Words of Advice

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Strive to be love not to be right

Hold onto people not opinions

Show compassion not contempt

Lift others up, don’t knock them down

Be a voice not an echo

Lead people in prayer not into war

If you cannot help then do not harm

Be a light not a negative force

Point a figure at yourself not at others

Build others, don’t break them

Speak words of comfort not condemnation

Be an example not a critic

A Letter To My Teens

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As we approach another school year, there are some lessons I hope you learn along the way. It’s great to take AP English and maybe even get straight A’s but none of that means a thing unless you achieve these things first.

In a world who often turns a cold shoulder, be a shelter of warmth. When the crowds of people yell suck it up, be that one voice that stands up and says “let me help”. Stand up for the people who cannot stand up for themselves. Do good things, not for any special reward, but simply because you can. When everyone is critical, work harder than even to speak kind words. Don’t join every fight you are invited to. Sometimes the decision to walk away from something unnecessary that does not serve you earns you the biggest medal of all. Be brave and use your voice to speak about what you believe in but not at the expense of drowning out everyone else’s voice. Your opinions and differences are never more important than friendships. It’s okay to disagree but do it respectfully. Remember sometimes less is more. Spread love and encouragement and snuff out contempt and criticism. There’s already enough of that going around. You never need to have the last word. Be honest and true to yourself even when it hurts. Don’t be afraid to admit your flaws or make mistakes. Believe me, they will always help you grow. Water your own grass and keep it green, not to compete with the yards around you but to make yours the best you know it can be. Respect yourself and don’t place too much value on someone’s opinion. Only you walk in your shoes. Wear them out but wear them proud. Never be ashamed to be soft or different. Stand out. If you make a mistake, fix it. If you hurt someone, show compassion and say”I’m sorry”. If you’re right then you don’t have to argue your point. Keeping peace is often more admirable than being right. Be a beacon of light and hope in the darkness that will surround you. Remember my favorite quote of all, 

Don’t let the world change your smile, let your smile change the world.

Your greatest achievement will never be your grade point average, your degree or job but rather to be able to look yourself in the mirror and like who you are. Lie down at night and know that you made a difference in someone’s life, even if it’s small. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Be the friend we all need to have and never let the coldness of a few, make you shiver. Let your light shine and be a reflection of love and kindness. I am so proud of both of you! In a world where people will try and tear you down, be the hand that helps others up. 

Love,

Mom

Leave It Behind

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Today’s mantra: I will not remain stuck on the things I cannot change.

It’s a tough practice to tackle but sometimes it’s better not to give the things that make you crazy more time and attention than necessary. Sometimes it feels good to complain because that is the only thing we can actually do about something. Negative talk attracts negative thinking that only leaves you feeling frustrated and lousy at the end of the day. So how do we get past those things that drive a nail through the middle of our forehead? I have no idea but I am trying to figure it out. It seems much healthier to give something trying a little side glance than it does to pick it up and carry it around all day. Today, when you see it there and you’re walking by, just kick it out of your way.

Speak Softly

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“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” ~
Ambrose Bierce  

As I contemplated what to say to my sons teachers at conferences tomorrow afternoon, I happened to stumble on this quote. Isn’t it amazing how we get what we need at the exact time in our life we need it most? I am going to purposely practice some peaceful yoga right before I go and I guarantee, because of this quote, my conversation will be much different than I initially imagined.

How to Find Your Creative Spark and Ignite Your Life!

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Another great post from Dream Big Dream Often. Will you venture out and try something new?

Dream Big, Dream Often

Several years ago I remember having a conversation with a friend about food.  What types of exotic foods we had eaten, which were our favorites and what we disliked.  I recall my part of the conversation being short as it has only been in recent years that I have moved off of the southern delights of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fried okra and corn; on the cob or off!

But what is so vivid in my memory for some reason is my friends challenge to me to step out and try new things. And it was out of that conversation that I realized that I loved broccoli. I had spent the majority of my adult life explaining to people when presented with the veggie that I didn’t like it. I can’t recall why I didn’t like broccoli nor why I had never tried it since I was a kid.

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How Did I Get It So Wrong?

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If you like my warm, fuzzy inspirational posts, do yourself a favor and stop reading here. For those of you brave enough to read on, I would like to share with you how I would raise my kids differently if I could do it all over. At least what I would teach them anyway. 

I grew up in a little bubble where life was perfect and everyone was wonderful. Seriously, looking back, I know now that I was so naive. I respected and trusted every adult. I expected the best from everyone. I had a great run of my childhood years. It wasn’t until I became a parent myself that I learned some of the most painful and surprising lessons of all. If I could write my younger self a letter I would tell her, a long with my two children this.

Life is unfair. Every single day you will witness something that just doesn’t seem right. People will not speak out. Don’t expect them too. They are weak and scared and care more about how they appear to everyone else than to ever stand against something that is wrong. Never take anyone at their word because it is actions that speak and never the words. Expect the absolute worst from everyone so you are never disappointed when that is what they hand you. No one and I repeat no one will ever have your back. You may think they will, but when it comes down to your back or theirs, they will choose their own every single time. Trust no one. Expect people will let you down and if they don’t, be grateful. Be your own best friend, your own best advocate and always be your own self. The crowd is overrated. Don’t get lost somewhere in the middle of it. You will suffocate, never find your way out. Know too that there is good in this world. There are good acts and good people and a handful of honest ones. You won’t know which is which until it’s far too late. Trust your instincts and rely on the only person who will never let you down, YOU.

I had a rough day. The amount of people who do harm gets to me sometimes, especially when it comes to my kids. When I place them in the hands of someone who could make or break their self esteem and more importantly, their spirit,they seem to destroy them every single time. 

Everything you do affects everyone else. Every word. Every action. Your good mood or bad mood. We are all connected. We have to stop being so damn selfish and heartless. Be better than the crowd. The world needs you to. I need you to.

Back For An Encore

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I wrote this quite a long time ago. It is one of my best read posts and is still popular today. What is it about personal letters that we find so intriguing?  Here it is, back for an encore. If you have a favorite letter to someone you have written, please link it to my post. 

https://anewperspectiveperhaps.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/a-letter-to-my-godchildren/ 

A LETTER TO MY GODCHILDREN

I have loved you since the day you were born. I remember looking into your little eyes and holding you for the first time and a new chapter of my life began. I was your Godmother and responsible for your well being and for nurturing your soul. There was nothing I loved more than spending time with you and watching you grow. I remember your first steps and your first words. I always knew how smart you would become because you could remember every word to every video you watched. You would sit on the steps with your bottle when we didn’t know enough to put you to sleep. I watched you play basketball and soccer and sat proudly as you were inducted into the National Honor Society. You always filled my heart to the brim with love and I am so proud of the person you’ve become. I remember sitting at your graduation wondering when did time slip away. Where was the little boy that used to make me laugh until I cried. Remember when you came to visit and you experienced your 1st round about? You were so funny, I couldn’t help but drive around 100 times! The memory still brings a smile to my face. I looked forward to summer, when you would come to visit me, and it broke my heart when you would drive away. I missed so much of your every day life living so far away, but have always held you close in my heart. I will always be here to offer advice or if you need it, just to listen. You are safe with me and I will always take care of you. You were my first love, and taught me how it felt to care about another more than myself.. Life is wonderful. Let it be. Life is an adventure, sometimes it’s bumpy, but I promise it will be amazing. Sit back and enjoy the ride. Don’t get caught up worrying about the journey ahead, enjoy where you are today. If you are stuck between the past and the future you will never be present. It is only when you learn to be present that you will find clarity. Quiet the storm inside your mind so you can find your inner peace, for it is there where you find all the answers you seek. Learn to feel peace and truth, it will always see you through. You have a wonderful life ahead of you. Get caught up in the moments that serve you, they are like the wind, feel them and just let the others pass through. I can’t wait to watch your life unfold. Let it be. Wherever you are, be there completely. That is the secret. Trust in God, and in your own instincts, and trust your life will always be as it should. Don’t fight the circumstances , people, or situations that cross your path, for they are important lessons shaping you into the person you are meant to be. Embrace them, every one.
Little girl with the big blue eyes and curly hair. Could any child be more beautiful than you? You probably never noticed me stare, but sometimes I couldn’t take my eyes off you. You were always so silly and sneaky as a little girl. Hiding from grandma and sticking your tongue out at your mom.You used to lovingly bend over to give Kayleigh a kiss and then hit her when you thought no one was watching. Of course you were only 2, but I knew you were going to give us all a run for our money. You, my little God daughter would be a fun little challenge. You were always so fiery and full of life. I am still amazed you can eat an entire box of chocolate in one sitting and not even gain a pound. You are independent and not afraid of standing alone. You are caring and I can tell so many people admire you. I see that because I stalk you on Facebook and twitter. That’s my job you see, to watch over you and guide you to stay on the right path. There are so many challenges being a teenage girl. I know how hard it is for you. You are smart and kind and you will have a hard time because you are as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside. That is a combination that causes others to become jealous. I know your heart is guarded and you are so quiet. Learn to open up and love with your whole heart. It is then that you will know real joy. You are serious and wise beyond your years. Be playful, laugh and put a silly mustache on your finger and hold it up to your mouth. Its okay to be silly once in awhile. Look at your relatives. And never, ever stop dancing. I remember watching you dance the part of the doll from the Nutcracker in the living room when you were a little girl. I saw your passion way back then that you carry deep inside your amazing soul. Embrace that passion and put it into everything you do. I remember the tears welling up in my eyes as I watched you finally get your chance to be that doll up on stage. Oh, how you shined! You danced like an angel and it was a moment I would never forget. Your dream of dancing that part and my dream of watching you finally came true. You are sometimes a monster on the outside, but as frail and tender as a kitten on the inside. Let others get to know you because they will really miss out if you don’t let them in. You are smart, and strong, and have so much inside of you to give. Stay true to who you are because you are one of a kind. Remember life is a dance. Be present in every scene. Carry that confidence and grace you feel into everything you do. And don’t forget to relax your face and breathe. You can always count on your poise and strong dancer legs to support you through the most difficult times. Don’t forget to smile and enjoy every minute, because unlike a recital, life doesn’t always offer an encore, but will be filled with many scenes. I love you to pieces and wish you could see yourself through my eyes. I am so proud to be your Aunt and your Godmother. If you ever feel sad or alone, read this and remember you are loved…..

My Opinion Is…

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Have you ever noticed that some people hand out opinions like they were getting paid to do it? The bottom line is sometimes I don’t want an opinion. I don’t always want to know what you think about everything. Sometimes, in fact most times, I just want you to listen and not say a word. I don’t want advice or judgement. I just want to know you are there so I can bounce a few things off of you. I can figure things out for myself but occasionally I have to put my thoughts into words so I can clear my head. What about you? What kind of listener are you? Do you have the ability to listen without putting in your two cents? Here’s an idea that could benefit everyone involved. Ask someone what they need from you. Ask them a simple question like, do you just need me to listen or would you like me to give you some advice? Don’t assume you already know.