Thinking It Out Loud

Next Level Living

“If you want to live a happy life tie it to a goal, not to other people or objects”–Albert Einstein

What is next level living?  Is it only for people lucky enough to be what the world defines as super successful?  You know the ones I am talking about..the celebrities, the powerful, the rich.  The people that “turned up” or are living “life to the fullest” or whatever pithy phrase we say.  Myself included.  Lots of those people look like they are engaging in next level living and I am sure many are.  After all you don’t get to a certain level of fame or fortune without always growing and reaching.  But I happen to know that you are also surrounded by many people that are always in search of the next level of success.  Be it in the professional or personal life.  You might be one of those people!

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Gobble Gobble!

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings”–William Arthur Ward

Happy Thanksgiving!  I pray that each of you will be filled with gratitude and love today.  And a whole lot of delicious food.  And then a nap.  Everyone needs a Thanksgiving day nap.  As I type my husband is making the sweet potato casserole and my 13 year old is reading to me a “surprising list of things that are fruits”.  Exact words.  And my heart is filled with joy with the sounds coming from my kitchen.

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Who’s Your Daddy?

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”
C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew

So….. who is your daddy? Your daddy being the predominant belief system you view life through.  Where do you stand? In happiness or sadness? What do your thoughts tell you about the world around you? Are we going to hell in a hand basket or are we on our way to the greatest part of humanity? The people in your life:  Are those people lifting you up or tearing your down?  Do you think you are shaping your life or is your life shaping you?  When your car breaks down is it just life and you roll on or is the universe proving that once again, you just can’t get ahead?

Perception is where facts and feelings meet.  The road that bridges the heart and the brain so to speak.  I am ruled heavily by my heart.  I believe in my gut and I believe that overall life is pretty great and that people want to do whats best for themselves and others.  Before you say it…my own mother tells me I am a Pollyanna.  Not sure know what that is?

Pollyanna:  someone who thinks good things will always happen and finds something good in everything. Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary.

Totally sounds disgusting doesn’t it?  When I read the definition I rolled my eyes at myself.  Here is the flip side of that perception I live in.  Anger, sadness, hurt, and downright tragedy are truly hard for me to process.  For myself.  I have this innate manner that demands I push through those feelings as fast as I can so I can be happy again.  That sounds good right?  But what if, like the movie “Inside Out”, my refusal to go through all the “bad things” is holding me back?  Can you relate?  Perception.  Where our insides show themselves really. perception-reflection

I have been thinking a lot about perception during this election season.  *Side note…regardless of who we all voted for, aren’t we all SOOOOO glad it is over.  I couldn’t take another advertisement demanding that MY perception of either candidate fall in line with the mostly emotional hogwash the other was painting their opponent as.  Because lets be clear…if the two mainstream candidates where, in fact, as bad as the other said….whoa.  Which brings me back to perception.

Right now, in the United States, the transfer of the highest office has begun.  Teams and policies are being crafted.  But NO power has actually changed hands.   It won’t until January 20th of 2017.  And all around me I have friends that have already perceived and accepted as fact  what they believe will happen as a result of this presidency.  Some are certain that we are headed towards a white supremacy nation, homosexual hating,  unequal rights, nation with the worst corruption in our history.  Some believe that our ship is about to be put back on course with opportunities for jobs and industries exploding and our country once again becoming self sufficient.  And the only thing those two camps of thought have in common?

Donald Trump won the presidency of the United States.

Yep, one thing.  And now two completely, not even in the same solar system, schools of “thought”. That leaves no room for the others view. In case you don’t already know this…that is a lose/lose situation.  By the way, I seem to be related to both camps.  And I thank God for that very fact.  Because hearing both views gives me better insight to the world around me.  And that is always a good thing.  Always.

So what can we do to expand our perceptions?  This doesn’t mean giving up on what your believe or your world view.  I have not intention of being any less of a Pollyanna.  But I can become a stronger person, wife, mother, business owner, friend, daughter, and individual by doing a few things:

  1. Make new friends.  It is scientifically PROVEN that new relationships grow our brain.  New relationships help us to hear and see new things and think new thoughts.  New experiences and new thoughts give us different views.  And even if we don’t agree with the view point, our perception has been expanded.
  2. Travel to different countries or different regions inside your own country.  If this election taught us anything its how different the cities and so called rural areas think.  And for those of you thinking “yeah, those people need to come here”…well try this on for size.  Why don’t you go to “them” whoever the them is.
  3. Study new subjects.  Subjects your know nothing about.  This once again gives us the new thoughts but it ALSO gives us confidence.  When we know more we carry a certain confidence with us and confidence gives us the ability to try more new things.  See what I did there?
  4. Take a breath before you “argue back”.  This is my Achilles heel!  Once my switch has been flipped I tend to forget to breath and go “for the win”.  Demanding that others bow to my “knowledge” in an argument doesn’t have anything to do with making valid points or expanding my perception or anyone else’s.
  5. Journal.  UGH!  I was wrong, this is my ACHILLES heel.  I can’t lie to you guys.  I don’t do this one consistently enough but the thought is that if you journal daily or every other day that your journal will mirror to you what you really believe about your life, past and present.  I would love to hear from some of your diary writers on this point!

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I am truly grateful for the experiences and people in my life that constantly expose me and open me to new view points.  I come at life from a positive place.  I just  do.  I understand that I have the benefit of being born into a family that has loved me from day 1 and when you know you are loved you can move mountains.  So my final piece of advice today…if you are reading this right now and thinking to yourself “my life sucks” find a way, any way, to make someone else’s day better and brighter.  Because being loved is great, but bringing the love changes the world.

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Knock Knock

“The outcome is not up to you. The outlook is.”
Germany Kent

Quick!  Write down the last 3 opportunities that came your way.  I mean it.  Don’t over think it.  What were they?  An unexpected night out to relax?  A new career path?  Maybe something in the form of a new relationship.  How did you respond?  Did you think it over carefully or just answer?  More importantly…did you say yes?  Have you ever given any thought to what a day would look like if you said “YES” to every opportunity that came your way?

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Rules, Rules, Rules!

“Well behaved women rarely make history”–Pulitzer Prize winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

Don’t we all have rules we live by?  And can’t we all agree that there are rules that keep, not just our lives running smoothly, but in fact the society’s in which we exist running pretty well?  Rules are our friends!  Right?  There are lots of them I like.  I personally love that we have rules to drive by, rules about hurting others, how to build houses that don’t fall down… in other words rules that make things work!  But what about all those rules we tell ourselves about HOW and WHY to live our lives?  Can you feel me?

We live in time of the world where lots and lots of rules are being questioned.  And yet I meet people, especially women, every day that are just running on auto pilot.  Heck, sometimes I even see her in the mirror.  We have a rule for how our hair “should” look.  The type of job we “should” have.  The kind of partner we are “supposed” to choose.  Or maybe its about the way we vote, or the things we are supposed to hold on to as important…because someone told us it was important.  How many of us actually think about why we think what we think? Or about the way we make decisions or the values we have?  I mean seriously…I am a curvy girl these days…I don’t own a horizontal stripe, I don’t try on horizontal stripes…because “I was told” (by whom, when and where I do not know…) that horizontal stripes on roundish types are not flattering.  So it became a RULE!  DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT BEAUTIFUL DRESS…IT HAS (gasp..the horror, the horror!) HORIZONTAL STRIPES!  Rules.  Strangling, stifling, and down right stupid sometimes.

Entrepreneurs are always thinking about the rules.  Whats working, whats not working.  Do we need to change that process?  Why?  Will it work better?  Who can fill that role better?  And so on.  One reason I love surrounding myself with people building their own business’s is because I constantly feel stretched.  I have realized that people that create business's don't just think outside of the box, they burn… Click To Tweet I mean lets be honest..raise your hand if some of the most successful people you know are just a little weird…a little different…and totally comfortable in their own skin.

So if you had to pick the rules you live by today that you thought were holding you back what would they be?  Is it about the job?  The location you live in?  The type of family you have?  I 100% believe that our very soul expands or contracts based on the rules we choose.  And guess what…the rules we had 10, 5, or even 1 year ago we may not need any more!  For me, the number 1 rule I had to stop living by was “My choices do NOT HAVE TO MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY”.  Its been a bit of a detox believe me and there has definitely been some backsliding.  But recognizing and dropping the rule, for me, has opened up doors upon doors for me to fly through.

Rules really are made to broken or reevaluated or just plain let go.  That is growth.  And its been my personal experience that growth leads to a whole lot of happiness and freedom!

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