Living on The Brightest Side

Love yourself enough brightest side

I’ve been feeling a bit sick from the vertigo of transition. The forked snake tongue on the road ahead feels daunting as the deep dark forest just after dusk. The feelings of obligation overwhelm my waking hours and the guilt that I feel pushes down on my shoulders and keeps my pace like a snail.

OR

Change and transition is when the real magic of life happens. The varied opportunities that lie ahead excite me to my soul bone and I’m throwing myself down the path and feeling open to wherever it may lead. The solace I have gifted myself has made my own authentic voice more confident to speak up and be heard. I am grateful and hopeful for what is to come.

It’s all about how you look at it. Attitude is everything.

After a lifetime of negativity and toxic truths, I decided to take a leap of faith and start living on The Brightest Side. It took strength, confidence and self-love to let go of the personal dogma engrained so deep in my habitually chaotic brain. So, I sat with the questions instead of demanding the answers. I focused on solutions instead of problems. I reevaluated all the varied doctrine I had held tight for so long. The process of trying to empty myself of programmed mental and emotional responses and open up to new, authentic thought came from a place of pure self love. Pure self love comes from a realization that you really want to be happy and tend mindfully to yourself. The key to my happiness has been consistently letting go of expectations and outcomes and letting it all unravel one glorious moment at a time.

Letting things be what they are and not what I am expecting or hoping for has been a labor of love and worth every effort.

So, after 4+ years of writing this blog I am transitioning my effort and energy to living permanently on The Brightest Side where I will continue to write about my journey, but also write about how others can make their own promise to live life with positivity and kindness both to themselves and others.

I hope you will join me and together we can enjoy being at peace with our lives paths. 

Sending love to my dear Desiree who took the above photo of me during a weekend on the beach

My Little Walk on the Prairie, Dog

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I went on a nice hike today. I got bundled up and took a long walk down a beautiful path leading up to a ridge off in the distance. I made the decision to make it to that spot before turning back. Along the way, I had time to take in the breathtaking mountain range in front of me and listen to the rustling of the hundreds of prairie dogs making themselves busy all around me.

Most of the time when I hike or spend outside where the mountains are in such plain view, I focus on their majesty and let my mind wander and dream. But today, I was far more focused on what was immediately surrounding me and all that was happening along this nature’s path. Being new to Colorado, I’m not very used to coexisting with prairie dogs and I started to think about how amazing these creatures actually are. They symbolize an invigorating community spirit and how much can be achieved by working together. They instinctively know what takes many people years to learn, if they ever do at all. They know somewhere in their little doggie guts that there is strength in numbers and they are most likely happiest and feel safest when they are surrounded by others like them. I love to see them standing together in the sun or kissing, cuddling and grooming their little furry loved ones as they come up from their cozy homes to get some fresh air.

Their underground wonderland that I will never see makes me realize how much can lie right under the surface even if you never know it’s there. I imagined them scurrying through their elaborate tunnels beneath my feet preparing their next meal or caring for their young. I imagine they take great pride in their surroundings and take the time to do the maintenance necessary to accommodate for their extended family so everyone feels comfortable. They seem to understand that a strong sense of family and a bit of self-nurturing and hard work can be rejuvenating for the soul.

Eventually, I had walked long enough to reach the ridge only to realize that there was another ridge beyond it off in the distance, but instead of worrying about what was over the next ridge, I decided to turn back and spend some more time with my little friends on the prairie as I walked back down the path.

During my hike I felt surrounded by so much beauty and love. Today I got out of the house to remind myself what I wanted more of at home.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Running The Good Race

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Two men stand next to each other at the starting line of a race.

One has been rigidly training everyday at dawn following a set plan of action to achieve a certain time for this race. Each practice run was meticulously timed and outlined. That final number is set in his head, anything less is unacceptable. He jumps up and down anxiously warming up, checking his watch to make sure his technology is ready to track his progress. This is it, he has to do this in a certain amount of time. That finish line is everything to him right now.

The other man stands with his hands on his hips looking up at the beautiful blue sky and takes a deep breath thinking about how nice this run will be on this bright sunny day. Feeling proud of the training he has done in preparation for this race, he thinks about all those other nice, long runs he took on other days similar to this. What a pleasure it has been to set this goal and get outside and run. He’s feeling good about getting back in shape and spending his time doing something positive for himself. The finish line will appear when he is ready.

The race begins. The first man explodes down the path in anticipation. The second man begins to run and smiles at how good it feels to get moving. The race continues on and on while both men have two very different experiences. The first man didn’t notice the beautiful scenery and the quiet calm of listening to your feet create a soothing rhythm as you run. The second man noticed this and more.

The first man crossed the finish line in a hurried frenzy breaking his own record and pumping his fist in the air with pride. His goal was reached and exceeded and this high will last him a while. He gathers his data and heads home.

The second man forgets to notice the clock as he glides past the finish line feeling grateful for the time spent running that day. He takes a few moments to enjoy his accomplishments and shake a few hands of other proud runners around him also basking in the glory of seeing through their intention.

Both men enjoyed the benefits of setting a goal, carrying out a plan and feeling the accomplishment of a job well done and both finished in the same amount of time. But even though they ran the exact same race, they each ran down very different paths. Neither path is right or wrong. Neither path should be judged. But which way would you rather run through life?

Life takes planning, preparation, commitment and discipline. Life is a marathon. You can choose to run that marathon any way you want.

It’s all about perspective.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” -Wayne Dyer

YES

I have another new word to embrace this year. YES! I would like to say YES to more coveted benevolence this year and hold a more positive vibe longer and stronger than I have in the past. Maintaining an upswing of positive intention should be just as easy as resting on a low hum in the more challenging times. In the past, I have resonated in a more negative space, but this promising path I am on is leading me toward more positive things and that takes enduring, steady effort to maintain. I aim to make the effort feel lighter and let the goodness flow around me and through me. Perseverance is well worth the reward and I plan to keep it going.

The word yes has yielded other goodness in the past. The story of John Lennon and Yoko Ono all began with the word yes. Their story is about a young artist named Yoko who had one John Lennon visit her art exhibit in New York City. The exhibit asked observers to climb a ladder and read a word mounted on the ceiling. Only when you ascended the ladder could you make out the word. I imagine John climbing that ladder, seeing the word YES and becoming inspired by this being the peace-loving creature that he was. He met the artist of the installation and the rest is history.

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A simple climb representing so much. The trip down the ladder must have been very different than the trip up because you climbed back down with a stunning affirmation in your head. Such a meaningful and inspired work, I can understand why it intrigued John all those years ago.

And the word yes set off a love affair for the ages. Misunderstood by many but cherished by many as well, they were a creative force that significantly impacted our culture. I wonder if they would have had the same result if the word had been negative. Most likely not.

John was an artist himself. He had a beautiful childish whimsy feel to his work. I love his art and hope to one day own a piece of it, but for now I will adore pieces like this from afar….

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Love is an astounding phenomenon that intrigues and inspires us all in so many ways. It’s beautiful to think of a love affair beginning on such a positive stride. I want to emulate that beauty and positivity in my own life and find that kind of love within myself.

“We need to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” – John Lennon

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I always have been and always will be inspired by these two creative, fascinating lovers. I hope to create that kind of tenderness within my own being. I believe they had such a fondness for each other because they had a deep devotion to themselves individually. Enchanting rapture may only exist in fairy tales, but I believe I can create a marveling wonderment within myself if I stay positive and continue to appreciate a loving and steady resolve that I know I am capable of manifesting.

above photos via bing.com

New year, New word

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ABUNDANCE!! I proclaim 2015 to be the year of abundance. Abundant energy, love, strength, power, change, and belief! I love a fresh start, it gives you the opportunity to do better, and we can always do better. Each day gives us the chance to begin again, but a new day at the start of a new year gives us the opportunity to completely refresh our agendas and recommit on a new level.

Who’s with me? Let’s create and attract epic abundance! What can you do to begin this new year on an optimistic upswing with a sustainable rising surge of goodness? What are the real, reachable goals you can set for yourself? Name it, make a plan and go for it. Don’t just hope for good change and cross your fingers, map out a strategy to get there, and then get moving!

I have recently committed to getting my certification to be a yoga instructor. Mid-January I will begin an intense 5 month course and by June I will be certified to teach others how to incorporate a practice of yoga into their life. To me, yoga is a progressive and peaceful way to focus on a combined healthy mind and heathy body. As my body begins to change and reform through a committed and dedicated yoga practice, I envision my mind and spirit growing stronger as well.

This commitment for me marks the beginning of more changes in an effort to continue on this path of momentum, strength and growth. I live courageously for myself. I have defined reasons why. Momentum demands action and brings progress. I have goals and I have a plan to achieve those goals, but I also have a mind open to what these new actions will bring. I move forward feeling brave and ready. I crave radical achievement and I am worthy of the goodness I feel it will bring into my life.

I intend on bringing in abundance. I imagine myself bringing in great bounty and satisfaction. I envision copious amounts of progressive triumph.

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it”. – Amelia Earhart

“What if I fail? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” EH

Project the path you are on right now in front of you and imagine where it is leading. If that path is not in alignment with what you want and need then what do you need to do to make change? Shift your focus from trying to find yourself to actively creating yourself. Create abundance, actualize progress, manifest joy.

Happy abundant new year to you all!

above photo courtesy of ManicMorFF on morgue file.com

Becoming a Butterfly

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“Does the caterpillar know it is turning into a butterfly or is it in panic, stuck to a tree feeling all fat and crispy” -Becky Walsh, Mind Body Spirit Magazine

Our world is filled with BIG and FAST, so we may be conditioned to get what we want right in the moment we want it.  But, transition takes time and patience.  Change for the better is best achieved thoughtfully and slowly.  Nature gives us plenty of examples to support this theory like the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. We don’t know for sure what goes on inside that cocoon.  I wonder how that caterpillar feels as it creates it’s new home.  Does he have time and space to prepare for this change?  Is he looking forward to becoming a butterfly or was he happy being a caterpillar?  Let’s assume he is simply following his instincts and having faith in the process.  Wouldn’t it be comforting if we were all capable of that kind of trust and belief in our lives as we experience our own changes and transitions?  Sometimes enjoying the journey takes endurance and poise and sometimes you just hang your head out the window like a happy dog feeling the wind.  It all depends on the day.

“You can be presented with some rather difficult situations that bring about the transformation needed for you to fly.”  -Becky Walsh, Mind Body Spirit Magazine

The good news for the butterfly is that when it emerges it will be able to fly.  The process to get there may be unpleasant or it may be cathartic, that we will never know.  The process is private and looks different for everyone, and every caterpillar.  The key is to be kind to yourself and remember that the things in life worth waiting for are usually the best things we encounter.  Often at the other end of a trying time is a realization that you have come to know yourself better from your experience.  When you figure out the thing or things that you want most in this life it’s hard to sit still and wait, but manifesting change with intention takes time.

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” -Billy Crystal as Harry in When Harry Met Sally

Love may be the easiest way to demonstrate that feeling of eagerness and craving when it comes to transition, but there are several things in life that work that same way.  Anyone who finds themselves feeling stuck in a career and suddenly has a realization that there is something better out there will relate to this process as well.  The process of learning what you need to know to start a new career may be slow and tedious, but in the end, after all of your preparation, you feel strong and ready to charge out of the gate running.  Anyone who has a dream knows the anguish of waiting and working towards the hopeful day that it will come true.  The important component in all of this is to take your time and put intentional energy into getting to know yourself and learning to be at peace with your life’s path.

“The key to transformation is simply this: the better we know ourselves, the better equipped we will be to make our choices wisely.”  -Gregg Braden, Mind Body Spirit Magazine

The Long and Winding Road

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You embark on a journey and it fills you up and teaches you more than you ever thought possible.  This is the stuff of myths and fairy tales born from real life heros and explorers.  You ask the tough questions and seek the true answers.  You absorb the result no matter how energizing or shocking they may be because it’s better to know and grow than wonder and stay stagnant.  Along the way we make discoveries that we may not fully process until a later point in the journey.  The journey is never over, so I won’t say we process our experiences at the end.  This is an ongoing, beautiful movement through our life.  We are all on a journey, we all have a path.  Learning to be at peace with your life’s path will bring you just that, peace.  You have the power to interpret your journey and take action to make it serve you.  Be your own hero.  Live a beautiful life.

Then you reach the part of the journey where you have gone through vital self discovery and realize you want to make changes.  Maybe you feel like life and details are in the way and you are tethered to certain routines and will have to get crafty to make these changes.  But the changes are possible, anything is possible and change is good.

“How you spend your days is how you spend your life” – Annie Dillard.  For me, creating and basking in happy days is ultimately the only choice.  Though we may have to work hard to self discover and manage our findings, the task is well worth the struggle no matter how enjoyable or painful those outcomes may prove to be.  There are times you discover things that challenge you or take your breathe away.  It’s all in how you see those things and how you take action that make the difference.

This life is truly a long and winding road, and my life is made up of so many varied experiences and truths, but the truth I hold most dear and cannot breathe without is the belief that all of this hard work will continue to lead me on a beautiful, happy journey.

“I think a spiritual journey is not so much a journey of discovery.  It’s a journey of recovery.  It’s a journey of uncovering your own inner nature.  It’s already there.”  -Billy Corgan

I Love A Rainy Night

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When I wake up on a rainy, summer day, I don’t feel down or blah, I see it as a day to change things up.  I welcome the sweet smell of fresh rain and the sound of it tapping on my window.  I love letting the kids run into the grass barefoot and feel the rain all around them.  It’s fun to get soaked on your way into the house when you have no where to go and can just giggle and undress and put on cozy, dry clothes and relax.  No kids, we don’t really need an umbrella, just run through the rain and enjoy!

Yes, we waited patiently through a winter of polar vortex weather and being stuck inside during frigid days too cold to enjoy the mountains of snow pilling up outside our window for more than 20 minutes at a time out of fear of frost bite.  And yes, I love waking up to the sun and feeling it kiss my skin when I take my first steps outside in the morning, it makes me smile.  I like watering my garden and wearing sandals instead of shoveling snow from my car and maneuvering around big, bulky coats and boots for so many days during the winter.  But, too much of anything, including sunshine, can be overload.  Even when it’s raining I can still see the sunshiny smiles of my kids when they look to me to fill the day with new activities and adventures.

I enjoy twists and turns in my daily life, they keep things interesting.  Relaxing into a comfortable routine can satisfy some and seem mundane to others.  Everyone has a different idea of what they would like to get out of each day.  Some plan and plan and need to know what’s around each turn.  Some flitter around taking things as they come.  No matter what your personality demands, stop and consider if what you are creating is serving you.  Try a little change and see how it feels, see if it pleases you.  Stability is still good, it provides us with the things we need, the money to pay for the things we need and the comforts that we choose to enjoy.  Just consider stepping out of that “comfort zone” and experiment with a new path.  You can always go back to your routine.

For me, there are still shells to collect on the beach when it’s cloudy and much singing to do in the rain.  There is something romantically scary about listening to a thunderstorm while laying in your bed in the middle of the night.  And, when the sun peeks through after a day of rain and shines so brightly for you to enjoy, the feeling is like laughter through tears if you let it be.  It’s all in your perspective when you wake up to a rainy morning.

 

 I Love A Rainy Night – Eddie Rabbit

Well I love a rainy night

I love a rainy night

I love to hear the thunder

Watch the lightning

When it lights up the sky

You know it makes me feel good

Well I love a rainy night

It’s such a beautiful sight

I love to feel the rain

On my face

To taste the rain on my lips

In the moonlight shadow

Showers wash

All my cares away

I wake up to a sunny day

‘Cause I love a rainy night

Yes I love a rainy night

Unapologetically, Authentically You

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Living an authentic life means not being afraid to be your true self.  Authentic people embrace and respect what exists and make no excuses for not riding on the bandwagon.  An intention to be authentic may be enough to get you started, and being brave enough to uncover what that looks like for your life is a noble stride toward making peace with your life’s path.  To be authentic means that you don’t look to others to assess experiences, make a choice or feel an emotion.  You let it flow and accept what naturally spills from your heart as true.  Being a keen observer of your authenticity will make you understand your journey and yourself.

Being authentic in a relationship is possible when you are being true to yourself. Hiding what you feel will hinder others from loving you for who you are.  If you are consistently you, others can consistently love who you truly are.  What a lovely thought, and what a lovely experience.  Imagine spending your day being absolutely true to who you are and being sincerely loved for it…..

“Today you are you, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss

Accepting yourself as exactly who you are is empowering and freeing!  Start with forgiving yourself for your past.  Everything that has happened up until now made you the person you are today.  Without each day of that existence you could not be the person you are now.  Express gratitude for every lesson those past versions of yourself have endured and realize that you are smarter and more schooled than all of the past versions of yourself.  When you go easy on prior versions of yourself and allow the present version of you to benefit from the past, those fundamental life lessons begin to serve your life education instead of break your stride.  Let the past contribute to a breakthrough, not a breakdown.

A quiet, uninterrupted mind will reveal simple truths about yourself.  What do you think about when you wake up in the morning?  Before the world and technology shifts your thoughts and invades your head space, what and who comes to mind?

Do you know how to be yourself?  Can you experience it?  What if the YOU in your quiet moments could be the YOU that moves around in the world?  Would that make you happy?  Would that bring you peace?  I often wonder how much of a mask people hide behind and how much they let themselves just be.  Varying degrees of authenticity depending on the setting, people around you and your comfort level in a situation is such hard work.  Are you constantly playing a role or are you living authentically?  Can you stay connected to your vital relationships genuinely or do you feel like there are rules to follow and guidelines to adhere to?  Why do we over complicate things?  What if we could just simply be….

“There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves.  Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.” – Steve Maraboli

Waldo image from Google Images

I Will, I Wish

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We set goals all the time. Short term goals, long term goals, realistic goals and goals that keep us moving through each day with a purpose. Goals move our feet in the right direction when they often want to veer off onto the wrong path…. Setting goals can keep you grounded, but being realistic and not overzealous with your goal setting will serve you best in the end.

Dreams…… ahhhh dreams….. it’s just as important to dream as it is to be serious and accomplish goals. You could reach your goals with a staircase built one step at a time, but you should have to sprout wings and fly to your dreams…..they should be that far off and exciting! Look way off in the distance at what you wish for….. But, give as much energy to those thoughts as you do to your grounded goal setting thoughts. They are just as important and should demand just as much attention. If you remember the difference and devote the right amount of time and energy to both, they will serve each other and provide balance for you.

And, when dreams float down close to you and you can finally build your staircase to reach up and touch them, then do it! Like catching a butterfly, enjoy watching your dreams float beautifully around you until the time is right to swing your net. Just know that some dreams are better left to fly free and be admired.

Serenity Prayer

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Whatever it is that you do, run toward what you want, and thank your healthy body for carrying you there. Praise your strong will for guiding you during the times when you wanted to give up. Envision the body and life that you want and need. You are the person in your dreams, just catch up and enjoy! Even if we dream about perfection, our goals should be geared toward the best we can accomplish. And, be kind to yourself…..nobody’s perfect.

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