It’s been a long, cold winter, but I can feel it today. I can sense it all around me in the pace of the people and the smiles on their faces. Spring is breaking through. The world even seems to sigh as the gentle breeze blows across my backyard. Even the chatter has quieted down inside my head replaced by the chirping of birds and the peaceful sound of the wind chime in my neighbors yard. What is it about the end of winter that makes everyone feel so good? Maybe it isn’t about an end at all but rather the beginning of what’s yet to come. Picnics, hikes, hanging by a lake or floating in a pool. Everything about nice weather gently whispers relax. It is a time to take notice of the new growth all around you. Leaves proudly start to show themselves on the trees and a hint of flowers about to peek through. Every season has a purpose. Every purpose a new set of lessons and questions. But today, I am at peace sitting quietly outside enjoying the gentle sway of this swing. I can breath deeper and I am happy and for today, that is enough.
I saw Divergent the other day. I really had no idea what the story was about, I just knew my daughter loved the book and had been looking forward to this movie for quite some time.
What exactly does it mean to be Divergent? If I had to put it in my best words, I would say divergent is not conforming. It’s knowing that no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to fit into one type of group completely. You may blend into all different types of groups but what makes a divergent different from everyone else is how they handle and react to a situation. 9 times out of 10, if you put different people in identical circumstances, generally they will react the very same way.
I am proud to say I would consider myself divergent. These people are considered a threat because they look at things a little bit different than the norm. They respond in ways that are unpredictable to the ones who practice this rigid, predictable thinking method and so they cannot be anticipated or controlled.
It’s silly almost to think about how movies parallel real life. If you take a look around you now, it is these people who think outside the box, who have the courage to speak their ideas and use their voice to lead the way toward necessary change that are being shut down. People in power want people to conform. They are to obey mindlessly and not question why anything is done a particular way. They are finding ways to intimidate and break these people to take away their voice and the qualities that make them stand out as a leader and a guide. They don’t want leaders. They don’t want brave souls who are willing to put it all on the line for a different way of life. They want people to sit down, be quiet and follow orders or else they will be attacked, shunned and scrutinized by a group of very scared people who would never have the courage to stand without their army of robots.
Are you divergent or part of the masses?
I love the quote :
Never Let Anyone Dull Your Sparkle
If you are a diamond in the rough, I say let yourself shine. Let your voice be heard. Know that it is not only okay to be different but also somewhat necessary if you truly want to make a difference in the world.
Go see the movie. It is very entertaining and ask yourself seriously, which group would you fit into?
Have you ever wondered how much of someone you actually know? You can spend hours, days, even years of your life with someone, but in the end, we only get to know the parts they let us see or even worse, the parts we allow ourselves to see. It’s so hard to believe that people are so much more than they appear to the human eye. We get caught up in our perception of who we believe they are or who we want them to be and somewhere along the way we forget to see past their parts to see the person as a whole.
I feel very fortunate that I am not afraid to bare my soul. Blogging has become a therapeutic way for me to express myself and I am comfortable enough to let everyone take an honest, open look at who I am. There is freedom in putting myself out in the open, being vulnerable enough to expose my strengths and weaknesses and allowing everyone to learn new lessons right along with me as I travel through my journey of life. There is a confidence that comes with knowing I am comfortable with who I am and I will continue to be me even if makes others around me uncomfortable. There comes a time when you stop trying to conform and find inner peace the day you stop apologizing for who you are.
There is another part of the equation too. I need to remind myself that not everyone is like me. I have to look a little deeper and a little longer to understand the people in my circles. I have to remember there is so much more to them than meets my eye and if I allow myself to become fixated on one part, I may miss an opportunity to see just how beautiful they really are. It takes courage to see past someone’s looks and actions. It takes courage to see past our preconceived notions and beliefs, but if we don’t at least try we cheat ourselves the chance to make every single encounter matter. Everyone has something to offer. Some may challenge us, but in the end, if we have the courage to look hard enough, there is always a lesson waiting to be learned. Next time you see someone, take a good, long look and ask yourself how much of them you think you see.
When your eyes become blind, rely on your heart, for the heart will see what the eyes cannot.
It’s in the smallest places where we learn our biggest lessons. I asked someone to put a new bag in the garbage can earlier today. Every time Ive had to throw something in the garbage, the bag has fallen a little lower in the can. So what, right? Surely it will bother someone enough to finally fix it. Why should it be me? I’ll just wait it out and eventually someone will take care of it.
Well, someone did….me. The truth is if we see a problem than we should fix it right then and there. Otherwise, like me today, every time you come back in contact with the very thing you chose to ignore, it will become bigger and bigger until it grows grossly more irritating since the first time you encountered it. So, do yourself a favor and be that person that takes care of things upon noticing them. Be that person that doesn’t even ask if someone else should be doing it and just quietly and calmly do it yourself.
Can you imagine how little would get done if we all thought someone else was responsible? Yeah, I thought so.
Later on today we are going to my sons favorite restaurant to celebrate his birthday. We have been going to the same place year after year ordering the same thing. Today, I am going to order something entirely different. Sometimes we get comfortable in the predictability of life. It provides a safe little happy place that some of us remain in for years of our lives. But today, I discovered sometimes it’s worth taking a chance to go out on a limb and try something new. Maybe, just maybe, there is a chance for something better waiting to be discovered. I say switch it up, take a new route. Who says it isn’t worth trying to turn good into great? If you don’t give it a try you may never know, and who’s to say if I don’t try some sweet and sour chicken, I won’t have regrets when I can no longer chew! Silly I know, but you get the point. Eat More Flavors Of Chicken. My new motto? Nope, I can do better!
The weekend. Don’t we all love these two words that blend together so beautifully? The week is busy filled with endless to do lists that always seem to spill over into our beloved weekend. And the worst part? Sometimes, we let our emotions spill over too. Not this girl. Not this weekend. It is supposed to be a beautiful day and I am purposely planning some time to go outside and enjoy it. So, embrace the fact that despite our very best effort, we just aren’t going to live forever. Go outside, do something fun and leave those dirty windows for a later date. You can still see out of them right? And if you answered no then just clean one. Enjoy the day!
When is the last time you allowed yourself to drift back to a different time? A time when your world was full of innocence and the weightlessness of feeling young and invincible lifted you off the ground until you swore you could fly?
I don’t know why but we went for a hike a few weeks ago and there was a row of boulders all lined up. As I watched my daughter jump from one to the other, I saw myself all those years ago leaping across the rocks that had become my personal path to the bus stop. Every day and every afternoon I would skip those rocks without a care in the world. When we are young we have no concept of fear. We are bold and adventurous and always searching for the most courageous way to flip off the jungle gym. But then something happens. We notice that others are watching us and we start acting according to the way they think we should behave . We trade our uniqueness for the magic token that makes us fit in. We become so consumed in what everyone thinks of us, that the very essence of who we are becomes hidden behind who people think we should be.
Sometimes it’s important to go back. Find that child that you once were and watch her from afar. Take a good look and watch her play. Watch her run and roll down a hill. Watch her act silly and giggle until her stomach hurts. Notice her freedom and the sparkle in her eyes. Reconnect and become one. You may just find that the younger version of you had it right all those years ago and the older one, neglecting her true self, made decisions that took her even further away from who she knew she could be. The truth is this. There is no magic token that will ever make you feel like you completely belong. Besides, if we were made to be the same, God would have created robots instead of people. Be proud of who you are and be different. Sometimes when you are different, you stand alone, but at least then people will notice you.
I was thinking today that I would rather know someone’s soul than their face and their name. But, if I am lucky to know all three, I will consider myself grateful.
There are some days, as much as I want to blog, I cannot seem to get even a single word onto the page. I guess blogging is like the seasons. Some seasons are made for writing, and other seasons for reading. I try and find balance between the two. Sometimes, we get so caught up in what we think we need to say that we completely shut ourselves off from listening. For me, I’ve discovered that the true beauty and gift in blogging is you can make it be exactly the way you want it to be. For me, I enjoy the comments and getting a feel for who writers are through the consistency and flow of their words. I like blogging to be a two way street and make it an effort to follow at least 2 new blogs a week. For some it is all about numbers and statistics with less concern about whether people are actually reading the posts and more concern with the number of people following. For me though, it will never be about the quantity of followers but specifically about the quality. I want to know that when someone hits my follow button it is because they are truly interested in what I have to say. And you can bet, if I am following you, I am reading the majority of the posts you took the time and energy to write as well.
So, I’m curious. How would you define blogging to personally describe what it is to you? Are you a writer, a reader, or are you looking to develop a family of bloggers where you can connect and find a new set of friends that overstep the definition and idea of what a traditional friend is supposed to be?
The thing I appreciate most about blogging is the deep connection I feel with people who are brave enough to bare their souls. I am amazed at the candid honesty that I read day after day by individuals that take a step out on a limb to really let someone through the protective barriers and allow others inside to see their innermost thoughts, beliefs, ideas and maybe even offer a glimpse at their soul. So today, I say thank you to everyone that follows me and who I also follow. From where I stand, it is a beautiful view. Keep writing, and you can bet, I will keep reading.
Every time I walk into a yoga class I learn something new. Today was no exception. Some things are clearly obvious but I believe we discover things when the time is right. Today we were stretching. I am not very flexible. I often dread it and struggle through it until it is time to lie back at the end of class and take that last few minutes to just relax. But today, when I reached that point that got uncomfortable, I breathed into the tightness, and somehow my muscles magically relaxed. The more I breathed and focused on the area, the more natural it became for me to go further and further.
The lesson is simple, fight the world and the world will fight you back. Resist and you will face more resistance. But choose to relax and breath and be in the moment, instead of struggling against it, and you will find greater flexibility and a deeper sense of peace. It seems simple I know, but I have spent several useless hours fighting my experiences and how has that worked out? I bet you can guess.
My new plan is to go out and embrace life, all of it, just as it is and accept each new day, experience and circumstance as it arrives. What you resist will persist. We’ve all heard that right? Go with the flow and events fall naturally into place. So throw away those boxing gloves and trade them in for a comfortable pair of yoga pants. I promise you won’t regret it.
Stop fighting and start living.