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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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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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 Lives in Us – Day 10

Hope Lives in Us – Day 10

I woke up day number 10 of the year 2019 to this view out my window.

Hope is a breath of fresh air.  A long deep breath I so often forget to take as I allow the shallow breaths of time starvation and self-protective adrenaline to overwhelm my day.

The meditation I focus on is “Each day has its own sufficient amount of concern”.  If I magnify the effects of carrying my baggage of worry to the next day, I exponentially escalate negativity causing a snowball effect that only hope can melt.

That glimmer of hope lives within all of us.  A bright sunbeam of faith at times only barely sensed or an internal nudge toward a positive belief.  

I am reminded, “Choose to breathe in or tune in to to the message of hope.”   Sometimes it requires a quiet moment to focus on our breath, at other times we may need to turn up the volume to drown out our negative self-talk.  

Either way, we can all light up each new day with hopeful anticipation of that great something that is about to happen, within the world of possibility, as we are granted another sunrise.

As light powerfully destroys darkness, hope breathes life into despair with its promise.

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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