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

A lesson from being totally numb!

I recently have been going to the dentist to take care of some periodontal issues. The serious nature has had me getting intensely drugged and numbed. I left the dentist office two different times looking like I had a stroke (mouth droopy) and my entire mouth numb and left without feeling. Talk about humbling. I could not feel my lips or tell if I was sucking a straw. It was terrible. I felt like Tim Allen…see below..hahaha

 

1Now, seriously. It was humbling and my heart ached for people who suffer from health issues. It made me think of my friend who was pregnant and had a stroke during her pregnancy. She lost mobility and memory. She struggled to find a reason for what had happened to her. She came to the realization that if it was for her child, she could struggle through & then she was thrown into the fire of losing that child. She wondered why. She began to question everything. She fell into a depression. She had not only lost physical mobility, she was now struggling with emotional mobility. She had other children she needed to take care of, so she had to go deep into her emotional reserve and find a place where she could begin to build again.

Today. I hope that many of you out there who do not struggle physically or emotionally will count the many gifts that you take for granted. I know walking out of that dentist office numb made me aware of the many gifts I take for granted. Think about it…A FEW things to get you thinking about the many gifts you are given…

 

site_photo_Our_Mission1Do you have healthy children? If you need a little more realization on this go watchthe movie,  “Miracles from Heaven.” My husband and I balled watching what that family had to go through and endure. It is based on a true story. Just imagine having a sick child & how difficult that would be. Go hug your children and thank the heavens that they are healthy and happy.

 

6db96ebcaa0ec34f9b184010c74191c6Two gifts you opened this morning–your eyes: You have the gift to see. There are many people who don’t take the time to look at the details, to notice the small gifts all around them. Read something. Go outside and look at the symmetry of leaves. Watch the clouds. Enjoy a sunrise or sunset. Notice color.

 

abundance-42-1024x860Do you have abundance? Whether it is fruit available for picking, a grocery store full of a variety of goods, running water, energy, family near, somewhere to live…My sister-in-law just moved to California. They had a house lined up to move into when they arrived, but the day they were to move in, the funding fell through. Luckily they had a trailer to live in while they are trying to work things out. My sister-in-law laughed as she explained their situation, “and I wanted to sell the trailer!” My response, “I bet you are glad you have it right now.”  They are living in a trailer, but are abundant with love. They took a day as a family and made it a memory in Disneyland. She joked that they are homeless, but they are in Disneyland and enjoying it.     Every situation is different, but if you can find the abundance wherever you are, you will find the gift within the situation.

 

Love-Heart-Made-With-Hands-At-Sunset_1Do you have love? We all come from love, but sometimes that gets lost in the confusion of life. You may be surrounded by friends and family who love you or you may have a best pet friend or maybe you are constantly searching for love. Do you love yourself? Love can be found in service, caring for another, holding the hand of someone afflicted, listening to someone in need…LOVE is everywhere, it is a gift that may be freely given or you may need to seek and find it. Love is in our nature.

 

healthymindbody_29Do you have a healthy body? Many of us take for granted and sometimes abuse the incredible gift we have been given–our body. It is an amazing piece of systematic genius. How are bodies function is a miracle & we do not have to do anything. It runs beautifully. Sometimes it is put on us to take better care of this amazing gift and we need to take it seriously. When we begin to break down, life becomes more difficult. We need to seek out good healthy habits. We need to find exercises we love. We need to sleep, drink water and do good things. Do you appreciate the ability to touch, to hear, to breathe, to taste yummy foods, etc.  We need to be grateful for the health and happiness we have.

 

Never-Stop-LearningDo you appreciate being able to learn and grow? We have a great ability to learn anything with the help of the internet, youtube, connecting with others, etc. It is amazing!! We are only limited by what we do NOT do. Learn something new & guaranteed you will find a new zest for your life. You will begin to strive to seek out new things more often to enhance your life. You will learn and want to share with others around you. It is contagious! When we don’t seek out new things, we become stagnate and don’t grow. Take the time. It is worth it. Seek to learn something new each day, even if it is something small. You will fill it boost your day. I promise!

 

download_images_7191338321_healthcorner_banner_3Do you have balance? Mind. Body. Spirit. All come together as a whole.

Well, this is a small list, but a good start. Create your own list of things you are grateful for and begin to to truly live, love and see the things that make your life incredible.

Peace and love to you. -H

 

Be BRAVE

bebraveI think we are all learning lessons in bravery throughout our lives. We begin with first steps as children and then first days of school to first friendships and on and on. Life is a constant lesson in being brave.

IMG_7378I have a sweet dog we adopted in December and he is currently training “to be brave.” He came to us afraid of strangers, scared to death to go on a walk and face things he has no experience with (bikes speeding by, strangers too close, different environments, etc). He grew up in a home where the owner would go to work ten hours a day and he would just sleep in his crate, so now he is constantly being introduced to new things. I think there are things he loves like exploring our backyard and finding sticks and birds and learning to “be brave” when facing new things everywhere he goes. We cheer and give him happy hugs when he is  brave enough to let a stranger get close. It is one little step at a time.

Life is like that, full of things we face each day that we may rather not have to handle or even run from, but its the little steps we take to find our bravery. We practice bravery in trying new things, experiencing different jobs, when we reach out to others with a smile, moments when we step out of our comfort zones and stretch a little farther.

coelho-be-braveHere are some small steps to help you become a little braver each day:

  1. Practice being brave by saying YES! to experiences, to dreams, to invitations, to learning something new, to trying something you’ve never done before.
  2. Speak your bravery. No one can read your mind or know what you need, so you need to self-evaluate what you may need at this moment in your life. You may need more communication, more support, a raise, etc. If you do not speak, the silence will take your power.
  3. Face your fears. Everyone has things they are afraid of, but it is the little steps you can take to face the fears that will lead you into a situation of bravery. What are you afraid of? Let’s say you are a writer & your fear is of rejection. [no different than anyone else, right?] The writer that faces that fear & puts out the 99 articles is going to be published vs the writer that stays afraid. Face it and go for it!!
  4. Be YOU. Don’t follow the crowd or say what others want to hear. You have had your own struggles and triumphs, your own experiences, learned life lessons that are all your own, etc. You have gifts to share, stories to tell, lessons others can learn from you. Be you and don’t be afraid to be yourself. There is no one else like you!!
  5. GROW. Learn something new each day, whether you listen to inspiring podcasts, take a class, volunteer to help others, attend a group to improve yourself. Do something, anything that will help you grow. Become a little better each day. 

And when you begin to have little successes and feel yourself growing, learning, doing and finding the freedom in this new found bravery—CHEER! Yell. Be proud of YOU. Bravery can be hard, but it pushes you to new limits and helps you become a better version of yourself. Go YOU!

Have a great day! -H

 

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Life Lessons

I have been driving my daughter and her two friends to school each morning and found it to be a great time to share some daily life lessons. These girls are thirteen, at a pivotal age where everything and everyone around them is defining who they are becoming, who they are listening to and who they will follow. I figured this was a perfect opportunity to share with them good things every morning to start their day.

SAY SOMETHING NICE

I gave each girl a little box full of confetti, paper butterflies and a handwritten note that said, “You are BEAUTIFUL. Be Bright. Be Brilliant. Be You” and then I played them the following video & told them to say something nice to other kids at their school. Fun!

 

 

9WHAT TRULY MATTERS IN LIFE (Author Unknown)

Some people understand life better. And they call some of these people “retarded”…

At the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win. All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry.

They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back every one of them. One girl with Down’s Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said,”This will make it better.”

Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line. Everyone in the stadium stood, the cheering went on for several minutes.

People who were there are still telling the story… Why?

Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.

Life Lesson: I knew this story would touch my daughter’s heart especially because she helps the special needs kids at her school. The lesson–What truly matters is helping others in any situation.

 

7308-2.jpg?1323080336FOLLOW YOUR DREAM:

Follow Your Dream  by: Jack Canfield, Chicken Soup for the Soul

I have a friend named Monty Roberts who owns a horse ranch in San Ysidro. He has let me use his house to put on fund-raising events to raise money for youth at risk programs.

The last time I was there he introduced me by saying, “I want to tell you why I let Jack use my house. It all goes back to a story about a young man who was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who would go from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses. As a result, the boy’s high school career was continually interrupted. When he was a senior, he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.

“That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch. He wrote about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200- acre ranch, showing the location of all the buildings, the stables and the track. Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000-square-foot house that would sit on a 200-acre dream ranch.

“He put a great deal of his heart into the project and the next day he handed it in to his teacher. Two days later he received his paper back. On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, ‘See me after class.’

“The boy with the dream went to see the teacher after class and asked, ‘Why did I receive an F?’

“The teacher said, ‘This is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you. You have no money. You come from an itinerant family. You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock and later you’ll have to pay large stud fees. There’s no way you could ever do it.’ Then the teacher added, ‘If you will rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.’

“The boy went home and thought about it long and hard. He asked his father what he should do. His father said, ‘Look, son, you have to make up your own mind on this. However, I think it is a very important decision for you.’

“Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all. He stated, ‘You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.’”

Monty then turned to the assembled group and said, “I tell you this story because you are sitting in my 4,000- square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch. I still have that school paper framed over the fireplace.” He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that same schoolteacher brought 30 kids to camp out on my ranch for a week.” When the teacher was leaving, he said, ‘Look, Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream stealer. During those years I stole a lot of kids’ dreams. Fortunately you had enough gumption not to give up on yours.’”

Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what.

Life Lesson: I shared with them a personal story… I had a period of my life where I was creating huge, bright watercolor paintings. I had even reached out to a world renowned artist and asked her for her opinion regarding my style. She gave me some great compliments, she said I had a very unique style that could not be learned in school. It was my own style & to keep paining. I did paint until my father made the comment, “if no one in your family wants to buy one of your paintings than who will.”  It broke my heart & it broke my desire to paint. I did not paint again.      I shared with the girls that you cannot let any one take away your passion for something, to steal your dreams. Not even someone, especially not someone so close to you. Guard your dreams, protect your desires of the heart.

 

Have a beautiful day.  -H

Life Lessons

I have been driving my daughter and her two friends to school each morning and found it to be a great time to share some daily life lessons. These girls are thirteen, at a pivotal age where everything and everyone around them is defining who they are becoming, who they are listening to and who they will follow. I figured this was a perfect opportunity to share with them good things every morning to start their day.

I figured maybe some of you may enjoy a few daily life lessons you could share with those you love–enjoy! I am going to put a few at a time and then post them, so take what you like and share them while you are driving your kids to games or dance lessons or share them around the dinner table or bed time. Good things are always good for the whole family. The whole world! Enjoy and share the inspiration.

gratefulGET GRATEFUL: This morning I shared with them a video clip of a girl who got cancer when she was nine & had to have her leg amputated, but what they did with part of her leg was inspired. Check it out.  

I also shared with them the story line of the movie, “Miracles from Heaven” which shared the story of a ten year old who got really sick from her lower intestines becoming paralyzed and how hard it must have been for her to not be able to eat real food. She had to be tube fed (through a tube down her nose) or supplemental pills.

I then shared with them how my niece (age 12) had just been to the dentist and was told she had 4 teeth that were like that of an 80 year old person and she would need to anticipate them falling out.

The Life Lesson: get grateful that you have a healthy body that can eat, that can run, walk, dance, rock climb, jump, and is capable of anything. We often take that for granted and waste our time, sit on our butts and don’t get outside and walk or take a bike ride or try something new. We take for granted our healthy bodies. I challenged them to remember that next time they were complaining of going on a walk or not wanting to do something active. They need to get grateful and get going!

 

scientific-discoveries-that-happened-by-accident-1918108322-apr-12-2014-1-600x500EVERYONE HAS A CHOICE:  Life Lesson–You don’t have to do anything…you don’t have to be happy, you don’t have to be sad. It is a beautiful freedom to feel, be, do, say and become anything we want. We have a choice every day to decide the direction we want to go in–positive or negative. We decide how we react to any situation and we decide what we learn from every situation. We have a choice every single moment of our lives.

Velcro Story Swiss amateur mountaineer George de Mestral loved the outdoors and his daily walks with his dog. What he didn’t love was the burdock seeds that clung to his wool pants and his dog’s fur. He found the burs incredibly annoying until the day he wondered why they stuck.  By profession, George de Mestral was an engineer and inventor. He examined one of the burdock seeds under a microscope and was astonished by what he saw. The bur consisted of hundreds of tiny hooks that grabbed into the loops of thread in the material of his pants. This fool-proof, nature-made fastener became the inspiration for Mestral’s 1948 invention Velcro®.

Velcro® sales were somewhat slow the first couple of years, but Mestral never gave up and concentrated on tweaking his product to perfection. By 1955, over sixty million yards of Velcro® sold in that year alone making the inventor a very wealthy man.

So besides sharing with you this fascinating little piece of history, what’s the point? Attitude is the point, and the importance of having a good one. A person’s attitude toward their circumstances, toward their relationships, toward themselves, toward the planet, toward everything and everyone they come into contact with shapes their world and in turn, hands them their next set of circumstances and relationships. If a person’s attitude is negative, they will experience the circumstance or relationship as negative. In short, they will see nothing but “weeds.”

If a person’s attitude is positive and they are willing to look for the positive within every circumstance and relationship no matter what, then they will make Velcro® out of the weeds.

Adopt a Velcro® attitude about life and “stick” to it!  Copyright Mary M. Bauer.

 

A MATTER OF ATTITUDE: 

Edison-Fire_Shrunk_1Thomas Edison’s laboratory was virtually destroyed by a fire in December, 1914. Although the damage exceeded $2 million, the buildings were insured for only $238,000 because they were made of concrete and thought to be fireproof. Much of Edison’s life’s work went up in spectacular flames that December night. At the height of the fire, Edison’s 24-year-old son, Charles, frantically searched for his father among the smoke and debris. He finally found him, calmly watching the scene, his face glowing in the reflection, his white hair blowing in the wind.

“My heart ached for him,” said Charles. “He was 67–no longer a young man–and everything was going up in flames. When he saw me, he shouted, ‘Charles, where’s your mother? When I tolld him I didn’t know, he said ‘Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this again as long as she lives.”

The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.”

*taken from Chicken Soup for the Soul 3

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same. -francesca reigler

Life Lesson: No matter how bad things may seem or how hard life may get, your attitude makes all the difference. Thomas did not focus on all he had lost, he found great value in beginning again. It was how he chose to look at the disaster.

Well, continue to look for my posts called, ‘life lessons’ and enjoy the tidbits, the stories, the life lessons that inspire us daily.

Enjoy your day!!  -H

Lessons learned from the movie Elvis & Anabelle

6d80bfe2699a4737dd077805b891cde7Probably many of you have never heard of this movie, but I came across it on Amazon after watching another quirky movie, My Sassy Girl (which I will do some lessons for that next). I did not know anything about this movie, so I was definitely surprised by different parts. I don’t want to spoil the movie for you, so just watch and learn.

I will say, this movie definitely brought up some personal feelings regarding loved ones and suicide, depression…I have had people throughout my life who have suffered from depression and on a couple of occasions had people close to me at  serious tipping points. It is very Scary, emotional stuff, so this movie had moments that definitely hit home for me.

The opening scene of this movie was almost like a horror film with embalming fluid, a hearse, the run down funeral home. But with any movie you have the dark moments followed by the light, and thank heavens for that balance. The movie was a journey seeing the characters, their lives, their personal struggles and their need to break free from the world they were living in.

film1You have Elvis, his mother had committed suicide on Christmas day, he lived with his father who had been running a funeral home, but with a recent accident was unable to, so Elvis has been taking over without anyone knowing. Elvis loves his father very much and there is a very sweet bond between these two characters.  On a side note, Max Minghella (the actor that played Elvis) was truly drawn to this role because of the relationship between the father and son. Very sweet.

-Elvis-Anabelle-Movie-stills-blake-lively-15143475-399-268You have Annabelle, pageant queen, mother loves her but has driven Annabelle’s whole life to revolve around winning pageants, smiling, being pretty. Annabelle plays the part, but inside she is dying on a personal level.

Lessons learned:

0The life lessons of mortality–why? Why do I have this life? You could see this multiple times within this movie. You could see the characters faces wondering, why?      I think that is a very typical life question that we all wonder at different points within our lives. I think this question often comes from the perspective we see, the outward existence, a heart that is seeking to understand certain things, the mystery, the confusion, the dark, the light. You can ask this question when you are struggling, but this question can also come up when you feel you don’t deserve all you have. It is an ongoing lesson.

pdvd1105Cherished time is so important: We all seem to spin each day in the same direction and often find it hard to slow down and be present with those we love so dearly. Time is precious & this movie reminded me how each moment needs to be cherished. Elvis enjoyed reading every night to his father and their friendship and love was truly shared. I hope we all strive to have close relationships that we can hold and cherish always.

film3See life as a gift filled with miracles: At one point in the movie Annabelle runs away from her glamorous life to find solitude in the questions, the mystery of life. She begins to see life as a gift. She noticed the sunsets, the starry nights, she planted a garden to believe miracles would want to grown, even in bad dirt. She gets determined to plant something & buys bags of seed, starts up the tractor that has not been used in a very long time, determined to believe in miracles. Charlie (Elvis’ dad) and Elvis don’t believe what she is doing. They think she is wasting her time. She does not tell either of them what she is planting.

tumblr_lj0x9pakPZ1qckv4ko1_500_largeSee life with a new perspective: Annabelle realizes that for every terrible tragedy that happens in the world, there is always something equally miraculous that grows from it.  Can you believe that gift within your own life? Can you begin to see that when something tragic happens, something good from it will grow?

54089bf0c2f9defc261039df6f3bcc98Live this day: Annabelle is chased off the farm. She begins to think of her time at the funeral home—painting, tilling the fields, planting seeds, investing in other people and evaluates where she has been in her life and realized that she has not ever truly lived one day for herself.     Do you ever feel like this? Feel like you are always on a rotating cycle of doing dishes, homework, the same job, the same cycle? Maybe you need a little thing to do today that is yours. Make a list of a few things you would like to do in the next month—it doesnt have to be big things. Begin with little things: Go on a walk, Read 15 minutes a day, listen to an audio book on your way to work, doodle something, learn about something on youtube…just begin to live this day doing something small that means something to you. Make it your own!

tumblr_lno9kbinsp1qdssiwo1_500Don’t focus on the negative: Elvis is stuck in depressing thoughts, wondering what happened to his mother, feeling overwhelmed trying to run the funeral home & take care of his dad, not being able to pursue his own dreams…Annabelle tells Elvis if he keeps thinking his depressing thoughts, then he will have a depressing life.      How are your thoughts? What do you focus on in your life? When you talk out loud, what are you saying to others? How do you feel inside? You can feel if you are feeling negative or positive—it is pretty easy to tell. Be aware and focus on the good things within your life.

img-thing-1Good question: Annabelle asked Elvis…If you could do one thing in the whole wide world, what would it be???       Ask yourself that question. Nothing is being held from you…what would you want to do??

The movie does have some depressing moments where the two main characters are apart, depressed, wishing to be free of this world, the misunderstandings, the media, the loneliness…until one last miracle shines through in the sweet ending.

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A LOVE story you can LEARN from…

ImageI woke up this morning thinking about a remarkable story…a remarkable man, named Nick Vujicic. Millions have seen his story, but this is one of my favorite versions of his love story. If you haven’t seen it. Take the time—it is worth every minute.

 

 

ImageI thought about him and his wife having a baby. It instantly made me wonder if he wishes he could hold his son in his arms. It made me think that I need to give my daughter more hugs—why? because I can! This morning I am making her crazy because I am grabbing her and giving her hugs & more hugs. Why? because I can!! Nick has made me think twice about the importance and the gift it is to have arms and legs, to hug my child, to hug my husband, to feel of that connection.

Thank you Nick for sharing your amazing, beautiful LOVE story.