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!

Inspiration: catnip

 

Awareness of the world around you is the soul of inspiration. It’s like catnip : stimulating to the senses or relaxing like a sedative. Opportunities present themselves  throughout the day  and night or through an eventful time in life allowing emotions to escalate or simmer, much like the effects of catnip on the cat!

Stop! Look around: observe, listen, embrace, breathe and savor the simple things of life – those that surround you everyday, those that heighten your senses or calm your mood, those that say “We are the little things that make a difference.”

What has inspired your thoughts today?


 “When imagination meets creativity, awareness is intense, inspiration is born.” ~catnipoflife

 

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The Buzzard, the Bat & the Bumble Bee

If you put a BUZZARD
in a pen 6 feet by 8 feet
entirely open at the top,
the bird, in spite of its ability to fly,
will be an absolute prisoner.

The reason is that a buzzard always
begins a flight from the ground
with a run of 10 to 12 feet.

Without space to run, as is its habit,
it will not even attempt to fly,
but will remain a prisoner for life
in a small jail with no top.

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

The ordinary BAT
that flies around at night,
a remarkable nimble creature in the air,
cannot take off from a level place.

If it is placed on the floor or flat ground,
all it can do is shuffle about helplessly
and, no doubt, painfully,
until it reaches some slight elevation
from which it can throw itself into the air.

Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

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

The BUMBLE BEE,
if dropped into an open tumbler,
will be there until it dies,
unless it is taken out.

It never sees the means
of escape at the top,
but persisits in trying
to find some way out
through the sides
near the bottom.

It will seek a way where none exists,
until it completely destroys itself.

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

In many ways, we PEOPLE are like
the BUZZARD, the BAT, and
the BUMBLE BEE.

We struggle about with all
our problems and frustrations,
never realizing
that all we have to do
is look up!

That’s the answer,
the escape route,
the solution
to any problem. . .

JUST LOOK UP!

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

Sorrow looks back,
Worry looks around,
But faith looks up!

Live simply,
love generously,
care deeply,
speak kindly, and
trust in our Creator,
who loves US!

Share this with friends. . .I just did!

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Inspiration for the Soul

pinterest-logo“Whatever you want in life, start today. Not tomorrow – today. Let it be a small beginning – a tiny beginning. Your happiness depends on starting today – every day.”

Need nourishment? Visit my new Pinterest board, Daily Soul Food!

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Mother’s Day

“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” ~Tenneva Jordan

 To my mother, Anita Louise Weston Lee (1919 – 2010):

You Don’t Seem So Far Away

 Sometimes you seem so far away
Memorable moments shorten the way

Moments you firmly held my hand
Guiding me along life’s hardened land

Distance spans an epic terrain
Visions of your smile block out any pain

Smiles of delight as well as tears
Carrying us through the roughest years

As tears fall with each passing day
Voice of memory keeps sadness astray

In other words. . .

Though you seem so far away
You are as close as my thoughts

Thoughts remaining ever so clear
Never to fade from year to year

Images implanted in my mind
Lift my spirits at any time

Spirits to refresh my soul
Keeping me toward life’s goal

 For you see. . .

 Thoughts of you eternally stay
You don’t seem so far away

Echoes ©2012
Sharla Lee Shults

From: catnipoflife
To: all Mothers near and far


May your sons and daughters
Know how special you are

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Inspiration: The Butterfly Effect

Yesterday I ‘happened upon’ a Tweet [literally stumbled upon it among hundreds of Tweets] from writer Claire Cappetta that led me to her posting of the day Love and Coffee. Before going any further, be sure you click the link and read Claire’s ‘top of the morning’ greeting! Then, think about what your reaction would be if this happened to you:>) Of course, I smiled to myself as all kinds of thoughts passed through my mind! Um-m-m? Now, where DID I put that old coffee pot I decided to keep for emergency?

murphys-law2As I pondered the situation, Murphy’s Law entered my mind: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. The coffee pot scenario seemed to fit since anything manmade will at some point in time ‘decide’ to just quit. It can and it will! Unfortunately, more often than not it doesn’t end there: one thing goes wrong that leads to another that leads to another to another to another. . . and the beat goes on. If it can, it will go wrong and there is nothing that can stop it!

Claire’s posting at least let me start the day with a smile and a laugh along with, of course, hubby’s risque nature:>) However, the day did not proceed so light-heartedly, not even a giggle was able to creep its way in ’til the latter part of the day. In fact, it was hectic from that point on and very mind-taxing with my writing geared toward a totally different direction than that of catnip.

In order for you to understand the discovery and the inspiration that actually led to this posting, you need a little background information. Being an educational consultant, better still an ‘online learning specialist’ (just a fancy title for this ol’ retired school teacher), a lot of writing is necessary in response to the daily evaluations required of teachers’ online submissions. Well, this one video arrived that totally took me by surprise. I watched, I listened, I took notes; I rewatched, I relistened, I retook notes; I watched again, I listened attentively, I took more notes. The phone rang and rang and rang. I picked it up along with every other phone I passed on my way out to the porch, I laid all the phones down on the table and said, ” You answer it!” Then, I slowly turned around and walked back to the computer. A few short minutes later, I heard footsteps and only a head hesitantly appeared in the doorway. “I love you, Babe. Are you all right?” I think the hesitation came about of fear I might snap his head off but he knew the “I love you” gets me every time! He smiled, I trembled, we kissed!

OOPS! Careful animated_computer_studenthere, I am getting off track. Anyway, with attention back to the computer and trying to decide how to formulate the feedback, I decided to set it aside for awhile and collect my thoughts. Sometimes writing too quickly in the wrong state of mind can lead to misconceptions and unsupportive comments. That’s when I thought once again about Claire’s morning and I began to smile and giggle to myself. Still at the computer but now with thoughts of coffee and coffee pots I began a Google search. I cannot tell you what keywords I used nor how many searches I made but the words ‘butterfly effect’ caught my eye. Now, what on earth could butterflies have to do with coffee? When I began reading, it was not long before I was laughing but this time outloud, for right in the second paragraph I read . . .”Imagine you wake up in a good mood but then the coffee maker is broken. . . !

The next morning I found myself chuckling at yesterday’s musings. After many chuckles, the mood was set, I was inspired, and ready to write (hence this posting). Since catnipoflife focuses on life outsite the confines of four walls and a door (maybe a window), I ventured onto the porch with steaming coffee in hand, sat down in the rocking chair and watched as the wonders of nature begin to awaken my senses. Then, I saw the butterflies. I had bookmarked the site I found yesterday so I immediately opened it and read it again.

Have you heard of the Butterfly Effect? There IS inspiration here, my friends. Just click the words and you will be directed to Inspiring Yourself at Work. Claire, hope the rest of your day yesterday did not follow the path of the ‘butterfly effect’.

Where will you get your inspiration today?

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Inspiration: Meeting the Challenge 2

Butterflies_DaisiesRoadsides are dotted with clusters of brightly colored daisies engulfed in rain-aided green grasses. The smiling face of each flower brightens the view of fields and ditches along nature’s highway. Butterflies flit and flutter from flower to flower beckoning “come dance with me.”  ~catnipoflife

Where do you seek/find inspiration? Perhaps you need only to simply stop, look and listen within your ordinary surroundings for its discovery may take little or no effort at all. Within our daily midst, sights, sounds and smells are waiting to be awakened, explored, enjoyed and shared.

Butterflies&Daisies1That which is seen with the naked eye is often interpreted differently from individual to individual. With each vision comes thoughts and emotions that may strike an emotional chord of harmony or cast shadows of discord. Through these visions comes the ability to put what is seen only once into words that can last for a lifetime. Of course, thoughts might instead shift to that of a camera with the old adage ‘a picture is better than a thousand words’ immediately coming to mind. But, oh-h-h, how many times has that miraculous once-in-a-lifetime Kodak moment been missed? How many times has it been said or heard, “If I only had my camera. . .” More times that can be counted for sure! Yet, the vision is still there, stored in the scrapbook of the mind. Each time a page is turned in the mind’s diary that vision reappears. The recourse: write about it!

Nature is overflowing in its natural awe-inspiring, breath-taking wonders, none of which more mystical, nor mysterious, than the butterfly. What is it about this delicate insect that unites the heart with the soul? Some might say it is its symetrical beauty, others feel it has sensory powers of healing, while many purely delight in its wispy nature. Its beauty is consuming, none of which more captivating than when feeding on sugary nectar. (View Beautiful Butterflies from around the world.)

One of the butterfly’s favorite sources of nectar is the flower, especially the daisy. Butterflies and daisies go hand-in-hand within the natural wonders of nature. Watching the butterfly feed is a wonder in itself as it perches atop the flower dipping deep with a strawlike tongue into the rich nectar, opening its wings wide, bringing them in again, all the while savoring each drop. Ah-h-h, but this sweet fluid is not the only treat these little insects enjoy. Did you know they also love fruit? Of course, that is totally understandable since the fruits of nature are filled with sweet, natural juices.

Book Connection – EchoesEchoes

Inside Echoes, Chapter Three reflects poetry surrounding the beauty of nature. The verses in this chapter reflect Echoes of Life. The poem Butterflies ‘n’ Daisies projects imagery in answer to the question Do you see what I see? Through its reading, you should be inspired as its words guide you toward meeting the challenge of your daily inspiraton!

Butterflies n’ Daisies

Come dance with me!

Mystical, magical butterfly
Holder of dreams, keeper of secrets
Touches so many lives
Bringing comfort without regrets

A simple message received
Or a challenge to be met
Inspires acceptance of life’s struggles
How to let go and accept

Fields of daisies, made of sunshine
Colors of splendor, a butterfly’s lair
Offer a place to linger and find solitude
Resting as though in thoughtful prayer

Butterflies and daisies, of rare beauty
Breath-taking in full summer sun
Reflect the colors of the soul
Instilling love and compassion as one

Kneel down in quiet repose
As though if part of someone’s plan
Let the daisies hug your knees
And the butterfly kiss your hand

Echoes©2004
Sharla Lee Shults

“The butterfly counts not months, but moments, and has time enough.”
~Rabindranath Tagore

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New Post at Awakenings

Visit Awakenings and Share your thoughts: What events of late have you encountered that made you react with the question, “What’s happened to common sense?” Post comments for all to see and enjoy, perhaps even begging “YIPES, that really happened?”

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Inspiration: Meeting the Challenge

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~Leo Buscaglia (1924 – 1998)

LittleThingsAuthors are challenged in their writing to reflect senses that can be captured by readers in the manner in which they intended. A paraphrase of a quote by Plato (born c. 428 BC), “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder,” can be rephrased for the writer into “perception is in the eyes of the reader.” In order for our readers to perceive through their eyes what is proposed by our writings is often a delicate task. Word choice initiates feelings and visions, which if not chosen wisely could totally shift meaning in the wrong direction or portray a completely different image from its intentions.

For most of us, ideas come from our own experiences or stories related to us by family or friends. Thus, it all begins with our perception. It is much easier to feel an emotion by listening to a story being told or read aloud because of the tone and intonation of a person’s voice. For example, if an event depicted a scream in a scene, the actual sound of that person screaming could send chills to the bone, whereas if you read “she screamed as the door opened” might not provoke the same chilling reaction. Our voice, therefore, must become just as powerful but through the medium of the written word.

EchoesPeriodically I will post verses from Echoes. Within this volume of poetry are five chapters intended to tap into your senses as you focus on the following:

Family and Friends Do you sense the emotion?
I’m a BelieverDo you believe?
The Beauty of NatureDo you see what I see?
Good VibrationsDo you feel the spirit?
Whispers of YesterdayDo you hear what I hear?

It is hoped you will be touched by words that will evoke personal thoughts and ideas. As these thoughts surface, write them down. Such thoughts could trigger a poem, a story, a personal reflection. Who knows when someone somewhere in time might read them and how a life might be touched in the process.

One Final Thought

“Everything that we presently feel and see moving and taking place in our hearts, our minds, and our lives is His gift to us. We know not what it is or where it is going but He does and He gifts it to you. . .drink in His goodness, savor, and cherish every drop. He gifts it to me. . .I drink it in, savoring and cherishing every drop. May the verses to follow be His instrument of joy to you.”

Below is a sampling. For this poem and more heartfelt echoes, visit/scroll through the page link Echoes from the Heart. Periodically a new poem will be added for your reading pleasure that will hopefully echo emotion of your heart.

Family and Friends – Do you sense the emotion?

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

Mornin’ Bustle

Sister’s in the kitchen
Flour from head to toe
Helping make biscuits
Kneadin’ the dough

Window’s open
Curtains flappin’ in the breeze
Mama wipes her brow
”Pass the milk, please”

Potatoes peeled and washed
Are set aside to drain
Thunder in the background
Quickly turns thoughts to rain

A poor man’s gravy becomes
A true Southern surprise
Country ham sizzlin’
Forming perfect red-eyes

Fresh eggs swiftly broken
Crackling in the skillet
Aroma quickly commands
“Come and get it!”

The table’s all set
Coffee steaming in the pot
Biscuits from the oven
Sat down while pipin’ hot

Thank you, Lord, for daily bread
Country ham and bacon
Grandma’s jam and all the rest
Ready for the takin’!

AMEN!

Echoes ©2004
Sharla Lee Shults

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Keep the Change

Have you created a positive ripple effect of kindness lately? Here is a cue:

No matter the location – restaurant, convenience store, shopping mall, gas station, coffee shop, etc. – tell the clerk to keep the change for someone who comes in that might need it:>)

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Life IS a Bed of Roses

Roses and Thorns @amritham99@wordpress.com Click the rose. . .

We have all heard the expression “a rose is a rose…” Knowledge of this sentiment may be attributed to its reference in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), the poem Sacred Emily by Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) or The Rose Family by Robert Frost (1874-1963). Each of these famous poetic encounters focuses on the softness and loveliness of what we have come to know as the rose. Would a rose by any other name still be a rose? Of course, it would be the same flower only its name would be different. Now, that brings a strange thought to mind: If the rose had been named ‘dandelion’ from its inception, then a dozen dandelions would be the perfect affirmation of love!

Let’s get back to the rose as we know it: Showy clusters of big, cherry, ruffled petals emanating a slight spicy fragrance. Oh, but don’t stop there for with the rose’s flowery essence is its accompanying thorny stem. Um-m-m? With that, another thought enters the mind in the form of a question: Have you ever heard anyone exclaim, “Wow! Those are great thorns on that rose. I’ll take a dozen.”? Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Of course it does. Yet, the statement “life is NOT a bed of roses” falls into a similar category and has been around a long, long time. Its meaning is based solely upon the perception of the rose’s soft, velvety petals and sweet succulent aroma that can calm the most brutal of stormy encounters.Perhaps we should give this ‘rosy’ situation a little deeper thought. If we lie upon a bed of roses, will only its velvety touch prevail? Probably not unless we lie only upon the petals of the rose. Maybe we should say, “Life is NOT a bed of rose petals.” Seems more appropriate. Um-m-m-m? Let’s see. Remember, we have those prickly thorns to consider.

Let’s continue with thoughts as questions. Is life, in and out of love, always protected? Do we continuously experience love and compassion with only a mere thought or desire within a magic touch? Are all thoughts of hurt and sadness abandoned with blissful events filling the cracks and crevices of our mind? Does rain bring forth showers of refreshment without any possibility of a stormy outcome? If wishes were automatically granted, would life, love and happiness include extravagance without times of despair? Such thoughts shed a different light on whether life might indeed be a bed of roses! For me, life IS a bed of roses and I thank my mom and dad for preparing me for life’s many thorns and instilling in me the importance of perseverance.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree on this profound theory of life among the roses? After reading bed of roses, share your thoughts on this thorny matter. . .

Photo Credit: 123Greetings.com

“With the beauty of the rose comes its thorny stem.
Life captures the essence of the rose for it too is beautiful
but filled with many thorns.”

bed of roses

dewdrops glisten in the morning light
gently resting on the petals of a rose
a sunbeam reveals a dark shade of green
while a mild fragrance permeates the nose

swift movements,smooth clips with the blade
the perfect long stems are carefully sought
elated with the feeling of surprising a true love
a thorny prick awakens a dreamy thought

throbbing sensations snap the mind back to reality
for love is rare that does not inflict pain
enduring heartaches,harnessing desires
genuine and caring,until all is well again

red roses symbolize passionate love
those that are yellow keep hearts bright as day
talismans hold dreams of tomorrow
while the white embellish true love all the way

so, my love, keep these roses close to your heart
protected and secure with love’s seal
for life is a bed of roses,full of many thorns
sharp,cutting,but not without the power to heal

©2004 Echoes
Sharla Lee Shults

“But he who dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.”
~ Anne Brontë

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