Choosing by author Jeannie Bruenning

You know those times that it feels as if a dark heavy cloud has fallen around you and nothing makes sense? Good seems to be losing ground and all the crazies are finding ways to infiltrate every open crevasse? It’s like a thick fog has fallen and clouded everyone’s vision.

I know those times. Unfortunately, I know them well. It’s was during one of those dark times I yell out to God, what do I do now?

I was quickly reminded of an Old Testament Bible story where the Israelite army was at war in a valley and Moses watched from a hilltop. In the story, the Israelite army grew stronger when Moses’s hands were raised and when they weren’t, they began to lose the battle.

I heard this story many times as a kid. And even as a kid there was something odd about it. First of all, why was Moses sitting on a hilltop when his army was in a battle? Secondly, what’s so important about raising his hands? Recently I began to ask, what was he doing?

 I had always assumed Moses was pleading with God. Bagging for God to make it right, to fix it, to force someone to change. But when people are pleading they usually aren’t on their knees with hands raised. Pleaders stand with fists flailing in the air, or face down, spread-eagle pounding the ground.

Being on your knees with hands raised is typically done when you are in awe of the beauty of the world. It is the position of someone who is overcome with so much lovethat you can’t help but embrace it with open arms. When all one can do is look to the sky, overflowing with gratitude and thankfulness. It is a pose of surrender.

Is that what Moses was doing?

In the midst of a battle, he, the leader of the army (and nation) was filled with gratitude.

When I began writing what I thought was this light-hearted little blog, I felt I couldn’t help but be grateful for everything in my life. I had figured it out! I was the queen of gratitude. It only took one text message; a disappointing and unthinkable response and that thick dark fog fell. I wasn’t grateful. I wasn’t even going to pretend. I was disappointed. I was angry. I was heart-broken, and my raised hands turned into fists. How? God, why don’t you do something? Is that really who you are? Why is this OK? Why don’t you fix this? I was far from grateful and nowhere near thankful.

That fog hung around for a few days. Happy songs would pop into my head and I’d quickly turn them off. Thoughts that I could change my attitude would knock at the door but I wasn’t home. How can I be happy when others are suffering? Why should I carry the joyful banner when others are hurting?

Everything in our life is a choice. We choose to be happy or we choose to be angry. We choose to listen or ignore. We choose to love or to hate. It’s all us. It’s all within our power.

In the story of Moses we are told that Moses grew tired and couldn’t physically keep his arms raised, this is when his friends came along, help up his arms and supported him.

Maybe that’s the reason we need to always choose love, happiness, joy, gratefulness and forgiveness. Maybe those who are currently fighting the battles in the valley of life need our quiet support. Maybe our gratefulness offers them strength in ways we can’t see. Like a super power, we have the ability to burn through the heavy fog and bring clarity and strength from a distance.


I’m intrigued with the idea that our emotions can be measured as energy. Laughter, joy, love, are positive energy, while anger, hatred, anxiety are negative. 

There seems to be an abundance of negative energy these days. We seem to ooze anger, hatred, anxiety, resentment and fear. 

I recently listened to a series of books written in 1910 by Walter Wattles. Mr Wattles has taken a scientific approach to this subject. 

Wattles was convinced that we have the power to change our world by controlling our emotions; positive energy creates more positive energy and  negative energy creates more negativity. He says if medicine is focused on illness, it will create more illness. On the other hand, if medicine is focused on wellness, it will create wellness. Religion based on fear creates more fear. Faith based on love will create – love.

How does this translate into our current world environment? How does it effect our daily lives? Scientifically it would make sense that if we want to change a negative situation, fighting it with negative energy will not give us the result we desire. Sadly, when we come out fighting against something, we are actually increasing that which we hoped to eliminate or change. 

The only way to change negative energy source is to weaken it with positive energy. This is no easy task. It’s much easier to come out fighting. 

36270697_10156007745914079_3011563989155971072_nI saw this book cover on Facebook today and it grabbed me. I’ve not read the book, but I love the cover. Hard Times Require Furious Dancing.

That’s it! We have to find the strength to dance. Difficult times require us to create all the joy, love, laughter, graciousness, happiness, peace, generosity that we can muster – because it is the only way that we can defuse negativity.

This isn’t ignoring negative situations or living with our head in the sand. Far from it. It is a determination not to get sucked into its negative hold.  It’s choosing to flood the world we have control of with an abundance of positive energy. In doing so, we have the ability to weaken it’s power. If enough of us do it, we can defuse it all together and possibly replace it with good. 

Hard Times Require Furious Dancing! What a beautify image.  What a powerful statement. 

Negativity can not be fought with negativity –  it will loose it’s power when we choose to furiously dance!

Hard Times Requre Furious Dancing, New Poems by Alice Walker

Please check out my newest book: Living Unstuck, finding your joy!


Olivia blog post for Jeannie BruenningI’ve spent more time on elementary school grounds recently than I have in the past twenty years. It’s one of the benefits of having grandkids living close by.

My daughter held tightly to Liam’s hand as they made their way to his room. The door was decorated with Owls, not easy to miss. Emery and I followed quite a bit behind. If you ever have the privilege of walking hand in hand with Emery, you will quickly realize that she is all about stopping to watch an ant, chase the birds, get a drink, and run down the ramps. We dance to school in the morning and play hop-scotch on the broken concrete. She skips and hops and does steps on my shadow.

As the space between Mom and us grew larger, it allowed a group of children emerging from a classroom to force us to stop. Each student was clutching their math book like it was a teddy bear. We stood and watched the parade. When the teacher emerged, I assumed she would be the end of the line. I figured it would be safe for Emery and I to continue.

A few seconds later, a girl burst out of the room, spun on her heals and skipped down the sidewalk in the opposite direction. I couldn’t help but notice her expression of delight that radiated in the sunshine. Her eyes fixed on the sky. I wanted to hear the music that was most certainly playing in her head.

“Olivia,” I heard the teacher say. It was in a tone that suggested she may have been  anticipating Olivia’s choice of direction. As if she knew that Olivia would need be guided. “This way,” she instructed. Without pause, Olivia did an about-face and began to skip down the sidewalk in search of her classmates. She was still looking up taking in the beauty of the day.

I love Olivia. She makes me smile.

I pray that as Olivia grows older, she never looses the courage to be the last one out the door. That she’s not afraid to turn left when everyone else is going right. I hope she never stops looking up and that the sun will always reflect off her smile. And that she is blessed with teachers who gently guide her.

When the sidewalk was once again safe for travel, I glanced down at my little partner. She had her back to me and was pointing to the sky.

“Neenee, look at the birds.”

“They’re beautiful,” I said squeezing her hand. “Come on, Sweetie, we need to go this way.”