The Prompt

Ahhhh, I have been out of town, attending the funeral of a friend from Youth Group oh, 37 years ago.  She was 54, married, with two children and one of those people who “lived it right”.  I’m very glad I had the ease to get there and, too, I’m very glad to be back home. I haven’t blogged the entire week that I’ve been gone and the assignment today is to respond to the Daily Prompt: Name 5 Things in your House that make it a Home. How perfect….in a way, this very idea has been heavy on my mind since my friend died suddenly and left a hole in our hearts.

When my two sons lived here, the first four “things” would have been me, my husband, Kris and Grady…and the 5th, Love.  But really, I think Love is the first thing, Kindness the second, Patience the third, Friendship the fourth and Acceptance the fifth.  They all play together to create a home…the place you feel safe and welcome and comfortable to be yourself.  There really is no place like home….or people, who no matter where you are, treat you like home.

Writing 101 Day 3, One Word….

One word….Treasure was the first word on the list and it is a word I use to describe the shells, broken and worn down, or whole and perfect appearing, that I collect on my walks.  Treasures …..created to be functional and protective, yet so beautiful.  Each one unique.  Each one, even in it’s brokenness, still serving a purpose, being of use, willingly giving itself back to the ocean or offering itself to the shore….daring me to pick it up and admire it… Notice the layers that show part of it’s story of creation and injury…. Carry it home and give it another story to star in.

First assignment in Blogging 101

I’m not sure what to write?  I do know that I am changing and asking questions of myself and others and life, that I hadn’t thought to ask before.  That I’m thinking and acting in new and soul-satisfying ways…and still, at times, I’m so uncomfortable that I want to run straight back to my safe, comfortable stifling ways.  But I’m determined not to…..even if it’s teeny, weeny baby steps forward, that’s the direction I’m headed.  That is also the reason I’m taking this blogging course.  It’s a step toward one of my goals of spreading a positive message to all interested, not only friends and those who know me and I feel “safe” sharing with.  Writing and posting this assignment publicly?…..slightly terrifying!  Making this assignment a step towards a new beginning with very cool possibilities?……soul-satisfying…maybe even priceless.

Why I Want My Kids to Be in Pain | UnTangled

A Parent’s Job:   A parent’s job is, ultimately, not to protect their kids from pain, though of course we try to do so desperately and of course we grieve the failures. But no, pain is inevitable. Our job isn’t to help them avoid it at all costs; our job is to help them move toward it, walk through it, and, if they invite us, to be with them in it. Our job is to remind them: pain is like a really good mirror—when you face into it, you get to see who you are, what you’re made of, and why you’re here. So, I watch my daughter take in what her brother has said. I watch her confident face get a little more joyful. And his reminder to her becomes a reminder to me of what she did as we left that back-to-school orientation three days earlier… We’re walking out of the school with a crowd of now also empty-handed parents, when she begins putting her thoughts into song, as she so often does. And in a beautiful, cracking, lilting, childlike falsetto, she declares, with her arms wide open, “This is my world. This is my world. This, is my world.” Yep. That’s our job. To remind our kids, regardless of the pain, regardless of the mess, regardless of what anyone does or does not do to you, this is your world. You can be fully in it, you can be fully you, and you can embrace it. With arms wide open. And, when we forget, it’s our job to let our kids remind us.

Source: Why I Want My Kids to Be in Pain | UnTangled

Mayo Clinic doctor has your prescription for happiness – StarTribune.com

We can train our brains to feel less stressed and increase our inner bliss, overriding even genetic tendencies toward unhappiness, said Dr. Amit Sood, author of the new book “The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness.”

His message: Happiness can be cultivated, but it takes a conscious — and constant — effort.

“Make it a habit,” he said.

While genetics account for up to half of our happiness potential, the rest is within our control, studies show. Our thoughts, if left unchecked, will veer toward searching for potential threats and faultfinding, a natural tendency groomed by generations of our ancestors having to worry about protecting themselves.

This bias toward negativity will not lead to a happy ending — much less a happy beginning or middle.

“Clearly our system is biased for safety,” Sood said. “It’s biased for survival. We want to be safe.” Simply put: Our brains are not hard-wired for contentment.

Four steps toward happiness

In his book, Sood outlines a four-step program that can be done in 10 weeks to boost happiness and fulfillment.

The first step is to train your attention. As we grow older, we have seen and experienced so much that we tend to stop noticing or being fascinated by the things and people we encounter in our daily lives. That feeling of wonderment we experienced regularly as a child leaves us, and our brains move quickly from one thing to the next.

Sood recommends an attention-training exercise that will help start the brain off on a joyful note each morning: When you wake up, instead of running through your to-do list for the day or ruminating about your problems, think of five people whom you are grateful to have in your life. Picture each one, and as you do this, thank each one silently. Exhale slowly.

The second happiness step is to cultivate emotional resilience. To do this, focus on what Sood calls the principles of emotional resilience. They are: gratitude, compassion, acceptance, meaning and forgiveness.

Third, start a mind-body practice. By engaging in an activity that will relax your mind and keep it focused on what you’re doing, your brain will be happier. Yoga, meditation, reading and Tai Chi all are examples of mind-body practices.
Finally, pick healthy habits. Eat healthy and mindfully, savoring every bite. Exercise regularly and be sure to get enough sleep. Reduce the amount of time you spend in front of screens — computer and TV. Make an effort to read good books and spend more time doing things that are truly fulfilling and focus the mind in a positive direction.

via Mayo Clinic doctor has your prescription for happiness – StarTribune.com.