Hope Returns With Every Sunrise

Things really do look better in the morning. They feel better. We feel better. Why? Our natural state of mind changes with the dawn. Hope returns with every sunrise.

We can bring a fresh perspective to a new day. We have had time to rest at night. Our brains have closed to the waking world. Our thoughts have turned inward. Our unconscious may have worked some things out in dreams and/or may have provided us with escape and respite from our worries. We can begin the day with more energy than we ended it.

We can bring a positive attitude to the new day. When we wake up with gratitude, we wake up ready to face the day. We can remember our blessings and count them. I start my day by opening the curtains and looking out a bedroom window that faces the sunrise. The light streams in through colored crackle glass to wish me welcome to my new day.

We can nourish ourselves with morning routines that sustain us for the day ahead. If possible, it’s good to get time to yourself before the family or pets are up in full swing. Morning prayers, yoga, and a healthy breakfast start me on my day. (It wasn’t always this way!) Others may start with reading, listening to music, having a cup of coffee, taking a walk with your dog or exercising….Whatever gets you moving in a positive direction, do that.

And time and energy. Sometimes we are overwhelmed at night by the scope of a problem and by other people’s “crush of want” (Nick Cave). We are out of time and depleted of energy. With a new day, the problem hasn’t disappeared, but it may not seem so overwhelming. What felt hopeless at night often feels better in the morning after a night’s rest. We have restored our energy. We have the whole day ahead of us. We have people we can connect with and count on during the day. We have time to figure it out.

As a child and teenager, when I would be overwhelmed and crying at night, my mother used to say “It will be better in the morning.” I didn’t believe her. It would be the same, I thought. But she was right. And now I say the same thing to my children. And they are starting to believe me.

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Til It’s Gone*

You never appreciate your body and your health more than after you have been sick. Recovery sparks gratitude. We realize how much we take for granted that our bodies will continue to function, and function well, day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.

But when you’re sick, you have to stop and notice. We notice when it’s not doin’ what it’s supposed to be doin’. Yeah, then we notice big time. And  we have to stop and rest. Time out to heal. And we remember how much our body does for us every minute of every day. Most of it without being asked to and without being thanked for.

So as I’m getting better today, here is a public declaration of gratitude to share:

I so appreciate:

  1. My breath – I take you for granted most of all for without you we are nothing and we die.
  2. My pulse – for keeping my blood flowing to all its body parts.
  3. My lungs – for being my rhythm guitar and keeping me going.
  4. My heart – my home base that blood flows to and through.
  5. My skin – my crowd control.
  6. My eyes – for beautiful visions.
  7. My nose – for thousands of scents.
  8. My ears – for music and voices and nature.
  9. My joints and parts – that keep me in motion.
  10. To all other body parts big and small – for sticking with me.

Thank you all for showing up today.

  • * “Don’t it always seem to go, That you don’t know what you’re got til it’s gone….” ~ Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi


If You’re Tired, Rest

“If you are tired, learn to rest, not to quit.” – Banksy.

Resting and quitting are not the same thing, though our society often sends us the message that they are. Rest is necessary. Rest is rejuvenating. Rest is a valuable part of life. Resting is actually the opposite of quitting – it is filling you up so that you can accomplish your goals. So do it. It is okay to take a break (long or short) from the demands of life. Your body will thank you for it. Your emotional well being will thank you for it. Your family, friends, and colleagues will notice your improved disposition and your better attention to tasks.

4 Lessons to keep in mind: Lesson #1 – no one will tell you to take a break, you just have to take one. Lesson #2 – people will usually help you IF YOU ASK. Lesson #3 – let go of guilt – you can’t do everything all the time. Lesson #4 – it will be okay – disaster will not strike because you took some time out.

So you need some rest, and you need a break, but how can you actually get one? You have a very busy life. No worries. Rest breaks can be short or long. They are meant to be refreshing, not something else added to your to do list. Here are some suggestions that will lesson stress and lead to rest:

1. Breathe. Remember three good things in your life.

2.  Pray – overwhelmed? Lift it up to a higher power.

3.  Stop and walk away. (It’s okay to hide out in the bathroom quietly or step out on the porch alone.)

4. Control your to do lists. (When I reach 10 things on a list, I throw the list away and make a shorter one.)

5. Laugh! Laughter relaxes your whole body.

6. Hang out with your pets; they make you laugh. Cuddle up for a nap together.

7. Say no. (There is actually someone else who WANTS to do the thing that you don’t want to do.)

8. Tell your partner and ask for help so you can rest.

9. Play music that expresses your feelings or how you want to feel.

10. Sleep. Nap. Go to bed earlier. Rested body = rested mind = ready for the day.

Rest is doing something. It is not doing nothing. So if you’re tired, rest.


You Fill Up My Senses*

Highly sensitive people have highly sensitive senses. Makes sense? Of course.

We know we have 5 senses. (I’m not including our psychic senses here – that is a topic for another day.) We know that sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell are the basic five senses. Empaths and HSPs feel the outside world amplified, so it makes sense that we have heightened sensory experiences.

Let me ask you —– Do you smell things that others can’t smell? Do sounds and music strongly affect you? Do you have zero tolerance for itchy fabrics? Are there certain foods that you can’t put in your mouth without fear of puking? Do visual images cause very real feelings for you? (And are you sensitive to temperatures, too?)

Though some senses may be more sensitive than others, if you are an empath or HSP, you probably answered yes to most of these questions. And guess what? There is scientific evidence to back up this difference in sensory sensitivity for us. And guess what else? Science points to we were born this way.

“Brain imaging studies suggest real differences in the brains of Highly Sensitive Persons versus everyone else. Cortical areas linked to attention and processing perceptual data show higher activation in reponse to all kinds of stimuli.” (Andrea Bartz, “Sense and Sensitivity” in Psychology Today 7/05/11)

Some bemoan this sensitivity, but I say celebrate it! What a wonderful gift to experience the world in its saturated form! The key is learning to flood your senses with positive sensory input and conversely, to limit unpleasant sensory input whenever you can. Seek intense and uplifting sensory input. Share it with another, and your sensory bliss doubles. Think about your own personal sensory choices. Be deliberate. Surround yourself with this input. Daily. It will be good for you and for those around you.

Will close here with lines from a sensory rich love song.

You fill up my senses like a night in the forest, like the mountains in spring time, like a walk in the rain, like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean. you fill up my senses, come fill me again.” ~ John Denver*