What is on your list?

During this time of year, with holiday parties, Christmas shopping, and the general noise of the holiday season, we forget to stop and be truly present. I am guilty of not remembering to use this time of year to stop and reflect. In so many ways this time of year is a gift. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the time gone by and be with the ones we love. It’s a cliche but the true gift of Christmas is the gift of being together. I want to challenge you all to look beyond your shopping lists and holiday agendas and instead reflect on what it is you really need. Think of the lists your heart and mind might craft. Do you need more inner peace? Do you need the courage to pave a new career path? Do you need the confidence to stand up against a person who makes you feel small? Maybe you simply need this little reminder to look within yourself for the answers. What I need this year is a reminder that to be fully alive is to be present in all of life’s moments. Merry Christmas everyone!img_5865

My Not-So-Grateful Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving had me hard-pressed to feel grateful.  Different playing yourself than being yourself.  Probably we push too much to be what society only expects of us.  I am not printing what is expected of me now.  The reason is that I want to be honest.

Please understand, until quite recently I was not feeling well, probably from stress.  Stress is a terrible thing.  Yes.  Not wanting to upset people, I tried to carry on.  “Trying” cannot really represent what I was doing in effort.  With too much stress, I became someone I didn’t like.

Now I feel good about not blaming myself.  My first challenge was to accept that I am only human which means I am not perfect.  Life’s challenges got the best of me, but I forgive my human flaws.  My second challenge is to persevere with the idea that I come out on the other side stronger.  In time perhaps I will grow to view these challenges as character-defining, but presently I am pushing to no longer feel like a shadow of my old self.

I do not share these thoughts so that you will feel sorry for me.  I am grateful in many ways for all that I have.  I share these sentiments as a message for anyone else struggling to fit the mold society expects of us.  I want to encourage us all to be more raw and authentic in our expressions of how we feel.

I want to be honest in saying that not every season in life is good.  This past year did not lend itself to much celebration and that’s okay.  I am choosing now to be open about the struggles because I want to lessen the stress and just be me.  I am sure everyone has felt this way at some point so I hope my vulnerability encourages you to be more honest about what you are going through.  Stress, anxiety, sadness – they don’t make you weak and they are nothing to be ashamed of.  Don’t just play yourself…..Be yourself.