Have a little Faith

panoBEARLAKE3I had quite an adventurous weekend!! Almost my whole family of nine adults and ten kids headed to Garden City, Utah to go boating at Bear Lake. The weather was wonderful and everyone was having a great time on the beach, waiting for the boat.

Earlier in the day my husband was putting the boat in at the marina when large amounts of water started filling the boat. In a matter of minutes the boat was almost going to be sunk in the marina. Luckily, a nice fisherman was heading out on the lake & saw my husband and brothers-in-law struggling to figure out what could be done. The man quickly pulled his boat over & towed them out before the boat was completely under water.  The culprit??? The boat had been in the shop & the mechanic had not replaced the plug in the boat. yikes!!

Lesson: whenever getting into a boat—have a life jacket and make sure there is a plug!!

Well, after hours of draining the boat, finding a plug, I honestly wasn’t sure if we should take the boat out. My husband was determined to show my family some…he literally started trying to quote Clark Griswold, “fun, old-fashioned family..fun. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest time.” I laughed & let him carry on.

We took the boat out & after we loaded up eight kids, three adults, towels, & made sure everyone had life jackets, we were off! My brother-in-law jumped in to the freezing lake & strapped on a wakeboard, took a few spins & then we began to notice the boat was taking on some water. The adults all looked at each other, “What do we do? get the kids in closer to shore or risk getting to the marina?” We opted to get close to shore & get everyone overboard because water was coming in quick & the weight of everyone was definitely not helping. The kids all looked at the shore & we heard little voices say, “that is sure far.” We kept reassuring everyone we had life jackets & they would help us float in to safety. One by one everyone jumped off the boat. The rest of my family watched, wondering what was happening on board the boat. They knew something must be wrong when they saw me climb off the boat, fully clothed. smile. smile. We all began swimming to shore.

We gathered together as we watched my husband & brother-in-law slowly drive the boat toward the marina. The entire family stood there on the beach and said a prayer that the boat would not sink & the guys would be okay. We all watched until we could not see the boat any more. We then received a call from my husband & the boat had stalled in the middle of the lake. They needed the coastguard quick!! Luckily the boat drifted near a buoy & were able to hook the boat so it would not continue drifting further and further from shore.

This is when a stranger on a jet ski pulled over because he could tell they were in trouble & offered to pull them out with his tractor.  The safety of grace, the beauty and kindness of a stranger. He jetted off to his nearby cabin & brought his tractor down to the lake & everyone worked together to get the boat out before going under. YAY!!!

Bear-LakeThere was another side of this story that these children learned this weekend at Bear Lake. They learned that faith and prayers can do many things. While my entire family was gathered together yesterday, I had my mother share a personal story from her youth about guardian angels & praying for safety… My mother when she was about seven-years-old had been at this very lake with her mother, father and two older brothers. They had been traveling & were on their way home when they arrived at the beautiful Bear Lake. It was a hot Sunday & being religious people they did not want their children swimming on Sunday. But, after many begs and pleas from the boys, their father allowed the children to take a quick dip in the lake to cool off before returning to the hot car & driving home.

lake swimmingMy mother shared the story with beautiful detail & allowed the children listening to look out at the beautiful, blue lake & imagine the story.  She continued on…one boy found a inner tube & the other found a log to float on. At first, everything was all fun, but then the boys began to get swept further and further out into the lake. The water began to get more choppy & one of the boys had his log shoot out from under him & he was left looking for safety. He swam over to his brothers tube & tried to hold on, but the tube then jetted out from under both of them & the two boys were left with nothing around them. They knew how to swim, but the waves were crashing & the water kept churning over them. The parents could barely see them & began to worry. Their father saw what was happening & began to swim out after them. Their mother looked at her young daughter (my mother) & had her point & watch where the boys were. She quickly obeyed & kept her arm pointing, watching the boys. Their mother ran up and down the beach yelling for help, praying they would be saved. Their father was a good swimmer, he swam hard, but the current was powerful & his body was tiring & he knew he would not have the strength to save both of them. He thought to himself & wondered what he could do. Out of nowhere there was a women, who yelled, “you grab him & I will take him.” They pulled them in & everyone was exhausted, throwing up water, but they were alive. Their mother grabbed this mysterious woman & hugged her, sobbing, thanked her & asked her everything she could possibly find out about her—where she lived, why she was here, where she came from…

My mom told the story and sobbed, reminiscing every moment. Every child in the room listened intently. She concluded the story about how her mother & father tried to locate this woman for years. She explained how her brother would travel back east for business & also tried to find her, but they never could. To them, she was a guardian angel that answered their prayers.

This weekend was many moments of memorable fun, but was also a humbling, learning experience of having faith.

The kids all worked together to bake a big plate of cookies that we took to an angel who helped us out this weekend. It was sooo fun to see the kids so proud to give them the notes and cookies they made & say thanks for helping save the boat. It was priceless.

tumblr_m9njjw34hd1rei2jfo1_500I just wanted to share these two great stories to share further the importance of having faith. –Peace to you. Heather


Be eternally grateful for those you LOVE

Last week I was texting everyone I know asking them to pray for my husband, their brother, friend, family…I was worried because my husband never gets sick, let alone, takes 3 days off work in a two week period. Something was wrong!! We had two sets of full blood work, two different doctors visit and an ultra sound. I have been worried at different points, but I was deeply worried and found myself crying and praying like crazy that my world would not be shaken in such a way.

We found out it was a painful pancreatitis attack, but after a week he was feeling like himself again. We both sat down  with our daughter and gave many prayers of thanks with an eternally grateful heart. I asked my husband if there was a point when he was really worried & he explained when he was walking into the hospital, he began to wonder if he would be walking through those doors on numerous occasions. It made me so grateful that the outcome was not worse.

Tough experiences, hard days, are those times when you really see things a little more clearly. You don’t take for granted the opportunity to talk on the phone with your best friend, to tell them things, to share everything. The experience definitely made me see how easy life could be taken & how quickly everything can change. It made me even more aware of how important he is in my life.

 

miss-you-so-much-jpgSTOP right this minute and try to imagine someone you would miss whole heartedly if they were gone—a best friend, a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a child…imagine they were taken from you & you could not even pick up the phone to call them. How do you feel? I hope you felt something & wanted to say something to them. Call them right now. Write a note of love or thanks or gratitude to have them in your life.  Give them a big hug & tell them how much they mean to you.

 

 

img-thingAsk yourself—what would I miss about…& express your feelings to those you love and appreciate. Will you miss the perfume they wear, their smile that warms the room, the way they bake your favorite cookies, your long talks, their laugh, the way you feel when they are around, their whistle, the shoes they wear, the way they wear their hair, the memories you share, the laughter you enjoy together, the favorite trips together, singing in the car, the stories they tell… Life is too short to not take the time to share how you feel. It will be a win for everyone!!

 

heart-shape“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”  -John Milton

Now, within your heart, give a prayer of eternal gratitude that you have these beautiful people you cherish in your life. People are taken or become ill every day. Those you hold dear are within your reach, so reach out and let them know you love and appreciate them.

Peace to you. Sending you blessed wishes for you and those you love.

 

 


Lessons learned from the movie Finding Joe

I asked my daughter this morning, “why do you think we are here in this world?” and you know what she said, “To have the adventure of life!”  That was very insightful especially after watching the movie, Finding Joe, which is a movie about the teachings of Joseph Campbell and the journey of life. The following are things I took away from the movie. It was a sprinkling of wisdom, inspired people, things to think about and good takeaways. The thoughts are sometimes direct quotes from the movie (but not all are stated who said them) Enjoy.

 

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A CALL TO ADVENTURE—a divine call to action for your life. This may come in the depths of sorrow, a hard life situation, the very things we may need to catapult us in a better direction for our life, a better version of ourselves.

“I think that people tend to wake up the hero of their own life when they are tired of being the victim of their own life.” -Robert Walter, President of the Joseph Campbell Foundation

The hero of your own life means you are responsible for your own adventure. You have a choice to surrender to victimhood, you can give your responsibility to someone else & have them tell you what to do or you can understand you have a choice and are responsible.

Joseph Campbell always talked about a metaphorical death of some kind. The old lends itself to the new. “The snake who cannot shed its skin must parish.” -niche  It is an indication that change has taken place. When we continue to let go of the old and let the new emerge, that is change…growth.

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The Chinese letters for the word CRISIS are actually both DANGER and OPPORTUNITY.

The lessons often come from the hardest things in our lives. It is not necessarily what happens to us, as what we do with the outcome of the situation. Do we fall victim, or rise above it.

 

The Hero’s Journey—a life metaphor. This is the story in every story we tell, fairy tale we hear, journey that inspires…the hero’s journey.

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Every story begins with a separation of some kind, an initiation and a return home. The movie Star Wars was a prime example of the Hero’s Journey throughout the story.

 

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In many stories the forest often represent the unknowns, the edges within our lives. The moments where courage is needed. Joseph Campbell often talked of the story of the knights of the round table. They were in search of the Holy Grail, but it was decided that the best way to find it would be to have each knight start at a different location to begin their journey. The one caveat was to find a spot on the edge of the forest where there was no trail because if their was a trail it was sure not to be the knights true path. If there was a path, they would be following someone else’s path, not their own.

You must go out on your own to find your own TRUTH.

 

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FOLLOW YOUR BLISS and the universe will open doors for you, where there were only walls. -Joseph Campbell

Robert Walter describes “Bliss” as “the one thing you can’t not do. Your Authentic Journey.”

It is trusting that deep impulse within us, to follow that specific path, the bliss, the one thing that makes us feel most alive.

Deepak Chopra says, “Follow your bliss does not mean get addicted to pleasure.”

It doesn’t mean selfishness. Don’t follow what other people think is your bliss. So how do you find your bliss?

Ask yourself—what do you enjoy doing, what are you passionate about, what can you do where hours seem to slip away while you are enjoying what you are doing??? What set you apart as a child? You know within. Ask yourself this…If money and time were no limitations, what would you do?? How would you express yourself??What would you do to benefit the world? What lights you up?? use words, use images, use music, art, find things around you that will help you identify what ignites your energy.

Talk to yourself in a journal and begin to see your dreams, hopes, what you feel good about, your lessons you have learned…begin to see yourself.

Rebecca Armstrong talked about how Joseph Campbell would give this advice to his students: “Don’t do what Daddy says because he only has one interest in mind for you—your security! If you bargain away your life for security now, you will never find your bliss.”

If you still feel like you don’t know what you are looking for—at least know this—you are looking and that you are on your way to bliss. Go looking—try things you have always wanted to try, do things that you are drawn to. Ask yourself why you haven’t tried something. Take different paths to work, shake up your routines. Put yourself out there. STRETCH yourself. Do something scary or uncomfortable.

Why do most people NOT FOLLOW their bliss? FEAR

“What will they think of me must be put aside for bliss.” -Joseph Campbell

Our first greatest demons we have to face are those critics right in front of us (ourselves and our friends and family). They all mean well, but you know what excites you. You ultimately are the one who holds yourself back from following your bliss because you begin to believe the others around you or you are afraid of what they think. If you can do that—you can achieve the impossible.

“I want to sing like birds sing, not worrying who listens or what they think.”  -Rumi

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”  -Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell speaks of slaying a dragon in the hero’s journey. He describes the Dragon as the beast covered in scales that say ‘thou shalt’ and ‘thou shalt not’  The beast is a construction of all the rules, regulations, social obligations that have made you feel that you have to or have been made to do certain things. This is the moment where you take everything you’ve learned and use it to beat the dragon.

Robin Sharma said, “What is the one thing that keeps people small, that keeps them from their mountain tops?? their fears or as Joseph Campbell would say..their dragons.” Fears that are not faced begin to toxify, to creep to make you scared.

LOVE is what we are born with FEAR is what we learn.

Fear isn’t going anywhere, you just have to create the courage to move past the fears. Tony Hawk shared his experience creating the first loop ramp and facing the fear of actually doing it.

Courage takes practice. You just have to keep facing a fear and moving one step past it and it becomes easier. Do the things that scare you, whether it’s a tough conversation, leaving a job you don’t enjoy…the courage comes after. It’s okay to be scared, it’s a healthy warning, but that shouldn’t stop you from facing your fears.

Often the fears and dragons are the projections of ourselves–we create them, we create something that we have to defeat and it is often just something within ourselves. We can all be heroes if we are willing to look at ourselves more closely and understand and see the good and the bad and become better.

You begin to see the parts of yourself you struggle with on the inside. To fully see and understand the inner dragons, you must surrender. Some would say, loving your dragon is the more efficient way and feels better. There’s always a gift in battling inner demons and overcoming them because that is what a soul’s journey is about, facing fears and growing beyond it. As we overcome our fears we gain power. The best most rewarding moments often come after a struggle.

Struggles are like a minus symbol—it’s half of the plus symbol. + On one lovel it’s negative—sure the divorce was hard, the illness a challenge, you lost your job…we are not saying that wasn’t troublesome. Look at what awareness you can add to it that gives you a far bigger picture to master it.

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“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” -Joseph Campbell

At a certain point in the heroes journey it’s going to come about you loving and accepting yourself as you are. That’s a powerful moment that aligns you directly with the universe. The real goal in the heroes journey is not to only slay the dragons but to bring back the essence of the journey you experienced to others. To share your story and allow others to learn from it.

The choice you make to not give up is a story you are telling yourself. Did you show up for this life? Did you have the courage you needed? What did you learn about YOU?

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I truly hope you learned some key things from JOE (Joseph Campbell) & I will leave you with a few other key thoughts that he has shared with the world. Peace and love to you in all you do.  -Heather

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Anything GOOD is always a good thing

I just wanted to put some GOOD stuff out there for any of you who have seen or not seen the following videos. These all hold something GOOD you can take away. I have included a little bit of everything–a movie, inspiration, a beautiful go pro ad…hope you Enjoy.

 

One of my favorites!! The Butterfly Circus If you have not seen or even if you have–check it out again. It is beautiful…the short movie “Butterfly Circus”  

 

Scott Hamilton We all know Scott Hamilton, but I am sure you do not know all the struggles he has been through. His is an amazing story of struggle and triumph that he is still living. Check it out.  

 

Jim Carrey’s Secret of Life We all know Jim Carrey & you either like him or he may make you crazy. This powerful message may help you see his deeper side & hopefully you will walk away inspired.  Video done by the Journey of Purpose 

 

Beautiful Whale Fantasia GoPro Ad: This is just a beautiful ad, including inspiration by Alan Watts, while underwater…well done. 


Lessons learned from the movie The Hundred Foot Journey

 

Screen-Shot-2014-07-24-at-4.37.55-PMI just recently took my husband and daughter to see this movie. I wasn’t sure if it would be too slow, too ‘foodie’ or what to expect. I was hoping for a simple story that had a sweet message & that is exactly what we got. All three of us left the theater feeling sentiments of sweetness and gratitude for seeing this breathe of freshness. 

I wanted to share some of my thoughts and lessons that I took away from this movie: 

 

image008-560x374The details matter in food and in life: This movie definitely makes you want to learn a little more about food and the love that goes into making such beauty. The passion these chefs had for food was brought about by loved ones, memories of childhood, walks in the woods looking for mushrooms, the sweet ingredients…it made you admire the deep love they had for something, even if it was food. Life is like that. If we can look at everything we do and find the precious in it, how beautiful life would be. 

I was just at the market and noticed a large pile of watermelons all neatly stacked together. I had to take a snapshot of the beautiful textures and colors, the beauty held within the details. When we can begin to appreciate the little things, the details, everything else will become even better.

 

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEYNever give up. Try and try again: I loved the humble, innocent personality of the young chef Hassan. He had such a desire to learn all he could, to open his mind, to try new things, to experiment, to TRY. Even though he was shamed at one point. He did not give up, he did not question his ability. He tried again.

 

 

165697H7Believe in yourself: The young female chef, Marguerite was very skilled and talented. She had a love of cooking, but she became jealous of the skills and talent that Hassan had. She created a wedge between them & was always trying to outdo because she did not believe enough in herself. 

We often allow others to make us feel small, to our own detriment. If we are always striving to be true to ourselves, we will shine and allow others to shine as well.

 

 

The-Hundred-Foot-Journey-Kitchen-Scene-100FootJourneyEventThere are others put into our lives as gifts and challenges: Hassan was definitely a blessing and a curse to the young chef Marguerite. She had a beautiful heart and was very giving to Hassan & wanted to help him. But, the real challenge came when she was outshined. She had to learn to see the gifts and challenges that were created for her by having Hassan in her life.

 

 

e8e6eff534097b97_-2.xxxlargeIn the end, it is better to always have a loving heart: Madame Mallory had to face many challenging situations with the Kadam family & she was not happy about any of them. She fought everything to her ability, but in the end she realized that what she really needed was an open, loving heart.

 

Well, I hope these small lessons make you want to see this sweet, beautiful movie. I think anyone can take away something wonderful from this movie if you seek to find it. There truly are so many beautiful things. Hope you enjoy.

-Peace to you.  Heather


Leisure–Is the time to Refresh the Soul

Summer is coming to an end and there is something in the freedom of schedules, the time spent with children playing, the constant light, the leisure that sings to my soul. I feel a bit of sadness at its coming end.

 

nap-hammock“Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good plays, good company, good conversation–What are they? They are the happiest people in the world.”  -William Lyon Phelps

Brigid Schulte gave a Greek definition for the word ‘Leisure’–It is the time to refresh the soul. I LOVE that! Summer is all about leisure, making memories, enjoying family, bathing in every moment of sunlight and truly refreshing the soul.

So, how can we incorporate more Leisure time into our lives?? 

The Busy Epidemic is A major problem—we are addicted to being BUSY—busy on our phones, our schedules, our kids schedules, work, getting our Facebook time in, meals, cleaning, not to mention our favorite television shows… Time is an important issue for most of us, especially in the West. We save it, spend it, waste it, we never have enough of it. The concept of ‘time famine’ has become a familiar slogan in both academic literature and the popular media. 34% of people feel rushed all the time, with 61% never having any excess time and 40% saying that time is a bigger problem for them than money. Time has a vicious habit of slipping through our fingers, leaving us with the feeling that instead of being in charge of our own time, it is driving us. We are not just busy at work, we are busy everywhere. While people squander about a third of all free time (more than 14 hours a week) in front of their TV screens, they spend significantly less time on the activities they themselves consider as most pleasurable, like socialising and outside activities. (positive psychology.org.uk)

CHeck this OUT!! 8 things you may not know about BUSYNESS in the U.S.   The U.S. is Stressed Out—Commuters experience greater levels of stress than fighter pilots and riot police. More than one-third of all working adults get fewer than 6 hours of sleep a night–that’s over 40 million people with sleep deprivation. Check out the rest of these statistics at http://www.crossway.org/blog/2013/09/infographic-americas-busyness-epidemic/

 

 

142731154A Leisure Solution:

Create spaces of free or leisure time into your schedule. Brigid Schulte calls this “time serenity” or “flow”  Sometimes, oftentimes work can take over every aspect of your life, so if you set in place sections or breaks in your schedule, you ensure that you are taking some necessary time for you.

Increase the quality of your leisure activities—in your down time, don’t spend all your precious time plugged into the television or wandering through Facebook. Find activities that are truly relaxing, enjoyable, tap into your creativity, or may just infuse you with the joy you need. 

Watch your energy levels–if you are feeling drained by a work project or too much noise, too much of anything, take a break–a real break. Step away from the situation, grab a snack, breathe in some fresh air, take a walk. With higher energy, everything is better.

 

stock-footage-a-woman-riding-a-bike-in-the-swedish-countrysideSome ideas for leisure activities taken from Real Simple magazines “What would you do with Extra Leisure Time?”

Take a Nap: A recent sleep study conducted at the University of California at Berkeley showed that a nap at this hour restored subjects’ learning capacity, making them better able to process information at 6 p.m. In contrast, the learning abilities of non-nappers plummeted. In the Berkeley study, subjects napped for 90 minutes. However, research from Harvard University shows that just 30 minutes is enough to clear your head.

Spend time alone: “Being alone lets your brain refresh itself. You’ll feel best if you turn off the bells and whistles you are conditioned to. And avoid screens. Vegging out in front of the TV or some other electronic device still keeps your brain active.”

Get Out of Town: You don’t have to spend two weeks in Italy. Just a quick getaway “relieves the pressure of a day-to-day routine,”—Even check into a hotel for one night. Even on a short vacation, other people take care of you.”

Go to a spa: If you can book your massage on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday morning, there are perks beyond the free tea. “Spas are quieter and have more appointment openings,” says Susie Ellis, the president of SpaFinder, a global spa resource.

Make a wish list: Write down all the activities that you long to do more of―whether they’re things that make you happy, relaxed, sane(r), or all three. Rank the items in order of importance to you, then pick one or two to focus on.

Consider this: Devoting more time to what you love can help you get more done overall. Says Neil Fiore, Ph.D., a psychologist in Berkeley, California, “Research shows that to be productive and creative, you must make time for recreation and relaxation. Trying to skimp on them hurts your motivation and often leads you to procrastinate.” Plus, being a little selfish will keep you from becoming burned out or cranky.

Real Simple has another good article Make More Time For Yourself:  http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/time-management/step-back-second-10000001815333/index.html

 

happy-people-job-opportunitiesWhat Successful People do: Forbes had an interesting article ’14 things successful people do on weekends’ Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (Portfolio, 2012) and What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend (Portfolio, 2012), says successful people know that weekends are actually the secret weapon in professional success. “You need to hit Monday ready to go,” she says. “To do that, you need weekends that rejuvenate you, rather than exhaust or disappoint you. Cross-training makes you a better athlete, and likewise, exercise, volunteer work, spiritual activities, and hands-on parenting make you a better worker than if you just worked all the time.” Here are the 14 points: 1. Make time for family and friends  2. Exercise is the perfect opportunity to clear your mind and create fresh ideas.  3. Pursue a Passion “Successful people make time for what is important or fun. THey make space for activities that add to their life balance.”  4.Vacation  5. Disconnect. 6. Volunteer 7. Avoid Chores  8. Plan–Successful people plan their month and year because “if you get stuck on short-term lists you don’t get anything big accomplished.  9. Socialize  10. Gardening/crafts/games/sports/cooking/cultural activities  11. Network  12.Reflect–Truly successful people make time on weekends to appreciate what they have and reflect on their happiness.  13. Meditate  14. Recharge

 

I truly hope these ideas help you tap into the Leisure Time you seek, need, and hopefully, will make time for. It’s a good thing for you and those you love. Cheers to you. 


A few things to inspire LOVE

I am going to make this post short and sweet…full of good things. A few things I LOVE & want to share with you…enjoy!!

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I LOVE America’s Got Talent & my little family gets caught up in the wonderful acts, so last night there was one beautiful act that stood out for me…enjoy the beautiful music.

 

 

I also fell in love with a book called Of Love and Sea Glass by Donald Verger. Here is my favorite image from his book. It reminds me how LOVE is made up of so many little things.

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LOVElife_bloomFULL_webDoodling–Who doesn’t LOVE some free time to just doodle. To sit & swirl the ink, to make patterns, to have some quiet time, to let your mind wander. Just google ‘doodle ideas’ and let your mind play. Get out a sharpie and enjoy! (Image by Sashe)

 

 

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I also LOVE memories. I just had a birthday over the weekend & my husband took me and our daughter up to a lodge & then we went hiking. I tried to be intentional in making our hiking experience memorable. Usually my daughter just whines and complains, so when the whining began I began to tap into my inner child & made our hike like a ninja warrior training of jumping obstacles, log balancing, bouldering and puddle jumping. We tried touching the many butterflies that played and danced all around us. We marveled at the trickling stream, the beauty all around. We even named the hike our very own, “Fairy Hill” because of the beauty and wonder we enjoyed. The experience turned into amazing memories that we will always cherish. Be intentional with every moment, every day. 

 

 

mariannewilliamsonquoteI also LOVE quotes. Here is one of my favorites by Marianne Williamson. There are so many beautiful quotes, but this one seems to always remind me of inner fears, playing small & that no matter what happens we were made for amazing things, to shine, to become brighter.

 

 

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WHAT ARE SOME LITTLE THINGS THAT YOU LOVE? 


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