Hope in Harmony

Hope in Harmony

After a cleansing rain, the sun sparkles in water drops on blades of grass capturing a reflective thought.  The well-balanced cycle in nature reminds me of a consistent and harmonious dance of life.  

Often we aspire to lead with our steps; however, think of the possibilities if we chose to follow the lead of nature more often.  Discovering the tempo and the necessary footing of the day’s activities with a “go with the flow” attitude rather than a white knuckle grip of control as we force events deepens our opportunities for inspiration.

Take a moment to recognize how you are feeling right now.  Are your shoulders tense?  Are you taking short breaths?  Does the heaviness of the to-do list staring at you or incessant thoughts spinning in your brain suffocate your joy?

Look out your window.  What do you see?  Notice the harmony in the flow of life.  The breeze gently moves the trees.  The squirrel scampers along the fence line with perfect balance.  The sun warms the ground as the daffodils poke out cheerfully.  Let it lead you to a place of appreciation where you can slow your breath to match the gentle breeze and allow your thoughts to float lightly like the clouds above.  

Awakened to a new relaxed state of mind, you can make sense of the tasks ahead. 

Following the pattern and harmony of nature, we discover our true natures.  Speaking our truths like the flowers of the field, showing our colors, helps us dance in the wind. There is no judgment in harmony.  The existence is borderless and overlapping.  We find our balance and deepest roots in nature.  

When we fight against the waves, rather than allow them to carry us forward riding the power of the force and flow, we fight a helpless fight that may eventually knock us down to our knees, possibly even forcing us to swallow the salt water from our own tears.

Harnessing the power of the wind creates energy.  Working against such power slows and wears us down.  How much better to invite this energy to infuse our dreams rather than work against it and slowly drain our strength.  

Support is available physically, emotionally and spiritually for us. If we acquiesce and release our need for control, we accept what is and thus choose to follow the path of harmony.  Hope exists in harmony.

Working as an instrument of nature, we find strength knowing we are part of the flow of inspiration. Our creative work provides the connection as we complete the cycle.

© 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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Hope – A Profound Purpose – Day 17

Hope – A Profound Purpose – Day 17

After calling out some obstacles along my way, the path has been cleared for a greater purpose. 

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

-Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi

Perhaps there is a reason I have so many of my inspirational thoughts in the kitchen.  I don’t always enjoy cooking.  The question, “What’s for dinner?” still continues to give me a small amount of anxiety.  However, I began to appreciate the art of cooking and all the special ingredients discovered in family gatherings around the kitchen table. Precious moments were also found in this simple service to my hungry family as a perfect time to process the evocative happenings of the day.

When I moved my writing from the kitchen to a desk, I believe I brought the spirit of the kitchen with me.  My intention for beginning this blog was to share with my children and their children small, yet significant, lessons that I’ve learned throughout my life.  Overcoming apprehension as I shared my writing publically awakened a greater purpose.

Helping others, while following a path I felt guided to pursue, became my deeper hope.  And this hope continues to shape my writing style and voice.

I believe writing is similar to photography as writers share their unique perspective, presenting a view from a subjective angle.  My passion for writing appears to match my photography style as I love focusing in on a world that exists right in front of us, yet can still appear hidden.  The intensity of some of the images I’ve seen while following WordPress and Instagram photographers have been mind-expanding.  

So many artists serve others with their inspiring work, fulfilling a passion, being driven to create.  I am one of those “others”.  It is with great admiration and recognition of their work that I summarize…when we follow our dreams and passions, we lose ourselves in the work of serving.  And, what we find sometimes is the best gift of all.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Hope is Regenerative – Day 8

Hope is Regenerative – Day 8

My apologies for posting a little late.  My mom, our Bubby, had a total knee replacement operation and it took the good part of a day to focus on regenerative hope.

Hope is regenerative.  Our bodies breakdown from the stress of life and a destined aging process.  Our choices can seem futile and our dreams fade with the daylight hours.

Yet, through the example of three amazing human beings, I feel the power of hope surrounding me at the end of this day.

Regenerative hope moved my son to run 22 plus miles through the darkness of negativism after it struck his equilibrium of contentment and drove him to push his physical body to the breaking point as he made it to the other side…positivity, cleansed by exhaustion.  

The belief in a better quality of life motivated my mother to overcome her fears, focus on optimism and go through a knee reconstruction surgery in her 80th year of life on this very same day.  

I was left in the dust.  Yes, I’m focusing on hope this year.  However, I was challenged by fear.  I lost my father two years ago after surgery.  The circumstances were very different, yet the memory is raw and ignited the core of helplessness when you watch your “as is” slip away into an “as was”.  

My father “lives” with all of us in our stubborn resolves to not only survive but excel in this life as we continually strive to better ourselves.  His ongoing search for the fountain of youth points to the regenerative quality of hope.  And as I viewed my mother, his wife, today after difficult reconstructive surgery, I saw evidence of that fountain, as her contagious smile of victory and proof that hope is regenerative lit up the room.

-Erika K Rothwell

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