A Time for Rebirth

This past week, I've been spending more time outdoors as the temperatures are finally beginning to climb into the upper 50’s and 60’s. For those of us in colder climates, and specifically in New England, the warmer weather is a welcome change. Signs of life are emerging everywhere — birds are joyfully chirping in the trees, yellow daffodils are in full bloom, and tiny buds are sprouting up from the soil. Spring is a vibrant time of new beginnings, reminding us that life is about rebirth — about growing toward our potential. Just as seedlings change and grow, we, too, must be willing to change and evolve into the people we are meant to be; we can give birth to not only new versions of ourselves, but to new ideas as well.

In order for plants to be reborn, most of them are dormant during the winter when they rest and conserve their energy. Then when springtime comes, the earth begins to warm and conditions change, allowing these plants to break forth and grow. With the proper nourishment, these plants often grow bigger and stronger than ever before. Like the plants, we go through periods of dormancy when we also rest and conserve our energy. But as conditions in our lives begin to change, we are given an opportunity to expand and grow. With proper nourishment, careful reflection, and a willingness to make whatever changes are necessary, we can be reborn into the people we are meant to be. 

Some of us will make important life changes regarding careers, relationships, or even the places where we live. But not all of the changes we make will involve major life transitions. Some changes will be on a much smaller scale. For example, if we choose to be more positive, we may notice that our relationships become less strained, and we experience more contentment in our lives. These small shifts in our attitudes can have a lasting impact on our lives. Or perhaps we may decide to get up thirty minutes earlier every morning so we can exercise. Soon, we may experience higher energy levels and an improvement in our moods, and overall, we feel happier. Our bodies become more toned, and we are able to maintain healthier weights, increasing our confidence and overall body image. These small changes create big transformations. So, regardless of whether the changes are big or small, they create opportunities for us to be more confident and express ourselves and our ideas more openly.

But, sometimes, when it comes to reaching our potential, we can be our own worst enemies. If our lives aren’t going as planned, we make excuses. We are too busy, too old, too financially strapped, too uneducated — the lists go on and on. But these excuses are stunting our growth rather than expanding it. So, perhaps a more effective approach is to change our perspectives. When we do, we may find that the impossible now becomes the possible. For example, if we want to go back to school but don’t think we can afford the tuition, perhaps we could research scholarships and low-interest loans that might be available to us. By doing so, we might open up new doors and opportunities. Or, if we find ourselves in the middle of a divorce, we can choose to see it as an opportunity for a fresh start. Soon, we begin taking more risks: enrolling in new classes, beginning new hobbies, or starting new businesses that we never would have done before. When we are willing to change our perspectives, we can change our experiences, creating new and improved versions of ourselves.

This week, as spring continues to bring forth new life, think about your own rebirth. Are there big or small changes you would like to make? Would making these changes help you become more of the person you were meant to be? Conditions around us are constantly changing. But it is up to you whether you will explore the opportunities that these conditions create. Reflect upon your life and explore your options. See what doors may open for you. Remember, changing your perspective can change your experience. Be confident and grow toward your potential, creating exciting beginnings for your life. Then bloom like the daffodils, more beautiful and stronger than ever before.

Through the Lens of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and although I do love the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, there is something I love even more about it. I love that Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate and give thanks for all that we have been given. Instead of focusing our attention on the things we want, we can focus on the things we already have and the important people in our lives. There are many blessings all around us and yet, many of us take them for granted. That’s why Thanksgiving provides us the perfect opportunity to take a step back and look at the world through a new lens - the lens of gratitude. Our feelings of gratitude impact how we see ourselves, how we see each other, and how we see the world. Gratitude creates feelings of compassion, empathy, hope, and contentment. When we are content with our own lives, we begin to view others and the world in entirely new ways. We are thankful for the moments we share and for the connections that exist between all of us. We want to share this love and joy we feel with others, knowing that love is what truly brings us together.

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Be Like a Child

The summer is finally here, and it is the perfect time for us to break from our usual routines and enjoy our lives more fully. It’s important for us to plan some downtime where we can rest and recharge — even if it’s only for a short while. This summer, I’m planning to do exactly that. I’m taking a break from both my blog and my circling events in order to go within and renew my spirit. I know from past experience that when I take this much-needed downtime, it enables me to feel refreshed and re-energized when I return to my activities. That’s why downtime is so important. It helps us not only recharge, but it also helps us see things in a whole new light. So, I invite everyone to experiment with some downtime this summer. On sunny afternoons, take walks on the beach, read good books, or hike in the woods. Break free from your usual routines and have some fun. I know we all have responsibilities, but we can’t let them weigh us down. We have to learn to let go and laugh more — to be more like children, carefree and spontaneous.

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See Your World in a Whole New Light

As the school year comes to a close, I am reminded how the endings of our lives are also new beginnings. My son is finishing his 5th grade year and will be going off to middle school in the fall. He is thrilled to be moving to a new school and is fully embracing this exciting time in his life. But as his mom, a part of me is sad that he is growing up so fast. Because he is graduating from elementary school, it somehow feels like I’m saying good-bye to his childhood. Yet, this ending is also an incredible new beginning - one where he will discover many things about himself and continue to grow into the amazing man he will become. Watching his eager anticipation of this important transition in his life, I know he is ready, and that makes me very happy indeed.

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NEW-FOUND FREEDOM

Our lives are filled with uncertainties. That’s part of what makes them both interesting and challenging. Right now, our family is living proof of that. Currently, we are searching for a new home. It has been quite a process, and there have been several unexpected developments along the way, but we are trusting that all will work out in the end exactly as it is supposed to. But trusting is not always easy, especially when it involves the important things in our lives. That’s why it’s helpful to remember that we cannot prevent uncertainties and changes from happening to us. So, the ways we choose to respond to these uncertainties becomes very important. If we can trust in the process and learn to “go with the flow,” our lives become much less stressful.  

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