Tag Archives: life

Life Lessons

The Corners We Paint Ourselves Into

We are not what we work. No matter how much we want to think it or others believe it. We are more. We aren’t who we are in a single moment. You can’t judge someone by observing them or talking with them for 5 minutes, 2 hours or 3 days.

Over the past few months, I have really enjoyed writing and specializing in a new industry and/or area that I do traditionally which is HR. The industry is niche and to be able to be knowledgable, it requires extensive research and/or the background of having worked in the industry. Most people can’t or don’t go to the lengths to fight and claw their way into an industry they are an interlooper in.

It’s good to mix things up. It’s a great idea to put yourself out there. Change things up and most importantly throw a curveball in the way you are living. These changes don’t have to be big ones. They can be small changes like my mom who after many years is committed to getting up before 8:00 AM. She’s been a night owl since I was a young girl as my dad worked third shift. Around the time I was 10 or 11 years old, he started working first shift and worked starting at 7:00 AM. My mom who has been self-employed or a stay at home mom most of her life, didn’t change her schedule. She always went to bed very, very late. I called her last week at 9:00 AM and was surprised that she had already had her coffee and finished reading her paper. I didn’t expect her to change.

The longer things stay the same the harder they are to change. This is how I have felt about my health and especially my weight. I’ve started traveling again. It’s conference season in the industry and vertical where I work makes it so easy for my healthy lifestyle to go off the rails. Old habits are easy to return to. Most importantly, wine and bad food choices are so easy to make when you are on the road. But now while I’m traveling I am signing up for one pilates class in the city I am at. Two weeks ago it was San Diego and this week it is Indianapolis. And for the first time, I’m excited to do this, and that’s because the change is becoming part of me.

The bad food choices sometimes happen and friends are always a good excuse to order another round of wine. Change is not easy because it’s messy. There is no quick path to the finish line. Once we commit to it, we realize that the process to change is long and often harder than we imagined, but for the first time in a long time I’m excited. I don’t see myself as the person I was. I’m not holding myself back or painting myself into a corner because it’s safe. I like being strong. I like surprising myself. I like the new story I’m painting and creating.

Life Lessons

What If This is Heaven?

That’s exactly what a friend of mine believes. At the age of 24, she had a near death experience. She had a heart attack, and when she came back this is what she decided to believe. As she told me this story with friends over wine and an amazing dinner in San Francisco, I thought about what if she was right. What if this is heaven? How would it change my approach to living, dreaming and most importantly doing.

This woman who shared this wisdom with me is amazing. She takes a live big approach. Her goals are lofty, but she has achieved them. Her company went public. She has lived all over the world. Her career is eclectic but successful. She is driven but a gentle person with a good heart. She believes that because this is heaven she can do whatever she sets her mind to. It’s up her to dream and do. Nothing can stand in her way.

It’s been two years that amazing dinner conversation, and although my friend and I aren’t super close, I still carry her story with me. I think about it a lot. What if this is heaven? What if this is as good as it gets? More importantly, what if I’m holding myself back watching, waiting and wanting something that we might already be experiencing. What do I want out of life or the afterlife knowing that I can achieve all my dreams. What might those dreams be?

My ideal of heaven is that it’s a place separate from hell and purgatory, but imagine if it’s a place that’s one in the same. All three communities live or reside in a single place. We watch each other’s successes, struggles and challenges completely unaware. Each person experiences their own reality. We are working through our own sins, situations and challenges not fully realizing the bigger picture of life, death and rebirth. Heaven, hell and purgatory.

Personally, I think this is cruel. We deserve to know our fate. We spend such a large part of our lives contemplating the meaning of life and the afterlife. I think we deserve to know where we stand. Otherwise, we will just keep repeating our mistakes.

 

 

 

Life Lessons Photography

The Window Seat of Life

In February, I’m traveling for the first time in 4 months. On one hand it feels good to get away from my home office and my job as the professional chauffeur. On the other hand, it’s weird because it’s also something I desperately miss especially on my trip earlier this month to San Francisco when my daughter lost another tooth. She’s growing up, and I hate missing those moments. She only has so many teeth, and this time she took it upon herself to write a letter to the tooth fairy. I wasn’t there to make sure the tooth fairy wrote back to her. This one simple thing made me feel very guilty.

This week I’m traveling to the east coast, and I woke up this morning in New York to snow. It fell for most of the morning. My view this week also happens to be amazing. I’m up on the 18th floor. My hotel room has wide expansive windows and a snow filled balcony. That didn’t stopping me from snapping some pictures of my view. It’s views like these that make traveling worth doing. That and the business meetings and activities I also have scheduled in New York this week.

See how magical a snow does this city make…

During my recent fly time I’ve also witnessed some of the most beautiful sunsets and cloud formations in my entire life. I don’t buy the research that says that people who seat in window seats are less creative. I purposely sit by the window so I can enjoy the beauty of the earth that surrounds me. It doesn’t hurt that the window also doubles for a place to lean on. I always travel with a long scarf that doubles as a pillow for sleeping and a shield from those over zealous middle seat guys and gals that are always trying to start a conversation about the weather with me. 

This photo is my current favorite. It looks exactly like the ocean except that I’m flying from 20,000 feet. Don’t the clouds look like sea foam and waves? Amazing! 

This sunset’s not half bad either. I’m just leaving Las Vegas heading to back home from my trip to San Francisco. I just wish I had a nice red Merlot in hand to fully enjoy this beautiful view.

I’m not about to sit on the sidelines of life or in flight. I want always want a window seat to truly enjoy the view.

Life Lessons

Maintaining the Mask

We have all fears. We all have masks that sometimes we work ridiculously hard trying to maintain. The amount of effort maintaining those masks keeps you from focusing your energies and passions on the real you and meaningful things. A little over 10 years ago I made the decision to remove my mask and experience getting to know and love me.

Once I removed the mask I experienced a spiritual and life awakening. It was likely anything I had ever know. For years, I had been told things about me. They weren’t true, but I began to believe them and I lost sight of who I really was. Because I was so disconnected, I didn’t see a choice and spent tremendous amount of energy pretending to be someone else. I was brainwashed, lost and just drifting. I nearly died not just because of the drain but because I was being controlled by someone who was playing master puppeteer with me.

The mask wasn’t just about control. It was easier in my eyes and a better solution to continue pretending who I was. I didn’t know, love or trust myself. I had convinced that the fear outweighed the risk of uncovering who I was underneath that faux self. Maintaining the mask is an exhausting task. You have worry a lot and exert energy to keep up appearances.  I didn’t really see the amount of energy (wasting) I was exerting to just keep up appearances. The use of energy seemed worth the risk when I was living it. And now free from the tyranny of the mask, I can’t imagine even really being that person. It was a completely separate life. There’s freedom and confidence in being your true self. It means that you can accomplish anything.

There’s this funny thing about fear. It’s what really holds us back in life. Our mask is our protection from fear. It’s really a protection from life and experiencing ourselves. We’re scared of getting to know that person while also being torn because we want nothing more than to secretly be that person. We’re fearful of disappointing friends, loved ones, ourselves, and of losing our good reputation. We might be fearful of losing physical things, money or our home. By removing that fear and following what we know about us, we are able to experience something, learn and grow. I believe all these experiences are preparing me for the next adventure, whatever it may be.

I don’t want to get all mushy about karma because I’ve worked hard improving myself, learning and growing. My life journey has been a lot of work. However, I am of the mind that if your mind, heart and life are open to possibilities, things seem to fall into place because you are open and willing to create and also seize these opportunities.

I say this as someone is who is a domestic abuse survivor. I married young and went to college. I achieved more things than my parents. At age 22 I was a homeowner, college graduate and had a great job. To those from the outside I looked as though I had a wonderful life. It’s what I thought I wanted, but I felt suffocated and helpless until at age 27 I finally listened to myself and realized that this abusive and controlled person was not bringing me happiness. My life was not perfect as I portrayed. The abuse just as much as the mask was slowly killing me.

When I made that leap of faith and left him, I was scared and felt extremely alone. I also felt liberated and for the first time in a very long time because I spent time getting to know the real me.

The learning that I experienced felt like a spiritual one. I accepted myself and for a change trusted me. It was a glorious moment. I took control, and it has led me down a path to a life that I never imagined it could be.

At present, I can feel I’m walking down a path that is focused on growth. Change is afoot. I can feel it in everything I do including my bones. I’m shedding a new layer of my mask which is the one I have been hiding behind for the last 8 years and that is my weight. I know I won’t ever be a skinny size 6. For me the size doesn’t matter. It’s the journey that’s important and focusing on continued learning and listening to myself. There’s more at stake in my life than ever before. I need to set a good example and live a mask free life for my daughter who through my actions I’m showing her it’s okay to hide behind masks and maintain them instead of listening to yourself and showing the world the person you are completely.

 

For the Book Life Lessons

Change That is Destined To Be Happening

This week I awoke from a dream where I literally had a baby. It was the most realistic dream of my life. My water broke and I was in labor laying in my bedroom. I immediately told Greg, my husband to hurry that the baby was coming. Greg rushed around the house and amid my screaming I told him it was too late. He began searching for blankets and towels while I experienced labor pains. It seemed like less than 5 minutes passed but the pain was real. The labor was fast. Next thing I know I had a baby. I looked him in the eyes and immediately began cleaning him and making sure he was breathing and healthy.

I immediately awoke with the pains of labor still real not only in my mind but in my body. I laid in my bed just absorbing the dream. I have never given birth in the traditional sense. Ryleigh came into this world a little over six years ago via emergency c-section.

According to the online dream dictionary, a birth represents giving birth to a new project, plan or new life dream. Birth represents personal growth and learning. It’s also possible that I am thinking about my baby. Since losing Baby M earlier this year, I have been on a extremely difficult journey. I’ve struggled personally but can say that I am better for it. While the healing is still happening, I am drawn to personal happiness, transformation and change.

In 2014, happiness was hard personally as well as professionally. I can feel my personal transformation everywhere I turn. There are many ups and downs as I manage the direction that I’m moving. This year I’ve lost so much but also gained too.

I’m thinking not just about personal happiness but how happiness intersects not with just life but also work. Without happiness, we are not productive, engaged, passionate or interested in work projects, plans, living or being. And these last few weeks I’ve been pondering how much my personal happiness impacts work happiness and how they intersect. Maybe this is the project I’m birthing. I’m mulling over workplace happiness and how it can transform your business, organization and/or team.

The journey in life is one that is not certain, but I believe I’m being guided down a path. While I’m not extremely religious, I am a spiritual being. Following my inner thoughts, dreams and instincts is what has gotten me to this life path. I’m not finished learning, growing and transforming. This dream is helping hold me accountable to my 2015 focuses of hugs, mindful meditation and quality. I am committed to change in 2015 that is destined to be happening.

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