"Peace of Mind" – An essay written by my Grandmother in 1982

“To inspire means literally to breathe into and infuse with life.  Inspiring words influence our thinking, enliven our sensitivity to life’s meanings, arouse us from lethargy, and exalt us by strengthening the heart and restoring the soul.” 
 ~ Charles L. Wallis

My grandmother passed away a few years ago, but she’s still with me in many ways.  She is my inspiration and sometimes my muse…especially when I sit down to write.  I’m told my grandmother was multi-talented.  I wish I had known this and had paid more attention to her when she was alive. She also wanted to be a writer, yet never really had the chance to shine.  I feel her with me when I write – it brings me happiness and peace.  My grandmother wrote this essay when my grandfather, her husband, was ill and dying from cancer.  I’m sharing it in her honor – with love – and peace of mind. 

Constance Harris 

 

Peace of Mind 
By Constance Harris ~ 1982
Joy, happiness, health, peace of mind, the ability to sense the pleasures of life; these are the apparent ambitions of all of us.  We are in constant pursuit of the things that give comfort.  When we are saddened by circumstances that sometimes we ourselves cause, we seek to remedy the cause in order to relieve the pain of being sad.  When we are ill, physically, we try to correct that which causes the illness, either by our own effort or the aid of a professional.  We know when we are mentally at peace by the feeling that “all is well” with ourselves and the world – when we have no pains, physically or mentally.  We can go about our living from day to day with the energy needed to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves.  Which are what? – The pursuit of those things which give us pleasure, joy, happiness, health, peace of mind; things that will assure us of a near to constant state of being.
The health of the mind has finally gained recognition as the important source of all the well-being of the rest of the body.  Because of this publicity, we are being made aware of the common mental ills going on in all of us.  As a result, a sense of comradeship seems to be growing with all who are seeking the same goals of a “well and healthy” mind.  We are no longer frightened of the quirks of emotions when they happen to us.  The more we can talk about and discuss problems of emotions, the less overwhelming they become.  As we have always been told, the power of any thought is growing so long as it is kept closed within the silence of our minds and thinking.  Take as one example the simple excitement of anticipation before an upcoming event, one that we have looked forward to for a long time.  When I was young, I remember that I didn’t want to talk about a planned trip to the zoo… a rare treat for the family.  It was so special that it was kept within my thoughts for days – quietly to be relished and savored until the actual event.  My father was just the opposite.  He would talk about the plans, displaying pleasure by whistling, cutting up and teasing, until the event…when it finally came, had lost a good bit of its gloss and appeal.  Is this good or bad?  I have often wondered what caused me to feel this way, and was I wrong in fearing – perhaps, a let down from an over exaggeration of the anticipated pleasure?  As I have grown older, I have accepted this state of mental existence for myself, realizing what it does for me.
In reading publications, I have come across comments of some of the more successful authors, and one that comes up time and time again is the failure of writers to want to talk about what they are in the process of writing.  They take this stand not because they are withdrawn or afraid of discussing their writing, but because to discuss the creating of a piece of writing in progress will reduce the power of a “train of thinking”, will affect the organization of the plan of a plot.  Even to read other writings can do this, but not so detrimentally as actually releasing creative thoughts by speaking them, releasing them, so to speak, to the point of actually losing them completely.  Here is a lesson we can pay attention to with our own everyday thoughts and the effect they can have on our own well-being.
To hold in, mentally compresses the power of a thought; whether it be good or bad.  We can save the good for the good it will accomplish when released.  It is our choice as to when and for what reason that should be.  We can also hold the bad thoughts for too long, allowing them to grow until their power can result in making us physically ill.  The hoarding of the two extremes of thought, the joyful and happy, or the painful, hateful, and worried ones, isn’t healthy when indulged in to excess. As in all things, there is a “happy medium”, a balance to be maintained.  We should feel some of each in order to develop the senses of what to appreciate.  How would we recognize sadness if we had not experienced joy, or health if we have not gone through the pain of illness?  We must know the results of both in order to develop our own well-being and to help others in sharing and knowing the struggles they endure, to ease their mental anguish by revealing our own struggles…and solutions.
The exercises to maintain a healthy mind are so simple and childlike that they are so often overlooked.  To find peace and security we have to look within ourselves and establish it through thoughts we allow to occupy our thinking.  “As a man thinketh, so he is”.  To dream of what you want to accomplish is the very first step to any success.  Envision what you are aiming for and keep that vision before you.  Think about the good that you are striving for.  But, it works just as well for good as it does for evil.  Remember this.

And finally, there is love.  The omnipotent love of all creativity.  With love all things are possible.  With love there is the security we seek.  When one seeks love there is no room for hate.  Love yourself.  Be happy with what you are becoming through your efforts to grow.  Love what God reveals to you in the delights of other life around you.  Hear what He says to you when you feel His presence in the inspirational workings of your mind.  This is the good – the healing good – the thinking that guides into the perfect, until you experience the peace and health of mind and body.

Obstacles ~ new poem


It’s been awhile since my last post.  Thankfully, this afternoon I was gently reminded how cathartic it is to write…especially when times are challenging and the “beasts” can consume you.  The words for this poem came easily to me and I purposely made it a point NOT to edit, spell/grammar check, or alter any details of it.  It is what it is.


Photo art graciously provided by  www.bonniealrifai.com 




OBSTACLES
As of late, I’m stumbling into ditches –
Potholes, sinkholes numerous, constant
Sludge filled blockades swallow me up
Re-route, destroy my path.
Though tiresome, I succeed to claw
To climb out of each ditch –
Wash off the filthy muck and mire
Physically weakened, yet mentally stronger.
That’s all I can do…what I’m supposed to do –
Never allow persistent, muddy obstacles
Opportunity to overcome, to win –
Alter the route, more cautiously – and continue.

MPP 2013


Read Me ~ A poem of love and healing

READ ME
Watch your eyes dance around my face
Feel your thoughts as you do so – refrain
Love how you look as you silently read me
Smile when you catch me off guard – submit
Sublime, obsessive crumble – yearn for embrace
Vulnerable, weak – how could we know?
Tremble, delicious knowledge that you see me
Oh, to be this simple – and it is…for now
You read me, such persistent courage
No other has attempted…or succeeded
You see who I am, chose not to run
Broke through walls, intent to understand me –
Content to give me time.
MPP2012

                        

Beginning To the End ~ Divorce

I started writing this poem a few years ago.  I tweaked it here and there as time went by, but now I think it’s time to post it, share it with others who can relate to divorce, & finally put the poem to rest.  Time heals, makes you wiser, stronger and I’ve been doing just that.  It’s crucial that we take the time to think, grieve, and learn from these life experiences in order to heal…and move on with life.  Remember, “this too shall pass”.  Smile, and find something new to look forward to. 

Photo by David Russell 
BEGINNING TO THE END
           
People meet, sparks fly
Passionate, intense heat – make you cry
Committed bond, future in motion
Lonely vagabonds, no more – drink lovesick potion
Man and woman, husband and wife – don’t look back
Vows for life, blind to the bind – unveil, fade to black
Something cracks, frenetic and loud– play the game of blame
Infected reality, life opens its door – not pretty, not tame
No “good morning” kisses or even a smile – don’t talk
Days begin sour, bleak – coffee is cold…it’s time to walk
Anger, resentment – new normal, hateful words exchanged
Interaction fake, formal – acts of love rare, refrained
Hate replaced love – bewildered, beguiled – senseless confusion
Cherished rags, soiled – tossed in the can – wasted delusion
Family, a foreign word – blood thicker than water, evolved
Reconciliation a ruse – unfathomable loss, dissolved
Divorce – no longer yours, no longer mine – resign
Lifelines and lifetimes, divided – scarred, wounded in design.
MPP2011
                       

FREE ~

~ Sue Austin ~ 

FREE
~ Inspired by Sue Austin …and everyone living with chronic illness.
                                               
I broke free from you – in search of me
            No more chains – alone, able to move – to be free 
            Released from binding troubles which control me
            Free from pain, from fear and controversy
            Graceful, my aquatic ballet – dreamlike, I’m normal
            Unchained from stiff limits which impound me
            Free from hurt, chronic burdens which haunt me
            Unassisted, following my map – holding the key
            Floating, flying free from scars and those who pity
            Free to smile, to breathe…to be me. 
original work by MPP2013

 Become inspired and greatly moved by viewing this breathtakingly BEAUTIFUL video of Sue Austin!   YouTube has many more interviews, videos, etc. available to view about Sue Austin.  
           

            

Relapsing Remitting Melancholia

I started writing this poem years ago when I was feeling very lost in my life.  Besides having MS, I was dealing with a lot of overwhelming challenges.  Life happens…and it sometimes it really sucks!  But, always remember, “this too shall pass”.  Therefore, when I pulled this poem out tonight, I decided to re-make it as two parts…kind of like “Act 1 & 2”, if you will.

RELAPSING REMITTING MELANCHOLIA 
I.
Body numb, mind hopeless
Despair and fear un-relentless
Giving in to exquisite pain, my solitude
Losing my grip, myself with senseless magnitude –
Daily plans feel meaningless
Nightly dreams lack peacefulness
Gasping, grasping tether – latitude – longitude
Needful – yet disbelieving in life’s gratitude –
           
Absent years, lifeless stares
The bottle sedates, sensory impairs
Words and passion unraveled, unglued
Thoughts of love and life never pursued.
II.
Defining drama – realize, accept it fully
Own it, embrace the melancholy
Surrender, release, do silence better
Pray for peaceful breaks in the weather –      
           
Daily plans offer harmony
Nightly dreams encourage epiphany
Desiring, designing new paths from life’s longitude
Hopeful – believing life’s gratitude.

MPP 2012

"The Sleeping Game": An Insomniac’s Poem

The Sleeping Game
Insomniac routine –
‘Tis unwanted playtime for
My brain.  Frenetic bed-time activity –
Been here, done this before – chronic
Noise filled solitude ensues.
Welcome to the sleeping game.
The players are me… and me.
Nightly, recruited by a forceful scout,
I unwillingly participate in
Irrational game play, pleading forfeit –
Such a request overruled, denied.
There is no regard for season, inclement weather,
No empathy for injury or illness –
No one gives up, no one quits.
The match between brain and body…
There is no winner.
The game ensues, becoming quizzical.
To-do lists, NOT-to-do lists, WHY-did-I-do-that lists –
Permeate my conscience in search of answers,
Full knowing, it’s all for naught. No matter…
3:00am has now come and gone.
Momentary common sense, rational thoughts
Attempts to mediate the scuffle, fleeting
Separate grandiose vs. fantastical reality.
TIME OUT…for now –
Acceptance of moiety will suffice…for now –
Until tomorrow, when the game resumes again…

As it always does.
MPP:2013