Tag Archives: motivation

10 Inspirational movie quotes to make your day

“I see dead people”, whispered the little boy, in the movie ‘Sixth Sense’ to the shrink played by Bruce Willace. If you were watching this for the first time, you are practically on the edge of your seat. Popcorn is flying in your mouth. Perhaps you have the unhealthy habit of chewing your nails, as the scene changes.

Stories have a real impact on how and what we think. They become part of us. They teach us. They inspire us. I’ve said this before, inspiration is like food for the brain.

Hence, in no particular order, here are 10 inspirational quotes from the big screen.

1. Titanic (1997)

“I’m the King of the World”

Screamed Jack Dawson, played by Leonardo Di Caprio as he leaned on the tip of the Boat. Somehow, this dirt-poor artist had made it onto the most luxurious ocean liner of the time. It is a declaration of triumph. The line has been quoted so many times, it has become a cliché. It’s the line to use when we overcome our struggles.

2. The Terminator (1984)

“I’ll be back”

Oh yes, baby! This is way motivational. It is the ultimate line to use when something has gone wrong and you need to pick yourself up and try again. This was originally spoken by Arnold Schwarzenegger in his role as the Terminator.

3.  Gladiator (2000)

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

All the times I’ve seen this movie, this particular line gives me goosebumps. In the scene, Maximus is forced to pull off his mask and reveal his identity. He claims his truth and declares his purpose.

To conquer this thing called life we must journey to find out who we really are. It is only then when we find our truth and calling. This is the line, which speaks to us to become masters of our Destiny. It is beyond inspirational.

4.  Finding Nemo (2003)

“When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming”

Sometimes, we need to remember to just move on, to just keep it together for the next few seconds and the next few seconds after that and so on. Take it step by step. Moment by moment.

5.  Dead Poets Society (1989)

“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

Robin Williams starred in this 1989 movie about an English teacher in an all boys school. The above quote is not only a good summary of the movie but one of the most inspirational lines in moving picture history.

6.  Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

Lord of the Rings is one of those movies, which are played repeatedly on TV. The above line comes from a scene with the Elf Queen Galadriel and Frodo. Moments before she said:

“This task was appointed to you, and if you do not find a way, no one will.”

Talk about epic, inspirational movie moments. Not only does this tell us that even everyday people, ordinary people can change the world, but also that there are certain things that only you as a person can achieve. Only you can become the master of your destiny.

7.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

This is one of Dumbledore’s savvy insights. Who am I to argue with the great Wizard?

8.  Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)

“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”

Sometimes a shift in perspective can shed much light on a situation. Things may not seem as dark and gloomy from a different angle. A solution may just be around the corner. And like a butterfly which can not see it’s own wings, so some people can’t see how amazing they truly are.

9.  Lion King (1994)

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it.”

I vote you learn from it.

10.  The Matrix (1999)

“There is no spoon”

 

I’ve saved the best for last. You may think what is so inspirational about this specific quote? In the movie, Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) is told the above quote by ‘the spoon boy’. It is fundamental in Neo’s realization that the ‘computer created reality’ is not the real reality. Anything is possible, and he starts creating his own reality.

In the same manner, ‘the real’ for you may be quite different from ‘the real’ for the Dali Lama for example. Much of what we perceive to be real has been shaped by society. The way we think about everyday things is governed by societies rules and expectations.

It’s a hard concept to explain. It’s something you need to get. While I’m on my way, I’m not there yet.

There you have it, I hope you enjoyed this list of movie quotes. What are your favorite movie lines?

*This post has been the sixth day of ‘it does not need to be perfect‘, a series currently running on this blog.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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What a bird thought me about opportunities

“Knock, Knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Bishop.”
“Bishop who?”
“What do you mean, Bishop who? You seem to have a birdy loose up in here. To be more precise a Southern Red Bishop”

Lately, I’ve been getting a visitor. He’s been knocking on my window. How odd, I thought. A stunning bird that I’d not seen in these parts has been knocking on my window. The fellow seems to have built a few nests in my husband’s fruit tree. So I took out my husbands Roberts Bird Guide (that’s a book to identify birds of the area) and found that we have a Southern Red Bishop who has decided to make his home here.

It is somewhat odd because this specific bird’s natural habitat is marshy grassland and wetland. Since I live in an urban area, not close to any dams or marshy grasslands it’s quite odd that this fellow seems to have found a home here.

Then again, we are experiencing a terrible drought in the area. Watering plants have been made a felony, so to speak. Thus, we have been giving our trees water from the washing machine and shower (which is not a wrongdoing). We also have four pet birds, whose chirping attracts quite a lot of wild birds here, including my new ‘knock, knock’ friend. The leftover bird seed also serves to feed the wild ones.

It gives an entirely new meaning to the phrase, ‘when opportunity comes knocking’, doesn’t it? The little Bishop has had to adapt to new circumstances due to the drought.

It gives me pause to think. Can I identify new opportunities in my life?

His appearance certainly seems the right opportunity to write a blog post. I’ve also taken the opportunity and snapped a few pictures. You’ll need to excuse my poor photographing skills, the little fellow takes flight when I get too close. Armed with only my cell phone camera it has been hard to get a better shot. But, at least I got a relatively nice picture. Considering that the first rule of good photography is that you need to photograph with the light not against it, I’ve not been able to take any good pictures from within the house.

southern-red-bishop-on-wind
There you go. Sometimes the universe gives us the most subtitles of hints. The small reminders! The little things, we so often overlook. The wind whispers. Do you hear it speaking? This time it has asked me to not overlook the opportunities that come knocking, even if it are only the small ones – such as natures prompt to write a blog post.

What opportunities have been knocking on your window lately? Have you opened that window to let the opportunity in?

p.s. This post has been the fifth day of ‘it does not need to be perfect’, a series I’m currently running on this here blog.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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15 Motivational Songs to kick A**

Are you still keeping to your New Year’s resolutions? You just could not resist that slice of chocolate cake, could you? It is officially the second month of the year. The month of little chocolate shaped heart candy and other red-coated sweet things. No one blames you.

I happen to be of the opinion that each day brings with it the opportunity to make a new resolution. To start fresh. Just because you slipped up on your diet does not mean you can’t lose that weight.

blue-headphones-on-grass-wi

Perhaps you are struggling with a project you started. Perhaps you are meaning to start a new project, but feel that something is holding you back? Perhaps life has thrown you a curve and you really need that little extra bit of motivation to get you positive.

It may just be the time to take the bull by the horns and tackle that task. Whatever challenge you are facing, even if it is just getting up out of bed in the mornings – because even that can be hard at times – I’ve got you covered.

Here to get you going is my list of motivational songs.

We start this list with songs from the 70’s.

1.    Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees

1977, was the year the Bee Gees graced us with the classic, ‘Stain’ Alive’.

“You know it’s all right. It’s OK.
I’ll live to see another day.”

What’s not motivational about that? This timeless tune, makes me want to get up and do something? How about you?

2.    Don’t stop me now – Queen

1978, brought us one of Rock music’s masterpieces by legendary band Queen. ‘Don’t stop me now’, is a feel good song, guaranteed to get you out and going. I guess there would be a difference between a ‘feel good song’  and a ‘motivational song’, but I think this one covers both those definitions.
From Queen’s large selection of classic rock, it’s hard choosing only one song. 1977’s ‘We are the champions’, 1990’s ‘another one bites the dust’ and 1991 ‘the show must go on’, defiantly also deserve to be in the collection of motivational songs.

3.    Always Look on the bright side of life – Eric Idle

1979 saw the release of an annoying little jingle ‘Always Look on the bright side of life’, by Eric Idle (who is part of the British comedy group – Monty Python). This ear-worm is so irritating it will get stuck in your head at an inevitable time. Which is what makes it so good. Did someone cut you off in traffic? I’m sure that part which he whistles could easily be replaced by the words ‘F**k You!’ repeated four times. It is the ideal tune to whistle while your kid is sitting on the back seat. And in case you were wondering what the bright side of being cut off in traffic is; Well firstly, if this did not cause an accident you can be thankful for that. Also, you have a car to drive to enable you to be in a situation to be cut off in traffic.
I don’t know so much about the music video, though. I guess some people would be offended by it. Oh well! Always look on the bright side of life. . .

4.    I will survive – Gloria Gaynor

There is something strangely motivating about the 1979 classic by Gloria Gaynor, ‘I will survive’. Not only is it the ideal post break up song, but it really fits many other situations too. Your boss thinks you just can’t live without him? Have you to go without chocolate for a week?
Yea, go on and sing it “I will survive”, you are feeling better already, aren’t you?

On to the age of neon colors and wild curly hair, the 80’s, which was not without its own digital flavor of music. Motivational songs of this decade included:

5.    Don’t stop believing – Journey

Yes, as unbelievable as this may be, ‘don’t stop believing’ was originally released in 1981. It was released in 2009 as digital download content, after having been covered by the movie ‘Glee’, which is why it appears to be such a current hit.

6.    Eye of the Tiger –  Survivor

‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor has got to be one of the best motivational classics out there. Released in 1982, it held the number one spot on the Billboard Top 100, for six weeks. Among others, it was the theme song for the Rocky 3 movie.

The 90’s brought us:

7.  Conquest of Paradise – Vangelis

Released in 1992, the lyrics to Vangelis’ ‘Conquest of Paradise’, don’t actually mean anything. The words are from a made-up language for the movie ‘1492: Conquest of Paradise’. What makes this piece of music so inspirational is the melody. Just listen to that and not feel encouraged – I dare you. Go on! Can’t do it, can you?

8.  River of Dreams – Billy Joel

1993, Billy Joel brought us the ‘River of Dreams’.
If ever “in the middle of the night, you go walking in your sleep”, the “River of Dreams” would be the place to go. What gets me about this song, is that I think many of us are “looking for something so hard to find, it can only be seen by the eyes of the blind”. Serious! These are some lyrics.

9.  Jimmy Cliff – I can see clearly now

1993, also brought us the Jimmy Cliff classic, ‘I can see clearly now’.
Again with some seriously good lyrics:

10. Smash Mouth – All Star

Released in the year we could all officially party like it’s 1999, Smash Mouth’s, ‘All Star’ tells you that despite your shortcomings you can still achieve great things.

11.  Creed – Higher

Also from 1999, Creed’s ‘Higher’ takes us to a place “where blind men see.” While the song actually refers to lucid dreaming, the lyrics are very inspirational. They motivate you to “go there” and make this world a better place.

Other mentions of the 90’s

There are some songs of the 90’s that have just been overplayed. While R. Kelly’s 1997 hit, ‘I believe I can fly’, is defiantly the 90’s inspirational anthem of the decade – could you really listen to that again?

Bon Jovi’s 1997 song, ‘It’s my life’, seems to be on every other list of inspirational songs. While I can’t dispute the motivational aspect of this particular piece of music, I just really don’t like it. Maybe 1997 was  not my year for music.

two-people-playing-guitar-a

Beyond 2000, a new millennium inspired songwriters to write even more inspirational songs. Well, way beyond 2000 – because I’m skipping an entire decade here. It’s not that 2000 to 2009 did not have any inspirational songs, to me none of them really stick out.

12. Pink – Perfect

In a world where so many of us (especially us women) have so much self-doubt, suffer from depression and body image issues – this song, this song, ‘Perfect’ by Pink released in 2010. Honestly this song! It is very inspirational. When I’m feeling a bit over emotional this song can even bring tears to my eyes – that’s how good it is.
I fell in love with the song after reading THIS poem. Awesome poem – everyone should read. Great song.

13. Kelly Clarkson – Stronger

What is it about breakups that make songwriters write such inspirational lyrics? Like the Gloria Gaynor song (above), Kelly Clarkson’s 2011 hit, ‘Stronger’ hits a home run in the inspirational department.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, Doesn’t mean that I’m lonely when I’m alone”

14.  Rachel Platten – Fight Song

The lyrics may be filled with clichés, but, clichés are clichés for a reason. I love this song. Rachel Platten’s 2014 hit, ‘Fight Song‘, defiantly tops the charts of ultimate inspirational songs.

“I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion”

This song also happens to be the reason I was inspired to create this list in the first place.

15. Katy Perry – Rise

With all the inspirational Katy Perry songs released to date, I simply had to choose the latest number ‘Rise’. It was released last year (2016) in the spirit of the summer Olympics – or so Katy Perry claimed. Now, if you listen to the Christian Conspiracy Theorists, it’s another story. If you see this as being sung from the point of view of Lucifer, then the song takes on a completely different and scary meaning.
However, if the Devil has his Fate to fulfill, we, each one of us also has our Destiny. (There is an argument between the difference of Fate and Destiny, which I’m not going to go into now, but …)
Other inspirational Katy Perry songs include the 2013 hit ‘Roar’ and the 2010 Song ‘Firework’.

The longer I contemplate the list the longer it is likely to get. Inspirational songs have been topping the charts for decades.

What inspirational song do you think needs to be added to the list? What music from the period 2000 to 2009 should I have included? Talk to me I’m listening.

p.s. This post is the second day of, it does not need to be perfect, a blog series I’m currently running on this here blog.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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Write On

I want to say Amen to this. 🙂 Jo with some very wise words of writers inspiration.

Lit World Interviews

Sometimes you read a book. It hooks you from the first sentence, and just keeps on getting better. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It inspires you to do better, or be better. When you reach the final page, you feel like you’ve lost the best friend you ever had. Then you open your own manuscript, and find that suddenly, from nowhere, an ominous lead ball has miraculously appeared in your gut. You could never write like the author who penned the fabulous book that you’ve just finished reading. In fact, your writing sucks. Big time. And there it is. You can’t write at all anymore. Every sentence is fiddled with. Or worse, deleted. And the next few weeks are spent trying to write just as beautifully as the magical creator of that perfect book that you can’t get out of your mind. But it’s no good. You…

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A is for Affirmation. A to Z Challenge on Wellness

“As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

It all starts in your mind, right? Success, happiness – paradise on earth. So they say. Have you ever thought that you cannot control your thinking? “Think positive,” is what all these motivation guru’s and self-help books say. There must be something to it. However, for some of us, this is easier said than done.
Enter this thing called

AAffirmations

Affirmation is a method to help you control your thinking.

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” – Claude M. Bristol

It may come as a shock to anyone reading my blog, yet I tend to sway more on the side of realism than optimism. That realism can easily turn to pessimism depending on the outlook of the situation. The glass is either half, dot or alternatively, the glass is half-empty.

The way we think is often hardwired into the core way our brain functions. Much of it comes through to us from our subconscious. Moreover, it is very difficult to change the thinking patterns of a part of us, hidden underneath layers of brain activity.
This is where Affirmations come in. Affirmations or what I have recently seen referred to “setting intensions” are a way to convince your subconscious that you are what you want to be.

Let me be perfectly realistic here. This is not going to change your life overnight. It is not the one and only tool to help you to healthy thinking and success. Rather used in conjunction with other methods it can be very useful to you. Additionally, what floats my boat – may sink yours. We are not all wired the same way. Used correctly, I do not see using affirmations harming anyone. Okay, if someone notices – he may perceive you as weirdo number one. Frankly, the opinion of other people should matter very little to you. If something is helpful to you and not harming anyone or anything else then it is none of their beeswax.

Affirmations

“Right thinking begins with the words we say to ourselves.” – James Allen (As a man thinketh, 1903)

Right on, let me show you how to get the most out of this technique.

Firstly, you need to think about an intention you want to manifest in your life. You need to phrase it in such a manner that it does not have any negative connotations. With affirmations, how you use your words is everything. This is a method to communicate to your subconscious. Keep it simple. Then put it in present-tense. Additionally, you need to be comfortable with your affirmation.

Some every day affirmation examples:

  • I radiate success, and I prosper wherever I turn.
  • I am creating more and more of what I want effortlessly.
  • I am attracting like-minded people who help me fulfill my desires.
  • My co-workers love me and I love them.
  • I rest well. I sleep peacefully and I awaken with joy.
  • I have the strength and the knowledge to handle everything in my life.

If you don’t feel comfortable with the words “I am” or “I have” You can use words such as “I choose” or “I intend”.

Once you have your affirmation down, write it on little sticky notes and put it in places you would easily see. Your mirror, your computer screen, etc. Make sure you read them and say them aloud several times a day.

Bonus tip:

Now if you really want this to take effect in your life you will say and think on your affirmations before you start meditating. (If you do yoga, before you start your yoga session.) Clear your mind by concentrating on your breath. Bring the attention of your breath to your heart (heart chakra) and then say your affirmation or bring your focus to it, as you would do with a mantra. Once you have done this a few times – concentrate on your meditation the way you would normally do it. Concentrate on one attention per day, for a few days – before moving on to the next one.

Further reading and resources:

www.hayhouse.com sells an annual lifestyle calendar which focuses on intentions, affirmations and positive thinking.
Additionally, check out the article I pinned for further reading.

Here’s my personal affirmation for the day: Everyone who reads this post will effortlessly hit that follow button. 😉

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About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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#WeeklySmile, Little Seedlings and a bucket of #inspiration

What made you smile this week? What made you happy? Perhaps you dragged along the week like any other, half on auto-pilot while life flashed in front of your eyes. Well Darlings, I’m here to tell you that I’m alive and if you are reading this so are you.

What made me smile this week? – the #WeeklySmile

That’s easy peasy – my husband walked in the door yesterday and declared, “You owe me a crate of beer and a bottle of whisky”. The best handyman on planet earth has fixed my PC. WHOOP! Now who can advise me on a good type of whisky to get?  Seems, after all, it was my power supply which got fried and not my hard-drive.

contagious smile

Little Seedlings

Broken PC or not, my backup plan enabled me to get my Little Seedlings planted into the fertile soil that is the Internet. It is a feature which is motivating me to focus on my own personal growth on a daily basis. For those who don’t know (and since I didn’t really make some big announcement), Little Seedlings is a daily feature I’m running on my Social Media. They provide a fresh snippet of inspiration or something to think on. The goal is to have one for each of the 366 Days of 2016.

In case you missed out here is your:

Bucket of inspiration

 

 

 

 

 

I especially like this one as a food for thought for today:

 

You can also find all of these along with the previous Little Seedlings on my Facebook Page.

 

What has made you smile this week?

 

#Haiku Challenge 78 – Vast & Clear

Walking in my sleep

In the middle of the night

By the rivers so deep

Passed this vast valley of fear

Seeking for something once clear

*

Walking in the stream

In the middle of the night

Through desserts of truth

Looking for that only seen

By way of eyes of the blind

**

Searching in this vast

River of dreams we’re drifting

To find the clear seas.

*****

woman-looking-at-river

Written for Ronovan’s Haiku challenge. Words: Vast & Clear.

The last verse makes up the haiku, while the first two verses are in the Tanka form

For this challenge I looked for inspiration in music. Do you recognize the song?

My 4-blogging lessons of 2015 – you had better study for 2016

Gosh, here we are again. Another year has gone by. I am so thankful for all the beautiful lessons it has brought me. I am so grateful for the personal growth. I am so thankful for blogging – which has become my personal growth tool.

I truly do love blogging, but like all things in life, it too has a dark side.

Trial, error & shut down

Like with most things, I learn via trial and error.  I used to have a different space. One I put so much effort into; yet in the end it left me feeling drained and depressed. That feeling is the sure sign you are doing something wrong – where change is the only remedy. I went to the extreme. I wiped it all out. The internet is notoriously hard to clean though – many traces of my former self still linger.

Lesson 1 – Write that which you want to share

Ultimately, this would be the best lesson I could leave bloggers. If it were not something, you would share on your private Facebook account – where your mother and your (maybe) Baptist minister father will find it; then rather put it in your private journal. Cause trust me, if it is one thing, I have seen happen repeatedly – ultimately the truth will come into the light. Just ask Mandi, who very recently came out.

Lesson 2 – Share and share generously

Share your “how-to” tips. Share your blog posts over all possible Social Media outlets. Share your grandma’s secret recipe for chocolate cake – okay maybe not that one. Most importantly share the content you enjoyed – from other bloggers.

blogging-101-cup-blogger

Lesson 3 – Don’t look at your stats

Statistics, the aspect of blogging I most dislike. There is no win for me here. I’m incredibly grateful for each person who does take the time to read my Shining Seeds. I love the interaction that comes along with it – even if I only say “thank you”. I look at a post and see it only got 10 likes and my heart sinks to the bottom of my stomach. So much effort and time spent on creating content and no one is interested.

However, after almost two years of blogging it still frightens me that people read my stuff even if it is only 10 people. That are 10 people who actually paid me some attention, who thought I was worthy of their time. I could go on here; I will spare you the gory details. The thought of being the center of attention – it is simply freighting to me – although I clearly crave it.

The solution – spend very little time looking at and or thinking about any type of numbers to do with your blog. I give people the option of liking, because that is a way for them to interact with the blog post, but I do not dwindle too much on it. Stats can be misleading. Not everyone presses the like button. If I get you in my inbox – I may sometimes forget to stop by – especially when my shoddy internet connection has me reading on my phone. People get busy – it does not mean they don’t care.

Lesson 4 – Keep it real

Pretty please, with a cherry on top – do not write for the numbers. Find another reason to blog. If the numbers are supplying you with a paycheck – this is even more important. So many business shift their focus to the bottom line and end up losing that bottom line.

I recently read that Oprah was pregnant at the age of 61. It turns out these where lies created purely for a thing called page views. Do not be that blogger – because you will never see me return, nor anyone else. The only way to build a loyal readership is by keeping it real. However, remember Lesson 1.

 

Let’s take this to 2016

That is it for 2015. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a good slide into 2016.

There will be some new things happening here in 2016, which practically make me as happy as a chappy who got bubble gum. Some of those are already scheduled.

You will need to keep an eye on my Facebook page  or  Twitter timeline to catch a glimpse of Little Shining Seedlings.

See you next year! (I’m sorry, just had to)

Happy 2016!

 

Haiku Challenge 77 – Year & New

Teachings of old year

Bring thanksgiving to thy heart

For each new daybreak.

beach-sun-rise-or-set

Read this as:

Teachings of old year bring thanksgiving to thy heart. Bring thanksgiving to thy heart for each new daybreak.

Written for Ronovan’s Haiku challenge for the prompt words: Year & New. This week I went with the obvious thought of this time of the year. Thanks for stopping by.

Will you still take my second hand Christmas?

Have you ever given a thought to the true meaning of Christmas? No, I’m not talking about the cozy Hollywood version they like to show on the TV this time of the year.

“And it’s not like the stories, it’s never like what they said” (Ben Haenow – Second Hand Heart)

In truth, a version of this post has been sitting on my PC for a while now. I’ve been struggling to find the right combination of words for such a delicate matter. Christmas has become something that Christians and non-Christians celebrate. Its meaning diluted between Saint Nick, shopping and family bickering. Throw in the sickening dose of terror and world politics that has been dominating our News of late – is it really all that surprising that people feel more Depressed – especially this time of year?

Christmas is just no longer Christmas!

Christmas to many of us has become “wrong”. We may each have our own reason; why it does not feel like Christmas.

Truthfully, my Christmas stopped feeling like Christmas the year my parents got divorced –  many moons ago. What once was the only night of the year; the family made an effort to cease-fire in the war-zone that was our home – was now a – fake it till you make it affair.  I was a grumpy and depressed teenager – even more so at Christmas. The only thing that really got me into Christmas spirit was the smell of the Christmas tree, which brought with it its own aroma of what life should be. With time the tree got replaced with one less aromatic, as I took on the traditions of my husband.

Even Christmas changes

When you are rooted in your year after year traditions the loss of a loved one for example makes all things seem wrong for many Christmases to come. We like the comfort of the crazy routine. We resist change like a bad-smelling batch of eggnog.

The thing is – we cannot stop change. We cannot change the circle of life. Christmas will come around and we can either mope, because “it does not smell like” or “it does not feel like” or “insert your own does not… like” Christmas. The problem is that we have lost touch with the true meaning of Christmas.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. John 3: 16

This verse in the bible has become synonymous with the true meaning of Christmas. Let me break it down…. We got the word “Loved” up in there. No matter what the circumstance may be, I encourage you to wrap the gift of love. We reap what we sow. Plant the seed of love in the heart of your neighbor. Help the old woman cross the street. Give a tin of baked beans to the hungry. Hug a person who looks sad. Write an encouraging blog post. Sing a carol to the grumpy guy or gal and make them smile. Smile at the people you pass in the street. Forget about things being perfect.

What matters is the time spent with loved ones laughing and crying if need be.

Should you find yourself alone, remember the words “for God so” preceded the word “loved”. We are never truly alone.

John-3-16

Earlier this week my brother who lives in Europe, sent us a picture of him cooking dinner. This was not any kind of dinner. This was dinner for the flock of Syrian refugees they now have where he lives. For privacy reasons I can’t post the picture here. On it is my brother behind the stove – doing what he loves. Here are people who have lost everything. Their homes, their livelihood, loved ones and so much more – things we take for granted every day.

This Christmas take a look at all the wonderful things around you. Take a look at the people you are spending it with. Yes, there may be those missing gifts around the tree (which would have been for those now, no longer with us). But there are presents for the people you are spending it with.

I enjoy looking at the joy in my daughter and her cousins faces as they open their Christmas goodies. Beside children, some people are gifted at displaying happiness when opening presents. These are the things which make my heart smile. There are so many things to appreciate. I have a table with food to go sit at. There are people to hug. These are such wonderful things with which my life has been blessed.

This Christmas I encourage you to look for the beautiful things for which you can be grateful, whether you are Christian or not. If you can’t find any here are some you may have missed:

  • You are able to gift a stranger with a smile
  • You have cloths to wear and food to eat
  • If you are reading this you are literate – which places you better off than a huge chunk of the human population

I could go on and on here, but really I want you to complete that list.

What are your plans for Christmas? What things can you add to that list?

(Linked up with #1000Speak  & Ronvan’s #BeWow )