The Little Things

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Every morning I go out into my yard with a cup overflowing with birdseed. Every time I walk out to scatter it under a certain pine tree my heart finds joy. Then as I watch the quail, my blue jay friends, the pair of doves and the variety of other little birds, my soul sings.

I have been throwing birdseed for years, but I now have an even greater appreciation for such a simple thing. A few years ago my husband was without a job and we literally had to get financial help from our community. We were in a bit of a fix, so every little thing added up. I had been feeding the birds for years & my heart would break every day I would look out under the pine tree & see them come, but unable to give them food. Believe me, I would gather bread crumbs and try to find anything that would suffice, but being unable to buy a simple bag of bird food was extremely humbling.

It is very true that sometimes it is the smallest things that take up so much room in your heart. I now treasure each morning that I am able to throw birdseed and see the birds gather. I hold such gratitude in my heart.

May we always appreciate the little things, for they truly are what make up the big things within our lives.

Embrace the day. Find something small to be grateful for and hold forever in your heart the ability to see clearly those things that are the most important gifts within your life.

Peace and love to you today.  -H

It’s What’s Inside

ITS WHATS INSIDE that matters

LOVED this ad. Enjoy!! Great visuals. Great meaning. Great, upbeat song.

I thought this ad was a great, upbeat way to illustrate the whole idea of “It’s what’s inside that truly matters.”

My sweet daughter is at that age (16) where she is starting to connect, date, get to know…She has had great conversations with many people she works with, strangers who have connected, guys at school, clubs, etc. She is beginning to notice the looks, the awkward moments, the cute guys who hide out on their phones or the even cuter guy who is really adorable because of his fun personality.

I have had conversations with her about getting to know people on deeper levels because that is where the true riches are…what’s inside. When you can just enjoy someone there is a whole new level of connection. It truly is what is inside that can surprise; that can charm; that can inspire; that can challenge; that changes things.

Here are a variety of ways to connect on a deeper level and find the treasures within.

  • SMILE
  • Make eye contact
  • Really connect through quality time (stay or limit your phone use)
  • Actively listen–really hear what the other person is saying. Don’t just listen to them speak, really hear what they are saying. Listen from your heart not your head.
  • Practice doing things for another person. Make someone laugh, do nice things for strangers, make a nourishing meal, just send out loving gestures of kindness and love. People genuinely remember how you made them feel.
  • Be present. Listen, ask questions, don’t get distracted and notice how you are interacting with others. When you give your full attention & are present with them, they will notice & your connection will be deeper.
  • Be YOU. Don’t just put on a face or pretend you are something you are not. People will appreciate your vulnerability and your authentic way you live. Share, provide safety and care for those you genuinely care about.

 

Ways to Have fun with someone!!

  • Do art together–Get a large piece of paper and just start creating with words, doodles, paints, anything. What is coming together??
  • Tell each other your favorite songs, turn them on & start singing.
  • Create a joke together–what would it be about? Would it be a pun?
  • Make a meal or dessert from scratch together.
  • Take a class together
  • Do an escape room to see how someone handles pressure
  • Play a game–board game, trivia, would you rather, etc
  • Take a walk and just talk–research says walking helps people open up
  • Check out a bookstore or library to find books or topics you both enjoy
  • Try something you both have never done–a new flavor ice cream, an activity like rock climbing or find a fun store neither of you have been before.
  • Do something outside–horseback riding, bike ride, hike, snowshoeing, etc
  • Visit a garden
  • Go to the zoo or aquarium
  • Take a mini road trip
  • Volunteer for a cause together
  • Find something unique to your town–old cavern, famous wishing well, haunted house, old mine, special restaurant that was highlighted, etc.
  • Rent some bikes or scooters & do a fun scavenger hunt around town
  • Go to an interesting museum & walk and talk about the various exhibits
  • Go bowling & make it interesting by checking out these ideas https://www.usports.com.sg/news/7-fun-game-ideas-at-the-bowling-alley/
  • Just BE yourself. Ask lots of questions & enjoy getting to know someone.

 

It truly is what is inside that matters. Whether this is on a personal level or on another level of getting to know someone on a deeper, more intimate level. Everyone becomes better, more beautiful when the sparkle shines from within. The surprises inside are always worth the wait.

-Peace and Love to you today!!  H

Be Love and Light

IMG_2111“Don’t be afraid to shine, the world needs your light.”  -Gabby Bernstein

I have been truly understanding the concept of getting out of yourself and striving to live from a higher place. I think we get into the habits of being human and caring soo much about what others think that it becomes hard to get out of that trap!

My realization–genuinely started by reading “The Book of Joy” by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. The book is all about finding Joy, living compassion and striving to become better. Such a good read. Highly recommend!! While reading that book, I had a complete stranger notice and acknowledge my spirit, my joy!! It blew me away and I have been trying to live a little higher each day & it has made so much of a difference for my life.

Here are a few examples: yesterday, my husband and I were stuck for thirty minutes in a one-way commuter lane & no way to avoid sitting, stuck in traffic that was not moving. After a few minutes of me and my husband complaining about being stuck because we were going to be very late to pick up our daughter from work, we gave in and began to let go. We could not control or change the situation, so we began to dance in the car. Our spirits began to get happy, so I decided I could do something! I opened my car door, stepped on my side rail of the car & began blowing kisses to the VERY long line of cars behind us. The line wrapped around for miles. As I blew kisses, the guy in the car directly behind us lit up with a huge smile & gave me a huge rock on/love you sign with his hands. It was AWESOME!! I guarantee we all felt a little better sitting in traffic. It was such a fun and memorable moment. I will never forget that guy’s face as he lit up. Priceless.

Another ‘light’er life experience was deciding I was going to do a lantern walk for my community neighborhood. I am not the same religion as everyone who surrounds me, so after living here for nine years & not feeling very connected I have felt a need to do something. So, I told my husband and daughter I was going to create a lantern walk & invite EVERYONE! They both looked at me & thought my family would make fun of me & that no one would show up! With my new feelings of trying to be a spark–I carried on with my plan. I created a website in a day, began ordering paper lanterns, lights, found a four-foot LOVE sign and began planning every detail. I planned Oct. 7th at 7 to have people gather at my home & all walk together down a forest path next to my house. They would walk through branches of hanging paper lanterns, a tree adorned and decorated with flower lights, mason jars of “fairy lights” and paper lanterns with butterflies. My “fairy tree” was especially made for the children. [It is a special tree that I would take my daughter & her cousins to when they were growing up & they would look for fairies who lived there] There were two other decorated trees that had quotes about being a light in the world. People would then cross bridges with lights and a trail of paper bags lit by votives, a four-foot heart on a hill made from light rope and would then end at a small amphitheater where they could take pics with their families at the large “Love” sign. I had it all figured out in my head!! It was going to be a lovely evening made for families.

Weeks passed and I was hoping I would have someone in the community offer lanterns, to help set-up…anything, but I heard nothing. My husband was wondering if anyone was going to show & kept saying, “maybe you need to post more notices or have someone send out something again to let people know about it.” I told him I had two neighborhoods post it multiple times on their email groups, I made a large sign I posted on the forest path & I just kept telling him, “those who are meant to come will be there.” Smile. Smile.

I was popping paper lanterns for days & preparing everything for the big day. My husband and daughter began to see the bigger vision & began to get excited. The morning of Oct. 7th came & my sweet husband had taken the day off of work, knowing I would not be able to pull this all off without him. The crazy thing—it is actually a literal Godsend, was that when I first began to plan this event I just imagined us with ladders in the forest & now I know we would have NEVER finished in time. Just a week after I began planning, my father-in-law passed & in his will he left my husband a side-by-side atv. It was a genuine Godsend. If we would have NOT had this vehicle, the outcome of our lantern walk would have never been finished. We were zipping up and down the forest path all day. My husband was standing on the top of it to reach large branches to hang lanterns, it made the timing so much faster. I kept hoping someone might help us, but the day was ours. It took me and my husband all day & by 7pm, I had not showered, was running to meet anyone who may be at our house & I was in a tank top for any first impressions. It was hilarious. I had my parents man my home & invite anyone who showed up into the backyard. I ran upstairs to change my clothes & found that my husband had locked our bedroom door to ensure no one entered. My husband was still at the park trying to finish set up & laughed as I called him begging to get into our room. I finally made it in [after he told me where the key was & how to open it] & threw a shirt on. I quickly ran to my backyard and found probably a hundred people waiting. My Dad was saying something to everyone & then noticed me, he turned the crowd over to me. I merely said, “What a wonderful surprise!! I told everyone that my husband was still trying to finish up details in the park, so we just wanted to remind everyone to make a memory with their families, to spread some love in their communities & I invited them to take some kindness cards that we had printed up to say kind things & share them with others, kids lockers, a meal to someone in need…to spread some love.” It was short but sweet and heartfelt. I then invited the whole group to head to the forest and it was a beautiful night.

My husband will never forget seeing the huge group of people coming out of the forest, all holding lanterns, walking as a huge community of people. He was happily surprised! Everyone was so grateful for the night. It made my heart so happy to see families taking pictures around the love sign, talking to neighbors, just sitting on a nearby grassy hill watching the night light. It was a lovely time. Definitely a night of Love and Light—just what it was supposed to be.

Even though no one showed up to help, my husband, my daughter & her friend will never forget working so hard to put so much love into something. We did it together and it was a beautiful gift and memory we will always treasure.

All of our family and neighbors kept talking about doing it next year & I kept saying, “We will see.” My husband has been talking about next year ever since. It was a gift to all.

Check out some of the pics below. IF you want to do a lantern walk where you live—-I can help!! Its all about spreading Love and Light. You can also check out my website and click on the Spreading Love link where there are lots of things you can do. There are printable kindness cards and more. Check it out http://www.loveandlightlanternwalk.com

Begin with you. One person can do small things that can spark a little light and love into the world. DON’T let other people stop you. DON’T let other people make you feel small or worry so much about what they think. This is YOUR life. Make it bright!! Make it full of LOVE and LIGHT.

Peace, Love and Light to you today!!  -H

PS Smile, say hello or wave at someone today!! Make their day. Be a LIGHT!

Here are some of the quotes I used & hung on trees CvvE5wWUMAAxL_mquote_1-1.5.18shine10863536030fee581b324a74a5d2f73a9-1

 

What I Know for Sure

What+I+know+for+Sure+(1)GREAT QUESTION–WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE? 

Oprah has always asked this question in many of her interviews. She then took the idea and turned it into a book (great little read).

I wanted to share some of her great quotes and have you ask yourself…What do you know for sure? It is a question that makes you really go within to seek real answers. If you take the time to truly, honestly answer, it will be a beautiful gift for your life.

“Before I could challenge my fear and begin changing what I believed about myself, I had to admit that, yes, I had always been afraid–and that my fear was a form of slavery.” -Oprah

“So long as you’re still worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them. Only when you require no approval from outside yourself can you own yourself.” -Neale Donald Walsch

“What if you learned to live with it [Fear], to ride its wave to heights you never knew were possible?”  -Oprah

“What I know for sure is this: You are built not to shrink down to less but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary. To use every moment to fill yourself up.”  -Oprah

“I’ve learned that the more stressful and chaotic things are on the outside, the calmer you need to get on the inside. It’s the only way you can connect with where your spirit is leading you.”  -Oprah

“What is the truth of your life? It’s your duty to know. In order to find out, know that the truth is that which feels right and good and loving.”  -Oprah

“I prayed to be more resolved about being fully conscious, allowing every experience to bring me closer to the deepest essence of life.”  -Oprah

“I want to be lean and clean for the future, dust off my wings. I know for sure that doing so will make it easier to fly.”  -Oprah

“Let your life awaken in you. Whatever your challenge–let it be an open door to your holiest revelations about yourself, an invitation to your best life.”  -Oprah

 

May your day be filled with deep questions that awaken parts of you that were sleeping. Life is a daily ritual of digging deep within to uncover the valuable essence of your one, precious life.  -Peace, Love and Light to you today.  -H

Sobering 9/11

njdg1tawqxjbq964frl2Many people will never forget where they were or what was going on around them on 9/11. It is so humbling to walk back in your mind and remember how paralyzed our nation was and then how joined it became.

I was living in a tiny, country town, Shelley, Idaho. It was a place of acres and acres of potato fields and very few people. I will never forget how at that time in our nation, it became a place of American flags on every car, people honking and cheering on our local fire engines and public safety, giant flags painted on barns…it was a beautiful thing to see a community join together in such patriotism.

I don’t think anyone will forget the images that kept replaying on the televisions across the country, the sobering stories of everyday heroes, unbelievable stories of survival and the heartbreaking realizations of loss.

Every 9/11 is a mix of emotions and this morning I woke up to an email that informed me of my dear neighbor with six young kids (under the age of 14) who just found out she has breast cancer and its spreading. My heart ached and I immediately ran over to be of service and see what I could do.

Any tragedy is sobering, so I ask of you on this day of 9/11…find those things within your life that you daily take for granted and give thanks. Hold your family a little tighter. Reach out to someone in need. Take something to your local fire department or public servant and say thank you for their service.

We are all in this one life together, so if we can remember this daily, then when any tragedy hits your family, your neighbor, your community, your country, then you will be ready to take on anything TOGETHER.

TOGETHER: Here is something soo interesting: [I posted this years ago, but it has always stayed with me on 9/11–shows how connected we truly are]

Out of the horror of 9/11 some amazing scientific discoveries were made–our satellites positioned thousands of miles above the earth–every 30 minutes the satellites send a signal that tells us how strong the magnetic field of the earth really is. It ebbs and flows each day. On 9/11 there was a huge spike and the researchers had never seen a spike like this before or on both satellites. They were trying to figure out what on earth happened & this led the researchers to understand the collective heart-based response, The human emotion that was outpouring in a particular time of that day. It was so powerful that it coupled with the magnetic field of the earth. It showed how everything is connected to the field. It took a tragedy to understand the connection, but what heartmath is trying to decide is if they can utilize the same connection without tragedy.
Can heart-based coherence bring people together in peace. Heartmath has a coalition has sensors throughout the world trying to decipher human emotions trying to see how to bring about human coherence throughout the world.

May we always seek to have grateful hearts for the world we live in, the relationships we are gifted to share and the love to freely give—always.

Peace, Love and Light to you on this day of 9/11.  -H

Turning Points

crossroad-path-in-lavender-meadow1“At every turning point of my life, I can see your smiling face and my teary eyes.” -SB

Googled “Life Turning Points” and this is what came up: A Turning Point is a critical time in your life where big decisions could lead to big change, both in work and in life.

OR another point of view The idea of turning points in our lives is a powerful one. It’s the idea that at a certain point, a big event happens that changes your life irrevocably. -huffingtonpost

Some turning points are conscious, others less so…But all involve turning away from one path, and towards another. And they shape the self that you experience and define as “you,” along the way. -Psychology today

My husband and his six sisters have been facing a rather big turning point for the past week. There Dad that is 71 has been diagnosed with an extremely rare disease (one in one and a half million people) that is eating his brain at a rapid rate and stealing his life from them. It came out of nowhere and has been a very heavy and tragic time that has humbly brought them together, but has also left them feeling many why’s. They are at a daily turning point of questioning God; wondering why their Dad has to suffer more and more each day; watching people come and go with sorrowful goodbye’s, yet the family still trying to get through the shallow breaths of death each night. He is on the brink of death and at one point just asked them to let him die. It has been dementia on steroids, leaving them all with an empty shell of a man at points, hallucinating the next and then completely lucid. My husband has walked in on him a few times & his body is in motion as if stringing a fishing rod & even biting the line off with his teeth. It is a horrible disease that quickly takes over and it has been a rollercoaster of emotion for everyone.

Each day has been different for each one of the family member’s who stay up all night watching…waiting…wondering when he will take his last breath. They all wonder where he goes when he seems to just be a shell. One day one of his daughter’s who had not slept and was running on a very emotionally empty tank had a psychotic episode and the hospital almost admitted her to the psyche ward for her erratic behavior. She was at a turning/tipping point of her overall experience. She had to step back and have family members force her to sleep, to bring her back to reality, so she could be present as her Dad passes.

The family has been each dealing with their own turning points in different ways. My husband is almost like the father to all of his six sisters. He always has been. He is in the middle of three older and three younger sisters. He is the only boy and they have always relied on him over their own Dad, so nothing is new to him. This is just a different level of a turning point—he is holding their hands each day as they express their feelings, their fears, their needs. His emotional tank is running low, but each day is a turning point of how he will handle each situation with care. He is learning more about himself, more about selfless love, more about unconditional love and servant leadership. I called him and expressed my deep love and appreciation for the man he is & admire how hard he is trying to serve everyone involved. He is better than me. I could not do what he is doing each day.

Turning points have different viewpoints. [Think of yourself standing at a crossroad of two paths–two different viewpoints or life turning points] I may step back from one emotional road & admire how someone else is traveling it. I try to take it in and see it from someone else’s perspective and hope that when I am in the midst of traveling a similar road, that I could handle it with some sort of grace, dignity and selfless action. I can only hope.

Everyone has their journey & each path will be different. BUT Some turning points are conscious, others less so…But all involve turning away from one path, and towards another. And they shape the self that you experience and define as “you,” along the way. -Psychology today

May we each look at each step along our journey and find our best self. May we always seek to learn, grow and strive to be a better version of ourselves along the way.

Peace to all today—Especially my sweet husband and his sisters. Bless you all through this journey. I know it has been a beautiful, but very hard and painful road. xoxoxo

“The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.”  -Max Lerner

Can’t Seem to Stay Focused?

Creativity-Quote-by-Maya-Angelou-InstagramI found myself talking to my sister and expressing how I just feel like I have so many ideas in the works, but for some reason, feel like I have not accomplished everything I desire to. For years it has left me feeling pulled into writing this book idea, then a screenplay, then creating children’s books, researching, writing, art…it has seemed to go round and round for years, leaving me feeling troubled and wondering why I seem to start and stop projects.

I then came across this—The Hyper Creative Mind. Wow!! Did I instantly resonate with the ongoing circles of thought processes and a true understanding that this could possibly be what I have been struggling with. I always have struggled wondering if there is some underlying fear, laziness, no focus, etc.

I just began researching this idea to see what could help me focus. The following are some tips that I have come across. If you seem to be struggling from some of the same feelings or actions, I highly invite you to find your way through the hyper creative mind and find focus. Bless you on your journey.

Here are some articles that may help you understand this whole idea better:

Great article “Too many ideas in your mind? How to let your hyper creative mind achieve success” https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/how-to-focus-your-hyper-creative-mind-to-achieve-success.html

Which means if you are hyper creative your inability to remain excited about a project once you get part way into it, is not simply because you are lazy, have no stick-to-it-ness, or just don’t care. Part of your brain is hardwired to want to spend all it’s time just creating those new brilliant ideas that get you so stoked up.  [this is so me!]

 

ME: I fall in love with projects, work so hard for so long, but then my mind wants to jump to something different. I have numerous books & book ideas that have been started; I have so much research on so many varying topics; I have a screenplay I wrote and created visually; I have numerous children’s books that I wrote and did the artwork for; I have brainstormed and created layouts for a children’s museum; I have entered contests; I have also created business proposals for a variety of business ideas, marketing campaigns, blogs, web sites… The list goes on and on. This doesn’t even include all the books I begin reading on so many different topics & some I finish and some are still waiting.

As I read some articles on the hyper creative mind they keep saying: And if you remember anything…THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. I smile to myself and find some VERY needed explanations for the years of feeling like I cannot focus & the frustration that accompanies those feelings. In each article I read examples of this “hyper-creative mind” and I keep saying to myself, “that is me!!” This is a very big AHA for me. Thank God. There is hope. smile. smile. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU.

For me personally, I have definitely had some internal battles and misdirections from one project to another, so nothing gets completed and I am emotionally depleted.

 

istockphoto-868532948-612x612I just came across this great analogy on girlbosstips :

I read a really cool analogy about a rose bush that I want to share with you. As a rose bush grows, it buds off more than it can sustain. You must prune rose bushes to maintain the appearance. If you don’t, the bush will eventually exhaust and die. There is only so much nutrients that can go around. If the bush just keeps on shooting out new buds and nothing is done to control it, then the result will be a negative one.

Like the rose bush, it is natural for you to have new ideas pop up into your head. And it is super cool when that happens. But, to allow yourself to have the energy, drive and excitement we sometimes have to prune the ideas.  What I want you to take away from the prune analogy is that we sometimes need to remove and clean up our ideas to help ourselves be sustainable in our business / studies / careers /life.

 

woman-with-a-question-mark-above-her-head-109742961-5a70cd9c1d6404003720b5aaASK YOURSELF 

Which ideas do I have TIME to focus on right now. You may have an app idea, or a novel playing on your mind, or a song you want to write, or…so many ideas may swirl and pop in trying to grab your attention. Ask yourself, What do I truly have time to focus on considering my other responsibilities.

How can I create more FOCUS? You need to truly focus in on one idea at a time and ask further questions that will help you see if it is worth your time and focus. Is the idea exciting? Do you feel a real connection & why? Is it something that is waking you up early in the morning to work on? Do you feel energized by it? Think and ponder an idea to see if the excitement grows or begins to fade. This is your life…your time…the idea needs to light you up, not just grab your attention.

Do you feel committed? For a hyper creative mind it is very easy to get distracted, fall in love with another idea, shelf something, get busy with life…When a project comes along that does light you up, you need to begin to act and then see if you feel deep within you a real commitment. Does your heart continue to light up? This is your life, so begin now to notice the distractions, look at the varying levels of commitment and begin to go within and ask yourself deeply what projects could you truly be committed to and one-by-one bring them to life. If you have so many side projects that are just daily distractions, begin to eliminate them one-by-one and say thank you, but no, my time is too precious. Find those projects that truly light you up & you could spend hours and hours getting lost in the creation.

Do deadlines or milestones work for you? For me personally, I struggle holding up an accountability card if no one else is involved. What about you? Having a visual deadline date on your calendar, would that work for you? Maybe if you treated yourself to a special weekend getaway if you finish a specific project?? [while I am typing this I am feeling like this could be something that appeals to me ;]

 

Creative-Writing-for-BeginnersA couple more GOOD TOOLS

Having so many great ideas but being unable to apply them in a way that leads to the success you crave can be more than frustrating – it can be hugely depressing. -KarenDaniels

Here is an exercise from Karen Daniels work on finding your goal as a hypercreative-What your goal is not: Your goal should NOT be to learn how to put a stopper on your creative flow so you can fit in, learn to love the details and get things done. So please, stop trashing yourself for being something you are not.

What your goal is: Your goal SHOULD be to learn how to harness your ideas in ways that allow you to better distinguish the ideas with more potential for your life and how to follow through in ways that will vastly improve your success, both personally and professionally.

How? You are going to sit down, right now, and create what you can think of as your hypercreative filter. This will be 3 core questions through which you will run all your ideas to see if that idea is going to help, or hinder, your forward progress to the life and business you want. To get to your core questions, I want you to sit down right now and think about some adjectives that describe how you would like to feel such as…fantastic, cheerful, lively, perfect, calm, wonderful, enchanting, funny, joyous, delightful, comfortable, pleasant, elated, amused, splendid, thankful…

READ THE REST OF HER ARTICLE. IT IS A GREAT TOOL Here is the rest of her article with additional details on this exercise https://karendaniels.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/How-to-Harness-Your-Hypercreativity-for-Success.pdf

 

ANOTHER GOOD ARTICLE that has some good information about the hypercreative mind http://artistmyth.com/hypercreative-know-one/

A few tips from this article: Hypercreatives, due to their sensitive nature, might become vulnerable to negative emotional states such as cynicism, apathy, depression, and frustration. This might even lead to negative physical states as well.

Another tendency for many hypercreatives to overcome is abandoning their current project or idea when another newer idea comes along. They need the diligence and discipline to be able to focus and maximize their efforts in order to accomplish their creative goals. This can be especially difficult when challenges come up, therefore problem solving skills are also an essential trait of successful hypercreatives.

depositphotos_51475035-stock-illustration-we-believe-that-creative-people

Best wishes in all you do. May you find your calm.

Peace. Love and Light to you today. -H