PerceptionWritten by C. V. Harris
A friend of mine said to me one evening, “this is what I admire about you, whenever you say you’re gonna to do something, you do it”! People always ask me how do I stay motivated? How do I stay encouraged? Whenever I am asked this question my answer is always same. I tell them that I stay focused and motivated by remaining in an autopilot mode. However, when I ponder that question on a deeper spiritual level, I come to realization that true answer is much more involved than “auto-pilot” response. Would you like to know what real answer is? Keep reading.
For those of you that follow my writing, you may have read a story that I wrote entitled Zenobia’s Life Lessons A True Testament of Love. This story can be read at www.yourfuneralkeepsakes.com in Inspirational Story section.
In that story, I briefly tapped on fact that I briefly lived in a shelter at one point. The reason that I ended up in a shelter in first place was because my job downsized and relocated to Atlanta. My employer offered me chance to keep my job by moving with company, but unfortunately, they only offered financial relocation assistance to higher ups. So there I was. Two young children to support and future for employment looked grim.
I applied for unemployment and ultimately had to apply and did receive Welfare. During this time, I began to prepare my children to live in a place that in my opinion at time, was worst case scenario in WORLD. My children were about 7 and 8 years-old. I knew how impressionable young children were at that age, so it was acute to their emotional development manner in which I told them news.
My children and I used to have what we called “family rap sessions”. These sessions took place once per week, usually after dinner while sitting in a circle on our living-room floor, or during dinner seated at kitchen table. My children grew to love and look forward to these sessions because it gave them opportunity to vent to me anything, in any manner (remembering that I was still parent), and I could and would not reprimand them for what we discussed afterwards. We simply would discuss and I would offer suggestions and solutions for them to handle any of small problems that a child would encounter at their young age. I learned years later that this was enzyme for open relationship that I maintain with them to this day.
This is when I broke news. I paid careful attention when describing shelter because it was significant that they quickly developed a positive outlook on where their new home would be. I centered their attention on a few of key things that they could do while living there that I disallowed or did not provide to them while living in our home. I told them what happened with job and that we had to move. After they each asked where we would be moving to, I described this wonderful place, where kids could all play together after school (my children were “latch-key kids”, and weren’t allowed to go outside after school having to come home and do homework). I described a place where they would get unlimited food and snacks, (I never bought sugary; drinks and limited amount of snacks that I kept in house). I told them how we each would have our own beds (they used to share a bed), and they would get opportunity to meet and play with other boys and girls. At shelter, bedtime was moved back an hour later to 10:00. If you have ever been 7 or 8 years-old, when a parent tells you that your bed and playtimes were going to be extended, that is more than enough reason to look forward to going to this place wouldn’t you think? The “Place”. That is code-name that what we agreed to use when speaking about shelter (I trained my children to be really good at keeping a secret, and they were. I am sure that this was due to fact when I was young, I was such a BLABBER mouth. As a result of which, I had grown to have a dislike for people who could not keep their mouth closed.). That was our code word used when we were discussing shelter amongst people that we knew. I did not want anyone to know that we were living there, and no one did. I was extremely ashamed for being in that situation and I was still trying to come to grips with hitting rock bottom and having to go there in first place, even though my children adjusted impressively well.
How to Make Time for Your SoulWritten by Suzanne Falter-Barns
The locust are buzzing. The fireflies flashing, and we can almost swim in Lake Champlain. That means it's just about popsicle weather, which is perfect time to get serious about your dream. There's more daylight, less squeeze in schedules, and more time to connect with your soul.
These are some great ways to tweak your routine to better serve your dream. Dig in before summer slips by. Your heart will thank you!
- Unplug your television. Even better, completely remove it. Or put a lock on it. You can find them at Time Scout or Eyetimer.
- Cancel your subscriptions. Get rid of anything you don't read. I just gave up The New Yorker (which I'd 'read' for 26 years ... or let pile up.) If I can do it, you can, too!
- Make regular 'soul' time every day. If you're a morning person, get up one hour earlier and dig into your projects. If you're a night person, stay up one hour later.
- Time your projects. Determine before you start just how long you're willing to work. Then prepare to be pleasantly surprised when you make your deadline. We used this to write our songs for my new show (see below) and it worked like a charm.
- Don't waste your lunch hour eating. Bring lunch to work, eat it briefly at your desk, and then get out there and do what really matters to you.
- Stop agreeing to do things you don't truly want to do. This includes volunteering, meeting friends and family, and serving on committees.
- Redesign your work schedule. Create one day or several afternoons a week to concentrate on things you really want to do in life. Explore flex-time alternatives in your workplace. Consider telecommuting, working from a home office, or going free-lance with your company.
- Put kids to bed earlier. Establish 'grown up' time, a time zone when all children are in bed (even if they're only looking at books or listening to tapes before going to sleep) and adults get to have a little room to breath.