The Actions Of Giving Thanks

Today is the day labeled Thanksgiving when many spend the day with family cooking, eating, and watching football. It is meant to reflect on what we are thankful for. For some, the tradition of going around the table, reflecting on what they are grateful for still stands. For others, even that has faded through time. We tend to take for granted just what we have in front of us. Sometimes we even sit around complaining and arguing over politics (this year vaccinations) and getting angry at others viewpoints that don’t match ours.

But you are Blessed….

There are many today without food, without heat, of a warm house, and many, in places all around, that live on the streets without food, shelter or the basics. Their bed is made of concrete and their blankets are made of cardboard and plastic. Today is no different than yesterday for them. There is no celebration.

There are government agencies and mayors considering and acting to remove tent cities of the homeless. Some make laws to prevent feeding the homeless in the parks, placing barriers in areas they sleep. They are viewed as an issue, or a problem. What if instead, we could ask on a case by case story of what do you need and how can we help you to help others? Even those still waiting would be given hope to hold on.

They matter….

They are people with a story. They have endured what most of us have not. They are families. They are Veteran’s, and they are people with a powerful purpose, because they are still here through it all. Being able to say “I have been there” is the beginning of an inspirational story that gives hope to others.

Moving these people so you can’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. They matter too. They are a part of our society, and the answer lies in finding the reason why and addressing it.

Support group administrators are usually those who have been there. Perhaps our public services such as housing and fuel assistance could use their help. It would be a position from the heart, since they know what the journey is like. It’s not just about forms and verifications, it’s about people and families struggling to survive.

Who are they?

They are from every walk of life. They come from backgrounds of bother rich and poor. Family, neighbors, coworkers, and those we have cared about in a season of their lives. They have talents and dreams. They have the strongest example of endurance and many are even Veterans. Don’t we owe it to our Veterans? Don’t we owe it to our society as a whole to help them? Or is our society really an “every man for himself” mindset? Let’s stop demonizing our homeless. Stop trying to move them out of sight or making it a crime to be one. They are fellow human beings. They matter and they are not even living a survival standard of life. Winter is coming and the cold is here. Some will not survive it.

Your part….

After reading this (thank you), and as you climb into your warm bed tonight, could you consider saying a prayer for those that don’t have a bed or a blanket in the cold? Then tomorrow, before you start your Black Friday shopping, perhaps you could try out a new perspective on those you consider a problem. Do one thing that can help one. There are links below to help one survive. There are also many organizations that need your help. Consider donating to fuel assistance, food share, homeless shelters, or a Veterans organization. Even sending an email to your government officials in support of the homeless. Anything you can think of in, or outside the box of ideas. Perhaps even share this with those you know. You never know who could be impacted from your actions.

So today may be a day of turkey and stuffing and pies, but there are those out there that could use your prayers when you’re giving thanks. They matter too.

sheltersuit.com

www.tcrmi.org

Written by Melody Belliveau

The Commitment of Suicide

The term “committed suicide” cuts some people because of the insinuation that the person who took his own life was guilty somehow. They are the ones we lost. Emotions without hope won over and took them away. They weren’t guilty, simply hurting, but they do leave suffering for others behind. It rocks those who knew them to the very core, and some, unable to get over the guilt for not preventing it, become a shell of who they were.

So how do we reach someone who is considering it?

How do we prevent it when we cannot take away their pain? Sometimes it’s not even that they want to end their pain but they want to stop being a source of pain and burden to others. So what can reach them if we can’t hand them self belief?

Perhaps a change of perception might help. We have all made commitments in our lives and we’ve broken some too. Life is all about change. Without being able to see the future, we have no idea what changes can take place.

The act of suicide is a commitment to never move forward with who you are and the possibilities that you hold inside of you. To never again change the trajectory of who you are. You will be remembered for that commitment above all others, and you will shatter more than just yourself.

Perhaps if we can spread this viewpoint and make it a focus of not “commit” but rather “commitment”, we can focus on what a true commitment it is, rather than a desperate act. For it is not an act of committing. It is the commitment of suicide. It is the no backing out destruction that one can never change, no matter how much hurt it causes.

Before you choose that commitment

Consider this:

“…Ladies and Gentlemen, you’ve got to understand that the reason that you are existing in this world right now is because you have things that must be done and only certain people are qualified, to take it to the level that it needs to be taken to…” Never Give Up featuring Coach Pain. You have a purpose that is unique to you. You have gifts inside you that you need to seek out. Your experiences in life give you an inside view of things that others need your help with. Even our pain can be a tool, and the bigger the struggle, the bigger the purpose. “Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministries will come out of your deepest hurts.” Rick Warren

If you find yourself in this place, and choose against the commitment of suicide, you have a powerful message for others. You have a message of life and death importance, and that truly matters. You matter. You have a powerful purpose. Perhaps… “You’re being called to anchor all of your presence, your personality, your soul and your spirit in the here and now. To fully commit to living this life, right now. To commit to putting two feet completely in.” Rebecca Campbell from the Starseed Oracle Guidebook. You are so much more than your wounds and its time to show the world all that you can be.

Make the commitment to your life to give hope to others who are hurting. We are in this together and if we can stop just one from making the commitment of suicide, we have helped spare a world of pain. Let’s do this together. The commitment of suicide desperately needs to be prevented.

For everyone

Check in on those around you, especially with the holidays upon us. Talk about the tough stuff and tell them you are here for them and ask if there is anything you can do to help. You never know who’s life you might save with your support.

Written by Melody Belliveau

A Kindness Challenge

Yesterday was World Kindness Day. Many posted the reminder to be kind. Perhaps the world was a little kinder yesterday because of it. Words, deeds, and gestures of kindness need to be done and felt every day, not just once a year when we put out reminders.

I would like to focus it on a more challenging emotional, “in your soul” can be difficult challenge. Because, the need is out there, in homes, in communities, and in places all around the world and I desperately want to blur the divide. It cannot be done without true kindness.

Where we are

For so many, a line has been drawn between the vaccinated and those who are not. Valued relationships have been ended and anger has been spilled. But we do not stand on one side of the line. We are all mixed together – by families, communities, workplaces and anywhere else our presence is. We are blended together whether we choose to be or not. For most at this point, a perspective has been chosen. You have little chance to convince.

What do you do with that?

“Be the kindness you wish to see in the world” is a challenge for those who see the other side is the enemy or the threat. Your belief does not justify the actions of being unkind. Not if you view kindness as essential. It just makes it more of a commitment. Both sides comes with a fear. Both sides come with some uncertainty. Both sides can be right and wrong – and it’s never a pass to be unkind.

So I ask you, now that World Kindness Day has ended, and the focus has faded, could you make a commitment to blur the line of an adversary perspective and simply practice kindness? Let’s not look at each other as enemies and instead understand that we are all in this together.

Advocate with your heart, but without an adversary approach. Use compassion, not contempt. How will you present yourself to the world? Kindness is up to us.

Written by Melody Belliveau

What’s Your Energy Saying?

You give off energy. When you interact with others, what kind of energy do you send their way? Having a bad day is a trail of dark energy you take with you through the day. Can you change it? You actually can if you are intentional about it.

It’s a matter of perspective

We can intensify the impact if we intentionally work together to help those around us, like a defuser. Have you ever had someone say just the right thing you needed to hear on one of those days? It helps. Okay, what if we watched for that through our day? Both sides of it, those giving it off, and those needing it, are those we could spot if we had our intention on it.

We can watch for the kindness of others, especially the ones we usually take for granted. Pause long enough to let them know you see and appreciate them. If it catches on, and your day was filled with people saying it to you, how do you think your day would go then?

Tasting the fruit

When we purposefully and intentionally interact with kindness that’s genuinely from the heart, it will leave a sweet taste of fruit in your soul. You taste that fruit when you give it away. You cannot give someone a heartfelt compliment and feel sour.

Wake up late? Don’t let it lead you down the path of irritation and rudeness. If you are meant to be where you are at any given moment, then watch instead of who you see that might need kindness from you. Perhaps your chance to interact with them was divinely guided. What do you think that would do to the energy you give off? You could be a walking talking Blessing to others. Even our briefest interactions with others can last be lasting. If your words come from the soul, they can remember how you made them feel for a lifetime.

Where to find it

Every single day can be a part of that. It’s already out there in communities, support groups and organizations. Social Media groups on every platform share it with each other from Rallies For Hope and Kindness to the Military and Allies of #Angels14 to empath groups that are Beacons of Change. If you don’t belong to one, perhaps it’s a way to help shift things around for you. People can be amazing. You can be amazing. No matter what you have been through, it’s a choice… and when you find yourself feeling it, share it. Be kind. It’s as simple as that. Now that you’ve read this (thank you) perhaps you will notice these opportunities that you otherwise would have missed.

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” Scott Adams

Written by Melody Belliveau

Indigenous People’s Day

Today is the holiday that gifts the ability to learn the healing of shadow work. It’s a day to give reverence to the true people of the land and acknowledge the consequences of our ancestors limited views. Ironic that we teach some of it to our children in Disney’s movie Pocahontas, (although the story itself is filled with untruths), yet as adults we dismiss the very concepts they speak of in the movie.

Mother Nature

The earth is not something to be owned, but respected. We are all in this together and are connected to nature and each other. Oh how we could have learned so much from them! Did you know that nature has elements of healing for us? From Qi Energy, plant and herbal remedies, to their respect for the moon and the sun.

Did you know Columbus brought with him an imbalance to the land he wasn’t able to see? He didn’t realize coming to this land was an opportunity to learn a new perspective of life that he was missing. Instead his people began the force of his only view on others.

Today, see if you can learn something new about the natives of the land, that you wish your ancestors had learned. Dig deep and then share it. Show people the gold nuggets of wisdom they hold in their heritage.

What I see

For me, they believe in the herbs of the land. It is not the prescription medications that made a difference in my health. It was simply an herb. Why don’t we look there first, instead of when nothing else works? There is so much to learn of Mother Nature’s healing ability to heal us when we align with it.

Mother Nature and the respect for her have been the greatest message I have learned from our Indigenous People, our true Natives. We need that message desperately, as even the scientists are pointing out.

You matter

And today, on your day of reverence, I see you, and I honor you. You have so much to teach us, and I for one, want to learn from you. We all need you to teach us the wisdom our ancestors wouldn’t listen to. Some of us are ready to receive it.

Written By Melody Belliveau

The View From The Edge

Today is World Mental Health Day, where focus is brought to an important aspect of who we are. This is a message for those who have faced the edge of life and death and yet survived. Having gone through something like that can have the effects of Anxiety and PTSD and it can cripple who you are. So how do you find the light in that piece of darkness? It takes a multitude of tools. One is where you look, and where you focus.

The difference in it being traumas and miracles. The view is there if you have escaped death as a certainty. When you knew death was right there staring you in the face, and yet divine intervention stepped in and you survived.

So……If it’s there, why do we sit in the trauma of it feeling trapped?

Because for it to have been an escape, the intensity of it has to be on the unbelievable level. Sometimes we can’t get passed that. But when we do….Wow! It’s a whole different perspective and it becomes a Blessing. Confidence and courage work together with your new mindset because you forge a drive out of it. You need to find that belief in who you are, that you were saved for. You have a purpose.

If you’ve been there before, if you have received that miracle and cannot deny you’ve survived something, spend some time reflecting on the miracle of it, and try to imagine what you could do with it. How do you use it to see what it’s done for you that can help others? Who else is suffering from the same scars you carry? What would help them? Could that be what you’re meant for? Could it be the key to your healing?

Your Purpose

If you’re suffering from a trauma that almost ended your time here, stop and reflect on knowing that means you are meant for something. No one else can do the work for you, only you can take it to the depth you need to heal. You have to know deep down in your soul that you matter. You were meant for more and your best is yet to come. Use the tools that are out there to get you where you need to be. Counseling, music and art therapy, Tapping, Support groups, TRP, and the list goes on as far as you are willing to reach. The bigger the struggle, the greater the purpose. Find yours because the world needs you to.

“…Ladies and Gentlemen, you’ve got to understand that the reason that you are existing in this world right now is because you have things that must be done and only certain people are qualified to take it to the level that it needs to be taken to….” Coach Pain Never Give Up

Written by Melody Belliveau

The Lessons of Regret

Doing The Shadow Work

Healing from our past doesn’t just involve looking at the wrongs others have done to us, but the wrongs we have done to others as well. I knew I needed to write this, and even decided I would not share another until I did. That led to an absence of me sharing. But it’s a necessity to do the shadow work, it’s even in the AA 12-Step Program as a way to heal. It is something we all need, not just those in AA.

If we can’t go back and undo it, we must share what we’ve learned from it so others can see it from the inside. That means stepping into the uncomfort of our mistakes and regrets. People speak of regret because we cannot change what’s already happened. 20/20 vision of hindsight brings clarity to the why’s. We wish we had seen the insight before.

What if we could change the past? Would it truly make things better? The movie The Butterfly Effect challenges that concept (it’s graphic to watch). Those that have been through traumas and used them in their purpose, will tell you why it became a Blessing of their bigger picture. Sometimes we fail to see how our regrets could have possibly been a Blessing. This is the story of that one for me.

My Regret

I have one, a regret of my own words, that has stayed in my soul, from preteen years probably until the day I draw my last breath. It has haunted me since my view of 20/20 clarity kicked in. The day I let a good friend down, by my narrow perception and focus on myself.

It goes back to junior high school. I had a classmate in homeroom who worked with me to care for the small animals we had in the back room.. We talked often and I considered him a good friend. My ego killed our friendship and I hurt him. Let me offer, not an excuse, but simply the true explanation.

He came in one day and summoned up the courage to talk to me about his accusations against one of our male teachers. I had already heard and was both hurt and angry, shamefully, not for him, but rather for myself. You see, it was the very same teacher, I had a deep crush on. He even attended our church alone and I spent the Sunday service eagerly awaiting my chance to say hello to him on the way out. My friend’s accusation killed that for me.

I lashed out at that beautiful soul trying to tell me something so difficult, and making himself so vulnerable to me; and yet my reaction was all about me. I truly regret that. I wish I had listened as the friend he needed. I failed him as a support system when he trusted me enough to have the belief I was one. For that I am truly sorry, and have been for quite some time. Looking back from the lens I have now, what courage he had!! He spoke his truth with no guarantees of what he could be faced with, even from his peers.

I pray God has helped him with a quality life full of wondrous moments that take your breath away. If it has been the opposite, I pray for his strength to give him a 20/20 clarity of how he can become an inspiration to others.

Taking the lesson

We all read stories, reflecting back on our own. Where in your story, did your ego cause regrets? Can we ask ourselves, before we respond to the next situation, “How can I truly be there for them?” Don’t make it about you, and you may avoid regret later because of it.

For those who have been hurt by others in a moment of vulnerability, remind your soul, that their actions are from a lens of their own wounds. You may never know the impact it has when they finally see beyond it and look back. Don’t allow the hurt to create a limited lens for yourself.

Moving Forward

Any conversation with connection requires two things, alternately: vulnerability and compassion. If someone speaks to us with the courage to share their vulnerabilities with us, we need to have intentional compassion for where they are in their share. They have entrusted us with their soul. The have entrusted us with no guarantees that we will even hear them. But until we do, we cannot truly see them. We are all in this together, and we show each other just how much we understand that by how we treat each other.

Hopefully, sharing my story, my regret, will prevent someone else from being hurt, the way I hurt him. It is the only possible way it could be called a Blessing. For me, it is my truest regret.

Written by Melody Belliveau

Remembering With Cause

9/11 We will never forget

Twenty years ago, our country was thrown into a state of unity through shock, horror, sadness and grief. A day that started out as simply routine in our busy lives. Those who were here remember exactly where they were when the unimaginable became a reality. Many watched live in horror, while others watched from live TV breaking news.

We responded with compassion and vulnerability for each other, and American pride sprang up in an instant and a unity took place that is rarely seen. The tragedy was bitter but there was a light that came into view because of it.

The Heroes Journey

Our first responders, veterans, and even civilians dove into the role of the heroes journey in an instant, working beyond normal capabilities. Many gave their lives selflessly and other family generations grew as a result of those that had been saved.

Today

Videos and photographs have been shared through the day that brought tears to many eyes. The Grand Ole Opry did an Opry Livestream tribute in partnership with The Wounded Warriors Project. Songs were sung and words were spoken that could be felt in one’s soul. I Dare You To Love was one of those songs. I take up the challenge and ask you to do the same.

Can we make this remembrance a chance to put down our differences and feel our shared vulnerabilities that were once raw in our very beings? Can we stop seeing each other through the lens of divide and contempt for each other? Don’t look at each other as red or blue, black or white, native or immigrant to look down on.

The left out

We left out a group of Americans and visitors to our country following that event. We saw them , not by their soul or character, but by the resemblance to our enemy. We scorned them instead of embracing them with empathy for what they were also going through. Can we look at them now and see their soul? Can we use this reverence to welcome in the refugees we’ve taken in now? They feel the terror of war and are in need of making this their country and home.

Who we are

We are capable of it. We have seen what we are made of. We can make it even more powerful than it was 20 years ago. In the present climate, it’s a challenge that will take intention. Let us hold on to it for longer than a day, a week a month or even a year, or maybe even 20. Today showed us we can. I dare you to love, better than you ever have before.

Let’s let our military and first responders know how much we appreciate all that they do, because when we need them, they are there. Support our heroes……..

And never forget those we’ve lost. They matter and so do you.

Written by Melody Belliveau

The New Divide

Although the pandemic has shown us it’s a small world and we are all in this together, it also became a source of conspiracy theories and mandates as well. Not wearing masks became a political statement and lockdowns for safety were met with protests and even violence.

Now we have a new divide…

Those who are vaccinating, and those who won’t. Families are being torn and friendships are being lost, because personal beliefs are no longer a value to those vaccinated. They see the unvaccinated as a threat, pitting man against man and friend against friend. So who is in the right? Perhaps they both are right, and both are wrong. Let’s sit in the middle and see how…

The New Freedom

When our numbers started going down we had mask mandates and the new vaccines were being administered. But the mask mandate was lifted with an “honor system” and people started feeling the threat was over. We did not give the virus a chance to die out, but merely a chance to adapt. Going without masks gave it a chance to climb once more, and not only for those unvaccinated, but through those vaccinated who thought their risk was over as well.

So to those viewing the unvaccinated as a threat to society and willing to sacrifice family and friendships over it, consider this…..

If they are social distancing and wearing masks but you are not, you may be the bigger threat. It is a fact that you can catch and spread Delta fully vaccinated. Choosing not to wear a mask or social distance simply because you are not mandated to, does not keep you from catching and spreading it. You feeling the freedom of vaccination is an issue and does not lessen your ability to spread it.

Those who took the jab feel a sense of service to their community and loved ones. Are they being brave and selfless? Absolutely, but wearing masks and following guidelines for all makes them even more so.

Until next year rolls around, (and if they accurately keep track) we won’t know the true effective rate of the vaccines, just as the way we judge each seasons flu shot effectiveness when the season has faded out.

This is all still a new experience for us all, both with COVID as the world has struggled, so the vaccines are as well. There are plenty of uncertainties and questions to go around. What we don’t need is anger and feuding on either side about your choice. Just use the precautions that are becoming evident both sides need. Follow your belief, but always be open to learning more. We all need moral support at this time.

Will you be part of those that practice compassion freely, or will you be part of the fire that burns us down? Each and every one of us has a role to play. Make yours an intentional one. How you treat others doesn’t stop with the ones we agree with, it’s more importantly those we don’t.

This is another chance to show what we’re made of. Do we really want it to be hate? Each of us decides for ourselves, regardless of what we’ve heard or how we feel. Compassion not contempt.

Written by Melody Belliveau

A Lighthouse To Serve….

Sadies’s Purpose

“Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.” Rick Warren What a powerful testament to purpose of service. It makes you a lighthouse in the darkness for others. It becomes a bright soul light.

Amanda Knight is a shining example with a cause that comes from immeasurable pain into a purpose of light for others. Her wound and her daughter’s life created a lighthouse for others called Sadie’s Purpose. The water bottle in the picture above can be found on her website, along with many other options to help others who become way too familiar with the hallways and the nurses of the NIC units of hospitals. The mission is to provide support packs to NICU families that will help them focus less on essentials and more on what matters most – helping their baby get well! She has also created a blog, TheButterBeanLegacy.com to help support it with the beauty of nature filled with recipes, natural living tips, gardening, and so much more.

I’m asking you to look because we’re all in this together. Even if you have never experienced it, you may be connected to someone who has or is, even if you don’t realize it. A boss, a coworker, your cashier…. you never know sometimes.

Some feel alone and lost in the pain dealing with every part of the struggle. This is Amanda’s way of easing the burdens by just a bit and helping them know they are not alone…that someone does care. It needs awareness and support to reach and help more families. Your one action, a share, a like, or a purchase has the ability to spread this light further. On that I ask you to not simply scroll on by, but to check it out and share the light. It can create an impact.

Thank you Amanda, for your courage through incredible pain. For your efforts to be that light for others. For your ability to turn pain into beauty. Thank you for pairing with your daughter’s soul to create a light of helping others. May God Bless all you do.

http://SadiesPurpose.org

http://Thebutterbeanlegacy

And the Amazon wishlist, where you can order items for the support packs directly if you prefer:

http://a.co/8EHrULX