Archives for category: Musings

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Have A Great Day

That’s usually how I sign my emails, end my phone calls.

But the other day I paused before I hit send.

Because I knew the person wasn’t having a great day.  Not even a great week, or month or year.  Not even a good one if you took the time to ask them, more importantly if you took the time to listen, and to maybe read between the “I’m ok thank you’s”.

Words. Those dang pesky things. Those letters we put together to try to convey our thoughts, ideas, beliefs and feelings.

I contemplated, what do I really mean when I say “Have a great day!”?

The dictionary defines great as remarkable in magnitude, degree, or effectiveness. I’ve come to realize that life is mainly about how we choose to perceive things, and that includes how we interpret “great” in our own reality.

For a new mom with her second baby a great day might be 2 children napping at the same time and an adult conversation.

When a loved one is hospitalized with a stroke a great day might be when they recognize you and can say your name again.

A parent with an autistic child may tell you it was a great day because their child hugged them for the first time in six months.

Someone grieving the loss of a loved one might say it was a great day the first time they woke up and didn’t burst into tears.

Someone living with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy has a great day when they don’t feel nauseous, have an appetite and feel strong enough to go out.

An unexpected visit can change a miserable day into a great day for a someone experiencing loneliness.

When losing someone to Alzheimer’s a great day is realizing today they remember you.

For someone struggling with depression, a great day is the day you feel hope again.

Great days.

They don’t have to be big.

There doesn’t have to be fanfare.

Sometimes to anyone else they can even be inconspicuous. Great days are a very personal thing. Great days are made up of tiny little special moments. We just have to see them.

No matter how you feel. Find your great. No matter how big, how obvious, unexpected or elusive. Find it. Make it if you must. Embrace it. So have a GREEEAAATTT day.

Because it’s all good.  It’s really just how you choose to look at it.

 

©2017 J Fries/Rise Like Air

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Winter  – it’s coming. It’s almost here. Long nights, short days, cold, snow, ice. Did I mention cold? Like really cold? But where I live at least it’s a dry cold, which, as everyone knows, is so much better than a wet cold. In my opinion winter is just plain old fashioned cold for the most part. I’m not a big fan of winter.

Bears hibernate. Bats hibernate. Dwarf lemurs in Madagascar hibernate. Even pygmy slow loris in Vietnam hibernate. These mammals have evolved to take the smart, loving, self care approach to winter. Hunker down and avoid it at all costs. Sleep it away – relax, rebuild, rejuvenate.

Humans, on the other hand, humans do not hibernate. I checked. Google is my friend. We are apparently considered highly intelligent. Given all the things that have been going on all over the world for the last while I’m beginning to wonder. This little bit about not hibernating, well that’s sort of clinching it for me.

I mean think about it. Hibernating humans would give the world a break from our constant onslaught of abuse on mother nature and each other. That just might be a good thing don’t you think? How many of us feel overwhelmed, overworked and definitely overtired? Sleeping soundly for a few months all cozy sounds pretty refreshing to me. I’m not seeing the downside here.

Let’s see, eating large and healthy (ish) in preparation, sounds rather mouth watering. Getting into my favourite fuzzy pjs, with an elastic waist, even better. Waking up with no evidence of the feast, an added bonus!

Yep definitely beginning to wonder about the evolution of humans. In the meantime there’s always a good book, glass of wine and a roaring fire to keep the feel of winter at bay. After all, I’ve heard that imagination unlocks the universe. Maybe hibernating isn’t the solution after all.

Because really, it’s all good. It’s just how you choose to look at things.

 

©2017 J Fries/Rise Like Air

 

On October 23rd I opened my new copy of The Kindness Boomerang. It felt so good to have a copy of my own again. You see I tend to gift a lot of them, and I was without one for myself for weeks.

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The Kindness Boomerang is a book by Life Vest Inside founder Orly Wahba who inspires us to change the world with kindness. It’s all about everyday people doing everyday things a little more consciously.

I’ve learned through these daily kindness exercises it’s true, the little things really are the big things.

So I opened the book and the act for that day was

Eat and shop locally today.

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Excerpt from The Kindness Boomerang by Orly Wahba

It just so happened that I was about to buy some sticky sweet honey from our local apiarist, commonly known as a beekeeper, who is just down the road at Zee-Bee Honey. I had to smile as I made the arrangements with the owner (and my friend) Michelle.

Saskatchewan produced honey courtesy of the bees from Zee-Bee Honey

The Steve Maraboli quote accompanying the act fit perfectly,

Every single time you help somebody stand up you are helping humanity rise.

It was another one of those “rise like air” feeling occasions. Everyday people doing everyday things a little more consciously everyday. I like it when things come together with that peaceful sweet serendipity.  Just another reminder that really, “it’s all good”. It’s all in how you look at it.

©2017 Jewel Fries/Rise Like Air

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Sometimes I trip up. Let’s be real, we all do.

On occasion I trip over my feet.

Other times I trip over my tongue.

But more often, I recently realized, I trip over my brain.

It quite literally gets in the way.

I overthink.

I miss “the obvious”…

the simple…

the quick and easy…

I trip over my brain when I give in to my fears…

doubts…

anxieties…

I trip over my brain when I accept, without question…

opinions…

criticisms…

When I trip over my brain, I flounder. Nothing makes sense. Life feels harder and much less fun.  And since I seem to have had a substantial amount of experience tripping in my lifetime I’ve learned a few things.

It’s ok if I trip over my feet, it’s part of my dance.

It’s ok if I trip over my tongue, it’s part of my story.

It’s ok if I trip over my brain, it’s an opportunity to learn and grow.

I was struggling to answer a question when it finally dawned on me that I already had the solution! The solution was to locate the person who actually had the answer and document it for the next time I needed it. It was so easy to trip, to take responsibility for the answer when I needed to take responsibility for the solution. All I had to do was ask.

I learned, I grew.

It really is all about how we choose to look at things.

 

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So #sing. Make #music. #Dance. #Smile. #Laugh. #Bekind to yourself and others and… #love #live #believe

Really it’s our destiny.

As Mike Dooley from tut.com reminded me this week

I distinctly remember the conversation, Jewel. We were having triple-chocolate brownie fudgesicles, listening to Beethoven’s “Fifth” before he even was Beethoven, overlooking the galaxy, when you mentioned how neat you thought it would be to one day have dreams you didn’t know you’d inevitably manifest, to have challenges you didn’t know you’d inevitably conquer, and to have friends you didn’t know you’d inevitably meet.

And as I leaned forward in total awe, all agog, wanting to learn more of your genius and courage, I almost fainted when you added, “And should it ever appear as if I could use your help, before I even begin helping myself, back off or you’ll ruin everything.”

You memory-maker you,

    The Universe

 

I ask…

 

So…..   I ask……

  • What memories are you going to make?  
  • What choices will you  dig deep to make?
  • What leaps will you take?

All we have is moments. Make each moment count. Don’t look back don’t look ahead. Just look at this moment. Live it. Love it.  Be it.  You memory maker you.

Thoughts become things… choose the good ones!

Love

Peace

Hugs

Cause we all need those…

 

©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

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A few days ago I got a message from fellow blogger Vaibhav Gupta saying a mutual friend had passed on my name and he was wondering if I’d be interested in being interviewed for his blog  TalkBack Tuesday.   (Stay tuned… for news when it will be available)

I was in complete shock, but after reviewing what was required I jumped at the opportunity. A little outside my comfort zone, how perfect is that?

But seriously, how could I not.

Talkback Tuesday is a feature for and about everyday people. It is always inspirational to look into the life of another person, and realize it is just as complex and large and confusing as your own.

Everyday people…. life as complex… large… confusing…  Ok, that’s sounding about right.

So early in the morning I was at my key board on FB messenger answering unprepared, refreshing and thought provoking questions. It was  really a unique and enlightening experience I will treasure for a long time to come. Afterwards, I messaged my friend Soumya who had recommend me and I said, “Thank you so much for giving Vaibhav my name.” She responded with a brief but breathtaking message,

Your are one of the most amazing people I know.

I got teary, because I’ll be honest, I seldom, feel like I’m an amazing person. As another friend of mine would say, “I’m just me, just a guy.” Well in my case, “just a girl”. And that really is how I see myself.  Just me, full of flaws and idiosyncrasies.  Lots and lots of cracks – that let the light in, maybe get filled with gold now and then. Truly a work in progress, hopefully a masterpiece at the same time? Pretty much like I see everyone else to be honest. I mean, I have some really lousy days and on those days I don’t always do amazing things. I started to think about all the everyday people I know who really are amazing, at least to me. Like people I know recovering from brain surgery, quickly growing families, couples picking up shards of marriages or just trying to make relationships better, parents with a hole in their hearts that can’t be filled, people letting go of their past, embracing their futures, tenants uncertain about security and shelter, people just trying to honestly figure out life, I mean REALLY figure it out.. AMAZING people.

Then it hit me.

Amazing, everyday people struggle too

I realized that struggling, and bad days, even feeling overwhelmed doesn’t ever stop us from being amazing; just maybe from recognizing it ourselves.

We struggle. We struggle to find our smile, to find our confidence, to find time, to be real, to get it right, and to just be ourselves. We struggle, to find words, to connect the dots, to achieve what we think we want. We can make it easier or harder on ourselves or we can cross our fingers and hope for the best. But through all of that, we can be and are amazing, in so many incredibly magical jaw dropping ways.

So we struggle. There is purpose.

And we succeed. 

So go out there and be AMAZING; just be YOU!

Soumya, just so you know, you are with out a doubt one of the most amazing people I know. Thank you for being you.

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Dedicated to all the amazing people I know and there are so very many of you. Thank you

©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Life is filled with things that seem to make no sense yet somehow the dance is beautiful anyway and in the end, maybe there is simply one truth. A fantastic read by such an eloquent writer.

 

Everything and Life

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I think that most of my life has been a war, a really strange war.
A war between wanting to love beyond reason (and realizing that I actually can’t love people who don’t give me some form of love in return) and wanting to give up on people who don’t treat me right (but in turn realizing that I can’t ever stop loving people I once loved).
This, to me, makes no sense!
I mean, it looks like I actually somehow do both these contradictory things. If only I could mix and match my internal responses to them, maybe I could lead a slightly less confused life.
So if you’ve been reading me for a while now and seem confused, don’t worry. We are completely 100% on the same page.
I once told a boy that I would love him forever, but then years later he told me in response…

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I love Marcel Proust quotes and this morning seemed a good day to remind myself of a few of my favourites.  While curled up waiting for my tea to steep I thought that just maybe someone else would enjoy his wisdom on this Tuesday as well.

 

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

My personal favourite. I have never ceased to be amazed at how  a different perspective can literally change my world.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Is there a better feeling than experiencing a soul blossoming?

If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time.

So many argue this point, but those I know who have given up on dreaming seem to have given up on the joy of life too.

We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.

Probably the hardest lesson I am still learning. And what a journey it is.  I am honoured to a part of so many wonderful people’s journey.

We are healed from suffering only by experiencing it to the full.

Being a procrastinator and avoider I argued this one for a very long time and still like to put my fingers in my ears and go “lalalalala” but, yes, “what you resist persists” And boy oh boy, does it ever……

Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.

Sigh, need we really say more….

Everything great in the world comes from neurotics. They alone have founded our religions and composed our masterpieces.

Ok, maybe not EVERYTHING but…… you have to admit there does seem to be a possible connection…. maybe…

Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees.

Still mulling this one, but I have to admit there is something about those aha moments….

Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promise only; pain we obey.

I really really want to argue this one but there is at least some truth in it for far too many of us.

There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.

Oh to have the days of childhood and endless reading.

 

So there you have it, some of my favourite Marcel Proust quotes to ponder this terrific Tuesday.  And if it’s not so terrific?  I have a suggestion….. go back to quote #1 and give it a shot.  Change up your eyes and shift that perspective.  You might just be amazed.

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Some days are better. Some days are worse. Some days just are.

But somehow, I knew this day had some good in it when I sat in a hammock overlooking a lake, gazing into a blue sky with a white fluffy heart shaped cloud right above me. Somehow, you just know it when stuff like that happens. Even if recognizing that experience is all the good you can muster. It’s pretty good.

 

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Interesting thing, I’ve learned that every single day has something good in it, just sometimes I don’t seem able to expend the necessary effort looking for it.  Now that I’ve recognized it and stopped arguing it I’m expending the effort and energy.

I’ve discovered it is very easy to see that not so good, the negative, the problems… and then to “happily” cling to them. The day can be beautifully bright, our kids remembered to pick up their toys, our spouses remembered to appreciate us and then that idiot cuts us off in traffic. Well there goes the hole dang day! We focus on that one thing that went wrong, a cloud appears over our head, our shoulders sag, our jaw sets and we do the exact opposite of what Alice Herz-Sommer advises. Instead of “seeing the bad but looking where it is good.”  we decide, usually quite unconsciously, to forget about the good and cling desperately to that one little annoyance. And like a cancer…. it grows until the blackness surrounds us.

And the weirdest part…. really, it’s up to us to choose. We choose everyday all day and way too often our choices don’t serve us or others.

So I’m taking this sign as a reminder to see the love and wonder in the world, even in the clouds.

Have a great day, find your own sign and remember – the choice is yours. Choose to look to the good, even when there’s bad knocking on your front door. May there always be a heart cloud above you showering you with mother nature’s love and a blue sky filling your own heart with hope.

 

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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It’s Monday incase anyone needed reminding. However,

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So I did!  Started my day with Yoga for the first time in a long time and I feel so much better for it, going to make it routine again.  Because here’s a little secret, I like feeling better. It’s a good thing.

It’s also summer solstice – and full moon!!! Love this time of year and having both come together is like an extra special gift. Monday just keeps getting better if you let it. Now there’s a lesson we should all take to heart, Monday and every other day too.

I m working at holding onto hope and passing out as much of it as I can to others who may be a bit short. Rips me up to see how much hopelessness there is swirling around me. It truly truly is about perspective, but perspective is sometimes this elusive, slippery concept that seems just out of our grasp. My life mission truly is to be a catalyst for hope, for change and I keep feeling like messages are coming to me to get on with it. So ok already! … I am!

Your deepest heart knows what your soul purpose is. It is connected with the you that you wish to be.  It is embedded in the place of joy within you.  Its expression creates a sense of fulfillment and meaning.  It is the reason for you being on the Earth at this time. Julie Redstone

And the biggest thing I’m learning as I move through all of this messy thing called “Life” is that mindfulness is key (ya really working on that) and that to truly be what I want to be and where I want to be I have to accept change, I have to accept the messiness of life and what changing life means. I am truly a butterfly – delicate but capable of flying through a hurricane, and sometimes in the end you just can’t go around the storm, you have to go through it, even if it means battered wings.

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment.  Jon Kabat-Zinn

I have been releasing so much crap lately, internally and externally and the process continues. Somedays I see it all so clearly and other days the fog is impenetrable. Today is just hazy, forecast is for clearing skies – shining my light – and sparkling, as brightly as I possibly can because the world needs shiny people who sparkle. (Seriously, it does…. did you miss the memo?)

What is ringing clear as a bell is that I can do what I want, I can be who I want to be – if I’m willing to

BE

BELIEVE

DO

… I’m the only thing truly standing in my way. All other things will move or dissolve if I MOVE. Even if I move just al little. I’m moving, I’m moving, I’m moving!! No regrets right? Keep on keeping on.  That is what I am doing. I am recreating myself yet again because if I’m honest, that’s what we do every day. Its what we should be doing everyday.

Be careful how you talk to yourself, because you are listening….  – Lisa M Hayes

I am not giving up on me. I am not giving upon those around me and I most certainly am not giving up on this glorious potential and opportunity filled thing we call LIFE! I am embracing uncertainty, fear and discomfort. I am using these as my catalyst to be all I can be, to be all I want to be. And I am using it to fuel not only myself but others. I am healthy whole and complete. I am the manifestation of clarity of purpose, purity of intent and courage in action as I willingly and gratefully step out of my comfort zone (Yikes! repeat that one again). Sure, there is a huge knot in the pit of my stomach, but it will not stop me, it will propel me forward. I will be gentle with myself and others, but I will always be true to myself because only through that process will I really be true to others.

Taking care of yourself is the most powerful way to begin to take care of others. Bryant McGill

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So Rock your Monday, and Roll over anything that gets in your way. But remember to be gentle, even speed bumps have a purpose.

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©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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