A season of change and renewal…a time when new life begins or life transforms.
It’s been a while since I have had a moment to think or share my thoughts – a lot has happened in my life, but also in the world. Sometimes we wonder or wander, and sometimes life just gets too busy for us to pause and enjoy the beauty around us. Today, I am taking a few precious moments to pause and reflect on the beauty that is sometimes invisible, or just blends in with the surroundings…the inner beauty or the sublime. We have all seen this either consciously or subconsciously – but we don’t always permit ourselves to enjoy these gifts.
One of the most beautiful things I enjoy is listening to my mother singing, reciting her poetry, being silly or talking in a jaunty accent just for fun. Her beauty (both external and internal) is one that is both innocent and priceless! She often states, with a twinkle in her eyes, that we “must all have fun or life would be so boring – don’t you think?” On this fact I agree 100% – and finding fun in all we do, adding a bit of levity, helps the medicine go down (think Mary Poppins) and puts a smile on your face. Smiling and laughter helps us all in countless ways!
Many surveys and studies highlight the benefits of laughter and keeping a positive outlook for your wellbeing (https://www.stjohns.health/blog/2020/march/laugh-during-social-isolation-to-boost-your-immu/). The physiological and psychological effects of laughter benefit us in a multitude of ways, so much so that laughter has been prescribed by some healthcare providers (The Laughter Prescription). This is especially true if you have a chronic illness, pain or disease that impacts you on a daily basis (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989702/). Laughter has been shown to be a natural analgesic, along with relieving or reducing stress, anxiety, affect and depression (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6125057/).
Beauty, in addition to humor, is defined by the beholder. A stunning sunrise or sunset, a song that evokes deep emotions, kindness that speaks volumes to our heart – all of these forms of beauty impact us but maybe in different ways. Intrinsic appreciation warms our hearts and minds, bodies and souls – sometimes in ways we do not fully grasp or understand. Stopping to enjoy these things in the moment (being mindful) offers the opportunity to feel the benefits of this beauty in our lives by reducing our everyday stress and increasing our feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment through the world around us.
The world IS a stressful place with many things happening over which we have NO control. Letting go of the feelings of inadequacy and considering that spiritually a higher being guides us is one way to conclude and accept that we should not worry about things we cannot control. This decision to “let go” of things beyond our control is freeing and a great way to reduce unnecessary stress. A favorite mantra for me is “to accept what you cannot change (control) – but change what you cannot accept” in life, while remembering that changes start with me.
One thing I realized very quickly is that I could not change my mother’s timeline in life. This has been a hard nut to swallow, and a difficult path to walk with her. It is her path, and I am just along for the journey to offer support, love and assistance. We have been blessed and graced by her presence in our lives, gifted with her love, beauty, wit and wisdom…but all journeys come to an end and we don’t always have control over this timing. We can, however, enjoy the beauty within the journey and offer encouragement along the way. None of us want to bother her with our issues or add to her burden – but we do and can add levity, laughter and enjoyment for her at this time. We can make her smile, laugh and lighten her load by helping carry her through the challenging times along the way.
None of us want to bother her…
Sooth her pain
Energize her aura
Relax her body
Ease her mind
Notice her beauty as it shines
Alleviate her discomfort
Dance with her
Engage her in puzzles
Talk — recite poetry to her
Offer to read to her
Heal her mind, body and soul
Enjoy life with her
Ask about the good old days
View her life through her lens
Embrace her softly
Never forget her kindness and love
…and KNOW that NONE of us want to bother her…
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