Sunday & Someday 

I’m laying on the grass in my front yard. My body long and placid on the oversized beach towel, soaking up the unusual warmth from this mid November afternoon sun. I started out sitting on the front porch as I often do to drink coffee and read. But as I stared out onto the sunkissed grass, it looked too inviting. At first I felt a bit childish, but not enough to stop myself. Looking up into the same trees I’d seen since I was that 11 year old girl….carefree, unjaded. As I lay there, I close my eyes. Not pretending to be laying by the ocean, exchanging the cool, overgrown grass for some warm sand. In fact, I feel pretty content with where I am, loving that it’s Sunday and I’m home, I’m rested and indulging in this time of quiet. It’s therapy to me.

I open my eyes and fix my gaze on this particular bird, flying higher and higher…observing his technique and at what points in his flight he tucks his long black wings by his side instead of outstretched. Soon enough that single bird becomes two, and then three. Then off they go, disappearing from my sight and me wondering where they are going.

I’m so soothed I contemplate falling asleep out here. Playing out a scenario in my head, one where I fall asleep and wake up to be that 11 year old girl again…laying outside of the new home her parents purchased. A clean slate, a mind full of wonder and pureness. I quickly compile in my mind a list of the most obvious things I would do differently from that point in my life until now. We all have wished we could turn back time on more than a few occasions.

These words came across my feed the other day…their truthfulness both enlightening and chilling. The quote is from Tom Hawking: “It is one of life’s greatest ironies that wisdom comes only with experience, and it reaches it’s apogee just as we are deprived of the chance to use it.” This “irony” is one that never escapes me. Wishing I had known years ago what I know now and that the experience from which that knowledge was derived hadn’t contained so much heartache. Realizing now the things that weren’t worth worrying over and the ones I should have worried more about. The people I wish I’d devoted more of myself to and those I should have never invited into my life to begin with. And especially, all of the time wasted on valueless pursuits.

But living in the past (as most of us are well aware), only robs us of the present. And if there’s one beautiful thing about life, it’s that every day is an opportunity for a fresh start. I may not be able to go back and press the reset button, but I can focus on making better decisions going forward so that twenty years from now, I’m proud of thirty year old me and all of the me in between.

Thoughtful Thursday

My quote or “thought” for today comes from Allan Lokos, author of one of the most insightful books I’ve ever read: “Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living”.

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(From the book Pocket Peace: Effective Practices for Enlightened Living)

Being honest with ourselves and about ourselves is crucial in our quest to become the best version of “us” that we can be. It may not be easy to address our own faults, but the end result of self awareness, self restraint, and the practice of healthier habits (whether it’s our reaction to trying situations, our dealings with others, or even our dealings with ourselves), is a beautiful one. I truly believe in never becoming complacent with who we are. Rather, always striving to become a more well rounded, compassionate, contributing member of society.

I hope everyone is having a positive week!

Inspiration

I gave in this morning to a moment (or two) of self pity. Yes, I threw myself a little pity party and I was the only sad soul to attend. My reasons having been pretty inconsequential. Comprised of both situations that I had no control over entirely, as well as those I could ultimately control, just not in that very moment. I let it eat at me for a bit. But then, I did something that I’ve become progressively better at (proud moment…drum roll please); I stopped. I turned the anxious negativity off like a faucet and decided that wasn’t the way I was going to spend the rest of this perfectly good day.

Sometimes in order to redirect our thinking, we need a little perspective. As I sat behind the wheel of my car during my trip home from the morning school rounds, a story came to mind. A story I came across last year about a man whose life, whose struggles and subsequent accomplishments left a lasting impression on me. This man’s name is Michael Naranjo.

Michael is a famous Native American sculptor. The unique (and awe-inspiring) thing about this artist, beyond his abundance of talent, is that he is completely blind and has limited use of his right hand. He is known by some as “the artist who sees with his hands”.


This piece is called “Spirits Soaring”

In his early twenties, Michael received notice that his service was needed in the U.S. Army. Mind you, Michael had been raised on a Native American reservation in New Mexico. That assignment essentially meant he would be fighting to protect a country that had “historically treated his people poorly, without honor”. Talk about mixed feelings! However, just six weeks into his time served in Vietnam, this young soldier was hit by a grenade.

During one interview, when recalling his initial hospital stay after sustaining his injuries, he said “he kept reminding himself that he was alive and he was able to think. He felt that as long as his  mind was clear he would be okay.” That measure of optimism is something I just can’t fathom. To be able to turn what most would consider an incredibly grim situation into a positive. That mentality still holds true with the artist today. In a more recent interview with the Albuquerque Journal, Michael says of his career: “Sculpture is what I wanted to do. Somehow it lends itself to touch. So it worked out, even with one hand and no eyes. I’m fortunate that I’m doing what I always wanted to do.”

This story will always serve as inspiration to me and a reminder that our circumstances only affect us as much as we let them. The one valuable thing that we have total control over is our mindset. I hope that you can take the time to view some of this man’s works of art and that you may find some inspiration of your own today. Is there someone in particular whose story has touched you?

(Unless otherwise noted, quotes are from the book Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living by Allan Lokos)

 

Fri-yay

Happy Friday all! Busy day at work today for me, then a work event tonight. But hoping to get some good quality writing time in this weekend, and lots of it! Hope your day is productive, positive, and full of creativity!

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The Handwriting Tag

I decided to join in on the Handwriting Tag challenge that I saw on Bex’s blog. I don’t usually participate in things like this, but thought it would be a cute way for people to get to know me a bit better (as if all of my personal posts aren’t enough LOL). So here it goes!

Rules:

  1. Write your name
  2. Write your blog’s name
  3. Write your favorite word and it’s definition
  4. Write something nice
  5. Write the name of your favorite song right now
  6. What are you writing with?
  7. Write a fun fact about yourself
  8. Write/draw your favorite emoticon
  9. Write a silly message
  10. Write who you’re tagging

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Thoughtful Thursday

I’m not sure if Thoughtful Thursday is really a thing, but oh well, I’m going with it. Here is my thought (quote) for the day. I have always felt like this is one of the truest quotes I’ve ever read, not to mention one I can relate the most to….

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Despite the fact that lack of time can be quite a frustrating feeling, I suppose the beauty in it is that every day is a blessing and a day worth living, even if it’s not all we wanted it to be.

Happy Thursday friends. Make it a good one!

 

Practice Makes Perfect 

Yesterday morning I took a trip to Target (a place I rarely frequent anymore because like many women I know, self control seems to fly out the window the moment my body triggers the automatic doors). But I was there for a purpose; to purchase a last minute baby shower gift for a co-worker. My eyes lingered for some time on the racks of cute sweaters and jackets as I walked by them at a glacial speed on my way to the baby section (I get my clothes addiction honestly. If you knew my mother you’d understand). After I picked out the gift, I proceeded to head to the greeting card section which happens to be right next to the notebooks. My eyes locked on a beautiful, delicate set of canvas, woven notebooks with the most vivacious yet rustic colors and floral prints. You may laugh, wondering how someone could get so excited over a thin booklet of blank paper, but I truly do. For years, I’ve collected notebooks, even before I began to write regularly or have any real need for them besides scratching down grocery lists and budgets. So I bought them, even though they were overpriced and not necessary by any means. Now I’ll let you “oooh” and “ahhh” over them below before I explain the deeper reason behind my excitement.


They say if you want to be good at something, work at it, practice it every day; develop a good routine and stick to it. Writing is of course, no exception. Well anyone that truly knows me, knows I struggle a great deal with routine. I probably take the “fly by the seat of my pants” approach to life far more than I should. Since I took the leap and started this blog seven months ago, it’s become increasingly evident to me that not only is writing good for my soul, it’s something that I just might actually be really good at if I give it adequate time and devotion. So with only two short months left of this year and me wanting to make the best of them right down to the end, I’ve pledged to myself that I will begin writing every day, even if just for five minutes. Granted, I am a working, commuting Mother of two and like most Mothers I know, at any given time I have housework to be done and/or bills to be paid. Some days finishing a single thought uninterrupted is quite a feat. However, this is part of my continued endeavor to create and maintain healthy habits for myself (mental health included). After all, a Mom needs to be healthy and well rounded first if she wants to raise her children as such.

Finding these perfect little books was just the reminder that I needed to keep up my determination to practice, practice, practice. To sit each day, allow the pressures to subside, put pen to paper, and fill theses pages with treasures. Keeping in mind that there doesn’t always have to be a moral to the story. Sometimes we write just to write and to reflect on our day even if by most standards it was uneventful.

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ~ Anais Nin

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Transition

“It’s the oldest story in the world. One day, you’re 17 and you’re planning for someday. And then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.” – Anonymous

I’m not sure those words could reflect more accurately how I’ve been feeling as I approach my 30th birthday. Time has evaded me. Almost three decades on this intricate planet of ours and I still have an overwhelming amount of self-awareness to achieve. I would file the past three years in particular under “lessons learned” and “harsh realities”. Life changing for both the good and the bad. In that time, I have managed to experience some of the most exhilarating moments of my life; hit rock bottom (or what I certainly hope is my rock bottom), both emotionally and financially; seen some of the ugliest sides of life, as well as people (myself included); rebuilt some relationships and abandoned others completely; and struggled with a mountain of guilt, regret, and loss (not all in that order).

There have been times I didn’t think I could possibly feel more alone…imprisoned in my own whirling thoughts. Times I didn’t think I could feel more alive and enlightened. And times I truly didn’t know how or what to feel, so I sort of just stopped feeling. But that, I’ve come to understand and embrace, is life. The only thing predictable about it is it’s unwavering ability to be unpredictable.

This period of transition I find myself on the brink of is pivotal to my evolution. No, the earth won’t stop turning the day I turn 30; nor will life suddenly change in some sort of drastic or abrupt way. However, the opportunity presents itself to exhale the negative from the past decade of my life (a decade full of self doubt and self scrutiny, more rash decisions than I’d like to recall, and more hard losses than I was able to cope with) and to instead breathe in a new decade. One of potential, one where I focus on self love, personal growth, and strengthening my ability to be more patient and understanding of others, and most importantly, MYSELF.

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