Love is Freeing

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Photo & Story by
Elizabeth Vierra Hall

Real love doesn’t hold you back or keep you from being you.  It doesn’t mold you into them to comfort THEIR insecurities.  True love shares in your excitement of life and growth.  It wants to enjoy you and all  YOUR true spirit, not chip away at who you are so you can be like someone else.  A healthy love relationship will not wall you in.  It will not build bricks around your heart.  True love is a free spirit that delights in each other.

Tears of Growth

Clouds - tears

Photo and Story by
Elizabeth Vierra Hall

 

With each life lesson learned – a correction of yourself, some tears may form and fall.  This, my dear is you shedding the old you.  The new is underneath all that.  With that said, be happy about those tears, for they are tears of new growth after they fall.  As you throw away the tissue that they leave you in, you, in turn, are shedding a piece of yourself that no longer serves you.  Be glad in that and be happy and hopeful that you are strong enough to acknowledge where you are and that you are doing your work.  Most people don’t think they need work.  We all need growth.  No one is perfect.

All my Best,

Elizabeth

 

 

 

 

You ARE There

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Photo and Story by
Elizabeth Vierra Hall

 

With a new year approaching, many are reflecting on the their lives, what they’ve accomplished and what they’ve yet to achieve.  This thought process can lead to anxiety and feelings of failure.  We begin to take the negative trail to not being good enough or that we’re not “ready yet” or just “not there”.  Sometimes we tend to think that there has to be the perfect time to move forward,  but the thing is, that is not necessarily true.  Sure, things happen best in their right timing, but, instead of waiting, you can move forward with even the slightest step.  You really can.  Any step big or small is a move towards progress.  And even if that one step doesn’t quite turn out the way you wanted, or thought it would, it is indeed a step towards progress.  You see, if that one step didn’t turn out as planned, at least it pointed you in a different direction; possibly the better one.   So, it wasn’t time wasted after all.  In fact, if you look at it, it was a move towards showing you the path best/not so best for you; in that timing.

Changing our thought process is a daily practice, but instead of thinking that it’s just too much work or too difficult don’t look at it as an overwhelming feat.  Enjoy where you are, right now.  Enjoy the place where you are (even if it’s not exactly where you want to be at the time), enjoy the people you are with at the moment (don’t think forward – be in the “now” – you may not get this time back), and be grateful and loving towards the ones you are spending YOUR life’s moments with….right now.

You ARE “there”.  It’s all there in you, right now.  Open it up and be strong in it.  Stand on it – now.  Begin – now.  You can, in love (not hate),  move forward.  You don’t need to keep looking for correctiveness or approval.  TRUST YOURSELF.  Free yourself.  One step in “your time”.

May you have an enlightening and freeing Happy New Year! Cheers to personal growth.  You CAN do it!  🙂

All my Best,

Elizabeth

 

 

Appreciation of the Heart – Where Has it Gone?

 

Pismo at Sunset

Story & Photo

by

Elizabeth Vierra Hall

 

Today’s world has destroyed humanity’s view of the pure & kindhearted, empathetic people of our time.  A person with a true, good and empathetic heart used to be admired, appreciated cherished and respected.  I don’t mean the one-time hero’s, the feel-good stories in the news or the average nice person.  I’m talking about the people who have that heart (and mind) that is mistakenly different than most. They have not just sympathy but empathy, empathy like no other.  You may not recognize them off the bat because they tend to be more on the quiet side, lost in the rat race that has become the norm in today’s society. They are most often looked at as ignorant of today’s world and not taken seriously as intelligent people – lacking knowledge of “reality”.  They are over-looked and basically moved out of the way; pushed aside as not having valid contributions to our social order.  How sad. The once admired is now replaced with ridicule which can lead to the paralyzation of the loving heart of ever wanting to put themselves “out there” again.

We’ve gone from a civilization of being mentored by the loving, empathetic heart to one of keeping our guard up to protect ourselves from our changing society.  We’ve turned our thoughts from valuing love and honor of good people to protecting ourselves, our rights; operating in defense mode.  And while there is nothing wrong with looking ahead and planning for safety, we cannot live our lives in a heightened sense of suspicion and panic. This type of thinking is fed by the constant negative thoughts, beliefs and fears brought on by others who are not centering themselves with a healthy balance of reality and common sense.

Our world now is so hell-bent on proving their points and opinions that they’ve not even considered the feelings of those around them; their support system.  What a shame.  I don’t understand how the good hearts can just be dismissed – thrown away – like that.  It’s as if we are a planet of robots – no heart, no love; just machines with a constant ax to grind; a fight to have, something to protest.

I believe wholeheartedly that every person on earth needs to get in touch with their heart, not to be confused with their mind and all the crazy rhetoric they are consuming as truth – modifying them even more into something they are not.  Stop that routine way of thinking!  What are they afraid of?  If you cannot allow your heart to feel the love and peace it was created for, then how can you give love to your families?  Do you treat your families and friends with contempt and sarcasm at every conversation?  Can you actually have a heart-to-heart discussion if the situation called for one?  Or is everything a joke to you?  Do you operate on defense mode all the time blocking yourself to be open to what’s really being said?  With behavior like that, how can you positively contribute to society? How can you appreciate all the great things life has to offer?  You can’t, because you’re focus is on being #1 and right all the time, or for some, trying to turn every serious statement into a joke.  If everyone remained in a fight in their minds 24/7, how lonely and lost would they become?  It is certain decay of the human spirit, and therein our world. Our human spirits are slowly being squelched to the point of death, making us individuals who are imprisoned in our society by society.

Have you ever expressed your heart in conversation only to be laughed at, put down and criticized?  What’s happening here? How can the other person interpret it as anything less than a meaningful heart expression?  What fresh hell has their upbringing been like, or lack of, that they cannot recognize and receive the opportunity to be changed for the better?  What are they afraid of?  What makes them think this way?  It could be anything from lack of education or mentor-ship, living in the confines of a smaller community, or, they may just be selfish.  I find the later two to be true in most cases.

So the question remains for some, “How do I even begin to get back to heart living?”  Well, just as we are all created differently, the answers will vary.  Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  1. First and foremost, you must make some quiet time for yourself.  You cannot learn anything about yourself with all the noise of the world around you; those are all distractions keeping you from your own growth.
  2. Limit yourself (or completely cut yourself off) from sources of negativity – negative people, movies, television, social media that have no positive influences.  You many even need to limit how much news you consume on a daily.
  3. Take a break daily even if it’s 10 minutes to relax, especially before you begin your work day.  Maybe enjoy a cup of coffee slowly while reading something inspirational.  Maybe it’s just looking out a window at the nature you are surrounded by.
  4. A good way to get in touch with your heart is to listen to someone’s story who has been less fortunate then you.  That’s a great way to appreciate and be grateful for where you’re at.  Certain television shows have a segment where the contestants tell “their stories” and can move you to tears, unless you are already a complete robot.
  5. Journal your true feelings.  You may actually discover a part of you that you never realized.
  6. Do volunteer work.
  7. Go out in nature and really observe it.  Walk, hike or just sit in the stillness and breath it all in with your eyes.  Yes, I said eyes.
  8. Be mindful of your actions and live in the moment.  Try not to stress out about what lies ahead.  Don’t spend your life living in or worried about the future, there’s nothing happening there yet.

 

Life is not a race.  It’s meant to enjoy, share, love and do well to/for others.  Live your life in the moment.  Don’t hop on the crazy train to tomorrow.  Getting back to that which we were created for is not just to be a nicer person to others, but for your own health because believe me, if you continue on the clueless path of sarcasm, ridicule, mind-fighting and pea-cocking your way through your existence, you will put yourself in a debilitating, mind-numbing, crippling state that will eventually paralyze your mind and spirit – an early death of the heart.

You have been given one life to enjoy and live. It’s your life.  Don’t hand it over to the time sucks, jokesters and negative people who don’t even know where they’re going.  They’ve got their own battles to contend with. Instead of asking someone if you could “pick their brain” when wanting some advice, how about “pick their heart”.  I think you’d be amazed at what you could learn.

 

Sunsets ~ New Dawns

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Quote & Photo 

by 

Elizabeth Vierra Hall

 

Just as the sunsets fade out a day and a new dawn starts a fresh new one, so can people in our lives.  Don’t fret about what has run its course.  A new thing can be just around the corner.  You just never know.  Let go of the old or you won’t see the new that’s waiting around you.

Freedom from Captivity

Choose to Shine Journal Pic

Story & Photo

by

Elizabeth Vierra Hall

 

Speaking your truth will set you free from your captivity.  Your captivity of heart,  mind and your spirit.  The fear will be there, at first, until you exercise stepping out and moving forward,  but once you exercise that choice,  you will then begin to experience a  tremendous freedom.  Once you feel that joy of accomplishment on your journey’s path, you won’t care who agrees, follows or even how small your circle becomes.  Here in lies your decision to that proverbial fork in the road.

Your path, your journey,  is individual and specific to you.  No one can walk it for you, and no one will have your answers .  When you are truly ready to walk it, only you can do the work that it will take.  Don’t use others as your compass on your journey; you will get sidetracked and lost.  Pay attention to what your heart (instinct) is telling you.  If you are unsure at any given moment then you still have some work to do in that particular area, and that’s OK.  Don’t force it just because you think you need to be at a certain place in time.  You will know when you need to move. When it is right for you.

Choose to shine YOUR best, in your time –  no one else’s.

Lady at the Train Station

Jennifer on the train pic

Photo and Story
by
Elizabeth Vierra Hall

It was the first breezy, chilly 47-degree night of the season, mid-November at a train station in a very small town in California.  Normally 47 degrees isn’t so bad, but when it’s the first of the season after the warm California temperatures, it can take a while for the body to acclimate.  I was there sending off my daughter from her shortened, 23-hour visit. As my daughter was making her way to one of the open train cars, an elderly woman had stepped off with an Amtrak employee.  The woman was crying and clearly hobbling in pain alongside the employee.  Observing, I thought it odd that no help was given in the way of a wheelchair, or other relief assistance.  As my attention was teetering back and forth from the elderly woman clearly needing assistance to watching for my daughter at one of the window seats as I like to see her and wave one last goodbye for the night, the woman, now left alone, was wailing even louder.  I’m thinking that anytime now her ride would be here to pick her up as I’m watching and waving to my daughter.

As the train slowly pulled away out of the station, the woman began to wail in pain even louder; bent over the railing alongside the walkway between the tracks and the parking lot.  I turned around to observe if anyone was coming for the woman. I watched as Amtrak staff went back inside the office, people catch their connecting buses, and families helping to load their loved ones in their vehicles. Still no one came for this woman.  It was only her and I …at 7:50 p.m., dark night, vacant parking lot except for a few overnight parked vehicles.  As I continued to look around for signs of anyone coming for her, I walked up slowly so as not to startle her and ask if there was anything I could do for her. She proceeded to catch her breath just enough to tell me that she didn’t want to bother me and said she called her son to pick her up; he had forgotten. She kept telling me I didn’t have to stay and I told her there was no way I was leaving her alone out here in the dark.  I offered to walk her over to a nearby bench, but she didn’t want to move.  She said it would take too much energy and would hurt, so I rubbed her back as she hunched over the railing and talked to her to see if it would help calm her. All I could think of was how could anyone be so neglectful to allow this woman to be out in the cold, dark night, alone. As she began to calm, she told me that she had just fallen on the knee that she is supposed to have surgery on, and, that she just found out that she is VERY, VERY sick.  “I just don’t need all this right now!” she told me.  “It’s just too much!” and then began to break down again with uncontrollable sobbing.  With each vehicle that past by she’d say, “Here’s my son”…but it wasn’t, and as each car drove by that wasn’t her son, she cried.  Time passed and it was getting more breezy and colder.  Where is this son?

Finally her son drove in.  Did he rush to her aid?  No.  I watched as he 1) parked far away from her, 2) took time to slowly clean out his vehicle, 3) was clearly in no hurry to look around for her.  Really? I just couldn’t take it any longer, so I called out as I walked part way to his vehicle, “Are you here to pick up your mother?”  “Yeah”, he said as if it were a bother.  “She’s over here!”  I had to direct him over. She thanked me over and over for staying with her and said it’ll be okay and that I could go. I cried all the way home.  It was such an emotional experience.  Even though her son was there, I had to wonder if she really would be alright. My heart was tugged with all sorts of emotions.  Clearly, emotion for her well-being, but there seemed to be something else.  What was it? Even a few hours later, I was still crying.

After playing the night’s events over and over in my mind, it hit me, and it was two-fold.  The first was that fact that in today’s society people are so unaware of the needs of others even when it’s crying out right in front of you!  How robotic is our society? She was crying loud enough that everyone heard, yet she was ignored.  No one even approached her. My heart felt cruelty for mankind. I mean, just imagine if that woman were you or worse, your mother?  Can you imagine how much pain and hopelessness she was feeling on that cold, dark night?  Alone.  It’s just so upsetting.

And second, what I still can’t seem to put down into words, must be the heart’s emotion to helping someone in such distraught,  especially when no one else would; making a difference in someone else’s life.  Even now, almost two months later and tears in my eyes, I still can’t put it into words that would make you feel what the heart feels. And you know what?  I think, no, I believe, that there is a reason and a purpose for that.  It is an emotion that is best felt; only felt, with the heart. It’s a gift.  A gift that I was given to show love, faith in humanity; a purpose for our life on earth and that feeling that comes with it all wrapped up in one overpowering emotion never to be fully explained in simple words.

Let’s be thankful for our good health and for our families and friends that care enough to make sure we are safe to and from our destinations; for not everyone is as fortunate. Pray for the less fortunate. 💔