one simple step to make your heart lighter

enjoy the miracle of existence today/insight from a woman's heart

truth is here,

inspiration is here,

love is here,

peace is here,

God is here,

joy is here,

because YOU are here.

-Dr. Robert Holden

the baggage of your past, the anxiety of what tomorrow holds, and the moment’s circumstances can weigh the heart down. i know by experience. yet, one simple step can lighten the load the heart carries.

remind your heart to enjoy the miracle of your existence today (Dr. Robert Holden).

feel yourself breath. feel the beat of your heart. move. touch. smell. taste. you are alive and well -despite your circumstances. this day holds possibilities, answers, truths, joys, love, peace, faith…just because your are here today to reach out and grab them.

you are here…and it’s a miracle!

D

a centered heart will allow the springs of life to flow

guard your heart/insight from a woman's heart

long life

health and wellness

a clear and open path

shining like the dawn

reaching full strength

reaching my full potential

are mine

if

i diligently

vigilantly

keep and guard

my heart

for day by day

i’m presented with

opportunites

all within my control

i choose my role

as guard today

and protect

this precious gift

for wisdom centered

in my heart

will give my life

a springing flow

“keep and guard your heart with all vigilance…for out of it flows the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Stop breathing Carbon Monoxide…”Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul”

encouragement/insight from a woman's heart

is your soul showing high levels of toxicity?

disappointment

anger

frustration

negativity

lack of confidence

encouragement really is the oxygen of the soul.

detox your soul.

“confidence – the state of feeling certain about the truth of something” -make sure what you are breathing into your soul is truth.

encourage yourself. your voice is the most important voice you listen to. make sure you are breathing “oxygen” into your soul instead of carbon monoxide (which can be deadly).

detox your relationships.

the people around you are looking for significance just as you are. encourage them. you will be cultivating healthier relationships.

there is a lot of hype right now concerning detoxing the body. there are simple steps you can take to create more balanced health.

in the same way, you can detoxify your emotional health and get rid of the toxic elements of your emotional well-being.

encouragement is a great place to start.

you possess this ability. it’s up to you to believe in yourself, first.

then, you can sow the kindness of encouraging others…and you will reap encouragement.

I am significant.

I matter.

I am important.

and this is also true for you!

see you soon,

D

there is always a way when problems feel too big

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i had never known such terror as i felt that day standing in front of the Red Sea. my body physically trembled and i could not prevent it.

i loved this man of mine but at that moment i wondered if he had lost his mind. everything in me wanted to scream ,”what are we going to do? they’re coming. there’s no place to go!” the words wouldn’t come because every part of my being felt paralysed. the army was closing in. so many horses and chariots. slaughter was certain. no weapons and no way of escape. only the expanse of the sea before me and the longing of my heart for home.

it wasn’t home exactly but it was where my husband’s heart longed to be. there he was sure he could make his dream come true -freedom. even the cruelty of the masters seemed more comforting than standing here waiting for my family and our people to be destroyed. my heart had not even fully finished celebrating the freedom we had longed for…begged for…prayed for. now this.

he just stood there calmly, as if he couldn’t hear the screams of terror from the crowd. he had been so sure in his heart that “this” was his reason for existence. he had never been so sure of anything in all of his life. i simply followed because my heart so completely trusted that magnificent man. it may cost me my life, this burning love of mine, it may now cost me my life.

he stood for so long. silent. his face turned to heaven. peaceful. i just did not understand. the closer the enemy got…the thicker the cloud of dust, the less I could breath as if the fear where choking me.

i whispered, “what are we going to do?”

he simply replied, “deliverance is promised. He will make a way.”

how? how would there be way. there was no way out…only the sea ahead, certain death behind…how would he make a way?

he stepped behind me and stood upon the slippery rocks. I couldn’t hear his words but i’m certain he was praying.
then he lifted his staff. strange things happened when he took that stick in his hand. he raised it high and as the waves crashed against the rock, he lowered it.

i heard the pace of the army slow…astonishment filled the air. i closed my eyes and slowly opened them just in case i was dreaming. I wasn’t.

the way to safety was before us. i wouldn’t have believed it had i not been standing right there. where there was no way just moments before…though fear had almost consumed me…when my future was all but ended…

he climbed down from that rock, came- took my hand, and smiled as he said, “I told you, deliverance was promised. there had to be a way.” together we stepped out onto to the pathway…we were free.

…when your heart is sure there is no way out…believe me,help is always near!

2 tips guaranteed to improve peace of mind

rocktime/insights from a woman's heart

rock time. that’s the term my bff and I coined for quiet, reflective moments on a rock in a peaceful environment. essential elements: the rock, two open hearts, nature, our book of values and wisdom (Bible), a journal and sunshine (sunshine…beautiful sunshine…we all know how refreshing turning your face toward the warmth of the sun can be). man, would i love a little rock time with my bff…i miss you, lori!

nature will teach valuable lessons about peaceful existence…just watch. the bird in the photo above has stopped for a few moments of quiet reflection. he’ll be hurrying off soon enough but for this moment…just quiet, peaceful, rest.

it is very easy to find the heart and mind troubled, disturbed, and dis-quieted. goodness, the entire world around us uses our heart and minds to press us to dissatisfaction, longing, and desire. marketers count on the fact that the heart and mind will long for more and present us every message possible to convince us that we aren’t enough, don’t have enough, we aren’t smart enough, and that we lack “something”. think about he story of the garden of eden…that is exactly what the serpent used on eve. basically, “yeah, you have it pretty good. the garden is ok but it’s really not all that great because you don’t have….” boom! dissatisfaction hit her heart and thirst and longing for more filled it. it worked then…it works now. i need more money. i need more education. i need a better job or boss. i need a better husband. i need more blog readers. THEN i can be happier. what a lie. talk about throwing your heart and mind into a frenzy…

i have 2 tips that are guaranteed to improve your peace of mind. remember, i don’t believe in magic wands. i believe in wisdom and good ole elbow grease. rolling your sleeves up, looking at the pain and applying deliberate (on purpose) and purposeful (truly beneficial) action. would you like to hear what they are?

what are they?

so glad you asked!

Tip #1 : fix (focus) your mind on these things. yip (i love NZ slang), discipline. de-clutter your mind. out with the old-in with the new.

  • whatever is true (real~ genuine~ actual)
  • whatever is worthy of reverence (deep respect)
  • whatever is honourable (respectable ~ reputable ~ honest)
  • whatever is just (quality of being fair and reasonable)
  • whatever is pure (clean ~ clear~ absolute)
  • whatever is lovely and lovable (exquisitely beautiful ~ fair ~ inspiring ~deserving of admiration)
  • whatever is kind (nice~ good~ gentle)
  • whatever is winsome (engaging~ attractive)
  • whatever is gracious (courteous~ merciful~ benevolent~ benign)
  • virtue (merit~ goodness)
  • excellence (outstanding quality)

-paul to the Philippians

step one: fix (focus) your mind on this list of things by thinking about them, weighing your thoughts against them, and consider them.

step two: practice. any new skill requires practice. so -you practice. practice. practice until these things fill your mind and thoughts more naturally than worry, frustration, anger and whatever else keeps your mind agitated. while you are practicing, take notice of how your body, soul and spirit react to each type of thoughts. try this: think of a situation that really got you angry. rehearse it for a minute in your mind. did you feel all the reactions? pretty bad…negative. now think of the happiest moment you can remember in your life: rehearse it in your mind. did you feel all the good reactions? if i think about holding my daughter or one of my grand babies for the first time…i involuntarily smile. i can’t help it. those moments were so joyous to me. both sets of thoughts cause a reaction in my heart and mind. i don’t enjoy the negative reactions but i am uplifted by the good, positive ones.

result: peace(untroubled, undisturbed well-being)- will be with you. tip #1…can immediately improve your peace of mind for the moment. with practice it will improve your peace of mind consistently.

Tip #2: be content. be satisfied to the point of where i am not disturbed, troubled, anxious, or uneasy. two sets of circumstances present themselves in our lives…lack and abundance.

  • lack – living humbly in straitened (narrow, lean) circumstances. this one makes our skin crawl. no one wants to go without. in fact, having the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing are imperative to survival. when faced with this circumstance our instinct for self preservation kicks in and moves us toward ways to survive.
  • plenty-living well-fed, having sufficient supply with enough to spare. this one makes life so much easier. we enjoy and revel in this circumstance. it is not hard to have peace of mind in this circumstance. it does not guarantee peace of mind though. there are many examples of wealthy, miserable people.

the key is to find the undisturbed place for your heart and mind through contentment. i was amazed how content my heart was following the corporate take -over of our company a few years ago. yes, yes…there was anger and grieving and crying. i am human. lol. i told you in my overcoming addiction blog that i have had many negative situations to face in my lifetime. i sat with the emotion and shock when we discovered there was no way out…this situation was inevitable. once i had taken the time i needed to get my head around what i could not change, felt the pain and released it (crying, praying, screaming…there was a wide range of emotion)-i had to settle my heart. my heart was disquieted and disturbed. i did not want to live my life long term in this state. i enjoy peace of mind. i crave peace of mind. i began to go through the list above…

  • what is true? my life is not over. i can get up and start again. true!
  • what is worthy of reverence? the God-given blessings that i had enjoyed while i had that business…living in plenty…and that now i did not want to be a “brat” about difficult circumstances. respect!
  • what is lovely and kind? mercy. let me tell you right now…i had to grab hold of my heart and mind and inform them both that i fully intended to show mercy. non-negotiable…non-negotiable. revenge is an ugly, ugly trap. eats at you like cancer, too.
  • and on and on down the list i went.

it was a painful time. however, in the end we were debt-free. we didn’t have anything. we didn’t owe anything, either. i found myself very content without financial pressure. in the midst of that trauma, both my husband and i determined that we would never walk under the bondage of debt again. we were able to find contentment for what we had, when we had it ,in order to preserve that peace of mind. we began to practice lots of positive behaviours to maintain contentment and the resulting peace of mind.

contentment is a very difficult. practice. practice looking at and seeing what you are, what you have and where you are at the moment with respect and honor. decide that there is a right time for everything in life (under heaven). learn the lessons. lack teaches us to be resourceful and frugal; to appreciate and develop better stewardship. it helps us be empathetic to the needs of others and addresses arrogance. it’s not fun but it can be powerful.

take your “well-being” pulse right now? are you disturbed and disquieted? consider my two tips for improving your peace of mind.

please, share a comment with me if you find these tips helpful. Come back after you have practiced them. i would love to hear about your results.

peace,

D

i might bend beneath the wind but i won’t break

wind/insightfroma a woman's heart

when you have had to press in…

like pushing back against the wind-

pressure

uncertainty

schedules

new goals

expectations

improvements

i've got this/insight from a woman's heart

say to your heart…

“I’ve got this!”

bent/insight from a woman's heart bending/insight from a woman's heart

i might  bend beneath the wind but

i won’t break!

if your heart gets thirsty, don’t grab the vinegar

my thirst for life/insightfromawoman'sheartdesire. a strong feeling of wanting or wishing for something.

desire fuels dreams. it ignites the heart.

Beethoven’s 5th symphony resulted from the desire sparked in the heart of the writer.

Sir Edmond Hilary conquered Mt Everest driven by his desire to overcome.

my aunt and uncle are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary soon because desire sustained their love through the years. (70 years…wow…amazing…beyond amazing)

desire believes the possibility of action. action believes achievement worthwhile.

emotionalguage/insight from a woman's hearti’ve said before that feelings are like a gauge in life. understanding their purpose and potential helps me harness my energy in the right directions. it requires developing skills so that my feelings are a working part of the system toward functionality. feelings, like anger and frustration, are labelled as negative but are intended as a warning that something is not working properly. giving my attention to the warning and taking action to fix the problem keeps my overall system/goals on track. suppressing or misusing the emotion often produces adverse effects.

desire is an important part of our system controls. it was designed to motivate us. carry us through difficult times. press us toward goals.

however, a wounded heart can grab desire and pull it into a cycle of addiction. addictions serve as relief from the pain of the wounds the heart is experiencing. our desire for wholeness and self preservation is strong. addiction is like being thirsty and trying to quench the thirst with vinegar instead of water.

broken/insight from a woman's heart

i gained some wisdom on this point from John. in his writings, he shares a memory about a Samaritan woman. Jesus was getting out of town because the religious leaders were jealous and on another rampage. tired and thirsty, he sits down to rest and meets this woman. culturally, He should have dismissed her. her wounded heart grabbed His attention. compassion moved Him. He was physically tired and thirsty. she could help him with that. she was emotionally thirsty and He could help her. there is something very powerful about meeting someone who knows nothing about me yet is able to recognize specific details of my life. it gets my attention. it got the Samaritan woman’s attention, too.

conversation/insight from a woman's heart

basically, the conversation began with the reality that “thirst” is a reoccurring need. a need that can not be ignored. quenching physical thirst is easy. emotional thirst is challenging; therefore, my natural inclination is to reach for a physical solution (easier because i understand my physical world better). this woman had done this. i don’t think Jesus was labelling this woman the way everyone else did. her actions were a symptom of a deeper issue…a wounded heart. a woman in search for significance and love. a woman searching for relief of her pain…loneliness. in that light, can you see yourself in her shoes? can you look inside your heart and see times when you were so thirsty. the temptation for grabbing vinegar (addiction) appearing to be a reasonable solution? her desire for love had sent her on a journey. when disappointed, that same desire changed her path. she was a long path of failed relationships. when one relationship didn’t work…thirst drove her to the next…and the next. i can only imagine her emotional journey. i can understand it because along the way i have reached for physical solutions to the cry of my own wounded heart.

the advice she received was this:

  • unless you deal with the root issue, you only perpetuate the thirst.
  • physical solutions applied to emotional /spiritual issues result in addiction.

during those days, people were looking for “the messiah”. he would change their world. i think Jesus was saying that He came…He was there…in human form. however, the answer was not the fact that He was in their midst. humans eyes see value so superficially. the plan was not to come and set up His kingdom and taken over. people felt like that would have made “the world right” and as “it should be”. i think He was showing us that we were created with all the resources required to live healthy, successful lives. i think He came the way He did to demonstrate how to use this “being” He had created. you know, tell me and i learn in part…show me and i understand the lesson better. He created mankind as an intricate being with great potential. that creation combined with His wisdom was intended to guide the journey called life. in the garden, God came and walked with man. He left the living to the man. man was given everything he needed to exist, including wisdom and guidelines (healthy boundaries). He left the details of how it was walked out to the man. i think Jesus did the same. He demonstrated how it worked.

pathways/insight from a woman's heart

He told us that His kingdom could be summed up as:

  • righteousness (doing things the right way; using the wisdom provided )
  • peace (freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquillity)
  • and joy (delight, gladness, pleasure-not dependent on circumstances).

He also said that all the instructions in the Bible were about relationship and summed them up as:

  • love God.
  • and love your neighbour (the people around you).

you know…the bottom line…as simple as it gets. equation for success? actioning wisdom the right way + peace + joy + love (for God and man) = successful living.

sounds simple. yet, vinegar (addiction) as distasteful as it is, becomes the alternative we reach for even when we know water (the success equation above) is the refresher.

addictions are a trap. they bring temporary relief. however, they also bring shame. shame brings more pain (the reason we turned to addiction in the first place). increased pain brings increased desire for blocking the pain causing us to reach for the addiction again. except, a principle called diminishing returns applies next. the relief acquired is diminished requiring more of the addiction to satisfy. around and around the cycle goes. physical solutions to a spiritual/emotional issue is always temporary at best…requiring that you repeat those solutions over and over while remaining as thirsty as before.

there are many addictions….some obvious….some culturally acceptable…some not so much. the easiest to recognize and judge (because we tend to be a bit judgemental) are things like alcoholism, drugs, self harming, over eating, outburst of anger, or sexual addictions. the ones more difficult to identify are co-dependency (helping others or a good cause), sports achievements, business success, and even things like ministry or charity. maybe you could add to the list. all designed to distract from the real issue and bring temporary relief. vinegar instead of the real thirst quencher (real solutions).

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so, here is the wisdom is i see in john’s story:

  1. be honest. see the problem for what it is: no more hiding, blaming, or denying it. face up to the truth of how i am living.
  2. find a safe atmosphere of acceptance. Jesus didn’t treat the Samaritan woman like the other people in her life who kept her bound in her shame! He was honest but accepting (which she longed for) and gave her a safe place to open herself up to honesty.
  3. adjust perspective. i need to work through “why i do the things i do”. define the “junk” that i have come to accept as “right” thinking and action. mutual ignorance (enablers) won’t assist in gaining the correct perspective. i need to be challenged.
  4. allow time. i need time to allow change to take place. it’s not quick! i must apply deliberate, consistent action.
  5. ask for help. if appropriate support or medical assistance are required…be humble and meek enough to ASK FOR HELP. humility does not come naturally. it’s a purposeful action. i also pray and look for wisdom as i’ve said before.
  6. be compassionate with “me”. compassion is easier given than received. i need to give myself the break i ask others to give themselves.
  7. don’t give up. deal with the pain. feel it. then challenge it. overcome it.

i get thirsty. i always will. the key is to learn the skill to quench the thirst. my momma taught me to reach for water when i am physically thirsty…not vinegar. i have that one down pat. when my soul and spirit are thirsty…there is an appropriate thirst quencher that won’t leave me perpetually thirsty and cycling in the disgusting taste of vinegar i call addiction.

April2009 031

before you go…maybe you can help me with my next post. was this helpful? would you like to hear more about the addictions i cycled around in and how i was able to use the above steps to get out of the addiction cycle? if so, stop by and leave me a comment. i’d love to hear from you.

walking/insight to a woman's heart

it was nice to have you stop by,

D

What Peace Is

peace/insight from a woman's heart

we all need a safe place…

shouldn’t the safest place in the world…..

be within our own heart?

“blessed are the peacemakers…”

there is always hope beyond disappointment

2013-04-28 12.58.19

look for the good…you will find it

2012-10-29 16.51.08

be still…wait it out…it will be worth

Back Beach Riverton Feb 2006 (1)

there is help and hope beyond a broken heart…

* Believe*

you are so worth it!!!