Monday, December 29, 2014

All I Wanted...was to Say Thank You! ...And Then Some!

        Since I'm a bit slow and behind on this personal challenge thing, I'm going to take it a bit differently than I would have, if topics such as the one I've here are actually, kind of comically lagged behind their intent - I'm beginning to write this post Christmas night!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Thank You: Let's Do This!

        First off, let me make mention that I kinda wondered if I'd be falling a bit behind in the book, this time of year!  I did start this personal challenge a bit late, so bear with me.  That isn't to say that anything intended for later in the year isn't still's just a bit out of sync with the rest of the calendar. ;)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Gifts from the Past, Imperfect and Precious

        Had to shift around some storage boxes today, and came across a few, in particular, with great, sentimental value.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

It's About Time!

        This past week kinda lost me for a bit...somehow.  I'm not sure where I was when it flew by, but alas, it is gone, and here we are, facing a new one!  So...welcome to Monday, my friends!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanks, but It's Complicated

Okay, here's how my mind's wordy, and it's honest!

        We've been discussing gratitude for what, 2 months now, on the PB Facebook Community Page?  And we've been doing it in random bursts, all year long!  So what happens today?

Monday, November 24, 2014

To Sleep, or Not to Sleep - What Was the Question?

        Okay, I'm just going to come right out and admit it: when I read this week's "Motivational Mondays" personal challenge post prompt, I about laughed out loud!  And I don't mean the kind of "lol" that you add to stuff to communicate humor in text!  Perhaps this is not the post I should write via my phone, from bed? Hah!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Let's Just Can the Can'ts, Shall We?

        Happy Monday, my friends!  How about we tackle this week's challenge of mine, together, hmm? :)

"Do not let what you cannot do
interfere with what you can do."
~ John Wooden

How can you ensure that you have a week filled with cans?
(and not the aluminum kind)! 

        This topic happens to be both a good fit for me, and worth a good roll of my eyes, all in one! Of course, I've never been one to roll my eyes at much of many of my friends will tell you! *averts eyes* Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes...

        This week's topic is all about "cans" and "can'ts". We each of us have things we can or can't do - that's just part of life! In fact, we humans are an interesting bunch; we are communal creatures for a reason! We've developed the inborn knowledge that we need others of our kind, in order to progress as a species! I'm not exactly talking about the Circle of Life, here, though that is an important factor, too!

        We humans are smart, in that we realize that, because we have individual talents, likes, etc., if we work together for a common-good sort of thing, we come along much better! If we have some people growing crops, others hunting/gathering, others practicing medicine, and so on, then we can all manage to have our needs meet, much easier than trying to do it alone, separately!

        When not focused on the Greater Whole, Bigger Picture, or Grand Scheme of Things, we have smaller, more personal things we would like to do in our lives. This can range from self-care, to greater goals like getting through college or raising a family! Whatever our more immediate, personal goals, we have our own, individual skills and abilities that mean that sometimes, there will be things we simply cannot do.

        So then what? There are a variety of ways we can connect what we need with how to get our needs met.  The most obvious, given everything I've said already, is to connect with others who also have needs, and hopefully our needs match what they have to give, and their needs match what we can give.  This creates a kind of symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship, which allows all involved to have what they need, as well as have the satisfaction of being able to contribute to a greater whole!

This is the most basic answer,
and one that I pretty much find is my actual answer.

        In a more personal context, I suppose I could say that there are many needs I have, especially more in comparison to when my body hadn't decided to attack itself and fall apart!  While there are times this feels like a huge, humiliating battle, I am deeply grateful that I have whanau in my life who are willing and able to give me loving support, when possible.

        I've come to realize that this concept of interpersonal exchange is vital, not only when I am not doing well or when they aren't, but to the flow of everyday living.  There are many times when I can't figure out how to get something accomplished, be it balancing my inner chaos; dressing for the day; developing ideas for this blog or share to the PB Facebook Page; or fulfilling aspirations I desire for my outer life.  It is in those moments when reaching out and connecting with others, if only for inspiration and ideas, can make all the difference in achieving my goals.  And in return, I can help support and counsel others who may need me to pay my own gifts forward.  It is a beautiful system, and one in which I am grateful to play a part!

        So there you go.  That is how my week can be full of "cans", even when I'm challenged with "can'ts" of various descriptions.  Tally ho, and on to greater things, together!

        Better days ahead, together, my friends!

©The Phoenix and The Butterfly

©The Phoenix and The Butterfly

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Celebrating Grief, or Tarnishing the Magic Dust?

        Today was a rather heavy day, for me, personally.  Tomorrow, too.  Since the Project was founded on the premise of helping others realize they aren't alone, I felt like perhaps I should share a bit of my thoughts and feelings, in the hope that it might help someone out there, somehow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

All That Glimmers Might Be a Silver Lining!

        I don't read ahead in the book for the upcoming sections of my personal challenge, which is why I didn't realize that there would be another section dedicated to happiness.  Of course, having another chapter - or a few more - are certainly welcome!  After all, we can use all the happiness we can get, right?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I've Just Turned Into - Neither of My Parents!

        I do occasionally post stuff that isn't related to the Monday fact, I have several that are just kinda hanging out, unfinished; started because I had a motivating idea...that kinda fizzled before it could be developed into a masterpiece.  That comes from composing posts in the dark and early hours of the morning, when I should be asleep.  I'm creative, but sporadic.  Ahem.

Monday, October 13, 2014

See That? Who's With Me?

        Have you looked at your calendar?  Have you seen how close we are to the end of the (Gregorian) year?!  Good grief...and if you remember, this personal challenge of mine didn't start on Jan don't be counting your weeks by my posts lol!

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Light Topic to Begin a Week!

        Hello, my friends!  Welcome to a new week of The Phoenix and The Butterfly's personal challenge!  This week has a bit of a light note to it, and since we've had some heavy topics the past while, it's about time we looked to lighter things!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Pause...To Breathe, Rest, Reflect, and Renew

        Since I've pretty much caught up on what I wanted to do at the moment, and being my typically-stubborn self when it comes to actually sleeping when my body's time zone is doing so, my thoughts turned to writing a post that wasn't just another Monday post - how novel! - and since my thoughts have lately been about some of the following, I figured I'd let those who are following this, follow along, as I follow up on the following.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Gratitude for Gratitude Regarding Gratitude!

        I'm really grateful for this week's topic, my friends!  In fact, it comes with such perfect timing, I actually laughed when I opened my copy of "Motivational Mondays" for this week's challenge and read the section!  Why is that, you ask?...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sunshine and Shadows

        Week 34 of my personal challenge includes one of my favorite quotes.  Actually, it isn't a quote, so much...

Turn your face to the sun
and the shadows fall behind you.

~ Maori Proverb

Monday, September 15, 2014

Out of Dreams, Into Life...Then Into Life, Go the Dreams!

Can you believe we've been at this for 33 weeks?
Um...well...I think I skipped a week there, so whether or not you consider that 33 or 34...

Okay, that really has nothing to do with anything.  
Shall we get started?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hey! Come On Down! The Ground Seems Very... Grounded.

        The topic for Week 31 is a bit of a solid one, as some things go, but I think we can handle that, here.  Last week we discussed misusing our imagination by using it to feed fear, and this week we are hoping to use imagination to overcome pessimism, which I never really thought of, in that way.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I'm Sorry; My Apologies; Your Forgiveness, Please!

When "I'm sorry" just isn't enough, 
can't be said, 
or doesn't matter - 
regardless of how much sorrow is felt, 
regret is compounded, 
nor wish for forgiveness craved.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Don't Worry! It's All Out of Control!

        Well hello, again!  Still with me, hmm?  Here we are at Week 30 of my personal challenge and I dare say there might be a few of you actually still following along!  Would be lovely if the weeks we are following actually fit the weeks of the year, but in a way, this perfectly illustrates how imperfect people can still do something decent, yet not in the prescribed rules of the... thingy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Facing Change and Facing Toward Change

"Not everything that is faced can be changed,
but nothing can be changed unless it is faced."

~  James Baldwin

Is there something you need to face?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mystical Monsters of Mental Mayhem

Did you ever fear the monsters under your bed, or in your closet?  
Imagine them peering from the dark, watching your every, sleeping breath?  
Stare into the darkness, trying to make out their shapes 
from those of the rest of the things in there?
Um...neither did I.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

Oh, to Be Free, to Be Free to Be Me!

        If I had begun these "Motivational Mondays" posts the very first week of the year, this week's quote and question, so generously provided by Christine Morgan in her book of that name, would have fallen right around a time when it was a particularly perfectly-timed post ( alliteration)!  Oddly enough, life doesn't always run so perfectly smooth, so we do the best we can with what we have.

        Actually, that's pretty much the point of this perhaps it was a perfect example, after all. ;)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Up, Down, All Around...Get Me to the Ground!

"I went on a roller coaster once.  You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together!  Some didn't like it.  They went on the merry-go-round.  That just goes around.  Nothing.  I like the roller coaster.  You get more out of it."

~ Grandma in the film, Parenthood

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Good, The Bad, and The Memorable

        lol!  Perfect topic for a week I forget to write the post until it's due to post.

        Well, I never said I was perfect at this. ;)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Make No Mistake About It!

        Um... okay, yeah.  I am a little late on the Monday post for this week.  I guess I could say my mind went on vacation after last week, but I had started this... Ahem.

        Well, let's get moving, shall we?

Monday, July 7, 2014

I Think I Need a Vacation!

Week 23 on this personal challenge has kinda just... well, at least I did it, right? lol!  Let's just say it's a great demonstration of the point of this post!

Friday, July 4, 2014

It's Just a Matter of Life and Death...Chill Out.

I'm not one to deny reality; it's part of the foundation of this Project.
                                   ...So here's some, for you.  It isn't pretty, but it is real.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda...Whynota?

        This week happens to be Week 22 of my personal challenge, and I'd have to say this is rather interesting, to see myself working through this process.  You might not think it's that interesting... but that's okay.  This is a personal challenge for a reason, and I'm okay with that, no matter the response from outside it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

I Can Do This. I Am Doing This!

        What do the words, "confident optimism", mean to you?  I was watching a movie, full of the antics of a man who, while being a bit narcissistic and quirky, is nevertheless brilliant and successful at his endeavors.  He could never imagine being unsuccessful at anything he put his mind to, and is usually quite surprised when things aren't quite what he surmised.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Walking a Mile in My Own Shoes

        Welcome to Monday, folks!  We're becoming truly summer, where I am!  Whether the weather is hot, cold or anything in-between, I hope you find things to appreciate, this week!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Come On, Inner Peace, Get On With It!

"Never be in a hurry;
do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.
Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever,
even if your whole world seems upset."
~ St Francis de Sales

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Matter of Moments, Milestones, and Mental Meanderings

        Here we are, at Week 18 of my Motivational Mondays, personal challenge, and I must say that this past week, as I compose this, I'm doing a whole heckuvalot better than I was last week!  Actually, better than I have been for...a while. 

        This week's question is perfectly timed, let's get into the fun, hmm?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Don't Worry, Be Grateful!

        This week's Motivational Mondays' section came as a surprise to me.  After thinking about it a while, I've decided to just preface it with a disclaimer, because ... well, isn't that the way everybody else does it?  So here' goes:

        The following post is based on actual topic prompts, but the perspective has been broadened to protect the moderate.  It has been edited for judgmental content and formatted to fit this audience.  If you try reading this at home (or anywhere else)... try to keep an open mind, hmm?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Play It Again, But This Time Shake It Up a Little!

        So, it's Monday (when I likely will post this anyway), and so, as is my tradition, I'm here working on my personal challenge of taking on Christine Morgan's "Motivational Mondays" topics for this week, Week 16.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Learning... Living... Hoping...

        In this week's Motivational Monday post, Christine Morgan has me thinking about hope.  I hope my meditations on this topic actually come to some kind of positive conclusion.

"Learn from yesterday,
live for today,
hope for tomorrow."
~ Albert Einstein

"What are you hoping for this week?" Christine asks.

        I've been having an interesting conversation, with a whanau brother who also experiences chronic pain.  After a number of years of tests and treatments, they have yet to discover what is happening, nor anything that treats it properly. 

        This man is a huge and very much loved example to me, and I have been grateful for his place in my life.  He was telling me about his latest adventure in searching out relief for his debilitating pain, which sounds as though it will add to his pain before it relieves it, and as we discussed how healing can consist of pain, in and of itself, he said to me, "Hope itself can aid in healing." "True.  It can," I said.

        For me, the answer to the question, "What are you hoping for this week?" changes from week to week. But this week? Good question.

        To be honest, hope is one of those tricky subjects, much of the time. I can have hope for my brother and his treatment, so that he can live a full, comfortable life with his amazing, lovely wife and beautiful kids whom I adore.

        I can have hope that my sweet, beautiful sister of my heart will find her battle with the C-Monster will be eased and her last days on earth can be sweet to her and her incredible strong and loving husband, and their kids who have had a life that no one would wish for children: to grow up in a home where their mother has had a fight for her life, almost as long as they've been alive.

        I can have hope for my friends and other family, whose hearts are burdened with Life as it seems to tap into their deepest fears, hurts and regrets, taunting them as they struggle to keep moving forward.

        I can have hope that people I love will forgive the burden that I and my illnesses have caused them, in whatever form that that has taken for them. I can hope to have the ability to lift that weight from their lives, so I am not just another thing they have to either manage, work around or ignore altogether.

        Because... I think no matter what my body nor my mind can throw at me, 
nothing hurts like knowing that my issues make more issues for others to carry. 
 And I know I am not the only person with chronic pain and illness who feel that way...
...because I've spoken to several who have admitted the same thing. It's a tricky balance.

        I don't believe I've answered the question, but I have admitted that I can be a bit of a hypocrite at times, in the fact that I'm one of those who can have hope for others, but I've a hard time feeling much for myself. I'm not sure what kind of person that makes me, other than an honest one. But I never said I have it all together. I'm no guru, no teacher, no licensed counselor/therapist, no professional life coach...there is no certification to say I've done anything more than live through some things and simply survived others. I'm empathic, and can understand the human mind and heart, but what is that without letters after my name or a document on my wall? *sigh* I'm just another person on the Path, trying to keep moving forward and not hit too hard when I fall.

        Maybe that is what my heart is telling me, someone needs to know. I believe I said that at the beginning of this blog; this Project is not a professional undertaking, nor promises anything but to hopefully help you know and feel you aren't alone in whatever struggles you face. I know there are a lot of sites that promise more or less, and they can be valuable resources.

        As for myself, I'm just meandering/stumbling along the Path, and am happy to have you along for company, and to share what we've learned, together. In that spirit, you are very welcome to post comments either here, below, or on the Project's FB community page.

 Better days ahead, my friends.

©The Phoenix and The Butterfly

©The Phoenix and The Butterfly

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Is Springing in a Spring-Like Way! (At Least in Some Parts of The Northern Hemisphere)

Omigoodness...I can explain!  

I have really good reasons for not posting the Motivational Mondays post yet! 
Especially since it's my favorite topic, so far!

        Actually, just imagine I took the time to give you the list, because they're great excuses, as you can see in your imagination! 

        Because really, all it comes down to is I had some big stuff last week, and...well...

        Let's just face it:
        I forgot. :-/

        So while I'm really, truly, honestly not one who likes the facades of excuses, perhaps my best excuse might simply be: I'm human, and we just have to accept that.  (Now you might see how that last post fit...and how I sometimes work to shake loose the "writer's block".)  Moving on...

        For Week 13, I have to admit this was perfect timing...the theme is my favorite season of the year!

Welcoming the Spring inside Ourselves

"Spring shows what God can do with a
drab and dirty world."
~ Virgil A. Kraft

        In this section of the book, Christine includes some of her own insights, which includes this lovely thought:

        "Through growth and renewal, we can have a reconnection with our joys and spirit - we just have to consciously make the choice to grow."

        She then asks:
What is blossoming in your life?

        So I have to ask myself, what does that mean? What within me is in process, and is it what I really want, within myself? Am I happy on the course of my life, and if it continues in this direction, will I truly be happy when I get where I'm headed?

        This isn't an easy series of questions for me, but perhaps anyone who gives it serious thought might take some time to really ponder the answers. Because sometimes, we don't want to think about it. Sometimes, we are scared, or feel hopeless to change. Maybe we feel too weak to even try. Perhaps we feel alone on our journey, and don't have the support we need to make a proper modification of ourselves, or the course we're traveling...or we're afraid that if we deviate, those we love will abandon us, and we feel we can't go it alone. Sometimes, we simply don't want to be bothered to go through what it takes to accomplish the change.

        Whatever our reasons for resisting a new course in life, they may be valid feelings, but they are probably unhealthy, in and of themselves. Who or what taught us we were weak, or lazy, aren't worthy of healthy love, or will be rejected and abandoned - or worse, even persecuted? What right does anyone else have, to tell you what is best for you, once you are old enough to make your own choices? Who are they, to try to control you into being something that you feel, in your heart and being, you are not?

Now, just take a moment and look inward.

        Do you feel that longing? Do you have the sense that somehow, you are not living to your potential? Do you feel you are not where you belong? Is there something that comes to mind, that has come to mind every time someone asks or says something about what would you do if you could do anything? Because even if you can't be or do exactly what you've longed to have happened in your life...there is a way to do something valuable that can give you a sense of light and purpose, in something close to that for which you yearn to have in your life.

        For me...there have been a lot of things I thought I could do, and even thought I could love doing, but it seems that every time I find an avenue, something unexpected comes into play that blocks my progress. My physical and mental health being huge parts of that, but also circumstances involving other people, and such. I think one of my greatest skills, these days, is related to scrounging up what pieces I have left, and trying to make something functional out of them. 

        Perhaps that could fall under, "growth and renewal", in her description? That is the definition of life, is it not? Even the plants take whatever they can from the soil, water and air, and use sunlight to help make of them, energy stored in reserve. They use the tiny building blocks of matter, and convert them into life and beauty.

        There, that is one way to make what often feels like a pathetic excuse for a life (what, you never feel that way about your own, ever?), seem more uplifting and constructive. I do have a network of various forms of support, however, and that network is quite seriously the reason I can keep going much of the time. For that, I am grateful. I continue to look for ways I can help others, and help to build where life has destroyed. It might just be the way life goes, sometimes, but for every destruction, someone must help build again.

        As you can see, life has been shaking up my focus a bit, but I've not completely given up on the Monday personal challenge. It had just taken me more effort to get this one done in time. And really, that's the way life works. There are places in the Northern Hemisphere that are still under tons of snow (that are typically not so, this time of year), so that only goes to show that sometimes Spring takes some time to really get underway. At least, that's my story.... ;)

         Better days ahead, my friends.

©The Phoenix and The Butterfly

©The Phoenix and The Butterfly

The Revelation of A Lifetime

Okay, gonna break down and just admit it to you.

I know, you didn't expect it, but I hope you can try to understand.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Who Painted the Moon...Red?

        Not exactly the lyrics of the song (nor its intention), but as I sit out on my porch, at 2 am, watching a red moon disappear into the dark of night, the lyrics just came to mind...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Controlling... What Lies Within

        I think I'm going to have to preface this maybe mostly, magically manic, Motivational Monday post, by saying the following:

        I have no idea what I'm about to say to you.  Not a clue.  Nope.  I've got nothin'.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Living, Giving, Sharing, Receiving!

        Hehe I actually thought I had composed this post, already, and went to be sure and...

        ...nope.  Obviously not.

        Best get on with it, then, hmm?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Impoverished and Enriching

        I've had some interesting, enlightening and amusing conversations this past week, with reference to the last Motivational Mondays post, or the PB Project in general, and I'm going to include some the gist of a couple with you, having the permission of the other parties.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Because I Love You, That's Why.

        Well, here it is, a new week, all over again.  Doesn't matter what the last one was; this new one will have it's own potential. 

        So I guess we'd best get on with it, hmm?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bursting a Tiny Boundary

        I really don't have anything in particular to say.  You're welcome to move along.  I'm just gonna be thinking out loud, anyway, so you probably have more important things to do.


        There's your warning.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

"I Think, Therefore I Am...NOT?"

"It's not who you are that holds you back,
it's who you think you're not."
~ Author Unknown

So...avoid self-sabotage.
Sounds like a good idea, right?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hey Self, What Am I Gonna Do, With You?

Dear Self,

        I'm proud of you!  You've managed to have a 100% track record of survival, and you (hopefully) will continue for some time, yet, and be okay!

        Yes you can.  We discussed this already in another post.

        So, let's do this.
                                                                 ~ me

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Moment to ~ Breathe ~

Life doesn't come with perfect one-size-fits-all instructions.
It doesn't come with guarantees.
There are no returns, refunds, nor exchanges.
There isn't even an email address to contact Customer Service.

Okay, I'm not getting into that one.  That's a philosophical debate for another blog.

Monday, February 17, 2014

"Woohoo! Go Me!"

        For those of you who have been following along in, you will know it is time to refresh the page see me posting a new one of these on the PB Facebook community page, or get it in your inbox! 

        That's right!  Yeah!

        *averts eyes and keeps going*

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Starting To Live by Starting To Give

        Well lookie here!  Is it really a third post in the attempt of this little challenge?  I'm telling ya, if nothing else, Christine Morgan's book might just have me becoming a more regular blogger!

Monday, February 3, 2014

"The Power of Thought"

        Woohoo!  Attempt number two at the "Motivational Mondays" challenge brought to me in an ebook by the same name, written by Christine Morgan, which I mentioned last post.  And of course you read that post... but I'll wait, if you need to jump back and read it, quickly.  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Well, It's Still January, Right?

        Okay, yes, I know I'm not a big fan of "New Year's Resolutions".  And we're over 3 weeks past New Years, so I'm safe...right?

        Besides, this isn't a "resolution" at all, actually.  I'm merely seeing if there is a way for me to broaden my horizons a bit and perhaps enrich my life through a new exercise.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Coming Up For Air

        So... perhaps a pause for reflection as I see the January sun filtering through the curtains of my living room window...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Treading the Storm

        Ever feel like life seems to be nothing but a storm-tossed sea; one wave after another; a cold, dark and endless deep?

        Neither do I.  Just checking.