Playing Mind Games 4-28-20

Playing Mind Games
BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Life should not be lived through a series of mind games, but from truth and looking deep within.For better or worse, many people have been raised to believe that communicating in an honest and open way will not get them what they want. They have learned, instead, to play mind games or go on power trips in the service of their ego’s agenda. People stuck in this outmoded and inefficient style of communication can be trying at best and downright destructive at worst. We may get caught up in thinking we have to play the same games in order to defend ourselves, but that will only lead us deeper into confusion and conflict. The best way to handle people like this is to be clear and honest with them. 

As with all relationships and situations in our lives, we must look within for both the source of our difficulties and the solution. Reacting to the situation by getting upset will only entrench us more deeply in the undesirable relationship. Only by disengaging, becoming still, and going within can we begin to see what has hooked us into the mess in the first place. We will most likely find unprocessed emotions that we can finally fully feel and release into the stillness we find in meditation. The more we are able to do this, the less we will be bothered by the other person’s dramas and the more we will be free to respond in a new way. In the light of our new awareness, the situation will untangle itself and we will slowly break free. 

Whenever people come into our lives, they have come for a reason, to show us something about ourselves that we have not been able to see. When unhealthy people try to hook us into their patterns with mind games and power trips, we can remind ourselves that we have something to learn here and that a part of us is calling out for healing. This takes the focus off the troubling individual and puts it back on us, giving us the opportunity to change the situation from the inside out.

Sunrise in Quincy. I took this photo on my walk.

Happy Anniversary To Me 4-20-20

Today is my sixth month anniversary. Six months ago, I was on my walk. It was Sunday. I was praying that day asking god to intercede in my life and help me to land on my feet again spiritually, emotionally and physically. I was so tired of the anxiety, depression, PTSD, a negative mindset as well as the constant fear and worry that had taken control of my life.

This coming May will be five years that I returned from San Francisco. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve isolated myself in my room ever since. Life happens sometimes. Challenges arise, traumatic experiences happen. Health problems, relationship problems, job loss, finances…..Life as we knew it can change in a New York minute.

That Sunday, I made the decision to take my life back. I won’t bore you with the details. Some things are just meant to stay private. However, I will share I have been working diligently to take control of my mind, body and soul and spirit everyday. The result….I’m happy again. I love life again….and I’m grateful. I have a whole new perspective. I see the blessings in all things even at a time when we are all forced to be in isolation. I’m learning every day to create a better me. You too can create a better you the minute you decide to take control of your life. Good times will happen as will bad. Happy times will happen as will sad. It’s how we choose to react to every situation. Personally, I chose to react poorly.

Six months ago, I chose peace, love, serenity, joy, health, family, but more importantly life! I choose to live my life in a state of gratitude opposed to depression. It’s been six months ago today that I prayed asking God for help. He heard me that day because today is my anniversary and every day I find myself looking forward to the day as well as what the future will be that is right in front me. With any luck, the light that shines in my life will exude and shine brightly on those I encounter everyday. Life is good! It always was. I just failed to recognize it.

(Maui….my favorite place)

Let The Sunshine In 4-14-20

The Number One Offender

Resentment is the “number one” offender. It destroys more people than anything else. From it stems all forms of spiritual disease, mental and physical illness. We become spiritually sick.

As we look at ourselves, we can easily see resentment as a question of “getting even” for a wrong done to “me.” If we continue to relive old hurts, it is a resentment that bars the sunlight from our soul. If we continue to relive hurts and hates, we will only hurt and hate ourselves. We must let go of resentments; Clearly, we cannot afford them. Let go and let the sunshine in.

(This Photo was taken at a hotel lobby I was at in Spokane, Wa)

Changes 4-14-20

Change What Isn’t Working
BY MADISYN TAYLOR

If we don’t change what isn’t working in our lives, we will continually have the same day over and over again.
We have all had the experience of realizing that something in our lives is not working. This knowledge can come as a sudden realization or a nagging feeling of doubt that grows stronger, waking us up to the fact that something needs to change. Some people have a tendency to act rashly and make sweeping changes before even understanding what the problem is. Other people fear change, so they live with the uncomfortable awareness that something needs to shift but won’t do anything about it. Between these two extreme responses lies a middle way that can help us powerfully and gracefully change what isn’t working in our lives.

The first step is remembering that your life is made up of parts that belong to an interconnected whole. Changing one thing can change everything. Because of this, small changes often have a big effect. Sometimes much bigger changes are necessary, but the only way to know for sure is to take the time to really understand the problem. Examine your life as an entirety–your work, your relationships, where you live–and determine what specifically is not functioning the way you would like. Once you have figured out the problem, write it down on a piece of paper. For example, “I am not happy with my relationship” or “I don’t like my apartment.” The next step is to figure out the adjustment you would like to make and how you can go about making this change. If you are unhappy with your relationship because you spend too much or not enough time with your partner, you may want to discuss this problem with them and come up with a compromise. On the other hand, if you realize your relationship is not working to such a degree that it needs to end, begin working through that process. Writing down the truth can be a powerful catalyst for change.

The key to making changes that work is to accept the necessity of change as part of life. As we change, we may find it necessary to fine-tune our relationships, work, and living situations. Our lives are living, breathing entities that reflect our dynamic selves.

(I took this photo on the Road To Hana) Velma Dunkin

Expecting Something Wonderful 4-7-20

Several years ago I found myself faced with challenging times. I’ve shared my story many times and I’ve also shared how I went to mass one Sunday. My life was overwhelming. That Sunday Father Michael shared about a challenging day he had experienced that week. Everything was going wrong. Who knew? Even priests struggle. In any event Father Michael told the story of how he found himself overwhelmed, discouraged and feeling defeated when he opened a book and at the top of the page were the words “Something Wonderful Is About To happen”. Immediately he felt a sense of peace knowing that despite having a bad day, he was reminded that at any given moment “Something Wonderful
Was About To Happen”. He encouraged us to remind ourselves that even when the going gets tough, we have to be prepared for something wonderful to happen. God, the Universe or our Higher Power is always ready and willing to provide us with something wonderful. We just have to be open to receiving the good things even during stressful times.

I was so moved by his story, that when I got home that night I entered that reminder on my calendar to remind me of “something wonderful” throughout the day. It never fails, just when I’m ready to explode or even panic, I hear that reminder on my phone. Usually I’ll find myself looking up and seeing an awesome sunset, a beautiful flower or even witness an act of kindness. At times, I’ll get a call from my kids or grandkids and all that stinkin’ thinkin’, stress or fear fades away and is always replaced with something wonderful.

I’m sharing because times are hard for so many people right now. Fear, anxiety, boredom, financial difficulties and even illness are everywhere. However, if you take a moment to remind yourself “Something Wonderful Is About To Happen” you’ll be surprised to find something really will. Your prayer might not be answered for that specific thing but you will always witness something wonderful as long as you’re open to receiving it.

I am a lover of the outdoors so every day for me. even when the challenges are overwhelming, I get to experience something wonderful and I’m often inclined to capture that “something wonderful” in a photo on my phone. I share that blessing with others in the hope that just when you think you can’t take it anymore, you too will experience a wonderful sense of peace, if only for a brief moment.

So remember, next time you’re feeling overwhelmed take a time out and say “Something Wonderful Is About To Happen!” Trust me, something always will. Just be open to receiving it.

Walk Of Life 4-4-20

As I was on my walk today I took this picture of an orchard by my house. I thought it was so pretty. The icicles on the ground looked beautiful. As I took the photo I could see the end of the row in the distance. Such is life. Often times we find ourselves facing trials and challenges but if we keep our focus on the road ahead, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even when the journey there seems so far away we can rest assure that the challenge will narrow and before we know it we will make it to the other side and just like this photo the road behind us will be far away.

Stay In The Light 4-4-20

I woke up this morning. My hair looks like crap. I need a hair cut. Thank god for banana clips. My nails are in a desperate need of a fill and my toes have no business being seen in flip flops. I feel a little frumpy but honestly it really doesn’t bother me. The nation is in isolation. Our new fashion trend is a face mask and gloves as well as social distancing. So many people are facing a financial crisis. Depression and anxiety I’m sure have affected many people.

Here’s what I know. I always say “In A New York Minute, everything can change”. I say this because it happened to me. Five years ago I had cancer. I lost my health, my hair, my eyebrows, my eyelashes, eyebrows, fingernails, toenails and my dignity too. Life as I knew it changed forever. I have experienced financial difficulties since as well as depression, anxiety and I’ve battled PTSD too. The experience has made me a better person and has allowed me to really recognize what’s important. In other words, I’ve managed to survive. It hasn’t been easy but I’m still here to bother everyone with all my crazy posts, pictures and even voicing my opinion for the things I’m passionate about. Homeless, health, cancer….so many things.

I’m sharing because I know so many people are facing challenges right now. I’ve seen posts complaining about the lack of frivolous things. Posts about lack of work, money, fear etc. I want to encourage you to keep going. This to shall pass and trust me when this is all over you will become “A Better You”. All that stuff you thought was important will no longer be important anymore. Life, family and health will become priorities. If you’re struggling financially, you’ll learn to live frugally. I know this to be true. In the beginning of all this I was so scared. I’m still worried and fearful to a degree. My therapist reminded me that I’ve faced many of these challenges already and I’ve gotten through it. She’s right. My hair and nails are no longer important. I know how to live frugally but more importantly I know what’s important. Health, family and gratitude for what I do have.

I’ll be going on my walk shortly. The sun is shining, it’s a little brisk but I’m grateful. This song will be on my playlist reminding me that no matter the challenge, today is what I make it. I choose to make it a “Lovely Day”. I hope you will too. Sending love and light to everyone today. Stay strong and keep the faith. Today is a challenge but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and when you finally make it to the other side you become a better you and you look back and are reminded that everything you thought was important will not be as important anymore. Stay the course and recognize the blessings in what you do have right now. Stay in the light and send that light to others

The World I Know 2-28-20

I love this song. The meaning is so profound and so relatable to many including me. We’ve all been rock bottom at some point in our life. But it never fails. The sun shines once again in our life and we look back on the bad times and thank god we made it.

The music video depicts a businessman who begins to go about his day, reading The New York Times on the way to his office. As he reads about death, and sees the homelessness and sadness on the street, he becomes disillusioned with his life and prepares to commit suicide. As he climbs to the roof of a nearby building, he takes off his shoes and looks at the ground crying. He stretches out his arms and readies himself to fall.

However, just as he is about to fall, a pigeon lands on his arm. He feeds it with the bagel in his pocket, and the crumbs attract ants, which makes the man notice the similarities of them to the people walking below. He laughs throwing all his money at the people and pulls himself out of his state.

During the entire video, periodic cuts to singer Ed Roland looking on at the man while singing the song are shown.

The video also shows sadness and happiness in the form of color hues for the video. While the man is disillusioned with his life and is thinking about suicide, the video is in a blue and purple tint, giving a dark feeling to the video. When the pigeon lands on the man’s arm, the video’s hue changes to show the normal colors of the city, also revealing the sun shining over the city, showing of the sudden change to happiness and relief. – Wikipedia

If You Want To Be Successful 8-14-19

If you want to be a successful painter, you will at first fail on numerous canvases. And if you want to be a successful mathematician, you will at first fail in solving the equations. If you want to be a successful writer, your manuscripts will be rejected endlessly until one of them isn’t. But there will never come a point when you stop failing, because that’s what creativity is about. What works can only be known against the backdrop of what doesn’t—and if you’re too afraid to ever risk establishing that backdrop, personally and professionally, then you’ll never know what success is like. In the Hebrew Bible, we have the beautiful images in Jeremiah, for example, in the potter’s house where he comes to understand that even as Israel screws everything up over and over again, God—like a potter with clay in hand—is patient and allows the remodeling to take place, allows us to try again, to become the beautiful creation intended from the beginning. If we cannot live because we fear failure, then we cannot be good Christians because it is a faith predicated on being often diametrically opposed to worldly success. If you want to be successful, you need to learn to fail well.

—from the book God Is Not Fair, and Other Reasons for Gratitude by Daniel P. Horan, OFM