Laughter really is the best medicine

Thoughts to Ponder

April 8, 2016

“The more stressful, baffling, or unpleasant your situation,

The more important it is to laugh at it.”

Martha Beck*

“You grow up the day you have your first real laugh, at yourself.”

Ethel Barrymore**

Life has been stressful for all of us for quite some time. All sorts of things have weighed on our minds: economy, weather, politics and our own personal issues. We’re allowing ourselves to turn into a nation of curmudgeons.

It’s time to reverse that trend and remember to laugh again. During our nation’s stressful times, humor helped people laugh and relax just a little. A few of those people are President Abraham Lincoln, who loved a good anecdote, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Erma Bombeck, and Robin Williams. They found ways to make distressing events funny. Every drama includes one or two of humorous incidents to break up the heaviness. How often have you been in a serious meeting where little is accomplished, then someone makes a joke, everyone laughs and immediately you are finding solutions to your dire dilemma.

Let’s dial back on the news and drama shows on television and focus on what is happening closer to home. We’ll see our children, our pets and, most of all, ourselves in a new light. Rent a funny movie and kick-start laughing with the whole family. The next time you spill your cereal on yourself, don’t worry about the mess, but imagine how funny you look to the rest of your family.

Spirit, Thank you for the ability to laugh at ourselves. Often we don’t realize what a gift humor is until we’ve been surrounded by seriousness and someone makes a joke in the middle of it all. And, so it is.

*Beck, Martha, Daily Inspiration for January 19, 2017, info@marthabeck.com

** Warner, Carolyn, Treasury of Women’s Quotations, pg 169, Prentiss Hall

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of Echoes of Your Choices, a motivational book, and one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

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Take Care of Yourself First

Thoughts to Ponder – September 11,2016

 “When we let what others are doing or not doing become a part of our

every day life, it is we who are not doing our own life.”

 A Window of Wisdom*

How easy it is to become involved in another person’s drama. We spend hours trying to find a solution for a friend who is dealing with a seemingly unsolvable problem. We should be concerned about our friends. However, we need to find a balance between concern and obsession. Over-thinking anything – elections, football, weather, job, friends, lovers and so on is harmful to our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual bodies.

Being concerned without becoming involved in another’s problem is sometimes difficult, but doable. When someone shares a problem, we can say “I’m sorry you are facing this dilemma. How would you like me to help?” Usually she just wants a willing listener. If she is seeking a solution, we can offer a suggestion or two then remind her that she has to decide what action to take or not. Then we let go of the problem. It is not ours to carry.

We tend to get mired in our own problems. We spend hours, days, or weeks pondering our ability to resolve the issue and how this crisis will affect our future. These valid concerns deserve our attention, but not to the point of supplanting other facets of our lives. Our personal crisis tends to swirl around in our brains at the most inconvenient times. Trying to push it out of our minds is futile.

A better option is to allot a time to concentrate on that issue. Some ways are to read about the subject, talk to a trusted adviser, write a list of possible solutions, or meditate. Even better, do all of them. After evaluating the situation we will probably have a solution or at least a step or two to take that will lead to a resolution. For example, we can decide to take this action and if that works the problem is solved. If not, then we can try step two and see where that leads. Many times the result will not be what we think it should be, but will lead us in a direction with better options.

Spirit,

Thank you for reminding us to place our attention where it belongs and that we can’t resolve anyone’s problems but our own. You’ve given us steps to find solutions and the ability to decide the proper action. We chose to use those options.

And, so it is.

*A Window of Wisdom, September 2, 2016, https://awindowofwiscome.wordpress.com

© by Sharon D. Dillon, September 11, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy” Author of Echoes of your Choices, 2016, available as an e-book or paperback at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites.

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Voices of Williamsburg Toastmasters Club.

Step off the cliff

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,

but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Maria Robinson

 Some of us have lived several decades, others only a few years. Most of us have regrets. Some allow those regrets to shape our lives. Others have allowed “words of wisdom” to forever shape our lives and our futures.

Those thoughts have influenced our decisions, sometimes for good or bad. My dad used to say, “Once you are in debt, you are always in debt.” That was his experience. However, after his retirement he and my mom sold their tiny house and moved into a low-income senior community. They paid all their bills and paid cash for their first new car. They were able to take a few budget vacations and live more comfortably. While their life seemed Spartan to others, it was good for them. Retirement allowed them to make a new beginning.

A few years ago a relative I hadn’t seen for many years made contact. While reconnecting was a joyful experience, I couldn’t help feeling sad for her. During that and subsequent conversations, she stated firmly, “—- has always been this way and will always be this way.” She had experienced unpleasant events and was filled with anger.

She was convinced that since these situations had been her past, they would be her future, not allowing new experiences to come into her life. The last time I saw her, another disaster had befallen her family and she was bowed under the weight of more responsibility. I hope that the fairies will clean her window so she can see a brighter future.

Life was similar for me for years. I saw life as one crisis after another with little happiness between. Even joyful events seemed to have time limits. However, something within me, encouraged me to take a risk and another and another. Some brought me a measure of joy, some brought painful lessons. Yet . . . .

The past 15 years have shown me that lasting change is not events, but thoughts. We can choose to feel trapped or to see a path leading into a sunnier future. Not all my choices have turned out as I wished, but they all led me forward. This last year I’ve faced several minor health crises that initially made me feel afraid. However, as I proceeded through diagnoses and treatments, I saw that each crisis resolved a long standing health issue allowing me to move forward with more energy and enthusiasm.

For example, a few weeks ago I saw a podiatrist for an ingrown toe nail. She provided standard treatment and asked a few questions. She then added a pad to my arch support that allows me to stand straighter. Not only is my toe healing without stress, but also my steps are straighter and more sure. No more wobbling. No more fear of falling.

Last evening during meditation my guides took me on a trip. The details aren’t important. The lesson is. They showed me is that it is safe to step off a cliff, metaphorically speaking. If I’m brave enough to take that next step, adventure and joy will follow. Just as my health issues are resolving themselves day by day, my courage can also grow if I let it. When my courage grows, my joy will grow.

Creator Spirit,

Thank you for these lessons, even those that come with bumps and bruises. Each lesson brings us closer to learning that peace, love and joy is all there is. You are showing us that we can only experience the best life has to offer – if we are brave enough to take that next step, whatever it might be. Open our windows to the world and show us that our past does not have to be our future.

And so it is.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, January 29, 2015

If you know someone who would appreciate reading “Thoughts to Ponder,” please suggest that he or she contact me at: energywriter@cox.net

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com