I must say, it’s been a weird few weeks. Strange days have turned into stranger weeks. So many things have changed, and then other things have oddly remained exactly the same. It’s kind of hard to keep track which is which sometimes! What day is it today anyway?
As the days have turned into weeks, and the weeks are turning into months now for our time of social distancing, in some ways I am feeling better. Calmer. Less anxious. What about you?
I often hear myself and others saying, “when this is all over…” or “after all this…” or “when things get back to normal…”
The thing is, these statements carry with them a “waiting” energy. Like, “when this is all over, THEN I can have my real life back.” Or, “after all this, when we get back to our real lives.” Or, “when things get back to normal, and we’re back to real life again.”
But are these statements really true? I mean – what’s happening right now, if not our real lives? Isn’t what’s happening now REAL??? I don’t know about you, but I have been VERY aware of reality these last many weeks! It’s impossible NOT to be aware that there are some very real threats to our health and well-being out there and we must change our habits and interactions to keep each other safe and well.
In the midst of all this, it can be a bit overwhelming, can’t it? It’s easy to see it all as a hardship and focus on all the things that are uncomfortable, or undesirable, or “bad” about our new ways of life. I will argue however, that we still have the most important choice at our disposable – perspective! We can CHOOSE to see today “just another day in isolation” OR another day to celebrate, enjoy, and be in awe and wonder of!
Today I am choosing to see the beauty that is inherent in TODAY, right now. Today has plenty of gifts of its own. I enjoyed a nice run in the cool of the morning. Made myself a berry smoothie. Spent some time stretching and rolling my muscles to care for them. Listened to a great webinar. And that was just the things that happened before lunch!
If I wasn’t choosing to see the beauty though, that narrative would sound completely different! “Another day in isolation. A run all by myself. Another smoothie. Another webinar, since all I have to entertain myself is this computer screen…I can’t wait for life to start back up…”
TODAY I choose to see the beauty in every part of my day. I choose to live the beautiful life I have right in front of me rather than waiting around for something that only exists in my imagination!
Want to add more beauty to your life through meditation? Check out this course I made for you! Cultivate Calm through Meditation: 4 weeks to bring meditation into your life.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had so many people already asking me what my word for 2017 will be, what my New Year’s Resolution is going to be, etc., etc. And the thought that keeps going through my head is:
Why are we in such a hurry to get to the next year? What’s wrong with the 30 glorious days we have left in THIS year?
So I, for one, am waiting. And while I wait, I will enjoy this month as much as I possibly can!
How will I do it?
Well, the answer is pretty simple. Although, it won’t be easy every day. I will enjoy. On purpose. I will continue to work through each day as though it matters.
Here’s my game plan:
See? Super simple. While some days, it won’t be so easy – I may have a busy schedule, or not feel well, or something. Truth be told, I’ll probably miss some of these on any given day. But I’m committed anyway. Because I know it works. Making a plan, doing my absolute best to stick with it, and getting back on the wagon if I fall off.
There’s still 30 wonderful days! Let’s LIVE them!
I’d love to hear from you – how do YOU live your days on purpose? Leave a comment below:
What’s the most important item on your schedule today?
I hope it’s YOU.
You know that feeling when your schedule is too busy and you feel like you’re running all over the place and there’s no time for yourself?
The only person who has control over the busy-ness of your schedule is….yep…YOU!
So, whataya say? Are you willing to make yourself a priority? It really isn’t that hard, it just takes a little planning. If you haven’t already, how about trying one of these today:
These things are so simple, but can absolutely change the trajectory of your whole day!
Have you seen Kung Fu Panda? It’s amazing to me the life lessons that you can learn in a cartoon movie! In the movie, the wise teacher is a turtle named Oogway. In a critical moment of the movie, one of the cahracters, Shifu tells Oogway that he has “very bad news!”
Shifu: Master! I have… it’s very bad news!
Oogway: Ah, Shifu. There is just news. There is no good or bad.
I love this moment in the movie! I recall it often when I want to jump to conclusions and immediately assign the label of “good” or “bad” to a situation. How can I truly know if something is good or bad? Some things that I thought were just awful in the moment have turned out to be the biggest blessings of my life, while other situations that seemed grand at the outset have nearly sunk me in the end. When we receive news, let’s pause for a moment and realize that it is only news. It is not good news or bad news. We have the choice of how we will respond.
Even in the middle of an intense situation, we can choose to care for ourselves. I have seen this in action and it is POWERFUL! Even when the situations of life are not what you had hoped or planned, and it seems like “very bad news,” we can make the conscious choice to take care of ourselves and make that care our top priority of the day. We all “know” it’s true, but we simply MUST take care of ourselves if we are to take care of anyone else.
So, Dragonfly, please share. What will you do to take care of YOU today?
My son Caleb seems to know exactly who he is. And always has. The kid has the biggest heart you can find and has inherently known how to comfort others and bring them out of the mire and into the light since the dawn of time. And he’s ridiculously creative. He totally rocks.
But we aren’t all that lucky. Often we find ourselves questioning.
Who are you? What makes you unique? What are you best at doing?
Identity is something lots of people have a hard time with. Figuring out your own strengths and learning about who you are is a journey that can take years, and was something I had a hard time with for the whole of my twenties and most of my thirties. I mean, I literally lived about two decades of my life waiting for someone to put a billboard in the sky that would tell me what to do and how to do it. I was paralyzed by this magical secret of who I am that I thought was being kept from me.
Then several years ago when I was working for a nonprofit, we had one of those team-building things and this lady came in and had us take a “strengths assessment.” I thought it was nuts. The questions were like this:
Do you like snow skiing or peaches?
Do you like to cook meals from scratch or sky-diving?
Do you like painting or changing diapers?
Those questions didn’t even make sense. I took the “assessment” and thought, “What a ridiculous waste of time. There’s no chance that can tell me anything at all about myself.”
That “ridiculous” assessment described me to a T! It talked about how everything I do is driven by a deep underlying belief system; how I couldn’t stop learning and collecting information if I tried (I do insanely love books!); how I will see every tiny little milestone you reach and will celebrate it with you (with a coffee or lunch or something); and how I can’t not see the positivity in any and every situation.
How any of that became clear from the peaches question still perplexes me!
Just a couple of weeks ago, my friend Ted gave me a call. He is a Certified Strengths-Based Coach and called to find out if I wanted to further explore my strengths and how they benefit me as I make life and biz decisions.
Crazy question! OF COURSE I wanted to explore it further (back to that learning and input thing)! In fact, now that I know I can, I MUST!
So we spent a couple sessions on the phone after I had completed some prep work and I have to tell you – I was amazed with the results! I have a much deeper understanding of who I am, how I function, and how to use all those things for the best outcomes. It is SO COOL!
Talk about learning how to live in full-color, iridescent amazingness!
I gotta tell ya, I HIGHLY recommend going through a few sessions with Ted. Your true self will emerge and shine and you will be able to see all the wonderfulness about yourself and how you can paint your life in full-color too!
Go visit him here – www.tedbaird.com.
And while I was at it, I bought a lovely set of colored pencils. Grown up ones. All sleek and beautiful. In their own special case. I am a sucker for great packaging. I once bought a lipstick I didn’t even like the color of because it came in a really cool case. For reals.
I bring it all home and wait until (I think) the kids are in bed. I take it out of the bag, find a page I like and start methodically coloring the page. Choosing just the right color, following the lines around the page, and thoroughly enjoying the whole process.
And in walks my son to say good night…one more time. He takes a look at my shiny new coloring book. “Whatcha doin there mom?”
“Oh, just coloring.”
“Yes.” (maybe starting to get a little self-conscious at this point…)
“Ok…how long have been doing this?” “Since today. I bought this book today. Um…isn’t it great?”
“Sure mom. Whatever you want. Goodnight.”
Oh well. Perhaps there is something he or I needed to learn in that moment.
Once I got back into it, it reminded me of being a girl and how much I loved to color. I would get in my own little zone and everything that was bothering me would just disappear, at least for awhile. And then I realize that is exactly what’s happening NOW! As I am picking just the right color for the next section and adding in shading, I realize that I am no longer thinking about the woman who literally screamed at me in the school parking lot this morning, I’m not worried about the malfunctioning smoke alarm anymore, I’m not even wondering how I’m going to get all my tasks done tomorrow. All I’m thinking about it this. precise. moment.
The thing I realized is how important it is to take time to do things that allow our minds to be still and think about only what’s happening right now. And for me, today, it’s coloring.
But, it doesn’t have to be a coloring book. If you are attracted to gardening, go get some plants and a new spade. Or maybe your thing is Bonsai trees, or painting, or waxing cars or dancing or cooking or any number of other amazing activities.
Today, what would allow you to create that mind space?
My daughter came home from school and announced, “I’m making cookies on Thursday afternoon!”
I had a friend over and we were working together. My friend asked her, “Why are you making cookies?”
My daughter says, “Why am I making cookies on Thursday afternoon? I dunno. Because I want to. I don’t need a reason.”
Why do we wait for some special occasion to do fun things in life? There’s really no reason, right?
During this same fun afternoon, me and my friend were fixing ourselves a beverage and decided to mix orange juice and coconut water. It was SO YUMMY! We were going on and on about how yummy it was and my daughter said, “You guys are so cute! You are getting so excited about orange juice and coconut water.”
Why not be excited about whatever is happening RIGHT NOW?
Whether it’s making cookies on Thursday afternoon or working at the office or going on vacation or even having a challenge in a relationship, there is something to celebrate. The fact that we can make cookies, or have a job, or the chance for vacation, or relationships that teach us and stretch us. Every single one of these is a gift of utmost benefit.
What is happening right now in your life that you can choose to see the excitement in?
Bringing a little happiness into our daily life goes a long way toward living our full-color iridescent lives. And truly, happiness is a choice we make every moment of every day. As far as I can tell, no one does this better than my friend Dave Romanelli.
Dave has been talking about and living in the deliciousness in the moment for years and years. And guess what? His new book is called, Happy is the New Healthy and is all about enjoy life RIGHT NOW!
Here’s a bit from Dave about Happy is the New Healthy:
I am so excited to share with you my brand new book Happy is the New Healthy.
But before I tell you more…here is some kicka$s Native American wisdom as you head into the holidays. It came from the heart of a Native American healer who goes by the name Bob Bear The Medicine Man.
I met Bob Bear on my annual retreat to Sedona, Arizona (see below for more) which is the healthiest, happiest place in the nation, and widely considered one of the most spiritual places on the planet.
Bob Bear said, “Don’t need for things.
“The Great Spirit knows what you need and will provide.
“Your job here is not to need.
“Your job here is to DREAM in a way that lifts, heals, and inspires the world.
“Do your job, dream big, and magic will rain down on your life.”
For anyone out there who is stuck on their needs…
“I need more money.”
“I need more love.”
“I need more time.”
How about taking a little advice from Bob Bear The Medicine Man and daring to pry open your mind and embrace the greatest dream of all: the dream for total and complete happiness. To wake up each day feeling full in your heart and spirit…that’s what we live for!
Maybe you are already there.
But if you are ready to make 2015 the year of less needs and more DREAMS (which, by the way, is an incredibly liberating shift)…that’s the idea behind Happy is the New Healthy.
The premise of the book is to flip the wellness paradigm on its tightly toned a$$ and shift the priorities from losing weight, doing fancy yoga poses, and seeking the latest juice cleanse to…
…loving more deeply, living more passionately, and saying YES to the full fury of life.
If you are in the mood to celebrate happiness…and Happy is the New Healthy sounds like your kind of philosophy…
Get your copy of Happy is the New Healthy!
Someone asked me the other day why I do what I do (referring to this blog and my Facebook page). What’s the point in spending all that time coming up with content to brighten people’s day? Why study about meditation and chakras and oils and stones and self-care and take the time to post it on a Facebook page for a bunch of people I haven’t ever met in person?
Are you ready for a story? This is where it began:
Back when I was around 10 years old, my dad and I were out on the property (5 acres outside Oklahoma City) and had been to the garden to pick summer’s bounty of blackberries. By the time we had finished gathering berries and started heading back to the house, it was getting dark. We followed the path toward the house and dad was telling me about the stars. We came to the natural bridge between two little creeks where I would fish for crawdads by day and, to get a better look at the stars, we decided to just lay down there on the cool grass. He showed me how to locate a few constellations and that was cool, but the part that really struck me was the space and the freedom in that moment. We could have been there for 5 minutes or two hours. I don’t know. And I don’t care. What I do care about is that it was the first time I can remember being truly present in the moment and old enough to be able to “know” that I was being present.
Ever since then, I have longed for such moments in time. Moments when nothing else matters but NOW. Moments when all the cares of the world melt away. Moments when I am tangibly aware of the divine all around me. Sometimes I can find them in seemingly mundane moments of the day like sitting at a stop light or waiting for my kids to get out of school. Other times I find that same stillness in meditation or practicing yoga. I have realized that I can also find those moments when shopping for stones for someone or creating an essential oil kit that meets someone’s needs.
But do you want to know what my biggest take-away is? It’s not any ONE of those things that allows me to pause and breathe and experience the oneness with all things. It’s all of those things and MORE. The ability to find the peace and stillness isn’t found in one magical object or technique or practice. Finding and creating space for quieting our minds leads to our inner transformation. And that truly takes all of our lives to do. It’s not only in the 20 minute meditation before we get out of bed. That meditation sets us up for mindfulness so that when we get to the grocery store and the line is ridiculously long, instead of seeing a mini-tragedy, we see God. It’s not only the 90 minute yoga practice (no matter how awesome it is), but the attention to breath we carry with us long afterwards, so that when the stress of life happens we respond with a deep cleansing breath instead of a nervous breakdown.
The Source Energy isn’t only in those special moments when we set aside time to connect.
And this is why I do what I do. To live a life of practicing awareness in each moment and share my experiences along the way. Then to post those experiences on a random Facebook page so that all of us looking for those beautiful moments have a place to share them together.
Thanks for joining me on this journey. It is an honor to share it with you. Namaste.
I used to have this GREAT job. I worked for a small company that provides resources and consulting for nonprofits. I had the privilege of helping create the company and poured my heart and soul into the thing. My boss (and friend) was the BEST at accommodating my crazy schedule with two kiddos and sporadic travel related to my “side gig” and I couldn’t have asked for better work-mates. I tell ya, I LOVED this job!
You see, I have been on this massive transformational journey that has come to into full-color over the last year. I experienced a dragonfly (check that out here), I went to a YogaFit conference that completely blew me away as I learned even more about stones and oils and meditation, and I had some amazing conversations around a fire pit with this guy and his amazing wife (www.tedbaird.com) that helped me frame and shape all the things I was learning. I have stretched. I have grown. I have struggled. I have wrestled. And…
And, as a result, I have learned and experienced so many new things that I just KNEW could have HUGE impact for other people if I could just carve out enough time to tell the story and create the container for some time and space to explore and grow and learn together. But the truth was I just couldn’t get all that done while I was working at my job, no matter how awesome it was. So I quit.
Since then (late June 2014), I have been working to get this site up and running and learn all kinds of cool new stuff about creating a blog people might actually like to read and how to offer retreats and other stuff that would be appealing as well. This has been a fun journey, too. Full of twists and turns and frustrations and joys (as is all of life, right?).
I am planning my first retreat for the spring in Sedona, AZ (a truly gorgeous place) most likely in March and those details will be coming as soon as all the moving pieces are all settled in place and I truly hope you can come join me. We will have a blast!
Thanks for hanging out. I can hardly wait to meet you in person!
Just to clarify right off the bat, I do not now and have not ever been a drug-user. : ) But today, when I went to compulsively check the Facebook feed (don’t pretend I’m the only one, because I know I’m not!), I realized I have a “drug problem.” It’s not a pill I pop in my mouth, but it is my “drug of choice” I “use” to fill the emptiness, to numb the challenging feelings, to escape my reality for a few minutes. So, what’s your “drug of choice”?
I don’t think this is something we have to get all judgmental on ourselves about. But it is great awareness to have. What do I turn to when I think I can’t handle the day? What keeps me from experiencing what’s happening right here, right now? When I was scrolling through that Facebook feed, I came across a friend who posted that she had deleted the FB app off her phone simply because she realized she filled ALL the little gaps in her day with it. So, she got a bigger purse and put a BOOK in there to READ in her spare moments! What a concept! I am so inspired I am considering doing the same thing (thank you Skila, you trend setter)! You can check out other Skila-amazingness here: www.skilatheyoaggirl.com
So, thanks to Skila’s inspiration, I have decided to pause before I reach for my phone, or open my computer, or grab a chocolate, or any of those things that distract me from this moment and ask myself WHY I am doing so. If it’s because I am “using” it to take my attention away from my family or my friends or even my breath? If so, I intend to PUT IT DOWN and choose to simply “be” in this wonderful moment that has been given to me as a beautiful gift.