Gift of Words

I Love You.


How often do you hear those words?

I think those are the best words on the planet and I never tire of hearing them or saying them. I love you.

Some cultures don’t use those words. They are never spoken. I have a hard time imagining that. I have a friend whose family never says these words and I like saying them to her just to see her reaction and to see if I can get her to say them back. This makes us both laugh. Ha! Laughing over love. I love it. And I do accept her culture and don’t really expect her to say I love you, even though I know she does love me.

Do you know there is a woman in Oregon who just opened up a Cuddle Shop where you can go to be platonically touched and hugged and have your hand held and your hair rubbed? Samantha Hess offers 15 minute sessions at a $1 per minute or $60 per hour. She had 10,000 requests within the first week of business and if you try to access her website right now, it just keeps spinning because of the overuse. She has also written a book called “Touch. The Power of Human Connection.” I think she’s onto something. Her website says,”Touch has the power to comfort us when we are sad, heal us when we are sick, encourage us when we feel lost, and above all else allow us to accept that we are not alone. When we experience touch it gives us physical, mental, and emotional well being. It lets us know that everything is alright. For one reason or another many of us do not get the level of human contact that we want or need in order to be our optimal selves. I would like to help bring this into your life. When you have what you need life is amazing!”

I know that touch is different than words, but both are gifts of human connection and I think both have serious power.

We can use our words to connect with others and be loving and accepting and we can use our words to create space and separation. I like to think about and practice using my words to make connections and to be aware of how my words affect others, not that I’m always good at it, but I am practicing daily. 🙂  Just keeping things real. Perfectly imperfect, right?

I just listened to and watched this youtube video of Us the Duo singing Shake it Off. In the video, they have kids holding up signs with the mean words they hear from their peers with their sad faces showing and then they “shake it off” and hold up new signs with empowering words and smiles on their faces.

We can create our realities by thinking and choosing what we believe to be true. We can shake off the ugliness and embrace what we believe to be true about ourselves and not let in the ugly words projected at us. We can choose to use kind words in response to hate and change the conversation. And we can choose to say “I forgive you.” or “Bless your heart. You don’t know any better.” That last one is one of my favorites.

We have power. We get to choose which gifts we give and I choose to give love and positivity through my words and conversation as often as possible and as often as I remember to choose the high road. This feels right to me.  We can choose to reject words too by ignoring them, letting them bounce off us, saying no, and changing the conversation by walking away, asking a question, or just ignoring the negativity. We do not have to engage because we have a choice.  Isn’t that powerful?


Happiness Is

Here I Am is my life story. It’s about just being – in the moment and the pursuit of happiness. I happen to spend a lot of my time being home with my kids and family and working out and volunteering and playing, so I share these type of daily events because that’s what I do. For some reason, I find joy in sharing this journey, hoping that maybe my one life might spark something in you that helps to add joy in your life, your way.

I love my life and am always seeking ways to make it even better and I’m constantly reading and learning and adapting and changing. I tend to share the joys because those make me smile and everyone has there own burdens and don’t need anymore. I don’t like drama so I don’t write about that, even though it’s there on a daily basis. I like to smooth over those messy parts and focus on the good.

I considered stopping writing after my vacation, thinking maybe my life is “boring” to others. It has more of a routine now that we are not expats anymore. Jeff reminded me that most of the news on TV and on the internet is boring and repetitive, yet we still watch it and read it. We learn new things and have opinions and feelings and share our ideas and thoughts, and make connections, based on what we see and learn.

I decided that I want to keep on writing, because I think I know something about positive living and the pursuit of happiness and I hear from so many of you that you like what I have to say. This is rewarding to me. I don’t have life all figured out, but I love that you write to me via comments or text or private Facebook messages and private conversations and validate what I share. I love the feedback loop and hearing about your lives too. We are connected and I love this. So thank you for continuing to follow along and for sharing this beautiful life with me. You are loved.

I hope you had a wonderful day. My day was simple and rewarding. I worked out, met with some people to plan the details of an 8th grade graduation dinner next week, had lunch with a friend who just had surgery, and then picked up my kids from school. My daughter and I played tennis together, and my son and I played Connect Four after dinner.

No one had to be anywhere tonight and Jeff was home early because he has been sick. All my work is done for the day and it’s only 7:30 pm. This makes me extremely happy. I get to go to bed early tonight and catch up on sleep!! Life is good.

Have a great night!

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!


Perfectly Imperfect

I think acknowledging that I am perfectly imperfect is a way of admitting I make mistakes and that I choose to focus on learning and growing despite the experiences that are less than desirable.

We are human. We mess up. And so what? This is normal. We all do and it’s part of living and loving and learning and growing. And because I choose to focus on positive living, I choose to share the mostly positive stories along my journey, because I think that if we focus on what’s right and good, we will want to repeat these behaviors. I choose to learn from the chaos of life, focusing on solutions, forgiving, and moving on to loving and living it up as quickly as possible.

When I make mistakes, I like to acknowledge them quickly and to apologize for any actions that create discomfort for others so that we can quickly move on and begin to enjoy each other again. I love learning, even when it’s challenging and points out ways I need to grow. I like to tell my kids that I’m still learning when I make a mistake. I hope that this allows them to know its ok to make mistakes too, that adults aren’t perfect and that we always have ways to continue learning how to become better at this life thing.

When a family member makes a mistake, I like to do the same. I like to acknowledge the issue, address why it happened and discuss how to make things better and then forgive and move on. My philosophy is to let things go, as quickly as possible, and to let go of anger, frustration and/or the need to be right.

My sister is visiting us today and was surprised when she witnessed a family disagreement. Our family is passionate and we have loud opinions that sometimes clash. She was thankful that we are normal, and that I am crazy!! :-). After we all calmed down, we apologized for our melodramatic parts and understood why things escalated at the moment. Hugs and kisses were shared and we went back to living and loving again, just like that.

Simplicity. It doesn’t have to be ugly and complicated or embarrassing.

Perfectly imperfect. How was your day?