Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thankful Thursday - Thank-you

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." Melonie Beattie. 

When I acknowledge those things in my life I'm grateful for, something amazing happens. My focus on what I don't have and wish I did have, suddenly shifts to my being totally thankful for everything I do have - the little things, the everyday things, the things I sometimes take for granted. 

That struggle inside that is sometimes torturous because I'm looking at what others have that I don't - suddenly stops.

Saying thank you for the small things, the everyday things, the neat things in my life that I do have, comes with incredible benefits. It puts me in a happy place,  a more positive, and calm place. With every whisper of thanks, my mood lifts. And I can breath. I can relax. I can let go.

And another neat thing - the more gratitude I express the more more amazing things come into my life.  

So today, here's to shouting thanks for all the incredible awesome things in my life and in yours and keeping the focus on that.  

Happy Thursday, Guys.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thankful Thursday - Warrior for Love.

You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.  Cheryl Strayed

A warrior for love. That's what I want to be. I even like the sound of that. 

And I relate to that word, warrior. All my life I've been a fighter. I know what fighter mentality is. When I was younger I fought to survive some pretty dark stuff. I fought hard. I fought long. And I overcame so many things. 

Then I fought to find my voice and use it. I fought to trust my heart and follow where it leads. It was tough at times. And lonely. But looking back I pretty proud of so many things I've accomplished. 

Now, I've learned to fight differently - it's not always about gritting my teeth, raising my fists and stepping into the ring. Sometimes it's simply letting go, forgiving myself and others and reaching my hand out in friendship and love to those who come into my life. 

A warrior for love? You bet. A new way to fight. A different way.  A gentler, softer, more powerful way.  

Here's to giving love out and letting love in with kindness, forgiveness, and bravery. An open hand so much better than a clenched fist. 

Happy Thursday, Guys.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thankful Thursday - Purpose

"I think it's the human spirit inside of all of us that has an enormous capacity to survive." Amanda Lindhout. 

Amanda was trapped in Somalia, a country known for terror activity and a place where women's lives matter little. 

Amanda was held by terrorist for 15 months. She was kept in chains, in a dark, windowless room, without any clean drinking water and little or no food. She was brutally raped and treated less than human. Although the Canadian government gave up fighting for her freedom, her single mother never did. It was her mother who finally got her release. 

Amanda gets survival. She understands that nothing is impossible to survive from - not a kidnapping by crazed terrorists, not a broken marriage, not a loss of a child, not a diagnosis of cancer, not depression or addictions or anything. 

The resilience of the human spirit is amazing. Throw faith into the mix and BaBam! You got a miracle in the making. 

I ran a group this week with some pretty amazing woman - woman of all ages and from all cultures - women who are survivors fighting to live their best lives. I came home incredibly inspired by them - inspired by their survivor mentality, and their refusal to give up and settle for anything less then life's best. 

After surviving her horrible ordeal, Amanda decided to speak about the people of Somalia to raise awareness about the conditions in which they're living. More than that, this amazing woman went back to Somalia to help the women and children there who have no power and no voice. 

When I heard that I wondered how could she go back to a country where she almost died, a country mired in terror and fear, a country that hurt her the most? But it was love that drew her back. Love for those who can't fight alone, who have no voice. 

nd that's the thing I think with surviving anything. It makes you want to reach back and help others make it too. It gives you a purpose. 

Here's to not only surviving but to finding our purpose in the awful and in the hard times. Here's to saying yes to reaching a hand out to those still trapped in their nightmares. Here's to not allowing what we lived to define who we are. And here's to letting love and courage define us. 

Happy Thursday, Guys.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thankful Thursday - Wild

"If it's wild to your own heart, protect it. Preserve it. Love it. Fight for it. Dedicate yourself to it. It doesn't matter if it's wild to anyone else. If it's what makes your heart sing, if it's what makes your days soar like a hawk in the summertime, then focus on it. Because if it's wild, you're free. No matter where you are.” Rick Bass. 

Living wild for me comes when I step out and do what my heart yearns to do. So often that means going against well meaning people in my life who insist I can't, or it's impossible, or questioning why I would even want such a thing. 

It's tough following my heart when others are trying to drown out the pull, the tug, that pushes me, goads me to get out, to go, to try, to be free, to live WILD. 

But I've learned that saying yes to that persistent voice inside always brings an incredible excitement, and over the top feeling that nothing else equals. It's the same kind of feeling when I climb up to the high diving board and stand there shaking, debating if I should jump or cower back. I know there's others behind waiting, eager to take their turns and then that incredible moment when I decide, yep, I'm jumping. 

Living free, living wild - same deal. It's what I want. Go Wild. Live your heart. Even if you go it alone. 
Happy Thursday, Guys. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Thankful Thursday - Memories

"Memories are who we are. In the end, that's all the luggage you take with you. Love and Memories are what last." Kristin Hannah

I went with my youngest to see Beauty and The Beast in 3D Imax. It was amazing. It felt like we were right there in the film. 

As I watched Belle slowly fall in love with the unruly beast, a memory held deep inside my heart floated to the surface.

My oldest daughter was three at the time. We were at a local outdoor festival watching two people act out Beauty and the Beast.  I wasn't sure my daughter understood what they were saying but when it was over and we got up to leave, I noticed tears streaming down her face. 

"Baby what's wrong?" I asked. 
She looked up at me, her sweet face stained with tears,  "She loved him." 

That's all it took for me to start crying too. I took her back to meet the guy who played the beast. He got down to her level and said, "you have a heart like Belle. You have a beautiful heart."

That memory makes me cry even today.  And it's true, my daughter's heart is gentle and kind. Over the years, she's changed me. She helped softened out my rough edges, and taught me to move more gently in the world. 

Memories - they carry us everywhere we go. Memories - they make us who we are. Memories - they like love, last forever. 

Happy Thursday, Guys. 


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thankful Thursday - Gift.

View your burden as a gift. It's the theme that has been given you to work with. Accept that and lean into it.  Anne Tyler

There are a some things in my life I wish weren't there or that were different. Things that have made life uncomfortable, or lonely, or hard. The biggest is having no extended family.  That bothered me for a long time. I carried it around and let it weigh me down. I constantly wished it were different especially when my friends have such amazing extended families.

Over time, I've come to see that the 'burdens,' those difficult things in life can be a gift, a way to push me forward and be more than I am. 

Everyone has something. For some it's an illness, a chronic condition, a disabled child, a condition that causes them angst or embarrassment, a woman who aches for children and can't have them. The list goes on. 

The thing is I've learned I had to give up fighting what I can't change. The toughest is to accept and use that thing as a gift instead of a burden. A friend of mine always says, 'it is what it is.' To me that means I can't change it but I can use it to my advantage. 

Here's to the yuck stuff, the not so comfortable, the burdens that have limited us in the past. Here's to making them the thing that pushes us forward in life. Here's to turning 'burdens' into gifts.

Happy Thursday, Guys. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thankful Thursday - The Best

 "What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven't even happened yet." Anne Frank. 

I have a friend who always says - the best is yet to come. Every time I see or speak to her, she blurts out those words at some point in the conversation.
I've already been given so many good things that it's hard to imagine there's even greater things that will be in the future.

The best is that I have peace, something I didn't have when I was younger. Back then I had so little contentment and happy, but faith, and love happened. And everything changed. The dance of life did a complete 360.
To think that life has more awesome amazes and excites me. 
Happy Thursday, Guys.