Smiling

SmilingI wrote earlier this year about Happy Moments, and today I want to add Smiling. Smiles are important and bring us an immediate, positive change and make us feel better.

I have decided to smile no matter what. Sometimes I forget, but when I realize that my mouth is tending down and my thoughts are gloomy, I put a smile on my face and consciously change my thoughts. I smile at people I pass on my way, and it is amazing how most of them will smile back at me. I consider their smiles as a gift and treasure them immensely. No words have to be exchanged, just a smile is all it takes to bring a change. I look at it like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. The more rays, the fewer clouds and pretty soon my sky is sunny and all is well.

It all starts with lifting the corners of your mouth and putting a smile on your face. You immediately feel a change in how you feel. It is still a cloudy day, but it brings hope the sun will break through and disperse the dark clouds.

While writing this blog I have had a smile on my face that I hope you can feel as you are reading. The sun is coming through and my heart is beginning to sing.

Smiles are free, and they are a gift you can give to anyone. When I feel that I need more help than just putting a smile on my face, I add a mantra. I repeat it a few times and together with my smile my attitude changes and I am in full sunshine and feel blessed. Here is the mantra I like to use, but please compose your own. Your mantra should have meaning to you and can consist of just a few words or a sentence or rhyme like below. The key is that you can repeat it with feeling.

I let resistance go,
And love and wellness flow.
I am, I am, I am.
I am one with God my Source.
I am.

You can sing it, say it aloud, or just repeat it in your mind. It is powerful and helps you find balance and harmony.

Life is worth living to the fullest. Troublesome things happen, but it is up to you to get yourself back to a smooth and happy place. Smiling helps!

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and JulietAlthough I didn’t feel like Juliet when little Romeo joined our family, in his eyes I am definitely his Juliet. He is so much in love with me that he follows me around like a little shadow. He senses my emotions and while he is only a 9 ½ month old puppy, he is tuned in and has become my protector. He is so precious. For example, he stands guard at the sliding door when I am outside in the hot tub, and I am sure he would quickly summon his daddy should he perceive any danger to me. It touches me deeply and I cannot imagine my life without him.

He is maturing into a strapping and handsome young man, but  he still has a lot of puppy in him. What a difference between a Yorkie girl and a Yorkie boy. He is about the same size as our last girl, little Mignonne, but his strength is unbelievable and he has a vastly different personality from all our Yorkie girls. He is foremost a lover, but he shows a strong macho tendency as well.  His training is progressing nicely but still needs some work. He loves to play, chew, and run. He is into everything and has an insatiable curiosity.  Friday night he decided to empty the dirt from a flowerpot. Our housekeeper had left a few hours before leaving a sparkling clean home, and we ended up vacuuming and steaming the kitchen floors at 10 o’clock in the evening.  But there is no way to be mad at Romeo when one sees his loving eyes and sweet face proclaiming pride in his “flowerpot” caper. So we still need a little behavioral modification – but not much!

I have long forgotten my concern about raising a little boy, and am so grateful for this new experience. I loved all our little furry companions, and they all loved me back in different ways with their captivating personalities. Yorkies have enhanced my life over 40 years.  Romeo will likely be the last one, and we will have been blessed with four girls and one boy. It is and has been perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Being a Juliet to our little guy is touching and rewarding. But I am also very aware of my responsibility to maintain harmony and balance around him. He helps me to grow spiritually by making me aware when my thoughts are negative and unaligned so I can replace them with positive and uplifting ones. He is my devoted little teacher.

My deep feelings for animals are unlimited, and dogs have a special place in my heart. Since my first Yorkie Sunny, a little sweet girl I brought to the United States from Europe, my love affair with Yorkies has flourished. It is a breed I adore and cherish, and Romeo is the perfect little boy to close the circle. He fills my heart with awe and adoration. When I look at him, I can only smile. He is my little lover, hero and healer.

I love my little Romeo and I am delighted being his Juliet!

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

Dreaming

DreamingGrowing up in postwar Germany there wasn’t much space for dreaming because the reality of surviving took first place in people’s minds. I learned quickly that if I want to keep my dreams alive, I would have to hide them within. I have always been a dreamer but have also kept myself firmly rooted in reality.

As a child I was able to visualize things in my mind, making my life more colorful. When I read my books, I lived in them and became the heroine. One of my dreams was to have a dog, but it was out of the question for economic reasons. So I took a stick and a ball, named the ball, and it became my pet. I walked controlling the ball – my puppy – with the stick, and I had fun talking to my little friend and visualizing it being alive and playing with me. I learned quite young that I could enhance my life by creating interesting games in my mind and with my two dolls.

Later, during my many years of metaphysical studies, I realized that dreaming is a major part of living the life we desire. First we dream about changes, things we want to change, tweak or include into our lives. We make the dream more and more vivid by adding color, music, energy and anything else we desire. The dream becomes so real that we can see, smell and touch it. Dreaming is fun, very gratifying, and empowering. And when our dream has received enough energy, it has the power to manifest and to bring what we have longed for.

Dreaming is a journey and I cannot imagine my life without it. It helped me through difficult times. I would go to that special place in my mind, work on my dream, polish it, expand it, and better survive the storms of life. Sometimes I traveled multiple journeys at the same time with different dreams, each with new goals and destinations.

But there are also dreams that wither and die. They haven’t received the energy required to develop and grow, most likely because their purpose is not sufficiently relevant. Dreams are living things so we can keep them alive or let them fade away.

Dreaming is healthy because it helps us cope and thrive. Dreams keep us focused on our goals and moving in the right direction. They are powerful but also so fragile. When I decided in my youth to keep them hidden, it was because I had learned the hard way that harsh words can destroy a dream like a hurricane levels a home.

Let’s be dreamers for it is the dreamers who change the world!

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

Feeling Joy and Happiness

Feeling Joy and HappinessThe potential for joy and happiness resides within all of us. When we are with positive people it is easier to feel the joy and the pleasure from being with them. So we might think that it is people who bring us joy. In reality, the joy was always within us but we were able to feel it by being with them. So yes, they allow us to feel our joy and happiness and we feel in harmony.

The key to more constant joy and happiness is to maintain harmonic feelings, no matter what. To do that we can create a peaceful place in our mind where we consciously go to whenever necessary or desired. From this personal retreat we have access to the joy and happiness within us, and we can weather the storms in our lives. This haven of peace, of love and wellbeing is the same place we find when we meditate. It is where we can regenerate, rejuvenate and restore balance and harmony within us. It is also where we can heal; mentally as well as physically, and where miracles can happen.

This peaceful place looks different for each of us. You will know you have found it when you feel the peace and love it brings. Just clearing the mind of all the clutter will lead you to it, and it will quickly become your safe place. Like a homing pigeon you go there every time you want to or need to. It is always waiting for you.

So, do people bring us joy and happiness? Yes, in a way they do because they allow us to shine and to be ourselves. We feel loved and we love. Please remember though, joy is always within us. We have an unlimited potential to feel happy.

There are a lot of unhappy people in the world, and you might wonder if they feel any joy. I believe they have the same potential within them; they just never stop long enough to remove all the negativity and toxic beliefs they have accumulated. But let’s not judge whether they are right or wrong, it doesn’t matter. The longer the burden of unhappiness is carried, the heavier it gets, and the faster joy and happiness will continue to fade. But they never disappear and remain always within.

Wishing you a great journey to your happy place?

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

34 Years …

34 YearsWhere did the years go? Thirty-four years ago we eloped. We got married in Tahoe, with a marriage license issued in Reno.  We followed it with a lovely honeymoon in California and for me it was filled with new discoveries. I immigrated to the United States in 1980 but hadn’t traveled much in the US. I was homesick and went back to Europe or to a French speaking island whenever possible. It took me a while to embrace my new country, mostly because of the shock from finding on my arrival that the family relationships, which were the reason for my immigration, did not exist. Despite a rocky start, I fell in love with the US, New York and then with Steve and I have no regrets. And who would have known that our anniversary on 9/11 would become permanently attached to the World Trade Center tragedy.

When I met Steve and fell in love with him, he didn’t get a free ride. My little Yorkie girl, Sunny, whom I brought from Belgium, wasn’t ready to give up her place as an only child with a single mom. It took Steve time and effort, but the dog lover he is allowed him to finally convince Sunny that it was ok having a daddy. It was amusing to see the big guy walk this little Yorkie with a bow on her head, but when he realized that many doors open when you have such a cutie on your arm or leash, he enjoyed going out with her and meeting new people.

We travelled a lot because of Steve’s job, visited many parts of the world and it was a most interesting time. We left the East Coast to move to Boulder and then Idaho, back to the East Coast, followed by Paris France, and then Tucson. Some places were more difficult for me to adapt to, but I made it work. I embraced the local culture by maintaining my own.  It worked, and I look back with gratitude and appreciation.

Our life became much slower and quieter when we moved to Tucson. First Steve had serious health issues, then followed by my own. Tucson is a great place to live and retire, and although it wasn’t initially my choice, I am glad we settled here. It also allowed us to get the medical care we both require.

During these 34 years we lived with 5 Yorkies – Sunny, who was followed by Gigi and Bijou, then Mignonne and now our little puppy Romeo., our first little boy. They graced and enriched our lives and were always an integral part of it.

After all these years we are still standing, happy and enjoying our life together. We had some difficult times but were always able to work them through. Life is a journey, sometimes it gets rocky, but it doesn’t have to stop or fall apart. It is just a hurdle, an obstacle to be overcome. As long as we keep our focus on love and respect, the wind will settle, the storm will pass and the sun will shine again, most likely brighter than ever!

My wish is that my health will allow me to spend many more years with Steve and our little Romeo. And my promise is that I will enjoy every moment and treasure both of them.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

 

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