Good morning lovely people 🙂
My daughter has arrived safe and sound from Spain. And she quickly co-opted my computer…so I haven’t been here since she returned last week! I spent the morning catching up with all of you…reading your posts on my phone. I am planning on responding to each of the posts individually when Cassie goes out to run some errands later…but I just wanted to take a few minutes to reconnect.
This morning I am grateful for the sunshine and the blue sky.
I am grateful that I have been sleeping better lately (probably because my young daughter is not across the Atlantic anymore but home with us!)
I am grateful for Kevin’s Father’s Day blog….it touched my heart.
I am grateful that Ursula has returned safe and sound from her pilgrimage.
I am grateful to see we have some new members of our gratefulness community.
I am grateful for all the love and wisdom that was waiting for me here this morning.
I am grateful that I have this sacred space to come to when I need to be reminded that there is so much grace, love, compassion and hope for me on my journey and that I am not alone.
More later dear friends….in the meantime, have a blessed day.
Good morning lovely people~
Well, the sun is shining bright and warm…some might say a little “too” warm but not me! I am so grateful for this turn in the weather. I feel my energy returning and actually spent a good deal of time working on our landscaping with my husband this weekend. I am so grateful that I was able to contribute! Now the challenge for me will be not to over-do…which I am very aware I have a tendency to do. I get so excited when I have energy that I completely empty my tank!
I am grateful for this awareness and that I am in a place (physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally!) where I can practice self-care. And not feel guilty about just “being” instead of always “doing”. That is one of the gifts of my illness…another thing I am becoming more aware of. It’s all grace.
I am grateful that my youngest daughter is coming home tomorrow. May the angels surround her as she makes her way back. She will be with us, here on the farm, for the summer and we will do our best to encourage and guide her and offer whatever life wisdom we have acquired to help her figure out the next leg of her journey.
If truth be told, I would love it if she decided to stay here in the states instead of heading back to Spain again….but I am giving this request to God and trusting that He will lead her to exactly where she should be. In the meantime…I just can’t wait to see her!
I am grateful that my older daughter is having so much fun planning her wedding and that it is all coming together. I have been praying that this process would be a joy and not anxiety producing for her.
I am grateful that we are sharing ideas with each other and that I will be flying out to Denver this summer for a brief visit to see the venue they have chosen…and maybe look at dresses! I am grateful that she and her fiance are committed to keeping things simple.
I am grateful for the aches and pains my body is feeling because it is the result of all the yard work….and a reminder that I was able to finally help my husband with this gargantuan task (It’s TOO much as Aine and I recently discussed). I am grateful that we can take pride in our work but also that we made the decision to release it to professional landscapers next year!
I am grateful that former colleagues and friends will be gathering here soon (one of the reasons for the crazy amount of work we’ve been undertaking…we want to show off our grounds….pride confession!). I am grateful that they value our friendship so much that they are all willing to drive out to our new home in farm country so that we can all be together.
I am grateful that I have nothing pressing on my agenda today….I am looking forward to a peace-filled day here in my little farmhouse.
Good morning lovely people!
I read something this morning from my “guru” Henri Nouwen that I wanted to share with all of you. Henri says:
“The choice for gratitude rarely comes without some real effort. But each time I make it, the next choice is a little easier, a little freer, a little less self-conscious. Because every gift I acknowledge reveals another and another until, finally, even the most normal, obvious and seemingly mundane event or encounter proves to be filled with grace.”
One of the many things that I appreciate about Henri Nouwen is that he is just so…..real! He acknowledges that sometimes it takes great effort to practice gratitude…haven’t we all felt that way? And shared it here with each other? And haven’t we taken the “normal, obvious, and mundane” and recognized the grace there?
We have done that with and for each other……this is what is so amazing and beautiful about this community and I am grateful for all the “gurus” gifted to me in this sacred space.
Hope….such a powerful word. I actually gave my youngest daughter the middle name of Hope because we literally hoped and prayed her into this world. I remember when, unexpectedly pregnant with her at 39 years old….on my way to the hospital because I was developing complications…my then 9 year old older daughter ran to the car and put something in my hand that she had made in Sunday school. It was a little plastic word “hope” that she had painted in bright colors. I kept that next to me during my subsequent 2 months in the hospital and….22 years later it is still next to me on my nightstand. So this word holds so much meaning for me.
Today, what makes me hopeful is the assurance that I am not alone on my journey. I am hopeful that each day is a new beginning and, since I am still here, I am hopeful that growth is taking place…even when I can’t see or feel it. God is so not done with me yet!
Antoinette…thank you for sharing this with us. It was a beautiful reminder to me to slow down, breathe, believe, and wait in joyful expectation for whatever it is that I am seeking.
Ursula…….so happy to hear from you dear friend. Like Anna, I will say a big “AMEN” to the loving wisdom that Pilgrim and Mary have shared with you. Ursula…my heart longs for you to remember that you are so worthy of self-kindness and self-compassion as Pilgrim said. I have never been on the type of pilgrimage that you have just experienced, but I have participated in several weekend spiritual retreats. It’s not easy, after being in that spiritual “bubble” as I like to call it, to return to the “real world”.
I am keeping you close in prayer as you navigate your way through all of the pressures and anxieties of family and everyday life. Take time for yourself as Mary recommends and know that you deserve it…you are a precious child of God and He wants you to take care of His precious creation.
I am thinking of a magnet that I have on my refrigerator that my daughter gave me…I read it often because I need reminders too of my special place in this world.
Sharing it with you as a “welcome home” present…and with much love.
“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul” (Max Ehrmann)
Hello BKC and welcome to this sacred community. I too frequently light the virtual candles…..at different times for different reasons. The ritual of lighting candles has always had meaning for me and I’m so grateful for this website that provides me this wonderful practice within my own home.
We are glad you have joined us…..you will find so much grace here.
Good morning Pilgrim…thank you for sharing. The older I get, the more I realize that we all have our stories of heartache and hope, of darkness and light, of sadness and joy.
I just read a quote on this site: ““There is a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in”. ( L. Cohen). Your story exemplifies this. And the light continues to shine through your beautiful granddaughter…..abundant blessings on all 3 generations of strong women. You have no doubt inspired them with your own radiant light Pilgrim.
~Peace and all good
Good morning Ursula….what beautiful pictures! I just finished praying the St. Francis prayer (“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace”) and then I visited here and saw your pictures! I will take these beautiful images with me as I start my day…thank you for sharing them!
I have “The Inner Voice of Love” (among others) and have read it several times and journaled through it… a powerful and healing book for me…and a vivid example of what I meant when I said that Henri is just so real!
This quote is from “The Return of the Prodigal Son”…another book that I journaled through! I find that reading Henri just compels me to write. I have such a visceral reaction to his words that I have to get the thoughts, emotions, feelings down on paper! I’m sure you know what I mean.
It’s so nice to be able to “talk” about Henri with you Aine. He has helped me more than I can say for many years and through many peaks and valleys on my journey. I really mean it when I call him my “guru” 🙂
Thank you so much for this Aine…..the part that gives me such hope this morning is “Your tears are announcing change in your life.” I am working on believing that deep inner-soul and spirit change is occurring even when I can’t see or feel it.
Marnie…..I also wanted to share that my own spiritual sensibilities have been greatly influenced by Celtic tradition. I have 2 of J. Philip Newell’s books and have read them often and repeatedly as they “speak” to me in a way that is difficult to articulate. Suffice to say that the Celtic tradition has so impacted my life that I had a Celtic cross tattooed on my left shoulder!
I’m sure you are familiar with the Carmina Gadelica? I leave you this prayer as a way of welcoming you to this sacred community and to thank you for all that you shared with us.
“The grace of the love of the skies be thine,
The grace of the love of the stars be thine,
The grace of the love of the moon be thine,
The grace of the love of the sun be thine”
Good morning Marnie…and cead mile failte!
Thank you for sharing about your encounter with the osprey….they are beautiful creatures. When I was teaching middle school life science I had access to a website that had a “real time” video of an osprey nest that was being monitored by a local environmental group at the NJ shore. The nest was on a platform that the group provided for just that purpose…so that the osprey could see out over the water. Each day we would “visit” with the ospreys and their eggs. The male and female would occasional switch places….one sitting on the nest and the other flying off to find food.
My students (and I!) always loved to witness that exchange! When the eggs hatched we could see the babies grow and develop up close…it was truly magical.
Thank you for bringing back that special memory for me!
Ursula! That sounds absolutely….divine! I wanted to tell you that I prayed “The Canticle of Creation” this morning in your honor as you continue on your journey. And my husband and I just bought a St. Francis statue for our garden….every time I look at him it makes me smile. 🙂
~Prayers for continued healing on your journey dear Ursula. Benedizioni amico mio!
Hello Kelly….thank you for reaching out. This is one of the beautiful, miraculous things about this community…we remind each other that we are not alone.
~Hope you are having a peace-filled day Kelly….blessings.
Aine….I am replying to this post but also to the one from a couple of days ago that you sent to me. First….I have to agree that so often we are “vibrating on the same frequency” as you said. That is one of the beautiful, healing things for me about this community….and why I consider it such a gift….to know that I am not alone in my kerfluffles and musings.
So…today’s post: We don’t have quite as much land as you do but we definitely have a similar situation in that there is just too much landscaping for us to handle…evidenced by my poor husband’s back being totally thrown out by all the yard work he has been doing. We are new to this home and this farmland and this amount of physical labor is new to us as well. It has become glaringly apparent that we can’t keep up with this….I’m not too much help because of my own physical limitations and, although my husband LOVES to do this stuff (Seriously…I think he was a farmer in a former life!) and has a real green thumb and knack for it…..we have decided that next year spring cleaning (mulching, weeding, trimming, raking, etc.) will be done by a hired landscaper! Like you said NUTS!!! to think we could handle it all……letting go is definitely easier (at least for me, I think my husband is still in denial…haha)
To your post from a couple of days ago: Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly with me….I am reminded once again that when we do that we become the “wounded healers” that our mutual friend Henri describes. Here is what resonated so deeply with me…you said (speaking of feeling unconditional love) “It is not easy at all, especially for those of us who are prone to use overachieving and pushing ourselves too hard as a substitute for acceptance and Being-ness”. That’s ME!! And here’s why this is me…….you said “this incredible cognition of unconditional love often dredges up the past, in particular for those of us who were raised in families who perhaps did not have unconditional love as a guiding force or house rule” That’s ME!! Haha…you hit the nail on the head twice!
Being the child of 2 alcoholic parents, I have enough “head” knowledge to know the reasons why I struggle with this. But having that insight doesn’t necessarily make it easier to actually FEEL the unconditional love and for it to help me navigate through this life whole and healed and…..free!
Thank you for helping me not feel so alone in this quest Aine…..it has encouraged me more than you know.
Dear Anna….yes, I love to write and this is a wonderful space to do it! I read the blog that you are speaking of and was so inspired by her practice. I do give thanks every day for my blessings but I think there is something special and powerful in writing them down on paper….don’t you agree?
Anna….it is evening here in the Eastern U.S. and the warm sun is slowly beginning its journey to the other side of the world. I have enjoyed it so much today….the warmth of the sun is so healing to me and really has a positive effect on my whole self…including my mood!
I am sending un abbracio right back to you dear Anna….Grazie per la tua amicizia!
Pilgrim…one other supplement I forgot to mention that I take daily is called “Digest Gold”…it’s a digestive enzyme that helps my body to break down and absorb my food. I was having a host of digestive issues and this has really helped. It’s the brand recommended by my PA….the company is called Enzymedica. I ordered it online from the Vitamin Shoppe, since we don’t have the store near us now.
Good morning Pilgrim. I was wondering if you might have fibromyalgia as well just based on some of the things we have shared here in the past.
I was diagnosed about 30 years ago and have since had other auto-immune disease related conditions as well….which is not uncommon. This is a tricky field of medicine in that sometimes these types of conditions can overlap with each other (such as irritable bowel syndrome, which I have, and if I remember correctly, you have some digestive-type issues as well?). Or they can “mimic” other similar conditions. Depression and/or anxiety is also part of the package.
For me, the “hallmark” is that those with fibromyalgia struggle to get a deep, restorative sleep. Chronic fatique is the obvious result. The muscle pain is always with me but I have learned to live with that….it is the fatigue that is most challenging for me.
I share all of this in hopes that it might resonate with you?
All of that being said….I can share with you some things that have helped me over the years. Mostly I have learned to fiercely protect my energy level (such as it is) and be careful not to take on too much. My husband likes to put it this way….you have to make “deposits” into your “energy bank” before you can make any “withdrawals”. This has been so frustrating for me because, by nature, I am a do-er! I often wonder if this is God’s way of slowing me down so I can just BE. (I have to admit that I do believe my spiritual journey has progressed because of this affliction.)
I take a prescription med at bedtime to help me sleep (doesn’t always work) but it also acts as a mild anti-depressant. It’s called Elavil (or amitryptyline). I also take Melatonin at night and I have lavender essential oil at my bedside that i rub into my temples and pulse points (wrists, neck). I have found that aromatherapy helps me tremendously…I guess I am one of those people who respond to smells. I also use an essential oils diffuser…with various types of oils, such as lavender, lemon, peppermint, and some other blends that address whatever symptom may need some attention. I use DoTerra essential oils and do recommend them above others because of their purity. If you want more info on those…let me know and I can tell you more.
I also find that gentle exercise helps. I like to take walks, even if it is just a short one, because I love being outside in nature. But Qigong also is wonderful. I know that yoga is recommended as well, but I’m not a fan despite having tried it multiple times with multiple instructors, it just doesn’t work for me…..in fact, it increases my anxiety level! But not so with Qigong…it is wonderful for me and provides a gentle stretch…I find it meditative as well. (I know Aine…who has lyme’s disease, practices it as well.)
Therapeutic massage helps tremendously when my muscle pain is raging/overly debilitating. I probably should be getting weekly/bi-weekly massages but (frustratingly!) they are not covered by insurance…aaggh!!! I had a wonderful (and affordable) massage therapist before we moved and have just recently found one in our new location that I like…it took a while and many tries at different places. Are you familiar with Groupon? I used them to help me find one that worked for me.
In lieu of massage therapy, I also find heating pads to be of help with my muscle pain.
I take magnesium, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D and calcium supplements and a probiotic daily. I sit in the sun whenever I can….the warmth of the sun is like a magical healing balm for my muscles. I probably should be living in Arizona, like our friend Debbie!
I hope these suggestions will be of some help to you Pilgrim. If you are not taking anything at bedtime, this might be a good place to start. The other night, when my mind was racing with anxious thoughts, I finally got up and took a Xanax, which my PA has prescribed for situational anxiety. It does work thankfully and I am grateful that I have this available to me when I need it. Finding the right practitioner is also so important…do you have someone that you trust who can guide you?
I will offer up a prayer for you on my walk today…the sun is out and I am eager to go visit with the horses at the farm behind us.
~Continued blessings as we travel this journey together Pilgrim.
Good morning Aine. Ah yes…”middle of the night ambushes”. That is a perfect way to describe it! I am learning the tremendous power of gratefulness, thanks in large part to this sacred community. I have always thought of myself as a grateful person but I am learning how to actually “practice” it…if that makes any sense?
I do take magnesium supplements daily…not only for my fibromyalgia but in hopes that it may ease my tinnitus symptoms as well. I also take a prescription med (elavil…which is also a mild anti-depressant) and a melatonin supplement at bedtime. Therapeutic massage also brings relief….too bad insurance doesn’t cover it…I would get them more often.
I am inspired by your qi gong stress relief practice Can you tell me how/where you found this DVD? I go to a group qigong session weekly (and sporadically) and am thinking that a more regular practice would be a great benefit. I also like to take walks because I love being outside and we live in a beautiful farm country environment. These walks seem to help too…and thankfully the weather here is finally turning. I plan a walk after my visit here!
BTW…..the Lyme’s test came back negative. Which I know can happen but my PA is suspecting a flare-up of my Epstein-Barr virus. And of course, my fibromyalgia is considerably worse when the weather is cold and damp, which unfortunately has been happening consistently during the month of May here. But this is a new month and the warm sun is making an appearance so…we shall see! Hope springs eternal!
Thank you for your encouragement, advice, and affirmations Aine….I am very grateful for you and everyone here.
And yes…it is quite magical that we can be in different places and see the same views! Before my younger daughter went off to live in Spain for 10 months, I gave her a card that reminded her that when she looks up in the sky during the day and sees the sun and when she looks up in the sky at night and sees the moon and stars….that I will be looking at the same sun, moon, and stars. And so…even though she is far away from me, we are connected. This thought has brought both of us great joy! And she will be home in 2 weeks…..hurray 🙂
~Have a blessed day Aine
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