Healthy Living

5cb6e90bb42bd16ea2dd2761848ac398On the one hand, we try to escape. We turn away from the challenges of life through denial—“everything’s fine,” we say to ourselves and anyone else who will believe us. We try to take the easy way out. We bury our heads in the sand by ignoring our loved ones, leaving the bills unopened, or forgetting to read the fine print. We numb out with alcohol, drugs, food, video games, Facebook, or television. We try to sleep life away. Yet somehow, it always finds us. We are chased by the very thing we are trying to escape.

On the other hand, we may deal with life’s difficulties by trying to take over and take control. We are tied to our phone, our email, our to-do lists, and our schedules. We never miss a meeting. We never meet an opportunity we don’t take. We helicopter around our children, driven to seize every chance to contribute to their success in life. We can’t let anything go. We rarely sleep—heck, we rarely breathe. Yet somehow, life catches up to us. We are controlled by the very thing we are trying to control.

These are two extremes, to be sure. But perhaps you can recognize yourself leaning one way or the other. Most of us do. It is hard to be flexible, to know when to hold on and when to let go. It is hard to live in the dynamic tension of the in-between. But a good life—whether by good we mean “happy” or “successful” or “fulfilling”—is lived in the middle. Jennifer Kunst, Ph.D.

Life is short. Don’t get so busy you forget to live it. I am grateful to realize this is true and for the opportunity to remind my self of the insight.

Don’t over think it.
Enjoy Breathing.
Sleep is worth it.
Go outside.
Make something.
Have a thoughtful conversation.
Play with a dog
Smell the roses.
Laugh at yourself
Ask questions.
“Rules for Healthy Living”
By Julia Hendrickson

Two Companion States



…to be alive on another Monday…

…to have great health…

…to have a son I am proud of…

…to have the love of a beautiful woman in an honest “no secrets” relationship…

…to be completely in love with the woman who loves me…

…the wisdom and desire to make my love relationship really work, no matter what…

…to live in a home I enjoy very much…

…to make a home with the woman who has my heart…

…to have good friends…

…for the pretty bushes, trees, flowers and grass in the yard…

…for the light rain coming down today…

…for a new car ( to me) that I love to drive …

…to have a healthy curiosity and desire to learn, to know, to experience…

…to be where I am today knowing every heartache had a hand in shaping my path…

…to believe there is a God takes care of me even though I don’t understand God…

…to love living even on the most difficult of days…

…to laugh more than I ever have…

…to have a life filled with possibility…

…for all the people who take the time to read my ramblings…

…for a full pantry and fridge…

…for music that is almost always playing in the background…

…to be happy…

…and the greatest amount of hope for the future I have ever had!

Being consciously grateful is essential to a happy life. It keeps you positive and optimistic, which are two of the most important things you can be. Never forget that you get what you give, and being a positive person will bring more positive people, events and opportunities into your life. If you honestly think there is nothing to be thankful for in your life, you’re not trying hard enough. Marissa A. Ross

I am filled with happiness and gratitude; two companion states of being that almost ensure a good life. They are powerful weapons against depression, lack, uncertainty, difficulty, sadness and grief. Being happy and glad with gratitude unlocks the bounty of life.

Walk as if you are
kissing the Earth with your feet.
Thích Nhất Hạnh

23 Adult Truths


Okay… today’s offering is not chock-full of wisdom or inspiring quips to live by. Instead, this list of observations is flippantly amusing and only occasionally insightful. It’s Friday. Time to lighten up and smile at yourself. Then you will be amused through the day.

1. Sometimes I’ll look at my watch 3 consecutive times & still not know what time it is.
2. Nothing sucks more than the moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.
3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I’m pretty sure
I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
9. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind-of tired.
10. Bad decisions make good stories.
11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-ray? I don’t
want to have to restart my collection…again.
13. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if
I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.
14. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or
Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Light than Kay.
17. I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.
18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
19. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word they said?
20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to
prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty,
and you can wear them forever.
22. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys
In a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey –
but I’d bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.
23. The first testicular guard, the “Cup,” was used in Hockey in 1874 and
the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important. (Ladies…..Quit Laughing)

To the unknown originator of this fun list… thank you! I am grateful for the grins this morning.

A person without a sense of humor
is like a wagon without springs.
It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.
Henry Ward Beecher

Just Another Monday


While this slice of a week seems like just another Monday, it is not. This day, already half over, will be unique in my life and in all time. The differences from other Monday’s may be slight or great, but the variance makes today a cherished moment in time.

This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind…let it be something good. Unknown

Once upon a time I used to dislike Monday’s, much like I used to have a distaste for mornings. For the latter I discovered not being a morning person was only a habit. And I have come to cherish each Monday as a fresh start; a small new beginning.

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return. Mary Jean Iron

To myself and everyone else I wish a “good Monday”. May it goes as well as it can with the stuff of smiles and happiness long remembered and the material of frowns and sadness dissipating like fog under the morning sun. I am grateful for this day and all the possibilities it brings.

There is no such thing
in anyone’s life
as an unimportant day.
Alexander Woollcott

Know When to Hold ‘Em


St. Thomas is a pretty island, but a busy one. Business took me there last week and while I enjoyed the visit after a few days I was ready to leave. The cruise ships spill people upon the island like a stomped on anthill creating a contrary experience to what I prefer. I’m more into laid back, casual, out-of-the-way destinations. However, there was one Virgin Island sexperience I will remember for the rest of my life.

Lester was my driver of the van that was summoned to take me to the airport. I was the only passenger and the morning was foggy and misty. My driver was probably somewhere in his late 60’s or early 70’s. While quiet for the most part he did have a smile that appeared genuine and eyes that still had a sparkle for life in them.

About half way to the airport Lester started singing a song at a very low volume that was almost imperceptible. However, here and there were familiar words that I could not place.

So I asked Lester what song he was singing and he replied “Kenny Rogers song called “The Gambler”. He made note that a movie had been made based on the song staring Kenny back when he still looked like Kenny. Then my driver picked up where he left off.

…Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep
‘Cause every hand’s a winner
And every hand’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for
Is to die in your sleep”

And when he finished speakin’
He turned back toward the window
Crushed out his cigarette
And faded off to sleep
And somewhere in the darkness
The gambler he broke even
And in his final words
I found an ace that I could keep

When the chorus came around, I joined Lester for a duet as we softly sang together the words I knew from memory.

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

Lester went on to do a rendition of “Coward of the County” that was soft and slow. He finished as we turned into the airport. Never will I forget the gentle soul who drove me to the airport on St. Thomas. I told him so and tipped big. An authentic smile came on his face  and our eyes locked for a moment. He said “take good care” and I responded “you too”. Now close to a week later the gratitude for the simple pleasure a stranger gave me is very much alive within. Thanks Lester. I hope you find “an ace you can keep”.

Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy.
Maybe being grateful means recognizing
what you have for what it is.
Appreciating small victories.
Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human.
Maybe we’re thankful for the familiar things we know.
And maybe we’re thankful for the things we’ll never know.
At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage
to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.
Meredith Grey

Wind in the Trees


I find what I go looking for. What I expect seems to manifest itself before me with great frequency. My thoughts shape my life more than any other single factor. Today I feel great and am loving life. With that spirit I choose to begin my day with a thought by Henry Drummond:

…to love abundantly is to live abundantly, and to love forever is to live forever…

With intention I hope to be more aware today than usual and live closely to the ending passage from the book “Contemplate” by Gwen Frostic, punctuated just as she originally wrote and published it:

Savor each moment of beauty –
The majestic – – and the simple . . .

Listen to silence – – –
that in itself
renders all words meaningless . . . . .

Feel the wind in the trees – – –
The ebb and flow of the tides – – –
Wild wings soaring high – – –
– – – the timeless rhythm of life . . . . .

Dream of stars shining over head – – –
– – of the mystic kinship
that underlies all life . . . . .

Keep a sense of wonder –
and of awe – – – –
– – – – forever

Some mornings I am nearly overtaken with gratefulness to be alive. I relish those days when I begin well and know whatever comes, it will be an outstanding day. What  joy to be conscious and able to witness and experience all I will get to smell, feel, hear, taste and see! Come pain or pleasure, trouble or ease, happiness or grief… it will be a good day. I am grateful to be alive!

You will find as you look back upon your life
that the moments when you have truly lived
are the moments when you have done things
in the spirit of love.
Henry Drummond

First posted here on August 28, 2012

Love Is…


This morning I sat in my chair in front of the computer thinking about what to include here today. A number of ideas came to me, yet none were ones I felt like delving into. Consequently I went searching in my “idea file” where I save things as I think of them or come across an item.

I settled on a poem by Susan Polis Schultz. After reading it through slowly I was reminded why I had saved it in the first place. Within her words there is wisdom to be had and direction for a good life to be found. I hope you find it as meaningful as I do.

Love is
being happy for the other person
when they are happy
being sad for the person
when they are sad
being together in good times
and being together in bad times
Love is the source of strength.

Love is
being honest with yourself at all times
being honest with the other person at all times
telling, listening, respecting the truth
and never pretending
Love is the source of reality.

Love is
an understanding so complete that
you feel as if you are a part
of the other person
accepting the other person
just the way they are
and not trying to change them
to be something else
Love is the source of unity.

Love is
the freedom to pursue your own desires
while sharing your experiences
with the other person
the growth of one individual alongside of
and together with the growth
of another individual
Love is the source of success.

Love is
the excitement of planning things together
the excitement of doing things together
Love is the source of the future.

Love is
the fury of the storm
the calm in the rainbow
Love is the source of passion.

Love is
giving and taking in a daily situation
being patient with each other’s
needs and desires
Love is the source of sharing.

Love is
knowing that the other person
will always be with you
regardless of what happens
missing the other person when they are away
but remaining near in heart at all times
Love is the source of security.

Love is


Ms Schultz is a documentary film producer and director and an American poet. She was associated with the start up of, one of the very first on-line greeting card sites (now owned by American Greeting). She is also the mother of U.S. Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado.

Today my gratitude overflows for beautiful arrangements of words like that of Ms. Schultz. While a love of poetry and an appreciation of language well used are in decline today, that is not the case with me. Just as flowers brighten a room or art can give meaningful depth to a wall, good poems and eloquent sayings are meaningful embellishments of my mind. It is the knowing of such beauty that serves as a balance for all the less appealing portions of what I know.

Painting is poetry
that is seen
rather than felt,
and poetry is painting
that is felt rather than seen.
Leonardo da Vinci

First posted here on September 27, 2011

To Laugh Often and Much


I found a used copy of the book pictured above a few weeks ago:  “Bedside Prayers, Prayers and Poems for When You Rise and Go to Sleep” collected by June Cotner.  It has found a convenient home on my night stand.  With decent regularity it finds its way into my hands just before lights out at night to put some meaningful thoughts to put into my head before sleep.

“Bedside Prayers” has these words of description on its dust cover:  a marvelous collection of prayers, meditations, sentiments, and quiet celebrations.  Drawing from a rich spectrum of traditions and writers – from Rainer Maria Rilke to Robert Louis Stevenson, and from Buddha to contemporary writers with fresh insights… for spiritual seekers of any tradition… a charming companion that encourages us to recognize the divine gifts all around us each day.  I find something meaningful every time I pick the book up and read a random page.

Among my favorites found in “Bedside Prayers” is thirteen lines by George Eliot that encourage me to be grateful for each day and to live with courage and intent to leave the world a little better than I find it.

May every soul that touches mine—
Be it the slightest contact—
Get from there some good;
Some little grace; one kindly thought;
One aspiration yet unfelt;
One bit of courage
For the darkening sky;
One gleam of faith
To brave the thickening ills of life;
One glimpse of brighter skies
Beyond the gathering mists—
To make this life worthwhile,
And heaven a surer heritage.

In a poem written almost a hundred years ago Ranier Maria Rilke described the power of being in the moment long before it was a popular notion.  Being aware of one’s “aliveness” is the message he left to be printed in “Bedside Prayers”.

You see, I want a lot.
Maybe I want it all:
The darkness of each endless fall,
The shimmering light of each ascent.
So many are alive who don’t seem to care.
Casual, easy, they move in the world
As though untouched.
But you take pleasure in the faces
Of those who know they thirst.
You cherish those
Who grip you for survival.
You are not dead yet, it’s not too late
To open your depths by plunging into them
And drink in the life
That reveals itself quietly there.

First time through the following eight lines by Joseph Byron seemed to be only be a play on words.  Then as I read them a second and third time it became apparent that simply changing the order of words added great meaning. I get the most from Byron when I read his forty-five word poem slowly and savor each line before moving to the next.

Feeling strong and strongly feeling.
Being glad and glad of being.
Care for need and needing caring.
Sharing self and selfless sharing.
Full of spirit, spirit filling.
Will is warm and warmly willing.
Give joy, enjoy the giving
Life is love and love is living.

Those eight lines really touch me!

There is nothing new or original in what I offer gratitude for today.  What is stated, I have written about before.  Here again is my thankfulness expressed for the work of others that touch my heart and spirit and make me think.  The canvas of an artist can have that effect on me and so can the notes of a musician.  A script well acted can move me deeply as can the words of a writer, but few things touch me as quickly or as profoundly as a well written poem.

Maybe I am old-fashioned. Maybe my soul has remnants within of the Victorian Era.  Or maybe I feel deeply which allows my sensitive self to receive in great dimension the feelings, thoughts and sentiments in poetry.  Whatever the reason may be, my gratitude is deep for the writers who put pieces of themself into measured word for me to discover, for my ability to feel what the poets left behind and for books like June Cotner’s “Bedside Prayers” that bring poetry into my life.

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
And the affection of children;
Earn the appreciation of honest critics
And endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better,
Whether by a healthy child,
A garden patch,
Or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier
Because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
This old favorite by Ralph Waldo Emerson is included in “Bedside Prayers”

Originally Posted on November 30, 2011