Be There

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I move around a lot. I make friends and then I leave and the gaping hole left in my heart is sometimes excruciating.

I talked to an old friend from many years ago. She had so much going on in her life and I had no idea. I could have been there to help but I wasn’t because I can’t even remember the last time I picked up a phone to tell her how often I think of her. We get busy in our lives doing things that don’t matter, worrying about stuff we will never be able to change and too little time telling the people in our lives how much they mean to us. It is so important to be there for anyone and everyone. It takes a simple sentence to ask, how are you? How is your family? What is going on in your life? Are you okay? Three minutes at most to make a difference in someone’s life but yet we don’t because we get wrapped up in ourselves and our own problems. We have to think outside ourselves. Even when our own world is falling apart, we have to be willing to reach in and save someone else because the sky is falling on them too.

Call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile. Let people know they are important to you and find little ways to show them how much you care. A simple text, an unexpected visit, anything. Do it today. Someone out there desperately needs you. Don’t be too busy or ignorant to be there for them.

If Tomorrow Never Comes

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Dream Big, Dream Often wrote a post I recently reblogged called, In the blink of an eye the life you know can change forever. Those words are scary and they are so true. I do believe some of us are more aware of this than others. I’ve been tapped into that knowing for quite some time now to the point I think it may cause some of my anxiety. I remember a time not so long ago that should have been a happy time. It was a holiday and everyone was aggravated and focused on the things that really don’t matter. I was devastated and for good reason. I knew that that day, that moment was one we could never get back. I wanted so much for it to be special and filled with laughter and love but the day had a different plan. I spent the day mourning what should have been while I was sick inside over what it was. I knew I couldn’t change it, I just wished other people could see the significance of the day for what it was. A chance for us to embrace this time we were fortunate enough to have where we were there all together. The truth is, because I don’t live close to family, every time  I visit, I feel so grateful that all the people I love are right there all around me. I spend a lot of time alone and it means so much to have these opportunities that are few and far between. So, when I watch them get ruined over something ridiculous, it absolutely breaks me heart. We cannot get a single minute back and we have to live every day trying to remember how precious each and every moment really is.

There is a girl I know from my childhood who is very sick. I follow her story on Facebook and from one day to the next, her life really does significantly change. She is so grateful for the outpouring of support and for the days she feels well enough to get out of bed. But the rest of us? We get so crazy over the littlest things. The hard part is trying to keep it all in perspective because we have no control over the things that feel “big”. We get stressed and angry and anxious and often times we don’t choose those feelings, they just show up and we don’t have the ability to make them go away. We are human beings doing the best we can. We are affected by the news, the people in our lives, even an innocent message from someone on Facebook or WordPress. We feel and its that very thing that reminds us we are alive. We have to feel the difficult moments so we can fully embrace and feel the amazing ones. It doesn’t seem fair but the reality is we cannot pick and choose. So today and everyday, it’s important to remind ourselves to be grateful for the life we have today. We have to appreciate all of it, the good, the bad and the in between. Every circumstance or person who presents itself offers something, maybe simply a lesson, we just never know. The hard part is believing we are who we are in this moment because of each and every day, not just the ones we would handpick for ourselves to remember. That trust is one of the hardest things. Appreciate all of it. Every person who has made you feel love and all the ones that leave you with pain and regret. Embrace the good memories, the bad memories and try and accept and love people just the way they are. It’s true, we could wake up tomorrow and our whole world could be shaken up, changed. And what choice would we have but to go on and do our best to try harder, love deeper and remember today is a gift we may not have the privilege to open tomorrow. Pick up the phone today and call a friend. Plan a day to meet for coffee or start planning that visit home. Let people know they mean something to you. That is a gift we all love to receive. Live smarter and love deeper and forgive yourself when you have a tough day. You never know what tomorrow will bring so make sure you appreciate today.

You Are HOW Old?

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Yesterday, I mentioned I was going to see Rick Springfield in concert. Could it be possible that I am the only person in the world who didn’t know he was 66 years old? Not only was he fantastic on stage but the amount of energy he had was truly inspiring.

Sometimes I feel sorry for myself because I think my time has passed. I guess I equated quality of life with the number of years of life. But last night, I realized that I am only as old as I feel. If I want it to be true, the best of my life is still yet to come. I realized that age is less about time and more about the state of mind. It reminds me of that sweet little lady I took care of in Hospice who didn’t even zip line until she was 78 years old. I want to be a combination of the two. I am truly inspired and excited to get on with living. 

Don’t ever put a label on yourself. Don’t let anything limit what is possible in your life. You are meant to enjoy and be excited every single moment. That doesn’t stop at 52 or 76 or 97 unless you decide it does. Tell yourself it doesn’t stop until they finally lower you into the ground. Don’t be defined by your age, defy it. 

Normal Is Boring

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Why fit in when you were born to stand out? Just be you. This is a great post from CanvasOfThoughts

 

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“Sometimes I pretend to be normal, but it gets boring. So I go back to being me.” ~ Ain Eineziz

Why try and change yourself? Do you realize how beautifully unique you are? Normal is boring. You be you and don’t change for anyone.

You will never fit in and you shouldn’t want to.

You know what makes you so incredible? There is no one like you in the entire world.

You are rare and you can do great things just by being you.

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What Mark Will You Leave?

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Everyone stop and take a deep breath. Pause. Ask yourself, how am I feeling today? It seems that generally we just expect the worst from everyone. We are so defensive that it may cause us to miss opportunities to connect with people around us. What has happened to us all? How did we get this way? Why do we feel the need to be on the defense? We have stopped feeling like we can trust the people around us. We have to question their motives before we can have a simple conversation with them. Even when we get a compliment, it’s hard to decide if someone is being serious or if someone is  passing an insult in our direction with a cool voice and a smug smile. We need more kindness. We need more friendliness and complements and gestures that show we are still caring human beings. We have to prove ourselves again, as silly as that sounds. What if we could expect the best from everyone? What if we were motivated from the heart instead of our self-serving minds? People are not horrible. Not all of them. I’ve been fortunate to know so many amazing people. They come and go. That’s just the way life is but they are there when I need them and that is what counts. Everyone serves a purpose in our life. We may not understand it at the time but everyone we meet has an effect on who we are. Think long and hard next time you speak or act. What kind of effect do you want to have on the next person you meet? I suggest you make it a good one.

Just Make The Choice

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“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” –Jim Rohn  

I decided to choose a new mantra today. Eventually I get to the point where something has got to change. Sometimes it is simply my thoughts that are dragging me down. It’s so easy to wallow in self pity when I have a tough stretch but when I can’t change what’s going on around me, I have to change the way I perceive what’s happening around me.

Today, I will have faith that everyone will handle their responsibilities without my getting involved.

That was my mantra today and I repeated it over and over again until I finally believed everyone would be just fine without me. As crazy as it sounds, my son was able to do his homework on his own and my daughter survived the school day after all the drama with her friends over the weekend. I am sitting here for the first night in a long time where I don’t have to help someone do something. And you know what? It feels fantastic.

Sometimes, all you have to do is believe everything will turn out alright. I always say, when you expect the worst, you get the worst, so if you want better, believe it really will be better. 

We cannot control our circumstances but we can choose how we respond and adapt. As the pendulum changes direction and is slowly working its way back up, I am grateful for the hard times because when they finally do pass, I appreciate the good days even more.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” -George Bernard Shaw

Do You Accept The Challenge?

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How come it’s so easy to tell someone what is wrong? Your lipstick doesn’t match your shirt. You need to be a better parent. You shouldn’t have done that. You should be working. You should cook dinner for your family. Seriously, the list goes on and on. It’s no wonder there is so much depression and unhappiness walking around disguised by a half- hearted smile on a really sad face.

Imagine if we made a commitment to point out only what is good about someone? You look beautiful. You are so smart. I love the way you interpret that. That lipstick is amazing. You are a really great parent. This meatloaf is delicious.

All I ask, is that you become aware of what you are saying to others. Make an honest effort to compliment everyone and be on a mission to make everyone feel good. Anyone can spit out an insult but not everyone can make someone feel like someone special.

Do you accept the challenge?

Build self esteem, don’t destroy it.

Problem or Solution?

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One of the reasons I believe I suffer from depression is because I feel so deeply with my own heart. I was born with so much empathy and compassion for other people that sometimes it almost destroys me from the inside out. I have to be honest. I am not uninformed but sometimes I cannot stand to watch the news. Today, as I looked at the pictures of these tiny bodies being washed up on shore, it was like stabbing a knife into the center of my heart. Having children of my own, I can hardly tolerate the thought of losing them. We try and provide the best life for our family and sometimes that means putting them at the greatest risk. I cried a few tears. I’m not ashamed to feel. I cried a tear for every body lost in that water and even more for those young boys I saw being carried out of the water. I sat a few minutes in my own pain, saddened by what parts of our world are becoming. It is our world. We have to be accountable for what becomes of it. We have to do our part to spread humanity and the reminder that we are all so deeply connected. We are in one family at war with each other and lives are being destroyed one day at a time. Hope is being lost, spirits becoming forever broken. We can do better than this. We have to. I am a healer by nature. I want to bring more empathy and kindness into the world. Every little bit changes the world for the better. Oh, those pictures…. It is so hard to look but even harder to look away.

Why are we here? Why do we walk through the valley of life? Is it to own nice things? Is it to have an important job and be better than the person standing to our right and left? Is it to teach people a lesson and to criticize, berate and torture the people we are supposed to love. Is it to carry anger and then project that anger onto everyone around us while we wallow in our own hate? Is it to judge and fight and be selfish in every way? I say we are here to love. We are here to be love in every single way imaginable. We live this life to do love, bring love, spread love and experience love. Will we ever get it right?

Don’t be so concerned with everyone else. You cannot change them. That is not your job. It is your job however to deal with your own stuff until you can finally get your heart in the right place. If you walk around and you do not feel love towards other people, it’s time you admit you are part of the problem. My question is, will you do what you can to turn things around? Will you be part of the solution?

The Beggar

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Dream Big, Dream Often reminds us that all the answers we need are right in front of us. Have you looked in your box?

Dream Big, Dream Often

The-Gold-In-the-BoxA beggar had been sitting by the side of the road for thirty years.
One day a stranger walked by.    “Spare some change?” mumbled the beggar.
“I have nothing to give you,” said the stranger.
Then he asked: “What’s that you’re sitting on?”
“Nothing, ” replied the beggar. “Just an old box. I’ve been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.”
“Ever look inside?,” asked the stranger.
“No,” said the beggar. “What’s the point, there’s nothing in there.”
“Have a look inside,” insisted the stranger.
The beggar, reluctantly, managed to pry open the lid.
With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.

I cannot recall if this story was from Hinduism or Buddhism, but the story itself is one that makes frequent appearances in my mind.  I can even “hear” Jesus’ message when I read this story.  I typically stay away from religious…

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