Last week I went on a whirlwind visit to friends in Ohio with my kids. Along the way, we found this wonderful treasure in an Art Gallery Gift Shop. Those who know me well as a die hard minimalist, know I do not buy things for myself. So rarely, I could count on my hand. But, this was so beautiful to me, that I spontaneously purchased it. It has taken me a week to pull it out of its bag even and I still feel a little guilty.
Why is it that we struggle with our worth at times?
Do you ever feel like you have to deserve something before you spurge on it?
Do you take care of everyone else around you before you do something nice for yourself?
I get it. I challenge you to follow my lead this day. It doesn't have to be grand, but it does have to be for you!
Go find some JOY today!
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How often do you ask yourself, ‘what is my purpose in this life?’
I can tell you for most, not often. I find, there are more people who just follow the lonelier route for that is what they were taught in providing balance and security for themselves or loved one’s. We can find ourselves walking along the road and staring out wondering where we are going, how we are going to get to wherever it is the road leads and often feeling very alone in the process. But that is what we do.
It is so much easier to just walk through this life doing the mundane. It is easier to ignore the calls and not listen deeply for the noise of responsibility overwhelms.
You have likely heard of a purpose driven life, but let it simply pass by you with the endless catch phrases, books, and podcasts on a constant reel.
Do you know how are you living that phrase?
I know for myself that I am constantly wanting to live a life of purpose. I want to live a life that leaves something behind for others, something useful. I want to give back for the life I have the blessing to continue to live, the endless gifts received along the way and the people who offered all these things to me selflessly. But nearly every day I battle living a purpose driven life next to paying the bills as a single parent of two teenagers. It is one of my greatest frustrations of life and always has been.
I am a minimalist at heart as you have often heard me speak of and in that regard, it is very possible to lead a valuable life. We do not need more, though at times we may want more. It is not about making so much more money but right now it is about being able to make what I need while doing what fulfills me first.
There are many naysayers in the world. There are even more people who want to see you fail. For some reason it often feels like there are more people out there intimidated by others success or ability to do something they love, something that is different, and it comes off as threatening. Those people want to break you down. Will you let them?
Do you find this on your journey? It is my greatest struggle at the moment, and I really want to find a door that I am able to walk through confidently, courageously, without being shaken and with great purpose. I want to be the person lifting others up.
How could you live a life with purpose alongside your responsibilities? For some, we need to really ask that question, for it is not as simple as jetting off to India and being of service as I dream of often. I confess I want to return to the life I once had before becoming a mother in where life was solely about service. I am a few years out from that possibility, so here I am asking the questions.
It is easy for us to think of purpose in too grand of image or terms. When in fact purpose is all around us. We could be of purpose by just being a good neighbor to the elderly person next door needing their garden tended to, being a friend listening with someone who needs to talk.
We can be of purpose by taking an early morning walk on our local trails near us picking up trash. We could be of purpose by buying a few extra cans at the grocery store and putting them in blessing boxes that most towns have these days for those in need of food. Go through your closets and your house for books and clothes that could be donated to homeless or domestic abuse shelters.
Be of purpose.
Be of service.
But make sure you be something. It is easy to get stuck in the mundane of life, it is easy to be brought down by others who are against us. It is even easy to turn away from our passions, our dreams, and our goals when we feel discouraged. There is a way to do both.
Always my friends always I write and speak from my heart and my own personal struggles and experiences. I am wondering today how to bring my purpose to the front and take care of my family at the same time.
Isn’t all that we are asking of ourselves?
How can you live your best life?
How are you going to be of purpose today?
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“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” - Charles Dickens
This is a big word.
In all honesty, it holds so much weight in the different meanings within action.
What does 'helping' mean to you?
How do you enact 'helping' in your life?
Do you look around you and see who may need help at any given time?
This bowl full of flowers is very special to me. When my son was 7 years old, he saw that I as having a particularly rough day. He knows that flowers are my most favorite thing of all that bring me joy. He decided to go into the garden and pick a few flowers quietly putting them at my office door. In his way he was 'helping' to bring me joy in my day. When I opened my door to find them, it did in fact do just that.
Helping can be expressed in so many different ways.
How can you 'help' today?
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What is the firs thing that comes to your mind when you read the word, 'simplicity?'
I think this word has become over used and even too convenient when people try to fit it into their journeys or daily life patterns.
It is actually more complex that one would see.
Consider what simplicity looks like in your life today?
Is it how you imagine the definition in your head?
What would you like simplicity to mirror for you?
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“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” -Vincent van Gogh
This has been floating around the internet for a long time now. Many catch phrases do as the wellness field and life coaching exploded on to the scene.
I have been doing my work for nearly three decades now. My message has never changed. I have written two books that consistently share these messages, my story, the tools, and lessons learned on my journey that I believe can help others on their journey. And the one thing I have always said to myself before it was popular was, ‘do it scared.’
I tell my children all the time that I practice what I preach to them. I get out there and speak to schools, conferences, and hospital programs. I put on weekend retreats and do all kinds of events. But, have no fear I am terrified and filled with anxiety until the very end of each one.
Why do I do it scared? I believe in the message. I believe in everyone being able to learn from the journey that has been gifted to us. And there is nothing more awesome when you watch a person come into their own after getting the main message. I love my work.
When we do it scared, we unknowingly are embracing strength, courage, and our inner warrior. I genuinely believe so much more passion, energy and life-giving action comes out of doing it scared.
If we put our whole selves, our fear, our anxiety and most importantly our passion into whatever it is that is calling us forth, we come out better for it. When you embrace the courage to risk, to go deep, to question and to leap; you cannot deny the life you are living fully.
So just for today? No, every day, do it scared! But, most importantly, DO IT!
You never want the day to come when you will not have opportunity to try anymore, and you regret hiding away inside yourself.
Live life today!
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This beautiful Labyrinth was gifted to me this past Saturday by a lovely gentleman who faithfully comes to walk our Candlelight Labyrinth. It is hard to capture its beauty or size which is that of a dinner plate. I still am speechless and grateful for its beauty and the time, prayer, and thoughtfulness it took to make. I love my work and being able to offer what I can to the community, but to be appreciated means more than you can possibly know. Thank you so much Rick! I will be sharing it on retreats for sure!
Empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change" - Thich Nhat Hanh
Empaths don't just listen to your words. They listen to your use of words, your tone, your body movements, your eyes, your subtle facial expressions. They interpret your silences; they can hear everything you don't say in words.
I thought this was a beautiful statement. I find every single one of us struggles at times with listening when in a conversation with a loved one or friend or family member or just someone who is reaching out. Truly listening is a gift but taking it to the next level as empaths do is a blessing.
How can you be this kind of presence to the next person that comes before you?
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This summer I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful one man show at our local theatre. We are so lucky to have amazing performances that make you experience all the emotions. This show was no different, though it really stuck with me that I wanted to share just a bit further. I could write for volumes on this topic, though this play got to its heart quickly and all you need to pause for a moment.
Every Brilliant Thing tackles an extremely hard topic...suicide. One man chronicles his journey through life trying to save his mother through depression by writing down 'every brilliant thing' he can imagine. Through his childhood into his adulthood and the inevitable loss of his mother, it is as if he himself is trying to stay alive.
He reminds us to see the beauty, the gift, the remarkable and even the unremarkable for it too holds depth and meaning. We often hear about gratitude. People challenge us to think of one thing daily to find gratitude in what is a hard life at times. There is something different about this...
So, for today, pause, read through the things people wrote at the theatre and ask yourself, 'what would my list look like?'
If you or anyone you know ever finds them struggling and needing to talk, note the new Suicide Hotline 988
Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.