catnipoflife

Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest!

Embrace the Silence

Silence

How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.

— Virginia Woolf, “The Waves”

Within the hustle and bustle of daily life, we cherish the quiet moments. We embrace the silence. We seek places of solitude to ponder the events that govern our very being. We long for the silent moments in life…moments during which time we can turn off, unplug, power down and need not pay attention to social media nor other noise confusing our minds. We long to…

Embrace the Silence

Open a door or window.
Turn an ear toward the sky.
Take a deep breath.
Look a bird right in the eye.

Sit in rare silence.
Hold a loved one’s hand.
Stare at one another.
Simply understand.

Speak not above a whisper.
Sing a silent song of heart.
Think absolutely nothing.
Tell mental noise to depart.

Go for a walk.
Leave the phone at home.
Be watchful, listen.
Enjoy time alone.

Step softly, gently.
Read the faces of nature.
Stand in the pouring rain.
Smile with quiet pleasure.

Pick a few flowers.
Stretch out upon green, green grass.
Stare up at the clouds.
Embrace the silence, first class!

catniplogosm1©2014 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

What do you do to embrace the silence?

 

3 Comments »

Don’t forget your GREEN!

Today is…

StPatricksDayHappy2

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!
[Scroll down to the recipe of the day!]

**********

http://awakenings2012.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-bit-of-irish.html
 
Check out A Bit of the Irish!

**********

St-Paddys_Day_humor2**********
St-Paddys_Day_humor
 **********

A few words to the wise from Maxine!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Recipe of the Day: 
St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Lime Cupcakes
http://www.frugalcouponliving.com/2014/03/04/lime-cupcakes/ 
4 Comments »

The Power of Appreciation

Expectation-vs-AppreciationOften when I am working on Awakenings, inspiration guides me to share a day’s events on her sister catnipoflife. Today is one of those days since March 7th is National Employee Appreciation Day. The thoughts that came to mind center around appreciation vs. expectation. We are all expected to do a good job but are our efforts truly appreciated? Do we pass through the day seemingly unnoticed as robotic motions move us toward completion of assigned tasks? These are possibly questions we have all faced at some point in our lifetime.

Appreciation is something that should come Thank-Younaturally without effort. In other words, it is a natural reaction that is not always expected. Simple expressions go a long way for they replicate appreciation, nothing being expected in return. Pause for a moment and consider yourself a boss walking through the office where several employees are hard at work. Upon passing each person, you simply smile, say thank you continuing on to the next. What a great way to make someone’s day…simply smile, say thank you, walk away!

Expectation-vs-Appreciation2Now, change the scene. Take on the approach of looking around you with nothing in mind but expectations instead of appreciation. Does that ‘thank you’ come as easily since your perception has changed? Are you waiting – expecting – an ah-ha moment to suddenly appear? Becoming so focused on expectations shifts attention toward what is not there, rather than appreciating what is there all along.

Is appreciation more powerful than expectation or is it enough to say there is power in appreciation? While we may set our pace according to our expectations, the reward is being sincerely appreciated.

This is true of life itself outside the boundaries of the workplace. Whether you are reading this today, tomorrow or later on down the road, the power of appreciation flows from employer to employee, employee to employee, teacher to teacher, teacher to student, friend to friend, friend to stranger and it goes on and on…husband to wife, mother to child, brother to sister…

Appreciation

Isn’t it better to expect nothing so when all the surprises come along the gifts are truly appreciated? The gifts, of course, being expressions of gratitude through love, time, energy, and ourselves, not to get anything in return. When we say ‘thank you’, we are giving praise and receiving the real joy in the act of giving. There is indeed power in appreciation!

Appreciation1

To all employees, THANK YOU for the jobs you do for where would we be without you?!.

Employee Appreciation Day_full

3 Comments »

Friends vs. Friendship

Piggies1

Piggies can be our friends!

During a lifetime, each person will encounter innumerable friends. They will come. They will go. Some will be remembered. Some won’t. Many will be real. Thousands will be virtual. Yet, we call them all ‘friends’. There is really no separation. Some we see. Some we don’t. These are our circle of friends.

What makes a person a friend? Can someone be called ‘friend’ yet not truly be a friend, only act friendly? Everyday conversation occurs during which someone will reply, “Oh, he’s my friend!” or “I know her. She is a friend of mine.” Has this happened to you? Have you ever paused in wonder as to what made you identify a person as a friend? Each of us will have different thoughts and answers to that question.

We have work-friends, buddy-friends, intellect-friends, fun-friends, the talker-friend and the listener-friend. There is the big brother or big sister and of course, the friend who is like a mom or dad. Some even earn our trust as we accept them into our hearts without question. Each plays a significant role in life.

Now turn to friendship. Any difference?

Friendship is a form of love, passionate in the sense of caring and understanding but not erotic. It is resting your head on someone’s shoulder and crying out of sheer happiness or sobbing uncontrollably in times of sorrow. It is that person holding you so tight you do not want him or her to let go for you are no longer capable of separating one person’s tears from the other. It is disagreeing and finding harmony in disagreement. Those are the personal lasting friendships.

Today, with the advancement of social networking, friendship does not get applied to many situations. The friends in this environment are acquaintances that people do not even know and probably will never know. Yet, comfort can still be found, it is simply within written communication, rather than in person.

Each of us can be a friend, associate with friends, and form lasting friendships. Those that last are the ones which we truly celebrate. In other words, a celebration of friendship is when you are not only told you have dirt on your face but your friend helps you clean up your mess! This is our blessing of friendship.

Angel of Friendship

friendship_angelstar-divider-lineA cloud floats from Heaven
To rest upon a shoulder
A soft, billowing pillow
Where an angel abides

Quietly, gently resting
‘Til needed to leaven
Heaviness like a boulder
Laying worries aside

Who is this angel?
Quintessence of loyalty
Bearer of charity
Who offers companionship…

Listener with quiet understanding
Sunbeam smiles radiating harmony,
A messenger of amity
Ensuring a lasting relationship

Who is this angel?
This angel is the angel of friendship

Echoes©2004 Echoes
Sharla Lee Shults


6 Comments »

It’s All About Character

Today is …

National Inconvenience Yourself Day

simple_dividerInconvenience_Yourself_DayThis day is not about inconveniencing others but taking a good look at what can happen when you take a few extra moments or steps that inconvenience yourself but help others. This unique holiday asks people to pause during their busy day looking for opportunities to do something nice for someone else, practicing common courtesy, or acknowledging the positive actions of others. Something that actually should come as natural as breathing but unfortunately has lost a lot of steam because people just don’t take the time or think only of themselves.

It doesn’t matter where we are or what we are doing, there is always someone somewhere watching. We should use our own actions to encourage others to pay attention to their actions, understand how those actions affect others, and adjust which actions have a negative impact on people they encounter. It’s all about paying forward a little inconvenience making it convenient for others!

Shopping_CartHere is a snapshot. Picture yourself in a hurry. You had to make a rush trip to the grocery store to pick up a needed item for dinner. You park your car and hurriedly head for the door. As you take a few steps away from your car you glance an aisle over and notice a shopping cart in the middle of the lot. An elderly lady had just struggled to step into her car with a couple of grocery bags in her arms.  She started to back up and just in time noticed the cart blocking her movement. Was it there the whole time? Did she just not see it? Did someone close to her leave it as she was getting into her own car? She sighed. Just as she was about to get out of her car to move the cart you intervene with a big smile as you walk a few car lengths out of your way to move the cart and return it where it belongs. What did you receive in return? The biggest smile ever of appreciation and gratitude. It doesn’t get better than that!

Today don’t be sorry for any inconvenience…turn your inconvenience into opportunity to help someone else! The concept is simple. The idea is embraceable. Think more about how your actions impact others . . . regardless of age.

Abigail-Van-Buren-quote

Check out what else is happening today @Awakenings…

9 Comments »

Kindness

Today, February 17, is celebrated as Random Acts of Kindness Day. While it is a good idea to designate a day for kindness, it is most important to never let any day go by without showing you care…for the humble and meek, the weak and strong, from the youngest to the oldest, critter and creature, human or pet.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What indeed is so hard about being kind?

Kind Words and Kudos

A young child and an elderly woman
Waited patiently to cross the street.
An offer of a helping hand
Received the reply, “Please.”

Safely across to the other side,
The young child softly cries,
“Thanks for helping my grandmother.”
Then, she hugged me around my knees.

An elderly man seated in a café
Sat alone sipping a cup of coffee.
The expression on his face wasn’t one of grace
For he appeared all solemn and glum.

A quick glance made me smile his way
Hoping to help make his day seem better.
When he smiled back suddenly in return,
I knew that one smile helped him overcome.

Kind gestures make good echoes
For there is a hidden power in kindness.
One kind word or sweet smile
Brings joy to the heart the minute after.

Remembering© Remembering
Sharla Lee Shults

Random_Act_of_Kindness

11 Comments »

At the Close of Valentine’s Day

Heart-TransparentAs most of you know, catnipoflife has a sister site, Awakenings whose focus is on history and  America – embracing the past, empowering the present, enriching the future. While Valentine’s Day does not have its original roots in American soil, its runners run deep throughout the nation.

Below is an abbreviated closing for this Valentine’s Day from Awakenings. To see the entire post, just click HERE!

A step back in time...

To truly understand Valentine’s, you must step back in time to 278 A.D. during the time of the Roman Empire. There are many legends and myths surrounding this day, some Pagan, others related to Christianity. Each of these legends vary on its connection to romance but several carry the name Valentine with each being martyred. One legend has the origin of Valentine’s day ending in the death and beheading of Valentine, a holy priest in Rome.

Rome was besieged with many unpopular and bloody campaigns. There was a strong attachment of the men to their wives and families thus a strong reluctance in joining the military forces of Claudius the Cruel, 42nd Emperor of the Roman Empire.

To change the situation, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. This was not taken lightly by Valentine, the holy priest. Valentine continued to perform marriages and honor engagements in secret for young lovers until his deeds were discovered. Before going further keep in mind that Emperor Claudius was known as Claudius the Cruel so he did not take lightly the services performed by Valentine behind his back.

The first Valentine’s Day message of love…

****************************

It was upon the orders of Claudius that Valentine was put to death – beaten first, then beheaded. This occurred on February 14 on or about 268-270 A.D. Legendary beliefs show while in jail, Valentine became friends of the jailer’s daughter. He supposedly left a farewell note for her signed “From Your Valentine.” Thus, the first Valentine’s Day message of love.

It was not until after his death when Valentine was named a saint for his many services during his lifetime.

Declaration of February 14 as Valentine’s Day…

At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day, and centuries later romantic authors like Geoffrey Chaucer and Shakespeare helped seal the deal with references to the day in their works. 

At the close of Valentine’s Day…

Thus, we are at the end of yet another Valentine’s Day where its original color ran red with blood instead of roses! In today’s society, this day has been set aside as a loving day with the only blood drawn being that from the prickly stem of the rose.

As you look ahead, don’t leave the loving thoughts of Valentine’s Day behind. Every day can be a Valentine’s Day as long as there is passion in your heart and a loving spirit in your soul!

1 Comment »

Furry Valentine’s Day

Perhaps we should learn real love from our furry friends!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

5 Comments »

Happy Valentine’s Day Family & Friends

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY to all my wonderful friends, blog readers and family! You are all beautiful to me and I appreciate you all!

valentine-message

6 Comments »

Just One Look

Not a leaf in sight but new buds & blossoms everyday!

Not a leaf in sight but new buds & blossoms everyday!

Every season sings its own personal song

from the eloquent watercolors of spring to the harmony of early summer bees & blossoms through the golden glowing essence of Autumn into the naked landscapes cloaked in white during Winter.

Regardless of the season all it takes is...

Just One Look

simple_dividerJust one look toward the far horizon
Captures an expanse beyond words
Limitless possibilities exist
Disturbed only by joyous birds

simple_divider

The sky, land and water connect
With discriminate attitudes
Ever present, ever changing
Dependent upon nature’s moods

simple_divider Glory in the springtime
Initiates visions without stopping
Greening hills, warming sun
Buds erupting and wildflowers popping

simple_divider

Family time summer excursions
End with strolls along the sandy beaches
Rising and falling blue-green sea foam
Occasionally unveils sea conches

A winding road in autumnsimple_divider
Demands a stop along the way
Gazing toward the earth’s edge
Reveals a breathless close of day

simple_divider

Snow-capped mountains of winter
Stand majestic out of reach
Valleys through which rivers run
Grant swift passages of each

simple_dividerJust one look upward and outward
Spans a view altogether incredible
Senses emotionally enhanced
Emerge surprised and totally audible!

catniplogosm1©catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each.
—Henry David Thoreau (American author, poet, & philosopher, 1817–1862)

simple_divider

See the countryside from A Bird’s Eye View

Watch this second video to get the true perspective of the eagle!

7 Comments »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,431 other followers

%d bloggers like this: