LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE…ūüíē

According to the Beatles, “All You Need is LOVE“…personally, I couldn’t agree more.

There’s so much to write about LOVE¬†that I couldn’t possibly condense my thoughts to one article, so I decided to share a recent revelation I had.

I’ll start by saying I’m rather fond of the word LOVE in¬†many other languages. ¬†Take the French word “L’amour”…when it rolls off your tongue, one almost feels an obligation to say it gently and with the soft flair of a French accent (causing one to feel rather glamorous)

Then there’s the Italian version, “Amore”…which I think is really a 2 syllable word (“Ahhhh – Moray”). ¬†Like all things Italian, one should deliver this word with an attitude of passion and hand gestures (causing one to feel rather dramatic).

But no matter how you say it, or in what language, I believe there’s a universal understanding that LOVE¬†is the essence to all that we are. ¬†Just think of the decisions in our lifetime (not to mention throughout history) that have been made all “in the name of LOVE“…proving it’s a very powerful and emotional driving force.

Now the other day I found myself in a very reflective mood, and for some reason I started thinking about the many people in my lifetime that I’ve loved and lost. It wasn’t a negative or morbid thought process at all…it actually felt rather peaceful.

I started thinking first of my parents, as I lost each of them at very different ages (my dad when I was 16 & my mom when I was 52). Then of my beautiful Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, my wonderful Father in Law and members of his family. Each of these incredible people had all impacted my life in such amazing and very powerful ways. I am who I am because of all of them, how they lived, what they believed in…but most importantly, because of their LOVE.

I reflected also upon some beautiful and very close friends whom I’d lost over the years, their passings were unexpected, sudden, shocking and thus very hard to bare. I continue to have tough moments accepting they are gone.

Then my thoughts turned to other relationships in my life that have ended, not in death but in closure…either by choice or possibly some irreconcilable difference. A living relationship loss can also impact us in very deep emotional ways and there is a definite grieving process that goes with it.

So as I sat there reviewing this list of LOVE and loss, I noticed how it added up to quite a number of people. This could have easily sent me into a teary state of whallowing, had it not been for the powerful revelation I suddenly felt.

It was this awareness that LOVE¬†never leaves us. ¬†The people we cherish may leave us, various relationships leave us and end…but the LOVE we experienced with them, that stays with us forever! That LOVE is eternal, everlasting and it lives within us each and every day. ¬†We have the ability to spread, share and keep that LOVE very much¬†alive as we continue on.

I have to say this gave me an enormous sense of comfort and a peaceful, contented feeling of closeness to the people I’ve lost and continue to miss. I hope it may bring the same to you.

Throughout the years, though much can change…it’s the essence of LOVE¬†that will always remain.

For today friends…this is The World as Eye See It

All In a Days Work…

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I’ve been reminded this past week of the importance in a little getaway. Taking a holiday is always a special treat, even if just for a day or 2. When you can make it a week or more, that’s even better. ¬†The latter may take a little planning and saving, but it’s oh so worth it if you can pull it off.

What constitutes a holiday is different for everyone. For some it requires adventure, like a climb up Mount Kilaminjaro. For others it may be Wine touring in Tuscany, or doing a back roads bike tour in Thailand.

Then there are those of us who delight in the magic that occurs when we take a simple beach holiday.

I believe “simple” is the operative word here, as there’s nothing complicated or overly adventurous when you settle in amongst the sand, the sun and the surf.

Over the years I’ve learned that beach life is a blissful world all it’s own, and there’s no one thing that makes it so. Mother Nature provides a combination of several simple, yet significant elements that blend beautifully together.

Blue sky, warm sunbeams, the palm trees swaying as the salty ocean air wisps through your hair. Sunsets that make you sigh…that silky feel of the sand between your toes, and the ever present sound of the waves as they come crashing in upon the shore. The ocean always makes its presence known and I feel this enormous respect for the power and strength it commands.

At the beach, time has a way of almost standing still. You find yourself living moment to moment…the days quietly drifting in and out of one another. Gone is that sense of urgency, rigid time keeping or agendas of any kind. There’s a freedom that takes over the second you kick off your shoes and walk barefoot in the sand.

In this past week I’ve become a keen observer. Day after long, bright sunny day, I felt myself taking in every part of the beauty that was surrounding me.

I watched while lovers strolled hand in hand, completely immersed in one another…saw adorable young families playing and frolicking together¬†in the sand.

I loved passing by the older couples who sat comfortably together under umbrellas, reading books and occasionally glancing up as the waves danced in front of them. I couldn’t help but feel they’d earned their place in the sun.

Children squealed with delight as they tried relentlessly to outrun the waves…and many a sandcastle was built, washed away then lovingly re-built with tiny hands and eager hearts.

This is what’s known as a days work at the beach…where¬†laughter is your driving force, and fun in the sun becomes the key to unlocking your¬†lightheartedness.

I’ve learned when you release yourself to all the beach has to offer…it balances your spirit somehow and fills you with a sense of ease.

I write this on day #9 of my beautiful 10 day beach getaway. Though I know I will miss it here, ¬†I’m headed back to real life feeling replenished, well nourished and eternally grateful for all I have gained from embracing this beautiful Island life.

For today friends…this is¬†The World As Eye See It

When Serenity Strikes…

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What’s your definition of “Serenity”?

What is that invokes a sense of calm and tranquility, or that takes you to a place where stress and responsibility are not permitted to enter?

This week I’m writing to you from the Island of Maui…more specifically Kihei. I took this photograph last night at the end of the first day of a 10 day holiday. ¬†I’m embracing the Island spirit with everything I have and I gotta say, THIS right here…is my definition of Serenity.

There is just something about being amongst the palm trees, that feeling of soft, silky sand between my toes, embracing spectacular sunsets, feeling the tropical breeze, falling asleep (and waking up) to the sound of the waves crashing upon the shore…yes friends, there’s something about all of that, that just does it for me.

As great as I know this holiday is going to be, and as much as I shall relish every waking moment while I’m here…it made me realize the importance of instilling or finding Serentity more regularly on an everyday basis, in our everyday lives.

“Normal life” for many of us is usually made up of a myriad of juggling acts of all our responsibilities combined with a game called “Beat the Clock”. Our days are busy and filled with jobs, children, pets, volunteer work, appointments, grocery shopping, laundry (just to name a few).

It’s not always easy to steal those moments where we can just be quiet and calm. And yet I truly believe we all need regular doses of this to stay balanced and sane.

As a photographer, when Serenity strikes (like it did last night)…I capture it. When I’m home and back into my regular routine, I can look at it and bring myself back to that peaceful moment. Often we can find tranquility in simple things like a photograph or by visiting a memory.

I hope you find some Serenity today and that you enjoy and embrace it fully.

I must sign off now, as I’m pretty sure I just heard the ocean calling my name…between my active imagination and my beautiful surroundings, it’s destined to be a great day.

For today friends…this is¬†The World As Eye See It

 

 

 

Looking For Purpose…

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I had a very inspiring conversation this past weekend with a family friend. He has definitely been through his share of challenges,  his struggle with addiction has at times been rather tough.  But a recent connection in rehab is helping to shed some light on a few of those dimly lit paths he once walked upon.

The part I found so encouraging, is while he is¬†still in recovery working hard and learning much about himself…he has become very¬†passionate about¬†wanting to reach out to help others going through the same things he is. ¬†He truly feels he has found his life’s Purpose.

Purpose has been defined as¬†“the reason something exists”… so after that inspiring talk with my friend,¬†I started to¬†think a little about my own.

While I truly believe I exist for many good reasons (and of course we all do), I have to admit there’s been days when I wonder if what I’m doing is making a difference out there. ¬†Do I have a positive and¬†meaningful impact upon my family, friends and the people in my life? Am I helping to make the world a better and kinder place? Do I step outside of myself enough to be there for others?

These are good questions to regularly ask ourselves.

We all know people out there who seemingly live with a strong sense of Purpose. They are self directed, determined and have a very clear understanding of who they are and what they are meant to do.

Then there are those of us who aren’t quite as self assured, so we go through life bobbing and weaving, experiencing our highs and lows…and somewhere along the way, we just kind of grow into ourselves. ¬†At times though we feel our Purpose isn’t always so clearly defined.

But here’s what I’ve discovered…

Purpose isn’t always this “BIG” thing, and it’s certainly not just one thing. Fulfillment, meaning, value…these can be found in the dozens of little everyday things.

It lives inside our smile, our sense of compassion, our capacity to listen, or to help someone feel they are understood. It’s in going the extra mile to help out when someone least expects it. Often it’s in our laughter and our ability to lighten or lift someone’s mood and spirit.

Anytime we extend ourselves in any small way, or do something that’s helpful and good for another, means we are absolutely existing for an incredibly good reason.

So if you find yourself out there looking for a little Purpose, just take a quiet moment to look around and also within…you may just see its a lot closer than you think.

For today friends…this is¬†The World As Eye See It