Posted in grace, grit, happiness, Life, self care, strength

Coloring

Today, I’d like to take you back to when you were in kindergarten. Did you love to color, like I did?

I loved my coloring books and crayons. I would color for hours; choosing the perfect crayon and concentrating so I stayed within the lines.  There are times now I wish I had colored outside the lines, but I digress. 

Some days I would be so “into” my coloring it felt as though I was lost in my own little fun-filled, peaceful world. My tongue would even hang out the side of my mouth I was so focused on my creativity. 

On the first visit to my therapist’s office, she had a clipboard with mandala coloring pages and a little box of colored pencils. There was a written invitation to “feel free to color while you wait.” So I did just that. 

During a later session…on a day I was very anxious…she had me color while we talked. As we chatted and I colored, I mentioned I had coloring books for adults and colored pencils at home, but I had never used them. 

She suggested I go home and begin using my books and pencils. She instructed me to concentrate only on the end of the pencil while I colored.  I thought, “that’s a little strange, but okay.”

Willing to do almost anything to relax and get rid of negative emotions and anxiety, I went home and pulled out my coloring paraphernalia stash. I chose an intricate pattern, the perfect color of pencils and away I went. I focused all my attention on the tip of the pencil as it moved along the outline. 

Believe it or not…you can believe it because it’s true…before long my tongue was hanging out and my mind was cleared of all thoughts except the pencil! Just like when I was a kid, I was in my own calm, peaceful happy zone. 

It’s funny how as adults we forget the little things that brought us such joy as children. We get so caught up and bogged down with life we forget to do things just for fun. We all could use a little more fun and calmness in our lives, right?

If coloring isn’t your thing, you can pick a game you loved as a child; Etch-A-Sketch, Barrel of Monkeys, Jacks (I’m aging myself here, but who cares) and focus on fun. Even ten to fifteen minutes can do a spirit good. 

That’s it for today. Now, you go get your game or coloring book of choice and have a great, stress-free time playing with the joy and wonderment of a child. 

Diane💙

Posted in grace, happiness, Life, self care, strength

ABCDEFGratitude

The definition of gratitude is”the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation.”

Gratitude can be shown in a multitude of ways; from a simple thank you to telling someone how much you appreciate them or being of service to others. 

One way I express my gratitude is by keeping a gratitude journal. I have a spiral notebook and almost every day (sometimes, I forget…just being honest here)…I take out that notebook and write the letters of the alphabet in a list down the sheet of paper. 

Next, I think about things or people I’m grateful for and list them alphabetically. For instance:

Angels

Beauty

Counselor

Dogs

E, F, G and so on until I reach Z, which is hard, but I am grateful for zebras, because they’re interestingly beautiful, so the first “Z” isn’t so difficult. 

My gratitude list does several important things; it helps clear my mind of negative thoughts, calms my anxiety and helps with my depression when I read the things I’ve written for which I am thankful. 

For “gratitude on the go,” I carry a notepad or a small journal in my purse. When I’m waiting patiently for a doctor’s appointment or in a stressful situation with time on my hands, I pull out my notepad and begin writing. 

This is helpful as it gives me something I can physically see and touch, keeps my mind busy and my thoughts distracted from anything other than gratefulness. 

Keeping an alphabetic daily journal of gratitude is a great way to end, start or get through your day, relieve stress and is a gentle reminder that there is always, always something to be thankful for. 

That’s all for today. Thanks for taking the time to visit and read. See, I’ve got my “B” and “R”  for today…”Blog” and “Readers!”

What are your thoughts on this practice of thankfulness?  Leave a comment and let me know. 

Diane💙

Posted in family, grace, happiness, kindness, Life, strength

The Hub

As I sit here sipping a large coffee and watching Good Morning America, thoughts of my maternal Granny’s kitchen popped into my head.

The memories are not just of the incredible southern food that came out of that small kitchen, but are also of her kitchen cabinets and their hardware.

The hardware on Granny’s cabinets was perfect for opening Coke bottles. There was one drawer in particular that everyone used to open their bottles.

Over the years and many Coke bottles later, the perfect indentation was created. Your bottle fit perfectly and opened smoothly.

If Granny cared about the cabinet drawer she never said a word. It was just a part of her homey kitchen.

The kitchen was the hub of her home. It’s where she seemed to constantly be standing at her stove cooking up something delicious while everyone was gathered around the kitchen table talking, laughing and catching up with one another.

It was a kitchen filled with love with the head of it one of the strongest, loving women I’ve ever known. Man, she had a big heart.

My Granny was quick with a joke, loved to stir the pot a bit and then sit back and enjoy the fruits of her labor. Most of all, though, she loved her kids and grandkids fiercely.

I wish I had a kitchen as full as Granny’s. What I wouldn’t give to be at her kitchen table just one more time and see her standing there. I miss her so much.

It’s funny how certain memories come to you at the most mundane times. I’m really happy this is a memory I’ll have for a lifetime.

Diane

Posted in friends, grace, happiness, Life, self care, strength

Blank Pages

The blank page taunts me. The cursor on the page blinks incessantly as I try to reach deep inside and pull out words to write.

Sometimes the words pour out. Other times not so much. Those are the times I stare at a blank page and feel like I have nothing to say.

I actually have a lot to say. However, some of what I have to say is not ready to share in such a public forum. It’s a long, painful story with no end in sight. So for now that page will stay blank.

What I can write about today is having grace; the exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favor disposition to benefit or serve another.

Each of us possess the ability to have grace. Unfortunately, not everyone practices it and many show it by posting on social media.

Everyday I come across a post, a tweet or Instagram story by or about unkind people. Racism, homophobia and just downright meanness are common themes in my newsfeeds and in the media. It’s very disheartening.

Despite the negativity and unkindness, I still believe the world has more people who love, are kind and willing to help others than not.

These are the people I want to (and do) surround myself with. The people I’m drawn to. The ones who lift me up, who inspire, who challenge me in a kind and loving way.

We can choose to disagree on a topic or belief and still remain in grace doing so. I will calmly listen to you with an open mind. In doing so we may discover things on which we can agree. Wouldn’t that be great?!

I choose and try everyday to stand in grace with everyone I know and meet. Myself included.

Diane