Step by Step

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For years my sweet family enjoys going places and finding rocks and pebbles we can tumble and treasure. We have big vases full of rocks we have published from oceans we have walked, rivers we have crossed, many places we have been.

We just got back from a trip in the caribbean and while I was there I picked up a simple bracelet that has a bunch of beads that look like a cobblestone path. I looked at it and thought, “this will remind me to take things in life one step at a time.”

As we returned home, my husband went back to work & was greeted by a very hostile situation that made him wonder if he would still have a job. I looked at the bracelet and thought, “We just need to take this one step at a time.”

No matter what obstacles come before us, all we can do is breathe and have faith that it will be a step in a better direction.

Another beautiful metaphor about pebbles is our influence on others.

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I love the sweet, simple reminders that we can find in nature. There are so many reminders of life’s great lessons.

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My husband is going to go back into his work situation and face another challenging week. I gave him a pebble to carry in his pocket to remember that each step is either an obstacle or a stepping stone and that a simple gesture can create a lasting ripple.

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May we all take on the faith we need to take our challenges and make them a stepping stone for our lives.

Peace to you.   -H

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COINCIDENCE?

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The definition of coincidence found in the American Heritage Dictionary is “A sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned or arranged.” This definition, of course, begs the question, “Planned or arranged by whom?”

So if our life has an architect, what’s our role in it?

Well, it’s not just to sit on the sidelines watching our life unfold. We can affect our future and our destiny, and God Winks can help us see that our choices are right. ..

We just need to accept that while life is often a mystery, we–each and every one of us–have a role in it as the mystery unfolds. We need to act on our dreams and be present to the appearance of the divine in our day-to-day existence. That is our destiny.

[taken from Squire Rushnell’s book, “When God Winks”

I LOVE his GOD WINK series. There are some incredible stories of coincidence. This morning I was reading one & sharing it with my daughter.

The two men who were most involved in the writing of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on exactly the same day in 1826.

The same day. But it wasn’t just any day. They died on the Fourth of July, the date on which that historic document was signed. But it wasn’t just any Fourth of July. It was the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. -From Squire’s book

WoW! This is NOT the end of the story. You must buy the book and read the rest of Squire’s personal God Wink with this story. It is amazing.

The point! We all have days or moments where we may feel small or lost in the universe, unsure of direction or where we should go next. But when you read stories about coincidence, you realize the small miracles all around us, nothing is forgotten, timing happens and we begin to see that life is motion. God wants us moving towards good, seeking our best, doing our part and helps us along to where we need to be.

 

TOUCH

My family started watching an old television series, “Touch” & at the beginning of each episode there are messages.

This show came to me in my own God Wink. My young friend who came to me through a stray cat. (story is on my blog) We have been in close connection for months now & she suggested this series to me & I have loved it. There are some good messages. [FYI: The first show in the series is intense & has a lot going on, but then the stories continue & there are some beautiful moments and great meaning.]

Here is the first message from the series:

We can not help but wonder how much difference one person makes in the world. We look inside ourselves questioning if we have the capacity for wisdom and greatness but the truth is every time we take an action we make an impact, every single thing we do has an effect on the people around us. Every choice we make sends ripples into the world and our smallest acts of kindest can cause a chain reaction of unforeseen greatness. We may not witness the results but they happen all the same.
the point where all things are possible, the moment when a choice is made or an action taken, the breath inhaled before a first step forward and at most the last chain reaction started by those moments and actions and choices are always the ones that are started by love…
“The ratio is always the same. 1 to 1,618 over and over and over again. The patterns— are hidden in plain sight. Just have to know where to look. Things most people see as chaos actually follow subtle laws of behavior. Galaxies, plants, seashells. The patterns never lie. But only some of us can see how the pieces fit together. 7,080,360,000 of us live on this tiny planet. This is the story of some of those people. 
There’s an ancient Chinese myth about the Red Thread of Fate. It says the gods have tied a red thread around every one of our ankles and attached it to all the people whose lives we’re destined to touch. This thread may stretch or tangle, but it’ll never break.
It’s all predetermined by mathematical probability, and it’s my job to keep track of those numbers, to make the connections for those who need to find each other… the ones whose lives need to touch.

The show is great, but the beginning “Jake quotes” are my favorite. They make me think about patterns, numbers, connection, fate, coincidence.

 

imageWhen we begin to look closely for the small coincidences in our life…the books we are drawn to, the shows that make us think bigger, the people who we meet that lead us to higher parts of ourselves…we begin to see the larger picture for our life. There are no small things. All those small “signs” lead to the greater good for all.

You are  a message in the world. What are you sharing? That is no coincidence.

Be a light. Be a beacon that someone may need. We are holding signs in one way or another for someone else to find.

Peace, love and connection to you today.   -H

 

Pursue a better YOU.

This-Is-Your-Life-Be-You-Dc35I recently saw an audi ad that stated “Progress is in the pursuit.” I LOVE that!!

Are we not all trying to pursue a better version of ourself in one way or another??

If you think about it, you cannot progress if you don’t pursue it.

My daughter came back from camp a better version of herself. She said it was “life-changing.” She talked about speakers who made her cry, getting asked tough questions from a young, teen who was a homosexual, having a conversation with a young man who recently was injured and left in a wheelchair & hearing how others perceived her. Every experience was an opportunity to learn, to progress, to pursue answers for herself and see new perspectives for her life.

I wish we could all go to camp as adults and learn those important lessons. How would our perspectives shift?? How would we see ourselves a little more clearly?? Would we open up fully? Would we put on a mask?

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

ASK YOURSELF THIS–Do you feel you are vulnerable to others? Do you open up easily? Do you feel you often wear a mask or put on a fake smile? Do you hide behind your phone? Do you hide your real life behind a fake instagram/facebook reel?

What are you pursuing? Is it authentic? Are you pursuing a real version of a better you? or are you too worried or preoccupied to show up for others and what you feel they want to see?

PURSUE YOU. Do YOU. That is the truest and best part of what you can offer the world.

-Peace to you today. xoxo  H

“A person who walks in purpose doesn’t have to chase people or opportunities. Their light causes people and opportunities to chase them.”

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Personal Quests

happiness-quotes-everything-is-a-gift-of-the-universe-even-joy-anger-jealousy-frustration-separateness-everything-is-perfect-growth-enjoyment-ken-keyes-wisdom-quotesMy sweet, 15-year-old daughter just left for her FIRST home-away camp where she will not be able to talk to her parents, use a phone & will be sleeping away for five days. She left with butterflies in her tummy, anxiety, fear, overwhelm, but knew deep down this was going to be a very good, positive growth opportunity for herself.

She arrived at the drop-off location and noticed a big group of other kids waiting with duffles, sleeping bags, pillow, etc. Her immediate reaction was then, “My duffle is too big!” Her personal overwhelm then turned into ‘my stuff is going to draw too much attention!’

Isn’t life funny like that. We are first perceived by ‘our stuff’ and then as we get beyond the exterior ‘stuff’ and go deeper, we are able to find our place, our desires, our quests, to connect on deeper levels with others, to learn what is truly important, to see what defines, to then have a clearer picture of who we are–on the inside. Sometimes it takes a personal quest, an act or instance of seeking or pursuing something; a search.

Why do we send our kids to camp? to open a door for themselves to seek something within, to pursue learning things about themselves, to give them an opportunity to be alone with who they truly are and find a clarity that will help guide their life.

Life is a big, giant quest for answers, guidance, depth, challenge, change, growth, and as we seek after various things we learn…TRULY learn what is important and what we value from within.

I believe everyone becomes stagnate until they begin to notice where there life may need some injections of purpose, play, adventure….personal quests!!

Let’s take a few lessons from my daughter’s experience & see how they can help us with our own life quests.

DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES MAKE US GROW: 

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I had to remind my daughter that through challenges we grow. The flower does not fully bloom until it has broken through the tough soil to feel the warmth of the sun. We often have to go through hard things to find a place that can challenge us on another level.

Every experience truly does have a gift if we can look for it. Whether it brings us pain or discomfort, the gifts will be found after we make it through the tough packaging.

Even knowing my daughter will not be able to see or talk to us for five days (which has never happened in her entire 15 years of life), I know the separation will be so sweet when we see her again. She/we will have gained an even deeper appreciation for our relationship.

There are gifts in every life experience.

 

BE A CONSTANT SEEKER OF LEARNING: 

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If we are constantly striving to learn, growth in a variety of ways will follow. Think about it–if you are always reading, you are improving your writing skills, comprehension, spelling, imagination, reducing stress, expanding your vocabulary, etc. If you are constantly seeking to take a class (online or in person) you will gain confidence and education. When you are trying to expand your mind through growth in any area of your life—it is a quest to become better than you were. We should always be striving to become better than we were yesterday.

 

BE FLEXIBLE:

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Dr. Wayne Dyer use to talk about striving to be flexible like a palm tree because they can bend in a storm and not break. If we can look at a situation and try to find a better way, to be flexible in the moment, the journey will be a little easier.

Today my daughter left the car, met a couple of girls & instantly joked, “Hi, I am Kate, the girl with the big bag!”  I laughed out loud thinking about the perspective she took. How she just went with the situation and was flexible enough to make it a funny moment.

 

FACE THE FEAR & DO IT ANYWAY: 

98c77c07fa270d19fe4e8472d14b469aI think we are often put in circumstances where we are afraid of the outcome–whether it is a work meeting that could turn confrontational, going to a class with people you have never met, trying a new sport & not wanting to look foolish…

When we face a fear there is no question we walk away a little taller. Think about a situation where you were afraid to go, afraid of an outcome, but you pushed yourself to go through with it.  Did you walk away feeling stronger and more confident? absolutely.

My daughter was terrified to go to camp & a couple of months ago when I brought up the topic of going, she was digging in her heels and determined not to go. I know that even at this moment, she may still feel some fear, but she is feeling more confident in knowing where she was & where she is today.

 

FIND JOY:

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When we are able to find things that bring us JOY, life becomes the purest version of what we need internally. The quest for Joy is an illusive one, until you take the time to find those things that light you up. When something lights you up, you are on your way. When we find and do things that light us up, it naturally lights up others around us. We find an internal spark that ignites ideas, creativity, energy, pursuits of variety…it brings us to places that sing and ignite individual purpose. We truly come alive!

This is one of my daughter’s favorite quotes of all time. She believes this with her whole heart. She has this spirit that wants to change the world & I know as she strengthens her courage muscles, faces fears, is challenged and finds growth, she will continually find her way & make the difference she desires. I see her light up after volunteering at our local aquarium and teaching kids about marine life. I see her light up when she speaks in front of groups. I see her light up learning new things. I see her light up when she has to face a challenge & knows it will be good for her.

Life should be full of things that help us pursue personal quests all of our life!! When we are learning, growing, being challenged to change—we will then be led to things that light us up & we will continually find higher parts of ourselves.

When we are striving to become better each day…each day truly will be better.

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Life is a sincere pursuit of things that will stay with us always. Look for the gifts in all you do. Make it a personal quest to find them. They are there to be unwrapped and enJOYed.

Peace, love and joy to you today.  -H

ENTHUSIASM

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I truly have always loved the word ENTHUSIASM. When you understand the greek term, you appreciate the word even more…en theos or “God within.”   What power that word possesses. If we could all live from such a place of enthusiasm, what a world we would live in.

Yesterday, I was driving through a breakfast burrito spot and ordered a simple, breakfast burrito. I made the exchange at the drive-up window & was then greeted by such an enthusiastic encounter. The guy at the window handed me my order & enthusiastically said, “I have only made 4 of those burritos in 2 years!! Keep the orders coming! I love shaking things up and making something different!” He beamed with enthusiasm. I drove away giggling with my daughter at how sweet that interaction was, to see a man working at a fast-food restaurant so happy to make something a little different. Variety was definitely his spice of life. It lit him up!

Are we not all like that? Don’t we need to shake things up, to add some variety into our lives.  Last weekend my family rented some paddle boards, which one of them was a huge 18 ft board that could fit multiple people. My daughter does not love trying new things, especially in front of other people, like my family. I wanted my daughter to TRY & I know she has the personality that you have to keep pushing and pushing until she finally does. We were having a serious conversation & she was digging in her heals pretty serious. She was not having any of the conversation & was not about to get on a paddle board. After a serious, stern moment, she finally gave in after I promised her it would just be our little family on the large board.  I only get stern if I know she will enjoy it & the situation was getting too serious. The conversation paid off. My daughter hesitantly got on the board, tried something new and loved it. The whole day would have been a different day if she would not have got on the board and spread her little wings and tried. She was filled with enthusiasm. She paddled cousins all around the lake, she started water fights with uncles, she found a little part of herself that needed to fly and be free from the constraints of the usual, the comfortable.

When we leave the comfort zone, we tap into a deeper part of ourselves that needs to grow. When we try new things, we light up. That ‘God within’ part or enthusiasm shines through and joy springs from us. It is a good place to be.

What can you do today to shake things up, to tap into that part of you that needs to feel enthusiasm?

“An enthusiastic heart finds opportunities everywhere.”  -Paulo Coelho

Take some time to do something you truly enjoy–maybe you feel you don’t have enough time in a day. Think about all the great minds throughout history, what they accomplished, and how they had the exact number of hours and days you have. How will you make today different? Begin with 15 minutes. That is all. Do something you enjoy for 15 minutes.

Avoid being the victim–my husband’s sister has been a functioning addict for over 30 years until recently. She fell into a pit and stayed there. We just removed her from her old world & threw her into an uncomfortable situation. She hit rock bottom–she could have been the victim, but instead she got moving. She began walking 5 miles a day and seeing herself through other lenses than the victim ones he had been wearing. She is moving in a forward direction for her life. It all begins with a choice. What do you want to focus on? What statements are you saying to yourself?

What lights you up? What is something you could spend hours doing? Maybe you enjoy walking museums for creative inspiration. Maybe you could go on a hike every day. Maybe you love to read or write. Maybe playing or listening to music. Maybe learning something new…ask yourself, ‘what lights me up?’

Take care of yourself–make sure you are doing what you can to have good energy, eating good foods, getting enough sleep, exercising, drinking water, etc. If you are not taking care of your body, how can the spirit part of you be influenced & feel good?

Evaluate the energy drains of your life–are there things you do that bring you down, that make you feel low. Are there people or friends that you don’t enjoy being around, you feel zapped from spending time with them. Are there things about your job that lower your energy. Look at different aspects of your life and evaluate what lights you up, what makes you feel lower energy and try to slowly limit those things that don’t light you up. You will begin to see the high and low energy effects of everything in your life.

Look at your body language and verbal language–what are you saying? Do you carry a positive body posture or do you walk hunched over. Are you saying positive things to others & yourself or do you find yourself being more negative than positive. Do you sit tall or slouch. Walk and talk as if you are feeling full of enthusiasm & what you will be telling your mind and body is that you are truly feeling it!

Avoid the bad life stressors–my husband has recently been trying to take on a new role at work. The stress has been unbearable to watch. He comes home, his eyes are sunken in and he is exhausted, there is no possible energy of enthusiasm that can thrive on that! When you over stress, you over work, you become overwhelmed and your body is depleted. Nothing can grow or light up from the hard depths and dark energy of bad stress. This is when sleep, slowing down, and recharging is essential to begin again.

Learn something new–realistically, when you learn something new, you get lit up. Think of a time recently that you learned something new–what happened? Did you have a renewed energy? Did you want to learn more? When we challenge, we grow. When we grow, we light up.

Surround yourself with positives–listen to positive podcasts, put on music that makes you feel good, watch movies that stir your soul (feel good–not make you feel heavy), be around people who are happy & feel good, read and send positive quotes, read good books that will make you stretch and grow, do things that make you feel positive and fill your heart with enthusiasm.

 

May you light up. May you find enthusiasm. May it find you in all you do.

Peace and love to you today.  -H

No Coincidences.

da929b61eae52f230f44395585967eeeI had a lost cat camping out on my porch for over a month. I wasn’t sure who it belonged to, so I posted ads looking for the owner, asked around my neighborhood, but no luck. Finally, after having this cat rub up against me, begging for attention, I knew I had to find it a good home. I am allergic & could barely touch it. I felt bad, but knew someone could give it the love it needed.

Then L walked into my life. She was just out of foster care, just turned 18 and was finally trying to make a life of her own. She responded to my ad for the lost cat & wanted to give it a good home. L has lots of love to give, so I thought the two would be a great match. Off they went together. At that point, I had no idea what a gift we would be for one another.

L kept reaching out & sending me pics. First she sent me one of her, the cat and a little old lady she helps take care of. L told me that she was trying to get her CNA and was currently helping elderly people at a facility & many of them missed their pets. L was going to use the cat to help the elderly. I LOVED that idea & when I saw the pic, my heart melted. L was doing good things and so was the kitty.

L and I have been corresponding back and forth via text for weeks now. Her story is one of abuse, heart ache, adoption, cruelty, self harm, detention and finally foster care. That last year helped turn her life around by taking her out of a dysfunctional place and giving her hope.

In our conversations I have seen her hope, her big heart, her love of animals and her good will to help people. I also saw her need for connection, her feelings of being alone with no family, her yearning to be loved. So, I invited her over for dinner.

She came over last night & brought her boyfriend. I was honestly not sure what to expect or if it would be awkward. It was a gift to all of us. Both of these young kids, coming from the same small town & having no relationships with their family because of past lives. We all sat around the dinner table talking, sharing stories, connecting and enjoying our differences. They needed love and connection—who doesn’t!! We went on a walk down our forested path, we talked about nature, animals, silly things that made us laugh. L and I heard how similar we are–our love for nature and animals, how we can be misunderstood for our sensitivity, our big hearts, our love for living things (even spiders). We now know we are true kindred spirits. I think we will always be connected in some way. I told L, “I believe there are no coincidences. Kitty brought us together for some reason.” We both just smiled at one another and knew it was true. Getting to know this young girl helped me to once again see how important it is to be in tune to what others may need. We are a gift to one another.

WE ARE A GIFT TO ONE ANOTHER. Is a story, an experience that continues to be told through each one of us. Look at those around you and don’t judge. Just open your hearts and hands to help give them help, understanding, love, kindness, part of yourself.

It is a gift to each and every one of us, if we reach out and grab hold of someone who may need us.

Have a beautiful day. Smile at a stranger. Talk to someone who may look different than you. Listen to a story. Share a moment. You will be better for it. I promise.

Peace to you today.  -H

What one single thing can YOU do?

WOW! It is truly humbling to see different projects, movements, videos, songs, people…making a difference. It is AMAZING!!

I LOVE thinking of doing one thing that could make a difference in someone’s world. ITS HUGE. Think about it!! Think about a time in your life when you did one small thing, but it made a big difference to someone else. YOU CAN! I CAN! WE CAN!! Even one small step at a time.

A SWEET GIRL–I just met a young girl yesterday. I had posted an ad in my local paper looking for a home for a stray cat that had been left in my neighborhood & has been living on my back porch for over a month. After trying to find the owners & not able to give it the love it needs (I am allergic) I posted an ad. This young, probably 18 year old girl responded & when I met her she began sharing her story….she had just got out of the foster care program, had been abused, adopted for money, lots of dysfunction. But then she lit up telling me that her life had changed since she had been living with a couple who have helped over 600 girls in the past 30 years. Her gratitude towards them was intensely positive & she was so positive talking about her experience with them. They made a definite difference in her life.

We had a fun conversation & I am sure we will keep in contact. The thing that was so amazing to me—thinking about the great impact that one couple had on so many lives. It is humbling to think of one couple taking in, investing, nurturing and trying to better the world of so many girls lives. AMAZING.

I LOVE stories that inspire, and even more, people who inspire. Here are some other people who are making a difference one message, one story at a time.

Take this guy—Prince Ea…rapper poet to movement maker! I LOVE this video & look how many people he has touched. WOW!! over 6 million views.

His other statement–SORRY TO FUTURE GENERATIONS—SAVE THE TREES–is another video close to my heart & has made an even BIGGER statement with over 11 Million views. One voice. One action. One stand. He just began!! That says something.

I LOVE trying to spread anything GOOD. It all makes a positive difference.

USE your VOICE. SAY SOMETHING that needs to be said. DO SOMETHING that needs to be done. USE your life!! USE IT FOR GOOD!!

Here is another great story about one person making a movement–BECAUSE I SAID I WOULD 

Make sure you listen to the whole story. The reason he truly started the organization was a very powerful story. Not just his Dad, but someone else.

I hope these stories make your day a little brighter!! I hope it helps you think about something small you can to do make a difference in the world.

Peace and Love to you today  -H