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Archive for the ‘choices’ Category

I wrote that on a little inspiration card I painted.

I have it hanging in my cube at work.

I see it every day.

I know it to be true.

And still…I forget the simple truth of it.

I forget that I can choose to focus on things that make me happy, or I can focus on what is bothering me, what is bringing me down.

In general, I am a happy girl and don’t have much difficulty finding happy, joyful moments. Tilting my head up to the sun and putting my arms out to fly in the wind on nice days. Watching thunderstorms. Smiling at the flowers.

But still, even then, I can still forget that I can choose happiness. I can choose to focus on joy (go visit the amazing Brandi for all sorts of stuff on focusing on joy…she is the original Joy Rebel, and has the army to prove it!).

Things have been a bit challenging lately. B is unhappy with work. I am not in love with what I am doing. We have both been feeling stuck. And yesterday, yesterday was not a good day. Nothing earth-shattering. Nothing major in the grand scheme of things. But still, it ended up with me crying on hubby’s shoulder (which is something hubby shoulders are good for).

But the worst of it…I was only focusing on what was WRONG. It became all I saw. It felt like all that was there, it felt like all I could feel.

And then I remembered. Happiness is a choice. Happiness is something I can choose to focus on. It’s in my power. It IS a power.

And today, I did just that.

I’m wearing a fun head scarf and twirly skirty with black canvas sneakers today.

I drove in to work, blasting Keeps Getting Better by Christina Aguilera and Womanizer by Britney Spears, bopping along and singing at the top of my lungs.

I am doing a photoshoot tonight for Flying Mermaid Photography.

I set up some coupons for people who did free sessions with me to help me set up my portfolio, to hopefully start having some photo sales.

Choosing to focus on happiness left me not feeling so stuck, not so overwhelmed with what was bringing me down.

Nothing has drastically changed. What was bothering me yesterday is still there today. But I’m not making it bigger by focusing all my energy on it. And that made all the difference.

I’m choosing happiness and fun and joy today. And it is something I can always choose.

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I have never been much of a political sort. I don’t usually follow politics, it tends to make me sad, disheartened. The fact that our current President can’t speak in coherent sentences is painful and embarrassing.

But this election, I’ve changed. I read news stories all the time about what is happening, voting trends, all of it.

And this year, I am excited. I am hopeful. I voted early. I watched all the debates. I am staying home tonight with B and Mik to watch the results of the election and expect I will be crying happy tears and celebrating and cheering. I never thought I would feel this way.

In watching the campaigns, I have been struck by how different they have been. On the Republican side, rallies and messages have been nasty, dirty. Celebrating mob mentality, spewing hate and viciousness and racist remarks. Where crowds go from calling Obama every name under the sun, rally attendees saying that he is a Muslim and a terrorist, just because of his name and skin color, to turning on news crews, and making racist remarks to black cameramen. It is the absolute worst sides of people. It is ignorant, it is hateful, and this is what the Republicans are crowing about, about how their base is “Fired up.” And on top of that, they are praising these people for being true Americans, and Pro-America. It’s disgusting. It doesn’t make me proud to be an American.

And then on the Democrat side…you see such a vastly different picture. People are hopeful. People have found someone to look up to. They have hope that someone will try to help them make their lives better, will try to make our environment better, will talk to enemies instead of just blowing them to kingdom come. They have hope that there will be someone leading the country who can serve as a true diplomat, and begin rebuilding the many, many bridges that have been burned and crushed with our allies.

In Obama, I see someone who is truly brilliant, articulate, compassionate and reasonable. These are good things, valuable things, in a world leader. I don’t want a leader who is “just like me.” I want someone leading this country who is a lot smarter than me, who surrounds himself with smart people. Whose first instinct isn’t to fight and attack and tear others down, but to carefully evaluate and reason. I see someone who has got young people and old people across the country excited about voting, about making their voices heard. I see someone who has inspired millions of people. That makes me proud to be an American.

B wrote the following this morning, “Today is going to be a victory for peace, environmental policy and social justice in our country. The result of our election will be a small but important step towards saving our planet.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Fire it up! Ready to go.

Go Obama!

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Changes

on-the-edge.jpg

Cliffs in Ireland  

When you get to the edge of a cliff, you have to jump and trust you will find your wings.

My life has changed drastically in recent weeks, and while change can be sad, it is also for the better and making room for more positive growth.

Tim and I reached a very mutual decision to break up, shortly after I returned from my trip to Massachusetts to help my mother.

It was something we had both felt for awhile. We realized that we love and care about each other, but our paths have gone in different directions and that we aren’t what the other needs to be happy. He will be moving back to Massachusetts next weekend, he has really missed New England and his friends there.

I will be staying here, and in a few weeks, my best friend will be moving in with me, along with her 3-legged German Shepherd, Loki. Myra WonderPup adores him. She was moving down here anyway, and was going to stay here while she got on her feet. Now, she will move down as my roommate. It works well for both of us. Now, I just have to work on being a good roommate, and keeping the house a lot cleaner than I have been used to. Lol.

And, recently, I talked about when you hold a wish in your heart, that the universe listens and works to bring it about in her own time. I have recently reconnected with my first love, the boy I loved in college, and even though we took different paths for about a decade, he never really left my thoughts. I learned after reconnecting with him, that I never really left his thoughts either. I always felt that our journey wasn’t done, and almost immediately after he came back to my life, I realized he never really left my heart either. There is much brightness in front of me on that path.

There will be much more to say in coming weeks and months, as I leave one path and head down another. But while the path I’ve been on has been a good one, and it brought me many good lessons, I know the time has come to leap to a new path. I am certain it is going to be an amazing journey.

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I need to make myself accountable. I need to apologize to Elu, who is one of the favorite characters who has ever come to me. I know her whole story. I love her story. I have not been working on her story. I will never be a published writer in the way that I dream of, crave and think about if I don’t work on my stories. If I don’t finish my stories. If I don’t work on getting them out, so they can live in the world, independent of me. So, here it is. I am making myself accountable here, now.

For obvious reasons, I will not post the entire story here. But I will post the beginning of the story. And I will post updates on what is going on with my writing, both with Elu’s story and the others that live more in my mind than anywhere else. They need to be born. I want them to be born.

So, I would like to introduce you to The Invisible Elephant

Elu looked like any other elephant her age, mostly. She was on the small side and her tail was longer than any of her cousins’ (although Elu didn’t mind that, because when she spun around, her tail made a much nicer swooshy motion).

But Elu didn’t act like other elephants. Elu spent all her time dancing or dreaming about dancing. More than anything, Elu wanted to be a ballerina. She loved the way the ballerinas moved, how nice they looked when they spun and leaped around. But even more than that, Elu loved the ruffly pink tutus and the pink slippers that laced up the ballerina’s legs. She couldn’t imagine anything prettier.

The more Elu talked about becoming a ballerina, the more she felt like she didn’t fit in with her family. Elephants couldn’t be ballerinas. That’s what Elu’s mom always said. Her mom would often stand in the doorway to Elu’s room and watch her daughter try to spin and twirl.

“Elu, you sound like there’s a herd of elephants in here. How can one small elephant make so much noise?”

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There is an old man, I think he is homeless, who sits at the end of the freeway ramp that is on my way to MyraWonderPup’s school. He never asks for money, but has a sign saying he needs food. When he is there, I will give him something that I was planning on having for lunch that day, a bar, a piece of fruit

Whenever I get something from a vending machine or soda machine, I will leave the returned change in the machine for the next person 

I always hold the door for people, even if they are four steps behind me

If I see a delivery guy on my floor, I will change my route and walk with them so I can get the doors for them.

I try to always find something to compliment people sincerely about..if they are wearing a great color for them, if they have on a cool piece of jewelry, something.

I wave at the school crossing lady every day on my way to work

What do you do to spread kindness, to make someone’s day a little brighter, a little better? I don’t do it because I believe what goes around, comes around (although I do), but just because I know that even little kindnesses can make a big difference, and I believe that they spread.

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I found this on the lovely site Daisies @ pluckthepetal.com and had to steal it.

The challenge is this:

“5 things you want to be when you grow up. Big dreams that seem like folly, but in your heart of hearts are very real and dear to you. Things that maybe you have forgotten about in the ebb and flow and toil of the everyday, but that never really leave your soul. What you would do if anything at all at all was possible. Spend some time day dreaming…and then post them on your blog, passing the idea along to 5 others..because sometimes we need to pause and remember our dreams, hey? Maybe just saying it out loud will help you discover even little ways you can make them happen. You can write about that, too.”

1. I want to be a writer (different and apart from what I do for my 9-5 job, and different from what I do on my blog). I want to be a published children’s book author. I want to have a book of essays and short stories published. I want to walk into a bookstore and see a book written and illustrated by me. I want to be a real writer.

2. I want to be a potter. I want to spend hours and hours working and playing with clay, shaping it, throwing it, growing it into something new, shaping it into visions from my head. I want to be covered in clay and paint, with paint flecks in my hair and Indigo Girls blasting in my studio. I want to take people standing outside my studio watching me work and make them get dirty and play with clay.

3. I want to be a dive master, with a little beach shack where I rent dive equipment and I take people out on dives. I want to be a beach bum, wake everyday to the beach (god how I miss the ocean and seeing it daily), walk barefoot in the sand, run on the beach, and then start my work day of playing in the water.

4. I want to own a bookstore with a gluten-free, dairy-free cafe with really great food, so people with food allergies can go to a cafe and sit curled up with a book and a cup of coffee and a muffin or scone or a great little pasta salad. I want to have big floor pillows on the floor, I want to have several forts set up where you can curl up and read and color, I want a huge, vibrant children’s section. I want to be surrounded by books at all times, and by people who love books as much as I do.

5. I don’t want to or intend on growing up. I want to be like my Auntie El, one of the coolest, most vibrant women I know, who is….80? And has more energy than most people I know. I want to hike mountains when I am 70, I want to go sky-diving when I am 75. I want to go grocery shopping in bright purple wig when I am 80. I want to always play on swings and blow bubbles and dance in coffee shops and conduct Christmas in Sarajevo by the Trans Siberian Orchestra whenever it comes on. I want to run as long as my body will let me. I want to be like the little old woman I met once in a laundry mat, who was really pretending to be old, but as soon as she saw that I was reading Harry Potter, her eyes came alive, she stood up taller and I could see the little girl who was pretending to be old.

I tag She Hngs Brightly, Dandelion Seeds, Savannah, Bliss Warrior, Dancing Mermaid and Jen Lemen

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From the Wonderful Dandelion Seeeds and the Try New Things Club, the start of a life list. Thank you for the inspiration to do this. I know and believe in the importance and power of putting things in writing, helps you really work towards those goals, helps the universe manifest energy around those things for you. And yeah, it is scary to put it out there, because then you are committing to working towards them. And then you have to work to make the life you want. A very good thing, and scary can be vital.

1. Swim with dolphins 2. Learn to play guitar 3. Publish my books and short stories 4. Learn to make a really great gluten-free apple pie 4. Take a pottery class 5. Go to a pottery painting studio. 6. Learn glass blowing 7. Sell some of my photos 8. Learn more about my family history. Talk to my parents about when they were kids, teens, my age. Find out what they wanted their life to be. What they remember of their parents. 9. Find more waterfalls 10. Participate in a triathalon, even a short one. 11. Do a trail run half-marathon 12. Scuba Dive in Cozumel, Hawaii, Japan. 13. Take an Alaskan cruise 14. Go sea kayaking 15. Go on a car road trip with She Hangs Brightly, Dandelion Seeds and Savannah. 16. Learn how to walk in heels and look sexy (and not fall) 17. Learn to make kick-ass gluten-free bread. 18. Buy a pair of jeans that actually fits me really well and flatters me. 19. Learn Italian 20. Live in Italy for at least a month with Tim 21. Know the name of at least two alcoholic drinks that I like and can order 22. Get married barefoot 23. Actually hang up our art in our house 24. Buy a house with a porch so I can have a porch swing, a window seat where I can journal and Sam can curl up with me, with a yard big enough for MyraWonderPup and her (eventual) brother to play in, with a kitchen that I love with lots of useable counter space, with lots of natural light. 25. Publish a book of essays

This will continue to grow. The goal is to get to 100.

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