Category Archives: My Blog

The Dark Side of The Secret

(Written December 20, 2017)

After a truly difficult year, in October of 2017, I made a conscious decision to change my mindset, and alter my future by making a difference in my present.

I decided to work on my choices, work on my decision-making, work on changing my negative thought patterns- thereby altering my brainwaves to produce a more positive way of being.

I threw my hat into the ring when it came to the concepts of The Secret. That whole Law of Attraction (LOA) thing was mine to master.

I would see for myself, if I put all my energy towards one goal, how my life would change.

Subliminal tapes, neural pulse beats, positive thoughts and affirmations, guided meditations, self-hypnosis, boundless gratitude.

The Secret says to choose a goal. Focus on it. Picture it like it’s already in your possession.

Don’t worry about the ‘How’ which will bring these things to pass, just concentrate on the ‘Now.’

Nothing is too far out of reach. If you can imagine it- it is yours to have.

Since husband and I were struggling big time in the financial arena; I had in mind that this would be my goal.

According to The Secret, if you want money, picture money coming to you. Think on it everyday. Picture opening envelopes with checks made out in your name, or cash coming to you from unknown sources.

So I did. Intensely. For several weeks, from the time I woke up in the morning, to the time I laid my head down to rest at night.

I was determined to make this work for me.

But after a few intense weeks of this, I started to get a strange, nagging feeling that something wasn’t right. That I was forcing an outcome that maybe shouldn’t be forced.

It was at that point that I backed off completely. It left me to wonder if this was my old brain wave patterns trying to sabotage any change and growth for its already comfortable existence, or was this a sign that maybe this was something not to be dabbled in.

Whatever it was, I decided to leave it be and revisit this concept perhaps in the new year with a fresh start.

As the holidays rolled in and our finances were tighter than ever, we, [husband and I], picked up extra hours at work and continued to live a minimal existence.

Life in SoCal is not easy with rents and cost of living among the highest in the nation, and take-
home wages so low, we continued to barely scrape by, living paycheck to paycheck. All we did was work and pay bills.

We just accepted that this was our lot in life, and if The Secret worked for multitudes of individuals, they must have a better belief system than I.

Where I stopped short, they must have dug in deep and persevered.

Maybe I was a quitter or needed to find that one option that will work for me.

Maybe this one wasn’t ‘IT.’

Two weeks before Christmas, on what should have been our oldest son’s 25th birthday, we were informed by the police at 3 AM in the morning, that he had been killed in an automobile accident.

When you think your life is not so great, it is humbling to know it can always get worse.

Devastated beyond reason, we lived out every parents worst nightmare.

We became the poster children for those that cannot claw their way out of a hole no matter how hard they try.

As the police continued to investigate the accident, we numbly began to pick up the shattered pieces of our lives.

A week later, at the memorial service for our beloved son, those envelopes that I had so carefully envisioned a couple short months prior, began to pour in. Envelopes with checks in our names or cash outright, in the form of sympathy cards or condolence letters.

I could barely look at them without a sick feeling in my stomach.

That saying, ‘Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it,’ is ever present in my mind.

I have not stopped being grateful. If it was not for the generosity of others, there would have been no way we could have paid for the funerary costs for our son.

But there is not one fiber of my being that would not trade every last penny I have to go back to the way things were when I thought life was difficult before.

Now, all the positive thoughts in the world can only bring my son back in memories.
While his struggles are over, we have new struggles beginning. How to move on after being a family of four to a family of three?

I think now that maybe that still small voice in the back of my head telling me to stop, wasn’t my brain trying to self-sabotage my growth but instead was a warning to be heeded.

When you mess with forces that cannot be controlled or are left wide open to interpretation, one should tread lightly and be wary. I do not say this because, The Secret, does not work…but because it does. When you are told, ‘don’t worry about the ‘How,’worry. Give it lots of thought because nothing should ever be left to chance.

Always keep in mind, the world we live in is one of duality that requires a balance of power.

It is not good OR bad, night OR day, light OR dark- it’s all of them together.

Good AND bad. Light AND dark. Ebb AND Flow. Yin And Yang.  One doesn’t exist without the other.

It’s good to focus on positivity but to do so without knowing that there is a negative in the equation upsets a natural balance in life.

It’s not bad to raise your vibrational awareness by concentrating on uplifting thoughts, but to do so without acknowledging your shadow side will knock you for a loop when it raises its darkened head- and it will.

Practitioners of The Secret will probably lambast me saying I have it all wrong, I do not understand how LOA works, I must have done something horribly wrong, and maybe they’d be right.

There have been times in my life when I unwittingly tapped into some power of positive thinking, where I had focused so much on a task at hand, lost in the project, that at some point it hit a high note and everything fell into place with ease.

When things are as they should be, it’s easy. But to continuously work at or on something, forcing the ‘easy’, seems oxymoronic.

If you have to work hard to make something easy, is it really easy??

If you have to work hard at being positive, is it really positive work???

Fake it ‘til you make it can only carry you so far, and while practice does make perfect for tangible tasks on hand, there is a still small voice in me that says the authors of The Secret and all those other LOA books are making more money off of the desperation of people desiring a better life for themselves, or those thinking only published writers hold the key to unlocking ‘your best life’, not realizing it’s their own hard earned money fueling the fire and lining the pockets of those who have claimed, do this and you too can have Everything your heart desires.

Because they have made so much money off Les Innocentes, of course they can tout the benefits of their work. After all, it worked for them.

      ***

It took the grievous loss of our son to question not the validity of the LOA, but the reasoning behind it in the first place.

While my belief in God never wavered, I didn’t rely on His teaching the way I should have.

It wasn’t my faith that was lacking, but my Trust. I went my own way and paid a high price for it.

That firm nudging telling me to Stop, was not my ego or comfortable brain patterns challenging new growth. It was The Holy Spirit saying, Please, Stop. You are a child of God and have only to remember who holds your heart in His hands that will see you through this.

Suffering is unfortunately a part of living but it doesn’t have to be done alone.

Everywhere you look, someone is available to reach out and help.

There is no work involved in developing a relationship with the Creator of the Universe.

The Lord didn’t cause the accident that took my son’s life, nor did my not so positive thinking do it either.

But it’s interesting to note, it wasn’t the people in of The Secret that flocked to our sides during our greatest time of need.

Should all my Secret desires come to fruition but none of them included Christ, then it would be all for nothing anyway.

That is a hard lesson to learn.

And like the numerous stories of lotto winners whose windfall brought nothing but misery, unless your Secret desire was to have a strong support system in place when life’s challenges come your way- and they will- it will be cold comfort to say, The Secret gave me everything I ever wanted, and yet… I still have nothing.

A List of Firsts

mile·stone
/ˈmīlˌstōn/
noun
plural noun: milestones
2. an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development.

It takes a lot of energy to make a baby.
It takes even more to lose one…no matter what age it happens at.

It’s called the year of Firsts.

Our lives are marked off in milestones, both big and small, leading us down pathways to futures unknown. We all have them. We all hit them. We all have many similar and many different ones that make us who we are, and how we experience life. Some sharpen our wits, others break our hearts.

We celebrate with children a First tooth, a First word, a First smile, a First step. The happiness of a First birthday, a First Christmas, or a First day of school is contagious. And as we grow, those firsts can include a First job, First promotion, First kiss, First love. It is an ever growing, unending list.
But in the duality of life, there is a different set of Firsts which mirror the initial list but in a more somber way. This list belongs to those that have had to stand by on the sidelines as Death imposed a visit on a loved one, altering their lives forever.

It doesn’t matter what your beliefs, your religion, or your status in life is, Death will touch us all eventually, in one way or another. Be it a parent, a family member, a spouse, a beloved pet, a friend, or even a child. No one is immune to the mortality of life, and when that happens, the List of Firsts begins.

It starts with the First day, First week, First month, without…[fill in loved ones name here].
A First Christmas, a First birthday, a First event without… [your dearest departed].

To the widower, it will be the First time someone enquires about their spouse, or for a grieving parent being asked that First time, how many kids do you have?

It will be the First but not the last time you inadvertently call their name aloud, or call someone else by their name, making everything awkward for everyone involved.

It’s the First time shopping when you find some some-such that they would have loved and the ache that settles into your heart thinking about how they are no longer here to enjoy these little pleasures.

It’s the First but not the last time when reality creeps into your day and whispers, ‘they really aren’t coming back,’ and the word “Never” widens that hole in your heart that will always be there, no matter how hard you try to fill it with distractions, or work, or food, or any number of other things as a way to try to lessen the pain of your loss.

My son has been gone over a month now and as we make our way through our List of Firsts, I wonder how long it will take before the tears stop falling and that list is finally complete.

A lifetime may never be enough to truly know the answer.

Eulogy for my son

(death is a part of living, but when a child goes before their parents, it devastates what should be a natural order of things. this is a personal eulogy for my son who died on the eve of his 25th birthday)

They say time heals all wounds. But there are some wounds too deep that time can never touch.

I can stand here and tell you how amazing our son was, but if you are sitting here, then you already know this.
I would like to go on about how smart, and gentle, loving, funny and kind he was, but again, if you knew Damien, then you knew that as well.

When Damien graduated high school in 2011, the biggest gift he took away from his four years at Orange High, were his close-knit group of friends that have stood by each other through thick and thin. They shared in adventures I couldn’t imagine, and I’ve no doubt they will continue to do so…and I have no doubt a little bit of my son will always be with them.

Damien figured out at an early age that it doesn’t matter what your occupation is, or your highest level of education was, or what is or isn’t in your bank account. He treated everyone with respect, regardless. Because he knew that one of the most important things in this world is who you love and who loved you back. Who stands beside you in the good times and in the bad…Damien stood beside a lot of us during both those times.

When the police came to our door at almost three in the morning on December 11, to inform us that our lives were about to be irrevocably changed forever once they delivered their news, my only question was, WHERE WERE YOU GOD!!!!!

More accusation than inquiry.

Where were you when HE needed you!
Where were you when WE needed you!

And the answer came over the next several days; It came in the form of friends that surrounded us with love, rushing to our sides to hold and comfort us as we tried to process what was happening.
 That was God saying, I’m right here.

It came in a whisper in my ear that said, He wasn’t alone, Michele. He wasn’t alone.

[Matt 28:20] And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

He may have been by himself, but he wasn’t alone.

The answer came in Pierce’s friends that encircled him in comfort as he wept. In the small group that spent the night with him so he wouldn’t have to sleep alone in the room he shared with his older brother. Even though they had to leave early for school the next day, they stood by him.
 And God was right there.

It came in the form of that one friend that sat watching tv while Pierce dozed off and on nearby in restless sleep.

It was in the form that when we had expected to gain a daughter by law, we ended up gaining a whole new family by Spirit.

God’s presence was evident in every hug, every text, every FaceBook message, every phone call and visit we received by those shocked and saddened by the news.
I’m right here.

By those that said, I don’t know what to say, but I’m here for you.
By those that sat with us in awkward silence as we grieved our loss.
By those that cried with us in our grief.

[Matt 5:4] Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.
And we were.

It was in the people that so generously donated to the Go Fund Me page, in the cards sent to us, in the meals that were brought to us, in the stories and photos shared with us…
and the whiskey in the coffee didn’t hurt either.

God’s presence was noted in the way that as our lives were being ripped apart, long term family rifts were finally healing.

***

I am reminded of another mom who lost her firstborn son in an untimely fashion. As His hands and feet were pierced with nails, and her heart was pierced with grief, it was her son’s sacrifice on the cross that laid the groundwork for my son to become the loving and caring man he was.

It was in this very church where both my boys were dedicated, raised and baptized.
It was this very church that taught my son how to have a servant’s spirit, and a servant’s heart.
   And such a big heart he had.

When people say, he was different, loving, kind, and special…
that was because of the cross.
When Damien reached out to others, defended the underdog, helped those who couldn’t help themselves…
that was because of the cross.
When he made sarcastic remarks, inappropriate jokes at inappropriate times…
Yeah, that was probably because of me. That was my side of the family bubbling to the surface. And when he threw down at the poker table, or played a ruthless game of Monopoly, showing no mercy…
That was all the Johnson side.

When Damien was little, he would go through periods of high, intense energy, usually right before bedtime. It would be at these times that Keith and I would look at each other and say, Damien’s burning bright tonight.

That was our nerdy reference to a Supernova– an exploding star that before it burns itself out will increase its luminosity by as much as twenty magnitudes.

That’s how Damien lived his life. Completely and fully. Even if he was sick or tired, he would power through, digging deep into his energy reserves, because he didn’t want to miss out on anything.
 He burned bright.

That’s who he was. He didn’t know any other way to be.

And in the end, against better judgement and conventional wisdom, he pushed himself too hard, too far, and burned himself out.

You can’t contain energy that refuses to be contained.

They say time heals all wounds…only some wounds are so deep, if we lived a thousand years, time would barely have touched it….

…but God can, if we allow it.

[Rev 21:4] He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain.

That is the hope and the promise we carry with us that makes any of this bearable.

It is said, what we see in others is a reflection of ourselves.
What I see when I look upon all of your faces is a reflection of our son.

When Damien burned his brightest, his physical body may have been extinguished, but his light moved on to touch each and every one of you.

It is my sincere hope, my sincerest prayer, that when you leave this place, you will all continue to share and reflect that light with others in the same way that our Damien, our D, our Bambino, did, making this too often dim world a brighter place to live in.
Burn bright…burn bright.

(free image by vecteezy)

Salvation is Free

salvation follow jesus and god to be rescued save your soul icon button

I have a number of spiritual friends ranging from Agnostics to Zen Buddhists.

Even though I am a Christian, I respect all their belief systems and hold many of these people in the highest esteem.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a Catholic friend who was telling me about her wedding plans. Her fiance is a lapsed Catholic and in order for them to be married in the Catholic Church, he has to take a lot of classes to gain his needed sacraments to be worthy of having their marriage sanctified by the Church.

As it is, they have two kids already and it’s not enough that they wish to be married, they have to prove they qualify for it.

I came to learn that if a Catholic wished to be married to a non-Catholic, these courses would not be required for that kind of union, but because they are both of the same religion, they must abide by the tedious hours of classwork otherwise it’s considered a ‘sin.’

Because they have children out of wedlock, that too is considered a ‘sin’ and as such, neither is allowed to take communion.

Since her parents are divorced, they [mom and dad], are not allowed to sit together through church services because divorce is a ‘sin’, and you can’t flaunt your sin in church. My friend wonders, what will happen during her wedding since her parents will be in different locations so as not to offend God or the powers-that-be.

To say my mind was blown is an understatement. I confess to not knowing much about the Catholic religion, other than coming to the conclusion that it takes A LOT of work to be one.
Hats off to those practicing Catholics that adhere so strongly to these tenets. I, personally, would have given up a long time ago, seeing the hoops that must be jumped through in order to keep the faith.

Looking at my shocked face, I was asked, ‘Why? What’s it like for Christians? What do they have to do?’

Still reeling, I said the first thing that popped into my head. ‘Nothing…We believe salvation is a gift….A free gift… and all we have to do is accept it.’

She stared hard at me processing what I had just said, then after a short while, she nodded her head and replied, ‘That makes sense.’

Turning to another friend that was half listening to our conversation, they spoke quickly in Spanish, turned back to me and both agreed, ‘That makes a lot sense. It shouldn’t be this hard.’

*                                                                        *                                                                *
No, it shouldn’t.
Salvation is a gift.
A free gift.

And it breaks my heart that such a profound act as taking communion is withheld because one side deems the other unworthy.

It breaks my heart that so many believe a church body has the power to decide if you are good enough, or deserving enough, or faithful enough to be part of that said body.

Yes, I have friends of all persuasions. And of all of them, from the Atheists to the Pagans, Druids to the Wiccans, Jews to the Animists…it has only been those closest to my own faith that break me open repeatedly for various reasons.

In case you didn’t know it,
You ARE worthy
You ARE loved.

Peace be with you.

Who moved my cheese?….(2/04/2012)

who_moved_my_cheese

From the Archives
Who moved my cheese?….(2/04/2012)

Is there something you’re still holding on to?
Is it time to let it go?

My youngest son and I read a business fable called, ‘Who moved my Cheese?’ It was a story depicting four main mice characters living off of a large cheese wedge they find in a giant maze where they make their home.

One day, some unseen force moves it and the tale progresses by showing how each one reacts to this major life change. Two of the characters take this sudden life change in stride and begin the hunt for new cheese, venturing off into the maze to seek out new sustenance.

The other two characters don’t take it so well. They dwell in abject misery for awhile, rail against the heavens, complain, wonder ‘why me?’, and finally one of them makes a life altering decision to enter the maze and start the hunt for new cheese because sitting down waiting to die is no life at all. The remaining mouse refuses to budge because he feels he is owed something for a lifetime of doing things the same way and will not change.

*                                                       *                                              *                                                       *

Last week, I read that Eastman Kodak, in business for over 131 years, declared bankruptcy, owing creditors in excess of more than $658 million. The camera company that was a mainstay in the lives of so many generations had their cheese moved and refused to enter the game to bolster their product and look for a better way of running their company. As a result, smaller, more determined rivals jumped head first into the digital age and gained the upper hand that by all rights should have belonged to the century old business.

Eastman Kodak didn’t see the writing on the wall until it was too late. Now, playing the catch up game only helped push them into debt and then bankruptcy. They held on too long. That’s not always a good thing.

People seem to have an innate desire to stick to their ways even when it fails to serve them. Then we cry out about the unfairness of life and the woes that befall us. Hoping for a change of luck, a celestial bone, an answered prayer….but maybe, just maybe, if we looked for change within ourselves, we would break the cycle of redundancy and move forward with our lives. There is nothing that says we must hang on for dear life to that which is no longer working.

The question for the day: What are you holding onto that no longer serves you and when will you let it go?

Boundaries (2/3/16)

sandheart

I wrote this post several years ago when I was dealing with some ‘stuff.’
I am revisiting it to say I am in a much better place yet the words still hold true and are worth looking back on…

Boundaries pt I…(1/30/2012)

I read an article in an OC magazine about a man whose house is directly on the boundary line of Los Angeles County and Orange County. Because of this discrepancy, he gets his water from one county, electricity from another. Mail is often lost because his zip code denotes one county but the delivery system doesn’t recognize it as the correct county code in which he resides. God help him if he ever needs emergency services. Which county will respond?

His life is in constant upheaval because of this. And while on some levels it could be considered the best of both worlds, living in two great cities, it mostly describes a chaotic system that has no rhyme or reason.

It can be said that without clear boundaries in place, our lives reflect this man’s frustrations. Without clear boundaries, we live our lives in a state of discord.

Cities/states/countries/governments all have clear, concise areas delineated so that order can be maintained. Cross them and there are consequences. We know this. We accept this.

Try crossing a North Korean/Iranian/Iraqi border and those consequences can be fatal.

Trespass, ignore traffic signs, enter restricted areas, it could lead to criminal charges.

Yet, in a society so accepting of these ‘laws’ of order, we find it difficult to apply these principles on a personal level.

We find it hard to tell friends or family, ‘You crossed a line,’ or ‘No! That is not acceptable.’ Why is that? There has to be more than an implied manner of acceptable behavior. But how do we draw that line in the sand without risking the loss of said relationship?

It is not wrong to stand firm and say, ‘I deserve to be treated with dignity.’

Part of my reinvention this year is to find my voice, speak my truth and set my boundaries. I do not know how to do this yet but writing this will hopefully set those wheels in motion.

Here is my line in the sand. It is in the shape of a heart to remind me of what needs protecting. I’ve set my boundaries not to hurt others but to help me.

Boundaries pt II…(1/31/2012)

After careful consideration as to the importance of boundaries and how I wish to define them in my life, I came up with the following.

I will not be spoken to badly. I deserve respect and in return I will speak with responsible consideration to you.

Just because we are related does not give you the right to make unnecessary demands of me or my time….in return, I promise not to do those things to you. (Note: if you are unsure what are unnecessary demands, ask me and I will tell you in love with kindness.)

I refuse to be held hostage to the emotions of others. If I upset you- come to me and we can talk about it. But I will not allow myself to be bullied into an act of contrition because you are upset.

I have the right to protect myself. If that means I have to limit my time around those who are emotionally draining, demanding or needy-Then that’s what I must do. If that makes me appear insensitive in your eyes, well, that’s just how it will seem…to you. I can’t change how you feel or think, I won’t even try.

I have the right to add to or change my boundaries as life dictates. This does not make me indecisive- It means I am open to growth and change. After all, that’s what life is all about.

2016 Word (1/27/16)

welcome

I have written about my word of the year before, (here), and then a revisit of 2015 here, as I looked forward onto a new year.

Last year my word of the year was ‘Focus’.
I was so sure that by choosing this word it would help me narrow in on my aims, while helping me to get my act together.

Unfortunately, that was not to be the case.
2015 found me wallowing through most of the year unable to gather my thoughts into one narrow channel.

No sooner would I focus on one area of my life in need of attention that everything else would fall by the wayside.

I was in the position of a juggler, balancing on a large ball while trying to keep everything else hanging midair.

It was difficult and I was so far out of control that it took most of the year for me to realize- maybe some people can’t be focused.

Maybe the Wild Creatives such as myself cannot tame that spirit within us, that screams for freedom as the rational brain side of us tries shoving it into a neat little box.

How do you compartmentalize ideas that need the open expanses of the ether to breathe?

Once I released the guilt of not following through on my word, (this past December- yes, I am a slow learner), I came to terms with the idea that not everything goes according to plan despite our best efforts.

Keeping this in mind, when my new word surfaced with the new year, even though I was a bit hesitant, I still embraced it because when it works, it works well!

So, 2016 brought with it, ‘Welcome.’

That’s my word this year.

It is a noun, a verb an adjective and an exclamation!
It is an action and receiving word at the same time.
It means to meet, to greet, to receive.

I quietly put this into action at the start of January, and one month in, I am pleased so far.

This year, I welcome new experiences.
This year, I welcome new adventures.
This year, I even welcome new lessons.

I welcome people into my circle of friends which being my typical, wallflower self, has been closed in for far too long.

This year, I will be more engaging instead of retreating into the cozy safety zone of my introverted shell.

This year, I will stretch myself to learn new things, even if it takes me out of my comfortable, little life.

I’m not sure if we are all meant to live BIG lives, but for at least one year out of my life, I can try it on, wear it for a bit and see if I like it.

That is the beauty of the ‘one’ word.

If it doesn’t work out, nothing has been lost, but if it does…think of the possibilities then.

To this, I say, Welcome.

Focus (9/8/15)

focus

My, my, my, where does the time go?

Here we are in the fullness of the year, most of it gone already.

Strange how when you are trying to focus on your life, Life tends to get away from you.

My word of the year at the start of 2015 was ‘Focus’ because that is what I thought I needed, but now it seems, the harder I focus on one area of my life, everything else fades into background colors.

That’s not always a bad thing, but it can lead to things slipping by the wayside that would have been better off being addressed.

I suppose at one point I naively thought all my energies directed in one direction would refract into a colorful prism of ideas bringing some kind of life altering enlightenment.

Yeah, didn’t happen.

Often the things we want in our lives are not the things we need.

I thought I needed focus.
What I needed was a target.

Focus gives laser like precision in a singular direction.
Targets give something to aim for, but can be approached from a variety of directions.

As with most of you, I tend not to learn my lessons until after the fact.

“Experience is what you get when you need it and don’t have it.”

I am a firm believer that our word of the year chooses us, and maybe in January, this was a sound concept, but now, I’m not so sure.

And once again, I am forced to re-evaluate my life and the decisions that have led me to this point.

Some of it is with pride, some of it with regret, but the good thing about my word- I am the one that get’s to choose where I set my sights.

That will be my focus from here on out.

What If…

what-if-comic-40

What If…[1/13/16]

My husband is an avid comic book collector. When we first started dating, I made fun of him for it. Back then, he didn’t read books but he knew about every Marvel character and story-line ever written.

One day, tired of my mocking attitude, (I’m sure), he gave me a
Dr. Strange comic to read. Oh, my goodness~ It was so complex. I felt as if you needed to be a scientist/physicist/mystic just to understand it, not to mention the need of a dictionary close by for reference defining all the big words used in it. I never made fun of him again after that.
I got it. Comic books are serial novels with amazing pictures that bring stories to life, and have since become a multi-million dollar industry.

Shortly after that Dr.Strange introduction, I started reading them myself, collecting them, making up my own characters in my head. Once you slip into this nether world of graphic novels, you find your own preferences, your own genre that you become loyal to. And there are plenty to choose from.

One of my all time favorites was a series called What If… Basically, the stories would follow a premise of the title using comic book characters in its story-lines, but think of it like this,
What if….We never bombed Japan? or …Lost the Revolutionary War? or …The Russians made it to the moon first? I loved it! The thought of endless possibilities and opportunities appealed to me then and still does now.

When you think about it, our lives could be considered a giant What If question.

What If…. I had married someone different?… Quit my job?…Chose a different career?… Had more kids?…Didn’t have kids? What If… I had paid closer attention to that knocking sound in my car a little bit sooner? Paid more attention in school? Tried harder? Listened better?

Looking over my past, I can see lot’s of areas to ask What If’s about. But it doesn’t stop there.
Turn that spyglass around and point it towards the future. What if….
What If… I couldn’t fail? What if… I was the person I really wanted to be instead of who I am? What if… I wasn’t afraid to take a chance? Pursue my dreams? Live out my passions? Live my life fearlessly?
What if… I embraced life with arms wide open, declaring at the top of my lungs, Here I am! Take my talents! Take my heart! Take everything I am and use it as you see fit? I’m ready!!!!!

what if…?

49 Truths [1/4/16]

face of 49

Today is my 49th birthday. I can remember clearly a time when I thought 30 was old, that as teenagers looking at our parents, we thought they were ancient and that none of us could imagine being anything but the young age that we were.

Yet time seems to catch up with us all at some point and the naivete I reveled in back then has now been seasoned by life lessons I have picked up along the way, mostly as an unwilling or unwitting participant. .

In honor of my venerable age, I have written some [49] of those truths down, that have now become a milestone that I take with me into the future. In no particular order, here they are.

1 Time is never ending yet there never seems to be enough of it, but if something is important enough to you, you will make the time for it.
2 Don’t worry about the ones that don’t appreciate you; Appreciate the ones that do.
3 It’s okay to feel broken. Nobody is perfect.
4 Do not negate the power of anger; It serves a purpose.
5 Little things add up; Everything matters.
6 You are capable of much more than you can even imagine.
7 Deep down, you know what to do.
8 My opinions matter.
9 Own up to your mistakes
10 Never stop dreaming
11 Forgive yourself
12 Keep a journal; It is a written record of your growth
13 Try new things
14 Don’t pigeonhole yourself
15 Do your best to curb your debt
16 Find people that resonate with you; then make time for them
17 There will always be a rainy day, an emergency, an unexpected expense, so try hard to save for the unexpected.
18 Have goals; work towards them; celebrate their completion
19 Make a Want To Do List. Not a bucket list. Not a resolution list. Not a Have to do, Honey do List. But a list of things you Want to do. Then find a way to do them.
20 Read a book. A biography. A classic novel. A graphic novel. Just read.
21 Learn something new.
22 Meditate.
23 Make time for spiritual beliefs.
24 Create something
25 Give thanks
26 Give compliments
27 Strive to be kind.
28 Listen to your body, it’s telling you things you should take note of…
29 Feed your soul.
30 Help others.
31 Observe people, you can learn so much from watching others.
32 Strengthen your weaknesses.
33 Better yourself
34 Speak your Truth
35 Watch your Words
36 Find your balance
37 Rise after a Fall
38 Control your breathing
39 Find a mentor
40 Ask for help
41 Give back whenever and however you are able
42 Receive gratefully
43 Accept your weirdness
44 Life is a marathon, not a sprint
45 Expand your palate
46 Watch foreign films and documentaries
47 Halt the negative, intrusive, internal chatter going on in your head
48 Strive to be kind, especially to yourself
49 Celebrate yourself. All you have done and all you have yet to do.

At the age of 87, Michelangelo spoke the immortal words we all should take to heart.
‘I am still learning.’ At any given time, each of us is the oldest and the youngest we will ever be in our given life times, use that as a stepping board, compile your own list of truths and share your story with others. You may be surprised by how far you have come in your own journey and what your truth reveals. I know I am, and I also know…I am still learning.