Hope – An Embrace – The Full Story

Hope – An Embrace – The Full Story

An embrace, a symbol of love and support. A sign of acceptance and adoption. Learning to embrace the many facets of my being encourages me to embrace others and each day with enthusiasm and hope.

As clothes hang listlessly in a closet waiting to be worn as self-expression, words sit on a page craving a connection by the hearts that read them.

Look in the mirror. What do you see? A reflection of your heart and a journey well-lived? Or do you see only an outward appearance, a physical being disappointed in what is and what could be? Finding ourselves in a one size fits all universe sends a message that something is wrong with us because we don’t fit a perceived mold. Squeezing ourselves into a template that was created for everyone else only bruises our enthusiasm and desire to be who we truly are.

Walking a path of disillusion for many years of my life, as the ingredients of dissatisfaction poured into an insatiate lifestyle, I finally found hope in self-acceptance as I focused on sharing a unique contribution to this life and world. And along the way, I learned something of value that I ask you to consider with me now.

Why do we spend so much time beating ourselves up and working against ourselves by focusing on our weaknesses? If only we knew early on that those weaknesses were strengths when viewed from another angle.

Why hold on to an image of what could have been, what isn’t, or what should be? We are given time to grow and flourish. Regret only devours that time and skews the view of our potential.

Self-acceptance doesn’t come easy. Do you, like me, often overlook compliments, rather than graciously accept the embrace? Recognition of our worth comes from other’s caresses of support combined with accepting ourselves.

Embrace the opportunity to share your unique contribution. Look at your reflection, share your colors, embrace who you are.

Invite the harsh critic that lives inside you to leave, and imagine a room filled with loving, supportive and involved hearts. Writing brings these people into your room. They nod appreciatively, and say, “Yes. I like that”. And if not, let them pass by unnoticed.

Value self-expression.

Accept that creations brought forth from deep inside are not always consistent. Days bring melancholy, elation, sadness, joy, and vulnerability. Writing follows whims and moods. There are days when my heart speaks effortlessly. Other days the seriousness of writing loses its connections. Today I free write about the simple act of embracing. Embracing life, love, others and myself.

How encouraging if we continue to embrace ourselves and others through it all? Love is not conditional and our embraces should not be either.

©Erika K Rothwell

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Hope for Balance

Hope for Balance

Upon examining balance in daily living, the law of physics teaches me anytime you swing too far one way you need to swing back the other at an equal distance.  The side to side dance of the pendulum caused by the trajectory of its weight finally ends and balance is restored.

While it swings, some questions form in my mind.

Must we feel the frigid cold to appreciate the soothing warmth?  Do we have to walk in the death of winter to appreciate the new birth of sweetness?  If we give in to the obsessive force of negativity, must we then look for the excessive force of positivity to pull us back to the middle?

The pendulum swings on, forced by the heaviness.

Failures and disappointments cannot be avoided, and success cannot last forever.  Negativity will arise, and elation will plummet.  When this happens, perhaps the answer is simply allowing  the time for rejuvenation as we re-focus our lives on regaining balance.

When the frost comes and our steps are forced backward throwing off our equilibrium, remember baby steps forward are better than no steps at all.  

And if we happen to fall down on our faces in the frozen tundra, know that hope will bring restoration as the pendulum swings us into the warmth of Spring.  

© Erika K Rothwell

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Hope – Appreciating Simplicity

Hope – Appreciating Simplicity

Simplicity does not signify weakness nor unimportance. 

Small forces that appear insignificant can cause powerful effects.  A tiny drop of water over time can drill its way into rock.  Words of hope written from one’s heart and understated actions can dig deep into the crevices of our beings.

There is a world to be found in simplicity.  Treasures, discovered in the appreciation of just one word or even a small gesture.

The simple letters in H-O-P-E continue to spell out a life-changing motivation for me. However, at times my search for hope becomes disguised as a quest for happiness.

And I discover, seeking happiness is not equal to simply being happy.   

Yet if you are a believer that happiness can be found, it must reside in the simplest, yet a most profound, symbol of joy on this planet that is neglected when we forget to smile.

How many times have we caught ourselves in a tense situation because we forgot to smile?  Or rather, how many times have we gotten out of a sticky situation because we chose to smile?

Our simple and genuine smile shares positivity with others and conveys our hope of happiness for them.  

Connection with words can be much like a smile. I send you my smile and a final thought.

😊

Smiling will make your heart happy, no matter what you may be facing.  It’s really that simple.  

© Erika K Rothwell

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Hope – In Authenticity

Hope – In Authenticity

I wrote something dishonest today.  Not the typical lie you would imagine.  But it came to me, my heart was not connected to what I wrote.  I typed the words, I read the words, but in the end, I did not believe the words.

So, here I am speaking my truth with a question.  Why do we work against ourselves and sometimes stop speaking (or writing) our truth?  

We know how to reach for authenticity but at times life’s unexpected forces drag us down the path of necessity.  Once we learn to surrender that genuine connection, we slowly lose the energy necessary to support our dreams and our creativity.

What if we woke every morning infused with energy to create our dreams?  What if we had trouble closing our eyes at night because we could hardly wait to wake and get back to living.  Living, not existing.  That is authenticity.  Recognize when you are moving away from it.

Because hope does not promise instant gratification, rather than struggle with the words to express positivity, I will wait.  The energy I work against is confusion or simply congestion in my head.  Sharing a joyous heart today may not be the answer.

Perhaps it is the outside environment that weighs me down.  Or possibly the work I did this morning on my memoir.  Recognizing the pain in the process sometimes requires a pause.  And another cup of tea.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Garden of Hope

Garden of Hope

What is the story you are telling yourself today?  

Are you facing anxiety because of a job that sucks life’s energy out of you?  Do you feel stuck in a bad relationship?  Or are you facing a difficult health decision?  Do your steps feel heavier as each day of the week passes?

You may feel suffocating sensations come to the surface as you face an endless cycle of forced obligations and nauseating habitual motions.  Your breaths may likely become shallower, you may neglect your basic needs, and you may develop a gloomy outlook as you forget to look for the sun each day.

As the sun rises, a promise is extended for a new day to make the necessary changes, to accept growth, and move in a direction that complements vitality.  Yet, so many wither in the repetition of monotony on an endless treadmill of dread.

Walk with me in the “Garden of Hope” for a moment.  Consider that we need space to breathe, water and food to thrive, and sunlight to grow.  At times our environment works against these necessities.  

So what do we tell ourselves at this point?  Do you hear yourself crying, “Nothing will ever change.”, Or “I have no choice.”  Mental mantras drive our actions and build foundations for tomorrow.  Why not instead focus on words of affirmation powerful enough to destroy the amplified barriers we place in our own way?  

“Breathe in the scent of inspiration and aspiration.” – Erika K Rothwell

Change the message, walk through a “garden”.  Breathe in the scent of inspiration and aspiration.  Don’t give up on your dreams.

We cannot let the weeds of distraction and hopelessness choke out our will to thrive.  When we remove the unnecessary overgrowth of negativity and self-imposed expectations space opens granting us breathing room, hampering the weight of anxious thoughts and giving us an opportunity for growth.

Think of ways you can use obstacles in your current situation as stepping stones to a greater plan.  Plant the seeds of tomorrow in your imagination today.  Daydream for a moment.  And if you are a list person, write a bucket list and fill it with everything your heart imagines, no matter what the hurdles may be.

“Think of ways you can use obstacles in your current situation as stepping stones to a greater plan.” – Erika K Rothwell

As flowers need rain to soak their roots and make them stronger, we also benefit from the washing away of the old story to gain deeper insight into our desires. After the storm, let us be motivated to look toward the sun, as it shines its positivity on us and helps us set buds of change for tomorrow’s bloom.  

And when the sun sets, on a day “outside” of the ordinary, remind yourself to look for it tomorrow as you begin a new chapter.

“And when the sun sets, on a day “outside” of the ordinary, remind yourself to look for it tomorrow as you begin a new chapter.” Erika K Rothwell

As soon as we embrace our freedom to choose genuinely and share our unique colors by following our passions, a refreshing array of authenticity will fill drab spaces with joy. 

And that’s the beauty in the “Garden of Hope”.

-Erika K Rothwell

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