Archives for posts with tag: encouragement

A friend forwarded me this image the other day…  It made me laugh out loud!  I have an August birthday, so I am a Lion by birth.  Also, because I used to have a cat named Mosie who looked just like the kitty in the picture.  His body resembled the kitty, but his personality was definitely like the Lion.  We spent 8 years together as roommates, before he died.    He was not my friend, or my son, he was my roommate.  We struggled and fought and ignored and occasionally loved each other, but he was hands down the most loyal companion and highly protective.   He had this whole self-image thing down.  He saw himself as a LION every day.  Even when he clearly looked like the kitty!

Working in the fashion industry is all about image.  It’s constant scrutiny and very subjective.  One day you are IN, the next you are OUT.  It can take its toll on your self-image over time.  I often wonder if it’s really a good idea to bring young men and women into the industry so early…  You have to be so strong inside.

Seeing yourself  for the natural beauty inside is the most wonderful thing, it brings you peace.    When you express yourself in your most authentic form in the world, no amount of outside scrutiny can deplete you.  Living authentically is a source of beauty 24/7.   All that other outside stuff is just fluff!  So…  How are you going to see yourself today?  Why not take a lesson from Mosie and see yourself as the perfect LION that you are?  ♥

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Today is a gorgeous day in Brooklyn.  It’s completely clear and the sky and water are the most beautiful shades of blue…  Especially the water.  It’s that perfect combination of green and blue.

I rode my bike to the Brooklyn Bridge to sit in the sunshine and have coffee.  I positioned myself in front of the carousel which was full of little kids!  There must have been some event happening, because I was suddenly swarmed by 2-year-old little boys and girls.  My God, they are so cute and so funny.  It was a bit like being swarmed by bees, but in a good way.  What I noticed most about them, is they smile and laugh with their entire body… I mean how can you not be hypnotized by such beauty!

They must have been handing out balloons for this event, because they were flying all over the place.  The colors painted such a pretty picture against that brilliant blue sky.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a little boy running along with a red balloon.  He suddenly let go of the balloon!  The wind took it and it floated over the railing and down to the water.  Oh dear, his face… first it was total disbelief, then came the sadness.  I looked at him and said “OH, NO”!  He clouded up and rained just like a storm.  His Dad, was quickly by his side, comforting him and telling him it would be ok.  It was so sweet to watch.

What happened next is another example of magic in the Universe.  That balloon, floated up from the water, back over the railing, directly across the walkway and into the hands of the little boy!  I swear on my grandma’s grave!  OMG… I mean, I started looking around.  Did anyone else see that?  It was fantastic!  The little boy’s face was just pure joy.  That moment was right out of a movie.  It was, in my mind, a complete example of heaven on earth.  I sat for a moment, so humbled by this beautiful sight.

Letting go of a balloon is a lot like losing something you love in life.  The instant it happens is so heart wrenching.  Seeing this on a child’s face is a perfect example of how we, as adults, feel on the inside.   What if letting go is for the greater good?  Maybe we’ve been clinging to something that needs to be released.  What if letting go will actually free you to RECEIVE what is really yours?   Just like the red balloon that found its way home to the little boy.  ♥

So…    as I grew up in a very small town, in a rural community, I am by geography a farmer.  Now, living in the big city, I still try to dig in the dirt as much as possible.  I have a small garden on my patio, that I prune, plant and water.  I have the most gorgeous rose growing in a pot.  Its the kind of rose that gives these rouge colored flowers.  I live to see this thing blooming.  It starts to give blooms around May of every year and keeps producing well  into October.  She is a fellow spirit of mine and she gives me so much joy.

This summer was a hot one and during the middle of July, my gorgeous rose started to die!  I had to prune away more than half of her arms.  I cut them way back, almost too far…  I was thinking to myself that I might lose my gorgeous friend.  I continued to water and care for her, just as I would if she were healthy.  This morning as I went outside to check the plants, to my surprise, she was back in full swing.  The arms that I had so aggressively cut back were almost completely regrown!  They were also full of new blooms.  You can imagine my delight…

The rose made me think of how we all go through periods of rebirth in life.  I have had quite a few.  I’ve seen people I love go through some tough ones as well.  It seems very dark during that “pruning” process.  Letting go of the parts of ourselves that die off is a natural process.  You know what?  It frees up our energy to birth something totally new.  That is the beautiful miracle of rebirth.

What kind of rebirth do you experience in your own life?

I’ve been reading this book about the soul and consciousness… I’m not sure why I even picked this book to read, maybe it picked me!   In any case, I’m engrossed in these pages and I’m stuck on a particular segment of the book.  It’s about the heart, that beautiful piece of anatomy that keeps us alive and holds our emotions.  What does it mean to live with an open heart?

Did you notice that your heart can’t lie?  For me, my heart holds truth.  My mind, that’s another matter.  I am a master at justifying a decision or thought.  I can provide logic, relevant examples, scientific findings, you name it.  The more detail the better.   However, if I quiet my mind and run the event or decision past my heart, the truth of the matter is evident.  There can be no other argument.  The heart has final say and is always on target.

So, knowing how valuable the heart is as a tool in life, why would we ever close it?  Because it houses emotions and they are often extremely painful.  You know this to be true.  Some of life’s events are so gut wrenching.  The heart literally bleeds with pain and sorrow.  Other times, its joy and happiness we experience.  These emotions are just as strong, but they are positive. Whatever the event or situation, the feelings are originating from the heart.

For me, living with an open heart means allowing all this feeling to flow and not holding good feelings or denying bad ones.  Just being with the feelings, letting them take space, expand, explode, trickle down, whatever!  The more I try to hold or deny the feeling, the more cut off I am from my beautiful, truthful heart.  She’s my biggest ally in life.  She is a well to my deepest source of energy.   I’m grateful for the opportunity to practice living with my heart open each day.

How about you?  What does it mean to live with an open heart for you?  ♥

I read something yesterday that made me stop and think about how life can hand you some tough decisions.  They are gut wrenching.  You know, you’re going down the road and everything is fine, then… appearing on the horizon is this thing.  It’s way in front of you.  You can’t really even see it, but it causes you some discomfort.  It’s the decision that you know you need to make.   You may be reminded daily by your eye twitching, stomach pains, restless sleep, etc.  You think these will just pass and you will be on down the road.  In reality, these physical signs are the road markers of a tough decision on the horizon.

Tough decisions are not for the faint of heart, they require courage.  They ask us to be true to our most authentic selves.   What happens when you really listen to your own heart and act on it?  People in our lives might be hurt or disappointed.  We, ourselves might be hurt or disappointed.  There is no guarantee for a better road after making a tough decision.

I believe that every time we flex our tough decision muscle, it becomes stronger.  The ability to risk and the courage required to act are strengthened.  The next time a tough decision comes along, less time is spent agonizing about the outcome and more time is spent producing the outcome.

Making the tough decision also reminds us that we are always in the driver’s seat of our lives. Living an active life created by our own decisions is the best gift we can give ourselves and the world.  So, the next time your are reminded of a tough decision, why not shift into 4WD and accelerate?  It might be the best road yet! ♥

This a line from Lifetime, by the artist Maxwell.  He’s got the most soothing voice, honestly, he could sing the phone book and I would like it!  Every time I hear this song, that phrase catches my attention.  Love is not a fairy tale in a melody…

The words themselves are very beautiful, because they are so honest.  They speak directly to the concept a lot of us have that love is a fairy tale.  Most of us are raised reading fairy tales as bed time stories.  There is always a prince charming or princess of some kind.  There is usually a tragedy involved, and some how the prince comes to rescue the princess.  All the while, there are birds chirping and flowers blooming, amidst a sweet melody in the background.  It’s no wonder our concept of love is sorely tested when it actually appears in our real life.

Real life love is lot more rigorous and it requires an effort.  It comes in disguise and often times is discovered, rather than just apparent.  It has shadows and dark places that push boundaries.  It makes you weak and strong at the same time.  Living a life in love is probably the hardest job any of us will ever have, but it’s so worth it….  Love is the greatest gift we can give or receive,  just like the words of a beautiful melody. ♥

This is a difficult one to write, so it must mean I should keep going.  They always say, if you are afraid to do something, that means you MUST do it.  Here goes…    Can anyone really be OK with alone?  

There are times in life when you are just alone in it.  It’s quiet, not the quiet I wrote about yesterday, but seriously quiet.  It can be when you first move away from home, when your kids move out of the house, when you divorce, when your spouse or pet dies.  There are any number of reasons for this to occur, but you feel it.  There is no one at the door or in the kitchen when you arrive at the end of the day.  You see it, right?

Alone usually comes with a big transition in life, as the examples I mentioned above.  When you find yourself in the middle of this alone, how do you fill up your time?  The obvious things come to mind, like friends, neighbors, classes, projects, travel, etc.  The more you schedule, the less time you have to realize that you are alone!  Mostly, I think it’s about reaching out so that people know you are alone.  You may need additional phone time or drop by visits from your friends until you are through the transition.  What keeps you from feeling alone when you are not engaged in your schedule?  I started to write for this very reason and I have been both surprised and delighted by the community of bloggers who are there to share the journey with me.

Even more than that, I’ve had to learn that alone is OK.  This is a huge statement.  We spend so much of our lives trying to find that perfect partner or situation, so we will be guaranteed there is no alone.  One way or another, life will hand you alone time.  The relationship you have with yourself is what’s most important.  Learning to be your own friend and feeling loved and cared for by YOU, is one of the best skills you can have in life.  What does alone feel like for you?  How can you develop that relationship with yourself?  ♥

In today’s society we have a lot of distractions.  We are bombarded with sounds, images, people, traffic, media, you name it!  Sometimes all this stimulation is invigorating.  It both inspires and entertains us with its variety.  Other times all these distractions can be destructive, because it keeps you from hearing your own voice.  We need some time to sit in the quiet in order to reconnect with ourselves.

Being in the quiet is not as easy as it sounds.  Try an experiment.  Turn off all phones, televisions, computers, lights, etc.  Whatever you would normally have going as you move through your day.  Now try just spending a few moments with this quiet.  At first, you might think you’re going to have a mini-breakdown.  It’s like coming off of caffeine,  you’ll be a little edgy.  Once this initial withdrawal has subsided, something amazing happens.  First, you start to feel more at peace.  Second, you begin to hear your own thoughts and feelings.  Third, you’ll begin to hear the sounds of nature, you might even hear birds chirping!

It’s a mystery to me, why we spend so much time not listening to our own inner wisdom, because it has so much value.  Being in the quiet helps us to be grounded in a world that keeps us in the air most of the time.  Listening to your own wisdom is essential to being present in your life and making sure you are moving in the right direction.  Why don’t you schedule some quiet and see for yourself?  Let me know how it goes.  ♥ 

Sometimes you are rolling along in life, thinking everything is status quo, moving through your days and nights, until IT happens.  The Red Flag is thrown.  This can be anything, an accident, a financial reversal, a health crisis, the end result is that you are forced to face something you have been ignoring for a very long time.  The universe is basically telling you that its time to snap out of it, and deal with whatever has been lurking on the back burner.

The size of the red flag is in direct relationship to your need to address the problem.  Some red flags are little, in fact they are so little, that you can possibly ignore them.  This, of course, is a bad idea, but we all do it.  It works for  a while until the next red flag is thrown.  This time its a little larger and harder to sweep away.  You see the point I’m making.  Ignoring your red flags can only lead to setbacks and suffering.  You have to face head on what you have been denying or hiding.  It takes effort and courage to face a red flag, but it’s also a great time to make a 180 degree turn in your life.  Think of it as coming to the fork in the road… now you will choose to go a different direction.

Can you think of any red flags that you have been ignoring?  Have you had any giant upsets in the past because you ignored too many of them?  Remember, the universe is always communicating with us, if we choose to be aware and accept the information.  Use these reminders to make changes for the better.  ♥

I found myself looking through old photos the other night.  I have boxes of these things, all documenting my journey in life.  Every time I go through them, I am reminded of just how far I’ve come.  (I also think they need to be organized and in a better format… projects, projects!)

My life has been so different from what I imagined it would be as I was growing up.  I always imagined I’d have a big wedding, a big house, and a bunch of kids and dogs!  I didn’t even want to go to college.  I remember begging my parents to let me go to beauty school.  I could not understand why they wouldn’t let me just do “good hair”.   I never once thought that I would end up getting a Master’s degree, living in New York city, working in the fashion industry as a consultant, traveling the world, living in a condo, taking boxing classes, etc… You see where I’m going with this.

My life has been completely different from my imagination, yet it has exceeded my expectations for myself.  As I reviewed those photos, I see that the Universe has had a plan for me all along and I have been on course from the very beginning.  Just as Steve Jobs said in his famous speech, I have been able to look back and connect the dots that lead me to where I am today.  You know what?  I don’t always understand the events that come to pass, but I am grateful and I know that the “master plan” is in play.  I trust and have faith that my life is moving according to plan, even when I don’t recognize it!

How does your life look from the rearview mirror?  Do you see the path?  How does that make you feel?  Remember that we are all guided and trust that your path is unfolding exactly as it should. ♥

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