Category Archives: Goals & Intentions

Expectations, Change, & Growth – Oh my!!!

I LOVE a good plan. I’m a planner. Sometimes it hurts when unforeseen kinks appear in my plans. This week I talk about some things I do to manage my own expectations, in case things don’t go exactly the way I plan them.

Zero to My Own Hero – The Evolution of Me

Over time I’ve changed, grown taller and wiser. My physical appearance, ways of thinking, and self-wort have all teetered back and forth, from one extreme to the other. Every experience is an opportunity for growth, if we are open, even the most difficult situations have the power to teach us something

A friend once said to me that she remembered that I “wasn’t good at anything” when we were kids. This week I talk about what’s changed over the years. Life hasn’t always been easy but I make the most of things.

Most importantly, I’ve gained more self-confidence through growing a better understanding of myself.

Don’t Be Afraid to Shine

Fear of giving speeches. A baby step for me is reading something I wrote. Today is a first, I am including audio for this short piece.

Don’t be afraid to shine. You were born to sparkle. Refuse to let them hide your light. Be brave. Be bold.

Sometimes you will be your own biggest obstacle. Have faith in yourself and your own abilities. Do the things you love with joy.

Face your fears. I’m not talking rational fears (like bears if you live in the woods). Take on the fears that are limiting your life. Work through them, keep moving forward.

How many of your life’s obstacles are in your own mind? When you say “I can’t” have you given the problem everything you have or did you half ass it? Don’t tell me, be honest with yourself.

Don’t let your dreams die. Be who you want to be. Step by step, piece by piece, and bit by bit. Sometimes the foundations come together slowly, brick by brick.

It’s hard work, gradual work, building a person, but you have a choice in who you want to be.

Build yourself up strong, build yourself up happy. Build yourself out of your hopes and goals. Be yourself and love yourself.

Stop worrying about what people think. If you don’t, it will in-prison you.

Don’t let the haters and the neigh-sayers bring you down. They don’t know what you’re capable of.

While you’re out in the world, be like a fire spreading your light. Shimmer brightly, burn with passion.

Spread infectious joy into the world. Don’t be afraid to shine.

 

 

Coming Home – The Road to Writing

Written words are enchanting magic spells, casting thoughts out into the wider world. As I relax into a quiet space behind my keyboard something miraculous happens.

Many people complain about how much they hate writing papers, but my experience with writing (typing) has been very different.

I remember the first time I felt the fear, sitting in the reading circle of my first grade classroom. Each student in the circle would have to read a passage out loud. Terrified, and on the spot, when the teacher called on me I froze like a mouse trying to hide in a dark corner, nose pointing down towards my book.

My mother was furious. I started reading at a young age but my teacher was insisting that I could not even perform the basics in her class. To make matters worse, I was “interrupting the learning environment for the other students, running around the classroom and making disruptive and distracting noises.” The teacher was not happy and my mother was in complete disbelief.

“That KID CAN READ!” I remember hearing her say. “She’s been reading since she was two years old!”

Yes, I could read. In fact, I had read the entire page in my head already several times. The literature was pretty simple, I understood and enjoyed the story but when asked to speak in front of the group something happened. A fear I’d never felt before grabbed me by the gut. The eyes in the room like laser beams blocking the connectivity between my mouth and brain. I was completely stuck, unable to speak. As the teacher became more and more aggravated my anxiety grew, causing me to retreat further into myself.

The same fear lingered for years, even into high school. Teachers, who seemed to take pleasure in calling on anyone who didn’t seem to be paying attention or gave off a confused aura. I was the perfect target. Vengeance on the students who didn’t study or understand the material. Most days I wanted to be invisible.

The school wasn’t the best time for me, but there were a few good teachers along the way. High school was a bit better. I was spending large chunks of time typing up vampire fiction, inspired by books that I had read in middle school, most of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (this was before the Twilight era).

The books were trash, and I never published or finished them. They featured teen vampires, inspired by myself and my friends, getting into fights and mischief. The stories had plenty of sex and violence, giving me credit with my peers as a real “artist”.

Truthfully they were tasteless.

Telling those stories was like therapy. Back then almost everything I set my eyes upon was fiction, so I used fiction to work through many questions and scenes from my own life.

There was a period in my life when I wasn’t writing. The entire time I felt as if something were missing. Chatter in my head, telling me to search without sharing what I should be searching for.

My deepest and most accurate form of communication had been cut off, and I hadn’t even realized it.

Finally, something inspired me to write, I started writing and I kept writing. It was easy and enjoyable, just like coming home to a plush sofa and a Netflix movie.

The more I write the more I understand about life, the world, myself, about relationships, and the people I care about. It is like a key opening up greater understandings.

Spilling my thoughts onto a screen through a rubber coated keyboard is a very soothing practice. Creating a blog post doesn’t feel like work, in reality, it is more of a meditation.

Gazing upon the softly glowing screen I sit perched in a nest of pillows, wrapped in a soft red blanket. Relaxed, bathing in the softly glowing lights of our living room, I am calm and still.

To Everyone Who “Can’t Meditate”

Mindfulness and meditation have been a big part of my life for several years now. I’m always happy to share with people how helpful meditation is for me.

Unfortunately almost everyone I talk to about meditation “can’t meditate”.

“I wish I could meditate. My mind isn’t made for that!” or “I can’t stand being still”, a few of the most common excuses why people tell me they “can’t meditate”.

People assume meditation was always easy for me, while in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

I started meditation because of a deep internal need for change.

My twenty-fifth birthday was coming at me like an out of control locomotive with a sleeping driver. The number made me uneasy and it was coming too fast. Like a doe, hypnotized by the headlights, I felt helpless to stop it.

Something was wrong, missing, empty and completely inexpressible. I’d been searching my entire life for something. . . peace, stillness, answers, meaning maybe?

In my mid to early twenties, I was very out of touch with my own feelings and emotions.

At first, my meditations were distracted, plagued with racing, unwanted, thoughts. When the goal was to count to five without allowing your mind to wander off, sometimes I only got to two or three before starting over, and over, and over.

It was hard, but as I kept on it things got easier.

Finally, with Buddhism, I was beginning to unlock the tools needed to understand and shape my own mind. Somedays progress crawled along at what felt like a snail’s pace, but every week as I continued to practice it got easier.

As I’ve grown older and incorporated mindfulness into my life over the years, things have greatly improved. I still meditate every day but the way I meditate has changed.

I meditate all the time. At times I may meditate for only a few minutes or seconds, whenever I need to calm and relax my mind, think more clearly, or gather the words for an important conversation.

Meditation has become the tool that I use to recalibrate my brain. Sitting tall I close my eyes and bow my head as I take in a deep, slow breath. As I breathe in I focus on the feelings of my feet on the ground or my butt in a chair (depending on where I am).

As my lungs expand I shift my focus to the feelings of my breath. With eyes closed, I listen and feel, asking myself – “what’s happening now?” Depending on available time I may stay for a while, eyes closed, nose pointed at the floor.

This micro-meditations can be as quick as a few breaths. I’ve even learned to meditate with my eyes open, although I wonder if I have a blank stare when I do this.

I take the time that I need and if I get flustered I remind myself not to rush, gently whispering in my own ear “relax, stay in the present”.

Every day I am needing to remind myself less and less, thanks to a very conscious choice I made years ago to change my life.

Dear people who “can’t meditate” – keep trying.

Let’s Talk About Mental Health

It is Mental Health Awareness week.

Mental health is often overlooked despite its importance. Let’s talk about taking care of our mental health.

How do YOU take care of YOUR mental health?

#mentalhealth #mentalhealthawarenessweek

 

Master Your Fears – JUST JUMP!

Are you staying in your comfort zone or do you push yourself?

Do one thing every day that scares you. After your fears are behind you THAT is when the magic happens.

All too often we let fear and anxiety control us. Standing on the edge of greatness, frozen, afraid to make our next move. Next time you are stuck, afraid to make a decision, push forward. Just jump! What’s the worst that could happen?

Get out there – chase your dreams.