Musical Magic

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Today I was reminded of the powerful, organizing, spiritual and creative force of music.

I was privileged to hear a private piano concert and it moved me to tears to be wrapped in the beauty and power of classical music, enhanced by the friendship which inspired such a thoughtful act.  Thank you a million times Heather!  I loved every minute of hearing you play.

When I was a teenager, I found so much strength in sacred music and I used it as a balm when I needed comfort.  I found that when I was very particular about what I listened to, I could surround myself with strength and good feelings on purpose, any time I needed a lift.

As a young mother, I had a small “boom box” that I carried around the house while I was cleaning so that I could listen to books and music that would give me hope and just help me to feel happy about my life, even when I was facing a difficult challenge.

Now, I am blessed to have an intercom system in the house we built.  It may be my favorite feature!  And even more wonderful, since our daughter and her family gave us an echo for Christmas, I can say, “Alexa!  Play the soundtrack from Ms. Potter, or  music by John Williams or Vivalidi’s Seasons or a million other selections!

Whenever I need to connect with heaven, when I need to grieve or to be comforted or when I want to rejoice, always, there is music to instantly bring just the spirit I need to support me in moving forward.

What is your favorite music?  Do you use it intentionally to cultivate the sprit you want to have in your life?

I hope you will continue or begin to use this amazing tool!

Be well!

Love,

Jacque

Compare Not!

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We are the same.  And we are vastly different!  We have so much in common, and yet our individual experiences can be as different as night and day. Like a grove of aspens, we all come from the same source, but our individuality is the thing that helps us to accomplish our individual missions.  No one else can be me.  And no one else can be you.

So why is it that we as women, often compare ourselves to other women, usually setting up a skewed comparison between our struggles and challenges and the other person’s strengths and good fortune (or so we like to think of it.)

Sometimes this can be an attempt to excuse ourselves.  We think that the girl next door just doesn’t have problems!  She has it easy, her husband is so supportive; her children are well-behaved; her health is exceptional; she doesn’t know what depression feels like; her extended family is always there when she needs them; she hasn’t ever had to struggle with a weight issue; she has beautiful hair; need I go on?

What a sorry, painful mental and emotional state that thinking can create! And what a downer it is to live beside!

Everyone has challenges. No, they aren’t the same as ours, but they are there. And no, there isn’t a great equalizing event that makes everyone on the same level of difficulty! And we are wishing amiss if we long for that to happen.

I saw a little girl on a video recently who was born without arms and with only small legs with feet on the end.  Would we wish that everyone had such a challenge?  No!  Do we covet her journey through life?  No, surely it will be fraught with challenges that you and I know nothing about.

But she is beautiful and growing and looked happy to be alive! And it sounded as though she had a wonderful mother who is teaching her to see the world and herself through the lens of gratitude and joy.  What an incalculable blessing.

The truth is that in order to do what we were born to do, we will have to have a crystal clear vision of who we are and of what it is that we are to accomplish!

Crafting a new vision of ourselves, like any worthy endeavor, takes effort!  And sometimes correction and often repentance, that great scriptural, you-are-freed-from-your-past gift that gives us hope and emboldens us with a clean slate!

If I could fashion a pair of lenses for you, I would give them the magnification to create a sharpening perspective on all of the ways that you are blessed and supported!  And I would want them to help you to see the beauty that I see in you, and better yet, the great vision that God has of you!

But I can’t fashion yours, and you can’t fashion mine.  We each have to deliberately craft the “lens” we wish to use that will help us to begin “seeing” our blessings and cultivating our feelings and expressions of gratitude. Exactly the opposite effort of making comparisons isn’t it? And which takes more effort?  Comparing and finding fault and injustice and self-pity can come as easily as moving down a slide, without tensing a muscle or lifting a finger.  We can master the looping mental conversation that counts all the ways we are put upon, all the reasons we can’t succeed and of all of our perceived faults, without hardly trying.  But creating, that takes courage and decision making and boldness and muscle!

With God’s help, we can be emboldened every day to adjust our vision.  We can accommodate our learning with constant prayer, vision boards and vision statements; with declarations and daily logs, and by surrounding ourselves with positive friends and enlightening media.

I pray that you will feel your burdens lifted and your sights raised by your decision to keep moving forward, today and everyday!

I’m rooting for you!

Love,

Jacque

 

 

Say Hallelujah!

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I had a teacher during my health coach training that was so upbeat and full of life, that she often ended her sentences with, “say hallelujah!”

I couldn’t help but smile and feel uplifted and brightened when I listened to her.

Part of her charm was the sense you got that she was enjoying herself. Happy with her thoughts and her inner world, and that good feeling just came out in her face, in her voice and the almost dancing way she moved as she talked.

Do you know anyone like that?

I wonder how she became so joyful?

I imagine she has lived a little, known some difficulty, had some break throughs and has come to know and accept herself through her experiences, good and bad.

God give us all the hope and faith and courage to get to the point of being so comfortable with ourselves and so happy inside that we can’t help but say hallelujah, and have our exuberance touch everyone we teach!

Much love to you!

Jacque

Never Give Up

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“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”

C. S. Lewis

If you are feeling defeated, I hope this quote will fire you up to keep trying, keep going, keep exercising faith in yourself and in your future.

Remember to be kind to that girl in the mirror.  Tell her that things are going to work out for her greatest good.  Reassure her that God is aware of her and delights to bless her.

Give her the care she needs.  Cut her some slack.  Give her a little pep talk.  Tell her she is beautiful.

Sending you love,

Jacque

 

What is Beautiful?

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{First: I have heard several reviews from yesterday’s intense post.  One was “love it!” and some were something like, “oh dear!”  If you have a response to share, please do!  Drop me a note and I will be interested to hear what you have to say.

For clarification, the opinions I expressed were toward large social issues,(not any one individual) some that are so worrisome, and so destructive, that I think they deserve a forthright and firm response in the other direction. But, I realize that for as many people as there are on the planet, there are differing situations, all that require adaptations and compromise with family roles and structure.  I, in no way, intend to offend you who are working so hard to do the absolute best you can. Which is all any of us are doing!

That said, I wonder if we, as a society, have become so sensitive to being politically correct, or at least appropriately alarmed when someone is not, that we become uncomfortable even when the opinion being expressed may align with our own?

Whatever the reason, I have felt uneasy today and I wish you to know that I will do my best to be straightforward and speak what I see as the truth, in love; and if I missed my mark with you yesterday… I hope you can forgive me and let me know your ideas, and I will continue to practice the art of merging kind, gentle, respectful and firm! Thanks!}

On to today…

It has seemed that as I have gotten older, I have come to realize that there are so many kinds of beautiful!  My family was very into “perfect.”  Perfect features and the perfect weight and the notion that if you weren’t a certain kind of beautiful, it would be hard to succeed in life.

It was amazing to me when I heard a friend of mine say how much she loves her freckles, and that doesn’t ever want to wear too much make-up because she didn’t want to cover them up.  That floored me (even though I thought of her as beautiful) because I always saw freckles on myself as blemishes that needed to be concealed!

But just today, I heard myself say to that face in the mirror that those freckles are pretty!  (Isn’t it amazing how much we can evolve and change in our simple life time?)

What is beautiful to you?  And do you feel that you are designing your kind of beautiful, or do you feel that you must fit into the one that you accepted growing up?

Beautiful, for the most part, is the glowing person that comes out of your eyes when you are feeling loved and valued and at peace with your own behavior, and I might say, when you are having loving thoughts toward others.

Love does make us beautiful, doesn’t it?

I hope you’re bathing in self-acceptance and self-care!  So that, that centered, lovely, intelligent soul that is you will be shining out to your family and everyone you meet!

Be well.

Love,

Jacque

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”
Audrey Hepburn