How will we survive in a world we are growing to fear? There is so much more to worry about today than when I was a kid. The people have changed, the world has changed but I have not changed. I will never let what is happening on the outside seep in and poison what is on the inside. Everyday I will make a choice to choose love and hope and kindness and not be transformed by the hate and fear. I will live as if this day may be my last because in all reality, it just may be. Don’t let fear stop you from living your life. In fact, the best way to beat all the evil going on around you is to do just that, keep on living, keep on smiling and keep on loving.
Have you ever noticed how many excuses you can come up with to prevent yourself from doing anything you know you should be doing? Today I realized the only one holding me back is myself by choosing not to show up. I have missed endless opportunities to connect with people or better myself because I allowed myself to bow out and simply did not show up. How many times have you not shown up for your own life? How many times have you canceled on a friend or stayed in bed instead of going to that yoga class you so desperately needed? How many times have you told yourself you are too busy or too tired and cheated yourself from living your life? That’s it for me. Enough is enough. No more excuses and time to make some better choices.
Today I was on a different plan, to stick with my plan. Sometimes it’s just easier to stay in bed and pull the covers up over my head. That’s when I realized I was my biggest problem, my only problem. I had to change the dialogue going on in my head and take responsibility for the choices I would or would not make. So will you join me? Will you show up for your life today? Will you make the choices you need to create a better life? I will and I hope you will too.
I’ve blogged about my daughter being a swimmer before. Now that she’s in high school, we don’t do a lot of meets outside of the school league. Today is an exception. As I climbed the stairs to the pool, I let out an exasperated sigh. The truth is I dread these meets. They are long and especially hard on the back. You can sit there for hours at a time and my daughter maybe swims for a total of 5 minutes.
You know how I love those lessons that sneak up on me when I’m not looking for them? Today was one of them. What if our lives were like a lifelong swim meet? What if we walked into the event of our life full of dread and a bad attitude? What if we were so focused on being uncomfortable that we forgot to look up when it was our time to swim? What if we missed the whole event while we were busy being mentally carried away by our own negativity? Is it possible to live a lifetime of years and never look up long enough to catch the moments that matter?
I am grateful for each and every lesson that comes. The timing is always just perfect and I smile to myself and think, okay I got this one. Time for another. Pay attention. The people and circumstances that pop up are there for you to learn. With each lesson you grasp, your life becomes a little more clearer and I promise you do start to live better. That is my wish for everyone reading this today, that each and every one of us starts to live better. That we show up when it is our time to swim and we swim like we’ve never moved before. That we find the stamina and the strength and the pure determination to be where we are and be there fully. Show up for your life before it’s too late.
I used to love being surrounded by people and activity, the busier my life, the better it was. As I get older though, I have really learned to appreciate quieter moments. I have come inward and discovered that true peace comes from within. I am content to look around me and take it all in. I realize now why some of my memories from younger years are so vague or even worse, forgotten. I was so distracted. I was running from here to there, rushing through the moments and paying little attention to the things that really mattered. Now, I will often sit in a place a little bit longer to take it all in. I breath it in with all my senses and I allow the time it takes to leave an imprint on my heart. I used to just walk away and now I turn around several times to take one last look.
I used to be ruled by my emotions and I would steer myself into the eye of conflict. Now, I let people fight their own battles and I sit on the sidelines waiting for them to come back around. I realize we spend years struggling against our own thoughts and being blurred by the line of our truth and the real truth. I realize, so little is about me, and it keeps me from getting sucked into a story line where I really do not play a part.
You live and you learn. You learn that forgiveness is one the greatest tools you will ever carry in your bag of survival. You learn that it feels so much better to love then it does to carry the heavy burden of resentment and hate. You learn that you always have a choice and the most important choice you will ever make is choosing the right perspective. If the view looks grim from where you are standing, you have got to move your feet to get to a new place. The only way that view stays the same is if you chose to remain in that same spot. I’ve learned that everyone is only human. We carry baggage and we are scarred by the relationships that have damaged us. We say and do things we don’t mean but at the end of the day we all live with the same regrets. We all want love. We want to love the ones around us and we want their love in return. I’ve learned that not everyone is capable of expressing love but each and everyone of us deserves to feel it. I’ve learned that we all do the best we can do and some of us are just better at it than others. I’ve learned that the most rewarding thing we can do is to forgive ourselves. Perfection is a mirage and we waste so much of our lifetime trying to grab it in our helpless hands. It’s okay to be flawed. It’s okay to be broken. Love yourself just as you are. There is only one you and that idea alone makes you special and unique. If you’ve wasted years of your life, start today to live. Every day is another chance to start again. Time is so precious and we must cherish it. It takes practice but the more attention you give to it, the better you will get at making more and more moments count.
I’ve learned to love through the tough times. I’ve learned its worth getting up at 5:30 to see the sunrise. I’ve learned a hike with a view is good for the soul. I’ve learned to live with no regrets and to keep moving forward because that is the only direction guaranteed to take me to a new and exciting place. I’ve learned to laugh at myself and be light hearted. I’ve learned to play no matter what my age. I’ve learned to be less serious and more passionate. I’ve learned to be open to each day as it comes, to embrace my past and not get too anxious about my future. I’ve learned that the only thing that is constant is change and gripping at something to keep it the same will never work. I’ve learned that the best days and the best moments are often unplanned and slowly but surely, I am learning to just go with the flow. There is always so much more to learn ….
Don’t go through the moments, live the moments! Take a moment to sit down and breathe and feel the rain on your face, the wind in your hair.
Life is all around you waiting for you to experience it. Sometimes we just feel dull, dead inside, like the spark inside has been snuffed out. Find a way to light it again.
Start to see with your eyes and feel with your heart. Remove the distractions and bring your focus back to where it needs to be. Look up at the sky, go for a walk and pay attention to the people standing there in front of you.
It’s easy to walk around with your head in clouds. Countless list of things you need to get done, errands to run, meetings to make, emails to send. It never ends. Take a break. Do something for yourself, even if it’s sitting for a moment and letting your mind rest. It’s the distractions that keep you from feeling. Find some time to free yourself from the prison they create.
I look around sometimes and I see people in the midst of rushing around to keep up with their crazy schedules. It’s almost like every single second of their day and night has to be filled with something to do. It seems almost like a night at home with no plans would bring about more stress and anxiety than fifty places to go.
What are people running from? Why do they seem so unsettled these days? There are so few people I know that even cook a dinner and eat it at home. It’s run, run, run even when it comes to meals.
Maybe that is one of the things that makes me so different from some of the people around me. I embrace quiet. I embrace the calmness that comes with being where I am. I am not in a hurry to jump up and fill my day. I love the time that comes after I wake up where the house is quiet and I am filled with stillness. It is not a time I spend focused on where I have to be that day but rather I become one with the calm.
I often wonder how different people would be if they would just allow themselves to slow down. I wonder how full their lives would be if they didn’t jam their kids into every camp and sport and activity available on Earth. Call me crazy but really, in the whole reflection of life, do those things really matter as much as we think they do?
I’ve talked about this before. My life has changed dramatically since I have learned, understood and practiced the art of balance. Do I live perfectly? No, not a chance, but I do try to calm my racing mind so it doesn’t feel like it has to keep up with my racing body. That’s the secret. Once you grasp the concept, the rest of you follows. Besides, it’s exhausting running from here to there. Of course there are always going to be things we have to do so why do we have to jam even more on our plates? Put your fork down when you are full and walk away. No one likes to feel uncomfortably stuffed all the time. How do you feel good and relax when you bloated by the events of the day? Running around 24/7 does not make you important, it makes you a rat. This rat dropped out of the race a long time ago. Learn to embrace time and not run from it. This minute is all you have.
This is such a great reminder that things are not always what they appear. Sometimes a place that looks scary and unfamiliar is a stepping stone to a wonderful place. We just never know and we have to trust that every lesson and challenge will prepare us to be the person we need to be tomorrow. It is all connected, we can fight life or we can embrace it. Either way the circumstances remain the same and we will be forced to grow. What exactly we grow into will be determined by our attitude. We don’t have a choice in everything but we can choose to live gracefully or live miserably. No one decides that for us. It is our choice.
The more time goes by the more I realize how precious life is. I am up pretty early today. Everyone else is still asleep. I love starting the day quietly, when all I can hear is the ticking of the clock. It’s a reminder to me as I celebrate another birthday today, that time is constantly moving. I am blessed to wake up and celebrate that I have enjoyed another year filled with love, joy and many blessings. There have been many lessons too. Important ones and I have embraced them. It is becoming clearer how everyone in my life challenges and inspires me to be better than the person I was a day before. Some of the lessons are hard but they are necessary.
Every year on my birthday I like to choose a word. A word that will inspire me and my life to move in a certain direction. This year I am choosing live. I want to see the world through the eyes of a small child. I want to embrace and enjoy the little things that slowly feel numb with the passing of time. Just yesterday, I rode a merry-go-round with a silly smile spread across my face. I was fortunate enough to go celebrate friday night with a few of my friends and I laughed harder and smiled wider than I have in a long time. So, my second word is play. I will take time to be silly, to realize that I do not have to travel to exotic places to feel happy, but must feel happy and find joy wherever I am in every moment I can. Happiness does not come from any special place. It comes from smiling on the inside and focusing on all that is good everyday in this wonderful life.
I am looking forward to embarking on the year ahead. I have a great feeling about this one and I am ready. I don’t get sad for getting older, I am grateful. What are you grateful for today?
Don’t put it off any longer. Go outside. Have some fun. Act silly. Watch the sunset. Eat an ice ream. Laugh. Run. Play. Find your happy. Use today to spend each and every minute the day offers you to do exactly what you want to do. There is no hurry. No to do list. Today, it’s your time and it’s in your hands. Spend it doing something that inspires you. Make each moment count.
I remember 10 months ago when I started my blog. For as long as I can remember, I had secretly been fantasizing about having one. At the time, I thought I knew the reasons why . However, over the course of this last year I discovered the reasons were deeper than I initially imagined.
I want to be heard. We all do. Sometimes though, we fail to speak up or react so passionately to the issues that really matter to us, that our words and perspective get lost somewhere amidst our reaction. This describes me perfectly. My tone sometimes drowns out my point, so initially I thought this would be a great way to express myself in a way readers could listen. I sometimes look at things differently than most, and I thought this would be a great way to get people to consider an alternative to their initial thoughts.
Now, a year later I realize that this is my therapy. It’s sorta like yoga, a place I can go and dump everything on my mat. Only this is so much better. I can go back and read what I’ve written and see my own growth. I remind myself of my own lessons, but most importantly I am leaving behind my existence. It is my mark that I have been here. It is a window to my soul and my imprint on life. It holds my stories, and lessons, and memories in one little space. It is a place that holds my pain, my struggles, my learning, and some of my best memories. It is about the people I love who are important to me. Someday, they too can go back and read stories about important days in their lives. It is a place I feel safe to express myself. A place I can let go of everything that’s bothering me and make permanent everything that is meaningful in my life.
Today is one of those important days. Kayleigh and I got in the car at 7:20 and made our 20 minute ride to the orthodontist singing Christmas tunes the whole way. It sure beats that other stuff she usually forces me to listen to that puts me in a horrible mood. Today, after 2 years, she gets her braces off. I still remember the day she got them on like it was yesterday. That’s how life is. In the blink of an eye, years pass by. Write it all down. Take time to enjoy every moment and then relive it by putting it down in your own words. Revisit the days of your life from time to time and remember to stay present. Moments pass in a flash so give them your attention so that you will be able to remember them vividly. That is why I blog. To tell the story of my own life, and give each day the time and focus that it needs. Just don’t go through the moments, bask in every one of them. Blogging has become part of who I am and I am so very grateful I had the courage all those months ago to take the first step. Will you join me?