Soooo, it's July. Many of us (well me) start to reflect on what we have accomplished so far this year. What our New Year's resolutions were, what we were going to change, what was on our list, and what is STILL on our list.

Writing in my journal is kind of grounding for me, I have been doing it on and off my whole life. (I tend to write more when I think I am having an epiphany, you know like now.)

It is also where every year I write down that THIS is the year I follow MY dreams.

As I flip through the pages of 2018; I am looking at all of the posts about my family, the funny things that happened, our happy times and our sad times, what the kids have been doing, what we have been doing around the house and barn, the non profit organizations that I've helped, etc.

I have written about the things I wanted, WAIT scratch that, was GOING to accomplish, and I have written down ideas, dreams and quotes.

I always focused on a word or words and doodled it in my journal, words like:

Be Brave, Be Bold, Grow, The Future is Female, BOSS, Don't Fear Change, Have Faith in YOURself! Do What YOU Love, YOU are the only one holding yourself back, Make stuff happen!

2018 is the year for YOU!



Yup, it's July! J...U...L...Y people, and I still am not doing what I truly want to be doing! WT(blank)! Ugh, I am not getting any younger!

So, why, oh why do I have such a hard time with this? I mean I am always willing to help others with their plans and help motivate them to achieve their goals. Yet, here I am still typing away on this blog. (That most likely nobody outside of my family and maybe, I mean maybe, a few friends are reading.) AHHHHHH!

I put things on my calendar, IN INK, 'cause if it is written in ink it will happen, right. (You know they make these awesome white-out rollers!) I seem to keep pushing off anything that involves ME.

Somehow, every year, I let the world define me. I conform to what I feel I need to do, not what I truly want to do. In turn, I miss out on what I feel, deep inside, that I should be doing.

It's nothing fantastical, just focusing on my passions, taking pictures, writing, sharing my love for animals and our Life on Lost Creek Ranch (Yet another blog, no one reads) and using that to help others in some way.

I promote other peoples dreams, businesses, and lives, yet...I get stuck when it comes to my own.

2018 was supposed to be THE YEAR FOR ME...The year I made my inner dream come true. Well, other than actually hitting the big five O. I am still in the same boat I was in 2017. And I might add a few pounds heavier, I mean I DO love those evening milkshakes!

Yes, I have helped some very worthy non-profits with their missions, but I have a mission to...dang it! I keep saying that I'm am not going to take on anything that I really do not want to do, I am going to learn to say no, and I am going to follow my heart and take a chance on ME.

Maybe I feel like that is selfish? I don't know.

I like to do things for others though, make other people happy, help them accomplish their goals and their calling, but I have a hard time receiving that for myself. I can't seem to take the first step onto the path I feel deep inside my being that is meant for me.



God will lead me. I keep thinking that everything will lineup just right and I will know when to step onto that path. I will get a sign. Well, let me tell you, I've had plenty of signs, and He has led me to that path time and time again. I have stood at the beginning, maybe even lifted my foot to take the first step, but then...I swing myself around and go down a path in the opposite direction.

Maybe it is a fear of rejection...what if nobody likes my writing? What if they think my pictures suck? Maybe it is the fear that what I want to do really won't make a difference? Even though people keep telling me to move forward, maybe I'm not really good enough?

Yikes! It's scary putting yourself out there and failing (or tripping, I do that a lot). But if you never take a chance at failing, you'll never know what you are truly capable of or what is waiting down that path that is meant for you.

Yesterday my desktop motivation calendar kind of hit home...

"Don't wait until the time feels right. Don't wait until you feel ready. You will wait forever."



That is an incredibly true statement. We are in charge of our destiny and if we (OK I) keep waiting for the time to be perfect, for everything to line up just right, it will never happen.

So, yes, I might still be writing for a non existent audience and sharing pictures to my very limited social media following. But maybe, just maybe, this will motivate someone else to start living THEIR dream!

And, if it does motivate you, the one person reading this, could you please come get me, I think I need a kick in the arse (that's the British word for buttocks)!

Make what's left of 2018 the year you go out and take a chance on YOU! You're not getting any younger either! Just saying.

Remember...

We think in pictures...if you wish to change what you think, change the picture. - Aristotle



Perspective.
per·spec·tive   /pərˈspektiv/A particular attitude toward or a way of regarding something; a point of view.

Today as I was walking through our property admiring all that is coming to life this Spring; I happened upon a batch of wildflowers that popped up in our flower beds. 


They weren't there last year,or the year before, they just kind of showed up. They were speckled throughout the garden bed, weaving in between the ornamental grasses, and spilling over unto the lawn like a gentle flowing brook. They were beautiful.


Sure, they may be wildflowers, some may even call them weeds, but I felt blessed that they popped up where they did. 

As I smiled, and of course, took a picture, I thought to myself; I guess it is all in your perspective isn't it? 

I mean, I see them as a beautiful addition to the garden, yet others might see them as a weed that popped up and now they have a another chore added to their to do list.

As we go through life, each of us will see things in a different perspective. I guess you could say I am more of a glass half full, instead of a glass half empty, kind of gal. 

I see the beauty that is all around me; in a wildflower, a smile, a simple kind word or action. Or, even in how a leaf managed to land on a freshly poured driveway and left behind a beautiful impression in the concrete as it dried.


I think it's kind of cool that even though the leaf may be gone, I can still enjoy it. 

Perspective. 

Everyday I am grateful for the little things in life...green grass, the chirp of a songbird,  a roof over my head, food on my table, a wonderful family... SO MANY BLESSINGS! When I am feeling overwhelmed with tasks, I remember, I am grateful for BEING ALIVE and able to do those tasks.

So, I challenge you today, and everyday, to see the tasks that you have to do, not as tasks, but as blessings. Remember, YOU ARE ALIVE and able to do those tasks!

Change your perspective. 

I challenge you to stop and truly take in your surroundings. It might be a cool cloud formation, rows of newly planted flowers outside your office, a cool pattern in the sidewalk, or the way the rain beads off of your window. Maybe someone paid for your coffee, opened the door for you, or smiled when you needed it the most. There are times when you may have to look harder to find it, but it is there. There is BEAUTY EVERYWHERE and always something to be GRATEFUL for. 

Too often we go through life with our heads down, looking at our smart phones, consumed with what is going on in our own lives and on our metaphorical plates; that we can't be bothered to look up at what is going on around us. 

Well, I say LOOK UP!

I challenge you to make eye contact with every person you cross paths with, say hello, give them a compliment, or just smile. That smile could be the one thing that keeps them going. Even in the most desperate times, you can find beauty, hope, and kindness in something as simple as a smile. 

Be the person that takes the first step, be grateful, hold open the door, say hello, volunteer...just be kind...and watch the kindness spread like wildflowers!



Mean girls, Bullies...ugh! Just saying it out loud makes me want to scream and go into mama bear mode. Ahhhh!!!

 So...I thought I would talk about that today.

But first, let's talk about what a friend is.

A friend is someone who is there for you in your happiest hours, and in your darkest hours, when you are doing well, and when you are down and even broke. You may fight, but you make up. Friends tell you the truth, call you out when you need to be, and have your back when you need it. They don't talk about you they talk to you. They laugh with you, they cry with you. You are there for each other, unconditionally.

So now let's talk about the opposite...bullies...girl, boy, mom, dad, husband, wife, boss, co-worker, total stranger...it doesn't matter, mean is mean, a bully is a bully.

I went through it, each of my three kids has gone, or is going through it, and it breaks my heart to see it happening to them or anyone else. I feel like people are only getting meaner. Why?! Why must you make fun of what someone is wearing, what they look like, what friends they choose to have, what hobbies they are into? They make fun of you if you are too tall, too short, too thin, too wide. They make fun of you if you happen to have your own voice, or if their views are different from yours.

Ugh! I get so frustrated!

We try to raise our children to be individuals. To be leaders not followers, in other words, to be their own person and to follow their hearts. To not let others steal their joy or to try and lead them down a path that is not their own. To have a voice for those that have none. To step in when someone needs help and to stand up for what they believe in. To be kind, to give back, and to love unconditionally.

Yet, it seems that many times, this only makes them a target.

Maybe that's why sometimes I prefer animals over people. You could be having a good day or a bad day, and they are there for you, no judgment, just unconditional love.


No one should be made fun of for sticking up for another, for walking away from mean kids, for wanting to be their own person, for having a hobby that isn't what someone else thinks is "cool". They shouldn't be kicked, mocked, pushed around, or teased. No one!

But, it happens everyday to so many kids. If you don't join them, you become a target.

As a parent you feel useless. I see it so much on social media, parents talking about how their kid is being bullied, they come home crying, never getting invited to the birthday party, or getting invited so that they can be made fun of, being harassed and unfortunately some kids even committing suicide...and it is happening more and more. These are nice kids that don't deserve to be treated this way.

Maybe some people are just born mean, but more often than not, it is a behavior that is learned. Yes, lets address the elephant in the room. To all of those parents out there condoning this behavior by either not addressing the fact that your kid is a complete brat, by encouraging this behavior, or let's be real, by trying to live through your kids...well congratu-frickin-lations...

(clap - clap - clap)

You have raised a mean kid, a bully. You must be so proud. The cycle continues.

Ahhhh! Deep breath in.....and out...

Now mind you I am NOT perfect, I tend to have no filter (obviously), I wear my heart on my sleeve and I say what is on my mind (maybe to a fault). I make no excuses, what you see is what you get.

I still have friends from when I was younger. However, some of my deepest friendships came later in life and have lasted 35+ years and are still going strong. Through kids, life's challenges, moves, you name it...our friendship is rooted and true. True friends are hard to come by these days, especially when you are an adolescent kid just trying to get through school.

It doesn't matter how many friends you have, what matters is having true friends. If you go through life and can count on one hand how many true friends you have...you are blessed. Therefore...I am truly blessed.

To all of those kids out there being bullied...don't let them steal your joy...you have the strength to overcome. Don't be the victim and don't turn into the bully. Be the super hero that is inside of you and know that you are not alone.  God made you the way you are, and you are indeed amazing! This is just a short time in your life, it will mold you into the person you were meant to be. Take what life is giving you and use it as a step. Be the solution, make a difference.

I will continue to encourage my kids to be the wonderfully, unique, kind and adventurous individuals that they are. No matter how old they are (because bullies aren't  just adolescents) I will be there to wipe their tears, hug them, (may even go into full mama bear mode from time to time), I will offer words of encouragement and I will let them know that this to shall pass.

And through it all, I will tell them to find their inner super hero and wear that cape with pride! Be kind, love unconditionally, and just keep being YOU!


#NoBulliesAllowed #BeKind #LoveUnconditionally





We woke up in 2018 with no electricity, as a lot of people did in our area. They were quick to get it back on, and on such a cold day I am truly thankful.

As I sit here in my warm home, under my comfy blanket, writing in my journal and sipping yummy coffee out of my shiny new mug that was gifted to me, I have to pause...

I am extremely blessed and grateful for so many things that I take for granted like...

The men and women who were out in the bitter cold getting the electricity back on in our community.

Being able to sit in a warm home on such a cold day.

Having coffee to drink, food in my fridge, clothes to wear, a bed to sleep in. 

Having a family to share life with.

Being able to breathe fresh air, to feel the warmth of the sun (OK maybe not today), to share a meal with my family, to have a voice and to hear others, to see the joy and the hurt in our world, to truly live...

It is the people that surround me, the simple things, and those little moments that I am truly grateful for. 

A new year is a new beginning! 

For me it is a year to focus on growing spiritually and personally. A year filled with gratitude, love, renewal, kindness, stepping out in faith, bold moments, following my spirit, taking ownership, living in the moment, finding joy in all I do, and most importantly... making a difference being the best ME I can be. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May your 2018 be filled with love, kindness, and gratitude. Step out in faith and be the best YOU. 

Here's to new beginnings, possibility, and adventure.

The old life is gone...
A new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17




Over the years I have met a lot of people, made a lot of friends and lost touch with just as many. Often you wonder what happened...why didn't we keep in touch, why where they here for such a short time, or why did they have to move away? While others, are there with you through thick and thin and you may not understand how you know, but you just know they will always be there.

There are so many reasons for people coming and going in our lives. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

When they enter your life for a reason, they may be there to fill a need you have at the time. They could be there for you physically, mentally, or spiritually. Often these could be unintentional meetings or chance encounters. You may not even know the reason yourself. Once they have filled the need, they move on. Depending on the relationship, this could be hard to accept or a welcoming change.

Some enter our lives for a season, or as I like to call them, chapters. Some chapters are better than others. It could be a real page turner that leaves you sad when the chapter ends, one of those suspenseful chapters that you just never know which way it will go, or a traumatizing chapter that builds character, strength and perhaps tests your abilities to overcome. Once the season or chapter is over they either leave you feeling fulfilled, wanting more, sad, or perhaps glad the season or chapter has ended.

Then you have those that enter and are there for a lifetime. Some you may see on a regular basis, some once a month, some years may pass, but you pick up right where you left off. They would be there in an instant should you call, they understand all that you have been through, they tell you the truth whether it is ugly or beautiful. Or...they just know too much at this point so they have to remain in your life. ;) They are there at your darkest to help pick you back up and help you through. They are there at your best when you are shining your brightest to congratulate you and cheer you on. And undoubtedly, they will be there again when you fall back down. They enter into your life at all different times, but no matter when they enter, they stay with you throughout.

Regardless, if they enter your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, it is those friendships, meetings, and chance encounters that make up the chapters in our individual books of life. Everyone's life is different, unique, and wonderfully written. Every book holds many chapters and some are better than others, but they are our chapters.

You do not have to let everyone into the most private parts of your life. But remember, that as you go through life, embrace each chapter, all the happy, sad, funny, exciting, stressful and wondrous chapters that are yours. Welcome new friendships, live your life embracing the possibilities, and always leave the door open.







Centering thoughts...Inner peace...Living in the here an now.

Namaste.

Oh yea, much easier said than done!

With everyday life going past us in a high speed blur of appointments, work, kids, family life, the unexpected, stress, priorities, financial burdens, you name it. Multi-tasking!

Deep breath in...and out... Whooooo!

OK, so how do we prioritize? Separate what's truly important? Focus on the here and now?

I have no flipping idea!

I recently started a mediation course and what I am learning is that I am spending way too much time worrying about "stuff". It's supposed to be a 20 minute course once a day, for 21 days, I get through 10 minutes!

Living in the here and now...I don't have time for "that!"

I just found myself doing 4 days in one because I got an email saying they missed me. Ugh! So, I rushed through it, took notes, breezed through so I could get caught up, skipped over the actual meditation part and then sat back and went...wait...that's not how I was supposed to do that!

But I was in such a hurry to get back to my "tasks" for the day, I just couldn't take time for me.

How is that relaxing? How am I tuning into my inner self? How am I living in the here and now?

I'm NOT!

It's like sometimes I'm going through my day tuned into the wrong radio station, or somewhere in between where it's all fuzzy. I need to find my station and tune myself in.

OK...Pause...
Ommmmm

So, what do we do? How do we tune into the here and now? It's not that easy.

I cannot tell you how many times one of my kids is trying to talk to me and I have unconsciously tuned them out. Not because I don't want to hear what they have to say, but because I'm not really "with them" right then and there. I'm on that fuzzy station again, you know that loud annoying voice in our heads.

Earth to mom! Did you even here what I just said?

Ummmm yes...no...OK can you just repeat it?

I'm either in the past beating myself up for the mistakes I've made along the way or thinking about the future and how I can't control what is going to happen in my life. Focusing on my past mistakes or worrying about the unknown, it's not a great place to be.  It shouldn't be that hard to tune in and focus on the here and now. So why is it?

Everyday tasks, listening to that noisy voice that is non stop in our heads, not our inner spirit. We are filled with self doubt and anxiety of what we can't control. It pulls us away from what is truly important...living for today, this moment...right here!

It's time to yell it from the mountain tops...I'm living in the moment from here on out! I'm tuning in folks!


Part of the meditation series I'm doing, although I haven't truly committed to the meditation part yet, is listening to some inspiring words prior to taking the time to meditate.

My excuse, "I don't have enough time to do that." When, actually, time is all we really have. It's just how we choose to use it. Whether or not time controls us or we take control of time and become in sync with it. 

Starting out taking just 10 minutes a day to do something for you, something centering, something to get you grounded in the here and now. Let the outside world melt away and focus on your inner peace.

For me, I need to start a routine, maybe 10 minutes in the morning with no distractions or interruptions, not on my phone, just being in the moment. Maybe that will lead to me taking the time to actually "meditate" during my meditation series and take the full 20 minutes. I mean come on, 20 minutes, for me, that's not being greedy or selfish, but I tend to feel that way sometimes.

What naturally tunes you in? What gets you grounded?

For me it's several things.

Nature...

When I am meandering around our property, taking a walk in the park, or enjoying a quiet moment outdoors, everything else melts away and I am able to focus and enjoy the moment.

Now, I might pause to take a lot of pictures, but that centers me. The unfinished tasks, the unpaid bill I was worrying about, the unknown future, just doesn't seem as important anymore. I just don't do this often enough.




Animals....

Two words...unconditional love.When I'm having a hard day, I always know going out to the barn to visit the horses, taking the dogs out for a game of catch, just sitting with a cat in my lap for a few minutes....they just melt my anxiety away.

However, often, I don't just enjoy the moment, I find a task to go along with it. Shovel stalls instead of just enjoying the beautiful creature in front of me. Pick weeds in between ball throws with the dog. Constantly multi-tasking, constantly distracted...squirrel!


My family...

They keep me grounded...they complete me, they make me laugh, they bring me joy, they make my heart full, and I am my happiest when we are all together. But with lives going in so many different directions, it is not always easy getting the quality time with them (or alone time with my husband) that I crave. But I treasure the moments we do get.





I am a constant work in progress, just ask my family. But as the years go by, the older I get, I am realizing more and more that I am in control of a lot more than I think.

I just need to train myself (and my husband!) to take more time, even 10 minutes, focusing on being in the moment, living in the here and now. Not multi-tasking. Tiny steps toward inner peace.

It's learning to say no to all the stuff that is taking up our precious days, hours, and minutes. Those things that are not truly what you are being called to do. Listening to our inner spirit not the noisy voice in our heads telling us to do this or do that, bringing up old hurts, or making us focus on the future that we can't control.

Putting time back on our side and leading a fulfilled life based on our inner spirit and not the outer world. Finding what grounds us and not being controlled by time but being in sync with it.

Wow, that sounds incredibly hard when I see it written out, but I'm going to take it 10 minutes at a time (20 once I start the actual meditating part!) and make a conscious effort to truly, live in the here and now.

Who's with me?!


Fall is one of my favorite seasons. As I walked around the property this morning, the sun was just peaking through the trees, the morning fog was still present here and there, and the dew was glistening on the grass. I was savoring the changing of the season. I found myself reaching down picking up different colored leaves as I walked.

As I made my way back, I stopped in front of the barn and started arranging the leaves in a circle on the wooden planks. I smiled and thought what a beautiful representation of a circle of life...


(Cue the off key singing)  🎵 "In the circle of life..." 🎵

We live in the country, it's OK, no one heard me. Yes, yes, now the Lion King song will be stuck in your head all day to...sorry!

Bear with me though, take a moment and read the lyrics below before reading on.

Circle of Life

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the Sun
There's more to be seen than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done

Some say eat or be eaten
Some say live and let live
But all are agreed as they join the stampede
You should never take more than you give

In the circle of life
It's the wheel of fortune
It's the leap of faith
It's the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life

Some of us fall by the wayside
And some of us soar to the stars
And some of us sail through our troubles
And some have to live with the scars

There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the Sun rolling high through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round

In the circle of life
It's the wheel of fortune
It's the leap of faith
It's the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life

It's the wheel of fortune
It's the leap of faith
It's the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life

On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life

Songwriters: Elton John / Tim Rice

I have always loved that song. The Lion King is a favorite in our house. Our son still loves to hold up our little dog above his head, like Rafiki did to baby Simba on Pride Rock, mumbling something completely incoherent that makes us laugh every time...and he's 25!

I guess my point to this post is that we all step into this world and find ourselves as a single leaf on a collective circle of life. We trudge through, some finding our place right away, soaring to the top; others make mistake after mistake, feeling as though we are never getting any closer to our purpose. There will be some that fall and pick themselves up, and others whom are overtaken by their surroundings. Some that figure it all out right away, and some that are still trying to figure it all out.

Faith and hope are always being spoken, patience is always being tried. We look for acceptance, we look for growth, we often fight change. We search for redemption, forgiveness, and renewal. Sometimes we feel crowded and sometimes we feel utterly alone.


Bottom line, we all make mistakes, but growth comes from mistakes, and change is inevitable.

As you go through your circle of life, remember that you are not alone. Embrace the season that you are in. Enjoy the simple ordinary things in life. Stop and make a leaf circle, sing out loud, dance goofy, give out more hugs, be kind, smile, help someone, follow your dreams, never stop searching for your purpose, and love every minute of life.

Remember, it is never too late to start over and change can be good.

Some things may be out of our control, and while we are responsible for our own leaf, we are also in this beautiful circle of life together. How awesome is that?!

Come on...sing it with me! 🎵 "In the circle of life..." 🎵