We gather today to get through this thing called
L I F E.
We gather daily to practice living and loving, laughing and connecting, all that
G O O D.
rest in peace, (my) sweet prince.
We gather today to get through this thing called
We gather daily to practice living and loving, laughing and connecting, all that
rest in peace, (my) sweet prince.
Some days my glass is half empty.
Some days my glass runs dry.
Some days my glass is half full.
But today my glass was full.
How was your day?
What fills you up?
My day was full of cooking, yoga, work, play, and connecting and loving my family and friends.
I am content.
Hope your glass was full of what fills you up.
As a child, I always wanted to be a cheerleader, but I wasn’t that coordinated and my dad didn’t want the same thing for me. So I waited and took a different path.
I love the energy and joy and dancing and celebrating that cheerleaders create. They energize a space and they look pretty and happy and they’re always smiling and people enjoy watching them jump up an down. Their spirit is contagious and they get other people to acknowledge and see the good and to shout it out in silly and fun ways.
Sometimes in my family I feel like I am a cheerleader, just not all that fancy. I like to lift people up and watch what everyone is doing and celebrate life and laugh and cheer.
I like to encourage each of us to follow our personal dreams and I like to get the rest of us to witness and see their gifts and talents and shout out loud. I like to be our family cheerleader. I want each of us to win and to be happy and successful at whatever “game” we choose, and I want us all to participate. One of our family mottos is to work hard and play hard. And celebrate this one beautiful life, everyday.
I like to lead my family in cheer as we watch each other perform the tasks of life I like when the rest of us celebrate together and dance and play with me as I lead the cheer. Or if they want to lead, I love to follow along and chant out loud and smile and be silly.
I want the spirit of joy to be contagious and I want us all to feel the excitement that life has to offer all of us.
How about you? Are you the cheerleader in your family? Do you have a cheerleader?
Let’s go! Let’s go! L-E-T-S-G-O
What we pay attention to, we create.
If we’re in a good mood, we tend to notice good things and over look things that stand in the way of our happiness.
If we say we’re tired, we’re tired.
But what happens when we’re tired, and instead we say to ourselves that we’re not tired? What happens? Maybe we don’t pay attention to the feelings of being tired and keep on going anyway. That’s what I do. I’m not tired. Until my body shuts down and tells me I’m tired, then I believe it. Then I notice. But most of the time I refuse to give in to tiredness and keep going, enjoying all that life has to share. It’s a state of mind.
I believe in the power of the mind to create our reality, which is why I focus on sharing positive thoughts and happiness every day. I want to be happy and I want to create it for myself, for my family, my friends and my community.
Usually, I can stay in a positive state of mind, but sometimes I lose it. I don’t like myself very much when I give up and succumb to the negative feelings and let them take over. But that’s reality too. I know. I just don’t like it.
Tonight I was tired. I was also sick and up 4 times last night, so I know I was really tired. My body told me so. But I wasn’t paying attention and was very snappish tonight. I didn’t like that I lost my patience and got angry with one of my kids. It’s normal and real, I know, but I prefer the other side of me, much more when I can stay present and focused on the bigger picture of raising great, independent kids, patiently, and not overreacting to their childish behavior. Duh. They’re kids. I know. But I was tired. I noticed how much they were bugging me and paid attention there and reacted accordingly. *big sigh*
Some days are just like that. Even in Australia.
Luckily feelings are fleeting and we noticed we were both tired and snappish and said our sorries so that we could go on living and loving and laughing again. Ahhh… luckily that didn’t take too long.
And so it was. And so it is. Perfectly imperfect.
Hope you noticed more good than bad today and lived your happily ever after. Today. Namaste and good night.
Happiness is “simple.” We just have to follow this little flow chart. I don’t think we should always expect to be happy though. Sometimes we need to wait until we’re ready to change again. I think being aware that we are unhappy is healthy too. We just have to decide how long we want to stay where we are.
If this was my own creation, I’d add another arrow leading from “Change Something” back up to the continuos happiness cycle, asking the question again after you change something to determine if that leads to happiness or not. Just because you change something does not necessarily lead to happiness again. I think we have to always be asking the questions and making decisions, every day. We’re never done.
The only thing that is constant is change.
Today I was happy having a mother daughter date with my teenager. I love that she wants to be with me and that I want to be with her. I love her company and watching her grow up, although today I wanted to slow down time. We both went to get haircuts together. Her hair is curlier than mine and we both had ours blown out and smoothed, the way only a hairdresser can make it shiny and sleek. Seeing her look so beautiful and grown up made me proud and awe struck again. She looked older and I think I looked a little younger, somehow. It’s weird to see me in her and her in me.
Celia made me think of parenthood this week with her FB post that said: “When you become a parent, you stop being the picture and become the frame.” Looking at Juliana today, I saw the picture developing and love my role as the loving boundary and frame.
I am happy.
Today I’m thankful that I still have a kid who likes to play in the park. Because of him, I sat outside on a bench before the sun set and enjoyed watching the clouds go by.
I loved watching him run around and climb up the play structures and jump off the slide with his friend. They were carefree, just playing and running and chasing each other. Luckily I looked up from my phone and magazine to catch these moments before it was time to go.
I’m trying to slow down and do less and today was just the right balance.
I got to clean my house, play tennis and volunteer all before my kids came home. Once they came home, I actually enjoyed driving them to their appointments and making dinner with Jeff and sitting down to a family taco dinner and discussion over candle light.
As I slow down and do less, my kids are wanting to play more. I find this intriguing. Because they see me sitting, they want to come and sit on top of me and want all of my attention. I’ve been fighting this and then wonder why I’m fighting it. I think by the end of the day I’m tired and am mentally worn out. It’s not that I don’t want to play with them, but I feel like I’m a dog and they’re little kids getting up in my face and I just want to snap. How wrong is that? I know it and realize it and fought against it and then gave in. Instead of biting them, I laughed and played and kissed their faces all over the place, so thankful that they wanted to be a part of me and celebrated our togetherness. I’m letting go of my expectation to sit quietly at the end of the day so that I can continue to enjoy the gifts they bring to my life. I am thankful and tired. Thank you to all the mamas who remind me to enjoy these moments because they go by so fast. I appreciate your wisdom.
And with that, I wish you a good night. May all dreams come true.
I have several friends who don’t watch the news anymore. They don’t like to watch it or read it. This made me curious.
They say they don’t like all the negativity and it’s depressing. I agree with them. But I am curious about what’s going on in the news. I like to be informed and connected and knowing a little bit about a lot. But I get why they don’t watch it. Most of what we see and hear is about what’s wrong in the world when there is so much that is right and unreported. I prefer the positive news stories and I think most others do too, but usually what we hear and see is the s*&%.
Isn’t that dumb? Let’s focus on what’s right and be happy for one another. I like this model better.
I have to say that I do love to watch the reality tv shows, just so I can feel better about my own “boring” life and to feel like I am doing something right, even though it’s not as “glamorous” as portrayed on tv. At least I’m not experiencing what THEY are experiencing. But usually I feel sorry for the people with the crazy lives more so than I feel better about myself. Maybe that’s what compassion looks like. And my life is crazy behind the scenes too. I just choose to share the shinier, feel good moments.
This is one of the reasons why I choose to write every night, even though it might be boring. I want to share stories of what is working and to share successes, positivity and happiness. I want us all to be successful and I want us all to feel joy and love despite our struggles and pain that are always present. I want us to learn to let go as quickly as possible so that we can shine our light and love.
I had a friend tell me that she thought my blog was sometimes hard to read because it sounded like my life was perfect and she was envious of me. I appreciated her honesty and realness. I told her that she really knew the truth, and that my life isn’t perfect and that I struggle every day. I just choose to focus on the positive outcomes despite the craziness and chaos that is my life and I keep choosing to make the time for experiences that I think will create happiness for others, my family and myself and that it takes constant work and focus and refocus. I don’t always get it right. And I don’t do perfect, that’s for sure. When I mess up or don’t do my personal best, I choose to share what I learned vs. the details of the struggle, because I think we all have our own struggles and who needs to read negative news? Not most of my friends, obviously.
So that’s what this blog is about. The daily journey to happiness and love and compassion and learning and laughing along the way.
I choose to share the good because that is what positive thinking and positive psychology is all about. When we choose to focus on the good and to rise up as individuals and as families and communities, we can be the change we want to see in the world, minute by minute. When we each choose to do our personal best and to be loving and kind and to do what’s right, we make a difference in this world. This is what I can contribute. This is my daily 15 – 30 minutes of practicing hope and love, shared daily for myself, for you, my family, friends, and new friends. We’re all one. We all have good news to share, despite the struggles that will always be there. Let’s rise together.
Oh, and if you were wondering where this blog post came from tonight, it came from Chipotle. I had picked up food to go since it was a crazy, busy day and the bag had a story and a quote written on it that caught my eye. The story was called, “A Two Minute Case for Optimism” by Steven Pinker and the quote on the other side of the bag said, “We will never have a perfect world, but it’s not romantic or naive to work toward a better one.” by the same author. I could relate and connected to this story and was thankful that I didn’t have to cook tonight, for the good food, and for the positive, affirming story.
If you’d like to read it or know more about Chipotle’s marketing, here are a couple links (and I’m not paid to support Chipotle, by the way!)
I don’t always see rainbows and unicorns, but I’m always looking for them in my mind and once in awhile I find them, both literally and figuratively.
Today I got lucky and actually saw this rainbow over my house and it made me smile. There is something magical about them. You have to be looking up to see them and they don’t last for very long, so if you’re not paying attention and you stay inside, you might just miss them.
This is how I see life. There are rainbows that appear and we have to be present and in the moment to see them. We have to go outside and play.
What rainbows did you see today? What was magical about your day? Did you slow down to see what’s special in front of you?
I have holiday anxiety in my body. I want to be in several places at the same time and my To Do list is bigger than my To Be list. Yet I refuse to be too busy and to let the anxiety take over. Instead, I made the time to be present and to enjoy the gifts of presence with my self, my friends and with my family, amidst the chaos and rain and shopping and planning and cooking and cleaning. This is what advent means to me.
Susanne saved me a place at yoga this morning. I was running behind in the rain and hitting every stop light. I didn’t think I was going to make it there on time, and if you’re late, the yoga teacher puts out a sign saying the class is closed. I was fearful and planning a plan b, and luckily Susanne was able to stall and I squeezed in the door just in time for an awesome workout. Melissa is an amazing yoga teacher.
I had lunch with my BFF Julie who broke her arm. Mom’s are not allowed to go down. We have too much work to do. I was thankful for the silver lining that she wasn’t hurt too badly and that she had to stay home from work for a few days and that we could see each other. We enjoyed catching up and just being. This To Be list is quite fulfilling and it feels so good to check things off.
Because I was out during the day, I enlisted the help of my elves to get the housework done after school. They are good little elves and worked with me to declutter our house after our trip this past week. We got the laundry all done, the floors cleaned, the kitchen decluttered and the bathroom cleaned. I am so thankful for them. We believe in work and play, but we have to work first. After the house was less chaotic, I took the boys to the pool in the rain so that they could swim and practice water polo. I have to thank our time in Amsterdam for desensitizing me to the cold, dark, and rain and to go outside anyway. They were happy and I was happy watching them enjoy each other tonight.
Finally, Juliana and I went to a Pampered Chef party and fundraiser with my PEO sisters to raise money for women’s education. I loved being out with her, spending time with friends and enjoying shopping for fun new kitchenware. I can’t wait for our presents to arrive.
As the hustle and bustle and christmas music fills your ears, remember to slow down and enjoy the journey. Make time for rainbows and unicorns, and if you don’t see one this minute, I’m sure one will appear soon. Keep looking. Never give up.
I spent the last several days with loved ones. There has been lots of togetherness, in cars, at tables, and in shared spaces. Our routines have been disrupted, our exercise plans changed, and we’ve had lots of time to sit and chat and just be together. Love has been shared amidst the chaos.
I love my family very much and I’m human. I don’t always like what they have to say, or how they say it, or what they do, or what they don’t do. Do you know what I mean? I sometimes have expectations that go unmet, can you imagine that? I have silly expectations in my own mind that don’t match theirs that sometimes creates little conflicts in my own head.
For example, one day my sister didn’t come over when I thought she was going to come over, and then I felt frustrated because what was in my mind was different than what was in hers, but she didn’t know I had this expectation of her. Or another time, I thought my husband was going to come and play a game with us, but he was watching football and didn’t have the same shared expectations as me. I was sad that he didn’t want to play, but he wasn’t sad at all and I wasn’t really sad, but I did hope that he wanted to play. Do you know what I’m talking about? I’m sure this never happens to you!!
One of my definitions of happiness is when your expectations are in alignment with reality. If I expect that we are having turkey for dinner, and you serve turkey, I’ll be happy. If I expect that we’ll have turkey and you serve fish, I might be perplexed. It might take me awhile to adapt to the change, because my mind had a different story playing out in my head. I might feel unhappy, until I am able to fill the gap and meet the new expectation of fish and not turkey, and adapt quickly enough to be able to accept and enjoy the new option. If I don’t adapt, I will feel disappointment because I was hoping for turkey. See how this works?
I like to think of these little flutters as gaps. Sometimes the way we see things are different than how our loved ones see things. This gap can sometimes create space between us. What I’m practicing is seeing the gifts that my loved ones have to offer and focusing my attention there, especially when I feel a slight gap. I’ve noticed if I focus on the little frustrations, sometimes those frustrations fester and the gaps grow. I also notice that when I overlook the gaps and flow with whatever is given, and I able to be thankful for their being who they are without any expectations, I am truly able to see their gifts and feel closer and connected to them, despite the gaps. We all have gaps. We get to chose to see the gifts and not the gaps, even though both are present.
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if someone bugs you, try to see what is truly good about that person instead of the little things that created an irritation, because seeing the good is usually so much greater and worth the investment of your time and energy. Where we focus our attention is where we create our visions and reality and I want to see my family in the best light possible. I want to overlook the buggy stuff. Focus on the good, despite the little flutters. Flow around the barriers and come back to seeing the good as quickly as possible. Do this again and again, just like a river flows around and over a rock and keeps on flowing without disruption. Repetition and practice is good. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Gifts not gaps. I see you. Beautiful you. Namaste.
I love you. That’s the ideal and that’s for real.
I share ideas on living in the moment that tend to idolize the ideal. But let’s be real. Life is not always as pretty as our posts on Facebook or other social media outlets, even if that’s what we dream and desire. Life is messy and complicated. It’s that yin and yang thing again.
Even when I share the moments of love and joy and happiness, there are the moments behind the scenes that aren’t shared. I like to call that the messy part – the drama – the not to be seen on TV moments. We all have them. And we share what we want people to see, what we want to be our real. I think this is a good thing in a way, in that we’re trying to create the lives we really want to be living. The tricky part comes when people see the ideal and forget that there are real people behind the pictures and think that other people’s lives are more perfect than their own.
None of us are perfect. I think the reason why we don’t share those parts, is because we all have those and they just aren’t as glamorous or praiseworthy, and heck, we might even get embarrassed. But those messy parts are what make up the good parts and are necessary.
I believe that life is a practice and a journey and even though I have these ideas and try to practice them, I fail. I am perfectly imperfect and I’m ok. So are you.
In between the I Love Yous, are my tantrums – my moments of raising my voice and impatience, where I lose my ideal in my real anger and frustration, when I’m trying to regain control. I hate it when that happens, but that’s true life. Just sayin’
In between my moments of celebrating my kids and enjoying them, I’m frustrated by their messes and talking back and all the other things kids do. I just tend to share the good, because that’s what we do. But my kids are kids and they do kid things that bother all parents. I just choose to not focus what I share, there, but it’s there!!
Our minds are powerful. We can create our reality based on what we think about and how we think. If you think that my life is better than yours, you’re right. If you think that you have a great life, you’re right. If you think that I’m full of it, you’re right. If you like what I share, you’re right. Our mind creates our reality or at least our attitude about our reality and that is powerful stuff. I like to see the good because that’s what I want for me and for you and for your sister and for your daughter and your mama too.
Let’s just keep it real. We are human. We don’t do life perfectly, but we try and practice every day and we need to be gentle with ourselves, our partners, our kids, our leaders, and within our community. We get to do do-overs and we get new beginnings and hopefully every day we get a little braver and a little stronger and little wiser and we apply what we learn. Hopefully we get better at creating and living the life we dream and become our best selves, and when we mess up, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and forgive and forget and start again. And once we learn to do this for ourselves, we can forgive others too.
Ok, that’s all for now. Love you. Love me. Love us. xo