I have found that once you start being grateful for every little thing in your life, something changes.
It really does.
Like, this veil lifts off of your eyes and you see absolutely every human, animal, day, and act in a different light.
Ever have a day when nothing seems to go right?
Oh ya, we all have.
Most seem to dwell on the spilled cup of coffee that morning, the flat tire they walked out to after work, or all of things NOT going right in their lives.
But, what if ???
What if you flipped your perspective to see these slow downs, the unplanned, the “problems” as gifts?
What if you gave thanks for virtually every occurrence in your day?
Now, reflect about this…..does the day tend to improve or decline even further?
How would that change the outcome?
Do things always just seem to go wrong for some?
“So and so” just seems to have the worst luck”….sound familiar?
What if your negative thoughts are actually shaping your life?
And if they were positive, would that promote positive change?
I came to ponder this in the past year.
And, I found the answer to be…
When the shutdown happened, I became very distraught. Wondering how I would get through it, concerned for my family and friends, and just feeling helpless in general. To get out of my funk, I decided to find 10 things each day that brought me JOY. They were sometimes very small, but allowed me to see the GOOD that still existed in my life.
It could be something like a phone conversation with my Mom, the sun shining, the squirrel outside the window, or just the fact that I awoke to live another day.
One day, while on a run, I began to tear up, wondering how life had gotten so full, that I had taken those gifts for granted.
That’s when my life began to change.
When I was growing up, God blessed me with the gift of gratitude.
I grew up in an alcoholic home and we seemed to always be struggling to get “air”. Whether that be food, clothes or normalcy.
I seemed to somehow navigate through those early years. Looking back, I realized it was my daily gratitude that allowed me to survive.
No matter how difficult the day would be, I grabbed a piece of positivity.
The extra slice of pizza at lunch in 6th grade, the new friend, a package of Oreos….and all those “small” gratitudes seemed to keep me afloat.
My Grandma(Groom, as we called her) helped me find the Bible at a very young age.
I didn’t always know what I was reading, but I recognized how it made me feel.
Grateful, Safe and at Peace.
As a young adult, I also found the silver linings in all that “went wrong”.
Now, I realize, it was going so very right.
My ask this Thanksgiving is for every soul on this earth to find just ONE thing to be THANKFUL for. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️
Thank The Universe, God, whatever you believe…for who you are, what you have been through, and for what you have.
Someone, somewhere, has less than you. Someone, somewhere has more.
But, just maybe, for one day, you can be happy with where you are at.
Meet yourself there.
Open your damn eyes and SEE ….
And then, wake tomorrow and LOOK for the GOOD again. And the next day….you get the point.
Things will be a little different for many this Thanksgiving day.
But what if our Gratitude for the simple things could bring us all to the same table for the day?
A pandemic, a worldwide shutdown, a virus that is devastating lives, and so much uncertainty.
I don’t know about all of you out there, but sometimes, the days are very heavy.
Hopelessness creeps in, anxiety, and all sorts of other debris that takes me over.
This past week was very heavy for me.
It’s an uninvited emptiness that overstays it’s welcome.
Tony Robbins talks of the 5 Basic Human Needs, with Certainty being one of those. If there is anything that I have come to accept in 2020, it is that I crave this in my life. And, as most of us have experienced, there really isn’t much of that at all this year.
Except, there is.
In God. ♥️
This past week was like a loaded gun that held all the bullets until it decided to go off all at once. Friends reaching out in sadness and despair, the virus creeping closer, feelings of helplessness, and more unrest.
It was a rough one for sure.
And still, He remained…close to me…ready to envelope my heart and calm my fears.
I had an interesting encounter that produced a strange reaction in me.
I was sitting at a stoplight the other day, maybe a touch close to the line, but not at all too far out. As I sat in my car, an older man began to walk across the crosswalk. Both hands in his pockets, glasses, all seemed ordinary.
Until he stopped, turned to scowl at me, and kicked my car!
It all happened so quickly, I was taken back and just muttered something and waved.
I didn’t know what to do.
My afterthought was to honk my horn, or roll down my window and give him a “sign”!
But, as the light turned green and I drove away, I realized I had tears streaming down my face.
That man was hurting.
And that made me sad.
He was in some sort of pain and I would not mirror his behavior by throwing more hurt into his pile.
That day, I listened to my heart and chose Love…..
When I arrived home, I just sat in my driveway and cried.
A phrase from “Titanic” came to mind.
If you’ve seen that movie, you may recall Kathy Bate’s line when she was scolded for trying to fit more people on the boats…
“I don’t understand a one of ya”.
That’s been me the past couple of weeks.
There are so many times this year, I stand in awe.
There is so much disconnect and anger in the air, not just this virus, my friends.
I realized in those moments, that I am more afraid of what the last 6 months are doing to the hearts of the world…. than Covid-19.
We have to try to rise up and live each day in Love.
As I run, very few people make eye contact.
Very few smile.
And almost no one engages.
The day of my half marathon, an older man was walking alone on the trail. Coffee in hand, along with some leaves he was collecting along the way.
He sheepishly looked up as I ran by, clearly not expecting a connection.
So, I smiled and wished him a good morning.
And, then, I heard him still talking to me so I turned around and we chatted briefly about the colors and the beautiful day.
His eyes lit up.
Human interaction and some form of normalcy!
Giving someone your time.
That’s a form of Love and it’s free to give to all.
I haven’t written in awhile as my soul has been weary. And I usually only write when I feel the “call”…
I woke this morning at 5:30am, and well, here we are.
I feel very strongly that the healing of the world will begin if each of us could just look inside.
If we could find the courage to confront our demons, take accountability for our actions, and stop trying to control the outcome.
If we could just learn to Give it to Him.
I read a book, many years ago, titled “Give it to God”. It was simple, yet life changing for me.
In one chapter, it had you visualize yourself carrying your burdens up to Him. I shared what I “saw” with my children all those years ago. Myself, dragging a big, tattered garbage bag up to the top of a mountain and handing it over to my Lord…and then falling to my knees in absolute relief.
Pretty detailed, I know.
However, that analogy has served me well….many times.
So, again, I share…..
The photo up above came across my screen the other day and it instantly calmed me.
We must try to remember this…..
“Lord, you are the only one who can”
He can move mountains, walk on water, raise the dead.
He can cure the sick, take away the anger, and carry these burdens for us, my friends.
We just have to Ask.
As I took some time yesterday to come to my mat to calm my mind, I asked.
I asked for Him to hold the suffering close, place His protective arms around us, and heal this world.
I believe He can.
We have all had a deep wound some time in our lives.
The initial injury, the blood, the pain.
Then, there’s the cleansing of the wound, the healing and the newly formed skin.
That is 2020, my friends.
We have been shaken to be awakened.
We must open our eyes to who we are inside.
We must become aware of how our lives impact others.
We must accept the changes and Grow.
There is still so much love and beauty to be shared, seen, and accepted.
If we could just give all of our fears and doubts to Him and see each day, each human, each lesson…
Through the eyes of Love ❤️.
There’s the elderly lady filling the book box with food, the teacher giving everything she has to her students, the doctors/chiropractors/nurses, law enforcement, the parents learning to teach their children, the families learning to be together, and the transformations all around.
There is light.
Where there is Love, there is Light.
And we can never, ever lose sight of that.
Even on the darkest of days, He will shine his Light upon us.
Never lose faith in that♥️.
As I say to my clients, children, and friends….
We must continue on.
Be a Light in the Darkness.
And, live a life of Love 💗.
If you remember just one thing from this blog, let it be this….
I was in yoga class last winter and the instructor was reading a phrase that resonated through my body.
You know how sometimes you hear a certain song or hear a specific phrase and you just know it must be for you?
Well, this was it.
I went to this class weekly, and it seemed as though the instructor said this multiple times in a month. “Ok, ok, You have my attention, Lord”.
Each time, the energy through my body became stronger.
So much so, that I found a photo of it and have it saved on my phone.
This was something I needed to remember.
“A Lighthouse doesn’t go around the island looking for boats to save, it just stands there shining “.
I get it now, God….and I give thanks.
“Watch for the Lighthouse “.
I found “her”, in a most unexpected way.
Quiet, steady, and bright.
I already knew of her Light and have blessed to be encompassed with it, in an even deeper way, the past 8 months.
I dedicate this to my dear friend, Jul. ♥️
She was the lady at the front desk at my office that I laughed with, cried with and shared daily life with for almost 16 years. I often said she knew me better than my hair stylist…and they seem to know a lot about their clients. Haha.
She watched my children grow up, she was a constant through my divorce.
She had a front row seat to the love story that Brian and I created.
And through it all, she just stood there….Shining.
I’ll be honest, I sometimes took her for granted.
….Until the day we realized our time with her was becoming limited.
I still remember sitting with her, shortly after she found out she was ill.
She said, “ I just can’t believe you are here”. I was baffled by that. I said, “Jul, why wouldn’t I be? I am showing up for you the way you did for me all these years.”
I can only hope she knew the mark she left on this world and the people around her.
Let me tell you a bit about her Light.
She made birthday cakes for my husband every single year.
She almost flew out of her chair with joy every time she told a story of her kids or grand babies.
She exuded happiness whenever anything good happened to anyone.
She was loyal.
She was honest.
She was true.
She was Light.
In the beginning of her journey, I wanted to find a way to give her something to hold onto. I guess it was my way of “giving back” to her for all she had done for me.
I was signed up to run a marathon in May of this year, but due to the pandemic it was delayed. In December, as we laughed and reminisced, I asked her to make a promise to me.
I asked if she would meet me at the finish line of the marathon on May 3,2020. She promised to be there. We even made a pinky promise.
With Jul, you knew a promise she made to you was worth more than gold.
That promise we made to one another gave me more power than I knew. To do things I didn’t think I could.
She was a warrior and I knew she would fight for that date.
And she did……and surpassed it by almost 2 more months.
Her strength and determination was humbling.
We sure had fun cheering one another on. Our motto became a staple of our daily text messages. “You fight and I’ll Run”.
And on we went.
I endured cold runs and she endured grueling chemo.
She spent 6 days in the hospital and I ran 12 miles per her request.
We shared prayers, songs of joy, and what I found in her will remain a part of me forever.
Her belief in Jesus deepened my Faith.
I watched another human let go and allow His mighty hand guide her Life.
I witnessed the absolute Peace and Trust she had put in her Savior.
And I can’t say that I have ever been so blinded by another soul’s Light.
For those who truly knew her heart, they would agree.
An Instrument of God.
I believe we all are instruments…and as Bette Midler sang, “we are instruments, marching in a common band”.
He is the composer and coordinates it all.
Who you encounter, where you go…all a part of the masterpiece.
To live a life is a blessing to one.
To live a life that gives life to another is a blessing to many.
That was my Jul☀️
To put into words how her time here touched others is more difficult than I thought it would be.
It’s too extraordinary. Too beautiful. Too big for a blog or a book.
To watch another soul encompass the darkness of pain and fear in absolute peace and Light is something I cannot describe.
All I know is that her life changed mine.
It changed my heart.
The way my eyes view the world and others around me.
My heart will always miss her wonderful laugh, her giving personality, and her lighthearted stories.
However, I believe nothing will ever dim her LIGHT☀️
Rest In Peace, dear friend.
And thank you 🙏 for sharing a part of your world with me🌈
I’ll see you on my next run….I know you will be right beside me.
We are instruments of love and peace, here to learn and help guide one another to be our best selves.
And as Juls last message to me says,
“Always keep the Love of Jesus in your heart”.
Don’t waste a moment waiting to LIVE, friends. LIVE by faith, not by sight.
And always, always see everything through the lens of LOVE 💕
A pattern of thoughts scattered in my mind, with the urge to empower…if only just one. 💜
Ahh, I love rainy Sundays.
They are the perfect time for reflection, self care and stillness.
This Sunday is no different.
A gentle rain, the birds chirping their gratitude, and a hot cup of coffee by my side.
Here I go….
Last week, I saw a Facebook post reminding me of all the historic events others have LIVED THROUGH.
My level of respect went through the roof.
Humans that lived in concentration camps found the strength to conquer their circumstances and survive.
They went on to have families, make memories, and LIVE.
Many in the camps didn’t just sit and wait for their futures to be determined. They found ways to Live in the midst of their hell.
I don’t know that I would have the mental strength to endure what they did.
They are Heroes.
Then, we look at the Great Depression and all of the moving parts of that time.
Hunger, unemployment, rationing, fear of the unknown.
And, when the end of the Depression came, World War 2 began.
Can you imagine the hopelessness??
Perspective may have saved many lives.
How did they move THROUGH those trying times?
My best guess is that they didn’t just exist through them, but they continued to LIVE.
The Bubonic Plague, the Great Depression, World War 2….Real History.
After recalling conversations at different times in my life with my Grandparents, Aunts, uncles and parents, it came to me.
In order to thrive in this new environment we are in, we must find LIFE in each moment, in each day.
We must LIVE fully and not just be.
We are LIVING THROUGH a time that will be talked about by our great grandchildren, it will be written about and documented.
So many things we know and love have faded from our daily lives.
So much has changed.
We may not all be on the same page with our thoughts, but I know we have all had something consistent taken from us. Something that “made” us who we are.
However, the The Human Spirit remains the same.
Made stronger by the storm.
I don’t have the words to express the strength, beauty and hope that my eyes have seen and my ears have heard the last few months.
Wish I did, so I could write it here today and look back years from now with a vivid picture of how the world “showed up”.
From the doctors and nurses risking their own lives to save others, the police officers and firefighters standing strong so we feel secure, to the retired lady bagging groceries at the local supermarket.
Watching my children’s compassion and resilience.
Seeing each morning in a new light.
The generosity of others.
The human need of contributing.
To the simplest things we have found to create a moment of normalcy each day.
I see God working everywhere.
In every way. ♥️
His LIGHT has remained unchanged.
So, on my run the other day, I took my face towards the sun and sky.
I ran with a smile and asked myself some questions.
“Am I LIVING and moving forward even though it seems LIFE has paused?”
“Am I being a leader and an example to those that I love?”
“Would I be at PEACE if today was the last day here?”
For me, the answers are “YES”.
How we live in the midst of adversity can tell a lot about who we are at our core.
Ask yourself ….
Are you merely existing?
Are you hiding in a cocoon afraid and weak?
Are you calming and leading others to hope?
Are you truly LIVING THROUGH this pandemic?
Go ahead. Ask yourself.
Because I did.
Even through the uncertainty and unknowns, our clocks are still ticking.
Days are turning into months and the months will soon be a year.
I’m holding tight to my life plan.
To LIVE LOUD.
To LIVE WITH INTENTION.
To LEARN and GROW each day, as this is my classroom.
We aren’t being put through this test to sit and wait it out, friends. We are here to LIVE THROUGH it all.
I view this as a very difficult course in college.
We won’t necessarily breeze through this one without a few bumps and scars.
It’s time to observe, test ourselves, and see what we can take from this lesson.
Just like the HEROES who survived the Holocaust, the Wars, the Great Depression……
It’s time to look inside and see what we are made of ♥️
If someone woke you up in the middle of the night and told you that you had 5 minutes to grab what you needed to survive, what would you take?
Would you run through your home, grabbing family photos? Money? Your laptop? Your children? And, what about food or water?
What do YOU need to survive?
It’s an interesting question at best.
Really think about it before you answer because your “needs” may surprise you.
At best, they were eye opening for me.
Now, I’m not saying someone came into my home and had me pack a bag, but my husband and I decided some time ago that we would downsize and move.
Yes, in the midst of a quarantine and a pandemic.
And, yes, I have once again been reminded of what I need to survive.
By that, I mean “who” and “what”. And, as I was packing, I made sure to choose wisely and ask myself “why”.
We have had to walk by Faith through this adventure.
We didn’t know what the next announcement would be, if one of us or a family member would become ill, or what to expect from one moment to the next.
I don’t do well with the unexpected, so this was a huge test for me.
I view my life as one big lesson.
I picture God standing up at the head of classroom, coaching me, challenging me and showing me how far I have come with Him by my side.
I definitely am not ready to “graduate”, but man oh man, I am learning a lot!
Through this particular journey, I have definitely come face to face with some old demons.
Fear of the unknown.
And the material world around me.
I never really thought of myself as a “material girl”(sorry, I’m an 80’s kid….Madonna shoutout).
But, I think I am….
With this recent move, I have learned it is ok to let go……
And let God.
As I have done my entire life, I deal with the gross, wretched part of the emotion and then I flip it.
I flip into the lesson and make it beautiful. Why? Because this life that God envelopes us in is just that. Beautiful.
It can sometimes be ugly or difficult…or sad, but there’s always a rainbow at the end.
I always seem to look back and say, “Ah, I got it. That’s why.”
And that’s the rainbow 🌈 moment.
Ever do that?
Go through a storm and then reflect?
As humans, we see the clouds billow and start to panic. We hide from it’s power. We go inside and live out of fear.
But, what if we approached the storm instead? What if, just once, we grabbed our umbrella and God’s mighty hand and walked INTO it with Him?
Tell me, what if?
Well, in my experiences of being “forced” into the storm, you find that it’s really not that bad.
Now, don’t get me wrong….it’s uncomfortable and scary, but the accomplishment you feel after…and the lessons you learn….the next storm, maybe won’t be so bad??
Now, here’s where the beauty begins.
Let me just preface this, by making sure you understand….. you’re gonna get wet!
You will be tired.
You will cry.
You will find weaknesses inside that you didn’t know existed.
You may have to give things up that you thought you needed.
You may fall.
You may scream.
Where’s the beauty in that???
In the rainbow, friends.
It’s all in the rainbow 🌈.
Because, guess what?
You will rise again.
You will reflect and see just how strong you are.
You could have never imagined conquering the obstacles you were about to face, but you did.
You couldn’t see past the dark, ominous clouds, but they passed.
And, you didn’t think you could carry such a heavy load(or, in my case, a huge bookcase), but you did!!!
And, now imagine the foundation He has built for you to weather the next storm in life.
And, we know, without a doubt, another will come.
Maybe not in the form of a pandemic, or a major move, or quarantine, or illness, job loss, or anything of that nature…but the clouds are on the horizon. And, next time, you will be more prepared because of this “lesson”.
Now, back to what you would grab if you only had minutes and limited space.
I have been gently reminded what I need to survive.
If I woke up without _____________, could I go on?
Because I did.
My answer is that I am beyond blessed.
And my home and heart are full.
I have “more” than I probably deserve. A whole storage unit full. An adorable home with so many beautiful “things”.
I didn’t have to “pack a bag” in 5 minutes…I was blessed to have the time to choose. And in doing so, I chose wisely.
You see, I realized it wouldn’t matter what state or country I moved to.
It’s not the address that makes a home, but WHO resides inside.
For me, it’s 1.), Jesus….then, my husband and my dog.
My heart lives in this home, and it’s full of LOVE and 45 years of LIFE.
This home will be decorated with the laughter and new memories when family can come to visit and painted with LOVE inside.
I found that what was most important for me was so much more than tangible items. The “things” that mattered the most to my heart were the emotions that the items captured.
My 4 children’s newborn clothes.
My Grandmothers aprons.
Halloween costumes (especially the Batman mask and feather boua).
And so much more.
And back to those rainbows? I had a rainbow 🌈 moment after my Dad’s passing. You see, he didn’t really “leave” me anything. No books, fishing poles, not many pictures or hobbies. I was crushed at first. And then, the Teacher stepped up to board. He reminded me of all the nights I was woken up by my Dad to sing country songs. I hated those songs and the hours he would keep me up telling me his life stories.
You get it, right?
My rainbow 🌈 was the moment I saw that my Dad left me the greatest gifts of all.
A book of his life, in my mind, that I will have forever.
Songs(that I’m finding also tell a story), and so many snapshots of he and I at that dining room table, singing to Hank Williams Jr in the middle of the night.
I sing those damn songs now.
I play them loud. And laugh, smile and sometimes even cry.
Thanks, Dad. ♥️
What he left me is priceless…there isn’t enough money to purchase those gifts and there isn’t an amount I would take to sell it away.
My heart has felt so much in the last 4 weeks.
Sadness for the lives lost from the virus, Hope for all of humanity, excitement for the renewal that is upon us and absolute gratitude for my life and all who reside in it.
As I sat on my sofa, in my new home, on Easter Sunday, I was in awe.
I had my “rainbow” 🌈 moment.
“I get it, God. I hear ya loud and clear, and I thank you.”
Through this pandemic and “Great Pause” in the entire world, a Bible phrase keeps flashing in my mind.
“ Whoever finds his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it”♥️
We are being forced to Be Still, friends.
Think about that.
For the first time in most of our lives, the world has literally SHUT DOWN.
Maybe it’s so God can heal it and turn it around?
We must embrace this moment in time.
We must not be afraid to weather this storm, but to grab God’s hand, an umbrella and walk into it with Faith.
The first step is always the hardest but remember this promise too…
“FAITH is being sure of what we hope for and certain of which we do not see”
He’s GOT us, friends.
You may get wet, but His warm light will dry you once again.
I leave you with this thought today so you may find strength in the midst of this tornado we are in the middle of.
Let GO and Let GOD.
And, as I tell my kids when something doesn’t go their way…
“Trust in God…He May have something better in mind”🌈
It used to include such things as weight loss, buying a piece of furniture, or whatever my mind desired at the time.
Through the years, as with most things, it seems to have matured.
This past November, my list included just 3 things.
1. A lofty business goal.
2. To run my first marathon.
3. To Live. In the moment. To be fully present.
I figured I had this year’s list locked down.
I mean, I know how to run my real estate business very well, I started running 6 months before the actual marathon….now I just need to figure out how to let go and live.
Little did I know that a few months in, I would begin training for what could be the most mentally challenging year of my life.
For those who know me, you know I don’t do well with change.
As a child, there was just too much uncertainty. So as I have aged, that is something I decided to control…my surroundings and day to day life.
I’d say I had a pretty damn good routine until recently.
I thought I had control.
I can’t speak for you, but for me, one of the most frightening aspects of this virus and quarantine is the uncertainty.
When will it hit?
Who could it take from me?
How bad will it be?
When will it end?
So much freaking uncertainty.
…And, I really have no control over any of it.
Without control over my environment, my routine and my health….I flipped out last week.
What will I do?
How will I continue to live my life without KNOWING what tomorrow will bring???
And then I opened my devotional…..Jesus Calling. I’ve referred to this little book for many, many years.
Through the fears of my children leaving the nest, to my Dad’s passing, health scares… and just those days when you want to cry.
You know, the days you wake up and just feel off? Even on the darkest days, His message has brought me so much PEACE.
And so last week, on a very dreary day, I opened it up again…only to be met with a message so loud, I knew it was meant for me.
Our Lord is with us, in every way.
Waiting for you to come to Him, holding out His hands to offer you comfort and peace.
He is a constant.
He is the calm in this storm.
I realized that day that the ONLY certainty I have is Him.
We all have had experiences in our lives that have been eye opening.
Those “ah ha” moments when you just know something bigger than you has either moved you or blocked your way.
Growing up, I had many.
He was with me every step of the way.
For me to forget that, to doubt it, to retract in fear of what I’m walking into….well, that’s not an option.
So, I decided to rearrange my spring training schedule a bit.
I won’t focus on building muscle, but mental strength. I’ll go through my memories into times that I overcame. I’ll stack those up one by one, as if I’m layering my foundation….because I am.
I won’t stress about timing or how long things will take. I’ll just LIVE for today, like I should be anyway. I’ll listen to the birds. I’ll call family and friends. I’ll slow down my pace and continue to work on my breath and my inner peace.
I’ll keep my eyes laser focused on Him and I won’t let the fears, media, statistics, or stories block the way to my goals.
I’ll trust the process and enjoy the ride.
I’ve got this amazing “tour guide“ who has promised me He will never leave my side. ♥️
Take your thoughts out of what was and put your heart into what will be.
They say it takes 21 days to break a habit….I’m tearing down my walls and allowing Him to rebuild me.
Are you ready for a renovation??
Be safe, strong(in all ways), and begin your “Spring Training” with the best coach ever…. today.