Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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We Still Have Power

heart-in-darkness

 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

When we lose electricity,

we still have power.

When I saw this prompt, “power” from Erica at https://2020hines-sight.com/, I immediately thought of this song, and since it’s been in my head since then, I’m sharing it here. These guys have a good sound.

And then there’s this little girl with a lot of power:

just-jot-january

Thanks to Dan Antion for standing in for Linda who hosts Just Jot it January at

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/09/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-9th17

The rules for Just Jot It January are as follows:

1. It’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. The prompts will be posted every day at 2am my time (GMT -5). You don’t have to follow the prompt word, but this will be where you leave your link for others to see. Make sure you link your post to the correct day’s prompt. There will be a post like this every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday, and Saturday, when you’ll find the prompt on my usual Friday Reminder post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS).

3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will be at the top.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Even your shopping list. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) in your post so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

If you’d like to look ahead to see the upcoming prompt words, click this link: https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2017-rules/ You can always write your post ahead of time and schedule it to come out on the appropriate day.


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If We Lose Electricity…

heart-in-darkness

If we lose electricity

in the storm,

We will still have power.

We have the power

To check on our neighbors,

To ask for help,

To move to higher ground.

The power to tell stories,

To laugh,

To sing lullabies.

The power to write a poem,

To mend what’s torn,

To read by candlelight.

The power to hope and pray,

To reminisce,

To hold hands in the dark.

The power to clear a path,

To rise from ash,

 and rebuild.

_____________________________

When we say we’ve lost power, it minimizes the power we still have. If we lose electricity, let’s say we lost electricity. We still have power, at least over our thoughts, words, and actions.

I send prayers for safety and comfort to all those in the path of the storm.


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The Power of Love Can Save Us

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK on nonviolence and refusing to hate

If we take the refusal to hate one step further, is it possible to find something to love, or at least like, about every person?  I believe it is possible. And the honest effort is a worthy one moving us in the direction of peace and understanding. It can begin with communication, which means listening with the goal to understand, and speaking with respect, from our hearts. It is not always easy. But it is possible.

I have a dream


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Strange Princess

Princess Vader

I know we’re not supposed to plan our Saturday Stream of Consciousness Posts, but ever since I saw this picture, I’ve been wanting to post it on Halloween.

I just couldn’t help it when I saw today’s prompt: “strange, stranger, strangest” and thought, it fits! Princess Vader is strange.

Is it strange that in the 70s and 80s I had a crush on Darth Vader? I loved his voice, his swagger. And I knew there was good in him. I felt it, like his son, Luke.

Would I really want to be in a romantic relationship with Darth Vader? NO way! Even Anakin Skywalker was too sullen.

But I love that he turned back to the light in the end.

I love stories where it seems like things are all wrong, and then, in time, they  turn out right. Kinda like my story. 🙂

I would want to be Princess Vader for a day, though. Just for pretend.

 

If you’d like to join in the Stream of Consciousness Saturday fun, just visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/10/30/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-3115/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

SOC badge with butterfly


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Twice the Power

Ayla

 

A Pagan who made peace with Jesus

A Christian who adores nature

Share the pain of longing

For a child betrayed.

The pagan gives his hand

To the mother who loves Jesus

And they pray together

To God and Goddess.

 

Two whole beings,

Bonded by blood

Meet on a bridge of hope

Bringing twice the Power

To protect the child

Born with a quiet gift.

 

Muses sing in her soft red hair

Angels dance in her soft blue eyes

They surround her with their love and light.

Keeping her safe through day and night.

 

angels


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My Secret Weapon for Dreaded Confrontations

socs-badge

It still surprises me how dread can turn into joy in a short time. I wish it didn’t have to do with how some one else reacts. But then, that’s not really all there was to it.

Have you ever been faced with an interaction you dreaded, and it turned out okay, or even good?  It’s happened to me enough, that I’m starting to learn not to worry so much. But sometimes I still forget.

I expected a session to be difficult, for the other person to be angry and unreasonable. My job is to listen, not argue. As a counselor, I can reflect with active listening, I can re-frame. I can ask questions to guide someone toward a new perspective. I can also set boundaries. But I can’t just tell some one to grow up and follow the rules. Not just like that, anyway. But sometimes…..never mind.

There have been many times over the past thirty years when I’ve anticipated, and prepared for a challenging session. What I’ve learned, is that often people are not as challenging as I thought they would be. Of course there are all those times when the anger and irrationality were unexpected.

What makes the difference in either case, whether the challenge was expected or not, has often been turning things over to a Power Greater than myself. We do need to prepare and practice our communication skills. We need to be respectful and listen and set boundaries. But we can’t always predict what other people will do.

So before the session, I talked to God. I remembered that I am stronger and more at peace when I am in contact with the God of my understanding who works all kinds of miracles.  When I let God have my back, everything is less difficult.

The word, LOVE, flickered into my awareness during our talk. God wove love into the defensive intellect of my mind. I felt by body relax a little.

It reminds me of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“What lies behind us and what lies before us,

are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

I cannot be prepared for every situation. I can learn skills and prepare up to a point, but then I have to have faith in myself and my Higher Power.

So it wasn’t just that my client ended up being more calm and rational than I thought he would that changed my mood from dread to joy.  It was my decision to get help from the most wise and powerful counselor I know, that moved me from dread to acceptance, to peace, to confidence, to relief and then joy. Joy that there was some understanding, some movement, possibly even growth in the other person.  And in me.

It was not all smooth sailing, but it wasn’t a shipwreck either. I used my skills and divine help to maneuver successfully through rough water once again.

I wrote a poem about this experience in my other blog: https://joannesilvia.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/remembering-faith/

 

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was opposite emotions. If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/02/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-february-715/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments, for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. Have fun!


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Remember The Love of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The first three words Lynda Blackmon Lowery, the youngest marcher in Selma in 1965, heard from Dr. Martin Luther King, were:

“Steady, Loving Confrontation.”

http://www.aol.com/article/2015/01/18/youngest-participant-in-1965-selma-march-describes-the-day/21131493/?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl18|sec1_lnk

Her story needs to be heard. Bloody Sunday must be remembered, just like the Holocaust must be remembered, and the Massacre at Wounded Knee. We need to learn and not repeat the horrors of history. We need to carry on with compassion for all people. For all beings. For the planet, Earth.

After being beaten and gassed in Selma, the marchers rested and regrouped. Then, they embraced the fear and marched on with the “Steady, Loving Confrontation,” of civil disobedience.  Their perseverance led to the  Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Please listen to these words of Dr. King as he explains Civil Disobedience and Love:

 

Can we rise above hate and fear?

Can we remember to love?

 


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It’s Possible to Stop Smoking For Good

Image

(Original version posted November 19, 2013)

The Great American Smokeout is coming once again. On the Thursday before Thanksgiving, smokers get the opportunity to quit, knowing others are facing the same challenge. If you smoke, Thursday could be a practice run. Or it could be the day you quit for good. All those other times you tried, but didn’t make it were practice.  If you go three days without smoking, or just three waking hours, that’s practice.

I know it’s not an easy habit to break. That’s because smoking isn’t just a habit, it’s an addiction. If you do something twenty times a day, there will be many potential triggers to contend with.

Mark Twain is credited with saying that quitting smoking is easy because he did it hundreds of times.

During the 10 years I smoked, I must have tried to quit at least 20 times. Back in the late 70’s, I’d regularly quit for an hour or two. One day, I threw half a pack of cigarettes in the trash only to fish them out again two hours later. Then, after smoking one, I broke the rest in half , so next time I had to tape them back together again. They tasted awful when I got to the taped part. This is not recommended. Once, I ran what was left in the pack under the kitchen faucet. They sort of fell apart when I tried to dry them out in the oven. So eventually I went out and bought another pack.

I quit for several months until I thought I could smoke occasionally like a couple of my friends. First I started bumming off my friends, then I regressed to buying whole packs. I tried to hide my addiction from my family. When I got caught, I was ashamed, but fell back into full blown relapse.

Every effort and every relapse taught me lessons. I learned that when it came to cigarettes, I was an addict. I could not smoke occasionally. I learned I had to stay away from triggers as much as possible. I finally quit for good after I studied addiction and recovery, and after I got sick and tired of throwing away my money and gasping for breath when I climbed a flight of stairs. Smoking never did fit with my values. I loved nature. I was supposed to be promoting health. It didn’t make sense. I had to have faith that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.

I needed a plan.

I read everything I could get my hands on about quitting smoking. I wrote down the benefits of  quitting including how much money I would save. I made long lists of alternatives- things I would do when I wanted a cigarette, like blowing bubbles, taking a walk, looking at pictures of diseased lungs, taking a shower, screaming into a pillow- whatever it took. I made a commitment.

The first week was the hardest. I put a dollar a day in a jar for each day I was smoke free. (That’s what a pack cost back in the old days)  Over the next few months, the cravings became less intense and further apart. After 60 days I bought myself a beautiful  tapestry with my reward money and hung it on my living room wall like a trophy. After 30 years, I’m usually turned off by cigarette smoke. But every couple years, upon smelling a faint whiff of cigarette smoke, I reminisce for about half a second.

Then I shake my head with a shudder and remember how thankful I am to be smoke free.

If you smoke and want to quit, it can be done.

The American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking Program teaches the four Ds:

Delay

Deep Breathing

Drink Water

Do something else

The cool thing about the four D’s is you can use them to help break any habit, or addiction, as one tool set of tools in your tool box.

For more information, go to

www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/

www.lung.org/stop-smoking/

Let me know if I can help!


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She wasn’t allowed to say “can’t”

You may have seen a video or two of a person with no legs doing amazing things. But this one is particularly interesting. It has a relationship twist pointing us to a greater awareness that there are no accidents, and anything is possible.

Watch this video about Jennifer Moceanu:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153154817558902&set=vb.672878901&type=2&theater

 Why was a girl with no legs so drawn to admire the gymnast who resembled her?

Did she somehow sense there was a special connection between them?

What are the qualities that empowered Jennifer to be successful?

Did God put her with parents who would empower her?

So many questions and so many possibilities.

We are stronger than we think.

We are more than we know.

We are deeply loved.

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Heart Cloud