Gratitude 11-22-18

Today is Thanksgiving. A day when you’re surrounded by family. Turkey on the table while giving thanks for all the many blessings. Especially family. Today it’s just me and my mom. My kids are spending their thanksgiving elsewhere. No family, no kids, no grandkids for my mother and I to surround the table. With that in mind, my mother and I opted not to buy a turkey. In fact, we aren’t preparing a thanksgiving meal today. For us, today is just another day. However, despite the lack of all the fixings that surround this special day, I still find myself thankful.

I received the following email this morning from Rhonda Byrne, author of the Secret. It reminded me of the many things I’m grateful for.

Gratitude is not bound by time and space, it’s dimensionless.  When you’re grateful that energy radiates both near and far simultaneously, which means your individual gratitude reaches the entire planet and beyond.

 Let’s join forces and radiate gratitude to every circumstance and event that crosses our path today, and to everyone we meet.  And then let’s set an intention that we will carry even more gratitude with us going forward into every day!

 Gratitude is your power to change anything, through the simple act of being thankful!

 Rhonda Byrne

The Secret…. bringing joy and gratitude to billions.

Not long ago my life was in complete disarray. It’s not perfect today however, life is so much better than it was. I have three awesome young adult children who I’m proud of. I have two amazing grandchildren. I’m not rich. In fact, my finances are rather compromised but I have a roof over my head. I have a cozy bed to sleep in. My room has an awesome flat screen tv that allows me the luxury of watching Hallmark. I have a car. I still struggle with my health but I have a great health care team and I have insurance. I’m not lying on a beach somewhere basking in the sun but I’m alive! These things may not seem like much but to me it’s a blessing. I’m thankful to God for every thing he’s provided me with.

I continue to pray for a new beginning. A life filled with abundance again. A life filled with peace, love and joy. The truth is, life is what you make it. Find the gratitude in every day. There’s always something to be grateful for. And remember you can have all the material wealth you desire however, at the end of the day, you can’t take it with you. My dad used to say “I’ve never seen a u-haul behind a Hearst” he was right. Find the gratitude in every day. Every moment and spread that gratitude to others.

Thank you to all my readers who have taken the time to read my blog these past few years. Thank you for taking this journey with me. Life isn’t always without challenges. I should know. If there’s been a challenge or trial to be had, I’ve been center stage but you know what? Life is good. Every day we are able to open our eyes and experience yet another day in this crazy thing called life, it’s another day god has blessed us to enjoy life with the living. Have an awesome day and a blessed thanksgiving.

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Highs and Lows 11-12-18

I’ve put $3 worth of gas in my tank before and I’ve put $40 in my tank. I’ve had $5 to feed myself and I’ve had $500 to go out to eat. I’ve asked for rides and given rides. I’ve had a house full of food and I’ve been without food. I’ve given people clothes. I’ve been given clothes. I’ve been in stores cashing out with no worries and I’ve also had to add it up and put it back. I’ve paid my rent in full and I’ve had to pay it late too. I’ve given money and I too have had to ask for it. We all have highs and lows in life, some certainly more than others, but we’re all just trying to make it. No one is better than anyone else, and I pity those who think that they are. No matter how big your house is, how new your car is, or how much money sits in your bank account – we all bleed red and will all die someday. Death has no discrimination neither should your life. Be kind to others. And know not everyone has the same heart as you… The people who pretend they love you so much will leave you standing in all the storms just so they can shine…

I Challenge you to copy & paste this! Most people won’t because they’re the person I’m talking about…. But if you are Genuine, Post A Picture of yourself.

Enjoy life! You only get one. ❤️

Get Out Of Your Own Way 6-12-18

Today I’d like to focus on getting out of my own way. For seven years since my dad passed away, I’ve been in a funk. When I say funk I literally mean Rock bottom. I can hardly wrap my head around how I’ve allowed myself to arrive at this dismal place.

I’ve shared many times that my life spiraled out of control after my dad passed away. I made some poor decisions despite my intuition saying “Don’t Do It!” I didn’t listen to that voice of reason and the result led me to a very dark place. Cancer, an abusive boyfriend, financial lack, financial debt, depression, PTSD, isolation, rejection…..the list goes on.

I have spent the last three years feeling sorry for myself. After all, in my mind I am a failure. Recently, something happened. I woke up and realized seven years had gone by. Wow. Seven years!! It seems like only a few months have gone by. My eyes were open and I began to recognize the wreckage that had overtaken my life. I thought to myself “I don’t want to live like this anymore.” I made the decision to get my shit together.

I was blessed last month to travel to Maui. I had a free flight and a free place to stay. I spend the time with my cousin doing everything I could to heal myself internally. You can read about my experience on my previous blog. Maui my paradise.

I am a licensed realtor in the state of California. I have done nothing with that either. My license expired in March. I had not even completed any of the required continuation classes however I was granted an extension. The bureau gave me until June 16th, this Saturday, to complete my hours and provide them to their office no later than the 16th. I’m not sure how I did it other than through the grace of God. I passed all eight exams and mailed everything off today.

I’m not sure what’s next for me but what I do know is I have to keep moving forward. Will I sell real estate? I don’t know. I’m a certified John Maxwell member. I’m a certified coach, trainer and speaker. Will I pursue a career in coaching? I don’t know. What I do know is I have to get out of my way and quit being my worst enemy. It’s easy to blame circumstances or even others for our downfalls however at the end of the day our biggest enemy is ourselves. It’s even easier to allow fear, doubt, low self esteem to rule our existence. I’m guilty of that myself. Today I am just going to trust that God has a plan for me and keep moving forward.

I love U2. Their music is incredible. They sing a song called “Get Out Of Your Own Way”. I love the song. While it’s actually a politically motivated tune, for me it’s a reminder to “get out of my way” and keep moving forward. Might I suggest to anyone who is in a rut like I’ve been for seven years, to do the same. Lean in and take charge of your life. Life is short. Live it to the fullest.

Maui….My Paradise 5-26-18

I just returned from spending eight days in Maui. I spent the week with my best friend who happens to be my cousin. We had a wonderful time. It’s always fun to hang out with my cousin. We laugh, we eat, we sing….we do everything we did when we were kids. It’s so much fun.

Going to Maui was a blessing. I am so grateful for the opportunity. After all, Maui is not only my favorite place, it’s also my healing place. Something about that “Maui Vibe” always seems to offer a sense of peace and grounding for me. This trip was no different.

Since 2012, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a total of 15 weeks in Maui. What can I say, I’m truly blessed. My cousin and I spent much time exploring the island as well as enjoying some much needed bonding time on the beach. We even did reiki. We went to Napili Beach. Big Beach, Lahaina, Paia, The beach at Five Palms (my favorite beach and Hana. It was awesome. My last day I took one last walk on the beach and was blessed to see six turtles. Three of them sunbathing. Turtles supposedly represent long life and good luck. I saw six that morning.

Maui is my go to place when I find myself depressed, stressed out or even overwhelmed with this thing called life. I like to meditate on the peace of being on the beach or the sunsets Maui has to offer. My dream would be to live in Maui part time. If I could do that, I would certainly be one happy camper.

This trip to Maui marked a new beginning for me. A new start. I’ve been in a slump for the past seven years. First my dad passed away causing my life to spiral out of control. Add cancer, an abusive boyfriend, financial challenges, family issues to the mix and you have one big pot of crappy goulash. I used the time to focus on letting go, finding forgiveness, healing myself so I could finally toss that goulash that’s existed in my life and move forward.

There’s a Hawaiian bird called the Iwa. This bird is a very meaningful bird in the Polynesian culture. The Iwa is at times referred to as the “Storm Bird”. The Iwa is 43. inches long. It soars and glides gracefully with a wing span of seven feet. They often travel great distances but rarely soar further than 50 miles from land. This bird has the resilience to withstand storms in its search for food and travel great distances. They swoop down in the ocean and snatch their prey using their hook like beaks.

Polynesian fisherman look to these birds while fishing. If the Iwa is flying above them, they know they are in a fishing area. They also look for the Iwa to find their way back home when they are out at sea.

While I was battling cancer, I used to say to myself, “when I overcome this battle, I’m getting a tattoo”. Well I did just that while I was in Maui. If you have ever been to any of the Hawaiian islands you know that many Polynesians have tribal tattoos. What you may not know is the tattoos they wear proudly have meaningful significance to each person wearing them. I went to a local tattoo artist named Sampson. He’s located on Kehei Road in a small shop called Pacific Rootz. We discussed a tattoo that would hold a special meaning in my life. I opted for a small yet significant tattoo of the Iwa. Like the Iwa I have faced many “storms” these past seven years. I’ve soared great miles to find my way “back home”. The Iwa is a reminder for me that whatever life throws at me, I am resilient and will eventually find my way back. I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to let go of my past and find my way “home” to where the good lord wants me to be. It’s my guess in a much happier space, soaring through life and living life to the fullest.

We all face hardships and trials. Some of us more than others. If you’re like me, at times I feel like God has abandoned me however I’m reminded in Mathew 6-26 that if God provides for the birds he will certainly provide for me. I hope so anyway.

Mathew 6-26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they.”

I was standing on the sand the last day of my trip enjoying the waves that would come in and cover my feet then would slowly roll back and go back to the ocean. It occurred to me as I stood on the beach that life is like the waves of the ocean. Just like the waves, trials and challenges come in and cover our feet causing us to feel like we are drowning. However, like the waves, our trials slowly but surely head back to where they came from and once again we find ourselves standing on solid ground. Maybe a little “sandy” from all the debris those “waves” left behind but we are standing nonetheless.

The trials I’ve faced these past seven years have been hard. They have caused me so much pain and suffering. I have the scars to prove it. Like the waves, I am beginning to see my feet again. I’m hopeful and I’m happy again. I’m looking forward to enjoying life until the next wave comes in. Until then, like the Iwa, I’ll soar gracefully through this thing called life and keep moving forward towards finding my place and the “home” and the solid ground or land where I need to be.

I’ll leave you today with one of my favorite Outfield tunes. “My Paradise”

Yippee Moment 4-22-18

I’VE BEEN THINKING

By Maria Shriver

A profoundly simple idea came to me last weekend.

It came way before I watched the Comey interview. Way before the Time 100 list came out. Way before Jeff Bezos told us how many Amazon Prime customers there actually are. (OMG.)

The idea came to me as I was sitting in conversation with three old friends and a dog. I don’t know exactly whose idea it was, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the dog’s. 😉

The idea came out of one of those conversations that traversed the news of the day, the bumps of life, and the challenges at hand. As we were talking, we collectively decided that we all needed more joy in our lives. “Yippee moments,” to be exact.

What is a yippee moment, you ask? Well, it’s a moment you consciously celebrate. It’s a moment where you decide that you get to feel joy-filled at least once per day, since most of us don’t focus on finding joyful moments on a daily basis.

Most of us are so bogged down getting through life and attending to life’s never-ending stream of responsibilities that before we know it, we aren’t playing anymore. We aren’t celebrating anymore. We aren’t thinking “yippee!”

Instead, we have our heads down in our computers or phones. We’re dealing with evolving relationships, changing kids, sick friends, our own health, aging parents, and bills. Lots and lots of bills.

Sure, you can stay on this path and say, “well, that’s just life.” Or, you can consciously decide, like I have done, to find a daily “yippee!”

Even though this new practice is only a week old, it’s actually lightened and lifted my spirits and changed my thinking.

Yippee! My kids asked to come over!

Yippee! I got to meet Bob Goff this week, whose playful spirit and view of love made my day and got me thinking more expansively about love and life.

Yippee! I got invited to my daughter’s place for dinner, which made me swell with pride.

Yippee! a friend called to check in on me. Another sent a text out of the blue simply to say they were proud of me!

Yipee! A friend jumped in to help me with Move for Minds and donated money without me even asking her. Wow!

Yippee! My brother called to say he would come to town to celebrate his birthday with me.

Yippee! My son called from college and he didn’t ask for money. He just wanted to check in!

Yippee! I got to do a loving-kindness meditation with the legendary Jack Kornfield and his wife, Trudy, Thursday night. Lucky, lucky me!

Now, to be honest, there were moments this past week that were also challenging and emotional. (On Friday, I gave the eulogy at my friend Nancy’s memorial service and there were lots of tears.)

But, focusing my mind on joy this week — focusing on celebrating, on clapping my hands, on hugging a friend, on twirling in a skirt, on counting my blessings — well, it just changed my week. It changed my outlook and my spirit.

I’m hoping that this “yippee!” thinking might do the same for you. I know it might sound young and childlike, perhaps even silly. But that’s the point. That’s the gift.

Look, life is a gift. And for God’s sake, it’s short. There is no doubt in my mind that we could all use more yippee moments in our lives. We could all use more laughter and more joy. If you don’t believe me, just turn on the news.

P.S. “I’ve Been Thinking… Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life” is still on The NY Times Bestsellers list! OMG, thank you and yippee! Oh, and it’s almost Mother’s Day! Yippee, yippee!

I subscribe to Maria Shrivers Sunday Paper. I receive her paper every Sunday by email. I’d like to encourage you to sign up. Maria is so inspiring.

Just Me And My Mom 3-31-18

I was on Facebook this morning reviewing all of my Facebook memories from my timeline. This memory popped up. I posted this on March 31, 2014 right before I was diagnosed with cancer. I was really sick at the time. My diagnosis came ten days later. As I read my post I thought to myself how grateful I am that I’m now home with my mother. After all, it’s been the support of my mother that has carried me through the past few years.

Some times I want to “throw momma from the train”. At times I even wonder what my life would be like if I could just run as far away from here and live my life to the fullest without my mother. My dad used to say “you only have one mother and one father. When their gone you have nothing”. My dad is no longer with me but thank god I have my mother.

As I pondered the following post it occurred to me that maybe the dream I had so many years ago was a message from my guardian angel warning me to go home to my mother. Looking back, I wish I had. Maybe fighting cancer with my mother by my side opposed to enduring cancer treatment with my abusive ex boyfriend, might certainly have brought a much better outcome than I have lived through these past four years. I finally realized that being home with my mother is where I’m supposed to be.

If your mother is still alive I’d like to encourage anyone reading this today to reach out to her. Tell her you love her. Spend time with her. In the end it’s your mother who will Be by your side in the good times and the bad times. It’s your mother who will love you unconditionally forever and always. It’s your mother you will call out to if only in your dreams.

March 31, 2014. “The other night I had a crazy dream. I am still bewildered by it. I can’t remember all of it, more importantly I can’t remember the woman in my dream. In my dream I was afraid of the woman and I knew I needed my mother. I woke up screaming for my mother. I kept yelling for my mother to help me. I didn’t remember any of this until Ron told me. It bothered me so much. I called my mom just now & can you believe she’s been dreaming about me too. She’s dreamt we were together & I was making her laugh so hard she was crying. It’s funny. As teenagers the first person we turn against is our mother. I know I’m guilty of that & I know my own kids have done the same to me as have the kids of many of my friends. Mothers are regarded as nerds. We are a pain. We drive our kids crazy. But when we are in a state of desperation or in need of comfort, love, encouragement or even a hug the first person we run to is our mother. I guess at this time in my life I need my mother. It’s weird since I always ran to my dad. Not this time. This time I cried for my mother. Be good to your moms today. It may come as a surprise but while we all need our mothers, they need us too. In my case my mother must need her goofy daughter to bring back the laughter we’ve shared for so many years. Here’s to my mother. I love you mom. Thanks for being the best mom ever. Thanks for loving me and always being the one I can run too. I miss you mom. Soon…very soon. I’ll be with you telling you stories and bringing you joy and making you laugh.”

Count Your Blessings 1-9-18

Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.~ by Og Mandino

Every creature is a glistening, glittering mirror of divinity.~ Hildegard of Bingen