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

Deliberately CONNECT

Albert-Schweitzer-Sometimes-our-light-goes-out-but-is-blown-again-into-instant-flame-by-an-encounter-with-another-human-beingSince my sweet connection with a stranger (that I wrote about in a previous blog), I have felt a deeper desire to be deliberate in sending out “sparks” of connection. In doing so, I have literally had some of the sweetest conversations with complete strangers that I have met on trails. Have shared sincere smiles & hellos. One of my favorites was when my husband and I were at the car wash. The young car wash attendant was washing windshields & looked like he was in a trance of doing the same thing over and over. I instantly waved at the car wash attendant & my husband quickly chimed in, “he is going to think you are trying to get him to stop the car.” The attendant instantly began smiling and waving. Me & the young man both happily waved big waves, big smiles & gave each other a thumbs up in genuine appreciation of connection. It was so fun to light up someone’s job. It was deliberate & it not only made my day, but I am sure it helped the young man have a better day too.

There is something about deliberately seeking connection–You seek out smiling at someone. You look people in the eye. You find yourself trying to identify who may need a smile or hello more than someone else. But most importantly, I find, I get out of myself and contribute to the world, even in a small way.

When you watch people, you see there is a big need for connection. People need a little spark–a hello, a smile–to feel lit up. The world needs more of that.

I came across the following story & I fell in love with the spirit of this man. He is and has been on a mission to do his part–to connect on a daily basis. Enjoy his story.

 

May you have the courage to get out of yourself & spread a little more connection.

May your day be filled with light and love. xoxo

CONNECTION

i-love-those-connections-that-make-this-big-old-world-feel-like-a-little-village-403x403-nk7a7kI had a beautiful moment happen to me today. You may on occasion have a complete stranger smile, say hello or have a brief conversation about something going on around you, but today, I had a sincere, emotional connection with a complete stranger.

It was an incredible gift to my journey and I just wanted to express how important connection truly is to one another. I enjoy people, but there is a part of me that is a little guarded— because it is just me & some of my human experiences.

Today, I was driving around running a few errands & I often find myself praying as I drive. I always ask to be a light in the world & today was a confirmation that each and every one of us can be a connection, a hope of friendship, a light to someone.

I was printing off a few quotes for a gift I am doing for my daughter’s friends with school graduation tonight. I entered a local copy shop & knew no one. A tall, ordinary guy in his mid-twenties came to help me. There was some orchestra music playing & he seemed to light up at a song that had cellos. “I love this song. I play the cello.” He beamed and I told him how wonderful that must be. As he laminated and printed my items we had a brief conversation about the power of music and I asked him his thoughts on the connection between music and brighter minds. He shared a study that was done that he had read about & I explained that my sixteen-year-old daughter loves & is good at science and math, but struggles with instruments.  We talked back and forth & it was just a sweet, innocent conversation about music.

As he was placing my items in a paper sack, he genuinely looked into my eyes & said, “Just continue to do whatever it is your doing. You seem so alive. I knew when I started talking to you, that you felt like a friend in this world. We are all on this journey & just keep doing what you are doing. It’s great!” His eyes literally began to well up & I was taken back by his genuine sincerity. It was so refreshing to see and feel a stranger share something so kind. I lovingly thanked him & then smiled a big smile and said, “Maybe it is because I am reading “The Book of Joy” by the Dali Lama and Desmond Tutu.”  He beamed & began to laugh, “Are you serious?” I smiled and genuinely said, “yes. You should read it.”  He began heading to help another customer & smiled, “I am always looking for good things to read.”  I yelled across the counter, “Thank you for your genuine kindness. It meant a lot.” and I walked out the door.

It was one of those moments where you feel truly connected in the world & you know you are where you needed to be. I don’t know why, but I knew that my prayers to seek to be a light were confirmed that we can each do our best to be a light, to seek to shine, to connect with others, even strangers.

It was a beautiful gift. I will cherish this memory & always hold it as a sweet reminder that we are all genuinely connected. Love is the string that ties us all together. I sincerely felt that.

Thank you.

“We are hard wired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.”  -Brene Brown

“Connection is the energy that exists between two people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” -unknown

PS One last god wink that just happened—I wanted to find a quote to go along with this post & the Gina Bellman (at the top of this page) came up & she is an actress that I had never seen or heard of until I just started watching the series “Leverage” (great series) within the last couple of weeks. Love the not so coincidences of life. smile. smile.

Peace, Love and Light to you today.  -H

Go Deeper

4f07b79d2e67ca2f3121eac1e4e955a9“But people are oceans. she shrugged. You cannot know them by their surface.”  -Beau Taplin//Surfaces

I think this is an incredible thought to think about and ponder. It genuinely gave me chills because of the truth held within this statement.

I often struggle at the surface conversations that seem to be the norm. Why can’t we truly connect and go deeper with people? Why is it such a struggle to talk, be vulnerable, to seek connection on another level, to learn from someone…

I often talk to my teenage daughter about not being afraid to “go deeper” in conversations with friends or people she meets. She tells me she doesn’t want this guy to assume she is getting too deep because she likes him or something.

Is it out of fear of getting to know someone on a more intimate level & feeling like you owe them something? Or is it a fear of having to go deeper yourself?

I am of the genuine opinion that every person we come in contact with has something we can take or learn from.

I recently watched a tv series that was short-lived, but it had life coaches, young adults with dreams & entrepreneurial spirit, so I was intrigued. At first glance, I thought it would be a shallow show with lots of egos, but as I watched each episode I began to see the people break open, become more vulnerable and begin to learn about themselves & one another. They developed deeper connections on many levels.

Here are some great lessons I took away from the show “Dream Quest”

One of the coaches was describing to one of the adults how “To become soft again”—it made me think of “moldable” to be able to create a better version of oneself. To be flexible and agile enough in a way that you could take things in, learn, create, change, move differently…take things for your life & make it better.

“Boundaries are not limiting, they are liberating.” The coaches were illustrating a point to one of the adults on the show. They were trying to show him how it is easier for people to pull or drag you down than it is for you to lift them up. That is why it is so important to surround yourself with good people. (They did a great visual–they put Tim (big guy on the show) up on a table & told him to pull up Kortney (Lifecoach who is a small woman). Tim could not do it. They talked about how it was easier for Kortney to pull him down than for him to lift her up. It was a great visual.

They talked about a study with school-age kids on a playground & they first had no fence (no boundaries) & they watched & observed them & how they played. Then they put a fence up around the playground & they found the kids played longer, were louder, felt safer & more secure. The boundaries were good.

Accountability—center console in your car metaphor
You clean your center as soon as you need to pick someone up at the airport.
You need people to help you be accountable.

Habit—your habits are either helping or hurting you.
The first part of a habit is the hardest part—
Did you know the Shuttle Uses More fuel in the first 7 seconds of liftoff than it does to orbit the entire earth?
As you get through the hard part & are committed to a good habit then it’s easier to go with the flow.

What discipline am I going to add into my life right now to make it better??

Good Communication is 7%words 35% tone and 58% Body language

Do it afraid!! Face the fear of rejection, what others think, regret, etc & do it anyway. Ask yourself. What if I didn’t try….how would you feel?
Choose COURAGE over FEAR
ITS OKAY TO FAIL, just don’t fail to try!!

Comparison & worrying about others will quickly handicap your dream
Take it one step at a time focusing on yourself & where you are going.

Switching your attitude will change everything in an instant. Nothing can be based on circumstances—it’s your attitude about it.

Never give up!

Emotional intelligence & dealing with people
Sympathy—I feel sorry for them…
Empathy—I understand how they are feeling
Empathy is one of the most important traits a good leader can have.

Kylie Jeans words of affirmations with her parents growing up: I like myself. I have a great destiny and people listen to me because I have valuable & important things to say.

Learn from anyone & everyone you can.

I believe you can learn SOMETHING from everyone you connect with. It is up to you whether you take it deeper and have it become more of a meaningful outcome for your own life. Lessons are everywhere—stories people tell us, feelings we get from someone, words of affirmation, life lessons shared via email or social media, a smile from a stranger, a compliment from someone you work with, a sincere thank you….there are so many ways to connect & when these interactions go deeper, they mean more.

Stretch. Learn. Grow. Don’t be afraid to invest in others by connecting on a deeper level. You both will benefit.

Here are some good links to help:

200 Deep Questions To Ask If You Really Want To Get To Know Someone https://thoughtcatalog.com/rania-naim/2016/02/40-deep-questions-to-ask-if-you-really-want-to-get-to-know-someone/

Tips for deeply connecting with others https://www.huffpost.com/entry/connecting-to-others_n_1083976

How to listen and build deep connections with people https://theartofcharm.com/networking/how-to-listen-and-build-deeper-connections-with-people/

 

Hope you will take away some good. Make today amazing. Connect.   xoxo -H

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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

 

No Coincidences.

da929b61eae52f230f44395585967eeeI had a lost cat camping out on my porch for over a month. I wasn’t sure who it belonged to, so I posted ads looking for the owner, asked around my neighborhood, but no luck. Finally, after having this cat rub up against me, begging for attention, I knew I had to find it a good home. I am allergic & could barely touch it. I felt bad, but knew someone could give it the love it needed.

Then L walked into my life. She was just out of foster care, just turned 18 and was finally trying to make a life of her own. She responded to my ad for the lost cat & wanted to give it a good home. L has lots of love to give, so I thought the two would be a great match. Off they went together. At that point, I had no idea what a gift we would be for one another.

L kept reaching out & sending me pics. First she sent me one of her, the cat and a little old lady she helps take care of. L told me that she was trying to get her CNA and was currently helping elderly people at a facility & many of them missed their pets. L was going to use the cat to help the elderly. I LOVED that idea & when I saw the pic, my heart melted. L was doing good things and so was the kitty.

L and I have been corresponding back and forth via text for weeks now. Her story is one of abuse, heart ache, adoption, cruelty, self harm, detention and finally foster care. That last year helped turn her life around by taking her out of a dysfunctional place and giving her hope.

In our conversations I have seen her hope, her big heart, her love of animals and her good will to help people. I also saw her need for connection, her feelings of being alone with no family, her yearning to be loved. So, I invited her over for dinner.

She came over last night & brought her boyfriend. I was honestly not sure what to expect or if it would be awkward. It was a gift to all of us. Both of these young kids, coming from the same small town & having no relationships with their family because of past lives. We all sat around the dinner table talking, sharing stories, connecting and enjoying our differences. They needed love and connection—who doesn’t!! We went on a walk down our forested path, we talked about nature, animals, silly things that made us laugh. L and I heard how similar we are–our love for nature and animals, how we can be misunderstood for our sensitivity, our big hearts, our love for living things (even spiders). We now know we are true kindred spirits. I think we will always be connected in some way. I told L, “I believe there are no coincidences. Kitty brought us together for some reason.” We both just smiled at one another and knew it was true. Getting to know this young girl helped me to once again see how important it is to be in tune to what others may need. We are a gift to one another.

WE ARE A GIFT TO ONE ANOTHER. Is a story, an experience that continues to be told through each one of us. Look at those around you and don’t judge. Just open your hearts and hands to help give them help, understanding, love, kindness, part of yourself.

It is a gift to each and every one of us, if we reach out and grab hold of someone who may need us.

Have a beautiful day. Smile at a stranger. Talk to someone who may look different than you. Listen to a story. Share a moment. You will be better for it. I promise.

Peace to you today.  -H

So much to learn

498852229You never know how you will be impacted by those who come into your life. What will you take away from those experiences of meeting new people or even going a little deeper with those you are surrounded by. We need connection. We need to learn from others and their stories.

Over this past weekend I was able to have my daughter get together with two different girls from her online academy. It was so fun to meet kids with different personalities, backgrounds, to understand their own hopes, to hear about their aspirations, to listen to their dreams. It was inspiring.

12One of our new friends had already performed at a famous theater here in Utah as the lead. She sings, dances, sews, knits, plays the piano and guitar & is taking aerial silks. It was fun to get to know her & learn of her many talents. It was also nice to meet her mother who was from Ukraine. At one point during our afternoon I asked this young girl if she ever thought she would visit her mother’s home country to get a better understanding of her mother & her history. The girl looked at me and said, “the country has been ruined from war and I don’t know if we would ever go back. It is not like it use to be.”  It was wonderful to listen to stories of how her mother grew up with a father who only put vegetables in the garden and not “beauty.” I took this young girl to a local nursery to pick out some flowers & make our own little pot of “beauty.”  She walked the nursery saying, “my mother loves flowers. She would love this one. She loves petunia’s….” It made me have a whole new appreciation for “beautiful flowers.”  When we dropped off our new friend, I looked at her mother’s flower pots that she had all over her yard & I thought about her perspective on “beauty” and I smiled at her pots and pots of flowers.  We take so much for granted.

 

20151201183649-young-woman-opening-curtains-hope-window-free-leisure-relaxing-lisht-brightOur other new friend has been suffering from an unknown illness that has put her in the hospital numerous times, has been through three surgeries and still wonders if she is going to be okay. She still has flare ups.  We sat at an outdoor eatery & talked about her experiences & how she wants to go into medicine even further because of her illness. She said it was the hardest to see her parents go through everything with her. She was an incredible girl with so many hopes and dreams. I sat and listened to her explain how she had read about a doctor who spends most of his year in third world countries and how she would like to follow in his footsteps. My admiration for her dream soared. She talked about constantly learning about medicine, learning more about homeopathic medicine, trying to find different ways to cope with her illness. She was so strong & so alive & so smart and beautiful. She lit up talking about playing the guitar & piano & is constantly learning new things. She was an inspiration.      I thought to myself, she is so young, has learned so much & continues to pursue anything and everything her heart desires. If we could all be like that!! Maybe being sick, wondering if you may live and always searching for answers leaves you aching for more of what life has to offer.  I am sure every day is a new day filled with possibility for her.

 

Spending a few hours with these girls made me see there is always so much to learn from everyone you meet, every day you have. We have so much to learn in this life. We have so many things to pursue, to read, to aspire to see, experience, to dream, to be grateful for…its a beautiful life.

Every single person you meet may have something to share with you, so listen. We can all learn so much from one another.

Peace, love and beauty to you today.  -H