I would change the past.

My therapist gave me the assignment to look back over the areas of my life that I consider failures, the universe pulling the rug from under me, setbacks, gut punches, traumas, or losses, and ask myself what I learned from the moments? Did I gain anything? Would I be where I am today if those things didn’t happen? I’ve always pondered this question. During my time as a therapist and a coach, I tended to stay away from these types of assignments. Why you ask. Because maybe I don’t want to be where I am today.

I find it comical that people assume everyone is happy with their current life, or they assume they should be happy. People say things like if that didn’t happen, you wouldn’t have kids, you wouldn’t have met your spouse, and you wouldn’t be working where you’re working. But do these people ever stop to think, Exactly! That’s precisely the point; had those things not happened, I wouldn’t be where I am. That is the whole point. You have to laugh after that. Because most people aren’t going to be that brutally honest, especially regarding their kids.

But here is the thing. A person can love their kids and be extremely grateful for their kids and still imagine what life would’ve been like if certain things didn’t happen in their life. If the only good that came out of the situation was a child, sure, they love the child now, but the reality is they wouldn’t know that child, and you can’t miss what you don’t know.

I will get graphic in these next paragraphs, so if you are sensitive to abuse or have any triggers to abuse, please skip this next section.

Let’s use the example of a woman that is raped and gets pregnant. She decides to keep this baby, loves and adores this child, and can’t imagine life without this child. Does this mean she can’t imagine life without being raped?

You have a woman abused by her husband and suffered multiple fractions and broken bones. She now lives with a disability, but her story has become one of triumph, and she goes around the world speaking to women about domestic violence. She has a thriving nonprofit and best-selling book. Does this mean she can’t imagine her life without the abuse?

A woman loses her family in a tragic car accident, and now she is remarried and has another family she loves and adores. She is an advocate for road safety and has spoken at congress and won awards. Does this mean she can’t imagine not losing her family?

People don’t realize that it’s not either or it’s and. You can hold space for both, and holding space for both doesn’t make you a failure, pessimist, or even depressed. Sometimes depression is feeling like you can’t feel both and trying to convince yourself you should be grateful for the tragedy because it brought you to where you are, but instead, you still feel sadness and grief and loss and pain and because you shouldn’t feel those things you become depressed.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore my therapist and attribute much of my growth to her. However, while I can look back on these areas of my life and see how they led to another area of my life, it doesn’t negate the fact that I wish those things didn’t happen, and if someone gave me a time machine, I would risk changing my current life to prevent those things from happening. This doesn’t mean I don’t love my children or my husband any less. It just means what I experienced was tragic for me, and I would be willing to sacrifice my current to not experience the tragedy and trauma, and that is OK!

It’s ok to appreciate your current while still mourning your past.


What if you let go?

What if what you’re holding on to is an anchor. What if the thing you are refusing to let go of is the one thing keeping you stuck?

It doesn’t matter how much you steer, Redirect the sail, push or pull. Nothing is giving. You’re not moving. Maybe because you have an anchor.

Let’s talk about what an anchor is. An anchor, by definition, can have several meanings. In this case, we will use the definition to secure something in place firmly.

When a captain drops an anchor, the purpose is to prevent the ship from drifting away from its current location. When this is done purposefully, it serves an essential purpose. However, this could be a hindrance when moving or changing direction.

If you have a desire, goal, or something you are trying to accomplish and yet you are getting nowhere, it could be you have an anchor in your life. Identifying anchors can be challenging because they present as something that is needed or provides security. They show up as things you can’t let go of or live without. These anchors can be family, jobs, habits, thoughts, etc. You could feel like I need my job. It provides me with security and stability. My job is how I support myself; however, your job also feels heavy and weighted, keeping you stuck. You aren’t progressing forward; you are sitting in one spot, floating in circles, trying to figure out how to create change.

How to identify anchors:
Anchors are heavy. They weigh you down. They keep you stuck. They are typically areas of your life where you feel a sense of heaviness. No matter what, you can’t get ahead in this area. No significant changes are being made despite your best efforts. There is a feeling of being burdened whenever you have to think about or deal with this area of your life. You’re constantly wondering what to do and how to do it. Sometimes you feel that if you could let go or move on from this thing, life may be better, but the counter feeling is you need this thing. Sure your job pays the bills and provides you with essential life needs, but it also sometimes makes you feel physically sick. You’re unmotivated about tasks given, feel drained when working, and daydream about doing something different. You love your brother, but you feel tense and on edge when you are around them. You never feel like you can be organic and yourself around them. You feel exhausted and drained after all your encounters. Secretly you think life would be better if you didn’t have a relationship with them. But you worry about what will happen if you confront them about your feelings or leave the relationship altogether.

Anchors have a way of making you feel safe, all while keeping you stuck. Without you might go adrift, unable to plant yourself when needed, but with it, you can’t move forward or progress. Sounds like a catch-22, right?

This is the funny thing about faith and blind faith. Sometimes faith requires us to cut the anchor loose and rely solely on faith, believing that The Universe will provide and that what we need next will show up in perfect timing. Most people, including myself, struggle with this type of faith. It’s easy to have faith if we see a glimpse of the next stair or know there is another stair, but we don’t know where it will take us. We tell ourselves this is faith taking the step but not knowing where the step will lead. We might take a huge risk if we know we have a safe place to land. Quit the job if we know we can move home, get another job somewhere else, or have a huge nest egg that will keep us safe if we fail. We call this faith. And, while yes, this is a form of faith, blind faith is cutting the anchor and setting sail, not knowing if you will end up where you’re trying to go and how you will stop if you land where you wanted to land, I mean you cut your anchor! It’s the kind of faith where both sides are scary and unknown. There is no “real” safe choice or backup plan. Blind faith is unbearable and frightening.

What if The Universe simply waits for you to cut the anchor? What if the anchor is the weight? What if the moment you have blind faith, the tides part, and the miracle finally happen? What if your destination is an island, you won’t even need an anchor. You will sail directly into the island, crash into your blessing?

What if you let go…


Nail or Straw, What are Yours?

We’ve all heard the saying, “the nail in the coffin and the straw that broke the camel’s back.” And if you haven’t heard these sayings, they essentially mean that was the thing that ended it all, closed the chapter, and called it quits. The thing that finally made the person let go. The nail or the straw is different for every person. What shuts the coffin for one person may just be another hurdle for another person. What breaks the camel’s back for one person may just be another haystack to search through for someone else. Everyone’s breaking point is different. Everyone has a different amount of resilience and perseverance. Each person has their own reserve to push harder.

The struggle is some of us don’t know what our nail is, we have no idea when the camel’s back is broken, we can’t gauge our reserve, and we continue to push beyond the point of pushing. This usually results in devastation. What could have been a potential fix, a not now, but later, or a save is now a full-out disaster? The camel could’ve had surgery, rested, and been back on its feet; instead, it may never walk again. The coffin was nailed shut, but it wasn’t buried.

Understanding, learning, and accepting your level of resilience, perseverance, and knowing when to let go are critical parts of growing as a person, especially if you are trying to do something outside of your comfort zone or more significant than you. For me, that significant thing is raising a family and growing a business. In this journey, I’ve had to set clear mile markers to let me know I am on the right path. I’ve had to establish what my nuggets from God were and how I would recognize them and know that was a nudge to keep going. And, I have had to be clear on my nails and straws, the things that would signal me that it was time to let go.
For some people letting go feels like giving up hope, but it’s quite the contrary. Letting go is not only having more hope, but it also consists of having faith. Letting go is releasing power and control to an unknown and believing everything will be okay. Things will work out exactly how they should. Letting go is relinquishing the idea that we can make things happen, and doing this one more thing could shift the outcome. Letting go is hoping for a miracle while accepting whatever comes and knowing it will be okay. Letting go is preparation for the unknown.

Part of nothing changes, but everything, is understanding that things are going to be how they should. Nothing can change that. Accepting this is everything.

Here’s an example. We should work out, eat healthily, drink water, and be good to our bodies because doing these things can help us “try” to prolong our lives and live better lives. We can do everything in our control to aid this and try to make this reality, but in the end, we will all die; this doesn’t change. Accepting this reality is everything. There will come a time when we must let go and accept this reality. We won’t be able to do anything to reverse the clock, to stop the inevitable, and trying to do so will cause more harm than good. Knowing when that moment is, is knowing what the nail or straw is.

For me, there is a level of peace and empowerment in letting go. In some ways, it relieves the stress of feeling like I have to do something. Instead, I am passing the ball to God to the Universe. I am saying I have done all I can do. It’s your turn, do or do not do. This is a team sport, and I have gotten the team as far as possible. I feel this is also true in reverse. Sometimes God says I have done all I can do the ball is in your court now, do or do not do. And on the flip side, God can say okay, we have come as far as we are going to go; it’s time to exit stage left. We played a good game, now bow out gracefully. The nail.

The key to making real change and real progress is recognizing when these things are present. The next time you start a project or journey, create a list of nails for yourself. Give yourself permission to say if these things happen and my R&P (resilience and perseverance) tank is low or empty, I’m calling it. I am letting go and giving it to The Universe, and The Universe can either do or not do. Set markers on what a low R&P tank feels and looks like so you can recognize those feelings if and when they appear. Provide yourself with a let go plan. What will letting go look like? How will you let go? How long will you give yourself to fully let go? Then write your expectations from The Universe. How will you know God is doing? What will it look like, feel like? What will you do if God does, and what will you do if God doesn’t. Then have faith and hope, start your project and let go of the rest.

Once you have this plan, you can begin your new journey with a sense of security, knowing that you have a plan. Knowing that you are fully equipped to conquer whatever lies ahead.

carry on.


Happy New Year. New year…

Finish the sentence.

What was the first thing that came to mind when you read the title?

Most of us probably thought new year, new me. The classic saying everyone says as they enter the new year with the hope that this will be true. Hopeful that somehow, someway, the ringing of a new year will bring about some magical changes. We will somehow be reprogrammed into a new person by the clock striking 12:01. It’s like the fairytale stories we all grew up on. The clock strikes 12, and everything changes. I think it’s safe to say that isn’t reality. Most, if not all, of us, go into the New year with the same habits, same thoughts, same behaviors, same patterns, same baggage, and same trauma. It’s new year, new masks. We will find a new mask to cover the reality and hide the truths. A new way to run from the truth that is staring us in the face, whatever that truth may be.

I brought this new year in scrambling trying to log in to my direct tv stream, so my family and I could do the traditional ball drop countdown and toast to the new year. It was a failure. I couldn’t remember the login, I couldn’t get the app to work, I lost track of time and looked up, and it was 11:56. We didn’t have our glasses ready for the toast, and everyone was running around doing their own thing. As I tried to gather all the kids, login into the app, and get glasses together, the clock kept ticking, and before I knew it, it was 2023. Just like that, we missed it. No grand finale, cheers, spectacles, excitement, traditions, or memories were made. Time didn’t wait. 2023 didn’t wait. I ended 2022 and started 2023 the same. Frantic, scattered, and trying too hard. New year, same me.

My gut instinct was to slump into defeat, guilt, and victim mode. I wanted to complain, curse, and cry. But I didn’t. Ok, well, I might have cried later that morning. But I didn’t slump. New year, new habits. I realized that I ended 2022 breaking every tradition I have worked so hard to maintain. Every mask I have worn was ripped off my face in 2022, and no matter how hard I try to fumble around and put the final mask on, the universe said nope. There will be no masks going into 2023. It hurt. I can’t lie. It hurt like hell.

This reality was like ripping a bandaid off. I knew, eventually, the bandaid would have to come off, but the bandaid had also become a part of me, my identity. The funny thing about this irony is I fight hard to maintain traditions, and I fight hard to break family traditions to break generational curses. It’s a catch-22. I had to ask myself how many of these traditions my kids will carry on and how many they will leave in childhood and fight hard to create their own traditions. Why are traditions so important anyway?

You see, the thing is, the masks I wear wouldn’t be deemed bad masks. In fact, so many people praise these masks. We are applauded for putting up all the Christmas decorations and making our kids wear Christmas PJs. We are praised for making our kids go to bed at the same time every night and reading bedtime stories, even if we are exhausted. We are told we are good parents for keeping our kids booked and busy, even at the expense of their mental health and ours. These masks aren’t “bad” masks. Most people probably wouldn’t even see them as masks. I would challenge these people by asking how often they finish reading a bedtime story and then feel frustrated because their child wants to hear it again or they are just ready to go to bed. How often do you want to skip little league practice or tell that one annoying team parent to leave you alone you don’t want to bring juice boxes? How often do you end your day wondering if you even ate, showered, had any me time, or just pure silence?

Ending 2022, still trying to do all the traditional things even though I would have liked to curl up in my pajamas with my husband, watch movies in bed all day, and let the kids rip the apartment to shreds was me trying to put on masks. Mask my desire to spend some quiet time in bed with my husband. Not accomplishing that goal or the mask’s goal and 2023 still being like hey girl, hey, was an awakening for me. Life is going to happen masked or unmasked. How I show up to life is up to me.

Traditions are a figment of our reality and perspectives. They are indifferent and irrelevant in the big scheme of things. None of it really mattered. What mattered and was most important at that moment was that we were together. My family was in a tiny little apartment, laughing and playing games. Time didn’t really matter. We could’ve let time pass us by and stayed engrossed in the fun we were having. I could’ve curled up with my husband and “neglected” my kids for one day, and they would have remembered New Years’ eve, where they partied and ate all the snacks unsupervised while their parents cuddled and rested in the next room. Either of these would’ve been ok. Because even though I stumbled my way into 2023, it was STILL ok.

What does this mean for 2023? New year… new trials, new ebbs, new struggles, new failures, new tears, new woes, new fears. New perspectives. New habits. No masks.

Welcome to 2023, the year of nothing changes but everything.

My word for 2023 is Matter.


A Halloween away from my kids

For the first time in 27 years, I am spending Halloween alone, just me, no kids, no candy, no trick or treating, no bonfires, no sticky messes, no crying or fighting over candy bags, no face paints, no mess to clean. Just me alone in my apartment. A friend called me to check on me, and I couldn’t even express to her how I was feeling. Honestly, this entire month I have been just floating. Not really sure how I feel being away from my kids this long. I spent the first part of this year in Alabama from February to April, but I went home every weekend, or they came to me. This is the first time I have not seen them consecutively for 30-plus days.

If I am honest, which I plan to be, part of me feels good knowing they aren’t stuck in this tiny apartment with restrictions and cannot be entirely free. Part of me feels a sense of relief knowing at the end of a long, and I mean long, work day, I don’t have to also worry about coming home and being a mom. I can just grab something quick to eat and crash. Part of me feels so much grief, Trice is finally starting to talk, and I am missing it. I miss them eating smores and being a sticky mess. Seeing Trice eat his first smores through a phone was very hard. Then there is this entire side of me filled with so much guilt! I am their mommy. I am not there to make sure they are eating vegetables, to make sure they are doing school work, to make sure they aren’t overdoing the screen time, to make sure they are going to bed at a decent time, to make sure they are brushing their teeth every day, combing my girl’s hair, making sure the boys are putting on clean underwear, to help with first periods, to hug them when they are crying. To create ants on logs or Frankensteins out of vegetable trays. The truth is my husband can do all these things except explain the first period, but he is capable of all these things. In fact, he is doing all these things, maybe not limiting screen time as much, but most of these things. So why do I feel guilty? They aren’t being neglected.

The reality is my husband traveled during the last 3 years of his corporate career and the first year of opening our second location. I don’t remember him feeling guilty or at least expressing these feelings of guilt or worry. Without a shadow of a doubt, he knew the kids were okay and that I was taking care of them. I don’t remember feeling like he should be home. It’s just what we did. No one questioned it. No one asked him if it was hard being away from his wife and kids, no one asked him how he did it all, and no one commented about him needing to be home more. No one asked him who was doing the boy’s hair, no one asked him how he felt about missing Halloween, not that he ever missed Halloween, but you get the gist.

So, why do I feel so guilty? If I had to cut myself into a pie, I would say 60% of the pie would be guilt. The other 40% would be split between grief and relief. Why is my pie so full of guilt? I spent 18 years at home with my kids. My daughter has never been with anyone but me. One could say, I served my time, so what’s one month away? I don’t know. I don’t know how it will affect them in the future, if at all.

What I do know is my kids are OK. They didn’t miss the daily Halloween snacks I make yearly as much as I envisioned they would. They were just as happy baking smores and watching scary movies with daddy this year as they would have been if I had been there creating this elaborate day of events. Do they miss me, of course, but are they ok, yes!

The things I think my kids need, they really don’t need. They don’t need me for the things I am guilting myself over. My kids need stability, security, unconditional love, and nourishment. They need to know, without a shadow of a doubt, no matter if it’s me traveling or daddy traveling, they are ok and safe. Kids need security.

We tell ourselves they need all these extra things and that all the events, toys, trips, and other things we fill their lives and our time with are what they need, but they really don’t. You ever wonder how I kid with very little is so happy and turns out to be a great person? They had stability, security, and unconditional love. It wasn’t all the art projects or baking I did with my kids that gave them what they needed to survive through this time away from me. It was the unconditional love, the time of being present with them and not on my phone or doing other things, the cosleeping nights of holding them even when people said they needed to be in their own beds. It was the moment I let them yell and scream because they were upset about something that seemed trivial to me but significant to them. While other people told me they were being disrespectful.

As I watched my kids navigate their first Holiday without me, I saw strong, stable, healthy, happy kids. Kids that don’t actually need me physically present to feel me present. What I know now is that when I hold my kids in my arms again, I will turn off my phone even more and get down on the floor and play with them for 30 more minutes. I will read one more book, I will cosleep for as long as Eleven says, can I hold you. I will bake cookies not for the experience of baking cookies but for the moment to hear their stories and go into their world. I will sit on my teenager’s bed, talk about all the teenage stuff, and listen to who said what and did what. I will build more moments and fill their cups of unconditional love, stability, security, and nourishment up so that they will runneth over for the moments they can’t have me with them physically.

Happy Halloween!

And just for fun, here are some pictures from over the years!


Regaining Desire

It’s me! I’ve been gone for so long. So many things have transpired in my life I don’t even know where to begin. If I should even try to start at the beginning. If you have been with me on my youtube channel, then you have been along for most of the journey. If not, welcome!

I am currently on a path to self-discovery and renewing my spirit. 2020 left me feeling angry, resentful, guilty, curious, hopeful, worried, anxious, thankful, and everything in between. I had so many emotions that I couldn’t figure out which one was guiding my life. I decided to take charge and regain control over my emotions by starting a journey to self-healing through therapy and other approaches. I am currently still on that journey, and one of the things I have been encouraged to do is start writing again. I wrote a book and self-published it in 2020, a major accomplishment for me. Something I have dreamed of doing, well, not the self-publishing part, but writing a book and having it for the world to purchase, that part. I think that journey, while totally rewarding, derailed me and sucked my desire to write out of me. It’s funny how the one thing we want can also be the one that tanks us.

The truth is I love to write. I love to do anything that is creatively expressive except draw. I cannot draw to save my life. So to bottle something up that I love to do so much has been strange and odd. While part of me felt like it was because I didn’t have time, you know, life. The other part of me didn’t really have a desire. Somewhere along the way, I lost the desire to do something that was a release and brought me joy. I have been so consumed with life that it felt like anything that wasn’t “important” I didn’t have time to do or shouldn’t have time to do. What I know now is that over the last 8 years, I have been in a constant battle with my ego, and in 2020 I didn’t have any more strength to fight, so I surrendered, and my ego has been driving this ship since. Until this past month. This month, I got back in the ring, put on my boxing gloves, and began to fight! Fight for control of my emotions, let go of things I can’t control, fight for peace, and regain desire.

So here I am, writing this first passage in a very long time. I don’t know which direction I want to take this blog or my writing, but what I do know is I will start writing again! That’s all I need to know for now. I hope you join me on the journey, but if not, that’s ok because I will write to myself this time. Maybe this will be an open diary. Who knows.

But here I am, taking the first step to regaining desire!


Plant Your Seeds of Dreams

My daughter recently took on growing a tomato plant. You know the ones you can grow indoors. Yes, she opted to take this project on in the start of fall. She happily did tons of research, went to the store to buy all the required materials, came home and planted her seeds. She planted 3 seeds, hoping they all would grow, but praying at least one of them does.

After she planted her seeds, she placed the soil in the sunniest place in our house. She said to me excitedly; I don’t know if I am going to be able to wait for the seeds to sprout. I might dig them up to see if they are actually growing. I explained to her she needed to be patient.

A week later, she proudly told me the seeds were sprouting. I happily asked her, “you are seeing them sprout through the dirt?” She replied, “nope I dug them up.” A few days later, a beautiful little seedling started peaking through the dirt.

This experience and exchange with my daughter spoke to me about faith. And how we are told to have the faith of a mustard seed. I have said this analogy so many times, but honestly, I never really thought much about what this commandment calls for us to do.

When we have a dream, desire, or hope. We make a plan, begin the preparations, and many of us start the work. We work intending to see our dream manifested. But this process doesn’t come easily. Often, we plant our seed, start the watering process, and when we don’t see any sprouting, we get impatient. We doubt the process. We want to dig and verify the roots of our labor are growing and sprouting.

We ask the questions, is there enough sunlight, enough water, is it too cold, not hot enough, did I buy the right soil, ect. Days, weeks, months, and sometimes years can go buy before we see any reaps of our labor, before our seed sprouts.

Like my daughter, our impatience can force us to do things that slow the process. Lacking faith that our diligence is working, we may dig in the soil searching for proof. This unnecessary digging can slow the process or worst damage it. We can’t dig up our progress, because we are impatient about the process.

We can’t dig up our progress, because we are impatient about the process.

No matter what your religious or non-religious beliefs are, we are told to believe without doubt. To have faith that whatever our heart desires, it shall come to flourish. That with hard work and faith, the seed will sprout. It is important for us to believe underneath the surface, work is happening. Things are taking place that we can’t see with our eyes, but must believe with our hearts are happening. Our job is to do the work!

Take your seed of dreams and plant it in a nourishing soil. A soil that isn’t full of doubt, negativity or fears. Place your pot somewhere safe, where it can flourish. Away from people with negative thoughts and their own personal fears. Place it where it will get plenty of sunlight. Rays of positivity, hope, love, and encouragement. Then water it with tenacity, dedication, hard work, and consistency. Then kick your feet up and watch your seed sprout into something fruitful and beautiful.


Hardships Are Like Knots In A Rope

I was at my ropes end. I held the rope in my hand contemplated tieing one last knot at the end and ending it all. I had been through so much over the last few years. All the struggles all the heartache, all the problems I didn’t know if I could take any more. I didn’t see a way out of the hole, I felt, I had dug myself into.

It was a scary and solemn feeling to realize I had dug myself into a hole with my choices, and now I had made my very own rope to hang myself.

I felt knots in my stomach as I held the rope in my hands. “throw the rope” I heard a small whisper say. “Throw the rope” I threw the end of the rope.

It’s amazing how we can look at our problems and see failures, struggles, weights while those problems may really be lessons, growth, stairs.

“hardships from the past help you succeed in the future” ~Phillip Emeagwali

Every single time I was thrown a monkey wrench or stumbled, I felt knots in the pit of my stomach saying my situation was never going to get better. I would take that knot and build a rope. You know that feeling you get when there is a failure, that tightness in your stomach? Yeah, that feeling doesn’t actually dissipate and go away, it transforms into a rope. By rope, I don’t mean a physical rope, but a thought process, a course of action. We all are building ropes every single day. Our thought process determines our course of actions and our course of actions determines our fate.

When you get that knot in your stomach and start the beginning of your rope, pay attention to the feelings that come. Are the feelings hope and strength or are they hopeless and defeat. The difference determines the type of rope you are starting.

If you find yourself feeling hopeless and defeated, allow yourself space and time to feel those feelings. Really listening and analyzing those feelings. Letting your emotions be free without judgment. If you feel you need to cry, cry. If you feel you need to scream, scream. Allow yourself to release. Once you have provided yourself with space and time to release the emotions that come along with hopelessness and defeat, process and analyze them. Processing and analyzing isn’t judgment.

Judging is comparing a situation to a standard based on biases developed socially. An example would be, I am so stupid I should have known better not to quit my job to become an artist. What was I thinking? An artist doesn’t make any money, they struggle and now all I will ever be is a struggling artist.

Processing and analyzing a situation is looking at the circumstances, observing, and finding explanations for those observations. An example would be, I am sad because I thought quitting my job and pursuing my passion would be fun and make me so happy. But, now I am broke and struggling to pay my bills. This is a new venture for and I knew it was going to take courage and strength. I think I am really scared right now. Judging is usually consumed with an opinion that usually encompasses the outside. Processing is usually consumed with an understanding that encompasses the inside.

By paying attention to the knots, you can determine what type of rope you are constructing. When you are able to process your hardships and challenges, they become knots that lead you higher and higher. You begin to put together knots that are used for climbing. Hardships and struggles can propel us to our destiny when they are used correctly.

In what seemed like my darkest hour of despair, became my moment of freedom. As I climbed each knot, I reflected on that moment in time and how it lead me to this exact moment and I felt a sense of gratefulness. I thanked it for the courage and lift it provided me. I climbed higher and higher using each knot. Finally, there was sunshine, warmth against my face. I was free! While I knew I was not free from ever experiencing another hardship, I knew I was free from bondage. I knew at that moment nothing and everything could stop me from living my best life, the difference between the two was my choice. The ending of my story was mine to write.


Doggy Paddle Like You Mean it.

Last week I had a few business meetings I  needed to attend, however, I woke up one morning feeling inadequate and unprepared for them. I found myself feeling like I had no idea what I was doing. I recognized this wasn’t an uncommon feeling for me, there have been many times I have felt a sense of inadequacy. I was about to have meetings with people who were far more knowledgable about business than I was. They were going to eat me alive.

If you’ve heard my testimony, then you know I talk about being in the ocean during this time of my life. I often feel like there are moments I am floating, relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery, then there are moments when I am swimming for my life trying not to drown. But what about those in-between moments?

I am doggy paddling.

What I have learned while being in the ocean is I am not a professional swimmer. I don’t know how to do any professional strokes, all I know how to do is doggy paddle.

If you were to swim by me in the ocean, on the top it would appear like I am perfectly fine, coasting along, but underneath the water you would see my legs kicking and kicking and my arms wailing, a complete struggle to stay afloat.

After attending my first meeting, I realized everyone in the ocean is doing the exact same, we are all simply doggy paddling trying to stay afloat.

The thing about living life beyond the walls and in the ocean is we don’t really know how to do it. None of us have been taught how to live a life free of conformity, free of boundaries, free of other people opinions. Most of us are trying to figure this thing called life out. We are all trying to learn how to become professional swimmers in the ocean. While it may appear that others around you have it all together, chances are they are doggy paddling too.

The difference between one persons doggy paddle and the next is the confidence they paddle with. Some people understand that doggy paddling is just as effective as swimming. It may take them a little bit longer, but they are making strides and movement through life just like the person doing butterfly strokes. Some people realize if they are going to doggy paddle, they have to paddle with a certain kind of effort. They have to paddle like they mean it, like they really want to get there. If you want something in life you feel totally unqualified for, you have to walk into like you want it and deserve it. You can’t go in feeling unqualified and unworthy. You see, most people feed off your vibes and energy. When they see you in the ocean, they aren’t looking at your strokes as much as they are looking at your energy and vibes. Someone can watch a person and not know anything about their lack of knowledge or skill level, but if what they are doing seems effortless, passionate, beautiful, and they bring a type of energy that makes them feel just as excited then what they are doing no longer matters, the person is  sucked into the energy force.

If I was capable of walking into my meetings with a level of confidence and excitement then people wouldn’t focus on the fact I was doggy paddling, in fact many time they wouldn’t even know I was doggy paddling. They would be focused on how quickly and efficiently I was moving and how great my energy was while doing it.

It’s all about the energy and vibes. I am less likely to jump into the water with someone who seems panicked, scared, and unsure even if they are a professional swimmer. However, if someone seems completely at ease, happy, confident, and have a positive vibe and energy I am more likely to jump into the water without even asking if they know anything about swimming.

I realized just because I am doggy paddling now doesn’t mean I will still be doggy paddling in a year. Every single person has a starting point. There will come a time when I would be able to back stroke through some parts of the ocean and then have to doggy paddle through other parts. The same way I am able to float. The key is to do it like I mean it, whole heartedly.

After realizing this reality, I decided to doggy paddle like I meant it. If I was going to doggy paddle anyway, I might as well doggy paddle with pride. I decided I would add some simple strokes to my doggy paddle.  Practice would eventually make perfect. I no longer was going to feel embarrassed or less than because I was doggy paddling. For the remainder of the week I doggy paddled into every meeting like a professional swimmer!

I doggy paddled into my meetings with confidence and energy. I held my head high above the water while my legs kicked and paddled and with all their might. And if my head happen to dip for a second under water, I would keep my eyes open and look around noticing everyone else doggy paddling too! We were all equals. All trying to get to our island of happiness.

Now that you have broke down the walls and jumped into the ocean of the unknown, doggy paddle with a purpose, doggy paddle to your island, doggy paddle like you mean it! And when you run into others who seem like more competent swimmers, remember everyone is and/or has doggy paddled. So be kind, give them a boost, show them a stroke or two that you have learned along the way, and speak life into them so they are able to continue their journey along the ocean with the same type of confidence.


Follow the Cart

Ikea is one of the best shopping places ever! If you’ve never been to one, may I suggest you make this happen. We love Ikea, but we don’t love their carts Ikea carts are designed to roll front, backwards, and side to side. This on first sight may seem awesome because you simply pull the cart along with you whichever way you go. What we quickly learned and based off our people watching, what others learned, is this is not the case.

The carts are actually cumbersome and easily become a nuisance. You find yourself trying to force the cart to go the way you want it to go, all while the wheels are turning and rolling in every direction. You’re going left and the cart is going backward and right. If you make this highly suggested visit to Ikea or on your next visit to Ikea, take a moment to watch those around you struggling, I mean strolling around with their carts. You will see many of them complaining and discussing their dislike for the carts, you will see them trying to forcefully correct the direction of the cart, but then you will see some people happily following along. Sounds familiar? Sounds like life?

Some people follow the cart rather than trying to force the cart to follow them. 

I never noticed this until one of our recent visits to Ikea. We were waiting for one of our purchases to arrive at the pickup station along with a couple of other people. Our items arrived at the same time as another person items. My husband got our cart of items and the guy got his cart of items. I watched as my husband struggled to get the buggy to go the way he wanted it to go while the guy strolled by us letting his buggy go whichever way it choose. He walked by with ease, confidence, and a type of control that isn’t quite control. It was almost as if he maintained control of the cart by releasing control. Allowing the cart to do what it was designed to do, but still staying in control. It was eye opening.

What this moment taught me was that Ikea carts are much like life. We walk into many moments of life with excitement knowing that the situation can go anyway. There is a feeling of freedom, believing we will have a stronger grasp on control in the situation. However, once in the moment we begin to feel frustrated, irritated, worried, concerned, upset, stressed, angry, and/or depressed when we realize the situation is trying to go one way when we want it to go another way.

What if, we followed the moment? What if we allowed the moment to swing right while we held on with a since of confidence knowing the situation wasn’t going to swing so far right that we would lose control. Allowing the moment to go right, with a faith in the design of the moment. A faith that the creator of this moment knew exactly how to design the situation to go exactly the way it needed to go.

Follow the moment and allow things to unfold the way they are designed to unfold all while holding on with faith and confidence in yourself and the maker.

The guy following the cart in front of us wasn’t pushing the cart, but more so guiding it. He held on with ease as the cart turned in circles. For him, he knew without a doubt the cart wouldn’t get out of hand, he trusted the design and he trusted himself.

To push something in life that wasn’t designed to be pushed can cause friction and frustration. 

When you are presented with free flowing moments in life, the idea is to allow that moment to, well, flow free. If we take a moment that was meant to be free flowing, and  try to push it in the direction we want it to go, the moment is no longer free flowing. You are literally going against the grain. These moments become so frustrating and put a strain on our peace and happiness. So, how do you know when you are forcing a free flowing moment? Do things seem difficult, virtually impossible, does it seem like no matter how hard you push or pull you’re getting nowhere and in fact it gets harder. Does it seem like you are making zero progress? All these feelings are tall tell signs that you are trying to control a free a flowing situation.

When you let go of control and follow the situation, you will quickly see a drastic change in the feeling. The important thing in this is faith and trust. Because the situation will feel like it is going to go out of control if you don’t steer it, you have to have trust and faith. In the beginning it will feel uncomfortable almost unnatural. You will feel like you need to do something or should be doing more. It will feel like things are getting out of control.


Soon you will start to feel a sense of ease, things will flow more naturally. You will be guiding the situation, but not controlling it which will allow things to flow more freely. This allows more opportunities to present itself.

The guy who followed his cart, got to his destination a lot faster and a lot happier.

When you follow and guide you arrive at your destination a lot faster and with fewer bumps and bruises. You are happier and less frustrated. You are able to see all the beauty in each moment presented because you aren’t tied up with pushing and pulling.

The goal with each moment is to let it be, let it flow, gently guiding the wheel and trusting you will end up exactly where you are suppose to!