  Take some time to appreciate 2012, for we will never walk this path again. 

 Then start setting your sights on the future, 2013 is going to be a great year! 

 Cherry Coley ©

 

When It Rains It Pours

Lately it seems that there a lot more things to do than there is time in the day.  I can’t even say that it is bad time management, there has just been a lot of last minute issues popping up that cannot be put off, which leads to other things not being done or completed when I would like them to be.  Not being able to complete things on time – even though they are personal goals or items – brothers me at first, then quickly moves me into frustration if I let it.

 I have been running sick kids to the doctor, dealing with a sprained elbow, and struggling through colds of my own for the last 3-4 weeks, running last minute errands, and attending school programs, which basically means I haven’t gotten home on time but maybe 3 days out of that time.  I treasure my personal time, it’s time spent reading, writing, doing artwork, photography, walking, yard work, or spending time with friends.  When that time becomes so encroached upon that I can’t manage to do those things, I start to feel cranky, then eventually worn down. 

 It’s not unusual to have things happen, after all life loves to throw in the unexpected for us to navigate, and I know I am not the only one struggling through all the “stuff” right now.  I have had many friends tell me they are struggling with their own versions of the same issues of having to rush to get everything done and miss out on things they like to do or need to do in the process.

 How do we cope? For me – taking a moment to meditate and/or pray can make a tremendous difference.  Even if it is a brief moment, just to be able to relax, listen to some soothing tones, light a candle or incense, and drift off into a peaceful mindset for a bit can make the day much better and offer a bit of energy and spiritual renewal.  Another way I like to recharge is to take a walk outside, but since I have been getting home after dark, there hasn’t been opportunity to do that. 

 Today, I am rearranging my schedule again, running errands at lunch, hoping to free up time after work.  I have a lot of house work to catch up on, but as long as I can actually get home, I can multitask and knock out a lot of those type chores at the same time, even while listening to a book or catching a favorite show on television.

 I hear people often say they need more hours in the day.  Me? No thank you.  I don’t need more hours, I just need to manage what I have better, have a few less crisis and last minute items pop up, and to multitask a bit faster and more efficiently, nothing that can’t be done as long as one can keep the right attitude and keep putting one foot in front of the other. 

 Remember to take a moment in the middle of the chaos to stop, find things to be thankful for, people to appreciate, and be grateful for the fact that we are still here.  Ask for help if you need it, find joy in the sunrise, sunset and realize that each day, no matter how stressful or wonderful it may be, is a gift.  You get to decide your response to what happens along the way which will help decide the outcome.  Just do the best you can and give yourself a break when you can. 

 Cherry Coley ©

 

Living in the Present Moment

“Time is nothing more than a series of present moments.” – Dr. Dwayne Dyer

 I’ve been lost in the moment several times lately, it’s seems funny to say that, but it’s so true.  I was watching a bird as it was looking for a meal, hopping along in the grass under the trees.  Chances are that bird wasn’t thinking about cleaning the nest, what it would eat for dinner later that night, where it would sleep, what to do in the case of a storm, or where it would fly next.  That bird was living in the moment, carefully inspecting what was in front of it, finding a tidbit of something, tasting and enjoying every morsel it could find as it found it.  All the while it was also noticing the wind, feeling the earth under its feet and listening to its surroundings. 

 I realized that in that moment that bird was living life to its fullest potential far more than I do at most moments throughout the day.  What a humbling thought and an eye-opening one. 

 Animals don’t worry about things moment to moment or where their next meal will come from unless we put them in a cage and they become dependent on us.  Even then they are simply trusting that what they need will be there when they need it and they are still living in the moment. 

 So, how is it that we allow ourselves to get so consumed with time, not wasting it, spending it wisely, scheduling it, saving it, and why do we think we have any type of control of it what so ever?  We don’t.  All we ever have is NOW.  That’s it.  There is only the present time.  We contemplate the future – in the present.  We remember or cry over the past – in the present.  All we have is the present time.

 I’ve heard the saying, “Live in the Now,” over and over from so many directions for years, but I guess I never let it really sink in or thought about it enough to really grasp that now is all there really is.

 Your time is now.  If you use time fretting over all the things you have to do, planning something you want to do, thinking of something you should have done, you are STILL using it.  How much fuller would life be, how much more enjoyable, more extraordinary if we just stop and focus on the now?  Even the mundane things in life become enjoyable

 How many moments have slipped by as we were focusing on other things?  All we have is now.  Sure we have to arrange our time as human beings in our busy world, but how much sweeter would life be if we arrange to invest our time in things we want to do, then stop, quiet the mind, and focus on experiencing everything in that moment? 

 Cherry Coley ©

Time as an Investment

Time is something we are constantly reminded of.  Each and every day there are commercials, signs, books, ads, all over the place reminding us of time passing, that we shouldn’t waste time, that time is creeping up on us, that time is getting away from us, that we should use time more wisely, on and on it goes.  If you listen to all the hype too much it starts to get to you and you feel stressed, hurried, and constantly worried that time is running out.

Time is, no doubt, our most treasured resource.  How do you look at time?  Have you ever thought about it?  How do you address time issues?  Do you say you are going to “schedule things better so I can spend my time more wisely?”  Do you “spend your time running errands, picking up kids, going to work, doing laundry, and with friends?”  Do you “spend time trying to prioritize?”

Do you often feel weary, worn out, and like you’ve wasted time when you look back at your day?

What if you changed one little word in your thinking and vocabulary?  Change the word “spend” to “Invest.” 

Now go back and rethink, readjust your day.  Today I – “invested my time with my kids, we had good conversation or sang songs in the car when I picked them up.  I invested my time doing laundry, making sure we all have clean clothes, look healthy, and well taken care of.  I invested my time going to work because I have a job to do and it helps me to be able to get the things I want and need.  Today, I invested my time with a few friends so our relationships will continue to grow, and we laugh, cry, share and support each other.”  Today matters.  Did you feel the shift and how everything seems less stressful when you are “investing” instead of “spending?”

Just one little word can make a difference in your outlook and your attitude.  Don’t follow the majority in the frantic search of how to “spend” your time, instead take a stand, be more proactive, and decide how you will invest your time.  Those decisions you make today will make a difference tomorrow.

Cherry Coley (c)

Seize the Day – Count the Moments

Carpe Diem – Seize the Day.

The past is to learn from, the future is to look forward too, but the present is where we live. 

I look back through different time periods of my life and can see that there were times when I worked extremely hard to get things done, the sense of accomplishment when you actually finish a task and get to see the completed work is a wonderful feeling.

I also have periods of wandering around, trying to find my next path.  If I don’t stop and really think about those periods in my life it seems like a lot of wasted time just reading, walking, watching television, or wondering.  Although, there were some wasted days, there were many more that were used to try to get a handle on which way to go and what project or task to tackle next. 

I know in my life, sometimes I have to take time to just wander.  It’s in those moments when I am wandering that I find enlightenment, my creativity and then later, my next path.  J. R. R. Tolkien said, “Not all who wander are lost.”  I firmly believe and identify with that.  Sometimes I need to wander a bit to find my way.

Looking back there is another interesting thing I found from time to time on this journey.  There were times when I simply waited to do something because I was waiting for approval.  I have tried to justify that, but basically that is what happened in several places in my life, what’s more is I found that there were times that if I did not get the approval or validation from someone, then I quit and never pursued that interest.  Now, that’s just silly isn’t it? 

I can say that now, much later, I look back and think, “Wow that is so sad because I really wanted to do that.”  The question becomes, did I want to do it?  I must not have wanted it very much because I just quit and never pursued it. 

I was taught from an early age to seek approval.  My parents then would “help” me by telling me everything that could, would, should, go wrong, any reasons why I should not pursue the interest and whether or not they approved, usually with a “do what you want to do, but I’m not sure I would.”

I realize that this sort of method does actually work well for some people, but it has never really worked for me.  So, I have had to learn to approach new interests and projects from a different perspective – one that is entirely on my own shoulders and that has been intimidating, but interesting too.

It is amazing how much progress you can make when you get out of your own way and know that the only person that really has to approve, is you. 

Cherry Coley ©