Category Archives: Personal

Fighting Against or Living For?

Lakewood Driveway Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
Lakewood Driveway
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

Two and a half years ago Bob and I moved to the lake.  At first it was “paradise.”  Then some major changes around here brought us back to reality and reminded us that life has its challenges and people are people no matter where you live.

The biggest challenge for me has been staying young and healthy in body, mind and spirit while surrounded by people who are older and believe sickness is an inevitable part of aging. In fact certain illnesses and major surgeries seem to be badges of honor and rights of passage.

During this time I have often found myself feeling that I was fighting against negativity, stereotypes of aging and yes sometimes even people.  I have often talked with Bob about the struggle to maintain my healthy lifestyle.

Then something happened that made me realize I had it all wrong. Instead of fighting against I should see myself as living for something greater.  Instead of fighting against sickness and negativity I should be living for wellness, light, love and focusing on the positive.  It may seem like a very slight shift but if we look at it closely the difference is huge.

The same applies to life in the wider world.  Are we fighting against the negative forces in the world today or are we living for light, love, peace, acceptance, and creating a better world for all?

What are you fighting against?  How can you flip that into living for something greater?

 

We’re All in This Together

When in comes to life in this world we are all in it together.  Our culture doesn’t really want us to believe that right now.  We are bombarded from every side with messages that we must be self sufficient.  There are even people who proudly boast they need no help from anyone.  But truth is truth and it is still out there.  Sometimes it takes bad news to make us see that others are in the same boat.

Yesterday we had our car at the dealership for what we knew could be a serious issue.  We were not prepared for the cost of the repair or the pressure to buy a new car.  I went outside to call my brother.  There are times when a girl just needs her big brother.  Thank you Rod for listening.

When we went back inside a woman who had been in the waiting room with us was at the service desk with tears in her eyes.  She said “looks like you got bad news too.”  She too could not be without a car and wasn’t sure how she would pay for the repairs.  At that moment two total strangers were hugging each other and crying together right there in front of the service desk.  Even though we couldn’t help each other in the tangible financial sense we could offer each other a reminder that we are not alone.

After we arrived home I was again reminded of this important truth.  Offers of rides have come from everyone who knows about the problem.  We have a loaner car while the repairs are being made, but in this case it is the thought that counts.

I didn’t write this Sunday when the car problem developed or yesterday.  I was a mess.  I’m human and I do fall apart.  It took until this morning to re-center myself and remember why we trust that God will provide.  He always does, but not always in the ways we expect.  Sometimes he provides what we really need — like the voice of a loved one on the other end of the phone or shared comfort and hugs with a stranger.  No matter what the world may be saying, never forget, we are all in this together.

Be a Light in a Dark World

5-25-14 am-3 web
You may have noticed I’m not quick to react to all the crazy, sad, violent and horrific things going on in the world.  When I do post about current events it is only after much thought and prayer.  But after recent terrorist attacks and the web going crazy over red coffee cups I feel the need to address the much broader issues here.
We create our own reality with our thoughts.  This truth I know for sure.  If we believe the world is an evil place, everyone who does not agree with us is against us and we are being persecuted, that is exactly what we will experience.  If we believe in a vengeful, angry God who hates everyone else, that is what we will take out into the world.  However, if we walk daily in the presence of God, spreading His light, love and goodness to all we meet our world will be a much different place.
So what do we do when the world goes crazy?  How do we react, or keep from reacting?
1.  Stay calm.  Breathe deep.  Surround yourself, your loved ones and the world with the Light of God.
2.  Resist the urge to respond to every major world event and every petty little slight.  The more we talk about what’s wrong with the world the more we will focus on it and bring it into being.
3.  Respond to anger with kindness.  This is not easy.
4.  Walk away if necessary.  Also not easy.
5.  Allow other to have their beliefs and opinions realizing you do not always have to be right or have the last word.
6.  Surround yourself with positive, caring people.  Do this for support and encouragement, not to retaliate against the “other side.”  Do not get involved in the wars of others.
7.  Believe light overcomes darkness, good overcomes evil and life overcomes death.
8.  Let your light shine.  Live what you believe, don’t just talk.  People will remember your actions long after your words are forgotten.

9.  Live without fear.  You can actually feel the fear in the world.  Fear can cause the thing we fear most to happen.  A favorite scripture of mine is, “Fear not little flock, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32.  This is not a “heaven” statement but a here and now statement.  There is no need to worry or be afraid because God does provide.

10. Focus on guarding your own thoughts, words and actions, not those of others.  Let other people be.  You stay centered and calm.

Be a beacon to the world in a dark time.  Let the light that you are shine and shine and shine some more!

 

 

 

 

 
 

Breaking Free

You might remember this quote from last week:

“A person does not have to be behind bars to be a prisoner. People can be prisoners of their own concepts and ideas. They can be slaves to their own selves” – Maharaji

So how do we break out of a prison of our own making? Unfortunately there is not a simple formula. We must each do our own work and find our own way. But this is something I am familiar with. I spent years as a prisoner of my own concepts and ideas and a slave to my own self. So how did I break free?

1. First I had to realize that I was a spiritual and emotional prisoner. I also had to accept that old concepts, ideas and beliefs were no longer working for me.

2. Then I had to learn to release and let go of all that old stuff that was holding me captive.

3. Next I had to start walking forward. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes there were teeny tiny baby steps and lots of falls, but you have to start somewhere.

4. Now I keep on walking knowing there is no turning back. As tempting and inviting as that old life might sometimes seem, it is still a prison.

Don’t think from this nice little four point summary that it is easy.  It is not, but the key is in knowing that there is a way out.  You don’t have to remain a prisoner, continuing to go over and over the old stuff and afraid to move forward.  Dare to break free.

Sometimes What we Fear the Most…

… is exactly what we need to do.

I do not like to drive.  It is necessary in the part of the country where we live, but not something I consider fun.  Bob loved driving, but with his eye problems I am the only driver now.  I really don’t like driving in cities.

So when I learned I was going to need to take Bob to a city 1 1/2 hours away, (smack dab in the middle of the Ozarks) to see one of his doctors who is relocating from our small town, I was not happy.  I even dug my heels in and declared it ain’t gonna happen.

After trying to convince myself to make a trial run to at least become familiar with the road I finally decided to see if there was a church closer to our beliefs there.  I went online and found a Unity Church and Bob and I drove the 1 1/2 hours to go to church.  We found a friendly, welcoming group of people who invited us to stay for the fellowship lunch and on the way out asked if they could pray for us.

So by breaking through my fear I learned the drive is not as bad and the city not as large as I imagined.  We found a city for things we can’t find around here.  We also found a group of like minded people, something we have been missing.

So once again I learned that lesson I tend to have to repeat over and over…

Sometimes what we fear the most is exactly what we need to do.

Welcome to Our Home

We are blessed to live in a beautiful place.  When we decided to leave the big, bad, violent city behind and go elsewhere for our retirement we never imagined we could find such a wonderful, peaceful, natural and affordable setting.  Thank you God!

Let me take you on a tour.  As you drive into the community you will notice a beautiful assortment of spring/summer flowers.

Lily Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
Lily
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

 

A Perfect Rose Bud Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
A Perfect Rose Bud
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

 

Purple Irises Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
Purple Irises
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

This is our home.  We enjoy lunch on our deck weather permitting.  Our neighbors drive by on golf carts and wave when they go by.  You can see the cow pasture behind us.  No cows were out when this was taken but they do come down to the fence to say “hello.”

Our House Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
Our House
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

The humming-bird feeder in front of my studio window.  Bob and I both enjoy watching birds at this feeder.

Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
Hummingbird Feeder
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

I like to go down to the lake for my morning meditation weather permitting.

Lake View Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
Lake View
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

Enjoy the  wonderful view of the lake as you leave the property.  Be careful and drive slowly, we don’t want to have to pull you out of the water.  🙂

Lakewood Driveway Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
Lakewood Driveway
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

10 Things to Do When a Pet Goes Missing

Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins
Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins

Pets often become family.  When a beloved pet goes missing it isn’t always easy to know what to do first.  These are a few things we learned when Callie recently went missing.

  1. Panic for exactly three minutes, then get moving. You have work to do.
  2. Check the obvious places first – house, yard, favorite hiding places.
  3. If you pet is micro-chipped contact the registration company and follow instructions.
  4. Create and print out a poster. Use a current photo and print in color.  Distribute to vet offices (including your pet’s vet) and shelters.  Put them up in your neighborhood.
  5. Start your search where the animal was last seen and work out. Talk to people. Knock on doors. Don’t wait for people to call.
  6. Don’t forget to search early morning and late evening. A pet hiding during the day may come out when things are quieter.  Search on foot, especially where there has been a sighting.
  7. Go searching prepared to find your pet. Take a leash, carrier or whatever might be needed to control the animal. A favorite blanket, toy or treats can also be helpful.
  8. When found, check your pet for obvious signs of physical trauma. Seek immediate veterinary care for serious injuries.
  9. Encourage your pet to drink. He or she may be dehydrated. Add water to food if needed.
  10. A stressed or traumatized pet (especially a cat) will take time to recover. She might take time just to stop shaking. Follow the animal’s lead in what they need or want to recover. If your pet just wants to be held hold her. Show lots of love, be patient and give things time.

Anyone have any tips to add to this list?

Update on I Aspire to be a Giant Squid

I’ve noticed people looking at an old post about Squidoo called I Aspire to be a Giant Squid. Did I ever become one?  Yes, I did after graduation from Rocket Squids.  However about a week after that I received notice that many of my lenses, including my Lens of the Day and several Purple Star Award lenses. were suddenly “substandard” and would be locked,

This was during a time of change and great turmoil at Squidoo.  Rules were changing and people were resisting.  I decided Squidoo was not for me, deleted my lenses and left.

Do I consider my Squidoo experience a failure?  There is no failure only lessons.  So what did I learn?

1.  I can write for the web.  Anytime you can take a free online writing course do.

2.  I can stretch and write about topics not really of interest to me.

3.  Doing anything from a feeling of desperation rarely works.

4.  There are certain things I do not want to write even though I can.

5.  I also walked away with some of my best writing.  Someday a few might show up here if I can figure out a way to shorten them.

After trying Hub Pages and the Yahoo Contributor Network I decided these types of programs were not for me.  The Yahoo Contributor Network and Squidoo are now gone.  Some of the content from Squidoo was acquired by Hub Pages.  Whether or not to try Hub Pages or similar sites is a personal decision.  They might work  for you where they did not for me.

Was writing for these websites a waste of time?  Back then I thought so, because I was feeling desperate to make money.  Now I realize it wasn’t.  Look at everything I learned!

 

Have we Crossed the Line?

I do not always respond to tragedies in the world.  When I do it is after taking time to think and reflect.  I am saddened by the death of Robin Williams, but I am equally appalled by the online frenzy surrounding his death.  It has passed the point of “grief” and “respect.”  It has passed even the point of voyeurism.

While it it is appropriate to express sadness at the loss of a great talent, going to the level of grief and mourning we would experience at the loss of a close friend or loved one may not be.  The intimate moments we share with actors on stage, screen and other media lead us to a false sense of intimacy believing  we actually know them.

I encourage everyone to honor the memory of Robin Williams by taking time away from the news and the internet.  Spend time connecting to those  you may be neglecting to follow this story.  Spend time with your children.  Make sure they are doing okay with the media surrounding this event as well as in general.  Take time to check on an elderly neighbor you might not have seen in a while.  Offer support in whatever way is needed to a sick friend.  Spend time talking with friend and coworkers about anything else.  Make family dinners a ritual you guard carefully.  Consciously reduce your online time and increase your real world time.  Commit to live a life of love, joy and peace and to spreading positive energy to the world.

Negative energy is very enticing.  It can  be just a few steps down a very slippery slope to the despair and desperation Robin Williams may have given in to.  This is a time to “guard your heart” and not let yourself be lead down a dark and dangerous path.