“Love Yourself, Love Life” – A Motto Worth Perfecting



At some point in everyone’s life, a crossroads appears and some fairly large decisions will need to be made. Regardless of what lies before you, one of the driving forces behind the decision making process is how much you trust yourself and your judgment. Unfortunately, self-esteem is a looming adversary for more people than one might ever realize, and finding the way to loving and trusting oneself is a rough road to travel.


The funny part is though, it doesn’t have to be. Once you can retrain your brain to view the world through a new set of eyes and process what you are seeing with a new mindset, finding ways to let go of the self-doubt will become easier and easier by the day. The key to being successful is the desire to want to change.


Take a moment and think about yourself, and be honest. Think about what makes you, you. Your physical appearance, your inner thoughts, clothes, likes, dislikes, mannerisms, regrets, triumphs, what makes you happy, sad, angry, joyous, frustrated… all of it. Each and every one of those components is important to recognize and acknowledge if you want to truly want to find ways to be happy and confident.


If, after examining yourself you find that your self-confidence is leaving you down in the preverbal dumps, fear not! There is hope, and you only need the desire to want to make some changes, to get on track to living a happier life.


First things first, let’s talk about control.


A lot of people are frustrated over their lack of control, maybe leading their egos to believe that they could have done better, more, etc. Truth is that we rarely have control over the situations that leave us reeling the most. Even when it is another person telling us we didn’t do “enough”, that is their ego placing the blame on you because they can’t accept it for what it is.


Losing our jobs or our loved ones, realizing that others don’t always like you and that you will never please everyone all the time; these are all situations that are out of your control. When you reach one, recognize that sometimes there is just nothing you could have done. Give that ego a rest my friend, because sometimes it is just out of your hands. Look at the situation and ask yourself this, “is this a ME problem or a THEM problem?” I guarantee you, most times you will answer the latter.


The only part that CAN be controlled in an uncontrollable situation is how you react. The more you give in to the bad feelings and frustrations that fuel poor self-esteem you are wasting valuable energy that could be directed to productive problem solving.


Changing how your mind thinks can be the toughest challenge, and luckily there are exercises that you can do without breaking a sweat; although, that kind of exercise can also do wonders for a person’s self-esteem too!


Even if you are already carrying around a 6-pack and healthy lifestyle, mental exercise is extremely important to maintain a pure level of happiness and high esteem. Try any of these tricks, and within a short amount of time not only will you believe it, you will look back and wonder how you didn’t believe it before!


  • Practice a mantra. It’s simple. Identify your road block, and kick it to the curb! All this time that little voice you hear and feel is out of your control, isn’t! It’s YOUR voice and you control it! Use it to tell yourself something positive every day. Repeat what you’re grateful for instead of thinking what is missing from you or your life, and before you know it the self-doubting negativity will cease to play in your mind.
  • Smile more. Sounds silly, right? It’s not. Every time you pass by a mirror, smile. Every time you are walking down the street and make eye contact with a stranger, smile. When you do, put your shoulders back, stand tall, and smile like you are keeping the world’s greatest secret. In time, the smile will be more natural, and you will start to feel its benefits through your entire body!
  • Be mindful and live in the present. By establishing boundaries of what you can and cannot control, it allows you to live in the present moment and appreciate it for what it is. Even when that moment is tough, if you experience it and get through it, you can sleep well knowing that you overcame the hurdle and are still standing. When that moment is something beautiful, relish in it and recognize the beauty of it, because you never know when it will come to pass again.
  • Help others. So often today we are caught up in what WE need or what WE want, we lose sight of those around us. A great way to not only give your self-esteem a boost, but distract yourself from your own problems, is to help someone else. It can be as simple as helping your son or daughter with homework, to assisting a new co-worker with a project or even giving an ear to a friend.
  • Make commitments and stick to them. Think of a goal or set of goals that you want to accomplish. Write them down and give yourself a time frame to accomplish them, but be realistic! Setting and achieving goals, no matter how big or small, is sure to not only give your self-esteem a much needed boost, but will help that smile grow naturally even faster! The more goals we set out to conquer, the more we spread ourselves a little thin. Start small by accomplishing simple things like lose ten pounds, start and maintain a small garden, take a walk every afternoon, keep in better touch with friends, or even start a journal.


Relinquish control, be present, be mindful and make commitments to yourself, and you will see your self-esteem and views of the world change before your very eyes. Regardless of how deep your bank accounts go, when you can love yourself and love your life, all the wealth in the world won’t compare to how rich you will feel inside.

Shifting Focus to Clarify Your Day Can Make All the Difference…


This morning was one of those mornings where no amount of coffee was going to jump start my day. Late to bed, early to rise is never a good combination, but throw in cranky kids and it is guaranteed recipe for a disastrous day.

Or is it?

Honestly, my answer depends on the day. Today I decided, “Not today.” I just decided it. I decided that I wouldn’t let two rough hours in a morning of a brand new day dictate how I would respond to my kids’ energy and behavior. It wouldn’t ruin how wonderfully hot and satisfying my coffee (finally!) tasted, nor the peaceful feeling I longed for, despite what was happening around me.

find your moment and change gears!

On the wisdom of a close friend, I recalled a mantra she infused into my memory… “shift”. When things energies are low, and vibrations uneasy or off-kilter; when I lose sight of the path I know to be true… shift. Shift your thoughts, energy, vibrations – because ultimately I have the power to do so. I may not have power or control over much in my life, but that… that is something I am the captain of.

What else is there to do but call an audible, and SHIFT.

One of my children was having a bad day. While the other two played quietly and shared nicely, my eldest child (by one minute to that of her twin and 14 months to that of her brother) was demanding attention in the worst possible way. No amount of talking it out, or calm breathing was going to rectify this one.

Action was needed; physical action. Currently, my area of residence is more than knee deep in snow and sub-human temperatures so going outside is not an option. Music and dancing was already attempted to no avail, and I can tell you this tired mommy was not focused enough to develop and new activity.

In an effort to show her something new and fun; something she could really focus on that wasn’t a computer game or a cartoon, I had to find something. In a quick search of my TV provider’s OnDemand programming, I found a FREE set of Yoga videos geared towards children.

I love yoga. It is something I have lost touch with, but have missed desperately. Aside from the laundry list of reasons why going and finding a class to attend is not in the cards right now, this was an answer to my prayers. Complete with basic yoga poses, a fun interactive story and a lesson of friendship, my four year old and I spent twenty minutes going on a grand adventure to the Froggie Olympics.

When we returned, the same child that was crying and hitting me in a rage barely an hour before was smiling, laughing and transformed into a more recognizable version of the radiant little girl she is. She doesn’t know it, but she shifted her attention from the discomfort of unfulfilled desires to the electric vibration of our connected time during this trip to the Froggie Olympics.

Afterwards, I asked her if we could do that together every day. She was beyond ecstatic, answering with a billowing “YES MAMA!”

There was no yelling. There was no bargaining for her cooperation. Just a simple shift in focus.

So, today’s lesson for our family was simple: when things are looking dire, and you feel smacked-down tired, shift your focus to something fun, and a change in vibration can be done.

This Is Not the End, Merely A Fork in the Road…

fork in the road

Do you hear that? It is the sound of Christmas Carols and snow lightly falling across the hard, frozen ground. Winter has hit us, and fast, here in the mountains, and I did not see it coming. As a matter of fact, the last time I really remember stopping to look around, it was July.

It was July 1st to be exact, and we were all starting down a new path that was bright, green and full of life. Now, here we are nearly at the end of that path, and while it should still seem the same, I bet we are all looking at bare trees, gray skies and dormant nature. But that’s ok. It’s all about perspective, right? Because deep down, when this journey started six months ago, our visual senses may have told us that the view was bright and sunny on the outside, but inside I fear that maybe the bare path was where we really starting off.

Yet, over the last six months, those who have been walking this path have filled it with life… using their thoughts, vibrations, energies and intentions… causing enormous growth for each and every one of us. Feels good, right?

Right… so why stop here? Why limit ourselves to the list of goals that was set forth this past July. Life is all about the journey, because once you get there, what else is there to do but set your sights on another task or goal? Here’s my intention… to keep this community and vision going. To keep utilizing our group of enlighteners to help hold each other up, open each other’s minds to new ideas, thoughts and ways of growing that we may have never considered before.

round one,… complete

The first round of this challenge wasn’t exactly what I imagined it to be. Initially I imagined this as an experiement where maybe those who chose to participate would make a list of things they wanted to do. Over the course of six months, we could chip away at the goals, one by one crossing them off our lists.

Instead, what I found instead was a group of like minded people who wanted a place to discuss the hard times… a place where they know, no matter what confession they made, what thought passed through their minds, or what difficult circumstances were currently happening… they could stop by that page and receive a kind word, a prayer, or just a place to vent that is unbiased, and non-judgemental. A place where they could get support to live life a different way.

Goals were met, new challenges were placed. Some shared their experiences from the first post, some maybe only followed along silently. Whatever your roll was in this first incarnation of the challenge, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being brave enough to try something new, with people who may be complete strangers.

round two… starting again.

If you played along from July to December, maybe you will continue on the path with us from January to June. I know that the current challenge is not yet over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t plan ahead. Oddly enough, that philosophy is a bit out of line with my general thinking of, “Be Present. Be Here, in the now”, I can’t deny a little preparation is a bad thing.

While you are finishing up any of the goals you presented yourself in the first phase, go back and see which ones you haven’t completed. Reevaluate. Take some time to reflect on what you have learned, not only about life, but about yourself. Contine to carve out time for yourself to have these “zenful” moments of self-reflection. They will be crucial going forward.

dive deeper… think bigger.

Don’t let complancancy take over. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Let’s use this Challenge to our advantage. This time around, each week I would like to present a task for the those participating. It may be something simple and fun, or deep and even a bit difficult. A couple things you might find handy to keep close by – a notebook or journal, post-it-notes, and an open mind. The last one being of utmost importance.

Come stop by the Facebook Group where we really do most of our sharing, or, feel free to connect with everyone through this site. We have also started a Pintrest board for inspirational quotes, recipes, or really anything that may serve as a helpful tool for the Challenge.

A great man once said, “We are all just spirits, having a human experience.” Why not join our group and connect with other kindred spirits on the same journey as you are.








Let the Challenge Begin!

10462557_10152256752096989_3916047989916604515_nWe have some really amazing people that have pledged to take the idea of the 6 Month Enlighten Yourself Challenge, truly embracing the spirit and camaraderie of the event. I call it an event because what we are doing is big. So big that it will encompass the next six months (and hopefully beyond) forever altering our perceptions of what life can be.

Remember, it is never too late to join the Challenge! If you want to participate, you can follow this blog, or join our Facebook group and we will update your list to this list to share with all the other members.

So, without further adieu, here are the remarkable lists that our members have created for themselves, and so graciously allowed me to post and share here on NavingatingThePath… Namaste!


Christine Freer-Kebeck
So I have thought about this list, I am going to title it my Summer Top 10:
To completely renovate my kitchen, alongside my husband (this has been a long time dream)
To make my first ever lighting fixture or maybe even 2…lol
To lose 30lbs by December (ok this is more than just summer but it didnt go on overnight ,though I’d like to think it did)
Learn how to cook 2 new and healthy dinners each month.
Exercise at least 3x week
Learn new and effective ways to handle a toddler tantrum in public. (Havent had one in a while but we know it’s out there)
Learn more creative ways to deal with and motivate a tweenage girl, ugh the hormones and the whining!
The joys of getting older, is that a grey hair….wth
Parenting the perfectionist child in todays school, this one will be interesting.
Find new ways to decrease stress. I dont know about everyone else but I tend to internalize stress and seem to keep the calm cool exterior and take it all in to the point of volcanic eruption. I cant be the only one like this…lol


Meghan Weger
July- Juice Two Times a day and eat a healthy dinner
August – Start mediating at least three times a week
Semptember – Plan something special for my 1 year anniversary with Eric
October – Weight lift at least three times a week or do yoga.
November – Write an anxiety journal to find out what causes me to have panic attacks.
Dececmber – Go to the Biltmore and see their Christmas decorations.


Kristin Mastantoni My Top Ten:
– eat healthy, every meal, every snack, every day!* *is for 1 meal once a week as a cheat meal.
– exercise 30-60 min/day and lift weights 5-6 days a week
– study for, take, and pass the PTCB (Pharmacy Tech certification)
– Get a better paying job in Pharmacy or otherwise
– meditate daily and get Piper involved in it too
– do at least 1 activity with Piper every day. No more mindless TV.
– lose 50-75 lbs
– clean up my credit report and save for a new car and/or house
– adopt another rescue dog as a companion for Piper
– less social media, more social life


Jen Sansevere

  • K.I.S.S. My Life – Keep it simple stupid. Stop over complicating things, then using as an excuse to procrastinate. Stop over complicating plans, tasks, daily chores, work, and interactions with the kids.
  • Be Healthier. Exercise more (at least 3x a week); Eat more balanced meals, making sure I am conscious of the nutritional choices and trying harder to include all the necessary food groups.
  • Learn new recipes that encourage and excite my kids to trying new foods.
  • Be more present. Stay mindful that the past is an anchor, the future is unknown. Just be, and enjoy the moment I am living in.
  • Edit my novel. I wrote a book. A story that lived in my head for years, was finally put down and I want to edit it and try and publish it. Again, procrastination has invaded and I keep putting it off with one excuse or another. But, I think it’s decent, and deserves some TLC, so I am going to put aside 3-4 hours a week to edit this monstrosity.
  • Keep in touch more. Call friends, email more, be more social with friends and family. Time is a fickle thing, and you never know how much you have.


Cyndie Corbin Van Bavel
I’ve put much thought into what I know I can accomplish in the next 6 months. I’ve whittled it down to this.
1. Worry less. Have faith in knowing that worry will only cause anxiety and more stress. My faith will grow as I submit more of myself to God and just let him drive.
2. Exercise more. As much as I’ve done well on my weight loss goals I still gave 40 more pounds to go. So is like to lose half that by the end of the year.
3. Finish reading Unglued by Lisa Terkuerst. I swear this woman wrote this book just for me!!
4. Re-consider and commit to getting my MBA


Christine Hartman
My list
* put my needs first and care for myself
* accept compliments and congratulations & Be proud of my accomplishments.
* finish my DIY projects.
* learn how to sew
* read the book that has been sitting on my nightstand for a month!
* lose weight with exercise and eating healthy


Natalja Manger
Here goes my list:
1. Make a decision about my education: will I go to grad school or not, where, and what degree?
2. Make a decision about Foreign Service – do I want to pursue it or not? Have an honest conversation with my husband and make a join decision
3. Pick up learning Arabic again – take a class at my college, give it all I have
4. Exercise with my husband at least 2 times per week
5. Dedicate to going to bed early and waking up early
6. Loose 10 Lb
7. Spend more quality time with my children, go on a fun adventure at least once per month
8. Save enough money for vacation this winter
9. Figure out a house organization/cleaning plan to make the house tidy and clean and alleviate the stress
10. Make a decision about moving or staying in the area


Natalie Jane
1) walk my dog more
2) Practice my new guitar and ukulele everyday for at least one hour (that’s gonna be easy)
3) Find a book on mindfulness and read a few pages every night
4) Exercise, exercise, exercise! (which includes eating healthier too and at home physical therapy)
5) Don’t leave more than 5 dishes in the sink. They must be washed and then put away!


CarolAnn Harkavy
I realized somewhere along the way I stopped doing things that make me happy; I got too involved with worrying about everyone else and trying to keep it together for them. I forgot to make myself important. I’m sure as time goes on this list will grow but for right now I miss:
1. Reading for fun, including books on tape in the car.
2. Taking pictures and updating my scrapbooks. I love them – they are the things I’d rescue in a fire; why did I let them collect dust?
3. Being creative in all ways – papercrafts, needlecrafts, painting
4. Baking…and sharing so I don’t eat it all!
5. Walking, driving to no place in particular, discovering new places…just getting out of the house!
6. Entertaining – filling the house with family, friends & laughter.


Chris Sansevere
Having given much thought, I have my list.
It’s short but, I think we all can agree.
1. No excuses


Adrienne Leary
Challenge accepted! While I do not FB, I would like to post that I have just started a challenging new job and one of my goals is to breach the learning curve over the next 6 months. There is a huge mountain of technical information I must learn, understand and apply in this new position. I am going to be brave, not get discouraged, and challenge myself to be the best I can be in this new career. This 6 month challenge has also inspired me to try and eat healthier, exercise more and to try and take life a lot less seriously 🙂 Better outlook = Better me! Here goes…………….!

Rising to the Challenge, Even in Poop Covered Walls


Let’s cut to the chase. Today sucked. Period. No two ways about it. It was the kind of day that normally would be followed by consuming a bottle of wine, curled up in the corner while laugh-crying over some ridiculous cat commercial.

Yeah, THAT kind of day.

What was the cause you ask?


Three little angel children, whom I didn’t realize could double as devils. Since these precious little creatures came into my life over the last four years, I have had quite a few days like today. The screaming, crying, fighting, whining, not listening, not eating, dumping food on the floor, stepping on the dog, jumping on the furniture, unable to sit still, wiping poop on the wall, kind of day. (And yes, each and every one of those things happened today, most within a span of about 4 hours.)

I broke. My resolve crumbled, and I yelled. I yelled, and they cried. They cry and I feel like shit because I made them cry. After an agonizing ordeal getting them to go to bed, I sat on my porch with a glass of wine (yep, working on that bottle as I type) and a rather startling, yet seemingly obvious thought occurred to me. Maybe they can’t help it.

Two of my three children are twins. Twin girls that were born prematurely, and both had one issue or another after birth. Since finally ridding themselves of the apnea monitors I carried around for eight months, there has been nothing abnormal about their behavior or growth since. I thought, well then, they are just going to be fine and grow up with no complications from being 10 weeks early.

But what if they aren’t? OR, what if it is a more simple answer… Maybe, they just want attention – my attention. I am a work-from-home mother, who is also going to school online and married to an only-home-on-weekends truck driver (who is honestly one of the best men and fathers on the planet). To put it bluntly, I am spread a little thin. So, the screaming, crying, fighting, whining… etc. etc. could just be their way of telling me that we need more time together.

The point.. yeah, I’m getting there.

On my list for the 6 Month Enlighten Yourself Challenge, one of my goals was to carve out more time for my children. Pretty sad huh? When you have to write it down to make sure you hang out with your kids. Sometimes though life can get so crazy, and all the excuses I (we) tell ourselves are just that, excuses. Tomorrow, we will hit the park. Tomorrow, we will play that game. Later we will bake those cookies – because right now mommy needs to work, study, wash the dishes.

What they hear is that they aren’t as important as work, studying or the dishes.

Wow, slap in the face, right? My cheek is still stinging.

One of the reasons behind starting this challenge was to include things that will enrich my life to ultimately make me a better, more well rounded person. Yet, here I am only two weeks in completely regressing and falling into old habits, expecting my kids to entertain themselves, when really all they want to do is play with me.

What mother wouldn’t want that? I don’t want to look up from this computer screen one day to find them running off with friends, having no time for me. Children are sponges. They are observational learners, more than anything else. I see myself mirrored in their actions and it makes me sad that they are picking up the worst parts of me and not the best.

So, here I am gushing my wine-soaked emotions to you because I need to be honest, and held accountable in this challenge, as I hope you are all doing for yourselves as well. We are only as strong as we allow ourselves to be. Whether you believe in God, or think things are just the way they are, the important thing to remember, is you do have it in you to get through the hardest of days and stay on track to meet your goals, and reach those challenges you set.

Tomorrow is a brandy new day with no mistakes in it. Even if some are made along the way, shrug it off and keep going. I will.

I think tomorrow will be a great day to hit the park. Even if they do yell and scream at each other in the morning over spilled cereal on the floor. After all, its not going anywhere… but my kids, they’ll be grown and gone before I know it.

Challenge Accepted!


If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” -Gail Sheehy

I want to stop wasting time. I want to make better use of the minutes and hours in my day. I want to…

• Stop dwelling in the past

• Eat healthier

• Be more present for my children

These are just a few of the things I WANT to do. But the sad truth is, I am afraid to do them alone. Looking within and really seeing that there is room for improvement is not an easy task. Self evaluation is crucial to keeping a clear mind, soft heart and strong body. Being the very best version of yourself takes time and sometimes a little outside support.

I wanted to offer my Facebook friends to take this challenge with me, and when I saw how they responded, I opened it up to anyone who want to join. I am so happy with how many people have already commented that this idea was something they could really get behind. That idea is simple. For six months, set goals and do your very best to achieve them. As long as they will some how enrich, or enlighten your life, the challenge can be anything you want it to be.

Speaking from experience, wanting to change, and setting goals to do so has been an exhausting series of disappointments. With each milestone I failed to meet, I would sink further and further into a pit of self loathing. Sure, I was smiling and going about my life, but really, my mind was starting to turn on me. I knew, somewhere deep down I do have the ability to rise above it and accomplish some goals I set, but could I do it alone?

The answer I ultimately came to was, no.

So I, along with a number of others are pledging to take The 6 Month “Enlighten Yourself” Challenge. There’s a Facebook group set up for support and also an avenue that we can utilize to share experiences, stories and milestones. I want this to not only be fulfiling for yourself, but have some fun in the process. I encourage all participants to blog their stories, make videos of their achievements, and share, Share, SHARE!

We officially start July 1st, and the end date for this Challenge will be December 31, 2014.

Will YOU Challenge Yourself?

I “Like” You, Do You “Favorite” Me?

I had a sad moment today when I realized that I have not been enough of a friend to some people. Thanks to social media, we are more connected than ever to a variety of people from all moments in our lives. My whopping 107 facebook friends includes people I have know for more than twenty years, and some I have actually never met. We’ve all come together in this virtual place to share our lives, pictures, happy and sad moments. We all comment, or like these moments, but rarely do I see more than a surface connection being made.

In the past few months, I have had some very personal moments of ups and downs, and have went to facebook or other social site to share these only to stop myself. Realizing that no one would really give a shit or I would come off as whining, or boastful. Either of which would never be the intention. Sure, most of these moments are shared within my family and inner circle of friends, but to put them out in the cybersphere was too much of a gamble for me and my (most times fragile) psyche. Besides, maybe my FB friends don’t want to talk about MY spiritual growth or MY spiritual journey. So I write them here because, while the initial reason for this blog was to talk about my adventures in starting my own business, it has morphed into so much more.

For anyone that really knows me, they know that my spiritual growth and path through life has been a hard fought one to find. Even now, while I am finally on the path that I feel is right for me, I am running into downed trees and enormous overgrowth that I have to fight my way through. But when I am able to, the most glorious sight always lies on the other side. A bright, beautiful, flourishing path that I am happy to be traveling on. In other words, a light at the end of the tunnel. Its hard to NOT want to tell everyone all the time how to live, especially when you’ve found a way that makes life better overall. And this is something I want to shout to all my social media friends, all the time. Mostly when I see one of them is suffering in some way.

I have two friends in particular that I see struggle with one aspect or another. I read their posts, and my heart breaks for them because I want to be able to help. I want to reach out and say, “Don’t worry! It will be fine!” “Life has a plan,” “It’s you’re path”. But, let’s be honest. When you’re feeling low, isn’t that the last thing you really want to hear? I know that’s how I feel. Sometimes those word of encouragement ring empty, false… and when they come from someone you ‘kinda’ know, or maybe haven’t seen in a long while, they are just words with no real emotional backing. I was one of those people; offering sentiment because I thought it would help. Making myself feel better because I reached out, but then I could turn off the computer and go about my day. However, after encountering one person in particular, I knew that wasn’t enough.

When I first saw her posts earlier this fall, I knew there had to be something more I could do. While I had only met this person one time, I felt a great connection with them. I felt their suffering through the computer and knew that I could do something. I reached out to them through private message, and over the past couple months, I feel like I have gained a soul mate and co-conspirator to life’s mysteries. I hope for the end of their suffering during every meditation. I always try to keep them present in my positive thoughts and energies. And even though some time has passed since our last “chat” I know that we will always be connected.


No one should ever feel alone. It’s probably one of the hardest feelings to fight through. Doesn’t matter if you are surrounded by family and friends. If you don’t feel that connection to someone… that there is someone who TRULY understands the space where your heart and head resides… I think it makes it more difficult to pick yourself back up and move on. Even though I know in my heart I am never really alone, my head doesn’t always believe it. It is getting less and less frequent, and this is something I want to share with these friends. But, maybe they don’t want to hear it right now. I know I don’t when I am living in that space. But when you are ready, I am here to talk if that is what you want to do.

Another day, another rambling post. I guess the closest thing to a point I am trying to make is this: If you see someone’s struggling on a social media site or even in face to face life, don’t be afraid to really give of yourself. You may not have to utter a single word. Just listen. Maybe you have the best advice in the world because you went through just this thing in particular. Keep it to yourself for now. Just be there. Give them your full attention. Wait until they finish. Let them cry it out. Just be there.

I recently finished an amazing book called “Life’s That Way” by Jim Beaver. In a heartbreaking tale of loss, his message rang out loud and clear… don’t offer thoughts or comments that will make you comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. Just be there to offer a tender touch, an empathetic ear or a loving smile. Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable or awkward. Giving someone your undivided attention, is one of the best and most important gifts of friendship you can give.

Namaste to you all. May your path be filled with less and less obstacles on your journey to the light.

Staying Present in a Constantly Moving World

“Life is a mystery. You cannot understand it unless you surrender, for your intellect cannot grasp its expansive and infinite nature, its real meaning and fullness. Bow down low and be humble; then you will know life’s meaning.” ~ Amma


Oh boy, if I could figure out the way to do that on a more consistent basis, life would be so much easier. But, that’s the point isn’t it? If life was easy, how would we grow and learn and evolve if there were no road blocks to cause us to think about solving the problem of getting around it. Most days, I’m able to keep my truths alive, bright and present. I know that being in the present is where I belong. Not stressing about the future or harping over the past. I’ve lived that way for far too long and now that I have had the experience of living present and in the moment, I like who I am way better. My kids like me better.

Today is a day though that the state of our current life situation is muddled with mistakes of the past jeopardizing our future. In such a case I am finding great difficulty maintaining the present mindset. I feel that weight slowly creeping back into its cozy place on my shoulders. My body tense and anxious; my mind unsettled and unfocused. The amount of responsibilities and obligations I have set for myself currently seem like an insurmountable force, and I doubt in my ability to get it all done while still maintaining a peaceful, clear, focused state of mind.


Breath is a great tool. You think you’re doing it but really, your’re not. It’s an automatic action for your body to perform. When I feel the spiral downward igniting. I stop. Breathe. I let my physical self regulate the breath in and out, it calms the mind and allows me to focus on what’s important. I remember that it was my past actions that put me where I sit now, in the throws of anxiety and frustration. I imagine my ultimate goal in the future, free of these burdens. I see myself in the happiest place I can imagine, doing something I’ve waited for, for a very long time. I come back to the present and decide what it is that will get me from here to there.


Focus. Determination. Balance. Patience. These are the skills I personally need to hone to get to that peaceful place. Focus on the day’s tasks and responsibilities. Be determined to work with the tools I have presently and not be resentful of the tools that I do not possess. Balance my wants and desires with what is necessary to get through the day. Take small moments for myself to stay present and mindful of what is going on around me. Patience to keep traveling my path and that it takes me where I want it to.

Breathe. Believe.

To Live Life...

Take time to remember yourself. A moment here, or there. Don’t be hard on yourself, even when the evil little voice tells you to. I have this mantra I repeat when that weight begins to take its toll, and somehow it works (most of the time). I am not a slave to the past, but an advocate for a better future.

Lightening of the Load

“Hold the light. Keep it all inside. Keep up the fight. Now that there is an end in sight. Treading water. Can’t hold on much longer till my hand goes under.”

Keeping the Buddha Path
Today was an up and down kinda day. Details aren’t important, just know it was a good news/bad news kinda day. So, as I sit here with my tired eyes starring at a blank screen, my head spinning in a mountain of decisions, and my 17 year old Beagle barking his sharp bark, I ask for some guidance. I look into that part of myself that believes in the faith of what is meant to be will be. I use my thoughts and my energy to ask for patience to get through the situation, and strength to carry the weight of its outcome. As I quiet my mind, and press play on the new Newton Faulkner album I’ve been dying to listen too, the words above are the first I hear.
I’ve always had this thing with music. When I feel I need guidance, direction… just some help, it is a place that I derive that from. All my inspiration comes from music. Every story I write starts with a particular album or playlist. Every time I have felt my faith weaken, lyrics pop up when I least expect it to help guide me back to the path. Even now, when I feel low, afraid and uncertain, I can find comfort and faith in the music.
There is one artist in particular that I made a connection with. I believe, wholeheartedly, that finding him and diving into his music saved my sanity at a time when I questioned it the most. Yeah, I’m gettin’ real now folks. There was a very crappy time, and this guy… well, saved me. Ok, so not in the literal sense, but I would most definitely feel a huge hole in my life without his music.

Granted, this is just a taste of Matthew Good. This one, Born Losers, is far and away my favorite, but a lot of his songs go deeper. On my worst days, I play a few selections from his catalog and something about it just helps me reset and move on. I don’t know… maybe it is just the fact that knowing someone else out there thinks/feels/experiences the same things I do allows me to feel a little less alone in those moments.
What music is it that gets you, affects you, moves you, motivates you, inspires you?

Finding The Right Tools

I am quickly finding out that starting your own business is going to be hard. Like, really hard. I live in a house where chaos reigns supreme, noise is the constant and downtime is nearly unobtainable. But I refuse to let that stop me. I know that in order to be successful, I need to insert the passion I have for this idea into reality. I know that it won’t be an overnight success and I also know that I know NOTHING about what the hell I am doing. So, I am going back to school first. Well, online school, but its still learning, right? Courses come complete with a certificate (woot woot!) and hopefully the knowledge or at least the basics of what I will need to trudge forward with this crazy idea that I could be my own boss.

In the meantime, I do need to generate some income. So, as much as I expect my dream job of writing for TV and movies to fall into my lap (ha ha) I am going to start at the bottom and try some freelance writing. In my never ending search for sustainable income, that’s right ladies and gents, I am going to try and get paid doing the most unreliable thing in the world! FREELANCING! Am I qualified to be a freelance writer? Meh, probably not. But there’s a whole lot of people in this world who do things that they aren’t qualified to do, so why should it stop me?

While all this craziness is going on, we are in the process of selling our home and attempting to relocate to a different state. Why? Well because New Jersey has become a place for the likes of the one percenters and not really a place for me and my family to prosper as a mid-low income family. However, finding a job in the area we picked is proving to be much more difficult that I first thought. Hence, the attempt at freelancing.

I want to make this whole dream happen. I need to make it happen. This picture of my family’s future that is painted in my head is far to amazing to not come to fruition. Trust me, it’s not much. I don’t want a home that Robin Leech would feature (wow! really dated myself with THAT reference). I don’t want a garage full of cars or a marina full of yachts. I don’t even care if our vacations are far and few between. I am striving for a home large enough to house the five of us, and a few pets with room for the kids’ friends to hang. I am hoping for that home to be in a decent neighborhood, where if I forget to lock my car one night, my iPod won’t take a walk (true story, by the way). I’d love for my husband to look forward to the job he attends and not feel like he’s physically spent at age 35. But mostly, I want this business to work so it gives me the freedom to be there when my kids need me, and not have to worry about once again being let go because I put my family first. I don’t think all that is too much to want, right?

I am sitting here now and watching the kids run around and play, and I can’t help but get a little misty-eyed. They are difficult, fresh, mischievous, head-ache inducing buckets of snot and some unknown substance created from syrup and yogurt. They frustrate me, make me cry and lash out at me when they decide they don’t want… whatever it is I am trying to give them. Three kids under the age of three is THE hardest thing I have or will ever do. But, I love it. I love them. Their hugs and kisses are the best cure for just about anything. Their creativity in art and play, amazes me. They have a wonderful curiosity for music and books, and I love being the one that opens them to it on a daily basis.

Now, can you see why I need to make this all happen? I need to do this for them.

For Bailey.

For Caitie.

For Liam.