Tag Archive | peace

And Suddenly… There I Was!

I am unsure how it happened or what exactly led to it. When I try to recreate that moment in my mind, the details are too fuzzy to see. Up until that moment, I found myself going to bed each night with a whispering anxiety… this dull ache residing deep within my gut. Up until that day, I woke up each day with a sense of dread and impending doom, although if you asked me, I would never have been able to explain to you exactly why. Those feelings had become so routine that they were ingrained in my whole being. I simply didn’t know how to feel any other way, or so it seemed.

Then it happened! One day, I woke up and found myself in this place. Now, let me tell you… My bed was the same. My alarm went off at the same time as it did the day before, and the day before that. The tumbler of ice had melted, as always, on my nightstand, leaving me with a nice drink of cool water without ever having to leave my bed. My puppy was stretched out next to me, looking at me with those pleading eyes to take him out for our morning walk, like he does every day. The day’s schedule looked no different than usual. My bank account hadn’t changed much (good or bad). Overall, not a single thing was different.

But it happened! I found myself in this place. This place where everything suddenly felt just right. I don’t even know what “just right” means, but it was. There was a calm, serene feeling warming me throughout, straight down to my toes. My heart was calm. My soul felt light and airy. My vision was clear.

In this new place, I had an overwhelming sense of peace. Peace with where I have been. Peace with what I’ve been through. Peace with my mistakes. Peace with the hurts. Peace with what is to come. And suddenly, there I was.

And I smiled…

~ Patti Crowley

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The Dream No One Sees

dream

Today is my 48th birthday! I celebrate it with a small circle of friends, and sadly, long distance with my family. Birthdays tend to be a time of reflection for me. I look back at all of the things I wish I would have done, things I did that I regret, but more importantly, things for which I am grateful.

I am sure that some would look at my life and see the chaotic twists and turns, the decisions I have made, and also the mistakes. I experience moments when I wonder how I got here… how my life has brought me to where I am today. I have made so many changes in my life over the years, with the biggest probably being the move I made across country to Arizona last year.

I have made choices based on my gut… decisions which to others may appear to be impulsive. But in reality, I have been following a dream that no one can see except me. One important lesson I have learned is that I no longer have to explain myself to anyone. I know what I want… I know in my heart the peace that I seek. Others may question my dreams… they may even call me silly… and that is okay. I have risked quite a bit to get where I am, and I have made so many mistakes along the way. However, I will never apologize or try to explain searching for a dream of which only I know.

I would rather search aimlessly attempting to fulfill a dream, than to spend the rest of my life without a dream for which to search at all!

~ Patti Crowley

Standing Alone

 

standing alone2

 

Finding myself “traveling solo” again, I have learned some new lessons. It has now been a full year since I made my big move across country from Chicago to Arizona. The high point of my year was when my 19 year old daughter joined me out here. However, she has decided she wants to attend college back in Chicago with her friends, so for now, she has returned.

Initially, I worried about being alone. But I am realizing that I am NOT alone. Quiet moments bring such peace, allowing me to discover parts of myself I never knew existed.

I am finding gratitude in the little things I did not notice before. Waking to the sun creeping in between the blind slats on my day off, instead of hearing the alarm in the darkness of the early morning. Sitting in bed with a cup of coffee and my laptop, writing. Hearing the cars whiz by, with drivers rushing through their morning errands, while I sit in a tank top and shorts, in no hurry to go anywhere or do anything.

I miss having my “little” girl here with me. But she is no longer “little”. She is an adult with a life of her own, and she needs to go out and live it. She will discover, on her own, that she is capable… just like her mom!

~ Patti Crowley

A Stranger on the Corner

This morning I was on my way to work when I saw a man with a sign looking for help. I have always wondered how anyone could stand on a corner in 100 degree heat begging for money, when instead, they could be out looking for a job. But this morning, something inside of me changed. I sat at the light and looked at that man. He had kind eyes. For what felt like an eternity, I thought about my own situation. Money has been so tight, and I barely make it between paychecks. I’m constantly looking for ways to reduce expenses, make more money, and find a way to get ahead.

Then I looked at this gentle soul standing there in the brutal heat, while I am sitting in my air-conditioned car. As low as I am on funds this particular week, I reached in my purse and found only three dollars. I pulled the money out and held it in my hand. I watched as he walked back toward the intersection with a defeated look on his face as driver after driver looked away from him in avoidance. I opened my window and called out to him.

As he approached my car, I felt this overwhelming compassion for this man about whom I knew nothing. As I handed him the money, I made a weak apology for only having a few bucks. He said, “Every dollar helps. God bless you.” Tears welled up in my eyes, and I quietly said to him, “This Too Shall Pass”.

giving

Why I felt so much emotion at this small gesture, I am unsure. What I do know is that it gave me the most incredible feeling of joy and peace. This may seem like such a trite thing to some reading this, but I assure you, this little act of kindness did way more for me than it probably did for him.

I remember my mother always saying to me that it is better to give than receive. Honestly, those words never meant much to me. I do, however, remember the feeling I got when someone opened a present from me that I was so excited to give. But giving is so much more than picking out the perfect pair of earrings for your mother or getting those concert tickets that your daughter has been wanting so desperately. It is about the feelings the act of giving evokes within.

It is embarrassing to admit that when I held the three dollars in my hand, I momentarily thought that I needed the cash to buy a Coke Zero later. Handing that money to someone in need touched my soul, and only made me want more of that feeling.

As Maya Angelou says in the quote above, “No one has ever become poor from giving”. Today, I am simply inspired!

~ Patti Crowley

 

All Is Well In My World… When I Practice Acceptance

Acceptance is really the key to happiness. When I accept that things are exactly as they are supposed to be, and the people in my life are exactly who they are supposed to be, all is well in my world.

acceptance2

When things are bothering me, and I am feeling unsettled, the truth is that it is because I am finding some person, place, thing, or situation unacceptable to me. I read that recently and it has stuck with me. It made me realize that those occasional feelings of uneasiness, the trouble sleeping, the anxious thoughts… they are a result of me wishing that some person would act better, or that situation would resolve itself, and so on.

I have to remind myself of one very important truth. That truth is that nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. I believe that to the core of my being. If I am trying to control another person or a situation, I am saying that I know better than God.

So the bottom line is this… I have to accept that things are the way they are supposed to be, whether I like it or not. If I can honestly accept that, only then can I find the peace.

Today, I have that sense of peace. Today, I concentrate on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes, instead of looking at what needs to be changed in my world. When I can accept that I am who I am, and things are as they are supposed to be, then all will be well with my world!

~ Patti Crowley

 

I Searched For My Soul

I searched for my soul but my soul I could not see.seeking

I searched for God but he eluded me.

I searched for my brother and found all three. Anon

 

This was heard last night, spoken by a new friend. I had to ask him to repeat it, as it took my breath away, literally. As a woman who just moved across country, alone, I found myself feeling a bit isolated one evening. All of the anticipation of this move, all of the excitement of a fresh start, a new career, and unlimited potential, slipped away for one short evening. However, that short evening felt like an eternity as the reality of my life appeared before me.

I came here to the mountains for many things. But the most important thing which I was seeking, was serenity. I prayed, hoping to find answers, and hoping to seek my soul that I had believed was hidden deep within the chaos of my life back home. But it is within me, waiting to be brought out. I thought I might find God, here in the mountains. But the truth of the matter is this… when I can connect with another human being, on a spiritual level, I have the opportunity to see my God and my soul…. maybe they are one in the same.

So, I will not isolate. I will continue to get out and say hello to every stranger I meet. For it is in connecting with another human being that I will find for what it is that I am looking. This cannot be misinterpreted as meaning that I will only find happiness in another. I believe we, as humans, are meant to connect with others. We cannot survive in isolation. We crave the human touch. We crave that personal connection we find in others. So I will seek those things daily. In so doing, I hope to find all of the wonderful things I have hoped to find. Truthfully, I don’t need to live near the mountains to find it, but it sure makes it more fun for me! đŸ™‚

~ Patti Crowley

The World is No Substitute

Take Peace in the Lord-betty's photo
The world is no substitute
It comes from Spirit.

…………Wisdom……

– Betty S.

This haiku was written by a good friend of mine just this morning.  Sometimes I have to stop and marvel at the timing of things that I see, read, and experience. Just yesterday I was having a pretty deep philosophical discussion with a wonderful new friend. I was trying to express what I have been feeling during this week I am here in Arizona as I look out at the mountains, and watch the sunsets each day. Here is what I have discovered.

It isn’t so much the beauty of my surroundings, the fresh air I breathe in each day, or the clear blue skies themselves that bring me a peace I have never known.  Instead, this beauty causes me to feel deep within some sense of KNOWING. Now here is where it gets difficult to explain, but I will make the attempt. When I see something beautiful like the McDowell mountain range which I drove alongside yesterday, I was nearly brought to tears at the beauty. But it was the feeling inside when looking outward that made me pause. Maybe it is because I felt like a child again, seeing Mickey Mouse at Disney World. That feeling of wonder and excitement that we rarely experience as adults. Or maybe it was just a recognition of WHO I am deep down.

I know that for me, I have spent a lifetime wondering how people view me from the outside. I never saw myself for who I am.  As strange as it may sound, looking outward at all of this beauty somehow made me look at myself in a different light. There is a feeling that the real me is emerging. My heart is open, along with my senses which are so receptive now, for possibly the first time since I was a child.

So in the words of my dear friend, Betty, I see that “the world is no substitute”. God, as I know Him, is not found in the mountains, or in the sunsets, or in the clear blue skies. Instead, He is found in the “Spirit”… my Spirit within. Magnificent!

~ Patti Crowley