Prompt 3 – Two moments I’ll never forget in my life are… Describe them in great detail, and what makes them so unforgettable.

Moment 1:  Standing in the Barn during my wedding late at night.

I took one moment to stand apart from everyone and take in the moment.  Thinking to myself… this is MY day.  And just being filled with such gratitude and joy for all the people who made that day the BEST day.  I will never forget standing there and being filled with such pure love and joy.

Moment 2:  Pep talk from my cousin Carmen

I was at a high school dance.  I had been shut down or pushed out of a group and was feeling bad about myself.  My cousin Carmen came over and gave me the best pep talk.  She basically let me know that I was awesome and everyone else’s opinion did not matter (she used shorter words that rhymed with curse words… or maybe they were just curse words).  Long story short… someone who I loved and admired told me I was worth all the awesomeness.

I know the challenge is to write two moments, but I have so many.  So many special memories of my amazing family. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Siblings and Parents… have all blessed me with their time and love.  I am a blessed human and having to choose just two moments reminds me how very blessed I am… because I have HUNDREDS of special moments.


In other news…

Lately it’s seems like there is so much drama in the lbc…

No, but really. Im not immune to the emotions that are running through our country/state/community right now. From rage to elation, from depression to indifference, from desperation to determination. 

This isn’t a post to tell anyone how to feel or even share how I feel (politically/emotionally/mentally/hungrily) because there’s so much of that being shared already on social media. 

It’s just to say that I’m just over here still eating too much Nutella. Working out every day. Sipping my wine. Loving my friends and family. Trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Watching more of the TV show ‘Cops’ than most grown ups probably do. Taking all the pictures of my dogs. Trying to be the best wife, step mom, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, employee… ME… that I can be. I hope some of those efforts leak out onto the people I meet and brightens their days. 

Let’s all leak a little goodness on other people. 

And eat more Nutella. 

Tis the season!

Wrapping up one year and looking forward to the next. What an interesting process. I remember many years where I couldn’t wait for the fresh start that a new year would bring. Funny how optimistic I always am at this time of year considering I live in Wisconsin and the new year just means 4 more months of cold weather. 

This year however I am just truly thankful and blessed to have experienced all the days in this year so far. I’ve experienced so much growth in so many areas. 

This year marked 5 years of togetherness with my husband and 2 years of marriage. It has seriously flown by.  I’m so thankful for us and hope we continue to share many more trips around the sun together. 

I attended a life and business coaching group for 9 months out of the year that totally changed my perspective on many areas of my life. It’s helped me declutter, repriorotize, rediscover and challenge my thoughts and beliefs. 

I enjoyed my 2nd full year of consulting on my own. It’s been such a rewarding experience and opportunity to work on different projects with different people. Definitely a different kind of education. I’ve really started to appreciate and acknowledge what I can add to a team and project. Being my own cheerleader has been such a blessing. 

My step-son turned 14 and watching him grow and discover himself is something I’m thankful to be a part of every day. He’s such a blessing and gives me perspective and many learning experiences. 

We spent the year focusing on our finances and now find ourselves debt free (except for our home). This is such a freeing accomplishment and it takes so much pressure of our career choices and really allows us to enjoy our 9-5’s more since we don’t feel trapped by them. 

I was diagnosed with Ménière’s disease in August. An inner ear disorder that causes ear ringing, vertigo and nausea. By cutting out caffeine and sodium I’ve managed to control the symptoms (and my anxiety around the sparadic nature of the episodes). So, yay. 

I traveled to Napa (CA), Orlando (FL), Mexico, Lake Placid (NY), Door County (WI), Rockville (MD) and of course Cleveland and Cincinnati for work. I enjoyed every trip and was lucky enough to spend time with great people and make wonderful memories at each location. Not to mention some good food too. 

We took down a wall (thanks HGTV for the words “open concept”, repainted most of the main level, filled a dumpster of crap to declutter the house, and put in new vinyl wood planks instead of the old carpet. 

I started and cancelled a wine club. I started and cancelled a fitness subscription. I gave up giving up Nutella. 

And so many other wonderful things… with wonderful people. 

With only two weeks left in this year, I have nothing but gratitude and love for 2016 and can only imagine what 2017 will bring… and I look forward to finding out. 

Positivity Takes Practice

I discovered years ago that your attitude and outlook on life greatly depends on what you spend your energy on.  This might seem like a totally obvious statement, and I would agree, but would argue that it is something that is so obvious… it’s easy to overlook.

I discovered that how I spent my spare time greatly influenced my mood.  I mean even the silly things like the conversations I chose to have, the images I chose to look at via Pinterest/Instagram/Google searches, the books I read, the movies I watched, and most importantly how I talked to myself as well.

If I spent my energy telling myself stories about how retched the world was, how evil my friends were, how the universe conspired against me… OF COURSE I then walked around with my tin foil hat and gun set to stun.  Any action that happened around me was seen through this Darth Vader type lens I was wearing.  You were either with me, or against me.  How DRAINING it was.  I spent more time conspiring than inspiring, which just equals a big fat waste of time.

So, I started spending my time with people who I aspired to be like, the kind of people that sent out that vibe of ease and acceptance of the world.  I started doing hobbies that tapped into my creativity and made me feel good about myself. I started assuming the best, and stopped the bullshit stories.  Okay, well… maybe I’m a good story teller, so I still circle a bit in fantastical fucked up stories… but in general catch myself and stop it before it can seriously alter my mood for the day.

This choice of how / who / when / what to spend my energy on… has been a game changer for me.  As I get older, I only find better ways to spend my energy.  It’s like, the more efficient I get at being positive, the more energy I have available to me to do cool shit!!  It’s a very rewarding system.  However, it is still a act that takes practice. Daily conscious practice to be positive.  CHOSE to spend my time in a way that best puts me in the path of my dreams and aspirations.  Because, I’m really hoping to continue to grow, change, and be more awesome every day/week/year of my life… and I can’t imagine doing that if I’m leaking negative energy all over the place.

So, cheers to positivity.  May it be a happy practice that everyone can incorporate into their daily lives.  I personally find that laughter, good souls, wine, cheese, and chocolate can be gateways into positivity… in case you are struggling to find it.

My Aunt, myself and my Grandmother.  A couple people who know how to radiate positivity and love.

My Aunt, myself and my Grandmother. A couple people who know how to radiate positivity and love.

Don’t worry, no one else knows what the f*ck they are doing either. 

One of the best tidbits of advice I got was given to me by my cousin Carmen 15 years ago while I was first navigating the corporate world and figuring out which jobs I was “qualified” for.

She told me that no one knows exactly how to do a job they are applying for. Also, how boring would that be. I promise that the other people in this world that are doing the thing you want to do, didn’t know how to do it when they started. 

The people who end up with their next ‘big gig’ have faith in themselves and their abilities that they will figure it out.

This little tidbit has gotten me through so many new adventures in my life that seemed scary at first. I just focus on what I want, the resources I have, and ALWAYS keep my communication skills and personal development as top priorities. The exact “how’s” just come with time. 

So – grasshopper – go for the promotion, better job, dream vacation, first date, sell the house, start the new hobby or whatever it is that you have been yearning to do… but have convinced yourself you can’t. 

Because… why not you? Why not now?

And just remember, no one else knows what the fuck they are doing either. 

‘Soul’er Panel

I was thinking today about how in order to “shine your light” onto the world, other people, etc. that you would need to actually have the light available within you to shine.  Kind of like a flashlight needing batteries or a solar yard light needing the sun.

I love this thought because so many people think that taking time for themselves (personal development, self-care, time alone, massages, etc) is a selfish act.  However, when you think of it as a necessary step in order to have the fuel/battery/power to give to others… it then becomes a necessary step in being a more altruistic person.

I personally love taking time for myself and strengthening my mental and emotional fortitude.  I love growth, a good challenge, and helping others do those same things.  If I don’t take time to grow personally, I don’t have the ammunition to help others do the same.  One of the most rewarding moments I have is when a little tidbit of information or a certain meditation practice that touched my soul, helps someone else wade through their shit when I share it.

So just imagine that your soul needs refueling just like anything else in order to be the best version of yourself. Then sit down and think about what makes you feel like you are at your best… and do it.  Do it often.  Self-care is soul-charging.

Epiphanies Abound…

This year is definitely shaping up to be the year of growth for me.  Not physically of course, I’ve been 5’4 since as long as I can remember… and that hasn’t changed… but growth emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc.

I’ve always had a fascination for “why”.  Why do we do the things we do, think the things we think, act the ways we act… so when I find little nuggets of knowledge that explain some of that… it’s very exciting.

Some of my recent epiphanies have been:

  1. I don’t in fact have to share everything about what’s going on in my life with everyone.  As a self-diagnosed “diarrhea of the mouth” sufferer, I tend to over-share about my life.  My life is in fact my own, my journey is my own, and I can choose to share (or not)… This might seem obvious to some people, but to me it was like permission to keep my own secret until I was ready to share it.  Which really felt like a gift to myself.
  2. Treating uncomfortable situations like experiments.  Have you had situations in life that you weren’t sure how to get around, deal with, handle?  Relationships, friendships, coworkers, careers…?  Well, when it was suggested to me to treat how I dealt with just one of those things as an experiment to better understand myself, it was a HUGE relief. There was no longer a right or wrong way to do it… just different experiments that would either have results that I liked or I didn’t.  This new lens at looking at perceived obstacles… was a welcome change for me!  I like solving problems, so it changed my perspective from anxious and negative, to interested and curious to see the outcome.
  3. Finding my tribe.  This, is something that sounds so awesome to me.  I love the idea of finding my niche.  However, I quickly discovered that sitting around waiting for my tribe to appear out of thin air… wasn’t how it worked.  I then started just kind of awkwardly asking people to be a part of my tribe…. and let me tell you something… being a mid-30’s person asking for someone to in essence be your friend, is SUPER vulnerable.  Even that wasn’t a wildly successful endeavor (as far as finding my tribe goes).  The people that were open to it, didn’t just start calling me every day to be a part of my life.  So, I found that (as with all things) I had to focus on myself.  Once I was more clear on the vibe I wanted to put out, and more true to that vibe… my tribe would then form a bit more naturally than just crossing my fingers and hoping.
  4. Standing in my truth.  What now?  Since I’m a visual person, I imagine standing in truth cement.  It’s a secure place that I want to discover, mold, create, where I can communicate more truthfully with others in my life.  When I’m backed into an uncomfortable communication corner, I often resort to humor and/or sarcasm to deal with it.  At the end of the day it does no one justice.  I don’t feel good when I have not been my authentic self, and sending out mixed signals with humor/sarcasm don’t get me to the end result I want out of most situations.
  5. The scale is a fickle bitch and can’t be trusted.  However, it can be used as an informational tool – if it must be used. I am an every day scale user. There is probably rehab for this sort of thing.  I definitely in the past have been emotionally tied up in what the scale showed me in the morning.  Since I started workout programs that included more weight lifting, I have a MUCH kinder relationship with the scale.  I treat it more as, “oh, I did XXX yesterday and the scale did YYY this morning”.  I’m not perfect, I still flip off the scale on mornings that I don’t like the numbers… my husband still offers to throw it in the trash and get a new one when I kick it and declare it must not be working right (he’s a good sport).  However, about 80% of the time I just shrug it off now… which is a HUGE accomplishment for me.

There is something so emotionally cleansing about having epiphanies and “aha” moments.  Moments where something that has been nagging at your subconscious because clear, anxious situations become bearable, and waffling on decisions turns into confident action.  Those moments to me feel like soul massages.  I feel lighter, less weighed down, and ready to take on whatever is next on this fantastical life journey.

Cheers to epiphanies, may they be pleasant and abundant!