Archives for posts with tag: beauty

We have now officially ushered out 2017 and introduced ourselves to 2018.

I’m not sure how old i was when I remember I expected to feel something different when I woke up after my birthday, or on New Year’s Day. After all something defining had occurred right? Another year older, another year past.

I realized then it wasn’t the magic of the clock turning to a new day, there wasn’t a wham bang sudden change. I grew another year older day by day and 2017 passed day by day like every other year. Today is just the day after yesterday. Just like every other day. It’s what we choose to do with that extraordinarily ordinary day that matters. Every one of them.

Some of us are bounding in to 2018 with smiles, hope, plans and attitude. Rock on. Make it your year. Fly! Learn, love, grow.

Sometimes it seems there is only hardship and sadness on the road ahead of us. But, in amongst the challenges life puts in front of each of us right now, may we also find our way to see the beauty, feel the joy, hear the music and be touched by the love hidden in each day that dawns before us.

And I say to you as well,

Rock on. Make it your year. Fly! Learn, love, grow.

Wishing you a blessed 2018! Every extraordinarily ordinary day of it.

©️2018 JFries/Rise Like Air

Advertisements

I love sitting in my reading nook under the stairs. I feel a bit like a glorified Harry Potter. Except I chose to make this my space. I didn’t get cast away under the stairs. Quite a difference there. Really, it’s all I have energy for right now with this lousy cold in my nose. Grateful that’s the worst of it. At least it’s not in my chest.

Feeling a little sorry for myself. Needed and wanted this week off so badly and then to be sick sorta sucks.

But I’m one of those annoying people that actually believes everything happens for a reason even if I don’t ever see the big picture. I really do. So I’m grateful for my cold even tho I don’t see the purpose and maybe never will. For one thing it’s giving me the perfect reason to do nothing except enjoy my new nook. Maybe that’s as simple as the purpose needs to be. Else I know I’d be running around

Which, by the way, my niece tried out the nook on her own over Christmas and liked! Made my day. So much better than the disorganized messy storage area it was before. It only took me about 12 years to get it ready. Some projects take a little extra love and time. And sometimes you just have to get off your butt and make it happen. A thought to take you out of 2017 and into 2018.

Happy Wednesday! Take time for you. Find your own nook and make it yours if you haven’t already.

©️2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

Originally published December 2014

I am one of those people who hate waking up in the dark.  I am a sunny morning  kind of person.  If dawn hasn’t cracked and the sun hasn’t risen, then neither should I, especially if it’s cold outside.  And let’s face it; where I live, it’s dark and cold for a good number of months.

©2014 JFries

©2014 JFries

The exception to my usual disposition is the month of December.  December is special in this regard and I actually look forward to waking up in the dark.  Yes, I said it, “I look forward to it.”  I pull on warm fuzzy clothes to ward off the early morning chill, tip toe down the darkened hallway and stairs, flip a couple of switches and am greeted with the soft coloured lights welcoming me on the staircase where the stockings are all hung with care waiting for the Christmas Eve magic that never grows old.   I step into the parlour which is bathed in warm colours from the glowing Christmas tree, it’s branches spreading protectively over the gaily coloured packages carefully wrapped and placed there over the last few days.

IMG_9645

The stillness of the house is still intact as I make my way to the living room where the villagers are just starting to wake up.   The early risers are already at the bakery choosing their delicacies for their own celebrations.

IMG_9651

On a regular day I would throw on all the lights I could to drive the darkness away, but instead, in December I shuffle my way to the kitchen and make a cup of tea.  Deeply I inhale the rich aroma of bergamot and settle myself in a cozy chair with a view to the East.  This morning I’m in no rush for the sun to chase away the darkness.  Instead I am ready to welcome it with patience and wonder, amongst the softly glowing lights that twinkle here and there, much like the last stars slowly blinking their good night as they take their turn to rest.  I marvel at the beauty as the sun paints the sky with brilliant pinks, reds, and purples, welcoming the new day with all the beauty and all the magic it holds, just waiting for me to discover all it has to offer.

IMG_9258

And now, the adventure begins.

It’s All Good, it really is just how you choose to look at things.

©2014/2017 Rise Like Air  J. Fries

Photos are ©2014 J.Fries

Thanks for stopping by, we always appreciate it. Want to connect with Rise Like Air?  Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

It’s Sunday!!  We have made it through another week and another one is beckoning us. Take a moment for a deep breath and a personal high five!

For some of us it was an amazingly fantastic week. For some of us it was hell on wheels. Some were able to Rise Like Air and others teetered on the precipice edge.

There were tears of joy, success and happiness. Tears of frustration, pain and fear.

That’s what life is. Amazing ups and downs and lessons and perspective. It’s about choices and learning and trying.  It encompasses falling down, crawling and getting back up. But today I think it’s most about simply living and loving and liberating.

Today I’m making one choice. To smile. Maybe it will make a little difference. Maybe a big difference. Maybe someone else will notice, maybe they won’t. But I will notice.

img_1444img_1449


Have a fantastic Sunday. Make it yours. Do it your way.  No regrets, no apologies. No shame, no blame, no guilt. Just love, light and living.  And of course….

Rise

Like 

Air…

See 

Beautiful…

It’s

All 

Good…

 

©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Pin us on Pinterest

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.

 

IMG_7083

 

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

Thank you for stopping by, we always appreciate it. Want to connect with Rise Like Air? Here’s how

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

Sometimes things just come to you, and they make sense.  And then you have to stop what you’re doing and write it down.  That’s what happened to me yesterday when I was feeding the chickens.  Yes, feeding the chickens, all 25 of them. And the duck.

My brain tends to work in metaphor and analogy a lot. Apparently yesterday was no different.  When the boat is rocking you have to find your sea legs and sometimes what we need to do seems to be counter intuitive to everything we think we know.  But sometimes…. that’s exactly what we have to do.

 

IMG_5347

Depression and anxiety are like being on a ship in rough seas.  All of a sudden your whole world, literally the deck beneath your feet is lurching to and fro, throwing you around mercilessly.  Unable to keep your footing, you’re getting drenched by the crashing waves. Your stomach matches the lurch of the deck as you slip and slide, feeling like you have lost complete control over everything including yourself. All you want to do is make it to the head and die but here’s the thing…

While every fibre of your being is screaming get below deck to the head… any sailor will tell you the solution is actually to

  • Stay above deck
  • Stay in the fresh air
  • Take deep breaths
  • Keep your eye on the horizon where you want to go
  • Don’t fight the lurch Rock and Roll with it
  • Vomit over the rail but not into the wind

It probably won’t be fun or easy, but when the sun comes out, which it will, and the waves recede, which they will, you’ll walk the deck sure-footed again in warm gentle breezes with  a grin upon your face.

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

Thank you for stopping by, we always appreciate it. Want to connect with Rise Like Air? Here’s how

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

600_435312032

Do remember watching the performers who used to entertain us with spinning plates? I remember watching the Ed Sullivan show years (and years and years) ago, holding my breath and gasping if a plate fell, thinking that oh no! Catastrophe!

Somedays this is exactly how I feel. The potential for great disaster is there and sometimes disaster even strikes – the plates fall; but in the end…. somehow, it all comes together, even when the plates break and there are pieces to pick up.

This plate spinner makes it look fairly easy. My favourites always were those who dropped plates, who had to go back and almost start over, many times. They always came supplied with plenty of extras and with each challenge they faced, they smiled a little harder, concentrated a little deeper and sweated a little more but they always kept going (and smiling) until every plate was spinning…. even if it was only for a few seconds, but they saw success and that success, that fleeting moment, was enough to drive them ahead to more.

Just because the china breaks doesn’t mean a beautiful mosaic can’t be created. A work of art is just that, a work of art – even when it’s made up of broken pieces.

Don’t let your wounds, your scars, your past, your doubts, your present stop you from becoming all you are meant to be. No matter how long it takes, or how much effort it is.

It’s never over until you decide to quit.
AFFIRMATION FOR TODAY:
It is safe for me to believe in myself and my abilities. I have to courage to ask for help and support. There is no failure, only lessons and adventure.

Repeat and repeat and repeeeeeeaaaaaat.   And does it feel “crazy” to repeat positive instructions to yourself? Does it feel unrealistic, like you’re being fake, like lies? Well, here’s the thing though. Most people repeat negative instructions to themselves hour on end every single day, and think nothing of it. Why? Because they’ve been doing it so long it has become an ingrained habit.  They actually believe that everything they are telling themselves, or being told by others must  be true.  It’s become such a habit that they consider it to be realistic, true and just the way it is.

Next spoiler alert: How you see life? That’s what’s going to be your reality.  How you see life is ALWAYS A CHOICE.  Always.

 

 

 

Another look at perspective and how we allow ourselves to see the world through the eyes of Lily Allen and her song LDN

 

And lastly, how to look at life not matter what is thrown at you, here is an interview Anthony Robbins did with World War II survivor Alice Herz-Sommer.  One of my favourites of all time.  No matter what, there is always beauty to be found if you believe in it and choose to see it.  It is always your choice.

 

 

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

Thanks for stopping by, we always appreciate it. Want to connect with Rise Like Air? Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

from krugerpark.org This is NOT Cecil or his pride.

from krugerpark.org This is NOT Cecil or his pride.

The world is outraged by the “taking” of Cecil the Lion in Africa. Ok, at least a very large number of people are angry, even many hunters are outraged. As always there are those who think that this practise and what happened to Cecil is not a problem. At least for now, they appear to be in the minority, or maybe too afraid to be vocal.

Because he was a protected animal and they knowingly (*edit: at least some knew) baited him out of the park, I feel comfortable calling this more than a killing – it was murder. There was no need or purpose for the death except for excitement and ego. That’s it. Period. Not for food, not for survival, not for protection – just for “fun”. For a good adrenaline rush and a good story. Well he’s got both now. Just as a side note, the hunters seemed quite happy to forget the fact when you take a male like Cecil you are likely killing others. You are disrupting a pride, possibly causing the death of cubs, which in this case is likely. Final kill count unknown at this point.

The story has been simmering in my brain since it broke. Certainly not a “rise like air” feeling, at least not yet. Somehow out of catastrophe some good has to come somewhere. I have been patiently waiting and watching for it.  Maybe the flame is beginning to flicker.

It started when I read an interesting piece this morning by Neil McDonald (CBC). McDonald reflected on how the tables have seemingly turned for Walter Palmer.

He’s become a trophy. An exotic one, at that. He’s joined the great circle of life.

And the people stalking him are enjoying themselves every bit as much as he clearly did when he was out there being Walter Palmer, apex predator, killing wild things all over the world, and posing with them on trophy hunting sites.

Unfortunately for Palmer, his latest conquest was Cecil, a famous lion beloved by tourists in southern Africa.

He was also foolish enough, it seems, to pose with Cecil’s corpse, and now the internet, the most apex of all apex predators, is stalking him. – Neil McDonald (CBC)

It is interesting to observe the trophy hunter becoming the hunted (online). Karma maybe? A taste of the confusion and fear that Cecil and his other kills must have felt. Sometimes we can only learn by walking in another’s shoes, or in this case, paws.

While I don’t know if this can ever be turned into a positive, Jimmy Kimmel fanned the flickering flame when he called Palmer’s actions “vomitous” (exactly) and then made the wonderful suggestion that helping wildcru.org, the Oxford University Wildlife Conservation Research Unit that was following Cecil’s movements in their study, is a least a start. RIP Cecil and all the others before and after you who are prized only as trophies and not as the majestic living creatures you are.

In the meantime, Walter Palmer is probably focused on one thing – survival, running in fear, not sure which way to turn. Uncertain and wondering why his life which was so “simple and perfect” one minute is now an exercise in simply trying to stay ahead of the hunters. Cecil evaded his hunters for 40 hours injured and in pain, fear and anger likely coursing through him as he grew weaker. Ok, so maybe I’m giving him human traits, but I’ve seen a cornered injured animal and that’s exactly what they look like. Walter Palmer is fortunate that he is running with only his pride damaged. Cecil was not so fortunate.

I am not against hunting but I am against taking only trophies, unclean kills and sanitizing what someone’s actions really are.

I’m not out for revenge. I’m out for a change of attitude. I hope Palmer decides to turn in his weapons for a camera and turn to true conservation rather than devastation. The choice, as always, is his and his alone.

I hope those that are hunting him online take a moment temper their hatred and instead turn it to good. When we choose to change ourselves for good we change the world too. The ripple will become a wave.

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

Thanks for stopping by, we always appreciate it. Want to connect with Rise Like Air? Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

I refuse to be treated as less capable, weaker, dirty or impure for being a woman. Anisha Bhavnani

via My country’s problem with menstruation – CNN.com.

Anisha Bhavnani is a woman in India who has experienced first hand the stigma against women especially during their menses. In fifth grade, her first period arrived the day of a field trip. What should have been a beautifully memorable experience wasn’t.

“How did you go inside the temple then? Don’t you know you’re not supposed to? Hasn’t your mother told you that you can’t step inside a temple when you have your period? Call your mother tomorrow; I want to meet her!”

…The next day, I didn’t meet the teacher and she forgot all about it. But she had shamed me for entering the scary world of puberty, just because I’d visited a temple. What kind of human being does that to a harmless child?

My mother showed me that getting my period doesn’t make me a bad or abnormal person. But others don’t seem to agree. I see variations of this incident happening around me every day.

Thankfully it’s not just young women who are realizing things need to change. At least one man is realizing it and doing something about it.  Enter The Inventor Who Disrupted The Period Industry – Arunachalam Muruganantham (Menstral Man)

I am always thrilled by stories where the hero steps outside of a traditional and expected role. Here’s a man working against odds, with little support and ample ridicule to improve a situation that doesn’t even directly affect him. Menstruation, a topic that in many places is still completely taboo, where women are not considered worth the trouble of helping.

None of that seemed to phase Muruganantham, as school drop out who realized many women in his own country, India, couldn’t afford sanitary products and understood the dramatic impact on their lives. The documentary MENSTRUAL MAN, by Amit Virmani

tells the inspiring story of an unlikely hero who stood up for India’s ignored. A critical and audience favourite, the film underscores the importance of empowering women to combat poverty, and the power in every individual to make a difference. – See more at: MENSTRUAL MAN

The trailer:

The TEDxGateway Talk:

Sometimes it’s little things that make a difference. Sometimes it’s the big things. Muruganantham has taught us that you don’t have to share the same problem to be able to understand, empathize, show compassion and actually create a solution. We have the power, all we have to do is use it. Thanks to people like Anisha Bhavnani, Arunachalam Muruganantham and Amit Virmani things will change.

Wizard of Oz - Glinda

Wizard of Oz – Glinda

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

Thanks for stopping by, we always appreciate it. Want to connect with Rise Like Air?  Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

My friend Rosie works at a great little coffee shop and bakery called Grounds. Recently she experienced one of those “Wow, I would never have guessed!” moments.

It really shows how you never know what kind of impression you’ll make and the impact you can have on a person, just be being a little kind, a little helpful.

Unknown-5

Something amazing happened at work today. A man and a woman walked in, he smiled really big as they walked to my register and he said, “You’re still here!”

I was surprised because this wasn’t a regular customer. In fact, I didn’t even recognize them. Not to mention he had a French accent.

He went on to explain that he had come in last year while he was on vacation. I had been very nice to him and helped him choose some places to visit that weren’t the normal attractions. 

His wife said he had been talking about the girl at the bakery for weeks and this was literally the first stop they made after checking into their hotel. 

Then he asked how my brother was and proceeded to tell her about how my brother was flying home from France on 9/11 and became stuck in Paris for a week. 

I remembered who he was then. When I told him the story, he had asked if they were nice to him. I had told him that my brother hadn’t cared for France much. But during the week he was stuck there, they were extremely kind to him and made sure he was well taken care of.

I just couldn’t stop smiling and was so shocked over the whole experience. He really touched me that he remembered all that. I’m still in shock just thinking about it. ~ Rosie Hendrix

Rosie just did what she does, she was friendly and helpful and thought nothing more of it. But for an entire year, the impression she had made stayed with him. It stayed with him enough that he not only wanted to come back, but wanted to share it with someone very special to him, his wife.

Wouldn’t we all love to have a day like this at work? I guess the point is we probably can, if we take a lesson from Rosie and just be kind and helpful everyday in every way we can, especially the little ones.

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

Thanks for stopping by, we always appreciate it. Want to connect with Rise Like Air?  Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

%d bloggers like this: