Tug of War with Depression

peekIt’s been a while since I’ve posted. Truth is, I’m being stalked…it’s this pesky relentless little thing sometimes referred to as depression that seems to grab hold of me from time to time. That monster has the power to shake me up and tear me down. Sometimes I can slay that dragon like the superhuman I am. Sometimes the fight drains the ‘super’ right out of me. Sometimes it lasts a day, sometimes a week, sometimes a little longer, sometimes a lot longer. My battle is mild compared to the wars others fight with this demon. When I am struggling and I smile, it’s a joyous moment. I am not wearing a mask. There are moments that grab me, usually when I am with people, simple genuine moments of joy that gently kiss my spirit. There are a number of things that have the power to uplift my soul during difficult times if only for a short while. Kindness is the one gift that packs the biggest punch. Random Acts of Kindness, carrying them out and / or witnessing them has a definite impact during trying times. The challenge for me, is accepting these gifts when I find myself in the grips of despair.

Fortunately, I don’t live in this space, I only visit periodically from time to time. Those visits teach me the importance of compassion, thoughtfulness, and kindness. It is in that place that I learn the ugliness of self-sabotage. It is there I learn the importance and the impact of sharing kind hearted, loving words of encouragement to those around me. It is thanks to those darker moments that I am generous with compliments and smiles.

When I am in a good place, I am feeling hopeful and alive. My time is spent with a focus on staying positive and seeking out the gifts of every day bliss. Joy comes easily. These are the moments, days, weeks, months, time I relish. Appreciation and gratitude abound! I’ve come to recognize the importance of Creativity and Passion in keeping my spirits up. When I’m putting genuine effort into doing the things I am truly passionate about, I soar! It’s easy and powerful and real.

I am on a mission to play with my creativity and reignite my passion. My blog will reflect that mission. Renaming my blog “Mixed Bag of Nuts” might be suiting 🙂 It’s time to get creative, mix it up, shake it up, stand tall, grow fierce and just have fun.

Embrace your awesomeness 🙂

A Journey Within

A Journey WithinIt’s been so long since I’ve written, I forgot my WordPress password! If you’re reading this wondering where I’ve been, I took a break. A long break. I write when I feel inspired. When I feel I have a message to share. The messages come from a place deeper than my own heart. Through this blog, you have joined me on my spiritual journey. For the last while, I’ve been struggling to put into words what’s been going on within.

Normally easily excitable in good stress and in bad, I am now less excitable and filled with a quiet peace. It’s not always a happy peace, but it is a peace no less. Normally positive with a belief of “everyone is doing the best they can even when it seems wrong to others”, I find myself questioning these very beliefs. How is it that when I look around I see genuinely good people being hurt or misguided by people who don’t seem to be “doing the best they can” or even doing what they surely know to be right. I stopped reading. I stopped writing. I took a little hiatus from my social life. Even kept social media to a bare minimum. I needed to explore my beliefs listening only to the messages within my own heart. I haven’t yet decided whether this shift in thinking feels better or not, but it often somehow feels more real, like a truth.

I believe that positivity plays a key role in our perceptions, and that our perceptions shape our world. Our unique perceptions allow us to see our lives as a beautiful journey even through the challenges we inevitably face. Perceptions can also allow us to see our lives as one hot hopeless mess. It’s not about seeing the world through rose colored glasses, positivity simply helps us to see life through a more beautiful lens.

I believe that most people have good hearts and genuinely do the best they can with what they know. Even when it doesn’t make sense to the rest of the world. I call this being led by the light. People who live their lives being led by compassion, connectivity, and purpose. As there are people who are led by light, there are also those who are easily driven by darkness. People who are driven by vengeance, anger, and fear. I believe that as perception is a matter of choice, so is the manner in which we choose to be led. It is not a matter of being created this way or that. It is a choice we are given every single moment of every single day.  We choose whether the decisions we make allow us to be driven by darkness or led by light.

I’ve shed more tears than I care to share struggling to figure out why bad things happen to good people. Why life seems so unfair sometimes. I don’t have the answers, I likely never will. All I have is my own heart and the gift to make my own decisions. I choose to be led by the light. I choose to believe that when “bad” things happen, somewhere within it is a lesson we must learn. One that will help us along our journey somehow, someway, one day. I continue to believe that life is intricately organized chaos. The people we meet, the challenges we face, the places we end up, there is an explicit reason for all of it.

During my break from reading, writing, and socializing,  I also took an unexpected break from dreaming. This wasn’t a choice, I still can’t explain it. I’m not sure if it stems from a fear of success or failure after all that has transpired with my book. (For those of you who don’t know,  it is due to a series of unfortunate events that  I no longer have a publisher, I will not be compensated for any online sales, and all the money I put into being published is gone. If I wish to sell my book once my copies are gone, I will need to come up with another chunk of cash in order to find a new publisher. OUCH! it still hurts!) For now, and for the last while, I have been committed to each day rather than to my dreams of the future. It’s not nearly as exciting most of the time, but I must admit, it’s been surprising and I might be falling in love with it. I am open to opportunities that present themselves. I am taking on small projects that I wouldn’t have had time for while living in my dream bubble.

Thank you, readers for providing me with a space to express myself and thank you for being my silent partner on this journey of self discovery. It’s not always a beautiful journey with chirping birds, sunshine and songs, sometimes it’s more like pain. Sometimes, it’s somewhere right in the middle. Writing allows me to share a piece of my deepest self . It requires a raw vulnerability which pushes me just far enough outside my comfort zone to grow.  I wish I could take you inside my heart just once to feel what I feel when I reach out to you, and you reach back to me. I fully embrace your awesomeness 🙂

You may also enjoy My Faith Unveiled , Did God Overestimate Me, 10 Lessons I Learned From Debra Poneman

10 Lessons I Learned From Debra Poneman

debra poneman and I

Debra Poneman is living, breathing, walking Love. She is a Goddess of transformation. She is a captivating inspirational speaker, and has mentored great leaders such as Marci Shimoff, Depak Chopra, and Janet Attwood.

About 3 years ago, I was in Toronto assisting with the development of The Passion Test for Kids and Teens. It was there that I had the good fortune of meeting Debra, The moment I met her, I absolutely loved her. When I heard her speak I was captivated, and when she told her story, I heard mine.

Today, I’d like to share with you 10 of the lessons I’ve learned from this phenomenal woman, I now call my friend.

  1. You are enough…in fact, you are more than enough. You are exactly and precisely as you were created by God himself
  2. Clarity is the key to transformation
  3. ‘Feeling’ and ‘Faith’ are the magic ingredients to achieving miracles
  4. If an idea comes to you, it’s because God gave it you knowing that you can give it life.
  5. Your heart is your inner GPS, it will never steer you wrong
  6. Everything works out for your greater good. You only need to trust in a plan that is bigger than your own
  7. Great things happens when we treat every person as our child, our mother, our father, our brother, our sister
  8. Give the best of you to every one, every day
  9. Meditation is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself
  10. Love is always the answer

These are the lessons I live by, lessons that have never steered me wrong. If you ever have the opportunity to hear Debra speak, brace yourself for when she is done you will be given a whole new outlook. For more information on Debra please visit yestosuccess.com

Embrace her awesomeness!

There are people we encounter in our lives that leave lasting imprints in our hearts, for me Debra Poneman was one of those people. Who influenced your life? What lessons did they leave you with?

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please take a moment to share it with others who might as well. You may also like You, Through My Eyes, My Faith Unveiled, and Journey Through Miracles…A Personal Story.

Great Courage Can Come in the Smallest Packages – a tribute to Princess Laura

ImageOn January 30th 2013, Laura will be celebrating her 4th birthday! In honor of her birthday, I would like to share her story with you.

Laura was born a happy, healthy baby. A beautiful little package sent from Heaven welcomed into a family with a devoted Mother, a Daddy who is her hero, and a Big Sister who loves her to pieces. Laura never got sick, ever. In fact, the first time she ever needed medical attention was when she was 3 years old. She had fallen and needed X-rays. No one could have prepared themselves for the sequence of events that would follow those X-rays.

Laura has Leukemia. Those three words shattered their hearts and changed their lives forever. Big Sister Victoria cried “why is my sister sick?” Victoria was 8 years old and understood cancer. Laura’s parents were in shock. The next few days were spent expecting the Doctor to call saying it was all a big mistake, the test results were wrong and their little baby girl was fine.

That call never came.

Laura’s Mom continued to pray asking “why? Why my baby? Why would God allow this to happen?”

Do you know that even in the midst of complete heartache, she never loses faith? Do you know why? She told me because she looks into little Laura’s eyes and she knows she’s in God’s hands. She trusts in God’s plan and thanks Him everyday choosing her to be little Laura’s caregiver … Take a moment to really take that in….God bless her.

Laura’s chemotherapy treatments are trying, they take a lot out of her, but even at 3 years old, she toughs it out and remains strong. Laura met her best friend Riley in the hospital, at the time Riley was being treated for kidney cancer. Sadly, Riley passed away only days before celebrating her 4th birthday. Although the time they spend together was brief, they forged a bond that Laura won’t likely forget.

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Two months ago, Laura lost her hair. Her Daddy proudly supported his little girl by honoring the day with a ‘shave day’. He shaved his head to match hers. Embrace his awesomeness!

Being 5 years older than Laura, Big Sister Victoria is a huge help in Laura’s care taking. She asked to have her head shaved too, but it’s hard for little girls to grow their hair back, so she still has hers. Embrace her awesomeness!

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This year Laura will be celebrating her birthday with all her favorite princesses at Disney. Please join me in wishing her a very happy birthday and “liking” her page Team Laura. (Maybe send a shout out to Victoria, Mommy, and Daddy too 🙂  )

Laura continues to stay strong, facing challenges head on and tackling every obstacles that stand in her way. We can all learn from Princess Laura’s bravery and strength.

We embrace your awesomeness Princess Laura!

What will you take from her story?

Please help me share Laura’s story with the rest of the world. Her story deserves to be heard and her family could use all the love and support they can get.

All Love,

Sandy

If you enjoyed this blog, you may also like Unleasing The Hero Within.

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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 ❤

The Ultimate Gift

Life is how you live it…not how you spend it

One of the highlights of the Christmas season for me is indulging in Christmas movies! There’s something so comforting and peaceful about curling up with my family beside a lit Christmas tree or near the roaring fire of the wood stove, and allowing myself to be whisked away into a good story. This year didn’t leave much time for Christmas specials. Lucky for me, I had picked one up at Wal-Mart on one of my far-too-many excursions. This one was called The Ultimate Gift. You’d never guess it, but I’m a sucker for stories of miracles, love, and inspiration 😉

The Ultimate Gift has become my new all-time favorite Christmas movie. It is a heartwarming drama based on the novel The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall. It is an inspirational story about a young man of privilege who, like many of us, takes his life for granted. He is rich, carefree, and careless. Living off a trust fund and having never worked a day in his life, Jason Stevens is spoiled and unmotivated with little regard for anyone or anything. When his Grandfather passes away, Jason inherits a series of gifts that promise to lead him to the ‘ultimate gift’.

Life shouldn’t be spent avoiding problems but welcoming them as challenges that will strengthen us so that we can be victorious in the future

Each gift is a task and is specifically designed to challenge Jason to grow as a man. It is through these tasks that Jason learns the Gift of Problems, the Gift of Work, the Gift of the Value of Money, the Gift of Friends,  the Gift of Family, the Gift of Laughter, the Gift of Giving, the Gift of Gratitude, the Gift of Dreams, the Gift of Love, and the Gift of a Day.

Any process worth going through will get tougher before it gets easier. That’s what makes learning a gift…even if pain is your teacher

Emily

For me the true gift in this story is the Gift of Emily. Emily is a young girl Jason meets on his quest for the ultimate gift. Emily is a spitfire of attitude with a heart of gold. Emily suffers from a rare form of leukemia and her only wish is for her Mother’s happiness. She quickly made her way into Jason’s heart … and mine as well.

I’m not sure if it was Emily’s story, or the heartache I felt for the families, the children, and the survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, or perhaps more likely it was both…I’ve decided to write my second book, Letters From Heaven with love from your Child. My hope is that this book will in some small way provide even an ounce of healing to the hearts of parents who’ve suffered the tragedy of losing of a child, as Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo has for ‘children’ – both young and old – who are forced to live without the loving guidance of their Mother.

Come up with a dream and then act on it

Treat yourself to a gift that is sure to nourish your soul this season and find the time to accompany Jason on his quest for The Ultimate Gift ….Don’t forget the tissue!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, Joyeux Noel, Season’s Greetings,  Happy Holidays!

Thank you for sharing in my love of writing this year 🙂

Embrace your Awesomeness!

Bernard Charles

@thecolormage - color stylist for your soul

The Juicing Nomads

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde

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