Who Decides?

The Where, When and What of being an adult and in charge of other living beings.

For my controlling personality, it seems a lifetime of being bossy, controlling, a ‘strong personality’ and a true Virgo has led me to this point in my life. My days are filled with minute by minute questions in which my decision making ability and authority is called upon.

What to buy? What to eat? What to wear?

Where to go? Can I have? Can I do?

After all of these years of fighting for control and now I don’t want any of it. I don’t want to be in charge. I don’t want to decide. I just want to sit down and have food appear in front of me. I want to be told what I will be doing. I want specific direction on how each day will be spent.

I surrender. . .

I am willing to accept things will not always be the way I wanted them to be. I am loosening my white knuckled grip on the reins of my life, allowing fate and chance to enter and decide.

I feel all, “Jesus Take The Wheel” gaining a new understanding of Carrie Underwood.

I am setting down the heavy baggage of self inflicted stress, worry and anxiety I have created by trying to remain in control. There it is, on the side of the road and off of my shoulders. For so many years I have been fooling myself in believing that I can have control. Wanting things to be right, to be to my liking, only to realize the secret. . . life is uncontrollable. My resistance is fading and I am learning to let life carry me like the waves of the ocean. Sometimes high, sometimes low, sometimes choppy and sometimes calm. Allowing myself to appreciate the times when its good and understand that it is a phase and will pass when its bad.

This realization has been such a gift to me. I use to feel like a worn out crayon found on the bottom of my children’s Crayola box. No more wrapper or pointed tip, just a nub. Until I learned to surrender. If I can get it all done. Great! If not, I get another chance at it tomorrow. There is always another chance to get the chores done, eat healthier, spend more time and accomplish my goals. Always another chance to work on being the person I want to be. Isn’t that just amazing – we all get another chance each day.

“Jesus Take the Wheel.”

The Pursuit of Happiness

 

A few years ago,  I was at a low point in my life. Every day felt like a fight and a struggle to get through. While raising my young children, I became so focused on being a mother and worrying about all of the things I could not change, I lost myself. In the midst of the chaos and stress, I became disconnected to the person I was and the person I wanted to be.

It was around this time I met a woman that would have a significant imprint on my life. Thinking back, I can see how we had just missed meeting each other earlier. However, it was inevitable our paths would cross. That’s really all that needed to happen for us to become instantaneous friends, as if we had known each other our whole lives. The first time we spoke on the telephone we talked for three hours! I was compelled to let my guard down and be honest and vulnerable, to share my worries and fears and my hopes and dreams. She too was in a place of discontent, desperate for change and growth. Through our hardship, we clung onto each other, setting sail to cross an ocean with hopes to make it to the other side.

Throughout our many conversations, it became clear on what I wanted from life and for the first time I wasn’t afraid to ask for it.

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Slowly, I recognized opportunity and change happening all around me. The dream that I yearned for would slowly become a reality. I was able to step into the person I wanted to be. The person I am.

We only get a handful of people in our lives that know you for who you really are and can still be loving and excepting.

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My best friend is without a doubt my soul mate. She was the mirror I needed to see what was holding me back and has continued to root me on and push me to propel forward. She is forever encouraging me to grow and follow my heart. My life will never be the same having met her.

The thing is, she too was lost and she too had a dream of a better life. Now, the universe has shown up to grant her the opportunity to step into the change she has been seeking for so very long. It is now her turn to pull her boat ashore, having crossed the ocean. 

I know in my heart, that it was no accident we met. It was no accident we both set out on a journey for change and after three long years we were both able to achieve it within months of each other. A soulmate encourages transformation. Neither accomplishment would be as rewarding if we did not both succeed. I raise my glass and tip my hat to you my friend, from the bottom of my heart, wishing you every single ounce of happiness you fought so hard for. ❤

Perhaps a little dramatic. . but i will miss the days when you lived close by!

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Bittersweet Birthday Cake

From the second they place your newly born baby into your arms your life has changed. Not only because of the sleepless nights and endless diapers, but also because there is a person that you instinctively love more than yourself. I have received so much joy experiencing life through their perspective. Getting another chance to feel excited over the first snow fall or the last the day of school. Raising my children has allowed me to reminisce on my own childhood, to feel the magic I once believed in.

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Today my youngest child turned five. As I write it, I still cannot believe it to be true. It feels like the closing of a chapter that is bittersweet. No more toddlers running through the house with bad pronunciations and a desire to stay in the nude. No more little fingers pinching away at scattered cheerios, or toothless grins. No more wobbly feet desperate to walk and no more teeny, tiny hands grasping onto my pinky finger.

There are many things I will not miss from that era of babyhood through toddler-hood, but somehow those details fade to the background, slightly out of focus.

My youngest child is now five.

Now, here I am, navigating through parenting with their childhood fully bloomed, inflated with feelings of their self esteem, curiosity, stress, fear, ego, anger, just to name a few. As a mother, I feel as though somebody turned the parenthood dial up a few notches. There is more to it than just maintaining their life and teaching them not to bite people. I feel an innate urge to ensure they are each emotionally okay, despite the world of influences they face everyday when they step out over the threshold of our home.

“A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child.”

An accurate statement loaded with stress and heartache, which cannot be avoided. I know that in a few years, when they cross over to the next plateau of their life, I’ll probably look back and think how easy I had it. Tears and frustrations will fade and I will be in amazement of how fast time is passing and how bittersweet it is that they are minimally in my presence.

However, today I am working hard to make sure they have a childhood they can recall upon one day to fill them up with joy and reminisce the magic they were able to experience when they could rely on their mommy to fix their mishaps and make them feel loved unconditionally.

Happy 5th birthday to my last born child.

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A GROWTH SPURT

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Experiencing change is a tornado of feelings all swooshed and swirled together to form something that is unrecognizable. I feel flickers of fear, specks of uncertainty, swirls of excitement, dotted with anxiety, all circulating in happiness. The force of change has left me unable to secure my footing. Its fast pace has left me dizzy.

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Although, this is a much welcomed change, in which I am in no means complaining, it has distracted me from writing, blogging and reading.

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My all time favorite quote.

To my WordPress family, I am slowly returning, I am just in a growth spurt right now. 🙂

Learning How To Balance

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We are all performing our own balancing act, cautious not to lean too much in either direction, contemplating each step and considering the elements that surround us. Although at times we may wobble, we can quickly gain balance and move forward. We have mastered the delicate balancing act of life.

This weekend, my husband rummaged through his tool bag until he pulled out his pliers and removed the training wheels off of my daughters bicycle. Each wheel fell to the floor with a clang as he loosened the lug nuts. My daughter eagerly straddled her bike ready to give it a try. I hope she approaches everything in life with enthusiasm and determination.

We told her to be safe and wear a helmet. I hope she always considers safety before pursuing any future endeavor.

We told her to think about where she would be going. Aim for the fence. I hope she always has a goal she is in pursuit of achieving.

We told her not to lean too much in either direction. I hope she always remembers to hold her ground.

We told her to steer clear of any obstacles. I hope she can always be aware and avoid anything that may get in her way.

We told her to put her feet down when she is ready to get off. I hope she is always able to land on her feet.

When she fell, we told her to dust herself off and get back up. I hope she never lets anything or anyone hold her down.

My husband held onto the seat and ran with her until he couldn’t hold on any longer. We were forced to watch, filled with anxiety, hoping she would be okay. I know one day she will be ready to face the world, soaring forward and, ready to conquer. On that day, we won’t have a choice but to let go.

❤ My baby learned how to ride her bike this past weekend. ❤

Today I will write . . .

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Today I will write because I want to be a writer.

Today I will write because the ache of not writing has become intolerable.

Today I will write to calm the noise in my head, as each thought is fighting for attention. Letting the thoughts drain from my fingers will give me clarity and peace.

Today I will write because my imagination and creativity is clawing at the door and gripping tight to the bars, desperate to break free from the space it is held captive. Only I have the power to set them free.

Today I will write because it is the only thing I can do in my pj’s, sitting on my couch, that makes me feel absolute exhilaration.

Today I will write because the story that I have begun to tell is crying for help. It needs to be tended to and worked on and I am the only one who can fix it.

Today I will write so when I lay my head down at night, I can fall right to sleep, knowing that I consciously took a step towards my passion.

Today I will write because I AM a writer.

Today I will write . . .

will you?

A temple where I can worship my passion – A trip to the book store!

Today, I trekked through the rain with two, of my four children, holding onto their little hands, as I pushed through the heavy glass doors of a book store. We crossed over the threshold into a new world, leaving the dreary, stormy day behind. The store was buzzing inside. Clusters of people were rummaging through clearance piles, others were waiting on a  winding line for their overpriced lattes, employees were attempting to rearrange the displays while being solicited for help by confused customers. Every wall, table and aisle was covered with intriguing titles of my next possible read. Crisp pages bounded together by glossy covers flirted with me, as I strolled past each aisle. My eyes scanned the shelves, top to bottom, occasionally pausing to pluck a contender out of its assigned place. I began to inspect it, briefly skimming through the details of the protagonists, the plot and setting. Is this where I want to be swept away?  It can be so difficult to decide.

In this space, my heart is awakened by the creative energy bleeding through each book, a temple where my passion can worship alike individuals. So much more to me than a store, a home for creativity and where I hope my work can one day live, standing tall among its peers and winking at each person as they stroll by.

Lost in this thought, I am in total bliss.

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I purchased Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty for book club.

Photo Credit: http://www.bncollege.com/retail/stores-within-our-stores/tech-store/

Oprah Magic

This past fall, my dear friend, Vickiwhat, and I loaded up her car and drove off, leaving our town, our children and our responsibilities behind, travelling to our neighboring state for a weekend. The windows were rolled down blowing our hair wild, the music was blasting while we sang out off key, along with me occasionally interrupting, yelling out, “Turn! Turn here!” just as we bypass our right turn. I must admit, I am a terrible navigator, but Vickiwhat, unfazed, continued to sing, as she made another U-turn.

Nothing could bother us, because we were in possession of two tickets to see Oprah on her Live Your Best Life Tour. Yes, they were probably the worst seats they sold, but we didn’t mind. Oprah was going to make this weekend go smoothly, after all, this was technically checking off an item on our bucket list. The “Oprah Magic” began a few days prior when our hotel called us and asked if they could relocate us down the road, in return, they would comp our room and parking. Great! The whole car ride there, we began thanking Oprah and the universe for our fabulous weekend. “Thank you for letting us meet Gayle.” “I was so happy to see Adam Glassman again.” “Thank you so much for the upgraded seats, it really made the trip special” and so on. We continued to show gratitude for an amazing weekend, as if it already happened. Crazy, right?  Nope!

As we strolled along the sidewalk towards the arena in our high heels, my eyes began scanning the crowds of people clustered around the entrance. I nudge Vickiwhat, saying “Hey, doesn’t the lady look just like Gayle King?”  Well, it was!  We yelled out to her, waving frantically. She turned towards us, looked us right in the eye and waved!  Shortly after, Adam Glassman, the creative director of the O Magazine, strolled along side us as we chatted him up, before wishing him well and parted ways.

As we entered the arena, we realize we must climb every single flight of stairs to reach our seats. I nearly had a panic attack, as I am terrified of heights.  Again, nudging Vickiwhat I said, “Come on, I can’t do this” and we walked down the several hundred stairs back to the lobby. After a half hour spent at customer service, a very nice gentleman upgraded our seats to the 1st tier level, which was extremely close to the stage! We were overjoyed and could barley contain our excitement, as Oprah Winfrey took the stage in her beautiful, plum gown.

The crowd of majority women, were the nicest, enlightened, most positive people I have ever met.  The energy vibrated throughout the packed arena.  The following day, Rob Bell, Mark Nepo, Elizabeth Gilbert, Iyanla Vanzant and of course, Oprah Winfrey, all spoke about their most valuable and influential life lessons. There was a workbook handed out, which Oprah prompted exercises. For example,

Think of a person who is closest to your heart. Think (or write down) of the ideal life you would want for them. You can give them anything, money, cars, career opportunities, ect.

The life you wished for that person, is a reflection of what you want for yourself. We tend to want more, and are willing to ask for more for others, than we would for ourselves. We should begin to learn to ask for ourselves. Want and expect more, because you can never give to anyone, until your cup is full.

My friend, Vickiwhat, at some point began speaking with a group of women, who would later invite her and I to their box seats, where we finished the evening off, with our shoes off, sipping drinks, watching the show.  As if all of this good fortune was not enough for our life changing weekend, at the end of the show we saw Oprah Winfrey back stage from our seats. We yelled, in unison, her name as she was walking through a doorway to leave. A moment after our chant, she then backed up, spotted us in the crowd, threw both hands in the air and gave us a double wave. Oprah Winfrey “saw” us! and waved!! I know this may not sound like a big deal to most, but for us, it’s what topped off the weekend. We will be forever grateful to the “Oprah Magic” and continue to have faith in gratitude and the power of believing.

The following are some nuggets of wisdom from the show. I can never try to explain what exactly transpired, but I vow that it was extremely moving, life altering and has changed my perception of the world.

“Whatever you are going through, you will get through, so just say “thank you.” – Oprah Winfrey

“The easiest way to change vibration (energy) is gratitude. You will draw other good vibration.” Oprah Winfrey

“Other people have no power in your territory.” – Oprah Winfrey

“What you pay attention to will expand.” – Oprah Winfrey (I like this one. Whatever you focus on, good or bad will grow.)

“Knowing what you don’t want is information leading towards what you want.” – Oprah Winfrey

“The purpose of the gift is to exercise the heart and inhibit aliveness, until your gift strikes the need of the world” – Mark Nepo

“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly, than a perfect imitation of someone else’s life.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

“Do little things with great love. It all matters.” – Rob Bell

“To be the best, you have to say “no” to good.” – Rob Bell

“If you have made it through the past, then you past.” – Iylanda Vanzant

“Stop squeezing into things that do not fit you. Pay attention to how “it” makes you feel.” – Iylanda Vanzant

“Life says, “yes,” “no,” “stop,” “go.”” – Iyalnda Vanzant

“Courage is doing what you need to do before you are forced to do it, and if you don’t do it, don’t be mad at the people who force you to.” – Iylanda Vanzant

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Rainy Days

I sit here hanging on to the last few hours of the morning, sipping coffee in my comfy sweats, my legs curled under me and the television gently humming out the sing song rhythm of a children’s show.  I have put most of my children on the bus with no chaos, no arguments over clothing or meals, a victory as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps it is attributed to the rain pouncing down, leaving the windows a dark shade of grey. When I reluctantly stepped foot out of bed this morning, each child was safely nestled in their blankets, eyes tightly closed, absorbed in the sleep where dreams come through.

The last little girl of mine is now playing contently with the sound of plastic clattering as she sorts through her toys. I feel content, a gift from the rain I suppose.  I am in total serenity when I watch the water beading up on the windows, what looks like several hundred at a time.  The drops slide down the glass making the outside world look like a distorted image from a painting I might have seen before.  The branches on the trees are mostly bare with a few soggy leaves hanging on before they surrender to winter and collect in piles on the ground. Its on days like this I wonder what it must be like living in a place where the clouds cover the sun and the forecast almost always calls for rain.  Perhaps it will lose its effect, but for today, for right now, I am appreciative for the rain.

Photo Credit: http://www.wallpapersphotography.com/Rainy%20Days/index.htm