Thursday, September 29, 2011

Living the Dream

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible,
then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”- Christopher Reeve


I have been thinking about dreams, and dream fullfilment and achievement. I, as you know, am in the midst of pursuing a dream. In this process, I have decided that I don't really like the term "follow your dream". It seems passive.

I think we should change it to something like Create Your Dream or Inpsire Your Dream. Let's go with Inspire Your Dream, shall we? That seems appropriate!

Inspire Your Dream

I like that.

We all have within us a dream. Some dreams are huge and some are small and tiny. ALL of these dreams are valuable and worthwhile.

You are valuable and worthwhile.

Whatever dream is in your heart I encourage you to be inspired to live that inspired dream!

Take the first steps toward living the dream.  I ask it over and over, but what is it that you want?

Are you willing to say it outloud?

Are you strong enough to ask for it?

Are you inpsired enough to ignore the naysayers and the challenges and obstacles and simply figure out a way to make it an inevitable occurrence?

A seed does not become a sprout, which does not become a plant, which does not become a beautiful flower, by hiding its dream of flowering under the dirt of life.

Brush away the dirt of life from your dream; inspire yourself to move toward that dream; become a beautiful flower.


Don't wait. Start today. Look inside your soul and find the dream you have hidden there. Brush off the dirt. Expose the little seed of your dream to the light. Let it grow.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Back To School

As you all know, this blog is a way for me to share my inspiration to really live my life, to follow my dreams, pursue greatness, find my path, create myself and (hopefully) inspire you to do the same for yourself.

One of the ways in which I am creating myself, following my path and dreams is by going back to school to get a degree. When we moved to Southern Oregon from Portland the economy in general was not good, but the economy in our small community was extra not good. At that time there was essentially no job market. I could have gotten a job in my previous industry, but at a significant pay reduction. I decided instead to use this time as an opportunity to pursue a dream that had been started and stopped many times.

(source)

In January 2010 I went back to college full time. In June of 2011 I graduated from a community college with my Associates of Arts in general studies degree. YAY! Part one of my goal accomplished! I can now say with pride that I do have *a* degree. But in today's world, an AA is not quite enough to really give the boost I am looking for.

I enrolled at Southern Oregon University and today I begin my pursuit of a Bachelors of Science in Communications. I am taking four classes: Advanced Public Speaking (<--lots of people fear this, but I enjoy it-crazy!), Intercultural Communications, Conflict Resolution and Psychology 202. I am excited and nervous. I hope to be finished in 18 months, but will have to see how it goes with university level classes, what the class load and homework is like. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and have asked the universe to help me out. I believe I can do it in 18 months.

I am telling you this today because this is a very real and concrete example of getting out there and living life! It doesn't always have to be about doing something physical. It is simply about doing something that makes you feel alive! It is about doing something that brings joy and emotion to your heart and soul.

This is why I say if you want to be an artist start creating art...whatever that art may be to YOU!

Getting a degree may not be anything that is important to you, and that is great! That begs the question: What IS important to you? To YOU? Not what do you think you should do.

Having a degree will complete a life long goal of mine. It inspires me to greatness. It will support me in a future career, or it will support me as an author or motivational speaker. But most importantly it is important to ME that I complete this process and feed my soul with the achievement of this goal.

With the beginning of Fall, a change of the season, back to school time, now is a great time to look around your life and think about what it is that will feed your soul and inspire you to greatness. What can you do to support a life long goal? What steps can you take? How can you fit it into your current life or what can you adjust to make room for it?

It is TIME to put your dreams and goals and wishes on the radar of your life. Stop brushing them to the side and saying "later". YOUR DREAMS are valuable and worthwhile things to spend your time on. In my opinion, they are much more valuable things to pursue than having a bigger car, or having a spotless house, or having more stuff, or whatever unimportant "things" get in the way of you pursuing your true dreams.

Today I begin the journey, I start on the path, in a very physical and tangible way, to achieving the second part of a life long dream.

You can begin today, too.

(source)
What can you do TODAY to begin the pursuit of a dream?

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Woman Should Know

This is one of those things that appears suddenly in life that is so fitting and so true! Yet it appears with no one to attribute it to. If you know who wrote this originally, please point me in that direction. I would love to give the author credit for this beautiful piece of truth! 

(source)

 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .. enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to…
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .. something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour…
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .. a youth she’s content to leave behind…. a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age….
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….. a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra…
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE . one friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry…
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …. a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family…
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE … eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored…
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE … a feeling of control over her destiny.
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… how to fall in love without losing herself.
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… how to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… when to try harder… and WHEN TO WALK AWAY…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… that she can’t change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… that her childhood may not have been perfect…but its over…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… how to live alone… even if she doesn’t like it…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW.. whom she can trust, whom she can’t, and why she shouldn’t take it personally…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… where to go… be it to her best friend’s kitchen table… or a charming inn in the woods… when her soul needs soothing…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… what she can and can’t accomplish in a day… a month…and a year…
 
 
What else should a woman know?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Inner light


People are like stained-glass windows. 
They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within. 

~Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross



(source)




Monday, September 19, 2011

Getting To Know Me - Part 1

I read and follow several blogs. Recently, Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point, Tina at Carrots 'N' Cake, and Ashley at My Food 'n' Fitness Diaries have all posted a series of "getting to know me" question and answers.

I kind of liked this idea and thought I would jump on the bandwagon and do a series of Q&A for myself. If there are questions you want to have answered, ask in the comments! I am cross posting this at Blurb Column, too. (Where you can also find links to several of the blogs I follow on the right sidebar.)

What are you really good at? What are you really bad at?

I am really good at cooking. I am really good at listening and giving people advice (they usually don't take it, but that is on them, not me). I am really good at being organized, efficient and working. I am really good at reading and I like to think I am good at writing, too (hence the blogs!).

Things I am bad at? Hmm...well I used to be bad at math, but thanks to an excellent college teacher (Doug Gardner at Rogue Community College!) I am no longer intimidated by math, so that one is out. I am not that great at science stuff. I am bad at avoiding my favorite, not so great for you foods, like ice cream. I am bad at doing chores that I HATE, like vacuuming and cleaning the shower. I am bad at following rules of etiquette like bringing a housewarming gift for someone...I just NEVER even think about it...until after and then I feel like a schmuck! Oh, and I am bad at "art". I am not "artistic" in that way. I can't paint or draw or craft or write poetry or anything like that. My brother, mother and grandmother all are very artistic, but my art comes out in my cooking and writing.

Have you ever been in a car accident? What happened?
 
Yes, several. My mom was rearended when I was a kid, I didn't even know what happened, it was barely a tap. I backed into a parked car. I rear-ended someone in the snow. Someone backed into me at a parking lot exit (they had pulled too far into the street). I got rearended. Chris and I were rearended by a guy in a Jetta (jetta 0 - suburban 1). And Chris and I went off the road twice while we were participating in Performance Rally races, both times in our Datsun 510.
 
Chris has been in several accidents as well, including rearending a car while he was hauling a car on a trailer with our suburban. Suburban 1 - little car ZERO. Totalled the little car...hardly a scratch on our suburban. (Yay for big vehicles!) Chris also got rearended in my 350Z car the same week I bought it! He also was in a Rally crash in his AWD bug, and he was in an at speed rollover crash as a passenger in a rally car. And he got hit just a couple weeks ago in his work truck when some guy pulled out from a side street. That totalled his work truck and he is still in a rental.
 
So, yes, an accident or two, here or there. ;-)
 
Why did you attend your college?
 
Any and all of the colleges I have attended have been strictly convenience based. They were close by.


How did your parents’ relationship influence you?

My parents' relationship(s) have influenced me in ways that are beyond the scope of a little Q&A session, but the short answer is they have shown me what I did NOT want my married life to be like. I could go on, and on, but let's just leave it at that.


What were the three happiest moments of your life?

I really hate questions like this, actually. I was very happy to get married to Chris, of course, and am still happy to be married to him. Other than that? I don't have specific moments that stand out as the happiest of my LIFE. I find joy and happiness in so many things in my life that I have a hard time saying THIS MOMENT (big booming God voice) was THE moment of happiness! I must say, though, that I was pretty happy when we realized my mom wasn't going to die last year. That was a happy "moment". So, I guess I'll just stick with those two.

How about you? Answer the questions in the comments section, or ask me a different question.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Who do you believe you are?


"It's not who you are that holds you back,
 it's who you think you're not."

~Unknown


Do you have a dream?

A goal?

A wish?

What is your dream?

What is your goal?

What is your wish?

What do you wish, with all of your heart, soul and being?

What are you doing to achieve it?

To make your dream come true?

Often we think that our dreams are too big, too unachievable. They will cost too much. Take too much time. Be too hard.

People will make fun of us.

We find all kinds of excuses for not achieving our goals, for not fulfilling our wishes.

In truth, there is nothing holding us back from our greatest desires...

except ourselves, and what we believe about ourselves.

What we believe ourselves to be capable of, or not.

Take time today to think about your true desire.

Don't worry about it being too big, too far, too much.

Just stop, close your eyes, and visualize yourself living the dream of your most perfect life.

Are you singing on a stage in a stadium of adoring fans?

Are you atop a mountain?

Are you chasing after a housefull of kids, cats, dogs and chaos?

Are you selling books and making public appearances?

Are you creating art, in whatever form?

Are you living in a mansion or on a farm on in another country?

What are you doing in your dream life?

And why are you not doing it in your real life?

What do you believe about yourself that is preventing you from taking the steps to achieve it?

Share your dreams with the universe.

Envision yourself living your dream.

Set aside thoughts that you can't.

You are worth it! You can do it! Your life is meant to be lived! Your dreams are meant to be achieved!

We were not put here on this planet to simply live and exist!

We were put here on this planet to THRIVE!

Start living!

Today.

"Make the most of yourself,
for that is all there is of you."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson





Thursday, September 15, 2011

Inspiration in the Blackberry Bramble

Today, as I was picking blackberries in my back yard blackberry bramble, I was struck with this thought:




Life is like picking blackberries. Sometimes, to get the best one, you have to really reach for it, and you might get poked a little, but the ultimate result is totally worth it.




Do you get random bursts of inspiration? Share with me!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Signs Are There

...if only we will look to see them.

I was at my nurse practitioner's office today for a regular check-up and perscription refill session. I really love her. She is SO real and down to earth, unlike many of my previous care partners. She is also gutsy!

She has lots of great material in her office. It isn't a typical "medical" office. She is just in a room with a desk, chair and a medical table. She has all the records on the computer, there is no nurse, no automatic weigh in, no manila file folder chart.

She has two signs in particular in her office that I thought were great. First is about the Chakras.



You can click on the image to make it easier to read. But I love what it has to say. I especially like the Third Chakra: I am courageous. I am whole. I stand in my power.

The other sign is also very truth-filled. There was no name attributed to the second sign, so I asked my NP if she made it. She said a patient had made it for her. Of course, she could not give me the name to attribute the sign to, so I do not know who put this together. It was NOT me. I take no credit for this. I would be happy to credit whomever created this if they should ever come to me throught his crazy interwoven web world.



Again, click on the image to make it easier to read.

Basically, this sign tells us that while there are people in the world who can help us, guide us, listen to us, and hold our hand, ultimately our life, our decisions, our choices and our path are up to us. Individually.

Strong, powerful truth. It echo's of what I want this blog to say to you.

YOU are the creator of your universe.

I can share with you, I can guide you, I can listen to you, but YOU, my dear friends, each of you must create your own best life path and LIVE that path.

It really comes down to choosing to live, rather than choosing to exist.

Many blessings to you all today!


Do you like your care partner? Do you have a good relationship? Do you pursue alternative health care options? Share with me!


Monday, September 12, 2011

What I Want


I am trying to live a life filled with inspiration. I do not want to wake one day and realize that my life has passed me by.

I know that I can create the life I want. I am doing it. Right now. Today. Each time I make a decision to step outside my comfort zone, to ask for what I want, to DO things, I am actively choosing to live my life.

I am reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.


This life is so amazing.
I talk about synchronicity.
I talk about the universe whispering in my ear.

Then suddenly here is this book.

I have had this book for several years. I have never opened it. Never read it. I did not know what it said. I had two friends read it a few years ago and tell me that I needed to read it. I bought it. I never read it.

Earlier this year I decided to start this blog as a way to share my journey, a way to try and inspire myself, and others, to really live. To start now, no matter where they are at in life. To really think about and decide what they want in life and then start taking steps toward it.

And then, suddenly, here is this book.

I do not know why, after all these years of this book sitting on my shelf unread, that I decided to open and read this book.

The universe? Synchronicity? Perhaps my change in outlook has drawn this book to me. I do not know.

What I do know is that The Secret supports me in my want to LIVE life. It tells me that I *can* have, be and do exactly what I want and that the universe will conspire to help me. This is so reminiscent of Paul Coelho and his fable The Alchemist...which if you have not read, I highly suggest it! (It was suggested to me and I am immensely grateful.)

The universe is speaking to me in so many ways. I am listening. I am attuned. I try to follow.

I suggested last week that we need to DECIDE what we want and then we have to go after it. After reading some of The Secret I was overcome with a desire to write down "The Things I Want".  I had an amazing moment of clarity where my mind was filled with the things that I really wanted. I had a compulsion to write them all down.

I needed to share them with the universe...these things that I wanted.




The top of my list? To be thin, fit and healthy. To have energy. There is much more, of course, and the specifics of what I want are not what is important here.

What is important is that I listened to the voices of the universe tell me to start this blog, to read this book, to live my life, to write down what I want.

To share my life with you.

This is not easy for me; it is scary putting myself and my innermost thoughts out into the blog world. I have no idea who reads this or what their thoughts are about what I write. I can only hope that by listening to my inner voice, the universe, my heart...that what I say and share will somehow touch and inspire others to start living life!!

So, the proof is in the pudding. I didn't just ask you to decide what you wanted, to visualize it, to write it down, but I did so myself! I have spent the last several days visualizing what I want being real. I have read what I wrote down. I have felt the emotions that I will feel when these things happen.

I encourage you to take a moment today. Find a quiet spot. Clear your mind. Allow clarity to enter. Listen to your inner voice and the voices of the universe. Decide what you want. Be specific. Nothing is too big or too small. Ask for it. Write it down. Take steps to make it happen, and then watch as your life dreams are fulfilled.

I have seen it happen many times over in my life. Once I really decide, once I put it out there to the universe, things start to happen. It is beautiful and crazy and amazing. I put it out there that I want to live my life...and so I am.

Have you read The Secret? Do you believe in the power of the universe?  Share with me.








Friday, September 9, 2011

Take Time for You

It is almost fall...Labor Day Weekend is behind us...most everyone's kids are back to school.

I, myself, am headed back to school, but have a couple more weeks before classes start.

Just like the little kids, I have to do some "getting ready" for back to school. Yesterday was my salon day. I am terrible about taking time to do things for myself that I enjoy relating to my looks.

I am pretty good about getting a regular pedicure every 6 weeks or so, because I just really like having pretty toes, and the expense is fairly low. I find it to be *reasonable* to spend the money for pretty toes, whereas regular hair cuts and manicures seem less *reasonable* of an expense, to me.

I don't get regular manicures because I am pretty hard on my nails and regular polish just doesn't last. Usually within about 5 minutes of leaving the salon my nails are smudged or chipped. And they go down hill quickly from there. That makes a typical manicure VERY unreasonable for me, dollar wise. I have come up with some mediocre solutions over the years, like when I do get a manicure I just get clear polish or very, very light or sheer colors. That way, when the inevitable chipping and smudging happens, it is much less noticeable.

I have had acrylics in the past; I don't care for them.

I had used Gelac "shellac" gel polish earlier this year, but it really tore up my nails, made them very thin, caused them to split down the middle and made them exceptionally sensitive to warm water. I got them taken off and it took months for my nails to return to normal. Not a good solution for me. If you aren't familiar with the shellac gel polish, it really is impressive. It is a gel that is cured to your nail under a UV light. They claim that the polish will stay on your nails and not chip for 2-3 weeks!

I found this claim to be somewhat true. My nails stayed chip free for 5-6 days (which is about a 100% improvement over regular polish, upping the cost benefit greatly), but on MY nails, specifically my ring finger on my right hand, the polish would just start to peel off after about 5 or 6 days. Other nails would start to do so to a lesser extent within a few days. Some nails never chipped or peeled off.

As for haircuts, well my hair is pretty straight, and fine. I generally wear it long and in the same style (except last year when I went crazy and chopped it all off!) Because it is just "long and straight" for the most part, and I don't get horrible split ends or frizz or anything like that, I don't feel like spending $50-$100 bucks on a "shampoo, cut and style" is really worth it. My hair looks pretty much the same long, longer or longeeer. So I don't head off to the salon more than a couple times a year. My stylist is mortified, I assure you! lol!

I also don't typically color my hair much. One, my hair is what I consider to be a pretty brown that suits my skin tone, eyes, etc. Sometimes I will get some highlights, like last year when I went crazy, I got some blonde highlights. Turns out I don't care for them. They make me feel like I look old. Not fun. Two, maintaining haircolor and highlights to avoid the tacky grow out and roots is too much work for me. I do not want to HAVE to go to the salon every 4-6 weeks or whatever to get a "touch up". That is just TOO much maintenance and cost, for me.

So, having said all that, when I DO go to the salon and spend the day, I usually really enjoy it, and I am usually not bothered by the expense. If I spend $200 at the salon once a year...well...that seems to be a reasonable expense spread out over the year.

I am what you would call low maintenance. HA!

So, yesterday was my salon day. I spent about 4.5 hours at the salon. It was great. It was a lovely afternoon. I got my gel toes done, a pedicure, a manicure (with a new brand of "shellac" from OPI-we'll see how that goes), then I got my hair fixed up. It has finally grown out from the chop off to a stage where I could get it all one length. I had her get rid of the blonde highlights by covering them with a copper mahogany highlight. It is very subtle...but just enough to give a little dimension. I like it! It is not back to "long" status yet, but at least there is some style! I also had some eyebrow and lip maintenance done.

I feel all fresh and sparkly and sassy with my sparkly toes and pretty nails and fun hair!






The point of all this is to remind each of us that taking the time to do these little things for ourselves is important! It is a great mood booster. It can be very relaxing..especially the spa pedicure! :-) 

Taking time for ourselves is often lost in the daily to-do's, the kids, the lunches, the homework, the dogs, the husband, the house, the laundry, the bills, the soccer practice....where do WE fit in?

We MUST find the time to ourselves. We must find a way to take a few minutes, or an hour, to fulfill our own selves. We are not the 100% awesome person we can be if we do not do this.

Do not feel guilty!

Your kids take time for themselves. Your husband takes time for himself. You NEED to  take time for yourself!

What is the THING that you would do if you had an hour a week to do whatever you wanted?

Read a book? Take a bath? Meditate? Exercise (because you WANT to, not because you are fat)? Meet friends? Get a pedicure? Sew? Craft? Cook (for pleasure!)?

Taking time to refresh my look, get a little massage-y foot rub, get a little sparkle on my fingers and toes, really helps to create a positive outlook for me. It helps regenerate my soul.

What is the thing you would do if you were going to take time for you??

Tell me in the comments.





Thursday, September 8, 2011

Create Your Universe


"You create your own universe as you go along."
~Winston Churchill


Where you are today, right now...is where your thoughts and actions have brought you.

It is no accident.

What you think about, you bring about.*

Read that again: What you THINK about, you BRING about.

So, what do you spend your time thinking about?

Are you thinking about what you want?

Or, are you thinking about what you DON'T want?

If you focus on what you do NOT want, that is the very thing you will bring about.

So, where are you in your life today?

Are you happy and fulfilled?

Are you sad and empty?

Do you feel successful and empowered?

Do you feel like a failure and held down?

Where you are today, the experiences of your life until this point, are a result of your thoughts.

Your thoughts become your actions.

Your actions create your life.

Your life is your universe.

If you are not at a place where you want to be...it is time to change your thoughts.

Instead of saying I don't want to be unhappy at my job, change it to I want to be happy at my job!

I want to have happiness and abundance in my life.

I want to have energy.

I want to have money.

I want to have adventure.

I want to be fit and healthy.

Stop for a moment today and think, slowly and clearly, specifically and with detail about what you DO want.

Write it down.

Draw a picture.

Visualize it.

Make a collage.

What DO you want?

What is your life vision?

Decide.

Then create your vision.

Your vision, filled with the thoughts of what you DO want, will create your universe, the world in which you live.

You have the power within you to create your own perfect life.

Change your thoughts, change your world, create your universe.



*(I looked to see who to attribute that saying to, but I have not found anyone.)