Thursday, January 31, 2013

"And we're back in the game."

Have you seen the movie, "Ten Things I Hate About You?"  There's a boy (played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, who I have a little crush on myself) in it that has a crush on this girl, but believes she's out of his league.  Still, he makes small attempts at getting her attention.  He thinks he's blown his chance at one point, only to find out that maybe he hasn't.  Maybe he still has a shot.  That's when he says, "And we're back in the game." 

I haven't been writing my blog very consistently lately.  I've been in a "down" mood.  I haven't felt motivated to do much.  I've been thinking, "What's the point?  It doesn't really matter.  It's not amounting to much anyway." 

I needed a break.  So I gave it to myself.  I decided instead of pushing myself through whatever it is, to just relax into it and let it be. 

But now I feel "back in the game."  I feel excited about life again.  I feel energized.

I had to remind myself to be kind to me.  I tend to deny myself things.  Delay gratification.  Tell myself, "You don't really need that."  Sometimes that's true of course.  But sometimes I do need that overly priced latte, for example.  For my mental sanity and emotional health.  Sometimes a little treat for you is needed.  Give it to yourself. 

Do you need a day off now and then?  Take it!  A week away?  Take it!  (If you can... I realize that one is more difficult with jobs and daily responsibilities for most of us.)  And if you really can't, or it's too difficult (because you could) take a whole week off, then just take a day but fill it with whatever sings to you.  Whatever makes you happy and refills your battery. 

Sometimes we all need to give ourselves time to just be.  Whether it's a week, a day, or just a couple hours. 

We're not always going to be in an energetic, go-go-go mood.  And that's ok.  Everything comes and goes.  Up and down.  It's a cycle. 

So spend an evening doing a puzzle, reading, journaling, taking a bath and doing your nails - whatever you enjoy for the sheer pleasure of it.  Everything doesn't always have to be a means to an end.  The "end" is your happiness.  Your joy.  Your peace. 

And really, there's no greater end.

So today make a conscious effort to listen to your spirit and DO what it's telling you it needs.  It's what you need. 

Be kind to yourself.  Be gentle.  Be loving. 

You deserve it.  And I do too. 

Quotes of the Day:

"Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to what they want to do." (Kathleen Winsor)

"Life lived amidst tension and busyness needs leisure. Leisure that recreates and renews. Leisure should be a time to think new thoughts, not ponder old ills."   (C. Neil Strait) 
"The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life."  (Eric Hoffer) 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

And this too.

I was at sangha this past weekend.  For those who don't know, sangha is sort of the Buddhist form of church... a Buddhist-based meditation group, to put it simply.  I found the group a couple of years ago, by chance, and have gone off and on since then.  I always leave feeling like I've learned something and grown in some way.  This past weekend was no different. 

After the silent meditation portion of the sangha comes the dharma talk.  Sometimes they have guests come in to speak and/or share something (one time a girl came and sang songs with her guitar), other times the people who are there are just able to share whatever they want to.  It's an organized sharing, one person talking at a time, and anyone may respond or share something completely different.  So with that brief explanation out of the way...

The woman who hosts this sangha in her home shared on Sunday that she's been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.  She's been dealing with it on her own (with her husband's support) for a couple months now.  Sunday she decided to open herself up to the sangha and share what's been going on with her. 

She said how she's been learning to accept her current condition.  It has added certain limitations and struggles that she's never had to deal with before.  For a long time she's been saying to herself, "No, not this," "No, not that." 

We tend to resist what we don't want.  We don't want to be sick.  We don't want to be limited in any way, either physically or otherwise.  We don't want to accept things in our life that aren't what we wanted or what we expected.  But that stuff comes at us anyway. 

The woman at sangha then shared that she realized she needed to change her thoughts of "No, not this," to "And this too." 

We need to be thankful for whatever comes to us.  It's all here for a reason.  It's all for our greatest good and for our learning.

This is what I learned in sangha this past Sunday.  To be grateful for everything.  Be humble.  Be honored.  Be peaceful.  Be loving. 

We all have unexpected challenges pop up over the course of our lives.  I'm grateful that I got to hear this amazing woman at sangha say, "And this too."  Three simple words, but that's why I like it.  That's why it resonnated with me. 

It's easy to say, "Thank you," for the things we get that we want.  But we need to learn to say "Thank you" also for the things we get that we don't want.

The next time you're thanking the Universe or God for that list of good stuff in your life, remember to say thank you for that less than ideal stuff too. 

"And this too."   

Quotes of the Day:

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."  (Melody Beattie)
“True forgiveness is when you can say, "Thank you for that experience.”  (Oprah Winfrey)

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass... get up, get up, get up!!!  Happiness is not the absence of problems, it's the ability to deal with them.”  (Steve Maraboli)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Enjoy right now!

I've been worrying about the future again.  I don't know about you, but I can be prone to do that.   

The past year and a half since I decided to quit my steady paying job to be a writer full-time, I've watched my savings decrease little by little each month. 

I'm a saver by nature.  I like having money in the bank.  Who doesn't?  I like contributing to my retirement account.  I've never been one to carry credit card debt. 

I've been making it work so far.  Thanks in large part to a very unexpected inheritance I recieved a year ago, which bought me some more time.  But the fact is, I'm bringing in less money than I'm putting out.  I keep a detailed budget every month and see what's happening.  Until lately this hasn't bothered me much.  I knew I had time.  I figured my book sales would increase soon enough.  But as that has yet to happen, I'm starting to worry. 

I've been working two days a week at a florist, in preparation for the busy Valentine's Day time.  I was hired on as holiday help.  I would like to stay on and work part-time year-round, but I don't know if they need additional employees the rest of the year.   

Apart from the work/money uncertainty, there's the additional fact that my boyfriend and I are no longer living together, and while we're still seeing each other, the future of the relationship also feels uncertain.  Will we find that we're happier apart?  Will he enjoy his new-found freedom for really the first time in his adult life?  I have no idea. 

Perhaps it is because of all this uncertainty that my motivation has been so low lately.  It's like I'm not motivated to do anything to move forward because I don't know where forward is.  I'm not sure what I want anymore.  And this is scary! 

I have a novel almost ready for publication.  Almost.  Why can't I summon the motivation to read through it and do what needs to be done to finish it?  There has to be a reason, yet I haven't been able to identify it yet.   

Honestly, I'm feeling like a bum lately.  Like a lazy, unmotivated, unproductive bum.   

As I was driving to my Pilates class this morning it hit me to just "enjoy right now!"

Do I have enough money RIGHT NOW?  Yes!

Do I have work RIGHT NOW?   Yes!

Am I content with my relationship status RIGHT NOW?  Yes! 

The future will work itself out. We don't need to worry about it. 
Easier said than done, but still true.

The first step to increasing our motivation is to act.  Do something.  Even if that something is just a walk around the block or a 20-minute meditation.  Both of which have been known to shake me out of my "stuck" feeling. 

For several weeks I was meditating every morning.  No matter what.  I was doing so well, I no longer felt the "need" to meditate.  So I stopped.  Tomorrow morning I plan to resume my meditation practice.  I'm excited to see how that effects me.     

So here's my new plan (in addition to the meditation):  Focus more on the present.  My present is pretty darn good.  I often lose sight of that due to my anxiety about the future. 

Remember, we get what we think about.  By worrying about the future, whether or not I'll have enough money, whether or not I'll feel productive or motivated or have a sense of direction... that's precisely what I'm creating.  No more!

There are lots of things I can do right now.  It doesn't always have to "go somewhere."  Well, actually, it always is going somewhere, we just don't always know where that somewhere is.
But know this.  Wherever we are, is exactly where we need to be. 

I need to be here, in this unproductive-bum-feeling state.  I don't know why, but I'm in this place for a reason.  I'm preparing for something.  Time to get excited about that!

As Steve Jobs said in the quote below, "you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future."  My dots have felt very sporadic for a while now.  But I trust that they will connect.  Somehow, sometime.         

Quotes of the Day:

“Yesterday is gone.  Tomorrow has not yet come.  We have only today.  Let us begin.”  (Mother Teresa) 

"Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."  (Steve Jobs)

"Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored."  (Earl Nightingale)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

When something's just not right

When something's just not right, we know it.  We may try to ignore it (I know I often do).  It may be inconvenient, or not what we want or expected.  But I'm really making an effort to listen to my own inner voice and spirit and respect what it's telling me.  Don't push it aside anymore! 

We humans tend to think we know best.  We think we know what we want.  We think we know the best way to get it or become it. 

But then the Universe steps in and shows us a new way.  A way we probably didn't even consider.  A new way that may be longer or shorter, but in the end, we're right where we need to be. 

When I asked my boyfriend to move in with me a little over two years ago, after only dating him three months, I was a little trepidatious, but it felt right.  Well, ok, if I'm being honest, it didn't feel as right as it felt that's what I wanted to do.  I wanted it to be right.  I wanted it to work.  But it didn't. 

During one of our talks, post-move-out, he asked me "Why?"  How can a person go from saying "I love you" to two weeks later asking the object of their affection to move out?  That's what he asked me, because that's precisely what happened. 

At first I didn't have an answer for him.  I didn't know how to put it into words.  It's just what I knew I needed to do.  It was my spirit and my heart driving my actions (for a change).  My logical, thinking mind wasn't too involved in that decision. 

But then it hit me.  Through talking it out with him, I realized it was an atonement.  I was atoning for past mis-steps. 

I explained to him that I remembered the very day he told me his ex-wife was telling him she wanted to move back into their house, and wanted him to move out.  She wanted him to move to another subburb town (about an hour away) and live in her rental house that was sitting vacant.  I know I talked about this in the last post, but I felt the need to summarize.  I remember that very conversation.  And I remember the fear it elicited in me. 

It was that fear that spurred me to ask him to just move in with me.  Don't move so far away.  And certainly don't move into her rental house.  That moment was the first step down the path that I've been on the past two years. 

We should never act out of fear (unless of course our life really is in danger, and then the fear has a true purpose).  Doing so almost always leads us down the wrong path.  Or, if not wrong, then more full of heartache and trouble. 

So my asking my boyfriend to move out was me correcting that past fear-guided decision.  And now, you know what?  It feels like we're right where we were supposed to be all along.  My boyfriend actually came over last night (at my invitation).  I told him I feel like the past two years have been a dream.  And now we're back in the place in our relationship where we were before we moved in together.  I have my own place.  He has his (well, not yet... he moved in with his parents temporarily until he gets an apartment).  But our relationship isn't over.  I don't want it to be over.  I just want to be in the "right" place.  I want to be in a place of love, not fear.  Doing what's right for me.  Letting self-love guide my decisions and actions, not fear of what someone else will do or what might happen. 

I'm definitely more in that place now than I ever have been before.

I can't say I regret the past two years, or my boyfriend moving in.  I really don't use the word "regret."  I believe everything happens for a reason.  We make the choices we do for a reason.  If it's a choice that will later lead to struggle, then that's what we needed.  I learned a lot in the past two years.  About myself.  About relationships.  I grew and became more self-confident.  So I believe I needed to make that "mis-step" two years ago.  Or rather, perhaps it wasn't a mis-step then. 

Quotes of the Day:

"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood."    (Marie Curie)

"There is much in the world to make us afraid. There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid."  (Frederick W. Cropp)

"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn. "   (David Russell)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Someone pressed the pause button!

Have you ever felt stuck? 

That's a rhetorical question because we all have. 

But have you ever questioned your dream? 

Things were going great.  You were doing what you wanted.  Or at least, you knew what you wanted to be doing and had a plan to get there.  Then all of a sudden that momentum stopped.  The drive you had before was simply gone.  Have you felt this way? 

I'm there now.  I'm feeling stuck.  In a rut, spinning my wheels, or more accurately, not spinning anything.  Just sitting there. 

I feel like I should be doing something, but don't know what it is.  Like someone pressed the "pause" button on my life and I'm just waiting for them to hit "play." 

The current novel I'm working on has been sitting on my computer, just waiting for the final read-through and publishing.  It's just there, waiting on me.  Really, it could have been done before New Year's.  That was my goal.  Then I let it go.  I let the time slip by and chose not to work on it.  Why?  I don't know. 

I'm feeling discouraged by my slow rate of success.  Financial success.  I admit it.  It's been a year and a half since I quit my job and decided to make writing my full-time career.  A year and a half of no other job than my writing (well, except for work I do for my grandmother a couple days a week).  I know that's not much time for the average writer to make a living from his/her writing.  I know many great writers have gone much, much longer without financial accolades.  Still, it's starting to worry me.  It's making me doubt and question.  Am I on the right path?  Am I doing the right thing?

Have you been there?

So the question now is what to do.  At the very least, I'm feeling like I need to do something.  I need an income.  More than what I'm currently bringing in through the work I do for my grandma and the little I do make from the books I have published so far. 

I did get hired as seasonal help at a florist for these few weeks leading up to Valentine's Day.  I'm grateful for that, and actually enjoy working there.  I've never worked with flowers before, so this is something new and different.  I like that. 

I'm just in a "blah" period right now.  I know it'll pass.  Everything does.  I'm reminded of the "Contraction/Expansion" blog post by Kate Swoboda on The Daily Love blog.
(If you haven't read it, you can check it out here:

I feel that I've been in a contraction period for the past couple of days.  All I've wanted to do is work on my jigsaw puzzle (yes, I really do like puzzles) or watch a movie.  I'm struggling with not being productive, and not feeling productive or creative in the least.  Yet, I'm trying to be patient with myself.  Something's in there, it just has to come to the surface.  Something is about to happen, I just don't know what yet. 

Take a deep breath.  (I'm talking to myself here, but you can do it too.) 
Everything will be just fine.       

Quotes of the Day:

“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you."  (Neil deGrasse Tyson)

“Get going. Move forward. Aim High. Plan a takeoff. Don't just sit on the runway and hope someone will come along and push the airplane. It simply won't happen. Change your attitude and gain some altitude. Believe me, you'll love it up here.”   (Donald Trump)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cut your own ties.

Sometimes the best way to move on is to cut ties.  I'm not talking about burning bridges, forever damaging or destroying any future interactions.  But cut the ties that link you to that other person or situation that you feel is holding you back.  Release yourself. 

I know some people believe in staying friends when they end a romantic relationship.  I don't believe that's really possible.  At least not at first.  Or for a while. 

I believe that if a person isn't right for you, in order to really move on, you need to separate yourself from them.  Cut the ties.  Be your own person.  Find out who YOU are, as an individual, away from that person.

There are also ties linking you to non-romantic people.  Friends, family, acquaintenances, even strangers.  Anyone you interact with or think about - there is a tie linking you to them.   

But here's the thing.  You can only cut your ties.  The ties that link you to other people.  You can't cut ties between other people, even if you fully believe it's what they need to do and they'll be better off. 

If you aren't comfortable with a situation or a person, even one in which you're only indirectly invovled, the only thing you can do (aside from just putting up with it) is to cut your ties.  Release yourself from the situation. 

We have choices.  We choose who to spend our time with and who not to.  You pretty much always have the option to leave if you're not comfortable.  I, for one, plan to start exercising that choice more often.   

Bottom line:  Let go of the stuff holding you down.  Let yourself be free!  Cut those ties!

Remember, many of your ties are likely in your mind.  I'm not talking about biological family ties.  Your thoughts create ties.  When you think about something, you put energy towards that.  This creates a link.  A tie to whatever or whoever you're thinking about.  Like it or not. 

I have been cutting mental ties lately myself.  I'll share a little trick I find helpful.  I imagine an actual rope linking me to the person I'm cutting ties with and envision it being cut with an oversized pair of scissors.  I know it sounds trivial, but it works!  Sometimes I have to imagine this repeatedly, whenever the person or anything relating to the person pops in my head.  Lately this has been quite often.  But I have noticed the more ties I cut (mentally), the less I feel tied to this person.  The more I feel myself separating.  I'm freeing myself.  One cut tie at a time.  Give it a shot! 

Bottom line:  If you feel negative energy, cut the tie that's linking you to it.  You'll feel so much better!  And you'll be better off.   

Quotes of the Day:

“Letting go doesn't mean that you don't care about someone anymore. It's just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”   (Deborah Reber, Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul)

“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won't happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.”   (Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)

“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could've, would've happened... or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.”   (Tupac Shakur)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Get to the Good

Every change has a scary period.  No matter how bad things were before, at least you knew what you had.  You had an idea what to expect.  So when you make a change (or a change occurs), even a change for the better, you can't be 100% sure you'll like it or actually be any happier.  It's a leap of faith.  Sometimes more so than others. 

The key is getting through that scary period in order to get to the good. 

Every experience IS for our greatest good.  Somehow, someway, sometime.  So the good is there, waiting for us.  We just have to get to it. 

In my recent personal experience, I had major doubts that I was doing the right thing by ending a two-year relationship.  I wanted to end the relationship prior to ending it.  But when it actually happened, I freaked out a little.  When I came home the first time after my boyfriend moved the majority of his stuff out (including our living room couch), I felt the bare-ness.  Not just in the house, but also what felt like in my life.  I felt a void.  Then the next day, after my boyfriend returned and got the rest of of his stuff, I cried.  A lot.  I was in mourning.  I was scared.  I didn't know if I was making the right decision. At times I downright felt like I was making a huge mistake. 

Fortunately, though, I let things continue to happen.  I started the ball rolling, so I just sat back and let it roll.  And you know what?  I got through the scary and to the good! 

First of all, I got a new couch (at a steal of a deal, if I might add) that I love.  So space-wise, my house no longer feels empty.  It doesn't feel like anything is missing anymore. 

But more than that, I feel like I'm back in touch with me.  I feel lighter.  More joyful.  Happy. 
Ahhh.... I made the right decision.  And it feels good

The next time you're in the middle of a change, I encourage you to let things unfold before you conclude if you made the right decision or not.  Give it a little time.  Let things sink in.  Then evaluate how you feel.  You can always make another change if you're not satisfied.  Follow your heart.  But in order to hear what your heart is telling you, you have to first let the dust settle and listen. 

Don't make rash judgments based on the fear you may likely be feeling in the midst of a big change.  Don't do what I almost did and think you made a mistake, when you really didn't.  It's just the fear talking.  The insecurity.  Even if you did make a mistake, it's still done.  Backpedaling won't undo what's done.  You can't unring a bell.  So let it ring.  And when it stops ringing, how do you feel then?  If you still feel like you made a mistake, then you can make amends to fixing it.  But I'm willing to say that if you listened to your spirit and followed your heart in the first place, you didn't make a mistake at all. 

So assume you didn't make a mistake.  You did what needed to be done (or what needed to be done, was done, regardless of whether you actually did it or not).  Know and accept that fear will quite possible be the paramount emotion at first.  The fear could last hours or days.  Let it be there.  Be kind and patient with yourself.  Do nice things for yourself.  Trust that the fear will subside and the good will rise to the top again. 

Be you, do what you need to do, get through the fear, and get to the good!  It's there, waiting for you!

*I love to read your thoughts and comments (below the quotes).*          

Quotes of the Day:

“Bran thought about it. 'Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?'
'That is the only time a man can be brave,' his father told him.”
  (George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

“Don't give in to your fears. If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart.”    (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist)

"We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot." (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Do we really learn?

I got the idea today to pull out old journals from when my last serious relationship ended, several years ago.  I expected to read about how I was sad, maybe didn't know where to go from there, but after a while how I got over him and moved on and was happier for it.  I was looking for some guidance and reassurance now, in dealing with my current break-up, by remembering I have gone through similar times in the past and came away better off. 

What I found, though, was lots of evidence that I should have left the relationship sooner.  I was literally shocked as I read some of the stuff I put up with in that relationship.  Names he called me, how he talked to me (or refused to talk to me at times), things he expected and demanded.  I put up with it all.  Sure, I was angry or upset at times.  But I stayed.  I allowed him to speak to me like he did and treat me like he did.  And the most interesting part is I forgot about all that "bad" stuff!   

I stayed because I focused on the good in him and in the relationship.  I stayed because I thought maybe he was as good as it got.  I stayed because I thought at least I was with someone, and he wasn't that bad. 

Boy oh boy.

I was 26-27 years old during that former relationship.  Looking at my old journals, I see now how little respect I had for myself.  I see how I devalued myself and what I was (am) worth.  I see how by allowing someone to treat me disrespectfully, I was telling him it was ok to treat me that way. 

I was afraid to stand up for myself then.  I was afraid to rock the boat.  Afraid that was as good as it got.

Beneath all that fear, was a belief that that's what I deserved.  That I wasn't worth much.  That people could treat me with disrespect.  That I wasn't worth respect and real, true love.     

Five years passed from that relationship to my most recent one.  The one that just ended (the one that I ended) four days ago.  I feel a lot more mature now than I did then.  I feel like I learned and grew a lot in that time.  But did I? 

My most recent relationship was a LOT closer to what I want, ultimately.  He had more of the qualities and traits that I want in a long-term mate.  But there were still things that I allowed that were disrespectful towards me.  I still struggled with thinking that was as good as it got.  That that (whatever it was at the time) was what I deserved, and all I was worth.  I still struggled with standing up for myself and speaking my truth. 

I believe that Life, or the Universe, sends us experiences that we need in order to learn and grow.  And we will keep getting similar experiences until we learn whatever it is we need to learn.  Some lessons are quick and easy.  But others don't seem to get through our brains.  We each have our own easy and hard lessons to learn.  What may seem so obvious to one person, isn't to another. 

I'm thankful for all my experiences and all my relationships.  With each one I'm learning (albeit slowly) to really respect myself.  To love myself.  To stand up for myself.  To speak out and not be afraid! 

I'm so darn scared!  At least when it comes to relationships.  It's funny, because when it comes to jobs and money, I'm fearless.  I can quit a job one day and not give it a second thought.  I know I'll be fine.  I believe any company would be lucky to have me as an employee.  I'm hard-working, intelligent, responsible, and learn quickly.  I know my worth in the world of work.  When I feel that I've learned all I can from a certain job, I have no qualms in walking away and opening myself up to the next work experience. 

But it's the complete opposite when it comes to relationships.  Why is that?  I have theories, which I won't get into here, but it's still baffling to me.  In one area of my life I'm the model of confidence and self-esteem.  But in another I barely feel I deserve any respect whatsoever. 

I'm working on this. 

I have been for a while, and I definitely notice an improvement.  So that's good.  But I'm not there yet.  Clearly.  As evident by my most recent relationship.  I'm still behaving in relationships at the age of 34 similar to how I did at the age of 24. 

At least I did stand up for myself this time.  I ended a relationship that perhaps I should have ended a long time ago, but so be it.  It is what it is.  I did what I needed to do for me.  Finally. 

Better late than never!

I think the most important thing is that we do learn.  That we keep our minds and hearts open for growth.  We may have to get pretty beat up (figuratively...hopefully not literally) for certain lessons to sink in, but once they do... ahh... that's what it's all about. 

Learn to love ourselves.  That truly IS the greatest lesson of all. 

Quotes of the Day:

“The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”  (T.H. White, The Once and Future King)
"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from."  (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Universe Listens!

I'm here, day 2 post-break-up.  Feeling a mixture of sadness, grief, love, and excitement.  I'm still a little surprised at how quickly it happened.  The Universe really does listen, I know that for sure! 

While I had been having doubts that the person I was with was the right person for me, or if we were really a good match together, I let it go.  I didn't actively pursue a way out of the relationship.  It wasn't bad enough to leave, nor was I unhappy enough.  The good outweighed the bad. 

Over time, that scale began to shift.  Things were never 100% bad, 0% good.  Or even 90% bad, 10% good.  At the time of the break-up, I'd say it was probably 51% bad, 49% good.  That's why it was so hard and confusing.  But it was that final tip of the scale, where the bad outweighed the good, even if ever so slightly, that prompted me to write what I wrote in my journal on Sunday, January 6th.  Just 3 days ago.  2 days before the break-up. 

"I'm feeling strongly that I want to live alone.  Again.  I want my house back.  My life..... I want to be single again.  On my own.  Just me.  I want all of [my boyfriend's] stuff out of my house.   I want [his dog] out of my house.  I love [the dog], but it's so much more relaxed without him.  Same with [my boyfriend].  I do love him, but I feel like it's time to move on.  I don't feel like we're growing together.  I feel like we're evolving at different rates.  I feel like he's holding me back."

That was Sunday.  On Monday, when my boyfriend returned from out of town, he noticed two things that were different.  His towel, which is usually hanging in the bathroom, was in the closet.  And his cup, usually sitting on the kitchen counter, I had put in the cabinet.  It's funny because I had put away some of his things to give myself a taste of living alone.  I thought I put it all back out before he got home, but I forgot those 2 little things.  It was enough though.  He noticed, and he asked if "there was something we needed to talk about."  I nodded. 

I had expected that we'd talk, and he might move out, eventually.  A week.  A month even.  But he started packing that day and the next day, he got his family to come get most of his stuff.  He's returning today to get hopefully the rest.  But the speed at which the break-up and moving out actually occurred took me by surprise. 

The Universe really does listen, and when it's right, it ACTS.  Fast! 

This has happened multiple other times in my life, and I'm sure it's happened with many of you.  I'd like to share another, relationship-based request to the Universe that came true for me. 

I was in college and hadn't had a serious boyfriend yet.  I wanted one.  But I knew I wasn't ready to get married.  So I asked the Universe (or God) to please give me a short-term relationship.  Nothing too serious.  Nothing long-term.  But please bring me someone who I like, and who likes me, and we can spend time together. 

That's just what I got.  Not long after my plea (I don't remember exactly how long, though I probably have my journals from then, I could check), I met a guy at a party.  It was a very random meeting.  I hadn't planned to go to this party that I heard about through a friend.  At the last minute I found someone to go with, and went.  I saw this guy at the party and just wanted to dance with him.  We did, and then we ended up talking for hours afterwards.  He later told me that he almost didn't go to the party either.  He wasn't a big partier at the time.  But his friends dragged him along.  And when he started dancing with me, he certainly never anticipated the connection that would ensue. 

Long story short (or shorter anyway), we "dated" (if you could call it was college) off and on for a couple of years.  It was very relaxed.  No formal committments.  No official obligations.  It was just what I asked for.  Only, once I got it, I wanted more.  I wanted a committment.  I wanted long-term.  Or so I thought.  But, I didn't get it then, and it was what it was.  Just what I needed at that time in my life. 

I was thinking back to when I started saying affirmations about a new long-term romantic relationship in my life.  It was before I met my boyfriend (now ex).  I had been single for at least 3 years, if not longer.  I felt I was ready.  I talked in another post about the changes I made in my house to get ready for someone else to live here.  I also said an affirmation, which I repeated countless times.  "I'm so happy and grateful now that I'm in a fun, loving, happy, committed, long-term romantic relationship with an amazing guy."  I believe that was the exact affirmation as it started out.  I added a few more adjectives later on.  But I distinctly remember at the time, debating on if I should say "long-term" or "life-long."  I remember wavering between the two.  Which did I want?  I know I said the affirmation with both terms at different times.  "Life-long" kind of scared me, to be honest.  But "long-term" sounded good.  Safer.  Less scary.  Besides, long-term could mean life-long. 

I got what I asked for.  I got a long-term relationship.  Two years may not be long to some of you, but it's long to me.  The longest relationship I'd had prior to this one (without a break, and then getting back together, which happened a couple times) was 6 months.  So 2 years is a decent jump for me.  Not to mention living with the guy too.  Talk about committment.  Yes, not as committed as marriage, but I believe the next closest thing. 

So the Universe listens!  You will get what you ask for, as long as it's in your best interest, and/or you have something you need to learn. 

I definitely believe this most recent relationship needed to be.  I also believe the break-up needed to be too.  How could I say otherwise?  I got what I asked for, both in starting a new relationship, and ending one.  The Universe has my back.  I know that.  It wouldn't give me something I couldn't handle, or wasn't supposed to experience. 

I'm still in the "missing my boyfriend" phase.  It's only day 2, after all.  I can be patient with myself.  I'm reminding myself of why I felt the need to get out and why I doubted us working out all along.

The Universe is listening.  Ask for what you want and you just might get it!  Then, and this is key, trust that what you got, is, in fact, what you needed too. 

Quotes of the Day:

"While it's often fashionable to dwell upon what might have been, what's usually overlooked is that really and truly, it couldn't have.  Because, invariably, any romanticized versions of how things 'might have been,' are based upon fictionalized versions of the past.  You see, most of the time when people think the present could have been different than it is, it's because they think the past was different than it was.  Happily the future can still be anything, when you surrender the details (and who has to do what)."  (

"The trick with courage is realizing that it isn't so much about overcoming fear, as it is about not settling for less."  (

"Baby souls follow.  Young souls lead.  But old souls are happy to dance alone."  (

"Resist the temptation to base today's decisions upon today's facts and circumstances, which are little more than what remains of yesterday's decisions.  Instead, base them upon the facts and circumstances as they will inevitably be once your dreams have already come true."  (

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Red flags, Stop signs, and Learning the hard way.

I've talked about listening to your heart and tuning into your spirit a couple times so far.  Just as doing so will guide you in the right direction, it will lead you away from the wrong direction.

Seems obvious, right?  That is, if you listen. 

When we meet people or enter into a situation, we get a certain feeling.  Sometimes it's good -- all systems go, full speed ahead -- sometimes it's bad -- Stop NOW! -- and sometimes it's not so clear either way.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) life seems to be mostly the last one of the three.  But isn't that what makes it so darn exciting?!

When you encounter a stop sign, it's pretty clear.  There is something about that person or situation that you know, without a doubt, is not for you.  You have no trouble steering clear and staying away.  Turning around.  It's one of your "deal-breakers." 

When you encounter a red flag, however, it's not so cut-and-dry.  It's something that gives you pause.  Makes you question, even if ever so slightly.  Something that's not quite right but may not be the worst thing in the world either.  You can either treat it the same as a stop sign and turn around or choose a different path right away.  Or you can proceed with caution.  If you proceed, that red flag will always be in the back of your mind, though, and is likely to pop up, often with some of its friends, at a later date. 

This is what happened for me.  Hindsight is always 20/20, as they say, but I was seeing perfectly clear and went ahead anyway.  Sometimes we just have to learn the hard way.     

There were a few things I knew relatively quickly upon meeting my boyfriend that weren't my "ideal circumstances."  But none were that bad, and certainly none were outright deal-breakers.  I liked him, I felt a connection with him, and I wanted a relationship, so I proceeded ahead. 

As time went on, sure enough, those little red flags flapped stronger.  But there was one pivotal point in the relationship.  The point I can look back now and say that is the moment, above all others, that shaped the future of the relationship. 

We were out to lunch one day, about two months into our dating.  He informs me that his ex-wife, who had moved out of their house when they separated and gotten her own apartment, wanted to move back into the house.  She wanted him to move into a rental house she owned, which was about twice the distance from me.  (Granted, I don't know that I played a factor in her wanting him to move there, but it may just well have.  Either way, I saw it as a control issue.)   

I was immediately threatened.  I was in this new (mostly great) relationship and did not want him moving twice as far away.  What was already a 20-30 minute drive threatened to be a 45-60 minute one.  So what did I do?  "Why don't you move in with me?" I said.

I acted out of fear.  Mistake #1 in the game of life. 

Yes, I was in love with this person.  And yes, I believed he loved me (he later told me he did).  And yes, our relationship had progressed rather quickly due to a few things (we actually went to high school together, so we knew who each other was before meeting as adults, it's not like we were complete strangers).  But would I have suggested we move into together so soon?  No.  That was a completely fear-based action on my part. 

It's easy to look back now and say, "If we hadn't moved in together so quickly, such and such would never have happened."  That may be true.  Sometimes I feel like we would have broken up a long time ago had we not been living together, thereby making breaking up much more difficult.  But other times I feel like we may still be together if we remained living apart.  Who knows.

Instead of analyzing every possible outcome, from past actions that weren't taken, I've decided to just let it go.  Give it to the Universe.  What happened, happened.  I learned some valuable lessons about myself and about relationships.  I learned more about what I will and will not accept in regards to actions from a person I'm dating. 

My most important life lesson:  Act out of LOVE, not fear! 

And my #2 lesson:  Don't ignore red flags.  They won't go away.  When they start multiplying, take it for what it is:  A stop sign.  Stop and look at what you're doing.  Look where you are.  Is this you?  Is this really what you want?  Listen to that inner voice!  I know oftentimes we don't want to know what we know.  That was certainly true for me.  I had to learn the hard way.  Sometimes we all do.  But the key word there is learn

I believe as long as we learn and grow, the experience was worth it. 

I learned more about who I am thanks to this relationship and the choices I made.  I'm more me today than I was two years ago.  Parts of myself that weren't clear before, are now.  I choose to be grateful for that. 

So right now I feel a mixture of sadness and joy.  Sadness over the ending of a relationship that was good in a lot of ways.  Sadness over hurting someone I love.  And joy for the future ahead.  Joy for speaking up and voicing how I feel, instead of keeping it locked inside (like I've done too many times in the past). 

I may have made some poor choices in the past.  I acted out of fear, as I often do in relationships.  But I learned from it.  And I am taking actions now out of love.  Love and respect for myself and what I need. 

Yes, I feel badly about hurting my boyfriend (he didn't see the break-up coming).  But the alternative, as I see it, was to push my feelings down or ignore them completely, for his happiness.  That's not good either. 

He'll be fine.  I know that.  If a relationship isn't good for one person, it's not good for either person, it's just that the other person may not see it or want to accept it yet.  In order to have a healthy, happy relationship, both people need to be living in love.  Love not just for the other person, but love for themselves as well. 

Be true to you.  It doesn't mean you won't make poor choices from time to time, but when you do, you can always do something about it.  When you're ready.  When you've learned what you needed to learn.  When you're strong enough and brave enough to make a new choice and take a new path! 

Quotes of the Day:

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship." (Louisa May Alcott)

"Each challenge adds to the suspense, adds to the mystery, adds to the chaos, adds to the possibilities, adds to the romance, adds to the adventure, adds to the joy.  And I say anything that adds to the joy should be embraced.  There's nothing challenging that has ever happened in your life that one day you won't look back upon with deep gratitude."  (

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's Perfect. You'll See.

"It's perfect, you'll see." 

Those words came into my mind during a meditation a couple of weeks ago.  I wrote it down and it's been sitting on my desk ever since. 

That day I was meditating over something that came up that I wasn't happy about.  I was feeling unsure, afraid, and anxious.  So I went to my meditation spot, lit a candle, and sat.  I cleared my head(repeatedly).  I focused on calming myself, becoming present and peaceful.  Then those words came up suddenly.  "It's perfect.  You'll see."

Immediately I felt better.  Relieved. 

Everything is perfect.  It all happens for our greatest good, whether we see it or not.  If you're stuck in traffic, growing more impatient and angry by the second, stop for a second and consider this:  What if you weren't stuck in traffic, therefore arriving at such-and-such place that much sooner, and got into an accident?  Even the traffic jam is for your greatest good.  For your benefit.  You will likely never know what would have happened had you not been delayed, but you can know that the way things happened was in your best interest. 

Often we ask for things in life that we want.  At least we think we want them.  So we petition the Universe (or God).  We think about whatever it is we desire.  We may say affirmations.  And we may or may not get what we want.  Trust that whatever happens, if you get the thing or not, that's what's best for you, at that time. 

The same is true for people in our lives.  Everyone we come into contact with is there for a reason.  It's like a superbly orchestrated production.  You are there in their life for a specific purpose, just as they are there in your life.  This goes for people you have short, fleeing relationships with.  Like the cashier you see at the grocery store.  And people who stay in your life for extended periods of time.  Like friends, family members, and romantic partners. 

The trick is in not forcing the issue.  Let things be perfect.  Stop meddling with that perfection.  Let people come into and out of your life at the perfect time.  When you feel, in your heart of hearts, that something isn't right, respect that feeling.

Do you feel it's time to move on?  Then release your hold on the present circumstances and watch as perfection unfolds into new circumstances for your future. 

This isn't to say that what's "perfect" won't still hurt, cause you anxiety, or make you afraid.  But it doesn't have to.  Your feelings are your reaction.  Your choice.  It's you trying to hold onto something, as it is.  Or afraid of what will come.  That's ok.  It's perfectly normal and natural.  Just don't let those feelings of fear and hurt hold you back from experiencing what's perfect for you.   

Let it be.  Let go of your hold on "it."  Recognize that "it" is perfect, as it is happening right now.  Know that the Universe (or God) is at work and there is so much happening behind the scenes that you can't see.  But it's all for you. 

Trust your gut.  Trust your heart.  Trust the Universe. 
Be YOU.  You're perfect just as you are.  You'll see. 

Quotes of the Day:

"Whether you see it, feel it, or know it, right now you're being provided for.  And you always will be."  (

"What if every unexpected delay, postponement, or redirect only meant that at the very last second, right before the scheduled manifestation, I had an even better idea? It happens."  (
"Detours, challenges, and crises are simply covers for miracles that had no other way of reaching you. It's all good."  (


Saturday, January 5, 2013

What do YOU want?

It's YOUR life.  What do YOU want? 

Simple question.  Not always a simple, easy answer.  But worth giving it some serious thought for sure. 

Everyone has expectations.  Expectations for ourselves and expectations of others.  I'm sure we can all describe some of the expectations others have of us.  Family members expect certain things of and from us, no doubt.  But even strangers make flash judgments of you, and therefore, have expectations on what you are likely to do or not do.

To be true to ourselves, we must learn to ignore these expectations.  Get in tune with YOU.  Your inner spirit.  Your link to the Universe.  Now, what do you want? 

This is your life to create.  Your life to build.  Your life to make of what you will. 

You are the only one who truly has to live with the decisions and choices you make.

Do you want to quit your job, take that leap of faith, and pursue a new career path?
Do you want to leave your current relationship and get back to you? 
Do you want to have a child?  Adopt a pet?  Buy a house? 

These are serious life questions.  The "easy wants," such as "I want some ice cream," or "I want to eat at this restaurant," aren't that difficult to fulfill.  They won't alter your life path that greatly.  But career, relationships, family... those are another level.  That's precisely why it's even more important to tune into your inner spirit.  Where is it leading you?  Down what path do you feel pulled? 

Whatever it is, it's ok.  It's YOUR life!  Think of your life like a blank canvas or a movie just beginning.  What colors do you see on that canvas?  What lines?  What hues, tints, shades?  What pictures, shapes, forms?  It's all up to you!  If your life were a movie, where you are the leading actor/actress, what supporting roles do you see?  What plot lines would you like your character to go through?  It's all up to you!

No, you can't know how things will turn out.  Not exactly anyway.  But you CAN know you will end up exactly where you're supposed to be.  You CAN trust the Universe to never lead you astray.  If you have a desire in your heart, it's your spirit speaking to you.  Listen.

I'm not condoning making rash decisions.  One day thinking you'd like to have a dog and the next day adopting one.  One day being unhappy in your job, so you up and quit.  One day feeling like you'd like to be a mother or father (but you're single), so you immediately run out to a sperm bank or adoption organization and fill out an application. 

But if you've given something some serious thought.  If you've sat with it, meditated on it, slept on it many nights, and you still have that desire in your heart, it might just be time to go for it.

This thought struck me just a few hours ago as I was doing laundry.  I've been struggling with what to do about my current relationship.  Stay or go?  End it or stick it out?  Re-commit and make an effort or let it go and move on?  I realized that a lot of the reasons behind the feeling I should stay in the relationship are external reasons.  I don't want to disappoint people.  I don't want to hurt people.  It's what I "should" be doing (right?).  Then as I was picking up clean clothes to bring back upstairs from the basement, the thought popped in my head, "What do YOU want?" 

Suddenly everyone else disappeared.  Of course I don't want to hurt anyone, but I can't control how others will respond or what direction they'll take their life.  What I can control is what direction I take my own life.  And you can too.   

Quotes of the Day:

"The inward journey is about finding your own fullness, something that no one else can take away."  (Deepak Chopra)

"If you have the capacity to be more than one thing, do everything that's inside of you."  (Bishop T.D. Jakes)

"Go for it now.  The future is promised to no one."  (Wayne Dyer)

"You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first."  (Frederick Wilcox)     

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Lone Cypress

I got a new tattoo yesterday -- the lone cypress.  If you're not familiar, it's a pretty famous tree on the California coast line.  It seems to be growing right out of the rocks, all by itself.  There are plenty of pictures of it on google. 

I often feel like this lone cypress.  It's a beautiful tree, standing strong, alone.  It's strength and courage - to be living like that right on a rocky cliff - are inspiring.  The tree is a symbol of independence for me. 

I've always been an independent person.  A loner, if you will.  I'm also highly introverted.  Being around lots of other people, while fun at times, drains my energy.  I once had a psychologist tell me that I had the least need to be around other people than anyone he'd ever seen.  (FYI: I went to this psychologist for career counseling when I was about twenty-five, unhappy in my first long-term teaching position, having no clue what I wanted to do.)  This man was recommended to me by someone else who'd gone to him.  I filled out hours-long personality and interest inventories.  While I don't really remember what he did tell me to do, career-wise (though I have the tape and paperwork, I could check), his assessment that I'm highly autonomous, freedom and independence are of utmost importance to me, and the bit about being perfectly happy alone for a vast majority of the time, have stuck with me.  I've always known those things about myself, but it was nice for some validation that it's ok to be that way, and it's just how I am wired. 

For the longest time, growing up, I thought something was "wrong" with me because I preferred being alone most of the time.  In fact, I've had many people tease me as a kid for "never talking."  I wanted to say back to them, "I talk, just not to you," but I didn't.  It's taken me well into my adult years to accept the person I am.  To not only accept, but to love the fact that I am so comfortable doing things alone.  I go to movies alone, travel alone, and even out to dinner alone. 

All this preference to being alone, however, does make it difficult to have long-term relationships.  The boyfriend I've been with for the past two years (my longest relationship to date, by far) is great.  He's the only person I've actually lived with except for family growing up and college roommates.  But I'm starting to question whether I'm cut out for this.  If I'm cut out to live with another person for the rest of my (or his/her) life.  If I wouldn't, in fact, be happier as one of those people who remains forever a bachelor(ette) and lives alone. 

Here's the thing.  I'm not someone who envies those with big houses, a spouse, children, etc.  I admire people who do their own thing.  Who aren't tied down or held back by anything.  Not that having a big house, nice things, being married, or having kids is bad.  Not at all!  If that's your dream, then by all means, make it happen!  It's just not how I see myself. 

This, too, was another source of contention within myself.  What is wrong with me that I don't have a long-term boyfriend?  (This was a prevalent thought in my 20s.)  What is wrong with me that I'm not married and don't have (or really want) kids?  (This thought began creeping up in my late 20s and early 30s.)  Aren't these the things we're supposed to want?  Aren't we supposed to "settle down" with a mate and reproduce? 

I've had fleeting thoughts that I'd like to have a baby and be a mother.  I believe I'd be a great mother.  I think I'd even like to be pregnant.  But those thoughts are always that -- fleeting.  It's nice in theory, but when push comes to shove, it's just not how I see my life going. 

I'm reading the book "Eat, Pray, Love" for probably the third time right now.  I can so identify with the author, Elizabeth Gilbert.  She was married and thought she'd be ready to "settle down" and have kids by the time she was thirty.  Then thirty hit and lo and behold, she panicked.  Her husband wanted kids, wanted to build a life together.  But try as she might to want that too, she just didn't. 

So back to my current situation.  I have a great guy for a boyfriend.  I know I can trust him and count on him.  He's what I searched for and in so many ways my perfect match.  So why do I have this sinking feeling that it's just not what I want?  I thought it's what I wanted.  But now I'm confused.  Or perhaps not really confused, but torn.  Torn between being who I am and not wanting to hurt someone else.  Torn between thinking maybe I just need some more alone time, and maybe I actually need to live alone.     

Am I a "lone cypress?"  This is the question on the forefront of my mind these days.  I know I'll figure it out.  I'm practicing letting go and giving it up to the Universe.  Everything will work out perfectly.  It always does. 

Quotes for the Day:

"There's a tremendous difference between alone and lonely. You could be lonely in a group of people. I like being alone. I like eating by myself. I go home at night and just watch a movie or hang out with my dog. I have to exert myself and really say, oh God, I've got to see my friends 'cause I'm too content being by myself."  (Drew Barrymore)

"Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement."  (Alice Koller)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Make space for Wonderful!

I've read a few Facebook posts now about people de-cluttering for the new year.  Have I ever said how much I love de-cluttering?  It's one of my favorite things to do.  In fact, my sister has called me a few times in the past to help her clean out her closets and drawers because she knows I enjoy doing it.  I even started a business once, helping people de-clutter and organize their spaces. 

I heard something about why it's such a good idea to de-clutter somewhere years ago.  "We need to make SPACE for new, wonderful things in our lives!" 

How can we expect to attract something amazing if we have no room for it?  It's true. 

If you're feeling stagnant in your life.  If you're itching for a change.  If you don't know what to do to ignite a spark into your days, start by de-cluttering something

You can start small.  A closet perhaps.  Or a drawer.  Just know the more you get rid of, the more space you open up for something new and great! 

People often hold on to stuff.  They feel it connects them to the past, or to a certain person or event.  Momentos can be nice.  In moderation.  In excess, however, too much stuff keeps you stuck.

All I'm saying is that you probably have things in your home that you don't use, need, or aren't incredibly important to you.  Let those things go!  You'll feel more free and less stuck if you do.  I promise.  Plus, it feels good to see your unused items go to someone who actually needs them.  Donate them to a deserving charity organization.  Or have a garage sale, sell things really cheaply (remember, your goal is to get rid of stuff), and watch as people get great deals on good stuff that they actually need. 

Once you've purged your home and your life of all the unnecessary stuff that's been weighing you down, sit back and watch what happens.  I believe you'll see more goodness flow to you.  Everything is energy.  The more you give, the more you receive.  And when you give in love, you'll receive great things in return. 

I'd like to share an example from my life how de-cluttering and rearranging a few things in my house actually helped bring my boyfriend (and an ensuing wonderful relationship) to me. 

I had been living alone for twelve years.  Yes, twelve years!  (I'm very independent, and highly introverted, I want to add.)  I like living alone.  But at thirty-three years old (at the time), I was ready for a more serious, long-term relationship.  The thing is, my home was not set up for anyone but me to live in.  Here are a few things I did:

Moved my bed out from the wall, so people could actually get to and from the bed from both sides.
Put a second bed-side table on that now-open side of the bed. 
Got rid of a lot of clothes I no longer wore or liked and rearranged stuff in my closets and drawers to make some space for someone else's clothes. 
Set out decorations in pairs, instead of singles or multiples.  (A little feng shui never hurt anybody.) 
(In full disclosure, I was also saying an affirmation at this time regarding a long-term relationship, so who knows what actually "did it."  I like to believe, though, that everything played a role.) 

It wasn't long after I made those simple changes that I did, in fact, meet the guy who would go on to become my long-term boyfriend and move in with me!  Seriously, I'm talking not more than a couple months later! 

Everything comes to us when we're ready.  Relationships, jobs, money, homes, pets, children. 
So if you feel ready for a certain something in your life, start by making room for it!  That really is the first step! 

Quotes of the Day:   (I had no idea there were such great quotes about clutter!)

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."  (William Morris)

"Clutter is a physical manifestation of fear that cripples our ability to grow." (H.G. Chissell)

"The more you have, the more you are occupied.  The less you have, the more free you are."  (Mother Teresa)

"Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough." (Unknown)

"The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needd - it is a process of elimination."   (Elbert Hubbard)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Don't just avoid your nightmare!

The title of my blog is "Be YOU:  Live your dream!"
It doesn't say "avoid your nightmare."

Are you someone who is seemingly content just getting by?  As long as nothing horribly bad happens, they consider it all ok.  Maybe that's you?  Or how you've been in the past? 

I think it's a shame to be content with "just ok."  There's more to life than that.  You can achieve your wildest dreams and be blissfully happy!  The key is to go for it!  Go for the dream.  Focus on the dream, not whatever it is you don't want (aka, the nightmare).

Let's say your nightmare is to not have any money, to be in debt, and be alone and miserable.   

Would you consider it a success if you simply avoided that nightmare?  If you had a little money in the bank, little or no debt, but were going to a job you weren't passionate about, or even detested, just to get that money so you could avoid your nightmare? 
Would you be content in a relationship that was just alright?  You don't fight very often, you get along pretty well most of the time, but you're not absolutely crazy about the person?  You could imagine your life just as easily with them as without them?  You're just avoiding your nightmare of being alone?

I know plenty of people who live to just avoid their nightmare.  I'm sure we all have to some extent, at some point in our lives.  But at what point do you say, "Enough's enough, I'm going to go for my dreams now!"  At what point do you reach for more than "just ok" and go after what you really want?  A career you're passionate about, for example?  More money than you could possibly spend?  (Which comes, by the way, when you follow your heart, live in love, and are true to yourself.)  A fun, loving relationship with someone who you respect, admire, and are wildly attracted to? 
These dreams don't have to be just a fantasy.  They can be your reality.  It all starts with your thoughts. 

"Thoughts become things," as Mike Dooley tells us.  Keep the thoughts of what you want forefront in your mind.  Don't send energy or focus on what you don't want.  Each thought you have is an energy you're sending out into the world.  You can send more hate, more discontentment, or more love, peace, and joy.  Your choice!

I am currently living my dream to work for myself and be a writer.  It started with affirmations.  I had a steady job, with a paycheck that was plenty for me, working as a sign language interpreter in a school.  The job was good, but I grew more and more discontent as the days, months, and years went by.  I felt stuck.  Trapped in a job that I knew wasn't my spirit's calling.  The money and insurance sure were nice, though! 

I'm a believer in affirmations.  I've seen them work profoundly in my own life, multiple times!  So I created an affirmation around work.  It went something like this:  "I'm so happy and grateful now that I'm my own boss, I make my own schedule, and I make more than enough money as a successful writer." 

I repeated that affirmation countless times every day.  When I was walking my dogs.  When I was walking into the school building to start the work day.  When I was eating my lunch.  It's not that it was the only thought in my head, but it was one of the most prevalent.  (Also notice how it's present tense.  That is key.) 

In May of 2011 I decided that would be my last day working for someone else.  I submitted my official resignation after the school year ended and officially called myself a "full-time writer."  I had some savings and a half-completed novel.  That was it.  I was living the dream! 

Since that day I have published a two-part novel and a novella (available on Amazon here:  My next novel is in the final stages.  I hope to have it published by the end of the month.  I also started this blog, as well as commenting on others' blogs frequently.  I'm doing what I love.  I'm following my passion.  I have not regretted one second leaving my former job(s).  This isn't to say I won't ever work a standard "job" again.  In fact, I applied to be seasonal help at a florist's for a two-week period around Valentine's Day.  It sounded fun and I enjoy learning new things.  I'm not opposed to working jobs.  In fact, I have liked all the jobs I've had.  The key, for me, is to always be working for myself.  I need to be in charge of what I do, not answer to someone else.  If it's a job, I'm doing it because I want to be doing it.  I feel drawn to do whatever it is, at that time in my life. 

Follow the energy. 
Follow my heart. 
That's how I've lived my life and I will continue to live my life.  It hasn't failed me once! 

I'd like to encourage each of you to live your dream, don't just avoid your nightmare.  Go for what you want.  If it doesn't work out, at least you'll have tried!  But I believe, have always believed, that if you are really passionate about something, and want it bad enough, and believe you can do it, it will happen. 

Your nightmare doesn't have to be your reality.  Avoiding your nightmare doesn't have to be enough to spend your days.  Go out and get your dream!  Live it, starting today! 

Quotes of the Day:
"People believe what they want to believe.  And this, alone, explains what they have or don't have."  (
"Ever notice how those who give their all to just "getting by" usually do?  Yeah.  Then you must wonder, too, why they don't just give their all to rocking the flippin' world?  Costs the same."  (
"Be there.  Go there now and never leave.  Imagine that your dreams have already come true.  Live your life from that mindset.  Predicate your behavior on that reality, not the illusions that now surround you.  Filter every thought, question, and answer from there.  Let your focus shift and be born again - because dwelling from, not upon, the space you want to inherit is the fastest way to change absolutely everything."  (

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Pursue YOU in 2013

Starting a new year is an obvious place to make a fresh start.  Readjust your priorities.  Make some goals. 

My one and only goal for 2013 is to be more me. 

Be true to myself.  Honor my inner spirit. 

Instead of waiting until the end, I'd like to post a quote here.  It's rather large.  It's from one of those daily calendars... I don't even remember what year.  I've had it such a long time.  Currently I keep it posted on my fridge.  I think it's a good reminder of starting fresh, as we embark on 2013 today!

"The past is gone, but Now is Forever.  The future does not lie in our hands, but the future lies in the hands of the Present.  Go out and grasp the seconds of the day as if you only had that day to live.  Experience and enjoy the moments of your life.  We only have one life to live, so live it like a champion.  Everyone was put here for a purpose so let that purpose rise up above and show everyone what you're made of.  I'm not telling you how you should live, but how you should feel whe you look back at the memories of a once upon life of yours.  Don't regret things later.  If you feel it is right, do it.  It's your life and nobody else's.  Make decisions that please you.  Let nobody put you down.  Don't live in anybody's shadows or dreams.  If you have a dream act on it and it will probably come true..."

That is one of my favorite things I've ever read.  It has truly shaped how I live my life.  When I'm faced with a decision and it's not an easy choice, I often ask myself, "Which would I regret more if I didn't do it."   

You don't have to do it all. If someone asks you to do something, you can say no. Respect and listen to your own limits. When you have more to give, give. When you need to cut back, cut back. 

I'm often guilty of giving and doing to the point that I get overwhelmed and frustrated.  I've gone past the point of listening to myself when my spirit was telling me I needed a break.  That is part of the  "being more me" goal for 2013.  Respecting myself enough to know when I need a break and when to stop.   

I am beyond excited for 2013!  I know it will be my best year yet!  I also believe it will be your best year yet, if you let it! 

Let's all let go, let be, and be ourselves in 2013!  Watch true love emerge!   

Quotes of the Day:

"There is a refuge in each of us."   (Kris Carr) 

"The real self within you is beneath no one, immune to criticism, and fearless."  (Deepak Chopra)