Dream it! Wish it! Do it!

Do you dream of doing things in your life that seem impossible? Every dream starts out that way. It’s up to us to bring that dream into reality and it starts with small steps. The first step, believing that you can accomplish whatever your heart desires.

I ask myself two key questions when determining if I believe a specific dream can become a reality. Will this dream serve the greater good of the community and world? Will I grow from the accomplishment? If the answer to both is yes–I have a winner.

After getting that resounding yes to my two questions, my dream has gone from impossible to probable. So how do you get from probable to inevitable?

Here are a few steps to get you started on the path to realizing your dream, whatever it may be, getting healthy, weight loss, education, conquering addiction, getting out of a bad relationship. These steps can be used for nearly every goal you may have.

  • Decide on something you can do right now, this moment, toward that dream. It may be something as simple as research, a phone call, or meditate on the next step to realizing your dream.
  • Next you will need to decide what it is you can do each day forward.
  • Take out a pen and paper or sit at the computer and write out a few things each day that would bring you closer to your where you want to be.
  • Tell someone else about your dream. If we share our goals with others we are more likely to continue working on them.
  • Ask someone to hold you accountable. Find a friend that supports you and believes in what you are doing and ask them to check in with you once a week to see how things are going.
  • Create a vision board and look at it daily. If we can see our dream, it becomes more real to us.
  • Express your gratitude on a daily basis. Being grateful for what we know is our reality coming to life will bring more of that reality to be grateful for.

Celebrate your victory.

I’m going to share one of my dreams with you and you can hold me accountable. I enjoy what I’ve been doing for the last few years with Unlimited Smileage. I enjoy coaching survivors, speaking to groups, and spreading kindness wherever I go. One of my biggest dreams is to take a specific training that I believe will facilitate my growth as a coach and allow me to contribute more to my community and the world. This training has always been financially out of reach. I’ve changed the way I view this and although I don’t know how, this training will happen in the very near future.

What are some of your dreams? Dreams become reality, one choice at a time!

 

Vulnerability, Lessons from a Broken Tooth

In many situations in life we must be willing to be vulnerable. If you want to find love, you must be willing. If you want to pursue a dream job, you must be willing. Want to learn something new, you must be willing. In almost every aspect of life we must be willing to screw up, show our true self, be who we are and let down the walls.

We must be willing to accept that we are not perfect, we are however, pure love. We come from love and we are made up of love. Does that mean nothing will go wrong? No.

I found myself in a vulnerable position this week and I am here to say, vulnerability may have led to a bad decision. Broken tooth–filling fell out in my sleep–no dentist–visible infection–no insurance–not much cash–fear–can’t eat–get the picture? In that vulnerable state, I realize I must do something so I search the internet for a dental office nearby that will see emergency patients. I find a well known chain and they tell me to come in immediately, exam and x-rays free for new patients.

Tons of x-rays and an evaluation, the dentist tells me there isn’t enough tooth to save, she recommends extraction with sedation (because of my fears). This is on Monday, they can do the surgery Wednesday. I’m concerned that if I don’t do it immediately I will have worse problems and my fear will keep me from doing what needs to be done. The bonus, I don’t have to pay it upfront.

I take the appointment, get a signed release from my doctors office to have the extractions done under sedation, and arrange for my transportation. Several times through this experience I felt like I was getting signs that were saying don’t do this, go elsewhere. I ignored them because I have such a great fear of the dentist that I believed it was my fear talking. It isn’t always easy to know if you are receiving a clear message from the universe of it is just fear getting in the way?

Without going into too many details, I will say this–there was a screw up with prescriptions, there are 3 different doctors listed on my paperwork but only one doctor was present, my face is still swollen, I won’t tell you what my gums look like, and they scheduled no post op. Told me if you aren’t getting dentures, you don’t need a post op.

It can be difficult to allow yourself to be vulnerable after coming through extreme challenges. We all build walls of protection. Yet the only way to move on from those situations is to allow yourself to be vulnerable again.

I’m hoping for a happy ending to my toothache and that will mean I will need to be vulnerable again. Without that vulnerability the pain can only get worse.

What have I learned from a broken tooth–vulnerability and physical pain may not be a good combination, at least for me. Be sure I have a dentist when in one area for any length of time. Don’t immediately assume that fear is talking and particularly if you get the same message more than once. And the biggest lesson of all–I’m still human.

 

Child’s Play

Have you ever noticed that most children have no filters? They show raw emotion. They say whatever is on their mind. Many times they seem fearless. I have a granddaughter who always trusted someone would catch her and would climb up onto anything she could find and jump, even if no one was close. I can remember running to stop her from certain injury, as she laughed and jumped. I’m sure all of you can think of a child like this. Maybe you were that child.

Children will do things we as adults only wish we had the courage to do. I was recently reminded of a story involving one of my nieces. She was about 9 years old, out with her mom, when suddenly she took the change she had in her hand and threw it on the floor of the store. How would you have reacted to that? Probably the way my sister did, first in shock and then questioning why she would throw money on the floor. What happened next is not what you would expect.

Was she just an ungrateful child? Nothing could be further from the truth. Her answer to her mom was simple and profound. She stated, “Mom, haven’t you ever seen the joy on a child’s face when they find money on the floor?”

My phone rang this evening, it was one of my brothers. He was filled with joy and had to share his evening with me. He had just been at my youngest daughter’s house. He said, her oldest son was in bed because he was tired out from a long day with friends. He came downstairs, walked over to my brother, wrapped his arms around him and stated, “I’m tired, but I couldn’t sleep so I thought I would come down and say hello.”

I’m sure you have witnessed many of the wonders of a child. Think about the child you see dancing when there is no music. When is the last time you did that? At what point in our lives do we transition from that child who acts on what they feel to the person who is more concerned about what people may think of them if they do something just because their heart tells them to?

Have you ever wanted to pick up the phone and just call someone to say thank you for being you and then decided that may be silly? Have you ever wanted to say thank you to someone for smiling and saying hello? Maybe you just want to put a little dance in your step. What stops you from doing the things that are in your heart? Are you too busy thinking about what others may think of you?

My challenge to you-think outside the box as you go through your day. How can you make a difference, what can you do that is nothing more than child’s play? Here is an example: I recently enjoyed a meal at a dining establishment near me. I observed the normal things, the host was polite, my waitress was prompt and courteous, and the food was delicious. However, it went beyond the norm, I noticed how beautifully the food presentation had been done which made the food even more appealing. How many times do we acknowledge the person who preps our food?

At the end of my meal I asked the waitress to please call out the person that had prepared my food, both seemed a bit nervous. In a society that focuses more often on the negative, I’m sure they were wondering what was coming next.

As the young lady approached, I asked, “Are you the person who prepared my food?” I wish you could have seen the look on her face when I handed her a Karma Card, a hand written Karma Companion Card and a tip. Let’s just say, it was priceless, a smile for miles.

Find just one thing you can do that will brighten someone’s day today. Tip the cook, say hello to a stranger, dance without music, call someone you haven’t spoken to in quite some time and say hello, thank someone you love for just being who they are…jump and trust that someone will always catch you.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t dance!!

Creating Your Reality-Choice or Chance?

Have you ever felt like your reality is more random and chance than it is creation? We all have those times when we feel like we have little control over our reality and that most of what happens in life is a matter of randomness and happenstance. Is it really or are we not expanding our awareness enough to see that our reality is created in the randomness and happenstance?

Virtually everyone has experienced coincidences at some point in life. Most will simply right them off as nothing more than coincidence. Many of us will miss the relevance of the synchronicity. What if you changed your perspective and understood that coincidence is a glimpse into the greater creative mind and your Source?

We have all heard someone say, “I was in the right place at the right time.” when asked about a success in their life. What separates those people from the people who just write off the coincidences in their lives is simple. Those successes are woven around the ability to pay attention to the synchronicity that occurs, when it occurs.

Here are a few tips for recognizing coincidence in your own life and the benefits of paying attention:

  • Live in this moment. Your awareness should be focused on the here and now.
  • Practice daily meditation. As you meditate you will expand your conscious awareness and your ability to recognize coincidence.
  • Live mindfully. Focus on each activity throughout your day without letting your mind wander to the past or future.
  • When you recognize synchronicity in your life, question it’s purpose.
  • Expanded awareness and paying attention to those things you may consider coincidences can bring you to live in a state of grace.
  • The more aware you are, the more you will find coincidence happening in your life.

In my own life, I have many moments of synchronicity. Most recently, I was prepared to leave on a travel assignment. I was excited but I really felt that I needed just a few more days to prepare myself for the new adventure so I opted to meet up with the group in the middle of the week. All the arrangements were made, including transportation. The night that I made the decision not to leave I received an email from a family requesting my assistance. Had I not listened to my gut I would have missed the opportunity that was presented. Was it a coincidence that I didn’t feel I should leave? No. Should I have ignored the email and continued on? I don’t believe so.

I could have dismissed the email and told myself that a plan is a plan and it is just a coincidence that they emailed me when they did. I can tell you now, that had I done that I would have missed out on a beautiful experience. If I had chosen to leave when I was originally supposed to leave I would have been stuck halfway to the desired destination. I found out the group I was to be leaving with had several breakdowns on the way to their final destination.

Are you listening to the messages the universe is presenting to you each moment of the day?

Where do the experts go?

Have you ever wondered where your doctor goes if he or she is sick? Who does Tony Robbins talk to when he needs coaching? If you are considered an expert, the best at what you do, does that mean you never need a mentor, someone to turn to for guidance? Do these people ever fail? Do they ever make a mistake?

Think about how many times in life we put someone on a pedestal, we believe they are super-human..after all they are the best at what they do. They are the best at their sport, their coaching skills are unmatched, they are always on top of their game. You can apply this to whatever someone is good at.

In thinking about so many recent headlines, Lance Armstrong and his doping confession is the first to come to mind. In my years of working side-by-side with him and his foundation I have defended him on more than one occasion. When the confession went public, I will admit to feeling betrayed, feeling foolish for having believed in him, for having put him on a pedestal.

Was I as much to blame for this as he was? As I look at it now, I take some responsibility. I was no different than anyone else who idolizes another human being. I expected super human powers from ordinary people. Those people we idolize, although not blameless, are under extreme pressure to live up to our expectations. That doesn’t seem fair.

This post is not about any one particular situation, it is not about Lance. This post is about why we choose to look at people as if they are more than human. It is about why, with my expertise in overcoming extreme life challenges, I find it nearly impossible to admit to anything remotely human. It is about why I find it difficult to tell the world, I found a challenge I don’t know how to handle.

I’m going to lay it on the line. I want nothing more than to have my “random acts of kindness” movement be successful. The journey is not going as I had envisioned it would. Does that mean I give up? No way! Does that mean I change the way I envision things will go? Maybe. Does it mean I look for advice, coaching, and a mentor for myself? Absolutely! Advice, coaching, and mentoring doesn’t need to come from someone who is skilled in those areas, it doesn’t need to come from someone who makes their living doing these things. We need to be open to finding answers wherever they may be presented and from anyone who may be in our lives. Anyone can be a teacher.

Here is a piece of advice from a great friend, 🙂 Kristin Pedimonti, that is stuck in my head, “Be sure the voices you are listening to are your own.” I have decisions to make and I’m not sure the voices I’m listening to are my own.

Here’s where you come in. I would love to hear what tools you use in your life when you have major decisions to make. How do you know the voices you are listening to are your own?

Sincere Smiles!

Choppy Seas

Everything seems like smooth sailing and then it happens….a tsunami..choppy seas…and once again we are left wondering, why. It is natural to want life to run smoothly with no real hiccups.

Have you ever thought about what your day, your week, your year, your life would be like if you never had a single problem? BORING! No challenges, nothing to spark your creativity, nothing to bring excitement to your day. The world would never change..everything today would remain the same tomorrow.

The world would never see a new innovation, a new invention..after all aren’t those things simply answers to problems? This Mac I’m typing on was simply an answer to a problem. The computer or smart device you are reading this on, an answer to a problem.

It would seem that if you are searching for a new business idea, it is a simple as finding a solution to a problem. If the problem exists in your life, it almost certainly exist in the lives of others. If you have a question that you see no one has answered, answer it for yourself and you will have answered it for others.

Does the question always need to have a complex answer? Speaking for myself, I have no desire to solve the problems of the technology world. I’m more of a “practical solutions to everyday problems kind of girl.” Although until recently I never realized how often, I saw a problem, did nothing about it, only to discover some time in the future..someone else was getting rich with the solution to my problem in a way that I could have had I acted on the tsunami.. Most of us would say that at some point in our lives we have uttered the words, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Is fear keeping you from trying? Remember there are no failures…only experiences that teach us how not to do something…and I have plenty of those.

What are you waiting for? I know that some of you reading this have ideas you have been sitting on. I teach martial arts to young children and when we teach a new skill that they may not need to know until further up in the ranks we always ask this question…”When is the best time to learn?” The answer from the kids..”Now Sahbumnim.”

There is no better time than “Now” to face the choppy seas..take on the tsunami…answer the questions in your life. When life creates the big waves..be the wave. If you have a thought or an idea and you just want to get some feedback on it..don’t hesitate to bounce it in my direction for feedback.

 

Success or Significance

Have you ever felt like you were living a successful life but there was still something missing? Are you a successful person?

One dictionary definition of the word success tells us it is the accomplishment of one’s goals. If you consider that definition in it’s simplest form, we are successful each day that we wake up, unless of course you have a goal of not waking up ever again. In that case, please find a friend to talk to, a support group or call an emergency hotline. Most of us can honestly say that we do hope to wake up from our much needed sleep and we are successful.

Continuing that thought process, we all have small successes throughout our day. We have a goal of going to work, or playing with our kids, or making dinner, or getting some fresh air as we head out on a daily walk. Successes like these may not be thought of as a success, you may not give any of the things you do throughout your day much thought. You should, it will instantly brighten your day, knowing you are a success.

However, does success bring happiness is the greater question. In some instances, yes, success brings happiness. If you were craving a great meal and someone just served it to you that would be a success that makes you happy. If you had a goal to play with your kids in the backyard for an hour and had more fun in that hour than you did all day–that is a success that makes you happy.

If you head out to work, bring home a great paycheck, have very little debt, but hate your job or feel you have no purpose, you may be successful but certainly not happy. How many times in life have you found yourself achieving a goal only to feel successful but unhappy? You got what you wanted, when you wanted it, but something was still missing.

Then you have those moments where you can’t sleep and you do something you find joy in but not something you feel successful at. Something that has significance, even if it is only significant to you and you are over the moon happy.

The key to joy, harmony and balance in life is to find success through significance. If what you are doing doesn’t make you feel significant, you may want to reconsider what you are doing. The ultimate success is found in doing something with your life that makes you feel significant to yourself and others. It has been said many times but it is worth repeating…”What would you do even if you didn’t get paid to do it?”

 

Someone Is Praying

I recently saw this statement on a piece of wall art and a T-shirt, “Someone is praying for the things you take for granted.” I couldn’t help but wonder, what do I have in my life that I take for granted that others are praying for each day. As many of you know, I live a very minimalistic lifestyle. I have slowly eliminated much of the “stuff” in my life. Somehow I knew that there would still be things that I was taking for granted that someone was praying for.

It didn’t take long for me to come up with the most obvious answer, clean water. I started researching the numbers, they are staggering. In one year, 3.4 million people will die from water related diseases, 780 million people lack access to clean, safe water, stats made available at Water.org. Just seeing those numbers accomplished two things, I was really thirsty and I was sure to enjoy every drop of my glass of water.

In our daily lives, there are so many things that we take for granted: clean air, a place to call home, clothing, shoes, access to medical care. How about the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, and breath fresh air? The list is long and it isn’t always something tangible. Family, friends, community, do you think about how blessed we are to have them? What do you have in your life that you take for granted? Can you change that? Can you live a more conscious, gratitude driven life? Yes, we all can.

I apologize for for getting so caught up in “life” that I have taken my few followers for granted and not posted regular posts on the blog. It is amazing how you make plans and then life has different ideas. I will do my best to change that.

There are so many new things happening for me, some wonderful..some not so much..all will be lessons…and I will share them with you. As always I’m grateful for everything, and everyone that comes into my life. I may not understand why things are happening when they are happening, but I will always strive to learn the lesson.

I will leave you with a few of my favorite thoughts.

Love the unloved!

Give your life away!

Be someone who makes someone else look forward to tomorrow with a smile!

 

 

 

Live Your Life in Peace Not Pieces

Peace is a way of life, not a place you strive to reach. Peace is found through love, love of self, love of others. Peace is found in equality, in the knowledge that we are all part of a greater intelligence, a higher source of power. It does not matter what name you choose to use for the Divine intelligence..God, Buddha, Spirit..the list goes on. The only thing that matters is that we cross all religious lines and love each other as if those lines didn’t exist.

It never ceases to amaze me when I see a news story that refers to bringing peace through military action. This may be controversial to some, maybe even those of you reading this. I just don’t believe that war brings peace. I do believe that war brings pieces.

Pieces that eventually need to be put back together, at best, still only lead to a puzzle that is never really a whole picture. Pieces that are realized as families that have lost people they love. Pieces that are realized as communities that have been destroyed. Pieces that are realized as hardened hearts. More pieces than I care to list here. I’m sure you can add many of your own.

Just as war cannot bring peace to the world, internal conflicts cannot bring peace within. Internal conflicts leave the soul in pieces. I’m not talking about the internal conflicts that have you craving the brownie you know you shouldn’t eat because you are striving for a healthier diet. I’m talking about the more serious internal conflict.

Conflict that leaves you questioning your worth. You are perfect, just as you are. You are a unique fingerprint of the Divine.

Conflict that keeps you from the love you were meant to share with the world. Conflict that causes you to judge others and not see that we are all one. You are Love, love doesn’t judge. Conflict of this kind will leave your heart and soul in pieces.

You will find love in a smile. If you are searching for love, start by finding a mirror and smiling. Loving your “Self” at a truly spiritual level is the foundation for loving all others.

Intent: Set it and Forget it!

This is a topic I knew I needed to write about. Many times my writing is just as much for me as it is for the readers. This is one of those times.

Intent is defined in the dictionary as the act of intending. What is intending? Intending: to have in mind as something to be done or brought about. By definition, if we intend to do something we have set our intent. Intent doesn’t apply to just the tangible things in our lives or the things we can write on the calendar.

Intent applies to our spiritual lives, our emotional well-being, and the physical world. The question is, is it enough to set our intent and then forget it? Should we revisit our intent? If so when? This can seem like a complex set of questions. The answers will be as individual as the questions that come to your mind.

In my own experiences, I have found that there are some steps I need to take that add to the power of my intentions. Here is a simple example. If my intention is to be closer to family, I take a step in that direction. It may be as simple as picking up the phone and calling someone I haven’t spoken to for quite some time. I make a real connection whenever possible, no text messages, no email. I connect face to face or at least by phone.

In today’s world, technology has made our lives easier but at times I feel it has desensitized us and the importance of personal connections has somehow been lost in a computer screen. Even in a world of “lol” and emoticons, it is difficult to know what someone is truly feeling.

If my intentions are on a personal level, I revisit them often. It is necessary for me to keep myself in alignment with my purpose. Personal for me involves the less tangible parts of my life: my emotional well-being, my connection to others, my connection to self, my connection to source, and my spiritual well-being.

On the other hand, if my intentions involve more tangible things like my finances, or something I feel I need or desire to have in my life, I set them and forget them. What does that mean? Simple, I do what is necessary to move toward my desires. I don’t spend every waking hour crunching numbers. I know that everything I desire in life is already there and will manifest in the correct time, place, and form.

This was not always the case and I still have moments of “relapse.” I’m the type of person that really wants clear direction and not too many surprises in my tangible world. There have been times in my life that you would find me sitting with my calculator, pen and paper, crunching the numbers. I lived in fear and doubt. Where would the next dollar come from? How would I pay the bills and still strive to fill the practical needs of the people I meet on this journey?

I would look at the numbers, check the donations, look to my income as a writer, and doubt I could ever accomplish all I felt I was being called to do. Guess what I learned? Crunching numbers only brings stress, not money or answers. Stress kills..I wanted to live.

I found that the more I crunch numbers and worry about how I will achieve the tangible desires, the farther away those dreams seem to be. I simply do what I feel I’m being called to do and let God take care of the rest. Yes, even when it feels like I may not be able to do what I need for myself. Those times are not all without fear. However, they are filled with love and gratitude.

I recently set up a crowd sourcing campaign in hopes of expanding the mission of Unlimited Smileage and the number of people I can reach. I have big dreams in my mission to help others, as is evident by my campaign. Everything I’ve done since I started this mission in 2011 has come from my pocket and the donations of my readers. All money that comes in through the site goes directly to someone in need.

That campaign, soon to end, didn’t go well. If I was the kind of person to believe this to be a failure, I would walk away from Unlimited Smileage now. That is simply not who I am. In total honesty, did I want this campaign to be a success–absolutely. Do I believe that because it has not been I have failed and so has Unlimited Smileage–no way! Gratitude goes to the person who was moved to donate.

What I do believe is this. When one door closes, another one opens. When you think you have hit the wall, look for a window. When what you thought was the answer is not, the answer is not no–the answer may simply be slow–the answer may be, I have a better way.

Survivor for life, victorious not a victim…that describes what I know in my own life. If you give up how will you ever know just how far you could have gone?

I wonder, if you didn’t know where your next meal was coming from would you give the food you had to the homeless person you pass on the street? If you had just $10, no money in the bank, no retirement, no emergency fund, would you give that $10 to a stranger in need? I think you get my point. Would fear hold you from doing what you felt called to do?

In a world that puts so much emphasis on the things we acquire, the money we make, the cash in our bank account, I believe we have lost sight of the true meaning of life–love. I believe it is time to set our intentions on a new path. What can you do today to set your intentions in a new direction?

If curiosity has gotten the best of you, the campaign can be found here.