The Sun And The Rain And the Apple Seed

With the sporadic weather that has plagued the earth, and in honour of the US Thanksgiving, I thought I’d re-post this popular blog.  It was originally posted in March, 2012.  Although it doesn’t have to do with a big meal, it has everything to do with an attitude of gratitude.  May you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day!

grat-i-tude noun:  the quality or feeling of being thankful

English: Photo showing some of the aspects of ...

English: Photo showing some of the aspects of a traditional US Thanksgiving day dinner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I live in Canada. Our country is immensely wide and somewhat deep as well. However, from coast to coast, we have one thing in common: We find some way to communicate our displeasure with the weather! It’s almost like an ongoing joke.

If it’s a winter’s day, and it’s -15°C, we will complain that it is a harsh winter. (That is about 5°Farenheit, by the way!) “It’s probably warmer in Nunavut, when will this dreaded winter be done?” If it’s summertime and 30°C+ a humidex factor (91°F), we’ll say that the summer is sooo hot this year.

I’ve decided to take a different approach. I try not to have bad days, so I decided to be thankful for whatever weather that we are having at the time. This winter was incredibly mild, I was thankful that it wasn’t -15°C. We did have some really cold days, I was grateful that the sun was shining. There was one bitterly cold day that it also snowed. I got chilled because I had to run errands that day. When I got home, I made a big pot of soup and went under the covers. That day, I was grateful for a comfortable bed to snuggle up under.

Last week in Southern Ontario, we had a warm spell. The temperatures got up to 25° (77°F). We had to look at the calendar to be reminded that it was the middle of March, and not June. Our normal temperatures are about 9°C (47°F) for this time of year. The magnolias, crocuses and daffodils started blooming. I bared my legs and wore skirts. There were days that it was raining because, after all, it is spring. True to form, I heard people complaining that it was going to rain. IT WAS 25° DEGREES, AFTER ALL! Sigh…

Well, we are now in a “cold snap”, according to the weather forecast. Today I woke up, and the temperature here is not getting any higher than 3°C (37°F). It will be unseasonably COLD today. I took a walk, and the magnolias, which were ready to open last week, have turned an ugly brown colour because of the extreme cold. The flowers that were blooming so beautifully just days ago, are now being covered up for protection. However, it is SUNNY!

Erratic weather is a definite possibility, I do acknowledge that. The weather may bring droughts or tornadoes. Hurricanes and floods may be something that has touched your life. I am in no way minimizing the effects of disasters on you or anyone else’s life. However, I know from experience that, the faster I get out of the victim stage, the faster my recovery.

I spent so many years not being happy because of my difficult marital situation. Now I am embracing all that life has to offer, even rainy days. If it didn’t rain, the daffodils would not look as beautiful. Each day, I find something to be grateful for, and oftentimes, the weather is part of my gratitude journalling. If it’s winter and raining, I’m thankful that it is warm enough not to be snowing. If it’s winter and cold, it is usually sunny, and for that, I am also grateful. If it’s 30°C, it’s definitely not snowing, and for that, I am exceptionally grateful!

What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? Can you find something for which you are grateful?

May Your Cup Always be full,

Stephanie~Emerging Princess

www.stephanietitusandrews.com

Excuse Me…

Excuses are the #1 killer of dreams. Most people don’t know that excuses form as a result of a hidden fear of something that we don’t want to address. So, we can say that fear is the number one killer of dreams. As humans, we can come up with incredibly fruitful ideas that may turn out to be very lucrative, or even make it so that we don’t have to ever work again. I’m sure you have had one, “you know what would be cool?” idea. Why don’t we act on them?

The answer is FEAR. I know from experience, I was very scared to try anything new after starting my new life. I had already failed at marriage…I apparently sucked at picking a mate. Adventure? Risk? No way!

I volunteer with an elementary school in my city. I love the age group that I work with~the grade 4s. At this age, the kids are still somewhat free and easy, but they are also coachable. What I learned from them, and still continue to learn, is that some parents start teaching their children to be fearful, based on their own experiences. Then there are the ones whose parents teach them that the world is their oyster, open it up and claim their pearl! This behaviour is evident, especially when going on special trips, such as the swimming pool.

On a trip to the pool one day, the kids were assessed on their ability to swim a short distance. We had everything from the tip-toers to the dolphins, making their way across the pool. The dolphins inspired me! They dove from the deep end, and swam as if they were one with the water. I was buoyed to let go of my fear of the water, and get back in the pool. (I had not worn a bathing suit in over 25 years!) Igad, that would mean I had to buy a bathing suit. Ugh! Have you SEEN my thighs? After finding an appropriate suit, I had to get back into the water.

Ironically, around the same time, a fellow business classmate asked if I would like to go sailing. I should clarify that~would I like to MAN a sail? After agreeing, I promptly forgot about it, until the day of the event. By then, it was too late to back down, and my kids reminded me of that fact that I was afraid of the water. “Too late”, I said, as I headed to the pier.

I took one look at the sailboat and the open lake, and decided that I was done with it. What a blast! I got into the boat and at times was soaked when the boat tipped at a 45° angle to the lake. Enjoying myself was not something that I originally anticipated. But it was my choice. I said I would help. I needed to pull my weight. If I was gonna sail, though, I might as well have fun doing it!

From that day, it was easy to get into the pool. I have not learned to swim yet, but I am no longer fearful of the water. Ironically, while at the pool with the schoolkids, there were some acronyms for fear posted on the bulletin board. Most people know the original one:

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

I also learned this one:

Finding

Excuses

And

Reasons

But the one I said “ouch” to was:

Failure

Expected

And

Received

Can you say, “Anbesol“? I had so many reasons why I didn’t go into a pool. It was bad for my hair and my skin. (Hello, there are salt water pools!) I couldn’t find an appealing bathing suit. My thighs are too large! I could go on and on. But, when I let go of those excuses and reasons, I was able to do something outside of my comfort zone, AND enjoy myself. The surprise was that I didn’t fail at it. I wasn’t a pro at swimming or sailing, but I wasn’t a failure at it, either.

Susan Jeffers says, “Feel The Fear And Do It Anyways.” Feeling fear is a natural part of our existence. Being paralyzed by it impedes our growth. Why don’t we find another acronym for fear? How about:

Fantastic

Expectations

Always

Rewarded

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Emerging Princess

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Water For The Journey

Book Release PartyOctober 25th, 2013
The long-awaited release of Water For The Journey: 156 Days To Freedom. All day givaways and book release party!
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