Smile a little more …

While it is difficult at times to smile, whether it is because of dealing with surgeries, life issues or difficult emotions, there is something warm and compassionate toward yourself when it comes to smiling.

It is something that I have a hard time doing in my life because I do have a tendency to take everything so seriously. A number of weeks ago, I had a chance to be around a couple that held a special balance between having fun and being responsible. They could laugh with their kids while also maintaining a sense of handling moments that would cause others to stress or freak out.

They laughed a lot, too.

In this facial difference world, there’s always so damned  much to be serious about. Yet I do know that parents and children alike do their best to find moments of happiness.

I’d just like to encourage all of the children, adults and parents within the cleft, craniofacial and facial difference community around the world to … hopefully … smile a little more today and every day.

Happiness is important. It’s not something to throw out the door or forget about. Not in the least. You are as just as deserving of happiness as myself. We’ve been through our tough roads and journeys. Give yourself a break and smile, feel happy and know that you are loved.

Blessings and peace,

Joe

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An update … please read …

Hi friends …

Thanks for your continued support of the cleft, craniofacial and facial difference community in the United States and around the world.

It has been quite a while since I have posted anything on this blog. Life, for me, has been a myriad of ups and downs in the past few months. What I have been through has humbled me … a lot … and left me learning more life lessons along the path.

I’ve relocated back to my home state of Texas, where I am working at a job now. I’m in a gypsy-ish mode now, too, and have not landed in an actual new home or apartment as of this writing. There have been many, many people who have been most gracious to me during this time. Their support and care is not forgotten on my end at all.

As for “CleftCast,” no, I have not forgotten about it either. Through my travails, it just has not been done. My intention is to get a new podcast up this month (July 2015) and then be back in the routine of posting them on a weekly basis.

For now, that’s about it. I believe that it would behoove me to take some of my own medicine and remember that every minute does count and, like you, I am loved.

Blessings and peace,

Joe

Never give up on yourself …

There are times that everyone goes through some piece of life.

Whether it is getting another surgical procedure, seeing another doctor, having a test at school or — God forbid — dealing with a bully, we all have those times that are just too much to bear.

Yet I want to offer all of us a chance to breathe, hope and look at the other side of the picture.

It’s pretty dark right now … yet sunshine is about to break through.

Give yourself the gift of smiling today.

Every minute counts … and you are loved.

Blessings,

Joe

“Smile” … it’s worth a song …

Probably many people have heard the wonderful song “Smile,” sung above by Judy Garland and done by many others (including Michael Buble’). It was written by Charlie Chaplin, who made quite a name for himself in silent movies.

“Smile, though your heart is aching …” is one of the lines. Many cleft and craniofacial families around the world may find, at times, it is tough to smile themselves. Even for those of us who have anomalies, finding space to crack a smile can be, well, difficult.

Now I know this is supposed to be all cheery and real-life stuff within the community here.

Sometimes, though, it is worth just taking a few minutes to have a song resonate so deeply.

Call me a little old fashioned when it comes to some of my musical tastes.

Give the song a listen … and let me know what resonates deep within you as you hear or even sing along.

You might even find yourself smiling at the end.

The Question …

I imagine many parents rustle out of bed in the mornings and check on their children, whether it is to get them ready for school or take care of a medical situation.

The strain of yesterday’s pains may have drifted out of them, but some still remain. They take a look at their child with love and compassion and ask “What can I do for you?” Not in a forceful or mean way (at least I hope not!), yet more in a way to get information.

This question can also be asked by someone who is older, say an adult, and has no significant other in his or her life.

“What can I do for you?” turns into a powerful, affirming question to ask. It is not silly nor is it vanity. This simply calls upon you asking yourself what can be done to help you today … in this moment.

A lot of times, my mystical mind races 1,000 steps ahead of where I am in the present. I start fretting and worrying about where the next dollars are coming from. Am I worthy of a loving, intimate relationship with a woman? When will the scars of life heal fully? Am I worth a million dollars?

The question for myself, and the question for yourself, will take a different form and shape. One thing I can say is this: Not asking solid questions in your life and getting clarity around what you want will definitely cause more pain than success.

In the cleft and craniofacial community, our pain lies not only on the physical realm but in the soul realm, too. The insecurities and anxieties that litter our insides are just mind-boggling. Yet they do not have to be that way. We can share our insecurities with one another. We can actually talk about what is going on inside ourselves and open up to the real possibility of healing and wholeness.

Everyone around the world in the cleft and craniofacial community is worthy of healing, love, light, forgiveness and peace. Even those people we differ with on certain social and political issues … we can, I believe, wish one another the gift of love. For some of us, it might be from many, many miles away as well. Safety first!

Every minute counts … and you are loved.

“CleftCast” Special … Depression and Hope Within the Cleft/Craniofacial Community …

Hi friends,

This week, the world lost one of its brightest lights in Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams. His battle with depression and, ultimately, suicide have been well documented through the past few days.

These issues, for some within the cleft/craniofacial community, are prevalent. It’s not a blanket statement, OK. Just saying that some deal with it … and other emotional issues.

My hope in doing this special “CleftCast” is that just one person will hear something that can help them. If more than one, then all the better.

Thanks and be gentle with yourself.

Blessings,

Joe
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cleftcast/2014/08/13/cleftcast-special–depression-and-hope-for-the-cleftcraniofacial-community