It’s that time of year. School is winding down and kids are graduating. Mine included. My oldest is graduating high school this year. I admit – I am mostly in denial about this fact. I am none too happy that the child grew up so fast, and GRADUATION??? THAT was NOT supposed to happen this quickly!
And yet, I am grateful, too. Grateful to have a son. Grateful that he has made it this far and has done so well. It’s a big moment all the way around.
Well, the other day I was on FaceBook and one of my friends from Moore High School was posting that her daughter is also graduating this year! Her daughter is a Valedictorian at the same high school where we were part of the Valedictorian group. Her daughter was asking for advice on writing her speech and so my friend dug out the high school box where she had KEPT our speeches from graduation all those years ago!
Moore High School was pretty big back in the day, and so there were 22 of us that gave speeches that night as best I can recall. We each had something like 25 seconds to share our parting thoughts with our fellow students. I counted – and my speech was exactly 6 sentences long. I really didn’t know what to say, but did my best to come up with something (anything!) that would fit the bill for Graduation Night.
Let’s suffice it to say I did not want to make that speech AT ALL.
I labored over those six sentences! Rough draft. Editing. Re-writing. Practicing. Worrying. Starting all over. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Anyway – my friend took pics of all twenty-two speeches (Xerox copies made from the dot matrix original, you know) and posted them! So I got to re-read what I had written. First, it was humbling. NOT a work of art, I tell ya! It wasn’t particularly well written. Nor was it compelling.
Even twenty-six years ago I knew something deep down. I knew that we are more than just our surroundings. We are more than our graduating class. We are more than our town. We are more than our nation.
We are individuals.
Each of us has a beautiful gift to give. Even in 1990 (I know – eeek!), I had the sneaking suspicion that each of us have a wonderful sparkly self to share with the world.
So that’s the story. Before I had ANY idea that I would go to University and earn a Bachelors in Music Education, get married, teach for 3 years, have two amazing kids, work for an insurance company, teach private piano/voice lessons, do the stay-at-home-mom thing, be in a band, work as a nonprofit consultant, and become a yoga trainer…before any of that – I KNEW that we each have something beautiful to offer.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I hide it, or disregard it, or think it isn’t sparkly ENOUGH. But guess what? IT IS. When we cover it up, or hide it in a corner, or whatever, we’re not the only ones who miss out, EVERYONE misses out.
So if that’s been you – if you’ve denied that thing that makes you unique and amazing, let’s change that. Take it out, dust it off, tell it you’re sorry, and then LET IT SHINE!
Please tell me, what is that special thing that makes you, you?
Hey there, Dragonflies!
I am recently back from vacation and feeling all refreshed and ready to jump back into the routine of school (I have two High Schoolers) and work. While I was gone, I did some thinking and realized some things about myself. I wonder if you ever feel this way too?
Do you ever get scared of being successful? Do you sometimes think it’s just easier to stay with things the way they are and not rock the boat with some fancy new idea?
When I started this blog almost a year ago (A YEAR AGO?!?!) and the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/iridescentdragonflies), I was on fire! I was all about getting it started and taking some steps that I have never taken before and it was a little scary, but SO EXCITING, and I was having so much fun meeting everyone. But somewhere along the way, I let the scary feelings overtake the exciting feelings and while still taking steps forward all the time, I started kind of letting stuff get in the way of massive progress.
What was I so scared of?
Here’s what I decided it is for me: I got scared because of all the “what ifs?” What would happen if something comes up I don’t know how to handle? Or What do I do if all these people are looking to me to provide encouragement for iridescent amazingness in their lives and I don’t (or can’t) give it to them? What happens if this things gets really big and I don’t know how to keep up with it?
Well guess what?
There are thousands of “what ifs” in life. They aren’t going to stop, no matter what we do!
So, is it possible that something may come up that I don’t know how to handle? Well, of COURSE! It’s even imminent! Is it possible that I might not be able to live up to someone’s expectations? Yep. I can almost certainly guarantee it. Is it possible that at some point I will not know how to keep up with what’s happening in this business. Certainly.
Is it possible that it will be scary to keep moving forward and living as iridescently as possible?
So, what to do?
What if the blind painter had thought it was impossible to paint since he can’t see? Well, we wouldn’t have this:
What if those high school basketball players hadn’t embraced their teammate with special needs? We wouldn’t have this heart-warming story.
What if the 30 year-old Jake Weidemann hadn’t followed his love of penmanship and become a Master Penman, when the next youngest person with this title is 30 years OLDER than Jake? We wouldn’t have his beautiful art.
And what if I hadn’t followed my dream to provide a place for people to discover ways to create space for their own full-color amazingness? In just one year’s time, the stories you all have shared with me have BLOWN ME AWAY! I am so humbled and honored to be a part of your journeys and to share yours with you.
And what about YOU, Dragonfly? What have you done even though it’s scary? What do you want to even though it seems frightening?
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.
How do you shine your iridescent, full-color amazingness to the world? Are you a rock star and live your life bigger than big with an audience of millions? Or are you a baby-whisperer, influencing one child at a time? Or something in between? Do you engage in life-altering conversations multiple times each day? Yeah, me neither. At least, not that I know of. More likely, I’m discussing the latest great deals at the grocery store. Which brings me to this (it’s kind of a stretch, but stay with me): I’d like to suggest that as we do the things that we KNOW shine our light, there are probably even MORE ways we shine your light everyday and have no idea that our sparkle-dust is getting all over someone! Let me illustrate:
I had an experience a few weeks ago that let me know that sometimes my words really do affect people in ways that go well-beyond any intention I may have had. I have a friend that I see pretty often. Every couple weeks we get together and chat about life and love and books we’ve read and of course, great deals at the grocery store (See? There’s connection!). You know how it goes, we have lunch or coffee or something and just chat. My point is, we’re simply getting together. It’s not like an appointment we make to enrich each others’ lives or a coaching session or anything. Just two friends, enjoying the company.
One particular day as we talked, she told me that she was upset because she had been betrayed by someone she had previously considered to be a true friend; you know, the type of person you would drop anything for. She was completely blindsided by this betrayal. But it was true and she was feeling the loss.
She said, “You know, I’ve realized I’m not really sad about it. I know now that I shouldn’t have trusted her with so much information, but after thinking about it, I realized I want to spend my time with people that encourage me and bring positivity to my life.” Then she said something that floored me…
Wow. I was honored to have had this impact. Her comment made me take a step back and think. She wanted more time together because I see her iridescent amazingness and reflect it back to her. This makes her feel good about herself and helps her to see it too! This in turn, encourages her to shine her bright light even more brightly! Then everyone she encounters every day gets her sparkle-dust all over them! It’s a great thing!
This interaction really made me pause. It helped me to realize that:
What impact do we want to have in the lives of the people we encounter today? How can we both shine our iridescent amazingness AND reflect back other people’s iridescent amazingness back to them all at the same time? What do you think?
Yes. This is a REAL conversation I had a few days ago. A glowing example of how to carry on a meaningful conversation…
I truly want to cultivate friendships that exist beyond just the surface. I mean, I discuss how to talk about more than just the weather with people on a weekly basis! Now I realize not EVERY conversation, EVERY single day is going to be an award-winning discussion about the meaning of life, but I like to have deeper conversations than the change in the weather.
Truthfully, this conversation was just fine. It was with a woman I had met only about 5 minutes prior. So, I am not beating myself up over here. But it did make me think a bit…
I had a wonderful conversation on the phone yesterday with a good friend from out of town. We immediately jumped in where we had left off months ago and before our 20 minute conversation was finished, we had both earnestly listened to each other, encouraged one another, and deeply complimented each other on strengths we see in each others’ response to the stuff of life.
Ahh! I felt refreshed and renewed when I got off the phone. I felt lighter.
You know what though? It didn’t just happen. Nope. We had to be vulnerable. We had to talk about things that mattered to us and purposefully be open to the others’ feedback. It can feel really scary to open up like this. And I don’t recommend doing this with the next person you see in line at the grocery store (as a rule, anyway). But when I am sincerely looking to deepen a friendship, I have to take a risk. I know I could leave feeling silly, stupid, or misunderstood. But, I have also learned that it is worth it! The rewards for developing great friendships is amazing!
So, how do you feel about your recent conversations? Deeply engaging and fulfilling? Yay for you! Not so much? Don’t fret about it, but instead create an opportunity to have one of those amazing conversations asap! It will require effort, it will require vulnerability, it will be WORTH IT! Tell me how it goes in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear your stories!
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!
As I am learning how to write a blog interesting enough to read, I am taking a blogging challenge and our challenge today is 10 random things my average reader may not know. So, depending on when you and I met (and whether you and I have met), some of this may be common knowledge and some may be brand new! So, not that you were wondering, here are 10 random facts about myself:
So, there ya have it – a little sneak peek. I’m hoping that wasn’t too scary!
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!
If you’ve been with me since the beginning (two months running now!), some of this will be familiar. But I thought this might be a nice time to share a bit more about myself for those who are just stopping in. An introduction (or reintroduction) of sorts…
Name: Jenn Tarrant
Fun Facts: I love telling stories (with ALL the details), my favorite fall beverage is a Soy Salted Caramel Black and White Mocha with Whip, Caramel Sauce and the Salt Topping (go big or go home, right?), my toenails are painted a minimum of 363 days a year, Disney movie quotes make up a strong 15% of my daily conversation, and I divide my gum in half when I chew it so neither side of my mouth feels left out (I know, there’s help…).
Free Time Activities: reading, taking long walks, coffee with friends, making jewelry
Roots: Born and raised in Oklahoma City, 3 years in Texas, living in Phoenix, AZ for the past 14 years
Favorite Fact About Myself: (I always have about three favorites for anything and everything) – I love to laugh, I am a great teacher, I am a pretty darn good designer!
I have had a wild ride figuring out who I am and why I am the way I am and thought I must surely NOT be the only person who has experienced a journey like this. BUT, I am not sure how many others are sharing their stories and bringing other people along with them. Regardless, no one else has my EXACT story and so, if some find their own path to transformation through me sharing my story, I am super excited to be a part of THAT!
The way I see things, we are ALL on a transformational journey. Some of us embrace it, some of us go to the nearest hide-y hole and wait for this whole thing called life to be over as fast as possible, and a lot of us fall somewhere in between. This blog is for those of us in the middle; particularly those who recognize transformation is a good idea, but for any variety of reasons are apprehensive to jump in or don’t quite know where to start or are unsure if we are truly amazing enough to invest all that effort. I have news for us all – WE ARE BRILLIANT BEYOND MEASURE! (thank you Marianne Williamson for that quote of awesomeness!) Let’s hang out and make our full-color transformations together, okie dokie?
I have a lot going on right now (who doesn’t, right?), but I am probably most excited about launching the Facebook aspect of Iridescent Dragonflies and generating lots of new friends to share this awesome transformational journey! Other than that, I have mostly been working my own transformation like it’s going out of style. I am learning all kinds of things about myself and have found that I actually LIKE me and am excited to be meeting new people who are interested in the same things I am and helping each other out along the way. Living life is pretty stinkin’ exciting right now, I have to say!
Far and away it is this: YOU are worth your own investment. YOU are worth sharing with others. YOU have a message to share that WE need to hear. YOU are too AWESOME to miss! So get with it and start your iridescent transformation already!