Art Little? Do Thy Little Well…

Beautiful Words from Goethe

Art little? Do thy little well: And for thy comfort know The great can do their greatest work No better than just so. - Goethe
A Favorite Goethe Quote

Goethe almost always knew the right thing to say, didn’t he? I say almost because he was human after all, with all of the snails and puppy dog tails that come with it.

I think this is always a good thing to keep in mind whether we’re quoting an individual or backing them for President. We’re all human – deep down, we realize that – but how quickly we forget when a weakness is exposed in another.

We want compassion and understanding for ourselves and we even want it for people we support. Yet, when anyone else messes up – by gosh we’re all over it like a cat on a fat mouse with a limp.

I actually caught heat years ago for using a Goethe quote and for saying it was a wonderful quote. Come to think of it, I’ve also gotten flack for using John F. Kennedy, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and Ronald Reagan quotes.

If I highlight a quote, it’s out of great appreciation for the quote – not always for the quoter. It’s to share the thought, not necessarily the thinker.

Many of the words Goethe left behind are wonderful and if they can be used to bring inspiration, motivation, and encouragement to people – I’ll quote him for years to come.

Was he perfect? No more so than any of us. Heck, even Mother Teresa wasn’t perfect.  I only know of One Man who was perfect and no other will ever even come close.

There’ll be people we like, there’ll be people we don’t like. There’ll be people we all but hate with an un-Christian hatred! That’s just life. But here’s my own personal take on the situation: The fewer people we dislike or (worse yet) the fewer times we go searching for reasons to dislike them.. the better off we’ll be.

Why? Because negativity is a disease that eats us from the inside out. It’s also a habit – you look for reasons to dislike someone and it becomes second nature.

That’s anything BUT a good thing.

There’s another reason to always keep an open mind – one that most people don’t even want to consider. Shhh, don’t let it get out but, we might be wrong! I know, I know – I don’t like it any better than you do, but it’s just the truth.

I have my faults and I’ll be the first one to own up to them. Heck I’ll even alphabetize them if you want me to. But one thing that can be said of me is this – I have now, and always have had, a very open mind.  I think one of the reasons may be the fact that I’m so blissfully aware of how imperfect I am. Maybe somewhere in my mind I’m always thinking, “You could very well be wrong, dear, don’t go shutting any doors or bolting any windows….”

Just recently – while following the Presidential Candidates and reading everything I could get my hands on – I changed my mind. Twice! Some people get so locked into an individual (or party) that they put blinders on their eyes and plugs in their ears.

Talk about a surefire way to make sure you shut out knowledge. Don’t know about you, but I want all the knowledge I can get.

A mind is like a parachute – it works best when, to a point, it’s open.

Just be sure no one comes along trying to fill it with their thoughts… choose your own. Your mind, your thoughts.

Whatever you do in life, wherever you go, and whomever you choose to be – never think of yourself as “too small,” “too young/old,” or “too inadequate…”  The only “too” you are is “too awesome” and I can tell that from here.

Tuck away these words by Goethe and pull them out when needed. They really are WONDERFUL words.

Make each moment count double! – Joi (“Joy”)

Art little? Do thy little well:
And for thy comfort know
The great can do their greatest work
No better than just so.

Three Easy Hacks for Handling Stressful Moments (or Hours, Days, Weeks, Months….)

Free, Quick and Easy Ways to Bring Calm & Peace Back to Your World

Quote About FInding Peace

Quote About Havig a Peaceful State of Mind

Ever had one of those days? I hate to brag (*sarcastic smile*) but my much loved family and I have had one of those YEARS.

I’m not complaining, mind you. We’re still standing and, I’ll let you in on a little secret, we’re still as happy as ever. In fact, we laugh off a lot of the crazy things that have happened. The things we can’t laugh off, we look square in the eye and say, “Even you didn’t destroy us.”

Emergency rooms, wisdom tooth removals, x-rays, blood work, emergency vet visits, shot out radiators, cat operations, a car wreck, broken washers, cat blood work, hospital stays… Wow, 2015.  ZERO chill.

Get this – mice crawled up into my vehicle earlier in the year and did hundreds of dollars worth of damage.

I know, right?!

At the risk of bragging again, “Mom Research” has made me an expert on kidney stones, wisdom teeth, Barrett’s Esophagus, low iron, low vitamin D, and inappropriate sinus tachycardia – not to be confused with appropriate sinus tachycardia which is much worse.

A worried mom can out-research any college senior.

Around August, we thought that maybe… just maybe… the worst was behind us and the rest of the year would end on a nice peaceful note.  HA! 2015 heard us and laughed at our Mary Poppins complex.

Again… I’m not complaining. Not everyone gets this many adventures back to back to back to back.

… to back.

We’ve all discovered one thing – if you don’t have a “go to” way to relax and de-stress, you’d better find one because one day (or one year) you’re going to need it.

Whether your favorite way of handling stress is reading, watching tv, playing games, surfing the internet, watching YouTube videos, or attempting to do them all at once (you do you), I want to tell you about three simple little stress-busting “hacks” that you may one day find useful.

Lighthouse Landing Marina on Kentucky Lake
A Peaceful Setting Can Bring Peace to Where You’re Sitting!
Hack #1 For Restoring Peace & Calm While Eliminating Stress

The first one is as simple as finding a picture that takes you to a place of serenity, peacefulness, and calmness.

You can look online for “relaxing pictures” or even look through your own camera or iPhone. You’ll know THE picture when you see it. It’ll cause you to feel happy, safe, peaceful, and as though you haven’t a care in the world.

You may do like I did and even set it as your phone’s background. That way it’s always just a glance away – and 2015 pretty much demanded easy access.  This probably won’t surprise you, but my image is a picture of my cat.  After all, nothing soothes a crazy cat lady’s nerves quite like a cat picture.

Peace of Mind Affirmation

“My peace of mind is not disturbed by things beyond my control.”

Hack #2 For Restoring Peace & Calm While Eliminating Stress

The second trick is to find a quote or Bible verse that helps to center your thoughts so they don’t run amok. When thoughts run amok, they become worries and then they’ll drag you all over creation with them as they run.


Below are some of my personal favorite quotes and verses. Memorize the ones that resonate with you and you’ll always have them handy. Trust me, anything you can do to keep your thoughts and worries from lacing up their running shoes is time well spent… and energy (and sanity) preserved.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you…. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27

“Breathe in. Breathe out.”

“Peace is always beautiful.” – Walt Whitman

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” – Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” – Chinese Proverb

“Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa

“There is no ‘way to peace,’ there is only ‘peace.'” – Mahatma Gandhi

 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

When you find a quote or verse that resonates with you, memorize it and whip it out any time the thoughts begin trampling around your mind. Focusing on the quote will stop them in their tracks.

Hack #3 For Restoring Peace & Calm While Eliminating Stress

Music soothes the savage beast…. the beast being stress. I’m not necessarily talking about today’s pop or country music – although if they float your boat, sail on.

I’m talking about Classical Music, Japanese Garden Music, Piano Music – beautiful music acts as a salve to burns life leaves across your psyche.  A quick search on YouTube for any of these types of music will give you lots of choices. One of my favorite types of music to put on while cooking cleaning is Japanese Garden Music. When you search for the phrase on YouTube, you’ll find videos that play for 3 hours straight.

By the end of the three hours, it’s like, “Stress? What stress? Where’s my pillow?


When we have a problem (whether it’s stress, anger, fear…), being proactive makes us feel better instantly. Why? It puts us back in the driver’s seat. If you’re under a great deal of stress or things just don’t seem to be going your way, try the three hacks above – it may take one… it may take two.. it may take all three.

Just pour yourself a nice hot cup of tea and hack away.

Quotes About Remaining Calm and Finding Peace:

“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” – Alan Watts

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James

“A man of calm is like a shady tree. People who need shelter come to it.” – Toba Beta

“Nothing gives a person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” – Thomas Jefferson

“The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about your circumstances.” – Andrew Bernstein

“The pursuit, even of the best things, ought to be calm and tranquil.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Beautiful Quote About Peace (Quote Graphic)

When We are Present in Each Moment...

Quote about Peace and Living in the Moment (Present)

Quote About Living in the Moment

One of my favorite sayings I like to whip out is, “Make each moment count double.”  The thought, feeling, and core belief behind the words is this: Each moment we spend in the PRESENT is a PRESENT we give ourselves.

When we spend time in the past with either regret or longing, it’s as though the PRESENT remains on the table, unopened.

When we spend time in the future with worry or fear, it’s as though we don’t even glance at the unopened PRESENT.

Our time is the most beautiful gift we can give to anyone.. including ourselves.  Do all you can to live in the moment.

And make each one count double!

~ Joi


Guide to Managing Your Emotions with Aromatherapy

Beautiful Infographic Packed with Wonderful Information!

Aromatherapy Infographic
Ironically, when I was contacted about sharing the beautiful infographic above with my Self Help Daily readers, I had just been talking about aromatherapy with two of my three daughters.

Life’s sense of irony always fascinates me.

We had been discussing the wonderful effects from Lavender and Vanilla. I told them that, years ago, when I lost my dad, I had A LOT of trouble unwinding and falling asleep at night. I found that lavender helped calm my frazzled nerves and even soothed my shattered emotions.

Vanilla has a similar effect.  Whether (like me) you work from home or outside the home, you know certain days just have stress written all over them. I once threatened to rename a particular Tuesday “Bluesday” because it did nothing but cause me grief from sunup to sundown.  On days like this, I just automatically reach for one of my favorite candles – usually vanilla or lavender – but I always have seasonal ones on hand as well.

Pumpkin, cinnamon, and evergreen make the world a sweeter place too.

I hope you enjoy the infographic above as much as I did.

~ Joi

Infographic Credit: Holland & Barrett


BawB’s Raven Feathers: Reflections on the Simple Things in Life

Beautiful Inspirational Books Make Perfect Gift Ideas

Bawb's Raven Feathers Books

BawB’s Raven Feathers Volumes I-V Set

I was sent an absolutely beautiful BawB’s Raven Feathers Box Set a while back to review on Self Help Daily. While I told everyone I knew about it right away, I actually put off blogging about it for awhile simply because I wanted to get a little closer to Christmas shopping. These books – whether you buy them as a set or individually for stocking stuffers or for filling in gift baskets – would make perfect gifts. They’re beautiful, timeless, inspiring, and would be cherished for years to come.

One of the things I love most about giving books for gifts is the fact they can be used and enjoyed and re-used and re-enjoyed for years and years. Want to know a beautiful little bonus? They’ll think of you each time they pick the book up!

The BawB’s Raven Feathers Box Set I was sent includes Volume I – V – the first five volumes of BawB’s Raven Feathers.  Each beautiful little hard-cover book is filled with inspirational poetry that will surround you with peace and contentment as you read the words. Truth be told, they’re more like beautiful lyrics than words.

Everything about these books is perfect – from the beautiful illustrations to the equally beautiful words.  The author does more than inspire readers, he causes them to reflect on their lives, their choices, and the world around them.

His words then prompt the reader to cherish the past and relish the present, while looking forward to a future that’s filled with hope.

Yes, the books are that wonderful.

From the Inside Cover of Each Volume:

Bawb’s Raven Feathers is pure and simple. It kick-starts moments of self-reflection and inner peace by drawing on nostalgia and pushing the reader to live in the present and dream of tomorrow. Alternating brief chapters of prose with perfectly rhythmic adult rhymes, and room to write down your own thoughts and inspiring ideas, this book holds appeal for the masses.

Bawb's Raven Feathers

BawB’s Beautifully Inspiring Raven Feathers

Whether you buy the volumes individually or as a set and whether you buy them for yourself or as a gift – you’re going to love each moment spent with BawB and his Raven Feathers.

The clouds will always be up in the sky,

with nothing to portray.

How you choose to look at them

is what determines your day. – BawB’s Raven Feathers Volume II, Page 31

About the Author:

Robert (BawB) Chomany is the author of the BawB’s Raven Feathers series, pure and simple inspirational books. He was born in Calgary, Alberta, with a clear view of the mountains to the west. These mountains eventually drew Bob in, and he spent many years living in the company of nature, exploring his spiritual side. Bob pursues his many interests with passion. You are just as likely to find him twisting a wrench, or riding his motorcycle, as you are to find him holding a pen, writing. Bob still lives in Calgary, where he finds happiness by simply living with a smile and sharing his words of wisdom with others.

The books are available individually, as well. Below is a link to each volume for more information.

There’s also a BawB’s Raven Feathers Volume VI which I don’t have yet… but plan on getting.

Everywhere you walk today,

every step and every mile,

choose to see something that stays with you

and attach it to a smile.   – BawB’s Raven Feathers Volume V, Page 36

Bawb's Raven Feathers Books

Focus Words, Thermostats, and An E-Book Recommendation

Restore Calm and Well-Being by Kay Johnson (I Think You're Going to Love This One)

Ever notice that we all have our own personal focus words? Words that sum up our deepest wishes and hopes. Love is a focus word that all of us have – we all want to love and be loved. Happiness is another focus word that’s universal.

Over our life, our focus words change greatly. For example, in our teens and even twenties, our focus words may be…

  • excitement
  • fun
  • adventure
  • freedom

In out thirties…

  • security
  • steadiness
  • loyalty
  • balance

The forties and beyond often bring a whole new outlook, along with new focus words such as…

  • peace
  • calm
  • well-being
  • health

As I said, the focus word of all focus words, happiness is ever-present.  The thing is, as we grow older, we realize that happiness doesn’t come from without, it comes from within.  No matter which stage of life you’re in, if you don’t have inner calmness and a sense of well-being, your pursuit of happiness will be in vain.

Personally, my favorite focus words have always been love, happiness, laughter, and peace. I’ve always been a great appreciator of peace! When life is calm, it’s as though my inner thermostat is at its resting place. When there’s drama or turmoil of any kind, it’s out of whack and my sense of well-being and happiness plummet. I can’t even stand for people I don’t know to quarrel! I’m at the extreme and I realize it, but there you have it. I’m okay with my crazy – in fact, I usually toast to it with a glass of tea.

Sometimes life hands us situations that throw our balance, happiness, calm, and well-being completely out of whack. They take our inner thermostat and all but smash it into a thousand pieces! That’s life, as they say… but no one ever said we had to enjoy stepping on the pieces.

Restore Calm and Wellbeing is an e-book I think you’ll enjoy. If life has been unkind to your inner thermostat and your focus words, this book may be just the thing to… well… restore calm and well-being.

From the Author:

Restore Calm and Wellbeing helps people to:

  • Take control of their lives again
  • Relieve tension
  • Manage their emotions
  • Change the way they think about their troubles and worries
  • Boost their confidence and self-esteem
  • Look after their bodies to relieve the physical effects of stress
  • Revive their zest for life and achieve more of what they want

Click through the link or image for more information.

~ Joi


Restore Calm and Well Being
Restore Calm and Wellbeing

Feeling Groovy: PsychTests’ New Study Reveals Something Interesting…

High Emotional Intelligence Improves Life Satisfaction

New research by indicates that there are certain facets of emotional intelligence that can strongly influence a person’s level of happiness and contentment.

“Emotional intelligence” may have only became a hot buzzword in recent decades, but over 2,300 years ago, Aristotle had already grasped the importance of emotional awareness and the ability to apply this knowledge: “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

If it’s not enough that EQ has been linked to job performance, leadership ability, and relationship satisfaction, research from PsychTests indicates that people with high emotional intelligence also tend to be happier and more content with their lives.

After collecting data from 824 people using their most recent version of the Emotional Intelligence Test (and over 3 million test-takers since the test’s inception in 1996), researchers at PsychTests focused their analyses on two distinct groups: Those who are completely satisfied with their life and those who are not.

The satisfied group not only displayed higher emotional intelligence, they also outscored their discontent counterparts on 14 EQ competencies by at least 10 points – traits and skills that researchers at PsychTests consider essential to happiness and life satisfaction.

Some of the largest gaps in scores were found among the following key competencies:

  • Resilience/Hardiness: Encompasses the ability to bounce back from failure and hardship. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 80 to 44 (on a scale from 0 to 100).
  • Problem-solving: Assesses the willingness to face problems head-on and proactively search for solutions. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 84 to 51.
  • Positive Mindset: Ability to see the silver lining; a hopeful yet realistic point of view. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 78 to 49.
  • Self-Motivation: Ability to inspire and encourage oneself to engage in goal-oriented behavior. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 72 to 44.
  • Self-Control: Ability to soothe oneself and to express negative emotions in a healthy manner. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 70 to 45.
  • Coping Skills: Tendency to use healthy techniques to cope with stress, like seeking emotional support from others, changing the way a problem is viewed, or seeking out information to better deal with a problem or stressor. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 72 to 49.
  • Striving: Desire for increased knowledge and skills; always wanting to go further, become better, and learn more. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 84 to 69.
  • Comfort with Emotions: General sense of comfort dealing with one’s emotions and those of others, or emotionally charged situations, like conflict. Satisfied people outscored unsatisfied people 63 to 42.

“It isn’t that happy, content people don’t experience bad days, or don’t get sad, angry, or worried,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “They very much do – the difference is in how they deal with these emotions, and this is where emotional intelligence plays a role. People who are satisfied with their life are very much in touch with their emotions; they are honest with others about how they feel, and they accept responsibility for their feelings … such as, ‘This person makes me angry’ vs. ‘I allow myself to become angry when I see this person do such-and-such’. Most importantly, they do not deny that they are emotional beings and don’t see feelings as either good or bad. Our feelings are simply a message our body send us to alert us to issues, and to provide us with information that our rational, conscious mind doesn’t have access to.”

The researchers at PsychTests offered a few tips on how to further develop one’s emotional intelligence:

  • Take small steps if you’re not used to expressing your emotions. Start with those that are the least intimidating and you will surely find that it’s not as bad as you think. On the positive side, begin with genuine compliments and then take it further to an expression of appreciation. When you need to communicate a negative feeling, try writing it if you feel too intimidated to say it. Like learning any new skill, it will get easier with practice.
  • Accept the good and the bad. Both good and bad feelings facilitate the thinking process by allowing us to view things from different perspectives. Did you ever notice how, when thinking pessimistically about a problem, you come up with solutions that are in line with that thinking, and when you think positively, the perspective and solutions change? Our feelings, good and bad, offer us different views on the world. While one perspective may be more beneficial than the other, both angles offer us valuable information about others and ourselves.
  • Don’t brush aside your gut instinct or intuition. Gut instinct is that voice in your head or that feeling of foreboding that’s trying to tell you something isn’t right. Some refer to it as a sixth sense. Whatever the label, it can offer us valuable information if we take a moment to listen. Those who ignore this inner voice can often end up regretting it. This doesn’t mean that logic has no benefits. The perfect balance, in fact, would be to think a situation through, and then going with what feels right.
  • Take a time out. “When angry count to ten; when very angry count to 100.” It’s not always easy to maintain your composure when you feel like your “buttons” are being pushed, but it is essential that you make an effort to do so. It’s important to cool down emotionally when a situation makes you upset or stressed. As time passes, you will be able to be more objective about the issues and to sort out the situation more clearly. Count for as long as it takes for you to reach a state of mind conducive to the cool, rational consideration of possible consequences of your actions. This counting technique can be used no matter what the intense feeling is.

Want to assess your EQ? Go to

Professional users of this assessment (therapists, life coaches and counselors) can request a free demo of this or any other tests from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery:

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook:

About is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.


Peace: Sometimes It’s More About CREATING it than FINDING it

How to Create a More Peaceful Mind

Peace of Mind Quote

Stop Fighting with Your Thoughts…

We all say we’re looking for happiness. We often it’s what we want more than anything – for ourselves and for others. However, I often think it goes deeper than just happiness we’re seeking. I think we’re seeking PEACE as much as anything else.

After all, how can you possibly attain happiness if you aren’t at peace?

When any variety of strife or conflict is going on in our world, we crave peace like a teenager craves pizza.  This strife can come from a number of places:

  • family members
  • news
  • society
  • co-workers
  • work
  • school
  • debt/bills
  • friends

We often even create our own strife (as if there isn’t enough already) by worrying, judging, criticizing, and creating expectations that are higher than any human can possibly reach.

Truth be told, we often put as big a dent in PEACE as anyone.

Peace of mind is a beautiful thing.  It’s such a beautiful thing that I want to take the next few minutes with you, if you’ll allow me to. I’d love to help you find out, first of all, if you currently are in a peaceful state of mind. Second of all, if you are not, I’d like to help you take a step in the right direction.

Peace of Mind Quiz

To find out how peaceful a place your mind is at this moment, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How quickly do you fall asleep at night. Barring “sleep obstacles” (flat pillow, barking dog, crying baby, aches and pains, etc), does it take you longer than 30 minutes to drift off to sleep?
  2. Are you able to concentrate fully on one task at a time or does another one butt in out of order?!
  3. If you were to hop in your car and drive for 2 hours, would you be able to ride with yourself in silence or would you require a loud radio to drown out your thoughts?
  4. If you were to set aside 10 minutes to pray, would you feel too overwhelmed to even know where to begin?

These are just a few questions – and they’re pretty darn unscientific, at that – but they’ll give you an idea of just how peaceful a place your mind is to visit right now. You look like a very logical person to me (after all, you’re on Self Help Daily – that makes you brilliant), so I won’t talk down to you by interpreting your answers.  You know, by now, if the country of your mind is at peace or at war.

If you are in a peaceful state of mind, I couldn’t be happier for you! Whatever you’re doing in your life to bring balance to your world and to calm storms before they claim you, keep it up. Don’t fall off the wayside and don’t let down your guard. Stay steady and never, ever take peace of mind for granted.

If, after answering the questions, you realize that your mind isn’t as peaceful as you’d like it to be, keep reading. I won’t keep you long, I promise.

{Continued below the affirmation…}

Peace of Mind Affirmation

My peace of mind is not disturbed by things beyond my control.

How to Create More Peace in Your Life

I’ve promised not to keep you long, and for me, limiting my words is tough, so I’m going to simply leave these tips with you. You can flesh them out for yourself.

  • Pray. I view my prayer life as my own personal ministry. I pray throughout the day and find that it brings more peace to me than anything. Knowing that God is with you, no matter where you are or what you’re going through is priceless.
  • Ease up on worrying! Easier said than done, I know, but you will never have peace if you never stop worrying.  Worrying never accomplishes anything and, worst of all, it’s a slippery slope. Once you start, it’s all downhill. If that’s not bad enough, people around you will start thinking of you as a worry wart and when you actually have a legitimate worry, they won’t listen!  Having expectations that are too high is one of the biggest roadblocks to both peace and happiness. Stop over-expecting and over-thinking. Live your life.
  • Affirmations are a positive-ly wonderful way to reaffirm the attitude you desire. Use the following “Peace of Mind” affirmation daily: My peace of mind is not disturbed by things beyond my control. For the most success, an affirmation addresses the situation as though it is already in place. Don’t say, “I don’t want my peace of mind to be disturbed…” or even “I won’t let my peace of mind be disturbed…”  Say it is NOT disturbed! Repeat this affirmation often throughout the day, and not just when it’s needed.
  • Carve out time each day for bliss. What’s bliss? Anything you enjoy that puts you in a complete state of happiness. Maybe it’s watching sports on tv or playing with your cat. Maybe it’s putting on your favorite robe and reading a great mystery by a favorite author.  Maybe it’s watching your favorite drama on television. Whatever it is that TAKES you away from the noise in your head and MAKES you forget the noises were ever there in the first place… that’s your personal bliss and you need daily doses. That’s an order.
  • Enjoy a good laugh every chance you get. Try to see the humor in all situations. It’s all but impossible for a war to take place in your mind when you’re having a good laugh.

Life isn’t always easy, but we are terribly guilty of making it harder than it has to be.

Like happy homes, peaceful minds don’t just happen – they have to be created. The payoff is truly worth the effort. I hope you’ll take several steps today in a more peaceful direction.

Wishing you a mind that’s more peaceful than you ever dreamed of,

~ Joi (“Joy”)

As There are Seasons in a Year, There are Seasons in a Life

And You Know What They Say About Seasons, They Change...

As there are seasons in a year, there are seasons in a life.

Seasons Change

Ever find yourself smack  in the middle of one of life’s “ruts?”  Whether it lasts a couple of weeks or a couple of months, you find yourself wondering what a nice peaceful day would feel like.

Dentist visits, doctor visits, transmission problems, trips to the vet, broken water pipes, dishwashers that go on the fritz (God forbid!)… they’re all part of life, unfortunately, but they’re more tolerable when they come one at a time, aren’t they?  When they double, or even triple team you, that’s when nerves get frazzled.

The problem is, it’s been my experience that these thorns of life aren’t fond of flying solo. They love company, so they almost always bring other thorns with them.

My mom always said things like this came in bunches.  She was never able to pinpoint a number for me, no matter how often I pressed her. My grandmother always believed the magic number was 3. I’d point out instances to her where the 3 was exceeded and she’d always have the same answer, “Oh, the fourth isn’t the fourth – it’s the first of a whole new three.”

Granny logic.

I’ve come up with my own way of looking at the “bunches” and “terrible threes.” I call them “seasons.”

I am utterly obsessed with the seasons of the year. I live in beautiful Kentucky, where we have three very distinct and glorious seasons, complete with all each should bring:

  • Spring with its tree buds, blooming flowers, and greening grass – everything seems to come alive.
  • Summer with its intense greens, yellows, reds, blues, and purples – everything seems to thrive.
  • Autumn with its crisp leaves, colorful trees, and autumn breeze – everything seems to show off!
  • Winter with its blankets of white, bare trees, and peaceful quiet – everything seems to sleep.

Then it starts all over again.

The fact that we have similar seasons in life occurred to me many years ago.  We were going through a rough patch with health issues, moving, elderly/unhealthy parents, and a series of “thorns” that seemed particularly unnecessary and downright mean-spirited.  I don’t know how many times I uttered the words, “Realllllly? On top of everything? Realllllly???

Thorns never answer back, do they?

One morning, as I was packing away pumpkins, ghosts, monsters, and bats and replacing them with the Holy Family, snowmen, reindeer, and Santas – I couldn’t help thinking about the seasons.  Each one brings its own bag of tricks, so to speak.  Each has things I love about them and each has things that I don’t particularly love. But not only can we NOT fast-forward any of the seasons or skip them, altogether, I don’t think many of us would even WANT to.

Putting up with mosquitoes in summer and shoveling snow in winter are all part of the game.  We get through it. Even people who don’t like a particular season somehow get through it.

We endure it.

The same holds true for life. Life also comes with its own seasons – joyous seasons, crazy seasons, peaceful seasons, sick seasons, restful seasons, and seasons when anything that COULD go wrong, DOES go wrong!  You know, the “Reallllly?” seasons.

I guess all I’m trying to say is this: No matter where you are right now – no matter what sort of life season you’re in… whether it’s one you’re enjoying or one you’re just trying to get through – know that it will not last. Another season will come and take it’s place.

What can you do when you’re in a “thorny” season?!

  • Breathe. When under stress, we sometimes hold our breath without even realizing it. Be cognizant of your breathing and make sure to inhale and exhale.  This, alone, can actually make you feel better.
  • Slow everything down – your mind and your body.  When you’re in a bad season, your mind races. It’s trying to figure out how to get out of the rut, how to deal with the rut, how to make everything okay for everyone else… race, race, race. When your mind races, your body tries to keep pace. If your mind treats everything as an emergency, your heart will think you’re under constant attack! Slow everything down and realize that you aren’t under attack from zombies. Save the panic for the walking dead.
  • Remind yourself that you are simply in one of life’s seasons – it will pass and another will come along.  One day the things that are driving you batty right now will be nothing more than memories. Go ahead and remind them of that.
  • If there is anything you can do to make the situation better, don’t just think about it (and don’t ever just wait for someone else to do it) – take action. Very often, the simple act of knowing you’re doing all that you can brings you a measured amount of relief.

Let us be patient, and endure a while; the time may come that God may give us a happy release; but let us not be our own murderers. -John Bunyan

Coming unglued during the bad times is the worst thing you can do. Stay steady. As a commercial once said, “Never let them see you sweat!” You can replace sweat with any description that fits your own style of coming unglued…

  • “Never let them see you cry!”
  • “Never let them see you scream!”
  • “Never let them see you pout!”
  • “Never let them see you sulk!”
  • “Never let them see you lash out!”

Never let them see you anything but in control… riding out the bad season until a better one comes along.

Endure the storm with your dignity intact!

One final thought: If you’re going through rough or challenging waters, odds are that you have loved ones in the boat with you. The calmer you remain – the more “in control” you are – the better it’ll be for everyone else. Many times, our loved ones follow our lead. If we act all kinds of crazy, they’ll do the same.

Bad. Deal. That’s the sort of thing that causes boats to capsize. Don’t be the reason the boat capsizes. Be the reason the boat makes it to calmer waters.

It may sound cliche, but sometimes you really do just have to “hang in there.”

~ Joi


Quote About Joy – Joyful Quote of the Day

This One's Worth Memorizing

Quote About Joy
Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. – Marianne Williamson, author

So many people get so stuck in a negative mindset that they don’t even fully realize why they were there in the first place! I’m fairly convinced that if you walked up to the average “sad sack” or “worry wart,” and asked them, “Why so down, chum?,” they wouldn’t have a legitimate answer.

They’d either say something vague like, “I just can’t catch a break” or go they’d whip out the old standby, “Life just isn’t fair.”

On the other hand, of course, there are plenty of people who have reasons why they’re wearing a “never in season” frown:

  • they don’t have enough money
  • they haven’t found Mr./Mrs. Right
  • they live in an empty nest
  • they don’t live in an empty nest
  • their spouse doesn’t measure up
  • their kids don’t measure up
  • they don’t measure up
  • they hate their job
  • they hate their co-workers
  • they live in a “one horse” town
  • they live in a noisy city
  • they’re overweight
  • they’re underweight
  • they have health issues
  • etc etc etc

Regardless of their own personal reasons for feeling down, the surest way to move their emotions upward resides in the beautiful quote above: Allowing themselves to recognize just how good things really are.

Like me, you’ve heard the quote, “Things are never as bad as they seem,” right? Well, if we’re going to be completely honest here – sometimes they are as bad as they seem. Losses happen, change happens, and sometimes life really and truly does not play fair.  And, yet… if we take the time to look around us – even in the dark – we’ll realize that there are more good things than bad.

More reasons to smile than to frown.

More reasons to feel hopeful than to feel hopeless.

More reasons to feel grateful than hateful.

Joy is a beautiful, wonderful, completely euphoric feeling. It’s more than worth the few minutes it takes to “round up” your blessings and “find” reasons to smile.