A new day….

This morning I laid in bed and watched as the beautiful pink and purple colors surrounded the skyline. I felt completely relaxed, content, peaceful and happy. I watched as the light intensified into bright orange as the sunlight took over and a new day began….spring is in the air!

Last night I awoke in the middle of the night gasping for air, my heart was beating fast and felt as though it would jump right out of my chest. It was one of those dreams where out of no where your body is reacting as if a tragic event has happened. I was crying, I was feeling deep sadness, hurt and uncontrollable pain in the center of my chest. It was the kind of pain you feel when someone close to you dies, that impending feeling of loss, of grief…of despair. Before I had full control over my thoughts I was aware of the person in my dream, I knew him, he was from my past over 14 years ago. He was someone I never dreamed about, at least not anymore.

At first he was pulling away, I was acting my normal goofy self, playful, happy trying to get him to laugh. He seemed distant, was not amused and grumpy. Finally, I called him out and told him to lighten up, those words were what started my immediate pain and eventually the reason I awoke. “I’ve been seeing someone else,” he said…the words came out easily for him, easier than any words I had ever heard him speak.

He was a quiet man, one who rarely talked, unless it was about fishing or basketball. He never shared personal emotions. I don’t remember him being that way in the beginning but at this point in our lives, ten years of learning who he was he had two personalities…one was vulgar and one was anger. When he was speaking those words he was calm, spoke clearly and watched quietly as my emotional state disintegrated in an instant. I said nothing, I just felt a sharp pain in my chest and panic set in. My whole body hurt and I began to cry. As I turned to leave the room he said something, I can’t remember what it was but I remember how it made me feel. He was trying as he always did to make me feel guilty, to blame me for his actions, to make me feel as though I had treated him bad, had not given him what he wanted and had drove him to this…then he began getting angry, the tone in his voice changed and that was when I realized it was a dream.

All the deep emotions I had when I left him more 14 years ago surfaced at that moment, the sadness, the hurt, the heartbreak and despair. All but one….anger. In the dream as I was waking up I remember thinking this will make it easier, I now have a reason he will understand, he will finally have a clear reason of why I am choosing to move on, this is a very good thing. I sat up in bed and started crying out loud, I asked as if someone was in the room…where in the world did that dream come from?

The strange thing about my dream last night is that as far as I know my ex husband never cheated on me. I did learn after our separation that he had lied when we met, he was living with a woman that he “had” dated even though I was led to believe he was living with a bunch of guys in a house across town.

I have no idea what triggered that dream to happen, our minds are very strange in how they work. What I do know is that having the courage to leave that person because of the verbal abuse I was experiencing, regardless of how much I loved him was by far the best life choice I have ever made. I held onto anger for a number of years. I have worked very hard to earn back my self dignity, my ability to love myself and to know who I am and what I deserve. I have also worked hard to forgive and to let go of the anger. Perhaps that dream was my test. I laid in bed for 30 minutes before falling back asleep, I was afraid at first I would settle back into the dream. I smiled as I laid there because I realized not only did I not feel anger in that moment I had not gotten angry in the dream.

I guess the reason I am sharing this with you is that I realize now how holding on to anger affects your overall happiness in life. When you have those feelings toward someone else you never truly let go of them or the pain. Letting go allows you to have space for good things to reside. If you are holding on to any anger or resentment figure out how to let it go, I promise it will set you free and allow so many new and wonderful things to happen.

Today is a new day and I feel great! I am ready to make this day count and I hope that you will do the same! Sending love as always….pass it on!

Do you want to live an extraordinary life?

I have amped up my soul searching efforts lately, perhaps it is because I am older, maybe I am at a crossroads with life vs. happiness. What ever the case I am realizing that there are a lot of unhappy, angry and unhealthy people out there and that saddens me. Are you one of them? What would you say if I asked you this question; “Do you want to live an extraordinary life?” I present that question to myself often and as I grow I find that it is continuously changing.

When I first thought deeply about this question it centered around money because I felt with more money I could be much happier, and live more extraordinarily. In our culture most of us tend to center everything in our lives around money. When in our teens we want money to buy candy or toys and then a car and gas money. When we graduate from high school we need money to go to college because a college education assures we will be more successful which will offer us a higher source of income. When we get out of college we need more money to provide our lives with new opportunities in travel, in buying a home, in buying a new car or perhaps in having a family. It we grow up poor we may not have any of these beliefs it may just be the ability to survive. If we grow up rich, money may have no measure but we might be lacking in other areas due to circumstances money may have created.

While it is true that money allows so much more to happen in our lives I believe being rich does not assure we will live an extraordinary life, in fact it has potential to destroy our chances. The reason our focus shouldn’t be on the money is that ” money” is a material thing not an emotion. Material things create temporary emotion not continuous emotion. How many times have you gone out, splurged on something and a day, week or month later moved on to wanting something else? Having that “thing”  creates excitement at first but the emotion of “having” it gradually fades once you’ve achieved the goal. It is not achieving the goals we create that offer us continuous happiness it is an awareness of positive emotion and the energy in that moment of experience. The emotion of happiness is what allows us to live extraordinarily and it is always centered around the emotion of feeling good. In that moment it creates an internal energy that is high.

Scientific evidence proves that our thoughts are the most powerful energy in creating our actions and shaping our lives. Many kids that are born into poor or troubled families become poor or troubled adults not because of money but because of their choices. They believe internally that it is their destiny because that is what they are taught, their thoughts reflect that and it comes to be. Negative energy is the result of negative thoughts and negative emotions. Negative energy can result in negative choices. That being said there are many positive and empowering stories of people born poor or from troubled families who have changed their course in life through their thinking, Dr. Wayne Dyer is a great example, Louise Hay is another!

It is my belief through my own experiences that what I choose to think guides me into fruition. I want to be happy and in order to “be” that I need to allow my choices to guide me to experiences that create the emotion of happiness? Life experiences do not always support the ability to be in a constant emotion of happiness but I have a choice to allow myself to shift the negative experiences quickly from acceptance to rediscovery. The power of our thoughts is the most powerful life source that exist with in each of us. It is not always easy but it is possible if we push ourselves to stay in a positive state of mind no matter what transpires.

The past few weeks I have worked hard to be in a mindful place, by questioning my thoughts, my emotions and by experiencing these things with a constant awareness. I have paid close attention to my feelings when around others both socially in person and online. While in that space I have started to see  more clearly those people I need to spend less time interacting with versus those I should spend more time with based on the internal feelings I am left with after parting ways. The result is solely negative or positive and I choose positive because I don’t like how my body feels when in the presence of a negative influence. Those negative people are not bad people they have just chosen a mindset either consciously or non consciously based on their own thinking as to what their reality is. I choose to create my own positive mindset no matter how hard or how many people tell me different or try to argue my belief (or believe I am a flake, they are entitled to their opinion). The more I allow positive people around me the better I feel because of the energy they exude. The opposite result will apply if I choose to be around negative people, I know because I spent the first 35+ years of my life in that negative space. While in that place I was sad, depressed, unhealthy, angry, judgmental and most likely not all that fun to be around.

So do you want to live an extraordinary life? Are you willing to let go of negativity in order to become more positive? Start with baby steps, start by being aware of what negative words you or others are using. Start by being aware of how negative experiences and thoughts feel internally. Allow yourself to compare those with positive feelings. Eliminant words like I can’t and I don’t have and speak as if you are and you do. Start realizing the internal feeling you have in every moment you are breathing. If you are sad think about what that feels like and what is causing that feeling. When you are happy, what does that feel like, why? When you are angry, what does that feel like, why? Why are you judging others in a way that makes them wrong? Are you feeling guilty about something, why, what does that feel like? If you allow yourself to sit back and not only feel those emotions but understand why they are occurring and what your body feel like in those moments I believe you can create a new path to happiness. Your happiness lives within you, not out side of you. Your happiness is based on the power of those internal experiences and emotions. You have the choice to choose change through your thinking! It is not always easy and never constant but the more aware you are the easier it gets to stay positive, the faster you can choose to make it happen and the happier you will become.

If you want an extraordinary life you have to start with thinking extroidinary thoughts and that starts by thinking positive. It requires that you, with out a doubt BELIEVE anything is possible. In turn the energy you carry as well as emit will become positive and powerful. You will see positive things happen in your life with out reason, you will meet people who make you feel good and whom inspire you. You will smile more, give more and love deeper. Negative things that others think, say or do will no longer matter because you are developing strength and confidence within.

Thank you for reading and as always I am sending love…pass it on!

Making sense of negativity and creating positive change…

For two days now I have awoken with feelings of sadness, my heart aches for all those children and teachers who died friday in such a senseless manner. Like so many people I believe we are all trying to understand in disbelief why these kinds of things happen. In a world that reflects war, poverty, illness and abuse how do these horrific things keep happening in a country designed around opportunity and freedom?

I studied journalism in college and wanted to be a photo journalist for my first 2 years until I realized that most of what I would be doing was reporting sad stories. Later I received a BS in Art Education but was saddened inside the public school system with the despair within the family life of so many of my students, the heartbreak was too heavy for me. Not wanting to be constantly reminded of the negative part of our culture I opted to be a commercial photographer. I fight constantly to avoid watching the news, I am drawn to knowing what is happening in our world but have realized in my studies of metaphysics and spiritual awareness that too much exposure leads to negative energy and judgement. With all the media coverage on the event in Connecticut we can’t seem to avoid anger and we search for blame that comes with tragedy, it’s all over tv, facebook and twitter. Gun laws will be challenged, people will be criticized and religion will be judged because after all how could GOD allow such a thing to happen. How do we take such negativity and create positive change?

What I say from here forward will be honest yet opinionated. It is only my presumption which I am entitled to as you are to yours. It is not intended to challenge or hurt any one. It is my voice only and comes from my beliefs, experiences and my hope for some sort of understanding of what life is teaching me, I share for the sole purpose of possibly bringing positive awareness though negative experiences.

I believe we are living in a time of mass separation. We are being challenged not by God but by what we as humans have created. We are allowing money, judgement, fear and anger to lead us, to overtake our ability to think clearly. Individually we are not taking accountability for our actions and we are being influenced by tv shows, media and technology not by our own internal soul. We are becoming numb because of overstimulation and operating outside of ourselves not internally where our true humanity lies. We are desensitizing our youth because of what we are allowing them to experience during their developmental and cognitive years. I believe mental illness is a result of this not because people are weak or going crazy but because their minds are being conditioned from all that is available from the outside world way to young not to mention everyone is being medicated.

It is time to set some boundaries and make some changes, if you haven’t read the book “Boundaries” by Cloud/Townsend I recommend you start there, especially as a parent!!! I am not a parent so many will say I am not entitled to an opinion on parenting, I respect that opinion. I have however studied some areas of phycology and sociology and I have always been intrigued by human nature and the power of our minds. I believe through my own personal work that our personalities develop from the experiences we have from birth until around 6-8 years old. We put meaning, both negative and positive to events that happen in those years and generate life time thinking patterns, fears and beliefs based on how we process all of those events. Our parents beliefs also influence how we process things during that time of cognitive development. If we as adults are operating from a sense of numbness based on all the external stimulation (tv,media, religion) then our children are also operating from numbness during the development stage so wouldn’t it make sense that they begin to believe these negative stimuli if they are not told to believe otherwise. Their minds at that age are like a sponge and they are influenced by everything around them. How do we expect young people to process all of these things positively in those early years of cognitive development if we ourselves are operating from a numb state. How vital is it for us to get a handle on our thinking, our judgements and our anger. Our young people are a product of what is available to them and they will grow up to be that which influences them in those younger years. Now, more than ever we as humans need to get a handle on things and realize if it looks negative or sounds negative it is and that creates negative thinking, negative events and negative energy. If a persons enjoyment is watching people being gunned down, infidelity and anger driven drama on tv or if that exist in the home on a regular basis I can assume there is a lot of emotional unhappiness because of the negativity that person is operating from within. Not because they are bad people but because negativity attracts negativity.

Personally I want to live my life feeling happy, everyday, as much as I possibly can because I want to feel good. So I ask you as an individual what is the one thing that makes you feel good no matter what? I preach this so much I am sure most people out there think I’m a hopeless romantic hippie but we all know down deep inside LOVE is the only true emotion that when felt can bring an overall happiness that resonates in not only our minds but in our hearts. I believe it is the most powerful emotion available to us but with judgment, dishonesty and anger, love can not exist, it can not resonate because there in no negativity in the feeling of love. It’s free, it is available and it heals. It will be what gets those families in CT through their losses, it is what gets us through tough times and it is in my opinion the only way we can ever get a handle on what is happening in our world. Love what you do, love who you are and love who your with, three simple things that you have power over. When we live from happiness we create that around us because others see that and want it too. I realize that these things can’t change all of our worldly problems but change happens slowly in life. If we all stop looking at everyone else and start with ourselves working on clearing our minds and operating from a clear loving mindset I believe miracles will happen.

All I want is for you, if you have read this far to consider doing this…

-watch tv less and sit in silence more to see what thoughts appear in your mind

-think about what you can do within your self to make you and only you feel better, to be a better person or be happier with your life

-be grateful for the wonderful things you have and stop wishing you had more

-do something nice for someone else just for the sake of being nice

-treat yourself good because you deserve it

-stop hanging out with negative people, if you are that negative person realize you are, forgive yourself, make positive changes to change that part of you and discover how awesome that feels

-communicate with others openly and honestly about how things make you feel, with out judgment and with delicacy, not making them wrong but merely letting them know if something is hurtful to you

lastly and most importantly tell the ones you love that you love them, say it out loud and be sure they hear you because we never know when it might be our last time with those loved ones. Never, ever take that for granted!

Sending love…pass it on!

A lesson in dishonesty and trusting my gut reaction….

It has been an interesting few weeks of lessons and self discovery. It is strange how when you use your mind to focus on things in a positive way your world begins to change in a positive way. That being said it sometimes produces negative results because those are the things that need to be eliminated in order to move forward. Over the course of my life I have trusted people deeply and over time I have experienced deep disappointment, humility and hurt by trusting so much. I am unsure why I am this way but I assume I want to see the good in others so badly that I sometimes fail to see the bad because I don’t want to believe it may exist.

We all, at times may create small white lie’s, but there is a big difference between a small one and a big one. A small one, even though we shouldn’t do it would never hurt anyone else. Perhaps you hold back telling what you ate while on a diet or you didn’t mention you were upset about something when you were. When you lie to someone for what ever reason you have to carry the consequences within yourself. If you get away with the lie you may feel good for a bit but you are still carrying the weight of that lie no matter what, when you get caught you not only carry the weight but the guilt. I believe even the best liars who seem to have no remorse are carrying some form of consequence because it is such a negative form of energy.

Recently I was lied to in a way that is inexcusable. The details are not important but the lesson I received from it is. There are times in all of us that we question someones word. I have found that my negative lifetime experiences have in some way resulted in a fear of trusting my own gut when something just isn’t right. My fear is “what if I am unfairly making a judgment based on my past experiences rather than on the situation at hand”. So many times that thought has over ruled the terrible feeling in my gut and most every time I have found later that the feeling was unfortunately correct. This recent experience had me feeling uncomfortable in my gut for days, I questioned every aspect of the situation, and my reasoning. I became so uncomfortable that I physically began feeling sick so I prayed for some sign to help ease my mind. At that point I didn’t care as much about the situation at hand but I needed some internal proof I was not loosing my mind because the feeling inside me was so uncomfortable it made my chest hurt and I felt sick to my stomach. As Dr. Wayne Dyer says…ask and you are given! Slowly but surely the signs came and by the time they were all in front of me I realized the person who was in question had become someone I did not know at all. The feeling was sickening, disappointing and hurtful. What I realized was that the feeling in my gut that made me feel sick was the true sign and for the first time in my life I took action on that feeling rather than allowing the situation to pass.

Unfortunately we never know fully if the people we surround ourselves with are being honest, we choose our friends, lovers and acquaintances based on common ground and from there get to decide where those relationships go based on our time spent with them. As human beings this is really the best we can do because it is not our job to judge or control others actions. Being honest with ourselves in the end is the best choice for deciding those we choose to have around us. Real honesty starts with trusting what we have inside of us. It is not just self love but it is allowing our mindless chatter to not overcome what our internal gut feeling is telling us. Sometimes it takes being quiet and listening to what comes up. If there is a bad feeling that won’t go away then chances are something is not right. If there is any uncomfort while with someone the best you can do is be patient, focus on why that feeling exist and share in a kind way what ever that discomfort is without passing judgement. Being open in that situation, asking the person at hand to be honest with out accusation or blame is where you start. Where it ends will be determined on how well you listen, what circumstances play out and how your confrontation makes that person feel. Asking for a little help from your higher power doesn’t hurt. In the end the situation may be painful but when we allow ourselves to be around dishonest people we allow ourself to be vulnerable to ongoing hurt. I believe that most people who are dishonest have a lot of drama in their lives because the energy it takes to continue down that path tends to leave a trail of bad emotions and sadness along the way. Leaving the situation is painful at first but when we surround ourselves with positive, honest people that is what we attract and we are happier as a result. Happiness does not lend itself to lies only to truth and there is no justification for a lie.

In the end I have to admit I am sure there will be times in my life I will have to experience disappointment in others truthfulness. I choose to forgive those who have hurt me in the past, to not allow anger to fill that disappointment and to move forward. I will not stop allowing my self to see the good in others but I will be more aware of what my gut is saying along the way. My goal in life it to be happy and this is just one more baby step to continuing on that path.

Thank you for reading, sending love….pass it on.

What single word might express how I feel right here right now…

I’ve been struggling all summer with so many internal thoughts about my life, where I am and where I have been. I mentioned in my last post about the struggle, the boredom and that in my past, every 10 years or so when I felt this way I would pack up and move, start over and re-invent who I am. This time around I am content with where I live and no longer feel the desire to pack and move, I love Nashville. A few weekends back, as I did my early morning ritual, scroll through FB and twitter feeds I noticed a friend’s post:

“I’m interested to see who reads my post. I realize that’ s about 5 of you… So if you read this, leave me a one word comment about your day. Only one word please. Then copy this to your wall so I can leave a word for you!

For what ever reason, in that moment I thought…what single word might express how I feel right here right now. In that moment an avalanche of words came rushing through my mind. Words of how I felt, words of how I wanted to feel, words of what I wanted and didn’t want scrambled through my mind! It was then I realized, with my current struggle, I have been slowly isolating myself from the world. I’ve turned down every lake day, most every pool day and every thing in between. I’ve always had a good reason, in my own mind to pass on these things, the need to work on the house, grade papers, edit images…or the one that I use most, I don’t want to spend money on fun because times are tough. Honestly I wasn’t totally aware of what I was doing, I had my self believing my reasons and as the time passed I became more and more isolated from the world. My only interaction seemed to be FB and that left me feeling empty. So on that Saturday I started my pondering of meaningful words which of course become thoughts of all kinds.

It became one of those lonely, cry all day, feel sorry for myself weekends. I reflected on my family, how much I miss them, how we are all getting old and our time is limited. I cried.

I watched a sappy love story on tv and was reminded of my past decisions, where I am and that, I have to admit, I am a bit lonely, not unhappy but I do miss having a companion I can laugh with, share with and be intimate with. I cried.

I thought about my wonderful friends, about how I was disappointed that no one ever checks in much anymore, no calls or text. Then I thought, how can I expect them to stick around if I continue to close them off…I cried.

I thought about Dina, Victoria, Todd, Rusty, Mozi, Elwin and Grannie…those so close to me that I have lost in such a short time and how much I miss them. I cried.

I thought about my frustration with my ever changing career, my lack of feeling I am doing anything in my life that feels worthy and my fear of what can I do? I cried.

I watched a show about millionaire’s who secretly go to non-profits as undercover volunteers. They share stories, learn about those people they are helping and those running the cause who give their lives to others unselfishly. Then after getting close to these people they tell them they are donating large amounts of money to the cause because of how much they have learned, tears always fall on the show….and I cried.

As Sunday morning rolled around I watched my tv church episode and as always cried because of what I believe to be true and that God is with me.

Sometimes I find solace in being home especially the weekends, sitting in silence just listening to the sounds outside knowing everyone else is out being social. That strange loneliness mixed with a uncomfort knowing there is no one special in my life other than friends and family. It often is in those moments I find the most clarity, the most confusion and the most in-depth feeling of existence.

As my weekend of self reflection ended, Monday I went back into auto pilot and began the week. I had the realization Monday morning that I could not use a single word to express where I am right here right now. Love and Gratitude were the first of many that surfaced. I always start in GRATITUDE. I am grateful for all that is, good and bad because it is in that emotion especially over that weekend within my sadness that I realize it has to happen to feel something. I may be different from most in that when I am lonely I tend to make myself lonelier because I withdraw, I have to because it is the only way I know how to get quiet. I have to be grateful, I have to reflect, to hurt and cry. Those things always remind me that I am feeling and I am living. I am being touched by what I am experiencing. I am becoming wise to the secrets that life holds. I am finding out what moves me most and perhaps in time those triggers that make me cry the most hold the secret to where I am headed and what my life purpose is to be. With that I always end at LOVE.

I am living and though it may be in silence from the rest of the world sometimes, I know when it is time, after a few good cries, and some internal realization I will resurface and become social as I always do. With every single step no matter how easy or hard those steps come I continue to begin EACH next chapter of life while I have the breath in my lungs to do what I am here to do. Patience, stillness, gratitude and love must be my friends because that is what is guiding me to a new place. No packing bags at this point in my life, at least for now. I choose to reflect on the baggage I carried, grow, learn and know I can for once re-invent myself while all my friends watch with my feet planted here in Nashville for another 10 years! What words can you come up with to express how you feel right now? Think about it…maybe you will have a weekend like I did and on Monday awake with a huge smile!

Sending love…pass it on!