Diversity

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image credit: http://boulderjewishnews.org/

 

What does diversity mean to you?  This seems like such a buzz word and one that was part of a discussion we had today.  It sometimes feels taboo to discuss, yet sounds popular to say we welcome and accept diversity. But what does this mean?

When I was at Cal Poly, I was part of the Ethnic Diversity committee, trying to bring diversity to our predominantly Caucasian campus. Diversity was about race and affirmative action and equal opportunity and making sure that we were open and accepting and inviting others and making them feel welcome and a part of “us”.

I think the definition of diversity has broadened over the years and includes not only race and ethnicity, but also sexual orientation, life experience, beauty, knowledge base, body image, abilities, socioeconomic levels, language, religious beliefs, age, popularity, geography, neighborhoods where we live and more.

I think we need to be aware of our differences and at the same time acknowledge how we are all more alike than we are different and to focus our energy on our connections and commonalities versus our diversity. I think we need to find ways to connect through our love for one another and by being curious about each other.  I think we need to be good listeners and always be kind to everyone, especially those who are different than us. We can change the world and make everyone feel welcome and invite them to come sit with us and share lunch, a cup of coffee, or conversation.

Be curious. Be kind. Be loving. It doesn’t cost a thing and that’s how we can celebrate our diversity and oneness. One Love, BeLoveRs.  We can change the world, together. Let’s hold hands.

nAMaste.

Be Not Afraid

Be not afraid.

I go before you, always.

Come follow me.

And I will give you rest.

  
Those are a few of the words from one of my favorite Christian songs that bring back so many great memories.

When the Parisians were stuck at the stadium and were attempting to exit, they began to sing the French national anthem. They sang to unify and comfort one another and to connect and to be stronger than their attackers. They did not give into fear.

There is evil surrounding us, not only in Paris, Beirut, Syria, but  around the world and it is up to us to fight and band together against evil. We are connected through our humanity and we need to practice our courage and love, every day.

One love.

One truth. 

Have courage to be loving, BeLoveRs. Stand up to hate.

Share the love. 

Liberté, égalité, fraternité .

nAMaste

One People, One Love

 

 

Every day I stop to think about what to write and what to share that might be meaningful or funny or that connects to a current event.

Today, Juliana’s shirt caught my eye after I looked at this picture we sent her daddy, who’s been out of town all week. I noticed and reflected on the One People line.

We are One People. We are One Love and we are interconnected, whether we want to acknowledge it or not. Our actions and our choices affect others and we need to look out for one another and be kind and loving, no matter what.

My mind is on Oregon and the tragedy that was created by one lonely and disillusioned person. People are looking for blame and for reasons why and want to politicize solutions. They want an easy fix to a complex problem.

How can we make a difference? I have several ideas and I’m sure you do too.

I think we start with ourselves. We can love who we are and be okay with the choices we’ve made and have experienced.

We can take care of our families and love one another and lift each other up. 

We can teach kindness and practice kindness every day. We can be role models and examples through our actions and through our words by gently reminding and coaching those in our influence to act similarly.

We can take care of our community by volunteering in our local schools, and at our local spirtual establishments, in our neighborhood shelters, and by coaching and leading and mentoring kids and adults.

We can build relationships and partnerships and connections. We can see each other.

We can focus on positive, real life (s)heroes and share stories of hope, the stories that lift us up and inspire us. What we focus on, we create. 

These take time and work and dedication. And genuine, authentic relationships take more than social media and instant gratification to develop roots. 

Get rooted.

Get connected, your way. 

Make a difference where you’re planted.

nAMaste

Love Yourself

Valentine’s Day is coming.

This year I think you should practice loving yourself.

Maybe even write a love note to you, telling yourself the top 10 things you like about being you. If you don’t know where to begin, just think of one thing you like – maybe it’s how you dance or maybe it’s your nose. Once you start, maybe the ideas will just keep flowing.

I bet if you wrote some things down, you’d see some pretty great things that you might be overlooking since our culture tends to focus on our flaws and forgets to acknowledge all that is good.

So as February begins tomorrow, I think we should all take a moment to breathe in some lovin’ and be nice. Take a moment to love on you so you have more love to give away.

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Namaste BeLoveRs.
xoxo

My Valentine

Love yourself.

What does that mean?

What does that look like?

What does loving yourself feel like?

Why is it important?

It took me several years to really learn this lesson. To know it. To feel it. To really do it. And to realize that this process changes and is never done. And it’s ok, more than ok, and we should be celebrating our happiness and creating more happiness. It’s contagious and I want to share it.

If I were to share my valentine gift with you, it would be this:

Figure out what makes you happy and make time to do that. TODAY.

If you don’t know what makes you happy, then sit for 15 minutes and try to make a list. If nothing is coming to you, then focus on just breathing and relaxing and freeing your mind for 15 minutes. Create some space and time so that your creativity can flow. And then tomorrow, pick something from your list and spend 15 minutes doing what makes you smile. Everyone has 15 minutes to squeeze in joy and it’s a huge investment in your daily well being and productivity and the happiness you can give out to the world.

This Valentine’s Day – instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers or chocolate or to be romantic, make time for yourself and do something that you love. Give yourself the freedom from responsibility and duty to live it up and love it out and create joy – even if it’s only 15 minutes.  Loving ourselves needs to become a habit, something we practice and become good at. Because the more we love ourselves and see the good that we are, the more love and more goodness we have to share with others. This is the endless circle we want to create.  The happiness circle that keeps on growing and growing and fills our earth, filled with love and happiness. Oh, I like that visual… don’t you?

Love me. Love you.

So simple.

Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU! Wonderful YOU!

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Bloom.

Day 324: Do The Work…

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Admiring the gifts of friendship…

I went to bed at 2 am this morning. I was still on a high from last night’s celebration and in denial that I had to get up by 7 am to start cleaning for the landlord, a real estate agent and a couple who were coming to look at our house at 8:15 this morning.  The kids had late start for school (9:20 am vs. 8:30 am on Fridays), so it was totally doable to squeeze in a visit from these guys before school, right?? What, am I crazy? Yes, just a little bit… but I’m sure that’s what you find endearing about me, right?  😉

The good thing is that my house was picked up and decluttered by 8 am and was ready to receive guests. Really? I have to remember that this is possible, because I wouldn’t believe it if you told me it was true.  It felt really good to be dressed, lunches made, kitchen cleaned up and ready to take the kids to school an hour before usual.

The landlord was very happy and thankful and he was respectful of our need to get out of the house by 9 am. Everyone cooperated and I think got what they needed.  This made me happy, because we all flexed to take care of each other and did the work to make this transition as smooth as possible.  He later emailed me, asking for my help with a key and dropped by later in the afternoon to make a copy . When he came back, he brought me gifts, thanking me for being kind and flexible and willing to work with him. I was touched that he was so generous and kind back. I love when life works like this.  Let’s remember to take care of each other, even if it means a slight inconvenience for ourselves. Life is good.

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Gifts from the landlord, just because… 😉