sky woman clouds girl

Photo by Bradley Hook on

Scrolling through Instagram today I saw an add for magnetic lashes.  You had to put this special liner on your eyes and these lashes stuck to it.  They stuck so hard they wouldn’t come off even if you pulled them.  We constantly put on a façade.  I’ve spoken about it before but seeing how pervasive and compulsive the need is to appear a certain way and to control other’s perceptions is really disturbing.  We have such little tolerance for natural or real.  We’ve forgotten how to identify what we really feel because we are so busy trying to appear a certain way.

Why?  Why do we have to present ourselves as fake? And worse, why do we encourage image over reality?  It feels manipulative to me, but when I really think about it, I know it’s protection.  We are protecting ourselves because we aren’t able to show our real selves.  We have to learn to stop poisoning ourselves in every way and to just be seen a certain way.  To be fair to those who simply enjoy makeup and use it as a form of expression, go for it!  Even for those who simply want to enhance themselves and look different for an evening, go for it!  The part I am against is the toxic belief that we need these things to look a certain way to be worthy.

Our revolution begins with self as I have mentioned before.  Start with taking care of yourself—good care of yourself.  Be patient and loving.  It means getting to know yourself and getting comfortable with your own wants and needs.  And then it means giving up distraction and focusing on the bigger picture, the bigger goal.  Dig.  Don’t buy into what you are told is necessary.  Do away with what doesn’t serve or nourish you.

As someone who has struggled with control issues nearly my entire life, I struggle with acceptance every day.  I’m good at helping people understand where they are at—but I struggle accepting where I am.  I am human and flawed and no amount of pushing will ever get me to the perfect image I have in my head.  What is perfect is life as it is.  Having a life is a gift – and it is perfect.  I can stop expecting the idea of perfection because it doesn’t exist.  Life will be perfect as it was meant to be.  That’s enough.  The goal isn’t to be a perfect human—it is to be perfectly human.

Tonight I end with a simple prayer that I want to share: I welcome all change in my life and accept the events that occur as what is meant to happen.  I give up control and accept what is brought into my life and I am grateful for the gifts I have been given.  I will share my gift with others.

Sunday Gratitude


Today I am grateful to have experienced such a beautiful day.  We were moving a ton today–lots of errands and cleaning and prep for the week.  It was absolutely perfect outside and i am so grateful to have been able to see the day and spend it with  my family.  Some shots from the day are above.

Today I am grateful to have made a decision regarding our move.  We have made the decision to take our house of the market.  Things were not coming together in a way that would have allowed us to move forward in all areas of our lives.  Not that we would have been suffering, but we would not have been thriving.  We made the decision to live beyond “just making it” for the sake of thinking that is what we had to do.

Today I am grateful to be taking decisive action.  Now that the house is off the market, we can work on projects we had wanted to do prior to trying to move.  We are able to change things in the house, fix up a few additional things we didn’t have time to complete, and we are also able to start working on some personal projects for our businesses now that we have freed up some additional savings by staying put.

Today I am grateful that things didn’t go how we planned.  There was a definitive redirection of our goal from a few months ago.  Life was on pause for the last three months because we weren’t able to move one way or the other until someone made a decision on our home.  Now that we made the decision for ourselves, we have these opportunities we were waiting for.  To my first point above, we shifted out of the pattern of what we should do and are able to see what we really need to do.

Today I am grateful to end the weekend on a relaxing note.  The last few weeks in particular have been so stressful and it has been taking a toll on my mind and body.  I’ve been more forgetful than usual, I’ve been angry, and I’ve been holding an insane amount of tension in my body.  Today we took the time to hang out together and to just have some fun.  And after that we did a lot of running around to pick up things for some upcoming projects. It was a busy day but far more relaxing than it has been.

Today I am grateful to prep for the week ahead and to be in the moment at the same time.  I try to meal prep as often as I can.  Food is really important to me and I am learning how to take care of myself by nourishing my body.  So, planning ahead means taking the time to carefully prepare what I’m going to need for the week.  I find it really soothing.  A few hours of work and I have everything I need to take care of myself every day.

Today I am grateful to let it all go.  The aggravation, the anger, the frustration, the impatience, the intolerance of any mistakes (especially on my part).  I am releasing it all and ready to start over.  It can take a lot for us to accept our humanness.  And being human means that we are going to make mistakes.  It means that life course-corrects itself often and that we are meant to be there with it.  I’m learning to distinguish between what I need to hold and what I no longer need to carry.  It is an ongoing lesson and one that I appreciate more and more with practice.


photo of person s palm

Photo by cottonbro on

I’m reading a memoir that has been incredibly challenging for me.  There are parts of it that are really triggering to me because I read the experiences of this woman and I feel empty.  She is sharing her story with the most beautiful vulnerability but all I find myself thinking about is what I missed out on at the age she discusses.  I tend to feel this way when I read the experiences of women who went away to school and who lived on their own in their twenties.

I was too scared to learn how to make it happen at that age.  I didn’t think I could do it. I was so used to being dismissed in nearly everything I tried because of the way I looked—even the things I attempted to do seriously.  I always looked years younger than what I really am because I am super short and I was blessed with my mom’s genetics.  When people saw me enter the room, they would literally and figuratively talk over me.  I struggled to have my voice heard.  This resulted in me developing a nasty (but self-preserving necessity) habit of always having to be right.  It also led to the habit of needing to do things myself because people didn’t take my input and if I wanted certain results in my life, I needed to do it on my own.  So then people had the excuse that I was a know it all and that I wasn’t contributing, I was controlling.

I didn’t know how to speak up for myself and articulate what I wanted because I was trained that my demeanor was wrong and that I wouldn’t be capable of doing anything.  I allowed myself to manipulate the circumstances rather than develop my strengths to get my way.  On top of that, at the time I allowed myself to disappear into my relationship because that was all I thought I had.

It took me the best part of 20 years to understand where my strengths were, who I really am (still a work in progress), and how to take the power back that I willingly gave up.  So reading this memoir has been an intense experience for me because, while our stories are vastly different, the emotions were the same.  I read these stories and I feel disappointed in myself.  While she is using her stories to convey the emotions I felt at the time, I find myself with a sense of longing and regret for not taking more chances.  I sometimes regret not having the experience to find myself as other people did.

Part of my emotional healing is working on accepting that what has happened is what happened—there is no changing it.  The point of the work I am reading and the work I am creating is that we all have a common humanity.  While our stories are different, we made different choices, and we ended up in different places, we had the same emotional experience.  Our common language is how we feel.  It doesn’t matter what makes us feel that way, we always have common ground in what we feel.

Creation, Ourselves

photo of person s hand with paint colors

Photo by Rahul Pandit on

I’ve realized how much power we have to steer the course of our life—and how much we need to claim that power.  Life is filled with moments beyond our control and life is filled with people who will try to take the reins.  Right now my work is in transition because the company is going through a buy-out. I’ve been there for a total of 15 years and it shows that there is nothing guaranteed, nothing stable.  The only way to have security is to create it for ourselves.

We need to boldly stand up and declare who we want to be and take active steps toward becoming that person.  We have so much power in this world—if we could focus it on becoming who we are meant to be rather than exerting power over others or taking their energy.

Investing the time on the things that are most important to us, on the things that help us fulfill our purpose, that is where our power is.  We can change the game in our lives simply by shifting our focus.  Many people tend not to believe this because they don’t see a change fast enough (I am guilty of that as well) but with patience you will see that the things that matter most to you develop with the more attention you give it.  The same is true for anything.  Where attention goes, energy flows.

Life is what we are meant to have.  It is meant to be filled with play, joy, and fulfillment.  It’s our job to find what brings us to those points and to help others get to that point as well.  Life is simple.  All the mess we see is of our own creation.

This is why clarity is so important.  We are in a dynamic relationship with the creation of the universe.  In order to build what we are meant to, we need to be what we are seeking.  To know what we are truly seeking we need to learn to get in touch with ourselves.  That is the work we do here.  We read, we see inspiration, we discuss, and we develop a life with gratitude that we are thrilled to have and live.

Sunday Gratitude

board center chalk chalkboard

Photo by Pixabay on

Today I am in a profound state of gratitude.  I discuss my gratitude every Sunday, however, today I recognize with utmost faith and certainty that I am so blessed.  Perhaps it’s been the chaos of trying to buy and sell our home, maybe it’s a new appreciation of understanding what it means to go with the flow.  But today honestly feels like floating, perfectly enveloped in a state of contentment.  And I am content today—what I would consider at peace.

I am grateful for the beautiful connection I have with my son.  My husband went out last night so my son and I made popcorn and watched some shows on TV.  Then we read a book together and because he hadn’t napped during the day, he fell asleep so peacefully on his bed.  He woke up this morning in such a good mood and we got to shop, play, cook, and pick out arts and crafts together.  I will say it every time: these moments with my family are so incredibly important to me and I will never take them for granted.

I am grateful to witness the growth of my son.  He has become such a mature little boy and having conversations with him now blows me away every time.  His ability to express himself and share his views and opinions makes me so proud and I love seeing his development as he turns into a “big kid.”  There are days it’s a challenge because he has his own ideas, often contrary to my own plans, but it’s a gift because he is one of the most sensitive and expressive little boys and hearing him say things like, “Mommy, we always love each other” just melts my heart every time.

I am grateful for time to work on my projects.  I woke up really early today and was able to knock out a big chunk of work that was still fresh in my mind.  I try to get a little bit of work done every day and a lot of the time I feel like I’m pushing it, like it just isn’t the quality I want or what I’m really trying to say.  Today it was a short time, but it was valuable time and productive time.  It made all the difference.

I am grateful for the universe’s cosmic humor.  We’ve been fairly stagnant with selling the house so my husband and I were already talking about different options we had as far as moving forward.  As soon as we decided what our next steps were going to be (which were not what we originally had planned) we started getting inquiries on the house.  Maybe we had to demonstrate we truly were flexible in the outcome in order for there to be fresh movement.  So there you have it…just when you think it’s going one way, the universe responds entirely differently.

I am grateful to recognize my humanity.  I started reading a new book last night (more to come on that) and honestly within the first 34 pages it gave me an anxiety attack. But as I began to work through it, I realized what a gift this life is.  We all have profoundly different experiences but what underlies all of those experiences is that we ARE all human.  No one is perfect and one of my downfalls is that I so easily fall into perfectionism—so reading this book was a great reminder to calm down and go with the flow.  Accept where I am to get where I want to be.  Something I talk about a lot but clearly needed a reminder to practice.

I am grateful to embrace this moment, sharing this message.  I love this journey and I love the steps I am taking to fulfill my purpose.  I am grateful to be able to do that.  We all have reasons to remember to be grateful.  Take some time to relish in it.  You deserve it.

I’m Not Angry, I’m Just Loud

collage photo of woman

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Emotions are so misinterpreted.  Intentionally and repeatedly misinterpreted to manipulate people into believing that their feelings aren’t warranted or they are wrong.  Emotions are the tools we use to navigate a situation and they tell us what is happening.  They make us aware.  They teach.

I’ve often been perceived as angry.  I speak passionately, I speak loudly, I speak with determination.  For a long time I noticed that people would shut down when I spoke so I automatically assumed it was my pattern of communication.  So I tailored my approach.  I curbed my tone and I spoke with less vigor and venom and with more frilly words trying to make the message palatable. The same reaction often took place where people would shut down.  I could see their faces drop and their body language changed as they appeared defensive and the conversation no longer flowed.  So I assumed it was the message.  I struggled to find new ways to say what I wanted to say.  And the same pattern repeated.

I noticed that every time I got this reaction, it was me who tried to change.  It was me who did the work of making myself and what I had to say acceptable to others.  My communication skills deteriorated because I wasn’t using my voice or my authenticity or speaking my truth—I was still trying to speak the words that other people wanted to hear.

As I continued to choke on the words I was trying to say, I lost my message.  It wasn’t until very recently I understood what a privilege it is to use our voice no matter how it makes others feel.  We aren’t responsible for their feelings in the message we share—we are responsible for sharing what we have to say without filtering and watering down the point.  We can spend our lives losing ourselves in the words other people want us to say or we can lose the people determined to misunderstand us regardless of what we say.

In the timeliest of messages, I saw a quote today “Acknowledging and embracing my anger means that I’m engaged, I care and I’m committed to doing something productive with this powerful emotion,” Candace Howze.  Being concerned about the perception of being angry is completely unfounded.  If people want to misunderstand you because of how you feel about a topic, that is on them.  Keep talking until you find the right audience.

We act like we need to control our emotions—which are really things we have no control over.  All we need is to control how we communicate about the emotion.  It’s fine to feel what we feel about a topic.  As Howze mentioned above it means I’m engaged and I care.  We should feel things about what we say.  But we are trained to give the emotion precedence over the subject as if our feelings warrant the attention, not the topic.  We need to do a better job of explaining emotions as a whole because, quite frankly, we need to see some life again and we need to stop dismissing what people say because we are scared of how they convey a message.

The truth is we are scared of how we feel about what they say.  We aren’t experienced with handling the emotions of others.  I’m not talking about carrying the weight of their emotions or feeling it for them but I am talking about receiving what they are saying and understanding why they feel the way they do.  Imagine the increase in empathy of we learned what an emotion truly is, how to express it, how to cope, and how to understand other people’s coping.

The world needs more life in it—real life, real people who give a damn, real people who show their emotions in an effort to get things done.  The world needs more engaged people to progress and move towards equality for all.  So feel what you feel without shame.  Don’t water yourself down for the sake of other people.  Feel it all and let the world know how you feel.  That is how we become the example of living in reality.

Small Kids, Big Reminders

kigoa football on green grass during daytime

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We sat out with our neighbors this weekend and met some new neighborhood kids.  They didn’t hesitate to play with our boys and teach them some new tricks on their bicycle and to play some football with them.  I feel so privileged to witness the absolute openness of kids.  They never hesitate with new people and experiences.  They talk to each other and they always do rather than overthink a situation.  They don’t qualify who is worthy of engaging and associating with them—they just go for it.

The world is small as we also found out during this play date that these kids were coached by a friend of our neighbor.  Sometimes we are taken right where we need to be even if we can’t see it at the time.  There is something to be said for being open to experience.  Being able to witness this in children is amazing because it is an example to keep that quality alive in ourselves as well.  To keep practicing that acceptance as we go through life.

According to our current way of life, we are so conditioned to compete and qualify and struggle to do it all on our own.  Kids still know how to work together and how to help without expectation.  They know how to accept each other without expectation as well.  They never question whether or not they can do something and if they can’t, they just keep trying.  And they know how to encourage each other too.  Yes, they have frustration and yes they want to give up, but they are resilient—far more resilient than a lot of adults.

The lesson in this brief interaction is simply that we are always taken where we are meant to be.  So we can trust.  It’s our own perceptions and emotions that twist the story and skew our purpose.  We have to learn to take our own stories out of the equation and listen to the voice of intuition in spite of being told to ignore it.

I have always believed in synchronicity but, like all of us, I tend to forget it or I don’t notice it as often as I should.  When the blatant reminders of synchronicity occur, I am in awe each and every time—and I am grateful.  We have a purpose and things truly happen for a reason.  Knowing that and experiencing those reminders truly is a gift.  Remembering that childlike openness to the world, the feeling we all had before the need to control set it, is also a gift.  That feeling is never too far and we need to connect with that more often.  I am trying my best to remember this.  And I see it’s little steps every day to stay in touch with that part of ourselves and they are necessary.  Each step is a chance to find what we’ve known all along and to share it with the world–just like our children.

When Your Bookstore Disappears

light bulb beside books on shelf

Photo by Engin Akyurt on

I went to the bookstore on my lunch break today, really excited to find a particular book.  I arrived at the all-too-familiar location and saw the store was closed.  Like, empty store, sign taken down type of closed.  I wanted to cry because this is the second time I’ve gone to one of my favorite bookstores to find it inexplicably closed–tears were involved the first time but that’s a story for another day.  I gathered my composure and did a quick search to find that the store had been moved down the street.

I drove over to the new spot and found it was a totally new store.  The store was not just a new location, but an entirely new layout and design from any that I had been familiar with.  One of the employees let me know that this new style that the chain is looking to implement.

It got me thinking about how people bore so easily that we have to keep coming up with new ways to entice people.  We have to constantly keep things fresh by changing what we know—often as we are just getting accustomed to how things are.  We want sleek and sharp and new—and we want it instantly.  We move on as quickly as the idea passes into our mind, never happy with the way things are.  Life does warrant that we should evolve as needed but we tend to change things just for the sake of change, to be the newest, biggest, and boldest.  The most innovative, the most eye catching, the most sales.

We need to slow down and reprioritize.  New isn’t always better but old isn’t always defunct.  Adaptation is meant as a means of survival, not as a gimmick to get sales.  In short, it’s about purpose.  Understanding the point and the goal of what we want to accomplish.  I am all for recognizing the need to change but I also want to advocate for the intention behind it.  If your intention isn’t to serve the greater good or to bring yourself to your highest purpose, then what is the change for?  Power? Accolades? Or is it about finding your purpose and helping to move everyone collectively forward to their highest good?

Whether we find ourselves searching for our familiar bookstore or we are searching for our highest good, there are times when change happens.  There are times when change is necessary.  Sometimes we can plan for it, sometimes it comes out of nowhere.  The point is that we do need a certain level of adaptability but we also need a certain level of reason behind the movement.  Activity without purpose is just busy work.  Purpose is what gives us direction and drive.  So take the changes as they come, look for the new location of the store, and do your best to go with it.

Surprise Lessons


When taking the dog out this morning he almost stepped on a moth right outside our front door.  It was large and I could tell it was hurt immediately.  It looked like its wings had been ripped as the rusty red color was missing from a lot of it.  I picked it up and brought it inside to see what I could do for it.  I got a box, prepped some sugar water on a cotton ball and went back outside for some grass and twigs.  He rested in my son’s room away from the cats.

Whenever an animal literally lands in my life like that, I always take it as a sign.  I started looking up the spiritual meaning of moths and found a ton of different things.  Everything from blindly following our desires like a moth to flame to what we are hiding from ourselves.  But one interpretation that stuck out to me was that we must focus on the correct direction and that we must not allow others to transform us ( Life changes quickly and it is easy to be shaped by the will of the world rather than by our intuition.

Sometimes the application of the message isn’t immediately clear and I’m still trying to get some clarity on where exactly it fits for me.  I’ve been erratic lately, unclear, unable to focus so maybe this creature was more a symbol to bring attention to my flightiness, a message to pay attention to the direction I’m really going.  We found out today that we could possibly lose the house we’ve been working on getting since May so I have a lot of emotion around it.  Our current home has been in utter chaos for the last month as we are trying to move into the next phase and now it seems it may have been all for nothing.

This is the clearest example that our plans mean nothing.  We can do exactly what we are meant to and if the universe has a different plan in place, there is nothing that will stop it.  It’s also a clear lesson in non-attachment.  Getting attached to an outcome is what causes the pain.  It isn’t up to us to determine how things happen, it is only up to us to go with what is meant for us.

So, this synchronicity of finding this beautiful moth led me to see that there are some things I still need to work on as far as control.  The only thing I can control is myself.  There will always be unknowns and multiple variables in this world—we could never account for them all.  It is only our job to learn to go with it.  The only thing I can assume is that there is a greater reason for all of this confusion happening.  Perhaps something is wrong with this new house that we don’t know about.  It could be anything, but I can trust that when the time is right, we will get where we need to be.

I feel so grateful to have found this moth.  I honestly thought it was hours away from death and I only wanted to give it some comfort.  I kept checking on it and this beautiful, resilient little creature was still able to fly and to eat—so I released it.  Just as I am releasing any expectation about what is coming next in my life.  There may be unexpected detours and pain, but I can give myself the time to heal, just like I did for that moth, and learn to fly again.

Sunday Gratitude


Today I am grateful for release.  Or perhaps, acceptance is the word.  I have been holding so tight to the idea of the type of house I need and the things I want to build in my life that I didn’t take into account what I was building them for.  I was focused on the end result and not on the greater good in the circumstance.  Now I feel a sense of contentment in letting go of the attachment.  The pressure feels off.

Today I am grateful for some familiarity.  We haven’t gone out much in the last few months other than to grocery shop so today we took a little time to wander in a book store.  It felt so good to wander amongst the familiar friends of new titles in the aisles.  I picked up a few things to go on some new adventures at home.

Today I am grateful to take steps toward peace.  As a person with anxiety I tend to fall back into patterns really easily because it’s a form of comfort.  The repetition, the known makes me feel better.  Even though I was seeking comfort today and the known did make me feel better, I was looking for different elements, the next step to get me past my discomfort.  With all the personal chaos lately it would have been easy to repeat the patterns, but I made conscious choices to look for answers in new places.  Progress.

Today I am grateful to have some fun trying new things.  My son and I baked some cloud bread this morning.  So much fun!  His excitement was palpable in the anticipation he showed as he waited for the bread to bake.  We had it for breakfast as a fun family treat and it was so good.  See the picture above 😊

Today I am grateful for love.  My husband and I spent a lot of time talking today, discussing the future and what our options are with the house, our businesses, and our family.  We spoke with each other and took our time walking through all the details trying to figure out what we want to do.  It felt peaceful and genuinely caring to have that kind of talk.  While we didn’t arrive at all the answers, we settled ourselves by working together, and taking care of each other.