Most of you know that I try to post a grateful post every day on Facebook. I've been doing it regularly since my husband became ill and then passed away. It really does help me focus on all the good things I have in my life.
So, of course, today I was checking the most recent essays in SIMPLE ABUNDANCE by Sarah Ban Breathnach. As it happens, she was discussing acceptance of real life.
"Accepting and blessing our circumstances is a powerful tool for transformation. In fact, this potent combination is a spiritual elixir that can work miracles in our lives."
What is acceptance? It is surrendering to what is: our circumstances, our feelings, our problems, our financial status, our work, our health, our relationships...our dreams. Before we can change anything in our life, we have to recognize that this is the way it is meant to be right now. When we accept our circumstances, we relax. We change our vibration, our energy pattern and the rate of our heartbeat. Once again, we are able to tap into the boundless positive energy of the Universe. Acceptance illuminates reality so that we're better able to see the next step."
So, whatever situation exists in your life right now, accept it. Acknowledge what is going on....your house is dirty, your job is not making you happy, your checking account is overdrawn. This is your real life for today. Let go of the struggle. And allow the healing changes to begin.
"Next, we must learn to bless our circumstances. Usually we don't know why something had occurred, and we won't until there's enough distance to take a backward look. Blessing the circumstances teaches us to trust. Then count your blessings. See how many you can list." You maybe surprised at the goodness you have in your life. In the rush of daily living, we fail to notice or acknowledge what good there is. Writing the blessings down may help you see how much you have in your life, in spite of the difficulties.
Here's where the daily listing of simple gratefulness comes in. Most of us think we have to wait until the difficulties are gone before we start to get our act together. Tomorrow, we will start. Tomorrow we'll some time to have enjoyment. Life never calms down enough for us to wait until tomorrow to start living the life we deserve.
Stop waiting for life to become perfect. Start working today on what you have already to make your life as satisfactory as you can. Accept, give thanks, and get going....Begin to call for the riches from your everyday life. Move from lack of to abundance. Procrastination robs you of too many precious moments and opportunities. Call a friend for lunch, begin to read, write a book, organize your desk, try a new recipe, smile at everyone you see, sit and dream about what you want in life, and give joy away.
Think of one thing that would give you pleasure today and do it!
Something that often give me a lift is to just change some of the decor in my home. Put out a different color as an accent from season to season. Place mats can be purchased very inexpensively and they can make the top of your end tables or dining table look completely different. Putting out fresh towels and mixing the patterns or colors in the bathroom is refreshing as well. I have put light blue hand towels with dark brown bath towels and wash cloths. Or dark green with a lighter green patterned hand towel. It just makes the area look different.
The same goes with clothing. Try adding a scarf or a pin, or a necklace or bracelets for a change of color with your basic outfits that you wear all the time. We all have closets full of clothes but usually stick with the same basic 5 or 6 outfits, whether we work outside of our home or stay at home. Try to make them look different in some way.
I am not a big shopper at all. And since June, when I started a new eating plan, I vowed not to buy anything new for myself for 6 months to give me motivation to stay on the eating plan. I've lost 20 lbs. So, I have purchased a couple of different tops on sale in the past couple of weeks. I got a beautiful sheer 3/4 length sleeve blouse at Goodwill for $5 last week. I don't think it was ever worn. I bought another top last night at T.J.Maxx for $7. I looked both labels up online andboth brands had similar tops that went for $48 and were marked down to $25. I don't often have that type of luck but I did this month. I also found a 5x7 handpainted-glass-painting of a strawberry plant for 49 cents which I am giving to a friend who features strawberries decor in her kitchen. And finally I found a beautiful 3x3 foot square of tapestry material to use as a table topper for 99 cents. I was just ready and open to find some treasures....and I did.
Our weather has been different this month. It is still cold but almost all the snow has melted and I haven't had to use the snowblower for a few weeks! Today the sky is blue and it is sunny outside in spite of being 37 degrees. I could handle the entire winter if it stayed like this.
And I read some books.
This is the second book in a trilogy by Ken Follett. It is over 940 pages and takes place from 1933 to 1949. The history and information about the wars that Russia, Germany, France, England and finally the USA take part in is brutal. Of course, I studied some of this in high school but I had no idea how long and how involved these wars were. What I did realize was that the world has been fighting since before we even knew what was going on. Some country or group wants to have it all, the power, the gold or oil or coal or control. There is no indication that any country has ever been without struggle. And it continues to this day. The cruelty and disregard for human life and for families or hard work is not taken into consideration when any country wants to be the country in control.
Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until she commits a deed of great courage and heartbreak. . . . American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific. . . . English student Lloyd Williams discovers in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism. . . . Daisy Peshkov, a driven American social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until the war transforms her life, not just once but twice, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war—but the war to come.
These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century. From the drawing rooms of the rich to the blood and smoke of battle, their lives intertwine, propelling the reader into dramas of ever-increasing complexity.
Irish immigrant Ellie Hogan has finally achieved the American Dream. But her comfortable bohemian life on Fire Island, New York, is shattered when her eldest adopted son, Leo, runs away, lured by the promise of fortune and fame in Hollywood. Determined to keep her family intact, Ellie follows him west, uprooting her youngest son and long-time friend Bridie.
In Los Angeles, Ellie creates a fashionable new home among the city’s celebrities, artists, and movie moguls. She is also drawn into intense new friendships, including talented film composer Stan, a man far different from any she has ever met, and Suri, a beautiful Japanese woman and kindred spirit, who opens Ellie’s eyes to the injustices of her country.
While Leo is dazzled by Hollywood’s glitz, Ellie quickly sees that the golden glamour masks a world of vanity and greed. Though she tries to navigate them around the dangers of their new home, she will not be able protect them from an even more terrifying threat: war.
Ellie is a twice-widowed woman raising her two adopted boys while working as an artist in New York during the early 1940s. When her oldest son disappears from school, and it turns out he's fled to Hollywood to become an actor, Ellie follows him west, to bring him back. However, she ends up staying in Hollywood, bringing her family with her.
I found Ellie to be a pretty unlikable woman. Harsh, unfriendly, cold, and always thinking she was better than everyone else. She treated Stan, her love interest in Hollywood, pretty horribly. I felt absolutely no connection to her and could really care less what happened to her.
This book was filled with constant descriptions of things that happened in the previous books. As if the author felt the reader couldn't possibly remember something that we had already been told 75 pages previously. How many times did we need to be told how Ellie came to adopt Tom? Or how Ellie was so wonderful because she founded a woman's homeless shelter in New York?
For a book that takes place during World War II, there was very little mention of the war! Except for a handful of pages where Ellie's new half-Japanese friend Suri talks about the horrors of the internment camps, and a bizarre side trip to Manzanar, all of which seemed incredibly contrived, as if the author felt she had to somehow shoehorn insomething about the Japanese internment camps to prove her book was set during wartime.
Overall, I cannot recommend this book, and I don't think I'm going to go back and read the first two books in the trilogy. If you've already read the first two, you may want to give this a try, just to finish the arc. Otherwise, give this one a pass.