In the end, it doesn’t even matter

In the end, it doesn’t even matter

In the end, it doesn’t even matter.  All the fear, the arguments, the being right.  Dr. Wayne Dyer always said, I’d rather be happy than right.  I would agree with him.  When you have left this earth,  what matters is how you lived your life and the connections that you made.  People will remember how you made them feel and the words that you said. Are you choosing to lead with ego and fear, or authenticity and love?  

I’m sure we have all witnessed relationship stress.  Not only does it affect those directly involved, but it also affects their loved ones.  Many times, it’s miscommunication and the need to defend our views and to be right.  To me, it’s a  waste of time and energy to worry about others’ opinions and what they are thinking.  I’m not saying that I don’t worry about these at times, but I do have the awareness to know that it’s not in my best interest when I do.  We can’t control others thoughts and feelings, but we can control OUR own reactions.  It is good to see different perspectives, but when you connect with your intuition, you are the only one who can decide the best path for yourself.

I’ve been in a unique position of losing 3 of my loved ones in a short period of time, with little or no warning.  As the pandemic hit, I witnessed uncertainty, fear and unknown.  And through it all, I knew that it could be so much worse.  I know this pandemic has hit many people very hard, but in comparison to losing my family members, it’s just different.  What matters is those friends and family who have supported and reached out to me.  What matters is how I feel in the current moment, and giving myself the grace to treat myself as my best friend treats me.  

So, I invite you to take a look at where your mental energy is going.  Are you reliving negative conversations in your mind, or expecting the worse?  Are you thinking about your next step to prove that you are right?  Or, are you treating yourself and others kindly and understanding that we are all growing and learning in this new landscape?  That we all are doing the best that we can with the life experiences that we have been given?

Thank you for reading, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

When the time comes, will you be ready?

When the time comes, will you be ready?

When the time comes, will you be ready?  When the opportunity to share your story arises, will you speak?  Each moment, each day is preparation. Sometimes, we don’t even know the reason we are preparing. We train for the race we signed up for. We study for the test that is next week.  But sometimes, the exams come when we least expect it.  Life can give us moments that we aren’t ready for, but how will we choose to show up?

When my uncle passed away in August 2018, I wasn’t ready. When my Grandma passed away in June 2019, I wasn’t ready.  And when my Dad passed away in December 2019, I wasn’t ready.  But I wonder, was I more prepared? Being more familiar with the funeral home, being involved in collecting photos for the picture boards, seeing my cousin lose her Dad.  Did these things make me more prepared?  Unfortunately, yes.

I’d seen and felt the grief. I was still going through the process when another tidal wave hit. I knew more.  I knew that it’s okay to cry for no reason.  I knew that I had to be gentle and patient with myself.  I knew that my loved ones who were above would want me to grieve, and then get back to being me, even if I didn’t feel like it.  I knew that I needed to go to work as a distraction and see my friends and coworkers.  I knew that I needed to do something different.  And I knew when friends and acquaintances lost a loved one,  I’d be prepared to talk or send them cute inspirational messages.  I could be there when others weren’t sure what to say.

It’s interesting, we go through life, and have no idea when our conversations with others or our previous experiences can come to our mind to help us or someone else.  I think the best thing we can do is keep going, and show up with an open mind and open heart.  Knowing, that it’s all unknown.  Knowing, that we are doing our best, in our current moment.  Knowing, that life gives us tests, and that even the bad experiences have a purpose in our journey.  How you show up for yourself matters. You deserve the best, so be kind to yourself.  Be present.  Take time to call your loved ones. Set boundaries that are healthy for yourself and others.  And know, there is a purpose for your life, even if you aren’t sure what it is quite yet.  You have the voice to speak your truth.  You have the light to share.  So when the time comes, will you be ready?        

When you meet me, you meet my Dad

When you meet me, you meet my Dad

When you meet me, you meet my Dad.  You also meet my best friend (she’s amazing!), my high school calculus teacher (he taught me patience), and my first boss (So generous and always brought us Krispy Kremes).  Each time we meet someone, we share all the memories and stories of those who have shaped our lives.  We don’t even have to say the words.  They are a part of us, and the experiences that we had with them become part of our soul.  We take them with us, and we can share their story as well.

I recently was talking to a friend who had never met my Dad, and we talked about how my Dad inspired others through his ability to beat the odds as a stage 4 cancer Survivor for 20 years.  My friend said, oh, so your Dad was resilient?  Yes, he was.  And honestly, having someone else recognize and articulate the word that I was describing surprised me.  How can someone who never met my Dad, and unfortunately never will, recognize the resiliency in my Dad?  Because, I am here to tell his story.  And because he passed down the bounce back ability to all who knew him, and even those who he just had passing interactions with. By connecting with others, I have the opportunity to share more about the loved ones in my life, and that’s a story I will keep on telling.

The other day, I was talking to my neighbor about my upcoming trip to Churchill downs.  He didn’t know that I enjoyed horse racing, and he told me about how his Dad would take him to Belmont to watch the horses run and bet on the races. As a boy, my friend had seen amazing horses such as Secretariat, Ruffian, and Foolish Pleasure race.  He said he was amazed by how many lengths Secretariat would win by.  He also witnessed the match race between Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure, and remembers the jockey jumping off Ruffian on that fateful day.  Experiences that I hadn’t experienced, but as I talked with him, I realized that I also met his Dad in the time they shared together.  Although he hadn’t thought about those days for a long time, they were right there ready to be shared.

Take a moment to honor and thank those who were and are still in your life.  Even if you haven’t spoken or saw this person in years, they are still there.  Maybe it’s the teacher who liked to say big words like Megalopolis (BC Green team, you know who I mean). Maybe it’s the childhood best friend who you have no idea where she is.  Maybe it’s the TA from Chem 115 in college who wouldn’t let your class go home early when 911 hit. No matter who it is, know that all your good and not so good experiences with them are still with you, and they have had an impact.  When you meet me, you meet my Dad.  Who do I meet when I meet you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Comparison is a trap… Don’t fall for it

Comparison is a trap… Don’t fall for it

You’ve heard the saying that comparison is a trap.  Even more today as social media makes it so easy to compare our reality to the reality on our screen. We forget that photoshop exists, and our mind believes what we see. It’s easy to compare our now to someone else’s now.  But, do we know the whole story?  Our life experiences have brought us each to a certain point in our lives, and really, there is no comparison.

The only thing that we can compare is how we are showing up in the world.  Maybe you wake up a little early and have a little more time to make it to work.  Awesome job.  Maybe you sleep in and hurry out the door.  Good job, you got out of the door.  Be kind to yourself.  Even if you compare yourself to the version that you want to be, remember you are human and deserve grace.  You deserve to treat yourself like your best friend would treat you.  What words are filling your mind?  Negative or uplifting thoughts?

I recently saw a friend’s social media post that she had recently run a mile in 7:30.  First of all, awesome!  Second of all, I don’t think I could do that… it’s been forever since I’ve run that fast!  Third, well, if she can do that, I can too.  Well, I can at least run a mile.   So, I used her running to motivate myself to put on my running shoes, find a new trail, and just get going.  And I realized that I really enjoy it, and it’s so nice to get outside and exercise.  Did I run a mile in 7:30?  No.  Will I run a mile in 7:30?  Maybe, but I’m not really sure that’s my goal.  And, as I was running up and down hills, I realized that I didn’t even know the running conditions or terrain my friend ran her mile on. My friend had definitely been training, and I have no idea how long she had been running in order to achieve that time. What’s the use of comparing my first day running up and down hills to her run?  My path is filled with many turns, and unless I ask her, I have no idea what her path is filled with.  So, the comparison doesn’t even make sense.

It’s also important to listen to your intuition and know your next best step. Listen to what feels best for you.  I was once hiking with some friends, and they chose to run up a big hill.  I wasn’t feeling it, and I decided to take the slower paced scenic walk.  They got up the hill faster and got more of a cardio workout, and that’s awesome because it was their goal.  When I took the slower journey, I saw the butterflies, frogs and flowers that they missed.  My goal was to be more present and take it all in, and I achieved that.  Is either way better than the other?  No, we both got to the top, and we both had different goals for our journey.  That’s the cool thing about our lives.  We get to choose our journey and pace.  And know that some days racing feels great, but some days a slow and steady pace is what we need.  EIther way, you are exactly where you need to be at this moment.

So, the next time you begin to compare yourself to someone else or even the person that you think you should be, take a moment to pause. We have no idea what is going on in anyone else’s lives unless we ask. We may see others at the top of their game, but we missed out all the hours and tears they put in. You are doing great. You are doing better than you think you are. And I bet someone is watching. And you may not realize it, but you may be inspiring someone else. How are you showing up in the world? Are you giving yourself the grace that we all deserve? Are you doing your best, and knowing that your best one day may mean something completely different the next day. Keep on going. You can do it.

Podcast episode below:)

How to stop resisting your calling

How to stop resisting your calling

It’s easy to resist.  It’s easy to get distracted.  Why is it difficult to simply let go and allow ourselves the peace and happiness that we deserve? A lot of it is all in our head. Our mind has something like 60,000 thoughts a day, and 99% are the same ones we had the day before. When I first heard that, I was amazed.  That means that unless we make new choices, we will continue to live our lives on autopilot. Unless we think new thoughts aligned with our best versions, we will continue on the same track of our current reality.  And for some, their current reality is exactly where they want to be. But, for many, we see a vision filled with more love, abundance, and purpose.  I have found that the change must come from within before we can see it in our outer world.

Scheduling your time can also help to stop resisting your calling. I don’t know about you, but I dislike schedules, yet I know that they are helpful to me.  They help me to feel more organized and more on-point.  Once you have your priorities down, then you can see when you have “free” time.  Why not prioritize yourself?  Why not make room for the experiences and relationships that bring you joy?  I am committing to purposefully scheduling time for the things that I love to do, such as exercising and journaling.  What’s something, big or small, that you could commit to doing that your future self will thank you for?

Beginning is another way to stop resisting.  They say that getting started is the hardest step, and they are so right. But take the small step anyway.  Even if you don’t know where it will lead, trust your intuition, and keep going. The right people and events will show up for you in perfect timing. You will feel in flow. What’s the first step that you can take?

I think the easiest and hardest way to stop resisting your calling, your truth, is to just let go.  Let go of the distractions.  Let go of the negative self talk.  Let go of all that no longer serves you and fits into your dream life.  Letting go can feel so difficult as most of us don’t want to give up the control, but it can also be so rewarding.  Tonight, I allowed myself to be distracted, and then I finally told myself to commit to writing tonight.  And as I write, I feel focused and in sync. What do you need to let go of to align to your calling? Do you trust that letting go can make space for greater experiences? 

And if you are reading this and wondering how to find your calling, it will find you. That will be another conversation. I look forward to hearing your experiences. What tips can you offer?

Why I chose to share my words

Why I chose to share my words

February 2020.  2 months without my Dad on this earth.  8 months without my Grandma Fellure on this earth.  19 months without my Uncle Steve on this earth.  1 month before the pandemic began.  

The unexpected grief I had been experiencing led me to share my words with others.  It was partly for me to navigate this world, and partly because I knew that as I learned on this path, I could connect and help others. After writing my first post, I gained the courage to share it in March 2020.  Would my words be well received?  What if no one reads it?  What if no one likes it?  What if they do?

Then, I realized that it didn’t matter.  Those who resonate with my words will find them.  And if my journey of finding beauty in the unknown could help at least one person, it would be worth taking the time to write and share my words.  And the amazing thing is, I have received comments and messages letting me know that my words have inspired or helped others.

I have found truth and passion as I have connected with my intuition.  This is what keeps me going.  I recently found something that I had written when I was 8 years old.  I saw that the 8 year old in me wanted to be a writer and a teacher when she grew up.  Maybe the path has been winding and uncertain, but when I read those words, I knew they were still my truth.  Writing is where I feel the most alive, and I love the idea that my words can have a positive impact on others.  

So, I will keep writing. I will share my words with the world, even if I don’t know who will read them or how they will be received.  I will do this for me, and for you.  I will do this to share my truth and offer connection.  If you think that my words can inspire or help someone else, please share them.  I so appreciate you for being here on this journey.

Our words live on

Our words live on

Isn’t it wonderful to know that you can leave someone feeling more uplifted and loved with your words?  Our words live on.  Good and bad.  All that we write to others is documented (especially now), a reminder of a different space and time. They may even become someone’s inner conversations.  What are you saying with your words?

I am lucky enough to have received an email in November 2018 from my Dad.  One that he sent to my sisters and me, recapping his memories with us.  Even though there were bad times that he acknowledged, he remembered the good in his life.  He thanked us for being a part of his life, and let us know that he had a wonderful life with us in it.  My mom and him didn’t receive a lot of “I love you’s” growing up, but in his email, he made sure that we knew that we were loved.

I just printed out the email, and know that this will be something that is so important to be passed along in our family, to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  My Dad didn’t have to take the time to reflect on this life and express it to us, but I am so glad that he did. Many people will leave this world with words left unsaid, but each of us has the opportunity now to connect with those in our life and express our feelings.  It’s easy to leave a few comments on social media, but really connecting with others takes more time and energy. 

 I was lucky enough to write my Dad a letter a few months before he passed away to express my love and gratitude. I had no clue what the next few months would bring when I wrote it. It was something that took a bit of effort, but I felt like it was important to write.  And now that he’s in heaven, I am so grateful that he read those words that he told me meant the world to him.  Had he or I have not written those words, we would have still known, but it’s nice to know for sure and have his email to reflect back on when I need a reminder.

Our words live on.  They are precious, and life is precious. Your words can have a positive or negative impact.  We can all use this reminder. Is there someone that you’d like to tell how much you love and appreciate them?  Why not take a moment to write that letter or send that email? It could make a world of difference in their life, and for generations to come.

When you love something, you don’t quit

When you love something, you don’t quit

I’ve been spending some of my North Carolina evenings shooting hoops, taking advantage of the opportunity to get outside during the winter months. Shooting around was something that I did growing up, but gave up after 9th grade basketball season. Why? At the time, I spent a lot of the time on the bench, and even though I loved my team, I wasn’t in love with the sport enough to try to keep playing in high school. I was okay taking my talents elsewhere and focusing on running. I never really missed it, but it was a game that my Dad loved. He was a proud member of the 1972 Sectional Championship team of the Pine Village Pine Knots. When I was growing up, my Dad would play pick-up basketball at the Oxford gym on Wednesday nights. He loved it. And I don’t remember when he stopped playing (possibly when he was diagnosed with cancer), but he definitely continued watching every Purdue game and loved watching his daughters and grandkids play. There was even that game in 5th grade when I was the leading scorer against the Boswell Blackhawks. I was fouled, made 1 free throw, and was a highlight for the Oxford Blue Devils as we lost 50 something to 1. Shout out to you if if you were in that gym that night! I know that he would be so proud of his oldest granddaughters Emma and Claire who are part of the 2020 Benton Central Lady Bison Sectional Championship team. I know that he was cheering them on from heaven.

I’ve played a few games of HORSE or PIG throughout the years, but really no desire to get back into playing basketball. Watching basketball, definitely, but not really playing. When my Dad’s birthday rolled around this January, I thought, I could buy a basketball and shoot at the hoop at the top of the hill in my neighborhood. I did, and have spent a few times just shooting around. And guess what, it is so much fun! There’s no pressure to win. No one cares if my shot goes in or not. And, I have found that the more I practice, the better that I am getting. It’s a way to relieve stress, and I’ve really been enjoying it. I understand why my Dad enjoyed shooting for hours as he was growing up. At times, it feels like he’s there with me shooting baskets, and I guess that’s probably the part that I love the most. A fun way to honor his memory and feel his spirit.

So, maybe I forgot that I did love playing basketball. Because as I spend my evenings around the hoop, it’s hard to remember why I gave it up. Maybe I took a break, and maybe I never quit. Maybe Dad took a break when he could no longer physically play, and maybe he never quit either. Just taking a rest as an opportunity to encourage and cheer on (or yell at!) other players. I’m pretty sure he is drilling threes in heaven, playing with his teammates that were lost along the way, including my Uncle Steve. I bet they are celebrating a Lady Bison victory, and I know that he is happy watching me shoot around, and that Emma and Claire got to be on a championship winning team. I always wanted to make my Dad proud, and even though I wasn’t the best basketball player growing up, I know that he was always proud of me and is still. One lesson that I have learned is that when you love something, you don’t quit.

The seeds you sow today

The seeds you sow today

The seeds you sow today become the dreams of your future.  Are you tending to the ground?   Ensuring that it is fertile?  Seeds can only grow in the right environment.  There must be enough space to grow, and the right amount of rain and sunshine.  Are you allowing negative thoughts to take root in your mind instead of your dreams?  Focus on what you want to bring into your life, and let go of what no longer serves you.  Release the naysayers and surround yourself with positive, encouraging loved ones who want to see you win.   Those who you can call at any time, and will be there to help and cheer you on.

In this current time, it’s easy to get distracted with comparison and a need to escape.  What you focus on expands in your life.  Would you rather be moving towards what you desire, or taking stock in what everyone else is doing?  Spring is less than 2 months away, and planting season will begin then.  Farmers will soon be busy preparing the land, checking for the right conditions, and getting the crops in before the time passes.  But, you have the opportunity to plant your seeds and take action anytime.  Today, you can begin sowing the seeds of your future dreams. What will be in your harvest?

Inspiration begins in the heart

Inspiration begins in the heart

Have you ever had someone tell you that you should do something, and you know that they are probably right?  Haven’t we all?  Logically, you know that their suggestion would benefit you in the long run, but you can’t make yourself take one step towards it.  Why was it so hard to move in that direction?  My guess is, you weren’t inspired.  Maybe you had a million things you’d rather be doing (Hallmark movies, anyone?). These million things are usually some pretty good excuses.  But, when the time is right and you feel the creative spirit within you, all those excuses are thrown out the door.  Kinda like when you are leaving on a flight to Hawaii in the morning (really want to do that!) for a 3 week vacation.  You will do anything you need to make sure that you are on that flight.  You feel motivated to get in motion because you know that the reward is worth the work.

I believe that inspiration begins in the heart.  When you feel inspired, you feel light and happy.  Time goes by quickly as you are consumed with whatever has your full attention at the moment.  There is no worry about the past or fear of the future.  I realized that I used to wake up much earlier on the weekends.  Why?  I couldn’t wait to go to my favorite place, Duke Gardens, and take in the blooming flowers and morning dew.  I loved the stillness and felt so peaceful and happy surrounded by the beauty of nature.  Another reason that I had to get up early on the weekends was to go to my favorite yoga class because I left feeling energized and ready for the day.  Both of these places have been closed during COVID, so I’ve been sleeping in a lot more (trust me, I do enjoy that though!).  But, I also miss the feeling of being so excited to wake up in the morning and get the weekend started. I miss the inspiration.

As some activities that we used to do we can’t enjoy at this time, maybe it’s time to reflect on new things to ignite us.  Know that when your heart is open and ready, inspiration will find you.  It may be completely unknown at this time, but I invite you to ask the question.  What is a new activity that you could try that may inspire you?  After asking this question, be open to receive the signs and synchronicities that may lead you to this answer.  Maybe the question is just the first step. A simple step to new possibilities. Embrace the beauty of the unknown.  How will you allow inspiration to find you?