Your Last Day

“Against the grain should be a way of life … Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try, So live like you’ll never live it twice, Don’t take the free ride in your own life” ~ Nickleback

What would you do if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness and you were given a certain amount of time to live? Would you make a bucket list and try to do everything on it? Would you hold up in your home until the day you die? Donate every dime you have?

Or would you…well, I think you know.

I’ve known a few people who have been diagnosed with and died from terminal illness. The first one was my grandfather who had liver cancer. I remember on summer vacation riding my bike 6 miles to his house so I could visit with him. I still, 30 years later, vividly remember the day he past away.

One person I had a bond with but not super close to moped around had metastasized cancer. This person moped around but before passing away, this person had been planning a trip but didn’t make it. A few of us carried out the trip they’d planned and sprinkled some ashes in a couple places there. I still remember the night that person took their life.

During my years in healthcare, I became close with a number of individuals who passed away from terminal illness. For most their terminal illness was old age. I’ll never forget what one patient told me one day, “Live your life now while you can.”

Thought for the day: Live each day to its fullest, laugh your heart out, love like there’s no tomorrow, and tell the ones you love how you feel. Life is to short to live otherwise.

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Commitment

“Let today be the day that you become committed in being, doing, getting, achieving, experiencing. Let today be the day that you are committed to being the change you wish to see and living the life you wish to live.” ~ Steve Maraboli

When you make a commitment you dedicate yourself to something like a person or a cause. It’s a Spiritual Principle that works hand in hand with another Spiritual Principle called perseverance. This is sticking it out or seeing something through, good or bad, to the end. Some examples are marriage or relationships, projects, jobs and service work(volunteering) to name a few.

It seems that as the years go by, people are not as committed to anything anymore. For example, marriage and relationships. Years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for a man and woman to have dated one, maybe 2 people before they got married. When they did get married, they stayed together until one of them passed away. Today people date numerous people before getting married and then get divorced down the road. Then they repeat that whole cycle all over again – date, marry, divorce…

Another example is jobs and service work. Today, people quit jobs and service work. Maybe the work gets to hard or other coworkers are to difficult to get along with.

So what’s happened to cause people to not be committed to anything anymore? Perhaps the biggest reason is that when the going gets tough, they give up and get going right out the door. If there are problems in the marriage or relationship, with projects, or on jobs and service work people find it easier to just give up.

Thought for the day: No matter how hard a commitment gets, step back for a moment, take a breath, then get back to it and work things out.

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Black and White

“When I was a little girl, everything [was] wrong or right. Black or white. Now that I am an adult, I…know that …most things in the world…aren’t black, aren’t white…we don’t have to try and make them black or white, we can just let them be grey…Now that I am no longer a child, I can see…the black and the white and the grey, too…Grey is okay”. ~ C. JoyBell C.

I have encountered many people in my life who believe that things are either black or white and there’s no grey. No middle road. Things are either this way or that way. A person like this is narrow minded. They lack tolerance or flexibility and they rigidly adhere to a particular set of rules. Today I thought I’d look at the example of lying.

Say J.Q Person is saying negative stuff about your friend or family member. If you don’t repeat what J.Q Person says, this would be omission of the truth. To some people it’s considered lying. However, is it really lying if you omit the truth because it would cause physical or emotional harm to that person?

When it comes down to it, life is not necessarily as cut and dry, or right and wrong, as it was centuries ago, tho today some people still think this way. Nowadays, in our interpersonal relationships, we need to take into account the motive, or reason, behind what others do. We need to see things from the other person’s view.

Thought for the day: To quote the Dalai Lama, “Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them”.

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The Past

“All mistakes are lessons to be learned and challenges to be overcome” By Unknown

Have you done something in the past that you look back on today with regret? Maybe you zigged when you shoulda zagged, you woulda said this, then this coulda happened. Psst, I have a secret for you. All the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s ain’t gonna change a darn thing.

None of us have lived a perfect life, but fortunately, the past, even tho it hurts, is done and over. This quote tells us that we can learn what to or not to do, who we are or are not, and who we do or don’t want in our lives. We can also learn to live by Spiritual Principles like honesty, integrity and acceptance to name a couple. We can even find what we’re passionate about or what our calling in life is.

Mistakes are a part of life. Having bad experiences, events or situations don’t have to define and describe us or make us victims. Once we can ACCEPT our mistakes and the part WE played or didn’t play in the situation, we can share with others what we’ve learned.

I have another secret for you. The key to learning from our mistakes is to get out of our “self mode”. That’s self mode is when we are selfish, self-centered, and self-serving. It’s when we think of only ourselves and not other people. When we can put ourselves in other people’s shoes and we can understand where they’re coming from and how our mistake affects them. Also when we can do this, we can see our part, our role in the situation.

Thought for the day: Today I will accept that mistakes are a part of life and will learn the lessons that they teach me.

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Humor

“Cancer is probably the unfunniest thing in the world, but I’m a comedian, and even cancer couldn’t stop me from seeing the humor in what I went through.” ~ Gilda Radner

Too much seriousness can truly be a serious matter. Being serious all the time can have an effect on our health just like stress. If you stopped having fun and laughter you can have problems in your relationships, depression, maybe problems with drug/alcohol addiction. It also can lower your immunity leaving you vulnerable to illness and perhaps cancer as well as heart problems including heart attacks or strokes.

The benefits of laughter is that it decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, which improves your resistance to disease. It triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can temporarily relieve pain.

There’s no one around to laugh with? No problem! With today’s electronics we have the ability to order old reruns to watch on t.v. We can even find the old shows like the Honeymooners, the Three Stooges and even Lucille Ball(now I’m dating myself. Lol!). Plus there’s all kinds of comedy like dry humor, stupidity comedy, and comedy with all levels of foul language. Just look for a funny show or movie on t.v., grab some snacks and Kleenex for those laughs that make you laugh so hard that you cry, pull up a chair and just laugh.

Thought for the day: During one of life’s long, hard days you can look forward to going home and just laughing all that “stuff” off. You’ll be better off in the long run.

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Attitude of Gratitude

Mno gishget gme-gishek eneshkeyen ~ Everyday you rise from bed is a good day! ~ Old Potawatomi Saying

This was a comment left one of my posts on my social media page. Actually, it was on my daily gratitude list that I post. I’m told it’s an old Potawatomi saying that is from the person’s Nishnabe ancestors. I also did a little research and found its part of a Potawatomi morning greeting song.

I was going thru a rough period a while back and a dear friend of mine told me to do a gratitude list every morning when I woke up. At first I didn’t want to do it but that little voice I hear from time to time said it was a good idea. So I did it. Then I thought others might be going thru a rough time too and if they saw something on my list that resonated with them, they’d feel grateful too. So I posted my daily list on social media, every day, with my other daily posts. The response has been very positive and just as I thought, others have had their day brightened a little bit.

Does this daily ritual make my life better? No. What it does do is help me to find the good even when things seem really bad. Being grateful when we wake up also sets the tone for the day. Ever notice those mornings, when you wake up grumpy, everything you do turns to junk? Try waking up some morning and either express your gratefulness silently, do a gratitude list, or sing out your gratitude. See what that does for your day.

Thought for the day: Set the tone for your day. Wake up grateful for everything in your day.

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Courage

“Courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr

A few years ago, I was involved in a self help group and my task was to find speakers for certain nights. I lucked out for the longest time and didn’t have to speak. I was grateful for this because I hate public speaking. Besides, I didn’t think anyone wanted to hear my story. I was able to get away with it until one fateful night. I had no choice. I couldn’t find anyone to speak so I was going to have to do it. I would be remiss if I said I was looking forward to doing it. Actually, quite the reverse. I was petrified.

Someone taught me a couple of acronyms for fear. I could Face Everything And Rise or Forget Everything And Run or that False Evidence Appearing to be Real. These acronyms helped me overcome my fear that night and other times since then. After thinking about it, I decided I needed to get passed my fears. So I stepped up to the plate and spoke.

All to often our fear of doing things in life is because we are afraid we won’t succeed. I used to hear, “If you don’t even try, you won’t know if you’ll succeed.” I also used to hear, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” by Thomas H. Palmer. No matter how old we are, when we can overcome our fears, we grow a little each time.

Thought for the day: What happened when I spoke? Many of friends came up to me and said that my story helped them and that I did a really good job. This was the first time I learned that I had a message I needed to share.

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