I can feel the tides changing…

It’s the strangest thing, but I can feel that the tides of my life are changing. For the past several days I have felt like I am currently growing through something. It’s as if I can physically feel the atoms of my body moving in some new direction.

In one respect this brings me great hope. Given all that has occurred in my life in 2019, I am beyond ready for a new direction. With all the positive changes and discipline I have incorporated in my life over the past year, I only pray it pays off in dividends.

However on the other hand I am anxious about what is to come. Although I have been cautiously running towards change these days, it doesn’t mean I’m not scared about what I’m blindly heading towards. This particular tidal change feels like a really big and possibly exciting one, yet am I just wishful thinking? And what is it? Could it be just another twist and turn in the painful path that started 8 months ago. I honestly just don’t know. But I feel something happening…

I will welcome change, growth and new tides in my life. But I am going to let my higher powers handle those details. I am just going to keep walking my journey, one foot in front of the other, preparing myself for what is coming.

~ C ~

Don’t Quit

On what seems like an hourly basis, life tries to shake me out of my equilibrium. Those like me who have been trudging through a lot of life recently, may find it can take an exorbitant amount of energy to keep our ships steady and moving forward.

Because of this, one of the coping mechanisms I incorporated into my life this year has been carrying with me little mementos to keep me centered, encouraged and in the moment. Although I have a small collection of special keepsakes, they all serve the same basic purpose in my life. When I find my spirit becomes unsteady throughout the course of the day for one reason or another, I take out whichever keepsake I have at the time and just focus on it. I focus on its message, its energy and its simplicity, which after a few minutes almost always does the trick. It helps me remember I am in the moment and I am okay. It brings me back to life’s basics and allows me to regain momentum.

One of these keepsakes I hold in my purse at all times is a small quote card titled “Don’t Quit” that I purchased from a local cathedral store. I don’t know who wrote it, but I do know its message speaks to me every single time. And I hope that everyone who reads it finds the same comfort that it brings me.

Don’t Quit
~ By Unknown

When things go wrong
as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re
trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low
and the debts are high
And you want to smile,
but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won
had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight
when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst
that you must not quit.

~ C ~

Everything I Need To Know…

Anyone who knows me knows my deep love of anything and everything Disney. Even from my youngest days I remember being so amazed and inspired that it all started with a mouse. Many of my fondest memories in my life come from days spent at the Disney Parks with my family and friends.

After recently taking stock of my life and figuring out what is truly important to me, I made a promise to as often as possible fill my life with the people, places and things that bring me joy. Because honestly life is just too short to live any other way. And without question, all things Disney fill me with joy. From as small as my phone case to as big as a trip to the parks, it all brings a smile to my heart. And after these recent tough days, I’ll take all the smiles my heart can get.

One of my favorite Disney things I own is a book I came across called “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Disney Little Golden Book” by Diane Muldrow. This adorable and uplifting book is perfect for anyone from the ages 1 to 100. Using clips from countless Disney classic movies, it provides encouragement for navigating life’s twists and turns. And no matter what age you are, we could all use some encouragement from time to time. Although it’s hardly a book review selection, it will always remain one of my very favorite books.

~ C ~

Rethinking “Home”

Home.

I get a little emotional even at the thought of the word these days.

What once was so easily defined and felt, is now not so much. And as I grew older this concept increasingly and quickly became quite complicated.

Home, or at least as I knew it, was the place where my parents and brothers were, the structure filled with childhood memories that I grew up in, the place where my lifelong friends could be found, the place where our family spent holidays together, the small mountain town that was so familiar to me and the place I always knew I could go when life got hard. Yet the older I grew, the more and more my “home” seemed to be slipping away. And this fact has simply been heartbreaking to me.

I was struggling with this more than I wanted to admit and I didn’t quite know how to move forward. But through a discussion I had with a trusted counselor, it was if I found instant clarity.

What creates “home”. What defines “home”? When do I feel like I’m at “home”? I realized suddenly that our “homes” evolve as we do. As we grow, change and age so does our concept of “home”. And it has too. To only think of home in the past tense, of what it once was when I was a child, denies me any chance of creating a home today and in the future.

I have found that much of what I consider home is about emotions and feelings I had in that place. Happiness, safety, comfort, love, familiarity of tradition and sense of community are all feelings I can create. I realized that I am capable of in a single moment declaring my current house, my “home”.

I can create a beautiful space that brings peace to my heart. I can set up barriers to ensure a safe place to rest each night. I can build a space that welcomes family and friends, bringing with them comfort and love. I can create new traditions to usher in new memories. I can build an open space that fosters a sense of community which I choose to design. I can do all of these things in my current space, to create a home that meets me where I am in my journey in life.

So although I will still reminisce about the home that was once so near and dear to me, I look forward to building upon the little home my husband and I have created. They say home is where the heart is and my heart is open and ready for its new home.

~ C ~

Journey of Healing

I have spent the last 8 months on a journey of healing. Every minute has been hard, yet in the midst of it I have found joy. It has been pitch dark at times, yet at the same time I have been showered with immense light. It has been the worst period of my life, yet I know without it I would still be lost.

When I made the choice to move forward in my life after loss, I began by making a series of pivotal life shifts. I started a life long voyage of making healthier choices. I made focusing on my mental health and building effective coping mechanisms my number one priority. I embarked on a journey to relearn how to learn so I could grow in every facet of my life. I surrounded myself with only those people who lift and fill me up. I made a promise to find ways to serve others as often as possible along the way. I made a conscious decision that I will no longer be just a taker from this earth and find ways to give back and reduce my footprint. I reduced clutter from my physical and mental spaces to make room for possibility. I ran towards change because remaining in the same spot was no longer an option.

Day by day, I have made small decision after small decision, each with those life shifts top of mind. Quite frankly focusing on these decisions and shifts saved me from thinking about the people I had lost, the life I would no longer know and the person who I would never be again. At first I was fueled by blind faith alone. But slowly I saw the tiny changes I was making each day compound and make an actual difference in my life.

Today I am so proud of the person I have become through these decisions and shifts in my life. It doesn’t mean I have “made it”, I never will. It doesn’t mean I won’t have any more bad days or setbacks, I am positive I will have plenty. It doesn’t mean my grief is over, it is tattooed on every aspect of my being. But what it does mean is my joy and pain can coexist. It means my darkness and light can stand next to each other. It means the decisions I make today will positively affect my future. I am proud I have arrived at a place that seemed impossible to get to only 8 months ago. And moving forward I will continue to take this healing journey the same way I have over the past 8 months, step by step.

~ C ~

For The Journey

I came across this nearly a decade ago in the Lake City Reporter. I tucked it away in a box and forgot about it until I stumbled across it again this week.

“…it’s those moments where you took the biggest risks in life that will always remain timeless.”

That is what I needed to hear then …and now.

~ C ~

A Size Too Big

This quote, which has always been one of my very favorites, has come up twice for me today.

Not quite sure who said it (or one of the variations of it) first, but I’m thankful for the comfort these words bring.

… and thankful for the room to grow.

~ C ~

Everything starts somewhere…

It’s amazing what a little seed can become.

But it takes time…

…it takes nutrients…

…it takes love.

We all have so many “little seeds” in our lives. It takes courage and discipline to see them through to their fullest potential.

But once one of those little seeds reaches its potential, we instantly realize it was worth all the hard work and worth the wait.

~C~