Making The Cut

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The choices we make determine the quality of the life we live. It’s so easy to get caught up in the things that trip us up. It takes an immense amount of focus and dedication to keep the bad from creeping into our hearts and making us cold. There are so many things, so many people that can leave us feeling nothing but bitter and only with determination can we overcome the bad and focus on the things that make the real significant difference in how we view the only life we will ever live.

I’ve spent months letting things that are out of my control determine how I feel. I have become consumed by the nagging cruelty of a small number of people I am forced to share this world with. I have given them the power and have left myself powerless along the way. The truth is, life is too short for that kind of nonsense. There will always be someone who will try and pull me down but it is up to me to  make sure they don’t succeed. There are so many wonderful things I can focus my time and attention on. I have so many beautiful blessings in my life and I am no longer willing to sacrifice my happiness as a result of the manipulation of someone who has such little importance in my life at the end of the day. I can no longer be a puppet once I cut the strings and that is exactly what I plan to do. The secret, the way to win is to eliminate the people in our lives who rob us from our inner peace. No one has the right to take that from us and we need to make sure we don’t provide them the opportunity. So I am grabbing the scissors and making the cut that is long overdue. 

We are meant to be happy. We are not here to struggle but rather to love and heal and make the world a better place a long the way. What is it that is holding you back? Is there someone or something you need to cut out of your life so you can finally enjoy it the way it’s meant to be? 

The Power Within

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I’ve come to realize there will be all kinds of challenges in life. Some will come in the form of people. There will be disappointments and situations we have no power to change. We are there, baking in the hot sun, stranded in the middle of a great big ocean on a small paddle boat with no oars. What we do in that moment, how we react, says so much about who we really are. We discover so much about ourselves when we are put to the test to make the choice to sink or swim. Do we give up? Do we just accept that this is our fate? Do we try and swim to shore even when the chance to reach it seems impossible?

What is it that keeps us going? How do we find the inspiration to walk that extra mile when we feel like we have been cut off at the knees? Acknowledging and embracing powerlessness is a difficult thing to handle but in that place we find a secret power we never knew we had. We are the power. With the help of our mind and choosing a new perspective on what seems an impossible sitiuation, we find power where there once seemed none. And then we see it, the shore is right there in front of is, one more stroke away. It was a difficult journey, but when we look over our shoulder, the view is beautiful.

Exactly Where I’m Meant To Be

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Do you ever stop and wonder how different your life could be? Today we celebrate my husbands 51st birthday. I can’t help but pause and think how different my life would be without him in my world. Our lives can take so many different twists and turns. There are so many different decisions we could have made, different roads we might have taken but right now I am grateful for where I am standing. The ride hasn’t always been perfect or comfortable but I can honestly say I have a wonderful life. As we threw the ingredients into the bowl and finally poured that cake batter into the pan, I was just about to call my son out for the remnants of chocolate on his face when I felt a little drip from my own. Yes, like is good and we are exactly where we’re meant to be. Take time to enjoy the journey, especially if you get lost along the way.

Choose Happy

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Life is too short to do anything that doesn’t make you happy. It is only fair to encourage the people we love to follow their dreams and do whatever it is that makes their heart smile. You either like something or you don’t. You are passionate about something or you’re not. It isn’t about following a direction where you are good at something but rather choosing the path that makes you feel the most alive. Do what makes your heart beat stronger. You are meant to enjoy life. Steer yourself in whatever direction will get you to that destination. 

Who Is In Control?

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Who is flying your plane? Think about it in simple terms. If your entire life was a journey, would you sit in the passenger seat of your own life? Would you leave the decisions and planning up to someone else or take the responsibility to do it on your own? This is YOUR life. You only get one trip around the sun so plan it well.  Don’t leave it in the hands of someone else. Fly wherever you want to go. You will find freedom there. That is where living begins and the journey becomes all it can be. The sky’s the limit. Fly away!

If You Could Turn Back Time

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If you could turn back the hands of time, would you  have the courage to do it? Knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently? Do you feel you were destined to be standing where you are now, in this very spot with the people in your intimate circle or do you think you have more control than you once believed based on the decisions you made along the way and you are here, in this spot because of them?

I can’t help but think about how different my life could be if I had chose a different direction when I came to the important crossroads that showed themselves in my path. Did I choose right? Is this where I am supposed to be or was I meant to be in a different time, a different place, somewhere far from here? The truth is, I will never really know but one important thing I have learned is this. We only get one chance to dance through life. No matter what stage we are on or who is up there with us, we have to give it our all… the best performance we’ve got. We don’t get to do this thing again so we have to be happy wherever we are. We have to make the moments count and find meaning in each and every day, in all our relationships. We have to find our happy in the little moments and the little blessings and be here right now. No looking back, no looking forward, just finding peace in the moment we have right now. I believe it is a choice. Mind over matter, common sense over emotions that drag us down. What do you think? If you could turn back time, would you do it?

The Truth About Vaccinations

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I have been reading several articles lately on vaccinating children. When I scroll through the comment section I am absolutely devastated. The fact is this, people will always disagree. You may feel so strongly about something but like it or not, someone else will undoubtedly believe the exact opposite of what you are so passionate about. Being a parent is so hard. You are responsible for this tiny little life that you bring into this world. That tiny little life, although not important to most of the world is now the center of your world. In fact, that precious little life is your WHOLE world.

I know it is hard to accept, but you do not have the right to make decisions for anyone else. You do have the right to bash, berate and try to humiliate others who will not choose the same. What does that make you? You may justify these unfortunate behaviors because you really believe in your cause, but at the end of the day you are just the school yard bully. Nobody likes a bully and bullying never leads to anything good. Have respectful conversations but respect others right to choose.

Many years ago, when my daughter was young, she had a febrile seizure a few days after her MMR vaccine. It started out like an ordinary day. The fever came on suddenly and quite honestly I had no idea anything was wrong. As I was putting her pajamas on, I watched as the color slowly drained from her face. She made an odd sound as she exhaled and I saw her eyes start to roll back in her head. That’s when it started, the worst 25 minutes of my entire life. The seizure did not kill her and some may argue the seizure is no big deal compared to the risk of not vaccinating her. The MMR vaccine did not kill her either. But, if the EMT in the ambulance who was administering the Valium to stop my daughters seizure was the type to obediently follow orders, my daughter might not be alive today. She told me she was not comfortable giving the amount of Valium the doctor ordered and I had to quickly make a choice. In a frantic moment as this child was convulsing helplessly in my arms, I chose to give her half. My daughter did not die that day but part of me did. No one can ever comprehend the unimaginable fear that paralyzed me in those crucial moments. I could do nothing but watch my child seize in my arms and bargain with God. Please God, if you let her live, I will this and I will that. I would have promised anything that day to save her life because without her I would have no life. She was my reason for everything back then. 25 minutes felt like an eternity that day. The Valium ultimately shut down her breathing, even half the dose. I cannot even begin to think of what the outcome would have been if that EMT did not make the choice to tell me she was not comfortable giving that larger dose. She had to be intubated and flown to a nearby hospital. I drove three horrendous hours not knowing how she was. Not a single word. I sat in horror agonizing over the last image I had of her tiny body convulsing in my arms. She was so tiny and so pale as I held her jerking body wishing the ambulance had wings and not those darn tires that seemed to be taking too long. I was alone, helpless, lost, scared just waiting for it all to stop. My head was spinning and it felt like a dream. One minute she was smiling and playing and the next minute….this. Just writing these words brings back the intense pain of those moments. I was mom, the one who was supposed to keep her safe. I was the one who gave her life but I had no power to save her precious life that day. All I could do was pray.

Looking back, I don’t know how I got through that day. I guess I really didn’t have a choice. I wish I could forget it, erase it from my memory and never think about it again. I am blessed to say, Kayleigh is alive and well. She is sixteen years old now and I thank God everyday for another day to spend with her.

Everyone has a story. Everyone has the right to choose. Not everyone’s story ended up with a positive spin. Vaccines come with a risk. Yes it is a risk to not vaccinate but we cannot ignore the fact that some children’s lives, families lives are forever changed by the decision to vaccinate their children. Show compassion and realize for some, every vaccination comes with fear. Go easy on people and maybe try and understand where they are coming from too. Because at the end of the day, you are solely responsible for that little person who depends on you to keep them safe in this great big world.

Surrender

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Do you really believe we have the power to make our own choices? Do you really believe the power to choose lies in one simple decision? Often, I tell myself life comes down to the choices we make. Why then when something is not serving my spirit, do I continue to choose the same thing day after day? I don’t have any answers just many questions. I have excuses but no solutions. One of the mottos I pride myself on is this; When you know better, do better. It seems so simple as I type the words but it’s application takes on a whole new level of difficulty that seems impossible to break through. We have a 50/50 chance to pick the right choice so why do we continue to put our chip on black when red has come up 10 times in a row? Why is it so hard to change the behavior that is holding us back? When will we finally choose better for the sake of ourselves? Maybe it’s that we make things more complicated than they have to be. Maybe we believe life is not supposed to be simple but rather a struggle where we to continue to face the same lessons over and over again because we are too proud, too lazy or too weak to make a different choice. Maybe our patterns of behavior are stronger than our will to change or maybe the decisions we make aren’t up to us at all. Maybe we just surrender to our thoughts and the voices in our head even when we know we are going down the wrong path. Maybe we aren’t strong at all and maybe the real problem is deep down we don’t believe we have a choice at all. Maybe we do too much thinking and not enough doing.

Today, I vow to make one positive change. I will choose one behavior that will lead me to a better place. Maybe we just try and do too many things at once instead of taking one thing at a time, one day at a time. Maybe we need to give ourselves a break and stop living in the past. Every day is a chance to get it right. I hope today will be the day.

What Will You Recycle?

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I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to lead a happy life without making necessary decisions. Every day we are faced with many choices and I believe it is our response to those choices that determines if we are happy and balanced or pessimistic and miserable. I am not talking about choices such as future spouse, or career , I am talking about the daily choices that determine how each and every day is played out.

I like to please. It is in my nature to make sure everyone around me is happy and their day goes as smoothly as possible. I’ll even go as far to admit that I make choices today that will make their lives better and easier a week from now or a year from now. It sounds noble when my ego examines the situation and makes me out to be some sort of super hero. The truth though, is every time I say yes to someone else, I say no to myself. Before I know it, I’ve become angry, bitter, fat, lazy and worst of all, resentful.The ego tells me to blame everyone around me for being so selfish and not appreciating the self sacrificing effort I make day in and day out for the people around me that supposedly love me. Then, my ego has me right where he wants me. I become the victim and a pathetic prisoner of the the demeaning voice in my head that tries to beat me down.

Today, I have realized that I have to choose to break the pattern. I have to say no to everyone around me, especially my ego that doesn’t have my best interest in mind at all. I have to say no to driving people around and cleaning and dropping everything to look something up for someone or help them study for a test they didn’t prepare for at all by themselves. I have to start saying yes to myself. I get on the right track, really I do. And then, when I start to feel really good about myself, the ego attacks. What’s worse, is I fall for the ploy every time. You selfish, self- satisfying, spoiled girl…have you forgotten about the family you are responsible for and supposed to take care of? How dare you go to yoga and sit for hours in Starbucks to drink coffee and blog, isn’t there a house you should be cleaning or a meal you should be making?

The self sabotage is what frustrates me the most. It’s a push and pull tug of war that handcuffs me to my fate of repeating the same patterns over and over so I never get a chance to get further ahead. It’s progress, self- sabotage, backwards slide, defeat, depression, guilt, then resentment that keeps me spiraling in the wrong direction. I even believe I see it happening and I go about it like I have no control. I know the order and I know the pattern and today I am making better choices. I am leaving this filthy house behind me and going back to my favorite little yoga place that offers me peace and quiet and a place to dispose of all the junk I have accumulated in my mind. Then, I am going to sit out by the pool and feel the warmth of the sun as I read a few chapters in the book I’ve been neglecting. Then, somewhere and someway I will miraculously find the time to do everything I left behind and do it all quicker and more efficiently than if I would have planned my entire day around my senseless and never ending to do list.

Let me be a lesson to all who read this today. Saying yes to yourself is nothing to be ashamed of. You, and you alone are responsible for your own happiness and the energy you carry around with you infects everyone you come in contact with and affects every environment you encounter. Use that energy responsibly. Make sure it’s good and positive and find somewhere safe to leave the negative garbage you need to dispose of. Don’t recycle the bad, just recycle the good.