Monthly Archives

May 2016

5 Things You Can Do When Feeling Lost

May 30, 2016

Girl Lost in cityCan you remember a time when you felt lost? Taken a wrong turn and ended up in unfamiliar surroundings? Or maybe you are feeling lost at this moment. The feeling is bewildering.

Definition

Webster’s Dictionary gives 9 definitions of “Lost” but “unable to find the way” is the one best suited for the experience I had years ago in Chicago.

Lost in Chicago

One of the times I felt the most lost was on a trip to Chicago. My inexperience in traveling was my downfall. I was a young adult and unfamiliar with transit in the big city. It pains me to admit my ignorance. But to be honest, I failed to research fully the transportation situation. I boarded the South Shore train in South Bend. Thinking I would end up at the terminal, I planned to take a cab from there to my friend’s apartment. But I didn’t know the train had a series of drop off points.

When I realized my mistake, panic threatened along with tears. I knew no one in the city except my friend. Cell phones, hadn’t been invented.

Solving the problem

These are steps I took to get out of a potentially dangerous situation.

  • Pray
  • Stay calm
  • Seek wise counsel
  • Evaluate
  • Develop a plan of action

I prayed for wisdom. A scripture I learned as a child filled my mind. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Psalm 56:3 New King James version.

The overwhelming fear ebbed. My sense of reason returned. I looked at the faces of the other passengers. Who I could I trust?

I asked train conductor for help. He advised me to get off at a stopping point, run to the nearest street corner, and hail a cab.

 

Within minutes, I decided to follow his instructions. At the next stop, I departed the train while the city of Chicago was asleep.  The lights of the tall buildings loomed behind the drop off point  which consisted of a concrete wall with a turnstile and stairs. I lugged my large Pullman suitcase off the train.  Thoughts of danger lurking in the shadows set my heart pounding.  When my suitcase got stuck at the turnstile, panic seized me. A stranger stopped to help me, and I’ll never forget his kindness.

I was able to find my way to a main thoroughfare and hail a cab.

This experience taught me a lesson about the importance of preparation and planning ahead.Had I researched thoroughly the transportation available, I could have avoided the trauma of the experience. Among the valuable lessons learned, faith in God for guidance was the most important.

Have you experienced the fear of being lost? How did you cope? Any lessons learned?

 

 

 

 

How To Create Order Out Of Chaos

May 24, 2016

Desk 1

I have what I call “Messy desk Syndrome.” It occurs when I’m in my creative mode. My creativity allows me to block out disorder for a time. This is possible when I am so focused on a writing project that I have tunnel vision. The books stacked upon my desk, and scattered pens, pencils, and paper do not disturb me. My mind is busy, generating new ideas.

Does chaos in the midst of creativity bother you?

 

Isaac Newton once said, “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”

 

Once the final draft of my project is complete, you might ask “Is it finished?”

No. It’s the same as mixing ingredients for a cake. The cake is not done until it’s baked, cooled then finally iced and decorated. So it is in writing. The editing process begins, and I have to clean up my writing project. But why is it that suddenly I am bothered by the chaos around me?

My theory is this. Editing is a cleanup process that takes place before a writing project is complete. This would apply to other creative activities such as baking, cooking, art work and more. If I clean up before editing will it help make the revision easier?

The right hemisphere of the brain is where creativity comes from. The sense of order comes from the frontal lobe.  A study done by Vohs, Redden, and Rhinel from The University of Minnesota said, “The human mind likes order, rules, and tradition. Yet, disorder, unruliness, and unconventionality also hold appeal.”

 

According to Genesis in the Bible, God’s method of creating the world was systematic. I love to read this account of creation. It reminds me that we do need order.

 

 

 Genesis 1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

In my quest to cure Messy Desk syndrome, I took an entire weekend and cleaned up the clutter. I can now appreciate my spacious desk. I can find my pencils and pens. My reference books sit neatly in the hutch and my papers are organized in file folders. I breathe a happy sigh when I begin a new blog post. I’ve come up with a new slogan “Mess Is Stress.”

Are you stressed by mess during times of creativity? What are your solutions?

How Do You Find Your Place of Peace?

May 15, 2016

Beach at sunsetThere is a song sung by Petula Clark called, “I know a place”. The song talks about a location “where the lights are low.” I have a favorite retreat where I can sit and reflect on life and enjoy the peaceful sounds.
It’s not the place Petula was singing about. It’s the ocean.
The Place
I grew up on the east coast of Florida. Though we lived inland, my favorite spot was the beach. When I moved out of state, I didn’t regret leaving the humidity, the heat, the palm trees or the bugs. My big regret was leaving the Atlantic Ocean.
Now, when I vacation to the beach, my serenity is renewed by the sound of tumbling waves spilling over the shore, and the cries of the seagulls as they glide in the breeze. White capped waves and watery reflections of the sun remind me of the Creator. Calm, gratitude and stillness renew me.
Peace as defined by WordWeb.
• Harmonious relations
• Freedom from disputes
• The absence of mental stress or anxiety

I like the last definition. Because we are human and we live in an imperfect world, problems are a part of life. For years researchers have studied the effect of stress on the body. The proof is in the effect on the heart and other organs.
How and Where?
You don’t have to travel miles and miles to get to find serenity. Often, you can find it in a room in your home, or in a park or perhaps in a view outside your window. I have a place of peace in my home where I can reflect on God’s word. The room is quiet and still. I meet God there. The time is early morning, before daylight. Before my husband awakens. Before the dog goes out.

Your place of peace may be different. If you are working or getting kids off to school, carving out time alone can be a challenge. Yet a challenge, not to be ignored.

It is important to find your place of peace and clear your mind of the next thing on your to-do list. The time for quiet can be short and the benefits are huge.
Find a location where you can have a moment of peace. A patio, a porch, a bedroom.
Where is your place of peace? Do you have a favorite vacation spot that is a special place? Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.