Tag Archives: encouragement

Thank You, Dad!

Thank you, Dad!

It’s Sunday as I write this and I’m shocked by what I’m about to say, but I think I’ve had too much coffee. I made myself an iced coffee and ooh it is hitting me. 

Background music is Judah and The Lion “Beautiful Anyway.” The lyric “Raise your hand and take a second to breathe in”, is sticking in my head right now.

More and more I have been trying really hard to live in the moment. Put my phone down, get off social media, get out of my head. It’s a pretty tricky thing to do with everything going on.

Especially where we live. We have made the news A LOT. For nothing good. As a family we try to maintain a bubble and our center is my Dad.

Today coincidentally is his birthday.

My Dad good, bad or otherwise is the person I hold others up to. He and my Mom have been married for almost forty nine years and again they have a marriage, relationship and friendship that I aspire to.

When my own marriage failed. I felt defeated. I felt like a failure. I think there is a misconception sometimes that just because people are thriving after a divorce that it was an easy decision or journey. 

It wasn’t.

My Dad has never once made me feel like it was easy. He has never once made me feel like I made the wrong choice.  I know he hurts for my daughter and how it has impacted her and me.

But aside from a few things. That has always been my Dad. Never making me feel bad in my choices. Even when I know they were not the ones he would  have made. And standing nearby just in case I might need a hand. 

If I am being honest, there are certain parts of my life I have glossed over because I don’t want my Dad to take on anymore than he does for me. Not that he would, but he would. 

He has allowed me to be a realistic dreamer.

Taught me to question things.

He is helping me and he doesn’t know this, get my confidence back. 

He helped my daughter and I get back on our feet.

He is helping me find my voice again.

And he has always shown me how to love my daughter with my whole heart.

So this was a rambling thank you to my Dad, but the older my daughter gets the cliches are true. I get it. Those lessons my parents taught me. Why they did what they did. 

And I’m beyond thankful for them.

Especially right now.

 

Be safe Mommas

Much love

<3 Caprise

We Are All Enough

We are all enough….

Those of us that grew up in the 1970’s remember what a treat it was for certain classic favorite movies and television specials to play once every year.  Remember, there were no video tapes, dvds, or recording devices for our televisions, so we relied solely on what the big three networks, NBC, CBS, and ABC were going to air for our viewing pleasure.

My all time three favorite annual movies were The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, and Gone With the Wind.  There was a lot of build up and fanfare including popcorn popped on the stove top and if we were really lucky, we’d get some Pepsi instead of the normal drink…Kool Aid. I still could belt out every tune Julie Andrews meticulously sang including the yodeling from The Lonely Goatherd, “yo Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo.”  You can trust that I’m singing it right now.

Animated specials were especially exciting.  Most of the time, cartoons were only available on Saturday mornings, but around every major holiday, prime time rolled out dozens of half-hour classics.

About a year and a half ago, I started delving into the world of healing my inner child.  I had finally come to the conclusion that it was time to face the pains of my past in order to heal and grow and to stop self destructing through unhealthy behaviors as a means of escape.  I started to realize that even though I had considered myself a successful business woman and a pretty good mother, that deep down, I didn’t feel worthy, and I didn’t feel like I deserved good things in my life. That’s a hard pill to swallow, and I needed to put some kind of reminder in place to help me affirm that I am not indebted to a life a shame.  I contacted a local artisan jeweler and had a ring made that simply states “I AM ENOUGH.” I have worn the ring religiously every day as a visual affirmation. Every morning when I slip it on my finger, I read it aloud and proud.  It is a necessary start to my day. I rank it up there with my trip to the bathroom and my first drink of water.

About a month ago, while having my monthly full body massage (a reward that I have been indulging in as a means of self care), I showed it to my massage therapist, Krissy, as she and I were having a meaningful conversation and I was opening up about the shame that I had been carrying for so many years. She and I have become friends through our professional association as we talk about everything from our aspirations, our shared love of writing, the importance of spreading light in the world, to our similar childhood experiences.  We have deemed ourselves soul sisters, and the connection has been very rewarding as we encourage each other on our respective journeys.

As I walked into Krissy’s house, I handed her the book and told her “Big Magic will give you the kick in the butt you need to keep writing.” As I was finishing my sentence, Krissy is simultaneously slipping something into my hand, and as I looked down, I felt warmth, a little leap from my heart, and the most special feeling that included joy, my eyes welling up with tears, and a chill that came right up the back of my neck.  It was a simple, painted flat rock that says “You Are Enough.”

Krissy explained that she had been given a box full of hand-painted rocks, and as she sifted through them, she came upon this particular message and knew exactly who it was meant for…it was meant for me. 

This moment was sweetly serendipitous, at the very least.  Anyone who doesn’t believe that the simplest of gestures like a smile, a gentle touch to the hand, a kind word, or even a painted rock, doesn’t matter is probably someone who has never been shown such a kindness.  

The story became even sweeter as Krissy explained that a dear friend of hers hand-colors each rock with inspirational messages and gives these beautiful mementos to others.  Sometimes they are hidden so others can delightfully find them just when they need a sign from the universe, and others are stored away in a box waiting for the perfect moment to make someone smile.  Krissy explained that the creativity and passion behind these rocks belongs to a woman who has many health issues and just finds joy in spreading the love. I was so inspired, I wanted to meet this amazing woman and find a way to share her story here, but unfortunately, after asking, the artist wishes to continue to quietly reap the reward of joy in the therapy of creating them, and I have to respect that boundary. 

As I’ve been trying to find the best way to tell this story, I kept coming back to a famous line from one of those annual animated specials that aired on tv when I was a child.  If you haven’t guessed it by now, from Peanuts It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, comes the most famous line from the show when Charlie Brown sadly exclaims “I got a rock” as the children compare their trick-or-treat goodies. 

Charlie Brown never really catches a break, and we are always left feeling sorry for poor “Chuck”. I did some research on this episode before I wrote this blog, and I found that Charles Schulz may have created Charlie Brown as an extension of his own feelings of low self worth and maybe as a means of expressing his sadness and lack of belonging.  

It’s the Great Pumpkin was first aired in 1966, but in 1975, the Peanuts comic strip depicted a version of the story in which Peppermint Patty was convinced by Linus to sit in the pumpkin patch and wait for The Great Pumpkin.  Of course, she was upset that The Great Pumpkin never appears, and she said “ I sat in a pumpkin patch for a week and I didn’t get ANYTHING!” Charlie Brown then said “Do you want my rock?”

I interpret this as sort of a redemptive message in that Charlie Brown is trying to show Peppermint Patty some empathy and to show that he can relate to the disappointment, and maybe it even fosters the belonging he felt when Peppermint Patty was equally as unlucky.  

Imagine if the rock that Charlie Brown had received was not just a rock but instead a beautifully hand-painted sign from the universe that he mattered.  If Charlie Brown had received a rock with a message of hope, love, and inspiration, the disappointment would have instead been joy, a heart that seemed to leap from his chest, and a chill that went right up the base of his neck into his bald head.  And if serendipity was as sweet as it is said, when good old Charlie Brown would have offered that rock to Peppermint Patty, she would not have needed to say, “Do you like me more than I like you, Chuck?” She would have already known.

You are enough.

 

~Blanche Bouvier 

tenderlovingsoulcare.com

 

How Are You Doing?

When I was in marriage counseling, my counselor asked how I was doing and and I would always respond with “good”. And she would ask what was good about it? It was really hard to think about what was actually good at that time. And the question made me feel quite uneasy…

During that time period, I was going to marriage counseling separately and with my husband. There were so many emotions that I was experiencing, so It was hard to think, how I was really doing. Good seemed like such an easy response and I did not need to go into detail. It was a fast answer, which I was hoping would get me through it.

I did not enjoy this at all… because she would make me really think about how I was doing, was I doing good or not….At that time in my life, I kept a lot of my feelings and emotions buried within myself. This meant that I actually had to say out loud about how I was doing.. I am not the kind of person that likes to talk about myself with others. I had to learn to actually think about how I was doing. Was I having a hard week? Was I have a good week? Did I feel happy about something? Sometimes I honestly didn’t even know how I was doing.

I have thought about how many times I would just use the phrase “good” without even thinking about it. It would just sort of flow out of my mouth without even thinking am I really good or what is good about it…How am I really doing this week… am I sad, happy, content, do I feel like I accomplished something.. The list goes on.

So when I recently started reading the book “ Get out of my head” by Jennie Allen and there’s a chapter that references how we are doing, I realized that I had gone back to being the person to answer things as “good” instead of really being truthful in my answer. Sometimes I feel its just easier to answer good instead of really thinking about how I am doing. And it takes time to really think about how we are doing..

What makes me feel like I am doing good.. What is that magical thing that makes us feel like we are doing good? Thinking about how I answer the question, “How am I doing” has gotten me back into the habit of thinking about all the things that happen in a day or week. Am I feeling nervous, stressed, or anxious about what going on in my life. Did something happen that made me feel happy, accomplished, or contentment… Am I being open with others about how I am really doing…

Once you think about it… how do you answer the question… It is still hard for me to be comfortable with giving people the raw unedited answer of how I am doing. However, I have realized that the more I open up about how I am doing or elaborating on my answer…its easier.

If I am having a hard week, I get a lot more support and encouragement from my friends then I would have received, if I just answered “good”. Most of the time, we are experiencing many of the same things. When you hear someone else is experiencing your life, it can help so much. You do not feel like you are the only one, like you are on an island alone… I have also learned by opening up more about myself, it got others to open up about how they were doing…

But I still struggle with telling the good of how I am doing.. I am not sure why its hard to brag about yourself, but it should be done more. I am pushing myself to brag about the good more and more… If I am doing great, I should just say it right…I am working on just telling all those accomplishments…little or big.

So, “How you doin”… just give the real unedited version…

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

An Encouraging Word

Never underestimate the value of an encouraging word.

The simple act of encouragement is so often taken for granted.  So many of us want to believe that we encourage our family, our friends, our co-workers and our general fellow man.  Sadly, though, many of us fall short.

Think about your everyday conversations.  Do you listen and smile casually, leaving yourself with the impression that you’ve participated in the conversation in an encouraging manner, when you haven’t really offered any encouragement at all?

Have you asked questions about the potential negative outcomes of a friend’s excited effort under the guise of “helping them think it through”, unknowingly (and, in all fairness, most likely unintentionally) crushing their excitement instead of offering encouragement?  Or, have you in fact shared an encouraging word commending someone for a job well done or offering them a word that says “I know you’ll succeed in this venture”?

Many of us listen to and participate in conversations and, when we leave said conversation, truly believe we have been an encouragement to the other party / parties involved in the conversation.  However, if we take a hard, honest and objective look at these same conversations, we will find that we haven’t really been of any encouragement at all.  Sometimes, we have in fact been the opposite or completely neutral.

At various points in my life, I have been blessed to have some genuinely encouraging people in my circles.  I would venture to say that they have been quite scattered, but present nonetheless, and the difference it has made in my life is absolutely priceless.  Several years back, I went through a dark period that left me very unhappy and in possession of very little self-confidence.  Having people in my life then that were constantly encouraging me was such a blessing.  It’s not that they were necessarily going out of their way to come up with extra things to say in each shared conversation, but these people truly made a habit of being encouraging to the point that it was simply a part of who they are.  Having this kind of people in my life has really broadened my appreciation for words of encouragement.  I find myself being more encouraging to others as well, which is just a happy little side effect.

You never know how big an effect the smallest words can have on someone’s day, someone’s week or even someone’s life.

Take a moment to really think about your everyday conversations and see where you may have room to work some encouragement into your own daily life.  I guarantee you the benefits will be reaped by not only those you encourage, but by you as well.

~Tanya

You can follow me at sunshineandbluemoon.blogspot.com and, as always, make it a great day!

 

A Letter To The Future Me

Dear Future Me,

No matter how much you think you want what your friends have. Stay focused on what you are working for.  Don’t worry one day you will have what they have and so much more.

Stay focused.

Take those steps.

Stop making excuses.

Stop wishing.

Go for it.

One day you’ll have that white picket fence family picture. But right now, you are working on YOUR goals. Your goals to make your life meaningful. Not only for yourself but for your family. Who says you need to have a man right now to have the white picket fence picture? No one. You can do it regardless of your relationship status.

Stop focusing on everyone else’s happy family moments and create your own. Stop wondering and wishing. Remember what you want to do and take those steps. Stop day dreaming unless you plan on taking actions to make it come true. Stop pretending everything is ok. And make it great-not just ok- but great!

You got this.

Make a plan.

Make goals.

And start striving towards them.

You are more than you think you are! You’re still young. You got this! Stop second guessing yourself and do something! Make memories. Not only with your child(ren) but take time and do something you want.

You only live one life. Let’s make it worth it. Pain comes and goes. Let’s move forward and make this life worth living.

Let’s make yourself proud. Let’s make your child(ren) proud. And let’s make people feel like “damn she’s really doing well.” Day by day we will smile and make it a great day. Bad days come and go but being happy can be an everyday thing. Let go of the things that don’t mean anything. Just keep moving forward. We got this.

Remember you can do anything you set your mind too. You can be as happy as any of your friends. You can have it all. You just have to work for it. Stop making those excuses and roll with it.

Go out.

Be adventurous.

Have stories to tell.

Stop being so scared of life and go live it!

Now go!

~Shelly

Negativity Does Not Serve The Future

LOL…maybe we should be calling this the bi-weekly discussion…I have got to do better with this posting new content…so much negativity out there right now, seems like a good time to talk about serving the future…so here we go…

Gurdjieff ([1877-1949], priest, physician, teacher, author of ‘Meetings With Remarkable Men’) tells us that to live in a truly creative and dynamic way; we would have to think in a completely new way.  He encourages that to be completely fulfilled, we must engage in our own conscious evolution. In his work he also speaks about conscious labor and intentional suffering and about the importance of undertaking the burden of responsibility for serving the future…

Gurdjieff’s student J.G. Bennett “…adopted as a major theme of his life and work the teaching known as “The Fourth Way”. This is very simply that in the face of a threat, whether environmental disaster, war and conquest, or economic collapse, those persons who are able to do so must accept the responsibility of guiding and supporting the less resourceful, but not through the conventional institutions of government or religion, but rather on the level of new ideas and attitudes, inspiration and spiritual regeneration. As many Sufi teachers have done, he hinted at a world of experience in which the laws are quite other than those governing the material world – in some cases, the reverse. Those who are able to decipher this riddle must inevitably dedicate themselves to serving humanity, and the future of our world.” (www.jgbennett.net)

Those of us that understand that there is far more to life than what we can physically “see”, understand also that we have a responsibility to encourage other people not to be limited by their own thinking.  I speak often of the fact that you should never, ever judge or evaluate a situation by the way that it looks in any given moment—you should only ever operate from your intention about what the outcome will be.  So many people are stopped in their tracks because they think that the obstacles they encounter are “real”…they fail to understand that what makes obstacles “real” is believing that they exist.  There are people that are never stopped, people that never quit…if one way gets blocked up they find another…these are the people that succeed and know how to live ‘outside the box’…these are the kind of people you want to know.

I mostly live in a conversation called ‘what’s next…what else needs doing’, the past few weeks I have been living in a question called, “What is your Legacy?”

It is interesting that when you begin to engage in this discussion your life and what you have done or not done shows up in a whole different light…complaints and grievances don’t hold much water in the Legacy conversation…25 years after you’re dead nobody is going to care that your back hurt or you had a cold or a headache or that you were too tired to do the laundry.   Some people have told me that their children are their legacy and that is certainly true for all of us that are parents, however, for me that isn’t enough.

I want to leave something that breathes on long after I checked out…something that is dedicated to making people’s lives better, something that educates people and teaches them how to succeed…something that helps those that need helping… something that makes a difference…

My life will change from living in the question, “What is your Legacy?”…do me a favor and take a moment to answer that question for yourself…honestly.  How are you giving back, who are you helping, and what are you serving besides yourself?  How do you serve the future?

I have a theory that if people lived in these questions life would take on a whole new meaning…if people lived for a purpose bigger than themselves the small annoyances they suffer would become much less significant.

Certainly not the average conversation, but average conversations never create much growth or much action—they also don’t cause you to think much.  I leave you with my favorite quote by George Bernard Shaw:

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

 

George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Epistle Dedicatory