Thursday, November 15, 2012

Carry On and A Give Away

Keep your face always
toward the sunshine ~
and shadows will
fall
behind
you.

~ Walt Whitman



Ever had a season in
life where things like
sadness, challenges
or defeat seemed to
hover like a dark cloud
just above you?

Distracted by the noise
of everyday life, you
forget about the cloud,
until, in a quiet moment,
you look up.....


Yep, there it is.

I've had an autumn
like that.

It's taken conscious
effort to turn my face
to the sunshine with 
that black cloud in
the way.


Last week, when
I felt particularly
disheartened, I had a
little talk with myself.

Self,

I admonished,

this dreary cloud
is going to be here
for a while.  You
can't change that.

What you can change
is how you are going
to deal with it.




I thought about this
advice I'd given myself.

And I thought some more.

Then it came to me:

I need a motto.

A mantra.

A pin prick of sunshine
to focus on through
the dark cloud.




It was election day and
I had pinned on a cute
red and white button on
my jacket collar, along
with a tiny U.S. flag.

Keep Calm and Carry On.

Perfect.



Now, when I feel the
cool shadow of that
cloud passing overhead,
I think of my motto.

I also like to close my
eyes for a second or two
and say a small prayer.



Or, like I do in 
Savasana, at the end of 
yoga class, I picture a
favorite, peaceful place,
and a sense of serenity
embraces me like a
soft blanket.

The ocean appears
frequently in these
reflections.



Which is why I recently
acquired the most
tranquil little oil painting
from my talented friend 
Michele, whose inspiration
and verve can be found on
her blog, Hello, Lovely.

Looking at this tiny slice of
heaven reminds me to
keep my face towards the
sunshine.....

and carry on.



Michele sent me a second
painting to give away to one
of you.  To enter the giveaway,
simply follow her blog, then
leave me a comment letting 
me know that you did.  I will 
draw the lucky winner's 
name after Thanksgiving.

How do you cope, when
the clouds roll in?

I'd love to know.


xo
Suzanne





47 comments:

NanaDiana said...

It's funny how we cope, isn't it? I drive...and drive...and drive. I drive on country roads and feel the tension wash away. I usually end up at the Big Water (Lake Michigan where we now live) and I park and look out over the water. As I sit there I begin to realize how big the Universe is....how small and insignificant I am and yet...God has brought me here for a reason. I am (in the bigger picture of life) like a grain of sand along the shore or one drop of water that makes up Lake Michigan. That means my pains and sorrows are smaller still. Somehow that works for me and I come away feeling lifted up.

Olive said...

How do I cope? Based on past experience and knowledge I know that life goes on and that God is in charge and I most definitely am not.

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

That was our families motto last winter ... and I had a big version of it framed and on our fireplace mantle.

Praying for you, dearest. Those clouds are never fun.

Fondly,
Glenda

Low Tide High Style said...

I will go check out her blog, but I won't enter the giveaway as I have officially run out of wall space. Too bad as it's a lovely painting, and so is the one you received!

As far as clouds are concerned, I think we all have those times when we feel like we are under one. I just try and remind myself that clear skies are lovely, but they can often be boring. Beautiful sunsets require interesting clouds I think, and sometimes it's on those cloudy, drizzly days that we stay inside and find the joy of just being! My dear friend Dan always said that good Scottish weather (ie. cold and rainy) was the best kind of weather for feeling your deepest emotions!

Kat

Shelly W. said...

I'm in a bit of that myself right now--too busy, not doing the things for myself that I should be doing, and not looking forward to the holidays. Isn't that weird? Everyone else around me is so excited, but I just can't get into it. But I had a talk with myself recently and told myself that my daughters deserve to have a mom who is excited about the Christmas season. I should be! I have no reason NOT to be! So I will do my best to "Keep Calm and Carry On" through this busy semester and to keep smiling through the holidays. For my girls.

P.S. I already follow Michelle's blog and love it almost as much as I love yours!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good afternoon my dear. We here in Blogland are so connected; whenever I wake up in the morning and have a blogger on my mind, I go straight to my computer and wouldn't you know, they have come to visit me to leave a comment, or they have just posted a post after a long absence or they send me an email.

All that to say that I have been thinking of you for the last few days. VOILĂ€, here you are.

Whatever cloud is hovering over you, it will not stay. The sun is in its place and does not fail us. The sunshine is ALWAYS THERE, but it is merely masked by the fleeting movement of the clouds.

How do I cope? I DO exactly what that button says to do without even thinking about the motto. I just do it. I keep calm and carry on because I have no choice. If I were to stop, matters would be worse. Moving, engaging, creating, searching...ANYTHING other than letting the clouds stop me.

CARRY ON! Anita

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

There will always be a little rain that falls into our lives…sometimes a lot of rain…sometimes a hurricane. I know this dark time will pass for you and I hope it passes quickly, my friend. We have some chronic heartache that is part of our family fabric…..I deal with music. Funny movies! Finding things to laugh about with a friend or the kids. And when I'm really down I clean like a crazy person. Something about cleaning a house is just therapeutic!! (Things must be pretty good around here because my house is a mess at the moment!!!)

Love & a big hug to you, my dear friend!!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love this beautiful painting and it would be perfect in my home here in Florida! I am already a follower of hers and love her style! How do I cope? I get busy! I clean and get organized. It makes me feel like I have some control over something and usually I get passed my melancholy feelings without even knowing! Sweet hugs!

susan@avintagefarmwife said...

Lately, when I just can't handle another thing, I picture myself crawling into God's lap and he rocks me to sleep. It makes me feel better every time. Hope things look up soon!

The enchanted home said...

This is like free therapy..thank you! I needed it!

I have had many clouds lately myself and some days it felt pretty gray. My blog is one happy place..I feel happy and uplifted when I visit it and all my special blogging friends but then there is reality:)

I try to take a walk, spend time outdoors, and always try to focus on the good and positive and remember how much worse things COULD be. I always say tomorrows a new day...and sometimes an early nights rest is just what is needed to have that "bad day" be officially over and a thing of the past, and knowing I can wake up to a new day or new possibilities.

Cheers to happy sunny days.....and love the painting. Just what can Michele NOT do! Have a great night.

Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh friend. I know hard this is on you. I take it to the Lord and dump it. I just can't carry it on my own...

Biz said...

When the clouds roll in I like to pop in some Nichole Nordeman.
She feeds my soul with words that remind me God is bigger than my problems.
When the clouds roll in I like to take a moment with a warm cup of coffee to just sit and think about it all, but only a moment.

I'm now a follower of hello lovely inc. and let me say, just like you, she has some beautiful pictures in her posts!

Biz said...

When the clouds roll in I like to pop in some Nichole Nordeman.
The lyrics to her songs remind me that God is in control, they lift me up and put me in a better mood.
When the clouds roll in I like to take a moment with a warm beverage and mull over them, then I do my very best to just let them go.

I am now a follower of hello lovely inc. Let me just say that much like you, she has some wonderful pictures in her posts!

Debby said...

It seems that those clouds like hanging around. When I am feeling down I have lunch with a friend or stop by to see my granddaughters for a hug. It helps to laugh. Prayer is always a priority. He does answer our prayers but on his time not ours. Sending you ((((((HUGS)))))
I did sign up to follow her blog. I love her little paintings.

Hartwood Roses said...

I love your resolve to carry on and find the sunshine, in spite of the clouds. It's a process ... some days it takes more effort than others to concentrate on a seemingly small bit of positive. Remember, good thoughts multiply and carry good energy with them. Use this to recharge and renew, to gather strength to face the cloud.

Darkness makes us appreciate the light.

We had a very dark spell here years ago. It was hard to get up each morning and face what we knew would be an awful day. One day, I made a vow to say a prayer of thanks ... to be consciously grateful for something, anything that was positive during the day. This helped me concentrate and end the day in a better way. It seems very appropriate, on this day one week before Thanksgiving, to be giving advice about being thankful.

I'm sending you a hug this evening ... you sound like you need it.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Hello!

I am sorry to hear thathree clouds of sadness have been hovering, I will put you in my prayers. Lately you have been in my thoughts as I had not seen you in my reader.

I have to be honest, there are times when th only way for me to cope is to go to bed, curl up in a ball and think and pray and sleep. Most times I pray.

I Hope that you find some peace and that your clouds drift away. Be well, prayers, hugs, and thought of love,

Elizabeth

Mary Timmers said...

Suzanne,

I know some of your clouds and are living under some of my own right now. This may sound silly, but when I cry my eyes out at night, I feel much better the next day! A better one, and one that doesn't make for puffy eyes is, getting together with like minded girlfriends. It always leads from the profound to much laughter!

Thanks for sharing your insides.

Love
Mary

Jemsmom said...

Hmmm.... that is a good question. I don't know how I cope. I think I cope differently with different situations. When we were moving, I think I coped by eating my way through fried foods and grits. I will also sleep. I used to take long HOT baths, but my tub is too darn big now so i used Jemma's the other night!

So sorry you were having a tough week. I hope this week has been a bit cheerier and better for you.

My mantra... Eat the dessert! Don't the women on the Titanic wish they had eaten that last dessert! :-)

June said...

I have recently been through my own cloudy days and how I cope with a sad 'season of the heart' is try to focus on the wonderful times I had with the loved one I lost instead of the reminders of the loneliness I feel in a life without her. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. But I always know that the sadness will leave and I will be full of joy again. That is what she would want for me.
Thank you Suzanne for the beautiful posts you write that hit so close to home. You are an inspiration to me!
sending hugs...

Terra said...

This is a very honest and helpful post and I like the painting you have that helps you to focus on peace.

Anonymous said...

I call up a close friend and chat. My Gran used to say, "a burden shared is a burden halved" and this is so true. Just connecting with other people and sharing your fears is such a release and can make such a difference in your mood.

Suzanne, when you see the little surprise I have sent you it will make you laugh. Because, you see, we are very much on the same wavelength at the moment. Wish for the umpteenth time that we lived closer together. xo Fiona

Beatnheart said...

I think positive messages do work...absolutely.
I am wonderful ...my life is beautiful...i love my life...I am so grateful...I am so comfortable...I am so happy...ha ha. everybody likes me!

So sorry your feeling blue...take care.

Susan T said...

I retreat into myself and stay close to those I love, their love gives me the strength to carry on and find some peace of mind. The sun comes out again and it makes it the most beautiful sight in the world. I too am drawn to the sea in times of trouble, a walk by the ocean gives you time to think and reflect. Love from here xxx

Jayne St. Pierre said...

I love your blog! I'm sorry that you are living under dark clouds but you do know that the sun will break through! Your posts resonate with me and I'm sure many, many others! I've taken your advice many times in the past and did just now by signing up for "Hello Lovely". Her painting is beautiful and I completely agree with you when you say it brings you peace!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

OH Suzanne, I miss you...I can't wait to get together again and have a good face-to-face visit. You have been so on my mind lately and I'm sorry that things are hard right now. Your mantra is so good, because really, it's what we have to do. I just try very hard in those times to feed my spirit with prayer and good things...being creative and spending time with family and friends helps me, too.
Thank you for introducing us to Michele...the painting is lovely!

Leslie said...

I'm with you Suzanne.. I totally understand and have had told myself the same thing {keep calm and carry on!) We WILL carry on .. the world will not implode :) I've felt the same..

Walking (my last post) is my therapy. The older I get the more I realize what's really important and what's worth the worry.

xx
leslie

I Dream Of said...

What a beautifully written and inspiring post. I feel your cloudy days and am impressed by your determination to to weather the storm. Thanks for the uplift. Michele also inspires me, and is a favorite in the list of blogs I follow! Wishing you some sunlight through the clouds this weekend!
Jeanne

sjr said...

Hi I follow Michelle's blog and now through her I have found your lovely blog. I also own one of her paintings, love it! Have a wonderful weekend. Kind Regards, Sarah

KAM said...

What an amazing and wonderful giveaway. I would be over the moon to have a Michele painting. I follow her blog Hello Lovely and am delighted to have seen your great blog which I will now follow as well.

Kristin Freeman

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I have been feeling liike this too.
Here is a lovely poem that is my mantra when my life feels heavy.

http://www.panhala.net/Archive/Beannacht.html

Mary Ellen

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

I'm in your same boat, girlie. And it's no fun. Just gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other. One. day. at. a. time. That's what I tell myself. And take a deep breath, always a deep breath. And a prayer. It's all we can do. The clouds will pass, friend. Of that I'm sure. Hopefully we'll both come out the better in the end.

Linda in AZ * said...

*** "How do I COPE?"... I came HERE, my sweet, old friend! This helped ALOT, and I sincerely THANK YOU!!! (You ALWAYS H*EL*P!!!)...

Warmest as ever,
Linda in AZ *
bellesmom1234@comcast.net

Melanie said...

I found your blog because I'm a follower of Hello, Lovely and I just became a follower of your blog. I look forward to being a faithful reader.
When the clouds roll in . . . I hold tighter to my faith. And there's no other place than being at the ocean that I feel God's presence and am reminded of His promises to me. It's what gives me peace and joy even when the storm intensifies. The roar of the ocean, the constant movement of the waves, the smell of the mist, the beauty of it all - well, it leaves me in awe. As I look at it, I feel so small and am humble and am reminded of His faithfulness. I feel the same way with sunrises and sunsets. No matter what I comes my way, I'll be ok because He is for me and not against me. That gives me hope.

Sandi said...

Unfortunately I do not cope well when things are really bad. I draw into myself and tend to blame myself for everything wrong in this world. But fortunately I get over it and get back to the positive.

I now follow Hello, Lovely

Jeanie said...

Keep Calm and Carry On is one of my two mottos. (The other: Fully Expect the Universe to Cooperate). I have a little card on my desk that says this -- and really, it says it all.

So good to be back and check in after too long away.

It's a good question -- how does one cope when clouds roll in. I've been doing it for such a long while I'm not sure where one part ends and the other begins. One day, one foot, one step at a time... laugh if you can, remember the gratitude for what is good and yes, fully expect the universe to cooperate.

5th and State said...

hello suzanne

i came here from michele's blog and she is right, what lovely prose and photography.
i have yet to master those dark days, would love to but become too entrenched

with your motto there is a book of the same name that my friend's husband wrote. he is a renown psychiatrist, she a writer. she asked him to author, with her help, a book in layman's terms a book on how to deal with the stresses of life. it is masterful and available at bookstores and amazon

lovely to 'meet' you
debra

Joanna said...

I am so sorry to hear that life is throwing you grey clouds right now, using a mantra is a great idea to help pull you through to happier days.

When dealing with these times in life I tend to just focus focus focus on all that is good, all that deserves to be in my life. It's a bit like when you're a child and if you don't want to hear something you put your fingers in your ears and sing, "La la la, I can't hear you!" I know it's rather ostrich like, sticking my head in the sand until the issue has gone away, but it just helps me to only think of the good in my life.

Take care,

xxx

michele said...

thinking of you and your cloud. i am thinking since God is experienced at moving mountains that clouds shouldn't be that big of a deal. reading through these comments has given me such a boost. see what beauty your blog brings? what works for me, and you already know this, is i must pray HELP HELP HELP and begin to squint to see the cloud with new eyes. it is never a quick fix. i have a cloud. i am full of bitterness and am battling for a spirit of gratitude once again. i know that gratitude will return and this is the valley and that hope is all i have right now.

love.

michele

Anonymous said...

Through a cloudy moment about two and half years ago, well I got introduced to the blog world. My daughters infertility was our cloud and she had started a blog. You had left a caring and beautiful comment on her blog not only giving her encouragement and compassion, but changing my world without you even knowing. Your blog was one of the first ones I followed besides hers. Alot has happened and clouds have come and gone. I don't know what yours may be, but have faith that by carrying on, you will find peace eventually. You are a beautiful gal and I so enjoy your photography and posts. I believe God will guide us. There are things in life that are many times out of our control, but if we give it up to him, peace will eventually come and we find new direction. Be grateful at this time for everything he has blessed you with and Thanksgiving Day and everyday give him Thanks and Praise. The skys will clear.

Karen Albert said...

Suzanne I am so sorry for what you are going through.

When I feel like giving up; I give thanks for family and friends who have been by my side during this past year/

Xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

T@www.teacupmoments.com said...

suzanne, i've been away too long! glad to have popped back in to see this post. it's what i needed to read as i go through my own rough patches. sending you warm hugs and best wishes! - T @www.teacupmoments.com

Laura Murphy said...

Your comments and photos are purty near perfect. It's like a gift in my day to see a new post of yours.

We have been on a difficult journey in our family. But as things have slowly improved, i have learned the importance of gratitude. And not just for the things that are obvious, but for the hard things too. They have taught me empathy and deepened my faith in a way that nothing else could.

I've also learned to say, "This too shall pass."

Julie said...

I have just come to this post. Missed it. But I wanted to let you know I have been reminded that whenever I turn on praise music, especially the hymns done in instrumentals, that I can NOT come out of that moment without feeling better and hopeful..."Whenever you praise God, something changes within YOU, or your CIRCUMSTANCES. Hearts change, minds change, attitudes change, and lives change.There are times when our praise is absolutely crucial. Life works better when we have that priceless knowledge. Praise......is the prayer that changes EVERYthing." ~Stormie O'Martian - Hugs to you Suzanne!! Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving with your family. xo

Palomasea said...

Hello, dear Suzanne...
I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving...what a chilly start to the holiday season...but it's all good...the snowfall was so pretty.
Prayers to you, dear friend, and I really like Walt Disney's "keep moving forward" as my mantra...that and everything you have stated as well...nurture yourself...that is key.
Sending you a bit of sunshine and a hug,
- Irina

susan@avintagefarmwife said...

When I feel like I can't cope, I stay busy. My worse times are at night when I have to be still and those worrisome thoughts won't go away. I picture myself crawling into Jesus's lap and just turn everything over to him. Hope you feel better soon!

Btw-Going to go check out the blog you mentioned.

patty said...

oh, my friend.
you are not alone.

http://www.findingserendipity.com/stephanie/

xo

Tiffini said...

like you i have been practicing carrying on. also to continue trusting God and His plan for me that it is good.
I also know now that clouds are a part of life. they are normal. i am more of a melancoly personality so i struggle with depression anyway and in the winter it is worse.
knowing it is normal and will pass helps too.
i love your mantra idea..that is good. praying the cloud has passed and sorry i am so late catching up. while thankful for signs i have gotten behind being sick but we are catching up:)
xo