Opinions

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If you’ve known me for any length of time, or if you don’t know me at all, for that matter, you may have figured out a little quirk about me. I love to keep those that have chosen to love me unconditionally on their toes. ALL THE TIME.

And that my friends, is no exaggeration. I’m spontaneous, but I am not. I have horrible habits. I make terrible decisions. But, at the same time, I have fantastic habits and make fantastic decisions. I love to help wherever I am needed, I love to donate time, talent and treasure to organizations that are dear to my heart. I am literally all over the place.

And for YEARS I battled with this. “Be the person you’re supposed to be.” “Set goals to accomplish success.” “Just behave.”

Oh those phrases drove me crazy. I went to school to become an advertising extraordinaire. Five years into my career, I was miserable and had an unbelievable calling to be in the classroom.

So, I went to get my Masters and I became a teacher.

And I was there for almost 8 years–but then found myself miserable again. I mean– a deep, dark misery that stemmed from events completely out of my control. But as each event occurred, I found myself spiraling out of control into a place I didn’t want to be.

When you get into your headspace, really get into it, you realize that there is really only one shot at this life, and it really isn’t necessary to be miserable in your choices. So I made a conscious decision to find my new happy. To follow my joy.

Is that path easy? Absolutely not. It has twists, turns, bumps and dark places. It includes learning to live in a way that you have never lived before. New habits, new schedules, new everything. And it is overwhelming at times.

Why do I write all this for the world to read? Because, I want you to know that you are not alone. EVER. There is somebody, somewhere going through a very similar journey as you.

And most importantly, maybe you’re approaching a crossroads that is frightening and you are terrified to choose the wrong path. Just know this:

“Other people’s opinions are none of your business.”

I recently read “Girl, Wash Your Face-Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Are Meant to Be” by Rachel Hollis. It has been very eye opening to say the least. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

Yep. IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS what others think of you. Because YOU DO YOU, good/bad/everything in between.

I don’t strive to be perfect anymore. I own up to my mistakes, I own up to my successes. I own up to my life. I strive to be imperfect — I’m perfect.

The best decision I have made in this turbulent year or so has been to join the oil community. It’s so much more than products. It’s a group of individuals that have come from every walk of life and joined together under one common passion: essential oils.

Sleep. Wellness promotion. You name it, there’s an oil for that. And a community that is so happy to walk you through the journey. If you are the least bit interested in what these can do for you, I encourage you to visit The Oily Life and join us (links are provided to get started). If oils aren’t your thing–still check it out, you will be surprised how versatile oils are for EVERYONE.

And I’m finding my happy. I want the same for you. If all you get from reading this stream of thought is that you are not alone, then I will be happy for you. Because you are not.

Let’s be perfectly imperfect together.

 

40 Days – Day 38

Pay attention to the small things. They could actually be really big things that you can’t even fathom.

Today is Holy Thursday–and Matthew Kelly brings up a REALLY good point. The disciples have a meal with Jesus, much like they do every other evening. BUT–this night is different, very different. Did they know that this was a big deal? That this ordinary event that they experienced daily would actually turn into one of the most famous events of all time?

Because that is what extraordinary things are–they are ordinary events/actions that become something so much bigger.

God loves ordinary things. Matthew Kelly says “I wonder what the disciples were thinking that Thursday morning. You know, did they just think it was another Thursday? Did they just think it was another Passover?

We’ve been talking a lot about awareness, you know, as we made our journey through Lent. I wonder what sort of awareness the disciples had. They spent three years of their lives with Jesus. They probably had dinner with him every night. Did they know this night was different? Did they know this night was special? And when he broke the bread, said the blessing, shared the wine—what kind of awareness did they have about what was happening? Did they realize they were at one of the most pivotal moments in history? Did they realize they were at the most important meal in the history of the world?

Probably not.

I guess the point is that we can wander through life half asleep. We can wander through life unconscious of a lot of really, really, really important things. And God’s constantly trying to wake us up.

And so, as we enter into these very, very sacred days, I think God’s probably trying to do the same thing to us. He’s probably trying to give us a little shake and say, “Wake up. Pay attention. This is important.” And if we do, I think, he always richly rewards us.”

You know what one of the biggest causes of us walking through life half asleep–half unconscious of our surroundings…is the fact that we are not truly HAPPY. That we are in fact, UNHAPPY.

UNHAPPY is not the same as depressed. UNHAPPY is not the same as experiencing a mind-numbing, life changing grief. UNHAPPY is something you have unintentionally conditioned your mind, body and soul to believe is true, right, and the way it should be.

You wake up every morning and go to a job that doesn’t make you smile. You run the same errands and attend the same groups/clubs, etc. And you convince yourself that this is good and that you are HAPPY.

But then think about how you feel when you are in a place that genuinely brings joy to your heart. Think about how light you feel and how it is hard to take that smile off your face. THAT, my friends, is HAPPY.

So wake up. Not just today, but everyday. FIND your happy, follow your JOY. Don’t convince yourself that you are too busy to take care of yourself. Because God (or the Universe or the guiding spirit, or however you want to refer to this super power that is all good and all knowing), wants YOU to be HAPPY in the ordinary things. When you’re happy in the ordinary things, extraordinary things happen.

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He told me, “Mom, I’m too busy” and told his brother to not disturb him because “he’s too busy.” That’s fine little one, as long as you’re finding pure JOY in your business. 

 

Much love and blessings to you today and every day.

XOXO

40 Days – Day 36

It NEVER fails to amaze me when I start to see a pattern of lessons, from different sources, all pointing to the same direction.

Today, in Best Lent Ever, they explore managing the PRESENT to create the future. And what is so crazy about that??? Well, in all of the literature I’m reading, in all of the IG and Facebook posts I’m following–there is a THEME.

What is that theme?

To embrace SILENCE, SOLITUDE and STILLNESS.

Set aside a time every day to reflect upon your life, your meaning, your purpose.

Great lives are made up of action AND rests.

Rests = silence, solitude and stillness.

You will truly find when you put yourself in good headspace, the rest of the day flows easily. Even on bad days. Head space is SO important.

What’s even more, Mercury is in retrograde, that even has the non-believers grasping for air. It’s just off. Have you noticed? Are you cranky for NO reason? Do you want to be all by yourself, when normally you’re a social junkie? It’s no joke. My very dear friend at ShopMyrrh.com explains it so very well. But what YOU need to take out of it all–is do not ignore your body’s natural pull to stay home or be suddenly introverted.

Because, to be the best-version-of-yourself in the future, you must be 100% in the present. And a lot of times, to do that, you must rest.

So, friends, rest.

SILENCE, SOLITUDE, STILLNESS.

If even for 10 minutes.

Then open your eyes, smile, and know that love and peace fill your heart.

XOXO.

40 Days – Day 25

Impulse.

Spanish mystic and monk, St. John of the Cross wrote, “A bird, whether it is tied down by a thread or a chain, still cannot fly.”

Those huge appetites that crave things, both good and bad. It may be “just a cigarette” or “just a piece of cake”–but if we allow ourselves to cave to these impulses, we become enslaved to those things and we lose our authentic selves. We lose that work toward our virtues.

What’s tying you down?

Go back to the exercise of growing your virtues and character and you will find that letting go of those things tying us down becomes easier.

As I said yesterday, lack of self-control and caving to impulses is truly one of my greatest vices. I STILL battle with some very bad habits. But, as I’m working on growing my patience, I in turn am growing my self-control. And there is going to be a day when I can finally cut the string (or chain) that is tying me down–and work on truly becoming the best-version-of-myself.

We all have impulses. And they can all too easily become compulsions and addictions. Become a master of your impulses. Whether the impulse is to shop, eat, procrastinate, or agree to attend an event, pause before acting on that impulse.

This is a HUGE challenge for me–but one I will accept with all my heart. Because I am a work in progress, it won’t happen immediately. But I WILL cut those chains and I will fly free–in my authentic life–and there will be much joy.

Best Lent Ever, Day 25

DAY 25: JOY and GRATITUDE

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Tim asks, “what is that?” My answer–“I don’t know. It’s just paint. But it makes me happy. So…yeah.”

When I get those brief moments of “Mommy Time” I find myself happiest when I am creating. I may have NO IDEA what I’m creating, but I honestly don’t care. Because I’m in my place and I’m happy.

I’m so thankful that I have not one but two work areas where I get to create. I may paint a bunch of scribbles, or build a couch, or refurbish a chair, or slap some vinyl on some poor unsuspecting object. It’s whatever I’m feeling in THAT moment. And as long as I’m creating, I’m in my place of pure joy, relaxation and contentment.

I challenge each and everyone of you to find that place, if you haven’t already. And work hard to treat yourself to that place at least once a week.

Follow your joy.

XOXO.

40 Days – Day 24

Self-control.

Eeek. The thought makes me cringe. This has always been one of my weakest points. What it is that is “controlling” me changes, but I have ALWAYS been weak in self-control and what I let run my life.

Do you struggle with something enslaving your life? Making you less authentic–more materialistic? It could be your phone. That little piece of technology rules the world. Think about it. When you go out in public (a restaurant, a park, Disney World…) everyone is walking with their heads down, staring at their phones. Or they have headphones on, drowning out any potential for a in person conversation.

Matthew Kelly says today: “You know, one of the ways that we are called as Christians to exercise this self-control is through our appetites. We are creatures of appetite. We have all types of appetites that come every day: appetite for food, appetite for drink, appetite for sleep. Many of these appetites are given to us by God as part of his design of us in order to keep us alive. They’re survival mechanisms, right? But even something very, very good can be twisted and turned into something very, very damaging or even diabolical.

The reality is that these appetites that we have, they’re not going away. There’s no making peace with them. We either control them, or they control us. They’re either our slaves, or we’re they’re slaves. There’s no middle ground. And so living an authentic life, living an integrated life, requires that we learn to control our appetites. You struggle with some, I struggle with others. I like food, I don’t know if you’ve noticed.

The reality is, we all struggle with something when it comes to the area of appetites. What is it that you’re struggling with, and how do you feel God calling you to exercise control over that in your daily life?” 

Today, put in your mind that self-control prevents you from becoming enslaved to something (whatever that something may be). Starting today, become a master of your appetites. Direct your appetites toward those things that are good for you and genuinely help you to become your best self.

Day 24: JOY and GRATITUDE

*Disclaimer: This is NOT ME. This is a stock photo. Though…this IS on my dream board, because one day, this WILL BE me.

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I started my true yoga practice last summer. And I fell in love. It is challenging–yet relaxing and invigorating and allows me to get into my headspace. This morning I just really didn’t want to get out of bed (thanks Daylight Savings)…which means I REALLY didn’t want to go to yoga. But, I got out of bed. I got dressed and I went to yoga. And now I feel amazing.

So…this goes back to the lesson for the day. Self-control. The me a couple of months ago would have chosen sleep over yoga. But–my head wasn’t in the right place. These last few months I’ve been working really hard at getting my head in the right place, through various practices, and this morning, even though I didn’t want to, I got up and I went.

And I feel glorious.

Go do your thing. Set your mind a go. Don’t look back.

XOXO

40 Days – Day 23

Anger/Temper/Frustration.

This is something we have a huge issue with at my house. We are all hot heads (well, everyone but Tyson, because he’s just awesome). We all too often react to situations rather than take a step back and let the moment sink in.

Today’s message is about just THAT. Are we really striving to become the best-version-of-ourselves when we are being reactive rather than responsive? There is a huge difference.

I think there’s a real distinction between responding and reacting, you know? And of course, animals react. Something happens to an animal and an animal just reacts, because animals are not responsible. What does that mean? They’re not response-able. They’re not capable of response. They’re not able to respond. The way they’re made, the way they were created . . . They react. Whereas human beings . . . We’re responsible. We’re response-able. We’re able to respond. We’re capable of response. But very often we just react to things.” -Matthew Kelly

Take that in. Really read those words. Are YOU reactive or responsive? One of my goals this Lent is to become more respond-able and less reactive. Encourage my boys to take a step back and think through situations before I just BLOW up at them. Learning to respond helps you to grow in virtue and character, helps you to become the best-version-of-yourself.

And if you’re sitting there thinking to yourself as you’re reading this, “there is no way. I’ve just been hard wired with a short fuse.” Remember this: People don’t have bad tempers; they have badly trained tempers. And you CAN train your brain new tricks.

Become a master of your temper. When things do not go as you would like them to, pause before reacting. Breathe deeply. Remind yourself that in the grand scheme of human history, this is just one moment. And walk away from the situation to collect yourself if necessary. Remember–to live in the PRESENT.

Repeat this 30 times a day if you have to. But grow. You’ll be so happy you did. “Jesus, let me be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. (James 1:19–20)”

Day 23: JOY and GRATITUDE

astrology

Since as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with all things astrology/numerology/card readings, etc. I think the obsession began with the song by 5th Dimension “Age of Aquarius.” (My mother was a product of the 60s/70s so I got to listen to all that starting at a very early age). I am an aquarius and I was obsessed with the fact that they made a whole song about it. So of course (because I love to learn), I dove in to learn all about aquarius.

I have a tendency to go in and out of my studies of these things, for various reasons. When I was younger it was because people actually told me it was close to witchcraft (gasp). When I became older, it was because I had to prioritize what I was doing, and often that study just fell to the wayside. But I’ve always been fascinated.

So, I really find joy in these studies. And I truly believe this is not witchcraft or going against God. In fact, I think it is the complete opposite. I think it is a way to connect to the Universe He created and helping to decipher his ultimate plans for me.

On Saturday, March 17 we will be going through a new moon. The new moon affords us a time to bring balance to our entire system: body, mind and spirit. During the new moon phase, we are able to see more clearly–and to find areas that are off balance and to set intentions for where we want to be. BALANCE.

In “A Workbook By Spirit Daughter” the new moon is discussed. This particular new moon is in Pisces. Pisces is pure bliss. She flows through the rhythm of life and can teach us how to do the same. This season is a time to align with her boundless energy and realize that YOU are boundless.

It’s time to receive what you are set to receive. The key to receiving is LETTING GO. Let go of the negative energy that is holding you back and open your heart to what your DREAMS are–and get those dreams!!

If you are even somewhat interested in the moon, its phases and how it can affect your energies, I highly encourage you to check out shopmyhrr.com.

This week, in preparation for the new moon, complete the following tasks:

Ask yourself:

  1. Where can you let go of control?
  2. In what situations can you become the observer instead of the doer?
  3. When do you feel the most calm? How can you cultivate that feeling in more situations?
  4. What wounds have become, or will become, your greatest power?
  5. What is your dream? Think about it –and create a scene in your mind. What would you be doing RIGHT NOW if your dream was to come to fruition? No limits, as much detail as possible.
  6. Plant your intentions. Write them in present tense “I am a successful entrepreneur,” “My son is healthy, happy and confident,” etc.

Be authentically you–and the Universe will put everything else into place.

40 Days – Day 22

The myth of happiness.

So the great myth of our day and age is that if we do anything we want, we will find that perfect path to happiness. Guess what? As evidenced by the pure anger, hate and vitriol we witness day in and day out in our society, we know that doing whatever we want is not leading us to a road of happiness.

Think about it. If you are out trolling social media and blogs and spouting negative energy–are you TRULY happy with yourself? Or, is there something deep down, that is telling you that just wasn’t the right thing to say–and you may have truly hurt someone by saying it.

Live your life with an open mind and an open heart.  It is said that the influence of the moon will affect your life whether you believe in it or not, but true manifestation comes from believing in what is not known and having faith. And to truly believe what is not known and have true, unadulterated faith, you need discipline.

And it’s not just formal discipline. It’s also routine. Like, don’t leave the house without saying “I love you.” Don’t let your boys go without a hug and kiss (while they’re still young enough to let you do such a thing).

God wants absolute, pure joy for you. How mind blowing is that?!?!? That there is someone out there that only wants PURE JOY for you. And ok, maybe you don’t think it’s God. Maybe you think it’s a Universal Idea. But it’s there. There is no denying that. You manifest this powerful energy into your life by using discipline. Discipline to pray, to meditate, to follow routines…and then your happiness follows.

Just the thought of that powers me up BIG TIME.

So don’t say “I can’t.” Or “I don’t believe” (because we’ve already discussed that whole believing concept). Just put your mind to it and go.

Start with baby steps. Prioritize your areas of discipline with what needs the most work (#1 on the list) and what needs the least work (last on the list). Then set out your means to accomplish these disciplines.

The Universe is an awesomely, amazing place, and it (and He) wants NOTHING more than you to be completely happy.

Day 22: JOY and GRATITUDE

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You know, you can have all the joy in the world, but if you aren’t thankful for what you have, it can backfire on you. Jen Sincero (of the “You are a BadAss” series) gives a great example of this. Think about a group of kiddos hard at play. You bake them cookies. Some of the kiddos inhale the cookies so fast, it’s hard for you to believe they have even registered that they have eaten them. No thanks, just back off to play. Then the next set of kiddos eat the cookies, may even give you a thanks, but then return to their play. But there is ALWAYS that one kid. The one that stays behind, and not only tells you thank you, but then offers to help you clean up after his friends.

You know where that kid gets with his gratitude? A WHOLE LOT FURTHER than those other kids. I can tell you, as a parent and a former teacher, that it is a lot easier to help those that are appreciative of your efforts than those that don’t show it, or are not appreciative of it at all. Yes, that kid DOES get the biggest piece of cake. Or the first turn on a fabulous new toy. Because he is THANKFUL for it.