Tag Archives: inspiring quotes

enjoying where you are

6 Aug

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I’ve been thinking a lot about how much time we spend as human beings wishing we were already at the next step- turning 10, driving, turning 21, graduating, turning 30, more successful, thinner, richer, a home owner, married, a parent, a parent of two, retired etc. The list goes on. We are conditioned to always be wishing we were somewhere else. I am guilty of this. I often find that I forget to take in the step in which I am currently residing. Being present exactly were I am. The step I once longed to obtain that now feels like no big deal. There was a time not too long ago that I longed to be a wife, a home owner, working steadily as a fit model & of course a frenchie owner (!) If you would have told me that I would attain all those things I would have told you that I would be content. But that’s never the case, is it? Now that all those things are mine, I find myself longing to be in the next steps…motherhood, living in a bigger house with a bigger yard, a small business owner, making money full-time as a writer and an owner of two frenchies! Well, I’m kind of kidding about the two frenchies. I don’t think Frank would approve. He’s a one man show.

While I’m sure all those things that I wish for will bring me great joy when and if they happen, I am trying to instead pull great joy from what already is. Being grateful for what my life already looks like and let go of all the things I am hoping to get to next. I want to absorb every single joy, lesson, laugh and moment that my life has to offer me today.

Because it all passes by too quickly.

Just the other day I was reminiscing about our old apartment. Missing it, actually.  Granted when we lived in that apartment I couldn’t wait to get out of it. And now look, I miss it. I miss the simplicity of it. Life continues to get bigger and richer and fuller. I’m pretty sure as my life continues to grow, I will look back at this exact time in my life and miss it. When there are children running around our house, I’m sure I will miss the quiet I now take for granted. When we move to that bigger house with a bigger yard one day, I’m sure I will miss the place we live in now. I’ll probably feel overwhelmed with the new lawn. When we open our small business, I’m sure there are going to be days that will be completely overwhelming and I will wish I could go back to the simplicity and freedom of working as a fit model. I’ll long for the days when I tried on clothes for a living. When I finally do publish my first book, I’m sure I will start thinking about what the next one should be.

The cycle never seems to end. When are we ever happy with what is? Without immediately trying to get to the next step?

So today I am trying to remain completely present in what life currently looks like with no attachment to all that is still to come…or not to come…or might come.

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“True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

 

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monday morning meditation

3 Aug

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p a t i e n c e     is the     a n t i d o t e

Patience is the antidote to anger, a way to learn to love and care for whatever we meet on the path. By patience, we do not mean endurance- as in ” grin and bear it.” In any situation, instead of reacting suddenly, we could chew it, smell it, look at it, and open ourselves to seeing what’s there. The opposite of patience is aggression- the desire to jump and move, to push against our lives, to try to fill up space. The journey of patience involves relaxing, opening to whats happening, experiencing a sense of wonder.

-Pema Chodron-

word love

7 Jul

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project 30 – liz

18 Jun

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Liz, 40 / be love live

What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

Well, let me start off by admitting that I am actually 40, so I’ve made it through my 20s and my 30s. And I am all the better for the amazing, beautiful journey that it has been! I’m going to try to do a little time traveling back to my 30 something year old brain, but just know that everything that I share from here on out is from a 40-year-old perspective. And, this 40-year-old perspective is oh so different from my 30-year-old perspective!

So many people are frightened of hitting the big 3-0. I was not one of them. However, I was freaked out, having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that I’d soon be leaving my 20s, unable to grasp the idea that I was going to be 30. A real adult, or so I thought. Still, I looked forward to turning 30. I was hoping that it would be “my decade”. And you know what? It totally was! (So far, at least!) In my 30s, I came into myself. I found the courage + strength to live life on my terms. I accepted and loved myself in ways that my 20 something self only dreamed of. I took the time to discover my own path, leaving the pressures and expectations of society behind.

I quit my stable job. Got divorced. Moved to Europe. And embarked on an incredibly freeing journey of learning to live an authentic life.

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

Oh, how i wish I had taken my soul more seriously. I wish that I had listened to my intuition more and let the voices of others fall by the wayside. I have always been drawn to a life propelled and inspired by the inner world of our spirit. In my 20s, my heart and soul were all but screaming at me to just be true to myself, but I kept telling myself that my mystic, hermit ways made me a boring person. But, what I really wanted to do was simply enjoy the magic of being married to my husband, roaming the world together, living simply, having adventures, inspiring others through my words and pictures (not my husband’s dreams, mind you). I didn’t want a typical life – I craved something different. I craved the freedom of a gypsy soul.

But, I just couldn’t live like that. I was nowhere near secure enough to understand the seriousness of living life from your soul. I heard and felt the rumblings from within, but I just couldn’t set myself free quite yet.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

I wish that I had taken my expectations less seriously. I wanted to make everyone around me happy. I truly believed back then that, if everyone in my life was happy and content, then I would be. And, in some ways I was. Ignorance was bliss.

So, life in my 20s was a crazy balancing act. I felt the call to live life authentically, to be free to be me; and yet, I didn’t heed the call. Instead I felt self-induced pressure to be more “normal”. I went through roller-coaster periods of feeling blissfully happy with my marriage, my stable job, and my small town life. I even dreamed of starting a family. And then, after some time, the urge to wander + roam the world, the urge to pack it all up and become a desert hermit in order to give my soul the attention that it needed, took over. I teetered back and forth between these two extremes all throughout my 20s, certain that I had to choose one over the other.

Until I hit my 30s. And then, I began to truly listen. And I found, with lots of help from friends, mentors, counselors, and graduate professors, the courage to act. I didn’t have to choose between married life and a monastic, pilgrim’s life. I just had to choose my life.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

I am going to answer this question stream-of-consciously because I cannot remember a specific memory. Or, rather, I can remember so many different moments.

All of the memories that are coming to mind have a few something in common: they involve travel. Like the time my ex-husband and I drove across the country in our silver Toyota Four Runner, sleeping in the back, exploring the vast, beautiful country from coast to coast. Standing in the Painted Desert, feeling connected to the entire Universe. Dipping my toes in the Pacific Ocean. Waking up on the Oregon coastline. Camping under the mountains in Glacier National Park. Photographing a buffalo in Yellowstone. Driving on two lane roads through barren, sky-filled South Dakota.

I am certain that this trip symbolized the freedom that I was so desperately seeking (not freedom from my life, but freedom from within).

Amazingly, I had the opportunity to make the coast to coast trip again about 5 years ago, when I was 35. This time, on my honeymoon with my Swedish wife. Wink.Wink.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

In my early 20s, I thought that I would move to Europe and have a job that involved helping others. I desperately wanted to make a difference in the world – I knew that I was here to do that. And, I even more desperately wanted to live in Europe, perhaps even working as a retreat leader for people, while writing books and teaching classes. I could visit bakeries, walk everywhere, and travel the world. I ‘d live with the guy I’d met in Denmark as a young 21-year-old, and I was determined to find anything that would help me get to Denmark to live with him and share the European life that I had been dreaming of. I just knew that, even if it didn’t work out with him (and it didn’t), that I’d still find myself living somewhere different, working as a counselor/teacher/writer. Those were my dreams.

When that relationship ended, I saw my chance to move to Denmark fade away. But, I still felt passionate about travel and other cultures and making a difference. So, I thought I’d be a missionary. But, many people in my life didn’t think that was a safe/smart/good idea, so I decided to set all of those dreams aside and settle down – not at all what I dreamed that I would be doing at 30. But, exactly how I found myself living when I turned 30. Married. Stable job. Happy. Yet restless.

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

As I indicated in the previous question, my life was not the dreamy, romantic adventure I had hoped for. It was a good life, though. And, one that I now understand was necessary in order to do some more soul-searching.

At 30, I had been married for seven years to a good man. We lived in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina, in a beautiful cottage about 5 minutes from the church where I worked as a minister and counselor. I had followed through on my dream to work in a helping profession, and it was a job that allowed me to travel and explore, taking young people and other adults with me. It was beautiful, wonderful work – guiding and mentoring others on their own journey through life. Writing and teaching and sharing very special moments with others. I was honored to have this job that I loved.

Still, I wanted more. I yearned for more. I wanted to go to graduate school. And, perhaps, I wanted a family. And I still wanted to move to some place different to experience another way of life. But, I had no idea how to do any of those things. At 30 I was still dreaming, but not quite ready to let myself fulfill my own dreams.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

Hell yes. Everything about my 20s felt panicky. Like I had to have “it” all figured out. Like there was some race I was running. Against who, I have no idea. I worked hard to make things happen, things that never did happen either because I got scared of following my heart when others didn’t agree or the stars just weren’t lined up right. But, I absolutely thought that things should be done when I thought they should be done. The 20s was a scary decade. A miscarriage, an unfaithful husband, and the inability to claim the life that I dreamed of made my dreams all feel impossible. So, perhaps the only thing I learned that I could control was deciding to help others – to put everyone else before me. I wanted to control. I was terrified of the unknown.

But, oh how I have learned to live differently in my 30s. I learned to love the unknown.

Life is a process that we create. We are active, and yet we just let it unfold. Most importantly, we must stay true to ourselves. Because, when we tap into our souls and live from them, then the life that unfolds before us may not look at all like what we planned, but is pretty much always way more beautiful + amazing than we ever could have imagined.

Yes, our days are numbered. And we are not guaranteed tomorrow. So, the best thing to do is to just be. To simply be present. Right here. Right now. To give it time. To stay true + open + aware. We are creating our own lives with every single moment. And, everything falls into place in its own time. We can’t understand or predict it, but we can trust and breathe and soak up the life that we live. And, in time, it all makes sense.

My 40-year-old self, tells my 20 something self to relax a bit. And my 40-year-old self tells my 30 something self to keep on discovering and listening and being.

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

For me, the greatest gift of being in my 30s was claiming my life as my own. I learned to listen to my soul and to say “F*ck it!” to the expectations to be anything but who I truly am. And by learning to put being before doing, I found a deep level of inner peace that I had been searching for. From that peace, I took risks. I found courage. I changed my life.

I went to graduate school. I traveled to Europe again. I divorced my ex-husband. I quit my job. I sold my things. I took off to live in Denmark. I fell in love – with a woman. I re-married. I moved to Sweden. I left the church. I began writing. I found myself.

The greatest gift that I received in my 30s was freedom. The freedom to simply be me.

When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

As you know by now, I have already crossed over this horizon; but I am a mere 40 something baby, since I just turned 40 a few months ago. I can say that, as a woman in my 30s, I did not have anything specific that I was aiming for by the time I turned 40. I was still coming into my own all the way up until then (and still am now). And I don’t make those kinds of plans anymore. I am much slower and much more in the present moment these days.

Not that I don’t have dreams and goals. Oh yes, I do. And they are out there on my 50 year old horizon. They inspire me and help to keep me aligned to my true self.

In my 40s, I hope to continue to evolve and transform. I hope to find even more peace. And I hope to begin to make a shift from learning (which I did in my thirties) to teaching and guiding. I want to continue to travel and write and photograph. I am currently writing my first book – a memoir that tells my story from my divorce to my 40th year. But my biggest, most practical goal hanging out there in the future is to shift all of this into a business. I’m not a business person at all, but I have to trust that things will unfold as time passes.

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

My blog is titled “be|love|live” because these are the ways that I discovered how to live an authentic life in my 30s, how to be true to who I am and to make a difference in the world. So, I’ll leave you with my three of my favorite quotes:

BE: “At the center of your being, you have the answer. You know who you are and you know what you want.” – Lao Tau

LOVE: “You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” – Frederick Buechner

LIVE: “Following your bliss is not self-indulgent, but vital; your whole physical system knows that this is the way to be alive in this world and the way to give to the world the very best that you have to offer. There is a track just waiting for each of us and once on it, doors will open that were not open before and would not open for anyone else.” – Joseph Campbell

My 40-year-old self has learned a lot. And has a lot still to learn. Though I have advice for my 20 something + 30 something selves, I am thankful for how they have led me to exactly where I am right now. Do I wish I had known more back then? Maybe. But, maybe not. Because it’s all part of the beautiful journey of life.

And somewhere along the way I finally listened to my soul. I took one risk after another, afraid of losing it all at one time. But, I listened. And my soul sang for me. And here I am. Just me. There’s no use trying to be anything else. We all have been created to be exactly who we are, the challenge is to find the courage + the strength + the craziness to listen to that inner voice, telling us to just be…. well, us.

connect with the lovely Liz / blog / instagram: @belovelivephotography / facebook: Be Love Live

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project 30 – jessica

4 Jun

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Jessica, 30 / owner of Cotton Rainbow

What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

Things happen for a reason. Be patient because when it is right, it will happen.

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

My friendships. I lived my life like a spinning top, moving from one new thing to another. I didn’t really stop to appreciate what was in front of me and really work to make those friendships thrive.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

Figuring out what was next. I wish I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?
Having my daughter Ella. It was the most incredible day of my life. I have never in my life felt more alive.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

I thought I would be a successful event planner who had it all. I thought I would be married with a few children and be totally financially stable . I would have the perfect work/life balance and have it all!

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

I am exactly where I should be. I turned 30 with my husband Eric and my daughter Ella and my 2 dogs. I am a co-owner of my own business Cotton Rainbow, a children’s gear company. I love being a mom. My road to having a baby was extremely difficult and not one that I would have ever imagined. Looking back, I now realize that it happened for a reason.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

Absolutely! Doesn’t everyone?

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

Perspective. I have not been 30 for long (yep, a whole month) but I can honestly say that my 20’s were all about the journey.

When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

I envision having another child and my business being super successful. I hope to have multiple people working for Cotton Rainbow. I want the office to be super baby and dog friendly and will allow my employees to have a great work/life balance. I hope to have traveled with Eric and Ella. I am so excited to watch Ella grow, learn and discover the world.

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

“Treat no one lightly and think nothing is useless, for everyone has one’s moment and everything has its place.” – Pirkei Avot

connect with Jessica / instagram @cotton_rainbow / Facebook / twitter /

Oh, hi

2 Jun

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Well, I’m back. I hadn’t even realized it had been two months since I last blogged until I sat down to write this post. Where has the time gone? Where has Spring gone for that matter! It’s June already?? What’s that…I’m going to be 33 next month…whhhaaaat?! Sigh. It all goes too damn fast, doesn’t it? Anyway, I have many reasons as to why I haven’t blogged recently but the biggest reason…I was feeling creatively tapped out. Does that ever happen to you? The well was dry as they say. And who wants to read a blog written by a dry well. I kept trying to push myself through it, forcing myself to sit down each day and blog but in turn it was starting to feel like a job and not a creative outlet- which is not why I do this. I do this to connect with others and stay present in my day-to-day life as well as motivate myself to make my dreams a reality. So I decided to do the unimaginable for me after almost four solid years of blogging…take a break.

I took some breathing space to fill up the creative well.

Last week I began to feel the pull again though and found myself once again sitting at my desk with my trusty computer. Ideas and new energy swirling within me.

So happy to be back.

Here are a few snapshots over the last two months…

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 “What we are waiting for is not as important as what happens to us while we are waiting. Trust the process.”

 

 

project 30 – angela

13 Mar

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Angela, 36

What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

Love yourself. Love yourself. Just the way you are. You are 110% perfect in the most beautifully imperfect way. No matter how perfect someone else’s life may seem to the outside world, we are all just a work in progress. Love yourself and trust your heart – no matter what!

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

Financial planning, savings, and investments. In my early/mid 20’s I was married supporting my husband in his career. In my later 20’s I was single and determined to discover myself, and my true path in life. Looking back I was just running towards or away from things. I trusted too much that everything would work itself out in the end. It usually does, but things could have worked themselves out more in my favor had I been more present in ‘the now’ while running towards my tomorrow.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

I wish I had of embraced my inner-rebel a lot more in my 20’s, and teens even. I was very much “the good girl.” When push comes to shove I’ve always followed my heart, but in a lot of ways some of the choices I made in my 20’s were from fear of not being accepted or loved. I think that’s the greatest blessing of being a woman in your 30’s is that you start to care less and less about what other people think. At least it’s been true for me. I wish I had of cared less about what people thought of me and made more mistakes. Not the stupid and reckless kind of mistakes (like drugs & sex) but more of the academic, fitness, entrepreneurship, and everything investing in me kind of mistakes. I would have rather failed big then than the now of looking back and having not tried from fear of what other people thought of me. I wish I had of risked failing at some things on a bigger scale.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

A lot of people don’t know this about me, but in my early/mid 20’s I was married and a mom. I’m a different woman now with different goals, and am totally happy with my life in a different kind of way. In my 20’s though I was really happy in the role of mom. Even today, thinking about moments, it makes me smile and my eyes fill up with tears (the heart warming kind). The best moments in my 20’s all include my favorite little blonde haired blue-eyed boy; word games in the grocery store, playing in the mud, sock ball fights, hide-n-seek, or snuggling on the couch to watch cartoons. Even to this day I haven’t forgotten the smell of his hair and I can still hear the sweetest words [I believe] anyone can ever hear, “Mommy, I love you.”

I’ve changed so much since then. So many things have happened, but without a doubt being a mom was the best part of my 20’s.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

In my early and mid 20’s I was supporting the career of my husband. I honestly thought I would be married in my 30’s (naturally) and where I lived wasn’t something that crossed my mind too much because then I felt that my home was with my family, no matter where we lived. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial heart, so even in my early 20’s I was still very passionate about building a successful business. I saw myself in my 30’s running a start-up or agency of sorts. Looking back though, I can see now that I needed to go through some major life changes and experiences before I could really know who I was or what gifts and talents I had to share.

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

At 30 I was living in Los Angeles, CA (and that is where we met :-). I spent my late 20’s and the beginning of my 30’s doing a lot of healing in L.A. I was really blessed to have met three phenomenal people there and they played a huge role in me becoming who I am today. In my 30’s I had the opportunity to spend moments around a lot of really successful and inspiring people. This and working with one of the most sought after personal development coaches took my belief system of what life had to offer to an entirely new level. My perspective, my bubble of what the world looked like burst open in my 30’s and I started to really believe in myself for the first time. As I’m saying this, it sounds like something dramatically life changing happened then, but it was the opposite. I worked all the time. I was quiet a lot. I asked questions. I listened. I paid attention. I believe there are times in life when you need to be in the spotlight (to share your gifts) and then there are times when you need to be behind-the-scenes (to learn lessons). Those were my behind-the-scenes years and I didn’t waist a single moment. It was all a learning experience and I’ll forever feel indebted to the universe for those opportunities.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

(Laughing) I’m still a little worried. Well, in some ways. I didn’t figure out whole-heartedly what I wanted to do with my life until around 33. I’m 36 now. I had a lot of life obstacles in my 20’s that were unexpected and very challenging especially considering my age. In some ways they set me back externally, but they pushed me forward internally. I hope that makes sense. I’m still a work in progress though even in my 30’s, and I love it! 

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

I think the whole package of knowing who you are, knowing what you want, and feeling more comfortable in your own skin makes everything about life more enjoyable in your 30’s.

When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

2013 and 2014 I spent building the foundation on a few of my projects and spending a lot of time going through the motions of everyday life. 2015 I want to begin living my life on purpose again. I want to travel more, write more, and experience more. I want to have more compassion, empathy and understanding for myself and in my relationships. I want to take things to the next level in those regards. I want to work on being in the now, to create and carry a more whole and balanced ‘me’ into my 40’s (which is just three and a half years a way… yikes!!).

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

My mom use to say, “This too shall pass.”

When I was little and a teenager I thought that this saying only applied to the tough moments in life; like when I would scrape a knee or when a boy had broken my heart.

In my mid 20’s I realized it meant something very different (at least to me the meaning dramatically changed).

During that time my mom had been diagnosed terminally ill with cancer, given 4-6 months to live, and was spending the last months of her life with us (me – her only daughter, son-in-law, and grandson).

It was in those months I began to realize how precious a moment was.

Excruciating at times to watch my mom experience so much pain and loose herself to tumors, every last moment was still a blessing. It was a blessing because it was one more moment I got to spend with her.

Our time on earth isn’t guaranteed. It doesn’t belong to us. We don’t own it. Every moment is a gift and we are just the managers of the time we’re given.

I think of, “this too shall pass,” constantly. It helped me get through that time of my life, be more present, and stay grateful.

It’s not about being positive all of the time and ignoring the pain in a situation, but instead knowing that no matter what happens I’m the manager of this moment, of how I want to look at the situation in front of me, whatever actions I take next, and the memories I’m creating. Because… “This too shall pass.”

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connect with Angela

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