And the Light Streamed Through

2012-10-07 12.29.23There it is. The insurmountable. Everything was going along just fine down this new path until IT came along! What the hell? Now what am I supposed to do?

The massive fallen tree lay there before me, blocking the road ahead. Wow. It stretched as far as I could see to the left and right. And it’s massive trunk was almost as thick as I am tall. Wow. What the hell…?

I have come so far, only to be stopped in my tracks by some freakin’ tree. This is impossible. There is no way I can move forward. Tears well in my eyes as I consider all that I’ve gone through and all I won’t see now that this is in front of me. My heart breaks and I feel so great a despair that I’m not sure I’ll ever be happy again.

How could it have come to this? Where did I go wrong? I thought this was the right way? Everything pointed to this path, but now I’m stuck. Yeah, they all told me so. I should have listened. What an idiot. Who the hell did I think I was trying to push through on a new trail? I should have stayed safe and sound where I was. At least I wouldn’t feel like crap. There’s just no way to keep going.

And so the tears come. What a cry-baby. I should have listened. Why me? Why can’t I get a break? I’m a good person. How come I can’t get where I want to go? My sobs break the silence around me in the dense forest. My grief overtakes me and I sit and cry for awhile. I deserve it anyways. Such an idiot…On and on, my tears fall until I cannot cry anymore.

I stand up. I turn and look back the way I had come. Holy…moses…look at those freaking craters. I don’t remember that bomb going off. Oh wait a minute…yes I do. I survived? Well, duh, I’m here to tell the tale aren’t I? And those barb wire fences? I climbed through those? So that’s where these scars came from. Huh. Didn’t seem all that bad at the time.

Look at all those things I’ve done! I remember that! I never thought I’d ever make it through that challenge – it was tough but here I am. I see all the people who touched my life, good and bad. I remember the lessons I learned from each one. Some of those lessons were really nasty! But man, were they good to learn. I see how many times my path was blocked, but I also see where I went around or where I climbed over or where I pushed through anyway. Huh. Didn’t think I had it in me…

I turn back to the tree in front of me. The sun has climbed higher now and sheds its light near me, on my right side. Leaning against the tree, previously hidden in shadow, I see an axe. Hmmmm…I consider this for a moment as I wipe my snotty nose.

No, that would be crazy. I’d never be able to use an axe to chop through this thing! Who am I kidding!? What is with me and these crazy ideas? I think of the blisters I would get on my hands. Yeah, but they would heal and eventually my hands would get used to it. What about my shoulders & my back? They’d never be able to take that much work. Yeah, remember when you said the same thing about your legs never being able to carry you this far? Well, they did.

Yeah, but still – I continue to argue with myself – it would be sooooo much work and would take forever! Oh my God! Whine much? Seriously! I am beginning to get annoyed with my whiner baby self. I remind myself about how many times, in fact, I had indeed chopped a lot of wood. Lots of different kinds of wood, and maybe not as big and overwhelming, but still. When you look at this big tree – it really is the same thing, just bigger. Nothing I hadn’t ever done before…

I take a tentative swing. Thud. That went in well. I try another swing, angled towards the first so that a chunk flies out. Ah ha! I try another…and another…chips begin to fly!

I grow tired…and I rest. My hands bleed…and they heal. My back burns…but it soon grows stronger. My heart waits…and then it soars as the light from the other side of the tree streams through…

 

 

How can we help you as you search for the LIGHT? Whatever your LIGHT looks like, know that it is worth it. Don’t wait for it to find you; do the work and SEE IT!

I Was Here

I wrote this post originally on my personal blog, October 18, 2010. I want to write more…I need to write more…My story is aching to be released. I want to be that little girl again. Today’s theme on our Facebook page is “Tell Your Story”. Here’s one of mine:

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She sits in her room – sunbeams streaming through her window. A simple pencil and eraser in her hands. So focused on her work. Lines and shading-creating the picture in front of her. In her mind, she pictures herself sitting at an easel there in a school in the mountains. Surrounded by nature in her favorite place in the whole world. Mountains and forests that call her to create.

The typewriter clicks and clacks as words fly onto pages. A story to tell. Her hand scribbles in a journal, thoughts, feelings that she cannot say out loud, but she can write. All those phrases that are constantly forming in her head stream onto pages. Stories of a girl and her friends. Poems about life. Dreams of a young woman ready to take on the world. She imagines someone reading her words half a world away.

Another day, she dances – arms outstretched, headphones on her ears. Singing the words to a song that touches her heart. Words that someone wrote just for her. Feeling her body rock and sway to the rhythm she feels with every part of her body. Not caring who sees, just feeling with all her soul. She dreams of fans touched by her voice.

Where is she now?

Where is that girl from long ago?

She had so many plans to make her mark on the world. So many dreams that there was no room in her heart for fear, no room for rejection, no room for perfection, no room for people that said “you can’t do that”.

Where is she? Can you see her?

She is there in the mother that curls up with the girl that is so quickly growing into a young woman. Letting her know that no matter what “they” say – she can do anything because she is strong – her strength is found there in that determined jaw.

She is there..in that blog post where she opens her heart to the world. Where she dreams to give even just one person hope for a better day. Her faith is there on a screen for all the world to see.

She is there…in that mom of the young man that is still willing to go for a walk with her and thanks her for something as simple as a Frosty because he has a kind heart – her heart – that he will carry with him.

She is there…in quilted lines of imperfect piecing and uneven stitches. Bright fabrics and colors selected with an eye for something different. Her message of giving remains in every piece she creates.

She is there…in the quiet eyes of the little boy that works so intently on everything he does, absorbed in his creations and love of nature just as she is – she is there in his patience and love so big.

She is there…in a smile that she gives to someone that looks so sad, not knowing that her smile gives that person the encouragement to fight the fight for one more day.

She is there…in the causes she fights for. Her motivation lifts the spirits of those thinking that one person cannot make a difference. The Walks, The Runs, The Rides, battles she fights for those who cannot; because “it’s the least she can do”. She is there in the belief that it will be beaten.

She is there…at that kitchen sink, singing along with the words of new songs and old ones. Dancing in the living room with kids or slow dancing in the kitchen with her lover. The music still takes her there.

She is there…in the tear she shares with the friend that is hurting. The shoulder she offers to help carry the load of the friend struggling with the pain. Her friendship spreads from one woman to another.

She is there…in the passion she has for the man in her life. Her love for him shines out to others, giving them permission to truly love and forgive and love again.

She is there…she waits for you to find her again.

She is here.

I Was Here.

A Simple Love Story

Image courtesy of Poulsen Photo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Poulsen Photo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Those blue eyes looked up at her while she paused, dish towel in her hands.

“What was it like to get married to Daddy? Was he silly like the boys at school?” she asked again. When did her eight year old turn sixteen and wonder about love?

“We were different then, sweetheart,” she skirted the question.

“But look at your face? You look so happy Mommy!” she held the new-found photo up to her weary eyes.

Yes, she was happy then. And she was different. She quickly corrected herself – it’s not that I’m unhappy now! I love my children. I love my husband. It’s just so…different, yes…Why was she suddenly so very tired? That little face still waited for an answer; so curious. Where did she find that old picture anyway!?

The kitchen suddenly became smaller as she was drawn back to the day he proposed to her in that restaurant. What was it called again? She gently set down the dish towel, pulling her little one onto her lap, holding the picture between them as they sat down and she began to tell the tale…”Your daddy took me to my favorite restaurant back then – it was Italian, but I don’t think it’s there anymore…” and time whisked them away…

Their two heads huddled over that picture together at the kitchen table. She hoped her daughter hadn’t noticed her voice crack as she spoke of walking down the aisle toward the man of her dreams. She could still see him there. Her face flushed as she remembered their honeymoon. Her teary eyes danced with laughter as she remembered that they never used that scuba gear they bought, not even once. Her daughter just listened; fascinated with the story of their love.

So involved with the photo and the story, she hadn’t noticed him come in until she felt his hand on her shoulder.

“Daddy! Mommy is telling me about when you asked her to marry you!” She hastily tried to hide her face before he saw the tear on her cheek.

“She is, is she?” he half-whispered as he gently brushed the tear away with his thumb. “You know, she’s even more beautiful today”.

“Oh, don’t be silly! I badly need a haircut and I’m wearing your old t-shirt!” she moved to continue with dinner; embarrassed.

“In fact, she’s so beautiful…” he held her so she couldn’t escape, “I think we should go out on a date this Friday! What do you think, kiddo? Should I take your mom out and leave you guys with Gramma?” He scooped up his little girl.

“Honey, we can’t possibly ask Mom to do that! Besides, we’re on a budget!”

“Oh Mommy! You should go with Daddy! Isn’t he handsome!? We’ll be good, I promise!” her daughter pleaded with her.

“I’ll call your mom and ask her to keep the kids overnight. She’s always offering. It’s time we took her up on it. We can just rent a movie and have a quiet dinner here – that fits the budget, right? When was the last time you and I just hung out together?”

Her mind swam with all the reasons she shouldn’t. The kids were still so small. Friday was only two days away! Wasn’t it being selfish to not have an “important” reason to leave the kids with her mother? She usually had movie night with the kids on Friday, wouldn’t they be disappointed? Saturdays were hockey games and house-cleaning, they couldn’t stay up late…

Oh, but her heart remembered the feeling of being just the two of them. How his arms felt around her. How the world just disappeared. God, when was the last time she felt that way? Her mind saw him there in the story, standing there, waiting for her. He was looking at her that way now. Her heart skipped a beat. Could it be that he still felt that way about her? They hadn’t talked, really talked for so long. She had no idea what he thought about these days. They used to talk about everything.

“Yes, I still need you” his eyes told her. Had he read her mind? She used to think he could.

Minutes passed. Why was this such a difficult decision? Again, her mind drifted back to the story she’d just told. It seemed like such a far away place and time. Yes, she was different now. But she was still a woman. A mother, yes; but a woman who needed to be with her best friend. To laugh and talk about things besides parent teacher meetings and hockey schedules. She still felt a little bit of that passion she used to feel whenever she looked at him. The flame hadn’t gone out yet.

“I’ve missed you too” she said aloud. “Yes! Let’s do it!”

Her daughter squealed in delight and ran off to tell her brothers; yelling, “Mommy and Daddy are going on a date!”

She didn’t hear their replies as he pulled her towards him; dishtowel, old t-shirt and all.

Does this story resonate with you? How do you “rekindle the flame” and date your husband? (or do you? Why not?). We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

We’ve been there…In our busy lives it’s so very hard to find the time for each other. However, we’ve also learned just how important it is to make that special time to reconnect with your spouse. Right now. Don’t wait until “it’s convenient”. Take action!

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Don’t wait another day to make a change in your relationship – It’s never too late to rekindle and reconnect.

Our Simply Sexy Date Night Package will show you how!

Make every day Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Peace and Calming

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Krystal’s FB challenge posts this week have been about forgiveness and believing in yourself. I love that theme!

What I noticed this week is that I’ve been running and working myself a little ragged. I was exhausted and sleepy at the store yesterday, and that is just not like me these days. I was falling asleep last night while waiting for my daughter to finish dance class. The difference now is that I am quicker to recognize the signs, I am quicker to pay attention to what my body and spirit are telling me.

The result: I fell instantly asleep last night, safe and warm in my lover’s arms. I got up this morning at my usual early time. I did not rush. I did my run slowly and steadily. I have a ton of work to do, but instead of having my coffee at the computer, I sat (yes, SAT) in the kitchen and visited with my kids and sweetie. I sipped and I enjoyed my smoothie, made by him. After everyone left, I languished in the shower: having a hot shower is one of my favorite things. I took the time for the first time this week to shave my legs and take care of my skin. I put on my prettiest t-shirt and my necklace and my “Peace and Calming” essential oil. I did not “save it for a special occasion”. Today, I AM A SPECIAL OCCASION! 🙂

And now: I’m able to quickly write a blog post that I’m passionate about! I’ll be able to work my butt off at the store, excited and ready to help some amazing people make positive changes. I’ll be focused and fun when we talk about our Disney World trip tonight. Why? Because I spent just a little time on ME. Taking care of ME.

You are so very worth it. You cannot possibly be all that you can be without taking care of the beautiful, incredible, BRILLIANT person that you are. Please, please….spend some time with YOU today! I love you! You need to LOVE you too! 🙂

 

The Die in Diet

I originally wrote this post January 3, 2010 on my personal blog. I wanted to share it with you here because I still strive for the same things. I still eat food and refuse to “diet”. It has been a long, hard road but my relationship with food has changed. On January 2, 2010 – I weighed 175 lbs (down from 190 lbs the January 2009); I now weigh 155 lbs. I don’t really focus on these numbers, I just wanted to make the point that it is a LIFESTYLE CHANGE, not a diet that got me here.

I hope this helps you to get rid of the “DIET” and join me and Krystal in CHANGE instead! We love you!

My first breakfast today (yep, I’m a Hobbit – I have more than one breakfast!)

first breakfast

From Cafe Cevraini, January 3, 2010

How many of you have New Year’s Resolutions to go on a diet?

How many of you are starving right now because you didn’t eat breakfast?

How many of you feel guilty about all the stuff you ate over the holiday?

How many of you love good food, and resent yourself for deciding that “I’m not eating that from now on”?

MANY of us are there.

I have been there.

I am not claiming to be an expert or a dietician or someone who has any training in nutrition at all. I am only telling you of my experiences and what has worked and is working for ME in the hopes to give you some ideas of how to get off the “diet train”.

In my opinion, dieting IS equivalent to dying. What do I mean by that?

Denying yourself food that you enjoy, even love, is not living your life; in essence, dying. Because if you are not living, what are you doing then?

Skipping meals is just plain not healthy (especially breakfast, girls – you know who you are!), starving yourself is definitely not healthy. And then of course, it follows with binge eating. The yo-yo effect of eating this way does a lot of damage to your body. Not taking care of your body is equivalent to letting your body die.

Another “foot in the grave”: Beating yourself up about what you ate yesterday or even two weeks ago! Forgive yourself! Let it go! Being so hard on yourself isn’t good for your body, your spirit or your mind!

Don’t get me wrong – I have done ALL of these things. I still do these things! I am not perfect and don’t expect myself to be. What I am trying to do is just let it go. When I make a mistake; trip and fall down – I just get up, dust myself off and try again.

I no longer believe in diets of any kind. I have tried so many I can’t even count! Ones like SlimFast, Atkins, South Beach, severely reduced calorie intake, grapefruit etc. etc. Some have worked – I’ve lost weight while being faithful to them. But they are so restrictive and I was filled with such RESENTMENT towards them, they were impossible to keep on top of!

We are imperfect beings. On top of that, when we hate something, like dieting, it is extremely difficult to overcome our desire to get the hell away from that which we hate: the diet! We feel like we are dying!

Thus, the diet doesn’t last, we “fall off the wagon”, and gain the weight back, and then some, because our bodies are so upset and we binge on the foods we love that we’ve been denying ourselves!

What has worked for me over the past year is this: I eat. Period.

There have been days where I’ve forgotten to eat breakfast (what is it with women and breakfast!??) There have been days where I’ve gorged on greasy burgers. I definitely eat food that I love like pasta and cheesecake and stuff like that. I had a couple months (November and December 2009) where I wasn’t eating breakfast or lunch and I’d binge on whatever I could find at night. I was not taking care of myself and I knew it. I was letting stress control me, and not taking care of me just made it worse!

But…I don’t do that every day. And I don’t beat myself up when I eat these things or forget that meal. I wake up and decide, today, I am going to eat better.

My “eating better” is this:

  1. I eat often – at least 5 times per day.
  2. I eat foods that are going to actually do something for my body; from all the “food groups”.
  3. I try not to eat “crap”. But when I do, I try to only have a few bites. And don’t get mad at myself for doing it!
  4. And I don’t eat too much. I just eat enough for that moment. That may be something I love, but I try not to “pig out” on it.
  5. When I’m hungry, I try to think about why I’m hungry. Am I just bored? Am I eating to deal with stress? Am I actually thirsty? When was the last time I ate something? What did I eat last? Then, after I’ve thought about it, then I’ll decide.
  6. I don’t deny myself food that I love. At all. Life is too short to be denying myself anything. If I love it, do it! For crying out loud! What is the big deal? I am not harming anyone or anything by enjoying food that I love. It may be 3000 calories, but so what? I am not doing that every day, just once in a while. What is the harm? If I did that everyday, yes, that would be harmful. But, everything in moderation, right? Most of the time, especially when I’ve been eating really well and feeling really great, I find that I only need a few bites of the food I love to be satisfied. I don’t feel like binging, because I haven’t made it “taboo”.

Food is meant to nourish us and is a gift to enjoy. It should not be an enemy. We don’t need the “Die in Diet”. We need to live, laugh, love and to me, dieting gets in the way of that.

My Happiness Project focus for January is Fitness – thus, I’ve been focusing on getting back to my regular workouts and eating better. So far, so good! ;)Hopefully, I can inspire you to do the same!

Now, go eat something good for you! ;)

The Blink of an Eye

My beautiful sisters

 

A friend of mine lost her sister yesterday, in the blink of an eye. It made me realize yet again how precious a moment is. I talked to my mom & dad and my sisters & brother. I’m so very grateful to hear their voices and just know they are with me. I cannot imagine being without them. It makes me grateful too for friends who have become like sisters to me. I realize how much I am blessed by people in my life. It sure makes all the petty little “issues” disappear.

I find I’m noticing moments much more these days. But still…I am rushing from one thing to another. And so…I breathe…

Just for a moment:

  • I kiss his soft cheek good night and see how much my baby has grown, thankful he still lets me kiss him good night
  • I stand beside this beautiful soon-to-be woman who has it so much more together than I ever did when I was her age
  • I worry and wait for my oldest son to find his way in the world, though knowing in my heart that all will be well because he is a good man
  • I think of friends I have known and send them light and love whereever they may be
  • I feel my strong husband’s arms around me as I drift off to sleep, safe and warm in his love
  • I awake to a cold winter day, yet I am warm while so many others are not
  • I remember waking in the wee hours like this on Christmas morning and sharing secrets with my sisters & brother so long ago
  • I am excited to spend two weeks soon with my mother and sisters while another is not even able to call her sister on the phone

In the blink of an eye:

  • They are embarrassed by your kisses
  • They are walking down an aisle
  • The friends have moved on
  • They are married with Christmas mornings of their own
  • She is here and the next she is gone

Create the moments. Cherish them. Capture them. Nurture them. Hold them. Love them.

* This is a tribute to a young woman, gone too soon. Be at peace Leslie. You will be missed.

Open post
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Hotel Sex

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Yep, I said it…the “S” word…oh my….it’s a controversial topic it seems. Personally, I think, if people talked about “IT” more, there would be less cheating, less “hang-ups” and waaaay more healthy relationships! If we made “IT” a priority and not an obligation in our marriages, it would change our family life. I know this because I’ve done it and “IT”…often….

So many of us only have “good” sex when we go away to a hotel. Which is only a few times a year! (eek! maybe even only ONCE a year…I don’t even want to think about that!) We barely touch each other at home; we’re just too “busy”. Intimacy? That was for when we didn’t have kids! How many of you each “do your own thing” in your marriage? Or, worse, don’t do anything at all? Your lives revolve around the kids and work and the house and that’s about it. YOU are not a priority and frankly, neither is your marriage. I know this. Been there, done that. Still there sometimes. I’ve heard (and SAID) all the excuses why this happens:

  • “The kids are so much work”
  • “I’m too tired at the end of the day”
  • “I just want to veg and watch tv”
  • “I don’t feel like it”
  • “I am not sexy enough” or “good enough”
  • “When I lose weight, we’ll do it more”

Friends…they are EXCUSES. I just couldn’t take it anymore – the excuses caused US and ME nothing but heart-ache. Yes, it still happens sometimes, but not as often because I really did not want to wake up and say, “Who the heck am I? Who is this person in my bed?” (If he’s still IN the bed!)

So, we started talking. Yes, talking. Actual quality time talking about what we dream about, what we need, what we love, what we don’t love. Not about kids and bills and work and CRAP! About US! About ME! About HIM! We spent REAL time together with the 7 Days of Sex Challenge that was more than the sex. It was about real intimacy. It was a challenge to spend focused, open time together! This challenge opened the doors to our beginning to understand what WE are as a couple. We’ve come a long way baby! ;P

Oh yes, I hear the excuses again: “We don’t have time!”  “The kids are always around” “He doesn’t understand me” “I’m exhausted”. Yeah, well, keep making excuses and you’ll wake up one day when the kids don’t need you anymore and you’ll wonder what the heck happened….

STOP IT! Please! Take IT away from the HOTEL! Make IT a priority! IT is more than sex. IT is:

  • Kissing him passionately in the hallway while the kids are watching TV and continuing on to the laundry – that’s going to make him think!
  • Talking about your dreams and listening to his while you’re driving and the kids are plugged into their DS games or a movie
  • Sneaking up behind him and throwing your arms around him while he’s making coffee
  • Sending him a sexy text message in the middle of the day (or email or even a note in his lunch or in the truck)
  • NOT doing HOUSEWORK when the kids are away at sleepovers! What are you thinking!!?? This confuses me when you post that on FB?? Get off FB and away from the vacuum and get BUSY!! Take every opportunity that comes your way. You don’t know when it will come around again! Walk out to the garage in nothing but a housecoat – you’ll get his attention!

  • Taking a holiday day or sick day and STAY in BED with each other! You are allowed you know!
  • Snuggling up on the couch and watching TV if you must – rub or scratch his back while he sits beside you
  • Exercise together and play footsies while you’re supposed to be trying to do sit-ups! LOL!
  • Make it a priority to have a conversation for even just 15 minutes every day. You can find 15 minutes. Even if it has to be on the phone. And it can’t be about the kids, bills or the van broke down or anything like that. REAL conversation
  • Find a way to have a date night (click for ideas) – even if it’s just a candlelight dinner in the kitchen after the kids are in bed. Try something!
  • Do SOMETHING together. Anything. Even just once a week or even once a month. Be a TEAM
  • Lock the door and be very quiet if you have to! 😉 5 minutes if you have to! Get IT where you can, whenever you can!!

And the other thing – YOU have to start. Don’t wait for him. Take the lead. Tell him what you want. Tell him what you need. Don’t whine about it, just have a conversation. If he doesn’t hear you the first time, try again. Try something other than talking if that’s not working. Surprise him! Start something, even if it’s just a back rub on the couch. Pay attention to him. Pretty soon, he’ll pay attention to you too.

We’re still learning. It is not easy and it does require work. And yes, you will have bad times and heartaches – you are both human beings and nothing is ever perfect.

Most of all, it requires you making “US” THE priority; over the kids and over work and over everything else. The US is that important. If IT meant enough for you to say I DO, then it means enough to work at IT….Way, waaaaaay beyond the Hotel Room…

Need some ideas for reconnecting with your spouse? Check out our Simply Sexy Date Night Package – it’s FULL of ideas are resources!

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[By the way…I highly recommend everyone to watch the movie “Fireproof” as a couple – it will change your relationship]

Gramma’s Wisdom

I originally wrote the post below on my personal blog on October 22, 2009. It’s interesting going back and reading my writing from that time in my life. I had just begun my journey to finding Happiness. Writing was a part of it. A better appreciation for all that I had was a huge part of it. It still is.

Today, I still forget to appreciate the little things. My daughter now towers over me and my youngest son is almost there. My oldest son has set off into the world and I miss him. Some days, I think about all those days/times I wasted yelling or worrying or just wishing that they would grow up. Days that I wish I could have gone to my Gramma’s for coffee instead of driving by. Suppers we could have chatted around the table instead of rushing off to the next thing. I think about those days and my heart fills with remorse and even guilt…then I realize how much of the NOW I’m wasting RIGHT NOW by living in the past that I cannot change.

Gramma would not want me to mourn the days that I did not spend with her. She would want me to remember that afternoon that she made pizza just for the two of us because she rarely got to because it was either just her or 12 people or more. She’d want me to remember the stories she’d told me over the times we did have coffee. The times she came to my kids’ birthdays and events and was a part of their every day lives.

Gramma would remind me that no matter how big they are, they are still my babies. That I still can take the time and hug them and listen to what they have to say, even when I’m “busy”. She always had time for whoever came to her door. She never apologized for what the house looked like or that she hadn’t been to the grocery store. The house always looked wonderful and she always managed to make something delicious. She never counted calories or worried about weight gain. She just enjoyed the company and whatever food went along with it.

She would remind me to be grateful to wake up in the morning and have another chance. That each day is a chance to change. That we all make mistakes and the only thing we need to do is learn from them and start again today.

Thank you Gramma, for your wisdom. I heard you speak to me while I ran today. You’re always there in the quiet when I just take the time to listen. Thank you.

My post from 2009:

I just drove by the car wash today and saw something that made me think.

There was a little boy, about 4 years old, trying to wash his Gramma’s car. He could barely hang on to the pressure washer wand as he sprayed. His Gramma stood behind him and gently guided him along the side of her car.

What made me think was this: How many times have our littlest ones asked or offered to help us do something? How many times have they excitedly asked: “Can I help you make supper Mommy?” or “Dad, can I help you fix the car?”

How many times have we said, “no, honey, you’re too small” or “no, sweetie, I’m in a hurry, I have to get this done!” or even, sadly, “no, get out the way!”

Often, in our rush to get that task done, we do not see those sad, disappointed eyes. We do not see what “you’re too small” does to their self-confidence. They are so eager to be a part of the things we do, and so many times, we just don’t let them!

The Gramma’s Wisdom: Well, that Gramma I saw, I’m sure was perfectly capable of washing the car herself or she wouldn’t have gone to a wand wash. I’m sure she could have got the car washed faster (and saved money!) if she’d done it herself. I’m sure that a 4 year old isn’t likely going to do a “perfect” job on that car and the Gramma would do it better.

But, that Gramma knows all too well how quickly those little hands become big hands. She knows that only a few minutes of patience spent with that little 4 year old boy will mean so very much to his self confidence. That she will be closer to him because “Gramma lets me do stuff”. She will see the smile on his face rather than a tear because she showed him that he wasn’t ”too little”.

Her generation knows that children need to contribute to the family and do chores just as much as the adults in the family do. Children need to know how to do chores, clean the house, cook, do dishes, etc. etc. before they leave home! She knows that he will learn that having a car requires work and maintenance, even if his dad buys it for him. She warns us as we complain about the “lazy” teenager when it was us that didn’t let that child help us when he wanted to! Of course they don’t want to help us now!

They grow up so fast. Soon, that little boy won’t even want to be seen with his Gramma, let alone wash her car for her. That Gramma knows that she has got to take advantage of the time that she gets with her little man before it’s too late.

I’m going to go home tonight and when my little people ask to help, I will let them. It might take longer or might make a mess, but what is more important?

Thanks Gramma for your wisdom.

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Yes, YOU are!

But I Don’t Want to Exercise

“But I don’t want to exercise”….

This is something I hear regularly in the store and out and about. “I don’t want to exercise” is one of the first things people say when they want to “lose weight”. My heart breaks when I hear that. It means that once again, the message has been lost/confused/twisted about this whole “weight issue”. It is almost always a woman and I can pretty much always feel the sadness and self-loathing emanate from her body. I can feel it because that was me just a few short years ago.

One of my goals in this business is to help women realize how beautiful, how powerful, how FREAKING AMAZING they truly are. I don’t want any woman to feel like exercise is a torture that one must do to “keep the weight off” or to please some man with how her body looks. I want to help them understand that moving our bodies is something completely natural and freeing and FEELS GOOD!!!

I wish I could make the whole thought of “lose weight” disappear. Make the diet industry completely vanish overnight! Have the thousands of dollars spent on things like appetite suppression and HCG and special diet “foods” go towards ridding people of their debts or towards charities they care about or being able to do what you love. Oh, the glorious day that would be!! It may not be possible to do it overnight, but I believe it’s possible to make it happen one person at a time. And that’s what I intend to do.

Right here, right now I’m want to tell you to STOP thinking of exercise as something you have to endure to lose weight. That is not a good enough reason. STOP thinking that you have to lose weight. YOU DON’T!! STOP thinking about WEIGHT period!! If you keep focusing on the negative, that’s what you’ll always get. Continuously. I guarantee it. I have been there. Many, many times – just like you. You’ll continue on the roller coaster ride of the up and down NUMBER on a freaking scale. Lose the scale. Right now! Stash it somewhere where you can’t find it.

Please, please look in the mirror and see your beauty. You REALLY are beautiful. Look in those eyes. Think about all they’ve seen. Those lips – the songs they have sung and the other lips they’ve kissed. Your breasts – how they nurtured your children. Your belly that carried them and helped them grow. Even if you don’t have children – worship your body; for it has been with you from the beginning. It has been strong enough to bring you through that time, back then – you know, THAT time. Speak gentle words to that woman in the mirror. She has been through some really tough stuff and here she still is. She deserves your love. She deserves your attention. In fact – that woman in the mirror craves attention. Give it to her. You are the only one who truly can.

Find the movement your body loves. The movement that makes your body feel good.

It should not be something you hate. If you hate the gym, don’t go! Dance in your living room instead.

What did you play when you were a kid? Get out there and do it again!

Start simple. Start small.

Do it not for the “exercise”, do it for the love of that gorgeous body.

Experiment. Try something new.

Find a cause. Find a friend. Find your playlist that makes you feel alive and excited to move.

Get out there. Just move. Have fun! That’s all you need to do.

Let your body tell you what it wants to do.

And then keep doing it.

Stop thinking that this is something you do UNTIL you “lose the weight”. This is not something you do temporarily. This is a different way of LIVING. This is life: moving and being IN IT instead of letting it pass you by as you sit there in front of the TV. I guarantee you that as you move the way YOU want to move your body will thank you. It will help you. It will crave nourishing foods and turn away from the rest. It will feel better. It will stop aching and hurting. It will rejoice! It will change.

And so will you.

Yes, YOU are!

Get Real – Book Shelf

In this shaky, imperfect video, I talk about perfection and what I prefer to do instead of dust my shelf. We can help you organize your book shelves perfectly, but we’d rather help you organize your book shelf to be something you love and something that works for you. We’re not perfect and we don’t expect you to be.

This is REAL life after all!

Get started in your own imperfect journey. We’re here for you. Contact us.

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