Little Canary within

I recently heard Glennon Doyle Melton’s Canary metaphor & instantly understood how it can be used within our own lives.

Love Warrior: “Canary” by Glennon Doyle Melton from SALT Project on Vimeo.

I then watched the above video & found myself completely understanding my own awareness of boundaries, energy and creating that safe space in my own life. Seeing the ‘canary” in me & hearing her words…”Im too sensitive, I feel too much”…I have had to tell myself “I value” when others around me would tell me, “Your too sensitive, too thin skinned…”

I had to switch my viewpoint to feel my own worth, value and safety.

canary-escaping-cage--flying-toward-open-window-97373083-5b4c137c46e0fb0037a69c3e

It reminded me of my own canary story: Years ago I had a beautiful, orange canary that loved to sing & it filled my home with light and beautiful music.  It was so beautiful that I did not want it to be alone, so I went to my friend who bred canaries & asked her if she had another. While I was at her house I noticed a beautiful, yellow canary that was crooked and just seemed to sit at the bottom of a small cage. I asked my friend about it & she said, “You don’t want that one. It is crippled.”

She obviously did not know me very well because once I heard that, I instantly knew that was the one that needed me. It was a beautiful, bright yellow canary that had one leg that could not stand & was mangled and twisted into its body. Others would look at it & see an unwanted, crippled bird, but I saw beyond its outer shell. I knew that it just needed a chance to be seen and heard. It needed to find its own voice within its broken, little body. Oh how it could sing. I named it, “Little Angel Wings” because though it was broken physically, its song sang to the heavens and filled my home with heavenly music. It may have been broken, but that little bird knew its purpose & shared it with the world.

Oh, how I wished to see the little bird fly. I knew it would be able to fly & be soo free, but I knew if I let it fly, it would surely just die. It had grown up in a cage.

 

Both of these canary stories can help be reminders that we have been given strengths, purpose, gifts to share & that we cannot be limited by outer influences. We need to be aware of the stories we tell ourselves of our past. We need to be aware of the “Poisons” or toxins around us & close them off to our lives. We need to be aware of the energy people carry into our homes, the entertainment we allow in, the voices we listen to, the smallest things that can hinder our growth and allow us to see a higher realization of who we are meant to be in this world. The world needs us to be our best. The world needs the light we carry and the gifts we can share with one another.

Listen to your canary within. Follow your internal guidance that will allow you to FLY.

Peace and love to you today.  -H

 

Advertisements

Something NEW

jessicaI LOVE reading about inspiring people and for some reason the winter months my brain needs the boost. The beginning of a new year brought me to the book, “Imperfect Courage” by Noonday Collection Founder, Jessica Honegger.

It was a fun read that shared her life experiences, the faith needed to leap and the courage she learned along the way in creating the largest fair-trade jewelry company in the world. And that in only five years, Noonday Collections would be named by Inc. Magazine as the forty-fifth fastest growing business in the U.S.

I wanted to do a post on some of my personal highlights (literally) from her journey. enjoy.

“Its tempting to bubble wrap our lives. Layer upon layer of protection means we stay unbroken, right through to the end. We wrap ourselves in fear. We wrap ourselves in isolation. We wrap ourselves in nightly glasses of wine in our beloved Instagram feed. We avoid real issues involving real people who live int he real world because, What if I get hurt? And yet what does this approach yield for us? A life of boredom, a lack of impact, spiritual death.

“Amidst safety the world has never before known,” Andy wrote, “the greatest spiritual struggle many of us face is to be willing to take off our bubble wrap.”

“We know that outside our front door, something much more fulfilling lies in wait. But instead of pursuing the desires of our heart, we spend our energy in defense mode, trying to avoid disappointment, betrayal, and pain. Something in us clings to these places of safety and makes it difficult to stand—even as something deeper within us longs to stand up, to eventually rise.”

I LOVE that metaphor—bubble wrap lives. You  can visualize how many of us live. I live in Utah and we have an even bigger sense of living in a bubble. I think many of us have a deeper desire to do more, be more, live more, but safety is so warm and inviting. I enjoy visualizing what it would be like to take each day and pop a piece of the bubble wrap and begin to step beyond. To take one little step each day to fulfilling a meaningful life.

“regardless of these internalized messages about staying safe and playing it small, there comes a time when each of us is called to use our one and only life to risk big and act boldly on behalf of something or someone we prize. To refuse to act just isn’t an option; we simply must move. Maybe inviting that quiet colleague to lunch will help her feel known. Maybe our simple presence will comfort a friend who is lying in a hospital bed. Maybe a quick but heartfelt “You got this” on Facebook will reassure a friend. Maybe showing up for the foster care info session will change our lives forever. Maybe our timely arrival will confirm for that lonely one that were there for them. Whatever the situation, we know that its our time to rise.”

I like how the simple, little things make a difference. It is a good reminder to just be present for who may need you TODAY, in this moment. I think it is easy to think we need to do great, big service to rise and do big work, but even the little notes, the genuine call, being with a need places you where you are needed most.

Jessica was sitting with one of her Ugandan artisan partners and asking her about dreams for the future, and she answered, “I simply want to live and not die. Most Ugandans die before the age of fifty-five. Jessica, I want to live.”

Wow, that statement really stuck with me. We live in a country where people live to be almost 100. This book had many moments that made me grateful for having hospitals, a 911 service for an emergency, clean water, safe environments, respect of women, that I have a voice and so many small things we take for granted. It was humbling to think how much we take for granted.

“There is a saying in Uganda: “You look so smart today.” It’s an expression used when speaking of appearance, but it speaks so much more to the whole person as well.”

I love the thought of making a statement that encompasses the whole person, not just the exterior.

“You know what Oprah said she learned from the thirty thousand interviews she did?” They all wanted validation…Every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire. They want to know: ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?”

Think about how you feel in conversations with other people. How do you feel? I do believe this is a sincere need we all share. Remember this need in all you do.

“If there is one formula that I can share with you, it is this: vulnerability, when met with empathy, leads to wholeness. It works this way every time.”

This is a genuine path to connection with others. When we are vulnerable, we almost open up and we are able to sit with the empathy we need to connect on deeper levels, which leads to whole relationships—with ourself and others.

“If you’re longing to leave a life of safety for a life of risk, meaning, and impact, then please read this carefully: you cannot get there on your own. You–even you–were made for community. To flourish, we must work with, not against, togetherness, and to prize togetherness, we must come out of isolation and be seen.”

This is one big struggle for me on a personal level. All around me are people in the same religious organization who do not seem to need me and I have struggled to need them. People in my neighborhood feel it is there duty to invite my family to specific meetings or activities, so they drop in for an invite. I will have deep conversations with them and then wont see them again for six months or a year. I see them walk by my house every day, but the depth of connection is never seemingly genuine, so it is hard to want or need to reach out. It is a struggle, but I do my best to invest in those who I feel do genuinely need me. I am a constant work in progress. Aren’t we all! smile. smile.

“Keep going scared.”

I like this motto she shares throughout the book. To me it says, no matter what, keep going even if you are scared, fearful. Walk through the scary thoughts or insecurities. To do something worthwhile, there will be obstacles that will terrify us. Keep going scared.

“When we own our worth and share our truth, not only are we more apt to taking ever-increasing risks but also we let others take big risks on us.”

When we begin to see our own value, others will see it within us. It is like the light you share–if you don’t feel the light within, then how can you light up another? When we feel of our inner worth and are able to find a deeper truth, there is a light, a purpose, a drive, a divine direction that guides us and others will see the excitement, the enthusiasm (God within) that shines from us.

“I want us to be people who cultivate compassion and create spaces of belonging for those around us.”

Who doesn’t want connection?? One of my greatest connections has come from finding a stray cat, which led me meeting a young 18-year-old girl who had just got out of foster care earlier this year. We have had an immediate connection & we have been a great gift to one another’s life. We cultivate love and compassion for one another. We can genuinely be gifts to one another when we open up the spaces—even with strangers.

“The Sisterhood Effect happens when women refuse to let perceived threats strangle our relationships, when we let empathy triumph over judgement and let collaboration win over comparison.”

Comparison is definitely a tool that can strangle relationships. If we are not aware of our own tendencies, then how do we avoid this trap? We are surrounded by social media that creates envy and judgement. Be careful. Things are NOT always as they seem.

“What it comes down to is this: there are two ways to approach people in this one precious life, and only one of them is worth doing. You can either judge, condemn, disregard, and indict people, deciding that they are shallow, an inconvenience, a mess; OR you can learn about, affirm, celebrate, and love them, offering them compassion at every turn. You can choose to assume positive intent–to assume that someone is doing the best she can, instead of jumping to the conclusion that she is acting out of malice or laziness or a sense of superiority.”

JUST LOVE.   period.

“If we are going to live for something bigger than ourselves in this world, it’s essential that we widen our circles to include not just ourselves, not just our neighbors, but people around the world.”

Circles are round and are a good metaphor of coming full circle, wholeness, fulfilled, becoming our best, doing our best. Circle of friendship. A globe. It is a beautiful symbol that is a great reminder of something bigger.

 

This book was a great read. It is full of wonderful perspectives, great stories, real life and ways to become better individuals that can inspire a better world.

Have a beautiful day! Find hope and rise to your best.  -Peace to you.

Tis the Season to Give.

82523813-hands-holding-gift-in-kraft-box-on-a-red-background-the-concept-of-st-valentine-s-day-weddings-engagAs the holidays are upon us there is a lot of talk of thanks and giving. After talking to my sister at length about frustrations she is having with her five kids and trying to figure out how to help them give without the constant gimme. I figured I would do a post on giving thanks. It is the season.

Here are some ideas for all of us to get us into the GIVING SEASON. It is a beautiful time of year and when we give even more of ourselves, the magic spreads throughout the season and even further throughout the whole year.

I have done numerous posts on this subject, so please check out some of my older posts during the holidays.

Here are some additional ideas:

MAKE A MEAL that MEANS SOMETHING: Last week my daughter and I took a few girls & leaders from her school to a local children’s medical center. We were gifted the opportunity to make a meal for the families whose children are staying at the hospital. It was a humbling experience to see over 80 people shuffle in with various faces, from a variety of places. So many were just gracious, exhausted, some had a deep sadness and then there were some who seemed full of hope wearing shirts that said, “Happy” and “Love.” I actually commented to the people that I loved seeing so many shirts with happy thoughts. It was a sea of people doing the best they could with where they were at. We saw little kids in tubes, a little one so swollen her eyes were shut closed, another running down the hall with an oxygen tank. It was eye opening to see kids in a hospital, but still smiling because they were running or driving a plastic car backwards. The Dad driving the car backwards smiled at his son and me observing and said, “Sometimes you will go backwards in life.” I smiled and said, “At least he is still smiling.” The Dad smiled and agreed. Another sweet moment, a little boy in a hospital gown, about two-years-old entered the kitchen where we were making the food and beamed with a huge smile & looked down at his feet. His Dad commented that his son wanted to show us his new slippers. We all looked at the little boy and started quickly commenting on how cute his new slippers were & he just started smiling and growling at us. We all laughed in joy together. His father asked us if we would mind singing Happy Birthday to his little son. We were happy to. We totally surprised the little boy when we all chimed in and boomed a big version of Happy Birthday for all to hear. The little boy smiled so big. Joy was all around.

VISIT A FOOD BANK: A couple of years ago we were financially struggling. In our entire marriage we had never needed to ask for financial help, let alone for food. It was a humbling time that hit me again this year when my daughter and I visited a local food bank. As we sorted bins and bins of food for distribution, it took me back to the time when we received food from a pantry. I placed food in boxes and wondered where they would go, who would be in need…I know we were truly grateful for the giving resources that so freely gave to us in our time of need. I still have a couple of cans in my pantry that remind me of that time. You never know. It is so easy to take things for granted, but You can’t take things for granted. Give thanks in all you do.

USE A TALENT TO GIVE: My sweet daughter for years has found gently used cloth dolls & some did not have the clothes, so she would knit for hours to make a dress or a scarf to fit the dolls. We would then package them neatly & leave a special note from one child to another. What a sweet gift to give.

While talking to my sister today she mentioned one of her young sons she struggles with loves art. I told her maybe he could make some artistic Christmas cards or notes that could be given to foster kids or angel trees, etc. A card from a kid–another kid would love that. Use a talent you have to touch another.

GIVE 12 DAYS TO SOMEONE WHO IS ALONE: Put together 12 stories, or 12 cards to write, or 12 activities to do (word search, puzzle, movie to watch, something to color, etc), or 12 events to attend…now, when I say SOMEONE WHO IS ALONE, you could think old widow or you could also think someone who just got out of foster care or who doesn’t have any family nearby.  In the past six months I have become very close to a young girl who has not even been out of foster care for a year. She is not close to her family, so I am giving her 12 days of various things (Important Questions to journal, Items to keep her cozy, Events going on around town, a gratitude guide, Coloring pages, Soup recipes and Stories, A book to stretch & grow, etc)     FInd someone nearby that you can touch with a 12 days of something good.

WISHING ROCKS: As part of little gifts we are giving this year we decided to make some wishing rocks for those we love. We sat down the other night and painted rocks with words (Love, Peace, Joy, Hope, Courage, Faith, Belief, Light, etc) and we put a little note that said, “Take what you need. Day by Day. Made with Love”  Some of those rocks we made for a sweet family friend whose Dad is dying of cancer. You never know what people truly need, but making something with love is a good start.

I HOPE these ideas have inspired you to get out and give of yourself. It makes the season even more magical for everyone. Fill the world with love and light.

xoxo May your holidays be beautiful. Peace and love to you.  -H

 

Miracles do exist!

10In my previous post which was a little over a week ago I talked about taking each step in life & trying to have a higher perspective.

My little family got back from a vacation a little over 2 weeks ago. My husband had a horrible work situation come at him the day he got back. He was literally demoted (the company had never once talked to him about any negative work habits or issues), they took away his upcoming bonus (this next month) & the past couple of weeks was literally a meeting every other day for him to prove his worth, what he was doing & piling more work on him. He had NEVER been treated with such lack of disrespect in his entire career. He was completely blindsided.

A couple months before our vacation my husband and I decided to begin looking for another job because of how the company had handled some other employee situations. I have been sending out fifty plus resumes & applications to various companies. Nothing had surfaced. I just kept trying & even harder in the past couple of weeks, once his work turned on him & he was the new target. The past couple of weeks has been the HARDEST job situation in his life.

A little over a week ago my husband reached out to a few friends to see if they knew of any potential job opportunities. My little family has been praying and praying for a door to open. We were getting desperate. My husband’s light was dimming & every day he went to work was a fight and struggle.

I had him take a pebble in his pocket every day to rub and remind himself to take each day one day at a time. A sweet reminder to keep stepping forward over the obstacles.

A couple days passed & one of his friends called him & gave him a possible lead. It was an answer to prayer. That call led to a first interview & a few days later a second. There was a possible light. We were HOPING and PRAYING & saying we need to have HOPE and FAITH that this position would work out. The interview went well & then led to an in person meet and greet that was yesterday (Friday)!!

While all this was going on my husband’s current boss was still having him create schedules, maps, job details, newsletters, training…..(ironically, for a guy who was doing such a horrible job they sure wanted him to take on a whole bunch of important roles) & my husband was scheduled for another ‘hot seat’ meeting with the boss to discuss more details and responsibilities at noon (yesterday).

My little families prayers became even more frequent in the last couple of days. We were hoping for a miracle–that he would meet this potential boss in person, it would go great, they would offer him the job & then he could walk into his current job & give notice. [Which was a pretty BIG ask of God. My husband has had previous job opportunities at high level leadership & it usually takes months for interviews & high-level meet&greets]. We knew it was a very far out prayer request & the likely hood was slim, but we prayed any way. We sent a note out to our family to pray & my husband went to his interview.

My husband met his potential boss & right up front the gentleman said, “Jon, I had a couple VP’s in town, but they had to leave for a conference out of state & would not be able to meet you, which would probably delay things.” My husband immediately knew there would most likely not be an offer.  They walked and talked business for a couple hours & then the gentleman said, “Jon, how are you feeling about things? What do you think?” My husband boldly said, “I am excited. I am ready to start today!” with enthusiasm, then my husband followed-up with, “But I know you probably need to talk to the powers that be and make a final decision.” The gentleman quickly responded, “No, I am a decision maker & I feel good about this direction. Let’s do it!” They shook hands & my husband was offered the job.  He went to his current job & gave his notice.

My husband called me elated! He had a huge weight lifted from him & relief filled his soul.  Literally two days before, my husband was depressed, heavy-hearted & would not even come home after work because he felt his energy and spirit were so dark & did not want to burden his family. I was genuinely worried for him. I knew we needed a miracle to pull him out of the dark pit he was mentally in. I prayed, my daughter prayed, We all prayed and we can truly say…miracles do exist!!

If you or anyone you care about is struggling with any portion of their life, look up to the sky, the stars, walk through the forest and share a heart-felt prayer. God is listening.

We needed this door to open and it was so perfectly timed.

THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

Step by Step

852255-3333596-stepping-stone-quote

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.

9a4046949f3c59c003b4b130b8d69673

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

Here is another thought to share6395db898e23b1879e91fdfe738ba781

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.

x3pr7937

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

COINCIDENCE?

28607-Albert-Einstein-Quote-Coincidence-is-God-s-way-of-remainingCOINCIDENCE

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.”

maya-angelou-pursue-thing-you-love-quotes-b1