LOVE wins

Lessons from the Netflix series, Harry and Meg

**There are spoilers in this post from the series, so just be aware. 😉 ** Watch it first and then compare your feelings with the lessons I took away. Many of these quotes are not in the series. I wanted to bring in different elements of who they are.

I just finished the Netflix series and wanted to make sure I wrote down some key thoughts and feelings after watching their story. It was an over-the-top shock that this could happen to anyone, but especially them. It was a great peak into a different world and reality of two lovely people trying to survive so many variables, that frankly, would be tough for anyone to face. More power, hope, love and light sent to you, Harry and Meghan. You just keep trying to shine a little brighter for the world and guide people to those higher places. Thank you. Thank you for fighting for good, for LOVE and showing us how LOVE truly does WIN. xoxo

I know there are various views, people who struggle with them or their story, but to me, there were some great lessons about the greater things that truly matter in life.

Here are some of my key takeaways:

LOVE wins. I loved that message. Because I too, am a great believer in the idea that LOVE will conquer and win over FEAR. period. Their story is a love story full of heartbreak, loss, betrayal, friendships, family, race, female power, connection, and the will to overcome some hard circumstances and still keep standing with the beauty and grace of royals. They are real life examples of people leaning on one another, trying to do good in the world and it shows through in their love and care for one another and all the people and places they touch. LOVE does WIN in the end.

No matter what I HAVE YOUR BACK: Their whole relationship has been full of distractions, so it is key that they are able to see each other through the chaos. About their wedding: The whole thing was surreal. It was at that moment, I could also see H. … H and I are really, really good at finding each other in the chaos. When we find each other, we reconnect to, ‘Oh it’s you. It’s you.’ It’s not that the rest of it doesn’t matter, but … the rest of it feels temporary.” — Meghan. “I know that at the end of the day, she chooses me. I choose her. Whatever we have to tackle will be us together as a team.” -Harry

BE TRUE TO YOURSELF because there will always be haters. Do YOU. “You draw your own box. Introduce yourself as who you are…you create the identity you want for yourself.” -Meg. “I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”– Meghan Markle. It was interesting to watch Meg talk about her time when she was first at the palace and how her wardrobe consisted of mostly muted colors that would blend in and she would fade into the background. She did not want to stand out, but after all the chaos, royal drama, media frenzies of hate, Meghan began to find her place and became more aware of her voice, what needed to be said and the colorful outfits followed suit.

I think they went through so much together and had to fight so hard for one another, their life, their personal necessities, that they just continued to be true to who they were and the life they wanted. They were not going to let others dictate and tell them who they were going to be. They have their own strengths, ideals, and ways to help the world and one another. They were true to themselves and what they ultimately knew they needed to do to flourish as a family.

FAMILY SHOULD HAVE YOUR BACK OR they aren’t a good family. (Her Dad, the Royal family, her sister..) It was heartbreaking to see how both sides of their family began to betray them for their own personal gains. It really illustrated how easily people are swayed for various reasons and how important loyal friends and family became even more important.

FRIENDS CAN BE FAMILY: It was so refreshing to see an incredible group of friends who rallied behind and lifted Meg up in her times of need. She seemed to have a great support system of friendship. What a beautiful gift to have.

You may have to seek and FIND YOUR OWN JOY: If you think about the paths of the Royals—it is all laid out for them. Their schedules, their schooling, their meals, their hobbies, their social engagements…everything. I think what was a really turning point for Harry was joining the military and finding something that wasn’t the normal. He began to see things from a different perspective, which then led him to other places and experiences, that helped him forge his own path and to seek his own joy. Both of them found different paths of joy that fueled and ignited them with purpose. Then together, they were able to see their similar joys and create an even more concrete path to where they wanted to go and do the work they wanted to do as a couple.

HOPE can be passed down: “I hope we can remember my mother’s legacy by recommitting to those we serve, whoever and wherever that may be.” -Harry. “My mother died when I was very young. I didn’t want to be in the position I was in, but I eventually pulled my head out of the sand, started listening to people and decided to use my role for good. I am now fired up and energized and love charity stuff, meeting people and making them laugh.” — Prince Harry

I think this is a very real feeling for Harry. He sees a lot of himself in his mother’s life, her work, which constantly fuels him to pass along her legacy and make her proud.

YOU ARE NEVER ALONE—someone will be there. I LOVED the incredible story of Tyler Perry. I did not know a lot about him, but his unconditional desire to help a stranger in need was beautiful. It illustrates how we are all connected and in times of need, someone WILL be there. Respect. There were also other various times when strangers reached out to give a thank you or show they care in some way for the humans on the other side of the camera. We are all just people, in the end. People who need to be heard, cared about, respected and ultimately loved. (Tyler Perry. Flight pilot who thanked her for her service. The reporter in Australia who cared)

RACE RESPECT: “I encourage and empower each of you to really stand in your truth, to stand for what is right — to continue to respect each other.”-Meghan. I felt so sorry that the Royal family missed a great opportunity to truly embrace the race issue. It was heartbreaking to see Meghan and Harry touch lives in so many countries, to bring hope of equality & then have the Royal family seem to challenge her every step, to erase her power over respect. It was genuinely sad and disheartening. I fully agreed with Harry as he was talking about what an asset Meghan is and how it was such a missed opportunity.

The importance of feeling SAFE and SECURE: From their very beginning Harry seemed to have this intrinsic value of keeping those he loves very safe. Understandably, with seeing what happened to his mother & then seeing what was happening to Meg. From the very beginning he wanted to keep her safe. From their first trip together, “He was like, ‘I promise I’ll keep you safe.’ And I believed him.” — Meghan

NEVER BELIEVE THE LIES: “Every day you are inundated with an overexposure of advertising and mainstream media, social media and endless comparisons, distorting the truth and trying to manipulate the power of positive thinking. But you don’t let them sway you.” — Prince Harry It was so crazy to see how the media was manipulated and used. It truly was mind-blowing to see the serious actions that were taken to just create a media circus of lies and how various pools of people were used. It was so sad to see how easy it was to feed Meghan to the wolves and continue to try and break her power. It definitely showed me a perspective of the media lies that was unheard of.

HAVE FAITH OVER FEAR: everything seemed to be crumbling down around them but they had faith in strangers to keep them safe. They had faith in each other to weather the storm. They had faith in the love for their family and the greater hope of the life they were seeking to live. They had faith in sharing their voice and expressing their story. They had faith that they would prevail the fear that was trying to engulf their every move.

PURPOSE driven life is important: “If we look at the world we are living in, I know it can feel challenging sometimes, but our role is to shine the light.” -Prince Harry. “With fame comes opportunity, but it also includes responsibility—to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings. And, if I’m lucky enough, to inspire.” – Meghan Markle

The two of them seem to have a fire of purpose. They are sharing their voice, they are creating a different life for their children, they are doing work that gives them purpose, they are definitely driven to make a difference in all they do.

Don’t just SURVIVE, you THRIVE: It’s not enough to just survive something, right? That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive, you’ve got to feel happy.” -Meghan. That is quite a statement after seeing the series. You see her get so beat down into a place of unhealthy mental depression. You see her go through things with family that no one should go through. You see her trying to fit and find her place with a Royal family that seemingly never had the intention to include or embrace her for who she is. You saw bullying at an over-the-top unhealthy amount. You saw a girl in love with a boy who was doing her best to just stay above water, while also handling everything with grace and dignity. She was so unhappy, yet she survived brutal attacks, judgements, haters, threats, etc. Meghan showed the world her true strength. She has pushed through the survival and is doing her best to thrive and create an even better life of purpose. You go.

NOTHING CHANGES UNLESS SOMEONE HAS A VOICE: “If there was a wrong, if there is a lack of justice, and there is an inequality, then someone needs to say something. And why not me?” – Meghan Markle. Meghan had a letter taken and exploited by the media and she was determined to prove how wrong things can go. She fought for years and ended up winning and using her voice to make a point. “Women who had the strength to really stand up for something that they knew needed to be done is the best example of no matter how small you might feel, how low you may feel on the ladder or the totem pole, no matter what color you are, no matter what gender you are, you have a voice and you certainly have the right to speak up for what is right.” -Meghan

You may have to CREATE YOUR OWN SOLUTIONS: “You don’t sit back and wait for solutions; you take action and create them.” -Harry Harry had to make some very tough decisions for the sake of the wellness of his family, so he had to find a new path; create their own new solutions. It wasn’t easy.

Overall, it was a very informative series with a whole, new perspective on the Royal family. I fell in compassion and love with Harry and Meghan, their love story and the strength they carry in all they do. They are a great couple who is striving to do great things. That is the best we can ask from anyone. I sincerely wish them the best future together with their beloved family. I hope beautiful things for their life. I appreciate their incredible influence for good. You go.

LOVE WINS.

Peace. Love and Light. xoxo -H

Under the INFLUENCE

“Because everything we say and do is the length and shadow of our own souls, our influence is determined by the quality of our being.” -Dale Turner

My heart sinks every time I talk to my brother because his life is under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol has become his out, his “honest communication,” his excuse, his best & only friend, his world away from his reality. He is almost fifty years old and literally has become an alcoholic within the last ten years. How does that even happen? He didn’t even drink before that! What!?! Conversations with him have turned family against him, his children don’t talk to him anymore and he is creating more and more of a burnt bridge to anywhere he remotely is. Slowly but surely no one will be able to reach him. It is a sad reality.

I thought about the phrase, “Under the Influence,” and it began to hit me that life is a constant influence. What influences are you allowing to rule? What influences are you living? Are you an influence for good? Are you under the influence of light or darkness? Are you under the influence of good or bad relationships? Are you under the influence of addictions, whether they are food, shopping, drugs, lying, drinking, media time, gaming, etc. It is even easier to get sucked in to various avenues of influence because the world seems to attract the weaknesses that exist within us.

Would you say that you are aware of your influence? How are you around other people? What kind of energy do you carry? Do you lift and build or pull others down? Do you judge or shame? Do you gossip or hate? What do you say to others? Are you an influence of positive or negative? Think about it.

Again, what influences are you under? What influence are you? What influences you? good or bad. Look at your life.

My brother who has a drinking problem has been in a very serious life eddy and it has been hard for anyone in our family to pull him out. He drinks and drinks, sends text that say F*** you to my dear mother and other family. He has no respect for others and it is so hard to see him spiral under such an influence. He often uses the excuse, “it makes me be honest with my feelings.” He will call me so drunk and never remember our conversation. It is so hard. But, the saddest part is how it has ruined his relationships with his children. He could be such a positive influence within their life, but he chooses alcohol every time. It is a vicious cycle of such a mind-numbing, life-stealing, heart-breaking, addictive influence.

What is influencing your life??

How are you spending your time?

Be selective of who you spend time with, what you do with your time, where you spend your money, what influences you allow in…what you are filling your life with. Every single decision you make…it is a choice. It will have a direct influence on you, whether it is good or bad. Think of it like this. Do you think you will feel better by getting lost on social media for hours or taking one of you kids out for a one-on-one dinner conversation. What about tv time—would it be better spent getting lost in a reality show of hot bodies all vying for shallow intent or a documentary where you will learn something and expand your mind? Honestly, influences are all around you, so you have to be aware and make daily decisions on how, what, where and when your influences will sway you for your life.

“In every day, there are 1440 minutes. That means we have 1, 440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.” -Les Brown

“We have a responsibility to influence the people in our lives to be the best possible people they can be: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” -Henry Cloud

I have talked to my daughter numerous times about this topic. She is in her second year in college and the campus she is on has been a challenge on various levels. My daughter is a very outgoing, bubbly, positive light of a person, but the time she has been there has been very lonely. She has found people don’t have the social skills to reciprocate her positive energy. She is constantly filling up other people with kindness, compliments, connections, bringing people together, planning gatherings, etc. Only to have everything feel very one-sided. It has been very tough.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” -Napoleon Hill

We had a conversation about influence and how she needs to just keep trying to be that positive influence, to continue shining a light and doing those things that will help fuel good…to plant good seeds within those people around her. She continues to strive to just be an influence for good. Sometimes you just have to plant the seed and have patience that it will grow into beautiful things across the campus. She is a leader, so it is in her nature to influence for good. It is a great gift that she has been given. Sometimes it might be hard to open the gift, but with the right intentions—good things come.

How can you be a positive influence for others? According to the Keller Institute, There is an ever-increasing epidemic of unhappiness in the world. There are 580,000,000 people Googling “How to be happy?” People complain, find fault, reject, criticize, and ridicule. Often for no reason other than they have found this the best way to get attention. Or perhaps they believe this is their only option for action. But there is another way to get attention or to find additional options. You can get others to respond to you with excitement and eagerness. How? By using positive influence. Positive influence is the impact you have on another person (AND yourself) by pointing out strengths and virtues. It is how you are, what you do, and the power you have on others to value what is best within themselves. Positive influence helps a person be better today than they were yesterday.

“If you can’t be your authentic self, you are connecting with the wrong people, they are wasting your time and holding you back. Meaningful connections require you to be your authentic self.” -Dr Henry Cloud

Strive for authentic connections. Ask people great questions, be genuinely interested in their life/stories, seek to understand their personal journey. Find those stepping stones through care and conversation that will bring authentic connection. I am always talking to my daughter telling her that questions are the building blocks to friendships, deeper relationships, etc. She is always afraid to ask deeper questions and I continue to push her to that authentic part of her that is vulnerable to share and let others in. We are all a work in progress, but with those connections comes greater influence, respect, care and deeper authenticity as a person.

Be positive. Be aware of the energy you carry. Do people truly want to listen or be around people who complain, vent, brag, negatively gossip about others, put down people in conversations, etc. Do your best to keep your conversations in a positive direction, listen, build, be aware of the energy and influence that you are sharing. You can FEEL what you are giving off or sharing with others. Is it good or bad?

Be kind instead of needing to be right. We are human. Everyone wants to be right, but being right is always putting yourself first and not listening or being aware of another person’s needs, voice or feelings. Kindness comes in as a equal.

Lead by example. I always tell my daughter, “Be the kind of friend you would want.” Begin with you. Put good out into the world, lead with love and others will notice and follow your example.

Be exquisitely present. How you listen, they way you resist the urge to talk over someone, avoid distractions (phone, texts, other people, etc), your eye contact, the genuine care you place in your conversations will make people feel seen and heard. Your influence with them will be reflected. It is the golden rule…treat others how you would like to be treated. It goes the same for being present with someone…listen with intent, truly listen to what is being said, don’t think about your response, just BE there with the other person.

“By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.” -Edwin Elliot

Do you. When you are freely sharing your gifts, your enthusiasm, your light….then it also allows other people to see your vulnerability and feel like they can be more themself. When people can be who they authentically are, that is when things begin to change, which leads to groups of people using their gifts and talents, which brings greater influence and bigger changes.

Share your purpose. Thousands of people today don’t believe in meaning and purpose as something to discover or pursue in life.  And others believe in a life purpose but won’t take the risk to identify or honor it.  Those with positive influence feel otherwise.  They have found that there is a purpose to their life, and that purpose usually involves some aspect of turning their “mess into a message,” or using what they’ve learned (often the hard way) as a means of being of service to others.  People with a sense of purpose are driven, focused, committed, and lit up from the inside – unable to be deterred or distracted from what they believe is the reason they’re on this planet at this time. -Forbes. Love that! mess into message.

Always be a beginner. I love this idea…to always be learning and growing…always a beginner of something. I have lived most of my life this way. I LOVE learning and have challenged myself to take various community education classes to grow. Whether it has been teaching a yoga class, taking a photography trip with strangers, meditation, writing, art, Irish dancing, Sailing, etc. There are so many things to learn in this life…that is an incredible influence, in itself. You can always be learning and loving the process of becoming better by just beginning.

Share your visions and ideas. The world only changes by the ideas and visions we can create. Nothing changes without the influence of artists, creators, visionaries, those willing to expand their thinking and share it with others.

“YOU have the power to make a favorable. impact and a positive difference in the world just by being YOU.”

Those are a few ideas to get you influencing others. But the real work begins with you and what influences you are under and how they effect your world. Look at where you are, what you want from life and be selective in the process of what you allow into your life. The people, the circumstances, the environments, the choices, the mindset, your self-talk, the way you communicate, the way you dress, the way you live…there is an influence in all things—be aware and choose the best directions for your life. It is your life. Make it the best possible adventure you can live. It begins with YOU.

xoxo Peace, Love and Light to you. -H

Life Necessities

Many would argue that this post should just say…Shelter, water, food, Clothing, but what kind of life is that truly going to consist of? Maybe, these are enough if you are sleep walking through life, but to truly awaken, one must go deeper, seek those essentials that are the true necessities for a life fulfilled.

Here are SOME of my personal necessities.

CONNECTION

“At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” -Albert Schweitzer

In all my many years of life, I sadly say this is one area that I genuinely struggle with, but with anything in life, we must continue to strive to become better. So, with my recent move I have been striving to connect with my new neighbors and investing in the people around me. It has definitely been more moments of positive connections that I am very grateful for.

In all things we connect, whether it is with nature, a gaze of eye contact, to hug your pet, to recharge your phone—all things have a current; an energy that connects in one way or another. Just like in nature, whether it is how a tree is connected to a grander forest, how the ocean ripples energy and connects to a shore, how bees are connected to a hive or how stars are connected to the sky, there is a deeper connection in all things. That is a sacred, deep truth—we are all connected.

May we find ways to seek out these deeper connections in nature, in relationships, in friendships, in strangers. There is a beautiful spark that flows and transforms in all we do. Be aware of the power you carry—the power that connects you to others. Everyone is on a personal journey, so smile, share the care, spread the love and connect deeper in all you do.

WATER Water has this beautiful magic, whether it is to cleanse, to hydrate, to bathe, to nourish, to balance, to energize. Water has a power and energy that covers the earth and is a living life force. We need water in our lives on every level. Our bodies are more than half water and our planet is 70%. Life is created from water, can heal from water, and bring an overall wellness to everything it touches.

“Always be like water–float in times of pain OR dance like waves along the wind which touches its surface.” – Santosh Kalwar

I love the visual of this quote. A visual that seems to always calm my soul is the idea of floating on my back down a slow moving stream with the sun warming my face. In any time of pain we need those visuals, feelings, experiences of floating, rising to the surface in a moment of adversity. OR dancing like waves along the wind makes me think of the ocean tides and the way the sunlight glimmers and dances like diamonds on the surface. It is a visual delight that brings serenity, calm, peace…to my soul. Water holds and carries a magic all its own.

“Don’t ever discount the wonder of your tears. They can be healing waters and a stream of joy. Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak.” -Wm Paul Young

This quote hit me straight to the heart because my beautiful, college daughter just had her first heart-breaking break-up that has left her feeling emotional and teary eyed. Her soul is aching and as her mother, my tears have welled to the surface many times for her sadness. I just read this quote and called her immediately. I told her to never discount or apologize for crying because tears can be such a healing vessel for the soul. I expressed how they bring about feelings, they rise with emotion, tears are a gift to help us understand our hearts fully. They are the cleansing balm for a broken heart, a message from heaven to those left behind, they roll down our cheeks as expressions of longing for something, whether love or loss, laughter, hopes, dreams, sadness or solitude. Tears are a deeper doorway to something within us that we need.

BREATH

“Breathe in the sweet air of limitless possibility, and make life as rich as you know it can be.” -Ralph Marston

Your breath can align your body, calm you physically and help you slow in times of stress, struggle, fear or frustration. It can guide you with an inhale and exhale to a solid space that allows you to just let go. Your breath is the life-force of your being–it controls, slows, and reacts to your own personal necessities to strengthen, fight or flight, to soften, to calm, to just be in a stillness of a needed moment. Your breath has power. Just breathe and allow. Your breath can take you on your own needed internal journey.

In my mindfulness class we did a lengthy body scan of breathing and body awareness. I was very intrigued as I began to control my breath to see how my physical mind began to react. As I put my breath in a steady inhale and exhale rhythm, I began to see physical images of the ocean tide coming and going. My breath began to follow the images in my mind, my heart slowed and I began to be guided by the rhythm of it all. It was fascinating.

GROWTH

“Personal development is the belief that you are worth the effort, time and energy needed to develop yourself.” -Denis Waitley

I stretched myself a bit and signed up for a mindfulness class that began last night. It was full of so many great things–connections with complete strangers, hearing people’s experiences, breathing exercises, and even a moment of mindful eating. Who knew there was such a thing! It was wonderful to step out of my norm and seek a deeper understanding of myself through guided meditations, listening to my internal dialogues and allowing a space to develop.

I believe you are your best asset to invest anything in. The more we can learn and grow in this life, the greater the nourishment we will feel from those things we take in. You can learn and grow in so many different aspects of your life. Seek within to find those areas that you need to stretch and move out of comfort. Maybe you need to sign-up for a class, maybe you need to push yourself to enter a race of some kind, maybe you just need to pick up a book and explore learning something new or maybe you need to watch an educational documentary instead of the mind-numbing regular programming that steals your time.

You may tell yourself you don’t have time or that luxury, but YOU are your best asset, so invest in you! Make and take the time back. Even if you listen to an inspired podcast while you are driving carpool, or you take a break from social media & take an online course. Your time is your time—take it back for the incredible benefits that are for you.

CREATIVITY

“Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.” -Anais Nin

I have heard the thought that creativity is a a divine connection with something greater than ourselves. It is awakening to ideas that swirl within, dreams that seem to come to life after a deep sleep, a pulse that pounds until you take notice, a whisper, a silent knowing…there are so many ways to describe the secrets to creativity. For some it is different than another. Every one of us has a creator within. It is just taking the time to tap into those places that swell up with excitement, a brilliant drive that overwhelms our heart, a nagging pull until you begin a work. Creativity is a divine calling and we must be still and listen within to hear the directions.

We must then also, act! Taking action is the other main ingredient for a creative life. When we begin to take notice of the little details that make life beautiful, when we fall in love with the simple realities, when we aspire to create something, worlds collide, magic happens, inspiration takes flight and our wings run wild to try and keep up with the whirl of creativity that calls to us. Listen. Be still and feel the rhythm that seeks you. Be a co-creator.

SHARE

One of my favorites…a Tibetan proverb: “Eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure.”

Because when we can find things that inspire us to share with others—that is a gift to everyone. Life is about giving and taking and the balances we can find in the essentials of living well. Always be seeking to find things to share, things that are positive and will send a goodness into the world. The world needs more light & giving, sharing, gifting GOOD is a start.

May you find those things, places, people, essential necessities you feel you need for your life.

Peace. Love and Light to you -H

FEAR & its POWER

This post is for my beautiful daughter who is struggling with some internal and external fear factors. Hope this helps, darling.

Fear remains like a shadow that follows. Here along the Oregon coast, I am going to compare it to the dense fog that comes and goes. It can be a gorgeous, blue sky day and then a thick fog can roll in within a few minutes and take over. It is fascinating.

Since I am new to the Oregon coast it has taken some getting use to the weather here and still I struggle with the fog, the lasting days of grey, but I also have been in awe of the quick changes that can happen and I often refer to the weather here as “a surprise.” If you can view things as a good surprise, things can seem better, right!?

My daughter just started her second year of college last week and it has been a tough ride. She broke up with her first love of seven months and started school days later. The week has been an emotional roller coaster and her inner fears seem to rise and fall like the tides here at the coast.

Our daughter is an incredible, outgoing, bubbly, fun, smart, beautiful girl that has so much going for her, so it has been so hard to see her fall victim to the struggles of the various fears that are on the rise within her world. She has been viewing her life from another perspective–that of needing external factors to make her happy. [ie: being with her boyfriend makes being on campus better, she would be happier with people giving her praise, her worth seems to be based on so many things outside herself] Her ego seems to be having a party and taking over in a negative light.

She seems to be allowing the fear to freeze and immobilize her. The campus ambassador job she has been so excited about & loved training for—is no longer of interest. The ocean club she is in leadership for is not giving her the attention she needs. She feels she has no friends. She feels alone. She feels she will never find people who are capable of being her friend…the feelings, the fears seem to be enveloping her and she is beginning to drown.

Our strong daughter is crumbling under the pressure of a campus she chose and she seems willing to sacrifice her happiness to make it. In a conversation with her yesterday she said, “I want to want to be here.” as tears rolled down her face.

As a mom you just want to fix everything and make sure she is safe emotionally and physically. It is tough. Today, she cried over the phone and said, “I have to make it work here. This is the place I chose.”

I stopped her and gave her my pizza analogy. I said, “You know I love pizza and I get sooo excited to try various places with yummy pizza, but IF I go somewhere new and I get a pizza that does not taste good, does that mean I should sit and suffer through the rest of the slices? There are plenty of pizza places out there. There are plenty of other life experiences you can get out and enjoy and not suffer through. I suggested study abroad in other countries.

Life is a journey, the fears will come, but it is how you manage them. It is how and what you allow them to do for your life. You can either fall victim to fears and get stuck or you can package them in a new “surprise” outlook and have them help challenge you in a different way with a new opportunity.

My husband and I listened to part of a podcast with the free solo climber, Alex Honnold. He had a great perspective on fear. He explained that he still gets afraid and sometimes the fear takes a firm grip during moments of his climbs. He talked about how people need to look at fear like they look at hunger. He said, we all know when we FEEL hungry and we then give our body what it needs. We need to look at fear the same way. We need to FEEL our body and the fear that is holding on and decide to put it to the side for a moment until we can handle it properly. Just breathe through the fear, set it aside and not emotionally react to it. Then, when you are calm and ready to handle the fear–then face it once you are in a better space to do so.

I sat and looked at the ocean after a tough conversation with my daughter. I just watched the ocean waves slowly roll and had this thought, I shared this with her as well, “The ocean comes and goes, up and down. You need to do a couple things: You sometimes need to dive deep below the surface to find a deep stillness, to find a calm within for yourself. Then on the flip side, you need moments that you take on the fears and emotions that are hard and show yourself that you are strong enough to ride them and see where you end up in the journey.” I felt that was a great analogy of our emotional journey–the ups, the downs.

I heard another interesting fact about our emotions—they can only last in our bodies for 90 seconds.

“Feelings are like ocean waves,” says psychologist Alyson Stone, “they rise, crest and recede, all day long.” We can all relate. But according to brain scientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, these waves last just 90 seconds. After that, we’re simply re-stimulating our internal circuitry. 

Explains Taylor: “When a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90-second chemical process that happens in the body; after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop.”

She goes on: “Something happens in the external world, and chemicals are flushed through your body which puts it on full alert. For those chemicals to totally flush out of the body, it takes less than 90 seconds. This means that for 90 seconds you can watch the process happening, you can feel it happening, and then you can watch it go away. After that, if you continue to feel fear, anger, and so on, you need to look at the thoughts that you’re thinking that are re-stimulating the circuitry that is resulting in you having this physiological reaction, over and over again.”

Sarah Chauncey weighs in: “What keeps emotions lingering are the stories we tell ourselves about them … Because we humans are story-making machines, we often tend to interpret our body’s signals as emotions, when in fact, they’re just … processes, happening. They will pass – unless we attach a story to them and keep them alive.” -thedanielislandnews

STRESS STRATEGY: try this Consider practicing the 90-second rule this week. When stress hits and you can feel yourself launching into full-on fight or flight mode, go back to the principle of the pause. Inhale. Exhale. And allow yourself to feel the tension in your body ease, without expecting yourself to respond immediately to the situation confronting you.” -same news as above

TIPS TO TAKE FEAR HEAD ON:

“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”
–Judy Blume

Every single one of us has a different capacity to take on various fears. My daughter has already swam in a tank full of sharks & that is one thing that would put my fear levels on high alert. But, some people may be afraid to get out of their comfort zone to take a community education class, go back to school, sign-up for golf lessons and for many that would be no big deal. While others would be terrified to stand up and give a talk, others light up at the opportunity. To each their own is a level of varying fears. So, we need to look at our own fears individually and find ways to face them. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do something that scares you every day.” Maybe you find one thing today that would scare you and take a step. If you can’t take a full step, put your toes as far to the edge and prepare to step tomorrow. smile. smile.

“Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”
–Yoda

Fear is resistance. period. Yoda is so wise. all of the things that fear breeds—creates a basis for nothing good and stagnates the soul.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
–Dale Carnegie

I have especially seen this with my daughter on her college campus. She can sit in her dorm and not leave, breeding her doubts and fears, but as soon as she gets busy for a class or work, her energy swings and she is in action, the fear subsides.

“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”
–Henry Ford

I love the great word, SURPRISE. The English noun surprise comes from late Middle English, from Anglo-French and Middle French surprise(e), a noun use of the past participle of surprendre “to seize, grasp,” literally, “to overtake,” from the French prefix sur- “excessive, over

Maybe if we can look at overtaking, seizing or stopping fear with Surprise—it can shift us to something greater. May we think and shift our way of thinking from Fear to WoW! We need to push our perspectives from the small person we become with the fears that reside and take on the Wow, I can do this and live from the confident person who seeks adventure in the surprises found.

Now–think of it like this. Think of all the things you have been afraid of—could be physical things like scuba diving, parasailing, zip lining, rock climbing, etc. It could be speaking in front of people, going to a party and having to socialize with a room full of people. It could be fear of failing in your marriage, your job, your life. NOW, step back and evaluate different situations where all of these things have happened to you in your life—in the end how did you FEEL? honestly, I bet more than not you were SURPRISED by the outcome!! You probably ended up loving your parasailing trip, you met some new friends at the socializing event, the job you did fail at led to something better suited for you. More than not, the things that fill us with the emotional fears are many of the things that end up leading to great life surprises.

“Run towards your fears. Embrace them. On the other side of your greatest fears lives your greatest life.” -Robin Sharma

Seek to make fear a friend. Embrace the surprises that come in the ups and downs of life tides. Ride the waves of emotions and find those things that make life worth living. Challenge and Change bring fear, but those are two of life’s greatest teachers.

“Write 10 times: ‘FEAR’ is my friend. Fear is the energy to do my best in a new situation. You don’t have to believe it; just write it.” -Peter McWilliams

Sometimes you fake it to make it. You just begin–you write it down and seek to believe you will find the best in any situation.

“Run towards your fears. Embrace them. On the other side of your greatest fears lives your greatest life.” -Robin Sharma

Run TOWARDS fear to fearlessly find your courage, your confidence, your best self. Run AWAY in fear to find your smallness, your insecurities, the smallest places of your self. Who do you want to be? Fearless or Small? It is a choice.

Peace, Love and Light to you in all you do. xoxo. -H

Mind. Body. Spirit.

I recently heard a beautiful statement…Your body is a connection between heaven and earth.

I LOVE that!! It hit me soo hard the importance of finding gratitude and strength in this human experience. These bodies that move, think, learn, play…We sometimes easily forget the gift of strength, movement, simple actions that get lost in forgotten corners of our busy lives. We easily take for granted being able to take walks, to play with our children, to breathe in the fresh air, to learn something new, to exercise and push our bodies to a higher degree. We often get lazy and don’t utilize time to challenge our lungs or help our hearts be healthier. We all have human tendencies to sideline our health in one way or another.

What if we look at that great line above and continue to seek ways to truly connect with our bodies, our spirits and connect them in various ways. How intimately beautiful would that be. Like, a beautiful promise to ourselves. Take care of YOU.

Here are some ideas…

FOR YOUR BODY:

Move. Don’t limit your life to a couch potato, a Facebook surfer, a time stealer of any sort. Life is too short and there are plenty of things to take up and waste your life. According to Heart.org & The MayoClinic Get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week. To provide even greater health benefit and to assist with weight loss or maintaining weight loss, at least 300 minutes a week is recommended.

Movement is Medicine. What is the best medicine for YOU?? Whatever it is you enJOY doing. The type of exercise you choose isn’t important. What’s important is working all your body parts with rigor — meaning to the point of breathing rapidly or sweating — for five to ten hours a week -bluezones

Nutrition. Eat from the earth. Eat organic whenever possible to avoid those foods that have been nutritionally depleted in the farming process. According to Chopra A simple way to make sure that you are getting a balanced diet is to include the six tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent) in each meal. The pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes, on the other hand, are anti-inflammatory and increase metabolism. These tastes are found in food such as radishes, ginger, mustard, peppers, spinach, mushrooms, tea, lentils lettuce, and so on. In addition to including the six tastes in each meal, focus on eating a variety of fresh and freshly prepared foods, while eliminating or at least limiting items that are canned, frozen, microwaved, or highly processed. These are “dead” foods that weaken health and accelerate aging.

Breathe. Breathing is energy. Breath brings oxygen into the cells, which ignites us with energy. Think about this—we can live without food, water, exercise…..but we need oxygen. We need the breath to cleanse, to move, to remove and all of it is done on varying levels of conscousness. We get busy, we dont take the time to breathe correctly and our shallow breaths don’t allow our bodies to function at its best.

Take a moment and learn to breathe to your best. Here is one example. There are many great exercises and resources to learn how to properly breathe and the exercises that will allow you to breathe fully.

*Here is a simple one that you can try at home:

  1. Take a seat on a chair adopting the 90 degree rule (chin at 90° to floor, hips at 90°, knees at 90° and ankles at 90°).
  2. Breath in through your nose for a count of four seconds, hold for two seconds and breathe out through the nose for a count of four.
  3. Really focus your energy and thoughts on your breathing with your hand on your stomach (notice that your stomach is moving rather than your chest, indicative that you are breathing deeply). Repeat several times.

Breathing brings our body and mind together and for both to function well, they need oxygen. By learning how to breathe well:

  • You become healthier and stronger
  • More endorphins are released which improves feelings of natural wellbeing
  • Your muscles relax
  • Heart rate and blood pressure decrease
  • You can help control your emotions and fears
  • Natural cleansing will take place allowing energy to be directed more productively
  • Feelings of stress, anxiety and depression can reduce
  • You will have a clearer and sharper mind
  • You will feel more ‘present’ and more alive. *healing-feeling.com

Sleep. Here is a list of 50 different things to help you achieve the sleep you need. https://novoslabs.com/tips-to-sleep-well-sleep-better-fall-asleep-faster/?gclid=CjwKCAjwx7GYBhB7EiwA0d8oe-VS0LvUcaeUtBcdnZqSFe8OMYxLygHk-2yGCri4dx91T3BDryJJIRoCQUcQAvD_BwE

A couple of my personal favorites: if you are struggling to sleep, imagine yourself floating down a river and the river is taking you away from your stresses. You are drifting further and further into a deep sleep. Breathing and couting your breaths will also help you relax and drift off.

FOR YOUR MIND:

Quiet your mind. Be still. We have an abundance of noise pollution in our daily lives, so the small amounts of time you can just take in silence, quiet your mind and be still, the better. We take this quiet time so for granted and probably don’t even realize it. We are bombarded by television ads, people talking, the hum of electronics, the vibrations of cars we move in, children fighting, alarms going off….just sit and listen to the amount of noise you take in at particular times of the day and begin to see the various pollution points of your mind. Take note. Begin to lessen the noise, let go of our learned behavior of having noise in the background to feel less lonely, to feel productive, etc. Get comfortable being still.

Naturally light it up. This is for varying degrees of the body and mind. Natural is always better with pretty much anything, but especially light. Just watch the plants in your home and see where they are drawn. Natural light is the way. Open the windows, breathe in the air, let in the light. Turn off your led’s and lights that dim out our life giving essence. We need natural light, almost like we need air. Get outside whenever possibe and just bathe in the natural light. Soak it up whenever possible. The benefits of natural light: gives your body the “sunshine vitamin” D that helps your body with depression, sleep balance, helps prevent bone loss, and reduces your bodies risk of many other health risks like heart disease and many cancers. Natural light is also better than flourescents with eye stress and strain.

Light tips: Please make sure you are wearing blue light glasses, avoiding screens before bed and doing all you can to wake up to beautiful, natural sunlight. Ditch the curtains & allow sunlight in. Hang mirrors to bounce sunlight to various parts of your home. The natural sun will be the best way to start your day.

Reading & Learning. Challenges different parts of your brain that enhances comprehension, language, and makes you an overall better writer and speaker. As individuals we can never learn enough, so reading, learning and challenging our various skill levels & finding ways to enhance who we are is an overall great gift to our lives. When we become better–life gets better. We also challenge those around us by the example we set– to grow, to be challenged and to create those good habits that will lead to better skills for our lives.

Relaxation. You may just need a good rest. Nourish your mind and body by just taking a needed break. Relaxation is a personal preference of what you feel you need. You may consider a nap, a walk outside, playing with your pet, reading a poem, writing in your journal, meditation, mindfulness…anything you feel calms and relaxes you.

FOR YOUR SPIRIT:

Laughter is the best medicine. Laughter helps relieve stress, eleviate tension in the body, reduces pain by creating your own feel good endorphins (happy chemicals), brings about connections with people, makes you happy. My own personal stress-filled situations, like my husband losing his job, we always resort to watching a string of comedies to help keep the blues at bay. Here is an article on the additional benefits https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456

Let go of negative emotions. release anything that brings about a draining energy, whether it is people, stressful situations, extra work that weighs on the emotions, etc. Find ways to productively eliminate added negativity in your world.

Have boundaries. Be aware of your personal needs and be able to say “no” Remember invitations are not obligations. Choose those people, activities, invitations, situations that you feel good and comfortable with and let go of feeling guilty for those that are not ideal for you or your life.

Be aware of energy you carry and the energies you surround yourself with.

Beautiful connections. Research shows that a good social support network has numerous physical and mental health benefits. It can keep you from feeling lonely, isolated or inadequate and if you feel good about yourself, you can deal with stress better. -Chopra

You do need to evaluate and ask yourself a very simple, but very important question about every person you surround yourself with. Does this person recharge or drain me? Do you enjoy them or feel drained by having them around or merely thinking about spending time with them? Energy of others is very vital to your own well-being. Take this very seriously.

Time alone. Take time to be still with yourself and evaluate your personal needs. Sometimes we just need to be alone and take moments with our own thoughts, the stillness of our own breath, a quiet minute to just be.

I smile as one of my little dogs seems to be very comfortable having some alone time. Periodically throughout the day, she meanders up our stairs to the loft to be alone. I often find her just lying in a sun spot taking a moment alone. Dogs always do seem to have some things figured out. smile.

Service. Doing something for another. Getting outside of yourself makes everything better and balanced. It is very easy for every single one of us to get lost in the busyness of our lives and to easily justify that we don’t have time to get involved in this or that cause. Change your thinking to…BE the CAUSE…BECAUSE Service is something that changes everything and everyone involved. Create something you get excited about and bring about your own cause that helps someone in some way. Whether you get lit up about making a book library to share with your neighborhood, you teach a free class in your community about growing dahlias, you start leaving kind messages for neighbors, sharing great quotes with complete strangers, start a food or clothing drive for refugees near you, help with shelter dogs, etc…the ideas are endless and especially if you take on your own ideas and BE the CAUSE in your community.

Pray. It does not matter if you have a religious affiliation or not, but to me prayer is seeking something greater beyond yourself and being humble enough to go to that place beyond. It could be going within to a deeper part and finding that humility to ask for those things you need for your life. It could be going to a church or temple and finding a type of peace there. It could be climbing to the top of a hill and crying out to the heavens for an answer you need. Whatever prayer is to you, there is power in humbling crying out, letting go, seeking answers, asking questions, knowing there is something greater for you to understand and being open to the prayers within your heart. I have had many times and various places that I will go and open my heart and soul to understand life a little deeper, ask for prayers to be answered. It is a personal place—that only you can go, but go. There is power in the depths beyond yourself and prayer can take you there. I promise.

Music. Music has a greater power than we have any idea. Music can transport you to specific memories, times in your life, meaningful moments, people, places, etc. It has the power to calm, the power to excite, the power to ignite your brain, to ease, to make you move. It has so many incredible qualities and you need to use music to your best life. Utilize its power when you need to move or when you need to be still, when you need motivation or need to remember something.

I was just driving with my daughter and she began playing a montage of a variety of different songs that took us back to specific years of her life, places we lived, moments we shared. It was such a sweet walk down memory lane through the soundtrack of our lives. It was wonderful to connect with the lyrics of songs that held such meaning. It was incredible. It was cherished.

Find something that brings you to the present moment. A little something I have come to love—I gather a rock or two every time I walk to the beach. When I get home I continue to create a rock cairn somewhere in my yard. I have varying sizes all over & it reminds me of being in the moment, stacking a rock, remembering the walk I just had and just being with myself for a small while. Whether you collect rocks at the beach and build small towers of cairns or you watch the birds come and go, watering your garden, or watching the waves crash on an ocean shore…whatever you can find that helps you to be present—do more of that.

There are so many other things you can do for the various parts of your mind. body and spirit connection, but I just wanted to touch on some of the key points that are vital to making your life a little more balanced. Do those things that make your soul sing, follow your heart on your health journey, listen within for answers, seek nature, do what you FEEL you need.

Peace. Love and Light in all you do. -H

Daily doses of Miracles

I walked for hours with my daughter today at a beach strand line…the line of ocean debris that is left after the tides come and go. We walked seeking to find small ocean animals that may need a little saving–lots of snails beginning to shrivel from the sun beating down, but as we toss each one into the waves, I think of the sweet sea star story and how one by one we make a difference in saving them.

Then we came upon a very rare treasure—a giant barnacle. You can find plentiful shells covered in rows of tiny barnacles, but this barnacle was the size of my palm. It was huge!! I was eager to get it in the water and see if it would come to life and what it would do. My daughter dipped it into the fresh ocean water and we watched with anticipation. It slowly began to open its beak-like animal and it began to move its arm. It was fascinating. I was hooked. I wanted to find more and more. Sure enough, I came across more and more family-like structures that all seem to grow together on whatever they hold onto. We again dunked the barnacle families into the sea and watched. All the little home-like structures began to come to life. Movement. Life. It was amazing.

Life is full of tiny miracles that happen every day! We take so many small things for granted—take a breath. Take another one and think of the miracle it is to simply breathe. I definately have taken my lungs and breathing for granted. I had covid almost two years ago and my lungs still suffer every morning. I can feel the toll it has taken and I try to push my body to breathe more, to engage my lungs to breathe in and out, to fill with air, to be grateful for the miracle to breathe.

Nature is another reminder of the tiny miracles all around us—the timing of everything placed in nature always makes me pause. Look at the gorgeous panarama’s of nature everywhere you look. Trees dot horizon lines, mountains tower above valleys, the way the sun rises and sets, the timing of the seasons, the timing of everything. Look closely at the symmetry of flowers, the way a fern rolls and unwinds as it grows, the colors, the details…so many miracles. I am in constant awe of the seeimingly protected coast line that I live on. The forest of trees that reach for the sky and many are hundreds of years old, yet the way the coast is constantly misted with moisture always makes me humbly understand how perfect everything is timed. The temperature is a pretty constant cool and keeps the coast lush with the right amount of moisture to keep the forest flourishing. You walk the forest floor and it feels like a carpet of sponge. It is all a miracle in how beautifully everything is taken care of in the perfect timing of it all.

Your eyes that can see. Count that as another miracle. Your eyes are an incredible system: There’s the complicated process of irrigation, lubrication, cleaning and protection that happens every time we blink – an average of 4,200,000 times a year.-smh. The normal human eye has about 120,000,000 photoreceptors. -sta

YOU are an incredible miracle. No one will every exist like you. You are unique. This makes me think of another great treasure for life—Og Mandino’s The Greatest Miracle in the World book.

LOVE THIS.

“You are my greatest miracle… I love you and I am with you…. are you blind? No, you can see because there’s over 100 million receptors that I placed in each of your eyes enabling you to see all the magic of life from the snowflake, to a child, she’s a soaring eagle, and the look of love. Are you deaf? No, you can hear a baby laugh because I have built into each of your ears 24,000+ fibers which vibrates to the wind and yet you hear my breath and then you go to your favorite Opera house and Handle’s Messiah is playing and you are mesmerized. As you leave the theater children are at play…. and you hear, I love you!

You can move and travel the world and do great things to make the world better because you can stretch and run and dance and work for within you I have designed over 500 muscles with 200 bones and miles upon miles of nerve fibers which are synchronize to do magnificent things within. As you place your hand on your chest and feel the pulsating rhythm of your heart day in day out 36 million beats each year year after year. I, your God, put this heart in each of you and your heart pumps 600,000 gallons of blood each year through more than 600,000 miles of been any capillaries and arteries in each person. Within the 5 quarts of blood in each person are 22 billion blood cells and within each cell are millions of molecules and within each molecule there is an atom oscillating at more than 10 million times every second and with each second 2 million of your blood cells die to be replaced by 2 million more blood cells since your life began.

As you’re taking a deep breath of air you become cognizant that the breath of life is filtered through the 600 million pockets of folded flash which filter the toxins out of the air allowing you to have life. Furthermore, your brain manages and control of your body through the 4 million pain sensitive structures along with 500,000 touch detectors and more than 200,000 temperature detectors.

If not so you would not be in touch with yourself or your life and you would die if we were not touched by life and love through the over 4 million pain sensitive structures we are to be cared for and lovingly touched.

Are you feeble of mind? Can you no longer think for yourselves? I think not. Your brain is the most complex of my creations and within this 3 pounds is over 15 billion nerve cells more than twice the number of cells than there are people on earth. Therefore you can file away every experience you have in life including every sound you hear, every sight you see, and every experience you have from the first day that you were born to the last day of your life.

I have implanted in your life every sound you hear, every taste you smell, every reaction from birth till death so that I have implanted within each of cells more than 1000 billion billion protein molecules so that every incident in your life is there waiting only for your recall, providing you with endless capabilities of growth and learnings.

You are the most valuable treasure in the face of the earth what are you know who created you and there is only one of you. Never in all the 70,000,000,000+ human being to ever walk on this planet there has never been one exactly like you. Really never, until the end of time, will there be another such as you. From your father, and his moment of supreme love, flowed countless seeds of love more than 400 million and only one Infinitesimal cell joined within your mothers womb and these two cells now united in the miracle each containing 23 chromosomes and hundreds of genes which governed all your characteristics from the color of your eyes to the charm of your personality to every dimension of life I could have created 300,000 billion humans each different from each other but you are the priceless treasure the rarest of the rare.

When I first read this book it moved me so deeply with all the details of the many miracles within our lives, our bodies, the smallest miracles we don’t even give a second thought to.

Life is full of details daily that can move us to a greater understanding of the incredible gifts we receive every single day—-LIFE. Live it fully. Love endlessly. Give whole-heartedly and be grateful for the small things to truly appreciate the greatest things within your life.

Peace. Love and Light to you. -H

Connection.

I was recently walking a green space near my home with my husband and came across an incredible man. He was sitting on a fallen tree and his two dogs were dancing down the trail towards us. The man instantly greeted us and with his charm and wit, asked if I was the daughter, wife…puzzling with a smile. I instantly connected and liked this man. There was something about him that made me want more. He excitedly began to educate us on the trees all around us, “This is a hemlock, that is a spruce…this flower is a foxglove…” His passion was infectious and he was a joy to be with. He then got even more exuberant and pointed at the fallen tree he had just been sitting on, “This tree is exactly due North—true north!” he exclaimed with such enthusiasm. He took out his phone and went to the compass and showed us how exact it was. He then humbly said, “this is my prayer place.” We listened to him as he explained various trails nearby, and then told us about a fishing trip to Argentina, a visit to Scottland with fields of Heather…he was a wealth of places, stories, tips about local berries, bears and the conversation peppered with scriptures, enthusiasm and faith. It was a very fun conversation and we left the mountain better for it!!

I am never surprised by outcomes of happy meetings of various people. Yesterday, my daughter and I went to a local spot to do some whale watching, take some research photos and start the day in nature. A few couples dropped in at the special point, but one woman in particular could not get enough of the whales. Every single time she would see a whale she lit up, boomed out a loud, “there it is” and pointed. Even if the whale was right there for all to see, she could not help herself. She was filled with an enthusiasm that was infectious! I told her that I loved it and she shared how she had been to the Oregon coast numerous times and had not had this experience. She was genuinely so happy to be there at that moment. She then shared how she had just been to the Galapagos and this was even better.

I get pretty excited to see every whale blow, but her enthusiasm made me reflect on how often we take it for granted that we get to enjoy the whales just about every day. It made me appreciate every blow even more and that when we get the opportunity to explore, see and enjoy all the beauty of the whales, to remember how special every moment is. It is all a level of connection.

Whether we are connecting with people, the planet, whales, the ocean, taking pictures of seals, watching an eagle, having a fun conversation with a stranger or a neighbor—it is all a beautiful gift of connection.

What I learn from these connections—how important it is to not lose sight of every connection we have. We are influencing people in one way or another. I remember having a phone conversation about a stressful home warranty issue with a telephone customer service person. I tried to go into the conversation with good energy, to create a positive situation, be respectful of the other person on the line and in the end, make lemonade out of lemons and the guy laughed, enjoyed our conversation and left the call with, “best call ever!” I smiled as he transferred me to another representative. Our connections, no matter how small, are important and matter.

What if Larry just sat on his log quietly and did not say a word. We would have probably just smiled and walked on our merry way past him. The sweet connection would have been lost. We would have missed the enthusiasm (God within) of this man and the knowledge he passionately shared. It is wonderful to know that there are people like Larry praying on a log and connecting with those who cross his path in one way or another. He is an influence for good. Thank you, Larry.

In all you do–Connect. Be a light for good. Do good. Be an influencer of good things.

Peace, Love and Light to you. -H

Variety:Spices of Life

We currently have a guest in our home who is staying with us for a month. He is a friend of my daughter’s from college. He comes from a different background and has grown up with lots of spices in his food. In our home, we are very plain compared to the basil, parsley, oregano, lots of pepper, bouge cheeses, etc….So, it was hilarious to see my daughter, her Dad and her friend joining forces to make our families traditional spaghetti. At our house they like it sweet and he is use to a more savory and spicy pasta. I sat back and laughed watching them all debate how in his mind, “spice is good. Spice is a great variety of life. It needs spices!” he argued. It was back and forth with my daughter stating her side and how this is tradition and she likes it her way. Finally, it was agreed that the spaghetti would be made the traditional way our family makes it & then he can add all the spices he wants in his bowl & that my daughter would at least try it.

The pasta was finally done & everyone was happy, but I was especially happy to see both sides pleasantly talk about the variations. He shared how the sweetness was delicious and different than what he was use to. My daughter tried the spices and was open to new flavors. But sometimes you just have to try the variety to see what you really like & how sometimes your traditional will always be your personal favorite. How can you truly appreciate or value something if you don’t try anything else?

When I think of spices of life—I think traveling to new destinations, seeing new places, shops, trying new food, even if they are new spots in your own backyard, community, state, etc. We have moved to a few different states (Idaho–both sides, Arizona, various places in Utah, two different locations in Oregon) and have seen various parts of California, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Alaska, Montana, Nevada…we have a ways to go to see the various parts of this incredible world, but slowly we make our way. They are the places that make the greatest memories, the moments that stay with you. Think about it—your favorite memories and life moments—where were they??

SEEKING THE VARIETY: So, this post I am researching and giving you some fun activities and ideas to get you out seeking a variety of spices for your life!

TRAVEL: So does traveling lead to more happiness? Im sure many people would agree that the answer is yes. In fact, a survey by the travel company G Adventures found that 83% of people consider travel to be a very important part of life, and 68% of people say that new experiences are the happiest part of traveling. -Delivering Happiness.

Why are we happy when we travel? According to the blog In Pursuit of Happiness the answer is these six reasons: having a sense of accomplishment, learning about ourselves, becoming more interesting individuals, realizing that some things in life are less important than they really are, connecting with people and feeling alive. I LOVE that!!

I know for me, traveling to new places, even just a new trail, a new antique shop, a new activity, a new food place to try, a new destination…makes me come alive with wonder and curiosity. I so enjoy the newness of any new adventure. This past weekend our community had a kite festival. I had been waiting months to see this event & experience it. I even purchased a book on the history of kite flying so I would have a new perspective and understanding of the history. Always so much to learn. I couldn’t believe the amount of people that accumulated. Just the variety of people that were drawn to this event was fun to see. It was pure joy to see colorful kites blowing in the wind in every view of the ocean sky. To see huge whale kites, sharks, giraffes, modern spinners, angled shapes that twist with the breeze—beautiful! It was wonderful to see children pass by me with their homemade kites with big smiles & even bigger smiles when you commented on their kite. It was incredible to see kite fliers who created & choreographed multiple kites to musical compositions. Who knew!? To see such passion, strength and skill was extraordinary.

Travel Challenges: Visit a new city & ask the locals for all the musts to see. There are always local spots–whether its for great food, an incredible sunset skyline, a specialty shop, a unique food that is local, etc. Ask the locals for something special. They wont let you down.

Tour a new location on a bike or take some type of local transportation–trolley car, ferry ride, horseback, etc. See things around you from a different perspective.

Take a free tour of some type–whether it is a walking tour, a museum tour, local garden or historical homes. Find some free tours of interest to you.

Find local graffiti art and take selfies with your favorites. This is especially fun because there are always so many different messages, images, artists, etc. Find what you genuinely like.

Find local LOVE padlock bridges, gates or place to leave your loving mark. My little family did this while traveling through Nevada. There are locations all around the world and in different cities. Take a special padlock, write a message & attach it to a special location. Have fun!!

Send yourself or someone you love a fun postcard. This would be a fun memento to yourself and it would be a great way to remember the places you have seen and adventured.

Find the Unique or largest something of some kind challenge: Whether it is the largest croissant, a large local statue, big sign, giant rock coming out of the ocean, a manmade elephant, an octopus made out of recyclable plastics, etc. Find things wherever you are that you may not see somewhere else. Go out of your natural way to find the unique and extraordinary.

BEST VIEW: Seek out the best views in town. Humans are 90% visual beings, so it would make sense that we are moved by visual settings, things and places we see. No matter where you are, ask around for the best views in town. Whether it is on top of a hillside, the top of a building for an incredible skyline, a tall tower, a good whale watching spot, a beautiful beach to photograph, a forest path that leads to an open meadow. Seek out the places that you are drawn to. Maybe you like to take photos of graffiti and ask around for local art. Maybe you just want an idyllic picnic spot. Maybe you want to take a tram ride to a meadow of wildflowers. There are special spots everywhere. Seek out what you need to find.

NEW FOOD: Make it themed. At our house, we try to add some spice to our meals with a fun, new song themed with our dinner—ie: Italian, French, Mexican and have the fun music mixes playing while we saute meats, bbq steaks, boil pasta, broil breads, etc. Add some flair, decorate, try new dishes.

You could also do a fun share and care potluck with your neighbors. Have everyone sign-up to bring some fun flavors & try a bit of everything.

Also, try out some of your local dishes. Seek out and find a favorite thai or mexican dish, maybe find some place that has incredible desserts. Try it all. Find what you enJOY!

SOMETHING out of your NORM: Seek to find something that will help get you out of your norm. Find some activity that will challenge you on a new level—whether you have always wanted to go sailing, hike into a cave, golf from an ocean view, Tour and walk to the top of a lighthouse or maybe a haunted house. Maybe you have an obsession with Twilight & want to stay in one of the epic homes in the movie. Maybe you want to find Big Foot & need to find a museum to explore your curiosities. My neighbor wanted to stay at a hotel with alpacas & play with the babies on the property. Maybe you want to stay overnight in a treehouse. Maybe you have a list of waterfalls you want to see—The list of opportunities is endless. It is up to you and your imagination. Plan a trip and make something happen.

I hope this list gets you thinking, planning, and shaking things up to bring a little more variety and spice to your life. Your life only changes when you begin. Think about it—Everyone LOVES a good surprise. Life is full of surprises if we take the chance to seek and find them in all we do.

-Peace. Love and Light to you. -H

Digging Deeper w Yourself

The most satisfying journey is the journey you take inward with yourself. -Nitin Nameo

We often get stuck in the routine of life, often missing a deeper connection with things that are quite essential to our life journey. There seems to be a rushing clock of life that does not stop for anyone. My little family was talking last night about how our new surroundings, external experiences, new physical address, the old, the new and how quickly life has happened. We reflected about leaving our old home of 11 years almost a year ago seems to have been a distant dream. It seems like we were there years ago, but it has not even been a year yet. Time flies. Life quickly gets snatched into the reality of change. Every journey is different, but every single one is essential to growth, challenge, change, ultimately a greater version of who we are to become.

So, lets talk about one of the most essential journeys–the one to truly find ourselves. The kind of journey that takes you inward on a deeper level. The kind that takes time to truly seek within, but so often is neglected in the intertia of the day to day. Lets take a moment and relfect what we need.

A SPECIAL PLACE FOR PRAYER OR QUIET REFLECTION: As I reflect on my own journey, I instantly think of times where I was broken emotionally and what I did to get through those moments. I found prayer to be a place of calm. I have found special places in nature—an open field peppered with horses that I could just sit and ponder, pray and be taken to a place of peace. Another place I have found—in our new surroundings–a special rock that I sit and pray, ponder and seek calm at the ocean. I think having a special spot creates and opens a space of quiet, inner conversations and moments that open to personal reflection, deeper thoughts and questions that your soul yearns for.

DEEPER QUESTIONS: I am often teased about all the questions I ask. When I meet new people, have intimate conversations, of course I am going to jump into questions—not just the, hi, so what do you do for a living type, shallow, hallow, aimless questions. I go for the deep, jump into the pool with me kinda questions. Sometimes people feel uncomfortable, but sometimes we have a deep dive convo that is priceless. I think these deep questions are especially essential for one self. Lets get started: What makes you come alive? My daughter’s favorite quote by Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” What do you lose time doing? What lights you up or gets you excited? Those are a couple indicators of what makes you come alive. GO Do that! What could you give a 30 minute quality talk on with little preparation? I came across this question and love the idea because this is an instant guide to what your heart knows and is passionate about. This is often the stuff you research, read up on, know all about, want to share, take time to get educated on, etc. Think hard about what you are truly knowledgable about—is it trends, is it happiness, self help, a sport of some kind, politics, travel, baking, reality tv, creating memories, yoga, etc. This is also a great key to unlock personal directions of interest, possible career opportunities, etc. What was probably one of the most stressful experiences of your life & what did you learn from it? Stressful situations bring about instant reaction & it is a time where you learn so much about yourself, how you react to situations and what you take away from them. They are true growth indicators for your journey. Is there something you have always wanted to do but have not been able to yet? A big dream. A dream job. Created something…Why have you not done it yet? This one is a hard question because lots of excuses can pile up, so be honest with yourself. This is where you dig deeper, create baby steps and begin slowly. At least begin. Little by little big things are built. Brick by brick. Small keys open big doors. Begin. Celebrate each small win. What is something you FEEL sets YOU apart from other people? your strengths, your super powers, your creativity, your enthusiasm, your skill set, what sets you apart? How can you use that to your benefit? Do you feel you live your life more authentically by Love OR Fear? [These are the two primary emotions–which one do you live in mostly?] Those are both ends of the spectrum, so be honest with yourself on this one. Think of your day to day interactions, your thoughts, your emotions, your actions—do they seem to be living from an energy of Love OR Fear? “There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. It’s true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it’s more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They’re opposites. If we’re in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we’re in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.” -Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. What is your definition of Happiness? I recently sent out a text to family and asked this simple question…or so, I thought pretty simple question. smile. smile. I had one person respond (out of probably ten) and that was my brother who is currently doing a lot of self-reflecting during a divorce. This is a real question you need to ask yourself. What does it mean to you. What are three things you wish you knew for sure? That is a great question that makes you stop and ponder. This also reminds me of Oprah and how she always would ask guests what they knew for sure. Think about it.

This is also a great stopping point to say—great questions bring about a greater life. period. There are plenty of questions out there. Google questions. See which questions make you stop and ponder. Take the time to ask yourself hard questions that help you ponder, pray, seek and find greater answers for your life. That is what we all need on our personal journeys.

ADVICE. Motto. Mantra: This is a tricky one. We all hear the phrase for many occasions–what is the best and worst piece of advice you have received. Whether it was for your wedding, a job, a life choice, etc. Think over the years of advice and write down some of your favorites that you have since tried to live by or appreciate. Some of my favorites: Give the love you want to receive. It is what it is, so its up to you how you react. Your life is what you make it–you choose. Get outside of yourself and be better in the service of someone else. Be aware of the energy you carry. Karma. Namaste. Live Love. Give Love. I also heard a fun idea—randomly ask a stranger, co-worker, friend, family…whomever you like what is a favorite motto or piece of advice they live by. Then try to take a day and implement it into your life. See how it feels. I just randomly asked someone and this is what they gave me…”Conformity kills character.” Be open to ideas. Share in finding those things you live by that will help you as an individual dig deeper into who you need to be or become.

When will you begin that long journey into yourself? -Rumi

Peace. Love and Light to you today. May your journey be yours in every possible way. -H

Creative Whirl

Creativity is always at the forefront of my mind. I think we all have more creativity at play than we realize. I find myself at the beach watching my husband and daughter get lost in the thrill of agate hunting, so I have found myself yearning to seek something else to do on the sandy, beach landscape. It first began with looking for heart shaped rocks, which then led to making rock towers and now I make cairns (The name originates from a Gaelic term that means “heap of stones.” It was likely first coined by Scots who used them to mark trails across grass-covered, hilly landscapes. In the Andes Mountains and Mongolia, rock cairns were used to mark routes to safety, to food, and to villages–zionpark.com) It is a simple exercise in patience, but also simple beauty.

Stacked rocks that seem to balance with a gentle touch. Who knew It could be so addictive. It is a game that my creativity likes to challenge. My mind whirls in movement as it seeks different colors, shapes, textures to build the ideal stack. It made me think of nature artists and artists who seem to have such natural flow in the land of art. I have sinced googled artists to find people like Andy Goldsworthy who seems to create such imagined art out of nature. His works are unique, sometimes seemingly unimageinable in the way he stacks, teeters, twists and constructs materials together to make such incredible beauty. [look him up—worth the visit–couple of his below]

I am always drawn to art, especially the artists who seem to have such depths that seem endless. So, needless to say, while flipping through Netflix, I came across the documentary called Sky Ladder, the Art of Cai Guo-Giang. His name was not a familiar one to me, but when I saw some of his art, I recognized it. He has so many incredible mediums and depths that his imagination whirls in, but my favorites were definitely what he is able to do with biodegradable gun powder to make such incredible stories and beautiful landscapes across a sky. It was like a chalk fest on another level, with depth and creativity I had never seen. It lit me up with imagination and wonder. I wanted to run out and buy a canvas and throw colorful chalk to experience a similar explosion of color. It was incredible.

Then the story began to talk about one of his personal quests, a project that seemed to propel him to another level of creativity and imagination. After multiple attempts and having various issues stop the plans in the making, the Sky Ladder seemed to become a personal mission, a larger limit, a project that many felt was unachievable and had many nay-sayers, but to him pushed him and the project into existence. It was a wonderful journey and story of how dreams, projects, art, inspiration and imagination can guide, push, propel us to new heights, fresh ideas, to see things from different lenses and to believe that anything is possible—if we simply believe.

It is amazing to me that such a story can touch another on such a level. I came away from that documentary ready to create—even on a small scale. To see someone so passionate, so driven to see his dream become a reality, was awe inspiring.

It took me back to a couple of years ago when I was inspired to create a lantern walk in my little community. I bought hundreds of lanterns and hung them on a path in a nearby forest. I created hearts out of light ropes, hung numerous lanterns of variety from trees, made luminary paths, and lit up a small park for the greater good. It all ended at a giant “LOVE” sign that was four feet tall to take pictures with friends and family. It was a lovely event that had probably about one hundred friends and neighbors in attendance, but the night seemed to have magic and wonder for all who experienced it. It was imagined, created for a larger purpose, inspired to bring connection, love and light to a community and the artist within me seemed to sing with ideas for months. It was a culmination of a creative whirl!

I am going to get all my lanterns and come up with another creative culmination that will spark a little more light and love on another scale in another community. Thanks Cai. You have inspired!!

FOR PERSONAL INSPIRATION: Watch the Netflix documentary or read this article and video about Cai https://www.sixthtone.com/news/1002725/the-man-who-played-with-fire-

Go into your yard or outdoor space and find some medium to be creative with. Maybe start with a rock pile, leaves, twigs, chalk, water, bubbles, sand, anything you feel drawn to. Take some pics of your creativity.

Look up creative artists–whether they are caligraphy masters, nature artists, watercolor, musicians, photographers, painters, people who work with resin, natural materials like shells, etc. Find pieces that you are in awe of.

May you find something today that ignites a spark of something greater within you today.

-Peace, love and light to you. -H