Thursday, May 28, 2009

Scum Fest VI anyone?

Don't pay too close of attention to the title: Scum Fest VI is about to commence this Saturday, May 30th and I am inviting (pretty much demanding) that you attend. Reason? Chris' band, Disturbing Lou, will be featured and I for one cannot wait to see them rock.

Doors open @ 4pm - you can check out the info my clicking on the link of the venue:
Firebird St. Louis

And for those who don't know Chris ... well, let me tell you this kid has it all -- that rare talent that you feel certain is going to change the face of music someday. He can capture an audience and has a vivid, inspirational imagination that fans the flames of new lyrics .... lyrics that seem to impact whatever mood you are in -- and heighten it! He is Thomas music teacher (the proof stands with little "T" rockin' like a rock star ...) and he is not only friends of our family -- he is part of it. Both him and Courtney ...
Courtney (his beautiful, amazing) girlfriend and him have been apart of Thomas and my life for about three years now. She in her own right is one of the most solid, down to earth, well accomplished young women I have ever had the privilege of knowing. She has a sense of spirit that is breathtaking, and a beauty about her that is defined and natural - both on the outside, and in. Without either of them I would not be half of the person I am today. Without them, and about twenty other people along the way ...

Besides doing a little PR for Disturbing Lou and confessing the love I have for a band mate and his girl, there is a bigger meaning to this week's column. Sparked with the old phrase "People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime", I cannot help but seem captivated by all three. Each play an intricate role in building and shaping our lives. Each fulfilling the purpose of enrichment. We view some has hardships, regrets; however, we tend to focus on the negative impact and not the positive one yet to be, or currently being had. Reasons and Seasons encompass us every day - a smile from a stranger and I tend to smile right back - a professor who pushed and I tend to be grateful ...

... then there is the Lifetime. Those who capture our hearts and once done, will never be separated. Not time, not distance. These people, these moments, these steps of fate complete the world around us and make us reach for higher heights. Each entanglement bringing us fulfillment and insight, wisdom and grace, beauty and empathy. I have been fortunate enough to have people like Chris and Courtney in my life that allow me the opportunity to better myself by watching Thomas while I attend school, or study, or see a therapist, or play softball, or just have a night off from motherhood. Not only that, but I have been blessed to have these two in my life not just as sitters, not even friends, but an instant a part of our family that we cherish beyond imagine.

I have a web of brilliance such as that in my life -- and I wont start naming them all, but I am certain that you know who you are. I try to tell you as much and often as I can how much I love you - how much I appreciate the person you are and the role you play in our lives - how much I value our friendship and the beauty it adds to my world ... I try to encourage you, push you to higher heights, see the best in you and let it out for the world to see ... Besides being the best mother I can be, I hold myself to a high standard with being the best person I can be and a great part of that is maintaining solid friendships, and showing those around me the value they add to each pathway they take.

Watching Chris' band play is more than the music -- its standing in the crowd, screaming and cheering Disturbing Lou on -- showing that with the support of your friends around you, there cannot be failure ... you already succeeded in the value of a lifetime, the rest is icing on the cake.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Homework for the Weekend?

So your bags are packed and your ready to go, yet you need some good reading material for the Memorial Day weekend getaways? Do I so have you covered! Here are some great articles for you to print out, read and enjoy. No need to thank me, it's what I do:

Choosing Happiness

Who am I? - Journal

Finish Strong (video)

Conquer your Inner Demons

The Next Level - Newsletters

Who knows, maybe somewhere between the afternoon sun and the BBQ dinner one of these fine reads might inspire you to take a deeper snapshot of yourself and what you want to accomplish in the months ahead. For me, I have a foresight that speaks to me: Tears are cleansing. Change is coming. Life is Happening. With all that faces me, its time to reach for the stars, while learning to keep my feet on the ground. The Universe truly gives to us what we ask of it, the positive and the negative, both unspoken and verbal. Ask for your hearts desires today - and may every thought and action you take, back up your dreams. Besos!

Cheers!

Every year for memorial day weekend the friends and I rent a condo down at lake of the Ozarks (or hotel rooms) and do it up big! Between the adventures in party cove, to the table dancing at Topsiders, there is rarely a time when laughter is not heard and fun is not had. Its a weekend away from our "adult" lives and a time to relax, have fun, and not worry so much.

This year for the first time in five years we will not be going to the lake. Blame it on the economy, blame it on the lack of funds; but mostly I blame it on our moods. Each of us (whether you are in this weekend getaway click or not...) have had a trying year thus far. We have lost loved ones, jobs, changed careers, moved, dealt with heart ache and battle, been fronted with fear and change, and at times ... we have wrestled depression. Nope, I did not put that lightly because I am not going to sugar coat reality. We have hurt, some of us still are hurting, and the year is yet to be half over.

There is, however, the half full theory. Suffering precedes satisfaction; I heard this the other day when it seemed I needed to hear it most. Do you have things like that? A phrase, or a quote? A song, or a poem? A photo, or a scent? Something that just snaps you out of Gloomville and allows you to see that by far is all lost. Sure, we are having momentary setbacks; but can we not view these setbacks for what they truly can be if allowed?
And what is that oh wise Chrissy?
I am glad you asked! They are: Opportunities!
Don't miss out on your saving grace because you are too involved in hurt that you neglect to see the joy.

This weekend, although we are not going to be at the lake - we still made a promise to each other and that was to be together. Equipped with our tanning oil, sunglasses, and good times in a bottle we are heading out to a friend's home for the weekend where we will spend it in sunshine, laughter, and the company of amazing friends. It is not where you go that determines your happiness, it is who you are with. As you kick off your summer fun - look at your pina' coloda glass next to you ... although half way gone, all it takes is a good friend (or friends...) to fill it back up ... Cheers!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thanksgiving in May, and Every day

Have you stopped today to be thankful for that in which makes you happy, provides a sentiment of bliss in your life, gives you a comfort, or even perhaps is in essence your part of your survival in life?

Time to make time ... feel free to share through the comments section, or keep your piece of paper covered (I promise I won't cheat ... ). However you do it, however you express, make the time to be thankful today. My hope is that you can see the beauty in what you do have and maybe let go a little to what you don't. In doing so, maybe just maybe, there can be an element of peace that life in general is something to be thankful for.

I'll share a little of what I am thankful for:

- God in my life, who grants me serenity and grace.

- The most amazing reward this life will ever give me, my handsome charmer of a son, Thomas. Through his strength and optimism I am able to see the world in a completely different perspective - one of wild, wonder, and always seeking more through a thirst for knowledge and a hunger for accomplishing.

- Friends and Family who surround me with warmth and love, and never cease to amaze me at their endless supply.

- The feel of sand beneath my feet on a hot summer day, immersed in sunshine and the splashing of the waves.

-All that I am yet to experience ...

- The opportunity to share with you, grow within my own soul, and flourish with thoughts and ideas to dare to make an impact on the world around me.

.... Just to name a few.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Warning: Smiling May Incur

Shocked the hell out of me.
A few weeks ago I was asked the question, “Do you believe any one can be happy all the time, with all aspects of their life?” Without hesitation I answered “Yes”. The friend on the other line said, “I don’t believe that is true. I have been miserable pretty much my entire life.”

Maybe it was off day?
Today that same friend and I were engaged in another conversation and I will give five dollars to the first person who guesses the topic correctly (kidding on the five dollars, but nicely done on your guessing skills, buy yourself a coke!).

The background information on this friend of mine is held in confidence, but I can tell you this – this person is truly a gift to those around them – caring, compassionate, honest, forgiving, loyal, and most of all … brings a true balance to the lives he / she touches. Bottom line: you would never think of them as miserable because they add such a pleasure to your life. You think that they must be happy because of the front they place, because of how they interact with you … their persona screams happiness because of the way they treat people is what you think is given back to them ….

Wrong.
Sometimes looks can be deceiving. Sometimes our judgment is placed incorrectly. How many of us have friends in our lives that you swear must be the happiest person in the world, yet in reality they are dying on the inside and put up a front to the passing world around them – including you!
Or how many of us turn a blind eye to those hurting because we are afraid of approaching the subject, or taking on a challenge.
Or how many of us simply overlook our friend’s pain because we are too consumed with our own lives.
I will shamefully admit that I am guilty of all of the above. Some days all I can think about is what is eating at me, and ignore the world around me, only to regret it later in some fashion. Or I think a person to be so happy and not really needing a comforting word, or a random thought to say hello. Or I shutter from the subject because I am afraid of upsetting that person and would rather just have them in my life (miserable) than without them (miserable). If we all take off our blinders for a moment we can admit: We choose to follow the same walk in life, day after day, for a lack of demand for change.

Ready, set, this will only hurt a second ….
Its time to rip off the band-aids in their lives (and if we are being honest, our own!). Wounds need to be exposed before they can heal. And, yet at times we are unable to pull off our own band-aids and will need the assistance of others … to those with the wounds, this is nothing personal and you will feel better once the Scooby Doo band-aid is gone and the air can begin to heal what lies underneath. To those doing the ripping – be gentle, hold their hand if need be, and remember … you are playing nurse here, not doctor. You cannot fix, but you can be the saving grace they need to help them recover.

Careers. Relationships. Achievements. Ambitions. Goals. Geography. OH MY!
I heard today from another dear friend that his source of unhappiness may derive from the fact that he holds a restless soul. I think that to be true in many faucets in life, some of which I have listed above. My belief is our unhappiness is stemming from a lack of peace within ourselves, stemming from a great deal of restlessness. Although some of us, myself included, cannot always pinpoint what particular item (or items) is bothering us, we do have a really neat advantage – we have the power of our relationships in our lives to look to for direction, guidance, support, and encouragement.

Admitting that we are unhappy is the hardest part of the battle. The next steps is the scary, yet extremely exciting interesting part filled with twists, turns, and probably complete chaos – however, it’s the best ride we will ever experience. My question to you is will you shutter in fear, or lift your arms high over your head and scream with all of your might … ONE HELL OF A RIDE!!! …. Then look to left and see your best friend, you lover, your companion, the person you met at the coffee shop last Tuesday and see that they too are along for the ride with you just in case you get scared along the way ….

Yes misery loves company, but smiling is contagious. (So is throwing your hands up in the air, and waiving them like you just don’t care) So my next question to you is: have you smiled today? Before you go to bed tonight, while you are brushing your teeth, or washing your face, or flossing from all of the strawberry seeds in your gums … stop and look into that mirror … and smile …and what do you know, someone just smiled back at you.

Do I believe any one can be happy?

To the original topic presented: I stand firm in my original answer – Yes. Each of us will have a point in our lives where we will be unhappy. Some of us will have many points in our lives were we are miserable. And even some of us will have a sense of the blues each damn day we face. I cannot tell you what is making you so unhappy, or provide answers to what direction will lead you out of the rut you feel trapped in – believe me, they do not sell road maps leading to Pleasantville – no matter what the advertisements suggest. I can however remind you that each day spent unhappy is a day wasted. Cliché I know, but there is such wisdom in that saying if we are ready to step outside our desolation realms and feel the splendor of the world around us. The road will not be easy, and at times you may want to revert. You may feel weary, and weak. The demands may be great and the frustration may build … but keep pushing … keep trying … keep believing … You can achieve happiness if you are ready to accept it in your life. Perhaps with the rip of a band-aid and friendly hand holding yours…