Change. Little things. Grateful.

Well, I have not written for a couple of months because we picked up and moved out of state!! It has been a lot of change, but for the most part, so many little things that make me so grateful.

Change vs Challenge: It is what you make it! Just before we were physically moving, my husband seemed to get into a bit of a funk and was not happy or excited about moving. I knew he was sad and concerned to leave so many things he was use to. He LOVED our walmart two minutes away, his family, beautiful properties that we LOVE to visit, his work was within 15 minutes and the airport 45 minutes away. He was struggling with the thought of so much change and being far away from things that were comfortable. I was actually a little shocked, because every other move we have made throughout our marriage, he was ready for. We had moved over 15 other times within probably a 15 year time period–mostly for different job opportunities. He was struggling this time & that did not make things easier. I had to remind him that we were moving for our daughter & that no matter what happens, she is the reason we are making the move, to be there as a support system while she begins college.

We moved. We have landed. We have taken the jump. The nearest Walmart is 30 minutes away, the closest airport is 2 hours away, according to the USPS we have an “undeliverable address” for the mail system (but don’t worry we get Amazon 🙂 the closest and only fast food that we recognize is Subway, taco Bell and McDonalds, which are all about 20 minutes away. There have been many changes, but with every chance we strive to find the good, the beautiful, to enjoy the new environment, the new experiences and all the new people. It has been so fun to go out of our way to meet our new neighbors. Where we live there are literally only 25% of the people in this gated community. Most of the homes are vacant & are used as vacation or second homes. We have stretched to find all the regulars. We have delivered cookies, had ice cream nights, long conversations and have been going out-of-our-way to connect with those around us. There is a variety of people: artists who do art fairs, a retired camera man from The Price is Right, Farmers from Southern Oregon, Texans, widows…variety is the spice of life!

In all the change, it has been the most rewarding to see my husband completely change his perspective and embrace the whole experience. He walks around our community lit up by the beauty & just talks over and over again about how wonderful everything is and that it never gets old. He takes us to the beach every chance we get together. He gets up at the crack of dawn on a low-tide & takes us agate hunting. He seems to have taken the changes and turned the challenges into positive moments and memories that will last forever.

It is what you do with your experiences that will matter most!

Here comes the Sun: Little did we know that we would be genuinely in awe of the tremendous beauty that is here along the coast. We have been blessed with amazing weather for the two months we have been here. Months leading up to our move we had soo many people share their own opinions—political views, weather related issues,such change, etc . Most people were not supportive and a bit sarcastic to say the least. We have had our own hesitations and concerns, but we take it day by day and enjoy every sunny day we can. There is this incredible mist that comes and goes along the coast. It seems to have its own weather system that brings in a thick, misty fog that mists the trees and green foliage, to then burn off to bring a sunny, blue sky moment or day. With the sun coming and going you definitely find moments where you know you have taken it for granted and just need a little sunshine. I smile when I see my dogs move around the house lying in various sun spots they can find. We all need a little sun…light.

Don’t judge: It has sincerely been a lesson over and over again in don’t judge! If you were to drive around the small town we live in you would see a very distinct contrast from where we came.

I had a tattoo-faced, window washer, musician and father of five come into my home. At first glance many would wonder about him, probably steer clear of him, but I embraced the moment and wanted to know everything about him. We had an instant connection and a very stimulating conversation about his life story, connecting with people, the purpose of life…deep stuff. He became an instant, great friend. It was sincerely one of the funnest conversations I have had in a long time.

Another experience–I had an older, Hippy looking man come over to give us a floor estimate. My first impression wondered what his story was and considered that he could be one of the many people in this town that look like they are coming and going…most likely passing through with this job. He came in and began measuring and letting us know what we would need to do. We got into a conversation and he began to share a personal experience of losing his daughter to drinking & how she was unexpectedly killed in a car accident. It was one of those moments that just connects you to another human being. Here was this humble man sharing part of his heartache while measuring our floors. When he left we felt so connected to this kind man. We later found out he was actually the business owner. One of those aha moments.

Don’t judge—then you miss out on the treasures inside.

Grateful: I know gratitude is talked about constantly, but there truly is a loving power in the grace of getting grateful. Say thank you for your day. Find little details to be in awe of. Experience something new and be thankful for a beautiful view, a new perspective. Gratitude has power—utilize it in your life. It is constantly talked about for a reason.

With my new environment, I seek images to capture, moments and memories to make, admire sticks or rocks in the sand, love watching and connecting to a bobbing seal in the water, to be in awe of the thunder of the rolling ocean and to be humbled by it all. Change can shake you, bring you to your knees and help you see a different perspective. Be grateful for that. What a gift.

With the topic of CHANGE I am beautifully reminded of one of my favorite speakers, authors, spiritual advocate…Elizabeth Lesser. Here is a great quote by her about embracing change.

Have a blessed day. Peace, love and light to you in all you do. -H

Trying to embrace the NEW

I LOVE this and need this quote at this particular moment. I am sitting in the comfort of my little home that we have lived in for nearly 11 years. We raised our daughter here, have blue jay friends that fly into our door to say hello, our park-like yard surrounded by trees, paths that we have walked every single day, beautiful mountain views that peak into our windows…priceless memories, family close by, security, comfort, support…but I sit here with a for sale sign out my front window. Why? because life needs movement. Life needs challenge and change. It has been a hard decision to leave behind this little piece of heaven, but my heart wants what it truly needs.

With the whole past year of corona virus, uncertainty, stagnation, fear, insecurity…when our daughter decided she was going to head to Oregon for college, we knew we would want to be there to support her. We decided early on that she would live at a distance from us (1.5 hours) so she could find her wings, have her own growth, her own challenges and change, but that if she needed us, we would be there.

With the uncertainty of the past year…Corona, families separated by boarders, friends dying or in the hospital, my own personal experience of being in the hospital and still struggling to breathe every morning, I have an even greater need to have my little family together—whatever that looks like.

Don’t get me wrong, it has been a wave of emotions for both me and my husband, but little Godwinks have continued to help us along. The past year and a half my husband has been taking close care of his Mom, but three weeks ago she got married unexpectedly. The very next day, one of the two little homes that my husband and daughter looked at in person months before on the Oregon coast, went back up for sale and they took our offer the same day (which in this current, crazy market is unheard of—our agent was genuinely shocked). We decided we were going to Oregon.

It will be hard to leave so many things that we love and appreciate, but we also know there are always things to love everywhere you go. I was talking to one of my new family members (from this new marriage three weeks ago) and she was sharing how she couldn’t just up and leave the support and security. She said, “Aren’t you nervous?” I genuinely said, “I am most worried about how I will handle the weather.” I shared with her that we have previously moved to Arizona, both sides of Idaho, the other side of Oregon and that we are just trying to cover the entire West. Smile. Smile. I told her, “You can always find things to love everywhere you go.” You truly can! I am genuinely excited to experience living near the ocean and trying out all the restaurants that are meant for vacationers. I think living near a tourist town will have its highlights and we will be able to experience a lot of new things. As William Cowper says, “Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.”

I am excited to have new views and perspectives, to take pictures of things I have never seen before, to walk paths that are new, to make friends with Sandpipers and Seals, to walk beaches and take selfies with light houses, to learn about the beauty of secret places only Oregon has to offer. Sure, there will be things that are unfamiliar, uncomfortable, challenging, but with those comes a deeper place of discomfort that challenges your very being and you have to find that something within you that rises up and goes beyond the fear and discomfort. That part of you that yearns to grow—even just a little.

I hold this quote very close to my heart. I find comfort in the knowing that change is a friend and that when we can lean in and embrace that very idea, beautiful things happen.

I pray for calm, I pray for guidance, I pray for peace to follow the change and see where it leads. Hopeful it will lead to beautiful landscapes that fill my heart with nothing but love and light. May we all pray for that…places that bring us to the windows within our soul, the very essence of true growth and ideally to the heart of our truest purpose.

Change does that…it breaks us open and helps us beautifully blossom, fully.

Peace, Love and Light to you today. -H

Change. Grow. Fly.

ImageI watched many mothers this morning taking picture after picture of every moment of the first day of school this morning. I watched a mother well up in tears, while another was getting every possible shot of her children by the school bell, by the principal, in line waiting with the other 20 students, all worried about their first day.  It was mostly lots of faces of nervous children, while their mothers were trying to snap and hold on to any piece of their little child that they could.

It was definitely a lot of emotions that swirled around. My husband and I were interviewing all the kids in our daughters class, trying to erase the worries, trying to help unify them in any thought that they were all in the same boat…nervous!!! We enjoyed every moment, knowing that within our little girls heart–she was terrified. She began her morning in tears, butterflies whirled in her stomach & she was quiet, oh so quiet. She was filled with tiny worries, where do I go, how do I find my way??  All I could do is reassure her that we would walk her through it. We would be there every step of the way.

It is funny how life goes…it is a constant learning game–we are always trying to figure out where we fit, we are always trying to find out where we belong, we are always trying to find the road we belong on.  Life is a constant whirl of unknown—from when we are young & experiencing our first day in elementary school to trying to identify a passion, seeking the right job, moving to a new city, meeting new people…it is always changing, but with change comes strength, comes a different feeling from the old, the comfortable.

I love the thought, “If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.”    While we were walking our daughter Kate to school this morning, she began to hold her tummy in nervousness. I explained her tummy pains were like little nervous butterflies fluttering about & all she needs to do is let them fly & the worries will go away.

Change is inevitable, so we must take the day, embrace the differences & see everything in a different perspective.

Don’t be afraid to FLY.Image

CHANGE=Better things are coming.

Image“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”   -Paul Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

It’s funny the things you think about in anticipation to change. My little family is amidst a possible move because of job relocation. Ideas seem to whirl about, wonder plays through everything—you watch HGTV and see other places and you wonder where you may land, where you may or may not want to land.     You look around at your collection of belongings and know instantly if you could let go of the bed lamps, the tan, suede chair, the hand-carved wooden box you picked up on your trip along the Oregon coast, the colorful butterfly collection that is held in glass, the metal birds gifted to you by someone you love, the books, the vases…the items go on and on, but you seem to know what items play to your hearts desires, the sentiments that are held within each precious piece.

Change does have an unexpected opportunity to shed light on the things that truly matter. My husband on more than one occasion has held me close and comforted me saying, “things will be okay, because we have each other.”  That simple line of words brings comfort and I know it to be true. I know this whole experience is to help us learn—learn a plethora of necessities..patience in our ability to just allow, to have hope and pray for what is yet to be, to believe in one another, to have faith in something so much bigger, to understand this moment, this day. This change is but a lesson that unfolds each day. Another gift of surprise—something unexpected, something gifted to help us grow and become better for it.

I leave you with a thought of change…What is one thing you would like to change about yourself or your life? What is stopping you? What are you afraid of? What are you holding on to? Change does not have to hold you hostage to your best self. Change is merely a tool for your personal growth. We become stagnet, stuck, listening to our old habits and thought patterns, content to be comfortable, not willing to step out into a greater existence of who we could be.    My challenge for you—think of something that scares you, something that will set you on a path to do something for yourself that will ignite your soul, change you just a little, move you in a different direction, make you see things differently. Do something small for you—shake up your life, let go and feel the fear, but know that any small change that moves you is a good thing!!

“We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers—but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.”  -Katharine Hepburn

I am seeking to embrace the change!! Join me.

Here are some ideas to help in embracing any kind of change:

Explore: seek out new things, things that may scare you a little. Have you always wanted to rock climb? go try it. Are you terrified of karaoke, grab and friend and begin in the basement. Have you been afraid to get a massage–go get one. Always wanted to learn a language, head to the podcast library and download some learning. Do something that helps you step out of your routine, your comfort. It will help you feel alive, ignited and ready to try something else.

Let go & open up new spaces: Begin to de-clutter your surroundings. You can feel what you need to get rid of, what is taking space within your walls and begin to allow openness in to your life. There is a great Zen teaching…Empty your cup…The Japanese master Nan-in gave audience to a professor of philosophy. Serving tea, Nan-in filled his visitor’s cup, and kept pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he could restrain himself no longer: “Stop! The cup is over full, no more will go in.” Nan-in said: “Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”  This is a great metaphor for life. How can you have so much clutter, noise, distraction and expect to invite anything new into your life. When you are open and willing to change, you will be ready for something better.

Accept and say Yes: Whether it is a job change, a relationship change, a move, a life change, going against or fighting change is not going to help you. This change was gifted to your life and you need to find a way to allow. You need to accept the change and understand this is where you are at this moment in your life.  I heard a great metaphor that goes along with this beautifully. Life is like a river, there is a natural flow, a current. You can either lie on your back and enjoy the float and see where the current takes you or you can try to swim against it and have a tough time trying. Change comes and goes, it is what you take from it that will be the true gift for your life.

Have patience: This has been the hardest thing for my husband and I. We have a hard time waiting for results, waiting for answers, expecting things from others…patience has been one of our biggest struggles, so we constantly pray for gobs of patience & we smile & laugh our way through it!! I know it has been extremely tough for my husband to not have 50-100 emails each morning, to have his phone not ring, to not feel the amount of responsibility he is used to has been a huge change. I look at him and say—enjoy it while it lasts, because it will all come again & then the real patience will have to step in.

Well, I hope these ideas will help you in embracing any type of change you are dealing with in your life. Cheers to everyone making, creating, experiencing change. Let’s look at it as a good thing—a gift—a surprise!!  Have a beautiful day!   Heather

Some last thoughts on change…

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” -Steve Jobs

“When we are no longer able to change a situation–we are challenged to change ourselves.”  -Viktor E Frankl

“We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.”  -Harrison Ford

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”  -Maya Angelou


HAPPY VALENTINES! A good way to spread LOVE today.

This video made me cry just thinking about women throughout the world who have lived in fear, who have not felt loved, who fight to survive, who try to be heard, who are standing up today to make a small difference in the world.
I did what I could and danced with my little girl in our kitchen and through our hands up in the air showing our support with one another.
I challenge any and all of you to get your families, your sisters, your daughters, those you love and dance in some way to show your love and support for those dancing to make a difference in the world!!
What a great message of LOVE!!
Peace and love to you.
You can check out the organization and see other groups all over the world dancing to make a difference.