Archives for posts with tag: peace

Monday dawned sunny and bright. I was fortunate to awake to the sound of waves lapping at the lakeshore and the sun peeking over the hill top.

18519662_1354113284672916_6700577096305493190_n.jpg

(sunset shot the night before)

There was already a lot of ugly and sadness I could have focussed on if I had let myself. And I admit the temptation to let it swallow me whole was palpable, but I put my big girl panties on, pulled up my positive pants, threw on a great pair of shoes, straightened my tiara and topped it off with bright lipstick and mascara! Well in truth, I took a deep breath, threw back the covers and made a CHOICE to CHOOSE beautiful; to see it, believe it and channel it. And I made that choice over and over when the temptation to doubt tapped me on the shoulder.

Later in the day the headline on my news feed about Manchester appeared.  Manchester – a place from far away that I’ve always associated with sports and music for some reason until that head line. The choice to see beautiful became even more difficult. My shoulders slumped, I just felt heavy.  I felt raw and numb all at once. I think a lot of us did.

Tuesday morning Huffington Post reported “explosion killed 22 people and injured 59, many of them teenagers.”  at an Ariana Grande concert. I witnessed the feelings come out through social media and in the news.

A friend posted, “Tears for those who just went to a concert. Tears for the world.”

18581819_458106077855143_4220860024130254165_n

A cousin asked,

18716686_1358367044247540_600264915_n

 

And then I read my friend Michelle’s eloquent and heart felt Facebook post and am honoured that she gave me permission to share her words with you. When things happen which are impossible to make sense of, in the end all we really want to do is keep our precious treasures, those we love, safe.

Bubble wrap.
I need so much Bubble Wrap.

You know… The stuff you use to keep the things that are most precious to you, safe from harm. We wrap them up so they don’t get broken.

Bubble Wrap… Safe, dependable Bubble Wrap.

It may give one peace of mind, but there isn’t enough bubble wrap in the world on a day like today. On any kind of day in a world like the one we live in this day.

“Prayers for…”
“Our hearts and thoughts…”
“We stand with…”

These phrases are like labels now. Words we use to tape together the Bubble Wrap that we place around our hearts and minds to help keep us sane enough from locking our children in their rooms and nailing shut our windows and doors to keep out all the Bogeymen outside that lurk within a world that keeps getting smaller, from stealing their innocence, our naivete, and our collective sense of normalcy.

There is nothing normal about any of this. Even though this insanity is quickly seeming to become the norm. Padded rooms were once for the insane and yet, here I am, wishing I could wrap every precious being in my world in Bubble Wrap. How insane is that? And yet, Bubble Wrap was my first wish… My first “logical to me” thought while my heart screamed “Why?” and it’s echoes throbbed through my head.

Just as “There are no words…” is heard echoing thoughout the world.

But there are words…
“Please.” and “Stop.”

And there are so many echoes.

Because there will never, ever be enough Bubble Wrap.

©Michelle Laing Hoffman 2017

 

But until that plea is answered, in amongst the tragic and terrible burns the eternal flame of human kindness and compassion.

Huffington Post reported, “Public transport shut down, and taxis offered to give stranded people free rides home, while residents opened their homes to provide lodging.”

As the BBC noted, Then there are people like this young man who says “We can react in a lot of ways. We can react in anger. Or we can react by doing. This city is a community.”   The news outlets are capturing more than the devastation and carnage, they are capturing the humanity, compassion and resilience as well.

I think Grande summed it up for many of us with her tweet, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry. I don’t have words.”

“When someone says, “There are no words,” it is there I will find them and we will meet in the silent language of grief.” Benjamin Allen

While I have no words left, I do have kindness and compassion, and with those I will continue to shine my light more brightly so the darkness has no place to grow.

Please.  Stop.

Shine Brightly.

 

©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Pin us on Pinterest

 

 

 

Advertisements

Awhile back I received a crowdfunding campaign message about a 2 cd album being created in support of Postcards For Peace. They are a group I’ve heard about before, I think they do really wonderful work so I checked it out and decided to contribute a little bit. That little bit got me the gift of  the cd and a postcard.

They arrived yesterday by post as promised, with a simple Thank You hand written on the flap of the envelope.

It came, as with most things really,  perfect timing. What better way to wind down the last few days of 2016, certainly in truth not my favourite year overall, and begin what I believe will be a phenomenally amazing 2017. How am I going to do that? By I’m holding onto a world of hope every minute of every day.

As I write I’m sitting here listening to We’ve Got It All by Peter James Millson and now Fiddle or a Gun by Oysterband just came on. The album is a beautiful complication of a somewhat eclectic group of artists coming together for peace. I like that idea. Breeze Redwine brought me to tears with her beautiful piece Courage. I can tell that as I listen to these beautiful heartfelt pieces, each will find a way to uniquely entwine themselves into my heart. There’s something about the cover art that just makes me want to smile and find a park to sit in for awhile. Maybe even write a post card or two… with a message for peace.

a-world-of-digifile-front-cover1-300x274

 

Check it out at Postcards For Peace shopping page:

“In support of international charity Postcards For Peace, whose goal is to end discrimination and violence through education, twenty six incredible musicians have contributed songs to create a truly beautiful album.

The title, A World of Hope, comes from the lyrics to Jo Hamilton’s ‘There It Is’ (one of the first tracks contributed to the project) and it is a fitting name for an album that features 26 songs of war and peace, of hope and of love, of living life to the full, of not giving up and of having the courage to face adversity.

It includes acts that have truly earned the right to be called legends, Grammy award nominees, multiple BBC Folk Award winners, acts that have enjoyed chart success and artists that spend their lives travelling the world to get their music heard. From octogenarian Peggy Seeger to teenager Breeze Redwine, every single one of the artists has donated a track to this album because they want to help build a world in which people care for other human beings without discrimination, prejudice, violence and hate.”

Happy New Year everyone. We wish each and every one of you a most amazing 2017. No matter what it holds, or even what it doesn’t hold make it great because you can. See the beauty, live the kindness, be the change and most importantly – simply be you. Because you are truly amazing. Even if sometimes you don’t see it in yourself. Unique and human, each and every one of us and there is nothing more amazing, magical and miraculous than that. Be Flawsome embrace your flaw – know you are awesome no in spite of them, but because off them – today and everyday.

You Matter – Hope – Today and Everyday

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Pin us on Pinterest

It seems to feel once more our world is thrown into chaos through hatred, unkindness, intolerance and greed. Wars rage with the potential for unrest to fester and spread.

This Remembrance Day, I believe it is important to step back, breath deeply and reclaim a place of calm within; after all, “as within, so without.” This is the perfect occasion to reflect and remember exactly why calm is so important…

 

Click on this link to breathe easy

 

…because without it “things” can get out of hand pretty quickly.

Things like war can happen. I tend to feel there are no real winners in war, yet I have to admit I don’t have the solution to keeping the peace all the time either. Part of me realizes life is simply lesson after lesson and we all need to learn.

Personally, I want to avoid the pain of war – at all costs.  Yet, I am grateful for those who stand on guard to protect when seemingly all other options have failed.

It’s difficult for the best and brightest of us to begin to make real sense of war, let alone explaining it to a child. But the key to our future is… oh you know this one…

Our children

So how do we help children understand war below the surface and beyond a red plastic flower (that often pricks our finger, a reminder of blood shed or falls from our jacket unnoticed)? Can youth be inspired to become the bearers of peace?  Turns out the answer, like so many really, is quite simple. It starts with kindness and caring about one another.

One of our Canadian veteran’s, Jack Purdie has helped young people make a connection. His daughter, Colleen Fuller, shared this reflection about her father’s ability to explain this challenging subject in terms even the youngest can understand and appreciate.

14900563_10209889227621759_228922093591931133_n

credit Colleen Fuller and Jack Purdie

Do you want to know how a Vet (our father) explains the war to young children?

I can answer that one! He talks to little ones about how war is the same as bullying. It’s deciding that you and your country are more important than anybody else, so you can hurt them and take their stuff (Like Hitler did to Poland). They understand that that is not right. And they understand that sometimes you have to stand up for your friends when they are being bullied. He talks about how caring about other people and not thinking you are more important can stop little wars (on the playground) and big ones. He encourages them to be heroes who look after other people and help them, like our soldiers were trying to do.
Help your kids make sense of Remembrance Day! 

by Colleen Fuller and Jack Purdie

submitted by Danay Lott

reprinted with permission

 

 

Children are our future. The children of today will be making the decisions of tomorrow. It is important that they remember so they can understand how to resolve issues and stand up for each other in kind and caring ways. Because I believe that Mr. Purdie is right. We need to care about each other and be everyday heroes everyday.

 

Mr. Purdie proudly served his country and we believe it’s not only important to learn the lessons our veteran’s share with us, but also to get to know them better as the people they are. His daughter, Danay Lott, kindly  provided these insights into her father’s life.

Jack Purdie was a young boy the fall of 1939 when Canada had joined Britain in a war against Germany. His dad joined up the first day and left almost immediately for England sending his pay home to feed his family. Jack was unable to afford school books so worked odd jobs to help his family until he turned seventeen when, with his mother’s permission, he enlisted with the Royal Canadian Airforce. After training in various parts of Canada he ended up in Mount Pleasant PEI. Finally this group was shipped over seas in 1943 arriving in Liverpool England. He was trained as a tail gunner on the crew of a Lancaster bomber and spent two years in England. He was on his way home crossing the Atlantic with a ship full of other men in the summer of 1945 when VE Day was announced. He tells the story that when the victory was announced each man on the ship was given a bottle of beer and an orange to celebrate the end of the war! Jack traded his beer for a second orange which was a rare commodity indeed! Jack is now living in Vancouver BC at age ninety one he spends time at schools sharing stories of this time in his life with many age groups. He challenges the kids to be every day heroes and caring concerned members of their communities.

Lest We Forget

 

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

Just finished my morning pick me up with The Daily Kind , #74 to be exact, from Life Vest Inside. If you want a little more kindness in your life and a great start to your day….. sign up!  Ok, sales pitch over.

The first thing I read was

“As long as we are persistence in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.”
– Denis Waitley

Yep, totally resonated with me.  We never know for sure when we will fully bloom. And that’s why it’s so important to keep going, to push through, to take time to rest, to live, to love, to think, to plan, to be patient, to hope and to dream. Because that’s the one thing… we never truly know. We can guess, we can speculate and sometimes we are right on, but other times… it’s simply a waiting game. But there’s also a little catch – you have to stay present, because you might just miss the fact that you bloomed!
I went on to read the Act of Kindness and the Positive Affirmation which was another positive addition to my day. I like positive, because like so many others, I can forget myself and tend to focus on the negatives. It’s a choice, but I have to be conscious about it otherwise I slip into old habits. I’m human, go figure. Who knew?  Ok, I guess it’s rather obvious.
And then I got to the Kindness Media section. I admit that sometimes I don’t take the opportunity to watch the videos every day. Sometimes I just feel “too busy” even though I know that LVI always makes good choices that are actually worth taking the time for. So today, even though I’m busy busy busy, I took the few minutes (and then as you can see took a few more to write this blog)
I’ve always liked the Dude Be Nice crew, and today, LVI featured one of their videos. For me, the best one to date. I love teachers that help their students grow, the teachers who don’t just “teach” but guide and inspire. Actually I like those special kind of people period, because really, we are all teachers in life.
The DUDE. be nice project is a platform to inspire people to build a positive community by recognizing a person or group in a fun, creative and meaningful way. We’re all for making people feel appreciated.
This project is fantastic at showing support and appreciation. They have been part of surprising a lot of worthy people. The kind of people who never seem to expect it, they just are who they are, worthy ,wonderful, kind and caring people. In this case a teacher brought the project to her school and her students decided that SHE was the deserving recipient. Of course, they weren’t about to let her know that. A great way to perk up your day whether it needs perking up or not.
Today, go out there and be kind to someone, anyone, and let those around you who are generous and kind, make sure you let them know how much they mean to you. They might not do it for recognition, but we all know they deserve it, and appreciate it too.

©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

13435443_1350680868281073_2926726314021244392_n

 

Our hearts break for all the people who have experienced tragedy and there has been far too much to even begin to bear lately. The stories that we know and even the many stories that we don’t (since plenty of tragedy happens that isn’t quite tragic enough to make the front page), bring us to our knees today in grief and horror at what we as humans can do to each other for absolutely no reason. And I mean absolutely no reason. We can pretend there are reasons. We can choose to take sides, believe one is right, just and good while the other one is wrong, unjust and bad. But in reality it is truly unreasonable, and in honesty unfathomable, the lengths we achieve, to cause harm in the name of reason.

Instead, may tragedy serve to bring us closer together, treat each other with kind compassion as we continue to work tirelessly and fearlessly to make our world a better place in spite of the hatred and intolerance that rears it’s ugly head.

I only have to choose how events like these will affect me. Will I use them to feel defeated or use them to propel myself forward, to action, to making a difference?  The choice is mine. The choice is yours. We all need to choose, and choose wisely.

I will make sense of the senseless by my choices. I will not hate – I will love, I will not give up – I will persevere. I will soften my heart and I will simply strive to do all I can, where I am, all the time, every day.

IF WE WANT THERE TO BE PEACE IN THE WORLD, WE HAVE TO BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO SOFTEN WHAT IS RIGID IN OUR HEARTS, TO FIND THE SOFT SPOT AND STAY WITH IT. WE HAVE TO HAVE THAT KIND OF COURAGE AND TAKE THAT KIND OF RESPONSIBILITY. THAT’S THE TRUE PRACTICE OF PEACE. – Pema Chodron from Practising Peace In Times Of War

13445749_1352648641417629_1785657232969280634_n

I hope yours is too.

©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

images-2

Today the world reels from yet another terrorist attack on everyday people doing everyday things.

The fact that the attacks on innocent everyday people in France occurred on World Kindness day somehow made it even more surreal.  I can’t help wondering if that was actually part of the plan.  But it doesn’t matter.

What matters is how we face this.  Not just the victims, not just the French, but the entire world, as individuals and as a whole.

For many of us our gut reaction is a desire for retaliation, revenge, an end to the needless slaughter any way possible.  An end to the fear that courses through our veins every time we hear the words ISIS or terrorist.

But I truly believe the words Martin Luther King Jr. said.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;

Only Light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate;

Only Love can do that.

images-2

On days like this, many of us want to forget those words in the raw and viseral emotions we are experiencing. Hating becomes so much easier than loving. It feels justified, powerful. But Martin Luther King, Jr. was and still is right. More hatred, more fighting will not solve this. It might temporarily stop it, it might drive it further underground, but it will not stop it from simmering and boiling over again at some other time.

Only Light and Love can truly tame the demon, the unruly beast.

And now, when it is truly the hardest to share our light and love, when we most want to hide it away and change our mask to something fierce and dark, it is the exact time we need to stand tall, and let our light and our love shine through the most strongly.

I encourage everyone to stand together and let our light and our love shine brilliantly so that there is no longer room for darkness, no shadows left to hide in.  Let there be only light and love and may we all be part of saving the world from the darkness that still has shadows to hide in.

I leave you with a quote from FB that Shane Koyzcan wrote this morning.

The wake of a tragedy often becomes an incubator for outrage. Many, with their prejudices already intact, will allow hate to reach further inward and surround their hearts with its grasp. We mustn’t let the those who carry out such atrocities become a symbol that represents the whole. There is no greater ignorance than to stand in judgement of an entire people based on the actions of a few.

12249716_937905822958551_57435757253709306_n

Sending much light, love, kindness and peace around the world today.  Standing in solidarity, shining brightly.  No shadows remain.

©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

Photo credit: ©2015 J Fries

Photo credit: ©2015 J Fries

If you’ve been following us on twitter and Instagram during the month of May you’ll have noticed pictures of nature and the hashtags #NatureIsCalling and #30x30challenge. The David Suzuki Foundation challenges us to be active and get out and enjoy nature for 30 minutes each day during the month of May.

Over the past three years, the 30×30 Challenge has inspired tens of thousands of individuals and hundreds of workplaces and schools to cultivate the nature habit. They took to the great outdoors, doubling their time spent outside. Our research showed that participants were sleeping better, felt calmer and less stressed. Impressive results for a half hour a day! ~ 30×30 Challenge

Participants are encouraged to post their pictures, video and stories each day using the hashtags #30x30challenge and #NatureIsCalling and to tag @DavidSuzukiFDN. Each week a draw is made for a sponsored themed prize.

We already know fresh air and exercise are good for our physical health but many of us forget that it’s equally important for our mental health as well. Studies have shown that people suffering with depression and anxiety can find significant relief by engaging in nature and exercise.

The Minding Our Bodies project was started by the Canadian Mental Health Association in Ontario Canada and ran from 2008-2013.  They were partnered with Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, Nutrition Resource Centre, YMCA Ontario and York University.

The goal of the project was to change how we treat Mental Health problems by also promoting physical activity and healthy eating for people with serious mental illness to support recovery. Why? Because that’s the direction the evidence points.

In March 2013 Elizabeth Lines, a health promotion consultant provided the following facts:

  • Total annual health care spending in Canada is now over $200 billion (CIHI, 2012); in Ontario, health care spending consumes over 40 percent of the provincial budget. Finding ways to contain health care spending is a priority.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide (WHO, 2012) and a leading contributor to the economic burden of disease.
  • Chronic stress is pervasive, and related to depression and the development of chronic disease.

She goes on to talk about studies showing the positive effects of nature simply from viewing it.

For example, Ulrich (1984) found that hospital patients who could view the outdoors through a window recover from surgery faster than those with restricted views; that students who watched a stressful film recovered faster in a natural setting (Ulrich, 1991); and that prisoners with a view of nature show stress symptoms less frequently (Moore, 1981)

In another study from Sweden being in nature also showed marked health benefits.

A Swedish study of the rehabilitative impact of nature on crisis response found that the simple experience of being in nature was most rehabilitative for those experiencing the highest levels of stress. Walking in nature also had a positive effect, though the difference was not as great. For those experiencing low-to-moderate stress levels, social interactions in the natural setting contributed more to stress reduction (Ottoson and Grahn, 2008).

Studies have even shown interactions with nature can improve attention and we seem to be in short supply of attention spans.

Some findings suggest that the benefits to attention of walking in parks are greatest for those with the greatest deficits. Along with attention improvements, walking in nature as opposed to an urban setting reduced anger, improved positive affect, and reduced blood pressure (Hartig, Evans, Jamner, et al., 2003).

All this amazing evidence lead to the question what about putting nature and exercise together?

In a systematic review of 11 studies comparing the effects of activity (walking or running) in an outdoor natural versus indoor environment, Thompson Coon, Boddy, Stein, et al. (2011) found that many of the self-report findings suggested greater improvements to mental well-being (moods, feelings) from outdoor than indoor activity. Benefits included “greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression, and increased energy.… Participants reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and declared a greater intent to repeat the activity at a later date” (p. 1761). However, the authors caution that these measures were taken following single episodes of exercise, with unknown effects on adherence; moreover, methodologies tended to be weak and varied, making it difficult to compare results and interpret findings. Participants again were usually young adults, with an average age of 25 years.

While not all the findings so far are definitive, it’s fairly certain that at least some level of benefit is derived. The website and Literature review are worth reading in their entirety. The Literature Review also lists all the sources of studies and various useful links.

It’s beneficial all around. It’s inexpensive. In most cases it’s easy to do. Where I live it’s really easy. I live with over 160 acres of nature surrounding me yet there are days where I still have to force myself. Maybe the weather isn’t inviting or I’m feeling guilty about a too long to do list. Whatever the reason often I’m pushing myself out the door.

This challenge and some nice spring weather have made the commitment easy. Walking the trails around me every day made me intently aware of the subtle changes that happen around me that I don’t notice. How one day there were patches of tiny violets where the day before there was barely a patch of green showing amongst the leaf debris from last fall.

One morning I commented that the tiny buds on the native aspen trees would soon burst into green. When I walked along that afternoon the buds had burst open during those few short hours creating a green shadowing  in all the treetops. Noticing subtle changes, seeing the process rather than just the result has been an unexpected reward of this challenge.

I’ve also realized that by the time I’m done I’ll have a nature streak of 30 days! Somehow that feels validating. And once I have a streak going I’d really hate to break it. So just maybe I’ll have formed a healthy habit and I won’t feel guilty even on the busiest of days. Summer certainly makes it easier. Gardening, outside chores, lazy days at the lake. Hoping the momentum will also carry me through the long cold months we experience.

The Literature Review ends with a sobering thought,

According to 2011 census data, more than 86 percent of Ontarians live in urban areas. Meanwhile, the natural environment continues to be degraded or eliminated by advancing urban and suburban sprawl, commercial/industrial land use and climate change; natural settings are disappearing.

While leaving the door open for real change.

The challenges are great. But, perhaps the mounting evidence that a “dose” of nature is good for health will contribute to the preservation and maintenance of the natural environment, as well as directly improve quality of life and reduce the health care burden.

They also have their final evaluation reports available online here.

I’m learning to love nature in all it’s forms, in all it’s seasons. It’s fun, it’s good for my mind and it’s good for my body. Are you ready to play?

Sound like a great idea but think you don’t have time or aren’t close enough to nature? Here are some ideas to get you thinking.

  • Map out where the green spaces in your area are and plan a visit to each one
  • Plant a flower box garden on your balcony
  • Find a community garden group and become a member
  • Local greenhouses or public atriums are a great place to visit and relax
  • Start a community group to create or refurbish a green space

With a little creativity you’d be amazed how much time and nature you can enjoy starting right now.

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

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

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

Being a mom is an interesting path to walk at the best of times. We joke that kids don’t come with a manual and it’s true. No matter how well read you are, how trained you are, even with all the skills and patience you bring to the task, there’s still a lot of trial and error and just plain luck involved. We all have our plans about how we’ll be super moms, but in reality our relationships with our children will have ups and downs and will grow and morph in many ways over hopefully many wonderful years.

Unknown-1I believe most mother’s really do want the best for their children. Sometimes, I admit, we make mistakes and miss the mark. It can range from simple to complex. We’re  a little over protective, maybe we make too many choices for them. For the most part we all work it out and over time our relationship, we hope, grows stronger.

I know when I became a mother, my world changed in many ways. Nine months of gestation produced more than a baby.

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh

As I saw mother’s day played out on social media I realized that there is truly a huge range of emotions and experiences that transpire around this celebration. Within my own group of friends and news feeds, the expected joy and beauty was truly apparent. Right along side of it, with the same intensity was grief and anguish.

There were mothers who lamented children no longer alive to celebrate this special day with them. A hole left in their lives that will never be filled.

Loving daughters and sons who didn’t look forward to the day because mom was no longer with them to celebrate. It didn’t matter if the loss was recent or decades ago. An old wound was reopened.

Moms who feel aching loneliness, lamenting their children’s indifference over outdated misunderstandings. Grandchildren who  only know stories but not grandma’s warm embrace. The absence of celebration or the pain of loss while celebrating the joys that remain.

Children and husbands holding tightly to mothers who they know will be leaving them far too soon.

A mother who celebrated her very first mother’s day unaware it was the last day she would there to celebrate at all.

The new mother welcoming her first born just before mother’s day only to lose her a few days later.

Mothers separated by vast distances from their children, connecting through technology that didn’t exist when the mothers were their children’s age. Not the same as sharing the same space but so much better than the alternative.

Grown children who were certainly babes in arms a short time ago, towering over mothers in loving embraces. The smiles and joy spilling from the page and into my heart.

The little child’s fist full of dandelions thrust up towards his mother, her most treasured gift.

What became clear was that Mother’s Day was different for each mother, as different as each of our children are. What remains constant is that each mother and each child no matter how old, how far away or estranged, is in someway moved. The bond, no matter how strained or strong is marked somehow, whether it is visible or invisible, acknowledged or not.

My mother is aging faster than I’d like to admit. I know that my time with her is limited. Time goes by too quickly, we never know just how much we have.  One of the biggest things people say they wish they would have done differently was to have forgiven someone, or to have said “I love you.” more. I was reminded of this even more this year. In which case, there is really only one thing to do.

phonto

It really doesn’t matter who it is, if there’s a relationship to repair, appreciation to show, love to give, choose to do it now. Life life, make memories, no regrets.

I wasn’t there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn’t get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I’m sure I heard his echo
In my baby’s new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years~ Mike & The Mechanics “In The Living Years”

I love you mom.  Thanks for all you’ve done and all you do, especially for making memories that will keep you with me forever.

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

Thanks for stopping by, we always appreciate it.

Want to connect with Rise Like Aire?  Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

©Jade Beall Photography Charity, mother of 3

Jade posted on FB the other day about a photo shoot she had with a lovely mother of 3, Charity.

Women feeling dissatisfied with our own bodies is nothing new.  The movement toward self acceptance and self love is a challenge for many. The fact that our bodies are constantly changing, especially when we have children, doesn’t help. We have to constantly learn to love and accept differences that weren’t there before.

I know our acceptance of ourselves is affected by external influences and something Charity said to Jade showed me just how important the attitudes of those around us are as we develop our views about our own bodies and those of others.

I also grew up with veiny women in my family and my dad actually has gnarly variscosities in his legs too. When I was a kid, I thought it was normal and liked the way they felt like worms under the skin. My mom and grandma never took measures to hide their veins and no one really talked about them being unsightly, so I guess I just accepted them as normal.  ~ Charity

via Jade Beall Photography.  Click the link to read the entire interview.

“I just accepted them as normal.” Normal, not something to be ashamed of or to hide. Just a normal thing that occurs to varying degrees in many bodies, both male and female. No big deal. It just is.

Just think about the difference that belief makes. No pressure, no feeling bad, no hiding. It’s freeing, it’s empowering.

Think about the influence we as adults have on children. Our actions and our words that we use with little thought are moulding the beliefs and attitudes our children will hold about themselves and others as they grow up.

“If only I could lose five pounds.”

“Why doesn’t she take care of herself?”

“Did you see the size of Mildred’s veins?”

“I’ll just have salad, want to watch my girlish figure.”

“Ah she knows I fell for her long legs.”

“I’d never stay with a woman who let herself go like that.”

“Short hair on a woman is too masculine.”

Laughable except that I’ve heard every one of those things recently said in front of children.

Charity’s family helped her develop a sense of body image that has helped her find an inner security many would envy. Her attitude is evident as she speaks about her pregnancy.

Pregnancy is one of those states of being that changes our anatomy and I’m just so grateful for the gift of bearing this child that I see all these changes to my body as a small price to pay. ~ Charity

As a mother with that kind of attitude, I have a feeling Charity’s children will grow up feeling empowered and learning how to love themselves unconditionally right from the start.

Thank you Jade and Charity for sharing such a wonderful lesson.

Jade is also working on a new project to develop a Beautiful Body Project Multi-Media Story Website.

We are currently building a dynamic digital-newspaper-style website which will be the global media platform to showcase the videos images and stories of the women these photographers & videographers find in each of their countries, forming a cohesive yet diverse body of work unlike any existing media platform available today, dedicated to truthful images and inspiring stories of women about topics that aren’t often explored in mainstream media: birth, breast-feeding, living with cancer, miscarriage, loss, eating disorders, self-harm, sexual abuse, and beyond as a way to illuminate hope with the larger goal of building healthy self-esteem in current and future generations of women!  ~ Jade Beall

If that’s a project you see the value in follow the link to see how you can be a part of making the vision a reality.

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

Thanks for stopping by, we always appreciate it.

Want to connect with Rise Like Aire?  Here’s how!

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Join us on Pinterest

Over the last few months I’ve come to know some of the homeless people of Canada through they eyes and writing of Dennis Carduff. His chronicling of everyday life has allowed many of us an insight into life on the streets that we otherwise would likely never have experienced. We’ve come to feel for them, hope for them and care about their stories. The loss of Joy has touched people many walks of life, people she never even knew existed. It feels like we’ve lost a friend.

Dennis continues to tell their stories with dignity, caring and humanity. Joy, you will be missed, you have not gone unnoticed. Respectfully, thank you Joy, and thank you Dennis for helping me to see life through different eyes.

Peace.

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: