Tag Archives: inspiration

Another Autumn

55 springs and 55 summers gone now
Memories of past years held in faded photographs remind me how lucky I am.

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.
~ Joni Mitchell

Last year I stepped off the painted pony for a sojourn in Europe. Despite some initial apprehension I soon relaxed in the new environment and basked in exhilaration as the journey progressed.  My fondest memories of this trip occurred when the beauty of mother nature exhilarated my senses allowing me to feel her power seep into my soul with the intensity of a defibrillator. It was then that I truly understood these words by Lao Tsu

Empty yourself of everything.  Let the mind rest at peace.
The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.
They grow and flourish and then return to the Source.
Returning to the Source is stillness, which is the way of Nature.
The way of Nature is unchanging.
~Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching

As I prepare to return to Europe people ask what I hope to see or buy but all I am thinking about is what I hope to feel.

Europe Trip Day 12 (51)

Europe Trip Day 15 - Grindelwald mountain hiking - peters camera - 132 (59)

Cosmic journey

The best experiences usually arise out  of the unexpected. Reading The Alchemist is one such twist of fate I stumbled upon after a blogger recommended it as a good read.  Something led me to find Paulo Coelho’s book in my local library. Naively oblivious to the  notoriety and hype surrounding The Alchemist I had no expectations. My only thought was it might be a welcome change to read something outside of my usual preferred genre of Asian history stories.

Right from the first page  a feeling of calm enveloped my body as I connected with the simple prose and captivating story. As the tale unfolded I traveled to a new level of consciousness, a feeling I’ve never experienced before except perhaps briefly during guided meditation. I was floating on a magic carpet and wanted to hold on to this  euphoric  feeling forever.

Since finishing the book I’ve read other readers’ comments saying they draw personal meaning from The Alchemist. Many people discuss the clear message received to follow their dreams. My experience was more simplistic; I felt peaceful, at peace with my own uniqueness and comfortable knowing that every person in this world needs to walk their own path, from beginning to end. It reinvigorated my self-belief. This book made me see  that no person’s life is any more significant than any other person’s life. It’s amazing how something as innocuous as a fable could finally break down my insecurities.

We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.
~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I have inside me the winds, the deserts, the oceans, the stars, and everything created in the universe. We were all made by the same hand, and we have the same soul.
~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.
~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.
~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

 

 

 

Confusing times

Followers of JennaDee blog might have noticed a lack of posts in recent weeks and I feel I owe you an explanation.

This dry spell isn’t due to diminished enthusiasm or effort, in fact sometimes I try too hard making matters even worse. I’ve lost touch with my word flow and temporarily lost my zest for writing. Several reasons for this situation spring to mind.

  1. I finally made peace with my past and (almost) always live in the moment
  2. I am content with what I have and (almost) always accept the way things are
  3. I learned how to stop worrying about things outside of my control
  4. I began a creative writing course

Sharing my thoughts and fears with others was therapeutic when I first started blogging. My online space created an outlet to write about things I’d never spoken about. It felt exhilarating and dangerous to tell my secrets.  Writing posts about mistakes, regrets and heartache flowed freely allowing me to face up to and deal with unresolved issues.

After a year of soul-searching combined with the support of fellow bloggers I learned how to make peace with my past and stop it negatively affecting my life. This shift in attitude  greatly improved my outlook on life.

The problem is now I don’t know what to write about. My life is wonderful, I am healthy, comfortable and want for nothing. I feel guilty that so many people are dealing with adversity in their lives.

Maybe that’s why so many songs and poems reflect stories about heartbreak? Maybe people more readily relate to sadness and difficult situations?

This leads to my last point about my blog drought that arose when I decided to try my hand at creative writing.  While I enjoy the intricacies of developing characters and plot I feel like it is corrupting my natural style of writing. I tend to overuse adjectives and when I re-read my drafts the writing is over-exaggerated and clunky. I seem to have lost my natural voice.

If anyone has any suggestions about how I can retrieve my blog writing vitality  I will be most grateful.

Yours in anticipation
Jenna Dee

Natural healing

IMG_3739Every year in August the small sakura tree in my front yard bursts into a radiant display of pink blossom.

No matter how many times I see it, I’m always in awe of its beauty and its ability to make me smile merely by its existence.

The crazy thing is that it flowers during winter when rain and icy winds prevail. I think it should blossom during springtime on warm sunny days, but nature has its own agenda.

It is during blossom time that I reflect on things that have taken place in my life since the last flowering. Have I made the best use of my time? Have I met my expectations? Have I helped my loved ones? Have I helped myself?

Each day during its bloom I go outside to check if the blossom is surviving the bad weather and to my surprise it always remains. However after about two weeks the blossom gracefully blows away and disappears for another year.

I love the fact that nothing changes the cycle of nature. It comforts me to know that the human elements that control so many aspects of our lives have no power over natural occurrences like the flowering of my blossom tree.

This year I am dedicating my sakura blossom to Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu and his words of wisdom.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
– Lao Tzu

 

 

The way to do is to be

Blogging has opened a part of my mind that I’d managed to squash down for some time. It  challenges me to think about some things I’d rather not think about.

For me writing blog posts is therapeutic and helps me greatly at the time of writing by encouraging exploration and expression of my feelings. It is like cleansing my soul.

I’ve discovered that it is quite easy to write or say words but the really difficult part is making meaningful changes in my mind, feelings or attitudes. The actions are a lot harder than the words.

Fairly regularly I re-read my past blog posts and ask myself if have I brought about the changes I promised to modify since writing the post.

The truth is that the answer is usually no, not really, I’m still trying.

But today I gave myself a break by gaining inspiration from ancient philosopher Lao Tzu through his words that tell me to trust myself and just be me.

Always we hope

Always we hope
someone else has the answer
some other place will be better,
some other time it will all turn out.

This is it.
No one else has the answer
no other place will be better,
and it has already turned out.
at the center of your being

You have the answer,
you know who you are
and you know what you want.

There is no need
to run outside
for better seeing.

Nor to peer from a window.

Rather abide at the center of your being;
for the more you leave it, the less you learn.

Search your heart
and see
the way to do
is to be.
        — Lao Tzu

Happy days

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the terrible things that happen in the world but if we choose to focus on the positives, no matter how small, we can all live a happier life.

Today I am grateful for the creators of Facebook/websites dedicated to sharing messages highlighting the positive aspects of life.

Every day I read posts about love, hope, inspiration and kindness and this not only brightens my day it also strengthens my positive frame of mind and reminds me to appreciate all the wonderful things about my life.

I’d love you to share your favourite positive quote or saying with me, please write it the comment box below. Here are some of the best positive messages I have recently enjoyed reading.

The best things in life aren’t things.

In the end, only three things matter: how much you have loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.
~ Buddhist Saying ~

To be happy you don’t have to do anything new.
You have to remember how to believe again.
Believe everything good is possible.
Believe in your dreams.
Believe in people.
Believe in love.
But most of all
Believe in yourself.
~ Doe Zantamata

Five Simple Rules for Happiness
1 – Free your heart from hatred
2 – Free your mind from worries
3 – Live simply
4 – Give more
5 – Expect less
Based on the teachings of Buddha

Appreciating all that is good

Every day is another chance to find true happiness by seeing and absorbing the beauty and joy of the little things that make a difference to our lives.564344_176555775832593_1611429834_n

Today I am grateful for

  • The warmth of the sun shining on my face
  • The beautiful plants we nurture in our garden
  • Living in a safe and comfortable house
  • Fresh clean water to drink.

Little things make me smile

Without a doubt, gratitude is one of the most important traits we can nurture to increase happiness. IMG_0110

We can only experience true happiness if we really notice and absorb the beauty and joy of the little things that make a difference to our lives each day.

Today I am grateful for

  • The love and loyalty of my little dog Gracie who makes me smile every day.
  • The happy phone calls I have been having with my son Chris that are slowly helping to rebuild our once estranged relationship.
  • The enjoyment I get from perusing blogs and reading all the posts depicting everyday situations and emotions that I relate to.
  • The follows, friendship, advice and comments I receive from other bloggers

There is so much to be thankful for

As an avid reader I am constantly learning and inspired by the words of others.

Everything I‘ve read about living a more fulfilled life suggests we take time each day to acknowledge the things we are thankful for.

Today I set out to write a blog starting a gratitude list but after re-reading the blogs I’ve already written it dawned on me that I began my gratitude journal when I started blogging last year.

So before I move forward I want to acknowledge the things I am grateful for that I have already shared with fellow bloggers in the blogs that I have written.

I am truly grateful for ….

The courage to believe in myself

The ability to read and write

Having hope and making new beginnings

The joy of being married for 25 years to my loving husband and for the family we have created

The love and joy my rescue dog “Gracie Dee” has brought to my life

The pleasure of reading novels

Having a lifelong best friend

The safe return of my precious daughters after traveling

Having opportunities to travel

Finding the courage to reclaim my name

Fond childhood memories

Getting back up after stumbling

Letting go of past hurts and regrets

Having the courage to ask for help

The kindness of people willing to offer helpful advice

The eternal love of my mother

Having access to technology

Being me

Because you loved me

Even though my mother passed away six years ago she lives eternally in my thoughts. She is my mentor who is guiding me to become a more complete human being.

There are moments when I vividly recall things my mother said that I was dismissive of when I was a younger woman. I now understand she was sowing seeds in my mind giving me directions to find self-belief when I was ready to find it.

Along with Oprah she believed in showing gratitude and she always found good in people even when they betrayed her.

During my life I have taken too many things for granted.  Like other bloggers I wish to correct past wrongs and start publicly sharing the things I am grateful for.

My mum loved me unconditionally and truly believed in my potential to become a decent and valuable human being.

For this I am eternally grateful.

lyrics by Celine Dion

Because You Loved Me”

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I’ll be forever thankful baby
You’re the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You’re the one who saw me through it all
……………
You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ‘coz you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

………

I’m everything I am
Because you loved me