perspective

Try a New Perspective!

Spring is here! Nature is coming alive and you are invited to come alive. Are you interested? Through the course of my life, I have discovered some easy ways to become light hearted and happy. What if you too adopted this attitude in your life? What if you tried one slight change in your perspective, in order to become more fully the person God is calling you to be? I have written up a few ideas that you may wish to try in order to develop a New Perspective on life.

  1. You can only change yourself. Make the decision to abandon thoughts of changing any situation or anyone but yourself. The only control you really have is over your own response to a given person or event. You do not have to let another person’s dysfunction create distress for you. When you discover that you generally get negative or complain more when you are with a certain person, recognize that they are sending off negativity. Try to step away if possible or look for distractions. Release your illusion that you can change that person or circumstance; you will then have more energy, time and attention to focus on improving your own life.
  2. Practice an attitude of “Reframing”. Since we are human, there are going to be times when we are not pleased about a situation or a person. Rather than make it into a catastrophe, say the least negative statement that is still true and you will find that it will bother you less. Instead of using the phrase “I hate”, substitute “I don’t care for” or “I don’t like”. They are gentler words that are still true but evoke less intensity.
  3. Make neutral statements about challenging events. Try this exercise. Think about something that you are going to do tomorrow. Put the activity into a sentence and say “I have to __________”. How does your body feel? Burdened or stressed? Now try repeating it using the phrase, “I am going to________”. Notice how much more relaxed your body feels about the same activity. We are impacted by our attitude and words. If we talk as if something is catastrophic, we experience it that way. If we speak more impartially about a situation or event, we will act as if that is the case.
  4. Create a list of “Touchstones”. Write a list of hobbies, places and people that fill you with joy or activities that you find intriguing and would like to explore. Pull out your calendar and make a date to do some of these activities. Keep the list of touchstones handy and choose to do another action on a day that you are bored or sad.
  5. Discover your passion. What fills you with enthusiasm? What would you love to do? People rarely excel at tasks they do not feel passionate about. When you attempt to follow someone else’s idea of your “passion”, you produce results but they take more time and energy. When you are living your passion, and doing what God has called you to do, you will find that you excel more effortlessly and elatedly. Get out a pencil and pad and fill in the phrase “I love to…” Write this 10 times and see what pops up.

Life is filled with endless hope and possibilities. What if you were too? The invitation is to create positive actions in your life. What I would like to propose is that you look at that list of activities that make you feel most alive or intrigued and explore it or incorporate it into your life for the next thirty days. See if it helps you develop a new perspective and embrace your life more fully.

If you are interested in additional ways to be more positive, I will be presenting a program called “Choose Joy” at OLC on Wednesday May 3. Click the link for more info: http://www.ourladyofcalvary.net/event/choose-joy/

JoAnne Ceccarelli-Egan LCSW is a motivational speaker and has a private counseling practice at Our Lady of Calvary

sari skirt

How to Wear Your Sari Skirt

If you bought a sari skirt from Darn Good Yarn at OLC’s gift shop, congratulations! You’ve got style and a generous heart for helping others and the environment. Each skirt is handmade by co-ops in India out of recycled saris and turned into the beautiful finished skirt you see. With your help, these artisans are able to sustain year-round employment.

Now that the weather is finally warming up, you may be looking for direction on all the amazing ways you can wear your beautiful sari skirt.

Aside from wearing it like a skirt, there are tons of ways to wear it; like a dress, shirt or a wrap. Another great feature is that the skirts are reversible so feel free to try any of these wearing options reversed too!

Check out the graphic above to take your sari skirt from a skirt to a whole new outfit!

spring

Welcome Spring!

It’s finally Spring. We just wish Mother Nature would get the memo!

pysanky workshopWith spring at OLC comes our Pysanky Workshop. This program, led by Dell Kasinskas for many years, has become a tradition here. This year, because of Dell’s illness, it will be led by artists from Dick Blick in Plainville. We hope and pray that Dell will regain her health and strength soon. You can read more about Pysanky and register on our website or by calling us here in the office at (860) 677-8519. Just don’t delay! It’s filling up fast!

stuckSpring is a great time to begin anew! If you want to make a new start, fulfill a dream, or just get healthier but need some inspiration, join us on April 19 for “Are You Tired of Being Stuck?“. Adele Mary Caruso will help you start saying yes to you and your dreams. Includes lunch. Register at this link on our website or call (860) 677-8519.

Our Retreat League will hold their annual fundraiser on Wednesday, April 26 at OLC. The theme for this year’s event will be Italian Night. There will be great food, entertainment by Sea Tea Improv, raffles and more. Call the office at OLC to make reservations, or visit our website.

Stations of the Cross – We pray the Stations every Friday during Lent at 12 Noon sharp. The stations will be followed by a simple soup lunch of clam chowder. This event is free to all. A free will offering for the simple soup lunch will be gladly appreciated. We would lentappreciate it if you would kindly let us know if you plan to attend by email at olcretreat@sbcglobal.net or by calling us at (860) 677-8519 so we may plan accordingly for lunch.

abby

A Tribute To Abby

When I approached her cage, she was leaning back, nonchalantly, as if she had no cares in the world. As if, being adopted, was the last thing on her mind. The room was dimly lit with rows of cages filled with cats of all sizes and colors lining the walls of this cramped space. The cats were crying and I wished I could scoop them into my arms and give them their “forever homes.” But, I returned to this black and white female tuxedo cat and read her bio: “She was the runt of a litter of five and the only female. Her name was BeBe and she had a ‘cloudy eye.’ “ I took her out of the cage, but it was clear she wasn’t a “lap cat.” She seemed like she was willing to put up with me, so I took her home. It was October 10, 2009. She was seven months old, having been born on April 15, 2009.

I only had a cardboard carrier in order to transport BeBe and the woman at the shelter was afraid BeBe might claw her way out of it. I assured her I was going a short distance. As it was, there were no holes in the carrier for BeBe to look out. She was in complete darkness! But, I talked to her all the way home, telling her there was nothing to be afraid about. We were going to her “forever home.” I carried her up the stairs leading to my condo and opened the door. I let her out of the carrier and pointed inside: “This is all yours,” I said. She looked around and walked from one room to another. The arrangement seem acceptable to her. I decided, at that point, to change her name to Abby Mae in light of her new life.

My previous black and white female lived for 21 years before she became very sick and had to be put to sleep. Dancer was a gem and a “mother hubbard.” But Abby turned out to be more vocal than Dancer was. In fact, she’s a non-stop talker. She meows for every occasion but mostly when she wants “crunchies.” I never thought I could love another cat as much as I loved Dancer, but Abby has stolen my heart. She loves to play and often carries her toy in her mouth, moaning all the way down the hallway of my condo where she deposits it in the doorway of my bedroom. The first time the vet saw Abby, she marveled at Abby’s beauty. The vet discovered, though, that Abby was blind in one eye! It explained her ‘cloudy eye’ and it was amazing how well Abby compensated for it.

Abby and I have a unique relationship. I love her with a passion. I enjoy just hanging out with her and watching her take a bath or watch television. She seems to be partial to football! Abby never liked to be held or kissed and hugged. And yet, one day I was walking down the hallway of my condo and Abby brushed up against my legs. I knew, then, that she really loved me! Abby frequently brushes up against me now.

Abby gets very lonely when I leave to go out. My heart aches for her because she brings such joy to my life and I never want her to feel abandoned again.  Once was enough.

Debra Deptula is a freelance writer and OLC retreatant.

lenten apps

Apps To Help You Do Lent Right!

Lent is almost here. Even though we might like to, most of us can’t give up our phones and/or tablets. So, why not collect a few apps that will motivate and encourage you to make the most of these next 40 days?

Here are our picks. One final bit of advice? Keep it manageable. Try picking one or two apps with a specific purpose in mind. Have an “appy” Lent!

Xt3 Lent Calendar HD 2017
The Xt3 Lent Calendar will provide daily inspiration through videos, podcasts and reflections, as well as beautiful watercolor images to accompany you through Lent. http://www.xt3.com/lent/

The content for each day is hidden until you reach that particular day of Lent. The first feature will be available on Ash Wednesday, 1 March 2017.

The Lentsanity App
Reminds you to skip the meat! http://site.focus.org/lentsanity/

Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl
This app helps you track your sacrifices and offers daily reflections and meatless recipes for Lent.
http://www.crsricebowl.org/families?_ga=1.197998191.1554420936.1488307753

Magnificat
If you subscribe to Magnificat, you know that the Magnificat Lenten companion is all you really need. It’s also the only one we’ve listed here that’s not free. Liturgy, prayers and daily reflections. http://us.magnificat.net/home/online

Truth and Life Bible App
Try the 40 Day Challenge – read the four gospels during Lent. Added bonus: dramatized audio for the Gospel of Mark, with professional actors and real sound effects. https://www.truthandlifeapp.com

Confession
This app develops an examination of conscience based on age, sex and vocation and then walks you through the sacrament. With this tool, you can commit to more frequent confession throughout Lent. http://www.littleiapps.com/confession/

The Pope App
News, speeches, images, live feeds … you can follow Pope Francis every day. A good place to start could be to read (or watch) his general audiences or Sunday Angelus addresses throughout Lent. http://www.thepopeapp.com

All apps are available for download from the App Store or Google Play.