Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for change.  I am blessed.  Truly, I feel the gift of all the blessings in my life.  But as I’ve gotten older and continually asked/begged/pleaded for more, I see the facets of myself that needed (and still need) to change.  I was raised that we were given things as a reward or not given things as a punishment.  I was never taught to align with what I wanted and how to create it.  Ironic considering I come from a family of entrepreneurs.  Regardless, I am grateful to learn about the power of cocreation and the ability to change.  If we always do what we’ve always done, we will always get what we always got.  So move forward.  Do something different.  Build something different.  Dive in and live my wildest dreams.  We can’t control everything in our lives, but we can learn to align with what is for us.  I am grateful for the reminder life isn’t static.

Today I am grateful for faith.  This has been a tricky one for me over the years.  I’ve dallied, dipped, and danced around faith my whole life.  I spent much of my youth repeating what was told to me, not understanding the implication.  I rarely saw action and word match in regards to faith from the adults around me and I lost some of the best examples of faith early on in my life.  I’m seeing now the importance of bringing faith back.  Of living in a way that matches the trust  when we say everything happens for a reason.  I still find myself hesitant at this juncture.  Some of the things I know I need to do require the biggest leaps I’ve made yet and I’m scared.  I know that things happen in divine timing and that the life I’m seeking is waiting for me to make the move—it’s there.  I’m grateful to know I can make a new decision and the rest opens up.

Today I am grateful for imagination.  I lost touch with my childhood while I was still a child.  The reality is it wasn’t anyone’s fault, it was just the path I was born on.  My siblings were significantly older than me and I wanted to be part of their lives, to prove I was one of the crowd so I gave up “childish” things long before I should have.  Long before I understood how to do things to figure out what I liked.  Having a child has brought up some demons in regards to play and allowing myself to have fun.  I find myself controlling the outcome or not allowing play as I should, trying to teach a six year old the “point” of play.  In those moments I am (slowly) learning to completely let go and see the value of play.  There is no point in terms of winning or losing, it’s a matter of learning what feels good and simply going with it, finding joy in having fun.  Bringing back creativity and joy—imagining something new.

Today I am grateful for new experiences.  At the very beginning of this month, my husband and I had spoken about what we wanted in this year.  We didn’t set resolutions but we talked about things we wanted to change in order to bring ourselves forward.  We spoke about a year of experiences.  We are blessed and secure with things, a home, food, water, clothes, entertainment. We have a beautiful son and loving animals.  But we find ourselves bored and seeing things to fill that hole.  So we agreed that this year we aren’t going to buy as many things, we are going to create opportunities and experiences with each other, our family, and with people.  So far we’ve spent the holidays with friends and family, we’ve had multiple game nights with friends (and our first solo game night!), we’ve hosted people just for giggles, we’ve tried new restaurants, we’ve broken our routines around shopping and money, and we’ve begun planning trips and time off.  I am grateful for the opportunities this opens for us.  Life feels more open, more free.  I welcome what comes with it. 

Today I am grateful for power.  I thought I was seeking happiness (I am) when the reality is the path back to happiness is in ownership and responsibility for our life.  It’s in using our power for good and fulfilling our purpose.  I thought the word “power” meant exerting power OVER people and being in control of all things at all times.  I thought the universe was a constant test, like it wanted us to make the “right” decisions all the time and would reward us accordingly.  I was never taught the value in simply living, engaging, and having fun.  I was never taught that using our own power can make things easier and better for others.  Like, filling our own cup makes it flow over for other people.  It isn’t about control in the slightest.  It’s about accessing a source, THE source we have connection with, and using the gifts we have.  THAT is power.  That is where happiness lies.

Today I am grateful to listen.  I LOVE words.  I love thoughts and sharing thoughts and sharing ideas and stories.  I love creation, specifically creating with words.  But sometimes the storm of words in my mind gets to be so much that they fall out of my mouth when they shouldn’t.  Or they fall out in ways that don’t make sense to others.  I’ve been asking for ways to create the life I want, and today I am listening.  It’s more imperative now than ever before to hear what others need to say, and to hear what is REALLY being said to me.  Not all words that race through my mind demand my attention.  Sometimes I need to hear what is actually being presented to me.  THAT is what requires action.  I’ve always listened to others but I’ve rarely felt heard—and that’s also why I use words a lot—I try to create understanding.  But again, the messages for the path I want, the life I choose to create is in hearing the next steps, the signs.  So I am learning to listen.  To really hear those around me and the universe.  Same skill, better applied. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead!

Acceptance and Invisibility

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“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world.  Pick up the light and dare to be seen,” Jim Carrey.  At our core, humanity is good.  Think of children growing up, the light they share with the world, unashamed and unfiltered in their speech and carriage.  Children are open to any possibility out there and they still allow for their imaginations to run wild.  We teach children the “norms” and ways of life and make them submit to docility and the same path we have always known.  We praise their creativity until they are old enough to be indoctrinated and make them become something that, at their core, they are not.  A child will not typically willingly submit to education, sitting in a school for eight hours a day, learning various subjects and being judged on it by their ability to remember not apply what they learn.  Kids learn through exploration, touch, feel, and feral wonder.  We shove books at them.  Now don’t get me wrong, education is valuable (especially the basics like reading and writing and math), I just think we need to change our method and evaluation. 

What we have offers support for those who stay the line.  What we need is something that develops who we are, recognizes our talents, and pushes us toward making our light shine.  I see the things that spark interest in my son and he does well in school in those areas.  He struggles with things that do not align with him.  This is where Carrey’s quote comes in.  We care more about acceptance from the main stream than we do about learning to hone and develop the qualities that would shape our personal lives.  We are taught that in school, from our family, and even from our friends.  It plays on our innate desire to be part of the crowd so we aren’t lost or shunned from the herd.  When we release that need for approval, something happens.  Yes, there is the fear of abandonment, but there is also the possibility of acceptance by something greater: yourself, and those who see you.

This world has too many invisible people.  We went for too long thinking our gifts were either shameful or not practical so we hid them.  We praise those who go with it and admire those who step out of the shadow, but we seldom figure out what we need for ourselves.  I know we each have a burning calling toward something.  You may not hear or feel it every day, but it’s there because you DO feel it.  What happens when you get curious about that calling instead of suppressing it?  What happens if you feel your way into that a bit more?  What happens when the weight of being what you were supposed to be is heavier than what you are?  I honestly think that’s what happens to most people: they bear the burden of the shoulds and musts until it becomes so heavy it crushes who they are.  They mistake that weight for comfort and reality and most never bother to take it off.  Not that the good or the curiosity is lost, it just becomes more uncomfortable to explore it than it does to deal with the weight of what you “should” do.

When we answer the call, I can tell you this much: the beginning is simultaneously scary and exciting.  It feels like exploring a place you shouldn’t be.  The more you dive in and peel back the layers, the more questions you have about the possibilities you start to see, the more comfortable that becomes and the more curious you can be.  Then that leads to the next level, the next discovery and so on.  It brings us back to that child like wonder and the joy we felt in the freedom of simply DOING.  Kids don’t need reasons to do anything.  One second they want to draw and the next second they’re an astronaut running around your living room preparing to take off for outer space, and it’s simply because they want to.  I honestly think if we were allowed to explore that for longer, we would see some very different adults making different choices in their lives.  There is no harm in discovery, in fact, it is necessary.  If someone didn’t start asking the questions previously, we wouldn’t know what we know now.  So let’s get back to that and ask the questions we feel, let’s honor the nature of who we are, and let’s learn enough about that to shine our light and bring forward that version of us.  It’s there.  Let’s learn to do it for ourselves and then help others do the same.  Bring the light to the world.

Don’t Rot Your Life Away

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“Everything you gain in life will rot and fall apart, and all that’s left is what’s in your heart,” Jim Carrey.  As dark as this sounds, this is oddly comforting.  In the process of change, there is the recognition of the beauty around us, the topic we’ve been on this week.  But there is also the process of recognizing the temporary nature of it all.  That our goals to be seen and recognized, to gain and attain, to leave a mark on the world really have such little meaning.  In the big picture, when we look at the sheer odds of our being here, of the amount of people it took to get us here, the fact that we survived and arrived at this time is a miracle.  That in itself is worth more than anything that can be bought.  I think part of the fascination we have with things is that things can last longer than we can.  It’s a mark of what we’ve done.  Things also show that we’ve been here.

But life IS temporary.  Those things fall apart just the same as we do.  Nothing is meant to last forever.  I think that is why there is such reverence for those articles, the physical reminders of the past.  It is a reminder of another time, the humanity of that day and age, of what we knew back then.  But how remarkable it is that we can take that information and consciously choose to do something with it today.  How amazing that we can make choices about how we want to shape the course of life.  None of that comes from what we have, it comes from what we do.  It comes from the mark we leave on the hearts of others, not the mark we make on the physical plane.  It’s what we leave behind in the minds of those around us, what we spark in those around us to inspire a new way, a new idea.

Carrey isn’t speaking in a negative or dark sense.  He is speaking to the idea of changing perception.  Perhaps it is the same action, but with a different focus, that action has a different meaning.  It’s about your presence and connecting with people as opposed to achieving a status symbol. It isn’t necessarily about what is seen, it’s how we are seen, and more importantly, what is felt in that presence.  In terms of legacy, Carrey simply means don’t worry about what it looks like you did, do something that serves the greater purpose of our being here.  That is what you want to leave behind.  That is what you want to share with the world, those with you now and the future who will not see you physically.  The legacy is what you leave behind for those you haven’t met yet. Make that legacy one from the heart.

How People Change

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“People change in four different seasons, when they hurt enough that they have to, when they see enough they’re inspired to, when they learn enough they want to, and when they receive enough they’re able to,” John C. Maxwell.  How amazing is that?  We used to break down change in terms as simple as people change when they are ready and people don’t change unless they want to.  Looking at the additional ebb and flow of human emotion, Maxwell’s quote seems to ring a bit closer to the truth.  Change is a natural part of life and, yes, humans can only truly change if they want to.  We always have the choice to go back to who we are.  But there is more impetus to change than we let on.  It isn’t just about shedding the old skin.  Change is an integration of who we are and what we know, an allowing of what we know to evolve into something more, a becoming embracing the entirety of our being.  We don’t wake up suddenly a new person, although that spark can happen in an instant.  We change when the discomfort, no matter the cause, is so great we can lon longer stay as we are.

As humans in a comsumerist society, we are trained that discomfort is a bad thing and that we need things to eas the comfort of our lives, or rather, to make our lives more comfortabl eto ease the pain.  Sometimes pain is there as a means to move forward.  It’s a means to create and become who you are meant to be.  It says that we aren’t what we once were, that we are meant for something greater, and to do that we have to do different things.  Change also comes from a desire, a need to be something other than what we are.  When we know there is more out there, when our view expands, when new ideas show us other avenues, we are willing to walk a new path.  Change comes from learning.  Going further into seeing other views, knowing that we are part of a much larger scale allows us to open to new ways of bringing our skills and ideas to the page.  It teaches us to integrate our thoughts into the macro and maybe make things better for everyone.  And yes, change also comes when we have enough resources that we are able to.  No matter how strong the desire or urge, there are simply some changes we can’t make without appropriate resources. 

In each of those seasons, we can always opt out as I mentioned above.  We can choose to continue on the path that we know or that we were told to know, or we can allow the change to happen.  The first step is to stop pretending things that don’t matter, matter to you.  When you feel dissatisfied or discontent with your life, wake up and ask a different question: Why?  Yes, always persist with gratitude, but open to the curiosity of why we do what we do.  If you know the why, you can shift.  Look for the season you are in and understand it.  Allow the lesson of the time you are in to wash over you and use it to move forward.  And in all of these ways, change can happen in any moment.  When we feel the spark and choose to follow it, whenw e understand how our toughts and actions create the life we live, that is when change happens.  Isn’t that amazing? 

Mirrors Lie, and People Do Too

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I looked at my reflection and thought, “Wow, it looks like I’m thinning out in my face, why do my clothes still feel so tight?”  I’ve had that feeling often when I see myself and think I look a certain way only to find I look nothing like that—or I don’t feel good with what I ultimately chose.  I’d be excited to wear something or it initially felt really good, and then a few minutes or a few hours later I’d be so uncomfortable, or I’d see myself again from a different angle and feel awful about myself.  That led me to thinking the mirror isn’t always accurate.  It plays tricks on the mind and depending on the shape, light, angle, etc., it isn’t the whole truth.  Friends, the same goes for people.  Yes, it’s human nature to engage in various degrees of lying—for protection, for lack of knowledge, for personal experience that doesn’t match—but that means the same rules of the mirror apply to people too.  They aren’t seeing the whole picture and they can make us feel like we don’t fit based on what they are seeing.  The outside view is so limited.

Human nature is a funny thing.  We want to be with others but we also want to get what we want.  For some, that turns into a manipulation of energy and a need to always be right which creates superficial relationships.  Some people never grow out of that.  While the interaction or relationship initially feels genuine, there is something behind it.  Then there are those who overtly seek energy from others.  I’m actually not going to say to avoid either type of person.  I’m going to tell you to develop your radar and to learn about your boundaries.  I’m also going to tell you to remember who YOU are and how to keep the reality of your mind and your purpose at the forefront of your thoughts.  That’s how you navigate those challenges and working with people—by staying centered in yourself and remembering everyone comes from a different level of experience.  Not everyone is you.

No one can ever see the full depths of us—our brains are amazing machines and capturing each moment is nearly impossible.  Plus we haven’t really mastered mind reading yet, just saying.  We can’t expect people to understand each and every angle of the thoughts running through our minds and we aren’t able to do that for others, either.  We aren’t meant to do that because we are meant to communicate and work with each other and LEARN.  We are meant to take the pieces of our knowledge and experience and put it together with other’s knowledge and experience.  Sometimes it takes a while for those pieces to fall together properly.  We can’t let the initial appearance deter us from doing the work or approaching people.  Think about relationships—there are some people you’d never think would go together and they last forever and then there are some who you’d think are perfect together and it all falls apart.  The same is said of the mirror and people’s opinions.

If we keep going long enough on our path and remain authentic to ourselves and maintain our values, then we may find that right balance in relationships with people.  The right opportunities find us, the energy finds us, and we align with the experiences that work best with our values and goals.  Don’t allow someone’s opinion to stop you from going for what you’re meant to achieve if you feel that purpose pulling you.  Don’t let the image of how we look stop us, either, because eyes can see things incorrectly.  Our perception is designed to keep us alive, not tell the story of who we are.  And our perception will tell stories if we don’t keep ourselves in line every now and then.  So remember that what we see isn’t the whole truth, and how we feel is often more important.  Our viewpoints can change with enough perspective—so can how we feel.  Go with how you feel.

Seeking Beauty

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“Beauty helps people start to dream again,” Bill Strickland.  What better way to continue the theme of gentleness than to talk of beauty?  Now, don’t get me wrong, there is beauty in the dark moments, in finding strength as well, but sometimes we need to recognize when being gentle and letting go is the true strength.  It isn’t about what we can pile on and carry, it’s what we put down as no longer ours.  The opening quote was used in reference to beauty as a stop thought.  When you’re having a rough moment and feeling stuck or angry or sad, pause and look around you to find something beautiful.  It interrupts the negative train of thought when we appreciate our surroundings and purposefully find something that brings us to awe.  Awe is that feeling of our place in the universe, recognizing both our strength and fragility at once.  Knowing how small we are yet being the captain of our own ship.

Beauty comes in when we find something to appreciate that place in the universe, when we find a profound respect for what we have and what we are capabale of as humans, as individuals, and collectively.  It surprises us and reminds us that we are connected at the deepest level to each other, this planet, every living thing, and then the stars, galaxies, and universes beyond us.  Our bones tell the story of a universe built on the power of stars that exploded into fragments and stood up to create entire worlds from the pieces.  Look at what we can do, look at what we are.  We’ve creatd this energy of proving and fighting and clawing to the top as if that is what life is.  Life, my friends is in the being, it’s in the doing.  It’s not in the achieving or gaining or taking. 

Beauty is in the walks I take to move my body.  It’s in taking time to build legos with my kid.  It’s in holding him a few minutes longer before getting ready for the day.  It’s in many of the same things I mentioned yesterday that require gentleness in our lives.  But it’s more than seeking beauty, it’s in the purpose of it.  It’s in the resetting of the brain to remember that fragility and that what we have is a gift.  Life is a gift.  If we feel stagnant or lost then do nothing.  Just pause and take in what you have around you.  The mess, the chaos, the story that is your life.  Maybe you’re one of those who has a perfectly organized life, manicured, and aesthentically pleasing—that’s beautiful too even if that isn’t my season right now.  I’m in the beauty of growth, in the dirt pushing through it all, climbing toward what is meant for me.  Right now it’s mess and clutter and clothes all over and dishes in the sink and animals scratching furniture and books all over the place and piles of things to do, but it’s my life and I love it.  I’m guiding myself toward more of it.

Beauty isn’t about perfection, it’s about finding perfection in what is.  Seeing that beauty in what IS opens the door to what can be.  There are so many magical gateways in this world.  States of mind that take us to the next level, much further than control and demanding and perfection ever will.  Beauty is one of them.  Gratitude, appreciation, acceptance, creativity, flow, all of those things move us closer to who we are meant to be, closer to other possibilities.  So beauty is more than a pleasing aesthetic.  It’s an honoring of creativity and who we are.  It is remembering what we are at our core and allowing that to explode into the pieces that will also become a new world, a new way of looking at things.  We are pure, divine magic, and when we see beauty in something, in others around us, we see it in ourselves as well.  There is a reason beauty gives us pause.  It’s to reflect on what we are through what we see, the image we give.  Find the beauty!

Kindness and Gentleness

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I’ve recently had this feeling, a calling maybe, toward gentleness and finding ways to be increasingly gentle.  As silly as it sounds, it started with my cat and a plant.  A couple of spins around the sun ago, my father closed up shop on our family business and in the process of cleaning out the office/warehouse, a pothos plant was left in some of the last things to be cleared out—they were going to throw it a way.  I took it with me because I adore pothos; they make me happy with their vines and the varigation in the leaves.  And this one deserved to live—it still had healthy leaves and stems even if the dirt was a little gross.  I also think there was something in me wanting to remember something beautful from that office. So I saved it from the garbage and then saved it again as it started yellowing when we got it home.  Then I went through a whole process of clipping and repotting and bringing it back to life. That was the first plant I’d been able to save like that as its roots came back and happily transferred to new soil.  The other day my cat nibbled on one of the new leaves, bringing me into panic.  I know it will survive with a little TLC.  So I want to talk about gentleness and tenderness in survival.

Many of us don’t even recognize that we are in survival.  It feels like such a part of who we are, the routine we hold, that we don’t recognize the dysfunction.  Like a nibbled on leaf, we can survive with scars.  The point is to do the healing first and then grow from there instead of finding ways to cope around the wound.  I recently had an incident at work that brought out some additional trauma I didn’t realize I had.  Side note, the brain is amazing at both rejecting and recalling incidents from the past.  When this event happened, I found myself spiralling into a painful, lower level vibration, and getting angry for allowing myself to fall into that behavior again.  Then I went through the blaming thing, which at the end of the day, helped me identify not the blame necessarily, but the trigger behind it: being left behind and devalued and only used for what was needed in the moment.  I told myself a long time ago that I wouldn’t ever allow people to make me feel worthless again.  I took some time to pause and remember my worth and to find a way to be gentle with myself.  Here is what that looked like.

Having an honest conversation and putting all the cards on the table.  Allowing thoughts to surface.  Being present.  Taking the time to learn what the issue really is.  To receive another’s point of view.  Allowing myself to be supported.  Offering that support to others.  Really hearing other people.  Breaking beyond the limitations of society.  Stepping into who I am, no one’s expectation of me.  Being intentional.  Breaking off of auto pilot and making a decision to not follow the leader.  Becoming the leader in my life.  Seeing the similarities in others and connecting with them.  Lessening distance between us emotionally and cognitively.  Calling a friend.  Buying a friend something I knew they would love.  Buying myself a little treat.  Brainstorming the life I love and what I want to do with it.  Spending time with my husband and then spending time with my son.  Working on my projects.  Trying to develop clarity around next steps.  Going to therapy.  Making nutritious, whole food for myself for the week.  Doing yoga every day.  Sharing my cards every day.  Lots of writing. 

So, the same tenderness I continue to bestow upon my now scarred but still beautiful pothos, I will give to myself and I too will heal.  Healing doesn’t come in pushing, it comes in allowing and being open.  That tiny leaf is opening and I will love on it as much as its full brothers.  It’s my survivor.  I wouldn’t let the environment bring it down, and I certainly won’t let the environment around me bring me down.  We have so much light to offer, so much joy, there is no reason to allow anyone to dim it.  Sometimes when you shine to bright, the world recoils because they can’t handle it.  They are afraid their own demons will be seen, or even that their pain will show through.  All we need to do is offer a little compassion to those darker sides and allow the truth of the matter to be seen.  You can’t fix what isn’t visible and sometimes, as painful as it is, things happen to bring that light to it, not to hurt us, but to bring us closer to who we are inside.  Closer to allowing ourselves to be seen in our entirety.  We are amazing, resilient creatures who sometimes need a little more attention.  I’ve read before we are big houseplants with complicated feelings.  So, try applying some of those principles and let’s bring ourselves back to life.

Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for my husband.  Our relationship isn’t perfect (whose is?) and these last few months have taken us on a journey I never saw coming.  I shared several months back that we had experienced a very painful exchange that led to our falling out in many ways.  We didn’t know if we were going to continue on together or not, if we were even compatible enough to continue together, or if one had to sacrifice more for the other.  Neither one of us wanted to do the latter—especially me because I felt I had sacrificed enough.  But what this moment led to was me accepting the help I needed.  My husband no longer related to me and, from that angle, I understood what he was saying.  And I knew I had to let go of all that I was making him become.  I focused on the person I wanted to be very clearly and I overstepped in making him who I needed as a reciprocal.  We are still healing but I am grateful for the push to the other side of who I am. 

Today I am grateful for presence.  As I type this I’m in my favorite place, my office, staring at the winter-dry landscape of my neighbors yards as we are tucked in the corn fields.  The sun casts its spotlight on the bare trees as it rises.  I feel immensely lucky.  I feel grateful not only to be here, to feel this place, and to be able to do what I do, but I feel so lucky to recognize and witness the areas of my life I need to continue to emphasize and explore.  I feel grateful that I see this and that there IS a way—now it’s just a matter of doing it.  I am grateful for leaning into that knowing and starting to make decisions based on where I will be, not where I am.  I’m talking about in the sense of making decisions from the person I am inside, my authentic identity.  That is being in touch with presence and who we are.

Today I am grateful for games.  The last couple of weekends we have been playing games with the neighbors and it is so much fun.  Game nights are something I’ve wanted to do for years but we never really had a group that shared the same interest and it wasn’t exactly my husband’s wheelhouse either.  He loves a game but he prefers video games.  Regardless, now that we’ve started this, it has been an entirely different side of us and we’ve been truly enjoying it.  It is so nice to do something different, to share a great meal and a fun experience together.  Finding like-minded community (even a small group counts) has meant everything.  I feel a support locally that I haven’t in a long time—I’m not sure if I ever did.  I witnessed it as a child amongst my parents and their friends, but it wasn’t a daily thing.  Games have led to a connection that wasn’t there, an opening of more similarities we share, and it brings us together.

Today I am grateful for books.  This should be a no-brainer as I’ve often shared my love of books.  But what highlights it this week is piggy backing off of games—it’s the community around it.  I have opened a doorway, sharing my books with my neighbor and she has shared hers.  For me, books are a personal thing.  Our tastes and interests are reflected in our books and seeing what people read is a reflection into their minds. It’s been such a beautiful experience finding someone with the same interests as me.  We have gifted each other things before, but now there is a real connection.  There is a new depth in understanding as we share these interests and I feel like I have found what was missing for so long: that shared camaraderie. 

Today I am grateful for health.  I am learning the dynamics of a healthy life in a new way, in a more well rounded approach.  I’ve always had an interest in taking care of self and doing what is right for the body.  I’ve been in healthcare for years, and as much as I struggle with it today, I think it was for a reason.  I think it gave me the impetus to learn all the ways we have to take care of ourselves—mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and communally.  We are complex creatures with simple needs and we’ve made our lives substantially more difficult in how we connect with others.  The truth is, in order to find the connection we need, we need to connect with ourselves.  That’s the beginning of all the greatest answers we need: the ability to connect with our body gives us a clear indication of what’s going on—the body will tell us what we need.  We have an amazing vehicle and I love learning new ways to connect with it.  Health is a gift, and I am happy to share that.

Today I am grateful to put the pieces together.  The best take away I have from this week is the integration of the information I’m grateful for.  Feeling good and taking good care of myself has led to accepting who I am—my interests, my purpose, and my ability to share that.  The greatest journey over the last few years, the one I’ve been privileged to share (even though it sometimes feels like it’s taking forever) is the journey to help people be their best selves.  We often think it’s a complex scenario when often all we need to do is simply allow ourselves to shine and create the connections with those around us.  Each connection is a link, a step on the stairs that exposes more and more of who we are and leads us to who we need to be.  Take care of self to be your truest self, and that brings you to those who need your light or those who reflect your light (and vice versa).  While the goal is no longer about completing a journey, I am grateful to continue putting pieces of the puzzle together.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!     

Detour, Not Derailed

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“Even the unexpected, the unwanted, the roadblocks and detours, they are happening in perfect orchestration for your soul’s expansion,” Ashmi Path.  There are moments it feels like it took me forever to get where I am.  There are moments it still feels like I’m miles from where I want to be.  I experience frustration thinking of time I wasted or thinking that I’ve put in so much effort, my “reward” should be here by now.  But the truth is, even if I have to REALLY dig down to the core of the matter, I can admit that everything I’ve been through is leading me where I need to go on the trajectory of my life today.  Yes, I’m frustrated that it took me so long to get here—I’m naturally impatient and a recovering perfectionist—because I think of the time missed simply enjoying the live I’m looking for. 

Ashmi goes on to say that there are signs and messages and reasons in everything we experience, observe, and feel.  It’s all there for our benefit even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment.  For years I’ve wanted to share my writing consistently and I constantly struggled to find time to do it.  Time forced me out of my comfort zone and I found new ways to make time to ensure I do this every day.  I realized in order to do it, I simply had to DO it.  The fight my husband and I had several months ago was one of the most painful moments in my life, emotionally.  Now that I’ve sought different help from a variety of people, I know that it truly was for the best.  I’ve learned to reclaim the energy I directed at his actions and put it toward my own—and that has made a huge difference. 

The universe gives us what we need, not what we want.  It responds to us, not who we say we want to be.  Sometimes the two align—who we say we want to be and the energy we put out—that is when we are most in touch with our authentic selves and our purpose.  The way to get more in touch with that is to simply increase your awareness of the present.  The more present we are, the longer the present rides out in one long wave.  Like a ride, the track goes up and down and we can go with it.  The key is to trust that everything already exists, it’s already done.  That is when we let go of the worry and walk with ease knowing the results are assured in spite of any obstacles.  We learn that those things were merely redirections toward the goal.  Welcome it all—this is life.

The Good, The Bad, The Future and AI?

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What a gift to have nothing but time to ponder our existence and wonder why we are here.  To play and dream and make the most of every day.  To love and dream and create  the life we want.  I thought of this as I was looking at a progression of people through history.  There was a time when the privileged of society were literally paid to sit around and converse and think and produce patterns of thought.  To think about existence and what it means, the purpose.  There are still people who do this today, but we don’t hold those positions n the same regard we did.  At the time, the salon or parlor was a place of intellectual curiosity and that’s how the world got answers to things it was looking for.  Now everyone shares their thoughts in 140 characters or less, in 5-10 second videos, where we try to punch home a point without any context.

Honestly, I relish the idea of a parlor filled with great conversation and discussion of the events of the day and the implication and planning to make things better, or simply enforce a change in the world.  I think we still have that goal but we are going about it incorrectly.  I follow several business leaders and they’ve been talking about the use of ChatGPT and other AI to create content.  My heart sank as they shared the advantages of using this technology.  Here’s the thing: people are becoming so focused on freeing up time and doing things quickly that we aren’t looking at the quality of the content.  Fine, an AI can create a quality piece of work and match a tone, but it isn’t real.  We are starting to devalue the place of the written word and the humans behind it.  We are literally taking the need for thought out of creation.  Now, that isn’t to say I’m opposed to evolution and the need for things to change, but I am opposed to taking the human element out of creation.

Words are incredibly powerful tools and we have consistently been devaluing their place.  We want shortened this and quicker that, and limited characters, and getting to the point as quick as possible.  We no longer relish the time to discuss and think.  Now, I’m well aware that our days look vastly different than they did 100 years ago, 150 years ago.  But that means we need to evolve with it. That doesn’t mean we lose the values we had previously.  I take my content creation personally and that means taking the time to develop my thoughts and use my language and tone in a way that matches me, not what a computer thinks I sound like.  Again, I recognize this as a pain point for some people, it makes sense.  But I do not want technology to do my thinking for me.  The execution of a task, sure, I can live with that because there are always other ways to do things, but my mind, my soul, and the intent behind it, can not be replaced with technology.  Let’s gather our thoughts, shall we?