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Home / Articles / Arts & Entertainment / Celebrities /  Stop and Smell the Roses so Love Can Bloom!
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Friday, February 5,2016

Stop and Smell the Roses so Love Can Bloom!

By Liz Sterling  

Years ago I interviewed Jacques Wiesel, an inspiring man who was a Holocaust survivor. He authored the book entitled, Bloom Where You Are Planted. I loved the concept of blooming when I heard the title, but I realized the operative word was planted.


With the busyness of life, it’s a challenge to feel planted, to pause, to root and be still. Everyday, the to-do’s are usurping our precious time, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to feel the love that lives in our hearts and yearns to be expressed.

“Stop and smell the roses” is a reminder, a message, for each of us, to stop rushing, stop packing our schedules to the point of exhaustion, because time passes quickly. The truth is, each minute that we miss is time lost, and will not return again.

When I considered this month’s feature article, I thought I would write about love. What I realized is the ways to love are plenty; we must first find the time and make room to feel love.

“Stop and smell the roses” may be a cliché, but new research suggests it’s sound advice for finding satisfaction in life, according to Stacey Kennelly. A new study suggests people are happier when they take time to appreciate the good things in life. A study in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences suggests that appreciating the meaningful things and people in our lives may play an even larger role in our overall happiness than previously thought. In the study, Rutgers University psychology professor Nancy Fagley had nearly 250 undergraduates take a survey measuring their levels of appreciation, which Fagley defines as “acknowledging the value and meaning of something - an event, a behavior, an object - and feeling positive emotional connection to it.”

Fagley’s survey of appreciation zeroed in on eight aspects of it, including awe - or feeling a sense of connection to nature or life itself - and living in the present moment. Fagley is still researching how best to practice appreciation on a day-to-day-basis, she says.

But for starters, she suggests that people focus on and value what they have, spend time outdoors, and reflect on their blessings and relationships with others.

I went on Quora, an online site for asking questions, and discovered a forum on what it means to stop and smell the roses. Below is a sampling from some of the respondents:

What does it mean in your life to “stop and smell the roses”?

1) It’s just about five years since violinist Joshua Bell was famously unrecognized while performing on a Washington, D.C. subway platform. With “rush hour” in high gear, only a handful out of thousands of commuters even paused to give a listen. Would you have stopped?

2) “No time to say Hello-Goodbye, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!” (the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland) The white rabbit is a metaphor for distracting ourselves from what is important in our lives. Busy, busy, busy. Stopping for a smell is to get us back to our truths. What am I doing it all for anyway?

3) From The Circus of Dr. Lao (starring Tony Randal).

Dr. Lao is talking to a young boy, Mike. Dr. Lao: Mike, let me tell you something. The whole world is a circus if you know how to look at it. The way the sun goes down when you’re tired, comes up when you want to be on the move. That’s real magic. The way a leaf grows. The song of the birds. The way the desert looks at night, with the moon embracing it. Oh, my boy, that’s... that’s circus enough for anyone. Every time you watch a rainbow and feel wonder in your heart. Every time you pick up a handful of dust, and see not the dust, but a mystery, a marvel, there in your hand. Every time you stop and think, “I’m alive, and being alive is fantastic!” Every time such a thing happens, you’re part of the Circus of Dr. Lao.

4) Think of all the little treasures of life: the smell of a rose, which blooms today and dies shortly after. The daffodil-colored light right before sunset. The laughter of children. The smell of dust after a rainstorm. My favorite TV commercial was a baby giggling with delight while playing with a basket of puppies. The smile and hug of the one you love when you’ve been reunited after a parting. The first night each summer when you notice the crickets. The smell of a toddler’s clean hair an hour after bathtime. The purr of a happy cat. The feeling you get when you dive into a swimming pool and it’s a little cold, but you aced the dive and you’re knifing through the water, and the water just caresses your skin….

Let February be the month of awe, of wonder, of reflection of LOVE. I ‘m going to keep roses around my home… just as a reminder to Stop. Smell. Smile.

Love, from this wonder-filled writer, Liz


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