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!

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 »

Raindrops & Rainbows

All across America, the world in fact, is indescribable beauty often referred to as visions of grandeur. Each day presents itself in living color with sights, sounds, even smells that tempt and tease innermost emotions. Skies may be crystal blue and cloudless, or dark and dreary with hints of an impending storm. Even within the storm lies beauty…a calm at the end of which one may be lucky enough to sight a rainbow.

What awakens your senses of a forthcoming rainbow? Is it the sight of cloudy skies, the smell of oncoming rain, or the sound of raindrops pelting the earth? Perhaps lightening pierces the haziness of morning and rolling thunder disturbs the short-lived stillness of the air with news a storm is approaching.

With each sense comes anticipation of sighting that well-known arc across the sky whose splendor boasts a colorful array of pastel hues. The RAINBOW!

Have you ever taken the time to count how many colors you see in a rainbow? Is there a set number or a continuous innumerable spectrum of colors? Speaking of colors, what about Roy G. Biv…ever heard of (him)? Are the colors the same for every rainbow that comes into view?

O-o-o-o-ooh! So many questions. Why not add a couple more: What actually forms the rainbow and is there a connection of rainbows to raindrops? Afterall, the RAINbow and RAINdrops both have ‘rain’ in common!

Did you know?

To see a rainbow, one must have both rain and sunshine,

A ray of sunlight enters and is reflected inside a raindrop, thus breaking white sunlight into colors,

There is never a single size for water drops in rain but a mixture of many sizes and shapes,

The sun is always behind you when you face a rainbow and

The center of the circular arc of the rainbow is in the direction opposite to that of the sun.

In other words…

The Rainbow
 
Since the beginning of time
Questions arise again and again
Like how far away
Does a rainbow start and end?
*****
How far away are the raindrops
That capture the sunlight?
The nearest may be miles upon miles
Yet sparkle in the daylight

 The rainbow is nature’s gift
After the cleansing rain
Is each one unique
No two ever the same?
*****
Can the eyes of two people
Seize the same rainbow in time?
Each observer sees different raindrops
Making each vision sublime

 Size of the raindrops
Sets the color’s purity
Does bigger mean brighter

The smaller less clarity?
*****
What makes the colors
As vivid as can be?

It’s all about angles and light
The colors that we see

   A red band on the outer edge
A primary rainbow declares
Yet what happens when
A secondary rainbow appears?
*****
Are the double rainbows

Mirror images of each other?
Colors of the second reverse
Complimenting one another

Seven colors
Tiny prisms beget
Orange, yellow, green

Blue, indigo, violet
*****
Another question arises
Since above are only six
Have you forgotten
Red is first in the mix?

 
Where, oh where
Is that pot of gold?
The one we’ve heard about
From the days of old
*****
It’s the rainbow itself
That’s the golden prize
What greater splendor
Than right before your eyes!

catniplogosm1©2014 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

May each rainbow sparkle with the seven colors of the rainbow: strength, joy, sunshine, harmony, faith, wisdom and spirituality.” ~SLS


4 Comments »

Furry Valentine’s Day

Perhaps we should learn real love from our furry friends!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

5 Comments »

When you look to the wrong sky–Skye

See on Scoop.itcatnipoflife

ೋღ♥ ღೋ Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10

I have tried this dieting thing many times both as a non-Christian and a Christian. Each time I would lose the weight and feel great; but my eyes, throughout and after, were completely on self. I was so focused on Skye that I was not looking to the sky at all; I was definitely not praising God or seeking His help.  I wanted to look good for me and for all those that would be amazed and awed by ME, ME, ME!   Yuck.

Sharla Shults‘s insight:

catnipoflife announces a new blog you need to visit. It is Faith, Food, and Friends by Skye. Skye is very adventurous with this being her third in the blogosphere! She is a very inspirational person, writer of poetry and excellent photographer. Visit her today and let her know catnip sent you! LOL!

See on faithfoodandfriends.com

3 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 »

Free Write Friday #39: Image Prompt

Writing_BanditAs I have done many times, my Free Write Friday has ended up on a Monday. Email has not been touched for three days so when I finally got the courage to check it out, the first thing I did was type in Kellie Elmore to see what kind of prompt she provided. To my amazement, the prompt last Friday was an image prompt that immediately triggered my grandpa. The little story sparked from the image began with the end in mind. Some of it is fact while as with any writing, extras had to serve as fillers to make it interesting. Anyway, here are my thoughts which are just beginning thoughts working themselves backwards as I wrote the last paragraph first. Would love to hear your thoughts so leave a comment or two or three…

From Kellie, welcome to Free Write Friday. New here? Read the intro. Everyone else, let’s get started.

Here is your FWF prompt:

Tell me his story…

Old_Man_With_Axe

Grandpa was a hardworking man. He toiled the earth, tilling, planting and sowing crops to be gathered and preserved by his loving wife of over 60 years. They met as mere children. Grew up together, married, and reared half a dozen kids while raising ten times or more as many chickens. Home was a cabin hewed by logs cut from his own timberland. Firewood was chopped every evening before sunset.

Seldom did he complain even when he was so tired his feet dragged over the threshold. Sometimes just the heaviness of that ol’ axe would cause him to stumble. He would have no other, however lighter it might be because of differences in wood used for the haft. This one was special. Notched up and down like the handle of a six-shooter. Each notch represented a tree felled by the hands of his grandpa’s grandpa and every generation since. Pretty soon there would not be enough wood to even support the head. In addition, the blade was wearing thin from all the daily sharpening, the bit was chipped and the beard often hung low until the shaft was reheeled. Grandpa took pride in that ol’ axe. Said for a tool to complete a job in the quickest amount of time, it had to remain sharp, just like the mind attuned to its surroundings.

This day was special. It seemed different. He wasn’t any less tired than usual but the atmosphere seemed brighter, his legs seemed lighter. After making it through the door as he had done thousands upon thousands of times before, he stoked the fire, and hung his hat on the back of the chair, then sat down for a brief rest. Grandma was in the kitchen humming her favorite church hymnal while preparing his favorite, dumplings.

Sitting by the hearth in his rocking chair Grandpa gently closed his eyes. A faint smile crossed his parched lips as weathered hands firmly clasped the wood-splitting axe. The final blow had been made. A job well done. The fire logs crackled underneath the weight of his last log having been placed atop.

© Sharla Lee Shults, 2014

4 Comments »

Magic

“Have you opened your eyes to the magic that is surrounding you at this very moment? Imagine it and bring it to life!
~ Roxana Jones

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Magic. Do you believe in magic? If your answer is ‘no’ my question to you is “why not?” Magic surrounds you every single moment of the day. There is magic in the air, in the woods, in the mountains, by the ocean, right in your own back yard. It is invisible yet can be seen. It is silent yet can be heard. It is intangible yet soft to the touch. How can this be you may ask? It’s magic!

When you gaze upon the smile of a child, how does that make you feel? Think about receiving a tender kiss from a loved one, do you tingle from head to toe? What about the times when you hurt so bad only to have someone give you a hug assuring you everything will be okay?

Does it make you feel all warm inside? Those feelings…how do you describe them?

Magical!

DividerPNG

Watch the raindrops dance across a flower
catch a ray of sun, feel its power   
brush windswept hair from your face
feel the elegance of Chantilly lace

Bathe in watercolors when the sun rises
open your eyes to all the surprises
cherish the twilight, dusk and dawn
mystic beauty each hour doth spawn

Toss a softball with a child
tickle a baby, watch her smile
save a caterpillar, let it be
butterfly wings you’ll soon see

Lay your head upon someone’s chest
feel the heartbeat as you rest
cry when it’s time to depart
let the tears cleanse your heart

Sense when another draws nigh
breath softly a soulful sigh
listen to birds’ sing off key
magic through your veins flows free

catniplogosm1©catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Magical-mornings-glisten

7 Comments »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,431 other followers

%d bloggers like this: