Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A fresh look

A little humor goes a long way!
from Wall Vinyl
Around this time of year, winter doldrums seem to be closing in. How can we take a fresh look at our surroundings to renew ourselves? Here are a few ideas:
  1. Let's be grateful for what we have. Aren't you glad to be you when you read the news, turn on the TV, or hear about hardships others go through? Me too! Let's focus on what's GOOD rather than our challenges when we can.
  2. Add color and spice. Whether it's to our food, our living room, or our life, incorporating bright tastes and hues cheers us and perks us up.
  3. Change things around. Is what we're doing not working for us? What small changes would provide a boost, right now?

    Here's an example: I hate (yes, hate, not merely dislike) walking up our driveway and street to where my walk levels out. The steep hill daunts me and I'm resistant to the effort, even though it's not physically difficult. Something about that slope repels me, especially in winter.

    I've begun driving to the top of the hill, parking the car, and walking for 2-3 mostly level miles before running errands. Sure, driving is ecologically unfriendly. It would be healthier to walk out my door, tromp to the top, and cruise the flats before descending to my doorway. But I've talked myself out of walking for 4 months.

    It's definitely time to shake things up a little. Though skipping the steep hike is not the best possible plan, avoiding the hill is working for me! Which routines could use tweaking for your maximum benefit?

    Imagine living in this calm, clutter-free space,
    from Apartment Therapy
  4. Find one word to motivate and focus your attention. Some of us chose one word as an anti-New Year's resolution. (If you don't have one, what concept resonates with your spiritual life, mental health, and physical well-being? Condense it to one word.) Let's align our activities with that so we don't waste our time and energy to reap regrets ... or nothing at all.

    My word's gratitude, releasing the past to embrace the present and future with a thankful heart. What's yours?
  5. Live one day at a time. Life may feel overwhelming or grey. Usually we can take one step after another, even when the pace is slow or halting. Put one foot in front ... again and again to see where the path takes us.

    If the way is cluttered, simplify your expectations and your surroundings.
  6. Look ahead in anticipation. "I'm an optimist," said a key donor who who helped raise a pledge for $330 million within a month. His goal was to save artwork in the Detroit Institute of Art from the auction block.

    "Did you think you would be this wildly successful?" asked the NPR interviewer this morning.

    "Well yes. Remember, I'm optimistic and always hope for the best."

    What a great attitude. When things look darkest, a rainbow or a ray of sunshine my begin to emerge. Let's not miss it!
  7. Finally, share your life and resources with others. Focus outwardly to be happier! Volunteer. Give. Spend yourself on behalf of other people. What you gives comes back to you - even if it's just a realization that God is good and we have a lot to share.
Read more:
*Praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven. Psalm 148:13 ESV

*Surely, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. Psalm 54:4 ESV

*The Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 ESV

*Moravian Prayer: Almighty God, we praise your name. Lord, we worship and adore you, for you are our strength and our shield against the evils that we encounter daily. You are always faithful and never fail your obedient children. As you direct us, we trust in your divine wisdom. Amen.

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