Did God Overestimate Me?

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They say that God will never give you more than you can handle. I really think He gave me too much credit. I think He overestimated my strength, my tolerance, my patience, and my overall ability to cope.

He’s right, I am compassionate but I have limits. I don’t mind listening, in fact I like it. I am fascinated with the way every person’s mind works. I am amazed at how perceptions can shape any experience. I love being able to provide a new way of seeing things whenever I can. I don’t mind holding the space for people when they just need a safe place to vent to let out all of their frustrations. Usually it’s in this space where they find their own answers. If they ask for help, I will go over and above to offer it. I love to witness the change from a discouraged heart to one that is empowered. It’s incredibly fulfilling to be a part of that process.

My stubborn nature doesn’t allow me to give up easily. This is a both a gift and a curse. I refuse to give up on those I love. I have enough faith in the process of life to allow them to make and learn from their own mistakes as long as they are moving forward. But I do not possess nearly the tolerance required to watch them choose to hit rock bottom when the the door to what they want is left wide open and ignored. Nor do I possess the ability to watch those I love continue to hurt to the point of despair. I was not created with a heart that allows me to cope well with being treated as a mere convenience or being kept on a need-to-know basis when I am expected to ‘help out’.

I keep asking Him what my lessons are in all of this. Perhaps it is simply to realize that it is not my responsibility to ‘fix’ everything for everybody. People change when they are ready to take the necessary steps to ensure change. Maybe it’s my lesson to continue to trust in Him, learn to let go, and accept that I am responsible for my own peace as everyone else is for theirs.

 

 

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You…Through My Eyes

YOU through my eyes

I see in you a girl who has faced more challenges in life than most. A girl who has felt hurt and pain throughout her entire life. I see in you a girl who became a better woman because of it.

I see in you strength, tireless and determined, a strength that has enabled you to conquer the blows that life has thrown your way.

I see in you someone who’s made countless mistakes, only to grow from every single one of them.

I see in you love, a love that is kind and pure, a love that is given from you freely to those you hold dear.

I see in you a woman who genuinely does the best she can with what she knows. One who makes difficult decisions with care and consideration.

I see in you insecurities, brought to life only by false beliefs, false ideas, and false perceptions.

I see in you unlimited potential, able to achieve whatever you dare only to dream.

I see in you vulnerability -although very well hidden – I see in you a woman who is often too hard on herself, one who needs to know she is loved and appreciated, and deserves to be reminded of it.

Embrace Your Awesomeness!

Share this with the women in your life who could use a little loving reminder of how truly beautiful they really are ❤

Take Owness For Your Ripples!

challengeWhat would happen if the only resolution you made for 2013 was to love yourself more? What if 2013 was the year you focused only on fully owning and embracing your inner awesome?

When you look at the world, what you see is a reflection of your thoughts within. If your thoughts within were kinder, gentler, more loving, and accepting, you would see a kinder, gentler, more loving, and accepting world reflected back to you.

I have spent the last few years testing this theory, time and time again. I’m not finished learning, I am a far cry from becoming a master at the craft, but here’s what I’ve learned so far; when I feel balanced within, everything in my world feels balanced. When I feel positive and hopeful, I emanate positivity and hopefulness to those around me. When I am kind and loving, others are too. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying everyone magically starts dancing around with daisies. I’m saying those who are kind and loving hold your attention, and those who are not, don’t.

When you love yourself more, you love others more. When you fully own and embrace your inner awesome, you will find it easy to accept others exactly as they are. When you feel love within, you emanate that love outward and onto everyone around you.

People are curious creatures. Our world sees unimaginable pain, suffering, and darkness. Positive thinking won’t wash it all away but let me ask you this…If everyone resolved to love themselves more and truly embraced their own inner awesome, there would be no room for anything less than love, kindness, and acceptance. There’s a glimpse into a true visionary’s mind! I can hear every realist out there now….NOT GONNA HAPPEN!! Well, I’m an idealist and I say “maybe not, but each person who gives it an honest shot, focusing only on igniting their own internal flame, it’ll change THEIR world, and the ripple effect caused by that one person can touch countless other lives and that’s good enough for me! The question is…is it good enough for you?

Think about it this way…Positive or negative, your thoughts, actions, and attitude create a constant ripple effect. What kind of ripple effect are you causing?

This year I challenge you to take owness for your ripples – ignite your internal flame and embrace your inner awesome – may the ripple effect you cause boomerang right back to you one day 🙂 Please take a few moments to feed your soul with this video 🙂

End of The World or A Time of Change?

2012. Maya prophecy

Here we are, December 21st 2012. Is it the end of the world or the beginning of something better? I don’t know if or when the world may end, but I do know that great change is needed, and I can’t help but to look forward with childlike expectation with hope that maybe finally, the time has come.

December 21st 2012 marks the end of the Macha & the beginning of Pacha. It is the end of selfishness and the beginning of brotherhood. It is the end of individualism and the beginning of  – Evo Morales

In the last few years we’ve experienced major catastrophes; tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, superstorms. Our weather seem to be breaking records and making history.  Thousands are left homeless. Violence and illness are rampant as well. Much of the food that we eat is contaminated. Mental illnesses are left untreated. Suicide is at an all time high. Parents are burying their children.This is a time of great suffering for all of humankind. I choose to believe with every ounce of my heart that change is upon us.

Apocalypse – Greek for “lifting the veil” or “revelation” – is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception. – Wikipedia

There are many theories about what may or may not happen on December 21 2012, I always choose to believe what makes my heart feel just right. When I hear that this is a time for change, a time for a new age, an age of enlightenment and peace among humans and the world itself, I can’t help but feel the same magic I felt as a child at Christmas. This is what I choose to believe; That as we enter 2013, we enter an age of unity. I choose to see the end of the Mayan calendar as a new beginning for mankind.

May your ‘Apocalypse’ be magical 🙂

2012

Unleashing The Hero Within – A Tribute to my Momma

No, it’s not Cancer. My Momma is a wine-loving, bling-wearing, bald-headed freak Goddess. My Mom has Alopecia.

Alopecia is a medical condition that means “loss of hair from the head and/or body”.

In the fall of 1995, my Mom began showing signs of Alopecia. Not wanting to worry my grandmother, she kept this a secret from everyone around her.

Four years ago, she started noticing more clumps of hair on her pillow, in the shower, as well as in her hair brush. I remember when she first told me…I could tell by the look on her face that she was concerned. I didn’t want to add to her stress by sharing with her the instantaneous stress I felt when she showed me her hair. I knew all too well what it could be. Nope, it wasn’t Cancer. It was Alopecia.

My Grandmother had Alopecia. Since she was just a toddler, my Grandma had no hair. Not on her head, not on her body. When she was young, her parents couldn’t afford to buy her a wig, so she grew up bald. As you can imagine, she was teased more than a time or two, but her sister (my great Auntie) took care of some of the relentless taunters….yes, and I do mean with her bare hands. I never noticed anything different about my Grandma except that she was the only Granny in town who’s hair never grayed. She always wore a wig and she always looked fabulous (plus she had the most sexy smooth legs anyone could ever wish for).

I was well aware of the possibility that my Mom could loose all her hair. And being a bit of a fashionista when it came to her jewelry, hair, and make-up, I knew this would be hard for her. Still, I knew stress was likely a trigger for even more hair loss so I refused to entertain her worries and add to her stress.

As the months progressed, so did her hair loss. Her hairdresser had mastered a multitude of styles to cover the many smooth patches making their way all over her scalp. The more she denied Alopecia, the further it spread. Although she always held strong in front of her family, when I looked in her eyes I could see that she struggled with the reality of it when she was alone. At this point, you might be thinking “it’s only hair”, I’m here to tell you that hair is a very real part of a persons identity – especially women – and one we often take for granted. It was easy to see, and yet so hard to watch…there were days when I could see her grief even when she was smiling.

Eventually we got to talking about wigs; my Mom, my sister, my sister-in-law, and I. Although we girls were all excited to go wig shopping, my Mom was anything BUT excited. She hated the idea of a wig. She said they were hot, itchy, and she’d rather go bald than wear something so unbearably uncomfortable just for the sake of meeting society’s perception of normal. The more we – as a family – talked and joked about my Mom’s inevitable baldness, the more comfortable she became…with us anyways. She still wasn’t comfortable talking to others about it.

Life took a drastic turn when she entered the world of Facebook. She was able to connect with others also affected by Alopecia. She began to feel more comfortable, more confident. Touched by so many stories, she dedicated herself to raising awareness. She never said, but I believe, that she found her passion through Alopecia. She didn’t want for any man or woman to suffer through the same loneliness she had in the silence of Alopecia. She didn’t want any child to grow up feeling they were different, or to suffer being teased by others who didn’t understand the condition. Kids – as well as adults – could be very cruel at times…and she wanted more than anything for everyone to feel accepted and understood.

Mom & my Great Auntie

In the months that followed, we watched my Mom free herself from her own cocoon. She organized a fundraiser and courageously shaved her head in front of all of her family and friends. She encouraged all of us – her children, her grandchildren, and her friends, to take turns shaving off what little was left of her hair. As her hair fell to the floor, we watched my Mom transform into a butterfly. She stood tall and proud, her eyes sparkled.

She had Alopecia. Alopecia did NOT have her.

On July 14th, 2012, My Mom headed to Sudbury to meet with a little girl named Maya. Maya Papaya, as her parents call her. Maya’s parents were taking part in The Dragon Boat Races. They had entered a boat to raise awareness of their daughters condition…Maya has Alopecia. My Mom was so excited to meet this little 5 year old beauty and her parents. A true miracle occurred when Maya saw my Mom proudly sporting her bald beauty. Maya’s eyes gleamed. Without missing a beat, Maya brought her hand to her head and pulled off the bandana covering her head, throwing it to the ground. She ran to my Mom with her arms opened wide. My Mom was greeted with a great big hug. In that moment, my Mom’s inner hero emerged. And Maya Papaya had helped her to unleash it.

Today my Mom is a bald beauty. She inspires others with Alopecia to find and embrace their beauty by sharing hers.

Today and every day, I fully embrace her awesomeness!

It’s time to change society’s perception of  “normal”…We are all different – that is what is “normal”. By sharing this blog today, you will help spread the word about Alopecia so that Maya, my Momma and anyone else affected by this condition can proudly sport their natural beauty and hold their heads up high.

What would you say to my Momma? What about little Maya? Would you sing their praise and embrace their courage? Would you have the courage to proudly sport your bald beauty? We want to hear from you! Take a moment and share your message for them in the comment section below.

Not-So-Solo Trip To Toronto

My husband (sporting the Movember look) and I on Young Street in Toronto

It would seem that all the excitement from my recent solo adventure in the big city had caused my husband enough anxiety to insist on joining me when I was booked for another one day orientation back in Toronto 🙂

Now, I’ll be honest with you…as much as I was looking forward to this mini trip, I had my reservations. My husband tends to be a little impatient in rush hour traffic when we go to Ottawa. He gets a little agitated when if he gets lost in the city. He can be a bit of a firecracker in highly populated areas. Did I mention that my orientation was booked in Toronto at the same time as the 100th Grey Cup game? And we were staying at The Madison Manor which was located just a couple blocks away from the stadium? As apprehensive as I was, I was excited too. We rarely get time to ourselves, just the two of us, it felt like I was dating my husband!

The drive down went surprisingly well…okay, I fell asleep 3 times. Toronto was congested with football fevered fans. There were people everywhere all dressed up, blowing horns, screaming, and cheering. We decided to grab a bite to eat at a place named “famous” for their wings. We ate the wings…we both agreed, they couldn’t be famous for anything other than a walking heart attack, they tasted like grease and we both knew our stomachs would pay for it later that night – if we even made it that long!

Our hotel was great. Not great in a fancy, over-the- top way, fancy in a cozy, quaint, old fashioned, hospitable way. It was nice. Perfect actually.

Being the fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants (aka never-plan-anything-until-the-very-last-moment) kind of people that we are, we scrambled to find some entertainment. Of course, it was the Sunday night of the 100th Grey Cup…there was nothing else going on. NOTHING. We headed out to Kensington Market and arrived just in time to see all the shops close. I must give my husband credit here – he (like most people I know), doesn’t remotely relate to my sense of style. But, (I suppose to allow for me to bask in my happy place) he accompanied me to every hippie clothing store that caught my eye and with a curious look of bewilderment on his face, he smiled and nodded as I excitedly pointed out multicolored bags and jackets full of peace signs and banners with New Age quotes. (I think he was secretly relieved the market was shutting down.)

When we headed for the movies and I fought the urge to beg him to watch Breaking Dawn (why would I put myself through that movie again you ask? Read here lol) we got tickets for Freefall instead. It’s the least I could do considering I had fallen asleep 3 times while he drove for 5 hours and, well, we can’t ignore the hippie stores 🙂 Note to self: Next time we find ourselves heading to Toronto during the 100th Grey Cup game, buy tickets to attend.

Monday night we took a short stroll down Young Street and ate dinner at Milestones before heading back on the long drive home…I don’t remember the last time we had a quiet dinner out just the two of us. It was weird nice. We talked about our days and at one point he told me I should become a Financial Advisor. I laughed and told him that maybe one day he would have the opportunity to marry one. He looked at me and said “I don’t think I would ever be able to get along with a Financial Advisor” Perplexed, I asked why then would he ever suggest that I become one. He simply replied “Well, that’s different. You and I, we don’t usually ever see eye to eye anyway. It would just be more of the same.” Great! 🙂

Heading back home in the dark, I was determined to stay awake so he wouldn’t be driving alone. No worries, there….my insomnia never lets me down! Snow started to fall. At first it was light and beautiful. It gradually made it’s way to fast and furious. You know when you’re driving in a blizzard,  you look out the window and it feels like you’ve been transported into a Star Wars space shuttle flying through the universe? Don’t tell me I’m the only one who sees it. I know you’ve seen it too.

We were both starting to get a little anxious about visibility – or lack there of – so I did all I could to calm our nerves…I started to sing. Hmmmm…..the look on Curtis’ face told me that my singing voice sounded better in my own ears than in his. He tried his best to keep a straight face. Well, at least it made him laugh 😉

The further we drove, the worse the roads became. At one point we couldn’t see anything. Not the middle of the road, not the side of the road, only millions of giant white snowflakes coming right at us. We both looked at each other and wondered how we would drive any further. There were no hotels nearby and nowhere to stop to wait it out. At that exact moment, the radio played “We Will Die Young”. I kid you not! We just looked at each other wondering out loud if this is how it ends? Does everyone get a sign like this when their time comes?

I told Curtis that if anything were ever to happen to me, he deserved to find someone who “had it all together”, someone who was always well prepared for each and every day, someone who would take good care of him, and be able to find their keys, someone who was my exact polar opposite. My heart swelled when he shook his head and said that no, he wouldn’t want his life to be any other way than what it was right now. I never knew until the moment I heard those words coming out of his mouth, how much I needed to hear them.

The roads cleared, I continued to sing, Curtis continued to practice tuning me out, and life returned to normal….with a just a hint of even-better!

Isn’t it beautiful how life finds a way of working itself out so imperfectly perfect?

Embrace your awesomeness, and the crazy beautiful world in which you live!

Staying Positive in a Badass World

I’m not always positive. There are times where I feel like my world is falling apart, times where I feel lost and alone. I get depressed.  And there are times when it takes every ounce of strength inside of me not to frickin’ loose it! But for the most part, I do try to live positively.

This is a practice that takes discipline, hard work, and patience.  So here it is, my no-fail positivity booster list. Even when I’m going thru a particularly rough time, these habits have the power to raise my spirits. The only challenge is remembering to practice them. The more I do, the better I feel. The more often I practice, the happier I am.

* Be grateful. A dear friend and I have a tradition to gift each other with gratitude journals on birthdays since filling their pages have had such a powerful impact on both our lives. It helps to keep perspective especially on particularly rough days. “I am so grateful that my children are sleeping safely in their beds” – that kind of clarity has the power to make for a pretty damn good day.

* Give love freely. Receive love freely. It’s easy to give love to those who love us back but loving those who don’t reciprocate takes practice. Practice!

Easier said than done. Am I right?

* Surround yourself with people who bring you joy.

* Learn to love what is. Here is the golden rule:

If you’re unhappy with something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude about it.

 * Design your life. Decide what you want in your life to look like and create it!

* Sing in the car, loudly every single chance you get. Be mindful of the road and everyone else on it but if you can pull off dancing too, do it! Yes, if you have children they may complain but they will get over it.
 * In trying times, always look for lessons to be learned and try to keep in mind that things are rarely as they seem. Life is always trying to teach us something and let’s face it, we’ve all got room for improvement. Well, I certainly do anyways!

Good times become good memories, bad times become good lessons.

* Trust that God’s plan is better than yours. Accept that some of God’s greatest gifts are what we may perceive as unanswered prayers. Sometimes what seems like a disaster is a blessing in disguise.

I got your back. Love, God xo

 * Always look for the humor in every day challenges. Losing your keys, forgetting to take out something for supper, pets eating the furniture, misplaced lists, getting lost – it all brings a little adventure to your already exciting life. Stuck in traffic? Okay so you’re late for work and you can sing a little longer.
 * Allow yourself to screw up. Royally and otherwise.

 * Forgive yourself for screwing up and embrace your humanity. We are all here to learn and grow, and we can’t learn if we don’t make mistakes.

 * Celebrate the lessons you learn along your journey.

Every day is an opportunity to make tomorrow even better.

* Celebrate everything!

* Listen with compassion. Every person you meet comes with valid concerns, opinions, input, and suggestions. Remember that we are all doing the best we can with what we know. Listen and you will always learn.

Alone we are strong, together we are stronger.

* When you find yourself frustrated at the world around you, allow yourself to be frustrated. Sometimes life stinks. Accepting what is, isn’t always easy.

* Love yourself exactly as you are. For who you were, who you are, and who you will become. You are not perfect, it’s not reasonable to expect that you should be. Nor is it reasonable to expect others to be perfect. Imperfection means we are halfway normal. We all have unique gifts to offer those around us. Actively seek out the gifts in yourself and in everyone you encounter.

Here’s to your Happy!

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