New Horizons by Thomas Kinkade


  My New Horizons takes us to a timeless harbor of the 18th Century. This classic ship sets confident sail for distant shores under a dramatic sky, as God’s rays pour from the heavens, reminding us that, with God’s help, our life can be a bold exploration of all that is new and enticing in the world.
-Thomas Kinkade

My colleagues and I have noticed that the last few weeks, people seem to have been on overdrive emotionally. Whether or not the holidays trigger negative emotions and the ever-obvious overwhelming feelings of tasks to fulfill during this time, it seems inevitable that sadness is truly heightened during the holidays. We are easily “triggered” by the materialism that surrounds us, the family we are either excited or dreading to interact with, the never-ending gossip of who and what is keeping up with the Jones’, the pressures and stress of maintaining financial reserve during Christmas, the balancing act of working and spending quality time with the family despite our exhaustion, the surfacing feelings of grief and what we are missing or do not have, and the list can and may continue. All of these feelings have validity to them. However, as a therapist and wife and mother, it is always distressing to see someone in pain and struggling with finding happiness. They are not seeing the beauty around them; rather the darkness. They are not seeing the kindness in people; rather they feel alone. They are unable to retrieve any faith they are capable of possessing. Whatever the reasons, it always tugs at my heart.

We need constant reminders of the importance of life. We need to remember that it is us that complicates life more than necessary.

I am a perfectionist – no doubt about it. With that comes unnecessary worry, stress, and frustration. So, what do I do? I surround myself by peace and happiness. I keep myself in check. I am a fan of Thomas Kinkade and have his artwork all around me. It brings me back to a serene place when my brain is on the ‘hustle and bustle’ train. I have happy and inspirational quotes in my journal, in my drawers, on my bulletin board, in my calendar, all throughout my desk, and in my wallet. They are just as important to me as my sticky-note reminders of things to do. I have absolutely wonderful friends who have just the right touch to keep me feeling good.  I have a peaceful husband who can easily bring me back to earth when I am in the overzealous Charise-world. And, what works the best is when I  look at my children (albeit in an exhausted manner) and remember the positive happiness they have brought to my life. Yes, it is Christmas-time and I have always been able to see the pure beauty and joy of this time. However, I never thought it could be more joyful until I had children. To see the looks on my children’s faces when we drive by Christmas lights or when Joey, our elf sends them an occasional letter from Santa, or the simple excitement they express when Christmas desserts cover our kitchen counters – it all becomes very simple – to look at the world from the viewpoint of our children’s eyes. And, let us not forget, Jesus Himself says we will not enter the kingdom of God unless we love like children.

Please remember, you cannot attain happiness without internal peace. Redirect your thoughts to positive things and keep yourself in check as to what is truly important in your life.

A few inspirational quotes that I am encouraged by…..

The art of being happy lies in the power of exrtacting happiness from common things. – Henry Ward Beecher

Once you begin looking, you may be surprised to discover how much joy your world has to offer. – Thomas Kinkade

I’ve learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. – Martha Washington

There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it. – Henry David Thoreau

Friends are God’s way of taking care of us. – Unknown

It’s not the load you carry that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it. – Lena Horne

I’m not going to let my circumstances dictate my feelings. – Jim Daly

Five simple rules for Happiness: 1) Free your heart from hatred. 2) Free your mind from worries. 3) Live simply. 4) Give more. 5) Expect Less

Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadows. – Helen Keller

Blessings, Charise

Charise Casiano

About Charise Casiano

Charise obtained her BA degree at California State University, Stanislaus and immediately pursued her MS degree at Mount Saint Mary’s College. During her college years, Charise left for one year to do missionary work. She traveled the United States troubleshooting with teenagers.