The “Soul” of Integrity

architecture-buildings-business-1441932

 

We live in a crazy world.  I doubt there are many who would deny it.

Maybe we learn to ignore the madness ,  or  pass it off as just the way things are.  It can be overwhelming at times watching the news or reading the local paper.

But each one of us contributes to the whole.   In thinking about this, I am convinced that we can make things just a bit better for our community, and for the good of our own soul:  by living a life based on the simple value of  integrity.

     INTEGRITY*  the quality of being honest and having strong moral                                                                principles; moral uprightness.

No need to  panic.  It’s not that complicated.  I considered carefully some of the things that build life that’s more strongly driven by virtue.

We learned them in Kindergarten and Sunday School.  Be kind.  Be patient. Share and put things away where you found them.  Don’t take what isn’t yours. If you make a mess clean it up.   Simple stuff really.

But somehow in the get more world,  some of the simplest values become hazy and overlooked or worse,  rationalized away.  I believe the Bible says something like woe to the fellow who calls evil good.

pier-569314_1920

We all seek greater peace and contentment.  Peace of mind and peace in our families.  This peace we seek filters out into the world and DOES make a difference.  Living with integrity are the stones that help us build a strong moral compass and brings us that peace of mind.  Of course things happen that can shake our peace at times, but the more solid our foundation of integrity and clarity of conscience, the more quickly we regain that sense of peace.

So I encourage you this next week.  Try it yourself.  Examine your life a little more closely.  Where could you do a bit better?:  Exhibit a little more integrity at work or at home?

Do I give my job 8 hours of solid work?  Do I give them 7 and think I’m doing well?  (After all they don’t really pay me enough for all I have to do anyway.)

If I get something in the mail that belongs to someone down the block, do I put it back in the mailbox for the mailman to pass it along, or better yet take it to my neighbor….or just throw it away.

Put the cart back in the grocery store parking lot or leave for the grocery store employee:  be where I am supposed to be BEFORE I’m actually required to be there or barely make it on time or, oh well, I was only 5 minutes late.

Little things. Simple things.   Putting our neighbors needs equal to our own.

What are one or two things that come to mind that you could do to live a life of greater integrity?  I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

Please comment below and tell me what you have done in the past that helped you grow in integrity.  (Believe me I’m always looking for ideas. )

Maybe this is something we each can ponder:  to grow in virtue, feed our own soul and live in greater peace.    And isn’t that what we all want in this life…..peace?

Until next time.

Debbie

 

5 Habits to Improve Your Day

beverage-caffeine-coffee-612252We all have done it!  Gotten  a terrible start to our day.  It seems to follow us around for all our waking hours, creating anxiety, headaches, mistakes and maybe even a shorter fuse.

A variety of causes contribute to our bad start.  Maybe we slept until the last possible minute or worse , never really got any sleep at all. Then rushing out the door after throwing together an outfit,  and a large container of caffeine, we go into our workplace where we find all the undones we left  from the previous day.

I know, I know…You never do that but on the off chance that someone reading this may have experienced this a time or two read on.

You’ve heard it and know how important a great start to the morning is to a productive and enjoyable day! So here are 5 Habits that help you get through your day with ease.

1.)  A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP:

 

bed-bedroom-blur-545032We all have been told a good nights sleep is essential to our health.  Our bodies renew and rebuild themselves during our sleep and particularly through our deepest hours of sleep.  Yet even knowing how important it is, we stay up too late, drink too much caffeine, and peruse our phones and ipads to the last possible moment.  (Believe me I know of what I write.)

One simple habit could vastly improve your sleep cycle

Regular bed and wake up times.  Going to bed at the same time every night and waking at the same time every morning sets are circadium rythym (our sleep and wake cycles).  Getting our bodies into a routine and rythym helps us to fall asleep faster, sleep more soundly and wake feeling refreshed and ready to think and move.

Try setting a reminder on your phone for 1 hour before your dedicated bed time and turn off your electronics and the tv.  Use this time for more sedate and relaxing activities to help your body wind down and begin its journey toward sleep.

Reading is an excellent activity before bed.  A warm shower might also help you to relax. Once these sedate activities have become habitual your brain and body will begin to associate them with sleep. Some music or sounds could also help but be careful.  Loud or aggressive music will only serve to agitate rather than sedate.

2.) Hydration

 

bed-care-comfort-1458684Here’s a simple fact.  Most of us do not drink enough water. ( I know this is one area where I could really step up my game. )  Simply put our bodies need water. Our cells are primarily made up of water and walking around in a dehydrated state all day long depletes us of energy, inhibits our digestion, decreases our brain function and in general makes us feel lousy.  This one simple habit can be a game changer.

8 glasses a day?  That number was determined by a scientist for a specific person of a specific weight and body type.  Maybe you don’t need 8 full glasses.   Maybe 6 would be good for you, but whatevery our optimal number is, I would wager you are not drinking enough.

3.) Self Care

 

aerial-background-beautiful-990830It seems that most women are caretakers.  We make sure everyone in our family eats right, gets to bed on time, has clean clothes to wear and in general are well cared for.

But what about you?  Are you well cared for?  Self care is about attending to yourself.

We may claim we don’t have time for this, but you must make the time.  You wouldn’t say I don’t have time to feed my children or  give them a bath.

You wouildn’t say you don’t have time to check in on your parents regularly ,or listen to your husband when he’s discouraged.  But we routinely neglect our needs that go beyond the most basic.

So here are a few ideas to help you back on the self care track

Simple rituals:  This could be as simple as a cup of tea (decaf please) in the evening before bed or listening to some soothing music.  Whatever gives you pleasure and serenity during your day.

Skin Care: Have you ever been so tired at the end of the day you didn’t take your make up off or simply wash your face?  Most of us have been guilty of this and see it as a small transgression.  It’s not.  Caring for our skin is a way of appreciating that we are worth the trouble to devote time to our own small pleasures.  Some simple cleansing, moisturizer, and sunscreen can go a long way to healthy skin and looking and feeling younger and healthier ,and who doesn’t want that!!  (French women would never DREAM of going to bed with the slightest trace of makeup or mascara left on their face.  They are a great model to follow when it comes to self care.)

Excercise:  Carving out time for excercise( and eating well )is sometimes a challenge when all our other responsibiities are calling our name but 30 minutes a day can help us sleep better, look better and have more energy overall.  30 minutes well spent!!

4.) Prayer and Meditation

eye-eyebrows-eyelashes-41942

Some type of spiritual excercise daily can help you stay focused, centered and uplift your spirit.  Its easy to lose your way when your head is constantly down and you are on the treadmill of life.  Look up.  Personally, this is the thing that most keeps me on track for all the others.  The old saying “A day hemmed in with prayer seldon comes unraveled,”  is so true.  Knowing the why of life and keeping our awareness on the larger things can help to keep the smaller things in order.

A well known and loved prayer or scripture to meditate on in the morning before everyone else is up and about can help you set your mind above and give you a positive focus for the day.

5.) Planning

I will be talking much more about this in the future but suffice it to say that a plan for the day is a must.

Write it down and prioritize your tasks.  I write down EVERYTHING because if I don’t…well let’s just say it isn’t pretty.

These routines and rituals, practiced faithfully and mindfully can transform your days and nights making your life a little less hectic and a lot more enjoyable.

Please comment below and share your daily rituals and routines that help you stay on track and make your life more productive and pleasant.

Until next time,

Debbie

 

 

 

The Ultimate Makeover: From the Inside Out

It happens every new year. I get the urge to do “better.” I’m going to lose weight, quit wearing yoga pants, put makeup on everyday and be one of those “put together” people. You know who I’m talking about. The people who you run into at the grocery store who look better than you do when you go to church!! Ok , maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but there’s always someone who can make you feel a little less than.

2018 was my year of doing better cosmetically. I created a capsule wardrobe, took better care of my skin and put make up on…well more days than not anyway. I began a more scheduled existence and worked to become less willy nilly day to day.

It’s a process . I’m still working on my self care. More on that later!

Still something was missing. There was this feeling of dissatisfaction with myself. I wasn’t sure why. I am a good person. I don’t lie, cheat or steal! But then I began to ponder this question…If not lying, cheating or stealing is my benchmark for being virtuous how far along am I really ? THIS was when I decided I can go deeper. How do I become the best me?

And this is what I hope you will explore along with me. I have some ideas! I hope you have some to share with me! I read something long ago that meditation on prayers, scriptures, ancient writings and quotes that can help us go deeper. I went first to my favorite quote :

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. “

Soren Kierkegaard

It’s so true. To truly know myself and understand the way I’ve become what I’ve become I have to look back. Not it a morbid, self judgement exercise of self loathing or self aggrandizement but to just know where my paths tend to wander. Complete objectivity is a useless pursuit when it comes to self, but I think it’s possible to check mark solid accomplishments and past mistakes when time and patience are applied liberally.

So what about you? Take a look back. Meditate on your accomplishments. Give yourself an attagirl (or boy) and remember you are smart, you are capable, but best of all you are good! Maybe losses and mistakes have been strewn along the path but you managed them, overcame them, and pressed on. If you are in the middle of something challenging think about what you have overcome in your past. You can do this thing, whatever it is!! You are good!

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to My World

Welcome to my world. The world of Byrdology. Let me introduce myself.

My name is Debbie Byrd and I am so happy you have stumbled into my little corner of the internet. I look forward to getting to know you and hope that you will stick around and get to know me. We are going to explore together how to make our lives richer, simpler and more meaningful and beautiful! I am passionate about planning, decorating and making home a sanctuary from the kinda crazy outside world.

What is Byrdology? Its my approach to life, love, family and lifestyle. It is my understanding of the things of the past and how they have shaped my life and future and how to move beyond all the ways life is holding you back.

My life has been a river of clear and muddy waters that have left me older, wiser, grateful and longing for being the best person I can be. Most of us long to become and enjoy the best version of ourselves and writing clarifies for me what thoughts, behaviors and people will help me achieve that goal. Life has a way of slowing us down, distracting our pursuits and finding ourselves leaving the dreams of life and our own thoughts laying by the side of the busy road we are traveling. I want to help you slow down and think deeper and live simpler but richer.

Writing is a way of sharing with others, ( and validating for myself) all the thoughts and feelings that ramble around inside my head and need an escape to be seen clearly and understood. Sometimes you just can’t sort out feelings and ideas until they are written down to be contemplated and analyzed.

I write because I know that there are so many others that face the same challenges I do and it encourages all of us to know we are not alone with our feelings and longings. So many times I have thought I was the “only one” that felt the way I was feeling only to find out that it was simply not true.

BUT….the biggest reason I write and want to write is that I know there are others who feel they are unforgiven or worse, unforgivable. This is such a lie from hell. We are all forgivable and if we don’t realize that and can’t even ask for forgiveness or believe our life can be better, hopeful, fulfilled we are lost. Losing hope in God and our lives is the greatest loss we can experience because with it we lose ourselves.

How CAN we become the best version of ourselves if we have lost faith in our best cheerleader? Our most ardent lover? Our biggest fan? There are so many hurting and lost people in our world, community, neighborhood and in our own homes who need encouragement and acceptance wherever they are in their lives!! I want to reach out to others and offer that encouragement and hope to the marginal, the silently suffering, the lost who don’t really know what to do to crawl out of the black hole their souls have fallen into. This is my purpose. This is my passion. This is what God is calling me to with my blog and however else He may choose to use me.

Come along with me….lets see where we can go together.


.