Grape Stomping Afternoon

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What is more exciting than doing something new? I don’t even know how I came across it but I saw an advertisement for a Grape Stomp Festival at a local winery. I had no idea what to expect but decided it would be a good idea to check it out. It was exactly what one might expect, a large metal bun filled with grapes and loads of bare feet waiting to step in. I admit I was tempted to flip my shoes off myself and after a few minutes, I couldn’t resist. It felt soft and cool and squishy and to my surprise, very refreshing. We snapped a few photos just for proof, sampled some wine and after listening to one of my favorite old man bands, finally decided it was time to head home. If you’ve never put your feet in a tub of grapes, I suggest you put it on your bucket list. It really was kind of neat. Hope you enjoy the pictures and are having a great weekend.

What Is Really Inside?

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By now, I guess that everyone has heard that Wayne Dyer has passed away. I have learned so many lessons from him but one in particular has changed my entire perspective of why I react the way I do to other people.

  When you squeeze an orange, you’ll always get orange juice to come out. What comes out is what’s inside. The same logic applies to you:  when someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, or says something unflattering or critical, and out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, tension, depression, or anxiety, that is what’s inside. If love and joy are what you want to give and receive, change your life by changing what’s inside- Wayne Dyer 

I used to blame other people for bringing the worst out in me and I guess in a sense that’s true. But what was not clear, was that person was not responsible for what I thought they pulled out of me. They were just the squeezer and the anger or the reaction was already in there. I could never disconnect the two. I always thought they were one and the same. 

It’s hard to admit who we are sometimes or even harder to stand face to face with who we’ve become. When we do though, when we find the courage to really look, we discover there is something beautiful about each and everyone of us. It’s just hidden underneath all those emotions that we portray through our actions, words and behaviors. We are not those things. They do not define us. We are so much more than that, so much better. Every day is another chance to be who you really are, the gently, serving, loving spirit who is there just waiting to reconnect. That is when you start to feel alive. That is when you discover that your purpose is to love, heal and enjoy this life that we are blessed to discover. Let everyday bring you closer to that place. It is there where you will find true peace and where the arms of happiness will forever embrace you.

Becoming Me A little More Each Day

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I wrote this post a year ago today and I can honestly say I have moved closer and closer to the person I want to be. It’s so important to reflect back and make sure you are always moving in the direction you want to go. Make sure you are on your own path.

As I get ready to travel tomorrow to the place I grew up, I am forced to take a look at who I’ve become. I am still that small town girl. I am most comfortable in an area with trees and space and fresh air to breathe. It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve spent away, home will always influence who I am.
Recently I was hiking in the Grand Canyon. It was a steep climb with loose dirt. It was easy to slip or feel unsure of my footage. I noticed there were rocks that lined the trail on both sides. Just like a kid all those years ago hopping from one rock to the next on my way to and from the bus, I hopped on those canyon rocks and the climb became so much easier. My memory kicked in and my body followed. It seems like just yesterday that I was that little girl happily skipping home from school. Sometimes the adult in us makes things look so complicated and the child in us finds the easiest way.
Time jumps. That’s just the way it is. It doesn’t feel like it slips by one moment at a time. It jumps in big leaps. I was 5, then, 12, then 18, 21, 30 and now I’m 43. The moments are sometimes forgotten but the milestones stick. I hope there are many more of them. My goals and my prayers and my hopes and my dreams become much different as the years pass by. I used to believe life was about being a certain weight, looking a certain way and holding an important job. I believed those silly things would make me happy. I did my very best to strive for perfection in every area of my life. It didn’t take me long though to discover that perfection is a myth. I could waste years of my life trying to be something that was not realistic or attainable or even worse, trying to be who others thought I should be. Then I found the freedom to love myself just as I am. What I am is perfectly imperfect, just the way I am meant to be. I am beautifully flawed and tragically damaged and I am so much more than I ever imagined through the foolish eyes of a young girl. We spend years of our lives being conditioned to become someone who doesn’t feel comfortable. Then, ironically, we spend years undoing who we become. That is where we really live. In that small window peering out where we finally get a real glimpse from our own eyes.
I dream that someday everyone will find a sense of peace. I dream everyone will feel the joy of happiness in every day. My hope is that there will always be someone waiting in the window when I finally get to visit home. My goal is that I find a reason to be happy and grateful each and every day. I pray that we learn to forgive each other’s weaknesses and love and accept each other with our whole hearts, just as they are without apology. I hope we stop carrying the weight of the world when it starts to weigh us down and admit when we are weak so someone else can take our burden. I hope I can create moments in each day where I can laugh with my kids and surprise them with my silliness. I hope even people who will not like me will respect my consistency. My actions and words will always tell the story of who I am. Some may not like the book but I promise there will not be any surprises when it comes to my character. I am free from others opinions because I now know the only opinion that really holds any weight is the one I have of myself. I have to carry my weight and wear my shoes. I know who I am and am no longer threatened by those who will never see me for who I really am. I hope that I will get better at breathing more and talking less, responding and not reacting, having more moments of quiet and less of noise, discovering more happy than sad and finding healing and patience where there is pain.
Wish me luck on my journey back home. It is always bitter sweet. Always great to see the faces of the people I love and even harder to look away when it’s time to go.