Fill your thoughts with inspiring stories

I recently read that a habit of great people is that they spend some time everyday contemplating their models of greatness, so every week I am going to share with you the person that will be the subject of my contemplation. Perhaps when we fill our thoughts with courage and not the stories we see on the news we will have less anxiety. Perhaps we will feel more hope for mankind.

Viktor Frankl psychiatrist and holocaust survivor said, “when we are no longer able to change a situation–we are only then challenged   to change ourselves.”

This week I will think about Immaculee Ilibagiza. I will contemplate  forgiveness, faith, the ability to change ourselves and the perfect example this young woman offers.

Immaculee was a college student  in Rwanda  where she studied electronical and mechanical engineering. She came  home for the Spring break and walked into a nightmare. There was an ethnic war between the Tutsi and Hutu tribes, Immaculee was a Tutsi. A Pastor hid Immacuee and 7 other woman in a bathroom that was 4 feet long and 3 feet wide. There was a shower at one end and a toilet at the other and a small air vent near the ceiling but there was not enough room for a sink. The women knew they had to remain silent or they would be killed and everyday they heard people they knew threatening to kill all the “cockroach Tutsis” looking for them by name. The genocide lasted for three months and killed almost 1.000.000 Rwandans. While neighbors hunted  her with machetes, Immaculee used the French/English dictionary and an English Bible to learn English. When they came out of the bathroom after 91 days they had lost their families, homes, money, nearly everything thought of as important . The rest of this story is:  Immaculee forgave the people who destroyed her family and the life she knew. She lived her faith and walked her talk. I will think about Immaculees and remember when I can’t change a situation I will work to change myself and become stronger and braver,  walking in faith not fear.

If you have an interest  in learning more about Immaculees story of horror, faith and forgiveness her book,  “Left to Tell”.

“But I came to learn that God never shows us something we aren’t ready to understand. Instead, He lets us see what we need to see, when we need to see it. He’ll wait until our eyes and hearts are open to Him, and then when we’re ready, He will plant our feet on the path that’s best for us…but it’s up to us to do the walking.

__________Immaculee Ilibagiza, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust

 

 

 

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Another Trip around the Sun

Last week I finished a trip around the sun or what some call  a birthday.  This week has been the time that I question what it is I learned on my trip. Wonderful lessons some that were painful and some that were glorious. I have collected souvenirs along the way but as with any vacation sometimes you purchase “stuff” that has no use or beauty. Those are things that I am going to let go. In fact as I sort through the lessons anything that doesn’t make me kinder, wiser or more loving, anything that doesn’t make my life more joyful I will let go of.

I know that somebody is asking how I am going to  let go of those things that make me less of who I wish to be. I will think of what I wish to cultivate into my life and breathe those thoughts and experiences in and then exhale the negative thoughts and emotions that don’t serve me.

Now is time to pack for the new trip. The medicine wheel will remain my compass. I intend to do something for my body, my mind, relationships and my Spirit.  I will pack courage, be brave enough to be who I really am deep down inside. The most important thing I will do is to be more mindful of what wonderful miracles are happening all around me all the time, everyday.

It is very unlikely that I will keep all my intentions I make this week but I will be better next year at this time than I am now. I hope all of you fellow travelers will stay in touch. Cell reception may not always be the best but you can always find me at jane@skybluedreams.net.

 

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From all of us at Sky Blue Dreams

November 15, 2012

This is the season of gratitude.  I wonder why we have to be reminded with a day called Thanksgiving?  We know that gratitude feels good.  In fact, studies show that if you do something nice for someone, your endorphins (the feel-good brain chemicals) flood your body.  The also flood the person’s body who is grateful for the kindness, as well as everyone who saw the kindness, all receive the benefits.  Again I ask why we need a day to be thankful for all the kindness we receive daily when it feels so good?

The first documented Thanksgiving was conducted by the Spaniards in the 16th century.  When the English settlers established a charter in 1607 they required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a ‘day of thanksgiving’ to God.  The Continental Congress in 1777 set apart the day for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise: that at one time and with one voice, the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of God.  But it was Abraham Lincoln, who in 1863, during the worst time in our history, declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.  He asked everyone to ask God to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

We have always known as Americans that we are blessed to live in this amazing country.  We still have divisions and strife.  On Thanksgiving, let us join with the spirit of our ancestors to be grateful for what we have been given and with one voice dedicate ourselves to kindness and service.  To once again do what each of us are able to do to create peace, harmony, and tranquility.  We hear people say “God Bless America”, but I say that he already has.  Now we need to say ‘Thank You!”

Happy Thanksgiving and Thank You.

Jane, Jill and Roxy

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Preserving Your Memories

We have experienced a beautiful fall in Wisconsin this year. At times I felt it was almost too brilliant reminding me of a kaleidoscope or the  swirling skirt of a Spanish dancer. I watched the colors dancing in the reflection of my lake when the water was as clear and peaceful as a sheet of glass I was grateful that I had eyes to see.  I would like to share a lesson that I learned as a young woman from a Great Aunt.

One day I walked into house and this old woman was sitting peacefully with her eyes shut and a beautiful smile on her face. When she realized I was there she smiled and told me she was going through her photo album. I looked and saw no album. Then she shared that when anything good happened she took a picture in here mind. She could take that memory out and spend as long as she wanted with it.

This is a bit like freeze frame in Heart Math that when something wonderful happens you snap a mental picture. Then when you are feeling any stress put your hand over your heart and breathe in that wonderful memory adding every sense that you can. Remember what you were smelling, hearing, and feeling. Feel the same peace you felt the first time you experienced the memory.

However there is a wonder of seeing a photograph. This month there is a picture in my Yoga magazine of one of the oldest yoga teachers in the world, TAO PORCHON-LYNCH  is a flexible beautiful 93 years old. I framed the picture, placed it on my desk to remind me that she would be a model for my aging process.

Pictures in your head, heart or on your desk are like sign posts helping us stay on the path we have chosen. If you have picture memories you would like to delete, do it now. They were from a path you no longer choose. Fill your heart, brain, desk and walls with what you love and choose to remember. Create your photo album filled with what makes you healthy happy and strong.

Because this is so important we have added a very talented photographer to Sky Blue Dreams. The business is called Magical Fun Moments. The photographer in Terrena Bachmann. The Photos are both unique and affordable. Terrena has created a beautiful space to have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Fall, Veterans Day, or Christmas photos. You could have a family picture to put on your desk and in your heart. She also takes animal photos. Call Sky Blue Dreams for an appointment, 608-586-5225.

These little time outs we create when we remember with our hand on our heart or looking at a picture moves us from stress to neutral where we can breathe, choose our next emotion and our reaction to life.

Peace  Love  and Laughter to all

Jane

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Smiles are free :)

A smile is cheer to you and me. The cost is nothing-it’s given free. It comforts the weary-Gladdens the sad. Consoles those in trouble-Good or bad. To rich and poor-beggar or thief. It’s free to all of any belief. A natural gesture of young and old. Cheers on the faint-disarms the bold. Unlike most Blessings for which we pray, it’s one thing we keep when we give it away.

I read this today and smiled. I have come to realize over the past few months my entire life has changed  as I thought I was busy, had time to wonder what people were thinking and I cared. Collected items because…..I do not have that figured out yet, worried about things I had no control of and forever tried to figure life out.

Tonight I realize a smile is really what I choose to disarm egos, help an upset two-year old forget what she is upset about. A smile works to invite my momma into a conversation, and see my husbands stressful day melt away. Turns my thoughts of children in far away places into wonderful memories. A smile, so simple and makes such a difference…

Our life has become an episode of the Waltons and all I think is Olivia always seemed to be smiling, so I smile, cause I choose to be like Olivia 🙂

 

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