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!

Desire to Live a Dream

We should all strive to learn who we are…from whence we came. Each of us holds a place in an ancestral chain with relatives from many different walks of life. Within anyone’s ancestry lies experience after experience deemed a success, as well as a considerable amount of failure. Every walk of life provides a step forward, often many backwards, encapsulating a certain degree of risk plagued by the overarching question, “Will I make it this time?” Often this is even followed by “Why try?”

Why try, indeed? Because there is an overwhelming desire, a passion, to live a dream and the unyielding desire, the tenacity, to see it happen. Once the vision is established it takes a combination of passion and tenacity to keep the momentum going. The passion is the drive to put more energy into achieving that vision than ever before, much more than is necessarily required. It goes beyond enthusiasm or excitement requiring commitment of heart, mind, body and soul. Of course, with every accomplishment there are setbacks. The tenacity is that persistent determination, even in the face of adversity, to never give up.

Are you willing to take the risk to live your dream? 
What if you fail?
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“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”Henry Ford
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What if these people gave up?
Where would their place be in history?

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“The more things you do, the more you can do.” – Lucille Ball

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 What about these famous failures?
What if they had not gone on to fulfill their destinies?

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.
I have lost almost 300 games.
On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed.
I have failed over and over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Give up giving up and hold on to the desire to live a dream!
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tenacity
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What failures have led to your successes?

Save

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To all Fathers…

Today Sunday, June 19, 2016 is Father’s Day…a day of honor and celebration for our dads and fathers. Not all fathers are dads nor are all dads fathers. Each holds a special place in a child’s, teen’s or adult’s heart. Regardless of the roledad, father or bothnot any one of us could be here without having been fathered. With fatherhood comes a tremendous responsibility encompassing tasks of sharing, caring and preparing for life’s journey.

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May this Father’s Day be filled with wondrous blessings that continue through each day of the year! To each of you…A Father’s Day Salute!

 A father’s day is every day
Not just one day of the year
Holding a wee little hand
(day time and nighttime)
Wiping away a tear

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It’s faith, hope, love
All rolled into one
Encouragement, patience
(never giving up)
‘Til a task is done

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It’s being thankful
Gratitude of heart
Knowing what you need
(when you need it)
Right from the start

  
It’s together time
The thrill of hearty laughter
 Seeing what you’re going through
(even if it doesn’t show)
The morning of the day after

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It’s helping with decisions
Staying taut through outs or ins
Teaching life’s not easy
(taking the right road)
Supporting losses and wins

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It’s hurting and being hurt
Holding discipline’s place
Leaving behind a legacy

(not of material ‘things’)
Rewards of saving grace
*

It’s compassion and comfort
When a hug is all that’s needed
Priceless moments in time

(Teddy Bear hugs)
Quickly and tenderly heeded

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It’s shaping, molding
Each life that has begun
Making an investment
(often without return)
‘Til the full course is run

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It’s when having to leave
Looking back with pride
Releasing all the tears
(happiness and heartache)
Bottled up inside

©Sharla Lee Shults

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The Reason for this Season

The Christmas season is filled with times of joyful gathering…family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, acquaintances from many different backgrounds. The main question is…why do you join others in celebration at this time of year? Is it simply feasting and partying, dressing in fancy attire, for camaraderie, perhaps time to catch up on happenin’s throughout the year? What makes it different from any other gathering? There is only one reason for this season which should remain at the top of the list, the star of the Christmas tree, the most wondrous gift of them all…

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May we never be so focused on getting gifts & PRESENTS 
that we forget to receive…
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…the gift of HIS PRESENCE!
  *****

 Spread the pure joy!

There is magic in Christmas
A time for joy, a time of peace
Sharing, caring, preparing
As cascading snowflakes increase

A star tops the Christmas tree
Presents of love beneath
All in the joy of giving
Encircling like a wreath

People come, people go
All in the name of good cheer
Wishing Merry Christmas
And the happiest New Year

 Coziness of a fireplace
A warm hug, tender kiss

Christmas Eve closes in prayers
No one dares not miss

 While saying Merry Christmas
With wishes for a Happy New Year
How many celebrate birth
The real reason behind all the cheer?

Wining, dining, feeling fine
Feasting on the best
When asked why you celebrate
What do you attest?

Hope in Christmastime
The message of the season
Birth of our Savior
Truly the blessed reason

 Spread the word far and wide
In full convoy
 Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Spread the pure joy!

 

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The Time When Giving Rules

As Christmas day draws nearer and nearer, very little time remains for shopping, especially for the little gifts that may have been forgotten. The last minute push always has people rushing around almost in a daze…in a craze anyway! So, ever thought of doing something different? Staying away from the malls, putting your imagination to work? What about inviting family and friends over and being creative! Make some small gifts together or simply let the time of enjoyment be the gift itself…give the gift of smiles and laughter.

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The Time When Giving Rules

 Christmas-red-divider

Christmas
a time for giving
Loving, laughing & living
Forgetting & forgiving
Remembering, reliving
 
 
 
Christmas brings time for laughter
Today, tomorrow, thereafter
Gifts of love, you’re the crafter 
Those ne’er bought before or after
 


Something to use, something to share
The idea is showing you care
Make it something unique with flair
 Or totally risque if you dare
 
 
Should you decide food’s the thing
 Add to it just the right zing
Small goodies smiles surely bring
When the mason jar is king
 
 
If the gift is a gift of money
Be sure to make it funny
Any dollar bill, sweet as honey
Leaves the day bright and sunny

 Less demanding are simple tools
Maybe rhinestone studded jewels
Some little wooden sewing spools
All in the time when giving rules

©2014 Sharla Lee Shults

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Bon Appétit & Music Too!

Reposted from Awakenings with a touch of catnip…

Happy-Thanksgiving2

Gobble Gobble Gobble is the tune of the day if the only thing on your mind is the Thanksgiving feast…BUT that is not all Thanksgiving is about. It’s only a start…

  gluttons for punishment
partake of the Thanksgiving feast
with abundant choices
one can feel like a gorging beast

*****
try this for something different…
go around the table
fill a plate with all the trimmings
deliver to the disabled

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~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  Thanksgiving is not just about food…it’s music too!

music of Thanksgiving
soul felt,  full of emotion
melodies of the heart
spreading joy, inspiration
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 it’s rhythmic balance in nature
in tune with songs of life
 spiritually rewarding
“whispers of drum and fife”

 Thanksgiving is about…

 giving thanks for many blessings
received the whole year through
being with family and friends
 cherishing all they do
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living, laughing, loving
never forgetting those in need
giving inspiringly
encouraging others indeed
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Beyond the Thanksgiving table…
~
remember blessings said
being heard with a grateful ear
 humbly and earnestly
memorable words to endear
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 emit emotions from the heart
those that last all year through
solemn thankfulness amid praise
to never bid adieu

 Thanksgiving_catnip

Thanksgiving-cute-kitty-in-pumpkin
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World Kindness Day

Have you ever thought about the difference in thankfulness versus gratefulness? During hot, dry spells, you are thankful for the slightest hints of rain or during the winter, you are thankful for the day falling snow finally wanes. On the other hand, you are indeed grateful for the presence of nature, the nurture that Mother Nature brings to the earth in the forms of nourishment, care, shelter, guidance, inspiration. Being aware of your surroundings interjects feelings of thoughtfulness which in turn makes you truly thankful thereby expressing gratitude for all blessings received. Inner spirit is at peace, heart and soul.

Turning Thoughtfulness

Being thankful, giving thanks
Go together hand-in-hand
One without the other
Makes for a lonely stand

Be thankful for many blessings
Each new day may impart
Specially those unexpected
Which arrive heart-to-heart

Give thanks in return
For those blessings received
Since unspoken words
Can’t be quickly perceived

Be thankful for troubled times
Reaching out to those concerned
For without painful mistakes
Lessons cannot be learned

Give thanks for the little things
From strangers and loved ones alike
Whose genuine thoughtfulness
Presents a delightful heartstrike

Be thankful for each morning
With which a fresh start begins
Giving thanks for daily blessings
Until the day finally ends

Turn thoughtfulness into gratitude
A work of heart, a practice of soul
Find pleasure giving to others
A notion that never grows cold

catniplogosm1

© 2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

—Albert Schweitzer (Alsatian theologian, organist, philosopher 1875–1965)

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November 13th is World Kindness Day!

A global 24-hour celebration dedicated to
paying-it-forward and focusing on the good.

Feelings of thoughtfulness naturally bring on acts of kindness, which make for a better day any time of the year. Even though November 13th is set aside as a day of celebration, let it only be the beginning of random acts of kindness to last all year!

Need some ideas?
Opportunities for random acts of kindness are everywhere. We just have to take the time and allow ourselves to do something memorable for others. November 13th, World Kindness Day, is a good day to remind us of that. The good news, is that kindness doesn’t always require spending. A nice letter, a compliment, or even your time can make someone smile.
Shari’s Berries created a Random Acts of Kindness Generator to inspire you on World Kindness Day. Just choose a category, and the generator will provide a simple act you can do for someone else. Luckily, there are over fifty different kindness ideas which you can perform all year long!
http://www.berries.com/blog/53-random-acts-kindness-generator
Random acts of kindness come from the heart, one beat at a time! 
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Both Sides of Life: City vs. Country

Crédits photo : Johnia! (Flickr)

Crédits photo : Johnia! (Flickr)

Are you a city slicker born and reared in the country? A country boy or girl living it up in the city? Country born, country stayed or city born, city to this day? Much is to be learned from both sides of life. The sleepy country side isn’t for everyone nor is the flipside, hectic city life. One may seem pale in comparison to the other so venture forth seeking the brightness of each. If you live in the country, take time to visit the city. If you live in the city, get out into the country for rural goodness.

Life in the City

Welcome to the city!
May I show you around?

A concrete jungle
It has long been called
A mighty fortress
Towering, stone-walled

Glaring, surely blaring
Sights amid sounds
All around the city
Hold you spellbound

Daytime, nighttime glamour
Makes you feel like new
Singing, dancing, engaging
Nothing you can’t do!

Hustling, bustling city squares
Crisscrossing asphalt streets
Coffee shops by the dozens
Invite strangers to meet

Spectacles, smells, odd routines
Invite strangers to stroll
Events in a city park
Offer a grassy knoll

A haven for many
Sin city to a few
Life in the city
Never bids adieu!

Welcome to the city!
Ready to wheel around?

Hail a taxi
In a heated rush
Paint the city
With your own life’s brush!

catniplogosm1

©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Quote for the Moment: A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again.

            —Margaret Mead (American cultural anthropologist, 1901–1978)

Have you ever felt like walking directly into a picture? The image being so clear, so persuasive you actually felt the scene? It could be you’ve imagined a setting from books or magazines you read or heard described. What drew you in could be the pleasantry of the landscape, the land, the horses or the people. The image became so implanted in your mind nothing could stop you from searching for such a place. You drove, drove, drove until you found it! Maybe after reading that will be the guidance you need to seek your own spot in the countryside.

Countryside Manner

At dawn beads of morning dew
Dance across spiders’ webs
Reflecting the rising sun
As pale light strokes the sky

An oratorio of frogs
Birds, mammals, creepy-crawlies
Generate the essence of song
Bringing on a tender sigh

Wide expanses of green-on-green
Adorn the rolling country hillside
With wildflowers, gems of beauty
Joining the horizon’s edge of blue

Just up the road two horses
Grazing alongside a field of buttercups
Look upward toward earth’s edge
In the forefront of the panoramic view

A wooden farmhouse in the background
Stands naked within the scene
Surrounded only by fields of green
Serene, natural beauty

An old country farmer
Plowing his corn field nearby
Reflects on life’s duty
With a swift wipe of his brow

Chickens scatter noisily
As eggs are carefully gathered
The plumpest of the plump hens
Tries to escape supper somehow

Such is the countryside manner
Where thoughts lost in daydreams
Leave imagination unbound
On wings completely free

Holding hands, shoulder-to-shoulder
Sittin’ upon the grass
Bears glory in the countryside
Now that’s the place for me!

catniplogosm1

©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Quote for the Moment: When I go out into the countryside and see the sun and the green and everything flowering, I say to myself —Yes indeed, all that belongs to me!

            —Henri Rousseau (French Post-Impressionist painter, 1844–1910)

So, what is your side of life…city or country?

cityvs.country

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Unforgettable

 
image
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Remembered time and time again
Embedded dramatic, iconic images
Symbols of excitement and joy
Inspiring, mesmerizing, unforgettable
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For each of us, what is deemed unforgettable differs. It may be a nature experience, a walk with Mother Naturepanoramic tranquil scenes or minuscule patterns or even the depiction of natural disasters. For some, it is all in the name of love, whereas for others, it is unconditionally patriotic. The possibilities are indeed endless.

 

There are connections to the past, present, and future. Some can be classified as Defining Moments establishing, often shifting, the course of history. Many cause a plethora of tears yet remain surrounded in blissful happiness. Then, there are the sights and sounds when Flying Over America!

 

What do you consider as an unforgettable moment?

Perhaps it is as simple as the fact AUTUMN is here!

Related Article:
Shanghai_Pass
The end of the Great Wall of China at…
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True Riches

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing today, pause in reflection on whom or what you are truly grateful. You may find the naming easy coming rather naturally or you may find it takes some thought, time and effort. Remember, regardless of whether easy or hard, the goal is giving thanks and being grateful for all you have. There is a lot to be thankful for…all you have to do is sprinkle a little catnip into your life embracing the cherishable moments being careful not to let the little things go unobserved. These are the true riches in life!

True Riches

Consider that which you’re truly grateful
What would be at the top of your list—
Friends, family, loved ones, favorite pet
Something you simply cannot resist?

Material—here today, gone tomorrow
Proposes value not set in stone
But when it comes to everlasting life
It is priceless—it and it alone

Life’s filled with cherishable bounties
Each to be considered on its own
Not to be thought of haphazardly
Instead measured from birth until grown

As a tiny infant you learn dutifully
Survival outside your mother’s womb
With loving care, nourishment of adoration
You grow up going forth in full costume

From childhood to young adult
Life flows as a river of dreams—
First crush, first date, first kiss
Without worry or so it seems

Once into the world of adulthood
Life takes on a whole new meaning
Gratefulness is the bounty of life
Which is only the beginning

As the days turn into months
The months forge ahead into years
Passing by all too quickly
Memory slowly disappears

The tick-ticking hands of time
Move in only one direction
The only way to step back
Is merely in life’s reflection

Live each day for its moments
Not simply day by day
True riches of life excel
In all you do and say

catniplogosm1©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Could it be that the mystic gratefulness in the depth of every human heart sings with “a still, small voice,” and is easily drowned out by the noise we endure and the noise we make?

           —Bro. David Steindl-Rast O.S.B. (Catholic Benedictine monk, b. 1926)

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Summer Relaxation

catnip_cat_grass_and_greens_for_your_cat_s1What is your favorite summer relaxation? What about observing a sunset within the sea, shells and smells at the beach? Living in the fast-paced world of e-this & e-that makes it easy for life to become so stressful that the need to get away is at the top of the list. Ready to relax? Kick back, breathe deeply the salty air, take a few moments for a quiet walk…simply get away welcoming peace at the end of the day.

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Perhaps yours is . . .

 

A Walk along the Beach

Radiance on the horizon
Broadcasts day is about to begin
Sending sunbeams of golden warmth
To soothe, visibly gilding the skin

Sunlight reflects on the water
Mirroring synthetic jewels
With prismatic colors arching
Inside raindrops like cultured pearls

Noonday scorching, sweltering heat
Offers the darkest, most perfect tan
Ebbing the tide to erase footprints
Where sand pipers once swiftly ran

Breathtaking views of glistening sand
Stretch outward miles upon miles
Beach sandcastles’ unique creations
Generate smiles upon smiles

Summer evenings, moonlit nights
Flaunt stars for strollers to abide
Lovers walk lonely beaches
Staying close, in step side-by-side

Tears in the pale moonlight
Unleash desires to cry no more
For loving thoughts triumph
Hand-in-hand along the seashore

catniplogosm1©2015 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Today, walking the beach, I was reminded of the bounty of the earth in the form of wild blackberries – a free feast, with no one else bothering to partake.

—Jonathan Lockwood Huie (Author, n.d.)

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