Category Archives for Transformation

The Best Is Yet To Come, In New Beginnings

_If you're looking for a happy ending and can't seem to find one, maybe it's time for a new beginn

Always believe something wonderful is about to happen . . .
–  Unknown
 
Jack Canfield tells a wonderful story of an elderly woman who is meeting with her minister to plan out her future funeral. She tells him all the things that she wants around her – her bible, what she wants to wear, and then she says that she wants a fork. Puzzled the minister asks her why a fork? So she says, “when they have the potlucks at the church you know you are going to have a special desert, when they say to save your fork. The fork is to remind everyone that the best is yet to come.”
 
And suddenly you know:  It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings.
  – Unknown

When a friendship or relationship ends, or a loved one dies, it can seem like our broken heart it all that we have left. There can be no happy ending. That is when we need to remember the story of the fork. We need to remember that the best is yet to come. We may not even see a glimmer of what it could be. We may look at the broken pieces of our heart and think that there is no way it can be mended.
 
When the world says give up, hope whispers try one more time.
  – Unknown

But what we are doing is not really mending the heart. It is giving the heart a new beginning. Think of a clear calm lake. No waves, just a perfect surface reflecting all that is around it. Now pick up a stone and throw it as far as you can into the lake. As it hits the surface, it creates a ripple on the surface of the lake. It starts small and expands out to the entire lake. Eventually the ripples expand to the point that the surface of the lake is completely calm again.
 
Just like the butterfly, I will awaken and emerge a new creation.  I will spread my wings, take flight and discover my new world.
  – Sheryl Silbaugh

However the lake has been forever changed. It now contains that stone on the bottom of the lake. This lake is our heart. Our heart will never be the same, as it contains both the love and heartbreak that occurred. It can come back into it’s new shape, and look the same, but it has been forever changed. There is always a new beginning.  The stone does not define you.  Let it go (no I am not singing the frozen song – lol)
 
A woman’s strength isn’t just about how much she can handle before she breaks.  It’s also about how much she must handle after she’s broken.
  – Unknown
 
Don’t confuse the storm currently raging on your path, with your final destination.  The storm will play itself out and the sun will come out again.  Be strong enough to let that hurt go, and to know that the divine presence is transforming the heart that wants to turn to stone, into a new healthy heart that will open to love again.
 
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
  – Seneca
 
I think of all of the firsts that happen in a life.  Your first step, was because you wanted to get higher and faster.  Your first word was because you wanted to communicate.  Your first day of school opened up a whole new world for you.  Going from grade school to junior high school to high school to college, each step opened a new door as well as closing the door behind you.  Your first relationship, your saying “I do” and I will love you forever.  Seeing your child for the first time, that beautiful baby that had been making its presence known for months being in your arms for the first time.  Each first time, held a new promise, a hope of a dream coming true.  Each first was what you chose to make of it, to trust in the magic of a new beginning.
 
A wise girl knows her limits.  A smart girl knows she has none.
  – @getlanded

So when someone or something breaks your heart, know that eventually the ripples of sorrow, loss and pain will expand out and fade away. A person of strength knows that it is in the journey itself, that we become strong.  Our heart may have been forever changed by the loss, but remember the fork – the best is yet to come. The things that we can’t change, change us instead.  A new beginning, a new way of seeing things, a new chance to dance.  
 
 
Lyrics quoted from  from “I Hope You Dance”, by Lee An Womack
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,”
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

Dreams are the Children of your Soul

_Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your%2Every day we have a choice.  We can live in fear or move forward in faith.

  –  Billy Cox

What does it take to realize the visions and dreams our of soul?  It takes faith as Billy said, but it also takes making that faith become real with a solid belief.  That belief then needs to move us forward.  It takes action to start implementing steps that move us forward with the faith, that we can make it a reality.  As we take action, we develop practices and habits to change from where we started.  These actions propel us forward to where we want to go. 

Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.  Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.

  – Pamela Vaull Starr

Dreams create transformation in our life.  As we bring our dreams into reality, it requires change.  Some changes come about from letting go of what no longer serves us.  Some changes come about by stripping away who we thought we were, to become who we really are.  As the saying goes, “How does one become a butterfly?  You have to want to fly so much, that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

Dreams are . . .  illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.

  – Unknown

Since the road of life is not a long flat road, but has hills and valleys, it also will take perseverance. This is because we will run across obstacles on our road.  Some things we can take a detour around; some things we will have to break out the tools to build a bridge over; and some things will require that we climb up and down the mountain.  So to perseverance of not giving up, we also need to add in patience and time, because at least for me everything takes longer than I think it will.

Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date.  Take a deep breath, try again.

  – Unknown

All of these things are required, because at every turn and obstacle fear is going to try to tell us to stop.  That this is not working.  That this dream is too big, too much for us to accomplish.  That look how far we have come – we can rest now and this will be good enough.  Fear will try everything it has to get us to just be happy right where we are. 

Carl Jung adds another piece to the picture that we are painting about dreams. 

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.  Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

  – Carl Jung 

Daydreams are outside dreams.  What they call “pipe dreams”, because they are so untethered.  Pipe dreams mesmerize us, as they float by.  They keep us asleep. 

Dreams are answers to questions we haven’t figured out how to ask.

  – Unknown

The dreams of your soul are a totally different kind of dream.  They are the DNA of your soul, the blueprint of what you have been divinely gifted with to achieve in this lifetime.  But in order for us to birth these dreams, and raise them up into the reality of this world, we have to wake up.  We have to become aware.  That is when our life starts to have true meaning.  When we awake to our life’s true purpose.  God speaks to us in dreams.  Dreams of the whispers of the soul.

Dreams are the guiding words of the soul.

  – Carl Jung

That is what made Martin Luther King Jr. speech about “I have a dream” so powerful.  The moment he put down his notes and spoke from his heart, the dream he had been given by the divine came through with such crystal clear clarity that it grabbed the soul of the world.  It was a powerful dream and even though he has passed on from this world, every year we remember this dream.  And even though he is not here to bring it into the full reality of what it can and will be, it is still progressing.  This dream has perseverance.  It keeps on going and it will keep going until it comes into full reality. 

Trust in dreams for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

  – Kahlil Gibran

We all have a dream inside of us that is just as powerful and just as necessary to this world.  Please, please don’t let the dream die with you.  Bring it out of your heart.  Add the faith, the belief to know that you can change into who you need to be in order to make it a reality.  Know that it will take perseverance, that it will take patience and time, but you can become the person that you need to be to make it happen.

Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.  Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.

  – Mother Teresa

I look at my own journey with LemonadeMakers and I can tell you that this dream has changed my life.  That it is constantly challenging me to make more changes to become the person who can not only hold this vision and dream, but to become the person who can shout it from the mountain tops and be heard around the world.  If we all join hands, and collaborate together to change ourselves, we will change the world. 

So many dreams at first seem impossible.  And then they seem improbable.  And then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.

  – Christopher Reeves

We Don’t Have To Agree, In Order To Be Kind To One Another

We don't have to agree on anything, to be kind to one another

We find comfort among those who agree with us – growth among those who don’t.

– Frank A. Clark 

It is interesting how as humans we tend to want everyone to think just like we do.  In my family, we like to have “conversations”.  When my grandmother was alive it was so interesting to listen to all of the adults after dinner.  She would usually introduce a topic that she knew some of my aunts or uncles wouldn’t agree on.  Then she would come at that topic in several different directions.  She was a researcher, and in her past had taught school in a country school with all the grades together.  She was really smart and if you were going to come at another viewpoint than her, you had better know your stuff.  So I grew up with it being normal to have conversations with others about conflicting viewpoints.  No one was ever judged as wrong, just different.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

  – Aristotle

So raising my kids, we would also talk about things that we don’t agree with each other on.  My youngest son and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum.  We all give each other a hard time, but it is with a joke encapsulating it.  No name calling or escalating into arguments.  Because whatever your viewpoint is about something, if you have an open mind, you can find good points in almost any viewpoint that you can agree on. 

He is pro guns and very conservative.   I am the “hippy” who still believes that someday we will really be a global civilization and get along.  What is so interesting is that we both have examples of the others beliefs that we can poke fun at, and we have lots of stuff that we are totally on the same page about.  The reason it works for us, is that we realize that as we grow and shift and transform, sometimes those viewpoints that we have held to for years, also change.  What you felt strongly about at 5 yrs old; at 15 yrs old; at 25 yrs old; at 50 yrs old will not be the same things.  Be a freethinker.

Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs.  This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking.  Where is it absent, discussion is apt to become worse than useless.

  – Leo Tolstoy

You don’t have to compromise your convictions to be kind to one another.  We need to stop buying into being in fear of others.  People are not meant to be matching bookends to us.  It really doesn’t matter what your political viewpoint is; what your skin color is; what your culture is; what sexual orientation that you identify with.  It doesn’t matter what your religion is.  If we were all to sit down and fill out a survey about any of the important things in life, like being able to feed your family and have a safe place for them to live.  About medical care for everyone.  About equality, whether it is for racial relations or work wages.  I think that the survey would reflect we could all agree on those things being important.  We might differ in how we think it should happen, but those small differences should never escalate into hatred and violence.

Spread #love, not hate. Spread #peace.

Have you ever become best friends with someone that you didn’t agree with?  It is possible to love someone that you totally disagree with about certain issues.  My husband and I have been married for almost 44 years . Our politics are on the opposite side of the spectrums, and our religious views are not the same.  But in comparison to how much we had in common, those things don’t interfere with our loving each other.  Even though we are in different political parties, I can acknowledge the good in his viewpoints.  We agree that we can have our own religious views and still love one another.  I think it is part of what has made us successful where so many others failed. We are best friends ,even though we don’t have the same beliefs about every single subject.  The more we can see the humanity in one another, the harder it is to hate someone.  No one ever has to be judged wrong because they don’t agree with every word out your mouth.

Our culture has accepted two huge lies.  The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them.  The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do.  Both are nonsense.  You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

  –  Rick Warren

We don’t know what is going on in someone else’s life.  Something as simple as a smile has turned a stranger who was walking down the street away from suicide.  If we could just need to be kind to everyone we meet, that simple act of kindness could save a life.  Be a heart that listens, and throw kindness around like confetti!  Be aware of opportunities around you to be kind. 

I love the video called Life Vests Inside – Kindess Boomerang’s – One Day.  You can watch it on “YouTube”.  It starts off with a young boy falling off his skate board.  A man with a orange vest like a road worker helps him up.  Then the boy sees an elderly lady crossing the street and having trouble holding on to her bags of groceries, so he puts down his skate board to help her.  Then the elderly lady sees a young woman trying to find coins for a parking meter and hands her some coins, and it continues on to end back up with the road worker being given a cold glass of water.  What I loved about it is that they included young and elderly; men and women; white, black, brown races; rich business man and homeless man.  Everyone had a chance to both give and receive kindness. 

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

 –  Leo Buscaglia 

The growth comes from really understanding that there can be different perspectives.  From understanding what in another person’s background would create a different belief.  We have this idea that someone has to be wrong and someone has to be right.  We should never judge another’s choices unless we have a thorough understanding of their reasons for making those choices.  That would mean that in almost all cases, there is room in our world for more than one belief.  Obviously we are not talking about harmful conduct. 

The best ideas emerge when very different perspective meet.

  – Frank Johannsson

The analogy of the map and directions fits here.  If you are going to San Fernando Valley from Ventura, you might take the 101 to the valley or you might take the 101 to the 23, which becomes the 118.  Which way you go would depend on where in the valley you were going and what traffic was like.  The 101 tends to be tied up with traffic more often and the 23/118 would probably be faster. again depending on where in the valley you were driving to.  I could argue for one and you could argue for the other.  I could have experienced a faster time one day, and you could have experienced a faster time the other way on a different day.  Depending on the circumstances the wrong or right answer would change.  Most things in life are that way – it all depends on the circumstances around the perspective.

Regardless of which view you had, you could still be kind.  You could still show respect.  You could still hold yourself to a higher standard of grace and elegance when having a discussion.  We could still try to achieve the same goal, getting to San Fernando Valley.  

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.

  – Anais Nin

So be kind.  Be compassionate.  Be respectful.  Express your beliefs with grace.  Spread #love, spread #peace.

 

I Choose to be HAPPY!

I choose to be HAPPY!
 
Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life.
  – Mandy Hale
 
I totally agree and add to it, that my happiness should never be dependent on the things I have in my life. Happiness is a choice, not a result of anything that I have or what is going on in my life.  It isn’t dependent on your significant other, your family, your friends.  It isn’t dependent on your job, the car you drive, or the position you have achieved at your job.  It isn’t dependent on the size of your bank account.  It comes from owning the fact that you are the source of your own happiness.  It always starts within, and that is why transformation is always a part of the process of being happy.
 
The world is full of magic things patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
  – W. B. Yeats
I love how small children have this concept down. Have you seen the video of the baby that laughs when dad tears the paper? She gets so hysterical over the ripping paper, you just have to smile. A baby’s laughter always makes me smile, no matter what. Children open presents and half the time they have more fun playing with the boxes the toys came in, as they have in playing with the toys.
 
Happiness is always a choice.  You can’t wait for circumstances to get better.  You have to create your own good fortune.  So look for ways to be happy every day.
  – Joel Osteen
 
At any moment in time we can simply choose to let our happiness be bigger than our worries. We can focus on the inspiring things that we see around us. The man who opens the shopkeepers door for the woman carrying a baby and her purse. The teenage boy who stops traffic so that the ducks can cross the street. The little old lady who pulls out some coins and drops them in the parking meter that just popped up the expired sign as she walks by. The little girl who reaches down and picks up the mail that the elderly man dropped as he took it out of his mailbox.
 

For a few moments, be aware of your potential for change.  Whatever your present situation is, evolution and transformation are always possible.  At the least, you can change your way of seeing things and then, gradually, your way of being as well.
  – Matthieu Ricard
 
Many of us tend to wait for happiness – when we are on vacation or when we retire – then we will do what we want and be happy. Like the rest of our life is a payment for a few fleeting days of happiness each year. Instead, why not give yourself permission to be happy every day? 
 
I am the only one who can decide whether I’m going to let the chaos of life make me unhappy.
  – geniespeaks.wordpress.com
 
One of the keys to finding more happiness in our life is to learn to look at each situation and ask:  What is this situation trying to be, instead of putting a definition around it and then trying to make it fit.  How many times have we stopped listening to what someone is trying to tell us, and instead ran full speed ahead with our own negative interpretation of the situation?  Then after we have created a mess of the whole thing, discovered that we simply were not listening with an open heart, and so missed what they were trying to say?  I have done this many times, and it has happened to me many times.  When that begins to happen I try to remember to stop the conversation just for a moment, and say “I am not explaining this very well, let me try again (if I am being misunderstood) or I say to them, I think that I am not understanding what you are trying to say, can we start over?
 
When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself.  When nobody else compliments you, then compliment yourself.  It’s not up to other people to keep you encouraged.  It’s up to you.  Encouragement should come from the inside.
  – Joel Osteen
 
I AM is two of the most powerful words in our language.  What you put after those two words is how you are defining your world.  Remember your peace and happiness come from within.  It is always a choice.  I AM HAPPY.  Claim it.  It is a beautiful blessed day and it is a wonderful life.  Happiness is the truth.

Life’s Storms

 Storms without a nameWhip the seas into FuryWinds screaming Through torrents of rain.Waves crashing against%

Revised 5/13/2019

I wrote this poem on a Sunday not long ago. It had been banging around in my head for awhile wanting to be released. So I took some quiet time while everyone was asleep and let it out. The entire poem is printed at the end of the post.

There is no growth without change. You’ve got to let go of some old stuff. And that can hurt. Often when I’m in the most pain, I realize it’s coming from my trying to control everything. Or resisting the changes that come with the progress. But you see that light . . . , that beautiful next level . . . , and that’s what you have to focus on.

  – Ali Brown

I found this quote after I wrote the poem and was struck by how much of what I am trying to express in the poem is in her quote. We have to release what no longer serves us. That can be the story that we have been telling ourselves that holds us in chains of fear about success and failure. It can be the story that we tell ourselves that we are not capable of being more. And the stories we tell ourselves go on and on.

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny,

  –  Albert Ellis

This control is when you stand up on the ship of your own destiny and release the anchor holding you to your stories. You drop the weight that holds you in place. You open to the winds of change.

You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying.  What you can do is calm yourself.  The storm will pass.

  – Thimber Hawkeye

It takes a lot of courage to stand up to the storm of fears and doubts. To realize that as you set sail on your ship, that there will be those who you leave behind, because they are still chained to their own stories.  When I thought deeply about this I thought of Pompeii.  The volcano was going to erupt.  It had been giving signs of the coming destruction for months.  The people who were awake and listening, left the island behind.  But so many of the people didn’t believe what they were seeing on a day to day basis.  And they left fleeing to safety too late.  I am sure that they fully believed the lies they were telling themselves, the false stories about how safety lay in staying – not in fleeing with nothing to their names, to untold dangers.  No, for them staying was the only smart thing to do.

You however, face your fears of not knowing how you will steer the ship, or even where the next safe harbor will be.   You have the courage to face the fears of the unknown, to face the lies that you told yourself and make the right decision – to face and live through the changes that are coming.

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through; how you managed to survive.  You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain:  When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in . . . , that’s what this storm’s all about.

  – Haruki Murakami

There comes a time when you just have to listen to the music of your soul and set sail to the unknown. And so the journey begins. 

Life’s Storms

Storms without a name whip the seas into a fury, winds screaming through torrents of rain.
Waves crashing against the shore, bring in lost and forgotten debris.
Stand tall on the deck of your ship, as the birds scatter beneath the howling winds,
Let it blow away what no longer serves you. 

You feel the backlash of empty words with no truth, the shadows are winning.

No sunlight, every battle lost, and shadow is winning. No rescue. 
The lack of love, the hunger for life is insatiable, an open mouth that wails to be fed.
You can’t undo what has been done, it doesn’t serve you. 

Thunder rolls and lightning flashes exposing what still needs to be released.

Let it go out the door, don’t run after it as if falls off the deck and into the sea.
Feel the weight of the past, as the sounds of the anchor being lifted vibrate through your body,
The anchor being lifted from the bottom of the sea, the sound of your journey echoing onward.

Change, the anchor of our soul, it both drops into the sea, and is pulled back up into the ship,
Change moves us ever forward on the journey, unearthing the destination clue by clue, star by star.
Change reveals the next adventure, the next treasure that we are seeking,
Change reveals the next harbor in which to rest our soul

Bright morning stars, as day breaks open the dawn releasing the light, as it climbs the clear sky,
Light breezes blow as it fills the sails, with the dust blown clear, we see what has been done.
Every color sparkles as it plays upon the sea, as we awaken, transformed once more,
We hear the music of our soul, whispering as the journey begins again, echoing ever onward.

Don’t You Know I Was Born To Fly?

I used to be scared to be who I am. Now I am more scared to settle. When the lights go out & (1)Do not settle for less than exactly what you want. Your heart’s desires are there for a reason. Chase them. Pursue them relentlessly. Do not lose sight of your goals. They are your very reason for being.

  – Franki Durban

As a little girl I learned that other people didn’t like you if you were too smart, and knew all of the answers. I learned that if the teacher was wrong, that you couldn’t correct them, even though they were teaching something that wasn’t true. As a little girl I learned that it was safer to be invisible.  I learned to settle for what I got and not to ask for something better.  It wasn’t that they might say no, it was that they might take back the little I had just got.  Even so, deep down inside I knew that I was worth more than I was receiving.

I also learned that those who were supposed to love you, would let you down.  I learned that I couldn’t trust them to do what they promised.  I learned that even though they said they loved me, I couldn’t trust them.  I understood that even though I might know someone my whole life, I didn’t really know them al all.  That people that I thought would never hurt me, could crush my soul.  I learned that even with the best intentions in the world, the people you care about will fall short.  And I learned that this had to be ok.  I learned to love them for who they were, and not what my expectations of them were.

Some people are settling down, some people are settling, and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.

  – Sarah Jessica Parker

It took me years to undo the programming of being less, and settling for less than who I am. I decided one day that I wanted to feel alive every waking moment, no longer hiding in the shadows afraid to be noticed. That I wanted to have a passionate life, full of experiences. That I wanted to shape what was left of my life into wonderful memories. That I wanted to be a part of making my own world a better place. No more just existing, but rather celebrating my life by constantly being “all in”.  I wanted friends that laughed with me, not at me.  I wanted good conversations.  I wanted to be able to share my dreams and have them ask, “how can I help you?”

Don’t downgrade you dream just to fit your reality.  Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.

  – Unknown

I am more than enough to go all out, and pursue every dream that I have. My abilities are not something that I have to hide from, that I have to be scared of. No one should be afraid to be the magnificent person that God made them to be. As Franki said, the hearts desires are there for a reason. They are our very reason for being.

 If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.

  –  Jim Rohn

No one should settle for the ordinary, hum drum existence. The habit of working all day to make an employer rich. The habit of crashing on the couch and watching TV until you go to bed – only to repeat it day after day. Risk the unusual and pursue a dream. Go for more. This “settling” is not what God put you on this earth for. You are not the kind of person who settles.

Trust the timing of what shows up in your life. There comes a time, when you realize that you have been sleeping through your life. You get a wake up call. Trust that it is happening for a reason. Don’t push the snooze button and miss the call because you overslept.

There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.

  – Kurt Hahn

No more settling. Pursue a passionate life. That is our true destiny. It’s not easy, but it is worth it.

Getting onto the Right Path

12650892_1300710919944004_1731674982206343112_nOne of my favorite stories comes from Love, Medicine and Miracles by Dr. Bernie Seigal. A young man wanted to become a violinist. His parents said no, become a lawyer. He went to law school and started practicing law. He then developed what was diagnosed as terminal cancer. Thinking he was going to die, he got a job playing violin for an orchestra. Years later, he was still alive because he realized he was on the wrong path. He had to live his life, not the life of his parents. Knowing when to walk away is wisdom, being able to do so is courage. Isn’t it amazing that cancer is what gave him courage enough to walk away?

We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own path, and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life.

  – James Van Praagh

Our bodies know when we are not living our authentic life, and we will receive a wake up call. It is important that we listen, look within, and then have the courage to make the changes that need to be made. It is also important to realize that just because we are walking down the right path, doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles. Our need of courage includes being courageous enough to know that we will still make mistakes, experience disappointments and despair.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.  Everything we see is perspective, not the truth.

  – Marcus Aurelis

This is where the ability to look about and within becomes important. It doesn’t mean that we are on the wrong path just because something goes wrong. It could just mean that we need to grow more, to be able to continue the journey.  U-Turns don’t take you back the way you just came.  Life’s road twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same.  So when you complete a U-turn it is just like turning down a side road.  You can’t go backwards, although it seems like it some days.  Trying to go backwards is very disappointing, because we can’t recreate what we left behind.  We changed and so did everyone else.

The light at the end of the tunnel is your life; it’s the tunnel that’s temporary.

  – Michael Josephson

Don’t allow yourself to become the boulder blocking the path. This is what happens when we try to go backwards.  We block our own path.  We might recreate similar patterns of self destruction.  If we do, that is when we know that it is time to listen to the heart.  Our heart and soul are like the magnetic needle on the compass. Always go to “true north” and you will be on the right path. 

Don’t feel sorry for yourself if you have chosen the wrong road.  Turn around.

  – Edgar Cayee

I have always maintained that U-turns are part of every journey to some place that I don’t know. I expect them, I laugh when they happen. U-Turns can be really interesting. What I have learned in my life is that every single experience has something important in it that I needed to learn. I may only understand later, why that piece of knowledge was required.

I have been in the mortgage industry for almost 35 years. So I have lived through good and bad cycles in the financial industry. Years ago I had a good job, but the owner of another company kept calling me to come and work for him. Finally after months of getting his phone calls, I gave notice and went to work for him. This job would end up being a U-turn for me.

He had hired a free lance writer to create a manual for the mortgage brokers he worked with, and she seemed unable to finish the project, so as part of my job I took that project to completion. Then two weeks later I was laid off, when the interest rates hiked up and his business slowed down. I really yelled at myself, because I felt I had made a wrong decision in taking that job and should have stayed where I was.

Sometimes a wrong turn can get you straight to the right track.

  – Marva Ezzat

We ended up having to move out of state in order for me to find work. But what happened next, was really interesting. The Savings and Loan I went to work for needed manuals written for their servicing department, and because I had that experience I got the job of being both an underwriter and a trainer. I created several training programs for them, as well as the servicing manual.

Then I got a second part time job teaching at South Seattle Community College for an adult education class for loan processors and loan officers. I ended up creating new manuals for this position too, because their manuals were so bad. Both of these jobs would not have been available to me, if I hadn’t taken that earlier job and got the experience of creating a manual.

Move on.  It’s just a chapter in your life.  Don’t close the book, just turn the page for a new chapter.

  – Unknown

So we will fall down. We may even get lost. U-Turns are a given. But as long as we take out that compass, listen to our hearts and the courage in our soul, we will be on the right path. As long as we tune into true north, we can take that step into the unknown, knowing that this is the right path.

Life is full of surprises and serendipity.  Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success.  If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns.  Just find your next adventure – do it well, and enjoy it – and then, not now, think about what comes next.

  – Condelezza Rice

If you want to soar in life, you must first love yourself

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If you want to soar in life, you must first love yourself.

You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you.

 – Dodinsky

So many of us have put the cart before the horse when it comes to love. We spend all of our time “earning” the love of others by being who they want us to be. By doing everything in our power to make their life perfect. We expend our body and soul and at the end of the day, nothing turns out the way we wanted it to and we are left feeling “not good enough”. 

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

  – African Proverb

There is a show on PBS called “Home Fires”.  It takes place in England during WWII.  It about a group of women who are part of a women’s group that contribute to the village and the war effort.  In the first season there is one woman whose husband abuses her.  Like all abusers he makes every time he loses his temper to be her fault.  The real issue at hand for the story line is that he is a newspaper writer who can’t get enough work.

A few of her best friends figure out what is happening, but at the point in history there really isn’t anything they can do about it.  She is too ashamed to admit what is happening.  The times that she struggles to fight back, he leaves her self worth in even more tatters.  At the end of the first season, one of her friends was successful in getting him a war correspondent job without him being aware of it.  He left the village to go to the front, and the character has the opportunity to start loving herself and building up her self esteem, so that she doesn’t fall back into the same situation when he returns.  One of the underlying contributors of why women stay is that they don’t love themselves enough to gather up what remains of their self worth and self trust, to leave and not look back.

Love yourself enough to take the actions required for your happiness.  Love yourself enough to cut yourself loose from the ties of the drama filled past.  Love yourself enough to move on.

  – Dr. Steve Maraboli

We may not be in such an extreme situation with our self love, but you only have to listen to the comments we make to ourselves, to know that it is something that we can all work on.  When we live our life this way, we bought into a lie, that loving ourselves first will take away from the time and effort we are spending to get others to love us. We think that the only way to be worthy of self love is to prove that others love us first. Why would we attract the love of others, if we don’t even love ourselves?

Falling in love with yourself first doesn’t make you vain or selfish – it makes you indestructible.

  – Unknown

Trying to in essence purchase the love of others by our self sacrifice of ourselves, is like trying to fit the square peg in the round hole, we can push it, twist it, and pound the peg until it shatters, but it will never fit. It won’t fill that yearning from our soul, that begs us to put “love us” first.

5 Things to Quit – right now.

  • Trying to please everyone
  • Fearing Change
  • Living in the past
  • Putting yourself down
  • Overthinking

We have the power to choose where we are going. We have the power to stop trying to get attention from those who hurt us. We have the power to stop hating our body, our personality, and the pieces of us that don’t fit in the square hole. We can start with loving ourselves, saying “I love my thighs just as they are”, “I love my imperfect smile”, “I love that I snort when I laugh”, “I love me”.  We can get the truth of the situation into our bones – nobody will ever love us more than we love ourselves.  It is critically important to our health and happiness – both physical and mental – that we treat ourselves right.

I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.

  –  Lucille Ball

What if for the rest of this year you devoted yourself to loving you more?  Your choices will change your life.  Make peace with your mirror and watch your reflection change.  The loss of judgment in your eyes.  The removing of the wrinkles of anxiety across the forehead, that you aren’t good enough.  The curve of the smile of self confidence, that says you are amazing and you are rocking that outfit.  The glow of inner peace and love that fills your space with light.  And – LOL – Best hair day EVER!

Wild Woman, You Were Not Made to be Tame

Wild Woman, You Were Not Made to be Tame

Be an original Wild Woman – Shake off whatever is holding you back.

This reminded me of Taylor Swift’s song “Shake it Off” with the lyrics:
‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off”

There are times in our lives where we hear unkind words that have been said about us; where we get those looks of judgment from others as we walk by. When that someone we thought would be our “happy ever after” leaves us. When we have to leave what we love, and move on because what we love is not healthy for us. We lose a job or a best friend. So many things that we have to shake loose and shake off.

All of these situations require us to love ourselves enough, that we remain our own center. That we focus our energy not on looking backwards and fighting to keep the same old way of life, but on building a new life. That we shake off the hurt, the dissapointment, the feeling of abandonment or betrayal. That we forgive ourselves for where we failed and forgive others for not living up to our expectations. Be proud of who you are now.

Decide that your life is yours alone, and celebrate it. Shake off the apologies, the excuses, the blame. Realize that in order to shine, sparkle and glitter, sometimes you need to be cut out of parts that don’t belong, and shine the parts that do.

Like the Butterfly, I have the strength and hope that I will Emerge from my cocoon… transformed.

like the butterfly i have strength and hope

How can you tell if you still might be in a caterpillar stage of growth? Some questions to think about –
Do I hide my value or discount the gifts that I have for this world?
Am I tightly guarded, afraid?
Do I feel like I am stuck in the mud, unable to move?
Can I see my potential, but don’t know how to unlock it?
Do I feel vulnerable, tossed about with no control?

How long will you allow yourself to remain in this caterpillar stage? Unlike the real caterpillar, we have different phases of transformation. It isn’t a one time thing, go into the cocoon and come out a butterfly for us. We have a mind, body, and soul, which is continually growing and expanding. Which means that we have different levels of transformation and growth.

Each time we feel stuck, we need to enter the cocoon and undergo another change. Each time we realize that we have greater potential than we are using, we need to enter the cocoon and undergo another change.

Taking the caterpillar to butterfly analogy one step further, the caterpillar exists by eating up the foliage of the plants it crawls across. It feeds the caterpillar, but does nothing positive for the plants themselves. Once the caterpillar transforms into the butterfly it now flies from plant to plant and helps to pollinate the plants to bring about new life. It helps in the creation of new life, a truly positive purpose.

In this same way, when we get stuck, hide our value, and become tightly guarded, we are not producing anything positive in the world, but rather we are just using up the resources around us. We are not giving back. We are not contributing.

But when we change, transform and grow, we are then in a space our being open, and sharing our values with the world around us. We pay it forward, because we delight in the joy of giving. We focus on how we can contribute to make the world a better place. We unfurl our wings to move freely in the expanded space of our transformation. We become a new creation, with a worthy cause fulfilling our divine purpose.

This cocoon is the place to enter when we need a breakthrough. Were we excercise the patience to grow and transform. The persistence to follow the breakdown through to the breakthrough. Knowing that the surrender is what leads to the life transformation will produce a new happiness of “we did it”. Bob Dylan said “behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.”

So like the butterfly, I know that each time I enter the cocoon I will come out a new creation. That there is some old part of my life, that is outgrown and no longer serving me or the world around me, that needs to end. And in that ending I will, once again have the strength to emerge, and will be transformed in some way to further the unfolding of divine destiny.

If You’re searching for that one person that can change your life… Look in the Mirror.

If youre searching for that one person that can change your lifeErnest Holmes said, “Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” This time of the year is a great time to reflect back on what transpired for the past twelve months of our life. What happened to the goals or resolutions that you set for the year? Did you achieve them? Did you give up on them? Did you rise up or fall down?

Looking back helps us to see what we want to bring into our life. I trust that I deserve unconditional love. That I can have happiness and success every day in my life. That I can trust my wings and fly. I trust that I am right were I need to be, and that 2016 is going to be an amazing year.

If you look at your reflection in the water, you see of surface of you. But if you put your hand through the reflection, you can see what lies beneath. The question I always ask myself is “why am I doing this to myself? How can I do better?” Through the years of yo-yo dieting I have asked myself this question many times.

It is not the things that happened in my life that define me, but how I coped and adjusted through them, that made me who I am today. Somewhere along the way, weight became a protection. I release that. Somewhere along the way, my will power that had always controlled my life was crushed. I release that. I release the self destructive way of thinking.

Last year about half way through I hired a health coach because I haven’t been successful in losing it and keeping the weight off. So I ask myself “why am I regaining the weight?” The past few months new things have been brought up from the depths beneath the surface and released.

I am working on being a better person, and that includes my body, mind and soul. For whatever reason, the body fights back. So the reflection that I see right now, is showing me who I was. I am reflecting back to it, who I want to be.

I have been listening to all of the talk about Carrie Fischer and what she looks like today, versus almost 40 years ago when they filmed the first Star Wars movie. It is really sad that some of us feel the need to say negative things about how someone looks. Speaking as someone who is overweight I can testify that it doesn’t help me to lose weight. It doesn’t make me feel motivated to do anything positive. It just makes me feel depressed, because it is something that I am working on. I think Carrie Fischer is an amazing woman, who has had her struggles, just like all of us. She is courageous because she does it in the public eye, and says what she thinks. She is my hero.

So what do I do when I see someone extremely gorgeous? I stare, I smile, and when I get tired of holding up the mirror, I put it down

Music Gives a Soul to the Universe

music-gives-a-soul-to-the-universeOn New Years Eve, my nephew got married in Bullhead City, AZ. We stayed in Laughlin, NV and then went to St George to see my Aunt. We came home Saturday the 2nd, leaving around 1:00 PM and driving back to LA was a nightmare. I foolishly thought that leaving on Saturday would be escaping the crawling traffic on Sunday. The six hour drive took nine hours and would have probably been more if I hadn’t cut off at Highway 58 and cut across to I-5 that way and then down to 118 and home.

I share this because when you are in solid bumper to bumper traffic people seem to lose any manners that they might have had. People were driving on the shoulders, driving alongside the road on the desert, they were cutting people off, honking horns and of course the hand gestures. Every once in awhile I would have to take a deep centering breath because I could feel the frustration, anger, anxiety coming into my car from the people surrounding us. Music has a way of soothing the soul when you are in these types of tense feeling situations.

The other quote I loved and considered for this post was, “music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it a rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.” I went with Plato because of “wings to the mind” and “flight to the imagination”. I love the visuals I get with the words, wings and flight.

The beats in a song are like the heart beating. A steady comforting sound. We hear the beating of our moms heart at conception. We put our ears against our lovers chest and hear the beating of their heart. It is life pumping through our body and soul until the last heartbeat echos off in the distance, and we return to our heavenly father.

There is also a rhythm to music and to beating of the heart. There is even a genre of music called “soul music”. It is a mixture of gospel and rhythm and blues music. It draws your body to move with the music. You might start dancing or clapping your hands, you just have to participate with your body.

When words fail us, music can still transport us up the vibrational scale from the depths of despair back into the nirvana of the soul, where beauty, joy and happiness live. It fills in the emptiness that we feel in our soul and like a string draws the soul up towards the light.

Martin Luther called music, “the art of the prophets” and said “it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.” Music transcends generations of men. It lives on long after the composer has left the earthly realm. It doesn’t require to be translated like words into one’s own language but exists in all languages.

Think about the musical scores to the movie soundtracks. You can hear the music and your mind will take you directly to the scene in the movie that it applies to. It creates a wide range of emotional responses when you are watching a movie. You can be in another room and practically describe what must be happening in the movie based on the music that you hear. You can tell someone is experiencing great joy and happiness, that someone is dying or has died, that the climax of an action scene is happening, etc…., it can induce goosebumps, tears of both sadness and happiness, and joyous laughter.

It has even been said that “music is the prayer that the heart sings.” I know that there have been many times in my life that music was my only escape from the problems I was experiencing. It allowed me to regroup, put myself back together emotionally and go back into life feeling like things would be ok.

Years ago when my children were young, I would put on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and clean my house. It made the housework go so much faster and not seem like such a chore. So whatever is going on with your life, just know that there is some music to go along with it, or to transport you away from it. You can go into deep meditation or get your party started and rock out your soul!

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