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 – Path of Inspiration – Day 29

Hope – Path of Inspiration – Day 29

When inspiration takes you down side roads for a meandering moment, space is opened between what must be done and what is possible. Traveling along the road of life reminds me that we often focus on an endpoint while forgetting to make time for inspiration along the way. Why are we always in such a hurry?  Do we actually ever arrive in life?

In a hurried life, paths we choose may not allow time for whimsical detours or perceived frivolities.  Likewise, when we travel, our planned arrival time typically sets in motion the fastest and most efficient route to our destination.

I still mourn a missed opportunity during my last road trip to stop for a moment, to capture a “photograph to be” calling to me, once the goal of arriving took over as the priority.

Remember when time seemed to last forever.  You didn’t count the minutes or the hours because you didn’t know they even existed.  Your days were filled with adventure, entertaining inspiration, while learning and growing.

At what point did we allow a clock to determine our life’s path?  When did our accomplishments become measured between numbers and our purpose quantified by a dictated plan on a to-do list?

Once inspiration is lost, motivation fades and energy wanes.

Productivity is a sum of variables and can be looked upon as so much more than a completed checklist of tasks.  So, I remind myself to take the time to savor the joys of inspiration.  Without it, life seems drab and daily motions become robotic.  

Our life may indeed hold a hidden algorithm, but we can always input new variables. 

Look around you and sense your current environment.  We were meant to do more than simply survive, we were meant to use our senses and dream of possibilities.  Anything is possible especially when time is not dictating what is possible.  Inspiration changes the clock. 

As we head toward a planned destination, the joy of inspiration will expand the frame along the way.

The stars come out every night, but our view of those stars changes with our perspective.  On days of hurry or disinterest, we miss them completely.  On nights where gloom clouds their view, they may not appear at all.  When we make the time to see them, we know the plan is so much bigger than what exists in the 24 hours we are given each day.  

Hope lives in the inspiration of living life to its fullest, when we remember to smell the flowers, listen to our hearts, take the pictures, and gaze at the stars.

Take some time to meander down the path of inspiration.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Hope Unfolds – Pink Flowers – Day 20

Hope Unfolds – Pink Flowers – Day 20

For the past week, I watched them unfold.  A vase of tulips sat on my kitchen counter moving through one stage of intoxicating beauty to another, each day’s visual array outdoing the previous day.  And a stinging yet joyful memory was aroused.

My dad passed away this month two years ago.  He bought me flowers.  First, he asked what color I liked and I told him to choose since he was the one buying me flowers.  

He chose pink.  They were tulips, breathing a little fresh air into January after the unimaginable heartache of the holidays.  It was to be the last day he would ever choose anything for me.  

We had just left the cancer specialist office where he jovially conversed with the doctor, and still tried to beat him in an arm wrestle, with the little bit of steroid strength he had left.  

After stopping for a lunch where he ordered his final Jonnie Walker, allowed by the doctor, we decided to pick up a few groceries.  The dichotomous marital relationship between my mom and him caused regular disagreements and I was once again mediating an argument, this time about chestnuts, in the middle of Central Market.  My Dad wanted more even though we had just ordered a large box straight from the grower somewhere in the middle of the country.  And his obsession with chestnuts continued morphing into a typical battle of words that he always won.  All the while, I watched through a haze as I was still trying to process the meaning of the doctor’s words from an hour ago, “Call hospice now”.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, my Dad felt compelled to choose the first ever flowers for me.

Apparently, the large tumor was gone from his brain, but the inflammation was beginning to wreak havoc. He had survived brain surgery at the age of 86.  And this was week 3 post surgery, one day before he fell into a coma.  

The flowers lasted longer than any other tulips I had ever had.  I now look at the small glass vase holding the dried pink petals as it sits on the shelf.  Suddenly the writhing waves of loss shake me, yet the view of the new tulips I have watched daily for the past week infuse joy and hope into my tears.

Life is a beautiful yet arduous journey. It is through the unfolding of these petals, I am reawakened to the hope that he is still here somewhere with me. Although we can’t hold our loved ones forever in our arms, they live on in our hearts.

-Erika K Rothwell

An excerpt from a memoir in progress.

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Hope Dances – A Note on Optimism – Day 15

Hope Dances – A Note on Optimism – Day 15

“Life has its own rhythms, we just have to learn how to dance.” – Cristian Andrei Nica

Self-expression is discovered in each individual’s dance style.  We all feel the rhythm differently, uniquely perceiving the tempo as each of our steps moves according to the way we feel it.

It’s difficult to think your way through dancing.  You must embrace and engage the music with your heart.

When you feel what you write, your words dance with the rhythm of your life.

There can be no naysayers as they look upon your heart.  When we don’t feel well with our soul, we may look upon someone else’s joy as self-serving.  Yet it is the example of a joyous heart that feeds us hope. 

Lately, I question whether I’ve become a little too optimistic.  And I realize I may have just learned to dance without worrying about what onlookers may think.  Others who have ventured before me have given me that courage.  I share openly with an audience I do not know personally, yet feel connected to on another level.

Am I offended that you may not like the way I dance?

No, I appreciate your perspective.  For it is in the differences that we connect.

I believe it is not for us to examine another’s motivation.  Optimism drives my hope that we can all learn to appreciate someone near or far who has taken the struggles that life has handed them and learned how to dance!

I look forward to continuing my journey while reading and being inspired by yours.  You make “dancing” all that much more special for me. 

-Erika K Rothwell

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