It’s in the Storm That We Pay Attention

Storms, Life's Storms

George Hodan

In the approach or in the midst of a storm, our awareness antennas go up and we pay attention to the least little thing. During days when the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the clouds are a perfect opulent shade of milk-white, and the temperature is ideal, we get caught up in moments of either self-gratification or nonobservance of treasured details that surround us.

When there is an oncoming storm (hurricane, tornado, snowstorm, etc.) however, we zero in on the forecasts of local weather reports from meteorologists updating us on weather and climate changes. This helps us to prepare for the possibility of a shift to the worst case scenario in preparation for our safety.

We are glued to the TV, radio, Internet, Smartphones or any other broadcasting devices to give us the latest updates from the weather service. We pay attention to wind gusts, water surges and any other facet the eye of the storm may bring.

As we look at life, our lives and the lives of others whether in our community, city, state, nation, country or continent, we pay little attention to those important details that affect the health, welfare, and lives of so many others outside our circle. It seems as if it doesn’t affect us personally, then there is no need to care. Yet, like the weather-related and natural storms occurring throughout the seasons, just as the reach of the storm has a domino effect that affects the lives of hundreds and thousands of people, the same applies to the storms occurring in the lives of other people having an adverse and residual effect on us.

As we band together during natural disasters or other crises that impact our lives and that of our communities, so must we be cognizant of those challenging ‘details’ others experience that could be the epicenter of a massively destructive personal storm headed our way. It’s sad that it takes a storm for us to pay attention to the very things that mean the most to us, which we miss when they’re gone or destroyed.

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How Far Do You Search for a Miracle?

 Miracles, Life

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Miracles!

Sometimes we are so busy looking for big marvels to appear when we want them to…something phenomenal and spectacular that materializes like a rabbit suddenly being pulled from a magician’s hat.

Miracles, Life

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Yet in our searching and wishing for the miracles we want to appear at any moment from our pleading and prayers, we fail to see the multitude of miracles that already surround us, those we fail to recognize and are incapable of truly acknowledging.

Life, butterflies, Miracles

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Sometimes we are so eager to seek a miracle so great that we fail to see the beautiful miracle of life we possess inside of us.

Life, Miracles

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The Good Life: Do You Fake it or Make it?

The Good Life, Rich and Famous, Luxury Yacht

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What is your idea of the good life? Do you picture being rich and famous as the ultimate definition of the good life?

Rich, Good Life, Mansion

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Luxury Car, The Good Life, Bentley

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Is the success of your life based on your net worth and unimaginable cash flow?

Money, Rich

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Do you picture the good life as one that is adopted by others but may in all actuality be a pseudo-life?

Traveling, Good Life, airplane

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Or is your idea of the good life, a simple one with less stress, having good health, peace of mind, having fun and freedom, possessing just what you need, and a greater appreciation of life over an overabundance of materialistic things that simply fade away with time?

Playing, Happiness

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Is your idea of the good life making it your best life, with the gifts and talents you’ve been blessed with? Does it involve giving your generous gift of love through random acts of kindness?

The Good lif

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Make sure ‘your’ good life is ‘your’ life and not the kind that others could trap you into thinking is when it’s not. While wealth can contribute to making a life better financially, could it become possessive and overwhelming? How do you define ‘The Good Life?’

Butterfly, The Good Life

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The Beauty of it All: Simple Pleasures Are the Best

Nature, Life, Simple Pleasures

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Life. All too often, we get wrapped up in formalities. We try to impress with our materialistic upgrades, dazzle our audience with bigwig name dropping or exalt the ear by using stealthy, arduous words to appear as scholastic geniuses and snobs.

There is nothing wrong with being an overachiever, although at times such levels can spur a sense of loneliness, unhappiness, stress, and alienation. How far would you go or how much would you give up to have what is truly valuable…time, love, and happiness? When you know you are coming to the end of your life, what questions would you ask yourself as you reflect on the life you lived?

Would you have valued your leisure time, your family ties, your health, and wellbeing, what you did to give back, to edify and educate? Would you recognize the value of those times you really did stop and smell the roses, orchids, honeysuckle or gardenias? Would you be happy for time well spent with those loved ones who are no longer around to talk to? Would you see yourself as a fruitful being, the caretaker of creation who was filled with joy, peace, and compassion for others who may have been the least of these?

I ask myself these questions to remain humble, grateful and purposeful. I stop and take in the simple pleasures of life. I watch the frolicking of squirrels, the buzzing, and busyness of bees, the quiet serenade of a butterfly’s wings, the buds of new flowers beginning to burst with radiance, the tranquil babbling of water in a nearby creek or the sweet harmony of birds singing in the shadows of surrounding trees. I rejoice in humble gratitude and embrace the beauty of it all…the simple pleasures of life!

So, do you really think you can cheat death?

Death, Life, Living, Dying

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Even when a situation may give the impression that you did cheat death, trust me you didn’t. You cannot cheat death. When it’s time for your spirit to depart your body and leave this world, there is nothing you can do to prevent its inevitability.

Death has an uncanny way of making you look in the mirror and reflect, in order to discover how to truly live, what you need to let go of or how to look through a new lens so you can embrace the gift of life.

We reflect on death, how it ends and what it begins. More often than not, death makes us realize how precious ‘living’ truly is. Let go, breathe, and live!

Are we happy with the gods we trust?

god worshiping, wealth, augmented reality

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Stuff! What do we worship? Is it true we have an ‘idol’ problem? Many have sold their souls for a chance to buy into that pipe dream of prominence, by exalting ‘gods’ that have been marketed through our augmented realities. Is it all about the importance of prominence that makes us truly happy? 

wealth, rich, money

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Are we so focused on the success-driven quotient that contentment and gratitude have become a non-existent theory? For the love of the more grandiose, the most expensive, the wealthiest set sail on the ocean-liner of narcissism, trapped in the vortex of sea drowning polluted spirits.

rich, wealth

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What has happened to the strong, solid foundation of common decency, respect, compassion, ethics, and love in humanity, when folks are rushing to the finish line of hyped up, apparent greed on an uneven playing field?

wealth, rich

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Do we really trust those things seen as a sign of happiness, a true measure of success, as opposed to the evidence of unseen peace and contentment that becomes a valued testament to success? Have we idolized things under false pretenses all for the sake of satisfaction?

What If Wednesday: What I Have to Give

Gratitude, Giving, Gifts

What if we woke up each day reflecting on our  sincere gratitude for the gift of life and think, how can I make the most with what I have (talents, gifts, possessions, resources, lessons learned, compassion) and do something to give, inspire and help bring out the good in others so they too can pass on the fruits of the spirit and empower someone else? You may or may not know those who you touch, but who said that ‘knowing’ has to be the prerequisite to giving a life-changing gift? What if?

#WhatIfWednesday