Pulling Back

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As a wee one, my primary form of transportation was the big yellow school bus. My favorite seat became the window seat as it allowed me the ability to see things at a height I wouldn’t experience until my teenage years. I felt like I was right in the middle of the action and had a front row seat to the ride of my life – until it was time to be dropped off at home. As an adult, I’ve traded the bus for a plane and the window seat for the aisle. This is done primarily for comfort but also because it lends me the ability to ‘pull back’ and see the view from all sides. I am offered a panoramic 40,000-foot view that allows me to capture the big picture.

Day-to-day, it is too easy to live right in the thick of things. The tornado of the second, the drama of the moment and the saga of the hour – we become blinded by details and immersed in emotional vapors. Too often, our sight often becomes clouded with what is happening right now that we forget to take a breath, clear our eyes and realize that everything is perfectly knit together to create one large life picture. Everything is a lesson, each moment a teacher and if we take a moment to regroup, we realize that these proverbial whirlwinds we are living will pass…they always do.

Let me tell you a secret…my vision can easily become blurred by momentary dramas and cliffhangers. It wasn’t until recently, with the help of a sage friend, that I realized I needed a new view. I was reacting rather than patiently witnessing and my behaviors were causing a wicked case of tunnel vision. So what did I do? I sat back and became the observer for one day. I closed my mouth, opened my eyes and silently watched the day’s events naturally unfold. And what happened? Something unexpected and pretty amazing…I experienced inner peace. I cautiously chose my words and picked the battles I would suit up for. I felt confident, calm and collected – even for just one day. And the most amazing thing was, nothing fell apart.

If you feel like you are living right ‘in’ a situation, I encourage you to take a step back to collect your thoughts and feelings. Take 20 minutes to meditate, pray or even write down how you feel and what you are ‘seeing’. Heck, yell, scream or kick box if you have to – just make sure you don’t hurt anyone (or their eardrums) in the process. Give yourself permission to be less involved and more observant. The world will not stop spinning, the sky will not fall and no one’s head will spin in circles exorcist-style. And if it does, well that’s all part of the big picture and I promise you, the view will still be beautiful. 

Every Day Miracles

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Miracles. We pray for them. We wish for them. We hope for them but we never see them. Or do we? Are our eyes open wide enough, long enough to see the miracles we ask for? It is said that humans blink on average 20 times a minute – that’s 28,800 blinks in one day. Have you ever wondered, during any one of those minutes, where your miracle may be? I would venture to say, it appears right in front of you.

Miracles often come to us in ways we don’t expect, want or can even imagine. I like to believe that the most important miracles arrive in our souls quietly without all the balderdash of flashing lights, bells and whistles. For it is the silent arrivals that mean the most, last the longest and leave the deepest impact.

I met one of my biggest miracles about a year ago. Unfortunately, I had just encountered an individual who had the ability to suck out the positive inject negativity, despair and anxiety into the places where happiness once lived. I reached out to her on a whim, desperately hoping she could talk me back into the lightness my soul craved, for she too had experienced this same tortured soul a few years back. Countless e-mails, texts, phone calls and even a visit to the wonderful state of Arizona later, I started to get myself back. When I look back on that very situation today, what was originally the worst horror story my heart had felt turned out to be one heck of a funny best friends comedy. She was simply disguised under the cloak of something I never asked for. Would I take that entire situation back so I could live unscathed? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t have her if I did.

Take a look around you…really take a look. Miracles are happening right here, right now…to you and you just may be missing them. When you really see that miracle, make a promise to feel its presence and hold on to it for as long as you can. Come back to that feeling when the dark of day has welcomed you instead of the light. When everything whirls upside down in an instant. When you turn around and feel like no one is behind you. That’s when a true miracle appears and when it does, you life will forever be better.

 Believe. Believe that miracles happen every day. Because they do.

 

 

 

The Greatest Story of 2014

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The promise of a New Year. The newness, the freshness and the uncertainty as the clock strikes 12 as to what the dawn of New Year will hold. Sounds similar to a quest to find the perfect book. Imagine perusing shelf after shelf of your favorite bookstore searching for that ‘oh so perfect’ adventure. You search for a book that will capture your attention…and your heartstrings. You read jacket after jacket until you finally settle upon the perfect story that you hope will change in some way. Once you get home, you delve into the detail and depth of each chapter turning each page as fervently as you can. Once the tale has been told, you feel renewed, alive and satisfied.

We have all experienced books like that and anxiously await the arrival of the next one. So instead of waiting, use the New Year to write your own story. Each of us has to the power to fill our pages with the most captivating, beautiful and alluring details that make us want to relive the story year after year.

‘How do you do that?’ you may ask. While I don’t have the answer, I know the process and that is to live minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day making the choice to live our greatest novel. Rome wasn’t built in a day and a book wasn’t written 400 pages at a time. Give yourself the patience, space and time to really enjoy each day and your chapters will start to write themselves.

Instead of making resolutions this year, I am creating ‘chapters’. Each one is a promise to myself to live the greatest story I can and evolve into the best author I will ever be.

  1. Follow Your Gut – It’s Never Wrong
  2. The Net Will Appear, Just Leap
  3. Operate with Love, Not Fear
  4. Laugh More (It’s Great for the Abs)
  5. Run on the Treadmill, Not from Emotions
  6. Treat Yourself Well, You Deserve It
  7. It’s OK to Say No…and Mean It
  8. Dream Big, Live Big
  9. Surround Yourself with the Best. Always.
  10. You Can Never Get Enough Sleep (Or Eat Enough Chocolate)
  11. Every Single Relationship is a Teacher
  12. You Were Given Two Ears and One Mouth for a Reason

I hope as you embark on your own personal story, that you take the time to really live it. Enjoy today, don’t worry about tomorrow and remember that yesterday waved goodbye hours ago. Say hello to the new things that await you…we all deserve greatness; now it’s time to believe it.

You’ve Got a Friend

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Friendship can be a rather challenging yet rewarding relationship hill to climb. Since childhood, many of us have been raised with the notion that the more acquaintances we collect, the better off we are. As we mature into young adults and then into full blown grown-ups, that idea gets turned on its end and we realize quality is much more important than quantity. Often times we look to our roster of sidekicks to determine our importance, our validity and our popularity in this ever-expansive world. With the integration of social media into today’s society, we have more ‘friends’ than ever before and use our iWhatevers to connect and socialize. This begs the question…are our friends really our ‘friends’?

Sometimes, life presents situations where our friendships are tested. During these times, we are left looking for those we call friends to support us, back us up and just check in to see how we are doing. When those so-called comrades vanish, we are often left with a seemingly bottomless void and question whether our friendship had value. It takes two to make any good relationship function and when we are left as a party of one, we are left in a quandary – do I end the friendship? Do I fade off into the proverbial sunset? Do I try to make it work?

As humans, we are equipped with the quality of instinct. We often know when a relationship has hit the skids – and we search to find the right solution. When questioning the next course of action, take a moment to really listen to your heart. We have all heard the phrase, ‘if it no longer serves you or makes you happy, walk away’ and if your heart agrees, you know what to do. It is a heartbreaking notion to think that your friendship may have been an illusion and we shoulder the blame for why it didn’t work out. We accumulate emotional baggage over time and for some, the luggage gets to heavy to carry and unloading is required. To cope, we end friendships. Change jobs. Move states. Shut down. While these actions can be very normal, they are unexplainable when another’s feelings are involved.

While the end of a friendship can bring a mix of emotions and feelings, there is always a silver lining, no matter how dark the clouds. When someone exits stage left, another is usually waiting to enter stage right. Embrace whatever friendships may have come to pass, cherish your current relationships and be open to any new friendships that may come your way. Every day, we are capable of being surprised and amazed beyond our wildest imaginations – you never know what tomorrow may bring.

 

 

 

Levels of Uncertainty

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Someone once told me to ‘get comfortable being uncomfortable.’ What does that mean?  Should I condition myself to live in constant state of upheaval? No, not even close. Simply put, it means that while traveling through life, we will come across people, places and things that make us question the bag we packed. Have you ever gone on vacation and forgotten your toothbrush, phone charger or camera? Well, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

As humans, we are conditioned to crave security and stability. For the most part, we thrive on routine and only seek spontaneity when we want to make sure our adrenal system still works properly – or grow bored. We label those who openly seek out adventure and excitement as ‘adrenaline junkies’ or even worse…’crazy.’

Experiencing levels of uncertainty removes us from our place of comfort and forces us to live in the middle…that gray area where many of us so purposefully and adamantly avoid. We may feel anxiety, a need to control and even agitation when life hands us something unusual. During any time in life, we need to reassure ourselves that we will make it through whatever is testing our waters. That’s the beautiful thing about strength and perseverance…just as the sun rises, so will we.

The next time you are facing uncertainty, I encourage you to take a step back from the situation and, from all angles, really look at what you are facing. Often times, we are so close to the situation that we fail to see the panoramic picture starting to take shape. All things work for the greater good and the frustrating, mysterious and often miraculous (sometimes maddening) thing is that whatever happens to us is shaping us into the wonderful person we were meant to be, walking on the path we were meant to travel.

So whenever you feel like cursing the situation, person or event that has caused you to feel a little unease, breathe and pull back. Most of the time, without even knowing, the situation will work itself out and you will be amazed and proud of yourself for the very fact that you released the reigns of control and accepted what was always meant to happen – whether you controlled it or not.