What does Vanilla got to do with it?

The other day I wanted to try a new recipe.  I had gathered all the ingredients over a few days time.  I went to get the vanilla extract out of the spice cabinet.  There was none to be found.  I took every single spice out of that cabinet and nothing.   I found peppermint extract, gravy master, chicken boullion cubes and red pepper flakes, (talk about something I will never use), but no vanilla.  I asked myself, outloud mind you, “What kind of household doesn’t have vanilla in their cabinet?”  I couldn’t believe that a mainstay of every household was not in mine.

When I was a kid we were kind of poor just like everybody else at the time.  It wasn’t like today where you have snacks laying around waiting for the whim of temptation to consume them.  If we wanted a treat we had to check the fridge and the cabinets to figure out what we could do with what we had.  My brother liked to bake,  so one of the things he would make was sugar cookies.  Sugar was always a staple in every household, then and now, or at least it should be.  Yes, sugar, flour, eggs, bread, butter, milk, potatoes, vanilla were all staples because you could make anything out of them including easy to stretch meals for hungry, large families.  For example, homemade bread, egg noodles, french toast, scrambled eggs and toast etc… .  By the way there was no distinction between what was breakfast food, lunch or dinner.  If you could put it together , that was the meal.  There were occasions when we wanted something sweet so we would butter a piece of bread and sprinkle sugar over it.  We used what we had and we never went hungry.

I am a 57 year old woman and have maintained a household for most of my life.  The necessities of the kitchen have always been maintained.  It’s a matter of survival in my mind.  You’ve got to have the staples and you will never starve.  Creativity will always win out over starvation.  So now I ask you and myself, “Why don’t I have vanilla in my cabinet?”  It’s a travesty if I say so myself.  It’s like a carpenter not having his tool belt with him at work.  Am I making this dramatic enough for you?

As I am going off the deep end here about the absence of vanilla in my cabinet, I realize that the true subject here is tools.  We need our tools to complete tasks.  Each job a person does requires certain tools such as pen and paper for a writer , clay for a potter, a stethoscope for a Nurse, paint brushes for an artist,  staple ingredients for a baker, and the list goes on and on.

There are different kinds of tools for other facets of our lives too.  We are not just physical beings who need to complete tasks in order to live.  We are spiritual beings and we need tools to nurture our spirituality on a daily basis.  These tools can include meditation and prayer.  Our physical bodies need tools such as exercise and healthy eating habits in order for us to function properly.  Our emotional well being requires other tools.  Peace and quiet, laughter, fun and excitement can all fulfill our mind’s needs.  The tools that I have mentioned are required to live a full and purposeful life.  They are the staples of a well rounded human being.  When we have the right means available to us we are able to grow and learn and have purpose on such a grand scale.  These intangible tools give us coping skills, the ability to love and share and truly make the world a better place.

As much as I have dramatized the absence of vanilla extract in my kitchen, there are unfathomable benefits to having all the tools we need in our everyday living.  I have rectified the absence of vanilla in my cabinet and I intend to rectify any other absence of important tools that I need in every area of my life.  It’s a process.  But by being aware of the fact that I  need to fill empty spaces on my journey of life, I can search deep inside myself and find tools that I never knew I had and if I don’t have the tools necessary, I will research and nurture a growing knowledge until I find what I need to complete this task of living life to the fullest.

I have the recipe.  The ingredients are all gathered and I am ready to proceed forward in creating the best product that I can produce.  What have you got baking today?

 

Alert from the Emergency Broadcast System

It poured this morning.  I think we must have gotten about 4 inches of rain.  I even got one of those severe weather alerts on my cellphone.  You know the kind I’m talking about, the screaming beep, beep, beep that scares the life right out of you.  I know they are meant to alert us of danger but I think it’s pretty dangerous to nearly give me a heart attack too.  I think the alert should say something like, “Danger Will Robinson, Danger”.  That reference is for those of us over 50 who remember the show “Lost in Space”.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we got an alert on our cellphones everytime we were about to make a stupid mistake?  Now that is a cause I should take up with the Federal Communications Commission.  It would be a world changer.  Everytime something stupid would come to mind I would have a five second delay and a red flashing light to stop me in my tracks and stop the stupidity from spilling out.

Imagine what it could to the workplace.  We might even begin to enjoy our work if everyone was on red alert before they rained on someone’s parade.  I have a friend who tends to make less than good decisions on impulse (I am trying to be nice).  When he runs this stuff by me I tell him “Red Flag, Red Flag.”  I’m his red flag person.  While my attempt is well intended it’s either not welcome or not glaring enough to change his mind but I tried.

Life doesn’t work this way though, not in the literal sense I’ve described.  There are warnings and red flags that come with everything we say and do but we don’t always choose to recognize them.  Often we blurt out our ideas without regard to who we could be hurting.  But it’s not always about hurting someone.  Sometimes our opinions are not welcomed by others.  Here in the United States of America we do have the right to voice our opinion, that is, at the last time I checked.

While voicing your opinion you open up the door for those who agree and those who boisterously disagree.  Many times arguments ensue.  If we had that Blaring alert system to slow down the impulsive, “I am right and you are wrong” thinking, we might be able to learn a thing or two by looking at a situation from both sides.  Why does everything have to come down to the fact that someone has to be right and someone has to be wrong?  The only thing this way of thinking does is cause division.  Division  among families, co-workers, spouses and government officials.  I think the greatest danger here is division.  Did you ever hear the statement, “divide and conquer”?  Red Flag That!

Family Conflict

Dear Reader,

I have been in a family struggle that is very disturbing.  Feelings have been hurt and misunderstandings have exploded on many levels.  I feel that I should know better than to engage in the drama surrounding me.  But, I did engage in it and I have hurt my sibling.  We siblings have been in the same situation before and I thought we grew enough to never allow things to come between us again.  After losing our sister it felt like we came to a new appreciation for each other.

Do you have thoughts on the subject?  Have you had conflicts within your family?  How have you been able to solve these situations?  Or, do you continue to not talk to your family member because they were wrong and you were right?  Please share your thoughts and ideas with me.

One thing I have learned on my journey is that being right is not always the best result to strive fore.  I always try to strive for peace.  But the conundrum that I face is that I don’t think this dissention is really a situation of right or wrong.  I guess the issue is that at times we make judgments of the actions of others without knowing all the facts and viewpoints of the other parties involved.

Do you ever get aggravated with a family member because you don’tlike the way they respond to situations?  Would you feel comfortable enough to ask that person why they are so aggravated with you?

It’s difficult to deal with the awful feeling deep in my gut when the family is not getting along.  I absolutely hate it.  It makes me sick to my stomach.  All I want is peace.  I love all my siblings and I don’t want anyone to feel hurt or sad.

Please answer me this question:  How do you deal with a situation when the hurt family member will not speak to you and you want to make it right?

I wanted to have this issue resolved right away but my sibling was not ready to have the discussion yet.  I wanted to just air it out and let the healing begin.

Would you rather air it out or just hold it in and allow time to swallow up your relationship?

I guess I will have to lean upon the lessons that I’ve gotten through my journey of life.  I know I have the tools to work this out.  I believe I just need to focus and allow things to settle down on their own for now.

My dear reader, I know I have asked you a lot of questions and I am hoping that you are able to come up with some answers to this very important issue.  I think that we all have the same kinds of conflicts in our lives and it is always a great way to learn when we can look deep into ourselves and find the real truth even if is unflattering to our own selves.  Conflict resolution is a great skill to have but when it involves loved ones the emotions can cloud our vision and steal our peace away.  I have found that if we decide to talk to other family members about the situation it only makes things worse.  The situation then becomes a division of us vs. them.  One small situation can snowball pretty fast into an unstoppable  and unfixable problem.  It can sever our family to the core if we allow it.

For myself, I will have to be still, meditate and pray for the grace to be patient and open to healing this situation.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening and helping me work through this glitch in my journey.  I appreciate your honesty when it comes to all the questions I have asked.

Sincerely,

Mary

My Church

I took a walk early yesterday morning with my puppy of 4 1/2 months.  We have a beautiful trail in our town that moseys through one town after the other.  Although I live near the beach, my heart has always been inspired by the forest.

As I entered the trail it was like walking into a church.  All of the trees and vines are in full bloom and together they create a canopy above making me feel like I am walking on Holy ground.  The coolness of the shade is welcomed and refreshing.  The scents that reach me are uplifting to say the least.  The sweetness of honeysuckle refreshes me.  The coolness and smell of damp earth makes me feel alive.  They transform my soul to a higher vibration.

As I walk through and into this magic kingdom I feel one with the trees and closer to God.  There’s so much life and wisdom here.  I just have to breathe and listen to  the soft breeze and the story she is telling me.

I hadn’t walked on this trail for some time,  and now being back with her, I feel such a sense of peace and tranquility and realize how much I missed my inspirational companion.

Today I am grateful for the uplifting spirituality that comes to me as I walk on this trail.  I have found a blessing that is priceless.  Nature doesn’t cost me a thing but gives me so much love and power.

I pray that you have a special place of peace and serenity at your beck and call.  A place to go to when you need calmness and love.  Love and wisdom are surrounding us in the humblest of places.  With hearts and minds open we can be transformed in nature and share that transformation with others.

Life is good and we need to remind each other how blessed we are to be alive.  We have to see that the world is a wonderful place and that most people are good.  We all just want to love and be loved.  That’s what I get out of my “church” as I walk along her path.

It is my responsibility to share this goodness with everyone.  Eventually, we will see that there are so many others experiencing the same thing and that we are not so very different.  Love is Love.

The 24 Hour Gifts

Today is a great day.  Yes it is because I have love in my life, peace in my heart and happiness in my soul.  It’s taken much of my life to be able to say this.  As I sit here and write, my puppy is curled up next to me on the floor.  I can hear my washing machine cleaning my clothes and the dryer is drying the first load.  My house is clean and I just finished food shopping.  These are the places that I have found my peace.  After leaving the food store I felt grateful for being able to buy the food.  It warmed my heart. As I grow older I am realizing the joy in all the little things.

On this day there is no drama floating around me.  I have found solace in being able to sit and write at this moment.  Today I have to pay the mortgage and I am able to do that.  Peace surrounds me knowing that I am well cared for.  We are having hot dogs for dinner and I’m completely satisfied that I have a dinner plan.  I find relief that I don’t have to worry what’s for dinner because cooking is not my favorite thing to do and I get stressed out each morning when I try to figure out what I’m going to make for dinner.  But at this moment I can feel peaceful about that.

The small comforts of home bring me tremendous joy.  After food shopping today I realized that I was able to afford snacks, so after dinner we will be able to sit down and relax while watching television and enjoy our snacks.  What a gift that is.  It’s not about the food.  It’s about the comfort of home.  It’s about the warmth of knowing I am so blessed with all these different little things in this 24 hour day.  In 24 hours there can be so many moments of being grateful for all of life’s pleasures.

Windsong

To all my friends and family,

Have you ever wondered why I have named my email with Windsong in it?  I will share this with you because I am giving you a part of my heart and a look into my soul.  If you’ll take a moment and enjoy this song you will know more about me and who I am.

A song written by someone else yet it has my spirit written all over it.

Much love to all of you,

Just click on the link below.

Windsong

 

You Get to Choose

What are the chains that bind you?

What kind of ties limit your beliefs and ability to accept this moment as it is?

One can wake up in the morning and choose to feel fresh and alive or one can create their own prison of misery. One can complain and see emptiness everywhere.

If one is feeling like they are imprisoned they must own that it is their choice. They have created their prison by living in fear, judgement, anger and resentment. The dark prison where they are sending their soul, searching for fulfillment and light where there is none. These are ones chains. These are ones choices.

Contrast of Life: Good vs. Bad, Hope vs. Despair, Joy vs. Sorrow
A clear choice must be made. What will it be? Confinement or Freedom?

Two choices are available every moment of every day. It can only be one way. We can train our brain to choose the joy over despair by small changes.

Elevator or Stairs? The elevator is quick, easy and doesn’t require any effort but gives nothing more than a ride. The stairs provide exercise that feeds the body and the mind. The activity they provide clear the brain and make you feel good for extended periods of time. Ask yourself everday, elevator or stairs? The answer can be found when you look for the guidance of the benefits you can reap.

Easy choices broken down into small pieces. A split second decision to the question: Elevator or Stairs? Confinement or Freedom?

What are the ties that bind you?