Tuesday, November 19, 2019

To laugh or cry?

Too. Tired. To. Do. The.Things.

Seems like a mantra.  

I’m so tired, my tired is tired.

I’m not at early bird nor a night owl…I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.

Why am I soooo tired?

I keep hearing it over and over again.  

From my own mouth.  

From my peers.  

From my friends.

So much to accomplish but too tired to make it all happen.

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of being tired.

I do all the things.  I go to bed early, I work at managing my stress, I eat well, I work out (not as consistently as I wish, but I do), we don’t use chemicals in our home, we have plants, I get fresh air, and I take my vitamins.

And I’m still so tired…almost exhausted.

It’s annoying and frustrating!!

My morning routine consists of me sitting on the edge of my bed for 10 minutes, thinking about how tired I am ;-)

But there is a good side to being so tired….there really is….

Being tired makes life funnier.  

I don’t know why.

Maybe our defenses drop a bit when we are tired, or our standards are lowered, who knows, but life sure is more humorous when I’m mentally numb with exhaustion. 

It may have something to do with the fact that if I don’t laugh, I may cry instead.  

Perhaps my body is just protecting me, and my laugh track jumps in before the tears can.

Whatever the cause, I know I have my best belly laughs when I am so exhausted, everything seems silly.  Ludicrous even.

The memes get funnier, the sarcasm, the dry humor, the really bad jokes, and even the cat videos.  

I know that sighing and yawning are two of the best ways the body reduces stress, so maybe laughter is up there as well.

And I’m ok with that.

I mean, who doesn’t love a good gasping-for-air-pee-your-pants guffaw now and again.

I do agree….we don’t laugh enough…

We are so serious, us adult humans, too much to do, too busy to slow down, too chained to the phone/computer/tablet/tv….thinking the ‘hustle’ is the only way to succeed.

I know it’s been said that children laugh 300 times a day and adults about 15…if we’re lucky.  I have no source for that, I actually don’t think anyone does.

But it is true that children find more things to be delighted about in their day than adults do…and maybe that’s a lesson we can learn.

To lighten up.

To find more things in our lives that give us joy.

To focus more on what is yummy in our day rather than what is yucky.

It is proven that laughter changes us.  It brings up our vibe and our immunity. It can actually help us sleep better because we are reducing tension and stress, and it’s a known fact that laughter can help reduce pain and inflammation!

Another thing laughter does is makes us feel lighter, more optimistic, more connected, and less focused on our troubles and grief.

It even makes us more attractive and appear friendlier! Turning that resting *itch face into something more pleasing!  J

So even though we are all dragging our butts, and all feeling the exhaustion of highly busy and long to do list, I hope we can get through the daily suffering with some lighthearted laughter. 

That we look for the fun and funny in our day.

We look for the folks who we can laugh with, rather than the folks who get on our nerves and stress us out even more.

That we take the time to laugh with our children, our partners, our co-workers….and spend less time isolated on our technology.

For today…look for reasons to laugh, instead of reasons to be offended, angered, and shamed.  

Search out the tribe of people who help keep you lifted instead of the ones who take you down.

Maybe, just maybe, if we all do that, we can bring up the vibe of our workspace, our home, our community…..our world.  

We’d still be tired, I’m pretty sure…but at least we can laugh about it…. J

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Promises promises...

Sitting here at the gym.

Getting ready for noon class.

Decorating with a few little Christmas decorations.

Christmas music cranked up on the stereo.

And..finally…getting into the Christmas spirit.

We don’t get a tree at our place again this year, as December seems to be the month we get a lot of our house building done…so it hasn’t felt much like Christmas around me yet.

Happy today is the day Christmas seems to be on my mind.

With that, however, comes a little bit of reflection.

Now, it’s not the end of 2018. 

So...I am early with my thoughts on this year and what’s ahead for 2019.

I’m not one to make a bunch of New Year Resolutions, because I feel that sets me up for failure. 

Too much pressure…

But on my mind today is promises.

Not resolutions, but promises.

You know, we are really good at keeping promises to other people.  

I mean, that is kind, and respectful, and helpful and just what we do for others.

We promise and we deliver on those promises.   (most of the time ;-))

But what about the promises you keep for yourself?

What have you promised yourself over the years, but never followed through with?

Losing weight starting Monday..or January 1st?

Getting out of a dead end job?

Leaving a relationship that is not nurturing for you?

Taking that class you’ve always wanted to?

Forgiving someone?

Reaching out to someone you’ve lost touch with?

Renovate a room?

Clean out that closet?

Throw away stuff you no longer use?

Read a book?

What are the promises you have made to yourself…but have never kept?

I was thinking about that this morning…as I was in awe at how fast 2018 went, and how I didn’t finish out the promises I kept to myself.

Meh, I got busy.

I didn’t have time.

Those are the excuses I use the most.

But, I know there is time. I know I have time.

I just didn’t put myself very high on my priority list.

So that is what 2019 will be about.  

My promises to myself.

I deserve that.  I deserve to keep my promises to myself.

While some I will keep inside (or write in my gratitude journal)…there are some I will share:

I promise to love myself, no matter what.  To stop judging what I feel is ‘wrong’ with me.  

I promise to forgive myself when I feel I don’t measure up to what I think I am capable of.

I promise to spend more time doing what I love:  being with family, making more calls to those I love, and crafting.

I promise to receive others...their help, their friendship, their love, their gifts, their compliments...because it empowers myself AND the other person.

I promise to read more. Not self help books, not business books…but books that feel good for me.

I promise to spend way less time on electronics.  I work on the computer and am on social media A LOT for the gym, and for my sculpting/painting business.  I get really tired of electronics…so I am excited for this promise!

I promise to get outside for 30 minutes at least, 3 times a week.  Not hard to do at the farm, but I don’t mean working,  I mean to go outside and walk or just breathe in Mother Nature’s beauty.

I promise to feed my body with whole food goodness, which I usually do, but to enough of it.  My challenge is eating enough.  After pretty much starving myself for almost 40 years, this is a real challenge and one I work on daily.  Yes, even though I know better, it is still my biggest challenge. Aren’t we all a work in progress?  ;-)

Those are the ones I am putting into practice…now….not waiting for January 1.

One big promise…..I promise not to beat myself up any longer for the things I struggle with. 
Confidence, self-image, comparing myself to others, feeling less than, my body issues, my short legs, my big hips….

I’m just done with disappointing myself over and over again.

God forbid I should disappoint anyone else…why am I that less important?

So, when you have a moment…think about the things you’ve been promising yourself..repeatedly..and never following up with it. 

You can share with me, if you like. Just simply email me back!

Or jot them down somewhere, and see how you do.

Again, no right or wrong here…just learning to take of you too..

Yours in keeping your promises....to yourself...

~Michele

Friday, September 7, 2018

Messy, bleeding, oozing insides...

I’ve worked very hard on myself over the years.

Very hard.

Because I didn’t like who I was at various points in my life.  In fact, I can say that I truly hated myself at a few low spots over the years. 

I was becoming someone or something that I couldn’t even relate to or understand.

I lacked confidence.  Like royally.  I acted out in various ways.  I was clingy.  I was distant.  I was envious of others.  I craved something I didn’t even know what it was I was craving.  

I felt desperate, lonely, alone, and that I mattered to no one.  I felt like I was lacking what others had and I hated them for it.  

I didn’t like myself there but I had no idea how to change how I felt.

There wasn’t much talk back then, about 20 years ago, in the field of mental health.  Now we see dozens of memes or articles a day!  

I still don’t know what to think about the plethora of memes I see each day.

Are they hurting us more than helping?  Are they too superficial?  Are they too damaging?  I know I have used them as a way of making myself even more wrong.  Maybe that’s just the old me looking for yet another distraction, so I don’t have to come out of my comfort and safe zone.  Meh, old habits…

Was I depressed way back then?  I don’t know if I would define it as depressed, but I sure felt like I was in a deep dark hole that I couldn’t climb out of.

I searched for help. I took the meds.  I did the talk therapy.  

Funny thing was, when I did the therapy work, they kept asking why I was there, because I already knew what was wrong with me and that they couldn’t give me any more answers than I already had.

True story.

Zero help in the medical field, outside of more drugs.

I searched for someone to show me the way, because I didn’t want to be medicated…but I felt like I was spinning around….I couldn’t find anyone to save me.  

I felt like there was no help and I did not want to burden my family with something that I couldn’t even explain.  

Where was my hero?  My white knight?  

At that time, I was so uncertain or unaware of my own spirituality, that I even stopped praying.

I stopped talking to my version of God, because nothing was changing.  Life had been so hard, there mustn’t be a God anyway.

There were nights, as a single mom, where my 6 year old daughter would come get me off the couch at 3 am, crying my eyes out, and put me to bed.  Bless her little heart…

I mean it when I say I was in a dark place.  

It makes my heart sad to look back at those days and see how broken I was.  Or how broken I felt. 

So powerless.

Oh, I looked okay on the outside.  I mean, I was not about to let someone see inside the real me.  The sad me.  The frightened me.  The wounded me.  No, no, no…you didn’t do that.  

I had to be perfect…like society was telling me I had to be.  

Reality was though, I was a crumbled pile of rubble….and I felt like a piece of garbage that no one wanted to pick up.

So I had to learn how to pick myself up.

I had to figure out a way to get up off the dirty, dusty, muddy, slimy ground, wipe some of the gook off and take another blind step toward a destination that I didn’t even know existed.

I was directionless and absolutely lost.

But I did it…because I KNEW there had to be another way.  Oprah was the guiding light back then and she seemed genuinely happy.  Why couldn’t I be that happy or successful, dammit?  What magic did she possess that I didn't?

I knew it was up to me. I had to find my own way out.

It wasn’t pretty.  

I tried a lot of things. Alcohol.  Bar hopping.  Cigarettes. 

And those didn’t work…in fact, they felt awful.  I hated myself even more for it.  But they gave me something to distract myself with when my kids were gone to their dad’s. 

But I felt even lonelier and more lost.

I tried vision boards (one of the newest things out there).  Meditation (but back then, it was all about spirit guides and ohm-ing, and I was so far away from that realm yet).

I then moved into the world of energy and holistic healing, starting with Reflexology. It seemed safe and not too woowoo.

And I found a little tribe there.  

Then I moved into Reiki and found another little tribe there.

Then I moved onto EFT – emotional freedom technique – and I really started releasing with that tool. O-M-Gosh...takes my breath away recalling my first experiences with EFT.  Life changing indeed.  Slowly though. Safely.  

I tried lots of new things...and I was open to the changes that were happening.  

One protective layer at a time peeled off me.  One angry layer.  One sad layer.  One shame layer.  Painfully and slowly…they began to peel off.

I felt open and raw and exposed and vulnerable and a bit scared to be feeling like that.  

A little out of control. It was tough!  

Oh man, I cried a lot. I screamed a lot.  I punched a lot of pillows.  

But those screams eventually turned into whimpers only.

And I found my heart and my smile and my laughter under the piles of fear, rage, sadness, blame, guilt, anger and shame.

I found love.  Love for myself.  An understanding that I did matter.  And that I was capable of wayyyyy more than I ever thought I was.  

Someone told me that you have to love family first.  That loving yourself was conceited and selfish and ungodly. 

I don't think that was working for me.  Because all the love for my family was not serving me.  I loved my kids and family with everything that I was, but I couldn't 'see' them.  My self-loathing armor was too thick for me to let them in.

I had to learn to love myself, for maybe the first time since I was a little girl, so that I could allow others to love me.  So that I could allow me to be the kind of person who was actually capable of truly loving others, without putting judgments or conditions on them.  So that I could see them as a person, in their own uniqueness and with their requirements.  

Not what I required them to be.  Or needed them to be for me.  

I needed to learn to love myself without judgment or beating myself up...so that I could love others enough to allow them to do the same.

I heard a phrase the other day that resonated with me.  

“Sometimes you gotta dig really really deep to find yourself”

You know, I’ve heard that phrase 1000 times.  I think we all have.  Every other meme on social media is about ‘digging deep’.  About finding yourself.  About letting go.  

But when I heard it the other day, I truly got the deepness and the rawness of it.

Because I dug deep.

Really deep.

I had to dig through all of my crappy experiences.

I had to dig through all of the consequences of my actions.

I had to dig through all of my judgements about myself and the world.

I had to dig through the shame, the fear, the anger, the blame.

I had to dig through the sad story I was telling myself and others…and believing.

And I didn’t necessarily want to.

That’s why we distract, isn’t it?

We distract with food, drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling, sex, perfectionism, blame, gossip, emotions…..you name it, there’s 100’s of ways to distract.

We do it so we don’t have to face our yuck.  We do it to feel some kind of power.  Even if it means powering over others.

But then we stay stuck. Emotionally.  Physically.  Mentally. Spiritually.

So, whether we like it or not, we have to dig.

And not just a wee little bit either.

We have to dig deep. We have to get dirty.

There are definitely some things in my past I did not want to revisit.  

There are definitely some things that I did that I did not want to admit to.

There are definitely some things I did to others that gave me shame.

But I was ready to change.

I was ready to dig deep.

To do the work that would be painful and brutal.

And I dug my way out of that hole and opened up a whole tunnel of light.

I found a space where I could breathe and where I felt safe being me.  

I created that for myself. 

Oh, I sure did so have help on the way…my family, my friends, my goddess sisters…my tribe…

But I had to be willing to allow them to help me.  

My fierce independence was actually NOT a contribution to my life, and once I realized that, I found help in many many places I was not expecting…and I will always be grateful to those who stepped up to help me dig.

But I had to be willing to allow them in.  

That’s what I mean when I say I created it myself.  

Because without my choice to do that, I wouldn’t have let anyone see my insides.  

My messed up, bleeding, oozing insides.

Did it happen overnight?

I wish…

One shovelful at a time. 

And sometimes, that shovelful got thrown back at me, by me or by someone else, and I had to redig in the same spot.  

Sometimes that even still happens!

Ugh

If I felt like the dirt was piling up again though, or I hit a rock, I stopped.  I cried again.  I screamed again.  And I sat with it for a bit.  

I examined why I was re-visiting the same old dirt again.

I worked hard to see the lesson in the rock or pile of dirt.

Then I put on my hard hat and grabbed the spade, and off I went again.  

That rock may have slowed me down a bit, but I never allowed it to permanently stop me, I just had to create a new path around it, and let it go.  Just learn my lesson, roll on by and not look back at that barrier.

Someone once said to me that they didn’t want to work on themselves.  They were too scared to see what was underneath. That they were scared they wouldn’t like themselves underneath all that pain.  

They felt too vulnerable. 

In fact, I hear that in the stories of many of my clients every time I sit in a consult with them. I see they are where I’ve been.  I recognize that pain.  I know the walls of that hole.  I know the pain of it..and the uncomfortable safety of it.  

I understand.

In a world that seems cruel, and mean, and scary things are happening, staying safe in our dark little hole seems the best choice.

But that wasn’t working for me.

I knew I had more to offer, and even though I had no idea what it was, I knew staying put was not an option.

Feeling powerless is actually another choice we make.  Another distraction.  

Oh, I  would have argued that point years ago.  I would have said that I had no choice in where I was.  

That my story was solid and real and true and I could never change it.

Oh brother….how strong we are in our beliefs…they do keep us stuck, don’t they?

There was actually NOTHING wrong with me...it was my perception of my life that was creating the crazy in my life.  That is why no one else could help me...it was all up in my head, and I was making it all bigger and bigger every day.

Digging deep can be messy. It can be dirty and muddy.  It can open old wounds, especially if you are digging with your bare hands…but I truly do believe that rich or poor, white or black, tall or short, skinny or fat, young or old, we are all on a path to self-discovery and we all, every single one of us, has something to contribute to others, to the world.

Even if it’s putting out a pot of flowers for your neighbor to admire.

Even if it’s donating your clothing to charitable organizations.

Even if it’s just a smile at strangers.

Being kind to someone who has been unkind towards you.

Cuddling with your kids, sitting with loved ones and really listening to their wisdom and their story, and honoring it.  

Picking up litter.

We all have an importance and meaning.

You may just have to dig a little deeper than you’ve been willing to dig before.  

Maybe a lot deeper.

Will it be easy?  Heck no.

Will it be worth it?

I believe so…

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Why I am not trying to lose weight....

I read something this morning that hit home.

It was an article about a person who was tired of being labelled ‘fat’ by society’s standards. They had had enough and were ready to just stop the chaos that they were creating in their life by hating their body.

Definitely hit home.

In my line of work, as owner of a fitness facility, and in women’s empowerment, I hear daily how women hate their bodies.

And who can blame them?

Man, society sets us up to fail.  

Magazine covers, supermodels, movie stars, misguided blogs, social media memes and posts…they hurt us women on so many levels…and that hurt is often more than we can bear!

I was totally beat up on social media for owning a fitness facility and looking chunky.  

And it hurt me.  I let it hurt me for a long time.

Man, these kinds of things hurt us to the point that we do terrible things to our bodies – starving, overexercising, hating them.

We hold ourselves back from pictures, mirrors, blue jeans, social events, intimacy, reunions, holidays…

In other words, we hold ourselves back from living life.

Goodness knows, I did.

I starved my body for decades.  I went through periods of over-exercising. I tried every gimmick and trend out there. 

The sad part was, even if, by some miracle (and a whole lot of starving), I got down to certain size or weight, I still hated my body.

Because I never measured up to the other women.

I never felt like I was beautiful, or thin enough, or tall enough.

And in talking to my many clients, and peers, and friends and family, I know I am not alone in that thinking.

Then I read this article and the biggest factor for me was when the author wrote:

‘I am not trying to be fat and I am not trying to be thin.  For the first time in my life, I’m not obsessing about my body size at all because my quest for healing and full-body wellness simply cannot be determined by a number on the scale.”

And that, folks, is where I am in my life as well.

I am tired of the exhaustion of trying to measure up to people who don’t even have the same body type as me.

Exhausted..yes….so exhausted…

I mean, worrying about every morsel of food I put in my mouth, pulling at my tight shirts, watching how other women were probably watching and judging me, obsessing how I can’t keep up with the 25 year old fitness gurus in their workouts, hiding my arms because of my bat wings, so self-conscious that I have to seek out a pillow to cover my midriff when I sit with others, or hide behind others when the camera comes out (or disappear altogether).  

Wanting the steak at the restaurant, but ordering the boring and tasteless house salad with no dressing. 

Checking out every magazine or new fitness DVD, grabbing at the next get skinny quick scheme….praying that this was the one that would change my life.  

Exhausting….

So I quit.  

I quit obsessing about my body size.  

I am not trying to be fat, and I am not trying to be a size 6 anymore.

What I am trying to do is love myself.  

All of my warts, bumps, lumps, dimples, marks, and scars.

Because I’ve spent most of my first 5 decades hating them.

Withdrawing from life. Holding back.

Not anymore!

And I am trying to teach my clients to do the same.  To love themselves enough to take care of themselves.  Because when we love ourselves, taking care of us becomes easier. 

I am stronger now than I have ever been.  I was sooo physically weak at a starving skinny fat size 6....and still exhausted!

I eat healthy, I move my body regularly, I am managing my stress more, I go to bed earlier, and I feel better than I have in a very long time!

The author also wrote: “And by the way, there are way more interesting things about me than my BMI.”

And yep, my BMI matters not to me.

When I had last starved myself down to a size 6, I was sooooo skinny fat, I went to the dr’s office for an appt.  I looked at his BMI chart, I was still considered morbidly obese on that chart!

I was a size 6, and still weighed almost 150 lbs..which labelled me obese.

Man, that could have messed me up bad.  Especially when the dr HIMSELF, told me to gain back some weight.  That I looked awful.  (which I did).  I replied “But dr, I am still obese according to your BMI chart”, and he said he didn’t care. I needed to gain about 20 lbs, he told me.

The insanity of it all…

I mean, there IS way more to me than my BMI...

I also just read a post that Robbie Trip wrote about his wife.  It’s awesome!  He got a LOT of backlash for his post, and I admire and applaud him for standing up to the trolls and haters.  Go check him out, he has a public page!  

Anyway, he wrote about the love of his life, his wife, and about her curves and delightful body:

“As a teenager, I was often teased by my friends for my attraction to girls on the thicker side, ones who were shorter and curvier, girls that the average (basic) bro might refer to as “chubby” or even “fat”.  Then, as I became a man and started to educate myself on issues such as feminism and how the media marginalizes women by portraying a very narrow and very specific standard of beauty (thin, tall, lean), I realized how many men have bought into that lie.  For me, there is nothing sexier than this woman right here: thick thighs, big booty, cute little side roll, etc.  Her shape and size won’t be the one features on the cover of Cosmopolitan but it’s the one featured in my life and in my heart.  There’s nothing sexier to me than a woman who is both curvy and confident; this gorgeous girl I married fills out every inch of her jeans and is still the most beautiful one in the room.  Guys, rethink what society has told that you should desire.  A real woman is not a porn star or a bikini mannequin or a movie character.  She’s real. She has beautiful stretch marks on her hips and cute little dimples on her booty.”

Imagine a world where we, as women, were told stuff like this every day.

Imagine a world where we, as women, could actually drop our barriers and love ourselves…wholly and sincerely…with kindness and respect.

Imagine….

Because, in my line of work, I hear how women truly truly hate their bodies.  I see their tears.  I witness their attempts at finding the one ‘thing’ that will change it all….and create what they are looking for.  I hear their pain...and I feel their pain, because I've lived it.  

But sadly, that cannot be found outside of themselves.

The BMI chart will always deflate them, the magazine covers will always mock them, the evil trolls in the world will always target their vulnerability with promises of gimmicks, gadgets, powder, and pills that will never give them what they seek...only take their money.

Even at a size 6, I felt ugly.  I felt unworthy.  I criticized myself even more and become more obsessed with what I was eating because I feared other people’s judgments about what I was eating in public, and I totally feared gaining my weight back…which I totally did.  Every time.

I am lucky, however, in that I have a Robbie Trip in my life.

My husband tells me daily how beautiful I am.  He tells me all of the time how he loves my legs (what?  My short stubby thick legs??)

He tells me to eat, to stop the insanity of starvation.

He holds me when I cry. He listens to me when I cry and am feeling ugly.

And he then he repeatedly tells me how beautiful I am.

So much so, that I may just be starting to believe him.  I mean, he could be with anyone, and he chose me.  

Must be something here he likes.  

He teaches me everyday to let go of what I consider to be horrible and ugly.

And I am choosing to listen to him more and society less.

Always a work in progress, but I was delighted to read these articles and posts this week.

We women need more of them!

Here is the article that triggered this blog:

https://www.self.com/story/im-not-trying-to-lose-weight

So men out there, love your ladies. 

Even if they push you away, even if they don’t believe you yet, even if they can’t seem to see what you see, keep loving them.

Because you loving them, unconditionally, may be the only thing keeping them from a complete breakdown.

We are listening fellas, we really are. 

And we are trying….

Friday, August 17, 2018

Three little wishes....

The one thing I have noticed in my work with women (all people, really), is that they have no dreams. 

Oh, maybe I should correct that.  They have dreams…like getting out of debt.  That, my friends, is not a dream.  

That is a necessity…not a dream.  

Dreams, although can vary in form, shape, size, are the things that we wanted in our lives, for our lives, to be a part of, and the stuff that will make us satisfied, content, impassioned, nurtured, adventurous, and fun.

They are the stuff that sometimes push us out of our comfort zones.

They are the things that connect us to others.

They are what drives us to get up in the morning.  

They are what gives us a sense of accomplishment, joy, delight and confidence.

But we seem to have forgotten to dream in our society.  

We are too busy making ends meet.  

We are too tired to dream.

Heck, we don’t even know what our dreams are!

When I ask people what gives them joy, outside of friends and family, most have no idea.

When I ask people what three things they are grateful for, the 3 main things are family, friends, health and sometimes their job.  Sometimes. So many hate their jobs, but feel they have no choice but to stay.

Wishes are like that as well.

I mean, I totally get it. 

When I get my birthday cake, and I am asked to make a wish before blowing out the candles, I have no idea what to wish for.  I’m pretty basic and I don’t require material things, so I never knew what to wish for.

So, I challenged myself and a friend to come up with three wishes, and write about it.  One of her wishes is to write, so we decided to come up with topics and just write. 

Our wishes can be about anything.  We also have to include a ‘why’.

They can be fun, serious, quirky, or deep.

They can’t be about friends, family, or our health.

Here are my three wishes.


Wish #1
That I continue to make choices that inspire others to be more adventurous.  To come out of their comfort zones.  

Because, in choosing those things that inspire others, I have no choice but to step out of my own comfort zone!!

Oh sure, it’s easier to play it safe, it’s easier to not spend money on new things, it’s more comfortable to sit on my couch and watch tv all night….but it doesn’t feed my soul.

Getting out of my comfort zone helps me to become more.  It helps me to aim a bit higher every day.  

I gain more confidence when I accomplish things I had no idea I was capable of doing.

Do I fear failure?  Oh for sure, but I know that there really is no failure.  Only lessons. I truly believe that.  So I learn them, and move on with a new perspective.  

Do I fear judgement from others?  Absolutely!! Fear of judgement is the biggest fear we all have!  I don’t really think anyone has a fear of public speaking, what they are fearing is the judgement of others.  

But, there was a time in my life where I felt paralyzed.  Too scared to step outside the confinements and barriers of my self-imposed comfort zone.  Mostly because of my fear of judgment ;-)

And I was miserable. 

So yes, my first wish is that I continue to step away from those areas and barriers of comfort and have more adventures!

Wish #2

My subsequent wishes were more challenging to think of.  Remember, the birthday candle thing?    

Haha, it’s still a challenge.  

And my first wish covers so many areas of my life.

After some thought, I decided my second wish would be for the world.  

I know, I know…world peace and all, such a cliché and what does it even mean?

But my wish is that, by honoring others and by being kind, I hope that I can bring up the vibe of the earth, and that will help heal some of the hurt, anger, blame, shame, guilt, offensiveness and unkindness we see every single day.

With the introduction and ongoing forms of social media, the ugly of the world is present in almost every aspect of communication and seems to almost be our new culture.  

Does it have to be that way?

I would like to think not, but what can I do as a single entity in this big big world?

I can be kind to others. I can compliment people.  I can clean up trash and litter when I see it. I can make eye contact with the cashier and wish them well, even if they’ve been crusty to me.

I can mind my own business, and if I come across something that is not in my interest, or that I would never do, I can just move on.  I don’t have to make a big deal or slam someone because they chose something different than I would choose. 

Man, we get offended by the craziest thing, and we don't have any issue pointing out how wrong that person/situation is!  I belong to many groups on social media and some of the hurtful comments are brutal.  Why should someone be cruelly bashed for the colours they choose for their acrylic pours?  Makes no sense.  If you don't like something, no need to be hurtful or cruel, just move on.  

I can listen more.  Like really listen.  I don't have to label anything or judge it, I can just be there for someone, without pointing out the wrongness of them.  

I think that if I can be more present in my life…if I can help as many people in their trip on this earth, than that can somehow contribute to a more peaceful world.

So I wish to be kind...always...

Wish #3

In making wishes, I always felt greedy.  I felt like I had some great things in my life, so why ask for more.  

Again, I have come to discover that material things don’t inspire me nor do I require them.

I am happy to buy my clothes at garage sales.  I am happy to dig out old cabinets out of sheds and use them in my home.  

I don’t require shiny and new.

Greed is a distraction. It’s something used to take the focus off what we truly desire.  Just because someone requires so many more things than I do, does not give me the right to say that they are wrong.  Making others wrong is something we do to distract ourselves from going after what we desire.....mostly because we don't know what we desire.  Or we are so miserable with our life choices up to that point, we have to make others feel miserable, as well. God forbid, others should truly love their lives.  ;-)

Now, of course, if someone is hurting someone else, in the name of material things or power, then yes, that is not super cool, I get that.

But in my everyday life, it’s not my place to judge others.

My third wish is in the area of gifting.

At one point, I would have thought that was just me being greedy.  Wanting more.  Wishing for ‘more’.  

I thought I needed to give more than I needed to get.  

That I needed to nurture others, sometimes at the risk of burning out myself.

After all, what’s the adage: “It’s better to give than to receive”’?  How has that messed us up???

I mean, we all feel great gifting others, don’t we?  It gives us a bit of happiness, joy, meaning and grace.

So, when we don’t allow others to gift us;  as in compliments, material things, love, acts of kindness, just to name a few, we are actually taking something away from them.

We are making them feel like they are unimportant and that we don’t find their ‘gift’ worthy of receiving. 

It’s a form of disempowering, even though we don’t realize it.  

So, I wish to get better at receiving.

Whatever it is.  

That I say thank you and take the gift that is being offered, and that is all.  No need to say "you shouldn't have", or "No, I can't possibly accept that".  Just say thank you, and receive it.  

Because, I now know, it is a very generous act of kindness to receive.

Whew, there are my three wishes.

But really, what I require, desire and deserve….a life with meaning.  Wishes that are going to create more for me and the world.

What three things do you wish for?  Remember, can’t be about family…we all want the best for our children.  Happiness, love, opportunities...that is a given. 

But what about you???????

Wish away my friends…and see more opportunities show up!!