Light at the End of the Tunnel

Coping with the pandemic has been difficult, but we appear to be slowly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. With the vaccination program progressing successfully, Americans wearing masks and keeping social distances, the risk of infection is diminishing.

Steve and I have had our second shot, with severe complications for me, but I am so grateful that I am approaching an immunity that will allow me to live a fuller and more varied life. I would do it again, despite the complications I developed. The improved quality of life the vaccine gives us makes it all worth it.

During the quiet and mostly homebound year, there was lots of time to ponder about life. Unfortunately for so many, it was an imposed staying home because of job scarcity, and I hope and wish that this will improve soon. And my heart is heavy and sad, thinking of the significant loss in human life this pandemic has caused. There are no words to describe the pain and sorrow.

Now Americans are slowly climbing out of the hole, and although it will take more effort from all of us to make it a successful endeavor, it is a turn to recover and progress. I do not mind wearing a mask and observing restrictions as they come along, as long as they benefit everyone. Maybe you can focus on the positive aspect that with a successful vaccination program, the virus hopefully will be controlled, as long as we combine it with other safety features like wearing masks and maintaining social distances. I hope this will be the case rather than plunging again into an uncontrolled growth of the pandemic. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to place the pandemic into our memory banks?

Yes, life has its ups and downs, but we don’t have to cling to the downs, although it might sometimes seem that there is no way out. There is always a sunrise.

I hope you are traveling through these difficult times, keeping your spirits up and knowing that a better future awaits you. And hopefully, this restrictive period in our lives has allowed you to catch up with projects you wanted to do. I call it a physical as well as a metaphorical housecleaning. I have done both, which allowed me to remain optimistic and full of hope for the future.

I wish you a happy climbing out of the pandemic. Stay happy and healtlhy and trust that all will be well again.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

 

Worrying

We have all experienced thoughts creeping into our minds which make us feel insecure and uncomfortable. How often do we ask ourselves, “what if” and then worry about things which will never happen?

Worrying is planning for what we don’t want by giving energy to a reality we don’t desire and will not enjoy.  It can even become a habit nourished by our insecurities. A much better way to a more enjoyable life is to let go of regrets and guilt from the past, enjoy the present, and have faith in the future. We can neither control the future nor the behavior of other people, and all the worrying in the world will not make things better or change people. However, maintaining a positive and optimistic attitude, can pave the road to a happier and more fulfilling life.

Replacing worrisome thoughts with feelings of gratitude for past and present experiences, and visualizing the future unfolding in beautiful colors will bring joy and happiness.

Having grown up in Post War Germany, in an environment filled with worry and fear, I know that a lot of life’s beauty and peace of mind were lost because worries overshadowed everything. My mother was consumed by her personal worry: Will there be enough food? Can my children live a happier life? How will I manage on my own without the support of a spouse? Am I doing the right things? and so on. If I could set back the clock, I would assure my mother that all would be well and that her worries couldn’t change anything in my life. Her constant worry stemmed from living through World War I as a child and World War II as an adult, spouse and mother. She never was able to completely disburse her worry clouds and to become a truly happy person. Ultimately she died prematurely and I am convinced that all her worries and the stress they caused shortened her life.

When I realized that worrying equates to planning for what I don’t want, I started replacing my worries with thoughts of love, compassion, empathy and having faith in the future. It doesn’t always turn out as I imagined and troublesome thoughts still play around in my mind from time to time. But my faith helps me to be in peace and with time I always realize that unwanted happenings were a lesson to be learned and an experience to be lived.

Not worrying doesn’t mean being passive. On the contrary, faith and self-confidence allow us to visualize a bright future. With less worry, there is a much greater probability of reaching the desired outcome. Let’s all keep the worry at bay, and fill our minds with thoughts of love and joy.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

That’s Nonsense

How many times do we hear “that’s nonsense” in our lives? And how many times does it stop our creative juices and make us conform?

I believe “that’s nonsense” should give birth to more creativity because it only shows the limited imagination and closed mind of the one who makes this declaration. It is only the ones who believe in “the impossible – nonsense for some” who are ready for incredible discoveries and out-of-the-box thinking.

When Galileo Galilei announced heliocentrisme, it was rejected, and I am sure many scientists of his time classified it as “nonsense”. How could it be? It was absurd. And we know now that he was right.

In modern times, Steve Job was seen as a hippie, and many looked at his vision as “nonsense”. But he manifested a changed world and created Apple. He realized his dream and didn’t pay attention to the nonsense proclaimers. Blackberry leads the pack of losers. And that’s what we all should do. Our dreams can be small or big, there are no limits, except the ones you establish or allow others to insert into your belief system.

I love this quote from Dr. Seuss: “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cell”.

Often, “that’s nonsense” just means you have met someone with a limited mind, a person who is boxed in and cannot see beyond. Trust your dreams, intuition and creativity, and as long as you nurture them with the lifeblood of your confidence and faith, they will manifest.

“That’s Nonsense” is just an opinion and as long as you don’t accept it as a judgment and verdict, it is just words. It only limits the person who believes that other people know more. Of course there is a lot of nonsense that is based on ignorance and conspiracy theories. When confronted with them, I just listen without judgment or comment. We all have the freedom to think and be who we want to be, but we also have the freedom to walk away when something doesn’t feel good.

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

Thoughts …

ThoughtsI believe that freethinking is our birthright and no one can take it away. We sometimes might feel that we have lost it, but that’s only an illusion. I am not talking about physical freedom, living in restrictive cultures or religions, controlling relationships or stifling jobs. We may not be able to change these situations, but what we can do is control our thoughts and how we look at the world around us. And, oppressive circumstances can be changed and made more appealing.

Imagine you are playing cards with some friends and everyone is happy around the table. You don’t like the hand that was dealt to you and you can react in different ways, which will strongly affect how you feel and also how your friends will perceive you. You can put your cards down and tell everyone that you are quitting and that you do not enjoy this lousy game. Or you can look at your cards, have a sense of humor, take it as a challenge, and continue having a great time with your friends.

Both decisions are yours, but what a different outcome they will produce. The first one will be stressful and uncomfortable for everyone; the second one is cheerful and enjoyable. No one can tell us how and what to think, and our thoughts will decide how we look at situations. It is truly up to us and it is a powerful knowledge to have. It can take a lot of stress out of our life just knowing that we don’t have to react to everything and everyone. A visit with our thoughts, some tweaking and directing them to pleasant areas will allow us to use our free will and not become a victim of circumstances. We can take our power back and decide for ourselves how we want to feel. Sometimes this is more difficult, but it is always worthwhile. And remember, it gets easier with practice!

Freethinking has always been an important part in my life and when things don’t go the way I would like them to, I don’t blame my surroundings or my health. Instead I watch and observe my thoughts to see where they are going. If they are wild and all over the place, I gently refocus them and direct them to a brighter, happier place. Give it a try, if you haven’t already. The results will speak for themselves – promised!

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

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