Archives for posts with tag: finding beauty

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

Advertisements

I AM FREE

It’s taken me a long, long time to realize this.  And even longer to actually believe it.  And some days are harder than others.  But ….

 

IMG_5090.JPG

“But still, like air, I’ll Rise” – Maya Angelou

 

Yes, I am.

And I will remain free.

I realized there is only one thing that determines whether I am truly free or not.

My THOUGHTS and thereby,  what I BELIEVE.

It took a lot of realizing OTHER people were trapped in a “less than”, “shackled” mentality.  A lot of time spent trying to help them realize how awesome and important they are.  Convincing them they not only have hope but tonnes of unrealized potential.

And then, one day I looked in the mirror and I realized that I was carrying the same heavy burden as all those other people.

I saw their potential, their amazingly awesome greatness but I had been overlooking my own.  I had been overlooking what I can do, who I can be…. who I truly am.  ME!

And there is nothing wrong with me.  I am me.  Just the way I am supposed to be:

A beautifully wonderful masterpiece, and a work in progress all at once. And that is what I will always be, because that is exactly what we all are.  And what we are all supposed to be.

I realized it is time to embrace myself, my potential and all that I am.  No matter what other people think I am or who I am, my freedom comes from embracing me for who I am and learning to love myself just the way I am.

Broken, sometimes smashed to bits. Healed, sometimes with bold scars. A little wild and crazy.  A little bit of everything.  A wonderful eclectic mix of awesome.

 I am learning to live my life for me, because only then do I live my life well enough to be all I can be.  And only when I am all I can be, can I do what I am meant to do in this world.

Some people see it and allow me to shine easily.  Some people don’t understand me and try to change me to fit into their mold.  Some people stay, some people walk away.  Sometimes it feels good and sometimes it hurts.  Sometimes it hurts a lot. Sometimes doubt creeps in.  Sometimes a lot of doubt, almost too much doubt.  But every time that happens something else amazing eventually happens too. From somewhere there is always a message that arrives in some unexpected form that reminds me with complete certainty.

I AM A MASTERPIECE AND I AM FREE.   ALL I HAVE TO DO IS BELIEVE.

It really is that simple, but as we all know simple doesn’t mean it’s easy.  Sometimes it’s hard work and takes time.  But I do guarantee, that when you come to the epiphany, you too will realize it is worth it.

You see, you really are already completely free.  You just have to realize it and believe it. And then you can feel it. And you will never want to feel any other way again.  You will cherish your freedom and you will do the work to keep it. You will become strong enough to walk tall and with purpose and you will wonder how you never realized you were already free before.

1798671_1282794491736378_8351508666958354807_n

 

 

oh rise and show your power (rise up rise up)

we’re dancing into the sun (rise up rise up)

it’s time for celebration (rise up rise up)

spirits time has come

We want loving’ we want laughter again

we want heartbeat we want madness to end

we want dancin’ we wanna run in the streets

we want freedom to live in this peace

we want power we want to make it ok

want to be singin’ at the end of the day children

to breathe a new life we want freedom to love who we please *(rise up rise up)

oh rise and show your power(rise up rise up)

everybody dance into the sun (rise up rise up)

it’s time for celebration (rise up rise up)

the spirits time has come

Talkin’ ’bout  the right time to be workin’ for peace

wantin’ all the tension in the world to ease

this tightrope’s gotta learn how to bend

we’re makin’ new plans gonna start it again

rise up now It’s time, it’s time, it’s time (rise up rise up)

(part lyrics – RISE UP by The Parachute Club, released 1981

 

©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

f84b16e2ce887345b5d855d7c74264b7

Wizard of Oz – Glinda

I subscribe to Mike Dooley’s Notes From The Universe. Five days a week I get a wonderfully inspirational email that never disappoints. I’m always uplifted, always inspired and motivated.

Personally I believe we get messages all the time.  You can say from the Universe, or God, or your higher self or whatever feels right to you. Maybe you think life is all about fate or destiny. It doesn’t really matter.  I believe if you are still and pay attention, lessons and opportunities abound.

A few months ago I received this message from TUT in my inbox.

Within any clearly imagined dream, far beyond the curtains of time and space, lies the intelligence and energy to choreograph the entire sequence of events necessary to make it manifest as soon as possible. 

And if you physically move towards that dream, demonstrating both faith and belief, making yourself available to “accidents and coincidences,” not insisting on the hows and rolling with what may come, the sequence is permitted to play itself out. 

Understand, however, that since you will only perceive this sequence with your physical senses upon a linear time line, it will likely seem that much of your journey doesn’t make sense, is unpredictable, or may even appear off-course. 

Yeah, you’re crushing it right about now – 
    The Universe

This resonated completely with me.  So much so I printed off a copy which I just came across today.  It resonated all over again, but with a new twist. At the time I had wondered why it so often still feels difficult to move towards a dream for so many people.

Recently I’ve realized the answer to my question.  Too many people have forgotten how to dream.  They don’t believe in dreaming. They are afraid to dream because they’ve come to believe that their dreams can’t come true.

They’ve failed to see that the real problem is that they’ve been doing the same thing over and over and over and over but expecting different results. It’s not the dream that’s the problem, it’s the approach to achieving it. And maybe in some cases the dream is the problem.  Sometimes we can be so fixated on what we think is our dream we miss all the messages that say maybe something better awaits us.

I hear so often “I don’t know what I want.” or “It doesn’t matter anyway.” or “What’s the point, it never worked before.” or “I can’t change.” or “It’s too late.”

When really, all you have to do is adjust your gaze a little.  See the same landscape, but with new eyes.  Demonstrate a little faith and belief. Don’t panic. Don’t shrink. And before you know it, you’ll start to see change.  Maybe big, maybe small, but if you open your eyes, and open your mind, you’ll see it. And you might just find out that dreams do come true.  Sometimes even better than you even imagined.

Dare ya, dream big.  Really big. Gigantic even.

The Universe is right, yeah, we’re crushing it right about now.

©2016 J.Fries/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

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

source unknown

source unknown

Much has been written about happiness, how to be happy, how to stay happy.

I believe happiness is different for each of us.  Even if we are happy for the same list of reasons, those same reasons touch each of us uniquely individual way.

We strive to find the balance, walk the tight rope that ensures we stay on the fine line that is happiness. I’ve done that for a very long time.  Trying to grasp happiness so tightly that I can’t lose it, living in fear that I will wobble  causing my toe to touch the opposite of happiness.

Slowly I’m coming to realize that clinging to happiness really living in happiness, it’s living in fear of loss. I’m learning that happiness is a lot like beauty. It can be obvious, bright shades of yellow, loud and big! It can be unexpected, slightly more subtle, shades of pink, maybe a bit reserved. Or it can even be elusive, where you have to look for the silver lining or experience a mix of emotions that change the hue of happiness. In this world, if one listens to the news, there is plenty of “evidence” to validate unhappiness.

I’m beginning to really understand the wisdom in being happy for no reason, for being happy simply because I can choose to be happy.  I can choose it.  I realized that it is true – whether I make a conscious choice and take steps to fulfill it, or allow my choices to be random unconscious manifestations, it’s a choice non the less.

We are creatures obsessed with reasons. Why does this happen? Why did you make that decision? Why is the sky blue? Why is snow cold? Why is a rock rough? We judge, we label, we file away. Our judgements become key in determining our happiness.

I used to live my life thinking in the future, “I’ll be happy when I get through this project.”  Then I finally asked myself, “Why make your happiness dependent on a timeframe and not feel happy now? So right there I chose to change my thought. I felt a bit silly and like I might not be telling the whole truth, but I said, “I’m happy because I’m gaining lots of experience as I work through this project.” I allowed myself to enjoy that accomplishment. Because it was ongoing, I was able to remind myself I could be happy at any time.

I realize that’s still a reason.  It can be difficult to think of life without attaching judgements, labels and reasons to everything. After all we’re pretty good at it, although often not very accurate in the outcome. So what about being happy for no reason – or at least simply because you can.

“I’m happy,” period. No conscious reason, just a set intention everyday, with a good dose of an attitude of gratitude.  And maybe that’s part of it, we don’t need to focus on why we’re happy as much as focussing on gratitude for what we do have. It’s the old chicken and the egg question. In this case, maybe it’s not that we need a reason to be happy, but that if we choose happiness we will end up with plenty of reasons to be grateful and, well, even happier.

So I’m working at being happy for no reason, just being happy for the sake of happiness. That way when life throws me that curve ball it inevitably will, I’ll be ready.

© 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 emerged from the hospital weakened, with thin limbs and thinned hair. Now unable to work, I was left at home to convalesce. Getting up from a chair or lifting a glass of water took concentration and effort. If time dilates when one moves at high speeds, does it contract when one moves barely at all? It must: The day shortened considerably. A full day’s activity might be a medical appointment, or a visit from a friend. The rest of the time was rest.

via Before I Go, by By Paul Kalanithi – Photography by Gregg Segal.

We all know our time on this earth is limited.  Most of us are able to ignore it at least for a time and we live like we have forever.  But we don’t.

When you realize that your time is close to being over, time takes on a new meaning.   The above essay is one of the most articulate, profound and poignant pieces I’ve ever read.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi was a neurosurgeon who recently passed away from metastic lung cancer.  In this, one of his last pieces of writing shortly before his death, he shared how the concept of time changed for him during his illness, recovery and then recurrence of cancer.

We each deal with tragedy, pain and challenges differently.  But during those trials and tribulations, the pain and the fear, it is the smallest and simplest things that bring us joy.

Never discount the small joys we are each capable of sharing with others, no matter the day or the need.

© 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

Unknown

When I woke up my social media this morning a wonderfully powerful very short video titled “4 year old has a perfect response to a boy in her class” was in my feed from HuffPost.   The little adorable face staring back at me with that wide smile guaranteed I was going to click play.

In case you don’t have Facebook, I’ll include the transcription from The Huffington Post article.

“What happened in school today?” her mom, Sonya, asks in the video. “A little boy said I looked … ugly,” Cici responded.

“And what did you say?” Cici’s mom asked.

“I said, ‘I didn’t come here to make a fashion statement. I came here to learn — not look pretty,'” Cici replied, adding, “The little boy said I looked ‘bad,’ and I said, ‘Did you look in a mirror lately? Bye bye, see you later, you’re making me mad.'”

All Right! This girl has attitude. She has confidence. She is beautiful inside and out. She is my Shero!  We can all learn something from this 4 year old.  It’s a lesson in standing up for ourselves.  It’s about learning how to treat people.  And how not to treat people.  It’s about being empowered.  It’s about fairness, kindness, growing up and parenting. She has just the right amount of sass.

But.  In the middle of all that. And in the middle of the smiles and giggles, did you notice what happened to that smiling little girl when her mother asked that one simple question?  “What happened at school today?”   She got a little more serious as she answered, “A little boy said I looked …” and then it happened, the awkward pause, the fading smile, the dimming eyes, and then that word…  “…ugly”.  As she remembered it, then said it, it was like “it” was happening all over again.  The power, the life, was being sucked away.

And then, as her mother asked her what happened next, she embraced her power and her smile returned as she recounted her response to the little boy.

That word, that one hurtful word in a hurtful sentence.  You can hear the impact, feel it and see it like a fist to the stomach.  How much power it wielded, but like a true mighty girl, a real life super hero, Cici got right back up and won the round with oh so much class.

The empowering poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou came to mind.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

(excerpt from “Still I Rise”)

That word may have cut, it may have stung but Cici had nothing to apologize for, nothing to feel bad about and she let him know where she stood on the subject in no uncertain terms.

Her spirit and fire again brought to mind Maya Angelou’s strength and power that are so evident in another of her famous poems.  Gavin Aung Than, founder of Zen Pencils captured her essence beautifully in his adaptation of “Phenomenal Woman” in June 2014.

image from Zen Pencil's  #153 Maya Angelou Phenomenal Woman

image from Zen Pencil’s #153 Maya Angelou Phenomenal Woman

While Cici may not be a woman yet, she certainly is a phenomenal girl on her way to being a phenomenal woman.

I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

(excerpt from “Phenomenal Woman”)

In closing I want to reiterate that the impact of that one word can’t be denied.  How easy it is to hurt, to scar, in one moment of anger, of hurting, or of simply not thinking, the damage that can be wrought.  Never doubt the power of your words, or how long the effect can be felt. Language is gift that should always be used with care and wisdom.  For as easy as it is to cause hurt and to leave scars, it is really just as simple to encourage, empower, embolden and inspire.  The next time you put a string of words together, think about what they might do to the person hearing them. What choice are you going to make?

© 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

7380375_f520

Are you tired of hearing what you should wear or shouldn’t wear because of your age?  Well so is Michelle Combs, a blogger on Huffington Post.

She has some pretty great advice about how we should dress.  Personally, I think most of the advice applies to all ages, but I agree, once you’ve hit 50 you most definitely should be following her lead.

This is fashion everyone should be flaunting no matter the season.  Take a few enjoyable minutes and let Michelle explain 6 valuable tips that should guide your fashion plans for this season.

You are over 50 for fuck’s sake. Wear whatever you want. If you’ve made it to 50 and still need to consult articles on how to dress appropriately then you are so missing out on one of the best things about being over 50. One of the best things about getting older is realizing that we don’t have to spend our energy worrying what other people think and we get to be comfortable in our own skin with our own freak flags.

Still, there are a few things that women over 50 really shouldn’t wear. ~ Michelle Combs

You will be amazed at how inexpensive and liberating her recommendations are.   I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be the envy of everyone you know.  At the very least, you’re going to feel better than ever this season.  Like you have a new lease on life.

© 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

Anticipation

20150219-080428-29068612.jpg

Photo credit: J Fries

Delicious

© 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

Keep your childhood close.

Revisit it time and time again.

photography J Fries

photography J Fries

Have you?

Or did you manage to remember.

Remember to play

To allow your inner child

Your inner enthusiasm

Your life force

to burst forth

and play.

Yes?

No?

The past

Is over.

Don’t wait

No excuses

Play.

Today.

Right now

In this very moment.

Don’t delay one more second

Do something just a little silly

Just a little playful

Just a little childlike.

Play like your life

Depends on it.

©2014 Rise Like Air  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

%d bloggers like this: