Today I watched my infant son for the first time in about 10 years. I’m in the process of converting old home videos over to DVD. Today I received a couple of my converted DVDs and I watched nearly 4 hours of home video this afternoon.  From my brother’s eighth grade graduation to the birth of my first child and a little bit into his toddler years, it was a blast from the past.   Of course at first I was laughing at my brother’s antics, then envious of how thin and tight my body was some 14 years ago.  Ha Ha.  But more than anything I was so blessed to see my little boy, sweet and toddling around, for the first time in over a decade.
live-in-the-moment

There was a segment where my son, my brother and I were playing in a pool. My son, a little over a year old, his head chock full of golden curls, ginormous brown eyes filled with curiosity, was not particularly fond of the cold pool water. My daughter said, “Mom, you look like you’re my age!”

The moment though, that made me melt and prompted me to right this post, was when my son did something he hasn’t done much in his teen years – something we moms treasure.  After flirting with the idea of getting back in the pool he finally came to me and I held him in my arms in the pool. And then, he looks up at me and lays his little head on my shoulder. His arms are tight around me and I gently rest my head on his and rub his back, a big, contented smile on my face. After a minute or so, with his head still on my shoulder he lets one of his arms go and waves it back and forth in the water. My mom (the camerawoman) zooms in on his sweet little face.  That moment was so fleeting, I don’t even really remember it, but thanks to that video it’s back in my heart.

Life is so fleeting, my friends. In our efforts to be better people and strive to live our dreams let’s not forget to live fully in these moments we have right now, because once they are gone we can only reminisce.

 “We are always getting ready to live but never living.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A nicer home, a better job, good health, more money – we all have something(s) we want. It’s important to focus on your goal so you can achieve it, but sometimes you need to step back & see things from a more open perspective.  If you are always focused on yourself you can’t really see clearly and you’ll probably miss out on opportunities you never dreamed possible.

I was listening to Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now audio book yesterday and one of his points really hit home; this is the idea in a nutshell: If you want to receive great things you should start giving greatly.   You need to plant the seeds of positivity and abundance.  If you want to have more money, add giving of your time to your agenda. If you want people to be kind, be kind to them (easier said than done, I know).  If you want good friends, be one. Don’t wait for others to plop these things in your lap.  Be the friend, spouse, parent, etc. that you wish you had and you will be amazed by what unfolds.

I struggle with this sometimes because I want to get pissed when someone treats me badly, or I feel the urge to bitch and complain, but I know, when I choose this path, of planting seeds of change that it always ends up better.

Of course you still need to do your best to work on your goals, have faith, stand up for yourself and such, but it’s amazing how acts of kindness can create doors where only walls existed before. Not only that, but giving without expecting anything in return is very liberating and can help you in your mission to be more positive.

Think back in your own life to moments where the simplest thing changed the course of your day for the better. Some kind compliment or smile or maybe just knowing that the person heard what you had to say, these things can have a life changing effect on people.  Here’s one from my life:

When the doors first open at Trader Joe’s there’s usually already a line of anxious shoppers in queue  There is a smattering of business people on their way to work and  moms  shopping, but the majority of the morning crowd is comprised of elders.  Some are grumpy, some are not very healthy and some are friendly and very talkative, shopping being one of their few social activities these days.  They enjoy chatting and taking their time, paying with coins and cash, you know the types I’m talking about.  Trader Joe’s is a great place for them because employees are encouraged to make the customer feel at home and even take the time to really listen.  I made so many friends working that morning shift.  The funny thing is,  I thought, I’m going to slow down and take time with this person, I’m going to show them that I care because I want to make a positive impact on their day.  Most times I know I did bless them, but honestly, they ended up blessing me even more.  I have one friend with whom long conversations were the norm and at the end she would pray for me and my family.  She would encourage me and bless me every time I saw her.  I hope that I brought some light into her life, but I am sure she ended up blessing me much more.

Who can you bless?  Maybe someone you don’t like all that much? (poke, poke)  The trick is, we have to remember to do it without expecting anything in return, because, ironically that’s when the miracles start to happen.

be the change you wish to see in the world

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi
(My favorite quote, I wear this ring nearly every day to remind me)

 

20minutes

I came across this exercise a while back and tried it.  It worked for me, in a big picture sense, and I was shocked.  You should try it!  At the very least it’s a good exercise in gaining some insight into what you really want.

Oh & I would LOVE to hear about your results.  I’ll share mine if you share yours. 🙂

 

Here’s the link:  http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/01/how-to-discover-your-life-purpose-in-about-20-minutes/

 

Oh & fair warning…I was pretty much bawling at the end, in a good way.

How was your Monday?

It’s that dreaded day of the week for many.  When my business used to be my sole form of work (before adding two jobs to make ends meet, more recently) I never really didn’t fear Monday.  I looked forward to starting the week fresh and making progress on new projects, talking with clients, etc.  Working for someone else has changed that perspective a bit.

My first side job was for Trader Joe’s, as a crew member in the store.  As people who work in retail know, your weekends are generally never the traditional ” Saturday & Sunday” that the majority of the workforce enjoys.  You’ve either been handed a couple midweek days or in my case, a split, one day off here and another somewhere else in the week.  So Mondays were really not my Mondays.  But the air in the store changed on Mondays, the customers coming in had a different feeling to them in general.   It was an interesting phenomena to me to see this ‘cloud’ hang over people just because it was a particular day of the week.

It’s astonishing to me how many people cringe when it comes to the idea of work on Monday.  So many of us are in a job we either hate, or just “pays the bills,” or is a stepping stone where we really want to be.  Deep within each of us there is a dream (or a few), an idea of something we want to do with our lives.  Something we feel, will be our greatest contribution to the general population, festers in our hearts, until we free it or squash it.  It’s extremely hard to acknowledge our dream and pursue it.  How are we supposed to balance making ends meet now with pursuing our life’s purpose(s)?

There’s a fire that is kindled within you when you commit to following your dreams and it challenges you in ways you never thought of.  One of those challenges is working your “day job” while working on your dream job on the side.  Shifting gears back and forth is hard.  We are creatures who love to indulge pleasure and working on your dreams kind of feels like the weekend that comes before Monday.  It can be hard to balance going back to the job that isn’t necessarily your ideal.  It doesn’t even have to be a bad job, it’s just not your dream job and that makes things difficult because once you’ve awoken that dream, it’s like Pandora’s box – it can make your current job, by comparison, feel like something you are muddling through.  It’s hard to just “get the job done” at work sometimes when you have so many ideas bursting through as you pursue your dream.

However if you choose positivity as your daily practice you can look at your current job as exactly where you are meant to be at this moment.  You’re meant to learn something right now.  It’s challenging you to grow and go after what you really want.  If nothing else it’s teaching you humility as you wait for your plans to unfold.

I am working on reframing Monday in my mind as the day of “starting.”  Ask yourself:

What do I want to acheive this week?

What personal or professional goals can I work toward this week?

How can I rise above the stigma of Monday?

How can I be the best version of myself today/this week?

When I look at it that way it fuels creativity and good feelings within me.  (Now I just need to get through the rest of the week! Ha Ha.)

 

Hope you had a great Monday.  Mine went by fast, was good, bad and a little ugly at one point, but it was a start to an exciting week.  I look forward to seeing what tomorrow will hold.  Let me know your thoughts!

We had a wonderful last minute dinner tonight with good friends. Amongst margaritas & yummy food we caught up on the last few months.

These are the type of friends that you may be ‘too busy’ to catch up with for a few months, but that once you see each other it’s like hardly a moment has passed.

Tonight we talked about present and past and one of the things that struck me, as it has before, is that these friends have known me for many years, through ugly times and prettier, but mostly ugly, and yet they still love me. They still see me for who I truly am, beside my mistakes and misdirections. They have seen me at some of my most gnarly times and yet still stand by my side. Still see the goodness & greatness within me. And, well I guess that goes both ways.

Tonight I challenge you to think about the people in your life. Are they helping you grow or bleeding you dry? I have been in both places, but the reality is that you must nurture the healthy relationships in your life if you want to rise above “here.”

This is one of the hardest life lessons for me because I love people, but sometimes you have to make choices.

Make a list of the people in your life who love you no matter what and then make a list of those who will challenge you to be your best self. Then compare lists, I think you will find interesting results.