a tickle of words to create smiles

Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Ah, sweet Love!

AhSweetLove

Love in its purest form cannot be explained with words; but only experienced. You know that feeling of absolute bliss. It is peace and joy at the same time. It is the desire to be kind, compassionate and helpful. It is that spark in your spirit that inspires you to be good and endearing to others.

It is that feeling of completeness. You are whole and one with everything and everyone. Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year next to Christmas. It is a day I believe that should be experienced everyday; the love and joy can be experienced daily if you so choose. I speak not of romantic love, but of a more reverent, profound love that penetrates the spirit like no other feeling.

Today is a great reminder of how love comes in many forms. I enjoy seeing children carry tokens of the day to their classmates and friends, as the joy friends experience as they wish each other a wonderful Valentine’s Day, as the love between a parent and child, as the love between new lovers and older couples in their twilight years, alike. Love is in the air. There is no doubt about that.

One only need to open his or her eyes. Perhaps, if we continue to keep our eyes open for signs of love on a daily basis, positive changes could take place. I know it has in my life.

May each of you have a WONDERFUL day filled with LOVE and JOY; may these feelings of BLISS carry-on and continue through the rest of your life! I love you! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Courage and Creativity

AKO-Courage-Fearless

Good things come to those who believe. Better things come to those who wait, and the best things come to those who  “DON’T GIVE UP”.

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day that says…I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

This is the LAST MONDAY of the month of JANUARY, 2013! This year, I promised myself to embrace being FEARLESS in all my pursuits! That is my word of the year. In reflection, this month has been AMAZING and WONDERFUL. I am creating so many wonderful opportunities in my life simply by acting on my ideas and pursuing them instead of fearing the what if “negative things happen”.

It just occurred to me, we need to be true to our ideas and our purpose. We are like any celestial body in the Universe, for example, our sun, which continues to serve its purpose, to shine. The sun does not worry if it will be too hot or not burn through the clouds; it simply continues to be true to itself and radiates its energy into our atmosphere as well as across the Universe.

Dan Zadra says that worry is a misuse of imagination. I feel that worry is in fact a perverse use of our imagination and creative energy. Creativity can be a very liberating experience when utilized in a positive way. Imagination can fuel our dreams and inspire us. Natalie Rogers stated, “Creativity is like freedom: once you taste it, you cannot live without it. It is a transformative force, enhancing self-esteem and self-empowerment.”

Courage and fearlessness is about showing up each day and facing your responsibilities, embracing life and seizing the moments. It is also about giving yourself permission to be you and delight in who you are! Each of us is a valuable and intricate part of the Universal tapestry, where each fiber adds strength, beauty and purpose. So, it is important for each of us to believe, be patient and to always try again! Don’t give up!

Also, I want to take this time and FEARLESSLY acknowledge and share my deepest appreciation and love for all my friends and family on-line, face-to-face and in the Universe. Without the connection, your encouragement, your positive energy, your love, your kindness, your everything….I would simply be a hollow shell. YOU….ALL OF YOU….FILL my HEART and SPIRIT!!! YOU CONTRIBUTE TO MY PURPOSE. ♥ I LOVE YOU! ♥

Now, is this not a lovely way to end January and move into February, the month of Love. February is going to be a FUN-nominal month for me. Starting February 1, my artwork will be featured and displayed in my city public library. I have at least 16 acrylic paintings (20 x 16) being showcased. I will share pictures this weekend. I am also doing live video-conferencing every Sunday (6 p.m. Eastern Time) in February sharing fun, creativity techniques, such as I used in the artwork in this blog. You are welcome to join in this gathering: http://www.linqto.com/rooms/docangi. I will also be offering private on-line programs. Check my website for the latest: www.heartsthatcare.net

Love is a Fire…

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Joan Crawford stated, “Love is a fire, but whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell.”

I beg to differ. While I believe love to be a powerful emotion not unlike fire, I also believe we have a choice, where emotions are concerned. Yes, it takes a certain amount of self-discipline to not get caught up in our stronger emotions, but we are most certainly the captain of our own hearts. In February of last year I went into detail about 3 types of love (agape, philia and eros). Agape love is the purest and unconditional form of love.

Agape love would never burn down your house; however, conditional love does have the potential to hurt your partner, your family and yourself. Love with attachment to characteristics, physical traits, events and other circumstances is seemingly destined to “burn down your house”. The good news is that all you need to do is to make a mind shift and change your perspective. Love and appreciate yourself and your loved ones for who they are. Let go of the conditions and release the circumstances, which are temporary.

When you are disappointed or upset with yourself or your loved ones, examine carefully why you feel that way. In the grander scheme of life, does the circumstance of that moment really matter. So what, you or your loved one made a poor decision, or did something seemingly embarrassing, or fill-in-the-blank… when you truly love yourself and family unconditionally, the hiccups, mistakes, embarrassments, obstacles do not matter. Your house does not have to burn down. Open up your heart and communication with your loved ones. When you are ready to forgive the momentary lapse of reasons (your own as well as others), you will feel a huge uplifting. You will breathe easier and find joy.

Remember: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

Let me add my own quote, “Love is a light that ignites the hearts of others while maintaining a spark in your own.” When you can say, “I love you” to others and truly mean it without conditions and attachments, you WILL feel joy. It give me great delight to express my love to each person who reads my article today. I deeply appreciate and love you! Happy New Year and Happy New Life!

Ready? To Let Go and Embrace!

31DecAKO-Fearless

Today is the perfect day to decide what you are ready to let go, release and forgive. Take a moment and ponder. Think about your year. Ask yourself the following questions: What are you ready to let go? What are you ready to release? What are you ready to forgive?

My year was filled with many ups and downs. I am ready to let go of all the hurts, the grief, the struggle, the unnecessary drama, poor communication and misunderstanding, pretenses and phoniness, disconnect, fear, the extra weight upon my frame that only serves to drag down my high spirits and energy.

I ready to let go of my resistance to change and avoidance of new experiences. I am ready to release seeking approval from others. I am ready to let go of criticism, especially self-criticism. I am ready to release my uneasiness around certain people and new situations. I am ready to forgive all the wrongs and negative situations of my past. I am ready to let go of ALL those things and actions that no longer serve me.

2013 will be a powerful year; a year that will allow me to shake out all the old ways and habits that no longer serve me. It is a year to fully step into creative self-expression and abundant support for my dream from all that is. 2013 is a time for my vision to become a reality. I am ready to appreciate, invite and embrace love in my life, success, great health, a fit body, successful publication of my books, travel opportunities and adventures into unknown territory that will bring me prosperity. I am ready to step into my life fearlessly and live!

What are you ready to embrace, invite and appreciate in 2013? Take this opportunity to really think about it. I invite you to narrow all your thoughts from all the questions in this article into one word you wish to fully live in 2013. My word of the year is FEARLESS. (To get the step-by-step directions on how to do your own “New Year Art” go to www.heartsthatcare.net, scroll down to image, FEARLESS, and click).

A Little Does A Lot!

AKO-KindHearts

I know I have shared similar sentiments about the importance of kindness, but I believe it bears to be retold over and over again as I find more and more on the positive benefits. Besides the obvious benefit of bringing joy to receiver, kindness brings joy to the giver; as I believe most of you know. But, did you know that people who witness kindness in action also get a benefit from this event? Yes, indeed. One act of kindness touches at least three hearts: the heart of the recipient, the heart of the giver, and the heart of the witness or observer. A little kindness does a lot!

Multiple scientific studies have shown that the act of kindness has a positive effect on the immune system and on the increased production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter that has a calming, mood regulating, and anti-anxiety effect. Serotonin is considered a joy-inducing substance because it serves as a pathway(a catalyst) for delight in the brain. The function of most anti-depressant medications is to stimulate the production of serotonin chemically, which helps ease depression.

One of the most fascinating research findings to come out in recent years is that whenever a simple act of kindness is extended by a human being towards another, it results in a significant improvement in the functioning of the immune system and increased production of serotonin in the giver, recipient and the observer of the simple act of kindness. (Read more: http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/act-of-kindness#ixzz2FRdItP3o) A Harvard study called this the Mother Teresa Effect because a group of over 130 Harvard students were tested before and after viewing a film on the life of Mother Teresa for an important antibody found in their saliva important to their immune system. The students had a noteworthy increase in this antibody after watching the charity works of Mother Teresa in her life story.

You can do your own research. How do you feel after watching a program like Extreme Makeover Home Edition or Touched by an Angel, where people are uplifted by other people? I am willing to bet you feel wonderful. I also believe that as we approach significant holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas where you people see more goodwill and acts of kindness, there is a greater amount of joy in the hearts of all the people involved. Furthermore, there are more heart-warming movies being broadcast on television and shown in the movie theaters. How do you feel after doing a good deed? How do you feel when you see someone performing a good deed? How do you feel when someone helps you out?

According to the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, “Non-pharmacological methods of raising brain serotonin may not only improve mood and social functioning of healthy people — a worthwhile objective even without additional considerations — but would also make it possible to test the idea that increases in brain serotonin may help protect against the onset of various mental and physical disorders.” According to experts, the following strategies to raise serotonin levels are worthy of further investigation: the power of suggestion (viewing acts of kindness or suggesting to yourself to be joyful), exposure to bright light (like being outdoors in the sunshine), exercise (runner’s high comes to mind), and diet (eating well-balanced foods that you enjoy).

The benefits are many, but the take home message is: A little KINDNESS does A LOT! Now, the task is to narrow the list of what you can do to spread kindness around because the opportunities are truly endless. What are your favorite acts of kindness to do, observe or receive? My favorites are sharing and receiving a heartfelt smiles, sincere compliments and undivided attention.

 

Happy, Thank you, More please

AKO-HappyTYMorePleaseSome of the best life lessons can be learned from the most unlikely of places. That happened to me last night, as I watched a really great, but unremarkable (not popular) movie, “happythankyoumoreplease”. The movie stirred my spirit and reminded me of the very important life lesson of gratitude. I had a profound realization of the power of those 5 simple words: happy, thank, you, more, please. Halfway into the movie, one of the characters, Annie talked about it during a dinner conversation with Sam #2. It was a a-ha moment for me.

When anyone asks you, “how are you today? (or some related question) and you are fine; take a pregnant pause and really experience it. You can do this by: 1) completely embracing the moment and say aloud, “I am happy.” 2) Be grateful and reply “Thank you.” 3) then, ask for more, “More please?” Let God and the Universe know how you truly appreciate the moment and how you wish to have more of it in your life.

Everyone deserves to be happy. And, when we are happy/content; we need to acknowledge it and appreciate it by expressing gratefulness; furthermore, it is more than okay to ask for more. That is part of the secret to the law of abundance….gratitude and appreciation. It is important to acknowledge absolutely everything in your heart…ALL that you have that comforts you, sustains you and makes you happy and who you are.

Starting at this very moment, observe and become truly aware of who you are, what you have going for you and what you deserve. You deserve love and happiness. As you experience and receive the things that make you happy, acknowledge the happiness. Mark it in real-time and proclaim, “I am happy!” Appreciate it, “thank you!” and invite more into your life, “more please?” Be open to receive the happiness. Then start this cycle over and over again in your life. Visualize the process: the happiness, the gratitude, and the openness to receive more, because you deserve it. We all do. And you know what?

I am truly very HAPPY! THANK YOU so very much! MORE PLEASE?

(For an opportunity to work with a fabulous creative Life Coach, seek Dr. Angi at www.HeartsThatCare.net)

 

Think Globally, Act Locally

AKO-GlobalLocalOne of the most wasteful times of the year occurs in December. Why do I say that? Simple. Increased local traffic to stores. More consumerism. PACKAGING and WRAPPING! There is more baking, cooking, visiting, etc.

Let us consider clever ways to reduce the amount of waste we generate. One of the most simple things we can consider is how we wrap our gifts to each other. One of my favorite things to do is use simple canvas bags as gift bags set with a colorful and festive fabric bow, both of which can be reused. Look  about your home and see what you can creatively use to wrap your gifts this year. Maybe you have some fabric you can use. How about using newspaper and collage it with colorful magazine pictures?

Maybe you can forgo material gifts. Perhaps you can give a gift of love and time instead by visiting and engaging in heartfelt conversations where your attention is undivided (yes, turn off that electronic device for an hour or so). Here is another wonderful possibility…share a skill with others by teaching them how to do something you are good at doing, such as: gardening, baking, crocheting, wood-working, scrap-booking, bird-watching, fishing, paper-crafting and so on and so forth.

Other ideas: Dovetail errands so you are using less gasoline; create more gifts instead of buying them from materials you already have at home; send e-cards via e-mail instead of sending paper cards through the mail; have a holiday gathering around a charity event or while being of service to the poor and the needy; etc.

What are some other things we could do to cut waste during this holiday season? The list is endless and the possibilities countless if you just put for five to ten minutes of thought into it. I came up with quite a few in the ten minutes I spent writing this article. Most of all, have fun with the ideas. The holidays of December are meant to be experienced with love, joy and reverence. Don’t stress. Merry Christmas! (Ten days away and counting down.)

 

What Can You Say?

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Christmas and New Year’s Day are of the hardest times of the year for some people, particularly if they are alone. What can you do or say to them? Search your own heart. Put yourself in their shoes. If you were alone during a significant time of the year where everyone else seems to be joyful and with family or friends, what words would comfort you? How would you like to be treated?

I would want to be treated with love and compassion. I would want to be valued and appreciated. It would not have to be anything big. In fact, comforting, loving words are all that is needed to raise my spirits. I am certain that is true for most people. Some of the best things to say to anyone going through hardship are:

  • I LOVE YOU!
  • I care.
  • Do you want a hug?
  • You’re not alone in this.
  • I’m not going to leave you.
  • I’m sorry for your pain.
  • You are important to me.

If you like, take it a step further and invite anyone you know who might be alone for the holidays to spend time with you, your family and your friends. Share your joy, love, kindness and compassion with others. Loving words are truly one of the BEST gifts you can give others who are in need.

Not My Issue!

AKO-NotMyIssueYesterday I was informed that “truly loving other people means understanding who they are and treating them the way THEY want to be treated, not the way you think they should be treated.” Then, I was given no opportunity to respond, which initially stung my heart, but I now choose not to take no ownership of that person’s feelings. Those thoughts, feelings and actions belong only to those who generated them in the first place. They do not belong to me; furthermore, I hold no ill-will against this person, who needs more compassion than he or she will ever understand at this point from anyone willing to give it.

I am going to chew on this statement and digest it a bit, “Truly loving other people means understanding who they are and treating them the way THEY want to be treated, not the way you think they should be treated.” I do not agree with this statement, as I believe that people should be treated as you wish to be treated (not THEY).

I cannot presume how another wants to be treated. I do not read minds, especially with online communications. At least face-to-face, you can read another’s expression; and, over the phone you can hear inflections in their voices. How am I suppose to know how anyone wants to be treated unless one directly tells me? Which brings up a very good point, tell people how you wish to be treated. Never assume they know.

Unfailingly, I follow the Golden Rule. I treat others how I wish to be treated. In fact, I try to take it a step further and follow in the footsteps of my Lord, Jesus Christ, and be love and compassion for others. I take responsibility for my own thoughts and actions. Those are the only things that belong to me. How others wish to feel, act or react is their own business. I can only be loving, kind and compassionate for others. That is how I would wish to be treated… with love, kindness and compassion.

When someone shares or vents online about an issue in their life, it is usually a call for attention and help. If they did not want compassion, then why air your laundry. When I was feeling grievous this weekend, I wrote about it and reached out to friends both offline and online.

In return, I got love and compassion, which I openly received from many people including some people I have never met. My heart was filled with everyone’s love; and, I am deeply grateful. My wish is to be there for others. To be love and express kindness and compassion to everyone, whether they want it or not. That is their business and their issue. I can only do my part to be a source of comfort and what I believe a friend is.

I make no apologies for being a loving, kind and compassionate person. I wish only to understand and be respectful. I do not have to agree with you. I only need to love and respect you. Comments and feedback are appreciated.

 

 

 

How Do You Say Goodbye?

AKO-HowDoYouSayGoodbye

How do you say good-bye to loved ones, those who have left their earthbound bodies? How do you let go of your companions and family (four-legged or two)? The answer is… you don’t, nor do you need to let go or say good-bye.

Memories of our loved ones are in our minds; and, their spirits are in our hearts. They are always with us. We only need to think of them and feel them. Yes, their physical bodies are no longer with us; but, they are indeed with us… without pain, without disease, without any earthbound limitations. They are with us as pure love and positive energy. Yes, it is hard to embrace that concept.

We miss seeing their physical presence! They are no longer where we expect them. We are grieving the change. The tears are good. Do not be ashamed to cry. Release the sadness, so you can make room for the serenity that will follow.

Your loved ones are just a thought and a prayers away. In fact, your loved ones are always with you, watching you, supporting you and loving you the best way they know how. Invite their spirits into your heart. Talk to them aloud, in a whisper or in your head; they will hear you. Feel their love envelop you. Feel their warmth pour into your heart. Hold onto those moments and savor them. You will feel the peace, as you feel tears stream down your face. Does it get easier? I cannot answer that question because each of us grieve differently and on our own timelines.

I do wish to send out my love, my prayers and my positive energy to all those who are missing loved ones. I miss my aunt who passed this past January. Christmas was her favorite holiday, as it is also my cousin’s (her daughter’s) birthday. This is going to a very difficult time for my cousin. My love and heart goes out to her and her family.

More recently, my sister had to put down her fur-baby kitty-cat, Gracie.

Gracie was just 5 years young, still a kitten in many respects; but, Gracie has suffered this past month from an unknown condition. Gracie could not eat, unassisted. She was having difficulty breathing, too. It was discovered Thursday night that Gracie had a rare disease, which was causing Gracie to basically starve to death. It was very painful. My sister had no choice. She had to let Gracie’s physical body die, so Gracie would no longer suffer. This transpired late Friday afternoon. This weekend has been difficult for all of us.

Gracie was a very special kitty cat. My sister rescued Gracie when she was a tiny kitten from a hot engine of a hospital van. My sister immediately took her to a veterinarian who saved her by the grace of God…thus her name, Gracie. Gracie became the hospital mascot and my sister’s fur companion. Gracie’s life touched many. Gracie was a sign of hope and lived a wonderful life filled with love. Gracie will be missed, but we all know she is in a better place where pain and suffering will no longer touch her. Rest in peace, Gracie. We love you.

 

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