gratitude 30nov13 maya — a hero of mine

maya angelou is a hero of mine. a hero by definition is a person who you admire for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. maya, excels in all of those qualities. i relate to her. i often read her words and think, “within her she speaks to me and every woman.” her words lift, encourage, and make you look at reality.

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via bing.com search

one of maya’s writings is called, “what a woman should have.” going through the writing, i was kind of surprised. some were things i hadn’t given much thought to. others were things i knew i should have but do not. others, are only what i have dreamed of, being enslaved by my own boundaries. women, i believe, are programmed to care for others before themselves. esspecially in this holiday season. a reminder that if you are not taking care of you — you won’t be of benifit to others. kind of like the airline rule; put the oxygen mask on yourself first. i thought it might make an excellent 2014 goal list. a challenge i just might take on.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
a youth she’s content to leave behind….

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age….

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
one friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will
make her guests feel honored…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
a feeling of control over her destiny…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
how to fall in love without losing herself..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
how to quit a job, break up with a lover and confront a friend without ruining the friendship…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
when to try harder… and WHEN TO WALK AWAY…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
that she can’t change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
that her childhood may not have been perfect…but it’s over…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW….
how to live alone… even if she doesn’t like it…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW..
whom she can trust, whom she can’t, and why she shouldn’t take it personally…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
where to go…be it to her best friend’s kitchen table or a charming Inn in the woods
when her soul needs soothing…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
What she can and can’t accomplish in a day, a month…and a year..

wishing you a delightful weekend.

affectionately yours, Laura

gratitude 27nov13 parade, coffee and baileys

the story of thanksgiving has changed to a reality much different than what we were taught years ago. we now know that the “we are one” celebration was not the true story. rather than focus on that drama, i keep myself centered on the blessing of the holiday word itself — THANKS GIVING. in all the craziness, there is so much to be thankful for. although, i daily write out what i am grateful for, thanksgiving is like the master of all days. through out the day i offer us thanks and praise.

via google search

via google search

one of my bucket list items is to attend a macy’s thanksgiving day parade. i want to be there in the mix to hear real time the sounds, and the smells. the thrill of the excitement that people say is tangible. well, i might be willing to substitute it for a disney world easter parade — not. i want the new york experience. since i was a little girl, watching the parade has been one of my favorite memories on thanksgiving. the sounds in our home of my mom shooing people out of her kitchen. the smells of the turkey and pies. i can still hear her calling out to my dad “ed? ed are you up?” and to my sisters for things to do. i was the baby. i didn’t have to do much but watch the action. it is a family happy memory i cling to that all was not bad in my young world.

via bing search

via bing search

as i have grown older, i have kept the parade tradition. betty crocker we all know i am not, so, i readily accept the invites and find a place for left overs on friday! the parade, i have down to a science. snuggled in my blanket with my coffee and baileys close at hand. i count the balloons, wait for the rockettes’ and the big man himself. then i watch the movie “miracle on 34th street” for the first of many times of the holiday season. i am a fan of the 1994 movie version, don’t judge me.

today i am thankful for ..

  • courage i thought i didn’t have
  • hope that keeps coming from God
  • faith ..
  • love that keeps life worth living
via pinterest.com

via pinterest.com

today’s picture .. i’m ready .. bring on the snow angels

today i am listening to .. i’m still in love” by teena marie

i am wishing each of you moments of mindfulness. in the hustle of cooking and entertaining, take moments to appreciate your life. say i love you, kiss and hug folks, inhale and give thanks for it really is a wonderful world.

affectionately yours, Laura

gratitude 26nov13 renaissance women

and then my soul saw youseveral days ago while writing in my journal, i went into great detail on my gratitude to the strong women in my life. the women i watch and admire. the women in my life i find myself taking to heart their words and actions of wisdom who are helping make me a better woman. to steal maya angelou’s words, they are my phenomenal women who serve as my mentors. they make me push through the struggle. they are my sunshine in the darkness, my umbrella on rainy days, the eye of calm in the middle of the typhoon. some are my soft tissue with extra aloe for my tears. kindred spirits whose arms i feel wrap around me from miles away. they are my renaissance women.

my renaissance women are leaders. they are women who are not afraid to be who they are — they don’t follow the current fad or trend. they stand out. they are problem solvers, tenacious, self-confident; they encourage me to embrace those things within myself. i call them my “circle of women.” they are focused, brave, strong and have no fear of exploring new beginnings and accepting endings. yet, i have seen these women reach out for help, apologize and shed tears. i observe them  in a constant state of learning. not one of them has ever claimed to “know it all,” in contrast, it is when we collaborate that the best of our friendship flourishes and grows.

be weirdi look to my renaissance women when i am faltering. i am greeted with options and help. they are my prayer warriors, their doors are always open — “mi casa is su casa,” — all open their hearts, ears and arms to embrace me. the feeling of knowing within this circle of women i am loved, beyond all my crazy, there are no words that can express my gratitude. not only that, my renaissance crew is real, raw and honest. they are a force to be reckoned with. love isn’t only comfort, it is also discomfort. love is honest — it challenges, corrects and teaches without that unneeded dose of shame and disrespect. when you know that someone only wants you to be the very best you can be, that is a bond that is not easily broken.

these women astonish me with their lessons learned and how they incorporate them into everyday living. as a person who has spent a lot of life running from the pain of her past, they give me the courage to stand, to face, to go through, to accept. their example gives me courage and comfort, know they will be on the other side waiting for me. i guess renaissance initially makes you think of the “good old days” and the women the foraged through to make history. the women in my life are just that — in a modern world sense. renaissance, a noun, is defined as “a woman who has broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences.” my circle of women, that is who they are; who they aspire me to be. they take the gift of the past and blend it with the present and prepare for their future.

today i am thankful for ..

  • this amazing life
  • the hard times when my brain just doesn’t make sense
  • a comfort of being a place that always feels like home

aH PLeaSe .. aLL i WaNT 4 CHRiSTMaStoday’s picture .. paradise is awaiting me

today i am listening to .. best man holiday soundtrack

enjoy the sunshine.

affectionately yours, Laura

gratitude 23nov13 holiday expectations

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via bing.com search

i normally don’t buy oprah’s magazine. however, this month i had a $1 off coupon and teavana was bragging on their website that oprah listed their tea as one of her “the o list of favorite things.” i have recently developed a serious jones for teavana tea. it is wonderful! it just so happens that one of their tea’s is on my december favorite list, too. so, apparently, like me, stedman and oprah “have without fail” teavana’s maharaja chai oolong tea every morning. given those two factors i picked up the december issue at target.

via pinterest.com

via pinterest.com

while reading the issue (great issue) i came across a few articles that gave me an oprah “aha” moment. one article by brené brown titled “dare to be grateful” really stood out. the just of the article is about how easy it is to get into the mindset and whirlwind that the holidays are about all the activities and gifts. we lose sight of the meaning of the holiday. as a christian, i have a picture i put out every christmas season as my reality check. — “Jesus is the reason for the season.” it is so easy to get caught up in the hype. brown writes “gratitude creates joy — not vice versa” and issues three dare / challenges at the end of her article.

  1. manage expectations. write down a few things you hope to happen this holiday season. understand that you may have to give up something to make it a reality.
  2. be specific. brown gives an example of don’t just tell someone “you’re awesome,” be specific. “i love that you helped without me having to ask.”
  3. make gratitude a practice in your home: i laughed at her example of having a gratitude jar to place notes of thankfulness in. i have a worry jar. when something is bothering me, i write it, get it out of my mind and put it in the jar. maybe for 2014 i need to change that worry jar to a gratitude jar!

today i am thankful for ..

  • wonderful time with an old friend
  • new adventures on the horizon
  • new leggings that are sooo comfortable
  • the joy of basketball season is in full swing
via google search

via google search

today’s picture .. minnesota cold is here! this looks great.

today i am listening to .. life is just a big old game by joss stone

wishing you joy and gratitude to fill your days.

affectionately yours, Laura

gratitude 21nov13 my anger is red

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via google.com

anger. red. raw. the feeling that tightens your chest and makes you feel your blood pulse. the thought that you look like a cartoon character with steam coming out of your ears. the anger that comes from hurt. being lied to. violated. deliberately baited for reaction, knowing you are weak.

logically it all makes sense. the thought occurs to you that you chose your battles wisely. that you don’t give energy to emotion thieves. unfortunately, there is that brief moment where your emotional control eclipses your logic.  you see the karma bus turning down your street coming for you head-on — you think, “it’s worth the karma crash.”

ReSeNTMeNTand then, it settles. you evaluate the facts from the assumptions. the anger is tempered by the sadness of the situation. the reality that something will never be the same. you gather what remains, and carry on. a bit wiser, another lesson in your tool box, and stronger for the better choices to be made based on this experience.

today i am thankful ..

affectionately yours, Laura

gratitude 15nov13 me and gershom

i am a follower of christian motivational speaker, joel osteen. i have been playing one of his recent talks non-stop called “the seventh year.” he centers his message on the scripture of Deuteronomy 15 where the cancellation of debt after seven years is proclaimed. he uses the lesson as a call to stand against the “lies of permanency” the lies of — it will always be this way, it will never change.

©llpeltier

©llpeltier

i struggle with this concept in areas of my life — health, relationships, debt. i have always kept the quote “don’t make a permanent decision based on a temporary situation” all around me. when in darkness, i put the pedal to the metal and accelerate down the depression entrance ramp to suicide highway. i need the visual reminder — this will end. my financial situation can at times seem insurmountable. it is hard to see the end that will come with each car or medical payment. i have now added a paid in full countdown column to my budget.

i have always called my depression indigo bluez. one morsel in his message has moved me to rename it to gershom. gershom was the son of moses and his name in the bible appears to mean alien, sojourner or stranger. for me, that is how i have changed my feelings about this illness, depression. it is a visitor in my life, it is not a citizen. instead of waking up and doing a billie holiday rendition of “hello, heartache, my old friend.” the past few mornings i have been saying “morning, gershom, your visa has been revoked.”

today i am thankful for ..

  • love. faith. hope.
  • all that is good in my life
  • my list of gratitude is long
  • sunshine, blue skies
©llpeltier

©llpeltier

today’s picture .. my grandteen

today i am listening to ..  the seventh year by joel osteen http://youtu.be/XKsvONxZEu4

affectionately yours, Laura

gratitude 14nov13 the art of listening

i am a talker. there, i said it. i am sure to some of those around me, i run my mouth too much and too often. sometimes it’s nerves. a funny comment or filling the air with chatter is easier to deal with. often it is the result of being alone and having company brings an onslaught of my information. in retrospect, it is selfish to be the talker and not a listener.

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via pinterest.com

i am wondering what morsels of sharing could have occurred if my mouth was not moving. lately, i haven’t felt that need. i have become more cognitive of what i say and to who. i have often said, the greatest sign of love and friendship is said in the silence between two people. if i can be in silence with you; i will be giving you the best of me.

i have been making myself more aware of the art of really listening.  i am quickly learning listening is a challenge. the greatest hurdle is to train your brain to not wander while listening. i often find myself having conversations with myself. i am evaluating what is being said to me. i am cataloging and trying to equate the conversation to an experience i can relate to. sometimes, i am guilty of just thinking — please, in the name of Fornication Under Consent of the King, hush up! at that point i see lips moving but the words are muted.

via facebook.com

via facebook.com

my focus has become just listening to what people talk about. gathering data without evaluating, judging or cataloging. there is a saying by one of my favorite woman, eleanor roosevelt, “great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” in an hour conversation — what was said? how was it said? for small minds, i recently wrote about a great lesson i have learned. if someone will gossip about others to you; they will talk about you to others. for average minds, i like the dance of conversation and sharing of insight. for great minds, there is no limit to the growth and nurturing of that friendship. my life — always growing and interesting. now, i will listen and speak through my writing. you didn’t really think i could totally stop, did you?

today i am thankful ..

  • this innate need for growth and change
  • progress in my goals
  • content with who i am

affectionately yours, Laura