Tag Archives: changes

The Big Day

The big day…

It’s Sunday, a week before Labor Day, and I’m on vacation with my son at Universal studios, currently sitting by the wave pool in premium seating at Volcano Bay and it hit me… I have a good life.

I’m successful, I’m good with money (finally), I have some great friends, I have a great kid and I may be starting to date someone… so what’s wrong here?

Guess what?

Nothing!

I’m enjoying the moment and my spare tire in my midsection. I’m not stressing over what’s next and why not or why me… I’m just living my best life right now. And I’m doing it for myself.

That’s the trick here, put your oxygen mask on first, then everything else falls into place. None of this came without a good amount of time in therapy or a lot of looking in the mirror and saying, get at it or you know you are better than this.

Does this mean I don’t have goals? Of course not… that spare tire stopped paying rent a while ago, so the eviction notice is coming, Tuesday.

That career designation is happening by year end, because I made a promise to myself and I don’t want to fail on it (again).

That being a good role model to my son is continuing to grow and happen, we are just going to the next level with it now, as he develops into a young man.

What’s my purpose with all this? To tell all of you to get out there, smile, laugh, have the hard conversations (I did and it made my friendships even better) and take care of yourself first.

“Ad astra per aspera” my friends. Get at it and you got this! Your kids will thank you, I promise. 

-Electra 

You Don’t Need A Cape, You Already Have Wings

I am here to tell you that you don’t need a cape, you already have wings…I am sitting in a silent house after a week-long spring break trip that I haven’t taken since “The Trip” back in April 2016. One would think that I would feel rested, recharged, rejuvenated. Well…. I was. Sort of.

Let me tell you about the flight home after an amazing trip with my two favorite teenage humans. Picture this, tribe… 3 solid hours of turbulence. I even considered if the pilot was on his maiden flight. This was enhanced by one terrified teenager who has a legit fear of flying and one teenager who does what all teenagers do best, slumped – passed out cold… the entire flight. Mix that in with several (and I mean SEVERAL) sick children who were projectile vomiting from the turbulence (Yep, you are absolutely correct – there is NO fresh air on an airplane) and the overwhelming and recycled stench of kiddy vomit… Is this real life? Yes. It was. It happened, and I lived through it this past weekend. Eventually, I ended up getting home and feeling like I needed a vacation all over again. Please do not get me wrong here… I am 100% grateful that I got this experience and quality time with my kids, and that I had the means to go on such a trip with them. I am blessed beyond measure, and I do not take one of those moments (or any for that matter) for granted.

Wait, wait, wait…. You’re wondering what I meant by “The Trip” that I mentioned above back in 2016. Ah. Yep, That. Well, I think its time to get over my paralyzing fears, stare it directly in the eye and decide today is the day that I keep looking forward, and quit looking back to see if the past is still there. It’s there. It hasn’t left. I can still feel it. I can still see it. I can still hear it. I can’t unsee it, unhear it or unfeel it. It’s now part of who I have become.

It was around this time three years ago (almost to the day) that my world completely fell of its axis. No, literally. My entire personal world that I lived in completely blew up. In an instant. It was the day I became a working single mom.

I’m not going to dig into any of the details, much of which even after three years are still very fresh to my heart and soul, and the cuts are still very deep and still bleed on occasion. I can tell you with 100% certainty that I was absolutely blind-sided and was not in any way, shape, or form ready for what was going to happen to my life. It was never something I had signed up for or wanted. EVER. After all, I had been the living fairytale. I married my high school sweetheart and at that point had spent 20 years of my then 36 years of life with him. We had been married for 13 years at that point and had two beautiful children. Was our life glitter, rainbows and unicorns? Absolutely not. Was it perfect? No way. But, it was MY version of perfect. It was my world. My life. My everything – – until it just wasn’t any longer. I came back from spring break with my kiddos (he did not join us on this trip) to my then hero, lover, best friend, my person, and love of my life… telling me he no longer wanted to be in our marriage. He wanted out, and he left me. MIND BLOWN. EARTH SHATTERED. To make it worse, I was told in public. In a bar. Yep. That happened.

Let’s take the 35,000 foot detour for a second, and get you caught up to speed – and get off the backstory train. I spent three long and painful years desperately trying to hold onto my marriage and save my family. I pleaded with God. I got angry. I got spiteful. I cried millions and millions of tears. I felt abandoned, hopeless, jaded – any feeling you can come up with – I assure you I felt them and I mastered them. I lost weight and shrunk faster than washing a 100% cotton shirt in scalding hot water and putting it in the dryer on high heat for an hour. Some days, I literally begged to die – because the pain inside of me was so much, so deep, so hard – I couldn’t stand another minute. Failure was not a word that was ever in my vocabulary – and here I was – the picture of failure right next to the word in good oleWebster’s.

Long story short, we divorced right before this past Christmas – and the holidays, well – let’s just say they were pretty much a blur. Kind of like when you squint and look at the lights on the tree. They are there, but you really can’t make out what it is, but you obviously know.

I have a point here, trust me – and stay with me because hopefully – there is someone out there just like me who was right where I was or is even now. I look at the day-to-day and I still hurt. I hurt when I look at my kids when we are now a party of 3 that used to be 4. I hurt when I go to bed in a king sized bed alone and hover on the far side of the bed – and wake up in the same position, barely had moved. I have good day and bad days.

When looking at it by the “days” or “moments – I have felt like I haven’t moved an inch much less a mile. However, when I look back at the last three years as a “whole” – Tribe, let me tell you – I have moved mountains I didn’t think could be moved. I have traveled so far that I can’t see where I started even though I know it exists. I have grown, stretched myself, and learned more about myself and have undoubtedly proved myself wrong every single step of the way. I have survived 100% of my worst days. TRUE STORY!

I am alive to tell the tale. To not only myself, but to my two beautiful children and any one of you that are reading this. I have cried myself to sleep. I have eaten completely alone in a restaurant. I have gone to a wedding solo. I have wondered how I can make it another day. However, I have smiled. I have laughed. I have found strength in the deepest places I never knew existed. Hell, all of this brought me here to all of YOUright here and now. I am walking side by side with you. Our arms are linked, and we are in lock step. I am one of you. We’re a tribe and let me tell you – we’re strong. We’re not going anywhere and despite what you feel (or don’t feel) inside – we got this, and not only do we – we’ll do it twice and take pictures to prove it. (Insert “Amen” here!)

Humor me and consider this for a few moments. I want you to look in the mirror. I don’t want you to worry about the bags under your eyes from the lack of sleep you got last night because your child was up sick all night or because your teenager had their first heartbreak. Don’t look at the extra curves that may surround your waistline because you have been working so hard to provide, you haven’t gotten the chance to get to the gym. It’s not necessary to look at the dry shampoo residue in your hair. What I want you to do is look past the refection staring back at you, and for God’s sake, don’t judge the woman staring back. Only you know what storms she has been through. Only you know where she has been, and where she is going. You’re the only one who has lived her life. You’re the expert of the person you see in the mirror. No one knows her better than you.

Every single day is a new opportunity to start again. Reinvent yourself. Try something new. Spread your wings. I encourage you to do so, even when you’re paralyzed in fear, or have no idea where to even start. If you want to lay in bed all day, hide from the world, and pretend that you are non-existent; go ahead, do it for a day or two. But remember, you don’t live there. You don’t belong there anyway – and it’s not a destination. Here’s why…

If I have learned anything, it’s this. You have smaller humans that are watching your every move. Your attitudes, your composure, your strength, and endurance. They are building their character traits based on your examples. We’re helping shape who they become. Albeit – there is this saying but man oh man is it a good one…. Show your daughters how to be treated by a man and show your sons how to treat a woman. You’re showing them this tribe… and guess what… you’re doing an amazing job. No matter what yesterday’s mascara has to say about it.

Keep chugging the lattes. Keep being that laundry warrior. Be who you need yourself to be for you and for them. We’re all here to cheer you on along the way, and to pick you up and carry you when you feel like you can’t. That’s what tribes do.

Until we meet again…

Jenn

SNAP-Mood Change!

Did you know there’s a connection between the condition of your living space & your surrounding environment WITH your mood & your stress level? The connection happens unconsciously. You may not even realize WHAT it is that has you feeling OFF. A cluttered environment saps your energy, robs your creative flow, sucks out your positive attitude & steals your precious time. It slows down your productivity & outcomes and fills your mind with emptiness. And you ask “How’d THAT happen?’

Your living conditions could very well be the culprit to your boredom, upset, complacency, etc.

Living in, working in or just being in physical chaos… it changes your mood ** SNAP ** like that !

You don’t wake up and say, ‘my day is going to be havoc today’…it just happens. As you go about your morning you find yourself asking…. ‘Where are my keys?’ ‘What did I do with that letter?’ ‘Where is Johnny’s other sneaker?’ And before you know it, you’re behind schedule, talking to yourself and walking around in circles. You woke up in a good mood, ready to take on the day and ** SNAP ** like that you’re going down the rabbit hole.

And Sometimes it’s a lot harder to deal with the negative mood than the actual task of organizing your space. BUT the chaotic space will keep you there and make it even harder. Do you feel overwhelmed, burdened and stuck? If you can step out and start with one small drawer, one closet, one counter….. it very well could – if you let it – snowball you into another and another and another. And the next thing you know, you’re space is inviting, it flows better, and you’re happy. Allow clarity to replace clutter. Create a place for everything and put everything in it’s place Guess what…that’s better than half the battle…..it demolishes the battle. You find things in a *SNAP **.

It’s time to get back on track with a more efficient, harmonious space AND the next thing you know… you have a more efficient, harmonious life!

 

Your God Girl,

Tracy

XXOOXXOO

Joyful In This Place

Joyful in this place.

As you all know by now, I am in the middle of what I am calling a ‘difficult season’ which sounds better than what my mind would like to call it…LOL

November will make it a year and a half of walking out the choice I made of leaving my corporate job and cutting my personal income by 75% in order to work full-time for myself doing what I love.  You might imagine the impact that this has been having on my life and you might imagine that I may not have a lot of patience for it all…those of you that know me well know that patience is not one of my best qualities…yet I am learning it for sure in this season!

Over the last few days I have been feeling particularly challenged by all of this and feeling very much like ‘I have HAD ENOUGH OF THIS SEASON’—in fact I have been having many, many discussions with God about WHY I AM STILL HERE…

Now keep in mind that everything has been working, every bill has been paid and by the Grace of GOD every, single REAL need has been met.  I have experienced so many blessings and so much Grace during this time—not to mention the LESSONS I have learned…so part of me is very clear that this season has been necessary before I begin another phase of building.  I have gained such clarity about who is around me and what I have been pouring into, I have learned what and who to let go of and I am learning how to say NO.  Also learning that people that want to be around me need to put in equal effort and that is something that I was missing over these last 50 years.  Soooo although this time is SO freaking uncomfortable and most days I feel like my skin is on inside out, I DO SEE the value in it.

Now back to my impatience and asking God WHY am I STILL in this place…this morning that question was asked over and over again until I finally got an ANSWER:

  • “BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT JOYFUL in this place.  Gratitude is NOT your first line of defense in this place…even though I have had your back and MET EVERY NEED…you still wake up scared every single day and you are still hating where I have put you…SO UNTIL you can BE JOYFUL and GRATEFUL most of the time in this…HERE is where you will STAY!”

Yeah…so what could I even say to that??? It is the truth.  I am not joyful in this place and although I AM grateful, I am not grateful ALL the time.  Mostly I am scared and stressed and upset and feeling like I have had enough of this…

God often speaks to me and even when I don’t like what He has to say, I listen.

It is soooo hard to choose JOY in a place where you are uncomfortable….sooo hard to force yourself to be grateful when you feel terrified inside because you cannot SEE HOW everything will work out.  However, I have SOOOO much evidence that everything works out for the good, I even have the last year and a half where every need has been met and not once was I able to see ahead of time HOW.

FAITH is tested greatly when you are in the wilderness periods, yet those periods are an integral part of being able to create what is supposed to come next because your LESSONS are in the wilderness periods…and so they are often the hardest times.

So today I am working on figuring out how to be satisfied, grateful and JOYFUL in this place that I don’t like and I wanted to share this with those of you that may be in the middle of a similar season…

-XO, Noelle

Today Is The Day I Begin To Reach High

Today I am starting a journal, not only will this be a journal but a life changing assignment for myself. Today I am one step closer to be a braver woman, mother, friend and all-around person.

I have never thought of myself as a brave person. I have ALWAYS been the quiet one. The one everyone doesn’t see. The one who tries not to be called on for ANYTHING. The one who agrees with EVERYTHING just, so I don’t have to debate about it.

When Hurricane Harvey hit, my world was devastated. I have never been through something like that before. It changed my whole aspect on who I was. All I wanted to do was help people. But how was I supposed to help anyone when I have been scared all my life? Well, your girl has set her sights high now.

With my new career insights and pushing and pulling against all odds, it seems I still find things that push me back. But this is more than ok because this is only a test. I must keep pushing outside my comfort zones. As time goes by I keep changing into a whole new person and I am loving it. I am more outgoing, happier, trying new things and making new friends.

“Brave people don’t stop hearing the whispers of fear. They hear the whispers but take action anyways.” This is my goal. To keep fighting, keep pushing with everything to accomplish that I am setting my mind too. With the help of my friends, family and the words of the Lord I shall succeed!

I believe in myself. Do you believe in yourself? I believe all we need is that one whisper to get us up and motivated. Still scared? I am here, to help push you, help you find the meaning you may be looking for.

Today is the day to begin Reaching High.

~Shelly

To Grow I Must Embrace These Changes

To Grow I Must Embrace These Changes

There has been a lot of change going on in my life as of recent. I have never been a big fan of change. This time instead of fighting against the forces that be that are pushing me in new directions I have been embracing them and going with the flow.

One of the many changes in my life is that I have a new relationship in my life. Someone who treats me right, so much so it scares me sometimes. I have never been with a decent guy before, I have always been with the guys that neglect my needs and make me beg for what I need in a relationship. The absence of this struggle has me on my toes waiting for the other shoe to drop. Then I realized it wasn’t coming. Which made me analyze why I was waiting for things to take a turn for the worst. I didn’t feel like I deserved to be treated right, why you may ask? It’s from all the years of justifying others mistreatment of me. Now I am learning how to love myself and to allow someone to love me.

One of the other big change bombs in my life is that I have been officially diagnosed with lupus. I’ve been in an out of the hospital for years, with symptoms that doctors couldn’t explain why I was having them. More recently I’ve been in and out of the hospital more frequently and I finally got a diagnosis. For those who do not know what Lupus is; it is a auto-immune disorder where your body mislabels your healthy cells as invading pathogens and then the body proceeds to attack itself. Specifically, with lupus it attacks skin, organs, muscle and connective tissue. The fact that I live in a colder unstable climate increases the amount of activity this disease has. So being diagnosed has led me too two bigger changes in my life.

I am uprooting my life and moving across country to Texas, for the warmer stable climate with lower cost of living. My last day on the job at the casino as a blackjack dealer is May 6th. The new person in my life is following me and my children down there. I am also immersing myself into homeopathic and herbal healing to find alternatives to heal myself and others.

I am diving head first into all of this, and I’m refusing to allow fear to control the steering wheel. I know that I cannot continue to grow unless I embrace this change and allow myself to be uncomfortable. It’s time to heal old wounds and embrace my new life. 

Always be unapologetically yourself,

Ali

What Will You Change?

Okay, so those things that you really, really want…what are YOU willing to do to get them?  Who are you willing to become?  What are you willing to give up?  What are you willing to change and where are you willing to go the extra mile to achieve the desired result?

In order to produce miracles of change, you must give them a place to rest.  This means that you must make some type of forward motion toward the results you want.  Once you do that the Universe itself will empower you to move mountains.  Most people sit around waiting for miracles to drop out of the sky instead of taking direct action to create them.

Direct action requires responsibility, discipline, integrity and commitment on your part.  When looking to create miracles or a shift in circumstances, everything has to be in alignment.  If you are intending to produce a major result you clean up your side of the street so to speak… do things like keep your word, stop complaining, look to help other people, see how you can challenge yourself, be disciplined, and be committed to the result you want to see NO MATTER WHAT.

Sometimes your shifts of behavior will be simple adjustments and sometimes they will be far more difficult.  Anyone that knows me knows that I am a HUGE coffee drinker and every morning I pour myself a cup of coffee in this very large mug and every morning it ends up getting cold and I end up pouring half of it out—this morning I saw in my cabinet what I considered to be a very small and useless coffee cup, however it occurred to me that if I used the smaller cup I could avoid throwing half my coffee away because it was cold….so I did something different and used the smaller cup—imagine my surprise when I actually drank what was in the cup and didn’t pour any out.  In that moment it dawned on me that maybe making changes in our behavior for a different result was just that simple…perhaps the solution sits right in front of us every morning….

 

Welcome to the Redesign

Good Morning and welcome to the redesign…I decided that the focus of the site needed to be the blog and that it should be really simple and clean…so here we are.  Simple and clean is a good thing to get back to, often times I think we go out too far, go overboard with ‘stuff’, try to fit too much in and that gets exhausting.  Sometimes the best thing that we can do, is step-back, regroup and get back to basics.  When we get rid of all the stuff we don’t need, we can see what is really there, what really matters and then we can work with that.  What really matters to me is talking to you guys about how to reveal your own excellence and to teach you that ‘impossible’ IS just an opinion and it doesn’t have to be your opinion.

Today take a look at what’s around you and see where you can simplify, throw stuff out, re-arrange, take a breath and get back to the basics of what works and what you are passionate about…simple and clean is the motto for today…xoxo

Tennessee This Is Where I Leave You…

In 24 days, I will end an eleven year season in the state of Tennessee. As I was packing today I felt like I was walking through time, remembering all of the events of the last 11 years here. Ending a season is always bittersweet and I think it’s good to recall the lessons learned within each season of your life. That being said, I thought I would document the lessons learned in Tennessee and share them with you.

 

Here we go…Lessons learned in the last decade:

 

  • You CAN, in fact overcome ANY THING with prayer and a change in your thinking about the circumstance or situation…and I do mean ANY THING
  • I am stronger than I thought
  • I can survive betrayal of the worst degree and not be bitter
  • I can forgive people without having to keep them in my life
  • I can pray for people that have tried to harm me
  • I can be alone and be happy
  • Being alone is better than trying to turn myself into someone I don’t know to stay with someone that I don’t belong with
  • GOD does, in fact, have everything under control
  • GOD makes ways where there are no ways
  • Trusting GOD will never, ever fail me
  • Never get involved with someone that is not free to be involved, if someone is doing something else know you are worth enough to walk away until they finish it.
  • Never start a relationship on the tail end of an old relationship
  • Don’t jump from one ending to a new beginning, take a space to heal, breathe and evaluate
  • Work hard and then work harder
  • Be yourself no matter what
  • Do not enable
  • Do not over give
  • Let people sit in their shit sometimes because that is the only way that they will learn
  • Don’t try to fix people, it won’t work
  • Watch ACTIONS, don’t listen to words and when you see red flags in the actions, freaking PAY ATTENTION
  • TRUST YOUR GUT
  • TRUST YOUR FIRST REACTIONS to people, there is a warning there, HEED it
  • If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t—walk away
  • Don’t make excuses for dysfunctional shit just get away from it
  • Be kind to people
  • Stop complaining and realize that words matter—life and death in the power of your tongue—choose words wisely
  • Don’t settle
  • I need to listen more sometimes and talk less
  • Pay attention to people and think about how they will feel before you say or do something that effects them
  • I am not easy to help
  • Everything has a price
  • My relationship with GOD is my most important one
  • The people that really love you will never walk away from you, no matter what a shit you are
  • BE GRATEFUL

 

Really, I grew up in Tennessee, I came here at 36 for work with no family and a 3 year old son…I was scared to death yet I knew that I needed to make my way as a single mom and the opportunity was one that I felt led to take. I can remember lying in bed on nights during that first year scared as hell wondering how it would all turn out. I had lived around my family my whole life and now I was here in a new place with nobody. I just kept praying and putting one foot in front of the other and I made a whole life here, made friends that became family and it all turned into an amazing season…there were some hard parts, even some terribly devastating parts…yet looking back over the 11 years—all in all it has been an amazing time of being blessed and being able to bless so many others. I came into my own here, in Boston (my hometown) we would say that I made my bones in Tennessee.

 

Now just like GOD called me here 11 years ago, He is now calling me back to New England and so back I go in 24 days to see what this new chapter will bring.

And so Tennessee this is where I leave you…thank you for keeping me safe, thank you for teaching me that I can do more than what I thought I could, thank you for all of the people that you sent into my life here, thank you for the memories and the lessons, for the people I have loved and for the people that taught me lessons, thank you for teaching me to trust GOD more, thank you for all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly parts…you have made me what I am now and for that I am so grateful…until we meet again…

 

 

Be the Leading Lady

Last night amidst my incredibly chaotic life with two kids, a husband that requires my attention sometimes more than the kids and a dog needier than any of them, I was finally able to fall into bed with a cup of tea and read a little. This particular night I chose a blog about a mom whose toddler son gave up on her (awesome choice, I know). By the end I was crying … audibly … and wondering, “Will my son give up on me?” She did it; she nailed it. She left me in tears, questioning what kind of mother I was and having to explain to my husband why I chose to co-sleep with my three-and-a-half-year-old year old that night. That writer moved me.
I have always loved to write. I have written stories and songs as far back as I can remember. I thought one day I would write books about enchanting love stories with brave women who ended up with everything they’d always wanted–a life they dreamed of. I would imagine myself as one of these leading ladies, with all of the wisdom and poise to save the day at the end of the story. But somewhere on my journey to becoming a writer, I stopped being the leading lady. I got scared. I became afraid to risk anything when it came to putting my stories, my songs, my writing, out there.
These mommy bloggers today are so incredibly funny, captivating, and so well written. But I sit down to try and do the same thing they’re doing and immediately feel like I’m on the JV squad and all the real athletes made Varsity. Call it the devil, call it lack of talent but I can’t seem to move myself, let alone the mommy sitting at the other end of the country. But today God gently spoke to me these words …”Write what you feel, write what you know.” So I’ll make a deal with you. I will be completely vulnerable and risk you thinking what I am writing is crap, if you promise to dig deeper with me during these next few minutes in the hopes you will be able to become honest with yourself.
Are you willing to risk being exposed to finally become the leading lady?
So here it is. My heart. My soul. Written down with words, posed in paragraphs, in the hopes that something I say will move you, my friends and sisters to act–to become the leading lady in your story.
What I FEEL is this: My heart longs to be able to show every single one of you what you are truly capable of. I want you to know that as dark as your situation, your addiction or dependency on that destructive thing that makes you feel whole, you are just one brave step away from being exposed. I want to look you in the eye, and tell you that it’s ok to shed light on your inner struggle because that one courageous move might heal you forever. I want to tell you without one ounce of doubt that your best life is yet to come. Will it take a willingness on your part to uncover your best? YES! But I will tell you that I feel you can do it. It starts with one step.
What I KNOW is this: I’ve been there, girls. I have been to the deepest depths of depravity and experienced a darkness that swallowed up my soul. But even in my darkest days, God never left. He reminded me quietly but consistently that I was his and he would see me through the worst. Just. Keep. Going. Just keep risking leaving the old behind. Just keep loving. For me, one day it finally happened.
God showed me through the many books I clung to and highlighted in that I needed to live with the power of NOW, with intention. I needed to live in this current moment, fully present. He showed me that I could do nothing about my past nor wait for my future to be better. I had to use the knowledge I had that second to make the best decisions for myself and my family. And if I did that, slowly, my life would start looking like what I imagined as a little girl it would be. I had to be brave. I had to risk feeling uncomfortable, to eventually feel alive and free.
Freedom is available to everyone. Peace is a gift we can all partake in. TRUE PEACE. It does exist. I have experienced it; I am living in it now. But I fought like hell to have it. I looked the devil in the face and risked feeling out of control by being exposed to capture my life back.
Let’s do this ladies. Let’s risk. Let’s be brave. Let’s be the leading lady.

 

A Guest Post from Lauren Rainey Tenney, she would love to hear from you…email her at

laurenraineytenney@gmail.com