Live From Love

red moon cat

Always live from love, happiness, and truth.  Even a small white lie is an untruth…It is blocking the light from emerging from your soul.

Take back your power

The truth is…You are an enabler.  You tell people how you want to be treated by accepting the way that they treat you.  You may be pleasing them, but you are disrespecting yourself… and in that process, you are giving away your power to that other person.  You are throwing away your emotions, your voice, and your right to happiness.  This is who I was…A pleaser, an enabler, a passive person who didn’t feel her own worth.  And so the cycle continued…not feeling worthy and hating myself for not sticking up for myself.  I thought if I could please people, they would like me, and then I would be worthy.  But it only left me with feelings of frustration, resentment, and unhappiness… people didn’t respect me because they didn’t even know the real me.  I was enabling people to treat me poorly by not speaking up for myself.

There are always two people in any relationship.  In a healthy relationship, you have a give and take with honest communication and a respect for feeling, emotions, and desires…both yours and theirs.  You keep the relationship real by being true to yourself and presenting the real you.  You can’t be a pleaser and keep your real feelings hidden, and then get upset when people don’t like you for who you are.  Pleasing others’ is not the same as pleasing yourself…and it can’t and won’t bring you true happiness.  You must look deep into your heart and figure out what it is that you really want…you have to know yourself, love and respect yourself, and stay true to who you are.  I journaled everyday for a year…wrote down my thoughts, feelings, and fears.  Then I took the time to analyze and discover where these emotions came from.  The more I understood my past…the more I understood myself…and the more I began to love and accept all of who I am.

As you realize who you are and present the real you to the world, you will take back your power to live your life the way you want, fulfill your dreams, and create your own happy future.  It is very important to love and accept the real you because not everyone is going to want to stay in your life.  You need to be prepared to put your own happiness above the emotional comfort of others’ in your life.  You need to be prepared to let people slip out of your life…not everyone is meant to stay in your life forever.  You need to be patient and attract new people who accept the real you.  You are important…your dreams, your feelings, and your happiness… It is all worth your respect, your time, and your patience.

Inspiration

There is inspiration all around us…from the beauty of nature, to the raw emotions of real life.  Sit back and observe…take the time to really understand the reason for everything and everyone in your life.  There is inspiration in the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the sweet and the salty… everything is meant to help us reach a little farther and grow in that moment.

When I was younger, I was inspired by the love of my mother, the beauty of the outdoors, and the companionship of my pets.  Life was fun and carefree.  I spent my days walking through the woods, swimming in the pond, and bonding with my pets.  Hard work was a part of my life, farm life and my parents taught me the importance of doing for myself…but also the importance of helping, and loving, and believing.  My formative years inspired me to work hard and appreciate what I have.

As I blossomed into an artist and a teacher, I was inspired by my mother…and then my high school art teacher.  They taught me the importance of being myself and reaching for my dreams.  My college sculpture teacher helped me to realize that not everyone will approve, and that’s ok.  My personal work is inspired by cats, and trees, and fantasy…fueled from my love of animals, and nature, and my own imagination.  I also feel a great inspiration from the students that I teach, my colleagues, and my fellow artists.  They push me to better myself, believe in myself, and strive for that perfect idea.  I am reminded that there are many possibilities and even more ways to achieve them.

My children inspire me to be the best person I can be with unconditional love and acceptance.  My sister inspires me to love who I am and to continue down the path of my spiritual journey.  My friends inspire me to laugh and love with every ounce of who I am, and to not take myself too seriously…My divorce inspired me to take a close look at who I am and who I want to be.  My mother’s death inspired me to understand and accept life, never take it for granted, and live life to fulfill my dreams and happiness.  My sons’ journey into adulthood has inspired me to rejoice in others’ accomplishments and celebrations.  I am inspired daily by my family, colleagues, friends, and neighbors…both from the positive and negative events that happen.  I take pictures of my dogs playing, my cats sleeping, and the leaves that fall from the trees…all records of inspiration.

But the most important inspiration comes from within ourselves.  The question was posed… What inspires you?, and the first thing that popped into my mind was…MYSELF.  I am inspired from my personal growth and accomplishments,  I am inspired by my journey of understanding and acceptance,  and I am inspired by my ability to appreciate everyone and everything in my life.  It is because of those reasons that I know, if everything came crashing down on me tomorrow, I would still be able to reach inside my soul and find the inspiration to continue on.  So, be inspired by the world around you…but don’t forget to also look inside yourself and appreciate all that you have done and all that you have become.  All of you is pretty special…You are an inspiration.

Big Life Changes

I took my oldest son up to college on Friday… it’s now Sunday and I have finally processed it.  I thought it would be so easy… after all, this is how I raised him…to be a responsible young man who will make choices to help him succeed in life.  I am bursting with Love, and Pride, and Happiness for him… but it’s not easy.  I know that this is the start of his evolution into his own adult life.  I’ve spent the weekend wrestling with the tears that stem from happiness, to worry, to missing him.  I’ve already sent my first care package and his classes haven’t even started yet.

As I sit and reflect on this stream of emotions that pour through my soul, I realize that this is just another life change that I need to embrace and adapt to how my life will now be.  Big life changes aren’t easy, but they are necessary and you can’t stop them.  A death, a divorce, a new job, even a child moving away… These are all events that can bring newness and positive change into your life.  Embrace the positive and the happiness will follow.  Take the time to get to know who you really are… read that book, learn a new skill, take up a hobby, etc…  This time is now for you.  I no longer have to be the daughter, the wife, the mother… now I have to discover me.

Discovering myself was a slow and painful process; It started with my divorce, I am good enough and I like who I am!… continued with the death of my mother, I am not alone and people do care about me!… and is now coming full circle with my son moving away, this is who I am and I embrace it!  The challenges will come, and the answers will follow.  I will have to just move forward with discovering what makes me happy and have faith that life will work itself out.  I have always said that my children have the right, the privilege, and the responsibility to make their own mistakes, learn their own lesson, and find their own happiness.  Now I realize that I have to apply that philosophy to my life as well.  If I want to thrive in this world of chaos, I must discover who I really am and love myself unconditionally… Just like the unconditional love I give to my sons.

I now see that big life change #3 is another opportunity to continue with the journey of discovering myself.  I am grateful that my son is continuing his education, I am glad that we both have the opportunities to follow our dreams, and I am excited to move forward and see what the future holds for us.  My advice would be to find your love, have faith that all things will eventually work themselves out, and be grateful for everything in your life…Then contentment, satisfaction, and happiness will show up even in the most challenging of days.

Yes, You Can

Don’t tell me that “you can’t”!!!  Because, Yes you can.  We can do anything that we set our minds to doing…good or bad, right or wrong…those things aren’t the topic.  You can try, and you can adapt, and you can try…and then you can succeed.  Tell me that you don’t want to, you need more time, you need help or guidance, the idea needs re-worked, or that you just flat out refuse…But don’t tell me that you can’t.  We can have a conversation about ideas, help, and frustrations…but the word can’t is just a generic excuse that has no where to go.

You’re going to have challenges in life.  Those challenges are what’s going to make you better, brighter, and happier in the end.  Through your challenges, you will learn to think and adapt, you will learn that there are many solutions to a problem, you will learn that life is more pleasant when you stay calm, and you will learn that you are a resourceful and capable person who will succeed.  No successful person ever said that it’s going to always be easy and you’ll get it right the first time.  Life is a series of obstacles, ideas, actions, and learning…sometimes it leads us to a conclusion that we don’t want, and sometimes it leads us to the success that we do want.  Either way, we have arrived at an answer.

If you have a “failure”, know that it is just an uncomfortable event in your journey.  It just means that there is more for you to learn so that you get exactly what you desire and deserve in life.  If your boyfriend broke up with you…concentrate on on finding a guy who will treat you exactly how you want to be treated instead of just settling for a mediocre love, if you lost your job…concentrate on finding a job that you will be glad to go to everyday, if you lost a client…concentrate on how you can reword your proposal to be better understood, etc…

The bottom line is that you will never reach your goal if you don’t try, and try, and try again.  Learn from those unpleasant events.  Keep setting those goals, keep trying new ideas, and keep expanding your knowledge.  It’s all in your attitude, When you look at life as a series of events that brings you one step closer to your dreams… then your life will be filled with wonder, and gratitude, and contentment.  Somedays you will be happy, and somedays you will just be ok…but everyday you should be grateful for living, and learning, and having another chance to try again.  Things may not turn out the way you wanted or in your time frame…but they will work out in your best benefit if you know your worth, trust yourself, and keep moving towards your happy future.  In my opinion, CAN’T is not an option… The only option is to re-think, re-group, and try again.

Personal Courage

I am a mom going on the new journey of sending my eldest son off to college… I am filled with joy as I watch him grow into a responsible young man.  He has so much potential…yet, I watch him carefully weigh his options, agonize over his decisions, and assert his will to be an adult…Then I watch him be consumed by guilt and self doubt… Was it the right decision, will someone be mad at me for this, can I be successful…etc.

My advise to him is, Have the courage to find your own happiness and make your own dreams come true.  You are the only one who can decide to try new things, leave bad situations, and do what brings you joy.  You need to learn when to say “no” and when to say “yes”…and be at peace with that decision.   Move forward and give an effort with what you have…If it’s not working for you, leave and find a new path.  Nothing is written in stone.  Your time, money, and experiences are never lost as long as you have gained knowledge and happiness.  You can always make more money, find a new job, and/or move to a new location as long as you learn from the past and believe in your future.  And as far as your “reputation”…Who cares what people think about you.  The people who love you will understand and you don’t need to be concerned with the people who don’t understand…You worry about you and your own happiness.

I’m not talking rights or wrongs, goods or bads…and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t give and effort and try.  I’m talking about your happiness.  It isn’t in anyone’s best interest to stay in an unhappy situation…Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  If you have tried and tried but nothing has changed, then you need to make the change.  So, after you have tried, if you don’t like your college…you can transfer, if you don’t like your job…find a new one, if you aren’t happy in your relationship…leave it, if your sculpture doesn’t look like a dragon…turn it into a kitty… etc.  You can’t make everyone happy and you can’t force them to understand…You can only follow your own heart and find your own bliss.

Find some Happiness

Angel cat 2Devil cat

It’s not about good or bad nor right or wrong…It’s about living in this moment, your present situation, and finding some happiness there.