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:

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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…

Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

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.

Choose to let go

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“We need to find the courage to say ‘NO’ to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.” Dr. Barbara De Angelis

It is never easy to give up the things that we’ve ‘always’ done or ‘always’ had. They have become habits that we are reluctant to forgo or perhaps unable to. And perhaps because they are familiar, they give us a sense of belonging, of comfort, of security, of certainty.

And it is never easy to say ‘no’ to people in our lives who have been there for so long but we have now outgrown – a little like the permanent fixtures in our home which by their existence, determines how we perform a related task in our home and by their familiarity, we no longer question their efficacy. Yes, ours and their respective interests have changed, we are travelling on different paths in life yet we still see them, sometimes out of loyalty and obligation. At best, we are comforted that we have remained faithful. These things or people may also be causing us emotional turmoil, or causing rifts in our other relationships, or worse.

Take courage, say ‘No’. It is time to shed a past which no longer honours who we are, time to be open to who we are becoming. I do not mean for you to dismiss these things or people, for they will remain a part of our life as having helped shape who we are. But remember, they nevertheless belong to the past.

To let go of these things of the past will likely hurt, for we mourn their loss irrespective of their value in our lives. And with people, our decision to re-discover and honour who we are may very well also hurt them. Yet as mature human beings desiring to live with authenticity, we have to make choices and to face these difficult decisions. Incidentally, by letting go of them, you might in fact be giving them space to grow as well.

I choose not to be bound by the past.  Will you?

Moving on…

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When does one know it is time, time to move on? Can one ever be assured that the decision will be right? There is always some doubt, is there not, that the decision once made might just not be the right one.

So how do you know?

Is it the ever present pain that makes life seems like a whole lot of suffering? Is it the sadness that is your constant companion? Is it the sense of inevitability that has haunted you for such a long time? Is it the perpetual gloom that hangs over your days? Is it the glimmer of hope you sometimes glimpse of the other? Is it the pervading remembrance of what you used to be? Is this when you know it’s time to move on?

Or perhaps it is only when you are experiencing the liberating sense of relief once you have decided that confirms it to be Right. As if all your burdens have been lifted, you feel light and joyful despite the uncertainty of change.  Ah, but this is hindsight…

To stay and fight is not always ‘right’ or ‘appropriate’, neither is to stay and cope. Is it ever wise to remain in an unbearable situation, one which violates the very essence of you, merely to avoid being labelled ‘quitter’, ‘betrayer’, ‘disloyal’, ‘ungrateful’? All valued judgments and labels! Retreat is an option, walking away is sometimes necessary.

To walk away, to move on require strength – strength of character, of will; and it requires courage – to face what lies ahead. Walking away and moving on is hard and sometimes an imperative, it is about not giving up on yourself. It is choosing to leave that which is harmful to you and embracing the possibilities of other. It is the mark of a mindful person, aware of her purpose in life, adapting to her world.

Whether it be in romantic relationships, at work, with family or in friendships, we can all walk away. We can choose to not play the destructive games and move on.

One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.  Ziad Abdelnour