Say the thing

Ever have that feeling that something must be said? That deep within, in that soulful place that whispers and moves you without you even realizing it sometimes; that an action, activity must happen or words must be released?

That the person before you needs something. A kind word? A smile? A genuine how are you and a listening ear?

I feel like we hide ourselves away from this intuition by turning away from opportunitirs for social exchanges, especially now with fear of covid and years of isolation.

Humans are social beings. We were never meant to be alone. To be so disconnected. So when you have that soul itch to say something, to show kindness or offer your soul to another soul – even for a moment, be there. Be present. Give that gift of your spirit and presence. You never know who it could help or save or even how much it could mean for you.

Fear

We all have moments where life is hard and scary and overwhelming. Where it feels like there is no bright light in sight. I was in a low place when I wrote this, and reminded myself in life we always have choices. Breathe, find gratitude and joy where you can even on those bad days.

Fear

Pain. Silence. Heart throbbing. Breath tight on my chest.

Panic.

Overwhelming. Piercing. Discomfort. Itch of a thousand ants swarming my body.

Sadness.

In my throat. Shallow breaths. Eyes prick with tears. Hold them back she said. Hold them in she said. No room or time for tears she said.

Pain.

The pain of holding the fear, the panic, the sadness make me heavy and angry and ill. Sick with regret. And disappointment. And lost opportunities. How high could I fly if i cut the weight … the concrete binding me to bad choices, procrastination, fear.

How high

How high?

How HIGH?

Breathe….fly….dream…believe. believe in me. Fly high she said. Fly so high the birds follow, so high the clouds thin, so high your breath is only labored by exhilaration.

So high

So high?

SO HIGH!!

**If you’re experiencing feelings of depression or anxiety please seek help. Counseling can make all the difference for your self preservation and self-care.

Love to hear your thoughts!

Some days the sad hits hard

This post has sat in my drafts for a while,and even though I don’t feel particularly sad, there are those days and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

My goodness! It’s been a long time! Not sure if it’s the weather, the pandemic, the isolation, fear, anxiety over the future as we know it, but today it all hit me. If you know me you know that optimism is my kevlar, my armour, and I usually have triple coats on…hard to get me down or hard for me not to see the better side of any situation, but today, that armour feels like it’s been hit with a rocket launcher.

I know all the things to do, how to take care of myself etc., but sometimes when they’re are so many clouds to find the silver lining in you get tired. For all of you that are struggling know you aren’t alone. I see you. I feel you. And we are going to be okay. This is temporary and we will get to the other side.

See what I did there? In the midst of sharing my stuff I found a way to comfort myself and you! I started the post to share my reality, but when we do that we automatically find ways to cope and bring healing to ourselves and others. If you are struggling let people you love know. It can be wildly cathartic.

Hang in their friends! Breathe. Love. Vote. Heal. Thrive. Keep your beautiful human spirit alive.

Dream

Once upon a time I had a dream. I wrote it down…I thought about it. I talked about it, I asked questions, I did research. I did the work…I did some work, maybe not enough work. I stalled, I second guessed, I paused, I researched some more, I believed more in the not than the can be. I was afraid. I was paralyzed. What if? What do I want? Will this honor God? Will this honor me? My family? Will the work, the time, the sacrifice be for not?

How do I reconcile the dream from reality. If there is a desire in my heart, I must see it through….God would not keep pushing and urging me if it’s not important. But what is important? How do I take a break from my most important job with my little people during a pandemic and feel ok about it? Is that an excuse? Can I begin to take time for me?

These are the thoughts of a mother. A mother who loves her children and thinks of them before herself. I’m sure there are those that can relate. I have to say it, I matter too. You matter too. Your needs and success matter too. It’s okay to take a break and self-care so that you can be a wonderful role model of balance. You got this!

Action is always better than inaction. Take that action to make your dreams come true!

What dreams are you working on? What tactics do you use to balance your needs with the needs of your loved ones?

How do we measure our life?

As I reflect on another birthday, I cant help but think how life is measured. Is it years? Successes? Family? Career? Money? Fame? Wrinkles?

I recall in developmental psychology we discussed chronological age, biological age and emotional age. So that translates into either how long have you been on earth, how old your body is based on nutrition and environmental factors and how old you feel?

As I celebrate my 2nd COVID19 birthday I decided to give myself an average age combining the 3 types. In my totally unscientific calculation, I am happy to report I’m not a day over 29! I have settled on this age for many years. I felt like I had it all figured out. I had met the man who I would share my life with. I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had bought my first home and life was good. Life was amazing. There have been soaring ups and tragic downs but each day I wake with my heart full, my smile bright, my family close and I thank God for another day.

We don’t know how many we will get. We don’t know how many we will get with the ones we love, but today…TODAY is ours. Today we can do something great. Today we can make a positive impact. Today we can say the thing that would make our heart full to the person who matters. Today we can live and love and laugh and celebrate.

So celebrate today yall! Enjoy this St. Patrick’s day and the gifts that tomorrow brings.

Fearless…also known as sister

When we were kids I idolized her. She was the most beautiful funny fire-hearted person I had ever seen. One night, when I was 9 or 10 she talked me into sneaking out. She was 13 or so and beyond worldly in my eyes. I had absolute trust. After our parents were asleep for a while, I tiptoed down to her room. As I crept through the door, her smile lit the dark room. She was so excited. Was it because of the adventure to come or because I believed in her so fully?

We worked together to pull the screen out of the window, careful to make no noise. She slunk out the window with expertise. My heart beat in my ears, my palms grew moist. As I looked at her, she saw my fear and motioned for me to come closer. I stuck my head out the window and she whispered, “it’s ok, it’s not as far down as it looks and I’m here to catch you if you fall.” With that reassurance my heart began to slow and excitement crept in. I turned my body, working to descend in the same snake like style as my sister, but I looked more like a dumpling dropping into a hot pot. Before I hit the ground I felt her hands around my waist. Surrounding me in the safety net I needed to push through.

I don’t remember much else about the night. I believe we got busted and grounded. But I do remember how I felt about my sister. How much her strength encouraged me and helped me feel safe. Now that she’s gone all I have are memories. My whole life I always wished I had her strength, but maybe I do… maybe I have had it all along…maybe I can remember the fire and courage she taught me and honor her by letting go of excuses and live a life that inspires people. A life that helps other people see that you can break through fear and insecurity by following faith and believing in yourself.

God created us… created me and you to be everything our heart desires so we can serve as an example of His Grace and love. Playing small honors no one and nothing. Fear is a choice. Success is planned, disciplined actions that prepare you for opportunity.

One day, one choice, one action at a time.

How are you you honoring your spirit today?

Kindness

In today’s world kindness seems to have gone by the wayside. All you have to do is scroll through social media or turn on the news to get a taste of harsh reality.

Where did kindness and compassion go? I was speaking to a neighbor the other day who is one of wisest, thoughtful people I know. He reminded me of the importantance of this human quality.

Today’s climate is so political and divisive, but when you zoom out and think about the human spirit, are you making decisions to help and better yourself, those around you and the planet for generations to come? Do you think your actions will generate positive progress for all? With all the negativity that surrounds us, it is easy to think your individual efforts may be for not; but what if you could make a difference? What if compassion was part of the answer?

So, how do we live a life of compassion? After some thought and plenty of digging a few themes came up.

  1. Love. Living and acting from a place of love limits negative behaviors and poor choices that erupt from hate. Pain is all around us, along with grief, desperation, loss, stress, worry, and suffering, but when you change your perception, your view, your glasses so to speak, and the filter of your experience is love, life looks and fells different. Your thoughts are different, your actions are different. For example, if your kid keeps interrupting your work day – instead of blowing your top and screaming – mommy is working!! Go play! You could use that love filter and think, okay, they want to be near me and share their day with me, how do I meet their needs and handle work needs so we can all enjoy the day?
  2. Responsibility. When we take responsibility for our actions and hold ourselves accountable for our behaviors, we find discipline, and through discipline intrinsic reward. It feels good to participate in actions that bring positive progress to your environment and the world around you. Living in the present and owning your mistakes versus placing blame elsewhere or complaining about things changes your perspective putting you in control of your life. For example, if you want to lose weight, log what is going into your body and track movement and exercise. Then you can make evidence-based decisions on calories in and out and hold yourself accountable. By adding an extra walk or cutting out dessert you can feel good that you are getting closer to your goals versus continuing to do the same thing and face continued disappointment.
  3. Compassion. Feeling the hurt alongside others, going out of your way to help others – just because your heart wants to help – or practicing empathy can ferociously change the pain the receiving person experiences and dually – your ability to show compassion. Life is hard, and most people feel so alone, especially now in this pandemic, but when people can share in your human experience, it offers comfort, peace and a path to healing. That may mean listening to a friend vent, eating a meal with someone who is alone, buying a meal for a person in need without judgement, or doing something for others with no expectation of reciprocity.

To move from a place of good intentions versus distrust is a tall order especially for those suffering, but what if we all stopped living from a place of fear (perhaps from time to time right now – the world is crazy) and thought what’s one thing I could do today to be a light for someone else? How could I release a burden, carry a load, or simply tell someone how awesome they are…how meaningful their relationship is to you, how talented they are, or how thankful you are for their support and love?

What if you called and told them you were thinking of them…did a video chat since we can’t stop by…sent them a text or email…mailed a card….bragged about them on social media. Thoughts are meaningless until put into action. One small action ignites another and so on and so on. How can you bring your positive love and energy into the world?

I want to acknowledge a YouTube Spin Instructor, Kristina Girod, who is a light for me throughout the week. I am blessed to have an exercise bike at home and watch YouTube videos of spin classes to get my sweat on throughout the week. Her daily messages of community, compassion, strength and good vibes brings me joy. She brings kindness to the world. We all have that light inside…waiting to shine. How will you shine kindness and compassion today?

I’m back!!

Being a mom is hard work! Those superheroes also called mom or dad out there know what i mean. I have a 5 year old and an almost 2 year old and between work, caring for them, wifing and working, my blog has unfortunately gone on the back burner. Well, I miss writing, I miss hearing from you beautiful people in cyber world, and look forward to adding regular content. If you have ideas on topics you are interested in, please drop it in the comments. Stay safe, be well and love each other!

Black Lives Matter

As a white woman who grew up in the south, rural Florida, Confederate flags, rifles and proud rednecks were customary in the large trucks cruising down most streets.

My stepfather worked at a local pawn shop and carried his gun strapped to his side every day, prepared to fight back if anyone were to rob the little pawn shop where he worked. Back in the 90s, growing up in a small town, parties, attending car races, and muddin’ were normal weekend activities.

That background could apply to any typical southern family. Racism was also in our family, that piece may or may not be typical. In my optimism and perhaps blind faith, I pray it’s not. I don’t know what happened in other homes but in mine the echoes of the N word, explicit rules forbidding me from dating outside my race, and other implicit rules that aren’t worth mentioning were a constant reminder that race was an issue.

I think the day I lost respect for my parents was in middle school. I had a BFF who was black but I never hung out with her outside of school. I never even asked. It’s a shame to hear the people who are supposed to be teaching you right from wrong say awful things about people of color and you KNOW it’s wrong and hateful, racist and ignorant. I couldn’t put the things they said in the same mind space as my friend. I completely rejected it and by doing so rejected them. I lost respect for my parents and didn’t trust the life lessons they had for me after that. I regret not being strong enough to tell them then how I felt.

So at about age 11, I knew the world was not what I had been told and made up my mind to meet people where they are. Am I perfect? No! There are those old parts that still hear the ugly echos of my childhood, but I have spent my life seeking out people for who they are. I love people and believe in their beautiful spirits and humanity. Hate cannot exist where there is love, and so I seek to bring love and joy into the lives of others.

So what does my story have to do with the Black Lives Matter Movement – besides the obvious, as a white lady, I need to do better? Well, I met a wonderful amazing man and had 2 beautiful babies. He is a black man who experiences the awfulness of systemic racism daily. I spend my days thinking, how can I create an environment for my husband, so that when he comes home he can leave the filth of the world outside and be treated the way he should be, with decency and respect and love.

I think about my children whose skin may be lighter like mine but who are black. They cant just be people who are judged by the content of their character, but always in this world, they will be judged by how they look. Will life be a tad easier because they may pass as white? Would they get pulled over less? Would they face less discrimination in school or the workplace? Or will they struggle to understand who they are? Never black enough… never white enough? As parents we have started early to help our son understand and embrace both parts of his heritage. We have a lot to learn and teach, but it’s the most evil s#$% of this world to tell a 5 year old…oh…btw you are beautiful and perfect and made in God’s image but not everyone sees you that way so be careful, don’t trust people, be wary of this ugly world.

Why is America so divisive? Why is it okay to be so judgy? Why did it become okay for white people get to decide who has value in this world? Last I checked the Big Man upstairs is in charge of that.

We lived in Pensacola, FL for a bit and decided to come back to DC. Pensacola was just not for a family like ours. When searching for places to live I chose PG County which is predominantly black, on purpose. It was hard for my hubby in Pensacola. I wanted him and the kids to live in a more diverse area. I wanted them to be in a community that looked more like them. I try to check in on things like that. As much as I can control it, I want them to be comfortable. And if they are good, I am good! And I love everybody…mostly, minus mean people.

I know I will never truly get it, it being the experience, the pain, the frustration and stress, but my heart aches for my husband, my kids’ future, my friends, my coworkers. I know all these beautiful black people who experience such garbage treatment and it makes me sick. We white people HAVE to do better. Tell the people who are being racist they are racist. Stop awful people from harming people of color. Refuse to accept people in your life that are racist.

One of the hardest things I had to do is stop talking to a family member because of their views on my marriage. It hurt, it still hurts but I cannot allow ANYONE to disregard, and disrespect the love of my life simply because of the color of their skin.

This is a time for hard conversations and reflection and learning. This is a time to lift our black sisters and brothers up. Because we have failed them for 400 years. We cannot espouse to be the greatest nation in the world …to encourage the pursuit of happiness for all Americans and continue to kneel on the necks of black and brown people for our own selfish growth. You are not truly successful if it comes at the harm, hurt and expense of others.

I invite dialogue and would love to hear others’ experiences.