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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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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Goodness to Greatness – Finding Resilience

Goodness to Greatness – Finding Resilience

An event arises in my life as a lesson in resilience.  Although it may seem like a small setback for some people, in my world, I saw it as tragic.  The words I so lovingly inscribed on the computer screen with hours of painstaking editorial creation disappeared in a flash, in an electrical surge that lasted less than ten seconds.

The devastation cannot be described in a grammatically correct format.  My poetic soul was reawakened with an intense raw pain.  My newly formed art form had disappeared before it could even be introduced to this world.   I searched for it for hours until I had nothing left but to helplessly admit it was gone forever.

Tears fell as torrents of hopeless waves shattered my calm satisfaction felt only after a good work is finished.  Circumstances beyond my control had obliterated my work.

What can I learn from this unfortunate disaster?  Best laid plans…No matter how hard you work, you will face futility in the face. 

And it is here in this hopeless moment I recognize, in order to help others, you must learn how to help yourself.  In order to learn how to help yourself, you must focus on helping others.  Circles, unending connections that take us back to the beginning of the cycle, in everything we do.

This depth of reasoning is pouring out from my exhalations of surrender.  My body shakes with sadness, and I feel foolishly revived.

The words keep replaying in my head, “attitudes of gratitude.”  How do you find gratitude in a moment of dissolution?  Why must we fall down to get up? 

We all follow the same pattern of growth as we are unwittingly thrust into this world, forced to take the next step of humanness.  And we start with one deep breath of oxygen, a chemical composition foreign to our tiny little lungs, yet so powerful that it sustains our life on this planet, for close to a century, among all the other humans that began their life the very same way.  Who can control that mighty power?

The same power reminds me sternly and daily that I am ultimately not the one in control.  Trusting myself as the guide and the only guide leads to a false sense of security.  The rug of uncontrolled circumstances can be ripped out from underneath me at any given moment.  So where is the encouragement?  I will turn the table for you.

Growth, change, and resiliency have much in common.  We physically grow and change often without our initial determination and yet great resiliency is required on our part at times.  Babies grow stronger and advance from crawling to walking, and we’ve all watched the tedious process of falling to get back up.  Teenagers mature and are faced with hormonal challenges that knock them back to toddlerhood to work through the adaptation to adulthood.  The silent growth often goes unobserved, yet a process we undergo throughout our lives, requiring the greatest resiliency.

Because we don’t often volunteer for the hard lessons, outside circumstances force their way into our lives requiring mandatory submission.  Our choice remains to choose resilience and change our attitude to gratitude.

The lesson of assigning too much importance to my own abilities, recognizing the wondrous source of my creative and curious mind, and surrendering to fateful circumstances rounds out my repertoire this past week.

The gifts of my soul are granted to me to share with you.  Messages originating from my heart connect the dots.  The message I lost was a good one, but I see now it clearly was missing the point.  I spent hours crafting a message on intuitive guidance, focused on self-driven ambitions, rather than maintaining a trustful reliance on the direction of a great and almighty force, who guides my steps and makes them sure.

May you also find your way through the powerful surges of unexpected events by relying on, whomever you believe to be, the force of greatness.

Lifting my eyes up from staring at the floor in defeat, has brought me to you today.

-Erika K Rothwell

“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”

Napoleon Hill

"Are we trying to force our way past the infinite velocity of fate?" - Erika K Rothwell
Photo Taken by Erika K Rothwell

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Potty Mouth

Potty Mouth

Potty Mouth

I’m here again,  trying to practice the art of consistency.  This awakens a strange memory, teaching my kids to change the toilet paper roll.  I’m not sure why I made such a lesson out of such a mundane task.  This memory is shared by my grown daughter, who now holds a master’s degree and is an R.D., (Registered Dietician).  Although I question whether I had anything to do with her success at all, she repeatedly tells me one of the reasons is because I taught her “to be the person” to change the toilet paper roll.

It seems like such a simple task but undertaken by so few.  The opportunity exists to consistently be the one.  This brings me to a stark realization; consistency doesn’t require a master’s degree, but a master’s degree requires consistency.  I watched my daughter grow and achieve by her consistent efforts to overcome the challenges and obstacles she faced.  There were times she grew weary and yet she pushed forward. 

Today, I am the student, still practicing.  I taught the lesson, but did I grasp its true meaning?  The lesson lies in recognizing opportunities to grow beyond the norm, pushing limits of established comfort zones, and not expecting someone else to do the work.  Yes, It’s difficult to keep showing up and consistently deliver results.  Planning is one thing, results need action. 

When a student signs up for a course, yet never attends class or studies for the exam, they most likely will fail.  It’s great fun to sign up, but when it comes time to do the work, do we show up?  

When life rushes by and excuses pile up, consistency itself becomes a monumental task.  Once again, I am reminded to consider the question, Can I make something happen when life keeps happening? 

Oh, the overwhelming weight of my realizations could derail me at this very moment.  However, I choose to stay present and continue sharing.  And now let me take you back to the toilet paper story.

At an early age, I had to teach myself how to change the toilet paper.  I was not prepared for the real world, having been cared for in an extremely protective manner.  There were days when I felt paralyzed, and it clearly showed in my inaction.  The more I sat, the worse I felt about my inability to accomplish.  The day came when I realized I may not be able to accomplish great things, but I can feel great about accomplishing small things.  The help came in words written by Helen Keller,  “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”  And thus the lesson of the most seemingly insignificant task on this planet, changing the toilet paper roll, was born. 

We teach our children what we have learned, in hopes that they embrace the message and it helps them reach greater heights than we could.  So the lesson was told as follows, “If you change the toilet paper any time and anywhere it is needed, you will have achieved something greater than most.  For how many times, have you come upon an empty roll?   That was someone leaving the job to you.  If you do this seemingly trivial chore, you will be able to achieve great things in life.”

Many other repetitive duties remind me of the importance of these words.  These tiny tasks are the cornerstone of our character.  Each time, I’m able to value an ostensibly insignificant task with an appreciation for how it helps me grow, I feel more capable. 

That humble lesson leads me here today, taking action by writing at my desk, and sharing what I know, in hopes that it may help you consistently grow and accomplish all the great things!

-Erika K Rothwell

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