‘Tis The Season to Flourish

Graduation Season is here!  I love seeing the pictures that proud Parents, Families, significant others are sharing of their Graduates.  From the smaller feats such as Preschool to College Graduates, it’s the same abundance of love behind each photo.  This is the beginning of a new chapter as you end the current milestone.  It is your time to truly Flourish.  The possibilities are endless and behind them they have great support.

It’s a beautiful thing to see the smiles.  All of that hard work, dedication, sweat and tears that got them to the stage to shine as the brightest stars that they are in our eyes.  Each new beginning is where they will truly have to shine, among the fresh starts they’re given, it’s up to them to make an impression.  We all know how important the “First Impressions” are.  But behind those “First Impressions” are the lasting ones that gives us all the motivation to become an inspiration.

Each one is graduating into a new chapter in life.

Preschool to Elementary, Elementary to Junior High, Junior High to High School, High School to College.  And then, it opens a gateway to a Career.  More like the unknown, but we always find our way.  Throughout each step of the way they had someone or multiple people make an impression upon them.  To help educate, recognize self-worth, find direction, or maybe even get back on the path.   It can be a Teacher, Instructor, Counselor, Coach, or maybe even, you.  You have made an impression on someone’s life whether you know it or not.  Perhaps you’re actually in the middle of being that inspiration.

It can be one single person, a handful of people, or too many to count.  But either way we will come upon those who makes a lasting impression.  We don’t know how it’s going to happen, when it happened or what may have happened.  Just be aware that, it did.  It can be as simple as a meaningful phone call, to a note of kindness, or sharing a personal, there are plenty of different ways to inspire.  How will you make your mark?  And how can we equip our future to do the same?

Just as footprints in the sand, these impressions are made among all of our hearts.  Not only do we pass the torch, we must maintain the flame and keep it burning strong.  Especially for ourselves, because you can’t forget about, you.  What good are we if we aren’t making sure we’re just as happy as the happiness we share?

We often share how we cannot believe how fast time goes by and as much as we talk about it we don’t take time to truly notice.  What you’ve just witnessed is someone moving on in life with or without us.  But as long as they know you’re present you will be honored enough to see the progression.  Soon they will become a Leader, a Spouse, a Parent.  No matter the speed of time, the hustle and bustle of your routine day, week, or month, just ensure to take time to notice.  Don’t forget, moments and memories cannot be repeated so live them, share them and cherish them.  Just as the difficulty of the circle of life plays on our heart strings, it’s that same melody we find comfort in.  The familiarity of those moments, those people, those memories that have inspired us, those are very things that create lasting impressions.

Congratulations Graduate, Parents, Family and Friends.

Applaud yourselves for being an inspiration.

Why I Didn’t Respond 

Hello Sunshine!  Just so you know, you have not gone unnoticed.  There’s something about you that someone has discovered and can’t help but tell you what they think.  It’s something called a, Compliment.  

Don’t allow your insecurities to overshadow these compliments.  They’re just as beautiful as you are!! Someone wants you to know that they notice something positive about you and it’s completely OK to accept.  I understand, easier said than done.  However if you can at least start with the response, “Thank You” then you’ve started to push those insecurities out of the way!  That’s pure awesomeness! You’ve done it!  Baby steps to a better, you!! 

I personally have deflected compliments with my own shield of insecurity. I didn’t realize by not simply thanking someone I was actually being rude. I would say something back, shedding light on an entirely different topic. Why didn’t I respond? Because I simply didn’t know how to accept a compliment.  I discovered that I had been using the shield the wrong way this entire time!  Once I figured out that this wasn’t the right type of battle to fight I was able to expose my heart and start accepting these compliments.  And let me share, it is a great feeling! 

So the next time someone compliments you, it’s a sincere reminder of what beauty lies within you!  Compliments build you up, they’re never used to knock you down!   Can you imagine the “empire” we can build together?  

Friendly Reminders: Never forget that you are worth it, you’re strong, you deserve it, you’ve earned it, you’re loved, you’re needed, you’re beautiful, you’re never ever truly alone, you inspire, and you are important! 

You Have No Clue What You Have Done!

It may feel like there’s nothing good that may come from what seems to be the worst at that moment.  There’s an overwhelming feeling to acclimate yourself to the saying , “When it rains, it pours” because that’s just how you’re “supposed” to feel.  You instantly become the walking attitude of what you allow to affect you.  When you’re happy you excude positivity, and when you’re sad you emit negativity.  Both are extremely magnetic, and both are within your own control.  (Share within your own discretion, it can be detrimental to ones attitude)

I’ve been there, and I’m certain you have as well.  Perhaps it may have been rock bottom or very close to it but either way we know it’s not a good feeling.  I had to find a way to get out of my own rut that I created. Some days emotions took over my entire day.  I maintained the smile on my face because on the outside people wouldn’t be able to tell that inside I felt like I was slowly dying.  

Little do they know but my closest Friends and Family had a huge part in reminding me of what it’s like to smile and truly mean it.  Something as simple as a smile, it can have so much meaning behind it.  And it may just influence someone’s entire day!  So simple yet, so meaningful. 

I didn’t realize that I made an impact and it was through what I thought was a short conversation.  I recognized that she may have been experiencing something similar to what I have.  I could feel the emotions through her smile and I knew she had used one my past tactics as she too used an Elmer’s glue stick to slap her smile on this day.  Hearing the of the passive “Hello”, while maintaining the strength to hold back the quiver in her voice to mask the lump in her throat.  She didn’t want to be there, she didn’t want to be anywhere.  She wanted to hide and forget about reality and cry, cry as loud as she could.  I had no clue what was wrong.  I hardly knew her but I knew I had to try and reminder her that whatever it was she was going through she was going to get through it and it’s going to be OK!  Just as those who I hold dear to my heart did for me.  

I didn’t know if it would make a difference but I took a chance.  If my rediscovered smile didn’t work than maybe just a few words could help.  And do you know what I was told, I was told that, that conversation that lasted probably less than 5 minutes made a huge impact.  When I was told how it affected her, I held back my own tears.  Within a few seconds I went back to where I was during my darkest period and remembered how many different people had an influence upon me.  And at that moment I realized that my hardest, most difficult, and trying times all made sense now.  I used my weakest moments in life and made it into a foundation of strength for someone else (for the record I am tearing right now knowing how much this means to me).  Who knew?  Who knew that what didn’t make sense at that time for me, would surface and it served a purpose.  Today, she shares her smile with meaning.  She’s happier when she didn’t think she could be, and she found out just as I did that it truly is going to be OK!   

Never lose sight even when it doesn’t make sense.  I have mentioned the word “moment” often because that’s exactly what it is, a moment.  And you will get through it, it’s not life lasting unless you want it to be.  The simple smile, the random act of kindness, the short conversations, or even just one word can make all the difference and would never know it.  

Purpose.  In the end everything comes together and there is a purpose behind it.  

Answers.  You won’t have them all at one time, even when you’re desperate for them.  Don’t ask “Why”.  Let it come to you and it’ll answer you in time.  

Patience. Hold this near to your heart and when you feel like you just can’t wait any longer, you will flourish within the answer. 

Be someone’s smile today.  Because sometimes that’s all the heart needs.  Embrace them with a hug because that embrace can warm the soul.  

Excuse Me, But Please Get The HELL Out Of My Way!

I am completely, undoubtedly, 100% guilty of this.  As “ugly” and unfortunate as the truth may be I have to admit, I am, my own worst enemy!  They say “keep your friends close, and enemies closer”, in this case the “enemy” can keep its distance!  As much as I laugh at these Kermit the Frog Meme’s, those damn posts represent me, a Meme representation of me holding myself back.  Meanwhile the “Angel and Devil” are at war within my mind.

I was texting back and forth with a friend about my “Revamped Master Plan” to do this, and to do that, to achieve this and achieve that.  She’s so supportive as she replied with “You can do it!”.  What she doesn’t know is what truly was being said was that I “love” pressing the restart button, over and over again.  That’s when I realized that, that’s exactly what I do. Because I keep getting in my own damn way!

“Excuse Me, but PLEASE get the HELL out of my way!!”

I just want to remind you that you CAN get past yourself.  For me personally, I am making my small progress towards my feats of success and that’s totally OK, big or small it’s getting done! Key word, PROGRESS. Maintain what you set out to do.  Plan it, start it and achieve it!  JUST FOCUS.  One thing to remember, you’ve got to remove the idea of when is it a good time to start?  There is no convenient time to start.  It’s not like you get to choose when you’re ready to get knocked up and have a baby. Just like planning a healthy regimen for yourself, who says to themselves, “OK, I’ll start on Wednesday, about 2:35 pm to start TNT new plan of exercise and eating right”.  There you go, allowing yourself to get in the way again!

Hell, I didn’t know when or if I’d even start a blog.  One day I said, “OK, I’m doing it!”  I pressed the “Publish” button and there it was.  I did it, I felt nervous, anxious but excited!   The encouragement received is exactly what I need, and it poured into my confidence to help wash out the insecurities.  You never know what will come of something, but you’ve got to allow yourself first and foremost.  Whether it be a new job, a new relationship, jumping off a cliff in Hawaii or just preparing a clean slate for yourself, you CAN do it!  Don’t hold yourself back, or you’re not truly living life.

I looked in the mirror, shook my own hand, re-introduced myself and then told her, “it was nice to meet you, now get the hell out of here”.  Damn that felt great! Try it!

Don’t get in the way of your own dreams and aspirations!

Live and Love Life!

 

 

 

 

 

And You Thought Monday’s Were Bad!

For a majority of us our work weeks are Monday through Friday, and for some their work week may start on a Wednesday.  Either way, we all equally dread our “Monday’s”.  The funny part is, is that we always know when it’s coming.  But we still find a way to use the “Snooze” button as an excuse to prolong our 5-10 minutes of extra sleep prior to the start of the almighty “Mundane Monday”.  Often times scrolling upon posts on Social Media of the funny, half asleep person with crazy hair saying something like, “I’m not ready for you Monday!!!” or “Need Coffee Stat”.

Here comes a new week!  No matter what day of the week it starts for you, it starts.  Take a deep breath and be thankful that you’re able to see a new day.  Perhaps you aren’t given the choice to decide when your week starts, but you have the choice on how you’re going to display your attitude within that 24 hour window of appreciation.  Hit that snooze, or turn it off and get up!  Stretch it out, yawn a time or two, hit that morning pee, dress up, drink your Cup of Joe, Protein Shake or Grass Shot, whatever you like and just get going!

But on the other hand, how could you be upset about the the fact that you “do” have a job?  If it’s just a job, then find something you enjoy, grab your niche by the “balls” and do it!  In life you have to take initiative or else you’ll sit and wonder why it’s not happening for you.  When I suggest to grab that niche, it because it reminds me of how the Dalai Lama puts work into an interesting perspective.  Don’t just do a job, actually like what you do so you can enjoy life, it’s not always about the almighty dollar.

“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” – Dalai Lama

So you see, “Monday” isn’t as bad as you thought.  When you find a different appreciation towards a new day it’s no longer an issue.  Life doesn’t give you the convenience of looking at a calendar and seeing “Perfect Day” written within it to predict what the future holds.  We go into the unknown every single day!

There’s never a convenient day to start anything, and we don’t know how it will end either. But knowing that you have an opportunity to make an impact one way or another, now that’s totally up to you.  Make the new day great, rather than an issue.  Of course you may run into a couple obstacles, or have a story about how crazy or awful it was.   But there’s always tomorrow where your blessing starts all over again!

See, and you thought “Monday’s” were bad!

 

Once Upon A Time, I Was The Cowardly Lion

The Wizard of Oz is one of my all time favorite movies!  I find that I was more of the Cowardly Lion type, not so much a Dorothy, bangin’ those Red Rubies. 

I read an interesting post about Courage and the following stuck out the most for me:

“But ultimately, courage must be discovered internally, and seems to spring from a place in us we previously never knew existed, some secret reservoir or inner source of strength, sustenance and steeliness in the face of life’s inevitable catastrophes, frustrations and disappointments.”  Stephen A. Diamond, Ph. D

For me personally, considering the residual effects of what I deem the hardest time of my life (2015-2016) what Dr. Stephen Diamond wrote about discovering Courage despite what you face is amazing!  

When you can overcome and find that strength to be courageous, you have officially become, “Dorothy”.  She lies within all of us if you think about it!  At one point she was lost, she found a path and along the way she discovered all of the elements to bring her home.  

You see, I “was” the Cowardly Lion.  

Unbeknownst to those who shared with me their comments, encouragement and love you are my “Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Tin Man”.  And you have all motivated me and helped erase insecurities I held before actually publishing my first blog.  I did not realize I was hiding behind a talent.  Who knew?  I reassure you, I didn’t. 

Courage, it’s a great feeling and it’s a good look!  I mean, how amazing is it when you redefine your shine?  

I found my way back home, and now I can say that I am, Dorothy.  

  

Who Took My Life And Made It Into a 3×3? 

“And I Quote….”

Scrolling, Screen Shotting, Saving and Sharing.  I cannot be the only person who’s attached myself to these “3×3” sized boxes.  The flattering backgrounds, neat fonts, swirly borders and colors alone can mesmerize you. It would seem as if someone was living my life and quoting it!  Leaving me to totally relate to this little box.

Whether it’s truly what you’re going through, or what you have gone through, truth of the matter is that it was, a moment.  A feeling, a reaction, something that’s made an impression. It doesn’t define you, what defines you is how you represent yourself.  These “3×3” boxes, they don’t truly reflect who you are, what you were or what you’ve become.  Share wisely.  Unfortunately people thrive off of what’s going on with others rather than focusing on themselves.  If you want to be the topic of discussion, then that’s what you’ll be, a topic.

This one life is yours, you write your own story.  How it’ll be shared or told will truly reflect who are.  And those that will share the “chatter” are those that truly matter.  Because those are the people that are worth knowing who are and what you’re truly about.

You are strong, you are beautiful, you are worth it and you’ve learned a lot throughout the experiences and obstacles you’ve met in life.  Define yourself, don’t let others define you.

The “3×3’s” are cool, and I like to share them myself.  But they don’t tell your story, write it the way you want it written.  Now don’t me wrong, I’m not suggesting you write a book, just be a damn good Author of  the “Best Seller” of your life!

 

Photos Courtesy Of: Amy Tangerine and Rebecca Ray

Her Heart Smiled

The music, stopped.  It was almost like everything froze and she couldn’t hear a thing. Her eyes, they could see.  But she didn’t see what was truly in front of her.

The loss was painful, it was so hard to understand.  Why her Mom?  Why her Grandma?  Why, period.  She felt as if Faith failed her. Now what does she do?  Stay busy, pretend she’s not dying inside, she has to keep it together.

She could feel it in her chest, a familiar rhythmic beating.  It was a beautiful melody, and it reminded her of what it felt like to smile, to love, to feel, and to fight through and discover an unknown strength.

Her heart smiled!! And it brought her back to life, taught her how to live and love life again.  From that point she knew she wanted to share what she rediscovered.   Although it’s still healing, she can use her own to show others how to make their hearts smile too.

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