Embrace the Journey

untitled (12).pngIf there are any words that describe my life today, these are about to be set in stone.

Embrace the Journey, huh?

After today they will be a part of my life forever if they have not already been. While I have talked about life’s journey often and my life’s motto, I have continued to be amazed at how important and sweet it really is to live.

Every day is a set of miles we drive down the road of life.

Many people get caught up in the everyday hustle of life and forget to stop and see the sights along the way.  They forget to stop and smell the roses. They go to work, run their errands, and conduct their business with their heads buried in the sand.

They forget to smile, forget to joke, forget to really treasure their time no matter what they’re doing.  They complain, they’re negative, they don’t look to have fun, or just run their life on autopilot.

It is much better to be driving the car then using its cruise control.

There is something to be said about having a mindset where you’re present and living.  While I would love to be able to admit I am in that stage 24/7, that is not true, but I can attest to living present as fully as I can much of the time.  There was a time in my life where everything was about planning for the future and I had no idea I was not living.

It took some hard times to snap me into reality that life is about the here and now and not about the future.  Life is about living in the moment.

It would be easier if hard times or stress didn’t exist and we could stay fully present all the time, but that is not reality.  But it is how we react to it that can allow us to return to living present and being able to embrace the journey even though hard moments.

While there are hard times in life that I would rather skip and Lord knows I have had my share, sometimes the paradoxical life moments we endure allow us to find our journey a little richer.  I hate to admit this but it is true.

Take any hard or challenging times and burn it as fuel.  We learn from these times.

As we learn, we grow.  As we grow, we live. As we live, we drive.

As we find our way through the days’ next miles of our journey road, we find the ability to keep going further, longer, harder.

And some days, we find ourselves out on the road at 100 mph, taking it all in and living dangerously by pushing our limits.  Dangerously, in an adventure way, not in a hazardous way.

Today is one of those days.  Doing something 18 years in the waiting.

What was waiting for?  The right time?

Well, there will never be a right time.  So when you want to do something, do it.  If you have waited, do it.  Get prepared if needed to do so, and do it. My 18 years proves waiting becomes stagnant.

Life is about doing, not waiting.  Fear, uncertainty and doubt crippled me all these years.  Ridiculous as today conquered over that and the life high is immense.

Start doing things you have put off and still want to do.  Start checking off your bucket list checklist.  Find the things that bring you joy.  Find the things that bring adventure to your life.  If we want to do something, it means we think about it, we desire it, we want it.

These can be the simplest of things that cost no money.  In fact, it is those things that make life so much sweeter by experiencing.

Why would we not do those things?  Erase the I’m too busy, too scared or not sure why.

Trust your soul. Make each day your masterpiece. Take on the unthinkable.  Step outside your comfort zone.

Run over the fear, the doubts or the lack of time and just go do those things you have waited so long for.  Add richness and experience and fun to your life.   Go travel your road.

At the end of the day, isn’t that what life’s about?

Embrace the journey.  Embrace your journey.

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The World is Our Playground: Honor the Inner Child

imagesDid you forget (or maybe never knew) you have an inner child?

I did.

As an adult, life requires us to be so serious and responsible.

Finances.

House.

Taking care of family.

Sometimes there’s not enough hours in the day.  We want to incorporate fun into our lives, but how often do we do it?  With all the hustle and bustle, do we sometimes forget to have fun?

Sure. Does it sometimes get pushed off to the bottom of our to-do list?

I recently learned that we all have an inner child.  The child from the old days: our childhood.  We may have a more grown-up body but our inner child is always screaming to come out.  We grow up and forget that he/she is still in there.

Our inner child has a personality of its own.  And just because we are adults, doesn’t mean we don’t need to have fun.

I never consciously realized having fun was a must. As adults we do things for fun but never realized the concept and necessity.   Our inner children need to be nurtured.  Find what your definition of carefree, fun, easy times include and start doing these things.

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It may be eating Lucky Charms (or your favorite childhood cereal) while coloring in one of those new adult coloring books which are a huge fad right now or it may be blowing giant bubbles in the backyard for your sake, not your children’s.  It may be flying a kite on the beach or a shopping cart race in Walmart.  Dance in the kitchen and let making dinner be placed on hold. Swing on a park swing, run through the sprinklers, jump in the rain puddles, or lay in the grass at night looking up at the stars.

Be a little irresponsible in the middle of your work day at your desk by rebelling for ten minutes and have your coffee or a snack when you know you should be working away.  In the middle of running errands, take a few minutes to throw in an ice cream or frozen yogurt field trip.  Sing your favorite childhood song while washing the dishes or taking a shower.

Add in whatever makes you giddy.

I’ve been saying this for years, but did not realize the true meaning of why.  Once I heard this life lesson, it all so made sense.

Aaah, my silly goofy side is my inner child.  I get it now!

Some nights ago, in the garage, while unpacking a box, I lay the bubble wrap contents on the floor.  I smirked as we began jumping on the bubbles popping them with our feet.  We laughed more than two kids probably would have.  Two adults jumping on bubble wrap.  What a sight.

Little did I understand at the time that was my inner child was coming out to play.  I had not heard this inner child message thing yet.  I just thought it was me being ridiculous as I’m known to be sometimes.

I like her, my inner child.

Never lose sense again of the wonder of being a child.  Allow yourself to find the activities that will allow your inner child to just be.  Explore like children would. Be silly and innocent.  Be the artist children are.  Be happy for no reason.

The child within us will allow us to honor ourselves completely and this will enrich our lives. Remember our natural state is pure joy.  The smallest pleasures will keep us young at heart. Use your beautiful imagination and exquisite humor.

Now that I realize I have sometimes neglected her, I am going to make more of an effort to honor her on all days that end in y.

How often do you fulfill your inner child?  The world is our playground so go play.243815d43d24b372fc549afb5a9bcf58

 

Life is All About the Journey

We know life is a journey, but I recently realized life is all about the journey.

It is our job to live our lives everyday and breathe in, soak in all that is offered.  For one day, it may be gone.

There is nothing for sure in life, except one thing.

Any idea what that one thing is?

That one thing is change.  The only thing guaranteed in life is change.

Many people are afraid of change.  Many resist it.  Many of us are serious creatures of habit.  Many are tripped up when change happens. I think it’s normal to be afraid of change.  Sometimes change is painful, sometimes beautiful.  But if change is negative, we must learn to change our way of thinking as our life’s journey relies on it.

I have learned it is important to embrace change.  Our lives and well being depend on it.

Through change and life’s journey, you learn many things.  It’s about finding out who you are and what you believe.  It’s about listening to your own voice and trusting your heart.  It’s about following your own path and chasing your dreams.

And today is a great day to start.  As Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

My world in many ways had gone askew over the last many months.  Sometimes our lives get completely shaken up, changed and rearranged to locate us to places we are meant to be.  Of course in the midst of the confusion and chaos, nothing makes sense.  Sometimes things never make sense.  But life is what it is.

Though life is unpredictable, change is evitable.  Change makes us stronger.  Sometimes we want a situation changed but sometimes we find ourselves in a situation to change us.

In life when change happens, the hard eventually softens and there is always good in the end. Sometimes a change of thinking or mastering a new way to be is necessary but maybe there is something incredibly hopeful about a fresh start.

Closed chapters. New ones to come. Let new adventures begin.  Live life to the fullest. Inspire yourself and others. Laugh uncontrollably. Look forward. Don’t look back.

We cannot control the wind on our sails, but we can learn to sail through anything.  As they say sometimes in the wind of change we find our true direction.   And it is in the wind of change that our life is all about the journey.sail1

 

 

Under Construction…

images-1To my Awesome Blog Readers,

Your mailbox may be inundated with random old blog posts.

I just realized when I switched to WordPress some time ago, I never completed relocating all my old blog postings from 2012-2013.

There are quite a few.

Bare with me as I attempt to make my new blog complete.

And thank you for reading!

Feel free to share in the comments section.  We, writers, look to hear your thoughts!

Reflections of 2015

(Majority of this post was written on NYE hours before midnight.  It was left the way it was. Post does not make complete sense in how it was written, but it is what it is.)

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Looking back so that the view looking forward is even clearer.

Another year has gone by.

Time stops for no man, as my father says, and here we are again at another new year.

Is it really 2016 already?

I am not sure if I can believe we have reached 2016 but I do know this is the first year I am not afraid of failure this time around. It feels different.

2016 feels optimistic. Hopeful.

Something big.

Our lifes are a reflection of our thoughts.

I must say, 2015 was in a league of its own. A very good year.

Some of the most incredible, beautiful and loving moments I have ever had.

Wonderful family time.

Some surprises.

Some new adventures and travel.

Times that can never be repeated.

New experiences – business and personal.

I am more kind to myself now.

I have tried many new things.

But the year was not all good.

Some of the darkest hours I have ever had.

People hurt me deeply.

Friendships changed over time.

And on top of all that, a cancer health scare that rocked my world.

Moments of absolute broken but I was still standing.

Incredible laughter.

Clean bill of health.

And the birth of my debut book, which I never expected could or would happen.

While I faced some of the worse times in my life, I always tried to reflect on the positive.

Each of these events taught me some of the best life lessons and I am grateful for how the year finished. I am a stronger person today. I am stoic. I am optimistic.

I am moving forward.  I am excited about what is to come.

I think one of the things I realized this year is until you’re broken, you don’t know what you’re made of.  It gives you the ability to build yourself all over again, but stronger than ever.

Being kicked down does not mean you have to stay there.

We must take the good with the bad.  We must learn how to be motivated and resilient and successful.

Now two weeks into 2016, another week of hardships conquered.

Never did I think this past week would happen.

But I am doing fine and still standing.

While this is not the way I thought 2016 would start, I am grateful.

I am learning.

Do not take shortcuts.

Live my life and do everything the right way, the full way, the real way, even when I am tired or lazy.

Be my best me.

Know motivation is a choice, not a feeling.  I am not sitting around waiting for it, but instead reaching out to conquer it and it has showed up every time.

In the past 14 days in this new year, I have learned some more life lessons, started working on the balance of life between work and home, focusing on using my time to its full potential and taking care of myself.

I am seeing through the hard times and stress realizing there can still be positive moments in bad days.

Without resolutions this year, but still with big goals, it is inspiring to get things done.

Plan.

Organize.

Get it done.

Reflecting on 2015, the year has taught me so much.  The past is a place of reference.  And I take that forward into 2016.

This is the year for us all.

Make the changes you wish to.

Live the life you want to.

Be the person you want to be.

Reflect.

Dream.

Play.

Work hard.

And the rest will follow.

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Borrowed Time

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We are on borrowed time.

While we know it, we may not always live like we know it.

And sadly, sometimes, it takes an awakening to realize that we may not be living life to our full potential.

I thought I was?  Realized I wasn’t.

My plan on New Year’s Eve night just before midnight was to post the inspiring, motivating, uplifting words that swirled in my head for days prior.  It is the first year in my whole adult life that I have felt hopeful coming into a new year.

This is huge.

And there was something in the air because others around me were saying the same thing. This next yea felt something big. For a lot of people.

I had plans to sail into 2016 with.  And back to the blog, had hopes to share with someone reading it the aura of the light feeling of the new year and to hopefully give the same motivation to someone that was passed onto me.

Being at work and lucky enough for downtime, the keys on my laptop clicking away.

About one hour before midnight, while awaiting the clock to strike twelve, the soon-to-be loss of a life way too soon came to be news.  A man who did not get a fair chance at life and sitting next to me was this man’s beloved brother, and in that moment my whole mindset and coming into 2016 changed.

I realized my father was right. He has always said his senior year motto, “Time stops for no man,” and in this moment I realized life still went on, bad things still happened, there was no starting the new year celebrating and happy for everyone.

Time stops for no man. And we are on borrowed time.

NYE was no longer celebratory but instead reflective. And my heart hurt for everyone involved.  Watching the ball drop and the musicians singing in Times Square across the television, while it was still hopeful, still jovial, I realized what I already knew.

Life is short.  I have always known that.  I also have always lived thinking it.  But can I say I always lived it?

No.

The message has REVERBERATED over and over since that night.  My inspiring blog post was not finished.  I still have yet to finish it and it will be post #2 of 2016.

Now as the days have passed, the first week of 2016 come and gone, I can see clearly again.  Life has been reevaluated, the first goals of 2016 have been changed, grieving has started for the family who lost, and I am grateful.

Thank you 2015, you have inspired and challenged me to live a life worthy of my calling.

I share what I know: Don’t wait to start your dreams: there may be no tomorrow.  Don’t live in the future; live in the here-and-now.

I realized the way we live our lives allows us to honor those of us who left us too soon.

As we are all here on borrowed time.

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(Stevie: This post is dedicated to you. Thanks for the car talks.  I will think of you every time I see an old Camaro now. Watch over your lovely family and thank you for the lessons you taught me this New Year’s Eve.  I will honor your life through the lessons you brought me in the yesterdays and this night. Go do all the things you have not been able to do this past decade. You may not have been yourself for so long, but you are able to be you again. And you leave your mark here. Go live the life you should have had.)

 

 

Writer —> Author = Humbled

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Life has been surreal beyond belief the past few weeks.  I am in a transition period of being a writer to becoming an author.

I never in a million years thought this was possible and I am thankful and grateful.  And HUMBLED tenfold.

My first book debuted last night on Amazon in paperback and for the Kindle.  I am a published true crime author.

What?

Having just worked on the starts of my Amazon author page and creating an email to my dear family and friends, it is like an outer body experience, weird yet exciting.  It has been quite a journey since signing the book contract on April 25, 2015.

A journey of lows (computer crashing losing much twice, inability to locate information) to highs (kept writing, sobs when hit the send button to publisher, seeing the cover created) and all in between.  It was one of the hardest processes for me.

I am very certain I did not do this process correctly, but just like me,  politically incorrect, doing things jumbled (which I define as “my way”), doing things without researching how.  I may change the way I write a book next time but I would not change a thing if I could go back.  It was an experience that when I think about the past six months, I shake my head.  But I am smiling as I shake my head.

Sitting here, on the verge of a little emotional, it is crazy to see how one evolves over their lifetime.  I guess some people actually take their passions from childhood and carry them through life.  I really never expected this to be me.

The little girl writer in me I guess is still there.53184485

I have been a writer my whole life.  My first big memory of writing was as a kid typing the words of a book I was reading.  I typed several paragraph onto a now decorated white slab of paper titled, “Chapter 1” and told my mom, “Look I am writing a book!”

Well, of course, she realized I typed it right from the book that was perched next to the typewriter.  I still remember it, a purple cover about a young girl facing adversity.

Interesting and ironic enough now looking back…

Anyways, my mother calmly looked at me, calling me on my lie, and said, “You did not write this.  That is someone else’s work. She worked hard writing that book and that is not for you to take away from.”  She returned to her work and I returned to reading.  My mom had a way of teaching me with life lessons, more than one at a time.  I learned about lying and about work ethic in that moment.

I remember writing plays in the 4th grade.  I remember a play my mom helped me write in 5th grade.  We were studying rocks and my mom helped me with ideas; she was more excited than I was.  I remember we were cooking a holiday meal in the kitchen and I was standing on a chair to help her prep food on the kitchen counter.  We created  Limey the Limestone rock and Sadie the Sedimentary rock.  I will tell you I remember my rocks today because of the passion my mom had in writing this play.

I remember a holiday gift of my own typewriter so I did not have use my parents’ one anymore.  I remember in the 8th grade writing a story that I wanted to turn into a novel.  I have pages of stuff I’ve written from childhood to college and beyond in a huge notebook today.

There is something about writing that gives me a sense of peace.  It is where I belong. Maybe it ties me to my mom since she was involved in my early love of writing. There are only a few things that really give me this feeling and it’s almost like a high.

I get a high from writing.

I hope someone takes something away from my many capacities of writing whether it be something they can apply to their life, a life lesson, just being an escape or in learning facts.

Writing is one of the hardest things but most satisfying things I have ever done.  For some people, it comes easy.  I will say it comes natural for me, but it is never easy.  I have probably wasted out on such potential and some brilliant work because I have sat back awaiting the feel of the zone before writing.

I have learned you cannot wait.  You sit down and write and it will come.  It is like the Field of Dreams statement, “If you build it, he will come” which I change to “If you build it, they will come.”  They meaning the words that hit the page.

I want to thank my dear inner circle who stood by my side during the creation of my book.  The undying support and the words that kept me calm in the freak out texting moments when I lost thousands of words from the laptop crashing, from the tablet overheating and blacking out thinking I lost the whole document, and for the “way to go” as my word count goal began dwindling each time I sat down and scribed.

If anything, use me as an example.  Follow your dreams.  If you’ve been scared, fight your fears.  I was as scared as I could be.  Just go out there and do what you want.  You can do it.  Make the end of 2015 the time you promise yourself to step outside your comfort zone and kick ass while doing something you have always wanted to do.  If I can do it, so can you.  You got this.  I got your back.

Thank you for believing I could do this as I followed my dreams.  {humbled!}

Now, go follow yours.

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