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- Beyond the obvious
- Embracing life
- Fun and Humor
- Good Advice
- Growing Up
- Helping Others
- Hopes and Dreams
- Learning from kids
- Lessons learned the hard way
- Letting Go
- Life as it really is
- Living in the Present
- Living life well
- Making a difference
- Material Things
- Not Giving Up
- Open Heart
- Overcoming Obstacles
- Precious things
- Romantic relationships
- Seeing 'what is'
- Self Awareness
- Simple Pleasures
- The "Now"
- The Future
- The Past
- What really matters
- Works of Art
1. Understand that sustained happiness rarely comes from outside circumstances. Your wealth, beauty, power, or acquisitions have far less to do with happiness than your appreciation for what you have this very moment and your loving relationships with others.
2. You can live your life by design, but you must acknowledge your power in that, plan for it, and take the necessary actions.
3. You can’t have it all, but you can have enough to be very happy. Prioritize and focus on the top 3 or 4 most important areas of your life.
4. Stop focusing on what you don’t have or don’t like. Focus on what you do have and do like, and create a plan for what you think you can improve and change.
5. Abandon perfectionism. It is a useless pursuit with no end. It creates stress and unhappiness. Learn to find the balance point between good enough and peaceful living.
6. Put your own deepest needs first. If you are living for others before yourself and pushing your own needs aside, eventually you will crumble in some way — through depression, anger, anxiety or destructive behaviors.
7. Your choices may disappoint or offend others. That is sometimes necessary in order to grow and live authentically. Those who love you and want the best for you will accept and support you.
8. Count your blessings. You probably already have many of the things you want for your life. Don’t take them for granted.
9. Address personal issues head-on. Don’t use these as an excuse for not having what you want in life. If you have a wound, a personality or relationship problem, or an anxiety, go work on it. Resolve it. Weak people don’t seek help, but strong forward-moving people do.
10. Pick one small problem or irritation and resolve it. Feel how much personal power and energy that gives you. Imagine how it would feel to resolve one of your bigger problems or concerns.
11. Consider disengaging from people who bring you down or drain your energy. Build relationships with people who are positive, action-oriented, and supportive.
12. Pick the one change that would make the biggest positive difference in your life. Begin visualizing your life with this change implemented. Practice this regularly throughout the day.
13. Take this one step further and begin writing some specific action steps that might help make this change happen.
14. Strengthen your strengths. Make yourself indispensable in your area(s) of interest and expertise.
15. Always leave time for fun. Make fun happen in your life.
16. Don’t neglect your relationships. Don’t take them for granted. Find out what makes your loved ones happy, and do that for them.
17. Learn to let it go. Worry is the most fruitless expenditure of energy on the planet. Very little is worth worrying about. If you must do something, take action instead.
18. Don’t assume that you can’t do something. Prove that you can’t, and if so, try something else.
19. More often than not, your fear is the culprit for inaction. More often than not, your fears are unfounded or at least out of proportion. More often than not, your fear will go away once you take action.
20. Focus on the task at hand. When you feel overwhelmed and pulled in many directions, just pick an important thing and do it without distraction. Then do another one.
21. Life is short. You have a limited number of days on this Earth. There isn’t time to waste your days in worry, anger or frustration. Make the most of this moment and the next and the next and the next . . .
Happiness is not the absence of problems,
it’s the ability to deal with them.
When your mind wants to bolt, but your heart hangs on, it is because you don’t know with absolute certainty what the truth is. When you waste so much time on something that you want to believe is true, you begin to over think things. Eventually, something obvious becomes twisted into something absurd, which keeps us from believing a simpler answer.
Over time, you believe your own lies and fantasies to shield yourself from hurt, when following what is logical would have been the quickest way to healing. It is through your own self-imposed delusions that you lose your perspective. The world then becomes different to you when in fact you are different. Why? Because your own ego gets in the way.
Everyone wants to feel special. Everyone wants to have faith in others. Everyone wants to believe in fairytales, happy endings and have all bad interactions with others explained. It is easier to sit in denial with your delusions and pray God will intervene, not realizing he has. He gave you commonsense and intuition, but you didn’t like how it made you feel. This is what true mental illness really is: Following your gut instinct through hell because you want to prove you are right, either to yourself or others. You sacrifice choosing to do right, in order to avoid pain. However, you don’t realize that you have been in pain for a really long time and believed this was how happiness felt. Shannon L. Alder
Sometimes you wake up.
Sometimes the fall kills you.
And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.
One never knows where inspiration comes. All true turning points come unexpectedly. It’s uncanny how one can feel life beginning to fill them again when they have been living all along. Sleepwalking through one’s days allows breath, but yet not a truly living human being. I feel a time of flourishing ahead: a time of thriving. I am grateful beyond words for the arrival of a course altering epiphany.
And so, motivation of a sort likely never felt before has come upon me. All it took was for some of the shadow on my heart to be removed. The light that fills the shadow comes from allowing myself to open to love again. How amazing what a gift that possibility alone can give one.
Off to work some more on the romance novel I began about a week ago… Stay tuned.
When we love, we always strive
to become better than we are.
When we strive to become better than we are,
everything around us becomes better too.
I dance in the moonlight and your ghost in my arms dreaming of what might have been.
I hope that life has been kind to you and that I am not forgotten.
I send warm breezes to kiss your lips that I cannot reach and I envy them.
Time and space has taken their toll, but the memory of you and our lost love lives in the secret places of my heart.
We cannot know what the fates have in store for us as the future has yet to be written.
I wonder, will the paths we choose bring us back to each other or further apart on divergent paths, never to meet again in this life.
I only know that my memories of you warm me like a soft blanket against winters cold grip, comforting me when I feel I can no longer stand strong against the hardness of life.
We will not waste our precious time on ‘what ifs’ but yet in fleeting moments they invade my thoughts without invitation and that is when I dance in the moonlight with your ghost in my arms.
A poem titled “Ghosts” by Sherry Potter
Originally posted September 3, 2012
The years have not caused me to forget. Still there are remnants of feelings strong beyond explanation. You cracked me wide-open and I was never the same again.Was it because you loved me so unwaveringly deep and passionately?
Was it because you were so exotic and intelligent that you were able to enter my heart so easily?
Was it because I filled your need to be loved?
Or you filled mine?
It was all these things and a hundred more. There was a time we found ‘home’ in each other’s arms.
Once in a great while a feeling of loneliness for you, and you only, still touches down to the quick of my heart. Always I smile with hope that you are well and happy. You married in your 30’s and our contact appropriately stopped not too longer after.
Maybe my memory has elevated what we shared to a fantasy beyond fact. Although our love covered a lot of years it was not long when measured in the actual length of time we spent together. But in weight of what was shared we took a trip around the world.
People move on.
Some grow together.
Some grow apart.
Some like we knew each other at the wrong time. I was still a boy in a man’s body pretending he knew what he wanted and needed. I pushed you away because I was afraid to be cared about as much as you loved me.
Hidden away safely, even for the time being from myself, is the only physical memory I have of you: the gift you gave me of a small music box shaped like a heart with a beautiful photo of you inside. It will go to my safe deposit box once I find it again.
I will always be grateful that once I knew you and for the space you occupy in my memories. The pain has long evaporated and today only a sweet memory remains. There has been no greater love in my life. I’m grateful that whenever I hear Anita Baker singing you always come to mind…
If I can’t see your face,
I will remember that smile
’Cause you’re the finest thing
I’ve seen in all my life.
You bring me joy.
From an Anita Baker’s “You Bring Me Joy” by David Lasley
Originally posted July 7, 2011
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” wrote John Lennon in what he said was a favorite song he authored (Beautiful Boy). That quote is part of my personal sayings reparatory and one that I use often as a reminder that my control over what happens in life is very far from a hundred percentage. Chance, fate, divine providence, luck and destiny are all descriptions of how those other parts of my life just happen.
Had you asked me when I was a fourteen what was ahead for me I would have responded assuredly there was an advanced degree in the sciences, one marriage based on true love that would last a lifetime, at least three children and comfortable retirement by the time I am fifty or at most fifty-five. It is profoundly interesting that not a single one of those came to pass. My profession is completely different and unrelated. I am divorced and have been married twice. I have one son and at fifty-seven am not retired. A wiser perspective of today easily tells me I would not have been happy in the sciences, a try at retirement was boring and I am grateful for the son I do have. However, I do lament the marriage thing.
In my youth I swallowed the fairy tale hook, line and sinker. With an unstable home life the dream became even more accentuated. There was Angela P. who I carried a flame for from the time I was in 4th grade all the way through high school. I just knew somehow she was the one for me and “happily ever after” would come to pass as long as I did not give up. Closest I ever got was one date to a junior high school dance where she spent most of the time with other people. I should have taken that as an early sign that real life was not like the movies. But being the hapless romantic I was even then did not allow clarity to see that.
KFC has a new video that is just over a minute long and appears to have been made for the Internet and not television. First, let me say I am not pitching KFC in any shape or form as I do have an issue or two with that company and the food they serve. What I ask is that you forget about the subtle sales pitch at the beginning and end and enjoy the one minute in between. Hopefully one of these links will work for you to watch.
The video is about young “like” between a boy and girl turning into love and lasting a life time. It may be fantasy, but surely somewhere in real life this has actually happened. Hasn’t it? I hope so for my heart is touched by this story line.
My saga is quite different and even if love of youth had flourished and moved into adulthood, I would have screwed it up. At the age of twenty three I was married for the first time. Looking back now it’s easy to see in many ways I was just a child marrying another child who was a year younger. Of course in my early twenties I knew most everything about everything and was convinced I had life under my control and domination. Looking back now I can see what foolish notions those were. The perspective of today tells me that until around thirty years old or even a little older I was actually just an adult with a “learner’s permit”. There is a certain realization now I was no where near a full fledged adult until I was at least out of my 20’s. Being a student of life it is clear for me to see we change and grow as much, if not more, in our twenties that at any other time in our life.
Today I am much wiser but feel a tinge of sadness for those very old dreams and fantasies. I know most were unrealistic for me and rare happenings for anyone else. I have to ask myself why do I and so many others hold on so tightly to those youth-full hopes and dreams of “the one”, a “soulmate”, “happily ever after”, “twin flame” and our “other half”.
I am far from alone in my near mystical belief that goes back 2500 years when we have the first written record of it. As a character in Plato’s “The Symposium“, Aristophanes presents a story about soulmates. It states that humans originally consisted of four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces, but Zeus feared their power and split them all in half, condemning them to spend their lives searching for the other half to complete them. Now at least 125 generations later such thoughts of rare love and soul-mates are stronger than ever.
Being discovered in a restaurant and becoming a movie star, discovering oil on your property, winning the lottery, having a successful career where you are admired by millions, discovering that one thing that makes you a billionaire, to be healthy for 110 years, to discover a rare talent within and be admired for it by the masses and such things are extraordinary occurrences. Such things do happen though. It does my soul good today to think of childhood love like in the KFC video and imagine it can grow and last a lifetime. I think it is the rare nature of such an occurrence that makes it so sought after. There is much gratitude within for my life in all the shapes it has come in, but I am also grateful for the dreams I carry that go far beyond my experience. Just knowing something possibly exists somehow, somewhere for someone else enriches my days.
Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring. Oscar Wilde
FOLLOW-UP: A co-worker made me aware of another beautiful video similar to the KFC video I gave links for above. It’s for John Lewis Department Stores in Great Britian. Enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5_kEPUJ20Q
First posted on August 10, 2011
2 – Divorce hurts more than you can imagine. If love is truly present it is a kind of death that takes forever.
3 – It really is not difficult to fall in love; it is difficult to stay in love.
4 – There is NO one “soul mate” for each of us in the world. As a person evolves, grows and changes there are many possibilities over time.
5 – Being swept off your feet by another person is more about what you feel inside about yourself than what the other person feels about you.
6 – Intimacy takes a long time to grow and develop. It can become very strong, yet it will always be very fragile. What takes years to build can be destroyed in seconds or with a single choice.
7 – Forgiving is a choice and one you make just as much for yourself as the other person. Often forgiving someone else is far easier than forgiving your self.
8 – Some of the greatest growth of our lives is in love relationships and a good deal of it comes from pain and heartache.
9 – Just because a good relationship does not last forever does not mean it did not work. It just means it lasted for its time.
10 – Be sure to learn from a past bad relationship. What you do not learn will be a lesson taught to you again.
11 – If someone is worth your love, then love them without reservation or restriction. Give your complete heart. Don’t hold back. Give your all. Giving only part of yourself will only get you a part of the other person.
12 – Every time you loved and were loved there is no mistake. It was a gift no matter how things may have turned out.
13 – There are few ways in a loving relationship to hurt someone more than being unfaithful. The wound may heal but there will ALWAYS be a scar.
14 – Don’t fall in love with who you think a person might be someday. There is a good chance they never will be. Only fall in love with who someone is now.
15 – No matter how much love is present, you will have bad times. You will fight, you will disagree, and you will have problems. It is the human condition.
16 – You can’t love someone you don’t like.
17 – Scars from past love only tell you where you have been. Be careful judging a present relationship with them.
18 – No person can be everything to you, nor can you be everything to any one person.
19 – No one is perfect. If you can’t see past some imperfection and bad habits you will be miserable in every relationship.
20 – Everyone wants to be loved, but some people do not know how to love you back.
21 – If you are not a good listener in a relationship, you won’t be heard when you speak.
22 – Secrets are poison and will damage a relationship at the very least and at the most, destroy it.
23 – Let unimportant things go. Give in. Forget about it. If you don’t, you’ll end fighting much more than you should.
24 – Loving someone does not make them a better person. It makes you a better person.
I am grateful to know these things now. Lessons learned the hard way, are lessons learned best. There is deep thankfulness for the ones who loved me who were my teachers.
There is no remedy for love
but to love more.
Henry David Thoreau
This entry was first posted on August 12, 2011. It is the by far the most read blog of the over 1000 I’ve posted.
Recently I have read several articles about old love letters being discovered by people unrelated to the writer or addressee. In one instance a letter discovered was written 50+ years ago and finally made it to the intended recipient. Another was a note scribbled 200 years ago and discovered folded up tightly in the arm of an antique chair being restored. In another example a bundle of love letters from World War I were discovered in an antique shop and the finder was trying to locate the family of either the writer or the one being written to. Reading these stories brought what may be viewed as a silly thought, but one I followed through on. I imagined a letter I had written being discovered decades after my death. I decided to try letting one flow from me that I would be pleased for a future third-party to read and what follows is what flowed without effort from within me.
An old love letter never written from a time long ago to someone I don’t know and never met…..
Dear ________ ,
When we met for the first time is as fresh in my memory as one moment ago. It was exactly one month ago. So much has happened in a very short time. My world is permanently changed. I am altered beyond what I can express with language. If I never saw you again I would mourn that happening deeply. Yet what has been awakened within me would remain as a permanent reminder that my heart is not yet dead as I had long thought it was.
How do I express the feelings growing inside me without seeming to be lost in some obvious state of delirium? “I can not”. Science says the initial attraction between a man and woman creates a sort of “insanity”. Then that explains it. I am insane over you my darling and I revel in my madness.
How well I know that life never brings a path filled only with delight. To think so is a hallucination. I know what fills me now will be intertwined with challenge, trial and difficulty. Am I a lunatic to think now that such moments can be borne with grace upon the back of this love I have discovered? No. I am not crazy to think that. What is built in the future upon the rock of what we begun to share, can withstand any force a human can bear. Of that I am certain.
Yes, I dare speak of love knowing it has not been spoken between us. Am I am a coward for writing here instead of looking into your eyes as the words are formed by my heart and released through my voice? Maybe, but my feelings are true. I write because my poetic soul within is determined to use beautiful words to express itself. The depths of my feelings demand I can do no less.
Yes, my sweet… I am in love…. with you. As I write I know as certainly as the moon will rise later tonight and the sun will follow in the morning, what is expressed here in pen and ink is dependable and true. My restless soul seems to no longer be searching. The purpose of its quest has been found: YOU! With complete clarity I say again, I love you ______. I speak first of what I am nearly certain is within you too. With all my being I hope my perception is true!
What we are sharing is admirable and sincere. Our enchantment is real. Our bliss is genuine. I know someday when we share the delight of our selves in physical form our delight will be heightened and multiplied beyond what I could have hoped for. For now I am glad we have resisted what could have happened so easily. It is a testament that we guard what has been discovered and so want only the best for the gift of love between us.
So please know my sweet darling you have touched me as I have never been touched before. You have reached me on a deeper level than I thought possible. It has been said by some that loving another makes them feel more complete, yet I question the accuracy of that. I do not feel more complete by loving you, but I do feel richer and as if I have discovered so much more of myself through knowing you. It is as if you were the light I needed in order to glimpse who I really am and all I can be.
After you read this letter, I wonder how you will greet me when next we are together. My heart vibrates with hope that you will meet me then feeling as I do for you.
I love you my darling,
With much gratitude that I am able to do so, I wrote the above openly and without reservation. The words traveled from mind to fingers to screen at the moments I thought them just as I thought them without editing. No longer do I feel the need to hide away any element of my hapless romantic soul. I no longer fear the real me within and instead here and now express my thankfulness again for it.
A day, a week, a month are past,
Another year is by;
Beside her on the open’d desk,
His old love letters lie.
She reads them till the day-light fades,
And ‘neath the moon-lit sky,
She sleeps at rest, for on her breast
Those old love letters lie.
Covered now with lines and creases;
Tickets torn in half
Memories in bits and pieces;
Traces of love long ago
That didn’t work out right;
Traces of love with me tonight.
“Our time” will always be remembered with great reverence. I’ll cherish your expressions of love forever. Your gifts will be treasures that grow perpetually in value. I’ll never stop holding on to “us”.
Did you know I once saved strands of your hair? And then there’s the music I’ll never be able to listen to without memories of you filling my mind while love surges in my heart.
I have felt love for others, but paltry compared to what I felt/feel for you. Amore never blazed so brightly as it did in our embrace. The flame of our great love remains safe within. Curse or blessing, it always will.
Maybe our love was too much for two people to successfully bear.
Maybe we were too different in spite of all we had in common.
Maybe we were not supposed to find our way together.
Maybe we found each other at the wrong time.
Regardless, what feels like impossible hope will be within.
I spent so much time being lost and searching; confused and uncertain of myself. Only when the damage seemed irreparable did I realize the destination my heart wanted and needed had moved out of reach.
Thank you for loving me. Please keep our love safe. What’s in my heart for you will always be there. If life allows the chance, one day I’ll look in your loving eyes without expectation, hold your hand and softly speak “I love you” with a deeper meaning than I knew how to before.
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go,—so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
Edna St. Vincent Millay