Birds Fly in the Rain

Birds Fly in the Rain

Birds fly in the rain. Their joy is contagious. Outside my window, one enjoys a meal at a bird feeder as he rests for a moment. Another perches on the wrought iron fence as his coat deflects the torrential downpour. They sing in the rain and we can too.

It is from here, I share with you the positivity I attempt to glean from this wet weather day. “Free writing, in the rain, how delightful! My thoughts pour over me, my feelings flow, and the words sing.”

We can view what comes our way from any perspective our attitude directs. Grateful for the lessons of life that wash over us, appreciating that they came into our life for a reason, shifts our mood. We may even feel purified by a unexpected deluge.

Surrender to a melancholy state of mind is not always the answer. And gloom can be brightened if we look for joy. Appreciation often points the way.

Light still shines in the rain, as the dance and song of the birds enlighten my day. I delight in observing them, knowing everything is growing, while they move the seeds from one place to another and propagate the earth’s bounty as the sky nourishes the movement.

Our work still needs to be done in the rain. The storms that come our way are only as insurmountable as we make them. The rain can drench us if we absorb it or it can cleanse and teach us how to grow.

Today I’m getting my feet wet and learning how to fly in the rain.

© Erika K Rothwell

*I have added in photo description, but also want to credit June Jurcak for the beautiful image, photographed from her greeting card.

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Self-Protective Hope

Self-Protective Hope

Self-protection.  Do we allow it to get in the way of progress?  Does fear of harm or ridicule stunt our growth.  Do we view outside forces as something to hide from?  Or do we learn to adapt? 

I watch the water form a river in the leaf of a plant.  My mind wanders to the self-protective ability of a succulent to divert the harmful power of torrential rain from washing it away.

How much of our environment and its harsh elements helped create who we are today?  The adaptation of our natures cannot be ignored as we learn to deflect the ominous, hurtful, degenerative, toxic messages that may have been forced upon us.

When the vicious prey on us, we have our cloaking devices.  We do not have to expose ourselves to harmful situations to become more powerful.  Power resides in the protection of the gift we are given.  There is no need to flaunt or battle.

Deflecting criticism protects our tender roots.  These roots ground us in a hostile yet beautiful terrain.  The vast wilderness becomes manageable as we adapt by using our strengths.  Our beings are created for survival and hope.

The love in our hearts survives in deflection.

©Erika K Rothwell

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Hope from Love – the Heart Circle – February

Hope from Love – the Heart Circle – February

“Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.” -Wilfred Peterson

Loving yourself is not narcissistic.  Self-acceptance, self-awareness, and self-appreciation all build a stronger you.  When you become stronger, you become more confident and more open to your purpose.

The last day of January 2019 has come and gone. Today is the first day of my favorite month of the year, February.  Perhaps it is because my birthday falls in this month (not narcissism), but even more exciting, it is the month of love and hearts.

As I reflect over my hope journey, I realize that it is love that brought me to hope.  Love from others brought me to be able to love myself, which in turn brought me to love others by sharing my writing openly.  

The more I shared, the more I realized I loved my work.  I was overcome with joy when I spoke of it and the warmth that surrounded me motivated me to share it publicly in a blog.  Filled with trepidation, I forged forward with writtingfromthekitchen.com focusing on the motto, “Love is the main ingredient.”

The support I have received from my loved ones and dear friends over the past months has been amazing.  In their busy lives, they have taken time to listen to and read my posts, critique me gently, and sometimes just simply tell me how much they love me.  

Knowing that you, dear reader, also enjoy reading my posts adds to the love and generates hope for me every day.

Love and appreciation from others cannot be measured. And I have found it to be only part of the love equation.   

I venture to explain.  We enter the world fully dependent on love and support.  Many argue that it is through those early experiences that our view of love is determined potentially shaping our destiny.  Once we feel secure and loved, we venture out of the security of those arms and begin to explore, manipulating our environment for self-satisfaction, while still looking for affirmation.   At that early stage of life, self-love may not even be questioned.

It is not until we begin to self-loathe that we absolutely need self-love.  The question of when or why this happens, I can’t answer, since it is different for each person.  But this love is necessary for growth.  We need not fear to appear selfish by being gentle with ourselves during this process.  

Loving ourselves allows the richness of love to flow in and upon acceptance of this love, our love flows out toward others.  When we love others, we love ourselves.  And the heart circle is created. 

-Erika K Rothwell

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Power of Hope – A Transformation – Day 22

Power of Hope – A Transformation – Day 22

A door opens to tomorrow. What I hope for today may not be the same for tomorrow.  Each day brings growth and change.  As I unconsciously step through the doorway of today, a picture begins to materialize bringing me closer to a conscious choice, the next door.  

A calling from deep within combined with enticing opportunities placed in front of me sets the stage for personal transformation, a process I cannot avoid but have learned to appreciate.

In the past, I found myself frustrated as I wavered between possibilities.  I now welcome the flexibility and freedom of thought and feeling that it brings.  There is comfort in knowing that I do not have to choose all the doors at once.  And I lean on self-acceptance throughout the odyssey as I slowly regain my balance. 

We cannot avoid the imbalance caused by sudden changes or obstacles set in our way, especially if we find instant decisions difficult.  But, harnessing the power of hope and letting it lead us in the decisions of the day, while we regain our footing, can help guide us in choosing the right door for tomorrow.

-Erika K Rothwell 

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In Hope We Prosper – Day 19

In Hope We Prosper – Day 19

What does it actually mean to prosper?  If you start with the definition, you will read words like thrive, flourish, flower, bloom, blossom, burgeon, grow vigorously, expand, spread, improve, succeed, advance, get on in the world, go up in the world, arrive, fly high, make one’s mark, or become rich.

With those words, I not only want to prosper, I crave prospering.

The promise exists…with hope, we will prosper.  We want to make it in this world.  Whatever our personal goals or wishes for achievement are, we hope to reach them.  

What we so often forget to consider is our current place and how we have already prospered.  The riches are too great to count when we focus on what we possess outside of what money can buy.  I once read,  “If you want to find out how rich you are, count how many things you have in your life that money can’t buy.”

We all know the fleeting promises of material goods.  The next best technology item brings us a momentary thrill until we move on to what really matters…the treasures of life as they surround us. 

 As I sit and consider the differences between the words used to define one word, I am moved by the power of subjectivity.

The hand of hope is at work in my life.  I reach for the familiarity of its grasp and realize the promise is real.  The “riches” surrounding me are too great to count, yet I know there is more in store in a future beyond what I see today. 

Living in the moment does not prevent us from hoping.  Appreciating the now only lays the groundwork for tomorrow.  When we believe we can grow, expand, and improve there is always hope.  It is in that very same hope, we prosper.

-Erika K Rothwell

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