Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: April, 2015

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: It’s OK to Cry


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Terrible tragedies have occurred this past week in our world. The earthquake in Nepal, the avalanche on Mount Everest, riots in Maryland. They are events that cause immediate reactions when seen on the news – sadness, outrage, disbelief. Do you find yourself choking back tears when watching the news or reading the paper? We certainly did this week. But why fight the tears? Why move so quickly to anger or judgment or even worse, complacency. What can we do about these tragic events? Well, crying is a good first start.

For us as we are sure for many, having a good cry is the beginning of change. Making a difference in this world, however small, can start with feeling, not fighting, your emotions. What are we so afraid of? Why repress your tears? And isn’t it infuriating when someone tells you to stop crying and settle down? Easier asked than done. We are so quick to quiet a crying baby because we don’t want them to feel pain or discomfort but when we are adults, we can regulate our own feelings and attend to our own needs. Crying is part of the process for many. Just as laughing can be cathartic, so can those tears be. Feel them and allow them to spur you into action for positive change.

Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: Embrace the Environment

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We recently watched a documentary on the impact we as humans are having on the earth. While we hear rumors from time to time of films pushing certain agendas, in general we find documentaries to be researched and informative. This one was full of historical facts about our environment here on earth over thousands of years and the impact we have had on the earth for the last 50 to 100 years. There were plenty of scientists interviewed and visits to other countries around the world.  It talked about the dangerous impact we are having on the earth from everything to forest fires, automobile emissions and energy usage.  It also gave projections into the future on the “health” of our planet based on how we are living our lives now.  Throughout the documentary we kept thinking “What will it suggest we do to help protect our environment?”

Interestingly enough, how we can help the earth is pretty simple, mostly things we all know about and just have to do:  turn the lights off when you leave a room, unplug things when you are not using them, plant a tree.  Bigger things that are harder to do but equally important are: utilizing solar and wind for power and going hybrid or electrical for your car.  These are more controversial but the thought is there for a cleaner way of living.

This week we celebrate Earth Day.  There are tons of things going on you can get involved with from local park and public space clean-ups to recycling your old electronics days.  Do your part, even if you just clean out your own house or plant a vegetable garden.  According to this documentary, we, in a global effort, have repaired that hole in the ozone layer!  We can do anything!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Change Your Perspective

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Everyone has their own unique way of viewing the world. Thousands of factors contribute to this: upbringing, genetics, geographical location, finances and on and on. Even take identical twins, like us, who were brought up by the same parents, in the same environment, with the same set of genes and you still see how unique at times our views can be on a variety of topics.

Last week’s blog talked about holding fast to your dreams despite any naysayers that may come around. Our dreams are largely influenced by our past experiences – maybe things we’d like to explore that we’ve only read about or maybe making something better or different in our lives based on those past or present experiences. How we view our lives and the world around us, our perspective, can sometimes be narrow and feel limited. Two people standing together looking at the same sunset may each be thinking, “How beautiful”, or “How sad the day is over and I didn’t get to…”, or “This sunset would look better if I were standing on a beach in Hawaii”. You get the point. Taking a step back to broaden your perspective, and this may go along with maintaining a sense of gratitude or trying to have a positive attitude, can help you grow.

For us this week, we took a small trip to explore another state in our wonderful country. There is nothing like getting away from the ordinary days of life to see the world in a different way. Sometimes just leaving home for a day or two helps you appreciate what you have and also makes you think about making what you have even better. For the typical days, months and even years when you can’t physically get away, you can take a mental journey….thinking, writing, dreaming or just being…living in a state of mind that is peaceful and blessed.

Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: Hold on to Your Dreams!

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We are planners and dreamers. The two of us are always talking about new ideas for lots of different things in our lives. Future stuff, things that may never happen but are fun to think about. Every now and then we actually make one of our “dreams” a reality (this blog is actually a great example of that!)

Talking to others recently about a few new, fun things we are trying to do, we have had our dreams criticized.  Enthusiasm for trying something new was met with negativity – it was crushing!  We always try to see things from the other person’s point of view…are they jealous? Just busy? Perhaps self-absorbed in their own world that they don’t even realize they are being pessimistic?  Whether the reaction is from a friend or an acquaintance it hurts; but you have to put it out of your mind and move forward!

Surround yourself with positive people who will listen to you, cheer for you and support you.  There will always be naysayers; you have to put that aside, see that maybe they have their own agendas and keep your happy spirits about what you are doing.  How you live your life is up to you, don’t let anyone steal your joy.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Remember the Spirit of Easter

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For Christians around the world, this Sunday is the celebration of Easter. There are many preparations people take to make Easter a special time in their lives. Some will be finishing their Lenten sacrifices and making new, healthy habits, while others will have taken a spiritual journey to better their lives. Parents will be buying gifts for children’s Easter baskets. There will be plenty of good food to feast on, egg coloring and decorations galore.

Growing up we were never really taught about or focused on the Easter bunny; sure we had great Easter baskets but the time leading up to Easter was more about traditions. We played the egg cracking game (a big Greek Easter tradition which we also celebrate), made and ate lots of dolmades (vine/grape leaves) and looked for hidden coins in bread. Number one was always family – being together.

Today we revel in the spirit of Easter, that great sense of all-encompassing love given to us by God, joy, renewal and hope. Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, or another tradition, let’s all take time to rejoice!

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