Soul work #quote

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Yes, you can do anything you put your mind to;
Choose to do what fills your soul with joy.
~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

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I hope, but I don’t think so?

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Hope gets me up in the morning. The forecast may be rain and the sky looks gloomy, yet I move on with the day, with a sense that it’s okay and it’ll be alright. ‘It’ encompasses much – relationships with loved ones and friends, personal and professional lives, the present and the future.

Hope keeps me going forward into an uncertain future, for none truly knows what that will hold except it will be different from the vision we have in our minds. Yet it is this vision that speaks of the intangible essence of hope. I still have an idea of what tomorrow will bring. That there is a tomorrow and it will be sunny in one form or another.

Hope is usually unspoken and often taken for granted. It is not measurable – though many of us would have heard of the ‘hope’ of making it big, being successful, being famous, of scaling Mt Everest… well, they are more aspirations than hope.

Hope is way more powerful than the mere attainment of goals.

Hope springs from our heart, the feeling of right-ness in the world in spite of its incomprehensible and reprehensible minutiae. It is the glimmer of light behind every cloud. Though we can’t see it now, we know it’s there. It is what underlies the belief that we can always start over, that we have the capacity to begin afresh. That at worse, no matter what happens, we will survive.

Then there are times when our minds, the greatest trickster, say “nah, I don’t think so”. We think it is impossible, too hard and unlikely to happen, too good to be true, too easy to be real…

Our rational minds, with memories of yesteryears collated and constructed into stories we can accept so our hearts, our psyche can no longer be threatened or broken. We make do. We settle. We lose hope and for some, hope is lost entirely. When our thoughts subsumed our hope and we no longer believe that it’ll be alright, then there is no point getting up in the morning. The dark clouds look like menacing monsters approaching; they feel like a persisting unbearable weight. There can be no glimmer of light behind that. This is the best it will ever get, and it ain’t pretty.

In as much as hope is a feeling from the heart, a deep sense of our belonging to this evolving world, it is also a practice of not letting the mind take over, of not allowing our minds default to the ugliness (as I call it) of life.

Increasingly, we are exposed to the underbelly of our world; the media’s choice of news based on fear and negativity, and sensationalised. In this climate, it is no wonder we are more likely to say “nah, I don’t think so” than “it’ll be alright”.

So, the choice is ours – to re-negotiate what we expose ourselves to and to redress the imbalance. The choice to read of wars and deaths and to practice gratitude, to decry and stand up against injustices and to show empathy and compassion, to expand our intellect and to reach into our hearts, to see each of our experience now in the long continuum of human existence, insignificant yet impactful.

What choice will you make? Does your voice contribute to the maintenance of hope?

 

Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.      ~ Lin Yutang

 

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Promise me…dance

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Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
DANCE.”                       ~ Mark Sanders/Tia Sillers

 

This is the third and final post for the Three Day Quote Challenge which I was nominated to participate by Greg of Potholes in the Road of Life. Here are the first and second posts.

There are many quotes that I love and I go to them at different moments in life.  The above is one that is ‘a mantra’ to me in this moment.

Have faith. Faith can mean different things to different people. Faith in a higher being, faith that the Universe will provide, faith in ourselves, in our humanity… their permutations and the choice is endless. Yet I know this – there is a need to believe, to believe our lives have purpose, that our lives have meaning. So believe, have faith… give it a fighting chance.

Choose to dance. Make the choice to participate in life; not just an observer, a commentator, or a critic of our or others’ lives. We are unique, there is no one way to participate, so long as we do. 

Participate in life, dance – to rejoice in the everyday things, to find joy in the hard times, to find passion, to accept love when it arrives.  Do not give up. The journey may be long but rewarding if we approach it with open curiosity and the spirit of adventure. Don’t sit it out.

And so there you have it – a promise I made to myself.

This quote is part of lyrics to the song ‘I Hope You Dance’, recorded for Lee Ann Womack in 2001 and subsequently covered by many artistes.

I hope you dance!

– FlorenceT

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Two challenges @RonovanWrites and @greg_wolford

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I am tackling two challenges in this post – Ronovan’s Haiku Prompt Challenge #52 and Greg’s nomination to undertake the Three Day Quote Challenge.

Thanks, Greg (from Pothole in the Road of Life) for the nomination.  Being a quote nerd, I’m going to have fun!

And Ronovan (of RonovanWrites), 52 weeks running the haiku challenge, now that’s tenacity! Thank you for growing this community.

Briefly, here’s how the challenges work:

Ronovan has provided 2 prompt words this week – silent and loud – to be included in a haiku, either the words themselves, their derivatives or synonyms. To find out how to write a haiku and participate, click here.

The Three Day Quote challenge requires me to share my favourite quotes in three consecutive posts.

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 First, the haiku:

poppy_field

Hush now, my darling
Your world’s at peace, beauty lasts
No more roaring doubts.

I feel as if the prompt words were chosen for me, or perhaps it is synchronicity. My focus has been on ‘silence’ quite a lot these past weeks. For me, to learn the lessons of finding meaning in what was unsaid, finding beauty in the in-between spaces, finding grace and strength being silent…because I choose to reflect my growth, to keep growing.  I choose freedom.

And so here is one of my favourite quotes:

brain cell

I envision the ‘space’ as a pause, a vacuum – the silent still place of ‘I am’. Only when I am ready will I respond. Therein lay the power I have reclaimed.

I wish for you space to contemplate this quote.

– FlorenceT

 

First image ‘Poppy Field’ by ale2xan2dra

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Being in a Woman’s Body

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woman body

This is one of many blessings in my life.

In my life, I have had 2 pregnancies, 2 live births and so 2 beautiful children.

Do the Maths. Many are less fortunate. And women bear the loss, trauma, pain and sense of responsibility greatly. Miscarriages, abortion, stillbirths… no matter the circumstances, whatever the religious, moral or valued judgments – they are all losses to be mourned. They carry a toll on a woman’s body, her psyche.

How do I know? Well, I don’t exactly know. I can only imagine – having been pregnant and having my children, the loss of them at any stage is unfathomable. We lose people in our lives – friends who no longer are, spouses or partners, lovers, siblings… for myriad of reasons, but none, none came from the nurturing of a woman’s body, none which could possibly shatter her innocence so simply.

Yet, the language of loss in this space tends to hurt those who are already hurting, women. “She lost her baby” as if she has been reckless, as if she was less than capable, as if she was irresponsible. There are many reasons why miscarriages happen and many contributing factors. Comments like, ‘she was working too much’, ‘she should have rested more’, ‘she used to smoke’… may be factually correct, maybe not.  Nevertheless, where is the compassion and empathy? Women learn the lessons of their lives through their bodies – sex, pregnancy, childbirth…something that is uniquely ours.

And what about abortion? ‘Selfish’, ‘she shouldn’t have in the first place’… Suffice to say, women’s bodies ought not be the playing field upon which politics and power wrestling occur. Women suffer enough without blame and condemnation being heaped on them.

Women’s bodies are sacred. We still need to learn that, it seems. Mistakes we make and we pay the price. Sometimes, life happens to us through our bodies. Whatever the cause, the effect is one of loss and grief.

I have no wish to disenfranchise any woman who is unable to or choosing not to be a mother.  My personal view has always been as Margaret Sanger said,

No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.

Approach a woman and the stories of her body with kindness, empathy and compassion.

Namaste
– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

How, Then, Shall We Live?

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Such heart-felt words from Tabitha Lord Jorgensen…

✨The Fairy Whisperer ✨Colleen Chesebro✨

I want to introduce you to Tabitha Lord, who cordially accepted my invitation to write a guest post while I am away on vacation.


Hi, I’m Tabitha.
I took a leap of faith and recently became a full-time writer. As I navigate this creative, exciting, and sometimes-exasperating world, I’d love to share my journey with you. I’m also married, have four great kids, and still teach a little, so I promise writing on various and sundry other topics. Let’s have a conversation about books, blog posts, kids or anything else you want to talk about. Life’s an adventure and I’d rather not travel alone!

I currently live in Rhode Island, a few towns away from where I grew up. In addition to my husband and four kids, I also have a spoiled, fluffy Ragdoll cat named Milo.

My degree is in Classics from College of the Holy Cross and I…

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You may choose to #BeWow

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I had wondered if I could write a post remotely close to being positive today. Oh and why a positive post?  Well, because that’s part of the #BeWow blogshare over at RonovanWrites.  I ‘signed up’ last week because it is such a great way to share some positive energy and love.

But today has been an odd day – I had to attend a medical check, there was a bit of work to do which I only ended up finishing after dinner due to incessant interruptions, and I got nothing else done.

So positivity, huh? Not really.

Then this came to me, the ‘mantra’ which I had paid little attention to in recent times.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.  Viktor Frankl

Boy, did I choose my response! It was a whinge, a gripe and a general discontent… for failure to complete as much work as I had planned?!

We can choose a different responseWe are never bound by our choices. We can always make another one; and our future need not be determined by a singular decision.

Choosing positivity

So at the close of today, I am choosing different – to see the day for what it was:

  • I went for a medical check, and fortunately it was merely a routine check.  In fact what happened during the medical test was rather funny…in the re-telling :-).
  • I had a bit of work to do.  I did the best I could.  They are not urgent much as I’d like them done. So they will be there tomorrow for my further attention.
  • I was interrupted constantly.  So what, and thank goodness! I got to spend time with family, to interact with them on this festive season (today is the 14th day of the first month of the Chinese Lunar year – so it has been buzzy in my home :-))  Hey, I even got to spend a little time with my beloved.
  • Working after dinner was not ideal, but idealism is just that.  It was what it was.  Just going with the flow…
  • I got nothing else done.. which is not quite true. I had enough done with work, and more… about family, my pleasures in reading and writing.

But the day is nearly over, what good will these do for me? 

Well, HERE is the interesting thing – in reflecting and telling a different story, we are recreating that story, choosing to be positive. Try it, it feels different! When tomorrow comes, we will have a different memory of what is. We will move towards a future that is different.

So the next time we choose a less than contented outlook, consider this:

  1. Am I judging myself by the plans and expectations I alone had placed upon me? Or the expectations others have placed on me? Will I let this happen?
  2. What would you have missed if your day had been otherwise? If not today, then when?
  3. What choices will I make today about the way I perceive my day?
  4. Will I be kind to myself? And to others around me?

So my reality is I have had a day that I needed to have – the universe has provided and I see that now – some beautiful distractions and generally relaxing day after a busy one the day prior.

It is as it should be.

Namaste!

– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Living the Rhythm of Life

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My guest post on @RonovanWrites

ronovanwrites

Florence 2This month’s guest is Florence Thum of Meanings and Musings. Lawyer, Therapist, College Professor, Writer, Blogger, Mother, and more. And no, those are not in any particular order. A lady from Down Under with a lot to say and lot of ways to say it.

As I venture here as a guest still wondering what I could possibly offer on RonovanWrites, I am reminded ‘write what you love’. At the moment, what I love is TIME because I have so little of it. It is what I covet most.

Time poorTime cannot be bought, it is beyond my control. If I do nothing, if no one does anything, time will still pass in its own rhythm, in its own time.

Time is.

Of course my perception of how time passes, the judgment I bring to its passing and to my being in it as it passes, is my own. That…

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50 Shades – Storm in a Teacup a Woman’s Thoughts by @FTThum

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A different view on Fifty Shades of Grey…

Lit World Interviews

50 shades of grey

I asked Florence to write a piece about 50 Shades of Grey since she had both read the books and seen the movie. With her therapist and lawyer/professor background I thought it would an interesting and intelligent experience for us all. Did it turn out as I expected? Read and find out. If you dare. If I were you, I might hide.~Ronovan

Fifty Shades of Grey (’50 Shades’) – trilogy and movie – have caused quite a storm in the media. Its critics have labelled it anti-feminist, for glorifying abuse and violence, for normalising domestic violence, and the list goes on.

In the wake of socio-political discourses rippling through social and news media, I (and eleven gal pals) went to see it on the second day after it was released.

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The story in a nut shell

A little about the trilogy and the movie for those who have not read…

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Hold on

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‘Hold on’ is perhaps a mantra for the weary, who are ready to lay down and let whatever it is wash over them, when it seems there is nothing left inside to rally.  This, I’d imagine, is a slow and painful death of the soul and spirit.

And we have been there, have we not, if only for a brief moment when giving up seems to  be the easiest road to take, when all the striving of the past have not yielded the result we had longed for.  When hope for the future is wearing very thin.

This post seems to contradict a past post, Choose to let go.  It does not.  Hear me out 🙂

I would never say choosing to let go of old habits, old thought patterns or old friends is easy.  It is damn hard.  Change is hard.

Once the choice is made, then the act begins – to take that first step and another and another to realize the choice.  The result? Well, the transition or change is usually not instantaneous.  In the meantime, the practicalities of life remains.

It is in those moments that we remind ourselves to just ‘Hold on’.

Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day

 

 

Psst.. I know it appears I have a penchant for pop music, well I do 🙂 among other music genre.