Winter Rain

It seemed that Tucson would have no rain this winter, and I was becoming concerned. Will we slide into another drought? Our temperatures had been high for the season and the plants in our yard were starting to bloom. I could feel their confusion. Is it spring or winter?

Finally, we got some of the much-anticipated winter rain, and I felt excited and happy. I stood at the window and took it all in. The gentle rain quieted my mind, and I was filled with gratitude. Closing my eyes and listening to the soothing sound of the rain brought me peace, and I saw in my mind the animals drinking this elixir from heaven and the plants absorbing the moisture and becoming rejuvenated.

My friends in Europe wouldn’t have believed that I could get so turned on by rain. But then, there was a lot of rain in Belgium, and I always felt excited when I saw sun and blue skies. Opinions and attitudes change depending on our environment and life experiences, and when there is an abundance of something, we may lose our appreciation for it. We can become complaisant when we are on cruise control and when everything unfolds well and comfortably. We can easily overlook our blessings until they are gone. Let’s look around, count our blessings, as the saying goes, and give a gratitude prayer. Nothing in life is a given, our blessings are gifts to be appreciated and cherished.

Pondering this as I watched the gentle rain, I felt gratitude for my mental journey and for the clarity it created in my mind. Everything and everyone can be a teacher, even the rain, but it requires clear vision and an open heart.

Now I look at rain with a thankful heart. And should I get wet, I just remember being the child who loved to dance in the rain.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year

Standing at the threshold of the New Year, I feel nostalgic and excited at the same time. I am looking forward to writing a new chapter in my book of life reflecting lessons learned and new dreams.

When you lift your glass and toast to a happy and healthy New Year, don’t forget that you want to start a fresh New Year, not one burdened with unresolved issues. Find peace within, love and forgive yourself, and then forgive the people who hurt you. You can do this in various ways. I like to relive my year, make peace, and then visualize a blank page waiting for me to begin the new chapter in my book of life. I see myself surrounded by love, compassion and empathy, and my heart is filled with the same feelings for others. My goal is to love, laugh a lot, and not to sweat the small stuff. Remember the serenity prayer:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change
 the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”

Reinhold Niebuhr

The beginning of a New Year can be a continuation of what is, or it can be a fresh start. Maybe your 2018 just needs a little tweaking, a commitment to change a few things to make you happier and more fulfilled. Starting a new chapter in your book of life is a great opportunity to look at yourself and the life you live. If you are satisfied and happy with what you see, then congratulate yourself on your achievement and enjoy 2018. But many of us would like to make some changes. If so, don’t procrastinate but don’t be overly ambitious. Keep in mind that any resolution you make becomes a journey. Success will come to you as long as you stay focused on your goal and believe in yourself.

Imagine your book of life with all the chapters you have lived and all the blank pages waiting for you. There is great wisdom in your book of life and much more to be added.  Always remember that only you can be the author of your book of life. Be kind, patient, and confident that it will be a great year, filled with good health, lots of joy, and happiness.

Wishing you “einen guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr” (Happy New Year)!

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Founder and Author of NotJustCooking.com

 

Quality of Life

Quality of life is hard to define or to describe, and I have never spent much time thinking about it.  My life has been interesting. I loved my work, traveled extensively, socialized, entertained and in a few words, did what I wanted to do, and what I thought would make me happy and bring me joy. Looking back, I can honestly say that I enjoyed a great quality of life when I was master of my ship.

But then, everything changed. It suddenly felt like I was living in a tumbling house of cards. My doctors talked to me about choosing between quality of life and length of life. I was in shock. I had the quality of life I wanted, but it was evaporating. What am I to do with my limited physical capabilities to create a new quality of life and what would that include? I was certain of one thing. It would have to be new and different, something I never thought would be the center of my daily life. Would it be possible or would I fall into a depression? I decided to find a new quality of life, and to never allow self-pity to hold me back.

So, after a lot of soul searching it all came together. I can still see my friends, just in different ways. Late-night and long dinners have been replaced by early bird dining and “happy hour” is becoming a favorite of mine. I have replaced my cherished dinner parties with invitations to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. I realized that I can still socialize, just in different ways.  Then we got an adorable Yorkie puppy, Romeo, a true lover and a sunbeam of love in my heart. I always loved to read and now I have the time to do it. Workouts at the gym are no longer possible, but I take delight in vigorous walks. And of course, I love to write, and I stay busy with my memoires, blog and other projects.

I realized that one’s quality of life is fluid and needs to be adaptable under any circumstances. But it requires an open heart and mind to do so. I know I will have to adapt again, but as long as I can fit some of the activities I enjoy into my daily life, I know I can tell my doctor, “Yes, I still have a good and acceptable quality of life”.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

A New Year – A New Beginning

A New Year - A New BeginningThis year flew by and my resolution last year of filling my life with happy moments proved beneficial as most of 2016 was a struggle with my health and sometimes it took a lot of effort to see a happy moment in a jungle of pain and difficulties. But I persisted and things are looking up, so I will start the New Year with optimism and faith.

My resolution for 2017 is to put a highlight into every day, something that brings joy and makes me happy. I started this before the holiday season and it really works. An uplifting phone call, visit with a dear friend, a delightful meal, just a little time with myself, playing with Romeo, reading a good book, and the list goes on.

What did I learn from 2016? Being kind and patient with myself, which for a driven person like me was a big lesson to learn. And then I feel much gratitude for the love and support of my husband, the compassion of dear friends, and the dedicated care of my health team. I also became aware of what is important and what is just frills which come and go. I certainly experienced a life lesson this past year.

My wish for you is that you realize how special you are. It is so easy to forget with the busy life styles most people live, but loving yourself is the foundation for loving others. Being patient and compassionate with yourself will allow you to show the same to others. Just taking a little time for a daily meditation and going within may do wonders. Look at this New Year like a new beginning. Visualize a black board showing the year 2016 with all that happened in your life – the good and the not so good! Forgive yourself and others, and then take a sponge and erase it all. A new blackboard for the New Year, a great moment filled with much promise. Enjoy 2017 to the fullest. Make it your year and remember always that you are special.

Happy New Year!

 

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCoking.com

Christmas Spirit

Christmas SpiritThe Christmas Spirit is not something one can define in a few words and then present it as the truth for everyone. We are all different with individual emotions and thoughts, and the Christmas Spirit is a very personal experience.

What I can say is what it represents for me. It starts with the decorations creating a vibrational surrounding which touches me deeply, reviving memories and bringing joy and happiness. Then it continues with giving gifts to loved ones and also those who are lonely and forgotten. It wakes up memories of growing up with little, but nevertheless having my mother instill in me at a most tender age that one always gives and that there are always people who have less. It made me feel good knowing that another little girl or boy would enjoy my gift and my Christmas Spirit was born.

Christmas has always been a special holiday for me, and this year I am especially grateful that I am able to celebrate and to enjoy the season. We didn’t put a tree up because Romeo would have thought it a personal challenge to see how many ornaments he could break in a minute. But the house is very inviting and festive, and I love to meditate in the glow of the candles and feel joy and peace entering my soul. That’s what the Christmas Spirit means to me – love, joy and peace in my heart and the willingness to share this blessing with others.

It would be wonderful to hear about your Christmas Spirit and what brings you joy and happiness.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

ShareThis Copy and Paste