All Posts by Sheryl Silbaugh

Imagination Takes Me Everywhere

 

Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere.

  – Albert Einstein

Imagination is directly or indirectly where our expectations of life originate.  We take a goal and make a plan.  We see into the future possibilities.  We attach meaning and purpose to a particular way we “see” the goal being accomplished.  Imagination is how we come up with the plans in the first place.  It is what enables us to make anything possible, anything happen.

The imagination is the golden pathway to everywhere.

  – Terence McKenna

One of the danger signs on the road of our imagination is that we project meaning into everything that happens.  Now if we are projecting good, positive meanings to what is happening, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  However, many times what we are projecting is suffering into what is happening.  If someone sent you a text message that said, “boy, what a day I am having”.  What’s the first thought that comes into your head?  Without the emotion in the voice or cues from body language, where does your mind go first – to something great is happening in their day or something horrible is happening to their day?

Reality is something you rise above.

  – Liza Minnelli

We need to constantly ask ourselves, what am I busy painting onto the canvas of my imagination?  There are no rules to what I decide to paint.  If I think that I can only be successful if my view of my current reality is matching to what I imagined my life would look like, then I am going to be doomed to disappointment.  How many times have I whined in my head, “but this isn’t how it’s supposed to be?”  How can I rise above what I perceive to be my reality, to what I am trying to create in my life?

Imagination is the most marvelous, miraculous, inconceivably powerful force the world has ever known.

  – Napoleon Hill

Imagination is what leads to creation.  Think of all of the great science fiction writers and their imaginations.  Deep sea diving, submarines with Jules Verne.  Star Trek and their recorders to our cell phones.  Isaac Asimov and self driving cars and the stun gun (taser).  H.G. Wells and atomic power.  We are so close to being able to print and replace body parts, organ transplants, tricorders for medical diagnosis.  To travel to the stars and go beyond our galaxy.  All things that have happened and will happen in our futures, because someones imagination said, “what if . . , “.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.

  – Albert Einstein

Imagination is what you need to see that although there may be problems in your life that need to be solved, they are also realities to be lived through.  It is the meaning I give to my life that enables me to perceive that I am successful, that I am happy.  How I perceive my life to be, is the reality I am creating for myself.  The meaning comes from my feelings about what is happening.  I can get lost in the maze of what it should be.  I can also choose to see life as it truly is and acknowledge that most of the times when I have really grown have been when I was in the middle of some sort of failure.  Taking the risk of failing, is really taking the risk that the growth that comes out of that failure is worth the cost of failing.

The world is a canvas for your imagination.  You are the painter.  There are no rules.  Get to work.

  – Fearlessmotivation.com

There is a beach collage in the movie “The Man of the House” which the mom Sandy, (played by Farrah Fawcett) adds to every time she goes to the beach with the family.  All through the movie she is adding a piece to it, until finally she sets a final piece in it and declares it is done.   It is highly likely that this collage in her head when she first imagined it and what she actually created are not the same.  But who makes the rule that it has to be the same?  We do.  We are the ones painting on our canvas.  We decide what stays there and what gets scraped off and repainted with something new.  The rules are created by us and we can change them.  Our imagination can reshape the rules, can reshape what is on the canvas, can reshape anything to mirror what we desire to achieve in our life.  My perception of my life is what makes up the reality of my life.

The power of imagination makes us infinite.

  – John Muir

So what am I focusing on?  Is it something that brings my imagination into reality?  Because if my reality and my imagination are not even close to being the same, then I need to refocus to make it so.  It’s funny how sometimes the way to make that adjustment is to learn to lose how I thought it had to be, in order to find out a better way to live it.  It’s a matter of holding onto the vision that imagination has created and trusting the process of trying, failing, learning and trying again.

Live out your imagination, not your history.

  – Stephen R. Covey

Raise your eyes to see the possibilities everywhere around you.  They are always there.  An endless hallway filled with doors waiting for you to step through.  As you go through a new door, remember – nothing in life is to be feared.  It is only to be understood.  To be perceived in such a way that it creates the reality that you are searching for.  So don’t just sit there.  Get up and get busy!

 

Odyssey – A Long Journey Full of Adventures

 

Success is a journey, not a destination.  The doing is often more important than the outcome.

  – Arthur Ashe

Every year I go on several trips to seminars that are usually three – four days each.  This year they arrived all at once.  One of them I was supposed to go on last year, but my body had other plans (back surgery) and so I was unable to attend.  So they transferred me to this event.  The second one is part of the coaching plan I am on and I wasn’t able to travel yet with the event last year (on restrictions from said back surgery) and the third event is an annual American Indian Retreat I do every year.

Sometimes, it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.

  – Drake

I go on these journey’s each year to recharge my batteries.  To open my mind to new learning.  To get away from the everyday life, so I can relax and let come in from the divine the messages I am too busy to hear when I am involved with a fulltime job at the bank as well as running my LemonadeMakers page.  When I am out of my element, I see things I am missing at home.  I meet new people since I go to most of these events by myself.  I get to travel and see what in my life needs to change.

Your soul knows the geography of your destiny.  Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself.  If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.

 –  John O’Donohue

So no surprise, with attending a four day event (Thursday – Sunday) three weekends in a row in three different states, I woke up to some things in my life.  I have always loved trees.  It has always seemed to me that they talk to me.  They are so relaxed and go with whatever mother nature sends their way.  They connect to other trees through the root systems and even send nutrients to other trees far away that need them.  Some of the recent scientific studies show they actually create community and support each other.  Every home we have purchased it was because of the trees on the property, not the houses that I fell in love with.  So imagine my surprise when I realized that lately trees haven’t been talking to me, water has.

The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you didn’t even think to ask.

  – 180 degrees south

When I was at my first event outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico at Tamaya, located on a Pueblo Indian Reservation, they had strong winds blowing.  I had opened the door to my hotel room and was listening to the wind, rain and thunder storm.  When I closed my eyes and listened I heard the sound not of the wind, but of strong waves breaking against the seashore.

When I flew into Phoenix for my next event, the winds were blowing and I still heard the ocean in the air.

At Joshua Tree in California, I spoke to Chief Roberts and his wife Terri about how I was hearing the ocean everywhere I went.  I knew water was calling but I didn’t know why.  As one of our outdoor activities we were to walk a labyrinth.  As I walked it I was looking down at the rocks that outlined the path.  All different kinds of rocks, different minerals and crystals in them.  All shapes.  They spoke to me about water.  How it had loosened them from the soil.   How it had carved and shaped them transforming them, exposing them to the elements and revealing what they were deep inside.  How sometimes the changes happened rapidly like a landslide and other times it was slowly drip by drip that changed occurred.

Even in my planning for where we are going to live when I retire, water has been showing up.  First as I wanted to live in Northern Oregon or Southern Washington along the coast next to the ocean.  Then my son sent me a property listing outside of Astoria Oregon on the John Day river for a houseboat.  It was like water was saying, if you don’t want the ocean, how about living on the river?

I felt like the mom in the kitchen making dinner and my three year old kept grabbing my pant leg, saying “mommy, mommy” over and over.  And I kept saying, in a minute, I’m really busy right now.  Water was not letting me get away.  It just kept trying to get my attention.

Your journey in life is not set in stone, you can change direction.

  – Steven Aitchison

As I traveled round and round the labyrinth I started thinking about when water had started talking to me.  How had it been showing up in my life?  This winter has been the wettest winter since we have been living in California – the amount of water this season has been comparable to all the water we have gotten the last 10 years or so combined.  My patio kept getting flooded over and over again.

Then I thought about how we just redid the logo and website and Facebook page design and it has the ocean with breaking waves on it, whereas before it was the trees in the forest.  Then I thought about the webinar video I created and again it was about “Catching The Perfect Wave”.  Even right now with my remodeling of the bathroom I just discovered that I have to replace all of the drainage pipes as they used cast iron when the house was built and they are all damaged with rust and corrosion.

In a recent deep meditation class I asked my intuition what I needed to know.  I am very visual and it showed me this vision in which I had already given birth and was now expelling the afterbirth.  Childbirth has a lot to do with water – LOL.  When I looked up the meaning behind this it validated my thoughts that I am in the middle of a big life transition.  I have been told for the past 6 months that I am probably going to be laid off from work.  I have been preparing for this liquidating our other properties we own, paying off debt and getting everything ready for the possibility.

Be brave.  Take risks.  Nothing can substitute experience.

  – Paulo Coelho

 I think that this is why water is showing up for me,  Big changes are coming.  Everyone I was talking to at all three events were experiencing big changes in their lives.  They were all in the midst of some transition in their lives.  I am taking a leap of faith in my own transition that it is time for me to devote full time to LemonadeMakers.  To finish the online courses I am writing.  To find a new publisher for my first three books, that I had ready to print when the company that was doing it sent me an email that they shut their doors.  To begin coaching life transformation full time, instead of part time.  This is a big risk as I have never been self employed.  It is a big risk, because I have no idea where this journey will take me.  I just know that water says I have to go.

No one knows what changes, big or small, lie ahead. 

One thing is certain, our journey’s not over. 

Enjoy each and every step.

So my question for you is this – what is trying to get your attention?  What are you ignoring because you are so busy doing, that you are forgetting to take the time to listen?

Take the time to look behind you for signs.  Listen to what keeps occurring in your life.  See the doors that you walked past not realizing they were there.  Realize that you are probably in the midst of a transition yourself.  Be brave.  Go someplace even if it is simply a walk in the woods and get away from the everyday part of your life.  Ask yourself what do I need to know for the next part of my journey.

Come attend our next webinar and explore what we have to offer to take you to a new level of self transformation.  Click on the link below to learn more about our next webinar to “Catch the Perfect Wave”.

https://bit.ly/2YDfz45

Follow Your Dreams, They Know The Way

Follow Dreams, LemonadeMakers, Sheryl Silbaugh

_My life was forever changed the day I realized there was a big difference between having a dream an

Revised 2/01/2019

Consult not your fears, but your hopes and dreams.  Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential.  Concern yourself not with what you have tried and failed in, but with what is still possible to do.

 –  Pope John XXIII  

Everyone has dreams.  How many times have you said the words, “I thought of that idea, but didn’t know how to accomplish it” – or “that could have been me being rich and famous, I thought of that idea years ago”?  I believe that the universe downloads great ideas to many, because most of us will never chase the dream into a reality.

We may place blame, give reasons, and even have excuses, but in the end, it is an act of cowardice to not follow your dreams.

  –  Dr. Steve Maraboli

When we are dream chasers we realize that the person who we are, has just been constructed out of myths we have told ourselves since we were children.  That this person who was created out of ideas, beliefs and images – is not really who we are.  Those myths don’t define us, and they are not who we are deep inside our souls.  The dream is our souls way of clearing out all of the things that no longer serve us.  It draws out of the center of our soul who we really are.

Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground.

  –  Wilfred Peterson 

When we decide to become dream chasers, it changes our life forever.  This is because this decision means that we have decided to become someone different than we have been.  We realize that in order to bring the dream into reality, we have to become who the dream is calling us to be.  Someone who is brave enough to follow her own wild and crazy ideas.  Someone who has the courage to put as much effort into doubting the fears that come up when we go outside the safe zone in our lives, as we put into doubting our dreams.  Someone who puts her visions of what is possible onto the world stage.

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.

  –  Gloria Steinem

We realize as dream chasers, that our dreams are a verb, an action needs to take place.  We need to serenade our dreams, ranging from the simple love ballad to the romantic symphony, reflecting the intensity of our love for the dream we are chasing.  We bleed the words of our souls poetry onto the page of our dreams, spilling out our hearts desires.  We float across the dance floor of our dreams, with the intensity of the Paso Doble.  The paint of our dreams swirls across the canvas, blending in the colors of our life as we paint it into existence.  As the conductor of the orchestra, with the baton leading the intensity of the music, we create a tapestry of tones and colors across the mind.

Dreams are valuable commodities.  They propel us forward.  They give us energy.

  –  John C. Maxwell   

All of this art creates the souls wishes from deep inside of us, out into the world stage.  The distance between our dream and reality is bridged by action.  Small steps become long distances, when we just keep walking.  Remember the joy of the babies first step?  Then we hold out our hands and just keep walking backwards one step to encourage them to take another and another.  The next thing we know they are running across the room, the yard, and the world.  Small steps become long distances, when we just keep walking.

What is most needed at this moment, is for all of us to let lose our passions, and come alive.  Come alive and go out and do what you see needs to be done.  Don’t wait for someone else to solve your problems, or your neighborhoods problems or the worlds problems.  Come alive and do something.  Join an organization to help others; get involved in volunteering, in politics, in raising your hand and saying, “I can do that”.

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams. 

  –  Oprah

Refuse to let the fears and nightmares of other people’s lives distort our dreams.  Don’t apologize for having dreams.  Don’t stop chasing them because others don’t want us to try to bring them into reality.  We realize that chasing our dreams is hard work.  That chasing our dreams will change our lives, and the lives of every person we impact.  We don’t stop chasing our dreams because they excite our spirit.  We have a deep hunger that can’t be satisfied in any other way.  It is our road, our dreams, our life.

Don’t follow your dreams; chase them . . .

  – Kunal Patel

Dreams are all about transforming.  When we listen to our souls voice, we see these dreams play out in our imagination.  Our imagination is the illustrator to the book that your soul has written out on your heart.  It is up to you to read the blueprint designs, and go out into the world and build them into reality.  Negative people are like termites.  If you let them into your dreams, they will destroy what you are building.  You are far too smart, to let the negativity of your own mind or that of others stand in your way.

Keep your dreams alive.  Understand that to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination and dedication.  Remember all things are possible for those who believe.

  – Gail Devers

Remember that God put that dream into your heart.  He whispers to your soul what the next step is to bring it into reality.  You just need to listen, believe and go out and do what you can do.  God will make sure the right doors open, but you have to step through them.  I encourage you to check out our LemonadeMakers Club.  It is being designed with helping each of us to dig deeper into hearing our own inner guidance.  To learn to understand the directions of the divine through our souls voice.  To better understand not only how to access it, but to see what in our lives is undergoing transformation and learn to work with it, instead of against it.

Stand In The Light to Be Seen As You Are

Stand in the light and be seen as you are

Stand in the light and be seen as you are

Updated 1/29/2019

We all want to be liked and accepted.  This internal need that we have to be loved, sometimes causes us to put on a mask of who we think that they want us to be.  The perfect little girl.  The shy teenager.  The smile pasted on our face, that life is wonderful, when inside we are screaming in frustration.

Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world.  Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form.  Risk being seen in all of your glory.

  –  Jim Carey

It is hard to show up without any masks, but it is vitally important for us to be true to who we are.  These masks are the cause of so much unhappiness.  We meet someone we like, but if we are both wearing masks, then neither of us is communicating who we really are.  We fall in love with the mask and not the person.  We communicate to the mask, and what the person is trying to say never gets heard.  We create so much drama and trauma to ourselves and others that way.

If you are not living your truth, you’re living a lie.

  – Joseph Curiale

If you just say what you really mean, life gets so much easier.  The truth is that I may not be who I want to be yet.  But I have come a long way from where I used to be.  And I want to continue removing mask after mask and burning them up, so that who I show up as, is always the real me.

Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.

  – Brene’ Brown

What I loved about this photo is that they people in it are being crazy. They are being stupid and silly and weird.  But when you look at each face you see that they are also being happy.  How many times do you catch your face in the mirror or a reflection on a window and see that kind of happy expression on your face?  On others faces that you love?  We all need to be who we are and find those happy faces more often.  When we let the world’s conflicts and tragedy’s be the things we focus on, we lose that happiness.  The news focuses on hyping the negative, and giving us very little of the positive things that happen every day.

Every day a new mom and dad have this wonderful new baby come into their lives and change them forever.  Every day a child does something wonderful, like riding a bike for the first time, or winning a race, or making a home run.  And they celebrate with their loved ones what they achieved.  Every day a police man or a fire man or the driver of an ambulance saves a loved ones life, and they celebrate they have another day with their loved ones.  Every day someone is doing something wonderful, brave, heroic, and we lose sight the of the wonderful.  We need to celebrate all of the wonderful things that happen in our lives and the lives of those we love.  Don’t let those who are still sleep walking through their lives stand in the way of your awakening.

Closing with this quote, because “I see you” needs to be something that happens to us and we need to see others.

If there is any need that is perpetually unmet on this planet, it is the need to feel seen. To feel seen in our humanity, in our vulnerability, in our beautiful imperfection.  When we are held safe in that, a key turns inside of our hearts, freeing us from our isolation, transforming our inner world.  If there is anything we can offer each other, it is the gift of sight.  “I SEE YOU” – perhaps the most important words we can utter to another.  I See You.

  –   Jeff Brown

We need to stop being invisible, and we need to let those who are trying to be, know that we see them as a human being deserving of love and respect.  We don’t have to agree with everything that they have done in their lives, to still give them love and respect.  How many people in nursing homes, living in the street, eating their lunch alone in the café – how many people do we pass by that are not being seen?  How many just need a hug, and someone to say, I See You?  I SEE YOU!

Scars Tell The Best Stories, And You Are Brave, Wise and Strong Enough To Tell Them

You are BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem and SMARTER than you think

Updated 1/28/2019

You are capable of far more than you know.  Don’t be afraid to unleash your greatness.

  – Unknown

Pooh Bear once said “when you see someone putting on his big boots, you can be pretty sure an adventure is about to happen”. Adventures are sure to happen when we look at our life and realize that some changes need to be made.  Sometimes we see something in the distance that we want to explore.  Sometimes, like Alice, we fall into the adventure with no expectations of what we will find.
It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.
  – Unknown
We all have these dreams and aspirations that get buried under “to do” lists. We check off daily house cleaning chores, grocery shopping, taking kids to sport or music programs, taking care of elderly parents and the list of duties and obligations go on and on. We get so lost in the “I have to’s” that the “I want to’s” disappear.
You are made of so much beauty, but it seems that you forgot when you decided you were defined by all the things you’re not.
  –  Unknown
What sometimes happens is that we start perpetuating and growing the list of responsibilities because we start hiding behind the reasons and excuses of not having enough time to work on dusting off the dream and working to bring it into reality.  Can you think of at least one dream, that you have put on the “someday” list?
Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.
  – J.K. Rowling

For years I told myself that I didn’t have the time to write. I had a fulltime job that entailed lots of overtime, four kids to raise and a husband to take care of. Where in all of that was time to find a quiet space to write? So I told myself, when the kids grow up, then I would write. Well the kids grew up and still there was a large list of reasons why I didn’t have the time.
When life gives you something that makes you feel afraid, that’s when life gives you a chance to be brave.
  – Lupytha Marmin

What was really happening is that I was terrified that I didn’t have anything worthwhile to say. That you would read what I wrote and laugh your head off, or even worse stop reading after the first paragraph and I would just hear the sound of silence or boredom.
When you’re brave, you empower others around you to be brave too.
  – Unknown

I think that Facebook was the thing that started me dipping my toes in the water. I would find a quote I liked and do a paragraph or two about the quote on my personal page, and it stayed small because Facebook limited me to the number of words. I would spend more time cutting out words than it took me to write it. Anyway friends and family liked the post (which I thought meant they were just being nice) and then something interesting happened. They started complaining when I wasn’t posting anything.
There is nothing more beautiful than finding your course as you believe you bob aimlessly in the current.  And wouldn’t you know that your path was there all along, waiting for you to knock, waiting for you to become.  This path does not belong to your parents, your teachers, your leaders, or your lovers.  Your path is your character defining itself more and more every day.
  – Jodie Foster

Then Facebook took away the word limit and they grew a little larger. Then I started this LemonadeMaker page. I started creating my quotes on a photo and expanding the writing a little more. And before I realized what was happening you showed up and not only liked my post, you commented on it and shared it with your friends.  You even liked the page. I started believing in myself, because you helped me to build the confidence to believe in myself.
Your talent is God’s gift to you.  What you do with it is your gift back to God.
  – Leo Buscaglia

That is what I believe is true of all of us. We are all BRAVER than we believe we are. I put my thoughts out and what I found is I can have a conversation about them and you may or may not agree with me, and that is ok. I discovered that I could survive differences of opinion.  In fact I discovered that I could grow on the difference of opinion.  While we all have different experiences in life, there is a core of everyone’s experience that is the same.  It is that difference that makes the variety that we all need in life.  Difference isn’t a scary thing was a major reveal for me.  We are all STRONGER than we think we are. We are all SMARTER than we think we are.
All successful people, men and women are big dreamers.  They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.
  – Brian Tracy

I have a different way of looking at the world. I love to find multiple meanings in words. I think that words are like colors and have these shades of color waiting to be explored. It gives each word depth and height and width. As people we have these hidden sides to us. When you look at the stories of those who go through fiery experiences in their lives you see what they learn about themselves and others. It gives new meaning to what humanity is all about.
Don’t be the reason someone feels insecure.  Be the reason someone feels seen, heard, and supported by the whole universe.
  – Cleo Wade
I am so glad that I take the chance each day to express my thoughts, as those thoughts are creating a community of souls that I believe are filled with simply amazing people – and yes that means you! You encourage me each day to express my thoughts and I hope in turn that I can encourage just one person each day that life is not only worth living – but that we are all brave enough and strong enough to climb to the tops of mountains, and explore the depths of valleys and swim in the oceans.  If you want to go deeper into the conversation, make a comment below.  Go to our website and sign up for the next free webinar.  Check out our LemonadeMakers Club.  Choose your happiness.
Happiness is a choice, so choose to let go of things that frustrate you and start to enjoy your life.
  –  Unknown

Answer Your Soul’s Call to Adventure

A fairy tale is always a heroes journey.  It is about trials that burn off everything that isn’t the real you.  It is about exposing to the light everything you have hidden, the mystery of who you really are.  It is a difficult path to travel, but for those that go down the road of “Once upon a time” you not only confront dragons, you recover the treasures of your true life.

There comes a time in life where we realize that we need to leave the comfort and safety of what we have created for our lives.  When we realize that the comfort zone is just another word for a cage that we locked ourselves in to be safe from our fears.  Looking from the outside in, see that the time has come to go within and discover who we really are.  We have to stop being scared and just go for the life we secretly have been dreaming about all of our lives.

Letting go of who we are.  Surrendering to who we are meant to be.  Doing this without any idea of what we will discover, or guarantee that we will even be able to complete the journey – that’s what this surrender is all about.  It is time to accept that we are powerful beyond reckoning.  That we have big work to do.  And the only way to do the work, is to go deep within our inner darkness.  Inside this darkness we are going to stumble.  We are going to fall down into our own personal abyss.  What we will find there, is our power.   It is time to bring it forth and expose it to the light.

Christopher Reeves said, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”  I like to think that he was drawn to play Superman because of all of the positive qualities that comic book hero had.  He stood for truth and justice.  He never gave up.  He loved deeply.  He used his powers to help others.  When we go through the heroes journey, we go through the valley of death.  We die to our past lives in which we didn’t live from strength and wisdom.  We are reborn from the fire of those tests.  We come back with the heroes light – we become extraordinary.

We don’t go on this heroes journey searching for a life purpose.  We go on this journey to set ourselves free from the limitations that our fears and our comfort zones have created for us.  We want to feel the rapture of being alive again.  We remember it as young children.  Before life started imposing its rules and restrictions on us.  Then we learned to squish our true selves into a small space so that we were not judged.  We put our innermost being down deep into the abyss.  We put guards of fear of not being enough all around it, so that it would never run free again.

But nothing can keep our innermost self in the abyss forever.  It cries out through our heart.  It whispers in our intuition.  It screams out in our dreams.  It is the triumph of our souls voice over the power of our fears.  Even in the journey of the dark night of the soul, we can be givers of our light.  We take our intimate beliefs along with us on our journey and those beliefs will take us always into sharing our souls light.  In the end, all journeys are spiritual, and our spiritual natures will always shine from within.

We enter the journey through the storms of winter and we return in the beginning of spring with new growth in our lives.  Just as the seasons turn, so does our road.  We continue from spring into summer and autumn, where we rest, reflect on what has now become a new comfort zone and the realization that winter storms are returning.  A new journey is about to begin.

Like the butterfly, we began as a caterpillar in the spring.  We ate our way growing and expanding through summer and in the fall we begin to spin our chrysalis.  In the winter we enter inside to begin our transformation in our journey to once more give our life to something bigger than we are.

 

 

 

Overcome Fear, Behold Wonder!

 _May I have the courage today to live the life I would love, to postpone my dream no longer. But%2

Updated 12/27/2018

There comes a time when the desire for transformation demands action.  Never let your fears be the deciding factor, of taking that action.

Obstacles are like wild animals.  They are cowards, but they will bluff you if they can.  If they see you are afraid of them, they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.

  – Orison Swett Marsden

Action is required when the change comes from within us.  The choice to enter through the gates of greatness, is an internal change initiated by our desire to live a fully engaged life.  This change requires of us, just a touch of insanity because it means that we will no longer live a life of conformity.  It requires from us that we recognize and let go of beliefs that no longer serve us.  We begin by setting intentions and making conscious designs of how we want to change our life.  Something new is birthed into existence when this happens.  Like the caterpillar we emerge from the chrysalis a new creation.

Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.

  – Theodore Roosevelt

There comes a time when the caterpillar has to make the chrysalis.  He has to overcome the fear of what is going to happen when he closes it off with himself all wrapped up inside of it.  He has to let go of the fear of how will he be able to breathe?  How will he eat?  What happens if it something goes wrong?  How will he get out?

It is when I struggle that I strengthen.  It is when I am challenged to my core, that I learn the depth of who I am.

 –   Dr. Steve Marboli

It is the struggle of the transformed butterfly to emerge from the covering that the wings become fully functional.  If you “help” it to escape, it will deform the wings and it will never be able to fly.

Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid.  Having courage and showing courage means we face our fears.  We are able to say, “I have fallen, but I will get up”.

  – Maya Angelou

There is a story told of how an arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward.  When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means it’s going to launch you into something great.  So just focus, and keep aiming.  I have always loved this story, because it is by the action of pulling back the arrow that it launches us through the gates of greatness.  It is such a great analogy of understanding that struggle is part of advancement.

Fear, to a great extent is born of a story that we tell ourselves.

  – Cheryl Strayed

I don’t know how many of you remember back to the late 70’s, but there was a gas crisis. We had lines around the block to get gas, and you could only get it on even or odd days depending on your license plate number.  It was around this time that all but two states, decided that we had to pump our own gas, it was all self service.

Now I had never had to pump gas.  I told myself this big fear story about how I was going to do it wrong, blow up the service station or something equally horrible.  For quite a while I got away with leaving my husband with the almost empty tank, until one day it happened.  The tank was on empty and I had to pump my own gas.  Well as you can guess it was simple and easy.  I didn’t pour gas all over the station, I didn’t implode, nothing caught on fire.  I laughed about my fears when I drove away – it was just a made up story, by my fear of the unknown.

The meaning I picked, the one that changed my life:  Overcome fear, behold wonder.

  – Richard Bach

That is what I learned from that experience.  Fear isn’t meant to shut me down – it is meant to wake me up to wonder.  I had let this fear limit how far I could drive.  I had let it stop me from filling up my car with gas.  I have always pulled that memory out when fears start getting in my way.  Fear was making me a prisoner, and overcoming that fear set me free. Behold wonder!

You gain strength and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

  -Eleanor Roosevelt

Free to go have adventures, to embrace transformation and change in my life. To take actions, which is to take risks.  Risk is always present when I am doing something that I don’t know how to do.  This is what bravery and courage is, not the absence of fear, but the ability to push through the fear and by taking action, to do it anyway.  There is nothing more liberating that doing something we didn’t think that we could do.  No matter how simple or easy it actually turns out to be.

Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will.

  –  W. Clement Stone

It is the actions that move us forward. Actions say who we are, whereas the words, or talking about something, simply say who we want to be.  What we have to remember is that our lives are a message to all of those around us.  They see our actions that we take, how we go forward in the world, and that is how they see us.

Think of the iconic movie characters.  Rocky who fights against the odds and wins.  Indiana Jones who will find the treasure, then have to fight the bad guys and win against impossible odds.  John Wayne; The Lone Ranger; Darth Vader; Luke Skywalker; Bilbo Baggins; Gandalf; – when you say the names, you see the characters that they represent.  The reputations that the characters earned, by the actions that they each took – both good and bad.  Each one has a message to the world.  They have become archetypes of certain attributes.  Each name invokes a certain feeling in us.

Adversity introduces a man to himself.

 –   Albert Einstein

Think about Luke Skywalker and how when he was training with Yoda and entered the cave. He asked what he would find inside and Yoda said, “whatever you take in with you”.  He took into the cave his fears of Darth Vader, but what did he see when he took the mask off of Darth Vader?  His own face.  His own fears that he would become what he hated.  That somehow he would fail and become evil too.  That is the story of his fear.  When he faced that fear, he saved not only himself, but also his father Darth Vader.  He inspired his father to change back from his evil ways.

Your fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival.

  – Dr. Steve Maraboli

Our souls dreams lead us into transformation.  This transformation requires that we change.  Change requires that we initiate some sort of action to make everything happen.  When you are inspired by your purpose to seek change and transformation, your mind transcends the limitations or bonds that have kept you prisoner, held in place.  the whole world opens up to you.  You see things that you missed, because of the blinders your fear had in place.

Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to help you grow.

  – Caroline Myss

Your talents and gifts comes alive and expand to fill in the void created by facing your fears.  These gifts are that which is needed for transformation.  The caterpillar builds the chrysalis, after which the divine takes over, as the caterpillar physically changes into the butterfly. The action of the caterpillar has to happen first.  So it is for us.

The thing about being brave is it doesn’t come with the absence of fear and hurt.  Bravery is the ability to look fear and hurt in the face and say, move aside, you are in the way.

  – Melissa Tumino

We feel the need to transform.  We take the needed action to start the process.  Then you transcend your limitations, your gifts come alive and you begin to see the divine purpose you have in being  here.  You discover that you are a greater person than you ever dreamed you could be.

Believe in yourself and all that you are.  Know that there is something inside of you that the world is waiting for.  That the gifts you have been given are required in this time and place.  That these gifts can help you to overcome any obstacle.  Life has a habit of pulling out of us what is needed.  So don’t just dream about the life you wish you had.  Go out and make that life real.  Let your faith be bigger than your fears.

What you fear will  not go away by constantly thinking about it.  It will go away when you see it for exactly what it is.

  – Unknown

Just remember how silly I was to let the fear of pumping gas stop me from having adventures by limiting how far I could travel.  Every time you face a fear, you can laugh with me at how silly we were to let it stop us for even 5 minutes.

If Your Dreams Dont Scare You, They Aren’t Big Enough

if your dreams dont scare you

Updated 12/09/2018

Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts.

  –  Albert Einstein

This is so important when you are looking at the big dream, because 99% of people will tell you all the reasons why it can’t be done.  What Albert Einstein was really saying, is that the big dreams lay outside of the box of rules on how things are done.

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

  – Confucius

We shared a story about a pilot who was born without arms and flies with her feet at the controls. Another story featured a woman born without legs who surfs and skateboards competitively. These two women have big dreams and accomplish them because they believe they can find a way to make it work. They defy the odds. They don’t let missing arms or legs be a limiting factor to their dreams. 

More recently on America’s Got Talent there is the wonderful story of a young woman who lost her hearing as a teenager, who writes her own music, plays ukulele and sings beautifully.  She spent a few years raging against the world for taking away her dream to be a singer and then figured out a way to do it anyway.

Janine Shepherd is a public speaker and author of several books including “Defiant: A Memoir”.  Shepherd had been an aspiring Olympic cross-country skier. She was nearly killed when she was hit by a truck during a training bike ride. Paralyzed and immobile for six months, she was given a grim picture for recovery.  Not only did she teach herself to walk again — she learned to fly — becoming an aerobatics pilot.  Her TED Talk is:  Janine Shepherd: How Can We Redefine Ourselves After A Tragedy?  Her story is amazing because she took her story and reformed it to continue to push the edges of her potential, not settling for the Janine Shepherd, disabled story.

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company  . . .  a church . . .  a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past . . . we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.  I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.  And so it is with you  . . . we are in charge of our Attitudes.

  – Charles R. Swindell

So what are some tools you can use to lasso those big dreams into the barn? One suggestion is to have either a half day or full day block of time to write and brainstorm about the ideas on how to accomplish your dreams.

Another suggestion I read recently was to have what they called “implementation intentions”. We have all heard of intentions being set to bring something into your sphere of influence to assist you with a goal in your life. This is setting an intention with steps to implement the intention into reality. I have done this in my life without realizing what I was doing.

Dreams become reality when intentions turn into actions.

  – Unknown

Years ago one of my sons got engaged in the month of February. The wedding date was set for August and my goal was to save enough money to be able to pay for their honeymoon for them. I had it budgeted out and while it was a little tight I knew that I could stretch and make it happen. Then in March they decided to move the wedding to the end of May. I looked at the numbers and I had no idea how I was going to be able to pay for it in less than 60 days.

I sat down and starting writing out how happy I was that I had come up with a way to pay for their honeymoon. I wrote about how wonderful the wedding was and how much they enjoyed their honeymoon. I put ever ounce of energy into the writing, with the words emoting all five senses as I wrote out how they loved Mexico – the sound of the surf, the smell of the flowers, the tastes of the spicy food. I expressed thankfulness and gratitude with every sentence.

After I finished the letter, I still didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I had my intentions pulling in all possibilities. About a week later I received a phone call out of the blue about a property that we have in Upstate New York. We owned a 10 acre parcel next door to our second home free and clear and the neighbors across the street wanted to purchase it for $17,000 and do a fast cash closing. With that money and what I had in savings, the honeymoon was paid for.

Set your intentions, be open to miracles, let go and let God take guided action.  Let your dreams unfold like a beautiful flower.

  –  Anna Taylor

That was a big dream that scared me, because I had no idea when the date changed that I could make it happen. I still am amazed at the timing of how it all worked out. I think that this is how all of the really big dreams happen. We start out with the idea, which becomes a goal, which becomes an implemented intention. We get really specific in our minds as to what happened and leave the hows to the universe, while at the same time, using all of our tools to bring our dreams into reality.

Every morning you have two choices:  continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them.

  – Unknown

There is a Native American saying, “give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.” So dream so big that everyone thinks your crazy. Don’t let yourself or anyone else limit you. The time is now to follow your passions. Lasso that dream and bring in home.  The goal is to die with memories, not just dreams of what could have been.

Who Are You?

 

Have you ever been so lost in a relationship trying to be who they wanted, that you lost yourself?

Have you ever been in a job, where you were constantly biting your tongue so that you didn’t lash out at a coworker or your boss who was bullying you?

Did you spend your childhood trying so hard to be the perfect child, that you pushed and pushed all of your rebellious self into a tight box and nailed that lid shut?

We are only as blind as we want to be.

  – Maya Angelou

I think that most of us could answer yes to at least one of those, if not all three.  I spent my entire childhood trying to be the perfect daughter with my mom, because my experience of her was that if you made her mad, she would divorce you (she was married five times). 

When I met my husband, I spent the first few years trying to be the perfect wife to him, and the perfect mother to our children.  I put unrealistic expectations on myself.  I exhausted myself and the not so funny thing about it, is that my husband never voiced or indicated in any way that this was something that he wanted.  I have had jobs where Sunday night I got stomach pains or headaches just thinking about going into work on Monday and having to deal with that toxic environment.

Why do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we allow these kinds of situations to develop?  Are we actually setting them up in the first place?  Why do we stay in them way too long?

You can’t change what’s going on around you until you start changing what’s going on within you.

  – YourTango

What I discovered in myself, was a pattern of behavior on my own part.  I was taking subconsciously that pattern of behavior with my mother “being the perfect child so you are liked and loved” and I transferred it to my husband and children.  I even transferred it to work, thinking that if I just worked harder, smarter, faster, they would like me and treat me better.

You have the ability to quickly change your patterns of thought, and eventually your life experience.

  – Abraham Hicks

The first step to change is to recognize your patterns.  We all have them.  They are a part of our human nature. They begin in childhood.  Most of us had that one parent that we wanted and worked at getting to love us.  We wanted their attention.  We did whatever we had to in order to get it.  Sometimes it was being the perfect child.  For others it might have been being rebellious, because being the perfect child didn’t get you any attention.  You had to be the squeaky wheel.  Maybe you were the family clown, to make everyone laugh and defuse your environment in some way.  What is the pattern of behavior that you had with that parent?  Now look at your life now.  How is that pattern of behavior showing up for you?

 

Once you see the pattern, how it shifts and changes in every aspect of your life, you can begin to shift it.  I called my pattern Cami – because she is so good at camouflage.  I might think that I have rooted her out, but she still shows up.  The thing about patterns is that they have become masters at disguise.  So I am always finding her same old pattern dressed up in different clothes.  When I find her, then I can scoot her out the door, and work on changing the situation that she has created in my life.  It has become a kind of game.  I don’t fail at shifting my pattern.  She just keeps camouflaging how she shows up, and I get to play detective and find her.

Everything has changed and yet, I am more me than I’ve ever been.

– Iain Thomas

Now that I know and recognize the patterns, I see how I have set things up in the past to repeat the pattern of behavior.  It was what I was comfortable with.  I know how to act and react within it.  I find that now I recognize it before it sets itself up.  I can sidestep most of it, because I now know what to look for. 

The 3 C’s in life: Choice, Chance, Change. You must make the Choice, to take the Chance, if you want anything in life to Change.

– via Curianocom

I recognize that “the everything that has changed” is me.  I changed my own self destructive behavior by recognizing the signs before I activated it.  When you know what to look for, it is surprising how clearly you can see it.  My husband used to clean carpets for a living.  Everywhere we went, he would look at the carpets and comment on them.  It was automatic behavior.  We all have it, and making very small incremental changes to that automatic behavior shifts it into new and different patterns.  Slowly over time after he no longer had that job, he just stopped noticing whether a buildings carpets were clean or not.  It was no longer a focus of his behavior.  

One of the happiest moments in your life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.

  – Unknown

So when you look at your own daily routine, what is holding your patterns of behavior in place?  What small incremental changes can you make in your life?  Do you have the courage to let go of the “safety net” your patterns are holding for you?  Do you have the courage to do something different?  Do you have the courage to release the chains of patterns of behavior that are anchoring you in place?  Great changes in our lives don’t come from remaining in our comfort zone, and it takes courage to walk away from the certainty of our lives, for the unknown that beckons to us.

At some point in your life you’re going to have to start demanding what you deserve and be willing to walk away if what you require can’t be provided.

– r.h.sin

 It really is as simple as looking at your life.  You know what you don’t want, even if the knowing what you do want part is not totally clear.  You know what you have done to create what you now have.  You also know that getting something different is just as simple as asking and then implementing actions to achieve it.  You might have a harder time accepting that you deserve the best things in life.  But you do.  So stop settling for less.  If you still have parts of you buried, dig them up.  Get to know who you are at the most basic parts of you. 

Will it be easy?  Nope.  Worth it?  Absolutely.

  – Elite Daily

Be courageous enough to live the life that you have always dreamed about.  It might not happen overnight, but step by step, accepting what you deserve and working at the small changes, you will progress to living the life of your dreams.

 

You Have The Power To Free Yourself

 

Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.

  – Alan Watts

We are all on a spiritual journey of unlearning the fears created by our past life, and learning to accept ourselves as who we really are.  At some point in our life, probably multiple times, we let someone else tell us we were wrong to believe in the things we do.  They abandoned us.  They betrayed us.  They ridiculed us. They said and did hateful things.  They made us feel that we were not good enough, that we were stupid, a waste of space, not even useful garbage. 

Whenever there is fear, there is opportunity.  When there is great fear, there is great opportunity.

  – Andy Stanley

It may be that we didn’t live up to the expectations of our family, or at school or work, or with our so called friends.  So we became victims and were abused, bullied, and treated disrespectfully.  Or it may be that they were so dysfunctional and unhappy that they didn’t know how else to treat us.  And we let it happen.  We believed them, we listened to them, and they shattered us.  Then in an act of self preservation we gathered up all of the broken pieces of ourselves and put them deep inside a cage, so that no one could cause further destruction.  

To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own.

  – Jack Kornfield

Next what happens is that our negative mind talk takes up where the others left off.  It seeks to keep us inside of that cage, because it thinks by doing so we won’t be hurt again.  We will be kept safe.  But at some point that small child inside the cage starts making some noise.  It wants to be free.  It wants to come back into the light and start pursuing our dreams again.  At some point you start becoming conscious of this desire that is building up inside your soul  You have to start taking some risks.  You come to know that you can change your life. That it is a possibility, and not as hard as our mind wants us to think it is.

Being strong means rejoicing in who you are, complete with imperfections.

  – Margaret Woodhouse

In order to trust in the dreams, we go on a spiritual pilgrimage. A spiritual journey of discovering a path to happiness.  Of creating new paths of your own, breaking your own trail.  Of making changes even though they terrify you.  You discover doors to open that you never saw before.  You set yourself free from those shackles.  You used your key to unlock the cage you had locked yourself into.  You know in your bones that you deserve to be free and happy.

Survival mode is supposed to be a phase that helps save your life.  It is not meant to be how you live.

  – Michele Rosenthal

With every choice, with every small change we go on a new heroes journey.  We begin we discover the possibility of a new life.  We stop being who we were and start uncovering who we are.  Hope begins to find a home inside our souls again.  We begin to love ourselves without boundaries.  We open up to the possibility of being loved, and loving others without boundaries.

Hope is the magic elixir that energizes dreams, fuels possibilities, and lets you live beyond the limits of your historical thinking.  It is not a promise that something you want will happen – it is an invitation to enjoy the possibility of what you want while you and life negotiate the eventual outcome.  There is never a good reason not to hope!

  – Michael Neill

This begins the life of taking second chances.  It is the most powerful gift we can give ourselves.  The opportunity to amplify our love.  To see life from the place of our restored hope.  To live a life of value, redeeming those qualities and values we abandoned.  To be made whole again.  To change the story of our life.  To expand out past our comfort zone, the cage we imprisoned ourselves in, and begin living a life of potential and possibilities.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

  – Alan Watts

We close the chapter in the story of being a victim.  That might have been who we were when we lost our way.  But now with our transformational compass firmly in our hands we are navigating our way to start living a life of purpose and meaning.  We are climbing back up the mountain in our heroes journey, refined.  Like the phoenix rising from the ashes we take flight.  We are starting out on a new journey, a new sacred destination of fulfilling our destiny once again.

Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.  If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist, because you’ll have already shut it out – you can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.

  – Mae Jemison

When we look at our life with gratitude, even for the stuff that was devastating, it transforms it all into a gift.  It bestows reverence on how God works with everything that happens and turns it into something valuable.  It allows us to see the world through love, and creates these transcendent moments of awe that change us down into the DNA of our bodies.  We experience the world in a different way.  It becomes a daring adventure.  We become the brave heroes exploring the new world.  Yes, we will fall down.  Yes, we will be hurt.  Yes, we will find ourselves working to regain our vision.  But now we know that we can choose our thoughts.  That we can keep what brings us joy, peace, and happiness.  That never again will we find ourselves having to imprison ourselves to save ourselves.  That we can release the things that make us suffer, let them take flight and be free.

I wish for the same thing I’ve hoped for since the beginning.  I wish for a life so brave, so unpredictable, so full of unexpected joys and unforgettable love that no box could possibly contain all my memories.  Such a life won’t be perfect.  It’ll be something better.  It’ll be my own paradise.

  – Patti Smith

 

Embrace Life, Each Day Is A Gift

_Old age is like climbing a mountain. You climb from ledge to ledge. The higher you get, the more

Shel Silverstein is one of my favorite poets.  My kids all read his poems when they were little.  This is one of his poems that I wanted to share, because it is now part of my life with my dad.

The Little Boy and Old Man

“Said the little boy, Sometimes I drop my spoon.  Said the little old man, I do that too.

The little boy whispered, I wet my pants.  I do too, laughed the old man.

Said the little boy, I often cry.  The old man nodded, So do I.

But worst of all, said the boy, it seems Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.  And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.  I know what you mean, said the little old man.”

Recently I crossed over from being a daughter to being a parent for my father.  Some changes in your life, tear your heart into tiny pieces.  22 years ago, my mom went on to her next adventure.  She passed away at 56 yrs old from cancer.  I stayed with her and took care of her the last three months of her life.  My aunt and my mom’s best friend stayed with me as she needed around the clock care.  With them by my side, while I had hard moments, it wasn’t traumatic.  I miss her so much with each new family event.  My kids graduating high school.  college, marriages, and of course grandchildren and now great grandchildren. She missed it all.

It was a family understanding that when my dad retired from work that he would move in with us.  And because he had poor heart health, having a triple bypass, he actually retired a little early with disability and came to live with us.  At first he had a motorhome that he lived in, so he could keep his independence.  We had a motorhome pad, with electricity hook ups and everything.  Then came the day he had to move inside, because his health was deteriorating. 

Then we purchased a hospital bed because he was having problems breathing at night, with a lot of coughing and this would allow him to raise it up enough that he could comfortably sleep.  Then more ups and downs.  He acquired a walker because he couldn’t walk more than a few steps before he was out of breath.  Then back and forth to hospitals, ER’s, tests and more tests. Changes of medication when they damaged his kidneys.  Changes of medications to help his heart failures.

My dad has a phobia around hospitals.  An intense fear.  He refuses to go, wanting to stabilize himself with drugs at home.  So that is very trying as it usually means intense discussions with both me and his cardiac specialists.  The drugs have started causing kidney damage and they have to dial back the dosage.  I feel horrible that he becomes defeated.  He sits in his chair and watches TV all day and I know he has feelings of depression and being defeated by his body.  Sometimes I feel like the worst daughter in the world, as I crossed over into being his parent.  I am his advocate when he doesn’t or just can’t understand what is happening and why.

There is a moral task of caregiving, and that involves just being there, being with that person and being committed.  When there is nothing that can be done, we have to be able to say, “Look, I’m with your in this experience.  Right through to the end of it.

Dr. Arthur Kleinman.

Why do I do this?  About 52 years ago, my dad married my mom.  She had six little girls, all eighteen months apart with a set of twins.  My dad has a lot of faults, like all of us.  But he also has some amazing qualities.  One is that when they got married, we were his daughters.  Not his step-daughters.  His daughters.  Not once in 50 years has the word “step” exited his mouth.  I think that many who read this will not understand how important that is to a child.  For me, putting the word “step” before me, makes me less than his own child.  I know how lucky we were that we were never step children.  When my mom died, 22 years ago, we were still his daughters.  No words can express this kind of love.  Believe me, if you met some of my sisters, you would understand how amazing it is, that he still calls them his daughters – lol. 

Of all the lessons I’ve learned through my years of caregiving, the most important is to keep the love connection going.  Just tell them that you love them again and again and again.  You will never say it too much, ever.

Joan Lunden

It is scary to cross this transition from daughter to parent.  It was different from my mom, as I never felt I became her parent, I remained in caregiving mode.  It is scary to see that in the near future, he will go on to his next great adventure, leaving all of us behind him.  We are both scared right now.  What happens when we let our fears get ahold of our mouths?  We shout, we get angry, we say hurtful things.  But it is just us being scared.  Caregiving is hard, but it is also so rewarding.  I can remember when I was taking care of my mom, that some of my sisters were absent because it was too hard to watch the lung cancer take away her ability to care for herself.  I learned what the true meaning of words like grace, dignity, love, sacrifice really were deep under the surface of the meanings we usually give them.  I am again reminded of it now everyday.

To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors. 

Tia Walker

I wanted to share my story because I know that many of you are doing the same as I am.  Day by day watching a loved one fade away.  Sometimes with a fight and sometimes with a whimper.  It is hard to watch, and harder to experience it happening to oneself.  I wanted to say how while all of our experiences are different because of the people involved and other circumstances, I know how hard this is.  I know how fulfilling it is one moment and utterly draining the next.  But this is still a gift.  A gift of grace, love, and all the other virtues. 

Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know was even possible.

  Tia Walker

You are not alone, even when it feels like it.  If you feel overwhelmed, please join a caregiver group, whether online or up front and personal.  It helps to share what is going on and they can help you with getting assistance when it is needed.  Believe me, it is hard to find help when you don’t even know where to start and what is available.  Even the strongest person can have the weakest day of their life and having access to someone who knows and understands what is happening is priceless.

Remember the power of your angels.  Remember to be guided by love and take strength in the good memories, when those you care for are having a bad day and giving you waking nightmares.  And remember the grace of how those things we can’t change, can change us.

When we are in a state of severe loss, of pain and grief and a darkness of the soul – that is when life is at its hardest to bear.

But if we just take a deep breath, followed by more deep breaths we can walk into the middle of the chaos. It’s messy in the middle, but in the middle we have the space to start working through the story of our loss. And as we walk through the story, we eventually reach the end.

The end is the place of new beginnings. Our life has been forever changed by our tragedy. We must remember in this space of pain, grief, and loss that the new beginning will be waiting for us.

The sun will shine. The stars will shine brightly. New people will come into our lives. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, if we only will open once again to breathe in the love.

Heart’s Destiny

_The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.  I want to know what you ache for, and if you dream of meeting your heart’s destiny.

  – Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Orian Mountain Dreamer is one of my favorite writers.  I invite you to read her books, they are small but mighty.  The Invitation is what this quote is from.  The poem is a wonderful deep dive into important questions that probe who we are and why.

If light is in your heart, you will find your way home.

  – Rumi

Our words have power.  When we hide how we feel, what we think, we are trying to live our life using someone else’s light.  We can’t find our way home that way.  There is always some truth behind the words that are followed by “just kidding”.  When we say “I don’t know”, there is always some knowledge that we judge as being incomplete and so we say we don’t know – when in fact we do know something about it.  When we say, “I don’t care” we are not being truthful.  We think if we put our emotions in a cage and don’t let them out we can’t be hurt.  The reality is that we are hurting ourselves.  When we tell others that we are “ok” when we aren’t, we rob them of the opportunity to help us.

May you always be guided by the light that shines forth from within you.

  – solitaryview

Life is always about the meaning that we give to it.  If you take a lamp as the analogy, our soul is the light inside the lamp.  The things that happen to us are the glass that surrounds the light.  That glass doesn’t matter, it is the heart and soul – the light that matters.

We tell ourselves stories about the events in our life, to give us some meaning to what is happening. Some of us are writing horror stories, or stories that leave us drained from fears and worries. Others of us, write stories about the gifts we received as we travel through life.  From the wonderful things that happen to us, as well as the tragic things. The best way to count your blessings is to look at life through a variety of lenses. To bring things into and out of focus. To look into the depths of our souls to see what the storms dredged up for us to look at.  When we sift through it all, we can let go of everything that doesn’t serve us, realize the lessons we have been taught, and grow into who we came here to be.

Harness the power of today!  Seize the blessings of today!  Make something happen, enhance your life, make someone laugh, help a friend.  Love, love, love.

  – Dr. Steve Maraboli. 

There is a big difference between making something happen and forcing something to happen.  Forcing something to happen isn’t natural.  It is like forcing yourself into something that doesn’t fit.  Have you ever laid on the bed to force your stomach to be flat so you can get your jeans buttoned and zipped up?  Or forced your foot into a shoe that you loved, but doesn’t really fit?  You might be able to get the jeans fastened, but it hurts your stomach when you try to sit.  You might be able to walk in those shoes for a little while, but eventually you have to take off the shoes because they hurt your feet so badly.  What you will left with is blisters to prove vanity isn’t a good idea to live your life by.

And I know how broken you are, how heavy you feel, but still, you have to find the light in you.  You have to hold on to it with care and never let it go, even if it drags you to the end of the world.

  – r.m. drake

But making something happen is all about taking small steps to bring into reality what you are dreaming of.  It is catching the light of your soul and holding it up into the darkness, so that you can see where to go.  It is taking the voice or dancing lessons because you want to be in theater.  It is taking leaps of faith when you don’t know how to do something.  It is going for the brass ring as the merry go round flies around and around.  It is learning a foreign language for a trip of a lifetime to a foreign land.  It is taking big, medium and small actions, not just dreaming about it,  You don’t just sit there doing nothing to make it happen.

Whenever you hear or read anything of a spiritual nature that moves your soul you are not learning something . . , you are remembering what you have always known.  It is a gentle awakening.

  – thewellnessglow.net

Have you ever went somewhere new and experienced deja vu?  That feeling that what is happening at this moment, has happened before?  Have you ever learned something new and it was just so natural and easy that you didn’t even need instructions to do it?  For me, it feels like something that I have dreamed about, is now happening in real life.  That my mind already knows and sees the connections, like it was programmed into being.  I think that when this happens, we need to pay attention.  That we are in that moment doing something that is important, even if our minds do not understand it.

The Words I Speak Are All In Languages I Do Not Speak

And yet, when you get here, you are not given instructions.  There are no diagrams about how you are meant to live each day or directions on how to assemble some semblance of happiness.  You are not even told what colors to paint your feelings or given a purpose and a reason for your life.  You have to make all of it up.  You have to make all of it up yourself.

  – Iain S. Thomas, from “I Wrote This For You”

No matter if we are in the first month or the last  month of the year, take the time to reflect on what the year so far has been for you.  To see the places where life has been a blessing.  To see the places where you let your dreams fall by the wayside.  Pick them back up.  Dust them off.  Find within them the things that you are looking for.  Go beyond your means to make them come true for you.  Draw down deep within the story of them and bring it into reality.  Transform the pain and regrets of this year and past years into the blessings and joy of a new year.

Years end is neither an end nor a new beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. 

  – Hal Borland. 

The journey of life teaches us that growth happens when the dream is bigger and brighter than you ever thought it could be.  In the pursuit of that dream, it will illuminate your heart, capture your mind, and free your soul from the small box that you held it in.  You will discover that there are hidden maps within your soul.  That there are clues and invitations to walk through doors that will open your mind up to things you never dreamed could be true.  But you can only make those kind of discoveries when you listen to your heart.

That is my wish for all of you today.  That you listen to your heart; that you hear the whisper of your soul and find the dream that is so big, that you too can grow beyond who you are today and enrich the universe.

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