Staying Calm

Lately I’ve been re-evaluating my state of inner peace and calmness. While randomly reading, I’ve stumbled upon an abundance of material relating to being calm. This is purely coincidental yet fortunate as I’m seeking this. As I work on inner peace, it seems natural to focus on being calm.

Let me tell you candidly that my personality is the farthest from calm you can get! I’ve always been hyper, loud, anxious and nervous. I’ve accepted this for its who I am, but with that, I also desire to change some of my ways! I wish to instill peace and calmness in my life replacing anxiety.

Living in a calm state is a challenge, especially in this hectic world we live in. By turning on the news we see devestating occurrences that build a deep rift in our state of peace, severing any calmness within us. Jumping on your cell phone, answering multiple texts constantly and trying to stay ahead of emails can try someone’s inner peace. But I believe that we have a choice!

I choose NOT to own a cell phone. I know, I know, you may think I’m behind the times and fighting society’s norms. I am doing that…but I’m also choosing calmness! Without a cell phone I am not bound to constant calls and I’m truly happy without it!

Lately I’m working on staying calm as a reaction to others. Sometimes people say hurtful things or lash out at you with negativity. In these situations it’s helpful to keep your emotions in check. Is becoming angry going to help or hinder the situation? My suggestion is to keep calm, walk away, breathe deeply and feel the emotions and then let them go.








Staying calm is any situation can be difficult, especially when you’re exhausted. Make sure you get plenty of sleep at night. Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. Drink lots of water. Journal all your feelings that overwhelm you. All these practices are medicinal and will not only make you feel great, but will aid your emotional and mental states.


My flower garden is a source of calm.

I truly miss my yard of vibrant yellows, deep purples and red flowers, all that keep me calm and centered in the summertime. The flowing green, cool grass on my feet, the cooing of morning doves and the songs of twittering birds all contribute to my peaceful world. I can’t wait for real spring and summer to relish all of these. Nature keeps me grounded and content.

In the meantime I exercise, go for walks in this small country town, read and write for calmness, and take care of my emotions so that I can thrive as a human, a wife, and a mom.

How do you stay calm in difficult situations? Are there vital things that contribute to your sense of peace?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💕

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The Divide, my Latest Read

I just finished this book written by Nicholas Evans, the author of The Horse Whisperer. It’s story is of a broken family, one that went through several changes including a failing marriage and daughter’s rebellious activities. I love the fact that Evans profiled the characters expertly, drawing me in and forcing me to invest in them. My favorite characters are Abby and the father, Benjamin.

I picked this up at a book sale a few years ago and stashed it on my book shelf until about a month ago. Sometimes I do this, put the book away and forget to read it. It was worth finding and filled many quiet winter moments and snow days for me.

I’ve Been Thinking…By Maria Shriver

 

 

I stumbled upon my latest find by accident but maybe it was a  divine intervention. My sister and I attended a Keith Urban concert and stayed over in a hotel that night. She had this book in her bag, I’ve Been Thinking…Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver. I noticed it and thumbed through it and later purchased it after my sister ranted and raved over it.

 

My sister and I at the concert. What a great night we had, dancing, celebrating life and talking most of the night. I love my younger sister so much!

 

I love Maria Shriver and what she stands for. She is a strong woman, a person who knows what she wants to do( find a cure and an answer for Alzheimer’s, her true mission),who writes poetically with her heart and soul and has featured a Facebook video in the past with Christina Ferrare. These were about a year and a half ago, focusing on healthy foods for a healthy brain and body. What I loved about the videos was that these two are obvious friends and had a charisma and humor that kept you glued to it. I miss them but I’m getting my fill of Maria by reading her book.

 

Each chapter has various reflections that affect women and can strengthen them. She features joy in the home,gratitude, forgiveness, the power of positive thinking and letting go. Maria describes her battle with empty nest and where it has left her. I can relate to this as I’m experiencing the same thing.

 

I loved the chapter that focused on mental illness and how everyone has some form of it. It resonated with me because sometimes I feel like my thoughts are out of control and steamrolling the real me. Shriver says that everyone has mental problems and that it’s okay. She further says that “we all need to think about preserving its (the brain) health”. 

 

Lastly I encourage you to buy this book and rest it on your night stand. Read a bit at a time and reflect. Journal your thoughts and reflections after you read. If you enjoy short reflective chapters that make you think, then this is your book.

 

One last quote from Maria’s book that I love is,

I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.

-Carl Jung

Finding My Way

Just when I think I have my life together something happens that brings me down. Although my heart hurts, I choose not to wallow in self-pity and discouragement from someone’s behavior ( that I took personally). I’m going to get up and move on. I desire to stand tall through it all and pray for peace. I’m choosing to reflect on  two of the Four Agreements, don’t take things personally or don’t make assumptions. 

Life is full of challenges especially with the many personalities we deal with. Occurrences will definitely happen to you, like me, and they might affect you in some way. What we need to remember is that standing strong in faith and prayer will guide us through the dark tunnel.

I already feel better by writing this down, like a heavy weight has been lifted. Maybe I don’t know the whole story or took something too personally. I forgive and forget and pray that you can too.

 

Thank you all for being here and investing in my blog! It means the world to me to be part of this community, one that I feel right at home with. Come back again for a more positive post…this one I needed to write, though.

Blessings to you all as you travel through challenges.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

The Four Agreements

 

 

This book spoke to me so much that I reread it after finishing it. My neighbor and friend Anita suggested it and lent me the book. After I told her how I loved it, she gifted it to me. It’s a special gift because it has made me think of my learned behaviors and how toxic they are. I’m trying my best to apply these Four Agreements to my life.

 

 

The Four Agreements are as followed;

 

 

1. Be impeccable with your word. Stay true to your word and say positive words and not negative. This not only applies to talking to others but to yourself! Don’t talk down to yourself but choose uplifting words. If you speak negatives it becomes your reality. Positive words will pave your way to freedom of sorts…away from a living hell.

 

 

2. Don’t take anything personally. What someone thinks of you is not your business, did you know that? I have always wanted and demanded that others would like me without judgments and in turn I take situations personally, thinking that maybe their opinions are my fault. No, this isn’t true! What matters is what you think. Not everyone in this life is going to accept or like you and the sooner you face this the better your life will be.

 

Another side note is that when you take everything personally you are thinking that the world revolves around you! That’s not true. Everyone has a reason for what they do and most of the time it’s not about you but them.

 

 

3. Don’t make assumptions. Most of our lives we have made assumptions and made them truths to ourselves. When we don’t really know the truth, our thoughts become reality but that’s not good. Our brain has a mind of its own ( haha, good pun) and is constantly thinking and producing unwanted garbage.

 

 

4. Always try your best. This applies to the other three agreements. Living with holding these strong principles orchestrating the way will not always be easy. If you have a tendency to gossip then it may be a hard habit to break. If you fail, get up and try again with a determination that you want to live free of that toxin.

 

I highly recommend this book to you. It’s a quick read but one to be savored, thought about and reread again. It’s changed the way I’m approaching situations and I love the enlightenment I feel at this point in my life.

Blessings to you all,

Heart and Soul ❤

A Book From My Childhood

Dedicated to my Grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Gould

 

 

I would love to share with you a gift that my Nanny Gould gave me in 1976. It’s Joan Walsh Anglund’s Love is a Special Way of Feeling. On the first page she penned a precious note and her signature, which is written in cursive beautifully. It’s this little inscribed note that stays with me and influenced the importance of signing a book. I’ve mostly signed all my book gifts with the person’s name , the year and my name. I feel that it’s a memory to cherish and will live long after you’ve forgotten the act of giving. All the books we bought for the boys are inscribed.

 

 

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This is one of the few keepsakes I have of my maternal grandmother, whom I called Nanny.

 

 

A few years back I looked up Joan Walsh Anglund on Amazon and ordered the Christmas is a Time of Giving. The adorable illustrations remind me of Holly Hobbie pictures. I keep my little books on my bookcase and look at them now and then. It gives me a warm feeling inside and reminds me of my Nanny Gould. When decorating for the Christmas holiday, I put the little Christmas book out on the coffee table.

 

 

 

 

When Dylan was a little boy he liked cowboys and possessed the hat, cap guns and holsters. One Christmas we gave him The Brave Cowboy from Anglund. I kept the book along with the other many books the boys had. They’re all hardcover and were kept in excellent condition. I’ve packed them away in the spare room and my future intention is to share them with our grandchildren. Something wonderful to look forward, sharing my love of books with my sons and their children someday!

 

I firmly believe that special books are like photos and must be treasured. With handwritten messages they are a piece of the past and can be read over and over again!

Do you sign your gifted books for posterity? Do you have gifted favorite books that you hold dear?

All My Best,

Mary Elizabeth ❤

A LOVE of Words

 

This post is dedicated to my brother, David Doyle, who fostered my love of books. Thank you, brother for caring enough to inspire and teach me!

My cousin Janice, me in the middle at about seven years old, and my little sister Barbie on the right. Even at this young age I loved words, written and spoken!

 

 

I’ve always been a lover of words, spoken and read. That love was born as early as I can remember and grew even deeper when I realized the precious freedom of speaking with my own voice. As a young girl I gabbed incessantly driving everyone crazy! Then one day this profound  devotion evolved when I picked up a book. My older brother, David, influenced me greatly by buying me classics like Little Women and Black Beauty. By  becoming an avid reader and indulging in books, I learned how the world worked in so many exciting and diverse ways. The written word served me with many hours of leisure in my bedroom or outside in the yard and still does.

 

 

 

 Now that you’ve learned of my adoration of language, you can surely understand why writing is so precious to me! It’s been yet another medium to freely share my thoughts. The babbling overflow spills onto the pages as I type, a freedom of expression that has developed into an appendage like possession. This encompassing passion is fueled by my deep seated NEED to affect readers in some way. I  can only wish that others, especially the children I work with at school can feel this empowering emotion and release in writing!

 

 

 

It’s apparent that I’m a lover of words, for they dominate my kitchen in every way! Everywhere you turn a sign, plaque or picture almost shouts words at you and you can’t help but “read the room’ as you go. I never realized this before until I wrote this post. Unconsciously I’ve surrounded myself with little pieces of languages, pieces that heal and spread joy.

 

While eating a breakfast of toast and honey or a scrumptious bowl of granola and fruit, I can see Live, Laugh, Love staring at me and I feel so blessed to be able to do all those things and I can thank my family for that.

 

 

 

 

 

A little quaint postcard bearing an adorable black cat stares at me while I wash the dishes and it says, Someone Loves you. Thanks, Mom for your love and your artwork! 

 

 

I’ll post on my mom’s artwork in the future.

 

 

 

My newest words I acquired recently is my Just Roll With it sign. If I’m having a bad day and ready to cry tears of frustration, perhaps that advice will help me to let it roll. I want to mention that I bought this from a fellow blogger, Jodi at Creativelifeinbetween.  I love her blog and her little Etsy store, Mckinney x2 designs. She creates amazing artwork prints and notecards and her daughter-in-law paints the whimsical signs, of which I own two! Check out their store and read Jodi’s beautiful and creative blog at Creativelifeinbetween.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you notice how there is a message or word trend in products? If not, when you shop next, notice the products donned with inspirational words.  It appears that consumers, like me , crave these bits of language. These are words that drive success and serve as a motivation for a fulfilled life of happiness.

 

My little collection of words envelope me in joy, for their inspirational message and little reminders of kindness fill my cup to an overflow. It helps me to go about my day and enhances my life in small yet significant ways!   I really love words and how they can grasp at the emotions within you and squeeze tight.

 

Notice how you can read words everywhere you go! Some suggest hate or division. Others support happiness and instill a foundation of peace. You can choose which messages to live by and to read. Others simply ignore and stay positive. 

 

 

With this,  I hope you have a joyful day filled with meaningful words… whether they are spoken, read or written. Enjoy the message and pause to reflect.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤