Accepting Your Path in Life Leads to Peace

When you are accepting of your path in life, things move along smoothly, gracefully. It’s as if you flow from one thing to the next. “When we become entwined with our path, the steps become as soft as velvet, and the ascent flows smoothly.”

This is different than being resigned to the flow of life. When resigned, there is an attitude of defeat. You are battling to make things go a certain way. Often, you are angry or bitter, blaming the situation for any feelings of unrest you may have.

Path of Acceptance

When I became sober, I accepted what was going on around me, but I was resigned with defeat. It was a very heavy feeling. Somewhere along the way, things changed for me and I began to gracefully accept that things were as they should be in the Divine world. I had finally gotten to the realization that when there was nothing I could do to change something, then accepting it became the softer and easier way. 

I am not saying that you should resign yourself to a situation if there is something you can do to change it. On the contrary, you can take action to try and change something. But when your actions do not impact the situation, when you keep hitting a wall, then it is time to gracefully accept what is happening.

Acceptance also applies to your feelings. If you can accept what you are feeling at any given time, then it is easier to flow through those emotions, and to heal if that is what is needed. So often, we ignore or discount or deny our feelings and that just intensifies them. Again, the easier softer way is acceptance of them. 

To reach acceptance, perhaps it is helpful for you to pray or to meditate. This helps you let go of the way you want something to turn out, and allows the Divine to work in your life. If you then feel sad or hurt over the results,m then accept that also. If you do, that emotion will pass more quickly. It is helpful in accepting your path in life to just let go, to surrender, to accept. It leads to peace.


What Is Communication That Promotes Peace?

“If we as individuals cannot speak to each other, how, then, can we as nations achieve peace?”

Perhaps the one thing that furthers peace in your world is the way in which you speak to people. So, what is communication? Sometimes, you are friendly and cheery, while other times, you are gruff and impatient, maybe even defensive.

What is going on inside you when you are cheery in your communication? Most likely, you are feeling good about yourself. But when you are feeling “less than,” fearful, or not good about yourself, do you communicate gruffly, with impatience, perhaps even lashing out at another and putting them down?

When I say what is communication, what I’m talking about is your ability to be honest and let another know when you are feeling afraid, or badly about yourself, instead of lashing out. So many times, I hear one person berating or criticizing another, and wonder how badly they must be feeling inside. That doesn’t excuse the berating and criticism, but it is a good chance to practice compassion for them.

So, how can you speak with respect and caring to another when you are angry or feeling poorly inside? Perhaps, just honestly letting the other know what you are feeling, stating simply, “I am angry,” “I am afraid of xyz right now,” or “I feel awful about myself.” The important thing is to own your feelings, rather than saying “You make me feel…”

These things are challenging to say to another, I know. It takes commitment and practice. Above all, it takes being in touch with your feelings in the moment. Perhaps you can make an agreement with a close person in your life whom you trust to practice speaking in this manner. Set the ground rules up front, getting an agreement from the other to not criticize you for what you are about to say.

Infusing your talk with positive and honest words gets you a long way to peace…  Practice being candid with someone about your feelings and see what happens. Did it avoid an argument? Did you feel better about yourself? Did it preserve peace?



Learning to Cultivate Differences Can Lead to Healing Emotional Pain

Cultivation of Differences

Perhaps the most notable difference you can cultivate is that with people of different color. In this photo, I make a strong statement about that difference. You can learn that people are just people, with the same fears, insecurities, and desires to be liked that you experience. We all bleed the same color of blood, have the same internal organs; the skin is just a covering of that which is similar in nature.

Along with differences in color, you will find people with differences in customs. Learning and celebrating these differences provides a delightful tapestry in your life, adding richly to your own customs.

Then there are differences in beliefs. I am not advocating that you cultivate differences when they are harmful to yourself or others, but, rather, when they enhance your sphere of belief. For example, people who pray to a different source than you can be considered fascinating. Just because they are different than you does not mean you must be defensive about what you believe. Your beliefs are just as valid.

When you cultivate differences with those that are different than you, a whole other world opens up. For example, I used to frown upon, and yes, even look down upon, people with tattoos. Then I got into sobriety and started learning to accept others as they are. What I discovered was that the most beautiful words came out of the mouths of people with tattoos, just like those that came out of the mouths of people without them. My whole outlook changed and I relaxed around them, letting them be, enjoying their words.

As you cultivate the differences you find in the world, it lends to your healing emotional pain, as you will find that you are more tolerant and respectful of your differences. It leads you to accept yourself more, celebrating your uniqueness. This helps heal a wounded psyche. What are the differences you can start cultivating today in your life?



Inspirational Sayings About Love

Acknowledgment of Others

At long last, I return to the blog. I took the last topic of patience and really put it to the test. Perhaps I have lost some of you… that is my fear. If not, thank you for your patience. It’s appropriate that today’s topic is acknowledgment, as I wish to acknowledge my lack of writing for almost a month.

I was in Pennsylvania from the end of May until June 6th. Since my return, I have been unable to sit down and write. I have had trouble getting back into my work routine, period. I have taken three weeks to pull together  documentation for an application to a health care program. In the process, I learned to do a profit and loss statement for my business, so it turned out to be positive.

As a review, what we are doing with this blog is this: In my blog, I write on the topics that are in my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, in the order in which they appear in the book. We are going from fear, worthlessness, sorrow, and despair, through discovery and awareness, to lessons learned about how to treat ourselves and others. Finally, we reach joy and peace. It is a chronicle of my own journey from the depths of despair and praying to die, to wholeness and happiness, joy and peace. I’m glad you’re joining me on the journey.

I have to acknowledge that one reason I have procrastinated is because I am uncomfortable writing the blog using my new keyword phrases, inspirational sayings about…, inspirational quotes about… Sometimes, they just don’t fit. Sometimes, I feel uncomfortable using them from blog to blog. I am concerned about what you, the reader, will think. Will you get impatient with it? I have to get past that as I am on page 1 in Google because of using those keywords and phrases. This reaches a large segment of people with which I would like to connect. So please have patience with me as I continue this practice.

On with acknowledgment… In the book, there are inspirational sayings about love, about how we can show love by acknowledging others. “We go within so we can reach out to others, and we reach out to others so we can go within,” is one such example. “We need to matter to each other, and to ourselves,” is another.  I think it’s important to acknowledge another… a smile to one on the street, a clerk waiting on a customer, a response to a loved one when they are talking. It doesn’t have to be lengthy or complicated, but it is so important to show love and respect to others, and this is one way to do that.

In our, perhaps, haste to acknowledge others, we sometimes forget to show the same love and respect to ourselves. We brush aside our hurts, our pains, and do not take the time to feel them, grieving for what it is we have lost, giving importance to our feelings. They are not wrong, they are just what is. Once we can experience them, acknowledge them, we can heal from them, and gain the higher benefit from the experience. I think, too, that once we share what we are feeling, it makes us more human to others. We can all relate and connect at that place of hurt, as we have all experienced it. It is a part of living, a part of being human.

We can watch ourselves, as we go through our days, giving acknowledgment to others, remembering to offer it to ourselves, our feelings, our thoughts. We can remember to acknowledge ourselves when paid a compliment, also. So often, perhaps, embarrassed, or not feeling worthy, we brush it off. Does that not  negate the other person’s thoughts and feelings, showing them disrespect? Does that not belittle our strengths and who we are? Just some thoughts on quotes about life…




Learn to be Patient and Wait For the Evolution of Life

Inspirational Story about Patience
Early in sobriety, I was encouraged to learn the art of patience, to watch and wait for the evolution of life without forcing it. How does one do that who has raced around and forced everything their whole life ?  How do I learn to be patient? I was at a loss to know.

Like the patina’s growth on the gate, we’re asked to be patient while it forms. In this case, we’re asked to slow down, to patiently watch and wait as life unfolds. That is not to say we lay idle. Oh, no. We are still asked to take action on those things which come across our path that we are intended to do, that feed our soul. But then we must let go and let life unfold.

How can we take action while we still wait for the evolution of life? The point it, we do take the action, and then we turn our attention to something else, to the next thing that has crossed our path. We wait to see the results of our labor, but we don’t stop our lives while we wait. Eventually, life has a way of working itself out, if we can be patient while that occurs.

Sometimes, we may believe that our efforts in one area have been fruitless. Sometimes, it takes days, or even years, for a result of our efforts to be known. Do not be discouraged or go into despair during these times when patience is needed. Know that life will work out to our betterment, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Let it roll off the moments of time in a natural way. Practice patience while that happens.

How do we know when we are being patient? It’s a feeling in our being. It is one of quietness, gentleness. Angst and worry are absent. We can let the results go, without getting wigged out, without that tight feeling in our gut. We know we are being patient about our lives when we can turn our attention to our next endeavor, without angst or regret or wondering.

Do you display patinece while you’re waiting for the evolution of life?


Carolyn CJ Jones is the award-winning author, photographer, and publisher  of the book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. If you are celebrating a transitional journey you have navigated, if you would like to embark upon such a journey, or if you are in the middle of one and struggling, you will find yourself in the book’s pages. You will want to experience in your own journey what Carolyn has experienced in hers. This book uses a collection of inspirational sayings and quotes about life, which, when coupled with photographs of wrought-iron gates, shows one soul’s way to inner peace. Carolyn resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her feral cat, Izzy.



The Art of Practicing Perseverance

Rolls of Perseverance is the image of the day. No inspirational sayings, no quotes about life, just a discussion about practicing perseverance, especially in the face of discouragement.

The verse in my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing talks about the discouragement I try to ward off because I have not become the person I want to be. Instead, I hold tight to that vision of what and who I want to be, and keep moving forward to achieve that vision.

For example, I strive for being a person who is consistent in my efforts with the book, and with my blogging. As you well know, I am not consistent with the latter, and yet, I want nothing more than to be so disciplined that I blog on specific days, every week. I have great difficulty getting to it, as I seem to have with some other of my efforts.

Instead of beating myself up, which is my norm, I try to just keep working toward that goal. That is all I can do. The fact is, I AM beating myself up for my inconsistency and that behavior gets me nowhere. It paralyzes me, makes me feel guilty. These thoughts about my lack of action are not useful.

In fact, I believe we each do the best we can do at any given moment. We need to remind ourselves of this when we start to self-criticize. It might be helpful to see what is behind our lack of action. Is it fear, which it often is for me? Or, is it overwhelm, which is what it is in my case involving blogging consistently. Regardless of the root cause, we can continue to practice perseverance with our efforts, until we reach the vision which we hold for ourselves. In the meantime, we can be gentle with and kind to ourselves.

As you identify ways you would like to be, just keep practicing perseverance, plugging away a bit at a time as you are able. Soon, you will reach the goal simply by taking continued action.


Life Is A Journey – Join The Journey of Life

What does it mean to join the journey of life? What is the journey anyway? I use that term to include the series of events and experiences that occur in our life as we go about living it, from day to day. In that definition is the inclusion of living a spiritually-based life, believing in some force greater than yourself that keeps the “ball” rolling.

For me, it also includes committing to a journey of sobriety, of living life according to principles of living without drinking, living a better life in my head, being a better person in the world. It involves adopting ways of treating myself and others, such as with tolerance, respect, and love. It embraces a life filled with behaviors such as forgiveness and compassion.

When I say join the journey of life, I refer to taking on the challenge to be involved in our lives… the leaves that have fallen, the leaves that are grown, and the buds yet to form. Life is a journey – climb the stairs and join it.


Carolyn CJ Jones is the author and photographer of the book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. More about the book can be seen above under “The Book,” or in the videos on the sidebar. “About Me and My Work” above reveals more about her. Carolyn is now offering limited edition professional prints, either as prints, matted, or framed which can be viewed above. February’s limited edition print is Visions of Gratitude.


Pursuit of Serenity

Balance of Serenity

I am serene,

carried to places where

I am held in balance

with great beauty and strength.

In the pursuit of serenity. do we try too hard? Is it something we do not need to actively pursue because it is a feeling with which we are graced?

The definition of serene is a state of being calm, tranquil – without agitation, free from disturbance. Ah, can’t you just feel being in that state? Don’t you wish to live there most of the time?

Perhaps the way to get there is to take certain steps that have been discussed throughout this blog… such as starting with searching ourselves, identifying our fears and the cause of them, assessing our behavior with others and ourselves. Is it kind, loving?

Then we can choose to adopt principles of living that are loving, such as kindness, tolerance, respect. We learn to live with compassion and forgiveness. The result is living in love, and serenity is a by-product of that. It’s a lovely place to live.


Our book topics draw to an end, just as the holiday season begins. I’d like to let it be known that I will be offering a special holiday rate of $25 for my book, including shipping and tax for CA residents. This is a holiday special you don’t wish to miss! Whether for yourself or another, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing makes an excellent gift! What a wonderful way to start the new year!

This special rate will run from approximately Dec 6th (I have to check with my webmaster), through December 31st. I will keep you posted of the start date. And remember, I will sign each book.