Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thankful Thursday - Survived

"I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back. And, most surprising of all, that I could carry it." Cheryl Strayed

I meet them all the time, women who have incredible resilience, who've survived abusive homes, life threatening illnesses, cultural restraints, starting life over alone in new countries, raising children alone without support. Brave women who refuse to give in to fear and doubt. They hold onto hope, even when hope is slim and they make it one bit at a time. 

The weird thing is....these same women often see themselves as worthless, lacking in brilliance and strength and courage. In the workshops I run, I meet them, I hear their stories and I am in awe. 

Sometimes to survive we grit our teeth and hang on. We push ourselves to get through whatever overwhelms us but too often we forget to see the brave it took, and the persistence. 

It took me a longtime too, to admit the courage and strength and brave I had to hold on and overcome. Now I get to help these incredible women know they are survivors, amazing women, strong, powerful, who have more than showed they are capable of anything. 

Happy Thursday, Guys. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thankful Thursday - The Whole of Us

"Often we treat certain aspects of ourselves as junk, having no value. We try to throw parts of ourselves in the garbage. But a human being is an ecosystem, and everything in that system is of value to the whole." Stephen Schwartz. 

I'm not sure why but so many of us reject certain aspects of ourselves. We think we're not smart enough, good enough, right enough. But the biggest struggle we have is with our bodies. We criticize it for not being the right size, shape, colour, etc. We spend so much time trying to  hide parts of it or shape it to being what we think it should be.   

For too long I struggled with not feeling good enough. All I saw were my flaws. I focused on them to the exclusion of everything else.  Embracing all parts of me has been my biggest challenge.  

The thing is everyone's flawed. Everyone has imperfections, or weirdness. And the flaws are simply part of our whole makeup.

I love the woods and hiking the trails. In nature, I see misshaped trees, animals that have distinctive markings unlike others of their kind, roots that grow out where they're not supposed to, but I never think, yuck. Instead I marvel at the brilliance of how those 'flaws' fit perfectly into the whole of nature and enhance its beauty. 

So it is with us. Our flaws, those things we wish were not a part of us, really do add to our uniqueness and beauty. Today I choose to embrace all of who I am - mind, body, soul. 

Happy Thursday, Guys.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Thankful Thursday - Dream

“What’s important is that you make the leap. Jump high and hard with intention and heart. It’s up to you to make your life. Take what you have and stack it up like a tower of teetering blocks. Build your dream around that.” Cheryl Strayed. 

Dreams. It's easy to be talked out of them. People who love us mean well, especially if we've come through a hard time. They want us to be safe. They want us to have things that fit into their ideas of what we need, what would make us happy, - the norms, the life experiences everyone chooses. Things that are easier to achieve, easier to grasp onto.

But desires, and passions and hopes, and dreams are personal. No one can feel what we feel. No one can sense the tug inside our gut pulling us in the direction where few go - the uncommon, the path rarely used. 

It's often a struggle to say yes to that tug, to the dream, to the purposes we need to follow. But to not go after it is to live empty.

My friend's mother was a doctor. When she retired, she sold her house and all that she had and moved to El Salvador to provide medical care to the poor. At 65 she fulfilled a dream that had played in her heart most of her life. I was in awe of this woman and afraid for her but she is still there, happy, giving, and living her best life.

Today, I choose to build my life on the things that play in my heart and build my own dreams. I want to jump high and hard with intention. I want to live wild and free.

Have a great Thursday, Guys.  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thankful Thursday - Miracles

"There can be miracles when you believe. Who knows what miracles you can achieve when you believe."Stephen Schwartz.

When my oldest was four, she contracted a common childhood illness caused by the virus enterovirus. 

She slept a lot and her body felt sore. We held hands and prayed for her to get better. Two days later, still feeling sick, she asked, "Why didn't God make me better?" 

We were in the car pulling into the driveway. I noticed two doves on our front lawn. I turned to my daughter. "Those are God's birds."
The next morning when she woke up, amazingly she was completely better. "He did it, Ma. God made me better."

Sixteen years later, we still remember that 'miracle.' 

I believe in miracles - things that others might explain away but to us are divine interventions. 

There have been times in my life when I desperately needed a miracle but instead of things getting better, I spiraled further down until....somehow a 'miracle' happened and made all the difference. 

I believe in miracles! Happy Thursday, Guys.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thankful Thursday - Fall.

"Such a feeling's coming over me. There's a wonder in everything I see. Not a cloud in the sky. Got the sun in my eyes and I won't be surprised if it's a dream." Karen Carpenter. 

It's over. Summer is done, finished. Two months of easy living, hanging with family and friends - lazing around - evening bike rides, hiking the wooded trails, swimming - bbq's - over.

September 1st signals the start of new adventures - new goals, buckling down, working hard towards achieving dreams, goals, purposes. 

Every season to me is exciting but one of my favorite is the Fall. I love the changes that begin to slowly happen in nature - changing of the leaves, -cooler temps, migration of birds, and with those changes - back to routines and being on the edge of new beginnings. Things that closed during the summer are up and running again, groups, committees, workshops, and kids back to school. People return ready, eager, fresh, excited.

Every season has it's beauty. Happy Thursday, Guys.