Friday, June 8, 2012

Is The Grass Really Greener?

    Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.   ― Epicurus 

 As a nutrition, wellness and family dynamics coach every day I  hear from people who are dealing with family issues, health problems, or lack of money,  to mention a few.  Although pain and suffering is certainly real and not to be simply brushed away or ignored,  I believe with all my heart that there is a a way of mitigating hardship and challenging situations that come our way.  One word:  Gratitude.   Even when we are in the worst of circumstances there is always something to be grateful for.   

To refocus on what's important a technique that I find very helpful involves first venturing to your "happy place".   If you're not sure of your personal "happy place" please take time for reflection and self-discovery that you may know the answer.  

 A good friend recently told me that the mountains are her "happy place" and yet another great friend shared that when she is stressed she goes on a very long walk.  My "happy place" is the beach.  Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer, I love the beach.   I also know why the beach evokes comfort and healing for me.  I was raised in Laguna Beach thus my happiest childhood memories center around activities digging in the sand, swimming in the ocean, or exploring numerous reefs and tide pools.   When I feel confused, lost or alone I find my happy memories and my gratefulness for living by visiting a near by beach.    Once I am there I may journal, stroll, or simply sit or lie down taking in the beauty of the sounds, smells, and sights surrounding me.  By watching the ebb and flow of an active and seemingly endless sea I am reminded of how big our God is.  I find it refreshing and uplifting as I reflect on all I am so thankful for. 

 If you have done this often you will experience comfort and solace as you mentally or physically list the many things that bring you happiness...blessings which you are grateful for.  If this is a new idea you may find it uncomfortable taking time out of your busy schedule yet I can assure you,  this process will not be a waste of time.

Sometimes we can feel that life is so complicated or not what we expected.  These feelings can provide a way to experience a real time of growth if you allow yourself the courtesy of not rushing through them.    At the same time remembering where you have been while trusting bleak times in your life as having a season, a purpose, and a lesson to be learned.   Let go and let God help you through.  Paradoxically when we release control we somehow get more,  reminding ourselves,   "Happiness is not having what you want but wanting what you have."  (in some cases the good, the bad, the ugly)

Find your "happy place" and let me know.  I am interested in finding out where you go to charge your batteries so that you may be more faithful, more hopeful. and more loving.

  "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven."  Ecclesiastes 3:1 

God is blessing you.   Donna


  1. Summer I load my batteries at our riverside in the middle of the nature with ducks and birds singing or dogs. --- Why you right this entry like life is only bad in anykind of circumstances and everybody only has to struggle??? It seems to me like wailing. Is your own life treatening you only bad? - We have to pick out the good things God has to offer us and smile and shout halleluja and be thankful for what we have and not complaining for what we don't have. Blessings

  2. Dear Donna,
    I find peace and comfort when I sit on the deck of our cottage in northern Ontario. I look out at the water and watch the birds in the trees and listen to their songs. That's when I realize how beautiful God's creation is. I love the verse Ecclesiastes 3:1. There is a new baby in our family and she was named after my mom who passed away two years ago. That's the circle of life.
    Thanks for the inspiring words.
    God bless you.

  3. I live in Ontario, Canada near a place called "Scarborough Bluffs". From the top of the bluffs, I can gaze across Lake Ontario, watch the birds and butterflies or walk along the edge gazing down at the beach.

    I love too, walking through the treed parts left as nature deems best. The solitude among the trees and wild flowers is so inspiring. A great place to see the many wonders God has Blessed us with; endless skies, waters that are seen to the edge of the horizon, trees that dwarf us, yet are homes to so many birds and creatures aplenty.

    As you and Elizabeth in her Eccl. verse too, referred to the seasons, I am amazed how Scarborough bluffs is home to birds that "summer" in the sandstone cliffs, monarch butterflied that stop annually to feed on milkweed each fall, before continuing to Mexico I think, and the Canada geese which signal the spring thaw as they glide dowm and amusingly slide on the ice if not thawed fully, often literally bowling over other geese that have landed more gracefully!

    I know that we all, wherever we are, have special places for each season and the different times of each day. And importantly, being there with God who is there every hour, every month is what I hope and pray all can sense!

    HE is Blessing all, always

  4. A comment on your words Donna, that read:
    "As a nutrition, wellness and family dynamics coach, every day I hear from people who are dealing with family issues, health problems, or lack of money, to mention a few".

    Interesting how the stories you hear, as you naturally would do, being a family dynamics coach, are similar to what I heard from my staff as an Insurance Manager(!?!) and I hear the same from other managers and senior personnel, regardless their vocation. I and my friends are not inviting or encouraging the discussion of personal trials but many of us were willing to listen and perhaps something in our personality made others comfortable to share their concerns.

    My son-in-law's brother told me how in the construction business, once he became in charge of personnel, he had much less time for actual meetings on construction projects, as there were so many issues with staff!

    It seems clear that many in senior positions are also looked to as counselors. I do not and never, or seldom, thought people were trying to gain leeway in their jobs by sharing their concerns on life out of the office. I always, or mostly felt they needed someone to talk to, if really they were talking out loud to themselves really, expressing and trying to release their frustrations. Certainly all managers or senior people are not open to listening and my point is not that I or others who listened were good to listen. My point is that as the saying goes, " Most men (people) live lives of quiet desperation".

    How good that there are qualified, trained family dynamics coaches and how fortunate that some have blogs that share insights and thought provoking ideas that their followers can use or relate to their own lives. Thanks to you and the likes of say, Dallas Willard who also comes to mind, many are able to deal with their lives better.

    A virtual hug to you!

    God is Blessing all, always

  5. My happy place is the old farmhouse where my great-grandparents lived. Every Sunday afternoon of my childhood was spent there. I was so blessed that "Mamaw" and "Papaw" lived long enough for me to know them. Three and four generations of relatives visited most Sundays. It was amusing to see my sixty-year-old grandmother being ordered around by her ninety-year-old mother! My cousins and I played in the woods and fields surrounding the farm (always on the lookout for snakes). Aunt Nina made delicious lemonade to quench our thirst. In early summer, the fragrance of the peonies blooming around the house wafted through the open windows. To this day, the scent of peonies takes me back to that time. The house is still there but hasn't been lived in for years. It is due to be torn down soon. I made one last visit and sat on the sagging front porch -- and noticed a blacksnake slithering through the fallen leaves.

  6. Thank you Swiss Rose, Elizabeth, J.M.and annonymous!
    I appreciate and get so much out of your correspondence and sharing.
    What diverse lives we lead yet we all have gratefulness in our hearts. I enjoy reading what you all write in the comments, thank you!
    God is blessing you. Donna


Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. Please try to stay on the topic and remember also that there are many who are struggling through all kinds of challenges. Let's all be kind and thoughtful with our comments please! :D