GREAT STORIES to keep you going

Sometimes I think we all have little dreams that are seeds that continually strive to grow within us, fighting for us to help them push through to the surface of our lives. We get caught in the ‘busy,’ the time stealers & forget that we have hidden dreams that want to find their wings.

Lately, I have been feeling like my  life has been lots of different directions without any true purpose, so I have been trying to tap into more creativity.  There is something about stopping and asking yourself what you want to accomplish & then seeking to find a little seed within & nurturing it to grow.

We all need that. Take a minute and ask yourself about a forgotten dream, an unrealized goal, a little part of you that tugs internally.  What is it saying? What is it desiring of you?

Here are some great stories about people who have tapped into something they desired to do & where it led them. Enjoy.

e46123b5cd2ab5774c0e9ff1d97928f1GRANDMA GATEWOOD

Even now, six decades later, Emma Gatewood’s story still resonates.

Grandma Gatewood, as she became known, was the first woman to hike the entire 2,050 miles of the Appalachian Trail by herself in 1955. She was 67 years old at the time, a mother of 11 and grandmother of 23. She’d survived more than 30 years of marriage to a brutal husband who beat her repeatedly.

Gatewood hiked the trail carrying a homemade knapsack and wearing ordinary sneakers — she wore out six pairs of them in 146 days from May to September. She  brought a blanket and a plastic shower curtain to protect her from the elements, but she didn’t bother with a sleeping bag, a tent, a compass or even a map, instead relying on the hospitality of strangers along the way and her own independent resourcefulness. She’d sleep in a front porch swing, under a picnic table or on a bed of leaves when necessary, and she ate canned Vienna sausages, raisins and peanuts plus greens she found on the trail and meals offered by strangers.

Her story, as author Ben Montgomery describes it, is one of “overcoming hardship and finding yourself and finding peace.”

Her story doesn’t stop with that first hike. Gatewood returned to thru-hike (hiking straight through in less than 12 months) again in 1957, making her the first person, male or female, to successfully tackle the Appalachian Trail twice. Gatewood said the second time was so she could enjoy it. She completed the trail again in 1964, doing it in sections, becoming the first to hike it three times.

In 1959 she headed west, walking from Independence, Mo. to Portland, Ore. as part of the Oregon Centennial celebration. She left two weeks after a wagon train, but passed it in Idaho. The trip covered nearly 2,000 miles and took 95 days.

Emma Rowena Caldwell was born in 1887 on an Ohio farm, one of 15 children, the daughter of a disabled Civil War veteran. She traded the hard life of the farm for marriage at age 19 to Percy Gatewood, but life didn’t get any easier.

For more than 30 years, “she put up with being married to a stubborn, ignorant, hard-fisted man who beat her over and over again,” Montgomery said.

Then one night he broke her teeth and cracked a rib, nearly killing her. A sheriff’s deputy arrived at the house, and arrested Emma, not Percy. She spent a night in jail until the mayor of the small West Virginia town where they lived intervened when he saw her blackened eyes and bloodied face.

She managed to get a divorce — unheard of in those days — and raised her last three children alone.

Sometime in the 1950s she saw a “National Geographic” magazine article about the Appalachian Trail. Her daughter, Lucy Gatewood Seeds, has said in interviews she believes the fact that no woman had yet hiked the trail presented a challenge to her mother. An obituary quoted daughter Rowena saying her mother stated, “If those men can do it, I can do it.”

Gatewood attempted the trail in 1954, starting in Maine, but broke her glasses and gave up, determined to try again. She did the following spring.

You can read more about this amazing woman in Ben Montgomery, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, wrote “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail.” Published in April 2014

This was taken from https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2015/01/05/grandma-gatewood-survived-domestic-violence-to-walk-the-appalachian-trail-alone-at-67/?utm_term=.8d57d9a04be8

 

TAYLOR

Once Upon A Time, there was a girl named Taylor. When she sat down to eat lunch in her school cafeteria, the girls she’d once called friends stood up and moved to another table. They had cast Taylor out of their clique because instead of going to parties with them on weekends, she’d stay home and write songs on her guitar. The outsider landed a development deal with a record company and moved with her parents to Nashville. She would go on to become the first artist since the Beatles—and the only woman—to record three consecutive albums that spent six or more weeks at number one. Taylor Swift is still writing songs and once told a Nebraska audience, “What does it matter if you didn’t have any friends in high school when you’ve got 15,000 of your closest friends coming to see you in Omaha?”  -taken from Oprah, The Power of Quirk

 

Here is a video I made a couple years ago that I thought would fit perfectly into this topic. Enjoy

 

Seek something you need for your life and push through to do it!!

Enjoy your day!  -H

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MIRACLES do exist

311110_385202528224779_2027020950_nI just got off the phone with my Dad who was expressing his concern for my brother. We have lived for many years in worry and concern for my brother. When he was a teenager he was determined to end his life driving my parents Ford Taurus off a canyon cliff & miraculously survived. He has tried to take pills to end his life and now he is trying to drink the pain away from so many things in his life.

BROTHER, this post is for YOU. YOUR life is for a greater purpose if you will take the time to notice how precious your life is. You have two, beautiful children & a very patient wife who has been there for over twenty years. You have too much to offer the world. BELIEVE there is a greater purpose for you and begin to live that!! Love you. YOU have your own miracle story that is YOURS. Be mindful of why you are still alive & know you are loved.

I wanted to share these stories to show YOU and anyone out there who may need to hear something that holds some hope.

Since it is 9/11 I will share one miracle story from that tragic day & then some other stories that may shed some light for you in your dark world.

x_30_mj_911surfer_120829Yesterday I watched a tv special called 9/11 surfer. It was about a man who literally was swept up in a wave of air and traveled from the 22nd floor to land on top of the heap of rubble at the final wreckage of the twin towers.  He literally woke up & saw blue sky & thought he was in another life. He was sitting on top of a heap of rubble. He then heard firemen. It is an unbelievable miraculous story. Check the whole story out here. Its amazing. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2198838/9-11-Survivors-Pasquale-Buzzelli-survived-surfing-wave-falling-debris-speaks-miracle.html

 

hqdefaultThere is a great book I have been reading by Squire Rushnell called, “When God winks at YOU.” It is full of great stories like the following. Stories of hope, coincidence (or not. smile. smile) and the feeling that everything has divine timing & purpose.

Mavis had driven past the Crystal Cathedral every day for 20 years on her way to work in Anaheim. And every day she said, “Someday I’m going to go there.” One Sunday morning she arose and announced, “Today’s the day.”

She arrived early and found a nice spot in the center of the 3000-seat all-glass structure. She marveled as the choir and orchestra filled the cathedral with beautiful music and the glass ceiling rolled back so that even the birds were allowed to come into the sanctuary. At the end of the service she stood, bursting with joy, and turned to the young woman who’d been seated next to her, saying, “I’m so glad I came today!” Then added, “Are you from around here?” “No,” said the young woman. “I’m from the Midwest. I’m here on a mission…to find my birth mother.” There was a pause. Then Mavis said, “I know how you must feel, I once had to give up a little girl for adoption…I didn’t want to, but I had to.” There was another pause. The young woman looked deeply into Mavis’ eyes. “Do you…remember her birthday?” “Yes,” said Mavis, “October 30th.” (gasp) “That’s my birthday!” said the young woman. In a matter of moments they were able to establish, that through some incredible miracle…an extraordinary divine alignment…that they were mother and daughter reunited! And they knew that Mother’s Day would never be the same again.

For years, this story was told by the pastor of Crystal Cathedral, Robert Schuller. The reunion of Mavis and her long-lost daughter reinforces that you and I are each on a grand GPS…I call it…God’s Positioning System. Through divine alignment…and His small still voice…He nudges us to do something, go somewhere, to take an action. And what a comfort it is to know that He is always directing our paths. -Squire Rushnell

 

stuck-in-snow-_antiksu_-_Fotolia_largeI don’t have a religious preference & I LOVE stories from every faith that show that miracles happen EVERYWHERE to EVERY faith. A favorite angel story book I have read was by Joan Anderson called “Where Angels Walk: True stories of Heavenly Visitors” A collection of stories by regular people. It is a great read. Here is one story to give you an idea. Joan began collecting these stories after her son had a heavenly intervention. Here is a sample of the two stories that she likes to tell:

My son’s story is my favorite, of course. He and two friends were traveling across country on a terribly cold night. Their car broke down in a deserted cornfield and they would probably have frozen to death there (some people did that night). But a tow truck driver appeared, hitched them up, took them to safety and when they got out of the car and turned around to pay him, he was gone, and so was his truck.

This is compelling because:

  • there was more than one person seeing the same thing
  • it was a state of emergency and no rescue vehicles were then on the road
  • there were no tracks left in the snow by the truck
  • it was my son!

I have also loved the story of the two pilots in a very small plane flying in fog, and unable to land.

A voice came over the speaker and talked them down into a small airport, where they landed safely. They discovered as they got out of the plane that the airport was closed, and no one was on duty. Further, they were so off course that no other airport could have contacted them.   -full article interview with Joan 

https://www.thoughtco.com/joan-wester-anderson-on-angel-encounters-2593563

 

familywalkOne last 9/11 story that I have posted before, but it is too good not to share.

I am The Human WakeUp Call. My story reminds people that life is a gift and every day counts. It’s time to wake up to the fact that none of us have endless tomorrows, even though we might be living as if we do. Contrary to the frequent fear-driven messages we hear, this is a lesson of finding the possibility for change, then pursuing it. It’s the small, consistent changes we make that lead to big differences.

I wasn’t always on this WakeUp call mission however. Like so many others, during my career I never played a very active role in where I headed. The promotions and job changes were spaced out well enough to give me the illusion of progress, but in reality I simply ‘floated down the river’ letting life take me from one place to another. None of it truly felt like it was my ‘right’ work. I was not really happy, but moderately comfortable.

Then, one day when I was in my thirties, the ‘river’ I was floating in took me to another Fortune 500 company and I found myself in yet another j-o-b. Great people, the work was fine but yet again, it didnt feel like it tied into something more meaningful for me (even though I had no idea what that would be). I had just moved to Connecticut from New York City and the new office was all the way in downtown Manhattan, increasing my commute from 25 minutes to more than two hours each way! Each morning my wife would drive me to the train station with our one-year-old daughter sleeping in back, tucked sweetly into her car seat. I would come home each night and my little girl would be exactly as I left her, asleep in the backseat as my wife waited in the parking lot for my train to arrive. Days would go by where I wouldn’t see her awake at all. Children look peaceful while sleeping, but seeing her mostly in that state started to remind me that this was not the kind of parent I wanted to be, absent from her waking world.

I soon found myself wishing away my weekdays, hoping for each one to finish sooner than the clock would allow, in favor of the weekend and time – awake! – with my family. I realized that my work felt unimportant to me yet AGAIN, I felt out of place AGAIN, and I didn’t know what to do about it. My wife was taking care of our daughter and upkeep on our new home so I was the sole financial provider. However, I didn’t know what would fulfill me and had no direction. So I did what many people in that situation do – nothing. After all, life was just fine… wasn’t it?

Then, one Monday afternoon, I was sitting outside my office having lunch. It was a beautiful late summer day in New York where the sky was a stunning cerulean blue with not a cloud in sight. As I sat there enjoying the warmth of the sun on my face, I felt more grounded than I had in a long while. I looked up at my office building and was overcome by the sense that somehow it controlled my life. I realized at that moment that I HAD to make a change… even if it was a small change. A new intention was born.

This time had to be different! I had to take action. So I decided that the next morning, instead of rushing to catch the early train in keeping with my new morning ritual, I would take a later train so I could have a nice relaxing breakfast with my wife and (awake) daughter. I remember smiling at the thought thinking this was a good first step. Not a big step, but at least a new beginning. One of the most important lessons I realized from that small decision was that nothing would change until I changed it. It was clear that I would never FIND the time. I had to CREATE it!

The next morning my wife, surprised to see that I was already dressed and ready to go, asked quizzically, “I thought you were taking the later train today?” She asked me whether we were still having breakfast together or if she should drive me to the station so I could make my normal train. Little did I know, at that moment, I was standing at the crossroads of my life and my answer to that innocent question would determine my fate.

The chatter in my head started: “Do I just take the early train and have breakfast together another day? Will my daughter even be aware that we’re having breakfast? Do I risk going in late? Will I get in trouble at work? I’ve only been there a few months, can I even do this?” But then I had a moment of truth and my true values came forth to guide me, stirring something inside me and stopping my hesitation. “No,” I said to her. “The whole point of the morning was to have breakfast together, so let’s have breakfast together. I’ll catch the next train.” It was a simple declaration; as innocent a decision as if made on any other day of my life.

So we spent some wonderful time together having breakfast in our small dining room. It was another beautiful morning and I looked at my family and just smiled. I had known my wife since we met on a Junior High School trip to Quebec in 9th grade and I knew the moment I saw her that she was the “one”. Here we were 18 years later and I was living the reality of my dreams. Life was good!

She dropped me off and I took the train into New York City, smiling the whole way. I’m sure I looked out of place among the cranky faces of so many other commuters who were beaten down by the many hours they had spent getting in and out of the city at such a cost. But nothing could bother me that day – I felt I had some control of my life! It felt great!

I got on the subway, and instead of being in my office, I was underground at 8:45am when the first plane slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, into my floor, hitting my desk. Most of the members of my group were up there when it happened, including my boss and team. The morning I had breakfast with my family just happened to be September 11, 2001.

So now you see why I feel compelled to share my story with you and why I recreated my career to serve as a WakeUp Call for others – so you don’t have to experience a tragedy or a near miss to wake up to the possibility of your life. So you stop drifting downstream looking back at your life asking ‘why?’ and instead turn around to look forward and say, ‘What now? Where do I want to go?’ So you and the many thousands of people I now work with can stop ‘losing’ precious days.

In many ways my life began anew the day before that memorable day in September, but not for the reason that you may think. Most people believe that it was my close brush with death that changed my outlook on life. Yet my feeling of being alive and having control over my life spread a smile over my face long before I arrived to see my office engulfed in flames. It wasn’t the fact that I didn’t die on September 11, but instead the reality that I had already begun living on September 10.

In the simple act of choosing a small step toward my larger goal, I had turned myself around to face downstream and take responsibility for the direction in my life. Sometimes we give in to the illusion that we have no control over our lives. Yet small decisions can make big differences in your life. Do you realize that life is a gift and every single day counts? You don’t have endless tomorrows and the ‘some day’ you are waiting for may never come.

I gave up my comfortable corporate life and chose what for me is a harder road. Today I am a business and personal leadership coach, sharing my message and empowering others through individual and team coaching, mentoring, workshops, seminars and keynote speaking. I have been blessed to have touched people across the US, in Canada, Europe and even as far away as Nigeria in Africa. I love my family and my life as much as ever (including my son who has since been born.) Now, I even love my work! How can you live any other way?

If you feel that you have no control over your life, it’s time to find one small thing you can do to move your life in a better direction. You may have continued down uninspired paths because you were simply stuck or afraid or uncertain of how to break this powerful spell. But if you can find one thing to change, one thing that makes you feel more alive, then you must do it.

September 10th was a day that looked just like any other day. That day was my wake-up call. Today is yours! Today is that ‘someday’ you’ve been waiting for. Ready to get started?

(Note: My story is included in my new book, “Wake Up! Your Life is Calling.” Click here to get started today.)

– See more at: http://www.humanwakeupcall.com/mikes-story/#sthash.13xue3Km.dpuf

 

YOU are NOT alone. LOVE to you.

The little things

9d22674070c5fd67d7f4229743c0d5d8Over the weekend my daughter and I went to a few garage sales to see if we could find any hidden treasures. While we were out I found a wooden cuckoo clock from Germany. I would probably have passed it by, but I have such fond childhood memories of a cuckoo clock my mother had. I remember as a little girl waiting for the little bird to come out of the door and cuckoo. Oh, the delight!! So, when I saw this clock in a shoe box I had to ask how much & when she told me she would take $7, I knew it was worth that just in the memories it will create for my daughter.

Now, truth be told, I have no idea how a cuckoo clock works, so I began to look on youtube and see what I could learn. It was so fun to learn about something so foreign to me. I learned a few things, moved some chains, hung some weights and waited for anything to happen. It was a joy for my daughter and I to sit and wait for the little bird to come out and tweet. We lit up with excitement when it did & we waited twice every hour for it to happen again. It’s the little things…

Though, it cuckooed at the wrong time, SO we knew something had to be tweaked. I knew I had to find a professional to give it a look over & make sure the time would work correctly. I looked online to see if I could find anyone who fixes clocks. Believe me when I say that it was not easy to find someone. I believe it must be an ancient art of some kind. I finally found a guy & on his web site he proudly announced he has three generations of clock wizards. I could not wait to see & meet this man who still worked and made a living working with clocks.

My daughter and I visited his home yesterday. Oh, the fun!! We drove to his home & knew it was the house because there was a large clock in the front yard. Then on both cars in the drive way, each license plate said, “Tick-Tock” and the other “Cuckoo.” We delighted in their fun sentiments of what they do. We walked through the front yard and enjoyed the cottage feel of someone who you could tell enjoys gardening. We rang the bell and this very jolly man came to the door. We walked inside & marveled at all the clocks that were everywhere. And then, we had arrived just in time as the hour hands all hit the hour!! So many delightful songs, chimes, dongs…it was amazing. We all smiled at each other & I said, “Wow! How wonderful!” It truly was magical.

He then looked at our little clock & knew right away the little tweaking it needed. As he was looking over our clock I asked him a few questions about his work & he opened a hidden door to another room & there stood a very old clock from the 1850’s. I marveled at the thought of working on something so old & imagined the gears, saw the wood, the hanging weights, it was something to see. I asked him what the oldest clock he had ever worked on was & he explained that someone had brought him a clock from the 1600’s and he beamed as he shared how that was a fun one to figure out. You could tell he truly enjoyed his work and had a passion for fixing clocks.

He then told us a few ‘musts’ about our little clock & ended with, “but the most important thing you must do, you must give it a name.” I smiled in delight. I teased him right back and said, “So (I gestured and pointed around the room at his clocks) all of these clocks have names?” He laughed, “No, but I do love what I do. Can’t you tell?” I smiled and agreed. It was such a fun, unexpected visit.

I think life needs more moments of the “little things” that bring us joys. I think our day to days can become standard and mundane, but our hearts yearn for growth, to learn something new, to see new places, to meet new people, to try new things.

It was truly a joy to meet someone I would have probably never met if it weren’t for our little, seven dollar cuckoo!! Oh, the Joys!

 

IMG_0522Talking about little things, My Mom & Dad popped in yesterday to say hi. My Dad has seemed a little caught in the mundane & lately has been talking about doing a variety of things outside of his “usual.” My Dad has never been much of a dog lover, but he has seemed to try and enjoy my last couple dogs whenever he is around them. I came up with a great idea, I looked at my Dad and said, “Why don’t you take Teag (my dog) on a walk through the forest”(near my home).  I smiled inside knowing what a true adventure it would be if my Dad agreed. Teag gets a little CRAZY on walks. If he sees people, dogs, bikers, runners…he can’t help himself but to start screaming and wants to get them. It is embarrassing, loud & my husband has always hated taking him because of the drama Teag creates for everyone around him.

I waited for my Dad’s response & he looked at my little dog and said, “Do you want to go on a walk?” Teag always gets excited to go on a walk, so my Dad could not refuse. We grabbed the leash and off we went. The whole first part of the walk was quiet and enjoyable & then a bunch of people came out of nowhere. A family of five bikers, two people with dogs, a skate boarder and another biker. My Mom, Myself and my daughter all laughed as we watched my Dad get pulled, spun, tangled up with my daughter, doing all he could to control Teag. At one point he looked at me, “I don’t think I have ever walked a dog in my life. (sarcastically) I wonder why!” He smiled, “I can check this one off my bucket list!” My Dad was worn out & laughing. We were all laughing as my Dad began to strut up the trail, holding Teag’s leash and telling us “I’ve got this!!”

It was a great reminder that no matter what age we all desire challenge, change, the little things that step us out of our comfort zones and help us grow a little.

Cheers to the little JOYS! The little things that make our hearts swell with smiles!!

Enjoy your day!!  -H

 

 

What nurtures the little child inside?

Baby photos with her family pictures taken with Charlotte NC children's photographer.My daughter has loved and believed in magic her whole life & I wouldn’t change it for anything!! She has always enjoyed the magic of a jolly, fat man bringing good will and gifts to cheer children. She has had a family of fairies that she has fed chocolate brownies on mini tea sets. We have made fairy houses since she was little. We have had every magical holiday possible, even our very own, made up holiday on May 1st that we celebrate as “Fairy day.” Her childhood has been full of magic, whimsy and wonder.

So, a few of her younger cousins have adored my daughter’s whimsical fairy land & always watch and wonder as she tells them imaginative stories of magic. My daughter loves to nurture the wonder and magic in her tiny cousins. It is so fun!!

So, a couple of these tiny cousins (who are under the age of 10) have wished and made their own fairy houses in hopes of having their own piece of magic. Well, I happened to find a couple of the same fairies that my daughter has on Amazon for a crazy low price, so I told my daughter that maybe we should surprise her little cousins & leave them on their door step with a special fairy note. My daughter was SO excited and knew the little girls would LOVE it!! We put our plan into action, ordered them & then went about delivering them.

It was SO FUN!! One of her tiny cousins parents were going on an overnighter, so we were invited to come over for the evening and play. We knew this would fit very well into our fairy delivery. We went and played for a couple of hours, I snuck out of their house & grabbed the fairy from my car & left it on their porch. About an hour later the kids were all walking out the front door to go on and walk & what did they find???

A special fairy box with a note addressed to the two youngest little girls. They were SO excited & instantly began trying to figure out where to put the fairy, how to make her bed…it was a flurry of excitement. Even the young boys in the family began talking about making a ladder and hammock out of sticks and leaves. It turned into a creative spring of JOY for everyone!! It was so fun. Their little imaginations ran wild with excitement. It went on for hours…special lighting, a special rock for food, an acorn trail…It was so fun!!

The next day when the parents arrived home to hear all about the new arrival, their Dad told them he didn’t believe in fairies.

I heard this and my heart sank. I felt so bad.

So, my question is this. Who nurtures imagination and creativity? Children are naturally creative and have an imagination, but if adults so easily squash the magic, the whimsy, the imagination—what happens?

I think we have a role as parents to encourage creative play, to foster their imagination, to ‘play along’ to help them develop their own stories, to write their own endings & not have the ‘adult’ come in and squash the child dreams or the childlike wonder that seeks to find its voice. That is my opinion.

I think this video (below) perfectly illustrates the child vs the adult perspective. Perspectives change, so let our children be little, let them dream, let them imagine having mermaid tails or shark mouths. Let them be little. Let them create their world of their youth, because the world will take it away soon enough. If we don’t nurture their childhood, who will?

I LOVE this video. Enjoy.

Nurture their dreams, put them to bed with stories of wonder, give them gifts that delight in magic. Childhood is too short, so let them be dreamers, creators and let us help them explore their imaginations.

This is also a great video on this topic. Love it!!

Here is another article on ways to nurture your child’s imagination https://www.bubhub.com.au/hubbub-blog/5-simple-ways-to-nurture-your-childs-imagination/

Have a beautiful day.  -H

83497-Walt-Disney-Quote-Every-child-is-born-blessed-with-a-vividCharming-Imagination-Quotes

Oh, the difference of gratitude

My husband just left to head back to his RV home in Reno, NV. We are big fans of Survivor, so we are now affectionately calling his other home—RENO ISLAND (like Redemption Island). We figure the two are similar–a place where he finds his own food, works to help us survive and is away from everything he loves and appreciates. He is on his own.

I have to constantly say to myself that there is a point to our separation—A JOB=MONEY=SURIVAL! So, I am beginning to think it does have something to do with ‘the root of all evil!’ haha. Smile.

I woke up this morning thinking–Why coudn’t everyone just live in a tropical paradise, live off the land, have no money worries… & I was quickly brought back to reality…probably because most of us have seen Survivor & know you just get eaten alive in one way or another!! haha. bugs…people…weather…

So, as my sweet husband drove away yesterday & the tears rolled down my face & my daughters, I have to remember to have a grateful heart. Gratitude is everything in any situation. You can either decide to be consumed by frustration and anger, or find a place within your heart to be grateful.

So, this morning I am adding some quotes to help me feel more gratitude & to focus on the gift of it in all we do.

56581409b97b15b6c7d5736c7d81960e--gratitude-jar-gratitude-journals

I am banking on the above quote—We will NOT be the same people after two months. I do not believe we are the same people after two weeks of being apart. My gratitude for my husband made me appreciate a deeper level of appreciation for him, this sacrifice, his everything. I appreciated hearing his whistle even more. I hugged him even tighter. I cried even harder this second time he left. I believe through the struggle we become stronger in some way.

beattieI have always loved this quote because it is so true. I am still waiting for the feeling of confusion to turn to clarity, but every experience is what you turn it into. I pray we can turn this into an even better vision for tomorrow.

f133e80473302b7638795925c1450a3c--gratitude-ideas-gratitude-jarYou can always find so many things you are grateful for right now!! Since my husband has been gone he has mentioned a few of the ‘comforts of home’ he misses. It may sound funny, but he missed the cheese & bread we usually buy. He misses going to our local gas station & buying his favorite soda. He misses our shower, because now he showers in either a KOA shower (used by numerous people) or his tiny RV stall (which is 3 x 3). I am not complaining. We are extremely grateful for the RV. We are by no means destitute or living on the street, but I know this experience will help us learn a few things about ourselves, our relationship and all that we take for granted. Think of some things you take for granted & are grateful for. LIST THEM.

e9424d4583308720a3c9c96973a07495I am grateful to have my little family, even though we are apart. Separation truly does make the heart grow fonder. (I have learned that!). I am grateful to breathe, to smile, to walk, to smell fresh air, to take warm showers, to see the beautiful, blue sky, to hug my daughter, to talk on a phone, to have my parents still close, to have a home, to have a job, to have clean water, to live in freedom, to have a healthy body that can move, to walk through forests, to feel the sunlight upon my face, to play with my dog, to dream, to create, to write, to have an abundance of food, to hear my dog bark (haha–he is crazy), to see butterflies, to see the change in light outside, to…there are so many things if we take a moment to notice. What are you grateful for? Think about it.

THANK YOU. I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOU! Have a BEAUTIFUL DAY! Make it AMAZING. It is what you make it!  -H

The energy of it all!

CrLr9lHUIAAq-17I don’t know about you, but I have been a constant life learner. I have always been in ah of how the seasons change, wondered why ocean fish swim in circles as if a secret rhythm was singing to them or listened to crickets harmonize at night in a rhythmic pattern no one can dismiss. Nature is full of wondrous surprises and patterns that make us all find connections.

A couple of days ago I had an amazing experience. Don’t get me wrong, I have had numerous amazements when nature is involved, but this was something to behold. Me, my daughter and our little dog went outside to water some plants. A black and white butterfly started dancing above my daughters head and gently tap her headband. Just for fun I threw my hands up in the air, fingers stretched and said, “come over here.” The butterfly flew and danced around my arm & then gently landed on my finger. It delighted me, but I was not shocked because I have had butterflies and dragonflies land on me before. (Don’t get me wrong–every time is whimsical and very joy filled!)). I LOVE IT!

My daughter stretched out her arms, but the butterfly would just circle around her almost teasing her. It fluttered about for awhile & would periodically come and land on me again (4 times). But, as I watched this little black and white, tissue like spirit I saw something I have never seen.

We live near a walking path and my little dog LOVEs to chase bikers, runners, anyone who moves down this path, so of course someone goes by & my little dog takes off running. The funny thing, this little butterfly did the same thing. It would fly right above my little dog as if chasing something. I couldn’t believe how fast this little butterfly would go. My dog would wiz past (and he is fast) & the butterfly took on the challenge & flew in turbo mode right above him. It was as if it felt his energy & jumped into a wave of my dog’s energy. It was crazy!! It happened numerous times & then the little butterfly would take a break, land on a leaf and after a few minutes, would chase my little dog & follow him. It was so incredible. I have never seen anything like it.

Talk about energy. For this little butterfly to want friends, to land on me not once, but four different times & then to see it chase our little dog…priceless. unbelievable.

I know it may sound crazy, but its true. Nature is always full of surprises.

 

I wanted to find some other BUTTERFLY stories that can inspire. Enjoy.

blue-morpho-butterfly-headerTHE BLUE BUTTERFLY

There are lots of kids who love running around and catching insects in jars, but it’s different for young Pete Carlton. Pete has cancer, and according to the doctors, it’s not going to get better. Instead of giving up hope, though, Pete has a dream of catching the rare Amazonian blue morpho butterfly. With the help of his mother, and a famous entomologist, Pete sets out on a transformative journey that touches everyone around him. This is the premise of the Canadian film The Blue Butterfly, and the best part is, it’s based on a true story.

The real life Pete Carlton is one David Marenger, also once a young Canadian boy given 24 months to live before likely succumbing to brain cancer. David was only six years old. Instead of writing to a famous entomologist to get to the Amazon like Pete, however, it was the Children’s Wish Foundation that heard of his love of butterflies, and his deep-rooted desire to seek the vibrant blue morpho. The foundation granted him that trip to Mexico, along with a Montreal entomologist, George Brossard. The young boy was so sickly that, much like Pete, he had to be carried by his entomologist friend through his trip.

The efforts were not in vain, however. Something changed in that jungle, something truly miraculous. After a long journey, David managed to find the blue butterfly. He went home, and the doctors found that the cancer in his head was shrinking instead of growing. David went into remission, and astonished those doctors by continuing to get better.

Decades later, David stood in the jungle again during the filming of The Blue Butterfly, a rare morpho in his hand. This time, though, he was standing, unaided, healthy, happy, 30 years old.

Do miracles exist?

Hope, belief and perseverance are what David counts as the cures to his ‘terminal’ disease. Like the real-life protagonist, The Blue Butterfly hero, Pete, chases the butterfly through the jungle, seeking hope and meaning behind what anyone would consider a tragic occurrence. Why is he the one who has cancer? Why does this have to hurt his mom? Why can’t he be like other kids? The Blue Butterfly’s beautiful juxtaposition of mysticism and scientific study doesn’t answer all the questions explicitly, but instead demonstrates the power of love and belief.

We’re all looking for answers, aren’t we? However, as demonstrated by Pete, sometimes we don’t need all the answers. Sometimes, all we need is a miracle in the form of hope. -taken from Gaia.com. (there is a movie based on this story apparently)

 

UnknownA MIRACLE ON ITS OWN

Or consider the monarch’s metamorphosis. After the caterpillar builds a chrysalis around itself, it releases a chemical that turns its insides to mush—no perceptible parts. Somehow from this emerges the brain, internal parts, head, legs, and wings of a butterfly.

One butterfly expert said, “The creation of the body of a caterpillar into the body and wings of a butterfly is, without doubt, one of the wonders of life on earth.” Another expert feels that this metamorphosis is “rightly regarded as a miracle.” -odb.org

Here is more on this idea & its correlation with us as individuals.

 

 

BUTTERFLY SYMBOLISM: Here is a great article on symbolism in different cultures & more https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/Butterflies-Symbols-of-Life-and-Hope

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Have a beautiful day. Know all is well & that life is full of changes and surprises. Know there is an energy that whirls around us and envelopes us with love…if we look for it.

Peace and love to you today.  -H